TORONTO, CA March 5 - An impressive group of 77 sophomore including rookie standouts Hes Watching, Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou have been nominated to the 31st edition of the Pepsi North America Cup. One of harness racing's most prestigious events, the $1 million race is set for Saturday, June 14 at Mohawk Racetrack. Headlining this year's group of nominees is the Dan Patch Award winner and undefeated Hes Watching, who set two world records last season along with six track records for trainer and co-owner David Menary. The son of American Ideal boasts a 1:50 speed badge along with $291,722 in earnings. Arthur Blue Chip, who banked $400,120 last season along with an O'Brien Award, was the richest rookie-pacing colt of 2013. The son of first-crop sire Shadow Play amassed a 6-2-1 record from 11 starts last season. Luck Be Withyou, the 2013 Breeders Crown champion, is also on the list and one of the early favourites for the race. The Pepsi North America Cup eliminations are set for Saturday, June 7. Sustaining payments will be due on March 15, April 15 and May 15. The complete list of this year's Pepsi NA Cup eligibles are listed below: AGADIR HANOVER ALWAYS B MIKI ARI ALLSTAR ARTHUR BLUE CHIP AVALANCHE HANOVER BEAT THE DRUM BEST OF THE BUNCH BONDI HANOVER BOOM BOOM BALLYKEEL BRODYS SCRAPPER BUGGER BRUISER BUSHWACKER CABANA BOY HANOVER CAPITAL ACCOUNT CARRACCI HANOVER CRAFTY MASTER DANCIN HILL DEVIL'S ARCADE DOO WOP HANOVER EARTHSHAKER EWALD HANOVER FOR A BETTOR TIME FORT KNOX GOLD ROCKS HERE COMES WILLIAM HES WATCHING IDEAL COWBOY IDEAL MAGIC IDEAL SHADOW IDEALBEACH HANOVER IM DRINKIN DOUBLES JACKATTACK JET AIRWAY JK ENDOFANERA JIGGLE IT JOURNEYMAN LET'S DRINK ON IT LIMELIGHT BEACH LUCK BE WITH YOU LUCKY KING LYONS SOMEWHERE MAJOR DEAGAN MAJOR TRICK MARCO DE VIE MCWICKED MELMERBY BEACH MOLIERE HANOVER NAKED CITY NATIONAL DEBT ODDS ON RHODONITE ON GOLDEN Ponder PLAY IT AGAIN SAM P L HELLCAT PARNU HANOVER SHADIOS SILVERHILL SHADOW SMACK TALK SOME MAJOR BEACH SOMESTARSOMEWHERE SOMETIMES SAID SOMEWHERE FANCY SURPRISE HANOVER SWEET BEACH SWEET TALKIN CLYDE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT TELLITLIKEITIS THAT'S MY OPINION THREE OF CLUBS UNLOCKED WACO BRUISER WEATHER HANOVER WELL WRITTEN WESTERN VINTAGE WHISKEY N PIE WHISTLE JIMMY K WICKED BUSINESS WINDS OF CHANGE by Greg Gangle, for WEG
Vendors of the five lots in today’s Gloucester Standardbreds WA Yearling Sale by Jeremes Jet were smiling after the 2yo Fillies Debutante Stakes at last night’s Bunbury meeting. Tricky Styx, a Jeremes Jet filly having just her second race-start, covered the one mile trip in a slick 1:57.5 to down the Rich And Spoilt filly Straittothehilton for trainer Jesse Moore and driver Aiden De Campo. There are five lots in today’s sale by Jeremes Jet including two fillies. Another Jereme’s Jet 2yo filly in Mustang Jet finished a gallant second to Art Major filly Bamako Mali in last night’s Group Two Pink Bonnet at Menangle. The colts edition of Bunbury’s Debutante Stakes was taken out by the Shadow Play gelding Out Of The Shadow which rated 1:58.8 in downing the Barnett Hanover colt Barn Owl and the Shadow Play debutante Jumping At Shadows. There are four yearlings by Shadow Play on offer today including two colts. The 2014 Gloucester Standardbreds WA Yearling Sale gets under way at the Belmont Park Sales Complex at 1:00pm with a parade of yearlings commencing at 10:00am. The office at the complex will open at 8:00am for those wishing to make an early start on finding their champion.
