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Swedish-born horsewoman Sofia Arvidsson has lost count of the hours she's spent working on her "special project", harness racing square gaiter Gus An Maori - but recently, there was no doubt it was worth every minute. The rejuvenated trotter had one hoof on the road to retirement when Arvidsson took him on at the Ecklin South stable of her partner Mattie Craven, and by Arvidsson's admission, they've "come a long way together". "I used to ride him - a lot! And all I used to think of when I was riding him was that 'one day he's gonna win a metro race, this horse, and it will all be worth it'," she said. Last Friday night the pair finally achieved Arvidsson's dream of metro success - and a first group victory for both in the Schweppes Breeders Crown Graduate Trotters Free For All (Gr 2). To watch the video replay of this race click here. "He is my number one, and has been for a long time. He is just a lovable horse. A bit of a show pony, but just a lovely boy and I'm just so proud of him," an elated Arvidsson said. "We always thought if we could just win one or two more with him - and now this!" she laughed. On the face of it, the pair made an unlikely combination. Arvidsson admits she knew nothing about harness racing before joining the Craven team and eight-year-old Gus An Maori (Angus Hall - Sumthingaboutmaori (Pine Chip) had been dogged by long periods on the sidelines, largely the result of bad feet. Sofia Arvidsson and Gus are planning a tilt at some country cups after their Group Two success Gus An Maori was more than three years without a win before his comeback victory at Horsham. Almost 12 months later to the day he recorded his first Group Two success - and, in between, another seven victories. Arvidsson said undoubtedly the key to turning him around was a dramatic change in training approach. "Mattie came back with me to Sweden and he spent some time there with trainers who use straight tracks. Also, the European style of training is not to work them so much, but when they do, they work them quite hard," she said. "It was something we wanted to try, and Gus was the guinea pig on the straight track. It doesn't work for every horse, of course, but for him it's really been the key to him." Arvidsson said Gus An Maori's training regime was based a lot on "feel". "Before, he used to jog every day and fast work every second day on the round track. Then I started with riding him and working him the more European way - fast work, a couple of days off, then fast work," she said. "So, before he won this time, he ran on the previous Saturday night. He had nothing the next day, I might have swum him once, then I gave him a fast work on the Wednesday, and he raced and won on the Friday. "Before, he would chicken out or have a gallop, but he has a lot of confidence this season. He isn't sore and he's stronger, and he knows he can do it. "I'm so excited for the owners, as well, who are massive supporters of Mattie and breed some lovely horses. Gus had been battling for a long time and now they're just so thrilled to enjoy watching him race again." Winning team: Sofia and partner Mattie Craven Teaming with Gus An Maori has also undoubtedly built the confidence of the novice driver, who became licenced only in October last year. Arvidsson recorded 20 wins from 110 drives in the 2019-20 season, and so far in the extended season she's been flying, with 14 wins from 49 starts. Although she was accomplished in dressage and jumping before she arrived at the Craven stable, Arvidsson had no experience at all in the harness racing game. "I was backpacking, travelling and living in New Zealand for a bit, then spent time in Melbourne. I had to do some farm work to get my visa extension in Australia, so I went to Alice Springs. Then to finish it off Kima Frenning (another expat Swede having success in the sport in Australia) suggested I come down here," Arvidsson said. "I'd always had riding horses but had never driven a horse before. But as soon as I started fast working I thought: why haven't I been doing this all my life? "I am very fortunate that Mattie gives me a good go, but I am absolutely loving it. It's such hard work, but the highs are just such highs and it's easy to keep going when you are having success." Arvidsson said Gus An Maori's success now has them looking to target more feature races in the months ahead. "I'm so happy to be able to put look at some country cups - we've climbed the ladder together and to take that step together would be very exciting." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

When she won the $300,000 Breeders Crown at Melton last Saturday, Ladies In Red scored her seventh success from seven starts, and she is entitled to be rated as the season’s top two-year-old filly. Earlier in the season, she won the Tatlow Stakes and the Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic at Melton. Ladies In Red’s two-year-old earnings totalled $227,490. Ladies In Red ranks as a sister to the Derby winner and dual Breeders Crown champion Our Little General 1:49.8 ($712,852) and a half-sister to the good Melton winner Kasbah Kid 1:53.1 ($185,520), being a filly by the Matt’s Scooter horse, Mach Three, from the American-bred mare Kabbalah Karen B 1:52.8 ($285,098), by Western Terror from Mib Hanover (1:55.6), by Tyler B. Mib Hanover was a most successful broodmare, being also the dam of the Dan Patch winner Cammibest 1:50 ($1 million), a successful sire in Queensland, It’s That Time (1:49.4), Tomy Terror (1:50.4), Only The Best (1:50.8) and Marietta Hall (1:51.2), all Stakes winners in America. Ladies In Red was bred and is raced by Melbourne breeders Bill and Anne Anderson. The Pantheist is tops The Pantheist, who won the $200,000 Breeders Crown for three-year-old fillies at Melton, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when she finished second to Jemstone in the Vicbred semi-final. She has maintained her form in her three-year-old racing with six wins and three seconds in 10 starts. She is a filly by the Cam’s Card Shark horse, Bettor’s Delight, from the smart racemare Paintball 1:54.4 ($100,508), who left others in Holi Starzzz (1:56.1), a finalist in the 2YO Breeders Crown, and Ballterra. Paintball ranks as a sister to a grand pacer and Vicbred champion in Out To Play, being by Art Major from Play Ball, by Presidential Ball from Secret Life, by Safely Kept. This is the family which produced such winners as Ride High (1:49), the A. G. Hunter Cup winner Safe And Sound, the Breeders Crown champions Rocknroll Magic, Lovelist and Beauty Secret, Major Secret (NSW Derby) and The Good Times. The Pantheist Major Moth leading Victorian two-year-old When he won the $300,000 Breeders Crown last Saturday Major Moth proved himself the top Victorian two-year-old colt of the current season. It was his third success on end, and he outsprinted the best youngsters in the country after enjoying a saloon passage. In six starts Major Moth has now won four and been once placed for $175,565 in stakes for Maryborough breeders Len and Irene Parker, who also race the colt. By the Artsplace horse Art Major, he is out of a capable racemare in Macy Lila (1:58.6) and the second of her produce to race. Macy Lila, who won seven races and was a Vicbred finalist at 3, is a Presidential Ball mare from Majestic Moth (2:01.9), by Riverlea Jack (Group winning son of Bravado Hanover) from Mystic Moth, by Jerry Adios from the Kudos mare Moon Moth, who established a great winning line for the Parker family. Moon Moth, a Melbourne Showgrounds winner, left three winners including Mighty Moth (10 wins) and the unraced Mystic Moth, the third dam of Major Moth. Mystic Moth figured as the dam of Majestic Moth (11 wins) and the grand-dam of the high class juveniles Lively Moth 1:53.1 ($232,585) and Flying Moth 1:53.1 ($123,355). Major Moth was one of two Breeders Crown champions that can trace their origins back to the famed Adelaide Hill stud, Huntly, near Bendigo of Robert Matchett and Bob Crowe. Moon Moth was a granddaughter of the Great Derby mare Raywood Derby, who was from a Tennessee Direct mare from Victoria, by All Style, who were all owned by the Matchett’s. The Father Patrick filly Sangreal, winner of the two-year-old trotting fillies’ Breeders Crown, traces back to Lady Venture, a mare by the imported Directway, who also stood at Adelaide Hill stud. Major Moth Breeders Crown winner by Majestic Son Watts Up Majestic, a brilliant young trotter by Majestic Son from Rainbow Maori (a member of the same maternal line as the Inter Dominion champion Bay Johnny), notched his most important success when he won the $100,000 Breeders Crown at Melton. Watts Up Majestic is trained by Chris Svanosio and owned by Sydneysider Bradley Watts, who bred him.  