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Halls notch fifth Stratton Cup Champion trainer Gary Hall snr and star reinsman Gary Hall jnr combined to notch their fifth success in the $50,000 J. P. Stratton Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night when superstar pacer Chicago Bull outclassed his rivals in the 2130m group 2 event. Chicago Bull, the $1.20 favourite, began speedily from the No. 4 barrier and was not extended in setting the pace and coasting to victory by one and a half lengths over arch rival Shockwave ($7.50), with The Bird Dance ($134) in third place. Chicago Bull simply meandered in the early stages and posted a dawdling lead time of 39.1sec. and modest opening quarters of 30.3sec. and 29.5sec. before sprinting over the final 400m sections in 26.9sec. and 27.9sec. to record a mile rate of 1.56.1. “On paper, it looked like the race was going to be run that way,” said Hall jnr. “We will take all the soft runs we can get, leading up to the big ones (Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup). He didn’t give the others a chance, which you would expect. “I was still a bit nervous in front. Lately, I reckon he’s been better racing outside the leader, rather than in front. He has been more switched on in the breeze. “When I saw that Shockwave had settled in the one-out, one-back position, it was the only spot I didn’t want him to be in.  But I still thought that we had the better end of the deal (in front). Shockwave went enormous, again, and like Bully, you expect him to go like that. “I’m not sure that with Bully leading like that, that there’s a horse who is capable of beating him.; he’s got so much speed.” Chicago Bull, who also won the 2018 Stratton Cup, is edging closer to the $2 million mark in earnings. He now has amassed $1,970,531 from 56 wins and 23 placings from 85 starts.   Rock Me Over, a super bargain Serpentine trainer Matt Scott, Tony Maguire and his son Ian made an extremely wise decision early last year when they outlaid $6000 to purchase Rock Me Over, who is proving to be an outstanding bargain. Rock Me Over, a five-year-old West Australian-bred pacer, maintained his consistent form when Chris Voak drove him to victory over Delightfulreaction and Destined To Rule in the 2130m Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This took the gelding’s record for his new owners to 58 starts for seven wins, 21 placings and stakes of $138,436, boosting his career record to 104 starts for 18 wins, 34 placings and prizemoney of $263,993. He is a half-brother to one of the State’s best pacers Handsandwheels, who has earned $666,739 from 28 wins and 26 placings from 83 starts. He is also closely related to former Sydney pacing star Suave Stuey Lombo ($110 starts for 33 wins, 23 placings and $587,032). Rock Me Over, favourite at $3.40 from the No. 2 barrier on Friday night, was beaten for early pace by $4.80 chance Thereugo, who burst straight to the front from the outside (No. 7) on the front line. He settled in the ideal one-out, one-back position, but surprisingly was left in the breeze when Thereugo surrendered the lead to $51 chance Mattjestic Star after 400m. Voak dashed Rock Me Over to the front 420m from home and the gelding responded grandly to Voak’s hard driving to hold the fast-finishing pair of Delightfulreaction and Destined To Rule at bay. The winner rated 1.56.4. Mister Bushido ($5) was poised to fight out the finish after enjoying a perfect sit in the one-out, one-back position. But Mister Bushido was severely checked when he locked sulky wheels with Thereugo with 500m to travel. “I thought Rock Me Over was beaten at the top of the straight,” said Voak. “And then he pricked his ears, and I thought ‘you little so-and-so’ as he signalled that he had a bit more to offer. He then held on determinedly and had a neck to spare on the line. “I think the key was not using him early. Tonight, I did no work out of the gate, and after the (solid) sectionals that were run he did a good job to hold off the late sprint of Delightfulreaction.”   Justasec flies under the radar Smart New Zealand-bred pacer Justasec is just one of many outstanding three and four-year-old pacers prepared by champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond. But, for an unaccountable reason, he has lacked the profile of several of his more glamorous stablemates of the same age groups. He has avoided much of the limelight shared by stablemates Patronus Star, Howard Hughes, Parmesan, Taroona Bromac, Poisedtopounce, Ana Afreet (before being sold to America) and others. So, it was no real surprise that Justasec, despite his extremely impressive record, was at a handsome $9.10 quote on the tote when he contested the 2536m Westral Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven by star reinsman Ryan Warwick, the four-year-old Justasec was restrained at the start from the outside barrier in the field of seven and he relaxed at the rear before unwinding a powerful burst to get up and win by a half-head from the $1.95 favourite My Carbon Copy at a smart 1.55.9 rate. Jimmy Jack ($2.35) set the pace but was under pressure for most of the way from the hard-pulling Rakasinc in the breeze. My Carbon Copy followed Rakasinc with a perfect passage, one-out and one-back, before he began a fast three-wide move 460m from home, a run that Warwick was quick to follow. My Carbon Copy got to the front 300m from the post and was overhauled in the final couple of bounds to go under by a half-head. The impressive victory improved Justasec’s record to 17 starts for 11 wins, four placings and $85,925 in stakes. After a win and a second from two New Zealand starts, Justasec has won at ten of his 15 WA starts. “His record is really good, and maybe he has dodged the limelight is because he didn’t run in any of the good (feature) races,” Warwick said. “He has won more than he’s lost, so I don’t know why he has avoided the limelight.” The solid pace of Friday night’s event set the scene for a swooper, with Warwick saying: “The ingredients were there and all I had to do was to make sure they worked. He is pretty adaptable and can do it either way. “He got lucky tonight when he got over My Carbon Copy, which is pretty good because he had the best run in the race. When a horse keeps winning it’s a good habit.”   