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Harness Racing This Week: Ben Franklin Pace, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Max C. Hempt Memorial and James M. Lynch Memorial finals, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Cleveland Trotting Classic, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Graduate Series final, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; Miss Versatility, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Hanover Stakes, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill.; and Landmark Stakes, Historic Track, Goshen, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will once again be on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this Saturday night (July 4) as the track will host four lucrative stakes finals in the $500,000 Ben Franklin for older pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. A trio of Friday night (July 3) stakes kick-off the Grand Circuit action this week with the $170,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic for older trotters, the $250,000 Graduate Series final for 4-year-old pacers and a C$40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Also on Saturday, Balmoral Park will host $35,000 (est.) divisions of the Hanover Stake for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters, while Historic Track will card eight Landmark Stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Complete entries for the U.S. races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries are available at this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action opened up on Friday night (June 26) at Meadowlands Racetrack with a $50,000 TVG Free For All trotting series leg and Obrigado made his debut in the series a winning one, scoring in impressive fashion in 1:51.3, a lifetime best performance. In his previous start, Obrigado found himself locked in throughout the mile while crying out for racing room in the stretch in a Meadowlands Open. Driver Mark MacDonald made sure that wouldn't happen this time, putting his gelding in the game early. But Obrigado had to work hard early on, parked out by DW's NY Yank, the 9-5 favorite, and the two raced in tandem past the quarter in :26.3. Shortly after the trotters turned into the backstretch, Obrigado cleared the lead and it was a lead he would not relinquish. MacDonald effectively backed his trotter down to a :55.3 half-mile before reaching three-quarters in 1:25.1. In the stretch, Obrigado simply out-sprinted the field, kicking home in :26.2 to complete the triumph. Flanagan Memory rallied to finish second with Melady's Monet overcoming traffic trouble in the stretch to finish third. Obrigado is co-owned by his trainer Paul Kelley, Linwood Higgins, William Weaver III and Stable 45. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono hosted 11 Grand Circuit races on Saturday, all eliminations for this week's Sun Stakes Saturday card. Grabbing the headlines were the 3-year-old male pacers in the Max Hempt eliminations as Artspeak, Wiggle It Jiggleit and Wakizashi Hanover each posted victories. Artspeak set an evenly-rated pace, looked to be threatened at head-stretch, but responded gamely late to withstand Pocono Pike challenger In The Arsenal for a 1:50 triumph. The son of Western Ideal showed his class to dig down and preserve a head margin at the wire, with Pierce Hanover only another three-quarters of a length behind and also advancing. Artspeak is trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brittany Farms (also co-breeder), Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The Gym Partners. Wiggle It Jiggleit bounced back nicely after his first career loss, making a move in front of the stands to the front nearing the five-eighths and going on to an in-hand four length victory for driver Montrell Teague in 1:50.1. National Seelster, 67-1, had the good fortune of the Wiggle It Jiggleit cover for a quarter-mile, then the bad luck to be left raw, but he fought home gamely to beat early pacesetter Betting Exchange by a neck for place. The winning altered son of Mr Wiggles is now 12-for-13; Clyde Francis handles the training for George Teague Jr. Inc. North America Cup champion Wakizashi Hanover completed a Hempt elim sweep for the favorites, rallying in the Pocono Pike to catch Lost For Words by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:50.4. A Bettor Hat finished third. The victorious Dragon Again gelding was guided by Tim Tetrick for trainer Joanne Looney-King and the Tri-County Stable. Complete recaps of the weekend races, including the other eight Pocono stakes eliminations, are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 223; 2. Brian Sears - 218; 3. Tim Tetrick - 213; 4. David Miller - 177; 5. Daniel Dube - 157. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 335; 2. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 188; 3. Jimmy Takter - 160; 4. Rene Allard - 146; 5. Nifty Norman - 90. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 165.5; 2. Burke Racing - 87.5; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 79.3; 4. Allard Racing - 46.9; 5. Jeff Snyder - 42.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack, Balmoral Park and Yonkers Raceway. The Meadowlands will host the Graduate Series final for 4-year-old trotters, Reynolds divisions for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters, Meadowlands Pace and Mistletoe Shalee eliminations for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers, respectively, and William Haughton Memorial eliminations for older pacers; Balmoral will card Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers; and Yonkers features Lawrence Sheppard eliminations for 2-year-old colt pacers. Paul Ramlow

Louisville, KY --- Like most of us, he has a very specific outlook on life and throughout the duration of Stacia Hanover’s career harness racing trainer Steve Elliott has adhered to his primary philosophy. “It’s the same whether it walks on two legs or four,” he said. “The colts you can bull them down a little bit, but not the fillies. You need to let them do what they want to do, because if you don’t they will make you pay for it. There’s just no sense in fighting with any woman. All you can do is say, ‘Thank you honey’ then try again the next day.” That’s why if Stacia Hanover decides to buck and generally just be high maintenance while being harnessed for her $20,000 James Lynch Memorial elimination at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday (June 27) the filly will most certainly have her way. Once she is prepared for her mile, Scott Zeron will guide her to the sixth spot on the gate in the evening’s fourth race where she is the 7-2 morning line third selection behind Nancy Johansson's Wicked Little Minx (5-2) and Joe Holloway’s Bettor Be Steppin (3-1). “It’s been a battle with her, but Scott has done a great job with teaching her how to race,” Elliott said. “She just wanted to go 100 mph and would not relax in a hole, but now she is much more comfortable racing that way. We’ll see what we have this weekend. The goal is to have a nice, consistent horse that goes on next year. I think she has the ability to do just that.” Stacia Hanover is a daughter of Western Ideal and the Art Major mare Stolly Up Bluechip. She is the second foal out of her dam and a half-sister to Seashell Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere, p,3,1:51.4f, $99,245). Owned by David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio, Stacia Hanover was a $35,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale. She definitely showed promise as a 2-year-old as one of her three triumphs was in the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes final. From five starts she amassed earnings of $94,225 and a mark of 1:53.4. “She is a tiny thing,” Elliott said. “We stopped on her last year because she was sick and then I tried to qualify her when I should not have. She just was not over that illness. That is when I realized my mistake and figured we would just get her ready for this year. She is still very small, but she is much stronger.” The filly returned to work this season with her fourth visit to the winner’s circle after reigning victorious by a head in a $15,500 non-winners contest on April 24 at the Meadowlands. She was then fourth in a $16,000 event under similar conditions, but her last quarter was in :26. Her next three races resulted in second place finishes in a pair of New Jersey Sire Stake legs and the $100,000 final. The Show Returns is the filly who beat Stacia Hanover by a neck in the NJSS final and showed her performance at 40-1 odds that day was no fluke as she finished second in the $387,990 Fan Hanover final on June 20 at Mohawk. “We are just being patient and taking our time with her,” Elliott said about Stacia Hanover. “TheWestern Ideals seem to improve as they get older so that is also what we are keeping in mind. The owners are having fun and bringing people to the races to see her. They are happy and the situation with this filly is what harness racing is really all about as people are enjoying themselves with friends as well as family.” Although, Van Dusen and Cimaglio are reveling in their filly’s accomplishments they were a little shocked at the balance on the stakes sheet after Elliott plotted her course for 2015. “They were like, ‘Geez, when did you get so high on her?’” Elliott said. “Those stakes payments can really put things in perspective, but with each race she improves as she continues to learn. We have to give her the opportunity to prove herself. I think she belongs and that she will be worth the wait. There is an old saying, ‘If you don’t wait on them, they will make you wait.’ I’m just fortunate I have owners like this that allow me to have patience with a horse like her.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

