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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Ron Burke-trained Mission Brief, maintaining her stride throughout the mile, patiently progressed to the front and trotted away from her competition to a 1:51.4 score in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Filly Trot at The Meadowlands on Friday, November 21. Wiclet Hanover gained the lead early, while Wild Honey tracked in the pocket. Driver Yannick Gingras guided Mission Brief advanced uncovered approaching the quarter, which was timed in :26.4. Wild Honey went off stride in the pocket, and Mission Brief cleared the lead into the backstretch. Unchallenged through fractions of :55.3 and 1:24.1, she drew away by 4¾ lengths with Danielle Hall chasing in second, Livininthefastlane in third, and Smexi in fourth. Mission Brief crossed the wire in a stakes record of 1:51.4, lowering the previous record of 1:53.4 set by Shake It Cerry last year. "The strategy was making the front whenever I had to," Yannick Gingras said, "and I didn’t really want to pressure too much in the first length for no reason. I thought I’d let the dust settle and she was so well behaved tonight she was letting me do what I had to do and she showed what she can do. "In Lexington she went a scary mile," Yannick explained,  "but tonight she could have gone 1:50 tonight just as easily as she went 1:51.4. I showed her the whip around last and she got into another gear and she had more than that. The talent this filly has is unbelievable, as long as she stays sound in her brain and she lets us do what we want to do with her she’s going to do amazing things." Bred by Black Creek Farm and S. Stewart, she is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, Jerry & Theresa Silva Stables, and Weaver Bruscemi. She paid $2.80 to win. Mission Brief by Ray Cotolo, for the Breeders Crown

Mission Brief was able to mind her manners and wire the field in winning the 2nd race $25,000 elimination divisions for two-year-old trotting fillies at the Meadowlands Friday. Driver Yannick Gingras took command away from Scented Roses and then cut fractions of :28.1, :57, 1:26.4 and then kicked in a :27.3 last quarter mile to win by three open lengths in 1:54.2. She paid just $2.60 to win. Second was Danielle Hall (Jody Jamieson) with Smexi (Corey Callahan) third. Also making it to the final next week were Lilu Hanover (fourth) and Hot Start (fifth) It was the eighth win in twelve starts for Mission Brief, who is sired by Muscle Hill. She is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stable, J & T Silva and Weaver Bruscemi. “She was really good tonight,” Gingras said. “She was on her best behavior. When she is like tonight she is tough to be. Coming down the stretch she was running out a little bit, she’s a little green, but once I touched her with the whip she kicked into second gear and she has five gears. No one was going to touch her.” Mission Brief Wild Honey posted her tenth straight win with an easy two length victory in her Breeders Crown 12th race division.  Driver Yannick Gingras waited in third place as Wiclet Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) went to the lead to the first quarter in :28.2. Then Gingras sent Wild Honey to the lead for good. She led to the half in :58.2, the three-quarters in 1:27.4 as Sarcy (Brett Miller) tried coming first over in vain with Liveininthefastlane (Tim Tetrick) second over.  Down the stretch Wild Honey kicked in a :27.4 last quarter mile to win it in 1:55.3. Livinthefastane was second with Wiclet Hanover third. Rounding out the final were Stubbborn Belle fouth and Love Me Madly fifth. "She has just been an unbeliveable girl," said trainer Jimmy Takter. "She's not very big, but she got a big heart and she the highest earners of all freshman fillies this year. She's just terrific." The daughter of Cantab Hall has ten wins in eleven starts with one second place finish in her very first start by only a nose. She is co-owned by Christina Takter, Jim and John Fielding and Herb Liverman.  Wild Honey UNBEATEN JK SHE'ALADY WINS 11th STRAIGHT Unbeaten JK She’salady notched her 11th straight win in 2014 as she was able to grind it out first-over to win her $25,000 Breeders Crown division for two-year-old pacing fillies by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:51.1 for trainer Nancy Johansson. With Tim Tetrick picking up the catch-drive for the championship events, JK She’salady journeyed first over from sixth nearing the half-mile mark and wore down fellow world record holder Sassa Hanover and her former driver Yannick Gingras. Sassa Hanover, who cleared to command past the :26.3 opening panel and led through middle splits of :55.1 and 1:23.4, held for second. Also advancing to the final in third through fifth were Bettor Be Steppin, Bettor N Better and Heavenly Bride. After the race, Tetrick discussed his first impressions of the Art Major filly. "There's a reason she's undefeated, she's a beautiful filly and knows how to get things done. She's special," he said. "She loves it first over. She loves this track...she loves every track, she hasn't lost," said co-owner and breeder Alan Katz of the 3 Brothers Stables. She paid $2.80 to win. JK She’salady The 6th race second division was marred by two disqualifications as the race winner was taken down and placed seventh. In the stretch, eventual race winner, Ideal Nuggets and driver Tim Tetrick, came out from fourth place on the rail and hit the legs of Well Hello There (Matt Kakaley). Also, fourth place finisher Happiness (Mike Simons) went inside the pylons coming down the stretch and was placed last. So once it was all done, Heart Major, who led most of the race, was placed first for driver Ron Pierce. The race had gone in 1:52.1. Divine Caroline (Corey Callahan) was placed second with Happy Becky (David Miller) placed third. Also making the final were Southwind Roulette in fourth and Well Hello There, who made a break, was double placed to fifth and makes the final. For Heart Major, the daughter Art Major posted her fifth win in just eight starts for trainer Joe Pavia, Jr. and paid $23.00 to win. She is co-owned by Dijo Racing, Joe Pavia, Jr. Stable, V. Barbera and S. Held. Heart Major, GALLIE BY THE BEACH UPSETS AT 9-1 Closing with a burst of speed from the top of the stretch, Gallie Bythe Beach and driver Tim Tetrick rallied home off the cover of eventual runner-up Major Dancer (Brian Sears) to pull off a 9-1 upset in her elimination division of the Breeders Crown for three-year-old pacing fillies. She covered the one mile race in 1:50.4. Beach Gal finished third while Gettingreadytoroll was fourth and even-money favourite Sayitall BB was fifth. Sayitall BB and driver Yannick Gingras retook the lead from fellow supplemental entry Nat A Virgin after a :27.1 opening panel before Act Now swept around the top two near the :55 half-mile mark. Act Now then led the field by three-quarters in 1:22.4 and into the stretch before the late-closers closed in. "To have a daughter of Galleria come out here and race the way she raced tonight and get us to the final, we're very excited," said Jim Campbell, who trains Fashion Farms' homebred Somebeachsomewhere filly. Campbell explained that Gallie Bythe Beach learned to race off-the pace in Delaware winning a elimination heat of the Jugette and was also victorious using those same tactics in the Bluegrass Series at The Red Mile. "She can still go the other way if she needs to, she just happened to go some better races off the pace," he added. Gallie Bythe Beach paid $20.60 to win. Gallie Bythe Beach The seventh race second elimination division for three-year-olds pacing fillies saw Color’s A Virgin impress everyone by going first-over and grinding it out against Weeper, pulling away in the stretch for a one and three-quarter length triumph in 1:51. Driven by Trace Tetrick, Color’s A Virgin posted a lifetime mark with her seventh straight win and 13th victory on the year for trainer Brian Brown. The daughter of Always A Virgin is owned and bred by the Emerald Highlands Farm of Mount Vernon, Ohio. Sandbetweenurtoes (Brian Sears) was first on the lead in :27.2. Then Weeper and Ron Pierce brushed to the lead by the half in :56.2 as Tetrick moved Color’s A Virgin first up from fifth place. Uffizi Hanover (Brett Miller) grabbed her live cover. Precocious Beauty (Doug McNair) closed well to be second with Allstar Rating (Yannick Gingras) third. Also making the final were Uffizi Hanover in fourth and Beach Story fifth. Color’s A Virgin paid $3.80 to win. “It’s exciting,” said Trace Tetrick. “My mare showed up. She raced like she did all summer and she deserves a shot next week. She did it all summer racing first-over a lot. She comes through every week. She been a great mare.” Color’s A Virgin By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The temperature was just above the freezing mark for an eight-pack of qualifiers Friday morning at Mohawk Racetrack. The track was listed as fast Friday, but the judges did allow a one second variant on the chilly and windy morning. Many eyes were on the seventh qualifier, as World champion Hes Watching and Milton Stakes winner Voelz Hanover lined up behind the gate. Leaving from post six in a field of six, Voelz Hanover and Randy Waples sprinted off the gate to grab the early, while Hes Watching and Jody Jamieson dropped in the two-hole. After an opening-quarter of :28, Volez Hanover kept the tempo hot with a :27.3 second-quarter to lead Hes Watching by half a dozen lengths. Voelz Hanover reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24, but Hes Watching, who was five lengths back, started to hit his best stride as they rounded the far turn. In the stretch, Hes Watching would track down Voelz Hanover, but came up half a length short at the wire in 1:53.4. Hes Watching paced his last quarter in :28.4, while Voelz Hanover's final panel was in :29.4. Hes Watching was making his second qualifying appearance in as many weeks in preparation for the Breeders Crown eliminations next weekend at the Meadowlands. The son of American Ideal is trained by Dave Menary, who shares ownership with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Muscara Racing Trust. Hes Watching has won five of 12 starts this season for earnings of over $837,000. His career bankroll currently sits at over $1.1 million. Voelz Hanover was making her first appearance since finishing fourth in the Fillies & Mares Preferred at Mohawk on October 10. She was entered to race the following week at Woodbine, but was a vet scratch sick. A nine-year-old daughter of Astreos, Voelz Hanover recorded the biggest victory of her career back in September when she won the $286,000 Milton Stakes at Mohawk. She is trained by Corey Johnson for owner Richard Berthiaume and has won six of 16 starts this season for earnings of over $262,000. Voelz Hanover's career record currently sits at 44 wins from 168 starts for earnings of over $1.7 million. Also making an appearance Friday morning was Valley Victory elimination winner Whataworkout. The Frank Antonacci trainee turned in a 25 length victory in 1:58. Driven by Domenico Cecere, Whataworkout was making his first appearance since making a break in the stretch of the $521,000 Valley Victory on October 25 at Woodbine. A two-year-old son of Muscle Hill, Whataworkout has won twice in his first five starts for earnings of over $32,000. He is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut. Ontario Sires Stakes standout Sports Chic was also a winner Friday morning. A two-year-old daughter of Sportswriter, Sports Chic won her qualifier by 13 lengths in 1:56.4. Driven by Jody Jamieson, this was Sports Chic's first charted line since finishing fourth in the $250,000 OSS Super Final on October 11 at Mohawk. Trained by Blake Macintosh, Sports Chic has won five times from 10 starts for earnings of over $241,000. Macintosh is also a co-owner of the filly along with Hutt Racing Stable. The full list of Friday morning's winners can be found below. Mohawk Qualifiers - Friday, November 7 Race 1 - Whataworkout (Domenico Cecere) - 1:58 Race 2 - Sports Chic (Jody Jamieson) - 1:56.4 Race 3 - Sas Warkentin (Scott Young) - 2:00 Race 4 - Century Angeldust (Mike Saftic) - 1:58.2 Race 5 - Barefoot Beauty (Doug McNair) - 1:59.1 Race 6 - Hldontghttoyurdrms (Jonathan Drury) - 2:00.2 Race 7 - Voelz Hanover (Randy Waples) - 1:53.4 Race 8 - Screen The Call (Jody Jamieson) - 1:58   Mark McKelvie WEG Communications - Standardbred  

