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Canada's first race of 2014 was won by five-year-old pacer Art The Third and driver Brad Watt on Wednesday afternoon's New Year's Day harness racing card at Fraser Downs. Art The Third sprinted home off a three-hole trip in the $3,000 claiming event to edge out the popular pacesetter Dontmakemebeg and Fraser's 2012 leading driver Jim Marino by half a length in 1:58.3 over the sloppy track. Pocket-sitter This American Life finished nearly four lengths behind in third for Carl Sibiga. Sent postward as the slight 3-2 second choice, Art The Third paid $5.20 to win. Allan Molloy trains the Mach Three gelding for local owner Bryan Buchanan. Watt swept the first two races after steering four-year-old pacer McBenz ($7.60) to his maiden-breaking victory in another close call for trainer and co-owner Ann Cooper. Prairie Illusion ($3.50) later won the first Open event of the New Year with Marino in the sulky. Prairie Illusion advanced first over from third en route to her 21st career win in the featured $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open. The 3-5 favourite prevailed by one length over a from-last Credit Card Junkie and Keith Clark in 1:55.3. Village Janus and Rod Therres came in third. Call Me Up, driven by four-time Wednesday winner Billy Davis Jr., finished fourth after leading through fractions of :28, :57.2 and 1:25.4. Prairie Illusion won 11 of her 21 starts last year while banking over $70,000. The first win of her five-year-old campaign pushed her career bankroll over the $150,000 mark. The Mach Three mare is owned and trained by William Young of Langley, B.C. To view Wednesday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Wednesday Results - Fraser Downs. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca 

The New Year brings interactive, fan friendly fun and excitement to Flamboro Downs. Starting Sunday January 5, Flamboro Downs is pleased to launch the first media "Announcer Idol" competition. Every Sunday night through March 23, a different, local broadcast media personality will step into the booth alongside track announcer, Gary Guy, and call the evening's third race. At the end of March, fans and patrons will have their say by visiting the Flamboro Downs website to vote for their favourite race call. The winning announcer will receive a donation to the local charity of their choice, compliments of Flamboro Downs and Great Canadian Gaming. January Announcer Idol Line-Up: Sunday, January 5 - Darrin Laidman, Morning Show Host, FreshFM 95.3 Sunday, January 12 - Nick Dixon, Anchor, CHCH News Sunday, January 19 - Bill Toffan, Morning Show Host, KX 94.7 Sunday, January 26 - Ted Michaels, News Anchor, 900 CHML Flamboro Downs is also pleased to announce the launch of a Mini Horse Championship. These extremely popular races (non-betting) have proven extremely popular with fans, both young and old. The championship will be contested over three exhibition races during Flamboro's Saturday afternoon cards, one in each of January, February, and March 2014. Points will be awarded to each based on positioning. After each race, all of the minis will be brought over to the Flamboro grandstand for photos and interaction with fans. 'Wanna Drive' will also be on-hand each date in the mini championship series, giving fans an opportunity to experience driving a standardbred on the track alongside an experienced horseman. Paddock tours and meet & greets with drivers are also in the works for those dates. "We simply can't put an ad in the paper, and hope or expect that people will just show up," suggests John Stolte, general manager at Flamboro Downs. "We're in a rebuilding process. We need to excite and re-educate. Coming to the track is more than just betting horses, but rather an experience that can be enjoyed on a date night, among friends and co-workers, or with the whole family. It's not going to happen overnight, but we're committed to giving our patrons more for their entertainment dollars." From Flamboro Downs Files

Billy Davis Jr. put on a driving clinic during Monday’s 12-race card at The Raceway at Western Fair District thanks to his five-win performance. Davis went wire-to-wire with Delta Grace Tone (2:03) in Race 3 before racking up four straight wins beginning in Race 8 with Katherine B (1:59). He came back to take Race 9 – the $6,500 Preferred 3 – with Hoboken Hanover (1:56.2), Race 10 with Woodmere Sandrop (1:59.2) and Race 11 with Taylorlane Fancy (1:58.1). The 2013 season marks the third consecutive season the young reinsman has registered more than 400 wins. The career winner of 1,566 races and purses of $13,510,268 is quickly closing in on $4 million in seasonal purse earnings. A change of scenery certainly suited Twin B Legend, who dug in late to win the $10,000 Preferred 2 in 1:57.2 for the tandem of driver Doug McNair and trainer Ron Adams. The five-year-old son of Mach Three-What An Attitude, who’d missed cheques in his two previous outings at Woodbine, took over command at the three-quarter pole and fended off a late-rushing Royal Outlook by a neck in a time of 1:57.2. Race favourite Monster In Law finished third. VIP Internet Stable LLC, David Rovine Stable LLC, Seafood Delight Stable and Keith Pippi share ownership on the 10-time winner who boosted his lifetime bankroll to $353,863 with the victory. Heres The Magic survived a first-over trip and won the $6,800 Preferred 3 for driver Alfie Carroll. The Victor Puddy trainee wore down the tempo-setting Cimeronken, who sliced out panels of :29, 1:00 and 1:29.1, en route to the 1:59.3 score. Cimeronken was second best, with Euro Man taking home the show dough. Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, Ontario owns the four-year-old son of Kadabra-Blackberry Hanover who is now 4-for-34 this season after going 0-for-21 last year. The gelding has stashed away more than $270,000 to date. To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.com 

