Day At The Track
Poster Boy,Harness racing

Miracle Mile barrier draw

Chariots Of Fire champion Poster Boy was the biggest winner tonight after the barrier draw for the $1m Ainsworth Miraclle Mile. The Emma Stewart-trained four-year-old drew the dream No 1 barrier, right next to New Zealand Cup winner Thefixer, who drew two to add the icing on the cake to his Allied Express Sprint win earlier in the evening, which sealed a spot in the big race for the plucky Bettors Delight-bred five-year-old. Chase Auckland became the third pacer from Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's All Stars stable (with Thefixer and Spankem) when given the surprise wildcard spot into the final field and he too got lucky again when he drew barrier three for next Saturday night's big Group One. The final field for Saturday night's biggest harness race of the year is: 1. Poster Boy 2. Thefixer 3. Chase Auckland 4. Yayas Hot Spot 5. Our Uncle Sam (em1) 6. My Alpha Rock 7. Spankem 8. Tiger Tara 9. My Field Marshal 10. Cruz Bromac (em2).   FOR FURTHER INFORMATION TELEPHONE CLUB MENANGLE RACING MANAGER DAVID WONSON ON 0438-398-251.   Mandy Madern  

Demon Delight,Harness racing

Demon Delight dashes to world record

A STUNNING track and class record by the Emma Stewart-trained Demon Delight has set up an enthralling NSW Derby next week after three heats were run at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight. Demon Delight set a world record over 2400m for a pacer, coming from fourth at the bell to beat the highly-rated Muscle Factory with a devastating sprint in the straight. While Victoria Derby winner Muscle Factory (Lauren Tritton) tried to kick away on the turn after racing without cover for most of the race, Amanda Turnbull brought Demon Delight with a mighty finish to score by an incredible eight and a quarter metres. That broke the mighty Smolda's world record over the 2400m journey, which was covered in 2:48.0 and a mile rate of 1:52.6. War Dan Delight (Luke McCarthy) was an eye-catching third and the front-running Hardhitter grabbed the final spot in the Derby by finishing the fastest fourth of the three heats. Earlier promising Victorian visitor Centenario set next week's NSW Derby on its' ear with what was at that stage, a world record run for a three-year-old in winning the first of the three heats. Taken straight to the front by master reinsman Chris Alford, Centenario bowled along in front with slick quarters of 29.3-28.9-28.5 and home in a stunning 25.8 to rate a slashing 1:54.3 mile rate, blitzing the previous record for a three-year-old set by Atomic Red. Centenario's task was made a little easier when second favourite Hurricane Harley (Amanda Turnbull) put in an impromptu gallop at the start before putting in sterling effort, coming from last to finishing third, with Malcolm's Rhythm finishing second after getting a lovely run behind the leader. The second Derby heat saw another Victorian visitor Laura Crossland win a spot in next week's rich final with her current stable star Lochinvar Art. Crossland signed up one of Australia's best reinsmen Luke McCarthy for the drive and the former Bathurst boy didn't let her down with a dashing all-the-way win with the son of Modern Art. McCarthy made his intentions clear right from the beginning and despite a wide draw, took Lochinvar Art straight to the top and dictated terms in a masterly display, rating 29.2 and 29.7 for his first two quarters of the mile, leaving plenty of petrol in the tank for the run home. With a third split of 28.8, Lochinvar Art then put the pedal to the metal and ran a 26s quarter to put his rivals to the sword, beating Max Delight (Todd McCarthy for David Aiken) and Fourbigmen (Chris Alford for Emma Stewart) with a 1:54.5 mile, just two-tenths of a second outside of Centenario's earlier track record run. The final field for the NSW Derby, with barrier draw to come, is Centenario, Malcolms Rhythm, Hurricane Harley, Lochinvar Art, Max Delight, Fourbigmen, Demon Delight, Muscle Factory, War Dan Delight and Hardhitter. FOR MORE INFORMATION TELEPHONE CLUB MENANGLE RACING MANAGER DAVID WONSON ON 0438-398-251.   Mandy Madern

rsz_thefixer_social_media.jpg

All Stars Stable make it a sprint double

BRING on Round Three! There is a horse that ain't too frightened of the mighty Tiger Tara . . . and his name is Thefixer. The New Zealand Cup winner darted up on the rails to beat Tiger Tara in November's New Zealand Cup and the Kiwi star, with star reinswoman Natalie Rasmussen aboard, was at it again at Menangle tonight winning the Allied Express Sprint, the first of two qualifying races for the Miracle Mile. Thefixer had to earn his stripes, coming from one-out and one-back to register another victory over Australia's best pacer, nabbing Tiger Tara right on the nine to score by a head in a 1:50.7 mile rate. While Tiger Tara will be revved up and ready for next week's return bout in the Ainsworth Miracle Mile, it was the way that Thefixer found the line which will have harness fans assured that next week's $1m Group One is anything but a one-horse race. Taken straight to the front by Todd McCarthy at the start from the inside barrier, it was expected to be a cakewalk for Tiger Tara, chasing his sixth win in succession. After a 28.1s first split of the mile, Todd was able to back off the speed with a 29.5 second split, suggesting the son of Bettors Delight would have too much pace in the run home. The speed went on with a 26.9 third split and as they dashed home in 26.2 Thefixer came with a dash and knuckled down over the last 100m to score by a head from 'The Tiger', with Cash N Flow (Luke McCarthy) one and three-quarter metres back in third place. The winner's stablemate Ashley Locaz was a close fourth. The second Sprint, the Canadian Club Sprint saw an upset right from the start when Kevin Pizzuto's other big hope Majordan bombed the start, losing almost 100m before finishing well out of the placings. The race went to New Zealand's No.1 stable, the All Stars, with Mark Purdon spearing Spankem straight to the front and leading all the way for an impressive victory. With little mid-race pressure, Purdon was able to back off the speed after a 26.1s first split with a 30.4 second quarter and a third split of just 29.4. That enabled the Bettors Delight four-year-old to dash home in 25.6s for a 1:51.5 mile rate in defeating outsider My Alpha Rock (Lauren Tritton) and the winner's stablemate Cruz Bromac (Natalie Rasmussen). That meant six of the eight spots in the Miracle Mile were decided with Club Menangle directors heading into conference to decide the rest of the field. Those already qualified were Newcastle Mile winner Yayas Hot Spot, Chariots Of Fire winner Poster Boy and the first two home in the two sprints, Thefixer and Tiger Tara, Spankem and My Alpha Rock.   FOR MORE INFORMATION TELEPHONE CLUB MENANGLE RACING MANAGER DAVID WONSON ON 0438-398-251.   Mandy Madern

