Day At The Track

June 21, 2019 - Top flight harness racing trotting action takes place today through Sunday at Paris-Vincennes. There are seven groupe level races and the Prix de Grosbois with many of Europe’s better horses on stage. Today was the monte Prix Xavier de Saint Palais, a Gr. II event for five year olds, worth a  100,000€ purse and raced over 2175 meters. This one had 3.6/1 Et Voila de Muze (5m Royal Dream-Noloaila) score timed in a sharp 1.10.9kr with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Union Stable. The winner won for the 15th time in 27 career starts now for 212,276€ in life earnings. 7/1 Exotica de Retz (5f Prodigious) was second for jockey Mme. D. Beaufils-Ernault, trainer Sebastien Ernault and Ecurie des Charmes. Far back in third was 1.3/1 Evangelina Blue (5f Speedy Blue) for Mathieu Mottier. Et Voila de Muze Today’s card also included the Quinte+ Prix Clementine (purse 45,000€, 2850 meters, 14 European starters). The 1.14kr timed winner was 3/5 favorite Bandit Brick (6m Yankee Glide-Blazing Kemp) trained and reined by Jean Michel Bazire. Stald Pimax of Denmark owns the handsome and great gaited winner that scored for the first time in France and raised his career earnings to 114,292€. 6.4/1 Dimoko de Jamac (6g Timoko) was second with Alexandre Abrivard up and 86/1 Ulberto (6m Broadway Hall) took third with Pierre Vercruysse aboard. 26/1 Constantina Magic and 36/1 Dayan Winner completed the top five and set up an exact order Q+ payoff of 12,946.60€ for the 2€ wager. Bandit Brick The Q+ pool this day was 3,699,807€ and the total wagering pools on this race exceeded 7,582,000€ Sunday there are six groupe contests at Vincennes, as summarized below along with expected favorites: Gr. III Prix Raymond Fouard (purse 80,000€, 2850 meters, European starters led by Foxtrot Sea and Zucchino Roc) Gr. I Prix d’Escai (monte, purse 170,000€, 2175 meters, three year olds) with Gala Tejy a likely favorite Gr. I Prix Rene Balliere (purse 170,000€, 2100 meters autostart, International) with champions Bold Eagle, Dijon and Looking Superb in the lineup Gr. I monte Prix du President de la Republique (purse 200,000€, 2850 meters. Four year olds) with Freeman de Houelle a probable favorite Gr. I Prix Albert Viel (purse 170,000€, 2700 meters, three year olds) with a good field led by Good Boy Ligneries at the start Gr. III Prix de Grasse (purse 80,000€, 2850 meters, European starters) with Germany’s Portland and Jean Pierre Dubois’ Classic Connection in the field Prix Bertrand Deloison (purse 75,000€, 2850 meters, European starters), also labeled the Prix de Groisbois, with Nancy America, Jerry Mom and Defi de Retz in the lineup Earlier in the week (June 18) was the Arqana Trot Mixed Sale at the Hippodrome de Cabourg. 90 head were presented for sale with 59 sold, averaging 12,390€ compared to 12,921€ a year ago. The two sale leaders were acquired by Christian LeBarbey (ITS) led by hip #85 Get Up Smart (2016 f Ready Cash-Una Bella Fier-Love You) in foal to Muscle Hill. Get Up Smart The runner-up was hip #84 Flower Power (2015 f Love You-Ornella Rainbow-Extreme Dream) that sold in foal to Bird Parker. Pedigree follows, a fine maternal family. Thomas H. Hicks  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Atlanta and Fiftydallarbill were the impressive winners of the fourth and final leg of the Graduate Series for harness racing 4-year-old trotters at the Meadowlands Friday night. The finals for both pacers and trotters take place on July 6 at the Big M. Atlanta, the 2018 Hambletonian winner who trotted the fastest mile in Canadian harness racing history a week ago with a 1:50.2 clocking in the Armbro Flight, opted to come from off the pace in her Graduate division. The daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip picked up live cover from Muscle M Up down the backstretch after racing eighth and last to the opening quarter, tipped with an eighth of a mile to go, and stormed past the field to score by 1¼ lengths over a fast-closing Plunge Blue Chip. Crystal Fashion was third. "I kind of wanted to race her off a helmet tonight," said winning driver Yannick Gingras. "I wanted to see what she would do. I was confident. There was never an anxious moment." Atlanta, who is trained by Ron Burke, trotted the mile in 1:50.4 and returned $2.40 to her backers as the 1-5 public choice while staying perfect in five 2019 starts. In the other Graduate division, Fiftydallarbill worked out a perfect pocket trip behind even-money favorite Six Pack and charged by his rival nearing the wire to record a neck victory. Phaetosive was third. Driver Corey Callahan likely won the race during the initial quarter, extending Six Pack through an opening split of :27.4. "I was trying to make him work a little bit into that first turn," said Callahan. In mid-stretch, Callahan tipped the son of Swan For All-CR Dixie Chick out of the pocket with an eighth to go and wore down Six Pack to record his 18th lifetime win in 42 starts. "I thought we were going to get by," said Callahan, who was fortunate to pick up this drive. "I really lucked out. He's gone through a couple of drivers but I really didn't have a horse for this class, so it worked out well for me." Fiftydallarbill paid $8.00 as the second choice in the wagering for trainer Katricia Adams. His final clocking of 1:50.2 equaled Greenshoe (May 31) and Atlanta (last Saturday) for the fastest trotting mile of the year in the spot. A LITTLE MORE: Caviart Ally was no doubt glad to not have to face Shartin N (whom she went up against in each of her last three starts) and took it out on her foes in the third leg of the Rainbow Blue Series, stopping the clock in a lifetime-best equaling 1:48.3 while 1¾ lengths in front of Apple Bottom Jeans. The Brett Pelling trainee, who was driven by Andy McCarthy, returned $3.40 as the 3-5 favorite. ... Speaking of favorites, eight visited victory lane during the course of the 13-race card. ... One sharp player wagering into the Twin Spires hub had the only ticket to survive six legs of the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $8,960. ... The fifth race 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five did not result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $115,221. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,337,789. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

ANDERSON, Ind.--June 22, 2019--Indiana's top three-year-old pacing colts and fillies were in the harness racing spotlight at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 21 to square off in the second round of Indiana Sires Stakes action and did so in impressive fashion. The evening's 14-race card featured three $34,500 divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts and two $49,500 divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Feherty and Peter Wrenn kicked off the action packed evening and delivered as the heavy post time favorite, scoring in 1:50.1 for trainer Melanie Wrenn. Benefitting from a pocket trip, Feherty tipped out from behind the pace-setting Jagger Rocks and Sam Widger late in the lane and paced strong to the wire to record his third consecutive victory. "I couldn't have asked for a better trip," Wrenn noted in the winner's circle. "It's a long season and we've taken our time with him. He's still very green but he's figuring things out with every start. He raced great tonight, I was very happy with him." Unraced at two, the gelded son of Tellitlikeitis-Cambeth has now won four of five lifetime starts and remains undefeated in stakes action this season. Feherty has amassed $42,850 in lifetime purse earnings and is owned in partnership by Dana Parham and Eleven Star Stables. The three-year-old pacing fillies were up next and it was Mike Oosting and Fully A Virgin who got up in the final strides of the mile to stop the timer in 1:51.3. Slightly dismissed at odds of 7-1, Oosting opted for a trip off the pace. Turning for home, Fully A Virgin tipped off cover and utilized a :26.3 closing kick to get the win by a head in a four-horse photo. Trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., Fully A Virgin recorded her second win of the season from seven trips behind the gate and established a new lifetime best in the process. With the win, the daughter of Always A Virgin-Full of Gold pushed her lifetime bankroll over the $100,000 mark for owner, breeder Emerald Highlands Farm. In the very next race, Little Rocket Man, with Trace Tetrick in the bike, continued his winning ways to score in 1:50.1 by nearly two lengths for trainer Missy Essig. Little Rocket made a powerful move down the backside and then dug in gamely nearing the wire to record his second consecutive win and establish a new lifetime mark. "Roger Cullipher trained him this winter and deserves a lot of credit for this colt," Essig noted after the win. "When we started the season we weren't sure if he was going to be a stakes colt but we knew he was a nice horse. He loves his job and takes really good care of himself. He has a great attitude and that will take him a long way." With the win, the gelded son of Rockin Image-Gt Miss Royal improved his lifetime stats to 9-7-0-1. Unraced as a two-year-old, Little Rocket Man has now earned $50,130 for his owners Russell Beeman and Jack Freeman. Following suit, Play For Pay and Brandon Bates used similar front-running tactics to