Day At The Track
Carter Dalgety, Harness racing

Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety

Talented Down Under harness racing pacer breaks 1:50 at Hoosier Park. Ana Malak N was far too good for rivals on Friday at Harrahs Hoosier Park when winning the $15,000 Open Pace. He clocked a winning mile time of 1:49.4, setting a new lifetime mark for the Bettors Delight stallion. The win took the 6yo to over $300,000 in lifetime earnings. Jeff Cullipher trains and co-owns with Sam Widger who had the reins and extended further and further away from the field to the line. Ana Malak N has always showed plenty of talent in his racing career, most notably when winning back to back Group 1 Races at Gloucester Park in Perth, Australia. Down Under pacer upsets in Open Pace at the Meadowlands on Saturday. The Down Under duo of Bechers Brook A and driver Andrew McCarthy shot up the inside rail late to take out the Open Pace in 1:48.1 on Saturday night. Narrowly getting past the Down Under trio of Jesse Duke N, driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Chris Ryder who finished in second spot. It was a huge four way finish with Bechers Brook A doing the best work late to salute at odds of 50/1. Jeff Cullipher trains and co-owns the 6yo son of Somebeachsomewhere. He previously raced in Perth, Australia where he won at Group 2 level and placed in the Group 1 WA Derby at Gloucester Park. Down Under Pacer Our Majordan A went out favourite in the race from the 1 pole but went off stride before the start, losing all chance. Bechers Brook A   Monday 6th July Harrington Raceway DE Extreme Machine N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $5,000 Ideal Tyson A – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $4,800   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Djokovic N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $6,800 Lespndnitetogeta N – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $11,200   Tuesday 7th July Harrington Raceway DE Jive Dancing A – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $4,200 Batabcool N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $5,500 Women In Gold N – Time: 1:58.2, Stake: $6,000   Running Aces Casino & Racetrack MN Hoo Nien A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $6,700   Scioto Downs OH Black Chevron N – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $6,000   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Vega Star N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $6,800   Yonkers Raceway NY Major Crocker A – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $9,375   Wednesday 8th July Harrahs Philadelphia PA Mary Catherine A – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $5,600   Harrington Raceway DE Kiwi Ideal N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $3,000   Saratoga Harness NY Tuapeka Trick N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $2,500   Grand River Raceway CA Premier Joy A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $7,000   Thursday 9th July Ocean Downs MD Waikiki Beach N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $4,250   Saratoga Harness NY Major Crisis A – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $4,250 Pasultimatedelite N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $4,800 Hereslooknatyou N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $3,500 Two Fiftyeight A – Time: 1:57.0, Stake: $3,500   Scioto Downs OH Eliza Dushku N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $4,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Bronze Over N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $9,375 My Ruebe Star N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $17,250 Abraxas Blues A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $14,250   Summerside Raceway CA Misty Memory N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $1,900   Friday 10th July Harrahs Hoosier Park IN Ana Malak N – Time: 1:49.4, Stake: $15,000   Meadowlands NJ Whittaker N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $6,000   Scarborough Downs ME Dontustopbelievn N – Time: 1:57.1, Stake: $3,500   Saturday 11th July Buffalo Raceway NY Harry Hoo N – Time: 1:58.0, Stake: $8,400   Harrahs Hoosier Park IN Prince Mcardle N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $7,000 Late Night Date A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $8,000 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Liberty Rose N, 3rd Buzinga N Flying Wingard A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $8,000 Eyespywithmylileye N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $11,000   Meadowlands NJ Bechers Brook A – Time: 1:48.1, Stake: $20,000 Sams A Champ A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $7,500 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Unloaded N, 3rd Laredo Torpedo N   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Dream Out Loud N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $11,200 Beltane A – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $10,000   Vernon Downs NY Mister Livan N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $2,400   Sunday 12th July Harrahs Philadelphia PA Bigonpersonality N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $13,600   Running Aces Casino & Racetrack MN Keep On Rocking N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $8,500   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Bronskimackenzie A – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $14,000 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Shes Pukka N, Crystal Sparkles N Shecandance N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $11,200   Click here for previous weeks articles   Carter Dalgety

American Courage, harness racing

First major 2YO stake to American Courage

YONKERS, NY - American Courage made a decisive brush to the lead approaching the first quarter and held off the pocket sitting Town Gossip to prevail in the $104,250 MGM Springfield Stakes at Yonkers Raceway Monday by a half length in 1:53.3. American Courage remains unbeaten in four lifetime harness racing starts for trainer Travis Alexander, driver Matt Kakaley and the Fiddler's Creek Stables of West Bloomfield, Michigan.His time of 1:53.3 was a lifetime mark.   The two year old colt by American Ideal is the first foal out of the Art Major mare Nota Fool Bluechip. The heavy favorite in the race, American Courage paid $2.40 to win. Crystal Beach was six and three quarter lengths back in third. by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway

David Moran and Kevin Gordon with Lochinvar Art

Boutique stable clicks up ready to go

Successful Shepparton-based harness racing trainer-driver David Moran has every reason to be excited as he looks toward the next few weeks with his boutique stable. Champion grand circuit pacer Lochinvar Art is probably a fortnight away from heading to the trials, while highly talented youngsters Lochinvar Chief and Patsbeachstorm could be seen as early as next week. "I really couldn't be happier with those three. I just can't wait to get back at the races again with them," Moran said. "Artie (Lochinvar Art) had nearly four weeks off and he's returned in really good order. I was pleased that while he was out spelling this time, he didn't get too big. He can be a good doer," he said. "But he usually comes to hand very quickly because he's such an athletic type. At this stage, the plan is to send him around at the Shepparton trials in about two weeks-and then play it by ear as far as targeting some races." Warners Bay NSW businessman Kevin Gordon paid $29,000 for Lochinvar Art (Modern Art-Ponder In Paris (Ponder) after Moran selected the horse at a ready-to-run sale in Sydney. Gordon, the owner of Multicam Routing Systems, is well known for his roles in greyhound racing, but has had pacers "on the side" since the 1970s. Lochinvar Art has won five of his eight starts this season-with his biggest scalp being the Group One $200,000 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on February 22. A fortnight later he was so gallant in defeat when runner-up to King Of Swing (Luke McCarthy) in the $1M Miracle Mile in a blistering 1.48. Group One $200,000 Chariots Of Fire Moran then kept the four-year-old ticking over while he waited for a clearer picture as to the impact on racing of the developing coronavirus pandemic. Lochinvar Art raced at his home track on April 21 and May 1 for two strong wins. In the latter of those, Artie established a new track record of 1.53-2 along the way, before the four-year-old was sent to the spelling paddock. His career record now stands at 17 wins, 12 seconds and four thirds from 36 starts for $669,000. "It all became a little hard with COVID, with some of the features being put on hold. It was great that we were able to keep racing, but I couldn't see any real top races for him, so I probably had no option than to give him a break," Moran said. Lightly-raced two-year-olds in Lochinvar Chief (Captaintreacherous - Always a Target(Always a Virgin) and Patsbeachstorm (Somebeachsomewhere -Charissa Tee (Sportswriter) showed enormous potential in their first race campaigns earlier this year. "We got Patsbeachstorm out of the Melbourne sales last year. He's raced by Shaun Kelly, along with some of his family and friends. I think he will develop into a real nice horse," Moran said. "The other one in Lochinvar Chief is owned by Kevin Gordon as well, and he's all ready to go. This horse was great in all of his five starts, but I do think that he will make a better three-year-old. Patsbeachstorm defeated the 'chief' when they clashed in their racing debuts. But then in their next start, the roles were reversed. "There's 10 in work at the moment and I plan to keep it around that number. A casual worker comes to the stables which is terrific, but I'm actually in the process of trying to find a full-time worker," Moran said. While the stable has been relatively quiet of late, Moran still has an impressive driving strike rate this season-finishing in the top three placings at 48%. His stats read: 43 wins and 62 placings from 217 starts for $651,000. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Jason Bartlett, harness racing

