Day At The Track
Search Results
17 to 32 of 69

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 two year old pacing fillies division Contender 1) Dream About Me - 5 starts    5 wins,    0 seconds,    0 thirds    Lt $213,332 We have been blessed with some outstanding two year old fillies over the last 130 odd years in New Zealand harness racing but none have looked as talented as Dream About Me. The daughter of Bettor's Delight has just looked exceptional from the first time she stepped onto a racetrack and it is hard to convey in words how good she is. Her Harness Jewels win was very special where she worked from the outside of the front line to lead and comfortably hold on in a new New Zealand record of 1:53.3 on a very cold Autumn day. However the run that epitomized to Harnesslink how brilliant she was,occurred at the workouts of all places on the Saturday prior to the Harness Jewels. Dream About Me paced her last quarter in a freakish 24.8 and that was with driver Tim Williams sitting quietly in the bike and the ear plugs still in. Unbeaten in five and New Zealand record holder to boot, Dream About Me is the only possible choice for two year old filly of the year in New Zealand. Unlucky In any other year the daughter of Panspacificflight in Arden's Choice would have been a serious contender for two year old filly of the year but she had the grave misfortune to strike one as good as Dream About Me in her year. Only the third biggest stake winning filly behind Dream About Me and Northern Velocity (Mach Three) but clearly the second best in the country, finishing second to Dream about Me on three occasions. Northern Velocity won $140,000 but looked a filly a shade below the best whenever they met. Selection Dream About Me 

In harness racing you can be on top of the world one minute and in the depths of despair the next when you are dealing with 500 kg horses. That's how the owners of The Manipulator must feel tonight after their very promising three year old son of Panspacificflight broke down while racing at Addington Raceway today (May 9th). A warm favourite for the $23,505 Alabar Super Series final for C1-C3 pacers,The Manipulator went away well initially but then galloped after 100 metres when checked and settled well behind the field. The Manipulator made up a lot of ground during the race and would have finished a lot closer than ninth if he hadn't been badly held up in the home straight. Nothing was noticeably wrong with the horse as he was ungeared and washed but as he cooled down The Manipulator was favouring his offside front leg. The Addington Raceway vet Corin Murfitt was quickly on the scene and after a thorough examination was convinced that The Manipulator had either fractured a cannon bone or a suspensory. The Manipulator will be x-rayed tomorrow and then a course of action decided after the diagnosis has been made. Natalie Rasmussen was philosophical about the injury. " It is just one of those things when you are racing horses but it is still not nice when it happens." " You just hope that it is not as bad as it looks and that the horse can make a complete recovery," Natalie said. We here at Harnesslink echo those sentiments and wish The Manipulator a speedy recovery. Harnesslink Media  

