Day At The Track
Major Bay_Emma Ongman-AG Photography_23092019_small.jpg

Major Bay triumphs in Gold Series debut

ELORA, SEPT. 23, 2019 - Neither of the harness racing favourites in Monday night's two-year-old trotting colt Gold Series divisions enjoyed their trip around Grand River Raceway, but Major Bay and Threefiftytwo thoroughly enjoyed all of the Elora oval's amenities, including the winner's circle. In the first $105,600 division fans sent Horse Trader off as their top choice and the colt made an early break that left him 15 lengths behind the field as Major Bay led them to the quarter in :28. Hetalkstoangels took over command heading by the :59.2 half and continued to set the pace by the 1:28.1 three-quarters, but driver Louis-Philippe Roy was biding his time in the pocket and once he gave Major Bay an open lane the colt reeled in the leader to claim the 1:59.2 victory. Hetalkstoangels was one and one-quarter lengths back in second and Babidibou was three lengths back in third. Horse Trader settled for fourth. "I thought he had shot, especially with the way he raced last week (Sept. 16). He knows the half-mile so he has no problem with the half-mile, and the trip worked and everything worked out good," said trainer Ben Baillargeon of Guelph, ON, who sent the colt out from Post 7. "The one horse, he was the big favourite, he made a break too, that Horse Trader, and we ended up getting the job done." Major Bay earned his place on the gate in Monday's Gold event with a 1:56.3 fourth-place effort in the Sept. 16 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. That outing was the colt's first for Baillargeon and his first in Ontario. Major Bay's first six starts, including three wins, came at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres for owner-trainer Francis Richard. "He won in 2:04 in Three Rivers, but the big track stepped him up last week," said Baillargeon. "He's a little bit left and right, he's got a little bit of a rubber-neck to him, he's in and he's out, but he's got some go. He's a very gutsy horse and he has a perfect gait, so you can't ask for anything more with him because he trots, and that's all he does, he trots." With Monday's win Major Bay earned 50 points, but he needs a second Gold Series start to be eligible for the Oct. 12 Super Final, and Baillargeon is looking forward to racing the Amigo Hall son in the last regular season event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 1. "He trotted 1:56.3 his first start at Woodbine and he was kind of boxed in there. He wasn't done in 1:56.4, he was running out of room a little bit, let's put it this way," said the trainer. "I'm anxious to race him next week and see what happens." In his first seven starts Major Bay had banked $12,525 for owners Ferme Auclair of St. Antoine De Tilly, Ecurie Francis Richard Inc. of Becancour and Jean-Christophe Auclair of Saint-Apollinaire, QC. Monday's win boosted that total to $65,325. Major Bay After the pleasant surprise of Major Bay's victory, Baillargeon and Roy were looking for the sweep with second division favourite HP Royal Theo, but the reigning William Wellwood Memorial champion skipped off-stride heading into the first turn and was 24 lengths behind pacesetter Threefiftytwo when he reached the :29.1 quarter. After his successful start from Post 6, Threefiftytwo carried on through a :59.2 half and 1:29.2 three-quarters and held off Your Still Up in the stretch for a three-quarter length victory in 1:59.2. Tuckers Out was well back in third and HP Royal Theo further behind in fifth. "I was a little worried that Louis (Roy) would try and re-take the lead, and I was worried about it because I knew full well I wouldn't be able to let him go, because mine, once he gets the front it's there's not much letting people go. He's not quite that manageable yet," said driver Bob McClure, who was quite happy Roy and HP Royal Theo never reached his wheel. "He's a really fast horse, but we're just trying to keep him well-mannered because he's pretty high strung." Rockwood resident McClure steers Threefiftytwo for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Monday's win was the Royalty For Life son's second in Gold Series action and his 130 points vaulted him over stablemate Port Perry to the top of the division standings heading into the regular season finale. The long-legged Port Perry skipped Monday's event. The win was also Threefiftytwo's second straight - following a 1:55.4 personal best effort in the Sept. 16 race where Major Bay finished third - and McClure is hoping the speedy youngster can maintain his positive momentum through the last regular season Gold event and the Super Final. "When he's on his game he can go some real wicked fast miles, it's just keeping his head on straight," said McClure. "His problem is not his gait, when he runs he gets throwing his head around, but once he's off and trotting, he's perfect, he's one of the best gaited horses. You couldn't ask him to be any better gaited, like he's almost flawless." Threefiftytwo Monday's event wrapped up Grand River Raceway's 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, which saw the Elora oval host four Gold and four Grassroots events. Complete results for Monday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

Carter Dalgety

Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety

Millwood Bonnie wins her second North American start at Yonkers Racway in impressive fashion. She came from last at the 400 meter mark and paced around the half mile (800m) track in 1:53.3 for driver Jordan Stratton and trainer Lance Hudson. The lightly raced daughter of Bettor's Delight looks to have an exciting future as she plans to excel through the grades in the US. The 4yo mare was bred and raced by Canterbury breeder Katie Carville, where she was the impressive winner of her last two down under starts. She is the daughter of top class mare Millwood Meg, who was the winner of 19 races and earned over $415,000 while racing in New Zealand and Australia. The former Malcolm Shinn trained six-year-old mare Seaswift Joy N (Bettor's Delight - Swift Belle - Christian Cullen), driven by Tim Tetrick, wet a super good race in the $250,000 Milton Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Raceway on Saturday running third to Caviat Ally, driven by the former Australian Andrew McCarthy, in 1:48.3. Seaswift Joy N has had 24 starts for 10 wins 5 seconds and 2 thirds for just on $300,000 to date. Seaswift Joy N running third in the $250,000 Milton Stakes Dexter Dunn Update. New Zealand’s very own ten time winning national premiership driver Dexter Dunn is really smashing all expectations in his North American and Canadian driving career. Currently in North America during 2019 Dunn has driven in 1989 races, of those he has won 300 races, placed second in 275 races, and third in 253 starts. A remarkable feat for a man driving in their first season in a foreign country. With that he has earned over $7.7 million in stake earnings to date. Dexter Dunn's key highlights have being driving the top 3yo Bettors Wish 1:47.4 ($1,517,532) and top trotter Millie’s Possesion 1:51.1 ($475,517) 11 starts for 10 wins, plus many more quality racehorses. Monday 16th September   Harrington Raceway DE Tuapeka Trick N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $12,500 Late Mail N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $12,500 Te Kawau N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $8,500 Glengarry Knight N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $11,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Millwood Bonnie N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $16,000   Tuesday 17th September   Harrington Raceway DE Anytime N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $12,500 Mischeif Maker N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $11,000   Monticello Raceway NY Northern Assassin N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $5,900   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Imprincessgemma A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $14,000   Wednesday 18th September   Batavia Downs NY Classic America N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $4,900 Lightning Raider N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $6,500   Harrington Raceway DE Stella A – Time: 2:03.0, Stake: $20,000   Thursday 19th September   Monticello Raceway NY Wynberg Courage N – Time: 1:58.3, Stake: $2,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Brookies Prince N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $15,750 Don Domingo – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $20,000   Delaware OH Celestial Arden N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $5,250   Friday 20th September   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Gold Class N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $23,000   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Mary Catherine A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $7,000   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Lion Rock N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $10,000   Northfield Park OH Zenolas Art N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $4,000   Tioga Downs NY Motown N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $5,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Nerve Of Steel N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $20,000 Glenferrie Blade A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $22,000 Down Under First 5 – 2nd Rockin The Boys A, 3rd Slick Artist A, 4th Kotare Yarra N, Shezza Gnp N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $20,000 Down Under First 5 – 2nd  Shes Pukka N, 3rd January A, 4th Patanjali N, 5th Islay N Kaitlyn N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $27,000     Saturday 21st September   Batavia Downs NY Mr Euroman N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $10,000   Freehold Raceway NJ Amrcanbootscoota A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $7,700   Saratoga Harness NY Lord Willoughby A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $12,500 Crockets Cullen N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $15,000 Epaulette A – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $10,000 Lifeonthebeach A – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $7,300   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Torrid Bromac N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $11,000 Seel The Deal N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $8,500 Bravo Tex N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $12,500   The Meadows PA Fiery Lustre N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $9,900   Vernon Downs NY Mister Livan N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $3,300   Yonkers Raceway NY Kimani N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $22,000   Farmington ME Rock Diamonds N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $10,000   Sunday 15th September   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Quick Fun N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $15,000 Texican N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $15,000 Soho Wallstreet A – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $12,500   Saratoga Harness NY Mr Cool Seaeyre A – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $8,500 The Great Buzz N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $7,250   Previous weeks 17th Sep 2019 - Down Under Winners with Carter Dalgety 11th Sep 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 3rd Sep 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 27th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 20th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 12th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 5th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 29 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 24 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety Carter Dalgety

