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Hall of Fame driver John Campbell prevailed in two of five $10,000 preliminary Kindergarten Classic events on Sunday (August 30) afternoon's harness racing program at Tioga Downs, while Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter scored a double-double--driving a pair of his own trainees to victory.   Campbell kicked off the card in style, brushing aggressively to the fore with Waitlifter K ($3.50) in the opener, edging clear on the backstretch and ultimately holding off a late challenge from pocket rival Macy's Big Boy (Jimmy Takter) for a 1:55.3 win. Chuck Sylvester trains the 2-year-old Muscles Yankee colt for Robert Key.   While Waitlifter K was the fastest of all 10 colts and geldings to take to the track, filly Celebrity Eventsy ($5.50) matched that 1:55.3 mark in the seventh race to be fastest of 19 fillies on the program. Campbell was also aboard the daughter of Manofmanymissions, sprinting through with her at the pegs to force Coco Truffles (David Miller) into the pocket, ultimately turning her aside off the far turn to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths. Staffan Lind trains Celebrity Eventsy for Celebrity Farms.   Trainer Jimmy Takter accounted for two of the five Kindergarten Classic winners at Tioga, and he drove them both to victory. He took the lead with Haughty ($2.40) through a :28.4 opening quarter in the day's fifth race, ultimately ceding control to Lookin Sharp (Mike Simons) through the middle stages before angling from the pocket on the far turn. After a brief duel, Haughty edged away to a three-quarters length win, prevailing in 1:56. Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz, and Sam Goldband own the 2-year-old Donato Hanover filly.   Takter's other winner, Gifted Lady ($8.80) wasted no time assuming command in the ninth race, turning aside a mid first-over challenge from Dream Child (Mark MacDonald) before edging clear of pocket rival Sweet Ashley T (Homer Hochstetler) for a two-length triumph in 1:56. Silver Linden Farms owns the daughter of Muscle Hill.   David Miller and Nik Drennan teamed up for the other Kindergarten winner on the day, as Labatt Hanover ($14.80) crossed and cleared for an easy lead before holding off a mild late challenge from pocket rival Hillman (Jimmy Takter) for a 1:57.3 victory. Joseph Davino, Brad Shackman, and the T L P Stable co-own the Muscle Hill gelding.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (September 4) evening, with post time at 6:15 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

The first of the Group 1 races today at Tabcorp Park Melton was the $84,000 Aldebaran Park Two Year old trotting fillies final and the All Star juggernaut started the day as expected with a smart win.   The outstanding filly High Gait has had a great juvenile season with just one nose defeat blotting an otherwise perfect season.   Today from barrier one she looked to have a mortgage on the race if she held the front for driver Mark Purdon and although briefly challenged by Smile Smile Smile, High Gait comfortably held the front early.   Mark Purdon was able to set a sedate lead time but slowly wound up the tempo from the 1600 metres and from the half upped it even more.   Parisian Chic settled back early from her wide draw for Blake Fitzpatrick before circling the field to sit outside High Gait from the 1200 metres mark.   Mark continued to up the tempo off the back and skipped clear by a length as they straightened.   Everybody at this point thought Missandei and Anthony Butt who had trailed High Gait the whole way would put real pressure on the leader up the passing lane but she only battled the last bit and High gait went to the line a comfortable winner yet again.   Parisian Chic was very brave in defeat with Missandei held on for third.   High Gait trotted the 2240 metres in 2:50.9, a mile rate of 2:01.6 with the last 800 metres in 57.9 and 28.3   it was High Gait's eighth win from just nine starts and it took the daughter of Muscles Yankee stake earnings to $151,450.   Mark Purdon was full of praise for the filly's win.   " She is such a natural two year old and that is what you need to be competitive in these sorts of races."   " She does everything right and is such a wee professional and that is a big plus," Mark said.   High Gait     Harnesslink Media

