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After a season in which he was prone to missteps, No Lou Zing is finding his best harness racing stride this year. No Lou Zing's display of winning talent is not a surprise to driver Josert Fonseca, who will join the horse in making the biggest start to date in both their careers in Saturday's (Aug. 1) $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios final at The Meadows. No Lou Zing, who went off stride in all three of his races last year and was shut down before summer's end, has three wins and two second-place finishes this season. The gelding heads to the Adios off a third-placed-second effort in his elimination, which was won by Papi Rob Hanover in a world-record 1:47.1 last weekend. Papi Rob Hanover was scratched from the final because of a season-ending injury, leaving Catch The Fire, also an elimination winner last week, the 3-1 morning-line favorite. No Lou Zing, trained by Nancy Takter, is 7-1 and will start from post five in the nine-horse field of 3-year-old pacers. "I have a lot of confidence in him," Fonseca said. "He doesn't get tired at all. He's got a great engine, he's got great speed, and he'll just go forever. I think it's really an open race now that Papi Rob is not in there. They're all even, good horses. "You never know how a race is going to turn out, but if I can put him in the right spot, he'll get down there just as good as last weekend." No Lou Zing is a son of Sweet Lou out of Terroronthebeach. He was purchased under the name Lou's Beach for $145,000 at the 2018 Standardbred Horse Sale. He is owned by 3 Brothers Stables, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. "He was a very good-looking yearling," Fonseca said. "He started training down and always looked the part, he looked beautiful, but he made unnecessary breaks and things like that. He could qualify OK just babying him around, but every time we put him in a race, he would make a mistake. He got a little tense, you could feel it right away behind the gate. He just needed more time. "Training down this year in the winter, he grew so much more mentally and he got a lot braver and stronger. This horse is fast, he just had to learn and relax a little bit. We had to take our time. Before you knew it, he was getting better and better. We got a little more excited at the beginning of this year. We saw a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel." No Lou Zing started three times in conditioned races, finishing second to Splash Brother in his seasonal debut before winning back-to-back starts. He continued his winning ways in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes before his Adios elim. "Nancy has done a really good job with him," said Fonseca, a Takter assistant who has driven No Lou Zing in all but one of his eight lifetime starts. "I get along great with the horse. I think it's very beneficial for him; I know his weaknesses and his strengths. "He's been in great spirits this week. I think everything is in order so far and we just have to execute." The 31-year-old Fonseca had no knowledge of harness racing when he began working as a groom for Takter's father, Jimmy, eight years ago. Fonseca was born in Costa Rica, where he spent his early childhood before moving to New Jersey at the age of 8. He graduated from a high school located not far from Takter's stable but spent several years working in a variety of jobs before a friend introduced him to the sport. Fonseca began driving in 2018. He has won 27 of 158 starts, including four of 13 this year. "Obviously, this is what you dream of," Fonseca said. "Like I've said before, just to qualify a horse for anybody was a big deal and now I've been driving a little more. This is a great opportunity." The Adios is race 15, with an estimated post time of 4:02 p.m. (EDT). Here's the field with post positions, trainers, drivers and morning line odds: $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids 1. Later Dudes-Brian Brown-David Miller-8-1 2. Capt Midnight-Tony Alagna-Andrew McCarthy-4-1 3. Catch The Fire-John Ackley-Mike Wilder-3-1 4. The Greek Freak-Ron Burke-Matt Kakaley-5-1 5. No Lou Zing-Nancy Takter-Josert Fonseca-7-1 6. Sweet Truth-Ron Burke-Yannick Gingras-12-1 7. Chief Mate-Tony Alagna-Scott Zeron-20-1 8. Captain Barbossa-Tony Alagna-Brian Sears-6-1 9. Elver Hanover-Ron Burke-Chris Page-10-1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

MILTON, JULY 31, 2020 – A trio of fresh faces graced the harness racing winner’s circle at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday, July 31 as the two-year-old trotting fillies competed in leg two of their Gold Series campaign. Dicentra kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes action with a mature effort from Post 3 in the first $73,867 split. The fan favourite left well and led the field toward a :28.3 quarter before yielding to Hadiknownbetter. Driver Bob McClure sent the filly back to the front before the :59 half, but a quick challenge from Midnight Miracle saw Dicentra back in second by the 1:28.1 three-quarters. Once the fillies squared up in the stretch McClure gave Dicentra an open lane and she powered home to a one and three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:56. Midnight Muscle finished second and Blackout Riley was seven lengths back in third. “She’s a very nice filly that seems to be improving in dramatic fashion. In Georgian she was very green and I don’t think the surface there helped her. Since being back she has become a very top notch filly,” said McClure. “Reminiscent of her big sis On A Sunny Day.” Dicentra finished sixth in the July 12 Gold Series season opener at Georgian Downs and then captured her Pure Ivory Series division at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 23, giving the Muscle Mass daughter a record of two wins in three lifetime starts. Campbellville resident Luc Blais bred Dicentra and trains the full-sister to $700,000 winner On A Sunny Day for owner Determination of Montreal, QC. In the second division Dashing Muscle and driver James MacDonald settled in third from Post 1 and waited through fractions of :29.2 and :59.2 before tipping to the outside and seizing control from Ban Ban Deo soon after the 1:29.4. A :27.1 last quarter sealed the deal, giving Dashing Muscle her first Gold Series victory in a personal best 1:57.1. Fan favourite Meadowview Lilly was two lengths back in second and Hawaii completed the top three. “Her owner, James Armitage, he trained her down at his farm in Dunrobin and then when she was in 2:07 he gave me a call and asked me to take her and finish her off,” said trainer Chantal Mitchell of Waterdown, ON. “She’s just a very, very smart filly. The first time I jogged her she felt like an older horse and he said she was always like that. So that’s, I think, what her biggest attribute is, is she’s just very mature. For two-year-old trotting fillies, having some brains on your side is always a plus.” Like Dicentra, Dashing Muscle now has two wins to her credit through three starts. The Muscle Mass daughter, who was a $30,000 purchase out of the London Selected Yearling Sale, finished fourth in the Gold Series opener and then captured an overnight event at Grand River Raceway on July 24. “Up until today, every time I’d taken her to the racetrack it was different one, and every time she went somewhere it was like she’d been there before,” said Mitchell, adding that the filly had also been to Rideau Carleton Raceway under Armitage’s tutelage. ‘“She’s very nice, you couldn’t fault her. She doesn’t do anything wrong. It’s just like having an aged horse.” In the final $73,866 division, driver Doug McNair let Up And Ready float away from the starting gate and settle into a gap in fifth as Pixies Lady led the field to a :28.3 quarter. Great Dane took control before the :57.4 half and while she was fending off a challenge from fan favourite Fox Valley Liza, Up And Ready was revving up from fifth. Circling out three wide heading by the 1:26.3 three-quarters, Up And Ready drew away from her peers in the stretch on her way to a personal best 1:56.3 victory. Exclusive Rosette was three and one-half lengths back in second, with another length back to third-place finisher Anna Bolena. John Bax trains the Kadabra daughter, who was a $300,000 purchase out of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale by Al Libfeld of Pickering, Marvin and Lynn Katz and Sam Goldband of Toronto, ON. While she was training down in Florida Up And Ready kicked Bax and fractured his elbow, so he is pleased to see that his perseverance with the fractious youngster is starting to pay off. “I still remember the kick,” said Campbellville, ON resident Bax. “She hasn’t changed that way. She’s best after the harness gets on her and she’s out on the track, then she’s good, but the rest of the time it’s very careful. You let her come to you, you don’t go to her.” Up And Ready finished sixth in an overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 3 and was third in the Gold Series season opener at Georgian Downs on July 12, just ahead of Dashing Muscle. The fillies will make their third Gold Series start at Grand River Raceway on Aug. 19 and then both Dicentra and Up And Ready are eligible to the Champlain and Peaceful Way Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. “I think we’re Sires Stakes now and then you know, I’m hoping that she’ll progress enough to be aiming for the Peaceful Way and that kind of thing,” said Bax. “But we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, its one step at a time.” Complete results for Friday’s program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results.   Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

