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When I talk to overseas harness racing administrators, trainers and owners on my travels and we discuss the management and governance structures of our respective countries and whether they are delivering the best results for participants in our industry, I am frequently having to defend the structure and management of the industry in New Zealand. Northern Hemisphere people struggle to see how you can run harness racing in 2014 with a structure and governance that is a relic of a different time. Northern Hemisphere tracks are owned by either wealthy individuals or companies and they make all the decisions with regards to their tracks. This gives them the ability to adapt their programs and race structure to suit their immediate needs or those of the stakeholders who operate at their tracks. These tracks live or die on the strength of their product and  they try at all times to deliver a superior product to their customers.  As with any structure, there are issues and conflicts but in the main they do a far better job of selling and marketing harness racing to the general public than we do here in New Zealand. Over a period of time I have come to the conclusion that they have a far better management and governance structure than the Southern Hemisphere does. I have given up defending the structure of harness racing in New Zealand and have become a strong advocate for major change in how our industry is governed. How can it be in 2014 that we have a system of governance for our industry that is manifestly inappropriate for a business in the 21st century.  Currently we have a system that is controlled by the trotting clubs of New Zealand. Any major changes to the administration or structure of  ANYTHING  within the trotting industry requires the approval of a majority of those clubs. They meet once a year which means change within the industry happens at a glacial pace. The Executive of Harness Racing New Zealand can tinker at the edges but for anything major they need to take the proposal to the annual meeting of trotting clubs for their approval. Can you imagine any business in 2014 being able to survive and prosper if they were unable to adapt to changing trends and challenges in their business on a regular basis due to the necessity to wait for a once a year meeting for approval. If you speak as I do regularly do to a  lot of the successful businessmen who are involved in the harness racing industry in New Zealand, you quickly appreciate how frustrated they are at the inability to change what many see as a dysfunctional governance and management structure. Both the Auckland and New Zealand Metro trotting clubs have made massive gains in recent years in how they structure and manage their business due to the influence of several successful businessmen on their respective boards. But there is so much more they would like to do both now and in the future but are hamstrung to a certain extent by the current management and governance structure.  So what should any new management and governance structure look like.  First and foremost the clubs should concentrate on what they do best, running their clubs and their race meetings in a professional and profitable manner. That is what they were originally set up to do and most do an exemplary job. But any governance or leadership role in the management structure of harness racing in New Zealand should be withdrawn. The management of the day to day running of harness racing  should remain as it is now. Harness Racing New Zealand employees do a sterling job implementing the current policies and strategies of the industry as set by the executive and we are lucky to have them. The current executive and clubs structure should be replaced by a board that has industry representatives but also has a much stronger business focus and expertise. An eight member board with five business orientated members who have a knowledge of the harness racing industry along with one representative from each of  the three industry groups that have a large monetary investment in the industry; 1)                  Owners 2)                  Breeders 3)                  Trainers/Drivers  Should this board be elected by industry participants or be a mixture of elected /appointed members is something for wiser heads than mine. However the details of how a structure such as this would evolve need to be carefully developed so we don't harm the industry we are trying to help.   Now I can hear the screams emanating from some quarters but I also know from having already had this discussion with many of the major players in the New Zealand Industry that there is a broad consensus on the need for structural change. People involved in the harness racing industry are some of the most passionate people you would  ever come across. Why would you work in this industry with its long hours in any weather if it wasn't for a genuine love of what you were doing. We have some fantastic people in the harness racing industry in New Zealand who do a wonderful job of promoting our sport to the wider public and we have a great racing product that is in my view as good as anywhere in the world. What we don't have is a governance structure that lets this industry flourish. Just have a look at the last twenty years and see how much this industry has changed and progressed. Frozen Semen and Shuttle Stallions have opened our industry up to the very best stallions available worldwide with a result that our equine product has closed the gap enormously with the Northern Hemisphere product. Trackside has taken our racing product to a much wider audience throughout Australasia. Betting options have expanded and harness racing clubs have diversified their income streams. The only thing that has NOT changed for several generations are our governance structures. I have spoken to several government ministers about this issue and the message is always the same. Any change to the present structures must come from WITHIN the industry itself. If this industry is to truly reach its potential and maximize its returns to its stakeholders, then we need a governance structure that is more applicable to the 21st century and not the 19th century. I therefore invite any like minded people who hold a similar view to my own to contact me to see if there is a way we can progress this matter further.  John Curtin JC International jdci@harnesslink.com

