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The competing amateurs in the C.K.G. Billings Trotting Series stepped back in time this weekend when they traveled to the Cradle of the Trotter in the Land O' Goshen and compete over Historic Track, the National Historic Landmark and the world's oldest harness track. It was back to the way racing used to be over the track that has been in existence since the late 1830's and the place where the sports great progenitor, Hambletonian was shown to the attending crowds. Three Billings trots were contested on July 5 and the winning drivers included, "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio, Dave "Steady As" Yarock, and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff. In his contest, which was the first of the three, Pennacchio got to drive Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford's old warrior, Celtic Merchant, since Oldford is in Finland representing the U.S. in the World Cup of Amateur Racing. And Pennacchio did him proud. When the gate sprung he sent Celtic Merchant to the lead and they were never in trouble as the old warrior trotted through fractions of :30.0; 1:01:1 and 1:31.2 before finishing in 2:01.3 some four lengths ahead of Drill Sergeant Sam and driver Tony "the Capo" Verruso. Two lengths farther back in third place was Some Kinda Spunky, driven by "Johnny On The Spot" Kolkowski. The second Billings trot was inundated with breaking horses with four of the seven trotters going off-stride in the race which made it Quite Easy for Rompaway Alvin (Dave Yarock), the eventual winner. Rodeo Red and "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo took command after they left from the four hole and they were comfortable on the lead especially when Keystone Sadie driven by Peter "Sycamore Ventures" Gerry made a break at the half and caused problems for two others. Although Yarock pulled the two hole going to the half with his trotter Rompaway Alan proved to be stronger than Faraldo's Rodeo Red when the two trotters raced eyeball to eyeball up the backside and when Rodeo Red went off-stride on the final turn Rompaway Alvin romped away to a 19-length triumph in a time of 2:01:1. Rodeo Red got back on stride and took home second money while Martz Creek Rex finished third for Scott "the Money Man" Price A final Billings trot saw Bob Hechkoff leave swiftly with Get Packin from the pole and go wire to wire for a 2:02.4 triumph. But victory came hard at the end of the mile as Scott "the Driving Doctor" Woogen and Armstead Kyra charged at the leader at the top of the stretch and they slowly erased the two-length lead that Get Packin had. However, Hechkoff's trotter hung gamely and rebuffed Armstead Kyra to score a neck victory over the good doctor's mare. Third place went to Nearly Uncle driven by "Bullet Bob" Davis. By John Manzi

Nuncio spent a lot of this past winter learning to use his natural talent in a more productive way, and it shows. The 3-year-old trotter, who is 3-1 from post two in Saturday's $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is undefeated in four starts in 2014 after a barn change following his 2-year-old season. New trainer Jimmy Takter concentrated on teaching the son of Andover Hall to conserve and use his speed judiciously and driver John Campbell said he's passing the course so far. Last year, Nuncio led at the half-mile point in eight of his 10 races. This year, he's been no better than third at the halfway point of any race and not seen the lead until the stretch. "I'm very happy with the way he's been coming along," Campbell said. "He just got so aggressive and so wound up at the end of last year that you just couldn't rate him at all. That was to his detriment in a couple races and it cost him winning. Jimmy trained him from behind all winter and we've qualified him that way and raced him that way and he's started to figure it out, so I can be a little more aggressive with him at the gate. "He left a little bit last week and didn't get wound up. I'm very happy with his manners so far. He's been very relaxed and that's important because if they're worked up and you're fighting with them, you just take away energy. He's always been able to go; speed hasn't been an issue ever with him. It's more been just manageability." Nuncio won his Beal elimination last weekend by a half-length over Datsyuk in 1:52.2. His previous three wins this season all came in divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Last year, he won five of 10 races and never finished worse than second on his way to $461,074. His earnings were third most among 2-year-old trotters, behind Takter-trained colt Father Patrick and Takter-trained filly Shake It Cerry. Four of Nuncio's second-place efforts were against Father Patrick, in the eliminations and final of the Peter Haughton Memorial and elims and final of the Breeders Crown. Nuncio won the Matron Stakes and a division of the Reynolds; he also was runner-up to Muscle Network in the Valley Victory. Father Patrick, who received the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter, also won his Beal elimination last week. He drew post No. 8 for the final and is the 5-2 morning line favorite with driver Yannick Gingras. "I'd certainly rather have the two hole than outside, that is for sure, but once we get in to the race, everybody will know at the quarter whether it's good or bad," Campbell said. "But going in to the race, I'd rather be down inside." Father Patrick won his Beal elim by 2-1/4 lengths over Harper Blue Chip in 1:52.4. He is 4-for-4 this year and brings a 13-race win streak into the Beal final. Last year, Father Patrick won 10 of 11 races, including the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs, the Wellwood Memorial and the Peter Haughton Memorial. His only setback came against Nuncio in July. "This is the first time all year that he'll be asked to go," Gingras said. "He's more than ready after four easy starts." Saturday's stakes-laden card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Following are Saturday's Sun Invitational and stakes fields in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational - 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 10-1; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 5-1; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 7-2; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 12-1; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 3-1; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 2-1. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial - 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman, 15-1; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr, 3-1; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr., 6-1; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 12-1; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O'Donnell, 4-1; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway, 20-1. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial - 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt, 6-1; 2. Allstar Partner, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 12-1; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 4-1; 5. At Press Time, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker, 20-1; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder, 15-1; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown, 10-1. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace - 1. Bettor's Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke, 15-1; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 5-1; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 20-1; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 6-1. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial - 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 5-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 4-1; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 15-1; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 20-1; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris, 6-1; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1. by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications  

The 2 Titans Racing Stable and the Fowlerville Horsemen are hosting qualifying and gate training on Sunday, June 22. The event will begin at 1 p.m. at the Fowlerville Fairgrounds. All horses must enter on Thursday, June 19, by calling the fair office (517-223-8186) or Claudia's Cary-Davidson's cell (517-294-0003) between 9-11 a.m. (EDT). Qualifying horses will go first and gate training to follow. Five horses on the gate. Stalls are available on a first-come basis (NO STRAW PLEASE). Gate training colts will be classified by age, speed, and gait for schooling. The Fowlerville Horsemen committee will offer hotdogs and brats for a picnic. Please bring a dish to pass if you can. Everyone will be welcome for lunch. Please note the following rules: 1) Only licensed drivers and trainers on the track; 2) Race bikes only for schooling horses; 3) Drivers must be in colors; 4) Eligibility papers and Coggins required for qualifying horses. Special thanks to 2 Titans Racing Stable for sponsoring this event. Their generous donation has paid for the race officials required to conduct this year's event. For updates and further details, visit Fowlerville Harness Horsemen on Facebook or our website (Rock-N-Horsestandardbreds.com). From the Fowlerville Harness Horsemen    

ANDERSON, Ind.-June 11, 2014 - Sam Widger notched the 5,000th win of his career after he piloted Brooklyn's Z Tam to victory in a condition pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, June 11. The 1:56.2 victory marked a lifetime best performance for the four-year-old daughter of Electric Yankee-Slick Fit and a career milestone for the 50-year-old reinsman. Trained by Mike Murphy, Brooklyn's Z Tam was able to take advantage of a perfect second-over trip to record the first win of her 4-year-old campaign. Owned by Connie Blakeman, Brooklyn's Z Tam now sports a career bankroll of $24,870. Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager, Rick Moore, along with Widger's friends and fellow drivers were in the winner's circle to congratulate and acknowledge his accomplishment. "On behalf of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, I'd like to congratulate Sam on win number 5,000," Moore noted. "Through his professionalism and attitude, Sam is a great ambassador for our sport. We wish Sam continued success for the remainder of this season and throughout his career. We look forward to watching him win many more races at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino." Now in his 28th season as a driver, Widger completed his ninth season with purse earnings surpassing the $2.5 million mark in 2013. The veteran reinsman has gone over the $3 million mark in purse earnings four times in the last eight years and has finished among the top ten drivers at Hoosier Park every season he has competed. Widger also received a spot in the Hoosier Park history books when he guided Bolt The Duer to victory in the 2013 installment of Hoosier Park's most prestigious race, the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational. Widger, who has a farm in Beecher, IL that he shares with his wife, Nancy, and his five children, loves to hunt, fish and also enjoys helping out on the family farm in his spare time. Widger remains humble when considering his career and accredits much of his success to hard work, determination and perseverance. "God willing, trainers willing, and owners willing, we'll just keep on going," Widger said after his win. "I count my blessings every day, not only with the harness racing, but with family as well. I'm as rich as anybody could be when it comes to family." Widger is currently third on the 2014 leading driver standings at Hoosier Park with 65 trips to the winner's circle and over $640,000 in purse earnings. Trace Tetrick leads all drivers with 97 victories while Tyler Smith is just behind him in second with 92 wins. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Thursday, June 12 with a 14-race card highlighted by the $17,500 Fillies and Mares Preferred trot. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule through November 15. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

This Week: North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Goodtimes and Armbro Flight finals, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Meadowlands Maturity, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this weekend as the Ontario oval hosts five lucrative stakes finals on Saturday night (June 14) led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on the card will be the C$457,500 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$330,000 Roses Are Red for older mare pacers, the C$272,100 Goodtimes for 3-year-old colt trotters and the C$266,000 Armbro Flight for older mare trotters. Friday night (June 13) will see Meadowlands Racetrack host the $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity or 4-year-old pacers. Two-time defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous makes his seasonal debut in that race. Complete entries for the Mohawk races can be found by clicking on this link. Meadowlands entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters at Scioto Downs and second choice Modern Family prevailed in an all-age track record-equaling clocking of 1:52.2. Modern Family left alertly and took the front end from Creatine at the opening quarter in :27. The order remained intact with a very soft half-mile time in :56.4. At that point Arch Madness began to turn up the heat with a first-over move and gave the winner all he had to offer down the backstretch. He was followed on the rim by DW's NY Yank and favored Market Share. Driver Dave Palone asked Modern Family to trot in the third quarter and he responded with a :27.3 panel to gain some separation. From there the Daryl Bier trainee trotted away and won in 1:52.2 by 1-3/4 lengths over longshot Archangel and Creatine. Market Share finished a disappointing sixth. Five sets of eliminations for this weekend's Mohawk stakes finals were also part of last week's Grand Circuit action. Leading the way were the finest 3-year-old pacing colts on the continent facing off in three Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. Lyonssomewhere, McWicked and Tellitlikeitis all turned in impressive victories heading into this weekend's C$1 million final. Lyonssomewhere and driver Corey Callahan shot through an opening in deep stretch to take the first of three C$50,000 eliminations June 7 at Mohawk. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the son of champion Somebeachsomewhere kept his racing record perfect, now five-for-five, as he scored by 1-3/4 lengths in a career best 1:50.1. Beat the Drum wound up second, with JK Endofanera fading to third. McWicked and driver David Miller rallied from third in mid-stretch to haul down Sometimes Said and take the second C$50,000 Pepsi North America Cup elimination by two lengths in 1:48.3. Sometimes Said, with driver John Campbell, appeared headed to victory but Miller eased McWicked out from third and blew by the pair for the win. Sometimes Said wound up second, Let's Drink On It was third and Ideal Cowboy was fourth and also advanced to the final. The third and final Pepsi North America Cup elimination looked to be the toughest on paper, with He's Watching, Luck Be Withyou, Tellitlikeitis and Doo Wop Hanover all highly-regarded contenders. But at the finish, it was the Jimmy Takter-trained, Brett Miller-driven Tellitlikeitis who rolled by the odds-on choice, He's Watching, to win by a comfortable 2-1/4 lengths in 1:48.4, just a tick slower than McWicked's time in the second elim. He's Watching, the 3-5 favorite, took over from Luck Be Withyou before the half was reached in :54.2, while Tellitlikeitis was tucked in third along the rail. He's Watching hit the three-quarters in 1:21.4 and appeared capable of holding off a bid from Luck Be Withyou in mid-stretch. But Miller moved out from third with Tellitlikeitis and came motoring home for the emphatic win over He's Watching, with Luck Be Withyou third. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 313; 2. Tim Tetrick - 276; 3. Ron Pierce - 205; 4. George Brennan - 164.5; 5. Brian Sears - 135. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 502.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 175; 3. PJ Fraley - 169; 4. Joe Holloway - 122; 5. Julie Miller- 100. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 136.5; 2. Burke Racing - 112.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 104.8; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 62; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Next weekend will see Grand Circuit action taking place at Meadowlands Racetrack and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The Meadowlands will host a leg of the TVG Free For All series for older trotters on Friday (June 20), while Pocono will have eliminations for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old colt trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old colt pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 21). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Twenty nine year old harness racing trainer Rob Xerri had a month in charge of the Sloys Racing Stable that he will not forget in a hurry. In his first full month in charge of the team of twenty horses, Xerri brought up his first training treble, got four winners on a programme and had a placing in a Gr. 1 event with the talented two year old Mister Brazil. "It has been a great start for me since I took control of the stable, I have got a very nice team of horses to work and they are all well bred," Xerri said. "Luda was very good winning her heat of the Breeders Challenge at Newcastle last Friday and I am really looking forward to that series later in the month. She isn't the only runner I am aiming at the Breeders Challenge, I have five horses that are eligible and it would be nice to see them get through to the final." Xerri produced Miss Rocknroll to win a two year old Breeders Challenge heat at Newcastle on May 23 where she accounted for short priced favourite Sally Fletcher. "She has already competed in a few big series, she ran in a heat of the Bathurst Gold Tiara and she also made it through to Australian Pacing Gold Final. I think Miss Rocknroll and Luda are the best chances from my stable going into the Breeders Challenge for sure." May was not all smooth sailing for Xerri's stable though with his promising two year old Mister Brazil diagnosed with a tendon issue. "I was very happy with his run in the APG final but the trip to Melbourne took its toll on him because he was off his food for a couple of days when he got home and then to make matters worse he did his tendon." "The vet says he needs four months off and I thought there is no use in crucifying him so he will have a good break and he can get ready for the APG next year." By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 31, 2014-Odds-on favorite All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, $2.60) was both anxious and effective Saturday night, winning the $300,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. In play from post position No. 4 as the 3-10 favorite, All Bets Off made the first lead in the 24th Rooney. He then handed the baton to second choice Stevensville (Tim Tetrick) right around a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. The song remained the same at the 55.1 intermission and early in the backstretch the second time. That's when Maxi Bon (Dan Dube) moved from fourth, and he was in a hurry. He disposed of a no-fight Stevensville just after a 1:23.3 three-quarters. Good thing for All Bets Off that nothing was moving behind "Maxi," as he was able to extricate himself. All Bets off collared the new leader early in the lane, then held off a rallying Some Playa (George Brennan) by a length-and-a-half in 1:52.2. Maxi Bon held third, with Unlocked (Brent Holland) closing from last to grab fourth. Bondi Hanover (Jason Bartlett) earned the final pay envelope, with Gold Rocks (Eric Goodell), a tiring Stevensville and Ideal Fashion (Jordan Stratton) rounding out the order. For All Bets Off, a statebred son of Bettor's Delight co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stables and Rosemary Shelswell, he's now 3-for-4 this season (earnings of $180,250). The exacta paid $15.80, with no triple returning $44.20. "Oh, yeah, I was worried," Kakaley said. "I thought giving up the lead (to Stevensville) was the right thing to do."Then I saw Danny's (Dube, with Max Bon) coming fast and I knew I was in trouble. I was lucky to get out. If I don't, I'm shuffled out, and probably last "He's (All Bets Off) handy enough for the half-mile , but I think he can carry his speed to bigger tracks, too," Kakaley said. "Every start, (All Bets Off) has been on his toes. Give Ronnie (Burke) and his crew an A-plus. I'm just fortunate to have the drive." In the $124,744 Lismore Final for three-year-old pacing fillies, Tyra showed her heels to the field for driver Tim Tetrick, grinding the lead away from Southwind Silence (George Brennan) by the three-quarters and then pulling away from the field to win by seven open lengths in 1:52.1. Southwind Silence was second with Also Encouraging (Matt Kakaley) third. It was the second win in four starts this year for Tyra. the daughter of McArdle is trained by Joann Looney-King and is owned by the CC Racing, Inc. of Mokena, ILL. She paid 43.50 to win as the betting favorite. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