As this weekends Australasian Breeders Crown finals loom large, here at Harnesslink we thought we would do a runner by runner preview of each of the finals at Tabcorp Park Melton. First up is the $84,000 two year old trotting fillies final 1) High Gait  (Muscles Yankee)     Starts 8   -   Wins 7   -   Seconds 1   -   Thirds 0     Stakes  $100,631   High Gait has had an outstanding season winning seven from eight and being beaten a nose in her other start. Beat the boys on Redwood day and from this draw with her gait speed it is hard to see her beaten.  Great manners just add to the impression that she is nigh on unbeatable from barrier 1 2) The Cooler  (Majestic Son)   Starts 4   -   Wins 0   -   Seconds 0   -   Thirds 3   -   Stakemoney $8,200 The Cooler is yet to go a bad race in her brief four start career with three thirds and a fourth. Hard to see her troubling two or three here on class but does things right which is a big plus in two year old trots. Throw in for trifectas and first fours 3) Smile Smile Smile  (Angus Hall)   -   Starts 3  -  Wins 2  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $7493 Promising filly with a good draw but needed to draw inside High Gait to be a chance to beat her. Still on the up and looks a major player her. Must include for trifecta and first four takers. 4) A Nip Will Do (Bacardi Lindy)  Starts 14  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 3  -  Stakes $7,178 Thereabouts in a lot of her starts this season but it is hard to see her playing a major part here. Several runners appear to have the wood on her in this race going on past performances. Not for us. 5) Jay Bee Flex (Federal Flex)  Starts 6  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $4363 Last run at Maryborough was her best run this season, finishing a close up third to Smile Smile Smile. However the depth of this field is far stronger and the draw doesn't help either. Not for us. 6) Liava (Bacardi Lindy)  Starts 4  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $1403 Has failed to really impress in her four starts todate. Hard to see on exposed form how she is a player here. Not for us 7) Parisian Chic (Love You)  Starts 6  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $18,658 A real winning chance if she had just drawn well instead of the outside of the front line. Really nice second two starts back to Missandei and has won three of her last four. Major player here but more a trifecta and first four chance due to the draw                                                                                                                         SECOND LINE 8) Missandei (Angus Hall)  Starts 7  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $76,530 The obvious danger to High Gait  having drawn on her back and seems to have improved even further since her Harness Jewels win. Only filly in this field to have beaten High Gait but her fortunes may depend on how much mid race pressure the favourite is put under. Can win this but does need a few things to go her way. Clear second pick. 9) Cobbler Creek (Great Success)  Starts 9  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $6438 Has won a race this season which is more than some here. Just appears to be be a length or two off the good ones in this race Not for us. 10) Sky Majesty (Skyvalley)  Starts 8  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $12,540 Has really come solid in her last four starts and has definitely improved lately. Needed a good front line draw to help her chances so from three second line she faces a real challenge. First four player at best for us from the draw. 11) Fear Not (Skyvalley)  Starts 12  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $2935  ( Emerg 1) The emergency for the race and on disclosed form would appear to be out of her depth. Not for us 12) Social Fireball (Courage Under Fire)  Starts 7  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 4  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $18,676 Pacing bred filly that has developed into a lovely trotter. Hard to fault her last five runs with her second in the $60,000 Vicbred Trot in smart time over the distance of 2240 metres a good pointer. Appeals to us as a trifecta and first four player even from the draw. 13) Mizurri (Skyvalley)   Starts 3  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $1,038 Very inexperienced filly and this looks a huge jump in class to us. Throw in the draw and it looks like mission impossible. Not for us. SELECTIONS High Gait from the draw looks very hard to beat. Should lead and should win Missandei is the clear second pick and if High Gait is eyeballed in front during the race, she is a chance to upset the favourite up the passing lane. For trifecta and first four takers, throw in The Cooler, Smile Smile Smile, Parisian Chic and Social Fireball. Harnesslink Media

