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A field of eight upper-level conditioned trotters squared off in the featured event at Harrah's Philadelphia on a cold Thursday afternoon. The wagering public put their support behind 4 Leaf Racing's Smoother Ride. The son of Yankee Glide was coming off of an impressive victory against slightly easier competition last time out. He wasted no time getting into the action, clearing the lead just beyond a :27.3 quarter. It was short lived however, as 3-year-old It Really Matters (Brett Miller) quickly moved up to take the lead. It stayed that way until the top of the stretch, when Smoother Ride (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) vacated the pocket, and brushed on by to win, stopping the clock in 1:54. It Really Matters finished second, while And Heez Perfect (Dave Miller) finished third. Smoother Ride ($2.60) is trained by John Mc Dermott. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia  

 Russell Williams, vice-president of the famous nursery Hanover Shoe Farms and a director on the boards of many of harness racing's top organizations, and Charles Keller III, who carried on the tradition of his father's famous Yankeeland Farm and also continues to serve the sport on many of its top organizations' boards, have been announced as the finalists for the 2014 Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award, it has been announced by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). After the various chapters of USHWA submitted nominations for the award, the highest honor USHWA bestows based on voting only by its members and given for outstanding achievement in/service to the sport, the nominees were sent to the Association's directors, who voted to winnow down the candidates to the top two. Williams and Keller will now be voted on by the entirety of USHWA during the annual Dan Patch Awards balloting honoring the year's stars, both equine and human; that balloting will be conducted in early December. Williams, the grandson of Hanover's founder Lawrence Sheppard, plays a major part in the operation of the world's leading Standardbred-producing farm, where he keeps his own small but select band of broodmares (he is the breeder of the million-dollar-winning top three-year-old colt Nuncio). He is also vice chairman of the U.S. Trotting Association, the sport's supervisory organization, and a trustee of the American Horse Council and the Harness Racing Museum. Williams is also a noted "equine philanthropist," financing the possibility of many Standardbreds being able to live out their lives with dignity, including retired Hanover broodmares. Keller, the son of noted Yankees baseball player "King Kong" Keller, took over operation of Yankeeland Farms, which his father established, in 1990 until the farm's closing in 2006. The farm bred two Hambletonian winners, Muscles Yankee (1998) and Yankee Paco (2000), and it also bred Yankee Blondie, the dam of 2009 winner Muscle Hill, along with countless other divisional champions. It has produced the outstanding sires Yankee Glide and Yankee Cruiser, and has been the cradle of four Breeders Crown winners Keller is the chairman of the executive committee of the Hambletonian Society, a trustee of the Harness Racing Museum, and a former director of the U. S. Trotting Association. The Bergstein/Proximity winner, along with the awards for the best of 2014, will be given at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards dinner on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld; more details, including on accommodations, will be forthcoming soon. USHWA

After being involved in a series accident in the seventh race at Pocono Downs Wednesday, harness racing driver George Napolitano, Jr. recovered quickly from his hospital visit to make the journey to Harrah's Philadelphia and win two of the three divisions in the co-feature trots and a total of five races on the program..   The three divisions of the mid-conditioned level trot headlined the card on a rainy Thursday afternoon from Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of $17,000.   In the first division, it was 4 Leaf Racing's Smoother Ride (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) with a front-end victory.   The son of Yankee Glide quarter-brushed past early leader (and eventual second place finisher) Muscolo (Tim Tetrick) just after the quarter pole.   From that point, he never looked back, splashing to a two length victory in 1:55.3.   Hoosier Park invader Time Will Tell All (Corey Callahan) emerged first-over from the three-hole past three-quarters, but flattened out to finish third.   Smoother Ride ($2.40) picked up his fifteenth victory of the year for trainer John Mc Dermott.   In the second division, it was Howard Jacobs' Political Desire (Geo Napolitano Jr.) going gate-to-wire for the victory.   The 8-year-old son of Tom Ridge was well-rated the first half (58.1) and had plenty left in the tank for the stretch drive.   He went on to win by a length and a quarter, stopping the timer in 1:56.   Wind Neath My Feet (Marcus Miller) finished a game second in his debut for the Jake Huff barn, while Way Outta Here (Andrew McCarthy) rallied for third.   