While the exceptionally well presented and contested Elitloppet 2014 captured worldwide trotting attention last weekend, there was great action elsewhere too throughout Europe. At Vannes, the fifth leg of the “Trophy Vert”, the green (turf) trophy, took place with the winner being Touho de Karenga with Tony LeBeller aboard. The €45,000 purse (Prix de la Societe des Courses de Vannes) went to the son of Jag de Bellouet who landed his 13th career victory good for €194,660 earned. The long striding veteran sailed over the grass in 1.18.3kr over 3200 meters (two miles). Favored Super Berry Chenou was second for J-P Monclin.May 25, 2014 Vannes, Prix de la Societe des Courses de Vannes, €45,000, 3200 meters, 18 starters on the turf, 1.18.3kr 1st Touho de Karenga (7m Jag de Bellouet-Mythical Rodney-Cezio Josselyn), Tony LeBeller for trainer J-M Legros, 3.8/1, 13th career win for €194,660 2nd Super Berry Chenou (8g Jardy-Finaline), J-P Monclin trainer/driver, 2.2/1 odds 3rd Sierra Leone (8f John Arifant-Une d’Havetot), J-C Hallais for J-W Hallais trainer, 21/1 At Paris-Vincennes graded and fast class action drew the fans. The Prix Victor Cavey, a Gr. II monte test over 2850 meters for €120,000, went to the Camille Levesque reined Vol de Nuit in 1.14.k5kr. The five-year-old daughter of Goetmals Wood is trained by Mike Lenders for Ecurie Pierre Levesque as she earned her fifth lifetime win. Vision Intense was scratched and two of the remaining presumed contenders were off the board. May 27, 2014 Paris-Vincennes,  Prix Victor Cavey, Gr. II monte €120,000, 2850 meters, 9 starters, 1.14.5kr 1st Vol de Nuit (5m Goetmals Wood-Manon Lescaut-Vikings Way), Camille Levesque up for trainer Mike Lenders and owner Ecurie Pierre Levesque, 2.3/1, 67 poids, fifth win for €135,500 2nd Viva Jenilou (5f Phlegyas-Louve Jenilou), Philippe Masschaele up, 23/1, 65 poids 3rd Valse de Reve (5f Mister President-Nouba Houba), Anthony Barrier, 34/1, 65 poids Vision Intense was scratched; Valdice de Mars (seventh)  and Valse Castelets (eighth) off the board On the “attele” the Prix Talitha was contested for lightly raced three year-old males over 2200 meters and for €46,000. Heavily backed Buvetier, a son of Goetmals Wood and handled by Julien Dubois, went down to defeat as Bandit Charentais scored easily with a down the middle rally. Francois Lagadeuc drove the winner to his fifth success. The son of So Lovely Girl-Here I Am-Buvetier d’Aunou earned the win at 4/1 odds. May 27, 2014 Paris Vincennes, Prix Talitha, €46,000, males, 2200 meters, 11 starters, 1.14.3kr 1st Bandit Charentais (3m So Lovely Girl-Here I Am-Buvetier d’Aunou), Francois Lagadeuc up for Jean M. Baudouin trainer, 4/1 odds, fifth victory for €57,150 2nd Buvetier (3m Goetmals Wood-Rapide Aventure-Love You), Julien Dubois up for trainer Patrick Chevrier, owner Jean-Pierre Dubois and Ecurie D breeder, 3/5 odds 3rd Berry Felin (3m Nahar de Beval-Krisma des Bois)m Gilles Delacour driver/trainer, 25/1 At Kincsem Park the 105th edition of the Nemzeti Djiban took place. The 2HUf million purse, 1960 meter event  went to Red Stone with Csaba Lakatos aboard. The four year-old gelded son of Wall Street Banker defeated 10 rivals in 1.17.5kr while overcoming a 40 meter penalty. Three year-old Salt Lake City almost held on for trainer/drive Imre Fazekas. The co-featured Faust DIJ for aged open class trotters went to the veteran Diamond Way stallion Lambert SAS is a quick 1.13.3kr over 1800 meters autostart. Josef Sagaj piloted the out of country winner to defeat the good Supergill mare Orifiamma Jet with former Derby winner Ollyan Nincs ending third. May 24, 2014 Kincsem Park, 105th Nemzeti DIJ, 2HUf million purse, 1960 meters distance handicap, 11 starters, 1.17.5kr 1st Red Stone (4g Wall Street Banker-Astalavista), Csaba Lakatos up for L. Marton trainer and AMMA owner, fourth win in seven starts in 2014, traveled 2000 meters, 24.5/1 odds 2nd Salt Lake City (3m Detroit-Jolly Beauty), Imre Fazekas trainer/driver for Pimri owner, 1960 meters, 4/1 3rd Rozsakert (4f Wall Street Banker-Viragos), Emil Csordas up, 2000 meters, 16.8/1 odds May 24, 2014 Kincsem Park, Faust DIJ, 750,000HUf, 1800 meters autostart, 11 starters, 1.13.8kr Lambert SAS (9m Diamond Way-Agena LB), Josef Sagaj trainer/driver, Slovenia, 3/1 odds as favorite 1st Orifiamma Jet (6f Supergill-Ticket to Ride-Nevele Pride), Tibor Hajnal driver/trainer, 7/1 2nd Ollyan Nincs (6g Pickaflick-C’est la Guerre), Andrea Fazekas for Imre Fazekas trainer, 3.9/1 3rd Princess View (6f Igor Brick-Review As), Csaba Lakatos aboard, 15.7/1 4th Rose’s La Nena (7f Pearsall Hanover-O’Hill’s Rose), Laszlo Kolozsi, 35.4/1 Lastly, reports indicate that Maharajah has had a successful 2014 at stud and has recovered from injury during winter 2014 after his Prix d’Amerique victory. His connections plan to defend the title in 2014 and also plan to contest the Prix de France over 2100 meters with Panne de Moteur, recently a solid second in the Elitloppet final and winning his elimination over Raja Mirchi. And, as reported previously, Magic Tonight (Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed) scored yesterday at Aby in record time 1.09.3kr in the mile distance  Algot Scotts Minne. This one is the family of Lookout Victory. I’m The Answer (by Credit Winner) set blistering fractions setting up Magic Tonight’s victory for driver Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Roger Wahlman. by Tom Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

