Harness racing trainer Anton Golino baulks at the thought of ranking his three-year-old trotting fillies, but he is categorical on one point. Dance Craze is his best. The Cardigan horseman dominated the heats of the Need for Speed Princess at Tabcorp Park Melton last night, finishing first and second in both. But it was the run of fourth placed Dance Craze in heat one that caught the eye most, the daughter of champion mare La Coocaracha and super sire Muscle Hill producing an enormous performance after missing the start. “It was a massive run,” Golino said. “A little bit of interference leading up to the gait was enough to put her off last night, which was unfortunate. “She is the best of them (my fillies) though. I think she can develop into a really, really good horse.” Dance Craze charged to the line behind stablemates Nieta and My Chimera, who ran 1-2, with Iona Spider for trainer Shane Hall and driver Jodi Quinlan winding up third after leading. Nieta rated 1:58.1 winning for Nathan Jack, finishing a head in front of My Chimera (Zac Phillips), the pair storming to the line together. “She showed a world of ability as a two-year-old and this time in has really learnt to settle. It’s a credit to Gavin (Lang) who drives for us in the trials. He’s really got her to settle and that’s helped her a lot,” Golino said of Nieta. “We’re very lucky Gavin is able to educate these horses for us in the trials and teach them to be racehorses. “Nathan said last night if anything Nieta was a bit lazy, which is good because she was not pulling. “My Chimera has surprised us a little bit. She tied up badly at Ballarat and didn’t want to go at all, really. Then, since winning at Charlton she hasn’t put a foot wrong.” Heat two was another Golino special with Une Belle Allure (Angus Hall-Glenferrie Unixa) producing a 1:56.9 rate first-up to overhaul impressive newbie Ima Bourbon Girl by 1.6m. Driven by Zac Phillips, who finished with a winning double after piloting Majestic Moves (Majestic Son-Kwik Kiss) home at big odds in the Aldebaran Park Handicap, Une Belle Allure looked every bit the beautiful mover as she boomed down the outside. Having just her second start, Ima Bourbon Girl (Sam Bourbon-Lough Neagh) led from gate four for Gavin Lang. Diz Luck finished third for trainer-driver Gavin Smith from the pole. The Group 1 IRT Need for Speed Princess Final will be run on Saturday night, March 11, part of a huge four Group 1 program. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)
Just how dominate was harness racing's trotting superstar stallion Muscle Hill in 2016? That is the question Breeders throughout the world are asking and coming to terms with. With the least number of foals eligible (145) to race Muscle Hill had over $3 million more in progeny earnings (on the all age trotters list) of any of the top ten stallions and remember that he only has four crops racing at the end of 2016. Muscle Hill was the leading money winning sire of all age trotters with $12,301,582. Here is the top 10 list; MUSCLE HILL 145 $12,301,582 KADABRA 239 $9,471,828 CANTAB HALL 258 $8,436,386 ANDOVER HALL 189 $6,676,828 DONATO HANOVER 206 $6,591,028 CREDIT WINNER 195 $6,211,303 MUSCLE MASS 191 $6,027,205 YANKEE GLIDE 174 $5,099,322 CONWAY HALL 189 $4,448,526 EXPLOSIVE MATTER 167 $4,436,510 Muscle Hill was the leading money winning sire of three-year-old trotters with $6,464,264. Here is the top 10 list; MUSCLE HILL 53 $6,464,264 KADABRA 59 $3,030,257 DONATO HANOVER 63 $2,884,666 CREDIT WINNER 52 $2,434,661 CANTAB HALL 68 $2,261,404 ANDOVER HALL 56 $2,165,339 YANKEE GLIDE 44 $1,970,833 MUSCLE MASS 55 $1,833,874 MANOFMANYMISSIONS 46 $1,724,342 RC ROYALTY 46 $1,613,234 Muscle Hill had more than double the earnings of his nearest competitor as a sire of three-year-olds on the above list . Muscle Hill was the leading money winning sire of two-year-old trotters with $3,031,489. Here is the top 10 list; MUSCLE HILL 55 $3,031,489 CANTAB HALL 77 $2,477,304 CHAPTER SEVEN 49 $1,651,078 MUSCLE MASS 34 $1,382,991 CREDIT WINNER 54 $1,376,644 KADABRA 36 $1,344,074 MUSCLE MASSIVE 37 $1,171,769 EXPLOSIVE MATTER 60 $1,171,559 DEJARMBRO 64 $1,170,997 DONATO HANOVER 59 $1,147,813 Muscle Hill was the leading money winning sire by average earnings of three-year-old trotters. Here is the top 10 list; MUSCLE HILL 80 53 $6,464,264 $121,967 CASH HALL 17 12 $650,445 $54,203 KADABRA 101 59 $3,030,257 $51,360 AND AWAY WE GO 22 9 $445,927 $49,547 BANDS GOLD CHIP 20 2 $93,822 $46,911 CREDIT WINNER 73 52 $2,434,661 $46,820 CR COMMANDO 18 6 $279,996 $46,666 DONATO HANOVER 118 63 $2,884,666 $45,788 TRIUMPHANT CAVIAR 41 27 $1,230,554 $45,576 DEWEYCHEATUMNHOWE 69 34 $1,549,521 $45,574 The first row of numbers above are the number of eligible foals from each stallion followed by the numbers of starters.Muscle Hill is that far ahead of his competition that it is unreal for such a young stallion. It is almost impossible to get a breeding to Muscle Hill and that is the reason why. Muscle Hill was the leading money winning sire by average earnings of two-year-old trotters. Here is the top 10 list; MUSCLE HILL 105 55 $3,031,489 $55,117 MUSCLE MASS 56 34 $1,382,991 $40,676 KADABRA 76 36 $1,344,074 $37,335 CHAPTER SEVEN 84 49 $1,651,078 $33,695 CANTAB HALL 109 77 $2,477,304 $32,172 MUSCLE MASSIVE 62 37 $1,171,769 $31,669 BIG STICK LINDY 25 11 $345,541 $31,412 TRIUMPHANT CAVIAR 47 28 $874,355 $31,226 HOLIDAY ROAD 18 4 $110,050 $27,512 CREDIT WINNER 88 54 $1,376,644 $25,493 Traditionally the fourth crop of a sire is least commercial and least productive as the two-year-olds from the stallions first crop have not even started to race when the fourth crop is bred. But in Muscle Hill's case, it did not matter as he still topped this average earnings list. The facts on Muscle Hill above are as good as they get and rarely seen. This writer was at the 2007 Harrisburg Sale when lot 199, Muscle Hill came into the ring for sale. Greg Peck as agent was the final bidder at $55,000 which was well below the average of $64,000 for the 39 Muscles Yankee progeny that went through the auction that day. A friend of mine bought a share in Muscle Hill and he showed me his catalog which he had written across the page 11 different comments by all well known trainers at that time all condemning Muscle Hill as a potential purchase for various reasons. All had recommended NOT to buy the horse! Some of the comments were roach back, poor looker, never make a racehorse etc etc Well the rest is history, Muscle Hill started 21 times for 20 wins and $3,318,682 in earnings and is now the worlds greatest trotting sire in this writer's view. Muscle Hill with a stunning 1:50.1 victory in the $1.5 million Hambletonian. The two major sales down under that are about to start this coming week are the Ladbrokes APG Sale in Australia and the Sale Of Stars in New Zealand There is only one Muscle Hill yearling entered for sale between the two major sales this year and no doubt this yearling is the major attraction for all potential trotting buyers down under. It is Lot 13 called Legendary Lover a colt out of a half-sister to champion trotter, 10-time Group 1 winner and 4yo Trotter of the Year, dual NZ Trotter of the Year, NZ Harness Horse of the Year and Aust Trotter of the Year I Can Doosit (T, 1.55.5; 36 wins 7 places $1,445,774). This colt is in the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale on the 20th of February at Karaka in Auckland. This is the only Muscle Hill for sale at this years sales down under. Legendary Lover is the second foal and first colt from the race winning Love You mare Love Ya Doosie who is a half-sister to I Can Doosit and Sno's Big Boy. The second dam is the broodmare gem and dual Broodmare of the Year, Sheezadoosie (T, 2.4.2, 7 wins 5 places $48,632) the dam of 6 foals to race, 6 winners. Legendary Lover is your one shot at buying your next champion trotter. Lot 13 – Legendary Lover (bay colt Muscle Hill / Love Ya Doosie) Harnesslink Media