Len and Christine Clement,Harness racing

Life is good at Coolamon for the Clements

Fanatical NSW Riverina harness racing couple Len and Christine Clement are enjoying a lucky run that's giving them plenty to smile about. Len and his wife Christine form a great team and like most small-time stables they just enjoy the thrill of racing - but are ecstatic about successes coming their way. "We were a bit fortunate last week at the Riverina Paceway at Wagga when we had a narrow win with Auckland Star in the HRNSW Rewards Series first heat," said 62-year-old trainer-driver Len. The four-year-old bay gelding Auckland Star (Auckland Reactor**-Maxistar (Bonamax) ended up behind the leader and on the back of race favorite The Maniac - but it was to be a race full of drama. Second favorite Our Sams Home was back in the field and sent midrace by reinsman Blake Jones for a three-wide run to sit in the death-seat, and later with the finish line in sight, the favored pair had cleared out for a tight battle. However, Our Sams Home spotted an object on the track and veered suddenly inwards, wiping out The Maniac and putting them both out of play. Len Clement had fortuitously shifted off the fence with Auckland Star - and it was a wining move. "My fella still felt good so I moved off, and luckily I did, otherwise I would have got the backwash and it could have been very nasty," Clement said. Auckland Star, whose stable name is "Simon", made the most of the opportunity to score a narrow victory, then his stablemate Nunya ran fifth in the second heat, with the Clements now taking both horses into a $10,200 Final this Friday at Young. Clement said Auckland Star brushed his front leg below the knee in his races. "I've worked on changing his shoeing because the moment he just brushes, that's it for him. We're winning the battle and the big tracks certainly help him," he said. "We got the horse earlier this year and that was his first win for us. He was really going nowhere in Sydney, but he just might keep improving down here with some confidence." Auckland Star and Len Clement are now off to Young on Friday Clement said that while he was self-taught in many aspects of the sport, he had a couple of good teachers in the art of horse farrier. "I'm so pleased I took that path and properly learnt that trade," he said. Len and Christine have been caretakers for two years at the Coolamon showgrounds, which boasts a 1000 metre harness racing track. "We keep the grounds in order, do a bit of maintenance as well as take on the role of track curator. There are trials here every Sunday morning, and horses come from everywhere," Clement said. "The track is open every day and it's not unusual to have up to 14 horses jogging around. There's also a guy who comes down when his track at home has water on it...but we haven't seen him for a while - it doesn't know how to rain much anymore!" Clement, who has been in trotting for 45 years, was stable foreman at a big Inverell stable many years ago, as well as a freelance driver. He said some of his best horses have been free-legged pacer Galaxy Raider, a winner of 12 races and $50,000; and Stain, who had leg problems, but still won four out of five at one stage. "I'm a carpenter by trade, but I drove interstate trucks for 10 years. There's been lots of other things too. I've had some health issues, but I'm all good now." Clement broke his back in a racefall at Tamworth in 1980, after being thrown "about 25ft into the air." That injury required several operations, while a smashed shoulder needed reconstruction surgery. "We are in it for the fun. I can say that if Christine wasn't helping me with mixing feeds and other stable chores, I wouldn't be still in it. We also have a great bunch of owners," he said. Clement said 92-year-old Florence Cairns, of Bargo, and her daughter Elizabeth Cole, who bred Auckland Star, were "over the moon" with the recent win. "They were still sending me text messages at 11.30 at night after the race. In the end I told them it was past their bedtime!" Len has long held an ambition to drive on every New South Wales track, and two years ago he and Christine ticked the goal off their bucket list. "We absolutely loved it - Goulburn was the best track, but I've got a soft spot for that amazing little tight track at Broken Hill. I loved it immensely," he said. "Life is pretty good. We haven't got any complaints and I reckon we are very blessed to have a nice team of horses going around which is fun." **The former champion pacer and now exciting sire Auckland Reactor is standing at Alabar Farm, Echuca.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Bling It On,Harness racing

Bling bound for Auckland

Luke McCarthy is so pleased with Bling It On’s comeback progress he’s declared the Auckland Inter Dominion a major target. The former superstar juvenile and 2018 Hunter Cup winner will return from injury and retirement in the free-for-all at Menangle on Saturday night. “Providing that goes well, he’ll go down to Melton two weeks later for the Victoria Cup,” McCarthy said. “He’s very fit. He’s been in work for six months. That might have been his first public trial last week, but he’d had three private ones at home.” McCarthy said after the Victoria Cup, his sights would turn to Auckland. “Yeah, we wanna have a crack at the Inter Dominion. As long as everything goes well between now and then,” he said. “He likes the regular racing and his best form would certainly make him very competitive with the best over there. It would be great to be part of it.” McCarthy said the signs were hugely encouraging. “You know how much we think of him, We wouldn’t be bringing him back unless we thought he could be a force at the very top again,” he said. “Don’t forget how strong that crop of he raced against and sometimes beat was. He regularly took on Lennytheshark, Lazarus, Smolda and others.” Bling It On succumbed to some niggling issues when retired to stud after a ninth at Menangle on June 9, last year. “It wasn’t anything big at all. He had a mishap and re-opened the scars from that bad fall he had in injury. It caused him a lot of discomfort,” McCarthy said. “He had 10 months out and we started jogging him up again. It’s all progressed since then. He’s ready to go this week.”   by Adam Hamilton

