Custodian's huge crowd of owners

Live updates, Breeders Crown Super Sunday

The finish line to the Race to Royalty has arrived. Eight Group 1 races are been contested today at Tabcorp Park Melton for the annual TAB Breeders Crown Finals Day with huge prizemoney on offer and a big harness racing crowd is in attendance. Race 1 - Haras Des Trotteurs Breeders Crown 3YO Trotting Fillies Final By Cody Winnell WILMAS MATE (Pegasus Spur-Mybrotherwasastar) is the first Group 1 Breeders Crown champion of the day at Tabcorp Park Melton. Punters backed the Paul Nairn-trained three-year-old filly into $1.55 fixed with TAB.com.au and she didn’t disappoint, taking out the Haras Des Trotteurs sponsored three-year-old trotting fillies final in memorable fashion. Moving to the chair from back in the field in the running line when the bell chimed, reinsman David Butt aboard Wilmas Mate put the pressure to leader High Gait down the back with a 27.8secs third split the result. High Gait rallied fiercely with Chris Alford in the gig.  That filly initially worked to the lead after Aldebaran Ay M found the pegs early and handed up. High Gait posted a 45.5secs lead time and opening splits of 29.9 and 30.4. Down the back it became a race in two as the class fillies gapped their rivals. Shades of Bonecrusher/Our Waverley Star ensued. Or we could compare it to Terror To Love/Christen Me at Cranbourne. High Gait lifted and fought right to the wire but Wilmas Mate always just had her measure, scoring by 1m with a 29.6secs last quarter for a swift 1:57.3 mile rate for the 2240-metre journey. “She got a bit pully down the back, probably not wanting to go so quick but Chris was making a bit of noise wanting to go,” Butt said. “It’s great to win a race like this. She’s a great filly.” That’s 13 wins from 25 starts now for Wilmas Mate, whose earnings skyrocket to almost quarter of a million dollars on the back of today’s win. Sky Majesty (Jodi Quinlan) ran a super race for third. She's had a great season and her run today was full of merit, while Aldebaran Eve was fourth.  Courchevel and Princess Phoenix galloped early and left their chances at the gate. Video replay  Race 2 - Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2YO Trotting Fillies Final By Cody Winnell KYVALLEY Kyrie (Angus Hall-Aldebaran Maori) has upstaged her rivals in the Aldebaran Park two-year-old trotting fillies Breeders Crown Final at huge odds. Driven to the lead early by Anthony Butt from barrier six, Kyvalley Kyrie defied all comers at $41 at TAB.com.au to score by 3.2m in a mile rate of 2:01.7. “I’ve always had a lot of faith in this filly,” Butt said post race. “It was a great training performance by Brent (Lilley) as she performed pretty average last start. “If I handed up I was handing someone the race, so I was keen to hold the lead today.” Kyvalley Kyrie opened her final mile with a 31.2 quarter before middle splits of 29.7 and 29.8. She got up the straight in 31.1 and had 3.2m to spare over Our Regal Love (Chris Alford), who had her chance in second, with Iona Spider finishing with a venomous burst to be 3.8m off the winner in third after missing the start for Jodi Quinlan and Shane Hall. That was a huge run. Derrie Aire also produced a big effort for fourth for Amy Tubbs, while Sval Queen finished fifth. Nieta galloped, a horror start to the day for Anton Golino/Greg Sugars, with two favourites missing away to start the day. On to the third. Race 3 - Aldebaran Park 2YO Trotting Colts/Geldings Final By Cody Winnell CUSTODIAN (Muscle Mass-Maia) is Kiwi trainer Mark Purdon’s first Crown star of the day. The gelded son of Muscle Mass was backed off the map in markets across the country, into $1.9 on the tote and $2.1 fixed with TAB.com.au, displacing Illawong Byron as favourite. The winning move was made just prior the mile when Purdon took Custodian around the field and attacked early leader Illawong Byron, who started from pole. Illawong Byron, who has been an absolute model of consistency all season, made a rare mistake and jumped off stride, gifting Custodian the front. To Illawong Byron’s credit he got back down and trotting and by the end of the race had made up good ground to finish a creditable fifth. Eyrish Mist finished second beaten 3.6m for Brent Lilley and Anthony Butt, who are having a good day themselves, while Claudys Prince was gallant in third for Mick Blackmore and Gavin Lang, just holding off Kheiron, who also ran another bottler for Peter Lane and Chris Alford. “He trotted beautifully today,” Purdon said of Custodian, who rated 2:00.7 in winning. “He behaved himself really well. “Jodi’s unfortunately galloped and the race looked to be between the two horses on paper.” Results Video replay Race 4 - IRT Breeders Crown 3YO pacing Colts/Geldings final By Michael Howard THEY threw everything at him including Iceenothink but Mark Purdon’s super Somebeachsomewhere three-year-old, Our Waikiki Beach, held on to win the Group 1 and reaffirm his status. The track’s class record was smashed as they rattled from start to finish, with Our Waikiki Beach recording its 23rd win from 24 starts by claiming the IRT Breeders Crown final for three-year-old colts and geldings. “He’s a champion,” Purdon said. “He can’t do any more than he’s done, he just keep delivering.” It was anything but easy for the $1.04 favourite, who found the lead from the gates but a procession of challenges took the breeze, with fellow Kiwi Franco Cristiano pouring on the pressure with Dexter Dunn holding the reins. A blistering 27.9 first quarter followed a 45.1 lead time and Purdon was concerned.   “He had to burn hard early to hold the top. Even from a lap out they were really humming,” Purdon said. “With a lap to go, I’m not sure what speed we were going, but we were going better than 30 seconds for a quarter. I knew we were going real hard and we couldn’t maintain that for the whole lap.” A 28.8 second quarter was followed by a 28.9 third and come the final straight the early challenges had faded but Iceenothink burst wide, Match In Heaven poured down the sprint lane and Rock In America loomed. In a 28.0 final quarter Our Waikiki Beach held off all challenges for a 1m win, with Match In Heaven second for trainer Paul Fitzpatrick and driver Blake Fitzpatrick. The 1:54.0 mile rate was only 0.8 outside Keayang Cullen’s track record and 0.4 under the class record. “It wasn’t an easy race but full credit to the horse, he really dug deep,” Purdon said. Results Video replay Race 5 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO fillies By Michael Howard IT didn’t all go to script but Emma Stewart’s stable etched its name on a 2016 Breeders Crown trophy when Rocknroll Magic rattled home to win the three-year-old fillies final. The expected playbook – favourite Heavens Trend leads, stablemate Rocknroll Magic sits on her back and they work the rest out in the straight – was torn up when Mark Purdon’s My Mackenzie flew the gates. That placed Gavin Lang leader’s back on Heavens Trend and Chris Alford and Rocknroll Magic buried away three-back on the pegs, and a huge crowd held their breath awaiting the final straight. “Preferably we would have been behind the leader, but when My Mackenzie came out so quick Gavin wasn’t able to get off the fence and do a retake because it was just going a bit too hard,” Alford said. “I was sort of happy, because we were rolling along pretty strong.” After a 59.9 first half and a 28.4 third quarter, My Mackenzie still had plenty left in the tank, with Heavens Trend urging off his back before the sprint lane but unable to open up in the straight. That left the sprint lane for Rocknroll Magic, but still My Mackenzie pressed on and it was only in the dying moments that Chris Alford found the front and recorded a memorable victory. A 27.5 final quarter would see the Owners Enclosure erupte as Rocknroll Magic’s huge loyal following in raptures. “At the top of the straight she was sort of flat out, flat out. She is only little but she just keeps giving,” Alford said. “Fifty metres out she wasn’t going to get there and then she just stuck her head out and hit the line. “She went from fifth to first in about the space of that last 50m, she’s done a great job.” Rockstar Angel ran third for trainer David Aiken and driver Michael Bellman. The first two home are both by Rock N Roll Heaven. Results Video replay   Race 6 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 2YO colts and geldings final By Michael Howard A RAPT Chris Alford and the horse that typifies his determination, Our Little General, produced a brilliant Breeders Crown win. The Mach Three colt just kept on chugging while all the favourites battled around him, with Tingira Beach having a torrid time for Shane and Lauren Tritton’s and Mark Purdon’s Pacing Major looming but then fading. “He’s a great little horse,” Alford said. “He’s only small, but he is all heart. He drives like a little car: He goes forward and drops the bit, goes forward and drops the bit. He still had a great kick at the top of the straight and he well deserved that win.” Tritton was unable to hold the front with Tingira Beach on the polemarker and $1.60 favourite, with Big Gun Johnny sweeping to the front. This pricked Alford’s interest. “I thought Big Gun Johnny had crossed and I thought that’s a great opportunity for me to get the front again like last week,” Alford said. Tingira Beach then galloped twice in the running, falling back along the pegs and out of contention. “I’m not too sure what happened with Lauren, whether she was going where these was no room or Matty hadn’t quite crossed, we’ll just have to leave that up to the stewards,” Alford said. “Once she was out of the race it changed the complexion a bit and then I thought I would get the front, but Colin McDowell’s horse (Sunset Zeus) just took charge and I just had to sit their patiently and wait for his horse to slow down a little bit so we could make a move.” Alford took the front and was soon joined by Purdon’s well-backed Art Major colt, Pacing Major. “I was really worried when Pacing Major got outside him so early, I thought if he puts the gas on down the back I’d nearly have to let him go,” Alford said. “Little General, he just kept chugging away and Mark’s horse was sort of gone off the back, so I was pretty confident as we straightened and then when I let him go he really kicked.” Our Little General hit the line first, 4.9m clear of Astride who had a big run for the McCarthy camp after being unsettled by a galloping Tingira Beach, with Wrappers Delight third for trainer Geoff Webster and driver Gavin Lang. Results Video replay   Race 7 - Alabar Breeders Crown Series two-year-old fillies final By Michael Howard HE came, he saw and, despite one hell of a run from Petacular, he conquered. Mark Purdon’s stable claimed a third Breeders Crown for the day, winning the two-year-old fillies with his talented Bettor's Delight filly, Partyon, who retained her unbeaten record with a