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A total of 35 trotteurs have declared for next Sunday’s Grand Prix de Paris, the marathon test that is the finale of the French Triple Crown. The race will be held at Paris-Vincennes. The declarations include Face Time Bourbon, Davidson du Pont, Delia du Pommereux and Bahia Quesnot. The distance is 4150 meters, nearly 2.5 miles, and the purse is 400,000€ ($486,000US). Last week’s Face Time Bourbon driver controversy is apparently over with Eric Raffin named as his driver by trainer Sebastien Guarato. C4 - PX D'AMERIQUE RACES ZETURF PX DE PARIS 400 000€  Groupe I - Attelé - 4150m - Grande piste European Trotting Masters Series 2021 Course Internationale Pour 4 à 11 ans inclus (H à A), hongres exclus, ayant gagné au moins 160.000. En cas d'élimination, les chevaux ayant obtenu une priorité de participation dans le Prix d'Amérique sont maintenus en priorité. En cas d'élimination, les gains des chevaux déclarés partants sont calculés sur les bases suivantes : chevaux âgés de 4 ans (H), gains réels majorés de 30 %, chevaux âgés de 5 ans (G), gains réels majorés de 20 %, chevaux âgés de 6 ans LeTrot files by Thomas H. HIcks, for Harnesslink      

After a week of anticipation heading into the postponed Christchurch session of NZB Standardbred’s 2021 National Yearling Sale, Day One of selling at Canterbury Agricultural Park kicked off positively.  At the close of selling, the average and median were both up on last year’s figures, with the median increasing by an impressive 30%. NZB Standardbred Bloodstock Sales Representative and Auctioneer Cam Bray commented on today’s action. “The trotting breeding market has wide access to sensational stallions from across the world, which was evident in the top purchases made today,” he said. “To have a 30% increase in the median from last year’s trotting session is a very encouraging sign.” “We are pleased where we are sitting at the moment but we’re aware there will be a number of lots sold overnight, which should bump up the clearance rate. “We are looking forward to the next two days of selling which will present a strong line up of pacers set to go under the hammer,” he said. The biggest purchase of the day was made early in the session after Robert Dunn secured Lot 140 for $120,000. Buying under his Diamond Racing banner, the colt by leading trotting sire Father Patrick out of Rae Galleon (NZ) (Sundon) was bought from Dave and Dawn Kennedy’s Beaudiene Breeding. Dunn, who was the leading purchaser by aggregate at the close of selling, is excited to have the new addition to his stable. “He is from a great family and he was a stunning individual.” “We missed out in Auckland with a colt who I thought was a real stunner, so I wasn’t going to miss out here.” “You’ve got to pay for quality and he was a standout horse,” he said. Lot 135 was the second highest purchase secured by McLean Racing via the online bidding platform from the draft of White Stables. The Majestic Son colt has a pedigree page stacked with black-type, out of multiple Group One-winning mare One Over Kenny (NZ) (Sundon), making him a half-brother to track star Ultimate Stride (NZ) (Love You). The leading consignor by aggregate title was picked up by Brian West’s Studholme Bloodstock, selling four lots for a total turnover of $180,500. International stallion Father Patrick topped the leading sires by average table, with eight lots selling for an average of $53,500. The Sale of Pacers at Christchurch commences tomorrow on Tuesday 23 February, with Lot 184 to 305 going under the hammer from 1PM (NZT). The Parade of Pacers will begin tomorrow at 10AM (NZT). The Sale will continue to be beamed to viewers on Freeview channel 200, with coverage streamed live at nzbstandardbred.co.nz and on the NZB Standardbred facebook page. Presenter Greg O’Connor will host a Preview Show commencing at 12:30PM (NZT). All horses purchased today are eligible for the Harness Million Series with approximately $1 million in prizemoney for graduates of the Yearling Sale Series. To make enquiries about any Passed Lots, contact NZB Standardbred’s Cam Bray on +64 21 737 199 or email cam.bray@nzb.co.nz. 2021 National Yearling Sale Statistics – Christchurch Trotting Session   2021 Christchurch Trotting Sale 2020 Christchurch Trotting Sale 2019 Christchurch Trotting Sale Aggregate $1,106,000 $1,281,750 $1,203,500 Average $35,867 $34,642 $30,088 Median $31,250 $24,000 $21,500 Clearance 69% 79% 83% Catalogued 48 48 50 Sold 31 37 40 Top Price $120,000 Lot 140 (B.C) Father Patrick - Rae Galleon $280,000 Lot 146 (Ch.C) Love You - Queen Kenny $105,000 Lot 192 (B.C) Love You - Diedre's Jewel   2021 Top Lots – Christchurch Trotting Session Lot Type Breeding Consignor Purchaser Price 140 B.C Father Patrick / Rae Galleon Beaudiene Breeding Diamond Racing (Auckland) $120,000 135 B.C Majestic Son / One Over Kenny White Stables McLean Racing (Victoria) $110,000 139 BR.C Father Patrick / Quite A Moment Dancingonmoonlight Ltd Mr G Hope (Canterbury) $80,000 136 B.C Father Patrick / Paramount Queen Studholme Bloodstock Ltd Mr J Curtin (Auckland) $50,000 141 B.F Muscle Mass / Roydon's Jewel R. & J. Aubrey Mr AN & Mrs JE Rich (Canterbury) $50,000 148 B.F Father Patrick / Superbowlcheerleader Studholme Bloodstock Ltd Aldebaran Lodge Pty Ltd  (Victoria) $50,000 174 B.F Love You / Ethereal L. Smith Darren Keast Ltd (Canterbury) $50,000 168 B.C Love You / Diedre's Jewel Mansfield Farm Mr J Dickie (Auckland) $45,000 159 B.C Father Patrick / Bree Studholme Bloodstock Ltd IG & LF Thomson (Southland) $42,500 144 Ch.C Love You / Shell Seeker L. Smith Mr AG Herlihy (Auckland) $40,000   2021 Leading Purchasers by Aggregate – Christchurch Trotting Session Purchaser Bought Aggregate Average Top Price Top Lot Diamond Racing 3 $172,500 $57,500 $120,000 140 McLean Racing 1 $110,000 $110,000 $110,000 135 Mr G Hope 1 $80,000 $80,000 $80,000 