La Coocaracha, harness racing

La Coocaracha legacy spreads

Three harness racing trotting winners on two continents in one day. That was the remarkable achievement of progeny from Yabby Dam Farms’ former Australasian Grand Circuit champion mare La Coocaracha this week. First out of the blocks at Bendigo was La Coocaracha son Mataderos, a 3YO Dream Vacation colt who was driven by Yabby Dam Racing’s Finnish track driver Anti Ruokenon in his first ever Australian race start. Trained by Anton Golino, and rated in front to perfection by Ruokenon, Mataderos cleared out to win by 8.5m to record his first win in impressive fashion, and also give the young Finn the perfect start to his Australian race driving career. To watch the video replay of this race click on this link. The Golino stable’s star Dance Craze was the next up for La Coocaracha, competing in the first heat of the Lynn McPherson Breed for Speed Gold Series after her stunning win in the Great Southern Star. Glen Craven patiently drove the 5YO mare at the back of the field before unleashing a brilliant burst of speed in the home straight to claim the victory, the mare’s 16th in 26 starts. To watch the video replay of this race click on this link. And then as the day turned night at the famous Yonkers track in North America, La Grange A won impressively in 1.56.3 on his American debut in a $20,000 conditioned event. Despite the dreaded eight pole, driver Yannick Gingras using his charge’s gate speed to get to the lead early and proved too strong for this conditioned field. La Grange, was sold in December through JC International’s John Curtin to Renee Spahr, and is a full brother to Dance Craze being a son of Muscle Hill out of La Coocaracha.  Like his two siblings, he was bred by Yabby Dam Farms and Haras des Trotteurs in Cardigan, Victoria and was a Group 2 winner during his 2- and 3-year-old seasons in Australia.  A November 2014 foal, La Grange is still a 4-year-old by Australian time, but is a 5-year-old in the U.S. because of the different breeding calendars and has now won seven of his 23 career races.     “He’s a nice horse,” trainer Per Engblom, told the US Trotting Association website prior to the race.  “From the way he feels when we’re training, that he’s a very strong horse. He can take a lot of air. He’s very clean gaited; I just hope he’s fast enough. He’s more of a grinder than a speed horse, but I think he’s OK.” Engblom’s feelings as it turned out were spot on.  “Hopefully we can get him into the Meadowlands in a class where he fits so we can get started there. He’s basically missing his 4-year-old year, so it’s going to be a big transition. We’ll see how he handles it. He was maybe a notch below the best ones Down Under, but he’s a real good horse. La Grange Is yet another product of the blossoming Australian trotting breeding program, which is now showing that it can produce trotters that can be competitive on the international stage, a path that has been successfully blazed by Down Under pacers for several years. Last year, another Muscle Hill colt Aldebaranwalkabout won two races, including a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, for owner and breeder Duncan McPherson’s Aldebaran Park Inc. Engblom also told the US Trotting website will point La Grange toward several upcoming series for older trotters and also made the stallion eligible to some stakes races. “I don’t know if he’s going to be ready for the early stakes, but by this fall I wouldn’t be surprised if he is,” Engblom said. “He’s got a series at Pocono, then we’ll see. We’ll see if he develops. He’s a big horse, so I think he’s going to be better with age. I think he’ll be OK.” Back at Yabby Dam Farms and Haras des Trotteurs in Australia, La Coocaracha is proving to be every bit the champion in the broodmare paddock as she was on the track.  She is also the dam of former Group one winner Reine Danzante (now in foal to Muscle Mass) while  a yearling colt by Andover Hall is breaking in beautifully and she also has a lovely filly by French sire Quaker Jet. Meanwhile La Coocaracha’s  9-win daughter La Biscuit is also the dam of a Group one winner in Royal Treat. The results are also in line with Yabby Dam Farms/Haras des Trotteurs mission to breed world class trotters while also continuing fellow breeder Duncan McPherson’s long stated ambition to internationalise trotting. Note: Yearling buyers should take notice of Lot 8, at the APTS Sale in Melbourne on March the 10th, a Dream Vacation colt from Meridith Castle, a half-sister to La Coocaracha, who has already produced Iona Grinner a trotting winner of over $217,000 and has a time of 1:55.1.   Harnesslink Media  

LEBANON, OH - 'Super' Brett Miller picked a great time to win his 8000th career harness racing victory at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night (Feb. 22). The 45-year-old purple and white clad reinsman captured the $25,000 championship final of the inaugural Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley in the track's first-ever added distance 1-1/4 mile race. Miller guided Double A Goldrush to the 2:27.4 triumph in gate-to-wire fashion over fast-closing No Whip Chip (Chris Page) and Nothinbutanallstar (LeWayne Miller). Fractions for the first mile of the endurance test were :29.1, 1:00, 1:29.3 and 1:58.l. The winner swept through all three legs of the Beissinger Medley, notching a 1:11.1 score in the first leg-a 5/8th mile dash; returning with a 1:54.2 tally at the conventional mile distance in the second leg; then tacking on the lucrative added distance championship. Ross Leonard trains the 5-year-old son of Elegant Man for Michael and Laura Lee and their partner Terry Leonard. The victory was Double A Goldrush's 16th from just 64 lifetime starts and pushed him past the $200,000 earnings plateau. "I didn't know exactly how to train him for these different distances," laughed Leonard, "so I didn't do anything much different than his usual routine. It worked out pretty well! We'll probably give him a week off and then race him at Miami Valley until the end of the meet." "He thought about pulling up for a moment just past the mile mark," Miller chimed in. "I guess he thought he'd done enough work for the night, but he got right back to business when I chirped to him." Miller, the son of Del S. Miller and cousin of Hall Of Famer David Miller, began his racing career in Ohio at age 19 in 1992 - winning one race in 31 tries good for $3258 in earnings. It wasn't long afterwards that he hooked up with the late trainer John Lee at Northfield Park and the duo began winning races at an alarming rate. For a period of seven years before Miller left for The Meadowlands in 2007 Brett averaged over 500 wins a year with purse earnings over $2 million in each of them. His lifetime purse earnings are approaching $85,000,000. "John Lee gave me my first big break," said Brett. " I might not be here today if not for the trust he placed in me. I think about John and the good times we had at Northfield often. He was a great guy and great trainer. I miss him." While his annual purse earnings more than doubled during his decade on the east coast, Miller kept an eye on his Buckeye roots and the renaissance taking place in terms of increased purses. Yearning to return "home," Brett decided the timing was right when the calendar turned to 2019 and he couldn't be happier with that decision. "I'm happy to be home and winning races at this clip again (65 already in 2019, good for almost $700,000 in purses). A co-featured $25,000 Open Mares Pace produced a mild upset when Pistol Packin Mama (Josh Sutton) topped Gone Girl (Dan Noble) and American Girl (Trace Tetrick) in 1:53.3. Sutton sat chilly in sixth position through the first three quarters, then split rivals in the stretch for the impressive score in the winner's second start of the season. Jeff Cullipher trains the 17-time winner for himself and partner Pollack Racing LLC. American Girl was attempting to join the ranks of horses that have earned $1 million, but fell just short. The 10-year-old daughter of Art's Chip now sports a bankroll of $996,860. Racing resumes Saturday night (Feb. 23) when co-features will be a $25,000 Open Pace and the 1-1/4 mile championship final of the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley for pacers. Post time is 6:05 p.m. From the Miami Valley Media Department  