July 27, 2014 – The Meadow’s Adios Card is in the books and at the end of the day Handicapper Ray Cotolo reigned supreme for the week in HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest with a weekly net profit of $305, nearly $100 ahead of his closest opponent.     While Cotolo is a newcomer to the list of weekly winners, Bob Zanakis continues his run as overall leader with a combined net profit of $3,000.70 ($140 for the week), leading second place Brandon Valvo by $607.20. This week, the adage it only takes one hit to make you a winner applies as Cotolo’s victory came thanks to a single wager, a $150 win wager on Allstar Rating in the Adioo Volo which returned a $705 dividend.  Other handicappers had winners, but due to the short-priced nature of the card, significant winners were at a premium, amongst them were: Derick Giwner’s $150 Win ticket on Too Darn Hot in the second division of the Adren Downs 2yo C&G pace paid $480; Mark McKelvie’s $50 Win ticket on Rich Wisdom in the first division of the Arden Downs for 2yo C& G pacers paid $195; Rusty Nash’s $100 wager on the same horse paid $390; Dennis O’Hara ‘s $10 Exacta part wheel ($30 total) in the first division of the Arden Downs for 3yo Filly trotters returned $125; Josie Verlingierli $40 straight wager on the second division of the Arden Downs 2yo C&G pace, earned $156; Gordon Waterstone’s $50 Exacta in the third division of Arden Downs 2yo C&G pace which returned $115. As the Hambletonian marks the unofficial mid-point in the stakes season, the standings for the Handicapper Shoot-Out at the mid-point are: As of July 26, 2014 - Leg 19 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis $140.00 $3,000.70   2nd Brandon Valvo $50.00 $2,393.50 $607.20 3rd Derick Giwner $206.00 $623.17 $2,377.53 4th Ray Garnett ($218.00) $15.85 $2,984.85 5th Mark McKelvie ($119.50) ($91.50) $3,092.20 6th Brian McEvoy $7.50 ($185.00) $3,185.70 7th Earl Paulson ($71.00) ($437.00) $3,437.70 8th Josi Verlingieri ($126.00) ($956.40) $3,957.10 9th Gordon Waterstone $108.60 ($989.30) $3,990.00 10th Ann Stepien ($189.00) ($1,020.11) $4,020.81 11th Garnet Barnsdale ($280.00) ($1,078.00) $4,078.70 12th Sally Hinckley ($400.00) ($1,325.00) $4,325.70 13th Rusty Nash $160.00 ($1,712.40) $4,713.10 14th Dennis O'Hara $30.50 ($2,097.70) $5,098.40 15th Ray Cotolo $305.00 ($3,398.40) $6,399.10 This week, the Grand Circuit Handicapper Shoot-Out visits Meadowlands Racing & Gaming for the Hambletonian Day card amongst which are the $1.2 million Hambletonian, $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, $352,050 Merrie Annabelle, $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial, $257,700 U.S. Pacing Championship, $177,750 Lady Liberty, and $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial.  For more information regarding the handicapping contest, please visit http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.   by Allan Schott, for HANA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

It's hard to believe, but we've reached the halfway point of the 2014 season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The first half seemed to speed by as fast as so many of the record-setting horses that have graced the Pocono stage so far this year. We can only hope that the second half holds that same kind of excitement. If the past week of racing is any indication, it surely will. Here are some wonderful performances worthy of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: QUINCY In the late 70's and early 80's, Jack Klugman played a medical examiner named Quincy who always figured out all the crimes that the cops were too dense to solve. But it's really been no mystery how this horse of the same name has reeled off such an impressive streak of late against the toughest claimers at Pocono. Early speed gives this 4-year-old stallion a great chance to win each and every time he leaves the gate. His recent stretch of nearly unbeatable racing began with a win over the $20,000 claimers on May 28. He moved up to the $27,500 claimers, the highest claiming price at Pocono, the next time out and won in a dead heat with Giddy UP Blackfly. After a hiccup with a third-place finish in his following start, Quincy reeled off three straight victories in that rugged claiming group, with a career-best mark in 1:49:3 on June 28 the highlight of that series of races. On Saturday night, it was business as usual as Quincy rejoined the barn of trainer Kevin Lare and powered to the front end early in the race. Driver Anthony Napolitano rated him well, which was important late as both BJ's Rameau and Machin Music took shots at him in the stretch. But Quincy hung tough to win by a neck in 1:50, making it four in a row and six out of seven. He's the hottest pacer around, and that case is closed. Other top pacers this week include: Skitsofrantic (Anthony Napolitano, John Barchi), who won his Third Straight start and sixth in his last seven with a conquest of the $5,000 claimers on Sunday night in a career-best 1:52; Luck Be Withyou (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes), a 3-year-old whose victory against older pacers in a condition on Saturday night came in the week's fastest time of 1:48; and Mickey Hanover (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who reeled off his Third Straight win and his second consecutive sub-1:50 mile thanks to a victory on Saturday night in 1:49:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SWISS LIGHTNING This 5-year-old gelding started the year quietly, going winless in his first six races with just one finish in the money. The tide started to turn with a victory over $7,500 claimers on 1:55:2 on June 8. After breaking stride in his next start, he bounced back in his next two with back-to-back wins, the latter coming in a career-best 1:55. Following a claim that put him in the barn of trainer Marcus Marashian, Swiss Lightning stepped up in class to face the $10,000 claimers on Wednesday night. Not only did he have a tough #7 post in the field of eight, but he had to deal with Frenchmen, a trotter who had won his last start at that claiming price handily and had the inside post. That didn't seem to worry driver Scott Zeron, who quickly urged Swiss Lightning to the front end to dictate the pace. Frenchmen lurked In The Pocket all the way around, but when the stretch rolled around, it was Swiss Lightning who emerged as the class of the race. He kicked away from his competitors to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:54:4, which was a new career-best for the gelding. With that Third Straight victory, the trotter demonstrated how to move up in class in style. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Hoorayforvacation (George Napolitano Jr.-Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), whose condition victory came on Saturday night came in 1:52:1, which was not only a career-best but was also the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; Highest Peak (Andrew McCarthy-Noel Daley), a filly who followed up a win at Harrah's with a condition victory at Pocono on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54:1; and Tamasin Hall (Scott Zeron-Bill Mullin), a mare who beat the boys in Tuesday night's featured claiming handicap, winning in a career-best 1:54. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: AFTER ALIMONY With Simon Allard in the bike, this mare finagled a pocket spot out of an outside post and upended a field of claimers on Sunday night at 29-1, paying off $61 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. On Friday night, the meet's leading driver decided to hog all the glory for a good portion of the night, reeling off six consecutive wins at one point in the card. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JOHN BARCHI The veteran of the Pocono racing wars is having his finest season in years, as evidenced by four wins this week that included a training double on Sunday. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