On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON   Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY   Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON   Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON   Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON   Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON   Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON

Bad Girl Vegas hasn’t been getting the attention she deserves when she lines up behind the gate these days, but that may change when the second leg of the Niagara Series goes to post this Thursday at Woodbine. The pacing daughter of Believeinbruiser has won two straight races at the helm of Jonathan Drury and has certainly rewarded her backers. On November 25 at Flamboro, Drury guided Bad Girl Vegas to victory at odds of 74-1, returning $151.40 to win. “She had the eight-hole that day,” recalled Drury. “I figured if I left and stayed close to the front that she’d get a piece of it. She does have good gate speed and to be honest, I was surprised by her odds. She’s a better horse than that.” One week later, in the opening leg of the Niagara Series, lightning struck again. Bad Girl Vegas and Drury turned a two-hole trip into a winning effort, paying $73.60 to win.   “Going into that race, I thought she was a longshot in there,” Drury admits. “But what really helped was the :59.3 half, because that turned the race into a sprint heading for home. At that point, I thought I had a great shot towin because she can really pace off a helmet for a piece and it worked to our advantage.” Bad Girl Vegas will look for another victory, from Post 2, in the latter of the two $15,000 divisions slated. She is listed 3-1 in the morning line. “We drew well and it’s only an eight-horse field, which always helps,” Drury said. “Her gate speed will likely come into play and maybe we can benefit off another good trip. She continues to get better and better and that’s what you want to see in a young filly.” Trained by Louis Eftimiadis and owned by Randy Zhok, Bad Girl Vegas has banked $48,654 in her career, along with six career tallies. Two divisions of the Niagara Series will go as Race 2 and Race 10. The Niagara Series is for three-year-old fillies, who are non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31. The $30,000 (added) final will take place on Boxing Day (December 26), which holds a special 1:00 p.m. first-race post time. (WEG) To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Entries – Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca. 

Mark Purdon and Natalie Rassmusen look set for another tremendous season with the juveniles after Art Major debutant Follow The Stars took out heat one of the Young Guns at Alexandra Park tonight. Given an economic run in the trail by co-trainer Mark Purdon, Follow The Stars peeled off the back of Tembi late in proceedings and raced on by to win by a length over the fast finishing Ardee (Jeremes Jet) and Tembi, who held third gamely after crossing the face of the field from the outside of the gate and setting the tempo in front. Tembi, like Follow The Stars, is by Art Major, giving the Artsplace stallion first and third in the race. Follow The Stars is rich in American bloodlines, being out of Cam’s Card Shark mare Smyrna Duruisseau. Follow The Stars paced the 1700 metre journey in a slick 2-04.3, with slick sectionals of 57.4 and 27.9. He is owned by formidable Purdon owners Mrs G J Kennard, P I Kennard, N Pilcher, G R Douglas, P J Creighton, and Mrs M C Creighton. Meanwhile, Prime Power made it five wins on end when winning the first race on the card, while Geoff Dunn continued his remarkable run by winning the Northern Trotting Breeders Stakes with Whitney and heat four of the Sires Stakes with superstar filly Venus Serena. The latter was a narrow victor over Libertbelle Midfrew, who was mammoth in defeat after being pushed off the track down the back straight. Venus Serena paced the 1700 metre journey in 2-01.9, which is just 0.4 of a second  outside of Lancome's New Zealand record. By Mitchell Robertson

