Sky Major flying out - Marfisi to train

Former harness racing Jewels winner Sky Major is flying out tonight to North America. Sky Major has won in 1:51.5 and won $800,000 in stakes. The horse has been staying in Perth for the last seven months with Justin Prentice after former trainer Barry Purdon sent him there to further his already impressive racing career. Unfortunately Sky Major has not been performing up to his true ability while in Australia. Owner Trevor Casey is sure the horse has been bleeding and will race him on Lasix in North America in the hopes of rejuvenating his racing performances. Once in North America the horse will be trained there by Duane Marfisi who recently announced that he is returning to Canada with his wife who has landed a top job at a University in Ontario. Duane has said that apart from Sky Major he will be looking at buying and racing claimers from which you can make a good living if you do it right and he has had some success with that strategy in the past.  Lets hope we can see Sky Major race as well as Bit Of A Legend who has done very well there in recent times. Harnesslink Media


Trainer caught injecting disqualified

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry yesterday into the conduct of licensed trainer/driver, Mr Mark Forrest, on Thursday 13 October 2016 in relation to the registered standardbred LIVE IN STYLE, a horse trained by Mr Forrest that was engaged to race in race six, the JIM MORRIS REMEMBRANCE PACE (2125m) at Penrith on that date.  LIVE IN STYLE was subsequently withdrawn from the race by order of the Stewards. An investigation was commenced on 13 October 2016 after HRNSW Investigator/Senior Steward, Mr Chris Paul observed Mr Forrest administer an injection to LIVE IN STYLE at his registered training establishment. Mr Forrest attend the inquiry and provided evidence in relation to the horse LIVE IN STYLE and his husbandry practices. Evidence was also presented by Mr Chris Paul, including video and audio recordings. HRNSW Stewards issued the following charge against Mr Forrest pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 193(3) as follows: AHRR 193.    (3)  A person shall not administer or allow or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race. In the alternative Mr Forrest was issued with the following charge under Rule 196B (1) as follows: AHRR 196B. (1)  A person shall not without the permission of the Stewards within one (1) clear day of the commencement of a race administer, attempt to administer or cause to be administered an injection to a horse nominated for that race. Mr Forrest was found guilty of both offences. In respect of the charge pursuant to Rule 193(3), Mr Forrest was disqualified for a period of nine months to commence from 13 October 2016, the date upon which he was stood down. In respect of the charge pursuant to Rule 196B(1), Stewards set aside the matter of penalty. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: The serious nature of this offence; Mr Forrest’s Not Guilty plea; Mr Forrest’s first offence of this nature; Mr Forrest’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. Mr Forrest was advised of his right to appeal this decision. Reid Sanders  

Victor Kirby

Kirby, Hundertpfund honored on closing night

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harrington Raceway's culminated its 70th anniversary of live harness racing Thursday with closing night awards on the 13-race program. Victor Kirby took his first ever driving title in dramatic fashion, after leading by three going into the program over Ross Wolfenden, Kirby quickly sealed the title with four wins in the first six races on the program. "This is special," said Kirby, who has long been a popular member of the harness racing community. "I love racing here and I want to thank all the owners and trainers who give me the opportunity. I want to thank all my friends and family that came out tonight and my grandma and grandpa who I'm sure are looking down." Kirby finished the meet with 125 wins and had five victories on the program. Meanwhile, Joe Hundertpfund Jr. clinched his second training title earlier in the week. Hundertpfund (33 wins), who won the Harrington title in 2012, had a onsistent meet throughout and finished six wins ahead of his closest pursuer, Mike Hall. "It's great to win this title here," said Hundertpfund Jr. "I've raced all over the east coast, but I really love racing here.. Hats off to the grounds crew, who kept this track great throughout the season and did an outstanding job." Allan Davis had four wins. Live racing on the Delaware circuit shifts 20 miles north to Dover Downs, which opens for live racing on October 31. Matthew Sparacino  

