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All systems appear to be go for early Hambletonian favorite Southwind Frank, who marched to an easy 2½-length win in his first start as a 3-year-old in a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for harness racing trotting colts and geldings Friday night at the Meadowlands. "He was Frank," said winning trainer Ron Burke. "He couldn't have been any better. It's what we expect from him." The son of Muscle Hill was unhurried early, and made his way to the top shortly after vacating the four hole at the three-eighths after an opening quarter of :27.4. Meeting little in the way of resistance, driver Yannick Gingras was able to relax his colt and cut moderate fractions of :57 and 1:25 before kicking home in :27.1 to win going away in a lifetime-best 1:52.1. Brooklyn Hill was second while Bar Hopping finished third. As the 1-9 public choice, Southwind Frank, who is now 12-for-13 lifetime, returned $2.20 to win for owners Southwind Frank Partners. Earlier on the card, All The Time ($2.10), a major Hambletonian Oaks contender, crushed seven overmatched foes by 7¼-lengths in a division of the NJSS for 3-year-old trotting fillies in 1:53.2, a lifetime mark. Hillosophical was second with Southwind Pearl third. Once again, it was Gingras calling the shots, but this time it was with a Jimmy Takter trainee. The 2015 Breeders Crown champion has now won eight of 13 lifetime starts for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. STILL GROWING: The 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five, which has not been hit the entire meeting, failed to have a single-ticket winner again, upping the carryover to $226,527.68 for the next card. ... All-source wagering on the program totaled $2,693,370. ... Rose Run Parker ($10.40) held off 3-5 favorite Obrigado to win the $25,000 open handicap trot in a lifetime-best 1:50.4. ... The Big M is back with live racing Saturday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

The road to August's $1 million Hambletonian Stakes resumes this weekend with a slew of harness racing, including the first appearance of the year by early-season Hambletonian favorite Southwind Frank. And trainer Ron Burke, who conditions Southwind Frank, couldn't be happier. "I'm excited," Burke said. "I'm ready to get going. I'm glad he's racing. "You want to start seeing if he's as good as you think he is. If not, you want to know what you need to work on. But I'm hoping that right off the bat it's good and it just stays good. We just need a little luck and I think he'll take care of the rest. He trained down super and seems great." Southwind Frank, who finished his 2015 campaign with 10 consecutive victories, makes his seasonal debut in Friday's opening round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Southwind Frank and driver Yannick Gingras will start from post four in a 12-horse field and are the 7-5 morning line favorite. Other Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the race are Bar Hopping, Brooklyn Hill, Dominion Beach, Honor Above All, Jack Vernon, Metatron, Promise Delivered, Sigmund, and Southwind Flash. Last year, Southwind Frank won 11 of 12 races and earned $786,419. His wins included the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, and William Wellwood Memorial. In addition, his time of 1:52.2 in a division of the International Stallion Stakes set the world record for a 2-year-old male trotter. He received both the Dan Patch and O'Brien awards for best 2-year-old male trotter. Southwind Frank was owned last year by the Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. This season he races for the Southwind Frank Partners, which includes the previously mentioned owners as well as Diamond Creek Racing. A son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Flawless Lindy, Southwind Frank was purchased as a yearling for $100,000 at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale. His family includes Dan Patch Award winner Cayster as well as stakes-winners Giant Hit and Program Speed. Southwind Frank heads to the New Jersey Sire Stakes off a 1:54 qualifier win on May 14 at the Meadowlands. He finished second in an earlier qualifier, which came a week after being held out of qualifying because of a quarter crack. "Other than that everything has been picture perfect with him, totally uneventful," Burke said. "The quarter crack could have turned into an issue and it didn't. I think it's no longer a worry." This is the second consecutive year that Burke brings a top contender onto the Hambletonian trail. Last year, it was filly Mission Brief, who battled back woes before challenging the boys in the Hambletonian. She won her Hambletonian elimination and finished second to Pinkman in the final. "He's way more push-button than her," Burke said. "And so far we've had no issues. This colt just gets better and better. But honestly, with (Mission Brief), I was more emotionally involved than I am with him. She's my all-time favorite. The losses with her were horrible, the worst in the world. I like him, but I'm not as attached --- at least at this point --- as I was to her. Certain horses you just dig. You know, that's my horse. She's the one I like the most." During his 10-race win streak, Southwind Frank posted every victory by at least 1-1/4 lengths. Burke said it's hard at this point to determine where the colt's bottom is. "He did everything so easily last year and Yannick did such a nice job protecting him, not showing him off," Burke said. "I think there's a lot more there. He does things once in a while when he's training where you're like, 'What the heck?' You're reading the watch trying to figure out if what he did is possible. He might be something really special this year. "I'm just hoping he stays sound. I think the schedule we have set right now in our minds is perfect for him to be at his best when he hits (Hambletonian Day). If you win that, your whole year is made. That's the ultimate goal. Yannick doesn't have one, I don't have one, so it's very important to both of us." Other races on the road to the Hambletonian are Saturday's two Currier & Ives divisions at The Meadows and one New York Sire Stakes division at Vernon Downs. Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the first Currier & Ives division are Desert Runner, Hititoutofthepark, Iron Mine Bucky, and Steed. Hititoutofthepark is the 7-5 morning line favorite. The second division includes Hambletonian eligible Breedlove, Hollywood Highway, and Leggs Matter. At Vernon Downs, three Hambletonian-eligible trotters compete in the second of two New York Sire Stakes splits. They are Chukkar, Reve Royale, and The Perfect Lindy. For a "Hoof Beats" magazine feature on Southwind Frank, click here. Ken Weingartner      

