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Harness racing trainers Ron Burke and Julie Miller have three of the four richest 2-year-olds in Friday's Breeders Crown eliminations at Harrah's Hoosier Park - Venerate, Southwind Gendry, and Blue Diamond Eyes - and both trainers feel good about their entries overall as they prepare for the night. Hoosier hosts $25,000 eliminations for 2-year-olds and 3-year-old fillies Friday. The 3-year-old fillies include returning Breeders Crown champions Ramona Hill and Reflect With Me. The top-five finishers from each elimination advance to next week's finals. Elimination winners will draw for posts one through five for the finals. Eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers, 3-year-old male trotters, and older female pacers will be held Saturday at Hoosier. Eliminations were unnecessary for the Open Pace, Open Trot, and Mare Trot. Burke, who ranks No. 2 among all trainers in Breeders Crown history with 17 trophies, will send out 12 horses in Friday's elims, including male pacer Southwind Gendry and female pacer Blue Diamond Eyes. "I think they're all going to be competitive," Burke said. "I'm happy with where most of them drew. We're just going to try to get as many in (to the finals) as we can and then get ready for next week." Southwind Gendry has won eight of 10 races this year and earned $409,269, tops among 2-year-old male pacers. He brings a six-race win streak to his elimination. His triumphs include the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final and three Grand Circuit stakes (Elevation and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion). The gelding competes in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old male pacers and will start from post two with driver Yannick Gingras. "He's super sharp and drew a good spot," Burke said. "I can't be happier. He has a real good attitude about winning. That's what most impresses me. He seems to want to win." The first elimination also includes Metro Pace winner Exploit and Indiana Sire Stakes champion JK Going West. The second elimination features undefeated Perfect Sting (8-for-8) as well as Metro runner-up Bayfield Beach and the season's fastest male pacer, Lou's Pearlman, who won a division of the Bluegrass in 1:49.1. Burke also trains Lou's Pearlman, the winner of five of 10 starts this year. "He started out great, then hit a little dry patch, but his last couple have been excellent," Burke said. "He's another one that's really coming in sharp and ready to go." Blue Diamond Eyes races in the second of two eliminations for 2-year-old filly pacers. She has won four of nine starts, finished second three times, and earned $383,417. Her victories include sire stakes championships in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Her foes in the elimination include stablemate Scarlett Hanover, the Ontario Sire Stakes champion who finished first in the She's A Great Lady Stakes but was disqualified for causing interference in the stretch. "I can't be happier with (Blue Diamond Eyes); she's become one of the better fillies of the class," Burke said. "I'm thrilled with her. We thought she was our best filly and then she went the wrong way for a little bit. When she went to Lexington (for the recent Grand Circuit meet) she turned everything around. It all came together. "Whatever was wrong, she fixed it on her own, basically. Since then, she's been very good." The first elimination for 2-year-old filly pacers includes She's A Great Lady winner Caviart Audrey, Indiana Sire Stakes champion Somethingbeautiful, and Fire Start Hanover, who is on a five-race win streak. Miller-trained Venerate leads all 2-year-olds in purses with $690,614. The trotting colt won the Mohawk Million and Kentucky Sire Stakes final in September. He went off stride in his most recent start, a division of the International Stallion at Lexington's Red Mile. He is in the second of two eliminations for 2-year-old male trotters. "He can be his own worst enemy," Miller said. "He has to mind his manners, that's his biggest thing. He's kind of immature mentally and is still trying to figure out what we're asking of him. He wants to do the right thing, he's trying to figure it out. But he trained very well and I think he's on his game right now. I think he's peaking." Venerate's rivals in his elimination include undefeated Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Captain Corey (5-for-5) and Peter Haughton Memorial winner Zenith Stride. The first elim includes William Wellwood Memorial winner On A Streak and Grand Circuit stakes winner Cuatro De Julio, whose 1:51.3 mile in a division of the International Stallion makes him the fastest of the Breeders Crown hopefuls. In the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters, Peaceful Way winner Donna Soprano headlines a group of eight in the first elimination. The Luc Blais-trained filly has won five of six starts, including a division of the Champlain Stakes, and finished second to colt Venerate in the Mohawk Million. She leads 2-year-old filly trotters in purses with $433,570. The first elimination also includes New York Sire Stakes and Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes winner Iteration as well as recent Grand Circuit stakes winner Beautiful Game. In the second elimination, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Flawless Country, Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Lady Chaos, and Indiana Sire Stakes champion Swift Swanda are among the hopefuls in a field of nine. Among the 3-year-old fillies, Tony Alagna's Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill competes in the second of two eliminations for 3-year-old female trotters. The most recent Breeders Crown-winning 2-year-old filly trotter to repeat at age 3 was Ariana G in 2016 and 2017. Her foes in her elimination include Love A Good Story, who earlier this month won the Kentucky Filly Futurity for trainer Miller. "We just tried to nurse her this summer in the New York (Sire Stakes) program and then target the Futurity and Breeders Crown," Miller said. "She's an easy keeper and loves her job and is full of energy. She's been a consistent, honest filly for us." Burke sends out Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Moni Maker Stakes winner Crucial in the second elimination and Sister Sledge, last year's Breeders Crown runner-up, in the first. Neither hit the board in their two most recent starts, but Burke said they were suffering from stomach issues. "We worked on them and they look better, and they trained great," Burke said. "I'm hoping we're going to turn them back around." The first elimination for 3-year-old filly trotters also includes New York and Kentucky sire stakes champ Hypnotic AM and Indiana Sire Stakes champ May Baby. Reflect With Me, another Alagna trainee, is in the first of two eliminations for 3-year-old filly pacers. The most recent Breeders Crown-winning 2-year-old filly pacer to repeat at age 3 was Warrawee Ubeaut, just last year. Her elimination includes undefeated (13-for-13) Party Girl Hill, who beat male rivals in her most recent start in the Tattersalls Pace. Her wins also include the Jugette and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. The second elimination includes last year's Dan Patch Award winner, Lyons Sentinel, along with New York Sire Stakes champion Hen Party and Indiana Sire Stakes champion Priceless. Priceless is a newer addition to Miller's stable. She will be making her third start for Miller in the Breeders Crown elim. "We kind of did a test run the first time with her so we could figure out how we wanted her to be and she really raced well," Miller said. "She really likes that Hoosier track. There are a lot of nice horses in there, but she deserves it and it's her home turf. Hopefully, she'll have a little advantage there. "Things seems to be going our way right now," she added. "We're very thankful and fortunate. I hope it continues." Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Hoosier Park. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

When Robert Lindstrom saw the then-yearling Captain Corey in person for the first time, he quickly arrived at two conclusions. First, the harness racing colt was going to cost more than he originally anticipated. Second, he needed to be the one to buy him. Lindstrom was correct about the first assumption and successful in accomplishing the second, purchasing Captain Corey for $150,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Sale. The trotter was the co-sales topper for the session. "It was very exciting," Lindstrom said. "I had some idea how much I could spend for him. When I saw him, I understood it would be impossible. I was much over my limit to buy him, but I couldn't let him go. To me, he was the best horse in the sale at that time." Captain Corey, who is undefeated in four races this year as he prepares for Friday's $61,500 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at The Meadowlands, is by Googoo Gaagaa out of Luv U All. Googoo Gaagaa was a record-setting sensation at ages 2 and 3, with a career mark of 1:50.4 established at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 2012, best known for being the son of a pacing stallion, Cam's Rocket. Lindstrom long admired Googoo Gaagaa and last year brokered a deal with Richard Hans, who was the horse's breeder, owner, and trainer, to buy the stallion and bring him to Sweden. Googoo Gaagaa, through frozen semen transport, had already sired a small group of successful horses in Sweden prior to