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CHESTER, PA - Harrah's Philadelphia will be hosting one of its strongest non-stakes harness racing cards in quite some time this Sunday afternoon, with three $20,000 events for the fast-class older horses set to go, topped by an appearance from the 2019 Harness Horse of the Year, Shartin N. Now seven, Shartin N is a New Zealand import by Tintin In America, and she certainly has been a ruthless force at the very top of the older pacing female ranks in North America the last two years. She has won 43 of her 58 lifetime starts, and she has bankrolled $2,153,030, the vast majority of it for present owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King, and Tim Tetrick LLC. She is the fastest pacing mare of all-time by virtue of a 1:46.4 victory at The Meadowlands last year, and she also holds her division's track record at Philly, 1:48. Shartin N has been assigned the outside post in the field of eight - but she has shown he can handle tough starting assignments in the past. In fact, she showed that fact as recently as this past Tuesday, where she won from the eight post at Yonkers despite a grueling trip. Co-owner Tim Tetrick will again be guiding the champion for trainer Jim King Jr., the husband of another co-owner. Shartin N's race will be race ten on the fourteen race card. The first of the three $20,000 events, a handicap event for older male pacers in race three, will also find the favorite starting from post eight. His name is Dorsoduro Hanover, a Somebeachsomewhere five-year-old gelding who has earned over $1.6 million, most of that during his three-year-old season, when he was named the top three-year-old pacing colt in North America. Yannick Gingras is listed to drive for trainer Ron Burke, with major opposition expected from the consistent Highalator and Shake That House, making his 2020 debut after a top campaign as a sophomore last year. The sixth race high-class trot finds a Canadian import, Run Director, accorded early favoritism. A son of Kadabra, Run Director comes to Philly from Woodbine Mohawk Park, where he has been triumphant in two of three seasonal races, including a 1:52.2 mile in his last start. To be driven by David Miller for trainer Andrew Harris, Run Director at his best would be right there with Eurobond, Muscle M Up, and other top contenders. The Sunday card at Philly Sunday is so good that Western Joe and Rock The Devil, both of whom have won in sub-1:50 this year, are part of the undercard! Post time for the first event is set for 12:40 p.m. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia  

WASHINGTON, PA, July 3, 2020 -- Saturday's Independence Day celebration at The Meadows will be more festive and exciting than originally anticipated. Thanks to a reshuffling of harnss racing stakes due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the July 4 card features both the $102,245 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old trotters and the $64,594 Currier & Ives filly division. The Currier & Ives goes as race 7 while the fillies will battle in races 9 and 10. The 15-race program also features an $8,080.56 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. In the Currier & Ives, Ron Burke will send out It's Academic (post 6, Yannick Gingras), the 9-5 morning-line favorite who's banked $160,002 and enters the Currier & Ives off two straight place finishes in Ohio Sires Stake legs. But they'll be coming at him in waves. Trainer Ake Svansted has three in the race: Steel Schooner (post 3, Brady Brown); Coventry Hall (post 5, Chris Shaw); Easter King (post 10, Jim Pantaleano). On paper, at least, the trio looks unprepossessing; they're a combined 2-18 with nary a stakes win. More threatening may be the duo representing trainer John Butenschoen. Kyrie Deo, who sprang a 21-1 upset in last year's $70,000 New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund championship, leaves from post 9 for owners Harmony Oaks Stable, David J. Miller and James Crawford. The Donato Hanover-Rare Book gelding will have the services of Dan Rawlings. Swipe Right (post 1, Mike Wilder) is an Explosive Matter-Online Exclusive gelding who races for VIP Internet Stable, Lawrence Vincent and Harmony Oaks. Both Butenschoen charges were inexpensive yearling purchases, and the trainer is realistic about their chances. "They're nice horses, but they're not 'A' Class, top-of-the-sires-stakes types," he says. "They're good, consistent colts; they'll show up, and hopefully they'll be good enough to get some money." Butenschoen indicates he kept both horses in training -- within limits -- throughout the COVID-19 disruption. "We didn't quite know what to do with them," he says. "We kept them in training to see what they could do, but we didn't want to train them up too hard, but we needed them to be ready to go." Burke also figures to have both favorites here. His budding superstar Sister Sledge, last year's Pennsylvania champion and Dan Patch Award runner-up who rolled to victory a week ago at The Meadows in her season's debut, leaves from post 3 in race 10. The Currier & Ives could be a tougher test for her if only because of the presence of her stablemate, Sans Defaut (post 1, Wilder), who kicked off her sophomore campaign with a 1:53.2 win at Pocono. In the other division, Burke sends out Crucial (post 1), a daughter of Father Patrick-Jolene Jolene who boasts a bankroll of $143,439 and a show finish in an International Stallion Series split. Gingras will steer Sister Sledge and Crucial. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

Hanover, PA — Cam’s Card Shark passed away peacefully at Hanover Shoe Farms on July 2, 2020 at the age of 29. He was with the people that loved him, including Hanover Shoe Farms Farm Manager Patti Murphy who has been with him since he retired to stallion duty, first in New Jersey and then Pennsylvania. Cam’s Card Shark was retired from stallion duty in 2014 and lived his remaining years in the stallion barn at Hanover. Cam’s Card Shark took his record of 1:50 at age 3 and earned $2,498,204. He was the Dan Patch Horse of the Year in 1994 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. Cam’s Card Shark’s major wins included the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, New Jersey Classic, Messenger Stakes, The Adios, Berry’s Creek, James Dancer Memorial, Art Rooney Pace and the Miller Memorial. He was scratched as the overwhelming favorite to win the Little Brown Jug and never raced again. The story just starts there. Cam’s Card Shark started his stallion career at Hanover Shoe Farms of New Jersey in 1995 and moved to Pennsylvania in 2012 where he stood his last two seasons at Hanover’s Main Farm in Pennsylvania. Cam’s Card Shark sired 1,829 foals that earned $150,458,604. His most notable performers include the double millionaires Bettor’s Delight p,3,1:49.4 ($2,581,461), Shark Gesture p,1:48.1s ($2,818,021), Four Starzzz Shark p,1:47.4 ($2,537,267), Royalflush Hanover p,4,1:49.3 ($2,153,893), and the one time co-fastest pacer of all time, Holborn Hanover p,1:46.4 ($2,070,648). Cam’s Card Shark’s daughters have produced the winners of $117,544,998 including the performers A Rocknroll Dance p,4,1:47.2s ($2,429,441) and Heston Blue Chip p,3,1:48f ($1,781,881). “If he had only sired Bettor’s Delight who is unarguably one of the greatest stallions the business has ever seen, he would have left his mark, however he did so much more. Shark was a great racehorse and an even greater stallion. He was as tough and gritty a horse as you could know. It was, of course, a sad day here but he had a great life and we were blessed to have had him for as long as we did,” said Hanover’s Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky. Owners Jeff and Paula Snyder were understandably sad when they received the news. “He changed our lives, he was really the start of my career in harness racing and the horse that got Paula interested in racing. We really appreciate everything he did for us and take comfort in the fact that he had such a long and happy retirement at the only home he knew after racing,” said Jeff Snyder.

