Day At The Track

This Week In Harness Racing: Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way finals, and Metro and She's A Great Lady eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Kindergarten Series, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off at Tioga Downs on Friday (Sept. 13) with four $10,000 races in the Kindergarten Series, one event each for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters and pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park will be held on Saturday (Sept. 14) and will feature the C$605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$376,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$370,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old trotting colts, the C$405,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old trotting fillies, two C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Complete entries for the Tioga races are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk Park races are available at this link. Last time: On closing night of the 2019 Eldorado Scioto Downs meet, Atlanta withstood the late charge of two rivals to hold on for the victory in the $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial while in the next race, McWicked came flying down the middle of the stretch for a narrow win in the $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial. McWicked used a late charge down the middle of the stretch to win the $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs. USTA/Mark Hall photo. With Lather Up scratched in the Jim Ewart, 2-1 favorite McWicked (Brian Sears) got away fifth as Filibuster Hanover (Chris Page) led the nine-horse field through a :25.3 first quarter. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) moved past Filibuster Hanover and led through fractions of :52.4 and 1:20 and to the top of the stretch. Fifth while turning for home, Sears guided McWicked to the center of the track passing four rivals to win by a nose in 1:49. Donttellmeagain and Western Fame dead heated for second and Courtly Choice was fourth, a neck back. "He was a little loose on his cover, but you know he just keeps digging to the wire," said Sears following the win. "Casie's (Coleman) done an amazing job bringing him back. I want to thank (owner) Ed James for letting us race him again another year. It's been a lot of fun. This horse, he shows up every week and gives it his all." For McWicked, an 8-year-old son of McArdle, it was his fourth win in 2019, the 38th of his career and increased his lifetime earnings to $4,622,405. He is owned by S S G Stables and trained by Casie Coleman. In the $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial, Yannick Gingras and Atlanta held off the late charges of Plunge Blue Chip and Mission Accepted to win in a track record 1:51.4. "I was hoping maybe for a lot of crazy speed early, so I could race off a helmet or chasing down horses any way," said Gingras. "I think that's her best game. But the way it worked out, I was able to make the front end and I knew Timmy (Tetrick on favorite Guardian Angel As) was parked the whole mile, so that was definitely a plus." After being parked third as Mission Accepted led the nine-horse field to the first quarter in :27.1, Gingras moved Atlanta to the lead the first time past the grandstand then led through fractions of :56 and 1:24. With the lead turning for home, Gingras allowed Atlanta to drift out a little off the turn leaving room for Plunge Blue Chip and Mission Accepted to challenge the winner on the inside. Atlanta's winning margin over Plunge Blue Chip was a head and third-place Mission Accepted was a half-length back. Favorite Guardian Angel As finished fourth. Atlanta, a 4-year-old Chapter Seven mare, is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. She has now won seven of 11 starts this year and is 19-for-35 lifetime with $1,799,089 in career earnings. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 863.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 656; 3. David Miller - 541; 4. Dexter Dunn - 491; 5. Brian Sears - 414. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 748; 2. Tony Alagna - 446; 3. Marcus Melander - 359; 4. Jim King Jr. - 306.5; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 305. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 192; 2. Brad Grant - 168.8; 3. Courant Inc. - 152.5; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 135.9; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 123.4. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Woodbine Mohawk Park and Hoosier Park. Delaware will be hosting nine Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the third and final leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Mohawk will feature the the Milton for older pacing mares and Metro and She's A Great Lady finals for freshman pacers; and Hoosier will host seven Grand Circuit races, including the Caesars Trotting Classic for open trotters and the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Ciruit  

Passionate Sydney harness racing owner Emilio Rosati has never been afraid to think outside the box - and now he's doing that with success, with three former American horses. While there's a veritable procession of Australian and New Zealand standardbreds being sent to the Northern Hemisphere, it's a relatively rare thing for American race-horses to be brought "Down Under". But that's what Rosati has done and, prepared by his private trainer former North American champion mentor Noel "Oz" Daley, two of his US imports scored impressively at Menangle last Saturday night. Rosati has been in the sport over 45 years and has used the suffix "stride" in the names of many of his horses, after one of the first horses raced with his wife in the 1970s, named Stride High who won nine races. Seven-year-old mare Blue Moon Stride USA (Rocknroll Hanover USA-Classic Star) took out the $22,440 Mares Pace for James Rattray, while five-year-old square gaiter Lily Stride USA (Muscle Hill USA-Sterling Volo) was victorious in the $14,280 Trotters Mobile with Anthony Butt aboard. "It was certainly very pleasing as they were off the scene for quite a while - one of them unraced for nine months - so it's taken a bit to get them up and going again," Daley said. "Lily Stride has really hit her straps with four wins now from her six outings for us. But she does have some class on her side because back in the States she scored an upset win in the 3yo Breeders Crown Filly Trot, worth a purse of $500,000, last October," he said. "Blue Moon Stride is a gorgeous mare who has now earnt over $1.2 million. Emilio and his wife Mary bought her as a weanling. She's beautifully bred, out of a sister to (former star racehorse and now leading sire) Bettors Delight. "Over in the US she came up against ex-Aussie mare Shartin, who recently won at The Meadowlands in world record time of 1.46-4. (Before being sent to the Northern Hemisphere, Shartin was considered to be one of Australia's best juveniles, taking the Tasmania and Queensland Oaks while under the care of Victorian trainer Dean Braun.) "Both Lily Stride and Blue Moon Stride were prepared by former Kiwi trainer Mark Harder, who has probably been USA-based for over 30 years. Mark did a great job with them and he also had Mooshka Stride, a trotter that's joined our barn as well." Mooshka Stride USA (Credit Winner-Check Me Out) has had one start for the Rosati-Daley team, for a Menangle success on July 2 in 1.58-5. This took her career tally to five wins and seven placings from 21 starts for over $85,000 in earnings. "She got kicked by another horse and is just back in training again," Daley said. The USA trio flew out in November. They arrived in Australia after enjoying a short time in New Zealand. "They all had a good few months off which was ideal," Daley said. The Daley stable has 18 horses in training - a far cry from the huge numbers the skilled horseman had under his care while overseas. "The most we got up to was probably about 125. However, over the past few years in the States when I was scaling down after deciding to make Australia home again, it was a much smaller," he said. "At the beginning of my last season there was 25 horses, and at the end about 10 to 12." Over three decades based in the United States, largely at New Jersey, Daley stamped himself as one of the all-time greats. He prepared 2570 winners for more than $61.1 million, which ranks sixth among all trainers in harness racing history. by Terry Gange  