the move. They include Group 1 winners Bythebook, Hail Mary, and Power. "To pick a stallion, it's good if they have a good pedigree, but it's all about performance, that they are an exceptional horse," Lindstrom said. "Googoo had such a trotting technique, with the way he could go around turns, and he wanted to win. That is what I think you need for a great stallion. "If you're really a nerd about pedigree, if you follow his maternal line way back, he comes from the same maternal line as Muscle Hill. It's there. Some people say that he doesn't have the pedigree, but I don't think his pedigree is bad." Lindstrom's interest in Captain Corey, therefore, was not unexpected. The colt, named in honor of Googoo Gaagaa's driver Corey Callahan, was bred by Carter Duer and when Lindstrom visited the farm and saw Captain Corey in the paddock, he was immediately hooked. "He was such a tremendous horse," Lindstrom said. "Just when you saw him, not only his body, but when you saw him in the eyes, he looked intelligent. He looked right through you. I got such a feeling from the horse." Lindstrom partnered with S R F Stable and Knutsson Trotting Inc. on the purchase of Captain Corey and sent the horse to trainer Ake Svanstedt (who also became an ownership partner). Svanstedt, too, found it easy to admire Captain Corey. "From day one when we hooked him to the jog cart he was like an old horse," Svanstedt said. "He is a very smart horse, never nervous for a race. His gait is very good, a long stride. I don't think he needs to use too much energy to do his job. He has a long stride, and I can never feel the speed of him because he has such a nice gait. It feels like it is easy for him. I'm impressed with everything he does." Captain Corey's four wins this season all came in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, including a track-record 1:54.1 debut at The Meadows, a track-record-equaling 1:55 second start at Harrah's Philadelphia, and a 1:53.3 stakes-record score in the series championship at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "He was so big, I didn't think he was going to be this good so early," Lindstrom said. "Ake has done a tremendous job to make him so good and develop him in the right way." Captain Corey's start Friday will be his first since winning the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final Sept. 5. The colt battled a little sickness after the race and got an extended respite in preparation for the upcoming Breeders Crown. "I think it was good for him to have a break," Svanstedt said. "He was training the whole time and has trained good." Lindstrom said the plan was to limit Captain Corey to 10 or fewer races this season. "The most important thing this year was not to race too much," Lindstrom said. "Next year is important. The 3-year-old season is where we thought he would shine. This season is just a bonus. "We're very excited about what has happened so far, but even more for what could happen. It's very thrilling." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Odds On Osiris will try to repeat as an Indiana Sire Stakes harness racing champion Friday at Harrah's Hoosier Park, where success could propel him to the Breeders Crown a week later when the event returns to Hoosier for the second time in four years.There is more than $2 million in purses Friday evening. A multiple Grand Circuit stakes winner in his career, Odds On Osiris topped this season's Indiana Sire Stakes standings for 3-year-old male pacers thanks to three wins and two seconds in the series. He heads to the final off back-to-back ISS victories, including a career-best 1:49.3 score last week at Hoosier. It was his first race since Sept. 18. "I thought he felt pretty good," driver Peter Wrenn said. "He handled that pretty easily. But it's racing and (Friday) is not going to be easy. Hopefully, the end result is good. He's a very nice horse. If everything goes right, he's got this week and if he comes out of it all right, we've got the Breeders Crown. "The only problem is I don't have enough of them (like him)," he added, laughing. "Other than that, everything is perfect." Odds On Osiris has won four of eight races this year and earned $249,780. He won the Carl Milstein Memorial in August and has been off the board only once, when started in the second tier and was fourth in the North America Cup final despite a :26.3 final quarter that was at least four-fifths of a second faster than the horses that finished ahead of him. "I thought he raced really well up there," said Wrenn, who watched Sylvain Filion drive the gelding in Canada because of international travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. "He was charging at the end. That's just part of racing." For his career, Odds On Osiris has won 11 of 18 races and $593,675. He is trained by Wrenn's wife, Melanie. "It's quite a transition from (age) 2 to 3 and not all horses step up to the plate," Peter Wrenn said. "He did. I couldn't be any happier with him." Another horse looking to repeat as an Indiana Sire Stakes champion is 3-year-old female trotter Rock Swan. The Erv Miller-trained filly has won five of 10 races this season and hit the board in every start despite battling foot issues. She competed in all seven preliminary legs of the sire stakes, posting four victories and three seconds. For her career, she has won 14 of 21 races and been worse than second only once. "We've been playing with her shoes to get her a little better and hopefully she'll be on key," Miller said. "She trained really nice (Tuesday) morning. Hopefully, she'll be good to go on Friday night and then move on to the Breeders Crown. She's got May Baby to beat and she hasn't beaten her in their last couple starts. Hopefully, she'll be a little better Friday." May Baby, a Breeders Crown finalist in 2019 after finishing second to Rock Swan in the Indiana championship, has won six of nine races this year and brings a three-race win streak to Friday's start. She equaled the Hoosier Park track record for a 3-year-old trotting filly, 1:52.2, in her most recent triumph. "She's in top form," said James Yoder, who trains and drives the filly. "Hopefully, she will stay like that for the next several weeks. Three more weeks like that would be OK with me. "I've been pretty happy with her year. We had some foot issues (in August) and it took a few weeks to figure it out. It's been smooth sailing since then." Yoder also hopes to send Katkin American, an Indiana Sire Stakes finalist in the event for older male trotters, to the Breeders Crown. The 5-year-old gelding, a Hoosier track-record-setter at 3 who missed his entire 4-year-old season, has been lightly raced due to injuries. He has 11 wins and eight seconds in 20 career starts. "We've been aiming him for October," Yoder said. "We've been aiming for it all year." Miller, too, has additional Breeders Crown hopefuls, including Swift Swanda. She has won five of nine races this year and topped the ISS standings for 2-year-old female trotters. "She's a big, strong filly," Miller said. "She's just a little immature still this year. She just needs to mature. I think she'll make a great 3-year-old." Other Indiana Sire Stakes finalists eligible to the Breeders Crown include 2-year-old male pacers JK Going West, Brookview Bullet, and Virgo; 2-year-old female pacer Somethingbeautiful; 2-year-old male trotter Brookview Bolt; 3-year-old female pacer Priceless; 3-year-old male trotters Swan In Motion and Emma Town Bud; older female trotters Compelling, Custom Cantab, and Grand Swan; older female pacer Rockin Nola; older male trotters Bridge To Jesse's, Fiftydallarbill, and It's A Herbie; and older male pacer Little Rocket Man. Fiftydallarbill was a Breeders Crown champion at age 2, in 2017 at Hoosier Park. He was one of three Indiana stars, with Hannelore Hanover and Beckhams Z Tam, to win a Breeders Crown that year at Hoosier. This year's Breeders Crown eliminations will be Oct. 23 and Oct. 24. The finals for 2-year-olds will be Oct. 30 and the remaining finals will be Oct. 31. "I think there will be a lot more local trainers enter this year than the first time (the Breeders Crown) was here," Yoder said. "I think a lot of them noticed how good the Indiana-breds did the first time and I think a lot more nominated into it this year knowing it was going to be at Hoosier again." Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) at Hoosier Park. For Friday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