By Majestic Son, who sired the Breeders Crown three-year-old winner Cover Of Darkness on the same night, Watts Up Majestic is out of the Maori’s Idol mare Rainbow Maori, who left other trotting winners in Rainbow Jay Jay (1:59.2, 14 wins) and Watts Up Maori (1:58.6). Rainbow Maori was out of the Harold Park winner Diamond Ski, who ranked as a half-sister to a NSW Carousel winner in Apre Ski. Rainbow Maori was 21 when she left Watts Up Majestic. Wolf Stride is Cups material Wolf Stride, who won the $60,000 Breeders Crown Graduate Free-for-all and is regarded as Grand Circuit material of the highest order, is a four-year-old gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven from Lilac Stride, a Breeders Crown winner who took a record of 1:54.4. He is a member of an old time family, which was represented by a winner at Gloucester Park in To Fast To Serious on the same night as Wolf Stride won.  Lilac Stride was an Art Major mare from Labretta Franco (1:58.5), by Falcon Seelster from Looks The Part, by Nero’s B B from Living Doll, by Lordship. Labretta Franco was the dam of a useful pacer in Gypsy Stride (1:54.9), who won five races and also of Always A Stride (1:55.1), a brother to Lilac Stride who won three. Miss Labretta, an Artiscape mare from Labretta Franco, left the NSW winners Four Starz Stride (1:54.4) and Yaya’s Hot Heart (1:54.8). Wolf Stride ranks as a three-quarter brother to the Group 3 winner Cherry Stride 1:51.2 ($129,830). Wolf Stride Star trotter by Imperial Count A four-year-old mare to take high ranking in Victoria is Keayang Livana, one of the first commercial crop sired by Imperial Count, who is now at the stud in New Zealand. Keayang Livana has won seven four-year-old races and been four times placed for $58,830, a worthwhile return for the $8,500 paid for her as a yearling. She won the Group 2 Breeders Crown Championship in the smart time of 2:00, and appears every bit as good as the Victorians rate her.  She is out of Poignant, by Sundon from a useful racemare in Be Positive, by Game Pride (son of Hickory Pride) and tracing back to the NZ mare Mavis Wood. Poignant was a half-sister to the cups winning trotters Posimistic 2:01 ($136,043), Exuberant (15 wins and $108,205) and Got It Show It. Keayang Livana was bred by former leading Goulburn Valley studmaster Kevin Newbound. Leonidas in 1:48 The Mach Three four-year-old Leonidas became the second Australian bred pacer to hoist a 1:48 record when he won the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway, Maryland recently. Leonidas, who won his way back to a NR111 mark in Australia – his last success was at Bendigo in June when awaiting shipment – and in America he has run up an outstanding score. From nine starts he has won five and been three times placed for $US103,310 in stakes. Raced in Australia by the Roger Bazley Syndicate, who also bred him, he is a four-year-old gelding by Mach Three from Roger’s Joy (1:58.1), a daughter of Bella Joy 1:55.8 ($109,849), dam of Group 1 winners in Supersonic Miss 1:52.6 ($373,722) and Goodtime Heaven 1:52 ($284,087) and others in Jukebox Music 1:53.6 ($334,301) and Bella Shine (1:55.5). Bella Shine, a Bettor’s Delight mare, won eight races in NSW and became the dam of Shineonucrazy Diamond, who took a mile mark of 1:50 in America, and the recent Albion Park winner Major Mucha (1:54.7). Bella Joy was out of Intrude, a noted producer by Fake Left from Avonali, by Toliver Hanover from Stormy Helen, by Stormyway and tracing to the taproot Buckland’s Mare (by Vancleve). Intrude produced a champion racemare in Make Mine Cullen (1:53, winner of 40 races and $874,178) and others in Roger’s Passion 1:56.6 ($136,446), Billy Badlands 1:55.7 ($122,805) and Intrusive (1:56.5). But the second generation of Intrude’s family has bred on with the same distinction as she did. She figures as the grand-dam of the SA Pacing Cup winner Sicario 1:53.8 ($435,825),     College Chapel (Bathurst Gold Crown), the NSW Breeders Challenge winner Obahma Joy 1:53.2 ($180,618), Make Mine Heaven (Young Cup) and Kingofthestars 1:53.5 ($134,414). Raider Stakes winner The Group 2 $50,000 Raider Stakes, one of Tasmania’s major four-year-old classics of the season, was won by Pardoe Plugga, a gelding by Western Edition from Hotline. Pardoe Plugga, who was making only his third appearance at Devonport, belongs to one of Australasia’s most successful classic winning families, that founded by the American bred mare Trix Pointer (2:09.4), by Demonio. Pardoe Plugga’s dam, Hotline, was by a crack Riverina youngster in River Khan (2:00.8, who traces back to the American bred mare Her Ladyship, by Abbedale), from Scepticism, by Safely Kept from the Young Dancer mare Queen Of The Fairies, dam of a useful trotter in Figment (2:06.1), who, in turn, left the Australasian Trotting Championship and Vicbred winner Fabrication 1:58.2 ($205,580). Queen Of The Fairies was a half-sister to the Derby winner Doubter, the top filly Precise and the unraced Hot Foot, who established one of the leading families in Australia today. Well related three-year-old Cant Top This, who won at Ballarat recently, leading throughout and scoring by the staggering margin of 50 metres, has now won three races and is rated one of the brightest prospects in his class. He ranks as a three-year-old half-brother by Rock N Roll Heaven to a brilliant but unsound pacer in Ideal For Real 1:54.4 ($324,600). Ideal For Real, an American Ideal horse, won 13 races including the NSW Derby and Vicbred Super Series, and had he been 100 percent sound there is no saying the form he may have produced.  Their dam, the American-bred Tamara Hall, a Real Desire mare from the Canadian 2YO Filly of the Year Tabloid (1:53.6), by No Nukes from the Albatross mare Next Chapter, has proved a most successful broodmare. Besides Ideal For Real and Cant Top This, others of her progeny have been The Deal 1:59.2 (8 wins), Cowgirlsnlace and recent two-year-old winner Dream The Dream (1:56.5). Unraced, Tamara Hall was a half-sister to The Globe 1:50.6 ($772,462), who stood stud in Queensland, the US Pacing Championship winner BJ’s Whirlwind (1:49.2) and True Blue Hall (1:49.2). Eighth winner from broodmare When the Captaintreacherous two-year-old Captain Wilson won in runaway fashion at Warragul last weekend, he credited his dam Saabette with her eighth individual winner. Captain Wilson, one of the first crop by Captaintreacherous, had finished on the heels of the placegetters at his previous four attempts. Others from Saabette to win have been Lierre Noir (1:54.4), a Group 3 winner at Melton, the dual Tamworth Cup winner Gottashopearly (1:53.1), Bettor’s Ace 1:56 (WA Champagne Classic), Plan Ce (1:53.6), Gozo Beach (1:55.2), Aces Running (1:58.9), Alashell and now Captain Wilson. Saabette, who is now in her 20th year, has since produced a yearling colt by Betting Line. Saabette (1:56.2) is a Classic Garry mare from the noted producer Soky’s Number (by Soky’s Atom), the dam of the WA Pacing Cup and Derby winner Saab, former 2YO of the Year Talladega, Saabella (Vicbred 4YO) and so on.  Peter Wharton