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 22, 2019 — Venerable Dapper Dude earned his 50th career harness racing victory in Friday’s $18,000 Preferred Pace at The Meadows, and he did it in characteristic fashion — turning back challengers inside and out when it appeared he would be engulfed. Dapper Dude led out of the final turn when New Evidence loomed up outside while Stride Of Pride headed for the Lightning Lane. But the 10-year-old son of The Panderosa-Dress To Suggest found more for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and edged Stride Of Pride by a neck in 1:51.1, with New Evidence a close-up third. Tim Twaddle trains Dapper Dude, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $1,324,270, for Micki Rae Stables. Tony Hall fashioned a four-bagger on the 13-race program. In other highlights of the week at The Meadows: Misslarose Hangs Tough in Meadows Debut; Wilder Wins 5 Newcomer Misslarose showed grit in her Meadows debut, as she parried the determined bid of Dirty Secret and triumphed in Wednesday’s $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot. It took the entire opening panel for Misslarose to reach the point for Aaron Merriman, but the 5-year-old daughter of Majestic Son-Marion Chocolata still had enough to put away Dirty Secret and hold off I Want Kandy by a head in 1:58.1 in the slop. Maewegonow rallied for show. Bill Bercury trains Misslarose, who extended her career earnings to $140,500, for Renee Bercury. Mike Wilder piloted five winners on the 13-race card, giving him nine victories over the last two programs, while Hall enjoyed a triple. Misslarose winning this week at The Meadows     - Chris Gooden photo Camera Lady Notches 3rd Straight in $18,000 F&M Pace Camera Lady notched her third straight victory when she pocketed Medusa early and thwarted her Lightning Lane bid late to prevail in Tuesday’s $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. Once Dave Palone gave Camera Lady a 30 second-quarter breather, the 5-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Ann Van Go had enough in the tank to hold off Medusa by a neck in 1:53.3. Keystone Riptide completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Camera Lady, a career winner of $310,458, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Palone and Burke teamed for four wins on the 13-race card. Wind Of The North Draws Inside, Jogs in $20,000 Trot Wind Of The North enjoyed his best post position in weeks and made the most of it, notching an in-hand victory in Sunday’s $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. For seven straight races, Wind Of The North drew or was assigned post 7 or deeper yet still won three of those contests. With the open draw for Sunday’s event, he and Merriman were able to leave from the rail. The 9-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding quarter-poled to the top and scored easily in 1:56.1 over a “good” surface. Explosive Leggs finished second, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Media Buzz third. Bill Bercury owns and trains Wind Of The North, who extended his impressive bankroll to $1,075,908. Jim Pantaleano collected four wins and Palone three on the 12-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Sunday, when the program features a $1,000.20 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM.   by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

The Miracle Mile’s forgotten Kiwi hero could be carrying a get out of jail free card at Menangle tonight.  Because My Field Marshal may not have to meet the same qualifying criteria as his rivals heading into the two $100,000 preludes for next Saturday’s $1million sprint.  There will be eight starters in the Mile, with two spots already taken so six vacant, all to come from horses who compete at tonight’s meeting.  The first two home in he preludes are automatically invited so the Club Menangle selection committee will have to make the call on the final two invites and chief executive Bruce Christison says prior form will be one factor considered.  “The first two home in the preludes will get in and it could even pan out that the first three home go in but the committee will take into account previous form, especially if a horse is unlucky tonight.  “The two most obvious horses that could affect would be Tiger Tara, because of his form this season, and My Field Marshal because he is the defending champion and race record holder.  “I am not saying they can perform poorly and get it but we have seen in recent years a horse like Lennytheshark finish fourth in his prelude and get a Miracle invite. “But different committee members have different views on that.” Tiger Tara’s spot in the Miracle Mile looks a formality as he should lead and win the first prelude tonight and he is now the $2.80 favourite for next week’s great race.  But My Field Marshal faces a far trickier night at the office, drawn wide in the very strong second prelude and likely to have to make up a lot of ground in a sub 1:50 mile.  Christison says there is even latitude for his club to invite a big-name age group pacer like Chase Auckland, who competes in race two tonight, since he started in an official Mile lead-up in last week’s Chariots of Fire. “But they would have to come out and do something special on Saturday.”  Tonight’s meeting looks set up for short priced favourites, with both the NSW Derby and Oaks heats to be dominated by hot pots and perfect for multi bet punters.   Michael Guerin

ALL STAR STALWARTS Jean Feiss and Phil and Glenys Kennard and their syndicate members came up trumps at the successful New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred sales which ended Wednesday outlaying over $1m between them for some choice lots whose careers will be guided from Rolleston. Jean, who spent just over $500,000 bought the most expensive All Star lot going to $170,000 for a Bettor’s Delight colt from a daughter of Beaudiene Babe named Beaudiene Big Time. “I was sure in my own mind he would go north of $150,000 but fortunately he was not too far north” she said. She also paid $100,000 for Stag Party a Bettor’s Delight colt bred on the same cross as Lazarus and from a strongly performing family. At Auckland Jean had parted with $140,000 for a Sweet Lou cold closely related to Smooth Deal, last year’s sale topper who is already a winner. “It was a strong sale at the top end and fairly tough competition though I noticed there seemed to be a lot of passings on the board” Jean said of the Christchurch sale. Kennard Bloodstock, unusually, went to $100,000 for a richly bred trotting colt in Auckland as its major purchase but wasted no time swinging into action yesterday. going to $100,000 for a BEttor’s Delight Priscilla Shard colt closely related to familiar All Stars names like Mighty Cullen and Likemesiah and $90,000 for Arden’s Ace, a colt from former brilliant racemare, Venus Serena. Phil said that he had a few disappointments at the Auckland sale. “We found it quite tough at the top end. One colt in particular we had lined up for the Major Mark syndicate but we couldn’t match the firepower. We are not generally going at the top end of the market for our syndicates” All Stars itself added further to its tally yesterday its sale purchases being largely in the $60-70,000 range except for the Captaintreacherous-Veste colt bought in Auckland for $130,000   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

