Day At The Track
Solvalla Racetrack, harness racing

Elitloppet - Humphreys sets the Solvalla scene

Maori Time has settled in very well according to harness racing connections and is ready to give her best in round one of the Elitloppet. Despite being the rank outsider of the series, Australian trotter Maori Time is definitely one of the most fascinating runners in Sunday’s Elitloppet series, whether you are a local or an Aussie. By racing on Sunday she becomes the first trotter from the Southern Hemisphere to race in the Northern Hemisphere since the great Sundons Gift finished sixth of seven finishers in the second heat of this series nine years ago. The series takes the same format as the first four renewals of the Great Southern Star, being two heats, at 11:22pm and 11:49pm AEST, and the Final two hours later. Owner Fred Crews arrived in Sweden on Sunday, just after the barrier draw where she unfortunately drew gate six of eight. But there are apparently no excuses when it comes to the horse’s wellbeing and how she has settled in. Fred spoke about how the whole thing came about. “After the performance at Menangle, I started to look around for what the future held for her as far as racing, and the opportunities for her over sprint distances are pretty limited, all the $20,000 Free For All’s that she runs in she is going to draw the second row or out wide and there’s a very limited number of Group 1 races where she can use her speed to advantage,” he said. “I for some reason came up with the idea of the Elitloppet and I spoke to Duncan McPherson and Michael Taranto and they put the wheels in motion. They and Andrew Kelly and HRA (Harness Racing Australia) sent the videos across to Sweden and put all the evidence before them to help them make the decision (about whether to send an invitation or not). “Brent (Lilley, trainer) and I then went away and did all our homework as far as the logistics of the trip and when the invitation finally came we had all our plans in place and we we’re ready to act, because when the invitation comes they need to know pretty quickly what you intend to do, particularly when you’re on the other side of the world.” Unfortunately just under a month ago the Maori Time camp suffered a scare when her first of two trials for her overseas campaign ended after 800m when she was pulled up in a trial at Bendigo on April 29. Thankfully she was able to recover quickly from the setback that could’ve been much worse. She then trialled at Maryborough seven days later and after leading was narrowly run down by The Sparrow Hawk, a stablemate, in fast time but obviously this was very promising after the setback she had seven days earlier. << Watch Bendigo Trial https://youtu.be/J13LLnaRvAg >> << Watch Maryborough Trial https://youtu.be/gPliWAMFI2Y >> “She suffered from atrial fibrillation where her heart went out of beat for 24 hours or so but that came good and everything has been 100 per cent since,” Crews said. “She has arrived here in Sweden in incredibly good condition. Other people that have travelled with horses have been surprised with how well she has taken the trip. Brent is saying you’d think she was still home in the stable she’s so relaxed and going so well. “That gives us a little bit of confidence because the first concern, naturally enough, is getting your horse here in a fit condition ready to race, we’ve got all that so that is not an excuse.” She is staying at Stig H. Johansson’s stables, a man that by next year will have been training for 50 years and is considered one of the greats of local trotting. He has won the Gran Premio della Lotteria (Italy’s equivalent of the Elitloppet) four times a Prix d'Amérique, the premier race of the world, and of cause multiple Elitloppet Finals and has had Group 1 winners, either trained or driven, in nine countries “Stig is the legend of Swedish trotting,” Crews said. “He has trained and driven six previous winners of the Elitloppet and he is probably like the elder statesman of trotting here in Sweden and he is very well respected. “He drove Maori Time in fast work on Monday morning (Swedish time) and he said she was a very good horse, so hopefully he is correct.” Most likely Maori Time will not return to Australia after Sunday and will instead have a European campaign, as long as she comes through this week well. “If everything falls into place Brent Lilley and I will have a meeting next Monday with Stig with a view to leaving the horse here in Sweden to race,” Crews said. “If something goes wrong then we’ll pack up and bring her straight home but if she performs well and he wants to train her, at this stage he has said he will train her but we want to wait until after the series. “Two weeks later there is a big race in Norway (Oslo Grand Prix which is Norway’s annual highlight) and there is also another one in Sweden and they could be possibilities.” The European Mares Championship at Solvalla on Tuesday August 14 over 2140m could also be a possible target. “I wouldn’t want her racing beyond 2140m (Swedish middle distance) and we’ll make that point known to Stig. “But a lot of things have got to fall into place first, I’m leaving all my options open and ideally that’s what I’d like to do but I can’t make a firm commitment. “Our first target is to perform well in her heat and if she performs up to what we think she can then we’ve got two or two and a half hours to think about the final. “We haven’t even though about the final yet.” Bizarrely in Europe when analysing the form you have to take into huge consideration what shoes a horse will where. For example Lionel, a top trotter at his best who will compete in the first heat, usually performs at his best when he is unshod with all four feet, but if not he once started at odds of 100/1! “There is a lot of interest about whether she is going to race with shoes, the last time the Great Southern Star was the two heats and the final, she raced without shoes in the final when Yannick Gingras (US driver who drove her) suggested we pull them off, so that’s a definite possibility, if we got into the final,” Crews said. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves but I suppose you have got to have something in mind.” One of the definite positives leading into the series is that in that 2016 Great Southern Star she performed very well in the both the heat and final (second and fourth), so if she was able to make the final she would have no excuses when it comes to backing up, which of cause after running 1:50.1 in the first heat 12 months ago, series favourite and champion Bold Eagle couldn’t do in the final two hours later. Speaking about Bold Eagle, Fred said: “He tried to blow them away in the heat and the final, but he is obviously the best horse in Europe.” “You’ve got to have a horse 100 per cent on the day, if a horse is only 99 per cent then things can go wrong. We certainly don’t underestimate him and we know he is the one to beat, we didn’t want to be in the heat with him, we would’ve preferred to be with any other lot of horses but it is what it is and if you come over here you’ve got to be prepared to take on the best and hopefully beat them. “I guess it depends on whether we decide to attack for the lead. Todd doesn’t arrive here until Friday so we haven’t had that discussion with him obviously but I think we’ll probably wait a bit longer and Brent will probably have a talk to Stig about tactics as he is the expert over here. I know Brent has been asking him a lot of questions and he greatly respects the man and trying to learn from him. I’m sure he’ll still be asking him questions on Sunday here at Solvalla, but we don’t need to make a decision now regarding tactics.” Maori Time overall has had nine different drivers throughout her career so it was always going to be interesting to see who got the nod to drive her and it was Sydney reinsmen Todd McCarthy, who we will chat to later in the week, who drove her in Sydney and is one from one aboard the mare, who picked the huge drive up. “He’s the driver who won in the quickest time; we just felt a young, keen, aggressive driver is probably what is needed to win in a series like this”. Following her 1:51.5 win in Sydney, Maori Time is the one of the top six fastest horses in the entire series and the third fastest horse in her heat behind Bold Eagle (1:50.1 in the first heat 12 months ago) and Takethem (1:51.3 in the same race when 5th!). “We don’t know how the times line up, the times at Menangle are on a 1400m track whereas the times here at Solvalla are on a 1000m track and it’s a softer track and it is a different banking and everything else. “From our point of the only way to compare the horses is race against them.” Keep following thetrots.com.au throughout the week as I’ll be bringing you all the action from the Elitloppet, including social media coverage of the Final night on Sunday night/early hours of Monday morning. Trots Media - Luke Humphreys

