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Chicago Bull’s win in last night’s Freemantle Cup in West Australia elevated him on a number of fronts. He’s a diminutive wee champ. He won by 5.7 metres over another Southern Bred Southern Reared horse Galactic Star, and the win was his sixtieth. Chicago Bull is now the second highest race winner in the history of Southland Harness Racing, with only champion Cardigan Bay ahead of him at 80 lifetime wins. Themightyquinn (58 wins) still holds the record for the highest stake earning horse to come out of the province, having won $5,520,066. “He’s (Chicago Bull) exceeded everyone’s expectations. Just the way he tries so hard in every race. He’s so consistent and never lets anyone down,” said Katrina Price who bred Chicago Bull with her husband John and his parents Roger and Helen Price of Winton. It was Chicago Bull’s fifth Group One and second Freemantle Cup and his stake earnings are fast heading towards a quarter of a million. All his wins bar one, have been at Gloucester Park. He also becomes his sire Bettor’s Delight’s second biggest Australian stake earner with only Lazarus ahead of him with $4,423,391. Adore Me is third on the list with $1,677,032. Price says Chicago Bull may now be aimed at The Hunter Cup in February after he runs in the WA Pacing Cup early next month. Chicago Bull as a two year old at Winton Chicago Bull is out of the Christian Cullen mare Chicago Blues. “She’s having a forty two day scan on Monday so hopefully there’s a little baby sister there.” The Prices have a full-brother to Chicago Bull named Chicago Bear going to next year’s sale. “He’s got rock star good looks whereas poor little Chicago Bull missed out on all that. He’s pretty determined and was really tough to break in but he’s onside now. He loves people and is very social. If he has that determination out on the racetrack he’ll do alright.” Katrina and John recently purchased American Ideal mare Hartofdixie that won six races for Barry Purdon. She’s out of a half-sister to Maxim which won twelve races including the 2014 Victoria Derby. Hartofdixie’s third dam is Scuse Me, New Zealand Broodmare of the Year in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. “We’re preparing her yearling colt by Bettor’s Delight and he’s going to go through the sale.” Katrina is also preparing four yearlings for Tuapeka Lodge, including Tuapeka Dan, the first foal out of Bonnie Joan – the winner of ten races and just over $200,000. He’s by Bettor’s Delight. Also in the draft is a Bettor’s Delight colt out of five win Art Major mare Break Dance, named Point Break. “They’re coming down on Tuesday. It’ll be a pretty nice draft. I’ve also got two of Dave Kennedy’s trotters. There’s a bit of everything this year and with eight yearlings we’re going to be pretty busy.”   by Bruce Stewart

It was Chicago Bull’s defining moment. Yes he’d already won 59 races, a stack of them features, and more than $2 million in stakemoney, but last night’s dominant $300,000 Group 1 Fremantle Cup win was the pinnacle, so far at least. It was just over two years ago in Auckland he had that freakish accident which left him with a broken back and his career in tatters, just when it seemed he was on the verge of greatness. Trainer Gary Hall Sr nursed him back to the races, but at his comeback campaign he wasn’t quite the same horse. But connections were patient and tried again and now – somehow – Chicago Bull is arguably better than ever as he nears eight years of age. The pint-sized former Kiwi did all the work in a dramatic and action-packed Fremantle Cup and still left his rivals standing in the run home to score by 5.7m in a 1min56.9sec mile rate for 2536m. Watc the race replay click here The Gary Hall Jr drive was as sublime as it was confident, surging his way around to sit parked in the middle stages and giving his younger arch-rival Shockwave the one-one trail. But Chicago Bull was simply better than them. The usually unflappable Hall Jr was choked with emotion after the win, probably because he was caretaker trainer of Chicago Bull in Auckland when he had that accident a couple of years back. “That was devastating for ‘Junior’. It wasn’t his fault or anything, but he took it hard. I think this makes up for it in his mind now,” Hall Sr said. “He’s an unbelievable horse, yes that’s the word for it, unbelievable. He won so easily tonight. “He’s going at least as good as ever. If anything he’s finishing off his races better, he’s getting to the line stronger. Look at tonight, despite the work he did, he still kicked away from them.” Hall Jr marvelled at Chicago Bull’s win. “What can you say about that. He was incredible,” he said. “All the credit goes to ‘Senior’ (Gary Hall Sr). We all doubted if he’d make it back, including Senior, but he kept at it and look at the results.” Evergreen Galactic Star ran a mighty race for second, while emerging star Shockwave was perhaps slightly disappointing in third spot, albeit only beaten seven metres. When Shockwave got the breeze and then took the one-one on Chicago Bull, most would’ve had him favourite to win from there with a lap to go. The most exciting part is the same horses lock horns again with a new set of barrier draws in the $450,000 Group 1 WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on December 4.   HRNZ

Beset by financial hardship in recent years, Scarborough Downs will bring down the curtain on 70 years of horse racing later this month. The racetrack, located just south of Portland, Maine, will conduct its final racing program next Saturday (Nov. 28) after opening in 1950 and having conducted harness racing since the 1970s. After riding the wave of harness racing's heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, Scarborough Downs largely ended up lost in the shuffle of full-card simulcasting and has suffered financial losses for the better part of the current century. "It's a combination of things," Scarborough downs publicist Mike Sweeney said in a report from the Portland (Maine) Press Herald. "The overriding sense within the industry is that harness racing needs something different, something that Scarborough Downs can't offer." The half-mile track and its cavernous 6,500-seat grandstand — which was sold out many a summer evening in racing's golden decades — were sold in 2018 to real estate developers Crossroads Holdings LLC, along with the 500 acres of land surrounding the track. Crossroads leased the track back to its operators for the past three seasons, but with on-site wagering revenue having stagnated, the arrangement became unsustainable. “We just appreciated the fact that the new owners let us have us of facility as long as possible to ensure the industry could get on secure footing, where we can go on from here,” said Mike Cushing, director of the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association. “For that we’re grateful.” The track will still offer simulcast wagering through the end of 2020, and will apply to do the same in 2021 after averaging nearly $8 million a year in simulcast handle over the past three years — a much rosier figure than the roughly $810,000 in on-track handle over 72 Scarborough programs in 2019. For the time being, the closure of Scarborough Downs relegates harness racing in the Pine Tree State to Bangor Raceway as well as a storied county fair circuit which, unlike many jurisdictions in the United States, offers pari-mutuel wagering. But despite the final days of one of New England's harness racing jewels of yesteryear being nigh, Cushing feels that brighter days could be ahead with the help of a new venue, which the Press Herald reports is potentially in the works. "I think this means a new beginning for harness racing in Maine," Cushing concluded. (with files from the Portland (Maine) Press Herald)