Astute Echuca horsewoman Faye McEwan admits to being aged 70-plus, but certainly has no plans of slowing down anytime in the near future!   The popular harness racing trainer says she’s kept busy with her team of three square gaiters and that’s the way she likes it.   “I’m keeping active and I enjoy catching up with friends at meetings for a bit of a chat—otherwise I’d just be sitting around home watching television,” she said.   And Faye has plenty to talk about at the moment with her stable star Majestic Time (Majestic Son- Leavemein (Dream Vacation) posting his third consecutive win earlier this week.   The four-year-old gelding, driven by Josh Duggan, took out the Bill Farrell Memorial Trotters Handicap at Cobram on Monday afternoon.   Rod Booker presents the trophy for the Bill Farrell Memorial Trotters Handicap                         Photo Barry Bennett and Cobram Harness Racing Club   Majestic Time was sent out a warm $1.80 favorite and didn’t let down his followers with a comfortable win. He certainly had the form on the board leading up to the race, with victories at Shepparton and Echuca in the space of eight days.   “He’s a lovely horse who seems to be learning a little more at each of his runs,” Faye said.   “We decided to give him a break in September-October and that did him the world of good as he’d run eight placings prior to the three wins,” she said.   “He can be a smart little rooster, but he’s not as smart as he thinks he is.   “I’ve had to mix it up a bit where I start my fast work on the training track as he got to know at which particular spot I expected him to accelerate.   “Then in his races he would wait for them if he was bowling along out in front; or otherwise just run with the herd when he was back in the pack.”   Faye said a pleasing aspect of the Cobram victory was Josh (reinsman) told her that Majestic Time was all ready to go when the opportunity came to use the sprint lane.   “Hopefully the penny may have dropped and I think he has a fair share of ability,” she said.   “Undoubtedly one of his greatest assets is his brilliant speed from the standing start tapes. I intend to target these races when I can because it’s a pretty good weapon.”   Faye McEwan   Faye races Majestic Time in partnership with Kevin Inglis, along with Leo and Genie Curtin.   “I train out of Kevin’s property, which has a 1200m track with a gentle, undulating natural sand surface and it’s not only good for their legs, but toughens them up as well,” she said.   “I met the Curtins on a bus during the Perth Inter Dominion carnival in 2017.   “We got talking and we arranged to meet up sometime later at the Maryborough Redwood Day. It was there that Leo suggested the four of us should become owners in a trotter - he actually said we should buy two!   “So I chased up Patrick Ryan because I knew he had some for sale, but a guy from Queensland had beaten me to the punch.   “Patrick later caught up with me and said he had another one at home that was going on the market that was a bit small and sometimes a ratbag.   “So a few days later on the way to a Shepparton meeting, we all called in and Patrick put the horse in a cart and trotted him along for us. We took him there and then, and he’s proved to be a good money spinner.”   Majestic Times now has four wins (all with Duggan aboard) and 15 placings for $32,000.   Faye, sister to a former harness racing great in Neville Welsh who trained and drove over six decades, has herself established an impressive reputation.   She has trained 529 winners for $2.1 million in stakes, over a period of 55 years. Some of her notable performers included the brilliant Posh Jaccka who won the Wimmera Oaks and Hamilton Cup, later being sold to the USA where she continued on her winning way for then New Jersey horseman Peter Walsh (now back here based at Shepparton).   The Ok Bye-sired mare finished with 29 wins and 43 placings for earnings over $330,000.   Other winners for McEwan include Meet Me In Paris, On The Beach, Call The Cab, Stop The Bus, Centonic, Young Samurai and Cairn Rock.   Faye said that she would continue to train horses for as long as possible.   “I would encourage anyone who is around my age to keep going, keep active and not just sit about. I have the perfect excuse to be out and about because when harness racing gets in your blood, it’s very hard to get out!” she said.     Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Enjoy the driving talents of Leonard Cain while you can. The 19-year-old concession driver will leave his native Queensland in March to further his career in Western Sydney. The south-east Queensland horseman is one of the state’s leading concession drivers.  He is currently employed by his father, Errol, at Logan Village. As of today (Feb 21) Cain had reined home 48 winners and 114 place-getters ($361,712) from 482 drives this season. “It’s still to be confirmed but it is likely to happen within the next month. Noel Daley is returning home from the United States. He was one of their best up there and he’s going to set up a stable not too far from Menangle," Cain said. “It will be a great opportunity to work with someone who has so much harness racing knowledge both here and abroad. I’ve loved it here but I want to further my career in a bigger city working for a world renown trainer. “I really enjoy driving. I started in September 2016 and I’m not sure how many winners I’ve driven. I’d say it would be around the 150 mark,” Trinity College (Beenleigh) educated Cain said. Last Friday he drove the Kerry Smith trained Annika Magic to win race nine, and then three days later at the same venue he won behind the Wayne Graham trained Boulder City, in race six. Cain has seven drives this Saturday night at Albion Park, including Annika Magic in the first event for C4 or better pacers. "She won well from barrier three here last week and even though she's drawn three on the second row this time, she only needs a decent run to be right in it again," Cain said. However he thought the Peter Greig trained Bodhi Tree was a better winning chance in the feature event - the Kevin & Kay Seymour $21,160 Open Pace (race seven). "He's a nice horse who has copped a tough race. He hasn't raced for a month and will be much better for the run. He's won 23 races and has drawn well enough (4) to get a good trip," Cain said. "I think Bodhi Tree will put in a strong effort. He would be my best winning chance on Saturday." The gifted teenager has a strong book of drives on Saturday. He will line up in seven of the 10 races carded. “I don’t usually have this many. I’m grateful people are starting to recognise my driving. I love it and just want to keep getting better. I’m looking forward to a busy Saturday night,” Cain said. Cain will drive in the first five races. He also liked the prospects of the Ryan Veivers trained Ima Top Tycoon in the fifth event for C2 or better pacers, despite the second line draw. "One on the second row will actually suit him because if he can get handy on the fence he has a lethal last 100m sprint in him." Cain also thought the Brian McCall trained Rocknroll Music could test them from a nice draw in the eighth event, which is also for the C2 and faster pacers. "He's drawn three and is better than his last two runs suggest. He's tough and has a bit of speed. He's also a genuine type who should be right in this," Cain said. Footnote: Cain brought up his half century at Redcliffe yesterday (Thursday) when he won the first two races on the nine-strong card. He saluted behind the Errol Cain trained Modern Thought, and the Ben Aldons trained Night Ninja respectively. by Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland  

Top trots trainer Michelle Wallis is adamant her stable star Massive Metro has caught up to the best trotters in the north.  But that doesn’t mean she is confident of beating Lemond in the main event at Alexandra Park tonight.  Massive Metro has been the biggest mover in the trotting ranks this season, emerging from the mid grades to down the biggest names in the group one National Trot at Alexandra Park two starts ago.  Back on that track and drawn inside his most serious rival tonight in Lemond you could easily make a case for the five-year-old but Wallis, who along with husband Bernie Hackett won the trotting trainers premiership last season, is cautious.  “I am sure he is as good as horses like Lemond but I am not sure he is as well suited to 1700m,” says Wallis.  “Lemond has a very good sprint record and maybe better gate speed than us so while I am happy with our horse I think Lemond has more in his favour.”  Both group one winners took on lower grade pacers at the workouts last Saturday and performed well so whoever reaches the marker pegs first tonight should probably win. But Lemond can be very hard to follow so if they are the similar odds Massive Metro might make more sense. Wallis and Hackett have their usual strong team of trotters in and rate Invictus (race one) and Galleons Victory (race four) as other good bets.  Tonight’s main pace looks a great chance for another former group one winner in Mach Shard to return to the winner’s circle providing he can step away safely in race nine while the clash of classic contenders Wainui Creek (filly) and Supreme Dominator (gelding) in race six will be one of the races of the night.  Away from Alexandra Park the harness interest is spread far and wide, with good races at Addington tonight while some high class two and three-year-olds line up at Ashburton tomorrow, where Get Lucky looks a good bet in the Hambletonian.  But the main focus tomorrow will be on Menangle where spots in the Miracle Mile, Ladyship Mile, NSW Derby and Oaks all go up for grabs.  It looks a dream night for multi punters with many of the short priced favourites likely to dominate as rivals look for short cuts to make the finals.  The Kiwis could struggle in the two preludes of the Miracle Mile as they are unlikely to lead and the likes of Tiger Tara and Majordan will be hard to catch but three-year-olds Im Anothermasterpiece and Princess Tiffany are red hot win their Derby and Oaks preludes while earlier in the night an emphatic victory from Chase Auckland in race two could boost his chances of a Miracle Mile invite.   Michael Guerin