Standardbred Canada has announced the winners of the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the event, the annual Black Tie Gala was held in Charlottetown, PEI, at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel and PEI Convention Centre. The awards are named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. O’Brien was born in Alberton, PEI. Bee A Magician who was perfect in her 2013 season, was the unanimous choice in the Three-Year -Old Trotting Filly division and was also voted Canada’s Horse of The Year. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her races last season and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore campaign. The daughter of Hall of Fame sire Kadabra took a mark of 1:51 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The invincible filly’s stakes victories included the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Sylvain Filion successfully defended his Driver of The Year title. In 2013 he led all reinsmen in the nation in terms of purse earnings, as his mounts banked $6,111,736. Filion finished as the leading money-winning driver on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk Racetrack and Woodbine Racetrack. The resident of Milton, Ont. earned the Lampman Cup for the second straight year, as he topped the Ontario Sires Stakes standings for drivers. Filion celebrated his richest win of the season while steering Boomboom Ballykeel to a 10-1 upset victory in the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Richard Moreau was voted Trainer of The Year following an impressive season that saw his stable win 279 races and earn $3,623,805 in purses. The resident of Puslinch, Ont. earned training titles across Ontario at Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District and Woodbine Racetrack. Moreau topped the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. The 2013 season marked the 14th consecutive year that his stable has surpassed the $1-million mark in purse earnings. Alberta’s Kelly Hoerdt won the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship. Hoerdt is a successful driver/trainer who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. The 2013 season was another productive year for Hoerdt, as he trained 82 winners and horses to $623,000, and drove 66 winners and horses that earned over $490,000. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in terms of earnings at Alberta Downs. His stable was led by sophomore pacing colt Premium Attaction, a multiple stakes winner that rattled off six wins in 11 races and over $111,000 Precocious Beauty was honoured as Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year. Precocious Beauty won seven of 11 races, $462,912 in purses and took a mark of 1:50.1 which tied a world record for a one-mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. The two-year-old pacing colt title went to Arthur Blue Chip, who scored six wins in 11 starts and bankrolled $400,120 for his connections. The son of Shadow Play took a mark of 1:51.2 in his Metro Pace elimination at Mohawk before being scratched ‘sick’ from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore in 2013 and added another O’Brien (Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year) to her trophy case. The talented filly boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner up finish in the American National. Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation took the hardware home as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt of The Year. Vegas Vacation gave his connections the ride of a lifetime in 2013. Conditioned by Casie Coleman, the son of Bettors Delight put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 from 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses. He wheeled off victories in his first four races which included the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and an elimination of the Pepsi North America Cup. On September 19 he captured the Little Brown Jug in straight heats – both timed in 1:50. ‘Vegas’ finished his sophomore season with a win in the Matron Stakes to put his bankroll at just over $976,000. Anndrovette continued to dominate the pacing mare ranks in 2013, and, for the third consecutive year, was crowned Canada’s Older Pacing Mare of The Year. The daughter of Riverboat King was on the board in all but three of her 21 races. Some of her major wins included three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway along with the Roses Are Red and Breeders Crown eliminations. On July 20 at Mohawk Racetrack she captured the Roses Are Red final in a career best 1:48. The talented mare now has 35 lifetime wins and a career bankroll of almost $2.6 million. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again was voted Canada’s Older Pacing Horse of The Year. Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season, as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final, as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final for his third straight million-dollar campaign. He entered the year within reach of the all-time earnings record for pacers, and he managed to obliterate that mark by adding $1.4 million to his bank account while visiting 11 different racetracks along the way. He closed the season by sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at the Meadowlands. Riveting Rosie was the winner in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Riveting Rosie closed out her rookie campaign with six wins in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Her major victories included the Peaceful Way Final, her Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain Stakes. In the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division, it was Father Patrick who took the O’Brien trophy. He topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Series. Flanagan Memory was voted Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year after a productive season which saw him win seven of 11 races and $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning his Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Maven was voted Canada’s Older Trotting Mare of The Year. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She added wins in the Miss Versatility Trotting Series, an elimination and final of the Armbro Flight, and the Allerage. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her bankroll. For the second consecutive year, Mister Herbie captured the title as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse of The Year. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in stakes competition, including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067 in purses. Seelster Farms, of Lucan, Ont. was honoured as the Armstrong Breeder of The Year. In 2013, Seelster-bred horses scored 248 wins and $2.1 million in earnings. In the Future Star category, the winner of this first-time award was trainer/driver Travis Cullen. The 21-year-old Alberta-based horseman closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the final card of the meet while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. The complete list of winners follows. 2013 O’BRIEN AWARD WINNERS PACERS Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer - Precocious Beauty owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Arthur Blue Chip owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer - I Luv The Nitelife owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Vegas Vacation owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON Older Pacing Mare - Anndrovette owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Older Pacing Horse - Foiled Again owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL TROTTERS Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Riveting Rosie owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Father Patrick owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Bee A Magician owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Flanagan Memory owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Older Trotting Mare - Maven owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL Older Trotting Horse - Mister Herbie owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY PEOPLE AWARDS O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Armstrong Breeder of The Year Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON Driver of The Year Sylvain Filion, Milton, ON Trainer of The Year Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB STANDARDBRED CANADA MEDIA EXCELLENCE AWARDS The Media Excellence Awards program, established by Standardbred Canada in 2008, is aimed at honouring exceptional work that covers Canadian harness racing in a manner that is extraordinary and of broad national appeal. Outstanding Written Work Paul Delean ’Reaching Improbable Heights’ 'Reaching Improbable Heights', written by Paul Delean, was published in the December, 2012 issue of Trot Magazine. It tells the story of trotter Intimidate’s incredible journey from obscurity to harness racing’s biggest stage and the ride of a lifetime that two smalltime owners from Quebec are still pinching themselves over. Outstanding Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group North America Cup HD Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group’s North America Cup broadcast aired across Canada on The Score television network on Saturday, June 26, 2013. The one-hour special of the $1-million North America Cup was the first live high definition broadcast of a standardbred race in Canada. The show featured live race coverage of the main event, a feature on Marvin Katz (co-owner of eventual winner Captaintreacherous) and a profile of a very special racing fan – Sydney Weaver. The broadcast was a production of WEG’s broadcast department, produced by Rob Platts and directed by Kris Platts. Outstanding Photography Clive Cohen Clive Cohen captured the sunset behind trainer Rene Dion warming up Ocean Mist Beauty on September 19, 2013 at Mohawk Racetrack. The image was published on WEG’s Facebook page later that night. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
The Tasmania Premier Harness Yearling Sale will be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd and Tasracing at 6pm next Friday at Inveresk Showground, Launceston. The sale comprises 39 lots by 17 different sires including Australia’s leading juvenile sire Art Major and the champion North American sire Rocknroll Hanover. Other well known stallions include Courage Under Fire, Shadow Play, Elsu, Four Starzzz Shark, Julius Caesar, Mister Big, Major In Art, Tiz A Masterpiece, Stonebridge Regal and JR Mint. The offering includes the first foal of the Vicbred 2YO champion and Tasmanian Oaks winner Shez Ryleymak and a colt closely related to the Miracle Mile winner and nominal Inter Dominion favourite Beautide. Besides Shez Ryleymak, the progeny of Group and classic winners Cam River, Mon Poppy Mary, Laconic, Cullens Angel (1:54.8), Thabela Brioso, El Jays Belle, Pennys Dragon and Whata Dragon are listed to go under the hammer. There’s half-brothers and sisters to top performers such as Abbreviated (Vic. Youthful), Cat Bay (Globe Derby Stakes), Cullens Angel (Granny Smith), Daisy Adele, Black Centurian, Prisoner, Laconic Jamane, El Jays Belle, Cruisin Fella and Melolyn. All yearlings presented for sale will be eligible to compete in $10,000 Yearling Sale Classics for two and three-year-olds of both sexes. They will also be eligible for a $2,000 Tasbred win bonus for each of their first two race wins as both as a two and three-year-old. Furthermore, the youngsters are eligible for a one-off $2,000 First Win Bonus for their first race win anywhere in Australia before reaching four years of age. For a catalogue or further information contact Kevin Neilson on (03) 6212 9316 or email K.Neilson@tasracing.com.au or the auctioneers Davidson Cameron and Co on (02) 6884 8355. The online catalogue for the sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com . by Peter Wharton