It was a homecoming fit for a queen. Natalie Rasmussen, aka Miss Inter Dominion returned to the feature race stage at Albion Park tonight (Saturday) and claimed two feature harness racing events. Rasmussen landed the Gr.2 $50,000 Seymour Premiers Cup with race favourite Gentle Western who led throughout while she guided star filly Fight For Glory to victory in the Gr.3 $30,000 UBET Gold Coast Oaks. The winning Oaks drive was tactically brilliant. Fight For Glory (Art Major) defeated stablemate Linda Lovegrace while local filly Bettor Promise ran a brave third in a mile rate of 1;55.9 for the 2138m with the final half covered in 56.3 seconds. Gentle Western, a lightly raced stayer with enormous potential stepped safely before leading his rivals a merry dance in the 2647m stand-start marathon defeating Corporal Luna and Raring To Go in a race record time of 1;57.7. The last half was covered in 55.7 seconds. The Western Ideal – Gentle Audrey stallion is raced by Natalie’s mother, Cheryl Rasmussen and Trevor Titcomb. The All Stars stable of Rasmussen and Mark Purdon will aim their runners at several features in the coming weeks during the Brisbane winter carnival which will be staged on July 4, 11 and 18. Rasmussen is based in Christchurch with Purdon. The Gr.2 $50,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 2yo Finals were also staged and provided thrilling finishes in both finals with Catcha Lefty and Get In The Groove proving victorious. Catcha Lefty was the punters elect and scored narrowly from New South Wales visitor Roarn after locking wheels over the concluding stages while Make A Statement finished third in a time of 1;55.1. The Village Jasper – Lefty gelding has now won 6 of his 7 starts and will head to the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Final on July 18. He is raced by his breeder and trainer, Cristina Monte and was handled by leading reinsman Shane Graham. In the Fillies division, Get In The Groove sprintlaned to defeat Covert Beauty and Firebby in a time of 1;57.0. Get In The Groove trailed race favourite Reds Jet Star before sprinting quickly over the concluding stages. The Mach Three – Get Happy filly is raced by her breeders Kevin and Kay Seymour. Trista Dixon took the winning drive; the filly is trained by her husband Grant. The Dixon stable struck in the feature trotting event, the $15,000 Statewide Taxation Services Marathon when former New Zealand Sharons Millicent led throughout in the 3157m event. Unbeaten in six Australian starts prior to tonight, the Monkey Bones – Black Onyx mare kept her perfect record in place scoring comfortably from Mister Malakye and Its Three By Two. The winning mile rate for the stand-start feature was 2;06.7. Handled by trainer/driver Grant Dixon, Sharons Millicent is raced by Sharon Mitchell. And reigning Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova made a successful return when he led throughout in the Garrards Horse & Hound Open defeating Forever Gold and Caesars Folly. The free legged pacer was resuming since competing in the Inter Dominion Grand Final on March 1, Avonnova recorded a winning mile rate of 1;57.3 for the 2647m. Co-owner and trainer Ian Gurney is aiming his ‘stablestar’ at several features next month including the $100,000 Sunshine Sprint (July 4) and the $125,000 Blacks A Fake (July 18). Fight For Glory Gentle Western

