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One of the most impressive winners on the nine-event harness racing program in Tasmania at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night was the Tommy Jackson-trained Finn Mac Kee (Stonebridge Regal-Scarlett Finn) who led throughout to easily win a C2 event over 1609 metres. It was Finn Mac Kee’s fifth win from only 13 starts but arguably his most impressive. The four-year-old is expected to have one more start in a C-2C3 in Launceston in a couple of weeks before being sent for a spell. “I’ll most likely give him one more start and then spell him but when I bring him back I’ll get him qualified from a standing start because I’d like to aim him at a few of the country cups over the Christmas-New Year period next season,” Jackson said. Finn Mac Kee has been a model of consistency this season winning four and being placed as many times from his 11 starts this time in. “I said early on that this horse could be the best I’ve had and he’s done nothing to change that opinion. “I don’t think he’ll have any problem with qualifying for standing start races and if I’m right he will be very compeitive in a few of the country cups. I’m not saying he’s up to the best but he is improving all the time and he loves to race,” he said. ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Veteran Tasmanian harness racing trainer Paul Hill has always had a knack with producing top flight young horses and this season has been no exception with his star filly Playing Arkabella scoring an emphatic win in the $30,000 Evicus Stakes final over 1609 metres at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night. Hill won the race last year with his filly Chica Bella and while she was impressive throughout her two-year-old season there was as much to like about how Playing Arkabella went about her business in the last major feature juvenile race of the season. With Ricky Duggan aboard, Playing Arkabella ($1.50) was forced to work hard early from her outside front-row draw but eventually she was sent around the field to face the breeze outside of Harshali with the well-tried El jays Mystery on the back of the leader. When Duggan called on his filly for the big effort in the home straight she sped clear and went on to score by over 10 metres from El Jays Mystery ($7.80) with Harshali ($7.70) a short half-head away third. It was the filly’s fourth win from eight starts this season and she filled minor placings at her other four starts with this prizemoney from this latest win taking her career earnings to almost $46,000.. Hill prepared the favourite Rocknroll Turbo in the Dandy patch final but he had to settle for second to the highly promising Usain Jolt, depriving Hill of a record of preparing the winner of the Dandy Patch and Evicus two years in succession as he trained Hillview Jake to win last season's Dandy Patch. ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ A Tasmanian harness racing star may have emerged at UBET Park Hobart last night when Usain Jolt, a well-bred two-year-old prepared by astute horseman Tony Petersen, delivered a brilliant performance to win the $30,000 Dandy Patch Stakes over 1609 metres. Usain Jolt (James Austin) went into the race having not won from four previous starts while the favourite Rocknroll Turbo was aiming to keep his unbeaten record intact having won at his only two outings, including an effortless win in the Dandy Patch Prelude two weeks earlier. But Petersen was able to iron out a couple of little problems that were impeding the gelding to race truly and it made all the difference. Harjeet showed brilliant early speed to lead but he was then taken on by the second-favourite Williamtell (Gareth Rattray) that rolled to the front and set a slid tempo while the favourite Rocknroll Turbo faced the breeze. Rocknroll Turbo hung badly throughout the race and that didn’t help his cause but when Ricky Duggan gave Usain Jolt his head racing down the back the last time he loomed as a genuine contender. But when the gelded son of Village Jolt balanced for the run home he powered past the leaders and went on to defeat Rocknroll Turbo by eight metres with a similar margin to Williamtell. “This horse has always shown us good ability but he’s just been a little bit wayward in is action but I sorted that out leading up to this race,” Petersen said. “He is very well bred and his breeding goes back to Chamfer Star and that’s really solid.” Austin was thrilled with the win and predicts a bright future for gelding. “The way this horse ravelled into the race tonight he was never going to lose. Tony has been able to straighten him out and I reckon there’s still plenty of improvement in him,” Austin said. Usain Jolt is owned by Jacinta Webb, Deb Carlton and life partners Tammy Carlton and Sam King. Peter Staples

Early last week talented harness racing trainer Broke Hammond was unsure whether her well-bred three-year-old filly would take her place in the $30,000 bandbox final in Launceston on Sunday night but thankfully she was able to work through some issues and deliver her on race night. While she drew the pole position it was no advantage because she has no great gate speed so she was always going to need her share of luck to emerge triumphant. With Troy Hiller in the sulky the daughter of Stonebridge Regal-Cam River settled three-back the fence on a hot speed set by Tisu Bombelle and at the top of the home straight the last time she was going to need a minor miracle to secure a run. But Hillier believed the leaders might get up the rack a bit when the pressure was applied and he was right which allowed Ordinaire Jane to motor home along the rails to emerge the winner by a narrow margin over Little