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One of the hardest things to get right in the harness racing industry is the management of large syndicates and the issues that go with that. Most attempts at large scale syndication have faltered but one operator who seems to have got the structure right and is having success is the Go Harness group established by Noel Kennard. Run by Noel with the help of former HRNZ journalist John Robinson, the Go Harness syndicates were set up to try to make the cost of racing standardbreds more affordable to a wider cross - section of the public and they have succeeded in bringing a lot of new people into the industry. One of their first syndicates was the "Trotting For Fun" group which was established in late 2012. Initially the syndicate brought Saratoga off Wayne Feiss from Australia. Racing from the All Stars barn prior to being purchased, the son of Muscles Yankee was left with the All Stars team and has done a super job for the syndicate. Since his purchase Saratoga has had 15 starts for 5 wins and 4 placings for $38,378 in stakes. Saratoga was moved recently to the barn of Ken Barron to take advantage of the swimming pool there on the advice of Mark Purdon. When the syndicate was formed three other yearling fillies were leased from well known breeder Ivan McNicholl to round out the syndicate. One was injured as a 2 year old and retired to stud but the other two are on track to make their mark on the racetrack this season. Both remaining fillies are beautifully bred and have both qualified already. Harriet Of Mot is by Monarchy from the very talented Sundon mare Harriet Hughes who won five races from just 13 starts. Harriet Hughes ran second in the Group 2 Trotters Championship to One Over Kenny and third in the Group 1 Trotting derby as a 3 year old. The other filly Eilish Aimee is by Love You and is a half sister to Harriet Hughes as well as Earl Of Mot ($535,756)  Ella Powell ($118,495) and  is a three quarter sister to Amore Stride ($99,156). Eilish Aimee lines up for her first start tomorrow at Timaru and while it is a big ask for a 3 year old filly to do everything right first time, John Robinson knows the ability is there. "The trainers Craig and Aimee Edmonds have always had a high opinion of the filly and think long term she could go a fair way." "They have had most of this family through their hands and think Eilish Aimee has a big future," John said. A trial winner at Rangiora last Monday, Eilish Aimee impressed track watchers and driver John Dunn with a very professional display and that has given John Robinson some confidence heading into her debut run. "John was quite impressed with her on Monday and has taken the drive tomorrow." "Whatever she does tomorrow she can have a brief letup and come back in the new year after a short break," he said Harriet Of Mot is also qualified but won't be seen out just yet according to John. "She can still be a bit headstrong so we are in no hurry with her as she has the family ability," he said. John Robinson swears one of the keys to running large syndicates is the communication between the trainers and the syndicates management and he can't  praise Craig and Aimee Edmonds enough. " They are just great to deal with and keep us up to date on everything." " We don't have to ring them, they ring us which makes our job so much easier," John said  Large scale syndications are never easy to manage but the Go Harness team have obviously got the formulae just right judging by their results to date. Harnesslink Media     

The Jimmy Takter Stable kicked off Day Two of the Breeders Crown eliminations at the Meadowlands Saturday in grand style, winning both $25,000 divisions for two-year-old trotting colts with Pinkman and French Laundry. Pinkman and Yannick Gingras took the early lead away from Guess Who’s Back (George Brennan) after an opening quarter mile in :27.3. Habitat (Brian Sears) was parked out and kept on going with Habitat and they cleared to the lead by the half mile marker in :57. Then Guess Who’s Back came back first-over with The Bank (Jimmy Takter) grabbing the live outside cover to the three-quarters in 1:26.3. Down the stretch Guess Who’s Back collared and started to pass Habitat, but Sears came back with Habitat but it was all in vain as Gringras weaved Pinkman to clearance and came charging down to the wire to beat The Bank by a half length in 1:54.1. Guess Who’s Back and Habitat finished in a dead heat for third with Walter White (Scott Zeron) grabbing fifth place and making it to next week’s final. It was the fifth win in just seven starts for Pinkman, a gelded son of Explosive Matter who paid $4.40 to win. He was a $70,000 yearling purchase and is co-owned by Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, J McClelland and Herb Liverman. Pinkman French Laundry got an uncharacteristic second over trip and used it for well for driver Brett Miller in winning the second Breeders Crown elimination division for freshman trotting colts. Uncle Lasse (Ron Pierce) was first on the lead but after the opening quarter in :28 it was Whataworkout and driver Scott Zeron pressing to the lead at the half mile in :56.4. That moved flushed out Stonebridge Force (Ake Svanstedt) first-over and they gave French Laundry the needed outside cover past the three-quarters in 1:27.1. Racing down the stretch Miller was able to get French Laundry into gear late and as he started to pull away, John Campbell with race favorite Muscle Diamond came charging at them but it was too late as French Laundry held on to win by a neck in 1:55.1. Suit And Tie was third with Piercewave Hanover fourth and Uncle Lasse fifth to complete the finalists for next week. It was the second straight win and seventh victory on the year for French Laundry. The son of Muscles Yankee paid $9.80 to win for co-owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding and Marvin Katz. French Laundry By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

