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Rising talent Jack Trainor and accomplished local Nathan Hurst took the honours when the NSW Rising Stars series came to last Wednesday’s meeting harness racing meeting at Group One Feeds Paceway Bathurst. Trainor, the eventual winner of the series, demonstrated why he is regarded as one of the best young drivers in the nation by completing a clean-sweep of the three Bathurst heats, while Hurst drove a double and supplied a further winner to complete a training treble. Trainor’s clean-sweep came via The Merchant Banker NZ, Keilor Kimberly and Missed By Red, for trainers Neal Wardle, David Hewitt and Steve Turnbull. The Merchant Banker NZ ($2.00 favourite) was taken straight to the front in the C2-backed sprint, heat three of the week-long series, and withstood sustained pressure from a number of mid-race challengers, before digging in at the finish to hold off Flight Express (Chris Geary), which used the sprint lane, and Tulhurst Candy (Kristy Sheehy). All quarters were sub-thirty seconds, so the overall mile rate of 1:55.9 came as no surprise.  In a post-race interview, Trainor commented that drivers invitation races, and particularly those for junior drivers, are usually run very quickly because most horses are put into the race at some stage. This was demonstrated perfectly in the following race, a 2260 metres C1 heat, when a near-suicidal 45.8 lead time, backed up by a first half of 60.2 seconds, set up the race for the run-on horses. Keilor Kimberly ($17.80) came with a wet sail to win easily, from Black Poles (Daniel Morgan) and Blissfull Dixie (Chris Geary), in a smart 1:57.4 for the testing trip. Chris Geary, who must have been feeling some frustration after being placed in all four heats of the series to that point, gained some consolation by taking out a support event, leading throughout a 2260 metres C2-C3 class with Regal Point ($6.80), one of three Bernie Hewitt-trained horses to line up. A smart 57.6 last half gave his rivals no chance of running him down. Missed By Red ($2.60 favourite) completed Trainor’s perfect performance, by running out a decisive winner in heat five, a C0 sprint. With the lead unavailable, because of a 27.9 opening quarter, the Somebeachsomewhere filly was given a lovely position mid-field, and strolled home in 28.9 for an easy win. Monterey Jack (Ellen Bartley) held on for second, with Golden Montana (Nathan Carroll) getting up for third. The three winning drives were achieved in contrasting style, but they all demonstrated a maturity beyond Trainor’s twenty-one years. Not surprising, perhaps, given his excellent grounding in the sport in his New Zealand homeland, where he worked for leading trainer Cran Dalgety, before heading to a new home in New South Wales and good opportunities driving for a number of leading stables.  He’s a very impressive young man. Nathan Hurst didn’t have the opportunity to compete in any junior drivers series when he started out, but he does have something in common with Jack Trainor, a good “apprenticeship” in New Zealand, when he took himself across the ditch to work for Barry Purdon, before returning to Bathurst to set up a professional stable. Tulhurst Sarsha ($3.80 favourite) got Hurst’s night off to the perfect start by coming out from behind leader Gentleman Red and grabbing that horse right on the line, with Boyzinblue taking the minor prize, in a C0-C1 sprint. The overall mile rate was 1:58.6, but the last quarter in 28.0 was pretty sharp. Saloon Passage had set tongues wagging with a 1:54 trial win at the track  nine days earlier, so it was no surprise to see him installed as $1.30 favourite for the C4+  fast-class  fifth, despite being first-up for several months, and over the longer 2260 metres distance. Hurst pinged him straight to the lead, where he gradually quickened the tempo, home in 28.7 and 27.8, for a creditable 1:57.3 rate, with runner-up My Dusky Sound NZ responsible for an enormous effort after a tough run outside the lead. Last-start winner Uncle Lile made late ground for third. Hurst was very pleased by the win, and also a little relieved, given it was over the longer trip and first-up. Present plans are to head back to Menangle, in search of the M0 win that has so far eluded this very talented and enigmatic pacer. When he does get that well-deserved success, he will pass $100,000 in stakes earnings. Blazing Brax ($4.40, Angela Hedges) completed an excellent night for the Hurst stable by taking out a 2C0-2C1 sprint, leading throughout and holding on, by a half-neck margin, from favourite Miss Irish Rose and Shot To Stardom. She held on to the win in the stewards room afterwards, surviving a protest from the runner-up after drifting out in the run home.  It was the third win this term for the Julius Caesar gelding, a $10,000 purchase at last year’s Gold Crown sale. Williewa Ace ($56.20, Jason Turnbull/Wayne Jeffree) gave the on-course bookmaker some relief by taking out the 1730 metres C0 final event. It was the maiden win for the lightly-raced four-year-old, but the latest in a successful partnership for the Lagoon reinsman and Portland trainer.  Placings went to Pia Pizaz and Paulie Walnuts. Bathurst will race on Fridays over the next couple of months, with this week’s meeting an afternoon fixture, followed by a “Christmas in July” celebration in the club in the evening. Terry Neil