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – The Hippodrome 3R hosted four $35,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters and pacers Sunday and the action was fast and furious from the start. In the third race first division for older pacing horses, Atomic Million AM made the most of an ideal two-hole pocket trip from race favorite Champagne Phil, sliding out from second at the top of the stretch for driver Sylvain LaCaille and out gunning them to the wire in a track record time of 1:52.3. Driver Denis St Pierre sent Champagne Phil out for the lead from post five but LeCaille and Atomic Million AM had other ideas, stinging Pierre and Champagne Phil to the opening quarter in :26.2 before letting them take command. Separating from the rest of the field, Champagne Phil led with Atomic Million AM sitting right on his back through the half mile in :55.2 and the three-quarters in 1:24.2. Then sling-shotting from the pocket, Atomic Million AM collared Champagne Phil and going on to win by a half-length. Bali (Shane Weber) was third. The time of 1:52.3 was the second fastest mile in Hippodrome 3R history. It rewrote the track record for older geldings of 1:53.1 that was set by Duc D’Orleans in 2014. Atomic Million AM is also eligible for the $200,000 Prix D’Ete at the Hippodrome 3R on August 23. For Atomic Million AM, it was the four-year-old son of Million Dollar Cam’s fourth win in seven starts this year. He has yet to finish worse than second in a race. He is trained and owned by Alan Martin of Gatineau, QC and bred by Ferme Alain Martin. He paid $4.40 to win. There were no surprises in the fourth race finale for older trotting horses as the prohibited favorite, unbeaten Maximuscle and driver Mario Charron scored with ease in 1:57.3. It was the fastest trotting mile this season at the Hippodrome 3R, but a “walk in the park” for Maximuscle. SOS Ticket Master (Pascal Berube) was first out of the starting gate with Maximuscle and Charron floating on the outside in second place. Then after the opening quarter mile in :28.1, Maximuscle has taken command from SOS Ticket Master. Only SOS Ticket Master was able to stay somewhat close to Maximuscle as he cut easy fractions of :58 and 1:28. Then by the top of the stretch, SOS Ticket Master moved to the outside and was looming closer to Maximuscle. But Mario Charron just raised the lines and Maximuscle easily trotted to a two length triumph. SOS Ticket Master was second with Somoli E (Jerome Lombart) third. A four-year-old gelded son of Angus Hall, it was the fourth straight win for Maximuscle this season. He is trained by Maxme Velaye and owned and bred by Ecurie Provoguante of Mirabel, QC. Maximuscle paid the mandatory $2.10 to win. Over the past three years Maximuscle has made a clean sweep of the Quebec-Bred Series. My Tallia Ideal and driver Stephane Gendron took full advantage of the late scratch by Champagne Shower, and were not only able to leave and get to the lead, but cut torrid fractions and set a track record in the sixth race finale for older pacing mares. After getting stung early by Victoria Semalu (Stephane Brosseau) to the opening quarter mile in :27.1. My Tallia Ideal settled on the lead but kept motoring to the half mile in :56.3 and the three-quarters in 1:25.4. It was then that Brosseau moved to the outside with Victoria Semalu but they could not collar My Tallia Ideal who crossed the wire a winner by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. Chaleurs Fantasy (Gaetan Lamy) was third. The time of the race reset the track record for older pacing mares that was previously co-held by not only My Tallia Ideal two starts back, but also Champagne Shower (2015) and Sans Frontiere (2013). Trained by Michel Allard, My Tallia Ideal is a five-year-old mare by Western Ideal. She is owned and was bred by Gestion Mario Audet, Inc. and Yves Sarrazin, QC. She paid $2.80 to win. Viva Bayama and driver Denis St Pierre, despite being parked out three-wide from the start of the backstretch to the top of the stretch, was still able to pull away for a three length triumph in the eighth race finale for older trotting mares. Canbec Kangourou and driver Jocelyn Gendron out early but challenged right away by Kim Sorel (Martin Gingras) who took the lead at the opening quarter mile in :28.4. Then Gendron came right back with Canbec Kangourou to retake the lead. They raced to the half mile in :59 as Pierre came to the outside with Viva Bayama, but they faced road traffic as Lucyll Bro (Stephane Gendron) came to the outside and that forced Viva Bayama three wide down the backstretch. Hoping to clear and be first-over was out of the question for Denis St Pierre and Viva Bayama as Kim Sorel and Gingras came out again and kept Viva Bayama parked out three-wide past the three-quarters in 1:29.1 and around the final turn. But the classy mare Viva Bayama was up to the talk, collaring the leaders by the top of the stretch and then pulling away at the finish in 2:00.2. Kim Sorel was second with Sexy P V (Yves St Jacques) third. It was the third straight win for the four-year-old daughter of Muscle Mass. She is trained by Sebastien Groux and owned by Richard Dinelle and Andre St Laurent. She was bred by Bayama Farms and paid $3.20 to win. It was her seventh victory in ten starts this year. Live racing resumes Wednesday at the Hippodrome 3R. First race post time 7:00 pm. For more information visit From the Quebec Jockey Club

Pompano Beach, FL...June 13, 2015...No Bad Dreams, given a picture perfect drive by Bruce Ranger, gave his harness racing competition a nightmare of sorts on Saturday night at Pompano Park, virtually wiring a classy field in the $9,500 Winner's Over Pace in 1:52.1.   The four year-old son of Dream Away, trained by 81 year-old Marc Aubin for Dan and Jacalyn Boddie, earned his seventh win of the year in 11 starts, defeating Raji's Blue Line, handled by Ben McNeil, by a half length.   Northern Companion and driver Tom Sells teamed up to be third while Who's Your Maddy finished fourth. G P S Legacy made a miscue early on and picked up the nickel in the quintet.   No Bad Dreams, leaving from the advantageous five post, zipped out of the gate and joined Raji's Blue Line around the first turn with No Bad Dreams assuming the lead shortly thereafter and clocking an opening panel of :27.2.   With positions remaining stagnant through the next quarter, Ranger was able to rate his charge through a :29.4 panel, reaching the half in :57.1. On the backside, Ranger chirped once to No Bad Dreams and he was off on a :27.4 tangent and then sealed the deal with a :27.1 finale.   In a post race interview, Ranger said, "Last week, Ben's horse (Raji's Blue Line) cut some hellish fractions so I was hoping he wouldn't try that again and opt for a two hold trip. Once I got to the half in :57 and change, I felt very confident that No Bad Dreams could go all the way from there. He's a very nice horse...VERY nice!"   In winning for the 10th time career-wise, No Bad Dreams pushed his lifetime earnings to $43,962--$29,310 this year in only 11 starts.   As the 2 to 5 favorite, No Bad Dreams rewarded his many followers with a $2.80 mutuel.   That win, incidentally, proved to be a "double" for trainer Aubin and the Boddie's, as their Abreathofreshart captured the opener on the Saturday card in a conditioned pace in 1:52, a new lifetime mark. This four year-old son of Artistic Fella also wired his foes, using a :27.4 finale to pin a defeat measuring 1 3/4 lengths on Histoire Eternelle, handled by Dan Harvey. Zavan was third for Andy Santeramo after applying some pressure on the leader around the final turn.   As the 3 to 5 favorite, Abreathofreshart paid $3.40 to win.   The track also hosted the Chris Valkanoff Memorial Pace, honoring one of the most respected owners at the track who passed away some months ago.   Ranger also won that one, too, guiding Twenty Four Carrot Racing and Ciro Gentile's Freeneasy Hanover to his 25th lifetime win--2nd this year--in 1:51.2.   The Jim Mc Donald trainee, a seven year-old son of Western Ideal, also was a gate to wire winner, clocking panels of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23.1 along the way for the win measuring nearly four lengths.   He, too, was the overwhelming favorite--1 to 5 on the board--and returned $2.60 to win.   After the event, the vast number of friends and family gathered in the winner's circle celebrating Mr. Valkanoff's life.   Racing continues Wednesday night at Pompano Park with post time set at 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park      

