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Canadian harness racing trainer Mark Austin of Fergus, Ontario, tragically passed away Sunday night in the race paddock at Flamboro Downs. He was only 54. Austin was at Flamboro Downs Sunday night to race his horse, Brocks Fortune, who ended up racing and finishing second in the eighth race. Prior to that race there was major commotion in the race paddock before the start of the fourth race and an ambulance was called to the scene. No details of what took place have been made available. Austin was primarily a trainer, beginning his career in 1980. He had 837 training victories with the horses he raced and purse earnings of more than $9 million. He also drove horses but stopped in 2000. As a driver he had 139 wins and purse earnings of $315,084. Some of his top horses over the years included the top pacer and winner of more than $681,000, Fool Me Once, Go Get Her, Part Shark, XLB Patrick,HeresToPatrick, Sparky Mark, Machleen and many other stakes and raceway horses. Austin is survived by his wife Julie and two girls, Paige and Paula. More details about the incident and funeral arrangements will be posted when announced. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com 

Trainer Tony Alagna confirmed Sunday that Captaintreacherous will not be entered in the $55,000 Winbak Pace on Little Brown Jug Day this Thursday in Delaware, Ohio. The two-time Pacer of the Year and career winner of $3,148,657 was expected to make his only start ever on a half mile track in the Winbak Stake. “He (Captaintreacherous) will not be racing in the Winbak on Little Brown Jug Day,” said trainer Tony Alagna, “We are doing more blood tests on him and after we evaluate the results we will go from there.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

With an ultra-impressive three-wide sweep from seventh place at the three-quarter mile marker, Crazy About Pat and driver Shawn Gray gave racing fans a thrill in capturing the $17,000 Open Trot Sunday. The seventh race feature saw Baby Boy Grin (Stephane Bouchard) leave the grab the lead by the opening quarter mile in :27.4 with Just Make Believe (Frank Coppola, Jr.) grabbing the two-hole spot. By the half mile marker in :57.4, Baby Boy Grin was on the lead but facing a challenge from first-over Slugfest (Jay Randall) who helped push the pacesetter to the three-quarters in 1:27.1 with the Northern Dude (Bruce Aldrich, Jr.) taking up second-over cover. But it was Crazy About Pat and Gray making their big move three-wide and moving into third place by the top of the stretch and then kicking in a :28.3 last quarter mile to win going away by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Baby Boy Grin held for second place with Slugfest third. Trained by Paul Kelley and owned and bred by Patricia Stable, NY, Crazy About Pat is a four-year-old gelding by Crazed and paid $4.50 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The Committe of Standardbred Horse Racing Ireland (SHRI) are pleased to announce that the contract has been signed with the Fingal Leader Partnership today for the EU Leader grant funding totalling close to €150,000 ($195,000 US) by Mr Mark Flanagan on behalf of the club. This concludes the formal process which has been ongoing since January 2012 and paves the way for the development works to take place over the coming weeks. Funding will cover 75% of the proposed works which includes the following; Track Grader/Conditioner Covered Seated Grandstand Children's Playground area Fully Equipped Commentary/Video Box/Stewards Room Photo Finish Camera CCTV Track Stewarding Camera System Broadcast Video Camera /Streaming Solution Bar Cold Room Office This is a major achievement for the SHRI Club and Portmarnock Raceway and is a vote of confidence for the sport of harness racing in Ireland. “The grant given to Portmarnock has lifted the spirits off all the horse owners and their families here,” said Derek Delaney of Oakwood Stud, “because along with the great racing the venue has staged in the last four week, Portmarnock Trotting Track is now considered the premier track in Ireland.” The committe would like to take this opportunity to thank the team at Fingal Leader Partnership also Mr Damien McDonald, Mr Mark Bolger and all the team at Horse Sport Ireland for their support and assistance with this project and Mr Allen McAdam of MCA Consulting. Part of the grant includes that the SHRI Club and Portmarnock Raceway provide 50,000 euros additional funds to complete the project and the club and racetrack will be holding fundraising events in the coming months to raise those funds. “With this grant,” Delaney explained, “it is going to help make the great racing already at the track even better and the improvements will only draw more people to the facility to experience the thrills of