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Vernon, N.Y. -- Scott Woogen and Brenda Messenger's Lauxmont Capri ($10.20) pounced from the pocket to capture Saturday (November 5) evening's featured $7,900 Miracle Mile pacing event at Vernon Downs, and John MacDonald sewed up top harness racing trainer and driver honors for the 2016 season, which came to an end with a 12-race card.   The 6-year-old Red River Hanover gelding drafted behind 9-5 favorite Skip Jive (Jay Randall) through splits of :25.4, :54.2, and 1:23.1 before making his move just before cornering for home. Once Mike Merton moved Lauxmont Capri off the pegs, he pressed immediately and collared Skip Jive at the eighth pole, accelerating away and repelling a late bid from Modern Gesture (Truman Gale) to prevail by a length in 1:51.4. Skip Jive faded to third.   Gary Messenger trains 20-time winner Lauxmont Capri.   John MacDonald's 197 driving wins and 54 training wins through the season earned him top honors in both categories. MacDonald finished the meet 48 wins clear of the second-best driver Chris Lems and five clear of training runner-up Andy Gardner.   In the annual "Turn Back the Clock Rewind Race", contested clockwise over seven-eighths of a mile, Avogadro Hanover ($8.20) slid up the pegs after tracking a contested pace, reaching the lead in the last sixteenth of a mile and completing the single circuit in 1:40.3, a neck better than Ton of Luck (Merton) and the collared pacesetter Bring Them Home (Justin Huckabone).   The 2017 season at Vernon Downs is slated to begin in April; fans and horsemen alike are advised to consult through the winter for updates.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Two grass track specialists have combined for a massive boil over win at the Geraldine Trotting Club's annual meeting. Junior driver Jessica Young has found the best in Karanga Red Fantasy to win the final race of the day at $73.40 for the win. Trained by Donald Jones at Greendale, the 6-year-old Red River Hanover mare out of Beaudiene Fantasy, has been struggling for form in her current preparation but was back to the real Karanga Red Fantasy at the Orari Racecourse. Given a charmed run by Young, Karanga Red Fantasy let down in the straight to run past the field and win by one and a quarter lengths with her last quarter in 28.8 on the grass track. It was Karanga Red Fantasy's first win in 53 weeks and the first time Young has sat behind her. Raced by Jacqueline Jones, Karanga Red Fantasy is lightly raced but now has a more than handy record of six wins from 26 starts. Five of those wins have come on the grass. Young's strike rate on the grass is phenomenal and she only enhanced her reputation on Saturday with a winning double. She picked up a winner earlier in the day with the Dean Taylor trained Franco Texas in the junior drivers race. All Stars stablemates Alta Ronaldo and Itz Bettor To Win picked up the quinella in the Geraldine Cup ahead of Brilliant Strike. Natalie Rasmussen moved Itz Bettor To Win up three wide to roll to the front with just under a lap to run before handing up to stablemate Alta Ronaldo and Mark Purdon. Just a long neck separated the stablemates with a further half length back to Brilliant Strike. Valmagne picked up the tenth win of his career for trainer Josh Kennett in the same race he won 12 months earlier. Tim Butt pulled off the training performance of the day with Bettor's Delight mare Millies Creek broke maidens in just her third start with a half a head victory in the fillies and mares maiden. Her last start at the races was way back in January. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ   -   Check site here

Taking advantage of a pocket trip, Lauxmont Capri ($16.40) scored an upset win in Sunday (July 12) afternoon's $14,000 Open Pace at the harness racing meeting Tioga Downs, kicking clear at will for a 1:53 score.   The 5-year-old Red River Hanover gelding pushed the pace up the pegs, stringing out U Belong To Me (Jim Marohn, Jr.) through a :26.4 first quarter before easing back to the pocket.   The two remained uncontested through the middle half, as first-over challenger Prairie Jaguar (Jim Meittinis) could only get to within three lengths of the lead at any point of the race.   As he faded off the far turn, Jim Taggart, Jr. angled Lauxmont Capri--with clear sailing all the while--out of the pocket, vaulting clear upon cornering.   U Belong To Me was devoid of any response, fading sharply through the stretch.   As Lauxmont Capri drew off in the final sixteenth, Electrofire (Mike Simons) emerged from traffic up the inside, just collaring the tracking Hunchie (Corey Braden) for second, 2-3/4 lengths in arrears of the winner.   Western Trademark (Aaron Byron) rallied from the back of the pack, gaining down the grandstand side to take fourth.   Gary Messenger trains Lauxmont Capri for owners Scott Woogen and Brenda Messenger.   Byron and Marohn score hat tricks   While Taggart earned top honors in the day's featured event, Aaron Byron and Jim Marohn, Jr. were the driving stars on the 10-race card, each recording three victories.   Byron prevailed in partnership with St Lads Lotto ($4.10, 1:52.2), An Officers Duty ($7.20, 1:54.1), and Elite Awards ($12.40, 1:52.3), while Marohn teamed up with Special Joe ($4.10, 1:52.3), Smellthecolornine ($6.70, 1:53.1), and Retail ($26.00, 1:51.4).   