WILKES-BARRE PA - The winning beat went on for JL Cruze as he captured the $30,000 Championship of the Bobby Weiss Series for trotting males in 1:52.4 Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, while in the $30,000 pacing female Championship, Donttellruss led a 1-2-3 finish for the Burke Stable with a 1:52.1 triumph.   MALE TROTTERS - JL CRUZE   It may not exactly have been the maximum win in "cruze control" - it looked like John Campbell had to flick the whip three times at him in the lane - but the result was the same: JL Cruze in the winners circle, for the 11th time in 13 starts this year and for the seventh straight time, after a 1:52.4 triumph in the Weiss finale for male trotters.   Campbell bided his time early with the Crazed gelding, then went up to get the lead just past the quarter from Opulent Yankee, with splits of 27.4, 57, and 1:25.1. The "Yankee" gave his nemesis a good threat in the Pocono Pike midstretch, appearing to get within a half-length, but JL Cruze still had more and completed the last panel in 27.3 for a length victory. (Math fans will note that tossing out the second stanza gives you 1:23.3 speed for JL Cruze in the other quarters; in another numbers note, "Cruze" commanded over $19,000 in a $21,700 show pool.)   Eric Ell, the skipper of one of the East Coast's hottest barns right now, trains JL Cruze, who will certainly be needing to take a step up in class soon if not now, for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr., and Stephen Iaquinta.   (And spare a thought for the gallant Opulent Yankee, from the Miller Team Orange Crush. His seasonal record now is 13-5-8-0, and you get exactly zero points for guessing which horse finished in front of him all eight times. At least he has the satisfaction of knowing he did hang JL Cruze's two 2015 defeats on him.)   FEMALE PACERS -- DONTTELLRUSS   Far inside, far outside, down the middle of the track - the Ron Burke four-horse stable entry came at 'em from every angle, taking down the 1-2-3 spots in the Weiss Championship for female pacers, with Donttellruss taking the biggest part of the money as a 1:52.3 pocket rocket.   With $32,500 of a $34,000 show pool riding on the 1-5* quartet, only one of them left the gate hard - Donttellruss, winner of her last two starts in the Weiss, and she wrested the lead from Hollyrocker just at the 26.2 quarter. The Beach Nextdoor, sent off at 2-1 despite three straight series wins, had tucked fourth early after starting from post eight, then was hustled to the lead well before the 55.3 half.   But The Beach Nextdoor would find the Burke entry making life a "beach" for her soon afterwards, with Life Is A Beach and Allthatjazz De Vie, each series winners, coming first- and second-over respectively (and remember, Donttellruss is still in the pocket) past the 1:23.2 3/4s.   In the stretch, driver Andrew McCarthy took Donttellruss to the Pocono Pike, took the lead from the game but overwhelmed The Beach Nextdoor, and then held off - Caviart Shelly, the fourth Burkeite, the only one not a prelim winner, the one who was fourth-over and eighth at the ¾ pole and five-wide headstretch, the one closed with a furious rally to miss by only a head, with Life Is A Beach just another neck back in third.   Donttellruss is a daughter of Panspacific Flight co-owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr, and Frank Baldachino. She earned $31,800 in Weiss competition, with the Burke foursome totaling $82,200 in this division alone.   One final note: the only non-1-2-3 Burke horse, Allthatjazz De Vie, finished sixth, though beaten only 2¼ lengths. This was important wagering information, as in addition to show wagering, Pocono also allowed exacta, trifecta, and superfecta betting - thus the Exacta was the 1-2-3 entry and fourth-place Crescent City; the Trifecta added fifth-place The Beach Nextdoor; and for the Superfecta, you had to go all the way down to seventh, Hideaway Beach, to determine the official order!   '**************   And if all that isn't enough for mountain sulky fans to digest: the $30,000 Weiss Championship for trotting females is tomorrow night, and on Saturday the world's richest harness horse, Foiled Again, returns to the scene of his 2013 Breeders Crown triumph, as The $6+ Million Dollar Horse ($6,923,781) goes in the winners-over pace.   (And he drew the rail. Won't this guy Burke ever get any luck?)   PHHA / Pocono

Tasmanian harness racing trainer Ben Yole unveiled a potential star filly at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night by the name of Last Flight In. The New Zealand-bred three-year-old drew the outside of the front line in the Stirling Stockfeed Pace (2090 metres) for 3C0-3C1 assessed pacers but made light work of the task to cross the field and lead. Once in front driver Mark Yole ensured a solid tempo and she went on to score by over 11 metres recording a mile rate of 2.00.02. It was the filly's first Australian start and one that trainer Yole was supremely confident she would win. "We've only had the filly for a week but in that time she showed me enough on the training track that she would win this race," Yole said. "I had clients who were keen to buy one in New Zealand so I contacted horse broker Mark McNamara and he put us onto a few to look at and it all came down to this filly or a colt and owner Warren Viney had the final say and he chose this filly." "They paid good money for her and from what she has shown me since arriving just over a week ago she should win her share of races here in Tasmania," he said. Last Flight In (Panspacificflight-Orse M Denario) had one start in New Zealand for a win on a rain affected track at Wyndham on the South Island and while her time was slow, the potential owners were not deterred. "There was a lot to like about the filly's win in New Zealand on a bog track and now that we've seen what she can do here there's no doubt in my mind she will well and truly pay her way," Yole said. The filly is expected to have her next start in the Max McCormack at Devonport next Sunday night. "She will head to the Max McCormack because it is a race for three-year-olds with lifetime earnings of less than $10,000 and she just falls into that category," Yole said. Peter Staples

