TORONTO, January 8 - It may have been a very frosty evening, but that didn't get in the way of some impressive fillies and mares in round one of the Blizzard Series Thursday night at Woodbine. A total of 24 three and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares were split into three $16,000 divisions in the first leg of the three-week series for non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. The windchill throughout Thursday night's card made the conditions feel below -20 Celsius, while the Ontario Racing Commission judges allowed a two-second variant. In the opening division, Artistic Fusion lived up to her 1/9 billing, cruising to a 1:56.1 victory. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Artistic Fusion sprinted out quickly to grab the early lead, but would have to take back to second in the first turn, as a pesky Spiritina drove on to overtake the lead through an opening quarter of :27.2. However, Filion wasted no time removing Artistic Fusion and quickly took back the front with the four-year-old mare. After posting fractions of :58 and 1:27, Artistic Fusion put her rivals in the rearview mirror and opening up a massive advantage in the stretch and jogged to a 7 Â¾ lengths victory in 1:56.1. Deuces For Charity, who was first up in the third-quarter, finished second, while Docs Hollywood finished third. Artistic Fusion is trained by Joe Agostino and has been on a roll over the last few months. The daughter of Artistic Fella won the Autumn Series final back on November 28 and finished second in the Niagara Series final on Boxing Day. She is now one for one to start 2015 after scoring five victories from 19 starts last year for owner Mike Foote. Artistic Fusion's career earnings now exceed $78,000. She paid $2.30 to win. The second division was a battle from start to finish between the two favourites with A Fearless Affair coming out on top. Badlands Love and Sylvain Filion, the slight even-money favourite, grabbed the early lead, while A Fearless Affair and Simon Allard, the second choice at 6/5, got in the two-hole right behind the leader. Badlands Love set fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:27, but as she reached the three-quarter pole Allard popped the pocket with A Fearless Affair to take their best shot at the leader. In the stretch, A Fearless Affair took a slight advantage early in the lane, but put Badlands Love to bed in the final-eighth of the mile to score a 3 Â¼ lengths victory in 1:55.4. Badlands Love held on for second, while Onyourmarknatava got up to take the show spot. A Fearless Affair is trained by Shawn Robinson for owner Robert Hamather and is coming off a three for 15 season last year. The four-year-old daughter of Western Ideal is now one for one this year and now has four career victories and earnings of over $50,000. She returned $4.50 to win. In the third and final division, Mappos Moenhay went to the front and never looked back winning in 1:57.3. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Mappos Moenhay cleared to the front as the field hit the opening quarter in :28.3. The four-year-old daughter of Real Desire would go on to hang up fractions of :59.2 and 1:28.3, before pacing a final-quarter of :29 to hold off her rivals. All The Ladies turned in a strong final-quarter to finish second over P L Hurricane in third. Mappos Moenhay is trained by Jean Guy Belliveau for owners Carol and Hailee Campbell and is coming off a six victory season last year from 26 starts. The leg one victory is her eighth career victory and pushes her bankroll to over $42,000. The clocking of 1:57.3 equaled her lifetime mark. Mappos Moenhay returned $5.10 to win. Winter series action continues Friday night at Woodbine with the first leg of the Snowshoe Series for three and four-year-old pacers. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications
Fans that backed rookie pacer Weapons Dealer in Race 2 during the Monday evening program at Woodbine Racetrack likely needed a hand - or a wheelbarrow - to help tote home their winnings. The overlooked son of Western Ideal-Scootin Belle turned a two-hole trip into a pari-mutuel explosion for the tandem of driver Trevor Henry and trainer Isaac Waxman. Weapons Dealer got away in the two-hole behind the 1-5 favourite, Sports Warning, and those two held their positions through panels of :28, :58.2 and 1:26.4. Sports Warning rolled into a break coming out of the final turn, however, and that changed the whole complexion of the race. Weapons Dealer inherited the lead in the lane, and he wound up winning by a pair of lengths over His Boy Elroy in 1:54.3. Sports Warning regained his composure and re-rallied to finish third. To view the rest of this story click here. Raceway Preferreds to "Gustav" & "Winzel" A set of Preferred 3 events went postward Monday evening at The Raceway at Western Fair District, with Kendal Gustav and Winzel winning their respective assignments. Kendal Gustav shot to the front from Post 2 and rolled to an easy victory in his $7,400 affair for driver Lorne House. The public’s top choice, who closed at odds of 6-5, carved out splits of :27, :58 and 1:26.4 before sealing the deal with a :29.2 closing panel. He was 2-1/2 lengths better than Pacific Oak in 1:56.1. Lawmen Reign rounded out the top three finishers. Trainer Scott McNiven co-owns the five-year-old son of Life Sign-City Of Dreams with Tom Brodhurst of London and Shirley Griffin of St. Thomas, Ontario. The partnership has watched the gelding go 10-for-37 this season and 27-for-112 in his career. The lion’s share of Monday’s purse lifted his overall cash stash to $177,749. To view the rest of this story click here.