Redwood Day at Maryborough this Sunday is one of most keenly anticipated dates on the Australian harness racing calendar. Two trotting only meetings are being held on Friday and Sunday this week with the two Group 1 races on the Sunday being the highlights This year there is another strong contingent of Kiwi trotters involved but to say they have received the visitors draw is an understatement. There are three Kiwi trotters involved in the $50,500 Redwood Classic for two year olds but all of them have drawn in the carpark. The outstanding Muscles Yankee filly High Gait has drawn the best of the Kiwis at barrier 6 and she will probably move into barrier five if the emergency doesn't get a start. After her recent trial at Menangle where she broke 1:56 for the mile with ease, High Gait looks the one to beat post draw. The Paul Nairn trained Conon Bridge has copped the worst possible marble for a horse who can be a touch unruly, drawing one on the second line. Up till now the son of Raffaello Ambrosia has started from the unruly position in all his mobile starts and his draw on Sunday means the Nairn camp will be crossing their fingers through the first 100 metres. The third of the Kiwi runners in the two year old Redwood Classic is Missandei and the daughter of Angus Hall is right out in the carpark at five on the second line. Missandei won her only start since crossing the Tasman but the draw makes her task to beat High Gait again very difficult. The other Group 1 on Sunday is the $75,000 Victorian Derby and the outstanding New Zealand three year old Speeding Spur is another Kiwi to be handed a horror draw. Speeding Spur will start from six on the second line and will need all favours from out there to be a winning chance. Arya will start from barrier four so she instantly becomes a great each way chance while the top local Illawong Armstrong has also drawn the second line but his last win over Arya was outstanding and with any luck early he will be a big threat.. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing fans in Australia are getting use to seeing those blue colours with the grey stars at their meetings and the seemingly endless production line of high class horses that the All Star barn bring over from New Zealand. The latest horse from the champion barn to head across the Tasman is this years leading two year old trotter in High Gait. The winner of five from six in New Zealand this season and only beaten by half a head in the other race, High Gait was given a look at Menangle on Tuesday afternoon at the trials. Starting in a two year old pacing event, Mark Purdon settled the daughter of Muscles Yankee three back on the inner early as Its Inevitable and Michael Muscat set a quick tempo in front with Hell Bent and Kevin Pizzuto in the trail. These three slipped away from the rest of the field as they turned for home with Hell Bent challenging Its Inevitable strongly but High Gait was jogging in behind the leader and never saw daylight when full of running. The run itself had plenty of merit but when the time was announced of 1:55.5 for the winner Its Inevitable, the run of High Gait grew in statue. She was timed in 1:55.8 with closing sectionals of 56.8 and 27.7 and she clocked that while looking to have something in reserve. Her goal on the trip is the Australasian Breeders Crown and on Tuesday's run, she is without doubt the one to beat. Another All Star runner to have a hit out prior to racing next week was Dream About Me. Allowed to drop out to last in a small four horse field, she sprinted home hard held in 26.2 and looks ready to carry on her winning ways next week. Harnesslink Media  

Nevele R Stud is pleased to announce its 2015-16 stallion roster  and their service fees.  In good news for harness racing breeders the Stud’s flagship stallion Christian Cullen has had his fee reduced to $9,000, making the five-time champion NZ Pacing Stallion and sire of back-to-back Australasian Grand Circuit champ Christen Me terrific value for the coming season.  Cullen Breeding is to be applauded for making this wonderful stallion accessible to a wider range of breeders in 2015-16 and we hope he will be well supported. The majority of the remaining stallions’ fees remain unchanged from the previous season, aside from Nevele R stalwart Live Or Die, whose fee has been eased by $500.   The Stud has one exciting new addition in the form of Gold Ace – a champion 3-year-old and six-time Group 1 winning pacer, and of course Bettor’s Delight’s richest down-under entire. A beautifully bred and outstanding looking individual, we’re very positive about his future. The past season has seen some of the Nevele R’s younger sires, Tintin In America and Changeover, really start to make their mark and we’re looking forward to following the progress of their progeny in 2015-16. Tintin In America’s first crop have been quick out of the starting gates, literally, with the five-time Group 1 winning speed machine already the sire of a number of exciting youngsters including the unbeaten Ready2Run sales topping colt Zee Dana, the smart 2-win Victorian filly Just Wantano, who was a respectable fourth in the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series 2YO Fillies Final last weekend, and the promising 2-win WA juvenile Dame Puissant.  Changeover’s first crop 3-year-olds have continued to impress with the likes of Group Race winners Nuala, Mister Lennox and Sudden Change and the Victorian Oaks place-getter Glenferrie Bronte leading the way. He is currently one of Australia’s leading 3yo pacing sires by average earnings and to date the sire of 49 winners of almost $1 million in stakes.   The coming season will also see the arrival of the first foals of the world champion son of Rocknroll Hanover, A Rocknroll Dance – who was incredibly well supported by breeders last season, serving over 300 mares in NZ and Australia.    Stallion                                                   NZ Fee (+ GST)                            AUS Fee (incl. GST)   A Rocknroll Dance                                   $6,000                                               $6,000 Changeover                                              $4,000                                                 $4,400 Christian Cullen                                       $9,000                                                  N/A Gold Ace                                                    $3,000                                                 $3,300 Live Or Die                                                $2,500                                                 $2,750 McArdle                                                     $3,000                                                 $3,300 Tintin In America                                      $2,050                                                 $2,255 Andover Hall                                             $7,500                                                $8,250 Badlands Hanover                                  $2,000                                                 $2,200 CR Commando                                        $3,000                                                 N/A Dream Vacation                                       TBA                                                      N/A Muscles Yankee                                      $9,000                                                 $9,900 Revenue                                                    TBA                                                      N/A   For more info on the above stallions please visit nevelerstud.co.nz. Nevele R Stud

Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, was in full swing this past weekend with races at three different tracks; Friday at Northfield Park, Saturday at Tioga Downs (both results previously reported) and yesterday, Sunday, June 21, at Buffalo Raceway. As he did at Northfield Park last Friday Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford again drove a winner in a Billings split at Buffalo on Sunday when he reined pacer, Lady Jill to a neck victory over Ms Luck and driver "Hot-Handed Hannah" Miller in a 1:59.4 clocking. "Bullet Bob" Davis was third with Delightful Caitlin. "I had the two hole and when Hannah (Miller) left like a rocket I let her go and settled in behind her and we passed the quarter in 29 seconds flat. Hannah's pacer then went another 29 -second quarter and we were at the half in :58.1. So I just bided my time until we turned for home. When we did I urged my mare and she dug in and we caught Hannah just before the wire to win by a neck." The winner, Lady Jill, owned and trained by John Mungillo, paid $6.00 for win. For Lady Jill, a 7 year-old daughter of Camluck, it was her fourth seasonal triumph and for Oldford, it marked his ninth driving victory thus far this season. In the other Billings split, a trot, after confusion on the first turn, "Lightning Larry" Steenbergen got away to a huge lead with Peaceful Prince and they had eight lengths on the field as they passed the first stanza in :29.4. At that point Davis and Stag's Leap were in second place followed by Hannah Miller with Timer. The order remained the same past the half in :59.4 but when they straightened up the backside Miller moved Timer out to challenge and they were second as the three quarter timer flashed 1:32. From there Peaceful Prince and Timer raced head to head through the stretch but neither could stave off Delightful Caitlin who rallied on the inside to score a 1-1/4 length triumph in a time of 2:03.3. "When Hannah was side by side with Larry I thought my only chance to win was to wait for the passing lane." Davis said. "So I sat and waited and when there was room I aimed my horse down the passing lane and the old veteran he did the rest and hustled to victory." Stag's Leap, a 10 year old son of Muscles Yankee, owned and trained by Dan Mullet, scored his second seasonal victory. He paid $11.20 for win. Next Billings action is slated for Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night, July 25. In the afternoon that day there will be races for amateur drivers in the NAADA Trotting Series and the Catskill Amateur Club's pacing series. John Manzi for the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series

It is quickly coming around to that point of the New Zealand harness racing season where we start to hand out the gongs for best performed in each age group and gait divisions. Harnesslink thought we would do a review of each of the categories with our view on where the contenders sit. This is a review of the 2 year old trotters colts / geldings division.   1) Conon Bridge - 2015 Season:    4 starts,    2 wins,    0 seconds,    1 thirds,    Lt $47,071   From just four starts the son of Raffaello Ambrosio showed enough to suggest he has a huge future in front of him. Started off the unruly in all four starts which put him at a major disadvantage compared to his rivals but still very competitive with the very best. Races without an overcheck which led to his down fall in the Harness Jewels when he dipped his head down and galloped. His recovery to run sixth was an outstanding effort in the circumstances. Looks a certainty for this award. 2) Royal Willie - 2015 Season:    7 starts,    2 wins,    2 seconds,    0 thirds,    Lt $10,986 Very smart son of Majestic Son but manners let him down big time late in the season. Good enough to sit parked at Auckland and win against the maidens and very smart in the two year old trots in the north before heading south for the Harness Jewels. Ashburton can't have agreed with him as he galloped at both the workouts prior to the Harness Jewels and on the big day itself. Expect him to be a major player as a three year old. 3) Gershwin - 2015 Season:    7 starts,    2 wins,    1 seconds,    1 thirds,    Lt $7,053 Another smart Muscles Yankee trotter but again his manners deserted him when it counted late in the season. Galloped in the Harness Jewels for no reason but staged a big recovery to run seventh. Ran High Gait to a nose in 2:00 at Cambridge which is a good indication of his ability and thereabouts in all his starts in the north prior to heading south to the Harness Jewels. Another one to watch out for as a three year old. Selection Only one horse in the running really and that is Conon Bridge and hard to make a case for any of the others ahead of him. Harnesslink Media

