Cranbury, NJ --- The pride of Indiana, harness racing 3-year-old colt pacer Freaky Feet Pete, as well as 5-year-old trotter Creatine, back home in the U.S. after an international campaign this year, were supplemented to their respective Breeders Crown divisions by the noon deadline on Monday, Oct. 12. The U.S.$5.8 million Breeders Crown events will be contested on Saturday, Oct. 24, at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada. Indiana-bred Wiggle It Jiggleit has dominated both the 3-year-old pacing colt division and the sport's headlines since February, but like Freaky Feet Pete was not eligible to the Breeders Crown program. The owners of "Pete," Mary Jo and Marty Rheinheimer, pulled the trigger on the $62,500 supplemental fee after their homebred defeated Wiggle It Jiggleit at Hoosier Park in the $220,000 Indiana state-bred final on Saturday, Oct. 10. With a record of 11 wins in 13 starts this year, Freaky Feet Pete has not left his home turf of Hoosier Park but has only been beaten twice there, once by Wiggle It Jiggleit in May, and by Wakizashi Hanover in September. The son of Rockin Image has combined win margins of more than 67 lengths and his two losses measure less than four lengths. "Yes, we are going to Breeders Crown," trainer Larry Rheinheimer told reporter Kim French, after his last victory. "We let the horse tell us what to do and tonight he told us." Creatine, owned by Big C Racing [Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farm, Creatine's former trainer Bob Stewart and his wife Lynda, and Diamond Creek Racing], has racked up an impressive $1.83 million in his four-year career. The son of Andover Hall was campaigned overseas in 2015, but returned home to represent the U.S. in last Saturday's $1 million Yonkers International Trot, finishing third behind Papagayo E and Timoko. Now trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by his brother Johnny, Creatine will make his third start in Breeders Crown competition after finishing second as a 3-year-old and third in the 2014 Open Trot. The supplemental fee of $62,500 was necessary because the eligibility fees for 2015 had not been made. Regular entries for eligible trotters and pacers are due by 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, at the Mohawk race office. There are no supplemental provisions for 2-year-old races. The contestants for the 12 Breeders Crown Finals will be determined through elimination races this Friday and Saturday night at Woodbine. Eliminations for all 2-year-olds will be raced on Friday [post time 7:25 p.m.] and eliminations for all 3-year-olds and up will be Saturday [post time 7:25 p.m.]. Elimination winners draw for inside post positions 1-5 for the finals. The U.S.$5.8 million divisional championships finals are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24, at Woodbine Racetrack. Special post time is 6:30 p.m. [EDT]. There will be a live broadcast from 9-10:00 p.m. on TSN2 in Canada. Follow Breeders Crown news and updates on Twitter @Breeders_Crown, using #BreedersCrown15 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BreedersCrown. Fans can also go to http://harnessracingfanzone.com, the Place for Harness Racing Fans to See, Share, Connect and Play.
TORONTO, October 9 - Woodbine Entertainment Group today announced Jeffrey Orridge, Commissioner of the CFL, will be the guest drawmaster at the draw for the Breeders Crown, Harness Racing's $6 million championship event. The Breeders Crown post position draw will be held on Tuesday, October 20 at Woodbine Racetrack and the CFL Commissioner will be on hand to assist with the festivities. The media event will get underway at noon. The Breeders Crown finals, featuring 12 title races, will be contested on Saturday, October 24. Orridge is active on social media and can be followed on Twitter @commish13. John Siscos
With the deadline to enter the Breeders Crown coming up fast, owner George Teague is considering his options where to race the sport’s number-1 rated Wiggle It Jiggleit. After racing the sensational gelding this Saturday in Indiana, the Harrington, Del. horseman/owner can choose from entering via a supplemental payment to the $500,000 Breeders Crown, or send the leading Horse of the Year candidate to Indiana for a series of races beginning Saturday night in the $200,0000 Indiana Sire Stakes Final at Hoosier. After that Teague could start the world champion three-year-old in the $75,000 Circle City, Oct. 23 and in the $275,000 Monument Circle on Oct. 30.. "I'm not 100-percent sure,” said Teague, “but I am leaning toward staying in Indiana. These three races are somewhat the equivalent of what we could race [Wiggle It Jiggleit] for in the Breeders Crown, purse-wise.” The Breeders Crown will be held Oct. 24 at Woodbine Racetrack near Toronto, Can. To race, a $62,500 supplemental payment would be required to enter Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Breeders Crown, whose purse is $500,000. Teague remarked, “To supplement is a large chunk [of money], and you have to finish one-two to get your money back.” Another Teague decision is whether or not he wants to race Wiggle It Jiggleit against older horses, Nov. 21 in the $400,000 TVG Pace at the Meadowlands. What stands in the way, are lucrative stakes races at Dover Downs when the track opens for its 47th season the first week in November. The sophomore gelding is eligible for two prestigious and lucrative events in November, the first of which is the Matron Stakes on Thursday, Nov. 12. "I really want to race in the TVG but the problem is the race is at the same time as the Progress Pace (now renamed Hap Hansen Pace), which goes for$300,000 and is for three-year-olds," Teague commented. "It's also at my home track, Dover Downs. That puts me in kind of a tough spot. I think he fits in the TVG, and I like to do things differently. We'll see." The Hap Hansen Pace (formerly Progress Pace) Final is on Monday, Nov. 30. If an elimination is needed, that would go on the previous Monday, Nov. 23, two days after the TVG. Marv Bachrad
The Breeders Crown, harness racing's 12-race US $5.8 million divisional championship series, rolls into Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada on Sat., Oct. 24. Even as the final Grand Circuit week at Lexington's Red Mile gets underway, there are still several divisional titles up for grabs among harness racing's elite. It's decision week for foreign invitees to the $500,000 Breeders Crown Trot, supplements and eligible entries for the Crown races. Any invited foreign trotter must enter in advance of supplements and regular entries, on Monday, Oct. 12, by 10:30 a.m. at the Mohawk race office. Supplements are due and payable by noon on the same day, and are only accepted for the 3-Year-Old and Open Events. There is no supplemental provision for two-year-olds. Regular entries for all other horses kept eligible by the required sustaining payments in 2015 are due Tuesday, October 13, by 10:30 a.m. at the WEG race office at Mohawk Raceway. Eliminations, if necessary, will be raced on Friday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 17. For supplemental amounts and all conditions and details of the race, please call Moira Fanning at 609-371-2211 or Scott McKelvie at (905) 854-7805, or visit www.Hambletonian.org.
The Hambletonian Society, which owns and administrates the Breeders Crown series, will raise the four freshman divisions of the Breeders Crown races to $600,000 each for 2015. The 12 year-end Championship events will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Given the Society's longstanding mission to support and promote the breeding of Standardbred horses and as a participant in the recent summit to positively address the declining foal crop, an immediate boost to 2-year-old purses will benefit breeders, owners and yearling buyers. "Adding $400,000 to each of the 2-year-old divisions will give owners more of a return on their investment this year and also send them to the yearling sales with more to spend," said Tom Charters, president of the Hambletonian Society. "This is a first step in what we expect to be a series of coordinated measures that will increase the opportunity for yearling buyers and thus support the foal crop and the long-term health of the entire industry." The 12-race US$5.8 million Breeders Crown night at Woodbine will have an early post time of 6:30 p.m. [EDT]. Woodbine Racetrack has hosted more editions of the Breeders Crown than any other venue, having crowned 88 champions at the metropolitan Toronto oval.