Harness racing driver Corey Callahan got the jump on Driver of the Week honors, finding the winner's circle five times on Friday night at The Meadowlands. Callahan didn't waste any time, winning the first two year old event of the season at The Meadowlands, with the John Butenschoen trained Ideal Rocky, a Rocknroll Hanover colt that cost $47,000 at the Harrisburg yearling sale. Callahan and Butenschoen would team up again later on the night, winning a condition trotting event with the Currier and Ives winner, Suit and Tie (Andover Hall). The Captain would also go on to score with B Stern (Bettor's Delight) in wire to wire fashion in a condition pacing event for fillies and mares at 13-1. He also guided Beach Story (Somebeachsomewhere) to a strong win in a very tough upper-level condition pacing event for mares and steered Tirade Hanover (Crazed) to a well-meant win in a competitive middle level condition trotting event. With the five wins, Callahan moved into the top-five in the Meadowlands drivers standings. The feature race of the night was the $50,000 TVG Free For All Trot, the third leg in the $1.2 Million series. Obrigado made his debut in the series and he made it a winning one, scoring in impressive fashion in 1:51.3, a lifetime best performance. Last week, Obrigado found himself locked in throughout the mile while crying out for racing room in the stretch, Mark Macdonald made sure that wouldn't happen this time, putting his gelding in the game early. But Obrigado had to work hard early on, parked out by DW's NY Yank, the 9/5 favorite and the two raced in tandem past the quarter in 26.3. Shortly after the trotters turned into the backstretch, Obrigado cleared the lead and it was a lead he would not relinquish. MacDonald effectively backed his trotter down to a 55.3 half mile before reaching three-quarters in 1:25.1, completely a tepid 58.3 middle half-mile. In the stretch, the Boy Band gelding  simply out-sprinted the field, kicking home in 26.2 to complete the triumph. Flanagan Memory rallied to finish second with Melady's Monet overcoming traffic trouble in the stretch to finish third. Obrigado is co-owned by his trainer Paul Kelley, L. Higgins and W. Weaver III. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 survived another night, despite a 15-1 upset and that carryover will be $168,564 into the Saturday program. The last race carryover swelled to $149,836 as well. Racing resumes on Saturday with first post time at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

WILKES-BARRE PA - There will be a tremendous amount of great horses and great harness racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono between this Saturday's eliminations and next Saturday's $1.8M worth of four Championships on Sun Stakes Saturday (July 4). But the stakes spotlight will not go dark in the four cards in between at the mountain oval, as Pennsylvania All-Stars action for two-year-olds will be featured on each of the four cards in between.   The Pennsylvania All-Stars, for state-sired horses, have traditionally been gathered in a 10-day period in proximity to the Fourth of July until this year, when the crowding of the stakes schedule suggested moving the 3YO events to May, to give eligibles some stakes competition before the Grand Circuit events got in high gear. The 2YO races are staying in their usual spot, which has been the introduction of many future stars to the sport in recent years. Trotting colts are featured on Sunday, June 28; pacing fillies two days after that; trotting fillies the next day; and then the pacing colts on Friday, July 3, as Pocono expands to a five-card-a-week schedule during summer's "prime time."   Sunday's trotting colts are divided into six divisions of a $180,000 event. There are already sixteen "winners" in the races, mostly in qualifiers/non-purse baby races, although one has won a pari-mutuel race and one a Fair Sire Stakes at Bloomsburg. Of these, seven already have winning lines timed in 2:00 or faster.   Two of the youngsters, the Donato Hanover colt Mr Right and the Cantab Hall gelding Alexander Hanover, have already taken a win in 1:57.3f. Mr Right earned his record in a June 12 non-purse baby event at Pocono for trainer Leigh Raymer, and was made the 2-5 favorite in a June 21 local overnight, but his uncovered move in that event was resisted by Alexander Hanover, who went wire-to-wire for trainer Bill Popfinger.   On Tuesday, five divisions of freshman pacing fillies will answer the starter's call in $150,000 worth of competition. 19 of these babies already have wins, again mostly in 2YO-restricted events, with 16 already having broken the 2:00 barrier.   The fastest of the group to date is the Somebeachsomewhere miss Pure Country, who took a Meadowlands qualifier in 1:54.4 - 26.4 for trainer Jimmy Takter, who is also rumored to be good with the occasional trotter. A daughter of Yankee Cruiser, Danika P, has won in pari-mutuel competition, a Meadows overnight in 1:55.4f for trainer Ron Burke. (Takter and Burke - together again.)   PHHA/ Pocono  

