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Portland, ME --- The Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association will be holding their annual awards banquet on Saturday (Feb. 15) at the Italian Heritage Center located at 40 Westland Avenue in Portland. The day starts off at 2:30 p.m. with the business meeting where old and new business is discussed and the election of officers will take place. The festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. with a social hour that will run in unison with the silent stallion auction. Many top breeders in the state donate the services of their stallions with the proceeds of the silent stallion auction benefitting the MSBOA Scholarship Fund. There will also be an additional auction of harness racing related items that will take place shortly before the awards banquet kicks off at 6 p.m. The awards banquet will recognize those who have excelled in the state’s sire stakes racing program in 2013. There are various awards based on age, gait, sire and broodmare that will receive acknowledgement for success in their respective categories. Awards will also be presented to the people of the sport who have contributed and succeeded in the Maine breeders program that represents many jobs and open land opportunities in the Pine Tree State. One such recipient is Mike Andrews of Gorham who will be receiving the top breeder in the trotting category as his 3-year-old trotting colt Obrigado went undefeated in his 2013 racing campaign as he notched 13 victories with earnings of more than $100,000. MSBOA president James Kelly will speak and introduce a trio of owners who have found success in harness racing’s ultimate trotting prize. Chip Campbell, Al Ross and Paul Fontaine co-own the 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life. This 3-year-old colt is trained by George Ducharme, who has been voted the Good Guy Award by the United States Harness Writers' Association. Ducharme, along with Campbell, Ross and Fontaine are New England residents with strong ties in Massachusetts harness racing as well as racing on the national scene. The story of Royalty For Life is one where Chip Campbell owned the stallion (RC Royalty) and Al Ross owned the mare (Bourbon N Grits). The connection of the two brought about a trotter that to date has earned more than $1.6 million in just two years of racing. The night will also raffles and door prizes. More information may be obtained from the following: and by Bill Ellis, for the MSBOA

DOVER, Del --- Awsome Valley dictated the fractions on the way to a wire-to-wire 1:56.2 victory in the $20,000 Open/Handicap trot at Dover Downs on Wednesday, Jan. 8. Tony Morgan took Awsome Valley into the early lead and strolled to the half in a pedestrian :59.1 before turning on the burners en route to a 1:56.2 success holding off Enrico AS and Allan Davis who challenged the winner on the backstretch to the finish line. The win was the first in 2014 after the mile last week to lose by a head. The Barbara Boese Revocable Trust owns the Valley Victor-Nannina Ambrosio gelding trained by Ryan McInnis. The victory put Awsome Valley into $206,583 territory with 19 wins. For the second straight Wednesday, Mandabra and Corey Callahan raced strongly only to finish third again. I'm So Striking, a Lois and Earl Walters and E&K Stable homebred, usually races from behind, but this time, trainer-driver Eddie Dennis put the So Striking-Ringside Kate gelding on the front end and he stayed there for a 1:55.3 score in the $15,000 Winners-Over trot sub-feature. Can Do (Vic Kirby) rushed down the lane to take second in front of Musclelanious (Corey Callahan). After a win last time, Picard was overlooked at 6-1 and came through with a 1:55.1 decision in a $14,500 Winners-Over trot. Corey Callahan was in the bike for Bonuccelli Racing and his dad, trainer Nick Callahan. Picard is an altered son of SJ's Caviar-Tasha Yar. Six Gun Hall (Allan Davis) had the lead until a few steps to the finish line and had to take second. Amiga Valley (Montrell Teague) was the show horse. On a card with several longshots, Color Me Royal was the biggest. Tyler Davis, a 21-year-old son of Allan and grandson of Eddie Davis, scored his third win of the meet guiding Alesha Carrow's 32-1 shot Color Me Royal home in 1:58.2 to win a $9,000 4&5-year-old trot. The RC Royalty-Watsu four-year-old held off Bold Strike (Art Stafford Jr. at the wire. Cash The Check (Vic Kirby) was third. Meet leading driver Corey Callahan had a "grand slam" hustling four winners. Ross Wolfenden had two wins, both ends of the daily double and Vic Kirby had two winners. by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs  

LATHAM, N.Y.-New York breeders and owners have plenty to celebrate when they look back on 2013. State-bred horses excelled in national competition and topped the yearling sales. The state continued to attract exciting new stallion prospects and the state government guaranteed supplemental purse revenue, both signaling the future strength of racing in the Empire State.   On the track, New York-breds made a strong impression this year, led by Hambletonian champion Royalty For Life. This son of RC Royalty also scored in the Stanley Dancer, Zweig Memorial and Canadian Trotting Classic on his way to eclipsing $1.6 million in career earnings.   A Breeders Crown title went home with Artiscape daughter Shelliscape when she scored in the most prestigious event for aged mare pacers on her way to more than $850,000 in lifetime earnings. In addition, New York Sire Stakes Champion He's Watching made sure everyone will be watching this undefeated colt when he returns next year after equaling a 1:52.2 world record for 2-year-old pacing colts on a half-mile track in his last of eight perfect starts in 2013. This son of American Ideal etched his name into the record books at Yonkers Raceway during the Night of Champions.   But New York also found success in the breeding shed. A total of 1,434 mares were bred this year, up slightly from 2012, to 60 registered stallions. New York-eligible yearlings led all states with the highest average price at both of the largest select yearling sales in the U.S., boasting a vigorous $48,097 average at the Lexington Selected sale and $39,664 in Harrisburg.   Nationally, three of the top five sires ranked by earnings of 2-year-old pacers were from New York (Art Major, American Ideal, Bettor's Delight) and three New York stallions were in the top ten list of 3-year- earnings (Credit Winner, RC Royalty, Crazed). On the list of national money winning sires of 2013, Bettor's Delight and Art Major ranked first and third, respectively, among pacers and Credit Winner and Conway Hall were fourth and ninth among all trotters.   The state also attracted several new stallions for the 2014 breeding season, notably Breeders Crown Champion and winner of $1.6 million, Betterthancheddar. Three trotting stallions will be relocating from other breeding programs, including Muscles Yankee, a proven sire whose progeny earned $5.7 million this year, is moving from Pennsylvania. He will be joined by Lucky Chucky, whose first crop of New York-eligible yearlings sold well this fall and is returning to the state after one year in Pennsylvania, and Muscle Mass, whose offspring earned $3 million this year and will be coming from Ontario. Pacer Rockincam will be retiring from the track after competing in the top open ranks in the country and collecting nearly $800,000 in career earnings.   With more than 200 Standardbred breeding farms in the state contributing to New York's agricultural economy, the state also made the move this year to guaranteed revenue from VLTs at the racetracks in the recently passed casino amendment to the state constitution. This means that purses for the New York Sire Stakes program and overnight purses will be preserved for the future with no less than current VLT contributions, providing security for breeders and horsemen.   In addition, Harness Horse Breeders of New York State is also excited to be working on a project with partners to bring a retirement and rehabilitation program for racehorses to New York in the near future. This program will help horse owners and breeders provide care and services for horses that are looking to retire or those transitioning to another career.   For more information on breeding and racing in New York State, or to pre-order a 2014 Stallion Directory, contact Harness Horse Breeders at 518-785-5858 or email   Submitted by Harness Breeders New York