Win $100,000 Blue Chip Yearling Credit if you win the 2016 harness racing 2yr old Breeders Crown. As the industry continues to search for ways to address the foal crop crisis, Blue Chip Farms has decided to do their part to further increase the opportunity for yearling buyers by offering a $100,000 incentive to winners of the already enhanced $600K 2016 Breeders Crown two year-old races. The Blue Chip Breeders Crown $100K Challenge is as beautiful as it is simple. Buy a Blue Chip bred and owned yearling in one of the 2015 yearling sales; win one of the four 2YO 2016 Breeders Crown races at the Meadowlands and get a $100,000 Blue Chip Yearling Credit. “I fully believe that every one of the fifty plus yearlings we are bringing to this year’s three sales has every chance to win another two year-old Breeders Crown for Blue Chip Bred,” said Blue Chip Farms Principal Tom Grossman. “Nothing would make me happier than to give a $100,000 yearling credit to the owners that take one of our yearlings to the Breeders Crown winner’s circle in 2016 and see that money reinvested into the yearling market.” The Blue Chip $100,000 Breeders Crown Challenge is as simple as it is beautiful. Buy a Blue Chip bred and owned yearling in 2015. Win one of the four 2016 2YO Breeders Crown events (Colt, Filly, Pace or Trot) and receive a $100,000 Blue Chip yearling credit. The yearling credit can be applied to the purchase of a Blue Chip bred and owned yearling in 2016 or 2017. Program Rules: The yearling credit resulting from winning the Breeders' Crown is available for use, in whole or part, in either the 2016 or 2017 yearling sales in which a Blue Chip bred and owned yearling is consigned. The registered owner(s) listed on the Breeders Crown race program will be eligible to use the yearling credit. The yearling credit cannot be transferred to outside parties. The following 2015 yearlings are eligible for the Blue Chip $100K Breeders Crown Challenge HIP NAME C S DOB SIRE DAM SALE GOSHEN YEARLING SALE 111 OPALINE BLUE CHIP B F 01/28/2014 AMERICAN IDEAL JK PRICELESS PEARL NY 82 ORO BLUE CHIP B C 02/08/2014 AMERICAN IDEAL LUCKY TURN NY 96 OTHELLO BLUE CHIP B C 03/31/2014 ARCHANGEL WHINNYBAK HANOVER NY 99 ORIANE BLUE CHIP B F 04/06/2014 ART MAJOR LUCKS MISTRESS NY 57 OBSESSED BLUE CHIP B F 03/23/2014 CHAPTER SEVEN GLUTEUS MAXIMUS NY 93 OSVALDO BLUE CHIP B C 02/20/2014 CHAPTER SEVEN MYOLIN NY 79 ONYX BLUE CHIP B F 01/25/2014 CREDIT WINNER NEW HAMPSHIRE GIRL NY 65 OUTKAST BLUE CHIP B C 03/07/2014 ROCK N ROLL HEAVEN ARMBRO SAVANNAH NY 53 OMEGA BLUE CHIP B C 04/17/2014 ROLL WITH JOE ARMBRO ALTHEA NY 63 OKIDOKI BLUE CHIP BR F 04/29/2014 ROLL WITH JOE MATTARONI NY 122 OHLALA BLUE CHIP B F 05/02/2014 ROLL WITH JOE WARM WAFFLES NY KENTUCKY OFFICER BLUE CHIP B C 03/25/2014 AMERICAN IDEAL GRACE K KY OFFDAHOOK BLUE CHIP B C 03/16/2014 AMERICAN IDEAL STEFANI BLUE CHIP KY ONERY BLUE CHIP B C 05/19/2014 ART MAJOR FOOL THAT I AM KY OLYMPIC BLUE CHIP B C 05/20/2014 CHAPTER SEVEN MUNIS BLUE CHIP KY OZZY BLUE CHIP B C 04/09/2014 ROCKNROLL HANOVER ASCENDING KY OMG BLUE CHIP B C 05/07/2014 SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE AMORA HANOVER KY BEACH BLUE CHIP B C 04/20/2014 SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE SPRIG HANOVER KY HARRISBURG OHELLO BLUE CHIP B F 04/01/2014 AMERICAN IDEAL CHEER MY DEAR HARR OPUS BLUE CHIP B C 04/29/2014 AMERICAN IDEAL PEDOOZLE HARR OVERDTOP BLUE CHIP B C 04/01/2014 AMERICAN IDEAL REGAL WISH HARR ONEIDA BLUE CHIP B F 04/02/2014 AMERICAN IDEAL RISING SUN HARR OASIS BLUE CHIP B F 03/10/2014 AMERICAN IDEAL RUN ON LUCK HARR ONASSIS BLUE CHIP B F 05/03/2014 AMERICAN IDEAL SHOT TOGO BLUECHIP HARR OSPREY BLUE CHIP B F 05/19/2014 AMERICAN IDEAL SOUTHWIND SWALLOW HARR OGDEN BLUE CHIP B C 05/30/2014 ART MAJOR GRO HARR OPULENT BLUE CHIP B F 02/01/2014 ART MAJOR HAZES ZURE BET HARR OCTANE BLUE CHIP B C 04/01/2014 ART MAJOR LEANBACK COCO HARR OMNICIENT BLUECHIP B F 04/30/2014 ART MAJOR SENTBYTHEANGELS HARR OKLAHOMA BLUE CHIP B C 03/31/2014 ART MAJOR WESTERN CHARMER HARR OBSERVE BLUE CHIP B F 5/4/2014 BETTOR'S DELIGHT I-LADY HARR ORCHESTRA BLUECHIP B F 02/20/2014 BETTOR'S DELIGHT INCREDIBLE BEAUTY HARR OSIRIS BLUE CHIP B C 02/05/2014 BETTOR'S DELIGHT PARK AVENUE HARR OZONE BLUE CHIP B C 04/07/2014 BETTOR'S DELIGHT SOIREE HARR ODYSSEY BLUE CHIP B C 02/08/2014 CHAPTER SEVEN MUSCLES SECRET HARR OSTRICH BLUE CHIP B F 04/24/2014 CHAPTER SEVEN SIRENUSE HARR ORTHODOX BLUE CHIP B C 05/12/2014 CHAPTER SEVEN SOUTHWIND CATLIN HARR OMEN BLUE CHIP B F 04/18/2014 CHAPTER SEVEN UP FRONT HOTSEY HARR ODEON BLUE CHIP BR C 04/23/2014 CREDIT WINNER MARS BAR HARR OPERA BLUE CHIP BR F 03/21/2014 CREDIT WINNER MATHERS GINGER HARR ONE MOOR BLUE CHIP B C 05/02/2014 CREDIT WINNER QUEEN OF THE MOOR HARR OPTIMIST BLUE CHIP B C 04/15/2014 DEWEYCHEATUMNHOWE WINNING JONLIN HARR OPIUM BLUE CHIP BR F 3/4/2014 ROCK N ROLL HEAVEN ZINTILLATING HARR OCTAGON BLUE CHIP B C 02/08/2014 ROLL WITH JOE ADVANTEST HARR OAKLEY BLUE CHIP B C 05/05/2014 ROLL WITH JOE BLISS N VINEGAR HARR OOCYTE BLUE CHIP B C 04/15/2014 ROLL WITH JOE DAY BLUE CHIP HARR OBVIOUS BLUE CHIP BR F 01/28/2014 ROLL WITH JOE PUT ON A CLINIC HARR OCTAVIA BLUE CHIP B F 05/31/2014 ROLL WITH JOE SHEWALKSTHEWALK HARR OUTRAJUS BLUE CHIP B C 05/31/2014 ROLL WITH JOE SOME GIRLS DO HARR OLIGOPOLY BLUECHIP BR C 05/07/2014 SHADOW PLAY CASINO MISS HARR ONTARIO BLUE CHIP B F 02/17/2014 SHADOW PLAY LOFTY YANKEE HARR OVATION BLUE CHIP B F 04/14/2014 SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE FANCY CREEK FUNNY HARR OBSCENE BLUE CHIP B C 04/13/2014 WESTERN IDEAL REAL REFLECTIONS HARR
Tuesday’s Menangle harness racing meeting will feature five heats of the 2015 TAB Breeders Crown. The Breeders Crown action is heating up with the Australasian trots world looking ahead to Tabcorp Park Melton's rich Group 1 finals meetings in late August. There will be two three-year-old colts and geldings’ heats on the 11-race program at Menangle, plus heats for three-year-old fillies, two-year-old fillies and two-year-old colts and geldings. Race 1, the three-year-old fillies’ heat, will pit exciting Kiwi Our Classical Art from the Mark Purdon stable against Shane Tritton-trained reigning Breeders Crown champion Katy Perry and talented Goulburn pacer Miss Nickels. Katy Perry beat home Joannes A Delight and Cyclone Kate to claim last year’s two-year-old fillies’ Breeders Crown final at Melton in 1:58.7 when in the care of Cran Dalgety. Now trained by Tritton at Keinbah, the daughter of Bettor's Delight out of In The Pocket mare Karen Donna, is coming off an eighth-of-12 run in the Queensland Oaks at Albion Park. Two starts back she won over 1660m at Albion Park in 1:53.6 when she led to hold off Major Coup by a head. Her New Zealand form before coming to Australia this time was below her best, but she’s very talented when right. Our Classical Art has the Purdon polish and is coming off a Harness Jewels campaign in New Zealand. The Mach Three/Art Lover filly finished 10th of 13 in the $150,000 Diamond final at Ashburton behind The Orange Agent, which followed a solid fifth behind Fight For Glory in the New Zealand Oaks. In November last year Our Classical Art’s class was on display when she beat Supersonic Miss and Delightful Lana in a heat of the NZ Sires Stakes in 1:59.3 (last 800 in 56) by 2 ½ lengths. David Hewitt trained and driven Sportswriter/Tinted Rose pacer Miss Nickels is coming off a second at Group 2 level behind Pass The Magic at Menangle, beaten 2.8m over 2400m (1:59.1). The two-year-old fillies’ heat sees a Purdon-trained daughter of Bettors Delight/Splendid Dreams lining up and chasing a sixth victory in six starts. Our Dream About Me has drawn the pole and is coming off a 1.3m success in the Group 1 2YO Diamond on Jewels Day at Ashburton in May. She’s an exciting type and will be very