harness racing. It will make the track more comfortable, more professional and more fun! “We can’t wait to get started,” Delaney added, “A new grader and track conditioner will help make our racing surface comparable to tracks in the USA. The new infield announcer booth, Stewart’s stand and video setups and camera will all be state of the art equipment and everyone will want to race at Portmarnock. “For the public,” Delaney said, “we will now have a children’s private playground area, a properly covered grandstand and a new office. This is all so great for harness racing at our track. All in all it will bring more luxury and comfort to our venue week in and week out and will make Portmarnock the place to be throughout the race season.” by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Harrah’s Philadelphia harness racing track in Chester, PA was the scene of the $1.2 million Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship finals for three-year-old trotters and pacers Sunday. Four $260,000 finals plus four $50,000 consolation races were featured on the race program. McWicked may have established himself as the early race favorite for Little Brown Jug as he once again defeated a stellar field of three-year-old colt pacers in winning his PASS final. Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras) was the first on the lead with McWicked and driver David Miller securing the two-hole spot to the opening quarter mile in a quick :26.4. Miller then immediately moved McWicked to the outside and took command. They went untested past the half mile marker in :54.2. It was then that driver Brett Miller came first-over with Somewhere In L A but they were unable to look McWicked in the eye by the three-quarters in 1:22. With the remainder of the stretch to go, Miller kept McWicked in gear and they were able to go on to win by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:48.4. Limelight Beach came on for second place with Somewhere In L A third. Sired by McArdle, it was the ninth win in thirteen starts for McWicked, who is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by the S S G Stables of North Boston, NY. McWicked paid $2.80 to win as the 2/5 wagering favorite. With the winner's share of the purse at $130,000, McWicked became harness racing's newest million career winner. Lifetime Pursuit continued her winning ways since capturing the Hambletonian Oaks with her fifth straight win, capturing the $260,000 PASS Championship final for three-year-old trotting fillies in a track record clocking of 1:53.2. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Lifetime Pursuit floated out of the starting gate as Take The Money (Dave Palone) went to the early lead with Cantabs Fortune (Scott Zeron) grabbing the two-hold spot. By the opening quarter mile in :28.4, Gingras moved Lifetime Pursuit to the lead for good. They led to the half in :56.3 as Designed To Be and driver Brian Sears came first-over to challenge but through the backstretch to the three-quarters in 1:25, they were unable to collar Lifetime Pursuit. Then as they straighten out in the stretch, Lifetime Pursuit kicked in another gear and pulled away for a three and one-quarter length triumph. Designed To Be held for second place with Struck By Lindy (David Miller) third. Trained by Jimmy Takter and breeder/owner Brittany Farms, it was the seventh win this year for Lifetime Pursuit, a daughter of Cantab Hall. She paid $2.80 to win. Only two races later did trainer Jimmy Takter get to come back to the winner’s circle again, this time to celebrate as his Father Patrick won the PASS final for three-year-old trotting colts. It was stable mate Nuncio and driver John Campbell the first out of the gate, taking the lead from Don Dorado (Tim Tetrick) as Father Patrick floated on the outside for driver Yannick Gingras. But after the opening quarter in :27, Gingras urged Father Patrick on and they took command of the race for good. Past the half in :55.1 and then the three-quarters in 1:24.3 with just a minor challenge from Wheelsandthelegman (David Miller) who trained a first-over effort in vain. Then in the stretch, Campbell ducked to the inside with Nuncio to try a challenge but they could not gain any ground as Father Patrick and Gingras breezed to a one length triumph in 1:52.4. Nuncio was second with Don Dorado third. Sired by Cantab Hall, it was the eighth win in ten starts this year for Father Patrick. He is owned by the Father Patrick Stable of East Windsor, NJ and paid $2.40 to win. Sandbetweenurtoes saw her eight race unbeaten streak come to an end in the three-year-old filly pace final as she was unable to lead the entire mile, folding up as they came down the stretch and finished seventh. The race was won by 11-1 Weeper and driver Dave Palone, who were able to follow the outside flow third over behind