Seventy six lots will be on offer at the Alabar Blue Ribbon Sale on Sunday April 24th and there promises to be a horse for every budget. Wrappers Delight has stamped himself as one of Australia’s best two year olds with two victories in as many starts to date including his last start win in a heat of the APG 2yo C&G Series. You will be able to purchase his mother, Charlotte Church, in foal to leading sire Mach Three at the sale. Another of the highlights will be Golden Showgirl 1:55.9 in foal to Art Major. The resultant foal will be a full sibling to the Group One winner Smooth Showgirl 1:52.3 - $210,149. Bruce Edward will be selling six lots including mares by Somebeachsomewhere, Rocknroll Hanover Art Major, Holmes Hanover and Badlands Hanover. Three of his mares will be sold with foals at foot. Jim Connolly will be selling three mares by the leading sires Pine Chip and Skyvalley. Included among these is a half sister to Australian Two and Three Year Old Trotter of the Year Kyvalley Road. Jack Munnerly has one entry and she is a half sister to the Group One winner Secret Desire and in foal to new season sire Heston Blue Chip. There will also be 20 weanlings on offer and these are by such stallions as Art Major, Mach Three, Shadow Play, ,Auckland Reactor Betterthancheddar as well as the first crop stallions Alta Christiano and Caribbean Blaster. This is a sale not to be missed. The sale will be held at Alabar Farm and begins at 1pm. The catalogue can be viewed online (http://bit.ly/1VhBLvg) or please contact us for a hard copy – (03) 5859 2201 or email@example.com.
Yonkers Raceway's harness racing Blue Chip Matchmaker series began Friday night, with the sport's best pacing mares embarking upon a six-week odyssey. Three consecutive, $40,000 events comprised the opening round. The series starter saw Al Raza N (Jordan Stratton, $15.20) snap 9-10 fave Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) right nearing the wire in a season's-best 1:52.3. Hazmatt (Brian Sears) was third, with Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) and Skippin' By (Yannick Gingras) settling for the remainder. It was a certified scrum early with Krispy Apple making the lead by looping Regil Elektra (Tim Tetrick). Regil Elektra was out again, winning the :27.1 opening quarter-mile. Soon after, Sandbetweenurtoes (Jody Jamieson), having dropped in third, made her second move, leading at a :55.4 intermission. Down the backside, Krispy Apple took out and third and went by a defenseless Sandbetweenurtoes with the greatest of ease. The people's preference opened 3¼ lengths by the 1:23.4 three-quarters and had a couple of lengths entering the lane. However, she couldn't close the sale. Al Raza N, unhurried from post position No. 2, moved from third-over (second-up after Krispy Apple cleared the lead), continuing to make up ground. Advancing to third in and out of the final turn, she wore down her target by a half-length. The roster was rounded out by a shuffled-out Regil Elektra and a dropping-anchor Sandbetweenurtoes. For fifth choice Al Raza N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Gotta Go Cullect owned by Durazzano Stable and trained by Agostino Abbatiello, it was her second win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $44, with the triple returning $316. Friday's second Matchmaker event saw rank outsider Mach it a Par (George Brennan, $81) do her best Middle Tennessee State impression, picking off defending series champion Venus Delight by a nose in 1:53.2. Venus Delight had engaged, then overhauled, 4-5 fave Secrets Out N (Sears). That one, after getting away third, controlled the crowd (:27.4, :57, 1:25.2) until early in the lane before faltering. Mach it a Par, from post No. 6, operated from second-over. She and Venus Delight battled for the tiara, with the former just getting to the latter. Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube) lost some contact in the pocket but managed third, with Sell a Bit N (Stratton) and Cheyenne Robin (Corey Callahan) settling for the minor moolah. Secrets Out N faded to sixth. For Mach it a Par, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmine Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was her first win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $721, with the triple returning $1,699. Mach it a Par, off a sale/barn change, had been off nearly four weeks (with a "sick line" in between). The evening final series event was won by a down-the-road Lady Shadow (Callahan, $7), who overcame an outside post No. 7 and widened late. Lady Shadow had to wait her turn, finally getting around 7-5 favorite Gallie Bythe Beach (Matt Kakaley). From there, she had little issues (:27.4, :56.3, 1:25, 1:53.4), prevailing by 2¼ lengths. "Gallie" chased from the pocket and saved second, with Jungle Genie N (Bartlett), first leader Inittowinafortune (Tyler Buter) and For the Ladies N (Stratton) grabbing the smaller envelopes. For second choice Lady Shadow, a 5-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned by David Kryway, Carl Atley, Edwin Gold & BFJ Stable and trained by Josh Green, it was a season-debuting victory.. The exacta paid $17, the triple returned $74.50 and the superfecta paid $568. Saturday night's card brings the opening round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Six, $50,000 divisions (races 4,5,6,7, 9 and 10) each feature seven Free-For-Allers. YONKERS’ SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $3,500 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday night’s (March 19) Pick 5 wager begins with a tidy carryover of $3,500.50. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing program (or earlier if less than 11 races). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday evening), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next program. Saturday’s gimmick includes the last three divisions in the opening round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (races 7,9 and 10). Frank Drucker
Breeding for the harness racing market in Australasia is never an easy business at the best of times especially if you are trying to market and sell fillies, Buyers are notoriously reluctant to pay anything like the same premium for well bred fillies as they are for well bred colts but we feel that are missing out on a lot of opportunities because the buyers have missed the changes taking place in the stallion market down under. When you look at the present line up of stallions that are dominating the racing scene in Australasia, then just about all the elite stallions are outstanding filly sires. Bettor's Delight is without doubt the best filly sire in the world today, continually churning out champion fillies each season and in big numbers and they are keenly sought after at yearling sales in both hemispheres. Rock N Roll Heaven is another sire whose fillies to be honest are better than his colts in North America, Australia and New Zealand in his siring career to date. American Ideal is another stallion whose fillies often outperform his colts on the track while Shadow Play has five mares amongst his top eight earners in North America. So with such great filly sires dominating the stallion market in Australasia, you would think that fillies would be keenly sought after especially since any well bred ones have a good residual value once they have finished racing which the colts in the main just don't have. Looking through this weekends Australian Pacing Gold Sale at Brisbane and a great number of the fillies would appear to have a high residual value post any racing career. A lot of them come from high