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 17) evening, with the first race due to begin at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Time is a great asset in harness racing but it is not something that happens that often any more with horses quickly discarded if they don't come up to the mark straight away. One horse who is showing the wisdom of being given a bit of time is the six year old son of Red River Hanover in Fiery Lustre who chalked up win number six last night at Alexandra Park in the manner of a horse that has a few more wins in store yet. Lightly raced at three by owner and breeder Ivan Court, Fiery Lustre was busy at four and five picking up a couple of wins and a lot of placings but it is as a six year old that Fiery Lustre has really come into his own. Four wins and seven placings have helped his bank balance no end and shown once again that patience can be rewarded. Last night driver Scott Phelan hunted Fiery Lustre forward from barrier seven and he grabbed the lead after 300 metres. Scott kept the tempo in front very solid and it was obvious a long way out that Fiery Lustre had them in trouble. Given a bit more rein at the 400 metres mark, Fiery Lustre quickly put paid to the competition and ran away and hid with the official winning margin being 7 1/4 lengths. Fiery Lustre paced the 2700 metres in a smart 3:22, a mile rate of 2:00.4 with closing sectionals of 57.5 and 28.5. Driver Scott Phelan has a bit of time for Fiery Lustre. " He is a lovely old horse to do anything with." " He gives you 110% on racenight  and has a nice turn of speed so he is pretty versatile." " Last night I thought he was the best horse in the race so I drove him like that and it turned out I was right." " He has actually been on the market but I think the Red River Hanover scares people off him but he doesn't know what he is by." "He is more than a fair horse which his record shows," Scott said. Fiery Lustre is in career best form at the moment and if not sold would appear to have a few more wins in him yet. Harnesslink Media

Pompano Beach, FL...March 30, 2015...Godiva Seelster, the mare that gave Just A Bee all she could handle last week before succumbing in the final few strides, turned the tables on the "Queen Bee" on Monday night at Pompano Park and scored a narrow win in a lifetime best performance of 1:51.2 for harness racing driver Wally Hennessey. The five year-old daughter of Camluck, trained by Wally's brother, Dan, for Paul and Patricia O'Neil, took command just a few steps after the gate opened and carved out fractions of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:23.1 before courageously coming home in :28.1 to score by a neck over Just A Bee and driver Mike Micallef. Mach Me Not, with Bruce Ranger in the bike, was a stout closing third while Mach It a Par, prominent from the get-go, finished fourth. Senorita Santanna pick up the final award in the sextet. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "This mare (Godiva Seelster) is about as consistent as they come. She always gives a good performance. This was her third start back after a couple of months off and she was sharp coming back...didn't lose one step. She dug in tonight and, after that :27.3 backside quarter, I was just hoping for the best. She was a determined winner. But Mike's mare (Just A Bee) went a great trip on her own, too. She's mighty tough!." In defeat, Micallef spoke highly of Godiva Seelster saying, "Just A Bee raced a great mile, no doubt about that, but Wally's mare was extremely sharp and deserves the accolades...she earned them tonight. I look forward to a rematch--and I am sure he does, too!" Godiva Seelster now has a 2-1-0 scorecard in her three starts, good for $13,500 in bounty. She has $122,342 in lifetime earnings. As the 9 to 5 second choice on the tote-board, Godiva Seelster paid $5.60 to win. The $9,500 Open "2" pace for mares went to De Vins Girl, this eight year-old daughter of Red River Hanover, scoring a virtual gate to wire win for Matt Romano in 1:53.2 for owner-trainer Luca Derrico. Fiesta Camcun, with Kevin Wallis handling the mare's lines, finished second with Glow Stick, driven by Dave Ingraham, next, after putting a scare into the winner around the final turn and through mid-stretch. Oceans Motion finished fourth while Jump Start picked up the nickel in the quintet. De Vins Girl tussled--briefly--with Fiesta Camcun, handled by Kevin Wallis, before taking command and carding panels of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:25 before sealing the issue with that :28.2 sprint home for her second success of the year in 12 starts, good for 2015 bounty of $23,750. She's now banked close to $300,000 lifetime--$299,785 to be exact. Though known for her explosive closing kick, De Vins Girl, has 11 wins over the past two seasons in 50 starts with eight of those wins in virtual wire-to-wire fashion. As the 4 to 5 favorite, De Vins Girl paid $3.60 to win. Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 created eight winning tickets on the 2-7-8-10-1 combo with the 20 cent ticket worth $692, pushing the carryover to Wednesday night program over $85,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m. for the mid-week card. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Harness racing owners dream of having a runner qualify for an Inter Dominion Grand Final.  Western Australian Kevin Jeavons is one of the lucky few that has already lived the dream having watched Washakie compete in four grand finals.  Washakie’s best effort was sixth in Queensland in 2009 and he repeated that again in Sydney four years later. This year Jeavons will be cheering on two runners with the John McCarthy trained Monifieth and Blazin N Cullen qualifying for the $750,000 Gr. 1 event. “I’m looking forward to Sunday afternoon for sure but I wouldn’t say I’m nervous, I’m just hoping they perform at their best,” Jeavons said. “I’ve always had an interest in horses, I got my first one when I was nineteen, have driven a few as well but as I got older my business interests took up more time and now my wife and I get plenty of enjoyment watching the horses race.” Monifieth and Blazin N Cullen raced in New Zealand before being purchased and Jeavons admits he enjoys watching and researching horses from across the Tasman. “Monifieth is a lovely horse with high speed but I guess when you buy them from New Zealand you are always hoping to get one that can take that step up and race against the best horses.” “He was beaten at his first run in Australia at Goulburn and I don’t think the bookmakers had much of an opinion of him at his next start because from memory I think I got 25/1 and he won which was very nice.” Blazin N Cullen is beautifully bred, his mother Rye Hanover is the sister of American stallions Red River Hanover, Rustler Hanover and the winner of over $3 million Rocknroll Hanover. “I was surprised that he came up for sale, I had been watching him in New Zealand and always liked him but I didn’t think he would be available but I still remember getting a call just before Christmas a few years back that he was on the market.” “We bought him and he has done a great job for us and John (McCarthy), he has drawn well in barrier two this Sunday so there are options with him.” Jeavons will also be cheering on his three year old Kilcullen in the Gr. 1 NSW Derby on Sunday afternoon. “We bought him unraced from New Zealand, he has done a good job and I really like that he has drawn barrier two so he should get the perfect run.” The Inter Dominion 2015 is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Greg Hayes Position: Media Coordinator Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: Related Links Fields for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Sunday 01 March 2015 Form guide for Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle, Sunday 01 March 2015

Pompano Beach, FL...February 2, 2015...Pertty Music extended her winning streak to three at Pompano Park on Monday night with a sharp 1:52 victory in the $13,000 Open Handicap for pacing mares for harness racing owner, driver trainer Ed Hensley.   The five year-old daughter of Jereme's Jet pinned a hard earned defeat measuring just short of a length on Just A Bee, handled by Mike Micallef. Senorita Santanna, with George Napolitabo, Jr. in the bike, finished third with Art Frenzy and Winbak Heavenly also earning a paycheck in the field of six.   A battle royal developed from the get-go with Senorita Santanna, Winbak Heavenly, P L Hula and Just A Bee all vying for supremacy with the latter, seeing no hope in making the top early, nestling in the fourth spot ahead of her main rival, Pertty Music.   After a hot :26.2 opener, with P L Hula making the top, Senorita Santanna wasn't content in the garden spot and retook the lead and marched over to the half in :55.1 with P L Hula now second and Just A Bee, out with a lap to go, grinding away third with Pertty Music catching her live cover.   On the backside, the pace quickened and a :27.3 third quarter brought Senorita Santanna and Just A Bee on even terms past the third station in 1:22.4.   In the lane, Just A Bee gamely poked her head in front but couldn't stall Pertty Music, who took command off her cover and edged clear to the wire.   In a post race interview, driver Ed Hensley said, "I would have liked to leave but all the others were smokin' early, so that thought went out the window. Mike (Micallef) left with his mare (Just A Bee) pretty good and, when he found a spot (4th), I just dropped in behind him. The pace was pretty hot early and, when he pulled, I followed, so it turned out to be a real nice trip for my mare. She's a 'pertty' handy mare, and she does everything I ask of her. She was good tonight again."   Winning for the 17th time in her career, Pertty Music now has $234,522 lifetime on her card--$21,275 so far this year on the strength of her third win in five starts.   Even money on the tote-board, Pertty Music paid $4.00 to win.   The co-featured $10,000 Open 2 for pacing mares went to Luca Derrico's De Vins Girl, handled by George Napolitano, Jr.   This eight year old daughter of Red River Hanover overcame the outside nine post by using different tactics in taking the lead just past the :27.2 first panel and then wiring together fractions of :55.3 and 1:23.4 before sprinting home in :28.3 to seal the 1:52.2 deal measuring 3 1/2 lengths over Wind River Cat (Bruce Ranger) with Glam Cam (Dave Ingraham) third.   Mach Me Not finished fourth and Express Jet picked up the nickel in the field of nine.   De Vins Girl earned her 31st lifetime win--first this season--to send her career bounty to $286,475.   Finally, Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 again had multiple consolation winners of $107.46 for their 20 cent investment with the carryover going into the Tuesday night card approaching $100,000.   Post time is 7:30.   -John Berry

