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The Art Major pacer JK She’salady is the first filly to be voted Horse of the Year since the award originated in 1947. She is obviously expected to do extraordinary things during her sophomore campaign. While questions about Mission Brief taking on the boys in the Hambletonian are a given, as dominant as JK She’saldy has been, expectations of her being entered in the pacing classics are understandably less common. Still, the winner of all 12 starts, including the Breeders Crown, Three Diamonds, Eternal Camnation and Shes A Great lady, will be expected to crush her peers.   Her world record matching 1:50.1 mile in the latter at Mohawk was very impressive. I Luv The Nitelife’s 1:48.4 5/8 world record taken at Pocono Downs is certainly in her sights, and breaking Shebestingin’s 1:47 mile record, raced at The Red Mile, would constitute a giant step on the road to glory.   Will she make us forget about Put On A Show, See You At Peelers and American Jewel? World record holder; perfect record; Horse of the Year: I guess it’s a done deal.   Not so fast.   Sometimes the slippage on the part of the anointed is subtle, while in other cases it can’t be missed. The 2013 pacing division champs, Precocious Beauty and He’s Watching, serve as examples of the former.   At two Precocious Beauty, a paternal sister to JK She’salady, tied a world record of 1:50.1 in the International Stallion Stakes and won 7 of her 11 starts, with 3 second place finishes. Like JK She’salady, she swept the Canadian stakes—the Eternal Camnation, Shes A Great Lady and Champlain. (The Three Diamonds, which she did not start in, was raced at the Meadowlands).   In 2014 Precocious Beauty still managed to bank $315,000, but she only won four times and the American National and Empire Classic were the best of them.   After an undefeated season in the NYSS at two, with a world record 1:50 mile at Tioga, He’s Watching won the Pace in a world record 1:46.4 and earned $825,000 on 5 wins in 13 starts. But the Empire Classic was his only stakes win in the last five months of the year, and that one is a restricted race. Overall, one would have to label the diminutive American Ideal speedball a disappointment.   In 2011 Sweet Lou impressed with a 10 win freshman season, capped off with a decisive world record 1:49 mile in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine. Unfortunately, his only noteworthy open win the following year came in the Tattersalls Pace. He took an elimination of the North America Cup, another in the Meadowlands Pace and he won a heat of the Jug, but he couldn’t shake his Mr. Elimination moniker.   Lou obviously achieved a measure of redemption in the aged ranks, becoming the first horse to win in under 1:48 four times (in succession), and falling only five votes short of JK She’salady’s winning tally in the Horse of the Year voting.   And one could say the same thing about his predecessor in the “next big thing” ranks, Big Jim. The Western Ideal colt, who set the world record Lou broke when he won the Governor’s Cup in 1:49.1, didn’t win any open stakes during his sophomore season; a Pace elimination was as close as he got. And he was retired early due to injuries to both rear ankles. The debate over who should be driving him ran out of steam in a big hurry.   French Chef (Meadow Skipper) was a great two-year-old, winning 21 of 23 starts and setting world records on half, 5/8 and mile tracks. He only won 3 of 14 starts at three, and retired with a faster mark at two than he had at three. He was a foul-gaited sort and being out of a Nevele Pride mare made him stand out—not necessarily in a good way. Still, he sired Beach Towel, Frugal Gourmet and Amity Chef and was the grandsire of Jenna’s Beach Boy and Miss Easy.   The Abercrombie colt Sportsmaster won more money--$727,000—than Western Hanover at two. He won the Wilson and a split of the International Stallion Stakes, among others. But he only managed to bank $28,000 the following year and was subsequently sold to Walker Studs in Illinois for $200,000, where he was a high volume, successful regional stallion.   Jate Lobell suffered a measured fall from grace at three. He won his division, just as he had done as a freshman, when he triumphed in all 15 starts, leading to a $12 million syndication deal. But there were holes in his game. Call For Rain beat him in the Breeders Crown and the Slutsky Memorial; Frugal Gourmet did the same in the Meadowlands Pace elimination and final as well as the Prix d’Ete; Redskin took him out in the Messenger; Run The Table also beat him a couple of times.   He went on to sire plenty of solid pacers, including Riyadh, but he failed to extend himself. If JK She’salady won her division in 2015 by staying one step ahead of the rest, the way Jate did, she’d be deemed a disappointment.   Truluck, Max Hochberg and Lou Resnick’s fleet Torpid colt, who raced against a stout class back on the late 60s, is another who was ahead of the pack at two, but got caught the following year. He won his freshman division, banking more than $167,000—good money for a two-year-old in those days. And he finished the year with a dramatic win in the $94,000 Roosevelt Futurity, as George Sholty overcame Roland Beaulieu’s artless drive on Columbia George.   The following year the latter was very good; Most Happy Fella became what Dancer referred to at the time as the best pacer he ever had; plus there was a supporting cast of Shreik, Keystone Pat, Adover Rainbow and Ferric Hanover. Truluck was competitive all season and was one of the favorites in the Messenger in November, but he couldn’t win a major stakes race.   Will the cream of the class catch up to JK She’salady in 2015? It’s hard to see that happening. Sassa Hanover, the star of Rocknroll Heaven’s first crop, was very strong in the NYSS, and she did win her split of the International Stallion Stakes in a world record 1:50.1, a tick faster than JK She’salady won hers.   But final impressions stand out and, while Sassa was clearly better than the rest in the Breeders Crown, she was no match for the winner. Then again, one would have been justified in saying the same thing after Sweet Lou gutted the field on his way to a world record mile in his freshman level Breeders Crown start, with A Rocknroll Dance a distant second. We’ll know soon enough.   Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century.   He writes a weekly blog for  http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/.   Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink  

