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Melton trainer Ross Sugars' run of form continued on Sunday at the famous Redwood Carnival meeting at Maryborough. Sugars trained the winner of the 2690-metre Group 1 Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby, Illawong Helios, which overpowered hot favourites Claudys Princess and Our Twentyten in the last 200m. Ross said driver – and his son – Greg Sugars delivered a “10 out of 10” drive aboard Illawong Helios, finding the back of Claudys Princess early before tracking Our Twentyten off the back and peeling three-wide into the lane the final time. “They were all running on empty in the straight,” Ross Sugars said. “It was a very slow last quarter (32 seconds). It was the first go for all of them at that kind of distance and it was just a case of those at the front having done more work, which allowed us to be that little bit stronger in the straight. “Our filly keeps on trying and she just found the line a bit better because of the way the race was run. That was the difference.” Sugars said heading down the back the last time he started thinking his filly was capable of at least running a place. “I even thought ‘don’t tell me she’s going to win’,” he said. Sugars said Claudys Princess, which finished runner-up in the Derby 1.7m behind Illawong Helios, was still the best three-year-old filly in the business and said her run on Sunday was enormous. But it was Illawong Helios’s day, the daughter of Majestic Son breaking a run of three consecutive second-place finishes in the Oaks and two Vicbred Super Series races. Illawong Helios set a new race record with his winning mile rate of 2:01.6 eclipsing the mark set by Blitzthemcalder last year by 0.3secs. She will now head to the Breeders Crown. Illawong Helios paid $23 on the tote. Sugars, who said he was not a betting man, admitted if he was an odds watcher he'd have moved at that price. "She was an 8-1 to 10-1 chance, I thought. Those odds were enormous," he said. Another trotter from the Sugars stable, four-year-old mare Quite A Moment, also won on Redwood day, taking out the John Slack Memorial Trotters Handicap over 2190m. Quite A Moment recorded a 58-second last half to score by 1.9m over Lord Liam, last year’s three-year-old trotters’ Breeders Crown champion hitting her straps ahead of this year’s series. “She’s done a really good job in the last 12 months. She’ll have a run or two and then she’ll be back in the Breeders Crown for the four-year-olds’ race.” On Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton Sugars-trained Bettor Rock On made it five starts Down Under for five wins. The former New Zealander sat parked in the Yeomans Slate and Stone Winter Championship Final before sprinting up down the back in 27.8secs and skipping clear of early leader Essbee Doubleyou in a 28.4-second last quarter to win in a rate of 1:54.4. “He’s done the job and won five in a row,” Sugars said. “We’ll give him a break now and then prepare him for the new season and target some country cups. The Kilmore Cup (October 26) would be an aim. He’s a very good stand-start horse.” Sugars said the brilliant Youranut (Vicbred Super Series 4YO Final winner last year) was back in work and would resume racing in the next month or so. By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

After seeing Katy Perry roar at her Australian debut at Melton on Saturday night, the local two-year-old fillies' Breeders Crown contingent must be a tad jittery. At her most recent start before the weekend's Tatlow Stakes win at Tabcorp Park, Katy Perry came in second behind Joanne’s A Delight in a Breeders Crown heat in New Zealand. Joanne’s A Delight is headed Down Under along with another filly in Linda Lovegrace to contest the Breeders Crown. They finished second and third behind Supersonic Miss on Harness Jewels Day and were considered ahead of Katy Perry in Breeders Crown pecking order before Saturday night. So the Aussies it would seem might need to find a few metres. Katy Perry defeated highly rated Soho Tokyo by 2.5 metres on Saturday night, working to the lead early despite a back-row draw and comfortably holding off all late challengers. But who's to say Australia's leading Crown contender has already been seen? Maybe there’s a yet-to-race filly capable of grabbing headlines between now and Breeders Crown finals. Watch this space. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

