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Muscle Hill, the leading trotting sire in the world, will be standing at stud at Southwind Farms in New Jersey for the 2017 harness racing breeding season. Although Muscle Hill stood at stud at Southwind Farms in New Jersey for the first four years of his stallion career, beginning in 2014 he was at Marion Farms in New Hope, Pa., so that his foals would be eligible in Pennsylvania. “The reason for the move is we have noticed a marked difference in the stalllion’s libido, health and general well-being upon his return home,” said syndicate manager Mike Klau, noting that Muscle Hill spent the offseason at Southwind in New Jersey, where he was collected for the frozen semen markets in Europe and the Southern Hemisphere. “We feel that it is in the best interest of the horse and the syndicate for him to remain year-round at Southwind.” Muscle Hill has sired the winners of over $11 million, a record for trotting stallions, and has sired four million-dollar winners, led by Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder 3,1:51.3 ($1,484,532), Breeders Crown winner Bar Hopping 3,1:51.4($1,191,195), Yonkers International winner Resolve 1:50.2 ($1,184,780) and multiple stakes winner Southwind Frank 3,1:52.1 ($1,164,468).  He is the leading money-winning sire of 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and all-age performers from just four crops of racing age. His 2016 2-year-olds were headed by the world champion filly Ariana G 2,1:51.4 ($743,967) and Peter Haughton Memorial winner What The Hill 2,1:54.4 ($315,686). Internationally, Muscle Hill’s son Propulsion just qualified for the prestigious Prix d’Amerique in Paris. At the sales, Muscle Hill’s offspring were in great demand, having the sales topper at both the Lexington Selected Sale (Tactical Landing, selling for $800,000) and the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg (Story Time Hanover, sold for $410,000). A total of 34 of his yearlings sold for $100,000 or more and the average price for his yearlings was $113,199.  

The connections of 2016 Trotting Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder 3,1:51.3 ($1,766,518) have announced that plans to syndicate and stand the harness racing stallion at Tara Hills Stud in Ontario have changed.   Acting as agent for owners Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling, Preferred Equine Marketing's David Reid said preliminary results indicate a probability that Marion Marauder would not be able to breed a full book of mares. The Wellwoods believe it is only fair to stand the horse when he is able to service a full book of mares. Thus, they have decided to race Marion Marauder in 2017.   "Since the announcement to retire Marion Marauder to stud, the response from the breeding industry worldwide has been outstanding. Both Tara Hills Stud owner David Heffering and I have been inundated with calls to be part of the syndicate, but we wanted to let the industry know the current situation so breeders can plan accordingly," Reid said.   Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling are looking forward to racing the son of Muscle Hill-Spellbound Hanover and will resume his training duties early in 2017.   Despite fighting a virus in his last start, Marion Marauder ended the season sound and his connections expect him to return to racing at the highest level next year.   Marion Marauder will be reevaluated after his 2017 racing season for future stud duties.   Wellwood Stable

Harrisburg, PA --- Led by trotting sire Muscle Hill and harness racing pacing sire Somebeachsomewhere, the Standardbred Horse Sale enjoyed one of its strongest opening days in recent memory --- if not ever --- on Monday at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex. A total of 170 horses sold for an average of $78,676, providing the sale with a 41-percent increase compared to last year. Muscle Hill-sired colt Story Time Hanover was the day's highest priced yearling, going for $410,000 to Sweden's Melby Gard AB, with Jimmy Takter as agent. Muscle Hill had the four-highest priced yearlings on Monday, including $400,000-selling colt Hey Jock to Montreal-based Determination stable, while Somebeachsomewhere led the pacing side and had four yearlings in the top nine. Colt Dramatic Point, purchased for $260,000 by Toronto's Scott Horner, was the top pacer. For the day, 18 Muscle Hill-sired yearlings sold for an average of $168,833 while 39 Somebeachsomewhere-sired yearlings sold for an average of $88,538. A total of 40 yearlings sold for at least $100,000, an increase of 48 percent compared to last year despite 88 fewer horses passing through the auction ring this year. Standardbred Horse Sales Company Chairman Russell Williams said he could not remember the sale ever having a better day in terms of average sale. "It was a great day," Williams said. "Hip No. 1 (Cantab Hall-sired filly Pulse Hanover) started at $150,000 and it just went on from there. "The auctioneers shouldn't get paid for today because they hardly had to work," he joked. Williams said the sales company was optimistic for a strong sale following the success of sales elsewhere, including a record-setting Lexington Selected Yearling Sale in October. "We were fairly confident," Williams said. "It turned out better than we hoped. The confidence came from the quality of the catalogue and from the strong sales that everyone else has been having. They always go together." Last year's opening day in Harrisburg saw 258 sold for an average of $55,781 and was hampered by a Pennsylvania budget impasse that threatened to halt racing in the state. The sale's first day saw an 8.49 percent drop in average sale compared to 2014. "Not having the governor threatening to end racing in Pennsylvania gave us a big advantage this year," Williams said. "We appreciated that. We're grateful to be overlooked this time." This year's sale also saw fewer yearlings auctioned on the first day. "We wanted to create momentum the first day," Williams said. "You always arrange your yearlings to best advantage, but