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CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - With a four-race win streak hanging by the balance, Dreamfair Zenfire will attempt to put another championship harness racing win under her belt Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. With 11-dashes on tap, the Saturday card will get underway at 12:30 P.M., featuring the $15,117 Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares Final, presented by Standardbred Canada, in race 8. Dreamfair Zenfire has drawn post 1 in the event with trainer Marc Campbell above the wheels this week for owners Ryan and Everett MacLeod of Souris.  A winner of the $8,000 Birthplace of Confederation Mares Invitational final earlier this season, the four-year-old daughter of Sunfire Blue Chip has nine wins on the season. Her stablemate, Arc Light, occupies the far outside post 6 with Adam Merner getting the driving call for owner Crossroads Racing Stable of Stratford. The Camystic mare has hit the board in all 17 starts this season. Also in the field are Jordies Hope (To be driven by Dale Spence), Woodmere Chella (Corey MacPherson), Traces Of Purple (Jason Hughes) and Lyons Jennielee (Myles Heffernan Sr.). Peter MacPhee with the Post Time Picks puts Dreamfair Zenfire on top. "Dreamfair Zenfire is on an incredible roll right now and has an amazing nine wins this season. We're betting Marc will want to call the shots and if they do control it we'll see them smiling in the winner's circle again." The $3,100 preferred pace hits the track in race 10 of the day with Rose Run Quest the top choice with Merner subbing in as driver for trainer Gilles Barrieau, who is competing in stakes action in New Brunswick on the day. Blair Hansen of Charlottetown holds the ownership papers of the eight-year-old son of If I Can Dream who has amassed 14 top-three finishes from 15 starts in 2020. Other top selections are Mantario (Campbell) and The Rev (Dale Spence). Catch the action on the worldwide broadcast at Redshores.ca and wager online at HPIBet.com. Woodmere Ideal Art Takes On Summerside SUMMERSIDE, PE - Dropping out of Invitational action, Woodmere Ideal Art sets his sights on the Sunday afternoon top event at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. The 10-dash Sunday presentation has a 1 P.M. opening post time with the $2,700 top event lining up in race 9. Norris Rogers will pick up the catch drive for trainer Sifroi Melanson aboard the top flight son of Articulator for owners Ultimate Stable of Greater Lakeburn, N.B. Woodmere Ideal Art has been razor sharp all season with 14 top-three finishes from 18 outings while facing off with top pacers like Time To Dance and Rose Run Quest. One of his main rivals will be post 5 starter Heart And Soul, who has stamped himself as arguably the top pacer in Prince County this season. Mark Bradley will drive the Atlantic Champion son of Western Paradise for trainer George Riley as he looks for win number seven of the season. Soccer Hanover will leave from post 3 as trainer Leith Waite elects to put Adam Merner in the driver's seat. Flash In The Pang (To be driven by Ken Murphy) has post 1 while Melanies Magic (Taylor Doyle) gets the post 2 assignment. The Backstretch Beat in Sunday's card pegs Woodmere Ideal Art as the top choice. "Woodmere Ideal Art came up huge in the Gold Cup and Saucer final and has been chasing Time To Dance every week since. With the absence of that Invitational behemoth this is his race to lose." The $2,250 afternoon back-up class lines up in the finale as Pictonian Storm has the respect of top choice on the morning line from post 2 with Murphy doing the steering from the Wade Sorrie stable of Pinette. Tammy Collings of Hazel Brook owns the 37-time winning son of Western Paradise. Other top choices are Howmac Magic (Merner) and Flowersonthebeach (Devon Wallace). For race programs and more go to Redshores.ca and wager online at HPIBet.com. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores  

WASHINGTON, PA, March 9, 2020 -- Windsun Juno, a lightly raced 4-year-old, enjoyed her first harness racing career victory in Monday's Donna Dunn Memorial Pace at The Meadows. Speak The Peace captured the other $12,500 division in the second leg of the series for 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares. The Donna Dunn is one of four late-closing series The Meadows currently is featuring, with the championship leg of each set for Friday, March 20. Unraced at 2 and 3, Windsun Juno has been competitive from her first outing, finishing second in four of her six previous career starts. Using Lasix for the first time Monday, she quarter-poled to the top for Dave Palone and prevailed by a comfortable 4 lengths in 1:55.1. Loudoo Princess and Acrobatta completed the ticket.   Ron Burke trains Windsun Juno, a daughter of Sunfire Blue Chip-Artistic Melody, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Mike Wilder and Palone each collected four wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the program features a trio of rich wagering opportunities: a $20,841.09 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5; a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4 (races 3-6); a $1,481.62 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6). First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Patta, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

