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It is often a busy week at Lucky Lodge, but it was not the horses that were keeping KerryAnn and Robbie Morris busy this time. The leading Menangle Park training duo welcomed their second child into the world on Tuesday afternoon. As for the horses, well, they just had to wait. Little Stella Margaret joined the Morris team just after 2pm on Tuesday and mum and baby are doing well. Stable foreman, Josh Gallagher, was left to represent KerryAnn and Robbie at Tabcorp Park Menangle and while there was no joy on the track, there was plenty back at the stables. But like the professional stable that they are, Robbie will be back in the gig tonight where the now father of two has six drives. He currently sits just four wins behind champion reinsman, Luke McCarthy in the state’s drivers’ premiership, racking up 54 winners in the first four months of the season. KerryAnn, with 43 winners for the same period, trails Belinda McCarthy by three on the trainers’ table, which is dominated by the females with Amanda Turnbull currently running third. Morris heads to Penrith tonight where he will drive two for KerryAnn, another for Michael Teuma and three for in-form trainer Troy Williams. Most of Robbie’s drives are quoted at big odds tonight but the talented reinsman has a happy knack at landing a winner at a juicy price. One of the Morris-trained runners that appears to represent terrific value is Rockindownunder, which is the winner of her past two outings at Maitland and Penrith yet is quoted at $26 in the TAB App Pace (Race 2). Admittedly she faces a sharp rise in grade tonight but there was plenty to like about her recent wins where she clocked fast time on both occasions. The filly that will be the hardest for Rockindownunder to beat is Marmitta, who last start ran second in the Golden Easter Egg at Menangle. Robbie will drive Paidinfull for Orchard Hills trainer Michael Teuma in the opening event, and it will take some skill to get the consistent pacer into the race from his awkward barrier seven draw. He finished second here on April 22, beaten by just three metres behind the heavily-supported Enemy Lines and if Morris can find a way through the pack, he will be running on. Penrith fields tonight can be found here.   Michael Dumesny HRNSW MEDIA

It is not unusual for harness racing's Amanda Turnbull to drive multiple winners on a program. Yet the ease in which she landed a treble at Forbes on Sunday must have opposing drivers perplexed as to how they can possibly beat her when she is sitting behind fancied runners. All of Turnbull’s winners were three-year-olds trained by her father Steve, and proved far superior to their older opposition. “These horses are all nice three-year-olds that drew well today and were dropping in grade somewhat,” said Turnbull. Mach Daddy won by a widening 30 metre margin in the Helloworld Travel Ted Clifford Memorial after Amanda rated the gelding to perfection. It was almost an identical scenario for Saint Julien, who took out the Les Findley Memorial after leading throughout and scoring by 15 metres, appearing to have something in reserve. Both these youngsters will vie for favouritism in Sunday’s $12,000 Forbes Club final, along with the other heat winner, Substitooth which is trained by Amanda’s brother Josh. Turnbull ended the afternoon with her third winner, Drive To The Beach, which also led throughout and looked the winner a long way from home in a heat of the Jack Honan Memorial. “I can drive these horses and they go well for me,” said dad Steve. “But when Amanda gets on them, they go all that much better; horses just run for her.” Amanda appears set to better her performance from the weekend at Bathurst tonight where she has eight plum drives. She will drive Saint Veran in the final event, a gelding that ran third on debut last Wednesday night. The two-year-old will be looking to join his successful siblings that have performed well on the track. His dam, Sheezallattitude has produced four winners, which have all been trained by Steve. Art Series, Myra Dawn, Saint Emilion and Saint Julien are all multiple winners for the Targett family, who will been keen to see Saint Veran add to the impressive record of their great producing mare. Of the six horses going around at Bathurst tonight that Amanda trains herself, the most interesting runner is New Zealand-bred gelding Urus, which is having his first race start. The son of Sportswriter won a Bathurst trial on April 19 and despite drawing wide in Race 7, he will be hard to hold out.   Michael Dumesny HRNSW MEDIA  

By Frank Marrion courtesy of the HarnessXpress    Jessica Young-Grant’s first training win with John James Preston at Methven recently looked pretty straight forward. Good draw, gate speed, lead, trail, passing lane – you see it all the time. But it sure took a while to get there and it would be fair to say that John James Preston has been a bit of a challenge at times. Actually a lot of the time he has been a complete pain in the butt. A lot like the television character he is named after – Mr Big in Sex and the City. Jessica has been doing a few horses since her father Paul began taking steps back a few years ago, particularly since the retirement of his good mare Clasina Maria. John James Preston was one of the first she took on, training a few at a time with help from dad while doing three mornings a week with Bruce Negus and also juggling a couple of part-time jobs in the afternoons at local pharmacies. John James Preston, the foal from a mare that Paul bought for $300 at the first and only ‘silent auction’ at Addington, hadn’t done much at all when he got his hind leg caught in a gate as a two-year-old. “He went on the backburner for a good while after that and while the injury was mostly superficial, you can still see signs of it,” said Young-Grant. “He was a late three-year-old and almost four when we finally got him in the cart. “He was nice enough at that point, but did take a while to learn to pace.” The trials and tribulations had started a while earlier when John James Preston was gelded however. “(Vet) Donna Williamson