Soho Hamilton fires up Up-and-coming young pacer Soho Hamilton fought on grandly to hold on and score a narrow victory in the 2130m Catalano Truck And Equipment Sales Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night after he fired up and raced keenly in the lead. Trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice urged the three-year-old forward from barrier five to burst to an early lead. The gelding then raced fiercely under a tight hold from his driver. He led clearly on the home turn before holding on grimly to win by a half-head from $31 outsider Middlepage, with Hotfoot It ($7) flying home from the rear to be a nose away in third place. Soho Hamilton, an all-the-way winner over Radiant Amber in the $30,000 Warwick Pace the previous week, looked a shade disappointing in winning by such a small margin, but Prentice was not particularly concerned. “I am very happy with the run and his gate speed was very good,” Prentice said. “It was just because he was overracing and I was trying to hold him back, and when you hold a horse back so much, trying to hold the other one (the $1.90 favourite Little Bitof Fun) in, was the problem. “He was wanting to get going and I could’ve got going down the back and run home in 56sec. But when you hold on to a horse that tight for so long and then you say ‘let’s get going’ he would be kind of jack of it. “I really think that had there been another 400m, he would’ve run away from them (the opposition). Just after the line he got his breath back and got going again. “First-up (two starts earlier) I restrained him off the gate and he was nice and settled back in the field, but at his next two starts I’ve used him off the gate and he has wanted to grab hold and rocknroll.”   The Last Drop squeezes out narrow win Young Banjup trainer Josh Dunn celebrated his birthday last Wednesday, but was still working as a truck driver late on Friday afternoon and missed watching his horse The Last Drop score a narrow victory in the 2536m Etch Coatings Pace at Gloucester Park. He and his partner Kristy Sheehy race The Last Drop on lease from breeder Bob Fowler, and Kristy filled in as deputy trainer on Friday when Shannon Suvaljko guided The Last Drop, a $29.40 outsider, to a half-head victory over Triroyale Brigade, with the flying Blue Blazer an eye-catching head away in third place. Triroyale (Robbie Williams) began fast, three wide, from barrier six, but was unable to cross The Last Drop, who mustered good speed from the No. 3 barrier. Triroyale then worked hard in the breeze and fought on with great determination. He will pay to follow. “It was a bit surprising that The Last Drop won over 2500m,” said Sheehy. “I think he is better suited over 2100m. He is a lovely horse to train; we had a little bit of trouble with his feet, and that’s now sorted out. “He went the best sectionals in the The Warwick Pace the previous week when he was held up in the late stages.” The Last Drop has had only six starts for Dunn for two wins and two thirds. He is related to former smart performers Mon Poppy Day (50 starts for 20 wins, 16 placings and $318,558) and Parthenon. Mon Poppy Day’s victories included the 1996 WA and Tasmanian Derbies, the 1996 Golden Nugget, the 1997 Christmas Gift and the 1998 Mount Eden Sprint. Parthenon’s best win was in the 1995 WA Oaks. Dunn has two pacers in work --- The Last Drop and Chase The Feeling (a country-class Gloucester Park winner last March). His previous metropolitan-class winner was 11-year-old Oneonthewood, who beat Burning Shadow and Jimmy Mack in a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park last January.   Cant Refuse is Cups bound    Seasoned open-class performer Cant Refuse made a successful return to racing after a three-month absence when he raced wide early and dashed to the front after 650m before scoring an easy victory in the 2536m Vili’s Family Bakery Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Handled by his new trainer, 20-year-old Corey Peterson, Cant Refuse, favourite at $1.40, dashed over the final 400m in 28.7sec. on his way to beating the fast-finishing Sightseeing Anvil by a length, with Henwood Bay ($6.50) two lengths father back in third place. Peterson said that the Eastern States owners were keen for the pacer to perform strongly in a bid to qualify for starts in the rich Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup late in the year. The New Zealand-bred Cant Refuse now has raced 82 times for 15 wins, 24 placings and stakes of $269,333.   Queen Shenandoah is on song Smart five-year-old Queen Shenandoah gave further proof that she will be a force in the rich Mares Classic in the summer when she surged home with a three-wide burst from ninth at the bell to win the 2536m Simmonds Steel Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Queen Shenandoah, a $4.90 chance trained by Ross Olivieri, was driven with confidence by Chris Voak. She covered the final quarters in 28.3sec. and 28.8sec. to win by a head from Jack William ($3.80) at a 1.58.7 rate. Polemarker McArdles Gem, favourite at $3.20, set the pace and was kept under pressure for much of the way by the breeze horse Jack William, who eventually hit the front 300m from home. “She is definitely a player for the big race for mares,” said Voak. “She is a far better horse than she was last summer. That was when she was on her first campaign in WA after arriving from South Australia, and I think she was a tired horse. “She is not exclusively a sit-sprinter. She has good speed and can lead in her races. “This week I expected her to improve on her second to Talkerup a week earlier. This was her third run in a row (on three consecutive Friday nights). She was good last week, but obviously was a lot fitter tonight. I drove her accordingly and she showed a good fighting spirit.” Queen Shenandoah’s win improved her record to 52 starts for 12 wins, 17 placings and stakes of $147,395.   Princess Mila impresses “Running 56.6sec. for the final 800m is a pretty good for a trotter,” declared reinsman Gary Hall jnr after he had driven Princess Mila to a most impressive victory in the 2536m Choices Flooring Trot at  Gloucester Park on Friday night. Princess Mila, prepared by Gary Hall snr and hot favourite at $1.70, was smartest into stride from barrier four and she relished her pacemaking role which resulted in 13-metre victory over Dark Secret. An expected battle between Princess Mila and Mr Sundon ($2.80) failed to eventuate when Mr Sundon raced in last position in the field of six and broke into a gallop when not threatening any danger in fourth position 220m from home. “She will have some good battles with Mr Sundon along the way,” said Hall jnr. Princess Mila is very fast and she showed with her first-up run at Pinjarra (when second to Dark Secret) that she is tough as well.”   Radiant Amber gets the job done A fast-finishing second to talented three-year-old Soho Hamilton last Friday week was the pointer to an early win from the Ryan Bell-trained Radiant Amber. From barrier three in the 2130m Allwood Stud Farm Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, Radiant Amber was good value at $7.40 --- and Aiden de Campo rewarded the four-year-old mare’s admirers with a confident, well-rated drive that saw Radiant Amber set the pace and defy a late challenge from the $3.10 favourite Leap Of Faith to win by a half-length. Radiant Amber, raced by Tiffany Sharpe, is enjoying a good career, with 42 starts producing seven wins, 13 placings and $64,004 in prizemoney. By Betterthancheddar, Radiant Amber is out of Elsu Sheila, who earned $67,458 from nine wins (three at Gloucester Park, three at Pinjarra, two at Bunbury and one at Northam) from 48 starts.   Ken Casellas