Maori Time, harness racing

Maori Time draws wide in iconic Elitlopp

Taking on the harness racing world’s best trotters is a huge ask, now it just even bigger for brilliant Aussie mare Maori Time. Owner-breeder Fred Crews was sweating on a good barrier for the Elitlopp series in Stockholm, Sweden, which consists of two qualifying heats and the final on Sunday night, AEDT. Instead, the barrier draw has been cruel with Maori Time out wide in gate six and French megastar Bold Eagle, the prepost favourite for the final, drawn in gate five. LATEST BETTING: TAB FIXED ODDS Bold Eagle, who boasts 39 wins and eight seconds from 51 starts, is $1.45 with TAB to win the heat and $2.70 for the final. Maori Time is $17 in the heat and $41 for the final. Her heat is scheduled for 11.22pm, Sunday, and will be shown live on Sky Racing. The second heat is 11.49pm and the final is slated for 1.38am. Realistically, just making the final – which requires a top-four finish in the heat – would be a huge performance by Maori Time given champion Down Under trotters of the past — Lyell Creek and Sundons Gift — have failed to do so. Maori Time will fly the flag for Australia in the Elitlopp in Sweden this weekend.Source:Supplied “She’s quick out, but I’m told there’s plenty of speed drawn inside her,” driver Todd McCarthy said. “So much is going to hinge on where we can settle early.” Maori Time is only the seventh Australian or Kiwi trotter to be invited to the Elitlopp. The the best performer has been former champion Kiwi mare Pride Of Petite, who ran fourth in a heat and sixth in the 1996 final. The Brent Lilley-trained mare caught the eye of Elitlopp officials when she blazed an Australasian record 1min51.5sec mile winning the Group 1 Trotters’ Mile at Menangle on February 24. She led throughout in that race. The second heat boasts more depth with the US-bred star Propulsion (gate four) and Italian raider Ringostarr Treb (gate one) shaping up for a stirring clash. Propulsion is $1.70 with TAB and Ringostarr Treb at $2.10 for the heat, and they are second and third favourites at $2.90 and $3.80 respectively for the final behind Bold Eagle. Australia’s Anthony Manton will call the race for Sky Racing and Sky’s harness chief Greg Hayes will be trackside for the coverage. DOWNUNDER RAIDERS IN THE ELITLOPP 1977: Petite Evander (7th in heat) 1978: Petite Evander (6th in heat) 1996: Pride Of Petite (4th in heat – 6th in final) 1999: Special Force (7th in heat) 2001: Lyell Creek (5th in heat) 2007: Touch Of Flair (8th in heat) 2009: Sundons Gift (6th in heat) Reprinted with permission of The News.com.au site

Manchego, Harness Racing

Manchego undefeated in 13 career starts

WILKES-BARRE PA - Manchego took a successful first step into what could be a year to remember in 2018, making the lead in front of the stands and going on to a commanding harness racing victory without appearing to hit high gear, yet stopping the timer in 1:53, within a fifth of her mark, in her section of the $169,040 second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Monday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Yannick Gingras let two outside leavers go to the top early, first Courtney Hanover then Live Laugh Love, then moved Manchego frontward at the 27.3 quarter. Moving to command just under the wire the first time, Manchego hit the half in a "leisurely" 56.3, then went to the ¾ in 1:24.4 with Live Laugh Love, a first leg Sire Stakes winner, looking up on the bit in behind her going around the far turn. But in the stretch Manchego just got more powerful without appearing to downshift, with Gingras sitting chilly behind. She won by 1½ lengths over a very game Live Laugh Love, but the last term that would come to your mind watching her under the wire is "all out." Manchego, now undefeated in 13 career starts and a winner of $902,168, is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter for Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Earlier in the card, Barry Guariglia of Black Horse Racing joined Team Takter to be presented the 2017 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Horse of the Year by the Keystone Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association; whether the Muscle Hill filly will again race in the 2018 Sire Stakes or follow a different schedule will depend, according to Takter, on how the filly is racing and "what she is showing us." Nixie Volo overcame a tough first-over grind to take her Sire Stakes division in dominant fashion, 1¾ lengths to the good over Winbak Noelle. Corey Callahan sent the daughter of Yankee Glide outside before the half, gradually worked up to the leader, then asserted herself in the lane, winning in 1:54.3 while gaining into a 57 back half. Nixie Volo, who missed a head to Live Laugh Love in the first Sires leg, won for the first time this season for trainer John Butenschoen and the ownership of Kentuckiana Racing Stable, VIP Internet Stable LLC, 83 Racing, and Eddie Gran. 15-1 shot Piranha Fury came fastest of all late to take her Sires division in 1:54.2. Vivacious Allie refused to surrender the lead when favored Lily Stride came calling, resulting in fast fractions for this type, with Piranha Fury third-over behind advancing cover. Through the last half of the stretch driver David Miller was handling the filly confidently while "measuring" the victory, winning by a length over the game frontstepper Vivacious Allie. The victorious daughter of Donato Hanover now has two wins and two seconds in five seasonal starts for trainer Nifty Norman and the ownership of Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC, and Diamond Creek Racing. PHHA / Pocono

Emoticon Hanover, harness racing

Emoticon Hanover takes Miss Versatility

MILTON, May 21, 2018 - The Miss Versatility Series kicked off Monday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a familiar face visiting the harness racing winner's circle. Emoticon Hanover, a winner of more than $1.2 million, unleashed a strong :27 final-quarter to capture the $50,000 first leg of the annual series for older trotting mares. The Luc Blais trainee got the best of eight other mares to win the first Grand Circuit event of the season at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The early-stages of the race saw P L Jill fire out to post a :27.2 opening-quarter. Caprice Hill made a second-quarter move from fourth to first and led the mares by the half in :56.2. The final-turn saw things shake up, as Caprice Hill was rough gaited throughout and eventually went off-stride while leading at three-quarters in 1:25.3. P L Jill escaped the two-hole around the off-stride leader, while Blais trainee Dream Together was moving first-up with Emoticon Hanover on her back. P L Jill would hold the lead for nearly the entire stretch, but Emoticon Hanover tracked her down with powerful strides to win by a neck in 1:53.2. Dream Together finished third, while Southwind Tesla was fourth. Emoticon Hanover was making her season debut after three qualifiers that could be described as average by her standards. James MacDonald was in the sulky for the first-time behind the five-year-old and the duo went off at odds of 9/2. First impressions are everything and the superstar trotting mare wowed MacDonald. "She's pretty nice. Beautiful gait and she's just an absolute professional to sit behind," said MacDonald post-race. "I knew she was coming off a couple of qualifiers and Luc (Blais) always has them ready, so I figured if I could get her in a good spot then she would give me a good run." A five-year-old daughter of Kadabra, Emoticon Hanover won five of 13 starts and made $446,008 last season for owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec. The star trotting mare now has 17 career victories. Emoticon Hanover is looking to defend her Miss Versatility crown after winning last year's final by five-lengths. A $2 win ticket on the Blais trainee returned $11.30. The next leg of the Miss Versatility will take place on July 14 at The Meadowlands. Mark McKelvie

Plainville, MA---Ron Cushing has been busy filling his harness racing barn with New Zealand bred horses this year and is taking no prisoners when they hit the track. On Monday afternoon (May 21) Cushing and his ownership partner Kevin Sywyk started two of their Heidi Gibbs trained bearcats in the $14,000 Winners-Over feature pace at Plainridge Park and came away finishing first and second while taking two opposite routes to the wire. Delightful Offer N (Ron Cushing) bolted off the gate and took the lead before getting the race to the quarter in a brisk :26. At that Point, Kenrick N (Mitchell Cushing) who had gotten away fifth, pulled early and was slowly making his way up the outside. Cushing tapped the brakes with Delightful Offer N and got a pedestrian :30 second quarter and as a result. Kenrick N who was floating third on the outside, was able to continue to advance in the outer flow and brought Grand Theft (Greg Merton) with him. Sitting chilly with his whip on his shoulder, Cushing rounded the final turn with Delightful Offer N and was pulling away without effort in deep stretch while stablemate Kenrick N was still game, holding off three late closers as they approached the wire. Delightful Offer N was a two-length wrapped-up winner in 1:51.2 ahead of Kenrick N. It was the second straight win at Plainridge Park for Delightful Offer N ($5.40) and also a new lifetime mark for the 7-year-old son of Bettor's Delight. Shawn Gray put on a driving clinic on Monday, winning half the card. Gray was the victorious pilot with Straightoutaconsin (1:53.4, $3.00), Superbowl Party (1:52.1, $5.80), Duke Of Delray (1:54.1, $3.60), Jackson's Image (1:52.2, $3.20) and One To Draw To (1:51.1, $5.60). As a result of his performance, Gray shot past Drew Campbell into second in the dash driving derby, just behind the leading Greg Merton. With Campbell having two wins on the day and Merton getting shut out, Merton now leads with 32 wins, Gray is second with 31 and Campbell is third with 29. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday Afternoon (May 22) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

