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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 5, 2017-- Favored Rockin' Ron (George Brennan, $4.60) finished what he started Saturday night (Aug. 5th), winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $55,000 Open Handicap Pace. In play from assigned post position No. 6, 'Ron' worked around P H Supercam (Brent Holland) before a :26.3 opening quarter-mile. Sunfire Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) left outside Rockin' Ron, but was relegated to a three-hole. Rockin Ron' found a 55-second intermission, then threw down a :27.2 third quarter (1:22). The maneuver lost P H Supercam as 'Sunfire' moved past him. The leader opened 2¼ lengths into the lane, holding Sunfire Blue Chip at bay by a length in 1:51...matching the fastest local mile of the season. Somewhere in L A (Jason Barlett) was third, also after solid, two-move try, with P H Supercam and Melmerby Beach (Greg Merton) rounding out the payees. For Rockin' Ron, a 5-year-old Real Desire gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and RTC Stables, it was his fourth win in 17 '17 tries (25th career victory, earnings over $700,000). The exacta paid $33.20, with the triple returning $121.50. Yonkers offers up the fourth of eight consecutive Sunday matinees (Aug. 6th), with a first post of 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

Plainville, MA--- Miami Valley Raceway shipper Hickory Icon was placed in the capable hands of harness racing driver Eddie Davis Jr. for the $15,000 Open handicap pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 24) and the two left little doubt who was the best this day. Davis left hard from post seven with Hickory Icon and took the lead just past the eighth pole. From there they he led unchallenged to the quarter in :26.2 and the half in :55.1. At that point, My Mind Is Madeup (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) pulled first over from fourth and tried to force the issue. The challenger got his nose near Davis's helmet just before the three-quarter pole, but his advance stopped at that point. Davis raised the lines and let Hickory Icon know it was time to shift gears and the gelding responded in kind. Hickory Icon opened up two, then three, and down the lane he simply paced away with Davis sitting chilly to win in 1:50.4. The winning time equaled the 7-year-old son of Real Desire's lifetime mark. It was the fifth win in 14 starts for Hickory Icon ($7.80) and pushed his earnings for the year to $43,410 for owner Jessica Smith. Randal Smith trains the winner. The value bettors went home smiling as it was mega-payout Monday at Plainridge Park. With only three favorites winning on the 11-race card, the tote board was blown-up several times during the day. In the fourth, Ideal Race (Kevin Switzer Jr.) paid $38.20 while Mercenary (Ron Cushing) paid $98.40 in the sixth, triggering a $38,221.20 2-9-7 trifecta payout. Trelane (Ron Cushing) returned $19.20 in the eighth, Mcardle Royale N (Chris Long) returned $21.40 in the ninth and Someplace Special (Michael Stevenson) lit it up large once again in the tenth paying $69.00. Seven horsemen registered two winners on Monday's card. Ron Cushing, Michael Stevenson, Bruce Aldrich Jr. and Greg Merton all scored driving doubles. Trainers Joe Nelson, Robert Nelson and Kyle Spagnola each sent a couple stable members for pictures. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (April 25) with the first post set for 4 p.m. There is a $5,342.95 carryover for the Wicked Hi-5 wager in the sixth race. By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

After sitting out last week's round in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series because of a numbers crunch, Rockin Ron's connections hope the harness racing gelding can come back this weekend with a performance good enough to maintain a spot in the upcoming $200,000-added final at Yonkers Raceway. The preliminary divisions of the six-week Levy Series for older male pacers conclude Saturday at The Hilltop. Rockin Ron will enter the night holding the eighth-and-final spot for the April 22 championship, but might need nothing less than a win Saturday to keep his position. Rockin Ron holds a five-point edge over Wakizashi Hanover and eight-point advantage over the trio of Long Live Rock, Mach It So, and McWicked in the battle to qualify for the final. He trails both Blood Brother and Provacativeprince N by 22 points, so numerous possible outcomes are in play, but the simplest way for Rockin Ron to roll into the final is by winning his division this weekend. A horse receives 25 points each time he races in the series. He then gets points based on his finish, with 50 points for a win, 25 for second, 12 for third, eight for fourth and five for fifth. The complete standings are available at this link. Rockin Ron, who has a win, second and fourth in the series, sat out last week's action because trainer Ron Burke could enter only three of his five eligible horses. A trainer can have only one horse in each division and last week there were three divisions. There has been a maximum of four divisions in the preliminary rounds. "To