Southwind Silence (Matt Kakaley) who was following first-over Beach Gal (Tim Tetrick) from the half mile marker. Weeper tipped out four-wide on the final turn and was able to gun down the field to win by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:51.1. Also Encouraging (David Miller) was second with Beach Gal third. Sired by Allamerican Native and trained by Kelly O’Donnell, it was the fifth win in ten starts this year for Weeper. She is locally owned by the Bay Pond Racing Stable of Paoli, PA and paid $25.40 to win. In the four $50,000 PASS consolation divisions, one for each class, saw the following winners. Somestartsomewhere (Yannick Gingras) won the three-year-old pacing colt consolation for trainer Ron Burke by a head over Kingofthejungle (Tony Morgan) in 1:50.4 and paid $32.20 to win. Ake Svanstedt’s Highest Peak won the filly trot consolation, wiring the field with ease by four open lengths in 1:56.1 for driver Tim Tetrick, paying $5.40 to win. The Linda Toscano trained Uva Hanover captured the trotting colt consolation race with a neck triumph for driver Tim Tetrick over Amped Up Hanover (Yannick Gingras) in 1:54. Katie Said and driver Marcus Miller won the filly pace consolation with game first-over move en route to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:51. Trained by Julie Miller, Katie Said paid $5.00 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

In response to the Ontario Racing Commission’s (ORC) statement of Thursday, September 4 with their reasoning or rules behind the September 1, 9th race incident at Mohawk Raceway, we felt it best at Harnesslink to just publish for you some of the hundreds of responses that have been seen on different social media venues. These opinions are from racing fans, owners, breeders, trainers, drivers, grooms and bettors not only from North America but throughout the racing world. Of the thousands of people that have viewed the video of the race we were able to find only one person who stated via social media that they thought the ORC Judge’s ruling make sense. We even have comments from people who actually won money yet felt the race should have been declared a “no contest.” Video of the race is with this story. Harnesslink has repeatedly tried to contact any spokesperson at the ORC via numerous phone calls, messages on answering machines and via email, but have yet to hear back from anyone at the ORC office. Thus we decided to print some of the responses from different venues since the ORC seems to be refusing to comment “live” on this incident. Here is what the people who make up our industry had to say. Many of these comments were repeated numerous times by other people. Unfair to people who wagered the race, race should have been declared "no contest" Why didn't the starting gate judge call for a recall and put up his lights when his starting gate was in distress before the start of the race? If the 9th race was OK for three of seven horses then why was the remaining three races on program cancelled due to unsafe conditions? Seems quite obvious there was unsafe conditions for the start of the ninth race. The Judge's did not properly consider all ramifications of not calling the race a "no contest" How can you declare a race as "official" when more than half the field was hindered at the start of the race? Without hurling flaming darts at me - I think their explanation makes some sense. By late scratching four of the seven horses in the race you already returned more than 80% of the money wagered on the race. Why create such dismay by not declaring the race a No Contest? Sometimes you have to throw out the rule book and use common sense but that did not happen here. I am a licensed judge and this was one of the worst calls ever. Should have been an instant no contest ruling. What kind of poor precedent is being set here when the #1 horse, who finished dead last in seventh place, beaten by the four horses that were interfered with at the start, ends up being placed third? The Triactor paid LESS than both the win price and the Exactor! Is this how the judges are protecting the betting public? I have been a horse owner, breeder, and fan for over 40 years. This race I found as self-serving and very selfish for the Judges not to call it a no contest. It was quite clear that there was interference at the start of the race this should have been an automatic recall. This is the worst decision they've ever made. Couldn’t be much worse. I was there...I won something on it ...and I’m still bitching about it.....I had a $3 super 1-2-3-4 and didn’t even get a consolation payoff on that... As a former judge there is no question that the starting gate judge was in error and should have called for a late recall and flash his lights. Situations like this happen and but in this instance the judge’s decision not to