Bit of Big and the well-tried Itz Gemmas Delight. "I've had so many little problems with this filly, particularly with her feet, so I must thank Michael laugher a lot for helping her out in that department and a lot of other people who have played a hand in her getting to the races this time in," Hammond said. "There was one stage there that I was convinced she might not get to the Bandbox series but she got there and after she flashed home to run second in a prelude I was quietly confident she had the ability to win the final but she was going to need a lot of luck from the pole (inside front-row draw) and that went her way. "She hasn't grown much because she still only about 14 hands high but she tries her heart out and she has this terrific turn of foot as she showed to win tonight. Hammond was also leased that Ordinaire Jane has won a race that her mother won. "You don't often win a race with a filly that was also won by the4 dam and Cam, River was a terrific mare for us and hopefully this daughter can be the same." Peter Staples

You won’t miss John McDermott’s smile over the next few weeks, because it’s one of the largest anyone in Harness Racing has at the moment. The past few weeks have been some of the best for the Prebbleton based trainer and amateur driver. It all started with the win of She’sa Tricky Bridge, on Premier day at Addington back on the 14th of May. The 3yo Stonebridge Regal filly cracked her maiden victory and gave McDermott one of his biggest victories’s to date. A week later and McDermott was down to drive Sheza Springfield and Shantahlia Knight in the first two heats of The Dexion New Zealand Amateur Drivers Championship. That night saw John salute the judge on both occasions and head to Rangiora leading the pack on maximum points. Luck continued when John was drawn to drive Franco Exeter in the third heat. “I could never have dreamed of picking up two wins at Cambridge, I drew a couple of nice horses and the luck went our way on the night” said John Apart from a failure at Forbury Park back at the end of April, the 5yo Lis Mara gelding hasn’t missed a top two finish for Burnham trainer Mark Jones. Sent forward from a wide draw, Franco Exeter took up his customary leading role and McDermott let the Wayne Higgs owned gelding roll along at a steady tempo. “The Dominator John McDermott” as commentator Mark McNamara called him, was off and gone at the 500m and had most of the field off their feet. Franco Exeter managed to hold on and win by ½ length over a fast finishing As Kiwi As (Gavin Cook), with 2 ¼ lengths back to Going Going Gone (Sheryl Wigg). “The connections weren’t that confident after his last start failure, but his previous form had been so good” said McDermott. One punter was that confident that John would go 3/3 that they placed a whopping $3,500.00 to win on Franco Exeter. Somehow even with maximum points from the first 3 heats, there was a chance that John could be pipped at the post, but that was put to bed when he took inside runs on outsider Midfrew Tarpediem to finish strongly for 5th and secure a maiden NZ amateur title. “They told me coming into the last I had to either beat Sheryl home or if she won, it would turn into having to beat four home to win, and three home to win on a count back." "It’s been a wonderful competition; having four heats this year has been great. Last year they only managed to get the 3 heats and some drivers only got to have two drives, but thanks to all the trainers and connections at Cambridge and Canterbury, we had full fields and several of those trainers backed their horses up from Friday night which really helped.” Sheryl placed 3 times and won the last heat, usually that sort of form would win most drivers series in New Zealand but nobody could begrudge McDermott’s victory, nor the smile on his face after achieving his career highlight (to date). She’sa Tricky Bridge Sheza Springfield Shantahlia Knight Franco Exeter Andrew Fitzgerald

The much anticipated harness racing match up between State Treasurer and Wiggle It Jiggleit developed around the final turn Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, but neither horse came away with a victory. Nickle Bag spoiled the Horse of the Year showdown with his 10th victory of the season in Saturday's seven-horse $34,000 Preferred. State Treasurer showed good early speed and cleared to the front ahead of Nickle Bag heading into the first turn. The 2015 Canadian Horse of the Year posted opening-fractions of :26.2 and :55. Wiggle It Jiggleit left alertly, but was quickly dropped into fourth by driver Montrell Teague. The 2015 U.S. Horse of the Year got his cue to charge first up heading into the final turn. State Treasurer and Wiggle It Jiggleit went toe-to-toe by the three-quarter pole in 1:22.4, but waiting patiently in behind the superstars was Nickle Bag and driver Trevor Henry. Wiggle It Jiggleit wrestled the lead away from State Treasurer and had a few lengths on Nickle Bag with an eighth of a mile to go, but the classy veteran tracked down the Teague stable star to win the Preferred by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.1. State Treasurer battled hard to finish third. A six-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, Nickle Bag scored his eighth Preferred victory of the season Saturday. The Bill Robinson trainee has now won two of his last three starts to improve his overall 2016 record to 10 wins from 16 starts. Nickle Bag has earned $184,860 in 2016 for owners Linda and Harry Loyens. His latest Preferred victory gives him 29 career wins and pushes his career earnings over $640,000. Nickle Bag paid $14.90 to win. Nickle Bag Wiggle It Jiggleit's second-place finish was just his sixth loss in 33 career