Political Desire ($3.40) was one of three training wins for Kevin Carr.   The gelding is one win away from notching his 40th career victory.   The third and final division went to J&T Silva Stables' Omnipotent (Andrew McCarthy).   The daughter of Donato Hanover laid off the early battle, which saw Il Mago (Daryl Bier) and Bastille (Andy Miller) exchange leads.   Omnipotent (8.40) worked out a solid second-over trip, and was able to out close the leaders in the final steps, winning by a neck, stopping the clock in 1:56.2.   Il Mago had to settle for second, while Bastille faded to third.   Driver George Napolitiano Jr., who was unseated in a drive Wednesday night at Pocono Downs, had five winners on the card, maintaining his lead in the driver standings.   Live racing returns Friday afternoon with a first post of 12:40 PM.   Mike Bozich  

The 2014 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots regular season for two-year trotting fillies came to a close on Tuesday night (September 9) at Mohawk Racetrack as the Campbellville harness racing oval played host to six $18,000 divisions. Sires Kadabra and Deweycheatumnhowe dominated the action with Kadabra picking up a trio of winners and Deweycheatumnhowe grabbing two credits. Magical Lass was the first winner for Kadabra as she took the opener in 1:59.1 for driver Paul MacDonell. She swept from third to first prior to the 1:30.1 three-quarters and then held sway through the lane to prevail by half a length over public choice Mass Rail (Trevor Henry). Lmc Marshmellow (Jack Moiseyev) checked in third. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Magical Lass, who is the first foal out of the Cantab Hall mare Priceless Lass, for co-owner/breeder Mel Hartman of Ottawa and co-owner R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, Ontario. Magical Lass broke her maiden in her fifth attempt, and she has now earned $11,875. The Murmuring Pan then made it a "Kadabra Daily Double" as she won the second race in 1:58.2 with Hall of Famer Steve Condren in the bike. The Murmuring Pan made a first-over move into the lead at the 1:00 half and didn’t look back from there on her way to a five and a quarter length decision. Giona (Wayne MacLean) was the runner-up and Desis Dream (Steve Byron) nabbed third. Paul Reid trains The Murmuring Pan for owner/breeder Peter Pan Stables Inc. of Pepper Pike, Ohio. She is now two-for-four in the win column with earnings of $18,000. Both of her wins have come in Grassroots competition as she also clicked at Mohawk on July 31. The Murmuring Pan is the second foal out of $448,000 earner Epangeline (Conway Hall). The final Kadabra winner was Wing Flash, who got up out of the pocket in the stretch to win the fifth Grassroots flight in 1:57.3 for trainer/driver Wayne Henry. Stay In Touch (Randy Waples), the leader at the head of the lane, had to settle for second and Hape (Riina Rekila) finished third. Henry Stable of Arthur and Daylon Farms Ltd. of Komoka, Ontario, own Wing Flash, who was bred by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm, and Donald Robinson and sold for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Wing Flash has a pair of victories from seven attempts, and she has now put away $30,725. A winner in Grassroots action on August 17 at Clinton Raceway, Wing Flash is the fourth foal out of the Andover Hall mare Armbro Everlasting. The dam is a half-sister to the likes of millionaire Armbro Keepsake. As for Deweycheatumnhowe, his initial siring triumph came with Tymal Illbthere (Chris Christoforou) in the third section. She followed the cover of divisional point standings leader Summers Jewel (Mario Baillargeon) and then got around her late in the mile to win by a neck in 1:57.1. Muscle Kit (Randy Waples) was third, more than 14 lengths behind the top two finishers. Erv Abdulov trains Tymal Illbthere for co-owner/breeder Tymal Farms of Oldcastle, Timothy Varey of London, and Shawn Dixon of London, Ontario. Tymal Illbthere won for the first time from six trips behind the gate, and she has now pocketed $37,660. She’s the first foal out of the Kadabra mare Ill Be There ($398,603), a six-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Solar Sister provided Deweycheatumnhowe with his other tally as she rallied from sixth at three-quarters to take the fourth division by a neck in 1:58.1. Magic Shelley (Trevor Henry) was up for second and Railee Priti (Steve Byron) collected third. Gregg McNair trains Second Sister, who has two triumphs from six starts and a bankroll of $29,160, for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan. Bred by Diamond Creek Farm LLC., Second Sister was purchased for $32,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She’s the seventh foal out of the Yankee Glide mare Sister Sammy, and Second Sister is a half-sister to the likes of $210,000 earner Unshakeable. Second Sister also won in the Grassroots Series on July 15 at Mohawk. The other winner on the night was Bistrobistro Taj (Rick Zeron). Competing in the nightcap, Bistrobistro Taj popped the pocket to take command past the :27.3 opening quarter . She then reached the half in :58.1 and the three-quarters in 1:28.2 before