Im Ready Jet, a three-year-old harness racing filly by the Haras Des Trotteurs stallion Quaker Jet, and one of his first Australian crop, captured her second Breeders Crown title when she won the $80,000 Group 1 at Melton on Saturday night (November 21). Starting from inside the back row, Im Ready Jet slotted into the one, one trail in the early part before exploding to the front with 1300 metres to go. Despite being pressured in the last lap, the filly pulled out plenty in the home straight to land the thick end of the prize. The mile rate for the 2240 metres was a brilliant 1:57.2 with the final three sectionals in 28.7, 29.2 and 29.1. To watch the video replay click here Im Ready Jet ($153,870) is the richest of the 10 winners from Quaker Jet’s initial crop of 24 foals, 15 of which have raced. Cracker Jet, also sired by Quaker Jet, finished third in the Breeders Crown for three-year-olds colts and geldings. Orlando Vici, whose first Australian crop has made a huge impact, was represented by the Breeders Crown Final placegetters in Red White An Bloom (2nd – 3YO C&G) and Brandlo Prince (3rd – 4YO E&G). Dont Care, a two-year-old gelding by Used To Me, finished a brave second in his $100,000 Final. Used To Me was also represented by the two-year-old My Used To Me, who scored back-to-back successes at Globe Derby Park recently. Meanwhile, Love You, the sire of Quaker Jet, also led in a ‘new’ winner in Thank You, who scored at Manawatu Raceway, New Zealand. Brillantissime, a multiple Group winning son of the great Ready Cash, and who has been fully booked in his first season at Haras Des Trotteurs, was represented by the French-bred three-year-old filly Hopeful Beauty, a runaway winner at Charlton. Quaker Jet, Used To Me, Love You, Orlando Vici and Brillantissime are all members of the Haras Des Trotteurs sire roster for the 2020/21 season. Peter Wharton

Plunge Blue Chip, who began her career as a two-year-old, was a harness racing champion of her era. Now retired to the breeding shed she was the first three-year-old trotter to go inside 1:50 and the fastest ever trotter on a half-mile track (1:51.3). One of only six female trotters in history to win a race in faster than 1:50, Plunge Blue Chip (1:49.4), along with her great adversary, Manchego, are the only two trotting mares to achieve the feat more than once. She also clocked 1:49.1 when a close second in The Allerage. It can rightly be claimed of Plunge Blue Chip that she is one of the best bred and best performed trotting mares in the last decade. As a two-year-old she won nine of her 10 outings and $404,690 in stakes including the $420,750 Goldsmith Maid in 1:53.1 at The Meadowlands and the $173,000 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs. She took her record of 1:49.4 at three years, winning a $128,500 division of the Delvin Miller Memorial at The Meadowlands, in which she defeated Manchego ($2,857,315). The time equalled the fastest trotting mile ever put up at the Big M and tied the season’s record. The Delvin Miller Memorial Plunge Blue Chip equalled her world record 1:49.4 performance in winning a Kentucky Futurity elimination at The Red Mile, defeating Atlanta and Manchego. Among her other successes at three were the $129,000 Hudson Filly Trot in 1:53.1 – the fastest trotting mile in Yonkers history when set – and the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes Final, while she recorded notable placings in the Breeders Crown, Hambletonian Oaks and Zweig Memorial. Plunge Blue Chip won the Miss Versatility Series, run at Delaware’s half-mile track, in 1:52.1 at four and in a world record 1:51.3 at five, in which she matched her world record-breaking effort in the $133,000 Joie De Vie at Tioga Downs a month earlier. Plunge Blue Chip winning the Miss Versatility Series Plunge Blue Chip nabbed her richest win of the year at her final start in the $140,000 TVG Free-for-all in a stake record-equalling 1:51.4 at The Meadowlands, brushing home in 27.1 to score by 1-1/2 lengths. In all, Plunge Blue Chip recorded 23 wins and 19 placings in 48 starts and finished up with a stake tally of $1,596,841 – an average of $33,268 per start.  Among the top trotters she met and defeated were Hannelore Hanover ($3,069,857), Atlanta ($2,859,610), Manchego ($2,857,315) and Emoticon Hanover ($2,044,663). “She can do everything. She can leave fast, she never breaks, and she is strong. She is always fighting to the wire,” trainer and part-owner Ake Svanstedt said. On the score of blood Plunge Blue Chip lacks nothing. Her sire Muscle Mass (1:53.4) was a champion with stake earnings of $229,000 and has been one of America’s top sires for some time. He figures as the sire of two of America’s greatest trotters in Six Pack 1:49.1 ($1,973,661) and Plunge Blue Chip 1:49.4 ($1,596,841) and, in all, he sired 90 in the 1:55 list, 137 $100,000 earners and the winners of more than $43 million. Plunge Blue Chip belongs to a noted female line, her dam Dunk The Donato being by Donato Hanover (1:50.1), Hambletonian winner and champion sire and broodmare sire from Irene’s Lucky Lady (1:54.3), by Winky’s Pine (1:55.2 son of Pine Chip) from Meadowbranch Irene, by Meadow Road (1:54.2), Swedish Horse of the Year and Elitlopp winner. Dunk The Donato, the dam of Plunge Blue Chip, is proving a successful broodmare. She is also the dam of Splash Blue Chip (1:58.3), who was placed in this year’s Breeders Crown 2YO Final, and Naco Blue Chip (1:57.3). Her grand-dam, Irene’s Lucky Lady, a winner of $138,117, ranked as a half-sister to the USA Trotter of the Year and dual Breeders Crown champion Mr Muscleman 1:51.1 ($4,032,206), the winner of a world record 30 races in 1:55 or faster. Lady Chaos (1:53.1), the winner of the recent Breeders Crown 2YO Filly Trot and Kentucky Sire Stakes and $560,803 in stakes, is a member of the same family as Plunge Blue Chip. Plunge Blue Chip can boast two strains of Valley Victory, the sire of the great Muscles Yankee, on the top side of her pedigree, while champion sires such as Andover Hall, Pine Chip, Donerail and Nevele Pride appear on the distaff side. Peter Wharton

Harness racing trainer Nancy Takter continued her training dominance by finishing first and second with Fortify and No Lou Zing in the $325,000 Progress Pace.   Overlooked in the wagering, Tim Tetrick left and settled in fifth behind Cattlewash.   It proved to be the perfect place to be.   Tattoo Artist and Yannick Gingras stretched out No Lou Zing, parking him through a sizzling 25.2 opening quarter.   No Lou Zing finally cleared before the half in 53 seconds.   Down the backstretch Tim Tetrick was able to coerce Cattlewash off the rail and was towed into a second over journey. Cattlewash inched closer but was unable to threaten No Lou Zing. They throttled up to the three quarters in 1:20.2, pacing a 27.2 quarter. Past the three quarter point Tetrick roused Fortify three wide.   However,the race fractions were not kind to No Lou Zing, the race favorite. He weakened in the stretch. Fortify (Sweet Lou) won by a half length in 1:48.2 and went off at odds of 10-1.     Fortify is owned by Diamond Creek Racing and was driven by Tim Tetrick. Nancy Takter is the trainer.   No Lou Zing finished a hard fought second for trainer Nancy Takter and driver Dexter Dunn.   Catch The Fire was third for driver Mile Wilder and trainer John Ackley.   After Tim Tetrick’s reaction was “ I liked the way he raced last week, I know I needed a trip in the final”.   “It all worked out because I was able to follow Cattlewash. However, I was disappointed he (Cattlewash) could not carry me further and I had to go three wide”.   Trainer Nancy Takter was overjoyed in the winner’s circle at finishing first and second. “He( Fortify) is a pleasure to be around and I got him this summer. The owners wanted to skip the Breeder’s Crown and I’m glad they did”. He will go back to Diamond Creek and return as a four old.”   Sunny Dee shines and wins the Fillies and Mares Open at Dover. Sunny Dee and Dexter Dunn enjoyed the perfect pocket trip as She’s Pukka N did all the heavy lifting, cutting all the race fractions as the field remained in single file throughout most of the mile. The fractions were 26.1 55.1 and 1:23.3. Dexter Dunn confidently moved Sunny Dee, the three to five wagering favorite, out of the pocket and attacked She’s Pukka N in the stretch.   Sunny Dee won by a measured neck in 1:50.1 as the three to five race favorite.  The last quarter was paced in 26.3. Sunny Dee (Sunshine Beach) is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing LLC.  Mike Hall is the trainer. She’s Pukka N. grudgingly, finished second, for driver Tony Morgan and trainer Brian Malone. Queen Of The Pride is trained by Kevin Lare for driver Pat Berry. Tim Tetrick won 5 races on the card including the $325,000 Progress Pace.   by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

There is a lot to admire and maybe expect from a harness racing horse named after a man of religion - in this case Reverend Stephen Heinzel – Nelson. Pastor Stephen the horse was admired when racing by his Trainer, the legendary Jimmy Takter …… and why wouldn’t he be after being voted the 2010 USTA Two Year Old Trotting Colt of the Year. It was because of his admiration of Pastor Stephen that Jimmy had the red carpet laid out for the arrival of his full brother Father Patrick some three years later. After a career of 22 starts for 10 victories, 8 placings and a bankroll of $1,048,607 Pastor Stephen was sold to European interests and so a new chapter in his story book began as a Stallion in Scandinavia. He has now sired 321 foals of racing age in Europe and 76.3% of these foals have made it to the racetrack. In fact his ratio of starters to foals in Europe is on par with his more illustrious brother Father Patrick. Pastor Stephen - 321 foals of racing age - 76.3% starters to foals. Father Patrick - 371 foals of racing age - 77.9% starters to foals. During the 2019 season Pastor Stephen sired 225 starters throughout Europe [ Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Holland ] with 28 of those being Stakes winners. In fact he finished in fourth position that season on the European Sires List ahead of his own champion Sire Cantab Hall and the French star Love You. This season, 2020, he again appears in the Top Ten on the Sires List ahead of Muscle Hill, Dream Vacation and Love You. Recently, 24th October, a European Breeders Crown for Aged male horses was conducted in Germany for a Stake of 51,000 Euros and the progeny of Pastor Stephen finished first and third - Officer Stephen, the victor and Inspector Bros in third. Pastor Stephen has now sired eight millionaires throughout Europe including Son Of God, Holy Water [from a S J’s Photo mare], Pastor Power, Reverend Wine, Religious and Global Takeover [from an Andover Hall mare]. After a lengthy courtroom battle Pastor Stephen is now owned by Taylor Made Stallions of Kentucky and has been returned to USA. He will commence his initial Breeding season in North America in February next year and will be based at Premier Acres in Indiana. Pastor Stephen is a glorious 16 hands individual and has a pedigree laden with Two Year Old speed. He himself was the 2010 USTA Two Year Old Trotting Colt of the Year – as well as; His sire Cantab Hall was the 2003 USTA Two Year Old Trotter of the Year His full brother Father Patrick was the 2013 USTA Two Year Trotting Colt of the Year. His Dam is a half sister to Chocolatier , the 2005 USTA Two Year Old Trotting Colt of the Year. The Service Fee for Pastor Stephen in Australia is $5,500 including GST - Pay on the Live Foal. Bookings are still available with Frozen semen from Northern Rivers Equine - 03 5852 2845 or call Dr Kath McIntosh 0427 497 429 / John Coffey 0429 278 279. ........................................................................................................................ The Service Fee for Pastor Stephen in New Zealand is $5,000 plus GST - Pay On Live Foal. Bookings are still available with Frozen semen from Woodlands Stud, Stacey White - 021 595 492 or Harnesslink Media

Well-liked Kyneton horseman Tony Xiriha doesn’t care one bit that he’s widely known in harness racing circles as “The X Man”. And there’s a simple reason for it. “Most people have trouble working out how to say my surname. It’s pronounced using Sh – but most people find ‘The X Man’ a bit easier!” he said. For the affable horseman, who celebrated his 56th birthday yesterday, he’s just grateful he is up and about and doing what he loves after getting “pretty smashed up” in a bad race fall at Stawell five years ago. “It’s hard to believe that one minute I was sitting upright behind a horse in a race and then I was out like a sling shot. We still don’t really know what happened. Perhaps I ran over another horse’s hoof...I really don’t know,” Xiriha said. After being air-lifted to Melbourne, Xiriha spent over a week in hospital. He suffered a broken right wrist (which is still held together by plates), a dislocated right shoulder, serious facial lacerations and a split forehead.  His injuries required 10 months of rehabilitation. “I was lucky that my wife Dale is a nurse, and our kids were great.  A good mate in Tony Trimboli was also fantastic. He would drop in to see how I was going, or give me a call,” Xiriha said. “One of the hardest things was that I lost my memory about a month after the racefall. It’s gradually got better, but I have to write things down or I’ll forget,” he said. “I still struggle every now and again. The pain in my arms and hand can be agonizing and my wrist still hurts if I get a puller to drive, but I’m doing what I love and that’s being around horses. “Next season I’ll renew my driver’s licence, but my plan is to give race driving away. I mainly want it so that I can keep driving my own horses at the trials.” Xiriha was introduced into harness racing in the mid-1980s by his uncle John Woodham.  (Woodham was still involved in the sport up until this season when he decided it was time to relinquish his licence.) “I worked at Broadmeadows at the Ford Motor Company and on my way home to Kyneton I would drive through Gisborne, where John had his trotting property,” he said. “I knocked off half an hour before John, who was a supervisor at a different factory. So, I’d harness up the horses and if John was a bit late getting away, more times than not we’d be doing them in the dark. There were quite a few occasions that I was hoping the horses could see okay! But we never had any worries at all. “John’s daughter Jody Woodham-Murdoch is keeping the family tradition going and still trains horses at Monegeetta.” When he bought his first block of land, a 12-acre property, Xiriha was just 18 years old. “My wife and I set it up and we then moved to our current 75-acre property, which has an 840m track. There’s always a heap of feed growing for the broodmares,” he said. “Our youngest in Ben has his stable hand licence and is enjoying doing fast work. Joel drove for three years and when he lost his claim, he gave it away.” Prior to his race meeting accident, “The X Man” had up to 24 horses in work. “I would do really well with horses that I’d get out of the claimers. I had a lot of them.  