Harness racing followers on both sides of the Tasman are never slow to claim the superiority of their racehorses when stock bred in their country have a big day on the Australasian harness racing scene. So it is no surprise today that Kiwi breeders and enthusiasts are feeling very smug after the huge day at Menangle yesterday by racehorses with the prefix NZ beside their name. Their were seven Group 1 races yesterday and Kiwi breds won four with Australian breds winning two and the Europeans one. And all that success on Australia's biggest harness racing day and in their  own backyard makes it all the more memorable for the Kiwis. There were a couple of constants throughout the day and that was the dominance of Bettor's Delight and Art Major in the Group 1 pacing races. Of the six pacing Group1 races that pair won four with the tally being two a piece. Fight For Glory in the New South Wales Oaks and Sky Major in the Chariots Of Fire did Art Major proud while Adore Me and Beautide made sure Bettor's Delight hogged the limelight as well. Both sires had multiple runners in most of the Group 1 races and Bettor's Delight ended up with five placed runners and Art Major two placed runners to reinforce their dominance. A lot of comment has been made in recent years from leading Australian breeders about how they were getting on top of their Kiwi counterparts. They put this down to the ever increasing number of well bred Kiwi mares who now call Australia home and that they saw a time in the not to distant future where the Australian bred horse would dominate racing in Australia. New Zealand breeders from the start of this industry in New Zealand have sold racemares and broodmares to Australia and will continue to do so in the future. It has never affected the ability of the New Zealand breeder to churn our those top horses year in year out. With Bettor's Delight serving 301 mares in New Zealand this year and Art Major over 170 there will be no shortage of horses by these two dominant sires in New Zealand in the next few years. Throw in the likes of Mach Three (130) and newcomers such as A Rocknroll Dance (161) and next year the recently announced Sweet Lou and there is a real confidence amongst New Zealand breeders that the glory days are far from coming to an end. Harnesslink Media

The southern breeding rights for the brilliant racehorse Sweet Lou 1:47 $3,478,894, one of the greatest pacers in the history of harness racing have been snapped up by New Zealand's leading stud, Woodlands.  Sweet Lou has rewritten the record books throughout his career in North America and he was syndicated by Diamond Creek Stud in Pennsylvania at the end of 2014 for a substantial seven figure sum. Right from the first time he stepped onto a track, Sweet Lou stamped himself as one very special horse. As a two-year-old Sweet Lou faced the starters twelve times for ten wins and two seconds for $688,117 in stakes. Anyone watching his win in the 2011 Breeders Crown final will quickly get an appreciation of how special Sweet Lou is. He completely distanced a star studded field by seven lengths in the fastest time ever recorded by a two year old in the history of the sport. Sweet Lou stopped the clock in 1:49 which is still the fastest time ever run by a two year old. The scary thing is he looked to do it with something in reserve. He was the unanimous choice for two-year-old of the year in 2011. Sweet Lou came out at three and had another super season on the track. He won eliminations of all the major stakes races with his biggest win coming in the final of the $510,000 Tattersalls Pace in 1:48.1. Sweet Lou won eight from twenty at three alongside five placing’s and earned another $1,082,256 in stakes and reduced his best time to 1:47.4 At four all the racing at two and three seemed to get on top of Sweet Lou and although he earned a healthy $349,000 he just never seemed 100%. Given a good break at the end of that season, Sweet Lou came back to the track at five and dominated the Free for All ranks last season. Midway through his five year old season Sweet Lou put together a series of runs that rewrote the record book. Sweet Lou won ten races straight at one point and six of those consecutive wins were in better than 1:48 which is the most ever achieved by any horse in the history of the sport. As a five year old Sweet Lou won eleven of nineteen starts with four placing’s for $1,363,740 in stakes and reduced his best time to 1:47 What made the 1:47 so special was that Sweet Lou took that time on a 1000 metres track. When you look at the overall stats for Sweet Lou you get some idea of how special he is. 1:50 miles or faster – 49 1:49 miles or faster – 32 1:48 miles or faster – 13 Sweet Lou is a son of the successful Yankee Cruiser 1:49.3 ($1,150,123) who has sired the winners of over $31,000,000 to date in North America. Sweet Lou is out of the speedy Falcon's Future mare in Sweet Future 1:54.2 ($89,061) who has also left the champion Bettor's Delight gelding Bettor Sweet 1:47.4 ($2,782,353). Sweet Lou is the quickest and biggest stake winning stallion to have ever stood in New Zealand and is still the quickest two year old of all time. His first season fee has been set at a very competitive $6000+ GST Harnesslink Media

ANDERSON, Ind.—February 9, 2015 — Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is set to begin the 22nd season of live harness racing on Friday, March 27 with several new and important changes to the stakes schedule.  One of the most highly anticipated days on the 2015 harness racing calendar will take place on Friday, August 14 as the Dan Patch takes center stage once again. Boasting an increased purse for the 2015 edition, the Dan Patch will serve as Indiana’s richest harness race but will take on a new format beginning in 2015. Historically, the Dan Patch has been an invitational race with Hoosier Park’s racing secretary, inheriting the responsibility of recruiting the best horses to compete in the event every year. However, when the Dan Patch returns for its 22nd edition in 2015, it will be raced under a new and improved format. In conjunction with the Hambletonian Society, The Dan Patch will now be raced as an early closer, which requires a nomination and sustaining payment the same year in which the race will be contested. By making the switch and increasing the purse, Hoosier Park is hoping to attract the top pacers in the country that may not have previously considered racing in the Dan Patch. To begin, a nomination fee of $500 is due on February 15, 2015 for all horses wishing to compete in the 2015 Dan Patch. After the initial fee, the nominated horses will be eligible to be sustained to the 2015 edition of the race by making a $2,000 payment on March 15. The purse for the 2015 Dan Patch is estimated to be $300,000 with the field being comprised of the top ten highest lifetime money earners.  