she kicked away to win by three and three-quarters lengths in 1:57.3. Mets Life (Mario Baillargeon) was next, followed by Judy The Beauty (Bob McClure). Zeron also trains Bistrobistro Taj, a filly from the first crop of former Breeders Crown champion Pilgrims Taj, for owner 9215 6447 Quebec Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. Bistrobistro Taj, who was bred by Gestion Belvidere Inc., was successful for the second time from five starts, and she has now banked $58,250. Bistrobistro Taj, who also prevailed in Grassroots action on July 15 at Mohawk before she stepped up to take on Gold foes in her next few attempts, is the second foal out of the Angus Hall mare Freda Hall. The two-year-old trotting fillies of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will be back in action on September 19 at Mohawk Racetrack as they clash in their Semifinal round. Click here for full results Ontario Sire Stakes  

Driver Trevor Henry was the star of the show on Saturday night at Hanover Raceway as he won five of the six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series events for two-year-old male trotters that were staged and added an overnight victory to give him a total of six triumphs on the ten-race program. Henry teamed up with trainer Paul Reid for a pair of his wins. That duo struck for the first time in the third division with Snapshot Springs, who led through fractions of :31, 1:04.1, and 1:34.4 on his way to a 2:04.3 victory, and they were back for another win photo after Olympic Son overcame an early break and a first-over trip to win the nightcap by half a length in 2:03.1. Snapshot Springs, a Striking Sahbra gelding, is a homebred for Rick and Regina Beinhauer of Venetia, Pennsylvania. He has won half of his six starts this year, with all his victories coming in Grassroots company, and he has earned $31,500. He’s the eighth foal out of the S Js Photo mare Spring Photo ($246,089). Reid trains Olympic Son, a colt by Majestic Son, for owner/breeder Bob Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania. Olympic Son picked up his second win from four attempts, and he has now put away $22,320. The winner is the second foal out of the Yankee Glide mare Graceful Sister ($104,714). Henry also swept the early daily double, which was comprised of Grassroots races, with Rob Roy, who led at every call on his way to a 2:03.4 tally, and Kadabrasnewrecruit, who turned a first-over journey into a 2:01.2 score. Henry then bagged the fourth split with Call Me Richard in 2:02. Rob Roy is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Mike Wassilyn of Rockwood, Ontario. Rob Roy, an Angus Hall colt, broke his maiden in his fourth try and pushed his bankroll to $10,550. Roy Roy, who was bred by Mike Sparks, fetched $5,500 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. He’s the first foal out of the Yankee Glide mare Callisto Blue Chip. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, owns Kadabrasnewrecruit, a gelded son of Kadabra. Kadabrasnewrecruit, who was bred by Tymal Farms, is two-for-three in the win column, and he has now earned $22,500. He’s the fifth foal out of the Mr Lavec mare Keystone Alberta, who was third in the $100,000 Grassroots final when she was a two-year-old. Call Me Richard, who picked up his third win in Grassroots action, is trained by Clare Bradshaw. Andrea Arthur of Scotland, Ontario, owns Call Me Richard, whose dam is Andover Hall mare Olympic Dreams. Call Me Richard, now an earner of $32,940, was bred by Tri Star Farms Ltd. of Brantford, Ontario, and was hammered down for $11,500 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale. The only horse to stop Henry’s run was Parkhill Lancelot, who prevailed by a head in 2:02.4 in the fifth Grassroots tilt. Steve Byron drove the victorious Muscle Mass gelding for co-owner/breeder Parkhill Stud Farm of Peterborough, and co-owner Marshall Bax of Mississauga, Ontario. John Bax trains Parkhill Lancelot, who has won once from six trips behind the gate and earned $24,660. Parkhill Lancelot’s dam is Harlequin Seelster (Duke Of York), a three-time OSS winner in her racing career. This concluded the Ontario Sires Stakes season at Hanover Raceway and the regular season for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters in the Grassroots Series. The next time they compete will be in the Grassroots Semifinals on September 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. For full results and charts of Saturday night’s races at Hanover Raceway From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

