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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There's a lot of hope and promise on Wednesday night (July 1) at Buffalo Raceway as many of the 2-year-old filly pacers kick off their careers in three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes worth $36,566 each.   Of the 21 filly pacers entered, only four have had a pari-mutuel start. The remaining 17 have had a couple of 'baby' races or qualifiers but that's it. With the hours of preparation in getting them to the races now completed, it's time for the ladies to strut their stuff. And for those who are successful, they will find a large paycheck awaiting them at the finish line along with some happy owners, trainers and drivers.   The Sire Stakes will go off as the second, third and fifth races on the solid 12-race program that is scheduled for 5 p.m.   With nine records either broken or tied at Buffalo Raceway this season, the freshmen fillies will be taking dead aim on 1:56.3 standard set in 2011 by Silk Purse and tied in 2012 by Summertime Lea.   The sire Roll With Joe has nine off-spring entered in the stakes event while Art Major follows with five, Rock N Roll Heaven four and American Ideal three.   The first event features a field of six who not have a pari-mutuel start between them. Gotmyredressontnit gets the early nod at 5-2 after putting in a 1:55.3 time in a baby race at Pocono Downs over a sloppy track on June 19. Jason Bartlett gets the call aboard the Janice Connor-trained Gotmyredressontnit (Roll With Joe-Western Top Cat) and will start from the six post.   Rockin Date, a $47,000 purchase from the Lexington Sales last year, is the second choice at 3-1 with Sire Stakes leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike. Starting from the five hole, Rockin Date (Art Major-Rockin Beauty) is trained by Ron Burke and finished in fourth place behind Gotmyredressontnit in her last prep. Morrill Jr. has 13 victories this season on the Sire Stakes circuit and nearly $450,000 in purse earnings.   The second leg is a wide open affair with a field of seven heading to the post. Angels Rockn Pink is 3-1 morning line choice with John MacDonald to be in the sulky. Arriving from Vernon Downs for trainer Homer Hostetler, Angels Rockn Pink was impressive in winning her two qualifiers at Vernon. She last won by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:55.4 back on June 19.   Soft Idea, a $70,000 purchase at the Lexington Sales, draws the six post for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Scott Zeron. Soft Idea (American Ideal-Walk Softly) went 1:58.4 in her last tuneup, winning by 2-1/2 lengths.   Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings gets the call on Vino And Formaggio off the rail. Sitting at 4-1 on the line, Vino And Formaggio (Art Major-Pasta LaVista) has gone wire-to-wire in her two qualifying victories at the Meadows.   The final division features Encore Deo, a $100,000 buy at Lexington. The Burke-trained Encore Deo, coupled with Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance), starts from the five post and gets the services of Cummings. Encore Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven-Docdor Cameo) hopes to start earning her keep begin what could be an solid career.   The main danger to the Burke entry could be Ghost Runner (Art Major-Spirit Of The West). She gets the pylons for trainer/driver Tom Jackson and is the 5-1 second pick. She finished sixth at Pocono Downs in 1:55.1 in her last appearance.   The card also will feature a pair of Excelsior 'A' Series races and a race in the Excelsior 'B' Series.   Also on tap on the stellar card includes the $10,500 Open Trot, the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace, and the $8,500 Fillies and Mares Open II Pace.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

The  harness racing $125,000 NSW Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challenge finals at Tabcorp Park Menangle bring the best of the best together and the first big final to go today was the race for the two year old filliesl. Heavens Trend was a dominating favourite after four wins in a row, the last of them in an Australian record time of 1:52.1. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven had drawn nicely at barrier three while the main opposition in Our Golden Goddess had drawn wider at barrier six. As the gates folded, Mark Purdon driving Our Golden Goddeess threw caution to the wind and charged out to try to grab an early lead. Gavin Lang in the bike behind Heaven's Trend was having none of it and the two favourites charged through ther first quarter in 26.1 with Heavens Trend holding the front. When the half was reached in just over 55, a few were struggling with the pace but it was clear a long way out that Heavens Trend was in cruise control. As they straightened for home Gavin Lang gave her a bit of rein and Heavens Trend strode clear for an emphatic victory with Gavin sitting quite as in the bike. Hot Shot Woman dashed home late for second to continue her string of second placings with Boundtobemad edging out a game Our Golden Goddess for third. Heavens Trend paced the mile in 1:52.9 with closing sectionals of 57.1 and 28.9. Emma Stewart is the trainer. Heavens Trend is from the first Australian crop of Rock N Roll Heaven 1:47.6 ($2,774,478) and is a daughter of the former outstanding race filly Trend Setter 1:55.6 ($199,414). The second placegetter Hot Shot Woman is by Rocknroll Hanover and must be the biggest stake earning maiden in Australasia with todays placing taking her well over the $100,000 mark. The main aim now for Heavens Trend is the Breeders Crown at Melton at the end of August where she will meet the unbeaten New Zealand champion Dream About Me and that should be a race well worth going to see. Harnesslink Media

