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HARRINGTON, Del. - Thomas Lazzaro, Robert Cooper and Abraham Basen's Arque Hanover ($2.80, Jon Roberts) was a 1:52.3 harness racing winner in the $17,700 Open Pace Monday at Harrington Raceway. The 4-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven stallion set all the fractions in a strong front end win over Remember Me Vk and Little Ben. Trained by Dylan Davis. "Arque" registered his fifth win of the year. The winner returned home after a start at Batavia Downs (Ny), where he finished second on October 8. On the undercard, Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Stephen Iaquinta's Soto ($5.80, Art Stafford Jr.) was a 1:52.3 winner in an $11,000 pace. It was the eighth win of the year for the Eric Ell-trainee. Ross Wolfenden had four wins on the program. Live racing continues through Thursday. Post time is 5 p.m. Matthew Sparacino

It’s a girl. Former star harness racing mare Forever Gold is now a proud mum after safely delivering her first foal this week, a filly by star sire and Alabar based Rock N Roll Heaven. The foaling took place at the famed Egmont Park Stud on the Darling Downs of Toowoomba. “It’s very exciting and according to early reports, both mare and foal are doing very well. Studmaster Peter Bell said the filly is a lovely type with plenty of size about her which sounds positive, I’m looking forward to seeing both mare and foal.” Co-owner and breeder Murray Cole said. Forever Gold was retired on the eve of the Queensland Pacing Championship last year owing to an injury to her nearside fetlock. The mare affectionately known as ‘Tammy’ was prepared throughout her glittering career by Kylie Rasmussen and Darren Weeks. Forever Gold retires with 42 victories from 92 starts while amassing more than $700,000 in stakes. Some of her biggest victories include the Queensland Oaks, Inter Dominion heat, Governors Cup, Robin Dundee Stakes, Make Mine Cullen, 4/5yo Championship, Qld Ladyship Stakes (x 4) and the 2yo & 3yo QBRED Breeders Classic and Triads Finals. Feature race placings include Nursery Pace Final, Gold Coast Oaks, Ladyship Mile, Teeny Teeny, Ranji Bill, Angelique Club Cup, Northern Breeders Stakes, Queen of Hearts, Redcliffe Gold Cup, Lord Mayors Cup, Christmas Cup, Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake. Connections are now looking at Captaintreacherous 2, 1:49.2; 3, 1:47.1 ($3,148,657), both the richest and fastest son of champion sire Somebeachsomewhere, as the next consort for their Gr.1 winning mare. Captaintreacherous may have been a $250,000 yearling purchase, but the price turned out to be a bargain as he earned $3.14 million winning 23 races during his sensational race career. A magnificent individual standing 16.1 hands, World Champion Captaintreacherous is without question one of the best-bred, best-performed sires ever to be available in the Southern Hemisphere. Captaintreacherous will be available to ‘Down Under’ breeders via frozen semen from Empire Stallions in Victoria. Chris Barsby

WILKES-BARRE PA - A pair of nicely-pedigreed harness racing distaffs paced back to their distinguished bloodlines in taking the co-featured pacing events at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday. Encore Deo, a sophomore daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven whose second dam is the $3.7 million-winning Eternal Camnation, rallied from the pocket to catch I Said Please by a half-length in taking the $16,000 "F/M nw 5 races" pace in 1:52.3, lowering her mark by 2 3/5 seconds. Despite showing a 1:51.4 time at Vernon in a NYSS consolation last time, the rail, and the talented backing of driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Ron Burke, Encore Deo was dismissed at 10-1 - the 20-race losing streak, dating back 53 weeks, may have had something to do with the odds - but she was able to rally for the tally for the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jason Mellilo, and Lawrence Karr. Gweneeee J, a full sister to millionaires Heston Blue Chip and Sunfire Blue Chip, made evereeee pole a winning one in taking a $14,000 conditioned mares co-feature in 1:51.3. The daughter of American Ideal won by a length over pocketsitting Mystical Nectar while scoring for driver Jim Marohn Jr., trainer Linda Toscano, and the KJ Stables LLC, who saw their mare raise her career earnings to $155,817. PHHA / Pocono

Nichols, N.Y. - Just over a month removed from her 5-1/2 length win in the Geers Stakes, harness racing owner Kenneth Jacobs's Planet Rock ($13.80) proved victorious again at Tioga Downs, sustaining first-over progress and parrying two late-charging 2-year-old pacing fillies in a $110,200 New York Sire Stakes event on Friday (September 16) evening. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Villa Hanover was forced to abort a leave attempt as Artrageous (Jim Morrill, Jr.) led a :26.2 stampede through the first quarter. John Campbell would put Planet Rock in play with a circuit to go, advancing first-over to the clubhouse turn while 3-10 favorite Tequila Monday (David Miller) slipstreamed live cover through middle splits of :57 and 1:24.3. Planet Rock would succeed in dueling down Artrageous off the far turn, but she wasn't home free upon cornering. Tequila Monday--who drifted to the four-path after fanning off cover--quickly righted the ship and charged boldly, as did Robin J (Mike Simons) after finding room to vacate the pocket. Still, Planet Rock ultimately prevailed, driven out to hold sway by a neck in 1:52.3. Tequila Monday and Robin J finished second and third respectively, while Roaring To Go (Brett Miller) stayed on for fourth. Linda Toscano trains Planet Rock, who earned her seventh career win in just eight starts. In the sub-featured $13,500 Open 1 Trot, Dragin the Wagon ($8.10) made every yard a winning one en route to a 1:53.3 triumph. The 6-year-old Angus Hall gelding sprinted to the fore to evade a host of leavers to the first turn, and held clear of a belated rally from Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis), who emerged off third-over cover to take second. Aaron Byron drove the 31-time winner for owner James Cantelon and trainer Jeff Byron. An 11-race Closing Night card awaits on Saturday (September 17); first post is slated for 6:30 p.m., with full coverage on the Tioga Downs Racing Network to commence at 6:05 p.m. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Owner Ken Jacobs and harness racing trainer Linda Toscano came to Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon with a full quiver. On the programs first race of the day, the regular Sires Stake for 2 year Old Pacing Fillies, racing for a purse of $52,500 showcased Planet Rock. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven - Villa Hanover filly wasted no time leaving from post position 4, in the 5 horse field to show the field thru fractions of 28.2, 58:0, 1:27:1 to win well in hand in 1:55, pacing her last ¼ in 27.4, setting a new track record for 2 Year Old Pacing Fillies. Breaking the previous record of 1:55.2 set by Freetime in 2012, Planet Rock remain flawless, with 6 wins in as many starts with lifetime earnings of $123,000. The combination of Toscano/ Trick swept both ends of the early daily double, the second race was first 1st split of the Excelsior A's Tim Tetrick went down the road with Yourlipstogodsears (Art Major-Role Reversal) score in 1:57.3 for owners South Street Farm & George & Theresa Rath. The Jacobs/Toscano/ Tetrick combo struck again with yet another impressive filly, Robin J, the daughter of Roll With Joe - Mommy Robin Q, was stellar as she scored wire to wire in 1:56.2 by 3 lengths. The filly now sports a bank roll of $158,000 thus far in her brilliant freshman career. The win gave Tim Tetrick a hat trick for the day. By Shawn Wiles

HARRINGTON, Del. - Howard Taylor, Robert Cooper, Abraham Basen and Thomas Lazzaro's Arque Hanover ($3, Jon Roberts) was a repeat harness racing winner Monday in the $17,500 Open Pace at Harrington Raceway in 1:52.4. The 4-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven stallion overcame post eight in achieving his fourth win of the year for trainer Dylan Davis. Arque Hanover pulled first over and cleared pacesetter Teresa's Beach near the three-quarters and drew away from his closest pursuers. Special T Rocks was second and Power of a Cruiser finished third. Owner Howard Taylor had another victory with Handsome Henry K ($10, George Dennis), who won the sub-featured $10,000 conditioned pace with a 1:53 triumph for trainer Mike Hall. Joining Taylor in the double department was owner/trainer Ben Stafford, who won races with Cloud Speed ($2.80) and Good Bet ($5.40). Matthew Sparacino  

Clayton Tonkin’s declaration that he doesn’t like comparing his two top-gun harness racing fillies Rocknroll Magic and Heavens Trend is completely understandable. They’re both lovable. The Emma Stewart and Tonkin prepared three-year-olds won their respective Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO semi-finals last night at Bendigo and then drew gates one (Heavens Trend) and eight (Rocknroll Magic) for the $185,000 final. “I don’t like comparing them too much. They’re lovely horses in their own right,” Tonkin said. The barrier draw result is intriguing. Heavens Trend clearly has the advantage from the pole and TAB has reacted by installing her $1.65 favourite for next Sunday’s final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Rocknroll Magic will trail her more fancied stablemate and is currently $3 to win the final. “She’s been unbelievable. It’s been a long, long season for her and for her to run the way she ran tonight is just unbelievable,” said Craig Cameron, who bred Rocknroll Magic (by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic) and now races the filly with a big ownership group. “She’s only a tiny little horse but she’s all champ.” VIDEO: EXCITED OWNERS OF ROCKNROLL MAGIC Heavens Trend went around $1.50 favourite last night in the First Semi-Final and after punching the breeze for the first 500m Gavin Lang took her to the front at the mile, Chris Alford happy to take cover on initial leader Dancingwithsierra. After coasting through a 61.3secs first half, Lang and Heavens Trend only really quickened considerably from the quarter pole, the filly covering the last split in 26.6secs for a 1:55.9 mile rate. At the wire Heavens Trend had 7.3m to spare over Mark Purdon’s My Mackenzie, who came from three-pegs, with Rockstar Angel in third for Michael Bellman after weaving a passage from well back on the inside. Dancingwithsierra dead-heated for fourth with Whirily School, the latter, also from the Stewart yard, fighting on gamely after sitting parked for the final mile. “I thought (she) did a good job, too,” Tonkin said of Whirily School. VIDEO: CLAYTON TONKIN TALKS ABOUT HIS FILLIES Queenslander Get In The Groove, who last year won a Breeders Crown Semi, qualified for the final by finishing sixth for driver Luke McCarthy. Rocknroll Magic came from behind in the run to win her Semi-Final, Lang extricating her off the pegs from barrier eight early