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Top trotting occurred last weekend through yesterday at various venues in Sweden. The most prestigious event was the August 2nd Ego Boys Gold Division at Rattvik that resulted in victory for Beer Summit and reinsman Ulf Ohlsson. The five year-old son of Cantab Hall-Prime Mistress-Super Bowl scored in 1.11.1kr over 1640 meters to earn 150,000SEK first money. He earned his 11th win in 42 starts now with earnings of 3,900,064SEK, with five victories this year in ten outings. Kadett CD (7m Scarlet Knight) was second for Robert Bergh. The same card showcased the Sommartstravet Final, a Gr. II UET Masters Series event for 300,000SEK first prize contested over 2140 meters turning start. Poker Kronos (5g Viking Kronos-Frances Lavec-Tenor de Baune) won in 1.12.9kr for Torbjorn Janssen and trainer Robert Bergh, his fourth win in six 2014 starts and he now has eight wins in 18 career appearances. Venkatesh (5g Varenne) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom and former Elitloppet winner Nahar (9g Love You) a rallying third after being handicapped 40 meters. The 10.3SEK million career winner was timed in 1.11.7kr and driven by trainer Bergh. Rattvik also included on their card the Silver Final for 125,000SEK first money over 1640 meters autostart. BBS Sugarlight (5g Super Light-Sugarsweet Sid-Sugarcane Hanover) scored in 1.09.9kr for Peter Untersteiner, his ninth 2014 win in 12 starts. The 110,000SEK first prize Bronze Final over 1640 meters autostart, went to Curtsy Hanover (4f Cantab Hall-Chiptease-Pine Chip) for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Roger Walmann. Curtsy Hanover now has seven wins in 21 career starts as she defeated the Jorma Kontio driven Trixam (by Pearsall Hanover). The 100,000SEK first money Montesserie Final (monte) went to Bearable (7g Rite On Line-Armbro Kewpie-Speedy Crown) and Anna Ronning. They scored over 2140 meters turning start in 1.15.5kr, the winner's 11th win in 42 starts. Muskelmann GT (9g Muscles Yankee-Aino Lady-Dallas Lobell) overcame a 20 meter handicap to end second for Siv Emilie Lovvold. Yesterday at Aby, Veijo Heiskanen scored a triple and Linda Allercrantz had a driving double with Jerry Riordan trainees. Heiskanen won with Neron Bigi (7m Power To Charm-Edea-Atlas Fighter L in 1.12.3kr over 1640 meters autostart to earn 70,000SEK; Daryl Boko (4g Majestic Son-Insider Trade-Donerail) in 1.14.1kr over 2640 meters autostart for 60,000SEK first prize; and Fabuleux BR (3m SJ's Photo-Fantasia-Speedy Soma) in 1.15.8kr over 2140 meters autostart for 35,000SEK. Allercrantz and Riordan won with Rare Wise As (4f Varenne-In Wise As-SJ's Caviar) in 1.13.7kr over 2140 meters autostart to earn 60,000SEK and also with Ready To Glide (4f Yankee Glide-Chelemark Ginger-Super Pleasure) in 1.12.9kr over 1640 meters autostart. This winner earned 30,000SEK and is owned by Holger Ehlert. The Aby card also included an Aby Stora Pris prep that went to October Kronos (6m Varenne-NordicGoldNovember) in 1.13.2kr for Adrian Kolgjini. He earned 70,000SEK over the 2140 meters autostart course. His 11th lifetime win in 29 starts. At Solvalla, the Victory Tilly, worth 75,000SEK to the winner over 2140 meters autostart, went to Claes Boko (5m Varenne-Salma Boko-Express Ride) and driver Erik Adielsson. The pair were timed in 1.12.8kr. The Gay Noons for 100,000SEK first prize over 2140 meters autostart, went to Lord Flax (3m Love You-Lady de Villeneuve-Pearsall Hanover) and reinsman Frederik Soderberg. The well-bred mare D'One (4f Donato Hanover-Giant Diablo-Supergill) won a 40,000SEK first prize event over 1640 meters autostart in a quick 1.11kr. Roger Walmann trains the ten time winner in 17 starts. Also winning in 1.11kr over the same distance, in an aged event, was Bon Frecia (6m Steinlager-Fabiola Safir-Lindy's Crown) with Jorma Kontio up. He narrowly defeated Chapeau (6m Love You-Crown Tess-Crowntron) with Erik Adielsson aboard. Thomas H. Hicks  

The Gr. I UET Masters Series International Prix St. Michel AJO is set for Sunday at Mikkeli (Finland). The scratch of Joke Face reduces the field to seven in this one mile test for a purse of €140,000. Prussia (by Ken Warkentin) and Pietro Gubellini have won here before in 2013 (the Prix d’Etain Royal) over the fast track where Varenne holds the record of 1.09.3kr set in 2002. Gubellini won this event last year with Owens Club. Jorma Kontio will pilot one of the favorites, Monster Drive, and other potential leading competitors include the Mika Forss teamed Reven d’Amour (by Revenue) and Beer Summit to be handled by Ulf Ohlsson. Sunday, July 20 - Mikkeli  Off time15:50 - St-Michel Ajo  €140,000 purse - 1609 meters autostart 1. Joke Face - scratched 2. Monster Drive, 8m Thai Tanic-Kewpie-Pearsall Hanover (Jorma Kontio)  3. Prussia, 5f Ken Warkentin-Elvezia-Pine Chip (Pietro Gubellini)  4. Surprise Lord, 8m Classic Response-Beauty Bro-Arnaquer (Iikka Nurmonen)  5. She Loves You, 7f Love You-SJ’s Shad Roe-SJ’s Photo (Seppo Markkula)  6. Frido Super, 6m Love You-Empress Kemp-Super Bowl (Markku Nieminen)  7. Reven d'Amour, 9m Revenue-Melody d’Amour-Super Arnie (Mika Forss)  8. Beer Summit, 5m Cantab Hall-Prime Mistress-Super Bowl (Ulf Ohlsson) by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