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 27 - Rockin In Heaven received the majority of the hype heading into the first leg of the Summertime Saturday night at Mohawk, but he needed every inch of determination to pull out the harness racing victory. A field of ten three-year-old pacing colts and geldings contested the $18,000 opening leg of the Summertime Series under rainy and windy conditions. Rockin In Heaven was returning to Mohawk for the first time since winning a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes on June 6. In between "The Beach" and Saturday's contest, the Dr. Ian Moore trainee went south of the border and finished second in a New York Sires Stakes leg at Vernon Downs. Sent off as the heavy 1/5 favourite, Rockin In Heaven got away in fourth and made a second-quarter brush to the front for driver Trevor Henry. Battling a strong headwind down the backstretch, Rockin In Heaven got the field down to the three-quarter pole in 1:27. Poisonous and driver Sylvain Filion came first up around the final turn and got on even terms with the favourite as they entered the stretch. After pacing by the eighth-pole side-by-side, Poisonous took a slight lead over Rockin In Heaven and appeared to be charging home to victory, but the public's choice dug deep to battle back in the final strides and win by a neck in 1:53.3. Rustys Overload finished third, while Official Prince rounded out the top-four. A son of Rock N Roll Heaven, Rockin In Heaven now has five wins from seven starts this season for owners Moore, Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte and Gordon McComb. Saturday's victory was the eighth overall for Rockin In Heaven and increased his career earnings to $93,977. A $2 win ticket on the favourite returned a profit of $0.60. The second leg of the Summertime Series will take place next Saturday (July 4). Mark McKelvie

Emma Stewart keeps putting Smythes Creek on the map. Victoria’s leading harness racing trainer scored a winning quartet on Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-final night last night at Tabcorp Park Melton and set herself up for a big grand final night next Saturday. On the strength of the semi-final results Stewart looks set to walk away with at least some grand final silverware, four-year-old mare Berisari expected to lead the charge after her dominant display last night. The night's success for Team Stewart began early with Always A Virgin/Lifeline filly Lovelist taking the first race on the 12-event program, the three-year-old fillies’ first semi-final. Driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, Lovelist powered home by 2.5 metres over reigning Vicbred champion Niki No No (Greg Sugars) with Vapar Grin (Matthew Craven) third in a mile rate for the 2240-metre trip of 1:58.6. Stewart then teamed with Sugars to win Race 4, the two-year-old fillies’ first semi-final, with Courage Under Fire/Mayhappen youngster Whirily School, who won by 2.1m win over Drumborg’s Just Wantano (Craven), with Lang piloting Heirloom Angel into third place 10.6m behind the winner. Whirily School, already a Group 2 winner via the Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final last month, worked her way to the lead 1800m out before rating 1:59.9 in victory last night. Stewart’s next winner was another two-year-old filly, this time impressive Rock N Roll Heaven/All The Magic bay Rocknroll Magic, who led from the pole and held off a late challenge by Soho Madeleine (Luke McCarthy) to score by a head in 2:02.4. Rounding out the night for Stewart was $1.10 favourite Berisari – by local sire Safari, who Stewart trained, out of Beris Holmes – winning the last race, the second of the four-year-old mares’ semis, by almost eight metres in 1:56.8. Stewart’s other qualifiers for Super Series finals were Apache Shark (fourth in the first semi-final of the two-year-old colts and geldings), Ideal For Real, who ran second to Follow The Stars in their three-year-old colts and geldings’ semi and Shadow Sax, whose superb second to Christmas Jolt in the two-year-old colts and geldings semi has him well-placed for Group 1 success next week. Click here to view the full Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-final results Cody Winnell

This Sunday Harness Racing New South Wales are staging the six $125,000 Breeders Challenge Finals at Menangle. The finalists and draws for the six races have been made and Harnesslink thought it was a good time to have a look at the sires represented in the three age groups. Note: We have included the emergencies in the analysis First up for analysis are the two year old finalists. 1) Two year old fillies The sire to have the most representatives in the final is the deceased Rocknroll Hanover who has three finalists in this division. Rocknroll Hanover has 141 two year olds this season and he is reaping the rewards for those big numbers being the current leader on the two year old sires premiership. Regardless of numbers it is still a notable effort for Rocknroll Hanover to provide a quarter of the final field in a $125,000 race Another string to his bow is he is also the sire of Rock N Roll Heaven who has one representative in the final but that of course is Heavens Trend 1:52.1 who is a dominating favourite for the final after drawing barrier three. Art Major is the only other sire to have more than one runner with two representatives in the final including the unbeaten Our Golden Goddess 1:54.3. One surprise when looking at the field was the lack of Sportswriters with him having only one finalist this year. Last season they were everywhere and challenging the established stars like Bettors Delight and Art Major but are a lot quieter this season. Champion sire and noted filly sire Bettor's Delight was a notable absentee from the list of sires who had finalists. 2) Two year old colts / geldings Two stallions have multiple finalists and they are Art Major and Somebeachsomewhere who both have two in the final. Somebeachsomewhere is really starting to make his mark in Australia and both his finalists here are top class. Waikiki Beach is unbeaten to date and from barrier three will stay that way on Sunday. His biggest challenger is the other Somebeachsomewhere finalist in Match In Heaven who is going to need a bit of luck from barrier 10 As Somebeachsomewhere only has 23 two year olds to represent him this season, his effort to have the two leading candidates for the $125,000 final is a huge achievement. Especially as earlier in the season he lost the super two year old Goodtime Sammy 1:54 to injury. One notable absentee from the colts/geldings division is Rock N Roll Heaven who with 153 two year olds this season should have at least had a finalist in this division. The other notable absentee is Rocknroll Hanover who after having three in the fillies final, has no  runners in the colts or geldings final.  Harnesslink Media

