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With the North American harness racing season well underway we continue with 'A Stallion Review' series. Today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding racehorse Shark Gesture and what impact he might have as a young sire. All statistics shown are as at the 7th of April 2014. Enjoy the read. BREEDING Shark Gesture is by Cams Card Shark, one of the all time greats to have stood at stud in the history of the standardbred breed. His figures are mind blowing and a testament to his siring ability and longevity in a very fashion conscious industry. Not only is he a great sire but he is now firmly established as a sire of sires with the great sire Bettors Delight leading the way. Others by Cams Card Shark  to have made an impact to date are Four Starzzz Shark, Riverboat King, Million Dollar Cam and Aces N Sevens while Roll With Joe and Shadyshark Hanover are young sons now at stud. Total stakes earned to date is $135,345,825. Numbers in 1:50 or better is 58. He has ten million dollar plus earners. Number in 1:53 is 346 and average earnings per starter is $103,555. Simple Gesture is the dam of Shark Gesture and she is an un-raced daughter of Western Hanover who has had six foals of racing age to date for three winners. Apart from Shark Gesture she has produced Shark Ingested 1:49.2f ($277,970) and The Village Rusty 1:51.1f ($145,541). Shark Gesture's second dam is Empty Feeling. She was a very talented mare on the racetrack taking a mark of 1:53.1 on her way to winning $354,657. She carried that into the breeding barn having left five winners from seven foals to date including the high class son of The Panderosa in Ponder 1:48.1m ($1,686,134) and Gotta Feeling 1:52.4f ($235,109). RACE RECORD As a 2yr old he had ten starts for three wins and four placings for $118,971 in stakes. His best win was in the $113,000 Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington in 1;51.3m. He also won a heat of the Breeders Crown and was second in the $156,000 International Stallion Pace. As a 3yr old he had sixteen starts for eight wins and two placings for $677,427 in stakes. His best win was undoubtedly in the final of the $695,000 Breeders Crown. Horses he beat that day included Mister Big,  Artistic Fella,  Jeremes Jet and Total Truth. Other notable wins during the season included the $288,000 Tattersalls Final in 1:49.1 (his record for his 3yr old season) and the $126,000 Bluegrass Final in 1:51 As a 4yr old he had eight starts for two wins and three places for $206,791 in stakes. His best win was in the $120,000 NH Sweepstake in 1:49.2m while he ran second in both the $200,000 Dan Patch final and the $285,000 Graduate Final. At this point he was retired to stud and didn't return to the track for over sixteen months. As a 5yr old he had three starts late in the year in which he ran a third in the last start. As a 6yr old he came back with a vengeance and had 29 starts for seven wins and eight placings for a super $963,890 in stakes, his biggest earnings for a season on the track. He was a constant in all the big races. His best win was arguably in the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby in 1:48.1 although his win in the $688,000 W R Haughton Memorial in 1:48.2 was just as impressive. Another stellar win that season was in the $210,000 Graduate Final in 1:49. 2009 $688,000 W R Haughton Memorial As a 7yr old he had another great year on the track with just twelve starts for seven wins and three placings for $918,875 in stakes. He had arguably his best year on the track at seven with his wins in several major races being quite dominant. His best win was in the $702,000 W R Haughton Memorial in 1:48.2 at The Meadowlands. This win was especially significant as this field was full of great horses that have won between them a massive total of $21,435,937 in stakes to date. It included the great Foiled Again ($6,139,210), Won The West ($3,977,956), Bettor Sweet ($2,816,687), Vintage Master ($2,162,979), Hypnotic Blue Chip ($1,794,793) and Mr Wiggles ($1,195,099). 2010 $702,000 W R Haughton Memorial As can be seen Shark Gesture started from the far outside post 9 and was parked out wide at the quarter in 25.4 before getting cover at the half in 52.3 then he was out to attack at the three quarters in 1:20.4 before winning in hand in 1:48.2. An outstanding mile against the very best. Shark Gesture also won the $200,000 Graduate Final in 1:48.4, The $228,000 Bettors Delight Final in 1:48.3, The $200,000 Dan Patch Final in 1:48.1 and was a close second in the $500,000 Franklin Final in 1:49.1. He was timed under 1:50 in ten of his twelve starts that season.  Shark Gesture was timed in 1:47.4 (2nd), 1:47.4 (2nd), 1:47.2 (2nd) and 1:47.3 (5th) during his career. Twice in his career he posted very fast last quarters of 25.4 and 25.3 NORTH AMERICAN STUD RECORD He stood at stud for one season in Canada as a five year old. He bred 73 mares but  there were only 43 foals from mares that were of raceway standard at best. Of that 43 foals he had 33 colts born and just 10 fillies. Twenty four of those won but stakes won have only amounted to $1,261,212 with his best performers being Piston Broke 1:49.2s ($295,330) and Best Ears 1:49.4f ($191,657). He was then moved to Pennsylvania where he bred 87 mares to produce 56 foals that are two year olds in North America in 2014. He has two more crops of 39 and 30 still to come in Pennsylvania. He now stands at Abby Stables in Ohio for the 2014 season. AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD Again he has only one crop old enough to race which are now five year olds. They number just 18 and there have been twelve starters for four winners for stakes of $90,842. His two best winners have both been fillies with Gesturestar having won 8 and She’s A Killer 10. He has a crop of 24 yearlings in Australia. NEW ZEALAND STUD CAREER He only has one crop on the ground in NZ and that is the crop of 42 yearlings which are due to hit the track next year. POSITIVES The first string to his bow is that he is the biggest stake winning son of the great sire Cams Card Shark with $2,890,594 in stakes.. His soundness over several seasons at the top and the longevity of his performance at the elite level should appeal to Southern Hemisphere breeders where most of the bigger stakes are aimed at the older free for all horses. He only has one crop in NZ which are presently yearlings and they were well received at the NZ yearling sales this year with the likes of  the well respected horseman Jim Dalgety, Tony Herlihy and Nigel McGrath amongst the high profile horsemen to have purchased one. NEGATIVES Management issues coupled with poor promotion have meant he has yet to serve a meaningful book of mares at stud, either in his initial stint at stud or since his retirement in 2010. In todays market very small crops make it impossible to make an impact and can very quickly ruin a stallions career if changes are not made. OVERVIEW A smart racehorse at two and three who matured into a genuine star as an older horse. Retired to stud initially without the necessary runs on the board to attract either the quantity or the quality of mares to make it as a sire in today's marketplace. On his return to the track he matured into a super star and this time he has a much bettor shot at making it. His recent move to Ohio can only help his future prospects and give him the opportunity to achieve as a sire to the level his race record suggests he should be achieving.  OVERALL RATING 4 out of 10 JC    