If Sherman and Mr. Peabody dialed up the WABAC Machine to the summer of 1993, they would have found Giant Force winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing International Trot. As a 4-year-old back then, Giant Force, driven by John Patterson Jr., traversed the mile-and-a-quarter distance in 2:27. That local aged group standard lasted for nearly 23 years....until Tuesday afternoon. Crescent Fashion (co-owner/trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt) turned what appeared to be a mismatch on paper into an unfair fight on the track. As the 2-5 favorite, Crescent Fashion ($2.90) won the day's first "French" trot by 4¾ lengths in 2:25.4. The stakes-winning son of Muscle Hill, who earned more than $300,000 as a sophomore, made his seasonal debut in this non-winners of six parimutuels (or $60,000) lifetime event and made his rivals pay. The new track record was one of the few gauntlets not thrown down by Jason Bartlett, who, from 11 drives, won half of the day's dozen races. Frank Drucker

Favored Propulsion (5m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall won todays Finlandia AJO (Gr. I International UET Masters Series, purse €110,000, 10 starters) at Vermo (Helsinki Finland) for harness racing driver Orjan Kihlstrom, trainer Daniel Reden and owner Stall Zet. The victory, at odds of 1.1/1 on the ATG network, set a new Vermo track record of 1.10.2kr (mile rate 1:52.95) over the 1609 meter (one mile) autostart course. 15/1 Tycoon Conway Hall (6m Conway Hall-Golden Sunday-Supergill) set the pace for driver/trainer Steen Juul and gamely held second. Anna Mix (6f Ludo du Castelle-Ires-Tenor de Baune) ralled late and wide at 3.8/1 odds for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Franck Leblanc to end third after getting away from the mobile last from past two. She is notoriously slow off the car and today was no exception. Nothing But Class was fourth for Peter Untersteinerand fifth went to Ringostar Treb with Wim Paal up. Volstead was off-stride before the start and Shadow Woodland miscued during the contest. Previous race record was 1.10.6kr in 2010 by Quarcio du Chene and in 2014 the winner Univers de Pan scored in 1.10.7kr. Thomas H. Hicks  

CAMPBELLVILLE, ONT - April 18 - Following a 13-length blow out win last week, Donicus continued his winning streak in the second leg of the Tie Silk Series Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 16 three-year-old trotters were split into two $16,000 second leg divisions. The Eddie Green trainee Donicus had many eyes on him following a massive victory in last week's opening round and the chestnut colt didn't disappoint. Trotting out from post-eight, Donicus pushed forward for trainer/driver Green looking for the lead. Several other trotters also had eyes set on a front-end spot, which kept Donicus three-wide around the first-turn. Entering the backstretch, the Green trainee cleared to the front and said good night to his rivals. Donicus posted fractions of :58.4 and 1:28 before trotting home in :29.1 for a 2 ¼ lengths victory. Pukka finished second, while Summajestic was third. Sent off as the 1/5 favourite, Donicus improved his 2016 record to seven wins in nine starts with Monday's victory. The sophomore trotting colt now has $53,520 earned this season for owner Mona Racette. Donicus now sports career numbers of eight wins in 12 starts and career earnings of $62,680. He paid $2.50 to win. In the first division, Merchandiser reached the finish line just in time for his second career victory. A son of Muscle Hill, Merchandiser was scratched from last week's first leg and instead turned in a sharp 1:56.3 qualifier last Thursday. Trainer/driver Greg Peck had eyes on the front-end Monday and pushed the sophomore trotter towards the lead rounding the first turn. Merchandiser had to do some trotting on the outside, but eventually cleared to the front comfortably after trotting by three-eighths. The Peck trainee posted fractions of :57.2 and 1:25.4 to lead the field by close to three-lengths entering the stretch. Merchandiser maintained a decent lead for the majority of the lane, but Blenheim and driver Chris Christoforou came flying late to make things interesting. Despite the late challenge, Merchandiser found the wire first to win by a head in a career-best 1:55.3. Blenheim and P C Foreign Affair rounded out the top-three finishers. Merchandiser now has two wins in five starts this season for owners Peck, Christy Markos and Robert Burgess. His career bankroll now sits at $15,000 after six career starts. Merchandiser paid $4.30 to win. In order to be eligible to the Tie Silk, the three-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2015. Donicus will now have a chance at a Tie Silk Series sweep in next Monday's (April 25) $32,200 final. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, ONT - April 14 - Hills Angel, Wanaka and Windsong Magic scored first leg victories in Thursday night's Celias Counsel Series at Mohawk Racetrack. A total of 24 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into three $16,000 divisions for the first leg of the three-week event. Hills Angel made a second-quarter move to the lead and never looked back en route to a 2:01.3 victory in the first division. The John Bax trainee got away fourth heading into the first turn for driver Paul MacDonell. Trotting into a stiff backstretch wind, Hills Angel moved from fourth to first to lead by the half in 1:02.3. After a third-quarter of :31, Hills Angel was able to sprint home and hold off her rivals to win by half a length in 2:01.3. True Muscle finished second, while Dottie was third. A daughter of Muscle Hill, Hills Angel was making her 2016 debut after winning once in 10 starts as a rookie. She is owned by Bax Stable-Glengate Farms. Hills Angel increased her career earnings to $32,820 with the victory. She paid $3.80. The second division was a showdown between Flowers N Song, the 3/5 favourite, and Wanaka, the 3/2 second-choice. Wanaka got away second, but was quickly circled to the lead at the opening-quarter by driver Trevor Henry. The public's second-choice took the field by the half in :59.3, while Flowers N Song began to charge up from fourth for driver Doug McNair. Flowers N Song surged up to overtake the lead from Wanaka and post a three-quarter time of 1:28.1. In the stretch, Henry angled his charge off the back of Flowers N Songs and Wanaka sprinted by to win by 4 ½ lengths in 1:56.4. Flowers N Song had to settle for second, while P L Jill was third. A daughter of Manofmanymissions, Wanaka now has four wins in nine starts this season for trainer Shannon Henry. The sophomore trotting filly is owned by Trevor Henry Stables Inc. and 1035840 Ontario Inc. Wanaka surpassed $50,000 in career earnings with Thursday's victory. She paid $5 to win. In the third division, Bax trainees were front and centre again with a one-two finish. Bax pupil Miami Magic was put on the front by driver Steve Byron, while stablemate Windsong Magic and driver MacDonell followed closely behind in second. The Bax trainees switched positions heading to the half and that would be the final front-end move. Windsong Magic put up middle-fractions of :59 and 1:29.3, before trotting home in :28.2 to win by 2 ½ lengths in 1:58. Miami Magic finished second, while Smash Hit was third. A daughter of Kadabra, Windsong Magic improved her 2016 record to four wins in seven starts with Thursday's victory. The sophomore trotting filly, who was unraced at two, is owned by Kristine Green and Paulette Loyens. Windsong Magic lowered her career-mark by two-fifths of a second with the victory and pushed her bankroll to $29,240. She paid $3.30 to win. In order to be eligible to the Celias Counsel, the three-year-old trotting fillies had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2015. The second leg will take place next Thursday (April 21). Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