Ararat freelance reinsman Michael Bellman took the honours for the night at the harness racing meeting at Terang on Tuesday June 23 with a driving treble – Babalaas Jack in the Noir Rover 3-Y-0 Pace over 1680 metres, Four Starzzz Fella in the Welcome Computers Pace for C1 class over the same journey and Sheza Party Doll in the Phonse Hickey Memorial Pace for C0 class over 2180 metres. Babalaas Jack a fully American bred Somebeachsomwhere/Western Tingira colt bred and raced by David Carpenter and trained at Great Western by Michelle Wight, spent most of the race at the tail of the field after starting from the extreme draw. Despite being five wide on the final bend, Babalaas Jack was too strong at the finish for a most unlucky Mister Chomp which was all set to win approaching the final bend only to go off stride before getting going again in the straight to fail by a head in 2-00.1. Cheersbigears finished third after trailing the weakening leader Aurelius. Five year old Four Starzzz Shark/Clarenden Diva gelding Four Starzzz Fella trained at Heywood by Kevin Brough coming off a victory at Mildura on June 12, was given an easy time three back in the moving lane after also starting from the extreme draw. Moving forward three wide uncovered in the final circuit, Four Starzzz Fella outstayed his rivals to score by 6.7 metres in advance of a death-seating Smoken Fields, with the pacemaker Emma Jade third. The mile rate 1-59.9. Michael Bellman was to finish the night on a high note after Holmes Hanover/Divine Lustre 5-Y-0 gelding Our Bold Lustre landed the Murfett & Whiting Pace for C1 class over 2180 metres, as he trains the winner. Using a concession for Denbeigh Wade, Our Bold Lustre began with a rush from outside the front line, but was unable to head off the speedy Jilliby Diablo (gate four). Taking cover on Our Uptown Girl mid-race, Our Bold Lustre switched down to the sprint lane on straightening to score by 1.9 metres over Jilliby Diablo in 2-02.2, with Destined To Take (three wide last lap from last) third. Sheza Party Doll a 4-Y-0 mare by Dream Away from Lombo Party Doll trained by Bec East at the Brough property, came from near last at the bell after starting from gate three on the second line to defeat Mister Untouchable which raced parked from the bell by 2.2 metres in 2-01.9. Dayraid (one/one at bell) finished third after switching down to trail the weakening pacemaker and odds-on favourite Jilliby Passion in the last lap.   Bec East landed a training double at the meeting, when Rocknroll Hanover/Best Of Wine gelding Dancin With Elvis greeted the judge in the Talisman Floats 3-Y-0 Pace over 1680 metres with Jayson Finnis in the sulky. Starting from gate two, Dancin With Elvis angled away from four back the markers to be one/one for the last lap, before running home strongly to account for Esspee Rockstar (gate three) which galloped away before circling the field to lead at the bell. Turbo Elly finished third after easing to face the breeze from three back the markers in the last lap. The mile rate 2-01.7.   Four year old Chief Marty/Quintessa Bromac gelding Our Supreme Guy gave veteran Glenburnie (Mt Gambier) trainer Ken Dihm a happy birthday present when successful in the Cooinda Work Crew Pace for C1 class over 2180 metres at Terang. Driven by local Glen Craven, Our Supreme Guy showed blistering speed from gate five to lead easily as the mobile moved away, before surrendering to the polemarker Nobetterthanthis which moved off his back to assume control. Using the sprint lane, Our Supreme Guy raced clear over the concluding stages to register a 2.3 metre victory over Nobetterthanthis and Top Trio which followed the pair. The mile rate 2-02. It was Our Supreme Guy’s 5th victory in 39 outings. Ken Dihm had enormous success in the nineties with a fabulous mare by the name of Helens Pleasure who won 32 races including several at Moonee Valley and Globe Derby Park.   Dunnstown brothers John and David Murphy snared the Terang Co-Op Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2180 metres with honest 5-Y-0 Armbro Variable/Irish Tess gelding Tommy Kay in a mile rate of 2-08.2. Coming from 10 metres, Tommy Kay was sent forward by David to park in the open with The Night Wind leading from barrier two.  Gaining cover when Bee Arr Dee dashed to face the breeze at the bell from mid-field, Tommy Kay Joined Bee Arr Dee on the home turn and finished best to register a 13 metre victory (his third) over Veegee Bentley (four back the markers), with Bee Arr Dee holding down third. Long Forest duo Andy and Kate Gath’s Kiwi bred Bettor’s Delight/We Love To Party 4-Y-0 gelding Party Boy led throughout from the pole to land the Dick & Anne Box Pace for C4 to C5 class over 2180 metres. Allowed to dictate terms to suit without any challengers, Party Boy was untroubled to win by 7.9 metres from No Bettertime along the sprint lane from three back the markers, with Keayang Storm third after trailing the winner. The mile rate 2-01.1. Len Baker  

Manalapan, NJ --- Training down, 2-year-old harness racing male trotter Southwind Frank didn't act like much of a race horse. But ever since getting a taste of more speed, he's come around. Southwind Frank was one of four Ron Burke-trained 2-year-olds to win qualifiers Monday at Gaitway Farms. A son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Flawless Lindy, he won in 1:55.3 over a track labeled "good" to lead all trotters. Last week, Southwind Frank finished second by a nose in 2:00.1. "He was very good and he was very good in his first qualifier," Burke said. "He's funny. He was a horrible colt all the way until 2:30, but he's just gotten better and better. The faster you go, the better he gets. He couldn't trot in three minutes to save his life. He was horrible gaited and didn't have a great attitude. But every time we trained him he got a little better and then at like 2:30 it clicked. "He's been a completely different horse since then. Either we were doing a very bad job at first or we're doing a great job now. Horses learn at their own rates. You can push them all you want; some of them are going to do it quick, some you're going to have to wait on." Southwind Frank was purchased as a yearling for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, which was to the colt's benefit. "He was a $100,000 baby so we didn't just cut him loose," Burke said. "I thought I had to give him a chance and I kept making stakes payments, and worried I was throwing just good money after bad, but for once it worked out." Burke-trained male trotter Southwind Flash (Muscle Hill-Friendly Amigo) followed his stablemate onto the track and won his qualifier in 1:58.4. Burke also won with 2-year-old male pacers Lyons Snyder (Well Said-Armbro Cachet) in 1:55.1 and Viceroy Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Vasmajorty Hanover) in 1:56. Both were winners a week ago, Lyons Snyder by 9-1/2 lengths in 1:56.2. "He's a real horse too I think," Burke said. "He's just got to mind his manners. Today was good. He let somebody go, he came back; he had multiple moves. He did everything you're looking for in a horse." Female pacer Skinny Dipper (Somebeachsomewhere-Xhilaration) posted the day's fastest mile for the 2-year-olds, winning the morning's first qualifier in 1:54.2 with a :56.1 final half-mile. It was her first time qualifying. "I didn't want that kind of mile, but they went those fractions up front and she seems like she did it real easy, and that's the main thing," trainer Ross Croghan said. "All winter she had a beautiful, big, loping gait. She looked like a 4-year-old training down, and sometimes that's what you want to see. "She'll qualify one more time, a little slower I hope." Tony Alagna captured two qualifiers, the first with female pacer Call Me Queen Be (Somebeachsomewhere-Preppy Party Girl) in 1:56.3 and the second with male pacer Craftship (Art Major-Capri Hanover) in 1:56.4. "(Call Me Queen Be) is a really nice filly," Alagna said. "She's been nice all along. She acts like a really nice filly and I'm real happy with her today. "I'm really happy with the group I've got overall. We're having a good day. And we qualified some nice colts (at the Meadowlands) on Saturday and last week here." Alagna also was happy with Dr J Hanover, a colt named in honor of Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, the farm manager at Hanover Shoe Farms. Dr J Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-So Perfect) was purchased under the name Stepenwolf Hanover for $300,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. His mother was a stakes winner and his family includes stakes-winners Perfectionist, Lifetime Member and Copywriter as well as millionaire Image Of Dawn. Dr J Hanover, making his debut, finished fourth in his qualifier, which was won by Troyce Thomas' Whata Twist (Quik Pulse Mindale-Passage) in 1:56.2. "I was very happy with his first go," Alagna said. "They paced the back half in 55 seconds and he closed into it and was right there at the wire. "He's got a lot of pressure on him with his namesake," he added with a laugh. "She texted me first thing this morning wishing good luck. We're very happy with him." No other trainer sent out more than one winner among the 2-year-olds. Other female pacers posting victories were Gerard Malanga's Sail To The Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Sail Away) in 1:55 and Tom Fanning's Burden Of Proof (Western Terror-Dragonfest) in 1:57.2. Other male pacers winning were Aaron Lambert's Biggie (Somebeachsomewhere-Wenditions) in 1:55.2. Notching triumphs among the female trotters were Chris Ryder's Muffin Hanover (Andover Hall-Mayday Hanover) in 2:01.3 and Jimmy Takter's Keep It Classy (Yankee Glide-Classical Girl) in 2:02.1. For complete charts of all of Monday's qualifiers at Gaitway, click here. Ken Weingartner      