Mc Mach lived up to the 3/5 hype with a dominating victory

Autumn Series preliminaries wrap up

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 20 - Autumn Series preliminary round action concluded Thursday with three second leg divisions for harness racing two-year-old colts and geldings at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 11, originally 12, two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into two divisions, while nine freshmen trotting colts and geldings competed in a single division. Each division was contested for a purse of $16,000. The two-year-olds not only had to deal with each other, but also a 'Sloppy' racing surface, as rain fell all-day Thursday in Campbellville. After finishing second as the public's choice last week, Bills Fella bounced back for a convincing victory in the first pacing division. Driven by Mike Saftic, Bills Fellas got away third in the early stages, while Sauble Shadow cut an opening-quarter of :28.3. Saftic gave the public's choice his cue to move in the second-quarter and the rookie responded by clearing to command just before hitting the half in :58.1. Bills Fella never looked back once taking the lead and finished off the victory by pacing a :29.1 third-quarter and a :29 final-quarter over the off-going for a 1:56.2 score. Osborne Seelster got to the winner's wheel, but had to settle for second, while Red John finished a little more than seven-lengths back in third. A gelded son of Artistic Fella, Bills Fella now has two wins in 10 starts this season. A homebred for trainer Gregg McNair and co-owner Ian Fleming, Bills Fella has now earned $28,160 in his rookie season. He paid $3.20 to win. Bills Fella Exiting out of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold action, Mc Mach lived up to the 3/5 hype with a dominating victory in the second split. The Bob McIntosh trainee did not compete in last week's first leg, but quickly made up for lost time. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Mc Mach fired out to grab the early lead and it was lights out from there. Mc Mach posted fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:25 before drawing away for a 7 ¼ lengths victory in 1:54.1. Dreamfair B J, who won a first leg division last week, finished second, while Thrownoutofbetter was third. Mc Mach now has four wins in 11 starts with his previous three victories all coming in OSS Grassroots action. The Mach Three colt has banked $62,450 this season for owners Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, Al McIntosh Holdings Inc and Randy Liepa. The McIntosh trainee paid $3.40 to win. Mc Mach Scene A Magician proved last week's big victory was no trick by taking Thursday's lone Autumn Series division for rookie trotting colts and geldings in 1:58.4. Driven by Jack Moiseyev, Scene A Magician left from post eight and was pointed towards the front. The two-year-old gelding was parked around the first turn, but quickly cleared to command entering the backstretch. As Scene A Magician grabbed the front, Vesuvio Bi came first up from fourth for driver Mario Baillargeon. However, Vesuvio Bi could not get around Scene A Magician despite urging from Baillargeon and was left out for the duration of the middle-half. Scene A Magician stayed focused despite the outside challenger and trotted the field by the half in :59.1 and three-quarters in 1:29. In the stretch, Scene A Magician stretched out his lead to a few lengths and trotted home in :29.4 to score the victory. Upvote Hanover rallied up the rail at 35-1 to finish second by three-quarters of a length. Resita finished third. A son of Daylon Magician, Scene A Magician improved his record to a solid four wins in seven starts with his 1:58.4 score Thursday. The rookie gelding has banked $49,020 this season for trainer Jennifer Pinkerton, who shares ownership with Daylon Farms Ltd and Gordon Yeo. Scene A Magician will now have an opportunity to sweep the Autumn Series in next Thursday's final. He paid $6.70 to win. Scene A Magician The Autumn Series for two-year-olds will wrap up next Thursday with the finals for all four divisions taking place on the October 27th card. The Autumn Series final for pacing colts and geldings will go for a purse of $29,200, while the final for pacing fillies will be contested a purse of $28,600. The finals for trotting colts and geldings and trotting fillies will both go for a purse of $28,200. In order to be eligible to the Ontario sired Autumn Series, the two-year-olds had to be non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2016. Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

It took a year for harness racing owner Ken Jacobs to find a hole with Walner --- and that was a hole in the wind.  Walner trotted a world-record 1:51.3 on Oct. 6 at Lexington’s Red Mile, a mark that came one year to the day after Jacobs purchased the colt for $90,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. It was Walner’s fourth win in five races this season and established the horse as one of the top Breeders Crown 2-year-old male trotting contenders. “I look for holes in horses,” Jacobs said about selecting Walner, a son of 2012 Horse of the Year Chapter Seven out of the O’Brien Award-winning mare Random Destiny, at last fall’s yearling auction. “When I can’t find a hole, those are the ones I’m interested in. And I try very hard to find a hole. There were no holes in (Walner) at all.” On Saturday night, Walner will compete in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old male trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack. He is the 3-1 morning line favorite, starting from post five in a 10-horse field with Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer Linda Toscano. Walner’s elimination also includes Peter Haughton Memorial and New Jersey Sire Stakes champion What The Hill, New York Sire Stakes champion Devious Man, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Giveitgasandgo, and stakes-winners Dover Dan, New Jersey Viking, Long Tom, and Southwind Cobra. “Isn’t that amazing?” Jacobs said. “It’s the luck of the draw. What are you going to do? I didn’t like the draw but it is what it is. We’ve got to beat them all anyway, so what’s the difference.” Walner won two qualifiers at the Meadowlands before capturing his career debut in 1:55.4 in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs. In his next start, at Saratoga, he went off stride in the first turn but stormed from more than 16 lengths back to win by 1-3/4. He went off stride in his only loss, a division of the Kindergarten Series, but rebounded to win in the next round of the Kindergarten in 1:53.4 at the Meadowlands and then in 1:51.3 in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington. His 1:51.3 mile is the fastest in history for a 2-year-old male trotter and trails only filly Mission Brief’s 1:50.3 in the record book. “I’ve been very cautious with him because I knew he was a really nice horse,” said Jacobs, who has received inquiries about selling the horse, but emphasized he is not for sale. “I’d like to have a horse in the Hambletonian next year, so I didn’t want to over-race him at 2. He’s a pretty awesome horse and we still don’t know how fast he can go. But we know he’s fast.” Jacobs, the leading owner on the New York Sire Stakes circuit, is known for his successes with a number of pacers, including 2012 Breeders Crown champion and Dan Patch Award-winner Heston Blue Chip, but has bought more trotters in recent years. He won NYSS championships last year with trotters Jewels In Hock and Allerage Echo. “I got into trotters a couple years ago,” said Jacobs, who said he bought four trotters and four pacers last year and has a similar plan this year. “I love to see a trotter trot. It’s different. I enjoy it. If I can get a horse in the Hambletonian, it will fulfill my goal. My bucket list, if you will. I’ve been lucky to reach so many of my other goals. This is a big goal for me.” The second Breeders Crown elimination for 2-year-old male trotters finds stakes-winner Bill’s Man as the 3-1 morning line favorite, with Corey Callahan driving for trainer John Butenschoen. Breeders Crown finals for older pacers and trotters will be held Oct. 28 at the Meadowlands and the championships for 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters will follow on Oct. 29. Eliminations are unnecessary for the Breeders Crown Open Pace, Open Trot and Mare Trot, so those horses will advance directly to their respective finals. Eliminations for the Mare Pace and 2-year-old filly trotters will be Friday and eliminations for the remaining 2- and 3-year-old trotters and pacers will be Saturday, all at the Meadowlands. Post positions for the Open finals will be drawn live Friday and posts for the 2- and 3-year-old finals will be drawn Saturday. Elimination winners draw for inside posts one through five for the finals. For Friday’s complete card, click here. For Saturday’s complete card, click here. For more information visit or Follow Breeders Crown news and updates on Twitter @Breeders_Crown, using #BCrown16 and on Facebook at Fans can also go to, the Place for Harness Racing Fans to See, Share, Connect and Play. Ken Weingartner  