It is quickly coming around to that point of the New Zealand harness racing season where we start to hand out the gongs for best performed in each age group and gait divisions. Harnesslink thought we would do a review of each of the categories with our view on where the contenders sit. This is the Harnesslink review of the two year old trotting fillies 1) High Gait - 2015 Season:    6 starts,    5 wins,    1 seconds,    0 thirds,    Lt $61,941 The daughter of Muscles Yankee was just a natural two year old trotter who was outstanding throughout the season. Beaten in the Harness Jewels but the result had a lot to do with her drawing barrier twelve on the big day. Her win prior to the Harness Jewels at Addington was outstanding and probably the run of the season in the two year old trots. High Gait won the most races and the most money in the two year old division and it is hard to see how she doesn't win the gong for best two year old trotting filly.  2) Missandei - 2015 Season:    4 starts,    1 wins,    1 seconds,    1 thirds,    Lt $60,085 Smart Angus Hall filly who was a late arrival to the competition but capped it off with a tenacious win in the Harness Jewels. Drew beautifully at barrier two in the Harness Jewels which helped bigtime when her main danger drew poorly on the second line but still got the job done. If the season had gone on for another couple of months, Missandei may have showed that wasn't a one off but that is not how the system works. High Gait does hold a two - one advantage over Missandei on raceday. 3) Wilma's Mate - 2015 Season:    8 starts,    2 wins,    2 seconds,    2 thirds,  Lt $30,036 High speed daughter of Pegasus Spur who was not far away from the two above. Threw the toys out once or twice but very competitive in the main and looks to have a big future. Never got the rub of the green in a lot of her races and unlucky not to have won more than two races during the season. Selection Has to be High Gait with five wins from six starts and beaten into second by a half head in the other. The most wins and the most money should cement it for her. Harnesslink Media

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 12 - Canepa Hanover put the entire three-year-old trotting colt division on notice with another dominant harness racing performance Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 13 sophomore trotting colts and geldings were split into two $30,000 eliminations for the Goodtimes Stakes. The first elimination featured New Jersey Sires Stakes champion Canepa Hanover and the Jimmy Takter trainee more than lived up to the hype. Sent off as the 1/9 choice, Canepa Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras trotted out to the lead and posted an opening-quarter of :27.1. The middle-half saw the son of Muscle Hill hang up panels of :55.3 and 1:23.2 before trotting home under cruise control to win by an incredible 11½ lengths in 1:51.3. The impressive clocking equaled the track record of set by Trixton, also a Takter trainee, in last year's Goodtimes final. "He's got crazy power," said Gingras following the race. "He was even better tonight than he was in the sires stakes. Tonight he got over this track very good. At the quarter in :27.1 I felt like I was going :30." The Frank Antonacci trainee Iron finished second, while Rubber Duck finished third. Hemi Seelster and Olympic Son finished fourth and fifth to secure spots in next week's final. Canepa Hanover is owned by Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical Inc., Christina Takter and the partnership of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. He now has two wins this season and has not missed the board in five starts. Canepa Hanover, who was a $300,000 yearling purchase, pushed his career earnings to $112,150 with the victory. He paid $2.10 to win. Canepa Hanover The combination of Gingras and Takter teamed up to also take the second elimination with French Laundry. A son of Muscles Yankee, French Laundry followed stablemate The Bank in the second-quarter to the front. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:25.1, French Laundry said goodnight to his rivals and trotted away for an easy 3 ½ length victory in 1:53.3. The Bank finished second to make it a Takter exactor. Win The Day, Covert Operative and Caulfield rounded out the top-five to advance to the final. French Laundry is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The sophomore trotting colt now has two wins from three starts this season. Last season, French Laundry had seven wins from 12 starts. The Takter trainee's career earnings now sit at over $368,000. French Laundry paid $2.30 to win. French Laundry The $233,000 Goodtimes final will take place next Saturday (June 20) as part of the Pepsi North America Cup card. The post positions for the final were drawn following the eliminations. Here is how they will lineup. 1. Hemi Seelster 2. Caulfield 3. French Laundry 4. Canepa Hanover 5. Covert Operative 6. Rubber Duck 7. The Bank 8. Win The Day 9. Olympic Son 10. Iron AE: Infiniti As Mark McKelvie

The Ray Schnittker-trained Switchblade Hall (Muscles Yankee) made up for some spring defeats at Saratoga Casino and Raceway with a harness racing career best victory on Thursday evening. The three year old trotter had a strong freshman campaign in 2014 while facing some of the top two year old trotters in the northeast. Switchblade Hall hit the board in all three of his local starts this season but had not been able to grab that elusive victory before closing late to set a lifetime mark on Thursday. The race's 3-2 favorite in the wagering, Switchblade Hall evacuated the pocket behind a tiring rival before outclosing his opponents in the stretch to record the 2:00.2 career best. Twist Of Faith (Billy Dobson) finished second in the $6,600 trotting event while Cabo San Lukas (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. Switchblade Hall was driven to victory by his trainer and co-owner Ray Schnittker. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Friday night with a first post set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella  

