Day At The Track
Stride Of Pride, harness racing

Stride Of Pride wins third straight

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 21, 2017 -- Stride Of Pride captured his third straight harness racing victory, this one as impressive as the previous two, in Saturday's $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Stride Of Pride was stalking Dapper Dude from the pocket when Dave Palone sent him wide for the drive. The 4-year-old Manhardt-Apple B gelding blew by Dapper Dude and drew off late to down his rival by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:51. Happy Andyversary was a ground-saving third. It was the fifth win in the last six starts for Stride Of Pride with a combined victory margin of 16-1/2 lengths. Ron Burke trains him for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. Burke enjoyed a four-bagger on the 12-race card while Jim Pantaleano and Palone each fashioned a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Uniflosa Bella, harness racing

Harness racing action from Sweden & France

October 21, 2017 - Today’s marathon Gr. III International Grand Prix de la Ville de Caen (purse €80,000, 4400 meters distance handicap, 18 International starters), also the Q+ race of the day, went to 10/1 Uniflosa Bella (9f Jag de Bellouet-Koctiflosa Bella) that overcame a 25 meter handicap to win for Eric Raffin. Timed in 1.15.1kr the J.P. Marmion owned trainee, bred by Remi Boucret, recorded her 23rd career win in 83 outings for €640,440 earned. Second finishing Val Royal (8m Capriccio-Quar du Rib), also penalized 25 meters at the start, set the pace throughout for owner/trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire and gamely held on at 6.4/1. The 3/2 favorite Cantin de l’éclair and 2.1/1 Traders were misque dq’s. 22.4/1Alienor de Godrel (7f Orlando Vici-Julietta) was third this day for trainer/driver Franck Anne and Ecurie AB Trot. 19/1 Visconti (8g Magnificent Rodney) was fourth for trainer/driver Franck Nivard, this one also 25 meter handicapped. 50 meter handicapped and 131/1 Athena de Vandel (7f Prince Gede-Maclia de Vandel) landed the fifth sport for Mathieu Mottier. Longshots continued in the Prix de Champcerie (purse €46,000, 2200 meters autostart, 18 starters) at Caen with victory earned by 48.4/1 Valea MIP (8f Ganymede-Javotte Ducale) reined by Alexandre Ramage for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Ecurie MIP, The 1.12.4kr timed winner defeated 182/1 Blooma d’Heripre (6f Rolling d’Heripre-Quenta Por Favor) and teamster Anthony Menager and trainer Gregory Horel. Third went to 13.8/1 Athos des Volos (7m Lynx de Bellouet-Penelope des Volos) handled by Eric Raffin, 3/1 Bolt was a misque dq. At Orebro SWE today was the Express Gaxe raced over 2100 meters autostart for 150,000SEK first money. What was billed as a FR prep for Nuncio turned into a stunning defeat. Day Or Night In (5m Muscle Hill-Ellie America-Buvetier d’Aunou) scored in gate to wire fashion from post six, driven by trainer Johan Untersteiner for Invexbro AB, breeder/owner. The 12.5/1 shot bested pocket sitter Spring Erom (12m Gentle Star-Springflickan-Prince Mystic) with Christoffer Eriksson up and 10.5/1 I Love Paris (7f Steinlager-Marie Dulcinea-Egyptian Gentleman) rallied three wide in the last quarter and earned third for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. Nuncio has post one and was away fourth on the pegs before moving first over after 400 meters. He stayed second on the outer thereafter for Stefan Melander before stalling in the final bend and through the lane, ending fifth. Race time was 1.12.3kr off even fractions, the 1500 meter mark time was 1.12.2kr and the 1000 was 1.12.9kr. Thomas H. Hicks  

Manchego, Harness Racing

Manchego still perfect after Crown romp

ANDERSON, Ind. - Manchego continued her unbeaten ways capturing the second of two $20,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for harness racing juvenile trotting fillies Friday night at Hoosier Park. Yannick Gingras was in the sulky for the victory, which was clocked in 1:54.1. Gingras and Manchego floated out at the start and allowed rail-starting Looking For Zelda to take control of the race and cut the opening fraction of :27.3. Manchego was rated to take command after the first three-eighths and was able to set well-rated fractions sprinting off in the late stages for her 11th win in as many career starts. Lily Stride went a brave trip racing much of the mile without cover to gain the second spot, though a full 2½ lengths off the winner. A $120,000 yearling purchase by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman from last year's Lexington Selected auction, Manchego is a daughter of Muscle Hill from the Cantab Hall-sired mare Secret Magic. Asked about the threat to Manchego at headstretch, trainer Jimmy Takter offered this: "It would take one heck of a filly to go by this filly," he said. "So far, we haven't seen anyone." Manchego, a 1-20 proposition, returned $2.10 for the victory while pushing her career bankroll to $573,948. In addition to the winner and Lily Stride, Top Expectations, S M S Princess and Looking For Zelda all advanced to next Friday's finale. By Jay Bergman, for Breeders Crown    