Harness racing driver Todd McCarthy is no fan of the cold, but the Australia native is a big admirer of good horses. And the latter will keep McCarthy in the U.S. through this winter and next year. The 27-year-old McCarthy moved to the U.S. in late August and already counts a handful of Grand Circuit stakes victories among his 80 wins sinceeries cham then. His biggest triumph came earlier this month with Anoka Hanover in the Kindergarten Classic Spionship for 2-year-old female trotters, and McCarthy will be back in action with the filly this weekend. Anoka Hanover is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters at The Meadowlands. She brings a six-race win streak to the event, including divisions of the International Stallion and Bluegrass stakes. For the year, the Noel Daley-trained filly has won nine of 13 races and $373,153. McCarthy has been in the sulky for her past six starts. "She's been awesome," McCarthy said. "Noel has done a terrific job with her and certainly made my job easier. It's a tough race, but fingers crossed, hopefully everything goes well for us." Anoka Hanover was not eligible to the Breeders Crown last month at Harrah's Hoosier Park. On Saturday, she will face the top-three Breeders Crown finishers: winner Lady Chaos, runner-up Mazzarati, and Splash Blue Chip. Lady Chaos and Splash Blue Chip have not raced since the Crown. Mazzarati finished third in the Kindergarten two weeks ago, when Anoka Hanover won in a career-best 1:52.3. "Going to the Breeders Crown would have been cool but she might not have been the same horse going into the Kindergarten and the race this week," McCarthy said about Anoka Hanover, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Aunt Mel. "I'm a big believer that sometimes everything happens for a reason and that fortnight ago was perfect. "She's got such a good attitude for such a young filly; she handles herself so well. She's just a lovely little horse to drive. She's so honest. She's out there to do her best every time, you don't have to ask her too much; she's trying as hard as you can. When you come across a horse like that, it doesn't matter what age group, you just really appreciate them." McCarthy is the younger brother of top drivers Luke and Andy McCarthy and son of highly regarded trainer John McCarthy. His accomplishments Down Under included winning the 2016 Australasian Young Drivers Championship and multiple New South Wales state and metropolitan premiership driving titles. He represented Australia at the 2019 World Driving Championship and counts the Inter Dominion as his top victory. "I have to thank Noel for all he's done," McCarthy said. "He helped me come over here and got me going. He couldn't have been more helpful since I've come to the States, putting me down to drive. I can't thank him enough." McCarthy's original plan was to return to Australia during the U.S. winter and return next spring or summer. But with his newfound success in the States, he decided there was no reason to leave. McCarthy entered Friday with 80 wins in 565 drives, a 14-percent win rate, and $1.17 million in purses. "To be honest, I never thought I would stay this busy when I came over; I thought I'd be pretty quiet," McCarthy said. "But everyone has been so welcoming, and I've been getting a lot of great opportunities. I'm really enjoying it. "I don't like the cold too much, but I'm happy to stick it out and I'll do my best to enjoy the winter. I don't want to go home. I'm having too much fun." The Goldsmith Maid is part of the Fall Four events for 2-year-olds Saturday at The Big M. Breeders Crown champion On A Streak is the 3-1 favorite in the $398,650 Valley Victory for male trotters and Summa Cum Laude, who captured a Breeders Crown in a dead heat with Perfect Sting, is the 9-5 choice in the $371,900 Governor's Cup for male pacers. Fire Start Hanover, also a Crown winner, is the 2-1 favorite in the $323,600 Three Diamonds for female pacers. In addition to the Fall Four, the Saturday card includes TVG Series championships for trotters and pacers. Those races will feature the final career starts for Dan Patch Award winners Bettor's Wish, Kissin In The Sand, and Manchego. For complete Saturday Big M entries, click here. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This Sunday is the final day of harness racing at the Hippodrome 3R for the 2020 season. It will be a total of 44 race days, four extra days than the normal 40-day race meet due to extra simulcasting revenue due to Covid-19. Yet, despite the extra race days, the annual driving title at H3R has yet to be decided as leader Pascal Berube holds a slim four-win lead (52 to 48) over Stephane Brosseau. But on Sunday Brosseau has eight drives and Berube has none. Why no drives for Pascal Berube who did not miss a day of racing all season long at H3R? That's because Berube has moved his stable and base of operations this past week to Toronto. Thus, he is leaving the driving title up to Brosseau, if he can even tie Berube or surpass him with a five-win day. Winning the H3R drivers title on closing day is nothing new for Brosseau. He did it back in 2017, scoring three wins closing day to capture the title from rival Stephane Gendron. As for the leading trainer title, that is already decided and in an unprecedented feat, trainer Francis Richard is capturing his fourth straight H3R title. He goes into Sunday's 10 race card with an 11-win lead, 33 to 22, over Maxime Velaye. Neither Richard nor Velaye have any horses entered at H3R on Sunday. "I feel blessed to be lucky enough year after year to have good owners and good horses in my barn," Francis Richard said. "And a great team behind me. We work hard day in and day out. So, it's a nice reward to get that training title one more time." On the racetrack Sunday there are three Preferred events starting in the third race for the top trotters. Heading the field is last week's upset winner, Sir Chopin (post 5) with owner, trainer and driver Carol Voyer. They face rivals Keepall (post 6), Precieuse CC (post 3) and Caroluzzo (post 2). The fifth race features the Preferred horses where Dreydl Hanover (post 6) will seek a return trip to the winners for driver Samuel Fillion. Last week Drey­dl Hanover was a tiger against this same field, scoring in 1:55.3. Also entered are 4-time Quebec Champion, Atomic Million Am (post 7), City Of The Year (post 2), Maracasso (post 5) and Somewhere Bettor (post 8). The Fillies and Mares do battle in the sixth race where Wild River Swan (post 8) is coming off a wire-to-wire triumph in 1:57.4 with Samuel Fillion in the sulky. She has now won two of her last three starts. She will face rivals Sieras Rose (post 1), Shemaksmefelunreal (post 7) and Y C easy (post 2). The seventh race features the 14-year-old pacer Onyx V A (post 2), who is making the last start of his career as he must retire from racing on January 1, 2021. The Quebec-bred son of Electric Stena was bred and has been owned by Andre Larocque of Lourdes-De-Joliette his entire career. Onyx V A raced every year of his career with 47 victories. After his race, win or lose, trainer-driver Claude Beausoleil will bring Onyx V A back to the winner's circle for a special presentation. Track Notes: Of the 79 horses entered for the final day of racing at H3R, all 79 horses were used for the race program. First race post time Sunday at 1:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club          