The 2HUf million classic heat race, the Dr. Jozsef Vecsekloy Memorial, was contested Saturday and quite an event it was at the Budapest, Hungary racetrack. When the dust settled after a match-raceoff, Masterpiece, the veteran eight-year-old son of Tony Oaks-Fairplay wore the crown, and the gold, with a gate to wire score in 1.14.8kr over 1800 meters autostart. Trainer Lajos Marton teamed the winner for longtime owner AMMA Loverseny Kft. First heat winner Nobody, a seven-year-old son of Tony Oaks-Gunnel Diadem, was a hard driving second in the race-off for Emil Csordas, also trainer. In the first heat Masterpiece was locked on the pegs, shuffled and never had a clear path toward the winners. In the second heat Masterpiece took the lead early and was never headed to score by two lengths. Ollyan nincs was second in both heats and raced exceptionally well for Andrea Fazekas. Replays of the heats and final can be seen using links below. Heat 1 http://82.131.211.99/video/ugeto/2014/2014_06_21/3_futam.wmv Heat 2 http://82.131.211.99/video/ugeto/2014/2014_06_21/7_futam.wmv Race-off final http://82.131.211.99/video/ugeto/2014/2014_06_21/10_futam.wmv The winners' pedigree brings back memories from a different era. Remember Witsend's Speedy, Green Speed and Buckfinder! Masterpiece, 2006, HU, pm, 1.14,8, 13848000Ft.- AMMA Rt, Budapest   Tony Oaks 1993, pm, US, 1.11,6,   legjobb 5 ivadéka (HU): Night Lady, 2007, pk, 1.14,3, Vas Lady Masterpiece, 2006, pm, 1.14,8, Fairplay Nobody, 2007, pm, 1.15,2, Gunnel Diadem Naná, 2007, pk, 1.15,2, C'est la Guerre Nyíres, 2007, stpm, 1.15,4, Virágos Supergill 1985, pm, US, 1.10,6, Super Bowl 1969, pm, US, 1.12,3, Star's Pride Pillow Talk Winky's Gill 1980, pk, US, 1.11,7, Bonefish Lassie Blue Chip High Noon Tea 1988, sk, US, , Speedy Crown1968, pm, US, 1.12,8, Speedy Scot Missile Toe Tea Room 1983, pk, US, 1.18,1, Nevele Pride Dinette   Fairplay 1999, pk, HU, 1.17,0, Witsend's Speedy1980, pm, US, 1.11,8, Green Speed1974, pm, US, 1.11,8, Speedy Rodney Peridot Linda Lobell 1976, pk, US, , Noble Victory Lady Flo Sandti 1990, pk, DK, 1.18,4, Buckfinder 1984, m, US, 1.12,0, Super Bowl Nutmeg Lobell Dior 1977, pk, DK, , Newport Monarch Ellen the Great                                                 by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com    

Defending Finlandia-Ajo champion Nesta Effe faces a stiff challenge to his crown from rising French star Univers de Pan and Swedish star Sanity at Vermo , Saturday night. The group one Finnish race is over the mile distance and Holger Ehlert will have his Italian-bred chestnut journeyman primed for a race in a country in which he has excelled. Neste Effe not only won this race last year,but he also won the Prix Etain Royal the first of the Scandinavian big spring races which was won this year by Warkentin mare Prussia in stunning fashion. She lines up again, but there is a feeling that on paper, last year's was a much stronger field, perhaps due to the untimely clash this season with the Copenhagen Cup. Mr Picolit, who ran third last year is defending his Copenhagen Crown, while Monster Drive who was fourth, chose a trip to Italy last weekend for the Lotteria where he made the final. Commander Crowe, who also appeared in both races last year, has not also reappeared for his 11th season. So this leaves the big three, really looking a class above the opposition in this race. Malin Lofgren's Sanity won four races in France over the lucrative winter period, and also finished second and third, and has a win and two second since he returned to Scandinavian racing. The son of Love You is just a super tough competitor and demands the ultimate respect here. Philippe Daugeard's Univers de Pan is one of the French elite ranks, and the fact that he is racing on the 1000m Scandinavian is something of a coup for the organizers of the race. A true French bred son of Kenya du Pont, the only American bloodlines in his pedigree ironically stem from his sireline, his great-great grandsire being Star's Pride. He is the only one of his fifth line 32 descendants who is American. Not one of the other five lines of pedigree is of US breeding. But that is of interest only to the breeding buff, he was second in the Prix de France and has no less than four group two victories. On a wide open track he'd street this field. The fact that he is putting his credentials on the line on a 1000m track, and an acknowledged hard track at that, speaks of a greater goal. A fast mile time, perhaps with