It was announced over the weekend that American trotting star Corky will stay in Sweden for a couple of months. Today it was decided that Uncle Peter will also remain in Scandinavia. Uncle Peter has earned 7.8 million SEK during his career and is one of the top horses in the USA. In Scandinavia he hasn't showed full potential, finishing fifth place in the Copenhagen Cup and tiring in his Elitloppet elimination to fail qualifying for the final. Uncle Peter hopes to obtain a start in the Oslo Grand Prix. Uncle Peter will join Corky at Daniel Reden's Stable Zet where they will be trained by Tobias J. Gustafsson. Backfire (4f by Offshore Dream) and Poochai (4m Make It Happen) took tonight’s companion Gr. I International events at Aby. Gothenburg, the Drottning Silvias Pokal for four year-old mares and the Konung Gustaf V’s Pokal for four year-old males. Both carried a purse of €199,930 with the winners’ share being €99,970. Backfire scored in 1.12.6kr over 2140 meters autostart, driven by Johnny Takter for a two length victory from Air Frame and Bjorn Goop. Heavily supported D’One (4f Donato Hanover-Giant Diablo-Supergill) came from far back to be third. Summary and video replay link are shown below with official program that follows: http://abytravet.se/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/140528_aby_Web.pdf May 28, 2014 Aby Gothenburg Sweden, Drottning Silvia Pokal, Gr. I International, four year-old mares, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters, 1.12.6kr, purse €199,939 with €99,970 to winner 1st Backfire (4f Offshore Dream-Fashion Brodde-SJ’s Caviar), Johnny Takter, owner Linne Trav AB, 11/1 odds, her eighth win in 21 starts now for earnings of 2,384,350SEK 2nd Air Frame (4f Scarlet Knight-Sunset Kosmos-SJ’s Photo), Bjorn Goop up for trainer owner Stefan Melander and Stall TZ 3rd D’One (4f Donato Hanover-Giant Diablo-Supergill), Orjan Kihlstrom for Stall Kennys and trainer Roger Wahlman The four year-old males contest ended with 6.6/1 Poochai  scoring for Erik Adielsson in 1.11.9kr over 2140 meters autostart. The son of Make It Happen (son of Conway Hall that successfully raced in the USA) rallied in the lighting lane for the win over Sir Ratzeputz and teamster Jorma Kontio. Poochai was first to lead and then settled in the pocket behind Boys Going In with Amazing Man in the death seat. Sir Ratzeputz was first to advance three wide. Poochai waited for the inside passing lane and rallied to victory. Rolex Bigi, and reinsman Anders Svanstedt, was third over and empty in the drive, ending eighth. May 28, 2014 Aby Gothenburg Sweden, Konung Gustaf V’s Pokal, Gr. I International, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters, purse €199,939 with €99.970 to winner (six places paid), 1.11.9kr 1st Poochai (4m Make It Happen-In Vino Veritas-Express Ride), Erik Adielson for trainer Svante Bath, owner Roxy Horses KB, 6.6/1 odds, his sixth win in 19 starts for earnings of 1,911,460SEK 2nd Sir Ratzeputz (4m Love You-Celebrate-Lindy’s Crown), Jorma Kontio up for Timo Nurmos trainer and owner Thors Trading AB 3rd Boys Going In (4m Going Kronos-Namura-Buvetier d’Aunou), Fredrik Persson trainer/driver The fast class event for older trotters was the Algot Scotts Minne. Magic Tonight set the track record of 1.09.3kr for Orjan Kihlstrom, taking advantage of the early fast pace set by I’m The Answer. Favored Solvato made a miscue early. May 28, 2014 Aby Gothenburg Sweden, Algot Scotts Minne, purse €21,762, distance 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters, 1.09.3kr a track record 1st Magic Tonight (5m Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed), Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Roger Wahlman, owner 2nd AB Svensk Reklamfinans, his 13th victory in 42 starts for 4,767,831SEK earned, off at 1.8/1 odds 3rd Obi Wan (8g Ganymede-Hejsa Reerstrup-Speedy Herve), Flemming Jensen trainer/driver 4th Nouvelle Pelle (11g Juliano Star-Nouvelle Isabell-Messerschmitt), Jorgen Sjunnesson up for Flemming Jensen trainer I’m The Answer was the rapid pacesetter and faded to fifth, Solvato was offstride early and was last. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com    

Orjan Kihlstom teamed Panne de Moteur (6m Credit Winner-Jalopy-Donerail) to a nose victory in elimination two of the 2014 Elitloppet, timed in 1.08.9kr (1:50.86). That time equals Commander Crowe's Swedish record. The winner's dam was a Hambletonian Oaks winner. As anticipated Lutfi Kolgjini set the pace with Raja Mirchi (7m Viking Kronos-Dame Lavec-Quito de Talonay) and almost hung on under heavy pressure. Although modestly rough gaited nearing the line he stayed together bravely to just miss. Kihlstrom had the winner well placed in the pocket throughout after David Miller vacated the three spot to sit in the death seat. Panne de Moteur looked beaten at top of stretch and when Kihlstrom pulled to attack the horse was briefly rough gaited and veered left. Kihlstom superbly steadied his charge and went on for the close win over Raja Mirchi. Delicious (by Cantab Hall) ended third for Daniel Reden with Pascia'Lest (by Varenne) fourth for Enrico Bellei after a ground saving journey. Juliano Rags (by Juliano Star) was fifth after causing a restart in this field's first attempt at the start. Uncle Peter backed through the field to be unplaced. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

Bjorn Goop steered Richard Westerink's Timoko (7m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant) to victory in today's first Elitloppet elimination. Timed in 1.09.9kr over 1609 meters autostart, the winner rated second over throughout following Digital Ink (Orjan Kihlstrom up) with Maven and Yannick Gingras placed third on the outer. Shaq Is Back and Daniel Reden was the pacesetter traveling the first 500 meters in 1.08kr. Off the final turn Timoko moved to the front with a game Digital Ink second and Maven third after being forced three-wide in that last turn. The winner now has 21 career wins in 59 starts for earnings of 20,285,351SEK. Reven d'Amour finished fourth for Erik Adielsson with Truculent fifth for Johnny Takter. Prussia ended sixth for Pietro Gubellini after being boxed on the inner almost to the line. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com    

Unless you live near the I-90 East-West section of the New York State Thruway, there is no easy way to get to harness racing at Vernon Downs.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful place and a great facility to race and train Standardbreds.  But, if you are heading there from New York’s Southern tier toward Oneida County, plan on winding your way through Cow country on twisting, turning single-lane state routes.  Route 8 Sidney, 12b Hamilton, 26, 46—it sounds like a Peyton Manning audible. My journey started on Thursday, en route to Crawford Farms in Durhamville, New York.  The farm’s owners, Michelle and Albert Crawford are two people who are zealous about harness racing.  They demonstrated that fervor by investing as premier sponsors of the Meadowlands Pace.  They treat it like a business and realize that marketing is key.  In their everyday lives, they also own and operate a multi-million dollar medical finance firm. The Crawford family farm is about 15 minutes from Vernon, just outside of Oneida.  With video camera in hand, I met with farm manager Heather Reese and her assistant Bobbi Jean Carney.  Following a quick tour of all the new foals, 23 and counting, Michelle arrived and we were ready to shoot the farm’s :30 second commercial by 9:15 am. Mares with foals, foals with mares.  Two by two they pranced and strutted like actors in a Hollywood production.  W.C. Fields, who famously said, “Never work with animals or children,” could not have known the pleasure of filming young horses.  When they are not running away, they are nibbling on the camera or the cameraman.  