Once the field is established, an entrance fee of $2,500 will be required. "By making the Dan Patch a paid-in event, Hoosier Park is taking the next step in elevating what is already a great race and increasing it in purse and stature,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “We feel the race will now reach a point where it will stand side by side with the Canadian Pacing Derby and the William Haughton Memorial Pace as the elite races for aged pacers." Hoosier Park’s most prestigious pacing race has become a tradition that is close to the hearts of Hoosiers. The Dan Patch not only highlights some of the best athletes in the sport of harness racing, but is deeply rooted throughout Indiana soil.  The Dan Patch race was established at Hoosier Park in 1994 with Ready To Rumble and driver Trevor Ritchie winning the inaugural edition 21 years ago. The list of all-star horses that have made their way to Hoosier Park over the years includes Jenna’s Beach Boy, Maltese Artist and former seven-eighths mile world record holder, the late Pacific Fella. In 2014, racing fans watched Sweet Lou, driven by Ron Pierce, pace the fastest mile in Hoosier Park history with a 1:47.2 score in the 21st edition of the Dan Patch Invitational. The previous track record of 1:48.1, a mark that stood for four years, was established by Shark Gesture and George Brennan in the 2010 Dan Patch Invitational. For the second consecutive year, the winner of the 2015 Dan Patch Invitational will get an automatic nomination to the 2015 edition of the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby slated for Friday, October 30, 2015 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. All nomination fees will be waived but in the event the winner of the Dan Patch Invitational has already been nominated to the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, a refund of all fees will be given upon declaration. In addition to the changes to the Dan Patch, Hoosier Park will once again host the Jenna’s Beach Boy Pace for three-year-old colt pacers but feature an increased purse of an estimated $100,000 for the 2015 edition. Slated for Saturday, September 26, the field will be comprised of the top ten lifetime money earners. A $20,000 consolation will also be contested on Saturday, September 26. For more information on the 2015 stakes schedule and a complete list of upcoming events at Hoosier Park, please visitwww.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin Racing Commentator, Publicist and Marketing Specialist Emily.gaskin@hoosierpark.com

The game of musical chairs involving stallions moving from one state or country to another for the 2015 season is just about over. And the same goes for stud fee adjustments. Here’s a rundown of what has transpired thus far. It was just announced that fourteen-year-old Western Terror, a grandson of Delinquent Account and full brother to BC and Messenger winner If I Can Dream, will relocate within Pennsylvania at a reduced rate. He moves to Nandi Farms and will command a $5,500 stud fee, $2,000 less than last year. More Western Terror offspring were sold in Lexington than from any other stallion, but more isn’t always better. The 41 yearling consignment brought an average a shade over $15,000. Lots of red ink there. Tomy Terror (sic), Hall Of Terror and Do Your Job were his best young offspring in 2014. Up The Credit, the richest son of gyno-centric Western Terror, will take another shot at the stallion game in 2015. The seven-year-old NA Cup winner, who mined the low to middle NW class at Mohawk until mid-summer, first stood at Seelster Farms in Ontario for $5,000 in 2012. It wasn’t long before he was back racing. He’ll now be offered for $3,000 at Casimir Farm in Ontario. Six-year-old Heston Blue Chip, 2012 Dan Patch winner, and five-year-old Sunfire Blue Chip will be the first high profile sons of American Ideal to embark on stallion careers. Neither one of them lived up to their colt promise in the aged ranks; Heston won four races and earned $216,000 in 2014, while Sunfire won five and banked $168,000. Heston will stand for $4,500 at Winbak, New York and Sunfire will get $4,000 (Cdn.) at Tara Hills. Twenty-year-old Dragon Again, who now resides in Ohio, has a penchant for producing hard hitting pacers that last a long time, but he has no record as a sire of sires. His son Aracache, who ground out $1.7 million in six years of racing, will stand at Ivy Lane Farm in Indiana for $2,500. Seventeen-year-old Real Desire, the sire of Tell All and State Treasurer, will also stand at Ivy Lane in 2015. He moves from Midland Acres, where he sported a $5,000 fee. He now stands for $3,500. Lots of fee reductions for lower end stallions this year. The Well Said four-year-old Tellitlikeitis, who didn’t earn enough to be covered by Gural’s stallion rule, will also stand in Indiana, at Victory Hill Farm for $3,000. So, Indiana, which hit the lottery with Always A Virgin and Rockin Image, doesn’t get a whole lot in the way of reinforcements. The latter two stallions remained at $4,000 and $3,500, respectively. Ohio, which was already bursting at the seams, found room for a few more. The casinos in the Buckeye state are the best job plan in NA for Standardbreds. Uncle Peter, a son of Cantab Hall, will be the most expensive trotting stallion in the state at $6,000. Fifteen-year-old Broadway Hall, still one more expatriate from Pennsylvania, will stand at Midland Acres for $5,000. That’s a third less than he was getting last year. And 2015 BC winner Rockin Amadeus will stand at Cool Winds Farm in Ohio for $3,500. Western Vintage, who only won once at three after showing much promise during his freshman campaign, will stand at Abby Stables in Ohio for $3,500. Mister Big, who failed to impress in Ontario, will also be at Abby. He stood for $4.500 at Tara Hills in Ontario last year, but will only get $2,500 in 2015. Jurgen Hanover, the Credit Winner five-year-old who looked like a budding star early in his sophomore season, also goes to Abby, for $2,500. What’s their motto, “Give us your wretched castoffs”?  Along the same lines, Hypnotic Blue Chip, who was retired to Fashion Farms at a $5,000 fee in 2012 and drew little interest, is back for another try. The nine-year-old son of Art Major will stand in Indiana for $2,500.  