declare this race no contest was very wrong. The ORC is supposed to make rulings that are in the best interest of the betting public and the integrity of the game. I had $800 worth of win four wagers all keyed onto #8 in the 9th race... My race 9 key was wiped out by the starting gate before the start and the judges decided that it was in my best interest to give 25% of my money to WEG and the other 75% to players whose horse was not wiped out! Thank you mister ORC for protecting me! How about this idea as a rule of thumb... when more than half the field is interfered with before the start, hit the recall button or rule the race a no-contest! Somebody owes me $800... and an apology wouldn't be out of order. no recall, the starting gate arms where still engaged, fine the starter and give out free programs or betting vouchers as a goodwill gesture, as more bettors head to the slot machines where no human factor is involved just random luck Where is the Ontario Harness Horsemen’s Association or COSA in all of this? Are the three horses getting to split up all the purse money and the other four that were “scratched” getting screwed with none of the purse money? Hopefully we will one day hear back from the ORC about the problems surrounding this race and be able to report back to you. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

“I really feared for my life,” said harness racing trainer Kelvin Harrison, after the truck and trailer he was riding in caught fire and burned to the ground Wednesday afternoon. Luckily, the three horses in the trailer and the equipment were safely removed. The incident happened just 20 miles from Pocono Downs outside of Wilks-Barrie, PA around 4:00 pm. Harrison was traveling with Enrico Robinson, assistant trainer for P J Fraley, using Fraley’s truck and trailer. They had left earlier in the day from Freehold, NJ. Of the three horses going to race at Pocono Downs that evening, one was Fraley’s, one was Harrison’s and one was Mark Kesmodel’s. “I was actually taking a little nap,” Harrison said, “When all of a sudden there was this noise and banging coming from the engine of the truck. Then we saw smoke and Enrico pulled right over. “He was able to find a spot that was sort of a side service road and pulled over,” Harrison explained, “So we were around 40 feet from the main highway. But once we stopped the truck the flames started shooting up and around the hood of the truck. “I told Enrico that we had to get the horses out right away,” Harrison said. “We got the race bike off, opened the trailer and then Andrew McCarthy, a driver who was also going to race at Pocono Downs, pulled over and he came over and helped us and we got the three horses out of the trailer safely. “Then a Good Samaritan whose name I can’t recall pulled over,” Harrison added, “and he said his daughter has a riding horse and he wanted to help so we gave him one of the horses to hold. “Then a fire truck arrived,” Harrison said, “And with their help we were able to get all of the equipment out of the trailer before both the truck and trailer were engulfed in flames and burned to the ground, totally demolished. It was so hot in the equipment room of the trailer that one of coolers was all singed.” Kelvin Harrison said that if the truck was not diesel but a gas truck, it could have been much worse. “I knew we have enough time to at least get the horses out,” Harrison explained,” because it was a diesel truck and it would take a while if it would have blown up. If it had been a gas truck it would have blown right away. We were so lucky. As it was the fuel tank still blew up with a major explosion that nearly spooked the horses so bad they almost got away.” “Andrew McCarthy, the firemen, especially that Good Samaritan who stayed the entire time helping us, nearly an hour and a half,” said Harrison, “they helped bring a happy ending to this event. If not for them it would have been a lot worse than it was.” Harrison said that traffic was tied up for miles and that by the time they got to Pocono Downs, one of the horses was too late to the paddock and was scratched while the other two raced but did not do well after the traumatic experience. “I don’t what could have happened to set that truck on fire,” Harrison said. “I feel sorry for PJ Fraley as he lost a good truck and a nice four-horse trailer. I have never been in a situation like this before and hope to never experience it again. It was very scary.