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The mutuel payouts may have been small, but the purses were spread around in the 3-year-old filly pacing division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2). A different sire, driver and trainer won each leg of the series as they represented the best New York State has to offer for this sex and gait. In the first $39,200 division, Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) left the gate and took a methodic path to the front in 27.4. Leading the single-file group and still unchallenged to the half, Morrill kept a tight grip on the filly with an eye on closing out the deal. When they rolled towards three-quarters, Morrill popped the plugs and Mosquito Blue Chip responded in kind, quickly pulling away to a four-length advantage. With Morrill stretched out like he was in a recliner, the pair scurried home in 28.2 with no one even close, to win in 1:54.2. "She felt like her old self today." "She was on cruise control the entire mile" said driver Jim Morrill Jr. of the filly who is now two-for-two lifetime at Batavia Downs. Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover) was sent off the prohibitive 1-9 favorite and paid $2.30 for the win. Paul Jessop trains and co-owns the filly with Our Three Sons Stable and Donato Falcicchio. As most expected in the second $39,900 leg, Band Of Angels (Matt Kakaley) and Moremercy Bluechip (Andy Miller) left from post three and four respectively and got away 1-2 before sauntering to a pedestrian 29-second first quarter. With the rest of the field still in post-position order behind the two favorites, Kakaley continued to grab leather in an even slower 29.4 second panel. From there it was all Band Of Angels who was given her head and quickly opened up a five-length lead before Kakaley lowered the lines and stored the whip. Band Of Angels ($2.50) paced the back half in 56.2, winning in 1:55.1 with Moremercy Bluechip closing ground on the wrapped-up winner to finish second. After the race, winning driver Matt Kakaley pointed out "She did it as easily as a horse could do it and had plenty left coming down the stretch". Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again) is conditioned by North America's leading trainer, Ron Burke for owner W.J. Donovan. The final $39,900 split featured a speed duel between two unrelenting contestants and it started as soon as the gate pulled away. As the field headed into the first turn, they were spread three-wide across the track; Jag Out (Andy Miller) on the pylons, Nippy W Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the middle and Artiawitchtoyou (Doug McNair) out widest of all. Off the turn, Nippy W Hanover settled in second but Artiawitchtoyou opted to go on. As she drew next to Jag Out at the quarter in 27.1, it was clear the leader had no intentions of giving up that spot. As they contentiously passed the half in 55 flat, Jag Out and Artiawitchtoyou were seemingly pacing in tandem heading into the third turn, but then Artiawitchtoyou had taken all the air she could and by the 1:24.3 three-quarter split, started to show the effects. As she started to fade off, Jag Out continued to drive on to an impressive two-length victory in the fastest time of the day (1:53.4). The winner paid $8.00. "She was awesome! I know we went fast early but she's that good" said driver Andy Miller about the speed duel between his charge and Artiawitchtoyou. Jag Out (American Ideal-Impertinent) is trained by Erv Miller, who co-owns her with Paymaq Racing and Mystical Marker Farms LLC. There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series on the card for $30,000 in purses. The first went to Yes You Can (If I Can Dream-Cantbuymehappiness) went gate to wire in 1:56.2 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Heidi Rohr. Yes You Can, who paid $2.40 is owned by the Holland Racing Stable. The second division was won by Hey Kobe (Bettor's Delight-American West) who also led the entire mile for driver Mark Macdonald and trainer Marthe Drolet. Hey Kobe is owned by Stephen Schneider and William Siegel. The winner returned $4.00. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. notched four victories on the card with Kevin Cummings adding two more wins to his meet-leading total. Racing resumes on Wednesday at Batavia Downs when two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings go postward for a total of $110,000 in purses. Post time is set for 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