London, May 21, 2018 -- The harness racing field for the Inaugural $150,000 Camluck has been drawn and it was Sunfire Blue Chip drawing the coveted rail position while Bit Of A Legend, winner of last year's signature race (formerly the Molson Pace), will leave right in behind from the trailing post 8. Evenin Of Pleasure, the London oval's track record holder (1:50.3 in the 2016 edition) has drawn post 6 for the brother-sister tandem of driver Joe Bongiorno and trainer Jenn Bengionorno. The son of Dragon Again will enter the Camluck Classic off two straight crushing victories against Open company at Yonkers Raceway. Easy Lover Hanover, who had a 9-race win streak snapped this past Saturday night at Mohawk Park, has drawn post 5 for trainer Ben Wallace while this year's Cinderella Horse Isitfridayyet, who was a last minute entrant, will start from post 2. Below is the complete field in post position order: 1 Sunfire Blue Chip by American Ideal 2 Isitfridayyet by No Pan Intended 3 Killer Martini by Camluck 4 Rockin Ron by Real Desire 5 Easy Lover Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere 6 Evenin Of Pleasure by Dragon Again 7 Dr J Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere 8 Bit Of A Legend by Bettor's Delight More than $500,000 in purses will be offered up on the 12-race program which will get underway at 6:55 p.m. The complete draw for Saturday night's program will be held on Tuesday morning and will feature a powerful undercard which includes the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies. A quartet of City of London Series finals will also be contested that night with more than $100,000 up for grabs for three-year-old colts and fillies on both the trot and pace. Below are the event details for this year's Camluck Classic program: Promotions   VIP Infield Experience (tickets available online at camluckclassic.ca) Draws for Trackside Music Festival Tickets and 40-inch tv Draws for Beer and Barbecue Show tickets Molson Party on the Patio Camluck Classic Cheerleader Contest ($350 in cash to be won) Special Guest Mini Horse greeting patrons at the entrance Hat and T-shirt tosses throughout the night in the Grandstand and on the Patio‚Ä® National Anthem performed by rising country music star Julia Haggarty Scratch & Win programs (Hundreds of prize items to be redeemed) One-hour broadcast on Facebook Live from 10:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. in partnership with Woodbine Entertainment and Standardbred Canada   Wagering Menu (15% takeout wagers) $5,000 Guaranteed Early Pick-3 $10,000 Guaranteed Early Pick-4 $15,000 Guaranteed Late Pick-4 Three Super Hi-5 Wagers (races 7, 10 and 12) 3% Cashback on wagers through HPI

YONKERS, NY, Monday, May 21, 2018 - Harness racing Post positions have been drawn for Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace and $111,444 Lismore Pace. The 28th Rooney, one of Yonkers' premier event's for the sport's glamour division, offers six 3-year-old colts and two geldings. The event, which began in 1989, a year after the death of Art Rooney Sr., goes as Saturday night's (May 26th) sixth race. The open draw probably didn't bother one elimination winner (Trump Nation [Jason Bartlett, post 4]), though it cheesed off the other (Decoy [Dave Miller, post 8]). Miller, who has won this race three times, including last season with Downbytheseaside, obviously has his work cut out behind the son of Somebeachsomewhere. Jimmy Takter trains for Brixton Medical, R A W Equine and Joe Sbrocco. Decoy won his elim going away, by 8½ lengths in a 'good' 1:54. Bartlett, the perennial leading local driver, has never won the Rooney. Trump Nation took over early a week ago, making the lead from an eventual breaker and holding sway. He won by a head in 1:53.3. his fastest purse mile of the season. The Betterthancheddar colt enters the final with new co-ownership (Evan Katz and Crawford Racing) and new trainer (Chris Oakes). The field, with declared drivers... 1-Minnie Vinnie (Tim Tetrick), 2-Kwik Talkin' (Jordan Stratton listed), 3-Springsteen (Brian Sears), 4-Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett), 5-Jimtastic (Eric Goodell), 6-Major Authority (Yannick Gingras), 7-Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller), 8-Decoy (Dave Miller). The 14th Lismore, companion event to the Rooney, was carded as the fifth race. Lone elimination winner Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube) landed in post No. 2 among the octet of 3-year-old pacing. The field, with declared drivers... 1-Solitary (Brent Holland), 2-Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube), 3-Believe in Me (Brian Sears), 4-Pass Line Bluechip (Jason Bartlett), 5-Python Blue Chip (George Brennan) 6-Alexa's Power (Tim Tetrick), 7-Checkered Past (Mark MacDonald), 8-Reign on Me (Brett Miler). First post for the 12-race card is the usual 6:50 PM. Frank Drucker        

WASHINGTON, PA, May 21, 2018 -- Classicality rolled to his third straight win, scoring in a harness racing career-best 1:52.3, in Monday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. During his streak, the 8-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding has been ahead at every call. The 3-5 favorite left from post 6 and needed nearly the entire first quarter to reach the front. He defeated his stablemate and half brother, Trustworthy Kid, by 1-3/4 lengths, giving owner/trainer Lisa Dunn the exacta sweep, with Classic Banker third. Classicality pushed his lifetime bankroll to $591,792. In Monday's co-feature, the $18,000 Preferred Pace, Dapper Dude angled off the cones out of the final turn and brushed wide for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. to edge the first-over Lincolnjames by a nose in 1:49.3, fastest mile at The Meadows this year. Early leader Anythingforlove A saved show. Bill Bercury trains Dapper Dude, a 9-year-old son of The Panderosa-Dress To Suggest who now boasts $1,232,500 in career earnings, for Renee Bercury. Tony Hall and trainer Jack Smith each enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card.  THE MEADOWS INCREASES TUESDAY PICK 5 GUARANTEE TO $12,500 The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has increased — to $12,500 — the total-pool guarantee for its Tuesday, May 22 Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. While $5,000 Pick 5 guarantees are offered with each card, The Meadows sweetened the pot when Monday’s Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $3,763.43. In addition, Tuesday’s card includes a $7,500 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, also a regular feature of each program at The Meadows. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (Races 4-7) and Pick 5 (Races 9-13) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Tuesday’s program is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Blue Moon Stride (Rocknroll Hanover-Classic Star) among the more frugal harness racing acquisitions of Emilio and Maria Rosati of Sydney, is now over the million mark in earnings with a total of $1003,852 via a 1:49.4 wire to wire win over Darlinonthebeach (Somebeachsomewhere- Darlins Delight ) in the $30,000 Great Northeast series for mares at Harrahs Philadelphia on Sunday. Mr. Rosati well known for pursuing sales topper quality yearlings at the U.S. sales acquired Blue Moon Stride as a weanling for just $27,000 from the final Perretti Farms dispersal in 2013 on advice from trainer Mark Harder and Perretti’s Bob Marks “The dam Classic Star, a full sister to Bettor’s Delight and Roll With Joe was the last expensive mare I purchased for Perretti Farms at $135,000” said Marks “Blue Moon Stride was by far her best looking foal, so I suggested to good friend Mark Harder to buy her for the Rosatis and even if she doesn’t pan out, she would be a great broodmare candidate down there” Harder agreed that she was far better than her yearling sister we were also selling and the rest is history.    