score in the second and final division of the stakes action for three-year-old pacing fillies. Stopping the timer in 1:51.3, Bates sent the Michael Arnold trainee to the front and she was able to hold off the heavy favorite, Rockin Nola and Joey Putnam, to get the win by three-parts of a length. The 1:51.3 was a new lifetime best for the sophomore filly. Trained by Michael Arnold, Play For Pay recorded her second win of the season from eight starts and remains undefeated in stakes action this season. Play For Pay and Brandon Bates                      --Linscott Photography The daughter of Tellitlikeitis-Fox Valley Ivy has now won four of 21 lifetime outings. Owned by Ira Steinberg, Play For Pay has accumulated $90,815 in lifetime purse earnings. Fresh off a decisive win last week, Egomania turned in another gritty performance to take home top honors in the final division for three-year-old pacing colts. With regular pilot John DeLong in the bike, Egomania went gate to wire and held off all challengers to score in 1:50.2. Trained by Brian Brown, Egomania recorded his third consecutive victory and fourth win from five starts this season. "I knew I wanted to be up close," DeLong noted after the victory. "He's very versatile and always has been but he's really grown up from two to three. He covers a lot of ground and this year he's really got the will and wants to win." Egomania                                                                     --Linscott Photography Sired by Always A Virgin, Egomania is owned in partnership by Country Club Acres, J. Sbrocco, R. Lombardo, and J. Fodera. With the win, Egomania pushed his lifetime bankroll to $262,725. Live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, June 22 with a twelve race card featuring a $20,000 Open Trot and $20,000 Open Pace for fillies and mares. In conjunction with the live racing action, Harrah's Hoosier Park will play host to the $35,000 Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge. For more information on the Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge, upcoming entertainment, or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.   Emily Ratcliff Race Marketing Manager and Commentator

Plainville, MA ---- Coming off a career year for harness racing wins and earnings in 2018, Make It A Double has already surpassed the victory total of last year and is well on his way towards the bank after winning the $12,000 Winners-Over Handicap trot at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (June 21). Leaving from post five, Make It A Double (Mark Athearn) rolled to the front, opened up a two-length advantage and did not allow anyone closer to him than that for the rest of the mile. Athearn guided his trotter to the quarter in :28, the half in :57.3 and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 before turning for home with a three-length advantage. From there with his tail flagged and his head thrown in time with his gait, Make It A Double coasted unchallenged down the lane and won in 1:54.4, which tied his seasonal mark. It was the fifth win in nine starts this season for Make It A Double ($5.80) who has now earned $37,810 in 2019 for owner William Phipps. Gretchen Athearn trains the winner. The second fastest diagonal event on the trot-heavy Friday card was the $8,500 mid-level condition race that saw Coco Lindy (Drew Monti) pull first-over at the half before clearing and opening up a three-length lead by the top of the stretch. From there Coco Lindy stayed tough and held off a strong brush by both Run And Tell Pap (Mitchell Cushing) and Wind And A Prayer (Mike Stevenson) at the wire to win by a neck in 1:55.4. It was the 49th lifetime win for Coco Lindy ($4.60) who now boasts $543,088 in career earnings. Greathorse owns the 12-year-old son of Cantab Hall-Nutty Butty who is trained by Domenico Cecere. Drew Monti led all drivers with three wins on the card while trainers Gretchen Athearn, Domenico Cecere and Mike Giourard were the winningest trainers with two victories apiece. There were no winners of the Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta again on Friday so the carryover pool for that bet in the sixth race on Monday (June 24) will be $10,344 when live racing resumes at Plainridge Park. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Racing against the best trotters in Quebec, Seeyou Men proved to be the strong horse, grinding out an impressive win Friday at the Hippodrome 3R in the Quebec-Bred Series for older trotters. This was the second round of the series and featured just one large field of ten starters in the older horse division. Kinnder Dangerous and driver Justin Filion were the first on the lead around the first turn until Wildwild Men and trainer/driver Guy Gagnon came charging up on the outside to take the lead by the opening quarter mile in :28. Seeyou Men and driver Stephane Brosseau got away behind Kinnder Dangerous early. Then by the half mile marker in :58.2, Brosseau came first-over with Seeyou Men and started gaining ground by the three-quarters in 1:28.1 with Capteur De Reve (Stephane Gendron) grabbing the second-over cover. As they came around the final turn, Maximuscle came into the picture for driver Steeve Genois, sweeping three-wide and into contention. Seeyou Men would have the final say as he had cleared to the lead coming down the stretch and then pulled away to win by two and one-quarter lengths in 1:58.2. It took the photo finish camera to declare the winner's full brother, Wildwild Men, as the second-place finisher, he was a nose ahead of Capteur De Reve in third place who was a nose ahead of Maximuscle in fourth place. Seeyou Men, trained by Daniel Martin, raced as an entry with his brother, Wildwild Men, both of whom were bred by Chantal Gravel of St-Cyrille-De-Wendover and are co-owned with Catheline Pelletier of Mirabel. The entry paid $2.90 to win. In the third race division for the trotting mares, it was the race favorite, Lucky Promesse and driver Steeve Genois, leaving from the rail and going right to the top. Kascara Rosa and driver Stephane Brosseau grabbed the two-hole spot and sat patiently as Lucky Promesse's cut fractions of :29, :59.4 and 1:29.3 to the three-quarters. Y S Suzanne (Guy Gagnon) tried coming first-over in the backstretch but did not have the stamina to hang on the outside and faded back on the final turn. With Y S Suzanne fading as they started down the stretch, that was the cue as Brosseau came out with Kascara Rosa and started to challenge Lucky Promesses down the stretch, collaring the race lead and going on to win by a half length in 2:00.1. Eau Naturelle (Simon Delisle) was third. A nine-year-old mare by Kadabra, Kascara Rosa posted her fourth win on the year for trainer Yves Tessier and owner/breeder Jean Dessureault of Candiac. She paid $7.70 to win. Track Notes: Stephane Brosseau had a driving double, winning both stakes and trainer Yves Tessier sent out two winners on Friday. The Ben Hur Cup II headlines Sunday's 10-race program with Ontario's Doug McNair taking on Quebec's Louis-Philippe Roy with a $3,000C cash prize to the winner of the 8-race competition. In addition, there will be three divisions of the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for older pacers as top horses Atomic Million AM taking on McKinney and for the mares, YS Tallia against Lit De Rose. First race post time Sunday is 1:00 pm. For a free program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Silence is golden. At least it can be for Charlie Dombeck when it comes to Highalator. "He leaves me speechless," Dombeck said when discussing the 5-year-old harness racing stallion, who brings a five-race win streak to his Ben Franklin Pace elimination Saturday (June 22) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "I don't mind being speechless for another few weeks." Highalator has won eight of 16 races this year, earning an already career-best $153,310. He has won seven of his past eight starts, with a second-place finish by a half-length preventing him from being unbeaten during that span, which included three triumphs in the Golden Receiver Series and one in the Great Northeast Open Series. On Saturday, he tackles the Grand Circuit for the first time since last year's Graduate Series. Highalator is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the first of two Ben Franklin eliminations, starting from post four with Richard Still driving for trainer and co-owner Jenny Bier. Levy Series champion Western Fame is the 3-1 second choice. "I'm going to be interested to see how he goes with these horses," said Dombeck, who shares with Daryl Bier the breeding credit on Highalator and whose wife Joann is among the stallion's owners. "Really, I shouldn't say I'm shocked, but I'm really very excited about the way he's racing. I think he's the best he's ever been in his life. I think he could have a hell of a year." In 2018, Highalator won a preliminary round of the Graduate Series and finished sixth in the final from post 10. For his career, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Higher And Higher has won 29 of 62 races and $429,028. He is owned by Bier, Dombeck, and Midsize Construction Inc. "I always thought he was a good horse," Dombeck said. "A lot of times when he got into the big finals he drew terrible or had terrible racing luck, but I always thought he was a nice