The successful Harness Racing Stable of Kentuckiana Lodge from Canterbury New Zealand, has added a new edition to their stable for the 2020/21 harness racing season. Chrissie Dalgety has joined the training partnership along side Nathan Purdon who is heading into his second season in the job. Chrissie, who is Cran Dalgety’s wife has played a large part in the input of Kentuckiana Lodge over the years, and comes into the training partnership looking to add diversity into the operation and to continue excelling. Chrissie herself holds shares in around 16 of the stables race horses currently. Chrissie says, “I am looking forward to the upcoming season and am excited for some of our younger stock to step out, along with targeting some nice races with our current racehorses.” Kentuckiana Lodge who have just come out of their first season in training partnership with Nathan Purdon had a very successful 2019/20 racing season finishing 4th in the National Premiership. The season was highlighted for them with the unleashing of exciting Juvenile Krug who won his first Group 1 in the $150,000 2yo Young Guns Final in Auckland in march. Also Dr Susan winning the $150,000 Group 1 Victorian Oaks in Melbourne in January. Harnesslink Media

WASHINGTON, PA, July 31, 2020 -- It was only three weeks ago that bettors dismissed Catch The Fire at 63-1 in his Meadowlands Pace harness racing elimination. Today, he's the 3-1 morning line favorite to win Saturday's $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows. The Adios goes as race 15 with an approximate post time of 4:02 PM, and it will offer a Super Hi-5 wager with a 20-cent minimum and a $50,000 guarantee. Moreover, while the Super Hi-5 jackpot typically is paid only if there is a unique winning ticket, the payout for the Adios Super Hi-5 jackpot is mandatory, meaning that all winning ticketholders will share the bounty. The card gets underway at the special post time of 11:25 AM, with advance wagering available Friday. The reversal of Catch The Fire's public perception seems somehow fitting in this topsy-turvy, COVID-19-distorted year, but it's attributable to two solid reasons. First is the horse's outstanding performance in his Adios elimination, which he won with a game 1:49.3 front-end performance for Mike Wilder, trainer John Ackley and owner Charlie Taylor's CT Stables. The second, of course, is the loss of presumptive Adios favorite Papi Rob Hanover, an early divisional leader, who's out for at least the balance of this year with a fractured coffin bone. But even as a yearling, the son of Captaintreacherous out of the Bettor's Delight mare Dream Outloud garnered little respect, bringing a modest $15,000 at Lexington. "We had just bought one for $40,000, and I thought Catch The Fire would bring $75,000 to $100,000, which we couldn't afford," Ackley recalls. "So I went for a sandwich. When I came back, Charlie told me he bought him for $15,000. I couldn't believe it. I went back to look at him again to see if I'd missed something. He is a tad on the small side, but you couldn't find a knock on his conformation." At 2, Catch The Fire more than justified the investment, winning the Kentucky Sires Stake championship and banking $258,547. Ackley, who's based at Ohio's Fayette County Fairgrounds, made harness racing his second career after putting in 20 years as a forklift operator. He's enjoyed success with Ohio-breds, although perhaps his best colt, a Pennsylvania-bred named Lex Vegas, was injured in a highway accident and didn't come back the same. Catch The Fire, who is eligible for most of the season's major stakes, clearly is Ackley's best shot at national impact. "I've known he was special since about the fifth day I had the harness on him," Ackley says. "We're proud to have one that can race at this level and be competitive." The horse also gives Wilder perhaps his best shot at Adios orchids. Wilder has been a top driver at The Meadows for years and has amassed more than 8,300 career victories, but his best Adios final finishes have been a trio of fourths with Basil Hanover, Tarpaulin Hanover and last year with Wild Wild Western. "It's always a thrill to get in the final," Wilder says. "This is our premier race at The Meadows and one of the premier races in our sport. It's a great thing to be part of it. "This horse shows up every time I race him. His strengths? Everything. He doesn't have to have the lead. He can come from the back. I can get caught in a bad spot, and he still can perform well. His versatility makes my job very easy." In addition to the Super Hi-5, the program offers two total-pool carryovers: $2,441.84 in the Early Pick 4 (race 3), $1,908.78 in the Early Pick 5 (race 2). The powerhouse card also features the $107,320 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, a $59,088 Arden Downs stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers, and a $35,690 Arden Downs event for 2-year-old filly pacers. Other highlights include a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters: a $187,182 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event. Here's the field with post positions, trainers, drivers and morning line odds: $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids 1. Later Dudes Brian Brown David Miller 8-1 2. Capt Midnight Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 4-1 3. Catch The Fire John Ackley Mike Wilder 3-1 4. The Greek Freak Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 5-1 5. No Lou Zing Nancy Takter Josert Fonseca 7-1 6. Sweet Truth Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 12-1 7. Chief Mate Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 20-1 8. Captain Barbossa Tony Alagna Brian Sears 6-1 9. Elver Hanover Ron Burke Chris Page 10-1 by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

It is still early days for assessing the harness racing two-year-old Sires list in North America and at Harnesslink we will keep you up to date every Friday, New Zealand and Australian time with the actual statistics. For breeders down under this is an important time for deciding on what stallion they need to breed their mare to this coming season. The new first season sires are well on their way to giving some indication of what chance they have of competing with the established sires. From a breeders point of view they need the facts rather than the bluster from the Stallion Owners as to what they breed to this coming season is going to impact their financial situation in three years time. Here is the first Leading Money Winning Sires list that we will continue to update each Friday throughout the year. A new horse appears on the list this week at place 16 and that is the son of Art Major in JK Endofanera. JK Endofanera has a mark of 1:48.2 and has earnings of over $2 million and is standing in Indiana.. These statistics are freely available on the Standardbred Canada site daily. Leading Money Winning Sires - 2 Year Old Pace (2020) - 31-jul-2020 SIRE                                                   Starters      Number of foals            Money won SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE 63 116 $467,663 SHADOW PLAY 31 91 $363,823 CAPTAINTREACHEROUS 52 110 $357,840 BETTING LINE 60 119 $351,736 RACING HILL 52 93 $327,773 SWEET LOU 37 84 $324,630 BETTORS DELIGHT 35 121 $302,387 WELL SAID 44 71 $295,842 AMERICAN IDEAL 49 113 $285,612 ALWAYS B MIKI 39 112 $272,680 SPORTSWRITER 49 137 $257,993 MCARDLE 26 48 $256,830 ART MAJOR 33 69 $237,442 BETTERTHANCHEDDAR 32 102 $163,859 ROLL WITH JOE 36 71 $158,565 JK ENDOFANERA 39 88 $156,465 PET ROCK 50 83 $154,487 GREAT VINTAGE 2 2 $136,000 ALWAYS A VIRGIN 46 102 $135,551 SUNSHINE BEACH 36 143 $132,969 It is important to note that five of the stallions listed in bold type stand in the state of Pennsylvania, probably the toughest of all competing states standing stallions in North America. The stallions in italics above are stallions standing in Canada where they have no stallion limits. Harnesslink Media

