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Only seven freshman pacers went postward in the $86,000 American National Pace for harness racing  2-year-old colts and geldings. Roland N Rock kept his unblemished record intact, upping his win total to 14 with his 1:52.2 triumph for driver John Delong and trainer Duane Roland.   "I was pretty confident," said DeLong. "I thought he had a real shot in here and he showed it. Actually, we really wanted to give this horse a trip tonight, but when Brett moved in front, this colt grabbed on pretty well, so I said let's go. He did it all very easy, he's just awesome. I saw Earndawg coming in the lane, but it was Roland N Rock's night."   The son of Rocknroll Hanover followed Buckle Up (Brett Miller) out of the gate to the :28 first quarter, before pulling and taking the lead. From there, he continued through splits of :56.3 and 1:23.4, before drawing off by five, with a late challenge by the hard-pacing Earndawg (Todd Warren). Sir Mammo (Tim Tetrick) got up for third.   Twelve of Roland N Rock's victories have come on the Iowa county fair circuit, with his other win coming in a $21,450 Review Stake at Springfield on Aug.13, when he was clocked in 1:51.2, winning by 13¼ lengths.   "He was on idle at Springfield," Delong offered. "He was super impressive there and could have gone faster."   Roland N Rock's career earnings now stand at $83,445. He is the fourth foal out of his unraced Cambest dam Hank's Chip and is a half-brother to Sir Globalop Z Tam (by American Ideal) p,4,1:51.2 ($153,138). By Kimberly Rinker  

Three divisions of the Debutante Stakes (part of the Historic Series) were contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon (Oct. 10). The harness racing events were for 2-year-old filly pacers, each going for a purse of approximately $35,000.   In the first division, it was the John Butenschoen trainee Happiness (Mike Simons) going gate-to-wire to remain undefeated. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover was able to rate a 29.4 second quarter, before going on to pace a strong back half in 55.4 to secure the victory. Bob and Lauren Tucker's Ideal Nuggets (David Miller) provided a strong first over challenge, but came up a neck short in an exciting stretch duel. The mile was completed in 1:53.1. Happiness ($4.80 to win) is owned by breeders Vieux Carre Farms and trainer John Butenschoen. Cover Model (Corey Callahan) finished third.   In division two, Better Said (Tim Tetrick) made it two in a row. The daughter of Well Said battled for the lead for much of the opening quarter (27.4) before going on to a strong front end victory. She won by two lengths, stopping the clock in 1:52.1. Rock Me Gently (Yannick Gingras) sat in the Pocket seat throughout to finish second, while My Little Delight (Andrew McCarthy) closed mildly up the inside to finish third. Better Said is owned by Brittany Farms, and is trained by Linda Toscano. She paid $4.60 to win.   In the third and final division, Southwind Roulette (Yannick Gingras) came into the event as the heavy favorite, but Seeking Nirvana (David Miller) had other ideas. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere left aggressively from the far outside to sit pocket behind the favorite. After patiently drafting for much of the mile, she was given her cue, vacating the pocket just beyond three-quarters. In the stretch, Seeking Nirvana was able to survive a passing lane surge from Alexa Said (Brett Miller) to win by a quarter of a length, stopping the time in 1:52.3. She paid $17.60 to win. Seeking Nirvana is owned by Patricia Stable and Barb Matthews, and is trained by Noel Daley.   In overnight action, Bamond Racing's Venus Delight (Tim Terick) scored in a winners over $25,000 lifetime event for filly and mare pacers. The 4-year-old picked up her sixteenth victory out of just forty starts in come-from-behind fashion, stopping the clock in 1:51 flat. Ms Caila J Fra (Ron Pierce) raced a big first-over effort to be second, while Charisma Hanover (Yannick Gingras) cleared late to finish third. Venus Delight is trained by P J Fraley, and paid $4.20 to win.   Michael Bozich    

The first session (September 30th) of this years Lexington Select Sale of harness racing yearlings was out of control from the time the auctioneer opened the bidding on lot one. Encore Deo, a filly by Rocknroll Hanover made $100,000 which was the first time that had ever happened in the sales history. Shortly afterwards Lot 5, a colt by Cantab Hall from a full sister to Dream Vacation entered the ring and bidding was fierce from the start for the aptly named Prince De Vie. Opening with a bid of $200,000 , it quickly moved to $400,000 and was knocked down to the bid of Myron Bell That price was equalled later in the session when Bene Bene also made $400,000 after a spirited bidding duel. A Kadabra filly, she is a full sister to Miss Paris 1: 54.2 $865,160 and Bella Dolce 1:54.2 $730,384 and was knocked down to the bid of Melvin Hartman, Marvin Katz and David McDuffee of Ottawa, Canada.  