Five years after harness racing trainer Casie Coleman won the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup and set Sportswriter on track to become the leading stallion in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, the trainer is back in the NA Cup with Arque Hanover. Casie Coleman of Cambridge remembers Sportswriter’s 2010 victory in the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack as if it was yesterday, not five years ago. “Saying that, I’ve got three-year-olds of his in the barn,” she said, laughing. “Time flies.” Sportswriter, now based at Tara Hills Stud in Port Perry, ON, is the leading stallion in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Coleman said it all started with his Pepsi North America Cup win. “We had a rough Cup week with Sportswriter. I wasn’t even sure we were going to be able to race in the final that week (due to serious feet problems). He ended up winning it and it was pretty special,” Coleman said. “Obviously that sealed the deal to take him to stud which was going to be a huge stepping stone. So far, he’s proven himself as a sire.” Saturday night, Coleman will try to win the NA Cup for the second time in her career. She sends out Arque Hanover from post seven with Hall of Famer John Campbell in the bike on behalf of part-owner and fellow trainer Jeff Gillis of Hillsburgh, ON. Earlier this year, Gillis sent Arque Hanover to Coleman’s U.S. stable to race in a stakes event at Yonkers Raceway in New York City. Coleman maintains stables in Canada and New Jersey. When Arque Hanover returned to Canada, Gillis and fellow owners Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON, Big Als Stable of Woodbridge, ON and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY opted to keep the son of Rock N Roll Heaven with Coleman for the North America Cup run. “Switching barns back and forth so many times wasn’t going to make much sense for the horse. So, they just decided they would keep him with me for the Cup. Then after the Cup he’s going back to the States and he’s pretty fully staked through the summer in the U.S.” Coleman said she was impressed with Arque Hanover’s second-place finish in his NA Cup elimination on June 13, despite finishing six lengths behind morning line Cup favourite Wiggle It Jiggleit, an opponent Coleman calls “an absolute creature. No one’s beaten him, yet, and he’s just been awesome.” Arque Hanover, winless in five starts this year, has been pegged at 25-1 in the morning line. “Hopefully, they can go some speed duels up front. I don’t believe mine will be part of the speed duel, but you never know. He can leave lots if (John) Campbell decides to do that. But, in a perfect world, I’d love to somehow be second over. That would be sweet, but I’m a realist… Not many people can beat Wiggle It Jiggleit, especially the way he looked last week. But, it’s a horse race. You never know and I think my horse is as good as any of the other ones.” “He’s just a sweetheart. He’s good-gaited, he’s a nice horse in the barn. Everything we’ve asked of him, he does it. He just wants to do his job. He digs hard right to the wire and he definitely doesn’t want to be beaten. We’ve only had the horse about a month or so, but, so far, I haven’t found many bad qualities on him.” The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup is race 12 on a gangbusters 15-race, stakes-rich Mohawk card that starts with a 6:30 p.m. first-race post. The Pepsi North America Cup will also be televised live on TSN. The show begins at 10 p.m. For more information about the Pepsi North America Cup, including a long list of fan promotions, please visit: Dave Briggs Standardbred Communications Ontario Horse Racing

Sassa Hanover got "a perfect trip" in winning her elimination for Saturday's C$479,000 Fan Hanover for harness racing 3-year-old female pacers and trainer Ron Burke is now hoping for a perfect ending to her stakes trip to Mohawk Racetrack by posting a victory in the final. Last weekend, Sassa Hanover won her elimination by a half-length over Wrangler Magic in 1:49.4 - a time faster than all but two Fan Hanover finals in history. Sassa Hanover was sixth midway through the race, but followed the cover of favorite JK She'salady around the last turn before taking the lead in the stretch. JK She'salady, the 2014 Horse of the Year, finished fourth in suffering the first loss of her 14-race career, but still advanced to the Fan Hanover final. Following the race, trainer Nancy Johansson said the filly scoped sick. Sassa Hanover has won 11 of 16 career races, including last year's Matron Stakes and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion, and finished worse than second only once. She faced JK She'salady twice last season, finishing second in both her elimination for the Breeders Crown and the Breeders Crown final. "I've always had faith in her," said Burke, who owns Sassa Hanover with The Panhellenic Stable Corp., the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and Larry Karr. "She's a very good filly. She got the perfect trip and she did what you're supposed to do when you get a perfect trip." Sassa Hanover, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven out of the mare Sayo Hanover, has won two of three races this year. She entered her Fan Hanover elimination off a second-place finish as the favorite in the Lismore Pace on May 30 at Yonkers. "The only backward step was the race at Yonkers and we really don't know why," Burke said about the winner of $544,422 in lifetime purses. "There were bitty reasons, but not big reasons why she should have been just average that day. Not that she was bad, but she wasn't herself. So it was nice to see her come back vicious. "She's had a perfect schedule into this race and it should lead to her being very sharp I think." Sassa Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras will start the Fan Hanover final from post three and are the 7-2 second choice on the morning line. JK She'salady, who starts from post five with driver Tim Tetrick, is the 9-5 favorite. Moonlit Dance, who won the other elimination in 1:50.4, leaves from post two with driver James MacDonald at the lines for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. She is 4-1. "I think (Sassa Hanover) is the favorite now," said Burke, who also sends out 20-1 Storm Point in the Fan Hanover final. "Nancy's filly is a great filly, but it always scares me when one of mine is not perfect to only have seven days to get it perfect. (JK She'salady) is a champion, though, and maybe she can handle it. But I like my position right now a little bit better." Johansson said Tuesday afternoon that JK She'salady's condition was improving. "She seems like she's heading in the right direction," Johansson said. "We had her scoped (Tuesday) and it was day and night better than what it was Saturday. I'm happy about that. She seems much more alert, so that's always a good sign. Hopefully we can keep her that way. So far so good." JK She'salady, a daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady with $901,123 in the bank, was making only her second start of the season in her Fan Hanover elimination. She won a New York Sire Stakes division on May 25 at Tioga Downs and entered last weekend's race off a 1:51.3 qualifier win at the Meadowlands. "It's not really disappointing considering I think she raced a good