139 Mr AG Herlihy 2 $78,000 $39,000 $40,000 144 Aldebaran Lodge Pty Ltd 1 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 148 Darren Keast/A Fitzgerald Standardbreds 1 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 174 Mr AN & Mrs JE Rich 1 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 141 Mr J Curtin 1 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 136 Mr J Dickie 1 $45,000 $45,000 $45,000 168 IG & LF Thomson 1 $42,500 $42,500 $42,500 159   2021 Leading Consignors by Aggregate – Christchurch Trotting Session Consignor Entries Sold Aggregate Average Top Price Top Lot Studholme Bloodstock 4 4 $180,500 $45,125 $50,000 136 Beaudiene Breeding 2 2 $157,500 $78,750 $120,000 140 L. Smith 6 4 $156,000 $39,000 $50,000 174 White Stables 2 1 $110,000 $110,000 $110,000 135 R. & J. Aubrey 4 3 $92,500 $30,833 $50,000 141 Dancingonmoonlight 1 1 $80,000 $80,000 $80,000 139 Rosedale Farm 3 2 $47,500 $23,750 $30,000 177 Mansfield Farm 1 1 $45,000 $45,000 $45,000 168 G. M. Murray 5 2 $42,500 $21,250 $32,500 142 Arden Lodge 1 1 $22,500 $22,500 $22,500 149   2021 Leading Sires by Average (three or more sold) - Christchurch Trotting Session Sire Entries Sold Average Aggregate Top Price Top Lot Father Patrick 11 8 $53,500 $428,000 $120,000 140 Love You 5 4 $43,500 $174,000 $50,000 174 Majestic Son 7 4 $39,250 $157,000 $110,000 135 Muscle Mass 4 3 $36,500 $109,500 $50,000 141 Creatine 7 4 $23,250 $93,000 $37,500 153   NZB Standardbred

How quickly do you reckon you could gear up a harness racing horse? Racegoers at the recent cup meeting at the historic Carrick Harness Racing Club in Tasmania know.  And if you thought breaking the two-minute barrier would be pushing it, you’d be wrong! Carrick Harness Racing Club in Tasmania is one of the oldest in Australia— but the club is out in front of the pack when it comes to innovative ideas to please its loyal racing crowd. The Lead ‘Em Footwear Harness Up competition was a highlight at the Carrick Cup meeting recently – and the enthusiastic president Leigh Dornauf says that’s just one of the fresh ideas the club is using to build on its success. “We only have three twilight meetings a year, so we try our hardest to put a lot into it,” Dornauf said. “We’ve tried a lot of things over the years. Two years ago, we had a polocrosse competition and then another time there was show jumping, and I would say they’ve all been successful one way or another because we keep attracting big crowds to our meetings,” he said. The feature event on the card was the $12,000 Page Transport Carrick Cup. Victory went to bay gelding James Dean (Santanna Blue Chip-Alegria (Caprock), trained by Ben Yole and driven by Troy McDonald. Each winning trainer received a $500 feed voucher while, at the club’s previous fixture, Kate McLeod was the lucky recipient of a new Missile race cart, worth $6000, on offer for trainers who had prepared less than 10 winners last season. The Cup meeting also featured the Tasmanian Harness Yearling Sale, between the last two races, with 12 youngsters going under the auctioneer’s hammer. Dornauf said the club was most pleased with the prices. “There were some lovely types, and the average price was $20,000, which we were very happy with,” he said. The harness up competition was a returning feature and again a crowdpleaser at Carrick. The winner needs to not only gear up the horse correctly but do it in the quickest time. “We started it last year and it created so much interest we decided to go with it again, and this year we had four contestants harnessing up their horses out on the track,” Dornauf said. No prizes for guessing which stable the winner came from, though. Reinsman Tim Yole showed that being number one reinsman for the massive Team Yole operation (known to take as many as 60 horses to race meetings in Tassie) also requires solid “strapper” skills! He took out the $400 first prize – and completed the job in just under two minutes. Winners Lily Blundstone and Tim Yole (Stacey Lear Photography) “Tim was going to win it last year, but after getting all the gear on the horse, he went to sit back in the sulky and the cart went straight up in the air,” Dornauf laughed. “He’d missed clipping it onto the saddle properly and was disqualified, so I guess he was pretty determined this time!” Tim Yole, assisted by Lily Blundstone, getting the sulky clipped on right this time! (Stacey Lear Photography) Dornauf, who has been club president for the past six years, comes from a strong harness racing family. “I’ve been involved most of my life. I reckon I would be up to about 40 years regarding the training and driving part, and I’ve got five brothers who are all tied up with the sport as well,” he said. “But we’ve got a hard-working bunch of people at our club, who just love harness racing.  We do everything from organising the activities, to running the bar and a shop and we’re pretty proud of the fact that we own our club property.  There wouldn’t be too many other clubs in the same boat I reckon. We’re on 40 acres and people can train on the track. It’s a great set-up.” Dornauf said the twilight meetings have a great atmosphere and the club would continue to innovate. “We’ve got a few other novelty ideas in the back of our minds for the future and we won’t ever stop coming up with the entertainment. The spectators just love it and keep coming and it makes a day at the races fun for everyone.”   