Columbus, OH --- Bee A Magician, Father Patrick, and Maven were unanimous 2013 Dan Patch Award selections as the best harness racing horses in their respective divisions, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced Thursday. A total of 131 ballots were returned. Three-year-old filly trotter Bee A Magician and older female trotter Maven were named on all 131 while 2-year-old male trotter Father Patrick was named on 130 with one abstention. Six other year-end champions were named Thursday in divisions that saw only one horse receive at least 10 percent of the vote. Three-year-old male pacer Captaintreacherous and older male trotter Market Share both received 130 votes and were declared winners in their divisions. Also being named winners were 2-year-old filly pacer Precocious Beauty, 2-year-old filly trotter Shake It Cerry, 3-year-old filly pacer I Luv The Nitelife, and older male pacer Foiled Again. Winners in the three remaining divisions - 2-year-old male pacer, 3-year-old male trotter, and older female pacer - will be announced at the Dan Patch Awards banquet on Feb. 23 at Dover Downs. Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year, and Horse of the Year also will be revealed at that time. Finalists for best 2-year-old male pacer are He's Watching and Luck Be Withyou, with the 3-year-old male trotter race coming down to Royalty For Life and Spider Blue Chip and older female pacer a battle between Anndrovette and Rocklamation. Bee A Magician was undefeated in 17 starts this year and joined Muscle Hill and Syrinx Hanover as the only trotters to go unbeaten at age 3 and receive Dan Patch divisional honors dating back to 1975. Trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman and driven by Brian Sears for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, Bee A Magician won the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters, Hambletonian Oaks, Elegantimage Stakes, and Delvin Miller Memorial on her way to $1.54 million in purses. Her earnings are the most ever for a 3-year-old filly trotter, breaking the record of $1.17 million set by Continentalvictory in 1996, and her winning time of 1:51 in the Miller Memorial at Meadowlands Racetrack is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old filly trotter. Father Patrick, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group, won 10 of 11 races and $744,057. His victories included the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters, the William Wellwood Memorial, and the Peter Haughton Memorial. He finished the campaign with a nine-race winning streak and was unbeaten in stakes competition. He set the world record of 1:52.1 for a 2-year-old male trotter on a five-eighths-mile track in winning his Breeders Crown elimination at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Maven won 10 of 14 races and earned $509,220 for trainer Jonas Czernyson, driver Gingras and owner Bill Donovan. Her wins included the Breeders Crown for older female trotters, Armbro Flight Stakes, and Miss Versatility Series championship. She trotted the fastest race mile ever on a half-mile track in winning the Miss Versatility in 1:51.4 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Captaintreacherous, Foiled Again, and Market Share are repeat winners. Last year, Captaintreacherous claimed Dan Patch Awards as best 2-year-old male pacer and Pacer of the Year. This season at age 3, he won 13 of 16 races and $2.05 million for trainer Tony Alagna, driver Tim Tetrick and the Captaintreacherous Racing ownership group. He joined Rocknroll Hanover and Gallo Blue Chip as the only 3-year-old male pacers to win a Breeders Crown, the North America Cup, and Meadowlands Pace in the same season. The 9-year-old Foiled Again, who this season became the oldest horse to ever win a Breeders Crown and the richest North American harness racing horse in history, was named the sport's best older male pacer for the third consecutive year. He joins Rambling Willie (1975-77) as the only horses to win the division's top honor three straight seasons. Foiled Again, trained by Ron Burke and driven primarily by Gingras for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and JJK Stables, won 11 of 29 races in 2013 and earned $1.40 million. He is the oldest horse to ever have a million-dollar season. Market Share, a 4-year-old, also took divisional honors last season at age 3. This year, he won six of 14 races and earned $1.07 million for trainer Linda Toscano, driver Tetrick and owners Richard Gutnick, TLP Stables, and William Augustine. He finished the season by winning the Breeders Crown Open Trot, American-National Stakes, and TVG Free For All Series Championship. I Luv The Nitelife won 13 of 15 races and $1.25 million for trainer Chris Ryder, driver Tetrick and owners Richard and Joanne Young. Her victories included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly pacers, Fan Hanover Stakes and Valley Forge (in a world-record 1:48.4 mile). Shake It Cerry, trained by Takter and driven by Ron Pierce for the Solveig's Racing Partners ownership group, captured eight of 11 starts and earned $827,769. Her triumphs included the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters, Goldsmith Maid, and Merrie Annabelle. Precocious Beauty won seven of 11 races, including the She's A Great Lady Stakes, and $446,692 for trainer Gregg McNair, driver Doug McNair and owner Jim Avritt Sr. The competition for 3-year-old male trotter features Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life against Breeders Crown champion Spider Blue Chip. The race for older female pacer is between two-time defending division champ Anndrovette, who won the Roses Are Red Stakes, and Milton Stakes winner Rocklamation. Two-year-old male pacer honors come down to New York Sire Stakes champion He's Watching, undefeated in eight races, and Breeders Crown winner Luck Be Withyou, who won five of 11 starts. DAN PATCH AWARD WINNERS These divisions saw only one horse receive at least 10 percent of the vote. 2-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER Father Patrick (130 votes, 1 abstention) Cantab Hall - Gala Dream - Enjoy Lavec Breeder: Brittany Farms. Owner: Father Patrick Stable. Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Yannick Gingras. Races: 11-10-1-0. Purses: $744,057. Mark: 1:52.1 at Pocono Downs (world record). Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $354,050 Wellwood Memorial; $280,500 Haughton Memorial. 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER Shake It Cerry (124 votes) Donato Hanover - Solveig - Yankee Glide Breeder: Solveig's Breeders. Owner: Solveig's Racing Partners. Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Ron Pierce. Races: 11-8-2-0. Purses: $827,769. Mark: 1:53.3 at Meadowlands. Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $456,150 Goldsmith Maid; $321,700 Merrie Annabelle. 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER Precocious Beauty (117 votes) Art Major - Precious Beauty - Jate Lobell Breeder: James Avritt Sr. Owner: James Avritt Sr. Trainer: Gregg McNair. Driver: Doug McNair. Races: 11-7-3-0. Purses: $446,692. Mark: 1:50.1 at Red Mile (world record). Top win: $428,450 She's A Great Lady. 3-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER Captaintreacherous (130 votes) Somebeachsomewhere - Worldly Treasure - Artsplace Breeder: White Birch Farm. Owner: Captaintreacherous Racing. Trainer: Tony Alagna. Driver: Tim Tetrick. Races: 16-13-2-0. Purses: $2.05 million. Mark: 1:47.1 at Red Mile. Top wins: $980,000 North America Cup; $635,750 Meadowlands Pace; $500,000 Breeders Crown. 3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER I Luv The Nitelife (123 votes) Rocknroll Hanover - Lisjune - Camluck Breeders: MJG Racing Stables, Louis "Andy" Willinger. Owners: Richard and Joanne Young. Trainer: Chris Ryder. Driver: Tim Tetrick. Races: 15-13-1-1. Purses: $1.25 million. Mark: 1:48.4 at Pocono Downs (world record). Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $384,044 Fan Hanover; $350,000 Valley Forge. 3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER Bee A Magician (131 votes) Kadabra - Beehive - Balanced Image Breeder: White Birch Farm. Owners: Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David McDuffee. Trainer: Richard "Nifty" Norman. Drivers: Rick Zeron, Brian Sears. Races: 17-17-0-0. Purses: $1.54 million. Mark: 1:51 at Meadowlands (world record). Top wins: $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks; $500,000 Breeders Crown; $356,981 Elegantimage. OLDER MALE PACER Foiled Again (125 votes) Dragon Again - In A Safe Place - Artsplace Breeder: Barbara Matthews. Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, JJK Stables. Trainer: Ron Burke. Driver: Yannick Gingras. Races: 29-11-6-7. Purses: $1.40 million. Mark: 1:48 at Pocono Downs (world record). Top wins: $512,000 TVG Free For All Championship; $500,000 Breeders Crown; $500,000 Ben Franklin. OLDER MALE TROTTER Market Share (130 votes) Revenue S - Classical Flirt - Yankee Glide Breeder: Hayley Moore. Owners: Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable, William Augustine. Trainer: Linda Toscano. Driver: Tim Tetrick. Races: 14-6-1-5. Purses: $1.07 million. Mark: Q1:50.3 at Meadowlands. Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $526,710 Maple Leaf; $500,000 TVG Free For All Championship. OLDER FEMALE TROTTER Maven (131 votes) Glidemaster - M Stewart - American Winner Breeder: All La Nuova Sbarra Srl. Owner: Bill Donovan. Trainer: Jonas Czernyson. Driver: Yannick Gingras. Races: 14-10-2-0. Purses: $509,220. Mark: 1:51.4 at Delaware County Fairgrounds (world record). Top wins: $266,041 Armbro Flight; $250,000 Breeders Crown. DAN PATCH AWARD FINALISTS Top two vote-getters in these divisions were named finalists, with the winner to be announced at the Dan Patch Awards banquet Feb. 23 at Dover Downs 2-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER He's Watching American Ideal - Baberhood - Real Desire Breeders: Brittany Farms, Robert Burgess, Karin Olsson Burgess. Owners: David Menary, Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero. Trainer: David Menary. Driver: Jim Morrill Jr. Races: 8-8-0-0. Purses: $291,722. Mark: 1:50 at Tioga Downs. Top win: $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final. Luck Be Withyou Western Ideal - Trim Hanover - Camluck Breeder: Brittany Farms. Owner: John Craig. Trainers: Bill Cass, Chris Oakes. Drivers: Phil Hudon, Ron Pierce. Races: 11-5-1-0. Purses: $359,417. Mark: 1:50 at Pocono Downs. Top win: $500,000 Breeders Crown. 3-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER Royalty For Life RC Royalty - Bourbon 'N Grits - Donerail Breeder: Al Ross. Owners: Al Ross, Ray "Chip" Campbell Jr., Paul Fontaine. Trainer: George Ducharme. Driver: Brian Sears. Races: 14-7-2-0. Purses: $1.27 million. Mark: Q1:51.3 at Meadowlands. Top wins: $1 million Hambletonian; $665,420 Canadian Trotting Classic; $294,000 Dancer Memorial. Spider Blue Chip Andover Hall - Southwind Catlin - Muscles Yankee Breeder: McLain Ward. Owners: David McDuffee, Mel Hartman. Trainer: Chuck Sylvester. Driver: Ron Pierce. Races: 20-10-3-2. Purses: $1.08 million. Mark: 1:51.3 at Red Mile. Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $500,000 Colonial; $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. OLDER FEMALE PACER Anndrovette Riverboat King - Easy Miss - Big Towner Breeder: Golden Touch Stable. Owner: Bamond Racing, Joseph Davino. Trainer: P.J. Fraley. Driver: Tim Tetrick. Races: 21-7-7-4. Purses: $558,201. Mark: 1:48 at Mohawk. Top win: $313,795 Roses Are Red. Rocklamation Rocknroll Hanover - Art Sale - Artsplace Breeder: Perretti Farms. Owners: Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45, J&T Silva Stables. Trainer: Ron Burke. Drivers: Yannick Gingras, Brett Miller. Races: 21-5-7-6. Purses: $540,358. Mark: 1:49.3 at Meadowlands. Top win: $275,480 Milton. by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications    