did a couple for us that day and he got the same dose (sedative) as the other horse, which was 17 hands. “But half way through the procedure he was trying to jump up – we learned that day that he must metabolise drugs rather quickly – so he needed even more sedation to knock him out again.” Along the way, Young-Grant also learned the hard way that John James Preston does not like nails going into his feet. “Dad taught me how to do the shoeing as you can save quite a bit of money doing it yourself. “But with him I could only do one shoe a day because each and every nail was a drama and he took so much out of me – he was a real pain in the butt.” Young-Grant finally got John James Preston to the workouts in August last year as an early five-year-old, but that would just be the start of more dramas. “In the first workout it soon became obvious that he didn’t like the grit in his face, so I had to take him right around the field and into the lead.” They went 3.11 and came home in 27.5 with Scorcha coming out of the pack to beat John James Preston by a neck. “In the second workout there was only three in it and he broke when leading up when he went to sprint. “The third workout had eight starters and I think he got a bit overwhelmed by the big field. “He was also hard in the mouth and it was like having no steering wheel – he was all over the place. “Dad said to me afterwards ‘there’s something not right with that horse’ so we had Donna go over him. “It turned out he was sore in the other hind leg because he was off loading.” John James Preston wasn’t sighted again until May this year, or nine months later, when he qualified by winning a heat at Addington. He was good that day, leading from the mobile before trailing and scooting up the passing lane. He was ready to race, and in to go at Addington in early June, but that didn’t go well for a start either. “There was a false start and he got really wound up and wouldn’t turn around for the second go, so he was late scratched by the stipes. “After that we changed his bit and put one of those compression hoods on that help keep them calm. “He still wears one now and he’s never had the ear plugs pulled actually.” John James Preston had been sent back to the trials and did finally make his debut at the Kurow meeting in August, where he trailed from post one in a mobile and finished third to the All Stars’ hotpot Demand Respect, who was then sold to Tasmania. After a second at Addington to Susie Reignmaker, John James Preston was third at Methven and seventh at Addington in September. “I was a little disappointed at Methven as I thought he should have won and I was really disappointed at Addington. “Dad said we’d better get his blood done and he did have a virus, which was probably coming on at Methven.” John James Preston won a trial at Methven seven weeks later and then finished fourth at Addington. “He was a shade disappointing there again despite being up against race winners and going 3.13. “I noticed he wasn’t walking right afterwards and then he galloped at home, which was not like him. “He had some bruising around the coronet band and Addington was very hard the night he raced. “So we poulticed the heel and it burst out not long before Methven.” So it can be seen that John James Preston has had quite a few issues along the way, and there’s also been quite a bit going on in his brain department. “After he won was the first time he’s licked the bowl clean after a race. “I know he’s shown some gate speed at times, but he’s still untapped in that respect as I’ve never really asked him to go.” As such, Paul and Barbara Young will probably get him sold to Australia at some stage. John James Preston is the third and last foal from Flash Under Fire, a daughter of Courage Under Fire from the family of the good mare Flashdance that won a couple of races for yours truly. I’d bred a couple of colts by Life Sign from Flash Under Fire. I can’t recall what happened to the first one, but the second in A Life Under Fire quickly won a race at Mot and was then sold to NSW. He won seven of his first nine races there and 50k but must have gone amiss a bit later. I don’t recall how, but I do recall winning a free service somewhere to Mister Big, and bred Flash Under Fire to him because she was just a midget. A bit later I gave up breeding pacers and threw what was left in that silent auction, and started breeding trotters as the manager of Love You’s frozen semen among others. I gave up breeding entirely and managing the stallions when initially launching the Xpress, as I could see I was going to be far too busy for that carry on. That and I’d eventually realised there was no future in it unless you had the land and could do a lot of it yourself. Jessica tells me that Paul bought the mare for the foal, because he “liked the pedigree match”. Subsequently my mother, Shirley, ‘rescued’ the mare and nowadays she resides on a farm with her near Ashley Gorge. Grant-Young has 4-5 in work at a time while juggling her various other jobs, which of course includes the driving, where she racked up win No.100 with Aveross Majesty at Oamaru a few weeks ago. She has just got the Diedre Don mare Hashtag Faye back in and is doing a couple of well-bred youngsters for Martin Pierson. She had 24 wins in her last season as a junior five years ago, and is now married to Cameron Grant. “He’s a townie and not really horse related, although his auntie was Lorraine Grant (of Rainbow Patch fame).” Paul has pretty much retired, winning his last race as a trainer when Clasina Maria won the Marlborough Cup in January last year He started out by working for Ted Lowe in the late 70s and drove good horses like Dundas, Samson, Stortford Lodge and Winning Note in those days. Clasina Maria has just had a filly by Rocknroll Hanover, while another good mare for him a bit earlier in Roxy Bromac, is being bred every second year and has produced colts by Sportswriter (2yo) and Rock N Roll Heaven. “He’s made his money by selling everything, and now he can afford to keep what he wants.” That will probably include John James Preston for a while, because he’s not done here yet.