Soho Tribeca won 21 races in a four season career including three Group One races. Victims of his speed and never say die attitude included the mighty warriors of recent years in Lazarus, Lennytheshark, Tiger Tara and Chicago Bull. Sometimes though horses are remembered by their courage in defeat. On 24th February 2018 Soho Tribeca displayed something rarely seen anywhere in the Harness Racing World. The occasion was the 2018 edition of the $750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle. Sure he finished third, beaten by just a head and a half neck, but with the winner rating 1.46.9 and with Tribeca parked in the breeze for the entire journey it was truly a remarkable performance. Greg Sugars held the reins that day and with Lauren Tritton blasting Anything For Love to the front there was very little that Greg could do other than to sit parked. So the sectionals went by like this; 26.3 / 53.6 / 1.19.8 and 1.46.9 Now just for a moment lets compare the run of Soho Tribeca that day with the existing World Records of 1.46 held jointly by Always B Miki and Lather Up. Always B Miki 26.2 / 52.4 / 1.19.8 and 1.46. Lather Up 25.6 / 52.0 / 1.19.2 and 1.46. In his memorable performance at The Red Mile, Always B Miki slotted in third on the rails at the first turn, charged to the front in the back straight and then led for the rest of the journey. Lather Up attained his World Record status at The Meadowlands in 2019. He took a pocket trip behind the tearaway leader Always A Prince to the ¾ pole and then pulled to the lead as he entered the long Meadowlands straight. So both Always B Miki and Lather Up didn’t cover any extra ground in their memorable wins. In comparison Soho Tribeca was in the one wide line around the two Menangle bends so how much extra ground did he cover above the 1609 metres of the race ? A mathematical formula would give us the answer. There is no suggestion here that Soho Tribeca is a better horse than the two current World’s fastest ever pacers but it does highlight the fact that our very best Pacers are the equal of any in the World. By the way - Tiger Tara, Lennytheshark and Lazarus finished a combined 48 metres astern of Soho Tribeca that day in February 2018. Soho Tribeca had a high cruising speed and an incredible never say die attitude to his racing. He was so tough and never ever gave up even if beaten. That run in the Miracle Mile was a victory that just got away. Greg Sugars, who drove Soho Tribeca in the Miracle Mile, Hunter Cup and Kilmore Cup. Soho Tribeca   A Son of a Miracle mare and a Champion stallion. Soho Tribeca’s breeding would not be out of place if he appeared at the famed North American tracks of The Red Mile and The Meadowlands - being by American Ideal from an Art Major mare and a very special mare as well as she was crowned the Australian Broodmare of the Year in 2018. American Ideal is an extremely fast son of Western Ideal and it appears that this stallion line commenced by one of the fastest horses in history , No Nukes, back in the early 1980’s is now being sustained through the blood of Western Ideal. There is no doubt that Western Ideal 1.48 inherited some of his stunning ability and bit of toughness from his Abercrombie dam Leah Almahurst, the winner of over $1million. Western Ideal along with Artsplace are the two stallions that we repeatedly see today in the pedigrees of the elite racehorses. So Soho Tribeca is blessed with the Best in Breeding with these two stallions very prominent in his pedigree. His dam Pixel Perfect, by the champion son of Artsplace in Art Major, has been a revelation in the Australian Stud Book. She is now the dam of seven  foals of racing age including a current 2 year old. Five of these have sub 1.55 records whilst the 2 year old Soho Broadway already has a 1.56.1 record. The seven winners have now collectively won over $2.366 million and all but the 2 year old have won over $100,000. Pixel Perfect, who was unraced, was in fact the only foal of her Dam’s [Amarillen] first 9 foals not to win - the other eight foals won over $1.35 million between them. So it would be difficult to argue that Soho Tribeca wasn’t one of the best Bred stallions to be registered for Stud duty in Australia in the past 20 years at least. Add a Bonus to a Booking. Soho Tribeca has received outstanding support from breeders in all States of Australia and still has some Bookings available before reaching the 150 target. If your mare is based in Victoria the resulting foal from a breeding to the tall and handsome man will be Eligible for the First Win Vicbred Colonial Stallion Bonus of $12,000.   Northern Rivers Equine

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 Breeding of NZ Cup winner Self Assured, who won the NZ Trotting Cup, main race of the NZ Cup carnival at Addington, is a Bettor’s Delight gelding from the same family as that which produced the dual NZ Cup winner Lazarus. Self Assured, who was an Auckland Cup winner as a four-year-old, has only been sparingly raced, but he has shown up as a brilliant pacer, and it was a top field he beat at Addington. Bred by Wellington businessman Reg Caldow, the five-year-old gelding is out of Star Of Venus (TT1:53), by Christian Cullen from Starlitnight, by Tuapeka Knight from the Soky’s Atom mare Star Of Bethlehem.  Lazarus, also sired by Bettor’s Delight, is from the Christian Cullen mare, Bethany, whose dam, Spirit Of Beth is a sister to Star Of Bethlehem, the third dam of Self Assured.   Aussie winners at NZ Cup carnival Two promising young horses to win at the NZ Cup carnival were the three-year-old Riveered and the four-year-old Jawbreaker, both very closely related and both bred in Victoria by Glenn Taylor. Riveered, who has won two of his last four starts, is a striking colt by Bettor’s Delight out of a capable racemare in Arivee (1:59.3), by Safely Kept from Willing Greek, by Golden Greek (a free-legged son of Abercrombie) from a fine racemare in Willing Whiz, by Armbro Whiz. Arivee, who won 13 races and $83,953, left earlier winners in Fighting Fire (1:53.9), Im Very Willing (1:59) and the Presidential Ball mare Eye Like Candy (1:55.8), the dam of Jawbreaker (by Art Major), who has won two. Arivee ranks as a sister to Kalypso (2:00.8), who became the dam of the Victoria Cup winner Caribbean Blaster and the exported War Dan (1:50), and a half-sister to the NSW Breeders Challenge winners Grand Stride 1:52.4 ($324,658) and Sapphire Stride 1:52.2 ($134,115). This family has had an association of some 110 years in Australia, and it has been responsible for a long line of winners such as the Fremantle Cup and Inter Dominion heat winner Willadios, Charlaval (NSW Breeders Challenge 3YO), Rohan Home (Breeders Crown Open), Zaneden (NSW Hondo Grattan Sprint), Katasopos (Tatlow Memorial), Lachlan Missie (Queensland Oaks) and The Night Pearl (SA Derby).   Brother to My Hard Copy Copy N Pace, who won the opening race at Gloucester Park, after racing wide most of the way, has now won six races and is rated one of the brightest prospects in his class. He ranks as a three-year-old brother by American Ideal to the dual WA Pacing Cup winner My Hard Copy 1:51.6 ($1.2 million), now at the stud in WA. Copy N Pace                                   --Jodie Hallows photo Their dam, Readallaboutit, a Presidential Ball mare from Natalia’s Joy (2:00.6), by Butler B G from the American-bred Natalia Lobell, has proved a most successful broodmare. Besides My Hard Copy and Copy N Pace, others of her progeny have been the Group 3 winner My Carbon Copy 1:54.6 ($116,468), Our Front Page (1:58.1) and Press Release (1:59.5). Readallaboutit was not of much account herself but she was a half-sister to Money In The Pocket (1:58.8, 10 wins) and to the dam of Secret Rendezvous 1:51 ($109,772) and the Presidential Ball mare Presidential Belle (1:57.6), who, in turn, is the dam of the dual Inter Dominion heat winner Run Oneover 1:50.8 ($584,119). This has been one of the most successful branches of the Lettie family, Natalia’s Joy being a half-sister to the dam of the former Australian 3YO of the Year and Chariots of Fire winner Manifold Bay 1:58.1 ($538,604).   Techy’s Angel is tops The most improved three-year-old in recent weeks is Techy’s Angel, from Emma Stewart’s Ballarat stable, and she will be among the leading fancies for tomorrow night’s $200,000 Breeders Crown Final. She won a semi-final last weekend in a new lifetime mark of 1:55.5 for 2240 metres after being required to overcome a difficult barrier. Techy’s Angel                            --Stuart McCormick photo The winner of six races, Techy’s Angel is a grand type of filly by the defunct Alta Christiano (a Derby winner and son of Christian Cullen) from a capable racemare in Venus Williams (1:55.3), a half-sister by Washington VC to Giddyupandgobaby 1:56 (WA Golden Girls Mile) and the metropolitan winners Lavros Cam (1:56.7) and Motoring With Marty. Mighty Dear (2:00.6), the second dam of Techy’s Angel, was a sister to the Traralgon Cup winner Doncaster and a half-sister to Major Rae (1:58), Cut The Cake (1:58.4) and to the Noodlum mare Dear Donna, dam of OK Ado 1:54.1 (Invercargill and Timaru Cups). Techy’s Angel was bred and is raced by Goulburn Valley breeder Mario Cirillo.   