Jason Bartlett reflects on his career

Trenton, NJ — Harness racing driver Jason Bartlett clearly remembers the first time he trained a horse. The pre-teen thought he was going much faster than instructed, discovered he was going much slower, and came up with a number somewhere in between. “My grandfather (trainer Dick Bartlett) told me to go in (2):15 and I think I went in, like, (2):40, and I thought I was flying,” Bartlett said. “I missed that mark by a lot. I had to come back and lie to him a little bit and told him I went in (2):25 so I wasn’t too far off.” Since that day Bartlett has learned to go fast for real in becoming one of harness racing’s top drivers. He has ranked among the Top 10 in North American harness racing in wins nine times overall and among the Top 10 for purses also nine times. Bartlett has enjoyed great success at his home track, winning nine driving titles at Yonkers Raceway. He has 8,431 career wins and $114 million in earnings. It all started on his family’s farm in Windsor, Maine, where Jason would wile away the hours in the stable when not excelling at football and basketball. “As a kid I was always drawn to it, it was never a chore for me to go to the barn and work and help out,” Bartlett said. “I always loved it. Loved going to the races. It was very easy for me. I kind of knew I wanted to do that. But my grandfather told me to ‘Go to school, get a degree, and this will always be here when you get back.’” Dick had a stable that ranged between 20 and 30 horses, “so on the weekends and school vacations it was almost kind of mandatory I was there at the barn helping.” Aside from performing his duties, Bartlett showed an eye for horses at a young age. One of the favorites among his grandfather’s stable was Pay Or Play, for good reason. “I actually picked him out at a sale,” Bartlett said. “He showed a lot of speed, but he showed a ton of breaks and my grandfather always loved that. I had to drag him to the barn to look at him. He was in one of those far barns and he was like ‘Nah I don’t want to go see this thing.’ I ran over myself and looked at it and I dragged him over and he ended up buying him.” Another special horse from Bartlett’s youth was Geri’s Beauty, with which he won his first race at the Windsor Fair in 1998. “I don’t remember that much,” he said. “I just remember it was at a fair and it actually worked out pretty good. I came second over to three-wide down the backside. I started driving three weeks before that. I think I was a junior in high school. We started out two fairs before that and I finally got my first win at our hometown fair.” Jason Bartlett has enjoyed great success at his home track, winning nine driving titles at Yonkers Raceway. Mike Lizzi Photo. During that period, Bartlett was splitting his time between the stables and the gym. As a standout two-sport athlete in middle school, he needed to decide between basketball and football in high school. He would have opted for the gridiron, but his school did not have a football team, so he chose hoops. That turned out to be a pretty good choice as Bartlett became an explosive backcourt scorer. Heeding his grandfather’s wishes about attending college, Jason took his talents to the University of Southern Maine in Portland, where he became the NCAA Division III scoring champion one year with a 28-point average. Despite those numbers, he never harbored illusions of playing at the next level. “Division III is a whole different beast,” he said. “I’m fast, I’m quick, I can jump, but I was too small, didn’t have enough muscle.” After graduating with a degree in industrial electricity, Bartlett headed straight back to the barn to get started on his “real” career. Asked if that major ever came in handy, Jason laughed. “For the most part if I look at a tool I draw blood,” he said. “If I had to, yes. But I wouldn’t get rich on it. My uncle did that sort of work, that’s why I jumped into that field. But I just got the degree to have it in case racing didn’t work out.” Bartlett worked with his grandfather for the next five years. In 2009, owner Scott Dillon — who owned most of the horses Bartlett trained at the time — encouraged him to go out on his own. Dillon helped him financially in making the move to New York. “I knew some trainers in New York that were originally from Maine,” Bartlett said. “Bobby Sumner and Timmy Case were doing really well at Yonkers at the time. I used to take horses from Bobby Sumner if they weren’t right, he would send them to me so I could race them in New England. “Bobby always had a stable of 40 or 50 horses, he was one of the leading trainers at Yonkers. When I came down, he asked me to drive some of his horses at Yonkers, so I started catch driving for him. We started doing really well and it just took off from there.” Bartlett also trained 25 of his own horses when arriving in New York. But when he started having driving success, he sold them in order to focus on just one aspect of the sport. “Driving was always the one thing I was trying to strive for,” he said. “To be a catch driver, and that was it.” Bartlett points to Dillon, Sumner, and Maine Hall of Famer Don Richards as playing big parts in his success. Richards allowed Jason to live with him during college so he needn’t incur any housing bills. His biggest influence, of course, is Dick, who is still going strong at 80. “Tough love would be one of the big things I took from him,” Bartlett said. “He critiqued me a lot. I always say he was my biggest fan but my biggest critic. Even if we had a great day he was always pushing me to be better. Don’t be satisfied. Don’t be complacent. Just because you’re doing good now doesn’t mean you’ll be doing good in a month. Work hard.” Jason Bartlett and his family celebrated his 8,000th career win in 2019. Katy Gazzini Photo. Bartlett and his wife Kristen are trying to pass along those qualities to their children, who inherited the athletic gene of both parents. Kristen is a former field hockey, basketball and softball player. The Bartletts run their local CYO basketball program and also coach their sons’ teams. Kobe, 13, and Karter, 9, are more into playing sports than working the stables at the moment. Jason speaks with pride at how Kobe’s team finally won New York’s Orange County CYO championship along with the regional title after several years of near misses. “They focus a lot on sports,” Bartlett said. “They play soccer, lacrosse, football. They’ll watch me on TV. I guess Karter is a little more intrigued by it, he loves to go jog. It’s a tough business, a tough way to make a living. They might get into it later but they’re going to have to go to school and stuff, just like my grandfather made me do.” And that seems to have worked out pretty well. Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