by having a little bit less today we hoped to have more sizzle and momentum going forward." Story Time Hanover is out of the mare Shared Past, who was the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion in 2013. The family also includes millionaire Dejarmbro and stakes-winners Armbro Vanquish and Manofmanymissions. Takter trained Armbro Vanquish. "Jimmy loved Armbro Vanquish," said Perry Soderberg, who handled the bidding on Story Time Hanover. "(Story Time Hanover) was the right size. He was the right type of Muscle Hill and has a great pedigree. He was probably the most complete horse in the sale among the trotting colts; conformation, the way he moved in the paddock, and the pedigree. He had a little bit of everything for sure. "There are just a few of these type horses in the sale and this is the one we thought was the best." Soderberg also was the agent for buying Muscle Hill-sired colt You Know You Do, out of the 2012 New York Sire Stakes champion You Want Me, for $350,000. The price was the day's third highest. You Know You Do's family includes Peace A Pie, the dam of Dan Patch Award winner Pizza Dolce. "He's got the size and the power," Soderberg said about You Know You Do, who will be trained by Takter for a to-be-determined ownership group. "I saw him at (consignor) Peninsula Farm and he really had that punch that I'm looking for in the paddock. "The two top trotting colts in my opinion were (Story Time Hanover) and this one. We're very happy." Hey Jock, the day's second-highest priced yearling, is out of the mare Sugar Wheeler. His family includes Dan Patch Award winner Wheeling N Dealin and stakes-winner Quick Credit. "He is a very nice horse, that's why we would buy him," said Luc Blais, who will train the colt for Serge Godin's Determination stable. Godin also owned Wheeling N Dealin. "For sure he liked that pedigree. Yeah, it's pressure (to buy a horse for that price) but I like challenges. That's a good challenge." Dramatic Point, the top-selling pacer, is out of the stakes-winning mare Heather's Western, and is a half-brother to this year's North America Cup and Little Brown Jug winner Betting Line. "He looks like a really nice horse," Horner said. "And the pedigree, it's not only Betting Line. To be frank, the chance of getting another Betting Line are slim and none. That's not why we bought him. We bought him to buy a nice horse. And we liked the back pedigree on (Somebeachsomewhere)." Owner Jeff Snyder came away with two of the Top 10 sellers on Monday, Muscle Hill-sired colt Abs Hanover for $245,000 and Somebeachsomewhere-sired colt Thomas B Hanover for $230,000. Abs Hanover is out of the mare Are You Ready and the family includes stakes-winner Blenheim, Hambletonian Oaks winner Personal Style and Dan Patch Award winner Almost An Angel. Thomas B Hanover is out of the mare Trim Hanover and is a half-brother to Dan Patch Award winner American Jewel and stakes-winners Luck Be Withyou and Source Of Pride. Snyder co-owns full-sister Tori Hanover, who last month won a Breeders Crown elimination. "I loved the pedigree," Snyder said about Thomas B Hanover. "I thought he was the best Somebeachsomewhere in the sale. (Trim Hanover) has already produced two million-dollar winners. What's not to like? He's by the hottest sire in harness racing." The sale resumes Tuesday at 10 a.m. and will look to pick up where it left off. Trotting colts (33 sold) went for an average of $98,424 while trotting fillies (44) went for an average of $84,545. Pacing colts (57) sold for an average of $74,719 and pacing fillies (36) for an average of $59,667. "All the sires in today's sale have something to be happy about in the stats," Williams said. "I don't see a pattern of pacers versus trotters, colts versus fillies; what was on the page people were buying. It was a great day. That momentum, we hope, will carry on through Tuesday and beyond." More information on the sale may be found at www.theblackbook.com. Day One Top 10 Hip–Sex–Gait–Name–Sire–Dam–Buyer–Consignor–Price 21–C–T–Story Time Hanover–Muscle Hill–Shared Past–Jimmy Takter, agent–Hanover Shoe Farms–$410,000 32–C–T–Hey Jock–Muscle Hill–Sugar Wheeler–Determination–Concord Stud Farm–$400,000 57–C–T–You Know You Do–Muscle Hill–You Want Me–Perry Soderberg, agent–Peninsula Farm–$350,000 107–C–T–Drum Hanover–Muscle Hill–Dornello–Ake Svanstedt–Hanover Shoe Farms–$270,000 127–C–P–Dramatic Point–Somebeachsomewhere–Heather’s Western–Scott Horner–Fair Winds Farm–$260,000 66–C–T–Abs Hanover–Muscle Hill–Are You Ready–Jeff Snyder–Hanover Shoe Farms–$245,000 43–C–P–Thomas B Hanover–Somebeachsomewhere–Trim Hanover–Jeff Snyder–Hanover Shoe Farms–$230,000 169–C–P–Nerd Hanover–Somebeachsomewhere–New Album–Ron Michelon–Hanover Shoe Farms–$185,000 75–C–P–Busted Hanover–Somebeachsomewhere–Bittorsweet Terror–Three Brothers Stable–Hanover Shoe Farms–$175,000 26–F–T–This Dreams On Me–Cantab Hall–Sleep Tight My Luv–Katz/Goldband/Libfeld–Peninsula Farm, agent–$170,000 99–F–T–Consuela Hanover–Muscle Hill–Cressida Hanover–Jules Siegel–Hanover Shoe Farms–$170,000 Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

Southwind Frank, who won last year’s Breeders Crown and this year’s Colonial Trot has been retired from harness racing due to a chronic lameness issue, as advised by a team of veterinarians.  “I’ve trained a lot of horses, but none have had Frank’s package of speed, power and smarts.  I truly believe he is one of the all-time greats, and would love to continue racing him so he could prove it on the track, but due to an injury, I can’t take that risk” said trainer Ron Burke of Frank. Southwind Frank was bred by Southwind Farms and is owned by the Southwind Frank Partners.  Trained by Burke, Southwind Frank was immensely successful during his 2-year-old campaign. He won 11 out of 12 starts that year, including wins in the Haughton Memorial and the Wellwood.  He continued to end up in the winner’s circle his 3-year-old year with the Beal, Stanley Dancer and Colonial Trot, among others, finishing in the top 3 in 24 of 26 career starts.  “A great horse that was dominant as a 2-year-old but I’m even more impressed by the grit and determination he showed as a 3-year-old. “said Yannick Gringras. “He was never fully healthy and sound but he tried 150% each and every start.  This is the sign of a true champion.” Southwind Frank will stand stud at Diamond Creek Farm in 2017 for a stud fee of $10,000.  “We are very excited about Frank, the best son of Muscle Hill, joining our rising stars in the stud lineup” said Diamond Creek’s Adam Bowden. “He will add even more star power to our ever expanding and powerful stallion roster.” The 2015 Dan Patch and O’Brien 2-year-old Trotting Colt of the year is a son of successful stud Muscle Hill out of the Cantab Hall mare Flawless Lindy.   The 2015 Breeders Crown  