The veteran Spanish class-master Trebol (12m Hot Blues-Sally Can Wait-Prince Mystic) won for the 55th straight time this day in the Prix Brillant de Foc at Hipodrom Municipal de Mao in Spain, raced over 2600 meters autostart for a 200€ purse. FCA. A. Bosch teamed the winner for Cuadra Sa Farola as Trebol spent much of this journey in the death seat before powering away in the sprint for home. Race time was 1.20.9kr as Trebol won for the 87th time in 149 career starts now for 687,766€ earned. It was his 19th victory in 2019. Cuore des Pres and Barango trailed the winner. Replay - The 55th straight victory by Trebol exceeded the legendary thoroughbred mare Kincsem that won 54 in a row against male and female rivals over four seasons racing in Hungary, Germany, France and England including classic races of that era. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Experienced Wimmera harness racing trainer Owen Martin has high hopes that the best is just around the corner for his much-improved stable star, bay mare Marjorie Jean. That's despite the pacer having a standout 2018-19 season with six impressive victories - and along the way collecting the Horse of the Year award at Horsham Harness Racing Club. "I really think the horse has turned the corner. She was a bit slow early, but now she's got the idea and I'm sure that next year will be her best year," Martin, who is based at Concongella, near Stawell, in the Northern Grampians area. Prior to the most recent season, Marjorie Jean (Blissful Hall-Longtan Ebony (Village Jasper) had just one win and five placings from 30 starts. However last season she turned things around dramatically for six wins and five placings from 29 outings. "She recorded some nice wins at Horsham. It's a lovely big track and she certainly enjoys the long straights," Martin said. Marjorie Jean faced the starter at Horsham on seven occasions last season. She was victorious on four occasions and had one placing, so thoroughly deserved her award. "Our son-in-law Murray Sullivan does most of the driving and he won for us in February and March. But he's been away travelling a fair bit, so we've had to turn to a few others," Martin said. "Ballarat youngster James Herbertson got the money at Swan Hill, and then we've stuck with Jackie Barker at Horsham meetings and she won in June and August," he said. Martin said it was a big thrill to compete at Melton during the season with Marjorie Jean. "We raced in the Vicbred 4yo Mares series. I think Jackie enjoyed it down there. We ran fifth in a heat and then eighth, beaten 20m, in the Group One Final," he said. Marjorie Jean is owned by Steve West, who went to school with Martin. "That was a long time ago and now we are neighbors, probably living 500 or 600 metres from each other," Martin said. "I think I may have got Steve initially interested when I invited him to come on board in a syndicate, and he's had a terrific run since with a few handy ones," he said. "Farmersntradies, a Blissful Hall-sired chestnut gelding, was outstanding for seven seasons from 2009 with 18 wins and 27 placings for over $134,000. "There was also Across The Way that won a few before being sold to WA, and another called Usage that we sold to SA and then it ended up in Mildura." Martin said a trip to the South Australian yearling sales resulted in Steve purchasing Marjorie Jean. "Steve had his eye on one, but I talked him into bidding for Marjorie Jean. I had her full sister in Longtan Bliss who won 12 races for $60,000 and if she hadn't had a few problems she could have been anything," he said. Martin has been training for over 30 years after being taught the ropes by his late father Ray. "Dad was born and bred in the area. He worked hard from an early age, mainly on the silos at Rupanyup and Minyip. He was also a very good footballer and was paid massive amounts to play back before the war," he said. Marjorie Jean was sent to the paddock after her latest success at Horsham in late August. "We took off on a short holiday. She's back jogging now, but with the Barry and Aaron Dunn team, because I'm booked for an ankle operation, which will have me sidelined for two months. "I had the other one operated on about five years ago - just some wear and tear from my football days - but I'll be back at the horses as soon as possible." Other Horsham awards were won by: Kerryn Manning (leading driver); Matt Craven (leading trainer); Janet Excell (local trainer award); and James Herbertson (leading concession driver).   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

By Jonny Turner Miracle Mile winner Spankem confirmed his New Zealand Cup favouritism when equalling the Oamaru track record during his win of the Hannon Memorial on Sunday.  The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained 5yr-old never gave his rivals a hope of catching him when he produced a stunning 53.3sec last 800m in his front-running victory. Spankem stopped the clock at 3:14.4 for the 2600m standing start event to equal Classic Cullen's 2010 track record. The flawless performance again confirmed Purdon's comments earlier this season that Spankem has returned in even better order than he was in during his impressive Miracle Mile-winning 4yr-old season. The scary news for his New Zealand Cup opponents - and the good news for his fans - is there is more to come, as Spankem builds towards peak fitness for the second Tuesday in November. ''It was a nice run and another step up for him - he went really well,'' Purdon said. Purdon took no risks when driving Spankem by taking the favourite to the front at the 1600m after he made a fair beginning and settled midfield. That early position meant the reinsman had to move forward and try to take the front before it was too late. ''I was going to be in a position where I was going to be forced to go,'' Purdon said. ''If I had waited, it was going to be too late in the race and I was probably going to be forced to sit in the death, and he could have over-raced in that situation.'' After a brief tussle for the lead, Spankem controlled the pace before reeling off his stunning finish. His closing 400m of 26.4sec was even enough to impress his champion trainer-driver. ''He is a very fast horse - he is incredibly fast,'' Purdon said. Classie Brigade got his manners back in check and boosted his New Zealand Cup hopes when running into second. The Robert Dunn-trained pacer put his horror beginning in the New Brighton Cup behind him by going straight to the lead in yesterday's feature. Classie Brigade comfortably held second from Ultimate Sniper, who ran into third after racing three back on the markers. Purdon confirmed last season's New Zealand Derby winner was still in need of racing to get back to his best after his recovery from a knee operation. ''He was off the scene for such a long time - this time will improve him again.'' Chase Auckland arguably produced the run of the race outside of the winner, even though he missed a top-three placing. The 5yr-old looked to be in a headstrong mood when he arrived at Oamaru, and he was not on his best behaviour when galloping with a lap to run. After regaining his composure, Chase Auckland produced an incredible finish to run into fourth placing from last placing before the home turn. The performance confirmed the pacer's winning debut in open class in the New Brighton Cup was no fluke, and that he was a genuine New Zealand Cup contender. His chances in the great race may depend on what mood he is in on the day, as he is prone to getting fizzed up on occasions. ''He has got that nature about him, he is just a horse that you have got to catch him in the right mood on the day,'' Purdon said. A G's White Socks effectively had no winning chance when coming wide on the home bend as Spankem produced his scintillating final sectionals. Though his effort was sound, the pacer has made his third consecutive poor beginning to a spring campaign. The first five horses home in the Hannon Memorial are all expected to race in next month's Canterbury Classic at Addington. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