Bene Bene Three other yearlings topped the $300,000 mark during the first session. Dante is an upstanding colt by Credit Winner from Michelle's Angel which makes him a full brother to the millionaire world champion Archangel. He was knocked down to Bjorn Noren for $355,000 The Europeans were active throughout the session with the highest priced lot going to Europe being another son of Credit Winner in The Perfect Lindy. His dam Highscore Kem won $100,000 and is a 3/4 sister to this years Hambeltonian winner, Trixton. He went to the bid of Robert Lindstrom for $320,000 The only pacer to break through the $300,000 barrier was Sonoma Valley. A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, she is a half sister to the $2,000,000+ winner Vintage Master and was sold to the bid of well known owner George Segal. By the time the dust had settled, records had been broken left right and centre. The average of $104,959 for the 97 yearlings sold was the first time ever that the $100,000 barrier  had been beaten in the 10 year history of the sale. It was a 21.6% increase over the previous record of $89,847 which was set in 2008. A total of 39 yearlings made $100,000 which tied the record set for a session in 2007. Pacing Colts Sold - 21       Average Price - $77,714 Highest Price - $130,000   Pacing Fillies Sold - 27 Average Price - $106,333 Highest Price - $325,000   Trotting Colts Sold - 31 Average Price - $121,197 Highest Price - $400,000   Trotting Fillies Sold - 18 Average Price - $106,722 Highest Price - $400,000 A total of 156 yearlings were sold during the Wednesday night second session for a total of $8,833,000, producing an average of  about $56,500. Last year's average price for the second session was $52,734. The sale continues on Thursday night at 7 p.m. and runs though Saturday, October 4. Links; Sortable Sale Roster Sale Results Sale Streaming Video active during Sale Harnesslink Media      

Summerside, PE - Narragansett used his dangerous finishing kick to knock out the competition to win the Sunday harness racing feature in 1:56.4 at Red Shores Summerside. The son of Rocknroll Hanover, driven by Jason Hughes, sat at the back of the pack before making his dash to the front past the three-quarter pole marker in a swift 1:25.2 put up by fraction setter Forever Paradise (Marc Campbell). Narragansett, who was still sitting seventh at the top of the stretch, blew by the field to win by a quarter of a length to post his sixth victory of the season for Foxyhall Racing stable of Summerside. Forever Paradise faded to second with Carnivore (Marvyn Webster) completing the triactor. Walter Cheverie enjoyed another great day at the office with a driving triple on the 12 dash program. The veteran pilot, who is teaming up with Red Shores to raise money for Sadie's Place in the annual Drive for Charity event, won with Sendmeasign, Forced to Travel and Athletic Putnam. Corey MacPherson had a driving double when he guided Dusty Lane Dora and Tryron My Gigolo to top honors. Red Shores Summerside also played host the annual PEI Matinee finals. Driver Wendy MacRae posted two victories with Muzzy's Driftwood and Pictonian Walton. The other winners were Ramadawn for Ryan Desroches and Millal Millar for John Perry. The horses in the program raced at four different tracks this season-including Pinette, Kensington, Alberton and O'Leary to gain points to compete in the finals. Christopher MacRae moved into the announcer's booth to call the action. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca By Lee Drake    

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 18, 2014 - Broken Record held on for a length and three-quarter victory in the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stake - Green Acres Final, the first of two non-wagering races on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The Ray Schnittker trained and driven son of Muscles Yankee was a wire-to-wire winner in 2:00.1 in the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings final. He has a winning streak of two. Mountain Top [Muscle Hill] was second with Switchblade Hall [Muscles Yankee] in third by two and a half lengths. Broken Record has now collected four wins, a second and three thirds from nine starts. He is just shy of $65,000 in earnings for Schnittiker and Ted Gewertz of New York City. In the $7,000 first leg of the Green Acres for three-year-old pacing fillies, Fanticipation [Rocknroll Hanover] was an eight and a quarter length winner over Fiyonce [Rocknroll Hanover] while Ideal Helen [Western Ideal] was 10 lengths back in third. Fanticipation, driven by Jason Bartlett and trained by Michael Forte, is owned by Ricky Bucci of Stormville, NY. She has five wins and five thirds in 14 starts this year. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

(NEW KENT, VA)---Skeet Thunder extended a string of consistent starts by capturing the $3,500 first leg of The Parkers Memorial Trotting Series Thursday afternoon at Colonial Downs as the 17th harness season entered day number two. The 4 year old Sos Lunar Eclipse gelding left from post six in a field of nine, settled into fourth and didn't converge on the front three until mid-stretch. Trainer/driver Richard Bertrand, who was aboard Skeet Thunder, witnessed Always Quick Star grab the early lead and maintain it thru fractions of :28 3/5, :59.0. and 1:28 2/5. At the head of the stretch, Pinefullofboots, Mystic Flower and Always Quick Star engaged in a tight duel to through deep stretch until the former leader went off stride and faded before the finish. Skeet Thunder took advantage of the break and sailed by the other pair, crossing in 1:58 3/5, 2 ½ lengths ahead of Pinefullofboots. Skeet Thunder has won 7 of 14 this year including three of his past four. Bellator took advantage of a perfect pocket trip to score a one length triumph in the $4,500 Delmarva Handicap's first leg Thursday. The 4 year old Rocknroll Hanover horse is trained by Stacy McClenaghan, who captured the 2013 Delmarva finale with Diamond Star. Driver Jason McDougall guided Bellator to second initially while Bettorseeitmyway grabbed control and cut panels of :27.0, :56 3/5 and 1:25 3/5. When the leader faded slightly in deep stretch, Bellator came outside and scampered by, then held off fast closing Breakin Loose to cross in a new life mark of 1:53.0. Colonial Downs is dark Friday. The opening week slate continues with a ten race card on Saturday and a nine race card Sunday, both at 1:00 PM. The card on Sunday will be enhanced with an exhibition camel race and ostrich races. by Darrell Wood, for Colonial Downs  