Zeuss Bromac’s maternal line The three-year-old Zeuss Bromac, who won a semi-final of the Breeders Crown, was bred and originally raced in NZ but has a breeding background with deep roots in Victoria. By Bettor’s Delight, he is out of the Mach Three mare Zeta Bromac (1:55.5), who won five races, including a Breeders Crown heat in the North Island. Zeta Bromac, who was bred in Canterbury, was out of Zante Beach, by Fake Left from the Tatlow winner Gemfire, by Torado Hanover from Gold Mistress, by Golden Money Maker from Madame Han, who established a great winning line for Helen and the late Graham Head. She left the Nyah Cup winner Chipmunk and five Moonee Valley winners including Easymark, Good Mistress and Cocky Benz. Zeuss Bromac            --Stuart McCormick photo                      Zante Beach, who won 16 races and $115,160 in stakes and took a record of 1:59, became the dam of the exported My Zach Bromac (1:52), the NSW Country Series winner Zorro Bromac (1:56.6) and recent Gloucester Park three-year-old winner Savvy Bromac (1:57.9), a sister to Zeta Bromac. Zante Beach was a half-sister to the Derby winner Garnet River 1:50 ($555,822), the NSW Tatlow winner The Godine Machine (1:58.5), Mota Mate (SA Sires Produce) and Western Blaze (1:53.7 (a winner of 25 races and $171,220).   Let’s Katchmeifucan in 1:51.8 Let’s Katchmeifucan gave a taste of his class when he easily won the Group 3 $30,600 Pace, the main event at the weekend meeting at Menangle running out the 1609 metres in a sparkling 1:51.8. He was not in danger of defeat over the last 800 metres. By Panspacificflight, a son of The Panderosa, Let’s Katchmeifucan is out of the McArdle mare McKenzie Jaccka (1:59), whose dam, Marianna Jaccka (1:59.9), was by Holmes Hanover from the Admiral Halsey mare Miss Priscilla, a half-sister to the NZ Oaks winner Josephine Bret. McKenzie Jaccka left a capable pacer in Fairy Tinkabell (1:51.6), a winner at Menangle earlier this year. Panspacificflight, the sire of Let’s Katchmeifucan, has produced the Group 1 winner Arden’s Choice, Little Rascal (1:50.2), Last Flight In (1:52), Wattlebank Flyer and Wick (1:51) from his NZ crops, and in America, has left nine in the 1:50 list.   Granny Smith winner The Brighton mare Still Hungover, who firmly clinched her claim to being the best four-year-old mare in Tasmania when she won the $50,000 Granny Smith at Devonport, is a member of one of Tasmania’s top ranking standardbred families. Still Hungover, who has now won 10 races and $110,654, is a mare by the Dragon Again horse Sutter Hanover, who stood his early seasons at the stud in Victoria and has been located at Elderslie near Hobart while at the stud in Tasmania. Sutter Hanover has enjoyed moderate success from restricted stud chances. His stock include the top WA filly Blacknsweet Adda and the smart Tasmanian pacer Fortino. Still Hungover is out of Crystal Still, by the Canadian bred sire Time Stands Still, from Crystal Gold, a Tasmanian bred mare by the A. G. Hunter Cup winner Golden Alley from Golden Mood, by Light Mood from Brown Cobber, by Cobber O’Mine and tracing to the taproot Blue Eyes. Crystal Gold was the dam of a top ranking pacer in Simply Electric 1:58.4 ($248,664), winner of 38 races including the Hobart Pacing Cup and the Tasmanian Gold Mile twice, and Seddon Mitch (1:58), who won the Globe Derby Stakes. Clear Gold, a sister to Crystal Gold, won 18 races including the Tasmanian Sires Produce and St Mary’s Cup. The champion Tasmanian mare Jane Ellen, a triple Oaks winner, is a member of this family.   From family of Donna Who Sweet Louise, who won a semi-final of the Breeders Crown at Melton, is a Sweet Lou filly from the same family as that which produced a top Queensland racemare in Donna Who. Sweet Louise                          --Stuart McCormick photo   Sweet Louise, who won a heat of the Crown at Bendigo, has only been sparingly raced, but she has shown up as a very useful pacer, and it was a strong field she beat at Melton. She has a good deal in her favour on the score of blood. Apart from being by Sweet Lou, and one of his second crop, Sweet Louise is out of the Modern Art mare Artistic Dancer, who has proved a very successful broodmare. Others of her progeny have been Plain Baby (1:57), Black Derby (1:56) and Dance Of Fire (1:57.4). Artistic Dancer, who was unraced, from the NZ bred mare Whola Dancer (2:00.9), a good winner at Globe Derby Park, by Holmes Hanover from Donna Who (1:57.1), a winner of 19 races and $244,668 in stakes including the APG Final. At the stud Donna Who became the dam of five winners including Wholigan (1:57.2) and is the grand-dam of the Southland Oaks winner Smokin Bird (1:55.1), High Courage 1:53.2 ($143,950), the Menangle winner Whos Escaped 1:52.7 ($127,377) and the Bettor’s Delight mare Slick Bird (1:55.7), the dam of the high class WA pacers Slick Artist 1:52.2 ($204,557) and While They Pray 1:54.7 ($120,088). Sweet Louise was bred and is raced by Melbourne enthusiast John Dorrington.   Victorian trotter has strong bloodlines Peregrine Phoenix, who won her fourth race from her last five starts at the Geelong midweek meeting, is a four-year-old trotter of some potential. A member of Chris Svanosio’s Romsey team, she has a good deal more in her favour on the score of blood than most. By Muscle Hill, who sired top trotters in Dance Craze and Elite Stride, Peregrine Phoenix is out of the Malabar Maple mare Maple Eve Phoenix whose dam,  Dodo Rocket, was a Wagon Apollo mare who left trotters of the calibre of Princess Phoenix (1:55.5), the winner of 12 races including the Vicbred 2YO Final, and Hadrian’s Phoenix (2:00), who won five. Dodo Rocket was out of a good producer in Jolabyrd, who ranked as a sister to the cups winning trotter Joseph Boppard and a half-sister to the Moonee Valley winners Supreme Gent and Kinnoul. Peregrine Phoenix is a half-sister to the former brilliant juvenile trotter Eljaykay Phoenix 1:58.6 ($256,877), who won five Group races.    Three winners from the same family The three-year-olds Dance Class and Star Rocker and the six-year-old Somewhere Secret, who all won at the recent Kilmore meeting, are all members of the same family. Dance Class, a filly by A Rocknroll Dance, ranks as a half-sister to the Vicbred champion Out To Play 1:53.3 ($215,627), Paintball 1:54.4 ($100,508) and Stay And Play (1:55.5), being out the Presidential Ball mare, Play Ball, whose dam, Secret Life, is the dam of Somewhere Secret (by Somebeachsomewhere). Star Rocker, a son of A Rocknroll Dance, is from the Silver Chalice winner Starburst Girl 1:53.6 ($143,670), an Art Major mare from Celebrity Ball, by Presidential Ball from the noted producer Larrakeyah Lady, the third dam of Somewhere Secret and the fourth dam of Dance Class. Other members of the immediately family have been the Victoria Oaks and Breeders Crown winner Beauty Secret, Major Secret (NSW Derby), the dual Southern Cross winner That’s Perfect, Perfect Major (WA The Preux Chevalier) and the smart two-year-old Rogue Wave.   by Peter Wharton