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The race for a start in the $1 million Miracle Mile will go right down to the wire for Australasia’s best harness racing pacer Lochinvar Art. Trainer-driver David Moran admitted this would “be the hardest week of my career and of Lochinvar Art’s career as well.” Lochinvar Art pulled a shoe and stepped on a nail late Friday morning, which forced his scratching from the $100,000 Group 1 Newcastle Mile that night. The scratching earned Lochinvar Art a 10-day ban from racing, which meant he had no opportunity to contest a Miracle Mile qualifying race. Emergency talks between Club Menangle and HRNSW created a lifeline for Lochinvar Art’s Miracle Mile hopes, with a clause stating any horse accepted in the final field of a qualifying race but unable to compete for extenuating circumstances was eligible for a Miracle Mile invitation. The Miracle Mile is on Saturday week at Menangle, but Moran only has until this Saturday to prove Lochinvar Art’s fitness. Club Menangle CEO Bruce Christison confirmed Lochinvar Art would not be invited to the Miracle Mile unless he proved his fitness in a public workout between races one and two at Menangle on Saturday night. “We pick the field and the barriers are drawn Saturday, so that’s the cut-off,” he said. Moran said Lochinvar Art’s hoof soreness had improved since Friday and he was growing in confidence his six-time Group 1 winner will recover in time. “He was about 80 per cent Friday. It was better Saturday and is better again today, but we’ve still got some work to do,” he said. “It’s hard to predict these things as hoof issues are tricky, but given the improvement since Friday, I’m pretty confident we’ll get him right in time.” Moran said if Lochinvar Art recovered and worked at Menangle on Saturday, he would be given “a race-like” hitout. “It has to be a really serious workout. I’m talking a 1min50sec mile or the like, with a galloping pacemaker,” he said. “That’s not about anything he’s got to prove, but he’s going to need a hitout like that for his fitness. “It’ll be a month between runs if he starts in the Miracle Mile and I’ve always been open in saying this horse thrives on hard racing and is better when he’s races are close together.” Adam Hamilton Reprinted with permission of Racenet

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - According to the past performances, Lyons Steel would need a lot of things to go his way bumping up in class to emerge victorious in Saturday night's harness racing co-featured $22,500 winners-over $11,500 conditioned pace at The Meadowlands. And as it turned out, they did. Following a perfect second-over trip, the razor sharp 6-year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Lyons Luck blasted home off cover to pull off a 6-1 surprise, and in the process, upped his winning streak to three. After floating away from the gate from post five in the seven-horse field, driver Corey Callahan had Lyons Steel in sixth at the quarter. Early leader, and 5-2 second choice, Italian Delight N, yielded to My Pal Joe at the half (:55.3) as the flow started to develop on the rim. Rockin The Aces went first-over to press My Pal Joe as Lyons Steel drafted in behind with 4-5 favorite Springsteen third-up while Italian Delight N stayed patient in the pocket. In the stretch, the scramble was on as Lyons Steel tipped three wide and flew home to record a 1½-length win over a fast-closing No Easy Day in 1:51. Rockin The Aces held third. Italian Delight N was fourth with Springsteen a no-excuse sixth after not firing through the lane. "He's a nice horse," said Callahan. "Maybe he's not the same horse as Springsteen, but Springsteen is in and out. I was worried about him being on my back, but when I moved my horse off his cover, he paced hard to the wire. Tonight, he got the trip and it worked out well." Lyons Steel returned $15.40 to his backers in winning for the 26th time from 116 lifetime starts. Trained by Dennis Watson and owned by BD Racing, he now has a lifetime bank account worth $371,224. Lyons Steel In the $22,500 co-featured winners-over $11,500 trot, Scirocco Rob scored as the 2-1 favorite for driver Daniel Dube and trainer Mark Silva in 1:53.2. The 6-year-old gelded son of Explosive Matter-Fun At Parties made the top while parked at the quarter, putting 4-1 third choice Kenziesky Hanover in the pocket. They raced that way into the stretch, when Kenziesky Hanover emerged from the two-hole to take a short lead, but Scirocco Rob found more and out-gamed his foe to the wire to record a neck win, denying Callahan a sweep of the top two events on the card. Rich And Miserable was third. "The other horse went by us," said Dube. "But my horse fought back. He's got a big heart." Scirocco Rob returned $6.00 in recording his 25th lifetime victory from 77 starts. His earnings now stand at $515,004 for owners Lewis Whitaker Jr. and Kathleen Whitaker. Scirocco Rob BETTING BIG AGAIN: All-source wagering totaled $3,871,820 on the 15-race card, with the most action on a single race being the first, when $389,159 was pushed through the windows. Betting came up just short of topping the $7-million mark for a fourth consecutive weekend, with a total of $6,952,141 put in play. The sixth race 50-cent Pick-4 was the biggest single pool of the night with $112,023 in bets taken. A LITTLE MORE: Western Fame rocked the clock in the sixth race high-end conditioned pace, hitting the wire in 1:48.4 after leading at every call for Dube and trainer Shane Tritton. The only horse to go faster this year is Let It Ride N, who went 1:48.1 on Jan. 2 at The Big M. ... Dexter Dunn had a driving triple for a second consecutive night to up his track-leading driver dash-win total to 45. ... Tritton trained three to victory lane. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Wheels On Fire went wire-to-wire against harness racing Preferred regulars in Woodbine Mohawk Park's top condition race Saturday night Feb. 20.   The six-year-old has been a mainstay in high-level overnights, winning three Preferred harness racing events at Mohawk last summer. His Feb. 20 score in the N/W $22,000L5 class was his first since Oct. 10, 2020.   