In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance. Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else. All previous reviews can now be viewed at www.stallionsphere.com This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Stallion Review – WESTERN IDEAL - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Western Ideal 1:48 ($1,455,422). Monica Thors is sadly a hot topic for wrong reasons- This past week Harnesslink was the only racing media source to run with the story of the alleged animal abuse charges that have been brought about against Standardbred trainer Monica Thors in New Jersey. We must all remember that there are always two sides to every story. Insider Access archive available - Following requests from our readers in relation to previous editions of Insider Access, we are providing a link for those looking to catch up on some news they missed. Simply click here and delve through the archives as Insider Access and Harnesslink continue to lead the way in providing the latest news from around the world. AU: It's not too late to book a sire - If you haven’t had your harness racing mare served, or are still undecided whether you will breed this season, it’s not too late to book a sire. While the common belief among breeders is broodmares should be served before December, statistic show 'late' foals are not disadvantaged. NZ Stallion levy idea garners wide support - Recently we did an opinion piece on the dire state of the breeding industry in New Zealand and that if something wasn't done soon then the industry as we know would not survive. Paying to enter a track is a backward step - One of the things that really irks the staff at Harnesslink is the concept of charging to get into the races. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
Trixton, who trotted the fastest mile in New Jersey Sire Stakes history, has been selected as the New Jersey Sire Stakes' Premier Division Horse of the Year for 2014 while Strut My Stuff was named the Green Acres' Horse of the Year. The awards, which are voted annually by the New Jersey Sire Stakes Board of Trustees, are based solely on performances in races for New Jersey-sired horses, including NJSS races and other major stakes for NJ-sired horses. Trixton established the Sire Stakes record of 1:52.1 in winning the NJSS Premier Division Championship Final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings in May at the Meadowlands. He was undefeated in NJSS competition, also winning a preliminary leg of the Premier Division. Jim Takter, who was the colt's trainer, drove in both victories. After his NJSS campaign, Trixton went on to win the Good Times and Simcoe at Mohawk in addition to the Reynolds and the $1,006.125 Hambletonian at the Meadowlands. The son of Muscle Hill won eight of 11 starts overall as a three-year-old, earning $893,370 overall this year for his owners Christina Takter and Brixton Medical Ab. The colt was bred by Steve Stewart, Marti Ala-seppala and John Bootsman. Strut My Stuff was undefeated in three NJSS Green Acres series starts at Freehold, including the $25,000 championship final for two-year-old pacing fillies in that series where she established a new Green Acres record for her division. Additionally, the daughter of Western Ideal was victorious in the $59,000 filly division of the Lou Babic. Trained by Ross Croghan for co-owners Let It Ride Stables of Boca Raton, FL and RBH Ventures of New York, Strut My Stuff finished the year with career earnings of $52,620. by Christopher Castens, for the New Jersey Sire Stakes
WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 2, 2014 -- Winless since late July, Certified Ideal regained her top form Tuesday at The Meadows when she moved first over to capture the $18,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace. Although Certified Ideal rolled up nine victories early in the year, five consecutive winless starts earned her a break of more than nine weeks. In Monday's contest, her second off the layoff, she moved from third for Tony Hall and needed the rest of the race to wear down the leader, Rescue Team, and defeat her by a head. Do Me Honor finished third. The winning time was 1:53.3 over a sloppy surface. Randy Bendis trains Certified Ideal, a 4-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Areba's Last who extended her career bankroll to $269,467, and owns with Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack and James Walton. Hall piloted five winners and Eric Ledford three on the 15-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
TRACEUR HANOVER TAKES COLT DIVISION
The following are the 2015 service fees for the stallions standing at Hanover Shoe Farms. All of the books are subject to close without notice. Andover Hall $10,000 Cantab Hall $20,000 Captaintreacherous $15,000 Donato Hanover $15,000 Explosive Matter $7,500 Muscle Massive $7,500 Somebeachsomewhere $25,000 Well Said $15,000 Western Ideal $7,500 From Hanover Shoe Farms