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

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

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

The annual NAADA Fall Trotting Series got underway at Freehold Raceway on Friday afternoon and when the dust had settled Bob Hechkoff and Get Packin trotted on to a wire to wire 2:00 victory. Starting on the outside in sixth position, Hechkoff sent the betting favorite to the front and they made every pole a winning one en route to a one length victory over Wygant Prince and driver Bob Davis third place went to Rev It Now driven by Hannah Miller. "He's an old veteran and just a pleasure to drive," noted Hechkoff who is an executive recruiter by trade.. "He can leave, he'll sit in a hole comfortably and with 60 victories in his career he has a desire to win." Hechkoff's R.B.H Ventures Stable has owned the veteran 12 year old Muscles Yankee gelding since this past February and the old guy has been nothing but good for Hechkoff earning him nearly $40,000 this season, not to mention the seven winning rides Get Packin has afforded his owner this season. However, over the veteran trotter's career he has earned more than $545,000 for those who paid the bills on him. Hechkoff and Get Packin can be found competing in many amateur events not the least being the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series. Although Hechkoff didn't earnestly get involved in amateur racing until 2004 he has become a force to be reckoned with. He drove his first winner that year and since then he has recorded 54 victories usually driving about 35 races a year. Open to drivers who are members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association-and anyone can easily become a member-- the NAADA Trotting Series differs from others in that the organization donates to deserving charities at the end of their series of races. Next stop will be at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, Oct. 2 where the competing amateurs will race for $6,000 purses in the two events that are expected that evening. At series end the drivers who earned the most points in the preliminaries will get a chance to race in the $14,000 Final. John Manzi

Three-year-old trotting colt Harper Blue Chip has made three starts in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division this year and has won them all including the second of two $105,000 divisions tonight at Mohawk. Harper Blue Chip was sent off as the heavy favourite and quickly showed why as he flew up from sixth to grab early control and was well settled by the opening quarter in :27.2. He clicked off the half in :56.3 and was at the three-quarters in 1:25.4 and could not be caught down the stretch, winning easily in 1:55.3 for Sylvain Filion. Keystone Trevor closed well to take second while British Steel was third. Trained by Mark Steacy for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald, Cornwall, David Reid, Glenburnie and George Judson, Athens, Ontario, Harper Blue Chip was recording his fifth victory in a dozen starts this year for $481,000 in earnings. Lifetime his bankroll sits at $708,000. His victory tonight puts him squarely atop the point standings in this OSS division. A son of Steacy’s former champion Majestic Son, the colt is from the Muscles Yankee daughter Winning Jonlin and was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock of New York which also bred the winner of the first division which saw Muscle Matters and Mario Baillargeon establish the tempo through fractions of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:26. However, he could not hold off See The Wind and James MacDonald in the stretch as that colt took over to hit the wire first in 1:54.2. Muscle Matters held for second with Sheer Flex taking third. Chris Beaver of Delaware, Ohio, trains and co-owns the winner, a son of Deweycheatumnhowe, with Synerco Ventures of Toronto, Ontario, and Wilbur Lang of Ohio. Tonight’s effort was the second win in 12 attempts for See The Wind, bred by Blue Chip. A $10,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg, See The Wind is from a half-sister to $386,000 winner Bramasole. This was the final regular season Gold event for this group. The top point earners will hook up once more in the season ending OSS Super Final on October 11 back at Mohawk. To view the results from tonight’s program, please click Mohawk Results - September 22. OSS News