Hanover, PA - It is with great excitement and pride that Hanover Shoe Farm’s announces the addition of three -year -old pacing colt phenom Tall Dark Stranger to its stallion roster for the 2021 harness racing breeding season. With a record of 1:49.1 at 2 and a current record of 1:47.1 at 3 and $1,741,645 earned thus far, Tall Dark Stranger has a remarkable slate of 16 wins and 1 second from 18 career starts.  Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin  and Lynn Katz, Caviart Farms, Marlene Taylor and Howard Taylor, trained by Nancy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras, Tall Dark Stranger is the only horse in history to win the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown as a two year old and return to racing as a three year old and win both the Meadowlands Pace and North American Cup. Tall Dark Stranger also won the International Stallion Stakes at 2 in route to being voted 2 -Year -Old Colt Pacer of the Year in both the United States and Canada. This year at three, in addition to the Meadowlands Pace and North American Cup he has also captured The Cane Pace and The Kentucky Sire Stakes Final. Tall Dark Stranger is scheduled to start next at The Red Mile and then go on to the Breeders’ Crown at Hoosier Park.  Seemingly destined for greatness from his birth, Tall Dark Stranger was a $330,000 purchase from the 2018 Lexington Selected Sale. He was considered by many to be the premier pacing colt offered at that venue that year. A stunning individual by the legendary stallion Bettors Delight ,Tall Dark Stranger hails from one of harness racing’s most prolific families. He is out of World Champion and Dan Patch and O’Brien Award Winning 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year Precocious Beauty p,2,1:50.1 ($838,004), she a sister to successful pacing stallion Sportswriter and out of a sister to Swinging Beauty P,1:49.4 ($893,268) and the grandam of Downbytheseaside P,2,1:49, 3.1:48.3f ($2,179,558) whose eagerly awaited first crop of yearlings sell this fall. “Russell and I are thrilled and honored to have been given the chance to add such an illustrious pacing stallion to our roster, we believe he is the most accomplished pacer to enter the stallion ranks since Captaintreacherous. This will be the our first partnership with Crawford Farms, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor ,which is exciting ,and  the third stallion we stand that Marvin Katz  owns part of, Captiantreacherous and Bar Hopping being the two others. It is a pleasure to work with Marvin ,he has vast knowledge of the breeding business and a  terrific band of broodmares to support his stallions”,  says Hanover Executive Vice President Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky.  Trainer Nancy Takter calls Tall Dark Stranger “One of the best pacers we have seen. A champion at two and three, he’s done things that no horse has ever done. He’s a pleasure to train and knows that his job is to win”. Driver Yannick Gingras says that Tall Dark Stranger is the best pacing colt he has ever driven. “He has all the tools needed for greatness. Speed, gait, and looks but above all his desire to win races is truly unbelievable to me. He’s a champion in every sense of the word”. Tall Dark Stranger will stand in Pennsylvania His service fee and details concerning the Syndication will be forthcoming. From Hanover Shoe Farms      

Addington Raceway runs an eleven race card on Friday with a number of races looking likely to hold the attention of harness racing fans.   Arguably the highlight on the card would be the 4th race, the Compass Pools 2yr Mobile Pace. Over the 1980m the field showcases a limited two-stable offering with depth from both the All Stars and R Dunn barns. Punters and breeding boffins will have a field day here with the daughter of Adore Me in Darling Me (Adore Me and the smiling All Stars team pictured) making her racing debut. The 2yr old has been most impressive in all public workouts and trials and should take a fair amount of beating. Other prospects to make their debuts include a son of Bettor’s Delight in Pace N Pride who will be driven by Natalie Rasmussen and a son of Sweet Lou in Aladdin. Aladdin, J Feiss owned, looks a most natural mover and shouldn’t be out of his depth here. The remainder of the field includes a son of Art Major out of the nice mare in Minnie Moose and a Bettor’s Delight colt out of Solandra, a mare who has already left the eight time winner in Samskara.       All of the above appear destined for careers of some worth. A pleasant and interesting watch seems assured.    Other races to catch the eye include the 10th on the card the Curle Contracting Mobile Trot over the 1980m mobile. The race pits the 3yr-old rocket fuel propelled Cracker Hill against the All Stars trained Enhance Your Calm and the Greg and Nina Hope trained Midnight Dash, the latter of these rivals has been in most impressive form of late notching up two wins and two second placed finishes from his last four starts. His last start second coming in behind the flying Majestic Man. The 11th and 12th races of the night are headlined by Spellbound, the 3 race winning daughter of Return to Gold and It’s All About Faith the big, rolling son of Captaintreacherous who has already shown that there’s more to him than just his glorious frame. The 2yr old has conjured up 1 win and 2 placed efforts from his three starts to date. A good night of action at Addington with some genuinely interesting races.   Ben McMillan