At Farjestad on Friday the Folke Hjalmarssons for 100,000SEK (US$11,873) to the winner (2140 meters autostart, ten starters) went to Trinity Zet and driver Orjan Kihlstrom. Off at 6.3/1 this five year-old daughter of SJ’s Photo-Kleo Zet-Angus Hall is trained by Daniel Reden for Stall Zet. She recorded victory in her first 2016 appearance and her sixth lifetime in 25 starts. Roses Glory (5f Yankee Glide-Spring Gala-Self Possessed was second for trainer/driver Veljo Heiskanen and third went to Star di Poggio (5f Conway Hall-Glory de Poggio-Viking Kronos) and driver Kenneth Haugstad. On the same card, the featured Prins Carl Philips Jubileumspokal (1640 meters autostart, 250,000SEK to the winner, ten starters) went to US import Propulsion at 1.9/1 odds for driver Orjan Kihlstrom. Daniel Reden also trains this one for Stall Zet, as Propulsion secured his first 2016 victory in his initial start. He won three times in Europe after winning twice at the Meadowlands in July 2015. The five year-old son of Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall now has 12 wins in 25 career starts for earnings of 1,032,583SEK. Je t’Aime Express (5g Symphonic Hanover-Je t’Aime Marron-Sugarcane Hanover) was second for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner with third to Fire To The Rain (5g Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall-Conway Hall) for driver Ulf Ohlsson. The Friday evening Quinte+ (jackpot €3.75 million) at Paris-Vincennes was the €52,000 purse Prix Maia over 2850 meters with 18 mares at the start. The 1.12.6kr timed winner was 33/1 outside Violine Mourotaise (7f Le Retour-Mourotaise) with Matthieu Abrivard teaming. 2.9/1 Verzee Carisaie (7f Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Harmonie Carisaie) was second for Eric Raffin and 23/1 Victoire de Levres (7f Lontzac-Eve Liria) ended third for Franck Nivard, ahead of the 3/2 favorite Akayama (6f Prodigious-Hirosaka) and David Thomain. Three year-old females also battled on Friday evening in the Prix Alcyone (purse €36,000, 2200 meters, 14 starters) on the petite piste. The 1.16.3kr timed victory went to 9/10 favorite Dobra Droga (3f Goetmals Wood-Oublies Moi) with Franck Nivard aboard. Fabrice Souloy trains the Hodij Coatings BV owned trotter. 6.2/1 Deesse Port (3f Uniclove-Maria Port) rallied up to be second for trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin and 24/1 Danseuse For Ever (3f Rodrigo Jet-Union du Plaisir) held third for reinsman Matthieu Abrivard. Thomas H. Hicks