starts and trainer Clyde Francis admitted he was disappointed. "We thought he would race a little better than he did," said Francis. "He didn't look as good as he did when we trained him the other day. I hope there is not much to it." Francis indicated that Wiggle It Jiggleit never really found comfort during the course of Saturday's race and at moments appeared to be close to going off stride. "He's always had a little funny way of going, but he was worse tonight." Wiggle It Jiggleit's next start is just a week away in the Confederation Cup on Sunday, May 15 at Flamboro Downs. Francis has full confidence the 2015 U.S Horse of the Year will bounce back. "You just back up and regroup and try to find out what the problem is." Wiggle It Jiggleit last start at Mohawk before Saturday's contest was a second-place finish in last year's Pepsi North America Cup. Also on Saturday, War N Munn recorded the WEG Series hat-trick with a huge performance in The Diplomat final. A field of nine three-year-old pacing colts and geldings battled in the $57,600 Diplomat final and it was action packed from start to finish. Dreamfair Mesa fired out from the middle of the gate to grab command and post a hot opening-quarter of :25.3. Several rivals began to charge up on the outside in the second-quarter, including the 1/5 favourite Gerries Sport. Dreamfair Mesa surrendered the lead to Worthy Art moments after posting a half-mile time of :54.3. Gerries Sport and Sylvain Filion were left first-over, while War N Munn, who had yet to see the pylons after leaving from post-nine, sat second-over. Gerries Sport took a narrow lead at the three-quarter pole in 1:22. The heavy-favourite tried to seal the deal in the stretch, but War N Munn and driver Jonathan Drury fired off cover and grabbed the lead midway down the lane. War N Munn finished the job in a career-best 1:50.2 for a two-length victory over Shocking Image and Worthy Art. Gerries Sport dropped back to finish fourth. Trained by Carmen Auciello, War N Munn turned in a massive parked-out effort for his sixth win in 10 starts this season. The three-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal has now scored victories in The Count B, Youthful and The Diplomat Series finals this season. "He shows up every night," said Auciello following the victory. "I knew tonight was going to be tough with the nine-hole, but J.D. (Jonathan Drury) couldn't have done a better job at working out a trip." War N Munn pushed his seasonal earnings over the $100,000 mark with the victory for owner George Munniksma. The sophomore pacer now has career totals of eight victories and earnings exceeding $148,000. War N Munn paid $11.50 to win. War N Munn Pacing fillies and mares also shared the spotlight on Saturday night. Chris Matthews trainee Lay Lady Lay went gate-to-wire to win the $57,400 Princess Series final for three-year-old fillies in 1:54. Doug McNair guided the daughter of Up The Credit to her first win in three starts this season. Lay Lady Lay is owned by 1posse2steves3brothersstb of Guelph, Ontario. She paid $5.60 to win. Lay Lady Lay Waasmula posted the fastest mile of the night in the $30,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred. The Bruce Goit trainee stopped the clock in 1:49.3 for her fifth win of the season. Driven by Trevor Henry, Wassmula has now recorded victories in three of her last four starts. She has banked $88,240 this season for owner Brent Vincent. Waasmula Henry finished the night with four driving victories. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Canada's reigning Horse of the Year made his season debut Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, but Nickle Bag spoiled the party with the nation's fastest harness racing mile of 2016. A strong field of nine older pacers competed in the $34,000 Preferred Handicap pace. State Treasurer, last year's Canadian Horse of the Year, was making his 2016 debut and started from the outside post-nine. Driven by Chris Christoforou, State Treasurer was able to float out and drop in sixth as the even-money favourite. Nickle Bag, the 8-5 second choice, left hard from post-six for Trevor Henry to grab the front and post an opening-quarter of :26. Nickle Bag kept the pace honest in the second-quarter and reached the half in :54.3. Christoforou started up State Treasurer nearing the half and the Dr. Ian Moore trainee was sent first up entering the final turn. However, cover did develop for State Treasurer rounding the final turn, as stablemate Arthur Blue Chip angled out from third at five-eighths. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:22.3, Nickle Bag brought the field into the lane and waved goodbye. The Bill Robinson trainee finished off his mile with a blazing :26.2 final-quarter to win by 4¾ lengths in a career-best 1:49. State Treasurer came off cover in the stretch, but was unable to gain any spots and finished fourth in his season debut, pacing home in :26.4. Mohawk Warrior came from sixth at the top of the lane to finish second, while The Rev turned his two-hole trip into a third-place effort. A six-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, Nickle Bag secured his ninth victory of the season Saturday. The Robinson trainee has picked up seven of his nine victories this year in the Preferred. Owned by Linda and Harry Loyens, Nickle Bag surpassed his 2015 earnings total with Saturday's victory. The veteran pacer has banked $167,860 in 15 starts this year, compared to $162,790 in 26 starts last year. Nickle Bag's victory Saturday was his 28th career triumph and it brings his career earnings to $627,490. He paid $5.30 to win. Nickle Bag Although State Treasurer was unsuccessful in his season debut, history shows that may not be a