Day At The Track
Huntsville, Harness Racing

Grand Circuit stars shine at Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 22, 2017 - Harness racing's superstars were out in full force at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 22 as the evening's 14-race card featured over $1.4 million in purses for Grand Circuit racing action. A packed crowd gathered to watch and they were not disappointed as they received not merely one but four powerful performances in the $240,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for the two year old pacing fillies, the $125,000 Elevation Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts, the $160,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and the $160,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Pace for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Kicking off the stakes action, Closing Statement and David Miller made a big statement taking the $125,000 Elevation Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. With a final time of 1:50.4, Closing Statement recorded his third consecutive victory and established a new lifetime best in the process. Miller made his game winning move down the backside and Closing Statement dug in gamely late in the lane to hold off all challengers. The rookie son of Somebeachsomewhere-Ideal Newton is trained by Joe Holloway and owned by Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables, and Theodore Gewertz. With the win, Closing Statement pushed his lifetime earnings to $138,264. The Joe Holloway-David Miller combination would find the winner's circle just a few races later as Rainbow Room turned in a gritty performance to take the $200,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies. Stopping the timer in 1:52.2, Rainbow Room was rated off the pace through the early stages of the mile through splits of :26.2 and :55.4. Double Mint and Yannick Gingras continued to call the shots through the three-quarter clocking of 1:24.2 but Rainbow Room was on the attack, first-over. Utilizing a :27.2 final panel, Rainbow Room showed her grit to get the win and finish three-parts of a length in front of hard-charging Majorsspeciallady and Tim Tetrick. "She's really something special," Holloway noted in the winner's circle. "She's the nicest filly I've had the opportunity to train. I don't have her shod for here so I think she was getting a little tired but she had her game face on tonight, she showed how much she wants to win." With the win, Rainbow Room pushed her seasonal earnings to $311,199 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Val D'Or Farms, and Theodore Gewertz. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Rainbow Blue has now won six of seven seasonal outings. In the very next race on the program, Huntsville and Tim Tetrick turned in a decisive, front-running performance to take the $160,000 Jenna's Beach Boy pace in 1:49.1 Leaving from post four, Tetrick sent Huntsville away from the gate firing. The Ray Schnittker trainee cruised the fractions of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:22.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. As the field turned for home, Art Scene and Scott Zeron were matching strides with the leader but Huntsville wasn't finished. Tetrick asked his mount for more and he responded to get the win by a head over a hard-charging Sports Column and Brett Miller. "When he's on his game, he is tough to beat," Tetrick noted in the winner's circle. "Tonight, he was on his game. He had a few weeks off before his last start so he was a little short but he was back to himself tonight. He really raced tough tonight." Owned by R. Schnittker, T. Gewertz, S. Arnold, and Crawford Farms Racing, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show recorded his eighth win from 13 seasonal starts. With the win, Huntsville sports a 24-14-7-1 lifetime record and pushed his lifetime bankroll to $1,685,892. Not to be outdone by their younger counterparts, a field of ten lined up behind the gate for the $160,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and it was All Bets Off and Matt Kakaley who provided the slight 7-1 upset. Staging a big rally late in the lane, All Bets Off powered home in :26.2 to find the wire first in 1:49. As one of three Ron Burke trainees in the field, All Bets Off got away third while stablemates Rockin Ron and Check Six took turns on the front. Turning for home, the leaders were beginning to tire and All Bets Off was poised to strike. All Bets Off found another gear late in the lane to get the win by a head over a hard-charging Missile J and Tim Tetrick. "He's a tough horse," Kakaley noted in the winner's circle. "I think he's shown that his whole life. I am glad to see him get one of the big wins, he deserves it. He's right there every week racing with the best of them week in and week out." Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and Panhellenic Stable Corporation, All Bets Off recorded the fourth win from 20 seasonal trip's behind the gate. The six year old son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope has now won 26 of 97 lifetime starts. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 24 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin

Homicide Hunter, Harness Racing

Homicide Hunters captures $240,000 Classic

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 22, 2017 - On Friday evening (Sept. 22) the majority of the harness racing fans at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino sought the cooler confines of the great indoors, but braved the humid conditions to witness an overall track record performance by world and Indiana champion Homicide Hunter. The 5-year-old gelding sailed by fellow champion Hannelore Hanover in deep stretch and held off the late bid of another familiar colleague in track record holder Natural Herbie to score in the $240,000 Centaur Trotting Classic in 1:51.2 to complete an Indiana-bred trifecta in the event, which was one of seven on the Grand Circuit contests on the card. "I am very excited about the driving him here in the Breeders Crown," said pilot Brett Miller. "I've only driven him three times, but since he's been here it's like he knows where he is and that he is home; he also loves the track. He is such a well-mannered horse and that is what makes him what he is. Nine out of 10 of the great horses you drive are intelligent and if they don't have that they generally never become very good; this horse has that and much more." Another track record holder over this Anderson oval in I Know My Chip (Sam Widger), led the extremely talented field of 10 through the first quarter mile in a swift :26.1 with world champion JL Cruze (David Miller) right behind him as Hannelore Hanover was content to track this duo in third until shortly after the tote board flashed the time of :54.3 for the half-mile. As the final turn to the homestretch loomed, Yannick Gingras pulled the 5-year-old mare and she responded with vigor to take the lead. As Hannelore Hanover made her move, Homicide Hunter and Miller simply employed her cover to enter second place at the top of the lane. The mare dug deep in reply to Homicide Hunter's advance, yet the gelding's strides appeared to lengthen as he drew on even terms then trotted past his rival. Meanwhile Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder) was making his own bid for the victory with an extremely strong move on the outside, but it was too little too late. Owned by Crawford Farms, Homicide Hunter is trained by Chris Oakes. The triumph in the Centaur Trotting Classic improves his record to a sterling 57-30-6-7 and makes him the sport's newest millionaire. The Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes Not to be outdone by her more seasoned and mature elderstatesman, Basquiat (Gingras) demolished the track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies just recently set by Oh So Easy when she tripped the teletimer earlier in the evening in 1:53.4 in the $240,000 race. The time was nearly a full second faster than the previous standard. Trained by Jimmy Takter and competing as a homebred for Order By Stable, the daughter of Cantab Hall-Thatsnotmyname was not hindered by drawing post nine in the field of 10 as she trotted comfortably in third for the first quarter mile, which was timed in :27, before advancing to second behind leader Meadow Brook Grace (Trace Tetrick) just before the :56.2 half-mile. The positions of the top two remained unchanged through three-quarters in 1:25 but when Gingras gave his filly her cue to go after the final turn, Basquiat responded in kind. The filly strode past the pacesetter with ease and defeated a hard-closing Custom Cantab (Peter Wrenn) by a measured length. Hey Blondie (Andrew McCarthy) was third. Basquiat's record now stands at 7-5-2. The Moni Maker Although she did not establish a new track record like her counterparts, Sunshine Delight (Brett Miller) did equal a facility mark with a 1:53.1 victory by two lengths in the $160,000 event. In a race where the lead was inherited by three of the seven contestants in the race, Sunshine Delight (post five) was placed in sixth position for until after the toteboard recorded a time of :57.1 for the half-mile. That is when Miller urged his filly to advance and by the top of the stretch she had a head advantage over Treviso (Charlie Norris, post two). From there on in, it was all Sunshine Delight and daughter of Credit Winner-On The Bright Side set a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1. Trained by Staffan Lind, the filly is owned by James Wilhite Jr. and it is her second win of the year from 11 trips to the post. "She has had some very tough posts, like in the Hambletonian Oaks, but she has always tried her best and raced well," Miller said. "She is a very good filly, but she's had some bad luck. It's great to see her finally win one of these tonight." Sunshine Delight was followed home by Future Secured (Gingras), who is a full-sister to Basquiat, and Treviso. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 24 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Story By: Kim French, for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

Mark MacDonald's 6,000th victory, Harness Racing

Mark MacDonald nabs his 6000th win

Harness racing driver Mark MacDonald would pilot Atlanta to a track record for freshman trotting fillies by capturing the first division of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) and getting his 6,000th career driving victory at Vernon Downs on Friday night (September 22). Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) remained undefeated winning the second division. Fury Road (Chris Lems) would lead the first division ($55,500) trotters into the first quarter in 28.3. It was short-lived when Atlanta (Chapter Seven - Hemi Blue Chip) claimed the top spot just before the top of the back stretch. Owned by Rick Zeron Stables, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, and Brad Grant while trained by Zeron, she would be joined by the first-over by Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller) just before the three-quarter marker. The two fillies would then have an epic battle all the way down the stretch. Atlanta ($7.50) would dig down deep to hold off the heavy pressure from Supergirl Riley (Muscle Mass - Crown Royal), to set the track record in 1:54.0, while getting her fifth career win. All this making win number 6000 even sweeter for MacDonald. MacDonald would later on add win 6001 with Padua Hanover ($3.60). Supergirl Riley had to settle for second with Perfect Summer K (jimmy Whittemore) getting third. Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass - Dunk The Donato) would get her sixth win in six starts taking the second division ($56,500). Big Checkmate (Donald Dupont) would grab the early lead but Plunge Blue Chip ($2.10), who is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and trainer, driver Svanstedt, would take over before the first quarter and put up all the fractions :28.3, :58.0, 1:27.2, 1:55.0. The 2 year-old filly was in complete control and would get a career best time beating her top rival Lima Novelty (Jason Bartlett), who came on late to finish second three lengths back. Big Checkmate hung on for third. Chris Lems would win four on the night. He got victories with Give Angel Credit ($7.50), Sweet Thing ($2.10), Dreams Beach Boy ($3.30), and In The Clear ($5.10). Vernon Downs returns to live action on Saturday (September 23) with a 13 race card starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs.    

Our Els Dream N, Harness Racing

Our Els Dream N takes $18,000 Open

Our Els Dream N (Elsu) became the third Al Annunziata trainee to record a win in the harness racing fillies and mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel this year. The eight year old mare wound up getting a first over journey in Friday's $18,000 Open for distaffers. The race's favorite faltered on the engine and Our Els Dream N took advantage, cruising by in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:53.2. Stylish Beachwhere (Frank Coppola Jr) followed the winner's cover and ended up as the runner-up while West Liberty (Jim Devaux) earned the show spot. Our Els Dream N is the third Annunziata-trained mare to win the Open at the Spa this season as the New Zealand bred mare joined fellow New Zealander Betacool N and Australian invader Quick Draft A as top flight lady pacers to prevail in the Fillies and Mares Open at the Spa this year. Our Els Dream N paid $11.80 to win on Friday and led an exacta and triple that came back $56.50 and $150.50, respectively. Our Els Dream N took her North American earnings to $304,610 as a result of 22 wins and numerous placings. She was driven to victory by Bruce Aldrich Jr. who piloted his 7,000th career winner on Wednesday at Monticello and was recognized for the feat on Thursday at Saratoga with a presentation in the winner's circle. Aldrich currently sits fourth in the local driver standings but well behind Billy Dobson who had a six-win night on Friday. Live racing continues on Saturday at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 22, 2017 - All About Madi (Brian Sears, $11) made the lead and that was that Friday night (Sept. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In a race with not much speed, it was a two-speed number. 'Madi,' from post position No. 5, worked around pole-sitting Jag Out (George Brennan), grabbing the baton before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. She then rated a :30.1 next substation (:57.4 half). Call Me Queen Be (Jim Marohn Jr.) was away third at the 11-10 choice, but didn't get off the cones as Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) made her second move. That one towed HP Sissy (Dan Dube) into it going toward the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Off those intervals, All About Madi should have had something in reserve, and she did. Taking a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, 'Madi' held off Jag Out by a three-quarters of a length in 1:53.3. 'Sissy' was third, with a from-last 47-1 outsider Newborn Sassy (Tyler Buter) and 'Queen Be' settling for the remainder. For third choice All About Madi, a 4-year-old daughter of Brandon's Cowboy owned and trained by Brittany Robertson, it was her eighth win (third consecutive) in 25 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $44.80, with the triple returning $230.50. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (Sept. 23rd) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $2,426.47. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing card. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