While the pacing bred yearlings were selling for the big dollars today at the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka, the trotting bred yearlings were holding their own with several making $50,000 plus.  As expected prior to the sale, the trotting bred 'blue blood' to really excite the buyers was Lot 83, the Muscle Hill filly from Regal Volo. Named Girls On Film, she was the fifth foal from the Malabar Man mare Regal Volo with the first four all having displayed plenty of talent. Twentyten 1:58.9 ($236,469), High Gait 2:00.1 ($161,351) and Alannah 1:58.4 ($36,880) are the first three foals from Regal Volo who have won to date while the two year old Regal Love was beaten a nose in her debut and is held in very regard by the All Stars barn. When you came to assessing the filly himself, she is an outstanding individual in our opinion and oozes class in both the photos and video. So Girls On Film had all the credentials to hit the $100,000 mark and she didn't disappoint, bringing $120,000 when the dust had settled. Several well known trotting owners were involved at different stages in the bidding but at the end Charlie Roberts was the surprise bidder left standing. Charlie has been breeding from daughters of the former star trotter Merani (19 wins) and has always had an interest in the straight out trotter since standing Pegasus Spur at Woodlands Stud.  While Regal Volo had visited the court of Muscles Yankee, Angus Hall and Love You in her broodmare career to date, many felt that  a Muscle Hill was the best sire the mare had visited to date and that coupled with a pedigree to die for produced today's huge price. Harnesslink Media  

The Living Horse Hall of Fame nominating committee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame has announced the results of recent balloting to determine the 2016 inductees into the Harness Racing Living Horse Hall of Fame. Annual members (in good standing) voted for the two horses they felt best exemplified greatness. Their choices are racehorses Muscle Hill and Real Desire. The other nominees were Credit Winner, Mr Muscleman and Yankee Glide. Broodmare Arl's Troublemaker will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame, having met the qualifications for broodmares. Muscle Hill, Real Desire and Arl's Troublemaker will be inducted on Hall of Fame Day, Sunday, July 3rd, 2016. The ceremonies honoring these extraordinary Standardbred horses will take place during the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame's annual dinner. For information on the Hall of Fame weekend and other festivities surrounding this important occasion visit www.harnessmuseum.com from April 2016 onward or call or write the Museum at 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924. Phone: 845-294-6330. Standardbreds are eligible for nomination to harness racing's highest accolade only if they comply with the following strict criteria: They must be retired from racing for five years and had a drug-free career. In addition, racehorses must have won 75% of their lifetime starts, or gone undefeated in a single season campaign of 12 or more races, or been the winner of $3 million lifetime or named Harness Horse of the Year (US and/or Canada). Stallions must rank among the 10 all-time leading money-winning sires at their gait or have sired at least 100 $200,000 winners or been a leading money-winning sire at his gait in three or more seasons. BROODMARES are automatically elected if they have produced a $1 million winner and two other winners of $500,000 OR produced a Harness Horse of the Year (US and/or Canada) and another $500,000 winner. THE 2016 LIVING HORSE HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES MUSCLE HILL (Nominated as Racehorse) 2,1:53.3; 3,1:50.1 ($3,273,342) Bay Horse, 2006 (Muscles Yankee - Yankee Blondie - American Winner) World champion trotter Muscle Hill raced in 2008-2009 and owns a lifetime record of 21-20-1-0. He continues to rank as the leading single-season moneywinning Standardbred ($2,456,041) of all time. Muscle Hill finished second in his freshman debut, a New Jersey Sire Stakes event, but never lost another race. Major two-year-old wins included the Peter Haughton Memorial, Bluegrass, International Stallion Stakes and the Breeders Crown, where he set a world record 1:53.3 for two-year-old trotting colts on a mile track. Muscle Hill finished the season with earnings of $817,301 and was voted 2008 Dan Patch Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year. Muscle Hill was undefeated in twelve starts as a three-year-old in 2009. Major victories included the Hambletonian, Canadian Trotting Classic, Breeders Crown, World Trotting Derby, Kentucky Futurity and American-National. His world record-equaling Hambletonian (1:50.1) is still the fastest ever. Muscle Hill's efforts earned him the titles of 2009 Dan Patch and O'Brien Horse of the Year, Dan Patch Trotter of the Year, and 2009 Dan Patch and O'Brien Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year. Muscle Hill was the first trotter to win Horse of the Year after an unbeaten season. With three crops racing, Muscle Hill has sired the winners of over $14 million, including 2014 Hambletonian winner Trixton 3,1:50.3 ($947,057) and Breeders Crown and Hambletonian elimination winner, world champion Mission Brief 2,1:50.3 ($1,426,687). REAL DESIRE (Nominated as Racehorse) p,4,1:48.2 ($3,159,814) Bay Horse, 1998 (Life Sign - Deadly Desire - Troublemaker) In three racing seasons (2000-2002), pacer Real Desire amassed over $3 million, clocked nine sub-1:50 victories and was honored with Horse of the Year awards in both the United States and Canada. At the time of his retirement, Real Desire was ranked third among the leading moneywinning pacers of all time and is currently ranked thirteenth. He recorded 25 wins out of 40 starts, finishing off the board only twice in his career. As a two-year-old in 2000, Real Desire was victorious in eight of his ten starts, including a division of the Champlain Stakes, the Nassagaweya Stake and the Kentucky Sire Stakes final, where he set a 1:50.4 world record mile for two-year-old pacers. During his 2001 sophomore season Real Desire continued to show brilliance with wins in the Meadowlands Pace, the Hoosier Cup, a division of the Bluegrass and the Breeders Crown final. He closed the season with a 17-7-7-2 record and earnings of $1,646,036 that have kept him among the top twenty single-season moneywinning pacers of all time. Real Desire's 2002 four-year-old season included wins at his second Breeders Crown final, the Canadian Pacing Derby and the U.S. Pacing Championship. He finished the season with a 13-10-1-1 record and $1,059,790 in earnings, and was elected 2002 Horse of the Year and Pacing Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada. In 2008, Real Desire was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. As a stallion, Real Desire has total North American foal earnings of over $52 million, with 305 in 1:55 and 151 $100,000 winners. He is the sire of 2015 Dan Patch Pacing Horse, Canadian Pacing Derby and U.S. Pacing Championship winner State Treasurer p,6,1:47 ($1,804,358) and 2007 Little Brown Jug and North America Cup winner Tell All p,3,1:48.3 ($1,509,227). Real Desire is the broodmare sire of 2013 Dan Patch Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year and 2014 Meadowlands Pace winner, world champion He's Watching p,3,1:46.4 ($1,116,450). ARL'S TROUBLEMAKER (Broodmare) p,4,1:53.2 ($143,945) Bay Mare, 1992 Troublemaker - Kawartha Quality - Southampton V Broodmare Arl's Troublemaker was foaled on January 27, 1992 in Cream Ridge, New Jersey. Bred by Bernard Foti, Arl's Troublemaker raced from 1994 to 1998, earning $143,945. The progeny that qualified Arl's Troublemaker for the Hall of Fame are Art Maker p,1:49.1 ($1,036,217), Stock Market Wiz p,1:49.3 ($739,283) and Breakin The Law p,1:49.4 ($504,932). To date, Arl's Troublemaker has produced seven fillies and six colts, with eleven starters and earnings of $2,630,432. (USTA statistics) Janet Terhune  