be fair we've had to space out who gets to race, which really hurts your chances to get into the final," said Mark Weaver, who is among the owners of Rockin Ron. "I wish we could have raced him because it pretty much would have assured him being in the final. But that's the situation we're in. "If he's good enough to get in, he deserves it. If he's not good enough, then he probably didn't deserve it." Rockin Ron, a 5-year-old son of Real Desire-Im All A Roan, is in the second of three divisions Saturday. He faces a group that includes series leader Missile J, third-place Keystone Velocity, fifth-place Bit Of A Legend (the series defending champion) and Blood Brother. "Fortunately he drew inside," Weaver said, referring to Rockin Ron's post No. 2 starting position with driver Yannick Gingras. "Hopefully we can get a good chunk of it." Last year, Rockin Ron won 11 of 26 races and earned $390,910 for owners Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and RTC Stables. His victories included the Confederation Cup and Prix d'Ete, defeating 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit in both. He finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Dorothy Mullin Invitational. "Obviously we were high on him coming into this year and we've got him staked up to pretty much everything," Weaver said. "I think so far his year is starting off well. I think every start he's been pretty good. He hasn't been raced too hard and I think the week off should help. I'm real happy. "For some of these Levy horses, after the Levy they're back to being overnight horses. With Ron and All Bets Off, those are two that I think have a chance to go on and be competitive in the open ranks." All Bets Off, a 6-year-old stallion who has earned $2.21 million in his career, has finishes of second, third and sixth in the Levy. He competes in Saturday's third division, where Somewhere In L A is a slight 2-1 morning line favorite over 5-2 Wakizashi Hanover. All Bets Off and driver Matt Kakaley are 6-1 from post six. "We contemplated standing him at stud last year, but figured we would give him another year of racing," Weaver said. "He qualified great and his first race was super. Then he was sick and drew badly. It's a little disappointing, but at the same time we've got a long year. Matt loves him and still has confidence in him. Hopefully Ronnie can get him straightened out." Burke's other Levy competitors have been Caviart Luca, Always At My Place, and Take It Back Terry. Caviart Luca will race in Saturday's first division and is 4-1 on the morning line. "Ronnie said they all trained great, all the Saturday night horses, especially Caviart Luca," Weaver said. "Hopefully (Caviart Luca and All Bets Off) can do all right and sneak into the consolation." Complete entries for Saturday's races can be found at this link. Ken Weingartner

LEBANON, OH. - A "neck" separated the top four finishers in Saturday's featured $22,000 Open Pace at Miami Valley Raceway, with Latest Desire pushing a "nose" in front at the wire. As the 3-5 favorite off an impressive 1:50 triumph a week ago, driver Simon Allard was able to coax a 1:51 mile from Latest Desire this week to down nine rivals in 1:51. Fancy Creek Elusiv (Mike Oosting) got the first quarter mile marker call in :27.3 with Latest Desire right behind and Sparky Mark (Dan Noble) and Lucky Lime (Kyle Ater) in hot pursuit. Sparky Mark was able to clear to the front and trip the halfway beam in :55.1. Noble was able to keep his charge in front at the 1:22.2 three-quarters, but Latest Desire had pulled the pocket and was lapped on and gaining on the leader. At the head of the stretch Meadowbrookthunder (Trace Tetrick) found a seam and the four horse stampede to the wire was underway. The quartet raced on even terms in a thrilling stretch duel that wasn't decided until Latest Desire stuck his nose in front in the final stride. Lucky Lime, Meadowbrookthunder and Sparky Mark-who all raced very gamely--followed him through the wire. Virgil Morgan Jr. trains Latest Desire for the AWS Stable, the Fairway Stable and Milton Leeman, all of Ohio. It was the 31st lifetime win in 93 starts for the 7-year-old Real Desire gelding, who now has $390,936 in earnings. Miami Valley Raceway, in conjunction with the U.S.T.A. Strategic Wagering platform, announces an instant $7500 total pool guarantee in Sunday’s Lucky Pick 5 wager, covering races 10 through 14.  The matinee program begins at 2:05 p.m. with estimated post time for the 10th race at 5:00 p.m.  When the Lucky Pick 5 went unsolved for the fourth consecutive program on Saturday night, it resulted in a carryover of $2,883.57 into Sunday afternoon’s wager, prompting the $7500 guaranteed total pool. Gregg Keidel      