hard to beat. Drawn alongside is a talented Australian pacer in Hot Shot Woman from the Daniel Neagoe stables at Cobbitty. Hot Shot Woman, by Rocknroll Hanover out of Deadly Woman, has placed second six times in nine starts to date and is coming off a last-start runner-up effort at Group 1 level beaten 3.8m by Heavens Trend in the Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle (1:52.9). An interesting filly in the small field of five is Abettorrose from the Kerryann Turner stable at Menangle. Abettorose captured the Group 2 Pink Bonnet at her second career start in February when she defeated Art Mistress over a mile in 1:56.4 by a head. The first of the two three-year-old boys’ heats for the day sees former champion two-year-old Follow The Stars coming out of gate three for the Purdon camp after running third in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final at Melton last time out. The second of the three-year-old boys’ heats looks an even affair, with Kilcullen drawn the pole for the John McCarthy stable, Todd McCarthy in the gig. Race 7 at Menangle will pit some top-notch youngsters against each other in the two-year-old colts and geldings’ Breeders Crown heat, with unbeaten star Our Waikiki Beach the one to beat. Another powerful pacer from the Purdon stable at Christchurch, Our Waikiki Beach has greeted the starter nine times and is yet to taste defeat. The son of Somebeachsomewhere/Cyclone Betty won the Breeders Challenge Final last start in 1:53.7 over the mile at Menangle and will come out of gate five. Bettor Together has won two on the spin for the Belinda McCarthy stable and will be driven by Todd McCarthy from barrier two, Smithstars Lexus rises in class after three straight wins from the Steve Turnbull yard at The Lagoon, while Trijet has shown plenty winning two of his four starts to date for the Tritton stable with Rob Morris in the sulky. The Breeders Crown action continues in New Zealand Thursday and Friday at Cambridge and Addington before rolling into Western Australia on Monday at Gloucester Park. Click here for the full fields. Click here for The Australasian Breeders Crown site by Cody Winnell
Freehold, NJ --- Wiggle It Jiggleit remained undefeated with a win Saturday in a division of the Indiana Sire Stakes and moved to No. 1 in this week’s harness racing Hambletonian Society / Breeders Crown poll. The 3-year-old male pacer is perfect in eight starts this season and 9-for-9 lifetime. Father Patrick made his seasonal debut on Sunday, winning the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational by two lengths over Bee A Magician and debuts at No. 3 in the Top 10. His time of 1:52.1 equaled the Harrah’s Philadelphia track record for a 4-year-old male trotter. Bee A Magician, a 5-year-old female trotter who was undefeated in her three previous races this year, dropped from first to second in the rankings. Last season’s Horse of the Year, JK She’salady, made her first trip to the races on Monday and won a division of the New York Sire Stakes. She is the only other newcomer in the Top 10, appearing at No. 8. JK She’salady is undefeated in 13 career starts. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 2 – 5/26/2015 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (17) 3pg 8-8-0-0 $98,242 303 2 2 Bee A Magician (3) 5tm 4-3-1-0 $170,735 287 1 3 Father Patrick (13) 4th 1-1-0-0 $75,000 246 -- 4 All Bets Off 4ph 3-2-0-0 $102,328 135 3 5 Artspeak (1) 3pc 1-1-0-0 $10,000 129 5 6 Mission Brief 3tf 1-1-0-0 $12,500 93 9 7 JL Cruze 4tg 13-11-2-0 $155,513 81 6 8 JK She’salady 3pf 1-1-0-0 $15,525 79 -- 9 JK Endofanera (1) 4ph 1-1-0-0 $25,000 71 7 10 Domethatagain 6ph 10-3-2-0 $344,375 68 4 Also: Rockeyed Optimist (65); In The Arsenal (54); Pinkman (49); Wind Of The North (30); Totally Rusty (21); P H Supercam (19); Radar Contact (17); Habitat, Whom Shall I Fear (16); Great Vintage, Shake It Cerry (12); Classic Martine, Hurrikane Ali (11); Melady’s Monet (10); Art History, Modern Legend (9); Freaky Feet Pete (8); Sonofa Sizzle (7); Carolsideal, Doo Wop Hanover, Wakizashi Hanover, Yagonnakissmeornot (6); Bandolito, Ideal Cowboy, Take It Back Terry (5); Bourbon Bay (4); Doctor Butch, Physicallyinclined (3); Opulent Yankee, Stubborn Belle, Uncle Lasse (2); Let’s Drink On It, Split The House (1). Unbeaten Wiggle It Juggleit is looking more like harness racing’s next superstar. We check out his 1:49 world record performance at Harrington, winning by a humongous 14 lengths. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications
Columbus, OH --- Martiniontherocks, the 2010 Breeders Crown champion for harness racing 2-year-old filly trotters, died May 4, 2015, according to her owner, Thomas Cooke. She was in foal to Googoo Gaagaa. The daughter of Conway Hall-Inspired Society won four of 10 starts as a freshman in 2010 while under the care of trainer Dustin Jones. In addition to the Breeders Crown, she was victorious that year in a Champlain Stakes division and a Peaceful Way elimination. Martiniontherocks raced for three more seasons and compiled a career record of 51-8-10-8, with $498,658 in earnings. She took her mark of 1:55.3f as a 5-year-old at Rosecroft Raceway. from the USTA Communications Department
Stallion nominations (other than first-year stallions) for breedings of 2015 are due Thursday, January 15 for Breeders Crown No. 32. This payment makes the resulting foals of 2016 eligible to the sport's most prestigious year-end championship series, the $5.6 million Breeders Crown. Nominations must be postmarked by Friday night by midnight, January 16, 2015. For more information, please contact (609) 371-2211. This form is available here: http://www.hambletonian.org/resources/2015BCStallionNom32.pdf by Moira Fanning, for the Breeders Crown
Year after year, owner Marc Goldberg would feel a sense of warmth cut through winter's chill as he anticipated the return of star trotter Arch Madness. But this year, and beyond, Goldberg will rely on memories. Arch Madness, who turned 11 on Jan. 1, will not return to the races. Goldberg said the Trond Smedshammer-trained gelding, whose career wins included a Breeders Crown, Maple Leaf Trot and Oslo Grand Prix en route to $4.28 million in purses, has been retired. "It's so bittersweet, I can't tell you," said Goldberg, who owned Arch Madness with Barry Goldstein's Willow Pond LLC. "I have such a letdown right now. Trond would be bringing him in anytime now off his layoff to start to get him ready for the spring. But I don't think he can handle the top rung and I just didn't think it was fair to him to put him through that. "In my mind, it was time to do right by the horse and it was time to let him live out his life the way he's supposed to. I'm going to miss him immensely when they start racing. It's going to be a tough spring and summer to go through without him. But he gave us his heart and soul for eight years and it's time for him to relax and love life." Goldberg, Goldstein and Steven Shapiro bred Arch Madness, a son of Balanced Image out of the mare Armbro Archer. Arch Madness stood a little crooked as a young horse, but matured into a multiple-stakes-winner. He raced only twice at age 2, but made headlines the following season when he upset eventual Horse of the Year Donato Hanover in the 2007 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters. "We bought the mare and for some reason I decided to breed her to Balanced Image at the end of his (stallion) career," Goldstein said. "Why, I don't recall; probably for all the wrong reasons. David Meirs raised the horse and did a wonderful job. But he wasn't really an attractive horse at all. I told Trond to just stick with him and we'd see what happens. We just got very lucky. "It was a wonderful experience and I met a lot of nice people as a result. We had a lot of