He will never go down as the one of the greatest pacers or trotters, but Mister Zion will always have a unique position in history. Retired by trainer Geoff Webster last night, the gelding is, however, likely to be remembered as the most successful dual-gaited performer produced in Australasia. In fact, Mister Zion boasts a record destined never to be equalled. Beginning his career as a pacer, Mister Zion won his first four starts for Webster as he completed a rapid transition through the grades. The son of Red River Hanover signalled his arrival at the top when he captured the 2010 South Australia Cup, beating a rampaging Smoken Up in the process. Mister Zion’s second highlight as a four-year-old was annexing the Mildura Cup in stylish fashion. Struggling to recapture his best form at five, when winless from 11 starts, Mister Zion was converted to a squaregaiter as a six-year-old. Quickly establishing himself among the top trotters, Mister Zion created history at Tabcorp Park Melton on February 2, 2013. With Webster in the cart, Mister Zion won the time honoured Australasian Trotting Championship to become the first standardbred to capture Group Ones as a pacer and a trotter. “The night he won the Australasian Trotting Championship is one of the highlights of my career,” Webster said. “To be part of a piece of history like that was amazing and is something that will always be his. “I doubt it will ever be equalled, but even if it is, he will always be the first to do it.” Racing below his best this preparation, the nine-year-old was retired following his tail of the field finish at Cobram. “He just simply doesn’t want to trot anymore,” Webster declared. “He broke again for no reason other than he has simply had enough. “I was hoping to push on with him and take him to Adelaide in a few weeks, but there is no point in going any further. “He’s no longer interesting in racing and will enjoy retirement now. “He’s won 24 races and has 20 placings from 77 starts for stakes of almost $400,000, so he’s done a great job.” PAUL COURTS

Colebrook harness racing trainer Paul Medhurst described Bona Fide Hustler as a “bargain Buy” after he notched his fifth win for connections in Hobart tonight. Bona Fide Hustler was purchased by Medhurst for $14,000 from Victorian interests about two years ago, and since arriving in Tasmania, the son of Red River Hanover has amassed about $35,000 in stakes. The six-year-old’s racing pattern these days is to drop back early and come with a barnstorming finish and that’s exactly what played out during his latest victory. With talented novice driver Samantha Freeman in the cart, Bona Fide Hustler was eased away from barrier seven as Freeman settled him in the running line towards the rear of the field. Frankie Falzoni forged his way to the lead, with the favourite Rusty Red Comet facing the breeze and travelling comfortably at the bell. With Freeman making her move at the 600-metre mark, Bona Fide Hustler quickly ranged up to the front runner. Finishing strongly along the home straight, the gelding rattled home to defeat Rusty Red Comet, with Frankie Falzoni hanging on for third. Bona Fide Hustler paid $16.90 on the Tote, but he was backed in to start at $13 with Tattsbet fixed odds. Listen to what trainer Paul Medhurst and driver Samantha Freeman had to say about Bona Fide Hustler’s latest win. PETER STAPLES

Canada racetracks seem to like the Billings Series, or at least they appear to have confidence in the amateur driver's abilities, so much so, that they place their races on the betting cards as they did in the Canadian Maritimes earlier this season, and yesterday (Sunday, Oct. 5) at Flamboro Downs, and will today (Monday, Oct, 6) at Mohawk Raceway. The good folks at both Charlottetown Driving Park and Summerside Raceway on Prince Edward Island enjoy having Billings competitions there and they annually invite the Billings amateurs to come and partake of their hospitality and drive at their race tracks, which they did in early September. However, Billings president Tony "the Capo" Verruso can be applauded for getting Flamboro and Mohawk to host competitions, which all Billings members are extremely grateful for. On Sunday at Flamboro Downs a nine-horse field went to post in a Billings pace and although it was hotly contested when the judges hung the official sign it was "Bullet Bob" Davis who emerged victorious with Domenico DiCicco's 7- year-old Red River Hanover mare, Victoria, in a time of 2:00.3. Davis started from the six-hole and Victoria had to pace a :28.3 quarter to gain command at the first stanza. From there Davis parked all comers and at the halfway point there were five-in and four out as -the timer revealed a :59.1 first half. Although Davis had a tough time shaking off Kelly "Sky" Walker and