profile New Zealand families which are very current in the New Zealand market and have just fetched significant five figure sums at the latest sales in New Zealand. We thought we would highlight a couple of lots from Brisbane that in our opinion would have high residual valve post racing. Lot 450 - Filly by Mr Feelgood from the Christian Cullen mare Tori Maguire 1:57 ($57,870) The first foal of a smart Christian Cullen mare in Tori France who is a full sister to a champion two and three year old filly in Lizzie Maguire 1:56.5 ($477,366). Christian Cullen is the leading pacing broodmare sire in New Zealand at the moment and for the foreseeable future. A colt by Mach Three from Unrehearsed making him a half brother to Tori Maguire made $40,000 at the recent Australasian Classic yearling sale at Karaka in Auckland. The family is seen as a rich source of juveniles in New Zealand and has been selling well at the yearling sales for the last 15 years. Lot 431 - Filly by Lanercost from the Bettor's Delight mare in Manhattan Montana 1:57.6 The first foal from a 1:57.6 Bettor's Delight half sister to nine winners including such top liners as Village Hero 1:50.6 ($306,475) and He's My Hero 1:54.3 ($222,293), this is a family that is highly sought after in New Zealand as as can be seen from the latest yearling sales there Two Bettor's Delights colts from Christian Cullen half sisters to Manhattan Montana were sold at the Australasian Classic Sale at Karaka for $80,000 and $60,000 respectively The two Bettor's Delight colts in question are three quarter brothers in blood to Manhattan Montana. At the New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch, a Washington VC half brother to Manhattan Montana made $45,000. Now both the fillies we have highlighted are by young sires who still have to prove themselves at the highest level but the maternal families are so strong in our view that we wouldn't hesitate adding those two to a broodmare band when they are finished racing. There are numerous other lots for sale at Brisbane on Sunday that are just as well bred in our view and are from families that are in hot demand on both sides of the Tasman. In a lot of ways, the fillies are becoming a better financial investment than the colts these days. Harnesslink Media
Winter harness racing action ramped up Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack with round one of The Count B and Ontario Girls Series. Each series featured a pair of divisions for their opening leg. A group of 14 sophomore pacing colts and geldings were split into two $17,000 The Count B divisions, while 15 Ontario sired four-year-old pacing mares competed in two $18,000 Ontario Girls splits. The Count B Series for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings saw the first split go to a newcomer north of the border. War N Munn went gate to wire for a 1:54.1 victory. The son of Stonebridge Regal shipped in from the Kerin Warner barn into the care of trainer Carmen Auciello. Driven by Jonathan Drury, War N Munn fired out to the front and got to dictate the pace. After posting panels of :27.4, :57.1 and 1:25.2, War N Munn opened up several lengths of separation and cruised home in :28.4 for a 6¾ lengths victory. St Lads Charger, who sat fourth for the majority of the mile, finished second, while New Standard came from last to finish third. War N Munn is owned by George Munniksma. The sophomore pacer was making his 2016 debut after winning two of nine starts as a rookie for earnings of $43,011. War N Munn established a new career mark with his 1:54.1 victory. He paid $10.10 to win. War N Munn The combination of Drury and Auciello appeared to have a good shot to sweep The Count B first leg, as they teamed up with the 3/5 favourite Big Bang Boom in the second split. Drury stepped on the accelerator at the start and blasted Big Bang Boom to the lead. The Auciello trainee went untouched through solid fractions of :26.2, :55.3 and 1:24.1 to lead by almost five-lengths turning for home. Three Truths, the 7/2 second choice, came out from fifth around the final turn for driver Sylvain Filion and sat seven-lengths off the lead at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Big Bang Boom ran out of steam at the eighth-pole and was swallowed up by a hard-charging Three Truths, who stopped the clock in 1:55.1. Gotti finished two-lengths back in second, while Big Bang Boom held on to hit the board in third. A son of Shadow Play, Three Truths is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Ratchford Stable and Brian Shebib. The Count B opening leg victory is the first win in four starts this season for the sophomore pacer. Three Truths won three of eighth starts last season and now has a career bankroll of $23,060. Friday's clocking of 1:55.1 established a new career mark for the son of Shadow Play. Three Truths paid $9.50 to win. Three Truths The Ontario Girls Series kicked off with a fantastic stretch duel in the first division. Much Adoo, the 9/5 favourite, got away second, but was quickly circled to the lead in the second-quarter by driver Doug McNair. Fresh off her Blizzard Series victory, Double Olives found a seat in fourth and sat there until angling out first-over just after the half. Much Adoo posted middle-fractions of :57 and 1:25, while Double Olives pulled to within less than a length of the lead turning for home. In the stretch, the public's top two choices went toe-to-toe with Much Adoo holding off a battling Double Olives to win by a length in 1:54. Pinky Tuscadero, who sat second-over turning for home, finished third. A daughter of Classic Card Shark, Much Adoo picked up her second win in three starts this season for trainer Cody Henry. She is owned by Aaron Waxman and Alan Alber. Much Adoo increased her career earnings to over $97,000 with her seventh career victory Friday. She paid $5.90 to win. Much Adoo In the second division, Amazing Control came through as the even-money favourite for a 1:55.1 victory. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Amazing Control was able to get a pocket trip in behind Twin B Sweetheart. The leader cut out fractions of :27.2, :57.4 and 1:26.3, while Amazing Control was primed to pop the pocket in the lane. In the stretch, Jamieson pulled on the right line and Amazing Control powered by Twin B Sweetheart to win two-lengths. Tilkum finish third. A daughter of Shadow Play, Amazing Control is trained by Meg Crone for owners Hutt Racing Stable. The four-year-old pacing mare now has two wins in four starts this season. Amazing Control increased her career earnings to over $83,000 with her fourth career victory Friday. She paid $4.20 to win. Amazing Control The Count B and Ontario Girls Series resume next Friday (February 12) with round two. In order to be eligible to The Count B, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of three races or $40,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Ontario sired four-year-old pacing mares, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015, were eligible to the Ontario Girls Series. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine with the opening leg of the Ontario Boys Series. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie
Pompano Beach, FL.January 31, 2016 - Arthur Blue Chip, driven byharness racing driver Wally Hennessey, led every step of his mile, wiring together halves of :55.3 and :54.3, to win the enriched $15,000 Open Handicap Pace at Pompano Park on Sunday night in 1:50.1. Four Socks, handled by John Cummings, Jr., finished second, one length away, while Johnny Grippa, with Dave Ingraham in the bike, finished third. Rock On Moe was fourth while Brees Creek picked up the nickel in the field of seven. In a confident move, Hennessey sent Arthur Blue Chip winging out of the gate, putting Johnny Grippa in the garden spot with Four Socks, longest shot in the field at nearly 40 to 1. With an opening quarter in :27.1, Arthur Blue Chip strolled over to the half in :55.3 with a :27.2 third panel thwarting any developing threats. In the lane, Johnny Grippa angled out and Arthur Blue Chip drifted out a tad allowing Four Socks clear sailing along the pylons into second but the outcome was never in doubt. In a post-race interview, Hennessey related, "Doc Moore (trainer and co-owner Dr. Ian Moore) has him razor sharp-I mean razor sharp. Out in :27.1 and home in :27.1, why I hardly even spoke to him during the mile. "And this group was no pushover, either, with a few of 'em owning sub-1:50 marks. "I wanted to put my horse on the front end because I know how much Dave's (Ingraham) horse likes the front end and didn't want to give him a chance to get away with soft fractions, especially having confidence that my horse could go a good mile tonight." Dr. Ian Moore shares ownership in Arthur Blue Chip with R G McGroup and Serge Savard, with their five year-old son of Shadow Play equaling his lifetime best mile with the win-his second of the year in four starts and 12th lifetime in only 29 starts. The victory, incidentally vaulted Arthur Blue Chip's lifetime bounty over the $500,000--$503,742 to be precise. As the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Arthur Blue Chip paid $2.40 to his multitude of backers. Bandolito lit up the tele-timer in the $11,000 Open 3 Pace with a near wire-to-wire win for George Napolitano, Jr. in 1:49.4, this after scorching panels of :26, :53.1 and 1:20.3 along the way. Next Thing Smoke'n closed fast to finished second for Rick Plano while Maddysonofagun finished third with John MacDonald in the bike. Danishdujour finished fourth while Southern Winds picked up the minor award in the octet. Bandolito, a six year-old son of Ponder owned and trained by Jenny Bier, won for the 25th time during his splendid career to send his lifetime bounty to $434,535 to go along with a splendid mark of 1:48. As the overwhelming 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Bandolito paid a $2.60 dividend to his many investors. After the race, the soft spoken Napolitano simply said, "He was on his game tonight!" The $12,000 Open 2 Pace went to Northern Companion, with Dave Ingraham in the bike, in 1:51.4 Trained by Howard Klohr for owner Dorothy Zarza, Northern Companion was dead last in his octet around the final turn but swept up widest of all on the strength to a :27.3 final panel to nail the win in the final stride-the official margin being a head. Whogoesfirst, driven by Wally Hennessey, finished second in the photo while Martial Bliss finished third for Aaron Byron, three-parts-of-a-length away. Teranadawn finished fourth while pacesetting Danger Hi Joltage finished fifth. In this action packed mile, there were several lead changes with Whogoesfirst away quickest of all and taking the field through an opening panel of :26.3 before yielding to Danger Hi Joltage, escorting the field half way through in :56.1. On the backside, Heart Felt rushed up from fifth to stick his nose in front past the third station in 1:23.1 with Danger Hi Joltage fighting to reclaim the top spot turning for home before Whogoesfirst rallied to stick his head in front in deep stretch, only to be nailed by Northern Companion on the wire. For Northern Companion, an eight year-old altered son of Cambest, it was his 46th lifetime win-38 of those at Pompano Park-with his career earnings edging closer to $300,000--$297,282 to be exact. Off at 10 to 1, Northern Companion paid $23.00-only the fourth time he's been double-digit odd in winning. In the popular "Over The Hill Gang" Series, featuring nine year-olds and up, a field of seven with combined earnings of well over $2 million and 236 lifetime wins went post-ward and it was the 11 year-old Zorgwijk Impact, driven by George Napolitano, Jr. for owner-trainer Jack Sheehan, home first in a lifetime equaling best effort of 1:54.2. Leading at every pole through panels of :28.2, :58 and 1:26.1, Zorgwijk Impact, a son of Armbro Ricochet, strolled home lengthening his margin to 7½ lengths at the wire over On The Tab (Wally Hennessey) with I'll Tell You What third. Go Jesse Go was fourth over Mad Cow Lisa, picking up the final award in thee septet. Zorgwijk Impact now has 43 lifetime wins in his career stretching 272 starts, good for earnings of $350,409. As the 4 to 5 favorite on the tote-board, Zorgwijk Impact paid $3.80 to win. Other notable performances on the Sunday program in South Florida were carded by Grande Seelster in the $10,000 pace for $20,000 claimers, Officernagentleman in the $8,800 pace for $15,000 claimers, King Royalty in a conditioned event and Thebestofjoel, also in a conditioned event. Grande Seelster ($17.60) brushed up on the backside from fourth to score a photo finish victory over Fall Toy and Buddha Blue Chip in 1:51.1 for Kevin Wallis. Owned by Enos Van Stanhope III along with trainer Tony Dinges, Grande Seelster won for the 26th time career-wise to send his bounty to $232,411. Officernagentleman ($4.80) won his fourth straight, this time for Joe Pavia, Jr., who was in the sulky for trainer Paul Holzman and the J L Benson Stables-the time of 1:50.3 being a new lifetime mark. Fritzie Pic Up Man was next in the mile followed by Hopiesdragininthedo. Officernagentleman pushed his career bounty to $286,349 with the win-his 29th career-wise. King Royalty ($10.80) lowered his mark to 1:51 by getting picture perfect handling from trainer Matt Romano in pinning a photo finish defeat on Real Catch with Aloneinspades next. Owned by C & F Associates, King Royalty now has a career bankroll of $156,601. Finally, Thebestofjoel ($2.60), handled by George Napolitano, Jr., enjoyed his class drop this night and scored a gate to wire win 1:51.1 off of hot panels of :26.3, :54.3 and 1:22.4. Trained by Tim Maier for owner Denise Maier, Thebestofjoel now has $375,416 in lifetime earnings to go along with his 32 career wins. Racing continues on Monday night with post time set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 29, 2016 - Locally-debuting Tessa Seelster with harness racing driver George Brennan at the controls overcame one eight-hole and seven elders Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $32,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. It turned out to be an outside-assigned, two-speed number, as "Tessa" and Inittowinafortune (Jordan Stratton) both left around a dormant Regil Elektra (Brian Sears). It was Tessa Seelster making the lead well before a :27.3 quarter-mile. From there, she finished off her rounds :57, 1:24.4, 1:53.2...plus an elongated inquiry regarding a possible cutting-the-cones violation). Inittowinafortune took her shot in the lane, but missed a head, with slight 2-1 favorite Rockn' Ruby N (Dan Dube), Regil Elektra and Dune in Red (Mark MacDonald) settling for the remainder. For third choice Tessa Seelster, a 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Jonathan Newman, she's now 3-for-3 this season. The exacta paid $200, with the triple returning $1,392. The former Ontario standout was a six-figure purchase before this season by her new connections. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night, with a dozen races and a first post of 7:10 PM. Frank Drucker