MILTON, ON - Ontario's most talented three-year-old trotting fillies took a star turn on TSN's Racing Night Live at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday and Princesspartypants opened the Gold Series harness racing season with an impressive come-from-behind victory in the first $73,067 division. Starting from Post 8, trainer-driver Roger Mayotte opted to ease Princesspartypants down to the rail in eighth as Shape Shifter sprinted out to an early lead. Heading for the :27.2 opening quarter the dynamics of the race changed when fan favourite Wine Rack Hanover made a break while sitting third, spreading out the fillies in her wake. Mayotte and Princesspartypants had narrowed the gap and were six lengths back when Massive Flirt reached the :56.4 half and they soon caught cover from Susies Lady, following that filly through the 1:26.3 three-quarters. Turning for home Mayotte gave Princesspartypants a clear look at the wire and the Muscle Mass filly shifted into high gear, powering home to a two and one-half length victory in a personal best 1:54.4. Shape Shifter stayed game for second and Yen closed well for third. "From the outside post and first (OSS) start, we just decided to play that route and it worked out. She's very versatile that way," said Mayotte. "I was following her (Susies Lady) there and she was throwing quite a bit of dirt up at my filly and my filly just wasn't real smooth, because the dirt was hitting her and it was obviously bothering her, stinging her. As soon as I tipped off her back she just smoothed right out, just changed gears." Mississauga resident Mayotte trains Princesspartypants for Just In Time Stable of Mississauga, R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington and Big Als Stables Inc. of Woodbridge, ON. Thursday's victory was the filly's first in two sophomore starts and marked her first-ever visit to the Gold Series winner's circle. At two she won a division of the Grassroots season opener before making the leap up to the Gold Series, finishing just shy of the point tally required for a post season berth. The second division saw freshman point leader Warrawee Vicky make her return to the Gold Series winner's circle. Lining up at Post 6, driver Doug McNair sent the fan favourite straight to the front and the duo never had to glance back, cruising through fractions of :28, :57.2 and 1:26.2 on their way to a 1:54.2 victory. Kombucha stalked Warrawee Vicky from start to finish and earned the runner-up's spoils while Mayotte and Modern Mass closed well to be third. "She seems to be good right now, we've got to do a little fine tuning to keep her straight," said trainer Scott McEneny, referring to the filly's middle of the racetrack finish. "But you know, she's got such good gate speed that she gets spotted pretty good." McEneny noted that a combination of mental maturity and newly configured equipment are helping keep the Royalty For Life daughter on an even keel and allowing McNair to better use her tactical speed. "If you'd have rolled her out of there last year, you'd just be a passenger going to the half," said the Puslinch, ON resident. "That's her biggest thing, you've got to be able to manage her." Milton resident Brad Grant owns Warrawee Vicky, who also had one prep race under belt heading into the Gold Series season opener. GP Dreamin wrapped up the Gold Series season opener with the quickest mile of the three divisions. Starting from Post 5 driver Jody Jamieson put the Cornaro Dasolo miss on the front and rang up a :27.4 quarter. With pressure coming from PL Notsonice Jamieson let the fan favourite roll to a :56.1 half and a 1:24 three-quarters and had opened up to a five length lead by the top of the stretch. Although Jamieson took his foot off the gas late, her peers could not catch GP Dreamin and she hit the wire five and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:53.3. PL Notsonice stayed game for second and Magic Cape rounded out the top three. "Jared (Bothwell) has done a great job. She's real mean and cantankerous in the barn and he deals with her and keeps her as happy as he possibly can so she can perform like she did tonight," said Moffat resident Jamieson. "She was monster kid tonight, really." Jared Bothwell trains GP Dreamin for Carolyn Polillo of Brantford, ON. Thursday's start was the filly's third of the season and she boasts a flawless record of consecutively faster wins. As a two-year-old GP Dreamin won a Grassroots leg and made one Gold Series start before her season was cut short by sickness. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Gold Series start on July 26 at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa. Complete results from Thursday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday with the Gold Series debut of the two-year-old pacing colts who will compete in Races 2 and 8 on the 7 pm program. The Milton oval will also host two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts on Saturday, featured as Races 3 and 6. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

The impressive Don Fanucci Zet (4m Hard Livin-Kissed By The Sand-Western Terror) took his elimination and the final of today’s Sprintermastaren held at Halmstad in Sweden. Reined by Orjan Kihlstrom for Daniel Reden/Stall Zet, the winner took his elimination (150,000SEK first money, 1609 meters autostart, 10 starters) timed in 1.10.5kr. He was off at 1.28/1 odds and defeated 3.8/1 Click Bail (4m Cantab Hall-Fun At Parties-Lindy Lane) handled by Bjorn Goop for trainer Stefan Melander. 40.3/1 Vasterbo Lexington (4m Muscle Mass-Temple Street-Coktail Jet) took third for trainer/driver Robert Bergh. Don Fanucci Zet In the finale that was race 14 on the card (1,200,000SEK to the winner, 1609 meters autostart, Gr. I International) Don Fanucci Zet  was an impressive 1.09.6kr clocked winner (mile rate 1:51.99) for the Kihlstrom/Reden/Stall Zet team after a three wide battle to the top on the backstretch of lap two. The pair of wins today improved his 2020 card to six wins in eight starts for 2,641,000SEK in seasonal earnings. For the career he now sports 10 wins in 14 appearances for 2,813,000SEK. He was off at 1.82/1 and bested 14.1/1 Guzz Mearas (4m Muscle Mass-Intensity Kromos-Viking Kronos) that Johan Untersteiner handled. 11.8/1 Click Bait (4m Cantab Hall-Fun At Parties-Lindy Lane) was third for Bjorn Goop and 80.7/1 Osteric (4m Cantab Hall-Oh Oh Herehecomes-Muscles Yankee) was fourth for C. J. Jepson and trainer Helena Burman.  