Many talented types were put through their paces in preparation for tonight’s premier meeting at Alexandra Park at the workouts last Saturday and it is fair to say more than one of them caught my eye. The third heat consisted of seven of the nine two-year-olds that will do battle in the first heat of the Young Guns tonight and, while the Ray Green trained pair of Chachingchaching and Beaudine Boaz were impressive in finishing first and second, there were also a couple of handy runs in behind them. One of them was Tembi, who has opened at very nice odds for tonight’s event. He was never asked for the supreme effort by driver Joshua Dickie and found the line very strongly, finishing hard on the back of second placegetter Beaudine Boaz. He has also impressed me previously at the trials and is definitely one worth specking for value.  Ardee and Follow The Stars also trialled strongly. Race 3  2YO MOBILE PACE.    (Qualifying Time: 2-13.4) Video  Distance: 1700m     Weather: Fine     Track: Fast    Plc Bk Horse Hcap Time Driver Trainer 1 3 Chachingchaching fr 2-16.4 R C Downey R W Green 2 6 Beaudiene Boaz fr     R W Green 3 4 Follow The Stars fr     M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 4 5 Ardee fr     A G Herlihy MNZM Other Starters not necessarily in finishing order UPL 1 Jonny B Good fr     G R Dixon UPL 2 Tembi fr     Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett UPL 7 Iceobar fr     M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen         In the fifth heat of the day Lewy Risk proved he will have no problems going the Auckland way round by destroying his rivals by eight lengths. Sent straight to the front by Lew Driver, Lewy Risk defied a mid-race attack from Stars And Sounds, before bolting away over the concluding stages. Lewy Risk competes in the fourth race tonight and looks to have a very strong chance, despite meeting a field which includes talented types Someardensomewhere and Ultimate Major.   Race 5  MOBILE PACE. (C1) Video  Distance: 2200m     Weather: Fine     Track: Fast    Plc Bk Horse Hcap Time Driver Trainer 1 4 Lewy Risk fr 2-49.2 L C Driver K D Sefonte 2 3 Stars And Sound fr     B M Mangos & H J Cullen 3 2 Going To California fr     B Purdon 4 1 Bronze Ecstasy fr     J W Dickie & J I Dickie       Margins: 8 lengths, 1 length, 1/2 length Times: Mile Rate: 2-03.7 Last 800m: 57.8 Last 400m: 28.9   Bettor Offer, Cyclone Prince, and Tiago Bromac all trialled up strongly in the sixth heat of the day, with Bettor Offer bursting up the inside to beat the latter pair late in proceedings. He looks very hard to beat from his ace alley in the last race of the night, while Master Charlie, who found the line strongly in the same workout, could be one to spice up Trifectas and First Fours. Race 6  MOBILE PACE. (C2 & faster) Video  Distance: 2200m     Weather: Fine     Track: Fast    Plc Bk Horse Hcap Time Driver Trainer 1 1 Bettor Offer fr 2-50.6 Z E Butcher B Purdon 2 2 Cyclone Prince fr     G R Dixon 3 6 Tiago Bromac fr     S J Reid & S W McMullan 4 4 Chokullen fr     Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett Other Starters not necessarily in finishing order UPL 3 Sandpark Senator fr     Miss V S Facoory UPL 5 Master Charlie fr     D M Balle       Margins: 1/2 head, 1 length, neck Times: Mile Rate: 2-04.7 Last 800m: 57.3 Last 40   Love Ya Doosie looks set for the Northern Trotting Breeders Stakes after trialling sensationally in the eighth heat of the day.  After starting from 30 metres behind, driver Zac Butcher circled the field to take up the lead, before handing to Dauntless and taking a trail. The half-sister to the recently retired I Can Doosit then galloped down the back straight, before finding her feet again and powering over the top of them to win by ¾ lengths. Race 8  TROT. (C0 & faster) Video  Distance: 2700m     Weather: Fine     Track: Fast    Plc Bk Horse Hcap Time Driver Trainer 1 6 Love Ya Doosie 30m 3-39.5 Z E Butcher B Purdon 2 9 Equulei 30m     Miss A M Matthews 3 8 Dauntless 30m     E J Edwards 4 1 Belles Son fr     K K Chapman Other Starters not necessarily in finishing order UPL 2 Creamee fr     J W Dickie & J I Dickie UPL 3 Sundonna fr     G J Dempsey UPL 4 First Vintage fr     E J Edwards UPL 5 Pretty Awesome 10m     M J Pemberton UPL 7 Maori Invasion 30m     Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett       Margins: 3/4 length, nose, 2 lengths Times: Mile Rate: 2-10.8 Last 800m: 61.2 Last 400m: 30.7   By Mitchell Robertson