Many of Tasmanian’s leading breeders and studmasters have thrown their support behind the Tasmanian Premier Yearling Sale to be held on Friday, February 14 at the Inveresk Showground, Launceston. Lyndon and Gail Menegon’s Big Park stud, Karoola has the biggest draft with eight lots including two by highly promising sire Major In Art and five by the royally bred Tiz A Masterpiece. The consignment includes half-brothers to the dual Melton winner Cruisin Fella and the Bathurst Tiara heat winner Dakota Hanover and a filly out of the Belmont winner El Jays Belle. Strezlecki Lodge, Windemere, conducted by Brooke Hammond, will offer six yearlings – by five different sires. The pick of the draft appears to be the Rocknroll Hanover colt out of a strong New Zealand family which includes Charleys Dream (Tas. Golden Mile), Village Hero and so on. The Hammond clan will also offer a Stonebridge Regal filly out of the Bandbox Stakes winner Cam River, the dam of Cat Bay (Globe Derby Stakes), and a JR Mint brother to Sales Classic winner Prisoner. The Jetsonville Park Syndicate, who imported JR Mint from America, has entered five yearlings – four fillies and a colt – by the 1:49 $920,000 winning son of Northern Luck. The draft includes a daughter of the Evicus Stakes winner Mon Poppy Mary, whose first foal in Black Centurian took out the Sales Classic. Prominent Devonport breeder and owner Mick Maxfield has nominated two lots, one a colt by champion sire Art Major from a good winning NZ mare and the other an Elsu filly out of a half-sister to the Victoria Sires Classic winner Romeo Castle. Briighton breeder Peter Walker’s four-strong entry includes a pair of fillies by Art Major, one of out Ticket To Angel and the other from her Granny Smith winning daughter Cullens Angel. He will also offer fillies by Shadow Play and Jeremes Jet, both out of winning Resurgent Dragon mares. A Mister Big filly out of the immediate family of Miracle Mile hero Beautide will spearhead the three-strong draft of the Harford-based Paine family. The well made filly is out of Atlarak, a half-sister to Gorse Bush, the dam of Beautide. Brighton studmaster Sue Streit has nominated a colt and a filly by resident stallion Mountain Glory, a former Tasmanian Horse of the Year. For a catalogue or further information contact Kevin Neilson on (03) 6212 9316 or email K. Neilson@tasracing.com.au or the auctioneers Davidson Cameron and Co Dubbo on (02) 6884 8355. The online catalogue for the sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com by Peter Wharton
Many of Australasia’s leading stallions will be represented in the catalogue for the Tasmania Premier Yearling Sale to be conducted on Friday, February 14 at the Inveresk Showground, Launceston. Art Major, Australia’s premier juvenile sire for the last few years, has four yearlings nominated for the sale, while the deceased Rocknoll Hanover, a champion sire in North America, has a single entry. The Little Brown Jug winner Shadow Play, the sire of unbeaten Victorian youngster Spot Ona Shadow, will be represented by a filly. The sale has attracted entries by 17 different stallions. The ‘Top Ten’ stallions Courage Under Fire (2 lots) and Elsu are both represented, along with up-and-coming sires Major in Art (3), Mister Big (2), Stonebridge Regal (2), Four Starzzz Shark, Jeremes Jet and Julius Caesar. BG’s Folly, a 1:49 son of Rocknroll Hanover, is the only first crop sire at the sale. He has a half-brother to Cruisin Fella as Lot 28. JR Mint (8 lots) and Tiz A Masterpiece (6) have the biggest drafts in the sale. For a catalogue or further information contact Kevin Neilson on (03) 6212 9316 or email K. Neilson@tasracing.com.au or the auctioneers Davidson Cameron and Co Dubbo on (02) 6884 8355. The online catalogue for the Tasmanian sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com. by Peter Wharton
Purchasers at next month’s Tasmania Premier Yearling Sale in Launceston will be eligible for a range of rich incentives should their purchase win as a two, three or four-year-old. All horses in the sale are eligible for a $2,000 Tasbred win bonus for each of their first two race wins as both as a two and three-year-old. If a horse does not win at two and three a $2,000 bonus will be paid for their first win as a four-year-old or older. Tasbred win bonuses apply only to races conducted in Tasmania. A total of $280,000 is paid out to breeders and owners in the Tasbred Bonus scheme each year. Furthermore, yearlings presented at the sale will be eligible for a one off $2,000 First Win Bonus for their first race win anywhere in Australia before reaching four years of age. As an added incentive, all horses presented for sale will be eligible to compete in $10,000 Yearling Sale Classics for two and three-year-olds of both sexes. The 2014 Tasmania Premier Yearling Sale will be conducted on Friday, February 14 at the Inveresk Showground, Launceston. The sale has attracted 39 entries – all eligible for the Tasbred scheme – including youngsters by Art Major, Rocknroll Hanover, Shadow Play, Courage Under Fire, Mister Big, Elsu and Four Starzzz Shark. An additional entry is a filly by the Artsplace horse Art Colony out of the New York Motoring mare Motoring Rivers, a half-sister to the Hobart Cup winner Purple Haze and a close relative of Miracle Mile hero Beautide. For a catalogue or further information contact Kevin Neilson on (03) 6212 9316 or email K. Neilson@tasracing.com.au or the auctioneers Davidson Cameron and Co Dubbo on (02) 6884 8355. The online catalogue for the Tasmanian sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com By Peter Wharton
Thirty-eight nominations have been received for the 2014 Tasmania Premier Yearling Sale, which will be conducted by Tasracing and Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on Friday, February 14 at the Inveresk Showground, Launceston. The online catalogue for the Tasmanian sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Kevin Neilson on (03) 6212 9316 or email K. Neilson@tasracing.com.au or Davidson Cameron on (02) 6884 8355. A strong selection of stallions are represented in the catalogue such as Art Major (4 lots), Courage Under Fire (2), Rocknroll Hanover, Shadow Play, Mister Big (2), Major In Art (3), JR Mint (8), Tiz A Masterpiece (6), Four Starzzz Shark and Elsu. The sale features a very close relative of Miracle Mile hero Beautide, half-brothers or sisters to the classic winners Cat Bay, Black Centurian, Abbreviated, Prisoner, Daisy Adele and El Jays Belle and the first foals of top racemares in Shez Ryleymak, Cullens Angel and Thabela Brioso. The sale will begin at 6pm and will be preceded by a parade of yearlings. by Peter Wharton