Finale race replay  https://www.atgplay.se/video/20200702-sprintermastaren2020 Don Fanucci Zet in Finale   In the other elims it was 2.4/1 Guzz Mearas (4m Muscle Mass-Intensity Kronos-Viking Kronos) that took race eight timed in 1.10.8kr with trainer Johan Untersteiner up. 3.8/1 Upset Face (4m Joke Face-Iona LB-Supergill) was seconmd for Adrian Kolgjini. Third was 2.7/1 Osteric for Erik Adielsson. This elim winner earned 150,000SEK for his work. Guzz Mearas The other elim was race seven and 2.4/1 Bythebook (4g Googoo Gaagaa-Stellar Value-Viking Kronos) scored in 1.10.7kr for Erik Adielsson and trainer Svante Bath. 2/1 Green Manalishi (4m Muscle Hill-Naja Morich-Enjoy Lavec) was second for Jorma Kontio and trainer Stefan Melander. 10/1 Usain Toll (4g Googoo Gaagaa-Cotton Waste-Smok’n Lantern) was third for Wim Paal. Bythebook Recent (2015-2019) winners of this classic race have been Tau Kwon Deo, Perfect Spirit, Diamanten, Uncle Lasse and Nuncio. Program link below: https://halmstadtravet.com/Media/Get/10450/200702_halmstad_v75_17_web.pdf On the undercard was the Gr. II International Stosprintarn Final (800,000SEK to the winner, 1609 meters autostart) with that victory to 10.8/1 Grande Diva Sisu (4f Ready Cash-Super Model-Daguet Rapide) for Per Nordstrom. She defeated 1.9/1 Golden Tricks (4f Trixton-Golden Goose-SJs Photo) for the Kihlstom/Reden/Zet team and 24.4/1 Galant Sisu (4f Muscle Hill-Donatomesswithme-Donato Hanover) with Bjorn Goop up.    Grande Diva Sisu   The Emin Finale (200,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 10 starters) went to 3.9/1 Racing Brodda (5f Prodigious-Ronda Brick-Super Arnie) for Rikard N, Skoglund. 5.2/1 Zaniah Bi (5f Equinox Bi) and 17.6/1 Rebella Matters (5f Explosve Matter). Early on the program was the Euro Classic Next Year (125,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart) and 2.1/1 Elegant Ima (3m Maharajah-Ellie America-Buvetier d’Aunou) scored handled by Magnus Teien Gundersen. ATG, Halmstad Travet files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

After well over a decade of being mentored and working with some of the best, Kelly Stuart-Mitchell is about to launch her own harness racing career. The 31-year-old former Kiwi was granted a Victorian trainer's licence about five weeks ago. And she is wasting no time jumping in the deep end with her first starter going around at Cranbourne this Sunday night. Three-year-old bay gelding Hey Listen (Crazed-Catchya Maya (Yankee Spider) will make his debut in the $7000 Aldebaran Park Trot at 7.30 pm. The enthusiastic horsewoman has the pedigree for success, with her father Robert a former outstanding trainer, and her brother Todd a highly respected trainer-driver. "I grew up in a 'horsey' town, Cambridge, on the North Island," Kelly said. "There were always horses around when I was growing up because Dad had big teams in work and mum did the yearling preparations. I can clearly recall the first horse I ever got-it was given to me for my fifth birthday!" she said. "Dad enjoyed the square-gaiters and that may be rubbing off onto me a little because three of mine are trotters." Kelly has worked for some of the best along her journey, having had stints with legendary NZ Hall of Famer Barry Purdon for seven years and the formidable Victorian team, Andy and Kate Gath for five years. She also spent nine months with the highly-successful WA combination of Greg and Skye Bond. "They have all been a massive influence on me, not only as mentors, but as friends. As well I'm so grateful for all the help that Joe Pace is giving me. I'm working my horses out of his place at Melton and I just love it there," Kelly said. "I'm pretty excited to have my own starter after all this time. A win of course would be a fairytale, but I'm really just hoping that he does everything right," she said. "He didn't put a foot wrong in a recent trial and we were happy with the way he handled himself. There's quite a few owners in the horse, including my partner Darren Aitken, who along with my parents and family, is my greatest supporter." And while she's starting quietly, Kelly expects soon to build the stable to four, and eventually to get a good team together. "We have one in New Zealand that Todd is keeping ticking along while we're waiting for transportation to get it over here," she said. "I thoroughly love training them. I did drive in trials many years ago, but I'll leave that side of things to the experts!" Hoofnote: Robert Mitchell enjoyed success with Just An Excuse (Live Or Die-My Excuse (Smooth Fella) winner of two NZ Cups, the 2004 $75k Ballarat Pacing Cup and several other feature events. The gelding retired with 16 wins and eight placings from 27 starts for $877,000. Todd drove the superstar for his dad. Robert is now retired on a huge farm at Raglan, a small beachside town on the North Island of NZ, where he prepares yearlings for sale.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Vernon Downs will host three Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) races for 3-year-old trotters on Saturday (July 4) at 1 p.m. There will be two divisions for sophomore trotting colts and geldings. Both divisions will race for a purse of $97,750. In the first division, the Steven Pratt trained Barn Holden (Jim Morrill Jr) looks to be the horse to beat. In a leg of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) last week the colt by Conway Hall faded in the stretch to finish third after leading most of the race. He has two wins in 2020 and five career victories with earnings of over $135,000. His main rival will be the Julie Miller trained Book Seven (Andy Miller). The Chapter Seven colt is one for one in 2020 with a lifetime best mark of 1:56.3 last week at Tioga. He has six lifetime wins and has earned over $85,000 in his career Third Shift (Ake Svanstedt) and Berkery J (Scott Zeron) are set to face off in the second division of the EBC, Both are coming off of NYSS wins at Vernon Downs last week. Third Shift (Chapter Seven) won the ($225,000) NYSS final for freshmen colts & geldings. He looked real sharp in his 2020 debut last week winning in a lifetime best of 1:54.3. Trained by Svanstedt, he has earned over $210,000 including four career wins. Berkery J (Chapter Seven) came flying late to win last week in a lifetime best time of (1:54.2) in his first start of 2020. The George Ducharme trained colt has four career wins and earnings of over $176,000. Chaptiama (Chapter Seven) should be their main competition. Trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer, the colt came charging late to finish a close second to Berkery J at Tioga. She has two lifetime victories and nearly $200,000 in earnings. 