Wishing Stone leaves Deo Volente in New Jersey, where he stood for $5,000, for Sugar Valley Farm in Ohio, where he’ll get $4,500. Trixton will take his place in New Jersey for a $12,000 fee. And of course Father Patrick will serve a one year residency at Walnridge Farm in New Jersey, at a hefty $30,000 per. Archangel, who stood in New York for $4,000 in 2013, but drew so little interest that he returned to the track this past year, makes another run as a stallion at Winbak Canada for $4,500 (Cdn.). Betterthancheddar also relocates to Winbak Canada from New York. As is the case with just about all of the repositioned stallions, his fee takes a 22% hit, dropping from $4,500 to $3,500. Sportswriter made a splash in the Ontario Sire Stakes and saw his fee jump 38% to $6,500 (Cdn.) Kadabra’s fee has been cut 20% to $12,000 (US). E L Titan will stand for $8,000 and race as well. Ten-year-old Crazed returns to New York from Pennsylvania. He stood for $6,000 at Hanover in 2013, $4,000 in 2014 and is back up to $5,000 at Blue Chip in 2015. Gural Hanover and Crazy Wow were very good in the NYSS last year and Tirade Hanover is racing very well right now. Lucky Chucky, who didn’t overwhelm us with his first crop, had his fee reduced 20% to $6,000 for 2015. Chapter Seven, whose first crop sells this year, had his fee dropped a thousand dollars to $7,500 for 2015. Twenty-year-old Artiscape drops 20% to $4,000. The high priced stuff goes to Pennsylvania, where Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou both have full books--$15,000 for The Captain and half that much for Lou. One bright spot in Pennsylvania is Muscle Massive jumping 20% to $7,500 off first crop performances by Gatka Hanover and Speak To Me. Twenty-one-year-old Yankee Glide, who has struggled of late, had his fee dropped from $12,500 to $10,000. Still, $15,000 is lower than folks expected The Captain to slot in at prior to his unsuccessful four-year-old campaign. Modest increases for Sportswriter, Muscle Massive and Crazed don’t a positive trend make. Father Patrick will get $30,000, but that’s for an abbreviated book and many of those bookings are for syndicate members. Somebeachsomewhere had his fee dropped $5,000 to $25,000 and his book is still open. Muscle Hill’s fee is unpublished. Maybe he went up. Overall, the trend is not positive. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

Diamond Creek Farm has announced that the initial book for 2014 harness racing "Pacer of the Year" and runner-up for Horse of the Year, Sweet Lou, is now full and closed. “We expected a great response, and that’s certainly what we got,” said Diamond Creek’s owner Adam Bowden. “It seems like this horse’s charisma equals his credentials, and his popularity on the racetrack pretty much just transferred over straight to the breeding shed. “With the quality of the mares he’ll be bred to, his first crop of yearlings should rival those of any horse out there,” he added. Sweet Lou retired to stud at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania after his 5-year-old season with earnings of more than $3.4-million and a World Record mark of 1:47 taken on a five-eighths mile track. He is a son of Yankee Cruiser from Sweet Future, also the dam of $2.7-million winner and World Champion Bettor Sweet. “I think that sometimes people primarily see Sweet Lou as a champion free for all pacer, which is true of course, but the fact that he was also a World Champion, Breeders Crown winner, and divisional Pacer of the Year as a 2-year-old is sometimes overlooked,” Bowden said. “We think he has everything it takes to be a tremendous sire.” The multiple World Record-holder--and first horse to ever pace six consecutive sub-1:48 winning miles--was campaigned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr and Phillip Collura and trained by Ron Burke. Breeders and fans may follow the continuing career of the horse many called “The Great White Blaze” on Twitter @greatwhiteblaze. Sweet Lou - 2014 Ben Franklin - Mohegan Sun Pocono Diamond Creek Farm

Millstone Twp., NJ - The Standardbred Retirement Foundation's (SRF) most important and consistent source of funding comes from yearly and lifetime breeding donations, and sales. This year's list includes the Fabulous Sweet Lou, Mach Three, Lucky Chucky, Possess The Wall, McArdle, Chapter Seven, and many more. Breedings are being sold, not auctioned and are available all season to purchase. Donations, which are tax-deductible, are gratefully appreciated to assist SRF in caring for the 204 Standardbreds in need of homes, 121 of which are retired for life under SRF's full care, due to age or injury. This is SRF's 26th year as the only organization of its kind, solely dedicated to the Standardbred, which also follows all of its adopted horses diligently for life. SRF has served thousands of Standardbreds and helped hundreds of children through its award winning programs. SRF's sale of breedings makes a substantial difference. To purchase a breeding, as well as to donate a breeding, please contact Tammy Hollock at 732-446-4422 or email admin@srfmail.com. SRF is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, gifts to SRF are tax-deductible. Tammy Hollock Standardbred Retirement Foundation | 353 Sweetmans Lane, Suite 101 | Millstone Twp. | NJ | 08535

The much anticipated Harness Horse of the Year announcement will be made live at 1 pm today (Thursday). Don't miss out. Will it be JK She'salday,Sweet Lou or maybe even McWicked? Could Father Patrick, Shake It Cerry or Sebastian K steal top honors? The Dan Patch Awards for Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year will be announced at 1 p.m. (EST) Thursday at the Meadowlands Racetrack’s Victory Sports Bar. Thursday’s announcements will be streamed live on the racetrack’s website,www.playmeadowlands.com. From the United States Harness Writers Association

Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou are the highest profile pacers retiring to the stallion ranks this year. They both head off to Pennsylvania. The Captain will command a $15,000 stud fee, double that of Lou. That’s $5,000 less than Captain T would have gotten if he retired at three and avoided the disastrous four-year-old campaign. His book is already full and closed. And Lou’s fee is $2,500 more than his up and down career would have warranted prior to his 2014 speed explosion. His soon to be fifteen-year-old sire, Yankee Cruiser, has yet to produce a credible stallion. The Captain’s new stablemate, his daddy, Somebeachsomewhere, is the only Hanover stallion to take a pay cut this year, as his fee dropped 17% to $25,000. This is the second time he has experienced a price reduction. Last time his fee went back up the following year. During his short stint at Hanover he has stood at various times for $15,000, $20,000, $25,000 and $30,000—there have been a few zigs and zags along the way. Pennsylvania will also be home to the most prestigious new trotting sire, Father Patrick. The son of Cantab Hall will do duel-duty at Diamond Creek Farm. His fee will be a rich $30,000 for a limited number of mares. Crazed, who was not well received during his two year stay at Hanover, heads back to Blue Chip Farm in New York at a 20% fee increase; he’ll stand for $5,000. Those buying for the PASS tended to discount his offspring. On the other hand, Gural Hanover and Crazy Wow had very successful seasons in the NYSS, while Tirade Hanover carried on in the aged ranks. Soon to be fifteen-year-old Broadway Hall is also moving out of Pennsylvania. The sire of Hambletonian winner, Broad Bahn, millionaire trotting mare, Action-Broadway, and the mercurial speedball, Cooler Schooner, was purchased from Fashion Farms by Global Farm of Sweden and will stand in the new “it place” for stallions—Ohio. He’ll be relieved to be out from under Cantab Hall, Andover Hall and Donato Hanover in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program. Along the same lines, the pacing stallions in Pennsylvania won’t miss the peripatetic Bettor’s Delight, who will lead all pacing sires in earnings once again this year. He took a one-year hiatus from the turbulence in Ontario and will head back there now that a stable funding mechanism is in place. The back from the brink Ontario program also gets local favorite Betterthancheddar, who moves from Winbak New York to Winbak Canada. Tara Hills struck gold with Casie Coleman pupil Sportswriter last year; perhaps Cheddar can also succeed in the OSS program. He stood in New York for one year at a $4,500 fee and Winbak is knocking $1,000 off of that, bringing him to market at an attractive price point that is $1,500 less than Shadow Play and Big Jim and $2,500 less than Sportswriter. Archangel, who has movie star looks, speed to burn and a mighty thin resume also heads to Winbak Canada for $4,000. He covered 42 mares at Blue Chip in 2013 but the cold shoulder he got from New York breeders sent him back to the track where he only won twice this year, but a world record tying 1:50 mile in a Cashman elimination enhanced his desirability as a stallion. To this point his daddy Credit Winner hasn’t excelled as a sire of sires. The soon to be eighteen-year-old has produced Crazed, RC Royalty and Chocolatier. North America Cup winner Up The Credit, began his stallion career in 2012, when he stood at Seelster Farms for $5,000. That didn’t last long, as he returned to the track in the spring of that year. He’s been retired for a second time, and stands at Casimir Farm in Ontario for $3,000. He would be the first successful stallion by soon to be thirteen-year-old Western Terror. Mister Big, who met with little success in Ontario, has been relocated to Abby Stables in Ohio, where he will stand for $2,500, which is $2,000 less than he was available for in Canada. Abby has also added the highly regarded but chronically stymied Western Vintage to its roster for $3,500. And Running Brook will stand there for $2,000. Last year Midland Acres in Ohio added world champion Pet Rock, who is available for $6,000. There are no high profile pacing newcomers like him on the horizon this year. Although world champion Uncle Peter matches Pet Rock in the fee department, becoming the state’s highest priced trotting stallion at $6,000. He stands at Hickory Lane Farm. And Wishing Stone, the richest and fastest son of Conway Hall in North America, who did double duty for Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey this year, will stand at Sugar Valley for $4,500—that’s $500 less than his 2014 fee. There isn’t much happening in the way of new stallions in Indiana. Of course Always A Virgin has drawn lots of attention to the program during the last three years and Rockin Image just impressed us with his first crop. The latter’s Well Said half-brother, Tellitlikeitis, who won an elimination to the NA Cup but not much else, will be standing in Indiana in 2015 for $3,000. And a full brother to Rockin Image, Rockin Amadeus, who knocked off Captain T in the BC at two, will stand in Ohio for $3,500. Kikikatie is making her presence felt. In one of the more curious moves in the breeding realm, Trixton will stand at Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey for $12,000. Muscle Hill began his stallion career in New Jersey but the lack of a stable and lucrative sire stakes program seemed to be holding him back, so he was relocated to Pennsylvania. Like Muscle Hill, Trixton will be perceived by most as a Grand Circuit stallion, so location won’t matter as much as it would for a bottom or middle tier stallion. The gamble is that gaming will come to the Meadowlands and restricted dollars will flow like water from a tap. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

Freehold, NJ --- Undefeated 2-year-old female pacer JK She’salady is the No. 1-ranked horse in the final Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll for 2014. She is followed by 3-year-old female trotter Shake It Cerry and 3-year-old male trotters Father Patrick and Nuncio. Shake It Cerry, Father Patrick and Nuncio are from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter; JK She’salady is from the stable of trainer Nancy Johansson, who is Takter’s daughter. Eight-year-old male trotter Sebastian K completes the top five. Sweet Lou won last weekend’s TVG Free For All Series Championship for pacers and received four first-place votes. The 5-year-old male pacer moved up a spot to sixth in the poll. Also winning was 3-year-old male pacer McWicked, who captured the Progress Pace Preview. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes this month on all divisional winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. All winners will be announced on Dec. 18. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 29 – 12/2/2014 Rank Name (1st Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 JK She’salady (26) 2pf 12-12-0-0 $883,330 330 1 2 Shake It Cerry (3) 3tf 17-15-0-1 $1,230,411 293 2 3 Father Patrick (2) 3tc 17-12-3-0 $1,693,081 249 4 4 Nuncio 3tc 17-11-5-1 $1,458,071 198 5 5 Sebastian K 8th 13-8-2-0 $663,853 194 3 6 Sweet Lou (4) 5ph 19-11-3-1 $1,361,433 185 7 7 Mission Brief 2tf 13-9-0-0 $591,070 157 6 8 McWicked 3pc 22-11-5-4 $1,322,157 81 8 9 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 52 10 10 Always B Miki 3pc 19-12-4-0 $791,482 50 9 Also: Artspeak (39), Commander Crowe, Pinkman (25), JK Endofanera (11), Limelight Beach, Maven (10), Intimidate (3), Color’s A Virgin, In The Arsenal, Modern Family, Wild Honey (2), Creatine, E L Titan, Freaky Feet Pete, Lifetime Pursuit, Natural Herbie (1). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