Bettor Cover Lover will shoot for three straight Queen Of Hearts victories at Alexandra Park  on Friday night and there is only one thing standing in her way – Adore Me. In what looks to be a sequel to the Bettor Cover Lover and Carabella show, these two magnificent mares are set to clash for the first time. But, while pacing princess Adore Me is coming into the $100,000 feature in scintillating form, the same can’t be said for the champion Brent Mangos & Hayden Cullen trained mare. “Things didn’t quite go right for her in Perth,” said Mangos. “She struggled with the heat over there and she was tormented by the mosquitoes,” he added. Bettor Cover Lover’s best result during her three-start Perth campaign was a third in the $40,000 Norms Daughter Classic, but Mangos says that horrible barrier draws were also detrimental to her Australian raid.  “Gloucester Park is a tight turning track and if you are not handy you virtually have no show.” Bettor Cover Lover travelled to Melbourne last week where she was looked after by co-trainer Hayden Cullen, before flying home to Auckland on Saturday night. “We haven’t done too much with her since she has been back but she is fit and healthy and seems well,” Mangos enthused. “She has done a bit of swimming and has had a couple of runs on the beach. We are really just trying to freshen her up,” he added. Mangos said that he would have liked to have had another week up his sleeve before the Queen Of Hearts, but he is still very confident of a bold showing. “She loves racing at Alexandra Park and she has the draw in her favour,” said Mangos. Gate flier Spirit And Desire has drawn in two, while Adore Me has barrier three to work with, but Mangos is confident that ‘Betty’ has the speed to lead. “She will definitely hold up from the one draw,” insisted Mangos. “I will just let her run the gate as quick as she wants to and go from there. “I am happy to try for an all the way win but I will just play it by ear,” he added. Mangos didn’t go as far as to say that Bettor Cover Lover will beat Adore Me on Friday, but he certainly isn’t conceding defeat. “I know that Adore Me effortlessly won the Northern Breeders Stakes last week, but if my mare brings her ‘A’ game she will take some beating,” he concluded. While the Queen Of Hearts will undoubtedly be the headline act on Friday, there is also plenty of mouth watering prospects on the undercard including the Kumeu Founders Cup, the Alabar Classic, heat one of the Young Guns, and heat four of the Alabar Sires Stakes. The latter will see last week’s Ladyship Stakes winner Venus Serena go head-to-head with Libertybelle Midfrew, who was an emphatic fresh-up winner at Timaru in track record time. That race is the first leg of the $40,000 Pick Six and I think you can safely negotiate your way through it with just the two runners on your ticket. *Attatched is the video of Bettor Cover Lover winning the 2012 Queen Of Hearts Highlights The Promising Prime Power will take on a smart field of trotters including Stent in race one at 5.17pm The two-year-olds will compete in the first heat of the Young Guns at 7.15pm Venus Serena will clash with Libertybelle Midfrew in race seven at 8.20pm A quality field on three-year-olds will do battle in the Alabar Classic at 8.50pm. Bettor Cover Lover and Adore Me will clash in the Queen Of Hearts at 9.21pm The Kumeu Founders Cup at 9.51pm By Mitchell Robertson

Talent trotter Irish Whisper declared that he has arrived on the Open Class scene by winning the Group Two Lyell Creek Stakes at Alexandra Park last night. After working forward to tackle Stent for the lead after second favourite Realmein made an early blue, Herlihy was allowed to dictate terms in front, before the six-year-old sprinted strongly in the home stretch, wheeling off a 28.0 last quarter to narrowly hold a late challenge from Stent via the passing lane. Dr Hook was also close-up in third. “He has come back a much better horse this time in and is learning to relax in his races,” said trainer-driver Tony Herlihy post race. “He is still pretty young for a trotter so you would expect that he will only improve further from here,” he added. Herlihy said that as soon as Irish Whisper found the front the once enigmatic trotter dropped the bit and was just lobbing along with his ears pricked. “He showed a good kick in the straight as well,” he added. “Tonight was a big step up for him so I’m pretty proud of what he was able to achieve. It was Herlihy’s sixth win in the Group Two race after previously winning it with names such as One Over Kenny and Buster Hanover. Irish Whisper will now target the National Trot on December 31st, but he may compete in the Waikato Trotters Flying Mile prior to that. “He will need a race before the National Trot, so that does look the logical option.” By Mitchell Robertson      

The career of one of the all-time greats of Australasian harness racing is over. Champion trotter I Can Doosit has been retired after his troublesome joint problems flared up yesterday. Trainer Mark Purdon says the fetlock joints which forced I Can Doosit from the racetrack and on to the operating table last season are again showing signs of wear and tear. And when vet Bill Bishop confirmed that to owner Ken Breckon first thing this morning, on his birthday, the call to retire the great horse was made. “He is coming home now to retire at the farm,” said Breckon. “It is a real shame but he has been a hell of a horse and we have loved racing him.” The phone call this morning brought back memories of Breckon’s birthday two years ago when he was stunned to hear his best broodmare Sheezadoosie, I Can Doosit’s dam, had died in a paddock accident on their Waikato farm. But there was one light-hearted moment yesterday for Breckon. A cheque turned up at his Auckland office for the winning stake in last season’s Cochran Cup at Melton, which turned out to be I Can Doosit’s last race in which he finished second. “It turns out the winner I Didnt Do It got disqualified after a long drawn out case, which was only resolved recently. “So we actually got a winner’s cheque for the old boy yesterday after he was retired.”
 The fetlock problems had bothered I Can Doosit last summer and wasn’t helped by the fact he is a huge lump of a horse who has never had the best action, so he put his now eight-year-old body under enormous stress. But those difficulties never stopped him developing from an immature young horse into one of the best trotters to ever race in the Southern Hemisphere. He won the last two ever Inter Dominion Trotting Finals, as well as two Rowe Cups, a Dominion Handicap, NZ Trotting Free-For-All, National Trot and Harness Jewels. They were part of a 55-start career in which he won 36 times, with seven placings for $1,445,774 in stakes, the highest earnings ever for a trotter who raced solely in the Southern Hemisphere. His strike rate would have been higher but for his early immaturity and his problems later in life, although this time last year he had won 18 races in succession, all at the elite level. “He has been a remarkable horse but the problems with his fetlocks won’t get any better so he won’t be tried again,” says Purdon. Purdon revealed only late in I Can Doosit’s career how hard it was to develop him into the intimidating trotting machine he was, with his gait so flawed he would often bash his legs together at full speed, a problem known as “touching” in trotting. “It wasn’t ideal but he wanted to win so badly he kept going,” says Purdon. *Video of I Can Doosit winning last year's Dominion. By Michael Guerin (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