Phaetosive, Harness Racing

Phaetosive sets mark in Breeders Crown elim

ANDERSON, Ind. - Despite not having raced for 32 days, the Explosive Matter-Phaeton filly Phaetosive ($4.60 to win) set a Hoosier Park track record for harness racing freshman filly trotters in winning the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations Friday night, stopping the timer in 1:53.3. Basquiat, the even-money favorite, went to the lead despite the outside post eight, and set fractions of :27.4 and :57.1 while Phaetosive and trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer bided their time third. Phaetosive moved out raw into the far turn, trotted up to Basquiat by the 1:25.4 three-quarters, put that rival away quickly, and finished in :27.4 to win by three lengths in hand. Seviyorum closed on the far outside to catch Jordan Blue Chip for second, with Atlanta and Hey Blondie also earning their way into next Friday's final. Phaetosive, owned by the Purple Haze Stables LLC and another Hanover Shoe Farms-bred winner, now sports a career record of 6-4-2-0, with her only two defeats coming to the undefeated Manchego, who won the division's other elimination in 1:54.1. That matchup next week could be spectacular. Smedshammer said he hadn't been to Hoosier Park in 20 years: "And I even got lost coming here." Fortunately, there was no deviation of course with Phaetosive: "I got her into striking position, because I knew Yannick (Gingras, with Basquiat, who would finish sixth) would be leaving. I moved her out at the half, and she trotted up strongly and went right on by." By Gerry Connors, for Breeders Crown      

ANDERSON, Ind. - Overdraft Volo drafted nicely in the pocket until the head of the stretch, moved out to the lead, then held off the late move of favored Ice Attraction to win the single Breeders Crown elimination for harness racing 3-year-old Trotting Fillies in 1:53.3 at Hoosier Park Friday night. Driver Andy Miller pointed the daughter of Yankee Glide forward at the start and yielded to Fine Tuned Lady to sit the covered two-hole trip. Fine Tuned Lady put up fractions of :27.2, :57.1, and 1:25.3, the speedup in the third quarter due to a big move from first-over Checkmate Time, who went off stride midway around the far turn. Miller moved out with Overdraft Volo in early stretch and went right by Fine Tuned Lady, and the sophomore then had to be game to withstand the consistent inching in of Ice Attraction, holding on to a neck margin at the finish while returning $11.00 as the fourth choice. As was the case with their pacing counterparts earlier, the sophomore trotting fillies drew 11 entrants, and under the Breeders Crown rules at Hoosier, which starts nine across and a trailing 10 horse, the top two horses accepting byes automatically got in next week's championship. The remaining nine raced Friday to eliminate one. Champion mare Ariana G, who will undoubtedly be a heavy favorite next week, accepted a bye, as did Thats All Moni. Overdraft Volo will draw for a post between 1 and 5 because of her elim victory, while the rest, including the bye horses, will go into an open draw. Following Ice Attraction in order was Fine Tuned Lady, Sunshine Delight, Highland Top Hill, Dream Baby Dream, and then three who made a break in stride: second choice Dream Together and Checkmate Time, who recovered well enough to make the final, and Southwind Avanti, who did not. The "Team Orange" combo of driver Andy and trainer Julie Miller has kept this filly in prime fettle throughout the stakes season as she notched her fifth win of the campaign for owners Pinske Stable and Kentuckiana Racing Stable. Kentuckiana also was part of the breeding of the filly, along with Jorgen Jahre. "I got the trip I wanted," Andy Miller noted after the race. "When I pulled out she was strong, went to the lead and sprinted away, and then she stayed strong when the other filly (Ice Attraction) came to her." The Millers hope that Overdraft Volo stays strong for another week, with a date facing Ariana G looming seven days away. By Gerry Connors, for Breeders Crown