horse. This year he came back, if you see him up close, he looks like a bull. He's just all muscled out. He just amazes me. "I'm happy for Jenny, she's done a great job. He looks so beautiful when he's going, he's got his head up and he's straight; maybe I'm a little prejudiced. And Ricky Still has done some job. Nobody could have driven him any better than he's been driving him. He's got a lot of confidence in the horse." Highalator seen here winning at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono The top-four finishers from each Ben Franklin elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with the highest 2019 earnings advance to the $500,000 final on June 29 at Pocono. "I just want to be in the hunt at the end of the stretch," Dombeck said. "I've been in this game long enough to know (the ups and downs). When they're doing good, ride it, and that's it. Just hope for the best. "It will be fun. Whatever happens he's a nice horse." The second Ben Franklin elimination finds McWicked, the 2018 Horse of the Year in the U.S. and Canada, as the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Lather Up, a two-time winner in this year's preliminary rounds of the Graduate Series, is the 3-1 second choice. McWicked is making his third start of the season. He won his debut before finishing third in last week's Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational off a nearly one-month layoff. Saturday's card at Pocono begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) and also includes eliminations for the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers, and James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. For complete entries, click here. Ken Weingartner

The script has been thrown out and a new Vicbred Super Series chapter will be written in the four-year-old entires and geldings chase for the $130,000 title. The unfortunate scratching of Poster Boy due to pneumonia removed the two-time Vicbred champion from tonight’s heats, but those watching TrotsVision were buoyed to learn from owner-breeder Bill Anderson that the brilliant Lauriston Bloodstock colt was on the mend. It also meant that opportunity knocks for his rivals as was noted by Chris Alford, who has steered Poster Boy to many a memorable Group 1 victory. “It’s unfortunate that Poster Boy got sick and can’t try and win the two, three and four-year-old finals, but it brings a lot of other horses into it now,” Alford said. “Now he’s out Major Times and Tam Major, they’ve all got really good chances.” The aforementioned Emma Stewart trained pair joined Russell Jack’s Three Summas and Craig Demmler’s Be Major Threat as heat winners on Rock N Roll Heaven four-year-old night at Ballarat’s Bray Raceway. It was Major Times who struck first for owner Leslie Morris, with the Art Major entire in a class of his own in heat one, finding the front from gate two and kicking clear in a 54.8 last half to win by 14.6 metres. “He’s a lovely big strong horse, he got a really easy lead and one (Yankee Roller) come to put a bit of pressure on with a lap to go and he just got on the job and ran to the line really well,” Alford told TrotsVision. “It was always going to be hard for the opposition when he did draw well and he’s just carried on his good form and hopefully he keeps it up going into the semis and the final.” It was a sixth straight victory for Major Times, who was bred by Peter, Bruce and Craig Cameron out of mare The Good Times. And it was a similar story in the following heat when an Emma Stewart trained, Chris Alford driven Art Major entire found the front and held off all challengers, with this time it being Tam Major getting the job done for owner-breeders Bruce and Vicki Edward. “He likes to have some horses to race him and he gets a little bit lazy out in front but tonight he was really sharp and seeing him dash up that 26.5 quarter was really good,” Alford said. “The lead time was really slow and then I just had to ask him to ramp it up from about the 1200 to 1000, if you go too slow you leave the sprint in some of the others, but tonight he sprinted really well.” Idealsomemagic also deserved plenty of praise having boxed on brilliantly and gained ground in the lightning last quarter, finishing only 2.2 metres off the winner with third placed Alpha Charlie a further 11 metres back. The absence of a dominant Stewart runner put a little more spice into the third heat and Jess Tubbs and Greg Sugars favourite, Joe Nien, was forced to do more work than they would have liked early amid a willing battle for the front. The quickest lead time of the night’s Vicbred heats would take a toll on Joe Nien who faded to sixth in the final straight while Be Major Threat, who trainer-driver Craig Demmler advanced to the breeze at the bell, boxed on to win by 1.3 metres from Brackenreid. “He’s going really good,” Demmler said of the winner, an Art Major gelding owned by John Fitzgerald. “They did a bit of work early so I decided to pop around and dictate outside the leader. He tried really hard tonight. He did a good job. “You are rapt when you get a sires race or a heat, it’s worthwhile getting up in the morning. There’s no easy heat because we are racing the best of the best in Victoria, it’s great to watch and to see these good horses going around.” And, despite the absence of Poster Boy, that was certainly the case in the final heat where leader Higherthananeagle pulled hard and set a cracking pace inside Rackemup Tigerpie. With all quarters under 30 seconds there was no breather and Higherthananeagle paid a price in the closing stages while Rackemup Tigerpie boxed on well only to clipped by Kerryn Manning and Three Summas on the line. Trained by Russell Jack for owner-breeders Todd and Wendy Rivett, Manning said it all went to plan for Three Summas in the Somebeachsomewhere entire’s half-head win. “The plan was just to slot into the running line early and hope Rackemup Tigerpie would come around, so it actually worked out how we had hoped. “When he got in the one-one he actually struggled to catch up to the back of Rackemup Tigerpie, but then I saw the first quarter (29 seconds) and I knew why. Once he tacked back on at the bell he travelled really good. With a bit of cover tonight he showed that he can sprint really well. “He’s had a bit of time off between runs this time and I think that run will probably do him good. It’s a fast time but he didn’t have a terribly hard run doing it, so hopefully he’ll improve a little bit for the next one.” Preparations will now turn to the Alabar Vicbred Super Series semi-finals night at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday, June 29, with the first six in each of tonight’s heats keeping their title dreams alive.   Michael Howard for Trots Media

Trenton, NJ — As he looks ahead to his 2,500th career driving win, harness racing driver John DeLong also took time to look back on a year of extreme highs and lows; and feels blessed to be back on a big-time high. On June 2, 2018, DeLong and fiancée Tabby Canarr had what John termed “a life changing experience,” in a good way when their baby Jessica was born. Just over five months later, DeLong was on the opposite end of the emotional scale when he suffered what could have been another life changer in a truly bad way. Fortunately, a worst-case scenario never occurred. There was a seven-week bout with pain and apprehension and, while that was certainly unpleasant, it was not life-altering enough to end the talented driver’s career. He has recovered with a vengeance and currently is tied for first place with Sam Widger in the Harrah’s Hoosier Park drivers’ standings with 113 wins. He celebrated Jessica’s first birthday 19 days ago and is just nine victories shy of getting halfway to 5,000. “Things are really good for me right now,” DeLong said. But for a seven-week stretch, an uncertain future loomed due to an incident that occurred while working in his Anderson, Ind. barn last Nov. 6. “We were putting hobbles on a yearling for the first time and I got kicked in the face,” DeLong said. “It was just kind of a freak deal. I’ve trained colts ever since I can remember. Me and my three brothers all trained colts with my dad (Jay) growing up. That’s just the risk you take, I guess. It actually caught us by surprise. Well, me anyway. I was picking up a back leg, and got cow kicked. I got hit on the left side of the face, broke my cheekbone and the orbital bone in my left eye.” With some such mishaps, the pain is so severe a person goes into shock and doesn’t feel it, or at least is knocked unconscious. DeLong had no such “luck.” “I didn’t get knocked out and I didn’t get a concussion, but the pain was unbelievable,” he said. “I had that pain all the way to the hospital. It was pretty bad.” Upon arriving at the emergency room, he was referred to an ear, nose and throat surgeon. Until that visit, 1,000 thoughts ran through John’s mind. “When I first got hurt, I was pretty down for a while,” he said. “My eye was swollen shut. But after my appointment with the doctor, I felt a lot better. I really didn’t know what was going to happen there for a while. I had quite a bit of damage.” That’s like Warren Buffett saying he has quite a bit of money — a huge understatement. DeLong underwent surgery to have two plates and eight screws inserted into his face and a very tender eye. There was ample nerve damage