The $113,406 Woodlands Stud/ Caduceus Club two year old Fillies Classic at the harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park tonight was meant to be a walk in the park for the daughter of Mach Three in Northern Velocity after her high class stablemate Dream About Me was scratched due to a hoof infection. No one told one of the other stablemates of Northern Velocity in Arden's Choice who even though she had beaten Northern Velocity at her last start was only the second elect on the tote. Luisanabelle Midfrew and Matthew Williamson led early from barrier five as Northern Velocity and Natalie Rasmussen settled into a lovely trail on her back. Arden's Choice with Mark Purdon in the bike settled well back early before ending up in the one by one with 1200 metres to go. With no mid race moves Luisanabelle Midfrew was not pressured in front and upped the pressure from the 800 metres with a quarter down the back in 29. As they turned for home Mark Purdon looped them with Arden's Choice and shot clear and put the race to bed quickly, racing away for a 4 1/4 length victory with Mark Purdon sitting quietly in the bike. Northern Velocity was held up by a tiring Luisanabelle Midfrew and by the time she got clear the bird had flown but she ran on well for second with Bettor Love Me a further 2 1/2 lengths away in third. Arden's Choice paced the 2200 metres in 2:44.4, a mile rate of 2:00.2 with closing sectionals of 56.6 and 27.6 Mark Purdon was happy with the continued improvement shown by the daughter of Panspacificflight. " She is getting better with every start and she never looked like doing anything wrong tonight." " She feels like a filly with a lot of bottom to her and I think the further she goes the better she will perform." " The Stiven family bred this one and I am sure Noreen was looking down from above, cheering us on, Mark said. The win by Arden's Choice continued a really good run for the stock of Panspacificflight lately who have been winning races on both sides of the Tasman with great regularity. Harnesslink Media       