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 20, 2017- H P Sissy (Greg Merton, $14.80) cleared down the backside Friday night (Oct. 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away fourth from post position No. 2, H P Sissy saw outer entities Freakonomics (George Brennan) and slight 2-1 choice Newborn Sassy (Tyler Buter) leave with purpose. Locally-debuting Freakonomics worked around 'Sassy' before laying down early intervals of :27.1 and :57.4. HP Sissy then extricated herself from the cones, blowing right by Freakonomics before the 1:24.4 three-quarters. A second-up Diva's Image (Brent Holland) badly gapped the eventual winner, making the job of third-up Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) that much more difficult. HP Sissy opened 2¼ lengths off the final turn, then held a noticeably-drifting (she does that now) Mach it a Par at bay by a length-and-a-quarter n 1:54. Newborn Sassy, returning Matchmaker victress Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton) and Betabcool N (Eric Goodell) rounded out the payees. Alas, there would be no 'Sissy'-'Sassy' exacta. For fourth choice HP Sissy, a 4-year-old daughter of Up the Credit owned by Claude Hamel and trained by Rene Allard, it was her ninth win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $76.50, the triple returned $208 and the superfecta paid $962 Frank Drucker

ANDERSON, Ind. - Youaremycandygirl captured the second $20,000 Breeders Crown elimination for harness racing 2-year-old pacing fillies with an eye-catching 1:51 victory at Hoosier Park Friday night. Yannick Gingras guided the daughter of American Ideal to the score. Stablemate Strong Opinion and Matt Kakaley bolted to the :26.2 opening quarter lead but Youaremycandygirl, the 1-9 betting choice, shunned an early tuck and drove to take command between the first- and second-quarter mark. From that point the Ron Burke-trained filly cruised to victory easily holding off runner-up Reign On Me by a half-length. A $150,000 yearling purchase from last fall's Harrisburg auction, Youaremycandygirl is owned by W J Donovan of Delray Beach, Florida. "She was a little excited tonight," said Gingras after the race. "I heard the other filly (Reign On Me) and I asked her. She's a very honest filly." Youaremycandygirl won for the sixth time in eight career starts, which includes an impressive score in the Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Joining Youaremycandygirl in next Friday's Breeders Crown finale for juvenile pacing fillies will be Reign On Me, along with Strong Opinion, Pueblo Blue Chip and Im With Her. The overwhelming betting favorite Youaremycandygirl paid $2.20 to win. by Jay Bergman, for Breeders Crown

ANDERSON, Ind. - Rainbow Room, with David Miller in the sulky, won the first of two harness racing eliminations of the Breeders Crown 2-year-old Filly Pace at Hoosier Park Friday night in 1:52.3. Trained by Joe Holloway for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Val D'Or Farms and Theodore Gewertz, and breeder Vieux Carre Farms, Rainbow Room drew away in the stretch to win by 3 lengths. Rainbow Room (Somebeachsomewhere-Rainbow Blue) left brightly with Firestorm and Percy Bluechip but overtook that pair to get to the top and stay there through fractions of :26.3, :56 and 1:24.1, staying in full control to the wire. Firestorm, who followed third most of the way, was all out to take second. Come See The Show came up the rail for third. Majorsspeciallady was fourth with Rock On Ladys fifth. "I was worried about cutting the whole mile but she still had pace at the end," said Holloway. Rainbow Room was the 6-5 favorite, paying $4.60 and goes to the final with a career bankroll of $359,624. By Frank Cotolo, for Breeders Crown  

ANDERSON, Ind. - The Western Ideal filly Ella Christina, who had demonstrated her disregard for the tote board when she won a division of the Adioo Volo at the Meadows at $114.80, again pulled a big harness racing upset, this time in the Breeders Crown 3-year-old Filly Pace elimination Friday night at Hoosier Park, storming home from seventh at the top of the stretch to post a 1:51 victory and return $72.00 to her scattered backers. The favorites were all in the early mix, as Caviart Ally left from the rail, putting Agent Q in behind her, then let Idyllic Beach go near the :26.2 quarter, only to retake in early backstretch. Nearing the :55.2 half, even-money favorite Blazin Britches came with a big burst but could not clear the leader on the turn, and started to back off past the 1:23 three-quarters. Caviart Ally had the lead into the stretch, with Idyllic Beach going to the passing lane and Agent Q swinging wide to challenge. But this group was joined late by Ella Christina, who was angled progressively wider by driver Tim Tetrick and went around Agent Q, storming down the center of the track to edge Idyllic Beach by a head, with Agent Q another length back. This division drew 11 entrants, and under the Breeders Crown rules at Hoosier, which starts nine across and a trailing 10 horse, the top two horses accepting byes automatically got into next week's final. The remaining nine raced Friday to eliminate one horse. Tequila Monday and Obvious Blue Chip were the two fillies getting byes into the championship event. Ella Christina will draw a post between one and five as a result of her victory, while the rest go into an open draw. Behind Idyllic Beach and Agent Q in order were Carol's Z Tam, Caviart Ally, Inverse Hanover, Blazin Britches, Jaye's A Lady, and Terrortina, the last-named the unfortunate "odd filly out". The winner tallied for the seventh time this season for trainer Nick Surick, whose Nick Surick Stable LLC co-owns the winner with J. L. Benson Stables Inc., William Daggett Jr. and Lawrence Vukovic. Surick noted that the Hanover Shoe Farms-bred filly had not been at her best in her previous start, the Courageous Lady at Northfield where she finished sixth, but he was all smiles after this event. By Gerry Connors, for Breeders Crown