After four straight weeks of pickin'em pretty good, I finally ran into a brick wall Breeders Crown weekend. But you can't win'em all so back to the drawing board. Sadly the stakes season is drawing to a close this weekend with the TVG finals at the Meadowlands and then next week the rich Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Then we get into tough winter overnights and some good late closing series throughout the county. Good Luck! $49,000 Pace 3YO's n/w $100,000 in 2014 Meadowlands 3rd race SATURDAY - It is too tough to try and go against the triple entry of Hall Bro, Lord Of Misrule and Journeyman. Both Hall Bro and Journeyman are coming off very strong winning efforts and with good inside post position they will be very tough to beat in here. Use Caviart Chase and Caviart Luca in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Open Handicap Yonkers Raceway 6th race SATURDAY - Beach Memories or P H Supercam....I nearly flipped a coin to decide in here but came away going with Beach Memories. He has the better inside post and the gate speed to insure good positioning to score from. Has been first and second twice in photos last three starts. Use P H Supercam and Holdallthecards in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace TVG FFA Final Meadowlands 7th race SATURDAY - This is the last big bang for the older pacers and it's a great field to close out the season with. Sweet Lou and Foiled Again do their swan song for the end of their great racing careers. I'm going with Sweet Lou as in his last two starts he seemly had the race won only to get nipped at the wire. I don't think this world champion will get caught tonight. Use Thinking Out Loud and State Treasurer in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot TVG FFA Final Meadowlands 10th race SATURDAY - It didn't "All come down to the Breeders Crown" last week as it does in here. Sebastian K could sew up Harness Horse of the Year honors with a convincing victory in here but both Maven and Bee A Magician will be all out to not let that happen. Don't look for a super-fast mile as it will be clear but only in the low 30's at post time. But I think if the "old" Sebastian K shows up he will take this field and then maybe beat out JK She'salady for top honors in the Dan Patch Voting. He has truly been a champion this year. Use Maven and Bee A Magician in exotic plays. $30,000 Pace FFA Handicap Meadowlands 11th race SATURDAY - Everyone will lead toward Aslan as he has been the strong horse with two straight convincing wins in this class. But I like Wake Up Peter who last week was strong on the front end and may be able to turn the tables on Aslan in here. Use Aslan and Speed Again in exotic plays. $46,000 Trot Open Handicap 1¼ mile Yonkers Raceway 1st race SUNDAY - It's the France Handicap with a super full field of 12 trotters going the extra distance in the Yonkers-France matinee. Great to see such full fields going the extra quarter mile. Thus I have no fear in promoting Dancehall Mistress, one of four mares in the field against male rivals. She beat the pants off everyone last week with a four length romp at 11-1 and can do it again. Use Somebody AS and Super Manning in exotic plays. $17,000 Trot Open Handicap Saratoga Raceway 7th race SUNDAY - After having his head handed to him the last couple of starts against the best at Yonkers, Zooming takes a big drop in class and switch to Saratoga. This should aid him big time, even if he did get the far outside post eight. Still have the class to overcome the post problem as he did before trying his luck at Yonkers. Use You Rock My World and Slugfest in exotic plays. $25,000 Pace Winners over $25,000 Harrah's Philadelphia 11th race SUNDAY - With six of the eight starters in here all coming off wins in their last start it makes for a great competitive race. I don't think Dial Or Nodial can repeat because of outside post. Thus I am going with Mach It So. He was a game second from post eight last week but draws better in here and can win as long as he can grab some live cover. Use Dial Or Nodial and Voice Of Truth in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Progress Preview 3YO Colts Dover Downs 10th race SUNDAY - This will be a great preview towards next weeks $300,000 final. Superb field of colts will do battle big time. I like McWicked to repeat after his impressive Breeders Crown victory. He flashed his brilliant early season form last week with big 1:49 effort and draws the rail

East Rutherford, NJ - What is a racetrack to do when faced with following a Breeders Crown weekend chock full of thrills? Why at The Meadowlands the response is to come right back with the $1 million TVG Series Championship featuring the very finest of the older set on both the trot and pace.   After following a season-long trail of top class events that began in May and concluded with last Saturday's Crown Finals, the TVG Championships close out a fantastic season for the top Free For Allers with year-end awards hanging in the balance.   The $500,000 Pacing Championship comes as the seventh race on the card and offers a renewal of the thrilling rivalry between Thinking Out Loud and Sweet Lou who have been duking it out in headline events for the past three years.   "Lou" put together an unprecedented string of six straight sub-1:48 miles during the heart of the summer season, winning ten in a row once united with Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce. He's the division's top seasonal money winner with more than $1.1 million this season and has amassed a lifetime bankroll of over $3.2 million for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. They've enjoyed a great ride with the son of Yankee Cruiser from Sweet Future who remains the fastest freshman of all time with his 1:49 score in the 2011 Breeders Crown. Ron Burke has trained Sweet Lou throughout his career, which comes to a close on Saturday as he goes to stud at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania.   