Stoney Durkin ($10.90) established a new track record at Leamington Raceway on Sunday, pacing the mile in 1:57.2. Mark Williams sent the five-year-old Whosurboy gelding to the front and made every post a winning one, hitting the half in :58.2 and pacing home in :59 seconds flat. Breeder Larry Fitzsimmons trains and shares ownership of Stoney Durkin with William Durkin of Sparta, Ont. The track record was overshadowed by the performance of Donnie Rankin, who won six of the 10 races on the afternoon card. Rankin started the day with three in a row, including his own Jet Black ($3.40) in 2:00.3, Danny William ($13.30) in 1:59.4 for owner Kevin Gillis of Windsor, Ont., and back with his own Hoo Rah ($2.90) in 2:04.2. He also won back-to-back races with Brother John ($2.80) in 2:00.1 and Keaton ($2.80) in 1:58.2 for Windsor's George Robinson and took the finale with his own pacer Memory In Motion ($3.90) in 1:59.4. Next week, Rankin puts his announcing skills to the test, as he attempts to show how easy it is to call a harness race. Leamington would like to extend a special thank you to the Ontario Harness Horse Association for their "jog a horse" program, where kids and adults alike get to experience what it is like to perform on the track. Racing continues for the next five weekends at Leamington with post times Saturday and Sunday 1:30 p.m. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Leamington Raceway. (With files from Leamington Raceway) Blue Eyed Cowboy ropes in win at Alberta Heavy favourite Blue Eyed Cowboy came flying by in the stretch to win the $20,000 Alberta Standardbred Horse Association Colt Stakes in a career-best 1:52 performance on Sunday afternoon at Alberta Downs. Bill Tainsh Jr. drove the stakes winner for owner/trainer Rod Starkewski of Lamont, Alta. Comes Home First (Jim Marino) was the first to get a call, leaving from post five and sprinting the opening quarter in :26.4. As he headed down the backstretch, Sonic Spark (Travis Cullen) swept to command whileBlue Eyed Cowboy -- away sixth from post three in the full field of 10 -- flushed out Ghost Pine (Brandon Campbell). Ghost Pine quickly surged to command, clearing just past the :56.1 half-mile mark while Blue Eyed Cowboy was left uncovered and stalled three and a half lengths off the lead. To read the rest of this story click here.  Allstar Seelster handles hike in class Three-year-old pacer Allstar Seelster stepped up to win the $11,000 Preferred 2 for horses and geldings on Sunday night at Flamboro Downs. Fresh off a victory last week at the Preferred 3 level, Jack Darling's Allstar Seelster turned back first over challenger Adkins Hanover and held off the pocket-pulling Brocks Fortune for the neck victory in 1:54. Mike Saftic drove the son of Artistic Fella to his fourth win of the season in 12 starts. Tendtowin finished two lengths behind in third. Russian Kisses earned her first win back in Ontario after sweeping the Spud Island Classic in Charlottetown, P.E.I. with a 1:55 score in the $11,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 2 in 1:55 for owner/driver Robert Shepherd and trainer Isabelle Darveau. She now has 11 victories in 27 starts this year. To read the rest of the story click here.  Web Cam notches fourth straight at Rideau Web Cam continued his Rideau Carleton Raceway reign and is now a perfect four-for-four racing against the Ottawa oval's top pacers. Assigned post six in this week's $6,500 Winners Over Handicapped Pace, 3-5 favourite Web Cam ($3.30) hustled to the front of the seven-horse field off the gate and led all the way through fractions of :27, :56.3 and 1:25.1 en route to the 1:54.1 triumph. He held off the pocket-pulling Beach Runner A M by a head while Chasin Racin edged out Onyx V A three and a half lengths behind for third-place. Web Cam is a seven-year-old Astreos-Rudy Cam gelding -- a half-brother to Canadian Pacing Derby champion Modern Legend. To read the rest of the story click here. Mach Wheel wins first out for new connections Mach Wheel was victorious in his Truro Raceway debut on Sunday afternoon, taking the top class for his new connections and ending Oakmont's win streak. Leaving from outside his five rivals in the $1,275 Winners Over Pace, Mach Wheel took over command at the half and cruised home to a three length triumph in 1:55.3 over the "good" track with a two second variant. Oakmont, who was riding a three-race win streak, was forced to settle for second-place honours and Sf Razamatazz finished third. The six-year-old Mach Three gelding was a recent addition to the Darren Crowe stable and is owned by Nova Scotia connections Roy Springett of Windsor, Robert Siteman of Valley, William Shearer of Brookfield and Donald Charles Smith of Brookside. To view the rest of the story click here. Breaker rebounds to win at St. John's Three-year-old pacing colt Son Of Rocknroll recovered from an early break in stride to win the NLSBA Stake Invitational on Sunday at St. John's Racing and Entertainment Centre. Trained and driven by local horseman Daniel Williams, Son Of Rocknroll made up his 12 length deficit to defeat pacesetter Salmonier Storm by half a length in 2:05.2 in the $1,200 non-wagering race. The Rocknroll Hanover-Village Blush colt has now won six of his 11 starts in his sophomore year. Two-year-old fillies Force Of Grey and Silverhill Legacy were a distant third and fourth to complete the field. To view the rest of this story click here. Salute is best at Inverness Raceway Salute became the third different winner in Inverness Raceway's Invitational series on Sunday afternoon. Salute fought off favourite Junebugs Baby to win the $2,500 third leg of the series by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Pocket-sitter Bonnys Mac rounded out the top three finishers over two lengths behind. Redmond Doucet trains and drives the nine-year-old gelding for the Ruth Shannon Stable of Port Hawkesbury, N.S. The victory was Salute's fourth and fastest this year from 15 starts and followed up a fourth and fifth-place finish in the previous divisions. To view the rest of the story click here.