Harrisburg, PA --- Monarch Blue Chip (hip #1003) topped Thursday’s edition of the Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg, selling for $90,000 to trainer Sam Schillaci for owner Ken Bencic. The colt, a son of Crazed out of the Revenue S mare Reven Crown, bears a bold white blaze. “He is a well-made colt, the three-quarter brother (Rolls Blue Chip) who we raced against this year and he was a good horse,” said Bencic. “Credit Winners cost too much money, although I have two down in Kentucky. We train outside Cleveland at Sahbra Farms, so he’s headed there.” Schillaci says this colt has been in his sights all along. “We targeted him from the beginning,” said Schillaci. “We were hoping he didn’t sell that high. He was right about to the limit of where we were going to go. We’re very pleased to have him and we hope he turns out to be the horse we think he is. Nowadays, people are paying a few extra dollars for a horse that just looks the part and he definitely looks the part.” Ed Lohmeyer and his wife, equine surgeon Dr. Patty Hogan, bred one of the higher priced horses on Thursday, hip #921, the RC Royalty colt Lunch With Jack. He sold for $55,000 to New York-based trainer Gates Brunet. “I’m looking for New York breds and I’m looking for trotters and I’m very short on trotters,” said Brunet.  “I’m focused on trotting colts and he’s a very nice looking individual and I like the fact that there’s a very recent update on the horse. The brother, Crosbys Clam Bake, just won the Grassroots Final in 1:53 in Toronto. “The RC Royaltys, they do good, but there weren’t that many selling that I could see. There weren’t any in Lexington; there were a few at Morrisville. One of his horses won the Hambo (Royalty For Life) and he throws nice looking individuals. In New York, Credit Winners, I can’t touch them. But for that kind of money, $50,000, you get a nice looking individual. I love Conway Halls, but they’re hard to touch, too. “I’d like to win the Hambo, but I buy horses bred for the sire stakes. I bought this one for Ted Gewertz and Clare Chappell; there may be other partners coming in. The colt’s name comes from Dr. Hogan’s family. “Jack is Patty’s father’s nickname; he came over every Wednesday and had lunch with Patty,” said co-breeder Lohmeyer “He passed away about two months ago. John J. Hogan and they called him Jack.  “Per Henriksen raced a half-brother to him for me in Canada this year, Crosbys Clam Bake, named after the first Pebble Beach (golf tournament). He raced real well. He made $90,000 and I sold him for $125,000.” Paul Kelley signed for hip #988, a $60,000 pacing filly by Art Major, named Mowet Blue Chip out of the Matt’s Scooter mare Armbro Savannah. “I saw him at the farm, but if you turn the clock back about 15 years, I actually had her mother, Armbro Savannah,” said Kelley. “I bought her as a yearling and I really liked her a lot. I ultimately ended up selling her to Perretti Farms as a broodmare. She went on to produce what she did (six stakes-winners; five $100,000 winners including millionaire Georgia Pacific) and she’s been a good producing dam. This particular filly I thought was one of her better looking foals. She stood very correct, a lot of the prior foals were a little bit toed-in and they were still able to overcome that kind of conformation fault and be good horses. “This is the first one I’ve had out of the mare. She’s a little but older now, but she (the yearling) is very correct, so I’m happy with her. There will be partners on her, New York people, players to be named later. There are some people very interested in getting in on her, so it shouldn’t be hard to split her up.” Through the first four days of the sale, 1,047 horses sold for a total of $35.9 million and an average of $34,345 against 2012 figures of 1,162 horses sold at an average of $28,889.  This is an improvement of 13.7% over 2012.  “It’s the same trend that’s been going on all week,” said Dr. Paul Spears, president of the Standardbred Sales Company.  “Unofficial numbers show that we’re just short of $36 million gross, 1,047 horses sold for $39,950,500 with average prices $34,345.  We’re up considerably over last year.  New York had the highest average of $39,667 and New Jersey actually did quite well at $38,830.  Pennsylvania is at $35,200 and Ontario’s at $23,354.  “So overall, quite good and I don’t think there were any big surprises, to me.  A few of the highest priced horses today were placed there on purpose by their consignors.  Sometimes being a big fish in a little pond is a good thing.  I thought it was very solid all the way through and again, we have to remember, there are there are more than 500 fewer commercial yearlings being sold in the Mid-Atlantic area at public sales over the last couple years.  When supply goes down that far, the demand is there and so the prices have to go up.”    1,162 horses sold at an average of $28,889. by Ellen Harvey for HRC