Making her much-anticipated return to the races off her 2014 Horse of the Year campaign, the 3 Brothers Stables' JK She'salady ($2.10) sustained a first-over bid to beat seven New York Sire Stakes ($110,000 added total purse) foes as part of an all-stakes harness racing card on Monday (May 25) afternoon at Tioga Downs.   The 3-year-old daughter of Art Major and Presidential Lady was in no hurry through an initial :55.2 half mile, stalking from fourth as Single Me (Brett Miller) took command from Bettor N Better (Yannick Gingras) with a circuit to go. On the backstretch, Tim Tetrick moved the undefeated JK She'salady first-over, steadily closing in on Single Me through three-quarters in 1:22.3, working up to the lead at the top of the stretch. Off the corner, JK She'salady kicked clear by two lengths, kept to task in a 1:51.2 victory over Single Me and a stalking Divine Caroline (David Miller).   Nancy Johansson trains JK She'salady, who improved her career record to 13 wins in as many starts. JK She'salady The three other New York Sire Stakes winners on the afternoon were Bettorhaveanother ($2.50, Jim Morrill, Jr., 1:51), Bettor Be Steppin ($2.30, Corey Callahan, 1:51.2), and Rock Me Gently ($11.20, Scott Zeron, 1:52).   The Memorial Day program also featured the first leg of the new Graduate series for 4-year-old trotters and pacers, with two $37,500 divisions carded on each gait. Both pacing divisions resulted in track records, as Doo Wop Hanover ($2.20) powered clear of his six rivals on the backstretch en route to a 1:47.4 score. The 4-year-old Rocknroll Hanover entire drew off by 7-1/2 lengths after sustaining his middle move, keeping clear of Rock Out (Scott Zeron) and Mattamerican (Mark MacDonald), both of whom passed early pacesetter Lyonssomewhere (Andy Miller) after the latter tired from dictating a :53.4 half mile.   Hall-of-Fame driver John Campbell was in the bike for Doo Wop Hanover's mile, which knocked two fifths of a second over the previous all-age pacing record at Tioga. Steve Elliott trains Doo Wop Haover for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks.   Not even 40 minutes later, Rockeyed Optimist ($3.90) broke the track record for 4-year-old pacing geldings, turning aside Three of Clubs (Brian Sears) in a 1:48.1 Graduate win. Tim Tetrick drove the 4-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding, pushing clear with a circuit to go before prevailing in an extended battle through the far turn. Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras) stayed on well from the pocket to maintain third after pushing the pace early.   Another Elliott trainee, Rockeyed Optimist is owned by Anthony Perretti, Virginia Berkner, the A and B Stable, and Joseph Battaglia.   Four-year-old trotters contested their Graduate divisions earlier in the afternoon, with distaffer Shake It Cerry ($2.90) beating the boys in the five-horse first division. After getting away at the back of the pack, the Donato Hanover mare steadily advanced to the front through a :55.2 half mile, opening up at will for a 1:52.4 score over Sumatra (David Miller) and Datsyuk (Charlie Norris). Trainer Jimmy Takter handled the driving duties aboard Shake It Cerry, who is owned by Solveig's Racing Partners. Likewise, Opulent Yankee ($6.20) drew clear of his rivals at head-stretch in the other Graduate division, edging clear of the late-rallying Madewell Hanover (Chris Ryder) and Resolve (Ã…ke Svanstedt) in a 1:52.3 triumph. Andy Miller drove the Muscles Yankee gelding for trainer Julie Miller and owners Little E, LLC, Arthur Geiger, Jason Settlemoir, and David Stolz.   Tim Tetrick led all drivers on the card, registering a grand slam on the 13-race program.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (May 29) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time. Horsemen are advised that this week's draw schedule provides for Friday's races to be drawn on Tuesday (May 26) morning, while the Sunday (May 31) and Monday (June 1) programs will be drawn on Wednesday (May 27) morning. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

May 22, 2015 - Friday harness racing action in Sweden of interest (US pedigrees) was the victory at Romme by Romeus (3m Muscles Yankee-Giulie Bi-Supergill with Daniel Reden up. The 1.13.9kr winner earned 50,000SEK for the score over 2140 meters autostart. This one is owned by Stall Zet, bred by Willow Pond Asset Corp. and now has a 4-1-0 slate in five career starts all this year. At Solvalla in a 1640 meter autostart contest Avatar Accelerator (4m Muscle Hill-Southwind Agnes-Malabar Man) scored for Stefan Melander and Stall TZ in 1.13.4kr. The winner has two 2015 wins in five starts. At Kincsem Park was conducted their second Friday night festival and a good crowd was on-hand despite heavy rains. Racing consisted of trots, gallop and greyhounds at this modern European equestrian facility that includes an 1800 meter trotting track circled by a gallop dirt course (used for greyhounds too on extreme nights) and a gallop turf course. Trots rules were changed (extreme racing) in terms of direction (clockwise), start (“repulostart” = catch the start) and the super sprint (200 meters, five heats of two horses each with win awarded to fastest heat winner). Also one race was heat one of a two heat event with heat two the next day. Winners were as follows: Jotallo Handicap (heat one, 1800 meters, repulostart) – Jonathan (12g Valley Guardian-Szerena) for Viktoria Nemeth Tripszin DIF (1800 meters repulostart) – Henrik Ibsen AT (3m Worship-Her Own Child) for Sandor Varadi Super Sprint (200 meters repulostart) – Kisasszony (11f Yankee Yankee-Calorina) for Lazslo Kolozsi Thomas H. Hicks