A field of eight open pacers lined up behind the starter for the featured event from Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday. The wagering public put their support behind Bamond Racing's Mach It So, who was victorious against similar last time out. At the start, it was Texican N (Ron Pierce) leaving aggressively from the pole position, with Ron Burke trainee Speed Again (Yannick Gingras) showing speed from the outside. After a contested quarter in :27.1, millionaire pacer Dial Or Nodial (David Miller) pounced on the pacesetters. He cleared the lead and was first to the half (:55.3). Long shot Abelard Hanover (Brett Miller) mounted a first-over challenge, with Mach It So (Tim Tetrick) looming ominously behind cover at three-quarters (1:23.2). In the straight however, Dial Or Nodial had plenty left in the tank, holding off Mach It So in a final time of 1:51 (:27.3). Speed Again finished third. It was Dial Or Nodial's 32nd career win, as he notched his seasonal earnings above $40,000 in just his eleventh start of 2014. He is leased by Marita Berglund. The winner paid $7.40. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia
TORONTO, October 25 - The finest two-year-olds in harness racing were on display Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack for the Fall Four Stakes. Consisting of the Governors Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid, the Fall Four Stakes has been an annual showcase of the best freshmen in the sport. A costly miscue and a giant upset got the action underway in the $464,000 Goldsmith Maid for two-year-old trotting fillies. Mission Brief, the 3/5 heavy favourite, made a break leaving the gate throwing the fate of the rich final up into the air. Capitalizing on the public's choice break was 70-1 longshot Smexi and driver Corey Callahan. A daughter of Explosive Matter, Smexi got a two-hole trip behind Stubborn Belle and driver Paul Macdonell and was able to come off the leaders back in the stretch and trot on to a length and a half victory. Stubborn Belle held on for second, while Juanitas Fury finished third. "Leaving out of there I looked over and saw that she (Mission Brief) had made a break," said Callahan following the race. "We got really lucky Paul and I, we just kind of got things on our own up there, nobody really moved and it worked perfect for me." Trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman, Smexi had only one victory in eleven starts heading into the Goldsmith Maid. Takter, who drove Smexi in her elimination last week, handed the lines over to Callahan and told the driver his filly was ready and to put her in the race. "Tonight before the race he (Takter) pulled me aside and told me listen she was a little rough on me last week," said Callahan. "But I warmed her up tonight and she was really sharp and on her toes." The Goldsmith Maid victory pushes Smexi's career bankroll to over $364,000. Smexi paid $159.30 to win, while a $2 exactor paid just under $1,200. Smexi Fall Four night quickly became the Takter show in the $521,000 Valley Victory for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Takter trainees finished first, second, fourth and fifth to almost take the entire purse home in the rich final Pinkman and driver Sylvain Filion were able to convert off a second over trip to narrowly defeat stablemate Uncle Lasse by a head in 1:55.4. The heavy 3/5 favourite, Habitat, finished third wedge between Takter starters, as The Bank and Walter White finished fourth and fifth respectively. A son of Explosive Matter, Pinkman was making only his sixth career start in the Valley Victory final, but has now won four of those starts for earnings of over $330,000. Following the race, Takter explained why Pinkman was a little late getting to the races. "We castrated him after his baby races, he kind of didn't pay attention where he was suppose to," said Takter. "He had a very complicated castration, so it took a little bit of a long time for him to get where he (is), but he has surprised me a lot." Takter also said the son of Explosive Matter wasn't on his radar as a superstar training down. "Average, he did everything right, but I had quite a few horses that I thought were a lot better, but these horses that have the good willing to want to do it, especially at this time of year, can get it all." Pinkman is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. He returned $16.60 to win. Pinkman Artspeak, this year's Metro Pace winner, bounced back in impressive fashion to win the $565,000 Governors Cup for the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Leaving