WASHINGTON, PA, July 17, 2014 -- When Cammikey won a PA Sires Stake division at The Meadows on June 7, he showed both the promise and the peril associated with this 3-year-old colt. When he tried to jump over the starting gate, Brian Zendt had to snatch him up and take him far back. Then, with amazing speed and determination, he charged through the Lightning Lane to win in a career-best 1:49.4. That eye-popping performance helped make him the 2-1 morning line favorite in his elimination of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Lite. Three eliminations for the $600,000 (est.) Adios will go as races 3-5 Saturday evening at The Meadows, with the top three finishers in each returning for the final the afternoon of July 26. Cammikey leaves from post 4 in race 4 with Brian Zendt aboard. Part of Cammikey's erratic behavior in that electrifying victory may be attributable to greenness, as trainer Bill Zendt and owner Cam Land Inc. shut down the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Always Cam after only four starts at 2. "He had some breathing problems, so we just quit with him early," Bill Zendt says. "A year helped him. He always handled himself and got over the ground. He felt like a pretty good horse in the lines. I thought that if we took care of him, he'd make a pretty good horse." And that he has become, with $163,788 on his card and a fourth-place finish in the $500,000 final of the Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on June 28. The farm of Cam Land -- the nom de course of Nan Cameron and her daughter Wendy Cameron -- sits just down the road from The Meadows, so Cammikey will have plenty of support on hand. Locally owned horses haven't fared particularly well in the Adios, but the Camerons are no strangers to harness racing's highest levels. They bred and campaigned Always Cam, who won the Jugette in 2002 and captured the Breeders Crown for mares in 2004. Many years earlier, Nan Cameron and her late husband, Pete, bred and sold a granddaughter of Adios named Nan Cam, who subsequently produced Cam Fella, the Horse of the Year in 1982 and 1983 and a champion whose exploits have withstood the test of time. Cammikey gives the Camerons perhaps their best shot yet at the blanket of orchids, and Bill Zendt indicates his colt may have a home-track advantage. "He's not a great shipper, and he seems better right here," he said. "You have to ship him early, and it takes a lot out of him." Cammikey also will be well rested, as he hasn't raced since the Hempt. "I trained him real good last Saturday," Bill Zendt said. "He doesn't take a lot of work. He lost a lot of weight at Pocono, shipping and racing. He's not one of those big, stout horses. Little speed horses don't take a lot of work." It all adds up to a trainer who is cautiously optimistic about his colt's Adios chances. "Our first objective is to make the final, and that's not guaranteed," he said. "After the first couple in there, they're all pretty equal. There are no duds in there." by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

CLASSY Tasmanian three-year-old pacer Resurgent Spirit returned to winning form in Hobart this week with an all-the-way victory in a Breeders Crown heat over 2090 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart. It was his first run since failing in the $30,000 Globe Derby final in Launceston at the end of last month but he did it with consummate ease. Resurgent Spirit was having his fourth start this time in and made every post a winner with an ell-the-way win over Animi Sub Ignis and Le Premiere. The Roger Whitmore-trained three-year-old equaled Halwes' record of the most number of consecutive wins (13) in Tasmania when he won a C1 in Hobart in March but his winning run came to an end when he resumed from a spell with a third to Estevao in a heat of the Globe Derby. With only that run under his belt he went into the Globe Derby final underdone and that showed when he was forced to work three-wide before being sent up to face the breeze for the last 1400 metres. The gelding understandably weakened to finish sixth but still only 4.1 metres from the winner Chopstix Boris that rattled home from last to win in the last few strides. "Had it not been a $30,000 race I probably wouldn't have contested the race (Globe Derby) but we did and the horse did an exceptional job under the circumstances. "We had a couple of little problems to iron out when he came back into work but the most pressing was him hitting his knee and it took us a while to finally sort it out." "The shoring was changed and when I changed his showed last week they were both worn down evenly on the front so that was pleasing." "He loafed a bit in front at this latest run but he worked home his last half in good time, in fact his last 1200 metres equated to a mile rate of 1.57.7 so I am happy with that effort," he said. Whitmore said a decision on whether or not he takes his stable star to Melbourne co contest the Breeders Crown 3YO colts and geldings semi-final will depend on how he gets through his assignment in a C3-4 in Hobart on Sunday night. By Peter Staples

Imamenace earned a reputation as a giant-killer and a giant when he won the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ trotting final recently at Tabcorp Park Melton. The Peter Cormican-trained gelding, which stands over 17 hands high, started cricket-score odds before upstaging Spidergrace and Asdenro over 2240m. It was an amazing feat to win a Group 1 that night, as that run was only Imamenace’s second visit to the racetrack. On Sunday he will contest the Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby over 2690m at Maryborough, hoping to pull off another upset at start number three. Grant Campbell replaces Imamenace’s usual driver, Greg Sugars, who has elected to drive his father’s trotter Illawong Helios. Cormican, who trains out of Arcadia, was visibly shocked and thrilled after his gelding’s last-start success. “This is the first time I’ve won a Group 1 and I’m going to make the most of it,” he said moments after the win. Speaking on Thursday, Cormican said he was sure Imamenace would not disappoint on Sunday. “We’re going to be the fourth, fifth or sixth horse picked again but we’re just happy to be in the race,” he said. “He did a super job to win that last race but geez, it’s a big ask to win this at his third start.” Asked to compare Imamenace’s trackwork this time compared to before his last-start success, Cormican said it was “on a par”. “He had a good hit-out this morning. He’ll have a bit of a break after this race because he’s not entered in the Breeders Crown. “We’re not going to rush him.” Despite the wide draw (gate seven) on Sunday, Cormican said the horse was likely to push forward early. “We’ll probably come out and have a bit of a look,” he said. “We just don’t want him on the fence.” Our Twentyten opened favourite for the Derby, which is scheduled to run at 3.18pm, with filly Claudys Princess tightening in from $3.60 into $3 early with fixed-odds betting. Imamenace eased from $12 to $15 overnight on Wednesday. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