Hudson Gal, she began to fade as the field reached the third panel. But her still being on the limb gave on the final turn gave cover of sorts to the pace-setter, Victoria and no one really shook loose until, too late to overtake Davis's mare. First under the wire was Bob Davis and Victoria, a length ahead of Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford with Laura Mae. Canadian amateur, Howie The Horse" Gelfand, finished third with Angel From Above. Victoria, trained by her owner Dom DeCicco, went off at odds of 6-1 and paid $14.00 for win. For Bob Davis it was his fifth driving victory of the season. Also participating in the Flamboro Downs event -in the order of which they finished behind the top three-were Mike "the Mortgage Man" Mitchell, Kelly "Sky" Walker, "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello, Vladimir "Butch" Melnichenko, Dave" Yes It's True" Offenberg ,and Tony "the Capo" Verruso. That same group of Billings amateurs will be joined by "Jumpin Jerry" Michelich and all ten will compete in two races on Monday (Oct.6) at Mohawk Race Track. by John Manzi, for the Billings Amateur Driver Series

Campbellville, ON --- Last weekend’s elimination winners McWicked, Tellitlikeitis and Lyonssomewhere head an extremely competitive field of 10 for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup harness race, this Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The 31st edition of the world’s richest pacing event, showcasing the finest 3-year-olds on the continent, will go postward at 10:14 p.m. and will be shown live on TSN. A half-hour preview of the race will air on TSN GO from 9:30-10:00 p.m., with the race set for TSN from 9:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. The winner will earn C$500,000. Post positions were drawn today at Mohawk, with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland as the guest drawmaster. Last Saturday, three Cup eliminations were held to determine the field for the final. The three winners earned their connections the right to choose a post position before the balance of the field was drawn. Seventeen of the past 30 Cup winners also won their elimination. Trainer Casie Coleman, who won the 2010 Cup with Sportswriter, sends out McWicked, who recorded the fastest elim, winning by two lengths in 1:48.3, from post two. Owned by SSG Stables, McWicked, a son of 2002 Cup third place finisher Mcardle, is a five time winner in 14 outings with career earnings of $244,707. Driver David Miller has yet to win the Cup in 13 tries, but has twice been second, including last year with a 96-1 shot Twilight Bonfire. Trainer Jimmy Takter, more renowned as a trotting conditioner for such stars as Moni Maker, Kadabra and Malabar Man, but who also directed filly pacer See You At Peelers to championship seasons, will have two Cup entrants, Tellitlikeitis (post three) and Lyonssomewhere (post four), who both won their elims in ultra-impressive fashion and who both will be solidly backed on Saturday night. Tellitlikeitis, bred and owned by Lothlorien of Cheltenham, Ontario, took his elim in a career best 1:48.4, blowing by heavily-favored He's Watching to win by 2-1/4 lengths in only his second start of the year. The regally bred son of 2009 Cup winner Well Said out of champion Kikikatie also won his season opener, a Pennsylvania Sires Stake, at Pocono Downs in May. Lothlorien has shared ownership of three previous Cup winners -- Well Said (2009), Rocknroll Hanover (2005) and Red River Hanover (2002). Takter has only started two previous Cup entrants, both in 2012, and finished second with Time To Roll. Driver Brett Miller has two previous Cup drives, finishing second in 2010 with We Will See. Lyonssomewhere, owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Burford, Ontario is undefeated in five starts. The son of 2008 Cup winner and Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere took his elim comfortably in 1:50.1 by 1-3/4 lengths in his first stakes appearance. He’ll be driven by Corey Callahan, making only his second Cup drive after finishing fourth with Mr Wiggles in 2009. He's Watching (post seven), co-owned and trained by David Menary of Rockton, Ontario, finished second to Tellitlikeitis in his elim, but last year won all eight starts en route to a Dan Patch Award as the United States’ top 2-year-old colt pacer. Winner of a Somebeachsomewhere division on May 31 in a career best 1:49.3, the son of American Ideal will be driven by the continent’s perennial leader, Tim Tetrick, who steered champion Captaintreacherous to an authoritative score in last year’s Cup. JK Endofanera (post nine), trained by Ron Burke for owner-breeder 3 Brothers Stables of New York City, had a five-race win streak broken in his elim when finishing third as the 1-2 choice to Lyonssomewhere, while drifting out in the stretch. The son of Art Major is the field’s leading money winner with $453,517, topped by his win last year in the Governor’s Cup at the Meadowlands. He’ll be driven by Brian Sears, who steered Rocknroll Hanover to victory in the 2005 Cup. Last year’s Breeders Crown champion, Luck Be Withyou (post eight), was third to Tellitlikeitis in his elim, after finishing second to JK Endofanera in a Somebeachsomewhere division the week before in