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Cree [Muscle Hill] overcame heavy rain and a sloppy track to win the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres Final for two-year-old trotting fillies on Friday, October 2, 2015 at the harness racing meeting at Freehold Raceway. George Brennan drove the Trond Smedshammer trainee to her second win with two seconds and one third in eight starts. She trotted the mile in 2:03 in the non-wagering event. It was nine lengths back to Jazebel De Vie [Muscles Yankee] in second, nine and three-quarter lengths to Casino Cutie It [Muscles Yankee] in third and 10 ½ lengths to Heal The World [Muscle Hill] in fourth. Southwind Hope [Muscle Hill] broke stride at the start and finished last in the field of five. Cree, bred and owned by Michael D. Andrew of Gorham, ME, had a win and two seconds in the three preliminary legs of the Green Acres and overall earnings of $27,300. Swedish-born Lucas Wallin, 22 years old and based in Wrightstown, NJ, guided Blue Muse [Muscles Yankee] to a half-length victory in a $7,000 preliminary leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for three-year-old trotting fillies, also contested prior to the betting program. Blue Muse held off Marion Millionair [Muscle Hill], who broke stride near the wire. Riley's Dream [Muscle Hill] was distanced in third-place in the field of three, taking missteps at the start. Blue Muse trotted the mile in 2:00.1 and posted her fourth win with one second and three thirds in 10 starts this year. Lifetime, she has finished on-the-board in 10 of 16 starts, banking more than $43,000. Blue Muse is owned by her trainer, Ake Svanstedt, in partnership with Little E LLC of New York City. Carol Hodes  

Driver Eric Abbatiello collected wins in a pair of $7,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres - one by seven lengths and the other by a head - on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at the harness racing meeting at Freehold Raceway. In the first of the two trotting events, both prior to the betting card, Abbatiello guided Mountain Top [Muscle Hill] to a seven-length tally over Switchblade Hall [Muscles Yankee] in the three-year-old trotting colt division. SS Poseidon [Muscle Hill] was nearly 26 lengths back in third. The time for the mile was 2:01 flat. Noel Daley trains the colt and co-owns with Mario Mazza of New Hope, PA. Mountain Top has won two straight and has three wins, one second and two thirds in 15 starts this year. He has a lifetime bankroll of $61,570. It was more of a battle in the two-year-old trotting colt division as Stayin Strong [Muscles Yankee] won by a head over Steed [Muscle Hill]. It was seven and a half lengths to Threeupthreedown [Muscle Hill] in third. The Julie Miller trainee trotted the mile in 2:00.1. Jason and Douglas Allen of Vincentown, NJ own Stayin Strong, who has three wins, one second and two thirds in nine starts for earnings of $27,114. He has swept the three preliminary legs of the Green Acres, heading into the $25,000 final on Thursday, October 8, 2015. Carol Hodes

September 26, 2015 - Today at Capannelle Rome three eliminations were held preliminary to Italy’s Gr. I Trotting Derby Final. Each elimination was contested over 2100 meters autostart for a purse of €22,000 and each was won in relatively dominant fashion. Tobin Kronos (3m Muscle Hill-Zamia FC-Sugarcane Hanover) took the first elim clocked in 1.14kr by a comfortable length and a half for driver Orjan Kihlstrom. First dam of the winner, Zamia FC is from Twiggy FC by Speedy Somolli-Dance Slipper. The Jerry Riordan trained Tango Negro (3m Infinitif-Lisetta Real-Lemon Dra) was second for driver Roberto Andreghetti ahead of Tobias del Ronco (3m Love You-Leonor del Ronco-Supergill) and Antonio Di Nardo.  The second elim was a 1.13.4kr length victory for the Robin Bakker teamed Tuonoblu Rex (3m Cantab Hall-Eternity Rex-Lindy Lane-CR Kay Suzie) that led throughout. Tesoro Degli Dei (3m Igor Font-Isabella Dei-Pine Chip) sat the pocket and finished a strong second for Pietro Gubellini ahead of third finishing Terra del Rio (3f Varenne-Urbem d’Asolo-Ata Star L) and teamster Santo Mollo that closed very rapidly but still ended seven lengths off the winner. Timone EK (3m Mr. Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra) secured victory in the third elim clocked in 1.14.6kr. Federico Esposito piloted Timone EK to a length score over Tony Gio (3m Varenne-Ilaria Jet-Pine Chip-Toby’s Taxi) and reinsman Roberto Vecchione with third to Theodor Grif (3m Varenne-Eva di Jesolo-Lindy Lane) and teamster Marco Smorgon.  This group of three year-olds should comprise a competitive Derby Final. Thomas H. Hicks  

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 25, 2015 - Daughters of Muscle Hill won $7,000 divisions of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for harness racing trotting fillies on Friday, September 25, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. Both splits were contested prior to the betting card. In the division for three-year-old trotting fillies, Marion Millionair was the leader at every call and finished four and three-quarter lengths ahead of Riley's Dream [Muscle Hill], with five lengths back to Blue Muse [Muscles Yankee] in third. The mile was timed in 1:59.1. Jeff Gregory was at the lines of Marion Millionair for trainer William Popfinger. Owned and bred by William Mulligan of New Hope, PA, the filly has six wins, five second and four thirds in 20 starts this year and has finished in-the-money in 16 of 22 career outings for earnings of $77,650. In the two-year-old division, Southwind Hope was a two-length winner over Cree [Muscle Hill] in 2:01.1. Jazebel De Vie [Muscles Yankee] was third by two and three-quarter lengths. Steve Smith guided the Julie Miller trainee to victory in the third leg of Green Acres action. After winning the opening leg, Southwind Hope had finished second to Cree last week. Overall, Southwind Hope, bred by Southwind Farms, has two wins, a second and two thirds from seven starts and has banked $14,350 for the Andy Miller Stable of Millstone, NJ; Little E LLC of New York, NY and Lawrence Dumain of Pine Bush, NY. Saturday's card features pacers with eight entrants in the $37,500 New Jersey Futurity, sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, for three-year-old New Jersey-sired colts and fillies [the eighth race]. There will also be a pair of Lou Babic Memorials, sponsored by the New Jersey Sire Stakes. The $56,000 Lou Babic for two-year-old pacing fillies will be a non-wagering contest while the $85,400 Lou Babic for two-year-old pacing colts is the sixth race of the day. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ    