Columbus, OH --- With less than 72 hours to tick off prior to her appearance in a $20,000 elimination for the Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly pace on Saturday (Oct. 22) at the Meadowlands Racetrack, harness racing trainer Kevin Lare thinks owner Frank Chick may be a bit weary of his weekly training updates in regards to Roaring To Go. “I know I sound like a broken record,” he said. “But I keep telling Frank the same thing every time she has trained all year; she only gets better each trip and she is ready. This week though I do think she is really on her "A" game and she will have to be in order, God willing, to race again next week.” A daughter of Art Major and the Western Ideal mare Lionness Hanover, Roaring To Go has quietly compiled a record of 12-6-3-0, banked $242,636 and set a track record of 1:54 at Saratoga in New York Sire Stakes action on July 27. She also hit the line first in the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final on Sept. 24 at Yonkers Raceway, but was placed second for taking an inopportune foray inside the pylons. Despite her sterling resume, Roaring To Go was not a name on everyone’s list to vie for divisional honors prior to Grand Circuit action at Lexington's Red Mile. Her upset, however, of heavily favored Idyllic Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Idyllic) at that facility in a $73,000 division of the Bluegrass Stakes, illustrated this filly, who was purchased for $16,000 at the Goshen Yearling Sale, is certainly able to pace with the best. “I thought at the beginning of the year she was a filly we would have some fun with in the New York Sire Stakes program,” Lare said. “Did I think she would go in 1:50.4 at Lexington and beat the best filly out there? No. Then she came right back and won her division of the International Stallion Stake. It was really fun to get our picture taken twice in Kentucky, but she is not getting a break here. She will have to race very well against Idyllic Beach and all these other nice fillies in the Breeders Crown now. “I knew a bigger track would move her up, because she gets steppy on the turns on a half-mile track and has a tendency to run in. Brett Miller (her regular pilot) has done a terrific job with getting her through that and I’m hoping it is something we will no longer have to be concerned with next year.” Roaring To Go will have the opportunity for a rematch against Idyllic Beach as the fillies commence their quest for participation in the $600,000 Breeders Crown final on Saturday (Oct. 29) in the fourth race on this Saturday's card from post positions seven and eight, respectively. Roaring To Go will have the services of Brett Miller in the bike and Idyllic Beach will be driven by Yannick Gingras. Only Idyllic Beach has won in a swifter time (1:50.3) than Roaring To Go among all freshman pacing fillies in North America this year. “I have definitely been fortunate enough to train horses like Ginger And Fred, Snow White and Southwind Tempo,” Lare said. “But I have never had a horse that went :25.3 in her last quarter-mile in her first race, which this filly did. Like I said, I knew she had some speed, but that trip really grabbed my attention.” While her immediate pedigree may not seem quite as impressive as Idyllic Beach’s, as that young lady hails from a Horse of the Year sire and O'Brien Award-winning dam, Roaring To Go’s family tree is quite solid and does not lack quality. Her dam's two previous foals are both winners -- Well Excuuuse Me (Well Said, $68,295) and Well Lets See (Well Said, $52,945) -- and she is a half-sibling to Lookout Hanover (The Panderosa, $405,774), Long Fight Hanover (Allamerican Native, $162,137) and Lonewolf Currier (The Panderosa, $453,695). Roaring To Go’s granddam, Ladyking (Cam’s Card Shark) is a half-sister to Cancun Hanover (Jenna’s Beach Boy, $194,335), Cinch Hanover (Life Sign, $170,810), Runover Again (The Panderosa, $194,614), Current Hanover (Western Ideal, $380,248) and Courser Hanover (Astreos, $236,416). Chick has been a staunch supporter of harness racing for decades and he still owns Roaring To Go's older brother, Well Lets See. When Roaring To Go became available, he took advantage of a golden opportunity to bring her home. “Frank definitely kind of back-doored into this filly because he did already have the experience with the other horse,” Lare said. “The first foal (Well Excuuuse Me) did sell for a decent price at Harrisburg ($30,000) but Frank bought the second one (Well Lets See) for $4,500. That one could pace, but was one of the smallest Standardbreds I’ve ever seen. He was like a pony and you could saw the seat off the jog cart to fit him. “When Frank saw this filly had a little size to her, he jumped right in, but now like I said to him recently, if he wants to keep dipping in to this family, from now on he better be prepared to open his wallet. They won’t be selling for those kinds of prices anymore after what she has accomplished.” Although Lare has already enjoyed a Breeders Crown triumph with Snow White, a victory by Roaring To Go would hold a special place in his heart, because it would provide Chick, with whom he has a close bond, with his first Breeders Crown trophy. “Frank did retain a piece of Yankee Bounty (10 percent) after he was sold midway through his 2-year-old season,” Lare said. “I can’t remember how he performed in the Breeders Crown (sixth in his elimination in the 2015 3-year-old colt pace), but it would be so special for this filly to win this race with Frank. Not only to give him something he has never experienced before after all he has done with the sport, but because of all he has done for me. “He always believed in me and when I was down he provided me with horses so I could work my way back up. Having a filly like this with and for him, is a treat. That is why it was so enjoyable to have our pictures taken in Kentucky. Frank buys maybe one or two yearlings every year and he doesn’t spend a lot of money, so he does not normally get to be in a winner’s circle somewhere like there. “I’m so glad he did not sell this filly and we are exactly where we are right now. I told him these kind of horses don’t come along very often. If she does well in this race, she is not staked to anything else, but it’s possible we will supplement her to the Matron. It would mean so much to Frank to have her in there as Delaware is home and all, but we will see how we do here first. “A filly like this is always special, but this does take on even more meaning because of how far back I go with Frank and everything he has done for me, as well as the sport.” For entries for Saturday’s complete card, click here. For more information go to or Follow Breeders Crown news and updates on Twitter @Breeders_Crown, using #BCrown16 and on Facebook at Fans can also go to, the Place for Harness Racing Fans to See, Share, Connect and Play. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor  