WILKES-BARRE PA - Art Dancer, pushing his winning streak to five and handled by the red-hot harness racing driver Brett Miller, became the only two-time Pennsylvania Stallion Series winner in the three-year-old pacing colt ranks, spurting up the Pocono Pike to take his $20,000 division of the Stallion Series in 1:53.1 Sunday at the mountain oval. An altered son of A Rocknroll Dance trained by Mark Harder, who co-owns him with Rick Phillips and VIP Internet Stable LLC, Art Dancer was content to sit behind Winston most of the mile, then made his lefthand turn in early stretch and showed sharp speed to win by 1 1/4 lengths in raising his lifetime record to 7-for-8. Ironically, he was the only of the five stakes winners not to post a new mark. Brett Miller also had the fastest Stallion Series winner at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, taking the opening section with Heartbeat Hill in a 1:51.3. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding quarter-moved to command and went on to an easy 3¾ length victory for trainer Bruce Clarke, co-owner with Patricia Waldeck and John Coffey. ... ...and Brett also had the co-second-fastest Stallion Series winner as he took three of the five divisions, this one with the Ponder gelding Yupper in 1:52. The Jacob Hartline-conditioned sophomore rode cover second-over, then tipped wide and caught Ideal Flip, who had gone first-over to the stretch lead, by a neck for Anatolia Farm LLC. Two Meadows-based trainers made the long ship east worth their while by coming away with Stallion Series wins. Norm Parker sent over the Bettor's Delight colt Return Of The Sith, who came uncovered into a 55.4 back half and used all of his force to edge out Bobby K Hill by a neck in 1:53.1 for driver Jim Pantaleano and the Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc. In the next race conditioner Dan Altmeyer saw his Well Said gelding Daddyofemall get a great drive from son-in-law Mike Wilder, with the pair weaving through traffic and then pacing by Somebaddude by ¾ of a length in 1:52 to run his record to 5-for-9 for Ruth Altmeyer and Richard Kelson. In the top event for fast-class trotters, worth $21,500, it was (Brett) Miller time again as he gave Tyson a perfect second-over trip, the pair sweeping wide in the lane and then ending the four-race winning streak of Golden Son by catching the pacesetter by a neck in 1:54.3. The Donato Hanover gelding, raising his earnings to $151,625, is trained by Ed Gannon Jr. , who is also co-owner with Yannick Gingras and Frank Canzone. In all, Brett Miller had three Stallion Series victories among his four wins at Pocono on Sunday night; earlier in the day at Philly he visited Victory Lane five times (including a win with a $106.40 winner) to run up a nine-bagger for the most-productive day. PHHA / Pocono

MAY 20, 2018 - Ontario's three-year-old trotting and pacing colts served up five impressive performances on the $425,000 Confederation Cup program at Flamboro Downs on Sunday, May 20. Super Final champion Western Passage picked up where he left off at the end of last season with a gritty 1:53.4 victory in the second $66,400 Gold Series division. Parked outside pacesetter Levis Day from just before the :58.1 half right through to the finish, Western Passage got a nose in front to claim the third Ontario Sires Stakes victory of his career. Levis Day settled for second and Shadow Moon was two lengths back in third. "That was a big back-half first-over," said trainer Casie Coleman from the winner's circle. "I was really happy with him tonight." Cambridge resident Coleman shares ownership of the Sportswriter gelding with her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, John and McKinlay Fielding of Toronto and Calhoun Racing Ltd. of Chatham, Ontario. The win bumped the fan favourite's lifetime earnings to $244,680. Driver Doug McNair's appearance in the winner's circle with Western Passage was his fourth of the evening and his second straight in Gold Series action. The Guelph, Ontario resident captured the first Gold division with Backstreet Shadow for his father, trainer Gregg McNair, and owners Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, Kentucky. Starting from Post 2, McNair sent Backstreet Shadow to the front and the Shadow Play gelding cruised home a one length winner in 1:52.3. Favourite St Lads Neptune was second and Wind Blast was third. Sunday's win was the second of the 2018 campaign for Backstreet Shadow, who was unplaced in two Gold Series starts as a two-year-old. "Backstreet was a fast horse last year, just a little immature," McNair noted. "He's really matured and seems like he's on the right track to being a real nice horse." The fastest of the three Gold divisions, and the fastest mile of the evening, was clocked by Jimmy Freight and driver Louis Philippe Roy in Race 11. The fan favourites hit the wire six and one-quarter lengths ahead of Chocolate Swirl and Burning Midnight in 1:51.3. It was the second win of the sophomore campaign for Sportswriter son Jimmy Freight, who was a two-time Gold winner at two and the runner-up to Western Passage in the Super Final. "I don't know what his limit is," said Roy from the winner's circle. "So far I don't see - how he raced tonight - I don't see much that can beat him." Roy engineered the win for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch and owner Adriano Sorella of Milton, Ontario. Trainer John Bax and driver Steve Byron opened the Confederation Cup program with a sweep of the $18,800 three-year-old trotting colt Grassroots divisions. The pair graced the winner's circle for the first time with Delcrest Holiday in Race 1. Starting from Post 2, Delcrest Holiday went gate-to-wire in 2:00.3, fending off Nobodynosjustice and Leaderofthepack to secure the one-half length victory. The win was the first of the season for Delcrest Holiday and marked a new personal best for the gelding, who was also victorious in the first Grassroots event of the season as a two-year-old. The son of Holiday Road is owned by Bax Stable of Campbellville, Gaelic Stable of Sharon, Ken Bax of Cavan Monaghan and John Houston of Cobourg, Ontario. Byron employed the same tactics in the second Grassroots division, sending favourite Sicario directly to the front from Post 5 and reaching the 1:58.2 finish without facing a challenge. Sicario sailed home one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Bigboy Roscoe and Northern Ruler. Sunday's outing was Sicario's first appearance in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, but not his first in the winner's circle. The son of Holiday Road is now a four-time winner in 10 sophomore starts for Bax Stable and breeder Dave Hudson of Dallas, Texas. "We are pleasantly surprised and grateful," said Bax. "That was a good start to the year, hopefully it will carry on. "It's Matt's birthday today, so it was a nice birthday present," added the horseman, who shares training duties and ownership in the Bax Stable with his son Matt. The evening's finale, the $182,500 Confederation Cup was captured by Filibuster Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras in 1:51.4. Ron Burke trains the son of the late Ontario Sired superstar Somebeachsomewhere for Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA, Joseph Di Scala Jr. of Katonah, NY, J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA. For complete results from Sunday's Confederation Cup program visit http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0520flmdn.dat. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