 Russell Williams, vice-president of the famous nursery Hanover Shoe Farms and a director on the boards of many of harness racing's top organizations, and Charles Keller III, who carried on the tradition of his father's famous Yankeeland Farm and also continues to serve the sport on many of its top organizations' boards, have been announced as the finalists for the 2014 Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award, it has been announced by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). After the various chapters of USHWA submitted nominations for the award, the highest honor USHWA bestows based on voting only by its members and given for outstanding achievement in/service to the sport, the nominees were sent to the Association's directors, who voted to winnow down the candidates to the top two. Williams and Keller will now be voted on by the entirety of USHWA during the annual Dan Patch Awards balloting honoring the year's stars, both equine and human; that balloting will be conducted in early December. Williams, the grandson of Hanover's founder Lawrence Sheppard, plays a major part in the operation of the world's leading Standardbred-producing farm, where he keeps his own small but select band of broodmares (he is the breeder of the million-dollar-winning top three-year-old colt Nuncio). He is also vice chairman of the U.S. Trotting Association, the sport's supervisory organization, and a trustee of the American Horse Council and the Harness Racing Museum. Williams is also a noted "equine philanthropist," financing the possibility of many Standardbreds being able to live out their lives with dignity, including retired Hanover broodmares. Keller, the son of noted Yankees baseball player "King Kong" Keller, took over operation of Yankeeland Farms, which his father established, in 1990 until the farm's closing in 2006. The farm bred two Hambletonian winners, Muscles Yankee (1998) and Yankee Paco (2000), and it also bred Yankee Blondie, the dam of 2009 winner Muscle Hill, along with countless other divisional champions. It has produced the outstanding sires Yankee Glide and Yankee Cruiser, and has been the cradle of four Breeders Crown winners Keller is the chairman of the executive committee of the Hambletonian Society, a trustee of the Harness Racing Museum, and a former director of the U. S. Trotting Association. The Bergstein/Proximity winner, along with the awards for the best of 2014, will be given at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards dinner on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld; more details, including on accommodations, will be forthcoming soon. USHWA

October 11, 2014. Today showcased the 2014 German Grand Prix Yearling Sale at Hambourg, Germany. 64 head were cataloged with 61 sold (95%) for €770,500, an average of €12,631. Two consigned by legendary German breeder Alwin Shockemohle led the way, each bringing €80,000. Scully’s Princess (f, Donato Hanover-Scully FBI), a half-sister to Federal Flex, and Lady Muscles (f, Muscle Hill-Chieftess-Credit Winner, from a full-sister to Judge Joe, led the parade. Pedigrees of these two and video links follow.               Scullys Princess https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W9KSlb8-LA   Lady Muscles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGGWRXhCKmM Thomas H. Hicks

Yesterday at the harness racing meeting at Gore another daughter of the Muscles Yankee sire, Muscle Mass was a winner at just her third lifetime start. Mass Invasion is a 4 year old mare by Muscle Mass who is trained at Rakauhauka by Clark Barron for his father in law Joe Crooks. Sent out favourite after being unlucky at her previous start, Clark jumped Mass Invasion to an early lead from barrier four. Attacked after 300 metres by Springfield Eyre who went to the front, Clark immediately took Mass Invasion out of the trail and back into the lead and it was a lead she would never surrender. Keeping up a good clip the whole journey, Mass Invasion had too many guns in the straight and comfortably held off her challengers. Mass Invasion trotted the 2200 metres from a stand in 2:57.6 with closing sectionals of 60.6 and 30. Clark has a bit of time for the young trotter who only qualified in late August. "This is really only her first serious preparation and she has come a long way in a short time. She is a lovely gaited trotter with great manners as she showed yesterday," he said. The track had plenty of top on it early in the day and Clark thought Mass Invasion wasn't as fluid as normal in the conditions. "The track had a lot of top in race one and she wasn't completely at ease in it She wasn't that happy in front either but after being so unlucky the start before I thought I would take luck out of the equation," Clark said  Clark thinks that she will handle the step up to the C1 grade going on her trial runs. "She has raced a lot of the C1 trotters at trials and more than held her own so I think she will handle the rise in class," he said. Mass Invasion is one of only five