Michael Stanley says Soho Tokyo is back to her best and the Burrumbeet trainer is confident the filly will produce a big run on Friday night in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies' first semi-final at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton. "She's definitely back to her best," Stanley said. "She had a lot of back issues early this preparation, which probably came about due to her long two-year-old season. We've had a lot of work done by chiropractors and the vets but I think we've got on top of that now and she's racing really well." Soho Tokyo is by super sire Bettors Delight out of former Australian juvenile of the year Pelicanrama and has won two of her past three starts. She made up ground to win at Maryborough three starts back off a 56.8secs last half before a second to Niki No No at Shepparton when she worked three-wide on her own and attacked the line. Last time out at Shepparton she won a C0 after leading, Stanley explaining that she's not at her best when in front. "She'll still win from in front but she's got a powerful sprint from behind," he said. From barrier five, Soho Tokyo will be punching forward early and Stanley says she's the stable's best chance at a Super Series trophy this year. Stanley will also line up Soho Berlin in the three-year-old fillies' category, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere snaring the pole draw in the second semi-final. "Barrier one gives her every chance to qualify for the final," Stanley said. "I'd be disappointed if she didn't run in the top six but I'm realistic about where she stacks up compared to the better ones." Stanley hopes Young Modern can put his best foot forward in the four-year-old entires and geldings' first semi-final and the horseman is thrilled with how the son of Modern Art is travelling. "I'm rapt with him. He's had a super prep and his work has been great. He's on the right path," Stanley said. "He's probably got the hardest four-year-old group of any year I can remember. In the past there have always been one or two standouts, but the depth of this class is really strong. "It's been the same the whole way through for these horses. "Any other year he might have gone in as first or second-favourite, but this year he could quite easily go in sixth or seventh." Stanley said Young Modern would work forward into a handy spot and try to make his own luck. "He's a genuine free-for-all horse in my opinion. And he was probably only 80 per cent the other day so he'll come on a lot this Friday night." Rounding out the stable's Vicbred chances is APG Consolation winner Soho Lexington in the second semi-final for two-year-old colts and geldings. "I'm really happy with him," Stanley said. "I'd expect him to make the final and while he's not the best two-year-old he's the sort of horse who if the best ones are down on their game, he can win a big race." The first on a huge 12-event Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Semi-Final card kicks off at 4.50pm on Friday. CODY WINNELL

This Sunday Harness Racing New South Wales are staging the six $125,000 Breeders Challenge Finals at Menangle. The finalists and draws for the six races have been made and Harnesslink thought it was a good time to have a look at the sires represented in the three age groups. Note: We have included the emergencies in the analysis This analysis is of the three year old finalists. 1) Three year old fillies A good cross section of sires represented here with only Art Major and American Ideal having multiple runners in the fillies final. They both have two runners but are unlikely to provide the winner of this division although the daughter of Art Major in Bamako Mali is a chance. Mach Three looks to have a good chance taking out the final with his talented daughter Supersonic Miss the one to beat from barrier four after her demolition job in the semi-final. Million Dollar Cam has a live chance of being a major player here with his daughter Amaretto from barrier three drawn to get the run she needs to test Supersonic Miss. The other semi final winner in Makes Every Scents is a live chance and the daughter of Four Starzzz Shark has the gate speed to negate her poor barrier of nine. Somebeachsomewhere and Always A Virgin are other notable sires to have runners in the three year old fillies final while the notable absentee sire is Sportswriter. 2) Three year old colts / geldings Another good cross section of sires in this division with only two sires having two runners in the final. Those two sires are Always A Virgin and Somebeachsomewhere and their runners are not without a chance in the final. Somebeachsomewhere particularly has two live chances in Chumlee who went super in his semi final from barrier ten and comes into barrier one in the final while Colonel Joy never saw daylight until the last fifty metres in his semi-final and looks a very progressive type For all that it is a very open affair with the son of Bettors Delight in Kept Under Wraps a big chance after drawing barrier two. His conqueror in the semi-final in Casino Grin also has to be accorded a real chance. The son of Grinfromeartoear was very impressive after starting from barrier eight and doing plenty of work early. Four Starzz Shark has a worthy representative in Mouse In The House while both Art Major, Modern Art and Million Dollar Cam are other notable sires with runners in the final. Again the notable absentee sire from this final is Sportswriter. Harnesslink Media