YONKERS, N.Y. – Trainer Erv Miller entered three colts in the eliminations of the MGM Springfield Stakes (formerly the Lawrence B Sheppard) eliminations: Carrythetorchman, Crystal Beach, and Not Today. All three made the $104,250 final, set for Monday night (July 13) at Yonkers Raceway; Carrythetorchman by virtue of a victory and Not Today with a fourth in the second elimination and Crystal Beach with a third-place finish behind American Courage in the first elimination. With Carrythetorchman unbeaten in two baby races and his first pari-mutuel start, he leads the pack against the race’s 8-5 morning line favorite American Courage. By American Ideal out of the Astreos mare Kattimon, Carrythetorchman is a half to Classic Pro, a winner of two Ontario Sire Stakes legs and an earner of over $500,000 to date, and a full to Grand Circuit winner and New York Sire Stakes standout Devil Child. Carrythetorchman was a $70,000 buy from the 2019 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale for Miller and owners Ronald Michelon and War Horse Stable. “He’s a good conformation horse. You might want one a little bigger for the big stuff, but for New York, I thought he was about the right size for getting around the half,” Miller said. “So far, he’s proven that. He doesn’t wear any boots and just gets around the half-mile track real easy.” Although Miller says Carrythetorchman showed class from the beginning of his training, the colt began to develop a bad habit while training in Florida over the winter and into the spring as he dealt with minor foot trouble. “Early on, he was really good. Then he went through a phase and I think it was more his feet than anything just had him where he wasn’t happy with what he was doing,” Miller said. “He wasn’t easy to keep under control when they jogged. He’d switch back and forth from the pace to the trot and we got that under control by leaving the hopples on him all the time.  “He was really fussy on the track at one time, but now he doesn’t do anything wrong,” Miller continued. “Since we got him close, a couple weeks before qualifying, he gotten over everything and it seemed like he was way better.” With that hiccup behind them, Miller shipped Carrythetorchman and the rest of his stable from Florida to Pennsylvania’s Wingate Farm uncertain when the horses would be able to qualify. With efforts to contain the coronavirus closing racetracks across North America, Wingate improvised, like many training centers throughout the country. “With COVID-19, it was just one of those things that we had to come up with a new solution. We couldn’t go anywhere to get qualified, so we came up with the next best plan,” Miller said. “I saw it coming when we left Florida, PA is shut down, things aren’t moving, so we better see if we can get our farm OK’d to qualify. That worked out good. We had a couple weeks of qualifiers that got things going.” Carrythetorchman was one of the horses who benefited, qualifying at home over the five-eighths mile track at Wingate June 15. He led his field of four gate-to-wire, stopping the clock in 1:59.2 with a :28 final quarter.  Nine days later, Miller was able to ship to Pocono Downs for a second baby race. Carrythetorchman left from post eight and utilized a :28.2 last quarter to power away from the field to win by 10 3/4 lengths in 1:57.  “He did really well. Because of training and knowing what kind of horse he was, we wanted to get a little faster mile in him there that day than what he did (at the farm) and expose him a little more. We did that and he just handled it really well,” Miller said. Carrythetorchman debuted July 6 at Yonkers, 20 minutes after American Courage posted a blowout 7 1/4-length win in the first MGM Springfield Stakes elimination in 1:55.2. Carrythetorchman left in between horses and glided to the front reaching the backstretch the first time. Driver Scott Zeron was simply a passenger as Carrythetorchman cruised home a 1 1/2-length winner in 1:55.4. Carrythetorchman drew post position three in the MGM Springfield Stakes Final and at 9-5, is the second choice on the morning line. American Courage will start from post four with Matt Kakaley as the 8-5 morning line favorite. “(American Courage) looked really sharp in his qualifier for this race, too. We just have to see how it plays out,” said Miller, who wasn’t sure what will happen when the two unbeaten colts face each other Monday night. Crystal Beach drew post two in the final and is a 20-1 morning line after finishing 9 lengths behind American Courage last week. Crystal Beach left hard from post five in his elimination, but was denied the lead by Major Makeover and was forced to take back into third heading to the quarter. With Crystal Beach keen in the hole, driver Marcus Miller angled to the outside turning into the stretch the first time and brushed to the top before being forced to yield again as American Courage forged to the lead at 1-5. “(Crystal Beach) really raced well the other day, but he was moved a lot, so it’s hard to tell how much he will go when he gets a nicer trip, maybe not used up quite as hard,” Miller said. “He’s also a very handy horse and gets around a half really good.” Crystal Beach was a $36,000 purchase from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and is owned by Miller and Tanah Merah Farm. Crystal Beach impressed training down and won his first baby race by 7 3/4 lengths at Wingate June 15 before finishing second behind Carrythetorchman June 24 at Pocono ahead of his debut in the Springfield elimination. “He’s been a really nice horse. He’s always trained like just a top, top colt. When you’re getting ready to race them, sometimes you don’t get quite what you expect or quite as much as you thought they trained like,” Miller said. “His biggest attribute is he’s just so handy, he’s very handy on a half-mile racetrack.” Not Today is also 20-1 on the morning line after drawing post six and will employ the driving services of Jason Bartlett. A $77,000 purchase as the Harrisburg Sale last fall, Not Today is owned by Anderson, Willinger, and Golemes.  Not Today was second behind Crystal Beach June 15, but won his trial at Pocono June 24 by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:58.4. He finished seventh 10 lengths behind American Courage in an overnight at Pocono June 30 before his fourth-place effort in the Springfield elimination last week. “He’s a little but more of an immature horse, not quite as mature as the other two, but he’s a little bigger, stronger horse. Hopefully at some point, he’ll catch up to the other guys a little bit,” Miller said. Town Gossip, Victory Move, Coalition Hanover, and Major Makeover complete the lineup for the MGM Springfield Stakes Final, carded as the fourth of eight races Monday night. “I think it’s a nice race to have. With everything going on, it’s nice for the 2-year-olds to be able to race for $100,000 right now,” Miller said. “With all the COVID-19, all the races being cut, and schedules being redone, it’s nice to still have this race.” The amended Yonkers Raceway calendar will see live harness racing conducted Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights until July 17. Beginning the week of July 20, the schedule will add Saturday nights as the track returns to its normal five night per week schedule through Dec. 19. First post time is 7:05 p.m. The complete revised racing calendar is available online here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

One of New Zealand’s best pacers Turn It Up is heading to Queensland to try and resurrect his career. The former Auckland Cup winner and three-time Group 1 victor headlines one of three horses the huge All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen are sending to Queensland next week. The others are outstanding three-year-old One Change and the emerging Dina Bolt. “There’s three going this week, but we’re considering sending another couple as well,” Purdon said. Turn It Up and One Change, last season’s NZ 2YO of the Year, will join Vicki Rasmussen’s stable. Dina Bolt, a three-year-old with three wins from just nine starts, will continue his career with Darren Weeks and his partner, Kylie Rasmussen. One Change, who boasts eight wins from just 14 starts and $519,542 in earnings, will return a spell and add plenty of class to next Saturday night’s South-East Derby at Albion Park. “He’s a lovely horse, but would’ve had to race the best open-class horses if he stayed here, so Queensland is a great option for him,” Natalie Rasmussen said. One Change’s nine runs this have netted three wins, including the Group 1 NZ Sires Stake final, and six placings. He hasn’t raced since a third in the Group 2 Flying Stakes in Christchurch on March 20. Turn It Up was NZ’s most exciting pacer last season, but persistent feet issues have sidelined him since winning the Group 1 Harness Jewels final in Christchurch on June 1, last year. “It’s a real shame with him, but hopefully Vicki can get him back,” Purdon said. “There’s no guarantee, but she wants to have a go with him and swim him in the hope she can get him back to what he was.” Turn It Up, still only a five-year-old, has raced just 15 times for 11 wins and four seconds. Purdon expects Dina Bolt to thrive in Queensland. “He’s lightly-raced and a real up-and-comer. He’s come back well this time and goes across in great order,” he said.   Adam Hamilton | TAB Media