Pompano Beach, FL...January 24, 2016...The weather was, indeed, chilly in South Florida on Sunday night-50o-but harness racing driver George Napolitano, Jr. continued his hot hand at Pompano Park by scoring his 7,500th career victory in the $10,000 claiming ($30,000) pace with Danger Hi Joltage. Trained by Chris Oakes for owner Susan Oakes, the seven year-old gelded son of Village Jolt scored a handy win measuring two lengths in 1:52.1-his second straight victory after being claimed for $20,000 two weeks ago. KR's Power Surge (Dave Ingraham) finished second while King Royalty (Matt Romano) was third over Danish Dujour and Thebestofjoel. Don't Tell Rusty, prominent around the opening turn, made a miscue to lose all chance. The win, carded off fractions of :26.4, :56.1 and 1:24.1 was the 34th lifetime for Danger Hi Joltage, sending his career bankroll to $193,191. After the event, a reflective George Napolitano, Jr. said, "You know, it's pretty neat to get my 7,500th win here because here at Pompano Park is where I started. "I got my first qualifying win here back in late 1992 and my first pari-mutuel win here in 1993. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have been given. "I guess I'm not one for saying I've been blessed too much but, really, I have been blessed that owners and trainers have recognized my ability and I am thankful for that." Though Napolitano has been in the business for almost 25 years, more than 4,000 of his wins have come just since 2010. There were a multitude of Napolitano faithful in that event who also celebrated as they were rewarded with a $4.20 win mutual. Meanwhile, Pompano Park's main event-the $13,000 Open Pace-went to the favored Arthur Blue Chip, driven by Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey, himself the author of over 8,900 career wins. Arthur Blue Chip, the five year-old son of Shadow Play, eked out a narrow photo finish victory in 1:51.3 over Johnny Grippa (Dan Clements) with Lyons Johnny (Mike Micallef) third, a length away, in a separate photo over Bandolito, the latter cutting panels of :27, :55.4 and 1:23.1. Invader Brees Creek rallied for the nickel in his Pompano Park debut. At the outset, Johnny Grippa and Bandolito were quickest out of the gate with Arthur Blue also showing early speed to land a comfortable spot in third. Positions remained that way until midway on the backstretch when Arthur Blue Chip pulled and went gnawing after Bandolito's lead, reaching alongside turning for home and edging clear only to be threatened by Johnny Grippa, finding clear sailing along the pylons late to just miss by a neck. In a post-race interview, driver Hennessey said, "Doc Moore (Trainer Ian Moore) has done a fantastic job with this horse. He's lightly raced, made a lot of money at two and then had a situation where he had to be nursed back to health and missed the better part of two seasons. "Now that he's back, he's as tough as ever. First up trips don't bother him one bit. He seems to know that 'it's time to go to work' when he goes first up. "He went a great mile tonight-but that's not surprising for him." In making only his 28th lifetime start, Arthur Blue Chip, owned by Moore along with the R G McGroup and Serge Savard, posted his 11th career victory sending his bounty to $496,242. Off as the 1 to 5 tote-board choice, Arthur Blue Chip paid $2.40 to win. In the $9,000 claiming ($20,000) pace, George Napolitano, Jr. picked up lifetime win number 7,501 as he guided the 2 to 5 favorite, Mr. Massimo, to a handy gate-to-wire win in 1:52.1 over Grande Seelster (Wally Hennessey) and Trevor Win For Us (Tom Jackson) with All Steinem fourth and Glammit fifth in the quintet. Mr Massimo, a 10 year-old son of Astreos trained by Chris Oakes for owner Kathleen Febbraro-Napolitano, won for the 29th time in his career stretching 118 starts with a lifetime bankroll of $444,901. As the 2 to 5 public choice, Mr. Massimo paid a $2.80 dividend to his many $2 investors. Finally, in the "Over The Hill Gang" trot for nine year-olds and up, Celtic Merchant, the senior citizen of the group at 13 years-old, scored a repeat win for Rick Plano, this one is 1:57.4. The gelded son of Angus Hall, owned and trained by Steve Oldford, was away, as usual, alertly before being out-brushed early through a :28.4 opener. Shortly thereafter, Celtic Merchant sprinted to the top spot again-this time for good -as he carded panels of :58.3 and 1:27.2 before repelling the late surging Savthelstdancforme (Steve Condren) by half length. On The Tab (Wally Hennessey) rallied for third while Adenium finished fourth in a photo over the favored Mandabra. Celtic Merchant, making only his 14th start over the past two seasons due to injury, now sports a lifetime scorecard of 44-36-24 in 211 starts, good for $351,356. As 5 to 2 second choice, Celtic Merchant paid $7.20. Racing continues Monday night with a kickoff time of 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL…December 20, 2015…Pompano Park hosted a trio of harness racing features on Sunday night with Arthur Blue Chip taking top honors in the $11,500 Open Handicap Pace, Dont Tell Rusty annexing the $10,500 event for $30,000 claiming pacers and Trevor Win For Us scoring in the second leg of the Late Closing Powerline Pace. Arthur Blue Chip went a very game first-over journey to post a new lifetime mark of 1:50.1 with Wally Hennessey handling the lines for trainer Dr. Ian Moore, who co-owns with Serge Savard and the R G McGroup Ltd. The four year-old son of Shadow Play made amends for his rare miscue in his Pompano Park debut a week ago to post the 1 ½ length decision over the late charging Bluehourpower, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., with Alexa’s Jackpot, teaming up with John MacDonald for show honors. Caddillac Phil finished fourth while KR’s Power Surge picked up the minor award in a field scratched down to six. At the outset, the trio of Alexa’s Jackpot, Cadillac Phil and Arthur Blue Chip were all vying for the lead with Next Thing Smoke’n also in the mix with Hennessey deciding to stay out of the early war and find a spot in fourth ahead of Bluehourpower. With Alexa’s Jackpot and Cadillac Phil trading punches early, it was the former leading at the :26.3 quarter for a few strides before Cadillac Phil took over, only to relinquish the lead again to Alexa’s Jackpot past the half in :54.2. Once the dust settled there, Arthur Blue Chip left his cozy pocket in fourth and trudged up first over, reaching the saddle pad of the leader past three quarters in 1:22.2. From there, Arthur Blue Chip forged to the front and easily held off Bluehourpower, in turn, a neck better than Alexa’s Jackpot and a neck and a nose better than Cadillac Phil. After the event, driver Hennessey said, “You know, he’s a very good one. He had been tackling some of the tigers in recent races up north like Always B Miki and Foiled Again. He made that break leaving last week but was smooth as silk tonight. “I left a bit with him tonight but it was pretty hectic up front so I decided to stay out of that fray and take that seat in fourth. You know, when we are out there on the track, we have to make decisions. Some are right and some are not so right. I was fortunate to make the right one here. He’s quite a horse and he proved it this night.” The win was the fourth of the year for Arthur Blue Chip in 14 starts, good for bounty of $92,705 this season and $483,617 lifetime. As the 6 to 5 second choice on the board, Arthur Blue Chip paid $4.60 to win. The $10,000 pace featuring a $30,000 claiming tag for all entrants went to Dont Tell Rusty, handled by Ed Hensley in 1:51.4. The six year-old son of Tell All, trained by Paul Holzman for