After Melanie Maxwell put her harness racing ambitions on hold for more than a decade, a rogue horse that she just wouldn't give up on has finally fulfilled her dreams. The optimistically-named One Mans Trash (Falcons Icon-Psycho Molley (Dare You To) finally broke through to win a modest maiden at Cranbourne on Saturday - but his path to the winner's circle is one of the unlikeliest of harness racing success stories. That One Man's Trash was an eight-year-old having his third lifetime start (and his first in two years) gives some inkling of the back story. But the impressive barnstorming victory repaid in a moment Melanie's countless hours of patience and care. "I've watched the replay of the race probably 100 trillion times! He went awesome! I always knew he was a good horse and my friends Chris Hunter (trainer) and Des Hughes kept telling me he was capable of running some smart times," Melanie said. "There were plenty of times I threatened to send him back. I may not have been 100 percent serious, but that's how I felt at the time - but oh what a fantastic feeling to finally get that win," she laughed. One Mans Trash strides to his maiden victory at age 8 The happy-go-lucky horsewoman's harness racing ambitions began in the 1990s when she completed the harness course at Victoria's Gippsland Training Centre at Warragul. "After I did the training, I worked with the late Arthur Fullwood for 12 months and then with Chris Hunter for a few years," Melanie, of Neerim, in West Gippsland, said. "I never really stopped being interested in harness racing, but I got occupied with raising a family of three lovely daughters, as happens," she said. "Then 10 years down the track I just happened to spot a two-and-a-half-year-old standardbred 'cast off' in an Echuca sales catalogue, and it was funny, because I just kept coming back to check out this one particular horse." Curiosity got the better of her, and Melanie made some calls to track down the youngster's background. "I'm pretty sure he was headed for the knackery - everyone I spoke to warned me about him, that he was crazy, but I just couldn't let him go, for some reason." Melanie couldn't afford the horse's $350 price tag, but a conversation with Rehoming Horses Victoria was the key. "It was unreal. Rehoming Horses Victoria raised the money in 24 hours from people wanting to save these horses. I was just blown away by all the lovely people gathering up the money," she said. When the horse arrived at Melanie's property, he was more than a little worse for wear, and clearly a "project horse" - not an ideal prospect for a relatively inexperienced trainer. "He was scared of everything, even his own shadow and he was always ready for a fight! He was my first horse, so it was like the blind leading the blind!" she laughed. "It took two months to get a rug on him and over 12 months to re-break him. At home I would jog him along an 800m stretch of a dirt road and just keep doing loops. "I felt I was always taking two steps forward with him, and then 10 back, but after 18 months I finally got him onto a float so we could go into Warragul and do trackwork-and we both survived! Then we started going there two or three times a week." Melanie junior with the family favorite One Man's trash began showing solid progress and Melanie believed, some promise and in October of 2018, he was ready for the next step. "I was going to trial him and when they got called off, I just put him straight into the races at Cranbourne," she said. "It was the first time he'd seen a mobile barrier and our driver Rodney Petroff did a terrific job. The horse went super by running second. We went back three weeks later and ran 5th, but the next day he couldn't walk." Melanie found the pacer's hoof had been attacked by an aggressive condition similar to seedy toe. "Half of his hoof rotted out and we had to make sure it stayed dry and was kept cleaned out, so he had two years in the paddock as we cut out the infection." In the extended recovery period, Melanie began studying to be a paramedic, and being time-poor, let her trainer's licence lapse, accepting her dream may have ended. "I thought: 'Well that's that.' I'd run out of time, but deep down I believed he could do it after he'd overcome all of his setbacks, so I asked Chris Hunter if he would have a try with 'Monkey'," she said. "I just wanted to see the horse out on the track and the only way that was going to happen was to hand him on to someone else. Chris has always been happy to help and is always there for you and thankfully he agreed. "He's done a brilliant job, and our driver, Rodney (Petroff) also deserves a lot of credit." Hunter, a highly respected horseman at Trafalgar, was full of praise for One Mans Trash, one of three horses he has in work. "He has a will to win and it was a good job to come back and get the victory after two years in a paddock. We'll have a bit of fun with him because he's definitely got some high speed," Hunter said. "Mel has been marvellous with the horse. He was an absolute idiot when she first got him, but she kept hanging in there. She was rapt with the win - she was on the phone about five seconds after the race!" Watch the emotional win of One Man's Trash here. One Mans Trash will face the starter again on Sunday at Warragul and his four biggest fans in Melanie and her three girls Shae, 17, Chelsea, 15, and Melanie Jnr, 11, are sure to be cheering their hearts out. "The amazing thing is that he is such a lovely horse now - all he girls have ridden him at some stage, they brush him and he loves all the fuss," Melanie said. "I'd love to have 100 horses. Even when we started a family, I always thought I'd be back and was trying to keep a toe in. I just love it."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Dover DE - The field for the $325,000 Progress Pace at Dover Downs has been drawn.  The race features three year old colt and gelding pacers.  The race is scheduled as the 12th of 15 races off the evening. No Lou Zing and  Cattlewash, who finished first and second in the elimination race, drew post seven and post eight respectively. Trainer Nancy Takter sends out two entries in Fortify and No Lou Zin, who was supplemented to the race. Trainer Tony Alagna sends out Captain’s Barbossa and Kirk.    Also scheduled on the pre Thanksgiving card will be two, $100,000 DSBF Finals and two $15,000 DSBF Consolations. Dover Downs Post Time is 4:30 pm The field is as follows:          Horse                                                Trainer Captain Barbossa                              T. Alagna Manticore                                           Br. Saunders Captain Kirk                                       T. Alagna Fortify                                                 N. Takter Catch The Fire                                   J. Ackley Tattoo Artist                                        I. Moore No Lou Zing                                       N.Takter Cattlewash                                         R.Burke by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

Harness racing will say goodbye to three Dan Patch Award winners following Saturday's TVG Series championships at The Meadowlands. Bettor's Wish, Kissin In The Sand, and Manchego will be retired to breeding duties after their careers conclude this weekend and each will be honored in ceremonies following their respective races at The Big M. Bettor's Wish, a 4-year-old stallion, received the Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old male pacer in 2019 and was second to mare Shartin N in voting for both Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. He led the sport with $1.64 million in purses last year and has earned $2.43 million lifetime. The son of Bettor's Delight-Lifetime Star heads to Saturday's $340,000 TVG Series Open Pace championship the winner of 23 of 43 lifetime starts. He has failed to finish among the top three only three times in his career. "I'm going to miss him," said trainer Chris Ryder, who owns Bettor's Wish with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Bettors Wish Partners. "He's going to be near impossible to replace. It's hard to find a horse that can do what he's done, and he just takes it all in stride. When you look back, it's been a terrific run. You really appreciate having a horse that can do all he did." Victories this year for Bettor's Wish include the Sam McKee Memorial, Dayton Pacing Derby, and Allerage Farms Open Pace. "Winning the McKee was very special to me," said Ryder, who noted at the time, "It's hard to describe. It's an honor to win it for Sam. I hope he's looking down on us today." Bettor's Wish bred 58 mares in New Jersey this year before beginning his 4-year-old campaign. He will stand at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania in 2021. Ryder gave credit to caretaker Alonso Martinez, second trainer Peter Trebotica, and his son Patrick Ryder, for playing key roles in the horse's success. He also thanked his ownership partners and regular driver Dexter Dunn as well as trainer Chantal Mitchell and driver Paul MacDonell, who