Reigning Inter Dominion Champion Tiger Tara topped off a stunning year in winning Harness Racing’s most prestigious Australian Harness Horse of the Year title for his owners, spearheaded by Kevin Pizzuto who also trains the 9 year old entire. In a dominant year for his connections, Tiger Tara (by Bettors Delight USA - from Tara Gold NZ) added the Australian Pacer of the Year, Australian Aged Horse of Gelding and Grand Circuit Champion to his long list of accolades in season 2018/19. On the juvenile pacing front, all-conquering Victorian trainer Emma Stewart amazingly trained the winners of both the Australian Two Year old Colt or Gelding and Filly of the Year in Be Happy Mach and Maajida. The win of Be Happy Mach (Mach Three USA - Behappysam NZ) makes it successive Australian Two Year Old Colt or Gelding of the Year titles for the group of owners managed by Tim Bunning, many who share ownership in last year’s victor, Centenario. Maajida (Somebeachsomewhere USA - Arterial Way), winner of the Group One Vicbred and Breeders Crown Finals is owned and bred by Gary, Ian, Les and Steve Johnson of Atworthy Park. Pistol Abbey (Western Terror USA - Art Princess) took out the Australian Aged Pacing Mare of the Year title, and continued the success of Bill and Anne Anderson of Lauriston Bloodstock who also owned last years Three Year Old Colt of the Year, Poster Boy. It was no surprise that Max Delight (Bettors Delight USA - Lady Euthenia) swept the voting in the Three Year Old Pacing Colts and Gelding division after winning the Breeders Crown, Tasmanian Derby and NSW Derby for Tasmanian based owner Michael Maxfield. Astute owner Norm Jenkin capped off a great year with Tornado Valley (Skyvalley NZ  - Begin NZ) being the unanimous victor of Australian Trotter of the Year and winning the Australian Aged Trotting Horse or Gelding of the Year after being 11 from 12 during the year including the Inter Dominion.   Norm’s affection for Kate (driver) and Andy Gath (trainer) shows no sign of dimming as another stable star emerged in the form of Majestuoso (Majestic Son CA - Rosemaryz Luck NZ) who took out the 3YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year – the highlight being his breathtaking win in the Victorian Trotting Derby. Harness Racing Australia congratulates all the Award winners for season 2018/19. The performance criteria for the HRA Awards is for performances by Australian trained horses regardless of venue or country, as well as well as for the Australian performances of New Zealand trained horses. A full list of Australian Horse of the Year winners and their performances across all categories is attached: Lawn Derby Awards – Pacers Vancleve Awards – Trotters For more information, please contact Harness Racing Australia on 03 9227 3000.   HRA

Dayton, OH. - Harness racing driver Tyler Smith copped his 3,000th racing career win at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Tuesday afternoon. The 26 year old reinsman, who was the youngest driver in history to reach the 1000 and 2000 win milestones, captured three of the first six races in pursuit of his 3000th score. Smith is on track to record his best year yet with 237 wins and over $3.2 million in 2019 earnings. He has notched eight consecutive seasons with over 250 wins and banked over $3 million in purses the last seven consecutive years. Tyler's fondest racing experience to date has been winning an elimination and finishing second with Let's Drink On It in the 2014 Little Brown Jug. "He and Sectionline Bigry are the two best horses I've ever sat behind. I sure hope there is more like them in the future!" From Dayton Raceway Media Department  

Where there's lights and music, there's always bound to be plenty of action, even in ageing legs! 12-year-old pacer Lights And Music has been turning it on recently and is right in the harness racing spotlight in country Victoria. The bay gelding, trained by dairy farmer Colin Godden with his wife Michelle, at Nanneella, a stone's throw north-east of Rochester, will be lining up for a hat-trick of wins at his next outing. Lights And Music (Jet Laag USA-Computerize NZ (Stand Together USA) is owned by Godden and his son James and landed the money at Echuca last week then followed up with a Maryborough success on Monday afternoon. Despite the impressive style of his Echuca victory in 1.57-5 (after coming three wide late for reinswoman Abbey Turnbull) punters failed to "hear the music at Maryborough", with the old timer again starting as a generous $19.90 chance. "He's actually been doing a pretty good job over the past few months because he hasn't been getting a lot of luck," Godden said. "But the girls have driven him well at his past two and things have gone his way a bit, which you need these days." Turnbull has forged a great association with the horse with four wins, a third and a fifth from six drives, but was unavailable at Maryborough. "Abbey had an exam at university and while she was disappointed she couldn't make it, she was excited for Tayla French to take the drive," Godden said. "Tayla has had a few goes on him for a second and a fourth, so it was fantastic for her to get a win on him. They'll pair up again at Bendigo on September 18 in a race that's restricted to drivers who haven't more than 10 lifetime wins." Besides Turnbull and French, many other Victorian junior drivers have a soft spot for the consistent and reliable "Jimmy" as he's known, who's given many emerging drivers race experience over his long career. Josh Duggan has won six on him and his fiance Monique Burnett, two. There's also been Tiana McMahon, Jack Laugher and Rhys Nicholson, one win each. Other juniors to have taken the reins include Kima Frenning, Ryan Duffy, Brad Chisholm, Lisa Bartley, Zac Phillips and Connor Ronan. Godden said along with a change of luck, a variation of the pacer's training regime perhaps also contributed to his resurgent form. "I used to swim them in a huge dam, but Jimmy would get quite petrified and start to panic," Godden said. "We decided to put a water walker in eight months ago and he loves it, so we don't do too much else with him now. It's taken the pressure off his joints and certainly given him a new lease of life," he said. "Our son James is an engineer, so he designed and constructed it. It's a bit over a metre deep and we have them going about power walking speed, and occasionally spin them around the opposite way. Going back against the 'current' really spikes their heart rate." The Godden family purchased Lights And Music for $1500 after he was sent by South Australian owners to be broken in by friend, veteran Elmore horseman Max Wishart. "He was a weedy, little fellow and the people who had first option decided against a purchase," Godden said. "We heard about it and ended up with him and after he had six months in a paddock, he showed us very early on that he could run. "Max helped us out a great deal. He drove him a lot at home and later we would fast work at his place. We raced him as a 2yo in March, 2010, and I drove him to thirds at Echuca and Charlton. "We put Daryl Douglas on at Maryborough and they won; he then had a spell and I drove him when he came back at Echuca, and happily landed the money." Godden has lived all his life in the Goulburn Valley community of Nanneella-the word thought to be an Aboriginal name for a local creek. The area was first settled as a pastoral run in the late 1800s and is today a mainly dairy-farming community with a population of 400. "We milk about 280 cows but don't have much water and feed is becoming very costly. Michelle always says harness racing is our outlet and our fun, because the dairy industry isn't looking all that