Bob McClure, Canada's 2020 Driver of the Year, sent Wheels on Fire to the engine with ease. The pair hit the quarter in 27.3, and McClure gave the son of Somebeachsomewhere a breather going to the half in 56.3. Odds-on first choice So Much More left the single file formation first, coming off the rail near five-eighths. That mare forced the hand of Jody Jamieson and East End, who left the pocket to assume first-up duties. The field finished the third panel in 1:25, and Wheels on Fire seemed to put away both So Much More and East End at the head of the stretch. So Much More, however, had more, and she launched a late rally. Wheels on Fire had just enough though, and he survived to win by a neck at 7-1.   So Much More's charge amounted to a second-place check, and East End was game to finish third. The winner paid $16.80.     Wheels on Fire approaches $400,000 in lifetime earnings with this 23rd win from 67 total. The older pacing gelding competed in stakes events at two and three, and he's transformed into a reliable condition performer with age. He's owned by Brad Grant and trained by Richard Moreau, Canada's 2020 Trainer of the Year. The latter won three of the ten on the Feb. 20 card.   Mohawk's next race date will be Feb. 22.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

LEBANON, OH - After three legs, all at different harness racing distances, The First Step (Chris Page) won the $25,000 championship of the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley at Miami Valley on Saturday (Feb. 20). Making a move to the top just after the first quarter was reached in :28.4 proved to be the right decision as the winner was able to control the remaining fractions of :57.1, 1:26.2, 1:54.3 before tacking on a final :28.1 panel to triumph in 2:22.4. The clocking was three seconds off the world record (2:19.4) established by Boulder Creek on November 27, 2006 at Dover Downs, but was admirable considering it is mid-February and the temperature was 28 degrees. Shagnwiththedragon (Dan Noble) finished second and Snowball's Romeo third in the added-distance event.   The First Step, shipped in by the Burke Brigade to Miami Valley from Yonkers for the Dailey Series, was fourth in the initial 5/8ths mile dash, then followed up with a win in 1:51.3 at the traditional mile. The five-year-old Betterthancheddar gelding now has 13 wins and $161,719 in earnings. The medley annually honors the memory of Bill Dailey, one of the top trainer-drivers in Ohio harness history, who died way to soon at age 57 in 2018. Dailey produced six Ohio Triple Crown winners, was named Ohio Trainer of the Year on four occasions, and remarkably was able to win at least one Ohio Sires Stakes champion in seven of the eight divisions for two and three year olds. The weekly $22,000 Open Handicap pace was won by General Dolan in come-from-behind fashion with Brandon ("Big Ticket") Bates in tow. The 1:52.2 score resulted in a $34.80 mutuel. Favorites GD Western Joe (Page), Fan Of Terror (Brett Miller) and Voracity (Noble) were battling for the lead before General Dolan flew bye on the outside, but were next to cross the line. While General Dolan did take a 1:49.3 record at Miami Valley in 2020, he had been struggling to regain his form in high condition races until recently. It was the 19th career win in 101 starts and increased his earnings to $277,425. The six-year-old by Rockin Image is owned by John and Robert Esposito. Three races after scoring the upset in the Open, driver Bates was back in the winner's circle with Beach Pro, a $15,000 claimer the paid $25.80 for the winning 1:53.2 mile. Miami Valley will race the next four afternoons (Sunday through Wednesday) will 2:05 p.m. post times each day. For full results, click here. From Miami Valley Raceway

Ego's aside . . . McCarthy's just too good for them Luke McCarthy simply thrives when the big races roll around. And the champion reinsman was at his best tonight to land the Group 1 $200,000 Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle with a supreme display aboard amazing pacer Expensive Ego. Drawn closer to the outside fence than the inside, McCarthy had to be at his wily best to land the four-year-old feature, scoring in a stunning 1:48.9 beating a plucky Zeuss Bromac (Gavin Fitzpatrick) and Victorian success story Kowalski Analysis (Sophie Arvidsson). The lone mare in the race, Stylish Memphis finished a close fourth. Ever the perfect sport, McCarthy paid tribute to Expensive Ego's former trainer David Thorn who prepared the horse, including several Group 1 wins, before he was transferred to Team McCarthy. "This horse had some tendon problems and that's the only reason we got him," said McCarthy, "David Thorn did a superb job with him but we needed to be able to swim him and use the water walker and that has made a massive difference to this horse." McCarthy explained that from the wide gate he didn't have a lot of options on where he would settle. "I dropped him out and didn't get involved in any of the early speed battles," said McCarthy. "Then we got a nice cart into the race on the back of Bondy's horse (Minstrel). "He was so strong last week that we were quietly confident going into this race. "He travelled really well throughout the race, was three-wide and then two-wide but he's such a good trier this horse - he never gives up." Watch the race replay click here! Expensive Ego became the second horse into the Miracle Mile, joining Newcastle Mile winner The Black Prince as the first two into the $1million race in two weeks. "When you can go 1:48 you are always going to be competitive - even in a Miracle Mile," said McCarthy. "He's just as good when he can race off the speed and I'm sure he'll handle it well." While nothing could be taken away from Expensive Ego's stunning victory, third placegetter Kowalski Analysis also earned plenty of plaudits with his mighty effort to lead early and still be a contender in the run to the line. "He'll be even better next year," said Club Menangle racing manager David Wonson. Club Menangle  