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Maracasso and trainer/driver Carol Voyer were able to steamroll over the field to capture the Preferred Pace at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday. The fifth race feature first saw Ninoscredit and driver Stephane Gendron leave from the rail for the early lead. Voyer also had Maracasso on the move from post four, but Gendron was not going to let them get to the lead with ease and parked them out to the opening quarter mile in :27.1. Voyer pressed the issue with Maracasso and they took command by the half mile in :55.1. From that point on Maracasso took off, leading the field by three lengths in the backstretch. At the three-quarters in 1:24, Maracasso was still in command. Stock and driver Pascal Berube moved three-wide in the backstretch and was able to get behind Maracasso and gave a game effort, closing within a half length as Maracasso went on to win in 1:54.4. Ninocredit was second. It was the seventh win this year for Maracasso. The seven-year-old gelded son of Lis Mara is owned by the Alpha Stable of Metabetchouan and he paid $5.40 to win. Jimbelina, the long mare in the field, saw her five-race win streak come to close, finishing fifth. The Filly & Mares Preferred Pace saw Uptown Woman ($6.30) and driver Pascal Berube pulled the pocket at the three-quarters on pacesetter Sauble Bonnie and then scoot away from the field to win in a romp by six and one-quarter lengths in 1:57. Solid Man ($3.40), after overcoming going wide into the first turn, was an easy winner in the Two-Year-Old Open Pace, wiring the field by two and one-half lengths in 1:59.2. Histoire Enchantee ($2.10) continued his remarkable comeback after being away from the races for nearly two years, winning the tenth race pace in 1:56.4 for his third straight win. He was driven by Stephane Gendron for trainer Maxime Velaye. Francis Picard led all the drivers with a triple and H3R's leading trainer, Francis Richard, sent out two winners. Track Notes: The final stop of the Regional Fair Circuit in Quebec took place Saturday at Ormstown. The track record for 1 ½ mile race was broken by the pacer Hooter Shooter, who went in 3:11.1 for driver Sam Filion and owner/trainer Marc Andre Simoneau. The old record was 3:12.3 set by Strokin (LPR) on July 16, 2016. This was the fifth track record broken this year on the circuit. Next Sunday, H3R will host the Quebec Regional Fair Circuit Championships. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Before a packed crowd at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday afternoon, YS Tallia put on a show for the racing fans, setting a track record in capturing her $30,000 Quebec-Bred Series Final. The 8th race saw Lit De Rose (Stephane Gendron) go to the lead in the older pacing mares final with stablemate Lune Bleu (Pierre Luc Roy) taking the second spot. Then Miss Rockadali (Guy Gagnon) came first-over at the first quarter in :26.4 and slipped ahead of Lune Bleu into the two-hole. After the half mile marker in :54.4, race favorite at 1/9, YS Tallia with driver Louis Philippe Roy (LPR) came first over and battled with Lit De Rose past the three-quarters in 1:23.3. Once cleared to the lead, YS Tallia opened up on the final and LPR urged the mare on as she won in a romp by six open length set in 1:52.4. Lit De Rose was second with All You Can Dream (Stephane Brosseau) third. Her time of 1:52.4 eclipsed the prior record of 1:54.1 set by My Tallia Ideal in 2015 for older pacing mares. YS Tallia is now the fastest mare ever at H3R and is tied with Duc Dorleans with the fourth fastest mile ever at the track. A five-year-old mare by Western Ideal, YS Tallis is trained by Michel Allard for owner-breeder Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation and paid $2.30 to win. One of the classic battles of the day took place in the 7th race Quebec-Bred Championship Final for three-year-old trotting colts. Race favorite Seeyou Men and driver Stephane Brosseau left from the rail to take the early command with Kinnder Dangerous (Pierre Luc Roy) grabbing the two-hole spot. Then Maximuscle (LPR) came first-over and pressed the first quarter to :28. Unable to clear to the lead, Maximuscle hung game on the outside with Capteur De Reve and driver Stephane Gendron taking the second-over trip past the half mile in :57. Down the backstretch Gendron moved three-wide with Capteur De Reve past the three-quarters in 1:26.4 and came right after pacesetter Seeyou Men. These two then went head and head around the final turn and down the stretch until Capteur De Reve showed he was the stronger horse, drawing off to win by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:58. Seeyou Men was second with Kinnder Dangerous third. Capteur De Reve became the first horse ever to win four Quebec-Bred Championship Finals and he did it in four-straight years at ages 2, 3, 4 and 5. The brilliant gelded son of Muscle Mass is trained by Maxime Velaye and was bred and is owned by the Provoquante Stable of Mirable. He paid $10.80 to win. Later on the card, in the 10th race, Atomic Million AM tied Capteur De Reve, scoring his fourth Quebec-Bred Series final with a game wire-to-wire triumph. Leading from the start for driver Guy Gagnon, Atomic Million AM cut fractions of :26.2, :56 and 1:25.4 before Kinnder Jackson, driven by LPR, came after them on the final turn and looked to make a race of it down the stretch, but Atomic Million AM was too strong, winning by one length in 1:55. C L Art Magic (Daniel LaFlamme) was third. An eight-year-old gelding by Million Dollar Cam, it was his fifth straight win, all at H3R, making him the winningest horse this season. He is trained, owned and was bred