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 24, 2015 - Eric Abbatiello piloted both winners - Mountain Top and Stayin Strong - in a pair of $7,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres - on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. Both were contested as non-wagering events prior to the program. In the three-year-old trotting colt division, only two went to post and Mountain Top prevailed by three quarters of a length over SS Poseidon, driven by Steve Smith, in a 1:59.2 mile. Both entrants are sons of Muscle Hill. Mountain Top, trained by Noel Daley, posted his second win of the year and has finished in-the-money in five of 14 starts this year. He was third in last week's $50,500 Charles Smith Trot. He has banked more than $55,000 lifetime for Mario Mazza of New Hope, PA and Daley. Stayin Strong [Muscles Yankee] made it two straight in Green Acres competition for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, finishing three-quarters of a length ahead of Threeupthreedown [Muscle Hill], also driven by Smith. Inukchuk Chuck [Muscles Yankee] was third by three and a half lengths. While Steed [Muscle Hill], the Harold Dancer, broke and finished last in the field of four. Stayin Strong, trained by Julie Miller, trotted the mile in 2:00.1. James and Douglas Allen of Vincentown, NJ own Stayin Strong who has two wins, one second and two thirds in eight starts for earnings of $23,264. The New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres continue on Friday with splits for two and three-year-old trotting fillies. Saturday's card features pacers with eight entrants in the $37,500 New Jersey Futurity, sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, for three-year-old New Jersey-sired colts and fillies [the eighth race]. There will also be a pair of Lou Babic Memorials, sponsored by the New Jersey Sire Stakes. The $56,000 Lou Babic for two-year-old pacing fillies will be a non-wagering contest while the $85,400 Lou Babic for two-year-old pacing colts is the sixth race of the day. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 19 - As Southwind Frank streaked to a seventh straight victory, harness racing driver Yannick Gingras picked up his third consecutive William Wellwood Memorial Trot trophy on Saturday evening at Mohawk Raceway, part of the Maple Leaf Trot undercard. With the win in the $373,000 race for two-year-old trotters, trainer Ron Burke also captured back-to-back Wellwood finals. Both Burke and Gingras won the 2014 edition with Habitat and Gingras scored in 2013 with the Jimmy Takter-trained Father Patrick. In the 2015 dash, Brooklyn Hill was the fastest off the gate, taking the early command. Southwind Frank, the 1-9 favourite, following behind in second but never found a spot on the rail as the rookie colts and geldings went past the first quarter in :28-flat. Into the backstretch, Gingras sent Southwind Frank to the front and that is where he stayed, posting the half in :57.1 and the three-quarters in 1:25.4. In the final turn, Marion Marauder and driver Scott Zeron made a bid for the lead, but they couldn't catch Southwind Frank, who ultimately stopped the clock in 1:55.4 to win by one and one-quarter lengths. Marion Marauder finished second and Deep Impact got up for third. "He's raced good that way (on the front)," said Gingras. "There wasn't that much speed out of the gate so I figured to take control of the race and let him do his thing...I knew I had the best horse in the race. My job is to just keep him out of trouble and get him to the wire." Owner Jerry Silva is now looking to next year's stakes schedule due to the triumph. "It makes me think next year. Hambo. We're going to be in it," he said. "We tried this year with Mission Brief against the boys. We didn't have a boy, but now we got a real boy, Southwind Frank." The son of Muscle Hill and Flawless Lindy is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables and J And T Silva Stables LLC and boasts earning of $513,505. Southwind Frank now has eight wins from nine outing, which includes victories in a Champlain and Reynolds Stakes division, the Peter Haughton Memorial Final and a New Jersey Sires Stakes Championship. Southwind Frank paid $2.20 to win. Southwind Frank Mission Brief cruise to Elegantimage victory Mission Brief continued her dominance of the three-year-old trotting filly division with a crushing five and a half length victory in the $404,000 Elegantimage Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Ron Burke trained filly came into the Elegantimage final off a 15-length victory in her elimination last week. Sent off as the 1/5 favourite, Mission Brief and driver Yannick Gingras were able to drop in fifth, while several fillies slugged it out in the early stages. Muscle Baby Doll and driver Doug McNair wanted the front and parked out Wild Honey by the opening-quarter in :26.4. Down the backstretch, Gingras made his move with Mission Brief, but was forced to go three-wide around Wild Honey before overtaking Muscle Baby Doll at the half in :55.2. It was game over once Mission Brief found the front, as the superstar filly trotted a third-quarter in :28.1 and a final-quarter under wraps in :28.3 to win in 1:52.1. "She was amazing tonight, I didn't even start her up," said Gingras following the race. "The plugs are still in and she's just toying with them. She's in another class." Wild Honey finished second, while Elegant Serenity, the daughter of race namesake Elegantimage, finished third. Trained by Ron Burke, Mission Brief has now won seven of nine starts this season and 16 overall. Gingras had high praise for how the filly gets the job done. "She makes the game plan, when she steps on the racetrack sometimes like last week she decided she was going to go all the way," he said. "Today she was a little bit more (easier) to handle so we just let the dust settle. I can't make plans with her, she makes them." A daughter of Muscle Hill, Mission Brief is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC., Our Horse Cents Stables, J And