The Alabar News is out and about and it can also be read online. A must read for all breeders and sales buyers, It contains plenty of interesting information, including interviews with leading trainers Mark Purdon and Robert Dunn, as well as a look at Anne and Bill Anderson’s Lauriston Bloodstock. Alabar’s new star stallions A Rocknroll Dance and Alta Christiano are also profiled. To read the Alabar News please click here: http://bit.ly/1k6YaFw

There have been a lot of great trotting stallions over the lifetime of harness racing in Australasia but there has never been one as good as Sundon. Right from the time he first went to the stallion barn, Sundon has cast a huge shadow over all the other trotting sires available in Australasia. In the last few years many have been quick to suggest that his time has passed and that the new boys on the block were ready to assume the mantle of “king”of the trotting sires. Well judging by the results the 28 year old son of Arndon has achieved this season in both Australia and New Zealand, the obiturary may be a bit premature. His stats in New Zealand are as compelling as ever. Not only has he topped the stallion sires list again for trotters but Sundon has all but won the broodmare title for allcomers this season. His broodmares have produced the winners of $2,259,369 to date  this season to place him second only to In The Pocket, a fantastic achievement for a trotting stallion. He is a staggering $1,751,754 ahead of his nearest trotting rival on the broodmare stakes won list. In Australia Sundon has yet again topped the trotting sires list and the broodmare sires list as well. AUSTRALIA  1st sires list             2nd sires list          1st Broodmare list          2nd Broodmare list    Sundon                       Earl                           Sundon                              Aereus  $1,120,540                $764,926                   $1,615,601                      $437,689 As you see he is still number one by a fair margin as a sire and is completely dominant as a broodmare sire in Australia. NEW ZEALAND 1st sires list             2nd sires list          1st Broodmare list          2nd Broodmare list   Sundon                      Monarchy                     Sundon                        Chiola Hanover   $1,506,904              $1,035,930                   $2,259,369                        $507,575 Again he is still nearly half a million clear on the sires list but is a huge $1,751,794 ahead of Chiola Hanover on the broodmare sires list. And just to reinforce that he still has the ability to sire that smart young horse, Sundon has sired Australia's best 2 year old trotter this season in Eljaykay Phoenix ($110,569). All in all another great season for the greatest trotting sire to have ever stood in Australasia. Harnesslink media

The proprietor of the Lochend harness racing stud at Maitland in New South Wales Paul Carmody is in shock today at the sudden demise of his flagship stallion Aces N Sevens 1:48.8 ($888,934). The 17 year old stallion was found dead today by Paul Carmody when being checked early this morning. The son of Cams Card Shark had established himself as one of the better stallions in Australia and his loss will be keenly felt at Lochend Stud. "Aces N Sevens had never been in better order in his time at the stud and that made his sudden death all the harder to take” said Mr Carmody when speaking to Harnesslink this afternoon. “It appears Aces N Sevens had had a massive heart attack during the night and had died where he had fallen” he said. Aces N Seven has stood at stud in Australia since the 2002/2003 breeding season. For the first five years at stud Aces N Sevens shuttled back to North America but has been based in Australia full time since 2008. His North American stock have done an outstanding job to date with 170 winners of $10,927,896 in stakes. Not only have 28 of those winners won over $100,000 but 38 having taken a sub 1:55 record as well. Aces N Sevens has compiled an even better record in Australia having sired 284 winners of $12,033,631 in stakes to date. His flag bearer in Australia has been the brilliant Excel Stride 1:50.3 ($769,464) while others such as Drumfire 1:49 ($546,945)  Ananz 1:53.8 ($527,844)  Lettucerocku 1:52.6 ($343,854) and Lady Lexus 1:52.3 ($316,518) have all played their part in Aces N Sevens success. Aces N Seven has won the coveted New South Wales Stallion Of The Year award on no less than four occasions to date. While heading into the latter part of his stud career, Aces N Seven had served 59 and 66 mares in the last two seasons and early interest suggested a similar number this season. Aces N Sevens has had  21 $100,000 earners and 16 in 1:55 in Australia which are great numbers down under. Everyone knows how difficult it is for stallions to become established as a sire and to lose one like Aces N Sevens when he still had so much to offer must make his sudden death so much harder for Paul Carmody to deal with at the moment. Harnesslink media    

Heavily favored Solvato (5m Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide) won today's V75 Gold Division at Axevalla, Sweden over 2640 meters autostart for a 150,000SEK first prize. Peter Ingves was in the sulky for trainer Veijo Heiskanen as that pair scored in 1.13.4kr by a comfortable two lengths. Ingves drove the race to perfection from post two as he was away fourth and patiently waited for the pace to relax at which time he jetted to the front after 1000 meters and led the remainder of the contest. Solvato won for the ninth time in 40 career outings, now for earnings of 4,577,341SEK. On Track Piraten (6g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) stayed covered In The Pocket much of the way and secured second for Erik Adielsson as Kaffir Face (7g Dahir de Prelong-Elegance OK-Lindy Lane) had rallied from the back gain second in the lane but flattened in late going to finish third for Lutfi Kolgjini. Earlier on the Axevalla card (before a huge crowd on a bright sunny day) the Bronze Division for 110,000SEK to the winner went to Jeppas Maxi (5g Varenne-Absolutely Perfect-Balanced Image) with Torbjorn Jansson up. This emerging campaigner scored in 1.12.6kr in a close battle with Acriter (5m Gentle Star-Puttan Fri-Super Arnie) and Jorgen Westholm. Italy's Naglo'del Nord (7g Naglo-Entita'del Nord-And Arifant) was third for Peter Ingves. Jeppas Maxi is undefeated in six 2014 starts and has won eight times in nine career starts for 609,897SEK. He's owned by Robert Ekstrom and Aland Pia. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