LEBANON, OH. - Latest Desire, a recent private purchase addition to the Virgil Morgan Jr. Stable, paid early dividends with an eye-popping 1:50 score in Miami Valley's Saturday (Feb. 4) $22,000 featured Open Pace. Harness racing driver Simon Allard worked out a second-over trip for the 7-year-old Real Desire gelding before breezing by pacesetter Angelo J Fra (Chris Page), who finished third, and nailing first-up Lucky Lime (Kyle Ater), who raced gamely to finish second, in the final strides. While Latest Desire's stretch brush was quickest of all, it also covered a little more ground as he was drifting dramatically during the final furlong of the race. The partnership of AWS Stables, Fairway Stables and Milton Leeman-all of Ohio-purchased the winner of $368,936 in early January and were making their second start with Latest Desire since he joined the Morgan Stable. In his initial start at Miami Valley a week ago, he was desperate for racing room in the stretch, but found none while pacing a 1:51.4 mile including a :27.2 final panel. Five other races were timed quicker than 1:52 on the powerful Saturday night program. Smoke Up Johnny (Tyler Smith) captured the $16,500 Open II in 1:51.4, Sir Mammo (John DeLong) won a non-winners of 10 races condition/claimer in 1:51.4, Return To Sender N (Tyler Smith) was a come-from-behind 1:51.3 winner in a $20,000 claimer, Rock Out (Jason Brewer) copped the $30,000 claimer in 1:50.3, and Hickory Icon (Trace Tetrick) the non-winners $8000 last four top condition pace in 1:50.4. There will be no racing at Miami Valley on Super Bowl Sunday, but racing will resume Monday afternoon with a 2:05 p.m. post time. Featured on that card will be four divisions of a Survivor Series for $5000 claiming mares. The 40 entrants will be reduced to 20 for a pair of $7500 second round eliminations and then culminate in a $15,000 championship on February 27. On Tuesday afternoon, 78 $5000 horse and gelding pacers will begin their Survivor Series which will feature a $20,000 final on February 28. Gregg Keidel    

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 23, 2016 -- Widest and fastest in the lane, Latest Desire captured his second straight harness racing victory -- and fifth in the last seven -- in Friday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Latest Desire was third over down the backside when Jim Pantaleano decided the 6-year-old Real Desire-Latest Design gelding needed to see racetrack. It was the winning move as Latest Desire found a new gear, tracked down the leader, Atta Boy Dan, and edged him by a nose in 1:52.2. The first-over Dapper Dude was third. Dirk Simpson trains Latest Desire, who now boasts $363,936 in career earnings, for Steven Newcom and Larry Taylor. Aaron Merriman piloted five winners and Pantaleano three on the 12-race card.   The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Victorian pacer Lets Elope joined a small but elite harness racing group when he powered his way to victory in the $40,000 Luxbet Tasmania Cup over 2579 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart yesterday. In winning the Group 3 event he became only the third horse in the history of the race to win in consecutive years with Motu Crusader (2012-13) and Tailamade Lombo (1998-99) the only others to have achieved the feat. It also was a double for Tasmanian-born driver Josh Duggan who delivered a brilliant tactical drive to secure victory. Five Star Anvil was the short-priced favourite ($1.40) and when driver Zac Phillips sent him straight to the front those who took the prohibitive odds would have been content while Major Callum ($31) faced the breeze with Pachacuti ($13) on his back and Lets Elope ($3.90) settled last. When Phillips allowed the favourite more rein leaving the back straight the last time the 10-year-old sped clear but Duggan had Lets Elope would up and chasing hard and Pachacuti looked a winning chance when he peeled three-wide to challenge. But when Duggan called on Lets Elope for the supreme effort the Brent Lilley-trained eight-year-old dug deep and had enough in reserve to score by two metres. "It was always going to be a race of tactics and thankfully ours (tactics) paid off," Duggan said. "It was a great thrill last year to win the race because it's my home town cup but to win it again is a bit special." Lilley said eight-year-old gelding by Real Desire had been racing well without luck in his home state and was quietly confident he had the gelding in top shape for the assignment. "We had him in a few races where he had to be driven for luck and often things didn't pan out but just prior to sending him down here to Tassie I was confident I had him in as good a condition as he's been in this prep," Lilley said. "He's been a very good horse for his owners because that his 24th win and he's been placed more than 30 times and he's won almost $500,000. "I sent the horse to Paul Ashwood who has been looking after him here in Tasmania so I think we'll leave him here for a month or so and let him go around in some of the nice free-for-alls coming up." Peter Staples