by Alain Martin of Gatineau and paid $3.00 to win. Driver Louis Philippe Roy wasted little time making his way to the winner's circle as he drove Lucky Promesses to victory in the 3rd race $30,000 Quebec-Bred Final for older trotting mares. Leaving from post four, Roy sent Lucky Promesses right to the front, cut fractions of :28.4, :59.4, 1:28.4, all the while holding the field at bay, then crossed the finish two and one-quarter lengths in front in 1:58.4. Y S Suzanne (Guy Gagnon) was second with Kascara Rose (Stephane Brosseau) third. A six-year-old mare by Lucky Fool, it was the second straight win and third victory on the year for Lucky Promesses, who is trained by Francis Richard and co-owned by Bruno Morin of St-Lazare-De-Bellechasse with Danny Genois of Quebec City. She paid $3.40 to win. There were four divisions of the $470,000C Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old fillies and colt pacers on Sunday. The first filly division (2nd race) saw Cooking The Speed ($6.80), who started in the second tier in post nine, find early clearance before the half mile marker and shot to the lead for driver Stephane Gendron and never looked back, winning by one and one-half lengths in 1:57.4. Akita Bayma (Yves Filion) was second with Jazz (Pierre Luc Roy) third. It was the daughter of So Surreal's second straight win. She is trained by Michel Allard, who co-owns Cooking the Speed with Allard Racing of Saint-Esprit. The second filly division was the 11th race where both Moneymakehersmile and HP Xanadu played major hardball for most of the one-mile race. Moneymakehersmile and driver Pascal Berube went to the lead with Majelyca (Francis Picard) in the two-hole. Then HP Xanadu came first-over for driver Stephane Brosseau and collared Moneymakehersmile and those two went head and head down the backstretch, around the final turn and down the stretch all the way to the wire with Moneymakehersmile barely holding on for a neck triumph in 1:58. Majelyca was third. It was a lifetime mark for Moneymakehersmile, a Mach Three filly, trained by Dany Fountain for owner-breeder Sotirios Anastasopoulos of Sainte-Therese. She paid $37.30 to win in her second triumph of the season. The first colt division was the 4th race and Y S Sunshine with LPR in the sulky was able to wire the field after cutting fractions of :26.2, :57 and 1:26.2, then held off D Gs De Vito (Jonathan Lachance) by a half length to win in 1:54.2. Ashleysbest (Pascal Berube) was third. It was the first win in three starts for YS Sunshine. The gelded son of Sunshine Beach is trained by Michel Allard for breeder-owner Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation. He paid $4.70 to win. Y S Sunshine was the Future Stars final champion last ye for ar. The second colt division saw three lead changes after a :27.1 first quarter and :56.4 half before HP Napoleon and driver Stephane Brosseau clear to the lead for good by the three-quarters in 1:26. The gelded son of Big Jim then drew away from the field, winning by five and one-half open lengths in 1:55.2. GA Speed Gaby (Guy Gagnon) was second with Sunshine Lou (Pascal Berube) third. Trained by Francis Richard owner Claude Hamel, who bred the colt with Celine Paquin, both of Ayers Cliff. He paid $3.20 to win. Track Notes: Both LPR and Stephane Gendron each had driving triples. Michel Allard led all trainers on the day with three wins from his stable. Live racing resumes next Friday at the Hippodrome 3R with first race post time at 7:00 pm. The Breeders Cup Series takes a week off and will resume with the second round of preliminary action Friday, July 26. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

WASHINGTON, PA, May 21, 2019 -- Out well before the half, Bessie was relentless first over, wearing down the leader to capture Tuesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, an $11,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot. While Missions Delight refused to go down easily on the front, Bessie persevered for Tony Hall and scored in 1:55.4. The rallying Firm To Stay was second, 3/4 lengths back, while. EZ Passer shot the Lightning Lane for show. Rick Clapper trains Bessie, an 8-year-old daughter of Equinox Bi-Cantab's Chorine who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $459,345, for Paula Clapper, Umholtz Racing Stable and Kennedy Sports Corp. Dave Palone piloted four winners on the 13-race card.   By Evan Pattak for the MSOA

Harness racing driver Aaron Merriman had a monster night on Saturday (May 4) at Northfield Park by posting eight wins on the 16-race program. Merriman's triumphs were with Island Of Rock ($3.40) in race two, Mildred's Button ($14.80) in race three, Sweet To See ($3.40) in race five, Touchamatic ($2.40) in race nine, Love Forbidden ($2.40) in race 10, Wendy's Girl ($4.40) in race 13, The Lion Sleeps ($3.80) in race 14 and My Caroline ($2.60) in race 15. Merriman was the leading driver in North America in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and is leading by over 50 wins so far this year. Merriman has been driving since 1997 and has since posted 11,266 career wins and is approaching $75 million in purse earnings. Success over the Flying Turns is nothing new to Merriman. He has more wins than any other driver in Northfield's history. The 20¢ Northfield Single Six (a unique combination Pick-6) has accumulated a $20,232 carryover into Monday’s (May 6) program.  The Single Six offers a low 14 percent takeout rate and is offered nightly in race nine. The 20¢ wager is designed to offer handicappers large jackpots by carrying over 50 percent of its nightly pool until it is solved by a unique single ticket. Ayers Ratliff