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound   Big Wheels leading Queensland two-year-old When he won the $100,550 QBred Triad Final last Saturday Big Wheels proved himself the top Queensland two-year-old of the season. Earlier in the season the gelding won the QBred Breeders Classic and from seven starts he has now won three and been three times placed for $78,845 in stakes for breeder-owner John Polson, of Taree (NSW). Big Wheels                                                     --Dan Costello photo   Big Wheels is by the Rocknroll Hanover horse A Rocknroll Dance (sire of No Win No Feed) from Washington Lass NZ, who took a record of 1:55.6 and won nine races. She left an earlier winner in Blacksadance (1:52.8), a winner of six and a placegetter in the recent South-East Derby. Washington Lass was by Washington VC (1:52 son of Presidential Ball) from Supreme Duchess, by Son Of Afella from Sparkle Bret (2:08.6), a half-sister by Knowing Bret to the good Perth winner Hillas Esquire. This is a long-established South Island family and an earlier top pacer belonging to it was Viking Water, who won numerous races at Harold Park in the 1960’s.   QBred Triad winning line The Group 1 QBred Triad 2YO Fillies’ Final winner, Jasper, is a Mach Three half-sister to Joys A Babe, who won the 4YO Triad a few years earlier, and is closely related to other Triad winners in Catwalk Beauty, Attack Life and A Good Chance. Jasper                                                      --Dan Costello photo   Both bred by Kevin and Kay Seymour, Jasper and Joys A Babe are out of the top racemare Joy To Behold (1:56.2), who left others in Jakes A Joy (1:54.1), Kwasii (1:56.6), Joyous Times (1:57.9), Spread The Joy and Johnny Come Lately. By Fake Left, Joy To Behold is out of Sweet Mover (2:01.8), by Rip Van Winkle from Naivasha, by the NZ Derby winner Willie Win from the Brahman mare Hindu Star and tracing eventually back to the American-bred Norice, who founded one of NZ’s best winning families and one that is widely successfully represented today. Sweet Mover, an Albion Park winner herself, was the dam of 10 winners, six of whom took records of 2:00 or faster. Besides Joy To Behold, Sweet Mover is also the dam of Son Of Fortune 1:58.3 ($118,537), a dual Group winner in Queensland, the exported Jaccamo 1:53.6 ($281,471) and the Albion Park winners Saldivar 1:57.6 ($101,070) and Slick Style (1:59.2). An unraced daughter of Sweet Mover in Down The Catwalk (by Vanston Hanover) became the dam of the Triad winners Catwalk Beauty 1:58.2 ($156,566) and Attack Life 1:57.7 ($132,832) and others in Moi Attack (9 wins) and the Perfect Art mare Chance The Walk (1:57), a winner of 13 races and who, in turn, left the Triad and Queensland Breeders Classic winner A Good Chance 1:51.9 ($260,007) and recent Redcliffe winner Chanceless Century.   John Higgins Memorial winner Gifted as an unraced two-year-old and now a winner of $83,733, One For Dave Andme became the latest WA Group winner when he won $30,000 John Higgins Memorial at Gloucester Park, rating 1:55.7 over 2130 metres. By the Grinfromeartoear horse Smiling Shard (now in Tasmania), One For Dave Andme is out of a smart racemare in Another One For Me 1:56.3 ($154,565), by the American-bred horse Armbro Operative.  Another One For Me, whose 13 successes included the WA Lord Mayor’s Cup, was a half-sister to the prolific NZ and US winner Ann Other Porsche 1:51.6 ($489,192), who became the dam of the Albion Park winner Red Terror (1:55.3) and grand-dam of the NZ Winter Cup winner Billy Badger 1:50 ($188,637), Stars Tonight 1:56.7 ($100,583) and Need You Now (1:55). The next dam, Ann Other Vance (2:00.5), was by Vance Hanover from the noted producer Wee Ann, by Lumber Dream from the U Scott mare Forenoon, a half-sister to Blankets, the dam of the mighty Mount Eden. In the back removes of One For Dave Andme’s pedigree are pacers of the calibre of Impressionist (WA Golden Nugget), Soho Wall Street (1:49.6), Rapid Vance, Our Angel Of Harlem (WA Dainty’s Daughter) and trotters in the same class such as Into The Unknown (Tr 1:56.5) and Bonito.   Well related three-year-old Alta Blues, a three-year-old by Alta Christiano from Child By The Sea (a half-sister by Astreos to a champion pacer in Somebeachsomewhere), did not race as a two-year-old last season. But the Alta Christiano gelding has proved himself to some purpose in his three-year-old racing, and he won at Gloucester Park last Friday at a 1:55.7 rate over 2130 metres.  It was Alta Blues’ second success from only five starts and his 1:55.7 clocking was put up when he had nothing in his favour, being trapped wide for a good portion and being several lengths from the leaders at one stage. He is a very good youngster. Child From The Sea, the dam of Alta Blues, won seven races and took a mile record of 1:56.6 in North America and, at the stud has left three winners including the Wagga Oaks victor Grande Anse (1:57.3).   Tasmanian sale produces winners When Stepping Stones outfinished her rivals at Hobart last Friday, she became the second winner which had been sold at the 2019 Tasmanian Yearling Sale. Stepping Stones, a filly by the Artsplace horse Stonebridge Regal, was sold for $4,500 at the sale to Broadmarsh horseman Heath Woods. Written In Silk (Sportswriter-Mon Soie), bought for $20,000 and a winner at Launceston in March, is the other winner from the sale. Bred by Elderslie studmaster Sue Streit, Stepping Stones is out of the top racemare Step Up And Play, and the first of her produce to win. Step Up And Play, who won 12 races and $70,937 including the Tasmanian Golden Slipper and Mother of Pearl, is by Peace Of Art from Harmonia, by Golden Greek from the Perfect Blue Chip mare Ima Blue Chip, the dam of eight winners including the Blue Bonnet winner Lambretta and grand-dam of the former top Tasmanian juvenile Ima Miss Molly and the Breeders Plate winner Nitro Blue. Stepping Stones can claim three strong strains of Abercrombie blood through her sire, Stonebridge Regal, damsire Peace Of Art and grand-dam sire Golden Greek.   Star trotter by Ready Cash One of the most capable young trotters racing in Victoria at present is Cash Lover, who is quickly working her way to the top flight. She has now won at six of her last seven appearances.                                                                                                    --HRV photo   Cash Lover has a wealth of blood to back up her claims to further promotion, being by the French champion Ready Cash from Lucky Love, by Love You from All Sunny, by Sundon from the Speed In Action mare All Action Gal, who established a great winning line for Roydon Lodge Stud, Christchurch. Lucky Love, who was unraced, ranks as a half-sister to the dual Menangle winner All Action Man (Tr 1:58.8), Sun Prince (Tr 2:07) and to Sunny Sierra, a Sierra Kosmos mare who is the dam of the top Queensland trotter Southern Alps Tr 1:59.9 ($106,544 to date). All Sunny was a sister to cup class trotters in All Action Sun Tr 1:55.6 ($314,784), Solar Active ($180,639), Sunny Action ($180,173) and All Sundon Tr 1:55.1 ($240,442) and the unraced Roydon Action, the dam of the country cups winners All Royal Gal Tr 1:57.2 ($172,116) and Action Kosmos ($123,234). Cash Lover was bred by Yabby Dam Farms principal Pat Driscoll.   Further Group success for Bettor Enforce Bettor Enforce, winner of the Group 3 Ladyship Pace at Menangle, continues to prove herself in the top bracket among the mares. She holds a mile record of 1:48.9 and has earned $232,469 in stakes. Watch Bettor Enforce win the Group 3 Ladyship Pace at Menangle Bred by Invercargill identity Ben Calder, Bettor Enforce is a seven-year-old Bettor’s Delight mare from the Falcon Seelster mare Their Excuse (TT1:59), dam also of The Paua Diver (1:56), who won two. Their Excuse was out of Last Excuse, by Live Or Die from the Smooth Fella mare My Excuse. A champion pacer in Just An Excuse (1:55.6), a winner of 17 races and $1 million in stakes including two NZ Cups, belongs to this family which has produced others in Mach’s Gladiator (1:57.5) and Excuse Maker, both minor cup winners in NZ. The family has also been successfully represented in Australia where it has produced such winners as the dual Vicbred champion Tell Me Tales (1:49.3), Mojo Major (1:53.3) and Talamahara (1:53.9).   From family of Sokyola Soho Brandenburg, an impressive two-year-old winner at the Shepparton midweek meeting, is a Bettor’s Delight colt from the same family as that which produced the dual Miracle Mile winner Sokyola. Bred and owned by Robert Watson, Soho Brandenburg is out of a capable racemare in Soho Berlin 1:56.4, and the first of her produce to race. Soho Berlin, who won nine races including the Vicbred 4YO Silver, was a three-quarter sister to the prolific Albion Park winner Any Chance 1:53.5 ($138,032), being by Somebeachsomwhere from Giveusachance (1:55.6), a Melton winner by Live Or Die from Maudola, by Chiola Hanover from the Lumber Dream mare Maudey, and tracing to the taproot Norice. Only lightly raced, Maudola figured as the dam of the champion Sokyola, who won a record 29 races at Moonee Valley including the Victoria Cup and The Legends twice, and others in the Harold Park winner Holmes Dean (2:00), Julia Jones (2:00.8) and Jackieola, a sister to Sokyola, who left the useful sorts Spunkyola (1:55.6), Sassyola (1:56.5) and Smokenola.   Broodmare double The Mach Three mare Miss Brazilian produced a two State double last Saturday with Benicio (Menangle) and Mister Brazil (Albion Park). Both bred by Sloy’s Company are by Rock N Roll Heaven and Sportswriter respectively. Benicio, a seven-year-old gelding, has won 17 races and $177,102 in stakes, while Mister Brazil, an eight-year-old, has won 15 races and $207,916. Other winners from Miss Brazilian have been Lets Go To Brazil, winner of the NSW Breeders Challenge 2YO Blue series, Handsome Major, Misterriodejaneiro, Brazilian Rocker and Smoothe Style. Miss Brazilian ranks as a half-sister to the high class racemares Louvre 1:54.5 ($402,665) and Miss Hazel 1:57 ($310,063) and the Derby winner Renaissance Man 1:53.1 ($297,904), being by Mach Three from My Ami Lee, by Safely Kept from Cosmophylla, by Thor Hanover from  the Entrepreneur mare Calophylla. This is the family of top pacers the calibre of Gumdrops (Vic. Queen of the Pacific), My General Lee (Treuer Memorial), Prince Benji 1:55.3 ($255,998), Fourwing Sweepa (O’Shea Guineas), Christian Sloy, and others.   Peter Wharton  

