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Jim Simpson, the president of Hanover Shoe Farms and the members of the the Captaintreacherous racing group have announced that The Captain will be officially retired at Lexington's famed Red Mile during the races on Thursday October 2. Tony Alagna, the colt's trainer said "Captain just hasn't been himself for the last several weeks. He's been fighting a low respiratory bug and we just haven't been able to overcome it. Rather than take the chance of doing irreparable harm to this great horse, I think it would be wise for everybody concerned to have him retired at Hanover Shoe Farms. I have no doubts that he is destined to become a great sire. I very much look forward to the day when I will be looking at, buying and training his babies". Jim Simpson said that he looks forward to having the greatest son of the sport's supersire Somebeachsomewhere stand at Hanover. "Captaintreacherous was one of the greatest two and three year old pacers in the sport's history. It's now time for him to excel in the next stage of his remarkable career." Myron Bell, the colt's racing manager throughout his career said "I've been involved in Harness Racing for half a century. I've seen all of the greats during that time. Captaintreacherous has to rank right up there among the very best. In my entire career in the sport I've only predicted two horses as being "can't miss" sires. Those two were Artsplace and Western Ideal. The one quality that all three horses share is extreme courage. I have no doubt whatever that Captaintreacherous will follow in their footsteps in the stallion ranks. I look forward to buying and training a large number of his yearlings". Captaintreacherous was voted "Pacer of the Year" at both two and three. At 2, he won 8 of 10 starts and earned $918,253. At 3, he won 13 of 16 starts and earned $2,055,033 winning almost all of the Classic events including the three richest, the North American Cup, the Meadowlands Pace and the Breeders Crown. Captaintreacherous retires with earnings of $3,148,657. Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky in whose hands the Captain will be literally be in at Hanover can't wait until the horse gets to his next home. "I don't think I've ever been more excited about an incoming stallion. The Captain has it all, great performance on the racetrack, great courage, a fantastic pedigree and perhaps most important of all, he's drop dead gorgeous and correct, something that I'm certain he will transmit to his foals." Captaintreacherous will begin his stallion career in February of 2015. Captaintreacherous 2013 Captaintreacherous (Tim Tetrick) fighting the bit to win the Crown Murray Brown Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc.

With smart and calculated drives by Yannick Gingras, Limelight Beach won the prestigious Little Brown Jug at Delaware, Ohio Thursday in straight heats. In order to win the Little Brown Jug a horse must win two heats on one day to be declared the winner. Both Let’s Drink On It and Limelight Beach won their elimination divisions and earned posts two and one respectively in the final and they both made the most of their post positions. Gingras left quickly with Limelight Beach with Let’s Drink On It (Tyler Smith) dropping right in behind him in second place. They went to the half mile marker in an easy :57 and then the action started to begin. Somewhere In L A and driver Brett Miller came first-over and gave outside cover to Beat The Drum but it was McWicked and driver David Miller in sixth place on the outside who had the crowd on their feet as they tried to loop the field three-wide at the three-quarters in 1:23. Then on the final turn for home, Gingras looked behind him, saw Let’s Drink On It right on his helmet and backed his horse up so that when they started down the stretch, Tyler Smith would have no room to get loose with Let’s Drink on it and the tactic worked perfectly. Once starting down the stretch, Gingras urged his horse home and they won by one and one-half lengths in 1:50.4. Let’s Drink On It could find no room and was a strong second with Somewhere In L A third. Oddly, today was the first time this year after 12 starts that Limelight Beach had won a race and then to cap it off winning the Little Brown Jug in straight heats. Sired by Somebeachsomewhere, Limelight Beach is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, the M1 Stable and Wingfield Brothers. He paid $4.00 to win. They had purchased Limelight Beach earlier this season and prior owners, Charles Wingfield and his brother, stayed on as co-owners. “We just had too much fun with his last year,” said Charles Wingfield, “And we stayed through this race right here. It’s amazing. I can’t believe it.” “I had two great horses to drive in the Jug today,” Yannick Gingras said. “People asked me who I liked better and I said Lyonssomewhere over Limelight Beach, but this horse came up huge today. He went two big heats today.” “We kinda got lucky in the first heat,” Gingras said, “but in the second heat he was tremendous, he was scary. I was looking at the program and I know there was not a lot of speed in the race and my horse the people had to respect his speed. Tyler’s (Smith) horse got out of the gate better than I thought. I kept my horse moving along. I did not want to go slow and he put in an awesome performance. Let’s Drink On It takes first heat of Jug Harness racing driver and 21-year-old local native, Tyler Smith, took Let’s Drink On It