blistering Group 1 win. Partyon stopped the clock at 1:54.4, some 1.8 seconds quicker than the track’s previous distance record for this class, having survived a battle with Michael Stanley’s brave Burrumbeet filly Petacular. “She’s done a great job. She is a beautiful filly and you just can’t fault her record,” Purdon said. “She’s been great from the time she stepped out to cap it off today.” The Kiwi reinsman and trainer steered Partyon to the front from barrier seven. “(Partyon’s) got good gate speed, although in saying that we didn’t cross them by much and we were going early,” he said. Petacular joined her mid-race, with Gavin Lang tucking well-rated Miss Graceland on leader’s back. “I was a little bit worried, because (Partyon) was really getting plenty of pressure, and I was worried how Gavin was going on my back,” Purdon said. “She just stuck to her task all the way up the straight.” Petacular fought on superbly but, having sat in the breeze for much of the running, didn’t have the fuel tickets to win after a 27.5 third quarter, with Partyon winning by 3.1m from Petacular and My Casino Belle finishing off well to claim third. Results Video replay   Race 8 - Breckon Farms Breeders Crown four-year-old entires and geldings By Michael Howard Ideal For Real (American Ideal) reaffirmed his status as a racehorse to be reckoned with, dominating the four-year-old entires and geldings Group 2 final. Emma Stewart notched up her third win to match Mark Purdon’s mighty haul, claiming the Breckon Farms Breeders Crown Championship by 6m when Ideal For Real produced an all-the-way win. “It is a pretty serious little horse this one,” Lang said. Ideal For Real flew the gate from barrier five, with his main rival, Tee Cee Bee Macray, tucked away at the rear of the field from his wide second row draw. “He’s showed a little bit of gate speed today, which he hasn’t had to use much in the past,” Lang said. “He come off the arm pretty good and got a good position, eventually found the front and got it done pretty easy.” Ideal For Real separated from the pack before they reached the straight and the margin only swelled until a late surge when the win was well in hand. Greg Sugars warmed Tee Cee Bee Macray up at the turn and the star swooper stormed home down the straight, but Ideal For Real’s advantage was too great and he hung on to win by 6m, with $195-shot Egodan only a half-neck further back in third for Vince Vallelonga. Results Video replay   Race 9 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown for three-year-old colts and geldings By Michael Howard THEY did it on Vicbred night and served up another dose on Breeders Crown night – the Cranbourne crew’s Cruisin Around stood alone when the moment mattered most. The three-year-old Bacardi Lindy trotter stood up to test one, survive the onslaught out of the gate, and driver Greg Sugars kept enough petrol tickets in the bank to steer Michael Hughes’ gelding to a memorable 5.6m win. “There was a lot of pressure on me to get out of the gate and stay in one piece and thankfully he rose to the occasion for me,” Sugars said. Cruisin Around’s rival, Sundons Courage, was ever present for trainer Chris and owner Brad Angove, but despite Chris Alford’s best efforts in the breeze he couldn’t claw back the gap and Cruisin Around held on to win by 5.6m. Sugars gave much of the credit to trainer Michael Hughes. “I’ve driven a few horses for Mick (Hughes). He does do a very good job,” Sugars said. “An important way to measure a trainer’s ability, they might not always have the best horses going around, but if they can run consistently week-in week-out to their ability, that’s all you can ask for from a trainer. “That’s Michael Hughes to a T. Everytime you step out on one of his horses you know it’s going to run a good race.” Temporale ran third for trainer-driver Tony Herlihy, with Maori Law reaffirming his talent for trainer Bill Morgan, placing fourth.  Results Video replay

Windsong Napoleon

Longshots shake up Metro, Shes A Great Lady

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 27 - The harness racing finals are now set for the Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady after a wild elimination night Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. A total of three $40,000 Metro Pace and two $35,000 Shes A Great Lady eliminations were contested with some major longshots putting an interesting spin on the action. The Metro Pace eliminations for pacing colts and geldings started with a bang, as Windsong Napoleon pulled off a 54-1 gate to wire upset. A son of Art Major, Windsong Napoleon was blasted to the front by driver Phil Hudon to post an opening-quarter of :27.1. The Carl Jamieson trainee marched the field by the half in :56 and the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3. In the stretch, Windsong Napoleon drifted out a lane and was confronted by Calvin K, who shot up the rail after sitting the two-hole. The rookie pacing colts went toe-to-toe, but Windsong Napoleon had no quit in him and fought off Calvin K to win by a neck in 1:51.3. "I got good fractions and everything worked out," said Hudon post-race. "He kicked in down the lane, I thought (Calvin K) was getting up the inside and he dug back in." Classic Pro finished third, while Pointomygranson was fourth. Owned by Jamieson, Thomas Kyron and Doug Good, Windsong Napoleon now has three wins in eight starts. The Art Major colt was coming into the Metro elimination off a disappointing seventh in the Nassagaweya, but Hudon explained the reason for the poor effort. "Last week I definitely shut his air off by letting (Calvin K) go and tonight they put a choke plate on him, I didn't rev him up as much early and he was a lot calmer." Windsong Napoleon now has $63,004 earned heading into next week's final. A $2 win ticket on the Art Major colt returned $110.40. Windsong Napoleon The second elimination saw another fantastic stretch duel, but this time it was the favourites battling it out. Jimmy Takter trainee Ocean Colony defeated Ideal Wheel by a head in a national season's best 1:50.1. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Ocean Colony left from post two and quickly grabbed command. After an opening-quarter of :27, Ideal Wheel made his way to the front after being parked around the first turn. The tempo was hot, as Ideal Wheel posted middle-half fractions of :54.4 and 1:22.4. In the stretch, Ocean Colony was angled to the outside by Gingras and battled stride for stride with a gritty Ideal Wheel, but ultimately got by for the impressive victory. Bobcat Bound finished third, while fourth went to Darlings Dragon. Saturday's Metro elimination was the first time Ocean Colony had a different driver other than Brett Miller. "I was really impressed," said Gingras. "Brett told me nothing but good things about him. He said they brought him along slowly and he was really good at Tioga last week and Jimmy told me the same thing." A $110,000 purchase at last year's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Ocean Colony is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Hatfield Stables, Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. The son of Somebeachsomewhere now has two wins in five starts and $38,079 earned. Ocean Colony paid $6.60 to win. Ocean Colony The final elimination was a throw down with Beyond Delight scoring a 20-1 upset victory. Bettors Dream fired out from post eight to post an opening-quarter of :26.4. Some Attitude, who was parked around the first turn, was pushed to the front by David Miller and cleared just before reaching the half in :55.1. Blood Line, the 8/5 favourite, was angled out from third by Gingras to come first up around the far turn. The public's choice cleared to the front and led by two-lengths at the three-quarter pole in 1:22.3. Meanwhile, Sylvain Filion was able to get Beyond Delight off the rail on the far turn and sat fifth turning for home. In the stretch, Beyond Delight began pacing up a storm when fed open racetrack. The Tony O'Sullivan trainee powered by Blood Line to defeat him by three-lengths in 1:51. The top two finishers were clear at the wire, but the same could not be said for a trio of horses seeking third. Southwind General shot up the rail to grab third just ahead of Bettors Dream and R J P. However, a pair of inquires were posted involving the three horses. Southwind General was disqualified from third and placed last for going inside three pylons in the stretch. The Judges also looked at contact between Bettors Dream and R J P at the wire, but ruled there was no interference. Therefore, Bettors Dream was vaulted up to third and qualified for the final. The lengthy review may have stolen some thunder from Beyond Delight, who picked the perfect time to break his maiden. Following the race, O'Sullivan discussed the recent development of Beyond Delight into a Grand Circuit contender. "He was okay training down and then we kind of thought he would be a racehorse, but in the last three weeks he has just blossomed," said O'Sullivan. "We sent him down to Tioga a couple weeks ago and he raced really well, took a shot at the Nassagaweya based on that and he actually got locked in last week and was very good. "We kind of had a little bit of confidence coming in, but racing against these type of colts that are more accomplished, if he races good and makes the final it's great, but to race the way he did is really satisfying." Beyond Delight was a $50,000 purchase at last year's Harrisburg Yearling Sale and is owned by Jeffrey & Michael Snyder and Four Friends Racing Stable LLC. The son of Bettor's Delight now has $40,068 earned through eight starts. The O'Sullivan trainee paid $43.30 to win. Beyond Delight Similar to the Metro Pace, the Shes A Great Lady eliminations started off with a major upset. Candlelight Dinner was the talk of the town heading into the 'Great Lady' eliminations, but an off night from the pacing filly allowed Thats The Ticket to strike for a 58-1 upset. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Thats The Ticket got away fifth and sat in that spot along the rail until just before the three-quarter pole. Candlelight Dinner got away third, but made a quick brush to the lead after an opening-quarter of :28.1. The 1/9 favourite led the field to the half in :56.2 and then paced a big :27.1 third-quarter to lead the field to the top of the lane. In the stretch, Candlelight Dinner surrendered the lead to Happy Hannah, who enjoyed a two-hole trip. Happy Hannah appeared to have a victory in her sights, but Thats The Ticket burst onto the scene late and surged by on the far outside to win by half a length in 1:52. World Apart finished third, while Blameitonthenight was fourth. Candlelight Dinner faded back to finish fifth, but did qualify for the final. Thats The Ticket, who was a $60,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchased, is trained by Chris Ryder for owners Craig Henderson, Robert Mondillo and