Harness racing in Victoria is certainly looking different and officials say the calendar continues to be fluid in order to keep racing safely through the State's worsening COVID-19 second wave. Despite predictions to the contrary, Victoria has managed to maintain race meetings almost without disruption since the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic hit in March. A suite of strict hygiene and behavioural protocols in place since the first wave of coronavirus is now even tighter, with participants at all race meetings and trials in Victoria now required to wear masks. HRV introduced the mask requirement ahead of Victoria's Statewide "mask up" order in place from Sunday. A shock 700-plus cases reported on one day this week will again test the sport's leadership - but CEO Dayle Brown says returning to a regionalisation model has safeguarded the industry throughout the crisis and is the best option to keep participants racing, and the sport functioning. "The racing calendar now for us is changing as we move forward," Brown said. "You have to look at the knife edge we are on at the moment and the priority that always needs to be on keeping our people healthy and well and keeping our sport going," he said. "As this second wave continues on this six-week lockdown by the State Government (in the Melbourne Metropolitan area and Mitchell Shire) has the potential to go longer. "We don't know what these numbers will do day to day and what the government response will be, so our calendar is fluid." The regionalisation model, which divides the State into five hubs each racing at a single track, reduced the movement of participants around the State, and was a key plank in convincing the Government to allow racing to continue. The model was briefly abandoned when the COVID-19 curve flattened late in June, but rising cases have again seen a return to the structure. "Going back into the regional model was the best option for us," Brown said. "If we do have to close down this Metropolitan-Mitchell Shire area, at least we can isolate that for the short term and keep racing elsewhere." HRV's caution in introducing the mask requirement was questioned by regions of Victoria without active COVID-19 cases, but appears to have been vindicated since, with the State Government's blanket rule. "You only have to look overseas to see young people coming back and them talking about the effect that this virus has had on them. It can become a disability for life - even in people who were healthy, fit normal people before," Brown said. "This is an insidious virus and it's important that we as a collective at this point in time double down and keep everyone safe and well and keep racing." HRV has reminded participants to ensure they do not attend any race or trial meeting if they are in any way unwell. Brown said HRV stewards were continuing to take a zero-tolerance approach regarding any person who breaches the directions and requirements, which are in place to protect the health and wellbeing of all persons involved in the harness racing industry. In line with the zero-tolerance approach, stewards have issued a charge against unlicensed person Matthew Talty and stablehand Dylan Schembri. It's alleged Talty breached the COVID-19 protocols by gaining entry to a trial meeting at the Kilmore Racecourse on 19 May 2020 with licensed stablehand Dylan Schembri. The charge will be heard by the Victorian Racing Tribunal on a date to be fixed.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