CLASSY Tasmanian harness racing three-year-old filly Barynya qualified to contest a semi-final of the Breeders Crown series in Victoria next month with a win in a heat in Launceston on Sunday night. However, there was no competition for the filly as she was the sole runner in the race. Conditions allow for a horse to contest a race solo if it is a lead-up to an interstate series such as the Breeders Crown and trainer Dick Eaves took full advantage of the conditions. Barynya was driven by Rohan Hillier who ensured the effort was nothing more than a casual workout with the filly producing a mile rate of 2,10.1 over the 2200 metre trip. Barynya will head to Melbourne within a fortnight to prepare for her semi-final in which she will probably start favourite. The filly won the Tasmanian and Victorian Oaks before tackling the Vicbred Super Series in which she won a semi-final and started favourite in the final only to meet interference and finish out of a place. By Peter Staples

Kevin Lare has experienced being on top of the harness racing world and then on the bottom.   He is on his way back again. In 2007 horses trained by Kevin won over $2,500,000 . In 2010 horses trained by Kevin won only $12,000. It has been an up and down career for Kevin. Already this year horses trained by Kevin have won $390.115, sporting an impressive UTRS training record of 0.387. At the present time, his stable contains about twenty horses.   Kevin's stable of quality stakes horses once included Snow White, the Dan Patch 2007 two-year-old filly trotter of the year, Southwind Tempo, and Fred and Ginger. Now he is back with his first stake winning horse in five years with Yankee Bounty.   Yankee Bounty has proved the be one of best two year pacing colts in the early start of this yeawr's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Yankee Bounty sports a two race unblemished winning record in two stakes races this year. His most recent win was at the Meadows scoring impressively in 1:53 over a very deep rain soaked track. Yankee Bounty looks to keep his undefeated record intact Wednesday at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes racing as the 3-1 favorite in the seventh race.   "Yankee Bounty was really impressive in his last race," said Lare. "I was thrilled when the timer showed 1:53. It was a deep and sloppy track. I would like to think he could have gone at least a second faster over a fast track. He will have to go a lot faster very soon.   "Corey (Callahan) called on him when they came out of the turn," said Lare. "Somebody came right up on his back This horse is so professional and relaxed. He can go one quarter in twenty seven seconds and go the next quarter in thirty five seconds. He can go from. zero to one hundred and then from one hundred to zero. He is just so talented. It makes him stand out from the others in how you can control him. Yankee Bounty is the best youngster I have ever had. We will not be shocked to see how fast he paces at Pocono this week.   "He was purchased by Frank Chick because of his brother," added Lare. "Frank had his full brother who was a midget of a horse. He was the smallest standardbred I have ever seen. This small horse paced in fifty-five as a two-year-old. Frank went to the sale and bought Yankee Bounty, figuring if the tiny horse can go that fast the much bigger one will do much better.   "I have another twelve to fifteen horses in my barn for Frank right now," said Lare. "Frank has been unbelievable with helping me in my comeback. I can't thank him enough for what he has done for me. We have become not only business partners but great friends. We are mainly playing the claiming game at Pocono, and it has been successful. I have a couple of Maryland Babies with him who will race in the Maryland Sire Stakes this year. The rest are all overnight horses.   "I have some other horses with Mike Coombs," said Lare. "We have a nice trotter in the name of Boffin. He was one of the first to give me a chance again and I am very grateful.   "I have two Maryland Sire Stake Horses and one Delaware," said Lare. "The one two-year-old filly looks to be outstanding for the Maryland Sire Stakes. She is faster than the rest of them. Her name is Helaine's Firebird. She will have her first race next Sunday."   Kevin Lare went thru a nightmarish 2009 when horse after horse came down with a devastating injury. His great trotter Snow White had to be euthananized following colic surgery. His life went into a downward spiral. His wife divorced him, he lost all his money, and he got caught up in drugs. With the help of his friend, Fern Panquet Jr., he moved to Florida and got his life back on track.   "I took a bad turn in life," added Lare. "I got caught up in the drug activity of life. I had seventy horses in my stable at one time. If you mess with the devil, it does not take long for the devil to take it from you. I lost it all. I went to Florida to live with a friend, Fran Panquet Jr. I didn't even have enough money for a airplane ticket. He bought me the ticket. He told me I could come down there to get away. I went to Florida and worked for Fran. I got my head screwed back on straight and came back here.   "I had an eight day period in 2009 where everything went wrong," said Lare. "During this period, Snow White died, Fred and Ginger could not pick up her feet, and Southwind Tempo pulled a suspensory when she got run into on the racetrack. My phone was ringing off the hook with questions about the horses. I just went into the corner and hid. I did not want to talk to anyone.   "I am hoping when the sales come in September/October that some owners will see what I am doing and pick up the phone and ask if I want to train some babies for them," stated Lare."   Frank Chick has been a mainstay and stalwart supporter of harness racing for years. He has a saddle shop and hosts a horse sale three times a year at the Harrington Racetrack Fairgrounds. He currently owns over a dozen horses in the care of Kevin Lare.   "When Kevin was having his success he would always go out of his way to help me with some of my horses," said Chick. "He never asked for anything and was just happy to do it. There came a time when I was in a position to help him.   "I think Yankee Bounty is the real deal," said Chick. "He has done everything we have asked him to do. When Corey has asked him to pace he has put it into another gear. I think he is an exceptional colt.   "Outside of the Pennsylvania Sire Stake Races, he is staked to Arden Downs, the Matron,and Keystone Classic," added Chick. "Next year he is staked to everything including the Breeders Crown and Little Brown Jug.   "We were cutting a bunch of horses after the Harrisburg Sale," said Chick. "The colts I had from the sale were not very well bred. I got a deal on the fifth one and it was Yankee Bounty. They ended up cutting him for twenty bucks. I really didn't know if I wanted to cut him or not. He's not a fancy bred horse.   "Every horse I have is for up for sale for at the right price," said Chick. "I will sell anything if the right offer comes along. I have had some tire kickers."   Corey Callahan has been the driver on Yankee Bounty for both of his victories this year. His maiden win was an easy several lengths victory at Pocono Downs in the Pennsylvania Allstars on June 29th. The second victory was at the Meadows in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in 1:53 over a deep sloppy track. Yankee Bounty has almost doubled his sale price of $21,000 with bankrolling $39,931 on his card.   "Yankee Bounty has done everything right so far," said Callahan. " I have had several people call me about the horse who want to buy him. I had a really nice colt ( Tomy Terror ) come after him on the backside in the last race. I had just been with that colt last time in 1:53 at Pocono Downs. We went pretty good up the backside in 27:1. I asked him to go a little more at the wire but he still had plenty of horse left.   "He hasn't really been tested yet," added Callahan. "He can go four quarters. He is really good horse. He is in again on Wednesday at Pocono Downs. The Burke's have a nice horse ( Lyons Levi Lewis ) in there that they just bought. I think we have the best horse in there.   "Kevin is the best," said Callahan. "We have been friends going back many years. I am proud and amazed he got himself back so fast. He has been a great trainer all his life. It does not surprise he is all the way back. He is a great guy to work for. He is cut and dry. He tells you if they will be good or if they will not be good."   Yankee Bounty has brought Kevin Lare back into the harness racing world spotlight again. Thanks to the support of owners Frank Chick and Mike Coombs, he has been able to build a foundation for his comeback. Will he be able to attain the greatness he had once before when his stable included Snow White, Fred and Ginger, and Southwind Tempo? That remains to be seen. He has battled his demons and is on his way back.   by Brian McEvoy for Harnesslink.com  

