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WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Game Of Claims Pacing Series' first preliminary round was again featured during the Sunday twilight harness racing program at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, on this card featuring horses with base tags of $7500 and $10,000 in their respective competitions. Once again, the claiming box was the subject of much attention, with 19 more horses changing hands on Sunday. This raised the total for the Saturday-Sunday cards to 60 horses moving to new homes, with the final amount paid out for competitive horses in the lucrative series rising to $1,001,500 during the two days. And as happened Saturday, the lower level of the program's competition produced the fastest mile in the Game Of Claims races. The Dali gelding Durant dominated his competition with a 1:54 triumph, making the lead in front of the stands for George Napolitano Jr. (who led the drivers with three sulky successes) and winning by two lengths. Unfortunately for trainer Robert Lounsbury and owner Margaret Olmstead, Durant was the only winner from the six $7500 purse events for his caliber who was claimed from Sunday's racing.   Three out of the four winners in the $10,000 events for $10,000 base-tag pacers changed hands after their racetrack exertions. George Napolitano Jr. drove one of these victorious horses, one who shared the quickest clocking at this level, 1:54.1 - the American Ideal gelding Myidealson N, who went out a winner for trainer Matias Ruiz and the Friendship Stables LLC. George also handled the one $10,000 success who did not change barns, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding P-Drive Hanover, who also stopped the clock at 1:54.1 for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera and owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. With everybody coming from other raceways for opening weekend and with many horses coming off of layoffs, only four favorites won on each card Saturday and Sunday, and the average win payoff for the weekend was $16.75. For full results, click here.  From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

LEBANON, OH. - John Jay reigns as "King of the Hill" after capturing the Tuesday (Feb. 19) $15,000 final of the Survivor Series for $5000 male harness racing pacers at Miami Valley Raceway. The 6-year-old altered son of Dali was claimed from the first elimination leg where he finished third, then copped both a division of the second elimination leg and the lucrative final for new owner Lases Racing of Sheridan, Michigan. Driver Brett Miller and John Jay didn't have an easy time of it in the championship tilt. After getting away fourth in the early going, Miller was forced to swing his charge first-up into the outer flow well before the half. Sandwiched between rivals vying for the lead at the three-quarters, Miller was able to keep John Jay's mind on the task at hand and eventually cleared to the front in midstretch and waltzed to the wire. Despite an off track, John Jay paced the mile in 1:54.2 to his 25th career triumph. Swift Shark (Dan Noble) finished second for the second straight week after a win in first week of Survival Series action. Lady's Man (Brady Galliers) got the show dough on the merits of his third consecutive show finish in the tournament-style series. From the Miami Valley Media Department

LEBANON, OH. - My Buddy Ninkster pulled another mild upset, as he often does, in the $24,000 Open I Handicap at Miami Valley on Saturday night (Feb. 9). Rarely dispatched as a favorite, this 1:51.1 victory was My Buddy Ninkster's tenth in the past 13 months against the best pacers in central and southwest Ohio. Todd Warren guided the 7-year-old son of Dali to the narrow come-from-behind score over open class heavyweights Nuclear Dragon (Dan Noble) and Granite (Brett Miller), who were lapped on at the wire. The winner paid $10.80. John Jr. and Mary Krasnican bred and have owned My Buddy Ninkster his whole life and he has rewarded them with $476,740 in career earnings. He is conditioned by veteran trainer Bob Phillips. A co-featured $20,000 Open II was captured in front-stepping fashion by Cruise Patrol (Brett Miller) in 1:50.4. The favored 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight topped Doctor Carter (Chris Page) and Whataboy (Tyler Smith) to earn his initial victory of 2019, raising his lifetime bounty to $251,056 by doing so. Chris Short has been training the impressive winner for owner Coleen Dowdall. Two divisions of the brand new Bill Dailey Memorial Medley series also were presented on the Saturday program. The initial leg of this late-closer featured 5/8th mile dashes for $12,500 purses. Next week the same horses will compete at the standard one mile distance for $17,500 bounties; and the $25,000 championship leg on February 23 will be contested at 1-1/4 miles. Both dashes were clocked in 1:08, just four-fifths of a second off the North American record for one lap around a 5/8ths oval. The Dark Shadow (Chris Page) pressed to the front just past the first quarter and held off runnerup Duel Of Truth (Kyle Ater) and show finisher Royale Rose (Mike Oosting) in the stretch. The heavily favored 5-year-old son of Shadow Play, owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, returned $4.00. The second split went to Hunchie (Cameron McCown), who used the coveted No. 1 post position to full advantage. The Vince Hanna-trainee lead Southern Flight (Jason Brewer) and Angelo J Fra (Page) through the final teletimer beam in his first start of the year. Frederick Reed IV owns the 9-year-old by No Pan Intended who returned a healthy $21.00 to his mutuel backers. The 2:05 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 10) matinee at Miami Valley will feature a $24,000 Open I Trot, a $20,000 Open II Trot, and the $37,500 championship final of the Claim To Fame series for $30,000 claimers. From the Miami Valley Media Department

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Putting aside the cooling night and sloppy track at The Downs at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Monday evening, the $13,000 featured pace boiled down to a classic harness racing confrontation - a pair of horses who had been first or second in their last three starts, each against each other; the first choice and second choice; the pacesetter and the pocketsitter; and to add a local touch, two very talented brothers in the sulky. The two horses hit the wire in virtual unison, and the photo showed that Delco Papa Bear, the second choice, and driver Anthony Napolitano had rallied from the pocket to just catch frontstepping favorite Aston Hill Dave, driven by Anthony's brother George, by a nose on the end of the 1:52.3 mile. The Dali gelding Delco Papa Bear had gained into 55.4 - 27.4 back fractions to just get the job done over his tough foe for trainer Carmine Fusco and J M F Racing LLC while evening their recent rivalry at two triumphs apiece. The weather turned ugly just after the first race, but the show had to go on. Fortunately, the wet weather came to the area a day after Sunday's $1.5M top-notch card had spotlighted Homicide Hunter setting a world record for a 1¼ mile trot, 2:22.2 (mile rate 1:53.4), and top three-year-olds Dorsoduro Hanover and Crystal Fashion take dramatic photo victories in their respective Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Northern Dali (Corey Braden) is victorious in fillies and mares featured pace ($9,000) at Tioga Downs on Friday (August 24). Milky Way Rae (Aaron Byron) went to the front and carved out all the early fractions (:27.1, :57.0, 1:24.4) Northern Dali ($12.40) who is owned by JP Houle Stables and trained by Gaston Lareau, took the lead in mid-stretch and held off a late charge by second place finisher Oneida Blue Chip (Mike Simons), to win in 1:53.2. A Wish For Wings (Fern Paquet Jr.) got third money. Northern Dali is a 6-year-old mare by Dali. It was her seventh win this season. She now owns 37 career victories Andy Santeramo won four races on the night. He got his wins with Talkoholic ($4.10), Court's N Session $7.60), Metro Glide ($7.30), and Lugar ($46.60). The driver wins title remains wide open. Jim Taggart Jr. now leads with 51 wins. Mike Merton, Jim Meittinis, and Aaron Byron are all tied for second with 49 victories. Santeramo finds himself in fifth with 44 wins. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 25) with a 12 race card starting at 6:15. For more information go to by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