the lucrative Swedish breeding market taking not of performance above such a "French" pedigree. This is a race which has been run since 1980, and is regarded as Finland's biggest trotting event. A few facts Horses with most wins 2 - Giesolo de Lou (1999, 2000) 2 - Napoletano (1988, 1989)[3] Drivers with most wins 3 - Jean-Michel Bazire (2005, 2008, 2009) 3 - Stig H. Johansson (1988, 1989, 2004) 3 - Jorma Kontio (1985, 1986, 2007) 2 - Olle Goop (1983, 1987) 2 - Joseph Verbeeck (1998, 2003) Trainers with most wins 3 - Fabrice Souloy (2003, 2008, 2009) 2 - Jean-Etienne Dubois (1999, 2000) 2 - Stig Engberg (1988, 1989) 2 - Olle Goop (1983, 1987) Sires with most winning offsprings 2 - Biesolo (Giesolo de Lou, Oiseau de Feux) 2 - Quick Pay (Atas Fighter L., Born Quick) 2 - Texas (Grades Singing, Copiad) 2 - Super Bowl (Davidia Hanover, Napoletano Countries, number of wins 10 - United States 9 - France 7 - Sweden 4 - Finland Fastest winners 1:10.6 (km rate) - Quarcio du Chene (2010) All winners of Finlandia-Ajo[edit] Year Horse Driver Trainer Winning horse's native country Winning time 2013 Nesta Effe Roberto Vecchione Holger Ehlert Italy 1:10.9 2012 Sebastian K Björn Goop Björn Goop Sweden 1:11.1 2011 Commander Crowe Jean-Michel Bazire Fabrice Souloy Sweden 1:13.7 2010 Quarcio du Chene Björn Goop Björn Goop France 1:10.6 2009 Igor Font Jean-Michel Bazire Fabrice Souloy France 1:11.8 2008 Oiseau de Feux Jean-Michel Bazire Fabrice Souloy France 1:11.3 2007 Opal Viking Jorma Kontio Nils Enqvist Sweden 1:10.8 2006 Hot Shot Knick Thomas Uhrberg Kari Lähdekorpi Sweden 1:11.5 2005 Kart de Baudrairie Jean-Michel Bazire Franck Leblanc France 1:12.2 2004 Rotation Stig H. Johansson Stig H. Johansson United States 1:12.5 2003 Kiwi Joseph Verbeeck Fabrice Souloy France 1:12.0 2002 H.P. Paque Trond Smedshammer Trond Smedshammer United States 1:11.7 2001 B.W.T. Magic Ahti Antti-Roiko Matti Salmi Finland 1:11.2 2000 Giesolo de Lou Jean-Etienne Dubois Jean-Etienne Dubois France 1:11.2 1999 Giesolo de Lou Pierre Vercruysse Jean-Etienne Dubois France 1:11.6 1998 Dryade des Bois Joseph Verbeeck Jean-Baptiste Bossuet France 1:12.5 1997 Zoogin Åke Svanstedt Åke Svanstedt Sweden 1:12.1 1996 Isla J. Brave Aki Antti-Roiko Petri Klemola Finland 1:12.5 1995 SJ's Photo David Wade David Wade United States 1:13.3 1994 Copiad Erik Berglöf Erik Berglöf Sweden 1:12.5 1993 Born Quick Tommy Hanné Tommy Hanné Finland 1:12.1 1992 Otto-Mani Antti Teivainen Esa Aronen Finland 1:13.7 1991 Atas Fighter L. Torbjörn Jansson Torbjörn Jansson Sweden 1:13.5 1990 Florida Jewel William Fahy John Holloway United States 1:13.3 1989 Napoletano Stig H. Johansson Stig Engberg United States 1:12.9 1988 Napoletano Stig H. Johansson Stig Engberg United States 1:14.1 1987 Grades Singing Olle Goop Olle Goop United States 1:14.1 1986 Davidia Hanover Jorma Kontio Per Eriksson United States 1:14.7 1985 Keystone Patton Jorma Kontio Antti Savolainen United States 1:14.1 1984 Shane T. Hanover Per Henriksen Per Henriksen United States 1:14.9 1983 Speedy Magnus Olle Goop Olle Goop Sweden 1:13.2 1982 Dartster F. Olle Hedin Olle Hedin Sweden 1:13.9 1981 Ideal du Gazeau Eugene Lefevre Eugene Lefevre France 1:14.3 1980 Ejakval Jean-Claude David Jean-Claude David France 1:15.6 by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

Beer Summit (5m Cantab Hall-Prime Mistress-Super Bowl) won today's Kat. 3 event at Bollnas, Sweden earning 30,000SEK first prize with his 1.14.8kr score over 2140 meters autostart. Missing from the field was the scratched Prix d'Amerique winner Maharajah. Beer Summit was reined by Jorma Kontio for the Arctic Light Stable. The 2013 import from the US last raced there on May 22, 2013 and won for driver Andrew McCarthy in 1.10.1kr. He was making his initial 2014 appearance and now has posted seven career wins in 33 starts for 3,199,011SEK earned. Beer Summit won the Standardbred Stake at Delaware, OH in 2012 timed in a stakes record 1:56.1h for trainer Noel Daley, Trustworthy As was second today for Henrik Svensson with Miss Sue V third for Daniel Reden. Nobody takes feature at Kincsem Park, Hungary Nobody, a six year-old son of Tony Oaks took Saturday’s featured Scott Palmer DIJ at Kincsem Park. Owned, trained and driven by Emil Csordas, the veteran wore down the leader in late stretch and  scored in 1.16.5kr over 1900 meters autostart, to secure the winners’ share of the 500,000Huf purse as the narrow 2.7/1 favorite. The Allison Hollow stallion, Jackpot Star, rallied late to be second over pacesetting Orangyal, a six year-old Wall Street Banker mare. April 5, 2014 Kincsem Park, Scott Palmer DIJ, 500,000Huf purse, 1900 meters autostart, 7 starters, 1.16.5kr 1st Nobody (7m Tony Oaks-Gunnel Diadem), Emil Csordas owner/trainer/driver, 2.7/1 2nd Jackpot Star (11m Allison Hollow-Aniko Star), Tibor Hajnal trainer/driver up, 12.8/1 3rd Orangyal (6f Wall Street Banker-Derengo), Balazs Juhasz up for trainer Pal Vicen, 2.8/1 The undercard saw victories engineered by the good mares Amazing Lobell (by Incredible Crafts) in 1.15.6kr over 1800 meters in the Demure Handicap (an impressive gate to wire score) and Oklahoma Font (by Toss Out) in the Colocaid DIJ over 1960 meters autostart. The Muscles Yankee five year-old mare PS I Love You was second in this contest with the Love You filly Raffaella SM ending third by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