campaigned the horse for him in Canada at 2. "Most of all, thank you Bettor's Wish," Ryder said. "He was such an exciting and tough racehorse for all of us to enjoy, consistently giving 100 percent on the track. We will all miss this amazing horse." Kissin In The Sand was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. The now 5-year-old mare enters Saturday's $150,000 TVG Series championship for female pacers with 26 career wins in 57 starts and $1.66 million in purses. A daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Kiss Me Kate, she has been trained throughout her career by Nancy Takter and owned by Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield. "It's been exciting," Hatfield said. "We all have had so much fun with this horse, it's unbelievable. But it's time to start another chapter in her life. It's time for the breeding shed, and I think she'll be a good mom." Kissin In The Sand brings a six-race win streak to her career finale. Among those victories was her first Breeders Crown as well as the Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. Hatfield said Kissin In The Sand's determination was what he most admired about the horse. That grit was perhaps most famously on display in the 2018 James M. Lynch Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where she won by a neck over Youaremycandygirl after being parked out from post nine for most of the mile. "Even if she had a bad post, she would come out of there rolling, get parked, and keep digging in," Hatfield said. "She showed so much heart and grit. "Nancy has done a heck of a job with her. They have a special bond, they really do. She loves that horse. She's a special horse and I think she will be a special broodmare." Manchego, a 5-year-old female trotter, competes in Saturday's $320,000 TVG Series Open Trot, facing a field that includes fellow mare Atlanta as well as male rivals Crystal Fashion, Lindy The Great, and Mission Accepted. A daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic, Manchego has won 32 of 55 lifetime races and earned $2.56 million. Her victories include 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. She is the only female trotter to win with a sub-1:50 mile in multiple years and has been the sport's fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020. Manchego went undefeated in 12 races at age 2 and received divisional Dan Patch honors. She was trained by Jimmy Takter at ages 2 and 3 and by Nancy Takter at 4 and 5. "For me, that (TVG) will be a rough one because it's been so wonderful, and I do like to race," owner Barry Guariglia of Black Horse Racing said. "It'll be a rough one, but the start of a new chapter for her. "She seems to be in good form, so hopefully we've got one more (win) in us." The Meadowlands hosts four TVG Series championships Saturday as well as the Fall Four for 2-year-olds. Four Breeders Crown winners will be in action in the Fall Four: Lady Chaos in the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, On A Streak in the $398,650 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, Summa Cum Laude in the $371,900 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, and Fire Start Hanover in the $323,600 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. For complete Saturday Big M entries, click here. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Dover, DE - No Lou Zing wins the Progress Pace elimination at Dover Downs on Wednesday night. Cattlewash and No Lou Zing left alertly at the start of the race and established early race position. Once Cattlewash cleared the lead,  Dexter Dunn boldly pulled the pocket with No Lou Zing and wrestled the lead away from Cattlewash. The quarter was reached in 26.4.  No Lou Zing continued on the lead and reached the half in 55.2.   Tattoo Artist, who had supplemented to the Progress Pace, pulled first over.  Fortify shadowed second over for race position on the outside.  The three quarter time was reached in 1:22.1, a 26.4 quarter.   Tattoo Artist began to weaken on the rim, past the three quarter pole.  Cattlewash and David Miller, who enjoyed the pocket journey throughout the mile, revved up his charge along the rail but could not gun down a very game No Lou Zing. No Lou Zing (Sweet Lou) won by a half length in 1:49.1 and was sent off at odds of eight to five.  The owners are 3 Brothers Stable, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms and he is trained by Nancy Takter.   Cattlewash, the race favorite at four to five, finished second for driver David Miller and trainer Ron Burke. Finishing third was Catch the Fire, who forced the early pace, was driven cleverly by Mike Wilder.  John Ackley was the trainer. The top eight race finishers who are headed to the final are: No Lou Zing, Cattlewash, Catch The Fire, Fortify, Captain Kirk, Captain Barbossa, Manticore, and Tattoo Artist. The Progress Pace Final, worth an estimated $325,000, is scheduled for Wednesday November 25.  Dover Downs post time is 4:30 pm. by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs    

By Jonny Turner    Junior driver Ben Hope delivered a tribute to his late grandfather Peter with his winning treble at Rangiora on Wednesday. Hope combined with his mother and father, Greg and Nina, for his three driving wins the day after his grandfather was laid to rest in Blenheim. Scoring his first winning treble in the sulky was a fitting nod to the 89-year-old, who had been one of his biggest supporters. “We drove home today [Wednesday] from Blenheim because the funeral was up there yesterday,” Hope said. “And it was good to get those wins as a bit of a tribute to him.” “He has been a huge supporter of mine, him and my nana, Mary.” Peter Hope trained 46 winners in a 30 year span as a licence holder. Many of those victories came with his son, Greg, in the sulky. Father and son combined to win the group 2 N Z Metropolitan Three-Year-Old Championship in 1982 with Braedoon. Hope senior drove the same horse to win group 2 Cardigan Bay Stakes at Hutt Park the next year. The trainer also produced Lock Rae to win the group 2 N Z Standardbred Sires' Produce Stakes Final and the group 2 E F Mercer Mile with Peter Jones in the sulky between 1981-82. Hope also shared in the ownership of the New Zealand Cup winning free-legged pacer, Robalan. Hope passed away last Friday, coinciding with Show Day at Addington, the scene of some of Robalan’s crowning achievements. The champion pacer, who Hope raced with his trainer-driver Denis Nyhan and another fellow trainer, the late Allan Devery, won the New Zealand Free-For-All three times. The Hope family’s winning treble at Wednesday’s meeting came via wins from Loyalist, Baxter and Krystal Delight. The Hopes capped a great day when Southernly Change ran second to Krystal Delight to fill a stable quinella. Baxter was a brilliantly consistent performer through much of last season, but that form had dropped away recently. A change in his work and dropping into a winnable race meant the five-year-old bounced back on Wednesday. “He is a horse that has been disappointing lately,” Hope said. “He would try pretty hard and he would be in the money most of his starts and he had a great wee record.” “For a while there he hadn’t been going that good and he didn’t seem to be trying that hard.” “So, we changed his work up and we were pretty confident he would go a pretty good race in that field.” Hope handed a Krystal Delight a perfect run in the trail and she relished running along a rain-soaked passing lane to win. “It worked out really well, getting the trail behind a nice horse.” “I think she probably appreciated the wet track, her best form has been on the grass.” “The rain taking a bit of the sting out of the track played a bit of a part, I think.” “In saying that, we had been really happy with her training and we were expecting a good run in that field.” Hope also gave Loyalist the same perfect trip and he broke through for a deserved maiden win. “He had been knocking on the door for a while, but he kept running into one or two better.” “But he got into the right field and get a good trip and he was too good.”