WILKES-BARRE PA - Uncle Hanover had a big closing kick to get past a gallant pacesetting Watkins by a ½-length to win the $20,000 featured harness racing trot Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:56.2 in "good going" on a cool night.   Watkins was hung out three-wide early and did not make the lead until continuing two-wide well past a 27.4 quarter, then got a relative breather to the 57.1 half and until shortly before the 1:26.2 3/4s, when first-over Military Blue launched a huge challenging bid, with Uncle Hanover backing off the rail to tail the brusher. The victorious Muscle Hill gelding tipped wide in the stretch and was hustled home by driver Jim Marohn Jr. to overhaul the tough Watkins late, boosting his lifetime earnings to $96,017 for trainer D.R. Ackerman and the Doug Ackerman Racing Stables Inc.   In the $18,000 featured pace, Tyler The Terror overcame a first-over trip and a 12-1 betting forecast to hold off the late charge of favored Manny by 1¾ lengths in 1:52.4 for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and owner Gregory Gardner, with pacesetter Perfect Bet third, a half-length behind Manny. The Western Terror gelding gave trainer Amy Eubanks, who has campaigned mostly in Ohio, her first visit to the Pocono winners circle.   The first six races were divided equally among three drivers: George Napolitano, who entered the night with 8089 career victories; Marcus Miller, who had 2591; and Christian Lind - who had three. But don't count on the 25-year-old not getting many more wins, and soon, as he has an 18% win rate in this, his first year of driving, and at Pocono Sunday won back-to-back races with pupils of his father Staffan, the trotter Promise Delivered and the pacer Mr D's Dragon.   PHHA / Pocono  

East Rutherford, N.J. -- The harness racing duo of Tim Tetrick and Jimmy Takter has done it again.   Bar Hopping, the 4-5 favorite, kicked off cover and won by a length and a half to capture the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings at The Meadowlands.   It was Bar Hopping's sixth win in his last seven races, and the 30th career Breeders Crown victory posted by Takter.   Bar Hopping, who won $250,000 for his efforts, paid $3.80, 2.60, and 2.60.   "I felt really good [going into the race]," said Tetrick. Last week he raced really well; we opened him up a little bit and he trotted a big mile. Today, off cover, he really responded well."   "My horse has raced against [Southwind Frank and Marion Marauder] all year, and a couple of times he drew bad and could never get into the race when they raced hard, but we still got checks," continued Tetrick, who captured his third Crown win of the weekend wit the son of Muscle Hill. "Those are great horses that he has beaten ,and my horse is right there with them."   Southwind Frank, driven by Yannick Gingras, paid $4.20 and $3.20 for second. Double L Lindy, driven by Ãke Svanstedt, finished third paying $10.40 and Lagerfeld, who dueled with Sutton at the top of the stretch, finished fourth.   Split times were 28.3, 56.2, and 1:24.1, with the mile time of 1:51.4 equaling the stakes record of Father Patrick, established in 2014 (also trained by Takter).   "They're all very special to me. Any time you win one of those big trophies, they are very, very hard to get," Tetrick concluded. "That's why we [start] qualifying in May and we work so hard to get to those big races. It's very, very special."   Marion Marauder, the most recent Triple Crown of Trotting winner less than three weeks ago, finished last of the ten. by Lou Monaco, Hambletonian Society

East Rutherford, N.J. -- Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) came out of the clouds to win the $600,000 Breeders Crown for harness racing 2-year-old trotting fillies by a length and a quarter on Saturday at The Meadowlands. Araina G is owned and was bred by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld and trained by Jimmy Takter. For the daughter of Muscle Hill and Cantab It All, the win was her ninth in 11 starts. Cameron Hill (Andy Miller) was first to the lead at the :27.4 quarter, but Treviso (Charlie Norris) was on the move on her outside to take over the lead momentarily before That’s All Moni (Tim Tetrick) took a turn on the lead and held it to the :56.1 half. She stayed in the top spot to the 1:25.1 three quarters, with Sunshine Delight (John Campbell) right at her bridle on the outside.  Those two were trotting strong for the wire when Chezatter (David Miller) started to move on the winners, but outside of her, Ariana G trotted down the middle of the track to pass them both about a sixteenth of a mile from the wire. Princess Aurora (Brian Sears) closed for second for the same connections as the winner and Sunshine Delight was third. “Last week she got a little hot on me,” said winning driver Yannick Gingras. “But they went big fractions, so I was able to race her from behind, but last week she was really grabby and I really believe I choked her. Even at the top of the stretch, I still had a stranglehold of her and then two steps later I had two loose lines. I’m pretty sure she choked last week. The credit goes to Jimmy, he made equipment changes and obviously they worked tonight. “I drew in a good spot, Chezatter was inside of me. She looked like she was going to move to the front early on and I was really content to follow her and obviously it worked out.” “She raced good," said Takter. “There was a little commotion in front of her, horses in and out; she raced well. It was her race to lose. I think it was necessary. It’s a long year for her. This is her last for the year. We decided, she’s been racing since May, it’s a long year. It’s a great way to finish the year for her. I put the ear hood on her and opened her up a little so she could get a little more relaxed. "Princess Aurora finished very, very good. She’s probably the horse that’s in the best form out of my horses right now. But by the same token she wasn’t in the early races like those other horses were in the season. She’s going to continue racing, going to the Goldsmith Maid up in Canada."   by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications  