Darin Zoccali, the former Director of racing at the Meadowlands and the current manager of VIP operations for Sportsbook Casinos, is our special guest on this week's Harness Racing Alumni Show.   Darin tells Freddie, Trade and Bob the inside reason that harness racing does not have its own TVG channel and some thoughts on how we can remedy this situation. There's no doubt that an exclusive channel for our sport would substantially boost the awareness of our Standardbred racing industry and increase its income. Don't miss this captivating discussion....!!!   Click on this link to hear the show:        

A trio of memorials served as harness racing features on the Saturday night card at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The 7th annual JP Morel Memorial Pacing Series went for a purse of $32,000 while the 5th annual Virginia O'Brien Memorial Pace was contested for a $32,300 purse and both races saw career-best performances from their winners. Mantario (Sportswriter) drew the rail in the JP Morel Memorial Pace Final and was the odds-on betting favorite. With Billy Dobson in his sulky, Mantario cruised to victory and set a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1 in completing the series sweep. The only winner of both legs of the series, Mantario was a decisive winner on Saturday as he bested stablemate Energyzone Hanover (Jay Randall) who had to settle for second-best. Mantario joins Finnish First, Mach To The Max, Starznheaven, Hillbillycashflow, In A Single Bound and Justin Credible as winners of the JP Memorial Pacing Series. In A Single Bound, like Mantario, was and is trained by Monica Krist and driven by Billy Dobson, making them the first tandem to be a two-time winner of a series at the Spa. The Virginia O'Brien series for lady pacers was so well balanced that there were six different winners in the divisions heading into Saturday's final. Reflexionofroyalty (American Ideal) was the even money betting favorite in the final after she impressed in outclosing her rivals in leg two. She came into the night with five victories in her eight starts in 2019. Jimmy Devaux wasted little time putting the favorite on the lead and the Allen Sisco trainee cruised from there. Reflexionofroyalty set a lifetime mark, scoring in 1:55.2 to add her name to the list of previous winners of the Virginia O'Brien Memorial Pace that is comprised of Karla Art, Shesnobeachboy, Nashurallability and Maggies Way. The 1st annual George Karam Memorial Invitational Pace was contested on Saturday and was won by local superstar Artful Way (Artistic Fella). The Jackie Greene-trained pacer went coast-to-coast in 1:50.4, matching the time of his stablemate Hudson Phil as the fastest of the season for any horse thus far at Saratoga in 2019. Artful Way, the three-time defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa, recorded his 56th win in 147 career starts. Frank Coppola Jr is his regular driver and was in the sulky for Saturday's score. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:00 Noon first post. Mike Sardella