his seasonal debut. Trained by Bill Cass for owner John Craig of North York, the son of Western Ideal will be driven by Ron Pierce, who has won two Cups, with Total Truth in 2006 and Well Said in 2009. Let's Drink On It (post five), trained by Joe Seekman, is a seven-time winner in 16 starts and was third to McWicked in his elim. A son of Art Official, the only horse to defeat Somebeachsomewhere, he’ll be piloted by 21-year-old Tyler Smith, who would become the youngest driver to win the Pepsi North America Cup. Sometimes Said (post 10), another son of 2009 Cup winner Well Said, finished second to McWicked last Saturday, the ninth time in 14 outings he’s been the runner-up. Trained by Jim Campbell for owner Fashion Farms and driven by his Hall of Fame brother and record six-time Cup winner John Campbell, Sometimes Said was also second to Luck Be Withyou in last year’s Breeders Crown. Beat The Drum (post one), a son of 2007 Cup winner Tell All, finished second as a 27-1 shot to Lyonssomewhere in his elim for trainer Staffan Lind. Yannick Gingras drives the three-time winner in 17 starts, the most outings by any Cup entrant this year. Completing the field is Ideal Cowboy (post six), who finished fourth to McWicked in his elim but drew into the final. Trained by PJ Fraley, the son of American Ideal has banked $48,684 in 10 career starts. Scott Zeron will drive. In 2012, Thinking Out Loud set the stakes record of 1:47.4 at Mohawk, eclipsing the former mark of 1:48.1 established by Well Said in 2009 while Hall of Famer Bettor's Delight has won the race by the largest margin, 4-1/2 lengths, in 2001. Other winners of the Cup, which began in 1984 at Greenwood Raceway, include such champions as Jate Lobell (1987), Precious Bunny (1991), Presidential Ball (1993), Cam's Card Shark (1994), Gallo Blue Chip (2000), Rocknroll Hanover (2005), Somebeachsomewhere (2008) and Captaintreacherous (2013). The Cup was raced at Greenwood from 1984-93, followed by Woodbine from 1994-2006. It was held at Mohawk Racetrack for the first time in 2007. The shortest-priced winners, at $2.70, are Jate Lobell and Presidential Ball, while Goalie Jeff, in 1989, provided the highest win payoff, $93.60. Horseplayers will get an added bonus on Pepsi North America Cup night when Mohawk will offer three Pick-4 wagers including an “All Stakes Pick-4.” The All Stakes Pick-4, with a $100,000 guaranteed pool, will run from race seven to 10 and will feature the Roses Are Red, Mohawk Gold Cup, Fan Hanover and conclude in race 10 with the 31st Pepsi North America Cup. $1 million Pepsi North America Cup Post–Horse–Driver-Trainer-Line 1–Beat The Drum–Yannick Gingras-Staffan Lind-20-1 2–McWicked–David Miller-Casie Coleman-7-2 3–Tellitlikeitis–Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-3-1 4–Lyonssomewhere–Corey Callahan-Jimmy Takter-4-1 5–Let's Drink On It–Tyler Smith-Joe Seekman-6-1 6–Ideal Cowboy–Scott Zeron-PJ Fraley-15-1 7–He's Watching–Tim Tetrick-David Menary-5-1 8–Luck Be Withyou–Ron Pierce-William Cass-12-1 9–JK Endofanera–Brian Sears-Ron Burke-10-1 10–Sometimes Said–John Campbell-Jim Campbell-20-1 AE–Jet Airway–Scott Zeron-Erv Miller From the Publicity Department at WEG

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 5 - One of the few trophies missing from trainer Jimmy Takter's extensive collection is a Pepsi North America Cup. This week, the Hall of Fame trainer said, "I want to win this one bad." It partly explains why he's racing a horse in each of the three $50,000 Pepsi North America Cup eliminations Saturday at Mohawk. Takter will send out Lyonssomewhere in the first elimination (race three, post six, driver Corey Callahan), Capital Account in the second elimination (race five, post eight, Ron Pierce) and Tellitlikeitis (race nine, post three, Brett Miller). The New Jersey-based conditioner, who was inducted into the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2011, came close to winning the NA Cup in 2012 when Tellitlikeitis' older half-brother Time To Roll finished second to Bob McIntosh's Thinking Out Loud by a half-length. In that same NA Cup race, Takter-trained Simply Business finished ninth less than a year after winning the $1 million Metro Pace at Mohawk. The Pepsi North America is in a much more exclusive club of harness racing stakes races carrying a seven-figure purse. "We have two million-dollar races. It's all we have left. (The NA Cup) is one of them," Takter said. It serves as a further motivation for the trainer to win it. Of his three entries, Takter said "both 'Tellit' and 'Lyon' have the ability to win it if they make the final. Otherwise, I wouldn't even put them in, of course. I really think both of those horses, if they have a good day, are two contenders in that race." Takter said this year's field is wide open. "So far, at least, there's not a Captaintreacherous in the field," he said. "It could be won by any one of those 23 horses that are in it." Canadian-owned Tellitlikeitis comes into the race with the best credentials and a stellar pedigree. The homebred owned by Sue Grange's Lothlorien Stables of Cheltenham is a son of Lothlorien-owned 2009 Pepsi North America Cup champion Well Said out of stakes star Kikikatie. Takter has trained all four of Tellitlikeitis' brothers. All four - Rockin