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

Charlottetown, PE - Big Surf won the Cecil Ladner Memorial final is a dazzling 1:53 flat Saturday at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Marc Campbell did the driving for Burkie By the Bay stable and Perry Burke, QC as the son of Somebeachsomewhere scorched the city oval for trainer Trevor Hicken turning back D GS Camme (Gilles Barrieau) while Hicken stable-mate All Turain completed the triactor. Si Semalu was fourth with Motorino fifth. Campbell enjoyed another exciting victory taking the $19,180 Maritime Breeders Final for three-year pacing colts in the Doug Harkness memorial with Proven Desire in 1:56. The colt, owned by Blair Hansen, Meghan MacDonald and John Thomas, notched his third win of 2015. The winning breeder was Silverhill, Tignish. Dixieland Band was second with JJ Romeo third. Jann Down and Barrieau were able to maneuver around Woodmere Dancenart, who made a break after the field went by the quarter, to go on to claim the rich $24,360 Maritime Breeders final for three-year-old fillies named in honor of Ken Starratt. The filly, who is owned and bred by Downey Stables, NB and trained by Steve Mason, took a new mark of 1:58.1. Elm Grove Joanette was the runner-up while Miss Oromocto closed for the show ticket. In other action, Pleasure Girls, with Corey MacPherson driving, won the open trot in 2:00.1 for owner Shelley Gass, Cornwall. The winning connections were presented with the Breedingtrotters.com cooler for the victory. Campbell had a grand-slam with four winners while Barrieau recorded a driving hat-trick on the 13 dash program. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca By Lee Drake

Monday 15th June 2015 - New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon has a scary proposition for rival harness racing trainers after Our Waikiki Beach won a semi final of the Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. The two year old is yet to taste defeat after eight starts but Purdon believes there is improvement in the son of Somebeachsomewhere despite scorching home in 26.7 seconds on the weekend. "I wasn't 100% happy with Our Waikiki Beach going into the race on Saturday night, he was still good enough and I was pleased with the overall time but I now have the fortnight to work on him before the final," said Purdon. "I think he's doing too well, he did very well since his last win, I thought he looked a little too round during the week but the run on the weekend will tighten him up." Purdon confirmed the talented youngster has strengthened throughout his campaign. "Our Waikiki Beach hasn't taken a lot of work in the past but he might be a bit stronger now and may just need a little bit more work." "I think the NSW Breeders Challenge is a great series, everyone gets their chance, they break the fields up nicely for the heats and all those that are paid up get a chance." Our Waikiki Beach Our Waikiki Beach was the second leg of a NSW Breeders Challenge semi final double with Our Golden Goddess also keeping her unbeaten record intact after being crossed in the early stages. "Our Golden Goddess is still learning, she felt pretty good tonight and she could have come out of the gate faster if needed." "Dancing With Miley had my measure early and there was nothing else around so I thought I'd look after my filly and cruise around once we settled down." The daughter of Art Major ran 1:55.1, three seconds slower than the first semi final won by Heavens Trend. "The two weeks between the semi and the final suits my filly, she had a nice run on Saturday and it wasn't too taxing, we just have to prime her up for the final to run 1:52.0 because Heavens Trend was very impressive and will take a lot of beating." Our Golden Goddess Smolda provided the stable with a treble at Menangle on Saturday night giving Purdon a total of 20 winners as a trainer in Australia this season. Smolda Greg Hayes

Last season, Lyonssomewhere won a leg of the harness racing pacing Triple Crown, when he scored in The Cane Pace at Tioga Downs. Amazingly, that was the last time the son of Somebeachsomewhere found the winner's circle. That changed on Saturday night at The Meadowlands. Making his fourth start of his four year old season, Lyonssomewhere was exiting back to back fourth place finishes in The Graduate series against the best colts and geldings from his crop. He was dropping in class to a middle-level condition pacing event and the bettors responded, making him the 1/2 prohibitive betting choice. Off the gate, Andy Miller sent the favorite immediately to the lead, and he would go on to set a demanding pace, reeling off fractions of 26.3, 54.4 and 1:21.4 before turning for home with an ever-expanding lead. JK Patriot was chasing from the pocket, but simply could not keep up in the stretch. Windsong Gorgeous who sat along the pylons the entire mile, rebounded and rallied willingly in the stretch, but Lyonssomewhere was long gone, winning in 1:48.2. Windsong Gorgeous was second and JK Patriot checked in third. For Lyonssomewhere, it was the first victory of his four year old season, his 8th from 20 career starts, with earnings now of over $440,000. He is owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound and trained by Julie Miller. The 1:48.2 clocking was a new lifetime mark. The Caramore series continued Saturday night at The Meadowlands with 26 horses split into three divisions. The first division ended in a mild upset as the overwhelming favorite, Dragon Lore was left with too much to do and could not catch Kings Barns and Andy Miller, who led from just past the quarter pole all the way to the wire, to win in 1:50.4, a lifetime best performance. The second split saw Account Rollover and Vincent Ginsburg make it back to back wins in the series, as he parlayed a perfect pocket trip into another victory, stopping the teletimer in 1:50, establishing a new lifetime mark for the second week in a row. The third and final division saw the second choice in the wagering, Stonehouse Adam, rallying from the pocket up the pylons to grab the victory from heavily favored Long Live Rock to win in 1:51.4 for Joe Bongiorno. In other action, Ontario Success and Mister Virgin put on a good show in an upper-level condition pacing event, battling from just past the half-mile pole all the way down to the wire, with Ontario Success and Joe Bongiorno just getting up in the shadow of the wire over Mister Virgin to score in 1:49.1, which was, once again, a new lifetime mark. Both $.20 Cent Super Hi-5 Jackpots went unclaimed, with the fifth race carryover expanding to $159,224 and the last race carryover growing to $136,155. The total handle was up nearly 25-percent over this same day in 2014, and on track handle was up five-percent as well. Racing returns on Friday evening with the third round of The Graduate series for the four year old pacers and trotters. Post time is 7:15 P.M.   Darin Zoccali