Dorsoduro Hanover took the top spot back in Dave Little's Road to the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace off a win in one of three eliminations for the Hempt at Pocono Downs (the final is Saturday night). The next challenge for Dorsoduro and seven others: Defeating North America Cup champion Lather Up, whose connections are still kicking around the idea of supplementing to The Pace. Rank Horse Driver, Trainer, Owner(s) Dave Little’s Comments   1 Dorsoduro Hanover ($172,668 – 1:49.4) M. Kakaley, R. Burke Burke Racing, Silva, Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi, Wingfield Five Takes the top spot back off a lifetime-best win in his Hempt Elimination. The only blemish on his five-start 2018 resume is a tough-trip seventh in his NA Cup Elim. Burke: “He was good in his elimination but will need to step it up more in the final.” He’s drawn post 4 for the $500,000 Hempt Saturday night. Is there a way to beat 2-1 morning-line choice Lather Up (post 7)? Burke: “I haven’t figured that out yet.” Last Race: 6/23 – PcD – Hempt Elim – 1st (1:49.4) 2 Stay Hungry ($619,384 – 1:50)   D. McNair, T. Alagna B. Grant, I. Samelman   Finished a tough-trip third (missing a half-length) in his Hempt Elim and has drawn post 5 for the final. Alagna: “He raced terrific. A horse went off stride in front of him and he came to a halt. I thought it was one of his best races ever. He’s drawn a good post but beating Lather Up, that’s a tough assignment right now.” Last Race: 6/23 – PcD – Hempt Elim – 3rd (1:49.3) 3 Lost In Time ($718,723 – 1:50.1) S. Zeron, J. Takter Diamond Creek Racing, J&T Silva, W. Rufenacht, Ric Flair Stable Took the Hempt off to prepare for the Pace. Takter noted the grueling schedule for the 3-year-old pacing colts, where the NA Cup, Hempt and Meadowlands Pace require a horse to race for six straight weeks if they want to go in all three. “When you look at the schedule, it’s kind of insane. I don’t think this horse is suited for that. Horses are not machines. I think Lost In Time will be much better in the Pace than he was in the Cup.” Last Race: 6/16 – Wbsb – NA Cup Final – 3rd (1:48.4) 4 This Is The Plan ($243,372 – 1:50.2) T. Tetrick, C. Ryder C. Ryder, R. Mondillo Finished third in his Hempt elim after a four-week layoff but a luckless pill drop has left him with post 9 for the final. Ryder: “I’d have been happier had he finished second, but this week, we are adding Lasix after some minor bleeding. Some horses improve a lot on Lasix, some don’t at all.” Last Race: 6/23 – PcD – Hempt Elim – 3rd (1:49.4) 5 Thinkbig Dreambig ($38,500 – 1:49.2) Y. Gingras, J. Takter Brixton Medical Inc., J. Fielding, G. Anderberg, G. Falk   Since taking the Escort at the Meadowlands, this son of Bettor’s Delight has won two in a row in Pennsylvania with ease. Takter: “I’m going to race him at Tioga Friday (race 8, post 7). I want him to go a really strong mile. He’s so professional. We are still strongly considering going to the Pace.” Last Race: 6/20 – Phl – NW3 – 1st (1:52.2) 6 Nutcracker Sweet ($196,832 – 1:50.2) D. Miller, J. Takter H. Taylor, Order By Stable, R. Lombardo   Continues to prove he belongs with this division’s best while having yet to win this year. Finished second in his elim to Lather Up and has drawn post 1 for the final. Takter: “I thought he raced tremendous, Lather Up was just so freaking Good! Right now, he might be unbeatable.” Is Nutcracker sweet on The Pace? “Not sure if he’s going,” said Takter. “We still have a ton of races coming up.” Last Race: 6/23 – PcD – Hempt Elim – 2nd (1:49.2) 7 Babes Dig Me ($122,947 – 1:52.3Q) B. Miller, T. Alagna B.J. Grant, J. Sbrocco, J. Leblanc, In The Gym Partners   Went a rail trip to grab a fifth-place check in his Hempt Elim. Alagna: “He was in the toughest division, but once he got loose, he had pace in the lane. I am going to give him this week off.” Last Race: 6/23 – PcD – Hempt Elim – 5th (1:50.1) 8 American History ($94,243 – 1:49.1) Y. Gingras, T. Alagna Brittany Farms, M. Katz, American History Racing   Took the Hempt off after a 10th-place finish in the Cup. Will take on older foes Friday at the Meadowlands in a NW3. Alagna: “Coming off a bad start I thought I was better off giving him the week off to get ready for The Pace. He’s in Friday and trained great.” Last Race: 6/16 – Wbsb – NA Cup Final – 10th (1:50.3) 9 Captain Deo ($28,867 – 1:50.2) D. McNair, T. Alagna Alagna Racing, J. Sbrocco, In The Gym Partners, Captain Deo Partners   Kicked home in :26.2 to grab a fifth-place check in the Cup Consolation before taking the Hempt off. Alagna: “He’s been very good but hasn’t had a lot of luck. He’s been too far back coming into fast fractions.” He’s in the same Meadowlands race as stablemate American History Friday night. Last Race: 6/16 – Wbsb – NA Cup Consolation – 5th (1:50.3) 10 Odds On Lauderdale ($51,059 – 1:49.1) V. Ginsburg, T Alagna Odds On Racing   Breaks into the Top 10 after winning his second straight a week ago. The victory came from an impossible spot after being trapped until the final eighth of a mile. Is this a possible Pace upsetter? Alagna: “He’s a little bit of a sleeper. He showed a lot of ability last year. He wasn’t himself earlier in the year so we made some adjustments. As far as the Pace goes, we are on the bubble.” Last Race: 6/23 – M1 – NW2/3 – 1st (1:49.1)   KEY PREP RACES MEADOWLANDS PACE ELIGIBLES IN CAPS – Supplements are permitted per the conditions of the race Date Stakes Site Winner Trainer Driver 2nd Horse 3rd Horse Time                   5/5 PA Sire Stakes   Mea   THIS IS THE PLAN C. Ryder D. Palone BABES DIG ME Record Machine 1:53   PA Sire Stakes   Mea   DORSODURO HANOVER R. Burke J. Pantaleano Wes Delight CAPTAIN DEO 1:50.3                   5/19 PA Sire Stakes PcD I’M A BIG DEAL C. Ryder G. Napolitano Jr. GRAND TETON Whos Better 1:50.2   PA Sire Stakes PcD DORSODURO HANOVER R. Burke M. Kakaley THIS IS THE PLAN PRO BEACH 1:50.1   PA Sire Stakes PcD   Wes Delight M. Harder C. Callahan LOST IN TIME STAY HUNGRY 1:50.4 5/20 OnSS Gold Flm Backstreet Shadow R. McNair D. McNair St Lads Neptune Wind Blast 1:52.3   OnSS Gold Flm Western Passage C. Coleman D. McNair Levis Day SHADOW MOON 1:53.4 5/26 Art Rooney Final YR Trump Nation C. Oakes J. Bartlett Minnie Vinnie BABES DIG ME 1:51.3 5/28 NYSS VD 1 Courtly Choice B. MacIntosh D. Miller Hitman Hill Real Surreal 1:48.4   NYSS VD AMERICAN HISTORY T. Alagna Y. Gingras Rock Lights Heavenly Sound 1:49.1   NYSS VD My Delight H. Hochstetler M. Miller Lyons Steel Ostro Hanover 1:49.4 6/1 NJSS Final M1 Melanie’s Fran K. Mc Dermott D. Miller Hypnotico - 1:56.3 6/2 Somebeachsmwhere Moh Burning Midnight C. Giles T. Henry Simple Kinda Man GRAND TETON 1:50.4   Somebeachsmwhere Moh Lather Up C. Francis M. Teague St Lads Neptune Scouts Report 1:50.3   Somebeachsmwhere Moh Jimmy Freight R. Moreau L. Roy LOST IN TIME When You Dance 1:50.2 6/9 NA Cup Elim Moh STAY HUNGRY T. Alagna D. McNair Done Well HAYDEN HANOVER 1:50   NA Cup Elim Moh Wes Delight M. Harder C. Callahan NUTCRACKER SWEET AMERICAN HISTORY 1:50.2   NA Cup Elim Moh Lather Up C. Francis M. Teague St Lads Neptune Hitman Hill 1:49.2 6/10 NYSS Tioga Springsteen R. Allard D. Miller Real Surreal I Soar Him First 1:51   NYSS Tioga Heavenly Sound B. Saunders A. McCarthy Ideal Feeling Trump Nation 1:50.4   NYSS Tioga Keystone Tenacious P. Kelley M. MacDonald My Delight TWIN B TUFFENUFF 1:52.1 6/16 NA Cup Final Moh Lather Up C. Francis M. Teague Done Well LOST IN TIME 1:48.1 6/18 NYSS MR TOPVILLE OLYMPIAN D. Menary J. Stratton Mr Profeta TWIN B TUFFENUFF 1:55   NYSS MR Ghost Dance E. Adams S. Zeron Rockapelo Ostro Hanover 1:54.4   NYSS MR Rootin Tootin B. MacIntosh M. MacDonald Handsoffmychips My Delight 1:53.4 6/23 OnSS Gold Moh Sharp Action Money M. Brethour S. Filion Sports Legend Taste Of History 1:50.4   OnSS Gold Moh Jimmy Freight R. Moreau L. Roy St Lads Neptune Levis Day 1:49.2 6/23 Hempt Elim PcD DORSODURO HANOVER R. Burke M. Kakaley Springsteen THIS IS THE PLAN 1:49.4   Hempt Elim PcD Hitman Hill C. Oakes B. Miller Shnitzledosomethin STAY HUNGRY 1:49.3   Hempt Elim PcD Lather Up C. Francis M. Teague NUTCRACKER SWEET Wes Delight 1:49  