bad thing. The Dr. Moore trainee finished sixth last year in his debut (May 2, 2015 - Preferred Pace) before going onto divisional and Horse of the Year honours. Also on Saturday, the second leg of The Diplomat Series was contested. A group of 13 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into two $20,000 divisions. War N Munn continued his WEG Series success with a 1:52 victory in the first division. The Carmen Auciello trainee got away fourth in the field of six for driver Jonathan Drury. Mach Power posted an opening-quarter of :28.3, but was quickly passed in the second-quarter by Shocking Image. The new leader reached the half in :57.2 and led the field around the final turn, while War N Munn charged first up to pull to within a length of the lead at the three-quarter pole. Shocking Image reached the third marker in 1:25.3, but quickly surrendered the lead in the lane to War N Munn. The 2-5 favourite rocketed home in :26.1 for a 2 ¼ length victory. Shocking Image was second, while Mach Power finished third. A son of Stonebridge Regal, War N Munn now has five wins in nine starts this season. The sophomore pacing colt has signature victories this season in The Count B and Youthful Series finals. War N Munn now has seven career victories and earnings of $119,261 for owner George Munnuiksma. His mile of 1:52 knocked three-fifths of a second off his previous career mark. The Auciello trainee paid $2.80 to win. War N Munn In the second division, Gerries Sport got his own way in the middle-half and finished up strong for an impressive victory. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Gerries Sport, the even-money favourite, left from post-seven and touched down on the front just after passing the opening-quarter in :26.1. Flaherty, the 7-5 second-choice, got a two-hole trip behind the favourite. Gerries Sport went unchallenged in the middle-half and posted panels of :55.4 and 1:25.1. The soft middle-half was the turning point, as the public's choice left his rivals behind and charged home in :26.4 for a 3½ lengths victory in 1:52. Flaherty maintained his position to finish second, while Worthy Art was third. A son of Mach Three, Gerries Sport is trained by Richard Moreau for Gerrie Tucker. The three-year-old colt is now two for two to start 2016 after posting three wins in 12 starts as a rookie. Just like War N Munn in the first division, Gerries Sport lowered his lifetime mark by three-fifths of a second. The son of Mach Three now sports a career bankroll of $56,845. Gerries Sport paid $4.20 to win. Gerries Sport The first leg of The Diplomat did not fail, therefore the 10 horses that earned money Saturday night have landed spots in next Saturday's $57,600 final. In order to be eligible to The Diplomat, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2015. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

The Christian Salter-trained and driven Ark Breeze ($4.60) won the $30,000 Granny Smith final for harness racing four-year-old mares with an outstanding display of front running over the 2665-metre trip at Devonport. Despite having had only one start in eight months leading up to the Granny Smith the mare proved too strong for her rivals scoring by five metres from outsiders Joan Grant and Mi Makarova. Brighton trainer-driver Christian Salter was confident of winning after Ark Breeze drew well, with one reservation. "I was a bit worried that she might be underdone for the race because she'd had eight months off through niggling little injuries and she had only one start going into this race," Salter said. "But when she drew the pole position I thought she'd be hard to beat of she held the lead," Salter said "She's had a bit of soreness which is why she hasn't been racing." Salter said that the daughter of Stonebridge Regal deserved to win a good race after being narrowly beaten by Barooga Minnie in the three-year-old Sires Stake final (Bandbox) last year. "I've had a bit of luck with this family so I was keen to get her and I thank her owner Shane Hawes for sending her down to me,'' the trainer said. "Her half brothers Aninchofhislife, Drifting West and Ark West have all won a lot of races." Peter Staples

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 9 - The Youthful Series final highlighted an action-packed Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A competitive field of eight three-year-old pacers competed in the $39,800 series final. War N Munn was made the 9/5 favourite in the Youthful final and came through in the clutch for his believers with a career-best 1:52.2 victory. The Carmen Auciello trainee was driven by Jonathan Drury and found an early seat in fifth. Flaherty cut the mile and posted opening fractions of :27 and :56.1, while Easy Lover Hanover, who was going for the series sweep, sat in the pocket. The Catamount Kid came first up from fourth, which allowed Drury to catch cover and place War N Munn second-over around the final turn. Flaherty posted a three-quarter clocking of 1:24.2 with his rivals breathing down his neck. In the stretch, War N Munn fired off cover and despite drifting out, the Auciello trainee cruised home to a four-length victory over Easy Lover Hanover. Flaherty finished third, while The Catamount Kid was fourth. A son of Stonebridge Regal, War N Munn was forced to skip leg two and qualify due to miscue in leg one. Despite making a break in the first round, the sophomore pacing colt finished second. Saturday's victory gives War N Munn four wins in seven starts this season, including a second series final score. Back on February 19, the Auciello trainee captured The Count B series final. War N Munn, who is owned by George Munniksma of Washington, New Jersey, now has over $106,000 in career earnings. He paid $5.80 to win. In order to be eligible to the Youthful, the three-year-old pacers had to be non-winners of three-races or $15,000 in 2015. Also on Saturday, the first leg of the Don Mills Trotting Series and the $34,000 Preferred Pace were contested. Musical Rhythm had been the talk of the town all winter and he brought his impressive talents to Mohawk Saturday. The Ben Baillargeon trainee picked up his eighth victory in a row in the eight-horse $20,000 Don Mills Trotting Series first leg. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Musical Rhythm sprinted out to the front and never looked back. He posted fractions of :28.1, :58.1, 1:27.4 and 1:55.4 to score his sixth victory in six starts this year. Grana Padanno, who is also trained by Baillargeon, finished two-lengths back in second, while Mystery Bet was third. A four-year-old son of Cantab Hall, Musical Rhythm has now won 10 of 11 starts since being purchased by Santo and Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Baillargeon in November. Saturday's victory pushes his seasonal earnings to $81,000. Musical Rhythm now has 15 career victories and earnings exceeding $177,000. He paid $2.50 to win. In order to be eligible to the Don Mills, the four and five-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2015. Ellis Park turned in a huge performance to win the Preferred Pace in 1:51.2. A field of six competed in the top-level pace and Nirvana Seelster once again found himself on top heading into the first turn. After an opening-quarter of :27, Nickle Bag circled around from second to grab command heading down the backstretch. Ellis Park, who was 7/1, got away at the back with driver Randy Waples, but was out and gaining ground on the leader at the midway point. Nickle Bag was confronted by Ellis Park rounding the final turn and led the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1. In the stretch, Nickle Bag and Ellis Park waged war with the outside challenger taking the lead part way down the lane. Nickle Bag tried to battle back up the inside, but Ellis Park would not be denied his 21st career victory and won by a head. Boomboom Ballykeel, who won the Preferred last week, finish third in a photo with Mohawk Warrior. A seven-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, Ellis Park scored his second win in four starts Saturday. He is trained by Tony O'Sullivan for owner David Goodrow Stable. Ellis Park now has $39,000 earned this season to bring his career total to over $400,000. The O'Sullivan trainee paid $16.50 to win. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

Bendigo trots lovers hoping to own the moment can get closer to the harness racing action without a hit to the hip pocket. Pacers Bendigo is offering a low-cost ownership of $500 for 12 months, which will buy them a share in a syndicate for a two-year-old filly who is almost ready to trial for Junortoun trainer Gary Donaldson. The take-up for the syndicate has been pleasing since it was launched on Bendigo Pacing Cup night on February 13, syndicate manager Alan Prentice said. “We’ve had a very positive response at this early stage,” he said. “For a lot of people this will mean they can take a small share in a horse within reach of their budgets and get their introduction into harness racing. “It’s very affordable – $500 for the year and that’s all you have to pay – and having it based at Bendigo means it’s an opportunity to get involved locally.” Bendigo Harness Racing Club’s initiative offers an all-encompassing experience, beginning with helping name the horse to following it through trials and on to the race track. “There will certainly be a lot of camaraderie, not only through the racing involvement but developing friendships with part owners and through being a part of the stable,” Prentice said. “You can share wins and losses at the track and gain valuable industry insights together as an ownership group.” In perhaps a prophetic example of good fortune to come, Donaldson’s four-year-old Regal Ambition won the fourth race on Cup night, with the saluting horse a half-brother to the syndicate’s two-year-old. Out of Stonebridge Regal and No Share Left, the Vicbred filly has been in work for 12 weeks under Donaldson’s guide. She will call Lords Raceway home, having already trained at the complex each day, and is just awaiting more syndicate members to join the select throng and get behind her. If you would like a share in the Pacers Bendigo Syndicate phone Alan Prentice on 0423 777 934 for more details. The legal syndicate was made possible with the support of Harness Racing Victoria. For more details on trots ownership contact Harness Racing Victoria ownership manager Tori Glenister via phone at 8378  0278 or email to tglenister@hrv.org.au Michael Howard

The harness racing series finals of The Count B and Miss Vera Bars were in the spotlight Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of nine three-year-old pacers competed in the $42,200 The Count B final, while a field of eight three-year-old pacing fillies squared off in the $41,600 Ontario Girls final. All eyes were on Carmen Auciello trainee War N Munn, who aimed for a series sweep in The Count B Final, and the sophomore lived up to the hype. Driven by Jonathan Drury, War N Munn, the 2/5 favourite, sprinted off the wings of the gate from post-eight. Gotti and Trevor Henry also left hard and dueled by the opening-quarter with War N Munn in :26.1. War N Munn cleared to the front midway around the first turn and Drury was able to catch a second-quarter breather, as the favourite paced by the half in :56. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4, War N Munn said goodbye to his challengers and sprinted home comfortably in :28 to win by an impressive 7½ lengths in 1:52.4. Gotti help his position to finish second, while New Standard rallied from near the back to finish third at odds of 50/1. A son of Stonebridge Regal, War N Munn is owned by George Munniksma of Washington, New Jersey. The sophomore pacing colt shipped into the barn of conditioner Auciello from trainer Kerin Warner for the start of The Count B series. War N Munn is now three for three in 2016 and sports a career record of five wins in 12 starts. The Count B final victory established a new career-mark for the three-year-old and pushes his career earnings over $81,000. War N Munn paid $2.90 to win. War N Munn Preliminary leg winners Cracklin Rosie and Bad As Leader headlined the Miss VeraBars final. Cracklin Rosie, the 8/5 favourite, got away sixth for driver Phil Hudon, while Bad As Leader, the 2/1 second choice, was placed closer in third by driver Trevor Henry. Arizona Seelster cut out an opening-quarter of :27.2 and also led the field by the half in :57.1. Henry opted to pull from third nearing the half and quickly cleared to the front with Bad As Leader before the final turn. Meanwhile, Cracklin Rosie was moving up on the outside in mid-pack, but was pushed out three-wide and took the long way around the final turn. After a three-quarter clocking of 1:25.2, Bad As Leader would not surrender the lead and paced home strongly to win the Miss VeraBars final by a length and a half in 1:53.4. Im In Luv finished second, while Windsun Glory grabbed third. Cracklin Rosie was just nosed out for fourth by Party In Rome. A daughter of Badlands Hanover, Bad As Leader is trained by Victor Puddy for owners Bill Manes and William Cripps. The sophomore pacing filly now has four wins in six attempts this season and six victories in ten career starts. The MissVeraBars final victory pushes Bad As Leader's career earnings to over $69,000. She paid $6.70 to win. Bad As Leader Both series carried the same conditions, as Non-Winners of Three Races or $40,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015 were eligible to The Count B and Miss VeraBars. Winter series action continues Saturday night at Woodbine with the final of the Ontario Girls and second leg of the Ontario Boys. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Second leg harness racing action of the Ontario Girls and The Count B Series took place under frigid conditions Friday at Woodbine Racetrack. Just a single division was necessary for each series with their finals scheduled for next Friday (February 19). Ainsleynoelle pulled off a mini upset against seven rivals in the $18,000 Ontario Girls second leg. Driven by Randy Waples, Ainsleynoelle got a pocket trip and was able to convert in the lane for a 1:55.2 score at 7/1. Mach Magic cut the mile, but gave way late to finish second by a length. Pinky Tuscadero finished third. Amazing Control, who won a first leg division, finished fourth, while the favourite Double Olives was sixth. A four-year-old daughter of Jereme's Jet, Ainsleynoelle is trained by Colin Johnson for owners Debbie Element, David Heffering and Ecurie JGV Enrg. Friday's victory was her first win in six starts this season and eighth victory overall. Ainsleynoelle, who finished fifth in a first leg division last week, now has over $89,000 in career earnings. She paid $17.40 to win. Ainsleynoelle In order to be eligible to the Ontario Girls, the Ontario sired four-year-old pacing mares had to be non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Despite a first-quarter break, War N Munn scored another impressive victory in the $17,000 second leg of The Count B Series. Driven by Jonathan Drury, War N Munn got away fourth, but made a quick break heading towards the first turn and was brought to the outside. Once off the pylons and back pacing, Drury sent his charge to the lead in the second-quarter. War N Munn was mistake-free in the final three-quarters and cruised to a three-length victory in 1:55. Gotti finished second, while The Loan Ranger was third. Three Truths, who won a first leg division, finished fourth. A three-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal, War N Munn is now two for two in The Count B Series and 2016. He is trained by Carmen Auciello for owner George Munniksma. War N Munn now has four career victories and earnings exceeding $60,000. He paid $3.10 to win. In order to be eligible to The Count B, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of three-races or $40,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. War N Munn Live racing has been cancelled for Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack due to the projected extreme cold temperatures. Live racing resumes Monday night (February 15). Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Winter harness racing action ramped up Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack with round one of The Count B and Ontario Girls Series. Each series featured a pair of divisions for their opening leg. A group of 14 sophomore pacing colts and geldings were split into two $17,000 The Count B divisions, while 15 Ontario sired four-year-old pacing mares competed in two $18,000 Ontario Girls splits. The Count B Series for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings saw the first split go to a newcomer north of the border. War N Munn went gate to wire for a 1:54.1 victory. The son of Stonebridge Regal shipped in from the Kerin Warner barn into the care of trainer Carmen Auciello. Driven by Jonathan Drury, War N Munn fired out to the front and got to dictate the pace. After posting panels of :27.4, :57.1 and 1:25.2, War N Munn opened up several lengths of separation and cruised home in :28.4 for a 6¾ lengths