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DOVER, Del.--- Stakes races abound, all November long, when Dover Downs opens its 46th season of harness racing on Sunday, Nov. 2. During the opening week, and for the first time since the Matrons moved to Dover Downs in 1995, it will be a “Novemberfest” of racing, with all eight lucrative Matron Stakes Finals for two-and-three-year-old colt and filly trotters and pacers on Nov. 6. The Progress Pace, the track’s signature event, and top purse attraction of the six-month long 2014-2015 meet which continues on April 9, 2015. Monday through Thursday, post time is 4:30 p.m. Sunday racing begins at 5:30. There is no racing on Fridays and Saturdays.   Following completion of Matron rich finals, the top three-year-old colts in training meet in the $350,000 (estimated) Progress Pace beginning with $35,000 eliminations on Nov. 30. The top eight finishers racing for an estimated $350,000 final on Dec. 7. A $25,000 consolation will be carded on the program. Not to be overlooked during November are eight Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) two-year-old $20,000 divisions raced over a two-week preliminary period culminating with $100,000 finals. Dover Downs Major Stakes Program 2014-2015 Progress Pace Date   Day         Event                                 Est. Purse 11/30 Sunday    3-Year-Old Pace Elim           $35,000 12/7   Sunday    3-Year-Old Pace Final          $300,000 12/7   Sunday    3-Year-Old Pace Consolation $25,000 Matron Stakes Date  Day          Event                               Est. Purse 11/6 Thursday   2-Year-Old Filly Pace Final   $175,000 11/6 Thursday   2-Year-Old Filly Trot   Final   $180,000 11/6 Thursday   2-Year-Old Colt Pace Final   $190,000 11/6 Thursday   2-Year-Old Colt Trot   Final   $205,000 11/6 Thursday   3-Year-Old Filly Pace Final   $170,000 11/6 Thursday   3-Year-Old Filly Trot   Final   $190,000 11/6 Thursday   3-Year-Old Colt Pace Final   $200,000 11/6 Thursday   3-Year-Old Colt Trot   Final   $180,000 2014 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Date  Day          Event                                     Purse 11/10 Monday   2-Year-Old Filly Trot Elim 1     $20,000 11/11 Tuesday  2-Year-Old Colt Trot Elim 1     $20,000 11/17 Monday   2-Year-Old Filly Trot Elim 2     $20,000 11/18 Tuesday  2-Year-Old Colt Trot Elim 2     $20,000 11/23 Sunday   2-Year-Old Colt Pace Elim 1    $20,000 11/24 Monday  2-Year-Old Filly Trot Final      $100,000 11/24 Monday  2-Year-Old Filly Pace Elim 1    $20,000 11/25 Tuesday  2-Year-Old Colt Trot Final     $100,000 11/30 Sunday    2-Year-Old Colt Pace Elim 2   $20,000 12/1  Monday    2-Year-Old Filly Pace Elim 2   $20,000 12/7  Sunday    2-Year-Old Colt Pace Final    $100,000 12/8  Monday   2-Year-Old Filly Pace Final     $100,000 2015 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund 3YOT&P– To Be Announced Parking and admission to Dover Downs harness racing is free. Reservations are suggested for those choosing to dine in the popular Winner's Circle Restaurant,. Call 302-674-4600. In addition to fine cuisine in the Winner's Circle Restaurant, a variety of restaurants and food and drink stations are available including The Race and Sports Book in the Colonnade. For those racing a horse at the track and looking for first-class overnight accommodations, the 4-star 500-room Dover Downs Hotel, is located adjacent to the racetrack. It is suggested to make reservations early. Year around, Dover Downs’ Race and Sports Book presents leading thoroughbred and harness tracks via simulcasting from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily. Currently, three-game NFL parlay wagering is available. For more information, call 302-674-4600. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs  

Drop The Ball has been something of a streaky performer throughout her career, but driver Corey Callahan believes the 6-year-old pacing mare is on an upswing as she gets ready for Saturday's $177,750 Lady Liberty Stakes at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The Lady Liberty, for older female pacers, is part of a stakes-filled Hambletonian Day card at the Big M. Among the other highlights are the $257,700 U.S. Pacing Championship for older pacers, $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters, $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters, and the $1.2 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters. Coverage of the card will air throughout the afternoon on TVG and from 4-5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Drop The Ball won last weekend's Lady Liberty elimination race by a half-length over Jerseylicious in 1:49.2 and with a victory in the final will join Burning Point as the only repeat winners of the event. "She won it last year so we need to win it again," Callahan said about Drop The Ball, who is trained by Ross Croghan for owners Let It Ride Stables, Mentally Stable, and Dana Parham. "Sometimes you can tell [how good she will race] when you're scoring down, but she's really come back around her last few starts. I think Croghan is figuring her out and she's ready to go. She should be good next week, I hope." For her career, Drop The Ball has won 24 of 59 races and earned $1.39 million. In addition to winning last year's Lady Liberty, she won the 2011 Mistletoe Shalee and Matron Stakes. She has twice finished second in each the Breeders Crown, Roses Are Red Stakes, and Golden Girls. Drop The Ball won last year's Lady Liberty during a span of seven starts in which she posted five wins and two second-place finishes. She hit the board only once in eight other races during the campaign. She began her career by winning her first four races, but then went without a victory in nine consecutive starts bridging her 2- and 3-year-old seasons. She finished her 3-year-old campaign by winning six times and finishing second twice over her final nine starts. Drop The Ball entered the Lady Liberty elimination off a second-place finish to Rocklamation in the Golden Girls on July 12. "She was very good in that race," Callahan said. "I had too much road traffic. I ended up third over behind a horse that was stalling and had too much ground to make up." In last weekend's Lady Liberty elim, Drop The Ball started from post eight and went to the front on the first turn before briefly yielding the top spot to Shelliscape on the backstretch. Callahan and Drop The Ball immediately retook the lead, but saw Shebestingin come calling heading into the final turn. Drop The Ball fought off her challenge and led the rest of the way. "We figured if she was OK, we were going to push off the gate and try to get her in play," Callahan said. "A couple of those horses that like to go down the road, like Anndrovette, drew outside, so it was a good night to try it." Following is the Lady Liberty field in alphabetical order. The draw for the race will be Tuesday, with Drop The Ball's connections getting to select post position. Rocklamation received a bye to the final. Aunt Caroline, Charisma Hanover, Drop The Ball, Jerseylicious, Krispy Apple, Matttie Terror Girl, Rocklamation, Shebestingin, Shelliscape, and Somwherovrarainbow. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

The $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie has drawn an impressive field of eight horses [field summary below] and goes postward this Saturday evening, July 19 as Northfield Park's twelfth race. Approximate post time for this event is 11:00 p.m. The Battle is a contest for North America's top open pacers. Superfecta wagering has been added to Saturday's twelfth race, the Battle feature. Saturday's first race post time is 6:00 p.m. Since its inception in 1986, the Battle of Lake Erie has drawn the best veteran pacers the sport has to offer. Past Battle Champions include racing greats Falcon Seelster, Quite A Sensation, Jaguar Spur, Dorunrun Bluegrass, Cambest, Riyadh, Gallo Blue Chip and Maltese Artist. Foiled Again has drawn post 7 in Saturday's feature and has been named the 3-1 slight morning-line favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi. Foiled Again will appear in the Battle an unprecedented six times, and Saturday will reveal if he is successful in becoming the first horse in Northfield Park history to win this event three times. The 10 year-old son of Dragon Again (2000 Battle Champion) won in 2009 and 2011, joining Jaguar Spur (winner in 1988-89), Peruvian Hanover (winner in 2002-03) and Maltese Artist (winner in 2005 and 2007) as the only four horses to win the Battle of Lake Erie twice. Age does not seem to be slowing Foiled Again. He has paced his last four races in under 1:50. Foiled Again is trained by Ronald Burke and has garnered 80 career victories and sports earnings of $6,313,068. Those career earnings rank him as the richest pacer in the history of harness racing. The 2014 $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie Field: #1 - Night Pro enters this race with a six-race win streak, the last four all being paced sub-1:50, and earnings of $308,929. He is the son of Pro Bono Bests (Sire of Bono Bests, 2008 Battle of Lake Erie champion). His dam, Midnight Jewel was a standout race mare at Northfield Park and throughout the Midwest. This four year-old has won 21 of 28 career starts and is 9 of 11 this year. He makes his second local appearance. He won his career debut here in a $2,000 NW1 in 1:57.4 in March of last year. Dale Decker of Temperance, Michigan owns and trains this horse, who has been terrorizing his competition in Michigan and Indiana. He has a career best of 1:49 (HoP 7/8) and Peter Wrenn, who won the Battle with Dare You To in 1991, has been given the driving assignment with a morning line