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino kicked off the 2016 live racing season on Friday, April 1 and did it in fashion, recording the strongest opening night ever in the 23-year-history of the track. All sources handle was up an impressive 65% over last year's numbers with the same number of races carded. Excitement pervaded throughout the grandstand as a large, enthusiastic crowd welcomed the 23rd season of harness racing back to the seven-eighths mile oval. "What an absolutely sensational opening night," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. "To be up 65% over last year is beyond my wildest dreams! Thank you to the horsemen for putting on such a great show and to our on-track and off-track audiences for supporting us at the betting windows." Friday's card offered remarkable value to the horseplayer with full fields, the introduction of the new Hoosier High-5 wager, and an improved racing product. The bettors came out in full force on the opening night of the season as handle increases were felt both on track and through export wagering to produce $948,734 in all sources handle for the evening. The progress is attributed to a renewed focus on showcasing an enhanced racing product and bringing fans back to the track for a multi-faceted entertainment experience. The partnership between Hoosier Park and horse racing network TVG has also contributed significantly to the wagering gains. Friday's 14-race card was a success for Hoosier Park's 2015 leading driver Trace Tetrick and John DeLong, both of whom scored a driving triple on the evening's card. The fully-stocked card included 10 divisions of The Donnie Conrad Memorial and Rosie Harness Memorial, an overnight series for trotters of both sexes. Live racing will return to Hoosier Park on Saturday, April 2 with a 14-race card. Post time for the first race is 5:45 p.m. Hoosier Park will once again offer TwinSpires players the opportunity to compete for their share of 1 Million Elite Points in a handicapping contest against Hoosier Park's Racing Commentator, Emily Gaskin. Additionally, TwinSpires is marking the occasion by giving players the opportunity to earn 30 Twinspires Elite Points for every dollar they wager, on Saturday night. Racing fans are encouraged to visit for more information. Hoosier Park's 'Family Fun Days' return this Saturday and will continue each weekend throughout the entirety of the harness racing season. Activities will include live entertainment, games and winner's circle giveaways. This Saturday, live racing will be followed by a free, live performance from Henry Lee Summer in the Terrace Showroom. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Friday and Saturday schedule the opening week, a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday schedule the second week and then resume a Tuesday through Saturday schedule through the end of the meet on Nov. 12, 2016. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit Emily Gaskin

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 15, 2016 -- Favored Secret's Out N with harness racing driver Brian Sears in the bike were both patient and punctual Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $24 Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. Assigned post position No. 5 among the six-pack, Secret's Out N was away third, watching as Rockn' Ruby N (Dan Dube) two-moved around Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter), After early intervals of :28.1 and :58.3, the people's choice took up the chase. She engaged "Ruby" in and out of the 1:27.1 three-quarters, with the latter owning a short advantage into the lane. However, Secret's Out N had her rival lined up, winning by a measured neck in 1:54.1. Jonsie Jones, unable to match strides with those two, angled and settled for third. Bazooka Terror (George Brennan) and Regil Elektra (Eric Carlson) rounded out the payees, while Apricot Sour (Jason Bartlett) had a learning experience. For Secret's Out N, a now-6-year-old Down Under daughter of Mach Three owned by Andrew Herzog and trained by Tom Milici, she won her seasonal debut. The exacta paid $9.90, with the triple returning $31.60. The Raceway's season continues Saturday (post time 7:10 PM), Sunday (11:55 AM), Monday (7:10 PM) and Tuesday (1 PM). Frank Drucker