Lexington, KY - With 2017 The Little Brown Jug now history, the focus of the harness racing Grand Circuit shifts to the Bluegrass for a fortnight of top quality harness racing at The Red Mile and the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.   Racing begins on Thursday, September 28 with a 7 p.m. post time which continues through Saturday, September 30. The 1:00 p.m. matinee cards start on Sunday, October 1 and return for the Thursday - Sunday schedule October 5-8.   The first draw is on Monday, September 25 with the box closing at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. The condition sheet is available on the web. Electronic entry is encouraged and the Race Office & Judges contact information is available on the condition sheet.   All information pertinent to bringing your stable to The Red Mile (including stall applications which must be filed) may be accessed from this page.   The Clubhouse dining room will be open on all race dates, make your reservations by calling (859) 255-0752.   The Lexington Yearling sale where champions are sold kicks off on the evening of Tuesday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. and continues through Saturday.   The city of Lexington offers much in the way of entertainment available during your stay including fine dining and an active nighttime scene.   Come join the fun!   Nick Salvi

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 22, 2017 - It's a homecoming weekend of sorts, with Yonkers Trot winner Top Flight Angel returning Saturday night (Sept. 23rd) as the harness racing conquering hero. He does so in the first division of Yonkers Raceway's $172,000 New York Sire Stakes Michael Sorentino Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of groupings, at $85,250 and $86,750, respectively, go as the fourth and fifth races in an event named for the one of the Raceway's long-time popular horse owners. As if we needed the assistance, Top Flight Angel won the draw, with the Mr. (Andy Miller) driving for the Mrs. (Julie Miller). The son of 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel grabbed the half-million-dollar Trot by a moist nose in 1:56.3. He then shuffled off to Batavia, airing in a NYSS event (1:54.3). For the season, the Legacy Standardbred (Alan Hainsworth) homebred has won four of his 13 starts ($362,016). Brian Sears, Top Flight Angel's Trot date, tries to beat him this time around with Stick with Me Kid. The Dewycheatumnhowe gelding, trained by George Ducharme, is also 4-for-13 this season. He starts at the opposite end of the seven-horse gate. Seven and Seven (George Brennan, post 4) is Ontario-based trainer Tom Durand's first local visit in since October of 2013. The homebred (Mrs. Durand) son of Chapter Seven has been trying open stakes company for much of the summer, though his lone win was a Tioga sire stakes event. Saturday's second Sorentino division includes Guardian Angel AS (Jason Bartlett, post 3). The Archangel colt has won half of his 14 '17 tries ($153,143), though that may be overshadowed by breaks in the finals of both the Hambletonian and Yonkers Trot. Anette Lorenzton trains for co-owners ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson. Swell Chap (Sears, post 4) has come to hand late in the summer, entering with consecutive NYSS wins (Saratoga and Batavia). The Son of Chapter Seven colt, trained by Todd Rooney, has hit the board in 11-of-13 starts this season ($157,451). Saturday is the last of 16 sire stakes local legs, after which the judges tabulate the scores to see who's good enough for the $1.8 million Oct. 14th New York 'Day' of Champions. The eight, $225,000 NYSS finals take place during Yonkers' $3.3 million International Trot matinee program. Frank Drucker

If harness racing fans, owners, breeders and trainers thought 2017 was a banner year for trotters with the richest purses ever in the history of the UK and Ireland, thanks to the support of LeTrot, then just wait for the 2018 season! The 2017 season recently concluded at Tir Prince Raceway on Saturday, September 9 with the €30,000 Gold Final, which is now the richest race ever for trotters or pacers in UK/Ireland history. Total purses that evening for the Gold, Silver, Bronze and the consolation race were a record £61,850 ($80,000 US) for just the four finals. “The 3-year-old 2017 TROTBritain/LeTrot Series was an unqualified success,” said George Button, a director for TROTBritain. “This year’s series captured the imagination of the harness racing community in the UK and led to the biggest Series ever to be held in the history of our sport. The 2018 TROTBritain/LeTrot series for French 3-year-old trotters will be bigger and better. “The emphasis now is on the young horses racing in the UK,” explained Button. “And encouraging the breeding of a Trotteur Francais for the sustainable future of our sport. Never before has there been an opportunity to progress trotting here, and TROTBritain will continue to push forward with their ambition to establish LeTrot racing as a major force in the UK. We thank LeTrot for their continued support with sponsorship enabling us to help achieve our objectives.” The LeTrot Super Finals at Tir Prince saw the €30,000 Gold Cup Final go to Equilea Du Hauty and trainer/driver Rhys Evans in the closest finish of the series finals, winning by just a half-length in 2:07.60 for the 1,760 yard race over Ecurme De Mer (Jak Foody) with Eliothrope (Steve Lees) third. Equilea Du Hauty is owned by Geoff Lyons-Mound, Sr. In the €15,000 Silver Cup Final, it was Eldivina D’Esge and trainer/driver Rhun Wilson, who were able to post a two-length triumph in 2:11.50 over Espoir Lila (Joseph Ripley) with Eclair Du Torp (Joss Edwards) third. Jobie Randall owns Eldivina D’Esge. Then in the €9,025 Bronze Cup Final, driver Richard Haythornthwaite blew away the field, winning by six open lengths in 2:13.80 with Emirat Du Levant. Second was Emeraude De Dourse (Andrew Cairns) with Etoile Vive (Gary Dowse) third. Emirat Du Levant is trained by Teresa Haythornthwaite for the Globe Trotters Stable. “The finals night was such a great success,” Button added. “And we thank Emmanuelle Morvillers, Head of Overseas Development at LeTrot for attending the race card, and everyone involved with TROTBritain for all their hard work as it has really paid off! We also want to thank the management at Tir Prince Raceway for hosting not only the finals, but many of the legs of the series this summer. Also thanks to all the tracks that held heats of LeTrot and to all the individuals who participated in the series and gave their support to the LeTrot 3-year-old initiative. It was so great this season.” By Steve Wolf, for TROTBritain