Loyalty could cost Natalie Rasmussen another TAB Inter Dominion pacing title at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. But it could hand her partner Mark Purdon a unique piece of Inter Dominion history. Rasmussen and Purdon train two of the Inter Dominion favourites in Spankem and Cruz Bromac, who after heading the points table went into yesterday’s barrier draw as the two favourites for the $500,000 pacing final on Saturday. But while Spankem has emerged as the TAB bookies elect after drawing barrier five, Rasmussen has decided to stick with Cruz Bromac, on who she is unbeaten in five starts together. “To be honest Spankem might be the better of our chances because I can’t believe how well he has come through the series,” says Rasmussen. “But I feel committed to Cruz. He has also been great through the series and being an older horse this might be his big chance to win an Inter. So I’d be happy driving either but I will stick with Cruz.” Rasmussen is already the queen of the Inter Dominion, having trained and driven Blacks A Fake to win the series a record four times and she can still win again this Saturday but Cruz Bromac’s second line draw suggests he will need mid-race pressure. Spankem has the front line draw to keep rolling forward and at least stay handy if he can’t find the lead, which looks very much on the cards. That provides champion NZ trainer Purdon with a shot at a feat that may never be repeated again: winning three consecutive Inter Dominion pacing finals on three different horses. Purdon co-trained and drove Smolda (2016) and Lazarus last year to win the pacing finals when they were held in Perth and if he wins on Saturday night he will join Rasmussen with four pacing final wins each, having won his first with Mark Hanover in 1991. Spankem is now the $2.90 TAB favourite for the final ahead of Im Pats Delight and Cruz Bromac at $4.50 each and the big winner in the draw, Galactic Star (ace) at $6.50.   Michael Guerin

Columbus, OH --- Applications for harness racing driver's and trainer's licenses can now be completed and submitted online through a USTA Online Account. After logging into the My Account Services page and selecting the license, then Driver/Trainer options, all of the necessary tools to apply for a license online are available. In addition, My Account allows the applicant to see the status of the licensing process, including whether references have been completed and exam grades, at any time. Typically, through the paper application method, it takes between two and six months for applications to be processed and written and practical exams to be successfully completed. However, the online application process, by utilizing referencing through My Account, can potentially reduce the processing time by weeks, if not months. As in the paper application, an applicant is required to provide at least six references, of which four who must indicate a positive response when their reference form is submitted. References must have a current USTA Membership/License in good standing and for drivers must hold an "A" Full Driver License, for trainers, an "A" Full Driver License or a "G" General Trainer License. The online process begins with an acceptance of terms and instructions prior to completing an application questionnaire and the submission of references, who will each receive an email notification or a form that will need to be returned to the USTA. Once the referencing requirement is met, the applicant is contacted by the USTA with a list of test administrators for the written exam. Once a passing grade on the written test is achieved, the USTA will send the practical exam, which also must be passed, and any other requirements, i.e. a vision exam, necessary to obtain a license. Upon completion of all licensing requirements, My Account will indicate the newly issued license with immediate access to the USTA Online Entry system for those who have obtained a trainer's license. To watch an instructional video on the license application process, click here. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

Can a third female driver add their name to either the Bathurst Gold Crown or Tiara winners list when the harness racing carnival gets underway in less than two months? To this day with 60 Crown and Tiaras decided, there have been only two female drivers to bathe in the glory of the victory – Julie Weidemann in 1997 and Amanda Turnbull in 2015. In March 1997 a tough little filly, bred in Rockhampton, with the unlikely name of Sheza Fake, gave Queensland-based driver Weidemann one of her biggest thrills in harness racing. Sheza Fake was broken in by her breeder Tony Burgoyne, who then sent her to the Weidemann sisters Julie and Lola to qualify her and get her started on a racing career. She was paid up for the Bathurst series, so Tony’s instructions were “you’ve got to be in it to win it”. It is over 850 kilometres from Clifton in Queensland to Bathurst so Julie took on the task of being the first Queenslander to conquer Bathurst. “No-one in our family were keen about a trip to Bathurst so I put my hand up,” Weidemann said. “We finished second to Sanctum in our heat and then won a semi-final so just needed a good draw for the final.” Well history shows that the marble in the draw wasn’t kind to Sheza Fake – the dreaded number six, which meant starting from the outside of the front line. “I let the dust settle after the start,” said Weidemann, “Then took off around the field to sit in the breeze position.” That was the winning move with the tough little filly sired by the record breaking stallion Fake Left. In becoming the first female to win the Gold Tiara, Julie left in her wake legendary reins-men Brian Hancock and Steve Turnbull. Today Weidemann is the most successful female trainer in Australian harness racing, having now trained around 2,300 winners.  