before settling sixth in the running line. At the 500m Lang made his move, easing wide to get within striking distance of race leader Luisanabelle Midfrew and the breezing Nikkibadwagon. In the stretch once Lang shook up the $3.20 favourite, Rocknroll Magic rounded up the leaders and scored by 1.6m in a rate of 1:56.4. The last half-mile was trekked in 56.3. MARKETS: TAB BREEDERS CROWN FIXED ODDS Nikkibadwagon was brave in second after facing the breeze throughout, while Just Rockon Bye finished third after showing blistering gate speed to lead from five before handing up to Luisanabelle Midfrew, who ran fourth. Gina Grace appreciated the pole position draw and qualified in fifth, while Ilikemillie scraped into the final by closing late for sixth. Lang revealed late last night he would drive Heavens Trend in the Crown final. "Her heat run was very good and she was good again tonight so it all augers well for next week," he said. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Tasmanian harness racing owner-trainer Wayne Campbell would have been bitterly disappointed had his two-year-old gelding Buster William not furnished into the horse he is today given his breeding. While last Sunday night's win in Launceston was his first he showed enough at his first eight starts to suggest that winning would be a formality. In Launceston on Sunday night the gelded son of Rocknroll Heaven delivered the goods, scoring by over a metre from race leader Dromana Beach with Sweptunderdacarpet a game third. Campbell bred Buster William from his former classy filly Maggie Kennedy, a winner of 10 races including the Bandbox Stakes and she also was a Tasmanian Oaks placegetter. "Maggie Kennedy was a pretty good mare and this is her first foal,"Campbell said. "He (Buster William) is an honest little fella who deserved the win because he's been racing against the really good ones and been very competitive.'' Campbell makes a point of only breeding every second year, a process that has proven successful. "If I didn't do it (breed every other years) I'd end up with too many horses. "I just do it for a hobby - if I bred every year I couldn't feed them all." Buster William had to do a bit of work early from his wide front-row draw (6) but driver Mark Yole eventually worked his charge to the death, outside of Dromana Beach. The $1.20 favourite looked set to win easily half-way up the home straight but when he hit the front he switched off and only- scored by just over a ,metre from Dromana Beach. Yole said he didn't pull Buster William's ear plugs until he had to but when he switched off he quickly reached down the sulky shaft and pulled the cord to release the deafeners and that sparked him up again. Peter Staples

Nichols, N.Y. -- First-time starter Rock the Boat ($4.30) dropped jaws in his career debut on Friday (July 29) evening at Tioga Downs, dominating eight other harness racing 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings in his $37,966 New York Sire Stakes event in going-away fashion.   Jim Marohn, Jr. was patient early with the royally-bred son of Rock N Roll Heaven and Tug River Princess, stalking comfortably behind an early charge led by 100-1 outsider This Is My Song (Aaron Byron), who pushed clear from post 9 through a :26.4 initial quarter. With a circuit to go, Rock the Boat powered clear from fourth, making up nearly five lengths to overtake This Is My Song on approach to the clubhouse turn.   After pulling the pace back through a :56.3 half, Rock the Boat braced for a first-over bid from Pointomygranson (Jim Morrill, Jr.), but accelerated in kind through a :27.4 third quarter. Once Pointomygranson's bid concluded, the main danger for Rock the Boat was Very Special Agent (Jason Bartlett), who switched off cover to keep the pressure on just above the eighth pole. Rock the Boat accelerated away while kept to task, mounting a 3-1/4 length margin en route to a 1:52.4 victory. Very Special Agent maintained runner-up honors, while Octane Blue Chip (Phil Fluet) emerged off third-over cover to claim third.   Ross Croghan trains Rock the Boat for the Let It Ride Stables, Inc. and Mr. Dana Parham.   Sons of Roll With Joe captured the other two Sire Stakes splits on the 13-race card for trainer Ron Burke, with Miso Fast ($2.50, part of entry) and Rock It Scott ($5.80) prevailing in their respective events.   Miso Fast, a son of Roll With Joe and Sakura Hanover, used a second-over trip behind Thrdthrsdaynsptmbr (Ken Holliday) to work closer to pacesetter Windsong Napoleon (Scott Coulter) on the far turn before vaulting to the fore off the corner. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove Miso Fast to a 1:53.1 victory over stablemate Offdahook Bluechip (Joe Bongiorno), while Windsong Napoleon checked in a worn-down third.   Rock It Scott had a more eventful journey, yielding to an aggressive Music Is Art (Morrill) on approach to the clubhouse turn before retaking and sprinting off by 4-1/2 lengths in the final quarter of a 1:54.1 mile under Joe Bongiorno. The son of Roll With Joe and Vanite Semalu held clear of a late bid from runner-up Willie Joe Hill (Patrick Lachance), while Americanfirewater (Marohn) saved third from a tracking trip   Jason Bartlett led all drivers with four wins on the 13-race card, while Morrill tallied three.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 30) evening, with a 12-race card due to commence at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite

One of Australia’s top three-year-old fillies Rocknroll Magic looks to have a stranglehold on the Sky Racing Southern Cross harness racing three-year-old fillies final (2230m) this Saturday night at Globe Derby Park. The Emma Stewart-trained filly won the two-year-old Southern Cross final at Port Pirie last year and will be at a prohibitive quote to repeat the victory in this season’s three-year-old version at Globe Derby Park. A money-back $1 favourite, Rocknroll Magic, driven by Mark Billinger, had no trouble leading from gate one and set a pedestrian 33.0 first quarter before stepping it up with 31.3, 29.1 then a sizzling 27.9 to dash away and scored by 9-1/2 metres from Swaffham Water ($41.10) and Queen of Sharkz ($12) a metre away third. Managing part-owner Bruce Cameron said he was pleased the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven had an easy run recording a mile rate of 2.01.9. “She has had a big campaign and still has the Breeders Crown to come,” Cameron said. “Mark drove her beautifully and all is on track for this week’s final.” Billinger said Rocknroll Magic was a wonderful filly to drive. “She is running good sectionals, then you hardly breathe and she peels off a 27 quarter,” Billinger said. “There is no doubting her quality.” While Rocknroll Magic appears to have a mortgage on the final, the second semi-final on Saturday night produced a great story. Trainer-driver Ryan Hryhorec purchased the filly Lily Thesinger for just $2500 and in three starts for the stable the filly has already picked up nearly $10,000. “When I bought her I was thinking we would try to pick up a Vicbred bonus to cover the cost,” Hryhorec said. “I didn’t really plan to run her in the Southern Cross but one of the new owners said why not so I threw her in.” Lily Thesinger won her heat the previous Saturday night, then on Saturday, was a $5.50 chance from gate four but began quickly and Hryhorec took her to the front. Just Wantano ($3 into $1.80 favourite), driven by Dani Hill, came across strongly from gate five and really kept the pressure on and after as 31.8 first quarter stepped up for a 29.9 and 28.1 second and third quarters before coming home in 29.2. Lily Thesinger answered the challenge and drew away in the home straight to score by 1-/2 metres from Morning Stories ($18.40) and Just Wantano fading to be 5-1.2 metres away third. “She really has surprised me,” Hryhorec said. “I never expected her to be doing this, she has just kept improving.” by Graham Fischer Race programme for Globe Derby Park, Saturday 30 July 2016

The Queensland Oaks has been robbed of interest following the scratching of harness racing favourite Rockmemama. Sawyers Gully trainer Darryl Thomas reluctantly made the call to withdraw his star pupil from Saturday’s Albion Park feature today (Thursday) owing to the filly having a high temperature. A last start winner of the Gr.1 NSW Breeders Challenge at Menangle on June 26, the Rock N Roll Heaven filly was installed as the favourite with UBET bookies after landing gate three. “We were all set to travel up today but after we did all our cross checks, she had spiked with a temperature and therefore we couldn’t take any chances with her so we scratched. It’s disappointing but she always come first, we’re grateful with what she’s already done this season with two feature race victories.” Thomas said. It remains unclear at this stage whether Rockmemama will be retired or race on next season with a decision to be made following her immediate spell. Rockmemama has won 6 of her 10 career starts, all six victories have come this season while banking more than $136,000 in prizemoney. “This filly has battled injuries and setback throughout her career and was considered that we would retire her after the Queensland Oaks but she will have a really good break and then we will reassess when her break is over. “If she spells well and looks ready for another campaign, then we will give her another opportunity with the four-year-old mares races the primary target but that will depend on her, if it happens then it will happen.”Rockmemama is raced by her breeder, Max Deckert. Star New Zealand filly Nek Time is now a clear favourite to claim her maiden Group One victory with UBET bookies pricing her as a$1.90 elect.A dominant winner last week of the Gold Coast Oaks, the Terry and Glenys Chmiel prepared filly has drawn nicely in gate three following the scratching of Rockmemama. Champion reinsman Dexter Dunn will again take the drive on Nek Time in the 2138m feature. The scratching of the horse paves the way for first emergency Vinland to gain a start in the race. Chris Barsby

Harness racing connections of the Group 1 three-year-old fillies winner at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight have every reason to rock’n’roll all night long after adding the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Group 1 title to their talented charge’s list of achievements. Favourite Rocknroll Magic delivered Emma Stewart’s Smythes Creek stable the first of three Group 1 wins for the night, when in Gavin Lang’s hands the filly strode four-wide and gobbled them up in the straight. “She’s been going gangbusters this preparation, great effort to get over a good quality line-up tonight,” Lang said. Connections admitted concern when Barry and Aaron Dunn’s in-form flyer, Nikkibadwagon, found her way to the front, with Rocknroll Magic some way adrift and with plenty of work to do. But Lang found a good sit on stablemate Celebrity Guest to round the field and, come the straight, blazed past Nikkibadwagon to win by 4.5m in a 1:56.9 mile rate. “Nikkibadwagon, once she found the lead, I didn’t know if we would be able to round her up,” Lang said. “Full credit to this little girl, she has got a great motor. “Great breed this one that Bruce Cameron has put together. He introduces a lot of owners, they really enjoy it.” Cameron, breeder and part-owner, heads a huge ownership group who delighted in their filly by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic’s success. “It’s been great tonight. We have people who have come from Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, Adelaide – and they are all here to have a great time to see this little filly get her well-deserved Group 1 win,” Cameron said. “This filly’s ability has shone through tonight to be able to nail a Group 1.”  Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Fans called for a dead-heat but the judge gave Rockmemama the nod by the barest margin in today’s three-year-old fillies final of the Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge. Just when Eye See Diamonds (Nathan Jack) looked set to win, Rockmemama dived at her and scored a last-stride win, rating 1:52.4 with even-money favourite Heavens Trend a plucky third after racing without cover for most of the journey. In a day of upsets, it was a popular win for Newcastle reinsman Mark Callaghan as there was a sprinkling of money for the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven as she started at $7.90. It was the stringbean Callaghan’s first Group One success. Likewise for trainer Darryl Thomas, who is based at Sawyers Gully. “Yes that was quite a thrill,” said Callaghan. “Darryl seems to be able to get this horse to peak at just the right time. “That’s what he did for Bathurst and she won with authority and this was her fourth run in again today and she’s peaked again and she’s won again. “I thought we’d either be behind the leader or three back on the fence and I wasn’t too concerned either way  . . . as long as we were tracking the good horses - and we were, I knew I’d be right there. “So it all worked out well. “They ran a quick last half so she did a good job to get over the top of them.” Callaghan has three young boys who help out around the stables. All three were on hand to cheer and there were even a few tears on the pedestal as they savoured their father’s biggest win. Michael Court

Smythes Creek harness racing trainer Emma Stewart holds plenty of aces in next Saturday night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals. The three-year-old pacing fillies’ division appears to be one of her strongest hands. Stewart has four runners in the field and semi-final winner Whirily School’s stocks only rose when she pulled gate one at the barrier draw. “It was one of those cases where the wide barrier draw was actually to her advantage,” Greg Sugars said of Whirily School’s semi-final win tonight. “We were able to press forward and once she was able to take up the lead she was always the one to beat. “It’s probably a very honest and fair assessment to say she’s probably a length or so behind the very best of her age group, but she is certainly not far behind them . With a bit of luck in the final she is definitely in with a chance.” Whirily School (Courage Under Fire/Mayhappen) worked forward to eventually find the lead through a 45secs lead time and posted quarters of 30.5, 32.5, 28.9 and 28.9 for a mile rate of 1:58.7. Stablemate Rocknroll Magic will take a power of beating in the final though, despite drawing barrier 11. The filly by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic made it 15 career wins from 22 starts tonight, notching a 1:57.5 mile rate in the chair (55.2 last half) to overhaul leader Rockstar Angel by a half-neck. “I probably expected that is where I would land in the run but I was still confident enough she’d be good enough,” winning driver Gavin Lang said. “She’s one of the main players (in the final), as you know with Emma and Clayton’s horses this time of the year they’re always on song.” Rockstar Angel has drawn barrier eight so will follow Whirily School. In the three-year-old colts and geldings’ final, semi-final winners Soho Tribeca (American Ideal/Pixel Perfect) and Iceenothink (Art Major/Decethree Lombo) have drawn gates three and four for the Final. Iceenothink finished powerfully tonight for Chris Alford and trainer Larry Eastman (who combined to win this section last year with Menin Gate), holding off Mario Attard and Don’t Hold Back, who also savaged the line from well-back. Iceenothink posted a 1:57.4 mile rate. Soho Tribeca, trained by Jayne Davies and driven by Alford, scored by a half-neck over Carter Bromac, with Brallos Pass third in a rate of 1:57.4. “He was going to get a good run through, (it was) just whether he could stay in front of Brallos Pass. That didn’t work out but he (Brallos Pass) had to do a fair bit of work,” Alford said. “Just got to hope he gets a good draw and he can play a part next week.” Burrumbeet trainer-driver Michael Stanley is set for a busy Vicbred finals night once again, qualifying six pacers through tonight’s semis. His three-year-old Spiritwriter drew the pole in the males’ division and that brings him right into contention.   Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Fillies Final Barrier Draw 1: Whirily School 2: Ideal Lifestyle 3: Kalinda 4: Platinum Power (em) 5: Just Wantano 6: Nikkibadwagon 7: Flojos Gold 8: Rockstar Angel 9: Alessa 10: Celebrity Guest 11: Rocknroll Magic 12: Rockabella Starz 13: Champagne Taste Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Colts & Geldnigs Final Barrier Draw 1: Spiritwriter 2: Battle Born 3: Soho Tribeca 4: Iceenothink 5: Keep On Rocking 6: Senor Macray 7: Brallos Pass 8: Herehecomes 9: Professor Tom 10: Showgun Thomas 11: Illawong Maestro 12: Dont Hold Back 13: Carter Bromac ..................................................................................................................................................................................... Advantage Sundons Courage and Princess Phoenix after the three-year-old trotters' barrier draws for the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals. Drawn on Friday night amid the pacers' semi-finals, Sundons Courage drew the front row in the colts and geldings and fellow heat winner Cruisin Around will start from barrier eight, while Sky Majesty will start from barrier 12 in the fillies, opening the door further for her rivals. The three-year-old fillies semi-final promises to be an evenly fought and engaging final, with several winning hopes. Among them is Princess Phoenix, a $1.80 favourite in the second heat at Bendigo last Wednesday, who led but was beaten into third by winner Into The Unknown, from Donna Lewis’ Toolern Vale stable, and Geoff Webster’s Rift Valley. The first heat was all about Sky Majesty (Skyvalley/Mystic Hush). Bacchus Marsh trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan was rapt with her filly’s heat win, which she said was one of her “best runs to date”. The 12m victory came after she found the front and careered away, and Sky Majesty should be right in the final despite the tough draw. “I was very happy with her heat,” Quinlan said. “She’s a good chance. There’s not a lot of difference between the horses in the grade, it is pretty even. “(Sky Majesty) can sit and sprint. She is not a class above them, but I think they have all come back to each other.” The three-year-old colts and geldings final also promises much, not the least of which is another showdown between Cruisin Around (Bacardi Lindy/Cloud Chaser) and Sundons Courage. Both won their heats, with Sundons Courage (Sundon/Truscott Photo) a 1.6m winner for Muckleford trainer Chris Angove and Bolinda driver Chris Alford, with Brent Lilley’s $34-shot Kyvalley Tinman running into second. Cruisin Around’s win was even tighter. Driven to one-out one-back by Myrniong’s Greg Sugars, Cruisin Around lost touch with front runners Calder Knight and Big Jack Hammer at the final bend but wound up sufficiently in the straight to win by a short half-head. Bannockburn trainer-driver Geoff Webster’s three-year-old Big Jack Hammer (The Press/Running Pinevale) punched on for second in the breeze and will be a threat come next Friday’s final, says Cranbourne’s Michael Hughes, trainer of Cruisin Around. “There are three or four really good horses,” Hughes said. “(Cruisin Around) has always had a ding-dong battle with Sundons Courage. Big Jack Hammer looked back on song, and a few others are also a chance. It will all come down to who has the best luck.” Hughes’ confidence about his own charge’s horse were only emboldened with Cruisin Around’s heat win. “I think he went pretty good. I was a little worried when he lost ground at the top of the straight, but he did a good job to pick them up in such a quick quarter,” Hughes said. “I give him a really good chance as long as he does everything right. The horse is really good, feels really good, there are no issues. He is a good sit-sprinter, but has also done it the tough way and led before.”   Barrier draws: Three-year-old colts and geldings trotters 1: Kyvalley Tinman 2: Skyflyer 3: Big Jack Hammer 4: Calder Knight 5: Sundons Courage 6: Cargerie 7: Sun Valley Road 8: Cruisin Around 9: Diamond Wes (emg) 10: Sky Me A River 11: Menewa 12: Shetland  13: Imahe Man (ODM)   Barrier draws: Three-year-old fillies trotters 1: Aldebaran Eve 2: Never Never Land (emg) 3: Princess Phoenix 4: Mizurri 5: Defence Power 6: Into The Unknown 7: The Cooler 8: Tension Seeker 9: Getthenet 10: Illawong Bliss 11: Rift Valley 12: Sky Majesty 13: Scottish Sardius (ODM) Michael Howard/Cody Winnell

Manalapan, NJ --- Harness racing driver Daniel Dube liked his homebred 2-year-old female pacer Queen Elsa when he arrived at Monday's qualifiers at Gaitway Farm. Afterward, he really liked her. Queen Elsa made her first visit to the races a winning one, sitting a pocket trip behind Sweet Rockin Gia before passing her rival in the stretch and drawing off for a 1-1/2 length victory in 1:57.1. Queen Elsa is a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, who Dube helped guide to Horse of the Year honors in 2010, and Dube's mare Ladies Life. "It was her first time with a lot of horses; she always trains by herself or with one other one," Dube said. "She did it easy today. I didn't know how she would do against other horses, but it was good. Now I know she is all right. The way she went today, I really like her." Queen Elsa's potential schedule includes the New York Sire Stakes and Matron. Her family includes Nova Award-winner Sportsmaster, although Dube didn't delve deeply into family ties when he decided to breed Ladies Life, who had her career cut short by injury, with Rock N Roll Heaven. "She was big and he was small," Dube said, laughing. "I just took a chance. I don't look at the pedigree." Gaitway hosted its third and final Monday of qualifiers, with 14 races dedicated to 2-year-olds. Trainer Ron Burke won eight of the events, with his colt Miso Fast posting the fastest time for pacers (1:55) and filly Sianna Hanover notching the quickest clocking for trotters (1:56.2). Yannick Gingras drove all eight Burke