Trainer Paul Fitzpatrick is expecting a major form reversal from recent stable recruit Fly Like An Eagle after the New Zealand Cup runner-up drew barrier number one in Saturday night's Treuer Memorial. Fitzpatrick admitted he was disappointed with the performance of the horse at his first run for the stable in the Cordina Sprint at Menangle over a week ago but had always planned on targeting Bankstown's Gr. 1 event. "He went below par at his first run for me but he was one of two horses that came across from New Zealand after the Cup and the Free For All and neither horse produced their best in the Cordina Sprint," Fitzpatrick said. "I've got no doubt that he was a little bit tired when he arrived so I have just lightened up on him a bit and with the fortnight between runs he should be ready to go, his work last Friday tells me that he is feeling fresher." Fitzpatrick is expecting Fly Like An Eagle to lead Saturday night's event. "Mark Purdon has told me that he has pretty good gate speed and drawn barrier one I think he should hold the front, Washakie is obviously the main danger, he has a tremendous record in the Treuer Memorial having won the previous four." "I haven't spoken to the owners about whether he will head to the Victoria Cup should he perform up to expectations on Saturday night, they can make that decision after the race." Meanwhile Fitzpatrick confirmed Rohan Home has been back in work for twelve weeks and should be ready to trial in the next fortnight. "I retired him and put him in the middle of my track with all of the young ones but he looked so well that I decided to give him another go, he has been coming along very nicely and I plan on nominating him for the 2014 Inter Dominion." "He's doing everything I've asked of him and I'm looking forward to seeing him back, he is a great horse at his best." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |          

Champion New Zealand trainer Cran Dalgety returned to Perth last week for the first time for 17 years and he has not given up hope of winning the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night with outstanding four-year-old Bit Of A Legend, even though the horse was unplaced in the Four-Year-Old Championship and McInerney Ford Classic at his past two starts. The 45-year-old Dalgety has fond memories of his first trip to Western Australia when he prepared Desperate Comment for the 1996 interdominion championship. Desperate Comment, who was driven by Peter Jones, qualified for the final as leading points scorer after a third, a second and a win in the heats. But he finished sixth in the final, won by Young Mister Charles. Bit Of A Legend, who has amassed $640,178 in prizemoney from 17 wins and 11 seconds from 36 starts, was trained and driven for his four starts at Gloucester Park in this campaign by New Zealander Brent Mangos. His best effort was an easy victory in a prelude of the Golden Nugget three starts ago when he defeated Galactic Galleon and Northview Punter. "Brent has done a fine job with him, but the horse faces a hard task in Friday night's race," Dalgety said. "Bit Of A Legend is only small and he's not stylish or elegant, but his assets are his great will to win and determination. "He has drawn barrier four and I'm pretty excited that just to be inside barrier five on the front row. Nowitzki and Condrieu are very fast beginners and I think that when we settle Bit Of A Legend will definitely be in the better half of the midfield --- and that will be a good start. In most of his wins he's come from behind. He just wants to be the winner." Bit Of A Legend, who will be driven by New Zealand's champion reinsman Dexter Dunn, and has the stable name of Carter, after Dalgety's ten-year-old son Carter, who insisted that his father buy the pacer at the New Zealand yearling sale. "Bit Of A Legend was very little, but Carter picked him out and said 'we've got to have this one,' Dalgety said. "So I bought him for $NZ50,000, probably from the heart than the head. I had had his half-brother London Legend, who was a good horse. "I bought Bit Of A Legend for myself, a good stable client in Darryl Brown, from Perth, Ross Stanbury, from Christchurch, and Pat Cabarlla, from Invercargill, and we have no regrets." London Legend, by In The Pocket and the first foal out of Soky's Legend, raced 101 times for Dalgety between 2008 and 2011 for 25 wins, 27 placings and stakes of $456,124. DEXTER DUNN OUT TO EQUAL HIS FATHER AT GLOUCESTER PARK Dexter Dunn, New Zealand harness racing's golden boy and a superstar at the age of 24, will make his first appearance in Western Australia when he drives Bit Of A Legend in the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And he would dearly love to emulate the performance of his father Robert, who landed a winner at his only trip to WA, in 1996 when he was successful with Master Musician in a second-round heat of the interdominion championship. Robert Dunn then was in the sulky when Master Musician, the 5/2 favourite, finished third behind Young Mister Charles and Sunshine Band in the final. Dunn, who will arrive in Perth on Thursday, will get the opportunity to experience driving on the 805m circuit when he handles three pacers trained by Matt Scott in early events on the program. Scott has nominated Dunn to drive Miss Tee Dawn in the 1730m V. and K. Congerton Memorial Mares Pace, Marooned in the 2130m Happy Birthday Ryan Berti Pace and Zurbaran in the first heat of the Livio (The Champ) Tolomeo The Coulson Pace. Miss Tee Dawn has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and has sound prospects of giving Dunn a winner at his first drive at Gloucester Park. This would equal his feat of landing a winner at his first drive in America --- when he was successful behind McClelland (1.50.1) over 1609m at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on June 25, 2011. Miss Tee Dawn started from the outside of the back ,line and did a good job to finish strongly from the rear to be fourth behind Arts Gangsta over 2190m at Northam on Tuesday of last week. She also unwound a powerful burst from the rear to win from Mount Richon over 2150m at Harvey the previous week. Marooned, who was claimed for $10,000 last week, has a losing sequence of 20 and faces a stern test from barrier four on the back line. He trailed the pacemaker Sanjaya when a sound third to that pacer last week, with the winner rating 1.55 over 1730m. Punters are likely to be keen to support the polemarker and smart frontrunner Taiaha against Marooned and the other ten runners in this week's event. Taiaha, who is prepared by Hazelmere trainer Mike Reed, caught the eye when racing first-up at Northam on Tuesday of last week when he raced three back on the pegs and was hampered for room before finishing solidly to be second to Celtic Crusader. Zurbaran, a winner six starts ago and placed second at two of his past four starts, will be at handsome odds from the outside of the front line in a race in which polemarker Cool Johnny (resuming after a let-up), What God Knows and Soho Highroller will be fancied. By Ken Casellas