Mister JP, a son of Taurus Dream-Baghdad Dream-Yankee Glide, took today's Breeders Course Final for two year-olds at Jagersro, Sweden. Bjorn Goop steered the winner that is owned by J-P Barjon. Mister JP set a new SWE record of 1.13.1kr in the victory over 1640 meters autostart. The youngster remains undefeated in three career starts and he earned 450,000SEK for the victory. Jontte Boy (Finland), a three year-old son of Love You-South Hanover-Andover Hall, took the Gr. I European Championship for three year-olds to also win 450,000SEK. He scored easily in 1.13.7kr over 2140 meters autostart for reinsman Jorma Kontio. The favorite, Jontte Boy, claimed an early lead in the European Championship and controlled the race on the front. The Jerry Riordan trained Saphire Bi, a daughter of Conway Hall) finished third in rein to Orjan Kihlstrom. Summary results of the top races at Jagersro are shown below. 9/6/14 Jagersro, Final Breeders Course two year-olds, 450,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart 1.13.1kr (SWE record), winner 3/3 lifetime 1st Mister JP (2m Taurus Dream-Baghdad Dream-Yankee Glide), Bjorn Goop for J-P Barjon's Ecurie Citrus 2nd Tunika (2f Zola Boko-Veronoi du Ling-Super Arnie), Eric Adielsson for Tomas Malmqvist 3rd Troja d'Asolo (2f Varenne-Avigliana-Lemon Dra), Rene Legati up for Holger Ehlert trainer 9/6/14 Jagersro, Silver Division, 125,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart, 1.12.9kr 1st Perfect Power (5g Ken Warkentin-Enjoy My Face-Viking Kronos), Peter Untersteiner 2nd October Kronos (6m Varenne-NordicGoldNovember-Viking Kronos), Adrian Kolgjini 3rd Caliber TT (7g Cromwell-Marcon Lady-Marcon Lep), Fredrik Persson 9/6/14 Jagersro, European Championship for three year-olds, Gr. I International, 450,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 1.13.7kr 1st Jontte Boy (3m Love You-South Hanover-Andover Hall), Jorma Kontio, Finland, his sixth win in nine starts now for life earnings of 1,215,004SEK 2nd Easytowin (3f Offshore Dream-Victory My Way-Koos Von Camstra), Johnny Takter, Netherlands 3rd Saphire Bi (3f Conway Hall-Valley Jean Bi-Valley Boss Bi), Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Jerry Riordan, Italy 9/6/14 Jagersro, Birger Bengtssons Memorial, Gold Div., 150,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters, 1.10.3kr 1st Standout (5m Ganymede-Ebony DK-Royal Troubador), Ulf Ohlsson up for Stefan Melander, his 11th win in 33 starts for 2,680,700SEK career earnings 2nd Occhione Jet (6m Pine Chip-Estella Jet-Supergill), Erik Adielsson aboard 3rd Nouvelle Pelle (11g Juliano Star-Nouvelle Isabell-Messerschmitt), Flemming Jensen up by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Batavia, NY---Sometimes victory is hard fought and other times it comes without effort. This week, BZ Glide cruised from second last to the winners circle in the $9,000 Open trot at Batavia Downs with nary a nudge from driver Mike Caprio. At the start of the race, Armed Dangerously (Shawn McDonough) made a break almost immediately as the rest of the field pulled away in post-position order. Dartmouth Hall (Kevin Cummings) then led the troops through a pedestrian :29.1 quarter and 1:00.1 half, where Caprio pulled BZ Glide just before that station. The 5-year-old son of Yankee Glide slowly and methodically gained ground on the leader without much urgency displayed from his driver. As the bunch hit the three-quarter pole in 1:29, BZ Glide had pulled even with Dartmouth Hall and then forged ahead from that point forward. Caprio hand-drove the gelding from there winning by a widening two-length margin in 1:58.2. The 1-2 favorite paid $3.00 to win. Sack Full of Gold (Jim McNeight) who had followed the winner second over was second and Serious George (Jack Flanigen) snuck up the rail to be third. This was the fifth win in 16 starts for BZ Glide and raised his yearly earnings to $42,605 for his owner Mike Caprio and trainer Alana Caprio. Reinsmen Ron Beback Jr., Jack Flanigen, Shawn McDonough, Jim McNeight and Drew Monti all scored driving doubles on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 5) and features the $109,000 New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Post time is 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The videos of the 29 yearlings that Hanover Shoe Farms will be selling at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale are now online and are available at the Farms' website hanoverpa.com. They should also shortly be available at the Sale's website lexingtonselected.com. The Lexington yearlings are all by the premier sires in Harness Racing including Andover Hall(2), Art Major(2), Bettor's Delight(1), Cantab Hall(2), Donato Hanover(3), Dragon Again(4), Explosive Matter(1), Muscle Hill(1), Muscle Massive(1), Rock N Roll Heaven(1), Somebeachsomewhere(5), Well Said(3), Western Ideal(2) and Yankee Glide(1). The yearlings are now at the Hanover Fairgrounds where they are available for inspection daily, except Sunday beginning at 11.00 AM. They will ship to Lexington on Saturday September 27. They will be available for inspection beginning at 8.00 AM on the Fasig Tipton grounds daily beginning Sunday September 28. For further information please contact Dr Bridgette Jablonsky at 717-637-8931 or at drjablonsky@hanoverpa.com or Murray Brown at 717-487-1812 or at hofmurray@aol.com. From Hanover Shoe Farms