Columbus, OH --- Four Massachusetts Sire Stakes finals for 3-year-olds were contested on Monday (Oct. 28) at Plainridge Racecourse. In the $18,240 final for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers, Christine Catabia's Master Of Puppets took over the lead at the three-quarter pole and went on to a three length victory in a time of 1:57.1. Jim Hardy was in the bike for trainer David Crochere as the son of Ashlee's Big Guy-Happy Chelsea defeated Everybody Lies with Murphy's Cyclone third. The $17,600 final for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters went to Glenn Harris' CBF Dart in 2:00, with a final quarter in :28.3. Trainer Ralph Andersen steered the RC Royalty-Tiaragenic gelding to a 2-3/4 length score over Race To Royalty. Welker picked up the show dough. In the $17,600 final for 3-year-old pacing fillies, KDK Standardbreds and Nelson Malin III's Lordy Miss Scarlet took advantage of a pocket trip to cross the wire first in a time of 1:56.4. Shane Taggart did the driving for trainer Kevin Switzer as the Shady Character-Movie Legend miss passed her stablemate Morrigan in the stretch for a one length victory. Snookie wound up third. The $16,960 3-year-old filly trot final was captured by Peter Goldberg and Michael Seidman's Mergatroid in a wire-to-wire, 2:00.4 score. Trainer Donna Marshall handed the lines to Jim Marshall III and he steered the Infinitif-Ornellaia lass to a 4-1/2 length triumph over Royalty Free with Eyes On Royalty third. Repritned with permission from