live foals from the first crop of Muscle Mass that were sired by frozen semen. The whole five are 4 year old mares and Mass Invasion is his third winner but the best performer from that crop of five is undoubtedly K D Muscles 2:00.1 ($40,297) who though placed second in both the Trotting Oaks and the PGG Sales race, is yet to win on raceday. Muscle Mass was not available in 2011 or 2012 to New Zealand breeders but was available in 2013 via fresh semen and does have 55 yearlings to represent him next season. With his oldest crop just coming to the end of their four year old season in North America, Muscle Mass has $7,606,424 on his card already with 11 in 1:55. Muscle Mass is currently 11th on the North American 2 year old sires list this season while his full brother Muscle Massive is a close second to Muscle Hill with his first crop of 2 year olds. With the performance of his stock in North America and of the handful of his 4 year olds in New Zealand, you would expect the stock of Muscle Mass to be keenly sought after at next years sales. Harnesslink Media  

MANALAPAN, NJ – October 9, 2014 – SS Poseidon, winner of the $40,000 Harold Dancer Trot, is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the $33,500 New Jersey Futurity for harness racing two-year-old trotters, the third race on Friday, October 10, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The Futurity, restricted to New Jersey-sired trotters, is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey.  SS Poseidon [Muscle Hill], coupled in the wagering with Firestop [Muscles Yankee], will leave from post one with Steve Smith driving for trainer Erv Miller.  He has two wins, four seconds and a third in nine starts this year, banking $88,505 for Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, IL and Shim Racing LLC of Deerfield, IL. Paymaq is co-owner of Firestop, driven by Eric Abbatiello and trained by Julie Miller.  The partnership also includes Douglas Sipple of Georgetown, DE and Daniel Plouffe of Bromont, Quebec. Firestop has two seconds in six starts and leaves from post six. The Ray Schnittker trained entry of Broken Record and Switchblade Hall, both sons of Muscles Yankee, are rated 7-5 in the morning line.  Broken Record, who will be driven by Schnittker, drew post two while Jordan Stratton gets the call on Switchblade Hall, leaving from post five.   Broken Record won the New Jersey Sire Stakes –Green Acres Final at Freehold on September 18 and finished third in the Harold Dancer Final while Switchblade was third in the Green Acres Final and second in the Dancer. The Francisco Del Cid trained and driven Mountain Top [Muscle Hill] starts from post three and is rated 7-1. Two fillies will take on the colts in the open event.  Demons N Diamonds [Muscle Hill], who won the filly division of the Green Acres, is 4-1 in the morning line from post four with Daniel Dube in the sulky, and Contraire [Muscles Yankee] is 25-1 from outside post seven with Ake Svanstedt listed to drive. Co-featured on the Friday card is the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes – Green Acres Final for two-year-old pacing fillies, the eighth race. Seven fillies are scheduled to go postward with Smart Zone [Rocknroll Hanover] rated the 7-5 morning line favorite from post two.  Steve Smith will handle the Erv Miller trainee, who is owned by Paymaq Racing and D&M Trading LLC of Chicago.  She has a record of four wins, two seconds and two thirds from 11 starts and earnings in excess of $50,000.  Strut My Stuff, who captured the Lou Babic Filly in her last start, carries a three-race winning streak and is the 5-2 second choice from post three.  Jack Baggitt Jr. will drive the Ross Croghan-trained daughter of Western Ideal. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

The breeding season is here once again and harness racing is in good heart if the number of trotting stallions available this season is any guide. For the last two breeding seasons trotting bred mare numbers have been holding up remarkably well when compared to their pacing counterparts. The number of pacing mares has been slowly dropping for a wee while now Two seasons ago the number of pacing mares served numbered 2582 but last season saw another drop of 185 mares to bring the total served down to 2397 However in the 2012/2013 breeding season 644 trotting mares were served by 31 stallions and in the 2013/2014 breeding season 617 mares were served by 29 stallions. In light of those figures it is somewhat surprising that the number of trotting sires available to breeders has continued to grow, especially via frozen semen.  In the upcoming season the number of trotting stallions available to breeders has risen to 36. In the last breeding season only four stallions served more than 50 mares for the year and between them that four captured 319 of the mares served leaving just 298 mares for the other 25 stallions. It is little wonder the average trotting breeder is getting confused and having trouble sorting out the wheat from the chaff. Some of the trotting sires available via frozen semen are well established such as Andover Hall, Angus Hall, Muscle Hill, Love You and Muscles Yankee but quite a few are new to the stallion game in New Zealand and it is hard to gage where they sit in the overall scheme of things. Of those available via fresh semen last year, the North American owned Majestic Son served 161 mares in New Zealand and with the season his stock had on the track he should serve a large book again this year. Superfast Stuart (54)  Monarchy (51)  The Pres (50) and Monkey Bones (40) were other sires available via fresh semen last season who served reasonable numbers and they all have one thing in common.  These sires are owned in New Zealand and represent a major investment by the studs/owners but with the number of sires available via frozen semen growing to 26 this year they may have a struggle on their hands to attract mares. If the number of European and North American sires available via frozen semen continues to grow, the days of New Zealand studs and owners standing sires they own via fresh semen may be coming to an end. Weather that is in the best long term interests of the New Zealand industry is highly questionable. Harnesslink Media