Now that I’ve slowed down a little, I’m only doing eight which includes three babies,” he said. Xiriha has held a trainer/driver licence since 1990 but didn’t work more than one or two at a time for the next decade. “I was operating an electrical contracting business and after finding it difficult to take even a few days of holidays, I closed it down in 2001,” he said. “It got to the point where I was unable to take even a day off and I was on the job seven days a week. I was just totally burnt out and I enjoyed the horses. So I decided to give them a go and if it didn’t work, I could always go back to my electrical trade. “I’m happy with the decision I made. As you get older you realise it’s not all about the money.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) is formally announcing that due to travel concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Dan Patch Awards Banquet, scheduled to be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort on Feb. 21, 2021, has been cancelled. The 2020 divisional equine awards will be announced virtually, as will an abbreviated roster of human awards. In addition, USHWA will hold their Directors and General Membership meeting exclusively online. The determination was made through a unanimous vote of USHWA's Executive Board and President's Advisory Committee. "This has been an extremely challenging year for everyone and health was our priority in making the decision to cancel the 2021 Dan Patch Awards Banquet," said Kimberly Rinker, USHWA President. "USHWA's executive and presidential advisory teams have worked diligently to ensure that the Dan Patch Awards will continue in 2022 and beyond." As well, there will be no Dan Patch Awards Journal in 2021 and USHWA will not be soliciting advertising or sponsorships. "We are eternally grateful for the years of advertising and sponsorship support by so many in the harness racing industry," Rinker continued. "USHWA relies on these monies to put on a first-class event in the Dan Patch Awards Banquet. I think people are tired and frustrated by the events of the past year and they need a break. When things return to normal, I'm confident that those folks who have supported USHWA in the past will continue their support." USHWA's Executive Board and President's Advisory Committee will convene Sunday, Nov. 29 to determine the agenda and full schedule for the virtual 2021 Dan Patch Awards and USHWA's Meetings. That information will be disseminated once all the details have been finalized. From the United States Harness Writers Association

Dover, DE - It was all about jazz and an old farmer from Kent County for the 2-year old $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund trot finals at Dover Downs Tuesday. The filly trot, named for the late Brandywine and Dover Downs publicity director, Marv Bachrad, was the tenth race on the evening card. It was all Jazzy Judy (Political Briefing-Giant Smash) in 1:59.4 by 4 1/2 lengths for the dynamic reinsman, Anthony MacDonald.   Trained by Jim King, Jr. and owned by, and the Jazzy Judy Group of Guelph, Ontario which represents about 70 people. Bred by Winbak Farm. Designer’s Edge was second followed by Harrington final winner, Kim’s Command in third. The colt and gelding trot was won by the Harrington final winner, Big Al M (Anders Bluestone-Bringing Up Lindy) in 1:58.4 for reinsman Eddie Davis, Jr. and trained by his son Eric.   The owner, Bobby Myers, a successful Delaware Valley reinsman back in the day is also the breeder. He named the gelding for the Kent county farmer, Al Moore of Smyrna, also a former owner of several good raceway horses. Second was Malachi’s Test followed by Someofmygoodtime for the show. Wednesday night finals will be the 2-year old pacing colts and fillies. Post Time 4:30 pm. by Judy Davis-Wilson, for the DSBF  

Lively Shepparton horsewoman Donna Castles was taken to hospital after a heavy racefall on Monday, but says she'll be "all good to go again soon". Castles, who prepares a big team at Ardmona with partner Doc Wilson, was thrown into the air when another runner got its hoof wedged in her sulky during a scrimmage in race six at the Cobram meeting. "I did have a little sleepover in hospital for a night. They just wanted to keep me under observation because I landed on my back and hit my head," she said. "I felt like I was being flung about like a rag doll. I remember being really worried when my leg got stuck-but thankfully it was only for a split second and I got it free before I got tossed out." Castles was driving chestnut mare Dances in the Peter Enals Cobram Caravans Trot. They were positioned three back the pegs with about 450 metres to go and gave ground slightly before the trailing horse Itsarapt, who was racing fiercely for pint-sized Bec Bartley, put his front foot into the off-side wheel of Castles' sulky. Watch the race replay click here "I knew he was pulling hard and over-racing for Bec, but she was doing her best. His hoof jammed near the stay and I got thrown onto a shaft, then back to the seat, but then hit the shaft again and that was it for me," Castles said. "I really felt at one point that I was being dragged out to the front of Bec's horse, which could have been really bad." The popular reinswoman who is a regular at meetings in the Goulburn Valley region said it was only the second time she had ever been involved in a racefall in her career. "I've been pretty lucky. But I'm okay and hopefully I'll be back at it again soon. We've got two starters in the one race at Maryborough on Friday so fingers crossed I'll be there," she said. The Cobram event was won by father-and-son Steven and Ryan Duffy with four-year-old brown mare Majic Fair (Majestic Son-Clefairy (Extrovert), who has turned it all around this season with five wins and seven placings for over $27,000.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Bob Aerenson and his father Buddy have owned racehorse for 15 years, but Bob's interest in harness racing goes back to his childhood. Before he was old enough to drive, the Wilmington, Del., resident would ride his bike to nearby Brandywine Raceway and offer to jog horses in the morning before returning later to watch the races. He also would hitch rides to area tracks with childhood friend Doug Paul and his family, whose participation in harness racing stretches more than four decades. In recent years, the Aerensons, who race under the name Rojan Stables (an acronym made up of family member's names), have been among the owners of Dan Patch Award winners Captain Crunch and Divine Caroline as well as Grand Circuit stakes winners Closing Statement, Bettor Be Steppin, and Lady Rainbow. This past Saturday, 2-year-old male pacer Always A Miki added his name to the list with a victory in the Governor's Cup. And on Wednesday, 3-year-old male pacer No Lou Zing will attempt to add a second Grand Circuit triumph to his credentials when he competes in the $325,000 Progress Pace at Dover Downs. "We've been very fortunate," Bob Aerenson said. "It's been a fun ride. My father just turned 90 and is in great health. He gets very excited about the horses. It's a great thing that we do together. Fortunately, we've had some success, and that makes it even more fun." No Lou Zing heads to the Progress Pace off a win in the event's single elimination last week. The gelding won by a half-length over favorite Cattlewash in 1:49.1, with Dexter Dunn driving for trainer Nancy Takter. On Wednesday, No Lou Zing starts from post seven and is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. Cattlewash, from post eight, is the 2-1 favorite. For the year, No Lou Zing has won seven of 15 races, hit the board a total of 14 times, and earned $442,308 for owners Rojan Stables, 3 Brothers Stables, and Caviart