MILTON, ON - July 6, 2018 - Witch Dali and driver Jody Jamieson capitalized off a third-quarter tilt at the front to win the $30,000 Mares Preferred on Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A field of seven pacing mares squared off in the Friday feature with Richard Moreau trainees Witch Dali and Sandbetweenurtoes playing an important role. Sandbetweenurtoes fired out to the lead at the beginning and posted opening fractions of :27.2 and :55.2. Firebby, the 7/5 favourite, started first-up from fourth nearing the half and engaged in a big third-quarter battle with the leader. A third-quarter of :26.3 took a bite out of Sandbetweenurtoes and Firebby, as the mares slugged it out from the half into the lane. Witch Dali was able to benefit from the battle, as she had been situated fifth in the early stages and driver Jamieson followed Firebby's move around the far turn, sitting third on the outside, but a few lengths back of the top pair's battle. Witch Dali powered by the leaders in deep stretch, but was not the only mare passing rivals on the outside. American Sara and Sylvain Filion had tracked Witch Dali from the far turn and got up in the last stride to make it a photo finish. The photo finish camera determined that Witch Dali held on by a head to win at odds of 5/2. Firebby finished third, while Sandbetweenurtoes was fourth. A seven-year-old daughter of Dali, Witch Dali surpassed $100,000 in seasonal earnings with her fifth victory of 2018. The Moreau trainee now has five wins and nine "on the board" finishes in 12 starts this season. Owned by Brad Grant, Witch Dali is now a 28-time winner with career earnings of $582,668. She paid $7.70 to win. Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Trois-Rivieres, QC - With morning line favorite Wildriverbumblebee scratched sick for his second straight start, the Invitational Pace at the Hippodrome 3R became a wide-open affair, except that no one told that to Bali, who led from start to finish with ease in the eighth race feature. Leaving quickly from post five, Bali and driver Sylvain Lacaille sped to the opening quarter mile in :27.2 with Glass Shadow (Pierre Luc Roy) sitting the pocket trip and Crombie A (Brett Macdonald) parked out first-over. Crombie A put pressure on Bali and they went to the half mile marker in a quick :55.4 and then once they reached the backstetch, Bali and Lacaille started to open up on the field. They led by three and one-half lengths at the three-quarters as no one else could try and mount a challenge until National Debt and driver Stephane Gendron made a three-wide brush going into the final turn. But that effort was futile as Bali and at his best for Sylvain Lacaille and they won going away by six open lengths in 1:53.3. National Debut barely held off Rainbow Palace (Francis Picard) for place and show. Not only was it the tenth win this year for Bali, a six-year-old geled son of Dali, but also his third victory in his four starts for trainer Marie Claude Auger. Bali was bred and is owned by Denise Auger of Trois-Riveres and paid $6.70 to win. Caroluzzo and driver Stephane Gendron has little trouble wiring the field in the seventh race feature trot, winning by three and one-quarter lengths in 2:00. It was his fifth win this year for trainer Daniel Martin and owner Michael Cote Gagnon of Terrebonne, paying $6.20 to win. Track Notes: Driver Steeven Genois has the hot hands at H3R Sunday, scoring a driving triple. It was the first time this season that Genois has scored three winners on the race program. Live racing resumes next Sunday with first race post time at 12:30 pm. For more information visit, From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The Hippodrome 3R's leading driver, Stephane Brosseau, had the hot hands Sunday afternoon, scoring four winners on the program, including the feature pace. Brosseau, who now holds a 49 to 35-win lead over Stephane Gendron for the 2017 driving title, scored his driving quadruple with victories in the 3rd, 7th , 9th and 10th races on the program. Brosseau's most impressive victory came in the ninth race feature, the Silver Invitational Pace. Both Highpoint Chip (Pascal Berube) and race favorite, Bali (Brosseau), left from posts six and seven respectively, but once Highpoint Chip looked to settle in on the rail, he broke stride and that allowed Brosseau to have the easy lead with Bali, going to the opening quarter mile in :27.2. Brosseau and Bali held the field at bay as they led to the half