On Saturday,harness racing trainer Julie Miller will experience her Hambletonian present. One night earlier, maybe she will get a glimpse at her Hambletonian future. Miller sends out Big Oil in the first of Saturday's two $50,000 Hambletonian eliminations at The Meadowlands. The top-five finishers from each elim advance to the $1 million final for 3-year-old trotters Aug. 8 at The Big M. On Friday, she will watch Venerate in the lone $20,000 elimination of the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at The Meadowlands. The top-seven finishers will join bye recipients Locatelli, Spy Booth, and Type A in the final, also Aug. 8. Big Oil is 10-1 on the morning line in his Hambletonian elimination. Andy Miller will drive the colt, who starts from post four. Back Of The Neck is the 2-1 favorite, followed by Amigo Volo at 7-2, Beads at 9-2, and Dan Patch Award winning filly Ramona Hill at 5-1. Ready For Moni is the 5-2 favorite in the second elimination. "I'm proud just to be in the race, first of all," Miller said. "I think that's a really deep group. I think it's the tougher (elimination) but it's going to be even tougher next week, so we might as well get it figured out this Saturday. I just hope we have a little luck. Actually, a lot of luck." Big Oil, a son of Father Patrick out of former Miller standout and world-record-setter Cee Bee Yes, won two of eight races last year and hit the board a total of six times. He finished in a dead-heat for win with Real Cool Sam in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile in 1:52.1, a clocking that was the second fastest of the year for a 2-year-old male trotter. This season, Big Oil opened with wins in a conditioned race and division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars before finishing third behind Back Of The Neck and Third Shift in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. "I've been trying to manage him and get ready for this race," Miller said. "I just hope I've got my I's dotted and my T's crossed. I think he's special, but of course because he's mine, I think that way. I just hope I've got him the best he can be and he can leave it all on the racetrack. "When Andy gets behind him and they start to go, he gives 110 percent. He's handy, it's not like he's got to be raced from behind or he's got to be up front or he's got to have this or that. He has a good relationship with Andy and when Andy asks, he's going to deliver." Big Oil, a homebred owned by Jason Allen, Doug Allen, and Ron Allen, also owns a big personality. "No matter what is going on, he never loses his zest for life," Miller said. "He has this whinny where he doesn't open his mouth, it's like an internal one; it's the weirdest thing I've ever seen. He's got such a personality. Anybody that comes in the barn, everybody knows him. He makes sure his presence is felt. He's just a fun horse in that respect." Prior to last year, Miller posted three consecutive top-three finishes in Hambletonian finals. In 2018, Met's Hall finished second to Atlanta. In 2017, Devious Man was third-placed-second and a year earlier Sutton was a fast-closing third, beaten only a neck, in the race won by Marion Marauder. As for the Haughton elim, Venerate won his only start this year, a 1:55.1 triumph in a conditioned race at The Meadowlands on July 17. The colt is 7-2 on the morning line, second choice behind 3-1 Caruso from Hall of Famer Joe Holloway's stable. "He's just been a pleasure," Miller said. "He doesn't realize what he's doing yet and it's fun to see his development. He's a big good-looking colt. People always ask me, 'Who is that?' He's eye-catching on the track." Venerate is a son of standout French sire Love You out of Peaceful Kemp. He sold for $90,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes 2014 Hambletonian winner Trixton as well as Dan Patch Award winners Andover Hall and Conway Hall. He is owned by Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable Inc. Carter Pinske had the colt in Florida for the winter before sending him north to Miller's stable in New Jersey. "We went down a couple times to train with Carter and we were really impressed with him," Miller said. "As luck would have it, he is Kentucky sired, which starts (its sire stakes series) after this race, so we really just babied him along. I was happy with his race, for him to get stretched out a little to see what we've got. I think he deserves a chance in (the Haughton)." In addition to the Haughton elimination on Friday, there are two $20,000 elims of the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old female trotters. Insta Glam, 2-for-2 on the Pennsylvania stakes circuit for trainer Nancy Takter, is the 7-5 favorite in the first; New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Altar, from trainer Per Engblom's stable, is the 8-5 choice in the second. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) Friday and Saturday at The Meadowlands. For Friday's complete entries, click here. For Saturday, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club (QJC), sent a notice to all harness racing people in Quebec on Wednesday, stating that the OJC board members felt the risks are too great right now to allow spectators to attend the races at the Hippodrome 3R this season. "If admitting spectators were to lead to more cases of Covid-19 and the racecourse was then forced to suspend racing, it would be catastrophic for the industry, its jobs and even its survival," said Claude Levesque. For the moment, the Club Jockey will continue to apply the same policy that is currently in progress, i.e. presenting races without spectators and continuing to apply to the paddock the same protocol approved a few weeks ago by the Public Health of Quebec. Two-year-old goes against older horses Harness racing fans will take notice of the first race Friday at the Hippodrome 3R. It's a trotting event that features a two-year-old, X O X O (that's its name), taking on older horses. Something you don't see every day. Breeder, owner and driver, Jerome Lombart of Bromont, owns just two broodmares, yet almost every year he has young horses ready to race. Over the years Lombart has a track record, his horses have won series championships at H3R and now he has high hopes for X O X O (the symbol for hugs and kisses). "She's a filly that does everything you want her to do well from the very beginning when I tamed her," Lombart said. "It doesn't guarantee anything, but at least it's going in the right direction. "The dam of this filly," Lombart explained. "Is Promising Lavec, and she gives offspring which generally go well at 2 years old. Sometimes things go bad at 3, however. These days I only count on Promising Lavec and Fauvette Gale for my foals. The first gives more calm horse, the second more speed but less calmness." X O X O is from the mare Promising Lavec, who is also the dam of Lucky Promesses, who also races Friday in the fifth race Preferred Trot. "X O X O is the half-sister of Lucky Promesses," Lombart said. "She's is sired by Lucky Fool, not by Angus Hall. In fact, the last three offspring of Promising Lavec are by Angus Hall (Silky Lavec, X OXO and a filly born this year that I called La Bromontoise). "And the good progress of X O X O," Lobart added. "prompted me to pay for its Ontario Sire Stakes eligibility. But there is still a long way to go. Keep in mind that last Saturday X O X O beat only two opponents. We will have a better idea this week." X O X O starts from the rail. She is trained by Andreane Lapierre and in her first career start last week in the Quebec Regional Fair Circuit, led from start to finish in 2:05.3. On Friday she goes against That's Hooligan (post 5), a four-year-old return winner, along with three-year-old winners Miss Melodie (post 2) and Indi (post 4). The fourth race Preferred-Handicap Pace has a full field of eight featuring the dominant Windsun Cheyenne, who has won this class the last two starts in 1:56.2 and 1:55.3. He won from post seven last week so being handicapped with post eight on Friday should not hinder his chances of making it three-straight wins for H3R's leading driver Pascal Berube. Also, in the field are rivals Hooter Shooter (post 7), the return of Surf Report (post 5) and D J Power (post 4), who has the red-hot young driver Samuel Fillion in the sulky. Then in the fifth race is the Preferred-Handicap co-feature trot headlined by two return winners in Missionoftheheart (post 6) and Keepall (post 5). Missionoftheheart was the best of her career last week at H3R, leading from start to finish for driver Stephane Gendron in a lifetime record mile of 1:58.2. The six-year-old mare by Manofmanymissions is trained by co-owner Michel Allard and romped last week by four and one-quarter lengths. Keepall has won his last starts at H3R, the fastest in 1:59.1 for driver Carol Voyer and trainer Sylvain Tremblay. He already has three wins this season. Post time on Friday is 4:00 pm. For a free race program, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club      