The honeymoon is not over for Bill Mack when it comes to harness racing. Mack, a breeder/owner in central New Jersey, sends 3-year-old filly trotter Sally Savannah into Wednesday's third round of the Bobby Weiss Series at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Sally Savannah finished second in her Weiss division last week and was third in the opening round. Driven by George Napolitano Jr. for trainer Neal Ehrhart, the filly is 9-2 on the morning line. The 71-year-old Mack has owned horses since retiring from his job as a criminal court administrator for the state of New Jersey. Most of his horses have "Savannah" in their names, which is a nod to the city where Mack and his wife Lorraine spent their honeymoon. "(Sally Savannah) is racing very well," Mack said. "I like her determination; she just seems to like to race. I'm hoping to have a nice year with her." A homebred daughter by stallion Equinox Bi out of Mack's mare Sassy Savannah, Sally Savannah won two of nine races last year and earned $42,512. She won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Stallion Series, finished second to world champion Designed To Be in a division of the Pennsylvania All Stars and capped her 2-year-old season by finishing third in her division of the Keystone Classic. "She finished last year well and she's back where she left off," Ehrhart said. "We toyed around with the idea of putting her in the regular sire stakes last year, but thought it might be pushing it. It worked out because she did well in the Stallion Series. "I don't know yet where we'll put her this year. I'd rather be a star in the Stallion Series than put her in over her head. A lot of the top 3-year-old (trotting) fillies are going to come out of Pennsylvania. Maybe she'll get there, but she'll let us know." Sally Savannah, who was named by one of Mack's granddaughters because she was naming all her dolls "Sally" at that time, also is eligible to the Arden Downs Stakes and Currier & Ives this year. "This series should be a good prep for the sire stakes," Ehrhart said. "She's been facing a lot of 4-year-olds (in the Weiss) and that's what has impressed me. "This horse is a lot like her mother, and that's a good thing," the trainer added. "George Napolitano said (Sally Savannah) is a very smart horse. She can size up a race and know where she needs to be." Sassy Savannah was a rare yearling purchase for Mack. He bought her for $6,000 under the name Strapless at the 2002 Standardbred Horse Sale. Sassy Savannah won a division of the Arden Downs as a 2-year-old and a Landmark Stakes at age 3, finishing her career with $101,242. "She was sick as a dog at the sale," Ehrhart said. "That might have hurt her (price in the auction), but it didn't hurt her down the road." Mack and Ehrhart have been a team for nearly 15 years. Mack found Ehrhart through an advertisement in Hoof Beats magazine. "He's a nice person," Mack said. "He's easy to deal with. He's done I think as well as could be expected with my horses." Said Ehrhart of Mack, "He's the epitome of what a good racehorse owner should be. He cares about the horses and is patient and never puts them in positions they shouldn't be in. We have a trust and he has confidence in me. He leaves me to do my thing and we've held our own." The two hope to continue the success with Sally Savannah. She faces six rivals Wednesday in the Weiss Series, which is for 3- and 4-year-old female trotters that entered 2014 with fewer than three career wins or $40,000 in lifetime purses. Clementine Dream, who finished second in the Super Bowl Series final in January, is the 5-2 favorite. Connie Keeper, who has finished second in both her Weiss races, is the 2-1 choice in the first division. Perfect Alliance and Take The Money, both undefeated this year out of the stable of trainer Julie Miller, are skipping this week's races after winning their starts in the previous two rounds. "It's a lot stronger series than I had anticipated," Mack said. "I think she'd have to hit the board (Wednesday) and next week to make the final. But I always have high hopes for my horses. Hopefully she'll do alright." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Grand international mare Roxane Griff (9f Tenor de Baune-Julia Mesloise-Sancho Panca) easily dispatched 10 rivals to win today's Gr. II £120,000 Prix Theophille Lallouet at Paris-Vincennes. Reined by Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastian Guarato, and owner Ecurie Griff, the 2014 Prix de Cornulier winner secured her 18th career victory for earnings of £2,303,118 over 2700 meters. The 9/10 favorite sat a comfortable second much of the way before moving to the front with 600 meters to go, leaving the field in the cinders. Rapide du Digeon, the Damien Bonne handled campaigner, held second with Remember Jihem third in the 1.13.5kr timed event. Quarry Bay was disqualified for an early miscue. Italy's Nene'Degi Ulivi was fourth for Alexandre Abrivard. Three other graded events were on the card along with several supporting races of note. The Gr. II Prix Phaeton for £120,000 over 2850 meters, went to 29/1 upsetter Athos Elfes (4m Ganymede-Lazio du Bourg-Tadzio de la Motte) with trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute driving. He scored in 1.13.7kr for his fifth career win and now earnings of £157,680. Astor du Quenne was second for Eric Raffin (trainer Guarato) at 2/1 with 3/2 favorite Aldodes Champs third for trainer/driver Mathieu Abrivard. The Gr. II Prix Paul Leguerney for £120,000 over 2850 meters, went to the good filly Africaine (4f Oiseau de Feux-Italienne-Coktail Jet) with trainer Jean-Etienne Dubois at the lines. The 2.7/1 winner scored in 1.15.2kr, with a strong final 1500 meters, for her third career win and £142,820 earnings. Ten rivals followed with 2.2/1 favorite Atlessima (4f Rocklyn-Noblessima-Goetmals Wood) second with Julien Dubois up for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Athena de Vandel ended third. The Gr. III Prix de Saintes (three year-olds) for £60,000 went to Bijou de Spinelly for trainer/driver/owner Yves Dreux. The three-year-old son of Diamant Gede-Nana Loving Fair-In Love With You, won for the third time, increasing earnings to £80,300 in his young career. He scored at 5.2/1 odds by storming home to defeat favorite Buako des Angles and Franck Ouvrie in 1.13.8kr over the 2100 meter autostart course. Bioness was third for Julien Dubois at 9/1, a good effort for the son of Sam Bourbon. The Quinte+ (£6.8 million jackpot) was on the Paris-Vincennes card in the form of the Prix du Treport (£85,000, 2700 meters, European). Reinsman Christophe Martens confidently steered Italy's Olmo Holz (6m Uronometro-Veuve du Kras-Park Avenue Joe) to victory in 1.14.1kr to secure his 14th career win for £401,846. Vincent Martens trains the consistent winner, owned by Frans Delmote, as they humbled 13 rivals at 5.4/1 odds. Italy's Oropuro Bar (6m Love You-Ubatuba Oaks) was second for trainer Marco Smorgon and teamster Pierre Vercruysse. Reine Helene, a daughter of Instant Gede, was third for Pierre Levesque with another Italy contestant, Moses Rob (a son of Ganymede), fourth for Andrea Guzzinati. The Prix d'Aubusson for £55,000 (2100 meters autostart) was also an exciting race with the win to 22/1 Red Red Red (6f Offshore Dream-Extreme Lady-Meadow Gallant) reined, from off the pace, by Pierre Vercruysse for trainer Sofia Aronsson. Red Red Red scored in 1.11.3kr for her eighth career win for £221,494 as she defeated Uvevering du Gite and Damien Bonne. That 65/1 outsider was placed second ahead of favorite Up The Green and J-M Bazire, that was second placed third. The pace was fast from the outset in this one as they reached the 1500 meters to go pole in 1.07.9kr. The pedigree of Red Red Red is of interest, she being by Prix d'Amerique winner Offshore Dream (second dam Tableau by Joie de Vie-Seascape Lobell) from a Meadow Gallant (Super Bowl-Quiet Elegance-Speedy Crown) mare. She's 29% French trotteur; 71% standardbred. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Friday night's $30,000 A/FFA pace for mares proved to be the fourth straight success for the vastly improved American In Paris. The American Ideal mare has really moved forward for Ron Burke, winning her four most recent starts with the addition of Lasix. This edition was another gate to wire trip conducted by Yannick Gingras. Fast out of the gate to the front in 26.3, Gingras eased her through a soft middle half then outsprinted her rivals home in 27.2 to close out the 1:50.4 score. Lorrie Please was second and Monkey On My Wheel third. The win continued the unbeaten season for American In Paris, perfect in four outings with $45,000 in the books for the Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Drivers Tim Tetrick and Yannick Gingras split eight wins on the card, each winning four on the evening. For Tetrick, his career win total now stands at 7,995. The Bionic Man has 12 drives on the Saturday program including National Debt, the morning line favorite in the William "Buddy" Gilmour Final. That series final features a matchup of Meadowlands Pace hopefuls as first round winner National Debt squares off with the other first round winner, Capital Account. The Saturday card also features the final of The Charles Singer Memorial, headlined by the February Horse of the Month, Perfect Alliance, who looks to remain undefeated in 2014 and is the 4-5 morning line choice in that Final. She will be challenged by Super Bowl Champion Time To Quit, who is a perfect five for five in 2014. Post Time for the 13-race Saturday program is 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali  