flash at present," he said. And Lights And Music has been a reliable distraction for the popular and well-liked family, winning 27 races and 63 placings for over $160,000 in stakes. "He's a bit cranky at times - he'd rather bite you than say hello - but that's about his only vice. He's always been a nice horse and I doubt there's been a year gone past where he hasn't won for us," Godden said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Former Australian bred, New Zealand trained harness pacer Waikiki Beach wins at Rosecroft. The former brilliant down under gelding won the $8,000 Maryland Preferred Pace for trainer Michael Hall and driver Eddie Davis Jnr on Sunday. When raced in New Zealand and Australia the 7yo son of Somebeachsomewhere won 23 out of his first 24 race day starts, with the first 19 wins all being in a row, a staggering feat.Trained in New Zealand by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rassmussen, Waikiki Beach was the winner of 23 races and over $970,000 in prize money, with his best down under time being 1:50.6. Mach Doro A continues doing a fantastic job racing in North America. Mach Doro A won at Plainridge Park on Monday for trainer Heidi Gibbs and driver Mitchell Cushing. He paced the mile in 1:50.1, making it his 7th win for the season in North America and taking his stake earnings to just short of $80,000. Formerly racing in Australia the son of Mach Three won 24 races and earned over $393,000. Including being the winner and place getter in Group races multiple times. The New Zealand bred, Have Faith In Me was seen winning the $30,000 pace at Yonkers on Saturday night. He paced the mile in 1:52 around the half mile (800m) track. The Jose Godinez trained 8yo gelding was driven to victory by Jim Marohn Jnr.  It was the son of Bettors Delights 8th win for the season in North America and holds his seasons earnings at over $121,000. Have Faith In Me was trained in New Zealand by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. He was the winner of 16 races and earned just shy of 1.5 million in stake money across New Zealand and Australia with a record setting time at Menangle of 1:47.5. Monday 2nd September   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Wick N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $7,000   Ocean Downs MD Hollywood Sign A – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $4,000   Plainridge Park MA Fernleigh Rebel N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $12,000 Mach Doro A – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $14,000   Tioga Downs NY Ascot Encounter N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $6,000   Tuesday 3rd September   Harrington Raceway DE Lucky Artist A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $11,000   Monticello Raceway NY Kamwood Laughter N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $5,500   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Lady Dela Renta A – Time: 1:49.2, Stake: $17,500 Shezallapples N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $8,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Soho Jackman A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $18,500   Wednesday 4th September   Monticello Raceway NY Power Dreaming N – Time: 1:57.0, Stake: $5,500   Thursday 5th September   Saratoga Harness NY Bontz N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $15,000   Friday 6th September   Freehold Raceway NJ Eden Paige N – Time: 1:57.0, Stake: $6,300   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Brilliant Strike N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $8,500   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Imprincessgemma A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $12,500 Slick Artist A – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $14,500   Scioto Downs OH Sams A Champ A – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $8,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Bettor B Chevron N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $46,000 Kaitlyn N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $24,000 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Ambro Courage N, 3rd Glenferrie Blade A Lovin Miss Daisy N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $24,000 Liberty Rose N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $30,000   Saturday 7th September   Batavia Downs NY Tullow N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $12,500   Freehold Raceway NJ Midnight Dylan N – Time: 1:58.0, Stake: $6,000 Americanbootscoota A – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $7,700   Northfield Park OH Make A Statement A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $5,500   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Backup A – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $8,500 The Empressister N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $6,000 Gold Class N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $8,500 Bounty Lady N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $7,500   Saratoga Harness NY Lord Willoughby A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $12,500 Lifeonthebeach A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $4,500 Crockets Cullen N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $15,000   Scarborough Downs ME Holy Grail N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $4,400   Tioga Downs NY Ascot Encounter A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $7,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Macintosh N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $18,500 Shineonucrazydiamond A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $30,000 Theartofconfusion A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $46,000 Imrockonrollegend N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $30,000 Havefaithinme N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $30,000   Sunday 8th September   Rosecroft Raceway MD Waikiki Beach A – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $8,000   Previous weeks 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

MILTON, SEPT. 10, 2019 - Premier Cabernet went into Tuesday night's regular season finale needing a win to extend her Grassroots season and the three-year-old pacing filly delivered, keeping a head in front of rival Kylie Seelster for a 1:52.2 harness racing victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Starting from Post 1, Premier Cabernet landed fourth as Cinderella Delight led the field of nine to a :27.2 opening quarter, but driver Scott Young soon had the fan favourite on the move and Premier Cabernet was leading the way by the :56.2 half. The filly continued to show the way past the 1:24.3 half and then dug in for her second straight Grassroots stretch battle with Kylie Seelster, reversing the result from their Aug. 25 meeting. Cinderella Delight finished two and one-quarter lengths back in third. "She needed that to get in to the top 20," said trainer Bob Young. "She's been a good consistent mare all year, she's missed one cheque. She's had three seconds in a row, but they've all been good seconds and tonight it was a repeat of the (Aug. 25) race at Rideau Carleton where Dougie (McNair) had the inside and we were on the outside. They were noses apart in Rideau Carleton and it was a real good race tonight again." Guelph, ON resident Young conditions Premier Cabernet for owner-breeder Premier And Associates FA of Howell, MI. The Betterthancheddar daughter started her Ontario Sires Stakes career at the Gold Series level this season, making two starts against the top level fillies before moving to the Grassroots in time for the Aug. 25 event at Rideau Carleton Raceway. With one win and one second she will finish the regular season in twelfth spot with 75 points. The top 20 point earners advance to the Sept. 28 Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "She won't race now for 10 or 12 days. I'll get one start into her before the Semi-Finals if everything goes well, and the idea is to keep her healthy and go from there," said Young, adding