Day At The Track
Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen,Harness racing

Time for top stable to get serious again

It is time for New Zealand’s strongest stable to get serious again. So expect a sea of blue winning colours at Addington tonight and Ashburton on Monday as champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen start their countdown to Cup week. While the stable has already won Cup lead-ups with Thefixer, Dream About Me and Cruz Bromac they haven’t unleashed many of their lower grade and age group stars so far this season. But that changes this weekend. Tonight’s Addington meeting sees the return of high-class three-year-olds Jesse Duke and War Dan Delight in the Sires’ Stakes heat while plenty more serious age group performers return at Ashburton on Monday. Jesse Duke was arguably the most talented juvenile pacer in the country last season but had a few tricks and Purdon warns he could be vulnerable tonight. “We know how good he is but he has only had one trial before this so will improve and does have a wide draw,” says Purdon. “So maybe War Dan Delight is a better chance this week.” With the stable aiming to have five New Zealand Cup contenders in a few weeks they are still sorting out their pecking order and therefore who will eventually drive them all. But Purdon says Dream About Me has emerged as their best winning hope at this stage. “She has been really good winning her last two and is very sound at the moment so I would rate her just ahead of Cruz Bromac and Ultimate Machete. “But I wasn’t disappointed by Ultimate Machete at Methven and I think he will keep improving so Ashburton will tell us a lot.” Michael Guerin

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Star pacers target Redcliffe ahead of feature races

A star-studded line up of Queenslanders will put their Inter Dominion and New Zealand Cup credentials on the line in an Open Pace (Race 6) at Redcliffe on Saturday night.   In what shapes as one of the best local events to be run at the track this season, ID18 aspirants Alleluia (36), Ohoka Punter (55) and Watch Pulp Fiction (85) will look to improve their positions in the order of entry. The Dixon camp has also signaled its intentions to gain entry into the 2018 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup with Alleluia, which sits just outside the top-15 after the latest round of rankings. Racing Queensland Harness Strategy and Development Manager David Brick said Saturday night’s race highlighted the depth of talent that exists in Queensland. “One of the great things about harness racing in Queensland is that we’re lucky enough to see our local stars step out on the track regularly at metropolitan and provincial meetings,” he said.   “Our horses continue to shine on the national stage and I’m sure industry participants here will be cheering on our local charges as they target the Inter Dominion in Melbourne and NZ Cup in Auckland,” he said. Recently named Queensland Aged Pacer of the Year Bodhi Tree (1), and Albion Park HRC Horse of the Year, Glenferrie Hood (2) are also engaged in the 1780m event.  Watch Pulp Fiction (7) has drawn inside the back-row with trainer Chantal Turpin locked in to take a rare drive. 2016 UBET Blacks A Fake winner Ohoka Punter will be looking to break through for his first Queensland win since returning from a stint in WA. Majestic Major will also be looking for a breakthrough win since he last saluted in May. Racing Queensland form analyst Darren Clayton believes Glenferrie Hood (2) should be able to find the front from the good draw. “He moves in to Gate 2 over the same trip (1780m) and looks to get an easy lead … from the front he can look to make it three on the bounce and six wins in his past eight starts,” Clayton said. “Bodhi Tree will get the perfect run in transit. Watch Pulp Fiction will be locked away on the pegs but that’s not the worst place to be in this contest. “Alleluia has no favours from this gate as he attempts to land just his second Redcliffe victory after claiming the 2015 Redcliffe Cup.”   Racing Queensland

Mark Reed,Harness racing

Reed seeks third Mount Eden sprint

Ace reinsman Mark Reed is planning to adopt similar frontrunning tactics as he did with Aliveandwell in 2009 in a bid to win the $50,000 Mount Eden Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is bubbling with confidence about the prospects of Maczaffair, a five-year-old mare who is trained by his father Mike. Maczaffair, who will be reappearing after an absence of three and a half months, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and Reed said he was aiming to set the pace. “She’s flying and I expect her to run the race of her life,” he said. Aliveandwell, a 3/1 chance prepared by Andrew de Campo, started from the No. 1 barrier in the 2009 Group 2 Mount Eden Sprint and Reed set a bold pace before the gelding romped home by just under two lengths from Amongst Royalty and Has The Answers, rating 1.54.8 over the 1730m trip. Reed gave another dashing display in the sulky to land 12/1 chance Nebulizer a convincing winner over Admiral’s Avenue and Lord Marques in the 2000 Mount Eden Sprint. Mares have a poor record in the Mount Eden Sprint (formerly the State Sprint Championship) which has been run 63 times, with only eight mares winning the race in Dainty’s Daughter (1970), Pyramus (1971), Virgil Queen (1977), Kiwi Cloud (1978), Line On (1986), Whitby Miss Penny (1992), Sensational Gabby (2014) and Libertybelle Midfrew (2016). Libertybelle Midfrew, the 5/4 on favourite from barrier one, was trained by Mike Reed when she was driven by Shannon Suvaljko to an all-the-way victory over Run Oneover and Heez On Fire, rating 1.54.3 when the feature event was run over 2130m for the only time. The New Zealand-bred Maczaffair has already amassed $384,442 in prizemoney from her 18 wins, eight seconds and two thirds from 41 starts and she looms large as one of the main contenders for the $125,000 Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on December 14. Mark Reed reiterated that Maczaffair would be the pacemaker, declaring: “she’ll lead; she comes out on roller skates.”” If, as expected, Maczaffair sets the pace, Tricky Styx, the only runner off the back line and the only other mare in the race, should enjoy a perfect run behind Maczaffair. The Jesse Moore-trained Tricky Styx, to be driven by Aiden de Campo, sprinted home brilliantly to win over 1730m two starts ago. Then, last Friday week, she fought on solidly from sixth on the pegs at the bell to be fourth behind Chicago Bull in the 2130m Stratton Cup. Maczaffair, like Tricky Styx, has a good record in sprint races. She has won at two of her four attempts over 1730m and has also won over 1609m and 1684m. Rocknroll Lincoln (barrier two) and King of Swing (three) will have many admirers and each has strong each-way prospects. Rocknroll Lincoln, to be driven by his trainer Justin Prentice, has resumed after a spell in grand form with two impressive victories over 2130m. Rocknroll Lincoln has yet to compete over a sprint trip in his 13 WA starts which have produced seven wins and three seconds. As a three-year-old in New Zealand he won at a 1.56 rate over 1700m at Cambridge in January 2017 when he started from the No. 2 barrier and sat behind the pacemaker Mark of Integrity before finishing solidly along the sprint lane to defeat that pacer. Four-year-old King of Swing is the youngest and least experienced runner in the event and the stallion will be driven for the first time in a race by Stuart McDonald, who replaces Gary Hall Jnr who is in New Zealand preparing champion pacer Chicago Bull for a race at Alexandra Park on Friday week and the New Zealand Cup at Addington on November 13. King of Swing, who boasts the fine record of 22 starts for 14 wins and six seconds, has a trick y draw at No. 3, but McDonald is confident he will prove hard to beat. Gary Hall Snr, who prepares King of Swing, is seeking his seventh win in the Mount Eden Sprint, after successes with Bengeeman (2002), The Falcon Strike (2006), Im Themightyquinn (2011, 2012), Waylade (2015) and Chicago Bull (2017). Chris Lewis, who will be in the sulky behind the Barry Howlett-trained Talktomeurmattjesty, has won the race five times with Village Kid (1987), Whitby Timer (1990), Flashing Star (1997), Sneakyn Down Under (2008) and Sensational Gabby (2014). Talktomeurmattjesty is a brilliant sprinter, capable of overcoming the awkward draw at barrier seven. He resumed after a spell with an excellent second to Chicago Bull in the 2130m Stratton Cup last Friday week. He is sure to be improved by that effort. Ryan Warwick, who won the Mount Eden Sprint behind Lookslikelightning in 2005, will have many admirers. He will handle the Greg and Sky Bond-trained Vampiro, who is not particularly well drawn at barrier six. However, Vampiro, a winner at 15 of his 36 starts, is capable of unwinding a spirited finishing burst. Argyle Red, an all-the-way winner over Overboard Again and Mister Versace over 2130m two starts ago, will be having his first start for Pinjarra trainer Aiden Warwick. He will be driven by Aldo Cortopassi and his prospects slumped when he drew the No. 8 barrier. Ken Casellas