and he needed to have all his sinuses rebuilt (he goes back to the doctor in three weeks to see if another surgery will be needed to remove a plate). Once the operations were completed, DeLong was confined to his home for a month, “because they said I had the chance of losing my eye if it got infected.” Shortly before Christmas, John got his doctor’s clearance and the first thing he wanted to do was work on a trotting filly named GD Lone Survivor, who he had invested ample time in before the accident. Her maiden start came on the day he got kicked in the face, and her first few races were not up to DeLong’s expectations. Armed with a newly designed mud apron to help knock down some of the dirt in his face, he trained GD Lone Survivor at his farm. “I wanted to make sure if I took some dirt to the face a little bit, I would be able to take it,” he said. “I didn’t want my face to be sore or tender. Then I went to Cleveland (Northfield Park) and drove her and she finished second, trotted three seconds faster than she had been so I was pretty happy about that. It was good to get that out of my system and kind of get back on the horse.” He was not rushing into anything, however, and took it easy through the winter. Upon returning to driving, DeLong opened in Ohio. “I had a slow start when I first started back,” he said. “It probably isn’t the best stock over there but it’s OK. I wanted to ease myself back into racing so when we got to Hoosier I was ready to roll. It’s been good so far, no complaints. Stakes season is starting to get going here. Hopefully we’ll catch a couple good colts.” John DeLong drove Homicide Hunter, the future world-record-setting trotter, at ages 2 and 3.      (Linscott Photography). In 639 driving starts this year, DeLong has won 116, placed in 93 and finished third in 82. In 55 training starts he has nine firsts, seven seconds and seven thirds. There have been few remnants to remind him of his misfortune. “To be honest, it’s a lot better than I thought,” he said. “I had a very good doctor; he was very confident in what could be done.” As for his impending milestone, John was low key when asked if they mean something. “The big ones do,” he said. “I’m the first person in our family to race horses professionally as a full-time career. These are something that probably down the road I’ll sit back and be pretty proud of what I’ve done. Right now it’s just kind of day by day and night by night. You just have to do the best you can. Every night you get in the truck and go to the track. If things are going good and you’re doing things right, those things will come.” They have been coming in bunches since he made the move to Hoosier Park four years ago. A Wisconsin native who grew up learning the ropes under his dad, DeLong got his first win in 2005 driving Fox Valley Bono, a horse trained by his uncle “Bo” (William). He won the driving title at Running Aces during its inaugural 2008 season at the ripe old age of 19. After making a name for himself at the Chicago area tracks, John moved to Indiana in 2015 and built a 36-stall barn and a half-mile racetrack on 35 acres that sits just two miles from Hoosier Park. He and Jay owned two stellar horses that encouraged him to make the move. “Homicide Hunter was a 3-year-old and he was one of the driving forces in getting me to do it,” said DeLong, who drove the future world-record-setting trotter at ages 2 and 3. “I knew if I had a good horse to follow and get me going I should do it. Seventimesavirgin was a 2-year-old then, and when Seven was a 3-year-old, it just launched.” Seventimesavirgin, a DeLong family homebred, won the Indiana Sire Stakes championship as a 3-year-old and was a Breeders Crown starter at age 4. (Dean Gillette photo). Seventimesavirgin, a DeLong family homebred, won the Indiana Sire Stakes championship as a 3-year-old and was a Breeders Crown starter at age 4. She is racing this year and will then begin breeding. Since driving predominantly at Hoosier Park, DeLong has won more than 1,200 races and $14 million. Needless to say, he’s happy to have made the move. “Absolutely,” DeLong said. “I honestly don’t know what I’d be doing at this point if I hadn’t moved down here. I bought a farm, built a track and a barn and I live right on the farm. It’s kind of everything coming full circle. When I was a kid, I always wanted my own farm and wanted to catch drive and stuff like that, and now I’m doing it all.” Can it get any better? Sure it can. On Nov. 16, the Saturday after he is done racing for the season, DeLong and Tabby will be getting hitched. Which will be a lot more fun than it was getting kicked just one year earlier. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A field of the very finest harness racing pacers on the East Coast will assemble Saturday evening to contest the Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 12-dash Saturday evening program kicks off at 6 P.M. with the $5,500 Ladner Memorial lining up in race 11. Maritime seasonal record holder All Artist will get the respect of morning line favourite in the Ladner from post 5 and driver Gilles Barrieau elected off of two other mounts to drive the six-year-old son of Roddys Bags Again. Toby MacDonald nows trains the pacer, who just put in a sharp victory in 1:53.4 over Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia for owner Anthony Stymest. Down On My Luck will control the rail in the field of eight with Jason Hughes in the bike for trainer Harold Shepherd and owner Robert Woodburn of St. Thomas, Ont. The five-year-old son of Camluck has yet to see the winner's circle on the East Coast but has hit the top three in both his Island starts. Doctor Royal was the top force in the preferred ranks early in the season and gets post 2 for owner-trainer Dawn Ellis Abbott of Truro, N.S. Walter Cheverie picks up the catch drive on the pacers who sports a 1:55 speed badge this season. Bugsy Maguire did not have a warm Island welcome in his debut as he was parked the route by Euchred but still hung around to finish third in last week's preferred. Walter Simmons of Summerside holds the ownership papers of the five-year-old son of Bettors Delight, who will have Myles Heffernan Sr., in the race bike for trainer Wade Sorrie. Rose Run Quest can never be counted out as he proved with a third place finish in last year's The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer final. Trainer Marc Campbell will steer the Blair Hansen owned pacer from post 4 on Saturday evening. Euchred has been controlling the front end in recent weeks but leaving from post 6 Saturday could tell a different tale. David Dowling drive the Shadow Play gelding for trainer Mike Dowling and owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S. Revenant has stepped up his game for his five-year-old season and has yet to miss a cheque against the big boys for owner Kyla MacDonald of Stanhope. Adam Merner will drive the nine-time winner from post 7 for trainer Melissa Rennie. Rounding out the field in the Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational is post 8 starter Screen Test. A former top three-year-old in Western Canada, Screen Test was a bang-up second in 1:54.2 in his latest start for William Andrew of Calgary, Alta., and Kickin Horse Stable of York. Corey MacPherson has been in the race bike for his four-year-old season with Stephen Gass handling the training duties. Big Surf has been listed as the favorite in the Drive For Home Series presented by Hillside Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac on race 8. Samantha Gallant, sister of driver-trainer Terry Gallant and organizer of Harness The Hope, will be special guest on the Inside Track Saturday with host Lee Drake. The segment airs at 5:35pm on the Red Shores broadcast. Catch the red hot action live at the track or tune into the worldwide broadcast at www.Redshores.ca. Hot Pacers Face Off At Red Shores Summerside SUMMERSIDE, PE - The 2017 Governor's Plate champion will return to racing action in the Sunday afternoon featured event against some iron tough competition at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. The 10-dash Sunday afternoon program has a 1 P.M. post time with the featured pace lining up in race 9 for a $2,800 pot. Do Over Hanover leaves from post 7 in the field of as many with Jason Hughes in the bike for trainer Chris MacKay and owners Don MacNeill of Alberta, Allard Racing of Quebec and Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge. The six-year-old son of Western Ideal is just returning to action fresh off a qualifier after not racing since the Conroy Invitational in Nova Scotia in September. Noudidnt Blue Chip is the top choice in the featured pace from post 4 for the Warren Grove team of owner-trainer Neal Moase and driver David Dowling. The son of Roll With Joe was a winner in 1:56.3 in his latest and sports two wins from his last three starts. Race analyst Les MacIsaac will side with Noudidnt Blue Chip as his top choice. "Noudidnt Blue Chip made a move getting to the half last week and once he cleared he never looked back," MacIsaac said. "He seems to be getting better with every start and with this being his fourth he should be just about where he wants to be from a conditioning standpoint. He's got a big shot to double up." Also in the Sunday afternoon featured field is Mando Fun (Driven by Dale Spence), Adkins Hanover (Ambyr Campbell), Phil Dorleans (Adam Merner), Pictonian Storm (Myles Heffernan Sr.) and Woodmere Ideal Art (Norris Rogers). Melanies Magic makes his debut on red soil in race 5 on the program with Spence at the helm for trainer MacKenzie MacInnis and owner Sandra Stead of Montague. The five-year-old son of Hypnotic Blue Chip was racing the $15,000 claiming ranks in Ontario with his last start a winning one in 1:57 over The Raceway at Western Fair District. Hemingway is the favourite in race 5 with rail control for driver Merner. Zach Conway makes his pari-mutuel debut in race 7 on the program behind Brief Interlude trained by his father Paul Conway of Bonshaw. The rookie driver will steer his mount from post 5 in a field of 8. Traces Of Purple is the top choice from post 6 with Heffernan in the bike fresh off a 1:56.2 mile in Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares Series action. Owner, trainer and former driver Paul Biggar will be special guest on the Inside Track Sunday with host Rocky Schurman. The segment airs at 12:35pm on the Red Shores broadcast. For race programs, promotional information and more go to www.Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