The stunning maiden mile win in 1-52.5 by Mossdale Art at Winton in December has put the spotlight once again on ‘Mossdale’ horses raced by former Northern Southland and now Cromwell breeder Archie Affleck and his wife Margaret. “Yeah that first start was pretty good. Goodness knows whether this is the peak or there’s more to come. Time will tell. I think the Hopes think she’s a bit special,” he said. The Mossdale Harness Racing prefix has been around since 1993 and stems from the Mossdale Clydesdale Stud near Otama which was owned by the late Thomas Logan, Archie’s Grandfather. It was later relocated to Tapanui where it’s now run by Archie’s brother Bill. “I was being a bit of a smart ass one day and called a horse Mossdale Flyer. After that we just keep calling everything Mossdale.” Mossdale Flyer was by Lake Hills Jeb out of Lady. Lady was by Holmes Hanover out of Lady Sherwood who was by Armbro Hurricane out of Zenover. So this is the dual gaited family that’s produced juvenile trotter Harvey Wilson and Zebec and pacing stars Elsu and Motoring Magic. “We leased that mare (Lady) off Bob McArdle.” Looking back on the history of the Mossdale Stud and in 1932 the then Governor General of New Zealand Lord Bledisloe visited the stud. It was the same year the first Bledisloe Cup was played for between the All Blacks and The Wallabies. The Cup is named after Lord Bledisloe. Like the Standardbred industry the Clydesdale industry is suffering from a decline in breeding numbers. In the 2009/2010 season 97 mares were served in New Zealand while last season only 47 were put in foal. Archie Affleck with wife Margaret and their grandchildren with Mossdale Art at Winton after her second win there - Photo Bruce Stewart  Archie Affleck grew up in Northern Southland and his father (also Archie) instilled a strong work ethic in him and the boys of the family. “My father was a Scotsman so he kept us working. I had four brothers and we all knew that we had to work if we wanted to go farming,” he said. And farming young Archie did. He and Margaret farmed 4000 acres North East of Riversdale up the Waikaia Valley where they ran sheep and beef. “We just kept buying bits.” They have since sold the farm and moved to Cromwell. “The last bit sold in March but we’ve been selling down for a year or two. All the good stuff has gone to dairy but the hill land is still beef and lamb.” They’ve now taken on a completely different challenge, growing cherries on the three hectare property they’ve owned for three years.    “This is a new experience. We’re picking this year after just three years but usually it takes four. Growing them on the wire makes it a bit quicker. Most of them go overseas but the local market has been pretty good this year. It’s a first year on our orchard but out daughter (Jane Miscisco) is in her second year so she should get a very good crop this year.” On the Standardbred front all of the Affleck’s mares now reside in Christchurch. “We could have run them here in Cromwell but the horse transport trucks don’t go past. I didn’t want to be loading up horses and carting them round. They’re up at Dancingonmoonlight.” So getting back to how his racing and breeding interest began, it was while living in Northern Southland that Affleck ventured into racing and breeding Standardbreds initially, with Jaccka Lodge’s Charlie Smaill. “Charlie pushed us into it. I was keen though because it was a bit of an outside interest to farming.” The first horse they raced was Keyali which was bred by another Northern Southland breeder Neil Timms. She was by Gaines Minbar out of Keyanau and had her first start at Invercargill in February 1987 when trained by Phil Cross. From January the following year Hori Lee took over the training and she won three races in a row. “We thought we were made and then the next telephone call was to say she was lame. It brings you back down to earth again.” She ended up winning seven races from forty nine starts before going to the broodmare paddock. The mare’s first foal was Kute Jaccka (Holmes Hanover) which won four races. “She was a big strong mare.” Once Kute Jaccka retired from racing Affleck started to breed more seriously. Kute Jaccka’s first foal Mossdale Kara qualified at the annual Balfour grass track meeting in December 2005 for trainer Tony Barron but never raced. She had been the mare responsible for rejuvenating the Mossdale breed, leaving Mossdale Conner (13 wins), Mossdale Major (2 wins), Mossdale Sue (2 wins) and Mossdale Rose (6 wins). Mossdale Major is also the dam of Affleck’s latest star Mossdale Art. Mossdale Conner is the best horse Affleck has raced so far. He’s the winner of 13 races in New Zealand including the Taylor Mile in 2015, the Northern Southland Cup in 2016 and the Green Mile at Methven in 2014. He was also placed third in the 2015 New Zealand Trotting Cup and ran a close second in the New Zealand Free For All at Addington. Mossdale Connor after his win in the Northern Southland Cup   -photo Bruce Stewart And his favourite memories of the horse? “My best memories were the Taylor Mile as well as running third in the New Zealand Cup then we thought we’d won the Free For All as well as the Northern Southland Cup.” photo Bruce Stewart Unfortunately Mossdale Conner was tragically lost in the United States after a battle with cancer. He had only raced six times for his American trainer Peter Tritton, winning four, including the $150,000 Ben Stafford Junior Invitational - pacing the mile in 1.49. “He was the horse. The fella that bought him was pretty sad to. He thought he was going to be something really special. While he was here we’d treated the horse for a cancer growth on his shoulder. Brendon Bell (vet) didn’t want to cut it out in case it interfered with the muscles. The buyer knew all about that before he bought him. Whether it was connected I don’t know.”  Affleck is no longer breeding from Mossdale Kara. “She had an accident and the last few years we’ve tried embryo transplant and it hasn’t worked.” But he is breeding from some of her daughters. Mossdale Sue, which is a full sister to Mossdale Conner, has just left her first foal – a filly by Mach Three while Mossdale Rose although still racing is due to retire as she’s in foal to Sweet Lou. Mossdale Kara wasn’t the only mare Affleck tried breeding from. In the late 1990s he bought On Leave from Ossie Throp. “We had a whisky to confirm the deal.” She was by Majestic Chance out of On Patrol. Affleck bred twelve foals out of her with the best being Mossdale Ross which won twelve races in Australia. In the early days Affleck had his horses trained by Hori Lee and Kirk Larsen but now they’re all trained at Woodend Beach by Greg and Nina Hope. It’s a relationship that goes back to 1998. “We had two at the sales and one didn’t sell and Anthea Sharp who had prepared the horses recommended that we send it to Greg. He went halves in it. When we went there Ben was barely walking - that was twenty odd years ago.” The one they sold was Mossdale Jane, whilst the horse that went to the Hopes was Mossdale Cam (Camtastic – Taurus Ali). It won one race before Brian Meale bought him and exported him to America where he won another five races. It was the beach training Greg and Nina Hope could provide that appealed to Affleck. “I remember one of the Southland trainers – it might have been Tony Barron went up to Brighton Beach before he went to Auckland. I reckon you could just about see the horses smiling. It was better than running round in Southland in a circle. If I was a horse I’d want to be on the beach.” Consequently all of  Affleck’s race horses go to Greg and Nina Hope. “We’ve got a lot of respect for the Hopes, Ricky (May) and Ben (Hope) .”      Mossdale Major’s next foal is a yearling colt by Mach Three. “John Yesburg likes that one and we’ll race him.” One stallion that’s nicked with the Mossdale breed is Bettor’s Delight. “I’m not a big studier of pedigree but when you look at all the big races the Bettor’s Delights aren’t too far away.” Although they probably moved to Cromwell for quieter times, I suspect Archie and Margaret are still kept pretty busy with grandchildren, cherries and a few trips to the races, where there’s bound to be a few more Mossdales winning races.   Bruce Stewart