Last night Port Pirie stepped onto harness racing's big stage when it hosted this years finals of the $60,000 Southern Cross series. The two year old finals were like chalk and cheese with the fillies looking a one horse race while the colts and gelding section looked a lot more even. South Australian reinsman Mark Billinger was the star of the show winning both two year old finals Two year old colt/geldings final  The two best horses here on paper both drew poorly and as a result the race was thrown wide open. The Art Major gelding Rap Artist drew three on the second line while the Mach Three gelding  Presidentmach drew five on the second line which really evened up the contest. The Big Show from barrier three lead early while trainer / driver Mark Billinger followed him through from the second line with Rap Artist but was left parked out three wide for over 600 metres before finding the death seat. Danni Hill settled Presidentmach back early but took off three wide with a lap to go and ranged up outside the leaders at the 400 metres mark. As they turned for home The Big Show still had the front but was grabbed by a very game Rap Artist 50 metres out who then just held off an equally game Presidentmach who just kept coming. To make it more interesting, Jumping Jolt flashed late for a very close third just in front of The Big Show who battled on gamely. The mile was cut out in 1:58.3 with closing sectionals of 59.2 and 30.1. It was a great race with the first two home putting up huge efforts. Two year old fillies final On paper this looked a one horse affair and thats how it panned out. The Rock N Roll Heaven filly Rocknroll Magic from the Emma Stewart barn drew beautifully at barrier three and driver Mark Billinger let her work to the front under her own steam after 300 metres and from there it was a one horse show. Given her head by Mark at the 500 metres mark, Rocnkroll Magic raced away and won easing down by a huge 23 metres. The Rocknroll Hanover filly Rockfromcork ran home well along the inner for second in front of the Union Guy filly, Little Miss Piggy who battled on for third but the winner was in a class of her own She paced the mile in a smart 1:57.8 with closing sectionals of 57.4 and 29.1 and won with a lot in hand. The task of Rocknroll Magic was made a touch easier when stablemate and second favourite Celebrity Guest was involved in an early skirmish which extinguished her chances. Rocknroll Magic has now won eight from eleven in her debut season and looks a filly of the highest class. Harnesslink Media  

Harness racing trainer Emma Stewart combined with champion driver Gavin Lang to take out both the Alabar Tatlow Stakes races at Tabcorp Park Melton last night.  Rock N Roll Heaven/All The Magic youngster Rocknroll Magic took out the fillies’ division and later on the card Shadow Play/Miss Saxony two-year-old Shadow Sax won the colts and geldings’ Tatlow. Rocknroll Magic, which has now won six of nine career starts, was clearly the dominant filly in her $50,505 Group 2. With no pace on throughout, Lang was able to lead early and dictate terms, Rocknroll Magic’s lead time of 48secs a crawl before the first half was covered in 62.5secs. The last-start Southern Cross heat winner in Adelaide only had to dash home in 56.6secs to hold off Three Squared (11.7m away in second), with My Sophisticated Lady in third in a rate of 2:00.1. Shadow Sax, the last-start Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series champion, overcame barrier seven to score by 2.5m in 1:59.5. Three-wide early, Lang slotted the talented gelding into the running line midfield as the leader Christmas Jolt jogged through a 48.1secs lead time. With an opening half of 62.1secs, three-time Melton winner Christmas Jolt looked on track to notch his seventh career victory overall. But in the home straight Shadow Sax rounded up the leader and then held off Zee Dana along the sprint lane. Shadow Sax has won four from eight lifetime starts. by Cody Winnell

The forthcoming Soho Standardbreds Reduction Sale, to be conducted by Graeme Board & Company at Toolern Vale on Sunday, July 26, has received a tremendous boost with several recent important winners related to stock listed in the catalogue. Ideal Tyson, one of this season’s leading Western Australian juveniles and the winner of eight of his nine appearances so far, has a very close relative in Lot 9. Soho Chelsea, a Breeders Crown heat winner at Launceston last Sunday, has a Rock N Roll Heaven weanling half-brother as Lot 52, while the Vicbred heat winner All Eyes On Us has a two-year-old half-brother, Soho Manhattan, as Lot 18. The Vicbred Final placegetter Niki No No’s classic-winning half-brother Soho Valencia is being offered as a stallion as Lot 27, while the dam of the dual Newcastle victor Soynwasabi will go up as Lot 5. Other recent Victorian provincial winners in Soho Tokyo (Lots 33 and 53), Sahara Bedouin (Lot 38), Ricimer ((Lot 1) and Valens (Lot 40) have close relative at the sale. For a copy of the catalogue send an email to graemeboard56@gmail.com or phone Peter Dow 0412 195 986. Catalogues are also available from Tamarin Park (Sue Markwell 0413 923 333). Pedigrees are available on the website www.graemeboard.com  Click on the Soho Standardbreds Reduction Sale link. Peter Wharton