All of which is quite amusing and makes for fun footage. Following the youngsters we moved on to the yearlings.  They were energetic and eager to investigate.  A fabulous looking group of babies—I am looking forward to seeing them sale- prepped and polished. The Crawford gals are farm-savvy and well-versed in all things equine.  When these Morrisville alums are not foaling mares, they are breeding mares and halter breaking babies.  Heather and Bobbi really know their stuff and were equally as comfortable recounting all the bloodlines on film as they were inseminating a mare with a recently delivered Crazed collection. On the other side of the farm is a brand new 40-stall barn with an adjacent horse spa and half-mile training track.  Michelle Crawford could easily double as a tour guide.  No section of the property went unnoticed.  She explained in great detail the state-of-the-art Aqua-Spa and Treadmill that was recently installed.  Leigh and Tyler Raymer keep a large portion of their racing stable in the new barn, along with training some of the race-age Crawford horses. Following a full day of shooting farm and training video, it was off to Vernon Downs to capture some footage of the Crawford Farms starting car in action.  It is a brand new Toyota Tundra, bright red, with a Brian Sears bobble-head on the dashboard.  On the way home I passed the ever-expanding Chobani yogurt plant in New Berlin Friday morning’s major attraction was the qualifying debut of 2013 Dan Patch Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous at The Meadowlands.  The Tony Alagna-trained 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere did not disappoint as Tim Tetrick steered him to a 1:51.3 mile, throwing in a :26.1 last quarter aided by a 30mph tailwind. Following qualifiers, the Tattersalls sale had nearly two dozen 2-year-olds in-training.  The colts and fillies performed for tele-timed and video-taped work-outs while track announcer/pedigree reader Sam McKee added color.  I sat with Jimmy Takter in the VIP simulcast room to watch the babies go and was treated to some insightful observations. Saturday was Preakness Day.  The Big M had an over abundance of events planned for the day.  Registration began at 1pm for the Stride for a Cure 5k, which benefits the American Cancer Society.  I registered and paid my $25 online, however only had plans to chase the runners with my camera.  At 3 pm the race began, and after capturing the runners’ shotgun start, I jumped into Marketing Manager Rachel Ryan’s car and starting taking more photos of the runners.  As they strode down the backstretch in front of the original grandstand, several industry notables were present.  Sam McKee must have had the exacta as both his daughters, Lindsey and Melissa were one-two for the women at the half, and finished in that order. Following the leaders, the elder McKee and other not-so-hurried runners moved down the long stretch toward the finish.  Bob Boni of Northwood Bloodstock and Callie Davies-Gooch of the Hambletonian Society cruised by at different times.  Andrea Caswell, the Meadowlands Stakes Administrator, and Rudy Maag, a 30-year employee of the track were encouraging each other with every stride.  Rudy was the stall man for the NJSEA from 1982 through 2011, but his first job in the horse business was as Thoroughbred a jockey! I jumped back into Rachel Ryan’s car and made my way to the finish line, being careful not to cross it.  Unfortunately the signal from my race bib transponder mistakenly picked up my presence.  I got an Email a few minutes later that noted I had finished in 7th place overall and 1st in my divison—22:29. Running immediately back to the finish, I lodged an objection.  “I am number 524 and I did not actually run the race in that time,”  I told the judges.  “I tripped the timer from 50 feet away!” This forced a complete re-posting of the leader board.  Even with runners still out on the track, the top 20 had already been published.  No good deed goes unpunished. Preakness post time was just after 6pm, with all eyes on California Chrome.  The shiny colt from Cali did not disappoint as throngs of fans filled the apron to watch the “Run for the Black Eyed Susans” on the M1 infield teletron.  For the D. A. P.-owned colt, it’s off to the Belmont, having successfully navigated through a few nasal-strip-enabled anxious moments. The Roosevelt Raceway Legacy night drew a hundred honored guests, as well as hundreds of fans seeking autographs.  As the crowd gathered on the apron around such legendary reinsman as Herve Filion, Carmine Abbatiello and Benny Webster, the line stretched halfway down the stretch.  The West Terrace housed an invitation only event complete with hot buffet and open bar.  Hollywood Heyden interviewed many of the icons of the era for the in-house broadcast. Inside the entrance to the grandstand, the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame had a memorabilia sample of their soon-to-be-unveiled Roosevelt Raceway Legacy Exhibit.  Old photos were for sale and a watercolor featuring Lucien Fontaine winning the Messenger with Valiant Bret was raffled-off by artist Jerry Dahl. An overnight race with modern drivers wearing the colors of their Roosevelt counterparts was won by Yannick Gingras wearing Fontaine’s colors.  The “Green Hornet” won 7 of 14 races on the busy night’s card. Of course, world-class racing was also on tap as the match-up between Sebastian K and Market Share took the stage in the $175,000 Cutler final.  Unfortunately, that duel never materialized as the latter made an uncharacteristic break, allowing the former to sprint home in a stakes record 1:50.2.  Somewhat fractious in the winner’s circle, the $2.4 million-winning Swedish star does not like to stand still.  Perhaps the lovely wife of owner/breeder Mike Knuttson held the key.  As she touched Sebastian K on the nose, the big horse stood still, albeit briefly, for the paparazzi. Sunday, it was back to the Meadowlands for a third straight day.  The Tattersalls Spring Mixed Sale was held in the race paddock where 4-year-old pacing mare American In Paris fetched $157,000 from Mark Harder.  The 2-year-olds in training also sold reasonably well.  Sales Manager David Reid noted that the reception was encouraging and should help garner support for future 2yo in-training offerings. The crew from the #Harness Racing Fan Zone was on-hand conducting interviews and building content.  Not only is the Top 100 moments in full swing, but a new promotional video was launched that captures the excitement of racing using Hi-Def action sequences shot with GoPro cameras affixed to the bikes and helmets of leading drivers.  Also, the Harness Racing Ambassadors platform has been buzzing with user-initiated content from tracks across the country. The always cheerful Jessica Schroeder was stationed at the USTA outreach booth, selling literature and facilitating ownership transfers.  We chatted about the upcoming #USTA Driving School, being held in mid-June at the Harness Racing Museum and Goshen Historic Track.  Students will learn from trainers such as Ray Schnittker and Mark Ford with the country’s leading conditioner, Ron Burke, giving the keynote address. Having had so much harness racing-related fun, I can’t wait until my next whirlwind weekend—this one was just over 800 miles! An exclusive blog for Harnesslink.com by Chris Tully    