The "Big Three" in harness racing's Top 10 poll -- Tall Dark Stranger, Ramona Hill, and Party Girl Hill -- will be in action Sunday (Oct. 11) at The Red Mile, with each looking to add a big win to their  resume. Tall Dark Stranger and Party Girl Hill will compete in separate $239,500 divisions of the Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-olds, with Party Girl Hill attempting to become only the second female pacer in 30 years to beat male foes in a race worth more than $100,000. Ramona Hill, who earlier this season bested the trotting boys in the Hambletonian, faces 11 rivals in the $255,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old female trotters. Sunday's card also includes the $444,000 Kentucky Futurity, with a field of a dozen 3-year-old male trotters led by morning-line favorite Ready For Moni, two divisions of the Glen Garnsey for 3-year-old filly pacers, and Allerage Farm stakes for older pacers and trotters. Tall Dark Stranger is the 9-5 favorite in the first of the two Tattersalls divisions and will have Yannick Gingras in the sulky. The son of Bettor's Delight-Precocious Beauty has won nine of 10 races this season and $1.05 million for trainer Nancy Takter. His victories include the Meadowlands Pace, North America Cup, and Cane Pace. In his two most recent races, both at Red Mile, he won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes by a half-length over Little Brown Jug winner Captain Barbossa and the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship by a neck over Fortify. Tall Dark Stranger, who has won 17 of 19 career races and $1.77 million, is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor. "He's never one that's going to win by five (lengths), but he just keeps winning," Gingras said. "What else can you ask? You can't ask anymore from that horse. He just goes on the track and does his job. He's not flashy, he's a fighter; he just wants to beat them. He's just a tremendous racehorse. It's going to be hard to find another one like him." Tall Dark Stranger leads the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll with 18 first-place votes and 329 points. Party Girl Hill has the second-most first-place votes, 10, but trails Ramona Hill, who received the remaining seven first-place votes, by two points, 302-300. It is the first time in at least a decade that three horses received at least 300 points. Party Girl Hill, who was unraced at 2, is undefeated in 12 races this year with earnings of $616,870 for breeder/owner Tom Hill and trainer Chris Ryder. Only one 3-year-old filly pacer who was unraced at 2 ever banked more, Yellow Diamond, with $1.31 million in 2009. A daughter of Captaintreacherous-Look Cheap, Party Girl Hill enters her Tattersalls split off a Bluegrass division win by 3-1/4 lengths over Lyons Sentinel in 1:48. She is the 5-2 favorite, with Dexter Dunn driving, from post one. Her other victories this year include the Jugette, where she won her elimination with a 1:49.3 world record for a 3-year-old filly pacer on a half-mile track, as well as the Fan Hanover Stakes and the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. See You At Peelers is the only pacing filly in the last 30 years to defeat male rivals in a race worth six figures. She won the 2011 Art Rooney Pace. "People have been talking about us (taking on the boys) for a while; I just thought it was the right time to try it," Ryder said. "It'll be on a mile (track) and, obviously, she's done good enough to give it a shot. That kind of goes without saying. She's thriving, she's doing as good as a horse can do. So, now's the time. "She seems to be getting better and better. The Jugette was good and she was tremendous last week. So, here we are." Ramona Hill has won six of eight races this year and earned $915,615. In addition to her stakes-record-equaling 1:50.1 Hambletonian win, her triumphs this season include the Elegantimage Stakes, Del Miller Memorial, and Zweig Memorial for fillies. She has won 12 of 15 career races and $1.32 million. A daughter of Muscle Hill-Lock Down Lindy, she is owned by Brad Grant, breeder Crawford Farms, Robert LeBlanc, and In The Gym Partners. She is trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Andy McCarthy. Ramona Hill enters the Kentucky Filly Futurity off a second-place finish to Ab'sattitudexpress in a Bluegrass division last week. She is the 7-2 second choice behind 3-1 favorite Sorella. Ramona Hill drew post three, Sorella post four. "I know she wasn't quite herself last week, I think she was a little sick, and I'm expecting a much better effort this week," McCarthy said. "In mid-stretch, I could tell she was getting tired and that's not her at all. Usually, that's when she's getting ready to take off. Turn the page on that one. "When she won the Elegantimage, I think she felt as good as she's ever felt. I've got a good draw (Sunday) and I definitely think I've got the best horse in the race, so I've just got to figure it out." Gingras will drive the morning-line favorites in both the Kentucky Filly Futurity and Kentucky Futurity. The Takter-trained Sorella captured a Bluegrass division last week, beating Spoiled Princess and Hypnotic AM both by a nose, and has won seven of 10 races this season with $485,424 in purses. She is ranked No. 7 in the Top 10. "She was really good last week," Gingras said. "It was three tough fillies at the wire and we were lucky to come out on top. It was real close, I had no idea who won the race. "Ramona Hill is the one to beat, for sure, but I think mine is coming into the race good and we're going to go from there. She's got a good post and I think she'll definitely give a good account of herself." Ready For Moni, also trained by Takter, will start the Kentucky Futurity from the second tier's post 11 and is 5-2 on the morning line. Marion Marauder won the 2016 Kentucky Futurity from post 11 to complete a sweep of the Triple Crown. "Of course, you would always rather have your nose on the gate, but it's not the worst spot in the world," Gingras said. "I think we'll get away fairly close and take a shot from there after that. I'd rather have (post) 11 than the outside with the way the race shook out." Ready For Moni has won five of seven races this year and $575,670. He finished second in the Hambletonian but came back to win the Zweig Memorial for colts and geldings and both his elimination and final of the Goodtimes Stakes. A break in the Canadian Trotting Classic halted his win streak. He is ranked No. 8 in the Top 10. "He made a break his last start, so that's not ideal, but before that he was super sharp," Gingras said. "From what I heard, they did a little bit of work on him, changed his shoes and he's really good now. I'll find out on Sunday. I think when he's on his game, he's as good as anybody." Gimpanzee and Atlanta, ranked No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, in the Top 10, meet in the $148,500 Allerage Farms Open Trot. Gimpanzee is 9-5 on the morning line and Atlanta is 2-1. One other horse in the Top 10, Kissin In The Sand, will be in action Sunday at Red Mile. She is the 3-2 favorite in the $72,000 Allerage Farms Mare Pace. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday at Red Mile. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Trainers Noel Daley and Jeff Gregory each co-own a horse competing Saturday (Oct. 10) at Red Mile, where Daley’s Anoka Hanover is the favorite in the third of four International Stallion Stakes divisions for 2-year-old female trotters and Gregory’s You Ato Dream is the choice in the fourth. The two combined have finished worse than second only four times in 17 starts. Anoka Hanover heads to her race Saturday off a half-length win over May Karp in 1:54 in a division of last week’s Bluegrass Stakes. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Aunt Mel has won five of nine races and $177,216 this season for owners Daley, L.A. Express Stable, and Caviart Farms. She is 7-5 on the morning line and will have Todd McCarthy in the sulky. “They have their days, all of them, but she’s got a good head on her for a trotting filly,” Daley said. “From day one, she was always sort of a powerful filly, and nice enough gaited. I have half a dozen trotting fillies and the others were sort of better gaited than her, but she’s got a very good attitude about everything. That’s probably her biggest attribute, she’s smart. She’s just a nice filly.” Daley purchased Anoka Hanover for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Anoka Hanover was the fifth foal out of stakes winner Aunt Mel. Her previous four all made money at the races, but Anoka Hanover is the first to exceed $45,000. Daley bought the filly on the recommendation of longtime collaborator Martti Ala-Seppala. “He’s done it a bunch of times for me, picked out well-bred ones where the mares, for whatever reason, haven’t hit yet and I can usually get them at a bit of value,” Daley said. “That’s what he did there. This was the right one. He’s a big help.” Anoka Hanover is not eligible to the Breeders Crown, but still has the Kindergarten Classic Series and Goldsmith Maid on her schedule. She has won back-to-back starts, both from sixth place at three-quarters, following a third-place finish behind Flawless Country and You Ato Dream in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. “I was pleased with her,” Daley said. “I think that sort of suits her. She’s reasonably versatile but I think chasing them down is probably her game. “She can be a little aggressive, a little on the muscle in her races. I knew she would be better here (at Red Mile). She can get on a line on the smaller tracks and here it’s a nice big wide track. It’s a bit kinder track on the feet and she is able to get much better traction here.” You Ato Dream enters her start Saturday off a second-place finish to Presto in 1:53 in their Bluegrass division. The margin of defeat was a head, the third time this year she was beaten by a neck or less. “She’s had a lot of tough beats, it’s been almost cruel,” Gregory said, managing a laugh. “She’s not good in the photos.” For the season, You Ato Dream has one win and six seconds in eight starts. She has earned $197,856. She is 2-1 on the morning line for the International Stallion, with Gregory driving. Gregory bought the daughter of Donato Hanover-Dream Child under the name Carolina Bi for $45,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Sale. “She’s been a nice horse for us,” Gregory said. “The first couple days on the track she was a little moody. She was a little tough. But after that, she was really nice and trained down very easy. She gave you the feeling like you