Freshmen colts and geldings hit town over the next few harness racing programs, with Yonkers Raceway hosting open stakes pacers and sire stakes trotters. Saturday night, a pair of $25,000 eliminations (races 6 and 8) for the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old lads. The first four in each elim get invited back (provided they ask politely) for next Saturday's (July 18) $107,500 final. Among the promising frosh in the opening event are Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter, post 3), a $120,000 son of Art Major, and Rodeo Rock (Dan Dube, post 5), a $107,000 Rock N Roll Heaven colt with a pair of seconds to begin his career. The second elim for the Sheppard finds two entrants already with wins included in their resumes. Joe Larry N Curly (George Brennan, post 4) steps out of New York Sire Stakes competition after a blowout 1:56.3 win at Monticello, while Tailgunner Hanover (Ray Schnittker, post 6) threw down a 1:57.3 gauntlet in a division of the Landmark at Goshen. Monday night, statebreds return with the $149,524 New York Sire Stakes Milt Taylor Trot for first-season colts/geldings. Four divisions (races 2,7,9 and 10) comprise the event. The best in the opening ($36,856) division might be Andrew Goldstein (Kim Crawford, post 5). The RC Royalty gelding was a pocket second in his Saratoga sire stakes debut. The second ($37,556) event offers a pair of upstate NYSS winners in Dayson (Jimmy Whittemore, post 5) and Master Class (John Campbell, post 6). The former is a Conway Hall gelding trained by Howard Okusko, while the latter-who won at 35-1-is a Credit Winner colt trained by Anette Lorentzon. Monday's third ($37,556) grouping also features a couple of statebred winners. Reve Royale (Brian Sears, post 4), a son of RC Royalty trained by George Ducharme, and Dog Gone Lucky (Buter, post 5), a Credit Winner colt trained by Chuck Sylvester. The final ($37,556) division includes Chargin' Credit (Schnittker, post 4) and Credevie (Trond Smedshammer, post 7), both off in-the-money efforts in statebred competition. The Raceway's live season continues Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

By his own admission, he’s had a quiet time in the gig at his home track recently, but that all changed for Steve Turnbull last Friday when he bagged a winning treble at the harness racing meeting at Group One Feeds Paceway. He now sits just two wins behind daughter Amanda in the drivers premiership, and with her visits back home becoming less frequent, there’s some chance he will regain the title he dominated for many years before her rise to the top. Regardless of the local premiership result, it’s clear that he’s lost none of the skills that have kept him in the top echelon of Australian drivers for several decades now. He’s just as good as ever. His winners were Smithstars Lexus in a 2C0-2C2 sprint, Missed By Red in a 2260 metres C0, and stable debutant Macworthy in the 2260 metres C2-C5 that concluded the meeting. Smithstars Lexus started at the good odds of $5.30 in a very strong field, and took his record to three wins from four starts after working his way to the death from outside the front line, and then showing real tenacity to out-stay Allnight Story and favourite Machamillion NZ. The last half took 58.3, for a smart mile rate of 1:57.6. Turnbull is impressed by the winner’s toughness, and feels that he will take a little longer to develop the top-end speed that’s in his make-up, citing older half-brother Lexus On The Beach as an example. By leading sire Rock N Roll Heaven, he’s from champion broodmare Panoramic Lady, and thus a half-brother to Derby winner Make Me Smile, Sires champion Can’t Bluff Me and outstanding mare Lady Lexus, who ran her fastest time of 1:52.3 at her final race start at five. Turnbull is aiming the colt at the upcoming Australasian Breeders Crown series. Missed By Red, a three-year-old filly taking on older horses and drawn outside the front, nevertheless started as $1.50 favourite, and justified that assessment with a very gritty win, after working hard three-wide for the first 1000 metres before finding the front. She held on to defeat The Marshall and The Rag Doll, which also did plenty of work after coming three-wide from the bell. The winner came back to scale with her off-side tyre off the rim, this happening, fortunately, just after the winning post. Macworthy ($2.90 favourite) was taken straight to the front by Turnbull in the final event, and had the race in his keeping throughout, quickening over the last half in 57.7 seconds, for a narrow but convincing win over Menangle visitor  Bettermore NZ and Hand For Tilly. The four-year-old was having his first start for the stable, after being sent north by Riverina owner Les Johnson, who’d previously raced a half-brother Desirable Guy with Steve Turnbull. Nathan Turnbull, Steve’s “comeback kid”, also enjoyed the day out on Friday when he drove a double, and remarkably, both carried number 13 saddlecloth. Miss Fifi ($46.00), his winner in a C1-backed conditioned event over the 1730 metres  trip, came with a sharp sprint to overhaul leader Sure What Ever and Postal Express, to give the three-year-old filly her maiden win at start number seventeen. Nathan recounted how he’d agreed to trainer Stacey Hardy’s request that he drive the filly, only to check on her form and nearly baulked at the idea! Stacey was perfectly happy to cop the ribbing from her driver, who did suggest that the filly appeared to be getting the hang of it all now. The winner is a true product of Young. Her youthful and enthusiastic trainer is the grand-daughter of Bob Hardy, who bred and trained many winners in that district, and she trains from his former property. The filly’s sire is Speed King, who died earlier this year at Kenny Smith’s ‘Mimosa Banks’ Stud at the grand old age of 30, with a handful of foals born last spring his final representatives.  What a remarkable sire he’s been. The second leg of Nathan Turnbull’s double came with his own stable’s Left Neglected ($6.00) in a 2260 metres C2-backed conditioned event. The Fake Left five-year-old, a close relative of Blacks A Fake, raced outside the leader for the last lap, and was too strong for leader Shes So Foxy and The Matrix NZ. Nathan and owner Gary Davis paid tribute to equine chiropractor Garry Christou – famous for his efforts with Takeover Target – for not only sorting out the horse’s back issues, but pointing to a sight problem which explained why the horse was throwing his head around in races. As a result, he sported new “eyewear”, raced much more truly and the result was a good win. Other winners at the well-attended school holiday meeting: Miss Rodriguez ($1.40 favourite, Wayne White/Jason Turnbull), highly impressive in a 2260 metres 3C0, missing away after dropping a boot, and getting home off a 57.1 last half, for a dominant win; Grinear Girl ($5.70, David Hewitt) , all the way in a 3YO sprint, with each quarter well under 30 seconds, to set up a career-best 1:55.6  mile rate. Hugh Patrick (($19.90, John McGuire/John O’Shea), in a C2-backed Encouragement  sprint,  the third win this term for a horse with Irish connections, green racing colours and sired by Sir Guinness; Long Dirt Road ($2.90 favourite, Bernie Hewitt), in the 2260 metres C1-C2 Penrith Mayors Cup heat, after enjoying the one-one at his first run back in several months. Friday racing continues at Bathurst, with a twilight/evening meeting this week. Terry Neil