from post position six, Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron got away sixth and were able to get into the outer flow on the backstretch, as Lost For Words hung up a big half of :54.3. As the field rounded the final turn, Pierce Hanover cleared to the front leaving Artspeak second over on the back of Lyons Again, as the field ripped by the three-quarter pole in 1:21.4. In the stretch, Artspeak came off his cover and powered by his rivals to take the lead and score a solid length and a half victory in 1:50.4. Go Daddy Go got up to finish second, while Pierce Hanover held on for third. A son of Western Ideal, Artspeak is trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The GYM Partners. Heading into the Governors Cup final, Artspeak had made a break in two consecutive starts for the first two losses of his career. Following the race, Alagna spoke about the recent miscues from the two-year-old and getting him ready for the final. "I came up Tuesday, trained him up Wednesday and he trained fantastic at the farm, so I thought we had the kinks worked out," said Alagna. "Most people know that if I didn't have confidence the horse was ok, with the connections that own the horse he would've never been here to race, so I was very happy that he showed us the redemption that everybody thought he should." After training Artspeak earlier in the week, Alagna said he told the connections at dinner that he had full confidence in the horse. "I told them that night at dinner, he's back on his game, we've got our horse back." By adding the Governors Cup to his resume that already includes the Metro Pace, Artspeak has now won the two richest events of the season for two-year-old pacers. His record now stands at eight wins from ten starts for career earnings of just over $805,000. Artspeak paid $3.50 to win. Jk Shesalady improved to a perfect ten for ten with another victory in the $424,000 Three Diamonds for two-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night at Woodbine. Sent off as the heavy 1/5 favourite, Jk Shesalady and Yannick Gingras got away fifth and sat along the rail until the midway point of the race. Around the final turn, Gingras sent Jk Shealady first up to challenge the leader, The Show Returns, as the fillies were on even terms at the three-quarter pole in 1:24. Jk Shesalady came off the turn and quickly created separation with the field and cruised home to an impressive looking length and a half victory in 1:52.1. Solar Sister took the place spot, while Ideal Nuggets finished third. The Three Diamonds victory was the tenth win in a row for the undefeated Jk Shealady. Following the race, Gingras talked about racing her first up once again Saturday night. "It seems to be working for her, so no sense in changing anything," said Gingras. "She likes to relax in the first half and she's got a huge brush for the second half." A daughter of Art Major, Jk Shesalady is trained by Nancy Johansson for owners 3 Brothers Stable. Jk Shesalady has now banked over $669,000 in her rookie season and has earned herself consideration in Horse of the Year talk. She returned $2.50 to win. Mark McKelvie
FREEHOLD, NJ - October 25, 2014 - Western Pioneer, making his first start for new owners, overcame a judges' inquiry to post his first career victory in the $43,000 New Jersey Futurity for two-year-old pacers, the ninth race on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. Western Pioneer, a son of Western Ideal bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, paced the mile in 1:55.1, getting up in the final strides to catch Edward Teach [Rocknroll Hanover] for a three-quarters of a length victory, his first in 12 career starts. Rock N' Roll World [Rocknroll Hanover], the Green Acres champion, was third by four and a half lengths. Dealt A Winner, the pre-race favorite, was scratched sick, leaving seven starters. Western Pioneer, driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Nancy Johansson, was purchased as a yearling at the Harrisburg Sale for $15,000 by Perry Soderberg of Highstown, NJ. Ownership was transferred to 3 Brothers Stables of New York City and Johansson on October 17, 2014. Sent off as the slight 2-1 favorite over Cheyenne Robin [Rocknroll Hanover], one of two fillies in the field, Western Pioneer [$6.20] made his move to the outside at the three-quarters as Edward Teach took the lead, prompting the judges' review. Western Pioneer has finished in-the-money in five of 12 starts for earnings of $72,274. The New Jersey Futurity is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. Western Pioneer By Carol Hodes for SBOANJ