owner Melvin Fink, won by a half-length over the late charging Johnny Grippa (Kevin Wallis) with Thebestofjoel (Tim Maier) third. King Royalty finished fourth while Dabestleaderever finished fifth to claim the minors in the field of nine. Don’t Tell Rusty was on the engine from the get-go from post eight, grabbing the lead after a hard fought opening quarter in :27. Once on top, though, there was no breather during the next quarter with “Rusty” taking the field through a demanding half in :54.3. On the backside, only mild threats developed as King Royalty made a first over bid but never getting by Thebestofjoel turning for home. In the lane, Don’t Tell Rusty, though drifting out a lane or two, held off the late surge on the inside by Johnny Grippa to prevail. Don’t Tell Rusty, having his best season ever career-wise, posted his 12th success of the year to push his seasonal bounty to $91,690. He’s banked $183,051 lifetime. As the 3 to 5 favorite on the tote-board, Don’t Tell Rusty rewarded his backers with a $3.20 mutuel. The second leg of the Powerline Pace for claiming horses and geldings went to Trevor Win For Us, handled by Rick Plano, in a photo over Oh My Joepa (Aaron Byron) with Aloneinspades (Kevin Wallis) third. Maddyssonofagun was fourth while Dirty Devil picked up the nickel in the sextet. When the Hummer wings folded, Oh My Joepa was urged to the front with Aloneinspades to his inside and Trevor Win For Us using his inside post to close the gap to get the garden journey. After a pair of :28 quarters, Lyons Josephjnr, the favorite, launched his bid but came up empty this night as Oh My Joepa reached station number three in 1:25. Right then, Trevor Win For Us left the pocket and engaged Oh My Joepa in a stretch long battle, prevailing by a neck at the wire in 1:53.1. After the event, driver Plano kidded, “The drive made all the difference in the world tonight! “Actually, the luck of the draw was on our side because, once we closed the hole, we got just a perfect trip back of Byron (Oh My Joepa). Once we left the pocket, it was tooth and nail all the way down the lane. Neither of us really gave an inch and it could have gone either way. OK, the driver AND the draw won it for us—along with the talent of the horse, of course!” Trained by Jake Huff for his wife and owner Rosie Huff, Trevor Win For Us, a recent addition to the stable, won for the third time in 2015, sending his seasonal bounty to $40,700. The eight year-old of Cheyenne Rei now has amassed $222,244 in lifetime bounty to go along with his 1:50.1 mark. As third choice in the win pool, Trevor Win For Us paid $12.60 to his faithful. Racing continues Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on this holiday week with post time at 7:30 on Monday and Tuesday and 7:00 on Wednesday when the track offers 14 pre-holiday races. by John Berry for Pompano Park
YONKERS, NY, Friday, December 11, 2015-- Skippin' By (Matt Kakaley, $7.20) ducked in and went by Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $20,000 high-conditioned filly and mare pacing feature. Skippin' By, a gapping third from post position No. 2, saw 17-10 favorite, pole-sitter Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter) two-move to lead around Regil Elektra (Brian Sears). The former footprinted early intervals of :27.3 and :57 before Al Raza N (Eric Carlson) took out of fourth, just in front of Apricot Sour (Dan Dube). Al Raza N engaged Jonsie Jones at the 1:24.4 three-quarters before dismissing her early in the lane. The leader was done, but Regil Elektra then angled outsider of her. That left the pylons for a resurgent Skippin' By, who had closed ranks before edging past. The margin over Regil Elektra was a half-length in 1:52.4. Al Raza N, All About Kisses (Mark MacDonald) and For the Ladies N (Jordan Stratton) rounded out the payees. For second choice Skippin' By, a 4-year-old Shadow Play miss co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Wall Brothers Stable and Bruce Soulsby, it was her sixth win in 27 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $32.80, the triple returned $83 and the superfecta paid $652. Note since no one took down Friday night's Pick 5 wager, Saturday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $3,722.22 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). Also note that with Sunday's matinee concluding the racing season, that Pick 5 shall be paid to those ticket(s) with the highest number of correct winners (no carryover into 2016). Yonkers' 2015 racing season wraps up with programs Saturday evening (first post 7:10 PM) and Sunday late morning (first post 11:15 AM). Frank Drucker
TORONTO, November 27 - The Murmuring Pan and Much Adoo will have a shot at an Autumn Series sweep after victories in round two of harness racing action Friday night at Woodbine. A total of four $18,000 Autumn Series divisions for three-year-old fillies were contested Friday night. Both the pacing and trotting divisions required two splits. In the first pacing division, Amazing Control came through as the public's choice with a 1:55 victory. The Meg Crone trainee and driver Jody Jamieson got away third and sat in the position through the opening half-mile. Around the final turn, Amazing Control came first up to overtake the lead from Mach Magic and post a three-quarter clocking of 1:25.1. In the stretch, Amazing Control was able to create a few lengths of separation on her rivals and paced a :29.2 final-quarter for a 2¾ length victory. Show Some Leg came from seventh at the three-quarter pole for second, while Double Olives was third. A daughter of Shadow Play, Amazing Control finished second in last week's opening leg. Friday's victory was first of the season for the sophomore pacing filly and second of her career. Amazing Control is owned by Hutt Racing Stable. She has now banked over $25,000 this season and $53,000 overall. Amazing Control paid $4.50 to win. Amazing Control Much Adoo was a repeat winner with a gate-to-wire performance in the second division. The Isaac Waxman trainee was put on the front by driver Trevor Henry and hung up an opening-quarter of :27.4. After fractions of :58.2 and 1:27.2, Much Adoo scooted away from her rivals with ease and scored a 2¾ length victory in 1:55.2. Aniston Seelster, the heavy 1/5 favourite, finished second, while Pinky Tuscadero was third. A daughter of Classic Card Shark, Much Adoo was making her second start for Waxman after posting a 1:54.4 victory in last week's first leg. The sophomore pacing filly has now visited the winner's circle on five occasions this season. Much Adoo is a perfect two for two for owners Aaron Waxman and Alan Alber. Her seasonal earnings currently sit at over $59,000. Much Adoo paid $9.50 to win. Much Adoo On the trotting side, The Murmuring Pan picked up right where she left off last week with another easy-looking victory. Driven by Henry, The Murmuring Pan floated out from post eight and cleared to the lead just after an opening-quarter of :28.1. It was game over for the seven other trotting fillies once the heavy favourite took the lead. The Murmuring Pan posted panels of :57.4 and 1:27.1, before trotting home under wraps in :29.4 for a 4½ length victory in 1:57. Brinkers Dream got up for second, while P L Indyanaca finished third. A daughter of Kadabra, The Murmuring Pan is owned and trained by Paul Reid. The sophomore trotting filly has now won five of eight in 2015, including last week's opening leg in 1:57.2. The Murmuring Pan now has seven career wins and earnings exceeding $75,000. The Reid trainee paid $2.10 to win. The Murmuring Pan After a pair of narrow defeats, Tymal