Stewart, Gath bag another feature on a stellar night IS there anything trainer Emma Stewart and gun driver Kate Gath cannot do? Stewart dominated the heats of the NSW Oaks, winning all three earlier in the night, with Gath winning one of them for her with Tough Tilly. The pair were back in the winners' circle again when they captured one of the night's major features, winning the $50,000 Group 2 Robin Dundee Stakes with another of Stewart's stable stars Maajida. It was something of an upset as Belinda and Luke McCarthy's star mare Bettor Enforce was sent out an odds-on favourite in the 1609m dash but Maajida and Gath dictated terms to score an amazing win in a slick 1:50.2 mile rate. Watch the race replay click here! The surprises were on right from the start of this race when Queenslander Justalittle Torque shot out of the gate from nine and showed any amount of speed to find the front in a quick sprint-off with Maajida, who drew a lot better in five. But Gath would have none of that and no sooner had Leonard Cain settled his charge in front when Gath took her on again and found the front where she could dictate terms with opening splits of 26.5 and 28.2 seconds. In the meantime Luke McCarthy had a quick 'look' for the front with Bettor Enforce before Gath showed she would have none of that and held the front. Rocknroll Angel (Cameron Hart) then appeared on the scene three wide and McCarthy had little choice but to drop back into a one-one trail hoping for a final crack at them in the straight. Yet that was about as close as Bettor Enforce was able to get to them as Maajida held them all off in the run home with a last half of 55.6 seconds (27.5, 28.1) to score by a half head from Rocknroll Angel with Miss McGonagall third and Bettor Enforce a close fourth which was enough to get her through to next week's Ladyship Mile, where she will again have a crack at the three placegetters. Club Menangle

Champion Victorian trainer Emma Stewart brought five harness racing fillies to Tabcorp Park Menangle in Sydney and completely dominated heats of the New South Wales Oaks. Incredibly, Stewart won all three heats and qualified all five of her fillies for next weekend's $200,000 final. Tough Tilly, Joanna and Beach Music were the undoubted stars, winning their heats with impressive efforts. Stewart shared the riches around too with Kate Gath, Amanda Turnbull and David Moran the winning drivers, giving all three the opportunity to win next week's feature for a stable that has dominated Victorian harness racing in recent years. The first heat saw short-priced favourite trainer Emma Stewart's Tough Tilly quickly tackle Chrissy Chic for the front and thereafter show her mettle to take the 2400m race in a 1:59 mile rate. Kate Gath was quick to indicate her intentions to control the race from the front and the Captaintreacherous filly did the rest. When the star Victorian youngster was able to get away with a 31.9s opening split of her final mile, Gath looked to have something in hand in the straight as Tough Tilly held off Chrissy Chic and the fast-finishing Rogue Wave, who was the only runner to make ground from back in the field. "She had a bit of a look around which isn't something she normally does, but once she knuckled down in the straight she got to the line well," said Gath. "It's such a big track here at Menangle it often takes the Victorian horses a run or two to adapt but this was the perfect hit-out for next week and she did the job well." To watch the video replay of Tough Tilly winning click here The second heat saw Stewart again provide the short-priced favourite Joanna, with Amanda Turnbull taking the reins. Turnbull wasted no time surging to the front and the classy Somebeachsomewhere filly did enough to win. It was not dis-similar to the first heat as they dawdled through the middle half before surging home in a 1:55.2 mile rate with the last quarters in 27.2 and 27 seconds as Joanna held off a gutsy stablemate in Platinum Sparkle with Prestige Stride third after settling behind her on the pegs and appeared to have every chance to run her down in the straight. "I didn't want to go too slow because I know how tough she is," said Turnbull after the win. "She was good out of the gate tonight and she was never going to let that other horse get past her in the straight. "She never wants to do too much on her own and she'll improve on that next week." To watch the video replay of Joanne winning click here The third heat saw Moran cement Stewart's stranglehold on the Oaks final when the Somebeachsomewhere filly Beach Music held off a gallant Anntonia, who raced without cover the entire journey and held on well for second, with Arma Renegade third in a 1:55.4 mile rate. "I think the trip suited her down to the ground and when she got the lead back she was able to dictate terms, which was perfect. "This horse has been racing against some of the best fillies, like Tough Tilly and down the track she is showing the benefit of that." To watch the video replay of Beach Music winning click here. The final field for the NSW Oaks is: Tough Tilly (by Captaintreacherous from Beninjurd by Art Major) Chrissy Chic (by Major In Art from Beach Baby Beach by Jennas Beach Boy) Rogue Wave (by Somebeachsomewhere from Perfect LIfe by Live Or Die) Joanna (by Somebeachsomewhere from Repelem by Dream Away) Platinum Sparkle (by Bettors Delight from Bollinger Baby by Christian Cullen) Prestige Stride (by Sweet Lou from Bee Jays Money by Christian Cullen) Beach Music (by Somebeachsomewhere from Musical Delight by Bettors Delight) Anntonia (by Bettors Delight from Perfect Pennt by Christian Cullen) Arma Renegade (by Captaintreacherous from Arma The One by Badlands Hanover) Soviet Stunner (by Mach Three from Russian Rocket by Pacific Rocket) Celestial Fragrance 1st em (by Terror To Love from Neavenly Scent by Rock N Roll Heaven) Whos My Mother 2nd em. (by Sweet Lou from Dancing Dixie by Bettors Delight) By Mandy Madern