Merchandiser 3, 1:53.4, by Muscle Hill, will stand at Stonewater Farms in Ancaster, Ontario for the 2017 breeding season. Merchandiser will stand for an introductory fee of $4,000 (CAD). His co-owner and trainer, Greg Peck, said, “Several Ontario breeders have told me they want to breed to a son of Muscle Hill in Ontario at an affordable price. When I showed them Merchandiser, they said ‘wow.’ He has a very desired commercial pedigree, great presence and conformation at an affordable price.” When asked to compare the son of Muscle Hill to his father (selected, trained and managed his entire racing career by Peck), he humbly responded “it’s like standing me alongside my U.S. Army ranger son. Merchandiser is the next generation. He’s bigger and stronger than his father was at the end of his three-year-old season. I am confident with those pluses he’ll be a success in Ontario.” Jennifer Jones, proprietor of Stonewater Farms Inc., said, “We have booked mares like Pure Ivory, an Ontario Sires graduate with earnings close to $1.5 million from Hunterton Farms, as well as Torre Mozza, from the boutique Ontario trotting operation Cool Creek Farm. This is a new venture for us. I’m confident our track record in mating and managing Performance Horses will be an asset to serve the needs of Standardbred breeders. I can see the Ontario program is the best in the industry. Merchandiser foals will be race in the 2020 Ontario Sires Stakes.” Christy Markos, co-owner and stallion manager, has extensive experience in all aspects of Standardbred breeding duties, such as collection and shipping semen of new stallions. Merchandiser is a three-year-old son of Muscle Hill. He was bred by Brittany Farms and sold as a yearling for $100,000. His dam, Majestic Style is the youngest daughter of the prolific Keystone Profile, as well as her only daughter to foal a son of Muscle Hill. This is the immediate family of such great trotters as Passionate Glide, Muscle Massive and successful Ontario sire Muscle Mass. For further information, please call Christy Markos at 905-462-1960. From Stonewater Farms
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (January 13, 2017) - Harness racing's royally-bred Muscle Diamond justified his heavy favoritism to win the $18,000 trotting feature by two lengths on Friday night at the Meadowlands. The entire complexion of the race changed before it began when morning line favorite Crosbys Clam Bake was scratched sick. That left Muscle Diamond to inherit the favorite's role at 3-5 after futilely chasing Crosbys Clam Bake last week. John Campbell put the 5-year-old son of Muscle Hill - Windylane Hanover, by Lindy Lane on the front end through easy fractions of 29.1 and 57 for the first half before hitting three-quarters in 1:26 and kicking home in 28.3 to complete the mile in 1:54.3. Opulent Yankee chased all the way to be second with Anaffairtoremember rounding out the trifecta. "He was good enough tonight, but not as strong finishing as I had hoped he would be," said Campbell. Muscle Diamond finished second in the Breeders Crown at two and third in the Breeders Crown at three before being sidelined for 13 months. "He has matured physically and has filled out," said Campbell. "He is taller and stronger. He was always good mentally when he was 2 and 3. He's being raced this winter so Brett can get a gauge on where to stake him this summer." Brett Bittle trains Muscle Diamond and shares ownership of the eight-time winner of $634,199 with Charles Keller III, Charles Keller IV, and Dan Bittle. For the second Friday in a row, Meadowlands newcomer Drew Monti scored a driving triple including $65.20 winner It's Chocolate Time in race 12. Total handle on the 13-race program was $3,070,537, up one percent over the corresponding date last year when 14 races were conducted. Marcello Spano and Nicolas Roussel each scored their first Meadowlands driving wins. Live racing continues Saturday night with a 13-race program beginning at 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz
Harness racing 6-year-old Swedish mare D’One, winner of the 2015 Breeders Crown Mare Trot, has been sold as a broodmare at a public auction for $345,000. Two leading breeders from each side of the Atlantic, Steve Stewart of Hunterton Farm and John Bootsman of Boko Stable of The Netherlands and Sweden, have bought the mare in company. The plan is to breed D’One in Europe in 2017 to the French stallion Ready Cash and register the foal in Sweden, while in 2018 she will go to Hunterton Farm to be bred to Muscle Hill. D’One, who actually was born and raised at Hunterton Farm, is by Donato Hanover and out of Giant Diablo, who both took marks of 1.50.1. D’One 5,1:51.3 has raced 38 times and besides winning the Breeders Crown, she won the Fresh Yankee, Muscle Hill and Allerage Farm Mare Trot in the United States. In Sweden she is the winner of The Swedish Oaks and the final in Summer Meeting Mares. D’One has earnings of $1.26 million. by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent
MANALAPAN, NJ -- December 23, 2016 -- Harness racing’s trotting colt Marion Marauder has been named the winner of the Secretary of Agriculture’s Trophy as New Jersey Standardbred of the year for 2016. Marion Marauder will be honored on January 29, 2017 at the 60th Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon at 1:00pm at O’Connor’s Restaurant in Eastampton, New Jersey. Marion Marauder is one of only nine trotters in the history of harness racing to win the coveted Triple Crown. The son of Muscle Hill - Spellbound Hanover finished his three-year-old campaign with a lifetime mark of 1:51.3. Capturing 11 wins, eight seconds and three thirds out of 15 starts, banking more than $1.5 million toward a career total of $1,766,518 for the ownership of Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin W Keeling. The Paula Wellwood trainee was regularly driven by Scott Zeron. In addition to his Triple Crown feats of the $1 million Hambletonain at the Meadowlands, the $500,000 Yonkers Trot at Yonkers and the $431,000 Kentucky Futurity at the Red Mile; he also won the $209,040 Goodtimes at Mohawk and the $153,250 Stanley Dancer at the Meadowlands. Bred by William G Mulligan he sold for $37,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale At two he raced 13 times with one win, and earning over $200,000. His sire, Muscle Hill was the 2009 New Jersey Standardbred of the Year. Tickets for the luncheon cost $45.00 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 email@example.com Courtney Stafford Publicity Consultant SBOANJ firstname.lastname@example.org 732-462-2357
MORRISVILLE, New York . . .The well bred and beautifully conformed Muscle Hill son Whataworkout has been retired to stand stud at Morrisville College Equine Institute in conjunction with his owner, Lindy Farms. Sold as a yearling for $155,000, Whataworkout is the first foal of Southwind Sofia, a half-sister to Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena ($388,224), the dam of $1.6 million winner Mission Brief. Whataworkout displayed talent during his limited racing career which saw him notch victories in the Valley Victory elimination and the Kindergarten Stake as a two-year-old. He only made two starts at three, which included a 1:54.3 victory at the Meadowlands. This year at four he earned his life mark of 1:52.4 winning at the Meadowlands after finishing second, by a neck, in a leg of the Graduate series at Tioga. His career was brought to a premature end due to a racing injury. A beautiful horse, Whataworkout’s sire is Muscle Hill who has very quickly become the leading trotting sire in North America. Whataworkout’s introductory fee will be $3,000. To book, or for further information, visit http://morrisvillesale.com/ , or please contact Erin Shantal, Institute Manager, at 315-684-6355 or email@example.com.