Lawrence Minowitz. The daughter of Roll With Joe was winless in five starts coming into the Shes A Great Lady elimination. Last week, Thats The Ticket was fifth in a division of the Eternal Camnation, but paced home in :26.3. Despite that closing effort, Ryder wasn't satisfied in his filly heading into Saturday's contest. "She paced home in :26 I know, but she's been having trouble getting around the last turn," said Ryder. "Even tonight Sylvain said she wasn't perfect, but obviously better. "Being New York bred we went to the half-mile tracks and she couldn't get around the turns at all and then at Vernon she paced in (1):52...so that's why we came here." Thats The Ticket now has $44,579 earned. A $2 win ticket on the Ryder trainee returned $119. Thats The Ticket The second elimination didn't have nearly the same fireworks, as even-money favourite Idyllic Beach prevailed in 1:51.1. The Jimmy Takter trained filly was unhurried at the start by driver Gingras and found an early seat in sixth. Several fillies clashed near the front in the early going, while Gingras was able to pick up the cover of first over challenger Agent Q heading into the far turn. Agent Q became the new leader on the turn and reached the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4. In the stretch, Idyllic Beach came off cover and hooked up with Agent Q for a battle, ultimately getting up to win by three-quarters of a length. Awash and Everyones Watching finished third and fourth, respectively. The final spot to the Shes A Great Lady final was secured by Obvious Blue Chip. A daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, IdyllicBeach entered Saturday's elimination with three wins in four starts. "Just every start she is getting stronger and stronger," said Gingras. "Early on we were a little bit worried about her getting a little too hot, but now she's two fingers and drives real nice." IdyllicBeach is the first foal out of 2010 Shes A Great Lady champion Idyllic. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, IdyllicBeach is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc. and Marvin Katz. She now has $102,762 in earnings through five starts. IdyllicBeach paid $4.10 to win. IdyllicBeach Following Saturday's eliminations, the finals of the $661,000 Metro Pace and $427,000 Shes A Great Lady were drawn. The fourth-place finisher to draw into the Metro final was Darlings Dragon. The $616,000 Canadian Pacing Derby was also drawn Saturday evening. Here are the fields for next week's finals. $661,000 Metro Pace 1. Beyond Delight 2. Darlings Dragon 3. Windsong Napoleon 4. Ocean Colony 5. Calvin K 6. Bobcat Bound 7. Classic Pro 8. Ideal Wheel 9. Blood Line 10. Bettors Dream AE: Pointomygranson   $616,000 Canadian Pacing Derby 1. Wiggle It Jiggleit 2. Nickle Bag 3. State Treasurer 4. Shamballa 5. Rockin In Heaven 6. Nirvana Seelster 7. All Bets Off 8. Always B Miki 9. Dealt A Winner 10. Evenin Of Pleasure   $427,000 Shes A Great Lady 1. Candlelight Dinner 2. Thats The Ticket 3. World Apart 4. Idyllic Beach 5. Everyones Watching 6. Agent Q 7. Awash 8. Obvious Blue Chip 9. Blameitonthenight 10. Happy Hannah AE: Fade   Mark McKelvie

Muscle Hustle

Trotters shatter records in $105,000 finals

AUGUST 27, 2016 - Trainer Per Henriksen and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr. had a golden map to the winner's circle at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening, sweeping both $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions for the harness racing three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. First off the gate from the Henriksen stable was Bee In Charge, who was sent to the front from Post 5 by Christoforou. The pair hit the quarter in :29 and then sailed on through a :57.4 half and 1:26.2 three-quarters. Reigning division champion Tony Soprano pressed the pace through the final quarter, but Bee In Charge dug in and trotted under the wire one and one-half lengths on top in 1:54.3 Tony Soprano finished second and fan favourite Sass was third. "Bee In Charge has raced well this season and continued that tonight," said Campbellville, ON resident Christoforou. "He got off the gate well, made the front and was a very strong winner. He's a very smart colt and has a strong pedigree. He has improved quite a bit in the last three months." Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL share ownership of Bee In Charge, who is a Manofmanymissions half-brother to their $3.9 million winning mare Bee A Magician. Saturday's win was the gelding's second in Gold Series action this season, he and Christoforou were also victorious at Mohawk Racetrack in the June 27 season opener. From five wins, two seconds and one third in 10 sophomore starts Bee In Charge has earned $153,940. On the advice of Henriksen, Christoforou employed similar tactics in the second Gold division, sending Muscle Hustle to the front from Post 1. The colt roared through fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:23.3 and stayed game to the wire for a head victory in a track, Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) and Canadian record 1:52.2. Warrawee Roo was a game second and Dia Monde was just one-half length back in third. "I knew I had two good horses and I thought the first one (Bee In Charge), I thought he was going to win, and the second one (Muscle Hustle), I talked to Chris and I said, I think this horse is very good, I said send him to the front and park them, you've got no friends