A delicious Zac Phillips drive set up a dominant Wolf Stride victory in tonight’s Terang Co-Co Pacing Cup, and the winner's “miracle” early move to the front may well lead to a Miracle of another kind. Co-trained by Anthony Butt and Sonya Smith, the five-year-old gelding is on a path north to chase qualification in the $1 million Miracle Mile and will head in full of confidence after a peerless performance in tonight’s $50,000 Group 2. Watch the race replay click here Despite his gate 12 draw, Phillips had the race favourite in the lead within 500 metres of the green light going on in the 2680-metre Cup, having glided past Malcolms Rhythm and the latter’s stablemate Sirletic who were first to the pegs. Somewhere Secret emerged at Wolf Stride’s outside but there was little pressure throughout and when Phillips urged the leader on in a 55.1sec last 800 metres the win was always in hand. Accepting the trophy post-race for winning connections, Amanda Grieve told Trots Vision Phillips had declared his intentions to her in the lead-up and told her he was “either going to look like an idiot or I’m going to pull this off”. And pull it off he did. “He’s pretty special,” Phillips said of the winner, who’s now won 13 of his 27 starts. “Anthony and Sonya have done quite a remarkable job with him, it’s just really a credit to them. “I’ve really got to pay credit to all the staff at home, Anthony’s been away and Sonya and all the team have done a remarkable job, not just with this horse but the whole lot of them.” Butt is up north for Sydney’s Carnival Of Miracles and Phillips said he would soon be joined by Smith and Wolf Stride, who was chasing a place in the March 6 Miracle Mile. “(Wolf Stride will) head up Monday,” Phillips said. “Anthony’s up there at the moment, Sonya’s going to head up on Monday for the Miracle Mile qualifiers and fingers crossed he can get into that.” The victory propelled Wolf Stride to the top of the Trots Country Cups Championship, having amassed 12 points this season courtesy of wins at Bendigo and Terang and a third at Ballarat. Terang also delivered a new leader in the Maori’s Idol Trotting Championship, with Well Defined producing a perfect performance to back up his success at Ararat for trainer Kate Hargreaves and reinswoman Ellen Tormey. “It all worked out perfectly,” Tormey said of tonight’s win from the standing start. “After we went away and found the front it was always the first suitable one that we could hand up to and Robbie Royale was that – he’s a really good front runner and been in really good form, so he was a good one to follow.” While it was easy going out front, there was drama behind with local favourite Pink Galahs breaking gate early and having to spend much of the race recovering lost ground, while McLovin advanced to the breeze and kept things ticking over only to surprisingly tire and fade. That enabled Robbie Royale and Well Defined to clear out in the closing stages and the latter overrun Brent Lilley’s seven-year-old in the 28.6-sec last quarter to score. “He’s a little beauty to drive,” Tormey said. “He’s a little bit difficult in the warm up, but once those tapes go he just rockets away and then puts himself in such a good position every time. “I think he just makes you look good. He goes away that fast you are nearly in front or behind the leader every race. He’s got that nice little sprint, so when you are in that spot he’s going to run a nice little place or be near about. “These stands and the 2600, they suit him down to the ground. He runs them out really well. Whatever he does the owners and trainer are really rapt with the job he’s done.”   HRV - Michael Howard

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It was one for the harness racing chalk players and one for those who like bombs in the two $17,500 Play Meadowlands Series Finals at The Meadowlands Friday night. In the division for pacing fillies and mares, Its Mesmerise N completed a two-race sweep of the event for trainer Darran Cassar and driver Scott Zeron. Sent to the gate as the 1-5 public choice for a second straight start despite facing a tougher field this time around, Zeron had the 7-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Cullens Charm in the three-hole early before brushing to the top at the half, which was clocked in a quick :54.2. Windsong Parisian, the 10-1 fourth choice in the 10-horse field, applied pressure to the leader while first-over past the half and three-quarters (1:22.1) and appeared to be done off the turn as they straightened away in the stretch, but she kept on digging all the way to the wire through a slow final quarter of :30.2 to come up a neck short of pulling off an upset. Misty Memory N was third.   "I wish I could have bided my time a little more," said Zeron of moving Its Mesmerise N to the lead. "She raced unbelievably given the pressure and the fractions. When I had to move as early as I did at the half, it was a bit of a concern and the immediate pressure didn't help. [Windsong Parisian] raced well. Both fillies cruised around the last turn and both hung in there down the lane. I think my horse is classier than these horses. I had been racing her from off the pace because she likes a target but had been a victim of being too far back. She showed tonight she can do it any which way." Its Mesmerise N paid $2.60 to win after completing the mile in 1:52.3 for her 18th lifetime win from 69 starts. She now has earnings of $117,364. Longshot lovers got their way in the Play Meadowlands for trotters as driver Steve Smith saved ground with Take A Wish from start to finish before bursting through between rivals late to score at 30-1 in 1:55.2. After racing Take A Wish at the rail in eighth in the 10-horse field in the early going, as the flow developed on the rim, Smith advanced the Dawn Anderson trainee to the four-hole along the inside at the half. Remaining glued to the cones around the far turn, Smith waited until there was room and came with a rush in deep stretch to score the upset by a head and return $62.40. Life Well Lived closed well on the far outside to get second while third-place finisher Gruden, the 2-1 favorite, failed in a second straight attempt to go wire-to-wire.   