On Saturday, July 19 Northfield Park will host nine $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sires Stake racing action as part of the 15-race program. These nine races will feature the Buckeye State's best freshmen and sophomore colt pacers and trotters and will support the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie undercard. Freshman colt trotters will start Saturday's stake action in Race 1 for the $40,000 first division. Crowned With Glory (His Highness-Hey Kelsi-Humorous Harry) is the 3-1 slight morning-line favorite for Findlay, Ohio owners EG Trot, JB Arnold, MH Mallet and JE Paul. Ed Greeno Jr. is the filly's trainer and driver. Crowned With Glory makes her fourth lifetime start. She has two previous wins, at Scioto Downs and Ottawa Fair, and a place at Oak Harbor. Those finishes have yielded $23,705 and a lifetime mark of 2:03 (ScD 5/8). Crowned With Glory will start from post two. Also competing in the first division will be Ohio Chipster, Neely Dunn Super, Frisk The Town, Cooter Dunn and Marvelous Chip. Race 2 will be the $40,000 first division for three year-old colt Ohio-bred pacers. Trainer Doug Hinklin will start Big Bossman (Feelin Friskie-Lovely American-Matt's Scooter) as the 2-1 morning-line favorite. Big Bossman starts from post five and faces five rivals. Big Bossman has won six of 13 races. He has earnings of $93,193 and sports a lifetime mark of 1:53.1 (ScD 5/8). Greg Grismore is scheduled to drive for owner Parent Racing Stable LLC of Holland, Ohio. Feelin Speedy, Friskie AJ, Dibs, UF Fast Feelin and Lawyer Up complete the line-up. Trotters return to the stage in Race 3 for the $40,000 second division Ohio Sire Stakes for two year-old. I Know My Chip (Deep Chip-Madeline's Crown-Pegasus Spur) is the 5-2 morning-line favorite for owner Kimberly Dailey of Mechanicsburg, Ohio. Jim Dailey trains the undefeated colt. He has two wins in as many starts, earning $22,916 and earning a 2:02 (ScD 5/8) mark. Driver Jason Brewer will start the trotter from post-seven in a field that consists of My Friend Jim, Star Shef, Neely's Messenger, Lantern Chip, BK's Magic Man and Chips Starr. Freshman Trotters again compete in Race 5 for the $40,000 third division of the Ohio Sires Stakes. Kick A Lot (Deep Chip-Mac's Dream-BJ's Mac) starts from post-two and is the 2-1 morning-line favorite. He is owned by Pius Soehnlen of Canton, Ohio. Trainer, Jeff Cox has calls upon Kurt Sugg to drive. This gelding has a win and a second in two lifetime starts. He has earned $21,875 and a 2:01.2 (ScD 5/8) lifetime mark. Kick A Lot has a host of rivals consisting of Mischievous Chip, Super Sheff Frosty, Chips A Million, Really Deep Chip, Guns For Fun and Birthday Chip. Race six will host the $40,000 second division OSS for three year-old colt pacers. Friskie Adam (Feelin Friskie-Lottery Fever-Falcon Almahurst) is the heavy 7-5 morning-line favorite for owner Dr. Jerry Maloon Stable of Dublin, Ohio. Dan Ater trains the colt and uses Kyle Ater to drive. This sophomore is undefeated in five starts this year. He has career earnings of $122,971 and mark of 1:52.4 (ScD 5/8). Friskie Adam starts from the rail in a field consisting of Chance I Might, Diamondkeeper, Hawks Cry Hoboken, Feel The Heat, Player's King and Upfront Clays Boy. Race 7 is the $40,000 first division for freshman pacers. Cornerback (Feelin Friskie-Cornerstand-Stand Forever) is the 2-1 morning-line favorite for owner Stephen Sexton of Xenia, Ohio. Brian Brown is the gelding's trainer and calls upon Chris Page to drive. Cornerback has one start under his belt, a win at Scioto Downs in 1:56.4 in a $40,000 OSS event. Cornerback will start from post three. Also competing in the first division will be Indian Spirit, Latenight Trick, Fire Valley, Knight Stryker, Nobles Finesse, Warrior Spirit, Western Coby and All Aces Osborne. Freshman pacers return in the eighth race for the $40,000 second division OSS. Trainer Ron Burke sends out Gray Camo (Pine Valley-CG's Gem-Shady Character) as the heavy 7-5 morning-line favorite. Gray Camo starts from post five and faces five eight. He is undefeated in two starts, earning $23,750 and earning a 1:56.1 (ScD 5/8) career mark. Chris Page is scheduled to drive for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, R Suda and J Melillo. Born Villain, RC Friskie, Ranger Returns, Big Bang Cam, Lynyrd, Nashville Bound, Ollie Pop and UF Kellies Awinner complete the eighth race line-up. Buckeye-bred sophomore trotters take to the stage in the evening's ninth race for the $40,000 OSS first division. Soul Train (Trainforthefuture-Dances On Air-Muscles Yankee) is the 3-1 slight morning-line favorite for owners Parent Racing Stable of Holland, Ohio, RS Crynick of Strongsville, Ohio and JE Novak of Olmstead Township, Ohio. Scott Cox calls upon Chris Page to pilot this gelding who has six wins in 17 starts, trotting in 1:57.2 (ScD 5/8) and earning $121,787. Soul Train starts from post-8 in a field that consists of Noah Count, Stanley Begonia, Neely's Boy, Mainstreet Willy, Master Mighty, Star Chip and Happy Go Jamie. Race 11, the final OSS event of the evening, is the $40,000 second division for sophomore trotters. Rompaway Galaxy (Rompaway Wally-Rompaway Wynona-Mr Vic) starts from post-three and is the 8-5 morning-line favorite. He is owned by Rompaway Farms LLC of Battle Creek, Michigan. Trainer Krista Harmon has listed Mike Micallef to drive. This gelding has nine wins in 11 lifetime starts, earning $201,550 and posting a best 1:55.4 (ScD 5/8). Rompaway Galaxy has a host of rivals consisting of Miko Begonia, Lady's Dude, Ohwhatacount, Can'tcutthatchip, Hooray For Willie, Fridayscomin and Bradymeister. In addition to superior racing action, Battle night will also offer guests a sumptuous buffet in Lady Luck's clubhouse dining room. The special priced buffet is just $15.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330-467-4101. Guests who want to be down close to all of the racing action can stop by the grandstand apron to sample several of northeast Ohio's most popular food trucks. Live music by Unknown Reason will be part of the apron scene from 5-10 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