ANDERSON, Ind. - Nike Franco N cruised to victory in the second $25,000 elimination of the Breeders Crown Mares Pace Friday night at Hoosier Park. Tim Tetrick guided the 2-5 harness racing favorite to a 1:51.2 score. Call Me Queen Be took the lead early but Nike Franco N was able to regain command past the :26.2 opening quarter and then set even fractions of :55.3 and 1:24 with Medusa offering token pressure. In the stretch, Nike Franco N cruised to a handy victory with her :27.2 final quarter putting her 2¼ lengths ahead of runner up Bedroomconfessions at the wire. Owned by Richard Poillucci of North Easton, Massachusetts, the 7-year-old by McArdle mare was a winner for the 29th time in her 52-race career. Jim King Jr. trains Nike Franco N. "She's just a sweetheart," said Tetrick. "She's just as good on or off the pace. When they let her go 1:24 to the three quarters, she likes that, too." Nike Franco N returned $2.80 to win. Joining the top pair in the October 27 Breeders Crown finale will be L A Delight, Seventimesavirgin and Sassa Hanover. Post positions for the final: 1. L A Delight 2. Pure Country 3. Nike Franco N* 4. Darlinonthebeach* 5. Windsun Glory 6. Bedroomconfessions 7. Sassa Hanover 8. Lady Shadow 9. Seventimesavirgin 10. Blue Moon Stride AE1. Medusa AE2. Wrangler Magic   *Elimination winners draw from posts one through five. Nike Franco N By Jay Bergman, for Breeders Crown    

ANDERSON, Ind. - Darlinonthebeach, with Brett Miller in the sulky, won the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for harness racing mare pacers in 1:49.3 at Hoosier Park Friday night. The winner is trained by Nancy Johansson for owner-breeder White Birch Farm. Darlinonthebeach left alertly, with Lady Shadow by her side, letting that one get the lead in a first quarter of :26. Lady Shadow cut the half in :54.4 as Pure Country went first over to chase the top two. Three-quarters went in 1:22.4. Darlinonthebeach (Somebeachsomewhere-Darlin's Delight) was game around the turn and into the stretch and sprinted by Lady Shadow, who held the second spot. Windsun Glory closed late to get the show dough with Pure Country finishing fourth. Assistant trainer Marcus Johansson said he was "happy here with her effort" though he said she had a slow start this season. Darlinonthebeach, who went off at 5-1 and paid $13.80 to win, lifted her lifetime earnings to just under $950,000. By Frank Cotolo, for Breeders Crown  

Harness racing champion Auckland Reactor is starting to leave his mark on the race track, as a sire of good 3yo horses. In Chase Auckland, he has a potential champion son, judging by the way the Purdon/Rasmussen trained gelding defeated a quality field of three year olds tonight at Addington. Driver Natalie Rasmussen drove a calculating race with Chase Auckland in winning the third NRM Sires Stakes heat. Rasmussen shot to the lead from barrier two behind the mobile and then handed up to stable mate The Devils Own to trail for the most of the race. In the straight the Chase Auckland dug in for the fight and Natalie urged his nose in front on the line to beat a quality All Stars line up of, The Devils Own, Spankem and All About Faith to win by a narrow margin. The time for the 1950m mobile was a quick 2-17.9, a mile rate of 1-53.8, with the last 800m cut out in a sizzling 54.9 seconds. Chase Auckland (Auckland Reactor - Delicata) is owned by the Alabar Racing Syndicate, many of whom were on track tonight to cheer on the win Chase Auckland winning his third race from three starts   Earlier in the night Auckland Reactor produced another exciting winner in Blue Blazer, who won his third start by a head after some good trial performances in recent weeks. Blue Blazer (Auckland Reactor - Jet Spirit)  rated 1-58.4 for the 1950m mobile and gave trainer Trent Yesberg his first training win at his sixth attempt.  Trent Yesberg getting his first training win with Blue Blazer. Harnesslink Media