WILKES-BARRE PA - JL Cruze was once again on "cruze"-control Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, winning his $15,000 division of the fourth and preliminary leg of the Bobby Weiss Series for male trotters in 1:52.4.   JL and "JC" - Hall of Fame driver John Campbell - moved rapidly from fourth nearing the quarter to take over the lead from main challenger Opulent Yankee under the wire the first time, and the triumphant Crazed gelding was not threatened from there, sprinting home in 55.4 - 27.2 to keep the game Opulent Yankee 1¼ lengths at bay at the finish.   JL Cruze, a winner of over $140,000 already this season, is now perfect in two Weiss starts for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr., and Steve Iaquinta, and already has 10 wins in but 12 seasonal starts. With no show wagering, JL Cruze attracted $8329 in a $9658 place pool, but the real value may have been the JL Cruze-Opulent Yankee exacta, which was a big overlay at $3.20.   In the other Weiss section for this class, the Holiday Road colt Holiday My Way not only recorded his first Weiss score, but he also broke his maiden, and in fine fashion with a 1:56.2 personal mark. Trained by Shawn Simons and driven by his dad, "The Trot Man" Mike Simons, Holiday My Way made an early move to the lead and went on to win for Rick and Regina Beinhauer and the T L P Stable.   Tuesday's Pocono card also featured the last prelim round for pacing females (both of these $30,000 Championships will be next Tuesday). The first section saw The Beach Nextdoor win her third straight in Weiss competition, with the Somebeachsomewhere mare shading 27.3 in the final panel to equal her lifetime mark of 1:53 as a "pocket rocket." Jim Morrill Jr. was again in the sulky for trainer Brewer Adams and owners Adams Racing LLC and Brian Clark.   Like The Beach Nextdoor, Donttellruss used rallying tactics from the two-hole in the other cut, gaining into the 27.3 kicker to win in 1:53.3 over her stablemate in the Ron Burke barn, Allthatjazz De Vie, marking the second straight week that that pair has finished 1-2. The victorious mare by Panspacificflight was driven by Andrew McCarthy for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Kerr, and Frank Baldachino.   ****************** The field has been drawn for the first of the Weiss Series Finals, this Saturday's $30,000 event for pacing males, and while two major contenders benefited from the draw, one suffered the unkindest luck of all.   Getting the rail was YS Lotus, who responded to getting a full week off last Saturday by pacing to a lifetime best of 1:50.2 for driver Simon and trainer/brother Rene Allard (who teamed for seven victories on the Pocono card last Saturday). Prior to that win, "YS" had started 6 times in 18 days, competing in both the Weiss and the Sagamore Hill Series at Yonkers, but the extra racing seems to have only honed the gelding to a career edge.   The other Weiss winner last week is Major Uptrend, making him 2 for 2 in the series, and he seems quite likely to be the betting favorite for trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley. The Major won in "only" 1:51.3 last week, but it was from the difficult post eight, and he has been very versatile and consistent on the bigger-sized tracks in 2015.   The "unlucky" Weiss finalist is Victory At Last, who had posted victories in each of the first three prelims, but had to settle for second behind Major Uptrend last week. Also a member of the Burke stable, Victory For Last is "stuck behind the 8-ball" for Saturday's Championship.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Four of the first five winners at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday night paid the 5 cents to a dollar legal minimum profit in winning, including three visitors to the harness racing Victory Lane during $15,000 third round series action of the Bobby Weiss Series - with the quartet tallying by a combined 21 lengths.   The trotting males were up first, and two Meadowland invaders took all the money, both pari-mutuel and purse. First up was the Crazed gelding JL Cruze, who has already bankrolled $133,000+ this year winning three series at the Jersey oval and racking up an effortless 12¼-length score in his mountain debut for trainer Eric Ell and driver John Campbell. The winner tripped the timer in 1:54.1 over a sloppy surface after making every pole a winning one for owners Ken Wood, William Dittmar Jr., and Stephen Iaquinta.   Opulent Yankee, who has caused the "2" in JL Cruze's 11-9-2-0 season's record, was next up, and he was 3½ lengths to the good at the end of his 1:54.2 triumph. Team Orange Crush, driver Andy and trainer Julie Miller, guide the fortunes of the Muscles Yankee gelding for Little E LLC, Arthur Geiger, Jason Settlemoir, and David Stolz.   In the first of two pacing mare divisions, the Burke / Weaver Bruscemi entry took all the money and finished 1-2, as Donttellruss got her first Weiss win in two starts, turning back Allthatjazz De Vie, who was successful in her initial series outing, in 1:53.3. Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi share ownership of the Andrew McCarthy-driven winning daughter of Panspacificflight with Lawrence Karr and Frank Baldachino.   In the second distaff sidewheelers cut, a Burke entry was also favored, but they had to settle for second and third behind the only two-time Weiss winner in this section, the Somebeachsomewhere mare The Beach NextDoor, taking a new mark of 1:53 under the guidance of Jim Morrill Jr. The winner's dam is named On The Choo Choo, and those are the tactics Morrill successfully employed for trainer Brewer Adams and the partnership of Adams Racing LLC and Brian Clark.   The fourth 1-20* horse, in the card's opener, was the well-regarded altered son of The Panderosa, Heavenly Knox, who made short work of his assignment in a personal best of 1:51.3. Triumphant in the Walter Russell Series Final at The Meadows in his last start, Heavenly Knox is now 8 for 9 lifetime, with driver David Miller and trainer Mark Ford entrusted with the care of the winner by new owners George and Rose Bonomo.   The four "sureshots" attracted plenty of money "underneath" as well, as $60,000 to show among all but JL Cruze; his race had no show betting, so over $20,000 went into the place pool on him.   (But all is not chalk in the Pocono pari-mutuels: Hall of Famer John Campbell paid $25.60 to win in a race on the card, and he finished third, beaten a length, at 75-1 in another.)   PHHA / Pocono    