Harness racing fans on both sides of the Tasman have gotten use to the All Stars barn having nights that most trainers only dream about. Last night at Menangle the all conquering Kiwi barn had three runners involved and as has become the norm they produced three winners. First up was the rejuvenated Smolda who showed yet again that he back at his best and is cherry ripe heading to the Queensland Winter Carnival. Away well from barrier 10, driver Mark Purdon sent him forward early and he lobbed the one by one with a lap to go.  From there he was always travelling like the winner and whenMark eased Smolda out on the last corner, he quickly put paid to them, The son of Courage Under Fire was recording his 21st victory at just his 38th start and took his earnings with last nights win over the $670,000 mark. The second winner was the two year old filly Golden Goddess who made it two from two lifetime with another easy win. Driver Mark Purdon let the daughter of Art Major find her feet early before taking the lead after 200 metres. Buttoning off during the middle stages,Mark let her run from the 400 metres and she dashed home in 26.6 without too much effort for another impressive win. She stopped the clock at 1:55.1 which was three seconds slower than the other semi-final winner Heaven Trend but Golden Goddess did appear to have plenty up her sleeve and the final should be highly competitive.  The third winner for the night was the outstanding two year Waikiki Beach who made it eight from eight with another impressive victory. Sent straight to the front by driver Mark Purdon in a 27.9 first quarter, Waikiki Beach ambled through the next two quarters before sprinting home in 26.7 to remind everybody why he is the favourite for the Breeders Challenge final. The scary thing was the son of Somebeachsomewhere looked a bit burly last night and should strip a much fitter horse for the final in two weeks time. An interesting sidelight of last nights three winners from the All Stars barn was that all three were bred in Australia. Harnesslink Media 