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Proposed changes to taxing of bloodstock

On 17 October 2018, the Racing Minister, the Rt Hon Winston Peters, announced proposed changes to the tax treatment of bloodstock. The changes were introduced by way of Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) No 135to the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2018–19, Modernising Tax Administration and Remedial Matters) Bill (72-1). The Bill is currently before the Finance and Expenditure Committee with a report-back date of 3 January 2019. The main proposal in the SOP is that new investors be entitled to claim tax deductions and be taxable on receipts as though they had a bloodstock breeding business, if they: • purchase, from a New Zealand premier yearling sale, an interest in a yearling that has the qualities to be a future stud-founding horse (referred to as a “standout yearling”) • notify the Commissioner of Inland Revenue of their intention to breed from the yearling for profit in the future and provide the owners’ details, and • provide evidence as required by the Commissioner to support their stated intention, including a business plan. The SOP sets out the method for setting bright-line price thresholds for thoroughbred and standardbred yearlings to distinguish standout yearlings from other yearlings. It also proposes that if a horse is sold to overseas investors or exported without first racing or breeding in New Zealand, the greater of all previous deductions or its market value be treated as income to the seller/exporter. This rule incentivises investors to undertake some racing activity in New Zealand before a standout horse is sold abroad or exported. The amendments proposed in the SOP apply from 1 January 2019. This means that the legislation, expected to be enacted in early 2019, will apply to yearlings acquired at the New Zealand National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka in late January 2019. The closing date for submissions on the SOP is Wednesday 24 October 2018. Source: http://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz

CHESTER, PA - At Harrah's Philadelphia, "Trix" isn't for kids - but she might be for the Open mares class soon, as the Bettor's Delight mare Bettor Trix N remained undefeated in four North American starts after a 1:53.2 triumph in the $17,000 distaff featured pace Wednesday. Driver Tim Tetrick, a three-time winner on the day, sent Bettor Trix N to the lead just past the 27.4 quarter, then got a rest of 57.2 to the half before the sophomore miss Mink Pink ranged alongside to challenge. Mink Pink got by Bettor Trix N before the 1:24.3 3/4s, but Tetrick kept the Kiwi import's mind on her game, and she rallied in the stretch to catch Mink Pink for a 1½ length victory. Tetrick, trainer Jim King Jr., and owners Donna Pollucci and Jo Ann Looney King do know a thing or two about imported New Zealand mares, as they are all part of Team Shartin N as well. There were three $16,000 co-featured events on the card - one for male pacers, and two for trotters. In the pace, Macadoodledoo, who has been performing well against stakes company, quarter-moved to command and posted a 1:52.4 victory for driver George Napolitano Jr. (coming off 15 wins in four cards at Pocono), trainer Mark Silva, and owner Jeffrey Snyder. He's Electric was second behind the winning son of Somebeachsomewhere, two lengths back; another neck behind was Talbotcreekwhiskey, who is in a Breeders Crown elimination in the 3PC category on Saturday. Talbotcreekwhiskey's shedrow neighbor in the barn of trainer Luc Blais, the Cantab Hall filly Ex Hanover, had more success over the Philly oval, taking the first division of the trot co-feature while lowering her mark to 1:55.3. Daniel Dube had to go first-over with the sophomore, but she was determined in the stretch and defeated Armageddon Seelster by a half-length for the Determination ownership entity. In the second trot, the Muscle Massive three-year-old gelding Meadowbranch Ricky made the lead at the quarter for driver Tony Morgan, then withstood a long first-over bid from Fashion Forever to be a 2¼ length winner, lowering his lifetime mark by a fifth by hitting the wire in 1:54.3. Jenny Melander conditions the winenr for owner Hans Enggren. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Greg Hope had two open class reasons to smile yesterday. And that could mean the long wait for champion trotter Monbet to return to the track is almost over. Hope not only trains Monbet but New Zealand Cup contender A G’s White Socks and both are coming off setbacks of wildly different lengths. Monbet hasn’t raced for 23 months after an array of leg issues while A G’s White Socks was dragged off the track just minutes before Sunday’s Methven Cup after soft tissue damage believed to have been suffered in a raceday slip. But the news is good for both. Monbet made one of his first public appearances since winning the Dominion at the Cup carnival two years ago when Hope snuck him on to the Rangiora track for a workout yesterday. There was nothing official about it, with Monbet working solo over 2600m but it was as good as a trial and a massive step in the right direction. He trotted 3:24 for 2600m, his last 800m in 60 seconds and final 400m in 28 and most importantly pulled up sound. It was nice work and showed he is ready for a trial next week and then the races at Addington on November 2,” said Hope.  “After that, all going well, we will aim him at the Trotting Free-For-All on Cup Day (November 13).”  Hope and his wife Nina pulled Monbet out of the Dominion, New Zealand’s richest trotting race on November 17, because they believe they couldn’t get enough competitive miles into his legs in time for the gutbusting 3200m.  “And we want to do the right thing by the horse. He has won it before and it is a long season so we didn’t want to rush him.”  A G’s White Socks is improving steadily after his weird setback on Sunday and has accepted for Monday’s Flying Stakes at Ashburton and looks 90 per cent likely to start.  “What happened last Sunday was very strange. I actually worked him the morning of the race and he was great then we put him away for a while before taking him to the races.  “During that break I think he must have slipped and hurt himself a little bit. There was no sign of it at the races until he started to warm up and we had to pull him off the track.  “But I am confident we are over that now and can still get the racing into him he needs for the New Zealand Cup.” Monday’s 2400m stand looks the most important New Zealand Cup lead-up of the season so far with many of the big namesheadlined by Dream About Me (barrier 1), Eamon Maguire (2), Ultimate Machete (7) and Star Galleria (8), with A G’s White Socks to start from barrier nine if he makes the race.  In the Flying Mile for the trotters Harriet Of Mot (barrier 2, but likely to start to one) and Great Things Happen (likely barrier 2) have got the best of the draws in what is traditionally New Zealand’s fastest open class trotting mile. Michael Guerin