Freehold, NJ --- Ariana G and All The Time have taken different paths to this weekend’s Breeders Crown eliminations at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Marvin Katz, who with Al Libfeld bred and owns both filly trotters, is simply grateful for the opportunity to see the sisters in harness racing action together again. The last time All The Time and Ariana G shared the stage at the Meadowlands was Aug. 6 when All The Time won the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters and Ariana G won the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old female trotters. A day later, All The Time was found suffering from colic and taken for intestinal surgery that sidelined her for nearly two months. All The Time has prepared for her return by winning two qualifiers, the first in 1:52.1 at Lexington’s Red Mile on Oct. 4 and more recently in 1:55.1 at the Meadowlands on Oct. 11. On Saturday, she races in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 3-year-old filly trotters. The top five finishers from each elim advance to the $500,000 championship on Oct. 29 at the Big M. On Friday, Ariana G -- the winner of eight of nine starts this season -- competes in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old filly trotters. The top five finishers from each division advance to the $600,000 final, also set for Oct. 29 at the Meadowlands. If both fillies win their respective Breeders Crown finals, it would mark the first time in the history of the series that full siblings claim trophies in the same year. The only other occurrence of siblings winning Crowns together came in 2011 when half-brothers Sweet Lou and Bettor Sweet accomplished the feat. “I’m very excited to have both of them racing,” Katz said. “I think it’s an extraordinarily rare thing to have two fillies like this at the same time competing in the Breeders Crown and be top contenders. I’m particularly happy to see All The Time back on the track. She’s such a great, great filly. Hopefully it will have a storybook ending. That would just be over the top.” Ariana G and All The Time, both trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras, are daughters of stallion Muscle Hill, a two-time Breeders Crown winner and the 2009 Horse of the Year, out of the stakes-winning mare Cantab It All. All The Time has won 11 of 19 career races, including four of seven this season without finishing worse than second. She won the 2015 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters and became the first horse to come back the following year and win the Hambletonian Oaks since Passionate Glide in 2006. “Obviously, I’d rather she raced the season and gone a more traditional path (to this year’s Breeders Crown), but she’s been prepared as best as she can,” Katz said about All The Time, who has earned $827,616 lifetime. “She was brilliant in Lexington in her qualifier. Jimmy Takter, who drove her, told me that she gave him goose bumps. She was just that fabulous. “Considering what she’s had to deal with, what a magnificent filly. She’s tough as nails with a great desire to race and win. They just don’t make them like that. Hopefully she’ll give a good account of herself.” Ariana G, who has earned $438,967 this season, heads to her Breeders Crown elimination off a career-best 1:51.4 win in a division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 7 at Lexington’s Red Mile. That time is the fourth fastest in history for a 2-year-old trotter and her average margin of victory in her eight wins is 3-1/2 lengths. Her only setback came when she went off stride at the start of a race at Hoosier Park. “I’ve enjoyed every minute with her and was impressed with her from her first start,” Katz said. “She won a (preliminary leg of the) New Jersey Sire Stakes in a tsunami. I couldn’t believe a 2-year-old filly could do that; that she had the mental acuity to behave in that type of adverse weather conditions and look tremendous on the track. She’s an extraordinary filly. She’s über-talented. They don’t come like this very often.” The Canadian-based Libfeld and Katz have been breeding horses for more than two decades and now have a highly regarded band of more than 50 broodmares. The Libfeld/Katz breeding partnership, which focuses on trotters, received Canada’s Armstrong Breeder of the Year Award in 2015. “To be the breeders (of All The Time and Ariana G), for them to come out of our program, it’s just an extraordinary accomplishment to get them this far,” Katz said. “It speaks to the quality of people we have helping us, and the quality of horses we’re now producing.” Friday’s card at the Meadowlands, which begins at 7:15 p.m., also includes two eliminations for the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. Eliminations for the remaining 2- and 3-year-old trotters and pacers will be Saturday. Eliminations are unnecessary for the Breeders Crown Open Pace, Open Trot and Mare Trot, so those horses advance directly to their respective finals. Breeders Crown finals for older pacers and trotters will be held Oct. 28 at the Meadowlands and the championships for 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters will follow on Oct. 29. Post positions for the Open finals will be drawn live Friday and posts for the 2- and 3-year-old finals will be drawn Saturday. Elimination winners draw for inside posts one through five for the finals. For Friday’s complete card, click here. For Saturday’s complete card, click here. For more information go to www.Hambletonian.com or www.playmeadowlands.com. Follow Breeders Crown news and updates on Twitter @Breeders_Crown, using #BCrown16 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BreedersCrown. Fans can also go tohttp://harnessracingfanzone.com/, the Place for Harness Racing Fans to See, Share, Connect and Play. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Monday afternoon's harness racing card was filled with series races at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Jim Derue Trot and Gary Kamal Pace got underway. There were five divisions of the fourth annual Jim Derue Memorial Trotting Series on the holiday matinee program and four divisions of the third annual Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series each going for a purse of $7,500. Iwantmytwodollars (Muscle Hill) was the most dominant of the leg one winners of the Derue Trot. Bruce Aldrich Jr. moved Iwantmytwodollars out to the early lead and the trotting mare never looked back, scoring a convincing win in 1:57.1, the fastest of any of the trotters in leg one. Aldrich piloted two more of the leg one winners of the Derue Series as he guided Strong Crazed and BJAnthony to Monday scores. Mugshots Bro (Stephane Bouchard) and Aberforth (Shawn Gray) rounded out the trotting winners on the card. Southwind Ricardo (Billy Dobson) was the fastest of the leg one winners in the Kamal Series. The three year old pacer moved his record to two-for-two since moving to the stable of trainer Gary Levine after cruising to an open length victory in 1:55.1 and stamping himself as the one to beat in the pacing series. Stirling Electra (Phil Fluet) pulled off the biggest upset of the day as she scored at odds of 40-1. Other Kamal Series winners on the afternoon were Bay Rum (Bouchard) and Fox Valley Bailey who completed a grand slam for Bruce Aldrich on the card with her strong closing win. There is one leg remaining in each of the series before the finals which will both go for more than $30,000 and will be contested late in the month. Live racing resumes on Thursday at Saratoga with a first post time of 4:00pm. Mike Sardella

The 124th Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile today was won by Marion Marauder who takes harness racing's Trotting Triple Crown. The time was 28.1  -  56.2  -  1:25.1  -  1:52.3   LEXINGTON, KY— In a stretch drive reminiscent of the Hambletonian, Marion Marauder lunged at Southwind Frank towards the center of the track to narrowly win the 124th running of the $431,000 Kentucky Futurity in 1:52.3, becoming the ninth horse to complete the Trotting Triple Crown.   Marion Marauder was wide for the entirety of the mile, managing to get cover from Bar Hopping while Blenheim trotted to the lead in :28.1. Love Matters was flushed first over heading to the half, carrying Southwind Frank and Bar Hopping on his back through a :56.2 half.   Love Matters engaged with Blenheim around the far turn. Southwind Frank began to edge three wide from second over, while Bar Hopping fanned wider of him and Marion Marauder wider of Bar Hopping. Blenheim held a narrow lead as a wall of horses stampeded towards him through a 1:25.1 third-quarter.   Southwind Frank swung to the lead in the stretch. Bar Hopping was moving down the center of the track, with Marion Marauder alongside. Marion Marauder accelerated by Bar Hopping and was trying to outsprint Southwind Frank towards the inside. The two had their noses extended heading to the line, with Marion Marauder inching to victory.   Winning his 11th race in 26 starts this season, Marion Marauder, by Muscle Hill out of the Donerail mare Spellbound Hanover, has compiled $1,755,268 for owners Devin Keeling and Marion Wellwood. Trained by Paula Wellwood and driven by Scott Zeron, he paid $9.20 to win.   “I had to had to have no game plan going into that race,” Scott Zeron said. “I had no clue what was going to happen; earlier there was a twelve-horse field and the eleven and twelve got away eleventh and twelfth. I wasn’t too optimistic, but the way it unfolded and Bar Hopping really pushed to get away up close, I just glued my horse to his helmet. We were able to get [Southwind] Frank out and it was a perfect train.   “I just had my eyes on Yannick’s and Timmy’s horses. I didn’t want to make a move too quick because I knew we’d be sprinting really hard down the lane. I was confident down the lane when I moved him over; probably watching the race, you might not have been as confident, but he dropped his head about two feet and just dug right through the wire. I was very confident he got up, but nobody else was, so thank God he got up. He was amazing.”   “All I can say is that my grandma was with me, the co-owner,” Devin Keeling said. “I’m just thinking about her right now.”   Marion Marauder wasn’t eligible to race in the Kentucky Futurity. However, after finishing second in the $522,120 Canadian Trotting Classic, his connections supplemented him for $47,261.   “I was a little leery [of supplementing him],” Paula Wellwood said. “But he showed after the Canadian Trotting Classic that he wanted to race, so we brought him.”   “It was the only way to go after he showed us how sharp he was with a week off,” Mike Keeling, who also trains Marion Marauder, said. “It has just been a tremendous year with a tremendous group of horses. I think we gave the fans a lot of thrills.”   Marion Marauder is the first winner of the Trotting Triple Crown since Glidemaster in 2006. He won the Hambletonian by a nose, the Yonkers Trot by a head, and the Kentucky Futurity by a nose.   “They don’t write down on the check how much you beat them by,” Mike Keeling said.    By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