Tonight’s excellent Paris-Vincennes card featured European eligible and Gr. III action for four-year-old males and females plus the Gr. II €120,000 Prix Kalmia for three year-old colts. Brillantissime (by Ready Cash) and favorite Duke of Greenwood scored victories and Athena de Vandel won the four year-old mares contest defeating favorite Tast of Bourbon (by Donato Hanover). Coverage follows. The Gr. III Prix Heraclite (Gr. III European four year-old females, purse €80,000) went to Athena de Vandel and trainer/driver Cedric Megissier. The Prince Gede mare scored her sixth career victory in 1.14.6kr over 2700 meters raising career earnings to €190,500. The fast closing favorite Tast of Bourbon (Donato Hanover-Qualita Bourbon-Love You) just missed for Jean-Pierre Dubois after escaping traffic trouble too late in the contest. Her stablemate Alisma du Corta (by Love You) was a very competitive third for reinsman Franck Nivard. Jean Baudron trains the Dubois pair. May 20, 2014 Paris Vincennes, Prix Heraclite, Gr. III European, €80,000, females, 2700 meters, 11 starters, 1.14.6kr Athena de Vandel (4f Prince Gede-Maelia de Vandel-Coktail Jet), Cedric Megissier trainer/driver, 3.4/1, owner Ecurie La Tour de Vandel, sixth win for €190,500 earnings 1st Tast of Bourbon (4f Donato Hanover-Qualita Bourbon-Love You), Jean-Pierre Dubois driver/owner, Jean Baudron trainer, Denmark, 1.3/1 favorite, first foal of dam she a winner of 21races for €1,538,050 and third in Prix d’Amerique 2nd Alisma du Corta (4f Love You-Marquise du Corta-Vikings Way), Franck Nivard for Jean Baudron trainer, Jean-Pierre Dubois owner, 20/1 3rd Rori Axe (4f Ready Cash-Gamire Grif-Kaisy Dream), Jos. Verbeeck for trainer Philippe Allaire, 9/2, Italy 4th Mustang’s Sally (4f Quick Wood-Star Groenhof-Malabar Man), Robin Bakker up for trainer P.J.P, Hagoort, 11/1, Germany The €80,000 Gr. III Prix Camilla for four year-old males went to favorite Duke of Greenwood (4, Otello Pierji-Nikki Groenhof-Meadow Road). Peter J. Strooper trains the Germany bred campaigner and Hugo Langeweg Jr. engineered the front end victory, his fourth for earnings of €174,698. The 2700 meter course was covered in 1.15.3kr. Regio (by Varenne) and Romanesque (by Love You) trailed the winner home. May 20, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Camilla, Gr. III European males, €80,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters, 1.15.3kr 1st Duke of Greenwood (4m Otello Pierji-Nikki Grounhof-Meadow Road), Hugo Langeweg Jr. for Peter J. Strooper trainer and M. Rothengatter owner, fourth win for €174,698, 1.2/1, Germany 2nd Regio (4m Varenne-Leopardia-Muscles Yankee), 9/2 odds, Robin Bakker for P.J.P Hagoort, Italy 3rd Romanesque (4m Love You-Quantanamera-Viking Kronos), Marco Smorgon trainer/driver, 29/1, Italy 4th Ah Quel Micha  (4m Rocklyn-Oceana du Phare-Vroum d’Or), Julien Dubois up for Philippe Moulin trainer, 6.5/1 5th Arpent d’Ostel (4m Meaulnes du Corta-Quina Perrine-Buvetier d’Aunou), J-Ph. Mary trainer/driver, 16/1 The Prix Kalmia, a Gr. II event for three-year-old colts over 2175 meters went to great gaited  Brillantissime (3m Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire-Buvetier d’Aunou) for teamster Joseph Verbeeck and trainer Philippe Allaire. The owner/breeder is Frederic Saugue of this seven time winner of €318,950. He slipped through on the inside late to score a narrow win. Another Allaire pupil Boccador de Simm (by Rieussee) was a solid second for Pierre Vercruysse with third to favorite Brutus de Bailly (by Niky) and J-M Bazire. Purse was €120,000 and winning time was 1.13kr. May 20, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Kalmia Gr. II males, €120,000, 2175 meters, 9 starters, 1.13kr 1st Brillantissime (3m Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire-Buvetier d’Aunou),  Joseph Verbeeck up for Philippe Allaire trainer and owner/breeder F. Saugue, 2/1 odds, seventh win for €318,950 2nd Boccador de Simm (3m Rieussee-Poupee Charmeuse-Hetre Vert), Pierre Vercruysse for Philippe Allaire, 3.5/1 odds 3rd Brutus de Bailly (3m Niky-Ninon de Bailly-Carnac), J-M Bazire, 1/1 favorite 4th Bolide du Gueron (3m Cygnus d’Odyssee-Olivia-Jenko), Franck Anne trainer/driver, 42/1 5th Bixente (3m Quaker Jet-Ketty Mesloise-Blue Dream), Jean-Etienne Dubois trainer/driver,  18/1 odds The Prix Firmament for aged European eligibles went to Sweden’s Moving On (5f Quite Easy-Kings Blondie-Ride The Night) in 1.14.3kr over 2100 meters autostart. Franck Nivard drove the winner for trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner I.C. Equine AB. Moving On recorded her tenth win now for earnings of €179,966. Italy’s Plutonio (by Self Possessed) was second for Christophe Martens in this €56,000 event. May 20, 2014 Paris Vincennes, Prix Firmament, European, €56,000m 2100 meters autostart, 13 starters, 1.14.3kr 1st Moving On (5f Quite Easy-Kings Blondie-Ride The Night), Franck Nivard up for Fabrice Souloy, 7.5/1 odds, Sweden, owner I.C. Equine AB, tenth win for €179,966 2nd Plutonio (5m Self Possessed-Indra Bi-Toss Out), Christophe Martens for trainer Ake Kristofferson, 4/1 odds, Italy 3rd Vertige d’Avril (5g Historien-Katia de Mai0Uhlan de Cocherel), M. Bezier up for Pascal A. Geslin 4th Staro Foot Loose (6m Daguet Rapide-Ideal Lease-Conway Hall), Robin Bakker for trainer Arnold J. Mollema, 4.8/1, Sweden 5th Revenna (6m Legendary Lover K-Coccola Jet-Supergill), Mathieu Mottier for Fabrice Souloy trainer, 25/1, Denmark by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Over a hundred runners, walkers and striders hit the Meadowlands Racetrack under partly sunny and breezy skies this afternoon in the 5th annual Stride For A Cure at the E. Rutherford oval.   The winning time of 19:39 was set by Mike Favocci of Hawthorne, NJ. The 24-year-old medical supply distributor broke from the start and never looked back to complete 3.1 mile course faster than the rest.   Several prominent people from inside the harness industry participated in the event, as well as several people with close ties to the Meadowlands. Director of Television/Announcer Sam McKee entered the event as did both his daughters, Lindsey and Melissa, who finished 1-2 respectively, in the women's group. Lindsey a former M1 publicity department employee, finished the race 2nd overall in just over 20 minutes.   Along the race route, Rudy Maag, long-time M1 stall man could be seen keeping pace with stakes administrator Andrea Caswell. Carrie Davies-Gooch from the Hambletonian Society made her second appearance in the event. Bob Boni, well-known horse sales agent and owner of Northwood Bloodstock was also keeping the pace.   Kids as young as four-years-old participated in the event, as well as adults in their 60s.   The event was founded by Meadowlands track photographer Michael Lisa and his wife, Annette, a breast cancer survivor. Runners and walkers, who paid a $25 entry fee which benefits the American Cancer Society, enjoyed their chance to trot around the racetrack before the horses take the stage for tonight's big card featuring the $175,000 Cutler Memorial. Billed as a 'Clash of the Titans' the race features a match-up between local hero Market Share and Swedish star Sebastian K.   by Chris Tully, for Harnesslink  