Farms. His victories include the Jenna's Beach Boy Stakes and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He was second in the Matron and third in the Adios and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. His only off-the-board result was a fifth in the Breeders Crown, where he was beaten only three-quarters of a length in a six-horse blanket finish. "We had a little bit of bad luck at the Breeders Crown, but we've gone against some great horses," Aerenson said. "The fact that we're in the same conversation with some of these great horses just makes it even more exciting." No Lou Zing, by Sweet Lou out of Terroronthebeach, was winless in three starts at age 2. He went off stride in all three of those races but got off on a good foot this year with three victories and a second in his first four starts. Takter assistant Josert Fonseca drove the gelding in his first six races this season before handing the lines to Dunn. "He didn't have much of a 2-year-old season, but, obviously, Josert and Nancy are a great team because they got him figured out and he's peaking right now," Aerenson said. "Last week was very impressive." No Lou Zing ranks fifth among all 3-year-old male pacers in purses this season. "My expectations were for him to be a good sire stakes horse, not at the level he's at right now," Aerenson said. "The horse started out the year nicely, but they still were not against the top caliber. I did not expect to be where we are right now. This is very exciting. "Nancy has done a fantastic job keeping this horse in the right place." Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EST) Wednesday at Dover Downs. The card also includes $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund championships for 2-year-old male and female pacers. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

Harness Racing This Week: Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Wednesday (Nov. 25) for the $325,000 Progress Pace final for 3-year-old open pacers. This will be the final stake for the 2020 Grand Circuit season. Complete entries for the race are available at this link. Last time: Bettor's Wish closed out his racing career in style with a powerful performance in Saturday's (Nov. 21) $340,000 TVG Series Open Pace championship, defeating Backstreet Shadow by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:48.1 at The Meadowlands. This Is The Plan finished third. Bettor's Wish closed out his racing career in style with a powerful performance in Saturday's $340,000 TVG Series Open Pace championship. Lisa photo. Sent off as the 1-2 favorite, Bettor's Wish paid $3.00 to win. "I barely asked him tonight, to be honest," winning driver Dexter Dunn said. "It was all him. It's been him his whole career. He's a true racehorse. "It was a special feeling crossing the line with him tonight. He's been an amazing horse to me." Bettor's Wish, a 4-year-old stallion by Bettor's Delight out of Lifetime Star, won 24 of 44 career starts and $2.60 million. He failed to finish among the top three only three times in his career. He received the Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old male pacer in 2019 and was second to Shartin N in voting for both Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Other victories this year for Bettor's Wish included the Sam McKee Memorial, Dayton Pacing Derby, and Allerage Farms Open Pace. Bettor's Wish is owned by trainer Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Bettors Wish Partners. He was bred by Brittany Farms. Manchego made her final career start a winning one, capturing Saturday's $320,000 TVG Open Trot championship by 1-1/4 lengths over Atlanta in 1:51.3 at The Meadowlands. Lindy The Great finished third. Manchego, a 5-year-old mare, was retired in a ceremony in the winner's circle following the race. She ended her career with 33 wins in 56 career starts and $2.72 million in purses. Her victories included the 2018 Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown titles at ages 2, 4, and 5. She is the fastest female trotter ever thanks to her 1:49 victory in the 2019 Allerage Farms Mare Trot at Red Mile and also the fastest female trotter in history on a five-eighths-mile track, with a mark of 1:49.3 in this year's Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge Park. Manchego is the only female trotter to win with a sub-1:50 mile in multiple years. She has been the sport's fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020. In 2017, Manchego won all 12 of her starts and became the first undefeated 2-year-old filly trotter in Breeders Crown history as well as the first unbeaten 2-year-old filly trotter to win a Dan Patch Award. With her Breeders Crown triumph last month, she joined Peace Corps and Grades Singing as the only female trotters with at least three trophies. Manchego, by Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, was trained by Jimmy Takter at ages 2 and 3, and Nancy Takter at 4 and 5. She is owned by Barry Guariglia's Black Horse Racing and was bred by Brittany Farms. "She's just a super mare," Nancy Takter said. "She's been great since the first moment that she ever set foot on the track. "When you get the call that you get to train a horse like Manchego, those calls probably aren't going to come very many times in my life, so I appreciate every moment that I had with her. She's just an unbelievable mare. She makes my job easy, she makes all of us look good around her, because she's just such a professional." Kissin In The Sand took the lead at the half, fended off a challenge from Shartin N on the final turn, and pulled away from the field in the stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 TVG Series Mare Pace championship in a stakes-record 1:48 at The Meadowlands. Three-year-old filly Peaky Sneaky was second and Shartin N was third. It was the final start of Kissin In The Sand's career. The 5-year-old mare finished the season with a seven-race win streak and pushed her lifetime victory total to 27 in 58 starts. She earned $1.74 million for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables and trainer Nancy Takter. "She was outstanding tonight," winning driver Dexter Dunn said. "She's had an amazing career, she's an amazing mare, and I was lucky enough to get on for the last four or five starts to enjoy the last run home." Sent off the 4-5 favorite, Kissin In The Sand paid $3.80 to win. Kissin In The Sand, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Kiss Me Kate, was bred by Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine Inc., and Concord Stud Farm. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. Among her wins to close out this season were her first Breeders Crown as well as the Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,271; 2. Dexter Dunn - 1,162; 3. David Miller - 815; 4. Tim Tetrick - 745.5; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 606. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,303; 2. Nancy Takter - 1,295.5; 3. Ake Svanstedt - 734; 4. Tony Alagna - 682; 5. Marcus Melander - 492. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 273.9; 2. Caviart Farms - 240.5; 3. Determination - 230; 4. Brad Grant - 217.3; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 209.8. Looking ahead: The 2020 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this week; the 2021 Grand Circuit schedule will be released early next year. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