Fireitup was able to come out on top Friday night in the second trotting division. The Julie Walker trainee and driver Sylvain Filion got away fourth in the field of eight. Filion pulled on the right line nearing the halfway point to put Tymal Fireitup first over. Around the final turn, Tymal Fireitup and Filion were able to charge up and poke a head in front at the three-quarter pole in 1:28. In the stretch, Tymal Fireitup trotted home in :29.3 to win by a length in 1:57.3. Aspen California trotted home well to finish second, while Hope Rises was third. A daughter of Kadabra, Tymal Fireitup now has four wins in 20 starts this season for earnings of over $51,000. Walker co-owns the filly with Steven Williamson and Jean Bernard Renaud. Tymal Fireitup now has seven career victories and a bankroll of over $63,000. The clocking of 1:57.3 lowered her career-mark by almost a full-second. The Walker trainee paid $3.90 to win. Tymal Fireitup In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired three-year-old fillies had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2015 as of September 30, 2015. The fillies will wrap up the Autumn Series next Friday with both finals. The pacing fillies final will go for a purse of $37,800, while the trotting fillies will battle for a purse of $36,800. Autumn Series action continues Saturday night with the second-leg for the three-year-old colts and geldings. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie
WILKES-BARRE PA -- In the $24,000 co-featured events at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, both winners used "pocket rocket" tactics to emerge with victories -- Extracurricular on the trot and Arthur Blue Chip on the pace. Extracurricular, a veteran Revenue S gelding owned by Darren Mahoney, had a tougher time making his rally effective -- as befits a 10-1 shot trying to catch a 1-5 pacesetting favorite, Somebody As. But Extracurricular dug in for the stretch battle with gameness and edged his frontstepping rival while taking a new mark of 1:52 at age nine for the brother team of driver Simon and trainer Rene Allard. Arthur Blue Chip was the 11-10 favorite in his event and collared pacesetting Somethinginthewind with a bit more ease, but then the son of Shadow Play had to stay in high gear to withstand the persistent first-over Ontario Success, whose bid for victory came up a half-length shy. Dr. Ian Moore conditions the winner, who was third in his Breeders Crown elimination last month, for the Shadow One Stable. George Napolitano Jr., the winningest driver in North American harness racing this season, visited Victory Lane five times on the Saturday card at Pocono to raise his margin over second-place Aaron Merriman to 22, with the score now Napolitano 743, Merriman 721. "George Nap" will get a chance to add to his margin Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, but then Merriman will compete on four cards -- Northfield Sunday night, The Meadows Monday afternoon and Northfield Monday night, and The Meadows Tuesday afternoon -- before Napolitano resumes sulky action here Tuesday night, concurrent with Merriman racing at Northfield. There are two more weeks of racing in the 2015 season here at The Downs, with the trotters and pacers going on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings this week and next, with the final night November 21. From the PHHA and Pocono Downs
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Everyone is treating Silverhill Shadow as the one to beat in the Thursday night harness racing feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 7 pm for the 12-dash card that features a field of eight pacers battling in the race 11 feature. Silverhill Shadow has post 5 in the $2,100 affair for trainer-driver Terry Gallant and owner Silverhill of Tignish. The four-year-old son of Shadow Play was an impressive 1:56 winner in his latest outing after making an equipment break on Oct. 11, and being scratched as the Thursday night feature favorite on Oct. 1. Race analyst Les McIsaac agrees with the Red Shores race office's selection of Silverhill Shadow as the morning line favourite. "He left a pretty good field in the dust last week after that near disaster the previous start," McIsaac said. "Steps up slightly but he's been here before and if he's able to secure the lead again it could be all over." Oh To Be Me is a major factor from post 7 with trainer-driver-owner Gary Chappell, fresh off a 1:55.4 third place finish in the preferred pace, along with the ultra consistent Van Zant, who has missed just two cheques from 25 starts in 2015, with Ron Matheson in the bike. Other entries include Perfect Escape (Marc Campbell), Cambest Kisser (Jason Hughes), J Rs Hurricane (Ken Murphy), Mcjestic (Walter Cheverie) and Cheyenne Ford (Kenny Arsenault). The back-up pace goes to post in race 7 with the renewal of the weekly rivalry between Lyndale Royal and Sinners In Heaven. Sinners In Heaven (Chappell) has post 5 in the $1,700 event while Lyndale Royal (Campbell) rides his four-race win streak from post 6. The evening trot class lines up in race 4 for a $1,750 purse with Frill Seeker the morning line choice for trainer-driver Arsenault and owner Ebbsfleet Stables of Stratford, Ont. The seven-year-old son of Angus Hall leaves from post 5 in the seven-horse-field. By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores
DATE, 2015 - Harness racing trainer Dave Menary will arrive at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday evening with eight Super Final contenders, including two division point leaders, but the Cambridge, ON resident says his starters have their work cut out for them in the Ontario Sires Stakes program's $2 million season finale. "When the sheet came out, you know Free Show drawing the 10-hole, and Nvestment drawing the 10-hole, it was just a heart-breaker," said Menary of the post position results for his top two-year-old pacing filly Free Show and two-year-old pacing colt division leader Nvestment Bluechip. "Nvestment he's just risen to the occasion. He's been my favourite colt since November and he's kind of lived up to it," said the trainer, whose Ontario Sires Stakes starters have earned a program leading $802,700 this season. "His last start -- to take a lifetime mark and beat Betting Line fair and square -- we raced the whole way, we were out there to race, and we're going to be out there to race again Saturday night. We're just going to have to overcome our post." In four regular season Gold Series starts Nvestment Bluechip posted three wins and one fourth to finish with 158 points. The son of Shadow Play and Hazes Zure Bet also won his Champlain Stakes division at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 12 and has earned $219,283 for owners Menary Racing Inc. of Rockton, Michael Guerriero of Brampton, Denis Breton of Welland and Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON. The colt, a $40,000 purchase from the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, heads into Saturday's fifth race off a 1:51.1 personal best in the last Gold Leg of the season. His rivals in the two-year-old pacing colt division will line up in the order they finished in the point standings with Semi Automatic at Post 3, Voracity at Post 4, and Betting Line at Post 5. "I think the horse is as good right now as he's been all year, but I think it's the worst post he's ever had, so we'll see how those two factors together work out," said Menary, who will entrust the colt to regular reinsman Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON. "We're going out there to win, so he's