11 fillies will square off in the $207,250 EBC for sophomore filly trotters. Hypnotic AM (Brian Sears) is the top money earner in the group with nearly $500,000 in the bank. Marcus Melander trains the filly by Chapter Seven. As a freshman she finished first in the $225,000 NYSS final and a decent third place finish in the Breeders Crown. She is one for one in 2020 with an impressive NYSS win at Tioga Downs last week. She is eight for ten in her career. Senorita Rita (Scott Zeron) will be making her 3-year-old debut. She had a sensational freshman season with wins in the $475,000 Goldsmith Maid final and the $251,000 Kindergarten Classic final (both at the Meadowlands). Linda Toscano trains the filly by Chapter Seven. She has six career wins and earnings of over $410,000. Morning line favorite, Love A Good Story (Andy Miller) is coming off a lifetime best of 1:53.0 in her 3-year-old debut at Tioga Downs last week in a leg of the NYSS. The sophomore filly by Chapter Seven is trained by Julie Miller. She has eights career wins and has amassed over $260,000 in her career. There will also be two divisions of the NYSS for freshman pacing fillies. Both divisions will race for a purse of $53.100. Post time for the 15-race card on Saturday (July 4) is 1:10 p.m. Vernon Downs will race on Thursdays and Saturdays for the rest of July at 4 p.m. They will race on Friday (July 10) with a 4 p.m. post time as well. For more information go to www.vernondowns. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs            

Vivid Wise As (6m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip-Cantab Hall) took the Gr. I Gran Premio Gaetano Turilli at Roma Capannelle (purse 180,180€, 2100 meters autostart, four-year olds and up) clocked in 1.13.9kr. This Alessandro Gocciadoro trained and reined campaigner sat the pocket and rallied to a close victory in the lane over pacesetter Zacon Gio (5m Ruty Grif-May Glide Font SM-Yankee Glide) with Roberto Vecchione up for trainer Holger Ehlert. Third was the Ehlert trainee Sharon Gar (9f Varenne-Geneve Gar-Lemon Gar) handled by VP Dell-Annunnziata. Replay   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUHLnuaf0p8           Vivid Wise As On the same June 29 Capannelle card was the Gr. I Grad Premio Tino Triossi (purse 180,180€, 2100 meters autostart, 2100 meters autostart, four year old females) and 1.12.5kr timed Always EK (4m Filipp Roc-Nike EK-Varenne) scored for Andrea Guzzinati. Four lengths back was Alrajah One (4m Maharajah-Mariu!-Varenne) with Enrico Bellei up and third was Arnas Cam (4f Ready Cash-Nadia Cam-Varenne) for Santo Mollo. The Pr Flamingo OK (purse 13,200€, 1600 meters autostart) at Torino saw Vernissage Grif (6m Varenne-Dalia Grif-Park Avenue Joe) score in a quick 1.09.4kr (mile rate 1:51.66) with Alessandro Gocciadoro aboard. He defeated Showmar and Vanvitelli. The winners’ pedigree follows. Gaet files/photo by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This past Sunday, 23-year-old Samuel Fillion scored his first victory as a professional harness racing driver and now he is hungry for more. Competing in the last race Sunday, Fillion, who hails from Mont-Joli, led from start to finish with the pacer D J Power, winning in 1:56.2 at the Hippodrome 3R. Fillion was patient. He was able to get to the front with D J Power, then rate the best fractions for his horse, keeping his composure as he did last year on the Quebec Regional Fair Circuit. Driving harness horses the past five years at the fairs has seasoned Fillion in his quest to become a professional driver. Last year he blossomed and earned his license, starting in 87 races with 18 wins, 11 seconds and 14 third place finishes, good enough for a strong Universal Driving Rating (UDR) or batting average of .331. Now comes 2020 and Fillion is off to a great start. In four drives he has one win and two third place finishes and his UDR is an impressive .416. "The racing world is sometimes cruel," Fillion said. "I heard comments that I was not able to win a race at H3R. Now it's done and I'll do my best not to be last again. "On Sunday, Fillion explained. "I thought I was going a long way behind Pascal Berube (Stock), but the opposite happened. I know this horse well, I even jogged him last week and I knew he was good, and on Sunday afternoon he showed it to everyone. I am very happy that this first victory is behind me. I will do my best to justify the confidence of the people who will put my name on their horses." Fillion has earned the respect of owners and trainers that on Friday's program at H3R he has three drives and one drive on Sunday, back aboard D J Power. "My father had racing horses when he was young," Fillion said. "My grandfather was a blacksmith at that time. After several years without horses, my dad bought a gelding, Classic Mondial. I was 14 when I start taking care of this horse. He performed well and that gave us the taste to continue and to buy others. "Now," Fillion added. "I also have the opportunity to learn with my father-in-law, Jean-Marc Roy, and my brothers-in-law Louis-Philippe Roy and Pierre-Luc Roy, and I am very grateful for their expertise they share with me." Fillion has a drive in the fifth race Preferred Trot on Friday. It's aboard Lucky Promesses from the far outside post eight. A tough position for any horse to overcome. Last week Fillion was able to get a third-place finish with Lucky Promesses. From the outside post this week, Fillion will need to find some good live cover to help keep him in the hunt. "The mare raced well last week for her first start of the year," Fillion said. "despite her post 8 this week if she had a good mile in her she can do well. We will see." The race favorite is stablemate Holiday Party (Pascal Berube), who was second in the top trot last week. Isabelle Binet trains both horses. "He is a young man from the same place as me," said driver Pascal Berube of Samuel Fillion. "I lent him Fortune Fella for a final in Trois Rivières two years ago, and he won. There are not many horses to drive in the early days of our career, so I wanted to help him and we needed someone to drive Lucky Promesses." Other contenders in the field include Caroluzzo (post one), who was a 2:02.4 winner last week and is moving up in class, the front-end speedster R Rkadabra (post three) and Voodoo Man (post six). When asked who his favorite driver is in harness racing, Fillion was a little bias. "Louis-Philippe Roy is my favorite driver," Fillion said of his brother-in-law. "He started in fairs like me and now he's one of the best drivers in all of Canada. Also, I like his style and the way he sits on the bike." First race post time on Friday is 4:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

