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Chinese Cuisine (6g Revenue - Missysmandarine-Malabar Man) took a gate to wire victory in tonight's $6,000 monte test at Rosecroft Raceway. Raced as a non-betting event, owner Tina Duer effectively teamed the winner, trained by John Duer, to a six length win over Flowing James and Tara Hynes with third to Point Of Honour with Jenny Melander aboard. Chinese Cuisine was timed in 1:59.2f to record the score over five rivals. Thomas H. Hicks

Kentucky Futurity Day showcased North America’s monte racing as six harness racing entrants contested the $10,000 exhibition event Sunday. Therese Lindgren piloted In Nomine Patri to victory with a rallying 2:00.3 win, last quarter in a sharp :27.2. The winner, a six year-old gelded son of Credit Winner-Blue Skies Hanover-Donerail, is trained by Liisa Vatanen, co-owner with American Dream Racing Stable. Pacesetter Chinese Cuisine was a solid second for Tina Duer with Flowing James home third for Tara Hynes. In Nomine Patri Ontario monte action also continued with Western Fair’s pari-mutuel test on October 3rd. The $3,000 purse event went to Lexus Hawkeye (5g Amigo Hall-Lexus Lulu-Angus Hall) and N. Elliott. Radical Dreamer (Marit Valstad)  and Twin B Excalibur (E. Harms) trailed the 2:04.3h winner. Next up in Ontario monte action is October 12 at Leamington. Thomas H. Hicks

The 2014 Hambletonian Monte lineup is set for the Friday evening Meadowlands finale. Ten competitive trotters and riders will face the starter for $27,500 with a 7:35 estimated off-time. Winners in 2014 under saddle include Truth In Action, Tymal Oh So Nice, O U Gus, Take My Picture and Flowing James. Here is the field in post position order: 1. Chinese Cuisine, Tina Duer/Brett Biddle 2. Truth In Action, Karen Isbell/also trainer 3. Bambino Hall, Stephanie Jacobs/Julie Miller 4. Tymal Oh So Nice, Jenny Melander/Ronald MacDonald 5. A Penny Earned, Michelle Crawford/George Ducharme 6. O U Gus, Stephanie Werder/Whitney Richards 7. Take My Picture, Therese Lindgren/Nikolas Drennan 8. Flowing James, Tara Hynes/also trainer 9.Master Pine, Helene Gregory/Julie Miller 10. Blue Boy Yankee, Kristina Smith/Randal Smith Earlier in the week the Morris, NY Fair hosted the fourth leg of the RUS NY Series. Vassar Hall (10m Striking Sahbra-Vera Hall-Conway Hall) took this test in 2:13.4h for Michelle Crawford, trainer and co-owner Brett Crawford along with Len Woydyla. Kash Now (Michelle Miller) and Striking Mystery (Jennifer Lowry) chased the winner home by Thomas H. Hicks, for Monte America