always had 15 seconds in the bank, it was not a lot of work for her. “She’s really good gaited. For a decent sized filly, she doesn’t hit the track hard. She’s very light on her feet, really athletic.” Last week, You Ato Dream took the lead prior to a :54.4 half, with :27.1 second quarter. “I haven’t left with her very much,” Gregory said. “As you could see last week, once I get her rolling, she’s a little hard to settle down. I couldn’t get her to back off the second quarter at all. I’m sure it probably cost me the race. The first few starts, I never left with her because I didn’t want to take a chance getting her hot. “I just kind of have to do what she wanted to do without fighting her too much. You plan out a race in your head and sometimes you can’t do it that way because her manners might not be a hundred percent perfect. She’s not a push-button horse. But she doesn’t quit. She’s had a couple of rough trips, she’s been first over a couple times, she’s been on the front a couple times, but she doesn’t give up.” You Ato Dream      -Amanda Stephens photo Gregory owns You Ato Dream with Bill Richardson, George Romanoff, and Martin Garey. She is eligible to the Breeders Crown, Matron Stakes, and Goldsmith Maid. “We’re just going week by week,” Gregory said. “If she’s fresh and she’s racing good and she’s competitive, we’re probably going to keep trying. If she shows any signs of getting tired, or the year is getting too long, we’re going to pull the plug and get her ready for her 3-year-old season. I’m just going to let her tell us when it’s time to quit. “It’s pretty fun. It’s the same group of guys I’ve had horses with for years. They’re all really enjoying her. It’s not about the money, it’s the thrill of having a nice horse at this point in their lives. They’re thrilled to have a horse like this and be competitive in some bigger races. That means more to them than anything. “When you start out with four babies, it’s nice to come up with one like this. She’s been fun for all of us. She’s a sweetheart. She’s very friendly; she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She’s enjoyable to be around every day.” The favorites in the remaining International Stallion Stakes for trotting fillies are Insta Glam, who is 2-1 in the first division, and May Karp, who is 8-5 in the second. There also are three divisions of International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers on Saturday. The favorites are Almanac (2-1) in the first, Perfect Sting (9-5) in the second, and Southwind Gendry (9-5) in the third. Perfect Sting is unbeaten in seven races this year and Southwind Gendry is on a five-race win streak. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) at Red Mile. For Saturday’s complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association

Lexington, KY — Filly pacer Style For A Mile topped Tuesday’s (Oct. 6) second session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, selling for $225,000 to Dana Parham at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion. She was one of three harness racing yearlings to sell for at least $200,000 and one of 31 to reach six figures. Style For A Mile, by Captaintreacherous out of Injeanous Style, is from the family of Grand Circuit stakes winners Bigtown Hero and That’s The Ticket and her third dam is Dan Patch Award winner Delinquent Account. She was bred by All Four Won and consigned by Kentuckiana Farms. Two yearlings sold for $200,000, filly pacer Max Contract and colt trotter Zappa. Max Contract, by Huntsville out of multiple stakes winner Big Mcdeal, was purchased by Andy Miller Stable Inc. and is a three-quarter sister to Grand Circuit winner I’m A Big Deal. She was bred by Steve Jones and consigned by Cameo Hills Farm. Zappa, by Chapter Seven out of Mrs Frank, was purchased by trainer Marcus Melander as agent for S R F Stable. He is Mrs Frank’s first foal and from the family of millionaire Strong Yankee and Breeders Crown winner Yankee Slide. He was bred by Frederick Hertrich III and consigned by All American Harnessbreds. A total of 181 yearlings sold during last night’s second session, grossing $11.1 million and averaging $61,718. Last year’s record-setting sale saw second-session numbers of $13 million and $75,103 for 174 horses. Through two sessions, this year’s pandemic-impacted sale has seen 299 horses sell for $26.4 million, averaging $88,321. Last year’s figures were $31.2 million and $107,102 for 292 horses. “I thought (Tuesday) was strong from the beginning of the session to the end,” sale co-manager Randy Manges said. “I was happy with how it went. People were still here ready to buy horses late into the session. We also had a lot of increased activity with online bidding, maybe four or five times more than (Monday) night, and we also still have people applying to bid online.” Muscle Hill and Walner lead trotting sires in gross sales, with Muscle Hill totaling $5.90 million for 38 horses and Walner at $4.33 million for 43 horses. They also lead in average, with Muscle Hill at $155,447 and Walner at $100,907. Captaintreacherous tops pacing sires in gross and average, with $2.76 million and $102,259 for 27 horses. Always B Miki was second in gross with $2.09 million for 33 horses. Five horses from the final crop of Somebeachsomewhere averaged $91,400 to rank second in that category. For complete sale results, click here. Prior to the start of Tuesday’s second session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale at the Fasig–Tipton Sales Pavilion, a special auction was held to benefit the Standardbred Transition Alliance. A limited-edition Tim Tetrick Hall of Fame watch produced by renowned Swiss timepiece manufacturer Ernst Benz was offered to kick off the night’s bidding and was purchased for $13,000 by Michelle and Al Crawford. “I am so grateful for Michelle and Albert Crawford’s genuine passion for racehorse aftercare and of course their purchase of the timepiece,” Ashley Tetrick said. “Due to the circumstances of Covid, Tim and I were sincerely concerned that the timepiece would be overlooked. Once again, our racing community did not disappoint. I’d like to extend a thank you to Mr. Dana Parham and Mr. Brad Grant for their bids and interest. We are so blessed to have such amazing people within our Standardbred industry.” Click here for a video recap of this special auction. In addition, an auction of stallion breedings was held to benefit the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge. The auction featured single 2021 breedings to Father Patrick, Greenshoe, JK Endofanera, Swan For All, Tall Dark Stranger, and Walner. It totaled $105,000. “I want to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all the industry participants who have once again so generously supported the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge,” said Marvin Katz, speaking on behalf of the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, which is the official presenting sponsor of the Breeders Crown at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. “The entire Hoosier Park raceway team must be acknowledged, applauded, and thanked for their tireless commitment under today’s challenging environment to host this year’s Breeders Crown. We all look forward to celebrating Breeders Crown weekend at Hoosier Park. Well done everyone.” Kim French contributed to this report by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Lexington, KY — Monday’s (Oct. 5) opening night of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale might have lacked last year’s big bangs, but it still provided plenty of fireworks at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion. A year ago, the first night saw the sport’s first million-dollar yearlings, Maverick and Damien, pass through the ring, which helped propel the sale to session records of $18.2 million in gross sales and $154,288 in average for 118 horses sold. Monday’s numbers dipped from those lofty levels but were better than the two years prior to 2019. Monday night’s gross was $15.2 million and the average was $129,127 for 118 horses sold. The gross was down 16.3 percent from 2019 but up 18.1 percent from $12.9 million for 102 horses in 2018 and 43.2 percent for 93 horses in 2017. The average was down 16.3 percent from 2019 but up 2.1 percent from $126,471 in 2018 and 12.9 percent from $114,344 in 2017. “I thought it was a very good sale overall and it should set the tone for the rest of the week,” said sale co-manager Randy Manges. “Everyone that brought horses to sell here were pleased and so were the buyers. “Although a lot of the people that normally are here were not, which certainly can be understood, there was a good crowd, and we had a lot of bidding online. We did not sell many horses online but there were a lot of bids. We should have the numbers for that (Tuesday) and I look forward to seeing them.” Trotting filly Kadena, from the first crop of stallion Walner out of two-time Dan Patch Award winner Mission Brief, grabbed the headlines as the night’s top seller, going for $725,000 to trainer Marcus Melander as agent for Anders Strom’s Courant Inc. The price set a record for any yearling filly sold at auction, surpassing the $625,000 for pacer Laugh A Day in 1983 and $600,000 for trotter Ineffable in 2019. Kadena was bred by Mission Brief Stable and consigned by Hunterton Sales Agency. “That was exciting,” Melander said. “We knew she was going to be expensive. She’s a nice filly with a great pedigree. She has a great body, great conformation, stands correct, which is very important. She