three-wide in the backstretch and was able to grind it out to win the $103,600 first heat of the Little Brown Jug. The race began with Lyonssomewhere (Yannick Gingras) shooting right to the lead from the start of the race with At Press Time (Matt Kakaley) grabbing the pocket seat. They raced that way past the opening quarter in :26.4. Then going to the half mile marker in an easy :54.4, Beat The Drum (Ron Pierce) came first-over to challenge and following his cover on the outside was Let’s Drink On It and Tyler Smith. Once they hit the backstretch, Smith moved three-wide with Let’s Drink On It and after the three-quarters in 1:23, had cleared past Beat The Drum and was coming after pacesetter Lyonssomewhere. Then half way around the final turn, Let’s Drink On It had collared Lyonssomewhere when Gingras’s horse went off-stride and had to be pulled off to the inside as Let’s Drink On It shied to the outside and Matt Kakaley with At Press Time just avoided Lyonssomewhere. Let’s Drink On It was able to regroup right away and Tyler Smith urged him on home to win by one and one-half lengths over At Press Time with Beat The Drum third and also making the final was On Golden Ponder (John Campbell) in fourth place. Let’s Drink On It covered the one mile race in 1:51 and at odds of 3-1 paid $8.80 to win. “He was good today,” Smith said, this horse ain’t got a real lot of gate speed. The way it lined up I figured I would be third or fourth and have to come first-over. But luckily Ron (Pierce) came out first and we were able to get a little cover until the backside. I was able to crossover by the last turn, but Yannick’s (Gringras) horse, I don’t know if I could have beaten him but we were gonna take a good crack at him. “I am happy to win,” Smith said, “and to be in the big race. It would mean the world to me to win this race. I would give back all the races I have won just to win the Jug.” Sired by Art Official, Let’s Drink On It is trained by Joe Seekman and is owned by Tina Seekman, L. Bond, H. Hewitt and V. Boido, Jr. Limelight Beach takes second Jug elimination Limelight Beach picked the perfect spot to win his first race of the 2014 season in 13 tries, capturing the $103,600 second heat of the Little Brown Jug. Given a masterful drive by Yannick Gingras, Limelight Beach was able to sit and draft in second place behind pacesetter and 3/5 favorite McWicked and driver David Miller. They went in Indian-style to the opening quarter in :27 and then easy half mile in :55.2 before the action began to heat up. Somewhere In L A and driver Brett Miller came first-over with He’s Watching (Tim Tetrick) following the outside flow to the three-quarters in 1:22.4. Then Somewhere In L A and McWicked were ready to lock horses down the stretch but it was Gingras with Limelight Beach, pulling off the rail, sweeping three-wide and looping both horse to win by a half length in 1:51. Somewhere In L A was second with McWicked third and Sometimes Said (John Campbell) fourth and making it to the Jug second heat. Trained by Ron Burke, Limelight Beach is sired by Somebeachsomewhere and is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, the M1 Stable and Wingfield Brothers. He paid $12.00 to win. “Everyone is supporting trainer Brian Brown this week,” trainer Ron Burke said, “and we are just reaping the rewards from his work as we got this colt from him. Horse was good today. We knew he was better than the other colt we have in. Having the other horse (At Press Time) in the final too is great. Yannick (Gingras) thinks we can get to the lead easy. We have won two Jugette’s and hopefully we can finally win the Jug.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Ontario Horse Racing (OHR) is pleased to announce that in the 2015 harness racing calendar year, Ontario Sired Standardbred two-year-olds racing in Ontario will receive a projected $700,000 in new purse bonuses distributed as a 20% bonus on overnight races plus a 5% purse bonus on Ontario Sires Stakes earnings. The proposal, which was brought forward by the Standardbred Advisory Group, was approved by the ORC Board this week. Elmer Buchanan, ORC Chair, said “It is encouraging to see innovative ideas brought forward by the industry, especially those ideas that demonstrate a strong commitment to the breeding sector." OHR wishes to thank the Standardbred Advisory Group for their leadership in developing the incentive designed to benefit Ontario owners and breeders. “Ontario Sired” is defined as a foal sired by a stallion that is recognized as an Ontario Sire by the Standardbred Improvement Program in the year of conception. Year after year Ontario breeders produce leading performers, trotters and pacers. Most recent successes are trotting mare Bee A Magician and pacing horse Somebeachsomewhere, who absolutely dominated in their Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) races as well as the elite Grand Circuit races. Virtually all of the sport’s most coveted races have been won by an Ontario-sired performer. For further information on this new incentive, contact:  Karen Hauver  OSS Administrative Coordinator 519-369-3545  records@ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Horse Racing (OHR) is a division of the Ontario Racing Commission and, as the Program Administrator for Ontario’s Horse Improvement Program, is responsible for the development and implementation of all Program elements, designed to recognize excellence for Ontario Bred and Ontario Sired horses racing in their home province.