Pacing holds a dominant position in the harness racing industry in both Australia and New Zealand but not in North America and the pacing gait doesn't exist at all in mainland Europe. What that has meant since the introduction of the shuttling of stallions is that the emphasis in Australasia has always been heavily weighted towards pacing stallions while paying lip service to trotting stallions in the main. However through the efforts of companies such as Stallions Australasia and Haras des Trotteurs, Australasian breeders of the squaregaiter are now getting access to some of the best trotting stallions in the world and our trotting breed is already showing the benefits on the track. Love You, Angus Hall and Majestic Son have already stamped their mark down under alongside sires such as  Dream Vacation and Muscles Yankee and with the big influx of elite sires now in train, the choice for trotting breeders is mouthwatering. One of the new breed who is just getting started downunder is the brilliant racehorse and now sire in Muscle Hill 1:50.2 ($3,273,342) who has done a huge job at stud in North America in his first three years at stud leaving such brilliant types as Trixton 1:50.3 ($968, 696) from his first crop, Mission Brief 1:50.2 ($1,657,399) from his second crop and the brilliant two year old of 2015 in Southwind Frank 1:52.2 ($941,811) from his third crop. Muscle Hill has six yearlings in this years round of yearling sales and all have plenty to recommend them to buyers. It is hard to fault any of them on pedigree but the all American bred filly Girls On Film who sells as Lot 83 at the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale is right up with anything being offered this year. Girls On Film is the fifth foal from the race winning Malabar Maple mare in Regal Volo ($25,231) who is compiling an outstanding record at stud. Her first foal was the outstanding Muscles Yankee gelding Twentyten 1:58.9 ($235,,834) while the second foal was the smart trotter in Alannah Hall 1:58.6 ($33,033) The third foal was last years leading two year old trotter in High Gait 2:00.7 ($151,451) while the fourth foal is the Love You two year old filly in Regal Love who was super impressive at the Rangiora trials last Wednesday and is held in very high regard by the All Star barn. The grand-dam of Girls On Film is the quality North American racemare in Royal Jewel 1:57.3 ($218,343) who is a half sister to the former outstanding age group star Diamond Goal 1:53.2 ($621,915). With the strength of her pedigree and the current success it is having in Australasia, it wouldn't be a surprise if Girls On Film topped the trotting side of the Australasian Classic Sale on February 22nd. To look at the catalogue for the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale click on this link. Harnesslink Media