Freehold, NJ --- The entry cup runneth over at Freehold Raceway this Saturday (December 21), with a 12-race card featuring many big harness racing fields. The co-headliners will be two top level paces, including a $15,000 Invitational Handicap.   A field of eight will contest the invitational, scheduled as the eighth race. The outside two will likely be the favorites: Sunfire Blue Chip, coming off a third-place finish in the Preferred last week, and Goduko Hanover, who finished second by a neck in the Preferred at Yonkers Raceway two starts ago. The former is trained by Gary Candell, and will leave from post position seven. The latter drew post position eight for Scott DiDomenico.   Other headliners of that field include Triple Seelester, who has been dominating the claiming classes at Yonkers, Bullet Bob, the runner-up in the Preferred last week, Kimberlee, a mare in sharp form for Ake Svanstedt, and Clint Westwood, a dominant winner of the NW $6,000 last 5 class last week.   The Preferred handicap immediately follows the invitational, and also drew a field of eight. Ideal One was assigned post position six, and while has yet to win a race stateside, he qualified sharply at Freehold back in November. The Doug Dilloian trainee will leave from post position six.   Mako Banner and Western Bayama, both coming from Harrah's Philadelphia, were also assigned towards the outside. The former won a NW $10,000 last 5 contest there four starts ago, and finished third after a rough trip last out. He'll leave from post seven for trainer Mike Russo. Ken Tisa sends outt he later, who is coming off four consecutive claims at the Pennsylvania oval. He's won four out of his last five starts, to boot.   The first race at Freehold on Saturday is scheduled for 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway  

As his first and only crop of harness racing yearlings prepares to be educated for their future profession, Sunfire Blue Chip is demonstrating to his offspring just exactly how to follow in his hoofprints, as the 7-year-old son of American Ideal has just commenced his own 2017 campaign and seeks to add a $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie triumph to his already extensive list of accomplishments on Saturday (June 3). "We stood him at stud for one year," said his conditioner Jimmy Takter. "I think he bred about 40 mares up in Ontario and since the market did not appear strong enough to support him, we thought we would bring him back to race him. He came back to us just great; the year off was good for him and he had been well taken care of." Despite taking nearly the entire 2015 season off, Sunfire Blue Chip collected $193,440 from a record of 25-5-5-4 in 2016. In 2017, the stallion has faced the starter on five occasions with a slate of 2-1-1 and enters the Battle of Lake Erie off a third place finish in the $109,500 Molson Pace last Friday evening. For his latest engagement Sunfire Blue Chip, who is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc., and R A W Equine, will leave from post position eight at Northfield Park, with Mark MacDonald holding the lines and is ranked at 10-1 on the morning line. The field includes recent foes Luck Be Withyou (post three, Aaron Merriman, 3-1) All Bets Off (post four, Matt Kakaley, 5-2), Night Pro (post six, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., 12-1) and Rockin Ron (post seven, Ryan Stahl, 8-1). "I thought he raced well at Western Fair Raceway (Molson Pace)," Takter said. "With how that race set up and post six he did the best he could. Now with two weeks in a row with the six and the eight, that does not set up the best for him. Even horses with lots of gate speed would have to leave like Ferraris from those post positions." While Sunfire Blue Chip does not possess an advantageous post to reach the winner's circle over this particular half-mile oval, the stallion holds the skills and ability to have his picture taken after the field crosses the finish line as his pedigree is bound to catch any breeder's eye. Out of Shot Togo Bluechip, the stallion is a full brother to 2012 Dan Patch Award winner Heston Blue Chip and his third dam is Katies Lucky Lady, who is responsible for 2003 Dan Patch Award winner Kikikatie, and stakes winners Just Wait Kate, Kiss Me Kate and Katie Said. Although his name has been a frequent and strong presence within his division throughout his career, Sunfire Blue Chip's often does not leap off the page and it should, for he brings his own impressive credentials to the table. Purchased for $75,000 as a yearling, the stallion was hampered by a hind ankle fracture as a 2-year-old and only raced five times in the fall. He captured three of those events and was fifth in the $165,975 Matron final in only his third career start. At age three, Sunfire Blue Chip was a formidable opponent for the likes of Vegas Vacation and