The Choice Hotels Country Cup Season is in full swing. Over the weekend we saw Savesomtimetodream win the Yarra Valley Cup and Macho Comacho win the Wedderburn Cup. The next Cup is at Cobram on December 27 followed by Horsham on January 5. SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup Night Once again the SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup lived up to expectations as one of Australasia's greatest races. Congratulations to Luke McCarthy and the connections of For A Reason on becoming the latest addition to the heavyweight championship honour roll. For the punters, courtesy of a TAB jackpot, the First 4 on the Victoria Cup paid over $6,000. That is an enormous dividend given that the First 4 comprised the three placegetters from the Miracle Mile (Beautide, Christen Me and For A Reason) plus the reigning champ Caribbean Blaster. All four were excellent runs and it looks like a new breed of Grand Circuit competitors has arrived. In the Dullard Cup the striking looking Habibti blew everyone away which adds more excitement for the trotting gait. We now have the prospect of two 4yos going head to head, the mare Habibti and the outstanding colt Blitzthemcalder. Both will be major drawcards for the Great Southern Star in March. One of the most impressive wins on Victoria Cup night was 3yo Young Modern for Michael Stanley in the 3yo Sires Classic, franking his trial form at Ballarat a week earlier. Finally, a special thanks to Rob Merola and the team at SEW Eurodrive for their support of the Carnival. Vicbred 1st win bonus - $7,000 The first 2yo race for the season in Victoria was run at Geelong on December 5. While it may have gone relatively unnoticed, it was a significant event for Darren Cole - owner of winner Spot Ona Shadow. Darren was the first owner to benefit from the increased first win bonus under the Vicbred scheme from $5,000 to $7,000 this season. Added to the winner's stake for the race of $3713, meant a total earn of nearly $11,000 for the win. The second 2yo race at Kilmore on December 11 was also won by a Vicbred eligible filly (Viva Safari) therefore she also provided the Azzopardis with a $7,000 first win bonus. Ian Kitchin I was surprised to hear that Ian Kitchin has stepped down as Secretary of Harness Breeders Vic (HBV) at its recent Committee Meeting. Ian has been a tower of strength for HBV in that role for the best part of a decade. In that time HBV has become a respected organisation representing its membership of 700. In particular, Ian has been a great supporter of the HBV sponsorship deal with HRV, which promotes fillies and mares racing opportunities. The depth of Victoria mares racing is largely attributable to the support of HBV. I hope that Ian remains involved with HBV and continue his breeding interests. He has been a terrific servant to the industry. Australasian Premier Trotting Sale The second Australasian Premier Trotting Sale will be conducted the day after the Great Southern Star on March 23, 2014, following the very successful inaugural sale this year. Click here for the 2014 Sale Catalogue including the pedigrees for some outstanding trotting yearlings. A reminder also that the APG Yearling Sale is set down for Sunday February 2, the day after the Hunter Cup. HRV Community Grants As part of HRV's commitment to the community, through our venue at Tabcorp Park, HRV makes available $50,000 per annum for: Community support Welfare of the Community; and Local infrastructure On Thursday December 5 HRV Chairman Ken Latta, presented the $50,000 cheque to the City of Melton, to be distributed to this year's successful applicants: Kurunjang Primary School Coburn Primary School Brookside College Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of Victoria The Gap on Graham Lynda's Hampers Derek Foden Rover Crew Rotary Club of Melton Valley Little Diggers Playgroup Western Regional Health Centre Melton Combined Youth and Special Needs Club Association Multiple Sclerosis Melton Community Safety Register Melton Chinese Friendship Association Charity support HRV once again has been a major supporter of charities during 2013. Quite apart from the $50,000 Community Fund above, HRV has supported the following charities in 2013: Children's Tumour Foundation Women's Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute Leigh Plunkett Foundation - Leukaemia Melton Rotary (State Emergency Services - Local Community Groups) HRV Staff Neal Conder Neal has been appointed to the position of Chairman of Stewards, having been acting in the role for some months. Neal is a highly regarded member of the HRV integrity team and together with General Manager Integrity Andy Rogers they form a formidable team to deal with the both the industry challenges and the demands of the statutory governance requirements. I wish Neal well for a long and successful career. Milestones Gary Bennetts is the latest staff member to achieve a milestone having completed 20 years continuous service. In reviewing the list of milestones, I am amazed to see that HRV has no fewer than 25 full time employees who have served 10 years or more at HRV. Of those 25, 3 have achieved 30 years and a further 4 are in the 20 years plus category. Vale Con Rigby HRV was saddened to hear of the passing of Con - a respected trainer driver - at the age of 83. Based in the Macedon Ranges area for a long period of his life, Con was involved with a number of well performed horses such as Champagne Soky, Romile, Bullengar Tealsby, Polish and the smart trotter Carol Rose. Con's last winning drive was on Funnyfaceiloveyou at Kilmore in June 2004. Arthur Bell Victorian trotting's longest serving bookmaker Arthur Bell passed away suddenly in late November. Arthur had worked at every Victorian track at one stage and quite often in the early days would work a double header travelling hundreds of miles between venues. One of his great loves was the Mildura Cup meeting each year, rarely missing one. Armbro Operative HRV also recognises the contribution made to the Australian breeding industry by Armbro Operative, which passed away recently at the ripe old age of 27. Having sired 2,238 Australian bred foals, his progeny here went on to earn $37.3m in stakes. His highest earner was Fleur De Lil. She earned in excess of $1m. Did You Know? The first 2yo winner for the season Spot Ona Shadow was by Alabar's Shadow Play - that stallion's first Australian starter. The Manning family trained the entire card at the Ararat meeting on December 10 - Peter (4), Kerryn and Michelle each training winners. Christmas/New Year Office Hours HRV's office will close at 3pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. It's business as usual on all other days except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe, prosperous 2014!