Columbus, OH --- When Ellen Mulinix answered her husband’s phone regarding an inquiry about Lost In Time, she responded with a laugh as the couple was merely performing the daily tasks they had lovingly conducted with his sire at the very same stage in his harness racing career. “Jim is putting shoes on him right now while I am holding his head,” said Ellen. “Can he call you back?” A 2-year-old son of A Rocknroll Dance-Summer Mystery, Lost In Time, co-owned by Mulinix (as part of A Roknroll Dance Racing), Denny Miller, William Rufenacht and Team S Racing Stable, is certainly following in his world champion father’s hoofprints, as he hails from the same barn, possesses a similar demeanor and has thrived in an identical program. This colt, however, has already accomplished something the 2012 Meadowlands Pace victor did not with a triumph in the $660,960 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 23. Jim and Ellen Mulinix hope he can replicate that achievement with a Breeders Crown trophy on Oct. 28 at Hoosier Park, but first he must place five other qualified rivals in his wake in the first of three $20,000 eliminations on Saturday (Oct. 21) to claim a spot on the starting gate for the $600,000 final. The colt will have the services of Scott Zeron and the duo will commence their quest for a Crown from post position six as the 2-1 morning line favorite. They will, however, have to contend with the likes of Nutcracker Sweet (post one, Tim Tetrick, 5-2) and This Is The Plan (post five, David Miller, 4-1). “As you already probably know Dance did not win the Breeders Crown just like the Metro Pace (he finished second in both races),” Jim Mulinix said. “And I think it could have been for the same reason as we had to change drivers from the eliminations to the finals for those races. Dance wasn’t a hard horse to drive but you had to know him.” Unlike his father, Lost In Time retains the services of his regular pilot, but Jim and Ellen Mulinix have embarked upon nearly exactly the same course they did with A Rocknroll Dance for his freshman campaign. To date, the colt is 5-3-2-0, has banked $375,555 and has a lifetime mark of 1:50.1 established during his Canadian journey. “We started Dance at Raceway Park for his first (qualifying) start,” Mulinix said. “People laughed at me when I started this colt at the fairs, but we had another horse in (at the Hicksville, Ohio Fair) and I just wanted to see how he would handle shipping. Shortly after the first turn is where all the rides are and that caught his attention so he was looking all over the place, but when it came time on the backside nothing was a problem. “Then we decided to take him to Kentucky for the sire stakes. His other owners kept telling me he had to finish first or second to make the final, but I was already thinking of the Metro Pace, as winning the Metro Pace would make him a real horse. Donnie Harmon drove him down there (at Red Mile) for me and he asked me if he could leave but I told him not to do that. My instructions were to not race him hard early, put him in position and let him come home. When Donnie got off of him he said he waited to let him go and when he did he could have went another mile. Since we finished second I could now talk my other owners into the Metro Pace.” Lost In Time did not capture his elimination for that contest like A Rocknroll Dance did, but was second by a neck to the very talented Stay Hungry in 1:50.2. “He ran into a little trouble in that race when another horse was doing something funny in front of him and saw his head go straight up,” Mulinix said. “Scottie had to pull him out of it and he hit himself, but he raced very well. “Scottie is such a good young driver and knows what he has to do to win races. He told me this horse would have to leave to win the Metro final so he could keep him in a good position. I told him he could, he just hadn’t