Captaintreacherous. In fact, he more than held his own with his colleagues by posting victories in the $450,000 Adios and the $215,500 Tattersalls Pace. The then-colt was fourth in the $275,000 Art Rooney Pace, third in the $500,000 Max Hempt final, and second in both the $257,250 Empire Breeders Classic final and the $450,000 Messenger. To date he has banked nearly $1.2 million from 72 starts. "He is such a kind, classy horse with the best attitude," Takter said. "He really is a sweet horse and is like a big dog. He is also such a good-looking horse and came back again this year just looking great. We are hoping he has another nice year." The stallion will have plenty of opportunities to not only add to his bank account, but serve notice he is a top older pacing horse, as he is heavily staked for the season. "There is no Always B Miki so that changes things," Takter said. "I also really like how he felt to me at the beginning of the year and feels now, so we thought he deserved a chance to prove what kind of horse he is. He is eligible to all the stakes races and we think he will show he can be a top horse." The 2017 $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie field: Horse Driver Trainer M/L 1 - Guantanamo Bay -  by Somebeachsomewhere - Vincent Ginsburg - Daniel Renaud,  9-2 2 - Soto - by Rock N Roll Heaven - Art Stafford Jr. - Eric Ell,  6-1 3 - Luck Be Withyou - by Western Ideal - Aaron Merriman - Chris Oakes,  3-1 4 - All Bets Off  - by Bettor's Delight - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke,  5-2 5 - Mr Wiggle Pants - By Mr Wiggles - Aaron Merriman - Scott McEneny, 5-1 6 - Night Pro - by Pro Bono Best - Ronnie Wrenn Jr. - Dale Decker, 12-1 7 - Rockin Ron - by Real Desire - Aaron Merriman - Ron Burke,  8-1 8 - Sunfire Blue Chip - by American Ideal - Mark MacDonald - Jimmy Takter,  10-1 by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

Harness racing driver Mark MacDonald calls his time in London, ON racing at The Raceway at The Western Fair District "maybe the best time of my life." MacDonald, who is now based in New York and is one of the top drivers at Yonkers Raceway, will return to Western Fair Friday to drive Sunfire Blue Chip in the $150,000 Molson Pace invitational for trainer Jimmy Takter. "London was the first place I bought a house. It was a condo, but it was like a house. I lived in apartments before that. I actually lived 10 minutes from Western Fair," said the 37-year-old Prince Edward Island native, who first made his name racing in Ontario from 1999 through 2011. "I had some stoplights then, not bridge traffic. It is definitely a different atmosphere (in New York) as opposed to up there, but Western Fair was great. I had a lot of fun there. I won a lot of races. It was the first time I got to race in all the (Ontario) Sires Stakes and was kind of the go-to guy." What hasn't been as much fun has been the Molson Pace. MacDonald has raced in it nine times and never won. "It's been my Achilles Heel. That race just keeps getting me. I almost won it a few times. Dr No, I thought I was home with him and Our Lucky Killean got me right at the wire (in 2006). I think I still have the track record at London with Tigerama (1:50.4 in 2008). He buzzed around there in the elimination and then drew the seven hole and got stung past the quarter. He was kind of a speed horse. The seven hole and a speed horse don't really mix there in London, unless the inside wing falls off or something. Anyway, he got stung and ended up fifth." MacDonald last raced in the Molson Pace in 2014 and was eighth with Bandolito. "Bandolito, I got a horrendous trip with him. I was out early and he didn't fire. He wasn't right then, either. He didn't race for about five or six months after that race," MacDonald said. "I've had some good horses in that race, but I've raced some horses that turned up sick and I've raced some horses that just got beat. I just never get to the wire first." MacDonald, a winner of nearly 5,700 career races and more than $84 million is a two-time O'Brien Award winner as Canada's Driver of the Year. He set a record for driving wins on Canadian soil with 739 in 2006 - since surpassed by Jody Jamieson. MacDonald will be driving against his younger brother, James MacDonald, in this year's Molson Pace. James will pilot P H Supercam from post seven. "James is a good little driver. He's doing a great job. I talk to him all the time and always try to help him as much as I can. But I won't be helping him out on Friday," Mark said, laughing. "Don't eat yellow snow. That's my tip for him." Mark said he likes his chances with Sunfire Blue Chip, especially drawing the inside post three. "He's a really good horse... A good half-mile horse," Mark said of the six-year-old stallion, a son of American Ideal out of Shot Togo Blue Chip who has earned just over $1 million. "He won the Prix d'Ete as a four-year-old at Three Rivers. He's a really fast horse, good gaited. He doesn't wear a boot. He's a typical Takter horse. He's really well-mannered, a nice horse to drive. Everything about him is nice. He just won in 1:51 a couple of weeks ago in Yonkers on kind