Adam Bowden was in the Kentucky Futurity winner's circle last year with Creatine and he hopes to return there following Sunday's 122nd edition of the trotting classic, this time with Father Patrick. Bowden and his father, Chris, operate Diamond Creek Farm, which is part of Father Patrick's ownership group. Father Patrick, who has won 20 of 23 career races and $1.92 million, drew post No. 1 for Sunday's $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at The Red Mile in Lexington. Nine horses entered the Futurity, so eliminations are unnecessary. Yannick Gingras will drive Father Patrick for trainer Jimmy Takter in the one-dash-for-the-cash event. Rounding out the field in post order are Il Sogno Dream, Martiniwithmuscle, Datsyuk, Hillustrious, Nuncio, Mr Lindy, DD's Hitman, and Lightning Force. Sunday's card also includes the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, $173,000 Allerage Farm Open Trot, $160,500 Allerage Farm Open Pace, $90,000 Allerage Farm Mare Pace, and $89,000 Allerage Farm Mare Trot. Father Patrick brings a four-race win streak to the Futurity, including a 4-1/2 length victory over Lightning Force in 1:50.4 in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile last Sunday. He also has won the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic, $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and $340,000 Zweig Memorial since losing by a half-length to Datsyuk in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. "Last week he was on cruise control and still trotted in sub-1:51," said Bowden, who owns Father Patrick with John Fielding, Christina Takter, Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical AB, and the group of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. "Hopefully, we're in the winner's circle on Sunday. Jimmy gives me two thumbs up. I'm hoping that's going to be the case." Last year, the Diamond Creek-bred-and-owned Creatine won the Futurity for hometown trainer Bob Stewart. Bowden had planned to sell Creatine when he was a yearling, but the horse was withdrawn from the auction because of an infected hock and remained with Diamond Creek. Creatine races Sunday in the Allerage Farm Open Trot. "We've been with Bob since the beginning and for him to be a Kentucky guy, no offense, I love Father Patrick, but I don't think anything is going to top last year," Bowden said. "That was the most exciting thing for me. It was the first time. It was a homebred with a good friend of mine. We always believed in the horse and we finally won one of the big ones. That was exciting." The Bowdens started Diamond Creek Farm in 2005 in Paris, Ky., and now have a second location in Pennsylvania. Diamond Creek will stand Father Patrick as a stallion at the conclusion of his racing career. Father Patrick, bred by Brittany Farms, is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream. He is a full brother to million-dollar-earner Pastor Stephen. "We're very happy and lucky; we want to stand the best horses," Bowden said. "After his 2-year-old year, we took a huge risk that (Father Patrick) was going to come back and be dominant at 3. Right now it looks like our gamble is going to pay off. Cantab Hall is arguably the hottest sire in the sport, along with Muscle Hill, and here's his greatest son so far. It's a great sire line and we're hoping it continues with Father Patrick." The Kentucky Futurity is the second jewel in this year's Trotting Triple Crown. Trixton won the first, the Hambletonian, but has since been retired because of injury. The third jewel, the Yonkers Trot, is Oct. 25. Takter trained and drove Trixton in the Hambletonian. Another of his charges, Nuncio, finished second in the race. Father Patrick went off stride from post 10 and finished off the board for the only time in his career. Nuncio will be driven by John Campbell, his regular pilot, in Sunday's Futurity. Nuncio has won 12 of 22 career races and finished second in the other 10. Eight of those runner-up finishes have come behind Father Patrick. "Nuncio is one tough horse," Bowden said. "He's a great horse and in any other year he's the best horse. "One of these days you think he's going to beat his stablemate. But I hope it's not Sunday." Takter sends out the likely favorite in the Kentucky Filly Futurity, Shake It Cerry. She was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter and has won 10 of 12 races this season. She will start from post three with driver Ron Pierce. Scream And Shout and Heaven's Door will start inside of Shake It Cerry while to her outside are Highest Peak, Chivaree Hanover, Vanity Matters, and Yoga. Scream And Shout and Yoga also are from the Takter Stable. The Allerage Farm Open Trot features Sebastian K, the fastest horse in harness racing history thanks to his 1:49 win earlier this year, two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share, 2010 Kentucky Futurity winner Wishing Stone and recent Centaur Trotting Classic winner Master Of Law. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, and multiple-stakes-winner Classic Martine lead the way in the Allerage Farm Mare Trot, where they will encounter Dan Patch Award-winner and defending race winner Maven. Sweet Lou, who has won 10 of 15 races and nearly $1 million this year, and Foiled Again, North American harness racing's all-time money-winner, are among the 10 horses in the Allerage Farm Open Pace. Eleven horses were entered in the Allerage Farm Mare Pace, including three-time Dan Patch Award-winner Anndrovette, stakes-winners Rocklamation and Somwherovrarainbow, world champion Shebestingin, last year's race winner Shelliscape, and 2012 winner Drop The Ball. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Lexington, KY - Grand Circuit harness racing resumes on Friday at The Red Mile with no fewer than eight two-year-old stakes on the eleven race card. The $382,600 International Stallion Stakes (INSS) for colt trotters drew five divisions while the $253,000 filly pace split three ways.   The pacing fillies open the Friday matinee card in races one, three and five with the middle division looking the toughest on paper. That split features the Red Mile debut of undefeated World Champ JK She'salady for owner/breeders the 3 Brothers Stable of New York.   The Art Major filly from Presidential Lady has been just vicious thus far in her seven race career putting a few withering moves on the competition at Mohawk including the record-equaling 1:50.1 mile in the $441,600 She's A Great Lady final. Her most recent was an easy score in a division of the Kentuckiana stakes at Hoosier Park.   Trained in the Nancy Johansson barn and driven by Yannick Gingras, JK She'salady will find a pretty talented field waiting for her on Friday.   Chief among the competition is the speedy Bettor Be Steppin, who won the other Kentuckiana split and further impressed last week here in Lexington with a forwardly placed 1:52 win, closing it out with a 26.3 final quarter under no pressure. She races for the Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables and Ted Gewertz and is trained by Joe Holloway, who has long had a "way with the ladies".   The accomplished Bedroomconfessions also caught this division as did Hilary's Style and Heavenly Bride, both coming off excellent races in week one of the meet.   Two of the Bluegrass division winners from last week will meet in a division of the INSS carded as the day's tenth race. The Bank and Southwind Stryker square off for the top prize in the $76,100 contest. Both colts trotted in 1:53.4 in their respective Bluegrass start and both used a stalking trip to get the job done.   The Bank has a slight post advantage beginning from post two for trainer/driver Jimmy Takter. He rolled up second over, closing in 28 flat to win by a half-length. Bred by part owner Goran Falk he races for Falk and Christina Takter and has made just shy of $65,000 thus far.   Southwind Stryker (Muscle Hill x Soxeelady) was a winner for the very first time in the Bluegrass mile but is just shy of the $100,000 mark in earnings for the partnership of Millard, Van Camp, Taylor and trainer Brad Maxwell who gave $40,000 for him at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale last fall. Driver Tim Tetrick gave him a good trip then said good things about the colt last week and has the return engagement this Friday.   It is by no means a two horse races as Haughton winner Centurion ATM and the highest priced yearling of 2013 Whom Shall I Fear (Father Patrick's little brother) are also a part of the talented field.   Friday post time is 1:00pm.   Nick Salvi

Columbus, OH --- Harness Racing Update is reporting that Hambletonian champion Trixton has been retired. Trainer/driver Jimmy Takter confirmed to HRU that the son of Muscle Hill-Emilie Cas El, who last raced in the Canadian Trotting Classic, where he broke stride, has had some nagging problems that finally caught up with the colt. To read the full story, click here. Trixton - Hambletonian from the USTA Communications Department 

The brilliant Muscle Hill filly Jolene Jolene equalled the world record for harness racing two-year-old trotting fillies on a mile track of 1:52.2 held by Mission Brief (also by Muscle Hill) when she captured an $84,250 division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile last Thursday (September 25). Jolene Jolene, who led from the half-way mark, made it four wins and three placings from eight starts and increased her stakes tally to $207,527. In fact, Muscle Hill is the sire of four of the fastest 12 two-year-olds in 2014 and four of the fastest 12 three-year-olds from his first two crops of 81 and 82 foals. Meanwhile, Southwind Stryker, a two-year-old Muscle Hill colt, won his $78,400 division of the Bluegrass Stakes on Friday (September 26) in a new lifetime mark of 1:53.8. Jolene Jolene and Mission Brief are the co-fastest juvenile trotters in 2014, while Southwind Stryker is the equal second fastest juvenile male trotter.  SS Poseidon, another Muscle Hill youngster, posted his second win in the $40,000 Harold Dancer Trot at Freehold on Thursday(September 25), while Odds On Amethyst, a Muscle Hill three-year-old gelding, earned a new speed badge of 1:52.2 winning at The Red Mile on Friday (September 27). Muscle Hill is currently ranked third on both the 2YO and 3YO Sire premierships and is the leading North American-based sire of two and three-year-olds available 'Down Under'. From only two crops of racing age Muscle Hill has produced 20 in the 1:55 list, 14 $100,000 winners and four world champions. Lucky Chucky, the Stallions Australasia studmate of Muscle Hill, is the second leading first-crop sire in 2014 and ninth on the overall two-year-old list ahead of great sires such as Andover Hall, Credit Winner, S J's Caviar and Muscles Yankee. An established 1:55 sire, Lucky Chucky's four fastest two-year-olds include two fillies and two colts and his richest include two fillies and three colts. Lucky Chucky has averaged 110 mares per season to date and this season he served 105 mares standing at Winbak Farm, New York for a fee of US$7,500.. Peter Wharton  