out there," said Henriksen of the front-end effort. "I knew that Muscle Hustle was a very good horse." Muscle Hustle's 1:52.2 mile lowered the 1:53.4 OSS and Canadian record B Strike Three had set at Georgian Downs in a Gold Final in June 2008. "I don't think any horse every trotted faster, any three-year-old, trotted faster on a five-eighths mile track," noted Henriksen. "I got him last year and understood quite early that he had quite a bit of talent." Henriksen conditions Muscle Hustle for Ecurie Bergh Inc. of Norwood, ON. In 10 sophomore starts the Muscle Mass son boasts a record of six wins and two seconds for earnings of $174,850. He was also victorious in Gold Series action at Mohawk Racetrack on July 11. Through the first four Gold Series events Bee In Charge and Muscle Hustle sit atop the three-year-old trotting colt division standings with 133 and 130 points, respectively. The colts will make their last Gold Series start on Oct. 6 at Mohawk Racetrack and the top 10 point earners from the five regular season events will then compete in the $250,000 Super Final at Mohawk on Oct. 15. So long as they remain healthy, Bee In Charge and Muscle Hustle will spend their Gold Series break competing against the best trotters in North America. On Saturday, Sept. 3 Mohawk Racetrack hosts the Simcoe Trot, and eliminations for the Canadian Trotting Classic are slated for Saturday, Sept. 10 with the $700,000 Final going postward on Saturday, Sept. 17. "They were sick when the Hambletonian went so we've just got to look forward and hope they stay healthy, and then they will make pretty good money," said Henriksen. "They are both pretty big size, good looking horses, and with a nice gait to them both, and they don't have very many issues health-wise." Both colts had abbreviated two-year-old seasons due to sickness, two starts for Bee In Charge and three for Muscle Hustle, but Henriksen said their limited number of starts and future schedule are the extent of the similarities between the two trotters. "They're different horses. Bee In Charge you can do anything to. He don't care what you do to him, he's laid back, and the other one is a little more high strung and wants to have it his way, and that's also the reason he is a little ignorant and stubborn sometimes," noted the Norwood, ON resident. "That's the reason he is heading for that opening in the first turn sometimes." Muscle Hustle made a break in the August 10 Gold event at Grand River Raceway, attempting an early return to the paddock on the first turn and making a break when driver Randy Waples disagreed with the plan. Christoforou said the colt was flawless on Saturday and expects big things from the trotter through the last two months of stakes action. "Muscle Hustle was tremendous tonight," said the reinsman. "He does have a tendency to try and pull himself up at times, but was all business tonight. Hopefully he's getting over that now and will finish off the season minding his manners. I think he's going to go some big trips before the year is over and proved tonight he is a top flight colt, and not just in the OSS." In addition to Muscle Hustle's three-year-old trotting colt record, Georgian Downs fans also witnessed an all age track and Canadian record in the Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot. Lookslikeachpndale, in rein to Paul MacDonell, scorched under the wire in 1:51.3 to win the $100,000 contest for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Charmed Life was second and Il Sogno Dream was third. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs on Sunday evening, with five $18,000 Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. The fillies kick off the Aug. 28 program at 6 pm and will also compete in Races 4, 6, 8, and 9. Ontario Racing

Newborn Sassy

Newborn Sassy wreaking havoc in Lady Maud

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 27, 2016 — A year ago, it was Purrfect Bags. Saturday night, it was Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $3) wreaking havoc for co-owner and harness racing trainer Jo Ann Looney-King in Yonkers Raceway’s Lady Maud Pace. 'Sassy' won this $109,050 edition for 3-year-old fillies, rolling past Apple Bottom Jeans (Jason Bartlett) late in 1:53. Odds-on Newborn Sassy, leaving from post position No. 3, left into an immediate two-hole behind second-choice Apple Bottom Jeans. The fave went to pull pocket, but 'ABJ' was not in a giving mood. She reseated her rival, then put up intervals of :27.4, :56.3 and 1:25.2. Skinny Dipper (Brian Sears) made a move out of third, but backpedaled in a hurry. Apple Bottom Jeans did get some nighttime daylight, opening a couple of lengths entering the final turn. However, Newborn Sassy closed ranks and angled out, wearing down the leader late and winning by a half-length. Hug a Dragoness (George Brennan) photoed Cheyenne Triengel (Scott Zeron) for third, with Time on My Hands (Dan Dube) settling for the smallest envelope. Skinny Dipper faded to last among the happy half-dozen. For 'Sassy,' a Western Ideal miss also co-owned by CC Racing, it was her fourth win in 13 '16 tries. The exacta paid $5.70, with the triple returning $21.60. While King won this race for a second consecutive season, Stratton completed his own 'double," having guided Kryptos to win the Lismore Pace for this same division in late May. "I knew we had a bit of a post disadvantage (against Apple Bottom Jeans), so I took a chance at moving again," Stratton said. "I'm not surprised Jason (Bartlett) wouldn't let me go, so I just had to wait. "She's a very talented filly, and I knew it pained (regular driver) Timmy (Tetrick) not be get to drive her tonight. I'm just fortunate the connections had confidence in me." Saturday's $45,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --Pace, Doctor Butch (Brent Holland, $6.70) in 1:50.4; --Trot, Undercover Strike (Bartlett, $2.50) in 1:54. Special Saturday props, too, to Kevin McDermott, who earned his 1,500th career training victory after Badix Hanover (Tyler Buter, $8.40) 'won the bob' in the $18,000, first-race pace (1:52.3). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 27, 2016 - Pole-sitting and pocketed, 14-1 Wildflower (Dan Dube, $31) picked off a drifting, odds-on Celebrity Eventsy (John Campbell) Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $118,574 Hudson Trot for harness racing 3-year-old fillies. The 1-4 choice had no visible excuse, waltzing around the oval (:28.2, 58.2; 1:27.3) with minimal first-up pressure from Windowshopper (Ake Svanstedt). The people's preference owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but tired late. Even with high-line urging from her chauffeur, she bore out more than enough to give her pursuer a shot. Wildflower ducked inside and stuck her tongue out a the wire, winning the Kodak moment in 1:56.1. Southwind Hope (Andy Miler), who slipped out in front of a gapper down the backside, offered good late foot to grab third while beaten a half-length. Dream Child (Jason Bartlett) and Windowshopper grabbed the final pay envelopes, while Hillosophical (Scott Zeron) was outrun and Dancing in Thehall (Mack MacDonald) broke. For Wildflower, one of three trained by Svanstedt here (Dancing in Thehall and Windowshopper, all racing separately), the daughter of Muscle Hill is co-owned by her trainer, Douglas Sipple and Mal & Janet Burroughs, it was her third win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $60.50, with the triple returning $119. "It's the first time I've driven her," Dube said. "I looked at the program and saw she doesn't make breaks, and thought she'd be a good horse for this track. "I saw John's filly (Celebrity Eventsy) starting to drift and thought I had a chance. When she made that last lunge, I thought I won it." Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 27, 2016 - Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder and harness racing driver Scott Zeron made short work of his small-track debut, winning Saturday night's lone $40,000 elimination for the 62nd Yonkers Trot. "Marion," starting from post position No. 3 in a Yonkers Raceway game of musical chairs (nine to eliminate one), took things in his own hooves early. The 3-10 choice moved past first leader Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley), then had few issues (:29.2, :58.4, 1:28.1, 1:56.2). The margin was a length-and-quarter over "Smalltown," with Iron Mine Bucky (George Dennis) a drifting, three-hole third. The real fun came in the back of the bus, when the second-tier Gleaming Memory (Ake Svanstedt) made an ugly break that directly wiped out Lagerfeld (Mark MacDonald), while any number of the trailers also broke, were impeded or were just plain outrun. Steed (Brian Sears) was a best-of-the-rest fourth, with Hititoutofthepark (Corey Callahan), Cuffllink Hanover (Jason Bartlett), Celebrity Express (John Campbell) and Lagerfeld also earning berth into next Saturday's $500,000 final (open draw for second jewel of Trotting Triple Crown is Tuesday morning). For Marion Marauder, a 3-year-old son of Muscle Hill trained by Paula Wellwood, who kept in the family for co-owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling, it was his seventh win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $7.80, with the triple returning $22.60. "I couldn't have been more pleased with the way he trotted the half tonight," Zeron said. "I'm confident in his abilities to get the job done in the final." "We just wanted him to get off the gate clean and command a race on a half-mile, Mike Keeling, husband of the winning trainer, said. "I think he showed everybody that he can do that. He steered great and he trotted well." Saturday's card also featured a pair of events for 3-year-old fillies, the $118,574 Hudson Trot and $109,050 Lady Maud Pace (3YO fillies). The report will be through soon. Frank Drucker

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 27, 2016 -- Denied the early lead by a stubborn I Said Diamonds, L A Delight stalked her from the pocket and blew by her in the Lightning Lane to capture Saturday's $140,000 Nadia Lobell for harness racing 3-year-old filly pacers at The Meadows. The field of five was compact but distinguished; the quintet boasted nearly $2.2 million in combined career earnings entering the Nadia Lobell. But the equation changed with the break of one of the favorites, Call Me Queen Be, at the start. With that, Jim Pantaleano hustled I Said Diamonds from the rail to the lead and would not release L A Delight and Dave Palone. "I think Jim did the right thing," Palone said. "When Call Me Queen Be ran, he probably thought it was a two-horse race. He wanted to make me work, and I was lucky enough to get behind him. It turned into a sprint." When it became just that two-horse race that Pantaleano may have envisioned, Palone wasn't sure he'd have the stronger filly late. "I thought Jim would have two handfuls left," he said. "Anytime you have to head one