going to have to work pretty hard from the 10-hole, and we'll see how that pans out." In addition to Free Show, Menary will harness two other hopefuls in the freshman pacing filly season finale, which will be the first $250,000 Super Final to go postward on Saturday. Heavenly Hill and New Jersey-based driver Tim Tetrick landed Post 4, Maniana and Guelph, ON resident James MacDonald will start from Post 9, while Free Show and Jamieson will be handicapped by the outside Post 10. Bred and owned by Tom Hill of Hamilton, ON, Heavenly Hill was a winner in the Aug. 15 Gold Leg at Georgian Downs and the Art Colony daughter heads into Saturday's test off a runner-up effort at Mohawk on Sept. 28. Unlike her stablemates, Maniana did not win a regular season Gold division, but Menary says the Sportswriter filly has been in the picture in most of her starts. William Donovan of Ft. Lauderdale, FL owns Maniana, who was a $12,000 acquisition from last November's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Free Show led her stablemates in the division standings, finishing third with one win, one second and three thirds for a total of 137 points, and the Badlands Hanover daughter was also victorious in her elimination and the final of the Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway. Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA acquired the winner of $205,773 from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $14,000 and Menary says she may be the fastest two-year-old in Ontario in a sprint away from the starting gate. "I don't think there's any two-year-old colt or filly that can out leave her," attested the horseman. "I didn't want to have to try to prove it from the 10-hole, but she can absolutely follow the car, and we've done that all year, she's been so handy. You can follow the car out of there, and leave any kind of quarter you want to leave with her, and she'll just come right back to you." Division heavyweights Thatsoveryverynice, L A Delight and Twin B Thong will make their bid for the Super Final crown from Posts 5, 6, and 8, respectively, in the second race. Two-year-old trotting filly One Too Many makes her first start out of the Menary barn in Saturday's Super Final and the trainer says he and his staff have been tinkering with the young trotter's equipment in an effort to maximize her raw speed. "She's a filly that's made a good impression on me so far. Anthony MacDonald did a very good job with her all year," said the trainer. "The filly is maybe just a step behind the best fillies, but she has a very quick turn of foot. I think I've made changes that have helped her, and hopefully they don't backfire." Guelph, ON resident Anthony MacDonald will steer One Too Many from Post 2 in Saturday's third race on behalf of Rene Allard of Milford, PA, who purchased the Manofmanymissions daughter from the 2014 Canadian Yearling Sale for $14,000. Aside from Devils Advocate, who will start from Post 3, the big names in the freshman trotting filly division will be loaded on the outside of the starting gate. Division leader Caprice Hill gets Post 7, Emoticon Hanover will start from Post 8 and Could It Be Magic has Post 9. Menary's final group of starters will go postward in the seventh race, when the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will wage the last Ontario Sires Stakes battle of their careers. Last season's Super Final champion Reverend Hanover and North America Cup Consolation winner Physicallyinclined are expected to give fans another epic battle from Posts 7 and 4, respectively, but Menary is hoping his trio can earn their share of the $250,000. "I think every colt in the race is a step behind the best two colts, so the three that I have in there, I would like to see them all get a piece of the pie, and the bigger the better," said the trainer. "This is supposed to be the glamour boy division for Ontario so they're all going to be going, they're all going to be racing, hopefully things happen and my three can all pick up good pieces." Sportsmanship will start from Post 2 for Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Denis Breton of Welland, Thomas Kyron of Toronto and Parkinson Farms of Lucan, ON, getting the driving services of Jody Jamieson. The Sportswriter gelding finished the season in ninth spot in the standings and Menary expects an off-the-pace effort from the winner of $109,890. Robert Hill and Tim Tetrick will start from Post 3 and Menary expects another solid effort from the game pacer. Hamilton resident Tom Hill owns the Jeremes Jet gelding, who has banked $172,790. The final member of Menary's three-year-old pacing trio is division point leader J Js Delivery, who posted one win, one second, two thirds and one fifth in the regular season to tally 104 points. The Jeremes Jet gelding battled hard all season and the trainer does not expect things to change in the season finale. "It's just been ultra-tough all year. He's gone a lot of hard trips and he's been going a long time," said Menary, who trains the winner of $222,031 for owner-breeder Robert Hamather of Exeter, ON and will entrust the lines to James MacDonald. "I think from the eight-hole we're going to be going for it. We've given him a lot of hard trips; I don't think we're going to stop now." In addition to being treated to eight outstanding Super Final battles on Saturday evening, Woodbine Racetrack fans will also receive an Ontario Sires Stakes ball cap with their program purchase. The evening's first race goes postward at 7:25 pm, with the eight $250,000 Super Finals featured in Races 2, 3, and 5 through 10. For the full program click here. Ontario Horse Racing
OCT. 1, 2015 - Harness racing trainer Ben Baillargeon says Tessa Seelster may not be the prettiest filly to watch on the racetrack, but when it comes to grit and heart the three-year-old pacing filly has no equal. "She's a very gutsy mare, because she almost died as a two-year-old," explained Rockwood, ON resident Baillargeon. "She was on the operating table for colic surgery and the small bowel ruptured so they had to sew it by hand, and the chance of her surviving was about slim and none." Not only did Tessa Seelster survive the surgery, she went on to race as two-year-old, posting two victories in seven starts, and on Thursday evening she captured her first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy in Gold Series action at Flamboro Downs. Starting from Post 3 in the first $105,000 division, driver Mario Baillargeon of Milton, ON settled Tessa Seelster into fourth as fan favourite Solar Sister fired off the starting gate to a :27.1 opening quarter. The resinman kept Tessa Seelster in fourth through the :56.1 half and then sent the daughter of Shadow Play up the outside, reaching the 1:24.4 three-quarters with a narrow lead. Tessa Seelster stayed game down the stretch, holding off Maplelea for a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.1. Capela was well behind the leaders in third. "The half-mile is not her best asset, and she still made it today, so I am very pleased with the result," said Baillargeon, who conditions the filly for Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, QC. "Very pleased with the result and looking forward to next week." Tessa Seelster and the other nine leading point earners from the five regular season Gold events will make their next start in the $250,000 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 10. "She will try her heart out anyway, because she's a very gutsy mare," noted Baillargeon. Among the fillies joining Tessa Seelster on the starting gate at Woodbine will be