Oh My Joepa (Rocknroll Hanover-Nittany Lion) returned to the Vernon Downs Winner's Circle after the $6,500 feature harness racing event on Saturday night. He had won two straight before finishing third last Saturday night.   Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) sat in mid-pack throughout the early stages while You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis) set the pace through a quarter of 27.3 seconds and a half-mile in 56.3 seconds. Oh My Joepa was able to catch some live cover from Western Tsunami (Roman Lopez) as the field moved on to the final turn. In fact, Western Tsunami took the lead as they paced past three-quarters in 1:25.   That lead lasted into the stretch, but then Oh My Joepa rallied past on the outside and strode away to win handily in 1:53.1. Martial Bliss (Joe Nassimos), who had been sent aggressively at the start before settling into a pocket trip behind You Bet Your Glass, closed smartly to finish second. Melvyn (Truman Gale) trailed early on, but was another sharp closer at the end and finished third.   The complete order of finish was: Oh My Joepa, Martial Bliss, Melvyn, Western Tsunami, The Green Knight, Dragon Fever, Cabbie's Delight, and You Bet Your Glass.   Oh My Joepa is owned and trained by Michael Deters of Coconut Creek, Florida.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with a 12-race program. First post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 13, 2014 - Favorites dominated in a quartet of $7,000 legs of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for pacers on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The most dominant performance was by Smart Zone [Rocknroll Hanover] in a non-wagering division for two-year-old pacing fillies. The Erv Miller trainee collected her fourth straight win. Steve Smith was at the lines as Smart Zone scored a five and three-quarter length victory over Lissan [Rocknroll Hanover]. It was seven and a quarter back to Cheyenne Robin [Rocknroll Hanover] in third. Smart Zone, who paced the mile in 1:56.3, races for Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, IL and D&M Trading of Chicago, IL. She now has four wins and two thirds in nine starts for earnings of more than $33,500. The second division for two-year-old pacing fillies, carded as the tenth race, went to 1-9 favorite Strut My Stuff [Western Ideal] who was a one-length winner over Hollyrocker [Rocknroll Hanover] in 1:59.3 on a track rated sloppy. Rocknroll Olivia [Rocknroll Hanover] was third by a length and a half. Strut My Stuff [$2.10], driven by Jack Baggitt Jr. and trained by Ross Croghan, picked up her second straight win in eight starts, pushing her earnings over $10,000 for Let It Ride Stables of Boca Raton, FL and RBH Ventures of New York City. The focus was on two-year-old pacing colts in the third race as 1-9 Too Darn Hot [Rocknroll Hanover] held off Devils Cut [Western Ideal] for a neck victory in 1:59. Boulder Roller [Rocknroll Hanover] was third by seven and a quarter. Too Darn Hot [$2.10], a Ron Burke trainee, cut the fractions as Devils Cut drafted behind him until challenging in the stretch. Too Darn Hot held on for his fourth win with two seconds in seven starts, pushing his earnings over $45,000 for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, Weaver Bruscemi and Larry Karr. In the eighth race for three-year-old pacing colts, 3-5 Art History took the lead off the gate and extended it the stretch for a three and a quarter tally in 1:55.4 on a sloppy track. In the photo for second, Nubble Light [Rocknroll Hanover] edged out In The Clear [Western Ideal]. Art History [$3.40], a Western Ideal gelding, was piloted by Pat Berry for trainer Steve Elliott. This year he has three wins, one second and three thirds from nine starts for earnings of $31,840. Art History races in the name of his breeders, Kenneth Klein of Armonk, NY and the Old Block Stables of New York City. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

A field of 22 filly pacers will compete for the $298,100 Jugette on Wednesday, September 17 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. In the first elimination Lady Shadow (Doug McNair) has been named the 5-2 morning line favorite. The Shadow Play lass has won two straight races in Ontario Sire Stakes action and has bankrolled $236,861 this season for Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, MI.  Beach Gal (Tim Tetrick) was tapped the top choice in the $39,746 second elimination. The Somebeachsomewhere filly owns a 1:49.3 mark at Mohawk Raceway and has limetime earnings of 358,096. Beach Gal is trained by David Menary for Kenneth Ewen, Hewvilla Farms, Denis Breton and Larry Menary all of Ontario. The final elimination is shaping up to be a battle between Gettingreadytoroll (Yannick Gingras) and Sandbetweenurtoes (Brett Miller)  Gettingreadytoroll is coming into the Jugette off a 1:49.4 victory in the $191,074 Simcoe Stakes. Gettingreadytoroll is campaigned by John and Jim Fielding and the 2014 Lady Pace Honoree, Christina Takter. Jimmy Takter trains the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover. Sandbetweenurtoes has won eight of nine seasonal starts and has won nearly $250,000 this year. Larry Remmen trains the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere for Bradley Grant of Milton, Ontario.  