MANALAPAN, NJ - December 21, 2015 - Harness racing's trotting filly Mission Brief has been named the winner of the Secretary of Agriculture's Trophy as New Jersey Standardbred of the Year for 2015. Also selected New Jersey Sire Stakes Horse of the Year, Mission Brief will be honored on January 24, 2016 at the 59th Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon at 1 p.m. at O'Connor's Restaurant [formerly Charley's Other Brother] in Eastampton, NJ. Voted the nation's Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year in 2014, she also won the Dan Patch Award as Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year in 2015. The daughter of Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena wrapped up her three-year-old campaign with 10 wins and three seconds in 14 starts, banking more than $1 million toward a career total of $1,599,587 for the ownership of the Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The Ron Burke trainee was regularly driven by Yannick Gingras. Undefeated in her New Jersey Sires Stakes competition, including the $100,000 final at the Meadowlands, she also won the $307,040 ElegantImage at Mohawk Raceway, the $185,000 Zweig at Vernon Downs, the $187,400 Matron at Dover Downs, the $144,000 Continentalvictory at the Meadowlands and the $174,000 Money Maker at The Meadows. She made a bid to best the boys in the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands, winning her elimination, but finishing second to Pinkman in the $1 million final on August 8. Bred by Steve H. Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Andrea Lea Racing Stables Inc., she sold for $150,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. At two, she won both the Merrie Annabelle and Breeders Crown, for nine wins in 13 starts and earnings just shy of $600,000. She collected 150 of 156 votes for freshman honors in 2014, and 118 of 136 votes for 2015 divisional honors. Her 1:50.3 mark still stands as the fastest mile by a two-year-old trotter, male or female, and she lowered her personal best to 1:50.2 on November 12, 2015 on the five-eighths mile track at Dover Downs in the Matron Final. Her sire, Muscle Hill was the 2009 New Jersey Standardbred of the Year. Tickets for the luncheon cost $40 per person and may be purchased from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Markets & Development, Horse Industry, PO Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625. For further information, call 609-984-4389 or email Lynn.Mathews@ag.state.nj.us By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

Until the late 1990s when the shuttling of stallions between hemispheres started to take off, breeders in Australasia had lagged behind their North American counterparts with no access to the latest successful stallions. However since shuttling became a part of the breeding scene, the siring charts now in both hemispheres have a lot of the same names near the top of those charts. Pacing down under has definitely caught up with it's North American cousins with regards to access to the best but until recently trotting had failed to have the same access to the very best in North America. However that has all started to change in a hurry in the last three or four years and as each subsequent breeding season goes by, trotting breeders are getting spoilt for choice with the quality of the trotting sires now available. Heading the sires available is the brilliant racehorse and now champion sire Muscle Hill 1:50.1 ($3,273,242) who has been a siring star right from the start. From his first crop he sired the brilliant Trixton 1:50.3 ($947,051) who won last years Hambletonian while from his second crop he produced the champion two year old filly Mission Brief 2- 1:50.3 ($1,599,587) who was narrowly beaten in this years Hambletonian. From his third crop this year, Muscle Hill has produced the brilliant Southwind Frank 1:52.2 ($941,811) who won eleven of his twelve starts at two. With just three crops on the track, Muscle Hill already sits third on the all age charts and it seems just a matter of time before before he assumes the mantle of leading trotting sire. Another stallion available down under who is making a slash on the siring charts in North America is Lucky Chucky 1:50.4 (2,099,973) After a good debut year last season with his first crop, Lucky Chucky broke into the top ten with his second crop, currently lying eighth after producing a couple of top two year olds. Dog Gone Lucky 1:54 ($505,841) was his flagbearer winning his last five in a row including the $216,000 Matron Trot and deadheating for first in the $490,000 Valley Victory final. Non Stick 1:56.3 ($185,448) was the other Lucky Chucky to stand up, being unbeaten in six starts. The success of his second crop didn't go un-noticed at this years yearling sales where the Lucky Chucky's sold very well. Another stallion available down under is Andover Hall 1:51.6 ($875,047) who has been an elite level sire from the time his first crop hit the track. As of today he has over $65,000,000 on his card including nine millionaires and 22 in sub 1:53. Andover Hall is still in the top half dozen on any siring chart you care to look at and continues to do an outstanding job. The leading European sires such as Love You and Ready Cash could be just as influential were it not for the issues of supply of semen which has been a bugbear for a couple of seasons now and is affecting their credibility in the marketplace. All up the trotting breeder has plenty to smile about these days and it would not be a surprise to see our trotters close the gap on their Northern Hemisphere cousins in the next few years. Harnesslink Media

Southwind Farms, Manager of the Muscle Hill Syndicate, has announced that the book for the 2016 Breeding Season is now full and closed.     Muscle Hill will once again stand at Marion Farms, New Hope, Pennsylvania.   2015 turned out to be another outstanding year for Muscle Hill, highlighted by dual Breeders Crown juvenile wins by World Champion SOUTHWIND FRANK 2,1:52.2 ($786,419) and ALL THE TIME 2,1:55.2 ($483,396).   His three year olds were highlighted by World Champion MISSION BRIEF 3,1:50.2f ($1,599,587), CANEPA HANOVER 3,1:51.1 ($270,289), MUSCLE DIAMOND 3,1:53.2f ($611,699).   His aged performers were topped by RESOLVE 4,1:50.4 ($915,125) and EL TITAN 4,1:51.2f  ($702,473).   At the sales once again MUSCLE HILL led all sires at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale with an average of $86,306, including the co-sales topper FEDERAL HILL.   Mike Klau, Syndicate Manager, said that he was overwhelmed with the booking requests that have come in and that breeding contracts for approved mares will be forwarded by the end of the month.   Top flight mares that have already been booked, include CHECK ME OUT 3,1:51.2 ($1,903,795), CLASSIC MARTINE 4,1:51.1 ($1,168,161), BUCK I ST PAT 1:51 ($2,320,637), DORSAY 4,1:51.4 ($445,732), COOLER SCHOONER 2,1:51.3f ($154,984),LOCK DOWN LINDY 3,1:51.4 ($192,929), PERFECT ALLIANCE 4,1:51.2 ($279,788), etc.   We would like to thank everyone who has supported the stallion and would also like to welcome new shareholders, All American Harnessbreds and Holger Gustafson.  