Two harness racing trainers and two drivers accounted for EVERY SINGLE VICTORY in EVERY SINGLE RACE held EVERYWHERE in the United States yesterday! (And no, nobody named Burke was involved.) East Rutherford NJ is normally a focus of harness fans' attention, but yesterday it was indirectly for another reason -- the American gridiron football classic the Super Bowl was played there. (Two notes: 1) the horse was named after the trophy, not the other way around, and 2) actually, one team played the Super Bowl yesterday; I wouldn't have wanted to be on the flight to Denver carrying the other side back home.) No United States racetrack was scheduled to hold any pari-mutuel racing on Super Bowl Sunday -- except that the new Miami Valley Raceway qualified for the first time on Saturday morning, and they drew enough entries to hold 18 qualifiers. Since their paddock holds only (only?) 14 races, and they have no barn area, four qualifiers were carried over to Sunday -- at noon, so everybody was home and put away before the 6:30pm EST kickoff. The all-conquering trainers and drivers were trainers Travion Jones and Jeff Brewer and sulkysmiths Jeremy Smith and Jason Brewer; the Brewers combined to take the even-numbered qualifiers, while Jones/Smith (not aliases -- we checked) clicked in the odd-numbered events. And the Brewers were second in the two races they did not win -- a handicapping angle of  "sharp stable" when racing begins at the new 5/8-miler on Friday night. by Jerry Connors for Harnesslink.com

OK…we lost all the ground we made up last week with just one decent winner and a cold exacta. Now we need to get back into the plus column with some long shots. Weather could be a big factor so make sure to take that into account before wagering. This weekend we have seven races spanning the East with three at Woodbine, three at Yonkers and one at Pompano. No Meadowlands until after the Super Bowl. Good luck! $34,000 Preferred Pace Woodbine 2nd race Saturday – Very hard to go against success and that is what Apprentice Hanover has been having as of late with five straight wins for trainer Ben Wallace. Late closing kick has been awesome and with inside post position he should be primed for another victory. Use Mystician and Lucky Terror in exotic plays. $10,000 Open Handicap Pace Pompano Park 3rd race Saturday – How can you look at anyone else in this race? Prairie Jaguar is going for his seventh straight victory at Pompano. No one can stop him from the front end or from behind. Perhaps it’s time to send him someplace else and race for big money. Takes another one in here. Use Northern Companion and Who’s Your Maddy in exotic play. $20,000 Trot NW/3 PM Fillies and Mares Woodbine 3rd race Saturday  - There are five return winners in this field. I’m going with Justasmalltowngirl who despite starting from post eight has been 1st, 2nd or 3rd in her last seven starts. She has the gate speed to get out and find live cover or can also cut the mile. Could be a decent price tonight. Use Rockin With Dewey and Quit Smoking Now in exotic plays. $33,000 Open Pace Yonkers Raceway 6th race Saturday – Hypnotic Blue Chip has not drawn the rail in months yet has won three of his last five starts and rarely finishes out of the money. Has won in this class before and with best post position in quite some time I think he will be very game in here. Use Money Twitch A and Muscle Beachboy in exotic plays. $20,000  Pace NW/$25,000 Last 6 Starts Yonkers Raceway 7th race Saturday – There are just two returns winners in this field and they both have a shot at winning. I am going with McErlean from post five. With a weeks rest under his belt he should be ready to return to action and in his last two wins he shows he can do it either from on or off the pace. Use Panongahela and Roll On in exotic play. $24,000 Pace W/O $25,000 last 6 starts Yonkers Raceway 8th race Saturday – Post position mean everything on a half mile track and last week this horse had post seven and could not hit the board. Tonight Real Special, after a week off, draws decently and should be able to return to his winning ways. Use Life Up Front and Flem N Em N in exotic plays. $22,000 Pace NW/15,000 last 5 starts Woodbine 11th race Saturday – Alexas Jackpot draws the rail in a seven-horse field and has not seen this good an inside post in months. He is the lone return winner in the field and going for his third straight win. Likes coming from behind and just needs to get some live cover. Use Wazzup Wazzup and Bold Decision in exotic plays.