Harness racing trainers' Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick have never had a horse line up in a Breeders Crown Final before, but they won’t be too perturbed if Cyamach doesn’t make the trip across the Tasman next month. “It all depends how he comes through his next race at Alexandra Park on July 25, but after Friday’s race we couldn’t be happier with him,’’ Telfer said. “We will make a decision on the Breeders Crown then. “If we do decide to go he will race over there (Victoria) on August 17 and 24.’’ Cyamach was an impressive winner of last Friday’s fifth event at Alexandra Park – the $14,999 Prudentia Law Mobile for the C2 to C5 pacers. Scott Phelan rushed the recent Winter Cup winner to the lead from barrier five soon after the start of Friday’s 2200m mobile. From there they dictated all the pace to easily win in wet conditions by 2-1/4 lengths in 2:44 even. Central Districts visitor Te Kawau (Todd Mitchell) was an impressive first-up second after sitting outside of Cyamach for the last lap. Cyamach paced a creditable 1:59.9 mile rate in the wet and windy conditions. He sped his last 800m and 400m in 56.6 and 27 seconds. It was his ninth win in 36 starts. His bank balance stands at $154,926. Someone knew Cyamach would win. NZ harness racing bookmaker, Steve Richardson said he received a $5,000 win bet on Friday afternoon on Cyamach at $2.60. That was his also closing price. Telfer is really starting to warm to the exploits of talented 4-year-old. “He’s going really well at the moment. He’s really started to strengthen up and mature lately. He’s a nice horse who has always had speed. But now that he’s strengthened up he’s turned the corner again. “He’s the best we have got.’’ The former Australian, who came to New Zealand from rural New South Wales in 1995, said he was really enjoying his work at present. “We have a nice team, great staff, and a very nice place to work. “Chris is great to work with and Scotty (Phelan) is doing a brilliant job in the sulky,” the 43-year-old horseman said. “I can’t forget my sister Amanda (Tidswell) too. It’s a team effort,” he added. While a Breeders Crown trip would be a real highlight, Telfer said the desire to remain in NZ and focus on some our big races was huge. “It would be nice to win a Breeders Crown but to be honest I’d prefer to win a big Group One race here. “If Cyamach does go then he’s going to have to step up to the next level. Even though there will be some nice 4-year-olds missing good ones like Lennytheshark and Chilli Palmer will be there. “He will either go to Australia or be spelled after his next race,” Telfer said. He said he was quite happy to target the Group One 4&5-year-old races like the Taylor Mile and NZ Messenger with Cyamach next season. Looking to the future Telfer said to watch out for a Grinfromeartoear-Spicey colt named Ashton K. “He’s a rising 3-year-old who has been up for a while now. He trialled real nice as a 2-year-old and we have all got a lot of time for him.’’ By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)    