race," Johansson said. "She paced (1):50.2 first up for a ways. "In some sense, it worked out. If she was in the other division she might have won and we would have been standing around saying how great she was. We might not have realized how sick she was because that race went a full second slower and the stress factor is a lot less. Now you look into it a little more because she was extended. I'm happy to know that she was sick so I could work on it for this week." Whereas the connections of elimination winners earned the right to select their posts, Johansson sweated out the open draw for the remaining spots on the gate. "I was so nervous when they started drawing the race, but it couldn't have worked out any better," said Johansson, who trains JK She'salady for breeder/owner 3 Brothers Stables. "From (post five) maybe she can work out a little more of a trip than what she's been able to in the past. I think she's been first up in about 90 percent of her lifetime starts. It's time for her to get a nice trip." Following is the field for the Fan Hanover in post order, by sire, with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Better Said, by Well Said - Scott Zeron, Linda Toscano, 12-1 2. Moonlit Dance, by Art Major - James MacDonald, Tony O'Sullivan, 4-1 3. Sassa Hanover, by Rock N Roll Heaven -  Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 7-2 4. Doctor Terror, by Wester Terror - Corey Callahan, Blake MacIntosh, 10-1 5. JK She'salady,  by Art Major - Tim Tetrick, Nancy Johansson, 9-5 6. Solar Sister, by Mach Three - Doug McNair, Gregg McNair, 6-1 7. Wrangler Magic, by Mach Three - Sylvain Filion, Stephane Larocque, 8-1 8. Storm Point, by Somebeachsomewhere - Brian Sears, Ron Burke, 20-1 9. Single Me, by Bettor's Delight - David Miller, Tony O'Sullivan, 20-1 10. The Show Returns, by Rocknroll Hanover - John Campbell, Chris Ryder, 30-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, June 15, 2015 - Yonkers Raceway hosted the ladies Monday night, specifically the $166,375 New York Sire Stakes Art Watson Pace for harness racing 3-year-old fillies. Three divisions, at $55,125, $56,125 and $55,125, comprised the event. Band of Angels (Yannick Gingras, $2.80) won both the draw and the endorsement of the electorate, holding sway (:28.3, :57.3, 1:25.4, 1:54.3) in the opening event. She defeated pocket-sitting Bettorhaveanother (Jim Morrill Jr.) by a half-length, with Divine Caroline (Dave Miller) third. For Band of Angels, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven owned by W J Donovan and trained by Ron Burke, it was her second (NYSS) win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $6.90, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $15.40. The seven-horse field nearly finished in odds-ascending order, had 27-1 My Little Delight (sixth) been able to get past 37-1 Bosser's Joy for fifth. It was essentially the same MO in the second division, as pole-sitting, odds-on fave Not Before Eight (Scott Zeron, $3.50) was a handy victress. Away third early, she worked around last season's frosh champ, Mosquito Blue Chip (Morrill Jr.), after a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. She then led the lasses for the remainder (:57.2, 1:27, 1:55.1), swatting "Mosquito" by a length-and-a-half. First leader Luck Be a Lindy (Mark MacDonald) was third. For Not Before Eight, a Bettor's Delight miss (unraced at 2) trained by Steve Elliott for owner Ernest Hartman, she's 6-for-9 this season and a perfect 6-for-6 here (first five wins in overnight). The exacta (two choices in order) paid $5.90, with the triple returning $17.40. Zeron and Elliott doubled their sire stakes pleasure in the final NYSS event when Rock Me Gently ($35.20)-from post position No. 6-rallied from third over. They did so after a front-end battle between 7-10 fave Bettor N Better (Gingras), She's Heavenly (George Brennan) and a first-up Hipnumberone (Greg Merton). Those three prompted the pace (:27.1, :55.4, 1:24.4), setting it up for someone to pick 'em off. It was Rock Me Gently and 46-1 rank outsider Nippy W Hanover (John Campbell) closing from the back in a pedestrian (:30.1) final quarter, with the former whipping the latter by a length. Third went to Heavenly Bride (Brian Sears). For sixth choice Rock Me Gently, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned by Old Block Stables, Fra Stable and Kenneth Klein, it was her third win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $786, with the triple returning $2,551. The Raceway's five-program-per-week schedule is now back in vogue, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, with Tuesday matinees at 1 (a "French-centric" Tuesday this week). Evening simulcasting accompanies all nighttime programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Manalapan, NJ --- After several years of dabbling with Thoroughbreds, trainer Don Swick’s focus has returned to harness racing. And although he is only operating a six-horse stable, the most important number is one. Rodeo Rock is the one. A 2-year-old male pacer, Rodeo Rock was among the winners at qualifiers Monday at Gaitway Farms. Rodeo Rock, making his second qualifying effort of the season, won by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:56.4 over a track labeled “good” because of early-morning rain. “He’s the horse that brought me back,” said Swick, who trains Rodeo Rock for longtime owner Bill Peshina’s Royal Wire Products Inc. “This horse is it. I know there are good ones all over, but I really do think he’s special.” Swick got involved with Thoroughbreds in 2010 and last year had three with Peshina, but returned his focus to harness racing at Peshina’s request. The two bought Rodeo Rock, originally named Electronica, for $107,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. The colt is a son of Rock N Roll Heaven out of the mare Electric Fool. His mom is a half-sister to millionaire Western Shore and his third dam is Dan Patch Award winner Delinquent Account, the mother of Dan Patch Award winner Artiscape. “He was just a big, gorgeous looking horse,” Swick said. “We were looking for something a little different. Bill said let’s try a Rock N Roll Heaven this year; try a different state, a different sire. He walked in, and he looked just like this then. He was in good shape and a big, strong colt. He’s been that way ever since. He’s always been a good mannered horse. We’ve had a good time with him so far.” Although eligible to race in the New York Sire Stakes series, Swick does not plan to race Rodeo Rock on half-mile tracks. The colt is eligible to the Metro Pace, Nassagaweya, and Champlain in Canada, the stakes at Lexington’s Red Mile, and the Breeders Crown. “This is what Bill