ANDERSON, Ind.--June 20, 2019--Harness racing driver LeWayne Miller has had his share of big nights in his young driving career at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino but on Wednesday, June 20, Miller had one of his biggest. Not only did Miller score five driving wins on the evening's 14-race card, he also recorded his 1,000 career driving win. In addition, three of the five victories were recorded with horses also trained by Miller including Gotwuteverittakes in the co-featured event of the evening, the second division of the $47,500 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts in 1:55.2. Heading into the evening's program Miller needed two wins to reach the 1,000 win milestone and he went right to work, capturing the first race of the night behind Last Mission, a horse he also trains. Miller reached the 1,000 win club in the fourth race of the evening after scoring from off the pace with another horse from his stable, Madeline's Cray Cray. Stopping the timer in 1:53.4, Madeline's Cray Cray recorded her second consecutive win of the season and provided a career milestone for the 32-year-old reinsman. "I tried not to think about it but I felt like I had a good chance to reach 1,000 coming into tonight," Miller said with a smile. "I had a bad week last week, I felt like I had a monkey on back so it feels great to have that one under my belt and even better to do it with one of my own that I train. That's pretty special to me." In just his tenth season as a driver, Miller began his driving career under the direction of trainer Erv Miller in 2009 and had 25 recorded drives with seven trips to the winner's circle. Since, Miller has lined up behind the gate over 8,000 times and surpassed the $12 million mark in purse earnings. He recorded his best season to date in 2014 when he won 158 races and earned over $2.2 million in purse earnings. For the past six consecutive seasons, Miller's earnings have eclipsed the $1 million mark. "I never dreamed I would be here," Miller continued. "As a kid I used to come watch the drivers at Hoosier Park but never thought it would be possible for me to be out here competing with them. Tonight was one of those nights you don't forget. It feels pretty awesome." After notching win 1,000, Miller went on to win the very next race with Karefree Kara for trainer Dylan Davis and visited the winner's circle again a few races later with Alwaysasweetvictory for trainer Ken Rucker. Miller's final win of the evening came after steering Gotwuteverittakes to victory in the second division of the Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts. Gotwuteverittakes captures the second division of the $48,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts. --Linscott Photography Sent off as the heavy 7-5 favorite, Miller had the son of Bluto-Raysofgrace De Vie perfectly positioned second over turning for home and the colt used a :27.4 final quarter to record his second win of the season. Miller also co-owns Gotwuteverittakes with Last Chance Racing Stable and C11 Racing. "He's got a lot of talent," Miller noted after the victory. "He has his share of problems but he is a nice colt. He's still learning and I don't think he was 100% tonight but we made some changes after his last start and they really seemed to help him. I enjoy training these young horses and watching them develop." One race that Miller did not win was the first division of the $47,500 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts. It's A Herbie and Verlin Yoder continued their winning ways and delivered as the heavy favorite, going gate to wire in 1:55. Owned, trained and driven by Verlin Yoder, It's A Herbie recorded his third consecutive Hoosier Park victory this season and his sixth win from 16 lifetime starts. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 21 with three divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts and two divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com .   Emily Ratcliff Race Marketing Manager and Commentator

June 15, 2019 - Best Of Bourbon (8g Ready Cash-Herba Bourbon) took the Enghien monte featured Prix de la Place Belard (purse 48,000€, 2875 meters distance handicap, 13 monte starters) with another start to finish harness racing score timed in 1.13.5kr (1:58.26 mile rate). Melle Mathilde Collet was the jockey for trainer Vincent Jarry and Ecurie Nice Nasach. He won for the 10th time in a 53 race career to increase life earnings to 153,290€. Off as the 1.6/1 favorite Best Of Bourbon bested 3.6/1 Atout du Hainaut (9g Gazouillis) with Eric Raffin in the irons and 5/1 Barack (8g Ludo de Castelle) with Alexandre Abrivard up. 19/1 Bettina de Tillard and 10/1 Byrh Gede completed the top five in this 1.79 mile event. Best Of Bourbon Thomas H. Hicks  

Alabar is pleased to announce the service fees for our 2019/20 roster – a line-up which boasts a strong mix of proven harness racing sires and exciting young stallions. Heading the list is Art Major at a fee that remains unchanged. Art Major has once again enjoyed another stellar twelve months and continues to sire winners at the very highest level. Art Major looks assured of serving another full book of mares in 2019/20 so breeders are asked to book early to avoid missing out. Ultimate Machete is our new addition this season. We are thrilled to be standing him as he is a record-breaking, multiple Horse-of-the-Year son of Bettors Delight with a pedigree laden with stakes winners. Always B Miki is a stallion who undoubtedly has all the credentials to be a successful sire and he represents great value to Southern Hemisphere breeders. The fastest standardbred of all time has served three consecutive full books in the US at US$12,500. His first crop yearlings will certainly light up the sale rings in America later this year. Always B Miki has also enjoyed tremendous support in both Australia and NZ serving 77 stakes winners or dams of stakes winners to date incl the dams of such current stars as Princess Tiffany, Ride High, Pelosi, Bettor Joy, Mirragon, etc. Vincent is another extremely exciting young stallion who we have a lot of faith in. A winner of 16 of his 19 starts, Vincent is the horse that Mark Purdon believed was going to take the place of Lazarus and be the next industry superstar. You can access Vincent at an extremely competitive fee and capitalise on the wonderful support he received in his first season. Rock N Roll Heaven, Roll With Joe and Sportswriter are proven Group One stallions, and all three continue to enhance their record with a constant supply of new high quality winners. We are extremely proud of our two trotting stallions and how their progeny are performing. Majestic Son continues to set the standard in the trotting ranks. He will once again be the champion stallion in both New Zealand and Australia thanks to stars such as Sundees Son, Alpha Male, Royal Charlotte, Majestic Man, Enhance Your Calm etc. Peak has made a strong start to his career. From a small crop, he already has four two year old winners across Australia and New Zealand – that number is second only to the great Muscle Hill. Our roster is rounded out with the young Group One stallions A Rocknroll Dance, Betterthancheddar, Auckland Reactor, He’s Watching, Sunshine Beach and Sir Lincoln. Our full roster is available below: Stallion Standing Aus Fee (incl GST) NZ Fee (plus GST) A Rocknroll Dance* NZ $5,000 $5,000 Always B Miki* Aus $7,000 $7,000 Art Major Aus $14,000 $14,000 Auckland Reactor Aus $2,500 $2,500 Betterthancheddar Aus $4,400 $4,000 He’s Watching NZ $5,000 $5,000 Majestic Son NZ $5,000 $5,000 Peak NZ $2,500 $2,500 Rock N Roll Heaven Aus $8,000 $7,000 Roll With Joe Aus $6,600 N/A Sir Lincoln (Lincoln Royal) NZ $2,000 $2,000 Sportswriter Aus $4,400 $4,000 Sunshine Beach USA Aus $4,000 $4,000 Ultimate Machete* NZ $3,300 $3,000 Vincent* Aus $4,950 $4,500 *Standing in conjunction with Nevele R Stud. Important Notes: - After previously being based in New Zealand, Auckland Reactor and Sportswriter will be standing at our Australian farm this season. - Shadow Play will not be returning this season and Grinfromeartoear has been retired due to age-related health issues.