The New Zealand Sires Stakes two year old fillies heat at tonights harness racing meeting at Addington looked a one filly race on paper in favour of Northern Velocity but as is often the case, racing luck plays a big part on race night. Luisanabelle Midfrew and Matthew Williamson led early from barrier five while Northern Velocity and Natalie Rasmussen worked forward from barrier seven and found the death seat after 500 metres giving her stablemate Arden's Choice with Mark Purdon in the bike the one by one. Luisanabelle Midfrew kept up a solid tempo during the mid stages and was still in front as they turned for home.   Try as she might, Northern Velocity couldn't get past the daughter of American Ideal and it was left to her stablemate Arden's Choice to swoop late and grab a game Luisanabelle Midfrew by 3/4 length with a neck back to a game favourite in Northern Velocity.   Arden's Choice paced the 1950 metres in 2:24, a mile rate of 1:58.8 with closing sectionals of 57.5 and 27.4.   It was the daughter of Panspacificflight's first win at her fifth career start but she has shown plenty of promise in her previous four starts.   Two seconds to the very smart Dream About Me were followed by a couple of gallops where things didn't go her way.   Mark Purdon expected an improved run from Arden's Choice this week.   "She looked like she was going to run a place against the colts last week when the gap came but she just tried to go too quickly and galloped.   " We took her hopples up a couple of holes and let her work into it tonight instead of rushing her, Mark said.   Natalie Rasmussen was very happy with the run of the hotpot Northern Velocity.   " She did the most work of any filly in the race and fought on really well for a close third so I was really pleased with her effort, Natalie said.   The All Star barn will take Arden's Choice, Northern Velocity and the unbeaten Dream About Me north for the Sires Stakes Final before returning south for the Harness Jewels.   Harnesslink Media

YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 16, 2015--Yonkers Raceway's 2015 stakes season continued Monday night, with a pair of second-round divisions in the Petticoat Pacing Series for harness racing 3- and 4-year-old ladies. Foolin' no one Witch Dali (Tim Tetrick, $2.40) handily repeated in the opening, $12,500 event, this time wiring from post position No. 4 (:29.2, :57.4, 1:26.2, 1:53.4). The final margin was an as-she-pleased six lengths over Cruisinwithmybaby (Tyler Buter), with Life is a Beach (George Brennan) third. For Witch Dali, a 4-year-old daughter of Dali co-owned (as Alagna Racing) by (trainer) Tony Alagna and Brad Grant, it was her fourth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $8.90, with the triple returning $14.40. Series-debuting Donttellruss (George Brennan, $3) earned it in the second Petticoat posse. Badly impeded by another leaver who jumped it off, "Russ" settled fourth behind Always Sunday (Tetrick) and early intervals of :28.4 of :57.4. Right around the intermission, Donttellruss made front, then took over from there (1:26.2, 1:55.3). She held Always Sunday at bay, winning by a length. My Caroline (Matt Kakaley) was third. For "Russ," a 4-year-old daughter of Panspacificflight co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Frank Baldachino, she--same as "Dali"--is 4-for-8 this season. The exacta paid $5, with the triple returning $12.40 Series action continues Tuesday afternoon, with four, $12,500 divisions in the second round of the Sagamore Hill for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers. Friday, the opening round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (three, $40,000 divisions), while Saturday offers the opening round of George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (to be drawn Tuesday). Frank Drucker

Harness racing breeders are not a very patient lot at the best of times as most stallion owners will know from experience. Any new stallion is expected to preform miracles with their first crop and if they don't they are quickly written off and discarded by most breeders. In today's world of shuttle stallions where the best sires in the world are available to New Zealand breeders, there is no where for a promising sire to hide any more. To make an impact you have to face the Bettor's Delights and Art Majors of the world front on. The biggest problem that most of the newer stallions face is getting access to quality mares. It doesn't happen in most instances so the playing field is always heavily tilted in favour of the established sires. Therefore when the progeny of  a new sire do show up on the track and compete with the big boys, one has to take note. One of the newer sires we think is doing a good job off limited numbers is the son of The Panderosa in Panspacificflight 1:50.6 ($442,953). Available via frozen semen through Brent and Sheree McIntyre's stud, Macca Lodge, Panspacificflight looked a topliner in the making before injury curtailed his career. His maternal family is as good as it gets with his dam You Can Fly also producing Thereandpanlines 1:49.4 ($944,349). You Can Fly is also a half sister to the top sire Real Artist who has left the winners of over $78,000,00 to date including six millionaires and 24 in 1:50 and she is also a half sister to the dam of leading sire Art Major so it is a sire laden pedigree. His North American statistics are encouraging with him finishing sixteenth last year on the North American two year old sires list just behind Mach Three and ahead of McArdle and Jeremes Jet. He is just about to crack ten million in North American earnings so he does look a stallion on the up. In New Zealand his oldest crop are three year olds and number just 23 live foals. Of those twenty three, eighteen have qualified with five having won to date which is a great start The best of these is probably Little Rascal who was impressive winning from the Robert Dunn barn recently at Alexandra Park. Panspacificflight has 33 two year olds this season and again he has some promising performers. As of today seven have qualified and two have shown up on raceday to good effect. Arden's Choice looks a high class filly after a top second on debut at Timaru in a $25,000 Sires Stakes heat run just a touch outside the New Zealand record for the distance. She lines up again tonight at Auckland in a fillies heat of the Young Guns series and is a leading contender. Arden's Legacy ran third in last weekends $25,000 Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham and looks a very promising colt. Another colt to have made an impression this season was First Class Arden who qualified in 1:58.5 recently at Ashburton. All in all it is a very good start for a sire who hasn't had a lot of "blue blood" mares and has struggled for numbers as well. He is showing all the signs of being a successful sire and in our view deserves a bigger shot at really making it as a sire than breeders are currently giving him. Harnesslink Media