wanted to do and this is what we’re going to do,” said Swick, who has trained for Peshina for more than 30 years. “I’m happy. I’m happy as a clam. Royal Wire, they’ve been so good to me. (Bill is) the best guy in the world.” Tony Alagna and Ron Burke both sent out three winners among the 2-year-olds on Monday. Burke won with male pacers Lyons Snyder (Well Said-Armbro Cachet), in a day’s best 1:56.2, and JK Will Power (Somebeachsomewhere-Whats New Pussycat) in 1:57.1 as well as male trotter Edinburgh (Andover Hall-Muscles Carbonara) in 2:00.3. Lyons Snyder was purchased for $130,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound and Jeff Snyder. The colt is half-brother to millionaire Aracache Hanover. “He was very good,” Burke said about Lyons Snyder. “He has three lungs. It’s just a matter of keeping his mind together. If he does that, he’s a very good horse.” Alagna’s winners were female trotter Caprice Hill (Kadabra-Bramasole) in 1:58; male pacer American Passport (American Ideal-Star Of The Show) in 1:58.2; and female pacer Call Me Queen Be (Somebeachsomewhere-Preppy Party Girl) in 1:58.2. Remaining 2-year-old winners were Casie Coleman’s male pacer Tommy’s Delight (Roll With Joe-L Dees Rainbow) in 1:56.3; Steve Elliott’s female pacer Soulmate Hanover (Well Said-Sayo Hanover) in 1:57.2; Linda Toscano’s female pacer Soft Idea (American Ideal-Walk Softly) in 1:58.4; Andrew Harris’ filly trotter Radiant Beam (Holiday Road-Sleek Agent) in 1:59.4; and Julie Miller’s male trotter Sutton (Donato Hanover-I Wanted Wings) in 2:01. For complete charts of Monday's qualifiers, click here. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Two year old filly Heavens Trend had harness racing statisticians checking the history books after her dominant performance at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night when she won a semi final of the Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge rating 1:52.1 for the mile. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven shaved two seconds off the Australasian record for a two year old filly previously held by the Mark Purdon trained Supersonic Miss.  Incredibly no three year old fillies have ever run faster in Australia.   Heavens Trend’s time is half a second faster than the three year old fillies' mile record held jointly by Courageous Annie and Nike Franco at 1:52.6. Driver Gavin Lang was impressed and believes the Emma Stewart trained filly could be a star. “The performance was impressive, it is a bit scary to think what she could run on a warm night,” said Lang. “I gave up seven drives at Melton on Saturday night to drive at Menangle but I’m yet to pull the earplugs on this one and for a filly to run 1:52.1 is very exciting.” Heavens Trend led from barrier two and raced through the first quarter in 27.3. “One of her greatest attributes is that speed off the arm, she’s just a natural, a free flowing filly that likes to go about her work and I think she’ll dominate for some time. “She felt like she was doing it in second gear, she was away from home and in the new surroundings was probably a little bit keener than normal but that’s what she is capable of.” Heavens Trend will next race in the Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge final on Sunday June 28. “I don’t know about whether she is the best two year old I’ve ever driven, I’d have to go back through the records to work that out but I don’t know that I’ve driven a quicker one.” Greg Hayes

Rocknroll Magic overcame an outside back row draw to win the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for harness racing 2YO Fillies third heat on Friday night at Kilmore. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic drew away to win by 9.8 metres over Our Odette in the 2180-metre race, rating 2:01.5. Gavin Lang drove the winner, who is trained by Emma Stewart at Smythes Creek. Odds-on race favourite Dancingwithsierra finished last but was clearly not 100 per cent and was stood down pending an endoscopic report. Meanwhile, two heats of the three-year-old fillies Super Series were run on the night with David Aiken and son Josh Aiken combining with Glory Daze in the third heat, winning from the pole in 2:02.0, defeating Brighty Valentine by a half-head, and Belinda McCarthy-trained Smooth Showgirl taking out the fourth heat for reinsman Nathan Jack in a rate of 1:57.3, holding out Boadiceas Fury by a half-head. 2YO FILLIES 3rd HEAT Finishing order Video replay 3YO FILLIES 3rd HEAT Finishing order Video replay 3YO FILLIES 4th HEAT Finishing order Video replay Cody Winnell

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 13 - Sassa Hanover and Moonlit Dance were upset minded three-year-old pacing fillies who beat their favoured harness racing rivals in their respective $35,000 Fan Hanover eliminations on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.   JK Shesalady, reigning Horse of the Year on both sides of the border, had a perfect 13-for-13 record going into the race, but Sassa Hanover played giant-killer and snapped her streak.   Sassa Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras got away sixth as The Show Returns, who was followed by Wrangler Magic and Bettor Be Steppin, led the fillies into the first turn. After a :26.1 opening panel, Bettor Be Steppin launched a second-quarter attack from third to take command, but her lead was short lived as Single Me was on the move.   Sassa Hanover was third-over behind JK Shesalady, who caught the cover of the leading Single Me. The 94-1 longshot posted the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:22.1.   When they entered the stretch Sassa Hanover was fed open racetrack and she surged passed the fillies in deep stretch to score in a new lifetime mark of 1:49.4 by half a length. Wrangler Magic rallied for second while Single Me faded to third. The 1/9 favourite, JK Shesalady, finished fourth and Bettor Be Steppin was fifth.   "That's the trip I was looking for," said Gingras from the winner's circle. "You know JK Shesalady, she will take you where you need to go. I figured if she gets roughed up a little bit I had a good chance and that's what happened.   "It took her a little bit of time to come back," explained the reinsman. "I trained her a week before she qualified and she was just okay and the first qualifier she was okay, but then she really woke up after that. The second qualifier she was much better and at Vernon, [driver] Andrew McCarthy told me she was very good there. And at Yonkers, it was a tough track and tough trip as well, but tonight she was perfect."   