yet because I didn’t want other people to know exactly what I’ve got and with the great drive Scottie gave him we won. We are just so lucky to have a driver like him for this horse.” Lost In Time returned to the Bluegrass State for the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 7 at Red Mile. He won his $58,000 division well within himself and paced his final quarter in :26.1. “I was very pleased with how he raced in Kentucky,” Mulinix said. “He has some splint bones that have been bothering him and was really on the right line in Canada. We have been working on them and painting them, which seems to have helped him. So far our plan has worked for him and everything has fallen into place, which is unusual not only in this sport, but any sport. We just hope it continues for us at Hoosier Park.” The Anderson oval may also be the very last occasion Jim and Ellen will care for and condition Lost In Time for a Grand Circuit event, as the couple has decided to slow down as they learned from A Rocknroll Dance, it was time to relish life a bit more. “We couldn’t even enjoy it when Dance won the Meadowlands Pace,” Mulinix said. “My grandkids called us at 2:30 a.m. and couldn’t believe we were eating soup from a gas station, while trying to get a couple hours of sleep instead of having a nice dinner to celebrate winning such a big race. I tried to explain to them nothing else was open and I had other horses to get back and shoe and train; we also had a 10-hour drive. I’ll never forget that drive as we were so tired and worried something was wrong with the truck and we wouldn’t make it back without breaking down. “Even with only being down to eight or 10 horses, the travel for these big races is just too much for us. Because of Dance we were able to buy a farm, the Gilchrist Training Center in Florida, that is affordable for us and we will raise a couple babies, then have a couple horses to fool around with but I didn’t buy any yearlings this year and we don’t plan on it. In fact my wife made me pour cement in one of the stalls in Florida to make it a feed storage area so I wouldn’t be tempted to put a horse in there.” Even if Lost In Time procures restitution for his sire’s misfortune in the Breeders Crown, Jim and Ellen are still not tempted to continue with the horse’s career, no matter how bright the future may be. “I didn’t even want to buy him as a yearling, but I had to support Dance as a stallion and this horse looked like the best one,” Mulinix said. “I always thought and still think Dance will make a great stallion and this horse is so athletic, with the same attitude. If I had to compare them, it would be that Dance was a fullback and Lost In Time is like a running back or halfback, but the shipping and back and forth is too much for us. “At the Metro people were talking about Jimmy Takter retiring and I can understand why. You work so many hours and this is not like a regular job and it is so easy to get burnt out because you don’t have the chance to just enjoy what you have done. “Jimmy and I have called each other for years about how to shoe our horses when I go out east and he comes out here. I know he said it would be his last year next year, but I asked him to take this horse to train and he said yes. “Of course the Breeders Crown would be so meaningful for us to win, not just because it would make up for Dance, but because we are so blessed in our lives to have him, this horse and so many other things that have come along. We hope our good fortune continues in Indiana, but we made our plan whether this colt wins the race or not. “He might go to the Governor’s Cup, I’m not sure right now, then maybe to Florida with us but then it is time for us to pretty much retire.” Click here for Friday’s complete Hoosier Park card. Click here for Saturday’s complete Hoosier Park card. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