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Late this afternoon the Ontario Race Commission issued a statement in regard to the Judge’s decision on the 9th race at Mohawk Raceway on Monday, September 1, 2014. This was the race where the starting gate was sliding and could not gain traction due to muddy conditions and the outside four horses were hindered right at the start of the race. The Judge’s then declared the race official after “scratching” the four outside horses from the race, leaving just three horses for payoffs. Within minutes the remaining three races on the program were cancelled due to unsafe track conditions. The statement, from the ORC's Manager of Racing Brent Stone, appears below: Thank you for your inquiry regarding the 9th race at Mohawk, September 1, 2014. Please reference the Rules of Standardbred Racing 2012 – Sections 22.32, 22.32.01 and 22.33 Here is a link on the ORC web site. Rules of Standardbred Racing 2012 In their opinion, the ORC Judges at Mohawk determined that the outside horses (4, 5, 7, 8) were prevented from having a fair chance (to quote the rule: “...prevented from having a fair chance to contest a race due to exceptional circumstances, and it is deemed in the public interest to do so, such horse shall be declared a non-contestant...”) However, the Judges also determined that horses 1, 2, 3 were not affected and were able to properly contest this race. That is the lynchpin of their decision – these horses were entitled to contest. Mohawk Racetrack is required to refund bets made on horses that have been declared by ORC officials to be “non-contestants”, as per the Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations made pursuant to the Criminal Code. These regulations are administered by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA), the federal agency responsible for the supervision of betting. As ORC Racing Officials, the Judges are called upon to apply their considerable experience and knowledge of the Rules of Racing to make decisions that adhere to those Rules. From time to time, some members of the public may disagree with some calls. The public can be assured that the mandate of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) is to protect the public interest, maintain the fairness of horse racing and officiate races according to the Rules of Racing. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

On Labor Day Monday at Mohawk Raceway the ninth race had a starting gate malfunction at the beginning of the race and the decision made by the Judges has quite a few harness racing and wagering fans shaking their heads in disbelief? It seems that at the start of the race the starting gate began to slip sideways on the muddy track, then as the starter gave the word “Go” the starting gate did not accelerate. It had no traction on the sloppy surface and hesitated before moving forward. The wings closed but the starting gate could not get out of the path of the four outside horses. Those drivers had to take back and wait until the starting gate regained traction and pulled out of the way. Upon watching the video replay you can clearly see the far outside horse, Romance In Camelot, was trying to leave but driver Doug McNair had to restrain him from running into the starting gate and as a result got away in sixth place. The other three drivers pulled back as well and headed the only place they could, down to the rail. To watch the video click here. As the field reached the quarter pole the inquiry light was already illuminated on the video screen and the track announcer confirmed the inquiry due to the confusion at the start. The race continued without any more problems, at least until the Judges hastily thought it over and came to their decision. The race was surprisingly NOT declared a “no contest” and to add fuel to the fire, the Judges scratched the four outside horses 4, 5, 7, & 8 (the 6 horse was an early vet scratch) declaring them “non-starters” and ordered refunds on all wagers involving them, including those on #7 who had rallied to finish third, but was subsequently scratched. The race including the one, two order of finish plus the horse moved up to third (who had actually finished last) was then declared official. Why was the race not declared a “no contest” when clearly more than half the field was hindered due to the issues with starting gate? Why was there no show wagering on the race yet they paid off on a trifecta? Attempts via email and calls to the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) have gone unanswered as of press time for this article. We were told on one of the calls to the ORC that a statement or findings on the race would be issued to the public after due diligence was completed. We are still waiting for this notice to be sent out. It is wrong to come to any conclusions before hearing what the ORC has to say about the Judges call in this race.  