The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven-Sayo Hanover notched her second win of the season and 11th lifetime. With the win, she pushed her career earnings to $547,747 for trainer Ron Burke, who shares ownership with The Panhellenic Stb Corp, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Lawrence Karr. Sassa Hanover paid $15.70 to win.   Sassa Hanover     In the second elimination Moonlit Dance defeated Solar Sister, who was the 3/2 favourite, to score her fourth victory of her sophomore campaign for trainer Tony O'Sullivan.   Driver James MacDonald and Moonlit Dance was eighth as Solar Sister posted a :26.2 first quarter. A parked out Momas Got A Gun took to the front into the backstretch, but as soon as she cleared, Happiness was making a bid for the lead. The pair battled, but Happiness was the one to take command, posting the half in :54-flat just before clearing to front. Happiness then clocked the three-quarters in 1:22.1 after Deli Beach put pressure on the front-stepping pacer.   Into the stretch Moonlit Dance was back in seventh, but found a seam in-between horses to capture the winner's share of the purse by a neck and stopped the teletimer in a career-best clocking of 1:50.4. Doctor Terror got up for second and Better Said stayed for third. Solar Sister and Storm Point finished fourth and fifth, respectively.   "The speed has never been a problem with her," said O'Sullivan. "She is tough on herself and training there is no bottom to her. I was never worried about the speed. And racing against better horses, she is her own worst enemy. She's got her own mind sometimes and if we can coddle that a little bit then she is a very good filly."   The homebred daughter of Art Major-Gone Dancing picked up her fifth lifetime victory in 15 outings, which increases her bankroll to $103,379 for the David Goodrow Stable. Moonlit Dance paid $17.10 to win.   Moonlit Dance   The top five finishers advance to the $479,000 Fan Hanover Final, which is set for Saturday, June 20 as part of the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup undercard. Being elimination winners, Sassa Hanover and Moonlit Dance have selected their post positions for the final.   Here is how the sophomore fillies will line up behind the gate:   1. Better Said by Well Said   2. Moonlit Hanover by Art Major   3. Sassa Hanover by Rock N Roll Heaven   4. Doctor Terror by Western Terror   5. JK Shesalady by Art Major   6. Solar Sister by Mach Three   7. Wrangler Magic by Mach Three   8. Storm Point by Somebeachsomewhere   9. Single Me by Bettor's Delight   10. Bettor Be Steppin by Bettor's Delight   AE: The Show Returns by Rocknroll Hanover   Ashley Mayotte for WEG Communications

The great pacing stallion Rocknroll Hanover passed on March 14, 2013 at a clinic in New Jersey, after showing signs of gastric distress at a Perretti satellite site in Pennsylvania. He was only eleven years old.   The son of Western Ideal and Rich N Elegant, who brought $190,000 at Harrisburg as a yearling, had won 15 races and earned $2.7 million during his two-year career. Rocknroll Hanover stood his first season at Perretti Farms in New Jersey in 2006 for a $15,000 stud fee. He drew 189 mares, resulting in 151 registered foals in 2007. These included his richest son, Rock N Roll Heaven, and his richest and fastest daughter, Put On A Show. The former is sending his second crop to the races after getting mixed results from the first, while POAS has been retired and bred to Somebeachsomewhere. Their first filly will sell at Lexington Selected this year. Others from that initial offering include millionaires Rock N Soul and Ticket To Rock, as well as Tobago Cays, Classic Rock NRoll and Valentino. Rockin Image, who is making a name for himself as a sire in Indiana, via his son Freaky Feet Pete and others, was also from that crop. The venerable race mare Rocklamation came from Rocknroll’s second crop, as did Pretty Katherine, but there were no great fillies or colts in that offering. The import Foreclosure N earned the most of any in the stallion ranks. Other standouts were Rollwithitharry, Abelard Hanover and Fat Man’s Alley. As is often the case, the second crop was disappointing when measured against the first. Foreclosure bred 33 mares in Ohio in 2013, resulting in 20 registered foals. He raced eight times in the fall of that year, so the stallion experiment was apparently concluded for now. Roclamation was bought back at the Tattersalls Mixed sale by two of her owners but failed to get in foal, so she’s back racing with little success. A Rocknroll Dance and Pet Rock, both world record holders at four, put a charge in crop number three. The former won the Pace and banked $1.8 million at two and three, while Pet Rock earned about a million dollars at three. The competition for supremacy in that division was fierce. Breeders Crown winner Heston Blue Chip won the Dan Patch Award; Michaels Power took the Jug; Thinking Out Loud won the Cup and Sweet Lou took the Tattersalls Pace. ARNRD and Pet Rock both blossomed at four. Pet Rock, who stands in Ohio, set records in the Winbak at Delaware—1:48.1—and the Ewart at Scioto—1:47.2—in successive weeks. Dance, who now stands in Pennsylvania was the first to put three sub 1:48 wins together. Both were very well received in the stallion ranks. Pet Rock bred 137 mares last year, while A Rocknroll Dance bred 139. Panther Hanover, who won the New Jersey Classic in 1:47.2, is another speed demon from that class. The son of the successful race mare Panned Out has not mimicked the popularity of his paternal brothers. He bred nine mares in New York last year. Simply Business, Time To Roll and Rockaround Sue are a few more from the third crop. I Luv The Nitelife came along the following year. She set world records at two and three and won more money during that stretch than any filly ever had. Nitelife was retired last season and sold to Diamond Creek Farm. By 2010 Rocknroll Hanover was standing for $20,000, and he went to $25,000 in 2011. As was the case with just about every stallion, the economic downturn required an adjustment. And the upheaval in New Jersey regarding the viability of The Meadowlands compounded the problem for the folks at Perretti. His fee was dropped to $15,000 in 2012 and that’s where it was when he passed the following year. Crop number five, the horses that are now four-year-olds, didn’t overwhelm anyone at the top end, at least while they were colts and fillies. There were 149 registered, 67 colts and 82 fillies. Their collective earnings were down considerably from those that preceded them. At the same time, Rocknroll is currently second to Bettor’s Delight among all-age pacers, with 355 starters showing more than $5 million in earnings. Last year he was also second to Bettor’s Delight, with 446 earning well over $13 million. So the