This Sunday, the 2014 Super Bowl security detail will include horses that found their new careers through the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. The Newark Mounted Police Department has nine of SRF’s horses, and the force is in the saddle protecting the public. Coincidentally, many of these horses have been around the oval at the adjacent Meadowlands Racetrack during their racing careers. The photo accompanying this story features Officer Camacho riding 11-year-old Allentown (aka ‘Chief’) and Officer Schroeder with 16-year-old Cunning Liar (aka ‘Commander’) pictured in the middle. At pre-game events and on game-day, additional Newark Mounted Patrol SRF horses may include, 18-year-old Blue Hoodlum, eight-year-old Shark Chaser, five-year-old Uthinkithinkurkidn, 11-year-old Prince Juniper, seven-year-old Echo of Thunder, 15-year-old Miracle Man, and 11-year-old YF Avenger. They serve many notable events throughout the city like the Super Bowl. The SRF is in its 25th year giving dignity and life to racehorses in need of a stable future. Nearly 2,600 adoptions have been made to loving homes for pleasure, and competitive riding, and driving disciplines. Every horse adopted out by SRF is followed-up for life. One hundred and ninety horses are currently in the SRF’s care, of which 110 are unadoptable and will remain in SRF’s full-care for life. To adopt, help by making a tax-deductible contribution, or to sponsor a horse in need, contact SRF at admin@srfmail.com, 732-446-4422, or visit this award-winning organization at adoptahorse.org and be sure to ‘like us’ on Facebook. From the Standardbred Retirement Foundation

Due to the cancellation of racing on Thursday, January 2nd due to a winter storm, The Meadowlands and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey have reached an agreement to add live racing on Thursday March 13th, to make up the lost day from earlier in the meet. "We are glad to be able to make up this lost day for our horsemen," said SBOA President, Tom Luchento. "It's great to have the kind of relationship with The Meadowlands where we can approach them and easily work together in the best interest of our horsemen." "The Meadowlands wants to give the horsemen of New Jersey every opportunity to get their horses raced," said Director of Racing Operations, Darin Zoccali. "Obviously, this has not been an ideal winter from a weather standpoint and when our racing is impacted by winter weather, the SBOA is very easy to work with in developing a contingency plan." The updated racing calendar, which includes the added date of Thursday March 13th can be found at http://meadowlandsracetrack.com/calendardates.aspx Following the Super Bowl break, racing resumes at The Meadowlands on Thursday February 6th, featuring a pick 5 carryover of $18,083.40. The Meadowlands and Trackmaster have worked out an agreement for past performances for that pick 5 sequence to be posted, free of charge, on The Meadowlands website at http://meadowlandsracetrack.com/content.aspx?id=3357. by Darin Zoccali for the Meadowlands    

In part one of the story on Trevor Henry, the winningest driver based in Canada in 2013 with 529 victories, we noted that he had won at ten different Ontario racetracks, and that over half his winners circle pictures came at London, a 200-mile (322km) round-trip from his base in Arthur, Ontario. That’s a lot of time trucking up and down Route 6 and then either Route 7 or down to the 401 and over to London (assuming missing possibly-treacherous back roads, especially in winter). So it seemed a natural question to ask Trevor what kind of music he likes, what accompanies him on these long sojourns to keep him from “white line fever.” “Oh, I like all kinds of music,” he replied. What type of music does he listen to most traveling to and from the tracks? The answer was like a thunderbolt from this down-to-earth workaday horseman. “I listen to Howard Stern all the time,” Trevor Henry replied. Shannon Henry verifies this fact, “You and I may never understand it, but in that truck Trevor listens to the Howard Stern channel 24/7.” Sirius-ly! Henry says he sees parallels between himself and the celebrated “shock-jock”: “You know, you come down to it, he’s just a guy like me, trying to do a job, trying to do it the best he can.” While threading through a thin hole to get a horse clearance is somewhat “less” than the Wallenda act of balancing good taste into the funny/absurd/obscene (depending on your view of Mr. Stern), there is a certain resemblance there, a man out in the public eye, doing not the easiest of jobs but trying to do it the best he can. Those long rides with Howard also helped Trevor name a 2012 foal who is being pointed for the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. A frequent Sternism is “Hey now,” a synonym for “hello” (which Stern actually borrowed from Jeffrey Tambor’s character on the Larry Sanders [television] Show), and when the name was brought up by Trevor, it seemed natural (to Shannon) to change the name of a horse one letter in the first name to HAY NOW – which is how you’ll know him if he has Keystone State success in 2014. (The “him” in that sentence bothers Henry: “We were hoping for a filly so we could breed her on, but we got a colt, and now we’ll hope he’s a good racehorse.”) Hay Now himself is the result of a “breeding philosophy” not often seen these days, starting with the-then 15-year-old mare whose name is French for “maple taffy.” “We have a mare named Tire Derable, and we had been bred her for ten years in Ontario. She’s had some very good foals, including TJ’s Mr Lavec, who won close to $600,000 for us and is probably the best homebred I’ve driven. “I know trainer Paul Taylor, and Paul always seemed to have a couple of colts in the Ontario stakes for owner Bob Key,” a well-known breeder/owner from Pennsylvania. “It was through Paul that I had the connection to Mr. Key, and we decided to breed Tire Derable to his stallion American Winner,” the 1993 Hambletonian winner (and thus 21 when bred to the mare). It’s a little late in reproductive lifetimes for both father and mother, but they cross well – Super Bowl (American Winner’s sire) and Speedy Crown both make more than one appearance fairly “up close” on both sides of the pedigree – and so far the colt has shown good ability: in fact, Henry was moved to call the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes office just before the end of the year to make sure that Hay Now had been paid in as a yearling. “The next six months can produce almost anything,” Trevor notes, but he seems quietly confident that the baby is doing things right and could be almost any kind of horse. Especially if he was a Teddy Be Ready. “That’s the toughest horse I ever drove, as tough as nails,” Henry said of the former track record at Orangeville, 1:58.2h – which may not sound like much now, but at the time in 1985 only one HMT track record in Canada was faster, Sudbury’s 1:57.2h produced by the free-for-all millionaire Perfect Out. “He’d always dig in and do his best.” Whether Hay Now belongs in the Teddy Be Ready altitude, proves himself a good or competent Sire Stakes horse, or whatever, he seems likely to bring Henry “over the border” for a couple of trips, so that Americans can rightly see and know of this brown-and-gold-clad star who has shined almost exclusively in Ontario for many years. And should he reach a Pennsylvania winners circle? And a certain tall, curly-haired gentleman in shades is waiting to great the winner? “HAY NOW!”…. By Jerry Connors for Harnesslink.com