44th Jugette -- Three-Year-Old Filly Pace PP Horse (Driver/Trainer) Odds 1st Elimination $39,746    1. Shell Bell (Kurt Sugg/Kurt Sugg)    12-1    2. Lady Shadow (Doug McNair/Gregg McNair)    5-2    3. Color’s A Virgin (Trace Tetrick/Brian Brown)    4-1    4. Southwind Silence (Matt Kakaley/Ron Burke)      6-1    5. Ali Blue (Yannick Gingras/Jimmy Takter)   5-1    6. Beach Body (Ron Pierce/Chris Oakes) 10-1    7. Also Encouraging (David Miller/Casie Coleman)   7-2 2nd Elimination $39,746    1. Uffizi Hanover (David Miller/Jimmy Takter)      4-1    2. Allstar Rating (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)      7-2    3. Somethinincredible (John Campbell/Robert McIntosh) 8-1    4. Beach Gal (Tim Tetrick/David Menary)      5-2    5. Fits Well (Scott Zeron/Brian Brown) 12-1    6. Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell/Jim Campbell) 10-1    7. A La Notte Hanover (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)  8-1    8. Sectionline Aqua (TBA/Steve Bauder) 5-1 3rd Elimination $39,746    1. Cut A Deal (Brett Miller/Nick Surick)     12-1    2. Gettingreadytoroll (Yannick Gingras/Jimmy Takter) 5-2    3. Beautiful Lady (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)      5-1    4. Someislandsomwhere (Brett Miller/Casie Coleman) 6-1    5. Candy’s A Virgin (Trace Tetrick/Brian Brown)    4-1    6. Sandbetweenurtoes (Brett Miller/Larry Remmen)   7-2    7. Beach Story (Yannick Gingras/Kelvin Harrison)   8-1 Top three finishers in each elimination will return for the $178,862 final. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

Fifty-four of the 68 winners of the Little Brown Jug go back to Hal Dale. Two of those winners, Keystoner and Good Time, were his sons, while all the rest are linked to either his son, Adios, or his grandson Meadow Skipper, neither of whom won the Jug. Adios, who was born in 1940, pre-dated the Jug, which started in 1946. Meadow Skipper did participate, but he was parked most of the mile in the 1963 final and finished third to Overtrick, who set an all-age world record of 1:57.1. While Adios, who was twenty years older than Skipper, got a head start; eight sons and a grandson—Romeo Hanover—by Adios had won editions of the Jug before the principal of Skipper’s first crop, Most Happy Fella, won in 1970. Meadow Skipper certainly made up for lost time. Thirty-four of 43 Jugs since 1970 have been won by sons or other descendants of his—that’s about 80%. The only gap larger than one year during that run was the three year stretch at the beginning of the run, between 1971 and 1974, when Nansemond, Strike Out, Melvin’s Woe and Airliner were victorious. Between Hot Hitter’s win in 1979 and Abercrombie’s in 1993, there was a 13 year dry spell for Adios and any other progenitor not named Meadow Skipper. The last Adios line colt to win the Jug was Real Desire in 2007. Beyond his own failure to win the Little Brown Jug, Skipper’s prolific band of sons, grandsons and great grandsons, as successful as they have been at producing Jug winners,  have a spotty record when it comes to winning the race. Yes, Most Happy Fella, Niatross and Bettor’s Delight won, but the list of Skipper’s descendants who produced winners but didn’t win it themselves is much longer: Cam Fella, Western Hanover, Falcon Almahurst, Western Ideal, No Nukes, Cam’s Card Shark, Rocknroll Hanover, The Panderosa, Tyler B, French Chef, Oil Burner, Tyler’s Mark…. While Adios had nine sons win the Jug, Meadow Skipper only had four. The difference is that while Adios only got four from his greatest son Bret Hanover and three via his great grandson Abercrombie, Skipper got twenty from the Most Happy Fella branch, eleven from the Cam Fella branch, and seven through Albatross.   Since the turn of the century only three Adios Line colts have won the Jug—Astreos, Mr Feelgood and Real Desire—and none of those victories have come in the last six years. The other dozen were won by Skipper line stallions. This year’s Jug may prove to be a game changer, and there are a couple of ways that can happen. The field won’t be drawn until Saturday, but in his latest edition of Road to the Little Brown Jug, Delaware PR man Jay Wolf rates McWicked as the top contender. He, of course, is from the Adios line, being a son of McArdle, who has been keeping the Bret Hanover artery on life support in recent years. McArdle’s daddy, Falcon Seelster, wasn’t in the Jug, although he did set a world record of 1:51 at Delaware as a sophomore on Jug Day 1985. The call of that race by Roger Huston trumped the Jug itself, where Nihilator won in a time that was more than a second slower. A win by McWicked would prevent a seven race losing streak by Team Adios. Another way in which the 2014 Jug could be a game changer would be a win by a son of Somebeachsomewhere. Jay lists four possibilities on his Top Ten list: Ron Burke’s Limelight Beach, who just finished second to McWicked in the $260,000 PASS Championship Final; Jimmy Takter’s Cane winner, Lyonssomewhere; Bob McIntosh’s gelding, Somewhere In LA, who finished third to McWicked in the PASS Final; or Brent MacGrath’s Melmerby Beach, who won a split of the Simcoe over the weekend. This would represent a dramatic change because no member of the line running from Volomite through Sampson Hanover has ever won the Little Brown Jug, and no top line descendant of Volomite has won in 38 years, since Stanley Dancer’s Keystone Ore beat Joe O’Brien’s Armbro Ranger in 1976. The other two winners going back to Volomite are Overtrick in 1963 and Rum Customer in 1968. SBSW skipped the Jug, and last year Captaintreacherous, the star of his first crop, did the same. There may be no Jug winners on the branch he is now the figurehead for, coming down from his great, great, great grandsire Sampson Hanover, but that one was very handy on a half. In September, 1951, 4-year-old Sampson Hanover, who was converted from the trot as a three-year-old, became the first pacer or trotter to win a race in under two minutes on a half mile track. He accomplished that historic fete in the Almahurst Pace at Delaware, Ohio. So, we have the inspiration of Sampson Hanover’s Delaware heroics for the sons of SBSW and for McWicked his granddaddy Falcon Seelster’s world record mile over that track and his great granddaddy Bret Hanover’s world record of 1:57 in the Jug. Either way, it’s time for a colt not tied to Meadow Skipper to step up and take the prize. He’s Watching is quick as a cat around those turns and his pilot Tim Tetrick is no slouch. It won’t be easy, but it’s about that time. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/    