The trotters and pacers are back in action at Cal Expo Saturday night with an Open III event for trotters and an Open III contest for pacing fillies and mares sharing the harness racing spotlight. This will be the fifth year that harness racing is presented at Cal Expo under the Watch and Wager LLC banner. A 13-race card is on tap with first post set for 6:10 p.m. There will be racing on Saturdays for the first three weeks of the meet, with Friday and Saturday programs beginning on November 11. First post for both nights will be 6:10 p.m. Both the Open III trot and distaff pace loom wide-open betting affairs. The trot features six performers who last saw action at Running Aces in Minnesota, two who last raced at The Red Mile in Lexington and one who has been on the sidelines since racing here in May. In the filly and mare pace, five members of the field last saw a starting gate at Running Aces, while two have been competing at Hawthorne and two have rested since last seeing pari-mutuel action here in the spring. MJ's Dance looks best of the Minnesota invaders in the pacing contest for driver/trainer Luke Plano, while the Chip Lackey reined-and-trained Lady's Art has been facing some solid company in Illinois and figures to have her share of backers. They will line up against Fox Valley Salsa, Blue Gem, Rag Doll, Gram Rules, Cheryls Surprise, Iced Out and If You Say So. Saturday's menu also includes a simulcast of all 12 Breeders' Crown elimination events from The Meadowlands, while next Saturday will find a simulcast of all the Breeders' Crown finals. Team Desomer poised for another solid meet As usual, Steve and Vickie Desomer will have a major presence here at Cal Expo, including Tour Guide representing them in Saturday night's co-featured Open III Trot with Mooney Svendsen handling the lines. "Our horses had a good turning out this summer with plenty of exercise and green grass," Vickie noted when asked about the stable coming into this stand. "There are lots of new horses arriving, so we're all hoping for a successful meeting." Steve Desomer, who turned 80 years young in July, has 2,645 driving victories on his resume for over $11 million in earnings and has been a mainstay in the California driving and training ranks for five decades. "Steve limits his driving now to trotters," Vickie explained. "He's looking forward to racing Silverlode, who is his favorite, and he's also looking forward to driving Kissed the Boys, who is always a challenge." Tour Guide goes postward in the seventh event on the 13-race card and is the only member of the cast without recent racing, having been on the bench since a May 7 start here. Her eight rivals are invading from either Running Aces or The Red Mile. In hopes of having her ready for the return to the wars, the Desomers gave the 6-year-old daughter of Panama Hanover a sharp qualifier last weekend, as she sat the pocket for Svendsen and then came home smartly to win going away while not being asked for her best. We'll find out Saturday night if it was enough, as she does her work from the No. 8 post in the nine-horse field. Starter calls for the trotters. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

East Rutherford, NJ - Live harness racing returns to The Meadowlands in a big way this weekend with Breeders Crown eliminations, a celebration of the track's 40th anniversary and the fastest Standardbred in history competing in an overnight prep on Friday.   Friday's card will have four Breeders Crown elimination races, two each for the freshman filly trotters and the Open mare pacers. The best from each division will endeavor to advance to next week's finals.   As an added bonus Always B Miki, now the fastest horse in the long history of Standardbred racing by virtue of his epic 1:46 mile in Lexington a fortnight ago, will race in a $25,000 Open pace as he prepares for next week's Breeders Crown.   On Saturday, The Meadowlands will celebrate 40 years of great harness racing by returning some of the track's favorite personalities for autographs and a long-sleeved T-shirt giveaway.   The Saturday night card is comprised of fourteen Breeders Crown elimination races with the sport's very finest pointing for the finals offering nearly $6 million in purses and year-end awards.   Racing fans will be presented a number of dining options for both this and next week's Breeders Crown races and should make reservations for next week's finals sooner rather than later due to strong demand.   Stay informed by visiting The Meadowlands website. Post time for this Friday and Saturday is 7:15 P.M.   Meadowlands Media Relations  

HARRINGTON, Del. - On the penultimate night of the 2016 Harrington harness racing meet, Michael Casalino Jr. and Dylan Davis' Theresademoninme ($5.40, Jon Roberts) set a new lifetime best with a 1:53.4 win in the $17,700 Open Trot Wednesday. The 5-year-old Kadabra gelding notched his eighth win of the year for trainer and co-owner Davis. Theresademoninme surged in deep stretch to eventually wear down a game pace setter in Westside Lindy for the win. Westside Lindy was second with Deacons Valley third. The win time was just a fifth of a second off the track record, held by Traverse Seelster. On the undercard, Ross Wolfenden's Skyway Priss notched her third straight win in 1:56 for her owner/trainer/driver. Wolfenden, who had two wins on the card, is locked in a fierce battle for the Harrington driving title with current leader Victor Kirby (120 wins). Wolfenden currently trails Kirby by three wins. Meanwhile, trainer Joe Hundertpfund Jr., (33 wins), has clinched his second training title. Mike Hall has clinched second place with 27 wins. Both honors will be awarded on closing night, October 20. Matthew Sparacino  