East Rutherford, N.J. - Friday night at the Meadowlands celebrated the remarkable career of Cat Manzi with that Hall Of Famer meeting fans then joining friends and family for a night at the races. On the track, the night featured the eliminations for the top freshman trotting stakes of the 2014 Championship Meet, the Peter Haughton Memorial colt stake and the Merrie Annabelle for the fairer sex. The Peter Haughton required a single elimination of ten colts after three of the top seasonal earners accepted a bye into next week's $355,500 final. The first seven in the official order of finish would move on. Centurion ATM was the 1:54.2 winner here for trainer driver Ake Svanstedt. The SJ's Caviar colt settled in fourth early as his stable-mate Amicus and The Bank took turns on the lead through early splits of 28.2 and 57.2. Ake steered Centurion ATM over into the passing lane as the field trotted 'round the final bend and as he headed The Bank, that one went offstride, leaving the winner to an open length lead. At the wire it was Centurion ATM trotting home in :28 flat to be clear by three and a half lengths over Uncle Lasse with Cruzado Dela Noche third. The winner is co-owned by European interests Courant AB and Knutsson Trotting. Trainer / driver Svanstedt has had a clear impact on the scene this summer, his first in the US after moving his entire operation from Sweden. With his experience in Europe primarily training older horses, Ake has adjusted quickly to the American emphasis on early speed and clearly will be a player throughout the stakes season. The eliminated horses were The Bank, Broken Record and True Blue Stride. Joining the qualifiers for next Saturday's Hambletonian Day final will be Canepa Hanover, Guess Who's Back and Honor And Serve. Lock Down Lindy won the first of two Merrie Annabelle eliminations for the potent Tony Alagna / Scott Zeron combination in a personal best of 1:55. Zeron held the first crop Lucky Chucky filly behind cover from the three eighths forward as race favorite Gatka Hanover cut the mile after working hard to get the lead. Fanning wide in the drive, Lock Down Lindy went by willingly as Zeron rode along confidently through her personal sub 28 final quarter for the half-length score. Gatka Hanover held the place with Love Me Madly third. Lilu Hanover and Wordie Hanover took the final spots for next Saturday's $352,500 final. The winner is owned by Mystical Marker Farms, Crawford Partners, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners who bought the filly from Love Lockdown for $60,000 last fall in Lexington. The wickedly fast Mission Brief won the second elim in the dominant, front end style she has displayed for the past few weeks, this time in a track record 1:53.2. The Muscle Hill filly has a remarkable turn of foot and can carry that high speed, tacking a 27.3 final stanza on the record mile and was five lengths clear of the field at the wire with driver Gingras saying whoa the whole way. Jolene Jolene was second and Onda Di Mare third while Livininthefastlane and Sarcy both moved up a position into the final by the disqualification of Flirting Filly from fourth for a pylon violation. Mission Brief's dam is Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena. Trainer Ron Burke as Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva and Our Horse Cents Stables were compelled to pay $150,000 for the filly as a yearling last fall in Kentucky. She certainly looks like a bargain at this point. Yannick reported post-race, "She was much more rateable this week. She's figuring things out and I'm figuring her out. She's got it all." The twelfth race was the $20,000 second leg of the Ima Lula series for mare trotters aged four years and Classic Martine was a courageous winner in 1:51.2. Bee A Magician asserted herself from rail position and insisted on the lead early for Brian Sears, forcing leavers NF Happenstance and Classic Martine to take a tuck toward the 26.4 quarter. Sears was able to give his charge a nice breather in the middle half as Tim Tetrick moved Classic Martine to the outside for a long, uncovered grind. When the two met in mid-stretch, it was Classic Martine with more and she edged clear late, tacking a 26.4 final quarter on the mile, which was a mere fifth of a second from Bee A Magician's world record of a fortnight ago. The winner has now won six of eight starts for earnings of $195,732 and has the five-eighths mile world record of 1:51.2 on her resume this season. She is trained in the Chris Oakes stable for Hauser Bros Racing, Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich and Ed Gold. The night began with the well-bred three year old trotting colt Royal Ice taking advantage of an absolutely delightful evening to break maiden in a dazzling 1:51.3. Only Hollywood Heyden might be able to intelligently address the topic, but it's fairly safe to say that was the fastest any trotter has ever left the maiden ranks. The meet's leading driver Yannick Gingras was aboard for the first time on the son of Muscle Hill from The Ice Queen and he just went to the front and improved his position to an eventual eight length victory. Trond Smedshammer trains the colt (who may have just become an instant Hambletonian contender) for Marc Goldberg. An added bonus after race two was the second leg of the Racing Under Saddle series with seven trotters facing starter Danny Dale for a $10,000 purse. Stephanie Werder has come from her native Sweden to compete in the series, which culminates with a $28,000 final next Friday and she rode her mount O U Gus to a 1:59.4 win in tonight's race. Stephanie sat just behind the lead of Chinese Cuisine and Tina Duer and was patient when one of last week's winners, Flowing James and Tara Hynes moved swiftly toward the lead and sat quietly until an opening appeared mid-stretch for the win. Live racing resumes tomorrow night at 7:15 with the John Cashman Memorial FFA trot eliminations headlining the card. Find tomorrow's entries, tonight's results and video replays by visiting The Meadowlands website. Darin Zoccali Director of Racing Operations

Sweden's Stephanie Werder piloted O U Gus to an impressive between horses win in tonight's competitive second leg of the 2014 Hambletonian Monte Series, with a purse of $10,000. Tina Duer was first to the lead with Chinese Cuisine from post seven and that pair led at the quarter mile mark in :29.1 with O U Gus landing in the pocket. Flowing James settled last but then, past the half-mile mark in 1:00.2, rallied three-wide from last to first at the top of the lane. Chinese Cuisine battled on until late stretch when Werder and O U Gus split the leaders and drew clear for the two-length victory. O U Gus is a nine-year-old gelded son of Angus Hall-O U Guys-Balanced Image that is trained by Whitney Richards for Ontario owners Glengate Farm (also breeder) and Pat Hunt and he scored in 1:59.4 with a :29 last panel. Flowing James was a game second ahead for Bambino Hall and Chinese Cuisine. O U Gus recorded his first monte win for money and now has $366,967 earned lifetime with nine victories (sulky and monte). Don't forget next weeks' Hambletonian Monte final for $28,000 on Friday night and the July 29 Monte/RUS clinic scheduled for 5:00pm at Gaitway Farm in Englishtown, NJ. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Monte America