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (May 20, 2015) - Most harness racing trainers would be happy if their prized pupil started their three-year-old season with an impressive win, but Nik Drennan continues to describe Guess Who's Back as a work in progress. "He was good and I was happy, just not 100-percent happy," said Drennan in describing his colt's win in last week's opening leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes at the Meadowlands. "He put in a few steps around the first turn so we're just trying to work some things out. He has to get over his issues. We need to get him on a regular routine of racing so that we can build his confidence and get him stronger both mentally and physically." Guess Who's Back has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, co-feature on the Meadowlands 12-race Friday program. Brian Sears will drive the Muscles Yankee colt. The other opening leg winner, French Laundry, was given the week off by trainer Jimmy Takter. Guess Who's Back sold for $90,000 as a yearling at the Harrisburg Sale. His dam is a half-sister to the millionaire Breeders Crown champion Poof She's Gone. He is owned by Joseph Davino in partnership with Brad Shackman, TLP Stable and J&T Silva Stables. Drennan said he has never had a horse as good as Guess Who's Back, yet he is far from a finished product. He flashed major talent last year, winning the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final, but also frustrated Drennan by going off-stride in four starts. "He was pretty big," explained Drennan. "Last year he looked like a four-year-old and was racing against horses that were half his size. Now he probably looks like a five-year-old. He had to get over some aches and pains last year. It's more mental than anything with him now. The next couple of starts will tell with him." Friday's card also includes the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies and an Open Handicap for pacing mares that serves as the seasonal debut of stakes-winning four-year-olds Sandbetweenurtoes and Act Now. There is a carryover of $124,509 in the race five Jackpot Super High 5 and $96,746 in the last race Jackpot Super High 5. Post time is 7:15 p.m. Belmont Stakes Trip Giveaway With the eyes of the racing world fixed upon American Pharoah and his quest for thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, the Meadowlands is going to give one of its fans a trip of a lifetime. Fans visiting the Meadowlands during live racing can enter to win a VIP trip to the Belmont Stakes. The prize package includes clubhouse seating for four, dining in the Marquee Tent, and a parking pass. The winner will be drawn May 29. Fans must be present to win the grand prize. Justin Horowitz