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The condition sheet is out, and everybody who cares about harness racing at the Meadowlands - be they management, employee, horseman or bettor - has an awful lot to be excited about. Beginning Friday, March 1, purses at the Big M - thanks to the recent purse subsidy legislation signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy - will get a $40,000 per-card boost. Purses will get another $40,000 jolt on March 29. After a Saturday (Feb. 16) night program that saw a 2019-best $3,166,920 in all-source wagering, there is reason for great optimism at the East Rutherford mile oval. In recent years, the Big M has experienced a lull in horseman interest once the Pennsylvania tracks opened in March, but the playing field has now been leveled with a swipe of Gov. Murphy's pen. "As far as competing with area tracks for horses," said Big M Director of Racing Pete Koch, "it certainly puts us back in the ballgame. We paid attention to the non-winners of two, three and four classes, and we've written some races for higher-priced claimers." On Feb. 9, Castle Flight was claimed by Dylan Davis for $50,000, and he came back one week later to finish second to K Ryan Bluechip in the $21,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers, a race that five weeks from now will offer a $30,000 purse. "With the drop off in purses in recent years," said Koch, "the higher-priced claimers have evaporated. With additional funds, we are hoping to bring them back. The $50,000 claim on Castle Flight was probably our highest in six or seven years." "Carding more straight claimers," said trainer Bob Lounsbury, "it's very interesting to me and a lot of my owners. A lot of my owners just want claiming horses. If we get beat, fine. But then we want the chance to take the winner. Combining claimers with conditioned horses is tough because the conditioned horses have an advantage. "I have some guys right now who want to claim a $30,000 or $40,000 horse (a class that is offered on next week's condition sheet). As a matter of fact, I had a couple of owners claim some horses last week. Both said the same thing: 'If there are going to be bigger purses, then we have to claim something.' It might take a couple of weeks to get going, but it should work, and me and my people are going to support the Meadowlands." It will take not only horseman support but fan participation as well to make this thing work. "With the increased purses, we are encouraging horsemen to race with us," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir, "because for the supplement to continue into the future, we need to show some handle gains to fulfill some of the parameters of the subsidy. As last weekend proved, bigger fields mean bigger handle, and we have a positive outlook moving forward." (To see the condition sheet, go to http://horsemen.ustrotting.com/conditionsheet.cfm?condition_sheet_id=70660) Not surprisingly, last Saturday's 50-Cent Pick-5 and 50-Cent Pick-4 saw their biggest pools of the year. The Pick-5 saw $79,108 in play while the Pick-4 took $115,218 in action. The month of February has seen a betting bonanza at the industry's handle leader, as all-source total wagering has averaged $2.92 million per program. Other single-pool highlights from Saturday's card: $80,873 Exacta (Race 5) $60,966 Trifecta (Race 7) $52,199 Win (Race 7) $46,974 Superfecta (Race 3) 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five fans have a $50,930 carryover to shoot for in Race 5 on Friday's card, when racing resumes at 7:15 p.m. Free program pages for the Pick-4 are available at www.playmeadowlands.com and www.ustrotting.com. LINEUP CHANGES: Look for some new faces on the small screen as some usual members of the Meadowlands' TV team - Dave Brower, Dave Little and Bob "Hollywood" Heyden - will be in Florida at the Dan Patch Awards dinner. On Friday (Feb. 22), Harrah's Philadelphia track announcer and one-half of the podcast team of "Posttimewithmikeandmike", Mike Bozich, will serve as co-host of the live "Racing from the Meadowlands" simulcast show. Rich Mattei, the assistant racing secretary at Freehold Raceway, will bring his big-time handicapping skills to TVG's live coast-to-coast presentation of the Meadowlands' races. Saturday (Feb. 23) will find Bozich in the announcer's booth calling the races as Ken Warkentin serves as host of the show. Occasional fill-in Pete Kleinhans will take another turn as co-host, while the newest member of the Big M's TV team, Jessica Otten, will make her TVG debut. HANG OUT, BET SPORTS: Fans of sports betting have a new place to watch the games they bet on: the FanDuel Sportsbook Lounge at the Meadowlands. Comfortable seating, dozens of TVs, food and beverage service, and of course, the opportunity to bet on sports events from around the globe. Remember that March Madness is coming! Make your plans to be at the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook. BRUNCH FOR DINNER? On Friday (Feb. 22), try a little something different. It's "Brunch for Dinner" at the Big M's Pink Restaurant. It's only $29.95 for a sumptuous all-you-can-eat buffet that is right out of the brunch playbook. For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM. GET EVEN AT THE BIG M: On Saturday (Feb. 23), "It's Your Lucky Day"! Two lucky Players Rewards Members will be selected to win back all Meadowlands' live racing wagering losses from that evening's program. The winners will be posted Sunday (Feb. 24) at 11 a.m. Cash back is limited to $1,000. In addition, enter to win $25 and $50 betting vouchers all night long. Open to Players Club Members only. DANCIN' TO THE JAILHOUSE ROCK: On Friday (March 1), spend an evening with Elvis Presley impersonator Ralph Carey, who will take you through the career of "The King". They'll be music, laughter and memories, and you get the show plus a buffet dinner for only $29.95. Call 201-THE-BIGM for reservations. Meadowlands Spring Beer Dinner Features Blue Point Brewing On Saturday, March 16th Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is hosting a 5-course beer dinner featuring Long Island’s Blue Point Brewing Company. Each course is expertly paired by Executive Chef Dennis Sammarone to showcase Blue Point’s brews. 1st course: Brie, Manchego, Fig & Apricot with Blue Point Toasted Lager  2nd course: Fresh Guacamole with Jalapenos & Cumin served with house-made chips paired with Blue Point The IPA 3rd course: Beer-Steamed Mussels with Blue Point Shore Thing Lager 4th course: BBQ Ribs with Spicy Fries & Coleslaw with Blue Point Small Batch Hazy Bastard 5th course: Apple & Lemon Tart with fresh Whipped Cream & Blueberries paired with Blue Point Blueberry Ale Beer dinner guests also get a show on the racetrack with live harness racing kicking off at 7:15pm. For reservations call 201-The-BigM.  The full menu and beer descriptions are available at http://playmeadowlands.com/dining/blue-point-beer-dinner.html From the Meadowlands Media Department  