Gu d’Heripre (4m Coktail Jet-Vedetta d’Heripre) was an impressive winner this day at Paris-Vincennes in the Gr. II Prix Phaeton (purse 85,000€, 2700 meters, four-year old males). Off at 1.6/1 odds the 1.13.4kr timed winner was teamed with Franck Nivard by trainer Philippe Billard for Ecurie d’Heripre. This was his ninth career victory now for 326,000€ earned. 2.2/1 Gelati Cut (4m Coktail Jet-Variety Cut) was second for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer R.C. Larue. 14/1 Girolamo (4m Uriel Speed-Seduction d’Anama) took third for pilot Franck Ouvrie and the Sylvain Roger/Noel Lolic team. Gu d’Heripre The Q+ Prix Paul Leguerney (Gr. II, purse 85,000€, 2700 meters, four year old females) was next up and victory went to 3.2/1 Green Grass (4f Bold Eagle-Tootsie Smiling) clocked in 1.13.1kr and in rein to Mathieu Mottier. Sebastien Guarato trains this winner for owner Sebastien Dewulf. She earned her ninth career victory and raised her career earnings to 457,650€.  The 7/1 Gemme de Busset (4f Brillantissime-Ovelinotte d’Ylea) and reinsman David Thomain was second with third to 14/1 Goulette (4f Up And Quick-Talida du Vivier) teamed with Franck Nivard. Green Grass The Quinte+ payoff was 30,996.80€ and the Q+ pool was 2,802,119€. Ahead on the weekend is the re-emergence of Cleangame in a Gr. II event at Vichy. His chief rivals are likely his JMB stablemates Bel Avis and Dreambreaker. See below. 19:15 C1 - GRAND PRIX DU CONSEIL MUNICIPAL 90 000€  - July 4 at Vichy Groupe II - Attelé - 2950m Course Internationale Pour 4 à 10 ans inclus. - Recul de 25 m. à 450.000. Sont seules admises à driver les personnes ayant gagné au moins trente-cinq courses (en étant titulaire d'une autorisation de monter à titre professionnel). A race previously missed was Best Of Bourbon (9g Ready Cash-Herba Bourbon) in the monte Prix de Coulombs at Caen (purse 24,000€, 2450 meters distance handicap). In this race he overcame a 25-meter handicap to win in record time of 1.12.1kr over 2475 meters. Morgane Blot was the winning jockey for trainer Vincent Jurry. He was off at 126/1 odds and secured his 12th career win now for 211,950€ earned. LeTrot, PMU files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

This Week: Cutler Memorial and Graduate Series, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. and Currier & Ives, The Meadows, Washington, Pa. Schedule of events: This week's Grand Circuit racing will take place on Saturday (July 4) at The Meadowlands with the $170,900 Cutler Memorial for older trotters and three $50,000 divisions in the second leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open pacers. The mares Atlanta and Manchego will battle again as part of an 11-horse field in the Cutler. Also on Saturday, The Meadows will host the $102,245 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old open trotters and a pair of $32,297 divisions of the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: It wasn't easy, but Gimpanzee came from well off the pace to win one of two $50,000 divisions of the Graduate Series' second leg for 4-year-old trotters on Saturday (June 27) at The Meadowlands in a lifetime-best 1:50.2. Gimpanzee came from well off the pace to win one of two $50,000 divisions of the Graduate Series' second leg in a lifetime-best 1:50.2. Lisa photo. Driver Brian Sears opted to race the two-time Breeders Crown and New York Sire Stakes champion from off the pace after a highly contentious several-horse scrum into the first turn had him take back to seventh at the quarter. "I knew the horse to beat was Chin Chin Hall and I wasn't going to press my horse early," said Sears. The son of Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows was sixth in a third-over flow at three-quarters as Chin Chin Hall was sailing along on the lead. But Gimpanzee still had plenty of fuel in the tank. Despite having 4-1/2 lengths to make up through the final three-sixteenths, the Marcus Melander trainee was up to the task, rocketing home in :27 to best Chin Chin Hall by a half-length. Kings County was third. "Gimpanzee is everything you want in a racehorse," said Sears. "I thought (Chin Chin Hall) was going to be spent (in the latter stages) and I thought we had a chance. My horse is a gamer and knows what we are trying to accomplish. He put his head down and did what he had to do." Gimpanzee paid $2.60 to win as the 1-5 favorite in raising his lifetime numbers to 19 wins from 25 starts, good for earnings of $1,770,111 for owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. Southwind Avenger won the other Graduate division in 1:51.3 at odds of 22-1, for driver Andy McCarthy. Don't Let'em, the 4-5 favorite, broke at the start and finished last in the field of nine. Complete recaps of the weekend 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. Brian Sears - 40; 2. Tim Tetrick - 32; 3. Dexter Dunn - 27; 4t. Aaron Merriman - 20; 4t. Dave Palone - 20. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 55; 2. Marcus Melander - 34; 3t. Nifty Norman - 20; 3t. Norm Parker - 20; 5t. (seven trainers are tied with 10 points). Owners: 1t. Burke Racing Stable - 11.3; 1t. J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby - 11.3; 1t. Weaver Bruscemi - 11.3. 4t. Black Horse Racing - 10; 4t. Oldford Racing - 10. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at The Meadowlands. The July 10 Meadowlands program will feature the second leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares, while the massive July 11 Meadowlands card will offer the finals of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and trotters; Reynolds Memorial divisions for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters; and eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Since the indictment of more than two dozen thoroughbred and harness racing trainers, assistants, veterinarians, and pharmacists in connection with a horse doping ring this March, rumors have swirled that more names could be forthcoming in connection with the federal investigation. Speaking at a status conference for the case on Tuesday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Adams told U.S. District Judge Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil that a superseding indictment could be around the corner, but did not provide details as to the timing. “We are looking seriously at superseding indictments,” said Adams. “For the moment, and I made this point at least to some defense counsel previously, the nature of what we're looking at is largely in the same kind of criminal conduct as what is in the current indictment. We're looking at expanding timeframes for certain of the conspiracies. We're looking at potentially adding different statutory charges with respect to certain of the defendants. What I do not anticipate for the moment is that those superseding indictments, if and when they come, would require the production of some substantial large set of materials not already produced to date or already in the queue of things we expect to produce.” A superseding indictment is one which replaces an existing indictment, and could add charges against already-named defendants and/or could name new defendants. Vyskocil reminded Adams that the court would not hold things up while the government finishes its investigation. Adams said he understood and that he would not ask to hold up the proceedings for that reason. The charges on the current indictments, which names former top trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis, among others, focus on drug adulteration, misbranding, and conspiracy. The indictments claim a network of horsemen, veterinarians and pharmacy reps sold, distributed and used drugs in racehorses for the purpose of performance enhancement. Other than a potential superseding indictment, there are not likely to be many updates in the case until late fall. Currently, attorneys are going through the discovery process, meaning each side is requesting and providing requested evidence in the case. Adams said he believes his office will be able to provide the last of the discovery material requested by defendants by the end of September. Already, the office has provided some 90 gigabytes' worth of data to all defendants in three different volumes, and has fielded 20 additional individual requests. That data includes the results of 30 different search warrants, intercepted phone calls and text messages, geolocation information for various devices, email accounts, file transfer accounts, inventory lists, shipping records, veterinary records, drug promotional and marketing material, and much more. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is still extracting data from devices like cell phones and tablets seized from defendants at the time of their arrests. Adams mentioned that labs inside and outside the United States had been asked to conduct testing on samples related to the case, although it was not immediately clear whether that referred to samples of substances seized in searches of pharmacies or biological samples from horses, or both. Those results were not all known to the federal government as of yet, and some defense attorneys expressed a desire to work out some sort of split sampling process where possible, acknowledging there was a finite amount of some samples available to test. After the government produces requested evidence, it is sent to a coordinating discovery attorney for organization and distribution. One defense attorney pointed out that it generally takes the coordinating discovery attorney roughly a month to process large document releases before they are given over to defense counsel, so a late September target for discovery completion means they will get a look at the last of the evidence in early November. Vyskocil scheduled a status conference for Nov. 19. Most participants on the call agreed it would be impractical to set a trial date or motion schedule until the defense has seen all the government's evidence against their clients. Read more about the federal indictments in this March 9 piece from the Paulick Report. By Natalia Ross Reprinted with permission of The Paulick Report

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Gia's Surreal is quickly becoming the dominate damsel at Buffalo Raceway as she collected her second straight win in the $11,500 Open Pace for harness racing fillies and mares with a solid half length victory over Hey Kobe is 1:54.2 on Wednesday night (July 1).   Just making her third start of her 4-year-old campaign, the favored Gia's Surreal ($4.60) had little problem rallying to get the victory.   Lady London (Ray Fisher Jr.) set the splits with times of :28.0, :57.0 and 1:25.2. Midway down the backstretch the final time, Gia's Surreal was stuck behind dull cover and had to tip three wide with a panel to go.   In the stretch, Gia's Surreal (John Cummings Jr.) was just too powerful for Hey Kobe (Drew Monti) and Lady London who had to settle for second and third respectively.   Co-owned by trainer Jim Graham, Ed Peron, Tom Mariano and Lee Winters, the victory moved Gia's Surreal (So Surreal-Nancy Irene) seasonal earnings to $12,380 and $163,940 in her career.   The heavily-favored Victoria Swan ($2.90) played 'catch me if you can' in the $10,000 Class A-AA Handicapped Trot and no one was up to the task.   Scoring from the rail, Victoria Swan had little trouble in turning back Empire Earl N (Jim Morrill Jr.) by a half length in 1:58.4. Call My Broker (Dan Yetman) took the show spot.   After relinquishing the lead early on to Empire Earl N, Victoria Swan used a big backside brush to take command and never looked back. A :58.1 last half was enough to dash the hopes of the remaining six participants.   Co-owned by RBH Ventures Inc. and Spagnola Racing LLC, it was the third triumph in 10 tries for Victoria Swan (Swan For All-Victoria Sahbra). Trained by Sabrina Shaw, the 5-year-old mare now has $16,854 in winnings in 2020 and $113,854 lifetime.   Monti and Fisher Jr. finished the evening with triples while Morrill Jr., Billy Davis Jr. all doubled. Rich Mays, Darrin Monti and Gerry Sarama each conditioned two winners.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening beginning at 6 p.m. with a 13-race program slated.   