New Zealand trotting breeders would have slept very well last night after watching the Kiwi breds dominate the trotting races at Tabcorp Park Melton. There were no Kiwis in the first trotting race of the night but from then on it became a bit of a Kiwi bred benefit with the New Zealand breds winning the other three trot races. First up for the Kiwis was Thanesan who capatalised on a soft trip early before sitting parked for the last lap and just getting home over stablemate Vics Cheval. Having just his second start for the Aiken stable, Thanesan trotted the 2240 in 2:47.5, a mile rate of 2:00.4 The next race to fall to the Kiwis was the three year old trot where the first four home all carried the NZ tag after their name with Twentyten an easy winner. The son of Muscles Yankee was brought out of the Mark Purdon barn by Brent Lilley on behalf of clients a few months ago and looks to have a big future in his adopted homeland. The former star New Zealand 3 year old completely dominated proceedings after finding the front after 300 meters even though Spidergrace was over racing outside him When Chris Alford let him go at the 400 meters, Twentyten quickly asserted his superiorty and won with a fair bit in reserve. One Over Da Moon ran on well without looking a winning chance for second and Daenerys Targaryen and Dieu De lamour rounded out the Kiwi first four. He trotted the 2240 meters in 2:49.3, a mile rate of 2:01.7 The race for two year old trotters was notable for the Australian debut of leading Kiwi 2 year old, Arya. The daughter of Angus Hall had been promient in all the major New Zealand stakes races this season for Mark Purdon and was sent to the Brent Lilley stable for a preparation aimed at the Breeders Crown in August. Handicapped off ten meters, Arya settled third early before being sent to the front with 1100 meters to go. Pressured in front by the Angus Hall debutant Shared Interest, Arya wasn't really let down in the straight with Greg Sugars hardly moving in the bike as comfortably held Shared Interset at bay. Arya trotted the 2240 meters in 3:01.3, a pedestrian mile rate of 2:09.7 although she did quicken up over the last half in 58.9 and quarter in 29. With her impeccable manners and speed, Arya looms as a genuine threat in the Breeders Crown. Harnesslink Media

Bettor's Edge is not the highest profile pacer in the Ron Burke Stable, but he is holding his own against the best in the sport. It's something he has done pretty much throughout his million-dollar-earning career. The 5-year-old gelding heads into Saturday's $463,300 William R. Haughton Memorial for older pacers at the Meadowlands off a second-place finish in the Ben Franklin Pace on June 28. He finished between stablemates Sweet Lou, who edged him by a neck, and Foiled Again. Sweet Lou and Foiled Again also are entered in the Haughton, as well as Burke-trained Clear Vision. Sweet Lou, who has a five-race win streak, is the 8-5 morning line favorite. Bettor's Edge is fourth choice at 6-1, behind Captaintreacherous (3-1) and State Treasurer (9-2). Foiled Again, who with $6.31 million in career purses is the richest harness racing horse in North American history, starts from the outside in post No. 10 and is 12-1. The Haughton and $776,000 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-old pacers will be shown live starting at 9 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Saturday's card also includes the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial, $213,500 Delvin Miller Memorial, $212,150 Mistletoe Shalee, $178,450 Golden Girls, and a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility Series. Bettor's Edge, who joined the Burke Brigade in November 2013 after a successful stint with trainer Linda Toscano, has won six of 17 races this year, including three divisions of the spring Levy Series, and earned $285,340. "We're high on him," said Mark Weaver, who owns Bettor's Edge with Burke Racing, Mike Bruscemi, and M1 Stable. "In the Franklin, it looked like he was going to get by [Sweet] Lou and beat the best horses around. He's solid. A lot of people that follow him really like him. His lines are better than they look. He's been in against tough horses in tough spots." As a 3-year-old, Bettor's Edge won six of 25 races, including the Monument Circle, and had on-the-board finishes in the Breeders Crown, Tattersalls Pace, Little Brown Jug, Cane Pace, and Progress Pace on his way to $573,797 in season's earnings. "We always liked the horse," Weaver said, adding about Bettor's Edge's foaling year of 2009, "That year, [Sweet] Lou's crop, I love those horses. I don't think people realized how good they were. I think last year they started to realize, with Pet Rock and A Rocknroll Dance and some of the others and the way they raced in the aged pacing division. "We're trying to look at the immediate future as well as down the road. Foiled [Again] can't last forever; [Sweet] Lou eventually will be in the breeding shed. We like to buy horses we think can help fill voids when they happen. We thought he could do that. So far it's worked out. I wouldn't be surprised if he does some bigger and better things." If nothing else, Bettor's Edge has proved to be a durable money-earner. When he starts in the Haughton it will give him at least one race in 14 of the last 15 months. "A lot of these horses, you map out every start," Weaver said. "With him, we've been kind of winging it. He's had 38 starts since he's had a real break. Believe me, he's not getting one soon as well as he's racing. At some point he'll get the break he deserves and maybe he'll come back even better next year." Following is the Haughton field in post order with listed drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Thinking Out Loud, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 8-1; 2. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 3. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 8-5; 4. State Treasurer, David Miller, Ian Moore, 9-2; 5. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 30-1; 6. Bettor's Edge, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 7. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Pete Foley, 12-1; 8. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 20-1; 9. Clear Vision, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 15-1; 10. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 12-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