Take A Wish, a 6-year-old mare by Wishing Stone-Take A Taste, won for the 12th time from 85 lifetime outings and upped her earnings to $210,836. A LITTLE MORE: Handle topped the $3-million mark again as a total of $3,080,321 was put in play on a 13-race card conducted over a sloppy track that saw snowy conditions for the first third of the program. Wagering has now surpassed $3 million on three straight Fridays, and 10 times overall for the 14 cards conducted thus far in 2021. ... Driver of the Week Dexter Dunn kept on rolling, racking up three winners to up his Big M leading-driver victory tally to 42. He's scored 15 times over the last four programs. ... No one hit the 20-cent Pick-6, setting up Saturday's wager with a carryover of $7,222. .... First-race post time on Saturday is 6 p.m. The Pick-6 begins in race eight. Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to playmeadowlands.com. For full race results, click here. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

LEBANON, OH - Kobe Bryant would have been proud! Black Mamba AS added the $25,000 championship leg of the Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley trot series at 1-1/4 miles to her impressive harness racing resume on Friday (Feb. 19), trotting gate to finish line in front in 2:25.2 at Miami Valley Raceway. "I knew she'd have a big shot," exclaimed driver Tyler Smith. "Anette (Lorentzon, the trainer) keeps all her horses fit and sharp and the added quarter mile didn't bother her or me a bit." A six-year-old daughter of Lionhunter, Black Mamba AS recorded her 16th lifetime victory and boosted her career bounty to $342,912 with the score. She has finished on the board in 42 of her 77 trips behind the starting gate. Merci Monsieur AS (Kayne Kauffman) made a valiant late surge to get within a length of the winner, with Compelling (LeWayne Miller), the even money favorite, finishing third. Say You Do (Brett Miller) and Perfect Chapter AS (Chris Page) picked up the minor spoils in the lucrative final. ACI Studeri AB of Paris, Kentucky, owns Black Mamba AS and were involved in the breeding and early lessons of Merci Monsieur AS and Perfect Chapter AS, although the latter two have changed hands in recent years.   Black Mamba AS paid $11.60 to win, coupled with Merci Monsieur AS the exacta returned $129.20, and a 50-cent trifecta was worth $79.63 with favored Compelling completing the ticket. The Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley, which featured preliminary legs at 5/8ths of a mile and the traditional mile, pays homage to the Hall Of Fame trainer-driver who was born and lived his entire life in Hamilton, Ohio, just a stone's throw from Miami Valley Raceway. Beissinger won three Hambletonians with Lindy's Pride, Speedy Crown and Speedy Somolli and maintained his base of operations in southwest Ohio throughout his career. A $20,000 Mares Open Pace was also showcased on the Friday program at Miami Valley. Bettor's Up (LeWayne Miller) pulled a mild 9-1 upset over Checks On The Way (Trace Tetrick) and Gone Girl (Tyler Smith). Using her inside post position to full advantage, the winner enjoyed a two-hole trip behind Checks On The Way through fractions of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24.2 before pulling on the leader and wearing her down in the final furlong. The 1:52.3 win was the 25th of Bettor's Up's career and boosted her bankroll to $981,752 as she seeks millionaire status in the coming weeks. The Platinum Stables of Indiana own the seven-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight. Racing resumes Saturday (Feb. 20) at Miami Valley with the $25,000 championship of the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley, at 1-1/4 miles, and a $22,000 Open Handicap Pace highlighting the program. Miami Valley has announced a make up card for Wednesday (Feb. 24) with the entry box closing at 1:00 on Saturday (Feb. 20) for the added card. The condition sheet for the added program is available on the USTA website. For full race results, click here. From Miami Valley Raceway                

Melady's Monet is getting up in age but remains young at heart. The 12-year-old male trotter has three wins and a second in four starts this season and will look for career victory No. 71 when he visits The Meadowlands for Saturday's $22,500 conditioned trot. "He's doing really good," trainer Hermann Heitmann said. "Nothing has changed with him (over the years). He is still acting like a young horse, actually. He likes to play around in the paddocks, he enjoys his lunch, he doesn't look like he wants to slow down yet. "He just likes to race." Melady's Monet is a son of Revenue S out of Keystone Melady. He was bred by Ester Balenzano and her husband Luca, who passed away last year. Ester remains the horse's owner under the Melady Enterprises banner. For his career, Melady's Monet has won 70 of 224 races and $1.73 million. He has earned more than $125,000 in each of the past eight years. He won the 2016 Vincennes Invitational at The Meadowlands and later that season was second to Bee A Magician in the $250,000 Yonkers Invitational. In 2015, he won The Meadows Maturity and had third-place finishes in the Cutler Memorial and Crawford Farms Open Trot. In recent years, he has remained a consistent performer in top-level trots at various East Coast racetracks, particularly Yonkers. The gelding was sidelined for five months in 2018 because of colic surgery but has earned a paycheck in 49 of 54 starts since his return. "He's like the horse of a lifetime," Heitmann said. "There are not too many around like him." On Saturday, Melady's Monet heads to The Meadowlands to race for the first time since December 2019. He will start from post five with driver Scott Zeron and is 9-2 on the morning line. Kenziesky Hanover is the 5-2 favorite. "I'm sure he will put in a good effort," Heitmann said. What makes Melady's Monet successful in fending off rivals as well as Father Time? "His attitude," Heitmann said. "He knows when we're going to the races and he likes the competition. He tries unbelievably hard, always. He never gives up. "Attitude is everything with him. He just wants to do it. You can't teach that to any horse, they either have it or they don't. He wants to do it." Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EST) at The Meadowlands. The Big M and TrackMaster have teamed to regularly provide free past performances for each race card. Past performances can be found here on The Meadowlands website. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Major North American owners Gordon Banks and Marc Hanover have teamed up with 15 time North American Breeders Crown winning owners Richard Gutnick,Thomas Pontone, and Joseph Lozito Jr. to acquire New Zealand’s superstar four-year-old harness racing pacing mare Amazing Dream (Bettor's Delight - Christian Dreamer - Christian Cullen)! Jean Feiss agreed to sell her four-year-old, seven time Group 1 winning mare, winner of over $890,000 for an undisclosed six figure sum to this powerhouse combine, perhaps opening the door to more significant standardbred investments in Down Under Bloodstock by this group. Banks and Hanover have long been active Down Under and have had considerable success with Australian Breeders Crown two-year-old pacing filly winner Passions Promise, Dual Group 1 aged pacing star Majordan, NZ 2 year old Sire Stakes champion Joannes Delight, current 3 year old star American Dealer (last year’s 2 year old NZ Sire Stakes Champion), old warhorse Ouch, and the great pacing filly Tupelo Rose, amongst many others. Banks and Hanover co-own this year’s North American two-year-old Breeder’s Crown trotting filly winner, Lady Chaos, with Gutnick, Pontone, and Lozito, so the team is hoping to build on their success together. Lady Chaos winning the $600,000 Breeders Crown Richard Gutnick has owned four Breeders Crown winners, the winners of the 2012 Hambletonian, the Canadian Trotting Classic, The Maple Leaf trot, and numerous other North American classics. His two greatest horses have been Hambletonian winner Market Share, and racing star Chapter Seven, who is now one of the world’s most desired trotting stallions. Gutnick horses in North America have earned well over US$10,000,000. Gordon Banks the master mind of an AMAZING deal Thomas Pontone has owned horses that have won an incredible 10 Breeders Crowns and two Hambletonians. He is the owner of superstar and super sire Muscle Hill, and he has owned Art Major, McArdle, Shark Gesture, Metropolitan, Strong Yankee, Red Bow Tie, and the great mare  Cathedera Dot Com, amongst many other equine stars. Joe Lozito Jr. won his first Breeders Crown (2020) with two-year-old filly Lady Chaos (2t,1:53.1) $584,131, and has owned numerous top horses. For Gutnick, Pontone, and Lozito this acquisition marks their first venture Down Under, and it is a real feather in New Zealand’s cap that the standardbred industry has produced stars capable of attracting this kind of North American investment and investors! Banks and Hanover, who will be the managing partners, have confirmed to Harnesslink that the group plans to keep Amazing Dream racing in New Zealand through this year’s Harness Jewels, then race the mare in Australia through the Interdominion and, perhaps, next year’s one million dollar Miracle Mile. Amazing Dream, the champion four-year-old mare beating the best boys in the 2020 Auckland Cup Then plans are for Amazing Dream to go to the States to take on North America’s best aged mares. It is also hoped that Amazing Dream will return to New Zealand this year for the New Zealand Cup. Plans are for THE DREAM to remain in New Zealand with Hayden Cullen, with Mark Purdon handling the driving...Tentative Australian plans are for Kevin Pizzuto to care for Amazing Dream in NSW and Nathan Purdon to handle Victoria in this COVID age. According to Banks and Hanover the entire ownership team hopes to get to see their new star racing in person for the Inters or Miracle Mile, if foreign travel possible then.... Harnesslink Media

Australia’s pinup pacer Lochinvar Art has been a shock withdrawal from tonight’s rich AVE Technologies Newcastle Mile. Owner Kevin Gordon made the announcement a short time ago on social media – but Gordon assured it was still all systems go for the Garrards Miracle Mile at Menangle in a fortnight. “It’s nothing major – a corn was found in the sole of his foot. It’s in the horse’s best welfare not to run,” Gordon said. “All will be okay in the Miracle Mile in two weeks.” Lochinvar Art, trained by David Moran at Shepparton, was a short-priced favorite in tonight’s AVE Technologies Newcastle Mile Group One, worth $100,000. The disappointment came after Moran made a last-minute dash last Friday to get over the border to NSW ahead of a snap five-day COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria. Undoubtedly the best standarbred currently racing in Australasia, Lochinvar Art posted his seventh Group One victory in the $500,000 Hunter Cup at Melton recently, taking his earnings to $1,368,456 (courtesy of 28 wins from 50 starts). The Moran team is stabled in NSW at the Cobbitty property of Belinda and Luke McCarthy. The scratching leaves the race wide open, but Queensland-trained Turn It Up is now likely to firm into favoritism.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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