 The European summer season is in full swing and there were several races in the elite UET Masters Series last week – as the grand final looms next month with races in France and Sweden on Saturday (Sunday morning NZT). At Bergsaker (Sweden), rising star 5-year-old Quid Pro Quo (Yankee Glide) benefitted from a patient drive from Erik Adielsson and was too strong in the straight for his elder counterparts in the 205,000 euro Group 1 Sundsvall Open Trot over 2,140 metres. He eventually won in 1’11’’2 km rate with Oasis Bi (Toss Out) taking second spot from Canada B.F (Jobie Tempest). Quid Pro Quo is now 9th in the UET Masters Series, with 1450 points. At Vincennes, top jockey Franck Nivard took 8-year-old gelding Sourire de Voutré (Gazouillis ) to the lead straight from the starting shute in the Prix Camille Lepecq, a Group 2 monte worth 120,000 euros. By the time he reached the top of the hill, his opponents were struggling and he accelerated on the downhill turn into the straight to leave champion mare Roxane Griff (Tenor de Baune )and Uppercut de Manche (Neutron du Cebe) behind. This was a 2700m race and the winner covered the distance in 1’12’’4 km rate (1.56.5MR). On the same card was one of the glamour events on the French calendar, the Criterium des 5 Ans, where the cream of the 5YO crop did battle over 3000m for a purse of 240,000 euros. It was Raffin again, who showed the same winning touch in the bike when he guided outsider Vabellino (5h Ouragan de Celland) to a stunning victory over Vulcain de Vandel (5h Jag de Bellouet) and Viking de Val (5h Baccarat du Pont) with favourite Very Nice Marceaux (5h Jag de Bellouet) fourth. This is a race just 200m short of the the NZ Cup distance and includes two uphill climbs (the 3000m start is the toughest at Vincennes) and was still completed in a 1’12”7kr or a mile rate of 1.57. The record set last year by Up And Quick is an unbelievable 1’11”5 or a 1.55 mile rate. The following day there were two major races in Denmark at the Charlottenlund racetrack near Copenhagen with the UET Masters Series’ the Rex The Great Lopp (Group 2, 2,000 metres) was raced for 50,000 euros. It was won by the locally trained 8-year-old O’Grady (S J's Photo) who, on a slow track, was skillfully driven from the front by his trainer Flemming Jensen who stacked up the field and held off Politiken (Ens Snapshot) Obi-Wan (Ganymede), Neo Holmsminde (Valley Sentry) and US import Fawkes (SJ’s Caviar). The winner trotted slow 1’14’’5 km rate. On the same programme was the Group 1 Danish Trotting Derby worth 180,000 euros , which was won a few years ago by New Zealand-resident Peak, and this year’s renewal saw one of Sweden’s top reinsman Björn Goop guide Tumble Dust (4h, Crazed ) to victory for Tomas Malmqvist from Tano Bork (4h, Great Challenger ) and Tango Vang 4g (Lindy Lane). The slow track did not prevent a new record for the race, with the time of 1.14,7a for the 3000m journey or just over a 2 minute mile rate. EUROWATCH Videos Sundsvall Trot Click here to view Criterium des 5 Ans Click here to view Prix Camille Lepecq Click here to view Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand  

Last week showcased solid, competitive racing in France, Italy, Sweden and Hungary. Mid-week graded action at Paris-Vincennes highlighted the lead in to a superb racing weekend.  Africaine took the Gr. II Prix Guy le Gondidec Wednesday for Jean-Etienne Dubois. The four-year-old daughter of Oiseau de Feur scored easily in 1.13.6kr over 2700 meters. On Thursday, Paris-Vincennes conducted two more Gr. II events that went to Valdice de Mars in a monte test (Prix Legoux-Longpre) over 2850 meters. This five-year-old daughter of Lynx de Bellouet scored in 1.13.9kr for Yohan Lebourgeois. The other Gr II event was the Prix Jules Thibault over 2700 meters that Athos des Elfes won for Joel Van Eeckhaute in 1.13.7kr. The four year-old son on Ganymede was a hard driving winner over Aladin d’Ecajeul. Summaries of these races are shown below. August 27, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Guy le Gonidec, Gr. II €120,000 purse, 2700 meters, 16 starters, 1.13.6kr 1st Africaine (4f Oiseau de Feux-Italiene-Coktail Jet), Jean-Etienne Dubois owner/trainer/driver, 1.1/1, fifth win in 23 outings for €292,820 earned 2nd Andalouse (4f Tenor de Baune-Mosaique), Tony Le Beller, 45.9/1 3rd Athena de Vandel (4f Prince Gede-Maelia de Vandel), Mathieu Abrivard for Cedric Megissier, 5.5/1 4th Axelle Dark (4f Ready Cash-Queen des Charmes), Jos. Verbeeck up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire, 4.8/1 August 28, 2014, Paris-Vincennes, Prix Legoux-Longpre, 2850 meters monte, Gr. II €120,000 purse, ten starters, time 1.13.9kr 1st Valdice de Mars (5f Lynx de Bellouet-Tiphanie-Beausejour II), Yohan Lebourgeois for owner/trainer Loic Groussard, 7.2/1, tenth career win for €543,820 2nd Valse de Reve (5f Mister President-Nouba Houba), Camille Levesque, 3.3/1 3rd Votka Bleue (5f Jasmin de Flore-Joyeuse Bleue), Franck Nivard, 4.1/1 4th Valse Castelets (5f Memphis du Rib-Elide), J.L.C. Dersoir, 17.1/1 August 28, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Jules Thibault, 2700 meters, Gr. II €120,000 purse, 1.13.7kr 1st Athos des Elfes (4m Ganymede-Iazio du Bourg-Tadzio de la Motte), Joel Van Eeckhaute, 1.4/1 odds favorite, his eighth career win for €343,030 for owner J-P Goubert 2nd Aladin d’Ecajeul (4m Quaker Jet-Nancy d’Ecajeul), Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastian Guarato, 3.1/1 3rd Akim du Cap Vert (4m First de Retz-Prima du Cap Vert), Franck Anne owner/trainer/driver, 9.2/1 In Cesena, Italy two preps for the Breeders Course Final took place on August 23. Tiffany