Royalty For Life cannot wear the crown, but that doesn't diminish trainer George Ducharme's enthusiasm for Sunday's $527,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old male trotters at The Red Mile in Lexington. The Kentucky Futurity is the third jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. Royalty For Life captured the second piece, the Hambletonian, after Dewycolorintheline won the first, the Yonkers Trot. Royalty For Life was among 14 trotters entered in the 121st Futurity, so the field was divided into two seven-horse eliminations. The top five finishers from each elim advance to the same-day final. Unlike previous years when a horse had to win twice to be declared the champion, the winner of the final will receive the trophy regardless of his finish position in his elimination. In addition to the Kentucky Futurity, Sunday's card includes the Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters and the finals of the Allerage Farms Stakes for older male and female trotters and pacers. Royalty For Life, who has won six of 11 races and $1.21 million this year, drew post four in the first Futurity elimination and will be driven by Brian Sears. The rest of the division will line up with Creatine, Punxsutawney and Deadliest Catch inside of Royalty For Life and E L Rocket, Home Turf and Master Of Law to his outside. The second elim features in post-position order All Laid Out, Lauderdale, Wheeling N Dealin, Lindy's Tru Grit, Spider Blue Chip, Your So Vain and High Bridge. "To win the Futurity would be huge," Ducharme said. "When you're a kid getting into the sport, that's one of the races you dream about. This would be right behind the Hambletonian." Royalty For Life, a son of stallion RC Royalty out of the mare Bourbon 'N Grits, heads to the Futurity off a win in the $665,420 Canadian Trotting Classic on Sept. 14 at Mohawk Racetrack. His other victories include the $360,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial and the $294,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial. "It's been quite the enjoyable ride," said Ducharme, who trains Royalty For Life for owners Al Ross, Ray Campbell Jr. and Paul Fontaine. "The colt acts good right now and I think the extra week of rest helped him. He trained really well." Ducharme was not concerned about Royalty For Life racing twice on the same day because the Futurity format is the same as the Hambletonian. "He's already proved he can handle it and I expect him to be good with it again," Ducharme said. Creatine, Spider Blue Chip and Your So Vain all won Bluegrass Stakes divisions last weekend at The Red Mile in preparation for the Futurity. Your So Vain has won four of nine races this year, including a division of the Simcoe Stakes, and finished second on three occasions, most recently in the Canadian Trotting Classic to Royalty For Life. The son of stallion Donato Hanover out of the mare Tennis Lover has earned $303,830 for owners Paul and Glenn Van Camp of Ontario. The colt will be driven by Tim Tetrick. The Van Camps are no strangers to successful trotters; Paul's father, Glenn, bred and co-owns 2011 Horse of the Year San Pail (who returned to action Sept. 30 after a 17-month layoff because of injury). "He's a wonderful horse to race," trainer Brad Maxwell said about Your So Vain. "He gives you a full effort every time he races and that's all you can ask of a horse. "It would be great for Mr. Van Camp to win this race, a real feather in the cap. This horse kind of filled in for San Pail while he was out. That would mean more to me than anything." World champion Frau Blucher and Bluegrass division winners Handover Belle and Ma Chere Hall lead the list of nine trotters in the Kentucky Filly Futurity. Like the race for the colts, the Filly Futurity features a first round followed by same-day final. Since only nine horses entered the race, the first race will determine post positions for the final. The field for the opening round in post-position order is Handover Belle, Frau Blucher, To Dream On, Perfect Alliance, Mistery Woman, Classic Martine, Ma Chere Hall, Time To Kill and Shared Past. In the $175,000 Allerage Farms Open Pace, 4-year-old Pet Rock will try for his third world record in as many starts. Pet Rock, who drew post six, paced the fastest mile ever on a five-eighths-mile track (1:47.2) at Scioto Downs on Sept. 7 and the fastest ever on a half-mile track (1:48.1) at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio on Sept. 19. A Rocknroll Dance, who finished second in both those races, starts the Allerage from post three. The $172,200 Allerage Farms Open Trot features Arch Madness, who gave a world-record-equaling performance to win the Allerage elimination last weekend, as well as stakes winners Sevruga, My MVP, Mister Herbie, Market Share, Guccio and Wishing Stone. My MVP won last year's Kentucky Futurity. Rocklamation, coming off her win in the Milton Stakes, leads the field for the $81,000 Allerage Farms Fillies & Mares Pace. Stakes winners Camille and Drop The Ball also are in the eight-horse group. Maven, who won the Miss Versatility Stakes with a world-record 1:51.4 mile at the Delaware County Fair on Sept. 19, headlines the $76,000 Allerage Farms Fillies & Mares Trot. Cedar Dove, who won the 2011 Kentucky Filly Futurity, also is in the eight-horse field, along with Muscle Hill winner D'Orsay and Check Me Out, who was voted the sport's best filly trotter at ages 2 and 3. Kentucky Futurity Elimination 1 1. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart; 2. Punxsutawney, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen; 3. Deadliest Catch, Ron Pierce, John Duer; 4. Royalty For Life, Brian Sears, George Ducharme; 5. E L Rocket, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Home Turf, Pierce, Noel Daley; 7. Master Of Law, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci. Kentucky Futurity Elimination 2 1. All Laid Out, Yannick Gingras, Noel Daley; 2. Lauderdale, Dave Palone, Jonas Czernyson; 3. Wheeling N Dealin, Sylvain Filion, Dustin Jones; 4. Lindy's Tru Grit, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci; 5. Spider Blue Chip, Ron Pierce, Chuck Sylvester; 6. Your So Vain, Tim Tetrick, Brad Maxwell; 7. High Bridge, Gingras, Jimmy Takter. By Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA  

On Monday afternoon (Sept.30) Monticello Raceway hosted four $45,000 finals of the Excelsior Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters and arguably the most impressive was the victory turned in by Spreester when she easily defeated seven other New York bred pacing fillies by four lengths in 1:57.4. Jimmy Morrill, Jr. was in the sulky when Spreester started from the seven hole but that position was quickly compromised when they left strong and made the front before the quarter mile timer flashed :29.1. Once on the lead they remained unchallenged as the daughter of American Ideal paced through fractions of :59 and 1:28:2 before Morrill gave her her head and she paced off to an easy victory over Barbuda Babe and Jimmy Meittinis . Carlota Blue Chip was third for Joe Bongiorno. Trainer Paul Zabielski handed the lines to Jimmy Morrill, Jr. and it was the first time that Morrill sat behind the filly who had previously won seven of nine races this year. A relatively small filly Morrill said of her; “She’s like a little car, just as handy as can be.” Although Morrill was impressed with the filly her owner Kimberly Zabielski was more so after she rushed from the paddock to the winners circle with a smile from ear. While she held Spreester for the photo she said;: We bred her and we’re so proud of her .She’s our first sires stakes winner.” In spite of having the seven hole Spreester was sent off as the odds on favorite and paid $3.80 for win. In the colt division Jason Bartlett and Natural Leda were also teamed for the first time and the talented reinsman took advantage of racing luck and got Natural Leda home first in a 1:57.2 mile. After a pocket trip though past the half and around the clubhouse turn Bartlett felt his colt was ready for action. “He was good up the backside and they were working hard in front of me so I moved (to challenge) and we got alongside of Jimmy (Morrill, Jr. with Cabbies Delight) and my colt outpaced him to the wire,” Bartlett said of Natural Leda. Cabbie’s Delight held on for second and Hands Off Frank (Jordan Stratton) finished third. Owned by Deanna Frost, Rick Phillips and John Fielding, Natural Leda returned a $16.00 win payoff. John Stark, Jr. guided Royal Max to his fourth win in his last five starts when they easily captured the freshmen colt trotting division turning back Uproar and driver Chris Lems in a time of 2:01.1 by an eased-up six lengths. Dan Daley got Commissioner Daley up for the show dough Royal Max looked mighty impressive in victory and Stark was asked why he wasn’t racing in the sire stakes to which he simply said; “He got good late.” Owned by Ed Smith, Crawford Farms, Jim Giannuzzi and Dave Smith the son of RC Royalty paid $3.60 for win. The $45,000 filly final went to Ski To The Max and driver Gates Brunet in 2:02.4 over Trish (Jim Meititnis) and Brookside Lily (Aaron Byron) “She got good late and I think next year she’s sires stakes caliber,” Brunet said of Ski To The Max. Co- owned by Ted Gewertz, Debbie Brunet and Jean Brunet Ski To The Max paid $3.60 for win. John Manzi