Harness racing champion New Zealand trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon is full of hope that star young pacer Mr Mojito can atone for his flop in the McInerney Ford Classic last Friday night by winning the $50,000 Garrard’s Horse And Hound Four-Year-Old Championship over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He was a victim of circumstances last week and I hope he can make amends this week,” Purdon said. The tyre on the gelding’s nearside sulky wheel was punctured about 600m after the start and Mr Mojito simply raced at the rear and finished in eleventh place, more than 20 lengths behind the winner Chicago Bull in last week’s feature event. “It was the result of a chain reaction, with the pace easing,” Purdon explained. “I didn’t want to over-tax Mr Mojito because he had no chance with a flat tyre … and if I had tried to stay on the back of Chicago Bull he would have run home a tired horse. “Take no notice of his run; just turn the page and hopefully we’ll see the best of him on Friday,” Purdon said. Mr Mojito has taken no ill-effects from last Friday and I’m happy with his condition. He’s had a quiet couple of days and I’m keeping him a bit on the fresh side. Mr Mojito, a son of American stallion Real Desire, has won at seven of his ten starts and Purdon has a high opinion of the gelding who will start from the No. 2 barrier on the front in Friday night’s race. “It won’t be easy with several good horses in the race,” Purdon said. “And you’ve got to respect the No. 1 horse (Nathans Courage).” The Victorian-bred Nathans Courage, trained at Pinjarra by Michael Brennan, is a brilliant frontrunner who should take a power of beating. The gelding, who has won nine times from 20 starts, will be driven for the first time by Gary Hall jun., who replaces regular reinsman Michael Grantham, who is serving a nine-day suspension. Nathans Courage started from barrier two on the back line in a 2536m event last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs and fought on to finish a close fourth behind A Piccadilly Princess. Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond hold a strong hand with two talented New Zealand-bred pacers Mister Daytona and Vanquished. Mister Daytona, to be driven by Ryan Warwick from the No. 3 barrier, has impressed in winning at ten of his 12 starts, while Vanquished, to be driven by Ryan Bell from barrier five, has won at ten of his 21 starts. He raced three back on the pegs and finished fast to be second to Chicago Bull last Friday night. Ace trainer Gary Hall sen. will be represented by the speedy Harry Hoo, a winner at ten of his 31 starts, but at a disadvantage from out wide at barrier nine. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri said that he expected an improved showing from stable newcomer Motu Gatecrasher, who will be driven by Chris Lewis from barrier four. Motu Gatecrasher set the pace before fading to seventh behind Chicago Bull last Friday night. “He will improve on his first-up effort,” Olivieri said. “He really needed the run and has taken no harm from it. His work since then has been a mile better.” Ken Casellas

When the sharp Genuine Desire lines up for Saturday night's harness racing Bill Conlin Final, he'll be gunning for his fourth win from his last six trips to the post, including two of his last three over this layout. The sophomore son of Real Desire is owned by Rick and Marlene Thomas and George Reider, is conditioned by Reider and will be handled by David Siegel. Genuine Desire started his recent streak with a 43-1 shocker in his Hawthorne finale last month with Tim Curtain at the controls and has recorded his last two tallies after being re-united with Siegel. In last week's Conlin Prep over a sloppy track, the pair made a power move to the top on the final bend and went on to a two and a half-length decision that sets them up perfectly for this assignment. "I am glad I finally got the opportunity to get back behind Genuine Desire after his venture back to Illinois," Siegel related after last week's score. "Going by his record and speed ratings, there is little doubt he likes the going at Cal-Expo better. "He is very handy and can be driven as the situation dictates, on the front, off the pace, and has the ability to two-move if needed. "He fits the Conlin field well and hopefully we can get the right trip and get the job done for his supportive owners Rick and Marlene. I fully expect George will have him prepared for the challenge." Marie Hill Pace brings out distaffers The Marie Hill Pace, a $4,400 Open II event for fillies and mares, heads the 13-race card Friday night at the Watch and Wager LLC meeting. First post is 6:10 p.m. Lady's Art, for driver/trainer Chip Lackey; and the Robin Clements-trained, David Siegel-driven Windsun T Bird have been assigned the outside posts in the field of seven. The race is named for the memory of Marie Catherine Hill, a Canadian who fell in love with harness racing as a young girl and became an important author of books about participants in the sport. She passed away on November 22 at the age of 85 in Merlin, Ore., near the residence of her daughter, Irene, after a brief illness. Born Aug. 12, 1931, in Blacks Harbor, New Brunswick, Ms. Hill attended her first harness race at the half-mile track at St. Stephen, New Brunswick, when she was 11 years old. At 13 she wrote her first article for The Canadian Sportsman, a few paragraphs titled "Watchim on the Trot," which was about the trotting track record holder at St. Stephen. The story led to other articles for The Canadian Sportsman's Christmas editions. She also wrote for The Horseman And Fair World, Hoof Beats, The Harness Horse, and Trot magazines. Ms. Hill became one of