DOVER, Del.--- Bossa Nova Baby picked right off where he left off last week scoring a 1:52.2 victory in the $15,000-$20,000 Claiming Handicap, the Sunday, Feb. 8 feature race on a Spring-like day at Dover Downs. With Hall of Famer Ron Pierce holding the reins, Bossa Nova Baby held off KR's Power Surge (Jim Morand) and Drunk On You (Eddie Davis Jr.) to win for the second-straight start for trainer Dylan Davis and owner Howard Taylor. An altered son of Panspacificflight - By Faith Valaree, Bossa Nova Baby danced his way to his 15 lifetime win. In the fastest race on the card, Jerry Clark's Workandplayhard stopped the timer at 1;50.4, a career record, to win an $8,000 Male pace with Eddie Davis Jr. chalking up his second win on the day. The win was the first of 2015 for the Western Terror - Slice Of Life gelding trained by Doug Lewis. Toms Titan (Jonathan Roberts) was runner-up. Stagecoach Holdup (Roger Plante) stormed down the lane for third. Ron Pierce drove four winners, Eddie Davis Jr. had a triple, Tony Morgan and trainer Dylan Davis posted doubles. Velocity Sonja looks for her third straight victory in the Monday pace for young females feature race. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday are "dark" days. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

The Worldly Beauty harness racing series for the pacing fillies and mares continued on Friday at The Meadowlands. A premier match-up of first round winners took center stage in the second division, as Witch Dali, the 1/5 favorite and Donttellruss, the 2-1 second choice, hooked up in a preview of the Final. Witch Dali went right to the lead, setting a rapid pace of 27.2, 55.1 and 1:22.3 with Donttellruss and Yannick Gingras racing right off Tim Tetrick's helmet throughout the mile. The two favorites would separate themselves from the field from that point onward and kicked home together, with Donttellruss pulling the pocket in the stretch and wearing down a game Witch Dali. It was Witch Dali's first defeat since returning to the races and snapped a five race win streak. For Donttellruss a daughter of Panspacificflight , she is a perfect three for three to start her four year old campaign. Ron Burke trains the mare for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Karr and Baldachino. The first division did not include a round one winner and thus it was very competitive on paper. Hex was sent off as the 7/5 favorite for owner driver Dave Miller off a fourth place finish the week before, but that filly went off stride while racing well off the pace into the far turn. Frame Worthy established the early pace and cut the mile through fractions of 27.3, 55.4 and 1:23.2. But 8/5 second choice, Empress Deo, was riding a perfect pocket trip every step of the mile and that mare pounced on the leader while holding off a late rally from Safe From Terror to score in 1:53.2, a new lifetime mark. Empress Deo was driven by Brett Miller for trainer Wayne Givens and owner Legacy Racing Of De Inc. The $25,000 featured B-1/A-1 Handicap Trot features a similar cast of characters to the past few weeks. Coming off a win, Lindy's Tru Grit looked like the horse to beat, but it was actually Appomattox who was sent off as the 7/5 favorite Friday night. Lindy's Tru Grit left hard from the outside post hitting the quarter in 27.4, before yielding to the pocket behind favored Appomattox, who would proceed to dictate terms through fractions of 55.3 and 1:24. Turning for home, Appomattox was clinging to the lead, but was feeling pressure from Mistery Woman and Team Six who was rallying off cover down the center of the track. Lindy's Tru Grit was looking for racing room in the stretch. He found it, but Team Six had the jump on him and scored a massive 50-1 upset over Lindy's Tru Grit with Appomattox saving the show. Mistery Woman was in contention racing first over in the stretch, but broke-stride when she put a nose in front inside the eighth pole. Team Six was driven to victory by Marcus Miller for Erv Miller and owners Peggy Hood, Mystical Marker Farms L.L.C., Paymaq Racing and Jorgen Jahre Jr. Both $.20 cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 wagers will carry over into the Saturday program. The fifth race carryover stands at $22,146, while the last race carryover is now $47,620. Racing resumes Saturday, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. The Saturday program features the second round of the Escort series with a pair of divisions. Darin Zoccali