ON the weekend Tiger Tara was crowned NSW Horse of the Year for the second successive year, his career looked at the crossroads. But there was two ways of looking at Tiger Tara’s latest defeat – his third from as many runs this campaign -  which came at Menangle last Friday night. On face value, the superstar found the front without much fuss over a suitable 2300m trip and could only labour into a well-held fourth placing behind former Kiwi pacer Alta Orlando. But, on the other hand, trainer Kevin Pizzuto was remarkably frank before the race, declaring Tiger Tara “way underdone” and very vulnerable. “Knowing where he’s at, I was happy with the run. He’s well short of peak fitness and I wasn’t able to fast work him during the week because of all the rain (in Sydney),” Pizzuto said. “I considered scratching him, but he needs racing. He needs to get fitter. He blew up badly over the back after it. He’s still got a way to go.” Pizzuto said he would “use the next few days” to plot Tiger Tara’s pathway towards the NZ Cup, which could include a Victoria Cup start on October 12. While Tiger Tara was the talking point, Alta Orlando built on some good placings since crossing the Tasman to post his first win in the Craig Cross stable. Luke McCarthy buzzed him out from a wide draw, took a sit on Tiger Tara and zipped through along the inside to win in a slick 1min54.3sec mile rate for 2300m. It was Alta Orlando’s first win since scoring at Addington on May 18, last year. _____________________________________________________________________________________ THE much-travelled Cruz Bromac is close to a racetrack return. Now back being trained in Victoria by Amanda Grieve, the high-class pacer popped-up at the Melton trials last week. He won a solo trial in slow time, but zipped home in 55.9 and 26.6sec. A winner of 20 of his 44 starts, Cruz Bromac hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Canadian Club Sprint, a Miracle Mile qualifier, at Menangle on February 23. It was his last run in a very fruitful stint where he earned almost $300,000 with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. ____________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER Kiwi trotter Miss Blissful looks like continuing a winning formula for Andy and Kate Gath. She’s their latest trotter bought out of NZ for major owner Norm Jenkin, who also races Tornado Valley and McLovin. And Miss Blissful made quite the statement winning on debut for the Gaths at Melton last night. Despite drawing the back row and then making an early move to sit parked, the daughter of Pegasus Spur had the race won on the home turn and cruised away with a 12.4m victory in a 1min58.2sec mile rate for 1720m. She won just three of her 27 runs in NZ and was sold after a second at Alexandra Park on June 14. _____________________________________________________________________________________ WESTERN Australia’s most-improved pacer Our Corelli is no one-trick pony. Most of his wins since switching to Debbie Lewis’ stable sand roaring through the grades have come in front or right on the speed. Last Friday night he drew wide, sat midfield and snatch a nose win over many of WA’s best open-class pacers, including favourite El Jacko. Our Corelli, a five-year-old son of Bettors Delight, has won eight of his 12 runs since being sold and switching stables. Father and son, Mike and Mark Reed teamed for a couple of wins of note on the same Gloucester Park card. The exciting Bletchley Park, a four-year-old brother to Bling It On, thrashed a handy field and looks a serious horse in the making. He made it nine wins from just 17 starts, winning by almost 12m in a 1min56.4sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip. He’s sure to be a major player in the Golden Nugget late this year. And stablemate Arma Indie,a former Kiwi four-year-old mare led throughout to stretch her winning streak to four wins from as many starts this campaign in the ninth race. _____________________________________________________________________________________ FILLING the void left by the retirement of a megastar like Lennytheshark is a tough ask. But David Aiken’s stable, including his open ranks, are still ticking along nicely. Not only did Aiken quinella the fast-class race at Melton last night with Audi Hare leading and holding-off stablemate Higherthananeagle along the sprint lane, but he also won again with the very exciting Raptors Flight. Kima Frenning drove both Audi Hare and Raptors Flight. Raptors Flight has been a revelation since coming to Australia. He’s now unbeaten seven runs. Last night he drew wide and jumped in grade, but blasted to the front and, despite pulling very hard at times, ripped home in 56 and 28.3sec to win very impressively again. He looks every bit a serious country cups horse and maybe more. _____________________________________________________________________________________ UNHERALDED Victorian horseman Chris Svanosio snared a well deserved feature win of his own last night. It was just a couple of weeks ago where Svanosio played caretaker trainer with star NSW trotter Tough Monarch for Rickie Alchin and won two features at Melton. This time it was all in Svanosio’s name as he trained and drove Magicool to lead throughout and cause an upset in the Group 3 True Roman trot (2240m) at Melton. In a tactical affair, Svanosio pinched a 62.2sec middle half and sprinted home in 57.6 and 28.7sec to easily beat My Skypocket with multiple Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer flying home from last to third. On the same card, it was fantastic to see former pin-up juvenile trotter Wobelee win so impressively. The five-year-old was outstanding, sustaining a long run around the field and surging clear to win in a brisk 1min56.2sec mile rate for 1720m.   by Adam Hamilton

STICKNEY, IL--After a string of weeks of gorgeous weather at Hawthorne Race Course, Mother Nature wasn't nearly as kind when it came to Saturday's Night of Champions. The 12 race card kicked off with a fast track, but the skies opened up prior to the start of the 11 stakes events, leaving for sloppy going through the stakes harness racing action.   THE ROBERT S MOLARO CHAMPIONSHIP Jim Ballinger's Fox Valley Gemini, two-time Illinois Horse of the Year, went off as the 1-5 favorite in the $45,000 Robert S. Molaro and didn't disappoint. Winning his fourth straight race, Fox Valley Gemini drew off to a commanding victory, getting the mile in a lifetime best of 1:50. At the finish, he was seven and a half lengths clear of the rest of the field. Dakota Roadster got up for second while Royale Rose got third. Driven by Casey Leonard and trained by Terry Leonard, Fox Valley Gemini won for the 30th time from only 39 starts. As written above, Fox Valley Gemini got the mile in 1:50 after fractions of :27.1, :59, and 1:22.3.   THE FOX VALLEY FLAN CHAMPIONSHIP Lous Abigail, winning for the seventh time in 10 starts, took Saturday's $82,000 Fox Valley Flan Championship, for three years old and up ICF Pacers. Driven by leading driver Casey Leonard and trained by Steven Searle, Lous Abigail won by a comfortable four and three-quarter lengths. Owned by Flacco Family Farms LLC, Lous Abigail got the mile in 2:00.1, after fractions of :29.4, :58.4 and 1:28.3 Bee See held on for second while Fox Valley Lush finished third.   THE INCREDIBLE TILLIE CHAMPIONSHIP Morning-line favorite but second-choice in the wagering, Fox Valley Exploit, owned by David Brigham and Kyle Husted, and driven and trained by Kyle Husted, won the $115,000 Incredible Tillie Championship, for two-year-old filly Trotters, by three and a half lengths. They raced through fractions of :29.4, :58.4, 1:28.3 with a final time of 2:00.1 Bee See, the slight wagering favorite, finished second with Lous Abigail getting up for third.   THE PLESAC CHAMPIONSHIP It was never really a contest. Danny S. Graham's Annas Lucky Star, already a track-record holder, simply dominated in Saturday's $45,000 Plesac Championship, for 3-year-olds and up ICF Trotters. She took the lead quickly and won as she pleased, going off at 1-9 and drawing off to win by 15 lengths. Her time of 1:56.3 was seconds slower than her lifetime best of 1:53.1 but it didn't matter. She set modest fractions of :30, :59, and 1:27.3. Trained by Nelson Willis and driven by Kyle Wilfong, Annas Lucky Star won for the 33rd time in her career, and her ninth from 15 starts in 2019. Primed N Powerful tracked all the way and held for second with Majistic Caprice finishing third.   THE BEULAH DYGERT MEMORIAL CHAMPIONSHIP Flacco Family Farms' popular filly Louzotic made every pole a winning one in the $95,000 Beulah Dygert Memorial Championship, for 3-year-old ICF filly Trotters, on Saturday night. Winning for the 11th time in 15 starts this year, including her fifth straight, Louzotic had regular driver Kyle Husted in the bike. This talented filly is trained by Steven Searle. She finished six and a quarter lengths ahead of rival Heidi High with Lous Paramour getting up for the show dough. Louzotic led all the way through fractions of :29.1, :59.4, 1:29.4 with a final time of 1:58.3.   THE ERWIN F. DYGERT CHAMPIONSHIP Lourhianon, winning for the second straight time since getting Lasix, overcame the outside post position and the sloppy track to take the $92,000 Erwin F. Dygert Memorial, for 3-year-old ICF colts and geldings, going away. Owned by C Lawrence Mc Burney, trained by Kennedy Lindsey, and driven by Luke Plano, Lourhianon took the lead soon after coming out of the far turn, raced wide through the stretch and still won by six and three-quarter lengths. He got the mile in 1:57.3 after early fractions of :29.4, :59.3, and 1:29. Frontier Maynard grabbed second with For Trots Sakes coming in third.   THE KADABRA CHAMPIONSHIP When favored Fox Valley Quest broke coming out of the first turn in Saturday's $108,000 Kadabra Championship, for 2-year-old ICF colt and gelding Trotters, that opened up the opportunity for everybody else. Ed Teefey's Crooked Creek took advantage. Winning for the third straight time and the fifth time in nine races, Ryan Anderson guided this Mike Brink trainee to a six-length victory in 1:55.3. Desert Sheik, another Brink-trained Trotter, finished second. Longshot Fitchey For Fun snagged third place. Early fractions for the race were :29.4, :58.1. and 1:27.3.   THE INCREDIBLE FINALE CHAMPIONSHIP Triple Zzz's He'zzz A Wise Guy was a three and a quarter-length winner in Saturday's $102,000 Incredible Finale Championship. The race was for 2-year-old ICF colt and gelding Pacers. His victory was his fifth straight from only seven races. Trained by Donald Filomeno, He'zzz A Wise Guy was guided to the victory by Robert Smolin. Favored Fox Valley Ren, who had won seven of nine races, finished second with RJ Wulfy finishing third. He covered the mile in 1:55.0 after fractions of :28.3, :57/4 and 1:27.1   THE ROBERT F. CAREY, JR. MEMORIAL CHAMPIONSHIP Fox Valley Triton, who was beaten as the favorite in his last leg of the Carey, made amends in the $109,000 Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial Championship on Saturday night. The Carey was for 3-year-old ICF colts and gelding pacers. Owned by Dandy Farms Racing, FT Racing and Peter A Kouchis, trained by Terry Leonard and driven by Casey Leonard (his third win of the night) Fox Valley Triton eked out a neck victory over Meyer On Fire. Maximus finished third. With fractions of :28.3, :57.3, 1:26.1, he got the mile in 1:54.1   THE PLUM PEACHY CHAMPIONSHIP Fox Valley Halsey made it two in a row with a victory in Saturday's $100,000 Plum Peachy. Owned by Cynthia Kay Willis, Ronnie J & Jerry D Graham, Fox Valley Halsey is trained by Nelson Willis and was driven by Juan Franco. Fox Valley Halsey finished a neck ahead of Fox Valley Lil Kim with Fox Valley Torrid a neck behind. He covered the mile in 1:54.4 after early fractions of :28.4, :58.1 and 1:25.3   THE TONY MAURELLO CHAMPIONSHIP Francis L Greer and James E Greer's Skeeter Machine won the finale on the Night of Champions. The race, The $45,000 Tony Maurello Championship, was for ICF 3-year-olds and up Pacers. Trained by Nicole Agosti and driven by Kyle Husted (his third victory of the night) Skeeter Machine won for the fifth time this year and the 17th time in his career. The final race of the night brought fractions of :28.1, :57, 1:25.1 with a final time of 1:54.0 Whiskersonkittens got up for second place, a half-length back, while there was a dead heat for third place between San Antonio Rose and Fox Valley Charm Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, returned for live harness racing on Friday, May 3. The summer harness meet opened on Friday, May 3 and races through September 22. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 10 through December 28. For more information, visit or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.   Jim Miller