A change of plans will see smart freshman colt Art Union bypass a heat of the Australasian Breeders Crown where he would have had to clash with superstar juvenile Follow The Stars at Addington on Friday. The Art Major two-year-old will instead compete in race five, a c2-3 mobile pace, leaving Follow The Stars as the only contestant in his heat and therefore an automatic qualifier for the semi-final. “We’ve decided against the Breeders Crown so he will just make the most of his opportunities this month and try and get another couple of penalty free wins on the board,” said trainer Cran Dalgety. Dalgety will then spell Art Union at the end of the month before preparing the talented son of super broodmare Sparks A Flyin for the rich Sires Stakes Series. But, while Art Union is now sure to miss the ABC, It is all systems go for smart filly Katy Perry, who has recovered well from her Jewels day injury. “Her knee has healed up really well and she is set to go at Cambridge on Thursday,” said Dalgety. Dalgety went up to Auckland to drive the Bettor’s Delight filly at the workouts on Saturday and was pleased with how she performed. She has drawn one in her three horse non-tote ABC heat with Joanne’s A Delight and Cyclone Kate outside her. “I think she will benefit with the run but she is ready to fire,” he enthused. Dalgety also has Regulus in the North Island and he is set compete in the fifth race at Alexandra Park on Friday, where he looks a very good chance from his handy barrier draw (2). “He too has trialled up really well but it is his first run for seven weeks, so whatever he does on Friday I think he will better for it,” said Dalgety. Regulus will campaign in the north over the next few weeks to make the most of the great stakes on offer at Alexandra Park. Meanwhile, in a cunning move, Tim and Anthony Butt will bring Field Marshal north for a walkover win in the 2yo colts and gelding ABC heat at Cambridge tomorrow night in order to escape at clash with Follow The Stars  at Addington. In other news from the Dalgety barn, talented four-win three-year-old A Boy Named Rosie has been sold by the Beintoowin Syndicate to clients of Gary Hall’s Perth stable. “It’s a shame to see him go but they’re paying nice money and that makes the decision easier to make,” said Dalgety. By Mitchell Robertson

Josh Aiken celebrated his 21st birthday last month and received the ultimate belated present at the trots on Friday night. The rising-star young reinsman drove Eljaykay Phoenix to victory in the two-year-old trotting males’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final at Tabcorp Park (pictured below). It was Aiken’s first Group 1 winner and it gave him the ultimate buzz. “It felt awesome coming around the home turn. That’s just unreal. I can’t explain how good it feels,” he said immediately after the race. Aiken’s father David trains Eljaykay Phoenix at his Avenel property, where Josh plays an integral role. There’s no doubting young Aiken’s future in the cart should he elect to make a long-term career out of harness racing. He’s cool under pressure and his style in the sulky is reminiscent of a professional reinsman many years his senior. Aiken is studying equine science at Charles Sturt University but has deferred after a semester to focus on his driving during a busy period for the stable. “It’s something I’m definitely going to be getting back into but I deferred after the first semester to focus on the Breeders and the Sires. It’s a pretty busy time,” he said. After completing his Year 12 studies Aiken spent some time working at the family stables before travelling for 18 months. “I’ve been back working full time at the stables for just over 12 months now,” he said. “I did a little bit when I’d finished Year 12 but then spent some time on a travelling holiday.” Aiken said the stable’s focus had quickly turned to the Breeders Crown after the weekend’s Vicbred finals, stable-star Lennytheshark, who took out the four-year-old pacing males' final on Saturday night, one of the key competitors for the August features. “Dad still doesn’t think he’s got him 100 per cent fit, so it’s scary to think he still might have improvement on what he’s already done,” he said. Eljaykay Phoenix will head towards the Redwood Carnival at Maryborough on July 20. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