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

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

LEXINGTON, KY-- Freshmen filly trotters gathered for four divisions of the Kindergarten Classic Series at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 18. The fourth preliminary of the harness racing series attracted 38 contestants for purses totaling to $40,000. Allerage Star, despite galloping at the start, recovered nearly 13 lengths to weave past rivals and get a nose in front of Saturday Mornings and Cocoacabana in 1:56.2.   Cocoacabana was the pacesetter with Sweet Thing and Fly Angel Fly sitting behind. She set fractions of :29.1 and :57.4 (:28.3). Challenged around the far turn by Sweet Thing, Cocoacabana remained in control as the backfield approached. Fanning three wide came Fly Angel Fly, with Lady Winona four wide and Saturday Mornings five wide.   After a 1:27.3 (:29.4) third-quarter, Saturday Mornings rallied down the center of the course, while Allerage Star strolled onto the scene from in-between horses. Cocoacabana battled Allerage Star and Saturday Mornings up to the finish, where Allerage Star got a nose in front, going a mile in 1:56.2 (:28.4).   Returning $3.20 to win, the daughter of Angus Hall-Starry Eyed-Muscles Yankee is owned by Little E LLC, Jason Settlemoir, A. Geiger and D. Stolz, trained by Jessica Okusko and Corey Callahan was aboard.   Lilu Hanover rebounded after failing as the favorite in last week's prelim with a 1:55.3 victory over 24-1 Annaliina.   Scott Zeron piloted Lilu Hanover to the front, while Aarena Hanover gunned for the pocket from post 10. Lilu Hanover set a opening quarter of :27.4. She remained uncontested through a :57.3 (:29.4) half.   Rules Of The Road was flushed first over entering the far turn, with Annaliina drafting 2 ¾ lengths off the lead. Rules Of The Road remained at Lilu Hanover's throat through a 1:27 (:28.2) third-quarter.   Kicking to a 2-length lead into the stretch, Lilu Hanover kept to her task as Annaliina gradually progressed towards the leader. Starting her bid a few yards too late, Lilu Hanover had a neck advantage at the wire over Annaliina, with Waiting Room and Lady Clarabella rounding out the top four respectively.   Owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, the daughter of Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover-Donerail paid $5.00 to win.   Sarcy, upon brushing to the top after the first quarter, led the field to the finish in 1:55.3.   Bright Baby Blues swept across the track to claim command around the first turn, while Josie's Joy sat the pocket and Sarcy trotted third. After a :28.2 quarter, Jimmy Takter pulled Sarcy two wide to claim command before three-eighths. She was uncontested at the half, timed in :57.1 (:28.4).   Sarcy remained unchallenged around the far turn. Bright Baby Blues, stalking from the pocket, tipped first over at three-quarters, with Josie's Joy and Armatrading tracking her move. Timed in 1:26.1 (:29), Sarcy remained in control. Despite bids from Bright Baby Blues, Josie's Joy, Armatrading and Fashion Lover in the late stages of the mile, Sarcy held command and sailed to a 1:55.3 (:29.2) victory; Fashion Lover finished second, Armatrading was third and Josie's Joy was fourth. Sarcy, sent off the second choice, is owned by Christina Takter and John and Jim Fielding and trained by Jimmy Takter. The Donato Hanover-Southwind Allaire-Valley Victory daughter paid $7.20 to win. Bee The Queen, entering off a 30-1 upset in the Kindergarten last week, was victorious at odds of 1/5 in 1:56.1. Catherine's Melody showed early speed, while Bee The Queen floated towards the front, and Bright Eyes sat behind in third. The opening quarter was timed in :29.3. Bee The Queen made her move before the half, trying to sweep around Catherine's Melody as Bright Eyes, Flirting Filly and Shafina Hanover began their bids. Bee The Queen had a head in front through a :58.3 (:29) half. Although Flirting Filly broke traveling first over, Shafina Hanover made her way to Bee The Queen's wheel through a 1:26.1 (:27.3) third-quarter. Corey Callahan pulled the plugs on Bee The Queen and she kicked 3 lengths clear of Shafina Hanover, Bright Eyes and Catherine's Melody, and eventually winning by 3 ½ lengths in 1:56.1 (:30). A daughter of Donato Hanover-Bee Line-Self Possessed, Bee The Queen is owned by Alfred Ross and is trained by George Ducharme. She returned $2.60 to win. Bee The Queen extended her lead on the Kindergarten leaderboard with 158 points, with Allerage Star second with 125 points and Lady Clarabella in third with 111 points. Live racing resumes at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 25, with the Grand Circuit meeting, commencing with the $300,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters. Declaration time is 9:30 A.M. on Monday, September 22. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 18, 2014 - Broken Record held on for a length and three-quarter victory in the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stake - Green Acres Final, the first of two non-wagering races on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The Ray Schnittker trained and driven son of Muscles Yankee was a wire-to-wire winner in 2:00.1 in the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings final. He has a winning streak of two. Mountain Top [Muscle Hill] was second with Switchblade Hall [Muscles Yankee] in third by two and a half lengths. Broken Record has now collected four wins, a second and three thirds from nine starts. He is just shy of $65,000 in earnings for Schnittiker and Ted Gewertz of New York City. In the $7,000 first leg of the Green Acres for three-year-old pacing fillies, Fanticipation [Rocknroll Hanover] was an eight and a quarter length winner over Fiyonce [Rocknroll Hanover] while Ideal Helen [Western Ideal] was 10 lengths back in third. Fanticipation, driven by Jason Bartlett and trained by Michael Forte, is owned by Ricky Bucci of Stormville, NY. She has five wins and five thirds in 14 starts this year. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