But it is more unfair to the betting fans to be subject to such confusion on this race and loss of wagers made on a race that should be been declared a “No Contest.” The fact that it occurred in Ontario; a tightly regulated jurisdiction that often refunds wagers on horses who were deemed to have not been given a fair start; coupled with the fact that the race took place at its flagship Standardbred only racing facility that is known for giving the average bettor more information night in and night out about nearly every aspect of the horses and horsemen in each race than anywhere else in North America, makes the Judge’s ruling that much more questionable. The decision not only affected the betting in that specific race, but everyone who had a live Pick 3 wager (1st, 2nd, or last leg) as well as the Pick 4 (1st & 2nd leg) which we doubt was considered when the decision to declare the four horses that were impeded by the starting gate "non-starters", thereby making them post-race scratches. This then created an incredibly confusing scenario as to which bets were winners in that race (i.e., the aforementioned  #7 horse that finished third, but was later scratched because he was one of the four impeded by the starting gate) along with what constituted a live pick 3 or pick 4 wager (3-5 favorite was one of the post-race scratches) going into the remainder of the races which were subsequently cancelled due to unsafe track conditions. Then why was there no show wagering on the ninth race? And more and more and more….Whew…. As Ricky Ricardo would say to Lucy…..”I tink you got some splaining to do!” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com 

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

CHARMED LIFE UPSETS IN MISS VERSATILITY

With race favorites winning most of the stakes races at Mohawk Raceway Saturday night, Modern Legend was the shocker of the evening as he won the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at odds of 66-1 Saturday and paid $135.70 to win. The 1/5 betting favorite, Sweet Lou, saw his ten-race winning streak come to an abrupt halt in the race as he was on the lead coming down the stretch but faded to sixth place at the finish. The race began with Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) beating out Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) to the early lead but once they reached the opening quarter mile in :26, Gingras came right out with Foiled Again and took command. Then by the half mile in :53, Ron Pierce came charging up first-over with Sweet Lou and cleared with ease to control the pace. And just as Sweet Lou was on the lead, up came Clear Vision (Brett Miller) to challenge first-over and following their cover was the long shot Modern Legend and driver David Miller. Past the three-quarters in a blazing 1:20.1, Clear Vision was about to collar Sweet Lou as they started down the stretch and Foiled Again and Gingras were already trying to squeeze by on the inside as everyone sensed that Sweet Lou had had enough. But it was David Miller and Modern Legend who proved to be much the best as they tipped three-wide on the final turn and mowed everybody by, pulling away for a three and one-half length triumph in 1:47.2. Foiled Again was second with Clear Vision third. The time of the race tied the track, stakes and Canadian record with A Rocknroll Dance in 2013. It was a lifetime mark and the fourth win this year for Modern Legend. The six-year-old gelding by Modern Art was bred and is owned and trained by Dave Drew of Catharines, Ontario. “This is the only horse I have right now,” said Dave Drew, “I had as many as five this year but now down to just this one. This is a horse of a lifetime for me and this was a race of a lifetime. He has been racing for me on the Grand Circuit the last couple of years and always coming close and never really putting it all together. But tonight David Miller gave him a perfect drive and he was on his game. Just a super night for him. “He has always raced well but has had some outside posts earlier this season,” Drew said. “Had some tough trips, was interfered with but he has been racing well and it was just a matter of putting it all together at the right time and in the right race and he did that tonight. It was just a superb night for me and my family.” “It worked out great tonight,” said winning driver David Miller, “I know the horse Clear Vision and I figured if I can get on his back and follow him and he would take us to where we needed to be in the race. I was real surprised around the last turn as I still had a lot of horse coming to the stretch so I fanned him out and he did the rest. He raced tremendous. He beat some great horses tonight. Hats off to the horse. He’s been racing against them the past couple of years and it was great to see him get the job done.