The final field is set for the 'Commodore Barry' Invitational for older pacers which will take place on a stakes laden harness racing card Sunday, May 27th, at Harrah's Philadelphia. The purse is $150,000. Among the participants are 2017 Breeder's Crown Winner Beckham's Z Tam. The 4-year-old son of Always A Virgin closed sharply in his seasonal debut against Invitational competition at Hoosier Park. Trainer Jamie Macomber won multiple Post Time Awards, including Horsewoman of the Year. Beckham's Z Tam won the Upset of the Year Award for his surprise win in the Breeders Crown as a 3-year-old. There are two double millionaires confirmed as well in Mach It So and McWicked. An 8-year-old gelding by Mach Three, Mach It So earned over $750,000 a year ago, with wins in the William Haughton Memorial and the TVG Series Championships. This season, he's won two of five George Morton Levy Preliminaries, with a solid fourth place finish in the finals.   McWicked finished his 2017 campaign with a string of solid second place finishes in the Breeders Crown Eliminations and Final, and the TVG Series Championships to Mach It So. The Casie Coleman trainee is a former Pennsylvania State Champion. Trainer Ron Burke will be well represented with Filibuster Hanover. The 4-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere had a solid campaign at age 3, which was topped by his win in the Little Brown Jug over Fear The Dragon and Downbytheseaside.   The final of the three 4-year-olds in the event is Western Joe. The Chris Choate trainee, like Filibuster Hanover, won his elimination for the Confederation Cup at Flamboro in his latest. The final will be held Sunday Night (after press time). Mostly quiet as a 3-year-old, Western Joe has come into his own at age 4, winning 7 races and just under $100,000.   The field also includes the always dangerous Rockeyed Optimist. The well-managed 7-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover paced one of the fastest miles (1:48.3) here last season, and is riding a solid form cycle with a win and a near-miss against multiple stakes winner Rockin Ron in his last two races. The final two confirmed for the 'Barry' include Stateside newcomer Heaven Rocks A and the red-hot Rodeo Romeo. Heaven Rocks A is 6-year-old Australian bred who is most noted for competing against superstar pacers Lennytheshark and Lazarus. His North American Debut occurred at Harrah's Philadelphia, where he came up a nose short against Rodeo Romeo in a swift 1:49.4. Rodeo Romeo has won 4 of his last 5 races against top invitational competition, with each of those wins going in 1:50 or faster. The all star card will also feature the $150,000 Maxie Lee for trotters and the $150,000 Betsy Ross for mare pacers.   The Great Northeast Pacing and Trotting Series will also continue on that Sunday with three events. One for male pacers, one for female pacers, and another for trotters. Those races will go for a purse of $30,000 each.   The card will also include Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races for 3-year-old filly trotters and pacers, and a non-winners of $10,000 in their last 5 starts contested at the special distance of 5/8ths of a mile. The draw for the Betsy Ross, Maxie Lee, and the Commodore Barry will be shown live via Post Time with Mike and Mike's facebook page on Tuesday (May 22nd) at approximately 11:30 AM Eastern Time. Reservations are now being accepted for the Riverview Terrace for Sunday, May 27th. Please call (484) 490-2222 or (610) 874-5200. Post Time is 12:40 PM Eastern Time. Michael Bozich

Marion Marauder ($6.40), 2016 Trotting Triple Crown champion, made his harness racing five-year-old debut a winning one in his $30,000 Great Northeast Series event on Sunday afternoon (May 20) at Harrah’s Philadelphia. After floating from the outside post 7 and landing in fourth behind a hotly contested pace, Marion Marauder angled out to chase a brushing Crazy Wow (David Miller) en route to a :54.1 half mile before being left uncovered up the far side.  The son of Muscle Hill sustained his gradual ascent through a :28.1 third quarter and put away Crazy Wow with ease a quarter from home before being driven out by Scott Zeron to keep the second-over Meladys Monet (Brett Miller) 1-1/2 lengths at bay in 1:52.1.  Opulent Yankee (Andy Miller) overcame mid-race traffic trouble to save third, another 1-1/4 lengths back. Paula Wellwood trains 15-time winner Marion Marauder for owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling. In the first $30,000 Great Northeast event for pacing mares, Blue Moon Stride ($5.40) parried a strong first-over challenge from Darlinonthebeach to capture the first $30,000 Great Northeast split for pacing mares in 1:49.4.  Corey Callahan sent the five-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover to the fore immediately as the gates sprung, and the pair controlled strong early fractions of :26.2 and :54.4 before millionaire Darlinonthebeach (David Miller) emerged from fourth up the far side.  Despite being subject to intensifying pressure off the far turn, Blue Moon Stride held her ground stoutly in the final sixteenth and edged away to defeat Darlinonthebeach by a length.  Divas Image (Tim Tetrick) followed second-over cover into a third-place finish. Mark Harder trains 16-time winner Blue Moon Stride, now a career millionaire, for Emilio and Maria Rosati. In the other distaff pacing division, Agent Q ($4.80) earned a second win in as many starts as a four-year-old, once again eclipsing Pure Country but this time doing so after advancing without cover from midfield.  David Miller put the daughter of Western Terror in motion from fourth after Pure Country (Mark MacDonald) clicked off a :55.1 half mile.  The two dueled on the far turn before Agent Q asserted at head-stretch and edged away to prevail by a length in 1:50.3.  Twinkle (Andy McCarthy) rose to reach second narrowly over Pure Country. Chris Oakes trains 15-time winner Agent Q for Crawford Farms LLC, Rochetti Cassar Racing, and R. K. Muscara. Michael Bozich

A breeding “tragedy”, an act of generosity and a burning desire to have another run at the harness racing top-level circuit are just three of the elements that make up the story of Betternbetter. The precocious young pacer's trainer, Keith Cotchin, hopes this fella can take him and his family on a path they have tread previously with a mighty steed named Tanabi Bromac. Last night Betternbetter scored his biggest win to date in the Group 2 Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Pacing Colts and Geldings Final at Tabcorp Park Melton, the two-year-old gelding expertly driven by Greg Sugars getting the better of a gritty Im Sir Blake in the concluding stages of the 1720-metre event. “He couldn’t have done any more,” Cotchin said of the 1:54.3 win. “He has worked around both turns, hung on the home turn and the other horse (Im Sir Blake) has got a break on him. He’s really had to dig deep and it’s the sign of a good horse that he was able to keep on coming.” Betternbetter’s victory made it three from four for the Betterthancheddar/Cee Cee Sheffield youngster, who was bred by Denis Pangrazio. Pangrazio races the horse with Cotchin and the trainer's wife, Shelly, and is a major part of this backstory. “We got the horse through a tragedy,” Cotchin said. “The mare had a dead foal and we decided to give the breeding away. We gave the service to Denis and said ‘you can use it’. He put a bit more money with it and went to Betterthancheddar, and then said that me and Shelly were going to race this one with him, so I never got a say. “It’s good when people do that sort of thing … and here we are tonight.” The quinella pair finished about 20m clear of third placegetter Young Rooster last night and Betternbetter will now focus on the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series as his mid-term target before potentially a crack at the Breeders Crown. Cotchin said the opportunity to race a horse such as Betternbetter was “just fantastic at this stage” of his career and he hopes the pacer can emulate some of the deeds achieved by Tanabi Bromac, who Cotchin trained to win a Victoria Derby, multiple country cups and contest an Inter Dominion series. “We’re only a small stable. Tanabi Bromac was a great horse and we never thought we’d get anything like that again. To have a horse like this, and at the end of my career, it’s just fantastic.” Hear from Cotchin and other participants filmed live last night at Tabcorp Park Melton Trots Media - Cody Winnell