It's hard to believe that one race could make such an enormous difference, but to harness racing trainer Trent Stohler, being part of Extreme Velocity's upset victory in the 1997 Breeders Crown Mare Pace was a life changing experience. Stohler will start Rock On Ladys in an elimination of the Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Filly Pace on Friday at Hoosier Park, but the memory of his first Crown experience is still fresh, 20 years later. "I was doing pretty well driving in Indiana," Stohler said, "But because of Extreme Velocity and the people I was able to meet traveling with her to the Meadowlands and to Ontario, it changed my life and my career." Stohler recalls that the trip to the Meadowlands prior to the 1997 Breeders Crown by no means meant the horse, owned by his father Kenneth and uncle Merrill, would participate in the actual event. "They had paid the supplement to make her eligible for the Breeders Crown," said Stohler of the decision to nominate the once-beaten 4-year-old mare that had dominated in Indiana as a sophomore. "But when they sent her to the Meadowlands they were just trying to see how she fit." The good news for Stohler and Extreme Velocity was that they put John Campbell up to drive her. "John came back and said that we had to put her in the Breeders Crown and that she deserved a shot." The Extreme Velocity story is one of extremely humble beginnings and that of two brothers, who, upon retiring from years of work at General Motors, decided to breed a mare of somewhat questionable pedigree. "They owned the mare together and raced her," said Stohler of Hasty Grand Slam, a mare that raced 20 times total as a 3- and 4-year-old and won exactly once with $1,617 in career earnings. "Hasty Grand Slam was a mare with a lot of heart," said Stohler. "She broke a knee and they decided to breed her." The brothers proved right about the mare as her first seven foals all made the races; included in that group was Smartdecision, a son of The Denman who scored in 1:53 3/5 as a 2-year-old at The Red Mile in 1991. But it was the mating with Camtastic that yielded Extreme Velocity. The filly trained down very well as a 2-year-old before beginning to sore up late in the training sessions. "They decided to stop with her and give her time to mature," said Stohler. As a relatively small stable back then, the Stohlers returned Extreme Velocity to training for her 3-year-old season, but were pretty much unable to assess just how good the filly was. "We really didn't have anyone to train her against to get a feel of just what kind of horse she could be," said Stohler. "One day I was talking to Ernie Gaskin, I had worked for him for a few years and I noticed that he had an Open horse (at Hoosier Park) that had missed a week and that he was going to go a big training trip with. I asked him if I could tow along with Extreme Velocity." That training trip let Stohler know just what kind of horse he was sitting behind. "I tracked Ernie's horse into the stretch and when Extreme Velocity pulled out, she finished right with him." In 1996, Trent drove and trained Extreme Velocity to 15 wins in 16 starts. "She never lost a race at Hoosier Park that year," said Stohler. Her lone defeat came at Fairmount Park in Open company. It was the end of the 3-year-old campaign and the first meeting with John Campbell at Garden State Park that gave the family confidence that Extreme Velocity belonged. "When we took her out east to Garden State Park it was perhaps the first time we realized how good she was," said Stohler recalling the late closing series in the fall that Extreme Velocity captured. Stohler drove her in the final, but Campbell sat behind her on one victorious occasion. That Stohler was driving or training Extreme Velocity so late in her sophomore season was a turning point as well. "They were offered $200,000 for her during the Lexington Grand Circuit that year," said Stohler, who remembered clearly what was at stake. "Since both were retiring from General Motors, they consulted with their accountant to find out exactly what $200,000 would actually come to with taxes and such. In the end they decided it would be best to continue to own her and watch her race." Extreme Velocity had developed a racing style during her 3- and early 4-year-old season as a strict closer. Stohler explained how that evolved. "It was in the early days at Hoosier Park with the long stretch," he said. "You could just sit and wait and she would chase and pass horses. Boy have things changed, it's much more aggressive today." As far as Breeders Crown day, it was one that Stohler remembers vividly. "I flew in from Indiana and got there in time to warm her up. She was really good that day, but after she won I had to run out quickly and catch a plane because we had horses in stakes at Hoosier Park that night. When I got to Indiana, a friend drove me to the airport right to the paddock. I had my colors on and when I got to the gate the guard asked to see my license. I didn't have my license on me, but I was in full colors and they finally let me in right before the horses were going on the track," Stohler said. "It was a great night. I won a few races and afterwards we were all able to have a big party." Extreme Velocity went on to career earnings of $856,070 and helped Stohler's career immeasurably. "When I was in Ontario I would run into Carmen Hie, John Hayes and so many others. I meet plenty of horsemen from New Jersey. It was fantastic and over time, when many of those would need to send horses to Indiana, they would give me a call," Stohler said. Extreme Velocity went on to be a solid broodmare in her own right, producing three open class mares in Real Velocity, Ultimate Velocity and Continual Velocity, a trio that earned over $1 million collectively. The Stohlers' Captain Velocity, a 3-year-old by Somebeachsomewhere is currently campaigning at Hoosier Park, the host of this year's Breeders Crown. For Stohler it has come full circle, as 20 years ago he was first arriving on the national scene and today, the racetrack he calls home gets its moment to share the spotlight. By Jay Bergman for Breeders Crown