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Unbeaten two-year-old pacing colt, Artspeak, stamped himself as the top freshman colt in harness racing as he strolled to a five length triumph in capturing the $667,000 final of the Metro Pace at Mohawk Raceway Saturday. The race began with Lone Survivor (David Miller) left from post nine and was able to get to the lead with Lyons Again (Yannick Gingras) also leaving from post eight and getting the two-hole trip as they went to the opening quarter mile in :26.3. They raced that way to the half mile marker in :55.3 and that was when the action began to heat up as John Campbell came first-over with Go Daddy Go and following their outside cover was the 1/9 race favorite Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron. To the three-quarters in 1:23.3 Lone Survivor was still in command but coming off the final turn, Zeron tipped three-wide with Artspeak and without raising his whip nor lifting his lines for encouragement, Artspeak took off and left the field in his wake, winning in a romp in 1:50.2. Lyons Levi Lewis (Sylvain Filion) was second with Lyons Again third. “When we had Captaintreacherous and his career and he was such an amazing horse and to come back right after that with this colt is amazing,” said winning trainer Tony Alagna. “I talked to Scott (Zeron) last fall and talked with him about making the change and coming to the United States to drive. I told him if he was willing to come down and drive that I was willing to give him a shot. He’s made the commitment. He comes to the farm to train, baby racing and training before qualifiers and he deserved this win.” Sired by Western Ideal, bred and co-owned by Brittany Farms with Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and The Gym Partners, it was the sixth straight win for Artspeak. He paid $2.30 to win. “The primary ownership group for this horse is the same as Captaintreacherous,” said co-owner Marvin Katz, who has won the Metro final three times now, “Tony had trained the mare (The Art Museum, dam of Artspeak) and he loved the family and thought the mare would throw a good one. He selected the colt in Lexington and we put together the same partnership as Captaintreacherous. This never gets old I was telling Tony (Alagna). When you can win these types of races, this is a thrill and to be enjoyed.” “I really stuck my neck out going all by myself to New Jersey,” said winning driver Scott Zeron, “I worked as hard as I could this year. It’s Tony Alagna and Myron Bell. The two of them together made it happen. They helped me with the move. And this is reason I did it. To come back home and win a race like this with a great horse like this. This is once in a lifetime. “To be second over was a perfect trip for this horse,” Zeron said. “He follows horses so well. I have always had to put him on the front because he is 1/9. Today I was able to trip him out behind this really good horse of John’s (Campbell) and coming down the lane he was game. He is a freak of nature. He probably came home in :26.2 and I didn’t even chirp to him.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The 3 Brothers Stable of New York and trainer Nancy Johansson have plenty to cheer about as their unbeaten harness racing homebred filly, JK Shesalady scored a romp in capturing the $480,000 final of the She’s A Great Lady Stakes final at Mohawk Raceway Saturday. Driven by Yannick Gingras, JK Shesalady’s time for the one mile race of 1:50.1 tied the world record for two-year-old fillies and rewrote the stakes record. The race started off with Happy Becky (David Miller) shooting to the early lead with Band Of Angels (Ron Pierce) sitting on their back and Bettor Be Steppin (Corey Callahan) trapped first-over. To the opening quarter mile in :26.4, Callahan went on with Bettor Be Steppin and took over the lead from Happy Becky. Right away Pierce pulled with Band Of Angels and they took the lead away from Bettor Be Steppin. They went to the half mile in :55 and John Campbell coming first-over with Divine Caroline were able to flush Yannick Gingras with race favorite JK Shesalady, who not only started up first-over but kept right on going and blew by Band Of Angels to take command before the three-quarters in 1:22.1. Campbell was able to continue to gain ground first-over with Divine Caroline but once the field reached the top of the stretch Gingras and JK Shesalady were up by two lengths and then never stopped going to the wire to win by four and one-half lengths. Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) was able to close for second place with Shakai Hanover (Jody Jamieson) grabbing third place. Her time of 1:50.1 tied the world record that is now co-held with I Luv The Nitelife (2013) and Precocious Beauty (2013). Sired by Art Major, JK Shesalady is a full sister to the top three-year-old colt and million dollar winner, JK Endofanera. She is undefeated in six career starts and paid $2.90 to win. “When I baby raced this filly I liked her,” Gingras said. “I didn’t think at that time she was this kind of filly but every start she just got better and better. Last week she really impressed me. It was a big mile last week and that’s when she really stamped herself as the best. She has a great move for 3/8th of a mile and puts me in a good position. I didn’t think the front was that good tonight but you have to close at all times. I didn’t want to get myself caught second or third over. I wanted to be first up. I then thought that Ronnie’s horse was not that strong so I made my move. “Selecting which horse I would drive in this race,” Gingras said, “Was the toughest decision I have ever had to make in harness racing. I drive for Ronnie Burke and I drive Maven for Mr. Donovan. Filly wise I knew JK is the better of the two but both Ron Burke and Mr. Donovan has been so great to me. It was so tough to pick as far as connections go. I am sorry but I had to pick one and I went for the win. But I am sure I will pay it back to Ronnie real soon.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Coral Springs, FL – It has been revealed to Harnesslink.com that the Isle Casino and Racing at Pompano Park has hired Brett Revington as the new Director of Racing. Revington hails from Prince Edward Island in Canada where he was the former Racing Manager for Red Shores, which runs both Charlottetown Driving Park and Summerside Raceway. His duties there also included being the cage and count manager and overseeing the facility and maintenance. Prior to working at Red Shores, Revington was the Assistant Race Manager at Western Fair Raceway and for six years was the Stakes Manager at Woodbine Entertainment Group. He is also a licensed Associate Judge and worked for the Ontario Racing Commission where he was responsible for rule enforcement and hearing adjudication. Revington was voted as a Director of the Atlantic Region to the Standardbred Canada Board, serving for four years. A 1997 graduate of the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Revington also attended Fanshawe College with accreditation in their Canadian Securities Course. Before working full time in the Standardbred industry after graduation, Revington traveled overseas to manage a Domino’s Pizza chain in Dublin, Ireland. Revington will begin his new duties immediately. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The “barefoot wonder” did it again as Sebastian K was able to lead from start to finish and set a harness racing track record for older horses with his 1:53 triumph at Vernon Downs Friday in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot. Leaving like he was shot out of a rocket, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt has Sebastian K on the lead just moments after leaving the starting gate. Also leaving and securing the two-hold trip behind him was Archangel and driver Yannick Gingras as they sped to the opening quarter mile in an easy :28.1. Then in typical fashion, Svanstedt backed off Sebastian K to the half mile marker in :57.3 with Archangel right on their backs. It was then that Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick began to move up first-over and following their outside flow was Quick Deal (Matt Kakaley). When they passed the three-quarters in 1:26.3, Market Share was still gaining ground on the leaders and as they started down the stretch Archangel looked as if he had plenty of trot but no place to go as he was locked in behind Sebastian K with Market Share on the outside. Then in the stretch, Svanstedt let Sevastian K have his head and the world champion trotters pulled away from the group and went on to win with ease by two open lengths. Archangel was second with Market Share third. His 1:53 clocking tied the track record for older trotters that was first set in 2013 by For You Almost Free. “It was a great race,” said Bjorn “Bernie” Noren, second trainer for Ake Svanstedt, “He got an easy first half and a pretty good second half. It was an easy race for him tonight. During the off time he does what he always does. He trains twice a week intervals on the sand track and then go in the paddock the rest of the week. “It is such a great experience to have a good horse like him,” Noren said. “It is good to bring a top horse like Sebastian K here and that the fans really appreciate him. He has so many fans now and that is great for harness racing. We need that in our sport. “His next race will be at Hoosier Park on September 20 and then he will go to Lexington,” Noren said. Then we will go to Yonkers for their new International Trot and then maybe if all is OK we will supplement him to the Breeders Crown.” For Sebastian K it was his third straight win and eighth victory in nine outings here in the USA. His only loss was by a neck. The eight-year-old son of Korean was bred and is owned by Knutsson Trotting, Inc. of Vero Beach, FL. Sebastian K paid $2.30 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

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