American In Paris has taken the Meadowlands by storm. A 4-year-old female pacer, American In Paris is 6-for-6 this season, with all her victories coming at the Big M. Her two most recent triumphs were in the preliminary rounds of the Artistic Vision Series, which concludes Saturday with a $55,800 final. American In Paris will start the final from post two with driver Jim Morrill Jr. at the lines for trainer/co-owner Ron Burke. Art Ideal, another Burke mare, leaves from post seven in the seven-horse field. She finished second in both her preliminary legs. Saturday's card also features the $63,000 Whata Baron Series final for male pacers. Captive Audience, who is unbeaten in three races this year, drew post three for trainer Corey Johnson. Wake Up Peter, who also won both his preliminary rounds, starts from post seven for trainer Larry Remmen. American In Paris won five of six races as a 2-year-old, then won five of 16 last season at age 3. She was winless in her final six starts last season, but turned the corner this year with the addition of Lasix. She won the second round of the Artistic Vision Series in a career-best 1:50. "She had a few issues last year," said co-owner Mark Weaver. "This year, I think the key is we added Lasix; maybe we should have had her on it sooner. "Earlier this year, she almost raced like a thoroughbred, with two or three weeks between starts. It's hard to be in top condition when you do that, so I thought we still hadn't seen the best of her. She's pretty good. I'm not saying she could beat the top horses, but I'm not saying she couldn't." American In Paris is a daughter of stallion American Ideal out of the mare Sendingforth. She was purchased originally for $4,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale by Iowa's Nolan Van Otterloo. She finished second in her first start and then won twice before being purchased by Burke, Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. "We've bought horses from (the Van Otterloos) before and it's been a good connection for us," Weaver said. "They have a pretty good knack at buying some underpriced horses and usually at least one of them hits." Although Weaver thinks American In Paris might be able to compete against the division's best, she probably will have few chances this year. "She's not staked, but she's only (age) 4, so that might not be a bad thing," Weaver said. "We usually don't stake the 4-year-olds too heavily. We'll probably pick our spots; there's enough money to be made, hopefully, in some of the invitationals and opens. "Depending how she does, we could shut her down a little early and may stake her up for her 5-year-old year." As for the immediate challenge of fending off six rivals in the Artistic Vision final, Weaver likes American In Paris' chances. Other contenders include Josh Parker's JK Letitgo, who has won seven of nine races this year, and Chris Ryder's Road Bet, who won a preliminary leg in the series. "She's in a good spot," Weaver said about American In Paris. "There are some pretty nice horses in there, but the way she's been racing, I think she'll be pretty tough to beat." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

TORONTO, April 14 - After failing to find the winner's circle in both preliminary legs, Reasonable Force found his best stride when it counted the most as he captured this year's edition of the $36,200 Youthful Series final Monday at Woodbine. In doing so, the Doug McNair-driven sophomore returned $33.00 to his backers. McNair and Reasonable Force were in no hurry off the gate as Account Rollover (Randy Waples) cleared to the lead past the opening station in :27.1. Account Rollover, who found the wire in the first leg of the series, continued to lead his nine rivals past the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:24.4. McNair began the first-over attack around the final turn and was within striking distance of the tempo-setter turning for home. Down the stretch, McNair asked his charge for more pace and the three-time winner responded with a two length win. Post time favourite Andreios Kardia (Steve Byron) finished second, with Dragon Seelster (Paul Macdonell) finishing third. Trained by Tony Montini for owners Doug Dunbar and Steve LeBlanc, Reasonable Force lifted his career earnings to $44,840. The son of Shadow Play now has a 2-2-1 record from eight starts this season. Also on Monday's program, the second round of the Lifetime Dream series continued with two $18,000 divisions. Rose Run Oriana (Randy Waples) kicked-off the 10-race programme with a 1:54.2 score in the first division. The daughter of Trainforthefuture enjoyed a new career best in the debut for trainer Corey Johnson. Waples led gate-to-wire with the 15-time winner through panels of :28, :57 and 1:25.3, before fending off 3/5 favourite Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) in deep stretch to win by one and a half lengths. Samira Hanover (Paul Macdonell) finished third. Owned by Rolling Hills Racing Stables, Rose Run Oriana will look for the series sweep next week as her bankroll increased to $134,717. She paid $4.90 to win. One race later, Her Name Is Lola (Phil Hudon) enjoyed her fifth career score at odds of 3-1. The daughter of Majestic Son laid parked on the outside at the quarter in :28.2, before clearing to the lead before the half in :57.2. From there, the trotting miss led her five rivals past in 1:26.1 before fending off a late challenge from Frisky Magic (Randy Waples) to win by a nose. Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Trained by Russell Bax for Baxmar Holsteins Ltd, Her Name Is Lola increased her bankroll to $85,560. She paid $8.70 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

Bathurst Gold Crown winning two year old Artistic Flite will return to the racetrack on Saturday night when he competes in a heat of the Australian Pacing Gold at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Trainer Anton Golino confirmed the son of Artistic Fella had recovered well from his first Gr. 1 victory and is hoping to add a second feature win to the list. "He is a dream horse, he just recovers so quickly, he has pulled up from the Bathurst Gold Crown so well and now it is time to concentrate on the Australian Pacing Gold," Golino said. "Artistic Flite doesn't take a lot of work so he'll just have one more serious hit-out this week to top him off for Saturday night and if everything goes to plan we will be off to Melbourne for the semi finals a fortnight later." Golino was extremely proud of Artistic Flite after the win at Bathurst but admitted he was nervous going into the final. "Definitely, I was really nervous about him going into the first corner but John McCarthy got him around that perfectly and once he did that I knew he was going to be a big chance." "I didn't give John any instructions, he's driven enough in big races and won plenty of them and in the end it all turned out perfectly, I think Noel Daley was the first person to ring me after the win, it was a very special night for me." A long float trip to Melbourne is not a concern for Artistic Flite according to Golino. "When he had his first start at Newcastle back in February he was in the float by himself and we actually got caught in a fair bit of traffic on the way into the track and he handled himself really well, he didn't sweat up, he didn't move, he was perfect so I'm not too worried about taking him to Melbourne." "There is only a week between the semi final and the final and should he get through to the final I think it would be best to stay down there rather than have him doing a lot of travelling back and forth on the freeway." By Greg Hayes - SKY Racing  Harness Racing New South Wales |    

KAROOLA trainer Dick Eaves has been enjoying his fair share of success lately and it continued at Devonport on Monday night. Eaves prepared Another Jasper to score a narrow but impressive win in the SEA FM Stakes for C1 pacers over 2297 metres. The pace was hot early with Peace Corps and Modern McKenzie both determined to lead with Peace Corps eventually securing the front position while Another Jasper's driver Troy Hillier was content to allow his charge to settle rearward and travel sweetly in his comfort zone. When Hillier called on Another Jasper to extend in the back straight the last time the gelding responded well and went on to score by a neck from Boutique Art with Bunjil Boy three metres away third. Another Jasper, owned and bred by Bill Fawdry and his daughter Tamra Fawdry, has won two and been placed three times from his 13 starts this season with both of his wins coming on the Devonport circuit. By Peter Staples