How good is Keayang Cullen? The 'Terang Terminator' said hasta la vista to harness racing superstar Smoken Up and a field of other strong free-for-all horses in tonight’s Melton City Council Sprint over 1720m. Glen Craven said post-race the Marg Lee-trained gelding was improving with every race and tonight had won comfortably. “We didn’t take him up to Brisbane … instead there are plenty of good races down here at the moment so we’ll keep hopefully picking them off,” he said. “The first aim will be the Breeders Crown Free for All. “Hopefully he can continue improving with each run.” Keayang Cullen went 1:53.9 tonight, finding the lead easily from his wide front-row draw before reeling off comfortable sectional times of 28.8secs, 30.6secs, 27.8secs and 27.7secs. Scott Stewart trained-and-driven Bitobliss showed a win isn’t far off with a strong second placing, while superstar veteran Smoken Up battled on for third after punching the breeze throughout. Keayang Cullen   by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 4, 2014 -- Guess Whos Back benefited from a quarter-mile duel between Stonebridge Force and Canepa Hanover to win the $40,500 second round New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Friday, July 4, 2014 in the second race at the Meadowlands. In the $39,500 filly division, the fourth race, Mission Brief trotted a stakes record 1:55.1. In the colts' race, Stonebridge Force [Muscle Hill] and driver Ake Svanstedt would not relinquish the lead and the rail to 1-5 favorite Canepa Hanover [Muscle Hill] as the two battled down the backstretch. Early in the turn for home Canepa Hanover broke stride, leaving Stonebridge Force on a clear lead until Brian Sears, who won both ends of the early daily double, sent Guess Whos Back sprinting in the stretch. The son of Muscles Yankee - Shes Gone Again took the lead in the final eighth and clocked a career best 1:57 flat, last quarter in 29 seconds, winning by a length and a half over Stonebridge Force. Guess Whos Back returned $12.60 to win. Falk On Hill [Muscle Hill], entrymate to Canepa Hanover, saved the bridge-jumpers, finishing third by eight and three-quarter lengths. Guess Whos Back, a $90,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase, was making his second career start, having broken stride in last week's opening leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes. The Nikolas Drennan trainee picked up the winner's share of $20,250 for owners Joseph Davino of Clarksburg, NJ and Brad Shackman of Calgary, Alberta. He was bred by Diamond Creek Farm of Kentucky and Melvin Hartman of Ontario. Mission Brief, who broke stride early in last week's first leg, was carefully timed to the starting gate by driver Yannick Gingras and had the lead from first call to the finish line. The 3-5 favorite Saturday Mornings was second by nine and three-quarter lengths. It was 12 and a half lengths to Demons N Diamonds in third. All three top finishers are daughters of Muscles Hill. Mission Brief clicked off fractions of 27.3, 56.2 and 125.1 before stopping the clock at 1:55.1, eclipsing the stakes record of 1:55.3 shared by Act of Grace [1995] and Southwind Cocoa [2012]. The Ron Burke trainee, out of the Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena, paid $7.20 to win. It was the filly's first win in two starts, earning $19,750 for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable of Fredericktown, PA; Our Horse Cents Stables of Clifton Park, NY; J&T Silva Stables of Long Beach, NY and Weaver Bruscemi of Canonsburg, PA. The $150,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase was bred by Steve Stewart of Kentucky, Black Creek Farm of Indiana and Andrea Lea Racing Stables of Quebec. A quartet of $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for two-year-olds is scheduled for Saturday, July 12, 2014, sharing the card with the finals of the Meadowlands Pace, Mistletoe Shalee, Stanley Dancer, Del Miller, William R. Haughton and Golden Girls. The $30,000 Free For All Handicap for pacing mares featured a quintet of mares prepping for the Golden Girls next week.  It was one of those five, in fact, odds-on favorite Shebestingin who scored a neck victory over a very game Mattie Terror Girl in 1:50.3.  Jerseylicious established the early pace but was quickly shuffled back through a quarter of 26.4 and a half-mile in a rapid 53.2.  Mattie Terror Girl made a steady grind to the lead and turned for home with the lead through three-quarters of 1:21.1.  ‘Mattie dug in, but simply could not hold off the classy Shebestingin who scored the victory for Dave Miller.  Both mares look poised as major contenders in the Golden Girls on Pace night.  Charisma Hanover finished a solid third. The winner is owned by Val D’Or Farms, Theodore Gewertz and L&L Devisser LLC and is conditioned by Joe Holloway. The following race, a C-1/B-2 Handicap saw Aunt Caroline make her 2014 debut a winning one, scoring a sharp 1:51.3 victory.  Aunt Caroline is also Golden Girls eligible and figures to go postward in that event on Pace night as well. Racing returns on Saturday with a special post time of 6:30 P.M.  The Saturday program is a blockbuster, featuring two eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace, the $484,450 Hambletonian Maturity, an elimination for the Mistletoe Shalee and New Jersey Sire Stakes action.  The past performances for the Saturday program can be found free at http://meadowlandsracetrack.com/uploadedFiles/Handicapping/Past_Performances/mxx0705e%5B1%5D.pdf. There will also be a spectacular fireworks show following the live racing program. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ  