hundreds of low profile, journeyman Rocknrolls are killing it year after year at tracks all over North America. Almost two hundred of them have eclipsed the $100 mark. Some are coming alive at four. Rockeyed Optimist, who has won 9 of 10 starts this year, including wins in the finals of the Sonsam Series and the Clyde Hirt, is one of them. Over the weekend he came first up at the half and beat Cup winner JK Endofanera and Jug winner Limelight Beach in a split of the Graduate for Tim Tetrick. Doo Wop Hanover, who paid $64 when he won his two-year-old Breeders Crown elimination at Pocono Downs, and who recently won the first leg of the Graduate in a track record 1:47.4 at Tioga, took another Graduate split on Saturday as he ran down All Bets Off, again for Tetrick. He matched his paternal brother’s 1:48 winning time. Of this year’s sophomore class, Happiness, a sister to Pangiorno, won the Reynolds for Ron Burke and has been one of the top fillies in the NJSS. Rock N Roll World, a son of two-time division champ Worldly Beauty and a brother to World Of Rocknroll, was second in high-end races five times this year, before finishing third in the Rooney. He’s staked to the Cup. And Hurrikane Ali is another promising colt. Obviously Rocknroll hasn’t had time to prove himself as a productive broodmare sire, but it’s hard to imagine that not being the case. Rocknroll Hanover mares offer enticing outcross opportunities to Somebeachsomwhere. More than two dozen such foals have been registered. And stallions from the Adios line are also a good fit for his mares: there are already 20 by Art Major and eight by Sportswriter. Adios line stallion McArdle has produced last year’s sophomore division champ McWicked as well as his richest daughter, Big McDeal, with Western Ideal mares. And three-time Molson winner, State Treasurer (Real Artist), is out of one of his mares. There are also good opportunities for stallions from the Meadow Skipper line: Bettor’s Delight has sired 17, Well Said seven and Dragon Again eight. And there are three by Shadyshark Hanover and one by Custard The Dragon. The world’s reigning expert on Rocknroll, Bob Marks, sees matching up the sons of Most Happy Fella as the key to it all. We’ve had a run of great pacing fillies lately, and three of the best, See You At Peelers, American Jewel and I Luv The Nitelife, all follow this template. Their sires are Bettor’s Delight, American Ideal and Rocknroll Hanover, respectively. Their dams are by Western Ideal, Camluck and Camluck again. Badlands Hanover is by Western Hanover and out of a Tyler B mare. BC winner and top tier player in the NA Cup, Traceur Hanover, is by Western Ideal and out of a Camluck mare. Heston Blue Chip is by Rocknroll’s paternal brother American Ideal and out of a Cam’s Card Shark mare. While FFA speedball Shark Gesture is a son of Cam’s Card Shark out of a Western Hanover mare. All of them go back to MHF top and bottom. Many significant stallions have passed early: Meadow Skipper’s sire Dale Frost passed at 17 after breaking a leg; Skipper’s most influential siring son, Most Happy Fella, also passed at 17 after breaking a leg. Billy Direct died of heart trouble at age 13. Noble Gesture, who died from a heart attack at age 13 in 1981, saw his son Balanced Image carry him into the 21st century, and his granddaughter, Feeling Great, produce Self Possessed, the granddad of Father Patrick. Rocknroll left enough pieces to extend himself, top and bottom. That speed and grit we saw from Doo Wop Hanover and Rockeyed Optimist on Saturday night should be in evidence from the sons and daughters of Rocknroll Heaven, Rockin Image, A Rocknroll Dance, Pet Rock and all the rest well into the future.  Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The 2014 New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old pacing filly champion Mosquito Blue Chip headlines the three divisions of the harness racing traveling series that arrives at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (June 3) starting at 5 p.m.   There will be three divisions of the Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old distaff pacers that will split the $105,000 pot.   With the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval lightning fast, the proof being three new marks set last Saturday night including Fireyourguns posting an all-time mark of 1:52.0, the ladies will be shooting at the record for their division of 1:54.1 established by Sweetnsinful in 2014.   The opening race on the 13-race program is loaded and will feature Mosquito Blue Chip along with top rivals, Bossers Joy, Bettor N Better and Not Before Eight. The seven entrants in the field have combined to win over $800,000 in their careers thus far.   After winning the 2-year-old crown on September 13 at Yonkers by a nose over Bossers Joy in 1:56.0, Mosquito Blue Chip hasn't quite found her footing yet as a 3-year-old.   With two starts in New York Sire Stakes competition at Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs along with a start in The Simpson at the Meadowlands, Mosquito Blue Chip has finished no better than fourth in those races.   Jim Morrill Jr. will get the nod aboard Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover) who starts from the five post as the 7-2 second choice in the morning line.   Not Before Eight (Bettor's Delight-Skinny Dip) didn't race as a 2-year-old but the Steve Elliott-trained filly has been lights out in her seven appearances in 2015. She has five victories in those starts and has finished a game second and third in her only two tries in Sire Stakes races. Not Before Eight is the morning line 5-2 choice with Rick Zeron scheduled to drive.   Bettor N Bettor put over $225,000 in the bank in 2014 thanks to strong showings in the 2-year-old Matron at Dover Downs and being involved in the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands. She has yet to hit the board in three starts this year and will get the services of Matt Kakaley. They drew the four post and are tagged at 5-1.   The deep field also includes Bossers Joy (Art Major-Esther's Joy) who finished a tough-luck second to Mosquito Blue Chip in last year's Sire Stakes final at Yonkers. She's been in two Sire Stakes this year with a second place finish at Vernon and was battled tested in the Reynolds Stakes at the Meadowlands. Bossers Joy, with earnings of over $133,000, will have Greg Merton in the bike as the pair score from the three post at 9-2.   In the second Sire Stakes race, scheduled as the back half of the early daily double, Beyonces Rockn arrives fresh off a second place finish at Tioga, finishing two lengths in back of Bettor Be Steppin. The Rock N Roll Heaven-Im Betting On You filly has been in the money in all nine appearances this year with $41,314 earned. Morill Jr. will guide her as the 3-1 morning line choice from the five post.   