DOVER, Del. --- Chippoffthewall won the first of two Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund 1st leg Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace prelims while Sweet Bobbie, one of harness racing driver Corey Callahan's seven winners, scored in the $15,500 3,4 & 5-Year-Old Filly and Mare pace during a rainy Tuesday, Nov. 10 over a sloppy track at Dover Downs. Tony Morgan drove Chipoffthewall, leased and trained by veteran trotting expert Syl King, to easily win the $20,000 DSBF 1st leg prelim in 1:59.2. It was the first start for the altered son of Master Lavec-Off The Wall, who was taken down and out-of-the-money, for interference in his previous race, the $100,000 DSBF Final at Harrington. Currently Chipoffthewall has four wins in nine starts and $41,440 in purses. Mondello (Art Stafford Jr.) challenged for the lead on the final turn but yielded and finished second. Politized (Brett Miller) closed strongly to take third. Popcorn Machine, piloted by Jim Morand, won the second $20,000 DSBF Male trot in 2:04.1 outdueling front pacing Bosston Malibu (Allan Davis) in the drive for the finish line. Scott Warnick trains the Giant Hit-Blackdenimtrousers gelding for owner Deborah Warnick. Seafood Scrappy (Brett Miller) took third money. In the $15,500 3,4 & 5-Year-Old Distaff pace, Sweet Bobbie, the only three-year-old in the field of nine females- gave Callahan his third of six winners notching a 1:53.4 triumph for owner, trainer Gary Ewing. The Art Major-Odds On Goodbye sophomore won for the ninth time and has been in the first three finishers in 16 of 21 outings. Annabeth (George Dennis) was runner-up with Embry Seelster (Allan Davis) third. Callahan then drove Howard Taylor's Shine N Shimmer to a 1:51.1 success in a $14,000 3,4 & 5-Year-Old Winners-Over pace. Paradise Lost (Vic Kirby) was a game second ending a two-straight win streak. Fashion Showdown (Ross Wolfenden) was third. Callahan finished the night driving Breakaway Racing's Robinthe atm to a 2:00.1 win, his seventh on the card. New Zealand import Ellies Jet N remained unbeaten on this side of the Pacific winning for the third consecutive time. Art Stafford Jr. was at the controls of the five-year-old black Jereme's Jet-Elle Mary Rose mare. Evans, Spedden, Nanticoke Racing and trainer Josh Parker own the winner who took a new mark of 1:53.2 in the $14,000 event for 3,4&5-Year-Olds. On the undercard, stakes-seasoned Jerseylicious returned to the winner's circle following a 1:52.3 victory in a $12,000 Mares pace. Pam Curran, Niel Gargiulo and Legacy Racing own the five-year-old Western Ideal-Jet Lag N daughter. . Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are dark live racing days at Dover Downs Two $20,000 DSBF freshman colt 2nd leg pace prelims and an $18,000 Open trot tops the Wednesday card. A $5,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 Pool is now featured daily. By popular request, the Winner's Circle Buffet is back for those dinning in the Winner's Circle Restaurant. At Dover Downs, there is no charge for parking and admission. Harness and thoroughbred simulcasts is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jettison may have lost the battles but he ended up winning the war. After losing narrowly to Dedalos twice in the past three weeks, Jettison turned the tables when it counted the most and captured the $24,500 harness racing final of the Niatross Knockout Claiming 'B' Series at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (April 25).   It was the big closing kick that sent Jettison to the victory. After drawing the seven post, Jettison sat contently seventh to the half mile marker as Secluded Island set scorching fractions of 27.4 and 56.4 to the midway point.   Following live cover to the three-quarter pole, driver John Cummings Jr. tipped Jettison ($6.00) three-wide and fanned four out at the top of the stretch. Using a 28.4 final panel,Jettison roared past Dedalos (Shawn Gray) to register the length victory in a seasonal best time of 1:56.0 while K C Colt (Jim McNeight) scooted up the passing lane for third.   "We were in good position down the backstretch the second time," Cummings Jr. said about the final half mile of action. "We had a ton of momentum on the outside. I was worried about the horse in the passing lane (K C Colt)," he added.   It won't be the last time Jettison and Dedalos, the Niatross Claiming Series 'A' Series winner, square off. The pair are both qualified for the $25,000 Invitational on Saturday May 9th. Also moving on from the 'B' Series will be K C Colt and Secluded Island. A wild card will also be selected since Dedalos earned two spots in the Invitational.   Owned by Curtis Edholm and the Ultra Racing Stable, Jettison (Jereme's Jet-Pizzacato), a 6-year-old gelding, was trained by Darren Taneyhill. It was the fifth victory in 14 starts in 2015 for Jettison and moved his earnings to $28,310 and $155,339 lifetime.   In the $10,000 Niatross consolation event, trainer Alex Giuliani watched his tandem of Looks R Deceiving and Carson City Road finish first and second respectively. Looks R Deceiving (Jack Flanigen) nipped stablemate Carson City Road by a neck in 1:57.0 while Wynsum Magic (McNeight) took the show position.   In the $9,500 conditioned pace, Jokerman ($7.90) got the lead and held on from there for a half-length triumph over the heavily favored Cobble Beach in 1:55.0.   Shawn Gray had a driving triple on the program while Kevin Cummings, Cummings Jr., Drew Monti and Shawn McDonough all doubled.   The racing action continues on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race set to go to the post at 5 p.m.   For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, race replays and results, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