JUNE 20, 2019 - Driver Doug McNair captured a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots harness racing divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening, guiding Swift Ally and Sporty Tori to victory over a rain-soaked oval rated two seconds slower than normal. Both three-year-old pacing fillies were sent off as favourites by Woodbine Mohawk Park fans and McNair opted for come-from-behind tactics in both races. Starting from Post 2 in the third $23,850 Grassroots division, McNair eased Swift Ally off the gate and settled into seventh spot in the outer lane as Manhattan Night rang up fractions of :27.1 and :56. Heading toward the 1:25.3 three-quarters McNair tipped Swift Ally out three-wide and the Big Jim daughter reeled in the leaders, pacing under the wire one and one-quarter lengths on top in 1:54.4. Manhattan Night settled for second and D Gs Fairystars completed the top three. "Swift Ally has been racing good all along. They tried her in the Gold and I think I over raced her early, she didn't like that," said McNair, who finished seventh with the filly in the June 1 Gold Series opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "Last week (June 14) she had a lot of go and just got locked in, so I figured she would be good tonight if we got a decent trip. She's going the right way." McNair engineered the win, the filly's first in provincial stakes action and the fifth of her seven-race career, for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON. The homebred filly is a daughter of McNair and Fleming's former Gold Series competitor Claires Apache, who earned just shy of $400,000 in her career. Two races later McNair lined Sporty Tori up behind the number nine and once again opted to settle in at the back of the pack while Full Moon Fix and Erikas Shadow battled to a :27.1 opening quarter. Eighth at the :56 half, Sporty Tori had advanced to fifth by the 1:25.3 three-quarters, and a smart finishing kick propelled her past the leaders and on to a two and one-half length victory in 1:54.4. Full Moon Fix and Erikas Shadow paced into second and third. London resident Gorden McKnight trains Sporty Tori for owner-breeder M & S Racing Stable Inc. of Rockwood, ON. Thursday's win was the Sportswriter daughter's ninth in 12 starts this season. "Sporty Tori has also been racing good all year. She responded exactly like Gord said she would," said McNair, who was making his first appearance in the filly's race bike. "Looks like he's done a nice job with her and I was just happy to get the call." The Guelph resident also finished third with fan favourite Whitehaven Beach in the second division, getting caught at the wire by Cinderella Delight and Crisp Mane after doing all the hard work up front, and second in the last division to So Much More, who laid down an impressive 1:52.2 effort on the front end "That filly of Beatson's (So Much More) went a serious mile over that track tonight. It drizzled all night," said McNair, who watched So Much More open up six and three-quarter lengths on his mount, fan favourite Kylie Seelster, and third-place finisher Freya Seelster in the stretch. The win was So Much More's second straight in Grassroots action. She was also an impressive winner in the May 31 season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District for trainer Don Beatson of Granton, Ken Beatson of Palgrave and Cole England of Exeter, ON. The trio acquired the Big Jim daughter from owner-breeder Doug MacPhee of New Haven, PEI just 10 days before her Grassroots debut and she has since added three more wins to the three she accumulated before making the move to Ontario. Trevor Henry engineered Thursday's win and admitted that he had passed up the opportunity to steer the filly in her Ontario debut. Tyler Borth filled in for Henry on May 31 and also piloted So Much More to an overnight win at Grand River Raceway on June 10. "She raced great. She's a nice filly. I booked off of her in London and I don't think that will happen again anytime soon," said the Arthur, ON resident. Fan favourites Summer Charm and driver Louis-Philippe Roy won the first division, besting Behavenmyself and Family First by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:55.2. Richard Moreau trains the Bettors Delight daughter, who won the 2018 two-year-old pacing filly Super Final, for Thomas and Scott Dillon of Anson, ME. Cinderella Delight halted the teletimer at 1:54.4 in the second division, getting a head in front of Crisp Mane and Whitehaven Beach. Jody Jamieson piloted the Bettors Delight daughter to her first sophomore win for trainer Bill Budd and owners Bruce Norris of Caledon East, Michael Guerriero of Brampton and Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, ON. The fifth division went to fan favourite Springbridgevision and driver James MacDonald, who battled to a three-quarter length victory over pacesetter Arya Stark in 1:55.2. Saulsbrook Jessie completed the top three. Andrew Moore of Russell trains the Shadow Play daughter for his partners Allan Moore of Stratford, Charles Farrell of Spencerville, ON and Tommy Godfrey of Charlottetown, PEI. The three-year-old pacing fillies will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park for their third Grassroots start on July 25. On Saturday evening (June 22), the Gold Series sophomore pacing fillies will return to Campbellville for the second event of their season. Post time for Saturday's program is 7:10 pm and the fillies will compete in Races 6 and 8. Photo attached: Three-year-old pacing filly Swift Ally earned her first Grassroots victory with a 1:54.4 effort at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, June 20. Guelph resident Doug McNair drove the filly to the win for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON. (New Image Media photo) For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park www.ontarioracing.com

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, June 20, 2019-New York Sire Stakes returned downstate Thursday night (June 20th), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the moist $155,300 Jim Meagher Pace for 2-year-old harness racing colts and geldings. Three divisions-at $38,650 each-and a finale-at $39,350-comprised the event, which once again honored the memory of the Raceway's long-tome corporate controller and which saw all frosh making their purse debuts. The first raced served as the first division, and odds-on Cake Daddy (Brent Holland, $3.70) served notice. He went the distance (:29.1, :59.1, 1:28.4, 1:56.3), using that :27.4 kicker to spurt away from an early pocket pull of Hurrikanekingjames (Dan Dube). The latter faltered late, as Always on the Hunt (Mark MacDonald) closed for second...beaten 4¾ lengths. Hurrikanekingjames, Tomas (Jason Bartlett) and Major on the Beach (Matt Kakaley) grabbed the minors. Cake Daddy is an American Ideal colt co-owned by (trainer) Homer & Connie Hochstetler and Dan Plesac. The exacta paid $21.60, the triple returned $133.50 and the superfecta paid $385. Without question, the happiest person in the joint was Plesac, the former standout big-league pitcher who said Cake Daddy "is the first horse I've owned in forever, at least 10 or 11 years." Plesac, who at one time had a stable of about 25 on both sides of the border, "took a trip to Pinehurst (NC) and the itch came back. I've known the Hochstetlers and their son, Jay, for about 25 years, and decided to get back in. I'd resettled in New Jersey, and the timing was right. "Jay said the family had one they thought would be perfect." The $30,000 yearling "is staked to everything. I was so nervous before the race, and you do not want to be disappointed. Tonight, he proved everything we thought about him." The second division saw second choice Sandy's Bolt (Bartlett, $8.20) as the first one to the lead and the first one to the wire. From post position No. 4, he watched as 3-10 fave Splash Brother (MacDonald)-gingerly-handled at the start-move to the lead Splash Brother led the gang though intervals of :28.3, :59.2 and 1:28.4, taking a length-and-a-half into the lane. Sandy's Bolt then found a path inside, ducking left with the aptitude of a pro. He edged away, whipping Splash Brother by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Level Up (Jordan Stratton), So So De Vie (Kakaley) and a recovering Darby's Ideal (Tyler Buter) picked off the remainder. Sandy's Bolt, a son of Bolt the Duer co-owned by Blindswitch Racing Stable, Doine Farm Services, Gary Axelrod & Denise Dennis and trained by Jose Godinez. The exacta paid $15.80, the triple returned $55 and the superfecta paid $235. The evening's third grouping had short-priced number Cigars and Port (MacDonald, $2.80) fool very few. From post No. 5, he had nary an anxious moment (:29.1, :59.4, 1:28.3, 1:56.3). The margin, a length-and-a-half in and out of the final turn, was 3¼ lengths at the wire. Second went to a first-over Oreo Dream Xtreme (Corey Callahan), with Come on Raags (Scott Zeron) a loose-pocket third. Ideal Artillery (Holland) and American Rebel (Stratton) came away with the minors. Cigars and Port is a So Surreal lad co-owned by (trainer) Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing, Ted Gewertz and Steven Arnold. The exacta paid $9, the triple returned $13, and the superfecta paid $79.50. "Young, but a smart horse," MacDonald said. The final statebred event had third choice Groovy Joe (Callahan, $12.60) defeat a drifting Save Me a Dance (Bartlett) by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:56. After Steuben Moose (Mike Merton) looped a few making the lead, Groovy Joe-from post No. 2-took over and finished it off (:28.2, :59.1, 1:27, 1:56). Steuben Moose, Teton Sunset (Stratton) and R Maddy Blue Chip (Kakaley) settled for the small change. "I took advantage of (The Mystic) making a break, but my horse was good," Callahan said. The Mystic (MacDonald), part of a 3-5 favored entry, made a nasty, first-turn fumble and wound up a 'distanced' last. Groovy Joe is a homebred Roll with Joe colt owned by Winbak Farm and trained by Blake MacIntosh. The exacta paid $108, the triple paid $666 and the superfeccta paid $1,877 New York Sire Stakes returns downstate Tuesday night (June 25th), with the $165,499 Dick McGuire for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Total purses for the 2019 New York-bred program are estimated at $14 million. For more information, please visit www.nysirestakes.com.   Frank Drucker Manager of Publicity Yonkers, NY 10704