Fast N Victorious was just that in the New York Sire Stakes for harness racing2-year-old colt and gelding pacers while Skip Jive remained unbeaten in his brief career to share top honors at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (July 8).   In the first $54,500 division, Fast N Victorious ($5.70) drafted perfectly behind the pace-setting Red Roll, who put up solid times of 28.3, 59.1 and 1:28.3.   It was a ding-dong battle to the wire with Fast N Victorious able to sneak past the stubborn Red Roll in the passing lane for the neck win in 1:58. Brigadoon (Billy Dobson) finished in third.   "Red Roll was very competitive and we had to fight for the win," Gregory said of the stretch drive. He added, "Fast N Victorious is like a race car and he loves the small tracks."   Owned by the Jesmeral Stable and trained by Gregory, Fast N Victorious (Art Major-Yankee Luck) rebounded nicely after a disappointing second place finish in his only start in Sire Stakes action last week at Monticello. The victory jumped his earnings to $35,891.   Skip Jive ($4.90) made it a perfect 2-for-2 in his young career putting in another impressive performance in 1:57.1 in the second division.   Being hung on the outside at the start, driver Mark MacDonald stepped on the gas with Skip Jive and took command at the quarter pole.   Setting fractions of 28.4, 57.4 and 1:28.2, Skip Jive was ready for a stretch battle from a threatening Joes On A Roll and Best Of Ribera.   But things fell apart quickly as Joes On A Roll broke stride in the lane and interfered with Best Of Ribera, wiping out the chances both had of a win.   Those issues allowed Skip Jive to cruise off with a 3-1/4 length victory. Carlos Danger (Jim Morrill Jr.) picked up the pieces for second place while Fine Diamond (Matt Kakaley) placed third.   MacDonald said the race at Goshen on June 21 where Skip Jive made a break at the start has turned him around. "We made a few equipment adjustments after Goshen and it really helped him out." He went on to say of Skip Jive, "He's a really nice horse. He was well in hand at the finish."   Co-owned by the W. Springtime Racing Stable and Shannon Brott, Skip Jive (Rock N Roll Heaven-Dancinwiththestarz) is trained by Paul Kelley. The win pushed his two-race career winnings to $42,033.   In the $15,000 Excelsior Series 'A' races, KJ Erich ($3.60) took the first division with a 1:58.3 mile for Gregory while Acting Out ($7.00) posted a 2:00.0 winning mark for Mike Simons. Gregory, a native of nearby Churchville, N.Y., finished the night with a double.   NY Whitesox ($7.50) took the $6,600 Excelsior Series 'B' race by going wire-to-wire for Dobson in 2:02.   BZ Glide ($7.70) went from last to first and took the $10,500 Open Trot in a seasonal best 1:57.0.   After watching Justgottogetthere cut the fractions of 28.3, 58.0 and 1:27.4, BZ went three-wide down the backstretch and trotted away smartly in the lane to post the 1-1/2 length win over Serious George (Shawn Gray). Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) took the show position.   Owned by the Caprio Stable and trained by Alana Caprio, BZ Glide (Yankee Glide-Bloomer Zoomer) has three wins in six starts in 2015, earning an even $20,000 and $135,957 lifetime.   Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) nosed out Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight) to take the $9,500 Open II pace for the fillies and mares. Country Delight toured the Hamburg half-mile oval in 1:56.1.   Racing will continue on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. with a 13-race program on tap.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   Brian Mazurek  