harness racing's most prolific historians, writing six books including: Single G: The Horse That Time Forgot; Adios: The Big Daddy of Harness Racing; Gentleman Joe-The Story of Harness Driver Joe O'Brien; Mr. Harness Racing-the Story of Delvin Miller; and The Horseman from Alberton. In 1959 Ms. Hill moved to California, where she worked as an accountant and office manager for construction companies in the San Francisco Bay area. Her interest in harness racing, its horses and people, never waned. During the 1970s and early 1980s she bred, owned and raced horses in California, Kentucky and Indiana. Ms. Hill became acquainted with Delvin Miller by mail when he responded to an advertisement she had run in The Horseman And Fair World in which she had asked for historical information about Single G. Miller responded, as was his habit, and thus began a lifelong friendship. Miller subsequently asked Ms. Hill to write his biography and she delightedly agreed to the project. In 1992, when Adios was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame, Ms. Hill accepted the award at Miller's request. In 1984, Ms. Hill nominated B C Count to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The horse's subsequent election, which came in 1998 following a 14-year campaign on her part, brought her great satisfaction. In 2005 Ms. Hill was honored with the Harness Racing Museum's Pinnacle Award and in 2007 she was inducted into the Communicators' Hall of Fame. In addition to harness racing, Ms. Hill's hobbies included the Civil War and watching the New York Yankees. She loved her family, friends, animals, her Catholic faith, and was a devoted mother and daughter. In addition to her daughter, Irene (Stephen), Ms. Hill is survived by her cousin, Sheila Hurley and friend, Arlene Matheson, both of whom she called sisters; the Walker family, Hill and O'Connor cousins; and many more cousins. Ms. Hill was an avid supporter and former board member of the Stable of Memories at The Red Mile and memorial contributions may be sent to Stable of Memories, P.O. Box 11073, Lexington, KY 40512-1073, or to Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, P.O. Box 15368, San Francisco, CA 94115-0368, or to any animal shelter or rescue. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 19, 2016 -- Latest Desire made it three straight wins Saturday at The Meadows when he pulled the pocket in the stretch, overpowered the leader and captured the $20,000 harness racing Preferred Handicap Pace. Latest Desire was jumping up two classes to the Preferred, so the pocket trip Dan Rawlings gave him was a big help. The 6-year-old Real Desire-Latest Design gelding blew by Shooter's Dream and held off Kingofthejungle, who was brushing through the Lightning Lane, by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.3 on a "good" surface. Shooter's Dream saved show. Dirk Simpson trains Latest Desire, who now boasts $341,186 in career earnings, for Steven Newcom and Larry Taylor. It was one of three wins for Rawlings on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

DAYTON, OH. - Despite a harness racing track dampened by a steady drizzle, Mystical Treasure ran her win streak to three by capturing the first $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night (September 16). The four-year-old daughter of Real Desire benefitted from an ideal second-over trip engineered by driver Dan Noble to sweep by pacesetting Momas Got A Gun (Chris Page) at the three-quarter pole and then hold fast-closing runnerup Town Temptress (Peter Wrenn) and Safe From Terror (Josh Sutton) in the stretch. The winning 1:52.1 clocking comes on the heels of a track record 1:49.4 effort at Scioto Downs in her last start. Bill Dailey trains the career winner of $277,000 for the Bourbon Creek Stable and his wife Kim, a partnership who purchased Mystical Treasure recently and are yet to see her lose. The win was one of three on the night for Dan Noble, who has captured seven races in the first four nights of the 2016 meet. Racing will resume Saturday night (September 17) at Hollywood Dayton Raceway with a 6:15 post time. The southwest Ohio oval will take a short hiatus during Little Brown Jug week at the Delaware, Ohio fairgrounds in the coming week, then resume a regular five-days-a-week schedule on Friday, September 23 through December 30. Gregg Keidel      

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 16, 2016 - The Hoosier state's top three-year-old pacing colts were in the harness racing spotlight on Thursday, September 15 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in the fifth and final round of the $75,000 preliminary Indiana Sires Stakes finals. The evening's 14-race program was primarily ruled by long shots but it was Granite, with Mike Peterson at the lines, who converted a pocket trip and a break by the heavy favorite to pull the biggest upset of the night in the featured event of the evening. At odds of 44-1, Granite stopped the timer in 1:50.4 to win by nearly two lengths and establish a new lifetime best in the process. Leaving from post one in the talented field of nine, Peterson sent Granite away from the gate firing to protect their early position