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 21, 2017-- Paprike Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr., $7) and Hitman Hill (catch-driver Eric Goodell, $2.20) were the Empire's elite Thursday night (Sept. 21st), highlighting Yonkers Raceway's $157,600 New York Sire Stakes Jim Crawford Pace for the harness racing 2-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of $78,800 divisions comprised the event. The opening group saw Paprike Blue Chip put in play from post position No. 5 (in one notch after a scratch). Grabbing the first lead, he relented to 3-10 choice Casual Cool (Jason Bartlett). The odds-on number took over just after a :27.2 opening quarter-mile, then rated a 57-second intermission and 1:26 three-quarters. Silver Arrow (Mark MacDonald) was loitering first-up while Casual Cool maintained a not-so-casually contested lead into the lane. The people's choice took Paprike Blue Chip to the passing lane, and pass he did. The second choice whipped the fave by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:55, with Silver Arrow photoing American Vision (Jordan Stratton) for third. For 'Paprike,' a Roll with Joe gelding, trained by John Butenschoen for co-owners Harmony Oaks & Crawford Racing and VIP Internet Stable, it was his fifth win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $9.80, with the triple returning $22. "It's not hard to get along with him," Morrill Jr.--who has won three times with Paprike Blue Chip--said. "There's some class there." Thursday's second sire stakes event saw undefeated, pole-sitting Hitman Hill break in a new chauffeur after Brett Miller was unable to get here (from Delaware, OH) in time. As for Goodell's post-mortem, "He was rank and wild leaving the gate. Very talented, but he needs to control it." There were few stop signs early as My Delight (Brent Holland) made the first lead passing the :26.3 first subsection. Hitman Hill wanted no place in the pocket, making the lead and throwing it down (:55.2, 1:23.4). He owned a 'iffy' length-and-and-a-half lead into the lane, appearing there for the taking. However, in a slow (:29:3) final quarter, no one took it. Hitman Hill held off Topville Olympian (Morrill Jr.) by a head in 1:53.2, with Keystone Tenacious (Jim Marohn Jr.) third. For Hitman Hill, an American Ideal gelding co-owned by Tom Hill & North Fork Racing and trained by Chris Oakes, he's won all six of his career tries. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $5.30, with the triple returning $26.40. Special Thursday props to Marohn Jr., whose four victories were a personal local best. No props, at least not this night, for MacDonald, who remains at 5,999 career wins after going 0-for-9. MacDonald ventures to Vernon Downs Friday night (Sept. 22nd) for statebred frosh trotting fillies. Frank Drucker