Gotmyredressontnit put up the fastest mile while Soft Idea and Encore Deo also found the winner's circle in their first career starts to highlight the action in the three $36,566 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers at the harness racing meeting at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (July 1).   The track record at Buffalo Raceway of 1:56.3 set by Silk Purse in 2011 and tied by Summertime Lea in 2012 will remain safe for another season.   The first division was the quickest as Gotmyredressontnit just missed the track record with a 1:56.4 clocking while Soft Idea and Encore Deo each went the mile in 1:57.3 over the fast track.   The favored Gotmyredressontnit ($4.10) toyed with the field in the first division.   Sitting third at the quarter pole, driver Jason Bartlett said it was time to go with Gotmyredressontnit and took command.   She was on cruise control from there, going 58.1 in the second half mile, including a 28.2 last panel to pull away from runner up Wishy Washy Girl (Jordan Stratton) by 2-3/4 lengths while Another Look (Tom Jackson) finished in third..   Bartlett said after the race, "This filly is really fast. She's high speed and has a great gait."   He added that he was confident when they passed the half-mile pole.   "The way she's been qualifiying, I knew we had it won at the half mile.   I still haven't pulled the plugs on her." Gotmyredressontnit won her two non-betting prep races by 3-1/2 and 4-1/2 lengths.   Owned and trained by Janice Connor, Gotmyredressontnit (Roll With Joe-Western Top Cat) is now a perfect 1-for-1 in her young career.   In the second division, a gutsy drive by Scott Zeron in the passing lane allowed Soft Idea (American Ideal-Walk Softly) to score a narrow victory over Vino And Formaggio and Angels Rockn Pink in an exciting blanket finish that was decided by a mere head.   Angels Rockn Pink (John MacDonald) set the fractions of 29.1, 59.0 and 1:28.1. They looked home free at the top of the stretch but things started to fall apart. The leg-weary Angels Rockn Pink was begging for the finish line but Soft Idea and Vino And Formaggio (Kevin Cummings) were pacing strong to the finish.   Soft Idea ($13.60) went as far down the passing lane as possible and managed to nose past the game Vino And Formaggio at the wire while Angels Rockn Pink was a head back.   Zeron admitted it was a tight squeeze down the stretch. He then added, "She was loaded the entire mile. I backed her off around the turns but down the stretch, I had a ton of horse."   Soft Idea is trained by Linda Toscano and is co-owned by the South Mountain Stable, the Bay's Stable, Radio Racing Stable and Little E LLC.   After losing a narrow decision in the second leg of the Sire Stakes, Cummings got his revenge in the third and final division aboard Encore Deo ($10.80).   Blasting to the top from the five post, Encore Deo, a $100,000 Lexington Sales purchase, played a game of catch me if you can and ended up wiring the field of seven. Putting up fractions of 30.1, 59.4 and 1:28.4, a 28.4 last quarter panel was enough to hold off any late threat. No Clouds Bluechip (Bartlett) finished 3/4 lengths back while Dime A Dance (Stratton) took the show spot.   "She handled the track really well," Cummings said of Encore Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven -Docdor Cameo). "I was a hair worried around the last turn, but once she straightened out in the stretch, she had a a lot left."   Encore Deo is trained by Ron Burke and co-owned by the Burke Stable, Weaver Buscemi, Jason Melillo and Lawrence Karr.   In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series, it was a clean sweep for Jim Morrill Jr. as he guided Amazon Ideal ($3.40) to a 2:00.3 win and was in the sulky with Roll Of Dreams ($4.00) who turned in a 2:00.1 time.   The $6,800 Excelsior 'B' Series went to Milky Way Rae ($4.20) who toured the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval in 2:00.4 with Bartlett in the bike.   BZ Glide (Morrill Jr.) was victorious in the $10,500 Open Trot in 1:57.2 and returned $2.70 for the win. Morrill Jr. finished the night with four victories.   Country Delight ($4.00) went coast-to-coast in notching a 1:57.3 win in the $9,500 Open pace for the filly and mares. John Cummings Jr. handled the driving duties.   Racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with 11 races scheduled to go to the post at 6:35 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   Brian J. Mazurek

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 www.buffaloraceway.com   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: www.northamericacup.com 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

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