that the filly will get a two month break after the Grassroots post season and then begin preparations for her four-year-old campaign. "She's a big mare, a strong mare, and I think next year she'll be a nice solid race mare here." In the second $23,150 division Swift Ally put the cap on a perfect regular season with her fourth win in four Grassroots starts. The fan favourite was in front before the half and cruised home a one and three-quarter length winner in 1:52.4. Twin B Tipster closed well to be second and Quebec Blue Chip completed the top three. "She keeps getting better," said driver Doug McNair. "She's perfect to drive, can race both ways and is easy on herself." Trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph and Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON bred and own Swift Ally, who has not been bested since mid-July. The Big Jim daughter finished the regular season at the top of the division standings with 200 points. Bettors Delight daughter Ideation Hanover won the third division in her 2019 Grassroots debut. The former Gold Series regular and driver James MacDonald opened up a nine length margin on the field, reaching the wire in 1:50.2. Be Best and Charmbo Brie finished second and third. MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Dave Menary and owners Larry Menary of Flamborough, Michael Guerriero of Brampton and Alan Alber of Thornhill, ON. The final division saw Doug and Gregg McNair back in the winner's circle with Sports Flix, who stormed from the back of the field to a 1:52.2 personal best effort. Shesonehotwriter and Freya Seelster finished one length back in second and third. "She was racing just fair a couple starts ago (July) and they gave her some time and she's really coming back to herself," said Doug McNair of the Sportswriter daughter, who won the Grassroots Championship at two. James Fraleigh of Dresden, ON owns Sports Flix, who was also a winner in the Aug. 25 Grassroots event and finishes the regular season in sixth spot with 103 points. In addition to Sports Flix and Swift Ally, Gregg McNair trainee Kylie Seelster wraps up the regular season in second spot in the standings with 162 points. "They are all nice fillies. Too bad they are all in the same division," said a rueful Doug McNair, who will face a tough choice between mounts in the Sept. 28 Semi-Final if all three fillies remain happy and healthy. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, Sept. 12 with the last regular season Grassroots contest for the three-year-old trotting colts. The colts will compete in Races 2, 6, and 8 on the program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. Complete results from Tuesday's program are available at   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit:   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park

By Jonny Turner One of saddest tales around this year’s New Zealand Cup has played out more than two months before the running of the country’s greatest race. Ashburton owners Stuart and Liz Leadley will not be represented in the event after their top class pacer Alta Maestro had to be euthanised, recently. The Robert Dunn trained 5yr-old was struck down with a crippling knee injury over winter. Vets told his connections their only realistic option was to put Alta Maestro down. “He was diagnosed with real bad arthritis – it was so bad they said you’ve got no option but to put him down,” Stuart Leadley said. “They said he would never make any kind of trekking horse or riding horse.” “There was no option, he was going to be a cripple.” Alta Maestro won nine of his 32 starts and banked over $195,000 in stakes. The Art Major pacer holds the New Zealand 2yr-old male pacers record for 1700m with his 1-59.7 win in March of 2017. Alta Maestro began his career and a head strong and free rolling front runner. Most recently, the Dunn stable transformed the horse in to a relaxed staying type and it was paying dividends. Alta Maestro raced admirably in open class last season and scored his best win in the group 3 Teltrac Communications Ltd Free-For-All at Addington in March. This year’s New Zealand Cup was to be on the horse’s agenda before tragedy struck. “We had some pretty big and realistic plans this year,” Leadley said. “We genuinely thought he was good enough to be doing some pretty good things and it was a dreadful shock.” Leadley rated Alta Maestro as the best horse among the smart types he has raced. Good performers, Alta Las Vegas and Franco Cristiano, are also among his winners.   “We have owned 19 in total over about the last 16 years, he has certainly won us the most money.” “We have had a total of 53 wins, so we have done pretty well with the horses we have had.” The Leadleys are no strangers to tragically losing horses. The couple raced talented pacer Welsey Silcox, who won eight of his 12 starts in 2014 and 2015. The Courage Under Fire pacer died as the result of a freak accident. “Lightening hit a tree and crushed him.” “You wouldn’t believe some of the problems we have had with horses,” Leadley said. Alta Maestro’s demise comes at a time when the Canterbury couple’s time as owners is nearing its end. Leadley is unable to attend racemeetings due to a lung illness. “I am on oxygen tubes and morphine now and it is a problem to get to the races.” “Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with serious breathing issues and they said it will only every get worse.” “Nowadays I am confined to a wheelchair.” The owner reflects fondly on his 16-year involvement in horse ownership. “The real thing about the races was the people that we met,” Leadley said. “There are some really great people there and if we didn’t have those horses we never would have met them.” Leadley remains in the ownership of three horses in the Dunn stable. They include the unbeaten 3yr-old Down To The Bone. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ  

MILTON, ON - September 10, 2019 - Forbidden Trade and Green Manalishi S headline a field of nine harness racing trotters for this Saturday's $605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   A total of nine sophomore trotters were entered Tuesday morning for this year's edition of the Canadian Trotting Classic. The $605,000 race headlines a $2 million card that includes the $376,000 Elegantimage, $405,000 Peaceful Way and $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial.   Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade (PP2) leads the field for the Canadian Trotting Classic. The Luc Blais trainee and winner of $1.1 million has home track advantage in his attempt for another signature victory. The son of Kadabra is owned by Serge Godin's Determination of Montreal, Quebec and is driven by Bob McClure, who currently ranks second in earnings and third in wins at Woodbine.   Forbidden Trade is looking to become the first Hambletonian winner since Pinkman in 2015 to also win the Canadian Trotting Classic. The Blais trainee most recently finished second in the Yonkers Trot and sports a record of six wins and top-three finishes in all 10 starts this season   Marcus Melander trainee Green Manalishi S (PP4) is undefeated in three career starts at Mohawk Park and full of confidence following a victory in last Friday's Simcoe Stakes.   Owned by Courant Inc, Green Manalishi S has won four of eight starts this season and his only time missing the board was a fifth-place finish in the Hambletonian final. Tim Tetrick will guide the son of Muscle Hill.   Green Manalishi S, who is a little less than $55,000 away from millionaire status, captured last year's William Wellwood Memorial. He is attempting to become the first Wellwood-Trotting Classic back-to-back winner since Father Patrick in 2014.   The field for Saturday's main event also includes Goodtimes Stakes winner Pilot Discretion (PP5, Andrew McCarthy). The Tony Alagna trainee hasn't won since capturing the $247,000 event on Pepsi North America Cup night, but does have a runner-up finishes in the Stanley Dancer Memorial, a pair of Kentucky Sires Stakes divisions and was a Hambletonian finalist.   