Caf (2f Cantab Hall-Elaine Caf-Supergill) scored in 1.16.4kr over 1660 meters autostart for Bo Le Verde and Talish As (2f Daguet Rapide-Gaia dei Veltri-Remington Crown) was a 1.16.6kr winner over the same distance for Roberto Vecchione. Both races were contested over 1660 meters autostart for the two year-old olds. On August 22 at Solvalla Mister JP scored over 1640 meters autostart in 1.13.4kr by open lengths, for Bjorn Goop. The winner is now 2 for 2 for Ecurie Citrus (J-P Barjon). Mister JP is a two year-old son of Taurus Dream from Baghdad Dream by Yankee Glide. Jim Oscarsson was second this day with Mr. Perfect by Andover Hall. This group of lightly raced two year-olds will be back in action on September 6 at Jagersro for the Breeders Course Final. They will travel 1640 meters autostart for 450,000SEK purse. The field is shown below. Mister J.P. (B. Goop) Angelina (DK) (J. Juel) Fiona Stardust (NL)  (B. Crebas) Telecomando Ok (J. Kontio) Tunica (E. Adielsson) Partizan Face (L. Kolgjini) Mr Perfect (J. Oscarsson) Troja D’Asolo (Renè Legati) Talish As (W. Paal) Flyer Boshoeve (M. Schimd) The same day at Jagersro will be the European Championship for three year-olds, going 2140 meters for a 450,000SEK purse. The lineup follows. Expo Express (DE) (A. Mollema) Winston Sisa (DK) (S. Juul) Easytowin (J. Takter) Saphire Bi (O. Kihlstrom) Jontte Boy (FI) (J. Kontio) Da Vinci B.R (NO) (K. Haugstad) Kickans Girl (R. Pettersson) Othello Tilly (B. Goop) Ewald F. Boko (DE) )C. Lugauer) Sheava Vik (J. Untersteiner) Coolwater In (E. Adielsson) On Sunday at Kincsem Park the SLO invader Lady Luna (9f Sierra Ranger-Luna) took the 500,000HUfRecorder DIJ feature over 1960 meters turning start. Rene Hanzekovic, also trainer, piloted the winner perfectly gaining a pocket journey behind pacesetter Amazing Lobell (7f Incredible Crafts-US Companion) and reinsman Arpad Lakatos to score in 1.17.9kr over a deep racing surface. Orangyal (6f Wall Street Banker-Derengo) ended third for Pal Vicen. Next Saturday, September 6, will be the prestigious Hungaria Prize and the Marschall Jozsef Memorial. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Quid Pro Quo (5m Yankee Glide-Hostage-Express Ride) won today’s Gr. I UET Masters Series Norrvidden Sundsvall Open at Bergsaker SWE. Ten contestants sought the winners’ share of the €216,060 purse (1,000,000SEK to winner). Erik Adielsson teamed the winner to a 1.11.21kr victory, his 12th in 36 starts, now for earnings of 6,340,760SEK. Stall Galdiator owns the winner. Oasis Bi (6m by Toss Out) was second for Bjorn Goop and Canaka BF (7f by Jobie Tempest) was third for Ulf Ohlsson. Up Date Hoss and Ed You finished fourth and fifth. The beaten field included former Elitloppet winner Nahar, Sanity and Juliano Rags. On the Bergsaker undercard, the Bronze Division (110,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart) went to Poker Kronos (5g Viking Kronos-Frances Lavec-Tenor de Baune) with Robert Bergh up. The win was Poker Kronos’ sixth in a row and he is 10 for 20 lifetime. The Silver Division (125,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart) resulted in victory by Bret Boko (6g Yankee Glide-Simb Capi-Probe) in 1.12kr for Jorma Kontio, his 21st win in 50 starts. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Donatomite rolled to the fastest winning time in Stallion Series action on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were six $20,000 divisions of the Stallion series held for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the trot. Donatomite (Donato Hanover-Malvictorian), driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer, stayed unbeaten after three career races by winning his division by 6 ¼ lengths in an impressive 1:54:4. Other Stallion Series winners on the night: Tommy Bar (Cantab Hall-Spellyuptothebar), driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Bill Popfinger, in 1:58:2; Handover The Money (Andover Hall-CR Sister Suzie), driven and trained by Francisco Del Cid, in 1:59:1; Don't Mind Me (Andover Hall-Peace Of Mind), driven and trained by Jim Raymer, in 1:56:2; Wimborne Hanover (Muscle Massive-Wherley), driven by George Napolitano Jr. and trained by William Daugherty Jr., in 1:57:1; and Finish Line (Yankee Glide-Calchips Finisher), driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer, in 1:57:4. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

Batavia, NY---After drawing outside in the top class the last two weeks, BZ Glide finally got some post relief and driver Mike Caprio took full advantage of it to capture the $9,500 Open trot at Batavia Downs. When the man said go, Typical New Yorker (Ray Fisher Jr.) and Second hand News (Kevin Cummings) immediately fired out to challenge rail rider Absolutely Certain (Ron Beback Jr.) who quickly rebuffed their rush. Second Hand News took a seat third and Typical New Yorker was hung out to dry as the bunch rounded the quarter in :28.2 and the half in :59 flat. At that point BZ Glide pulled from sixth and started up on the outside behind the tiring Typical New Yorker and was forced to tip three-deep at the five-eighths pole. Caprio and BZ Glide pulled alongside Absolutely Certain at the three-quarters in 1:28.2 and despite furious encouragement from Beback, went right by the pair in the turn. By the time they hit the top of the stretch, BZ Glide had cleared as was trotting home a winner in 1:57.2, which was a new seasonal mark for the gelded son of Yankee Glide. The winner paid $8.80. This was the fourth win in fourteen starts in 2014 for BZ Glide and it pushed his earnings to $37,345 for the year. BZ Glide is owned by his driver, Mike Caprio and trained by Alana Caprio. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 27) and will feature three divisions of the $106,901 New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Post time for the first race is 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Canaka BF (7f Jobie Tempest-Frida Filiokus-Spotlite Lobell) rallied late for Ulf Ohlsson to win today's Gr. I UET Masters Series European Mares Championship at Solvalla, Sweden worth 650,000SEK to winner. Canaka BF recorded her 18th career win in 64 starts now for earnings of 4,905,292SEK. Today's victory was her fifth 2014 win in ten outings. Prussia (5f Ken Warkentin-Elvezia-Pine Chip) was a very game second for trainer/driver Pietro Gubellini with third to She Loves You FI (7f Love You-SJ's Shad Roe-SJ's Photo) and Bjorn Goop. Time was 1.11.7kr, a SWE record for the 2140 meters autostart distance. Jorma Kontio steered Absolute Newport quickly to the lead and repulsed a three wide early move by Prussia to seize command. Kontio parked Prussia all the way until Absolute Newport stopped, yielding the leading spot to Prussia and she nearly held on under aggressive Gubellini handling. Canaka BF rallied wide in the late going to win by three-quarter length with She Loves You FI a close third and the Jerry Riordan trained Rossella Ross ended fourth. On the card the Carolo Mins for three year-olds went to US-bred Fire To The Rain (3m Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall-Conway Hall) and Ulf Ohlsson. The 1640 meter autostart test had ten starters with 100,000SEK to the winner and Fire To The Rain scored in 1.11.7kr to just defeat Explosive De Vie (3g Explosive Matter-Ava-Pine Chip) and trainer/driver Jim Oscarsson. This pair easily bested third place finisher Saphire Bi (3f Conway Hall-Valley Jean Bi-Valley Boss Bi) with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Riordan. Fire To the Rain won for the third time in six lifetime starts, now for earnings of 1,130,365SEK. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

US-expat trainer Jerry Riordan won two on Saturday's superb card at Aby, Sweden and recorded a second place finish. Radysin America (4f Donato Hanover-Zagabria Dei-Victory Dream) took the Bertil Knutssons Trot over 1640 meters autostart in a sharp 1.11.8kr. Johnny Takter drove this one for owner Lisa Riordan to earn 80,000SEK first money. The half-sister to retired international star Lisa America, also developed and campaigned by Riordan, was bred in Italy by Guida Italia SRL and this was her seventh career win in 18 starts, now for 370,135SEK. The time was also her lifetime best and she survived a four-horse photo to win over Britt Palema (5f Adams Hall-Rapidsland Glare-Southwind Pinnacle) with trainer/driver Fredrik Persson, Sandra Volo (5f Cantab Hall-Sandra Victory-Valley Victory) and Orjan Kihlstrom and Pin Kronos (5f Cantab Hall-Luck Of the Day-Mr. Lavec) that was fourth for Johan Untersteiner. Riordan also had a training win with Sylvester America (3m Varenne-Armbro Voice-Garland Lobell) in the Euro Classic Next Year for three-year-olds worth 50,000SEK to the winner. He scored in a photo timed in 1.15.2kr over 2140 meters autostart with Johan Untersteiner up. Lisa Riordan also owns this colt that was bred in Italy by Guida Italia SRL. Sylvester won for third time in nine starts. Fabuleux BR was second for trainer/driver Veijo Heiskanen. As previously reported, Riordan's trainee Rare Wise As (4f Varenne-In Wise As-SJ's Caviar) was second in a three-horse photo in a fast-class four year-old mares event timed in 1.13.6kr. This mare, also owned by Lisa Riordan, was handled by Linda Allercrantz. The race was won by My Gliding Angel (4f Yankee Glide-My Shooting Star-Malabar Man) trained and driven by Bjorn Goop for Stall Kennys, her seventh win in16 tries and she earned 80,000SEK, with favored Backfire home third for Johnny Takter. The Aby card also showcased the Bronze Division Final for 200,000SEK to the winner, and it went to Royal Fighter (6m Varenne-Froken Julie-Supergill) in gate to wire fashion over 2140 meters autostart. Jennifer Tillman drover the winner, trained by Per Eriksson, that was timed in 1.12.2kr to gain his 10th win in 46 starts. The winner is owned by Per Rodert and Christina Nilsson. The opener of the day was the Aby Stora Monte Pris for 100,000SEK to the victor. The contest over 1640 meters autostart had a competitive 10 horse field and the French veteran Organdi d'Or (12g Achille-Hovillara d'Or-Vroum d'Or) emerged with the win. He's trained by rider Sofia Aronsson and scored in 1.13.2kr by two lengths for his 20th career win in 124 starts, now with 3,665,792SEK earned. He's owned in France by Armand Turquet-Lepreux. Henke Diablo with Peter Jarven aboard and Nouvelle Pelle with Asa Svensson up were next to the line. US-bred Moon Dream was fourth for Siv Emilie Lovvold and Hitchcock was a dq for rider Malin Beras. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