MILTON, ON - September 21, 2019 - Undefeated rookie Tall Dark Stranger established a new harness racing stakes record with a 1:49.1 victory in Saturday's $750,000 Metro Pace.   The son of Bettors Delight angled from the two-hole and cruised home in :27, giving his driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Johansson each their first victory in harness racing's richest race for two-year-olds.   "He's just a great colt," said Johansson. "He looked strong the whole way and still had his plugs in at the wire. If they were coming harder at him I think he still had some left in the tank."   Tall Dark Stranger left from post-four and circled around Easi Hanover, who blasted from the outside, to lead at the opening-quarter in :27. Race-favourite Capt Midnight moved out from third and went after the lead racing up the backstretch, getting stretched out by Tall Dark Stranger before clearing after a :54.1 half.   Capt Midnight carried the lead around the far turn with Tall Dark Stranger and Gingras angling from the two-hole ahead of the three-quarter pole. Ys Mathis was first-up, three-lengths from the lead, with Papi Rob Hanover on his back. The three-quarter time was 1:22.   In the stretch, Tall Dark Stranger powered by Capt Midnight to a clear lead with an eighth of a mile to go. Papi Rob Hanover made things interesting late, ultimately coming up half a length short to a steady Tall Dark Stranger. Capt Midnight finished third, while Seeyou At Thebeach was fourth.   Tall Dark Stranger grinded away to narrowly defeated Papi Rob Hanover in last week's elimination. Gingras felt that performance made a big impact on the colt.   "(Last week) it took him a long time in the stretch, but today I stretched the other colt and in the last turn he knew what it was about this time," said Gingras. "When I came out of the two-hole he went right by Capt Midnight and that was without even me asking him at that point.   "He's got some learning to do, but he's got all the tools to be a great one."   Tall Dark Stranger is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. The son of Bettors Delight is now six for six with $499,533 earned after being purchased for $330,000 at last October's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.   The clocking of 1:49.1 shaved a fifth of a second off the previous stakes record set by Sportswriter in 2009. It also matches the track record set by A Rocknroll Dance in 2011.   Gingras and Johansson can now scratch the Metro Pace off their bucket list, as the duo teamed up in the 2011 edition to finish second with Western Vintage.   Johansson's victory with Tall Dark Stranger gives her a sweep of Mohawk Park's two richest races of the season, as she captured the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup in June with Captain Crunch.   "Not bad for a girl born in Sweden," laughed Johansson. "I'm very lucky that I have owners that support me with great horses and makes my job a lot easier having the material to perform at the highest level."   Tall Dark Stranger paid $5.40 to win.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - September 21, 2019 - Lyons Sentinel entered the Canadian harness racing record books with a stunning 1:49.3 victory in Saturday's $540,000 Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies.   The daughter of Captaintreacherous converted off a two-hole trip to win for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King Jr. in a Stakes, Track and Canadian Record time.   "She's done things we didn't think could be done," said King Jr. post-race. "About time she walked in my barn I could tell she was really special."   The $540,000 contest carried the storyline of a showdown between impressive elimination winners Alicorn and Lyons Sentinel. The fillies didn't disappoint, sitting one-two from start to finish.   Alicorn and driver Louis Philippe Roy blasted from post-five and hung up an opening-quarter of :26.4, while Lyons Sentinel followed in second. Reflect With Me got away third and hugged the rail for most of the mile.   After a second-quarter breather of :28.4, Alicorn faced pressure from Somebeachsometime, who had been parked every step of the mile after starting from post-nine. Peaky Sneaky failed to stay with the first-up challenger while in a second-over position, which left room for Tetrick to slide off the rail at three-quarters with Lyons Sentinel.   Alicorn went into sprint mode after reaching three-quarters in 1:23.1, but Lyons Sentinel was too much to handle. The King Jr. trainee stormed by powerfully in :26 to win by half a length. Alicorn finished second, while Reflect With Me couldn't find room up the rail in the stretch and settled for third over JK First Lady.   "I just didn't want to give Roy too much space," said Tetrick. "I didn't want to give him three or four lengths and get the half cheap and take off from me, so I put her on the back and I took a chance of getting locked in, but it all worked out."   A $55,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Lyons Sentinel has stamped herself as harness racing's top two-year-old pacing filly for owners Threelyonsracing. The Captaintreacherous filly has now won five in a row and is six for nine on the season with $562,330 earned.   Lyons Sentinel's record mile broke the previous Canadian record of 1:50.1, which she matched in last week's elimination. The now-fastest two-year-old filly in Canadian racing history returned $3.40 for a $2 win ticket.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 21, 2019 -- Goes Down Smooth drew away from the harness racing field late with a powerful finishing kick that carried him to victory in a track-record 1:52.3 in Saturday's $75,299 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows. The mile lowered the mark set by Explosivebreakaway in another Keystone Classic division only about 30 minutes earlier. The event was contested over three divisions, with Lindy's Crazy Hall taking the other split. Goes Down Smooth battled three wide for the early lead, but after Matt Kakaley gave him a 29 second-quarter breather, the Muscle Hill-Peach Martini gelding made a shambles of the race, defeating Nextroundsonme by a widening 9-1/2 lengths. Darty finished third. " I let him trot out a little bit, but he did it real easy today," Kakaley said. "He's been good for quite a while now." Ron Burke trains the winner, who vaulted over $200,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The time also is a stake record and the fastest this year by a sophomore gelding trotter on a five-eighths-mile track. While Explosivebreakaway's 1:52.4 performance will go down as one of the most fleeting track records in The Meadows history, he had plenty to celebrate. He found the pocket for Tom Jackson in a blistering 26 opening panel. The Explosive Matter-Phaeton gelding brushed outside through the lane and downed Kate's Massive by 3-1/4 lengths, with Stonebridge Symba third. "I wasn't worried about my horse finishing; I was worried about the horse in front of me carrying me far enough," Jackson said. "He took me plenty far enough. We changed his shoes after his last race here, and he's been a different horse ever since." Fred Grant trains Explosivebreakaway, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $131,925, and owns with Janice Rubin, Steven Katz and Murray Brown. $75,300 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pacers Pyro and Highlandbeachlover captured the divisions in Saturday's other Keystone Classic. Kakaley hustled Pyro to the point from the rail and eschewed the opportunity to release a pair of early challengers and take a covered trip. " I wanted to line them up and have my colt in front, give him a shot on the lead," he said. "I thought he was the best. He dug in, and he was good." Kakaley knew his horse, as Pyro prevailed in 1:50.3, 1/2 length better than Waterway. Lyons Night Hawk completed the ticket. Pyro, a Sweet Lou-Whetstone Hanover gelding, now boasts $170,266 in earnings for Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, Phillip Collura and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Highlandbeachlover scored impressively in 1:51.1 after a desultory first quarter that frustrated Aaron Merriman, who couldn't put the Somebeachsomewhere-Rockn Highland gelding where he wanted to. "This horse isn't the easiest horse to drive, so I really didn't have a plan, to be honest with you," Merriman said. "This horse has some go, but there's nothing real easy about him. He was very resilient today. He's usually not a front-end horse, but I thought I better put him in the best stop to win," Aflame Hanover was second, beaten 1-1/4 lengths, with He's Packin third. The judges reviewed the actions of three horses, including the winner, before declaring the race official with the order of finish unchanged. Desyllas Racing, Elmore's Races Horses and William Beck campaign Highlandbeachlover. Winning trainer Kelly O'Donnell indicated the horse is eligible for stakes at the Red Mile but that his schedule has not been determined. In the $20,000 Open Handicap Pace, Windsong Leo made it three straight with a two-move victory in 1:49.2 for Dave Palone, trainer Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Collura. The 7-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding extended his lifetime earnings to $517,900. Burke fashioned a four-bagger while Tony Hall, Kakaley and Palone each piloted three winners on the 14-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the program features a pair of Keystone Classics for 3-year-old fillies -- a $65,500 trot and a $59,300 pace. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