Four harness racing drivers accused of race-fixing will face a hearing next month. Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt, Amanda Turnbull and Lisa Bartley all fronted Shepparaton Magistrates Court on Thursday. Their individuals cases were adjourned for hearing on November 27. It comes over a year since the quartet were arrested at Melton and charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

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WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 21, 2017 -- Stride Of Pride captured his third straight harness racing victory, this one as impressive as the previous two, in Saturday's $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Stride Of Pride was stalking Dapper Dude from the pocket when Dave Palone sent him wide for the drive. The 4-year-old Manhardt-Apple B gelding blew by Dapper Dude and drew off late to down his rival by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:51. Happy Andyversary was a ground-saving third. It was the fifth win in the last six starts for Stride Of Pride with a combined victory margin of 16-1/2 lengths. Ron Burke trains him for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. Burke enjoyed a four-bagger on the 12-race card while Jim Pantaleano and Palone each fashioned a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
ANDERSON, Ind. - Manchego continued her unbeaten ways capturing the second of two $20,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for harness racing juvenile trotting fillies Friday night at Hoosier Park. Yannick Gingras was in the sulky for the victory, which was clocked in 1:54.1. Gingras and Manchego floated out at the start and allowed rail-starting Looking For Zelda to take control of the race and cut the opening fraction of :27.3. Manchego was rated to take command after the first three-eighths and was able to set well-rated fractions sprinting off in the late stages for her 11th win in as many career starts. Lily Stride went a brave trip racing much of the mile without cover to gain the second spot, though a full 2½ lengths off the winner. A $120,000 yearling purchase by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman from last year's Lexington Selected auction, Manchego is a daughter of Muscle Hill from the Cantab Hall-sired mare Secret Magic. Asked about the threat to Manchego at headstretch, trainer Jimmy Takter offered this: "It would take one heck of a filly to go by this filly," he said. "So far, we haven't seen anyone." Manchego, a 1-20 proposition, returned $2.10 for the victory while pushing her career bankroll to $573,948. In addition to the winner and Lily Stride, Top Expectations, S M S Princess and Looking For Zelda all advanced to next Friday's finale. By Jay Bergman, for Breeders Crown    
ANDERSON, Ind. - Despite not having raced for 32 days, the Explosive Matter-Phaeton filly Phaetosive ($4.60 to win) set a Hoosier Park track record for harness racing freshman filly trotters in winning the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations Friday night, stopping the timer in 1:53.3. Basquiat, the even-money favorite, went to the lead despite the outside post eight, and set fractions of :27.4 and :57.1 while Phaetosive and trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer bided their time third. Phaetosive moved out raw into the far turn, trotted up to Basquiat by the 1:25.4 three-quarters, put that rival away quickly, and finished in :27.4 to win by three lengths in hand. Seviyorum closed on the far outside to catch Jordan Blue Chip for second, with Atlanta and Hey Blondie also earning their way into next Friday's final. Phaetosive, owned by the Purple Haze Stables LLC and another Hanover Shoe Farms-bred winner, now sports a career record of 6-4-2-0, with her only two defeats coming to the undefeated Manchego, who won the division's other elimination in 1:54.1. That matchup next week could be spectacular. Smedshammer said he hadn't been to Hoosier Park in 20 years: "And I even got lost coming here." Fortunately, there was no deviation of course with Phaetosive: "I got her into striking position, because I knew Yannick (Gingras, with Basquiat, who would finish sixth) would be leaving. I moved her out at the half, and she trotted up strongly and went right on by." By Gerry Connors, for Breeders Crown      
ANDERSON, Ind. - Overdraft Volo drafted nicely in the pocket until the head of the stretch, moved out to the lead, then held off the late move of favored Ice Attraction to win the single Breeders Crown elimination for harness racing 3-year-old Trotting Fillies in 1:53.3 at Hoosier Park Friday night. Driver Andy Miller pointed the daughter of Yankee Glide forward at the start and yielded to Fine Tuned Lady to sit the covered two-hole trip. Fine Tuned Lady put up fractions of :27.2, :57.1, and 1:25.3, the speedup in the third quarter due to a big move from first-over Checkmate Time, who went off stride midway around the far turn. Miller moved out with Overdraft Volo in early stretch and went right by Fine Tuned Lady, and the sophomore then had to be game to withstand the consistent inching in of Ice Attraction, holding on to a neck margin at the finish while returning $11.00 as the fourth choice. As was the case with their pacing counterparts earlier, the sophomore trotting fillies drew 11 entrants, and under the Breeders Crown rules at Hoosier, which starts nine across and a trailing 10 horse, the top two horses accepting byes automatically got in next week's championship. The remaining nine raced Friday to eliminate one. Champion mare Ariana G, who will undoubtedly be a heavy favorite next week, accepted a bye, as did Thats All Moni. Overdraft Volo will draw for a post between 1 and 5 because of her elim victory, while the rest, including the bye horses, will go into an open draw. Following Ice Attraction in order was Fine Tuned Lady, Sunshine Delight, Highland Top Hill, Dream Baby Dream, and then three who made a break in stride: second choice Dream Together and Checkmate Time, who recovered well enough to make the final, and Southwind Avanti, who did not. The "Team Orange" combo of driver Andy and trainer Julie Miller has kept this filly in prime fettle throughout the stakes season as she notched her fifth win of the campaign for owners Pinske Stable and Kentuckiana Racing Stable. Kentuckiana also was part of the breeding of the filly, along with Jorgen Jahre. "I got the trip I wanted," Andy Miller noted after the race. "When I pulled out she was strong, went to the lead and sprinted away, and then she stayed strong when the other filly (Ice Attraction) came to her." The Millers hope that Overdraft Volo stays strong for another week, with a date facing Ariana G looming seven days away. By Gerry Connors, for Breeders Crown
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