The much anticipated first leg of the Hambletonian Monte Series drew 11 entrants and has been split into two divisions, each for a $5,000 purse. The races will be contested as non-wagering events after the second and fourth races on the regular harness racing card. The lineups are shown below (horse, rider, trainer): Division 1 Tymal Oh So Nice, Heather Reese/R. Macdonald Chinese Cuisine, Tina Duer/B. Bittle Flowing James, Tara Hynes also trainer Bambino Hall, Stephanie Jacobs/Julie Miller OU Gus, Whitney Richards also trainer CJ's Crown, Caroline Green/J. Haigh-Bivona Division 2 Blue Boy Yankee, Kristina Smith/R. Smith Take My Picture, Therese Lindgren/N. Drennan Truth In Action, Karen Isbell also trainer Master Pine, Helene Gregory/J. Miller A Penny Earned, Heather Reese/G. Ducharme Be there for the RUS action at the New Meadowlands. Thomas H. Hicks  

2013 leading Monte America (RUS) performers in the United States (horses, riders and trainers based on earnings) are shown below.  Congratulations to all for making the monte season memorable and for setting the stage for future years. The equine leaders were Flex The Muscle and Vassar Hall with three wins each. Ray Schnittker posted three riding wins versus two each for Michelle Crawford and Helene Gregory. Schnittker and Brett Crawford earned three training victories. Horses: Flex The Muscle led the US equine monte competitors with three wins in five starts earning $19,750. Vassar Hall recorded three wins but did not hit the top five money earnings that also included single dash winners Chinese Cuisine ($14,420), Master Pine ($9.250), A Penney Earned ($6,500) and the consistent non-winner Muscolo ($7,004). Other monte winners during the season included Andover America, Admirable Hanover, John-Michael, Motown Dream Girl, First Tail U See, Pointe Of Honour, Fort Valley As, and Sundance Bayama. Riders: Ray Schnittker earned three wins with his trainee Flex The Muscle for earnings of $19,750. Helene Gregory recorded two wins for $14,250 with the other top five money winners being Tina Duer (one win for $14,420), Jenny Melander (one win for $8,520) and Karen Isbell ($7,250 earned with one victory). Other winners included two-time dash winner Michelle Crawford and single dash winners Heather Reese, Tara Hynes, Jennifer Lowery, Ashley Eldred, Jennifer Connor, Therese Lindgren, Melinda Giroso and Mary Dolce-Conti. Trainers: Schnittker also led the trainer category in 2013 with three wins and $19,750. Brett Bittle’s charges earned $11,300 with one win followed by Julie Miller ($9,250, one win), Paul Kelley ($7.004 without a win) and George Ducharme ($6,500, one victory). Other dash winning monte trainers not in the top five money winners were Brett Crawford (3 wins) and single dash winners Henrik Lundell, Jennifer Sabot, Frank Scamporino Jr., Robert Bresnahan, Robert Lounsbury, Daryl Bier, Janice Connor, Ashley Eldred and James Doherty Jr. Our Canadian monte colleagues are listed below based on wins and all events were exhibitions without purses. Horses: Harlequin led the 2013 equine monte performers with three wins and a second in four starts. Other single dash winners were I’ll Be There, Katla, Lady Is A Pirate, Sixth Man and Speedy Desperado. Riders: Riina Rekila posted a category leading four victories in six starts steering Harlequin and Katla to wins. Evelyn Harms, Maggie Jones, Sharleen MacDonald and Emma Jayne Wilson scored one win each. Trainers: Geoff Maltby led the way with three wins in eight starts for a UTRS of .444. Maggie Jones, Doug McIntosh, Anthony Montini, Riina Rekila and Julie Walker recorded one training win each. Thanks to all participants, owners, sponsors and track operators for making 2013 a successful monte campaign and in heightening interest in racing under saddle in North America. Special thanks to USTA’s David Carr for being the diligent scorekeeper and to racetrack photographers for recording the racing action. by Thomas H. Hicks for  