INNISFIL, ON -  JULY 12, 2020 - Mark Etsell's two-year-old trotting fillies opened their Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing careers on a positive note Sunday night at Georgian Downs with Midnight Miracle scoring a win in her $72,267 Gold Series division and Meadowview Lilly finishing third. Midnight Miracle got a picture-perfect second-over trip from driver Bob McClure in the evening's first Gold Series battle. Starting from Post 2 McClure settled the Muscle Mass daughter in fourth and watched Tealicious ring up a :26 quarter and :58.2 half. Heading for the 1:29.1 three-quarters McClure tipped Midnight Miracle out behind Dashing Muscle, who was soon matching strides with the tiring pacesetter. When McClure asked for another gear in the stretch, Midnight Miracle powered by her peers and on to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:58.4. "I told Bobby to float her out of there and try to get away, top three I said, but he got four so that's okay. I said, 'Once she sees daylight she can kind of trot, but as soon as she doesn't see them she'll let up on you, so just be aware of that'. You time it kind of right, because she's green and she doesn't know any different. She knows enough to go by and then that's it and then she'll let up," said Rockwood, ON resident Etsell. "First lifetime start so we were pretty happy with her, at least I was anyways, I don't know about anybody else, but I was." Named Midnight Miracle due to a difficult birth, the filly has grown into a good-gaited, sensible filly who might just be a little spoiled by Etsell and his partners Robert Newton of Walkerton and Chuan Tan of Cambridge, ON. "She loves watermelon; she had a watermelon after she raced tonight and got out of the test barn. She loves watermelon and raspberries for some reason, I don't know why," said Etsell. "Bob Newton, when he comes down he brings her raspberries or something, stops at one of the grocery stores along the way." Two races later Meadowview Lilly delivered a third-place finish behind fan favourite Fox Valley Liza and Blackout Riley, a result that delighted Etsell and Charlie Reid, whose Meadowview Farms Inc. of Orono, ON, bred and owns the Archangel daughter. "She was good early, good gaited and everything, but didn't have no attitude to go, but when we hit around 2:20 she started coming to life and we thought, you know maybe we've got a couple," said Etsell, who also drove Meadowview Lilly on Sunday. "We were happy with both them fillies. Both homebreds, I raced both their mothers." Sent off as the heavy favourite in the second $72,267 division, Fox Valley Liza and driver Sylvain Filion wasted no time assuring bettors they had made the correct choice. Starting from Post 6 the pair carved out all the fractions on their way to a three length victory in 1:59.2. "She's just come to me 10 days ago. She's exactly everything that Erv Miller told me - she's very professional, a very nice filly to be around and she won pretty handy," said trainer Ben Baillargeon, who received the Muscle Mass daughter from US-based trainer Ervin Miller after she finished second in a two-year-old filly event at Pocono Downs on June 30. "She knows her business and Erv said she's been professional from Day 1. She's like a four-year-old horse, like a very nice mare." Anthony Lombardi of Morris, IL, Henshaut Stable of Montgomery, IN and George Golemes of Oak Brook, IL share ownership of Fox Valley Liza, who Baillargeon expects will remain in the province for the duration of the Ontario Sires Stakes season. The last division went to Classy Carol who sprinted from sixth to first in the stretch, sneaking up the inside past pacesetting favourite Warrawee Welcome to claim the 2:01.1 victory. Flanagan Destiny and All R Wishes finished just over one length back in second and third. "She's my daughter Robyn's favourite horse. She's spoiled and she's good natured, good to be around, and turns out she wants to win, so that's even better," said trainer John Bax. "She wants to go ahead, and you can't teach that, they've either got it or they don't, so it's nice." The Bax Stable of Campbellville, Robert Van Camp of Port Perry, ON, Dave Hudson of Dallas, TX and Gordon Wright of Charlotte, MI share ownership of Classy Carol, who was a $40,000 purchase from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Bax trained both the Royalty For Life daughter's dam Very Classy and her grand-dam Ruling Class. Like Etsell, Bax had multiple fillies competing on Sunday and was pleased with the results of all three. IN addition to Classy Carol's win, Kadabra daughter Up And Ready finished third to Midnight Miracle and Royalty For Life miss Lifeintheslammer was fifth behind Fox Valley Liza. "We were pretty happy with them," said the Campbellville, ON resident. "They all did it right. Some have got to do it a little faster, but they all took positive steps ahead, that's for sure." The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Gold Series start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 31. Complete results from Sunday's program are available at Georgian Downs Results. Next up on Georgian Downs' Ontario Sires Stakes schedule is the second Gold Series Leg for two-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday, July 19. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

AN up-and-coming young trainer-driver combination hasn't wasted any time in getting into the winner's circle after a recent re-location. Trainer Michael Gadsden and his partner, driver Denbeigh Wade have been based at the purpose-built Charlton Training Centre for a few weeks and are almost certain to continue making their presence felt in future. A quick trip down the Calder Highway to Bendigo on Saturday night was rewarding with recent addition to the stable in Markleigh Jill (Shadow Play-Markleigh Princess (Safely Kept) scoring in the Schweppes Pace (1650m) at 10/1. The pair previously prepared their team at Ararat but decided on a move after outgrowing their property. Gadsden said a visit to the Charlton complex was a deal clincher when they looked at the facilities on offer. There's an all-weather 820 metre track, a 2000m straight track, lock-up harness and feed area, and stables and day yards. "We sat down and worked out that there's 11 tracks within a few hours-that's of course when we get back to our normal racing," he said. The pair have six in work with a similar number to resume including an exciting former Kiwi pacer. Former South Australian trainer Greg Norman has been based at the Charlton complex for over 12 months and has produced many winners in that time. *Hoofnote: A competition conducted by the innovative Charlton Club to find the best punter going around at the moment, was taken out by Jayson Frankum, who was cool under pressure over the four weeks of tipping. Greg Norman exploded from the barrier in the first round and although he was eventually pegged back, he held on gallantly to second place. Others of note were Jason McNaulty, Dixie Horig and Marisa Byrne. ________________________________________________________________________________________ THE long-awaited debut of leading reinswoman Lauren Tritton to show her renowned driving skills in the US arrived on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Pennsylvania. Tritton had two drives for her husband Shane-sporting impressive new colors (which had been on order for some time) featuring the pink trident already familiar to Australian fans. The brilliant reinswoman finished eighth on Salty Robyn before taking the reins five races later on one of her all-time favorites in Flaming Flutter. And the old-timer didn't let her down with a nice third placing in 1.51-1. Lauren will team up with My Rona Gold, back at the Pocono circuit, in race 13, due to start at 10am (AEST) today. Asked later if it felt weird leaning so far back to drive in the US-style, Lauren said the new style would take some getting used to, as "the rocks hit you in the face". Meanwhile, Shane has rocketed into the top-25 trainers' table at Meadowlands, and topping the "Who's Hot?" trainers' list at the venue since racing resumed. Shane has a 45 percent winning strike rate as a trainer at Meadowlands. From his 11 starters, he has recorded five winners. Pictured: Lauren Tritton made her driving debut for Team Tritton at the weekend ________________________________________________________________________________________ THERE'S never big numbers of unhoppled pacers getting around, but those who dare to shift from the conventional rule of thumb, just sometimes hit the jackpot. Legendary horseman Jim O'Sullivan, based at Heathcote, near Bendigo, is one having success with bay gelding Neanger Guy (Live or Die-Art Bubble (Art Major). The pacer won his first race while free legged at Ballarat on January 18 and then returned to the same venue last Thursday to repeat the dose. And the victory was a milestone for O'Sullivan's daughter Shannon, 21, one of our young bright lights in the driving ranks. The win was the 50th in her promising career. "To get a win on a horse prepared by dad was special, but to reach 50 made it even more memorable," she said. And it was somewhat of a family affair as Jim's wife Terresa races the pacer, who now has three wins and nine placings from 32 race starts. Pictured: Shannon O'Sullivan after her success with Neanger Guy at Ballarat ________________________________________________________________________________________ KEEN north-west Victorian harness racing competitor Luke Watson had every reason to be wearing a bigger smile than normal after last Friday afternoon's Mildura meeting. Watson landed his first-ever treble as a trainer-and a thoroughly deserved one as he and his wife Kathy put in many hours at their Merbein South property, on the outskirts of Mildura. South Australian-owned four-year-old gelding Timmy Limousine (Sportswriter-Cunning Kate (Armbro Operative) started the ball rolling with a tough effort in the Park Douglas Printing Pace. After doing it hard, the pacer, raced by popular SA vet Toby Ryan, packed too many guns to notch his second win from his past three starts. Bold front-runner Passionate Pursuit (Courage Under Fire-Passionate Embrace (Art Major) always had things under control in the Vale Les Caldwell Pace. The mare was perfectly rated by Watson at the head of affairs. Bargain basement gelding, Stonebridge Star (Stonebridge Regal-Be All Dillinger (D M Dilinger), a $500 purchase by Kathy, who was the winning driver, made it a treble for Luke when the horse posted his fifth lifetime win. But Luke is the first to admit that his wife plays a major role in any success that may come his way. "Kathy just loves getting out on the training track all day with them. After being a late starter in the sport, she now enjoys every minute." Pictured: Luke and Kathy Watson   Terry Gange Consultant   Web: Twitter:

WASHINGTON, PA, July 11, 2020 -- Exploiting a pocket trip, Rocknificent spoiled the sophomore debut of Dan Patch Award winner Lyons Sentinel by outkicking her to the wire in Saturday's $210,932 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event for 3-year-old filly pacers, known as the Adios Betty, was contested over three divisions, with Drama Act and Party Girl Hill Taking the other splits. The action-packed harness racing card featured 16 races -- all stakes splits for 2- and 3-year-old filly pacers -- featured a number of budding stars. But the most intriguing story line was Lyons Sentinel's season kickoff, which was delayed by COVID-19 disruptions. She looked sharp in three qualifiers, but on Saturday's sloppy-but-drying surface, she couldn't hold off Rocknificent, who prevailed by a length in 1:50.4. Shouldabeenatd completed the ticket.   The win by Rocknificent, a Captaintreacherous daughter of Dan Patch awardee Rocklamation who banked $285.006 at 2, wasn't much of an upset. In fact, players expected it, sending her off at 3-5 versus 3-2 odds for Lyon's Sentinel. "It was always going to come down to a sprint," said winning driver Scott Zeron. "I was happy my horse was able to win and not have to do any work. She's an extremely intelligent horse who puts herself in great positions all the time. She has a really quick turn of speed. So even chasing a great horse like that, it becomes a foot race at the end. I'm always confident that she has the quicker foot." Linda Toscano trains Rocknificent for Enviro Stables, South Mountain Stables and Little E LLC. Jim, King, Jr., who conditions Lyons Sentinel, was far from disappointed with her performance. "It was her first time out, and trip beat her," King said. "You can't be upset with that. I don't think there's any shame in her game." Drama Act took to the track when it was at its sloppiest, and she relished the off going, powering to a front-end victory in 1:50.4 with a back half in 54.3. Alexis's Beach finished second, beaten 2-1/2 lengths, with Blazin Grace third.   "She paced the back half in 52.3 last week at Hoosier, so we know she's got it in her," said Krista Harmon, who conditions the daughter of Well Said-Lounge Act for The Ok Corral. "As long we stay healthy and sound, I think we'll be there at the end of the year. You look at her and you don't see a 1:50 mile coming out of this little butterball, but it's in there." $190,283 PASS -- 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers Saturday's program also featured the Sand Tart, a PASS for freshman filly pacers, with the splits going to Grace Hill, Continualou and Let 'Er Buck. Grace Hill got to perform after the track's upgrade to fast, and the daughter of Always B Miki-Western Silk took full advantage, roaring to the point with a quarter-pole move for Dexter Dunn and winning her second straight PASS split, this one in 1:52.4. Dancethenightaway was second, 2-3/4 lengths back, while Marsala Hanover earned show. "She has a long stride and does her work pretty easy," Dunn said. "She went in 1:52 today and felt like she was doing it pretty easy. She has a good future." Nifty Norman conditions Grace Hill for Tom Hill. Continualou was sitting second near the three-quarters when Chris Page confidently pulled the pocket with her. The daughter of Sweet Lou-Continual Velocity cruised by, breaking her maiden in 1:54.2. When Uptown Hanover and Ocean's Apart rounded out the ticket, it gave trainer Ron Burke a 1-2-3 sweep of this split. "I realize how old I'm getting when I'm starting to drive the moms of these things, "Page said. "I drove her mom -- had like three lungs -- and I think she passed that on to her baby. She felt pretty good and I thought, well, we'll give her a shot. The sky's the limit for her." $100,000 PA Stallion Series -- 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers The Bethinator notched the fastest victory, winning in 1:51.3 for Dave Palone and trainer Brett Pelling, while Enduring Hope provided the tote board fireworks, upsetting at 26-1 for Tim Tetrick and conditioner Tom Fanning. Also victorious were Ashtini, Girl On The Beach and Alexa Skye. $100,000 PA Stallion Series -- 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers Lady Newton and Fighting Evil each scored in 1:54 to share stake honors. Blonde Onthe Beach, Darby Hanover and Podium Girl took the other divisions. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the 15-race card features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3) and a $2,713.47 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

Love a Good Story (Andy Miller) writes another chapter in her book with a win in the $114,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) race for sophomore trotting fillies at Vernon Downs on Saturday (July 11). It was Munster (Tyler Buter) with the early lead. Reba Blue Chip (Verlin Yoder) took over and led to a first quarter of :26.3. No Mas Drama (Joe Bongiorno) then took control as they headed for the backstretch. Destiny Blue Chip (John MacDonald) came first over and put the pressure on. No Mas Drama maintained a short lead hitting the half in :56.0. The two kept side by side going around the final turn. No Mas Drama hit three-quarters first in 1:25.1. Love A Good Story ($3.30) moved second over third as they went around the final turn. As they made the turn for home, she went three-wide and looked like she was shot out of a cannon as she rushed to the front. Reba Blue Chip was blocked in as they headed to the final turn. Once she got an opening it was too late and she had to settle for second as Love A Good Story won in a lifetime best of 152.1 Munster finished third.   Love a Good Story is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. It was her second win this season and ninth career victory. She is trained by Julie Miller for owners Pinske Stables, Kentuckiana Racing Stable, and Daniel Plouffe. Howard Parker drove five winners on the card. He combined with trainer George Ducharme to get wins with Ltmeatcake Hanover ($3.10), Greyscale ($8.30), and Charlotte Chaplin ($3.80). His other wins came with Golden Brit ($4.10), and The Dough Man $11.60). Driver Leon Bailey and trainer Misty Carey combined for three wins as well. They were in the winner’s circle for Mister Livan N ($8.70), Tempster Hanover ($6.90), and Hit The Road Joe ($5.30). Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with a 12-race card on Thursday (July 16) with a post time of 4:00 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