The main threat should come the Ron Burke-trained Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again) won over $187,000 last year and looks to just be rounding into shape. She finished third in her most recent start at Tioga Downs, finishing 2-1/2 behind Bettor Be Steppin. Kakaley is slated to drive the 7-2 proposition out of the three spot.   The field of seven in the $39,900 second division has combined earnings over $440,000.   The final $39,900 race on the Sire Stakes menu will have the red-hot Bettorhaveanother as the one to catch. Tied for points lead with Bettor Be Steppin (100 apiece) after two rounds of races, Bettorhaveanother is riding a two-race win streak including back-to-back 1:51 victories in the Sire Stakes at Tioga and Vernon Downs. She'll start from the six hole for Morrill Jr. as the morning line choice at 2-1.   Heaven On Earth (Rock N Roll Hanover-Mango Hanover) arrives for her first start in the Sire Stakes this year. She's coming off two victories in her most three recent tries at Yonkers. James MacDonald will score Heaven On Earth from the five post as the second pick on the morning line at 3-1.   There will also be a pair of $15,000 races in the Excelsior 'A' Series and a $6,800 non-betting race in the Excelsior 'B' Series that has a 4:30 p.m. post.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, upcoming promotions and results, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Memorial Day is known as the unofficial start of summer. Another sure sign of summer is the arrival of the harness racing New York Sire Stakes at Buffalo Raceway.   Wednesday night, the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers invade Buffalo Raceway to begin the first of eight different divisions of the New York Sire Stakes that will visit the half-mile oval at the Erie County Fairgrounds now through the close of the meet on Sunday, July 26.   There are three divisions of the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace Wednesday that will be worth $105,000 total. The three legs has attracted big-name drivers along with some top horses which are eligible for North America Cup and/or Meadowlands Pace.   They'll be gunning for the track records as well as a nice payday. The 3-year-old gelding pace record is 1:53.4 set by Murder He Wrote in 2014 while the 3-year-old colt mark is 1:52.3 established by Steelhead Hanover in 2012. That clocking is also the all-aged pacing track standard.   The opening race on the 13-card will be the first Sire Stakes test and will feature Ultimate G, a third place finisher at Tioga Downs in his last attempt. In the money in all four starts this season, Jim Morrill Jr. will guide Ultimate G as the 2-1 choice, the only entrant in the field of seven with a victory in 2015.   Americanprimetime is Meadowlands Pace eligible and will score from the five post for driver Rick Dane Jr. Americanprime (American Ideal-Prime Xample A) broke stride in his last outing in the Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs and lost any chance.   The back half of the early daily double will also feature the boys. K-Rock is the early choice at 8-5 with Matt Kakaley scheduled to drive. K-Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sunduel A) has a win and two second place finishes in his three appearances thus far this season. On May 17 in Sire Stakes competition at Tioga, K-Rock scorched a 1:23 time to the three-quarter marker but stalled out and finished in second just a half-length behind National Seelster.   Berkley is the top threat in the race for driver Mark MacDonald. A winner of $118,470 last season, Berkley (Art Major-Monterey) has been saddled with bad posts in his last two starts but should be a factor after drawing better this time. He'll start out of the four spot.   The last Sire Stakes contest, set as the fourth race, will feature Sicily (Art Major-Capri Hanover) who won the Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs on May17 in 1:51.1. Sicily, the 8-5 morning line favorite, will be driven by Matt Kakaley. A winner of over $114,000 in his young career, the Ron Burke trained Sicily could be using this race as a tune up for the prestigious North America Cup starting at June 13 at Mohawk Raceway along with the Meadowlands Pace.   The main challenger in the mile race could come from If You Want Fire who is also eligible for the Meadowlands Pace. With over $77,000 in the bank thus far in his lifetime, If You Want Fire (Bettor's Delight-Dream Of Treasure), will start from the six post for Brett Miller, who will be in the sulky for trainer Casie Coleman.   There will also be two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior 'A' Series for the 3-year-old colt and geldings and a $6,800 'B' Series race.   There are 13 races on tap with post time set for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Making her return to the races after she spent her two-year-old season in the shadows of JK She'salady, Sassa Hanover ($2.70) proved dominant in her harness racing sophomore debut, trouncing six other three-year-old pacing fillies in her $30,450 New York Sire Stakes event on Saturday (May 16) evening at Vernon Downs.   The Rock N Roll Heaven-Sayo Hanover filly was a fair bit off the early pace, tracking from midfield as Mosquito Hanover (Chris Lems) and Not Before Eight (John MacDonald) alternated on the lead through a :55.2 initial half mile. On the backstretch, Andy McCarthy moved Sassa Hanover off the pegs, commencing a strong push to the fore well before reaching the far turn. Upon clearing Not Before Eight, Sassa Hanover was faced with a first-over challenge from Bossers Joy (Greg Merton), but she quickly dismissed that rival, kicking clear to a 5-1/2 length victory in 1:51. Bossers Joy narrowly held second from Not Before Eight, who labored late after chasing from the pocket.   Trainer Ron Burke's Burke Racing Stable co-owns seven-time winner Sassa Hanover with the Panhellenic Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Larry Karr.   Daughters of Bettor's Delight took two of the other three Sire Stakes splits, with Bettorhaveanother ($22.40, Chris Lems, 1:51) and Bettor Be Steppin ($3.50, Corey Callahan, 1:51.3) proving victorious. Art Major filly Moonlit Dance ($13.00, Joe Pavia, Jr., 1:52.1) rounded out the quartet of Sire Stakes winners on the evening's program.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (May 17) afternoon, with first post time set for 1:15 p.m.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

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