TORONTO , April 7 - Sophomore pacing colts and geldings were showcased Monday evening at Woodbine in the second round of the Youthful Series. Andreios Kardia, driven by Steve Byron, captured the first of two divisions in 1:55.4 over a 'Good' track. Byron was in no hurry at the start as Regal Son (Randy Waples) made his way to the front to lead the field of six past the first quarter in :27.2. As the talented pacers headed towards the half, Paul Macdonell elected to send second-choice Dragon Seelster to the front before the half in :58. Kuchar (Jody Jamieson) began the first-over attack around the final turn, giving live cover to 4-5 favourite Andreios Kardia. Kuchar and Dragon Seelster matched strides past three-quarters in 1:27.3, but down the lane Byron showed Andreios Kardia open racetrack and the son of Badlands Hanover exploded in deep stretch to capture his third career victory. Trained by James Madill for owner Ina Madill, Andreios Kardia increased his bankroll to $28,480. With the track down-graded to 'Sloppy,' Highland Tartan and James MacDonald captured the second division as the favourite in 1:56.2. MacDonald elected to sit in the two-hole in the early going as Reasonable Force (Jody Jamieson) made their way to the front past the opening quarter in :27.1. Highland Tartan was then angled to the outside and crossed over to command to lead past the middle-half in :59.1 and 1:29.1. As the field turned for home, Reasonable Force angled out of the pocket, but could only reach the leaders saddle pad as Highland Tartan prevailed in deep stretch to score the narrow win. Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) enjoyed a ground saving trip to finish third. Trained and co-owned by Marty Fine along with Mary Clark, Highland Tartan enjoyed his second career victory as his lifetime earnings now sits at $15,200. The son of Major In Art paid $4.90 to win. The Youthful Series is for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers, who are non-winners of three races of $15,000 in 2013. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

Tonight's Quinte+ Prix de Parisien at Paris-Vincennes went to 12/1 outsider Ulster Perrine with J-M Bazire up. The six year-old son of Tenor de Baune scored over 2850 meters in 1.13.6kr to defeat 35/1 longshot Rocanella teamed by Mathieu Abrivard. The outsider dominated result set off a top-five exact order payoff of 213,480e for a £2 wager. Tabrix du Theillet ended third at 14/1. 15 starters contested this event for a purse of £47,000. The Quinte+ jackpot continues to rise and was £6.75 million tonight. J-M Bazire also took the co-featured Prix Cephens with his trainee Upsos de Guez. The six-year-old son of Hulk des Champs scored as even-money favorite in 1.13.8kr over 2850 meters for his eighth career victory. The winner secured first prize of 45% of the £50,000 purse. Berry's Boy, an invader from Holland, ended second for reinsman Franck Ouvrie and trainer Jan F. Van Dooyeweerd as that one handled a 25 meters handicap. Uvaro Jet was third for Bertrand LeBeller. At Marseille-Borely veteran Jean-Pierre Dubois drove the winner and owns that one plus the second place horse in the Prix Cancanniere for three-year olds. The £22,000 event over 2400 meters went to the filly Be Mine Tonight in 1.16.9kr, the second career win for the daughter of Quatre Juillet that was bred by Ecurie D and is trained by Patrick Chevrier. She traveled an extra 25 meters as 1.4/1 favorite to handle stablemate Bently de Raconis was second with Nicholas Ensch driving the son of Repeat Love. Also at Marseille-Borely, Italy's New Way took the Prix de L'Isle Surla Sorgue for £22,000 over 3000 meters distance handicap. 16 starters battled in this one. New Way, a seven year-old gelded son of Uronometro, was reined by Christophe Martens and earned his 15th lifetime win, now for earnings of £131,343. He won despite a 25 meter handicap and 5.5/1 odds by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

This year nominations for the 2014 Canterbury Breeders New Zealand Oaks at Addington will be taken earlier than previous years. With nominations taken early, this provides an opportunity to give this prestigious event the exposure it deserves and enables the New Zealand TAB to operate a fixed odds book on the Group One feature. To be held on Friday 16 May this year, the Oaks carries a stake of $125,000 which is an increase of $25,000 from 2013. This higher stake is in line with stakes increases included in the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club’s (NZMTC) Strategic Plan and it is planned that the 2015 New Zealand Oaks could see a further increase.   Nominations for the Oaks will close with the NZMTC on Wednesday 16 April 2014 at 3pm New Zealand time. All one off nomination fees at $100.00 plus GST will be included in the stakes pay out and there are no sustaining fees due. The New Zealand Oaks is a race etched in history being first held in 1948 and won by Perpetua. More recent winners include top class pacers of the ilk of Armalight, Hilarious Guest, Kate’s First, Under Cover Lover, Elect To Live, Mainland Banner, One Dream, Lauraella, De Lovely, Carabella and Adore Me. For further details on the above please visit www.addington.co.nz from Friday 4 April. Alternatively, please call Brian Rabbitt or Richard Bromley of Addington’s Racing Department on (03) 338 9094. GED MOOAR MARKETING AND COMMERCIAL MANAGER                