Jim Simpson, the president of Hanover Shoe Farms and the members of the the Captaintreacherous racing group have announced that The Captain will be officially retired at Lexington's famed Red Mile during the races on Thursday October 2. Tony Alagna, the colt's trainer said "Captain just hasn't been himself for the last several weeks. He's been fighting a low respiratory bug and we just haven't been able to overcome it. Rather than take the chance of doing irreparable harm to this great horse, I think it would be wise for everybody concerned to have him retired at Hanover Shoe Farms. I have no doubts that he is destined to become a great sire. I very much look forward to the day when I will be looking at, buying and training his babies". Jim Simpson said that he looks forward to having the greatest son of the sport's supersire Somebeachsomewhere stand at Hanover. "Captaintreacherous was one of the greatest two and three year old pacers in the sport's history. It's now time for him to excel in the next stage of his remarkable career." Myron Bell, the colt's racing manager throughout his career said "I've been involved in Harness Racing for half a century. I've seen all of the greats during that time. Captaintreacherous has to rank right up there among the very best. In my entire career in the sport I've only predicted two horses as being "can't miss" sires. Those two were Artsplace and Western Ideal. The one quality that all three horses share is extreme courage. I have no doubt whatever that Captaintreacherous will follow in their footsteps in the stallion ranks. I look forward to buying and training a large number of his yearlings". Captaintreacherous was voted "Pacer of the Year" at both two and three. At 2, he won 8 of 10 starts and earned $918,253. At 3, he won 13 of 16 starts and earned $2,055,033 winning almost all of the Classic events including the three richest, the North American Cup, the Meadowlands Pace and the Breeders Crown. Captaintreacherous retires with earnings of $3,148,657. Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky in whose hands the Captain will be literally be in at Hanover can't wait until the horse gets to his next home. "I don't think I've ever been more excited about an incoming stallion. The Captain has it all, great performance on the racetrack, great courage, a fantastic pedigree and perhaps most important of all, he's drop dead gorgeous and correct, something that I'm certain he will transmit to his foals." Captaintreacherous will begin his stallion career in February of 2015. Captaintreacherous 2013 Captaintreacherous (Tim Tetrick) fighting the bit to win the Crown Murray Brown Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc.
MANALAPAN, NJ - September 18, 2014 - Broken Record held on for a length and three-quarter victory in the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stake - Green Acres Final, the first of two non-wagering races on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The Ray Schnittker trained and driven son of Muscles Yankee was a wire-to-wire winner in 2:00.1 in the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings final. He has a winning streak of two. Mountain Top [Muscle Hill] was second with Switchblade Hall [Muscles Yankee] in third by two and a half lengths. Broken Record has now collected four wins, a second and three thirds from nine starts. He is just shy of $65,000 in earnings for Schnittiker and Ted Gewertz of New York City. In the $7,000 first leg of the Green Acres for three-year-old pacing fillies, Fanticipation [Rocknroll Hanover] was an eight and a quarter length winner over Fiyonce [Rocknroll Hanover] while Ideal Helen [Western Ideal] was 10 lengths back in third. Fanticipation, driven by Jason Bartlett and trained by Michael Forte, is owned by Ricky Bucci of Stormville, NY. She has five wins and five thirds in 14 starts this year. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 13 - On an evening when the trotters had the spotlight, the sport's best older pacing mares contested two eliminations for next Saturday's $286,000 Milton Stakes. 16 of the finest pacing mares were split into two $35,000 eliminations. In the first elimination, Krispy Apple and Tim Tetrick converted off a two-hole trip to win in 1:50.3. Trained by P.J. Fraley, Kripsy Apple started her season 0 for 16 before picking up a victory in her most recent start at Philadelphia. Saturday evening, the six-year-old daughter of Western Ideal proved that victory was no fluke with a length victory in her Milton Stakes elimination. The Ron Burke trained Summertime Lea and Camille finished second and third, while Aunt Caroline and Monkey On My Wheel secured the final two spots into next week's final. Owned by Bamond Racing LLC and Joseph Davino, the Milton 'elim' was the 26th victory of Krispy Apple's career and added to her more than $1.1 million career bankroll. She paid $6.70 to win. Krispy Apple In the second