but would eventually relinquish the lead to the heavy favorite Duel of Truth and John DeLong at the first quarter in :27.1. Bourbon Chase and Dan Shetler also left well to grab a spot along the rail in third while Matrix of Luck and Ricky Macomber Jr. were next in line third. Duel of Truth dictated middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.1 but was soon joined on the outside by Bourbon Chase with Matrix of Luck in tow. As the field turned for home, Duel of Truth and Bourbon Chase were matching strides and the stage was set for an epic battle to the wire. Duel of Truth appeared to be up to the task as he was able to put away Bourbon Chase half-way down the lane but Granite was looming large in the pocket. Just as Duel of Truth seemed to be pacing away from the rest of the field, he made a costly break and took himself out of the race. Granite inherited the lead and paced on to the wire to win by nearly two lengths and hold off a hard charging Uncmprmising Z Tam and LeWayne Miller. Bourbon Chase held on for third place honors. As the second longest shot on the board, Granite returned $90.60 to his loyal backers at the betting windows. The exacta including Granite and Uncmprmising Z Tam, at odds of 18-1, returned $836.80. "The trip worked out great, it actually couldn't have worked out any better for us," Peterson noted in the winner's circle. "I didn't know all that much about the hors because last week was the first time I had ever driven him but he raced really well last week too." "Coming around the last turn I knew he (Granite) had pace and I was just hoping to get a good check," he continued. "Every time I asked him though, he dug in a little more. He's a very nice colt." Trained by Melanie Wrenn, the son of Real Desire-Precious Stone notched his third win from 11 seasonal starts. Owned by Gene Oldford Farms LLC, Granite has now won seven of 20 lifetime outings while bankrolling $145,252 in purse earnings in his career. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 16 with a 13-race card that is set to begin at 5:45 p.m. Friday's program will be highlighted by a $21,000 Invitational Pace and will also feature a $6,216.95 Pick-5 carryover beginning in Race 9 and a $3,896.24 Hoosier High 5 carryover in Race 13. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 1 - Dr. Ian Moore trainee State Treasurer, the 2015 O'Brien Award Horse of the Year, returns to the harness racing stakes ranks to defend his Canadian Pacing Derby crown Saturday (September 3) at Mohawk Racetrack. State Treasurer, who won last year's edition in 1:47.4, is one of two starters sent out by Moore in Saturday's $616,000 contest. The seven-year-old son of Real Desire, from the Western Ideal mare Ideal Treasure, made his last stakes appearance in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Final on July 2 at Pocono Downs, where he raced from off the pace and finished seventh to Always B Miki in a 1:47 mile. "I think he got tired of chasing them," Dr. Ian Moore said. "I'm not saying that he'll step right up and go [1]:47 again, but I am saying that he seems different this time of year than he was earlier in the year." State Treasurer's first win this season was in his tenth start, on July 23, at Mohawk in the Preferred, where he paced in 1:48.4. "He maybe wasn't quite as good at the start of the year," Moore said. "But he's the type of horse that really excels on winning because it instills confidence into him. I know people may wonder when I say that, but some horses definitely become confident when they win. He's one of them." Entered into a $34,000 Preferred on August 6 at Mohawk, State Treasurer was lame in his jog the day prior and was scratched. Moore found that the horse had stepped on a two-inch #10 screw that burrowed into his left hind hoof. He was given antibiotics to prevent infection from the injury and returned to race on August 13, winning the Preferred in 1:50.1 from post nine. Then on August 20, he won as the 4-5 favorite in 1:48.3. "One of the owners wanted to race him [in the Preferred] last week and I thought a week off would be best," Moore said. "But it didn't matter anyway; [Mohawk] didn't go with the top class. He jogged very sharp all last week." "I trained him today [Wednesday], and he trained probably as good as he ever trained," Moore also said. Earning $2,058,130 in his career, State Treasurer will race from post three for owners Sally and Paul MacDonald. Chris Christoforou will drive. "Obviously the big three are Wiggle It [Jiggleit], [Always B] Miki, and Shamballa, and everybody will be betting on those guys," Moore said. "But they'll know he's there; he'll give it his all. This is his home track and he has his regular driver with him that night, so he'll be very tough." Moore's other trainee, Rockin In Heaven, who he owns in partnership with Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte, and Gordon McComb, drew post five for his first start since finishing third in the $200,000 Prix D'Ete. "He has been a very nice surprise for us over the last couple of years for us and he continues to surprise us," Moore said. "He was charted going 1:48.3 this year and 1:48.2 in the mud. He's a pretty nice horse who always seems to give his best, too." The four-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven from the Jennas Beach Boy mare Tropics Beachgirl has earned $512,361 in his career. "We're very proud and pleased to have two in the [Canadian Pacing] Derby," Moore said. "We're hoping for a good trip and to pick up some money." The Canadian Pacing Derby is carded as the tenth race on the 13-race program. Here is the full field for the $616,000 Canadian Pacing Derby Final. 