Pompano Beach, FL…November 23, 2020…Muscles For Life, the rugged seven year-old son of Muscle Mass, scored a repeat harness racing win at Pompano Park on Monday night, taking top honors in the $11,500 Open Handicap Trot for Wally Hennessey in 1:54.3. Assigned the outside post seven in his talented septet, Muscles For Life was on the prowl early, taking command at the :27.4 opener and carving out subsequent panels of :56.3 and 1:25.4 before his :28.4 finale held Explosive Breakaway (Tom Jackson) at bay by a half length. The Lionking AS (Kevin Wallis) was third, followed by It’s A Herbie and Sooo Handsome. Trained by Steve Oldford for owner Jerald Hawks, Muscle For Life earned his sixth win of the year in 15 starts to send his 2020 bankroll to $47,960. Lifetime, he has won 31 times in 90 starts, good for $338,550. Off as the 6 to 5 favorite, Muscles For Life paid $4.40 to his multitude of backers. The $10,000 Open II Trot went to EV’s Girl, handled by owner-trainer Joe Chindano, Jr. The four year-old daughter of Crazed led just about every step of her journey, clocking panels of :28.4, :58.2 and 1:26.2, in repelling any challenge, to report home in 1:55.4, a new lifetime mark. Boxing Gloves (Wally Hennessey) threw a punch or two on the backside but was 1/34 lengths away at the finish. Chav Hanover (Mike Micallef was next) followed by Mighty Surf and the 3 to 5 favorite, Compelling. The win—Ev’s Girl’s 10th lifetime—pushed her career earnings to $165,556. Also on Monday, the FSBOA sponsored Sunshine State Stakes concluded with three year-olds in the spotlight for four (non-wagering) $12,000 Finals. Callin On Sunday, Prairie Gold Mine, Gold Star Igotdis and Hurrikanekingjames claimed the crowns in their respective divisions. Callin On Sunday, owned and trained by George Coblentz, took command right off the wings for driver Mike Simons and was never threatened in posting a 2:00.2 win off of panels of :29.2, :59.2 and 1:29.3. The daughter of Shibboleth Hanover capturing her division for trotting fillies to keep her 2020 record unblemished at 3-for-3. Brasen Bo (John MacDonald) was next while Priaire Delight completed the order of finish for this trio. Callin On Sunday now has banked $30,946  in her brief career measuring seven starts over two seasons. The sophomore trot for the boys featured four geldings and Prairie Gold Mine, handled by Wally Hennessey, earned his first win of the 2020 season in seven starts with a gate-to-wire win in a lifetime best 2:00.3, eclipsing his two year-old mark by 1 1/5 seconds. The altered son of Diamond Goal took his three competitors through fractions of :30.2, 1:01 and 1:30.3, repelling a mild bid from runner-up Prairie Romeo (Corey Braden) to score by 2 ¼ lengths. YD Dream Machine (Dave Ingraham) was third followed by Rhinestone Cowboy, who made a miscue at the third station  to lose all chance. Trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Fred Morosini and John Spindler, Prairie Gold Mine vaulted his earnings to $50,868 with the win. In the Sunshine State Stake for the pacing fillies, Gold Star Igotdis, the sharp daughter of Rock On, was perfectly mannered throughout her one mile journey and scored a wire-to-wire 1:57. Win for Corey Braden. Laurie Lee (Wally Hennessey) was second, 7 ½ lengths back, while Alil Touch Of Pink completed the order. Trained by Maggie Audley for the Gold Star Farm, Gold Star Igotdis gave a hint in last week’s mile, pacing her last 3/4s in 1:25.2 after a miscue early and just did miss all the marbles. She was perfect throughout  to send her career bankroll to $43,534. The final Sunshine State Stake for pacing colts and geldings went to the classy Hurrikanekingjames, beautifully handled by Carl Garofalo. This son of So Surreal, trained by Rod Lorenzo for Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing and George Vierno, led every long stride in scoring the 1:55 decision off of panels of :28.4, :57.1 and 1:25.2. Hurrikanekingjames is a perfect 3-for-3 at Pompano Park this fall with this win launching his career bankroll to $134,245. In other action, the tote-board lit up like the Fourth-of-July fireworks as Jeff Schaefer drove Kelly Walker Stables Absolute Uncertainly to a 1:57.3 win in Florida Amateur Driving competition. Off from the inside one post at the longest odds on the tote-board—78 to 1—the five year-old son of Muscle Mass used the rail to perfection in out-dueling one competitor as the wings folded and another half way through to draw clear. The winner  paid $159.20 to win keying a 1-9 exacta payoff of $1,515.40 and a 1-9-3 trifecta bonanza of $6,714.40. Pompano Park’s Pick-5 went unscathed on Monday night and a carry-over of nearly $8,000 has resulted in a $30,000 Guarantee for Tuesday night’s Pick-5, which begins in race one. Post time set set for 7:20 p.m.   Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

Super Star Down Under Mare wins first race in her American harness racing career. Bettors Heart N didn’t waste any time when getting back into the winners circle since relocating to the US to purse her racing career. Friday night at the Meadowlands in New Jersey was the night, where the daughter of Bettors Delight wore down race rivals late in the home stretch to pick up a win in the $16,000 pace. With Down Under blood running through every part of her body the mare is handled by Down Under trainer/driver combination in Nifty Norman and Dexter Dunn. She is also still partly owned by her New Zealand breeders the Bagrie Family. Bettors Heart N showed her real toughness late in the race when getting into clear air at the top of the straight but really rallying late to win in 1:50.3. Finishing a very gallant 2nd place was another Down Under Pacer in Tango Dancer N for Kelvin Harrison. Bettors Heart N made a name for herself Down Under when visiting Menangle Raceway in Sydney where she won the $200,000 Lady Ship Mile in 1:49.7. Following that win she raced the $1 million Miracle Mile against the boys but not placing. Her Down Under career stats stand at 9 wins and 11 placings for over $270,000 in prize money. An intriguing note of this race was that of the 8 trainers contesting in this race, 7 of those were Down Under trainers and those 7 finishing from 1st to 7th. There were also 3 Down Under drivers and 3 Down Under horses in the race. Dexter Dunn sends Harness racing Equine masterpiece out in style. Saturday night at the Meadowlands in New Jersey was the running of the TVG Finals. Being the last big event for top stakes horses of the year in the US. It was a large night for Down Unders Dexter Dunn, with three of his superstar horses having their last career start before pursuing a career in the breeding sector. Todd McCarthy, Nifty Norman and Chris Ryder had a night to remember also. First came freakish trotting mare Manchego who competed in the $320,000 TVG Open Trotting Mares Final. Settling 4th of the pack she angled first over just after the half to make her move and getting to the outside into the stretch with hardly any persuasion from Dunn the daughter of Muscle Hill made a mess of rivals to salute in 1:51.3. Shortly after the win one of the greatest Harness Racing trainers Jimmy Takter labelled her, “In my opinion best filly ever.”.  Next up for Dunn came the mare on a win streak Kissin In the Sand in the $150,000 TVG Open Pacing Mares Final. Coming off the gate Down Under mare Shartin N was the leader but Kissin In the Sand soon took over the lead and that was that, she kicked away up the straight to win in a new stakes record of 1:48.0. Now in the $371,900 Governors Cup for 2yo Pacing Colts and Geldings Nancy Takter and Dexter Dunn picked up their third big win of the night with Always A Miki, a son of first season sire Always B Miki who scored a very tough win in 1:50.2. Motoring for the 2yos.  To really top off he night the Down Under duo of Chris Ryder and Dexter Dunn took Bettors Wish out for his last race start and he was as fast as ever. Dunn taking the Bettors Delight Colt to the lead off the gate saying post-race, “we weren’t going to die wondering tonight”. From then running even splits until three quarter where he powered away to win in fitting fashion of 1:48.1.     