East Rutherford, NJ - No fewer than seven major Grand Circuit stakes will populate the Saturday night card at The Meadowlands, led by the track's signature race, The Meadowlands Pace.   The all-star lineup begins with a pair of high-stakes preps for trotting's top prizes, the August 2 Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks.   Race four is the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial three-year-old colt trot which will be the stage for last year's top freshman Father Patrick to battle Trixton who has emerged as a worthy adversary this season. It is the first time these two have met, the occasion made even more intriguing by the fact that both are trained in the Jimmy Takter stable.   Oddsmaker Darin Zoccali has Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) listed as a strong morning line favorite at 4/5 from post nine, while Trixton is at 3/1 from post twelve in the second tier with trainer Takter aboard.   The $213,500 Delvin Miller Memorial for sophomore trotting fillies also pits last year's finest against emerging talent. Shake It Cerry was clearly the best of a very talented crop last season, easily winning year end awards for the Takter stable and regular driver Ron Pierce. She has transitioned successfully to sophomore status winning four of five starts this season and is the 9/5 choice from post seven.   Her only loss required the world record 1:51.3 effort by Designed To Be at Pocono last month. It was the second time Designed To Be has assaulted the record books, having taken the two-year-old title with her 1:52.2 mile last fall in Lexington. She will have Brian Sears aboard for trainer Julie Miller on Saturday.   The remarkably fast Cooler Schooner is the fastest freshman trotter ever, regardless of sex by virtue of her amazing 1:51.3 win last summer at Pocono. She is sometimes guilty of self-sabotage but can never be dismissed. The Campbell brothers, John and Jim will conspire to manage that wicked speed toward its best use.   The new shooter in this division is Heaven's Door another who demonstrated great talent at two for Ross Croghan but it took until this year for her mind to catch up to her speed. She was sold over the winter and moved into the Ake Svanstedt barn where she has flourished. She won last month's NJSS final in a stakes record 1:52 with great ease and is facing the division's best now for her new connections and adds another element of suspense.   Next up (race six) will be the $212,500 Mistletoe Shalee for sophomore pacing fillies, another contentious contest. Sandbetweenurtoes raced but once at two for Tony Alagna but showed such promise in her first few starts at three that the brothers Remmen, Ray and Larry, bought her for John Grant and she hasn't lost since. She was the winner of last week's elimination in 1:49.1 with Brett Miller aboard and will likely be the post time fave off a 5/2 morning line.   Precocious Beauty was the divisional leader last year for the McNair barn and has yet to find that form thus far at three, though last week's race was encouraging. Takter's Uffizi Hanover won the 2013 Breeders Crown and the Fan Hanover this year for her regular pilot, newly minted Hall of Famer David Miller.   The older dames race on the pace for $178,450 in the cleverly named Golden Girls stake in the seventh race. Joe Holloway has always had a way with the ladies, training several distaff champions over the years and has a formidable pair in this one. Somwherovarainbow has well over a million in career earnings and has been in deadly form for Joe since early spring with six wins from ten starts, among those the Bluechip Matchmaker final. Brian Sears drives.   Her stable mate Shebestingin is the fastest female Standardbred ever, having seared The Red Mile clay in an eye-popping 1:47 flat last fall. She has yet to beat the best of this division since graduating into the open ranks but her speed make her a danger for David Miller.   The race favorite at 2/1 is the iron-tough race mare Androvette. Her story has been told many times but never gets old, particularly for her connections. She vaults over $3million lifetime with a win in this stake for trainer PJ Fraley and her constant racing companion Tim Tetrick.   Just when you think, "Well, this just can't get any better," you come to the meat of the card. Race 8 contains the finest Free For All pacers in the land racing for $463,300 in the WR Haughton Memorial, one of the biggest events of their season. The lifetime earnings for these ten horses are just north of the $20 million mark.   Captaintreacherous is the two time defending Pacer of the Year and a winner of over $3million in his racing career for trainer Tony Alagna. He's developed into a fan favorite with his gritty, never give up style and he'll need every bit of that heart, a large dose of speed and another clever steer from Tetrick on Saturday. He's drawn a favorable post starting just inside the 8/5 favorite, Sweet Lou.   Sweet Lou has flashed brilliance from the start for his connections and still holds the freshman pacing world speed record. Now five year of age, he's in the best form of his career and has been invincible since paired with driver Ron Pierce in May. Together they are five for five, all in 1:48.3 or faster culminating with a world record 1:47 the hard way at Pocono in the Franklin, the fastest mile on a five-eighths track in history.   Sweet Lou is one of a formidable four horse armada sent out in the Haughton by Meadowlands and national leading trainer Ron Burke. The four Burke horses alone have amassed a staggering $12million in career earnings led by the richest pacer in history, ageless wonder Foiled Again at $6.3 million. Foiled will have to overcome the extreme outside post for his regular driver Yannick Gingras in this battle.   The $776,000 Meadowlands Pace is race nine on the star studded extravaganza and has been well covered in many arenas, so for our purposes let's just say it shapes up to be a very exciting and contentious race, as is usually the case in the absence of a clear division leader.   Among the deepest and most contentious divisions this season is the older trotting mares. The returning Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, last year's division leader Maven and pair of four year old mares that have blossomed into trotting divas, Perfect Alliance and Classic Martine will all meet among a field of eight in the $40,000 Miss Versatility in race ten.   It's one for the ages this Saturday night at The Meadowlands with over $2.5 million in purses offered over the 13 race card, including four $100,000 finals for state bred freshmen. Post time is 6:30pm and it's going to be well attended, so if you're thinking of coming out make your reservations now. If not, the Haughton and Pace will be carried live on the CBS Sports Network and the TVG Racing network.   From the Meadowlands Media Relations Office