Verlin Yoder has sat behind his share of good trotters, such as millionaire Natural Herbie and a number of Indiana state-bred champions, but none impressed him as quickly as undefeated world-record-setting filly Woodside Charm. "It was the middle of March," Yoder said. "I have a filly called O So Easy and last year she was a very nice (1):55-(1):54 horse as a 2-year-old, which is very good for Indiana. I came back in the barn from training (Woodside Charm) in March and I said to my wife, 'O So Easy who?' "Just the way (Woodside Charm) was doing things in March versus what anyone else ever has done for me was incredible. I knew she had high-end speed, I just didn't know how far she would go." On Friday, Woodside Charm will go to the Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old filly trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. She is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the second of three eliminations. The top-three finishers from each elimination return Saturday (Oct. 27) for the $600,000 final. She is Yoder's first Breeders Crown starter. Yoder, who trains and owns the filly, will be in the sulky. "I've never had anything to go with before," Yoder said. "All I had before was BB guns. When you're going to go in a big fight you've got to have a big gun. It'll be exciting." Woodside Charm is a daughter of Chapter Seven out of Fireworks Hanover. She is a half-sister to millionaire Explosive Matter, himself a world-record-setter. As a 2-year-old, Explosive Matter won his Breeders Crown elimination before finishing second to Muscle Hill in the final. As a young horse, Woodside Charm suffered a leg injury that cast doubt on her racing future. Since getting on the track, she has left no doubt about her ability. In her second start, she trotted 1:55.2 in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs, finishing just one-fifth of a second off a track record. But that was nothing compared to what she did two starts later, on Sept. 13, when she won a NYSS division at Saratoga in 1:53.4 to become history's fastest 2-year-old trotter on a half-mile track. The previous record for a 2-year-old filly, 1:55.2, was set by Wild Honey in 2014. Don Dream holds the mark for the boys, at 1:55. She heads to the Breeders Crown off a win in the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters, which was her fifth win in five starts and pushed her earnings to $209,158. There has yet to be a horse within 2-1/4 lengths of her at the finish line. Her total margin of victory in her five races is 23-1/2 lengths. "She's a very smart horse, very easy to work on," said Yoder, who is in the midst of his first million-dollar season as a trainer. "I like her speed and smartness. She's teachable. There are a lot of trotting fillies that are fast, but if you find one that's teachable and you can use when you want to use, then it's a different game. That's what separates the good ones from the bad ones." Woodside Charm starts her Breeders Crown elimination from post five in a field of seven. The field also includes Grand Circuit winners Asiago (3-1 on the morning line), Sonnet Grace (7-2), Princess Deo (9-2) and Stella Jane (8-1). "I think post five is going to be fine," Yoder said. "With 2-year-old trotting fillies you never know until it's done. I always say that if you go behind the gate enough you'll screw up somewhere along the line. But she seems healthy coming in. That's all we can ask for." Whispering Oaks, whose wins include a division of the International Stallion Stakes and the finals of both the New Jersey and Kentucky sire stakes, is the 2-1 favorite in the first elimination for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Ice Dutchess, whose wins include the Jim Doherty Memorial and Peaceful Way Stakes, is the 5-2 pick in the third. Both are trained by Jimmy Takter. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Pocono. For the night's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown 

As trainer Mike Deters prepares for his first start in the Breeders Crown, he's got a good feeling about Ideal Feeling. Deters sends out Ideal Feeling in Saturday's first of three $25,000 eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The colt is out of the family of Hall of Famer Rainbow Blue and a three-quarter brother to stakes-winner Zero Tolerance, who races Friday in an elimination of the Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly pace. Ideal Feeling and driver Tim Tetrick start their elimination Saturday from post two in a field of seven. The field also includes Adios winner Dorsoduro Hanover, Max C. Hempt Memorial champ Springsteen, and Carl Milstein Memorial winner Thinkbig Dreambig. The top-three finishers from each elim for the 3-year-old male pacers return Saturday (Oct. 27) for the $527,500 final. "I'm pretty excited," said Deters, a Florida resident who is in the state's harness racing Hall of Fame and also operates a stable in upstate New York during the summers. "I think he will put in a very good effort. I think he can go with them. Is he an absolute contender? I think he has to have a trip to do it. I don't think he can do the heavy lifting, but he's shown where he can be highly competitive with them." Ideal Feeling, by American Ideal out of Feelinglikeastar, has won six of 18 races in 2018 and hit the board a total of 12 times for Deters and owner Rick Berks. His most recent five starts featured a three-race win streak, which included the consolation final of the New York Sire Stakes, before finishing fifth in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes and sixth in a division of the Tattersalls. In the Bluegrass he finished 1-3/4 lengths behind winner Stay Hungry. In the Tattersalls, he was a parked-out first in an opening quarter-mile of :26 and second through three-quarters in 1:20.1. "He'd never been three-quarters in 1:20 before and I think it was a little more than he could handle," Deters said. "Hopefully he'll come off of that with a good effort (Saturday). "He's only gone a couple shaky races all summer," Deters added about Ideal Feeling, who in his five most lucrative races this year never started inside of post six. "I would say post position had a lot to do with it. It wasn't really that he raced bad, he just really didn't have any luck. This is the first time we've had a favorable post position when we've had a chance to go for money, so hopefully it pays dividends." Ideal Feeling got a late start last year at age 2, debuting with a third-place finish at Vernon Downs in mid-October. He only raced three times last season, capping his brief campaign with a win in a conditioned class at The Meadowlands. "He had some issues early where we didn't know if he was even going to make the races," Deters said. "I got him straightened out and he qualified real well here at Pocono. At Vernon, he paced the back half in like 54 seconds and just raced tremendous. Right then we knew he was a pretty nice horse." Deters, who is stabled at Tioga Downs during the summer, is more than pleased with Ideal Feeling's development. "There is nothing not to like about him," said Deters, who has won four training titles at Tioga. "He's a big, good-looking, great gaited colt. He's got gate speed, he doesn't mind coming first up, he's great off a helmet, he's a perfect gentleman; he has no faults." The second elimination for 3-year-old male pacers includes Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug winner Courtly Choice as well as Tattersalls division winner American History. The third elim finds returning Breeders Crown champion Stay Hungry, whose victories this season include the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes, plus North America Cup winner Lather Up (a supplemental entry for $62,500) and Tattersalls division winner Grand Teton. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Pocono. For the night's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown

OVERVIEW Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) supports the overall direction proposed by the Messara Review and the majority of the recommendations and sub-recommendations. We recognise that many of the recommendations and associated benefits will favourably impact on all three Codes. While the review primarily focused on the Thoroughbred Code, HRNZ stresses that Harness racing as an industry/sport is in a very similar position to Thoroughbred racing, especially with the financial and sustainability pressures currently facing it. There are six key recommendations that need change. These recommendations are not currently acceptable to HRNZ on grounds of equity, fairness and the long term financial sustainability of racing. In summary, these are as follows:  The Racing Industry Transitional Agency (RITA) is not needed: the objectives to implement the recommendations of the report and expedite change are best served through a Transitional New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB).  The proposed governance of Racing NZ favours the Thoroughbred Code. Given this body’s core strategic functions, a more balanced governance structure is required.  Code distribution should be 50% based on domestic Gross Betting Revenue (GBR), 25% on combined domestic and international GBR, and 25% based on Code contribution to the economy.  Funds released from the betting levy should be distributed on a GBR basis.  Race fields legislation needs to proceed urgently in line with the Messara recommended changes.  Outsourcing of wagering needs a full long-term economic, strategic and sustainability analysis of all options.  View the full submission here!   Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ)

Harness racing stewards have today spoken with co-trainer Greg Hope regarding A G’s White Socks following its late scratching in the preliminary of the Methven Cup on Sunday the 14th of October.   Mr Hope reported the horse to have appeared lame in it’s right hind leg when warming up and so was withdrawn.   The gelding was further examined later that day and found to be suffering from some swelling to the sacroiliac joint which was found to be the cause of the lameness. Mr Hope reported that treatment was initiated and he has been pleased with the horses response and its subsequent track work.   He felt the horse was, as of today, very close to full health and with the time available before the Ashburton Flying Stakes on Monday was confident the horse will be fully recovered. AG’s White Socks remains stood down pending a Veterinary clearance.     Nick Ydgren Chief Stipendiary Steward Harness Racing

Gary Hall is hoping a change of trainer can transform Chicago Bull from a Victoria Cup runner-up to a New Zealand Cup winner. The pride of Perth arrives in New Zealand on Thursday and is likely to stay a month with the $800,000 Cup at Addington on November 13 his main aim. Had Chicago Bull won the Victoria Cup at Melton last Saturday he could well have threatened for favouritism in New Zealand’s greatest harness race but he had to settle for a well-beaten second behind Tiger Tara, who is also bound for Addington but will race at Menangle this Saturday first. Hall’s usually unshakable confidence was initially dented by the Victoria Cup defeat. “I first glance I thought he was disappointing,” he admits. “But then when I analyzed it and the lead time was so slow, it was like sitting parked outside Tiger Tara over a mile. “You are not going to win doing that and obviously we didn’t. But at the top of the straight our fella was all done and he still fought on really well for second. “So he can still win the New Zealand Cup.” Not that Hall will have as much input as usual into Chicago Bull’s preparation with his son and regular driver Gary junior taking over the hands-on training for almost all the New Zealand campaign, albeit in an unofficial capacity. “Gary is going over with him this week and staying right through until after the New Zealand Cup, he won’t be coming back to drive here in Perth. “Gary actually did most of the training with Quinny (I’m Themightyquinn) when he raced in the Inter Dominion in Auckland in 2011, which we ended up winning after Smoken Up was disqualified.  “So he thinks he is the man for the job so I will only come over a few days before the Cup,” laughs Hall. Chicago Bull flies into Auckland in the hope the Auckland Trotting Club will hold the programmed open class race at Alexandra Park next Friday as his final lead-up to the Cup.  With Star Galleria already in the south and Northview Hustler and No Doctor Needed nominated for the Flying Stakes at Ashburton on Monday the northern open class stocks will be getting pretty thin by next week.  But Let’s Elope and Jacks Legend, who quinellaed last Friday’s Holmes D G, are likely to accept for next Friday along with a few others and the Auckland Trotting Club have been keen to support pre-NZ Cup open class racing in recent years so the race should get off the ground.  “That would be ideal for us because he needs the standing start practice, he has never been from one in a race,” says Hall.  “He has had a couple of trials over here from a stand but that is a lot diferent from a race.” Chicago Bull versus Jacks Legend is very much a spring treat for Alexandra Park regulars as they were both runner-ups to Lazarus at the highest level last season, Jacks Legend in the New Zealand Cup and Chicago Bull in the Inter Dominion.  The pair staying in the north for their final lead-up races also adds to the intrigue of an already fascinating New Zealand Cup, which in recent years has seen most of the top chances race each other and establish a clear pecking order before they get to Addington.  That won’t be the case this season because while some of the Cup favourites like Ultimate Machete and Dream About Me will head to Ashburton on Monday others like Star Galleria and Methven Cup winner Cruz Bromac will bypass that race, ensuring lots of varying formlines heading into the Cup.   Michael Guerin