Leading Victorian trainer Dean Braun was ecstatic when his star four-year-old Chilli Palmer drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line in the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night and predicted that the gelding would lead and prove very hard to beat. Braun's optimism will certainly take the wind out of the sails of several rival trainers and reinsmen who were planning for their horses to charge forward in determined bids to take an early lead against Chilli Palmer, a pacer they believed did not possess the speed to take advantage of the inside barrier. The brilliant Chilli Palmer, to be handled by ace Victorian reinsman Chis Alford, has won at each of his past six starts and has a record of nine starts for seven wins, a second and a seventh. He has won most of his races by producing a sizzling finishing burst. He has never jumped straight to the lead in his brief but spectacular career. "Everyone is entitled to his opinion," Braun said from Melbourne after the barrier draw. "But we will be aiming to make full use of the inside barrier. Chilli Palmer has got great natural high speed and I haven't had a horse with more natural gate speed. So far we have never really used his gate speed. "I couldn't be happier with the way is working. He had a good blowout at Byford on Saturday when Shaun Kittel worked him over a mile and a half and he sprinted over the final 400m in 27.3sec. "Hopefully Chilli Palmer will be able to make amends for the defeats of my horses Mustang Mach and Chancellor Cullen in the past two Gold Nuggets. It should be a great race on Friday night and every horse in the field can win, with the right run, but I wouldn't swap my horse for any other runner." Mustang Mach (11/1) started from barrier four and raced without cover for most of the way when a fighting second to The Gold Ace in 2011 and Chancellor Cullen (5/4) raced in the breeze for the final 1550m when fourth behind Im Victorious a year ago. The No. 1 barrier has been a huge advantage in the recent Golden Nugget Championships, with the No. 1 horse leading and winning three of the past five Nuggets and the other two winners in this period coming from the No. 2 barrier. Schinzig Buller won from barrier two in 2008 and then Bonavista Bay (13/8), Dasher VC (6/4 on) and The Gold Ace (10/1 on) won in the following three years before Im Victorious (11/4) started from barrier two and thundered home from ninth at the bell to win from Bettor Reason (20/1) and 6/1 chance Reuben Brogden, who started from barrier one and set the pace until the final stages. Chilli Palmer could not have been more impressive than he was at his West Australian debut in the 2536m McInerney Ford Classic last Friday week when he charged home from last at the 600m to score a decisive victory over the pacemaker Condrieu, with My Hard Copy third and Rocky Marciano fourth. Condrieu began with devastating speed from barrier five to burst to the front after 120m and Greg Bond, who trains the gelding with his wife Skye, plans to instruct reinsman Colin Brown to charge forward from out wide at barrier six. "We'll go forward; there's no point in going backward," he said. "We decided to have a crack for the lead from barrier five in the McInerney Ford, and it worked for us. The element of surprise won't work for us again, but we'll still be going forward. "We don't know whether Chilli Palmer has the necessary gate speed. He may well be better sat up; that's how he has been driven in most of his races. I don't think they will want to be caught in the early hustle bustle. Condrieu has done well since his second in the McInerney Ford and we're really happy with him." Condrieu is at his best when he leads. He has set the pace at four of his seven wins in WA, two of them being over 2536m, the distance of the Golden Nugget. Victorian trainer-reinsman Daniel Jack was delighted to draw barrier two with the speedy Nowitzki, who led from the No. 1 barrier and won the $50,000 Four-Year-Old Championship three Fridays ago. "The draw goes a long way (to winning) and I'll be trying to get across to the lead," he said. "His three runs in WA have been below par, but I expect him to go better this week. If he races as well as he can, he's certainly the horse to beat." Leading WA trainer Gary Hall sen. was disappointed with the barriers drawn by his two runners, Northview Punter (No. 3 on the back line) and My Hard Copy (outside of the front line) and said that he would need plenty of luck to win. "It's going to be a great race and I reckon Nowitzki will come out hard and lead --- and Condrieu will also come out hard," he said. "So hopefully it will be on from start to finish. My best chance from the draw is Northview Punter. We might drive him a bit quiet and let him come home." DALGETY RETAINS FAITH IN BIT OF A LEGEND Champion New Zealand trainer Cran Dalgety returned to Perth last week for the first time for 17 years and he has not given up hope of winning the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night with outstanding four-year-old Bit Of A Legend, even though the horse was unplaced in the Four-Year-Old Championship and McInerney Ford Classic at his past two starts. The 45-year-old Dalgety has fond memories of his first trip to Western Australia when he prepared Desperate Comment for the 1996 interdominion championship. Desperate Comment, who was driven by Peter Jones, qualified for the final as leading points scorer after a third, a second and a win in the heats. But he finished sixth in the final, won by Young Mister Charles. Bit Of A Legend, who has amassed $640,178 in prizemoney from 17 wins and 11 seconds from 36 starts, was trained and driven for his four starts at Gloucester Park in this campaign by New Zealander Brent Mangos. His best effort was an easy victory in a prelude of the Golden Nugget three starts ago when he defeated Galactic Galleon and Northview Punter. "Brent has done a fine job with him, but the horse faces a hard task in Friday night's race," Dalgety said. "Bit Of A Legend is only small and he's not stylish or elegant, but his assets are his great will to win and determination. "He has drawn barrier four and I'm pretty excited that just to be inside barrier five on the front row. Nowitzki and Condrieu are very fast beginners and I think that when we settle Bit Of A Legend will definitely be in the better half of the midfield --- and that will be a good start. In most of his wins he's come from behind. He just wants to be the winner." Bit Of A Legend, who will be driven by New Zealand's champion reinsman Dexter Dunn, and has the stable name of Carter, after Dalgety's ten-year-old son Carter, who insisted that his father buy the pacer at the New Zealand yearling sale. "Bit Of A Legend was very little, but Carter picked him out and said 'we've got to have this one,' Dalgety said. "So I bought him for $NZ50,000, probably from the heart than the head. I had had his half-brother London Legend, who was a good horse. "I bought Bit Of A Legend for myself, a good stable client in Darryl Brown, from Perth, Ross Stanbury, from Christchurch, and Pat Cabarlla, from Invercargill, and we have no regrets." London Legend, by In The Pocket and the first foal out of Soky's Legend, raced 101 times for Dalgety between 2008 and 2011 for 25 wins, 27 placings and stakes of $456,124. DEXTER DUNN OUT TO EQUAL HIS FATHER AT GLOUCESTER PARK Dexter Dunn, New Zealand harness racing's golden boy and a superstar at the age of 24, will make his first appearance in Western Australia when he drives Bit Of A Legend in the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And he would dearly love to emulate the performance of his father Robert, who landed a winner at his only trip to WA, in 1996 when he was successful with Master Musician in a second-round heat of the interdominion championship. Robert Dunn then was in the sulky when Master Musician, the 5/2 favourite, finished third behind Young Mister Charles and Sunshine Band in the final. Dunn, who will arrive in Perth on Thursday, will get the opportunity to experience driving on the 805m circuit when he handles three pacers trained by Matt Scott in early events on the program. Scott has nominated Dunn to drive Miss Tee Dawn in the 1730m V. and K. Congerton Memorial Mares Pace, Marooned in the 2130m Happy Birthday Ryan Berti Pace and Zurbaran in the first heat of the Livio (The Champ) Tolomeo The Coulson Pace. Miss Tee Dawn has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and has sound prospects of giving Dunn a winner at his first drive at Gloucester Park. This would equal his feat of landing a winner at his first drive in America --- when he was successful behind McClelland (1.50.1) over 1609m at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on June 25, 2011. Miss Tee Dawn started from the outside of the back ,line and did a good job to finish strongly from the rear to be fourth behind Arts Gangsta over 2190m at Northam on Tuesday of last week. She also unwound a powerful burst from the rear to win from Mount Richon over 2150m at Harvey the previous week. Marooned, who was claimed for $10,000 last week, has a losing sequence of 20 and faces a stern test from barrier four on the back line. He trailed the pacemaker Sanjaya when a sound third to that pacer last week, with the winner rating 1.55 over 1730m. Punters are likely to be keen to support the polemarker and smart frontrunner Taiaha against Marooned and the other ten runners in this week's event. Taiaha, who is prepared by Hazelmere trainer Mike Reed, caught the eye when racing first-up at Northam on Tuesday of last week when he raced three back on the pegs and was hampered for room before finishing solidly to be second to Celtic Crusader. Zurbaran, a winner six starts ago and placed second at two of his past four starts, will be at handsome odds from the outside of the front line in a race in which polemarker Cool Johnny (resuming after a let-up), What God Knows and Soho Highroller will be fancied. THE BEAU BRUMMELL RETURNS AFTER A SPELL IN FINE STYLE New Zealand-bred five-year-old The Beau Brummell looks one of the best bets on the program at Gloucester Park on Friday night after scoring an effortless first-up victory at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop produced The Beau Brummell in fine fettle for his first appearance for three months when he trotted faultlessly three back on the pegs in a race run in Indian file before he surged to the front 100m from home and scored by more than three lengths from All Over Red Rover at a 2.1.9 rate over 2185m. The Beau Brummell will start from barrier three on the front line in the 2130m mobile Kyle And Dozer Trot on Friday night in which he will clash with then highly-regarded Prince Eddie, smart frontrunner Heez Speedy Gonzalez, last-start winner Earl Harbour and Hot Holiday, who has won in good style at two of his past four starts. by Ken Casellas  