Santanna Blue Chip was a household harness racing name back five years ago in 2008 when the excellent son of Art Major won $1.6 million. He raced successfully in his three-year-old season against none other than Somebeachsomewhere, Art Official, Shadow Play and Dali. Well, he’s back and back winning again too! Returned to racing after a four year stint as a stallion, Santanna Blue Chip rewarded his backers in his third start, winning the fourth race $16,000 n /w pace and at a price of 9-1! In his first two start, and now he is eight years old, Santanna Blue Chip, driven by Billy Davis, Jr., enjoyed a third-over trip behind Real Rocker (Randy Waples) who was following the first-over Lennon Blue Chip (Jonathan Drury) as they were coming on to challenge pacesetter Kindly Poet (Sylvain Filion) with My Man Charley (Anthony Macdonald) sitting the two-hole trip. At the three-quarters in 1:24.4, Davis sent Santannta Blue Chip three-wide and he looped the field and then held on in the stretch to win by a half length in 1:53 over late closing The Ladies Man (Mike Saftic) and Lennon Blue Chip. He is trained and owned by Jeff Gillis of Hillsburgh, Ontario and paid a generous $18.90 to win. As a stallion he bred 123 mares last year in New Zealand. Click here for a recent article on Santanna Blue Chip on Harnesslink. Videos of all races are attached. by Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
Two meetings were held in Victoria on Thursday December 5, with Geelong racing in the afternoon and Nyah at Swan Hill in the evening. At Geelong, Terang owner/trainer Darren Cole produced a nice juvenile by the name of Spot Ona Shadow to land the Bartletts Enviromental 2-Y-0 Pace over 1609 metres when all runners were making their race debut. With young Tim McLean in the sulky, Spot Ona Shadow a gelded son of Shadow Play and Charlotte Church began with great zest from gate five to lead throughout in accounting for Stitchintime which raced outside him 13.3 metres in a rate of 2-00.6, with Captain Bronze (oneone) third. Beautifully bred Bettors Delight/Top Tempo four year old mare Musical Delight a former outstanding youngster, had an easy 13 metre victory in the Chas Cole Cellars Pace forC0 class over 2100 metres. Trained at Drouin by Gary and Debbie Quinlan, Musical Delight unbackable at $1.10, led throughout for reinsman Nathan Jack to score untouched in advance of Shes His Story and Bye Bye Luv Lombo in a rate of 2-02.4. Winning nine from 14 outings, Musical Delight has stake earnings in excess of $234,000. Exciting Hawkesdale (Western District) four year old Blissful Hall/Weona Rena entire Bliss Man brought up four wins in succession when victorious in the Your Business name Here Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2100 metres in a mile rate of 1-59.4. Taking a concession for Terang's Jason Lee, Bliss Man trained by Graham Gee for wife Christine, had little trouble leading from the pole and was always travelling under a tight grip. Given an inch of rein approaching the home turn, Bliss Man bounded away to record a 13.2 metre margin last half 56.7 - quarter 28.6 ahead of Nimble Jack along the sprint lane from last, with Amazing Kano third after racing in the open. Highly talented four year old Art Major/Maikona mare Glenferrie EJ is starting to show the potential she was touted with and made it two from two this time in when successful in the Zilco Pace for C1 class over 1609 metres. Trained at Parwan by Craig Demmler for Peter Chambers' Glenferrie Farm Pty Ltd, Glenferrie EJ from gate two was beaten for speed by Antiquities (gate five), with Jodi Quinlan immediately easing around her to take over the front running role. After that, it was a procession as Glenferrie EJ coasted to the wire to score by 4.7 metres untouched from the in-form Bit Of A Babe from mid-field, with Howcomewhynot third. The mile rate 1-58.1. At Swan Hill, Echuca trainer Wayne Lear took the honours by providing a stable double - Seven year old Royal Mattjesty/My Halo Broke gelding Who Broke Our Halo in the Swan Hill & Kerang Toyota Sandstorm FJ Pace for C2 class over 1609 metres and four year old Artesian/Glimpse mare Philotes in Swan Hill & Kerang Toyota Crystal Pearl Pace for C0 class (mares) over the same journey. Who Broke Our Halo (Rebecca Bartley) settled mid-field in the moving line from gate two on the second row, before moving forward three wide solo in the last lap. Sustaining the run, Who Broke Our Halo was too strong over the concluding stages for the heavily supported local Cashisking along the sprint lane from three back the markers last lap, with On Fire Within third after facing the breeze before assuming control at the bell. The mile rate 1-56.3. Philotes (Daryl Douglas) spent the first lap in the open from outside the front row, before gaining cover when Madsisteritis came away from behind the leader In Theory heading into the back straight on the final occasion. Taken three wide approaching the home turn, Philotes ran home strongly to gain the day over Maarek (one/one) and Shes A Spy along the sprint lane (three back at bell) in a rate of 1-58. Lightly raced, it was Philotes 4th race appearance. Kerryn Manning snared the Swan Hill Kia Honey Bee Cerato SLI Pace for C3 to C5 class over 2240 metres with Metropolitan/Liberty Print five year old gelding Kickittochris in a rate of 1-57.9. Starting from the extreme draw, Kickittochris spent most of the race at the rear of the field, before latching to the back of Run Forrest ahead of him at the bell, with the Shane Cramp trained Queen Mab at the head of affairs. Eased four wide on the final bend, Kickittochris put the race beyond doubt in a few strides as he exploded away to record a 2.6 metre victory over the local hope Life Of Ted which followed him home. Ezee Duzit Lombo finished third after a chequered passage just off the speed. Avenel's Wayne Potter made the trip to Swan Hill with happy results, when heavily backed five year old Armbro Operative/The Milky Way gelding Teo Enteo captured the Swan Hill Toyota Dark Furnace Kluger Pace for C6 or better class over 2240 metres. Driven by Nathan Jack, Teo Enteo first up since July possied one/one from gate two on the second line, with Kerryn Manning's Jaccka Luke leading from gate three. Easing three wide approaching the home turn, Teo Enteo sprinted brilliantly to join Jaccka Luke on turning, with the pair going head and head to the wire, with Teo Enteo prevailing by a neck in 1-58.1. Centonic (one/three - three wide last lap) finished third. Len Baker