Cranbury, NJ --- Been there, done that. It could be the slogan for Saturday's (Oct. 20) Breeders Crown eliminations for 3-year-olds and older horses at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Eleven former Breeders Crown champions will be in action Saturday, led by two-time winners Hannelore Hanover, Ariana G, and Pure Country. A 12th former champ -- McWicked, who claimed his trophy at age 3 in 2014 -- will advance directly to the Open Pace final because eliminations were unnecessary. Another winner from 2014, Pinkman, who was 2 when he captured his Crown, also is back for another try in the Open Trot. Completing the list of former champions are Broadway Donna, Call Me Queen Be, Emoticon Hanover, Fiftydallarbill, Manchego, Stay Hungry, and Youaremycandygirl. Ariana G, Broadway Donna, and Emoticon Hanover all are in the Mare Trot. The connections of trotting mare Hannelore Hanover opted to face the boys, as they did in 2017, in the Open Trot. The only other division with multiple previous champions is the Mare Pace, with Pure Country and Call Me Queen Be. Talent is not limited to past winners. Divisional money-leaders Atlanta, Courtly Choice, Crystal Fashion, Kissin In The Sand, Marion Marauder, and Shartin N also were among the 106 horses entered Tuesday for Saturday's eliminations. History's fastest trotter, Homicide Hunter, New Zealand's two-time Horse of the Year Lazarus N, and International Trot champion Cruzado Dela Noche add to the star power. Kissin In The Sand will not race Saturday. Her connections accepted a bye to advance directly to the final for 3-year-old filly pacers. Also accepting a bye were the connections of Baron Remy. One elimination will be contested, with the top seven finishers from a nine-horse field joining Kissin In The Sand and Baron Remy. Eliminations for 2-year-olds were drawn Monday and will be raced Friday. A total of 177 horses entered the Breeders Crown. Last year, the number of entries was 166. Post time for Friday and Saturday is 7 p.m. (EDT). All finals, with purses totaling $6 million, will be Saturday (Oct. 27) at Pocono. Elimination winners, in an order determined by lot, draw for post positions one through five for the finals. The draw for the $421,000 Open Pace will be Tuesday. The eight-horse field for the final is All Bets Off, Dealt A Winner, Donttellmeagain, Filibuster Hanover, Lazarus N, McWicked, Rockin Ron, and Western Fame. Lazarus N was supplemented to the event for $50,000. Following is a look at Saturday's eliminations, which have purses of $25,000 apiece. 3-YEAR-OLD COLT AND GELDING PACE Returning champion Stay Hungry leads a group of 20 horses. Stay Hungry will attempt to become the first male pacer since Artiscape in 1997 and 1998 to win a Breeders Crown at both ages 2 and 3. Stay Hungry's victories this year include the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes. Also in the elims are Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug winner Courtly Choice, North America Cup champion Lather Up (a $62,500 supplemental entry), Adios winner Dorsoduro Hanover, Max C. Hempt Memorial champ Springsteen, Carl Milstein Memorial winner Thinkbig Dreambig, and Tattersalls division winners American History and Grand Teton. The top-three finishers from each elimination advance to the final. Elimination One PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Thinkbig Dreambig-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 2-Ideal Feeling-Tim Tetrick-Michael Deters 3-Dorsoduro Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 4-Cinnamack-David Miller-Brian Brown 5-Nutcracker Sweet-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter 6-Springsteen-Simon Allard-Rene Allard 7-Hitman Hill-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes Elimination Two PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Talbotcreekwhiskey-Bob McClure-Luc Blais 2-Wes Delight-George Napolitano Jr.-Chris Oakes 3-American History-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna 4-Courtly Choice-David Miller-Blake MacIntosh 5-I'm A Big Deal-Brett Miller-Chris Ryder 6-Decoy-David Miller-Jimmy Takter 7-This Is The Plan-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke Elimination Three PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Shnitzledosomethin-David Miller-Dylan Davis 2-Stay Hungry-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna 3-Grand Teton-Andrew McCarthy-Jimmy Takter 4-Hayden Hanover-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 5-Lather Up-Montrell Teague-Clyde Francis 6-Done Well-Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke 3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE Youaremycandygirl is the returning champion and will try to become the first female pacer since My Little Dragon in 2005 and 2006 to win a Breeders Crown at both ages 2 and 3. She won this year's Empire Breeders Classic and finished second to Kissin In The Sand in the James M. Lynch Memorial, Mistletoe Shalee, and a division of the Glen Garnsey. The connections of Youaremycandygirl and Jugette winner Alexa's Power both turned down the seasonal-earnings-based bye that went to Courageous Lady winner Baron Remy. The top-seven finishers from the single elimination advance to the final. Single Elimination PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Youaremycandygirl-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 2-Double A Mint-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 3-I'm Trigger Happy-Corey Callahan-Ross Croghan 4-Strong Opinion-Andrew McCarthy-Ron Burke 5-Alexa's Power-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell 6-Percy Bluechip-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 7-Solitary-Brett Miller-Nick Surick 8-Sidewalk Dancer-George Napolitano Jr.-Chris Oakes 9-Dance Blue-Andrew McCarthy-Nancy Johansson 3-YEAR-OLD COLT AND GELDING TROT Fiftydallarbill is the returning champion and will try to become the first male trotter since Father Patrick in 2013 and 2014 to win a Breeders Crown at ages 2 and 3. His wins this season include the Indiana Sire Stakes final. Also entered were Canadian Trotting Classic and Earl Beal Jr. Memorial winner Crystal Fashion, Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial winner Met's Hall, and Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity winner Six Pack. The top-four finishers from each elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings advance to the final. Elimination One PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Met's Hall-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 2-You Know You Do-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 3-Tactical Landing-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter 4-Jula Downton-TBA-Susanne Kerwood 5-Lawmaker-Anthony MacDonald-Andrew Harris 6-Evaluate-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 7-Gemologist-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt Elimination Two PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 2-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 3-Cruising In Style-Anthony MacDonald-Andrew Harris 4-Run Director-Sylvain Filion-Benoit Baillargeon 5-Fiftydallarbill-Brett Miller-Bill Crone 6-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell 3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT Manchego is the returning champion and will try to join stablemate Ariana G (2016-17) on the list of female trotters to win a Breeders Crown at ages 2 and 3. Her wins this year include the Hambletonian Oaks and Moni Maker Stakes. She is joined in this event by Hambletonian and Kentucky Filly Futurity winner Atlanta and Elegantimage winner Phaetosive. The top-four finishers from each elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings advance to the final. Elimination One PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Highland Dynamite-Simon Allard-Marty Fine 2-Looking For Zelda-Matt Kakaley-Norm Parker 3-Plunge Blue Chip-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 4-Courtney Hanover-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron 5-Top Expectations-Marcus Miller-Erv Miller 6-Impinktoo-Brian Sears-Ron Burke 7-Seviyorum-Andy Miller-Julie Miller Elimination Two PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Lily Stride-Tim Tetrick-Mark Harder 2-Manchego-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 3-Atlanta-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron 4-Ciao Dolce-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 5-Supergirl Riley-Marcus Miller-Erv Miller 6-Phaetosive-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer OPEN TROT Hannelore Hanover, the 2017 Horse of the Year, is the defending champion and will try to become the first repeat winner of the Open Trot since Fool's Goal in 2002 and 2003. She also would become the first mare to win the event twice and her three Breeders Crown trophies would tie her with Grades Singing and Mack Lobell for the second most for a trotter. Peace Corps holds the record with four. Hannelore Hanover's wins this year include the Armbro Flight and Arthur J. Cutler Memorial. Homicide Hunter, who trotted his world-record 1:48.4 mile in winning the Allerage Open Trot at Red Mile, joins Hannelore Hanover in the event along with multiple-stakes-winner and 2016 Trotter of the Year Marion Marauder, Will Take Charge, Cruzado Dela Noche, and Pinkman. The top-four finishers from each elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings advance to the final. Elimination One PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Yes Mickey-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 2-Guardian Angel As-Matt Kakaley-Anette Lorentzon 3-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 4-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood 5-Pinkman-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 6-Lindy The Great-David Miller-Domenico Cecere Elimination Two PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis 2-Hannelore Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 3-Dunbar Hall-Jody Jamieson-Stephanie Jamieson 4-Homicide Hunter-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes 5-Top Flight Angel-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 6-Warrawee Roo-Dan Dube-Luc Blais MARE TROT Emoticon Hanover is the defending champion and will try to become the event's first repeat winner since Buck I St Pat in 2009 and 2010. Ariana G will try to become the first female trotter since Peace Corps (1988-89-90) to win a Breeders Crown at ages 2, 3 and 4. She would tie Grades Singing and Mack Lobell for the second-most trophies for a trotter. Peace Corps holds the record with four. Broadway Donna won her Breeders Crown in 2016 at age 3. The top-four finishers from each elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings advance to the final. Elimination One PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Emoticon Hanover-Dan Dube-Luc Blais 2-The Erm-Charlie Norris-Charlie Norris 3-Celebrity Ruth-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer 4-Charmed Life-Simon Allard-Rene Allard 5-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 6-Royal Witch-Sylvain Filion-Benoit Baillargeon 7-Ice Attraction-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt Elimination Two PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Dream Together-Bob McClure-Luc Blais 2-Broadway Donna-David Miller-Jim Campbell 3-Barn Bella-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedhammer 4-NF Happenstance-Jack Parker Jr.-Carol Jamieson-Parker 5-Caprice Hill-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes 6-Pink Pistol-Tim Tetrick-Peter Shody MARE PACE Pure Country is the defending champion and will try to become first female pacer since Shelliscape in 2013 and 2014 to repeat as the event's winner. She also would join Jenna's Beach Boy, Eternal Camnation, and My Little Dragon as the only pacers to ever win three Crowns. Call Me Queen Be won her Breeders Crown in 2016 at the age of 3. Shartin N (a $31,250 supplemental entry) is the season's richest female pacer. Her wins include the Roses Are Red, Lady Liberty, Artiscape, and Blue Chip Matchmaker championship. The top-four finishers from each elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings advance to the final. Elimination One PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Newborn Sassy-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr. 2-Agent Q-David Miller-Chris Oakes 3-Divas Image-Joe Bongiorno-Jennifer Bongiorno 4-Carol's Z Tam-Brian Sears-Jamie Macomber 5-Lakeisha Hall-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 6-Pure Country-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 7-Bettor's Up-Doug McNair-Scott McEneny 8-Call Me Queen Be-Eric Carlson-Ross Croghan Elimination Two PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Caviart Ally-Andrew McCarthy-Noel Daley 2-Nike Franco N-Matt Kakaley-Scott DiDomenico 3-Frost Damage Blues-Jody Jamieson-Kyle Caulfield 4-Tequila Monday-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes 5-Twinkle-Scott Zeron-Ross Croghan 6-Blue Moon Stride-Corey Callahan-Mark Harder 7-Seventimesavirgin-Corey Callahan-Jimmy Nickerson 8-Shartin N-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr. From the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 16, 2018-It's not surprising that International Trot Day brought with it some off-the-beaten path Yonkers Raceway looks. Accordingly, we asked the Raceway's three photographers from Saturday (Oct. 13th) afternoon-Katy Gazzini, Mike Lizzi and Jelena Gerga-to go through their handiwork and pick out some shots to share. 1-Brian Sears (in Courant colors, lessee of winner Cruzado Dela Noche) and Raceway president Tim Rooney with the International Trot trophy  2-The 10 International Trot drivers (upper [l-r], Alessandro Gocciadoro [Arazi Boko, Italy], Jason Bartlett [Up and Quick, France], Wim Paal [Ringostarr Treb, Italy], Yannick Gingras [Ariana G, U-S], Flemming Jensen [Slide So Easy, Denmark], Tim Tetrick [Will Take Charge, Canada], Goran Antonsen [Lionel, Norway], lower [l-r], Scott Zeron [Marion Marauder, Canada], Johan Untersteiner [Pastore Bob, Sweden], Brian Sears [Cruzado Dela Noche, Sweden]) Gazzini pix (note picture was with Bartlett and Sears in 'regular' colors)  3-The brothers Tim and Trace Tetrick, the latter in what was his first Westchester appearance since 2013 to drive Endeavor in the Dan Rooney Invitational  4-It was a different-looking Jason Bartlett warming up France's Up and Quick  5-The Harry Harvey Invitational Trot had grandson Shawn Harvey presenting to Warrawee Roo  6-The International Trot drivers and presiding judge George Karam had a pre-race 'rules of the road' meeting  7-Wim Paal speaking with Equidia's (French Horse Racing TV) Kristin Odegard  8-Apron was the place to be as race approached  9- Cruzado Dela Noche beats Lionel to win the Yonkers International Trot 10-Adam Strom with Cruzado Dela Noche by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Ben Yole continued his powerful defence of his Leading Trainers Title by preparing four of the eight winners on the programme at Devonport on Sunday. Ben’s winning run commenced in race two with Pushkin, despite being friendless in the betting. “It was three-way photo at the finish and I was probably the only person not worried about which way the result went because we trained all three but Pushkin (pictured – middle) has been a grand campaigner for us, he won four races last season and has already picked up two wins this season at odds of $18 and $51,” said Ben. “Troy (McDonald) has been driving well so it was no surprise to see him lead all the way with Giant Steps in the fifth race and collect his double and I’m sure punters were much happier as it was well supported ($3.10) to run favourite.” Monarkmac has gone close to winning on two occasions this season going down narrowly to Haleys Comet in Launceston and El Jays Monet in Hobart. “He’s a ten-year-old now and he found himself in the right race with the right draw and he was able to do the rest, Rohan (Hadley) rated him well and he had enough in hand to stave off stablemate No Apachemee which made a late charge after getting off the pegs turning for home,” said Ben. “The stable finished off with Im Barney Rubble, he’s just a machine, he won six races last year at ten years of age and has already nailed three from six this season, he won by over five metres and had them covered a long way out.” The Todd Rattray trained and driven six-yer-old Taurisi ($1.60) showed his class to come off the 30-metre handicap and score a runaway 5.1-metre win in the Discretionary over Karalta Dazzler and Poker Storm. Paul Ashwood trained the quinella in the Maxfield Drilling Pace for Mick Maxwell but not in the order most punters would have preferred with Krafty Boy ($4.80), driven by Rohan Hillier,  storming home over the top of popular pick Miracle Marcus ($2.00). Punters won the battle on the night with six favourites saluting including the Bianca Heenan prepared Mon Poppy Polly ($2.70) driven by Taylor Ford and the Melissa Maine-trained Better Go Go ($2.30) steered home by Gareth Rattray. Shane Yates