elimination, Yagonnakissmeornot split horses to prevail by a narrow margin over Shelliscape in 1:51.1. A hot early battle between Voelz Hanover, Yagonnakissmeornot and Rocklamation got the field to the opening quarter in :25.4. Voelz Hanover would eventually come away with the lead, but not long after Tim Tetrick would fire up Anndrovette and send her to the lead. After the reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:22.4, Anndrovette led the field into the stretch and would be quickly confronted by Voelz Hanover from out of the two-hole. Yagonnakissmeornot, who was third along the rail at the three-quarter pole, would make a charge to the outside of Voelz Hanover, while Shelliscape was on the far outside taking her best shot. At the wire, Yagonnakissmeornot held off Shelliscape by a head, while Anndrovette finished third ahead of Voelz Hanover in fourth. Charisma Hanover finished fifth to lock up the final spot in next week's final. Trained by Rene Allard, Yagonnakissmeornot has now won ten of 23 starts this year and 24 in her career. A five-year-old daughter of The Panderosa, Yagonnakissmeornot has career earnings of more than $630,000 and is owned by Allard Racing Inc, Yves Sarrazin and Kapildeo Singh. She paid $8.50 to win. Yagonnakissmeornot Following the eliminations, the post position drew took place for next week's $286,000 final. Elimination winners earned the right to select their post. Here is how they will lineup next week. PP/Horse/Driver 1. Monkey On My Wheel - Chris Christoforou 2. Yagonnakissmeornot - Jody Jamieson 3. Krispy Apple - Tim Tetrick 4. Camille - Yannick Gingras 5. Shelliscape - Scott Zeron 6. Voelz Hanover - Randy Waples 7. Anndrovette - Tim Tetrick 8. Aunt Caroline - Ron Pierce 9. Summertime Lea - Sylvain Filion 10. Charisma Hanover - Doug McNair AE: Ferrari Sena - Sylvain Filion Mark McKelvie
MANALAPAN, NJ - September 13, 2014 - Favorites dominated in a quartet of $7,000 legs of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for pacers on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The most dominant performance was by Smart Zone [Rocknroll Hanover] in a non-wagering division for two-year-old pacing fillies. The Erv Miller trainee collected her fourth straight win. Steve Smith was at the lines as Smart Zone scored a five and three-quarter length victory over Lissan [Rocknroll Hanover]. It was seven and a quarter back to Cheyenne Robin [Rocknroll Hanover] in third. Smart Zone, who paced the mile in 1:56.3, races for Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, IL and D&M Trading of Chicago, IL. She now has four wins and two thirds in nine starts for earnings of more than $33,500. The second division for two-year-old pacing fillies, carded as the tenth race, went to 1-9 favorite Strut My Stuff [Western Ideal] who was a one-length winner over Hollyrocker [Rocknroll Hanover] in 1:59.3 on a track rated sloppy. Rocknroll Olivia [Rocknroll Hanover] was third by a length and a half. Strut My Stuff [$2.10], driven by Jack Baggitt Jr. and trained by Ross Croghan, picked up her second straight win in eight starts, pushing her earnings over $10,000 for Let It Ride Stables of Boca Raton, FL and RBH Ventures of New York City. The focus was on two-year-old pacing colts in the third race as 1-9 Too Darn Hot [Rocknroll Hanover] held off Devils Cut [Western Ideal] for a neck victory in 1:59. Boulder Roller [Rocknroll Hanover] was third by seven and a quarter. Too Darn Hot [$2.10], a Ron Burke trainee, cut the fractions as Devils Cut drafted behind him until challenging in the stretch. Too Darn Hot held on for his fourth win with two seconds in seven starts, pushing his earnings over $45,000 for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, Weaver Bruscemi and Larry Karr. In the eighth race for three-year-old pacing colts, 3-5 Art History took the lead off the gate and extended it the stretch for a three and a quarter tally in 1:55.4 on a sloppy track. In the photo for second, Nubble Light [Rocknroll Hanover] edged out In The Clear [Western Ideal]. Art History [$3.40], a Western Ideal gelding, was piloted by Pat Berry for trainer Steve Elliott. This year he has three wins, one second and three thirds from nine starts for earnings of $31,840. Art History races in the name of his breeders, Kenneth Klein of Armonk, NY and the Old Block Stables of New York City. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ
The regular harness racing season for the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series concluded on Friday (September 12) night at Mohawk Racetrack with five $18,000 divisions, and Moonwards Hanover and Thinkofagameplan both kept their Grassroots win streaks intact. Competing in the opening event, Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who came into this race off Grassroots successes on August 24 at Georgian Downs and August 31 at Clinton Raceway, circled from third to first before the :56.3 half. He would go on to post three-quarters in 1:26.1 and then kicked home in :28.4 to win by half a length over a closing Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair). There was a dead-heat for third between Big Moment (Randy Waples) and Ballybunion (James MacDonald). Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now three-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $36,000, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples), the points leader in this group, was behind the gate in the second Grassroots split, and he would pull out of the pocket to take command after the 27 second opening quarter. Thinkofagameplan, who was second in a division of the Grand Circuit Champlain Stakes at Mohawk in his last try, would then click off the half in 57 seconds and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 en route to a 1:54.3 score. He defeated runner-up Mybestolxfriendray (Phil Hudon) by a length and three-quarters with Ace Of Clubs (Doug McNair) back in third. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his fourth win (all in Grassroots competition) from eight attempts and pushed his earnings to $76.440, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. While those familiar faces were victorious, the other three Grassroots flights were all won by horses who hadn’t yet tasted a win in the provincial program this season. Mr Carrotts (Phil Hudon) was the first to break through as he won the third section in 1:54.2. He was first at the :27.2 opening quarter and the :56.4 half, but first-over challenger Star Cover (Jody Jamieson) put a head in front at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Mr Carrotts would battle back on the inside in the lane, and he would go on to beat Star Cover by a length at the finish line with Windsong Lord (Chris Christoforou) in third. Murray Brethour trains Mr Carrotts, a colt by Mach Three, for owner-breeder Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Ontario. Mr Carrotts broke his maiden in his fifth trip behind the gate, and he has now put away $10,000. He’s the fourth foal out of the Run The Table mare Cueless ($466,638), who was a three-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Robert Hill (James MacDonald) had been picking up minor shares against Gold Series competition, but a drop to the Grassroots level made him a 1:54.1 winner on this night. He left from post eight in the fourth Grassroots test, and he was up to grab the front after the :27.4 opening quarter. Robert Hill would go on to put the :56.3 half and the 1:25.3 three-quarters on the board before a :28.3 final kicker sealed his two and a quarter length triumph. Halton Hurricane (Rick Zeron) was second and Pace Seelster (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Tony Alagna trains the winner, a Jeremes Jet colt, for owner Thomas Hill of England. Robert Hill, who was bred by Perretti Farms and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, picked up his first win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $19,220. He’s the seventh foal out of the Caprock mare Smooth Latin N ($217,884), which makes him a half-brother to two six-figure earners in McApulco ($365,942) and Mcaracas ($170,579) and to three-year-old Shadios, who has won twice in Grassroots competition this year for the Alagna/Hill combination. In the nightcap it was Supersonic Jet (Trevor Henry) who chopped out the :26.4 first quarter, but he would be overtaken by both Pier Ho Temptation (Chris Christoforou) and Shippen Out (Doug McNair) prior to the :56.2 half. Shippen Out then got to three-quarters first in 1:25, fighting off a first-over test by Jeb (Phil Hudon) in the process. Shippen Out put away Jeb for good early in the stretch drive and then held his pursuers at bay late in the mile to win by a length and a quarter in 1:54. Mystical Jet (Jody Jamieson) came in second and Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) took third. Blair Burgess trains the victorious Badlands Hanover colt for owner Karin Olsson-Burgess of Milton, Ontario. Shippen Out won for the first time in eight starts, and he has now earned $16,150. Winbak Farm bred Shippen Out, who fetched $9,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He’s the first foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Shipps Bikini ($410,500), who won a Grassroots division herself as a two-year-old. The two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will return to Mohawk next Friday (September 19) to compete in their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of this Friday’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0912mohsn.dat.