A winner in the top mares class two weeks ago, four-year-old Prairie Illusion faced a field full of male pacers in this week's $10,500 Open at Fraser Downs on Friday night and continued her win streak. Scott Knight catch-drove the Mach Three mare for trainer/owner William Young of Langley, B.C. Inheriting the inside post position with fellow mare Village Janus scratched sick, Prairie Illusion was out-sprinted off the gate as favourite Sterling Cooper (David Hudon) left just to her outside over the sloppy track. Sterling Cooper set up shop on the front end with Prairie Illusion and trailing tier starter Gotta Have Nukes (Rich White) holding position along the pylons in second and third through fractions of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:24.3. Meanwhile, defending class champion Red Star Tyson (Brad Watt) advanced from fourth to apply first over pressure with Cantbeatacheetah (Jim Marino) following his cover. As the field turned for home, Prairie Illusion and 29-1 longshot Gotta Have Nukes zipped up the passing lane with the former prevailing by one length over the latter in 1:54 flat. Sterling Cooper finished two lengths behind in third while Cantbeatacheetah and Red Star Tyson rounded out the top five finishers. Prairie Illusion paid $12.50 to win as 5-1 third choice in the field of eight. She has now won three races in a row and boasts 18 top three finishes (11 wins) in 20 seasonal starts. Lifetime, the consistent mare has won one third of her 60 starts and is closing in on $150,000 in earnings. Young enjoyed a perfect night as the races as he also won an earlier race with his only other starter on the card, another repeat winner in pacing gelding Crown Isle. To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Fraser Downs. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