Young Ballarat-based harness racing driver Ryan Duffy is riding the crest of a wave. Duffy, 23, celebrated his 100th career win in style at Bendigo on Sunday with an all-the-way victory on Our Master George (Bettors Delight-Lizzie Maguire (Christian Cullen), trained by Glenn Douglas. And then four races later, Duffy again teamed up with Douglas to get the money on The High Roller (Christian Cullen-The High Life). “I guess the Bendigo track has been a happy hunting ground for me – I got my very first winner there in June 2017 on Benji Mara (Lis Mara-Fawn Lake) for Amanda Turnbull. “Ironically I beat a horse trained by Glenn Douglas, in Nickys Idol, by a neck.” With the milestone out of the way on Sunday, Duffy then got in his car the next day to head to Cobram where he had a book of six drives. “I thought I had a few nice chances, but it proved to be a terrific day because I come away with a winning treble,” he said. Duffy came with a late run to land Flight Officer (Art Official-Gammarads (Jeremy’s Gambit) and then completed a winning double for Glenn Douglas (yes that man again!) with Wotchawaitingfor (Santana Blue Chip-Talk To Me (What’s Next). Fittingly Duffy chalked up the winning last leg of his treble for his Shepparton-based father Steven, with bay filly Interest Me (Mach Three-Pretty Interest (Barnett Hanover). Interest Me “Glenn has been great to me, but it was a bit special to land the money for dad,” he said. Duffy, who works for Mick Stanley, of Ballarat, said he was always destined to “one day get involved in harness racing”. “Dad has been at it for as long as I can remember and mum (Julie) is never far away to lend a hand around the stables,” he said. “I did the pony trots when I was about 11 or 12 years old and enjoyed it as everyone does and once I got to high school I used to do a fair bit of work for Wayne Aylett. “Wayne would get me to do some fast work with his team before I whizzed off to school and then I’d be there at weekends. “After leaving school I decided to do a cabinet-making apprenticeship with Liberty Kitchen in Shepparton, so I have always got that to fall back on.” Duffy said one of his favorite horses was a trotter Sky Petite who has the Gunbower, Echuca and Yarra Valley cups to her name. “We also ran a great second at 100/1 in the recent Inter-Dominion Final to Tornado Valley, going down by a neck,” he said. “Another memorable win was for mum and dad with Tryna Portray in the $25,000 Vicbred Super Series (2yo fillies) Silver Pace at Melton.” Duffy doesn’t mind driving big distances to compete at meetings, recently popping up at Mildura in Victoria’s far north west. “I would say I enjoy driving at Melton most, but Bendigo has been great to me and I seem to have success at Ballarat, Echuca and Shepparton. I guess I’d have to add Cobram to the list, too, now!” Duffy also paid tribute to his boss Mick Stanley who provided him with many good drives. “Other friends in Keith Cotchin and Zac Steenhuis haven’t been afraid to give me a bit of a go but I should also thank all the trainers who put me on. Without their support it just wouldn’t happen.” Courtesy Barry Bennett and Cobram Harness Racing Club Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

THE King of Miracle Mile qualifiers admits he may have to take a different path to get more runners in to the $1million sprint next week.  And that information from trainer Shane Tritton could boost the already high confidence of fans of Tiger Tara.  Tritton and his wife Lauren have been geniuses at getting horses into Miracle Miles over the last five years, often horses others wouldn’t have even targeted the great race with.  They have already pulled off their latest miracle for the Miracle by qualifying Yayas Hot Spot by winning the Newcastle Mile at 80-1 two weeks ago but that isn’t enough, they want two more in the March 2 classic.  That is likely to mean a chance of the typical Tritton modus operandi, which is use the horse’s gate speed to lead and then keep trucking at a sub 1:50 mile time to deter attackers and kick for home early, securing a winning break.  That would sound ideal for Maximan drawn barrier two in the $100,000 Allied Express Sprint at Menangle on Saturday night, a Miracle Mile qualifier, except for the little problem of  Australia’s best pacer Tiger Tara being drawn inside him at barrier one.  “I suppose we have two options,” says Tritton, before conceding that might only be one option.  “We could go forward and try and lead because sometimes Tiger can be a bit slow off the gate.  “But drawn where we are if it looks like Tiger is getting off fast then we could go straight to his back and trail him, from where we should be able to run top three and get into the Mile.  “So a lot will depend on how Tiger gets off the gate but to be realistic the way he is going trailing him wouldn’t be a bad place to be and it doesn’t look a fast front line.”  Not only does that suggest the place play on Maximan makes sense but they will make punters taking the shorts on Tiger Tara feel a little more secure.  The Trittons have a similar choice to make in Saturday’s other Miracle Mile qualifier where they have the ace draw with My Alpha Rock and could try to lead or take a trail, more than likely on Tiger Tara’s stablemate Majordan, providing the pacing bad boy scores up safely.  “He (My Alpha Rock) has actually been sold to a new US owner so that decision on tactics might come down to what they want but I think trailing would give him the best chance of getting into the Mile.”
 Tritton says Victoria Derby winner Muscle Factory (race seven) couldn’t be better or his NSW Derby heat on Saturday.  “He is better than when he won the Derby so he should be in a race of his own.” Michael Guerin