DOVER, Del.--- Tough Mac is the winningest horses at the track this meet with six wins, one more than Razor Ramone. Delaware Hanover heads the pacing division with five. Movie Idol, winner of the Delaware Special (2/26) has won four in-a-row. ------------------------------------------------------------- Among trainers,  has startedAmanda Payson 33 horses this meet with 15 winners for a spectacular .552 percentage. Eric Ell, with 106 starters lifted his outstanding UTRS "batting average" to around .450 this meet, Vic Kirby with 15 winners from 55 starters, has a UTRS of .424, Dylan Davis has a .415 rating. Doug Lewis has trained 43 wins from 161 starters. Wayne Givens has started the most horses, 211 and has won 41 races for a .346 percentagel --------------------------------------------- Aaron Merriman leads all drivers in the sport in 2015. He leads Corey Callahan by five wins 139-134, through 2/27, Defending champion Ronnie Wrenn Jr. is third with 132 wins. Ron Pierce ranks fourth, 87, in winning drives. Ron Burke, is again, the leading trainer, in wins, 88, and money won $1.1-million. Dylan Davis have moved up to fourth among the top 5 trainers in North America with 32 wins. ----------------------------------------------------- At Dover Downs, this meet, Corey Callahan has driven winners of 215 races. Allan Davis has reach three-digit wins, second with 110. Vic Kirby has moved into third-place with 97 winners. Ross Wolfenden, currently vacationing until mid-March is fourth, with 92 wins. Ron Pierce is now fifth with 90. ---------------------------------------------- A big week by Dylan Davis results in first place among trainers. Davis, the defending champion, has 47 wins Doug Lewis is second in the standings with 44 wins. Wayne Givens is now third with 42 wins. Jim King is fourth with 40 winners. Nick Surick is in fifth- place with 35 winners. ----------------------------------------- On Monday (2/23), Virginia Louthan made the winner's circle twice with mares she bred from her own stallion No Spin Zone and also owns and trains; Spin Vision, a 1:54.4 winner of three in-a-row and five wins this meet, and Megginspin won her second in five races. ------------------------------------ Harness Horse International (HHI) annual meeting and awards presentation is set for March 1-March 5, in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Sal DeMario, executive director of Delaware Standardbred Owners Association (DSOA) is representing local horsemen. The HHI Dominic Frini Person of the Year, 'will go to past president, Gene Oldfield. The HHI Appreciation Award to Jerry Knappenberger, recent Ohio Hall of Fame inductee, and former Ohio Harness Horsemen's Assoc. GM, and harness horse editor of the Daily Racing Form, Derek Giwner, receives the Clyde Hirt Media award.\ Marv Bachrad  

LEBANON, OH. - Shine N Shimmer was stunning Friday night at Miami Valley Raceway, treating the quick five-eighths mile oval as if someone laid a red carpet around it-just for her. It was just the second local race for the seven-year-old daughter of American Ideal and produced the second gate-to-wire victory against the best open class mares competing in southern Ohio. Driver Chris Page took full advantage of drawing the inside post position by exploding off the wings and forcing all rivals to find a seat during a :27.2 opening panel. With no one pressuring on the outside in the scratch-shortened field, Page managed an unexpected respite during the second quarter when the timer flashed :57.4 at the halfway station. The pace quickened from that point home with All Terror (Kayne Kauffman) launching a first-over bid and Carlina Hanover (Tyler Smith) getting a snug pocket journey. When the 1:26 flashed at the three-quarters Page called on his winning mare and she responded with a :28.2 last quarter, despite 10 degree temperatures, to put the 1:54.2 triumph in the books. Shine N Shimmer is trained by Jim Ellison for the Dandy Farms and Howard Taylor. She now has 19 career victories and $321,742 in lifetime earnings. The feature race win was one of four on the night for Chris Page, whose other tallies came with Camphor Hanover (1:56.1), trotter Over And Out (1:58.1) and Rev Me Up (1:54.2). Racing resumes Saturday night with a powerful 14-race card offering $127,500 in purses. Gregg Keidel  

Pompano Beach, FL...February 18, 2015...Bloodstockshalltab, a recent purchase by harness racing trainer-driver Ed Hensley, paid a big dividend on Wednesday night as he trotted the second fastest mile in Pompano Park history, stopping the timer in 1:53.3 on a blustery cold (mid-50's) night by South Florida standards. The five year-old son of Cantab Hall accomplished his feat in the $15,400 Open Handicap Trot, pinning a defeat measuring 5 3/4 lengths on Dukester (Rick Plano) with My Revenuer (Tom Sells) third under the wire--but moved up one notch to second after the judges "dq'd" Dukester for a pylon violation turning for home. Lugar finished fourth, 10 lengths away, while Adenium picked up the nickel in the full field of 10. At the outset, the 9 to 5 second choice, Its Payday Friday, made a miscue so it was Adenium and Winemaster Hanover vying for supremecy with the latter taking command at the :27.3 opener, the exact spot where Buddy Hally, away third from the rail, made a quarter move to the top and reached the half in :56.4 with Bloodstockshalltab already on the move from fifth and brushing strongly as the field moved on to the backside. Bloodstockshalltab used a :27.4 blitz on the backstretch to secure the lead around turn three--timed in 1:25.1. From there, Hensley's charge was unthreatened during a :28.2 finale, reaching the finish in an officially timed mile of 1:53.67, edging Baseball Express (1:53.70),  Hellava Hush (1:53.71), Tug River Dylan (1:53.74), Tweedle Dum (1:53.77) and Ahijuna Chucaro (1:53.79) for the second fastest trotting mile in track history. The track trotting record is 1:52 4/5 by Southwind Vavoom set in 2011. After the race, driver Ed Hensley said, "I bought this horse privately a few weeks ago. I thought he had talent and, while I wasn't surprised that he won, I was surprised that he trotted this much on this kind of night. I think it might be a new mark for him, too." (It is, with his old mark being 1:54 in a Meadowlands qualifier as a three year-old.) Hensley now has two wins in four starts with his new purchase and Wednesday night's win was the gelding's 12th in 61 career starts and sent his lifetime earnings to $195,645--$7,200 of that since the Hensley acquisition in mid-January. The winner paid $5.40. Pompano Park's $11,000 co-featured trot went to R G Rocket, driven by Dave Ingraham, in 1:56.1. This seven year-old altered son of Cincinnati Kid, trained by Mario Dessureault for owner Jamie Marra Racing, showed some early foot from post six to land in fourth early, followed live cover on the backside to take command from Arriba Amigo around the final turn and went on to score a 5 1/2 length win over Highland Yankee (Wally Hennessey) with Pop I (Harry Landy) third. Arriba Amigo did finish fourth while Dream Lake earned the final award in the field of 10. Knocking at the door with a 0-3-3 scorecard in six starts coming into the action, R G Rocket finally got his first win of the season--21st lifetime--and sent his lifetime bounty over the $200,000 mark--$203,449 to be exact. As the 7 to 5 favorite, R G Rocket paid $4.80 to his faithful. John Berry