Thinking Out Loud is a pure homebred, by Ponder from the mare Los Angeles, both raced in the stable of his Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh who shares ownership with brother Al McIntosh and long-time patrons CSX Stable (brothers Keith, Ken and Mike Carpenter). The winner of the 2012 North America Cup, Thinking Out Loud has amassed over $1.8 million career-wise with $200,000 coming in last Saturday's Breeders Crown Final where he and driver John Campbell used every inch of the long Meadowlands stretch to nail Sweet Lou on the wire. Known for his late rallying style and nail-biting finishes, Thinking Out Loud comes to this race near his best form.   Space does not permit the tale be told of the depth present for the TVG Pacing Championship. Suffice to say that these eight champions have amassed nearly $18.5 million in earnings and among those not mentioned above are both the richest at $6.77 million, 2013 TVG champion Foiled Again and co-fastest, Warrawee Needy at 1:46.4, pacers in the history of the sport.   Hoosier Pacing Derby winner Bettor's Edge, Canadian Pacing Derby champ Modern Legend, winner of the inaugural Dayton Pacing Derby Clear Vision and Allerage Farms Open victor State Treasurer complete the All Star line-up.   If it were possible to out-do the race that I have just described, it could likely occur just three races later in the $500,000 TVG Trotting Championship, where the career earnings of the ten participants is over $21 million!   The Trotting Championship has something for everybody; including the fastest trotter ever in Sebastian K who set the trotting world on its ear with his epic 1:49 masterpiece at Pocono this summer. Though his air of invincibility may have been breached, the majestic Swedish invader racing for Knutsson Trotting has a chance to reassert himself in Horse of the Year balloting in this contest. Ake Svanstedt trains and drives the champion.   The competition is fierce, led by a pair femme fatales who are just now finding their best form of the season. From Sebastian K's inside starts 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. She is the winner of the Breeders Crown Mare Open Trot, thus the lone invitee to this race as allowed by the TVG conditions. She was devastating in victory, scorching the first quarter in 26.1 to line up the competition in her wake, then sprinting home in 27.2 to hold them off in 1:51.4. Brian Sears was at his best in orchestrating the winning trip on behalf of trainer Nifty Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee.   Maven made headlines when she commanded a king's ransom of $750,000 when offered at auction just three weeks ago and has made buyer Herb Liverman look like the Warren Buffet of horse racing since. Declining the chance to race the girls, she went into the Open division of the Breeders Crown and won the elimination despite the disadvantage of post ten. Another brave performance followed in the final of that race where she not only survived a long, uncovered bid into International champion Commander Crowe but was still inching in on his lead when the wire came in 1:51.   Maven begins again from the far outside here but asks no quarter from her rivals. Top driver Yannick Gingras will attempt to overcome the poor starting position in his quest to find the best course to victory, as the pair has done many times. She is most recently trained by Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter and Mr. Liverman now has John Fielding and Joyce McClelland as partners in the mare.   Beyond those three lurk such talented trotters as last year's TVG Champion, the $3.5 million winning Market Share, Allerage Farms Open and American National winner Creatine, International star and classics winner Wishing Stone, Maple Leaf Trot winner Intimidate, ageless wonder, $4.2 million, multiple classics winning world record holder Arch Madness, 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes champ Flanagan Memory and the iron tough DW's NY Yank.   These are but the highlights of a titillating thirteen race Saturday night program at The Meadowlands. First post is 7:15pm and the wagering options are many; multiple guaranteed Pick 4's and the brand new Super Hi Five wager with a building jackpot. More details may be found at www.playmeadowlands.com .   From The Meadowlands Media Relations Department

This Week: TVG Series finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will be at Meadowlands Racetrack this Saturday (Nov. 29) for the $500,000 TVG Series final for 3-year-old and up open pacers and the $500,000 TVG Series final for 3-year-old and up open trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Twelve classes competed in Breeders Crown finals this past weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. Let's take a look at some of the highlights: Commander Crowe won the $500,000 Open Trot by three-quarters of a length over favorite Maven in a stakes-record-equaling 1:51. Le Grand Blond -- European star Commander Crowe -- provided a grand finale to Saturday's eight Breeders Crown races, winning the $500,000 Open Trot by three-quarters of a length over favorite Maven in a stakes-record-equaling 1:51. An 11-year-old chestnut, Commander Crowe became the oldest Breeders Crown champion in history. Foiled Again, who won last season's Breeders Crown Open Pace at the age of 9, held the record for oldest winner. The Swedish-born Commander Crowe, who has won 61 of 106 career races and earned $5.09 million, captured his first Breeders Crown after third-place finishes in 2011 and 2012 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. His earnings rank No. 4 among all trotters in history and his triumphs include the Elitlopp Invitational, which he captured in 2012. Commander Crowe, trained by Fabrice Souloy, was driven to victory by Orjan Kihlstrom. Maven, who was trying to become the first mare since Moni Maker in 1998 to win the Breeders Crown Open Trot, raced on the outside from the half-mile point, closing from fourth to second, but getting no nearer. Creatine finished third, followed by Flanagan Memory. Three of the Crown winners put themselves in prime contention for Horse of the Year honors. On Friday, Shake It Cerry and Ron Pierce made it back-to-back Breeders Crown victories as the duo won the $500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Trot edition in a stakes record time of 1:52.2, two-fifths of a second better than the old mark set by Bee A Magician last year. Shake It Cerry shook off the competition and left the field behind to win by 2-1/4 lengths. Cee Bee Yes was second and Struck By Lindy closed strongly for third. It was the 19th Breeders Crown for her trainer Jimmy Takter and 30th for driver Ron Pierce, and she was the first trotting filly to win back-to-back Crowns since Cameron Hall in 2001-2002. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig is owned by Sloveig's Racing Partners. Make that an even dozen in as many tries for JK She'salady as she and driver Tim Tetrick won the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. She covered the mile in 1:50.2, a track and stakes record. Tetrick kept JK She'salady to her task and went straight to the finish line by 1-3/4 lengths in front of second place finisher Sassa Hanover and Bettor Be Steppin in third. JK She'salady is trained by Nancy Johansson and owned by 3 Brothers Stables of New York. It was the first winner for 33-year-old Johansson, who is the daughter of Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. If she would be voted the Horse of the Year, the homebred daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady would be the first 2-year-old pacing filly accorded that honor. "Redemption for Father Patrick. He is blessed with a Breeders Crown," called out track announcer Ken Warkentin as Father Patrick hit the wire to win the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old trotting colts by a neck in a stakes record time of 1:51.4 on Saturday. E L Titan was second and Nuncio, who was looking for late racing room along the rail, was third. Harper Blue Chip was fourth. Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream, is owned by the Father Patrick Stable, is trained by Jimmy Takter and was driven to victory by Yannick Gingras. He has won 12 of 17 starts this year, good for earnings of $1,693,081. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 2,267; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,162; 3. David Miller - 1,003.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 852.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 647. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 2,445.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,908; 3. Erv Miller - 446.5; 4. Joe Holloway - 411; 5. Julie Miller - 347. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 540.48; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 490.48; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 357; 4. Brittany Farms - 294.45; 5. Robert Key - 272. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs as the Delaware track will host the Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Freehold, NJ --- Undefeated JK She’salady remained atop the poll after capturing the $500,000 Breeders Crown for juvenile filly pacers in record-setting fashion on Saturday, November 22 at the Meadowlands. Artspeak dropped from the Top 10. Next week will be the final Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll of the year. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all divisional winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. All winners will be announced at that time. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 28 – 11/25/2014 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 JK She’salady (25) 2pf 12-12-0-0 $883,330 323 1 2 Shake It Cerry (3) 3tf 17-15-0-1 $1,230,411 284 4 3 Sebastian K (5) 8th 12-8-2-0 $663,853 262 2 4 Father Patrick (2) 3tc 17-12-3-0 $1,693,081 254 5 5 Nuncio 3tc 17-11-5-1 $1,458,071 186 3 6 Mission Brief 2tf 13-9-0-0 $591,070 160 10 7 Sweet Lou 5ph 18-10-3-1 $1,111,433 115 6 8 McWicked 3pc 21-10-5-4 $1,304,657 59 -- 9 Always B Miki 3pc 19-12-4-0 $791,482 57 7 10 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 53 9 Also: Artspeak (51), Commander Crowe (31), Pinkman (29), Maven (22), JK Endofanera (17), Limelight Beach (11), In The Arsenal, Lifetime Pursuit, Modern Family (2), Color’s A Virgin, E L Titan, Freaky Feet Pete, Natural Herbie, Thinking Out Loud (1). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Freehold, NJ --- JK She’salady and Sebastian K remained in the top two spots in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, with Nuncio and Shake It Cerry making upward moves and landing in a tie for third. Neither JK She’salady nor Sebastian K raced last week. Nuncio won the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters and Shake It Cerry won the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters. Father Patrick, who went off stride at the start of the Matron for 3-year-old male trotters, slipped to fifth in the poll. There were no newcomers to the Top 10. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all divisional winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 26 – 11/11/2014 Rank Name (1st Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 JK She’salady (17) 2pf 10-10-0-0 $620,830 308 1 2 Sebastian K (7) 8th 12-8-2-0 $663,853 272 2 T3 Nuncio (6) 3tc 16-11-5-0 $1,398,071 260 5 T3 Shake It Cerry (2) 3tf 16-14-0-1 $980,411 260 4 5 Father Patrick (3) 3tc 16-11-3-0 $1,443,081 227 3 6 Sweet Lou 5ph 17-10-2-1 $1,011,433 141 6 7 Artspeak 2pc 10-8-0-2 $742,185 100 7 8 Always B Miki 3pc 18-11-4-0 $778,982 93 9 9 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 80 8 10 JK Endofanera 3pc 16-10-2-1 $949,895 51 10 Also: Mission Brief (36), In The Arsenal (19), McWicked (12), Lifetime Pursuit, Natural Herbie (9), He’s Watching, Limelight Beach (7), Clear Vision, Dancin Yankee (5), Color’s A Virgin, Market Share (4), Habitat, Harper Blue Chip, Modern Family (3), Maven (2), All Bets Off, Freaky Feet Pete, Somewhere In LA, Weeper, Wild Honey (1). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Sweet Lou will be honored Saturday, November 8 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in a special ceremony.  The powerhouse pacer dominated in a World Record performance on Sun Stakes Saturday, June 28, with a time of 1:47, the fastest mile ever paced on a 5/8 mile track. The son of Yankee Cruiser has won 10 of 17 starts this year, with those 10 coming consecutively, and all in sub-1:49 fashion.   He’s owned by Burke Racing Stable; Weaver Bruscemi LLC;  Larry Karr; and Phil Collura, and trained by Ron Burke.  His connections will be on hand to escort Sweet Lou to the Winner’s Circle following the 6th race. Starting at 6:30pm, fans may pick up their official Sweet Lou hat at the Trackside Concession Stand on the apron, located in the lower Grandstand, with their Racing Rewards card and valid ID, one per fan, while supplies last.  The hat is in Burke Racing Stable colors, and boasts the pacer’s 1:47 time under his name.  Fans are asked to wear their hat and be outside the Winner’s Circle to greet the champion pacer as he makes his way to the circle for his ceremony.  Post Time for the night is 6:30pm., and racing continues at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday nights until November 22. JENNIFER STARR

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