of 4-1. #2 - Beach Memories is one of two sons of Somebeachsomewhere in this year's edition of the Battle of Lake Erie. He has won 11 of 39 career races, taking a 1:48.3 (ScD 5/8) mark and bankrolling $450,214. This four year-old is owned by the partnership of Strollin Stables of Marion, Ohio, AWS Stables of Lima, Ohio, King McNamara of Naples, Florida and Country Club Acres of Findlay, Ohio. Beach Memories is the winner of last year's $260,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Final. He is conditioned in Delaware, Ohio by Brian Brown and was victorious in his most recent effort in the Buckeye State in a $20,000 Open at Scioto Downs in June. Brown has enlisted Northfield Park's leading driver, Josh Sutton, to drive this 15-1 morning line contender. #3 - Bolt The Duer sports career earnings of $1,770,095 and is one of three millionaires in this year's Battle of Lake Erie field. He has 54 lifetime starts and 20 career victories. He is a five year-old son of Ponder with a lifetime mark of 1:47.4 (Mea 5/8). Bolt The Duer is owned by All Star Racing, Inc. of Towaco, New Jersey and is trained by Peter Foley. This is the second local appearance for Bolt The Duer, who won the $130,000 Cleveland Classic here is 2012. His richest win came in the $500,000 Adios Final at The Meadows in 2012. He has been assigned a morning line of 7-2 and is scheduled to have the driving services of Canadian Mark Mac Donald. #4 - Clear Vision is one of two starters from the powerful barn of Ron Burke. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, Pennsylvania, Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania and The Panhellenic Stable Corp. of Oyster Bay, New York. He has won 25 and has been on the board in 80 of 151 career races, taking a 1:48.2 (TgDn 5/8) mark and bankrolling $1,912,868. 2014 marks Clear Vision's second Battle of Lake Erie appearance, finishing third in last year's edition. His richest victory was in the $223,500 Bobby Quillen Memorial Harrington Raceway in 2013. Burke has named Ohio-native Brett Miller to drive this 9-2 morning line competitor. #5 - Fool Me Once will start for Canadian owners Mark Austin Stables of Fergus, Ontario and Daniel Smith of London, Ontario. He has 16 career victories in 32 lifetime starts. This four year-old son of Art Major has career earnings of $654,371 and enters this race off of two straight wins at Mohawk, where he took his 1:48.1 lifetime mark. Fool Me Once is last year's New York Sires Stake Champion, winning the $225,000 final at Yonkers Raceway. This 6-1 morning line selection is trained by Mark Austin and is scheduled to be driven by North American leading driver, Aaron Merriman. #6 - Twilight Bonfire is owned by Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania. This four year-old has 49 career starts, winning 10 races. He has earned a 1:50.1 (Mea 5/8) lifetime mark and has career earnings of $965,140. Twilight Bonfire makes his second local appearance. He started as the favorite, but ended as the runner-up in last year's $126,000 Cleveland Classic. This Richard Gillock trainee's biggest win was at Dover Downs in the $165,975 Matron Stakes in 2012. Buckeye-native Tony Hall has been called upon to drive this 12-1 morning line starter #7 - Foiled Again is attempting to become the first horse to win this even three times and makes his sixth Battle of Lake Erie appearance. He won this event in 2009 and 2011, finished third in the 2010 and was second in this event in 2012. Ron Burke trains foiled Again for owners Burke Racing Stable of Fredricktown, PA, Weaver Bruscemi of Canonsburg, PA and JJK Stables of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Foiled Again has garnered 80 career victories and has been in the money 161 times in 210 career starts, earning a mark of 1:48 (PcD 5/8) and earnings of $6,313,068. Those career earnings rank him as the richest pacer in history. Yannick Gingras is scheduled to pilot this 3-1 slight morning line favorite. #8 - Apprentice Hanover is the 2013 Cleveland Classic Champion and makes his second local appearance. The $126,000 Classic also represents his richest triumph. He has 43 lifetime starts and 17 career victories. He is a four year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere with a lifetime mark of 149.4 (Mea 5/8) and career earnings of $824,675. Apprentice Hanover is owned by Bradley Grant of Milton, Ontario, Canada and is trained by Benjamin Wallace. He has been assigned a morning line of 10-1 and is scheduled to have the driving services of Dan Noble. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

This Week: Meadowlands Pace, W.R. Haughton Memorial, Mistletoe Shalee, Stanley Dancer Memorial, Delvin Miller Memorial, Golden Girls and Miss Versatility, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; Maple Leaf Trot eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Hanover events for 3-year-old colt pacers and 3-year-old filly pacers, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill; and Sheppard eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit schedule continues to be a busy one and this week the spotlight shines on several racetracks, beginning with the Meadowlands. The stakes heavy Saturday card features the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-olds, the $463,300 W.R. Haughton Memorial for free for all pacers, the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, the $213,500 Delvin Miller Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $212,150 Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $178,450 Golden Girls for older pacing mares, and a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Saturday Grand Circuit action also includes the $40,000 (est.) Hanover Colt Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers and the $40,000 (est.) Hanover Filly Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers, both at Balmoral Park, and two $25,000 eliminations at Yonkers in the Lawrence B. Sheppard for 2-year-old colt pacers. Grand Circuit racing for the week begins on Friday (July 11) at Mohawk Racetrack with two C$40,000 eliminations in the Maple Leaf Trot for free for all trotters. Complete entries for the U.S. races are available at this link. Mohawk entries can be found at this link. Last time: Ray Schnittker had an incredible performance during last weekend's Grand Circuit action. He posted 145 training points, 125 driving points and 55.1 owner points, thanks to his success in Landmark Stakes events at Historic Track. Schnittker trained, drove and shared ownership in six of the nine Landmark winners from the Friday (July 4) card in Goshen. Among the winners was 3-year-old male pacer Stevensville, who could be heading to the $450,000 Delvin Miller Adios at the end of the month. Stevensville (Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show), who was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Max C. Hempt Memorial on June 28 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, won the $19,340 Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old pacers in 1:58.1 over a sloppy track. Owned by Schnittker, Paul Bordogna, and Ryan Miller, Stevensville has won seven of 21 career races and $185,079. He finished second in last year's Matron Stakes. Other winners for Schnittker, who is based at Historic Track, were 2-year-old male trotter Gabe The Bear Dean, 2-year-old female pacer Shes Ready To Rock, 3-year-old female trotter Suegrabbitnrun, 3-year-old male trotter Derby, and 2-year-old female trotter Kaliska. The Saturday (July 5) Grand Circuit feature at Meadowlands Racetrack was the inaugural $484,850 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters, going 1-1/8 miles with no Lasix permitted. It drew an overflow field of 14, including defending Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, who had the misfortune to draw unlucky post 13. Your So Vain pulled a 7-1 upset, benefitting from a bold drive by trainer Ake Svanstedt who gunned to the front with a three-wide move on the backstretch and prevailed by 2-3/4 lengths. It was a terrific display by a horse that had not raced since November, and was debuting for the Svanstedt barn. The time was 2:05.3 as Your So Vain paid $16.60 to win. Bee A Magician, jammed up in traffic and shuffled far back in the early stages, kicked in strongly to get second over Flanagan Memory. JK Endofanera will be the 2-1 favorite for the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace final with He's Watching a close 5-2 second choice. The two standout colts won their $50,000 Pace eliminations on July 5, setting the stage for a classic showdown on July 12. JK Endofanera won the first elimination in a career-best 1:48.2 at the end of a surprisingly tight finish for the 2-5 favorite. Having fended off Doo Wop Hanover rounding the final turn, JK Endofanera found stretch challengers to his left as Lyonssomewhere tried to squeeze up the pylons while to his right, Always B Miki came charging down the center of the track. JK Endofanera dug in to hold off Always B Miki by a neck with Lyonssomewhere getting third. Brian Sears handled the 3 Brothers homebred trained by Ron Burke. He's Watching won the faster elimination in 1:48.1, also a lifetime best. Last year's Dan Patch Award champion following an eight for eight campaign, He's Watching has come back strong this season with two wins in five starts for Menary Racing, Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. Despite starting from post nine, driver Tim Tetrick maneuvered He's Watching into a perfect second-over trip. They roared through the lane to reel in 17-1 longshot Sometimes Said by 2-3/4 lengths. Luck Be Withyou was third. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 392; 2. Tim Tetrick - 389; 3. Ron Pierce - 252; 4. Brian Sears - 190; 5. George Brennan - 164.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 638.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 287; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Ray Schnittker - 182; 5. Joe Holloway - 142. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 2. Burke Racing - 145.75; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 134.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 92; 5. Ray Schnittker - 68.65. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Mohawk Racetrack, Yonkers Raceway, Northfield Park, The Meadowlands and The Meadows. Mohawk will race the Maple Leaf Trot; Yonkers Raceway will offer the Sheppard final; Northfield will contest the Battle of Lake Erie; The Meadowlands will have W.N. Reynolds Memorial races for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters; and The Meadows will have eliminations for the Adios. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand CIrcuit  