That’s not bad for a young girl who started out in the equine Industry taking ponies to shows around Queensland. “The judges didn’t seem to like us Weidemann girls, so we tried our hand at Harness Racing,” said Wediemann jokingly.  The rest, as they say, is history. Lola Weidemann has left her mark as well, having now driven more than 2,800 winners – second only to Kerryn Manning amongst Australia’s gifted female drivers. Sheza Fake is now in foal to Art Major for the Weidemann sisters, but she could have been lost to the Industry a couple of years ago. The Rockhampton floods of 2013 washed away the fences of the paddock in which Sheza Fake was grazing and she went missing for two weeks. Fortunately her owner Tony Burgoyne located and rescued her. Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Duc Dorleans, smartly handled by Wally Hennessey, won Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Pace on Sunday night (December 4), stopping the timer in a season's best 1:50.1. (He also had a 1:50.1 win over the larger Mohawk seven-eighths oval.) The six year-old son of Shanghai Phil scored by 1 1/4 lengths over the late charging Sing For Me George (Kevin Wallis) with Rockntouch (Mickey McNichol) third, 2 1/4 lengths away. Abreathofreshart was fourth while Pop Cop, prominent much of the way, earned the minor award in the septet. At the outset, Pop Cop, leaving from the rail, and Here Come William, post five, got into a very heated war ear;y with Pop Cop refusing to yield through an opener in :25.4. At this stage, Duc Dorleans (post six) was also on the prowl as the Hummer Starting Gate sped away but smartly took a seat in third, three lengths off the sizzling pace. With a half in :53.4, positions remained unchanged but, on the backside, Hennessey sent Duc Dorleans sprinting forward and to a short lead around the final turn and past the third station in 1:21.3. In the lane, Duc Dorleans edged past the stubborn Pop Cop, drew clear at mid-stretch and then held off the five wide surge of Sing For Me George, who was dead last turning for home. In the winner's circle, Hennessey said, "being outside of those two that were in a dig-fight early was a blessing because they opened up some daylight, allowing me to tuck in third. "Yes, he does like the front end, but I wasn't about to get into a war that I wasn't going to be able to win. When I asked him on the backstretch, he responded like the good horse he is. It was a good team effort this time around." Trained by Jacques Dupont for Gestion Levesque 2005, Inc. and Les Ecuries Dorleans, Duc Dorleans now boasts $616,270 in career earnings--$66,168 this year. As the even money proposition on the tote-board, Duc Dorleans returned a mutuel of $4.00. In the $10,000 Open 2 Pace, Whogoesfirst, with Wally Hennessey in the bike, survived some early sizzling fraction on the front end--:26.1, :54.2 and 1:23--to take top honors in 1:51.2, holding off the late surge along the pylons by Legal Spike (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) to hit the line a half-length to the good. No Bad Dreams (Dave Ingraham) used a menacing brush on the backside during the third quarter--moving from seventh to second--to finish third, a length away. Major Deagan, far back early, paced the fastest final panel of all--:27.2--to finish a fast closing fourth while Winyard Hanover, prominent most of the way, picked up the nickel in the field of nine. In a post-race interview, Hennessey said, "I really didn't want to go :54 and a piece to the half...but the horse sure did. Then I thought that he might not have that much left in the tank late, so this was a surprisingly good mile." Whogoesfirst, an eight year-old gelded son of Cambest, won for the third time this year and 27th time career-wise to send his lifetime bounty to $446,478--$56,458 this year. The winner, owned by the S&P Racing Stable along with trainer Luanne Case, was second choice on the tote-board and returned $9.20 to win. In the $8,500 Condition/Claiming ($20,000) pace, Blue Hour Power, driven by Ricky Macomber, survived a rugged beginning before taking command after a :27.2 opener, and posted subsequent panels of :55.4 and 1:23.4 before sealing the issue with a :27.2 sprint home to score in 1:51.1. Trained by Jamie Macomber for Wilber Eash, Blue Hour Power, a five year-old son of Sand Shooter, pinned a 3½ length defeat on Respectable Dream (John Mac Donald) with The Best of Joel (Kevin Wallis) a ground saving third, 5¼ lengths away. Grande Seelster, prominent early while looping the field for the early lead form post nine, was fourth while Owosso Flash finished fifth in the field of nine. Blue Hour Power won for the 10th time this semester, pushing his seasonal bounty to $94,980 and $606,111 lifetime. Off as the 2 to 5 favorite on a drop down in class, Blue Hour Power paid $2.80 to win. In the better for the bettor department, one fortunate player cashed in on a 20 cent Pentafecta ticket worth $6,303.92 when amateur driver Billy Muggleston steered B Cor Thomas ($18.80) to upset victory in the second of two events for the Florida Amateur Driving Club. The nine year-old altered son of Mutineer scored in a lifetime best 1:56.2 for his fourth win of the year. Rush N Supreme (Mitchell Walker), off at 5 to 1, finished second, favored Czech It Out (Fred