of a tiring track. It was a good mile that night." Sunfire Blue Chip has a record of 4-3-2 this year in 16 starts and earnings of just over $80,000. "He was sharp in the Levy (Series at Yonkers). He raced in every leg in the Levy and he just had horrible luck with the draw. He was, literally, outside every week... We couldn't get a break with that horse. They actually took him out of the Levy one week and I took him to the front and he won in like :53.3... The Levy wasn't meant to be for him this year, but he always raced well. He showed up every week." Now Mark MacDonald hope Sunfire Blue Chip shows up with his best game on Friday so he can finally claim the Molson Pace in his 10th attempt. Post positions for the Molson Pace field are as follows: 1. State Treasurer - Chris Christoforou 2. Bettor Rock On N - Jody Jamieson 3. Sunfire Blue Chip - Mark MacDonald 4. Evenin Of Pleasure - Sylvain Filion 5. Machtu N - Trevor Henry 6. Mcwicked - Randy Waples 7. P H Supercam - James MacDonald 8. All Bets Off - Matt Kakaley The Molson Pace program will also feature the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers, a quartet of City of London Series finals, a pair of Alliance Claiming Series finals and an added-purse Junior Invitational Pace as part of the undercard. Total purses for the night will be more than $550,000. There will be a number of promotions on the night, including Scratch and Win program prizes, OSS 'Be A Winner Contest,' Party on the Patio, a Molson VIP infield event and much more. The wagering menu has been bolstered to include a $5,000 guaranteed early Pick-3, $10,000 guaranteed early Pick-4, $15,000 guaranteed late Pick-4 and the addition of a third Super Hi-5 - all low 15 per cent takeout wagers. For more information, visit molsonpace.com. Greg Blanchard

Jimmy Takter already had a nice one-two punch in the older male pacing division with multiple-stakes-winners Always B Miki and JK Endofanera. The return of Sunfire Blue Chip from stallion duty adds even more clout to the trainer's harness racing stable. Sunfire Blue Chip, who won the 2013 Adios and is on the verge of $1 million in career purses, bred 37 mares in 2015. He sat out more than a year because of his work at stud, but returned to the races in late November. This weekend, he will compete in the opening round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. A 6-year-old who has battled injuries during his career, Sunfire Blue Chip has won 19 of 50 lifetime starts and earned $955,174. In addition to winning the Adios, his victories include the 2014 Prix d'Ete and a division of the 2013 Tattersalls Pace. He finished second in the 2013 Messenger Stakes. This year, Sunfire Blue Chip has won two of eight races and hit the board a total of six times for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc., and R A W Equine. "He's always had the greatest attitude to be a top horse," Jimmy Takter said about Sunfire Blue Chip, who is a son of American Ideal-Shot Togo Bluechip and a full brother to Dan Patch Award winner Heston Blue Chip. "We brought him back after the breeding season to fool around with him for a little while. I was surprised. He came back and felt like he was born again; he was so fresh and sound. He's been keeping up that. I think he's going to have a good season this year." Sunfire Blue Chip has won six of 13 career races and posted a total of 10 in-the-money finishes on half-mile ovals, such as Yonkers. He is 2-for-16 on mile racetracks. "Miki and JK are two powerhouse horses," Takter said, referring to 2015 Breeders Crown champion Always B Miki and two-million-dollar earner JK Endofanera. "But they're not really made for a small track. I staked (Sunfire Blue Chip) a little bit on the smaller tracks and figured he could step in. "It's nice to have this level of aged pacers. It's something I never had and suddenly I have a whole bunch of them." Sunfire Blue Chip competes in the third of six first-round Levy divisions Saturday at Yonkers. Mark MacDonald will drive the horse, who leaves from post five and is 6-1 on the morning line. World champion Always At My Place, who is making his seasonal debut, is the 8-5 choice from post one. "He's going to need a couple starts to establish himself," Takter said. "I haven't been able to get a really high gear in him yet, but he's very sound and should be good. He's not a great leaver, so (post five) could be a little trouble." The six-week Levy Series concludes April 23 with a $200,000-added final. Among the horses entered in Saturday's first round is Domethatagain, the event's defending champion. Take It Back Terry, last year's Levy runner-up, is the 9-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's first division. Other morning line choices are Lucan Hanover (5-2 in the second division), Polak A (3-2 in the fourth division), The Real One (2-1 in the fifth division) and All Bets Off (5-2 in the sixth division). Other former Levy champions in the series are Foiled Again, harness racing's all-time richest horse with $7.33 million in career purses, and P H Supercam. Ken Weingartner

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