Nuncio spent a lot of this past winter learning to use his natural talent in a more productive way, and it shows. The 3-year-old trotter, who is 3-1 from post two in Saturday's $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is undefeated in four starts in 2014 after a barn change following his 2-year-old season. New trainer Jimmy Takter concentrated on teaching the son of Andover Hall to conserve and use his speed judiciously and driver John Campbell said he's passing the course so far. Last year, Nuncio led at the half-mile point in eight of his 10 races. This year, he's been no better than third at the halfway point of any race and not seen the lead until the stretch. "I'm very happy with the way he's been coming along," Campbell said. "He just got so aggressive and so wound up at the end of last year that you just couldn't rate him at all. That was to his detriment in a couple races and it cost him winning. Jimmy trained him from behind all winter and we've qualified him that way and raced him that way and he's started to figure it out, so I can be a little more aggressive with him at the gate. "He left a little bit last week and didn't get wound up. I'm very happy with his manners so far. He's been very relaxed and that's important because if they're worked up and you're fighting with them, you just take away energy. He's always been able to go; speed hasn't been an issue ever with him. It's more been just manageability." Nuncio won his Beal elimination last weekend by a half-length over Datsyuk in 1:52.2. His previous three wins this season all came in divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Last year, he won five of 10 races and never finished worse than second on his way to $461,074. His earnings were third most among 2-year-old trotters, behind Takter-trained colt Father Patrick and Takter-trained filly Shake It Cerry. Four of Nuncio's second-place efforts were against Father Patrick, in the eliminations and final of the Peter Haughton Memorial and elims and final of the Breeders Crown. Nuncio won the Matron Stakes and a division of the Reynolds; he also was runner-up to Muscle Network in the Valley Victory. Father Patrick, who received the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter, also won his Beal elimination last week. He drew post No. 8 for the final and is the 5-2 morning line favorite with driver Yannick Gingras. "I'd certainly rather have the two hole than outside, that is for sure, but once we get in to the race, everybody will know at the quarter whether it's good or bad," Campbell said. "But going in to the race, I'd rather be down inside." Father Patrick won his Beal elim by 2-1/4 lengths over Harper Blue Chip in 1:52.4. He is 4-for-4 this year and brings a 13-race win streak into the Beal final. Last year, Father Patrick won 10 of 11 races, including the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs, the Wellwood Memorial and the Peter Haughton Memorial. His only setback came against Nuncio in July. "This is the first time all year that he'll be asked to go," Gingras said. "He's more than ready after four easy starts." Saturday's stakes-laden card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Following are Saturday's Sun Invitational and stakes fields in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational - 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 10-1; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 5-1; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 7-2; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 12-1; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 3-1; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 2-1. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial - 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman, 15-1; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr, 3-1; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr., 6-1; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 12-1; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O'Donnell, 4-1; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway, 20-1. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial - 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt, 6-1; 2. Allstar Partner, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 12-1; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 4-1; 5. At Press Time, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker, 20-1; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder, 15-1; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown, 10-1. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace - 1. Bettor's Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke, 15-1; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 5-1; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 20-1; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 6-1. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial - 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 5-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 4-1; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 15-1; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 20-1; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris, 6-1; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1. by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications  

Everything appears to be right on with All Bets Off as he heads into Saturday's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds at Yonkers Raceway. All Bets Off, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Matt Kakaley, won his Rooney elimination last weekend by 2-1/2 lengths over Some Playa in 1:52.3. In his eight starts since joining the Burke Stable last September, All Bets Off has won five times and finished second on three occasions. He finished last season by winning the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs, beating Stevensville by a half-length in a track-record 1:50. Stevensville also is in the Rooney, having won his elimination by 3-3/4 lengths over Gold Rocks in 1:53. All Bets Off will start the Rooney final from post four; Stevensville, with driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer Ray Schnittker, from post six. All Bets Off is the 7-5 morning line favorite. "He was very good," Burke said about All Bets Off's elimination win. "He's been super since we got him. We're trying to figure out how good he is and where he fits. This is a chance for us to see if he belongs in the group with the top 10 colts in the division. "But he's been pretty special since we got him." Burke owns All Bets Off with Frank Baldachino, The Panhellenic Stable Corp. and Rosemary Shelswell. A resident of Ontario, Shelswell was part of the previous ownership group that purchased All Bets Off for $7,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale. All Bets Off is a son of stallion Bettor's Delight out of the mare Armbro Penelope, who enjoyed success on the Ontario circuit in the mid-1990s. For his career, All Bets Off has won six of 15 races, finished second five times, and earned $216,917. All Bets Off is not eligible to the North America Cup or Meadowlands Pace, but has the Max C. Hempt Memorial, Messenger Pace, Progress Pace and New York Sire Stakes on his schedule. This season, he had a win and a second against older horses before his victory in his Rooney elim. "He's done everything we've asked of him," Burke said. "He's got a good spot (for the Rooney final). He can do it both ways, so he should be good there." If luck counts for anything, trainer Tony Alagna should feel good heading into the Rooney final. He saw his Bondi Hanover and Gold Rocks draw posts two and three, respectively, and then found out his Maxi Bon, who was also-eligible, got the coveted post No. 1 when Thereisapaceforus scratched. Gold Rocks and Bondi Hanover finished second and third behind Stevensville in their Rooney elim. Maxi Bon went off stride and finished fifth in his elim, which was won by All Bets Off. "Both (Gold Rocks and Bondi Hanover) raced very well," Algana said. "Gold Rocks won the Babic at Freehold last year, so we knew he was a good half-mile horse. That was only Bondi Hanover's fourth lifetime start and he raced excellent. For a maiden to go against those horses and be third, we're very happy with him. "Maxi Bon is a fast horse that had some trouble in the last turn when he was out and going. We made some adjustments and he trained well (Wednesday)." Alagna said All Bets Off and Stevensville are the horses to beat. "Other than that, I think our horses are as competitive as anyone else's," Alagna said. "Gold Rocks, the half-mile track and five-eighths are going to be his thing. He's handy and you've got to use that to your advantage. I don't think the big track picks him up nearly as much. He's Meadowlands Pace eligible just in case he rises up, but we're going to concentrate on the smaller tracks." Following is the field in post order for the Art Rooney Pace with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Maxi Bon, Daniel Dube, Tony Alagna; 2. Bondi Hanover, Jason Bartlett, Tony Alagna; 3. Gold Rocks, Eric Goodell, Tony Alagna; 4. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 5. Some Playa, George Brennan, Jennifer Sabot; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 7. Unlocked, Brent Holland, Erv Miller; 8. Ideal Fashion, Jordan Stratton, Jim Campbell. SOUTHWIND SILENCE HOPES TO MAKE NOISE IN LISMORE Ron Burke is happy with Southwind Silence as she prepares for Saturday's $124,744 Lismore Pace for 3-year-old filly pacers at Yonkers. Southwind Silence finished fourth in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in her seasonal debut at The Meadows on May 3, but bounced back last weekend to win her Lismore Pace elimination by 1-1/2 lengths over Bettor Business in 1:54. Last year, Southwind Silence won the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old filly pacers and also won a division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes. For her career, the daughter of Well Said-Southwind Solara has won four of 15 races, hit the board 13 times, and earned $391,211 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr and Joseph DiScala Jr. "She was a very good filly last year," Burke said. "I wasn't completely happy with her first start this year. It was alright, but she had to come first up and that doesn't usually work at The Meadows if you can't clear. (In her elimination) she seemed more like her normal self. "She seemed to handle the track well, and at Yonkers that's a big thing." Tyra, who was third in last year's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, also won a Lismore elimination. She beat Rusty's Bliss by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.4 and is the 8-5 morning line choice in the final. Following is the field in post order for the Lismore Pace with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Also Encouraging, Matt Kakaley, Casie Coleman; 2. It Was Fascination, Brent Holland, Tony Alagna; 3. Bettor Business, Daniel Dube, Scott DiDomenico; 4. Tyra, Tim Tetrick, Joann Looney-King; 5. Southwind Silence, George Brennan, Ron Burke; 6. Rusty's Bliss, Jason Bartlett, Douglas Lewis; 7. Gentlemens Delight, Marcus Johansson, Nancy Johansson; 8. Palm Beach, Eric Carlson, Douglas Lewis. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Well Built looks to bounce back from going off stride in the Dexter Cup elimination at Freehold on April 26 when he faces 10 rivals in Friday's $51,543 John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. Part of a Chris Ryder-trained entry with Walk The Walk, Well Built is 7-2 on the morning line and will start from post No. 1 with driver John Campbell. The field also includes, in post order, Sarcastic Man, It Really Matters, Lukas Hall, Deweykeepumnwhy, Keystone Wasabi, Who Wants Soup, Hot Type, Flyhawk El Durado, Trixton, and (from the second tier) Walk The Walk. Trixton is the 5-2 morning line favorite from post 10. Last year, Well Built won a division of the Simpson and his elimination for the Matron Stakes. He is a son of stallion Muscle Hill, who was the 2009 Horse of the Year, and his dam is Working Girl, who is a half-sister to stakes-winner Poster Pin Up. "He got jammed up in the Dexter," said Ryder, who owns Well Built with Robert Mondillo. "I was mortified about that. But he's fine; he's training fine. "I like the horse. He's got good speed. He doesn't usually make a break. I'm not going to say he's reliable - he was just unreliable - but he shouldn't have made a break. He had a horse alongside him and got a little anxious." Walk The Walk, owned by Ryder, Mondillo, Sidney Korn and Max Wernick, was unraced as a 2-year-old. The son of Muscle Hill-Letsjustalkaboutme has won two of four starts and $13,500 this season. "He's coming out of weaker company, but I like him," Ryder said. "He just didn't make it last year. He was ouchy last year, a big growthy horse. But here he is. I like the horse. He's alright. He might be a little understaked for what I think he might be, but we'll see. He's still immature. He'll be a good 4-year-old, I think." Ryder's Odds On Amethyst, owned by Diamond Creek Racing, is not eligible to the Simpson and is preparing for the start of the New Jersey Sire Stakes on May 16 at the Meadowlands. The gelding is a son of Muscle Hill out of the standout mare Mystical Sunshine, who was trained by Ryder during her racing career. "I'm really looking at the Hambletonian with that horse," Ryder said about stakes-winning Odds On Amethyst, who made his 2014 debut on May 2 by winning in 1:53.2. "I'm not going to say he's a top one, but he's got a shot. I think he's going to improve on his (1):53. I know he's going to have to, but I think he will. If he gets much better he's right there. "He's been a bit of a problem child. He's his own worst enemy," Ryder added. "The last two or three weeks he's improved. He's starting to realize he's a racehorse." Trixton, the Simpson favorite, finished second to Odds On Amethyst on May 2, also in his seasonal debut. Trixton is a son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Emilie Cas El, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 1994. Trixton's family also includes past stars Andover Hall, Conway Hall and Angus Hall. Flyhawk El Durado, trained by Mark Ford for owner Martin Scharf, was the New York Sire Stakes champion last season and also captured a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. He finished third in the May 2 race that included Odds On Amethyst and Trixton. Sarcastic Man, bred and owned by Bob Key, won the Dexter Cup elimination on April 26 at Freehold Raceway. He finished fifth in the final after getting stuck outside for the entire mile from post eight. Ron Pierce will drive for trainer Gail Wrubel. Sarcastic Man is 4-1. Lukas Hall is owned by New Meadowlands Racing Chairman Jeff Gural and former New York Jets receiver Wayne Chrebet. His second dam is stakes-winner Mars Bar, who is a half-sister to Dan Patch Award winner Pizza Dolce. Trained by Kevin McDermott, he won twice on the New York Sire Stakes circuit last season. Keystone Wasabi, owned by Peter Gerry's Kitefield Stable, last year won a Landmark Stakes for trainer Janice Connor and won twice on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit. * * * Dexter Cup winner Sumatra will get the weekend off and then head to the New Jersey Sire Stakes. "It's early in the year and I just thought we'd point him toward the sire stakes," trainer Tom Fanning said. "Really, the Simpson was going to be my starting point with him, but when he was ready early, we put him in the Dexter; I thought that was a good start. He did well and we just want to keep him fresh and be good all year. "We're just looking long term." Sumatra fits a similar profile as Possessed Fashion, a now 4-year-old trotter for the Fanning Stable and owned by Joseph Smith, as is Sumatra. Possessed Fashion was an $87,000 purchase late in his 2-year-old season who made $230,780 as a 3-year-old. Fanning cited the success of keeping that horse calm and relaxed by frequent turnout with another gelding from his stable. He's not quite ready to try that strategy with Sumatra, who has won six of 13 races and $169,095 lifetime. "We just gelded (Sumatra) in December and he's really still kind of a tough guy," Fanning said. "He's not quite as ready to get along with others yet." He then laughed and joked, "If I could have a nice, big Belgian draft horse that could just put a thumping on him one day, then he'd be OK after that. That's what he needs." * * * Rockingcam Park is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Friday's Reynolds Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers at the Meadowlands. She starts from post No. 6 for trainer Ron Coyne Jr. and driver Tim Tetrick. Starting inside of Rockingcam Park will be, from post one, McVita Bella, Blixtra, A La Notte Hanover, Gettingreadytoroll, and Fanticipation. To her outside are I Need Hotstuff, JK Molly, and Table Talk. Rockingcam Park won last week's four-horse Simpson Stakes, beating Ken Doll J by a nose in 1:53.2. It was her first start of 2014 after winning three of 10 races and $67,378 last year. "That was a nice win," Coyne said. "Last year was kind of a mixed bag. It's nice when you have a filly that you have a lot of hopes for, but she found herself in some unlucky spots and things didn't turn out the way we dreamed." Rockingcam Park finished second to Precocious Beauty in a division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and was second in a division of the Reynolds. She went off stride in the She's A Great Lady Stakes and drew post nine in the Breeders Crown, where she finished seventh. She also made a break in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. "She's got big ability and a lot of upside," Coyne said. "She's a nervous filly, but if she gets herself where she's squared away, she has a lot of talent. A lot of it is just mental maturity." The filly is owned by Rockingcam Park Stable, Blair Corbeil, Erna Corbeil, and J&T Silva Stables. She is a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, the 2005 Horse of the Year, out of the Camluck-sired mare Cameron D Art. She is a full sister to recent Clyde Hirt Series winner Avatartist. Her family also includes 2005 She's A Great Lady Stakes winner Little Miss K. "Blair has a passion for Camluck broodmares," Coyne