For more information including the latest, news, race replays, entries and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Stawell harness racing hobby trainer Ray Harvey makes no secret that he was ready to give up on many occasions with a young square-gaiter that had only one gear-and that was reverse! "It didn't matter what I tried, all he wanted to do was go backwards. He would barely take one step forward," Harvey said. "I've broken in quite a few over the years and never have I come across one like it before. But bless his little soul, that's all in the past and he's now the best horse I've ever had in my stables!" he said. And the aptly-named The Penny Drops (Danny Bouchea-Chilly Pepperell (Classic Adam) is certainly a bright prospect among Victorian trotting ranks, posting his eighth career win at Terang on Tuesday night. The four-year-old was bred and now raced by Harvey, his partner Moira Hateley, and friends Jim and Val Pickering. Harvey said one of the first times "Ronny" (The Penny Drops' stable name) got the idea of moving forward, was when their dog walked past. "The horse just set off following the dog. Another time Moira walked by and he followed her. So Moira then walked around our track, with the horse coming along behind her," he said. "So with this in mind, we got old Baltimore Boy (7 wins & 23 placings) who we retired five years ago, and tied him to the jog cart next to Ronny. That worked perfectly, and providing Ronny could hear the other horse, he was happily trotting-and in a forward direction! "After that day there hasn't been a problem and we could leave Baltimore Boy at home. But the two horses are now the best of mates. "We leased the dam Chilly Pepperell and bred from her. The Penny Drops has so far provided us with a great deal of enjoyment." Harvey, who is from a thoroughbred background, was a late arrival to the trotting game and came to train standardbreds by chance. "I was a jockey as a kid and later in Adelaide I rode over the jumps. I've worked for some top trainers, including the Cummings stable," he said. "I got a job at the Stawell racecourse, but because of the hours I was required to work, it was impossible to train gallopers. So I went into doing standardbreds about 10 to 15 years ago-and here I am still going and loving it." Now a truckdriver, Harvey said training standardbreds worked better around the couple's lifestyle. "You can train them at home whenever it suits and when I'm doing an early shift with truck driving, Moira takes care of the feeding duties before she heads off," he said. "Moira has also been involved in the thoroughbred side of things in the past. She has some show hacks at home and is right into it." The Penny Drops showed exceptional ability last season as a three-year-old with five wins and two placings from 14 starts. This season he has also been consistent with three wins and four placings from 11 outings. "We finished second, beaten a half neck in the 2020 TAB South Australian G1 $30,000 Trotters Cup, in February. I usually only give them two or three weeks off, but we went away, and he ended up having six weeks in the paddock," Harvey said. "He came back in with a bigger girth than me! It's has taken so long to get the weight off him. His first two starts back on May 30 and then June 18 sharpened him up and he looks okay now. "He's a nice, honest horse, but I'm sure there's improvement in him because he's so laid back and doesn't always go his hardest. "I put blinkers on him quite a while ago and that got his head in the game. I really believe he likes just being a type of social horse." Harvey is hoping for a start at Melton on Saturday week in a Winter Championship. "The mobile barrier start isn't really his go because he's not real quick, but hopefully we will be thereabouts," he said. Harvey has just finished breaking in two babies that are now out for a spell-both trotters. "I prefer them to pacers, but they can be more heart-breaking!" he admitted.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The four Margaretas Tidiga divisions were raced at Solvalla and they produced interesting and well-bred winners. Each division for three and four year olds, separated by age, colts and fillies, had a first prize of 300,000SEK and the distance of each division was 2140 meters autostart. The three-year old colt division saw 1.1/1 Hell Bent For AM (3m Muscle Hill-Nalda Nof-Supergill) score in 1.14.3kr with Orjan Kihlstrom aboard for trainer Stefan Melander. 8.4/1 Hector Sisu (3g Zola Boko) was next for Ulf Ohlsson and trainer Petri Salmela. Third went to 13.9/1 Hulker Sisu (3m Readly Express) for pilot Magnus Djuse and trainer Jerry Riordan. The three-year old fillies group went to the 1.14.5kr timed and 8.5/1 odds Aperfectttric (3f Aperfectyankee-Tricolore-Viking Kronos) reined by trainer Jim Oscarsson. 17.5/1 outsider Clockwork (3f Zola Boko) was second for Ulf Eriksson and trainer Juakim Elfring. 29.9/1 Chiffchoff (3f From Above) was third with Erik Adielsson at the lines for trainer Ola Samuelsson. American Hill (4f Muscle Hill-Americandream AT-Extreme Dream) captured the four-year olds mares division of the Margaretas, at 2.2/1 odds and clocked in 1.13.2kr. Trainer Conrad Lugauer teamed the winner that defeated 6.5/1 La Plus Belle (4f Muscle Hill) driven by Ulf Eriksson. Third was 94/1 Strangerinthenight (4f Ready Cash) for Rikard N. Skoglund. Gowestyoungman (4g Jacose-Out Of The Game-Muscles Yankee) took the four-year old male division clocked in 1.12.9kr. Orjan Kihlstrom reined this Stefan Pettersson trainee that was off at 5.1/1 odds. 32/1 Stonecapes Superb (4g Ready Cash-Nesmile Will-Defo d’Aunou) took second for Ulf Eriksson and trainer Reijo Liljendahl. His 25/1 stablemate, Mr. Marvelous (4g Ready Cash-Alohadoodle-Credit Winner), was third with Ulf Ohlsson up for trainer Liljendahl. On the same card was the 100,000SEK first prize Hartagarna Sommarpris raced over 1640 meters autostart. The fast 1.10.9kr clocked winner was 9/1 Hill Street (5g Muscle Hill-Think Twice) with trainer Daniel Reden aboard. 4.8/1 Alone (5m Maharajah) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Pasi Aikio and 10.7/1 Grainfield Aiden (6g Andover Hall) took third for trainer/driver Hannu Korpi. ATG, Solvalla.se files/photo by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