Lexington, KY --- On yet another flawless fall Wednesday evening (Oct. 5), the energy and attendance on the grounds of the Fasig-Tipton facility remained just as stout and pervasive for the second harness racing edition of the Lexington Selected Yearling sale as it was for the first. Despite the lack of a near record purchase price, the event continues to establish new standards of its own with increases across the board and also served notice that Muscle Hill is on the cusp of achieving super-sire status, not only in North America, but throughout the planet. Three of that stallion’s offspring in Go To Hill ($350,000), Tae Kwon Deo ($240,000) and Stylish Volo ($220,000) fetched the highest bids and will become members of barns based outside the confines of this nation. “We are just fortunate our consigners have continued to show us such strong support and that the buyers also return each year,” said Randy Manges, the co-manager of the sale with David Reid. “Without our breeders and consigners providing us with top quality horses each year, we would not enjoy success. They are the people responsible for what we have to offer and while Muscle Hill has certainly looked very strong, we were lucky most of his foals from this year are being sold here. We also have Somebeachsomewhere, Cantab Hall and a number of other excellent stallions represented. In fact, Chapter Seven had a yearling that went for $200,000. While we are very pleased with how the sale has progressed so far, there are still many nice horses to follow in the next sessions.” Of the 20 yearlings by Muscle Hill that went through the ring on Wednesday, Go To Hill (Hip No. 153) possessed the highest price tag, which is tied for the fourth highest overall at the sale, and now belongs to Robert Lindstrom, agent for Lennart Agren’s SRF Stable of Boden, Sweden. Out of the Andover Hall mare Habit Of Creature, the colt was consigned by Preferred Equine, is the third foal out of his dam and is a half-brother to the 2-year-old stakes winner You Cant Habit (Cantab Hall, $50,412) and the 4-year-old Fancy Step (Deweycheatumnhowe, $18,164). Go To Hill’s second dam, the Supergill mare Habit, not only collected $171,776 during her racing days, but has produced 11 winners from 12 foals of racing age including Civil Action (Pine Chip, $1,123,053), Muscle Bound (Muscles Yankee, $196,724), Over Ruled (Self Possessed, $266,527), Civic Duty (Angus Hall, $226,149), Big Short (Cantab Hall, $114,547) and Habit’s Lady (Muscles Yankee, $104,796). Checking in behind Go To Hill, who looked every bit the part of a six-figure yearling, was Hip No. 166, Tae Kwon Deo. This colt, consigned by Preferred Equine and selected by Lufti Kolgjini AB of Sweden, is out of the 2008 O’Brien Award older mare champion, Brigham Dream. The daughter of Kaisy Dream earned $639,280 during her career and is a half-sister to another O’Brien and Dan Patch award winner in Crys Dream (2010, 2-year-old filly). Finishing the Muscle Hill triumvirate was the filly Stylish Volo (Hip No. 129), who was consigned and raised by Kentuckiana Farms and is now the property of Emilio and Maria Rosati of Australia. The daughter of the Donato Hanover mare Sterling Volo, is a half-sister to the 2-year-old Simply Volo (Crazed, $55,793). That horse has already collected a victory on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit and was second in a leg of the Kindergarten series at the Meadowlands this year. Striking a very impressive pose in the ring, Stylish Volo’s second dam is none other than Hambletonian Oaks winner Silver Springs (Yankee Glide, $626,500). This exceptional mare is just as outstanding as a broodmare as when she was in competition as six of her seven foals of racing age are winners including Springtime Volo ($383,984). Stylish Volo’s family does show success competing in Europe with her third dam responsible for world champion Sugarcane Volo (Sugarcane Hanover, $1,019,151) who collected 35 victories on that continent over the course of six years. Although it appeared that Muscle Hill dominated the evening’s purchases, his average yearling price of $105,240 was second to Kadabra’s $108,333. The difference between the two stallions is Kadabra was only represented by three yearlings, while 25 Muscle Hill horses were offered for sale. On Wednesday, 146 yearlings were purchased for an average price of $70,897, which was an increase in average price of a noteworthy 26.5 percent, compared to 154 yearlings averaging $56,045 a year ago. Through two sessions, 233 yearlings have sold for an average price of $92,717. In 2015, 252 yearlings sold for an average price of $76,845. The percentage increase is 20.7. Despite a reduction of 19 horses, the gross is up $2,238,000. “Thank you to all our breeders and consigners for all they do,” Manges said. “Nothing is possible without them. We look forward to the many other very nice horses still to be sold and hope the momentum we have built on the first two days of the sale continues over the next several days.” Complete results from the sale can be found at this link. The third session of the five-day sale, which operates until Oct. 10, is underway once again at the Fasiq-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Lexington on Thursday at 7 p.m. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

Two NJSS Green Acres finals for harness racing three-year-old trotters took center stage at Freehold Raceway on Friday afternoon. Both the filly and colt divisions competed for a purse of $25,000 each. The fillies took to the track for the first division. This was a non-betting race held before the regular scheduled race card. Southwind Venus with driver Lucas Wallin overcame her break at the half to edge out HS Baby Grace at the wire, Coco Truffles finished third. The Muscle Hill filly bred by Southwind Farms picks up her second lifetime win. Going wire to wire, Southwind Flash finished in front of Luv At First Site and Inukchuck Chuck trotting the colt division in 1:58.4. The Muscle Hill out of the Friendly Amigo mare won his fourth race of the season, pushing his lifetime earnings $99,824. Trained by Ron Burke and Driven by Joe Bongiorno, he paid $2.10 to win. Courtney Stafford