said. "That's the reason we looked at her. She was nice sized and stood correct; I couldn't fault her. We liked what we saw and took a shot." * * * The $33,516 Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters attracted a field of three horses and will be contested as a non-wagering event at 6:50 p.m. Friday at the Meadowlands. Annies List makes her 2014 debut, racing this season out of the stable of trainer Amber Buter after spending last year with Julie Miller. Annies List, who starts from post two, was purchased for $2,500 as a yearling and earned $92,969 for then-owner Andy Miller Stable. She is now owned by Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter. In 2013, Annies List won four of nine starts, including the $50,000 Fall Harvest for 2-year-old filly trotters at Yonkers Raceway and two legs of the New York Sire Stakes. Sweetie Hearts, owned by Bob Key, starts from post one for trainer Paul Reid. Sweetie Hearts, a homebred daughter of Angus Hall-Sweetheart K, has won four of 11 races and $56,505 in her career. Her family includes Key's 1993 Hambletonian winner American Winner. Thisgirlisonfire leaves from post three with driver/co-owner Jeff Gregory at the lines for trainer Linda Toscano. Gregory owns the filly with William Richardson. A daughter of Angus Hall-Back On Track, she will be looking for her first career win in her 10th start. She finished second in a division of the Reynolds last year. By Ken Weingartner and Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Even now as trainer Linda Toscano thinks about 5-year-old trotter Market Share's path to stardom, she shakes her head in disbelief. "Timmy and I were talking about it the other day," Toscano said, referring to Market Share's regular driver, Tim Tetrick. "Never, never in a million years did we dream that this horse could be this kind of horse. He's just one of those horses that enjoys his work and tries real hard. It's surprising, but that's good." Market Share, a two-time Dan Patch Award-winning division champion, is expected to be among the numerous big names heading to the Meadowlands on Saturday morning for qualifiers. Also in that group should be Jimmy Takter trotting standouts Father Patrick, Nuncio, and Shake It Cerry. As a 2-year-old Market Share won all five of his starts at half-mile-oval Freehold Raceway, but Toscano and principal owner Richard Gutnick were uncertain if he could excel at the big tracks, such as the Meadowlands. All Market Share did at age 3 was win the $1.5 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands and the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk en route to earnings of $2 million. He was named the Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter. Last season, his wins included the Breeders Crown Open Trot, Maple Leaf Trot, TVG Free For All Series Championship and American-National Stakes. He led all older trotters with $1.07 million in purses and received the Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter. "It's a treat to be able to bring one back like that as a 5-year-old," Toscano said. "Fortunately his owner likes to race. Hopefully he'll come back as good as he was. "By bringing back the older horses, people recognize the names and the horses become the stars again. I think that's what is missing in our industry. I think it's a real good thing." Gutnick, who was harness racing's Owner of the Year in 2012 when he also campaigned Horse of the Year Chapter Seven, shares ownership of Market Share with TLP Stable and Bill Augustine. * * * Jimmy Takter expects to bring more than a dozen horses to Saturday's qualifiers at the Meadowlands, among them some of the biggest names in harness racing: Father Patrick, Shake It Cerry, Nuncio, and Lifetime Pursuit. Father Patrick was last season's Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter and Shake It Cerry was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter. Nuncio, who last year raced for trainer Jim Oscarsson but joined the Takter Stable during the winter after Oscarsson returned to his native Sweden, was a stakes winner and four-time runner-up to Father Patrick. Lifetime Pursuit also was a stakes winner. In the Hoof Beats predictive rankings for 3-year-old trotters, based on projected earnings this season, Father Patrick, Shake It Cerry and Nuncio all rated in the top four. Lifetime Pursuit was No. 12. "All of them are coming back awesome," Takter said. "It should be interesting." Another of Takter's standouts, 5-year-old trotter Uncle Peter, debuts Friday night at the Meadowlands. Uncle Peter earned $519,232 last year - second to only Market Share among older trotters - and trotted the fastest mile ever by a 4-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track, 1:50.3 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. * * * Market Share and Uncle Peter have both been mentioned as possible invitees for the prestigious Elitlopp in Sweden, but trainers Toscano and Takter are taking wait-and-see approaches when it comes to deciding whether they would send the horses. Travel logistics are a concern, as well as wanting to see how the horses race this season. If he goes out Friday and shows me something, I might go to Denmark first and race him two weeks earlier in the Copenhagen Cup," Takter said about Uncle Peter. "We'll see. He's the world record holder on the five-eighths track. He's a good horse." The Copenhagen Cup, traditionally held the second weekend in June, is May 11 this year. The Elitlopp is May 25. * * * Five-year-old male pacer Bolt The Duer qualified for the second time this year on Thursday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, winning in 1:54.1. Regular driver Mark MacDonald was at the lines for trainer Pete Foley. Afterward, MacDonald tweeted, "Bolt The Duer sharp again today; one more fast qualifier next week then the first leg of TVG (Series) at the Meadowlands. Came back great." (You can follow MacDonald at @MarkMacRacing.) Bolt The Duer, who has set multiple world records during his career, has won 19 of 47 lifetime races and $1.72 million for owner All Star Racing. * * * After a year in which he dominated in Pennsylvania, 3-year-old male pacer Allstar Partner is taking his game on the road. The John Butenschoen trainee makes his 2014 debut as the 2-1 morning line favorite in Saturday's $49,015 Reynolds Memorial at the Meadowlands. Allstar Partner won last season's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers on his way to earning $282,454 for owners VIP Internet Stable and Michael Foti. He was victorious in seven of 10 races, including divisions of the Historic-Goshen Cup and Arden Downs, while making all of his starts in Pennsylvania. A son of stallion Four Starzzz Shark out of the mare Faithful Ideal, the horse was a $10,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale. "I'm happy with him," Butenschoen said. "He had a very uneventful winter. He grew up like you would hope; he's a bigger, stronger version of himself." Allstar Partner, who was driven most often by Corey Callahan, had a six-race win streak stopped by a third-place finish in a division of the Keystone Classic to end 2013. "We scoped him and he had bled, so we've put him on Lasix," Butenschoen said. "That's the only difference this year compared to last year. "We've paid him into quite a few (stakes races) this year. If he's good enough, he'll get a shot. Some of the horses he beat (in Pennsylvania) last year did well in open company." The stakes races to which Allstar Partner is eligible include the Meadowlands Pace, American-National Stakes, Carl Milstein Memorial, Circle City, Matron Stakes, and Monument Circle, plus events in Pennsylvania. Here is the field for Saturday's Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers: 1. Frankandjoanne, 2. Stratos Hanover, 3. Best Said, 4. The Lunch Pail, 5. Air Force Grad, 6. Card Shock, 7. Parnu Hanover, 8. Allstar Partner, 9. Always B Miki. * * * Driver David Miller entered Friday needing 13 wins to reach 11,000 for his career. He ranks No. 8 for most victories in North American harness racing history. Stephane Bouchard entered Friday needing three wins to reach 8,000. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Trainer Tom Fanning and owner Joe Smith did pretty well for themselves when they bought then-2-year-old trotter Possessed Fashion at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale's Mixed Sale and hope the same game plan produces winning results this year with Sumatra. Sumatra was purchased at the 2013 mixed sale in Harrisburg for $100,000 out of the stable of trainer Julie Miller. Last season, he won five of 11 starts - including the Standardbred Stakes and divisions of the Historic-Harriman Cup and Arden Downs - and earned $108,334. On Saturday, the colt trotter makes his debut for the Fanning Stable when he races in the $38,460 elimination for the Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway. The $115,370 Dexter Cup final, the first major stakes test on the road to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands, is May 3. The top eight finishers from Saturday's nine-horse elimination advance to the Dexter Cup final. Sumatra, with Brian Sears listed to drive, will start the elim from post No. 3 and is 7-2 on the morning line. Well Built, from the stable of trainer Chris Ryder, is the 5-2 choice from post two with driver John Campbell. "We were looking for another trotter and we felt he was the best one," Fanning said about buying Sumatra. "I saw him every day here at Gaitway (Farm training center); I had watched him and watched him race and saw him a lot in the mornings. We put a price on him and we got him for what we expected." Possessed Fashion, who was