Six-year-old Libertybelle Midfrew has struck peak form and is poised to become at Gloucester Park on Friday night, only the eighth harness racing mare in the 62-year history of the Mount Eden Pace to win the Group 3 $50,000 feature event. Her prospects in Friday night’s event  soared when she drew the prized No. 1 barrier and Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed and reinsman Shannon Suvaljko are planning for an all-the-way victory. In a major departure from the norm, the race will be decided over 2130m. The Mount Eden Sprint has been run over 1730m or 1700m for many years. The only mares to have won the Mount Eden Sprint, formerly known as the State Sprint Championship, and first run in 1955 when Bernie Cushing drove Village Chief to victory, are Dainty’s Daughter (1970), Pyramus (1971), Virgil Queen (1977), Kiwi Cloud (1978), Line On (1986), Whitbys Miss Penny (1992) and Sensational Gabby (2014). Reed has yet to train a winner of the Mount Eden Sprint, while Suvaljko will be keen to replicate his effort in 2010 when he drove 6/1 chance Real Life to an all-the-way win from barrier three in the Mount Eden Sprint. Reed has the high-priced New Zealand-bred Libertybelle Midfrew well and truly on track to be a major player in the TABtouch interdoiminion championship, which will get under way with the opening set of heats at Gloucester Park on November 25. The Christian Cullen mare started from barrier six and was a 25/1 chance in the 2015 Mount Eden Sprint when she finished strongly from seventh at the bell to be third behind Waylade and My Hard Copy. She also contested the 2014 Mount Eden Sprint when she started from barrier four and at 9/2. She ran home solidly, out wide, from eighth at the bell to be fifth behind Sensational Gabby. Libertybelle Midfrew cashed in on the preferential conditions for the 2536m Media Guild Cup and the 2130m Stratton Cup at her past two starts. Suvaljko made the most of the No. 1 barrier in both events in which Libertybelle Midfrew was untroubled to set the pace and win. She beat the fast-finishing Heez On Fire by a half-length in the Media Guild Cup and she sprinted over the final three quarters in 28.5sec., 27.3sec. and 28.1sec. when she scored by 4m from The Bucket List and Bettors Fire in the Stratton Cup. Her most recent success improved her record to 49 starts for 18 wins and 11 placings for earnings of $607,497.    Only two pacers have won the Mount Eden Sprint twice ---- Kolworth in 1961 and 1963 and Im Themightyquinn in 2011 and 2012. Trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper’s hopes of winning the Mount Eden Sprint again with Bettors Fire were dampened to a degree when the outstanding eight-year-old drew the outside barrier (No. 9). Bettors Fire led from the No. 1 barrier in 2013 when he defeated Im Victorious by almost three lengths at a 1.53.8 rate over 1730m. Then a year later Bettors Fire was a 20/1 chance when he surged home from the rear to be third behind Sensational Gabby. In last year’s race, Bettors Fire (14/1) thundered home from last the bell to be fourth behind Waylade. Last year’s winner Waylade will start from the No. 4 barrier on Friday night, but he faces a hard task after being unplaced at his past four starts. Waylade is one of five runners in the race prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall sen. Hall’s chief hope looks certain to be the brilliant five-year-old Beaudiene Boaz, who is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven on the front line. In the Stratton Cup last Friday week Beaudiene Boaz was restrained at the start from barrier six and raced at the rear in the field of eight before starting a three-wide move 550m from home. He fought on determinedly to finish sixth, three lengths behind the winner. The final fast sectionals recorded by Libertybelle Midfrew set Beaudiene Boaz a hopeless task. A week earlier Beaudiene Boaz gave a sample of his great class when he rated 1.52.9 to smash the track record for 2130m in winning the Navy Cup by two and a half lengths from the pacemaker Bettors Fire. Gary Hall jun. sent Beaudiene Boaz forward with a three-wide move from last with 1050m to travel and the Badlands Hanover stallion burst to the front 680m from home. His final quarters were run in 27.3sec. and 28.2sec. Comeback pacer Heez On Fire, now trained by Bill Horn, is ideally drawn on the inside of the back line and the WA-bred seven-year-old should enjoy a perfect run behind the likely pacemaker Libertytbelle Midfrew. Heez On Fire, to be handled by Chris Lewis, enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, when fifth behind Libertybelle Midfrew in the Stratton Cup last Friday week. That followed his eye-catching first-up effort a fortnight earlier when he was eighth and last 250m from home before sprinting brilliantly in the straight to finish second, just a half-length behind Libertybelle Midfrew. Ken Casellas

Leading harness racing trainers Greg and Skye Bond are setting a scorching pace in the early stages of the 2016-17 season and their ten runners, all bred in New Zealand, will have a massive following at Gloucester Park on Friday night. They have bright prospects of making a flying start by winning the second event, the $20,000 Clipsal By Schneider Pace, with Risk, a highly-promising five-year-old by Changeover. Risk, to be driven by Ryan Warwick, faces a stern test from the outside (No. 9) in the 2130m event. But he has the class to overcome that disadvantage. He started from the No. 9 barrier at his most recent appearance, over 2130m on September 23 when he raced in ninth and last position before dashing forward, three wide, to be fourth at the bell. He fought on grandly to finish second, just one metre behind Mynameskenny when the final quarters whizzed by in 27.8sec. and 28.3sec. His first five starts in WA have produced three wins and two seconds. His chief rival on Friday night is likely to be stablemate Burning, who is ideally drawn at barrier one. Burning raced three back on the pegs before running home solidly to be fourth behind Chicago Bull over 2130m last Friday night. He also produced a powerful burst when second to stablemate Ima Connoisseur two starts before that. Last-start winners Commander Chapel (Chris Lewis), Jambiani (Chris Voak) and Firebomb (Shannon Suvaljko) also will have admirers. The Bond stable has established a commanding early lead on the WA Statewide trainers’ premiership table, with 41 winners, followed by Gary Hall sen. (17) and Ross Olivieri (12). The Bonds also head the national table, with Queensland’s Chantal Turpin in second place with 29 winners. Warwick is in devastating form in the sulky and he leads the WA premiership table with 34 winners, well ahead of Gary Hall jun. (21), Chris Lewis (20), Nathan Turvey (18) and Michael Grantham (17). Warwick also leads the national list, 13 winners ahead of Queensland’s Shane Graham. He boasts a tremendous winning strike rate of 40 per cent.    Like the Bonds, Hall sen. has ten runners, all bred in New Zealand, engaged at the ten-event program on Friday night. All have sound prospects, with his best chances likely to be Beaudiene Boaz, Tact Major, King Lebron and Mach Time.  Ken Casellas