1. Wiggle It Jiggleit - Mr Wiggles - Montrell Teague - Clyde Franics 2. Nickle Bag - Rocknroll Hanover - Trevor Henry - William Robinson 3. State Treasurer - Real Desire - Chris Christoforou - Dr. Ian Moore 4. Shamballa - Somebeachsomewhere - Rick Zeron - Rick Zeron 5. Rockin In Heaven - Rock N Roll Heaven - Jody Jamieson - Dr. Ian Moore 6. Nirvana Seelster - Camluck - Phil Hudon - William Budd 7. All Bets Off - Bettor's Delight - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke 8. Always B Miki - Always A Virgin - David Miller - Jimmy Takter 9. Dealt A Winner - Cams Card Shark - Andy Miller - Mark Silva 10. Evenin Of Pleasure - Dragon Again - Sylvain Filion - Richard Moreau by Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - They race horses for a reason and that was very evident Sunday afternoon at the Hippodrome 3R as 14-1 Rockin Ron was able to defeat the 1/9 overwhelming favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit (WIJI) in the $200,000 Prix D'Ete for four-year-old pacers. It took a herculean effort by Rockin Ron and driver Yannick Gingras over a sloppy, rain-soaked track to defeat Wiggle It Jiggleit and driver Montrell Teague, covering the one-mile race in 1:52. The 10th race feature saw Gringras, the sports leading money winning driver and a native of Quebec, fly to the early lead from post five to take control with WIJI content to sit in the two-hole going to the opening quarter mile in :27. They raced Indian-style to the half mile marker in a mild :56.3 and that was when the action heated up for the nearly 5,000 race fans that came to 3R to see the World Champion WIJI perform despite the rain. As they started down the backstretch, Teague came after Rockin Ron with WIJI and those two pulled away from the field, racing neck and neck, stride for stride to the three-quarters in 1:26 and then around the final turn. As they straighten out for the stretch drive, it seemed that everyone held their breath to see if WIJI could come back and win again as he has done so often in his career, but it was not to happen today. Coming to the wire, Gringras knew he and Rockin Ron would be victorious and did a fist-pump in triumph as they came to the finish, winning by one and one-half lengths. Rockin In Heaven (Jody Jamieson) was third with Rock N Roll World (Daniel Dube) fourth and ASAP Hanover (Louis-Philippe Roy) fifth. "Obviously Wiggle It Jiggleit was the best horse in the race," Gringas said. "Everyone knew that but we got a little advantage when I was able to get right to the lead and control the race. "I knew it was the only way I could win the race if they came first-over," Gringras explained, "If they had sat behind me maybe they could have beaten us, but I was backing it down and forced his hand. I knew the only way I could beat him was to get him to come first-over." Sired by Real Desire, Rockin Ron is trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, LLC, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and the RTC Stables, Inc. of Canonsburg, PA. Rockin Ron paid $30.40 to win. Rockin Ron, who earlier this season was undefeated at 10 straight wins, picked the perfect time for win number 11 in the Prix D'Ete. His last week was also in defeating WIJI in the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs. He now sports 11 wins and C$424,000 in earnings this season. It is the second straight year that the Burke Stable has won the Prix D'Ete, scoring last year with All Bets Off. "Yannick drove Rockin Ron has perfect as he could," said trainer Mickey Burke. "WIJI pulled and tried to come after him and those two put on a hellva show. I'm glad it worked out the way it did and the great crowd here got to see a heck of a race." Burke did not know what racing plans were in store for Rockin Ron. Rockin Ron's time of 1:52 over the sloppy track was the third fastest mile in the history of 3R behind the last two Prix D'Ete's that were won in 1:50.3 by Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015). TRACK NOTES: The Hippodrome 3R trackman, Sylvain Blais did a superb job with the racing surface Sunday as despite the rain, two tracks records were set early on the program before the downpours and seven of the winners on the day recorded lifetime marks. Both track records came in the third round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacers. Yannick Gingras scored his first of three winners on the day in the third race Future Stars division for colts. He sent Makasi to the lead by the opening quarter mile and never looked back, scoring in 1:55.2 in his maiden victory. Trained by Helene Fillion for owner/breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable of Hudson, QC, Makasi is