Horse owners and trainers should very much beware when a racetrack advocates on behalf of a new horsemen's organization. That is what is happening in Kentucky as Churchill Downs Inc. in Louisville and The Red Mile in Lexington have endorsed a fledgling group to rival the 47-year-old Kentucky Harness Horsemen's Association to represent horsemen at the new casino/harness track in Oak Grove near the Tennessee border, an hour's drive northwest of Nashville. In fact, “endorsed” may not be a strong enough term. It wouldn't be that much of a stretch to say Churchill Downs Inc. and The Red Mile have masterminded a quiet coup d'etat of an existing harness horsemen's organization and that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission obsequiously rubber-stamped, giving legitimacy to a nebulous entity called the Kentucky Harness Association. Approval of this dubious move is on the agenda of the Kentucky General Assembly's Legislative Research Commission at the state capitol in Frankfort on Thursday. There's no reason to believe the commission will do anything but accept the changes recommended by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. There is so much wrong with this, not the least of which is that Churchill Downs Inc. appeared to work in collaboration with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on language for the regulation that helps create this new organization while neutralizing the longstanding harness horsemen's representative. Last Nov. 22, Mike Ziegler, executive director of racing for Churchill Downs Inc., sent an email to Marc Guilfoil, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, stating: “Per a conversation between John and Secretary Russell, attached are the proposed regulation changes in a word document for the track extension regulation and the Standardbred horsemen group.” The email was acquired from the commission via public records requests. Interestingly, Nov. 22 is also the date of a  letter Ziegler sent to Guilfoil saying that “it has been brought to our attention that the Kentucky Harness Association has requested approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to serve as an association representing Standardbred horsemen in the Commonwealth. Churchill Downs Incorporated is fully supportive of this request.” It's amazing how Ziegler and Churchill Downs Inc. simultaneously went from having something “brought to our attention” to actually proposing language for the regulation to make it happen – all on the same day. In that Nov. 22 email from Ziegler to Guilfoil, “John” would be John McCarthy, a powerful lobbyist in Frankfort representing Churchill Downs Inc. “Secretary Russell” would be Gail Russell, then secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet for lame duck Gov. Matt Bevin, who lost his bid for reelection on Nov. 5, 2019. While the wheels were set in motion during Bevin's tenure as governor, his successor, Andy Beshear, will share in the blame if these changes are approved by the general assembly. By their own admission, this new Kentucky Harness Association had a grand total of three members when the issue came before the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for recognition. Let me repeat that: three total members. The person said to be the organizer of the Kentucky Harness Association, Bob Brady, is brother-in-law of Ken Jackson, a member of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Jackson voted in favor of recognizing the organization started by his brother-in-law that could be charged with negotiating contracts on behalf of hundreds or thousands of horse owners and trainers. Brady and Jackson are partners in a Lexington-based Standardbred auction company co-owned with the entity that owns The Red Mile harness track. The latter endorsed Brady's new organization, an association it might negotiate contracts with. This is about as incestuous as you can get. It should also be noted that Jackson, in his role with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, made the motion in 2018 to award the Oak Grove casino and harness license to Churchill Downs Inc., which partnered with the Keeneland Association on the proposed project. There were other viable bidders. Why should anyone in the Thoroughbred industry care about what organization represents harness owners and trainers at a small Kentucky casino/racetrack? If you are a Thoroughbred owner or trainer, don't think this can't happen to you. I've seen this movie play out in Florida, where loopholes in state law are exploited to create bogus race meetings that operate with the approval of sham horsemen's organizations. The organizers do this to retain profits from casinos, card rooms or simulcasting and they don't have to share as much of that revenue with the sham horsemen's organizations as they would with a legitimate group. Can this happen in Kentucky? I wouldn't bet against it. Churchill Downs pulled a bait and switch scheme at Calder Race Course in Florida, getting horse owners and trainers to support a slots machine referendum and then, after public approval, tearing down the grandstand and eventually connecting the casino license – one the horsemen helped secure – with a jai-alai permit. I can't blame Churchill Downs Inc. for trying to overthrow a legitimate harness horsemen's organization and replacing it with hand-picked toadies. Company executives are only trying to maximum revenue to shareholders and increase the potential for their own bonuses. They are not looking out for the best interests of everyone in the horse industry. That's my view from the eighth pole. by Ray Paulick Reprinted with permission of The Paulick Report

WASHINGTON, PA, July 30, 2020 -- Saturday's $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids promises to be exciting, and now, The Meadows has upped the ante by adding a harness racing Super Hi-5 wager on the Adios with a $50,000 guarantee. Moreover, the entire pool will be paid out. Ordinarily, the Super Hi-5 jackpot is paid only if there is a single correct ticket with the top five finishers in their exact order of finish. However, The Adios Super Hi-5 pool will be split among all those with correct tickets. The last time The Meadows offered a mandatory Super Hi-5 payout, players bet so enthusiastically that the pool exceeded $300,000 and provided a healthy return for all winning ticketholders. In addition to the Super Hi-5, the program offers two total-pool carryovers: $2,441.84 in the Early Pick 4 (race 3), $1,908.78 in the Early Pick 5 (race 2). The Adios Day card gets underway at the special post time of 11:25 AM, with advance Adios wagering available beginning at noon Thursday. The Adios, which goes as race 15 with an approximate post time of 4:02 PM, anchors a powerhouse card that also features the $107,320 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, a $59,088 Arden Downs stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers, and a $35,690 Arden Downs event for 2-year-old filly pacers. Other highlights include a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters: a $187,182 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event. While the Adios will be staged without spectators, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) is keeping the event festive with a number of digital activities. First, the MSOA will live stream from the winners' circle beginning at 11:15 AM Adios Day. The live stream, which will feature celebrity guests, will be available on the MSOA's Facebook and YouTube pages. The MSOA also will offer free Adios Day programs and a virtual hat contest (sponsored by Altmeyer Wilder Racing) with a $250 top prize. Visit for your free program and the chapeau competition. And if you enter, think orchids, think purple. The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association is sponsoring the live stream and events along with: Altmeyer Wilder Racing; Amulet Equine Rehab & Conditioning Center; Betts Racing; Billboards on Wheels; Buxton Racing; Corkboard Concepts; Dentons Cohen & Grigsby; Dirk Simpson Stable; Hambletonian Society; Kahrig Racing; Keystone Films; Kristen's Beauty Salon; Pacing for the Cure; Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association; Saxton & Stump; Silverstone Decorative Concrete; Twaddle Racing; Visit Washington County PA; Washington Wild Things and Winbak Farm. The MSOA gratefully acknowledges the support of all sponsors. Here's the field with post positions, Sire - trainers, drivers and morning line odds: $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids 1. Later Dudes - Sweet Lou - Brian Brown - David Miller 8-1 2. Capt Midnight - Captaintreacherous - Tony Alagna - Andrew McCarthy 4-1 3. Catch The Fire - Captaintreacherous - John Ackley - Mike Wilder 3-1 4. The Greek Freak - Captaintreacherous - Ron Burke - Matt Kakaley 5-1 5. No Lou Zing - Sweet Lou - Nancy Takter - Josert Fonseca 7-1 6. Sweet Truth - Sweet Lou - Ron Burke - Yannick Gingras 12-1 7. Chief Mate - Captaintreacherous - Tony Alagna - Scott Zeron 20-1 8. Captain Barbossa - Captaintreacherous - Tony Alagna - Brian Sears 6-1 9. Elver Hanover -  Yankee Cruiser - Ron Burke - Chris Page 10-1 By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