The harness racing action moved to the trials at Rangiora yesterday after the huge day at Ashburton on Monday and saw a large batch of 2 year olds strut their stuff for the first time. The first of the 2 year old heats was for the fillies and all six runners were from the all conquering All Stars team. Arden's Choice by Panspacificflight did enough to grab the pacemaking Sophisticated Lady (Mach Three) in the last few metres but the whole six finished within a couple of lengths of each other in their first serious hitout. The overall time of 2:42.7 in the very windy conditions was what you would expect from a first up run and it should be upwards and onwards from here. The second of the 2 year old heats for colts and geldings saw a 3 year old added to the 5 runners in the form of Bettor Be Smooth and as you would expect he was too strong for the juveniles. Two All Stars runners in Chase The Dream (Bettor's Delight)  and Waikiki Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) closed in the straight but were still 1 1/4 and 2 1/2 lengths in arrears at the finish. However as the last 800 metres was cut out in a blistering 56.6 and 400 metres in 28.6, in less than ideal conditions, then both 2 year olds look to be very promising. In the third 2 year old heat which was also for colts and geldings, another of the All Stars team in Major Ben was very impressive. Slow to begin from the outside alley, Major Ben (Art Major) looped the field after 300 metres and was too strong afterwards winning by two lengths in the fastest time of the three heats of 2:37.2. with closing sectionals of 58.6 and 28.5 Stablemate Lazarus (Bettor's Delight) made ground late to grab second from Audi Hare (Mach Three) from the Michael House barn. Major Ben was easily the biggest of the 2 year olds on display yesterday but seems to have speed to match his size. There was plenty of talented horseflesh in some of the other heats yesterday and this is how we saw them. Isaiah looked very forward as he nabbed a game Venus Serena in his heat which was cut out in a 1:59.8 mile rate with smart sectionals in the conditions of 56.8 and 28.1 Both look ready to rumble come Cup week Itz Bettor To Win made ground well behind the first two for third and can't be far away from making his 3 year old debut. Ancient Moonlight and Cut Loose were very impressive in a C0 heat, clearing out a long way from home with only half a head separating them at the finish. The overall time of 2:30.7 was excellent in the conditions and both horses look to be early winners on that run. Ranfurly Rulz looked forward to resume when winning his heat in a 1:59.8 mile rate when the wind was at its worst and after he had done all the work in front. Princess Galleon trialed again like a trotter who is going to win one at short notice when she cleared out by five lengths in her heat. Webb Ellis and Highview Freddy were only separated by a half head in their heat and both look ready to win a maiden at short notice. Overall apart from the wind, it was a day that threw up several smart horses for racing around New Zealand Cup week Harnesslink Media