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

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

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 5 - Hot off the heels of a successful Canadian Pacing Derby night, Mohawk Racetrack will play host to another stakes filled card tomorrow night. Grand Circuit week will wrap up with the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers and the Champlain Stakes for the two-year-old pacers of both sexes. Lyons Levi Lewis (PP4), the runner-up in last Saturday's $667,000 Metro Pace, headlines the first $123,120 Champlain Stakes division for two-year-old pacers. Trained by Ron Burke, Lyons Levi Lewis finished 3 ½ lengths behind Artspeak in the Metro, but paced his final quarter in a solid :26.3. A son of Well Said - Tongue In Cheek, Lyons Levi Lewis has one win in seven starts, but has finished second on four of those occasions. Owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound, Lyons Levi Lewis will team up with driver Sylvain Filion for the first time tomorrow night and is listed as the 5/2 morning line favourite. Also in the field of eight is Freedomformysoul (PP2) for trainer Nancy Johansson and driver Marcus Johansson. A son of If I Can Dream - Hello Grin, Freedomformysoul has shown a lot of promise with two victories in the New York Sires Stakes, but has not been able to find consistency in his performances. "He is wicked fast that one, but he is kind of green," said Marcus Johansson, "You don't know what side he wakes up on, but if he wake up on the right side he can go as fast as any horse I've ever sat behind." Freedomformysoul sold for $12,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and has earned more than $35,000 in six career starts. In the second $123,120 division, another Ron Burke trainee is the 5/2 morning line choice. Lyons Again (PP1) races for the same connections as Lyons Levi Lewis and just like his stablemate took home a big chunk of the Metro Pace purse when he finished third in last Saturday's final. A son of Dragon Again - A Filly To Fear, Lyons Again has yet to win in six career starts, but has finished second three times, along with two third place finishes. A consistent performer, Lyons Again has the highest earnings ($130,821) in the field of nine despite having never won a race. Starting beside Lyons Again is Nassagaweya Stakes division winner Traceur Hanover (PP2). Trained by Normand Bardier Jr, Traceur Hanover finished fourth in the Metro Pace final and has won three times in six career starts. Randy Waples will drive the son of Western Ideal. Two divisions of the Simcoe Stakes will also take place for the three-year-old pacers. The first $106,038 division will feature a small, but talented group of six lining up behind the gate. Western Vintage (PP1) has been installed as the 7/5 morning line favourite for trainer Nancy Johansson and driver Marcus Johansson. After a successful two-year-old campaign, Western Vintage's three-year-old season hasn't gone exactly as planned with only one win in seven starts, but he is coming off a good second place effort in last week's three-year-old open. Marcus Johansson noted the son of Western Ideal had a bit of a health issue earlier in the season that was holding him back. "We had a little trouble with his blood in the beginning of the year," said Johansson. "But he seems like he is getting better now and hopefully he can put a good effort in." Western Vintage was just a $7,000 yearling purchase and has earned more than $412,000 in his career. Also in the field of six is the Tony Alagna trainee, Dancin Hill (PP4). Dancin Hill won two starts back in a conditioned event at Mohawk and last week finished third in the three-year-old open. The son of Rocknroll Hanover has picked up a cheque in all eleven starts this season and will once again team up with driver Scott Zeron. Starting from post six in the opening division is On Golden Ponder for trainer Bob McIntosh and driver Randy Waples. On Golden Ponder most recently won the $175,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes final last Sunday night at The Red Mile. Rounding out the field is Winds Of Change (PP2), Carracci Hanover (PP3) and Major Deagan (PP5). Seven three-year-old pacers will contest the second division for a purse of $107,538. Ontario Sires Stakes star Jet Airway (PP2) is the 7/5 morning line favourite. Before finishing fourth in last week's three-year-old open, Jet Airway had won three starts in a row, including a seven length blowout victory in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg on August 4 at Grand River. Trained by Tony Alagna, regular pilot Randy Waples will be at the controls. Looking to build off his victory in last week's three-year-old open is Melmerby Beach (PP5). Last week's victory earned a new career mark for Melmerby Beach of 1:50. Melmerby Beach races for the same duo that raced his sire, Somebeachsomewhere, trainer Brent MacGrath and driver Paul Macdonell. The other five starters in the second division are Three Of Clubs (PP1), Victor Bayama (PP3), Somewhere Fancy (PP4), Play It Again Sam (PP6) and Surprise Hanover (PP7). 14 freshman pacing fillies have been split into two Champlain Stakes divisions. Despite having three starters from last week's $480,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes final, the first $117,557 division could be the breakout party for a filly making her Grand Circuit debut. Shes A Hot Mess (PP3) broke her maiden last Friday at Mohawk in a dazzling 1:52.1. Trained by Tony Alagna, Shes A Hot Mess struggled in her first two starts, but after a few weeks off those issues appear to be put to rest as she won by seven lengths last week. Scott Zeron will sit behind the daughter of American Ideal - Sure Fun Tryin, who is the second choice on the morning line at 3-1. Shakai Hanover (PP7) is the morning line favourite at 2-1 and is coming into the Champlain off a third place finish in the Shes A Great Lady. Trained by Carl Jamieson and driven by Jody Jamieson, Shakai Hanover won a division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes at Mohawk on August 16. The daughter of Well Said - Shes A Fan has two victories in six career starts and earnings of over $139,000. The second $117,557 division appears to be a wide open affair. Sports Chic, the 5/2 morning line choice, has been having a ton of success racing on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit. A daughter of Sportswriter - Vesta Blue Chip, Sports Chic is trained by Blake Macintosh and has won four times in six starts, while never finishing worse than second. Jody Jamieson will sit behind