VINCENNES, France - It is the Super Bowl, the World Cup soccer final, and the Melbourne Cup of harness racing rolled all into one at Vincennes for the Prix d'Amerique. You can't really experience the passion of the Prix d'Amerique from the plush 300 euro a seat restaurants, that perch imperious above the massed throng of 40,000 trotting diehards in the sprawling stand below. It is in a rain drenched crowd, bedecked in scarves of their favourite trotters, and national flags from Sweden, Norway and Italy, that the true passion of this great sport emerges. A wonderful crop of horses, the class of 2005 had claimed every Prix d'Amerique since 2011. And now in their twilight, Ready Cash and Royal Dream held a French nation's hopes, while Maharajah, born in the same spring but some miles to the north-east held an equally enamoured Swedish nation in his thrall. It was time for a change, said the level-headed pundits. Up And Quick was the rising star, and picked to shine. But two nation's hearts said not so fast. Greatness deserves a fitting finale. And so it was on this gloomy January day in Paris. It was the three big guns who fired all the shots in this magnificent race. Three great equine athletes delivered all that is noble about equine sport. Those with great hearts know no quit. And this was a race of the ages. Sweden's Maharajah eventually ruled supreme over France's heir apparent Up An Quick while Ready Cash could not keep stride with his unfathomable desire. A great end, to a great race. And I was privileged to witness history written. by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com  

OK…we made up for prior losses last week picking four of seven winners and hitting three cold exactas. Now that we are back on a roll it is time to rally with some long shots. Weather could be a big factor so make sure to take that into account before wagering. This weekend we have seven races spanning the East with three at Woodbine, three at Yonkers and one at Pompano. No Meadowlands until after the Super Bowl. Good luck! $10,000 Pace Open Handicap Pompano Park 3rd race Saturday – With Prairie Jaguar not in the race it becomes much more competitive. I think Northern Companion, despite being handicapped with the outside post eight is the horse to beat in here. Even being 0 for 3 in 2014 is not a factor as this one is rarely ever out of the money. He has great closing speed, can go first-over and with any live cover will be flying at the end of the mile. Use Thebestofjoel and Electric Lad in exotic plays. $20,000 Trot F/M NW/$150,000 Life Woodbine 3rd race Saturday – Two races in a row I am trying my luck with horses in the eight-hole. Samira Hanover came up short with not much trot last week which was totally uncharacteristic of her. Gets Scott Zeron in the sulky and should be able to return to her winning ways. Use Magic Will Work and Standing My Ground in exotic plays. $33,000 Pace Open Handicap Yonkers Raceway 6th race Saturday  - Both Bettor’s Edge and Money Twitch A were sharp winners in their last start but because they have drawn posts 8 and 7 respectively I am going with another return winner in Lumberjack Willie. Won in this class last out off perfect two-hole trip. May not have good inside post like last week but prior starts show he has a knack for working out trips and winning. Use Bettor’s Edge and Money Twitch A in exotic plays. $22,000 Pace NW/$18,000 Last 5 Starts Woodbine 6th race Saturday – I like his name, I really like his morning line odds and I like that fact that he is moving up in class again after two straight wins. Bold Decision has the rail in a very tough field but last two starts in tough conditions he just goes to the front and wins for fun. Will be high in odds but either cuts the mile again or gets great cover to win off of. Use Thorn In Your Side and Wazzup Wazzup in exotic plays. $22,000  Pace NW/$32,000 Last 6 Starts Yonkers Raceway 8th race Saturday – I really like it that Yonkers puts on extra distance races as it mixes it up and makes for tougher handicapping. Tonight we have two return winners from 1 1/16 mile races that I think shows they could be a touch better than the morning line says. I like Life Up Front who has won his last two starts at extra distances and can win from either on or off the pace and shows he can win at a mile too. Use Escape The News and Nob Hill High in exotic plays. $28,000 Pace NW/$28,000 Last 5 Starts Woodbine 10th race Saturday – After decent try in Preferred class last week, Grande Seelster drops and will hopefully pop as he did two starts back. He won then on the front end from post seven with ease. Gets Randy Waples in the bike as Sylvain Filion has his own horse in the race who is also a contender. Use Mystician and McKinney in exotic plays. $20,000 Pace N/W $25,000 Last 6 Starts Yonkers Raceway 11th race Saturday – Returning from a brief layoff, Glass Prince was solid in his qualifying race. He is leaving the claiming ranks to go into this Conditional event, which is actually moving up in class but I think from an inside post he shows he can get the job done even if he has to grind it out. Use Shortstacked and Hypnotist in exotic plays.

MANALAPAN, NJ – January 20, 2014 – The $46,500 Super Bowl Final for trotters will highlight the special Wednesday night card at the Meadowlands, before it goes into lockdown mode for the football Super Bowl. Live racing returns Thursday, February 6 while the track will be open for simulcasting through Sunday January 26.  The facility will be totally closed from Monday, January 27 through Monday, February 3. Simulcasting will resume on Tuesday, February 4. New Jersey-sired Time To Quit by Chocolatier brings a four-race winning streak into the Super Bowl Final for three and four-year-olds, the sixth race on the 11-race program on January 22, 2014. The Ron Burke trainee, coupled in the wagering with Cocotier, also by Chocolatier, is rated 2-1 in the morning line and will be handled by Yannick Gingras. This year, Time To Quit won both of his starts, preliminary legs of the Super Bowl. He now has six wins, one second and two thirds from 17 career starts for earnings of $31,330. by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ

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