Moreland Flash paced home for his 50th career victory, winning the 15th race at Northfield Park on Wednesday (October 19). The 10 year-old harness racing veteran, with 244 career starts, also has 25 seconds and 26 third place finishes. Moreland Flash (Memphis Flash-Carols Cliff-Camtastic) has career earnings of $147,880 with a lifetime mark of 1:51.4 over Northfield's Flying Turns at age seven. The pacer's richest win was in the $8,200 Billy Dart Series at Scioto Downs in 2009. Moreland Flash is a well-traveled campaigner -- his 50 wins have been spread across eight different racing surfaces. Moreland Flash started from the rail. He led his competition at every call through fractions of :27.2, :57, 1:25.4 and 1:55.1. He never experienced an anxious moment in the race and bested his competition by 5¾-lengths. He was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win. Amy Wengerd trains Moreland Flash for owner Andrew Coblentz of Wooster, Ohio. Hunter Myers was aboard for the winning drive. Ayers Ratliff

Freehold, NJ --- Ariana G and All The Time have taken different paths to this weekend’s Breeders Crown eliminations at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Marvin Katz, who with Al Libfeld bred and owns both filly trotters, is simply grateful for the opportunity to see the sisters in harness racing action together again. The last time All The Time and Ariana G shared the stage at the Meadowlands was Aug. 6 when All The Time won the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters and Ariana G won the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old female trotters. A day later, All The Time was found suffering from colic and taken for intestinal surgery that sidelined her for nearly two months. All The Time has prepared for her return by winning two qualifiers, the first in 1:52.1 at Lexington’s Red Mile on Oct. 4 and more recently in 1:55.1 at the Meadowlands on Oct. 11. On Saturday, she races in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 3-year-old filly trotters. The top five finishers from each elim advance to the $500,000 championship on Oct. 29 at the Big M. On Friday, Ariana G -- the winner of eight of nine starts this season -- competes in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old filly trotters. The top five finishers from each division advance to the $600,000 final, also set for Oct. 29 at the Meadowlands. If both fillies win their respective Breeders Crown finals, it would mark the first time in the history of the series that full siblings claim trophies in the same year. The only other occurrence of siblings winning Crowns together came in 2011 when half-brothers Sweet Lou and Bettor Sweet accomplished the feat. “I’m very excited to have both of them racing,” Katz said. “I think it’s an extraordinarily rare thing to have two fillies like this at the same time competing in the Breeders Crown and be top contenders. I’m particularly happy to see All The Time back on the track. She’s such a great, great filly. Hopefully it will have a storybook ending. That would just be over the top.” Ariana G and All The Time, both trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras, are daughters of stallion Muscle Hill, a two-time Breeders Crown winner and the 2009 Horse of the Year, out of the stakes-winning mare Cantab It All. All The Time has won 11 of 19 career races, including four of seven this season without finishing worse than second. She won the 2015 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters and became the first horse to come back the following year and win the Hambletonian Oaks since Passionate Glide in 2006. “Obviously, I’d rather she raced the season and gone a more traditional path (to this year’s Breeders Crown), but she’s been prepared as best as she can,” Katz said about All The Time, who has earned $827,616 lifetime. “She was brilliant in Lexington in her qualifier. Jimmy Takter, who drove her, told me that she gave him goose bumps. She was just that fabulous. “Considering what she’s had to deal with, what a magnificent filly. She’s tough as nails with a great desire to race and win. They just don’t make them like that. Hopefully she’ll give a good account of herself.” Ariana G, who has earned $438,967 this season, heads to her Breeders Crown elimination off a career-best 1:51.4 win in a division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 7 at Lexington’s Red Mile. That time is the fourth fastest in history for a 2-year-old trotter and her average margin of victory in her eight wins is 3-1/2 lengths. Her only setback came when she went off stride at the start of a race at Hoosier Park. “I’ve enjoyed every minute with her and was impressed with her from her first start,” Katz said. “She won a (preliminary leg of the) New Jersey Sire Stakes in a tsunami. I couldn’t believe a 2-year-old filly could do that; that she had the mental acuity to behave in that type of adverse weather conditions and look tremendous on the track. She’s an extraordinary filly. She’s über-talented. They don’t come like this very often.” The Canadian-based Libfeld and Katz have been breeding horses for more than two decades and now have a highly regarded band of more than 50 broodmares. The Libfeld/Katz breeding partnership, which focuses on trotters, received Canada’s Armstrong Breeder of the Year Award in 2015. “To be the breeders (of All The Time and Ariana G), for them to come out of our program, it’s just an extraordinary accomplishment to get them this far,” Katz said. “It speaks to the quality of people we have helping us, and the quality of horses we’re now producing.” Friday’s card at the Meadowlands, which begins at 7:15 p.m., also includes two eliminations for the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. Eliminations for the remaining 2- and 3-year-old trotters and pacers will be Saturday. Eliminations are unnecessary for the Breeders Crown Open Pace, Open Trot and Mare Trot, so those horses advance directly to their respective finals. Breeders Crown finals for older pacers and trotters will be held Oct. 28 at the Meadowlands and the championships for 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters will follow on Oct. 29. Post positions for the Open finals will be drawn live Friday and posts for the 2- and 3-year-old finals will be drawn Saturday. Elimination winners draw for inside posts one through five for the finals. For Friday’s complete card, click here. For Saturday’s complete card, click here. For more information go to or Follow Breeders Crown news and updates on Twitter @Breeders_Crown, using #BCrown16 and on Facebook at Fans can also go to, the Place for Harness Racing Fans to See, Share, Connect and Play. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Today, NJ based Deo Volente Farms, a leading Standardbred breeding operation, and Kentucky based Taylor Made Stallions and Taylor Made Sales Agency, an outstanding business in America’s Thoroughbred world, along with California Chrome’s breeder Perry Martin, announces an unprecedented crossover deal in which harness racing owners of Trixton and California Chrome will buy shares in their new partner’s horses. In doing so, these captains of their industries are establishing a strategic relationship that will encourage growth and new investment in the racehorse industry. California Chrome holds the top spot in the Longines 2016 World Ranking of Racehorses and is the highest earning racehorse in history having earned in excess of $13.4 Million in purses.  Bred by Perry Martin and Steve Coburn, he won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 2014, and after recovering from a minor injury in 2015, he made an extraordinary return to the track in 2016.  His athletic prowess is on full display as he has thus far been a perfect 6 for 6 this year under the expert handling of trainer Art Sherman, including victories in the $10 Million Dubai World Cup, the Pacific Classic and the Awesome Again. California Chrome’s next scheduled appearance is at Santa Anita for the $6 Million Breeders’ Cup Classic. With such an outstanding career, the 2014 Thoroughbred Horse of the Year out of Love the Chase by Lucky Pulpit, and grandson to the prominent sire Pulpit, is sure to have an exciting and promising career in the breeding shed. Trixton, trained by one of the world’s leading trainers, Jimmy Takter, captured the 2014 Hambletonian, the most prestigious race in the Standardbred world.  The stallion offers superior pedigree in the harness world today. He is by Muscle Hill, also a  Hambletonian winner (2009). In turn, Muscle Hill is a son of the 1998 Hambletonian winning sire, Muscles Yankee, a stallion responsible for three consecutive Hambletonian winners.  Muscles Yankee in turn is the foremost son of the foundation sire, Valley Victory.  Trixton’s dam is a full sister to three very successful stallions in the Standardbred industry. He retired from racing in 2014 and his innovative dual continent syndication sold out in two days. He secured a full book of the who’s who of mares globally in 2015 and 2016 and his first foals will be presented as yearlings in 2017.  “Both Taylor Made and Deo Volente Farms are shining examples of quality and integrity, following the bedrock foundations of horsemanship, customer service, and innovation; we are delighted that Ernie Martinez introduced us. Mike and I developed an immediate relationship, as we both are passionate not only about excellence, but also, and more importantly, about our Christian faith ” said Mr. Duncan Taylor, CEO of Taylor Made. The family run business began operations in Kentucky in 1976 by Joe Taylor, father of the Taylor brothers, Duncan, Chris, Ben, Frank, and Mark.   Taylor Made was soon recognized for their quality care and quickly ascended to the apex of the thoroughbred world, selling horses for over one million dollars each by the 80’s and establishing themselves as top sellers by the 90’s with continued success in breeding and on the racetrack today. Deo Volente Farms was founded in 2008 by its CEO, Michael J. Gulotta, and a board of investors.  Gulotta has been an owner in the harness racing business for over 25 years.  “My commitment to the Standardbred industry is unwavering and I am delighted to have the esteemed Taylor Made family join the Trixton Syndicate” said Gulotta, who is Treasurer, Chair of the Breeders Committee and an Executive Board Member of New Jersey’s Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association.  As innovative and forward looking leaders, both Taylor and Gulotta believe that this union is a unique example of thoroughbreds and standardbreds being mutually supportive and standing united so as to attract next-generation fans and investors. With these stellar stallions and thoughtful leaders, this is the first step in their collaborative journey together. Duncan Taylor | President & CEO Taylor Made Sales Agency, Inc. | Taylor Made Stallions, Inc. 2765 Union Mill Road | Nicholasville, KY 40356 Office (859) 885-3345 | Direct Line (859) 881-6128 Fax (859) 881-7032   | We consider referrals the highest compliment. Please keep us in mind if you know someone who would benefit from developing a relationship with Taylor Made. Sue Agopian  |  Managing Partner, CMO Deo Volente Farms LLC 487 Quakertown Road  | Flemington, NJ 08822 Office: 908/782-4848 |  Fax: 908/782-4870