Forbidden Trade is one of three Ontario sired trotters in the field. Knight Angel (PP1, Doug McNair) and Only For Justice (PP9, Chris Christoforou) have each won an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division this season.   Completing the field for the Canadian Trotting Classic is the much-talked about Swandre The Giant (PP3, David Miller) for trainer Ron Burke, Hambletonian finalist Dont Letem (PP8, Yannick Gingras) for trainer Nancy Johansson, recent winner Gerry (PP7, Corey Callahan) for trainer Melander and Goodtimes finalist Smart As Hill (PP6, Paul MacDonell) for trainer Mike Keeling.   The $605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic is carded as Race 8 on Saturday's $2 million card.   The $376,000 Elegantimage Stakes attracted 13 sophomore trotting fillies. The top-10 money earners will race in Saturday's event with the other three entrants receiving a refund of their stakes payments.   Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry leads the field with $328,054 earned this season and comes in off a Simcoe Stakes division victory last Friday. The daughter of Muscle Hill and driver Simon Allard will start from post-three for trainer Carmen Auciello.   Ohio Sires Stakes champion Only Take Cash will face her toughest challenge to date in the Elegantimage. The Bob McIntosh trainee crushed her rivals in the Buckeye State this season and holds a record of six wins and $308,811 earned in eight starts as a three-year-old.   A daughter of Cash Hall, Only Take Cash won her Grand Circuit debut two starts back in a division of the Casual Breeze. Trevor Henry will guide the filly from the rail.   A trio of notables didn't have luck on their side in the post-position draw.   Simcoe winner Sisters Promise (PP8, Tim Tetrick) for trainer Linda Toscano, last year's Peaceful Way winner The Ice Dutchess (PP9, Yannick Gingras) for trainer Johansson and New Jersey Sires Stakes champion Evident Beauty (PP10, David Miller) for trainer 'Nifty' Norman drew posts eight through ten.   The $376,000 Elegantimage has been carded as Race 10.   Rookie trotters will also be on display for the $405,000 Peaceful Way and $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial.   Linda Toscano's Dip Me Hanover (PP3, David Miller) and Johansson's Panem (PP4, Dexter Dunn) captured last week's Peaceful Way eliminations for two-year-old trotting fillies.   The Peaceful Way is carded as Race 4.   Trainer Melander is set up nicely to capture his second consecutive Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotting colt and geldings. He swept last week's eliminations with Back Of The Neck (PP3, Mattias Melander) and Capricornus (PP4, Tim Tetrick).   The William Wellwood Memorial is carded as Race 6.   Saturday evening's card will also feature the eliminations for the Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady.   A group of 14 two-year-old pacing colts and geldings have been split into a pair of $40,000 Metro eliminations, while 12 two-year-old pacing fillies were separated into two $35,000 eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady.   Capt Midnight has been steamrolling through stakes events this summer at Mohawk Park and will now look to add the prestigious Metro Pace to his collection. The Alagna trainee most recently won a division of the Champlain Stakes by 7 ¾ lengths in a stakes-record equaling time of 1:50.2.   A son of 2012 Metro winner Captaintreacherous, Capt Midnight is four for six with $192,819 earned and a mark of 1:49.4. Driver Andrew McCarthy will team up with the freshman from post-seven in the second elimination.   Johansson trainee Tall Dark Stranger enters the Metro eliminations with a perfect four for four record. The son of Bettors Delight has crushed Ontario Sires Stakes rivals in his previous two starts to bring his earnings to $104,533.   Tall Dark Stranger, who's average margin of victory is nearly three-lengths, holds a mark of 1:51.1 and will be driven by Yannick Gingras from post-two in the first elimination.   The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $750,000 Metro Pace final on September 21. The eliminations have been carded as Races 3 and 9.   The Alagna barn will also send out the top contender in the Shes A Great Lady eliminations.   Identical to Capt Midnight, Reflect With Me has cruised through her series and stakes at Mohawk Park over the last six weeks, including a stakes record 1:51.1 victory in last weekend's Champlain Stakes.   The daughter of Captaintreacherous is four for six with $139,068 earned and a mark of 1:50.3. Alagna will again have the driving services of McCarthy and the duo will start from post-three in the second elimination.   Bettors Delight filly Alicorn has turned many heads this season with multiple Ontario Sires Stakes records. The Chantal Mitchell trainee has won four of seven starts, including a division of the Eternal Camnation, and holds a mark of 1:50.3.   Alicorn established an Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1:51 on July 19 and broke her own record in her most-recent start on August 30 with the 1:50.3 mile.   Louis Philippe Roy will drive the Mitchell trainee from post-four in the first elimination.   The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $540,000 final on September 21. The eliminations have been carded as Races 1 and 2.   The Milton Stakes for older pacing mares will not require eliminations this weekend with 10 pacing mares entered. All 10 advanceto the $250,000 final on September 21.   Superstar Shartin N is the star attraction for this year's Milton Stakes. The Jim King trained six-year-old has won 14 of 15 starts this season and is currently the top-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society-Breeders Crown Top 10 poll with all 35 first-place votes.   The group of 10 for the Milton Stakes is listed below in alphabetical order.   Apple Bottom Jeans Bettors Up Caviart Ally Double A Mint Kendall Seelster Kissin In The Sand Seaswift Joy N Shartin N Shower Play Youaremycandygirl   Post time for this Saturday's $2 million card is 7:30 p.m. Click here to view the entries and early program pages.   For more information, visit   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

TOP Aussie trainer David Aiken has lots of thinking to do. Aiken boasts one of the strongest barns of open-class horses – pacers and trotters – and no doubt Auckland officials would love him at Alexandra Park late this year for the Inter Dominion. But he’s yet to sit down with key owner, Dom Martello, to nut-out plans for key horses Wrappers Delight and Big Jack Hammer. “The first thing was to see how well both horses came back after their spells and those signs are good,” Aiken said. “Wrappers Delight had no luck first-up, then won really well in fantastic time last run. That Inter Dominion series knocked him around last year, in retrospect he just wasn’t quite ready for it. “I left us wondering if he’d come back as well after a break, but I’m pretty confident now he’s as good if not better than ever.” Big Jack Hammer, who has a breakthrough first season in the big league with three Group 1 wins, has shown encouraging form with six runs this campaign netting two wins and two seconds in good company. “I’m realistic with him. He’s a nice trotter, but not a star. Things went right for him last season, but still did a mighty job to go through the grades and win three Group 1’s,” Aiken said. “He’s going to need luck and the right sorts of draws now in these better races. He can’t make his own luck, at least not at this stage.” Wrappers Delight looks the one to beat again despite a back row (gate 10) in the VHRC Classic (2240m) at Melton on Saturday night. “He’s headed to the Kilmore Cup at the end of this month and then the Victoria Cup on October 12,” Aiken said. “That’s as far as we’ve got in planning so far. We’ve got Auckland to consider and those two big races in Perth in January would be in the mix as well. “The main thing is he’s come back in terrific form and we’ve got plenty of options.” Adam Hamilton