When we looked forward to Sun Stakes Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the early months of the season, we expected most of the fireworks to come from the four major stakes races being contested on the card. Yet for all of the unforgettable, world-record performances that characterized those giant-purse races, it was an 8-year-old Swedish horse with just three starts in the United States under his belt who stole the show from the undercard. In addition to the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial pace for 3-year-old fillies, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial pace for 3-year-olds, the $500,000 Ben Franklin free-for-all pace, and the $500,000 Earl Beal Memorial trot for 3-year-olds, two $100,000 invitationals were added. On the trotting side, Sebastian K, who had swept three starts at the Meadowlands, all in under 1:51, since arriving from Sweden, decided to make the Sun Invitational trot his personal playground. Trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, Sebastian K, a $2 million earner in his native country before ever setting foot in the U.S., took off from the outside post and just kept firing. In the stretch, his closest competitor went off stride in a vain attempt to keep up with his pace. At that point, Svanstedt decided to see just what his horse had inside of him. When he crossed the line in 1:49, it took me a moment up in the announcer's booth to register what had just happened. While I had anticipated before the race he would give our Pocono track record and the world record for 5/8-mile ovals a run for their money, I did not foresee 1:49, the fastest trot ever. All tracks sizes, all ages, all genders. Nobody ever trotted one mile faster than Sebastian K did on Saturday night. Considering that none of the aforementioned huge stakes had even been held by that point, the rest of the night easily could have been all anticlimactic. Luckily those other races lived up to their billing, producing three world record performances out of the four and uniformly pulse-pounding excitement. In the Lynch, Uffizi Hanover was made the betting favorite based on her excellent record and the fact that her post position improved compared to her loss in the eliminations. Yet Fancy Desire, trained by Kevin Carr, proved her love of the Pocono track once again, powering home on the front end in 1:49:2. Pocono's leading driver George Napolitano Jr. did the driving for his first ever Lynch win. Next up was the Hempt, which started the world records falling once again. The perpetrator this time was McWicked, a powerhouse colt from the Casie Coleman barn who showed no fatigue after a monster effort in last week's eliminations. With David Miller in the bike, McWicked took over the race on the front stretch and stymied the field with incredible speed throughout the second half of the race, coming home a winner in 1:47:3, a new world record for 3-year-old colts on a 5/8-mile oval. No horse has made more of a turnaround in his career of late than Sweet Lou, who seemed to have peaked a few years back but has suddenly caught fire with a vengeance in 2014. Since driver Ron Pierce took over the driving chores, the 5-year-old stallion trained by Ron Burke has been unstoppable with five straight wins, the last of those coming in Saturday night's Ben Franklin final. Ironically, it wasn't 2013's leading lights Captaintreacherous and Folied Again who gave him the biggest problem; it was stablemate Bettor's Edge, who challenged him in a great stretch duel, with Sweet Lou prevailing in 1:47; fastest ever pacing time achieved on a 5/8-mile oval. If there has been once tiny complaint about the impeccable record of Father Patrick, the colt who came into Saturday night's Beal final with wins in 14 of 15 lifetime races, it's that he lacked one of those jaw-dropping wins that some of the other A-list horses have rifled off in the past. Cross that off the checklist now, because Yannick Gingras cut the colt loose on Saturday night, and the pride of the Jimmy Takter barn responded with, you guessed it, a world record performance for 3-year-old colts on the trot on a 5/8-mile oval. Overall, there were five world records on the night; in addition to the ones we've already mentioned, Wind Of The North picked up the mark for 4-year-old geldings earlier in the night in a condition victory in 1:51. While there is no doubt that we'll miss having the Breeders Crown this season at Pocono, those year-end races will have to be special to live up to the drama and excitement of Sun Stakes Saturday 2014. And I'm pretty sure that no night of racing will be able to match Saturday's undercard thanks to Sebastian K. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs            

In the last couple of years in Australasia, the influence of Angus Hall on the trotting half of the harness racing industry has really come to the fore. This son of Garland Lobell has had a brilliant stud career in the Northern Hemisphere with stakes won to date totalling $77,583,707. First up down under we had his biggest stakes winning son in Majestic Son taking all before him in both Australia and New Zealand. In the current season in New Zealand, Majestic Son will win both the two and three year old sires premiership for trotters while in Australia he leads the two year old section and is a close second in the three year old section. This season Angus Hall himself has small crops of two year olds via frozen semen in both Australia and New Zealand and with the season drawing to a close, he has already established himself as sire to be reckoned with. In New Zealand Angus Hall has had 18 two year olds to represent him this season. Arya would be the pick of them winning three races and $36,788 and only missing the money once in seven starts when she was controversially disqualified from second in the Harness Jewels when placed in under 1:57. Arya is headed for the Breeders Crown and on her record to date, would have to be a serious player. Springbank Eden ($5,642) also won this season while the ultra-impressive trialist Petite One 2:01.9 makes her race debut on Friday night at Addington and will be very tough to hold out. The stablemate of Petite One in Alannah Hall 2:02.1 has also trialled up stylishly while Sansa Stark has also qualified. Angus Hall presently sits third on the New Zealand sires list for two year old trotters. In Australia he has a first crop of just 15 two year olds and four have started to date for two winners including the smart Endsino ($9,645) who finished a close up third in the Group Two Tatlow Stakes and the recent winner Elegant Angus ($4,932). Angus Hall presently sits fifth on the Australian sires list for two year old trotters. With Angus Hall doing so well and his son Majestic Son excelling at the same time, the influence of Angus Hall on the trotting breed down under looks set to grow even larger in the years to come. Harnesslink media

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