Cam's Card Shark, one of the leading stallions of his generation, has just been retired from stud duty, but hopes are high in Ohio that one of his greatest progeny can carry on his dynamic legacy in the breeding shed. Shark Gesture, whose earnings in excess of $2.8 million are the most of the more than 1,700 racehorses that Cam's Card Shark sired and one of the fastest with a speed mark of 1:48.1s, will be represented by a crop of two-year-olds this season. Abby Stables in Sugarcreek, Ohio, is standing the big, dark brown stallion.  "Shark Gesture is the total package," Abby Stables' Teresa Maddox told Harness Racing Update."   Shark Gesture developed into a horse for the ages. A $110,000 yearling purchase by Norm Smiley, Shark Gesture raced from two to four, posting some impressive victories.  He was retired to the breeding shed due to an injury and stood as a stallion in Ontario for the 2008 season. Later that year, when the injury had fully healed and he trained excellently, Shark Gesture returned to the races and started three times. But it was as a six- and seven-year-old that he excelled, earning over $1.8 million. He beat some of the best aged pacers, including the likes of Foiled Again, Mister Big, Art Official, Boulder Creek, Artistic Fella, Shadow Play and Won The West 12 times, including by more than 10 lengths in the Hoosier Cup.  Maddox said because Shark Gesture disappeared from the breeding scene for three years people may be confused about his history.  "He really hasn't gotten a fair shake as a stallion," Maddox said. "If you go back and look at some of his races, he was phenomenal. He's well-mannered, he's intelligent and was a bear on the racetrack. It's just a breath of fresh air to have him in Ohio. We welcomed him with open arms." Shark Gesture can be seen in action on his page at www.abbystables.com . His web page comes complete with race footage, photos, pedigree, articles and both a downloadable and digital breeding contract.  "There is no reason because he had 44 foals that raced from his first and only crop as a stallion, standing in Ontario and bred to mostly Ontario-bred mares, that people should have forgotten about him because he went back to the races," said Smiley. "He is still a good horse.  This year he has two-year-olds that are training and I've got good reports on them. Trainer Fred Grant has a colt by Shark Gesture out of Boca Babe.  Fred owns the dam and owns a piece of the colt and said, 'he's very good-gaited, very sound, very willing and has lots of speed. I just love him.'" Trainer David Miller, currently training a two-year-old Shark Gesture filly named Hex, described her as a "big, strong, great-gaited, intelligent filly who is showing excellent speed." Another trainer, Jenny Melander, has a nice sturdy black filly named When Sharks Fly and echoed Miller's comments about Shark Gesture's offspring. "His foals are big and sturdy, with heart, speed, intelligence and strength," she said.   Shark Gesture is truly an anomaly. How many horses return to the races two years after retiring and earn almost twice as much, facing battled-hardened competitors? In total, he posted 31 sub-1:50 miles, 16 of those 1:49 or better and four of those sub-1:49. As a 2-year-old, he won the Bluegrass Stakes (recording a freshman mark of 1:51.3), the Simpson Stakes and an elimination of the Breeders Crown.  At three, he won the Breeders Crown, the Tattersalls Pace (with a sophomore speed mark of 1:49.1), the Bluegrass Stakes, the Simpson Stakes and the Progress Pace. In an abbreviated four-year-old season, he won the New Hampshire Sweepstakes. In his return to the races, he won the William R. Haughton Memorial two years in a row, the Canadian Pacing Derby Final (with a lifetime mark of 1:48.1), the Graduate Series twice, the Dan Patch Invitational Pace and the Bettor's Delight. He broke track records at Tioga Downs and Hoosier Park and tied the track record when he won the Canadian Pacing Derby. "He's won all the big races, beat all the good horses," Maddox said. "He beat Foiled Again (the top aged pacer last year) more than once. He beat Won The West. He's beat them all at one point or another. His owners believed in him so much, they told us the story (of why he retired and then returned to the races) and it was just a no-brainer for us." 2010 Graduate Final William R. Haughton Memorial Smiley recalled why he bought Shark Gesture. Even though he was big and growthy, Smiley liked him, viewing him six times. "There are certain horses you go to the auction and put a price on and you go to that price or a few bucks more," Smiley said. "With him I said I was buying him, period."  Smiley subsequently offered shares to his brother, Gerald, and Thomas and Louis Pantone. Typical of a Cam's Card Shark offspring, Shark Gesture grew into his body from two to three. He stood about 17 hands high and had a long stride. Early in Shark Gesture's two-year-old season, he won the Bluegrass in 1:51 3/5, but he was still developing and growing. As a three-year-old, he did some amazing things, none more so than winning the Breeders Crown only a week after he fell down in a mishap in his elimination race for the final. He finished third and was moved up to second, but Norm Smiley and trainer Erv Miller feared the colt might not survive the accident. Once the bike and equipment were removed, Shark Gesture stood up and walked off as if nothing had happened, although he did have some cuts and abrasions. Driver Brian Sears, Miller, Smiley and the horse's vet shook their heads in disbelief. "If that's not a tough horse, I don't know what is," Smiley said.   A week later, he won the Breeders Crown with George Brennan, who would become his principle driver, steering him in what was a clean trip, racing on or near the pace. "Nobody knew that horse like Georgie," Smiley said.  "George was tremendous with that horse from the first time he drove him." Shark Gesture raced only eight times in an abbreviated four-year-old season and was retired, his notable victory in the New Hampshire. Some of the notable offspring from the 32 starters from his first crop as a sire include stakes winner Piston Broke, 1:49.2s ($291,131) and Best Ears, 1:49.4f, ($188,483). After Shark Gesture recovered from his injury and trained solidly, Norm Smiley made the decision to bring the horse back to the races. It would prove to be a shrewd decision. In 2009 at the age of six, Shark Gesture came into his own, racing 29 times and winning seven, including the Haughton Memorial and Canadian Pacing Derby and topping all pacers with more than $900,000 in earnings. At age seven, he raced 12 times and winning seven, notably the Graduate, Bettors Delight, Dan Patch (by a whopping 10½ lengths), and repeating in the Haughton.  He finished second by a length in the Franklin. He was retired at the end of the season.  "He was just amazing," Norm Smiley said. "This horse never got the respect he deserved. He was a tremendous racehorse." By Perry Lefko, for Harness Racing Update

TORONTO, March 26 - Kyle Reibeling's Missevil has certainly made her impact this season while racing at Woodbine Racetrack - and the talented filly could be in for a prosperous payday in the coming weeks. The swift pacer has banked $30,100 this season from five starts, including three wins and a second-place finish for owners Mike Timpano and Frank Cirillo. The daughter of Armbro Deuce-Impudent will begin from post six in the second of two $15,000 Blossom Series divisions, Friday at Woodbine. The rich $30,000 (added) final will take place on Monday, April 11. "We have the six-hole in a six horse race, so that doesn't bother me and we won't be sitting 21-lengths back like last week," Reibeling said. "It's a good series and a nice fit for her. The filly that beat her last week is in there, which makes for another great race." Missevil qualified just once last year as a rookie before calling it a season and Reibeling took over conditioning the bay this past winter. "I got her when she was training back this winter when I returned from Sudbury," he said. "I don't think it was a surprise to anyone that worked with her in the past that she has the speed and desire." So far this season, Missevil has developed an off-the-pace racing style, which is by the design of her veteran conditioner. "She can get real hot," Reibeling said. "When we first schooled her, she was a little erratic so we made some changes to calm her down, but whether she had the speed or not was something I wasn't worried about. "It just seems like the plan is to race her from behind and teach her," Reibeling continued. "We're obviously thinking long term with her and we are going to do right by her." Reibeling, who is approaching $2 million in purse earnings as a conditioner, admires one key attribute about his stable star. "Her will", he said. "She just has that tremendous will to win. She's not the biggest horse and probably not the fastest horse out there, but I don't think there's any other horse around that I've ever worked with - maybe L H Stryker- that has that killer instinct and will to win like she does. She's small but has that little engine that could." Driver James MacDonald has been aboard Missevil in each of her five starts this season and Reibeling sees that as a perfect fit. "James has done an excellent job with her and I couldn't ask for more," he said. "He's listened and done right by the filly and he's drove her with a lot of respect. James deserves a lot of credit." As for the future of the Missevil, Reibeling remains optimistic about a successful summer with his speedy pacer. "We're going to stick to the OSS and just race around here. We're confident that she can be a Gold filly this season and there is enough money in the province for us to tackle. We're going to take it week-by-week, but hopefully we have a lot of fun this summer." The Blossom Series is for three-year-old fillies, who are non-winners of three races or $15,000 in 2013. The pair of divisions will kick off the 11-race programme on Friday in races one and two. They will line up as follows: Race 1 1. Rock N Roll Xample 2. Deuces For Charity 3. Outtathewheelhouse 4. Polk Dot Hanover 5. Noble Jilly 6. An Angel Shes Not 7. Mach Some Noise Race 2 1. Premio Loco 2. Wildcat Magic 3. Somebaysomwhere 4. Gushing Royalty 5. Violet Bayama 6. Missevil By Greg Gangle, for WEG