E L Titan 4,1:51.2f ($683,073) the four year old son of Muscle Hill – Courtney Hall, will make his final start on Saturday at The Meadowlands in the $400,000 TVG Free For All Final. He will then be brought to Southwind Farm in Pennington, New Jersey, to begin freezing his semen for export to Europe. Under the management of Southwind Farm, EL Titan will then be sent to Tara Hills Stud in Port Perry, Ontario, Canada, where he will stand the 2016 season for a fee of $7,500.  The stallion bred a limited book of mares in 2015, while he trained and raced for EMP-Invest Oy and trainer Riina Rekila. A multiple stakes winner at 2 and 3, including the International Stallion Stakes, Madison County Trot, Carl Erskine Memorial, and Galt Memorial, EL Titan took his record of 1:51.2f this year, winning the Sebastian K. Invitational. He was also second in last year’s Canadian Trotting Classic, American National and Breeder Crown. El Titan hails from a family loaded with stallions, as his dam, stakes winning COURTNEY HALL 3,1:55.4 ($118,986) is a full sister to the dam of CANTAB HALL 3,1:54 ($1,442,303) and is from the immediate maternal family of ANDOVER HALL, 3,1:51.3 ($870,510), CONWAY HALL 3,1:53.4 ($818,884) and ANGUS HALL 3,1:54.3 ($830,654). For booking information, contact Tara Hills Stud at 905 – 985-7770 (tarahill@on.aibn.com ) or Southwind Farm 609-737-9067 (southwindfarms@aol.com)  EL Titan (Tim Tetrick) wins Sebastian K Invitational Mike Klau Southwind Farm

EAST RUTHERFORD - Saturday night harness racing at The Meadowlands featured the final $50,000 preliminary legs for the TVG Free For All Pacing and Trotting Championships, to be contested for $400,000 on next Saturday night. Resolve, fresh off his runner-up performance in the Breeders Crown, was established as the 6/5 betting choice in the TVG Free For All Trot and he did not disappoint. Resolve was sent straight to the lead and was able to establish a methodical pace, reaching the quarter in 28.3 before coasting to the half-mile in 58.2. E L Titan mounted a challenge as the field moved past the half-mile pole, but Resolve had plenty in reserve and sprinted through the final three eighths of a mile to win in 1:53.3 for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt. E L Titan trotted well despite the first over trip and was able to land the runner-up spot with Melady's Monet third. For Resolve, the win marked the third of the season for the four year old by Muscle Hill. He is owned by Hans Enggren. Resolve A compact field of four contested the $50,000 TVG Free For All Pace after a pair of scratches. JK Endofanera was released as the 2/5 favorite and the William Haughton Memorial winner, Mach It So was sent off the 2-1 second choice. Neither of them made the lead as the Canadian, Arthur Blue Chip would establish the pace from his inside starting post, reaching the quarter in 27.2, before stealing a soft second quarter of 29.1. The cadence quickened into the far turn, but Arthur Blue Chip remained relatively unchallenged. Mach It So was riding the pocket as long as he could through three-quarters of 1:24.2 before ripping out of the pocket and launching a 25.3 final quarter to score in 1:50.1. Arthur Blue Chip held on for the runner-up spot while JK Endofanera hit his best stride late, but drifted in the stretch as a wide third. Mach It So is trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr for Bamond Racing L.L.C. Tim Tetrick was the winning driver. It was the sixth win of the season for Mach It So and he is closing in on $1.2 Million in lifetime earnings. Mach It So Fall Final Four The eliminations for the Fall Final Four continued on Saturday as well. First on the card was a $20,000 elimination for the $413,000 Governor's Cup with a field of eight. Boston Red Rocks, the Breeders Crown winner, was sent off as the 4/5 favorite, but he was left with a lot of ground to make up into the stretch. Big Top Hanover did not face the same obstacle as he sat the pocket behind the lone speed of Spider Man Hanover through swift fractions of 28, 55 and 1:22.4, before pulling the pocket and sprinting to the lead late. Boston Red Rocks made up as much ground as he could, but could not catch the winner and had to settle for the runner-up spot. Spider Man Hanover saved the show spot after setting strong fractions. Pretty Boy Hill and Show The Fashion completed the five that advanced to the Final. Big Top Hanover The other Governor's Cup elimination was a wide open race on paper with a competitive and well-balanced field of eight. Katies Rocker grabbed the racetrack right off the gate and never looked back. Sent to the lead as the 4-1 second choice from post eight, Katies Rocker reeled off fractions of 27.2, 56.3 and 1:24.2 before turning home with the lead where he faced a still challenge up the pylons from Jk Will Power. The pair hit the wire together, but it was Katies Rocker who held on by the slimmest of margins, a nose. Ideal Rocky was third, followed by Autotune Hanover and Check Six who all qualified for the final. Katies Rocker The first $20,000 Valley Victory elimination went to Waitlifter K in a wire to wire upset for Tim Tetrick who said in a post race interview that "he has always had talent, sometimes he is good and sometimes he makes you scratch your head and tonight he was really good." Waitlifter K completed the mile in 1:54.1, a new lifetime mark for the Muscles Yankee colt. The winner is a homebred of Bob Key and is trained by Chuck Sylvester. Milligan's School, Marion Marauder, Mavens Way and Mikkeli Hanover also advanced to the $489,400 Valley Victory Final. Chuck Sylvester wasn't done, as his Matron winner, Dog Gone Lucky scored in the second elimination in 1:55.2. with Corey Callahan. Dog Gone Lucky trotted up after Lagerfeld as the field turned for home and set sail for the wire while opening up willingly. The trotter that really caught the eye in the stretch was Make Or Miss who was far back at the top of the stretch and simply exploded through the lane to the tune of 27.1 final quarter to finish a fast closing second. The final quarter was a full second faster than the next fastest last quarter, which belonged to the winner, Dog Gone Lucky. Lagerfeld, Taco Tuesday and Treasure Keys K completed the five headed to the Final. The winner is owned by Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley. Live racing returns on Friday, November 20th. Featured on the program are the $200,000 TVG Mare Pacing and Trotting Championships as well as the Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid Finals. Post time is 7:00 P.M. Darin Zoccali