purchased for $82,000 in 2012, has won four of 23 races and $243,030 since joining Fanning's stable. He has earned a check 21 times, including last year in the Matron Stakes, Beal Memorial and his elimination of the Hambletonian. "We had Possessed Fashion the year before; a similar situation, (age) 2 turning 3, and he worked out well," Fanning said. "We've had some luck buying 2-year-olds out of that sale." Sumatra prepped for the Dexter elim by winning two qualifiers at the Meadowlands, the most recent in 1:55 on April 12. "He didn't really impress me until his last qualifier," Fanning said. "He's not a particularly smooth-going horse; he's not a particularly good trainer. He gets a little hot and can be kind of a pain in the neck to be around. But in the race, he trots and he's focused. "His last qualifier he really showed some good speed. He really looked like he was going in the right direction." Andy Miller, who co-owned Sumatra prior to his sale, drove the colt in his qualifiers but was injured April 15 in an accident at Yonkers Raceway and is expected to be sidelined for six months. "That was kind of deflating because I really thought we were a good team; Andy, myself and the horse," Fanning said. "We look forward to seeing Andy back." Sumatra, a son of stallion Muscles Yankee out of the mare Lola Seelster, will have a full stakes schedule ahead of him. Following the Dexter, his slate is expected to include the Simpson Stakes at the Meadowlands, New Jersey Sire Stakes, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Stanley Dancer Memorial, and Hambletonian. He also is eligible to the Breeders Crown and Matron. "I think he's going to be a big-track horse, so I'm looking forward to the Meadowlands races," Fanning said. "The (available purse) money is good. I think if you're smart where you place your horse and manage him right, take a couple of shots, I think we can make some good money with this horse." Following is the field in post position order for the Dexter Cup elimination, with listed drivers, trainers, and odds: 1. King City, David Miller, Jonas Czernyson, 6-1; 2. Well Built, John Campbell, Chris Ryder, 5-2; 3. Sumatra, Brian Sears, Tom Fanning, 7-2; 4. Consumer Rate, Daniel Dube, Rob Harmon, 10-1; 5. Sheer Action, Jeff Gregory, Ray Schnittker, 5-1; 6. Dave Briggs, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 9-2; 7. Sarcastic Man, Ron Pierce, Gail Wrubel, 8-1; 8. Derby, Jordan Stratton, Ray Schnittker, 5-1; 9. Donato's Wish, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker, 5-1. *Sheer Action, Derby, and Donato's Wish are a three-horse entry. ** Donato's Wish will start from the second tier. Hambletonian eligible: King City, Well Built, Sumatra, Dave Briggs, Sarcastic Man. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Trainer Jonas Czernyson is getting Maven ready to defend her division title among older female trotters, but last year's Dan Patch Award winner is not his sole focus as he prepares her for the stakes season. Four additional older female trotters are receiving Czernyson's attention as he looks forward to the Miami Valley Distaff on May 4 at Ohio's new Miami Valley Raceway. Joining the 5-year-old Maven in the division for Team JC are 5-year-old D'Orsay and 4-year-olds Ma Chere Hall, Mistery Woman, and Coffeecake Hanover. All five were in qualifier action last week at the Meadowlands, and all should be returning there again Saturday morning for qualifying efforts. "It's going to be an interesting year," Czernyson said. "We're unfortunately going to have to race against each other, but we just have to hope for the best. When you have horses that are that good, they're going to go up against each other." Maven finished second by a half-length to older male trotter Uncle Peter in last week's qualifiers, timed in 1:56.1. Last season, Maven was the unanimous selection for the Dan Patch Award for best older female trotter after winning 10 of 14 races and $509,220 for owner Bill Donovan. Her wins included the Breeders Crown for older female trotters, Armbro Flight Stakes, and Miss Versatility Series championship. She trotted the fastest race mile ever on a half-mile track in winning the Miss Versatility in 1:51.4 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. "So far everything is very good," Czernyson said. "She did what we asked her to do (in her qualifier). We wanted to go somewhere between (1):56 and (1):57 and that's what she did. That was the beginning and we'll go from there." Where she goes could be overseas. Czernyson is considering sending Maven to Sweden for the Elitlopp on May 25. "We're thinking about that," said Czernyson, a native of Sweden. "We're trying to get some better shipping arrangements for that. That would be very fun. That would be very nice if we could go over there and win that race. "She's coming back as nice as she did before, but we'll see how she does racing. That's when we'll make the full decision whether we're going or not." For her career, Maven has won 25 of 40 races and $1.42 million. D'Orsay finished third in the qualifier with Uncle Peter and Maven. She trotted in 1:56.3. Last year, D'Orsay won four of 14 races and $189,928 for owner Consus Racing Stable. Her wins included the Muscle Hill Stakes and Ima Lula Series final and she finished third in the Breeders Crown. D'Orsay has won seven of 46 career starts and $348,335. "She's her own worst enemy," Czernyson said. "Unfortunately, when the gate leaves, she wants to leave with it. Hopefully we can get her to settle down a little more. She's sure fast enough. She's a lot better now than she was at 2; we just have to hope she keeps on maturing." Ma Chere Hall finished second by three-quarters of a length to Archangel in her qualifier. She was timed in 1:56.4. Last season as a 3-year-old, Ma Chere Hall won nine of 17 races and $506,869 for owners Walnut Hall Limited, Aldebaran Park, and Joe Sbrocco. Her victories included the Matron Stakes and Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. She ended the campaign with a second-place finish in the Moni Maker Stakes, which was won by Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. She also was second in the Kentucky Filly Futurity. For her career, Ma Chere Hall has won 12 of 29 races and $668,933. "She's coming back very nice," Czernyson said. Mistery Woman finished sixth in the qualifier with Ma Chere Hall, timed in 1:57.4. Last year, she won three of 15 starts and $292,323 for owners Millstream Inc., Misty Miller, Donovan, and Aldebaran Park. Her wins included the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Filly Memorial Trot and she was third in the Moni Maker. Lifetime, Mistery Woman has won six of 20 career races and $380,500. "She's also coming back very nice," Czernyson said. "(Driver David Miller) was happy with her. Hopefully she can step it up and go with the big girls." Coffeecake Hanover is a newcomer to the Team JC Stable. She was purchased for $140,000 by Czernyson's wife, Christine, at November's Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale. Last season in the stable of trainer Ron Burke, Coffeecake Hanover won four of 16 races and $194,473. She captured a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and was second to Frau Blucher in the Buckette Stakes. For her career, she has won eight of 27 races and $359,816. She finished fifth in her qualifier, one spot ahead of Mistery Woman, timed in 1:57.3. "(Christine) bought her as a future broodmare also," Czernyson said. "We'll try to make some of our money back at the racetrack first, and then we'll go from there. So far she's been training down really good. "I wish I saw better than a :30.2 last quarter in the qualifier, but there was a headwind and we didn't have her rigged right. We're going to make a few changes to her and hopefully she should be a little sharper for this week." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Standardbred Canada has announced the winners of the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the event, the annual Black Tie Gala was held in Charlottetown, PEI, at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel and PEI Convention Centre. The awards are named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. O’Brien was born in Alberton, PEI. Bee A Magician who was perfect in her 2013 season, was the unanimous choice in the Three-Year -Old Trotting Filly division and was also voted Canada’s Horse of The Year. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her races last season and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore campaign. The daughter of Hall of Fame sire Kadabra took a mark of 1:51 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The invincible filly’s stakes victories included the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Sylvain Filion successfully defended his Driver of The Year title. In 2013 he led all reinsmen in the nation in terms of purse earnings, as his mounts banked $6,111,736. Filion finished as the leading money-winning driver on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk Racetrack and Woodbine Racetrack. The resident of Milton, Ont. earned the Lampman Cup for the second straight year, as he topped the Ontario Sires Stakes standings for drivers. Filion celebrated his richest win of the season while steering Boomboom Ballykeel to a 10-1 upset victory in the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Richard Moreau was voted Trainer of The Year following an impressive season that saw his stable win 279 races and earn $3,623,805 in purses. The resident of Puslinch, Ont. earned training titles across Ontario at Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District and Woodbine Racetrack. Moreau topped the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. The 2013 season marked the 14th consecutive year that his stable has surpassed the $1-million mark in purse earnings. Alberta’s Kelly Hoerdt won the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship. Hoerdt is a successful driver/trainer who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. The 2013 season was another productive year for Hoerdt, as he trained 82 winners and horses to $623,000, and drove 66 winners and horses that earned over $490,000. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in terms of earnings at Alberta Downs. His stable was led by sophomore pacing colt Premium Attaction, a multiple stakes winner that rattled off six wins in 11 races and over $111,000 Precocious Beauty was honoured as Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year. Precocious Beauty won seven of 11 races, $462,912 in purses and took a mark of 1:50.1 which tied a world record for a one-mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. The two-year-old pacing colt title went to Arthur Blue Chip, who scored six wins in 11 starts and bankrolled $400,120 for his connections. The son of Shadow Play took a mark of 1:51.2 in his Metro Pace elimination at Mohawk before being scratched ‘sick’ from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore in 2013 and added another O’Brien (Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year) to her trophy case. The talented filly boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner up finish in the American National. Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation took the hardware home as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt of The Year. Vegas Vacation gave his connections the ride of a lifetime in 2013. Conditioned by Casie Coleman, the son of Bettors Delight put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 from 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses. He wheeled off victories in his first four races which included the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and an elimination of the Pepsi North America Cup. On September 19 he captured the Little Brown Jug in straight heats – both timed in 1:50. ‘Vegas’ finished his sophomore season with a win in the Matron Stakes to put his bankroll at just over $976,000. Anndrovette continued to dominate the pacing mare ranks in 2013, and, for the third consecutive year, was crowned Canada’s Older Pacing Mare of The Year. The daughter of Riverboat King was on the board in all but three of her 21 races. Some of her major wins included three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway along with the Roses Are Red and Breeders Crown eliminations. On July 20 at Mohawk Racetrack she captured the Roses Are Red final in a career best 1:48. The talented mare now has 35 lifetime wins and a career bankroll of almost $2.6 million. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again was voted Canada’s Older Pacing Horse of The Year. Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season, as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final, as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final for his third straight million-dollar campaign. He entered the year within reach of the all-time earnings record for pacers, and he managed to obliterate that mark by adding $1.4 million to his bank account while visiting 11 different racetracks along the way. He closed the season by sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at the Meadowlands. Riveting Rosie was the winner in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Riveting Rosie closed out her rookie campaign with six wins in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Her major victories included the Peaceful Way Final, her Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain Stakes. In the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division, it was Father Patrick who took the O’Brien trophy. He topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Series. Flanagan Memory was voted Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year after a productive season which saw him win seven of 11 races and $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning his Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Maven was voted Canada’s Older Trotting Mare of The Year. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She added wins in the Miss Versatility Trotting Series, an elimination and final of the Armbro Flight, and the Allerage. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her bankroll. For the second consecutive year, Mister Herbie captured the title as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse of The Year. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in stakes competition, including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067 in purses. Seelster Farms, of Lucan, Ont. was honoured as the Armstrong Breeder of The Year. In 2013, Seelster-bred horses scored 248 wins and $2.1 million in earnings. In the Future Star category, the winner of this first-time award was trainer/driver Travis Cullen. The 21-year-old Alberta-based horseman closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the final card of the meet while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. The complete list of winners follows. 2013 O’BRIEN AWARD WINNERS PACERS Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer - Precocious Beauty owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Arthur Blue Chip owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer - I Luv The Nitelife owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Vegas Vacation owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON Older Pacing Mare - Anndrovette owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Older Pacing Horse - Foiled Again owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL TROTTERS Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Riveting Rosie owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Father Patrick owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Bee A Magician owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Flanagan Memory owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Older Trotting Mare - Maven owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL Older Trotting Horse - Mister Herbie owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY PEOPLE AWARDS O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Armstrong Breeder of The Year Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON Driver of The Year Sylvain Filion, Milton, ON Trainer of The Year Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB STANDARDBRED CANADA MEDIA EXCELLENCE AWARDS The Media Excellence Awards program, established by Standardbred Canada in 2008, is aimed at honouring exceptional work that covers Canadian harness racing in a manner that is extraordinary and of broad national appeal. Outstanding Written Work Paul Delean ’Reaching Improbable Heights’ 'Reaching Improbable Heights', written by Paul Delean, was published in the December, 2012 issue of Trot Magazine. It tells the story of trotter Intimidate’s incredible journey from obscurity to harness racing’s biggest stage and the ride of a lifetime that two smalltime owners from Quebec are still pinching themselves over. Outstanding Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group North America Cup HD Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group’s North America Cup broadcast aired across Canada on The Score television network on Saturday, June 26, 2013. The one-hour special of the $1-million North America Cup was the first live high definition broadcast of a standardbred race in Canada. The show featured live race coverage of the main event, a feature on Marvin Katz (co-owner of eventual winner Captaintreacherous) and a profile of a very special racing fan – Sydney Weaver. The broadcast was a production of WEG’s broadcast department, produced by Rob Platts and directed by Kris Platts. Outstanding Photography Clive Cohen Clive Cohen captured the sunset behind trainer Rene Dion warming up Ocean Mist Beauty on September 19, 2013 at Mohawk Racetrack. The image was published on WEG’s Facebook page later that night. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

DOVER, Del. ---- Dover Downs is racing today, Monday, Feb. 3. While heavy snow has again hit much of the Northeast, the Dover area received only a light drizzle. The Monday feature race features Monochromatic putting a two-race win streak on the line meeting stakes seasoned Cheyenne Miriam in the $20,000 Mares/Handicap pace. Post time is 4:30 p.m. North State Street Stable's Monochromatic has won the top female pace this meet three times including the last two weeks Ken Wood, Bill and Steve Iaquita's Jeremes Sweetheart and driver Ron Pierce have been in the finish photo in each of her last six starts including four-time second. A new contender this Monday is Cheyenne Miriam with Tony Morgan driving. The four-year-old won a Matron Stakes elim in November and has since raced against top class females at Yonkers and the Meadowlands. Rich Lombardo, Dave Kryway and Seafood Delight Stable's Cooking The Books and Allan Davis with two seconds in his previous three starts moves to post 2 this time. Bob Winkleman's greatly improved Paradise Lost with Ross Wolfenden has been sharp all meet. The other leading contenders are Jason and Susan Skinner's BJ's Sweetheart handled by George Dennis, Valerya, bred, owned, trained and driven by Art Stafford Jr. and Jim Carr's Narancia Hanover piloted by Trace Tetrick. In the secondary feature, $15,000 4&5-Year-Old Mares Winners-Over pace, Don Reed and trainer George Wagner's Grandview Hanover (George Dennis), a four-time winner this meet takes on Rich Ashley and Mike Cain's steady Beechwood Diana; Katherine Bardis and George Teague's sharp Lloyd's Lady with Montrell Teague; Crawford Partners' Air Miles Hanover teamed with Vic Kirby; Brit Evans' Kiss My Yankee (Tony Morgan). Bay Pond Racing's Winbak Speedi draws the rail with Allan Davis while Ed Gold and trainer Ben Stafford's Matinee Dragon, a winner of two of his last three, must overcome post 8 and will be driven by Ben Stafford Jr. by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs  