Harness racing trainer Nancy Takter will watch trotting mare Manchego and pacing mare Kissin In The Sand compete for the final time Saturday at The Meadowlands, but also will get another look at two 3-year-olds that will attempt to follow in their award-winning stablemates' hoof prints next season. Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella will face five older foes in the $140,000 TVG Series championship for female trotters while 3-year-old filly Breeders Crown winner Peaky Sneaky will meet eight older rivals in the $150,000 TVG Series championship for female pacers. "They're both coming back next year, and they're both really sharp at the moment," Takter said. "I think they both deserve a chance." It is the second time 3-year-old fillies will take on mares in the TVG Series championships, which debuted in 2013. Last year, Warrawee Ubeaut finished fourth in the Mare Pace final and Beautiful Sin was fourth in the Mare Trot. Sorella's foes in the Mare Trot include 5-year-old Plunge Blue Chip, a world-record-holder and multiple Grand Circuit winner, and 4-year-old When Dovescry, who captured the 2019 Hambletonian Oaks and Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old filly trotter. She will not face Manchego or Atlanta, who will both race in Saturday's $320,000 TVG Open Trot final. Peaky Sneaky's rivals in the Mare Pace include 5-year-old Kissin In The Sand as well as 7-year-old Shartin N, who was the 2019 Horse of the Year; 6-year-old Caviart Ally, who is the event's defending champion, and 4-year-old Warrawee Ubeaut. The four TVG Series championships are among eight Grand Circuit stakes on Saturday's Big M card, along with the Fall Four for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST). Sorella heads to the TVG Mare Trot off a win in last week's Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. She has won eight of 14 races this season, hit the board a total of 12 times, and earned $713,049. In addition to winning the Oaks, she won a division of the Casual Breeze Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park in a Canadian-record 1:51.3 and the Reynolds Memorial in 1:50.2, which is tied for the season's second-fastest mile by a 3-year-old trotter. "The only way I was putting Sorella in was if Manchego ended up in the (TVG) Open," Takter said. "I knew it was going to be a little bit of a short field, and I think she belongs in there. I don't think she gets enough credit for what she's done this year. She's raced from the first weekend of June all the way through November. She broke a Canadian record, she won the Oaks; she's had a tremendous year." Peaky Sneaky won the Breeders Crown last month at Harrah's Hoosier Park, where she handed Party Girl Hill her only loss of the season. For the year, Peaky Sneaky has won six of 15 races, hit the board 12 times, and earned $482,622. Her 1:48 win in a division of the Glen Garnsey makes her the third-fastest female pacer of the season, behind only Party Girl Hill and Kissin In The Sand. "She's tough and gritty," Takter said. "I don't think she knows any different if they're aged mares or 3-year-olds." Kissin In The Sand heads to the TVG final with a six-race win streak. Her victories include the Breeders Crown, Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. For her career, she has won 26 of 57 races and $1.66 million. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at 3. Manchego, coming off the third Breeders Crown title of her career, and 5-year-old mare Atlanta both take on the males in the TVG Open Trot. Manchego has won 32 of 55 lifetime races and $2.56 million. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at 2. In the TVG Open Pace championship, Bettor's Wish will make his final career start against a field that includes Breeders Crown winner Century Farroh. Four Breeders Crown winners also will be in action in the Fall Four: Lady Chaos in the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, On A Streak in the $398,650 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, Summa Cum Laude in the $371,900 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, and Fire Start Hanover in the $323,600 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. For complete Saturday Big M entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

Principal of the state-of-the-art harness racing operation Yabby Dam Farms Pat Driscoll has added another string to his bow. The Ballarat-based standardbred operation, headed by joint trainers Anton Golino and Jack MacKinnon, was on fire last week with four square-gaiter winners from three meetings. But a gallops victory at the weekend put the cream on the cake. Four-year-old mare Etoile Brillante scored an impressive victory at the Donald meeting on Sunday-the first in the thoroughbred code for Yabby Dam Farms. Prepared by Archie Alexander, the mare took out the $35,000 3YO and Upwards Maiden. The successful jockey was Declan Bates. A powerhouse in the harness racing industry, Driscoll has had phenomenal success with pacing and trotting winners and would have been delighted to cheer home his gallops winner. Driscoll grew up around horses as his dad had a few thoroughbreds and he actually rode track work as a teenager before studying accountancy. Since establishing the Yabby Dam training headquarters at Cardigan, near Ballarat, Driscoll has won a total of 69 Group races-19 of these being Group Ones. Gallops trainer Archie Alexander is one of a handful preparing horses for Yabby Dams at the Ballarat racecourse. Trotting stallions Dreamcatcher and Always Ready, earmarked for long term futures at stud, are putting it all together on the racetrack with Kilmore victories on Friday. Swedish-bred son of Love You, Dreamcatcher made it two wins after returning from a four year break. Stablemate Always Ready (by Ready Cash) has now won eight of 11 starts this season. Dance Craze (Muscle Hill-La Coocaracha) zoomed up the sprint lane to win the Lenin FFA group 3 at Melton on Saturday--her 23rd win in 44 starts for $520,000. Three-year-old filly Hopeful Beauty (Brilliantissime (Fra)-Beauty Life (Fra) was impressive at Charlton on Monday with an easy win for Jack MacKinnon. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ There's no secret that South Australian harness racing brothers Darren and Mark Billinger are fierce competitors. Whether it's on the track or out on the golf course for the weekly grudge match, the traditional sibling rivalry is never too far from the surface-in a gentlemanly way of course! "Darren's too good for us out on the fairways. He's got the experience over me because he's the older brother," Mark said. "I have to give him his dues, though, he is playing some great golf at the moment." But Mark said it was a nice feeling to turn the tables on Darren at a Globe Derby meeting earlier this week. "I really did get a kick out of it. It was close, real close but I got up there's no doubt about that. Darren is still wanting to look at the official photo-finish!" he said. Mark landed Steinman (Rock N Roll Heaven-Northern Courage (Courage Under Fire) at 5/1-defeating Darren by a short half head on race favorite Whatabro. BOTH pacers are trained by Darren, who obviously had the choice of drives. A long-priced winner later on the program gave Mark a winning double for the day. He got the money by a head with Michael Harding trained Princess Lil (Smiling Shard-New Age Babe (Armbro Operative) in the 2yo Pace. Princess Lil started at 35/1 and was impressive in winning in 2.00-7. Driving honors for the meeting went to champion SA reinsman Wayne Hill who scored a treble with My Used To Be, Ceejay Success and Booker Bay. **Harness Racing SA Ltd announced late yesterday that as a consequence of the current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, race meetings and trials for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday have been abandoned. Mark Billinger returns to scale after winning with Steinman at Globe Derby--beating his trainer-driver brother Darren (Whatabro) by a lip. Both horses are trained by Darren. (Walter Bulyga Photography) __________________________________________________________________________________________ Expatriate Aussies Shane and Lauren Tritton continue to methodically build success in their adopted new home in New York. The stable celebrated a "small milestone", with a win in both the open class for entires and geldings, and the open class for mares events at Yonkers in the past week. Former Aussie free-for-aller San Domino (Somebeachsomewhere - Reggae