A personal favourite of Dunns the big salute over the line was appropriate.  A huge victory came on the night for Down Under Duo in Noel Daley and Todd McCarthy. The pair teamed up with 2yo trotting filly Anoka Hanover to win the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid in 1:53.2. A huge win for the pair and driver Todd McCarthy’s biggest win since relocating to the US. Down Under trainer Nifty Norman also scored a large success on the night in the $398,650 Valley Victory for 2yo trotting colts and geldings with a son of Muscle Hill, Bee Forever. The win came in 1:54.0 in a close finish to the line.  On the big night of racing Down Under trainers and drivers won 8 of the 13 races.    Monday 16th November Northfield Park OH Elrama N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $5,500 Rycroft N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $5,500   Pompano Park FL Risk N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $3,200   Yonkers Raceway NY Somwherenbrookln N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $9,500 Hudsen A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $14,000 Globaldomination N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $18,000 Abraxas Blues A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $11,000   Tuesday 17th November Monticello Raceway NY Ohoka Johnny N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $7,200 Kenrick N – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $6,200 Im A Director N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $6,700   Northfield Park OH Strawb’s Chippie N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $4,400   Saratoga Harness NY Nerve Of Steel N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $5,200 Make A Statement A – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $5,850 Pasultimatedelite N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $5,850 Down Under First 4 – 2nd Miss Irish Rose A, 3rd Bontz N, 4th Glenferrie Blade A   Yonkers Raceway NY Mossdale Lottee N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $12,000 Donegalartchokin N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $14,000 Demeter N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $17,000   Flamboro Downs CA Bettor Trix N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $10,500   Wednesday 18th November Dover Downs DE Western Secret A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $6,500   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Misty Memory N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $6,800 Its Mesmerise N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $10,000 Jossie James A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $6,800   The Meadows PA Dream Out Loud N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $9,500 Cocosfella A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $6,000   Thursday 19th November Dover Downs DE Glengarry Knight N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $6,500 Mister Ohanzee N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $6,500 Trojan Banner N – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $8,000 Itsrockandroll A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $22,000   Monticello Raceway NY Alta Jerome N – Time: 1:58.4, Stake: $2,800   Plainridge Park MA Rock Diamonds N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $17,500 Mach Doro A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $9,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Seaswift Joy N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $20,000   Friday 20th November Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Bechers Brook A – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $14,200   Meadowlands NJ Bettors Heart N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $16,000 Mighty Mr Sharkey N – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $12,500 All American N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $10,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Kerford Road A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $11,000 War Dan A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $11,000   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA The Bandit Queen N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $22,000   Saturday 21st November Cal Expo CA Dependlebury A – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $4,600   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Majestic Player A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $21,500 Miss You N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $22,250   Meadowlands NJ Bracken Storm A – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $15,000   Northfield Park OH American Empress N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $12,500   Scarborough Downs ME Holy Grail N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $4,400 The Bus A – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $5,200   Yonkers Raceway NY Speed Man N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $30,000 Raukapuka Ruler N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $17,500 Tin Roof Raider A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $17,500   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Mongolian Hero N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $16,000   Sunday 22nd November Harrahs Philadelphia PA Iammrbrightside N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $12,000 Let It Ride N – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $8,800 Sevens Hope A – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $8,800   Northfield Park OH Celestial Arden N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $7,200 Brigadierbronski A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $8,800     Click here for previous weeks articles     by Carter Dalgety  

A harness racing star has admitted his actions were “despicable” when he choked and beat a woman who feared she was going to be killed. Matt Anderson, a former New Zealand representative and national premiership-winning harness racing driver, was sentenced to three months’ community detention and 12 months’ intensive supervision by the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday. The 28-year-old was found guilty of assault and intentionally impeding breathing by strangulation after a judge-alone trial in July. The assault happened at his home on February 2. He grabbed the victim around the neck and choked her, then threw her out of his house and locked the door to stop her from getting her car keys that were still inside. Read the full story click here   Mariné Lourens Stuff

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 23, 2020 -- Tuesday's Super Hi 5 harness racing jackpot at The Meadows will carry a mandatory payout. With the carryover already at $111,462.16, the final pool is projected to reach $250,000 or more. The last time The Meadows offered a mandatory Super Hi-5 payout, the pool ultimately exceeded $300,000. The Meadows offers the Super Hi-5, with a minimum 20-cent wager, on the final race of each live card. (The Super Hi-5 will not be offered Monday.) Ordinarily, the jackpot is paid only if there is a unique winning ticket. In Tuesday's must-pay situation, however, all holders of correct tickets will share the spoils. To make Tuesday's event even more challenging, the final race (race 13) will feature a field of 12, with horses 10, 11 and 12 leaving as trailers from the second tier. First post Tuesday is 12:45 PM, with race 13 scheduled to go at approximately 4:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

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