T Silva Stables LLC. and Weaver Bruscemi. The Elegantimage victory increased her career earnings to over $1.3 million. Mission Brief paid $2.40 to win. Mission Brief Hill celebrates birthday with Peaceful Way win Rookie trotting filly Caprice Hill gave her owner Tom Hill an extra special 65th birthday present this year - a $410,000 Peaceful Way Stakes win on Saturday evening at Mohawk, which is part of the Maple Leaf Trot undercard. With Tim Tetrick in the sulky, the Tony Alagna-trained Caprice Hill also made her fourth consecutive trip to the winner's circle. The 4-5 favourite got away fourth and followed behind fractions of :27.1 posted by Celebrity Eventsy, and :56.3 then 1:27 put up by Emoticon Hanover. Into final turn, Could It Be Magic advanced first up from third and Caprice Hill tracked her cover. At the head of the lane, Caprice Hill kicked off cover and was fed open racetrack. The bay miss responded and trotted on by her rivals to score by one and one-quarter length and stop the teletimer in 1:56.1. Celebrity Eventsy finished second and Dewdle All Day rallied for third. "It's great to win a big race especially when it is your birthday," said Hill. "Yannick [Gingras] drove the filly along and he said when he drover she was Mission Brief with brains and she's proved it tonight. She is a gift from God. "Kadabra has proven to be as good a sire as any trotting sire in the world," added the longtime owner. "I don't know a lot about trotters. We asked Tony to get us a nice filly and he went and picked her out and he deserves all the credit and all the praise. He's picked her. He's trained her." Hill was then quick to correct himself. "He doesn't deserve all of it," the resident of Hamilton said, as Alagna chuckled. "His mother deserves a lot as well." Alagna's mother, Donna Lee Ozment, trains Hill's yearlings in Illinois. The daughter of Kadabra and Bramasole now boasts earnings of $377,730 and has six wins and one second-place finish from seven starts, which includes a victory in a Champlain Stakes division. Caprice Hill paid $3.90 to win. Caprice Hill Mark McKelvie

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 18, 2015 - Cree collected her first career victory in the $7,000 first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for two-year-old trotting fillies, the third race on Friday, September 18, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. Trainer Trond Smedshammer drove the daughter of Muscle Hill - Firstclassprincess to a three-quarter length victory over Southwind Hope [Muscle Hill], who captured the opening leg of the Green Acres division. It was four and a quarter lengths to Heal The World [Muscle Hill] in third. Cree [$3.60], bred and owned by Michael Andrew of Gorham, ME, was on the front at every call in the 2:02.1 mile. She now has a win, a second and a third in six starts and earnings of $8,050. With only three entrants, the $7,000 opening leg of the Green Acres for three-year-old trotting fillies, Riley's Dream [Muscle Hill] was a three-quarter length winner in 2:00.3. Last week the Julie Miller trainee won the $30,000 Helen Smith Final. Steve Smith was in the sulky as Riley's Dream improved her record to three wins, with 12 of 16 in-the-money finishes. She has banked $88,651 for Jason, Douglas and Ronald Allen. Blue Muse [Muscles Yankee] was second with Demons N Diamonds [Muscle Hill] was third by eight and three-quarter lengths. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

Lexington, KY - The Kindergarten Trotting series continued on Thursday evening at The Red Mile.   The colt divisions began the evening with Mavens Way scoring a $37.20 upset for young Oskar Florhed taking a nice record of 1:55.3 in the process. The son of Muscle Hill from Doris Deo sat close up early then wore down Dominion Beach in the shadow of the wire for the win. He is trained by Ake Svanstedt for his own interests along with partners al & Janet Burroughs and TLP Stable.   Charlie Norris worked out a perfect pocket trip for Cloud Nine Hanover in the next division for a huge $54.40 upset after favored Southwind Flash broke on the final bend. Charlie trains the son of Muscle Massive who was winning for the first time on behalf of his wife Carrie, Acadia Farms and G&B Racing. Celebrity Express rallied from well back for the place.   Hollywood Highway struck a blow for favoritism winning right back for Dave Palone in a new record of 1:55.2 in the third and last colt split. He's another by Muscle Massive who has found his best form here on the clay for trainer Staffan Lind. Marvin Katz and Al Goldband share the ownership.   Palone won the very next race with Haughty, who has clearly been the class of the Kindergarten filly races in Lexington. Jimmy Takter conditions the winner and had the second place finisher as well in Hollywood Hill. Haughty was well within herself tonight in a measured 1:55.4 tally. She races for the ownership group of Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband.   Howie Okusko, Jr steered Sweet Ashley T to yet another upset in the last of the Kindergarten races returning $38.60 to her small legion of backers. The Conway Hall filly took a 1:56 record in the process for trainer Homer Hochstetler who owns her with South Of The Tracks Racing.   The Kindergarten goes on hiatus until leg five set for October 23 at Vernon Downs with the finals the next week.   Red Mile racing resumes on Saturday before going dark for week. The Grand Circuit kicks off on Wednesday, September 30 racing at 7pm through Saturday, October 3 then matinee racing the following Wednesday through Saturday.   Find all the info you'll need on all things Red Mile on the website.   Nick Salvi