East Rutherford, NJ --- Hurrikane Emperor provided an upset in the $250,000 Graduate Series final for 4-year-old pacers while 1-5 favorite Gimpanzee took care of business in the $250,000 Graduate Series final for 4-year-old trotters Saturday night at The Meadowlands. Hurrikane Emperor, sent off as the fifth choice at odds of 7-1, was second over in fourth at three-quarters before coming three wide off the last turn and storming through the stretch to reign by 1-1/2 lengths over Workin Ona Mystery in 1:47, the fastest mile of the season. Dancin Lou finished third. Favorite Bettor's Wish was eighth. Mark MacDonald drove Hurrikane Emperor to victory for trainer John McDermott and owners Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, and William Garofalo. "I really thought he was going to be awesome tonight and Mark gave him the most beautiful drive in the world," McDermott said. "It worked out beautifully." Hurrikane Emperor is a homebred son of former McDermott standout Hurrikane Kingcole, who died last October at the age of 10. Hurrikane Emperor won seven of nine races as a 2-year-old and opened his 3-year-old campaign with three consecutive wins, including the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship, before seeing his season derailed by sickness. "We don't know what it was, but everything just kept falling apart," McDermott said. "I shut him down. My boys were so great about it, they told me to give him all the time he needed. We did and it's paid off." Hurrikane Emperor won a conditioned race in March before the sport was shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When racing resumed, he returned in the Graduate Series, where he won an opening-round division at Tioga Downs. He finished third in his second-round division last week at The Meadowlands. "This is beyond words," McDermott said. "Through this pandemic it's been such torture, all I did was go deeper in the hole. Thank God for my great partners that have supported me through it because it has not been easy. To come out here, I knew he was awesome this year. Last week we were all slightly disappointed, but the way he got sick last year, I'm trying to not overuse him. "This is just really a blessing. He is so special to us. Owning his daddy, losing his daddy last year, he's family. He's the greatest creature in the world to me. It's funny, as a 2- and 3-year-old he didn't remind me of his father because he was really nondescript and didn't have much of a personality. In the last year, he's grown into such a clown that he's so much like his dad off the track. On the track, he's nice and manageable."   Hurrikane Emperor, out of the mare Hurrikane Schmumma, has won 13 of 22 career races and $534,476. In the Graduate Series final for 4-year-old trotters, Gimpanzee saw Reign Of Honor lead the field around the first turn but moved to the front at the quarter on his way to a 1:50.4 triumph for driver Brian Sears and trainer Marcus Melander. Reign Of Honor, also trained by Melander, was second and Chin Chin Hall finished third. The winning margin was one length.   Gimpanzee, a son of Chapter Seven out of Steamy Windows, is 3-for-3 this year and has won 20 of 26 career races. A Dan Patch Award winner at age 2, the stallion has banked $1.89 million for owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. "Reign Of Honor finishing second from a bad post (10) was a little bit shocking that he was so fast behind the gate," Melander said. "Gimpanzee was supposed to win, but finishing first and second, I'm very pleased. "(Gimpanzee) is doing what he's supposed to do. He's going to go back next week for the Hambletonian Maturity, so it was nice to get a nice race on the lead. I was very happy with what I saw. The horse is getting more in form. Even though he's been racing great, I can feel him getting sharper and sharper. It will be very exciting to continue racing with him." The target for next week’s $631,650 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-olds is clearly on Tall Dark Stranger’s back. And his trainer, Nancy Takter, seems to be just fine with that. Tall Dark Stranger took over the lead just after the quarter and rolled down the road from there in the lone Meadowlands Pace Elimination at The Meadowlands Saturday night, establishing himself as the clear-cut one-to-beat in the track’s signature event next week (July 18). “He’s a great colt,” said Takter. “He’s been great since Day One. He performs every time I put him out on the track.” Hard to dispute given his lifetime record of 10 wins from 11 starts. Major Betts left the gate quickly from post one, as did Tall Dark Stranger from the three. Major Betts went the quarter in :26.1 before TDS took over and hit the half in :54.4. Capt Midnight – who finished ninth and failed to qualify for the final – came calling first-over to apply token pressure at three-quarters in 1:22.1. Then Tall Dark Stranger got serious. Off the far turn, driver Yannick Gingras asked the son of Bettor’s Delight-Precocious Beauty for more speed, and he provided just that, extending his advantage to two lengths at the head of the lane. In deep stretch, 23-1 shot Captain Kirk was closing well after going an inside trip to get second while 4-1 second choice Papi Rob Hanover, who again had to come from well off the pace after drawing poorly (post 10), grabbed third. Tall Dark Stranger won it by a half-length after stopping the clock in 1:48.1. After earning half of the $50,000 purse, his lifetime bank account stood at $751,889 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. He returned $2.80 to his backers as the 2-5 favorite. By winning the elim, TDS earned the right to draw a post position from one through six. He got the five for the big-money final in the draw conducted shortly after the race. “Post five is a great place,” said Takter. “It gives Yannick a lot of options. That’s his job. I was super happy with my horse tonight.” The top eight in official order of finish made the final, with two horses – Allywag Hanover and Chief Mate – earning byes based on seasonal earnings. Mocha On The Rocks finished 10th and last in the elim. MEADOWLANDS PACE FIELD The field for the $631,650 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-old open pacers, which takes place at The Meadowlands on July 18 and has a post time of 10:05 p.m., with post position, horse (driver, trainer) and morning-line odds: 1. Roll With JR (Corey Callahan, Jeff Cullipher), 20-1 2. Catch The Fire (Mike Wilder, John Ackley), 10-1 3. Captain Barbossa (Brian Sears, Tony Alagna), 10-1 4. Allywag Hanover (Tim Tetrick, Brett Pelling), 5-1 5. Tall Dark Stranger (Yannick Gingras, Nancy Takter), 7-5 6. Manticore (Jordan Stratton, Bruce Saunders), 15-1 7. Chief Mate (Andy McCarthy, Tony Alagna), 20-1 8. Major Betts (Dexter Dunn, Mark Harder), 10-1 9. Papi Rob Hanover (David Miller, Brett Pelling), 4-1 10. Captain Kirk (Joe Bongiorno, Tony Alagna), 15-1 HUGE HANDLE: With two of the races on the card serving as the catalyst with over $350,000 in action, total wagering was $3,440,248, a 2020 Meadowlands best for a 13-race program. When total handle reached $4,100,386 on June 20, the per race average for the 18-race program was $227,799. On Saturday, the average per race was a season-high $264,634. The night got off to a fast start, as $368,907 in bets were taken on the first race, $98,457 of which was bet in the 20-cent Pick-5 pool, another Big M best. A LITTLE MORE: Gingras led the driver’s colony with four winners on the card. … The 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five carryovers continued to swell. This Friday, when racing resumes at 7:15 p.m., JSH5 players will shoot for big green, as the fifth race carryover stands at $65,089, and the 13th race will start out with $80,368 in the hat. … On Saturday, July 18, Meadowlands Pace Night, post time will be 6:30 p.m. The W.N. Reynolds Memorial divisions for 3-year-old male trotters were won by Jula Trix Treasure and Back Of The Neck, both from the stable of trainer Ake Svanstedt. Jula Trix Treasure, driven by Gingras, won in 1:51.2, with Beads second and EL Ideal third. Back Of The Neck, with Scott Zeron in the sulky, won in 1:52 with Play Trix On Me second and Maesteraemon third. The only Reynolds event for 3-year-old female trotters was won by Takter-trained and Gingras-driven Sorella in 1:50.2, the fastest mile of the season by a 3-year-old trotter. Panem was second followed by returning Dan Patch Award winner Ramona Hill in her 2020 debut. by Ken Weingartner and Dave Little  