World champion three-year-old pacing filly, I Luv The Nitelife, is done racing for the 2013 season and was not entered in the Nadia Lobell Pace this Saturday at the Meadowlands. Trainer Chris Ryder was very upset over the incident. “She has a slab fracture of her right knee,” Ryder said. “We are mortified. We do not know how this happened. She has been a great filly and it has been an unbelievable season. According to co-owner Joanne Young, “I Luv The Nitelife jogged early this morning and was fine. Then later in her stall her groom saw that she was lame and got a hold of Chris who called in the veterinarian. “She qualified last week and was perfect,” Young said. “It’s so sad that she cannot make her final race this Saturday, but better this happened now then maybe in the race on Saturday. We will explore the options of surgery and see if she can come back and race next year.” For the 2013 season, I Luv The Nitelife, sired by Rocknroll Hanover, raced 15 times with 13 wins, one second and one third place finish. She won $1,253,757 in purses and took a lifetime mark of 1:48.3. Lifetime she has 17 wins in 25 starts with earnings of $1,943,287 for owners Richard and Joanne Young of Coconut Creek, FL. Her major stakes victories include the Breeders Crown, Jugette, Simcoe, Valley Forge, Miss New Jersey, Mistletoe Shalee, James Lynch and the Fan Hanover. “What a sensational season we had with her.” Young added. “We had the same situation happen with Put On A Show and after a year’s rest she came back to race again. “And if it is not in the cards for Nitelife to race again, then we will be very happy to have her make babies for us to race.” By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com

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