sired by Shanghai Phil and paid $2.40 to win. The previous track mark was set 23 years ago by Canaco Score (1993) and was tied by Hall Bro in 2013. It was the longest standing record at 3R. Then in the next division for pacing fillies, Canada's newest hall of famer, Yves Filion, also led from the quarter mile to the finish with Yaris Bayama in 1:56.4. The daughter of Sportswriter, trained by Yves and owned and bred by Filion's Bayama Farms, has been razor sharp all season. It was Yaris Bayama's third win in five starts and last week she had won the C$105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots at Mohawk Raceway in a lifetime best 1:52.4. Her clocking erased the prior record of 1:57.3 held by HP Sissy in 2015. Yaris Bayama paid just $2.10 to win. The other colt division was won also won by Filion with Yogi Bayama ($2.10) in 1:59.1 and the filly division went to Carl Duguay's Chaleurs Melodie ($6.70), driven to victory by Daniel Dube in 2:00. Live racing resumes at 3R on Tuesday evening, first race post time at 7:00 pm. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 23 - It may have taken a little longer than expected, but State Treasurer scored his first win of 2016 in style Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee captured the $34,000 Preferred Pace in 1:48.4 over six harness racing rivals Saturday. Driven by Chris Christoforou, State Treasurer got away fourth and was sent towards the front in the second-quarter. The Moore trainee was used hard, as he cleared Nickle Bag, who posted an opening-quarter of :26, for the lead at the half in :53.3. Despite the tough second-quarter, State Treasurer continued to power along around the final turn and paced a :27.3 third-quarter to reach the third station in 1:21.1. In the stretch, State Treasurer was asked to dig in and the seven-year-old responded by holding off a late push from the gritty Nickle Bag to win by half a length in 1:48.4. American Virgin finished third, while the other Moore trainee, Rockin In Heaven, was fourth. State Treasurer entered Saturday's contest winless in nine starts this season after winning nine of 19 and almost a $1 million last season en route to being named the Canadian Horse of the Year. The son of Real Desire now has 31 career wins and $2,022,430 earned over the course of his career for owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald. State Treasurer paid $5.80 to win Saturday. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Twenty-year-old Kiwi expatriate Steph Burley experienced the thrill of her first driving win at Bathurst's harness racing twilight meeting on Wednesday and enjoyed the experience so much that she backed up for a second success in the very next race. Both winners were trained by Steve Turnbull, father of her boyfriend Mitchell and her boss for the past few months, and were part of a four-win haul by the leading trainer. The special first win came behind Our Emancipation with Burley revving up the three-year-old Real Desire filly from a wide draw to find the lead into the first turn, remaining in front for the 2660m race. To make it even more special, the filly is owned by her Auckland-based parents Mark and Heather, a fact appreciated and noted by Steve Turnbull after one of his wins later in the meeting. Heather was on the phone soon after the win to pass on parental congratulations, and later on it was the turn of Mitch Turnbull, even further away in Perth, where he'll be for the next month or so . . . he managed a win with his very first drive in the west, at Pinjarra two days earlier, making it a rather special time for the young couple. And though she wasn't aware of it till the following day, her poised performance earned her the Drive-of-the-Night award from race caller Mitch Manners, who thought she rated the winner to absolute perfection. Half –an-hour later, it was back to the winners' circle again, this time with the aptly-named Oh I Am The One, after a contrasting but equally skilful drive, positioning the Gotta Go Cullen gelding in the one-one trail before getting the bob in right on the line in a desperately close finish. When it was suggested at the presentation that "You're starting to make a habit of this," her "I hope so" response was both spontaneous and understandable. Stephanie might have had to wait about twelve months since her debut drive - a second behind Global View at Menangle - to finally secure that first win, but now she's done it, and gone one more for good measure. Steve Turnbull drove the other two winners from his stable, Sabrage and Gentleman Red, while Ashlee Grives also scored a driving double at the meeting with Platinum Roulette in the fast-class and Zibibbo in a Three-Year-Old Fillies sprint. Vergels Girl continued a great winning run for the Connolly family from Carcoar by leading throughout - her third win this season - while Lexy Can Wait, for Bernie Hewitt, appreciated a drop in class to score a last-stride win in the corresponding male division. Rains continue to flood the Bathurst region. Hopefully "the winter of our discontent" will soon give way to "glorious summer". Amanda Rando

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