Freehold, NJ --- Long Tom might be short on experience, but trainer Marcus Melander believes the 2-year-old male trotter can stand tall when it comes to harness racing on the Grand Circuit. The colt, who spent time in Sweden after being purchased for $60,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale, competes Thursday (Sept. 29) in the first of six Bluegrass Stakes divisions at Red Mile. “He feels like the right horse, but there are some good horses out there as well, so it’s not so easy,” Melander said about Long Tom, who heads to Lexington with two wins and a second in three career races. “He started out good and we’ll see how he does against the best ones out here. I definitely think he can be on the Grand Circuit. “He feels like a good horse and I think he’ll get better and better with every race he can have. We’ll see after Lexington how we do. But so far he’s been very good.” Long Tom is a son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Ilia. He is a half-brother to Tight Lines, who last week finished third in the Old Oaken Bucket at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. Signed for by Swedish trainer Reijo Liljendahl, the horse is owned by the Finland-based AMG Stable Oy. Following the Harrisburg sale, Long Tom traveled to Sweden, where he was in Liljendahl’s stable. “We talked in February and Reijo told me he had a good horse he wanted to send over,” Melander said. “I liked him already at the sale, so when Reijo told me the name of the horse I was happy. He was a good-looking horse. He came to me at the end of March.” Because of his travels, Long Tom wasn’t ready to see action when qualifiers for 2-year-olds began in mid-June at the Meadowlands. But when Melander brought the colt to qualifiers a month later, he was pleased. On Aug. 9, Long Tom made his racing debut in a conditioned race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and won by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:59.1. Four weeks later, he finished second to New Jersey Viking in the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey-sponsored Harold Dancer Memorial Trot and followed that effort with a 1:56.1 victory in a conditioned race for 2- and 3-year-olds at the Meadowlands. “He’s been racing very well,” Melander said. “In the qualifiers I took it very easy with him and I felt he was a good horse. In his first lifetime start, he won very easy at Pocono even if it was just in (1):59.1. He did it so easy. “After that, he had some problems getting into races when the Meadowlands closed. But he raced very well at Freehold after some time off and when he won at the Meadowlands he raced great again.” Long Tom is a horse that tends to get complacent when he reaches the front, but Melander is impressed with the colt’s desire to win. “He’s not like a monster in training; he’s very lazy,” Melander said. “He’s like an older horse that’s been doing this for a while. He’s never grabby. He’s almost too lazy sometimes. Last week when he won at the Meadowlands he had plenty left. He’s just so lazy you need to get him going to hold his speed otherwise he waits for the other horses. “But you can feel in a horse when they want to be first. He’s nice gaited, but what I like most is his head. He wants to be a racehorse; he wants to win.” At Lexington, Melander is anxious to see if Long Tom has the speed to be a top colt. “That’s the thing, he’s never been coming home faster than :29 (seconds),” Melander said. “But he’s so lazy. When he’s first, he doesn’t go much faster. He knows he’s first and he knows he’s going to win. I think he’s got the speed. I’m not saying he’s going to go :26 quarters down here, but I think he can go faster than :29, that’s for sure.” Long Tom, who has earned $19,250 this season, is 9-2 on the morning line in his six-horse Bluegrass division, where he will start from post one with driver Tim Tetrick. Bill’s Man, from the stable of trainer John Butenschoen, is the 2-1 favorite from post two with driver Corey Callahan. The morning line favorites in the remaining divisions, in race order, are Tony Alagna’s stakes-winner Signal Hill, Frank Antonacci’s International Moni, Julie Miller’s stakes-winner Fly On, Ron Burke’s Peter Haughton Memorial champ What The Hill, and Jimmy Takter’s King On The Hill. For the complete card, click here. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

The 3/10 favorite Nuncio (5m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle) took todays Gr. I UET Masters Finale (purse €399,908, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) by two lengths clocked in 1.10.66kr. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed the Stefan Melander trained and owned harness racing champion. 9/1 Oasis Bi (8m Toss Out-Up Front JM) took second for Erik Adielsson, trainer Stefan Pettersson and Ecurie Frackstad Lantbruks AB. Third was 16/1 Mosaique Face (7m Classic Photo-Iona LB) with Adrian Kolgjini up for Tommy Nilsson Holding AB and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Spring Erom and Explosive De Vie were fourth and fifth. Nuncio (Ö.Kihlström/S.Melander) G1 UET Masters Final 18/09/2016 Finale U.E.T Trotting Masters NUNCIO On the Bjerke program was also the VG Norsk Derby (purse €226,922, 2600 meters autostart, 12 starters) with victory to 1.9/1 El Diablo BR (4m Muscle Hill-Fiery Chip) for trainer/driver Frode Hamre. The winner was clocked in 1.13.42kr and is owned by Brinvest Danmark APS. 5/1 Cash Okay (4m Ready Cash-Tresokay) was second for G.V. Gundersen with third earned by 5/1 Ultimate Photo (4m SJ’s Photo-Madam Lavec) and Bjorn Goop. Fourth was the Jeppe Juel driven and trained Akermann (4g Crazed-Ta Ta Hall). The Finn Tack Norsk Criterium (purse €175,325, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) produced a 1.12.71kr timed winner in 14.3/1 Shocking Superman (3m Orlando Vici-Bernadette’s Cat). Bjorn Goop is trainer/driver of this Tar Stable KB owned performer. 19.5/1 Mini Viking (3m Maharajah-Jeunesse Defee) was second for trainer/driver Frode Hamre and third was 15/1 Evil Enok ME (3m Magnetic Power-Topaz Dragon) for trainer/driver N.P. Braekken. Thomas H. Hicks