Jubilation quickly turned to heartbreak in a pair of trotting events at Balmoral Park on Wednesday, July 9th as a pair of diamond gaiters looked to be home free only to have late miscues cost them what looked to be sure victories in these state-bred stake events.   In what looked like it was going to a replay of their last two encounters Macie Rae (Ryan Anderson) carved out splits of 28.0, 58.1 & 1:27.3 and appeared to be holding firm to the wire before going off stride with less than a sixteenth of a mile to go. That allowed the pocket sitting Bailey's Wish and driver Dave Magee to capitalize on their good fortune as they zipped right on by for the victory in the $10,000 Fox Valley Diva Stake for state-bred three-year-old trotting fillies. Macie Rae settled for the place spot while Lora Lee Breeze (Matt Krueger) was a distant third.   The three-quarter-length triumph in a career best of 1:56.1 pushed the daughter of Southwind Breeze--Jen's career record to 7-6-3 in 22 starts for owners James Bafia and Eugene White. The good looking brown filly has also banked a hefty $151,983 while under the guidance of conditioner Dirk Simpson who is zeroing in on the 1,000 victory plateau.   In the first of two $5,000 divisions of the Psychic Spirit Stake for ICF two-year-old trotting colts Southrncomfortzone (John De Long) looked to be home free after a pocket sitting journey behind Captain Greedy and driver-trainer J.D. Finn. That's when disaster struck for that colt as he "jumped it off" allowing Captain Greedy, who had put up splits of 29.3, 1:00.2 & 1:31.2 to reclaim the lead and cruise to a six-length triumph in 1:59.4. Cardinal Yankee (Mike Brink) rallied to be second while Pizzalicious (Dale Hiteman) was moved from fourth to third because of the disqualification of Southrncomfortzone.   The win was the third in four starts for the son of Yankee Valor--Tropical Trixie who now has $6,692 in career earnings.   The second division of the Psychic Spirit proved to be far less dramatic as the Herman Wheeler owned and trained Fox Valley Qatar made it three in a row to open his career posting an impressive 2 ¾ length victory in a career best of 1:58.3.   After saving ground while Allpowernoemotion (Ronnie Gillespie) put up splits of 30.1, 1:00 & 1:29.2, driver Todd Warren eased Fox Valley Qatar through the passing lane and the gelded son of Pizzazzed--Armbro Bahrain responded beautifully as he charged right by the tiring pace setter for an easy score. Allpowernoemotion held on for second while RT Habenero (Robert Taylor) rallied to be third.   Fox Valley Qatar now sports career earnings of $5,625 and looks like he'll be the one to beat heading into the State Fair Stakes at Springfield in August.   by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 5, 2014 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino highlighted their 21st season of live harness racing with a stakes filled card on Saturday, July 5. Four new Indiana Sires Stakes champions were crowned on the evening that featured the first of five rounds of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the freshman competitors and the second round of the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the three-year-old divisions. It was Hoosier Park's leading driver, Trace Tetrick, who stole the show with five winners on the evening's 14-race card, four of which came in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals. In the opening division of the two-year-old stakes action, Crunchess Finale and Darrel Wright continued their winning ways to score their third consecutive victory in the $75,000 two-year-old trotting filly final with a 1:58 final time. Using the same front-running tactics as she has in her previous two starts, Crunchess Finale looked every bit the part of an 8-5 favorite and left alertly from post eight. The freshman filly easily secured the lead and clicked off fractions of :28.3, 1:00, and 1:28.2 before finding another gear. As the field turned for home, the daughter of ABC Garland-Crunchess looked poised on the front and began to trot away from the rest of the field. Using a :28.4 final quarter, Crunchess Finale coasted on to the wire to finish five lengths in front of Golden Big Stick and Brad Hanners. Heavily backed at the window, Crunchess Finale returned $5.40 to her backers. The 1:58 victory was a lifetime best mark for the Dan O'Mara trainee who remains undefeated this season. Owned by Joseph Hess, Crunchess Finale has now earned $50,500 from three lifetime outings. In the very next race, Stickem Buck, driven by Ed Hensley, staged a big rally late in the lane to score his maiden breaking win in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting colts in 1:58.2. After a miscue at the start by the heavily favored, Airman Batten the race appeared to be a wide open affair. Flashy Cantab and Trace Tetrick left aggressively to set first half fractions of :29.2 and :59.2 before making a costly break around the final turn. Swan on One and Dave Magee inherited the lead after the break by the front-runner and appeared to be up to the task but Stickem Buck loomed large in the background. Under urging from Hensley, Stickem Buck was able to track down Swan On One in the final strides of the mile to win by a nose. Slightly dismissed at the windows, Stickem Buck returned $12.60 at to his backers. From the first crop of Big Stick Lindy, Stickem Buck is trained by Roger Welch and owned by William C. Delong and William P. Delong. Stickem Buck has now earned $42,500 from two career starts. On the pacing side of the two-year-old stakes action, Hoosier Park's leading driver Trace Tetrick doubled up in both the two-year-old pacing filly final and two-year-old pacing colt final. First, Tetrick guided Flight Cancelled to her second consecutive win as a freshman in the $75,000 pacing filly final with a final time of 1:55. Leaving from the trailing post ten, Flight Cancelled was eased off the gate and settled along the rail in fifth while HeyHey Mahanah and Peter Wrenn carved out first-half fractions of :28.4 and :57.4. Approaching the final turn, Tetrick gave his mount the green light and she reached the leader's wheel at the third station in 1:26. As the field turned for home, the top pair was neck and neck but Flight Cancelled wasn't finished. Using a :28.3 final panel, Flight Cancelled was able to wear down HeyHey Mahanah late in the lane to grind out the victory. As the betting publics' second choice, Flight Cancelled returned $13.00 for the victory. Trained by Steve Carter, Flight Cancelled remains undefeated at two for owners Steve and Tammy Carter. The daughter of Panspacificflight-Goa BB now sports a career bankroll of $37,500 from two lifetime outings. Just a few races later, Tetrick continued his winning ways and scored with Tom Simmon's Kelly D in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts in 1:52.4. Kelly D remains undefeated at two and equaled the national's season mark for two-year-old pacing colts with the win. Kelly D left aggressively from post two to get the first call in :27.4 but quickly yielded the lead to Harfo Hanover and Ed Hensley. Harfo Hanover led the way through the middle splits of :56.3 and 1:25.2 before feeling pressure on the outside from Camturo Rock and Dave Magee. Harfo Hanover was able to put away Camturo Rock and dug in gamely down the lane but could not hold off Kelly D who exploded from the pocket. With a final quarter in :27, Kelly D finished two lengths in front of the hard-charging Toni's Affection and Sam Widger. As the publics' third choice, Kelly D returned $7.40 at the betting windows. The homebred son of Panspacificflight-U Olive is owned by Larry Breed and has won all three of his lifetime outings. Kelly D now sports a career bankroll of $51,525. Tetrick also scored with Brian Brown's Color's A Virgin in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies and Scott Galloway's Double A Cash Hall in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting colts. His first win of the night came in the $25,000 consolation for two-year-old pacing fillies with Do U Mind for trainer Brian Brown. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 8 with a 14-race card. Live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet will be conducted through November 15. Emily Gaskin Racing Commentator, Publicist and Marketing Specialist