has everything a good horse should have. I’m very happy to train her. For Anders it’s good too. He’s already thinking about breeding her to Greenshoe when she’s done racing. Now I just have to do a good job in between.” Melander, as agent, also got trotting colt No Ball Games for $340,000. No Ball Games, by Muscle Hill out of Amour Heiress, is a full brother to stakes winner King Alphonso. The family also includes 2014 Hambletonian winner Trixton. No Ball Games was bred by Order By Stable and consigned by Concord Stud Farm. “He’s a nice horse, great family,” Melander said. “He was one of my favorite colts in the sale. I’m happy to get him.” Bonanza, a half-brother to 2019 Trotter of the Year Greenshoe and last year’s $1.1-million yearling buy Maverick, sold for $600,000 to trainer Nancy Takter as agent. The colt is by Muscle Hill out of Designed To Be. Bonanza was bred by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz and consigned by Kentuckiana Farms. “He’s a really nice individual, great pedigree,” Takter said. “I know that he’s been raised right. It’s like a home run working with (the breeders and consignor). “And then there’s Maverick. He trained down great and Tony (Alagna) and everyone just love him. He probably got sick and it could have slowed him down a little bit but I’m sure Tony will figure it out. He’ll show he’s everything everyone also thought he was.” Trotting filly Monkey Queen, by Chapter Seven out of Steamy Windows, sold for $450,000 to Lindy Farms and M&M Racing. She is a full sister to Gimpanzee, who received the 2018 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter and has earned $2.43 million in his career to date, as well as multiple stakes winner Iteration. Monkey Queen was bred by Order By Stable and consigned by Concord Stud Farm. Andy Miller Stable Inc. purchased two $400,000 sons of Muscle Hill. Knights Guard, out of O’Brien Award winner Stubborn Belle, is a full brother to 2019 Kentucky Sire Stakes champion filly Ms Savannah Belle. He was bred by Al Libfeld and consigned by Kentuckiana Farms. Trunk Bay, out of stakes-winner Sunshine Delight, is from the family of two-time Dan Patch Award winner Passionate Glide. He was bred by James Wilhite Jr. and consigned by Kentuckiana Farms. “Right when I got the catalog these horses jumped off the page at me because of how much I liked their pedigrees,” trainer Julie Miller said. “Then when we went to Kentuckiana, they just both stood out. I’m just fortunate it worked out in my favor and I’m bringing them home.” Andy Miller Stable Inc. also purchased trotting filly Cash Machine Girl, by Muscle Hill out of stakes winner Brooklyn, for $300,000. She is a full sister to stake winners Brooklyn Hill and Kings County. She was bred by Order By Stable and consigned by Concord Stud Farm. “I think the top horses went for the prices they would have always brought (even during COVID-19),” Julie Miller said. “I think it was a really good night for buyers and sellers. Fortunately, things have started to straighten out. New Jersey received their appropriation, New York is back up and running and Pennsylvania is strong. The Ontario program is phenomenal. So, we can buy horses because they have places to go.” The top selling pacer was filly Lightnier, by Captaintreacherous out of Mythical. She sold for $375,000 to trainer Dave Menary as agent and is a half-sister to millionaire Medusa and O’Brien Award winner Alicorn. She was bred by White Birch Farm and consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing. Muscle Hill led trotting sires with $4.81 million in gross and $192,400 in average for 25 horses sold. Walner was second in gross with $2.64 million and in average with $155,294 for 17 horses. Captaintreacherous led pacing sires with $1.52 million in gross for 12 horses. American Ideal topped the average with $133,750 for four horses, followed by Captaintreacherous at $126,667, and Huntsville at $125,000 for seven horses. For complete results, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Twice in recent years harness racing fans were treated to seeing a top 3-year-old male pacer face older foes in the season-ending TVG Series Championship. This year, they will not have to wait as long. Three-year-old gelding Ocean Rock will meet older rivals Saturday (Oct. 3) when he competes in the $176,500 Dayton Pacing Derby at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway. Ocean Rock has won six of nine races this season and $363,360 for breeder/owner Sandra Burnett, driver Dan Noble, and trainer Christi Noble. Saturday's card also includes the $175,000 Dayton Distaff Derby, where defending Horse of the Year Shartin N is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in a field that includes Milton Stakes winner Kissin In The Sand and 2019 Breeders Crown champ Caviart Ally, and the $175,000 Dayton Trotting Derby, with Maple Leaf Trot winner Atlanta the 2-1 favorite. Ocean Rock in his most recent start won an Ohio Breeders Championship at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in 1:49.2 to complete a sweep of the Ohio Triple Crown (OBC, Ohio Sire Stakes final and Ohio State Fair Stakes). The time equaled Wiggle It Jiggleit's track record for a gelding and was just two-fifths of a second off the world record. Only a quarter-length loss to Odds On Osiris from post eight in the Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park separates Ocean Rock from a five-race win streak heading to Dayton. That five-race stretch began with a track-record 1:48.4 victory at Scioto Downs, erasing a 20-year-old mark established by Gallo Blue Chip. "His last four or five performances have been unbelievable," Dan Noble said. "The night he went (1):48 was unbelievable. In the Milstein he really showed a lot of guts; he came up sick, but he performed very well. "He loves his work, anything you throw at him, and he takes very good care of himself. He's had a phenomenal year." Ocean Rock was not staked to any of this year's remaining Grand Circuit races, so his connections supplemented him to the Dayton Pacing Derby. He will start from post six and is 8-1 on the morning line. Sam McKee Memorial winner Bettor's Wish, last season's top 3-year-old male pacer, is the 5-2 favorite. Bettor's Wish faced older horses in last year's TVG Series championship, where he finished second. In 2013, Captaintreacherous took on the older horses in the TVG and was sixth. The most recent 3-year-old male pacer to knock off older foes in a major race was Niatross, who won the American Pacing Classic at Hollywood Park in 1980. Ocean Rock began this season by beating older horses in a conditioned race at Scioto Downs. Three starts later, he finished third against older horses in another conditioned race, also at Scioto. "I think he fits good," Noble said about Ocean Rock in the Dayton Pacing Derby. "We could have drawn a little closer to the inside, but the six hole is not too bad at this track. "We didn't really want to stop with him, but we didn't have much left for him. We figured we would give the race a go, and it's close to home. We probably should have had him staked to a lot more, but during the staking time he just felt like your average horse." Of course, that assessment has been revised. "He's definitely a good one," Noble said. Ocean Rock could be supplemented to other upcoming Grand Circuit races, including the Breeders Crown, but Noble said those decisions would be made after the Dayton Pacing Derby. For his career, Ocean Rock has won 11 of 18 races and $519,737. Last year, he set the world record for a 2-year-old gelding on a half-mile track, 1:51.1, at Northfield. He is a son of Rockin Amadeus out of Ocean Pearl, a Burnett homebred mare who was trained during her racing days by Dan's father Chip. "(Ocean Rock) has been a gift for my wife and I," Noble said. "He's just a gift for all of us." Racing begins at 6:15 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Dayton. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Delaware, OH — Captain Barbossa found the perfect time to visit the winner’s circle for the first time this year, capturing Thursday’s $335,400 Little Brown Jug final for 3-year-old male pacers in 1:49.1 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. Cattlewash was second and Catch The Fire finished third. The win was Captain Barbossa’s first in 13 races this season. The gelding, who finished second in his Jug elimination, was driven to victory in the final by Joe Bongiorno, who celebrated his 27th birthday Wednesday. Captain Barbossa gave Bongiorno his first Jug trophy, as well as the first for trainer Tony Alagna. He paid $15.00 to win. Captain Barbossa, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Swinging Beauty, is owned by Robert LeBlanc, David Anderson, and the partnership of Alagna, Martha Frank, John Fodera, and Steven Wienick. He was bred by Steiner Stock Farm. His winning time was one-fifth of a second off the stakes and world record for a 3-year-old pacer on a half-mile track. The margin of victory was 1-1/2 lengths.   Catch The Fire, Sandbetweenmytoes win Little Brown Jug eliminations Catch The Fire won the first $111,800 elimination of the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old male pacers Thursday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, overtaking pacesetter Seeyou At Thebeach on the last turn on his way to a 1:49.3 triumph. Seeyou At Thebeach was second, followed by Later Dudes and Genius Man. Those four horses advanced to the $335,400 Little Brown Jug final.   