History is about the past. It could be from years past or it could be yesterday. Harness racing has a lengthy history. From world record horses and drivers to equipment changes and new race bikes, harness racing has evolved into the sport it is today and will continue to evolve as time continues to go on. Today and every day is history in the making; however, to really be part of history and to make history is one of the greatest accomplishments in a life time. In harness racing, to make history is anything from winning a big race to setting a record through number of wins as a trainer or driver, lifetime earnings, or setting a track record. Each of these stories has a starting point. In harness racing, the starting point is the first steps on the track where you first smell the fresh air, hear the thundering hooves against the ground, see the legs swiftly glide in a rhythmic pattern, feel the racing of your heart as the horses turn for home, and get a taste of the freedom that comes within the sport. However, no one just picks up a set of lines and wins the Hambletonian. The historical victories begin with a pitch fork in hand and two feet on the ground, ankle deep in sawdust. Bruce Aldrich, Sr. has been a part of harness racing history in the making for 58 years. His journey through harness racing began at the age of 12 because he lived in close proximity to a track in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. At Hinsdale, Aldrich cleaned stalls for Bob Tisbert. Aldrich is not the only of his family in the horse racing business. He ran his own stable with his first wife, Linda, for over thirty years. His brothers Basil and Bernie are also horsemen as well as his son, Bruce Aldrich, Jr., and daughter, Michelle Hallett. “My dad has taught me everything I need to know to be successful in this business,” Aldrich’s son, Bruce Aldrich, Jr. states. “When I was younger, I won six races driving at Maine. On the seventh horse, I hit the gate and the horse made a break. That horse was a 3-5 favorite. Dad said I needed to pay attention. I never made that mistake again,” Jr. laughed. Michelle Hallett agrees that she has learned anything and everything there is to know about horse racing from her parents. “He always taught me that if you do it right the first time, you don’t have to do it again,” Hallett says. “These life lessons in horse racing were always repeated to me throughout my childhood. Some of those life lessons were hard lessons to learn,” she joked. “He would always send me out with a horse and tell me the horse was two fingers. Next thing you know, I’m on a dead gallop around the track and can’t hold the horse. But, these lessons made me into the horseman I am today.” Today, Aldrich runs a stable of over ten head with his fiancé, Linda Boyd (whose name, ironically is the exact same as Aldrich's first wife). A year ago, after medical complications, Aldrich had part of his left leg amputated. Despite these challenges, Aldrich is still able to manage this stable of twelve horses with great success. He is at the barn everyday with Linda to ensure all of his horses are well taken care of and well trained. “As surprising as you may find it, not that much has changed since the operation in terms of my participation in the harness racing business,” Aldrich claims. “I am unable to sit behind one in a race bike or jog cart, at least until I get my prosthetic leg. However, I am still able to run a successful stable of twelve horses with the help of my fiancé, Linda.” As many horsemen stories go, Aldrich had no other interests in any other careers once he started in the horse business as he was hooked. This business gets in your blood. Bruce Aldrich had worked as both a driver and trainer, traveling to numerous tracks across the country. He has traveled up and down the East Coast and West Coast for grand circuit races, including to Canada. His favorite track was Rockingham Park. He has worked for John Simpson, Jr., Carl Allen, Mickey McNichol, and Joe Caraluzzi as a second trainer. He has now had numerous horses with Woody Hoblitzell. The idols Aldrich looked up to include Walter Case, Jr., Billy Parker, Mickey McNichol, and Carl Allen. Dr. Marty Allen, one of Carl Allen’s sons, recalls memories his family had with Bruce Aldrich as a trainer for his dad. “One time, there were these criminals that had broken into our new home. I saw someone running through the field and so, I took off after him. I was about to tackle him when he started yelling ‘it’s me! Bruce!’ Turns out, Bruce was chasing after those criminals, too. If he didn’t yell, I definitely would have jumped on him,” Dr. Allen laughed. Rod Allen, another one of Carl’s sons, said that he remembered what a good horseman Bruce Aldrich was when he was with their family. “He worked so hard and my dad depended on him and his wife, Linda, for everything.” Mickey McNichol stated, “Bruce Aldrich is an all-around great guy and all-around great horsemen.” Finally, Walter Case said, “He is a great man. I have nothing but respect for him. He is always willing to help people. He has a heart of gold and gave me many wins. His horses were always ready.” Aldrich’s first win was Sirus O Brien for his brother, Basil. His proudest moments in horse racing have been working with Jazz Cosmos for Mickey McNichol and Sundance Skipper for Carl Allen. His favorite horses were Samsawinner with over 64 wins and Witch and Famous. “My first driving win with Sirus O Brien was surreal. This win, along with my first training win, were a couple of my proudest moments, too. They were the true breaking of the ice into harness racing as a driver and as a trainer,” Aldrich said. Working in the business for as many decades as Aldrich, he has had the opportunity to see the transformation of history in the making. Harness racing has evolved from years ago in that before, the races were single file and no one moved out to two- and three-wide like they do today, Aldrich claims. Now, there is no hub rail and there is a passing lane, allowing more movement. The track surface is a much better and the equipment is lighter, allowing for faster horses today. Back then, however, Aldrich describes that it seemed as though horsemen made more money as people on the racetrack were like family. Aldrich believes, though, that the horse racing business is going as strong as it was in the past as he watches the sales of horses at $100,000 and climbing. Today and every day, Aldrich and many other horsemen continue to write history through the lens of our horse racing business. by Jessica Hallett, for Harnesslink

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