YONKERS, N.Y. – Since the husband and wife training duo of Lauren and Shane Tritton arrived in the United States this spring, their harness racing stable has been on a tear, winning 10 of its first 35 starts, including a 4-for-17 start at Yonkers Raceway. Of the 12 horses the Trittons brought over from Australia, none have adapted quicker or been more consistent than My Ruebe Star, who brings a four-race win streak to the $33,000 filly and mare open handicap Thursday night (July 30). “The horses have done pretty well,” Shane Tritton said. “We’re still learning and we’re still trying to work out the changes between training in Australia and here, but we’re trying to mold it as we go. The horses have been getting better; we knew they’d get better as we went because we are still trying to work out exactly where to race them and where they needed to be. “(My Ruebe Star) has been the horse that’s acclimatized the quickest. She looks a million dollars and she adapted to the way we’re training here better than the rest. We’re pretty happy with her and hopefully she can keep the ball rolling,” Tritton said. “There’s a couple of little things there that you need to adjust and some horses pick up on it quicker than others. She’s been one that you can just tell by looking at her, she’s dappled up and she’s full of beans. I knew she’d keep getting better, we just don’t know where that will end up.” My Ruebe Star is a 6-year-old New Zealand-bred daughter of Falcon Seelster out of the New York Motoring mare Zenola Star. After showing promise in New Zealand for breeder and co-owner Mike Siemelink, My Ruebe Star was exported to Australia in May 2019 and joined Tritton’s ranks. My Ruebe Star won on debut for her new connections with Lauren Tritton in the sulky in a $14,280 overnight at Menangle June 22, 2019. My Ruebe Star racked up another five wins through the end of February 2020 as she climbed the class ladder. She also finished fourth in the Group 3 Garrards New Years Gift Final at Menangle Jan. 11, in which winner Bright Energy was clocked in 1:50.1. “The guy that owned her in New Zealand sent her over to us just to see how she’s shape up at Menangle and she came to us almost a maiden and she raced right through her grades at Menangle,” Tritton said. “She was probably a season shy of going to the top. She ran fourth in a 1:50.1 mile back home a month before we came over. She was just starting to break into some of the better mares’ races and then we shut her down to bring her over here.” Among My Ruebe Star’s best attributes is her gait. Tritton knew she would fit the American style of racing and the half-mile track at Yonkers Raceway, he just needed to persuade the owners, who had their eyes on stakes races in Australia and breeding her later on. “She’s certainly a horse we were desperate to bring,” Tritton said. “It took a bit of convincing of the owners to bring her over. Once we explained that she should do well here, they were happy enough to give us a crack with her and now they’re obviously pretty happy with the decision. We know she can’t keep winning forever, but she’s certainly got the qualities to take out a big race if she can get the right run. “We just knew that with her gait, she would suit the tracks here and she’s probably fitting them better than we could have imagined,” Tritton continued. “We think she’s only going to get better with a season of racing under her belt here. She really hasn’t taken any harm out of the runs she’s had so far, so hopefully she’s still got a bit in the tank and she can keep stepping up.” My Ruebe Star qualified a runner-up at the Goshen Historic Track June 4 before making her first stateside start in a $10,000 Meadowlands overnight June 12, becoming the first pari-mutuel starter and winner for Team Tritton in America. My Ruebe Star took a lifetime mark of 1:50.1 in repeating a week later. “She was a little bit fresh and needed to get that race start under way,” Tritton said. “First two starts, she came through really well at the Meadowlands and we wanted to get her to Yonkers as soon as we could because we knew she was so good-gaited that she’d have a bit of an advantage there over most horses. Once we got her there, she’s come through those runs brilliantly and it hasn’t really taken much of a toll on her.” Tritton moved My Ruebe Star to Yonkers July 9, where she overcame post eight in a $17,250 overnight, riding a pocket trip behind favorite Feelin Red Hot and utilized a :27.0 final quarter to glide past the pacesetter in the stretch for her third consecutive win. In her latest start at the Hilltop July 16, My Ruebe Star went gate-to-wire in 1:52.3 in a $20,250 overnight to make in four in a row.  My Ruebe Star drew post seven in an open draw in this week’s distaff feature and is 8-1 on the morning line with regular driver Jordan Stratton. Snobbytown, twice a winner and once the runner-up in this class in her last three starts for George Brennan and Ron Burke, is the 3-2 morning line favorite after drawing the inside. The field also includes Imprincessgemma, who’s lone win this season came in the filly and mare open handicap Feb. 14 and who has since finished second in this class three times, including twice behind Snobbytown in her last three starts for the Bongiornos. She drew post eight and is 6-1 on the morning line. Monica Gallagher, Lispatty, Kaitlyn, Robyn Camden, and Diamondtoothgertie complete the field. “It’s a tough draw this week and we know these are the best mares going around Yonkers at the moment, so it’s going to be tough,” Tritton said. “We just know that she’s good enough to mix it with them. When she gets the right run, she’ll certainly be good enough to stick her nose out, that’s for sure.” By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

For the second time in as many years West Melton driver John Morrison has won the New Zealand Junior Drivers Premiership. Going into today’s Southern Harness meeting at Ascot Park Morrison was on thirty three wins with Northern driver Dylan Ferguson. In the EH Ball ITM Mobile Pace driving Miss Impression he came with a late run up the passing lane to snap victory by a length and a quarter from Lite Percussion, which finished wide out. This year the junior drivers premiership has been very competitive with Ferguson, Ben Hope and Sheree Tomlinson all vying for the top slot with Morrison. “There’s a great bunch of young drivers out there now. They all do the work and are willing to travel. I’ve been lucky because I can sneak down here and I’ve usually had a few drives. If I didn’t have that I’d probably be struggling really,” he said. Morrison works for West Melton trainer Malcolm Shinn who trains Miss Impression and says the three year old filly is likely to return to the province in the new season for the Southland Oaks. Miss Impression after winning for John Morrison             -Photo Bruce Stewart He says he’s grateful to Shinn who helped start his career as a reinsman. “Back when I was a young fella I hadn’t had many drives. I’d probably only won five races and I was lucky (that) he put me on Seaswift Joy. She kicked my driving career off because she was a pretty good horse.” He says one of the highlights of the season was winning the Waimate Cup on Di Caprio. “I like driving on the grass. He’s probably the best horse I’ve got to drive at the moment. That win was probably the main highlight for the season.” Morrison has won four races on the Brian O’Meara trained pacer and says he has one more season driving as a junior. “I’m the old fella out there. I’ve got one more season so I’m on the way out (laughter).” Meanwhile See Ya Write capped off a great three year old season by winning the Yaldhurst Hotel Handicap Pace. See Ya Write                            -Photo Bruce Stewart The Sportswriter gelding owned by the Test Syndicate was superbly handled by the country’s leading reinsman Blair Orange who never left the inside running line. Orange saved ground all the way to the top of the straight before encouraging See Ya Write up the passing lane to beat Rocknroll King by a nose. The win was the horses fourth this season from just ten starts. He has won all of his three post Covid starts at Ascot Park.   Bruce Stewart