One of the many side affects of our open access to the best stallions in North America through shuttling and frozen semen is how much harder it has become for new stallions to gain a foothold in the market early in the career. Such is the Lot of Santanna Blue Chip. One of the same foal crop as Somebeachsomewhere--- Shadow Play---and Art Offical. Santanna Blue Chip more than held his own, winning $1,623,000 as a two and three year olds against arguably the best crop of 2+3 yr olds in the last 20 years. He stood his first year at stud in Ontario and those horses raced as two year olds in North America last year. He ended his first season in 14th place on the stakes won list which was a repectable effort in his debut season. They have gone with it at three with his stock earning in excess of $1,000,000 this season already and he presently sits in the top 20 stake earning stallions for 3 yr olds in North America. Every young sire needs a flag bearer and for Santanna Bluechip that horse is Windsong Jack (1:49:4 and $$447,000) who is highly regarded in North America. First available to NZ breeders in 2009 he has had foal crops of 65 followed by 52 and 46. Then on the back of his North American results and the many positive reports from trainers and breakers in, he served 114 mares in his fourth year. So expectations were high when his first 2 yr olds hit the track in Australasia in 2012. To say they were disappointing would be an understatement. Only one winner and a handful of starters didn't bode well for his future. But as is the way with a lot of stallions, as 3yr olds the initial promise is slowly but surely being fulfilled. With a one third of the season over he already has 20 qualifiers of which four have won with several more being placed recently. Horses such as Carlos Santana - Call Me Yours - Macy Bluechip and Avalon Bromac have all shown above average ability in their public outings to date. Hardly a meeting goes bye at the moment without another Santanna Blue Chip popping out of the woodword. And his second crop have started the right way with the super impressive Smokin n Santanna winning effortlessly at yesterday"s Addington trials. With his North American crops continuing to perform (18 in 1:53 and stakes approaching $2,000,000) ,his down under stock are slowly but surely establishing a record they can be proud of. JC This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink will be doing with a view to sheading some light on some of the "forgotten"sires available in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever
Alan Galloway and Graeme Henley of Alabar are pleased to report that Alabar sires will serve a near record number of mares this season. “Between New Zealand and Australia , Alabar will breed over 3000 mares this season,” reports Galloway. New Zealand’s Graeme Henley is also very pleased with how this breeding season is going. “It has been a very good year,” said Henley. “We are well up on last year, that is for sure,” he added. Henley said that newcomers Auckland Reactor and Majestic Son had proven hugely popular, which had added greatly to their numbers this season. “Shadow Play, Courage Under Fire, Mach Three and Art Major also have full books,” he enthused. This is great news for not only Alabar but the entire industry, as the last few seasons have raised huge concerns over the lack of foals being bred in New Zealand. “I am not saying everything is rosy again, but it certainly is looking up,” stressed Henley. “We have had a lot of feedback from other studs saying they are also having a good season, so it is not just us,” he added. Henley said that he couldn’t point to anything in particular that has caused the rise in breeding numbers. “I think it comes down to a range of things really. Both the Auckland Trotting Club and Addington (NZ Metropolitan) are making plenty of positive moves at the moment, so as long as they keep heading in the right direction so will the breeding numbers,” he concluded. By Mitchell Robertson
Queenslander Shane Sanderson has added another string to his bow. Sanderson, who several years ago was the recipient of the Queensland Harness Racing Board's Chairman's Scholarship, has since gone on to a fine training career. 'Chief,' as he is known from his rugby league-playing days, prepared My Jellignite for a recent Albion Park win from the back row in the best time of the night, returning as 1:53.8 rate performance - faster even than Vegas Bound in the free-for-all. Sanderson in recent months has been dividing his attentions between his racing squad and a team of young pacers he has prepared for next month's 2YO Trialling Sale at Tabcorp Park, Menangle. Sponsored by Garrards Horse & Hound, the trials and subsequent sale of 50 youngsters will be held from 8.30am on Sunday, December 8, with a complimentary breakfast from 7.30am. Sanderson is the only Queensland-based preparer in the catalogue, and proudly points to his draft. "The highlight of my draft is a Real Desire half-brother to three winners of a combined 55 races, and more than $400,000, including Spiritual King (1:54.6) and Star Of Tara (3, 1:58.4)," Sanderson said. "There's a half-brother to Deejayangel, which went 1:58.4 at three, and there's a Shadow Play half-brother to the APG two-year-old heat winner, Jackatac. "I've brought all mine in for a month, then out for a month, then in for a month, so they're well-schooled, and I like an Always A Virgin half-brother to Maywyns Storm (3, 1:56) - he's been here before." The final cog