East Rutherford, NJ --- Emeritus Maximus, who was purchased for $248,000, was the sales topper Monday at the Meadowlands January Select Mixed Sale presented by Tattersalls. Kevin McDermott bought the 4-year-old male pacer for brothers John and Tom Cancelliere. “He’s Roman, so I had to get him,” John Cancelliere said, laughing. “We’re from the same peninsula.” Emeritus Maximus was among three horses to sell for more than $200,000. Five-year-old male trotter Appomattox sold for $240,000 to Finland’s Reima Kuisla, with trainer Liisa Vatanen signing the ticket, and 4-year-old male pacer Wake Up Peter went for $210,000 to trainer Ray Remmen. A total of 17 horses sold for at least $80,000. Emeritus Maximus is a son of stallionRocknroll Hanover out of the mare Eternity’s Delight. He has won six of 35 career races and earned $292,305. His most recent victory was Jan. 18 at the Meadowlands, where he won by six lengths in 1:50.2. Last year, he won five times and banked $245,397 out of the stable of trainer Tony Alagna. He won a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes and an elimination for the Hempt Memorial. He finished second to Lucan Hanover in the New Jersey Classic and was third in the Matron Stakes. “We talked to a bunch of people and we kind of liked him, so we went for him,” Cancelliere said. “He’s got to race against some of the best horses out there; it’s as tough as it’s going to get. You’ve got some killers floating around out there (in the older pacer division) and he’s still a babe in the woods. But you always have high hopes.” Alagna’s stable also raced Wake Up Peter last season. A son of Rocknroll Hanoverout of the mare Lovely Lady, Wake Up Peter earned $307,091 despite going winless in 19 starts. No 3-year-old pacer in history has ever earned as much money while failing to win a race. For his career, Wake Up Peter has won three of 29 starts and earned $604,821. Last year, he was third in the North America Cup, Cane Pace and American-National Stakes. “We liked the other horse better, Emeritus Maximus, but we couldn’t get him,” Remmen said. “We took a shot at this one. He fits some late closers here at the Meadowlands; maybe we can get a little money back. I think he’ll make a solid racehorse. “He doesn’t really match up with the good ones, we know that. But he’s solid. He raced against those good ones all year and he never really got his heart broken. A lot of horses would have called it off and said they were tired of chasing those horses, but he didn’t. He kept chasing them.” Appomattox, who won seven of 45 lifetime races and $407,858 out of the stable of Frank Antonacci, was the top selling trotter. He finished second to My MVP in the 2012 Kentucky Futurity final and was second to Market Share in that same year’s American-National. He is a son of Yankee Glide out of the mare Courtney Hall. Appomattox’s mother is a full sister to millionaire Cameron Hall. “He’s just a gorgeous, good-looking, all-around nice horse,” Vatanen said. “He’s going to stay here for now and eventually he’ll probably be going overseas. He’s very well bred, he’s beautiful, and he stands good. There’s nothing bad to say about him.” Vatanen, who previously worked for trainerTrond Smedshammer and has been on her own for two years, didn’t expect Appomattox to go for such a high price. “We thought maybe $200,000, but (Kuisla) really wanted him. He’s got some nice horses at home, but he wants to own a very nice one over here. He’ll have a little bit of a break and we’ll go from there.” Breeder Steve Jones bought 5-year-old female pacer Big McDeal for $125,000. A daughter of McArdle out of the mare Ideal Gal, Big McDeal won 11 of 56 career starts and earned $818,544. As a 2-year-old, she won the Champlain Stakes and a division of the International Stallion Stakes by a head over American Jewel in a world record 1:50.2 at The Red Mile. At 3, she won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in a world record 1:49.1 at The Meadows. She finished second to Economy Terror in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Big McDeal is a half-sister to 2010 Empire Breeders Classic winner Galimony and her second dam, Before Sunrise, won the 1996 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly pacers. “She’s done racing,” Jones said about Big McDeal. “I’m going to send her to the farm and probably breed her to Somebeachsomewhere, but I haven’t really decided on that yet. “I’m just happy to get her. You never know what she’s going to do as a broodmare, but her mother has had three fillies that were all very nice fillies. She’s got everything going for her, in my opinion. She’s got great pedigree, great conformation, great racetrack performance. I don’t really know anything she doesn’t have.” Other horses to sell for at least $100,000 were female pacer Yagonnakissmeornot, male trotter Toss Cartwright and male pacer Sparky Mark. A total of 234 horses were sold for $5.97 million, bringing an average of $25,519. Those numbers were better than in 2013 when 206 horses brought $4.54 million and an average of $22,085. Pacing males topped the sale for the second straight year as 97 head sold for an average of $29,754. In 2013, 71 pacing males sold for an average of $29,341. To see all the results from Monday's sale, click here. by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications

A feature of the catalogue for the Tasmania Premier Yearling Sale to be held on Friday, February 14 at the Inveresk Showground, Launceston is the high percentage of winning and winner-producing dams represented in the sale. Seventy percent of the 39 lots are out of race-winning dams, while 40 percent are from winner-producers. The catalogue includes yearlings out of several Group winners highlighted by an Art Major colt out of the Vicbred 2YO champion and Tasmania Oaks winner Shez Ryleymak 1:56.2 ($270,688). Other Group or classic winners include the Evicus winners Cam River and Mon Poppy Mary, the Australian Pacing Gold champion Laconic, the Granny Smith victor Cullens Angel (1:54.8), the Belmont winners Thabela Brioso and El Jays Belle, Pennys Dragon (Matron Stakes) and Whata Dragon (Fillies Bracelet). The 39 dams represented have left 35 winners between them including the Victoria Youthful winner Abbreviated, Cat Bay (Globe Derby Stakes), Cullens Angel (Granny Smith), the Tasmanian Sales Classic winners Daisy Adele, Black Centurian, Prisoner and Laconic Jamane, El Jays Belle (Belmont), Cruisin Fella 1:56.6 (Melb.) and Melolyn (1:57.3). For a catalogue or further information contact Kevin Neilson on (03) 6212 9316 or email K.Neilson@tasracing.com.au or the auctioneers Davidson Cameron and Co Dubbo on (02) 6884 8355. The online catalogue for the Tasmanian sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com By Peter Wharton

On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON   Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY   Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON   Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON   Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON   Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON   Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON

Trainer Casie Coleman announced this morning that she is turning Vegas Vacation out for the rest of the 2013 race season and that he will not compete today at Dover Downs in the Progress Pace elimination. “I want to say thank you to my newest millionaire winner Vegas Vacation,” Coleman reported on Facebook this morning. “Vegas didn't come out of the Matron 100 percent. He probably would be fine for the Progress but I've decided that it’s time for him to have some well deserved r and r time. If we didn't half to enter on Monday for Sunday again the day after the Matron I would not have entered him. But we decided to see if he got back to his usual self and he just didn't." For the season, Vegas Vacation posted ten wins in 20 starts with earnings of $971,632 and a lifetime mark of 1:48.3 at Dover Downs. The gelded son of Bettor’s Delight is owned by The West Wins Stable, Adriano Sorella, Anthony Beaton and Phyllis Saunders, all of Ontario. Throughout the season Vegas Vacation was a main rival to both Captaintreacherous and Sunshine Beach. His two-heat victory in the Little Brown Jug was his most impressive races for the season and he also captured the Matron Stakes Final, Simcoe Stake, Earl Beale Memorial, North America Cup and the Somebeachsomewhere Stake in 2013. “I want to thank Vegas for an awesome season,” Coleman added, “and enjoy your vacation! We will then prep for your 4-year-old season! Best of luck to everyone else in the Progress Pace.” The race office at Dover Downs could not verifty as of the writting of this release that Vegas Vacation had been officially scratched from the race. With Vegas Vacation out from the $35,000 Progress Pace elimination today at Dover Downs, the remaining eight horses in the race must still compete in order to advance to the final next week. By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com

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