Fifty-four of the 68 winners of the Little Brown Jug go back to Hal Dale. Two of those winners, Keystoner and Good Time, were his sons, while all the rest are linked to either his son, Adios, or his grandson Meadow Skipper, neither of whom won the Jug. Adios, who was born in 1940, pre-dated the Jug, which started in 1946. Meadow Skipper did participate, but he was parked most of the mile in the 1963 final and finished third to Overtrick, who set an all-age world record of 1:57.1. While Adios, who was twenty years older than Skipper, got a head start; eight sons and a grandson—Romeo Hanover—by Adios had won editions of the Jug before the principal of Skipper’s first crop, Most Happy Fella, won in 1970. Meadow Skipper certainly made up for lost time. Thirty-four of 43 Jugs since 1970 have been won by sons or other descendants of his—that’s about 80%. The only gap larger than one year during that run was the three year stretch at the beginning of the run, between 1971 and 1974, when Nansemond, Strike Out, Melvin’s Woe and Airliner were victorious. Between Hot Hitter’s win in 1979 and Abercrombie’s in 1993, there was a 13 year dry spell for Adios and any other progenitor not named Meadow Skipper. The last Adios line colt to win the Jug was Real Desire in 2007. Beyond his own failure to win the Little Brown Jug, Skipper’s prolific band of sons, grandsons and great grandsons, as successful as they have been at producing Jug winners, have a spotty record when it comes to winning the race. Yes, Most Happy Fella, Niatross and Bettor’s Delight won, but the list of Skipper’s descendants who produced winners but didn’t win it themselves is much longer: Cam Fella, Western Hanover, Falcon Almahurst, Western Ideal, No Nukes, Cam’s Card Shark, Rocknroll Hanover, The Panderosa, Tyler B, French Chef, Oil Burner, Tyler’s Mark…. While Adios had nine sons win the Jug, Meadow Skipper only had four. The difference is that while Adios only got four from his greatest son Bret Hanover and three via his great grandson Abercrombie, Skipper got twenty from the Most Happy Fella branch, eleven from the Cam Fella branch, and seven through Albatross. Since the turn of the century only three Adios Line colts have won the Jug—Astreos, Mr Feelgood and Real Desire—and none of those victories have come in the last six years. The other dozen were won by Skipper line stallions. This year’s Jug may prove to be a game changer, and there are a couple of ways that can happen. The field won’t be drawn until Saturday, but in his latest edition of Road to the Little Brown Jug, Delaware PR man Jay Wolf rates McWicked as the top contender. He, of course, is from the Adios line, being a son of McArdle, who has been keeping the Bret Hanover artery on life support in recent years. McArdle’s daddy, Falcon Seelster, wasn’t in the Jug, although he did set a world record of 1:51 at Delaware as a sophomore on Jug Day 1985. The call of that race by Roger Huston trumped the Jug itself, where Nihilator won in a time that was more than a second slower. A win by McWicked would prevent a seven race losing streak by Team Adios. Another way in which the 2014 Jug could be a game changer would be a win by a son of Somebeachsomewhere. Jay lists four possibilities on his Top Ten list: Ron Burke’s Limelight Beach, who just finished second to McWicked in the $260,000 PASS Championship Final; Jimmy Takter’s Cane winner, Lyonssomewhere; Bob McIntosh’s gelding, Somewhere In LA, who finished third to McWicked in the PASS Final; or Brent MacGrath’s Melmerby Beach, who won a split of the Simcoe over the weekend. This would represent a dramatic change because no member of the line running from Volomite through Sampson Hanover has ever won the Little Brown Jug, and no top line descendant of Volomite has won in 38 years, since Stanley Dancer’s Keystone Ore beat Joe O’Brien’s Armbro Ranger in 1976. The other two winners going back to Volomite are Overtrick in 1963 and Rum Customer in 1968. SBSW skipped the Jug, and last year Captaintreacherous, the star of his first crop, did the same. There may be no Jug winners on the branch he is now the figurehead for, coming down from his great, great, great grandsire Sampson Hanover, but that one was very handy on a half. In September, 1951, 4-year-old Sampson Hanover, who was converted from the trot as a three-year-old, became the first pacer or trotter to win a race in under two minutes on a half mile track. He accomplished that historic fete in the Almahurst Pace at Delaware, Ohio. So, we have the inspiration of Sampson Hanover’s Delaware heroics for the sons of SBSW and for McWicked his granddaddy Falcon Seelster’s world record mile over that track and his great granddaddy Bret Hanover’s world record of 1:57 in the Jug. Either way, it’s time for a colt not tied to Meadow Skipper to step up and take the prize. He’s Watching is quick as a cat around those turns and his pilot Tim Tetrick is no slouch. It won’t be easy, but it’s about that time. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/