Despite the fact six Group 1 races will be run and won on Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series pacing grand final night on Saturday, for many harness racing fans the highlight will come in the Melton City Council Sprint at 8.30pm. The “people’s champion”, Smoken Up, returns to the track to chase win number 74 at start number 149. The 11-year-old looked good at the Tabcorp Park trials on Tuesday, cruising to the line in second gear to score by a neck in a rate of 2:01.5. Smoken Up, who is about to embark on a farewell tour likely taking in South Australia and Sydney before finishing at Melton, boasts a best winning mile rate of 1:48.5 and despite his age is still racing in superb fashion. This season the son of Tinted Cloud has won six races and had a further nine minor placings from 21 starts to amass prize money of $229,643. His career stake earnings are now over $3.5million. He certainly won’t get it all his own way on Saturday, however. The field he’s drawn is first-rate, with up-and-comer Amajorjo drawn two, Teo Enteo in four, Wartime Sweetheart to start from six, supremely talented Keayang Cullen to start from seven, Cold Major in gate eight, Inky Cullen in nine and Bitobliss gate 10. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

The recent announcement by New Zealand Sires' Stakes Board (NZSSB) outlined a raft of positive changes and new initiatives to address industry challenges. New Zealand Standardbred Breeders' Association (NZSBA) has been heartened by the willingness of the NZSSB to undertake a review of Group Races with Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ). The Board is to be commended for being forward thinking and open to change. NZSBA Chairman, John Mooney said, "The Sires' Stakes Board should be congratulated for these new initiatives. These series are accessible to all owners and breeders. The prize money is extremely attractive and provides a great incentive to continue breeding." He added, "I especially welcome the increased number of qualifying races for 2YOs, the new 4YO and older races and the new Harness 5000 series. I encourage owners and breeders to participate in the series." Stakes increases are always welcomed. With close to 50% of breeders also retaining ownership in their stock, this financial gain will also filter down to the coal face of the industry. It has been no secret that field sizes are struggling. NZSBA is pleased that entry into the two-year-old Sires Stakes races has been expanded to include form from non-Sires Stakes races. This will encourage greater participation. The creation of five new four-year-old and older conditioned races for pacing mares and trotters is especially welcome. We hope this will encourage the greater retention of horses that have not won Group 1 races. With industry support this will grow into more opportunities for our aged horses. The Harness 5000 is an innovative idea to give greater opportunity to the progeny of stallions who stand for $5000 or less. This allows for the owners of 'grass roots' horses to enjoy racing for a slice of the $40,000 on offer in stakes. NZSBA continues its strong support for NZSSB. The association appoints three members to the Board. We congratulate the Board and staff on the work done to ensure there are optimal racing opportunities for our stock. Kiely Buttell Executive Manager 03 339 4168 | 021 274 4770 | www.harnessracing.co.nz