fun." Arch Madness ranks No. 6 in earnings among all trotters in history, and second to only Moni Maker among trotters that raced the majority of their careers in North America. He made a record seven appearances in the Breeders Crown and trotted a world-record 1:50.2 mile at age 7 - and equaled the mark at age 9. His top triumphs came in the 2007 Breeders Crown for 3-year-olds, 2008 Maple Leaf Trot, 2011 Oslo Grand Prix, 2011 Titan Cup, 2010 Cutler Memorial, 2009 Credit Winner, and 2013 Allerage Open Trot. He finished second in Sweden's Elitloppet in 2012 and 2013. He also finished second twice in the Breeders Crown Open, in 2008 and 2009, and twice in the Maple Leaf Trot, in 2009 and 2011. "There were so many high points to his career, it's hard to pick any one out," Goldstein said. "The Breeders Crown when he beat Donato (Hanover) was a highlight, and maybe the Oslo Grand Prix would also stick out. We were standing there and they're playing the national anthem, and I didn't know what to do with myself, so I started singing. Those would probably be my two high points." Said Goldberg, "The Maple Leaf Trot was really unbelievable. Just to see the look on Trond's face and how happy he was, I can still picture him running across the track. That was huge. Of course, beating Donato in the Breeders Crown was just amazing. Everyone thought the (elimination win) was a fluke and we came back and did it the exact same way. That was just great. "The durability of this horse, year after year, he was up to the challenge. There were new horses every year and he took them all on. He was an absolute warrior. That was his greatest attribute. He answered the bell for every single race against the best." Smedshammer agreed that Arch Madness' win in the Breeders Crown was among the most memorable, but said the horse's best performance came in winning the 2011 Titan Cup by eight lengths over Lucky Jim in 1:50.2. "He was vicious," Smedshammer said. "I've always said that was at least a (1):49 mile because the track was so deep that night. I would say that was his best race ever. The Allerage (in 2013) also was special. That was almost magical because we didn't expect it. "Every year he used to come up with a moment. Those Balanced Images are just iron-tough horses. He was always a fairly sound horse, he didn't have any major issues. I don't know what makes some horses last year after year. It's certainly inside of them. It's their mentality." Goldberg said Arch Madness' success was a team effort, from the time the horse was born through his final race. Among the many people Goldberg cited were driver Brian Sears, who guided Arch Madness to many of his biggest wins, Smedshammer and caretakers Maria Kristensen and Ida Nilsen. "He's got his demons, Arch," Goldberg said, laughing. "He's a crazy, crazy guy. Without Maria and Ida, he might have been really unmanageable. They adored him and did an unbelievable job with him. And he was managed very well. You have to give Trond the credit. He's a world-class horseman. "I can't thank people enough. There were so many people along the way that helped out." Arch Madness will stay in New Jersey for another week before heading to the farm of Mike Andrew in Maine, where he will be reunited with his old Smedshammer Stable buddy Likeabatoutahell. After the winter, Arch Madness will likely return to New Jersey so Goldberg can remain near the horse. "He gave me the memories of a lifetime," Goldberg said. "Whenever I'm down I just go on the computer and click on one of his races and bingo. "I was fortunate enough to say that I owned him. The experiences he afforded me and my family, you couldn't write a better script. I never thought anything like that would happen for me. It was a dream, an absolute dream. He took us for a great ride. I owe it all to him. "Trond said he checked in on Arch and he's loving life. That's the way we need it to be for the old man. "Now it's his time." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
It was like being on the set of a Hollywood movie, many of harness racing’s biggest stars all in one place. The sights, the sounds were all so fascinating, all more magical than my wildest dreams! I was in a state of true awe and pure joy, I was actually here for the first time at the Meadowlands Racetrack! It was genuinely thoughtful and kind hearted of the Meadowlands to invite me down for the Fourth of July weekend. On the Friday as my parents and I walked through the doors I was speechless, there was so much to see and I did not want to miss a single moment of the action. I was afraid to blink, worried I might miss something, it was as though I was stepping into another world and little did I know I really was. I could feel an overwhelming sense of true enthusiasm and it felt as though I was exactly where I belonged. Everyone was so genuinely kind to me and made me feel welcome and that is a feeling I will never forgot. A gentlemen name Gary greeted us at the door; from there I met Darin Zoccali who was a big part of making this trip happen. I also met Ken Warkentin and Bob “Hollywood” Heyden on the set of their show and that was an amazing experience. All I wanted was to see the track, but my mom reminded me of our reservations in Trotters which I was also excited for. As we walked in and took our seats, I was still trying to wrap my head around where I was and the day’s events. I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of racing’s top horses up close, all of which I had watched race on the computer, and now I had the unforgettable moments of telling them how pretty or handsome they are. I got to get up and close and personal with Somwhereovrtherainbow, Shebestingin, Market Share, and Captaintreacherous! Along with the people who make them the great racehorses that they are were Linda Toscano, Shelly Grieco and Joe Holloway. While visiting Alagna Racing and Captaintreacherous at Gaitway Farms, Mr. [Tony] Alagna gave me a gift certificate for Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supplies so I could get some more pink tack for Pinky! I got to give Captaintreacherous carrots, the only word to describe that experience is unforgettable. Captaintreacherous is the biggest and most majestic animal I have ever seen, he had this presence of power about him, and that has forever left a lasting impression on me. After eating some really good food and seeing and chatting to some friends it was time to see the track and watch some races! I was in total disbelief; here I was sitting along the rail of the Meadowlands Racetrack! I had this feeling of honor just looking at it`, this is where the champions raced both horses and drivers. While I was starring at the track in awe and looking at my program, my mom said to me, “who do like in the 7th race?” As I scanned the page looking at the contenders for the 7th race, my mom leaned over and pointed to the top of the page and it read ‘Sydney Weaver’s Big M Debut’. I was in shock, to see that was spectacular and something I was not expecting. Although I knew that tomorrow I would make the presentation for the 2014 Hambletonian Maturity Trot along with members of the Hambletonian Society, which was a true honor for me. As the races were called to post my heart raced with excitement, I still could not believe that I was at the Meadowlands. I watched the horses go by one by one, seeing the horses and their drivers’ parade was just ‘wow’ for me. I had dreamt this moment a thousand times but to actually be along the rail was pretty incredible. I am in awe during any race but these ones made me really in awe. Watching races on the computer of The Meadowlands never prepared me for the picturesque sight of the track and grandstand. I lost track of time being in admiration of everything around me, and before I knew it