The All Stars have arrived in Brisbane. The all-conquering Christchurch stables of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have turned their attention to the riches of the Queensland harness racing winter carnival which takes place over the next six weeks. A team of four high powered equine athletes arrived safely last week and set up camp at the stables of Darren Weeks at Caboolture, just north of Brisbane, under the watchful eye of Rasmussen and Shaun McNaulty. Open class ace Smolda will join the team after competing in Sydney this weekend. The first runner to step out for the All Stars is emerging stayer Gentle Western, a giant Western Ideal – Gentle Audrey four-year-old who will contest the Premiers Cup series. The $50,000 final is scheduled for next Saturday night (June 20). “He’s a lovely big horse with many great qualities; he’s sensible, strong and fast while he’s deliberately been set for this campaign. This is his first major trip away but he’s handling it very well and he’s thriving in the warmer climate.” Rasmussen said. After being involved in a nasty race fall in the 2014 Southern Supremacy Final at Invercargill, Gentle Western was sidelined owing to injuries sustained from the crash. Gentle Western will sport saddlecloth number two in what shapes as his first stand-start experience but Rasmussen is confident he will handle it well. “We were very happy with his comeback effort at Ashburton the other week and he continues to improve. Tim (Williams) drove him and stated that he felt good and would sharpen-up considerably following that effort. “His work here the other morning was pleasing and we’re expecting a forward showing this week which will have him peaking for the final. This is his first race from the tapes but it shouldn’t be an issue, he’s very sensible and he’s been given plenty of practice. “This horse has a good profile for this carnival, he’s loosely assessed and we’ve got some nice races picked out for him here including these heat/final series plus the 4yo Championship next month. He will race very well in anything he contests.” The All Stars are no strangers to success in the Premiers Cup after scoring in 2012 with Best Deal Yet while they also claimed the Queensland Derby (Best Deal Yet) and Oaks (O Baby) that same year. Meanwhile, star fillies Fight For Glory and Linda Lovegrace will start next week in the Gr.3 $30,000 Gold Coast Oaks at Albion Park while crack colt Hug The Wind is expected to trial next week in preparation for a host of features next month including the Gr.1 $150,000 Queensland Derby on July 18. No decision has been made on who will drive the fillies next week at this stage. by Chris Barsby Related Links Fields for Gold Coast at Albion Park, Friday 12 June 2015 Form guide for Gold Coast at Albion Park, Friday 12 June 2015

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – Champagne Phil will put his four-race winning streak on the line Sunday afternoon at the Hippodrome 3R. The five-year-old harness racing gelding headlines one of two divisions of the final elimination round of the $125,000 Quebec-Bred Series for older pacing horses and mares. Sired by Shanghai Phil, Champagne Phil is the 5/2 morning line favorite in the third race Sunday. He starts from post four for driver Denis St Pierre and trainer Frances Richard. In his last four starts Champagne Phil has won at three different tracks, twice at The Raceway in London, once at Mohawk Raceway and then last week’s track record tying performance at the Hippodrome 3R. In that mile, with Denis St Pierre in the sulky, Champagne Phil led every step of the one mile pace, pulling away in the stretch to win by two and one-quarter lengths in 1:53.1 for his sixth win on the year. That mile tied the track record for older gelding set by Duc D’Orleans in 2014 and shattered the Quebec-Bred Series record for his age and gait. Other contenders in the race include McKinney (post 5), Bali (post 6) and Victor Bayama (post 7). “He was very strong last week,” said driver Denis St Pierre. “If the conditions are right this Sunday he could break the record. He is a very nice horse.” The first race division for mares is headlined by last week’s track record tying performer, My Tallia Ideal, from post four for driver Stephane Gendron. Last week the five-year-old mare by Western Ideal was at her best, wiring the field by two lengths in 1:54.3. That tied the track record for older mares with Sans Frontiere set in 2013. It was the fourth win on the year for the Michel Allard trainee. But it will not be a “walk in the park” for My Tallia Ideal as she takes on a very formidable foe in Champagne Shower in post three for driver Denis St Pierre. A four-year-old mare by Santana Blue Chip, Champagne Shower is on a three-race winning streak for trainer Yves Tessier. She has won the first two rounds of the series and seeks to make it a clean sweep. Another game performer in the race is Victoria Semalu (post one) for driver Stephane Brosseau. She won an opening round of the series and was second last week to My Tallia Ideal. The Quebec-Bred Series for older horses and mares culminates on Sunday, June 14 with the top eight pointer earners in each division returning for the $35,000 finals.  For more information go to From the Quebec Jockey Club

Illinios native Tony Alanga has come a long way in the world of harness racing in the last few years with a string of headline horses. Since tying up with Myron Bell of Brittany Farms, the Alanga barn has stamped its mark on age group racing in North America. The first horse to really make his mark from the partnership between Alanga and Bell was the brilliant son of Somebeachsomewhere in Captaintreacherous who was a star from the time he hit the track as a two year old. Capotaintreacherous won eight of ten at two on the way to earning $911,277 and earned pacer of the year honours. He came back even better at three winning thirteen of sixteen for $2,065,533 while taking a mark of 1:47.1 and was again horse of the year at three. Now retired and standing at Hanover Shoe Farms at a fee of $15,000, Captaintreacherous could rightly be said as the horse that really put Tony Alanga on the map. Just to prove that they weren't a one horse partnership, Tony and Myron combined once again to produce last season's outstanding two year old Artspeak. Artspeak, a son of Western Ideal  produced a two year old record very similiar to Captaintreacherous in that he won eight of ten starts for $805,727 while taking a record of 1:50.2. Artspeak has come out at three in dominant form and is two from two at this early stage of the season and has lowered his best time to 1:48.4. Recently Tony Alanga spoke to In The Sulky and we post that video below. Harnesslink Media  