The field has been drawn for the $12, 500 Kentucky Futurity Day monte/RUS special event set for 12:35 pm post time. Thanks to the sponsors, Red Mile management and equine participants and their connections for making this race happen. The field is shown below and includes several past monte america winners plus the leading Canadian invader Harlequin with Riina Rekila aboard. Red Mile 10/6/13, $12,500, one mile, monte/RUS (horse, rider, trainer) Custom Tag            Karen Isbell, also trainer Master Pine            Jim Panteleano, Julie Miller Muscolo                   Michelle Crawford, Paul Kelley Rock With It             Tina Sundqvist, Donna Gilson-Eferstein NF Soaring              Rachel Matthews, Brooke Nickells Harlequin                 Riina Rekila, also trainer A Penny Earned      Heather Reese, George Ducharme Chinese Cuisine    Tina Duer, John Duer Be there in person or online for this outstanding monte event. Thomas H. Hicks  

A Race Under Saddle has been added to the closing Kentucky Futurity Day of The Red Mile, Saturday, October 6. The condition sheet is online and entries are due on Thursday October 3 by 10am. The purse has by today, has reached over $15,000 from our generous sponsors and RUS supporters: Anthony Legacy Foundation, Alan Leavitt. Karen Isbell, Burke Racing Stable, Crawford Farms.,Hunterton Farms, Peter Gerry, Cane Run Farm, Dr. Cummings, and Winners Circle Blueberries. A winners’ Trophy has been donated by LV Harkness. For sponsorships contact Tina Duer at 859-967-4333. All donations must be received at The Red Mile by Thursday morning before the draw: 1200 Red Mile Rd.,Lexington, KY 40504. Contact Connie Hochstetler 708-921-1719. Riders need a USTA RUS license and a KY Racing Commission license. by Thomas H. Hicks  

As of September 27 the Monte America/RUS category leaders are as follows: Leading Horses by Earnings: Flex The Muscle, $19,740, 3 wins Chinese Cuisine, $12,500, 1 win Muscolo, $5,724 Sundance Bayama, $5,600, 1 win Flowing James, $5,586 Leading Riders by Earnings: Ray Schnittker, $19,750, 3 wins Tina Duer, $12,500, 1 win Jenny Melander, $8,850, 1 win Karen Isbell, $7,250, 1 win Emma Pettersson, $5,586 Leadings Trainers by Earnings: Ray Schnittker, $19,750, 3 wins Brett Bittle, $11,300, 1 win Paul Kelley, $5,724 Henrik Lundell, $5,600, 1 win Mark Harder, $5,586, 1 win Thanks to David Carr (USTA) for data management and to all monteamericaa/RUS participants, sponsors and hosting racetracks for their support and extra effort to make the 2013 racing program happen. Next up is Lexington’s Red Mile on October 6th (Kentucky Futurity Day). Interested sponsors should contact Helene Gregory or Tina Duer ( by Thomas H. Hicks        

The 2013 year-to-date Monte America statistics (as USTA compiled by David Carr) show Ray Schnittker leading in all categories with his veteran $800,000 plus career winning trotter Flex The Muscle. The pair won the Hambletonian Monte event at the Meadowlands to secure the top spots. This team has posted two other victories and a third in five starts. Leading Horses: (earnings, wins) Flex The Muscle, $19,750 (3) Chinese Cuisine, $12,500 (1) Muscolo, $5,724 (0) Sundance Bayama, $5,600 (1) Flowing James, $5,586 (0) Leading Jockeys: (earnings, wins, UDRS) Ray Schnittker, $19,730, 3, .667 Tina Duer, $12,500, 1, .556 Karen Isbell, $7,250, 1, .630 Jenny Melander, $6,020, 0, .093 Emma Pettersson, $5,586, 0, .296 Leading Trainers: (earnings, wins) Ray Schnittker, $19,750, 3 Brett Biddle, $11,300, 1 Paul Kelley, $5,724, 0 Henrik Lundell, $5.600, 1 Mark Harder, $5,586, 0 Congrats to all the leaders and to all participants, owners and sponsors. Best of racing luck to all for the remainder of the2013 monte season. The Canadian monte performers have also posted admirable numbers with veteran Harlequin posting three wins in as many starts. Jockey Riina Rekila has three wins in four starts and trainer Geoff Maltby also has three victories. by Thomas H. Hicks  