The often sedate nature of early season open class pacing races has provided Addington with an unexpected boost this week. Because Miracle Mile winner Spankem and his high-class stablemates Ultimate Sniper and Chase Auckland will resume at their Friday night meeting, a week earlier than expected. All three Purdon-Rasmussen group one stars were originally expected to start their New Zealand Cup campaigns in the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru on Sunday week. But Purdon decided with the first open class pace of the season two weeks ago run at a farcical speed, an earlier start to their preparations wouldn’t hurt the trio. “We could have taken them back to the trials but often these early season open class races can be a bit slower than usual and raced in single file,” explains Purdon. ‘“I am not saying that will be the case this week but I think a race will be more useful than a trial which might have only been our three anyway. “And if they only run a big half (last 800m) on Friday then it is similar to a trial.” A look at the first open class pace of the season, the Maurice Holmes Vase on August 30, suggests Friday’s comeback shouldn’t be too brutal on the big guns. While there were only two head margins between Classie Brigade, A G’s White Socks and Hail Christian that night, the overall time of 3:21.4 for the 2600m standing start was 12.7 seconds outside the national record, with the leaders flying their last 800m in 54.3 seconds and the 400m in 26.7. The final sectional is exactly the same one Spankem paced winning a trial at Ashburton last week, suggesting field position might decide Friday’s Avon City Ford New Brighton Cup. But regardless of who wins on Friday having some of the All Stars pacing heroes back creates a lot more interest in the meeting and makes it feel like the open class season is actually starting. “It will be good to have them back and all going well they will probably still go to Oamaru for the Hannon, then races like the Canterbury Classic (October 4) and the Flying Stakes at Ashburton on October 28.” New Zealand Cup defending champion Thefixer won’t be back on Friday though as he has had a very slight setback and will instead trial at Rangiora today. And Auckland Cup winner Turn It Up is still definitely not racing until next year. Also returning on Friday night but away from the elite trotters is Oscar Bonavena, who is expected to be one of the big movers in that gait this season. He has thrilled Purdon in both his work and a trial last week and while he is the $4.80 second favourite for the Dominion during Cup week in Christchurch he comes back off only a 20m handicap in a moderate rating56 race on Friday. “He is trotting beautifully and we have no concerns about him stepping into open class later in the spring,” said Purdon. Friday’s main trot will see Sundees Son start a hot favourite back to mobile conditions in the Ordeal Trotting Cup after he bolted in from a 25m handicap against similar opposition last Friday.   Michael Guerin

For several years, Michael Holmes and his sister Sarah kicked around the idea of starting a Standardbred harness racing stable. After watching one of their father's horses win a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship in 2018, the talk turned to action. Michael, 27, and Sarah, 30, launched Lexington-based Happy Hour Racing last fall, bringing together a group of people from the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries, plus college friends, to purchase five yearlings. All five horses made it to the races this season, with two wins and a total of 15 top-three finishes in 34 starts so far, good for $134,096 in purses. Both of the stable's victories came on the New York Sire Stakes circuit and the group is hoping to visit the winner's circle at Lexington's Red Mile soon. Hit Show, a 2-year-old male trotter, finished second in a division of the Kentucky Sire Stakes on Aug. 31 at Red Mile and is ninth in points in the series. That same day, its 2-year-old female trotter Heaven also finished second in the KYSS and is 11th in points. The Kentucky Sire Stakes championships are Sunday at Red Mile and the consolations are Saturday. The draws for both days are Wednesday. In addition, Happy Hour Racing's 2-year-old female pacer Coconut Beach won on Aug. 30 at Vernon Downs in a division of the New York Sire Stakes and is 13th in the points in the series. The New York Sire Stakes championships and consolations are Saturday and Sunday, respectively. "We're hoping to have a good weekend," Michael Holmes said. "We're excited. We've got 70-plus shareholders and it's been a lot of fun for all of us so far. It's been a blast." Michael and Sarah are no strangers to racing, both Thoroughbred and harness. Their dad, New Zealand native Tony Holmes, and mom Susan have a small commercial Thoroughbred breeding operation, Marula Park Stud in Lexington, and have also bred Standardbreds. Tony was the co-breeder of millionaire trotter Guccio as well as his stakes-winning full brother Lagerfeld. Last year, Tony's Windy Corner, which he also co-bred, won the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old female trotters. "It's in mine and Sarah's blood," Michael said. "We were following dad's filly that he raced. Now we're hooked. We talked about (starting a stable) for several years. We saw Windy Corner and we got all excited and decided to start a partnership. The bug kind of hit us a little later but it's been exciting." Michael is in his fifth year working in finance for Thoroughbred breeder WinStar Farm. Sarah has worked with several Thoroughbred operations and is now at the family's Marula Park Stud. Happy Hour Racing owns two horses, Coconut Beach and Generous Pour, on its own and shares ownership on the remaining three -- Oreo Dream Xtreme, Heaven, and Hit Show. Coconut Beach, Heaven, and Hit Show are trained by Erv Miller; Oreo Dream Xtreme and Generous Pour by John Butenschoen. Following the conclusions of the Kentucky and New York sire stakes, Coconut Beach, Heaven, and Hit Show are staked to the Grand Circuit events in Lexington, not to mention the Breeders Crown in Canada. "We were just extremely happy to get to the races," Michael said. "We've at least seen what kind of talent we have. It's been a good start. "It's exciting. With the Thoroughbreds, they race every one or two months and we're getting entries every other week. It's a lot of action. That's what we wanted. We wanted to show people the purse money that's out there (in harness racing) and how frequently they race. We're hoping we can bring the sport some new owners. Some might branch out and buy horses on their own." Michael said Happy Hour Racing has no intentions of expanding in the near future. "We don't have any plans to buy any more horses as of right now, but we're open to doing whatever we have to do to make this work," he said. "Fingers crossed. We've been fortunate so far. I've really enjoyed it and I know Sarah has too."  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

For the second straight week the world champion pacing mare, Shartin N, remains a unanimous #1 choice among the 35 voters. Captain Crunch dropped from #5 to #8 this week and Southwind Ozzi (who beat Captain Crunch) breaks into the Top Ten in 10th position. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 16 – 9/10/2019 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Shartin N (35) 6pm 15-14-0-0 $826,427 350 1 2 Lather Up 4ph 12-8-1-1 $768,011 271 2 3 Bettor’s Wish 3pc 12-8-4-0 $984,544 230 3 4 Greenshoe 3tc 9-7-2-0 $766,500 227 4 5 Atlanta 4tm 11-7-3-0 $658,400 186 6 6 Real Cool Sam 2tg 8-8-0-0 $420,038 101 8 7 Forbidden Trade 3tc 10-6-3-1 $796,484 97 7 8 Captain Crunch 3pc 9-5-0-1 $687,077 86 5 9 Gimpanzee 3tc 7-5-0-1 $554,638 66 9 10 Southwind Ozzi 3pc 9-7-1-0 $480,935 51 -- ALSO: McWicked 45; When Dovescry 43; Guardian Angel AS 40; Hypnotic AM 27; Tall Drink Hanover 21; Millies Possesion 17; Tall Dark Stranger 13; Crystal Fashion 10; Century Farroh, Manchego 7; Alicorn 6; Capt Midnight, Sister Sledge 5; Hannelore Hanover 4; Green Manalishi S, Western Fame 3; Courtly Choice, Dancin Yankee, Elver Hanover, Rich And Miserable 1.