Without ever seeing the “rail” and parked out first-over the entire mile, Sumatra was able to grind it out for driver Brian Sears in capturing the $118,300 Old Oaken Bucket Thursday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. It was a bulky ten-horse field for three-year-old trotters on a half mile track and winning trainer Tom Fanning said this was going to happen. “I don’t like everyone not having their nose on the gate,” Fanning said Wednesday morning. We won’t be able to take back if we don’t leave or else we will be parked out the entire mile. I still think my horse is a contender in here. He has been doing great the last two weeks.” Fanning was right on the mark with that pre-race comment. Uva Hanover (Tim Tetrick) were the first out of the gate and on the early lead with race favorite Datsyuk (Charlie Norris) grabbing the pocket trip. They went to the opening quarter in :28. Then Skates N Plates (   ) came first-over and cleared to the lead with Sumatra and Sears losing their cover and getting parked-out to the half in :56.4. Around the third turn, Skates N Plates was in command with Sumatra gaining ground with every stride. They passed the three-quarters in 1:26 and Sumatra was then able to clear to the lead as Skates N Plates began to fold. Down the stretch Sears urged Sumatra on and they held a two length lead as the field came at them but it was too late as Sumatra held on at the wire to score by a diminishing three-quarters of a length in 1:56.1. Datsyuk was second and Il Sogno Dream (Aaron Merriman) finished third. Sumatra went off at odds of 19-1. “It did work out,” Sears said, “My horse was able to overcome it (first-over). He doesn’t have the handiest speed in the world but he is honest and he tries real hard. I know that horse of Trond’s (Smedshammer) would not hold the lead and my horse got by him on the last turn and that made the race for him. I didn’t put any pressure on him. I let him do it on his own. He’s not real quick but he keeps going and does not get tired and he showed that today.” It was the second win this year for Sumatra. The gelded son of Muscles Yankee other win this year was the Dexter Cup Trot final at Freehold Raceway, once again on a half mile track. Sumatra is owned by Joseph Smith of Vero Beach, FL and paid $41.00 to win. Pinkman takes $59,445 Standardbred Stake Nothing was “breaking bad” for Pinkman in Thursday’s $59,445 Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters, as he overcame favorite Crazy Wow in deep stretch for the victory at the Delaware County Fair. Making only his second start, Pinkman and driver Yannick Gingras followed leader Crazy Wow -- who won the New York Sire Stakes championship last Saturday -- for nearly the entire mile before pulling out of the pocket and trotting to the win in 1:57. Crazy Wow finished second, followed by Ralph R and Walter White. The Jimmy Takter-trained Pinkman, racing as an entry with Walter White, went off at 5-1 and paid $12 to win. Pinkman and Walter White are named after characters from the television series “Breaking Bad.” Pinkman is a son of Explosive Matter out of the mare Margie Seelster. He was purchased for $77,000 under the name Traffic Jam at the Lexington Selected Sale. His family includes stakes-winner Grassbed, who is the mother of 1990 Dan Patch Award-winner Me Maggie and grandmother of millionaire racehorse and top stallion Credit Winner. In his first start, Pinkman finished second from post eight in a conditioned race at The Red Mile. He has now earned $27,275 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. On Thursday, Pinkman sat behind Crazy Wow through fractions of :29.4, :59.3 and 1:28.4. Walter White made a first-over challenge from fourth place at the half-mile point, but only was able to get within a half-length of overtaking Crazy Wow for the lead. Pinkman found room coming off the final turn and was able to overcome a 1-1/4 length deficit to win by a neck. "He is now a gelding rather than a colt," said Jimmy Takter. "We had some problems that resulted from the castration surgery that took some time for him to recover from so that is why he had a late start. We started him in Lexington last week and I was very happy with him so I decided to put him in here." By Steve Wolf, Ken Weingartner with Kimberly French