MILTON, ON - September 21, 2019 - Caviart Ally defended her Milton Stakes title with a harness racing stakes record 1:48.3 victory in Saturday's $250,000 event at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   The five-year-old pacing mare shot to the front for driver Andrew McCarthy and never looked back, pacing a :53.3 back-half to secure her second Milton Stakes victory.   "I knew in the post parade she was going to be good," said McCarthy of Caviart Ally. "She usually tells me and she was very focused and had her mind on the job."   A model of consistency, Caviart Ally started from post-eight in the nine-horse field and went off at odds of 4/1. She posted opening fractions of :26.4 and :55, before race-favourite Youaremycandygirl started first-up from fourth.   McCarthy stomped on the gas pedal in the third-quarter, posting a :26.3 split. The duo proceeded to say goodnight to their rivals and sprinted home in :27 to win by a length and three-quarters. Kissin In The Sand finished second, while Seaswift Joy N and Apple Bottom Jeans completed the Superfecta. Youaremycandygirl finished eighth.   Owned by Caviart Farms, Caviart Ally joined the barn of trainer Pelling this season after former trainer Noel Daley returned to his home-country of Australia.   "She's so consistent," said Pelling, noting he was confident when his mare turned for home with the lead. "I just didn't think coming first-up on her and it was the favourite first-up and I said 'that's a big ask' and I was pretty confident. He hadn't pulled the plugs and I thought she was doing it tonight."   Caviart Ally is now six for 15 this season and has hit the board in every start. Her 22nd career victory gives her $432,064 earned this season, bringing her career earnings to $1.5 million for Caviart Farms.   A $2 win ticket on Caviart Ally returned $10.70.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