Here are the horses presented in the harness racing Elitloppet 2018.  There have been nine two time winners of the Elite Race - Timoko (2014, 2017), Varenne (2001, 2002). Copiad (1994, 1995), Mack Lobell (1988, 1990), Ideal du Gazeau (1980, 1982). Timothy T. (1974, 1975), Eileen Eden (1968, 1970), Roquepine (1966, 1967) and Gelinotte (1956, 1957)…. Rajesh Face He has as much capacity as possible, but has had a bad luck when it really matters. In Elitloppet there will be a change. Rajesh Face won a try for the Sprinter Master, but was picked up in the final. In Swedish Travderby he also won his attempt, but galloped in the finals and got to settle for a fifth place. In total he has won 11 wins on 29 starts, but also galloped at nine occasions. He often has to wear the favorite team in the race and on all six occasions he has been played for twice he has won. "Rajesh Face has always been an exceptional horse and the last after the race was how fast he could run over short distances. Now he can show it, says Anders Malmrot. Facts - Rajesh Face Age: 5 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 29 (11-2-2)  Earned: 1 519 960 SEK  Record: 1.10.5 car start (1 609m)  Owner: Tn Projekt AB & Falkbolagen AB  Trainer: Lutfi Kolgjini  Attendant: Joyce Duivenvoorden  Nationality: Swedish Cokstile   Cokstile took four wins as a three year old and won, among other things, the DNT's Final Final. The biggest win came four years when he won in Norsk Travderby. That same year he won his attempt at the Champion Jarlsberg Grand Prix and then finished second in the final. This year he has only started once but then took a safe win over sprinter distances before, among other things, Donatomite. Cokstile is trained by Jan Kristian Waaler and will be run by Lars Anvar Kolle. It will be an elite race premier for both of them, but not for the owner. "The owner Jan-Erik Andresen also had Yarrah Boko and will now experience the mood and excitement of Elitloppet again," says Anders Malmrot. Facts - Cokstile Age: 5 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 20 (8-4-4)  Earned: 1,833,545 NOK  Record: 1.10.0 car start (1 609m)  Owner: Jan-Erik Andresen  Coach: Jan Kristian Waaler  Coach : Ragnhild Diesen  Nationality: Norwegian Up and Quick     Up and Quicks credentials are exceptional. He was the second behind Maharajah in the Prix d'Amerique 2014 and won the same race in 2015. He also won these two years in Prix de Paris and the year before he won the French five-year criterion. In the last two years he has won in the French sprint race Criterium de Vitesse de Basse Normandie. "His results speak for himself and after some new start-ups he is back at elite level," says Anders Malmrot. Facts -  Up and Quick Age: 10 years  Sex: male  Starter / Results: 66 (16-13-4)  Earned: 2,092,040 EUR  Record: 1.09,4 autostart (1 609m)  Owner: Ecurie Quick Star  Coach: Antoine Lherete  attendants : Angélique Beaufils  Nationality: French   Lionel NO     Norwegian Lionel, registered in Sweden as Lionel NO, started his career at Göran Antonsen in Norway where he won twice as a three year old. The first major victory came as four-year-old in HKH Crown Prince Haakon's Poker Race, but it was the year after that Lionel got his big break when he won at nine occasions after moving down to France. The career's biggest victory so far came in 2016, in the Grand Prix de Paris at Vincennes in Paris, when Lionel got a heavy race outside the leader but still managed to defeat the race's favorite Bold Eagle. In the beginning, he then won in the Prix de l'Atlantique. After a coach change to Daniel Redén he became 2017 in the Grand Prix d'Amerique, winner of the Olympiatrave and second in the Oslo Grand Prix in 2017. "The strength has been Lionel's signum, but over the years, speed has also come. He is totally out of position for positions and I am really pleased to have a Norwegian horse and kusk to Elitloppet, says Anders Malmrot. Facts - Lionel NO Age: 8 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 62 (21-10-6)  Earned: 12,952 093 SEK  Record: 1.10,6 car start (2140m)  Owner: Göran Antonsen  Coach: Daniel Redén  Coach: Pär Pergenius  Nationality: Norwegian Amiral Sacha     Amiral Sacha has continually met the European elite and his biggest victory came in the Grand Prix de Wallonie at Mons in Belgium in 2016. The second biggest is the victory in Prix des Ducs de Normandie, the same race he was today. He has also been two in Europe, Prix de Selection and Criterium Continental. "He was invited to Elitloppet last year, but chose to decline. This year, however, they are ready to travel to Solvalla and it is very pleasing, says Anders Malmrot. Star Chess Gabriele Gelormini has won with Amiral Sacha on 13 occasions, and he is also ready to play in Elitloppet. Facts - Amiral Sacha Age: 8 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 46 (15-12-4)  Earned: 1 075 130 EUR  Record: 1.10.4 car start (2 300m)  Owner: Ecurie Sidere  Coach: Florent Lamare  Coach: Marie Lamare  Nationality: French Orlando Jet     Austrian, but German-trained, Orlando Jet is the hottest horse in Germany right now. As a young horse he has won in Breeders' Crown for both 3- and 4-year-olds and last year he won an impressive win at Vincennes. He has a total of eleven victories at 14 starts and has only made a start this year, which ended in victory before the German star Cash Hanover. "I see great potential in Orlando Jet and now he is facing a real fire bump. He has not started shortly before but is quick from start and I think it fits him well, says Anders Malmrot. The coach Rudi Haller has won no less than six Austrian Derbyn and won a total of about 2 900 times. He was champion nine times on the now downhill track in Pfaffenhofen a few miles north of Munich, and for the last two years he has been titled München Daglfing. This will be Rudi Haller's first Elitlopp.  Facts - Orlando Jet Age: 5 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 14 (11-2-0)  Earned: 183 549 EUR  Record: 1.11.6 autostart (1900m)  Owner: Stall Team Neuhof  Coach: Rudi Haller  Coach: Sarah Wiehe  Nationality: Austrian   Takethem     Takethem started the career in the best way as a three year old with five wins and a win in Danish Trav Criterion as the crown of the work. As an elder he has triumphed victories, but also been persecuted by injuries. Now he is fresh and fresh and was last two in the Copenhagen Cup at Charlottenlund. "Takethem has repeatedly demonstrated what talent he is and I think it will be great fun to recieve Steen Juul and his nice horse to Elitloppet," says Anders Malmrot. Last year Takethem finished fifth at 1.09.2 in the attempt by Bold Eagle and missed just one final spot. Facts - Takethem Age: 8 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 49 (19-17-2)  Earned: 2 677 219 DKK  Record: 1.09.2 car start (1609m)  Owner: Takethem I / S  Coach: Steen Juul  Coach: Camilla Juul  Nationality: Danish   Dreammoko     Dreammoko is invited to Elitloppet. Coach Richard Westerink did not hesitate a second before he thanked. "It was nice to hear he was so happy. Richard loves Elitloppet and he has had fantastic success with Timoko, "says Solvallas sports director Anders Malmrot. Five-year-old Dreammoko competed in Elitloppshelgen last year when he finished three in Tommy Hanné's race - the four-year elite. This year he has begun to take up the fight against the elite elite and finished second in a very positive way in both the tries and the final of the Gran Premio della Lotteria in Naples on May 1st. "He showed both starting speed and fierce solitude in Lotterian and it will be fun to see him in the Elit race," says Anders Malmrot. Facts - Dreammoko Age: 5 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 36 (5-6-5)  Earned: 451 345 EUR  Record: 1.10.1 autostart (1640m)  Owner: Jan Stins  Coach: Richard Westerink  Coach: Erwin Ganzinotti  Nationality: Dutch   Volstead     After the sweaty victory at Örebrotravet last Saturday, when he did not get anything for free but still surely won in the Gold Division, Volstead has been invited to Elitloppet. Volstead is a coalmate with old stallmate Nuncio and was imported to Sweden from the United States as a year. He had an impressive four-year season where he won in King Gustaf V's Cup and was second to Nuncio in the Sprint Champion. The following year he took the road to Elitloppet through a powerful death seeker in Prince Daniel's race at the Gävletravet. Ifjol, there was no Elitlopp, but the Sweden Cup where he won the new running record 1.09.3. "Volstead seems quite old for positions and can withstand high pace throughout the race. Actually, he has all the characteristics you can expect from an Elitlopp horse, "says