Ouch, in rein to Christophe Martens, took today’s Quinte+ feature at Le Cepiere, France, covering the 2950 meter course in 1.16.1kr to record a rallying score over 14 European rivals in the Gran Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duran for a €40,000 purse. The Danish invader, trained by Vincent Martens, is an eight-year-old gelded son of Ganymede and was off as the 2.1/1 favorite. Thoury le King was second for Alexandre Abrivard ahead of Brasil Boko driven by Dominik Locqueneux for trainer Robert Bergh. The Q+ exact order payoff was €680 for a €2 wager and the jackpot this day was €4.6 million and was not hit, thus carrying over to €4.65 million the next day. Race summary is shown below as well. September 9, 2014 Le Cepiere, Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri, purse €40,000, European, 2950 meters, Q+, 1.16.1kr 1st Ouch (8g Ganymede-Juvel Gill), Christophe Martens for trainer Victor Martens, 2.1/1 odds, Denmark 2nd Thoury le King (7g Melchoir Jet-Kasines de Thoury), Alexandre Abrivard, 6.8/1 3rd Brasil Boko (6m Love You-Harpune), Dominik Locqueneux up for trainer Robert Bergh, 6.4/1 At Vincennes a familiar name, Ulf Nordin, scored with his two year-old pupil Captain Sparrow at nearly 21/1 odds. The son of Ready Cash-Holly du Locton scored easily in the €32,000 purse Prix 70 Ans du Parisien. Race summary follows: September 9, 2014 Paris Vincennes, Prix 70 Ans du Parisien, purse €32,000, 2200 meters, 14 starters, 1.18.1kr 1st Captain Sparrow (2m Ready Cash-Holly du Locton), Ulf Nordin trainer/driver, 20.8/1 2nd Cachou de Malac (2m Nahar de Breval-Papeete), A. Gougeon up, 14.5/1 3rd Carlos des Caux (2m Mien-Star Dodienville), Jacques Bruneau up, 6.6/1 The prior day (September 8) at Mantorp (SWE) the Jerry Riordan trained, Lisa Riordan owned Sylvester America (3m Varenne-Armbro Voice-Garland Lobell) scored in 1.14.5kr over 2140 meters autostart to capture the 35,000SEK first prize in a three year-old event. Johan Untersteiner drove the winner (now a four time winner in 10 starts) as he defeated two Stefan Melander trainees. Iponema (3f Muscles Yankee-Beachcomber-Conway Hall) was second for Bjorn Goop while the Melander driven Party Boat Hanover (3m Cantab Hall-Princess Cruise-Donerail) took third. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 12, 2014 - Trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer fired Skates N Plates off the gate and was never headed, winning the $55,000 Charles I. Smith Trot, the seventh race on Friday, September 12, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The Charles I. Smith is restricted to New Jersey-sired three-year-old trotters and sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. Skates N Plates, who is by Revenue, was tested by 1-2 favorite Hillustrious both in the first quarter and again in the homestretch, but repelled the son of Muscle Hill both times for a three-quarter length victory in 1:56.3. It was four lengths to Angels Ransom [Revenue] in third. Skates N Plates [$19.40] picked up his third win with a second and a third in 13 starts in 2014. Owned and bred by Robert J. Key of Leechburg, PA, he has banked $87,703 this year and $162,541 for his career. The stakes record for the Smith of 1:55.4 was set in 2010 by Flex The Muscle [Muscles Yankee]. In the co-featured $7,000 opening leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Green Acres for two-year-old trotting fillies, carded as the third race, Model Behavior [Muscles Yankee-Marla Bar] was a three-quarter -length winner over Prinsessa [Muscle Hill] in 2:02.2. Contraire [Muscles Yankee] was third by a length. Model Behavior, driven by Eric Abbatiello and trained by Robert Baggitt Jr., is owned by her breeder, Fair Winds Farm of Cream Ridge, NJ. She now has two wins in five starts. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ                  