The annual Morrisville State College (NY) Equine Institute Fall Yearling Sale took place Sunday with 125 yearlings (mostly NYSS eligibles) selling. The average price was a respectable $10,246. Top consignor and sires, with more than one selling) are listed below. Sale topper was hip 49, the Lucky Chucky-Classical Princess-Malabar man colt Lucky Pablo that brought $59,000. The colt was consigned by Crawford Farms LLC of Syracuse and acquired by Jim Gianncazzi of Fayetteville, NY. Second dam of this colt produced the $2 million international winner Crowning Classic (1:55f by Crowning Point). Top Consignor: Crawford Farms LLC (11 sold) $20,455 average Top Sires: Lucky Chucky (6 sold) $22,000 average Conway Hall (7) $19,286 Art Major (2) $19,000 Crazed (7) $16,571 RC Royalty (17) $13,206 by Thomas H. Hicks for  

BATAVIA, N.Y. --- It didn't look like the weather was going to cooperate with any attempts the 3-year-old filly trotters were going to have in breaking the track record in the New York Sire Stakes at Batavia Downs Saturday night (Sept. 21). But someone forgot to tell Bouncing Bax. Despite rainy conditions during the day, the Batavia Downs strip was listed as 'good' but it was Bouncing Bax (Credit Winner-Bax Machine) who was 'fast' as she tied the track record of 1:57.2 set by Cowgirl Hall in 2012 winning her $42,679 division of the Sires Stakes. It was her fourth consecutive victory and also set a lifetime mark. Royal Malinda raced to a huge early lead and hung on to win her $41,879 leg in 1:58.3 while Palm Beach Chic rallied in the stretch to capture her $41,879 division in 1:59.2. But it was Bouncing Bax ($2.90) who stole the spotlight. She contently trotted along in third place until midway down the backstretch the final time. That's when driver Jim Morrill Jr. pulled out and went first over and easily trotted away from the field, beating the pace-setting Alphadoodle (Rick Zeron) by two lengths. Local favorite Barn Babe (John Cummings Jr.) finished in third. With the victory, Bouncing Bax has now earned $198,732 for the Harbor Racing Stable this season and $255,964 lifetime. Jim Raymer trained the winner. In the opener, Royal Malinda raced to a seven-length lead to the half and was throttled down by driver-trainer Dan Daley in the lane to notch a 2-1/4 length victory over Isabella Gal (Aaron Byron). Dubai Angel took the show spot for driver Roman Lopez. Heavily-favored Lola De Vie, who trailed by 10 lengths at the half, broke stride there and finished a distant fourth. It was the fourth win in 16 appearances for Royal Malinda (RC Royalty-Linda MacDream) and pushed her seasonal earnings to $114,916 for owners Ann-Mari Daley, Richard Lombardo and the Purple Haze Stables. The final division saw Kinda Crazy Linda (Jim Marohn Jr.) play 'catch me if you can' with the field of six and Palm Beach Chic (Marcus Johansson) did just that. Kinda Crazy Linda set fractions of 29.0, 59.3, 1:29.1 but a 29.2 last quarter by Palm Beach Chic ($9.20) was more than enough to catch the front runner and score the two-length victory. Cassa's Image (Fern Paquet Jr.) took the show position. With her fourth win on the campaign, Palm Beach Chic has now earned $112,982 on the year and $155,934 for owners Jeff Gregory and William Richardson. In the $12,800 Excelsior Series for the 3-year-old trotting fillies, See You At Office ($2.80) had the fastest time with a 2:01 with Morrill Jr. in the bike. Cash Now ($6.90) took a leg for John Cummings Jr. in 2:01.2 while Morosita Bi ($5.30) posted a 2:02.1 victory for reinsman Brian Cross. Sportsman ($6.70) went gate-to-wire in 1:55.3 for Cummings Jr. and captured the $8,500 Open Pace beating Western Alumni (Morrill Jr.) by 3-1/2 lengths. The racing continues at Batavia Downs on Tuesday night with a 12-race program slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. The entire card will be televised on Time-Warner Cable, Channel 98 in the Rochester and surrounding area. For more information on North America's oldest lighted harness track including upcoming schedule, promotions, race replays, news and statistics, click here. by Brian J. Mazurek, for Batavia Downs  

It was like a walk in the park for Royalty For Life and driver Brian Sears as they strolled their way to victory in the $686,000 Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk Raceway Saturday with an easy two length triumph in 1:52.2, tying the stakes record. Leaving from post eight it was Corkey and driver Dave Miller who started out with the early lead but that was not for long as Sears had Royalty For Life on the move and they cleared to the front by the opening quarter mile in :27.1. Sears was able to get a minor breather for his colt as they raced to the half mile in :56.1 and then Royalty For Life kicked into a higher gear and was leading the field by three lengths at the three-quarters in 1:23.4. Punxsutawney and driver Corey Callahan came first-over but it was too late as once Royalty For Life straighten out in the stretch he was leading by five lengths. Your So Vain and driver Randy Waples was in eighth place on the final turn and they were able to fan out and close well in the stretch to be second to Royalty For Life. All Laid Out (Yannick Gingras) was third. “I think the track was a little deeper last week,” Sears said after the victory, “And George said he wasn’t 100% and had had a rough week, but he overcame it and was really on his game tonight. It looked like there may be some early speed in the race, but then I figured we would march to the front. He is a beautiful horse and he can cover the ground and he lets you know  and when you call on him he is there.” It was the sixth win in eleven starts for Royalty For Life. The son of RC Royalty is trained by George Ducharme and is co-owned by breeder Alfred Ross with R C Campbell and Paul Fontaine, all of New England. “He was a touch sick last week,” Ducharme said, “I just wanted to make sure we got in the final and did not abuse him. He had a good week and overcame everything. We checked him out after the race and everything was fine. I was confident he would put on a good showing tonight. I knew when he drew post six that it was a good spot for him and he could get to the lead. “I knew he would get pressed a bit,” Ducharme explained, “but I knew it would work out because he got a soft half mile and then the rest he did all on his own. He has such a good attitude. He wants to be a good horse. He wants to win all the time. He is very playful, always feeling good. He has that desire that a good horse is born with. Having a horse like this is something you dream about as a kid getting into the sport.  It’s a dream come true for me.” With the winner’s share of the purse at $343,000, Royalty For Life has now surpassed the million dollar mark in earnings in 2013 with $1,227,000 bankrolled. Lifetime he has earnings of $1,560,000. Sent off as the even money favorite, Royalty For Life paid $4.30 to win. Video attached. By Steve Wolf for