Quite often the headliners of the Vicbred Super Series the three-year-olds didn’t fail to live up to that top billing in tonight’s eight-heat hit-out at Kilmore. While Kualoa reminded all of her standing with a blistering run among the fillies, the night will be best remembered for the showdown between Emma Stewart’s trio Demon Delight, Hurricane Harley and Centenario, who served up an enthralling match-race that will leave trots fans eagerly anticipating return bouts as the series progresses. It was another remarkable night for Stewart’s stable, capturing five heats to add to Tuesday night’s clean sweep of seven two-year-old wins, but there was also delight in the Jess Tubbs, Matt Craven and Leroy and Danny O’Brien camps as their chargers also tasted success.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings first heat: He may not yet have earned the chops of some of his stablemates but Fourbigmen should be considered a potential Vicbred Super Series winner, says reinsman Chris Alford. Speaking to TrotsVision immediately after the Emma Stewart runner won the night’s first heat by proving himself the best horse in the race in a testing run, Alford said Fourbigmen could make plenty of noise over the next couple of weeks. “He’s probably, on ability, right up with them, he just hasn’t had the luck in the better races and he had a few little quirks, where he could make a mistake now and then,” Alford said. “But he’s putting it all together now and if he had a good run in the final and things went his way he’d be hard to beat.” Owned by a syndicate featuring the Stokie Racing Group, Sue Murray, Fred Crews, Willow and Peter Tonkin, Fourbigmen was bred by Wayne Schulz and Dale Eastman who serviced their mare, Aleppo Heiress, with late Alabar stallion Mach Three. Gifted the widest back row draw, Fourbigmen advanced to the breeze outside Nancys Boy and while Jeff and Tim McLean’s entrant put up plenty of fight the favourite ultimately nudged clear for a 2.3-metre win. “The leader ran a good race at Horsham last time, he’s given him something to chase,” Alford said. “(Fourbigmen) just knocked off a little bit when he went to the front, so I just pulled the plugs out to keep his mind on the job without having to smack him. He ran to the line really well.” Hes An Artist ran third and Titan Bromac fourth to also advance to the June 29 semi-finals at Tabcorp Park Melton, with Major Delico fifth and his qualification to depend on time. And for the Emma Stewart stable, taking into account Tuesday night’s clean sweep, that’s eight on the trot in this year’s Vicbred Super Series. “They seem to have them spot on on these nights and this one was no different,” Alford said.   Vincent Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies’ first heat: She was challenged in every possible way but patience from reinswoman Kate Gath would see Two Times Bettor eventually grab control and salute in the first of the three-year-old fillies’ heats. Plenty of money had come for David Miles’ polemarker Enchanted Stride in the lead-up but she was tested from the outset with Chooz Reactor (Brian Gath) and Divine Diva (Gavin Lang) out quickly and not only stretching the gate one horse but making Gath bide her time in moving forward on Two Times Bettor from gate five. “The best way to get beat is if you burn too hard too early and get nowhere, so I grabbed hold pretty quick and I was just out there but cruising,” Gath told TrotsVision post-race. “I wasn’t pushing her, then once I moved to the death I thought I’ll have a look for the front and thought she’d probably get it and she did.” As the dust settled Gath rolled to the top with Miles happy to defer and give his filly a final crack in the straight, but Two Times Bettor would prove too strong, winning by 1.7 metres. “She’s really done a terrific job,” Gath said. “The lead time was quite quick and luckily in the middle I could give her a little breather, but she was really good on the line. “She’s such a nice filly to drive and she relaxes really good, she’s got all the attributes there and she’s just getting better at the right time. Her last start before tonight was terrific and she was very good tonight as well.” It would have been a pleasing result for owners and breeders Leslie, Ian and Gary Johnson, whose Bettor’s Delight filly was out of Twice As Hot, who was also the dam of dual Inter Dominion placegetter Flaming Flutter ($789,015). With the top eight advancing to the fillies’ semi-finals Two Times Bettor and second-placed Enchanted Stride will be joined by Bettor Robyn, Celerina, Millah Joy, Chezmac, Divine Diva and Edwina Express.   Vincent Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies’ second heat: This heat win had to mean plenty for co-owner, co-breeder and trainer Jess Tubbs with the filly that carries her farm’s name, Larajay Macray, saluting in fine style for husband and reinsman Greg Sugars. Tubbs shared breeding rights and ownership with long-time family friend Ian Kitchin, who Sugars lauded when speaking to TrotsVision post-race. “Kitch has just been a fantastic supporter of mainly the Tubbs family over many years,” Sugars said. “He’s done the hard yards, been through all the ups and downs, reached pretty high levels but quite a few lows along the way as well. Being a breeder, it probably is the toughest thing you can do in harness racing. “He’s been around a long time and deserves every winner he’s got. This one was bred in partnership with my wife Jess and was the first one they bred in partnership, and she’s turned out to be all right. We are very happy to have her in the stable.” That feeling will only be heightened after Larajay Macray impressed in her Vicbred Super Series heat, finding the front before handing it over to favourite Vena May and then showing plenty of fight in the final quarter. “She gets out of the gate pretty good this one and she has led and won a couple of races and she’s taken a sit and won as well,” Sugars. “She’s starting to strengthen up as she gets a little older too and I took the other one’s back, who was kicking the wheels when it came around and looked pretty keen, so I played the safe option to follow it and thankfully we were able to just grab it up the straight, but it did a very good job and didn’t lay down.” A Sportswriter filly out of Wya Wya Macray, the half-sister to Tee Cee Bee Macray advances to the June 29 semi-finals with Vena May (second), Mona Mia (third), Izzy Jolie, Mornings, Galactic Gal, Speed Dating and Tarzali.   Vincent Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies’ third heat: Chris Alford’s best laid plans to sit quiet on Kualoa were rewritten by the two-year-old champ who was keen to kick-start her Vincent Vicbred Super Series campaign. Starting from the widest gate, Alford put on the brakes and eased into the running line before putting Kualoa in the race – at her own demand – with over a lap to go. “There was good speed early and I was quite happy just to try and sit back and come with one run, but she just got touching the wheel a little bit and got a bit keen,” he said. “I didn’t want to fight her and just let her stride up and once she rolled to the front she was always in control.” Having emerged three-wide at the top of the straight for the second last time she had found the lead by the bell and was in a class of her own from there, stretching out with 29.4 and 29.6 third and fourth quarters to register a 20-metre win. It was a second Vicbred heat success this season for owner-breeders Bruce and Val Edward, with Kualoa’s (by Art Major) little half-sister Jemstone (by Bettor’s Delight) winning her Vicbred two-year-old heat only two nights prior at Bendigo. And it was also a continuation of the winning ways for trainer Emma Stewart. “As horses you couldn’t ask for better horses to drive, that’s for sure,” Alford said. “(Kualoa) has met some good three-year-olds this year, but she looks the benchmark and hopefully she can have a bit of luck when it comes to the final.” With the top eight advancing to the semi-finals, Kualoa will be joined by stablemate Looking Fabulous (second), Soundslikeart (third), Causing Strife, Fiscal Fantasy, Tryna Portray, Single Tree Road and Headline Act in moving on.