Catch The Fire was the 4-5 favorite in the field of seven. He was driven by Mike Wilder for trainer John Ackley and owner CT Stables. Sandbetweenmytoes scored a 7-1 upset in the second of Thursday’s two eliminations, using a three-wide move entering the last turn to get past leader Capt Midnight on his way to a 1:49.3 victory. Captain Barbossa finished second, with Capt Midnight third and Cattlewash fourth. Those four horses also advanced to the $335,400 Little Brown Jug final.   Sandbetweenmytoes was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Jim Campbell and owner Fashion Farms. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Delaware, OH — Plunge Blue Chip on Thursday trotted the fastest harness racing trotting race mile in history on a half-mile track, winning the $87,500 Miss Versatility Series championship for trotting mares in 1:51.3 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Pure Chance finished second, followed by Grand Swan and Manchego, the 3-5 favorite who went off stride in the second turn while in second place behind Plunge Blue Chip. Following Manchego’s break, Plunge Blue Chip was never pressured. She set all the fractions — :27, 54.4, and 1:22.3 — on her way to eclipsing Maven’s previous all-time race best on a half-mile oval, 1:51.4 set at Delaware in 2013. Plunge Blue Chip’s winning margin was 5-1/4 lengths.   “She did it on her own,” driver-trainer Ake Svanstedt said. “I didn’t feel her pick up the speed after the first quarter, but that’s good when you don’t feel the speed on a horse. She raced without shoes, and that made her faster.” Plunge Blue Chip was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock, which shares ownership of the mare with Svanstedt and Tomas Andersson. She has won three of eight races this year and 22 of 46 in her career, with earnings of $1.43 million. Plunge Blue Chip is a 5-year-old daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Delaware, OH — Arnold N Dicky was sent off as the 1-9 favorite in Thursday’s (Sept. 24) $47,006 Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old harness racing male trotters and lived up to expectations, winning by 6-1/4 lengths over Sunny Crockett in a world-record-equaling 1:54 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. To Be Frank finished third. The time equaled Action Uncle’s world record for a 2-year-old trotting colt on a half-mile track, set last year at Delaware. It bettered the previous Standardbred Stakes record of 1:55, set by Don Dream in 2016. Sunny Crockett took the lead on the first turn with winning driver Dave Palone content to sit second with Arnold N Dicky until the backstretch. Palone then moved Arnold N Dicky to the front and was unthreatened the rest of the way.   Arnold N Dicky is trained by Chuck Sylvester, who owns the colt with Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Gil Short. Bred by Concord Stud Farm, Arnold N Dicky is by Bar Hopping out of Kalibrated. He sold under the name Measured Pour for $17,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. “It’s an added bonus racing for Chuck,” Palone said. “He was a hero of mine when I first started in the game, a legendary trainer, and who wouldn’t jump at that opportunity.” The victory was Arnold N Dicky’s fourth in nine starts and upped his earnings to $144,060.  Chase H Hanover won the $54,206 Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers in a world-record-equaling 1:51.1. Lou’s Pearlman finished second and Jackie Moon was third.   The time equaled Ocean Rock’s world record for a 2-year-old gelding pacer on a half-mile track, set last year at Northfield Park. Sent off at 1-2, Chase H Hanover was driven by Ronnie Wrenn Jr. for trainer Scott Cox, who owns the gelding with Jason Ash. Chase H Hanover, by Captaintreacherous out of Calgary Hanover, was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. Chase H Hanover, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship runner-up, has won three of nine races and finished second on five occasions this season. He has earned $210,797. Filly Beats the Boys to Take the Old Oaken Bucket  Sans Default (Matt Kakaley) scored a mild upset over Hobbs (Jason Bartlett) to take the $83,800 Old Oaken Bucket in 1:55.  Burke Racing Stable, Crawford Farms, J & T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi share the ownership of the Muscle Hill filly. Ron Burke trains the winner.  Ohio Breeders Championship Action  Three-year-old gelding Ocean Rock (Dan Noble) equaled the track record in the second of two OBCs for colt pacers with his 1:49.3 mile.  Sandra Burnett owns the Rockin Amadeus gelding who swept the Ohio State Fair Stakes, Ohio Sire Stakes Final.  Elver Hanover (Chris Page) took the opening $48,121 division with a 1:51.1 victory over Cody Hanover (Mike Wilder) and Can B Perfect (Tim Tetrick).  The Yankee Cruiser gelding is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Dr. Bridget Jablonsky, Jason Mellilo and J & T Silva-Purnel & Libby.  A pair of $63,446 divisions of the freshman colt pace went to Heart Of Chewbacca (Dan Noble) and Charlie May (Brett Miller) in identical 1:52.2 miles.  With the win, Charlie May became the latest member of the Ohio Triple Crown club after previously posting wins in the Ohio State Fair Stakes and the Ohio Sire Stake Championship.  The two divisions of the $92,042 (div) three-year-old filly pace went to Mcmarkle Sparkle (Brett Miller) in 1:52.3 and Penpaperpaige (Tyler Smith) in a lifetime best 1:52  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Friday's stakes-filled card at Harrah's Hoosier Park features many of harness racing's big names - including Top 10-ranked Gimpanzee and Atlanta - but it includes only one undefeated harness racing horse. That's Somethingbeautiful. Somethingbeautiful is 6-for-6 this season for trainer Dylan Davis and driver LeWayne Miller, winning every start by a minimum of a length. She has faced Indiana-sired foes exclusively to this point, but on Friday tries the Grand Circuit when she competes in the $220,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers. Test Of Faith, the once-beaten Brett Pelling-trained New York Sire Stakes champion, is the 9-5 morning-line favorite. Somethingbeautiful is the 5-2 second choice. "There are some nice fillies in there, but I think she can go with them," Miller said. "It will be a nice test for her. But she's been facing some good fillies here too. She's been very nice. Her versatility and her maturity for being a 2-year-old, she's very good that way." Somethingbeautiful is by Always A Virgin out of Summer N Sand. She is a half-sister to Shnitzledosomethin, a now 5-year-old who was a Breeders Crown runner-up in 2017 and has earned $778,503 in his career. She was purchased for $30,000 at the Hoosier Sale and is owned by Howard Taylor, Ed Gold, Abraham Basen, and Richard Lombardo. The same group owns Shnitzledosomethin. The filly opened eyes when she qualified for the first time, winning in 1:58.3 with a last quarter of :25.4. In her six races, Somethingbeautiful has won from both off the pace and gate-to-wire, and kicked home in 27 seconds or faster in every start. "She really impressed me from the start," Miller said. "The only thing that surprises me is how easily she does it sometimes. She's a fighter. Her last start, I thought she was going to get beat, but when those fillies came to her she just took off again. "I think her potential is very high. I feel like she can compete with the best fillies out there." In addition to the Kentuckiana for 2-year-old filly pacers, Hoosier hosts the $150,000 Caesars Trotting Classic for older trotters, the $140,000 Harrah's Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers, $100,000 Jenna's Beach Boy for 3-year-old male pacers, $105,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters, $221,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters, and $120,000 Elevation for 2-year-old male pacers. Atlanta, coming off her win in the Maple Leaf Trot, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the Caesars Trotting Classic. Gimpanzee, who has won five of seven starts and been no worse than third in any race this season, is 9-5. Gimpanzee is ranked No. 4 in the sport's current Top 10 poll while Atlanta is No. 6. Century Farroh, who won the Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier in August, is the 3-1 favorite in the Harrah's Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. Dorsoduro Hanover, who won the Canadian Pacing Derby earlier this month, is 7-2. Other stakes favorites are Elegantimage runner-up Sister Sledge (8-5) in the Moni Maker, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion No Lou Zing (2-1) in the Jenna's Beach Boy, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Southwind Gendry (8-5) in the Elevation, and New York Sire Stakes champion Iteration (3-1) in the Kentuckiana trot. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Hoosier. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Delaware, OH — Minutes after watching Party Girl Hill win Wednesday’s Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at the Delaware County Fairgrounds with a performance that included a world record in her elimination and a 3-1/2 length score in the final, breeder/owner Tom Hill summed up his thoughts about the filly in simple terms. “She just proved what I’ve been telling everybody, that she’s the best horse I’ve ever owned,” Hill said from his home in Lancashire in the United Kingdom. “As we would say in England, she’s a Rolls Royce with hair.” Party Girl Hill, driven by Dexter Dunn and trained by Chris Ryder, won the $142,635 Jugette final in 1:50.3, with stablemate New Year finishing second and Peaky Sneaky third. Earlier in the day, she won her elimination in 1:49.3, the first sub-1:50 mile by a female pacer on a half-mile track in harness racing history.   