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LEBANON, OH - 'Super' Brett Miller picked a great time to win his 8000th career harness racing victory at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night (Feb. 22). The 45-year-old purple and white clad reinsman captured the $25,000 championship final of the inaugural Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley in the track's first-ever added distance 1-1/4 mile race. Miller guided Double A Goldrush to the 2:27.4 triumph in gate-to-wire fashion over fast-closing No Whip Chip (Chris Page) and Nothinbutanallstar (LeWayne Miller). Fractions for the first mile of the endurance test were :29.1, 1:00, 1:29.3 and 1:58.l. The winner swept through all three legs of the Beissinger Medley, notching a 1:11.1 score in the first leg-a 5/8th mile dash; returning with a 1:54.2 tally at the conventional mile distance in the second leg; then tacking on the lucrative added distance championship. Ross Leonard trains the 5-year-old son of Elegant Man for Michael and Laura Lee and their partner Terry Leonard. The victory was Double A Goldrush's 16th from just 64 lifetime starts and pushed him past the $200,000 earnings plateau. "I didn't know exactly how to train him for these different distances," laughed Leonard, "so I didn't do anything much different than his usual routine. It worked out pretty well! We'll probably give him a week off and then race him at Miami Valley until the end of the meet." "He thought about pulling up for a moment just past the mile mark," Miller chimed in. "I guess he thought he'd done enough work for the night, but he got right back to business when I chirped to him." Miller, the son of Del S. Miller and cousin of Hall Of Famer David Miller, began his racing career in Ohio at age 19 in 1992 - winning one race in 31 tries good for $3258 in earnings. It wasn't long afterwards that he hooked up with the late trainer John Lee at Northfield Park and the duo began winning races at an alarming rate. For a period of seven years before Miller left for The Meadowlands in 2007 Brett averaged over 500 wins a year with purse earnings over $2 million in each of them. His lifetime purse earnings are approaching $85,000,000. "John Lee gave me my first big break," said Brett. " I might not be here today if not for the trust he placed in me. I think about John and the good times we had at Northfield often. He was a great guy and great trainer. I miss him." While his annual purse earnings more than doubled during his decade on the east coast, Miller kept an eye on his Buckeye roots and the renaissance taking place in terms of increased purses. Yearning to return "home," Brett decided the timing was right when the calendar turned to 2019 and he couldn't be happier with that decision. "I'm happy to be home and winning races at this clip again (65 already in 2019, good for almost $700,000 in purses). A co-featured $25,000 Open Mares Pace produced a mild upset when Pistol Packin Mama (Josh Sutton) topped Gone Girl (Dan Noble) and American Girl (Trace Tetrick) in 1:53.3. Sutton sat chilly in sixth position through the first three quarters, then split rivals in the stretch for the impressive score in the winner's second start of the season. Jeff Cullipher trains the 17-time winner for himself and partner Pollack Racing LLC. American Girl was attempting to join the ranks of horses that have earned $1 million, but fell just short. The 10-year-old daughter of Art's Chip now sports a bankroll of $996,860. Racing resumes Saturday night (Feb. 23) when co-features will be a $25,000 Open Pace and the 1-1/4 mile championship final of the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley for pacers. Post time is 6:05 p.m. From the Miami Valley Media Department  
YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 22, 2019-Tepid choice Itty Bitty (Jim Marohn Jr., $7.10) picked off a tiring harness racing leader Friday night (Feb. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Unhurried from post position No. 3, Itty Bitty saw a wide-early Monica Gallagher (Matt Kakaley) have to work to get around Ideal Lifestyle A (a returning Mark MacDonald). 'Monica' paid a :26.4 opening-quarter-mile price for the privilege, only to have Ideal Lifestyle A pull pocket by the :55.3 intermission. That lass began to open up down the backside, widening through a 1:23.4 three-quarters and taking a 3½-length lead into the lane. However, the hooves were getting heavy and Itty Bitty-who had gone three-deep around a dullard-found herself within range. Itty Bitty rolled past Ideal Lifestyle A late, winning by a half-length in a season's-best 1:53.4. A last-at-the-outset Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) did get the bottom of the ticket, with 79-1 outsider Shezza GNP N (Austin Siegelman) and Monica Gallagher settling for the minors. For Itty Bitty, a 5-year-old daughter of Always a Virgin co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, B & I Stables and Stephen Klunowski, it was her second win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $29, the triple returned $224 and the superfecta paid $4,332. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 22, 2019 — Venerable Dapper Dude earned his 50th career harness racing victory in Friday’s $18,000 Preferred Pace at The Meadows, and he did it in characteristic fashion — turning back challengers inside and out when it appeared he would be engulfed. Dapper Dude led out of the final turn when New Evidence loomed up outside while Stride Of Pride headed for the Lightning Lane. But the 10-year-old son of The Panderosa-Dress To Suggest found more for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and edged Stride Of Pride by a neck in 1:51.1, with New Evidence a close-up third. Tim Twaddle trains Dapper Dude, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $1,324,270, for Micki Rae Stables. Tony Hall fashioned a four-bagger on the 13-race program. In other highlights of the week at The Meadows: Misslarose Hangs Tough in Meadows Debut; Wilder Wins 5 Newcomer Misslarose showed grit in her Meadows debut, as she parried the determined bid of Dirty Secret and triumphed in Wednesday’s $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot. It took the entire opening panel for Misslarose to reach the point for Aaron Merriman, but the 5-year-old daughter of Majestic Son-Marion Chocolata still had enough to put away Dirty Secret and hold off I Want Kandy by a head in 1:58.1 in the slop. Maewegonow rallied for show. Bill Bercury trains Misslarose, who extended her career earnings to $140,500, for Renee Bercury. Mike Wilder piloted five winners on the 13-race card, giving him nine victories over the last two programs, while Hall enjoyed a triple. Misslarose winning this week at The Meadows     - Chris Gooden photo Camera Lady Notches 3rd Straight in $18,000 F&M Pace Camera Lady notched her third straight victory when she pocketed Medusa early and thwarted her Lightning Lane bid late to prevail in Tuesday’s $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. Once Dave Palone gave Camera Lady a 30 second-quarter breather, the 5-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Ann Van Go had enough in the tank to hold off Medusa by a neck in 1:53.3. Keystone Riptide completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Camera Lady, a career winner of $310,458, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Palone and Burke teamed for four wins on the 13-race card. Wind Of The North Draws Inside, Jogs in $20,000 Trot Wind Of The North enjoyed his best post position in weeks and made the most of it, notching an in-hand victory in Sunday’s $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. For seven straight races, Wind Of The North drew or was assigned post 7 or deeper yet still won three of those contests. With the open draw for Sunday’s event, he and Merriman were able to leave from the rail. The 9-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding quarter-poled to the top and scored easily in 1:56.1 over a “good” surface. Explosive Leggs finished second, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Media Buzz third. Bill Bercury owns and trains Wind Of The North, who extended his impressive bankroll to $1,075,908. Jim Pantaleano collected four wins and Palone three on the 12-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Sunday, when the program features a $1,000.20 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM.   by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
A pair of contentious Open Paces; the $8,600 Shelly Goudreau Final and the $8,000 Joe Lighthill Trot at an extended mile and one-half headline an excellent program at Cal Expo on Saturday night An 11-race harness racing card is set to kick off at 6:10 p.m., with the Lighthill going as the fourth event; the Filly and Mare Open follows in the next spot; the Open Pace occupies the seventh-race slot and the Goudreau Final will be the ninth event on the evening. Urgointohearmeroar will be looking to account for his third series final at the meet in the Goudreau. A 4-year-old son of Mystery Chase, Urgointohearmeroar has already captured the Bill Conlin and Robert Gordon Finals at this stand and looms a very heavy favorite once again. Owned by Mark Anderson, trained by Gordie Graham and with Mooney Svendsen in the sulky, he has been unbeatable this season while going off the prohibitive choice on each occasion. Urgointohearmeroar faced his biggest challenge in last week's outing in the Goudreau Prep, leaving from the second tier in the overflow cast. He was parked first-over at the half, then dug in determinedly to prevail by a neck that evening. It was certainly a blanket finish, with the first four across the wire separated by only three-quarters of a length in that 1:54 flat mile, but the others figure to have their work cut out Saturday with Urgointohearmeroar having the rail draw this time around. The two Opens are both very contentious events with Bettor In The Bank assigned the outside post in the male division and stablemates Capitol Hill and Outrageousdelightn getting the outside slots in the Distaff end. Low takeout wagers offer true value There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16% takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5, which begins on the first race; and the 20-cent Pick 4. There are guaranteed pools for the Pick 4, with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. To give you some idea of the added value, last Saturday night's Pick 5 returned a very nice $4,562 for each winning 50-cent ticket. Using normal takeout, the payoff would have been $4,073 a difference of $489 per ducket.   By Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness  
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