Harness racing returns to Invercargill on Friday afternoon and the best race of the day is race eight for the 3 year olds and older over 2200 meters. Three first starters who have drawn barriers one, two and three look set to dominate the betting and the finish. Number one is Jetsdream who is a 3 year old by Jeremes Jet who has been burning up the tracks at trials and workouts in Southland. He won his qualifying heat by 7 lengths, last 400 meters in 28.1 and then won a CO heat on September 10th by 2 lengths with smart closing sectionals of 56.4 and 27.6 Trained by Hamish Hunter at Ryal Bush, Jetsdream is to be driven by the talented southern reinsman Shane Walkinshaw. Drawn right beside him in barrier two is Costa Del Magnifico who is a 3 year old son of Mach Three who has also impressed at trials and workouts leading into his debut. He qualified in January as a 2 year old over a mile in 1:59.3 and has had two recent trial runs to get him ready for Friday. In the first of these Costa Del Magnifico ran second to Jetsdream and then came out three days later on September 13th and showed quick improvement winning a C0-C1 heat with quick closing sectionals of 56.7 and 27.8. Trained at Invercargill by Brent Shirley, Costa Del Magnifico is to be driven by leading reinsman Nathan Williamson. Drawn at barrier three is Macs Man, a 3 year old son of promising sire Panspacificflight who has also been going great guns at recent trials. He raced very greenly when he qualified but improved quickly to win a C0 trial shortly after with smart closing sectionals of 56.5 and 28.4 At his next trial Macs Man ran a close third to Jetsdream and Costa Del Magnifico after doing plenty of work. Trained by Kirk Larsen at Branxholme, Macs Man is to be driven by champion reinsman Dexter Dunn. In the end we have gone with Jetsdream due to the fact that he has been running time at the trials but  has yet to be really tested. Costa Del Magnifico for second just in front of Macs Man who has the bonus of the "Dexter " factor. To round out first fours throw in the Allan Beck trained and driven Run to Hide. Harnesslink Media    

Harness racing returned to Winton today (September 7th) and it was notable for seeing the first winner by the son of The Panderosa in Panspacificflight 1:50.6 ($442,953) in New Zealand. Available through Macca Lodge at Gore, his oldest crop in New Zealand have just turned three and number just 23. Several showed up at trials as two year olds but none had saluted the judge until today. The Manipulator had qualified seven seconds under time at Gore and with leading driver Dexter Dunn in the bike,he was sent out a short priced favourite on debut. Dexter let The Manipulator find his feet early from barrier one before he sent him to the front after 300 meters. The Manipulator always looked to be travelling well in front and Dexter hardly moved in the straight as he held all the challengers comfortably at bay. Trained by Tony Stratford at Riversdale, The Manipulator paced the 2400 meters from the mobile in 3:01.5, a mile rate of 2:01.7 with smart closing sectionals of 56.9 and 27. The Manipulator is the second foal from the top Presidential Ball racemare Luckisaladytonight 1:54.1 ($151,249). The first foal is the Laurence Hanrahan trained Cullen Keefe who is unbeaten in two so far. The grand dam Delightful Chance went 1:57 while the third dam Missy Lou is a half sister to the champion pacer Christopher Vance 1:54.6 ($1,747,167) Panspacificflight has done a great job in North America with over $9,000,000 on his card to date and his current crop of 2 year olds sit 13th on the North American charts ahead of Rocknroll Hanover, McArdle and Always A Virgin. His fastest runner to date is Paco Labrook 1:48.4 ($539,768) who is also from a Presidential Ball mare like The Manipulator. There is never a better time for a stallion's progeny to shine than in the spring when breeders are making up their minds about consorts for the coming season and in The Manipulator, Panspacificflight has produced a smart horse at just the right time. PS: First Flight In with Dexter in the bike made it two for the day for Panspacificflight when winning later on the program from the outside of the second row. Harnesslink Media    

That Man Of Mine won his second local Open Pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Saturday night. The Mark Ford-trained pacer hit the board in his three tries in the Open before starting from post three in the $17,000 this week. Showing uncharacteristic early speed, That Man Of Mine (Panspacificflight) and driver Billy Dobson sat the pocket behind front running longshot D Terminata (Frank Coppola Jr). D Terminata set fast fractions throughout and looked like he may have it won before a late surge just before the wire by That Man Of Mine who hit the line first in a career best 1:52.1. D Terminata was a strong second while Panocchio (Gerry Mattison), the race's favorite, had to settle for third. That Man Of Mine won for the ninth time this season as the five year old has established himself as a weekly threat in the Saturday night feature. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella  

17 to 32 of 69