Ron Burke says he was all wrong about Southwind Frank. But with the way the horse has raced, the trainer is feeling all right. Southwind Frank is the 2-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's C$373,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. The colt has won seven of eight career races -- all stakes events -- and enters Saturday with a six-race win streak. Last Friday, he won his Wellwood elimination by 1-1/2 lengths over Marion Marauder in 1:56.3 over a surface labeled "good" because of rain. "I don't think I've ever been as wrong on a horse as I've been with him," Burke said. "I can't believe how far he's come. It's amazing. I have a good feeling about him." The Wellwood is part of a stakes-filled card at Mohawk that also features the C$700,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old male trotters, C$680,000 Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters, C$410,000 Peaceful Way Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters, and C$404,000 Elegantimage Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters. Burke's Mission Brief is the 2-5 favorite in the Elegantimage and his Crazy Wow is the third choice in the Canadian Trotting Classic, behind the Jimmy Takter-trained duo of Pinkman, the 7-5 favorite, and Uncle Lasse. Post time is 7:25 p.m. for the night's first race. Southwind Frank, a son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Flawless Lindy, was purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and comes from a family that includes stakes-winners Cayster, Giant Hit, Program Speed, and Rockaroundtheclock. He failed to impress Burke early in his training for this season, but improved as the work became more serious. "The faster you go, the better he gets," Burke said earlier this year. "He couldn't trot in three minutes to save his life. He was horrible gaited and didn't have a great attitude. But every time we trained him he got a little better and then at like 2:30 it clicked. He's been a completely different horse since then. Either we were doing a very bad job at first or we're doing a great job now. "Horses learn at their own rates. You can push them all you want; some of them are going to do it quick, some you're going to have to wait on. He was a $100,000 baby so we didn't just cut him loose. I thought I had to give him a chance and I kept making stakes payments, and worried I was throwing just good money after bad, but for once it worked out." Waiting on Southwind Frank has resulted in victories in the Peter Haughton Memorial, New Jersey Sire Stakes championship, and divisions of the Reynolds and Champlain stakes. The horse has earned $308,579 for owners Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. In his Wellwood elimination, Southwind Frank and driver Yannick Gingras were in third place until the halfway point, then moved to the lead entering the final turn. Marion Marauder pulled even with Southwind Frank at the top of the stretch, but Southwind Frank eased away to post the triumph. The remainder of the field was more than a dozen lengths behind Marion Marauder. Southwind Frank's most recent six wins each has been by at least 1-1/2 lengths. "Yannick was pretty chilly with him, just letting (Marion Marauder) trot to him," Burke said about the Wellwood elimination. "The announcer was way more worried than I was that we were going to get beat. I was pretty confident. I think that other colt is a nice colt, but I think our colt is starting to look like maybe even better than just a nice colt." Burke's Elegantimage finalist Mission Brief won her elimination last Friday by 15 lengths in 1:54.1 over a "sloppy" track. She has posted back-to-back victories since finishing second to Pinkman in the Hambletonian Stakes on Aug. 8. "She was vicious," Burke said about Mission Brief, who has won six of eight races this year and 15 of 21 lifetime starts, with career earnings of $1.16 million. "She couldn't have been better. She's just getting better and better. She's as good as she's been -- ever. I couldn't be happier with her." Muscle Baby Doll also won an Elegantimage elimination, beating Hambletonian Oaks champion Wild Honey by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:56. Trained by Tony O'Sullivan and driven by Doug McNair, the filly has won eight of nine races this year, including divisions of the Duenna and Casual Breeze Stakes. She brings a seven-race win streak into Saturday. "They said they could go with anybody and we're going to find out," Burke said. "If we get beat, it's going to take a good effort, I think." In the Canadian Trotting Classic, Crazy Wow will have to overcome an outside starting position --- post eight --- and a field that includes four Takter trainees, with French Laundry and The Bank joining CTC elimination winners Pinkman and Uncle Lasse. Crazy Wow, who counts the Colonial Trot among his six victories in 12 starts this year, was second by a head to Uncle Lasse in his elim. He has won 11 of 23 career races and earned $802,965. "The eight hole is not the best, but it's not the worst," Burke said. "He has a shot. It's going to take a little bit of luck on how he gets into it. That's what it's going to come down to." For a look at Saturday's complete card at Mohawk, click here. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communication USTA

Hans Enggren was unfamiliar with Resolve the first time he saw the trotter during the winter between the horse's 2- and 3-year-old seasons. He knew, though, at that very moment, he wanted to buy the colt. It was more than eight months before Enggren was successful, but it has proved worth the wait. Resolve has won four of 17 races and earned $414,446 since Enggren got the horse in July 2014. A son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Anikawiesahalee, Resolve has hit the board a total of 13 times during that span, including victories in this year's Vincennes Invitational and last weekend's Maple Leaf Trot eliminations. Only second-place finishes by a head to E L Titan in the Sebastian K Invitational and by a neck to JL Cruze in the Hambletonian Maturity have prevented Resolve from entering the C$680,000 Maple Leaf Trot final with a four-race win streak. "I think he's in real good form right now," said the 86-year-old Enggren, perhaps best known as the breeder and owner of 1985 Hambletonian winner Prakas as well as heading Meadowbranch Farms. "I'm thrilled with him. At my age to get a good horse like that again makes me feel awfully good. I kept him on my mind all the time." Resolve will start Saturday's Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters from post No. 1 at Mohawk Racetrack. Trainer Ake Svanstedt also will handle the driving. Natural Herbie, who also won a Maple Leaf Trot elimination, will start from post three for trainer-driver Verlin Yoder. The field also includes 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, who is attempting to become the first female trotter to win the Maple Leaf since Peaceful Way in 2006, and defending champion Intimidate. Mohawk's Saturday card also features the