Record figures were achieved from 115 lots at the Gold Crown Yearling Sale at Bathurst last weekend. Sale organiser Graeme Board said it was the best sale he has been involved with. "I've been doing the sale at Bathurst for nearly 20 years and this is by far the best I have seen," said Board. "Everyone wanted to be a part of the action and the results are great for the future of harness racing." Yearling colt sales hit an average price of $9,000 while the fillies were close to the $7,000 mark. The sale turned over just shy of $1 million, a significant increase on 2013. The top price lot was a for Sportswriter-Sixteen Carat colt purchased by Emilio Rosati for $34,000, while Pat Bourke purchased a Courage Under Fire-Lombo Silhouette colt for $27,000. Bred by Laurie and Gwen Paton, the sale-topping colt is out of the 1:55.5 Menangle winner Sixteen Carat, a Blissfull Hall mare. Rosati also shelled $27,000 for the Rocknroll Hanover-Counterfeit Chic colt and $25,000 for the American Ideal-Superstar Lady filly, the top-priced filly at the sale. Other lots to fetch $20,000 or more were the Courage Under Fire-Pleasure Machine colt at $21,500 and the Rock N Roll Heaven-So Savvy colt and the Art Colony-Jillette colt both at $20,000. For a full list of results go to graemeboard.com                       Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6677| F: 02 8580 5795 |M: 0411 627 113 |E: dwalker@hrnsw.com.au| W: www.hrnsw.com.au                  

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2014 ballot. A total of 36 horses and people, including 18 Standardbred racing candidates and 18 Thoroughbred racing candidates have been selected to appear on this year’s ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will declare the winners in their respective categories.  Results will be announced Tuesday, April 8.   On the Standardbred ballots representing this year’s six voting categories are as follows: Male horse category, Blissfull Hall, J M Vangogh and Rocknroll Hanover In 1999, Blissfull Hall captured harness racing’s elusive Pacing Triple Crown.  Owned by Ecuries Daniel Plouffe, Inc. of Bromont, QC, this champion was trained by Ben Wallace with Ron Pierce as regular driver.   A 31 race career over two seasons amassed a record of 19-4-6, a mark of 1:49.2 and earnings of $1.4 million before embarking on a successful career as a stallion. J M Vangogh, purchased as a yearling for $4,500 by Paul Chambers of Harrington, Delaware, made a remarkable recovery from an accident in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final as a two year old to earn $2.28 million in 206 starts over 8 seasons and the nickname “The Comeback Kid”.  Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his race career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, ON; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC.  Career highlights include victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three year olds, the Metro Pace and the North America Cup.  He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013. Female horse category: B Cor Tamara, Dreamfair Eternal and J Cs Nathalie Before embarking on her second career as a broodmare, B Cor Tamara enjoyed a productive racing career, earning more than $185,000.  Bred and owned by Peter Core of Dresden, ON, the daughter of Dream Of Glory was the dam of 19 foals, including star trotter B Cor Pete, and granddam of two champion juveniles, Banker Hall and Broadway Hall.  Her offspring have earned in excess of $2.7 million. Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a career spanning seven years, 56 victories, including every stake event on the older pacing mare schedule, earning over $2.5 million and being named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010.  The daughter of Camluck was bred, raised and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON with Patrick Fletcher receiving training credit. As a broodmare, J Cs Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON -- pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal.  Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a mark of 1:49.3.  Dreamfair Eternal, a winner of 56 races and over $2.5 million in purse earnings was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010. The trainer-driver category: Yves Filion, William Gale, and Wally Hennessey. Yves Filion, 67 of Saint-Andre-D’argent, Quebec was one of his province’s premier trainer-drivers for close to 30 years driving in almost 18,000 races with 4,362 wins and $26.5 million in earnings.   Training credits include 248 winners and horses earning in excess of $3.4 million.   Pacing colts Runnymede Lobell and Goliath Bayama each became millionaires with Filion responsible for both training and driving. William Gale, 65 of Woodstock, Ontario, was one of Canada’s leading drivers for a period that spanned the 70s, 80s and 90s. Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons.  During his career, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million. Wally Hennessey, 56, of Prince Edward Island, has more than 8,200 victories to his name and has banked earnings in excess of $55 million.  In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown.  In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. Candidates in the builders’ category: Dr. Ted Clarke, John B. Ferguson and Robert Murphy. Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry.  Highly regarded for his thoughtful insights, Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth.  Before Grand River, Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network. John B. Ferguson may be best known for his time in the National Hockey League, but his passion for Canadian horse racing was drawn from early years spent with his father and grandfather at old Hastings Park in Vancouver, BC.  In addition to his role as a very active owner and breeder, Ferguson also took a role in track management.  He was hired by Blue Bonnets in Montreal and after leaving hockey became the President of Windsor Raceway.  He was also one of driving forces behind the formation of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, BC, one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, was known by his popular Red Star moniker.  First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners.   He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009.  In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada. Outstanding Standardbreds: Albatross, Artsplace, and Happy Lady Albatross was voted US Harness Horse of the Year in 1971 and 1972.  He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million.  As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million. Artsplace was the1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following an undefeated four-year-old season.  He was a two-year-old world record holder winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida, soundly defeating champion Die Laughing.  He won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million during his racing career which saw him race many times in Canada before becoming a world class sire. Happy Lady, a daughter of Most Happy Fella, raced in 1977 and 1978 for owners Myra Masterson of St. Catharines, ON and Linda Lockey of Ridgeville.  Though her race career was brief, she won $528,825 in purse earnings and attained a mark of 1:55.2.  Trained and driven by the late Jim Rankin, she was almost flawless in her juvenile campaign, winning 15 of 16 races.  As a sophomore she won 19 of 24 starts. Communicators category selections: Harry Eisen, Bill Galvin and Frank Salive. The late Harry Eisen spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario.  As a lifelong journalist, he spent many years exposing the sport to the public, including the majority of his 40 years at the London Free Press.  Eisen who once said he saw his first harness race when he was “three or four years old”, sold tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a boy.  He was inducted into Western Fair’s Wall of Fame in 1980. As a publicist, promoter and author, Bill Galvin, a native of Arnprior, ON made a tremendous impact on horse racing in Canada. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing.  He led a charge to bring ice horse racing to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans.  He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the health of horse racing during his career. Leamington, ON native Frank Salive was known for over 35 years as “The Voice” of Canadian harness racing.  During his career it is estimated he called over 100,000 races, becoming a fan and industry favourite for his knowledgeable and informative calls and silky voice.  Frank’s career as a track announcer began at Sudbury Downs in the late 70’s and continued at tracks throughout Ontario,  includin  fourteen years at Ontario Jockey Club/Woodbine Entertainment Group harness tracks and concluding at Pompano Park, Florida.  Salive was also a regular writer for the Canadian Sportsman for several years. From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