victory. St Lads Charger, who sat fourth for the majority of the mile, finished second, while New Standard came from last to finish third. War N Munn is owned by George Munniksma. The sophomore pacer was making his 2016 debut after winning two of nine starts as a rookie for earnings of $43,011. War N Munn established a new career mark with his 1:54.1 victory. He paid $10.10 to win. War N Munn The combination of Drury and Auciello appeared to have a good shot to sweep The Count B first leg, as they teamed up with the 3/5 favourite Big Bang Boom in the second split. Drury stepped on the accelerator at the start and blasted Big Bang Boom to the lead. The Auciello trainee went untouched through solid fractions of :26.2, :55.3 and 1:24.1 to lead by almost five-lengths turning for home. Three Truths, the 7/2 second choice, came out from fifth around the final turn for driver Sylvain Filion and sat seven-lengths off the lead at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Big Bang Boom ran out of steam at the eighth-pole and was swallowed up by a hard-charging Three Truths, who stopped the clock in 1:55.1. Gotti finished two-lengths back in second, while Big Bang Boom held on to hit the board in third. A son of Shadow Play, Three Truths is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Ratchford Stable and Brian Shebib. The Count B opening leg victory is the first win in four starts this season for the sophomore pacer. Three Truths won three of eighth starts last season and now has a career bankroll of $23,060. Friday's clocking of 1:55.1 established a new career mark for the son of Shadow Play. Three Truths paid $9.50 to win. Three Truths The Ontario Girls Series kicked off with a fantastic stretch duel in the first division. Much Adoo, the 9/5 favourite, got away second, but was quickly circled to the lead in the second-quarter by driver Doug McNair. Fresh off her Blizzard Series victory, Double Olives found a seat in fourth and sat there until angling out first-over just after the half. Much Adoo posted middle-fractions of :57 and 1:25, while Double Olives pulled to within less than a length of the lead turning for home. In the stretch, the public's top two choices went toe-to-toe with Much Adoo holding off a battling Double Olives to win by a length in 1:54. Pinky Tuscadero, who sat second-over turning for home, finished third. A daughter of Classic Card Shark, Much Adoo picked up her second win in three starts this season for trainer Cody Henry. She is owned by Aaron Waxman and Alan Alber. Much Adoo increased her career earnings to over $97,000 with her seventh career victory Friday. She paid $5.90 to win. Much Adoo In the second division, Amazing Control came through as the even-money favourite for a 1:55.1 victory. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Amazing Control was able to get a pocket trip in behind Twin B Sweetheart. The leader cut out fractions of :27.2, :57.4 and 1:26.3, while Amazing Control was primed to pop the pocket in the lane. In the stretch, Jamieson pulled on the right line and Amazing Control powered by Twin B Sweetheart to win two-lengths. Tilkum finish third. A daughter of Shadow Play, Amazing Control is trained by Meg Crone for owners Hutt Racing Stable. The four-year-old pacing mare now has two wins in four starts this season. Amazing Control increased her career earnings to over $83,000 with her fourth career victory Friday. She paid $4.20 to win. Amazing Control The Count B and Ontario Girls Series resume next Friday (February 12) with round two. In order to be eligible to The Count B, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of three races or $40,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Ontario sired four-year-old pacing mares, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015, were eligible to the Ontario Girls Series. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine with the opening leg of the Ontario Boys Series. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Veteran harness racing trainer Tommy Jackson was diagnosed with Cancer three years ago and even for a fleeting moment he thought his days were numbered. But the battler from Magra regrouped and decided the best way to tackle the problem, other than medication, was to take a positive attitude and that included buying a horse and getting back into training as small team after taking a year off. At UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night Jackson prepared Finn Mac Kee to win the Eric Reece Memorial, the horse he bought just before he was diagnosed with his illness. It was Finn Mac Kee that kept him going and now he feels on top of the world and doing what he loves most. "I believe Finn Mac Kee is a horse going places and who knows he might he the one I've been looking for all my life," Jackson said. "When he first came to me he had his share of issues but I remained patient and now it's paying off," he said. Finn Mac Kee was well driven by Paul Hill who was quick to act when one of the favourites Sparkling took off three-wide to attack for the lead but when he was unable to cross to the one-out line Finn Mac Kee had cover in the three-wide line for the last lap. When Hill called on the Stonebridge Regal four-year-old gelding for the big effort in the home straight he sprinted clear and left his rivals in his wake. Finn Mac Kee hit the line over eight metres clear of Witch Master with Alpinion almost a metre away third. Jackson said Finn Mac Kee will head to the spelling paddock tomorrow for a six-week break. Peter Staples