Unraced at age 2, Party Girl Hill improved to 11-for-11 in her career with her two victories in the Jugette and pushed her lifetime bankroll to $577,270. “I don’t know how good she is,” Hill said. “I don’t know where the bottom is, I really don’t. “She can leave, she can come from behind, she can sit parked; it doesn’t make any difference. That’s when you’ve got a great one, when they can win from anywhere. She’s just a very special filly. She’s a gift from God, that’s what she is. I’ve had a lot of good horses, but I’ve had nothing like her. I’ve been blessed.” Party Girl Hill’s win gave owner Hill his second Jugette trophy. He won his first in 2010 with Western Silk. It also came four days after Hill celebrated his 70th birthday. “It’s near enough for a birthday present,” Hill said with a laugh. Party Girl Hill opened her march to the Jugette crown by beating Lyons Sentinel, last year’s Dan Patch Award divisional champ, by three-quarters of a length in 1:49.3 in the second of the event’s two eliminations.   The time eclipsed the previous world record for a 3-year-old pacing filly on a half-mile track, 1:50.1, shared by Warrawee Ubeaut and Call Me Queen Be. It also lowered the all-time mark for any female pacer, 1:50, shared by Godiva Seelster and Tequila Monday. “She’s just an amazing animal,” Dunn said. “There seems to be no bottom to her, she does her work so easily. It’s truly a real pleasure to be lucky enough to sit behind her. I have to thank Tom Hill for that, for trusting me with the drive. “She’s exciting. She’s gone both heats today without the plugs being pulled or really being asked. She just does an amazing job.” The 31-year-old Dunn, who arrived in the U.S. in the summer of 2018 at the behest of fellow New Zealand native Ryder after a standout career Down Under, added the Jugette to his growing list of Grand Circuit victories. He won a total of six races Wednesday at Delaware. “I had a lucky day,” said Dunn, who was the U.S. Harness Writers Association’s 2019 Driver of the Year. “I got to drive really nice horses and they were all on top of their game today. This girl really topped the day off well. “This is a special moment for my lifetime because the Ryders have been family friends with the Dunns for 50-odd years. Chris and (his wife) Nicola have done so much to get me over here and support me. It’s a day I’ll never forget.” Dunn’s only concern following the eliminations was Party Girl Hill racing in the final off a world-record performance. “As soon as we stepped on the track, those worries went away because she had her ears pricked and she was happy as anything being out there,” Dunn said. In the final, Dunn let New Year (who won the first of the event’s two eliminations, also with Dunn in the sulky) and Lyons Sentinel battle in the first turn before launching Party Girl Hill to the lead. Party Girl Hill, the 1-9 favorite, was on top at the quarter and never looked back. “Many thanks to Tom Hill for giving me such an amazing horse,” Ryder said. “Many thanks to Dexter, he’s done a tremendous job driving her.” When reminded in the winner’s circle by track announcer Roger Huston about Hill’s birthday, Ryder quipped, “That’s great. Happy birthday. Anything else I can do for you Tom?” Back in Lancashire, Hill said winning was enough. While some speculated about how Party Girl Hill might have fared if she took on the boys in Thursday’s Little Brown Jug, both Ryder and Hill downplayed the idea. “I don’t want to hurt the filly,” Hill said. “I don’t want to do something and regret it. If she raced the colts and got beat, I know it’s no disgrace, but I don’t want to do that. She’s only had 11 races. She’s only a novice.” A novice assembling one heck of a resume. One that Hill thinks should get noticed at the end of the season if her current form holds. “She should have a shot at being Horse of the Year,” Hill said. “She’s never been beat and she’s raced on every size track. She’s never been beat and never looked like getting beat. What more could she do? She is the only one out there that’s undefeated. I think she should have a good push to be Horse of the Year. Not for me, but for her. She deserves it.” Party Girl Hill sets world record in elimination Trainer Chris Ryder and driver Dexter Dunn swept the two $47,545 Jugette eliminations on Wednesday, with 1-9 favorite Party Girl Hill winning the second in a world-record 1:49.3 after stablemate New Year won the first in 1:52. Joining those two horses in the $142,635 Jugette final were Peaky Sneaky, Blazin Grace, and Keystone Eureka from the first elimination and Lyons Sentinel, Perfect Storm, and Lady Lou from the second. Party Girl Hill was third through the first half of her elimination before launching a methodical attack on leader Lyons Sentinel. The two battled around the last turn and Party Girl Hill drew clear by three-quarters of a length as they neared the wire. The time of 1:49.3 eclipsed the previous world record for a 3-year-old pacing filly on a half-mile track, 1:50.1, shared by Warrawee Ubeaut and Call Me Queen Be. New Year, sent off as the 4-5 favorite, won the first elimination in 1:52. Peaky Sneaky finished second, followed by Blazin Grace and Keystone Eureka.   by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Harness racing traner Luc Blais will have two horses in Saturday's inaugural Mohawk Million for 2-year-old trotters at Woodbine Mohawk Park, so he is understandably excited about the event. But the trainer knows he is not alone in being pumped up about Canada's richest race since 2012. The Mohawk Million is the first million-dollar buy-in race in harness racing history. Nine spots in the 10-horse field were available for purchase for $110,000 (U.S.), with the final slot in the race given to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial. Blais-trained On A Streak won the Wellwood to earn his place in the Mohawk Million. The colt is owned by Serge Godin's Determination stable, which also had purchased a spot in the race. Donna Soprano, the Blais-Determination tandem's undefeated filly, was selected by her connections to fill that spot. "It's very exciting," Blais said. "At the beginning, you've got a slot, but you don't know what horse will be there. Now, we're in. We are lucky, our horses have been racing well. You need luck in this game, and I think everything is going well right now. I hope it keeps going in that direction. "But we all feel the same this week. We all feel excited. This is something new and I think people are interested to see it. That is good for the game." The Mohawk Million carries a Canadian purse of $1.32 million, which converts to $1 million U.S. dollars. The winner of the race will receive the traditional 50-percent purse payout and all starters will receive at least one percent of the purse. Donna Soprano, undefeated in five races this year, will start the Mohawk Million from post three with regular driver Bob McClure. Her victories include the Peaceful Way Stakes, a division of the Champlain Stakes, and the Pure Ivory Series final. She has won every race by a minimum of one length and average of nearly three lengths. "I think she has a lot of character," Blais said. "She was not easy to bring here, but we figured her out, the way she wanted things. Every start is better and better, and she is more handy on the racetrack. Her last couple starts, she looks like a real professional. She acts like a special horse." Donna Soprano is a daughter of Donato Hanover out of the O'Brien Award winning mare Windsong Soprano. She was purchased for $190,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. She has earned $210,820 this season. Blais and Determination selected Donna Soprano for the Mohawk Million over stablemate Macho Martini, a colt who won his first seven races before finishing third in the Wellwood Memorial and then suffering interference and going off stride in the stretch of an Ontario Sire Stakes Gold division. "It was a good problem," Blais said about having to make a choice. "Macho Martini already has nine starts this year and he raced very big in the Wellwood. He had a rough mile. Donna has only five starts and she looks very hot right now." On A Streak, a son of Cantab Hall out of Habit's Best, is a half-brother to O'Brien Award winner Habitat and was purchased for $155,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. He got his first win in the Wellwood, where he bested previously undefeated Southwind Tyrion by a head. A week earlier in their Wellwood elimination, On A Streak suffered a nose defeat to Southwind Tyrion. "He was second that day, but he raced big," Blais said. "I was not really surprised (when he won the Wellwood). He is getting better and better every start. It seems he is more mature and he knows what to do now, more than in the beginning. He is a nice horse, a very strong horse. He just needed a little maturity and now I think he's there." On A Streak will start the Mohawk Million from post seven with driver Scott Young. The Mohawk Million is race 10 on Saturday's card. Post time is approximately 10:45 p.m. (EDT). The full field for the Mohawk Million is listed below: Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Slot Owner 1. Iznogoud AM S (Doug McNair/Marcus Melander) - Courant Inc. 2. Warrawee Whisper (Jonathan Drury/Shawn Steacy) - Glengate Farms 3. Donna Soprano (Bob McClure/Luc Blais) - Determination 4. Full Of Muscles (Trevor Henry/Brad Maxwell) - Dreamland Farms 5. Altar (Jody Jamieson/Per Engblom) - Diamond Creek Racing 6. Tokyo Seelster (Sylvain Filion/Richard Moreau) - Jeffrey Snyder 7. On A Streak (Scott Young/Luc Blais) - Wellwood Winner 8. Bravado Fashion (Louis-Philippe Roy/Jim Campbell) - Fashion Farms 9. Insta Glam (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter) - John Fielding 10. Venerate (Andrew McCarthy/Julie Miller) - Brad Grant In addition to the Mohawk Million, Saturday's card at Mohawk includes the She's A Great Lady final for 2-year-old filly pacers, Milton Stakes final for pacing mares, and Metro Pace final for 2-year-old male pacers. For more about the Mohawk Million and Saturday's stakes, click here. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Attending the Little Brown Jug has been on Blair Corbeil's bucket list for a while, but the longtime harness racing horse owner only wanted to go if he had a horse in the race. On Thursday, Corbeil will be at his first Little Brown Jug at the Delware County Fairgrounds, ready to follow the exploits of his pacer Warrawee Vital. Ironically, owning a horse in the race is the only way he could be there this year as fans are prohibited from attending the races at the Delaware County Fairgrounds because of the coronavirus pandemic. "I've been wanting to go to the Jug forever and I've said that I want to have a horse in the Jug when I go," said Corbeil, a 56-year-old resident of Beaumont, Alberta, Canada. "This is my first one. It's unfortunate the fans will not be there, but it will be exciting no matter what. We're excited about the opportunity, that's for sure. "I think everybody that's been in the business long enough dreams about having the chance of being there and winning that race." A total of 14 horses entered the 75th edition of the Little Brown Jug, one of harness racing's premier events for 3-year-old male pacers. The field was divided into two eliminations, from which the top-four finishers in each group advance to the same-day final. Each elimination goes for $111,800 and the final is $335,400. Warrawee Vital is the morning line's 3-1 second choice in the second elimination. The colt will start from post three with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Rob Fellows. Capt Midnight, trained by Tony Alagna, is the 5-2 favorite, starting from post two with Dexter Dunn. Adios winner Catch The Fire is the 5-2 favorite in the first elimination. He leaves from post five with Mike Wilder driving for John Ackley. Warrawee Vital, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Great Memories, has won seven of 11 career races and $107,307. He is a half-brother to O'Brien Award winner Warrawee Needy and two-time Dan Patch Award winner Warrawee Ubeaut, who won last year's Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at Delaware. "When we bought the colt in Lexington, he had the pedigree and breeding behind him to be this good," said Corbeil, who shares ownership of Warrawee Vital with Yolanda Fellows and M&S Racing Stable. "He's very versatile. He's got tremendous gate speed and he's got that kick to come home with. He seems to be the full package." Last year, Warrawee Vital was unraced until December, when he won one of two races at Mohawk. After the calendar changed to 2020, the colt won a second race in January and then two preliminary divisions of the Snowshoe Series for 3- and 4-year-old pacers before finishing second in the final. It was enough of an audition to give his connections the confidence to stake Warrawee Vital for the summer and fall. Fellows gave the colt time off to freshen up, but then hit another delay training back for the stakes season. Warrawee Vital returned to the races in August, finishing second in a conditioned race and eighth in a North America Cup elimination before putting together a three-race win streak that he brings to the Jug. His two most recent victories came in divisions of the Simcoe and Somebeachsomewhere stakes. "He got to the races early enough (at age 2) but he had some problems, so I gave him time off," Fellows said. "I raced him in the winter to see if he was good enough to stake him, and he showed that he was. "Then training down in the spring, he had a little soreness problem, so I gave him time for that and that's why I'm so late in getting to the table. But he's raced well so far. His best quality is that he's smart. He's learned quickly what he's had to learn. He's caught on very well. And he's fast, very fast." Fellows is racing in the Jug for the second time in his career, but first time since 1988 when Just Bold finished third in his first heat and seventh in the final, won by B J Scoot. "I've gone there since I was a kid and it's nice to take a horse there," Fellows said. "(Warrawee Vital) has never raced on a half-mile track, but he trains on it. Hopefully, he's competitive and gives a good representation of himself." Said Corbeil, "Rob and Yolanda have done a fantastic job. They deserve something like this too. We're not the type of owners that have the opportunity to attend these big races all the time. It definitely means a lot to us to have this opportunity." In addition to the Little Brown Jug, Thursday's card at Delaware includes the Miss Versatility Series final for older female trotters, the Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old trotters, and divisions of the Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters and pacers. Manchego is the 7-5 favorite in the Miss Versatility final while Hobbs is the even-money choice in the Old Oaken Bucket. Racing begins at noon (EDT). For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Trainer Jim King Jr. knows what it's like to bring the belle of the ball to the big dance. Last year, his Lyons Sentinel led all 2-year-old harness racing pacers in earnings and was crowned the Dan Patch Award winner among the age group's fillies. This year, Lyons Sentinel has finished worse than second only once in seven races, but King knows it is a different filly turning heads at the dance now. Party Girl Hill has been the life of the party for trainer Chris Ryder and breeder/owner Tom Hill. The filly, unraced at age 2, is 9-for-9 as she heads to Wednesday's $237,725 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. She competes in the second of two Jugette eliminations, where she is the 7-5 morning-line favorite with driver Dexter Dunn. Lyons Sentinel, with Tim Tetrick in the sulky, is the 3-1 second choice in the same elimination. The top-four finishers from each elimination advance to the final, which will be held later in the afternoon. "I think Party Girl is at the top of her game," King said. "In fact, it looks like she's going to keep on getting better. She's definitely the one to deal with. She looks kind of special. I'm not without a chance, but she's definitely the queen of the ball at the moment." Lyons Sentinel won nine of 14 races last year and earned $801,809 for owner Threelyonsracing. For her career, she has won 10 of 21 starts, missed the board only once, and banked $1 million. The filly has five second-place finishes this year, including in the Mistletoe Shalee, where she started from post nine at The Meadowlands, and in the Adioo Volo, where she left from post eight at The Meadows. "She hasn't done bad work," King said. "She's not a front-end horse and she got stuck on the front end a couple times. Straight out of the box, she raced really hard and a horse just slid by her at the end. That doesn't do much for a horse's spirits, for their attitude. Last year, she could kind of handle them and it kept her spirits a lot better. "She certainly had her glory last year. Some of the other girls have stepped up." Lyons Sentinel qualified at Harrington Raceway on Sept. 16 and won in 1:54.2. Harrington is a half-mile oval, as is the track at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. The Harrington qualifier was Lyons Sentinel's first time on a half. "She qualified real good," King said. "I'm satisfied she'll get around the corners just fine. If she trips out, we'll see what happens. I'm not ruling her out. I think we have a good chance, but Party Girl has the very best chance. He then added with a laugh, "I've been wrong lots of times. I hope I am again." Party Girl Hill enters the Jugette off a Sept. 6 win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Her victories this season also include the Fan Hanover Stakes and Adioo Volo. She has earned $482,181 in 2020, the top figure among all 3-year-old filly pacers. Ryder also will send out the morning-line favorite in the first elimination in 9-5 New Year. She enters the event off a win in a conditioned race Sept. 16 at Harrah's Philadelphia. It was her first victory in eight races this year. She is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing. Second choice in the first elimination is Nancy Takter-trained Peaky Sneaky. She most recently won a Fan Hanover elimination and finished third in the final. She is owned by Howard Taylor, Judy Taylor, and Order By Stable. Racing begins at noon Wednesday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. The card also includes two divisions of the Buckette for 3-year-old female trotters, one division of the Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers, and one division of the Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters. For Wednesday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

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