Charlottetown, PE - Van Zant has drawn the rail in the Saturday night feature event at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park while newcomer Sa Summers Luck is the morning line favorite in the Victoria Day pace for opening day card Monday at Red Shores Summerside to set the stage for a busy weekend of harness racing at Island tracks. First race post time on Saturday is 6pm while the Monday card is slated for a 1pm post time. Ron Matheson will drive Van Zant for his co-owner Tom Clark of Charlottetown and goes into the program with 989 career wins as a driver only 11 away from milestone 1,000. The team, which includes son Jackie as trainer, has been sharp posting two seconds and a victory over his last three starts. The Matheson stable will also send out General Luckypercy from post 6 with Gilles Barrieau in the bike. There will be stiff competition from Tempo Seelster (Vince Poulton) from post 3 while Sterling Seelster, who's riding a two race winning streak, will also make his presence felt for driver Marc Campbell and new owner Marie Cameron of Summerside. The all-star line-up also includes Blue Star Outlaw, Nobestbfor and Machinthesand. In other action, Abundaspin is making headlines in his last year of racing as the trotter hasn't tasted defeat since he returned to the track on April 26. Harold Shepherd will handle the 14 year-old lifetime winner of $471,504 in the open trot class. The other morning line favorites include newcomer Kan Wire, who arrives from London Ontario, and Caliban Hanover will attempt to spoil the party for Abundaspin and owner Mikeala Lustic of Cornwall. The Saturday card will begin with a first race post time at 6pm. For race programs, top picks and live broadcast go to www.redshores.ca Horses are back at Summerside Summerside, PE - The horses are back at Summerside! The new season gets underway Monday afternoon at Red Shores Summerside with an exciting 12 dash program. Post time is 1pm and the card will official launch the countdown to the Governor's Plate. The 11th race Victoria Day pace will headline the program with newcomer Sa Summers Luck being established as the morning line favorite for driver Corey MacPherson and the Bing Easter stable from O'Leary. The pacer was in action at Flamboro Downs in Ontario then made three starts at Truro which included a second place finish in a sparking 1:57.2. The Jason Hughes stable has two starters in the race with Bunny Mach (pp1) and Cambest Kisser (pp7) both capable of hitting the triactor ticket. The field has top guns like Paphos, Bet the House, Carnivore, Windemere Eric and Lucky Encounter. What a great match-up to kick off the 2014 season. Darren and Jennifer Trainor of Vernon River, who walked away with a truckload of trophies at the annual Prince County Horsemen's Club awards night recently, are favored to win the back-up class on the afternoon with Panda Bear in race 10. Marc Campbell gets the driving assignment from the husband and wife team who enjoyed Great Success at Summerside oval in 2013. Race analyst Jared Stretch is back with his top picks for the 2014 season and put Capitalism as his top choice in this class followed by Panda Bear and Onhotvet (4-3-5). For race programs, Jared's top picks and live broadcast go to www.redshores.ca. you can also follow the action on twitter @red_shores. by Lee A. Drake, for Red Shores

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 14, 2014 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will play host to a special matinee card of live harness racing on Friday, May 16 with an adjusted post time of 1 p.m. A total of 14 races will compliment the afternoon festivities showcasing exciting horse racing action, fan-friendly activities, and giveaways. The matinee card of live harness racing will be the prelude to a night full of entertainment as country music legend Clint Black will take Hoosier Park's Terrace Showroom stage at 8 p.m. In conjunction with the earlier post time, Fridays at Hoosier Park, dubbed 'Fan-tastic Fridays', feature $1 beers, $1 hot dogs and $1 live racing programs and will also start at 1 p.m. Also on Fridays, racing fans will be welcomed to enter the 'Beat the Big Guy' promotion for a chance to win up to $250 in race wagering. To enter, guests must submit their designated win selections for races 3 through 8. The participant who earns the most in winnings and beats Rod 'The Big Guy' Ratcliff, Centaur's chairman and chief executive officer, will win $250 in race wagering. All participants earning more winnings than 'The Big Guy' will have a chance at another $500 in a next day drawing. The 14-race card will be highlighted by two divisions of the "Go On BB" late closing series, an event open to fillies and mares that are non-winners of 2 pari-mutuel starts or $15,000 lifetime. At the conclusion of the live racing card, Hoosier Park will prepare for Clint Black to take the stage at 8 p.m. with gates opening at 7:15 p.m. "We strive to bring our fans the very best in racing and the very best in entertainment here at Hoosier Park," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. "With the earlier post time, it will allow us to showcase everything Hoosier Park has to offer to our customers and we hope they are as excited about the entire day as we are." With more than 30 singles on the US Billboard country charts, 22 of which have reached number one, Clint Black will make a stop at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as part of the 2014 concert line-up in the brand-new Terrace Showroom. The 1,200-seat, state-of-the-art indoor facility features custom built and cushioned theater-style seating and an arena quality light and sound system. Additionally, 14 luxurious private suites complete with personal thirty-two inch HDTVs, modern lounge furniture, and a premium-dining menu will be available. Clint Black concert tickets, starting at $30, are still on sale and can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 800-745-3000 or by visiting Ticketmaster.com. Concertgoers may also purchase directly from the box offices located in Shelby's Gifts at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino or the Logo Shop located at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. Club Centaur and Grand Rewards members will receive a 20 percent discount on tickets purchased at their respective box offices. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

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