C$700,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old male trotters, C$410,000 Peaceful Way Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters, C$404,000 Elegantimage Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters, and C$373,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters. Post time is 7:25 p.m. for the night's first race. Enggren first spotted Resolve while walking around the South Florida Training Center in November 2013. The horse, who in his rookie season, equaled the track record for 2-year-old trotters at Tioga Downs with a 1:55.2 win in a division of the Kindergarten Classic Series, was then in the care of trainer Roman Lopez. "I happened to go by just as he was being washed," said Enggren, a native of Sweden who moved to the U.S. in 1952 and lives in southcentral Pennsylvania. "He caught my eye. I couldn't take my eye off of him. He had charisma. He looked absolutely gorgeous to me in every way. I tried to buy him right then. I tried many times. It took until July last year until they finally said yes. I ran like crazy to the bank to finish the papers. I just fell in love with him. "I know Roman, how he brings on a horse very carefully. He wants to know the horse is ready. It's worked out very well. He's an unbelievably nice horse; nice to be around, nice to drive evidently." Resolve's best race so far this year, in Enggren's eyes, was his triumph in the Vincennes. Starting from post 10, the horse was stuck five wide going around the first turn before settling into fifth place. He was forced to go three wide around the final turn, but kicked home in :26.3 to win by two lengths in a career-best 1:50.4. "I was very disappointed when he had the 10 post," Enggren said. "I figured this isn't going to work out real well. But it worked out absolutely beautifully against a really tough field. I think that was his most fantastic race. But it also was a fantastic race when he lost to JL Cruze and they set the world record for (the distance of) a mile and an eighth." Resolve, who has won eight of 35 career races and earned $452,345, captured his Maple Leaf Trot elimination by 3-1/4 lengths over Intimidate in 1:52.4. "Svanstedt said he's such a willing competitor," Enggren said. "They say he is very peppy and seems to love life." Following is the field in post order for the Maple Leaf Trot with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Resolve, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt 2. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman 3. Natural Herbie, Verlin Yoder, Verlin Yoder 4. Flanagan Memory, Tim Tetrick, Rene Dion 5. Lindy's Tru Grit, Scott Zeron, Julie Miller 6. JL Cruze, John Campbell, Eric Ell 7. Daylon Magician, Jack Moiseyev, Jack Moiseyev 8. Whiskey Tax, Randy Waples, Tom Durand 9. Intimidate, Sylvain Filion, Luc Blais 10. Obrigado, Mark MacDonald, Paul Kelley by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 15, 2015 - Southwind Mozart, one of a trio of entrants from the barn of trainer Ake Svanstedt, has been installed as the 7-5 favorite in the $50,500 Charles I. Smith Final for three-year-old trotting colts on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. The Smith and the $35,000 Harold Dancer for two-year-old colts are both restricted to New Jersey-sired trotters and are sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. The Smith will also be contested on Thursday at 12:10 p.m., prior to the betting card. Svanstedt trainees Southwind Mozart [Muscle Hill], Natural Kemp [Muscles Yankee] and Crescent Fashion [Muscle Hill] are separate betting interests as are a pair of Ray Schnittker trainees, Switchblade Hall [Muscles Yankee] and Broken Record [Muscles Yankee]. Also entered is the Noel Daley protégé Mountain Top [Muscle Hill]. Southwind Mozart's performance in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot [third across the wire but placed second] in his last start on September 5 helped to elevate his status. He has now finished first or second in five of 12 starts this year and has a career bankroll of $200,540 for the Wolfgang A Stable Inc. of Vero Beach, FL. Carded as the third race, the Charles I. Smith's field of six, from the rail out with driver and morning line odds: Mountain Top, George Brennan, 4-1; Southwind Mozart, Daniel Dube, 7-5; Natural Kemp, Lucas Wallin, 7-1; Crescent Fashion, Scott Zeron, 5-2; Switchblade Hall, Steve Smith, 30-1 and Broken Record, Ray Schnittker, 6t-1. The Smith stakes record of 1:55.4 was set by Flex The Muscle [Muscles Yankee] in 2010. The four-horse Harold Dancer Trot features, from the rail out, Steed with Daniel Dube at the lines for trainer Richard Johnson; Inukchuk Chuck with trainer Julie Miller driving; Stayin Strong, also a Julie Miller trainee with Eric Abbatiello in the sulky, and Luv At First Site handled by Kyle DiBenedetto for trainer Ron Coyne Jr. Steed is by Muscle Hill with the other three by Muscles Yankee. The stakes record of 1:59 for the Harold Dancer was established by Chapter Seven in 2010. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ  

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 12 - The top older trotters in harness racing were on display Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack for the Maple Leaf Trot eliminations. A talented group of 13 older trotters, including two mares, were separated into two $40,000 eliminations. The top five finishers from each division punched their ticket to next week's $680,000 final. The underdog Natural Herbie came up with his best performance of the season, as he scored a 12/1 upset for owner/trainer/driver Verlin Yoder. Bee A Magician, the 3/5 favourite, was sent out to the front by driver Brian Sears and posted an opening-quarter of :27, while Natural Herbie dropped in fifth. JL Cruze made a second-quarter move to the front for driver John Campbell and took the field by the half in :56. Natural Herbie came first up for Yoder around the final turn and was 4¼ lengths off the lead, as JL Cruze reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2. In the stretch, Bee A Magician edged to the outside from the two-hole and trotted by the leader to take command with an eighth. It appeared that Bee A Magician was going to capture the first elimination, but Natural Herbie showed his determination trotting up a storm late to prevail in the final strides by a neck in 1:52.4. "I figured there would