EAST RUTHERFORD - All The Time was last seen in The Breeders Crown winner's circle at Woodbine three weeks ago. The Muscle Hill filly picked up right where she left off winning in authoritative fashion in the $20,000 elimination for the $409,950 Goldsmith Maid Final, which will be contested next Friday, November 20th at The Meadowlands. All The Time left for position, while Ultimate Shopper appeared intent on the lead in the early stages. Yannick Gingras guided the 4/5 favorite, All The Time, to the pylons briefly through a 29-second opening quarter before showing her racetrack as the field turned down the backstretch. The Breeders Crown champion easily cleared the lead before the 58.1 half-mile and the lead would only grow from there. All The Time powered away to a three length lead on the far turn, while Double Exposure assumed the daunting task of trotting first over against the favorite. All The Time reached three-quarters in 1:56.2 and poured it on to win by a geared down two and three-quarters lengths, tripping the timer in 1:54.4. Double Exposure trotted home well despite the first over trip to finish second with Haughty third. The top nine finishers qualified for the Final, therefore all but Lindy's On Fire will move on to that Final next Friday night. All The Time is a homebred of Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld and is trained by Jimmy Takter. She has now won seven of 11 starts this season with earnings of $452,240. The mares got their final tune-ups for the $200,000 TVG Free All Championships for both the pacing and trotting mares tonight. In the $25,000 Mare Trot, Shake It Cerry, adding Lasix for the first time, made a powerful first over move on the far turn and quickly trotted past pace-setter Classic Martine and drew clear to win convincingly in 1:53.3. Longshot Handover Bell was second while Classic Martine faded to third. Favored Bee A Magician was fourth. The 2014 Trotter of the Year won for the fourth time this season and she inched closer to $2.4 Million in her career. Shake It Cerry was driven by Dave Miller for Jimmy Takter and the champion is owned by Solveig's Racing Partners. The pacing mares also went in the final TVG preliminary leg for $25,000. Sandbetweenurtoes was compromised by traffic in the stretch of the Breeders Crown, but she faced no such issue on this night winning in wire to wire fashion in 1:52 with Brett Miller in the sulky. Skippin By, a 24-1 longshot sat the pocket and stalked the winner throughout and mounted a strong challenge up the pylons through the stretch, but Sandbetweenurtoes was dead-game and held off the challenge for the fourth win of the season as she closes in on $500,000 lifetime. In his 40th season racing a horse at The Meadowlands, fittingly trainer Larry Remmen earned a victory on opening night for owner Bradley Grant. In other action, Penpal put forth a fine effort in her tune-up for the $385,250 Three Diamonds Final with a three and a half length victory over Albany Girl in a condition event for younger filly pacers. She scored for Pat Lachance in 1:54.2. Radar Contact returned to her favorite location, winning for the seventh time in 15 starts at The Meadowlands in a condition event for pacing mares in 1:52.3. It was not an easy victory as Radar Contact was headed in mid-stretch by Sir Jillian Z Tam, but the battle-tested mare fought back tenaciously to earn the victory for John Campbell and trainer Noel Daley. The driving star of the night was Dave Miller, winning three races, including the late Daily Double. Total Handle for the opening night program was $2,127,362, a slight increase from this same night in 2014. That is despite two less races and being up against a 13-race card that featured six Breeders Crown elimination races. The Late Pick 4 was well-received in its new eighth race slot, handling over $76,000. Racing resumes on Saturday with a 13-race program that includes eliminations for the Governor's Cup and Valley Victory as well as the final preliminary legs for the TVG Pacing and Trotting Championships. Post time for the Saturday program is 7:00 P.M. Darin Zoccali  

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