Sports Chic who has earned more than $139,000 in her young career. Looking to build off her victory in the Shes A Great Lady consolation is The Show Returns (PP6). A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover - Stienams Place, The Show Returns broke her maiden in a leg of the Whenuwishuponastar Series on July 24, but was never better than fourth in her next three starts. Last Saturday night, The Show Returns got back on track with a career best victory of 1:52. This week, the filly moves into the Tony O'Sullivan barn and will be driven by Scott Zeron. Originally scheduled for tomorrow night, eliminations were not needed for the Canadian Trotting Classic as the field of seven trotters will head straight to the rich final on Saturday, September 13. Post time for tomorrow night's stakes filled card is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Some of the best 3-year-old pacers and trotters will be on hand for a blockbuster harness racing card this Sunday (September 7) at Harrah's Philadelphia. Four Pennsylvania Sire Stakes will be contested, each going for a purse of $260,000. The 3-year-old filly trotting championship is headlined by Brittany Farm's Lifetime Pursuit (Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace). The Jimmy Takter trainee has banked over $750,000 in her career, winning 12 of her 22 lifetime starts. The Hambletonian Oaks winner is coming off of an impressive performance in the Simcoe at Mohawk, and is looking to extend her winning streak to five. Other contenders include the runner-up in the Hambo Oaks Designed To Be (Donato Hanover-Sheer Soul) who is also coming off of a victory in a division of the Simcoe at Mohawk, and Take The Money (Donato Hanover-Repititions) who finished third in the Hambo Oaks. Millionaire trotter Father Patrick (Cantab Hall-Gala Dream) headlines the 3-year-old colt & gelding trot. Considered by many as the top trotter in the country, Father Patrick made an uncharacteristic break in the Hambletonian as the heavy favorite. After getting upset in the Tompkins-Geers at Tioga, he quickly got back on track with a win in the Zweig Memorial at Vernon. Top threats include another millionaire trotter in stablemate Nuncio (Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle) who was a heartbreaking second to Trixton in the Hambo, and Datysuk (Explosive Matter-Pink Ribbons) who upset Father Patrick at Tioga. The 3-year-old filly pacing championship figures to be a wide open affair. Bradley Grant's Sandbetweenurtoes (Somebeachsomewhere-Al's Girl) has won 8 of 9 races, including a game win in the Missletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands. Ron Burke trainee Allstar Rating (Four Starzzz Shark-Credit Rating) was sharp at the Meadows in victory three starts back, and that was followed up by a tough loss to Sandbetweenurtoes in PASS action at Pocono. Dave Menary trainee Beach Gal (Somebeachsomewhere-Trinity Islands) was flying in the stretch at Mohawk last start in The Simcoe. She is also a PASS winner, with several sub 1:50 efforts under her belt. S S G Stable's McWicked (McArdle-Western Sahara) is the probable favorite in the 3-year-old colt & gelding championship. The Adios winner is coming off of a victory in PASS action at The Meadows. The Casie Coleman trainee has a chance to surpass the million dollar mark in career earnings with a first or a second place finish. Contenders include Limelight Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Benear) who is coming off of back-to-back near misses in the Millstein Consolation and a PASS event, Somewhere IN L A (Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A) who is coming off of a narrow defeat at the hands of McWicked in a PASS event last time out, and Sometimes Said (Well Said-Lady Sometimes) who has won three races in a row since a difficult journey hampered his chances in The Meadowlands Pace. Post time at Harrah's Philadelphia is 12:40 PM. Mike Bozich

The videos of the 29 yearlings that Hanover Shoe Farms will be selling at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale are now online and are available at the Farms' website hanoverpa.com. They should also shortly be available at the Sale's website lexingtonselected.com. The Lexington yearlings are all by the premier sires in Harness Racing including Andover Hall(2), Art Major(2), Bettor's Delight(1), Cantab Hall(2), Donato Hanover(3), Dragon Again(4), Explosive Matter(1), Muscle Hill(1), Muscle Massive(1), Rock N Roll Heaven(1), Somebeachsomewhere(5), Well Said(3), Western Ideal(2) and Yankee Glide(1). The yearlings are now at the Hanover Fairgrounds where they are available for inspection daily, except Sunday beginning at 11.00 AM. They will ship to Lexington on Saturday September 27. They will be available for inspection beginning at 8.00 AM on the Fasig Tipton grounds daily beginning Sunday September 28. For further information please contact Dr Bridgette Jablonsky at 717-637-8931 or at drjablonsky@hanoverpa.com or Murray Brown at 717-487-1812 or at hofmurray@aol.com. From Hanover Shoe Farms

This Week: Reynolds Memorial, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; Simcoe Stakes, Champlain Stakes, William Wellwood Memorial eliminations and Peaceful Way eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Bobby Quillen Memorial eliminations, Harrington Raceway, Harrington, Del. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 4) at Tioga Downs with three divisions in the $86,006 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $82,008 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk commences on Thursday (Sept.4) with two C$30,000 eliminations in the Peaceful Way for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Sept. 5) Mohawk card features two C$30,000 eliminations in the William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old open trotters. The Saturday (Sept. 6) program is highlighted by two divisions in the C$246,240 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the C$235,114 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers and two divisions in the C$213,576 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers. Grand Circuit action heads to Delaware on Monday (Sept. 8) at Harrington Raceway with two $20,000 eliminations in the Bobby Quillen Memorial for open pacers. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Vernon Downs this past Friday (Aug. 29) with a trio of lucrative events, led by the $340,000 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old open trotters, which featured the return of Father Patrick (Cantab Hall-Gala Dream) to his winning ways. Father Patrick was a 1:52.2 winner in the Zweig Memorial. Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) assumed the lead almost immediately and led all the way home to win in an impressive time of 1:52.2. His entry-mate, Hambletonian runner-up Nuncio (John Campbell), tracked Father Patrick all the way but could never get the upper hand on him and had to settle for second. Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald), who had scored wins in four consecutive New York Sire Stakes races entering the Zweig, finished third after tracking the entry pretty much throughout the event. Superstar trotter Sebastian K also came to Vernon Downs on Friday night to score in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot. While it was anticipated that Sebastian K (Korean-Gabriella K) might just blaze to the front and set a new track record time, it was a far more tactical performance from the Ake Svanstedt trainee. He did seize the lead immediately after the start, but then driver Svanstedt settled the horse in nicely to go through a quarter in :28.1, the half in :57.3, and three-quarters in 1:26.3. This relatively unhurried pace allowed Archangel (Yannick Gingras) and Market Share (Tim Tetrick) to make challenges to the leader, but Sebastian K had plenty left in the tank to win in a final time of 1:53, which did equal the older horse track record time set by For You Almostfree in 2013. Archangel settled for second and Market Share was third. The $150,000 filly division of the Zweig was also held on Friday night and was won by Shake It Cerry (Donato Hanover-Solveig), who rallied up the inside in the stretch to pass rivals Heaven's Door and Bikini So Teeny. Her victory came in a time of 1:53.4. Shake It Cerry was driven to victory by Ron Pierce for trainer Jimmy Takter. Artspeak won the Metro Pace for driver Scott Zeron. Mohawk Racetrack's Saturday (Aug. 30) program featured a trio of major stakes. Proving that he is indeed the continent's best 2-year-old colt pacer, prohibitive favorite Artspeak demolished his opponents in the $613,640 Metro Pace, the richest race in North America for juvenile pacers. Driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Tony Alagna, Artspeak had entered the Metro final off a similarly easy win in his elimination. In fact, his smallest margin of victory has been 1-3/4 lengths. Longshot Lone Survivor took the field through an opening quarter in :26.3 and the half in :55.3. However, Hall of Famer John Campbell had Go Daddy Do, the other elim winner, on the march from fourth, while Zeron followed him. Go Daddy Go took over at the three-quarters in 1:23.3, but was no match for the winner down the stretch, eventually fading to fifth. Lyons Levi Lewis came on for second, with Lyons Again third. Modern Legend, a 66-1 shot with David Miller in the sulky for trainer David Drew, mowed down a field of the finest older pacers in North America to win the $583,280 Canadian Pacing Derby. His final time of 1:47.2 equaled the stakes, track and Canadian record. Modern Legend, second-over turning for home, blew by the leaders and pulled away to score by three lengths over Foiled Again, with Clear Vision third and Captive Audience fourth. Favored Sweet Lou, who had taken over before a half in :53, got to the three-quarters in a sizzling 1:20.1, but could not sustain the pace, eventually fading to sixth. Heavy favorite JK She'salady tied the track, Canadian and world record of 1:50.1 when she coasted to a four length win in the $441,600 She's A Great Lady Stakes. Driven by Yannick Gingras for trainer Nancy Johansson, the daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady thus kept her record unblemished, now a perfect six-for-six after her dazzling display in this year's renewal of the rich stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. JK She'salady, coming first over from fourth, blasted by another unbeaten filly, Band Of Angels, after the half in :55, got to the three-quarters in 1:22.1 and kept cruising through the lane to win in dominant fashion. Lyonssomewhere held off the late charging He's Watching to take the 60th Cane Pace. Tioga Downs held one of its banner days of the 2014 racing season on Monday (Sept. 2) with the $437,325 Cane Pace, the first leg of the Pacing Triple Crown, in the spotlight. Geoffrey Lyons Mound's Lyonssomewhere led from start to finish and posted an upset at odds of 19-1 with a 1:49.4 score. Yannick Gingras was in the bike for trainer Jimmy Takter as the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Miss Kitty Hanover posted his fifth win in nine season's starts, lifting his 2014 earnings to $370,892. Turning for home, Lyonssomewhere was never seriously challenged until the very end of the mile, when prohibitive favorite He's Watching finally made a valiant charge, only to fall short at the wire by a half-length in the 1:49.4 clocking. Doo Wop Hanover rallied to finish third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 931; 2. Tim Tetrick - 536; 3. David Miller - 441.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 421.5; 5. Brett Miller - 266. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,231.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 729; 3. Tony Alagna - 205; 4. PJ Fraley - 204; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 202. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 269.85; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 242.35; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 182; 4. Bamond Racing - 156.5; 5. Robert Key - 135. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Balmoral Park, The Red Mile, Tioga Downs, Mohawk Racetrack and Harrington Raceway. Balmoral will host American-National eliminations for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; The Red Mile will feature a leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; Tioga will host W.N. Reynolds Memorial races for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers; Mohawk will feature the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way, as well as the Milton Stake eliminations for pacing mares; and Harrington will host the final of the Bobby Quillen Memorial. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 2, 2014 -- Novascotia Hanover unleashed a powerful uncovered move that carried her to victory in Tuesday's $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Novascotia Hanover shot out for the early lead for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., but after some quarter-pole shuffling, found herself third. When she came first over down the backside, she wore down the leader, Certified Ideal, and defeated her by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52.3. Phone Terror rallied for show. Ryan Angus trains Novascotia Hanover, a 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Northern Sky who now has banked $455,111 in her career, for F Bellino & Sons LLC. Dave Palone drove six winners and Eric Ledford three on the 15-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