The USTA website provides periodic glimpses at some of harness racing’s stars throughout the season. Today, they look at award-winning 3-year-old male pacer Artspeak. ARTSPEAK Western Ideal – The Art Museum – Artsplace Owners: Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, In The Gym Partners  Breeders: Brittany Farms, Melvin Hartman Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Scott Zeron 2015 Record: 2-2-0-0; $60,000; 1:48.4m 2014 Record: 10-8-0-2; $742,185; 1:50.2s Career: 12-10-0-2; $802,185; 1:48.4m Honors: Dan Patch and O’Brien awards for best 2-year-old male pacer in 2014. Top wins: 2014 Metro Pace, 2014 Governor’s Cup, 2015 and 2014 New Jersey Sire Stakes championships. The last time: Artspeak won the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old male pacers from post eight at the Meadowlands in a career-best 1:48.4 on May 30. Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron settled into fifth place on the first turn, then made up a double-digit deficit in lengths in less than a quarter of a mile to take the lead just beyond the halfway point. Wrapped up in the stretch, Artspeak went on to win by three lengths. “His first start he was wrapped up in (1):49 and that was really visually impressive to see,” trainer Tony Alagna said. “But the other day he made a huge move with the (earplugs) still in. That was a monster effort for his second start back. He came out of the race great. He actually put weight on this week, which after a mile like that is phenomenal. It means he’s on a good program right now. I’m very happy with him. He’s in good shape; we just have to keep him that way.” The next time: Artspeak will get the weekend off before heading to Ontario to compete in the June 13 eliminations for the C$1 million North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack. The final is June 20. It could be the start of a six-week stretch that brings Artspeak to the Max C. Hempt Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and the Meadowlands Pace at the Meadowlands. Former Alagna Stable star Captaintreacherous swept all three events in 2013, but received a bye to the Meadowlands Pace final and avoided having to race six consecutive weeks. “If you can save yourself a start now, hopefully you can make it through that series of races,” Alagna said. “That’s why I’m so glad to give him this week off. He’s fit, I just have to keep him fresh and happy and he’ll take care of the rest. If the horse seems like he’s in good shape, we’ll certainly take (all three races) into consideration. He’s going to tell us if he’s ready to do it.” No regrets: Alagna and Artspeak’s owners decided to skip last year’s Breeders Crown in late November in favor of an extra month of rest for the colt to prepare for this season. “Of course I think he could have won the Breeders Crown if we went, and I didn’t want to turn down the chance for $250,000 for the owners, but I really felt in my heart it was the right thing to do. I knew he’d lost weight; he’d been going since June and I thought enough was enough. I knew if I put him away he’d get an extra 30 days at Brittany (Farms) in the green grass. “When he came off the truck from Brittany, I said we did the right thing. Win, lose or draw, the horse looked amazing. He wouldn’t have gotten that with five weeks. It was that extra month that really did the trick. I’m really happy with how he’s come back this year.” Stride right: Artspeak made breaks twice last year, finishing third on both occasions, and went off stride in his first qualifier this year. Alagna attributed the break in the qualifier to the length of the colt’s hobbles, which he believes he corrected by resetting them to last year’s length. “I’m never going to say it will never happen again, but he’s been phenomenal,” Alagna said. “We trained him after he made the break -- before I qualified him back (the second time) -- and I knew that we were set. From that point on, I didn’t give it a second thought. “He qualified fantastic (finishing fifth in 1:53.4). Everyone thought the line wasn’t that impressive but nobody saw what he did after the wire. After the wire he circled the field and was up by five (lengths) by the time I walked outside from the paddock. Then his first start told the tale. He was exactly where I told everybody he was at. And he came back with an even more incredible performance in the (New Jersey Sire Stakes) final.” In focus: Artspeak lacks the personality of Captaintreacherous, but he seems to know what it is all about when it comes to racing. “Captaintreacherous had personality plus. He was like a big clown,” Alagna said. “(Artspeak) is a great-feeling horse, but he doesn’t have the big kid mentality that Captain did. This horse has got a lot more focus, even in the barn. But he’s got a really good personality. He doesn’t have bad days in the barn. He doesn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed. He’s very cut and dry. He’s not a quirky horse. He really takes care of himself.” Looking out for No. 1: “Everyone wants to be No. 1,” Alagna said. “That’s understandable. But all I do is focus on my horse. I know if I bring my horse ready to race he’ll take care of the rest. I don’t have to worry about the other horses. I just have to worry about doing my job with mine and what’s going to be will be. There are plenty of horses out there that look good, but as long as I do my job and he does his thing on the track, then I feel like we’re in good shape.” by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications   

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 5 - The final preparations for the Pepsi North America Cup and a chance to witness harness racing history are on tap Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Somebeachsomewhere Stakes for three-year-old pacers serves as a final prep for the Pepsi North America Cup eliminations on Saturday, June 13. A pair of $78,767 divisions, featuring ten-horses in each, will be contested Saturday evening. The Somebeachsomewhere splits have been carded as Races five and nine. A total of 14 of the 20 "Beach" starters are Pepsi North America Cup eligible. The first division features the season debut of Breeders Crown champion Traceur Hanover. The Normand Bardier Jr. trainee is coming into his first start of the season off a qualifying victory last Friday at Mohawk in 1:52.4. The son of Western Ideal won five of 14 starts last season for earnings of over $423,000. He will start from rail Saturday evening with driver Randy Waples at the controls. Pierce Hanover will be looking to improve to three for three this season in the first "Beach" division. The Ken and Ralph Sucee stable star is coming into Saturday night off two impressive victories to start his sophomore season. The son of Cams Card Shark will start from post-nine Saturday with driver Jody Jamieson. The first division features nine horses that are Pepsi North America Cup eligible. In the second division, the Hall of Fame duo of John Campbell and Bob McIntosh team up with Go Daddy Go. The son of Ponder won his season debut impressively last Friday in an Ontario Sires Stakes gold event at London. Go Daddy Go battled with the top colts last season and was victorious in his eliminations for the Metro Pace and the Breeders Crown. The McIntosh trainee will have to overcome post-ten in Saturday's second split. Allbeef N Nobull, who will start from post-two, has been listed as the 2-1 morning line favourite in the second division. The son of Mcardle ships north of the border off a victory on May 28 in a division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. Allbeef N Nobull has two victories this season, while finishing no worse than second in five starts. Last season, Allbeef N Nobull was a perfect four for four in his rookie campaign. He will be driven by Brett Miller Saturday night. The second Somebeachsomewhere division will feature five Pepsi North America Cup eligible starters. Ontario Sires Stakes action will also be on tap Saturday night. A pair of $105,000 gold divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies will take place as Races six and eight. Live racing gets underway Saturday at 7:25 p.m., but fans will want to arrive early to witness potential history. The Belmont Stakes and American Pharoah's quest for the Triple Crown will be shown live on the infield screen with full sound. Post time for the Belmont is approximately 6:50 p.m. Horseplayers looking to catch all the action from Belmont will be able to watch and wager on the entire card in the Mohawk Race Book located inside the OLG Slots. First-race post time Saturday at Belmont is 11:35 a.m. Doors to live racing at Mohawk will open Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie- WEG Communications