be enough speed on the front end," said Yoder following the race. "I was hoping I could be first up or second up, but it worked out pretty good and when I called on him he was ready." Lindys Tru Grit got up for third and Whiskey Tax finished fourth to round out the Superfecta. JL Cruze faded back to finish fifth, but did qualify for the final. A five-year-old gelded son of Here Comes Herbie, Natural Herbie burst onto the Grand Circuit scene last season and banked over $361,000. This season hasn't been nearly as productive for the Yoder trainee with just two wins from 14 starts, but the conditioner believes the horse gets better later in the season. "He's always been late showing up," said Yoder. "He's not trotting slower than he did last year, but he took his sweet time getting there." Natural Herbie now has 27 career wins and increased his earnings to over $849,000 with Saturday's victory. The Yoder trainee paid $27.70 to win. Natural Herbie In the second elimination, Resolve showed why his connections put up $45,000 to supplement the four-year-old to the Maple Leaf Trot. Trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, Resolve flashed good early speed to trot out to the front and post an opening-quarter of :27.4. Swedish trotting mare D'One, the 7/5 favourite, made a move in the second-quarter from fourth, but made a break taking her out of the race. After a half-mile time of :56.4, Resolve took the field around the final turn with Daylon Magician pressing first up. Obrigado, who trotted along second-over, put in a couple bumpy strides going to three-quarters, but quickly recovered to remain close. In the stretch, Resolve would not surrender his lead and trotted home in :27.3 for a 3¼ length 1:52.4 victory. Intimidate, who got a pocket trip, finished second, while Obrigado split horses late for third. Flanagan Memory and Daylon Magician finished fourth and fifth to advance to the final. A son of Muscle Hill, Resolve is owned by Hans Enggren and now has two wins from nine starts this season. The Svanstedt trainee has only missed the board once this season and has compiled earnings of over $243,000. Resolve's victory Saturday night was his eighth career score and pushed his earnings to over $457,000. The Svanstedt trainee paid $5.60 to win. Resolve Following the eliminations, the post positions were drawn for next week's $680,000 final with the elimination winners selecting their post. The $680,000 Maple Leaf Trot will be the co-feature next Saturday (September 19) along with the $700,000 Canadian Trotting Classic. Here is how the trotters will line up for next week's Maple Leaf Trot. $680,000 Maple Leaf Trot 1. Resolve 2. Bee A Magician 3. Natural Herbie 4. Flanagan Memory 5. Lindys Tru Grit 6. JL Cruze 7. Daylon Magician 8. Whiskey Tax 9. Intimidate 10. Obrigado AE: Market Share Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 11 - It was a wet night at Mohawk Racetrack Friday for the eliminations of the Elegantimage Stakes and William Wellwood Memorial. A pair of eliminations were needed for both events with the top five finishers in each division advancing to their respective finals next week. A talented pack of 16 three-year-old trotting fillies, highlighted by superstar Mission Brief, were split into two $35,000 eliminations for the Elegantimage Stakes. World champion Mission Brief scored a dominating 15 length victory over the 'Sloppy' track in the second elimination for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. The daughter of Muscle Hill flashed good early speed to sprint out to the front. Once on the lead, Mission Brief got to call her own shots posting fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26. In the stretch, the superstar filly pulled away from her rivals with ease and left them in another area code. Mission Brief stopped the timer in 1:54.1, three-seconds better than second-place finisher Danielle Hall. Magic Marker, Youre Majestic and Amoureuse Hanover rounded out the top five to advance to next week's final. Following the race, Gingras said Mission Brief was a bit fired up Friday evening and he was trying to stretch her out for her first start in three-weeks. "She was a little bit grabby in the post parade, so when she got off on the right foot I figured I would just let her go," he said. "I just wanted to stretch her out, like I said she was a little bit too sharp and try to get the edge off of her a little bit. "She hasn't raced that many times this year, so it was not like it was going to hurt her. The plugs were still in and she had plenty left and it was just a matter of trying to get her tight for next week." Mission Brief has now won six of eight starts this season, including a heat of the Hambletonian. Burke added trotting hopples to his star filly in July to help her with some issues, but it appears they may not be need for much longer. "She's safe now, she's comfortable and she's confident and she's sound," said Gingras. "After next week the plan is to take them off and then go to Lexington, but we will see how it goes." Mission Brief is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC., Our Horse Cents Stable, J And T Silva Stables LLC., and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Friday night's win was the 15th career victory for the winner of over $1.1 million. Mission Brief paid $2.10 to win. Mission Brief In the first elimination, Muscle Baby Doll stretched her current win streak to seven in a row with a 1:56 victory. Driven by Doug McNair, Muscle Baby Doll left from post eight and took a seat early in sixth. Wild Honey, the even-money favourite, circled around from the two-hole to take command after the half in :57.2. Muscle Baby Doll began making up ground on the outside and was able to catch the cover of Elegant Serenity around the final turn. Wild Honey posted a three-quarter time of 1:27. In the stretch, Muscle Baby Doll flipped off cover and trotted up a storm to overtake the lead and score a length and a quarter victory over Wild Honey. Elegant Serenity finished third, while Bee The Queen and Smokinmombo were fourth and fifth, respectively. Trained by Tony O'Sullivan, Muscle Baby Doll has dominated the Ontario Sires Stakes scene this season and also has a Grand Circuit victory on her resume. The daughter of Muscle Mass now has eight wins from nine starts this season and 12 victories overall. Muscle Baby Doll was purchased