In our prominent harness racing stallion series we have reviewed American Ideal,  Art Major, Bettors Delight, Christian Cullen, Courage Under Fire, Mach Three, Western Terror and the trotting stallion Sundon. With the North American breeding season well underway we will continue on with some of the stallions making an impact on the breeding scene. Today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding racehorse and stallion Somebeachsomewhere. All stats shown are as 17th March 2014. Enjoy the read. BREEDING By the champion son of Matts Scooter in Mach Three who has been in the elite handful of sires worldwide for several years. His dam is the Beach Towel mare Where’s The Beach who was unraced. She has produced ten foals and apart from Somebeachsomewhere has left six winners with Stars On The Water $141,294 (1:52f), Sun N Sand $124,050 (1:52.3s) and last season’s smart two year old in Some Major Beach $138,326 (1:53.1f) being the best of them. The grand dam is the Cam Fella mare in Where’s Sarah $19,576 (1:57f) who left seven foals for seven winners. These include Night Mystery $309,433 (1:50.4)  Ifyoucouldcwhati C $348,560 (1:50.2s) and Canvas Master $137,527 (1:53.1z).  An unraced daughter by Stand Forever in Ohio Annie has left the smart I Found My Beach $524,079 (1:50.2f). The third dam is the very good Steady Star mare The Booger Lady $34,629 (T 1:57). She has left 11 winners including the very good Cam Terrific $592,594 (1:49.3) now sire of 169 winners of just on $9 million in stakes as well as Flight Of Fire who only won $262,111 but has left a great legacy as a sire in Quebec, Canada. Flight Of Fire has sired over 560 winners with over $27 million in earnings to date. Somebeachsomewhere made $40,000 at auction which about sums up his pedigree, very handy but not exceptional. RACE RECORD  Somebeachsomewhere faced the starter six times (all in Canada) at two for six wins amassing $812,592 in stakes. His best win was in the $1 million Metro Pace taking a world record for a two-year-old at that time of 1:49.3s. This was no ordinary group. This field was possibly one of the best group of two-year-olds ever and included Santanna Blue Chip ($1,641,643), Shadow Play ($1,599,822), Dali ($1,436,363), Deuce Seelster ($1,149,825), and Moon Beam ($785,986). This Metro Pace field have now combined earnings of over $11 million in stakes between them. Somebeachsomewhere's other notable wins as a two-year-old was in the $300,000 Battle Of Waterloo, the $145,300 Nasagaweya stakes and the $115,884 Champlain Stakes. His great unbeaten season at two only really served as an entree for what was an unbelievable three year old season. Facing the starter 15 times, Somebeachsomewhere won on 14 occasions with a sensational second in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace at his only other start. Many astute judges in North America maintain his second in the Meadowlands Pace as the best performance of his stellar career. This writer was on track for this outstanding and unbelievable race that is now regarded as "the race of the decade." In what is perhaps the greatest race in Meadowlands history, Art Official edges Somebeachsomewhere in a world record mile. To think that a horse could be attacking the leader three wide at the half in a world record 51.3 and lead at the three-quarters in 1:19.1 and still fight to the wire against a courageous and great Art Official in that world record 1:47 mile was something unreal and unbelievable to see but true. You have to see it to believe it! To be only beaten a neck! Somebeachsomewhere's biggest stake win was in the $1.5 million Pepsi North American Cup in 1:49. He won such time honoured classics as the $650,000 Messenger Stakes, the $500,000 Breeders Crown in 1:48.3 and the $493,000 final of the Confederation Cup (half mile track) in another world record 1:49.2. He ended his racing career with a record of 21 starts for 20 wins and 1 second for $3,328,755 in stakes. His lifetime marks are p2, 1:49.3s; p3, 1:46.4m, 1:49.2h.       He took his lifetime mark of 1:46.4 in the $134,000 Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington to become the fastest three-year-old in history. In his fifteen starts at three he went under 1:50 on ten occasions. The season wasn't without its hiccups though with Somebeachsomewhere being scratched late twice due to lameness issues. But like the truly great horses do he overcame adversity to stake his claim as one of the greatest, possibly the greatest three year old harness racing has ever seen. NORTH AMERICAN STUD CAREER As you would expect for a stallion with such a great race record, Somebeachsomewhere has served large but not huge books since retiring to stud at Hanover Shoe Farm. His first crop numbered 124 foals of which 96 went through the sales ring as yearlings averaging a hefty $62,661. And they repaid the faith of those buyers by dominating North American two year old racing in 2012. Somebeachsomewhere topped the two year olds sires list in 2012 and that crop repeated the dose as three year olds in 2013 By the end of 2013 that first crop of Somebeachsomewhere had rewritten the harness racing record books. The numbers are truly amazing. Of his 124 foals, 111 have faced the starter with 96 being race winners. Twenty eight have won $100,000 while nine have gone under 1:50, and a huge 57 have gone under 1:53. Stakes won to date are a staggering $13,681,117 with an average per starter of $123,253 which is going to reach even greater record levels as most continue racing as older horses. The best performer from this crop to date is the brilliant colt, Captaintreacherous p3, 1:47.1m who in 26 starts at two and three, won 21 and was placed four times for $2 976,810 in stakes to have a record not too much inferior to his sire. Others to excel include Sunshine Beach 1:47.4f ($950,108), Somewhereovrerainbow 1:49.1m ($892,790) and Apprentice Hanover 1:49.4 ($597,474).   Somebeachsomewhere won the three-year-old sire’s premiership in 2013 by over $2,800.000 The second crop of Somebeachsomewhere were also well received by the buyers at the yearling sales with 83 being sold averaging an enormous $83,681 They carried on from the first crop by topping the two year old sires list in 2013. Of the 114 two year olds sired by Somebeachsomewhere that season, 97 raced with 58 being winners. Of the four two year olds that went under 1:50 in 2013 throughout North America Somebeachsomewhere sired three of them. He had 21 under 1:53 and a staggering 42 under 1:55 His best performer was the filly Gallie Bythe Beach 1:50.3f ($344,076) while another filly Beach Body 1:53.1f  ($290,769) was his second best performer. Others showing up are Limelight Beach 1:49.4 ($210,192), Beach Gal 1:50.3f ($142,361), Somestarsomewhere 1:49.2m and So Surreal 1:49.4m are all looking well above average. Somebeachsomewhere two-year-olds stakes total was nearly $500,000 ahead of his competition on the sires list in 2013. AUSTRALIAN SIRES RECORD Only available via frozen semen initially and served small books as a result. His oldest crop is three in the 2013/2014 season and numbers just 19 horses. Six of them have won to date with the best of them being the two-year-old Breeders Crown winner from 2013 in Whereibylong 1:56.8 ($224,228). A Breeder's Crown winner from your first crop of just 19 foals is a great achievement. The knockers are already out in Australia as with such great expectations for any horse by Somebeachsomewhere the breeders expect all his foals to be champions! Even though he only has 19 horses in that crop one could say that the results so far have been a bit short of what Somebeachsomewhere has achieved in North America which has raised the issue of the worth of "Frozen Semen" once again. His second crop in Australia numbers 49 and that should enable Somebeachsomewhere to be a major player in two-year-old racing in the 2013/2014 season. His third crop in Australia will only total 23 foals.  His fourth crop is his first fresh semen crop with the horse standing in Australia at Empire Stallions. He bred 166 mares in Australia for 106 registered foals to date with 10 returns still to be filed, and 75 in New Zealand via fresh semen as well. That makes a total of 241 mares bred in his fourth season at stud down under. These resultant foals will give us all a much better assessment of just how great a stallion Somebeachsomewhere will be in Australia and New Zealand. NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD  Has a minute crop of three-year-olds which numbers just four. Two of those have won including the very smart Someardensomewhere 1:58.2 ($28,472) who has been racing at the elite three year old level in New Zealand. Only has eight two year olds this season for two qualifiers to date so impossible to draw any conclusions with such small numbers. Did serve 75 mares in his fourth season via fresh semen so we may have to wait for that crop to race to reach any valid conclusions about his record in New Zealand. POSITIVES The numbers say it all. This is that once in a generation stallion who has raised the bar on performance in harness racing. From every angle his numbers are better than what was thought to be achievable. He has not just made an incremental step forward for standardbreds but a giant leap. In my view without doubt the most influential sire since Albatross and his rewriting of the record books has only just started. NEGATIVES Probably the only one for most breeders is the service fee but when you are book full and closed three months before the breeding season at a fee of $30,000 then that is obviously not too expensive. It seems with his success in the Northern Hemisphere and his value having sky rocketed, the owners do not want him to shuttle again so he will more than likely not shuttle to the Southern Hemisphere and will only be available via frozen semen, which does work for some stallions and not for others. Results from his first crop in Australia suggests Somebeachsomewhere may fall into the second category.  OVERVIEW Somebeachsomewhere is that once in a generation sire who lifts the whole standardbred breed to the next level. Book full and closed at $30,000 in North America says it all. The best sire in North America by a large margin but yet to have any impact in Australia due in part to small numbers. Does have 49 two year olds in Australia in 2013/2014 so that should be ample for Somebeachsomewhere to produce the outstanding juveniles he is renowned for in North America. If he doesn't then the focus on frozen semen will only grow. OVERALL RATING:    10 out 10 JC The Story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 1 The Story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 2 The story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 3 News maker of the year - Somebeachsomewhere Somebeachsomewhere - The Bluegrass Stakes - World Record 1:46.4 Somebeachsomewhere - Confederation Cup Somebeachsomewhere winning The Breeders Crown Somebeachsomewhere - North American Cup Final Somebeachsomewhere - 2007 Metro Pace   Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we are running a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. The above PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them.  (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major A Stallion review - Bettors Delight A Stallion review - Christian Cullen A Stallion review - Courage Under Fire A Stallion review - Mach Three A Stallion review - Sundon A Stallion review - Western Terror And here is "The forgotten sire’s series" This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink have already completed with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten” sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed Monkey Bones - All class Tinted Cloud - Still going strong Real Desire - The real deal Washington VC - Continuing excellence Western Ideal - A superstar sire Bacardy Lindy - Blue blood Monarchy - Out of Sundons shadow Artiscape - Frozen semen blues? Dream Vacation - Frozen semen superstar Badlands Hanover - Great value Lis Mara - The quiet achiever Brylin Boyz - Potential fulfilled