Filibuster Hanover used his front end speed to win the harness racing 72nd Little Brown Jug in 1:50 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Thursday evening. When the gates wings opened for the $401,472 final heat, driver Yannick Gingras sent Filibuster Hanover out of post #2 and grabbed the early lead from a fast leaving Downbytheseaside (Brian Sears) from post #5. First heat winner Fear The Dragon (David Miller) was forced into fourth. Filibuster Hanover led the field of seven past the opening quarter in :26 4/5. Sears decided to send the pocket sitting Downbytheseaside to the front at the half in :54 3/5. Gingras and Filibuster Hanover refused to let Downbystheseaside by, forcing the later to race on the outside. The eventual winner opened up some daylight at the ¾ pole in 1:21 3/5 as a tiring Downbytheseaside caused the chasers wide in the final turn. Filibuster Hanover won by a length over Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan), who rallied up the rail to finish second and Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley) was third. The three-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Joseph DiScala, Jr., J & T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. Gingras and Burke hoisted the Jug for the second time (2014 Limelight Beach). "We were really happy with (Filibuster Hanover) coming into this race and pleased with the post position," noted the winning trainer. "We thought he could be the horse to beat as Brian's (Brown) horses have been racing very hard and we might have caught them at the right time." "This horse really has been good all year long, but has really improved recently and we always thought he could win this race," added Gingras. The $188,928 first heat was a classic. Funknwaffles used the inside rail position and led the field of eight past the opening quarter in :27 1/5 and the half in :55 1/5. Fear The Dragon was the first to challenge, providing some needed cover for Miso Fast and Downbytheseaside. Funknwaffles remained a nose in front at the three-quarters in 1:22 4/5. As the field headed down the lane, six horses had a legitimate shot to win. Fear The Dragon received the last call and won by a neck over Filibuster Hanover in 1:50 3/5. Funknwaffles held on for third. Miso Fast was fourth and Downbytheseaside was fifth just ¾ of a length back of his stablemate. The official results of the first heat established the post-positions for the second heat. With the winner's share, Filibuster Hanover now sports $633,258 on his career earnings card. Filibuster Hanover The Jug Undercard The $120,500 Ms. Versatility Final was won by Emoticon Hanover (Daniel Dube) over Caprice Hill (Yannick Gingras) and Barn Girl (Aaron Merriman) in 1:52. The winning time was just 1/5 off the track, stakes and world records. Luc Blais trains the winner for Determination of Montreal, Quebec. Shake It Off Lindy and driver Scott Zeron used a front running effort to win the $105,125 Old Oaken Bucket in a lifetime best 1:54. A pair of Chris Beaver trainees took the place and show spots with Amdy M (David Miller) and Moonshiner Hanover (Tim Tetrick). Shake It Off Lindy is owned by K R Breeding and trained by Frank Antonacci. The leading candidates for next year's Old Oaken Bucket competed in the $52,200 Standardbred for two-year-old colt trotters. Keystone Apache (Marcus Miller) overcame a tough trip and edged Can't Afford It (Andy Miller) by a neck in a lifetime best 1:56 2/5. The Explosive Matter colt is owned by the Erv Miller Stable and Tangie Massey. He is trained by Erv Miller. Four divisions of the $145,184 (div.) Ohio Breeders Championship for freshman pacing colts were held. Three $36,296 divisions were won by trainer Brian Brown - Rock On Creek (Chris Page), Dragonology (David Miller) and Slick Mick (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.). The final division was won by Born To Be Bad (Andy Miller). The $113,385 (div.) sophomore colt OBC paces were won by Scotch McEwan (Josh Sutton), Camwood (Kayne Kauffman) and Barnabas (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.). Camwood paid $50.00 to win. A pair of $53,543 three-year-old filly OBC paces were won by Berazzled (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) and Rosa's Touch (Matt Kakaley). The $11,500 OBC for aged pacers went to Miss Me Yet (Montrell Teague) in 1:52 1/5. The mare as won three straight OBCs. Trainer Brian Brown won five races on the 22-race card. Jay Wolf      

ON Monday August 21, 2017, Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards conducted an inquiry into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester, metabolites of cocaine, had been detected in the post-race urine sample taken from DESTINY WARRIOR following its win in Race 5 DUBBO RSL CLUB FINAL (2120m) at Dubbo on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.  Licensed trainer Mr Nathan Turnbull appeared at the inquiry accompanied by his legal advisor who sought and was granted permission for the trainer to be represented by D Sheales Barrister.  Evidence was heard from and on behalf of Mr Turnbull, from licensed trainer A Williams and a person known to Mr Turnbull who accompanied the trainer to the Dubbo races.   Evidence was also heard from HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian, Dr Martin Wainscott. After fully considering all the evidence Stewards issued a charge against Mr Turnbull pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190 (1), (2) & (4) as follows: AHRR 190.  (1)  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. (2)  If a horse is presented for a race otherwise than in accordance with sub rule (1) the trainer of the horse is guilty of an offence. (4)  An offence under sub rule (2) or sub rule (3) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. Mr Turnbull pleaded guilty to the charge laid.  On the trainer’s behalf Mr Sheales then presented submissions in regards to penalty. Having regards to certain detailed aspects of the Barrister’s submission on penalty, Stewards adjourned to fully consider the submission and examine references tendered on behalf of the trainer as being relevant. On Monday September 18, 2017, Stewards announced that taking all the circumstances into consideration they had determined that Mr Turnbull be disqualified for a period of two years and six months to commence at midnight on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. In determining penalty Stewards acknowledged the following: The serious nature of this offence; Mr Turnbull’s guilty plea; Cocaine, including its metabolites, as being a Class 1 Prohibited Substance under the HRNSW Penalty Guidelines; Mr Turnbull’s previous record noting no previous prohibitive substance offences; and Mr Turnbull’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. HRNSW Stewards acting under the provisions of AHRR 195 being satisfied that benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester, metabolites of cocaine, were substances prohibited under the rules, ordered DESTINY WARRIOR be disqualified from the abovementioned race. Mr Turnbull was advised of his right to appeal these decisions.  HRNSW are advised the trainer has exercised his right to appeal the penalty imposed.   MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au GRAHAM LOCH | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •  gloch@hrnsw.com.au