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 10…Your So Vain and Master of Law, last week’s elimination winners, and Hambletonian champion Royalty for Life head the field for the prestigious $686,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-olds, Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The Classic honour role includes such recent winners as champions Market Share, Muscle Hill, Donato Hanover and Deweycheatumnhowe, all of whom were Hambletonian winners as well. Post time for the Classic, which has been carded as Race 8 in the 12-race program, is 9:45 p.m. Also on the card are the $365,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot for two-year-old colts/geldings and the $374,000 Peaceful Way for two-year-old filly trotters. Last week, Scott Zeron drove both elim winners, but has chosen Master of Law for the final. Thus, Randy Waples has picked up the drive on Your So Vain. Both winners earned their connections the right to choose a post position before the balance of the field was drawn. Master of Law (PP3), trained by Frank Antonacci for owners Lindy Racing Stable of Connecticut, Brittany Farms of Kentucky and Adam Victor and Son Stable of New York, has now won six in a row, after making a break in his debut. He won his elim by a neck over Punxsutawney in 1:53.4. The son of Deweycheatumnhowe-Possess The Magic had come into his elim off an impressive eight length score in a Kentucky Sires Stakes on September 1 at Lexington, hence his 3-5 post-time favouritism. “I know how talented he is, so does Frank,” said Zeron, after the race. “But he just wanted to take his time and let him mature a little bit because he’s a little bit tough to handle in a race. “We wanted to bring him along nice and easy, so we tripped him out his first few starts, then at Lexington we let him go to the front. He’s very tough to handle but it’s his absolute endurance (that’s his best quality). He can go all day. He likes to mow them down.” Your So Vain (PP4), trained by Brad Maxwell for P G Van Camp Stables of Port Perry, pulled off a 9-2 upset in his elim, rallying from last to blow by the 2-5 favourite Royalty for Life near the wire and score by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:52.4. The son of Donato Hanover-Tennis Lover has won three of seven this year and came into his elim off a dominating performance in the Simcoe Stakes. “I’m very fortunate to pick up a very live catch drive,” said Waples. “This horse really seems to be on his game right now and coming into the race in top form. It looks like he takes a while to get involved in the race, so racing luck is going to be important. He’s got a punishing late kick, which he used in his elimination, which is also a major plus for us.” Meanwhile, Royalty for Life (PP6, Brian Sears) may still go off favoured despite failing in his elim. The son of RC Royalty-Bourbon N Grits, trained by George Ducharme for owners Alfred Ross and Raymond Campbell of Maine and Paul Fontaine of Rhode Island, is far and away the field’s leading money winner with over $1.2 million in career earnings. Completing the field are Wheeling N Dealin (PP1, Sylvain Filion), Punxsutawney (PP2, Corey Callahan), Toocool Forschool (PP5, Jody Jamieson), Pine Credit (PP7, Doug McNair), Corky (PP8, David Miller), All Laid Out (PP9, Yannick Gingras) and Smilin Eli (PP10, Tim Tetrick). The William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Race 3 on the program at 8:05 p.m., is headed by elim winners Harper Blue Chip (PP3, Sylvain Filion) and Father Patrick (PP4, Yannick Gingras). The Peaceful Way, at 8:45 p.m. as Race 5, includes elim winners I Jasmin (PP2, Scott Zeron), Danica Hall (PP3, Trevor Ritchie) and Grammas Girl (PP4, Randy Waples), along with Riveting Rosie (PP5, Paul Macdonell) and Reflection Hanover (PP6, Jody Jamieson). Post time for the first race is 7:25 p.m. Greg Gangle  

Tioga Downs held two divisions of NYSS for 3-year old colt and gelding trotters and five divisions of excelsior stakes on Sunday afternoon. In the first $66,043 division of the NYSS, Modest Prince and Mike Simons got away second as Crazy About Pat (Jim Meittinis) cut through fractions 27.4, 56.1, and 1:25.2. Around the final turn, Crazy About Pat was still in command and in the stretch Simons tipped Modest Prince to the outside and got up to win in a new lifetime best of 1:54.4 by a length and a quarter. The 3-year old son of RC Royalty - In To Me is owned by Richard Gutnick and is trained by Linda Toscano. Crazy About Pat (Jim Meittinis) hung on for second, while Rolls Blue Chip (Aaron Byron) was third. In the second $66,043 NYSS division, Jim Morrill Jr. opted to take Tirade Hanover from post position number eight over EL Rocket (Jim Marohn Jr.) post six. When the field hit the quarter pole in 27.3, Morrill was on top with Tirade Hanover while Marohn settled in second with El Rocket. Morrill then cut through fractions of 57.4 and 1:27 before asking Tirade Hanover for trot in the final quarter mile of the race. Down the stretch Marohn tipped El Rocket to the outside, but was unable to get by Tirade Hanover and those two finished first and second a quarter length apart at the wire in 1:55. The win was the fourth in nine seasonal starts for the 3-year old son of Crazed - Teagarden Hanover for trainer Tyler Raymer. Tioga Downs also held five divisions of NYSS excelsior stakes which were won by: Jelectric - Jim Marohn Jr. (1:58.2), Bromance Hanover - Mike Simons (1:56.4), Prove Up - Marcus Johansson (1:56.3), Golden Tate - Mike Simons (1:56.3), and Brookroaddonnie - Mike Simons (1:56.1). Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Thursday, September 12 with a post time of 6:50pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at . Dustin Ross  