Anders Malmrot. Facts - Volstead Age: 7 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 62 (21-9-1)  Earned: 5,263,824 SEK  Record: 1.09.3 car start (1640m)  Owner: Stall TZ  Coach: Stefan Melander  Coach: Jenny Gustavsson  Nationality : Swedish   Nadal Broline     Nadal Broline played his speed over the rise in Algot Scott's memory and thus secured a seat in the Elitloppet. Eight years old, Nadal Broline has only started 40 times but won every other race. Over the past few years he has been a sequel to the Gold Division and, among other things, won a round of races for the Olympiatravet. "This was his annual debut and he will go further after this race. I really admire his attitude to winning and now it's time for him to take care of the really big runners, "says Anders Malmrot. Algot Scott's memory is one of three races qualifying for the Elit Race. The other two are Finlandia-Ajo at Vermo in Helsinki on May 5 and Prince Daniel's race at the Gävle Race on May 19th. Facts - Nadal Broline Age: 8 years  Gender: Valack  Starter / Results: 40 (20-9-4)  Earned: 3,896,415 SEK  Record: 1.09.8 car start (1640m)  Owner: Onkel Invest Oy  Coach: Reijo Liljendahl  Coach: Pernilla Sundling  Nationality: Finnish Pastore Bob     The Finnish runway Finlandia-Ajo became Pastore Bob's race from start to finish. Flashy to start, he directed the whole field and when a loudly spun Heavy Sound galloped on the run there was never any doubt about who would win the race. Thus, Pastore Bob is directly qualified for the Elitloppet. The victory in Finlandia-Ajo, worth 110,000 Euro, is marginally the biggest in five-year-old Pastore Bob's career. The biggest victory check he had previously earned was SEK 250,000 in Prince Carl Philips Jubilee Spokal at Färjestadtravet earlier this spring. Pastore Bob was sold this autumn to KM Hästfarm in Holm AB & Rolkur Invest AB and swapped in conjunction with the coach. At Johan Untersteiner, the horse has found a new gear and started with three straight wins for his new coach. Now he was a winner in Finland's biggest trawl race and also received an invitation to Elitloppet last Sunday in May. "He is a" runner-up "and it's impossible to know how good this horse can be, says Anders Malmrot. Finlandia-Ajo is one of three race qualifying for Elitloppet. The other two are Algot Scott's memory of Åbytravet on May 12 and Prince Daniel's race at the Gävle Race on May 19th. Facts - Pastore Bob Age: 5 years  Gender: Valack  Starter / Result: 34 (5-5-4)  Earned: 2 352 442 SEK  Record: 1.10.7 car start (1640m)  Owner: KM Hästfarm i Holm AB & Rolkur Invest AB  Coach: Johan Untersteiner  Coach: Andreas Johansson  Nationality: Swedish Ringo Starr Treb     Eighty-year-old Ringostarr Treb is a frequent participant in the European big league and has competed in Finland, France, Holland, Italy, Norway and Sweden. The biggest prize draw is the $ 1,500,000 he earned through today's win in Olympiatravet, but he has also won in the Sundsvall Open Trot milestone. The enormously fast record time 1.08,2a comes from the second place behind Propulsion in Hugo Åbergs Memorial when it went new Europe record at 1.08.1. "Ringostarr Treb, was really good at Olympiatravet today but he fits even better over sprinter distances and will be really interesting in the Elitloppet," says Anders Malmrot. Two heat on Solvalla becomes no news for Ringostarr Treb. In the last three years he has participated in the Sweden Cup during Elitloppshelgen and qualified for the final at all times. Best went in 2015 when he won in both the try and the final. Facts - Ringo Starr Treb Age: 8 years  Sex: male  Starter / Results: 83 (28-11-17)  Earned: 9,693,301 SEK  Record: 1.08,2 autostart (1609m)  Owner: EVAMRacing Trotter SRLS  Coach: Jerry Riordan  attendants : Heli Tariimaa  Nationality: Italian   Maori Time     It was February 24th that the eyes were directed "Down Under" after Maori Time not only lowered the Australian record but also became the fastest in the world this year after winning the Group 1 race Access Group Solutions Trotters Mile. 1.09.3 solved the victory time as seemingly very convenient in the lead from start to finish. "We have had a dialogue with the circuit around Maori Time for a long time, and it feels great that the pieces have fallen in place so we can see her in this year's Elitlopp," says Anders Malmrot. Maori Time, who was named the Australian Aged Trotting Mare of the Year in 2016, has won more than every third race in the last three years and has been signing in the Aldebaran Park Bill Collins Sprint victory in 2015 (201, 2016, 2017).  Maori Time commences his journey from Australia on May 9 with flights to Amsterdam. After that she travels the country road up to Stockholm. Facts - Maori Time  Age: 8 years  Gender: Star  Beginner / Score: 66 (24-12-7)  Earned: 421 301 AUD (approx. 2 750 000 SEK)  Record: 1.09.3 car start (1609m)  Owner: Fredrick Crews  Coach: Brent Lilley  Coach: Justin Abbott  Nationality: Australian     Propulsion     He is not only fastest in Europe, but also World's second fastest trotting horse. Among Propulsion's biggest victories is Hugo Åberg's Memorial 2016 and 2017 where he won the European Championships 1.08.1, Norrbotten's Great Prize 2016 and 2017, Finlandia Ajo 2017 and Prix de Bourgogne 2017. He was also second in the Elitlopp 2017 and barely hit three in the French Grand Prix Grand Prix d'Amerique and Grand Prix de France earlier this year. In the last few weeks, the horse has had a few weeks of rest, but now the match starts against Elitloppet. "I want to give Daniel Redén time to prepare the horse so he is in top shape last Sunday in May. Propulsion is an exception horse and it is obvious to invite him to Elitloppet, says Anders Malmrot. This is the third consecutive year that Propulsion is invited to Elitloppet. In 2016 he became three in the trial and four in the final and he finished second in both the attempt and the final. Facts - Propulsion Age: 7 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 53 (24-9-7)  Earned: 13,720 317 SEK  Records: 1.08.1 Autostart (1609m)  Owner: Stall Zet  Coach: Daniel Redén  Coach: Ellinor Wennebring  Nationality : Swedish   Bold Eagle   Last year, Bold Eagle made Elitloppsdebut and raised a lot of resurrection when he attempted to win by the hardest external leader at the fastest Elit Run time ever - 1.08.4. In the final, however, he was defeated by French Timoko. "I'm very pleased that the whole circuit around Bold Eagle wants to come back to Elitloppet this year again. He was the big exclamation mark last year and has all the conditions for being there again. An Elitloppseger is really the only thing missing in the horse's outstanding career, says Anders Malmrot. Bold Eagle was earlier in the year two in the Grand Prix d'Amerique after a riotous riot against Elitlopp invited Readly Express and then barely hit second in the Grand Prix de France. In 2017 he became the first horse of 41 years to win the French Triple Couronne (Grand Prix de France, Grand Prix de France and the Grand Prix de Paris). Among Bold Eagles biggest victories are the Grand Prix d'Amerique 2016 and 2017, the Grand Prix de France 2016-2018, the Grand Prix de Paris 2017, the Grand Prix de l'UET 2015, the Critérium de 3 ans 2014, the Prix de Selection 2015, the Critérium Continental 2015 and Critérium de 3 Ans 2016. Facts - Bold Eagle Age: 7 years  Gender: Stallion  Starter / Result: 50 (38-8-0)  Earned: 4 041 620 EUR  Record: 1.08.4 Autostart (1609m)  Owner: Ecurie P.Pilarski  Coach: Sébastien Guarato  Attendant : Hugues Monthulé  Nationality: French   Uza Josselyn     With 84 days left to Elitloppet, Solvalla's sports manager made clear with the second horse of the field. It is the Danish-born, but Swiss-trained, Uza Josselyn who caught Anders Malmott's interest. Today she barely won at Vincennes in Paris, France. In sulky, 25-year-old Francis Alexandre Abrivard, who took his 837th victory, sat. Alexandre Abrivard will also drive her in Elitloppet. - Uza Josselyn is a fantastic man who has all the qualities I want from an elite race horse. She is fast-paced and has shown that she works well even on smaller courses and I think she will be a colorful squad in the Elitlopp in 2018, "says Solvallas sports director Anders Malmrot Uza Josselyn's biggest victory came on November 1, when she won the Gran Premio delle Nazioni at San Siro in Milan, Italy. A victory worth 128 800 Euro. Facts Uza Josselyn Age: 7 years  Gender: Star  Start / Result: 32 (19-3-2)  Earned: 6,756 168 SEK  Record: 1.10,6 car start (2100m)  Owner: Ecurie Rythm & Blues  Coach: René Aebischer  Coach: Barbara Aebischer  Nationality: Swiss   Reprinted with permission of The Elitloppet.se  