This Week: Kindergarten Series, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y; Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial final, Peaceful Way final and Milton Stake eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Bobby Quillen Memorial final, Harrington Raceway, Harrington, Del. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 11) at The Red Mile with four $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 12) program at Tioga Downs features four divisions in the $91,908 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old colt pacers and three divisions in the $77,309 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old filly pacers.   Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 13) with the C$682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$409,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$390,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old open trotters, the C$385,000 Peaceful Way final for 2-year-old filly trotters, and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Milton Stake for older pacing mares. On Monday (Sept. 15), Harrington Raceway will host the $200,000 (est.) Bobby Quillen Memorial final for older pacing horses. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Mohawk Racetrack had several Grand Circuit races during the past week. Among the most noteworthy were a pair of Simcoe Stakes divisions for 3-year-old open pacers. Dancin Hill and Scott Zeron were 1:50.1 winners in a Simcoe division at Mohawk. In the first Simcoe Stakes division, Dancin Hill and driver Scott Zeron picked up the victory in a career-best clocking of 1:50.1. Dancin Hill powered by Western Vintage in the lane and paced strong to the wire to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Winds Of Change. Carracci Hanover took the show spot. A son of Rocknroll Hanover-Beyonce Blue Chip, Dancin Hill has now won two of his last three starts and improved his seasonal record to three wins in 12 starts. Dancin Hill is owned by Tom Hill of Lancashire, Great Britain and is trained by Tony Alagna. Melmerby Beach and Paul Macdonell scored their second victory in back-to-back weeks to take the second division. In the stretch, Melmerby Beach dug in and held off Play It Again Sam to win by a half-length in 1:50.2. Jet Airway couldn't find his best stride and finished third. A son of Somebeachsomewhere-Db Blue Chip, Melmerby Beach has now won three of his last five starts. Trained by Brent MacGrath for Schooner II Stable, Melmerby Beach has now won six of his 14 starts this year. The eighth annual Bobby Quillen Memorial stakes for older pacers commenced Monday (Sept. 8) at Harrington Raceway with a pair of $20,000 elimination divisions. Two-time Quillen champ Foiled Again was making his record sixth start in the Quillen, while 2013 champion Clear Vision was making his fourth. Those two rivals battled for a memorable finish in the 2013 event that resulted in a narrow win by Clear Vision over his stablemate. After Monday's eliminations, they appeared to be headed for a potential repeat duel as Foiled Again cruised to an effortless 1:51.3 triumph in his division, while Clear Vision was a 1:49.3 victor. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke. They will lead a field of eight into the Monday (Sept. 15) final at Harrington. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 966; 2. Tim Tetrick - 551; 3. David Miller - 471.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 423.5; 5. Brett Miller - 266. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,276.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 764; 3. Tony Alagna - 235: 4. Ake Svanstedt - 222; 5. Julie Miller - 210. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 274.05; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 246.55; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 182; 4. Robert Key - 175; 5. Bamond Racing - 156.5. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Balmoral Park, The Red Mile, Mohawk Racetrack, Hoosier Park and Hippodrome 3R. Delaware will be hosting ten Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Balmoral will host American-National events for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; The Red Mile will feature another leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; Mohawk will feature the final of the Milton Stake for pacing mares; Hoosier will host the Kentuckiana Stallion Management for freshman filly pacers and trotters and the Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers; and Hippodrome 3R will feature the Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Alfie Carroll wasted no time in hustling Account Rollover to the front in Monday’s $7,000 Preferred pace at Grand River Raceway, and the public’s wagering favorite was able to lead from start to finish. Account Rollover sliced Cutting fraction of :29, :59.3 and 1:28.1, Account Rollover then kicked in a :28-second last quarter mile for Carroll to win by one half length in 1:56.1 over F Twenty Two  with J M Jet Set third. Bob McIntosh trains the three-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover-All Accounted For for the Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. The homebred, who was unraced as a two-year-old, posted his seventh career win and has earnings of $57,000. (With files from Grand River Raceway)