Owners' grand moments are being thrust into the harness racing spotlight with tonight's launch of OTM TV, a Trots Media production hosted by Larni Salathiel. The program, which is backed by Trots Media's digital sponsor Alabar, celebrates all things ownership and began with a special TAB Breeders Crown feature. Larni was trackside to get the first word from owners, including following two-year-old trotting star Wobelee, his owner Colin Murphy and the Alford family as Wobelee attempted to cap his brilliant season with a 10th consecutive win. The pre-race nerves and post-race ecstasy were captured throughout the day as eight Group 1s were decided at Tabcorp Park Melton. Relive the magic through episode one of OTM TV:   Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Brett Sturman is right on target when he opines (Harness Racing Update 9/15/17) that suspending a horse is unfair to the owner, but surely it is also harmful to the industry; an industry that seems to be intent on chasing owners away from the auction rings and claim boxes under the well intended, but misguided popular mantra of much desired "integrity”.   Clearly, as Sturman properly pointed out, any owner found to be complicit with illegal activity, should be severely punished; but to punish an owner for entrusting his or her horse to a trainer who is licensed and fully able to participate by virtue of a license issued by the Commission is just wrong.   If the owner is to be charged with failing to be “more” mindful, diligent and selective about engaging a trainer, should not the regulator be held to the same standard in licensing and re-licensing trainers?   If owners are to be punished for engaging the services of “certain” licensed trainers, perhaps the regulator should consider publishing a list of those licensed trainers they "mindfully, diligently and selectively" issued a license to, and advise owners that in spite of their grant of a license, these licensees are the ones owners should avoid.   This would tremendously help owners in making an informed choice, rather than subjecting owners to such harsh punishment imposed, due to the lack of diligence on the Commission’s part in issuing a “stay away from” trainer a license in the first place.   Punishing owners after the fact for using a trainer who subsequently violates the trainer responsibility rule or for the failure to guard a horse from the administration of an illicit substance is simply not going to produce the desired result, especially when many regulators see fit to adopt the unfounded medication guidelines of RMTC. Enforcement of these guidelines has created false positives already and now could be a further predicate to cause owners to suffer.   Many of the sport’s top trainers have been the subject of permissive medication violations simply because they are the trainer.  Now is this new proposal going to allow regulators or/track track operators to pick and choose, not only which trainers should suffer but now which owners should, or should not, be penalized?    Consider something else, when does the 90 day suspension of the horse commence, when the positive is reported, or at the conclusion of a the trainer’s hearing or the exhaustion of the judicial process?   If from the report of the positive, how does the regulator compensate an owner whose trainer is eventually exonerated?   Can a horse’s ownership be transferred before the process is completed or can the Commission ignore one's right to the "free alienation of property"?   Will the Commission undertake alerting the entire industry that a horse is potentially subject to suspension at the end of the process or does a new and unsuspecting owner now suffer?     We have seen similar pitfalls erupt when Commissions decided to pre-race detain high TCO2 horses and paint them with an industry's "Scarlet Letter".    No doubt the industry needs to champion a level playing field. As usual, its knee-jerk efforts, lauded in so many quarters, make for positive sound bites and a purely negative and mostly counterproductive result.    If no real investment is made in properly policing this sport, no misguided punishment of owners who have done no wrong, will ever be a meaningful substitute for the integrity that we desire, as there may not be owners left.   The only real solution to the problem is, and always has been, the investment in “boots on the ground” investigations by the Commission, valid medication guidelines followed by appropriate testing protocols at experienced labs.   Attempting to clean up the problem via innuendo and the slander of trainers, accomplishes nothing more than a further erosion of the industry by driving out owners whose only foibles were hiring fully licensed conditioners.   Joe Faraldo  

The U.S. Trotting Association (USTA) recently issued a statement expressing its opposition to the Horse Racing Integrity Act of 2017 (officially known as H.R. 2651). The bill would lead to the creation of a private, independent horseracing anti-doping authority responsible for developing and administering a nation-wide anti-doping program for horse racing. In short, the USTA opposes the provision in the bill requiring the elimination of race-day medications and it wants separate regulations regarding therapeutic medications for different horse breeds. The organization also took issue with the makeup of the board that would oversee the new anti-doping authority. While the members of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity respect the USTA's yearning for breed-specific, uniform medication rules for horse racing, the reasons for their opposition to H.R. 2651 are based on faulty arguments and a clear lack of understanding of what the bill would actually do. First of all, there is nothing in the legislation that says it is a one-size-fits-all anti-doping policy. To read this article in full written by Shawn Smeallie on The Paulick Report click on this link.  

I am writing this response to a letter written by Joe Faraldo to HarnessLink. First of all, I feel qualified to respond because of the fact that I am president of Harness Horsemen International and past president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey.  The first thing that comes to my mind is this senseless vendetta that Joe has with Jeff Gural. I think Joe is an intelligent man, who truly has done his best to help the horse people at Yonkers Raceway, but I think in his letter he has his facts all wrong about Jeff's motives. He has taken Jeff's comments way out of context.  Let me begin by saying that the Jeff I know is honest, well meaning, and loyal to a fault. I am going to start from the beginning.   We raised $100,000 through a fundraiser by the horsemen of New Jersey for the then candidate for New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, based on his promises of how he was going to help our industry.  But after he was elected, Christie proceeded to tell me at a very early date, that we had 24 hours to come up with eight million dollars [$8 million] or he was going to shut down the Sports Authority racing facilities, which meant the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park would close immediately. I thought of only one person that I knew who could help, Jeff Gural, if he was so inclined. I proceeded to call him and tell him of our predicament. Without hesitation he told me he would meet me in Trenton the next morning.  As it turns out, Jeff was able to make a deal with the state to keep the Meadowlands open.    What is interesting about all of this, is that Jeff never thought or knew anything about a possible casino. Jeff's only thought was to save our horsemen and our industry from a sudden tragic end.  To address Joe Faraldo's comments that Jeff was saying that he did a favor for a couple of horsemen is ludicrous. He did it for all of us and the industry which he loves.  He saved harness racing for without the Meadowlands there would be no racing in New Jersey or,  for that matter, most racing in this country would probably succumb.    I sometimes wonder why some people want to take something good and turn it into something bad for their own gratification  Joe took Jeff's comments way out of context.  I don't care how you look at it, the Meadowlands is a success, especially when you look at the surrounding racinos with all their slot money.  They don't wager half of what the Meadowlands does without any help from the slot money, good horses, or many of the top drivers. I am not saying that horsemen should not think about themselves or their families, but don't act or think that Jeff did this solely for his own monetary enhancement, because he stepped up to the plate initially to save our industry.   So whenever you read the articles that criticize Jeff, remember (A) maybe someone has an axe to grind and (B) when you are racing at the Meadowlands some night, you probably wouldn't be there if it wasn't for Jeff Gural.  I know that many of you, including myself at times, don't agree with all of Jeff's decisions, but they all come from his love of the game and what he thinks is best.  So I am taking this time to thank him and all the GRATEFUL horsemen and women who can still enjoy making a living at what they love at the Meadowlands.  Sincerely, Thomas F. Luchento