Louisville, KY --- Bruce Trogdon and Brian Brown did not anticipate Color’s A Virgin would take home the harness racing hardware in the 2014 edition of the Jugette, but both men hope to return to the Delaware County Fairgrounds winner’s circle on Wednesday (Sept. 23) after this year’s version with Serious Filly. “It’s a tough group with a lot of nice fillies,” said Trogdon. “I don’t think she’s quite ready to beat the likes of JK She’salady, but I’m hoping Serious Filly will provide me with the opportunity to defend our Jugette crown.” By Somebeachsomewhere and out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Seriously, Serious Filly will continue her quest to be ranked in the upper echelon of her division when she leaves from post seven in her C$35,000 elimination of the Fan Hanover Stake on Saturday (June 13) at Mohawk Racetrack. Trace Tetrick will be holding the lines when the filly competes against reigning Horse of the Year JK She’slady, Better Be Steppin, The Show Returns and Bedroomconfessions. “We don’t have her quite where we want her yet,” Brown said. “We are trying some different things with her such as shoeing, because she gets a little rough and likes to toss in some steps during her miles. She has ability though and is like Color in that she is fine with coming first over. “Although she did not win last week in her race at Hoosier Park, I was very encouraged by her performance (second against older females) and am looking forward to racing her in Canada. That race was exactly what I wanted to see before taking her there.” Serious Filly is the first foal out of Seriously, who netted just under $280,000 during her racing career and was third in the 2010 Jugette. Trogdon purchased Seriously’s dam, the Die Laughing mare Serious Smile, in 2002. Seriously is a half-sister to Artbitration (Artiscape p,4,1:52s, $727,129), Blissful Smile (Blissfull Hall p,5,1:50.2s, $$778,734) and Serious Damage (Allamerican Ingot p,1:52.2f, $160,654). Serious Smile is a daughter of the Tyler B mare So Cozy, who earned just under $900,000 on the racetrack and was the 1987 Dan Patch Award winner for 2-year-old pacing fillies. As a broodmare, So Cozy produced six $100,000 earners from 16 foals. “I love this family,” Trogdon said. “Even if Serious Filly does not perform extremely well on the racetrack, she will definitely be an addition to the broodmare band. She really is bred to be any kind of horse. She is a very big filly and we only raced her four times last year because she was pretty rough gaited, so we quit with her in August to give her time to grow into herself.” The filly collected two wins and $14,675 in purse money from her abbreviated freshman campaign, but has really come to hand this year while racing primarily in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program. Serious Filly has compiled a record of 5-4-1-0 this year while amassing $80,522 and established her lifetime mark of 1:53.2f on May 2 in a PaSS race at The Meadows. In her last race at Hoosier Park on June 5, she paced the fastest final panel of all seven horses in the field (:27.2) and stopped the timer in 1:51.4, two lengths behind Stable Eyes. “I really liked how she finished up that race,” Brown said. “I told Trace to just take it easy with her and let her do her thing out there, just like he does with Color. This filly also doesn’t like to be rushed and can really take a lot of air, which is also similar to Color. I was pleased to see her coming at the end of the mile, but again she put in a step in the stretch. The competition in Canada certainly will be quite tough, but I think she will give a good account of herself.” Although Trogdon and Brown are seasoned veterans and realize champions are rare rather than the norm, they do have high hopes for Serious Filly as the year continues. “She is staked to everything and we think she is on the right path to becoming a very nice racehorse,” Trogdon said. “All we can do is provide her with the opportunity and keep working on straightening her gait out.” “She is bred to be an extremely nice horse,” Brown said. “She has the speed and the right attitude, but she is still a little green and that could be why she is still putting steps in her races. I think as the year goes on, she will show she belongs with the best fillies in her group. Canada will be the first step in seeing exactly what we have. She has been able to win while still not being right on gait. She won’t be able to do that against these quality horses on Saturday night.” This filly is not the only horse Trogdon and Brown will be shipping north of the border, as Color’s A Virgin is entered in a C$35,000 elimination for the Roses Are Red final later in the evening. The champion mare captured her first two engagements of 2015 at Hoosier Park, before finishing seventh in her next two starts. She then was second on May 29 in a $21,000 Mares Invitational again at Hoosier Park, before returning to the winner’s circle in the same class at the same facility on June 5. “We think she is 90 percent back to herself,” Brown said. “Trace was much happier with her last week than he has been, as he told me she did feel like the same horse as last year. When we took her up to Miami Valley (for the Chip Noble Memorial), she tied up and came out of the race dehydrated. We’ve been drenching her every day and pumping her full of fluids. She might not win up in Canada, but we think she is on the way back. We were not sure what the problem was, as she never did this last year, but we have a handle on it now. “Candy (Candy’s A Virgin) was eligible for this race too and was doing really well, but she popped a gravel so she is taking some time off.” Trogdon feels he might be to blame for Color’s A Virgin's health situation. “I turn her out and let her eat lots of grass at the farm (Emerald Highlands) between all her races,” he said. “This program worked really well for her last year and I’m thinking I did not give her enough time to do that before we raced her at Miami Valley and then back at Hoosier Park. From now on, I’ll make sure I don’t do that to her again.” Despite his affinity for his female homebreds, Trogdon also has a vested interest in the North America Cup eliminations on the same card. “We bred and raised Hurrikane Ali (Rocknroll Hanover-She's The Greatest),” he said. “We sold him in Lexington as a yearling (2013, $63,000). Even though we do not own him, it would be terrific to see him win the North America Cup since we had him as a baby.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Nichols, N.Y. -- Making her push to the fore on the backstretch yet again, Somenicebeach ($3.20) reeled off her second consecutive victory in Friday (June 12) evening's $14,000 harness racing mares open pace at Tioga Downs. The 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was only better than one of her four rivals in the early stages of the race, settling well behind pacesetter Senorita Santanna (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :55.2 initial half mile. On the backstretch, Mike Simons angled Somenicebeach off the pegs, and she made steady ground, taking a narrow lead from Senorita Santanna through three-quarters in 1:23.3. Senorita Santanna would fight back on the far turn, but was ultimately put away by Somenicebeach at head-stretch. Stormunn (Aaron Byron) angled off the pegs to chase off her pocket trip, but could only close to within a length of Somenicebeach, a 1:52.3 winner over good going.   Sophie Desroches owns and trains Somenicebeach, who earned her 11th career win. Simons scored a driving hat trick on the evening, also teaming up with Maejusmac ($5.70, 1:52.2) and Prince Jubilee ($32.20, 1:54) earlier in the nine-race card.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (June 13) evening, with the first race slated for a 6:15 p.m. Eastern post time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

The exciting Dancingwithsierra resumes tomorrow night at the harness racing meeting at Kilmore in the third heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred 2YO Fillies Super Series.   After making a huge splash at her first prep with three wins and a second from four starts, the Gary Hoban-trained daughter of Modern Art/Sierra Tango has tuned up for tomorrow night’s hit-out with two recent trials (a win at Melton on May 25 in 2:02.7, last half 57.9) and a third at Ballarat on June 6 behind Emma Stewart pair Heavens Trend and Beaming.   John Caldow takes the reins aboard the Toolern Vale filly tomorrow night from barrier five.   The in-form Brent Lilley stable, which scored a quintet at Melton last Friday night, has New Romantics engaged in this heat from barrier four for Anthony Butt.   The daughter of Art Major/Showtime Franco debuted with a 10.1m fourth behind Whirily School before running second beaten 3.3m by that horse in the $50,000 Vicbred Home Grown Classic Final on May 15.   Geoff Webster presents Mach Three/Indi Rose filly Sheluvsme first-up since May 15 when fifth in the Home Grown Classic.   She also finished runner-up to Whirily School at Geelong on May 7, beaten 3.1m.   Gumdrops’ half-sister Platinum Power will have her second start after finishing down the track on debut at Maryborough in January for Steven Zammit.   Rocknroll Magic, who defeated Dancingwithsierra in the Des McQueen at Melton on March 14 will line up in barrier 13 with Gavin Lang in the sulky.   Two heats of the three-year-old fillies’ division will be held, the first Race 1 on the card at 5.25pm and the second Race 6 at 8pm.   In the first race, Russell Jack-trained Grand Anse has drawn gate five with Nathan Jack to take the drive.   Grand Anse won the Wagga Oaks in March before heading to Hobart for the Tasmanian Oaks where she finished second to Sudden Change.   A daughter of superstar mare Tailamade Lombo, Maid For You Lombo, will start from barrier four for Monegeetta trainer David Miles, while Yankee Showgirl from the Gary Quinlan stable at Drouin West has the outside-front-row draw to overcome but has won two of her last four outings.   Michael Stanley will line up Soho Berlin from barrier two, the SBSW / Giveusachance filly coming off two minor placings and out of a friendlier barrier than she’s been drawing of late.   Another filly who will appreciate a good draw is the David Aiken-trained Glory Daze, who ran a mighty race behind Sukovia last start after breaking stride and losing considerable ground early at Shepparton.   The second of the three-year-old fillies’ heats sees high-class daughter of Art Major/Golden Showgirl Smooth Showgirl coming out of barrier nine for Belinda McCarthy and Nathan Jack. At her most recent outing Smooth Showgirl collected the win in the Seymour Nursery Final for 3YO Fillies at Albion Park, securing $45,100 in stakes money.   Other fillies in the second of the night’s 3YO fillies’ heats who have shown plenty of promise so far include Starzzz Of Icon, Boadiceas Fury, Another Fireball and Shishi.   CODY WINNELL