Six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots dashes for harness racing rookie trotting colts and geldings were the marquee events on Saturday night (August 16) at Georgian Downs. The first three races on the card were all Grassroots races, and driver Trevor Henry won all of them to get his night started off on the right foot. Henry won the opener with Kadabrasnewrecruit in 2:01.4. Racing over a surface left sloppy and two seconds off due to rain, Kadabrasnewrecruit came from well off-the-pace to gain the lead in the stretch and then stepped away to win by two and a half lengths over Angels Kid (Keith Oliver). Muscles All Over (Eddie Green) finished third. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ont. owns Kadabrasnewrecruit, a gelded son of Kadabra. Kadabrasnewrecruit, who was bred by Tymal Farms, broke his maiden in his second attempt, and he has now earned $13,500. He’s the fifth foal out of the Mr Lavec mare Keystone Alberta, who was third in the $100,000 Grassroots final when she was a two-year-old. Olympic Son then gave Henry the double, leading through panels of :30, 1:01.2, and 1:32.1 on his way to a four and three-quarter length victory in 2:02.1. Parkhill Lancelot (Steve Byron) crossed the finish line in second, but was off-stride in doing so, and following a judges’ inquiry, he was moved back to third, elevating original third-place finisher Covert Operative (Per Henriksen) to runner-up status. Paul Reid trains Olympic Son, a colt by Majestic Son, for owner/breeder Bob Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania. Olympic Son picked up his first win from three attempts and he has now put away $13,320. The winner is the second foal out of the Yankee Glide mare Graceful Sister ($104,714). Snapshot Springs overcame post nine to give Henry the hat trick. Snapshot Springs had command through splits of :29.4, 1:01.4, and 1:33.1 en route to a 2:03.1 triumph. Numbers Game (Kevin Sizer) came in second, beaten a length and a half by the winner, and Jayport All Muscle (Keith Oliver) nabbed third. The Striking Sahbra-Spring Photo gelding is owned and bred by trainer Richard and Regina Beinhauer of Venetia, Pennsylvania. The win was his second (consecutive) in five starts and lifted his earnings to $22,500. In other action, Mandeville now leads the Grassroots point standings for the group after a 2:01.3 tally in the fifth Grassroots flight with Scott Coulter driving. He also went all the way on the lead, clicking off fractions of :30.4, 1:02, and 1:31 before he trotting a :30.3 final kicker to prevail by one and a quarter lengths over Stormont Wizard (Oliver). Top Dollar (Byron) collected third. Trainer Wayne Langille of Harley, Ont. also co-owns the victorious Majestic Son gelding with Brett Burleigh of Paris, Ont. Mandeville, who has won three times in Grassroots competition and banked $31,500, was bred by Dr. John Brown of Granton, Ont. and was purchased for $10,000 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale. Mandeville is the fifth foal out of the Yankee Paco mare My Charmer, making him a half-brother to Grassroots winner Momentous (Mr Lavec). Coulter also clicked in the Grassroots nightcap with Call Me Richard. Call Me Richard circled from third to first after the :30-second opening quarter, and after he reached the half in :59.1 and the three-quarters in 1:30.3, he romped to a 12 length decision in 2:01.3. Ontheroad De Vie (Robby Robinson) was next, followed by Concept (Oliver). Call Me Richard, who picked up his other career win in Grassroots action on July 12 at Georgian Downs, is trained by Clare Bradshaw. Andrea Arthur of Scotland, Ont. owns Call Me Richard, whose dam is Andover Hall mare Olympic Dreams. Call Me Richard, now an earner of $23,940, was bred by Tri Star Farms Ltd. of Brantford, Ont. and was hammered down for $11,500 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale. The other Grassroots winner was El Diablo Hall and Keith Oliver, who led at the :29.4 opening quarter, the 1:00.2 half, and the 1:31 three-quarters in the fourth Grassroots race. He had a stern challenge from pocket-sitter Freddie (Trevor Henry) through the lane, but El Diablo Hall held sway, prevailing by a head in 2:00.4. Now Thats Scary (Wayne Henry) finished third. Tony Montini trains the winner, a Windsong Espoir gelding, for Ontario owners Albina Montini of Acton, Paul Giammichele of Burlington, and Rick Podolinsky of Alvinston. Dale Hunter of London, Ont., the former head coach of the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals, also co-owns El Diablo Hall, who has now won six times from seven tries and banked $26,000. He’s the third foal out of the Andover Image mare EL Mistress Chesea, meaning he’s a half-brother to multi-time Grassroots winner Erin Hall. The next Grassroots event for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters will take place on September 6 at Hanover Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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