Thursday's other division winner, Glamour Seelster. With Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair in the race bike Glamour Seelster fired off the starting gate from Post 2 and landed third on the rail as fan favourite Wrangler Magic led the field to a :28.1 opening quarter. The pair continued to sit third as Wrangler Magic paced by the half in :57, then circled around the leaders to take command before the 1:25 three-quarters. From there Glamour Seelster cruised home a one and one-half length winner in 1:53, with Ms Mac N Cheese and Wrangler Magic crossing the finish line in her wake. "She's a high speed filly, she can pace as fast as any horse I've driven for a piece," said McNair. "She's getting better every week." The driver's father, Gregg McNair of Guelph, conditions Glamour Seelster for Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, MI. The win, her first in Gold Series action, improved the Jeremes Jet daughter's record to seven wins, one second and one third in 11 starts and boosted her earnings to $155,033. In addition to the sophomore pacing fillies' last regular season Gold event, Flamboro Downs also hosted the regular season finale for the two-year-old pacing colts on Thursday. Two-time Grassroots winner Continual Hanover made the move to the Gold Series level look easy, reeling in pacesetter Arsenic in the stretch to post a three-quarter length victory in 1:55.1. Fan favourite Nocturnal Bluechip was hot on Arsenic's heels in third. "He's always been right on the cusp of the Gold, but it was a bit easier to stay with the Grassroots," said driver Jody Jamieson of Continual Hanover. "Tonight he was real good, and dodged (division leaders) Voracity, Betting Line and Nvestment Bluechip, which is always good." Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON owns and trains Continual Hanover, who qualified for the freshman pacing colt Super Final with Thursday's victory. The Bettor's Delight colt will require a new driver for the Oct. 10 test as Jamieson is already committed to division point leader Nvestment Bluechip, but the Moffat, ON resident says the colt is a legitimate player in the season finale. "I think he's got a good chance with the right trip," said Jamieson of Continual Hanover's prospects. "He's peaking at the right time." In the second pacing colt division, Semi Automatic earned his second Gold trophy with an effortless six and one-half length score over New Talent and Cruise Patrol. The fan favourite and driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON hit the wire in 1:55. "Semi was great tonight. He has had a great year," said MacDonald of the Badlands Hanover son. "Tonight he was pacing great, drew well (Post 2), so I moved him to the front and he controlled the race and won pretty handy." MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Puslinch, ON and his partners Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL and J and T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY. The win bumped Semi Automatic into second spot in the division standings with 142 points from two wins, one second, one third and one fifth in the five regular season Gold events. The Gold Series regular season wraps up at Woodbine Racetrack on Friday, Oct. 2 with two $105,000 divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, and then the Toronto oval will welcome the best horses from each division for the $2 million Super Final Night on Oct. 10. Ontario Horse Racing
Glenferrie Typhoon's force is looking more and more powerful every time he steps out of late. The Andy Gath trained trotter, who won Friday night’s Bacardi Lindy Trot in easy fashion, looks destined for bigger and better things. The six-year-old by Majestic Son out of Cyclone Vance now boasts back-to-back wins at Melton and next year’s Great Southern Star is potentially on the radar. After working hard three-wide for the first half a kilometre, Glenferrie Typhoon eventually found the top, giving early pacesetter Action Kosmos a trail in the 2240-metre race. Once in front driver Kate Gath applied the brakes and the gelding trotted through his first and second quarters in 32secs and 31.3secs, sprinting up down the back to get Action Kosmos off the bit and chasing (29.3secs) before blasting clear seemingly under a hold in the home straight to score by 10.8 metres in a mile rate of 1-58.9 (last quarter 27.6secs). Action Kosmos held on for second place, defiantly withstanding the challenge of Cold Sister in third. Later on the card Ellas Puppeteer beat Iceobar in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series C Final. The four-year-old gelding by Shadow Play out of Smiley Ella, who smashed the track record at Charlton leading into Friday night’s race, rated 1-53.7 over 1720 metres from his inside-back-row draw. Trainer/driver Michael Stanley kept Ellas Puppeteer out of trouble early, going back to last before cruising around the field to assume control at the bell. Iceobar trailed and stuck on gamely thereafter but was no match for the winner. Ellas Puppeteer now boasts three wins from five starts and looks to have a sparkling metro career in front of him. by Cody Winnell >> Replays and results from Friday night's Melton trots.
The Puppet, Chris Alford, is not in town at the harness racing meeting at Melton tomorrow night but The Puppeteer sure will be. Ellas Puppeteer, who set chins wagging and people scouring the record books with a 1-52.8 win at Charlton last time out, will line up in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series C Final. It is Race 10 at 10.40pm but punters will want to stay up late to see what eventuates. Ellas Puppeteer has had four starts for two wins and two seconds, the four-year-old gelding winning his last two with ease – his most recent win in track record time at Charlton. At his most recent triumph Ellas Puppeteer was parked outside leader Iceobar throughout before pulling clear for a mighty win by 12.4 metres, Stanley expertly pulling the strings. “It’s interesting because everyone has said that to me,” the reinsman said when asked about driving the gelding along coming around the home turn last time out. “On the track though, in the race it always felt like I had the leader covered.” Ellas Puppeteer is superbly bred, by top sire Shadow Play out of Smiley Ella, who the Stanleys raced for two wins from five starts. Smiley Ella won a Vicbred Super Series heat at two defeating Glenferrie Inn by 6.6 metres in 2-01.5 but bowed a tendon and only raced twice more after a lengthy stint on the sidelines. Smiley Ella’s dam, Exotic Strike, was also trained by the Stanley stable and won $171,945 in stakes – including victory in the rich Australian Pacing Gold Final at Moonee Valley in 2000. Ellas Puppeteer is also a half-brother to Arms Of Ink, who won two from two last year before also injuring a leg. His scans are all clear now and he’ll return to the track soon. As for Ellas Puppeteer he’s a C1, but not for long. “We think he can measure up (to the top-class four-year-olds)." :To be honest, the horse has got that much improvement in him,” Stanley said. “Once he develops a bit of gate speed he’ll be a lot better." "He’s learning how to race more every time.” Drawing eight behind likely pacemaker Iceobar from the pole is not ideal, Stanley freely admits. “It’s a hard one,” he said. “Dad and I were talking about it last night and he’s of the view that you take the luck out of it and come off the fence." "I think Iceobar would probably hold the lead." “But at the end of the day the horse (Ellas Puppeteer) has a long future and will win better races than this.” Cody Winnell