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WILKES-BARRE PA - Manchego took a successful first step into what could be a year to remember in 2018, making the lead in front of the stands and going on to a commanding harness racing victory without appearing to hit high gear, yet stopping the timer in 1:53, within a fifth of her mark, in her section of the $169,040 second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Monday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Yannick Gingras let two outside leavers go to the top early, first Courtney Hanover then Live Laugh Love, then moved Manchego frontward at the 27.3 quarter. Moving to command just under the wire the first time, Manchego hit the half in a "leisurely" 56.3, then went to the ¾ in 1:24.4 with Live Laugh Love, a first leg Sire Stakes winner, looking up on the bit in behind her going around the far turn. But in the stretch Manchego just got more powerful without appearing to downshift, with Gingras sitting chilly behind. She won by 1½ lengths over a very game Live Laugh Love, but the last term that would come to your mind watching her under the wire is "all out." Manchego, now undefeated in 13 career starts and a winner of $902,168, is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter for Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Earlier in the card, Barry Guariglia of Black Horse Racing joined Team Takter to be presented the 2017 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Horse of the Year by the Keystone Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association; whether the Muscle Hill filly will again race in the 2018 Sire Stakes or follow a different schedule will depend, according to Takter, on how the filly is racing and "what she is showing us." Nixie Volo overcame a tough first-over grind to take her Sire Stakes division in dominant fashion, 1¾ lengths to the good over Winbak Noelle. Corey Callahan sent the daughter of Yankee Glide outside before the half, gradually worked up to the leader, then asserted herself in the lane, winning in 1:54.3 while gaining into a 57 back half. Nixie Volo, who missed a head to Live Laugh Love in the first Sires leg, won for the first time this season for trainer John Butenschoen and the ownership of Kentuckiana Racing Stable, VIP Internet Stable LLC, 83 Racing, and Eddie Gran. 15-1 shot Piranha Fury came fastest of all late to take her Sires division in 1:54.2. Vivacious Allie refused to surrender the lead when favored Lily Stride came calling, resulting in fast fractions for this type, with Piranha Fury third-over behind advancing cover. Through the last half of the stretch driver David Miller was handling the filly confidently while "measuring" the victory, winning by a length over the game frontstepper Vivacious Allie. The victorious daughter of Donato Hanover now has two wins and two seconds in five seasonal starts for trainer Nifty Norman and the ownership of Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC, and Diamond Creek Racing. PHHA / Pocono
Plainville, MA---Ron Cushing has been busy filling his harness racing barn with New Zealand bred horses this year and is taking no prisoners when they hit the track. On Monday afternoon (May 21) Cushing and his ownership partner Kevin Sywyk started two of their Heidi Gibbs trained bearcats in the $14,000 Winners-Over feature pace at Plainridge Park and came away finishing first and second while taking two opposite routes to the wire. Delightful Offer N (Ron Cushing) bolted off the gate and took the lead before getting the race to the quarter in a brisk :26. At that Point, Kenrick N (Mitchell Cushing) who had gotten away fifth, pulled early and was slowly making his way up the outside. Cushing tapped the brakes with Delightful Offer N and got a pedestrian :30 second quarter and as a result. Kenrick N who was floating third on the outside, was able to continue to advance in the outer flow and brought Grand Theft (Greg Merton) with him. Sitting chilly with his whip on his shoulder, Cushing rounded the final turn with Delightful Offer N and was pulling away without effort in deep stretch while stablemate Kenrick N was still game, holding off three late closers as they approached the wire. Delightful Offer N was a two-length wrapped-up winner in 1:51.2 ahead of Kenrick N. It was the second straight win at Plainridge Park for Delightful Offer N ($5.40) and also a new lifetime mark for the 7-year-old son of Bettor's Delight. Shawn Gray put on a driving clinic on Monday, winning half the card. Gray was the victorious pilot with Straightoutaconsin (1:53.4, $3.00), Superbowl Party (1:52.1, $5.80), Duke Of Delray (1:54.1, $3.60), Jackson's Image (1:52.2, $3.20) and One To Draw To (1:51.1, $5.60). As a result of his performance, Gray shot past Drew Campbell into second in the dash driving derby, just behind the leading Greg Merton. With Campbell having two wins on the day and Merton getting shut out, Merton now leads with 32 wins, Gray is second with 31 and Campbell is third with 29. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday Afternoon (May 22) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  
HARRINGTON, Del. - Blazing Bobby Sox ($4.20, Art Stafford Jr.) was a decisive winner Monday at Harrington Raceway in 1:52.1 in the $15,000 harness racing Delaware Special. Owned by Art Stafford and Art Stafford Jr., the 7-year-old The Panderosa gelding left the gate in determined fashion from post six and cruised to the early lead where he would stay throughout in a front end romp over Little Ben and Machamillion N. It was the fifth win of the season for "Bobby," and 25th of his career. He had won back-to-back races to close out the Dover Downs meet in March and is closing in on $300,000 in career earnings, despite only 77 career starts. Earlier on the card, Louis Tomczak Jr.'s Proper One ($9.40, Cody Poliseno) notched his third straight win for trainer Carlo Poliseno in 1:52.3, which equaled a new lifetime best. Nanticoke Racing, Josh Parker and Donna Messick's Spondulicks N ($3.20, Stafford Jr.) improved to 2-for-2 on North American soil as the New Zealand-bred strolled to a 1:55.2 victory for trainer and co-owner Parker. Matthew Sparacino
YONKERS, NY, Monday, May 21, 2018 - Harness racing Post positions have been drawn for Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace and $111,444 Lismore Pace. The 28th Rooney, one of Yonkers' premier event's for the sport's glamour division, offers six 3-year-old colts and two geldings. The event, which began in 1989, a year after the death of Art Rooney Sr., goes as Saturday night's (May 26th) sixth race. The open draw probably didn't bother one elimination winner (Trump Nation [Jason Bartlett, post 4]), though it cheesed off the other (Decoy [Dave Miller, post 8]). Miller, who has won this race three times, including last season with Downbytheseaside, obviously has his work cut out behind the son of Somebeachsomewhere. Jimmy Takter trains for Brixton Medical, R A W Equine and Joe Sbrocco. Decoy won his elim going away, by 8½ lengths in a 'good' 1:54. Bartlett, the perennial leading local driver, has never won the Rooney. Trump Nation took over early a week ago, making the lead from an eventual breaker and holding sway. He won by a head in 1:53.3. his fastest purse mile of the season. The Betterthancheddar colt enters the final with new co-ownership (Evan Katz and Crawford Racing) and new trainer (Chris Oakes). The field, with declared drivers... 1-Minnie Vinnie (Tim Tetrick), 2-Kwik Talkin' (Jordan Stratton listed), 3-Springsteen (Brian Sears), 4-Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett), 5-Jimtastic (Eric Goodell), 6-Major Authority (Yannick Gingras), 7-Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller), 8-Decoy (Dave Miller). The 14th Lismore, companion event to the Rooney, was carded as the fifth race. Lone elimination winner Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube) landed in post No. 2 among the octet of 3-year-old pacing. The field, with declared drivers... 1-Solitary (Brent Holland), 2-Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube), 3-Believe in Me (Brian Sears), 4-Pass Line Bluechip (Jason Bartlett), 5-Python Blue Chip (George Brennan) 6-Alexa's Power (Tim Tetrick), 7-Checkered Past (Mark MacDonald), 8-Reign on Me (Brett Miler). First post for the 12-race card is the usual 6:50 PM. Frank Drucker        
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