LEXINGTON, KY-- Despite an hour-and-a-half delay provoked by a blown transformer near the first turn, the $336,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters was contested in four divisions on Thursday, September 25. The wait was worth it as a world record was tied. Jolene Jolene, sent off the 8/5-second choice, equaled the world record for freshmen filly trotters of 1:52.1 in division two of Bluegrass action.   Classical Annie circled around Scented Roses to secure command through a :28.2 first quarter. Passing three-eighths, Jolene Jolene made a furious bid from fourth to commandeer the field. Clearing in a :56.3 (:28.1) half-mile, her lead began to grow into the far turn.   Leading by 5 lengths through a 1:24 (:27.2) third quarter, driver David Miller kept Jolene Jolene to task while Lock Down Lindy tried to close, as well as Gold Cora and Sweet Thing. As Lock Down Lindy broke, Gold Cora and Sweet Thing took over second and third while Jolene Jolene was striding to an 8-length victory in 1:52.1 (:28.1).   Returning $5.40 to win, the Muscle Hill-Celebrity Speedie-Malabar Man daughter is owned by William Donovan and trained by Jonas Czernyson. The 1:52.1 effort is a lifetime mark for the filly trotter, and this win puts her season's earnings at $207,527. Scratched down to a field of four in the pari-mutual spectrum, Wild Honey, off a world-record 1:55.2 mile at Delaware, Ohio, coasted around the Lexington oval to win in 1:55.2, with a :26.3 final quarter.   Able to put up fractions of :29.2, :59.3 (:30.1), and 1:28.4 (:29.1), Wild Honey led foes Onda Di Mare, Love Me Madly, Shafina Hanover, and Hot Stuff, respectively, in her gate-to-wire performance. They remained in that order as Wild Honey sprinted to the wire in :26.3 to win in 1:55.2.   Owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman, the Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy-S J's Photo daughter paid $2.10 to win. She's trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras. Winning seven of eight starts, the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion has now amassed $312,656 in earnings.   Fresh off a victory in the Kindergarten Series, Lilu Hanover claimed victory in the third division of the Bluegrass in 1:54.2.   Getting away on the lead, Lilu Hanover led Armatrading, That's So Ironic, and Annaliina as she marched to the quarter. Passing that station in :29, Annaliina was sent two wide and began to brush by her competition. She took the lead from Lilu Hanover through a half of :57.2 (:28.2).   Around into the far turn, Armatrading pulled first over to challenge Annaliina for control. Lilu Hanover sat steady In The Pocket through a 1:27.1 (:29.4) third-quarter. Midway into the stretch, Lilu Hanover pulled the pocket and managed to split Annaliina and Armatrading to get a nose in front and extend to a length in 1:54.2 (:27.1). Annaliina was second, Concentration was third and Armatrading was fourth.   A daughter of Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover-Donerail, she is owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, trained by Jimmy Takter and Scott Zeron guided her to victory. Paying $5.20 to win, the 1:54.2 mile is a lifetime mark for Lilu Hanover.   Bee The Queen capped the stakes action with a 1:54.1 victory over   Allerage Star and Crunchess Finale dueled for control through a :27.3 first quarter. Clearing the front into the backstretch, Allerage Star maintained her lead past the half in :55.2 (:27.4). Driver Brian Sears gave Bee The Queen the cue to go entering the far turn, flushed from fourth by Sarcy.   Within a matter of strides, Bee The Queen secured control. Sarcy stalked uncovered while Allerage Star was to her inside In The Pocket. Bee The Queen trotted by three-quarters in 1:24.3 (:29.1).   Sarcy broke turning for home, and Allerage Star swung out of the pocket, but failed to rally by Bee The Queen. Wiclet Hanover from the back closed into second, as well as Kirsi Hanover into third as Bee The Queen was victorious in 1:54.1 (:29.3).   Owned by Alfred Ross and trained by George Ducharme, the Donato Hanover-Bee Line-Self Possessed filly paid $5.40 to win. Her 1:54.1 victory is a lifetime best, and her season's earnings are now at $63,392.   Live racing resumes Friday, September 26 with the $287,600 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly pacers and the $393,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old colt trotters. With three divisions for the fillies and four for the colts, post time is set at 7:00pmEDT.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 25, 2014 - It was smooth sailing for SS Poseidon who scored a two and three-quarter length harness racing victory in the $40,000 Harold Dance Trot on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The Harold Dancer, restricted to New Jersey-sired two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. It was contested as a non-wagering event. SS Poseidon, driven by Steve Smith and trained by Erv Miller, overcame a rainy, sloppy track to trot the mile in 2:00.1, besting Switchblade Hall [Muscles Yankee]. It was three and three-quarter lengths to Broken Record [Muscles Yankee], who had a two-race winning streak snapped, who cut the early fractions and finished third. The well-traveled SS Poseidon, a son of Muscle Hill, had picked up checks in recent weeks, finishing fifth in the Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands, second in both the Tompkins and Kindergarten prelim at Tioga, winning a Reynolds at Tioga, finishing third in a Kindergarten leg at the Red Mile and, most recently, finishing second in a deadheat in the American National at Balmoral Park. He now has two wins, four seconds and a third in nine starts and a bankroll of $84,490 for Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, IL and his co-breeder, Shim Racing of Deerfield, IL. In a field of three sophomore pacing fillies, Fanticipation [Rocknroll Hanover] prevailed by a half-length over Ideal Helen [Western Ideal] in 1:56.1 in a $7,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes-Green Acres leg prior to the betting card. Cut A Deal [Rocknroll Hanover] was a length and three-quarters back in third. Fanticipation, driven by Jason Bartlett and trained by Michael Forte, picked up her sixth win of the year and has finished in-the-money in 11 of 15 starts this year. She has won two straight at Freehold for Ricky Bucci of Stormville, NY. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 19, 2014 - Four two-year-old trotting fillies hit the wire together, and it took the photo finish to award a victory in the $7,000 second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Green Acres to Contraire in the sixth race on Friday, September 19, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. Contraire [$6.00], with Ake Svandstedt driving, slipped up the rail to win by a nose over four-wide Model Behavior in 2:01.2. Both are daughters of Muscles Yankee. It was a head back to 9-5 Demons N Diamonds [Muscle Hill] in third and a neck to pacesetting Prinsessa [Muscle Hill] in fourth. Contraire picked up her second win in her fifth start of the year. The Glenn Bailey trainee races in the name of Irony Alliance LLC of Gansevoort, NY. In a non-wagering $7,000 Green Acres for three-year-old trotting fillies, Shelikescandy [Chocolatier] was a length and a quarter winner over Coin Collection [Chocolatier] in 1:59.2. Revergreen [Revenue] broke stride and was a distanced third. Shelikescandy has now won two in a row and three of 14 starts this year. Driven by Steve Smith, she is trained by Dawn Anderson. Her owner is George Beck of Freehold, NJ for whom she has won just shy of $50,000 lifetime. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

LEXINGTON, KY-- A trio of divisions for round four of the Kindergarten Classic Series were held at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 18, with 24 freshmen colts entered on the late stages of the weekday harness racing card. First-time starter Whataworkout defeated 1/5 favorite Airman Batten in a 1:56.4 gate-to-wire effort.   Keystone Bodacious made a bid for the front, as well as Suit And Tie to the inside and Whataworkout taking the outer route towards the top. Keystone Bodacious broke as they began to turn, taking Suit And Tie out of contention, as well as impeding Airman Batten, causing him to run for a moment. Whataworkout trotted to the quarter in :30.1.   Strolling to a 1:00 (:29.4) half-mile, Whataworkout soon had Airman Batten challenging for command. True Blue Stride sat In The Pocket third and Whom Shall I Fear tracked the favorite's move from fourth. Stalled first over, Airman Batten remained 1 ½ lengths off leader Whataworkout through three-quarters in 1:28.4 (:28.4).   Whataworkout began to extend his stride into the final eighth. Airman Batten backed into the pocket, admitting defeat to 48-1 Whataworkout in 1:56.4. Whom Shall I Fear finished third and True Blue Stride, galloping into the stretch, recovered his stride to finish fourth.   A $99.60 winner, Whataworkout is owned by Lindy Farms, trained by Frank Antonacci and was driven by Domenico Cecere. Sired by Muscle Hill, out of the Chocolatier mare Southwind Sofia, the 1:56.4 effort is a lifetime and season best.   French Laundry, sent off the 1-2 favorite, won by lengths in 1:54.4.   Special Action left from the center, with Image Of Luck sliding into the pocket, and French Laundry opted for the overland route as they rolled into the turn. Special Action had a slight advantage over French Laundry through a :29.3 quarter.   Clearing the lead in the backstretch, French Laundry coasted his way to the half, with Special Action now second, Image Of Luck third and P Mac Attack trotting fourth, nearly 5 lengths off the lead. French Laundry traveled past the half in :57.2 (:27.4) and three-quarters in 1:26.1 (:28.4).   P Mac Attack took to the outside after French Laundry, while Special Action and Image Of Luck continued to chase. Under minimal urging, French Laundry drew clear of his foes and won by 5 lengths in 1:54.4 (:28.3) over Special Action, Lucky Ten K and P Mac Attack.   Owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld, and trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, the son of Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi-Conway Hall paid $3.00 to win.   Wicker Hanover, victorious in the third leg of the Kindergarten, returned to Lexington and claimed victory in the final division of the Kindergarten in 1:57.   Bighandsbiggloves got the lead, while Divisionist sat the pocket, Dapper Don trotted third and Boots N Chains stalked from fourth. The front quartet remained in that line-up through fractions of :29.1 and :59.2 (:30.1).   Boots N Chains pulled first over and engaged with Bighandsbiggloves for command. Wicker Hanover traveled second over while Divisionist sat the pocket.   After three-quarters in 1:29.3 (:30.1), Boots N Chains had a slight lead. Wicker Hanover fanned three wide, while Divisionist attempted to split horses. Wicker Hanover, in the final sixteenth, swept by Boots N Chains and won by a half-length in 1:57 (:27.2) over Boots N Chains, Divisionist and Bighandsbiggloves.   Owned by Christer Haggstrom Racing Stable, the son of Explosive Matter-Won An Done-Conway Hall is trained by Noel Daley and was driven by Kyle Bolon. He returned $6.40 to win.   French Laundry remains on top of the leader with 162 points. Wicker Hanover moved into second with 100 points and Airman Batten is third with 75 points.   Live racing resumes at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 25, with the Grand Circuit meeting, commencing with the $300,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters. Declaration time is 9:30 A.M. on Monday, September 22.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

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