When Have Faith In Me won the 3 year old Sires Stakes Final on Cup day a lot of harness racing scribes thought he had been a touch lucky and that while a worthy winner, he had things go his way. When he finished fifth of six in the Alabar Classic and had trouble getting around the last bend at Alexandra Park, the same scribes were quick to discount his chances in todays $200,000 Sales Series pace over 2200 metres. But yet again Have Faith In Me showed that he was well named as those that stuck with the ship were well rewarded when he ran out a decisive winner this afternoon. Eased off the gate by driver Tim Williams, Have Faith In Me settled in the one by one early as stablemate Hug The Wind grabbed an early lead before handing up to Mighty Flying Major who immediately handed up to Express Stride after 600 metres. That was the end of the lead changes as Express Stride kept up a steady tempo in front. As they turned for home Tim peeled out the one by one and quickly grabbed the leader Express Stride and kicked away for a comfortable victory by a length while stablemate Hug The Wind flashed home late when he got clear to grab second off a game Express Stride. Hug The Wind paced the 2200 metres in a new New Zealand record of 2:37.6, a mile rate of 1:55.2 with closing sectionals of 56.3 and 27.1. Tim Williams was quick to credit the horse with all the praise straight after the race. " The horse deserves all the credit for todays win" "Its only his first trip away but he has taken it all in his stride. "We put a pole on today and he got round the last bend no trouble at all" "Coming to the corner he was travelling beautifully and I knew he would be hard to beat," Tim said. Tim was also quick to thank the owners, the Dunford brothers for leaving him on the now high profile horse. " After he won the Sires Stakes I thought they may look for a more senior driver so I am very thankful to them for leaving me on, " Tim said. Having won the two big early 3 year old features, Have Faith In Me will now be set for the Derbies in the Autumn. Harnesslink Media    

Just the four winners for the harness racing ringaround last week so we need improvement this week. Blair Orange, Tony Herlihy, Matthew Williamson and John Dunn all produced winners last week. The ringaround did pick four seconds and three thirds as well but we are expecting real improvement this week. There are four meetings this week to cover, they are Auckland and NZ Metropolitan on Friday, Gore on Saturday and Timaru on Sunday. Alexanrda Park - Frday Night Tony Herlihy - Keen on Red Sky Night this week. Thinks she can make it three-in-row, # 1 in race 4. Maurice McKendry - A good each way chance for Arms Of An Angel, # 1 in race eight. Scott Phelan - Le Lua Invasion is Scott's shots eye this week, # 10 in race five. Steven Reid - Easy On The Eye is on target for the Cup meeting will be hard to beat # 5 race six. Ray Green - Lincolns Megastar will be very hard to beat fresh up even from the draw. # 9 race one. Todd Macfarlane - Tarn went good last week and is on the improve. # 2 race three. Todd Mitchell - Cullect The Gold is much improved since his first run back and Todd expects a bold showing. # 8 race two.   New Zealand Metropolitan - Friday Night John Dunn - Return To Sender has trained on good since its first up 4th. # 7 race four. Ricky May - Well you guessed it this week, its Terror To Love  # 9 race seven. John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Rates Tokohoka as a great bet this week. # 10 race 10. Gerard O'Reilly - Thinks that Tiga Tara will be very hard to beat. # 7 race six. Matthew Williamson - Thinks that Yankee One can repeat this week # 5 race three. Steve Richadson (TAB) - Agrees with Ricky May that Terror To Love is the bet.  # 9 race seven Colin DeFilippi - Stent will bounce back after his last start failure. # 8 race five.   Gore - Saturday Dexter Dunn - No hesitation here with Dexter, Oneover is his bet of the week. # 6 race 10 Nathan Williamson -  Aldan's Rocket having its first start back and can run a drum. # 4 race eight. Clark Barron - I believe Mass Invasion will be very hard to beat. # 4 race one.. Brad Williamson - The Silver Fox will start over the odds and be hard to beat. # 5 race three Shane Walkinshaw - Expects a bold first up run from Red Electric # 1 race five   Timaru - Sunday Blair Orange - My best drive and bet of the week is Change Time # 1 race six Jim Curtin - Star Commando is my best chance this week # 14 in race one. Craig Thornley - All Delight was unlucky last start and will be hard to beat. # 7 race eight Robbie Holmes - Driving Nicaela and rates her as a good each way bet. # 1 race one.   Harnesslink media    

Wintery weather didn't deter trotting lovers Australia wide from attending the 28th running of the $50,000 (Group 1) Seelite Windows & Doors "The Redwood" Classic for Two Year Olds over 2190 metres at Maryborough on Sunday July 14, taken out by Kiwi filly Daenerys Targaryen for champion Christchurch based harness racing trainer/driver Mark Purdon.

Harness racing weanlings by champion sires Art Major, Bettor's Delight, Mach Three and Courage Under Fire will go up for auction at the Soho Standardbreds Weanling and Mares In Foal Sale to be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on Sunday, July 28 at Tamarin Park, Toolern Vale.

The 18th Annual SBOANJ Golf Outing raised funds to benefit harness racing horsemen and produced a fun day on July 8, 2013 at Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, NJ.

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