mile in :56.2, then to the three-quarter mile marker in 1:25. Coming down the stretch with a seven length lead, Brosseau and Bali coasted to the wire, winning by five and one-half lengths in 1:56. Mister Big Top (Stephane Gendron) was second with Pantheon Seelster (Steeven Genois) third. It was the eighth win of the year for Bali. The six-year-old gelded son of Bali is trained by Marie Claude Auger and is owned and was bred by Denise Auger of Trois-Rivieres and co-owned with Emilie Auger of Welland, ON. Bali paid $4.50 to win. It was the third time this season that Brosseau has scored a driving quadruple. Track Notes: Driver Stephanie Gendron also had a good day in the sulky with a driving triple as the two reinsman combined to win seven of the ten races on the program. Live racing resumes at H3R next Sunday, October 8 with first race post time at 12:30 pm and H3R will also feature a special Monday live race card on Thanksgiving Day, October 9m with first race post time also at 12:30 pm. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

The Sunday night Harness Racing card at Running Aces featured some great Late Closing series action, and Wisconsin Believer (by Dali) posted one of the standout performances of the evening. Starting from post one in the second division of the first leg of The Norrine C pacing series for fillies and mares, Wisconsin Believer ($7.60) and trainer/driver Rick Magee got away 3rd from the gate and sat patiently through the first fractions of 28.1, and 57.4 before launching a first-over assault and sweeping to the lead down the backstretch, opening up a 4 length lead at the ¾ pole in 1:25.4, and widening her advantage with every stride to coast home in 30.1 and register an 8 ¾ length victory. She stopped the clock in 1:56 tonight for a new lifetime mark, and she is owned by Mikaela Delgiudice. In the other split of the same series, EL Peacemaker ($12.00) also posted a very sharp win, converting a pocket trip for a new lifetime mark of 1:56 in just her 3rd lifetime start. She is a 4 year old Illinois bred mare by Duneside Perch, and is owned by Russel Crotchett and trained by Brett Ballinger. In the first leg of the Minnehaha claiming pacing series for fillies and mares, T B Beach Girl ($6.40) picked up her 4th lifetime win in 26 tries, with Dean Magee aboard for trainer Dave Ginter and owners William and Richard Mc Intyre, pacing the mile in 1:55.4 Drivers Nick Roland and Steve Wiseman both picked up driving doubles on the card. Live Racing returns to the Running Aces oval on Tuesday, June 6, with a first post of 7:00 pm CT. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

LEBANON, OH. - My Buddy Ninkster, a bridesmaid on four occasions against Open I company already this year, finally broke through and visited the winner's circle following an impressive 1:49.4 score in Saturday (April 1) night's $22,000 feature harness racing event at Miami Valley. It was the fastest of the 5-year-old son of Dali's 22 career wins, knocking one-fifth of a second off his fastest tally of 1:50 at nearby Dayton Raceway last season. Using the advantageous rail post position, driver Josh Sutton let even-money favorite Franzo (Greg Grismore) and eventual runnerup Feelnlikearockstar (Mike Oosting) clear to the front during an opening quarter in a quick :26.3. Content to sit through middle splits of :55.1 and 1:22.2, Sutton waited for the stretch to take on the leaders. Finding his best gear in the late-going, My Buddy Ninkster streaked to a closing :27 panel to pull away by a length and a half at the wire. Bob Phillips trains the winner for John and Mary Krasnican. My Buddy Ninkster A pair of second leg divisions were contested in the Tom Tharps Memorial series for male pacers that were non-winners of six pari-mutuel races or $60,000 lifetime on March 11. Control Tower (Jason Brewer), who skipped the initial leg, punched a ticket to next week's final with a one length win over Onefinejimmerjohn (Peter Wrenn) and Heisenberg Z Tam (Jeremy Smith) in 1:53.2. Dan Noble trains the 5-year-old son of Panspacificflight for Stephen Sexton. The second split went to Evergreen Elite, who now has back-to-back impressive scores in the series-this one in 1:51. Jason Brewer also guided this winner and likely will stay in his sulky for next Saturday's $27,500 championship tilt. They bested Hustling Charley (Josh Sutton) by two and a half lengths, with Sossy's King Kong (Chris Page) garnering the show dough. All six of the top three finishers in round two advanced to the final, where they will be joined by Rockin Panda, Nvestment Blue Chip and Cracker Cam if all who are qualified enter the race. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH. – It’s not every day that harness racing $10,000 claimers get to race for a $25,000 purse, but that is exactly what happened when the Elite Survivor Series championship final went postward at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night (March 3).  Each of the ten finalists had survived three preliminary knockout rounds when half of each field was eliminated and only the five check-getters advanced.  Six of the championship participants had won at least one race during the prelims, including last week’s pair of identical 1:53.4 winners—John Jay and Blueridge Doc. Due to drawing the rail for the final, John Jay was bet down to 9-5 favoritism and the 4-year-old altered son of Dali did not disappoint.  Driver Trace Tetrick allowed a pair of his adversaries to clear him in the early going, but moved out and reclaimed the lead just past the quarter-mile station.  The Tyler George trainee lead the rest of the way, despite mild first-up pressure the last half, to triumph in 1:53 and bank the largest paycheck of his still young career.  The victory was the 11th of his life and boosted his bankroll to $77,985.  Owner Steven Price of Georgia claimed John Jay for $15,000 on February 17 and has been rewarded with $20,000 in earnings in two weeks. Safe From Terror (Chris Page) sped to a 1:52.1 score in a $22,000 Fillies & Mares Open pace on the same program.  The 5-year-old Western Terror lass exploded from the gate, despite an outermost post position, before dropping in third along the pylons early in the :26.4 opening split.  The richest horse in the race with almost $700,000 in purse earnings was out and moving shortly thereafter, pushing a nostril in front at the :55.1 halfway station.  The taxing first half didn’t seem to bother Safe From Terror, though, as she cruised past the three-quarters in 1:23.1 before stopping the clock :29 seconds later.  Endeavors Fantasy (Mike Oosting) made a gallant first-over bid that resulted in a runnerup finish, while Jerseylicious (Trace Tetrick) was closing ground quickly in the lane to garner the show dough.  Winchester Baye Acres LLC owns the winner, who is trained by Mike Conklin. The Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series, a late-closer for distaff non-winners of four races or $35,000 lifetime, also kicked off on Friday in two full-field divisions.  Friskie Zena (Ken Holliday) was an upset winner in the first heat, topping Alwayssmoothraigin (Josh Sutton) and Glorious Delight (Trace Tetrick) in 1:55.1.  Sherri Holliday conditions the 4-year-old Feelin Friskie mare for Black Magic Racing LLC.  She paid $24.80 to win. Powered By Pink (Josh Sutton) went a tick quicker beating Sun Belle Sadie (Aaron Merriman) and Stirling Cameo (Jeremy Smith) in 1:55.  Owner-trainer Jack McCall Jr.’s 6-year-old Village Jolt daughter returned $10 to her $2 supporters. Gregg Keidel

DAYTON, OH. - My Buddy Ninkster scored his eleventh 2016 victory on Saturday night (Dec. 3), copping the $15,000 Open I Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway in 1:51.1. With the sharp triumph the winner eclipsed the $100,000 earnings plateau for the season and the 4-year-old son of Dali is rapidly closing in on $200,000 for his harness racing career. Driver Tyler Smith hustled My Buddy Ninkster from the gate forcing JD's Macca Lodge (Kayne Kauffman) to pace a taxing :26.2 opening quarter to clear to the pylons in front of him. Although Tyd Theglyde (Dan Noble) tried to attack first-up on the outside, the pacesetting pair stayed in one-two order along the pylons until the head of the stretch. At that point, Smith pulled My Buddy Ninkster from the pocket and wore down JD's Macca Lodge, eventually pulling away to an open lengths victory. Off at 7-2 odds, My Buddy Ninkster topped JD's Macca Lodge, who held for second at 9-2 odds, while Vague Traces (Andy Shetler) closed sharply at 5-1 to pick up the show dough. John and Mary Krasnican own My Buddy Ninkster and have entrusted the conditioning to Bob Phillips. For the second consecutive week, the $12,500 Open II Pace produced an even quicker mile over the lightning-fast Dayton five-eighths mile oval. This time it was E R Rudy (Peter Wrenn) overcoming the outside number nine post position to triumph in 1:50.1, a new lifetime mark for the 5-year-old altered son of Art's Chip. E R Rudy was also winning for the eleventh time this year and joined My Buddy Ninkster in surpassing the $100,000 seasonal earnings mark with the victory. The pair of six-figure stalwarts will likely square off against each other in next Saturday's feature. Wrenn was content to ease E R Rudy from the gate, trailing the entire field when they reached the first stanza teletimer in :27. Shortly thereafter, though, the pair began an aggressive attack which put them in second-over position at the halfway point. With favored Hawk's Red Chief beginning to labor on the front end, E R Rudy was pulled three-wide down the backside and exploded with a sub-:27 third quarter which propelled him to an open lengths lead going into the final bend. Tacking on an impressive :27 flat final quarter, E R Rudy dominated Granite (Jason Brewer) who was gaining quickly in the final strides, and Castle Flight (Dan Noble) who found racing room late to complete the trifecta. Off at 11-1, E R Rudy returned $24.40 to his faithful. Combined with Granite (7-1) the exacta returned $204.20. Don Eash trains the winner for Eash Racing Stable Inc. Gregg Keidel

Dilly Dali (Dali) went coast to coast in the Friday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel on what was a big night for driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. Aldrich motivated class-dropping Dilly Dali to move out to the early lead in the $10,060 conditional/claimer for fillies and mares, a lead she would never relinquish. One week removed from a third place finish in the Open for distaffers, Dilly Dali recorded the wire to wire win in 1:54, holding off late bids from Bettorhaveanother (Frank Coppola Jr) and fellow Open dropper Bye Bye Michelle (Dan Cappello Jr), who finished second and third, respectively, en route to her eighth score of 2016. The Jose Godinez-trained mare was a big favorite in the betting while backed to the tune of 2-5. She led an exacta and triple that returned a chalky $9.10 and $16.00 in what wound up being a six horse race after three scratches shrunk the field down significantly. The victory was one of three on the night for Aldrich which was second only to Frank Coppola Jr's five-win evening. Live racing continues on Saturday night with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

DAYTON, OH. - My Buddy Ninkster dominated the 11th race, a $7000 conditioned event, at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 11). In the process, he paced the third fastest winning mile in the three-year history of the harness racing five-eighths mile oval. Only State Treasurer (1:48.4) and Wiggle It Jiggleit (1:49.1) have toured the track quicker in winning the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Dayton Pacing Derby, respectively. Driver Josh Sutton, who has opened up a commanding lead in the local dash standings with 17 wins over the last five programs, sent the altered son of Dali directly to the front when the gate sprung open and never had an anxious moment through fractions of :26.3, :55.2 and 1:22.2, before tripping the beam in 1:50 flat. John and Mary Krasnican own My Buddy Ninkster, who has raced in Ohio for better than six months and was recently returned to trainer Robert Phillips, who relocated to Ohio recently upon the closing of Hawthorne in Illinois. His previous best time was a 1:51 clocking at nearby Miami Valley Raceway in the Spring. With 18 career triumphs, My Buddy Ninkster now boasts $183,680 in lifetime bounty. Gregg Keidel  