Firing off a fast pace, veteran Flex The Muscle (6m Muscles Yankee-Alix Hall-Conway Hall) with trainer Ray Schnittker aboard stormed home to easily take the $32,800 Hambletonian Monte Final in 1:59.2. The winning stallion is owned by Schnittker, J&T Silva Stable LLC and Arden Homestead Stable and was bred in Indiana by Silver Linden Farms. Now a career winner of over $847,000 and a 27 time winner in 114 total starts, Flex The Muscle was ten lengths back of early pacesetter Point Of Honour ridden by Tara Hynes as she rolled to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:28.1. Chinese Cuisine (5g Revenue-Missymandarine-Malabar Man) then closed in and took the lead for Tina Duer before Flex The Muscle rolled by to score by four lengths with Flowing James (8g Ilooklikemymom-Flowing Jody-Rule The Wind) closing for third with Emma Pettersson. The fourth and fifth checks went to Muscolo with Michelle Crawford up and Waldorf Hall handled by Jenny Melander. Flex The Muscle and Ray Schnittker Twelve horses and riders faced starter Danny Dale's starting gate in what was to-date the richest and most prestigious monte event in North America. Thanks to the Meadowlands, the Hambletonian Society and the sponsors (Jeff Gural, William Weaver's Valley High Stable, Ron Burke Racing Stable, Back On Track, White Birch Farm, Blue Chip Farm and Global Graphics) and supporters that made the Hambletonian Monte Series successful. Thomas H. Hicks  

The $32,800 Hambletonian Monte Series Final will go postward at the Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day between the second and third races. A fine field on 12 qualifying point leaders will face the starter led by six 2013 monte winners, Chinese Cuisine, Motown Dreamgirl, Point of Honour, A Penny Earned, Flex The Muscle and Sundance Bayama. The full field of equine stars, riders and trainers are listed below in post position order: 1. Chinese Cuisine, Tina Duer, Brett Bittle 2. Waldorf Hall, Jenny Melander, Jim Raymer 3. Flowing James, Emma Pettersson, Mark Harder 4. Motown Dreamgirl, Jennifer Lowery, Robert Lounsbury 5. Muscolo, Michelle Crawford, Paul Kelley 6. Armbro Doyle, Ashley Eldred, Dawn Anderson 7. Admirable Hanover, Jennifer Connor, Janice Connor 8. Point Of Honour, Tara Hynes, Frank Scamporino Jr. 9. Amoreena, Marielle Enberg, Pat Lachance 10. A Penny Earned, Heather Reese, George Ducharme 11. Flex The Muscle, Ray Schnittker (also trainer) 12. Sundance Bayama, Stephanie Werder, Henrik Lundell Separately, yesterday the New York Fair at Morris, NY conducted a monte race with the win going to Vassar Hall (9f Striking Sahbra-Vera Hall-Conway Hall). Michelle Crawford rode the winner for trainer Brett Crawford, covering the mile in 2:13.4h over an off track. Veteran Lemon Pepper was placed second ridden by Jennifer Lowery with First Tail U See second placed third for Ashley Eldred. by Thomas H. Hicks  

After last evenings second leg of the Hambletonian Monte Series the point leaders are shown below, led by the leg #2 winners Point Of Honour (Tara Hynes) and Chinese Cuisine (Tina Duer). The Hambletonioan Monte Final, carrying a $25,000 purse, will occur on Hambletonian Day and will be limited to twelve (12) starters. Should two or more horses tie for the final starting position by virtue of equal points in the preliminary legs, the tied horses shall be eliminated by lot until there are a maximum of 12 starters selected.   Pointe Of Honour 75 Chinese Cuisine 62 Motown Dreamgirl 51 A Penny Earned 50 Muscolo 37 Flowing James 28 Amoreena 27 Flex The Muscle 14 Sundance Bayama 13 Waldorf Hall 6 Armbro Doyle 4 Admirable Hanover and Celebrity Playboy 3 each Where’s Harry and First Tail U See 2 each   by Thomas H. Hicks  

Hambletonian monte action was in full display tonight at the Big M. The first division went to Chinese Cuisine (5g Revenue S-Missysmandarine-Malabar Man) with Tina Duer up for Peninsula Farm and trainer Brett Bittle in a sharp 1:58.1, final quarter :29.3. The winning connection scored decisively over Amoreena with Marielle Enberg in the irons. Muscolo finished third for Michelle Crawford. Ambro Doyle (Ashley Eldred) and Admirable Hanover (Jennifer Connor) earned the other checks. Division two went to pacesetter Pointe Of Honour (7g Striking Sahbra-Garland Bonita-Garland Lobell)) ridden by Tara Hynes for trainer Frank Scamporino Jr. and owner James Datri. This pair scored in 1:59.1 over Flowing James and Emma Pettersson with Flex The Muscle third for Ray Schnittker. Waldorf Hall (Jenny Melander) and Celebrity Playboy (Maria Andersson) also earned checks.   Top point winners from the legs will be back on the Meadowlands oval during Hambletonian Day seeking the $25,000 purse in this Hambletonian Society managed monte event. Be there to applaud the participants and thank the sponsors and Meadowlands management for their direction and drive to make monte (under saddle) racing part of the American standardbred sport. by Thomas H. Hicks

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