What distinguishes a good harness racing sire from the great harness racing sires is the ability to produce top class fillies and mares. That is the key to Bettor's Delight's dominance worldwide and it is a trait of all our leading sires in New Zealand. One sire who has been having a great run with his fillies and mares over the last season or two is American Ideal. Noted in North America for his prowess in leaving high class fillies and mares such as American Jewel 1:48.2 ($1,834,823) Idyllic 1:50 ($1,313,241) and Romantic Moment 1:50.1 ($1,077,352), American Ideal is starting to fashion a fine record downunder with his fillies and mares. This season's crop of three year olds by American Ideal numbers just 75 foals in New Zealand but he has produced three of the top five stake earning fillies this season. They are headed by the champion three year old filly in The Orange Agent 1:51.1 ($337,312) who has been joined in the top five by Democrat Party 1:54.1p ($189,324) and Start Dreaming 1:51.4 ($79.150) Last year we had the outstanding three year old filly Ideal Belle 1:54 ($191,891) while other fillies to make their mark in recent times include such smart types as River Polka 1:56 ($107,053), Star Of Isis 1:55.7 ($71,484) and Magna 1:55.5 ($64,514) When one has a look a look at the maternal family of American Ideal it is little wonder that he is such a strong fillies sire.  Not only is American Ideal a son of a great filly sire in Western Ideal, but he is from a maternal family that has produced two absolute champion fillies. The grand -dam of American Ideal is the brilliant Three Diamonds 1:53.1 ($735,751) who won 25 of her 31 lifetime starts and then left the champion racehorse and sire in Life Sign 1:50.3 ($1,912,454). The third dam of American Ideal in Ambiguity is a full sister to Angel Hair who is the dam of the champion filly Naughty But Nice 1:54 ($1,062,197) who won 18 from 32 on the track. With the record American Ideal is establishing in New Zealand with his fillies and mares it would be no surprise to see his fillies much more keenly sought after at next years round of yearling sales. Harnesslink Media

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, May 31, 2015 – Harness racing driver Denis St Pierre, the 2014 driving champion at Hippodrome 3R, swept all three $6500 second round preliminary divisions of the $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series for 4 and 5-year-old pacers today at the mid-province track – and equaled divisional track records in two of the victories. First to add a line to the record books was My Tallia Ideal, a daughter of Western Ideal who shipped to 3R from Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania and promptly won her division of the two for mares, tripping the timer in 1:54.3 to equal the local standard for older pacing mares first set by Sans Frontiere in June 2013. St Pierre hustled the Michel Allard-trained mare, co-owned by breeders Gestion Mario Audet Inc and Yves Sarrazin, out of the gate, taking advantage of drawing inside her main rival Victoria Semalu, a winner last week. With “Victoria” settled in behind “Tallia” before the 27.2 first quarter, St. Pierre was able to rate an easy middle half before sprinted the last panel in 28.1 to beat his main rival by two lengths and tie the track mark. Three races later, the Shanghai Phil gelding Champagne Phil crossed the border east from Ontario and captured today’s only series division for horses and geldings, stopping the timer in 1:53.1. While driver St Pierre slowed the pace after a 27.2 opener with My Tallia Ideal, with Champagne Phil he reached the first marker in that same number, but went on to post fractions of 55.3 and 1:24.4 before going on to win by 2¼ lengths over McKinney. Trained by Francis Picard for owners ICR Racing, Champagne Phil might need to better today’s time next Sunday if he and Atomic Million AM, who won last week and skipped this race, go tête-a-tête tete in the final preliminary. The other of the mares divisions saw Champagne Shower take her second “Q”-series prelim in as many weeks, with St Pierre again taking the shortest way around as the daughter of Santanna Blue Chip won by 2 ½ lengths over Lutetia Semalu, who was second to Victoria Semalu last week, in 1:55.2. Yves Tessier trains the winner, now victorious in three straight starts, for owner-breeder Sotiorios Anastasopoulos. The next two cards of racing at Hippodrome 3R will feature the third preliminary round in the Quebec-Bred Series, with trotters going Wednesday night at 7 p.m. and the pacers back next Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The top winners in the preliminary legs will square off in the four series Championships, trot/pace and mare/horse combinations, with $35.000 on the line in each event, on Sunday, June 14. St Pierre would go on to take the tenth and last race for four sulky successes Sunday; no other driver, including 2015 meet leader Stephane Brosseau, had more than one. One of the other six winning drivers was Andre Champagne, and he guided Amazingdream Esa to victory while paying $130.40 for a $2 win bet, double the previous high for the year. Vincent Trudel Quebec Jockey Club        