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, September 25, 2016 - Bali was the "fly in the ointment" towards who will be the winningest harness racing horse at the Hippodrome 3R 2016 race meet as the five-year-old gelding was given a strong drive by Mario Charron in capturing the 10th race co-feature pace Sunday. It was the sixth win at 3R this season and with the losses by both Beach Runner A M and St Kitts, all three horses are now tied with seven Sunday race programs left for the season at 3R. Bali posted his 11th victory of the season in prime fashion as Charron sent the son of Dali right to the front. They then cut fractions of :28, :57 and 1:25.4, held off a strong first-over challenge by Solid Performance (Pascal Berube) and then pulled away in the stretch to win by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:54.4. Solid Performance held for second place with the pocket-sitting SOS Mach Xreme (Stephane Brosseau) third. Trained by Marie Claude Auger for breeder/owner Denise Auger of Trois-Rivieres, it was the third straight win for Bali, who paid $9.30 to win. Then in the 11th race co-feature, St Kitts and driver Stephane Brosseau sat a perfect two-hole trip behind pacesetter D G's Ninja (Jonathan Lachance) but could not catch them in the passing lane, losing by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:59.3. Thus the contest continues next Sunday at 3R to see who can become the winningest horse of the year at the track. TRACK NOTES: Driver Stephane Gendron has only a handful of drives at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday, but he made the most of them, scoring four victories on the program from his seven drives. It was the first time this year that anyone other than Louis-Philippe Roy (3 times) has won four races on the program. Both drivers Stephane Brosseau and Mario Charron had driving doubles. Live racing resumes next Sunday at 3R with first race post time at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club

Memories of the brilliant filly Via Vista winning the 1980 Golden Slipper will come flooding back when the great father-and-son harness racing combination of trainer Gary Hall sen. and reinsman Gary Hall jun. attempt to win the 2016 Premier Avan Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park on Friday night with the talented New Zealand-bred gelding El Barcelona. Via Vista, trained and driven by Bill Duffy, had an outstanding career in Western Australia before she was retired with a record of 77 starts for 29 wins, 17 placings and stakes of $166,245 and returned to the breeding barn in New Zealand. She was a half-sister to Via Veneece, the maternal great granddam of El Barcelona, who is by American stallion Dali.  El Barcelona will start from the outside barrier (No. 3) on the back line in the 2130m classic and Hall sen. is bubbling with confidence, with a simple but precise prediction of “I think he will win.” El Barcelona, inclined to be a bit skittish in the early stages of his career, has wonderful potential and has won at three of his six starts. The gelding reappeared after a three-week absence when he started from the outside (No. 9) on the front line in a 2130m event last Friday night. Hall jun. sent him forward three wide in the early stages before he raced in the breeze outside the pacemaker Sergeant Oats for almost two laps. He wilted in the final stages to finish third behind Sergeant Oats and Vincenzo Peruggia. “I was really happy with his run,” said Hall sen. “He will improve. He went into last week’s race after missing a bit of work when he had only one hoppled run in the previous three weeks. He should be cherry ripe this week and I think he will win.” Hall said he had plenty of respect for several of the runners in this week’s classic, including the polemarker and hot favourite Mitch Maguire and The Real Ideal, a smart all-the-way winner of the group 1 Westbred Classic last Friday week. “If El Barcelona had drawn barrier one I would have declared him,” he said. “But I’m not giving up yet. I think The Real Ideal will be the hardest to beat.” The Halls have tasted success in the Golden Slipper, with Hall sen. the trainer and driver of Love of Glory, who beat stablemates Possibly and Almagest in 1989. Hall sen. and Hall jun. combined to win the event with Beaudiene Boaz in 2014. Peter Anderson trained 10/1 on favourite James Matthew when he was fired up after a false start and raced wide early and then pulled hard in the lead before being beaten a nose in the final stride by Aussie Reactor in the 2008 Golden Slipper. He is hoping for better fortune with The Real Ideal, who will be driven by Chris Lewis from the No. 3 barrier. Lewis has won the Golden Slipper a record seven times, scoring with Pardon Me Boys (1987), Harry Gunn (1995), Saab (1997), Talladega (1999), The Jobs On (2004), Aikido Whitby (2006) and Western Cullen (2011).  Ken Casellas

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