The Southland Trainers Premiership went right down to the wire today but Branxholme trainer Nathan Williamson with two winners fended off Kirstin Barclay and Tank Ellis to take out the season’s title by two wins. Williamson’s first winner was Southland’s rising trotting star Chinese Whisper who came from a long way back after pacemaker Davey Mac shot away to a big lead. “You don’t want to be too far back but I knew when I asked him he’d close the gap pretty good,” Williamson said after the four year old won by three and three quarter lengths. “Well probably give him another start in a few weeks’ time. I might ever take him away at his next start to give him a trip away.” The premiership was sealed later in the programme when pacing filly Flight Crew showed plenty of toughness to overcome a wide draw. The winning crew with sponsors Craig Heyrick                – Photo Bruce Stewart “She did plenty of work, came off the unruly and they went 43 (2-43.1). I managed to get a good run early and get into a reasonable spot without her getting too worked up. I was four wide with a lap to go and worked up to sit parked. I was quite impressed with the run.” The wins qualifies the Panspacificflight filly for the Southland Oaks in October. Flight Crew navigating her way to the finish                  – Photo  Bruce Stewart This was the Williamson fourth Trainers Premiership. He’d previously won it in 2013, 2015 and 2016. “Win as many as you can is always the goal. It’s great to do it again. I thought this year I’d have a good shot because we had a lot of nice horses then Covid mucked everything up. We managed to last which was great.” The win also sealed his twelfth Southland Drivers Championship with fifty wins, ten clear of Brent Barclay. The day was capped off for Williamson when he won the Southern Harness Website ‘Drive with Five’ betting competition. He didn’t have a win on the board and was last in the five driver competition. His last bet of $10 each way was on rank outsider Mr Olympus which won and paid $60-30 and $10-50 netting Williamson a cool $738.00   Bruce Stewart

Superstar pacer Chicago Bull is thoroughly enjoying racing every week, and his Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr declared that the little champion, who has triumphed on the past two Friday nights after racing without cover, will be seen in the role of pacemaker in the $20,000 TABtouch Race Replays Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chicago Bull, with champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr in the sulky as usual, will start from the outside barrier in the field of six and is poised to notch his fifty-second victory. “There will be a bit of a war early, and whoever wins that war will sit on Chicago Bull,” said Hall Snr. “He’ll lead for sure. He doesn’t do hoppled work during the week and is happy to race every Friday night.” The Murray Lindau-trained Chiaroscuro, who was an easy all-the-way winner of the Kerry Clarke Four And Five-Year-Old Westbred Classic at the corresponding meeting 12 months ago, will begin from the No. 1 barrier on Friday night and Dylan Egerton-Green will be determined to win the start from noted speedy beginner Saleahs Comand (barrier four). Obviously, Chiaroscuro’s best chance of winning would be to sit behind Chicago Bull. The Hall stable will also be represented in Friday night’s event with Ideal Liner, who will be driven by Stuart McDonald from the No. 2 barrier at his second start after resuming from a spell. Ideal Liner enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail last Friday week before wilting to sixth behind Chicago Bull, who raced in the breeze and got up in the final stride to beat the pacemaker Handsandwheels by a nose over 2536m. “Ideal Liner (who has won at 13 of his 27 starts) will improve on his first-up effort and should run second to Chicago Bull,” said Hall snr. Hall is hoping, but not optimistic, for a change of fortune for Our Rhythm N Blues, who will start from barrier two on the back line in the Community TAB Pace. Our Rhythm N Blues has managed just one win (seven starts ago) from his past 28 starts and Hall bemoans the fact that the six-year-old is a non-winner. “Working together at home Our Rhythm N Blues beats Tuas Delight easily, and he can work with Ideal Liner and beats him from time to time. But put him in a race and he won’t poke his head in front. Our Rhythm N Blues will clash with Tuas Delight (Michael Grantham) on Friday night and Hall gives the seven-year-old Tuas Delight “some chance” after working hard and being placed at his past two starts. In this event the Ross Olivieri-trained Madame Meilland is handily drawn at barrier three and has some hope of ending a disappointing losing sequence of 30. Reinsman Chris Voak said: “I think that she will improve sharply, maybe not this week, but in the next two to three weeks. If she was in her best form, she would win this race; she’s got wins over Major Reality and Gotta Go Gabbana.” Voak has sound prospects later in the program with Stroke Of Luck in race seven and Kiwi Bloke in the following event. Stroke Of Luck, an impressive first-up winner three starts ago, maintained his excellent form with close seconds to Son Of A Tiger and Chicago Bull, and he has bright prospects of beating in-form runners Robbie Easton and Machs Gold. Kiwi Bloke, resuming after a spell, will start from barrier one on the front line and should fight out the finish with Im Rocknroll Magic and Rebel With A Grin   Ken Casellas

Punters would be best to remind themselves that it’s not Groundhog Day on Friday night at Addington with the feature pace of the night, the Mico Plumbing Hornby Handicap Pace, mustering the same exact field as the week before. On that occasion Self Assured proved a little too strong from a parked position to pip the brave Classie Brigade who had dictated the mid-race tempo. As punters may appreciate it tends to be a little difficult to make much of the small fields with tempo generally coming out of the event with a dictator of speed likely to score some easy mid-race sectionals. The improvement of both Princess Tiffany may represent the interest factor here along with the form of Self Assured. The feature trot of the night, the Allied Security Handicap Trot,again lacks numbers but does see the clash of the R Dunn trained stablemates in Sundees Son and Pres The Belle. Both have been seen doing sound work in recent workouts and trials with Pres The Belle offering the value in a field that also includes Enchance Your Calm who was well beaten behind the flying Cracker Hill last week. Other animals of note that fill out the card on Friday include the Dalgety / Purdon trained Krug who goes around in race four and looks to continue his strong form. The son of Bettor’s Delight looks to bring up his 5th race day victory from just the 7 starts. An All Stars quinella looks likely in the last of the night the Thanks For Your Support Blue Stars Taxis Pace with Italian Lad drawn on the back of stablemate Aqua Sancta. Main threats in the race may lie with the Mitchell Kerr trained Koenigsegg with a watch on the effort of Cardinal Sin.   Ben McMillan     

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