For the next two weeks Jay Wolf, Little Brown Jug Publicity Director, will rank the top 10 eligibles for the Little Brown Jug presented by Fazolis. Week #5 September 2, 2014 1. McWicked (1:47.3f; $957,883) Owner: SSG Stables (NY) Trainer: Casie Coleman Driver: David Miller Won a $99,990 leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at the Meadows (8/29) in 1:48.3. 2. He's Watching (1:46.4; $1,093,300) Owner: Menary Racing (ONT), Brad Gray (ONT), Michael Guerriero (ONT) & Muscara Racing (PA) Trainer: David Menary  Driver: Tim Tetrick He was upset by Lyonssomewhere by a half length in the $437,325 Can Pace Final (9/1). 3. Somewhere In LA (1:50f; $342,133) Owner: J & T Silva Stables (NY), Deo Volente Farms (NJ) & TLP Stable (NJ) Trainer: Robert McIntosh and Jimmy Takter Driver: Brett Miller/Tim Tetrick Finished second to McWicked by a nose in the leg of the PA Sire Stake (8/29). 4. Sometimes Said (1:50.0f; $433,390) Owner: Fashion Farms (PA) Trainer: Jim Campbell Driver: John Campbell/David Miller The son of Well Said won a $99,990 leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at the Meadows (8/29) in 1:50. 5. Lyonssomewhere (1:49.4f; $386,812) Owners: Geoffrey Lyons Mound (ONT) Trainer: Jimmy Takter  Driver: Yannick Gingras/Jimmy Takter He now becomes Jug eligible with his win in the $427,325 Cane Pace Final. His owner must now commit to the $45,000 supplemental entry fee. 6. Limelight Beach (1:49.4; $297,950) Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA), Weaver Bruscemi (PA), M1 Stable (PA) and Wingfield Brothers (OH) Trainer: Ron Burke Drivers: Yannick Gingras and Matt Kakaley He finished third by a neck to McWicked in the PA Sire Stake (8/29). 7. At Press Time (1:48.2f; $330,902) Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA) and Weaver Bruscemi (PA) Trainer: Ron Burke  Driver: Matt Kakaley and Yannick Gingras Finished fifth to McWicked in the PASS at the Meadows (8/29). 8. Cammikey (1:49.4f; $217,788) Owner: Cam Land LLC (PA) Trainer: William Zendt Driver: Brian Zendt The son of Somebeachsomewhere was fourth to Sometimes Said in the PA Sire Stake (8/29). 9. On Golden Ponder (1:52.2h; $177,465) Owners: Robert McIntosh Stable (ONT), CSX Stable (OH) and Michael Kohler (MI) Trainer: Robert McIntosh Driver: John Campbell The world record holder as a freshman last season sweep the legs and $175,000 final of the Kentucky Sire Stakes at the Red Mile (8/31). 10. Beat The Drum (1:49.2f; $290,274) Owner: Bender Sweden Inc. (FL) Trainer: Staffan Lind Driver: Ron Pierce He was parked the entire mile in the Cane Pace Final (9/1) fading to seventh. This weeks expert ranking is courtesy of Hall of Fame track announcer Roger Huston. The Voice has called every LBJ since 1967. 1. McWicked 2. Hes Watching 3. Lyonssomewhere 4. Somewhere In LA 5. Limelight Beach 6. Sometimes Said 7. Lets Drink On It 8. Cammikey 9. At Press Time 10. Mattamerican  

Lyonssomewhere pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2014 harness racing season as he led from start to finish in capturing the first jewel of the pacing Triple Crown, the $437,325 60th annual Cane Pace at Tioga Downs on Labor Day Monday. Sent off at odds of 19-1, he paid $40.20 to win. A $35,000 supplement to the Cane Pace paid off for the three-year-old colt by Somebeachsomewhere who will now head out to Delaware, Ohio to go after the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Little Brown Jug, on September 18. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Lyonssomewhere left from post seven and went right to the front with Luck Be Withyou (Ron Pierce) taking the two-hole spot from the rail. They sped to the opening quarter mile in a quick :26 seconds. Lyonssomewhere and Gingras were hot on the lead and took the field to half mile marker in :53.3 as JK Endofanera (Brian Sears) started up first-over with race favorite He’s Watching (Tim Tetrick) second-over. But to the surprise of all, Luck Be Withyou and Pierce came first-over in front of JK Endofanera as they wanted to go first up again Lyonssomewhere to the three-quarters in 1:21.3. It was then that Gingras realized the good position he was in and started to open up his lead by the top of the stretch with Lyonssomewhere as Tetrick has swept three-wide with He’s Watching and started to gain ground with every stride coming down the stretch. But it was too little too late as Gingras kept his colt going strong to win by a half length in a lifetime best clocking of 1:49.4. Doo Wop Hanover (Corey Callahan) was third. Trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Brentford, Ontario, it was the fifth win in nine starts this year for Lyonsssomewhere.   “Ronnie (Pierce) tried a couple of time to come after us,” said Yannick Gingras, “And he was not one of the horses I wanted to follow. I really did not know what I wanted to do behind the starting gate. I would have followed He’s Watching. My horse is handy enough that I could make my decision once the gate left. “I wasn’t sure if I would be able to hold him off (He’s Watching),” said Gingras, “He’s got an awesome kick. Around the last turn I knew he wasn’t in the top four so I wanted to get some separation between the two of us. It worked.” “We supplemented horse,” Takter said, “And when we got post seven I said to owner Jeff Lyons, Gosh we never get any luck with this horse. He had a great week going into this race. I had a feeling he could do it. I know how good he can be. He is a fantastic horse. “That is why we supplemented him to the Cane Pace,” Takter said, “Because he is so lightly staked we wanted to give him a chance in this race and now we will give him a shot in the Little Brown Jug.” “We are all over the moon and thumbs up after this race,” said owner Jeff Lyons, “We know he is a good horse. This time he got a good trip, a fantastic trainer and driver and so we made it.” The Labor Day card also saw Yannick Gingras triumph in the $25,000 Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship, winning the sixth race on the card with Cabrera en route to his title. A pair of wins from Matt Kakaley propelled him into second place, while Ron Pierce finished third. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Lyonssomewhere pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2014 harness racing season as he led from start to finish in capturing the first jewel of the pacing Triple Crown, the $437,325 60th annual Cane Pace at Tioga Downs on Labor Day Monday. Sent off at odds of 19-1, he paid $40.20 to win. A $35,000 supplement to the Cane Pace paid off for the three-year-old colt by Somebeachsomewhere who will now head out to Delaware, Ohio to go after the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Little Brown Jug, on September 18. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Lyonssomewhere left from post seven and went right to the front with Luck Be Withyou (Ron Pierce) taking the two-hole spot from the rail. They sped to the opening quarter mile in a quick :26 seconds. Lyonssomewhere and Gingras were hot on the lead and took the field to half mile marker in :53.3 as JK Endofanera (Brian Sears) started up first-over with race favorite He’s Watching (Tim Tetrick) second-over. But to the surprise of all, Luck Be Withyou and Pierce came first-over in front of JK Endofanera as they wanted to go first up again Lyonssomewhere to the three-quarters in 1:21.3. It was then that Gingras realized the good position he was in and started to open up his lead by the top of the stretch with Lyonssomewhere as Tetrick has swept three-wide with He’s Watching and started to gain ground with every stride coming down the stretch. But it was too little too late as Gingras kept his colt going strong to win by a half length in a lifetime best clocking of 1:49.4. Doo Wop Hanover (Corey Callahan) was third. Trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Brentford, Ontario, it was the fifth win in nine starts this year for Lyonsssomewhere.   “Ronnie (Pierce) tried a couple of time to come after us,” said Yannick Gingras, “And he was not one of the horses I wanted to follow. I really did not know what I wanted to do behind the starting gate. I would have followed He’s Watching. My horse is handy enough that I could make my decision once the gate left. “I wasn’t sure if I would be able to hold him off (He’s Watching),” said Gingras, “He’s got an awesome kick. Around the last turn I knew he wasn’t in the top four so I wanted to get some separation between the two of us. It worked.” “We supplemented horse,” Takter said, “And when we got post seven I said to owner Jeff Lyons, Gosh we never get any luck with this horse. He had a great week going into this race. I had a feeling he could do it. I know how good he can be. He is a fantastic horse. “That is why we supplemented him to the Cane Pace,” Takter said, “Because he is so lightly staked we wanted to give him a chance in this race and now we will give him a shot in the Little Brown Jug.” “We are all over the moon and thumbs up after this race,” said owner Jeff Lyons, “We know he is a good horse. This time he got a good trip, a fantastic trainer and driver and so we made it.” The Labor Day card also saw Yannick Gingras triumph in the $25,000 Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship, winning the sixth race on the card with Cabrera en route to his title. A pair of wins from Matt Kakaley propelled him into second place, while Ron Pierce finished third. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 28, 2014 -- When The Meadows hosts Friday's final preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing colt and gelding pacers, it may seem like Act 2 of the 2014 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light. That's because the $199,980 stake has attracted Adios champion McWicked as well as Somewhere In L A and Let's Drink On It, who along with McWicked won Adios eliminations. First post Friday is 6:55 PM. Following the Adios, McWicked easily captured a PASS division but saw his five-race winning streak snapped in the $400,000 Carl Milstein at Northfield Park, where he dead-heated for second. "He raced great, but I thought he could have been a little better than what he was," said Casie Coleman, who trains the son of McArdle-Western Sahara for SSG Stables. "He came out of it quite good. He's had a real good week training, and I've been very happy with him." She indicated McWicked, whose dominance during his winning streak has made him a legitimate candidate for divisional honors, will be pointed for the PASS championship and the Little Brown Jug, with the balance of his schedule to be determined. McWicked goes from post 4 in the first division, race 8, with David Miller aboard, and he'll renew acquaintances with Somewhere In L A, who finished a length behind McWicked in the Adios final. The Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A gelding leaves from post 7 for Dave Palone, trainer Jimmy Takter and owners J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable. Since the Adios, Somewhere In L A has won both his starts, including a strong performance in The Meadows' Preferred Pace last week. Let's Drink On It endured a tough trip in the Millstein and had to settle for fifth. In Friday's PASS, he's landed in the wide-open second division (race 10), where he leaves from post 6 for Tyler Smith. "He couldn't get into the race in the Milstein," said Joe Seekman, who conditions the son of Art Official-Letmedowneasy for Tina Seekman, Larry Bond, Hal Hewitt and Vince Boido, Jr. "When you have good horses inside you, it's suicidal to try to leave. I hope he gets away a little closer. He's been training good, and he's healthy. Also in the second division is Bob Key's Mattamerican, winner of the Adios consolation. He'll try to overcome post 8 for Aaron Merriman and trainer Norm Parker. The $260,000 (est.) PASS championship for this division is set for Sept. 7 at Harrah's Philadelphia. MANDATORY PAYOUTS FRIDAY. Because Friday is the last program of the Mountain Laurel meeting, there can be no carryovers in the Pick 4, the Pick 5 and the last Superfecta on the card. These wagers all are "must pay." In addition, the Pick 5 sports a carryover of $1,660.11. Since the Washington Trotting Association meeting begins Tuesday, Sept. 2, there will be no discontinuity in live racing. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Freehold, NJ --- As the owner of a breeding farm, Mike Gulotta would seem an unlikely candidate to buy a horse that was gelded. But when longtime horse agent Gerry Bloch called Gulotta about gelded 3-year-old pacer Somewhere In L A, Gulotta knew he had to listen. After all, it was Bloch who directed Gulotta to a 4-year-old pacer named Lis Mara in 2006. Lis Mara, who had earned $180,536 entering that season, banked $1.96 million the rest of his career and was the Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer in 2006. So far, Gulotta is happy he listened to Bloch and partnered with J&T Silva Stables and TLP Stable to buy Somewhere In L A on June 1. Since then, Somewhere In L A has won four of eight races, finished second in the Delvin Miller Adios, and earned $186,373. The fact (Somewhere In L A) was a gelding gave me some pause, but I thought that if Gerry was recommending the horse, I needed to pay attention,” said Gulotta, who is the CEO of Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey. “I have a great deal of respect for Gerry. He’s found a number of horses for me, so when he calls, I have to listen. “I think this horse is pretty special. He’s a fast horse that can take a lot of air. I think he’s getting better and better.” Somewhere In L A races Friday in the first of two $99,990 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions at The Meadows. He will start from post seven with driver Dave Palone at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. Also in the race is Adios champion McWicked, who leaves from post four with David Miller driving for trainer Casie Coleman. A son of stallion Somebeachsomewhere, Somewhere In L A is the first foal out of the stakes-winning mare West Of L A. She is a half-sister to millionaire Thinking Out Loud and stakes-winner You See L A. Somewhere In L A was bred and owned by Robert McIntosh Stables, C S X Stables, and Al McIntosh Holdings before the sale to Gulotta’s group. Last year, he won three of 11 races, including a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes, and earned $71,831. He enters Friday’s Pennsylvania Sire Stakes start with three wins in his last four races. His only setback during that span came by one length to McWicked in the Adios, and Somewhere In L A is coming off a victory over older horses in the preferred on Aug. 22 at The Meadows. “Jimmy is doing a great job with him,” Gulotta said. “I thought if he had a better trip in the Adios, he would have been right there with McWicked. He was on the outside a long time.” Gulotta is hoping for a long and prosperous career for Somewhere In L A, noting the earning potential for gelding pacers while making reference to Foiled Again, harness racing’s richest all-time North American performer. “What’s wrong with making $6 million,” Gulotta said, laughing. “(Buying Somewhere In L A) fits from a business perspective. He can bolster our finances.” Tom Pontone, who along with his father, Lou, makes up TLP Stable, was unaware the horse was a gelding when he committed to be a partner. He was given the chance to leave the group, but decided to stay on board. “I thought he was going to do good,” Pontone said. “I saw his stakes schedule and we have the opportunity to get back our money this year. And I love owning horses with Mike because he’s like a brother to me. I told Mike I think we’re going to have a little fun with him. “He’s turned out to be a pretty good buy for us so far. He’s a tough horse and he keeps on trying. That’s the one thing I liked about him. He’s had some tough races where he’s had to come first up, but he never stops. He just keeps on going right down to the wire. He never gives up.” If all goes well, Somewhere In L A will go to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship on Sept. 7 at Harrah’s Philadelphia, then head to the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 18 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Somewhere In L A is the No. 3-ranked horse in the Road to the Little Brown Jug ratings, behind Meadowlands Pace winner He’s Watching and McWicked. None of the current owners of Somewhere In L A have had a horse win the Little Brown Jug. “It would be a thrill,” Gulotta said. “It would be a dream come true. “Even with a gelding.” by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

ELORA, ON - In just his sixth year as a professional driver, James MacDonald of Guelph ranks among the best in Canada. He sits second in the nation in wins, is a close third in money and is on the verge of surpassing his best money year ever, the $2.9 million he earned in 2012. One of his biggest career victories came earlier this month when he won the Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway with a 20-1 longshot named Win The Gold. "I've had a lot of good horses and a lot of good trainers use me, so that makes it easier." MacDonald is on an incredible roll in 2014. He kicked off the year getting married to Jenna MacDonell. Jenna is the daughter of veteran reinsman Paul Macdonell, the man best known for driving the incredible Somebeachsomewhere. "Paul's great and Jenna's even better," MacDonald said, laughing. A few months after getting married, James MacDonald surpassed $10 million in lifetime earnings and recorded his 1,000th career win. "It means quite a bit. I've been watching it for awhile," MacDonald said of the wins milestone. "You try and win as much as you can, but it's hard. There's nine, 10 people in every race trying to win and in Ontario it's not easy to win races. There are so many good drivers around. Just to know that you've been able to achieve 1,000 is kind of special." James is the third MacDonald brother to reach the upper echelons of the sport. James, Anthony and Mark MacDonald have won more than 9,000 races and $100 million combined. Mark MacDonald is a two-time Canadian driver of the year. James said it all starts with their parents, Fred and Gail MacDonald, back in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. "Our family's great. Dad and mom, they watch every race and they call after," James said. "Whether you're up the track or win, you're the best driver in the world. They're great and Mark and Anthony they're great, too. All our brothers. They all watch, they all call. "Mark, if he sees me do something, or Anthony sees me do something they're the first people to give good constructive criticism, so it makes it that much easier, for sure." Constructive? Brothers are able to do constructive? "Somewhat. It starts off as constructive and usually ends up in a fight," James said, laughing. "But, deep down I know it was meant well." James said the Ontario track that most reminds him of home is Grand River Raceway in Elora. "It's a great track to race at. The grandstand sits right on the track. The fans are lined up at the fence to watch. It's just a really friendly place to race at." To hear our conversation with James MacDonald - including what sport he beats his brothers at every time - check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway by Dave Briggs for Grand River Raceway  

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