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ANDERSON, Ind.-September 22, 2017 - Harness racing's superstars were out in full force at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 22 as the evening's 14-race card featured over $1.4 million in purses for Grand Circuit racing action. A packed crowd gathered to watch and they were not disappointed as they received not merely one but four powerful performances in the $240,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for the two year old pacing fillies, the $125,000 Elevation Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts, the $160,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and the $160,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Pace for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Kicking off the stakes action, Closing Statement and David Miller made a big statement taking the $125,000 Elevation Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. With a final time of 1:50.4, Closing Statement recorded his third consecutive victory and established a new lifetime best in the process. Miller made his game winning move down the backside and Closing Statement dug in gamely late in the lane to hold off all challengers. The rookie son of Somebeachsomewhere-Ideal Newton is trained by Joe Holloway and owned by Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables, and Theodore Gewertz. With the win, Closing Statement pushed his lifetime earnings to $138,264. The Joe Holloway-David Miller combination would find the winner's circle just a few races later as Rainbow Room turned in a gritty performance to take the $200,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies. Stopping the timer in 1:52.2, Rainbow Room was rated off the pace through the early stages of the mile through splits of :26.2 and :55.4. Double Mint and Yannick Gingras continued to call the shots through the three-quarter clocking of 1:24.2 but Rainbow Room was on the attack, first-over. Utilizing a :27.2 final panel, Rainbow Room showed her grit to get the win and finish three-parts of a length in front of hard-charging Majorsspeciallady and Tim Tetrick. "She's really something special," Holloway noted in the winner's circle. "She's the nicest filly I've had the opportunity to train. I don't have her shod for here so I think she was getting a little tired but she had her game face on tonight, she showed how much she wants to win." With the win, Rainbow Room pushed her seasonal earnings to $311,199 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Val D'Or Farms, and Theodore Gewertz. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Rainbow Blue has now won six of seven seasonal outings. In the very next race on the program, Huntsville and Tim Tetrick turned in a decisive, front-running performance to take the $160,000 Jenna's Beach Boy pace in 1:49.1 Leaving from post four, Tetrick sent Huntsville away from the gate firing. The Ray Schnittker trainee cruised the fractions of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:22.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. As the field turned for home, Art Scene and Scott Zeron were matching strides with the leader but Huntsville wasn't finished. Tetrick asked his mount for more and he responded to get the win by a head over a hard-charging Sports Column and Brett Miller. "When he's on his game, he is tough to beat," Tetrick noted in the winner's circle. "Tonight, he was on his game. He had a few weeks off before his last start so he was a little short but he was back to himself tonight. He really raced tough tonight." Owned by R. Schnittker, T. Gewertz, S. Arnold, and Crawford Farms Racing, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show recorded his eighth win from 13 seasonal starts. With the win, Huntsville sports a 24-14-7-1 lifetime record and pushed his lifetime bankroll to $1,685,892. Not to be outdone by their younger counterparts, a field of ten lined up behind the gate for the $160,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and it was All Bets Off and Matt Kakaley who provided the slight 7-1 upset. Staging a big rally late in the lane, All Bets Off powered home in :26.2 to find the wire first in 1:49. As one of three Ron Burke trainees in the field, All Bets Off got away third while stablemates Rockin Ron and Check Six took turns on the front. Turning for home, the leaders were beginning to tire and All Bets Off was poised to strike. All Bets Off found another gear late in the lane to get the win by a head over a hard-charging Missile J and Tim Tetrick. "He's a tough horse," Kakaley noted in the winner's circle. "I think he's shown that his whole life. I am glad to see him get one of the big wins, he deserves it. He's right there every week racing with the best of them week in and week out." Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and Panhellenic Stable Corporation, All Bets Off recorded the fourth win from 20 seasonal trip's behind the gate. The six year old son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope has now won 26 of 97 lifetime starts. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 24 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin
ANDERSON, Ind.-September 22, 2017 - On Friday evening (Sept. 22) the majority of the harness racing fans at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino sought the cooler confines of the great indoors, but braved the humid conditions to witness an overall track record performance by world and Indiana champion Homicide Hunter. The 5-year-old gelding sailed by fellow champion Hannelore Hanover in deep stretch and held off the late bid of another familiar colleague in track record holder Natural Herbie to score in the $240,000 Centaur Trotting Classic in 1:51.2 to complete an Indiana-bred trifecta in the event, which was one of seven on the Grand Circuit contests on the card. "I am very excited about the driving him here in the Breeders Crown," said pilot Brett Miller. "I've only driven him three times, but since he's been here it's like he knows where he is and that he is home; he also loves the track. He is such a well-mannered horse and that is what makes him what he is. Nine out of 10 of the great horses you drive are intelligent and if they don't have that they generally never become very good; this horse has that and much more." Another track record holder over this Anderson oval in I Know My Chip (Sam Widger), led the extremely talented field of 10 through the first quarter mile in a swift :26.1 with world champion JL Cruze (David Miller) right behind him as Hannelore Hanover was content to track this duo in third until shortly after the tote board flashed the time of :54.3 for the half-mile. As the final turn to the homestretch loomed, Yannick Gingras pulled the 5-year-old mare and she responded with vigor to take the lead. As Hannelore Hanover made her move, Homicide Hunter and Miller simply employed her cover to enter second place at the