was time for 7th race. I had never presented a trophy before and I felt special being able to present my first one at the Meadowlands! As the horses crossed the wire my dad and I headed to the Winner’s Circle! A gentleman named Paul whom I had met earlier that evening handed me the trophy, subconsciously I was a little nervous but I was too excited to notice the butterflies I was feeling. After a very busy and exciting day with too many memories to even count, we headed back to our hotel. I was reviewing the day’s events in my mind, a lot of it seemed like a dream. I looked to my mom and said, “Pinch me! I want to make sure I didn’t dream today and everything that happened was real!” That night I fell asleep to the replaying of events that had taken place, so much had happened, all of which I did not want to forget. Tomorrow would be just as busy and filled with even more memories and with that I nodded off to sleep. That morning I woke with excitement, it was Saturday and my parents and I were going to the baby races and I was super excited because champions like Perfect Alliance were going to qualify and 2-year-olds were prepping to become champions. When we arrived back at the Meadowlands I was just as wide eyed as the night before, we ate a quick delicious breakfast. It was quick because today was my final day here and I could eat later; besides all the excitement was taking over my appetite. When we finally reached the rail in the sizzling heat of the July sun, I found the perfect spot and never moved until the baby races and qualifiers were over. I learned was a really bad decision, I got a severe bad sunburn. Now this was a fault of my own; I only got sunburned because I was unwilling to miss a baby race to go inside and apply sunscreen even though my mom insisted, this became known as the ‘baby race burn.’ Back at our hotel, I was all excited for tonight. My mom put Aloe Vera on my sunburn. Even though it did not really bother me because I was counting down the hours until we would back at the track. The time finally came and as we walked through doors and I got that giddy feeling again. Tonight we were eating in a restaurant called Pink, and it was! The food in pink was delicious and I left feeling full! We watched the races and I cheered for my friends, wishing winning trainers, drivers and owners congratulations as they passed me. Even some of my fellow Canadians were racing and I was glad I could be there to watch and cheer them on. After watching the races in their entirety my mom, my dad and I headed up to the rooftop to watch the fireworks and see some of my friends. On our way up there we just happen to meet up with Doug McNair, and Jody Jamieson, and that was an unexpected surprise. The firework show was simply mesmerizing and I was capturing their beauty with the bright lights of New York City in the background. The best part of it all was I was taking it all in surrounded by my friends and harness racing’s superstars and for me that was a memorable night filled with magic. That night I walked out of the doors with a heart filled with different emotions. It was a whirlwind of a trip, so much happened and everybody was so genuinely kind to me. The passion everyone had for horse racing down here was refreshing. But at the same time I was a little sad because I was leaving and I did not know when I would be back. I had created so many new friendships and so many memories, both will always be a part of who I am. I was leaving for the Harness Racing Hall of Fame and Museum in the morning; but those adventures are for another day. A few months later a friend of mine, Mary Christopher, posted on my Facebook ‘Well little Miss Weaver... you best get packed because myself and your mother are taking you to the BREEDERS CROWN! Have to watch my horse race and thought you would like to go watch Il Sogno Dreams.’ That is when I dropped my head into my hands and began to cry tears of pure happiness. We were going to leave in only a few days and I could not wait! I only had three days of school left and they felt like the longest three days of school ever, because all I could think about was going back to the Meadowlands and the Breeders Crown! I got a little nervous a couple days before, Buffalo, New York got a wicked snow storm and this made me worry because I knew we crossed into Buffalo last time. This meant we would either have to cancel or leave earlier, I hoped it was the latter of the two. My mom and Mary had planned a route that would allow us to avoid the storm. It would take us longer but it would get us there and that is all that mattered. The night before we would start our journey to the Meadowlands I did not sleep. I was anticipating being back at the Meadowlands, replaying the big moments that I remember like it happened yesterday. I was listening just in case in the wee hours of the morning when my mom knocked on my bedroom door and told me to get ready because we were going to start driving. When my mom came in it was not too early, I had all the energy as if it were Christmas morning. The drive took about 10 hours, that night we relaxed in our hotel room. The next morning we went shopping! I got a new outfit to wear that night for dinner in pink! By the time we returned to the hotel it was time to get ready to go the Meadowlands! Walking through the doors of the Meadowlands again made me feel full of bliss, seeing my friends that I had not seen since July was wonderful, and I also met new ones. Once again Gary greeted us at the door, and I asked him if Jason Settlemoir was available. He told me he was, and took us up to his office. I felt very special to be up in the office with, Jason and Mr. Jeff Gural. That night we three girls ate in Pink, and once again the food was excellent. After eating we went down to the rail and I found my spot, I was so happy to be back! The only way to describe how I was feeling was like returning home after a long time away! The races were still as heart stopping as they were in July. I was here to witness the finals of the Breeders Crown and as they say, ‘It all comes down to Breeders Crown’ and here I was a part of the action! The next day we went to the qualifiers, it made my heart skip a beat as we walked through the entrance of the paddock as I felt honored to be in the backstretch of the Meadowlands, as it was another memory that was wow for me! I got to meet the regal Golden Receiver, and the elegant Sebastian K who were both qualifying that day. That night the races continued to be magnificent as usual, my friend who was kind enough to invite us down, had her horse, Il Songo Dreams racing in the three-year-old colts and geldings division. As he stepped out on the track, all three of us became nervous and excited, all the way around we were hollering the loudest and jumping up and down. He raced tough and tried his hardest but finished seventh. All three of us were happy and proud of him, it did not matter where he finished, what matter was we had a great weekend. The Meadowlands is a special place to me, where my heart never beats normal, because it had either stopped because something unbelievable had happened or because I was so excited for something and it was beating out of my chest. There will always be a lot of things that I will remember about the Meadowlands, but one thing that left a lasting impression was the enthusiasm the fans had for horse racing and how kind the people were to me and everyone made me feel special and that is something I will always hold near and dear to my heart. I have so many wonderful memories, but not all of them made it into this story, and that does not mean they are any less important because I will always cherish all of them. Thank you to Darin, Jason and Mr. Gural for inviting for me down and for making the Meadowlands the wonderful place it is. Sydney Weaver is 14 years old and resides in Acton, Ontario, Canada. She has been involved with harness racing for years, grooms horses, jogs them on the track, owns a racehorse and has already won major youth writing awards. Sydney also has Cerebral Palsy, but has never let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals.