Amadeus ($700,000), Time To Roll ($735,000), Grams Legacy ($165,000) and Rockin Image ($900,000) - are sons of Lothlorien's 2005 Pepsi North America Cup champion Rocknroll Hanover, who will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Aug. 6 in Mississauga. Lothlorien also won the Pepsi North America Cup in 2002 with Red River Hanover. All three of Lothlorien's NA Cup winners were owned, in part, by Jeffrey Snyder of New York City. Takter said Tellitlikeitis is "a little smaller than his brothers, but they all can go fast... He's a good horse, but he had a lot of problems when he was a two-year-old. We had problems with his front ankles. "He's a tough horse. He's as fast as Hes Watching, that's for sure. He has quick speed. Does he have stamina like Hes Watching has? I don't know, yet." Tellitlikeitis comes into the NA Cup elims off a victory May 17 in his 2014 pari-mutuel debut in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes event at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. As a two-year-old, Tellitlikeitis earned nearly $125,000 with two wins in eight starts. Lyonssomewhere is also Canadian owned. The son of beloved 2008 NA Cup champion Somebeachsomewhere is owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Burford. The colt sports a perfect four-for-four career record, though has yet to test stakes company. "Lyonssomewhere hasn't raced against this calibre of horses. It will be exciting to see how he is. The horse is undefeated and loves to race," Takter said. "I love that horse. I really like him He raced his last two starts (at the Meadowlands) and he really was super. I know he hasn't gone one of those :49 miles, but they are there. Capital Account is a homebred owned by Brittany Farms of Kentucky. The son of American Ideal out of Copywriter has won half of his eight career starts and was sixth in his Somebeachsomewhere division on May 31 at Mohawk. "He raced okay... He's a good horse. He's not bad. Unfortunately, he got a (poor) post again," Takter said of drawing the eight-hole. "It's going to be tough with that starting point." First race post time for the Saturday card is 7:25 p.m. by John Siscos, for WEG

After all the hoopla of Jewels day at Cambridge yesterday, harness racing today, at a low-key  Ashburton meeting was a return to normality. But that’s not to say there weren't some very promising horses racing. The mares and fillies mile looked a two horse affair on paper between the very speedy Lis Mara 3 year old filly, Delightful Dash and the talented 4 year old Red River Hanover mare Karanga Red Fantasy. Delightful Dash with Dexter Dunn in the bike led with ease from barrier six with Karanga Red Fantasy and Gavin Smith dropping straight onto her back from barrier three. Dexter kept up a very solid tempo and turning for home looked to going as good as anything. But Gavin Smith was only foxing and passing the 150 meters mark he eased Karanga Red Fantasy out of the trial and she brushed past Delightful Dash in the shadows of the post to record her fourth career win in just her seventh race day appearance. She stopped the clock at a very impressive 1:54.1 with closing sectionals of 55.7 and 26.9. Delightful Dash lost no admirers in finishing a half-length away in second while Crimson Glory was the best of the rest, running into third four and a half lengths from the winner. The first two to finish today both appear capable of further wins in the near future.   Harnesslink media

Silver Spir comes into this weeks action having rattled off back-to-back victories for harness racing owner Maureen Pittaro and trainer Gretchen Smith, equaling his lifetime mark of 1:54 1/5 on both occasions. The 5-year-old Michigan-bred son of Cheyenne Rei was handled by Tim Maier in the first of those scores, with Gretchens son Sean Smithpeters handling the lines in the most recent outing. I cant say enough nice things to say about this horse, Gretchen related. He is such a pleasure to have in the barn. He is very quiet for a stud and he takes very good care of himself. He takes his morning nap everyday as well as one in the afternoon. He doesn't get in much of a hurry jogging either. Im certain that is the reason for his soundness. He only puts out an effort when duty calls. Even right after a race he just moseys back down to the paddock to be hooked back to the jog cart for his return to the barn area. According to Smith, Silver Spir is the kind of horse that makes a very difficult job much easier. He is every trainer and owners dream because what you see from him on the track is all him. No expensive vet bills, no fancy rigging, he isn't even a picky eater. How can anyone ask for any more than that? Hes definitely a special kind of horse. Silver Spir will step up in class for Saturday nights Open Pace with Smithpeters once again doing the honors. Dont let those easy-going ways around the barn fool you, hes all business when its starter call for the pacers. Open Pace entices Shax, Smith pair Shax, a winner of two straight for trainer Tim Brown; and the sharp Gretchen Smith-trained pair of Im An Athlete and Silver Spir get the marquee treatment in Saturday evenings $5,000 Open Pace. Shax races for Kc C Carvalho and David Siegel will once again handle the 6-year-old Florida-bred son of Red