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 17 - Bar Hopping charged home to win the harness racing $687,000 Canadian Trotting Classic by three and half a lengths Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Jimmy Takter trained colt was able to convert off a perfect second-over steer from driver Tim Tetrick to win Canada's biggest race for three-year-old trotters. A trio of longshots fired out for the front, while Marion Marauder, the 3/5 favourite, was unhurried and got away fourth ahead of main rivals Southwind Frank and Bar Hopping. Scott Zeron sent Marion Marauder to the front in the second-quarter and took the lead at the half in :55.4. Southwind Frank was pushed first up, which allowed Tetrick to put Bar Hopping in a perfect second over position. Marion Marauder led the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2. In the stretch, Marion Marauder created a little separation on his rivals, but that was quickly erased by Bar Hopping. The Takter trainee fired off cover and powered by in the final-eighth for a 1:53.1 victory. "There was enough speed in there and I was trying to find a good horse to follow," said Tetrick following his second Trotting Classic victory. "I seen Yannick not getting away as good as I think he wanted and I got a good trip following him all the way to the promise land." "Scotty's (Zeron) horse was putting up decent enough fractions and my horse got to track him all the way to the top of the lane and he did the rest from there." Marion Marauder held on for second, while Bee In Charge finished third ahead of Winter Harbor. A son of Muscle Hill, Bar Hopping captured his elimination last week in 1:52.4 and was sent off at odds of 4-1 in Saturday's rich final. The sophomore trotting colt has had a strong season, but has been slightly overshadowed by rivals Marion Marauder and Southwind Frank, who had captured the classic three-year-old events before the Canadian Trotting Classic. "Well he's been really close, but he just hasn't got it done," Tetrick said. "It's not lack of trying. He put it all together tonight and there is still a lot of money to go for the rest of the year." Owned by Christina Takter, Hatfeld Stables, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, Bar Hopping is now a five-time from 13 starts this season for nearly $800,000 in earnings. His career totals are now improved to six victories and $901,048 earned. The Muscle Hill colt's triumph Saturday gives trainer Jimmy Takter three consecutive victories in the Canadian Trotting Classic and five overall. "We've got a lot of partners and great partners, so I'm so happy for this win," said Takter in the winner's circle. "I was due to win a big race with this horse because he is a very nice horse." Takter noted that Bar Hopping will now head to The Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky for Grand Circuit action. Bar Hopping paid $10.10, $3.70 and $3.00. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 17 - Resolve turned in a game harness racing effort to come away with 1:51.4 victory in the $632,000 Maple Leaf Trot Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The five-year-old stallion was went toe-to-toe with standout mare Hannelore Hanover for the final-half and ultimately wore down the powerhouse to score a length and a half victory for Swedish native and trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Resolve, who finished second in last year's Maple Leaf Trot, left from the rail and got away third, while Hannelore Hanover released Musical Rhythm to the lead at the opening-quarter in :26.4. Driver Yannick Gingras wasted little time circling Hannelore Hanover back around to the front in the second-quarter and the trotting mare led the field by the half in :55.3. Svanstedt started up Resolve nearing the half and immediately confronted the leader moving into the final turn. Hannelore Hanover and Resolve dueled to three-quarters in 1:23 and continued their battle into the lane. The Svanstedt trainee had no quit and finally edged by the gutsy mare in deep stretch for the win. "He's a really great horse and it was difficult today," said Svanstedt following Resolve's triumph. "He (left) very fast and then he was first over the second-half, so he did a very good job." A son of Muscle Hill, Resolve was last year's O'Brien Award winner for top older trotter in Canada. The Svanstedt trainee is well traveled this season, as he raced in Sweden's biggest race, the Elitlopp, back in May and finished second. Owned by Hans Enggren of Abbottstown, Pennsylvania, Resolve now has 14 career victories and over $1.7 million earned. The five-year-old stallion scored his fourth victory of the season Saturday to bring his seasonal earnings to over $700,000. Hannelore Hanover, a four-year-old mare, was a $45,000 supplemental entry to the Maple Leaf Trot. The Ron Burke trainee entered Saturday's rich final off an impressive elimination victory and had only one loss in 15 prior starts this season. "She raced very good," acknowledged Svanstedt. "She's just a four-year-old and a mare. She's very good." Saturday's clash was the first meeting between Resolve and Hannelore Hanover. Although there is no upcoming meeting scheduled between the two star trotters, racing fans will certainly be hoping to see a rematch sooner rather than later. Svanstedt noted that he isn't sure what is next for Resolve, but has an idea of where he hopes to race. "We hope he'll be invited to the International Trot (at Yonkers Raceway)." Five-year-old mare Shake It Cerry finished third in Saturday's event, while locally trained trotters Flanagan Memory and Lookslikeachpndale rounded out the top five finishers. Swedish trotter Nahar, who is owned by Daniel and Henrik Sedin of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks, broke stride on the final turn and finished tenth. The wagering public was split between Resolve and Hannelore Hanover, as they went off as even-money co-favourites. Resolve returned $4.30, $2.50 and $2.20, while the $2 Exactor paid $8.40.   Mark McKelvie

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