winners. Miso Fast (Roll With Joe-Sakura Hanover) was purchased for $125,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. He is a half-brother to stakes-winners Thirty Two Red and Forty Five Red and his family also includes O'Brien Award winner Glowing Report. Miso Fast won by 7-1/2 lengths over stablemate Rock It Scott (Roll With Joe-Vanite Semalu). Sianna Hanover (Donato Hanover-Simplicity) won by 3-1/4 lengths over Julie Miller-trained Wide Load (Cantab Hall-Hips Don't Lie). Sianna Hanover was purchased for $115,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is also owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. Her family includes Dan Patch Award winner Winky's Goal and stakes-winner Southwind Wasabi. "We'll see as they progress, but she seems pretty special," Burke said. "Anything you ask her to do, she just does it. We're excited. I told Yannick that maybe we better start mapping out a schedule and not just play it as we go with her. It looks like she's more than just average. "And to do it today wrapped up too. Yannick never spoke to her, so that was impressive." Burke's other winners were: Filly pacer Gypsy Rose (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover), who won by 4-1/2 lengths over Joe Holloway-trained Rockinsangria (Rock N Roll Heaven-Song In A Major) in 1:56.2. Gypsy Rose was purchased for $30,000 at the Goshen Yearling Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. She is a full sister to world champion Dime A Dance and her family also includes world champion Holborn Hanover and millionaire Hyperion Hanover. Make Mine Mocha (Bettor's Delight-Allamerican Mocha), a filly pacer who won by one length over stablemate Dancing In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Dashboard Dancer) in 1:57.3. Make Mine Mocha was purchased for $37,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Phil Collura, Michelle Yanek, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. Colt pacer Filibuster Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Fashion Ecstasy), who won by five lengths over Miller's Dances Cruiser in 1:55.3. Filibuster Hanover was purchased for $90,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, JT 45, Joseph DiScala Jr., and Weaver-Bruscemi. He is a half-brother to stakes-winner Fernando Hanover and his family also includes world champion Gallie Bythe Beach and stakes-winner Western Gallie. Bill Donovan's Normandy Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Symphony In Motion) won by 2-1/2 lengths over Tom Fanning-trained Timcat Hanover (Art Major-Taxi Hanover) in 1:56.1. Normandy Beach was purchased for $90,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. His dam won $1.06 million in her career. Filly trotter Waffle Cone (Muscle Hill-Sugar Cone) won by a half-length over Miller's Overdraft Volo (Yankee Glide-Bank Of Newport) in 1:58. Waffle Cone was purchased for $50,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver-Bruscemi, Earl Smith, and Collura. Her family includes Dan Patch Award-winner Pizza Dolce. And filly trotter Senia Hanover (Crazed-Slow Dance Hanover), who won by a half-length over Trond Smedshammer's Lexi Marie (Lucky Chucky-Sari Maki Hanover) in 1:58.3. Senia Hanover was purchased for $35,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Kemppi Stables Oy Inc. and Suojalampi Stable. Trainer Tony Alagna had two winners, with filly pacer Preakness and colt trotter Kai Hanover. Preakness (Somebeachsomewhere-Sombodythatiustono) won by three-quarters of a length over Ross Croghan-trained Kiss Kiss (American Ideal-Btwnyurheartnmine) in 1:57.2 with Andy McCarthy in the sulky. Preakness was purchased for $35,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Alagna Racing and Crawford Partners. Kai Hanover (Cantab Hall-Kimberidge Hanover), driven by Scott Zeron, won by a half-length over Smedshammer's Dejarover (Dejarmbro-Whisk Hanover) in 2:00.3. Kai Hanover was purchased for $42,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Alagna and Massey Stable, Joe Sbrocco, In The Gym Partners, and Adriano Sorella. Holloway-trained Thefoolalwaysrocks (Always A Virgin-This Fool Rocks) won by 1-3/4 lengths over Robbie Siegelman-trained Gimme Some Lovin' (Bettor's Delight-Torrid Affair) in 1:56.4 with Tim Tetrick driving. Thefoolalwaysrocks is a homebred filly pacer owned by Roll The Dice Stable. Miller's colt trotter Southwind Cruze (Chapter Seven-Counter Pointe) won by 4-1/4 lengths over Burke's Southwind Cobra (Muscle Hill-Caerphilly) in 1:58 with Andy Miller in the bike. Southwind Cruze was purchased for $50,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Vincent Laurenzo, and Robert Laurenzo. Fanning had a winner with colt pacer Photobombr Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Pilgrims Witchie), who won by 4-1/4 lengths over Larry Remmen-trained Cash Your Dreams (Always A Virgin-Chotat Milk) in 1:58.3 with Matt Kakaley at the lines. Photobombr Hanover was purchased for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Howard Taylor and Susan Kajfasz. "I was standing in front of my barn, which is around the eighth pole, when (Kakaley) pulled him and he was on top in three or four strides; so he's OK," Fanning said. "The last six or seven weeks he's trained more like a horse, which is nice. He was a little tough to break and handle, but he's getting it now. "He looks the part too. If you watch him go he's pretty impressive. He's staked, but we'll see how he does. One step at a time." by Ken Weingartner