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 3 – Fourteen of the finest three-year-old colt and gelding trotters in North America will line up behind the gate for this year’s Canadian Trotting Classic eliminations, Saturday at Mohawk. With two eliminations taking place, the top five finishers from each race will advance to the $700,000 final on Saturday, September 14 at the Campbellville oval. Flanagan Memory, who captured the Goodtimes Trot earlier this year at Mohawk, will leave post two in the first elimination. The Rene Dion-trainee has banked $256,298 this season, but will face a tough test as he’ll square off against Hambletonian winner, Royalty For Life. “There are two small fields for the eliminations, which always helps,” Dion said. “My horse is coming into the race in very good shape, but he’ll have his work cut out for him. It’s never an easy task racing at this level and he’ll have to put his best foot forward.” The son of Kadabra made an uncharacteristic break last start, but made a great recovery to to find the wire first in 1:56. “I’m not exactly sure why he did that,” Dion said. “The only thing I can think of is because he had the rail and was maybe looking around. Usually he draws outside and has horses on both sides of him. I’m happy with the two-hole.” Flanagan Memory has raced eight times this season and eight times last year, but the results have been quite different. “He just had to grow up and mature, that was his biggest thing,” Dion explained, about last season. “Last year he would make breaks and such and this year, he’s grown into a man. He went from a boy last year to a man this year.” Flanagan Memory has crafted an impressive 7-2-1 record in his career along with $295,498 in earnings for Dion, who shares ownership with Liette Flanagan. Chris Christoforou is listed to steer once again. Hambletonian champion, Royalty For Life will headline the first elimination for trainer George Ducharme. The son of RC Royalty has banked $874,850 this season along with a 5-1-0 record from nine starts. Owned by Alfred Ross, Raymond Campbell and Paul Fontaine, Royalty For Life has won five of his last six starts. He'll leave from post five in the first elimination with Brian Sears aboard. Corky, trained by Jimmy Takter, will headline the other elimination. A winner of $660,191 this season, the son of Muscles Yankee has crafted a 4-5-3 record from 13 starts this season along with $887,488 in his career. Corky will begin from post one with regular pilot David Miller. With two eliminations set for Saturday evening, the top five finishers will advance to the lucrative final. Race 2 The field will line up as follows: 1) Your So Vain 2) Flanagan Memory 3) Smilin Eli 4) All Laid Out 5) Royalty For Life 6) Pine Credit 7) Murmur Hanover Race 3 1) Corky 2) Gotta Secret 3) Toocool Forschool 4) Fico 5) Master Of Law 6) Punxsutawney 7) Wheeling N Dealin by Greg Gangle

Vernon, NY – Royalty For Life and driver Brian Sears were able to rebound from their loss last week by posting an impressive 1:53.1 victory in capturing the $360,000 Zweig Memorial Trot for three-year-olds at Vernon Downs Sunday. It was just about a cakewalk for the New York sired son of RC Royalty at his home-based track. Corky and driver Dave Miller left out of the gate as did Sears and Royalty For Life and Sear was able to take command by the opening quarter mile in :27.1. Spider Blue Chip (Ron Pierce) made a break out of the gate and was never in the hunt. Just about walking to the half mile marker in :58 and the three-quarters in 1:26, Royalty For Life had things his own way on the lead but Pine Credit has come first-over and collared the race leader with Modest Prince (Jeff Gregory) getting great second-over cover by the final turn.  But in the stretch it was all Royalty For Life, who seemingly held the field at bay and went on to win by one and one-half lengths with Corky second and Pine Credit third. It was Royalty For Life’s fifth win in nine starts this year. He is trained by George Ducharme for owner/breeder Al Ross with RWJ Campbell, Jr. and Paul Fontaine, all of New England. Royalty For Life paid $4.70 to win. “Tonight behind the gate he was a little extra quiet,” said driver Brian Sears of Royalty For Life. “He usually wants to get on the gate and take off but he was pretty docile tonight. I don’t think he was 100% tonight. He was extra docile, extra quiet tonight. But when I asked him to pick it up a little on the backside he did.” Punxsutawney and driver Corey Callahan could not take advantage of soft early fractions and gave perfect cover to Lindy’s Tru Grit and driver Tim Tetrick, who came on late in the stretch to win the $75,000 Zweig Memorial Trot consolation for three-year-old colts. Wannacmyguns and trainer/driver John Stark, Jr.  was the first to show from the starting gate and then gave way to Lindy’s Tru Grit by the opening quarter mile in :28.1. But by the half mile in :58.3 it was race favorite Punxsutawney moving first over and taking command in the backstretch. Punxsutawney led the field to the three-quarters in 1:27.2 as Crazed N Lindy and driver Ron Pierce came first over to challenge. As the field started down the stretch it looked as if Punxsutawney was well in command but no one told that to Tetrick and Lindy’s Tru Grit came after them, kept gaining ground and past them by before the wire to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.4. All Laid Out (Andrew McCarthy) closed well to be third. Sired by Cantab Hall, it was the third win this year and a lifetime mark for Lindy’s Tru Grit, who is trained by Frank Antonacci and is bred and owned by the Lindy Racing Stable of Enfield, CT with Robert Rudoph of Vineland, NJ. Sent off at odds of 5-1, Lindy’s Tru Grit paid $13.00 to win. By Steve Wolf

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 18, 2013--After a three-week hiatus, New York Sire Stakes invade Yonkers Raceway this week for a pair of downstate dalliances. Tuesday night, the $283,574 Milt Taylor Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings attracted just a dozen...meaning each six-pack (races 3 and 4) goes for a cool $141,787. Early favoritism--and the pole--in the opener belong to Crazzycrazzy (Brian Sears, post 1). The son of Crazed, trained by Casie Coleman for co-owners West Wins Stable and Andrew Harris, has a win (Monticello) and pair of seconds in three sire stakes starts. My Friend Charlie (Chris Lems, post 3) won a statebred event a Buffalo. A George Ducharme-trained stablemate of Hambletonian winner Royalty for Life, the son of RC Royalty is a Paul Fontaine homebred. It wouldn't be freshman sire stakes trot without the requisite Dan Daley participation. He trains and drives Daley Lovin' (post 4), a maiden-breaking, 14-1 upsetter at Vernon in his latest effort. The second and final event includes Lukas Hall (Jeff Gregory, post 3), going after a third consecutive NYSS win. The Conway Hall colt, trained by Kevin McDermott for (breeder) Little E LLC and former New York Jets' standout wideout Wayne Chrebet, drilled his Vernon foes in 1:55. Flyhawk El Durado (Jim Morrill Jr., post 1) and Credit Fashion (Sears, post 4) have each won divisions of both sire stakes (Monticello and Tioga) and Tompkins (Tioga) this summer. Thursday night's $289,775 Jim Meagher Pace for frosh colts and geldings is going in three ($96,025, $96,025 and $97,725) events, races 3,4 and 6 on the agenda. The final division includes the speed freak He's Watching (Morrill Jr., post 6). Already a world record-holder (freshman, five-eighths mile oval) after a 1:50 romp at Tioga, the bargain-basement ($3,000) yearling has won all three of his starts ($55,791). However, his two small-track sojourns (Saratoga, Buffalo) have included self-inflicted trouble, as in early breaks. Dave Menary co-owns (with Brad Gray and Michael Guerrero) and trains the son of American Ideal. Forty Five Red (Yannick Gingras, post 7), no slouch he, returns to the scene of his down-the-road win in the $111,250 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard (life-best 1:55.4). The son of If I Can Dream, co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Our Horse Cents Stables, also has a pair of statebred wins (Saratoga, Monticello). The other early Meagher early choices are Stay Up Late (Dave Miller, post 1) in the first event and Thereisapaceforus (Gingras, post 5) in the second grouping. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule. by Frank Drucker  

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