Talented intermediate grade pacer Tenacious One was responsible for one of the fastest harness racing miles at Albion Park yesterday (Tuesday). The free-running gelding scorched the 1000m oval in a time of 1:51.6 – splits of 26.6, 29.8, 27.8 and 27.6 seconds. Winning driver Chris Petroff was left shocked following the powerful front-running display. “He’s a talented horse but that was an awesome mile; given he was coming off a let-up and without the benefit of a trial, he did a remarkable job. He looks set for a strong campaign.” Petroff said. The track record belongs to retired champion Im Themightyquinn at 1:50.4 – who set his mark when successful in the 2014 Sunshine Sprint. And upon further investigation, only one other pacer has gone faster than Tenacious One with dual Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova recording a mile rate of 1:51.3 when he proved successful in the 2015 Sunshine Sprint. Open class pacer and multiple feature race winner Ultimate Art has also recorded a 1:51.6 mile at Albion Park. So, Tenacious One joins an elite list. Formerly prepared in Victoria, the Mach Three – Miss Astronomical pacer has always been blessed with abundant ability but his headstrong ways have caused a few headaches. Since joining the stables of Redcliffe horseman Donny Smith, Tenacious One has been restricted to short course trips and allowed to run in his races. And the results have flowed. Tenacious One has won 7 of his 12 starts in the sunshine state. Assessed a metropolitan maiden, Tenacious One could find himself heading to Sydney at some point this campaign chasing the strong prizemoney on the bigger track. “Donny does an excellent job with his team and he’s got good options whichever was he wants to go with this horse, a possible Sydney trip makes strong appeal but Donny will make the call when the time comes. “He’s not the easiest horse to drive and I’ve found it’s best to work with him rather than trying to fight him, he can hold his speed really well and he proved that again yesterday.” Meanwhile, exciting three-year-old Maestro Bellini trained by Petroff is back in work and aiming at a southern campaign with the Victoria Derby an early target in the New Year.    by Chris Barsby