River Hanover. He got the job done two weeks ago under Open 3 conditions stalking the pace to the lane and then finding a path along the cones to motor through for the score. Racing at the Open 2 level last week while racing over a sloppy track, Shax sat last in the early stages, rallied second-over to the stretch and hung a neck decision on Haggin Oaks, who was making the final start of her career. Im An Athlete is a 4-year-old son of Art Major who carries the banner of Ronald Retting-Zucchi and will have the services of Tim Maier. The Smith trainee is looking for his fourth trip to the charmed enclosure from his last seven trips to the post. His most recent decision came on April 11 in the Open 3 with Pat Galbraith at the controls, with his 1:53 2/5 clocking not only being the nights fastest but a new lifetime standard. He was second to One And Only at next asking and third as the 4-5 choice behind Shax at most recent asking. Silver Spir gives the Gretchen Smith barn two solid looks at the outcome. He has captured his last two starts in sharp style, doing the track-and-attack to perfection on both occasions with identical 1:54 1/5 final clockings. Sean Smithpters has the return assignment. Rounding out the field are A Real Miracle, who leaves from the cozy rail slot with Chip Lackey giving directions; and Laissez Moi Passer with Williams Hernandez in the bike. First post is 6:15 p.m. By Mark Ratzky

For the third consecutive week, Up Front Kellie Jo was up to the task in the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace on Thursday (April 3) in Northfield Park's fifth race. She is trained by Rob Harmon for owners C. Ed Mullinax and Mark Ford. Josh Sutton has been in the bike for the trio of victories. Up Front Kellie Jo (Bettor's Delight-Life's Highway-Life Sign) was assigned the outside and let her competition set the :27.4 and :56 early fractions. Sutton tipped the mare four wide approaching the 1:25.3 three-quarters. Up Front Kellie Jo struck the front in the stretch and bested her competition by a full length in 1:55.3 over a sloppy surface. Completing the race were Power Everywhere, Sweetheart Dance, Y Mach Me, Canaco Star, It Must Be Magic and Special Lady D. Thursday's win was the 42 career victory for Up Front Kellie Jo and increased her lifetime earnings to $841,097. She was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win. Earlier in the program, the evening's second race saw Riverdancer post her fourth straight win over Northfield's Flying Turns. The seven year-old mare is owned by Michael Yoder and Joseph Miller, who also trains. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. was aboard for all of the consecutive victories. Riverdancer (Red River Hanover-Millenium Missle-Sealed N Delivered) now has five wins in 2014 and 23 career successes along with a bankroll of $141,375. She paid $8.40 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Top trotter The Fiery Ginga, who forged himself into the hearts of New Zealand racing fans with his toughness and pure grit, is unlikely to race again after fracturing a sesamoid. The now seven-year-old son of CR Commando burst on to the racing scene as an early two-year-old and was quick to hit the headlines and show his toughness, finishing second two days in a row in March of 2009. In total, the trotter affectionately known as 'The Ginga' has raced on 121 occasions, for 27 wins, 24 seconds, 16 thirds, and stakes of $359,729. The Fiery Ginga', who was scratched from the $100,000 Grand Prix and Melton on Saturday, will now be boxed for a month at the Victoria property of Noel Shinn before returning to New Zealand, where he will then be boxed for a further two months. '' I will try him again in six months but any sign of a problem and he will be finished.'' Said his trainer Alan Clark The Fiery Ginga last raced in New Zealand on the 16th of February where he overcame a 50 metre handicap to easily beat a field of 11 at Invercargill. Karanga Red Fantasy remains unbeaten Karanga Red Fantasy has had three starts for three different drivers, but that hasn’t stopped her from greeting the judge on each and every occasion. After wins on the West Coast for drivers Gavin Smith and Todd Woodward, it was junior reinsman Craig Ferguson who got his turn today, steering the four-year-old Red River Hanover mare to success in a heat of the ‘Youth versus Experience’ Drivers Series at Waikouaiti. Starting from a 10 metre handicap, the mare made a good beginning and was quickly up vying for the lead, before a nifty bit of driving saw Craig Ferguson drop her into the trail. She then boomed up the inside in the home stretch to win nicely by 2 & ¾ lengths. Because the race was part of an Invited Drivers Series the win came penalty-free, meaning the Bob Forrester trained four-year-old will remain a C2. So, while the mare has had three different drivers so far in her short career, something tells me it won’t be long until someone cements themselves to the seat. Other impressive winners on the card included trotters Queen Kenny and Valmagne, who were both handled by Maurice McKendry, while two-year-old Springbank Eden, a $127,500 purchase at last year’s Yearling Sales, was also a winner. By Mitchell Robertson

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