A year on the sidelines failed to deter Muscle Diamond ($6.40), who advanced with live cover before striking the front in mid-stretch and holding sway in the evening's $18,000 top-level harness racing conditioned trot at The Meadowlands. John Campbell settled the 4-year-old Muscle Hill entire in mid-division as early pacesetter Aldebaran Eagle (Andy Miller) controlled early splits of :27.4 and :56.1 before sliding second-over behind Rock of Cashel (Corey Callahan) on the far turn. Muscle Diamond was towed into second through a :28.3 third quarter, advanced on his own accord to put away Rock of Cashel in mid-stretch, but he wasn't home free yet. A pair of late challengers emerged--Kelsey's Keepsake (Joe Bongiorno) from third-over and Classical Annie (Jim Marohn, Jr.) up the pegs from the pocket--yet Muscle Diamond kept them a neck and a half-length at bay respectively, prevailing in 1:53. Trainer Brett Bittle co-owns 7-time winner Muscle Diamond with Charles Keller, III, Charles Keller, IV, and E. Daniel Bittle. David Miller led all drivers with three wins on the 13-race program, while Brett Miller tallied another two after his Friday grand slam. Total betting turnover for the evening was $2,527,155. Carryovers yielded a large Pick 4 pool and a hefty payday for one player in Saturday (December 10) evening's Jackpot High 5 at The Meadowlands. The night's featured seventh race began a Late Pick 4 sequence that boasted a carryover of over $39,000, and players responded with $236,988 in new money. Similarly, a carryover of $57,161 and double-digit horses sweeping the top three positions prompted a $68,028.42 dividend in the closing race 20Â¢ Jackpot High 5 at The Big M. To Beach His Own ($29.20) keyed the 4-6-3-5-8 combination, which was held by a single player through the Oregon simulcast hub. Players and horsemen alike are advised that next week's racing schedule at The Meadowlands consists of live cards on Thursday (December 15) and Friday (December 16), with Saturday a dark day. Post time both evenings is 7:15 p.m. Eastern. MEADOWLANDS JACKPOT SUPER HIGH FIVE HIT FOR $68,028.42 One lucky horseplayer will have plenty of extra dough for the holiday shopping season after taking down the Jackpot Super High Five wager at the Meadowlands for $68,028.42 The winning ticket was purchased through the Oregon Hub. The 20-cent wager requires a horseplayer to correctly select the top five finishers in order. The jackpot amount pays out only if there is a single winning ticket. Saturday’s winning wager featured a carryover of $57,161. The carryover has continued to build since September as no one had successfully taken down the jackpot. The winning sequence of 4-6-3-5-8 was led by 13-to-1 long shot To Beach His Own followed by 50/1 Twincreeks Jack, 65/1 Last Best Chance, 1/5 favorite Stimulus Plan, and 37/1 Makeoutlikeapandit. This is the second time in the past two weekends that one of the track’s two Jackpot Super High Fives have paid out the jackpot. The fifth race jackpot was paid out for $20,020 last weekend. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. by James Witherite, Meadowlands
Breeders Crown placed Muscle Diamond returns to harness racing action for the first time in 13 months on Saturday (December 10) evening, where the 4-year-old son of Muscle Hill will face eight others in the night's $18,000 featured trotting event at The Meadowlands, carded as the night's seventh of 13 races. The 6-time winner resurfaces after a stakes-laden sophomore campaign, which culminated in a third-place finish in the $500,000 Breeders Crown and a fourth-place effort in the $204,000 American National, both behind The Bank. Regular driver John Campbell is back aboard the Brett Bittle trainee after a sharp qualifier on November 18. Muscle Diamond, installed the 5-1 third choice in the morning line, will begin from post 4. Another contender making a return appearance in the field is Danish Durango, the 9-2 early second choice. The 4-year-old Andover Hall entire was last seen in August, when he posted a 1:52.1 mile to just miss Its Huw You Know in a similar event. David Miller is back in the bike behind the 12-time winner for trainer Kevin McDermott. A pair of stakes-proven distaffers in Classical Annie and Kelsey's Keepsake figure to be prominent in the highly competitive feature as well. Classical Annie, a 4-year-old daughter of Andover Hall, was narrowly outdone by B Yoyo in last week's top trotting event after a fourth-place finish behind Hannelore Hanover in the $200,000 TVG Final in November. Jim Marohn, Jr. steps in to handle the driving assignment of the 3-1 morning line favorite for Ron Burke. Kelsey's Keepsake returns from Yonkers after staying on for fourth in a Preferred event over a mile and a quarter last week. Like Classical Annie, the Yankee Glide mare worked forward belatedly in the TVG, gaining from last to save fifth. Joe Bongiorno retains the drive for trainer Richard Johnson. A pair of $13,000 fourth-level pacing events, carded as races four and six, serve as supporting events on the card and also comprise half of the night's early Pick 4 sequence. A combined $105,000 in guaranteed pools await players in the 50Â¢ Pick 5 and a pair of Pick 4 wagers spread across the program. First post is slated for 7:15 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Meadowlands
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