Some Or Lis (Lis Mara-Grabbersome) was the longest shot on the board in the $7,200 feature race at Vernon Downs on Saturday night, but that did not prevent him from storming past the entire field to score an upset harness racing win in 1:51.4.   The early stages of the race featured a speed duel between You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis) and I Do Hanover (Chris Lems), who was parked on the outside for the majority of the mile. Those two set some fast fractions early on, covering a quarter in 25.4 and a half in 53.4. That early speed ended up being the undoing of the duo, both of whom finished out of the top three. After hitting three quarters of a mile in 1:22.4, You Bet Your Glass and I Do Hanover faded in the stretch and Some Or Lis (Claude Huckabone III) came all the way from last in the field of six at the top of the stretch to win at 20-1.   The second-longest shot in the field, The Green Knight (John Macdonald) at 14-1, finished second. The exacta ended up paying $240 with the two longshots comprising it. Buckeye Baddler (Truman Gale) sat behind the early speed battle in third position and started to rally through on the inside in the stretch as the leaders fell back, but the closers also passed him by and he had to settle for third.   The complete order of finish was: Some Or Lis, The Green Knight, Buckeye Baddler, I Do Hanover, You Bet Your Glass, and Stonebridge Master. Some Or Lis is owned by Richard Dow of Holland Patent, New York and trained by Stephen Marsh.   The driving star of the night was John Macdonald who scored three victories and three seconds on the 11-race program. He was a winner with Bandini in the 1st race, MacKenzie's Bliss in the 7th race, and That's Ideal in the 9th race. He was second with The Green Knight in the 2nd race, Beignet in the 8th race, and Tactical Attack in the 11th race.   No live racing on Thursday with a concert being held by Jerrod Niemann and Love & Theft. The concert benefits The Food Bank of Central New York. Tickets are available for $15 and the Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, Jeff Gural, will be personally donating $10 for every ticket sold to the Food Bank of Central New York with a goal of raising $100,000 to benefit the Food Bank.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Friday, July 4 with a 6:45pm post time. The Friday program will feature the first leg of the Racing Under Saddle Series. There will be a special July 4th Fireworks Display following the conclusion of the live racing program.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity    

The barrier draws for the 2014 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series grand finals will be conducted in the Legends Café at Tabcorp Park Melton on Tuesday from 10.30am. Tea, coffee and finger food will be provided, with all welcome to attend. Vicbred Super Series grand finals (barriers to be drawn from 10.30am on Tuesday) 2YO C+G Pacers 2YO Fillies Pacers 2YO C+G Trotters 2YO Fillies Trotters 3YO C+G Pacers 3YO Fillies Pacers 3YO C+G Trotters 3YO Fillies Trotters 4YO C+G Pacers 4YO Mares Pacers 4YO C+G Trotters 4YO Mares Trotters Harness Racing Victoria

ANDERSON, Ind.-June 27, 2014 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to eight divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts on Friday, June 27 and the 2014 crop of freshman colts opened their series in impressive fashion. Kelly D and Trace Tetrick kicked off the evening as they scored their second consecutive victory this year in 1:53.2 in the opening round of the stakes action. The 1:53.2 score bested his career mark from last week by nearly two seconds and lowered the national season's record for two-year old pacers. The previous mark of 1:53.3 was established just one night earlier at Hoosier Park by Tyler Smith and Can't Touch Her in Indiana Sires Stakes action for two-year-old pacing fillies. Using the same front-running tactics from the previous week, Kelly D left alertly from post three and was able to dictate early fractions of :26.4 and :55.4. As the field reached the third station, Franzo and Tyler Smith pressed the leader from the outer flow while a host of others began to close in from behind. Tetrick asked the son of Panspacificflight for more and Kelly D found another gear, pacing on to the wire to finish three lengths to the good. Rockin Ron closed nicely to finish second for Ed Hensley while Franzo held on for third. As the heavy betting favorite, Kelly D returned $3.20 at the windows for the victory. Trained by Tom Simmons, Kelly D has now won both of his starts at two for owner, breeder Larry Breed. Just a few races later, Harfo Hanover began his career impressively using the same front-running tactics to score in 1:53 in his split of the stakes action and lowered the national season's record for two-year-old pacers once more. Driven by Tyler Smith, Harfo Hanover dictated fractions of :28, :57.2, and 1:26.1 before pacing on to the wire to win by seven lengths. As the publics' second choice, Harfo Hanover returned $8.80 at to his backers at the betting window. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the son of Always A Virgin-Harlow Hall made his career debut a winning one for owners Randall Bendis, William Varney, Reed Broadway. In the very next split of the two-year-old pacing colt action, Camturo Rock used a late kick to win impressively from off-the-pace in 1:53. The son of Rockin Image was able to track down Ima Full Time Job and Sam Widger late in the lane to score his first win of the season in his career debut. Slightly dismissed at the betting windows at 8-1, Camturo Rock returned $19.20 for the victory. Trained by Dirk Simpson, Camturo Rock is owned by Desyllas Racing, William Beck, and Carol Rieken. Each of the winners from the eight Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations earned a spot in the first of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings slated for July 5 at Hoosier Park. Indiana Sires Stakes action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 27 with four divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts. The live racing schedule at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

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