On the racetrack, the Saturday harness racing program at The Meadowlands featured four $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Championships for three year olds, with big names making big headlines. On the track apron, over 15,000 patrons enjoyed the Jerseyfest festivities and the Food Truck Mash-up at the East Rutherford oval. There are certain performances in any sport that warrant somebody standing up and saying "wow, did you see that?" That is the best way to explain the turn of foot shown by Artspeak in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final for three year old pacing colts on Saturday night at The Meadowlands. Sent off as the 3/5 favorite, Artspeak was allowed to settle well off the speed off the gate and into the first turn as the 8/5 second choice, Hurrikane Ali sprinted to the lead past the opening quarter in 26.3. As the field turned down the backstretch, Artspeak appeared to be nearly 10 lengths off his main competition, a margin that Scott Zeron acknowledged in a post-race interview "seemed to be too far back." But, that didn't last long. As soon as Zeron showed his champion colt racetrack, Artspeak grabbed the bit and "took off all on his own," showing a turn of foot that you don't see every day, to say the least. In just an eighth of a mile, Artspeak made up all the ground on Hurrikane Ali and blew past him, taking the lead past the half in 54.3, while settling into a high-cruising speed. At this point, Hurrikane Ali was asked to keep up with the favorite, but Artspeak was well within himself as ripped through three-quarters in 1:21.3 while opening up on the field. The lead continued to expand through the stretch and Artspeak reached the wire in a lifetime best 1:48.4. Gokudo Hanover finished well to be second with Revenge Shark third. Winning trainer Tony Alagna spoke to how well his champion wintered. "When he came off the truck from Brittany Farms, he looked like a million bucks," said Alagna. "When I saw him, I knew we made the right move skipping the Breeders Crown. Those extra 30 days really helped him." Artspeak's driver Scott Zeron was very impressed with his effort tonight. "That move was vicious," claimed Zeron. "He did it all on his own. He was always professional, but now as a three year old, he is bigger and stronger." In addition to being trained by Alagna and driven by Zeron, the colt by Western Ideal is owned by Brittany Farms, Katz, Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners. With the win, his career earnings have surpassed $800,000. Two weeks from the North America Cup eliminations, Artspeak is the presumptive favorite. Artspeak The other star on the program was Mission Brief, who was making her second start of her three year old campaign. Ron Burke reported to Harness Racing Update that Mission Brief is "not perfect right now," but that did not prevent the betting public from sending her to the post as the 1/5 favorite. Yannick Gingras allowed his world champion to float away to the gate and ease her way on the outside of horses as Marion Millionair established a tepid 28.4 opening quarter. As the field straightened up on the backstretch, Mission Brief assumed command and led past the half-mile in just 58.2. A challenge would soon follow as Tim Tetrick launched Model Behavior after the favorite as the field reached three-quarters in 1:27.1. Model Behavior put a head in front under strong urging, while Gingras remained motionless behind Mission Brief, not asking her for any more speed than he had to. Mission Brief fought back to win by a measured length in 1:54.3. Model Behavior was a very good second with Riley's Dream third. Driver Yannick Gingras was happy to win, but recognized there is room for improvement for his filly. "She warmed up really good," said Gingras. "But honestly, I was going as fast as I could with her on the turn. She wasn't having it. Time is on our side, but there is work to do." The daughter of Muscle Hill is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J & T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. With the victory, her earnings have now eclipsed $650,000. Mission Brief While the favorites did what was expected in the first two Sire Stakes finals, there was an upset by a familiar name in the three year old filly pace. At post time, the bettors had a difficult time separating Stacia Hanover and Happiness, with less than $600 separating them in the win pool. Happiness would get the first call as she led the field past the quarter in 27.2, but she relinquished that lead to Lindys Old Lady down the backstretch, who reached the half-mile in 56.1. At that point, Stacia Hanover committed first over and she launched a move around the far turn, challenged for and assumed the lead past three quarters in 1:23.4. From there, Stacia Hanover opened up a lead in the stretch, but an upset was looming as The Show Returns who was well-back early hit her best stride and showed the kind of speed we saw from her at times last year and she rolled through the stretch to nail Stacia Hanover on the wire to spring the 40-1 upset for John Campbell. Stacia Hanover was second with Wicked Little Mix third. John Campbell spoke about the acceleration his filly showed. "Chris (Ryder) made some changes to her bridle and some shoeing changes tonight and it definitely worked," said Campbell. "Obviously that's the best finish she has shown this year." The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover is a sister to world-champion Put On A Show who also raced for trainer Chris Ryder and owners Richard and Joanne Young. The 1:51 clocking was a new lifetime mark. The Show Returns The New Jersey Sire Stakes for the trotting colts looked like a bit of a Hambletonian preview with the big three, Guess Whos Back, French Laundry and Canepa Hanover taking center stage. However, one of the three, Guess Whos Back wouldn't survive the first turn as he made a break while pressing the pace nearing the first quarter. That pace was established by Canepa Hanover who reached the lead in a 28-second opening panel, with French Laundry four lengths off the speed in third. Canepa Hanover would hit the half-mile in 56.2 before stretching his legs around the far turn and trotting a back half-mile in 54.4 to dominate the Sire Stake Final, hitting the wire in 1:51.1, a lifetime mark for Yannick Gingras, who replaced Jimmy Takter in the bike as Takter conditions Maven for her Elitlopp attempt in Sweden. French Laundry was second with Aldebaran Eagle third. Gingras was very impressed with his colt. "Last year training down he (Canepa Hanover) looked like the best one. Everyone liked him," said Gingras. "Before Jimmy left for Sweden he told me he had this horse as good as he could be. He got a little playful in the stretch, so I popped the plugs just to give him a reminder and he found another gear." It will be interesting to see if Gingras continues to drive Canepa Hanover, of if Takter will get back in the sulky upon his return from Sweden. Gingras also drives Mission Brief who is being pointed to The Hambletonian as well but while speaking about Canepa Hanover he stated that with Mission Brief "there are concerns for sure, but she's go trot and she wants to do it." It could be an interesting 10 weeks leading up to The Hambletonian. Canepa Hanover Handle for the Saturday program was $3,053,853 with over 15,000 people attending the Jerseyfest Foodtruck Mash-up event. Both Jackpots in the Super Hi-5 went unclaimed. The fifth race Jackpot carryover grew to $141,175 while the last race carryover will be $115,348 into the Friday program, when racing resumes at 7:15 P.M.   Darin Zoccali