Some of Queensland's leading veterinarians and scientists have stepped up their campaign to get Australian racing regulators to implement an immediate moratorium on prosecutions for alleged misuse of cobalt. The move follows the nine-month suspension handed to veteran Toowoomba trainer Harry Richardson on cobalt charges last week. In Queensland alone there are nearly 30 cobalt cases across the three racing codes which remain unresolved. The six member group recently wrote a letter to the Australian Racing Board, Australian Harness Racing Board and Australian Greyhound Board, in which they set out their concerns. The letter said: The current test method employed to detect cobalt salts in urine was inappropriate and prone to "false positives" due to Vitamin B12 and urine concentration effects and could therefore result in convictions of innocent parties. It was clear that some trainers had incurred "positives" from cobalt exposure in feed and environment outside of their knowledge or control. The experts questioned the use of population studies on race day samples from horses with unknown exposure in feed supplements and the environment, to set a "threshold". They believed there was confusion and misinformation regarding both the potency and potential toxicity of cobalt salts. The group requested regulators provide financial and administrative support to a multi-disciplinary Committee of Inquiry to find a consensus approach to future regulation of cobalt use in racing animals. One of the members of the group, David Dawson, said the signatories to the letter emphasised they endorsed the efforts of regulators to identify and punish those who sought to gain an advantage by unfair means - which included use of performance-enhancing substances. Dawson, the former chief scientist of Queensland Department of Health Pathology services, said the governing bodies had an obligation to the industry to act. "It is a problem which is deeply impacting on the industry and deserves immediate action," he said. Reprinted with permission of 

Batavia, NY --- Marcus Melander has come a very long way in harness racing in a very short amount of time. After making the move to North America from his home in Sweden at the age of 21 to work for Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter, Melander went off on his own and hasn't looked back. Over the last five years, Melander's stable has won in excess of $7.8 million in purses, had five trotters reach the Hambletonian final and was awarded two year-end Dan Patch Awards for divisional winning horses. Melander himself received the 2018 Dan Patch Rising Star Award this past February in Orlando, Florida in recognition of his exceptional early career accomplishments. This year two of the best horses in his stable just happen to be New York-bred and both are undefeated in their New York Sire Stake (NYSS) starts this year. They are 3-year-old trotting colt Gimpanzee and 2-year-old trotting filly Hypnotic Am and they both will be competing in the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14). In his freshman season, Gimpanzee was undefeated going nine for nine. He swept the NYSS to become the 2-year-old champion, won the $600,000 Breeders Crown final and amassed a total of $591,358 for the year. That earned him the 2018 Dan Patch Award for 2-year-old trotting colts. This year Gimpanzee started out by running up his lifetime undefeated streak to 13 before joining Melander stablemates Greenshoe and Green Manalishi S in the Hambletonian final. Gimpanzee got parked out from post seven in his elimination and finished fourth. He then drew post seven again in the final, went a similar trip and finished third. He closed very well in both starts (:26.4 and :26.2) and was only beaten a length in each race. Melander reflected on those starts as he was preparing him for the New York finals this weekend. "He went tremendous in both races and finished strong in both despite having the seven hole. If he had a little better post in the final I think he could win the race because he was flying home. But he raced real good that day and we could not be more happy. He showed everyone that he is fast enough," said Melander. Despite the task of racing two heats in one day, Gimpanzee came out unfazed and continued his winning ways at Batavia on Saturday (Aug. 24). "He came out of those heats better than I thought but that doesn't surprise me. He's very laid back and easy on himself. It was good that there were no eliminations for the Yonkers Trot so we could bring him up to Batavia that week and get some more points and get some experience around that track. It was a great surface to race over at Batavia and he got around it very well," said Melander. After the New York final, Gimpanzee will be going down to the Red Mile for the Bluegrass Series and the Kentucky Futurity with his sights strongly focused on a second Breeders Crown championship. Stablemate Hypnotic Am hasn't visited Batavia yet this year because she was busy winning the $310,000 James Doherty Memorial at the Meadowlands the week her division competed there. Hypnotic Am was bred by her owner Courant and was such an impressive yearling that they sent her to Melander to train, rather than the sale last fall. And clearly that has worked out well for all involved. "She trained down good and every start she seems to get better and better. She has no problem doing the work herself; she has speed, she has stamina, she has everything a good horse should have," said Melander. "She went a big mile in the Doherty (1:53), a track record at Yonkers (1:56.1) and was a was very strong as a wrapped-up winner at Saratoga in 1:54.4 over an off track. She's a very nice filly." Her performances this year speak volumes. She is currently the fastest 2-year-old trotter overall in North America, richest 2-year-old trotting filly and the second richest overall behind Real Cool Sam, who has raced two more starts to this point and is coincidentally also undefeated at 8-8. After the NYSS final, Melander said she may head down to Lexington for the Grand Circuit races as well, but that will be a decision he makes later. But one thing is for sure, She will compete in the Breeders Crown. "We may go to Kentucky, depending on how she races and comes out of the race this week. I like to be careful with the 2-year-olds because they can get sick and that can happen very easily when they travel." Both Gimpanzee and Hypnotic Am are by Chapter Seven out of a granddaughter of Muscles Yankee. It's a cross Melander likes and his trotting star of two years ago Fourth Dimension, who was a four-time NYSS winner and the 2017 Dan Patch Award 2-year-old trotting colt of the year, had the same. Melander looks to continue his success in New York in the coming years, stating the program helps develop young talent. "I think it's a very good series and although there are a lot of half mile tracks, most of them have good surfaces. Many are very soft for the horses and that helps a young horse a lot. And as long as the tracks are good, that's good for the horse's futures then it works great to have them in this program," said Melander. "I will be shopping for New York horses at the sales this fall and if I can find something I like I will definitely try to buy them. I like the New York circuit. It's good money and a good program for us." The $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions that are comprised of eight $225,000 races will be held at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 14) with a first race post time of 6 p.m. The draw for that card is on Wednesday (Sept. 11) at noon and will be live streamed on the NYSS website as well as both the NYSS and Batavia Downs Facebook pages. Batavia native and New York State Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley will serve as the honorary drawmaster. Peter Kleinhans will be the track's guest host and handicapper for the in-house and simulcast broadcast and Heather Wilder will be in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle interviewing the winners and all their connections after each stake race. There will be two $7,500 guaranteed pools in both the early and late Pick-4 wagers that night and both will be all-stake Pick-4's (races 3-6 and races 7-10). The pools are part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and free program pages will be available on the USTA's website and through links on the Batavia Downs Facebook page when they become available. Free full card programs will also be available for download from the Daily Racing Form starting Thursday. There will be a T-shirt giveaway courtesy of the NYSS on Saturday night as well. Fans attending the races live only need to swipe their Player's Club card at guest services starting at 4:30 p.m. to receive a ticket to get their shirt after the seventh race. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Monday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono was jam-packed with quality racing throughout, with three $100,000 Championships of the Great Northeast Open Series for older fast-class harness racing  performers, all at 1¼ miles over the 5/8-mile Pocono oval, along with eight $40,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series Championships for Keystone-sired two- and three-year-olds who rank just below the national-caliber state Sire Stakes ranks. $100,000 GREAT NORTHEAST OPEN SERIES CHAMPIONSHIPS OPEN PACE Perhaps None Bettor A had a bit of an experience edge by racing over distances longer than a mile Down Under, but he showed rare courage in holding the late charge of favored pocketsitter Backstreet Shadow in 2:20.1, a stakes record, with the last three-quarters of 1:22.3 extraordinary in an extended-distance contest. None Bettor A darted to the top for George Napolitano Jr. entering the backstretch the first time, and no one had the word "record" in mind when the first two poles were passed in :28 and :57.3. However, the second lap of the red Pocono oval was a flat-out sprint, with None Bettor A hanging up the next two fractions of 1:25.3 and 1:52.3, then staying game with Backstreet Shadow coming right at him in the lane to take a half-length decision with a :27.3 last quarter.   None Bettor A now has 11 victories in 15 seasonal races, with a lifetime bankroll of $385,945. Andrew Harris is handling the conditioning of the Bettor's Delight gelding for Joe P Racing LLC and Oldford Racing LLC.   OPEN TROT The Explosive Matter four-year-old gelding Rich And Miserable, who developed into a national-caliber horse through the late spring and summer, confirmed his elevation to the very top level when he caught 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover in winning the GNOS Open Trot Championship in 2:24.3 - a more relevant number being the back half of :56.3 over the extended distance. Tyler Buter, who emerged as the star of the day with four stakes wins, sent Rich And Miserable right to the lead , then extended favored Hannelore Hanover well past a :29.2 opener, yielding the lead and content to sit in the pocket while Hannelore dawdled through fractions of :58.3 and 1:28.2.   The pace picked up when Tight Lines ranged up first-over, with the mile mark hit in 1:56.4. As they turned into the lane Rich And Miserable ducked to the famed Pocono Pike and went right up to her, then edged the mare by a head in the 27.4 last quarter. It was the tenth win in fifteen seasonal starts for Rich And Miserable, who is trained by Todd Buter and is owned by Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. MARE PACE Patience proved quite a virtue for driver Tim Tetrick and the Bettor's Delight mare Bettor's Up, as the winner of $892,374 proved to be the fresh horse late to take the GNOS Mare Pace Championship in 2:21 for the 1¼ miles after her four main opponents had all made moves in the twicearound contest. Apple Bottom Jeans showed customary speed at the start; Eclipse Me N moved early and had the lead before the :27.3 first marker. Heavy favorite Caviart Ally then moved and took command at the :56 half, going to the three-quarters in 1:25 and the mile in 1:53, with Write Me A Song giving chase in the backstretch the second time.   Tetrick rode the first-over's cover, tipped his mare wide in the lane, and made up a lot of ground to post a head victory over Caviart Ally, with Apple Bottom Jeans only a neck further back. The final clocking set a GNOS divisional stakes record and matched a time posted by the mare Marnie Hall at Dover in 2006 in the old Classic Series Final. The 14-1 winner is trained by Nick Surick and is owned by his Nick Surick Stable LLC. $40,000 PENNSYLVANIA STALLION SERIES CHAMPIONSHIPS TWO-YEAR-OLDS TROT The Winning Mister - P Town Girl gelding Town Victor charged home out of the pocket to take his StS group in 1:54.4 - a time which set an individual and stakes record and a Pocono track record, and until yesterday would have equaled the world record (Real Cool Sam won his Sire Stakes Championship at Philly in 1:53.4f). The winner of six of eight, including three Stallion prelims which made him the leading prelim pointwinner, was driven by Matt Kakaley for trainer Rich Gillock, co-owner with Barbara Richardson. Town Victor won by two lengths over pacesetter Loyal Fox Hanover. The Andover Hall - Miss Athena filly Miss Wilia streaked right to the lead from post eight for driver Scott Zeron and set the pace, then held off the closers to win in a lifetime best and Stallion Series Championship record 1:55.2. Caviart Giulia came up the inside but was a head shy of the winner of three straight, who is trained by Rick Zeron and owners Charles Resecki and Thomas Brice.   PACE The Well Said - Bodacious Hanover colt Lake Charles was sent off at 2-1, behind his Ray Schnittker stablemate Captain Groovy at even money, but once circling that horse after a hard first 3/8, Lake Charles was the strong horse to the wire, winning his fourth straight race (three prelims and now his finale) while rewriting his individual and the stakes record to 1:51.3. Patriot Nation finished 3½ lengths behind the streaking winner, who was driven by David Miller for owners Schnittker, Max J. Hempt, Dr. John Egloff, and Steven Arnold. The Captaintreacherous - Rocknroll Cameo miss The Party's Rockin posted the fastest clocking of her group's StS prelims, 1:52.4, two starts back, then made a break on the lead as the heavy favorite last time. On Monday, the winner of half her six lifetime starts made atonement for that miscue, leading at every pole which matching her 1:52.4 mark. The Party's Rockin held off game longshot Keystone Eureka by a length for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Mark Harder, and owner Matthew Dugan. THREE-YEAR-OLDS TROT Lindy's Crazy Hall prepped for the Stallion Series Championship with a qualifying win featuring a smart :27.2 last panel, and that effort seemed to be just the tonic for the son of Cantab Hall as he equaled his life mark of 1:54.3 in victory for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Domenico Cecere, and the Greathorse ownership. Lindy's Crazy Hall was under pressure for much of the last half from favored Kate's Massive, who was looking to become only the third Stallion Series horse to be a champion at two and three, but the pacesetter prevailed by a head. After working hard to get the lead nearing the quarter, the Donato Hanover miss Jezzys Legacy was in control of her Championship, withstanding late-charging longshot Southwind Storm by 1¼ lengths for driver Tyler Buter while equaling the stakes record of 1:54.2. Trainer Ray Schnittker is also co-owner of the classy filly with Little E LLC, Ted Gewertz, and Mary Kinsey Arnold. PACE The Captaintreacherous colt Waterway parked Seafarer to the quarter, sat behind that rival, then came up the Pocono Pike to catch the pacesetter and take his StS Championship in 1:51. Waterway had a big late surge to edge Seafarer by a nose for driver Dexter Dunn, hot trainer Tony Alagna, and the ownership of Alagna And Begley Stable, Santo and Joseph Barbera, and David Silverman. Driver Tyler Buter continued his winning ways in the Stallion Series Championships by guiding the Captaintreacherous filly Annie Hill, the prelim pointleader, home in 1:50.4, equaling the stakes record. Buter gave the distaff, coming off a sick scratch, a second-over trip, and she finished strongly to defeat pocketsitting Michelon's Filly by 1¼ lengths for trainer Chris Oakes and owner Tom Hill.   From the PHHA / Pocono Downs