 The 2014 Bathurst Gold Crown Yearling Sale will be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd at 11am on Sunday at the Bathurst Showground. The sale comprises 186 lots by 50 different sires including Australia’s champion sire Art Major, leading juvenile sire Courage Under Fire, former USA Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven and premier North American sire Rocknroll Hanover, along with leading first-crop stallions Sportswriter, Shadow Play, Always A Virgin, Changeover and Million Dollar Cam. Other well known stallions include American Ideal, Grinfromeartoear, McArdle, Armbro Operative, Live Or Die, Elsu, Four Starzzz Shark, Artistic Fella, Modern Art, Village Jasper, Tinted Cloud and Aces N Sevens. The catalogue includes yearlings out of Group winners including the Edgar Tatlow winners Katasopos and Lady Titian Lombo, the WA Oaks winner Onassis Legacy and Modern Day (QSBA Breeders Classic). Other Group heat or metropolitan winners include Jillette, Unspoiled, Ezy Lady, Ambre Solaire, Lite Energy, Nietta Lombo, Spirit Of Tara, Madusa Cam, Lombo Silhouette, Lockton Loaded, Love Nest, Touch Of Jerry and Dana Bromac. The majority of the yearlings are eligible for the $1.17-million NSW Breeders Challenge Race series for two, three and four-year-olds of both sexes. They are also eligible for rich futurity series such as the Australasian Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown, Vicbred and QBred. The online catalogue for the Bathurst sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on (02) 6884 8355 or email gboard@dcco.com.au or the Bathurst Harness Racing Club on (02) 6333 5000. by Peter Wharton for Bathurst Gold Crown Sale