Miss (Maple Lanes Strike) has been racing in the US since May last year. He was transferred to the Tritton barn last month and brought up the first leg of the milestone double at Yonkers on November 7. San Domino had won 14 races in Australia before being sent to the USA and has now managed three victories in just six starts for Team Tritton. Another ex Aussie, former Perth mare Lady Dela Renta (Well Said - Flylike Bird Lombo (Jet Laag) has been a model of consistency for Team Tritton, winning six of her eight starts for the stable since August. She again got the job done, taking out the Mares Open Class on Saturday and bringing up the second leg of the double. The wins took the team's season record to 49 wins 29 seconds and 22 thirds (from the 178 starts since they started racing in May) and pushed the stakemoney tally over the $500,000 mark for the season - now at $515,628. Shane Tritton said his behind-the-scenes staff at the Pine Bush stables played no small part in the consistency of the team. "All of the staff and connections are a part of this little landmark week for us - we couldn't do it without them. And Jordan Stratton as well for his inch-perfect drives!" Tritton said. The wins were part of an extra special week for the couple, who announced they are expecting a daughter in April next year - a sister for their young son Levi. Lady Dela Renta and driver Jordan Stratton teamed up to take out an open mares $25,000 event at Yonkers for Team Tritton.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

LONDON, ON - November 18, 2020 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District is teaming up with some of the province’s best harness racing drivers to spread added Christmas cheer this holiday season. The London oval will play host to the first ever Drivers’ Holiday Challenge in support of Toys for Tots on Sunday, December 20th . Post time for the special program will be 4:45 p.m. (ET). Four top drivers from Woodbine Mohawk Park will take on four of the leading drivers from The Raceway with all driving commissions being generously donated to the charity which will be used to purchase Christmas Toys for children in need. The Raceway will also be matching the driver’s donations. “Toys for Tots is extremely happy to partner with The Raceway at Western Fair District this year. This will be a great opportunity for both our organizations to make a significant impact in our local community,” said Toys For Tots President Robert Krizanec. “It is because of organizations such as The Raceway that will allow children to have a gift under the tree this holiday season.” The inaugural edition of the Drivers’ Holiday Challenge features Woodbine Mohawk Park’s leading drivers Bob McClure, Doug McNair, Louis Phillippe Roy and Trevor Henry as well as top local reinsmen Marc St Louis Jr., Colin Kelly, Tyler Borth and Scott Wray. “Given the current climate we wanted to host an event that was both safe to conduct and would support families during these troubling times,” said Racing Manager Greg Gangle. “We are pleased to team up with Toys for Tots and support their initiative around the holiday season. Also, without the commitment of the drivers this event would not be possible. We applaud their support.” COSA TV, presented by CUJO Entertainment, will provide live coverage of the Drivers’ Charity Challenge program. The broadcast will be available on the COSA TV’s social media platforms, the Facebook pages of both CUJO Entertainment and Harness Racing Update (HRU), as well as the Standardbred Canada website. Toys For Tots (Canada) is a Canadian charity based on local partnerships between Canadian Armed Forces, businesses, and concerned citizenry whose sole focus as an organization is to provide toys for children who are in need. Toys For Tots works to address and prevent specific problems faced by families and their supporting charity organizations by providing toys to children who would otherwise go without during a major religious holiday and provide toys throughout the calendar year to local emergency and social agencies to distribute to children during catastrophic circumstances. From The Raceway

Harness Racing This Week: Fall Four and TVG finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Progress Pace elimination, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Wednesday (Nov. 18) for a $35,000 elimination in the Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. A field off 11 will compete for eight spots in the final slated for Nov. 25. On Saturday night (Nov. 21) Meadowlands Racetrack will host the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters and the TVG series finals for open pacers and trotters. The Fall Four features the $398,650 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $371,900 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers and the $323,600 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. The TVG finals consist of the $340,000 Open Pace, the $320,000 Open Trot, $150,000 Mare Pace and the $140,000 Mare Trot. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Dexter Dunn rewrote a sizeable chunk of the Dover Downs record book on Thursday night (Nov. 12), piloting both Amigo Volo ($3.20) and Party Girl Hill ($2.60) to track record performances in their respective Matron Stakes splits in the First State. Amigo Volo's 1:50.2 effort in the $162,350 Matron for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings earned him a place in the track and world record books. Fotowon photo. Amigo Volo's 1:50.2 effort in the $162,350 Matron for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings earned him a place in the track and world record books, knocking over a second off Pinkman's world record for sophomore trotting geldings taken in 2015 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Richard "Nifty" Norman trains Amigo Volo, who now has earned just over $1.5 million lifetime, for Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. The two-time Breeders Crown winner completed a sweep of the Matron Stakes as well, having won as a 2-year-old in 2019 by the same 6-1/2-length margin. Party Girl Hill may have missed Kiss Me Onthebeach's divisional world record by two-fifths of a second, but her 1:49 performance in the $154,450 Matron for 3-year-old pacing fillies landed her in the Dover record books. Party Girl Hill, whose only defeat in 16 career starts to date came in the Breeders Crown, has amassed $880,345 in earnings - all this season. Chris Ryder trains the Tom Hill homebred. An early break by Hambletonian winner and even money favorite Ramona Hill prevented her from finding redemption in the $163,050 Matron for sophomore trotting fillies, and it also paved the way for Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella ($5.40) to score the 10th victory of her career. Nancy Takter trains Sorella, who has now earned $848,362 in her career. Breeder Elmer Fannin shares ownership of the Muscle Hill filly with Crawford Farms Racing and Brent Fannin. The retirement of Tall Dark Stranger made the $179,600 Matron for sophomore male pacers far more wide open than most previous events within the division, and the late-blooming Cattlewash ($2.80) had to work for every penny of the winner's share of the purse. While Cattlewash shrugged off Captain Barbossa's challenge on the final turn, another pair of challengers were waiting in the wings to take their shots in the final furlong: Tattoo Artist launched for the open stretch, and No Lou Zing vaulted off cover. Cattlewash was driven out to narrowly prevail in 1:48.3. No Lou Zing lunged late for second over Tattoo Artist, who was fully extended to stay on. Ron Burke trains 10-time winner Cattlewash, who has now earned $799,777 for owner-breeder Bill Donovan. 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 - 1,251; 2. Dexter Dunn - 1,072; 3. David Miller - 785; 4. Tim Tetrick - 720.5; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 586. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,248; 2. Nancy Takter - 1,215.5; 3. Ake Svanstedt - 699; 4. Tony Alagna - 662; 5. Marcus Melander - 492. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 268.8; 2. Caviart Farms - 230.5; 3. Determination - 220; 4. Brad Grant - 214; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 204.7. Looking ahead: The 2020 Grand Circuit season comes to a close on Nov. 25. Dover Downs will host the final stake of the season in the $325,000 Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

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