East Rutherford, NJ - A quartet of $100,000 Finals bring the harness racing sophomore division of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) to a conclusion on Saturday night (May 30) at The Meadowlands.   The trotting fillies come up first in the fourth race with the defending champion Mission Brief starting from the far outside in post ten. The fastest freshman in trotting history by virtue of her 1:50.3 tour of The Red Mile last fall and Breeders Crown champ, the daughter of Muscle Hill won the first leg in a measured 1:53.4, then stayed home last week while Rules Of The Road took the second leg.   Yannick Gingras takes his regular position behind Mission Brief for trainer Ron Burke, who owns her in partnership with Our Horse Cents Stable, J&T Silva and Weaver Bruscemi.   Race six is the glamour boy division, the pacing colts. Artspeak (Western Ideal) was the winner of last season's NJSS Final for this group on his way to year end honors while his main for here, Hurrikane Ali (Rocknroll Hanover) has an abbreviated five start freshman campaign in which he was winless.   What a difference a year can make, for as they come into the Final Hurrikane Ali has won all three of his 2015 starts including two NJSS legs in 1:50 and 1:50.1 with relative ease for young trainer John McDermott, Jr. Gingras has the drive here as well for the ownership group of Kuhen Racing, Jonathan Klee Racing, Dr Ken Rucker and Robert Pucila.   Artspeak spoke toward his potential for a big season via his effortless 1:49 romp in leg one. Trainer Tony Alagna then held him out of last week's with an eye toward the long campaign, setting up this interesting match-up on Saturday. Artspeak won eight of ten last season, among those the Metro and Governor's Cup trophies. Scott Zeron has been his constant companion in all races for the owners, Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners (John Fodera and Steve Wienick).   The pacing fillies (race 8) shapes up to be the most contentious of the four Finals.   Lindy's Old Lady (Rocknroll Hanover) didn't race at two, but is quickly gaining notice by virtue of a pair of wins in as many starts. She was a leg one NJSS winner in 1:51, then stayed home at Lindy Farm last week as trainer Frank Antonacci carefully manages the frequency of his trips to the well with the talented filly.   Happiness (Rocknroll Hanover) also skipped leg two after a comfortable 1:50.4 win in leg one for Gingras and Burke. She has a Grand Circuit win on her résumé via the Simpson Memorial stake in 1:50.3 earlier this season for Burke Racing & Weaver Bruscemi.   Wicked Little Minx (Rocknroll Hanover) took the lone division of leg two, holding off the furious late charge of Stacia Hanover in 1:51.1. Nancy Johansson conditions Wicked Little Minx for Courant AB and Brett Miller is back in the driver's seat for the Final.   Stacia Hanover (Western Ideal) won this division last year and has the as the look of a filly on the verge of a big mile for her trainer driver combo of Steve Elliott and Zeron and owners David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio of Ohio.   Bringing the NJSS curtain down on the 2015 season in the eleventh race will be the sophomore trotting colts and a powerful group they are.   Guess Whos Back (winner of this division's final in 2014) has won both preliminary legs including a hard-fought 1:52.4 decision over Canepa Hanover last week. Driver Brian Sears used the entire stretch to eke out the half-length tally with Canepa Hanover never giving in. Nik Drennan trains Guess Whos Back for owners Joe Davino, Brad Shackman, TLP Stable and J&T Silva.   The potent duo of Canepa Hanover (Muscle Hill) and French Laundry (Muscles Yankee) represent the Jimmy Takter barn and both are top colts.   Canepa has been third and second in the two legs and last week's effort was a gritty one after being used hard to get to the front then facing a strong wind in the homestretch. With Takter off to Sweden for the Elitlopp, Yannick Gingras will drive for the interests of Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Sam Goldband, Al Libfeld, Brixton Medical and Christina Takter.   French Laundry was a winner in the first leg, his only 2015 start to this point. He has been rock solid throughout his career for owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, Katz and Libfeld. Brett Miller is his regular driver and will be aboard on Saturday night.   Both Hi-5 Jackpots remain intact going into Friday night's live card with the totals now at $131,037 (race 5) and $105,195 (race 12). Saturday night promotions include the chance to win a first class trip to the June 6 Belmont Stakes and JerseyFest which features the NJ vs Philly Food Truck Mash-Up. The thirteen race program starts at 7:15.   From Meadowlands Media Relations Dept  

Scarborough, Maine (May 23, 2015) - Making his very first state of Maine start on Saturday (5/23), Only The Lonely with harness racing driver Eddie Davis, Jr., just missed equaling one of the oldest Track Records on the Scarborough Downs books when they stopped the tele-timer in 1:54.1. The effort came within whiskers of matching Prince Ebony's standard for aged stallions set during the 1990 edition of The Presidents Pace, Scarborough's then marquee invitational, with driver Ron Pierce getting the entry home in 1:54 flat. The mile was the fastest recorded yet in 2015 at the Downs. Only The Lonely is the latest addition to the roster of Scarborough's 2014 Trainer of the Year, Bo Sowers and is owned by David MacDonald of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The five-year-old son of Western Ideal was insistently driven to an early lead through a contentious 28 second opening panel and maintained that front-seat advantage throughout, coasting to a 6-1/4 length margin at the wire, pretty much under wraps. We've got a feeling that Prince Ebony's ancient standard which has stood the test of time for nearly 25 years, may be in jeopardy soon with this new fleet stallion setting up shop at the Downs. Live harness racing is featured weekly at Scarborough Downs with the Friday and Saturday cards going to post at 4:00 p.m. (EDT) while the popular Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 22, 2015 - With the Stanley Cup playoffs down to the nitty and the gritty, it was apropos that Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett, $3.20) would record a Friday night harness racing hat-trick. She had to work a bit harder for this one than the previous two, but she was more than up to it, winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace in convincing fashion. Ordered outside her seven rivals, the 3-5 favorite fell into line fourth as Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter) paid a :26.4 price for the privilege of leading the way. Witch Dali (Jordan Stratton) strung that one out, with pole-assigned Canaco Star (Dan Dube) third In turn two, was Krispy Apple moving again, making the lead by the :55.1 intermission. She went Westchester wide, however, as Witch Dali pulled pocket before aborting that attempt. Meanwhile, the new leader was well in hand at the 1:23.2 three-quarters, taking a two-length lead into the lane. The final margin was 2½ lengths in 1:53, a length closer and a few ticks slower than her previous two wins, but she is getting older. For Krispy Apple, a 7-year-old millionaires daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by Bamond Racing and Joseph Davino and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was her fourth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $30.80, with the triple returning $179. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM, eliminations for the Art Rooney Pace). After that, it's Memorial Night Monday (7:10 PM) and Tuesday (1 PM, two finals in the Jackpot Next Door Claiming Series). Frank Drucker

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