« Article Archive
New Zealand
HARRINGTON, Del. - Harrington Raceway's culminated its 70th anniversary of live harness racing Thursday with closing night awards on the 13-race program. Victor Kirby took his first ever driving title in dramatic fashion, after leading by three going into the program over Ross Wolfenden, Kirby quickly sealed the title with four wins in the first six races on the program. "This is special," said Kirby, who has long been a popular member of the harness racing community. "I love racing here and I want to thank all the owners and trainers who give me the opportunity. I want to thank all my friends and family that came out tonight and my grandma and grandpa who I'm sure are looking down." Kirby finished the meet with 125 wins and had five victories on the program. Meanwhile, Joe Hundertpfund Jr. clinched his second training title earlier in the week. Hundertpfund (33 wins), who won the Harrington title in 2012, had a onsistent meet throughout and finished six wins ahead of his closest pursuer, Mike Hall. "It's great to win this title here," said Hundertpfund Jr. "I've raced all over the east coast, but I really love racing here.. Hats off to the grounds crew, who kept this track great throughout the season and did an outstanding job." Allan Davis had four wins. Live racing on the Delaware circuit shifts 20 miles north to Dover Downs, which opens for live racing on October 31. Matthew Sparacino  
Vernon, N.Y. - Ellen McNeil's Looney Dune ($4.10) proved simply dominant at even money in Thursday (October 20) evening's featured $6,100 distaff pace at Vernon Downs, controlling the pace en route to an eight-length harness racing win. The 8-year-old Bettor's Delight mare sprinted clear from her outside post 5 with ease, leading pocket rival Love You Bye (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through early sectionals of :26.2 and :55. With five-sixteenths of the mile to go, Ben McNeil encouraged Looney Dune to accelerate away, and she responded by mounting an eight-length lead while driven out to a 1:51.2 triumph. Tiger Boudoir (Truman Gale) wedged through up the pegs to claim the runner-up spot, while Jinxy's Delight (John MacDonald) rallied off stalled cover to take third, another length back. John McNeil, III trains Looney Dune, whose sixth seasonal win increased her career tally to 39. For Ben McNeil, the win capped a driving double on the nine-race card. Chris Lems, John MacDonald, and Fern Paquet, Jr. also accounted for two wins apiece. Live racing returns to the Miracle Mile with a 10-race card on Friday (October 21) evening; post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs
America's greatest traveling roadshow, also known as the C.K.G Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved on to Yonkers Raceway for a pair of trots and when the harness racing events were declared official "Tough Tony" Ciuffetteli and David "Poppa" Glasser each emerged victorious in their respective divisions. Ciuffetelli won his split with Shelikescandy in 1:59 while Glasser scored with Mack's Gold Band in a 2:00.1 clocking. The races were sent off as non-wagering affairs prior to the first race on the betting card. Both gentlemen drivers have had hot hands of late; Ciuffetelli winning for the fourth time in his last five starts while Glasser has three wins and a second in his last seven outings. In his division "Tough Tony" now a retired corrections officer, got the evening started after settling in fourth position on the first turn and he stayed there as Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff cut the fractions with Justtherighttouch. Justherighttouch had the field by the first stanza in :28.1 and he was two lengths in charge by the halfway point in :58.1. With no moves from the rears the trotter again got first call as the field passed the three quarters in 1:28.4. "Hurricane Hannah" Miller and Jack's to Open tight on Hechkoff's back waiting to move. At the top of the stretch Ciuffetelli and Shelikescandy, who were in fourth position three lengths off the lead, began to rally and 5-year-old Chocolatier mare got up in the final strides to collar Jussttherighttough to win by a neck in 1:59. Jack's To Open was another neck back in third place in the three horse photo. The winner is owned by Terry Vanvulkenburgh and trained by Gary Lavine. Strangely, the Gary Levine-trained Mack's Gold Band won the second Billings split, this time with David Glasser aboard. In that contest Glasser took no prisoners and sent the 6-year-old Band's Gold Chip gelding to the front and gained command as the field passed the quarter pole as the timer flashed :29. From the Glasser kept the pedal to the metal and his trotter cruised on to an easy four length triumph over Wygant Prince and driver "Coach Paul" Minore. "Yankee Joe" Lee garnered the show dough with HS Certified. Glasser subbed for Buffalo Bob Davis who wasn't able to make it to Yonkers for the race tonight. "Bob told me that if I could get him (Mack's Gold Band) to the front he would be very tough to beat", Glasser, president of a litigation support company, related via email. "I looked at his replays from earlier in the year at Saratoga and saw when he did get the front and he was a monster. And he was just that tonight." Rarely does an owner win two Billings a trots on one card but tonight Terry Vanvulkenburgh accomplished that feat. John Manzi
Osvaldo Blue Chip (Chapter Seven) extended his winning streak on a rainy Thursday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The two year old trotter had a solid summer of harness racing primarily in Excelsior Series competition and in Thursday's $8,000 trot for New York Sired high-steppers, the freshman completed a hat trick.  Trained and driven by Jay Randall, Osvaldo Blue Chip cruised by nearly a dozen length in his previous start just one week after breaking his maiden. Seeking a three-bagger on Thursday, he once again started from post position one and quickly was moved to the lead by Randall. Osvaldo Blue Chip suffered only a few anxious moments before stopping the timer in 1:59 over a tracked labeled 'good.' In eleven starts in his freshman campaign, Osvaldo Blue Chip has now recorded three wins to go with three seconds and a pair of thirds. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Additional Articles