In 2014, Christopher Nicol purchased a harness racing yearling named Beast Mode for $5,000. That same year, a $3,000 bargain named He's Watching proved to be a tough contender in the Pepsi North America Cup before going on to set an all-age world record later that season.  Beast Mode will look to pose a similar threat this year, starting in Saturday’s North America Cup eliminations at Mohawk Racetrack. “He was sick during the sale and nobody was really interested in him because of it. He had a leg issue too at the time but it’s all good now,” said trainer Robert Reid. “Everything cleared up and he seemed like a solid horse.” Despite lacking flash at the sale, his pedigree was enough to take a shot on. A short-lived racing career led to a new occupation for Gaias Gold in the breeding shed, with Beast Mode her first foal. Full brother to Gaias Gold is the widely-loved Golden Receiver, who banked over $2.2 million and a record of 1:48. Trained down for his two-year-old season by David Taff, he hit the board only once in seven starts with a third place finish in a New York Sires Stakes event at Saratoga. Though the son of Rock N Roll Heaven showed flashes of speed last year, he is hiding his talent no longer heading into the Cup eliminations. Starting from Robert Reid’s barn for his sophomore season, he made a surprisingly early return to the races at the end of January with an easy-going qualifier over Flamboro Downs. Beast Mode kicked his year off with a win over the half-mile oval a week later, setting the tone for what would become a 5-1-1 campaign from eight starts so far.  “He’s always had the speed but he was just too crazy, we had to find a way to gain some control. He had some issues with his mouth and feet and a couple other things but he just wanted to go,” said Reid. “If you couldn’t get to the front, he didn’t know how to sit in the hole and would climb over other horses. “When I got him, we gave him time off and brought him back the right way. Never leaving, sitting behind a horse until the end of the mile and he caught on in terms of learning how to sit in a hole. I was there working in the barn, grooming him through last year and all that so I took over this season.” Though most of his competition only returned to the races last month, Reid believes the early start is no disadvantage. Initially a devoted front-runner with little interest in anything else, it took time to teach the sophomore pacer a new way of racing. “The extra starts have helped him come into his own and grow a little bit. We schooled him a couple times before starting him this year and we figured we might as well give him a shot. He’s learned how to relax after leaving the gate and in the mile. He’s just started getting better every week, mentally and in terms of speed.” His progress is evident not only to his connections, but in his lines as well. With a mark of 1:51.4 taken over Mohawk last month, he comes into the elimination off a sharp 1:50.3 mile which earned him a game runner-up finish on June 2. “There’s a few tough ones in the elimination, if he can do what he’s doing now, he can get the right trip and go with them. A few starts back when he went in 1:51.4, Sylvain said he could go in 49. I hope he can go with them just the same.” Beast Mode will face off against O’Brien Award winner Control the Moment, American invader Check Six from the Burke barn and Lyons Snyder who all pose a strong threat. Leaving from post five, he will team up with Trevor Henry in the fifth race on the card.  “I hope he lives up to what he’s shown us, everyone hopes their horse doesn’t throw a clunker in the race,” said Reid with a laugh. “He has enough speed he can get positioned well; he’s stronger the rest of the mile in a hole. Now it’s up to him to show us what he’s got.”  Beast Mode will start in the first of two North America Cup eliminations featured on the Saturday night card at Mohawk Racetrack, which also includes the Roses are Red and Fan Hanover Stakes. The first race goes to post at 7:30 p.m. Here are the full fields for the Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer 1st Elimination 1. Highlandbeachycove by Somebeachsomewhere (Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna) 2. Check Six by Somebeachsomewhere (Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke) 3. Control The Moment by Well Said (Randy Waples - Brad Maxwell) 4. Lyons Snyder by Well Said (Sylvain Filion - Mark Silva) 5. Beast Mode by Rock N Roll Heaven (Sylvain Filion - Robert Reid) 6. Betting Line by Bettor's Delight (David Miller - Casie Coleman) 7. Im Some Graduate by Somebeachsomewhere (John Campbell - Tom Cancelliere) 8. Ideal Rocky by Rocknroll Hanover (Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen) 9. Racing Hill by Roll With Joe (Brett Miller - Tony Alagna) 2nd Elimination 1. Nocturnal Bluechip by Bettor's Delight (Paul MacDonell - Mark Steacy) 2. Boston Red Rocks by Rocknroll Hanover (Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott) 3. Brookdale Sonny by Bettor's Delight (Mike Saftic - Dr. Ian Moore) 4. Nvestment Bluechip by Shadow Play (Jody Jamieson - Dave Menary) 5. Michaels Victory by Rocknroll Hanover (Sylvain Filion - Mark Silva) 6. Big Top Hanover by Western Ideal (Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke) 7. Manhattan Beach by Somebeachsomewhere (Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke) 8. American Passport by American Ideal (Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna) 9. Magnum J  by Big Jim (Doug McNair - Gregg McNair) Hannah Beckett for WEG Communications  

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