Cranbury, NJ --- With many divisions still in flux as to year-end honors, the connections of three of the top pacers in their respective groups each supplemented to their Breeder Crown event. The Breeders Crown Open events attracted the richest female pacer, 5-year-old mare Shartin N, whose 16 wins in 21 starts and bankroll of $820,861 made the $31,250 supplemental payment an easy decision for co-owners Richard Poillucci and Jo-Ann Looney-King. Jo-Ann's husband, Jimmy King Jr. trains the imported daughter of New Zealand stallion Tintin In America-Bagdarin. Another Down Under sensation, Lazarus N, was supplemented to the $400,000 Crown Open Pace to the tune of $50,000. The racing world has enjoyed heavyweight match ups featuring Lazarus N and McWicked, but Lazarus was scratched sick from their last meeting in Saturday's Dan Rooney Invitational by trainer Jimmy Taker to ensure he was in top form for the Crown. Lazarus N, owned by Taylor Made Stallions, has banked $400,245 in North America this year, with a two wins and three seconds in just five starts on this continent. Combined with his New Zealand earnings, he's made $689,861 for a hefty $3 million lifetime. Gary and Barbara Iles homebred sophomore pacing colt Lather Up emerged as the early season sensation, blasting a 1:48.1 mile in his North America Cup victory back in June. Trained by Clyde Francis and driven by Montrell Teague, Lather Up's consistent performance on the racetrack has resulted in a 14-11-0-1 slate and $768,612 in earnings. Regular entries for 3-year-old and up trotters and pacers are due by 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Pocono Downs race office. Two-year-old entries closed at 9:00 a.m. Monday and you can see the fields here: http://xwebapp.ustrotting.com/absolutenm/templates/article.aspx?articleid=82909&zoneid=1 The contestants for the 12 Breeders Crown finals will be determined through elimination races, if needed, this Friday and Saturday night at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Eliminations for all 2-year-old events will be raced on Friday [post time 7:00 p.m.] and eliminations for all 3-year-old and up events will be Saturday [post time 7:00 p.m.]. Elimination winners, in an order determined by lot, draw for inside post positions 1-5 for the finals. There will be an industry-wide low 15% takeout on all wagers on all three nights of Crown competition. The $6 million Breeders Crown finals will be raced on Saturday, October 27, with an early post time of 5:30 p.m. [EDT] For more information go to www.Hambowletonian.com by Moira Fanning, for the Breeders Crown