top of the lane. The mare dug deep in reply to Homicide Hunter's advance, yet the gelding's strides appeared to lengthen as he drew on even terms then trotted past his rival. Meanwhile Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder) was making his own bid for the victory with an extremely strong move on the outside, but it was too little too late. Owned by Crawford Farms, Homicide Hunter is trained by Chris Oakes. The triumph in the Centaur Trotting Classic improves his record to a sterling 57-30-6-7 and makes him the sport's newest millionaire. The Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes Not to be outdone by her more seasoned and mature elderstatesman, Basquiat (Gingras) demolished the track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies just recently set by Oh So Easy when she tripped the teletimer earlier in the evening in 1:53.4 in the $240,000 race. The time was nearly a full second faster than the previous standard. Trained by Jimmy Takter and competing as a homebred for Order By Stable, the daughter of Cantab Hall-Thatsnotmyname was not hindered by drawing post nine in the field of 10 as she trotted comfortably in third for the first quarter mile, which was timed in :27, before advancing to second behind leader Meadow Brook Grace (Trace Tetrick) just before the :56.2 half-mile. The positions of the top two remained unchanged through three-quarters in 1:25 but when Gingras gave his filly her cue to go after the final turn, Basquiat responded in kind. The filly strode past the pacesetter with ease and defeated a hard-closing Custom Cantab (Peter Wrenn) by a measured length. Hey Blondie (Andrew McCarthy) was third. Basquiat's record now stands at 7-5-2. The Moni Maker Although she did not establish a new track record like her counterparts, Sunshine Delight (Brett Miller) did equal a facility mark with a 1:53.1 victory by two lengths in the $160,000 event. In a race where the lead was inherited by three of the seven contestants in the race, Sunshine Delight (post five) was placed in sixth position for until after the toteboard recorded a time of :57.1 for the half-mile. That is when Miller urged his filly to advance and by the top of the stretch she had a head advantage over Treviso (Charlie Norris, post two). From there on in, it was all Sunshine Delight and daughter of Credit Winner-On The Bright Side set a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1. Trained by Staffan Lind, the filly is owned by James Wilhite Jr. and it is her second win of the year from 11 trips to the post. "She has had some very tough posts, like in the Hambletonian Oaks, but she has always tried her best and raced well," Miller said. "She is a very good filly, but she's had some bad luck. It's great to see her finally win one of these tonight." Sunshine Delight was followed home by Future Secured (Gingras), who is a full-sister to Basquiat, and Treviso. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 24 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Story By: Kim French, for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino
Harness racing driver Mark MacDonald would pilot Atlanta to a track record for freshman trotting fillies by capturing the first division of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) and getting his 6,000th career driving victory at Vernon Downs on Friday night (September 22). Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) remained undefeated winning the second division. Fury Road (Chris Lems) would lead the first division ($55,500) trotters into the first quarter in 28.3. It was short-lived when Atlanta (Chapter Seven - Hemi Blue Chip) claimed the top spot just before the top of the back stretch. Owned by Rick Zeron Stables, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, and Brad Grant while trained by Zeron, she would be joined by the first-over by Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller) just before the three-quarter marker. The two fillies would then have an epic battle all the way down the stretch. Atlanta ($7.50) would dig down deep to hold off the heavy pressure from Supergirl Riley (Muscle Mass - Crown Royal), to set the track record in 1:54.0, while getting her fifth career win. All this making win number 6000 even sweeter for MacDonald. MacDonald would later on add win 6001 with Padua Hanover ($3.60). Supergirl Riley had to settle for second with Perfect Summer K (jimmy Whittemore) getting third. Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass - Dunk The Donato) would get her sixth win in six starts taking the second division ($56,500). Big Checkmate (Donald Dupont) would grab the early lead but Plunge Blue Chip ($2.10), who is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and trainer, driver Svanstedt, would take over before the first quarter and put up all the fractions :28.3, :58.0, 1:27.2, 1:55.0. The 2 year-old filly was in complete control and would get a career best time beating her top rival Lima Novelty (Jason Bartlett), who came on late to finish second three lengths back. Big Checkmate hung on for third. Chris Lems would win four on the night. He got victories with Give Angel Credit ($7.50), Sweet Thing ($2.10), Dreams Beach Boy ($3.30), and In The Clear ($5.10). Vernon Downs returns to live action on Saturday (September 23) with a 13 race card starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs.    
Our Els Dream N (Elsu) became the third Al Annunziata trainee to record a win in the harness racing fillies and mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel this year. The eight year old mare wound up getting a first over journey in Friday's $18,000 Open for distaffers. The race's favorite faltered on the engine and Our Els Dream N took advantage, cruising by in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:53.2. Stylish Beachwhere (Frank Coppola Jr) followed the winner's cover and ended up as the runner-up while West Liberty (Jim Devaux) earned the show spot. Our Els Dream N is the third Annunziata-trained mare to win the Open at the Spa this season as the New Zealand bred mare joined fellow New Zealander Betacool N and Australian invader Quick Draft A as top flight lady pacers to prevail in the Fillies and Mares Open at the Spa this year. Our Els Dream N paid $11.80 to win on Friday and led an exacta and triple that came back $56.50 and $150.50, respectively. Our Els Dream N took her North American earnings to $304,610 as a result of 22 wins and numerous placings. She was driven to victory by Bruce Aldrich Jr. who piloted his 7,000th career winner on Wednesday at Monticello and was recognized for the feat on Thursday at Saratoga with a presentation in the winner's circle. Aldrich currently sits fourth in the local driver standings but well behind Billy Dobson who had a six-win night on Friday. Live racing continues on Saturday at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella
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