By Jonny Turner Taking his first horse to Ascot Park in almost a decade paid off for trainer Jim Curtin when Emmersyn Lee scored a front-running victory on Saturday. The inexperienced 3yr-old took her step towards qualifying for the Southland Oaks Final when winning comfortable in maiden company. Curtain said it would be scary to think how long ago it had been since he had taken a horse from his own stable to race in Southland. The records books show it was almost a decade ago – when Slash And Burn ran third in the Northern Southland Cup in 2009. Curtin will not wait nearly as long to line up his next runner in the deep south. Emmersyn Lee is likely to return south to race in Gore, next month, to complete her mandatory two starts for Southland Oaks qualification. Curtin is not getting ahead of himself with the filly, but is hopeful she could develop in to a contender for the race. “We are hoping she can develop in to a nice filly.” “The Oaks would be a long range goal if she kept improving.” Emmersyn Lee showed she had plenty to learn about the racing game when taking a good look at the Ascot Park scenery at different stages of her 2200m win. Curtin said the filly is far from the complete package. “She is still pretty inexperienced, she has got a bit to learn.” “We just hope she keeps improving.” Curtin and wife, Sandi, bred the Bettarthancheddar filly from their American Ideal mare, Crystal Bromac. The couple race Emmersyn Lee with David Aitken, of Canterbury. Saturday’s race looked Emmersyn Lee’s for the keeping soon after the start when the favourite, Kickupyaheels, galloped. The Robin Swain trained filly caught the eye with a big performance to collect herself and run fifth. Emmersyn Lee was one of four Canterbury trained winners at Saturday’s meeting. Three wins went to Otago trained horses and two wins went to hometown trainers.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner Some say the older you get, the wiser you get, but that does not appear to be the case for Hannon Memorial contender A G’s White Socks. The Greg And Nina Hope trained 6yr-old will attempt to go one better than his runner-up effort behind Dream About Me, in this year’s race, at Oamaru on Sunday. Twelve months ago, A G’s White Socks pinged away from the standing start tapes to lead, before just going down in an action-packed finish. The chances of the pacer making the same kind of beginning, this year, look bleak if his recent manners are anything to go by. The formerly brilliant beginner has developed a habit of putting in some rough strides after stepping off the mark. And it is not only giving his driver, Ricky May, a headache. It is giving away a major advantage to his rivals. That was evident when A G’s White Socks began quickly, before putting in some rough steps, and had to settle three back on the markers in Chase Auckland’s New Brighton Cup. “At the start he made flyer actually, he was in front and then he put some skips in,” May said. “It sort of cost him leading really, the other horse [Chase Auckland] headed me off.” “If he had have been in front it would have been a different story.” A G’s White Socks was effectively out of play when Chase Auckland paced his last 800m in 54 5sec from the front to win. Though he only looked to battle in to fourth, A G’s White Socks’ was timed to pace exactly the same final last split as the winner did. That effort backed up the 6yr-old’s 54.2sec last 800m in his first start for the season behind Classie Brigade in the Maurice Holmes Vase. The pacer’s fast finishes and the feel he has given his driver have May convinced the horse is thriving. “I still feel as though he has been going good and he went real good in his first start back, as well.” “He has got a lot of speed and he proved that at the end of last season.” “He is not far away, he has just go to stop putting a few rough steps at the start.” “It is a bit disappointing, really, we just hope he gets through it.” A G’s White Socks trailed the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained trio of Chase Auckland, Spankem and Ultimate Sniper home in the New Brighton Cup. Spankem produced even more impressive sectionals, when speeding home wide on the track to grab second placing in the event. Like, A G’s White Socks, the Miracle Mile winner was a stride slow to begin and settled back in the field, while Chase Auckland had control of the race in front. If Spankem repeats the sizzling 54.0sec last 800m and 25.3sec last 800m he produced at Addington he must be the horse to beat in the Hannon Memorial. Chase Auckland boosted New Zealand Cup claims in what was effectively his first taste of open class racing against older horses with his good win in the New Brighton Cup. A repeat of that effort, including the standing start manners he showed, will make him highly competitive again. Ultimate Sniper could not match Chase Auckland or Spankem after having a good run in the trail when they clashed at Addington. The horse was presented in bigger condition than his stablemates and could be the biggest improver of the trio at Oamaru. The Hannon Memorial has been robbed of one of its most interesting talking points by the scratching of Southland sensation U May Cullect The Kirstin Barclay and Paul Ellis trained pacer was found to be suffering from a stone bruise on Saturday morning. Barclay said though the problem was only a minor one, but there was no sense in racing the horse. If U May Cullect’s hoof heals as expected, he will head to Addington for next month’s Canterbury Classic. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