Bye Bye Michelle (Stonebridge Regal) scored her first win in the local Open Pace for harness racing Fillies and Mares on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Just two weeks removed from a track record-matching effort in which she won in 1:52.2, the Melissa Beckwith-trained Bye Bye Michelle moved out to the early lead in Friday’s $19,250 feature for distaffers. The five year old mare was strong in the stretch and held off Ella V Horse (Stephane Bouchard) who came on for second while Wanna Rock N Roll (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot in the 1:53 mile. Bye Bye Michelle returned $6.90 to win and led and exacta and triple that came back $31.80 and $59, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm.   Mike Sardella

Bye Bye Michelle (Stonebridge Regal) matched the track record for harness racing aged pacing mares in Friday's feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The five year old mare moved out to the early lead in the 'Winners Over' for distaff pacers and withstood a first half that went in a sizzling 54.4. Driver Mark Beckwith asked Bye Bye Michelle for her best heading towards three quarters and she paced away from her rivals before stopping the timer in 1:52.1, a time that matches the track record for an aged pacing mare. Pocket sitter Bell On Wheels (Western Hanover) finished a distant second while Campanile (Austin Siegelman) closed for third. Bye Bye Michelle's victory, which gave her a new lifetime mark, was her second in as many weeks while going for a purse of $13,000. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Saturday night with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Veteran harness racing trainer Tommy Jackson hasn't been in the best of health this past year but his love of horses and the thrill of training them has kept him on the right side of the dirt. At UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night a three-year-old named Finn Mac Kee delivered a brilliant win at only his second start to give the trainer a much needed boost. Finn Mac Kee (Stonebridge Regal-Scarlett Finn) showed blistering early speed to lead from the outside front-row barrier (7) and when driver Paul Hill called on him to extend in the straight he delivered the goods. He hit the line two metres clear of Gifted Courage with Be Good Franklin almost 16 metres away third. It was an emphatic win and the flashy black gelding delivered a sub two-minute mile rate of 1.59.3 over the 1609-metre trip to suggest there are more wins in store. "I haven't been in the best of health, so to perk myself up I went and bought a couple of horses and this fella looks like he'll make the grade," Jackson said. Peter Staples

Stonebridge Regal (1:48.2), the first son of former champion pacer Artsplace to become available to breeders in Tasmania, will stand the coming season at Elderslie Horse Care and Spelling, conducted by Sue Streit, Elderslie, near Brighton for a fee of $1,750. The Elderslie property has been developed into one of the most up-to-date breeding nurseries on the Island, and Stonebridge Regal looks certain to play a real part in placing it on the Standardbred breeding map. Stonebridge Regal, a striking bay horse, foaled in 2002 has his oldest stock racing as four-year-olds and from his first two crops he has to date sired 36 individual winners. This season he has been represented by 30 winners of 79 races - including 10 three-year-olds - headed up by the Menangle winners Hez A Dude (1:54.6) and Del Piero (1:56.1), the Breeders Crown finalist Regal Ambition (1:58.1), the Vicbred heat winner Whenmechief 1:59.5 (8 wins) and the Bathurst Gold Tiara winner Regal Ashes (1:58.7). Despite having only previously stood on the mainland, Stonebridge Regal has achieved a tremendous strike rate of winners-to-foals from only a handful of mares bred in Tasmania. Karalta Dazzler, the winner of eight races and $56,936 in stakes, Tania Maree (9 wins and $44,370), Jane Grant (5 wins),  Regal Idea (6 wins) and the Bandbox heat winner Ark Breeze (2 wins) have been Tasmanian winners by Stonebridge Regal from his first crops. Stonebridge Regal, who was first at the stud in Canada, has total progeny earnings of more than $8-million in four countries – USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. In America his stock have earned $7-million with one in 1:50, 44 in 1:55 and 21 $100,000 winners including the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold champions Gallant Seelster 1:50.4 ($244,419) and Right On Molly 1:53.4 ($179,025). While his NZ crops have produced the recent winners Shes Got Issues 1:58.3, whose eight successes include the NSW Golden Easter Egg, Wee Jimmy 1:58.5 (Albion Park), Our Braxton (1:59.9), Black Regal Princess (1:59.5), Diamond King (unbeaten in 2 starts) and Moon Angel (3 wins). Stonebridge Regal was a top racehorse himself, winning in excess of $1-million, and he recorded five sub 1:50 race-winning miles. His most important successes were the Diplomat Series, the North America Cup elimination (2nd in Final) and the Meadowlands Pace elimination, in which he defeated Rocknroll Hanover in 1:49.6. On the score of blood Stonerbridge Regal lacks nothing. His sire Artsplace (1:49.4) was a champion with stake earnings of $3,085,083 and has been one of America’s top sires for some time. Lady Joanna (1:53.6), the dam of Stonebridge Regal, is one of only a few mares to leave two sub 1:50 performers in Stonebridge Regal (1:48.2) and Lease On Life (1:48.2). In all, Lady Joanna is the dam of 12 foals, 11 starters and eight individual winners. The first three dams of Stonebridge Regal left 24 winners between them. Transported semen for Stonebridge Regal is available throughout Australia. For further information contact Sue Streit on (03) 6268 5213 or 0409 104 718. Hez A Dude winning at Menangle By Peter Wharton

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