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 11, 2014 - It took his tenth career start but Switchblade Hall finally reached the winner's circle with a sharp effort in the $7,000 third leg of New Jersey Sire Stakes-Green Acres for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings in the second of two non-wagering events on Thursday, September 11, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. Trainer Ray Schnittker drove the son of Muscles Yankee, who covered the mile in 2:01.2, finishing three and a half lengths ahead of Firestop [Muscles Yankee]. It was six and a quarter lengths to Cruizinwithmuscles [Muscles Yankee] in third. Switchblade Hall had a second and four thirds in his prior nine starts, earning shy of $10,000 for Schnittker, Walnut Hall Ltd. of Lexington, KY; Fam Alber Horse Racing LLC of Long Branch, NJ and Brian Pedersen of Delaware. In the first of the two pre-card events, a $7,000 Green Acres opening leg for three-year-old trotting fillies, Shelikescandy by Chocolatier was a five and three-quarter length winner over Revergreen, a daughter of Revenue. Coin Collector by Chocolatier was third by six and a quarter lengths in the field of three. The time for the mile was 2:03.4. Shelikescandy, driven by Steve Smith and trained by Dawn Anderson, is owned by George Beck of Freehold, NJ. It was her second win in 13 starts this year and improved her lifetime record to four wins, one second and three thirds from 19 starts and earnings of $44,409. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

Patience is a virtue in harness racing and when you throw a trotter into the mix as well then patience is a mandatory requirement. This time last year Cambridge trainer Sean McCaffrey thought his patience with the Dream Vacation trotter, Awayonvacation was about to be rewarded when the five year old won a couple of races in the manner of a trotter going places. Owned in Christchurch by Rick Cridland, the decision was made to trek to Addington for cup week but it was a trip where nothing went right. "He was badly checked on Cup Day and that kind of wound him up a bit for Show Day and he didn't produce his best" said McCaffrey when discussing the trip this week. Awayonvacation was brought home to Cambridge but didn't race again throughout the rest of the  2013/2014season. "It was just a lot of little niggles that kept cropping up so in the end we tipped him out for a decent spell " said McCaffrey. Resuming ten months after the Show Day run at Auckland last week, Awayonvaction missed away and then was checked at the 700 meters mark so it was hard to get a line on his performance. Tomorrow night he steps out at Cambridge in a 2200 meters mobile and Sean is expecting a big run from the six year old. "I have always had a bit of time for him and still think he could go a fair way through the grades. He stands 17 hands so he was always going to be better with time " said McCaffrey "He is quite ungainly at a slow speed but has a real nice feel to him when he gets a bit of speed up " he said. The dam of Awayonvacation is the Muscles Yankee mare Wheresmemum who was an embryo transfer foal from the smart trotting mare Kristalvagen 1:55.4 ($63,231) before she was exported to North America. At stud in North America Kristalvagen has already left the smart Duke Of Vegas 1:56 ($93,077). Sean has shown a lot of patience with Awayonvacation and should be rewarded over the next few months with performances in line with his ability. Harnesslink Media

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