Mission Brief returned to the races at Friday nights harness racing meeting at The Meadowlands where we expected to see her, in the winners circle. The fastest two year old trotter of all time made short work of her Sire Stakes competition in the lone $25,000 division for the filly trotters, winning in 1:53.4. The World Champion took off the speed early in the mile, but made a controlled move to the lead and cleared before the half-mile pole through fractions of 27.3 and 56.2. She led the field past three quarters in 1:25.3 and turned for home with a two length lead. Mission Brief drifted a touch in the stretch, but finished the mile well within herself while never being asked by her driver Yannick Gingras. It is worth noting that shortly after the finish, Mission Brief appeared to bobble and went off-stride, but she remained on-stride until the teletimer stopped. Her driver Yannick Gingras was pleased with her effort. "She had a ton of trot," said Gingras. "She went in 1:53.4 and it was a walk in the park for her. We still have some work to do before the second Saturday in August but she is on the right track." Mission Brief became the fastest two year old trotter of all time when she romped to a 1:50.3 performance at The Red Mile last year. She is conditioned by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J & T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. With the victory, Mission Brief's career earnings surpassed $600,000. On the colt-side of the Sire Stakes action, Guess Whos Back put forth a performance worth of his name, with a dominant 1:54 score in the first of two New Jersey Sire Stakes divisions for the three year old trotting colts. Sent off as the slight favorite over Canepa Hanover (both were 4/5), Guess Whos Back settled off the speed through the first quarter of a mile, before making a power move to the lead down the backstretch for Brian Sears. The Muscles Yankee colt would clear the top with ease, hitting the half-mile in just 58.1. He would face no pressure from that point of the mile all the way to the wire, sailing past three-quarters in 1:27, before leveling out in the stretch and drawing clear to a convincing 1:54 triumph. As a two year old, Guess Whos Back won the New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship at The Meadowlands en route to earning $92,350 for Nikolas Drennan. Drennan expressed delight with how his Hambletonian hopeful performed. "Overall I was very happy with him," said Drennan. "It looked like he got a little steppy on the first turn, so we may make a few small changes going forward. But I was happy with him." Guess Whos Back sent his earnings past $100,000 with the winners share of $20,000 purse. He is owned by Davino, Shackman, T L P Stable and J&T Silva Stables. The other division for the sophomore colts pitted an intriguing matchup of Muscle Diamond and French Laundry. That pair finished second and third respectively in the Breeders Crown last year. Muscle Diamond was sent off as the 4/5 favorite with French Laundry the 3/2 second choice. The latter established the lead early on and took the Sire Stakes field through fractions of 28, 57.3 and 1:26.2. Muscle Diamond sat along the pylons in third, tracking the early speed and was guided off the pylons in the stretch and showed dramatic acceleration. However, nearing the wire, Muscle Diamond lost his momentum while getting a little steppy, seemingly because he was trotting so fast in the stretch and French Laundry was able to hold on for the win in 1:53.1. Both colts were very imopressive in their three year old debuts. French Laundry added to his lifetime earnings, which now stand at $323,119 for Jimmy Takter. Brett Miller drove the talented colt for Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding Al Libfield and Marvin Katz. There were some new faces that comprised the talented field in the $30,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace, but the result was one that we have come to know well. Radar Contact, who has not been worse than second since February 6th, was the 6/5 favorite and she would dictate the terms after wrestling the lead away from Inittowinafortune, who reached the opening quarter in a sharp 26.2. From there, Radar Contact would clear the lead and reached the half-mile in 55.2 with Inittowinafortune close behind in the pocket, a scenario we have seen week in and week out at The Meadowlands. These two mares remained that way through three quarters in 1:23.1 and the two sprinted away from the field, but this time Inittowinafortune was able to chase down Radar Contact to score in 1:49.4, a lifetime best effort. Radar Contact was a clear second with Jerseylicious third. The winner was one of two on the card for trainer Michael Russo, who conditioned the mare for Michael Pagonas. Scott Zeron was in the sulky. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 went unclaimed and the Jackpot swelled to $118,474 for the Saturday program. The last race Jackpot Super Hi-5 also carried over again, with that carryover pool now standing at $91,803. Total handle for the 12-race Friday card was $2,773,591. That marked a 15-percent increase from the same day in 2014 despite one less race. The on-track handle yielded a 20-percent gain as well. Saturday night features the $183,650 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, where Bee A Magician will attempt to become the first mare in the 17-year history of the race to emerge victorious. Also on the program is New Jersey Sire Stakes action for the three year old pacers, both colts and fillies. Last year's two year old pacing champion Artspeak will headline one of two divisions for the colts and geldings. There is a $50,000 TVG Invitational on the program as well. Post time for the Saturday program is 7:15 P.M.   Darin Zoccali  

All the pundits (us included) thought that High Gait had a mountain to climb in the Lone Star Riccarton $60,000 New Zealand Sires Stakes Final for two year old trotters at last nights harness racing meeting at Addington. The unbeaten daughter of Muscles Yankee had drawn the inside of the second row behind Dark Ops, a hundred to one shot while her major opposition Gershwin had drawn perfectly at barrier two on the front line. All that changed as they reached the starting point when Dark Ops galloped in the slushy conditions as did Gershwin with High Gait and Natalie Rasmussen managing to duck both of them somehow. However as a result High Gait settled last of the pack as Arannalea and Mark Jones set a steady tempo in front. Still last at the 500 metres. Natalie sent High Gait around them four and five wide as they turned in and then just picked the leaders up like she had just joined in, It was a brilliant performance in the conditions and confirmed High Gait as New Zealand's leading two year old trotter this season. High Gait's stablemate Missandei held second after a big sweeping run for Mark Purdon with the pacemaking Arannalea holding on for third. High Gait trotted the 1950 metres in the atrocious conditions in 2:32.5 with closing sectionals of 62 and 29.3 Natalie was full of admiration for the daughter of Muscles Yankee. " She has gone absolutely super to come from that far back" " I don't know how we missed the early carnage, it felt as if I was going sideways." " She is such a determined wee thing, you have to admire her," Natalie said If there were any doubts about the top dog status amongst the two year old trotters this season, that was well and truly settled last night. Harnesslink Media

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