The 18/1 outsider Foxtrot Sea (5m Olitro-Vezia) held on to win the Gr. III Prix du Louvre at Enghien-Soisy in France  (purse 70,000€, 2875 meters, 4 and 5 year olds), with owner/trainer Cedrik Megissier at the lines. He recorded victory number 10 his career now for 284,650€ earned. Race time was 1.13.8k. The 5.5/1 Fashion Queen (5f Ready Cash-Usenza) was a rallying second reined by Eric Raffin for trainer Philippe Allaire. 16/1 Fighter Smart (5m Uniclove-Vicky Cash) took third for pilot Mathieu Mottier. Fun Quick and For You Madrik finished fourth and fifth. Foxtrot Sea Yesterday at Langon-Libourne the Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri (purse 26,000€, 2800 meters distance handicap) produced an impressive 1.14.4kr victory for the 25-meter handicapped and 13/1 odds Crazy Charm (8g Prodigious-Know How). Trainer Pierre Vercruysse was the winning pilot for Ecurie Augustin-Normand, as Crazy Charm won for the 16th time in his career now for 265,380€ earned. Eno de Nurmont (6g Sereno-Rue Royale) was second also at 13/1 odds and reined by trainer Denis Brossard for Ecurie de Nurmont. The 25-meter penalized and 14/1 odds Baron Daidou (9g Saxo de Vandel) finished third for Cyril Chenu. Crazy Charm On July 8 at Visby the Gotlandslopingen by Benders(purse to the winner 175,000 kroner, 2120 meters autostart, 10 starters) went to the fast closing 2.8/1 Romanesque (10m Love You-Guantanamera-Viking Kronos) clocked in 1.12.1kr with Bjorn Goop at the lines. The winner scored his second 2020 victory in five appearances and his 17th lifetime win in 111 starts, now for 5,065,175 kroner earned. 27/1 Usain Henna (10m Super Light) was second for Petter Karlsson and 7.4/1 Charrua Forlan (10g Up Front Larry) was third for Hans Owe Sundberg. Inti Boko and Order To Fly followed the top three. LeTrot, PMU. Visby Trav files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Gusting winds and drenching rains from Tropical Storm Fay could not extinguish the harness racing fire that is super mare Atlanta at The Meadowlands Friday night. Facing an easier task than in her first two starts of the season not having to face arch-rival Manchego, the Ron Burke-trained Atlanta had an easy time of it in the $40,000 second leg of the Miss Versatility for open mare trotters over a sloppy track. Driver Yannick Gingras kept Atlanta off the early action, sitting fifth past the quarter and half. He then got the 5-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip in gear after leader Kenziesky Hanover. With Atlanta gaining quickly, Plunge Blue Chip swerved out of the three-hole, which provided a live tow for the eventual winner. Plunge Blue Chip was just off the leader's flank at three-quarters, and out of the turn, Gingras swung Atlanta three-wide for the drive and easily coasted by Plunge Blue Chip to record a 3¼-length score in 1:51.2. Plunge Blue Chip, the 5-1 second choice, completed the $5.20 exacta. Felicityshagwell S was third. "I wasn't concerned about the sloppy track because I knew Yannick would adjust to the conditions," said Burke. "The truth is, she prefers to get the kind of trip she got tonight. I wanted to follow Plunge Blue Chip, and as long as we could outkick her, we'd be alright. I am going to give Atlanta next week off. I don't want to over-race her. She's more thoroughbred than standardbred. She'll go next in two weeks in the Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge." Atlanta has now won 22 of 42 lifetime outings, good for earnings of $2,026,089 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. NJSS ROUNDUP: The New Jersey Sire Stakes for 2-year-olds kicked off Friday with its opening leg, and in the filly pace, the John Urbanski-trained and driven Anna Jeans, a product of Great Vintage-Early Go Hanover, won in a "walkover" (a one-horse race) in 2:15.2 over the sloppy surface in a race conducted before the betting card. In another early non-bettor, Fika Time took the colt and gelding pace for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Chase Vandervort. The gelded son of Sunfire Blue Chip-Raiders Favorite stopped the clock in 2:01.1. In the first of three colt and gelding trots on the betting card, Southwind Tyrion, a son of Muscle Hill-Taylor Jean, came from off the pace to score as the 4-5 favorite for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt in 1:56.1. The Dexter Dunn-driven, Per Engblom-trained Mon Amour, a colt by Muscle Hill-Mind Meld, went wire-to-wire in 1:56.4 as the 3-1 second choice in division two before Beyond The Hill took advantage of a late break by leader Sonofamistery to score in the final division in 1:59.1. Driven by Dave Miller and trained by Jim Campbell, the son of Muscle Hill-Beyond Blue paid off at odds of 10-1. The filly trotters had two divisions, and taking the first was Hot As Hill, who won from off the pace for driver Joe Bongiorno and Burke. The daughter of Muscle Hill-Smarty Pants went off at odds of 17-1 and went the mile in 1:58.3. The second division gave Svanstedt a trainer-driver NJSS double as another longshot, 39-1 chance Presto, upset the apple cart in 1:57 from off the pace. The winner is a daughter of Trixton-Susie's Magic. A LITTLE MORE: Melissa Arbia, who guided Take It Back Terry to victory in the first race GSY Series pace for amateur drivers, combined with Bongiorno to complete a rare husband-wife driving double on the card. The last to do it were Ake and Sarah Svanstedt. ... Despite the bad weather and multiple 2-year-old races, wagering on the 13-race card totaled $2,373,660. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. The Meadowlands Pace Elimination and a pair of $250,000 Graduate Finals highlight the program.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

MILTON, JULY 10, 2020 - Rain caused a brief delay in Friday night's harness racing program at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but it did nothing to dampen the efforts put forward by the two-year-old pacing fillies in their Grassroots debut. Five $22,000 divisions went postward Friday and Sportsfire delivered the quickest result in the first split. The daughter of Sportswriter and driver Bob McClure left smartly from Post 2 and reached the quarter in :27.2 and the half in :56. Fan favourite Ourlittlemiracle revved up at the half, looking to take command, but Sportsfire battled back and the fillies matched strides through the 1:24.1 three-quarters. Down the stretch Sportsfire had a little more in the tank than her rival, hanging on for a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.2. Ourlittlemiracle was second and pocket-sitter Turning The Table was third. "She got stretched in the quarter and pushed in the third-quarter," said Guelph, ON resident McClure. "But she's a quick little filly, very honest. She'll give you a solid effort." Fred Brayford of Alliston, ON bred and owns Sportsfire and Daniel Lagace trains the filly, who now has a win and a fourth on her resume through two lifetime starts. McClure also piloted the winner of the fourth division, Cyclone Sister. Starting from Post 4 the pair sat mid-pack through much of the race, tipping out past the half behind Siri Blue Chip and advancing to third by the top of the stretch. A big :26.4 final quarter saw the Shadow Play daughter sprint by the leaders and on to a one length victory in 1:55.4. Fan favourite Celia Bayama snuck up the inside to be second and Siri Blue Chip was third.   "She's very fast, but very flighty," said McClure, who drives Cyclone Sister for trainer Nick Gallucci and owner-breeder Millar Farms of Stouffville, ON. "She's scared of her own shadow, and drivers' colours and loud noises, but she has a lot of ability and should only improve." The rain started to fall as the second division got underway and fan favourite Drinks All Round led the field to a :28.1 quarter. Drinks All Round and A La Mode Seelster traded places twice on the way to the :56.1 half, leaving many of their peers well behind, including CL Sportsextreme who was 11 lengths back in sixth. The gap closed heading for the 1:26.2 three-quarters and as the fillies turned for home the leaders were tiring and CL Sportsextreme was rolling out three-wide and taking aim on the wire. The lightly regarded CL Sportsextreme powered home to a three and three-quarter length victory in 1:56.2. A La Mode Hanover stayed game for second and Watching Cassie was third. "She's a very willing filly that qualified nicely," said driver Chris Christoforou of CL Sportsextreme. "She got towed into a slowing pace after an unusually quick second quarter. She took full advantage of that and finished strong." Christoforou crafted the Sportswriter daughter's come-from-behind victory for trainer Dany Fontaine and owner-breeder Ecuries C. LeBlanc Inc. of Saint-Eustache, QC. The Campbellville resident also scored a second Grassroots victory, piloting Chiefs Dream Girl to a front end score in 1:55.4. Annies Legacy finished two and one-quarter lengths behind the favourite and just a nose ahead of Wasaga to wrap up the Grassroots program. "She's a big, strong filly. She raced great her last start (July 3), Jack has been patient with her and it's paid off," said Christoforou. "She made a nice move in the second quarter and was very strong the rest of the mile." Jack Moiseyev trains the homebred daughter of Sunshine Beach for High Stakes Inc. of Moffat, ON and LSC Stables of North Brunswick, NJ. The third division saw Jackieofalltrades sprint away from Post 5 to a :28.2 quarter, then yield to Twin B Sunkissed heading for the :58.3 half. Twin B Sunkissed went unchallenged to the 1:27.1 three-quarters, but Jackieofalltrades and driver Sylvain Filion stepped out of the pocket in the stretch and out-duelled the fan favourite for a one-half length win in 1:55. "All winter she's been a nice little filly. She was not really one of the stars or anything, but she just seemed to do everything right and every time we trained her, she'd show us a little more," said trainer Tony Beaton. "She just seemed to keep going forward and improving every training, and she showed it tonight." Waterdown resident Beaton shares ownership of Jackieofalltrades with David Lumsden of Ancaster, ON and David Mercer of Sydney, NS. The partners offered up $20,000 for the Betterthancheddar daughter at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. Jackieofalltrades earned back half of her purchase price on Friday and will have an opportunity to add to her lifetime total when the fillies head to Grand River Raceway next Friday, July 17 for their second Grassroots leg. Complete results for Friday night's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action resumes at the Milton oval on Monday, July 13 with the Grassroots season opener for the two-year-old trotting fillies. The fillies will debut their skills in Races 2, 3, 6, and 8 on the 7 pm program.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing

Guinevere Hall established a new world and track record of 1:53 in the first of two $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing trotting fillies on Friday night, July 10 at Northfield Park. With a front-stepping performance for driver Peter Wrenn, Guinevere Hall erased the former world record for a 3-year-old filly on a half-mile track with a three length triumph, the last quarter mile in a speedy :27.4. The former world record was co-held by Frau Blucher (2013 Delaware County Fair) and Plunge Blue Chip (2018 Yonkers Raceway) at 1:53.1. The former track record of 1:54 was set in 2018 in an Ohio Sires Stakes by Looking For Zelda (Tony Hall).   Guinevere Hall, a daughter of Cash Hall is owned by the M T Pockets Stable and Dave McDuffey and has $199,181 in career earnings and $65,000 in seasonal earnings. She was bred by Alan j. Leavitt.Guinevere Hall, who left the gate as the 2-5 favorite, won her previous OSS legs and is the leader in this division for trainer Melanie Wrenn. Tootie, the 7-2 choice, was second for Brett Miller, while 35-1 longshot Delovely Hall got up late for driver Aaron Merriman. A Fancy Face stormed to the lead at the 1:26 three-quarters for driver Chris Page, capturing the second OSS division easily in 1:54.3. Trained by Ronnie Burke, the 9-1 sophomore duaghter by My MVP notched her first career victory in just her fourth lifetime start. Bred by Spring Haven Farm, A Fancy Face is owend by Burke Racing, Hatfield Stables, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. Dream Change, a 50-1 longshot, was second for Greg Grismore, while 2-1 Kikimora was third for Aaron Merriman.   by Kimberly Rinker, Ohio Standardbred Development Administrator  

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Plainville, MA --- Harness racing took center stage in the Bay State for the first time since last November as Plainridge Park kicked off their 2020 live racing season on Monday (July 13). With fans watching trackside, the horses put on a solid show despite the long layoff for many entered on the day's card. The first feature of the meet was a $12,000 conditioned pacing event that was won by Victoria's Maverick, who closed with a strong brush down the lane. Victoria's Maverick (Mike Stevenson) got away second behind a headstrong Van Helsing (Matty Athearn), who took the field to the half in :56.2. It was there that Besidetheseaside A (Ron Cushing) came calling and hooked up in a duel with the leader that lasted to the head of the stretch. After taking full advantage of the pace and cover, Stevenson steered Victoria's Maverick inside the tiring Van Helsing and skirted the pylons to the wire where he won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55.   The win came in the first seasonal start for Victoria's Maverick ($6.80) and the purse pushed his lifetime earnings to over $250,000 in only 29 tries. The 4-year-old Massachusetts-bred gelding by Western Maverick is owned by Don Gauthier and Ralph Anderson, who also trains the winner. There were also two $10,000 divisions of the Freedom Trail series for Plainridge-based horses that both provided strong payouts. The first elimination went to Bet On Joe (Mike Stevenson) who sat the pocket behind American Rock (Jim Hardy) until the stretch where he tipped, cleared and cruised home in 1:56. Bet On Joe ($17.80) is owned by Sharon Goding and trained by Bobby Marston. The second split was won by Cherokee Hiflyzane (Drew Monti) who made a move past the five-eighths and overpowered the leading Tixnstones (Jim Hardy) around the last turn. He then held off a fast closing Mansome (Pat Curtain) at the wire to win in 1:53.4. Cherokee Hiflyzane ($10.20) is owned by Barrie Farrar and the winner's trainer, Roger Farrar. Nick Graffam was the hot driver on Monday, winning three races on the card. He blew up the tote board with Pembroke Hat Trick ($38.40) and King Royalty ($21.00) before guiding home the strongly backed Rockin Cougar ($5.60). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (July 16) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  
YONKERS, NY - American Courage made a decisive brush to the lead approaching the first quarter and held off the pocket sitting Town Gossip to prevail in the $104,250 MGM Springfield Stakes at Yonkers Raceway Monday by a half length in 1:53.3. American Courage remains unbeaten in four lifetime harness racing starts for trainer Travis Alexander, driver Matt Kakaley and the Fiddler's Creek Stables of West Bloomfield, Michigan.His time of 1:53.3 was a lifetime mark.   The two year old colt by American Ideal is the first foal out of the Art Major mare Nota Fool Bluechip. The heavy favorite in the race, American Courage paid $2.40 to win. Crystal Beach was six and three quarter lengths back in third. by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway
HARRINGTON, DE. - Louis Tomczak Jr.'s Proper One ($16.00, Ross Wolfenden) was an upset harness racing winner in the $12,000 Open Pace Monday at Harrington Raceway in 1:52.4. The 6-year-old homebred Proper Respect gelding registered his second straight win, and 29th in his career for trainer Carlo Poliseno. Post position number eight proved no problem for Proper One, who was last early as pacesetter Sicily set fractions of 27, 56,3 and 1:25. Proper One was perched third-over near the half mile while Slick Tony gained first over. The former surged three-wide on the final turn as second over Archangel Three retreated and made the lead in mid stretch where he would stay. Finishing second was a fast closing Q's Cruise - the race favorite, while Slick Tony finished third. Allan Davis and Montrell Teague each had three wins on the card. Russell Foster had a driving double. William Sartin's Monty's Play ($3.00, Davis) notched his 4th straight win for trainer Joe Hundertpfund Jr. in 1:53.3. The 5-year-old Shadow Play re-took the lead from Inforce in deep stretch to keep his win streak intact. Live racing will continue Tuesday with a 4:30 p.m. post time. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  
WASHINGTON, PA, July 13, 2020 -- Pushed four-wide to get the early harness racing lead, I'm Some Graduate dug in, held off a quartet of challengers late and scored in a career-best 1:50.2 in Monday's $17,900 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. I'm Some Graduate reached the point from post 9 in a demanding 27.1 opening panel for driver Dave Palone. When the first-over Major Nemesis led a parade of challengers in the lane, the 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Western Graduate gelding refused to yield, defeating Major Nemesis by 3/4 lengths, with K Ryan Bluechip third.   Ron Burke trains I'm Some Graduate, who now boasts $499,858 in lifetime earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. Palone collected five wins on the 15-race card while Aaron Merriman and Jim Pantaleano each fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the 15-race program features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3) and a $4,634.20 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

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