by F Bellino And Sons LLC., early in her two-year-old season, as she raced on the Iowa fair circuit. Muscle Baby Doll career earnings now exceed $400,000. She paid $5.20 to win. Muscle Baby Doll A group of 14 two-year-old trotting colts and geldings were separated into two $30,000 eliminations for the William Wellwood Memorial. In the first division, Deep Impact prevailed in a stretch duel over the 4/5 favourite Brooklyn Hill. Deep Impact and driver Steve Condren got away early in third, but quickly came to the outside nearing the opening-quarter to take the lead. Brooklyn Hill sat second on the back off Deep Impact passed the half in :59.1. Around the final turn, Brooklyn Hill came to the outside for driver David Miller to confront the leader. The colts were toe-to-toe at the three-quarter pole in 1:28.1 setting up a stretch battle. In the lane, Deep Impact refused to give up the lead and fought tough at the rail to defeat Brooklyn Hill by half a length in 1:57.4. Tony Soprano and Lean Hanover finished up well to grab third and fourth, while Will Take Charge finished fifth to secure a spot in the final. A son of Donato Hanover, Deep Impact scored his third career victory Friday evening for trainer Brad Maxwell. The rookie trotter was making his fifth start and increased his earnings to over $41,000 with the win. Deep Impact is owned by Maxwell, Van Camp Trotting Corp., Tim Murray and Doug Millard. The Maxwell trainee paid $7 to win. Deep Impact Southwind Frank extended his win streak to six in a row with a 1:56.3 victory in the second split. Sent off as the 1/9 favourite, Southwind Frank and driver Gingras got away in the three-hole. The heavy-favourite sat third until the half-mile when Gingras sent him on the attack. Southwind Frank quickly cleared to the front and trotted by the three-quarter pole in 1:28.1. Marion Marauder and driver John Campbell trotted up with a rush around the final turn to draw within half a length turning for home. In the stretch, Marion Marauder was able to poke a head in front with an eighth of a mile to go, but Southwind Frank showed his talent by battling back under minimal urging from Gingras to retake the lead and score a length and a half victory. Adored By Masses finished almost 14 lengths behind the winner in third, while Im A Mate and Zlatan finished fourth and fifth to advance to the final. A son of Muscle Hill, Southwind Frank now sports a record of seven wins from eight starts to begin his career for trainer Ron Burke. The rookie trotting colt now has earnings of over $327,000. Southwind Frank is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., Our Horse Cents Stable and J And T Silva Stables LLC. The Burke trainee paid $2.10 to win. Southwind Frank Following Friday night's eliminations, the post positions for next week's $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial final and $404,000 Elegantimage Stakes final were drawn. Elimination winners earned the right to select their post positions. Both finals will highlight a spectacular undercard on Maple Leaf Trot and Canadian Trotting Classic night Saturday, September 19. Here are the post positions for next week's final. $404,000 Elegantimage Stakes Final 1. Elegant Serenity by Kadabra 2. Muscle Baby Doll by Muscle Mass 3. Youre Majestic by Majestic Son 4. Mission Brief by Muscle Hill 5. Smokinmombo by Explosive Matter 6. Danielle Hall by Deweycheatumnhowe 7. Wild Honey by Cantab Hall 8. Magic Marker by Andover Hall 9. Bee The Queen by Donato Hanover 10. Amoureuse Hanover by Pilgrims Taj AE: Juanitas Fury by Kadabra $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial Final 1. Zlatan by Muscle Mass 2. Tony Soprano by Kadabra 3. Deep Impact by Donato Hanover 4. Southwind Frank by Muscle Hill 5. Im A Mate by Muscle Mass 6. Will Take Charge by Kadabra 7. Brooklyn Hill by Muscle Hill 8. Lean Hanover by Donato Hanover 9. Marion Marauder by Muscle Hill 10. Adored By Masses by Muscle Mass AE: Deweylovernleaver by Deweycheatumnhowe Mark McKelvie

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 11, 2015 - Riley's Dream took advantage of an early miscue by Rules Of The Road to win the $30,000 Helen Smith Trot by half a length on Friday, September 11, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. With only four three-year-old New Jersey-sired trotting fillies entered, the race was contested prior to the betting card. The Helen Smith is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. Riley's Dream [Muscle Hill], driven by Steve Smith and trained by Julie Miller, trotted the mile in 2:00.3. Rules Of The Road [Muscle Hill], with earnings over $200,000 and the runner-up in the Hambletonian Oaks, broke stride at the start and spotted the field more than five lengths but closed well for second. It was a length and a half to Blue Muse [Muscles Yankee] in third and four and a half lengths to Southwind Cartier [Muscle Hill] in fourth. Riley's Dream, unraced at two, has two wins, seven seconds and two thirds in 15 starts this year for earnings of $85,151. His owner-breeders are Jason Allen and Douglas Allen of Vincentown, NJ, and Ronald Allen of Southampton, NJ. The Helen Smith stakes record of 1:56.2 is shared by Marla Bar [2002], Silver Credit [2013] and Cee Bee Yes [2014]. The team of driver Steve Smith and trainer Julie Miller were back in the winner's circle in the eighth race as Southwind Hope won a $7,000 first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for two-year-old trotting fillies. Southwind Hope, a daughter of Muscle Hill- Honey Pie, scored a two length victory over Cree [Muscle Hill]. It was 11¼ lengths to Peg O My Heart in third. She trotted the mile in 2:01.2 for her first win with two thirds in five starts. The $52,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase has banked $9,100. Southwind Hope, bred by Southwind Farm of Pennington, NJ, races for the partnership of the Andy Miller Stable of Millstone, NJ; Little E LLC of New York, NY and Lawrence Dumain of Pine Bush, NY. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