Wellington, FL – Leslie L. Ducharme, the wife of Standardbred owner/trainer John Ducharme, tragically died on Tuesday after falling from her horse. She was 72. The incident happened in Saddle Trail Park along Appaloosa Trail around 3:30 pm according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. Ducharme suffered traumatic injuries, according to rescue crews at the scene. She was rushed to Palms West Hospital where she died. Leslie Ducharme was a member of the United States Trotting Association since 1996 and with her husband John, have co-owned and raced more than 50 Standardbred horses. She also owned and competed her jumper horses. Her husband John was the trainer of 1995 Breeders Crown winner, Abundance. More details will be announced when available. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
Within a week or so hundreds of ballots will go out to the membership of the United State Trotting Association (USHWA) and race secretaries throughout North America. These journalists and communicators will have the duty of selecting the prestigious Dan Patch award winners for the 2014 race season. They are entrusted in voting for what will mean a lot of prestige and big bucks for both colts and fillies and horses and mares when it comes time for the stallion shed or broodmare ranks. So who will these USHWA members be voting for? After this weekend’s top notch racing some of the choices are just plain standouts but a lot are not. In fact, some voters will have to wait until next week’s TVG finals at the Meadowlands before they can sit down and make their final decisions. USHWA members are human being too and thus have to weigh-in all the facts and separate the statistical data they will review with the feelings in their heart when it comes voting time and look back on the long season and not just the last few weeks and then cast their ballots. Then on Thursday, December 18, once all the ballots have been counted, the USHWA membership will hold a press conference at the Meadowlands to announce the winners. Usually these announcements would be held up in suspense until the big Dan Patch Awards dinner February 22, 2015 at the DoubleTree Hilton Orlando by SeaWorld. The USHWA membership voted last year to announce all the winners ahead of time to try and glean the most publicity out of the winners this year instead of it being buried and not getting any newsprint until after the fact on the night of the dinner. The Dan Patch Awards Dinner will still be a major event and celebration of all the winners, both equine and human from the 2014 season and the first introduction of the newest inductees to the prestigious Hall of Fame. It is truly an event that everyone should consider attending. But it still leaves the question of who will everyone be voting for? Let’s do a little overview of each of the divisions and how they stack up after the Breeders Crown. Two-Year-Old Trotting Fillies - If if if….Wild Honey could only have stayed on stride and have a shot against Mission Brief. She was as near perfect as you can get in a season. Mission Brief was super-fast both on track and in jumping off stride, but without Wild Honey being able to take real shot at her, looks to have given Mission Brief the nod of approval in this division. Also setting a world record along the way always helps too. Two-Year-Old Pacing Fillies - No one in the world can argue that JK She’salady is the unopposed candidate in this division. Yes, Sassa Hanover is no slouch and Yannick Gingras chose wrong and it will be great to see these two tangle next year, but going undefeated at 12 for 12 is perfection at its best. Her pulling away from Sassa Hanover in the stretch in the Breeders Crown was very impressive after the great season she had. The only question is if the voting membership of USHWA can make her the Harness Horse of the Year in 2014. More on that to come later in this story. Two-Year-Old Trotting Colts - Now we really get into a tough category. Pinkman closes out the season with a flourish, winning four straight including the Breeders Crown in a lifetime mark on a cold night nearly rewriting the world record. But both Habitat and French Laundry also had super seasons. Pinkman did beat Habitat three of the four times they faced each other. French Laundry only faced Pinkman in the BC final and French Laundry never faced Habitat until the Breeders Crown. Can’t we just race the three of them against each other and winner takes the title? Two-Year-Old Pacing Colts - Throughout this season all the talk was Artspeak and rightly so. The colt was fabulous and beat all comers until he met up with In The Arsenal in Lexington and then things changes as the unbeaten was beaten. But Artspeak was able to come back to victory lane and close out his season with a big win in the Governor’s Cup before either getting too sore or enough is enough this year and skipping the Matron and Breeders Crown. Now comes along the dragon slayer, In The Arsenal. He puts an end to Artspeaks unbeaten streak, then he does the same to unbeaten Yankee Bounty two starts in a row. Here comes the Breeders Crown and not once, but twice drawing the 10 post and races super valiant but could not win but he should be a real terror next year. Three-Year-Old Trotting Fillies - All season long Shake It Cerry was the horse to beat in this division. And on just two occasions, one important one being the Hambletonian Oaks, Shake It Cerry did get beat. But that was it for the year. After the Oaks loss she rallied for nine straight wins to close out 2014 with 15 wins in 17 starts. Her Breeders Crown score after going three-wide on the final turn was a super dramatic way to end the season. Credit also must be given to her stable mate, Lifetime Pursuit, who also had a top notch season. Three-Year-Old Pacing Fillies - This was a topsy turvey division throughout the year. With last year’s top filly, Precocious Beauty unable to come back and dominate the division it became a question of who will win this week. Then a filly named Color’s A Virgin put on a dramatic showing in winning the Jugette in straight heats and slowly became a household name for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Brian Brown…until the Breeders Crown finale. After winning her BC elimination division for her seventh straight score and 13th win of the year, Color’s A Virgin was living up to her hype. Now comes the Breeders Crown final and low and behold here comes Sayitall BB. She wins very convincingly and when you look at her record she shows nine wins and over $500,000 earned. Three-Year-Trotting Colts - Father Patrick was tabbed early on to be the great one. And he was early on but after his went off stride in the Hambletonian, his stable mates, Trixton and Nuncio took over the spot light. And each time Father Patrick would rebound, he got beat again or made a break to set him back. Then Trixton went lame and ended his career and Mr. Consistency, Nuncio, emerged on the scene to reap two of the three trotting Triple Crown races and the only one of the three to step on and win on a half mile track. But then here comes Father Patrick in the Breeders Crown final. Beaten by E L Titan, beaten by Nuncio, the top rated colt at the start of the season comes back at the very end with stakes record 1:51.4 triumph to close out the 2014 season. Tale of the tape says Father Patrick beat Nuncio five times to Nuncio beating him three times, or at