Harness racing returned to Winton today (September 7th) and it was notable for seeing the first winner by the son of The Panderosa in Panspacificflight 1:50.6 ($442,953) in New Zealand. Available through Macca Lodge at Gore, his oldest crop in New Zealand have just turned three and number just 23. Several showed up at trials as two year olds but none had saluted the judge until today. The Manipulator had qualified seven seconds under time at Gore and with leading driver Dexter Dunn in the bike,he was sent out a short priced favourite on debut. Dexter let The Manipulator find his feet early from barrier one before he sent him to the front after 300 meters. The Manipulator always looked to be travelling well in front and Dexter hardly moved in the straight as he held all the challengers comfortably at bay. Trained by Tony Stratford at Riversdale, The Manipulator paced the 2400 meters from the mobile in 3:01.5, a mile rate of 2:01.7 with smart closing sectionals of 56.9 and 27. The Manipulator is the second foal from the top Presidential Ball racemare Luckisaladytonight 1:54.1 ($151,249). The first foal is the Laurence Hanrahan trained Cullen Keefe who is unbeaten in two so far. The grand dam Delightful Chance went 1:57 while the third dam Missy Lou is a half sister to the champion pacer Christopher Vance 1:54.6 ($1,747,167) Panspacificflight has done a great job in North America with over $9,000,000 on his card to date and his current crop of 2 year olds sit 13th on the North American charts ahead of Rocknroll Hanover, McArdle and Always A Virgin. His fastest runner to date is Paco Labrook 1:48.4 ($539,768) who is also from a Presidential Ball mare like The Manipulator. There is never a better time for a stallion's progeny to shine than in the spring when breeders are making up their minds about consorts for the coming season and in The Manipulator, Panspacificflight has produced a smart horse at just the right time. PS: First Flight In with Dexter in the bike made it two for the day for Panspacificflight when winning later on the program from the outside of the second row. Harnesslink Media    

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 6 - Grand Circuit week wrapped up with a bang Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Two divisions of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers and two divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacers of both sexes highlighted the 12-race card. In the first $106,038 Simcoe Stakes division, Dancin Hill and driver Scott Zeron picked up the victory in a career best clocking of 1:50.1 Trained by Tony Alagna, Dancin Hill sat off the early pace as the lead changed hands a few times in the opening half mile. In the third quarter, Zeron fired up Dancin Hill and brought him first up to challenge the leader Western Vintage. After a three-quarter time of 1:22.3, Dancin Hill powered by Western Vintage in the lane and paced strong to the wire to win by 2 ¼ lengths over Winds Of Change. Carracci Hanover took the show spot. A son of Rocknroll Hanover - Beyonce Blue Chip, Dancin Hill has now won two of his last three starts and improved his seasonal record to three wins in 12 starts. "I was very happy with him," said Alagna following the race. "I felt good at the head of the lane because I know he always kicks home hard and Scott (Zeron) said he was super." Dancin Hill is owned by Tom Hill of Lancashire, Great Britain and has now won five races in his career for earnings of more than $133,000. He paid $3.80 to win. Melmerby Beach and Paul Macdonell scored their second victory in back-to-back weeks to take the second $107,538 division. Melmerby Beach sprinted off the gate to grab the lead and paced by the opening quarter in :26.4. After putting up fractions of :54.4 and 1:22.1, Melmerby Beach led the field into that lane, while Play It Again Sam was sticking close first up and Jet Airway was second over. In the stretch, Melmerby Beach dug in and held off Play It Again Sam to win by half a length in 1:50.2. Jet Airway couldn't find his best stride and finished third, while Surprise Hanover got up for fourth. A son of Somebeachsomewhere - Db Blue Chip, Melmerby Beach has now won three of his last five starts. "The last few weeks we've been leaving with him pretty good and haven't really done that much most of the year," said MacDonell following the race. "He seems to be responding to that style of racing so far." MacDonell also said that Melmerby Beach may be better suited for the cooler weather. "I think the fall weather is going to help him. He suffered a bit of allergy symptoms most of the summer and he is just getting stronger and better and we are hoping for a good fall season with him." Trained by Brent MacGrath for Schooner II Stable, Melmerby Beach has now won six of his 14 starts this year and seven in his career for earnings of more than $159,000. He paid $6.50 to win. 18 freshman pacing colts and geldings were split into two divisions of the Champlain Stakes. In the first $123,120 division, Lyons Levi Lewis delivered a 1:52.1 victory as the 3/5 favourite. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Lyons Levi Lewis got away in fourth and made a second quarter brush and touched down on the lead at the half in :55.1. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:23.2, Lyons Levi Lewis kept his rivals away to win by a length. Thinkofagameplan finished second, while Some Power was third. Following the race, Filion explained his strategy with the heavy favourite. "Leaving the gate I just didn't want to get caught up in the speed duel," said Filion. "Let them settle and then retake the lead down the backside and control the pace." Lyons Levi Lewis, who is owned by Joseph Lyons Mound, has now won twice in eight starts for earnings of more than $265,000. He paid $2.70 to win. As the field approached the start in the first division, Sports Bettor fell down and tossed driver James MacDonald to the track. Sports Bettor was caught outside the paddock, while James MacDonald was able to get up under his own power and continued driving on the remainder of the card. If You Want Fire and Chris Christoforou benefited from hot fractions in the second $123,120 division to come from sixth at three-quarter pole and pace by his rivals to win in 1:52.2. A first quarter battle saw Kona Kid, Southwind Indy and Mitt Jagger fly by the opening quarter in :26. Mitt Jagger, who was three-wide around the first turn, finally took the lead, but Lyons Again paced up from fourth to take control at the half in :54. Lyons Again reached the three-quarter pole in 1:22.2 to lead the field into the stretch, while Traceur Hanover sat two lengths back in second. In the stretch, Lyons Again began to tire and needed the wire, but couldn't hold on as If You Want Fire surged by the favourite to win by three-quarters of a length. Lyons Again held on for second over a late charging Mikes Powerhouse. A son of Bettors Delight - Dream Of Treasure, If You Want Fire lost the first four starts of his career, but has now won three races in a row for earnings of over $75,000. Trained by Casie Coleman, If You Want Fire is owned by West Wins Stable, Ron Broadstone, Leslie Halsted and Dr. Fred Kruszelnicki. He paid $8.60 to win. 14 two-year-old pacing fillies were also on display in two divisions of the Champlain Stakes. Happy Becky and Chris Christoforou made a second quarter move to the lead and never looked back to win the first $117,557 division. A daughter of Cams Card Shark - Happy Doris, Christoforou sent Happy Becky from fourth to the lead in the second quarter. Happy Becky paced by the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 and then paced a strong final quarter to fight off Shakai Hanover, who was stuck in the two-hole, and Shes A Hot Mess, who came first up in the third quarter. Trained by Casie Coleman, the clocking of 1:52.2 is a new career best for Happy Becky. Following the race, Christoforou said racing luck just hadn't been a friend of Happy Becky in her most recent starts. "She had a little bad luck in her last couple starts...she got locked in last time and just circumstances," said Christoforou. "I wanted to give her the best chance I could, so that's how it worked out." Happy Becky is owned by West Wins Stable, J Robert Darrow, Ron Broadstone and Dave Miller. She has now won five of her first seven starts and has earnings of more than $104,000. Happy Becky paid $6.00. The Show Returns and Scott Zeron took the second $117,557 division in 1:52. Coming into the Champlain Stakes off a victory in the Shes A Great Lady Stakes consolation, The Show Returns grabbed the early lead over Sports Chic and Solar Sister. Solar Sister made a move to the lead in the second quarter and carried that lead to the three-quarter pole as The Show Returns sat in the two-hole. In the stretch, Zeron found room for The Show Returns and powered past Solar Sister to win by a length. Sports Chic took second, while Solar Sister held on for third. A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover - Stienams Place, The Show Returns was making her debut in the Tony O'Sullivan barn. Owned by Richard and Joanne Young, she has now won three times in eight starts for earnings of more than $90,000. She paid $4.90 to win. The final rounds of the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes concludes Grand Circuit week, but harness racing's finest will return next Saturday night for the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic. Also on next Saturday's card is the Elegantimage Stakes, William Wellwood Memorial and the Peaceful Way Stakes. Post time is 7:25 p.m. and more information can be found at www.MohawkRacetrack.com. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 6, 2014 - Gold Rocks [$7.60] drew off to a four-length victory to take the $42,000 New Jersey Futurity for three-year-old New Jersey-sired pacers, the ninth race on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. George Brennan pushed the son of Rocknroll Hanover three-wide and to the lead on the second time on the backstretch, going by the pacesetting Art History [Western Ideal], who hung on for second. It was four and a half lengths to Sweet Rock [Rocknroll Hanover] in third. The mile was clocked in 1:53.1, a personal best for the Tony Alagna trainee. Gold Rocks, a $15,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, picked up his third win with three seconds and one third in 13 starts this year for earnings of $58,580. Lifetime, he has finished in the money in 11 of 20 starts for $124,798, including a two-year-old stakes win in the $96,200 Babic Pace and a third in last year's $52,650 New Jersey Futurity. The brown colt races for Mystical Marker Farms LLC of Dyer, IN; Eagles Soar Partners of Staten Island, NY; Alan Alber of Thornhill, OH and Joe Sbrocco of Brecksville, OH. The New Jersey Futurity is restricted to New Jersey-sired horses and is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ  

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