Manalapan, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Ron Burke was happy with all the 2-year-olds he sent out for qualifiers Monday morning at Gaitway Farms, and particularly pleased with Muscle Hill-sired trotters Silvia, Southwind Flash, and Southwind Frank. Burke-trained horses were entered in eight of the qualifiers for 2-year-olds, and won seven. Southwind Frank missed by a nose in the final qualifier for the rookies, preventing a sweep. In the same race, stablemate Edinburgh was leading in the stretch but went off stride when several birds on the track took flight in front of him. Yannick Gingras drove all seven of Burke's winners on a morning that featured early occasional rain, gusty wind and later sunshine. Horses trained by Julie Miller won the two qualifiers for the 2-year-olds that did not go to the Burke Brigade. Southwind Flash (Muscle Hill-Friendly Amigo) won by 1-3/4 lengths over Miller's Stayin Strong (Muscles Yankee-Loch Katrine) in 1:58.1 with a :57.1 final half-mile. Southwind Flash, a colt purchased for $85,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, is the first foal out of Friendly Amigo, who was an Ontario standout and captured the 2011 Allerage Farms Mare Trot. Silvia (Muscle Hill-My Favorite Chip) won by 2-1/2 lengths over Miller's Best Of Dreams (Donato Hanover-Lunar Dream Om) in 2:01.4 with a final quarter-mile of :29.1. Silvia, a filly purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, is a half-sister to millionaire Adrian Chip, who was second to Donato Hanover in the 2007 Hambletonian. The colt Southwind Frank (Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy) trotted his back half in :57 and missed by a nose to Miller's Staying Focused (Yankee Glide-Raising The Bar), who won in 2:00.1. Southwind Frank was purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and comes from a family that includes stakes-winners Cayster, Giant Hit, Program Speed, and Rockaroundtheclock. "All three of the Muscle Hill trotters were very good," Burke said. "I think Muscle Hill is going to change the breed; they're just better than other horses." Burke's pacing winners all were sired by Somebeachsomewhere. The colt Manhattan Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Benear) produced the fastest mile of the day for the 2-year-olds, winning by 15-1/4 lengths over Linda Toscano's Rocket J (Rock N Roll Heaven-Must See) in 1:55.2, back half in :55.4. Manhattan Beach was bought for $100,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is a full brother to 2014 Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach. Rocket J was purchased for $155,000, also at Harrisburg, and is a half-brother to Dan Patch Award winner Well Said. His family also includes $2-million-earner Glowing Report. JK Will Power (Somebeachsomewhere-Whats New Pussycat), another colt, won by 4-3/4 lengths over Nancy Johansson's Marcus N Max (American Ideal-Lady Of Lust) in 1:56.1. JK Will Power, purchased for $110,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, is the first foal out of stakes-winner Whats New Pussycat, whose mother was Breeders Crown champion Molly Can Do It. Viceroy Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Vasmajorty Hanover) won by 1-1/4 lengths over Miller's Headforthebeach (Somebeachsomewhere-Head Of The House) in 1:58.3. Viceroy Hanover, a colt bought for $47,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, is from the same family as millionaire Voelz Hanover. Burke-trained female pacer Lyons River Pride (Somebeachsomewhere-Mississippi River) won by 3-1/2 lengths over Ivan Llopez's LL Jackpot (Philos Hanover-Wygant Rose) in 1:57.4 and stablemate East Side Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Edra Hanover) won by a half-length over Gerard Malanga's Sail To The Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Sail Away) in 2:01.2, with a :27.1 final quarter-mile. "It's a very good group," Burke said. "Everybody was super. I'm very happy. "We knew they were nice, but it's nice to see them matched up against other people and see that they're at least decent." Miller, in addition to winning with Staying Focused, won with female trotter Womans Will (Donato Hanover-Will Of A Woman). She bested Cozette McAvoy's Zette Starlet (Credit Winner-Scottish Starlet) by 16-1/4 lengths in 1:59, with the final half-mile in :57.1. Staying Focused was purchased for $47,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is a full brother to stakes-winner Raising Rachel. The family also includes Dan Patch Award winner Casual Breeze. "We were happy with all of ours that went today," driver Andy Miller said. "The trotters all stayed at it, that was the main thing, and got some good miles in them. "The trotting filly, Womans Will, I think she could be like a stakes filly. All four of the trotting colts - Open Road Hanover, Staying Focused, Stayin Strong and Milligan's School - all performed really good today and did what we asked." Also in action Monday morning were Joe Holloway's 3-year-old stakes filly pacers Divine Caroline and Bettor Be Steppin. Divine Caroline won her qualifier in 1:53 and Bettor Be Steppin won her qualifier in 1:52.4. For Monday's complete charts from Gaitway, click here. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA      

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