least beating himself by breaking. Both colts have near identical records so a strong case can be made on behalf or against either top candidate. Three-Year-Old Colt Pacers - All Always B Miki had to do was not go lame before the start of the Breeders Crown as if he had won there would be no contest in this division. Despite the lameness, Always B Miki has had a sensational season with 12 big scores, winning eight of his last nine starts. Now with Always B Miki going lame for the Breeders Crown, it brings to light the other top colts in the division. Jug winner Limelight Beach was going strong but scratched early from the Breeders Crown Final. JK Endofanera was third in the BC final and sports ten wins this year and over $1 million in earnings this season. Then there is McWicked, who was so hot in mid-season but failed to fire in the Jug and had not won a race since early September. Always game but could not win. He becomes the strong horse in the Breeders Crown and overpowers the field to win in a very impressive 1:49. He now leads all the colts with $1,300,00 won this year. Older Trotting Mares - USHWA members get a ton of statistical data to help them make their decisions in voting for horses of the year and this division needs those stats. Bee A Magician is the defending Harness Horse of the Year. She won’t have a shot at it again, but for her division she has to go up against Maven and Classic Martine. Bee A Magician was not her old self this year but came back to winning form in the Breeders Crown. She changed tactics and wired the field in 1:51.4. But only four wins this year vs a perfect 17 or 17 last year is not good. She was a game second place finisher in some big stakes six times this year. Maven has caught everyone’s eye and rightly so. She raced against the boys off and on this season and beat them here and in Europe. Her come from behind score from post ten last week at the Meadowlands was sensational. Her second place finish to Commander Crowe was top of the line against some very good horses. But once again only four wins and maybe not the world champion caliber she was last year. Classic Martine is most certainly the statistical favorite in here. Her 9 wins, 5 seconds and 2 thirds in 18 starts is the best record of anyone. She also has more earnings this year than anyone else in the group at $460,000 is tops too. Plus she did not skip many of the big dances. This is another toughie division. Older Trotter Horses - There was a lot of hype when Sebastian K first came over to the USA. Is he the great horse everyone in Europe had been talking for years? That question was answered in his first start for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt. Then the next start and the next start and how fast can this guy go? How domineering can he be? Well, the answers were all age world record 1:49, numerous 1:50 and change miles, the barefoot wonder who was nearly unbeatable unless it rained and the track was off. No question what so ever that Sebastian K, regardless of his final appearance this year in the TVG finals this weekend, has been a true super star performer. The only question will be if Sebastian K is fit enough to win the TVG final and then go head and head with a little pacing filly and a duo of trotting colts for Harness Horse of the Year honors. Older Pacing Mares - For three straight years Anndrovette has dominated this division, but maybe not in 2014. She was a decent fourth in the Breeders Crown but had yet to win a race against these since late August. The new kid on the block this season has been Yagonnakissmeornot. With 14 wins in 30 starts she has been very good in both stakes and Opens and is the highest money earner among this group. Yet she could not hit the board in the Breeders Crown either. Somwherovrarainbow came into the Breeders Crown in good form but she could not muster a BC check. Rocklamation, when good is great, but she has just too many issues each season but she did rally hard to be second in the Breeders Crown. Shebestingin, Charisma Hanover, Voelz Hanover, even the Breeders Crown winner, Shelliscape, could have been considered but their inconsistent race patterns eliminate them. Older Pacing Horses - A win would have made it more convincing, but after yet another game effort, second in the Breeders Crown, Sweet Lou may just be able to end his career as he started it, with a Dan Patch award. His ten wins and $1.1 million in earnings this year plus the win streak and the sub 1:48 miles every week make him just about too strong to think twice about. Foiled Again had another great season, State Treasurer too and Bettor’s Edge. It was a great season again for the older pacing ranks with so many good competitors who would step up and score big, like Thinking Out Loud in the Breeders Crown, Clear Vision too. Trotter of the Year - It is just about too tough to call in here. Sebastian K quietly came into the United States and then set the sport on fire this summer, set track and world marks nearly every other start. Then he faced some losses on sloppy tracks and sorta sored up at the end of the season. But now he looked great in his qualifier and voters will be watching the TVG finals this weekend at the Meadowlands to see how he rebounds. But what about Father Patrick and/or Nuncio? Throw out the two major breaks and he is nearly perfect all season long and was on cruise control in winning the Breeders Crown. Nuncio is Mr. Consistency all season long, no breaks, won two of three Triple Crown jewels and won with ease on a half mile too. His third place finish in the Breeders Crown was the only time he was worse than second all season. Both horses have nearly identical records, Father Patrick beat Nuncio five times, Nuncio beat Father Patrick three times. And let’s talk about Shake It Cerry! With 15 wins in 17 starts, $1,230,000 in earnings. Three-wide on the final turn and trots away in the Breeders Crown. She had nearly done it all except for her Hambletonian Oaks fourth place finish. You can’t make a case for the other three without having her join in too! Anyone have a four-sided coin we can flip? Pacer of the Year - JK She’salady was perfect this year, 12 for 12. She never shied from any major stakes race. She took on all comers and in the Breeders Crown was looked in the eye by Sassa Hanover and dug in to score in a romp. But she is a freshman filly and more than likely going against a seasoned veteran in Sweet Lou, who for months was unbeatable against the best in the sport. Harness Horse of the Year - With nearly 200 members of USHWA voting for the horse of the year honors this season, it’s impossible, maybe, to read everyone’s minds. From a statistical point of view, provided JK She’salady can beat Sweet Lou, then harness racing history could be made as no two-year-old filly has ever been named Harness Horse of the Year. But that could very well change in 2014 as the little lady had a sensational season, sorta like last year’s Harness Horse of the Year, Bee A Magician. From the trotting side perhaps because of the boost to harness racing’s moral from his sensational season, should Sebastian K beat out Shake It Cerry, Father Patrick’s and Nuncio, then it will be a real contest between the world champion trotter and the little lady. But that’s not to say it could also happen with most any of the possible finalists. It’s been that great a racing season. It is actually too close to even try and make a pick, and with so many great possible scenarios to consider, we’ll just have to wait and see who the USHWA Membership votes for. We will all know before Christmas. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