It is common practice in France, but standing a stallion at stud while pursuing an active racing career is a rarity in the United States. So when Deo Volente Farms in Flemington, New Jersey decided to stand their $2.2 million trotting star Wishing Stone at stud while also continuing his track career, it sent a buzz of excitement through the industry. Keeping stars racing is a proven formula for maintaining the public interest in Europe, and of course Wishing Stone himself has already proven himself highly competitive on both sides of the ditch, even more so considering his European sojourn was conducted when he was just four and five-years-old, a mere baby in European terms. And the news that he will also be available to European breeders has been warmly received – he has been oversubscribed already in Europe for services for the upcoming season – aware as they are that many of the top sires in Europe have competed successfully as an aged horse there – with Scarlet Knight and SJ’s Photo prime examples. “Wishing Stone brings to breeders, durability and longevity.   An exceptional colt and aged performer, it is likely his offspring will inherit those qualities,” says Sue Agopian, managing partner at Deo Volente Farms. Wishing Stone certainly ticks all the boxes as a potential stallion, a world record holder with major wins in four countries, the United States, France, Sweden and Denmark – he also competed in some of the very best races in Europe –where only the elite are invited. In France they pay down to seventh, and a placing in a group one event is the equivalent of a black type credential, with many going on to successful stud careers simply with the words classique or semi-classique on their CV. It showed they were good enough to race against the very best. Take Wishing Stone’s seventh placing in the 2011 Prix de France, one of the French Triple Crowns, the absolute jewels in the sparkling European circuit where the royally-bred French, Swedish and Italian elite race The winner of the Prix de France in 2011 was none other than Ready Cash, the greatest horse of a great generation in France. A dual Prix d’Amerique winner and winner of last year’s Masters du Trot grand final, he retired last month as the richest trotter in history with earnings of 4,282,300 euros (US $5,953,675).  . Second was Maharajah, the greatest horse that Sweden has produced in decades and the winner of this year’s Prix d’Amerique, while third was Lana Del Rio, a multiple Group One winning Italian millionaire mare, who beat the boys in Italy’s richest race, the Italian Derby. Fifth was Olga du Bewitz who retired as the twelfth richest horse of all time in France, and the best of her generation with wins in the world championship of saddle racing, the Prix du Cornulier and under harness a win in the Prix de Bretagne and a third placing in the Prix d’Amerique. These races mean little to American breeders, but mean plenty to those in Europe and again Wishing Stone appeared in this blue ribbon event as a 4YO, which is incredibly young in European terms. Wishing Stone not only competed against the best trotters in the world on their own turf, he won several of their biggest races. When he came from an almost impossible position, with a withering sprint to win the Copenhagen Cup, he ran down Quarcio du Chene, a Group One winner (Finlandia-Ajo) and one of Sweden’s best aged performers, with Group Two victories in France, Norway and Sweden. In the process he also beat the German sensation Brioni , the winner of the Elitloppet and Olympiatravet – the two biggest open Group One races in Sweden, and French star, and popular stallion Oynonnax (who won the Prix d’Amerique) and also another brilliant French horse Rapide Lebel, the greatest gelding of the R generation who was second in the Elitloppet by a whisker and earned 2.5 million euros. When Wishing Stone won the Group One King Gustav Pokal, he beat Kadet C.D and Raja Mirchi, two of the brightest young stars in Sweden and when he won the Grand Prix de Sud-Ouest in France, he beat Premiere Steed  a multiple Group One winner, who won the prestigious French Prix Rene Balliere and Finland’s prestigious St Michel Ajo. In the USA he is a world record holder at 6 in 1:51.2f beating Uncle Peter,  Arch Madness and Market Share. As a 5YO he was winner of the Maxie Lee in 2013 (again over Uncle Peter) and before he left for his two-year-stint in Europe he was a top colt, winning the 2010 Kentucky Futurity in straight heats with a final time of 1:51.2. The same year he won the Matron, the American National and was third in the Hambletonian. Wishing Stone was also a winner as a 2YO with victories in the International Stallion Stake, the Bluegrass Stakes, and the NYSS at Monticello.  He has a super pedigree, especially for Europe, being the best son of Conway Hall, who is the brother of four successful stallions in Europe and closely related to several more. Wishing Stone is out of the super broodmare Meadowbranch Magic, a $330,000 yearling and the granddaughter of $1.1 Million winning Davidia Hanover. Wishing Stone’s full brother, Make It Happen, nearly a $1 million winner, has become a sought after stallion in Europe after producing two near Swedish  millionaires from his first crop including TravKrterium (Sweden’s top 3YO race)  second place finisher Final Oak.  Wishing Stone is also a sibling of three other $100,000 winners, which is always a great guide to prepotency. His durability says volumes for his physique and conformation and he is blessed with a perfect gait, which is a necessity for competition in France, where rough gaits lead to disqualifications. He has a wide-striding front action which will remind Swedes of the likes of Maharajah, the winner of this year’s Prix d’Amerique. With services to stallions in Europe heavily regulated, his popularity already is such that he is over-subscribed for his first season, for which he is in Maryland at SBS for frozen semen collection serving the non-US market.  He is to be distributed through Offspring Management in Sweden, Allevamenti Toniatti sas in Italy, ENS Snapshot in Denmark and Stallions Australasia  for Australia and New Zealand. “We plan to bring him home to New Jersey at Deo Volente Farms this week to serve the US breeding market,” says Sue Agopian.  “We will be breeding the mare Yalta Hanover dam of horse of the month Perfect Alliance to Wishing Stone this year. “He will continue breeding and start jogging and training at the training facility few miles from our farm and will be racing come summer. Breeding is part of his daily life, when we need to serve the US breeders we will bring him to the farm for collection.” Wishing Stone  will be breeding until June and his immediate racing programme is likely to  be focused on the the U.S looking towards the Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown. However, the Copenhagen Cup & TVG trot are also on the future agenda.  “Our strategy is for him to have a global career. With Ron [Burke] as his trainer we have all the confidence that he will have a well rounded global career,” says Sue Agopian.  There are no plans for how long  Wishing Stone can continue combining a race career and breeding, it is common in Europe for racing stallions to continue until nine and ten if their form holds up, Ready Cash a great example, retiring recently at nine, just as his first progeny were cleaning up group races in France.  “He will tell us how long to continue breeding and racing him.  He had an exceptional season at age 6 setting world records in the process.. As long as he is able to compete at that lofty level, we will breed and race. He has a phenomenal legacy and we want to make sure it remains that way!” By David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

This Sunday’s APG Melbourne Autumn Sale is APG’s final sale of the season. As such, it represents the last chance for buyers to purchase an APG eligible yearling this year. Dozens of photos of the Melbourne Autumn yearlings have been added to the APG website over the last few days, and can be viewed by clicking here. The photos include a number of stunning types, and is evidence of the quality that will be available to buyers on Sunday. The great news for buyers, is that the majority of yearlings in the Melbourne Autumn Sales have been prepared by the same preparers that prepare for the APG Melbourne Sale. As such, they have been prepared by skilled preparers who understand the importance of properly feeding, exercising and educating their yearlings, to ensure that they have the best possible start in life, and are ready to go straight from the sales into a professional training environment. The other good news for buyers is that the majority of the catalogue features yearlings by well regarded, proven sires. Indeed, nearly two-thirds of the catalogue has been sired by stallions that are currently ranked in the top ten on the two-year-old, three-year-old and/or all-age sires’ tables. So the bottom line is, if you are heading out to the Melbourne Autumn Sale on Sunday, you should expect to find well-prepared, well-presented yearlings, by highly respected stallions, out of mares that belong to good, winner producing families. The sale commences at 12 noon. Any horses that are passed in on sales day will have their reserves published on the APG website, and will be available for sale at their reserve price during the 14 days post sale by contacting APG on (03) 5275 1999. To view the Melbourne Autumn Sales Index, including withdrawals and links to vendor websites click here. Telephone Bidding Available for the APG Sydney Sale If you are interested in bidding on certain lots at the APG Melbourne Autumn Sale, but you are unable to be there in person, arrangements can be made for you to appoint an agent to bid on your behalf. Ideally, you will be able to appoint someone that you know (e.g. a trainer), who can inspect the horses for you and bid on your behalf. However, in the event that you do not know anybody at the Melbourne Autumn Sale, we can arrange for you to bid via the telephone or you can appoint an APG representative to bid on your behalf. If any of the above options are of interest to you, please contact APG on (03) 5275 1999, and we will be able to talk you through the process, and e-mail the necessary forms for you to complete and return. APG Melbourne Autumn Sale to be streamed live via the APG Website For those people that are unable to make the sale, APG will be streaming the sale live on its website. Simply go to the APG website on sales day, and then click on the “Live Streaming” link on the left hand side of the webpage.  

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