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What Cheer, IA -- Trainer Curtis Carey took home harness racing trophies in both the 2-year-old and 3-year-old Iowa-Registered Colt Pace Championships held at the Keokuk County Fairgrounds on Monday (September 23) with his horses Slippin The Clutch and Frisky Pedro. The five top 2-year-old pacing colts went to the gate in the Mike Smith Memorial with Carey's Slippin The Clutch drawing the rail, followed by Its A Marcs World, Waco Sassy Kid, First Gunner and Always Hotspeed in post position five. "Slippin The Clutch is a really good horse, he's very easy on himself," said Carey. "The times he got beat this year were by Waco Sassy Kid, who I also consider to be a really good horse." The two-year-old colt pace has been a hotly contested division throughout the season. Waco Sassy Kid was the horse to beat staying undefeated until Slippin The Clutch broke his seven win streak in early August. Four of the five starters showed at least one win in their last four starts, with both Slippin The Clutch and Always Hotspeed coming off wins last weekend at Humboldt (September 14). Iowa's leading driver Will Roland piloted Slippin the Clutch, shooting off the gate to take the top and catch the quarter in 30.3. The horses remained single file until the stretch when Always Hotspeed pulled to challenge. The field passed the half in 1:04. Slippin The Clutch continued to lead to the three-quarters in 1:32.1 followed by Its A Marcs World and First Gunner on the rail. Always Hotspeed led the outer flow in third with Waco Sassy Kid on his tail. Slippin The Clutch showed no signs of slowing, and Its A Marcs World also continued to maintain in second. The pack in the back went three wide into the final turn in a battle for third. Slippin The Clutch picked up the win in 2:01. Its A Marc World took second followed by First Gunner, Always Hotspeed, and Waco Sassy Kid. "The last few weeks he's been on point, he gives me goosebumps watching him," said Carey. "Will (Roland) drove him perfectly today." A son of Millionaire Cam out of the Artsplace mare Sweet Otra, Carey's 2-year-old pacing gelding Slippin The Clutch began his freshman season training on a track miles away from the snowy Iowa winter. It was here that Carey first saw the colt's potential. "When I was training him in Florida one day he came a quarter in 28 and change," said Carey. "I knew at that point that he had some extra gears." Slippin The Clutch has proven himself for owners Jesse Delong, Jeff Carey and Rick & CD Huffman. Paired Will Roland, Slippin The Clutch has won nine of 12 starts and paced the fastest 2-year-old colt mile in Iowa in 2019 - 1:59.4. Slippin The Clutch will be making his way to Lexington to race the next two weeks at the Grand Circuit meet, after which Carey has more big plans for him. "Right now we're pointing on the same path as we did Minnie Vinnie - taking him to some out-of-state races, and bringing him back to race in Iowa as well," said Carey. Carey's second championship winner, Frisky Pedro, has had a rough go at it. "Training him down as a yearling I thought he was a really good horse, but he's honestly been the worst luck horse I've ever been around," said Carey. "Last year he was in the finals and I had to scratch him because he got sick." Frisky Pedro started out the season with early wins at Bedford and in the Iowa Sires Stakes in June when his luck caught up with him. "This year July was awful on him -- he didn't win any money, he got sick," said Carey. "I had the vet draw blood on him after What Cheer one day and he showed that he was anemic so we started treating him. I started training him in between races. After that he really turned around." 2019's top five 3-year-old pacing colts took to the gate in the Jim Coulter Memorial with Bad Boy Destroyer on the inside, followed by My Money Honey, Oh Toodles, Frisky Pedro and Fred And Roz in post position five. With no individual having more than 5 wins in 12 starts, the Jim Coulter Memorial 3-year-old Iowa-Registered Colt Pace Championship was up for grabs. All had shown at least one win in their past four starts, with Bad Boy Destroyer and Frisky Pedro coming off wins at Humboldt last Sunday (September 15). Four of the five had broken the two minute mark on a fair track this year, with My Money Honey and Frisky Pedro's impressive 1:58.4 photo finish performance last week. Bad Boy Destroyer, My Money Honey and Frisky Pedro fired off the gait in tandem, battling for the early lead. Frisky Pedro worked his way to the top as they headed into the backstretch followed closely by My Money Honey and Bad Boy Destroyer. "Today Will told me 'I'm going to leave with him'," said Carey. "I said if you think he can do it then do it." Frisky Pedro reached the quarter in 28.2, where Chad Svenson and Bad Boy Destroyer pulled to take on the leader. They passed the half in 58 seconds with Frisky Pedro leading by a head. Bad Boy Destroyer continued to put on the pressure and his stablemate My Money Honey tipped three wide as the trio passed the three-quarters in 1:28.4. "I think he's a much better horse than what he'd shown," said Carey. "I believed in him. Will believed in him." Frisky Pedro took advantage of the shorter rail trip and pulled away into the final turn and cruised home in 1:58.4, matching his lifetime best in the fastest 3-year-old colt pace of 2019 in Iowa. My Money Honey finished second followed by Oh Toodles, Fred And Roz and Bad Boy Destroyer. "Will drove him today like he was the best - a lot of the credit goes to him," said Carey. "He's driven our horses all year and done and amazing job with them. He deserves as much credit as anybody does for getting them to the winners circle." From Gretchen L. Roland for the Iowa Harness Horse Association          
Plainville, MA --- The $20,000 Wood End Light Trot and $20,000 Nauset Light Pace finals, both for 2-year-old harness racing starters, were held at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 23) and both winners were Massachusetts-bred horses. In the Wood End Light, Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) went off the prohibitive favorite and didn't let his backers down. Driver Howard Parker cut fractions of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:27 with a gapped two-length advantage going into the last turn. Life Is A Feast hit the top of the stretch all alone and trotted home a wrapped-up 3-1/2 length winner in 1:56.3. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner and also tied the track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings set by Hashtagmadeyalook (also bred in Massachusetts) in 2017. It was the second straight win for Life Is A Feast ($3.00) and owners Al Ross and Paul Fontaine. Karen Carroll bred the winner. Later in the Nauset Light another Mass-bred, Han Solo (Mister Big-Leah) scored his third win in a row after leading the whole race by a length while stopping the timer in :27.1, :57.4 and 1:25.4. Around the last turn and into the stretch driver Kevin Switzer Jr. sat confidently in the bike as Han Solo paced sharply and hit the wire on top by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:55.4. Han Solo ($4.00), who set the track record of 1:54.1 for 2-year-old pacing colts two weeks ago, is owned by Monique Cohen who also bred and trains the horse. Life Is A Feast and Han Solo should be considered early favorites in their prospective divisions of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes which get under way this Sunday afternoon (Sept. 29) at Plainridge Park. The weekly featured $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace was won by the 1-9 Bettors Fire N (Ron Cushing) who led every step of the way. After backing the half down to :56.4 with no one pushing the pace, Bettors Fire N brushed home in :55 flat going away in an easy 1:51.4 victory. It was the eighth win of the year for Bettors Fire N ($2.10) who now has banked $144,470 in 2019 for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs is the trainer. Mitchell Cushing, Drew Monti and Jim Hardy all had driving doubles on Monday and Hardy also trained both of the horses he won with. The Wicked Hi-5 carryover pool continues to grow and will be worth $42,450 in the sixth race on Thursday when racing resumes at Plainridge Park at 2p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts 
HARRINGTON, Del. - American Nitro ($2.10, Victor Kirby) and Leonard's Legacy ($2.40, Jon Roberts) each completed a sweep of their $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) 2-year-old harness racing pacing eliminations Monday at Harrington Raceway with dominant victories. Owned by Henry Faragalli III, Nanticoke Racing, Arthur Feeney and Daniel Doane, "Nitro" cruised to an easy win over White Lands and Bebop On The Block in 1:56.1, just one-fifth of a second faster than Leonard Hubbard's Leonard Legacy's 1:56.2 win over Aidan and Elite Retreat. A son of Badlands Nitro for trainer Les Givens, American Nitro is now 3-for-4 in his career, while Tobago Cays-sired Leonard's Legacy notched his second career win for trainer NIck Callahan. The two pacers are set to square off in the $100,000 final on Wednesday October 2, when all four DSBF finals will be contested. In the $17,000 overnight feature, the Open pace, Jane Ramsey and David Amos' Ideal Kiss ($6, Tony Morgan) was a 1:52 winner over Late Mail N and Highland Beach Boy. Trained by Don Brittingham, it was the fifth win of the year for the 6-year-old American Ideal gelding. Tony Morgan had a driving triple, while Mike Cole and Roberts each had driving doubles. On Tuesday September 24, there will be a pair of $20,000 DSBF eliminations for filly pacers, while both sexes for trotters on Wednesday September 25 will compete in four divisions. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway
WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 23, 2019 -- Trillions Hanover continued her red-hot ways Monday at The Meadows, capturing her third straight -- all stakes -- in a division of the $59,300 Keystone Classic. Sweet Cherry took the other split in the event for 3-year-old filly pacers. Trillions Hanover entered the Keystone Classic off impressive victories in the Lady Maud and a Pennsylvania Sires Stake leg but appeared to be idling outside after leaving from post 7. According to winning driver David Miller, that was all according to plan. "I was waiting until the dust settled," Miller said. "When she got half in 56, I was pretty confident she could get home from there. She's always been pretty good. She's tried racing against the 'Group 1' fillies. She could compete with them, but she never could beat them. But she's been pretty steady all year." The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Tulu Hanover reached the point near the three-eighths and easily thwarted the Lightning Lane challenge of the pocket-sitting Rockn Philly, downing her by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.3. Alii Nui finished third. Tom Fanning trains Trillions Hanover, who now boasts $231,805 in career earnings, for VIP Internet Stable, Falcon Racing and Paul Lang. Sweet Cherry achieved the lead with a quick first-over blitz, then dug in late to hold off Skater Chick by a length in a career-best 1:51.1, with Philly Hanover third. Tim Tetrick, who drove and co-owns the daughter of Sweet Lou-Cherry Tree Coco with Jo Ann Looney- King, noted that she's changed her style recently -- with positive results. "I thought after the third quarter when I had to use her so hard she'd fold up, but she held them off," Tetrick said. "She never used to like the front end. We protected her and protected her. The last few times I've just been racing her and trying to wear them out. It's been working for her." Jim King, Jr. conditions Sweet Cherry. $65,500 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters American Kronos and Magical Beliefs each won a split in Monday's co-feature. American Kronos prepped for the Keystone Classic with a pair of tests against tough mares at Pocono. She captured both, and winning driver Troy Beyer indicated that experience helped sharpen her. "I tripped her out last week and kind of gave her an easy race coming into this," Beyer said. "She was ready to go today, and I thought the front was the best place to be. Her win at Pocono last Sunday helped her confidence a little bit. She felt real brave on the front." In the Keystone Classic, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Glide About quarter-poled to the top and had little trouble defeating Firedbylindie by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.4, with Hanovers Best third. Julie Miller trains American Kronos for Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and David Goodrow. With their checks, American Kronos and Firedbylindie each became a $100,000 performer. Magical Beliefs powered off the cones in the stretch for Miller and roared past Jezzys Legacy to down her by 1/2 length in 1:55.2, matching her life mark. Fade Into You completed the ticket. "With the passing lane, I wasn't worried about finding room," Miller said. "So I took my chances and sat in with her. She likes it like that, too." Linda Toscano conditions the daughter of Cantab Hall-Frisky Magic, who now has banked $284,457 for Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables and R-And-I Farms. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the program features an $85,500 Keystone Classic for freshman filly trotters. On the wagering front, the card offers a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4 (races 3-6) and a $1,095.59 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6). First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association                                              

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