Cohen) 3 to 2 on the tote-board, was third and JLs Too Hot Taj, 64 to 1, was fourth and Holiday Spirit, 19 to 1, completed the Pentafecta bonanza order of finish. The winner is owned and trained by Fannie Saul-Beaulieu and the win pushed his seasonal bounty to $23,219, his best season ever. The other amateur event went to Total Freedom with Dein Spriggs in the bike. This six year-old daughter of Crazed, owned and trained by Leopold Sawyers, used a :28.2 kick home to get by a stubborn Global Power (Mitchell Walker) by three-parts-of-a-length in 2:00 for her fourth win of the year. New Scent (Dennis Whittemore) overcame the outside nine post to finish third while Blueridge Empire and Act Of Valor picked up the final two awards. Pompano Park's leading driver, Wally Hennessey, had another huge night, scoring five wins on the 10 race program. Racing continues of Monday night with post time set at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 12, 2016 - Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $13.80) couldn't possibly have had an eight-hole trip than he did Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $45,000 Open Handicap Pace. In play from behind the eight-ball, the Levy Series winner found a gaping three-hole for a brief respite, then marching toward the lead. He made it around pole-sitting, 9-5 choice Rock N' Roll World (George Brennan) before a pokey 28-second opening quarter-mile. Then came a plodding, 29-second next station (57-second half), effectively ending the suspense. First Class Horse (Jason Bartlett), gapping his rivals earlier, moved first-up from fourth, but never threatened. Bit of a Legend N found a 1:25 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. He whipped Rock N' Roll World by that same margin in 1:52.3, with First Class Horse, a way-after-the-fact The Real One (Pat Lachance) and Santa Fe Beachboy (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees. For fourth choice Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his 13th win in 27 seasonal starts ($718,450). The exacta paid $42, the triple returned $197.50 and the superfecta paid $829. Stratton's four-win night moved him within nine of 3,000 career victories Frank Drucker

There were two mares against the boys in the $10,000 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 19) and girl-power prevailed as Serendipitous, who was overlooked at 9-1, pulled out a wire to wire harness racing victory in a lifetime best time of 1:57.1. Weekly leaver Lutetium (Todd Cummings) made a break off the gate which handed Serendipitous (Ray Fisher Jr.) the lead and with it, the mare took the field in post-position order to the half in :57.3. At the five-eighths, Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) pulled first over and brought heavily favored J A T O (Mike Caprio) in tow and the pair motored up towards the front. That outer flow chased the leader to the three-quarter station in 1:27.1 without gaining much ground when J A T O pulled three wide in the last turn and started his solo assault. But when he actually drifted five-wide in the move, Serendipitous was able to maintain her lead in mid-stretch and fend off the pocket-sitting Winky's Pride as well as the late rush by J A T O to win by a neck. Winky's Pride (Drew Monti), who was the other mare in the race, finished second and J A T O settled for third. It was the sixth victory of the year for Serendipitous ($21.80) and the winner's share of the purse padded her bank account to the tune of $33,267 for Guy Polillo Est. and trainer John Mungillo. The secondary feature carded as the $8,500 Open II saw Kahoku ($7.70) avoid some early road trouble and go wire to wire in a fast 1:56.3 for driver Ron Beback Jr. The 8-year-old gelded son of SJ's Caviar is trained by Mark Laidlaw for owners Colleen Girdlestone and Michael Gentner. Batavia Downs leading dash driver Kevin Cummings had a driving triple on the night while Drew Monti doubled up. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 20) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m. Saturday's card features the NYSS 2-year-old pacing fillies going for $110,200 in race four on the card.   Tim Bojarski

It was an emotional day at Exhibition Park Raceway on Saturday as a three-horse spill in the fourth event of the afternoon sent two harness racing drivers to hospital.   Going into the first turn, driver Ed Harvey and his pacer Allstar Seelster had obtained a lead from post two and suddenly fell causing Dr. Mitchell Downey to become unseated from his horse Stare Down and also falling hard to track.   Unable to clear the mishap, driver Stephen Trites and Ideal Ticket became involved and Trites was dragged in the sulky until the horse came to a stop at the fence.   Driver Ed Harvey is reported to have a possible broken hand and ribs in the accident and Stephen Trites, a hyper-extended knee injury. Dr. Mitchell Downey walked away from the ordeal and came back to win the final race on the program will Fall Bliss.   Also on the card, pacer Upstairswithron won his first race in over two-years for driver Scott Hubbard and owner/ trainer Bob MacNeil. Horse Racing New Brunswick will provide updates this weekend as the drivers are evaluated further.   All three horses involved walked away from the accident with cuts and bruises and H.R.N.B will report on their condition as soon as news becomes available.   Best wishes from Horse Racing New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Standardbred Owners Association on a speedy recovery to those involved.     Scott Waddell

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