Winner: Jimmy Takter won three Breeders Crown races and is already an amazing $5.4 million ahead of last year’s $7.8 million earning’s figure. Shake It Cerry was already assured of a division win, while Father Patrick and Pinkman probably won their divisions last night. Loser: Always A Virgin came into the BC poised to have two winners and, if that happened, two division titles. This would have given the ten-year-old stallion, and the Indiana program he spearheads, a huge boost. Unfortunately, Always B Miki scratched out of the sophomore colt pace and his filly counterpart, Color’s A Virgin, was too far back in her race and finished fourth. Winner: McWicked stepped up and seized control of a floundering division with his BC victory. Neither the Adios nor the Hempt would rate grade one status in today’s environment, so McWicked needed a top shelf win to bolster his resume. That combined with his earning’s lead should give him a solid shot at division supremacy. Casie Coleman said he may have one more start in him. That would no doubt be the Progress Pace, which he can supplement to for $25,000. A win in the Progress should secure division honors. Loser: Joe Holloway had a clear path to a division title and a start in the lucrative TVG with Always B Miki, but that one was a late scratch when he injured a leg in his stall just prior to post time. Beyond that, Holloway came into the season positioned to dominate the aged pacing mares with four-year-old hotshots Shebestingin and Somwherovrarainbow. However, Rainbow finished tenth in the BC while the world record holder, Shebestingin, has only started three times since the end of July—all losing efforts. Winner: Yannick Gingras added $1.5 million to his earning’s pile over the past week. He has now handily eclipsed Tim Tetrick’s $16.1 million winning total from last year and Gingras is already $2.2 million up on what he earned in all of 2013. He won four BC races, and no doubt would have had five if he maintained his relationship with JK She’salady. Loser: Tony Alagna, the third leading trainer last year and currently ranked seventh, didn’t have any starters in the dozen BC finals. Captaintreacherous has been retired and Artspeak was shut down for the season. It’s unusual for a trainer like Alagna, who specialized in high-end stock, to be a bystander come BC weekend. Last year he won with Captain T and was second to Nitelife with Authorize. Erv Miller, who is the third ranked trainer on the earning’s list, also had no starters, but that’s not really his field of play. Winner: John Campbell’s off the pace wins with 4-1 Thinking Out Loud and 10-1 Shelliscape give him a record 47 Breeders Crown wins. Winner: Father Patrick has won 22 of his 28 lifetime starts and earned $1.6 million this year—$235,000 more than any other NA trotter or pacer. Yet, as was the case with Captaintreacherous during his sophomore season, Patrick seems to take a lot of heat. Going into last night’s race it was understood that a win by Nuncio would give him the division as well as serious Horse of the Year consideration. But now Patrick owns the division for good and will be given an opportunity to further his redemption for losses in the Hambletonion, Matron and Erskine when and if he takes on his elders in the TVG. Winner: JK She’salady probably secured Horse of the Year honors with her BC win in track and stakes record time. She completed a perfect 12 win season. The daughter of Art Major would be the first freshman filly ever to win that award. Loser: Jeff Gural had to be pleased that the weather cooperated and business was good over Breeders Crown weekend. However, BC wins by Traceur Hanover, trained by the indefinitely suspended Corey Johnson, and the PJ Fraley trainee Shelliscape, had to leave him with a sour stomach. Fraley, along with Rene Allard, whose Yagonnakissmeornot finished fifth as the favorite in the aged mare pace, were both deemed persona non grata by Gural last year. Legal precedent and BC staking rules left him with no choice but to allow the trio to compete. After Traceur won the freshman pace Johnson, who towered over everyone else in the winner’s circle, drew all eyes. The fact that good guy Andy Miller drove Traceur and handled the post-race interview offered some relief for Meadowlands and Breeders Crown execs. Winner: Hanover Shoe Farms had a very good weekend. Nineteen-year-old Western Ideal, who had grown out of favor with the buyers as his New Jersey eligibility lingered on, has turned that around of late. His son Always A Virgin has generated plenty of publicity this year and now Hanover has Traceur Hanover to join Artspeak at the vanguard of the freshman pacing ranks. The latter was a winner because In The Arsenal, who finished second behind Traceur Hanover, did not wrestle the division away from him. Also, Pinkman, winner of the two-year-old colt trot, gives the young stallion Explosive Matter the potential star performer he’s been searching for. Hanover also got wins from Father Patrick, a son of their premier trotting stallion Cantab Hall, and Donato’s daughter Shake It Cerry. Winner: With Thinking Out Loud, who is not a viable candidate for division honors, winning the BC open pace, Sweet Lou, who was second, set himself up nicely for division honors. Winner: Marginal pacing stallions stepped to the fore over the weekend. McArdle is trying to establish himself in slots rich Ohio and having McWicked, his number two son after One More Laugh, win the BC and in so doing pave the way for a division title, helps immeasurably in that regard. And ten-year-old Tell All has failed to light it up thus far in the stallion ranks, but that win by supplemental entry, Sayitall BB, certainly helps. Bob McIntosh would probably scoff at the notion that Ponder is a marginal stallion, but the volume has been so thin that it sometimes seems like they all belong to him. Diamond Creek is currently addressing that issue in Pennsylvania. Adding a BC trophy to Thinking Out Loud’s hardware collection will give the effort a boost. And while Artiscape’s great daughter Rainbow Blue has a BC trophy on the mantle; paternal sister Shelliscape now has two of them. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J./ Older trotters were overwhelmed by international star Commander Crowe in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot at the Meadowlands on Nov. 22. The 11-year-old gelding showed his heels to his younger rivals and won in a stakes-equaling 1:51. Driven by Orjan Kihlstrom, Commander Crowe, who left quickly with Arch Madness (George Brenna) and Creatine (Ron Pierce), took over after a first quarter of :27 and a half of :54.4. It was the mare, Maven (Yannick Gingras), who began a major challenge to Commander Crowe, coming after him from the second tier with Creatine on the pylons looking for room to make a passing bid. But Commander Crowe was tough on top and would not be denied the Breeders Crown win he has attempted twice before and was unsuccessful. Maven held for second and Creatine settled for third. "I don’t know why he hasn’t been to the U.S before" Orjan Kihlstrom said., "you have to ask the trainers. He has a lot of races in Europe, he raced in Canada twice, he’s quite old now so it was about time (retirement). He shipped very good this time, he had some problems with that before but this time was good. I tried to keep them behind me, he’s a very tough horse, and still at this age can do a lot of work, he’s just a fantastic horse. I don’t know what’s next for him, you’ll have to ask Fabrice (trainer.) I don’t know for sure if he’ll keep going, this might be the end, but I don’t know what they have decided." Fabrice Souloy trains Commander Crowe, who was bred in Sweden by Peri Puro. Snogarps Gard owns the winner, who with the victory surpassed the $5 million mark in lifetime earnings at $5,099,590. Sent off at odds of 5-1, Commander Crowe paid $12.00 to win. by Frank Cotolo, for the Breeders Crown