in the five-strong Sanderson wheel is a Changeover colt from the young Safely Kept mare, Cyclone Dora, making him closely-related to Jazzam (1:53.6) and a number of other brilliant winners. Only sales graduates - and there are just 50 of them, so the odds are in your favour if you buy - are eligible to nominate for the rich late season two-year-old Group feature, the C.J. Garrard Classic, over 2300 metres, at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, in late August 2014. As well as the sale, those on-course will be treated to an Industry Day of kindred bodies, a Garrards Horse & Hound Trade Display of equine-related goods and services companies, entertainment from local singer-songwriter Luke Koteras and two mini trot races. Pedigrees are available from www.nswhrc.com.au/triallingsale, while catalogues can be sourced from Kerry Baker on 0402 336 598 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2013 Forest City Yearling Sale held its first of two sessions on Saturday afternoon at the Western Fair Agriplex in London, Ont. with Queen Fourteen topping the opening session. Selling as Hip 64, Queen Fourteen was purchased for $130,000 by Tony O'Sullivan of Cambridge, Ont. Consigned by agent Preferred Equine Inc. for Warrawee Farms, the filly is by Hall of Famers Camluck and Mystic Mystress. She is Mystic Mystress' 14th foal and is a full sister to Mystician ($1,860,422 - 1:49.2), Camystic ($779,728 - 1:49.4) and Lucks Mistress ($616,605 - 1:51.3). O'Sullivan also purchased Warrawee Quick, Hip 115, from the same consignment for $65,000. The Sportswriter-Great Memories filly is a half-sibling to world champion Warrawee Needy ($1,105,669 - 1:46.4) and Big Bay Point ($501,139 - 1:49). Also among the top three highest priced yearlings of the session was Tessa Seelster, Hip 90. Consigned by Seelster Farms Inc., the Shadow Play-Titania Seelster filly was purchased for $77,000 by Ben Baillargeon, agent for Quebec's Richard Berthiaume. She is a half-sibling to Grassroots Championship runner-up Twilight Seelster ($86,438 - 1:56). A total of 111 yearlings were sold for $2,087,000, producing an average price of $18,802. Last year, 119 yearlings passed through the sales ring on opening day, selling for $1,802,500 with an average price of $15,147. The sale will continue at 12 p.m. on Sunday. Pedigrees and videos (where available) for all of the yearlings selling may be viewed here. For complete sale results, click here. Reprinted with permission from www.standardbredcanada.com
The very first races using the new racetrack configuration in front of the brand new Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment grandstand were the Thursday morning qualifiers. Eight races in total were highlighted by several stars of the season using the races as a prep for next week’s opening in the fantastic new facility. The first qualifier was won by the accomplished older trotter Blacktuxwhitesocks, driven to a closing win from just off the pace over stable mate Bluff by his trainer Trond Smedshammer in 1:57-. The career winner of nearly $900,000 has been owned throughout his career by Wanda Polisseni’s Purple Haze Stable. Trond came right back to win the second race with his champion trotter Arch Madness in a tightner for the upcoming TVG last leg on Opening Day, November 23 and the $500,000 Final a week later. The old boy has really found his best form lately, winning the Allerage Farms Open trot elimination at The Red Mile in a career record equaling 1:50.2 and then the final of that race a week later. He trotted along on a happy lead this morning through comfortable fractions tacking a :56 final half and 27.3 last quarter on his 1:54- win. He is the pride of owners Marc Goldberg and Barry Goldstein’s Willow Pond LLC. The Kindergarten Trotting Classic final winner Southwind Spirit knocked the dust off with a 1:57.4 win, home in 28.2 for regular driver Yannick Gingras. He is one of the leading eligibles for the $430,000e Valley Victory for the Burke Stable, who owns him in partnership with Weaver & Bruscemi, LLC and Stable 45. Pacers came up in race four, with a couple of nice two year old colts sharpening up for the $500,000e Governor’s Cup. Arthur Blue Chip (Dave Miller) and Somestarsomewhere (Yannick Gingras) went right to the wire together in 1:53.3. Watching the pair of talented freshmen battle rekindled memories of watching their sires, Shadow Play and Somebeachsomewhere, square off in the 2008 Messenger Stakes. Miller had Arthur on the lead through conservative numbers and Yannick wrestled his mount into a four hole before moving first over around the final bend. Both were willing through the sprint home. Dr. Ian Moore trains Arthur Blue Chip, owned in partnership with RG McGroup and Serge Savard. Somestreetsomewhere is conditioned by Ron Burke for his own interests with Weaver & Bruscemi, M. Yanek and L Karr. Freshman pacing fillies were next, Gingras and Miller battled to the wire again with JK Molly (Gingras/Burke for 3 Brother Stable) and Delightful Dragon (Miller for Noel Daley and the Adam Victor & Son Stable) in 1:55- /28. Those two debutantes are among the top candidates for the $400,00e Three Diamonds. Western Vintage and JK Endofanera paced to the wire together in 1:54.2/28- in a tight finish between two more Governors Cup eligibles. Brian Sears had JK Endofanera forwardly placed throughout for Ron Burke, who trains the Art Major colt for the 3 Brothers Stables. Western Vintage was reserved off the pace and finished strong for Gingras. Perry Soderberg now has a partner in the good Western Ideal colt in Marvin Katz. Nancy Johansson is the trainer. The next qualifiers will be on Monday evening with a scheduled post time of 6:00pm, the box for those will close at 10:00am tomorrow (Friday). A preview of the new grandstand will be made available to horsemen with the evening qualifiers of Thursday, November 23, again at 6:00pm. More information is available on the Meadowlands Racing& Entertainment website. by Nick Salvi for the Meadowlands