The Kindergarten Classic series came to to the harness racing meeting at The Red Mile in Kentucky on Thursday night with a mixed bag results-wise.   Fillies began the stakes with Jimmy Takter steering the unbeaten Donato Hanover lass Haughty to an as easy as can be 1:54.1 win.   Takter moved Haughty to the front on the backstretch and widened at will in a very impressive outing. Southwind Adele was second and Sweet Ashley T third.   The winner is owned by Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband who paid $80,000 at the Lexington Select sale last fall.   Jan Johnson steered I'm Volo to a 1:58 win for owner and breeder Jorgen Jahre at 17-1 in the second division.   Johnson put the Yankee Glide filly in play early, accepted cover then angled out late to rally past Earn Your Wings and Coco Truffles late.   The tote board exploded in the first of two colt divisions when Dave Palone and Hollywood Highway closed from well back to win in 1:56.1 at odds of 43-1.   With 1-9 favorite Jack Vernon eliminated by a break in the final turn, Palone found clear sailing wide from last and guided the Muscle Massive colt to his first victory for trainer Staffan Lind and owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, who have $50,000 for this fella at the Lexington yearling sale and had a pretty good night.   Sigmund came second and Mavens Way third.   Palone completed a driving triple on the night with a front end score aboard Southwind Flash in 1:55.2 for trainer Ronnie Burke.   The striking Muscle Hill colt took to the clay beautifully for his first win in six outings.   Honor Above All went beautifully in his very first career start tracking the winner and actually gaining late for driver Nicolas Roussel with Brownie Hanover third.   The winner is another Lexington Select sale grad costing Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Phil Collura and Jack Piatt lll $85,000 last fall.   Racing returns to The Red Mile on Saturday and the Kindergarten returns for leg four next Thursday.   Nick Salvi

Grand Circuit week continued Friday night at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack with the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies and the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters A group of 12 three-year-old trotting fillies contested a rich $223,193 division of the Simcoe Stakes. Roger Mayotte trainee Elegant Serenity was sent off as the 3/5 favourite from post six, as she entered Friday's contest on a two-race win streak. Driven by Mayotte, Elegant Serenity and several fillies flashed early speed heading into the first turn. The public's choice was parked around the first turn, but quickly cleared to the front ahead of Danielle Hall in the second-quarter. Lock Down Lindy pressed at Elegant Serenity in the middle-half, but Mayotte put away the challenger in the third-quarter and took his filly by the station in 1:25. In the stretch, Elegant Serenity showed plenty of determination and trotted home in :28.2 to win by a length over a hard-closing Speak To Me. Bee The Queen finished third, while Danielle Hall was fourth. A daughter of Kadabra and out of the great Elegantimage, Elegant Serenity is owned and bred by Doug Millard. Following the race, Millard talked about his homebred star filly. "She's really come on strong the last two or three starts," said Millard. "Middle of winter I was about ready to breed her because she was quite a handful. Sandra (Burns) had to really work at her to get her right. She got her right and we turned her over to Roger and he's done the rest." Elegant Serenity now has five victories from seven starts this season after going winless in seven starts last season. The sophomore trotter increased her bankroll to over $288,000 with the victory. The clocking of 1:53.2 was a new career-best for the Mayotte trainee and she paid $3.20 to win. Elegant Serenity will now head to the race named for her mother, the Elegantimage Stakes. Elegant Serenity A total of 19 two-year-old trotting colts were split into two divisions of the Champlain Stakes Friday. In the $117,406 first division, Southwind Frank continued his dominance of the rookie trotting division with a 1:54.1 victory. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Southwind Frank got away third, but was quickly moved to the front in the second-quarter and reached the half in :57.1. The Ron Burke trainee trotted his third-panel in :29, before drawing away from his rivals with ease in the stretch to score a 4 ¼ length victory. Brooklyn Hill, who got a two-hole trip, held position for second, while Zlatan was third. A son of Muscle Hill, Southwind Frank added the Champlain Stakes to his impressive resume, which includes the Peter Haughton Memorial and the New Jersey Sires Stakes. Southwind Frank is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables and J And T Silva Stables LLC. He was purchased for $100,000 at last year's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Southwind Frank's record now sits at five wins from six starts and earnings of over $310,000. The Burke trainee paid $2.50 to win. Southwind Frank Dominion Beach capitalized on breaks by the favourites to win the $118,907 second division. Driven by Brett Miller, Dominion Beach showed good early speed to grab the front heading into the first turn. Tony Soprano, the 3/2 second-choice, got away second, but made a break in the first turn. Deep Impact, the 6/5 favourite, inherited the second spot following the break, but he made a miscue of his own in the second-quarter. Dominion Beach was able to take full advantage of the situation by posting middle-fractions of :59.2 and 1:28, before trotting home in :28 to score a maiden breaking victory by a length and half in 1:56. Lean Hanover finished second, while Dreamliner rounded out the top-three. A son of Muscle Hill, Dominion Beach is trained by Nancy Johansson for owner Courant Ab and was purchased for $90,000 as a yearling at Harrisburg. The rookie trotting colt was making his sixth career start Friday and bumped his earnings to over $86,000 with the victory. Dominion Beach paid $15.50 to win. Dominion Beach The three-year-old trotting fillies and two-year-old trotting colts will return to Mohawk Racetrack next Friday (September 11) for more Grand Circuit action. Up next for the fillies is the Elegantimage Stakes eliminations, while the rookie trotters will contest the eliminations for the William Wellwood Memorial. Grand Circuit action continues Saturday night with over $2.4 million up for grabs. The $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and $685,000 Metro Pace headline the rich card. Post time is 7:05 p.m. Mark McKelvie

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