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Michael Barnard liked Sapphire Deo from the time he saw her as a yearling at Deo Volente Farms. After purchasing the filly trotter for $62,000 at the 2017 Lexington Selected Sale and changing her name to Miss You Kelly, he discovered even more reasons to like her. "Taylor Gower broke her and I was jogging her, not too long after he broke her, and she got startled by something in the grass and she took off on the trot," said Barnard, who owns Miss You Kelly as part of his Stormi And Bruiser Stable. "She did it so easy and then just came right back to me. "I knew she was special there, just to be able to do that. She did everything perfect from day one, just a great attitude. She's a beautiful horse to be around. Deo Volente turns out beautiful yearlings and Fidencio (operations manager Fidencio Cervantez) does a great job over there. She's just a real sweet horse." Miss You Kelly races Friday in the second of three Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old trotting fillies at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Miss You Kelly has the rail in that race, the fourth on the card, which is scheduled for 7:54 p.m. (EDT). Racing begins at 7 p.m. and features a total of 10 Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-olds. Barnard is making his second trip to the Breeders Crown as an owner. His first was with Fresh Winner Pearl, who finished eighth in the 2002 event for 3-year-old male trotters at Woodbine. He also bred Creamy Mimi, who won the 2008 Hambletonian Oaks and finished fifth in the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters. Among Barnard's other breeding credits is stakes-winner Brooklyn, who is the dam of another of this season's 2-year-old Breeders Crown hopefuls, trotting colt Kings County, who is owned by Lindy Farms. Miss You Kelly, by Trixton out of Blue Yonder, was renamed in honor of Barnard's rescue dog, who was a fixture around the horses and passed away last year. "She was my best friend," Barnard said. "She was just the sweetest, kindest thing I ever had in my life." Miss You Kelly has won two of six races this year. She is trained by Bruce Lauer. "Bruce has done a great job with her," Barnard said. "She's about as good as she could be right now. He's done a great job getting her ready for this race. We just have to hope she gets a good trip and it works out for her." Lauer is a veteran of the racing wars, but is making his Breeders Crown debut with Miss You Kelly. "I've worked for, and with, some really good people over the years," Lauer said. "Blair Burgess, Mark and Frank O'Mara, Ron Waples -- just to name a few -- so I have been here, but never on my own. I just never had the deep-pockets owners. "The first horses I trained on my own were a $4,000 claimer and a green 3-year-old filly. I started when I was at the University of Toledo. A bunch of us went over to Raceway Park and before I knew it, I was on the backside." Lauer said Miss You Kelly had a minor setback in June before beginning her career in an elimination of the Jim Doherty Memorial, where she finished eighth. After winning a maiden race at Harrah's Philadelphia, the filly went to Canada and finished fourth in a division of the Champlain Stakes and sixth in her elimination of the Peaceful Way. She rebounded with a 1:57.1 victory at Pocono and heads to the Breeders Crown off a sixth-place finish against older horses at Pocono. "We've always liked her," Lauer said. "She had a minor setback in June and we had to back off with her and with her first start being in the Doherty she might have been over her head that early in her career. But she won a maiden with (Tim) Tetrick driving and he said he really liked her, so that was encouraging. "She raced OK in Canada. I probably should have shipped her up there sooner. She didn't really have her legs under her. That's on me." Lauer pointed the filly to the Breeders Crown by giving her the two races at the host track. "We wanted to get her a couple starts at Pocono to see if she could go enough," he said. "Matt Kakaley drove her and she won pretty handily. Matt eased her up and said she left a couple of seconds on the track. The next week, the only race we could get her in was against the boys and 3- and 4-year-olds, but she still trotted in (1):54 and a piece, which is as much as a lot of these others have gone. "We figured it was time to give her a chance." The top-three finishers from each elimination for the 2-year-old filly trotters return Saturday (Oct. 27) for the $600,000 final. The draw is scheduled to take place live after the 10th race on Friday. Elimination winners, in an order determined by lot, draw for post one through five. For the night's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner and Keith Gisser, for the Breeders Crown
Yonkers, NY-- "Now that the baseball season is over I can concentrate a little more on my love of amateur racing," "Yankee Joe" Lee, the locker room manager for the New York Yankees said after he won a NAADA Trot this afternoon at Monticello Raceway. Well maybe it was that concentration Lee was referring to that enabled him to earn another driving victory when he won the Billings trot tonight (Thursday, Oct. 10) with On The Podium in 2:00.3 at Yonkers Raceway. After a wire-to-wire victory in the daylight at The Mighty M Lee found the winners circle under the lights with a covered trip after he gunned his trotter to the front and then sat comfortably in the two hole and followed Wygant Prince and "Coach Paul" Minore's lead. Although the 29 second first quarter took some sting out of Wygant Prince there was more stress for the old veteran when he didn't get a breather because he had to contend with a parked-out Gianni and driver "Mighty Matt Zuccarello. So while the aforementioned duo slugged it out on the engine Lee sat calmly in the pocket and was carried all the way to the top of the lane. Along the way Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin with Permanent Joy, and Bob "the Brewster Flash" Ciavardini with Baltimor AS, worked their way into contention by the top of the stretch but not before Joe Lee scooted around Gianni and everyone was chasing On the Podium to the wire.. However, nobody caught him as Lee had a driving double, albeit at two different racetracks. Baltimor AS was second best while Permanent Joy had to settle for the show dough. Unlike the Monticello trots earlier in the day this was a non-wagering affair. Jose Godinez trains the winner for Lee, Tony Nicometo and the Blindswitch Racing Stable. For Joe Lee, who drove initially in 2010 and for the next five years only when he got time off from his obligations to the Bronx Bombers was he able to enjoy the competition of driving a spirited steed. During those years he notched five victories in 88 starts but since then he's had 41 driving victories and a National Amateur Driver of the Year Award bestowed on him last season. And his 10 wins thus far this year puts him in contention for another award. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series    
CHESTER, PA - The hard-hitting Donato Hanover gelding Tyson recorded his second triumph in his last three starts in winning the $18,000 trotting feature at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, making every pole a winning one in 1:54. Driver Andrew McCarthy got Tyson to the lead passing the 28 quarter, then set middle fractions of 57.2 and 1:25.3, with Crazy About Pat in the pocket and Casa Palmera moving first-over from third before the latter call. In the lane the sharp winner maintained a 1¾ length margin over Crazy About Pat, with Casa Palmera another two lengths in third. Tyson won for the ninth time in 2018, pushing his earnings this year to $116,625 and $213,800 lifetime. Ed Gannon Jr. trains Tyson, the 3-5 favorite, and he co-owns him with Frank Canzone. In the $14,500 "Trottin' Thursday" co-feature at Harrah's, Rock Of Cashel was a 3 1/4 length winner in 1:54.2 winner for driver Corey Callahan, trainer Mark Harder, and owners Joseph Jannuzzelli and Jeffrey Ruch. The veteran son of Majestic Son, now a career winner of $598,228, retucked in the pocket down the backstretch behind pacesetting favorite Make It A Double, then easily passed that one in the lane for his third victory in his last four trips behind the gate. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia  
Monticello, NY-- The front-end was the place to be in the amateur races today(Thus. Oct 18) at Monticello Raceway as Joe Lee and Alan Schwartz hustled their trotters to wire-to-wire victories in the fifth leg of the NAADA Trotting Series over the Sullivan County double oval. Lee won his betting division with Makin Trouble K in 2:02.3 while Schwartz and Ladys Big Stormont connected for a 2:01.3 triumph in the other on the sunshiny, but unusually blustery, afternoon in the southern Catskill Mountains of New York State. Lee, driving for trainer Bruce Aldrich, Sr., sent Makin Trouble K toward the lead which they gained before the first quarter timer flashed :29. But once on the lead they had to rebuff multiple challenges before they passed the halfway point. "My horse was a handful in the post parade and before the race but once the gate let us go he was fine," Lee said in the paddock after his driving victory. "Once he settled down he was gritty and raced good." At the three quarters they had put away most of the early competition, all but Sheer Action, who was driven by Chistopher Doherty, the grandson of Hall of Famer, Jimmy Doherty, who was making his first lifetime pari-mutuel start. Down the lane Makin Trouble K and Sheer Action were side by side and were joined late on the far outside by Tough Get Going (Joe Faraldo). But as the field neared the wire Faraldo's charge hung and Jennifer Lappe ducked to the passing lane and rallied for second money with Celebrity Blue Chip as Tough Get Going had to settled for the show dough. And although Sheer Action was just a length behind he winner at the wire he finished fourth. Makin Trouble K, who won for the seventh time this season, is owned by Woody Hoblitzell. He paid $18.40. And for Joe Lee, last years National Amateur Driver of the Year, it marked his ninth winning drive thus far this season. The second split went similarly to the first when Schwartz sent Ladys Big Stormont toward the lead and when Bob Krivelin and Current Crisis closed the two-hole Schwartz had little choice but to try to get the lead from Monica Banca and Master of Excuses, who had command. "I really waned to race my horse from a pocket but when there was no room long the pylons I went to the front and I was a little concerned about the 28 and 4 first quarter.," Schwartz explained. Once on top Schwartz and Banca were open lengths in front of their competition and they raced one-two by the half in :59.3 with the order remaining the same as they passed the third stanza in 1:30 flat. Third at that point was Current Crisis (Bob Krivelin) but he began to fade as the leaders rounded the final turn. Despite a two-hole trip the entire way Master Of Excuses couldn't get by Ladys Big Stormont in the lane and they finished 1-1/4-lengths behind Schwartz's trotter who won for the 10th time this season. Jennifer Lappe rallied Multitaskr Hanover to finish third after he went off-stride at the start. Schwartz owns and trains Ladys Big Stormont who paid $3.70. It was Schwartz's 11th seasonal driving victory and the 606th of his amateur career. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series
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