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ second heat: Brevity looked like his race was shot to bits in the very early stages but the brave Bettor’s Delight three-year-old just kept giving for reinsman Chris Alford. Having run the quickest lead time of the boys’ heats by 1.5 seconds and followed with the quickest first quarter of the night (28.5 seconds), Brevity looked ripe for the picking for favourite Malcolms Rhythm with the latter’s reinswoman Kima Frenning watching it all unfold from one-out one-back behind Catch A Moment. “His hocks were coming back and hitting the footrest and he was hitting the wheel a bit with his foot and got pretty keen,” Alford said. “He did a really good job just to finish he had gone that hard.” The challengers loomed at the bend but the leader refused to wilt, winning by a neck from Malcolms Rhythm with stablemate Out To Play 1.5m back in third. “He was pretty aggressive that first lap so he did a great job to hang on,” Alford said. “He just puts his head down. He’s never really raced the best ones before but he’s going to measure up.” It was a delightful sight for owner-breeders Russell Maisner, Karen Dunwoodie, Apri and John Chase, with the latter on-course to watch the colt out of Abbreviated for the first time. Major Exclusive ran into fourth for Darby McGuigan and Ted Caruana to book his semi-final spot, with fifth-placed Catch A Moment’s advancement to be determined on time.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ third heat: It was billed as the night’s heavyweight bout and boy did it live up to expectations with Emma Stewart’s star-studded trio Hurricane Harley, Demon Delight and two-year-old Vicbred champion Centenario leaving it all on the Kilmore track. And, remarkably, it was the contender who arguably had it the toughest who emerged triumphant in Demon Delight, who reinswoman Kate Gath placed in the breeze for the last mile – sitting outside leader Centenario and directly in front of Hurricane Harley. “I thought he was tough, he’s always gave me that feel that he had super high speed, but he’s a little machine and I’m just really happy to get the chance to drive him,” Gath said. After first and second quarters that were a tick over 30 seconds, Alford broke open the field with a 26.9 third quarter aboard Centenario but couldn’t shake his stablemates. Demon Delight kept surging out wide and David Moran cut the corner on Hurricane Harley to challenge along the pegs, with the 27.4 last quarter seeing Demon Delight finish 1.6m clear of Hurricane Harley with Centenario 4.9m back in third. “He’s just a consummate racehorse where he relaxes, drops the bit and then goes when you ask him, gets the job done and gets past one and then goes again if another one comes,” Gath said. “I’m not surprised with what he did tonight because he always felt like he was a pretty strong horse.” The delight would have been shared by owners Pam and Russell Hockham who snapped up the Bettor’s Delight colt out of Ghadas Koala for $30,000 at the 2017 Australian Pacing Gold sale. Bred by David Pefferini, Salen Fatrouni and Freddy Taiba, Demon Delight has since banked almost $75,000 in stakes win and is likely the new series favourite. Joining the top three in advancing to the series’ semi-finals was Keith Cotchin’s Betternbetter, while Cee Cee In America ran into fifth and his advancement will be determined by time.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ fourth heat: The Vicbred Super Series has long been the home of a fairytale story or two and this year’s Disney movie applicant may well be Leroy and Danny O’Brien and their entrant Im Sir Blake. Having produced one of the finds of the season in 2017 when Im Princess Gemma won the $50,000 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic, the pair have plucked another pearler from the Shepparton Mixed Sale in Im Sir Blake. While the latter’s $4000 price was four times that paid for Im Princess Gemma, it’s certainly looking similarly bargain basement after the Rob Watson-bred Alta Christiano gelding blew away his rivals in an eventful front-running performance. Advancing to the breeze from gate four outside leader and co-favourite Perfect Major, Im Sir Blake was a handful for reinswoman Kerryn Manning for much of the running, overracing and continually pressing until finding the front the last time down the back straight. By that stage he’d broken up the field and kept coming, clearing out with a 27.8 third quarter and winning by 12.6m to Perfect Major and 29.9m to Explicit Castle despite closing in his slowest quarter (30.3 seconds) of the race. “The further he goes the keener he gets,” Manning said. “Since he choked down in Adelaide he’s probably drawn the back (row) most of the time and he’s settled pretty good off the back, it’s only when he gets out in the open that he tends to say ‘let’s go’. And when he gets on the chewy he really can get on it quite hard. “I didn’t ask him out of the gate, I really wanted to let him settle the best that I could. He sat up there until probably turning into the back straight for the first time, just started to get a bit keen and the further the race went the keener he got. He had the speed to get across down the back and he knocked off a little bit once he found the front.” There’s room for improvement, but it was a big win on a big stage and much to be satisfied about for co-trainer and co-owner Leroy O’Brien. “He just loves his racing, he’s a little racehorse and at home he’s a kids’ pony, walks around with the grandkids. He’s amazing, he really is.” Joining the first three in the semi-finals was fourth-placed Messerati, with fifth-placed Foolish Pleasure’s advancement time dependent.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ fifth heat: Crime Writer looked ripe for the picking at the final turn as Emma Stewart’s Always Fast loomed large in reinswoman Kima Frenning’s hands, but the Sportswriter gelding put his head down and punched on to record a satisfying victory for trainer-driver Matt Craven. “It wasn’t anything sensational but he was headed on the corner into the straight, he fought back and on the line he was going as good as he was at the top of the lane, so that was very pleasing,” Craven told TrotsVision post-race. A fourth victory in his 20 starts, which also brought up Craven’s 50th driving win of the season, came by a neck over Always Fast for owner-breeders Tony and Pamela Coniglia, who bred their mare Our Crime Of Passion to Sportswriter to produce the winner. “Hopefully he will continue to improve off the back of that run,” Craven said. “We left a little bit in the locker, so hopefully as things progress, and we’ve still got to progress through next week to the final which is never easy, but the first step’s there and we’ll see how we go.” A good performance in the June 29 semi-final and potentially July 6 final to follow could convince the stable to take the three-year-old north for the Queensland Derby. “You ask a lot of them as a three-year-old, especially if you think they go OK and you chase the big money. We’ve got in the back of our mind that, if he comes through this series well, we could head to Queensland. The good part about this fella is not much worries him wherever he’s been and even at home, he’s pretty much a cruiser and he settles in pretty well.” In addition to Always Fast, third-placed Rossini – who was beaten only 2.5m having boxed on well from leader’s back – and fourth-placed Firestorm Red will also advance to the semi-finals, while fifth-placed Belittled’s progression is time dependent.   Michael Howard  for Trots Media

On Thursday afternoon June 20, Jim Taggart Jr. put on a harness racing driving clinic and won 5 races on the card, Taggart didn't get hot until race 5 where he drove TKR'S Metro Specs to victory in 1:58.2 and returned a $8.70-win pari mutuel. Next up was College Hanover ($2.40) who scored a 5-length wire to wire win in 1:57 for trainer Richard Dunn. Cheyenne Danny won from the 8 hole in 1:56.2 - $3.20, the son of Cheyenne Rei is trained by Dan Gill. Taggart's fourth trip to the winner's circle came aboard the Bob Loundsbury trained Persist Blue Chip (1:57 - $3.50) Needles and Pins ($2.80 - 1:57.4) would account for the 5th winner of the afternoon, it was the third win of the season for Needles and Pins, the 11 year old gelding is trained by Anthony Regina. Taggart currently is in third place (109) for leading dash winning drivers at Monticello Raceway, behind Austin Siegelman (143) and Michael Merton (131) $736,029 was wagered on the 12-race card, New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-Old Pacing Colts is on tap for Monday afternoon June 24, post time is 12:50 for the 9-race card.   By: Shawn Wiles