into our passing lane when she's not familiar with it, you're concerned. I knew I had a handful of pace. It was just a question if I could get to him quick enough." L A Delight powered through the Lightning Lane and scored in 1:49.1, a career best and the fastest of the three Nadia Lobell editions hosted by The Meadows through the years. I Said Diamonds was 1/2 length back in second, with Yankee Moonshine third. Bob McIntosh trains the homebred daughter of Bettor's Delight-West Of L A, who soared over $800,000 in career earnings, and owns with CSX Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings. "I've driven a lot of good fillies, won a couple Jugettes, but this filly ranks right up there," Palone said. "She's so handy she makes your job easy." $186,672 Pennsylvania Sires Stake -- 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers When trainer Ray Schnittker was en route to The Meadows for Saturday's co-feature, A PA Sires Stake known as the Tyler B, he contemplated the possibility of a sweep with his youngsters, Huntsville and Summer Side. "I thought we had a shot," Schnittker said. "We had the right driver on them." That driver, Tim Tetrick, transformed Schnittker's daydream to reality when he piloted both colts to victory in their $93,336 divisions. Huntsville's win was the more spectacular, as he triumphed in 1:50, erasing Yankee Bounty's stake record of 1:50.4 and the track record for freshman colt pacers of 1:50.3 held jointly by I'm Some Graduate and Fear The Dragon. A son of Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show, Huntsville was away third before quarter-poling to the top. He was unthreatened thereafter, downing Boogie Shuffle by 1-3/4 lengths. Fear The Dragon, who was seeking a sweep of PASS preliminary legs, had to settle for show in a vain effort to defend his track record. Schnittker owns Huntsville with Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo and Steven Arnold. Summer Side seized the early lead but, shuffled to third, was forced to come first over. He did so powerfully, prevailing in 1:51.4. Normandy Beach was second, a neck back, while Downbytheseaside earned show. "He's had two straight tough trips coming first over, and he got the job done this week," Schnittker said of the son of Well Said-Beachy Lady, a $15,000 yearling acquisition for Schnittker and co-owner Howard Taylor. "I think he's a real horse. He's bred great -- She's A Great Lady is his second dam. If he stays sound, he could be anything." Both Schnittker colts cemented spots in the $250,000 PASS championship. Asked to compare the two, Schnittker said: "Huntsville is a foot bigger, probably has hopples six inches longer. He's a different type of horse than Summer Side." In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Hawk's Red Chief made it two straight with a gritty victory in 1:49.4, matching his personal best. Early leader Unlocked was a game second, a length back, while the first-over Dapper Dude completed the ticket. Palone drove for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Michelle Yanek. The 5-year-old I Scoot Hanover-Fancy Trouble gelding extended his career earnings to $118,892. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake for freshman filly pacers. First post is 1 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Today’s Gr. I International Sundsvall Open at Bergsaker (total purse €188,475, 2140 meters autostart, 10 starters) went to harness racing 3/10 favorite Nuncio (5m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) handled by Orjan Kihlstrom.  The winner is trained by Stefan Melander for his Stall TZ. Nuncio, bred by Russell Williams of Pennsylvania, is now 8-2-0 in 10 starts in 2016 and has a 34-14-2 slate in 50 career starts for 24,931,376SEK earned. Off on the lead from post one, Nuncio parked contesting Oasis Bi not allowing that one the front, and then fought off Call Me Keeper (that made a miscue with a quarter mile remaining) and a parked three wide Anna Mix. In the lane the winner gamely kept a comfortable lead to hold off 15/1 pocket placed On Track Piraten (8g Kool du Caux-Monrovia) with Joseph Verbeeck up  for trainer H.R. Stromberg, and outside rallying 78/1 DD’s Hitman (5m Donato Hanover-Deedee’s Destiny) with Jorma Kontio driving for Petri Puro. 15/1 Oasis Bi (8m Toss Out-Up Front JM) ended fourth with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Stefan Pettersson. Nuncio was clocked in 1.11.7kr, well off the race record of 1.10kr set in 2015 by Delicious U.S. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Okat-ml0-g Thomas H. Hicks  

Bugsy Malone (5g Ready Cash-Night Captain) took a front-end journey toward a seven length harness racing victory in today’s Gr. III Prix de Provence (purse €85,000, 2700 meters voltstart, seven starters). The Philippe Allaire trained and owned speedster was reined by Yoann Lebourgeois to the 1.11.9kr score. Christian Simon bred the winner that was the 0.5/1 favorite. 19/1 A Nous Trous (6m Orlando Vici-Quallas) took second for Eric Raffin with 3.6/1 Specialess (5m Ganymede-Enna Dra) home third with Franck Nivard up for trainer Fabrice Souloy and Italy’s Ecurie Nevi. The fractions were steadily swift (1.11.1kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.10.2kr at the 1000; 1.11kr at 500 remaining). Thomas H. Hicks

The Gr. II Grand Prix du Department 06 at Cagnes sur Mer (purse €180,000, 1609 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to noted harness racing sprinter and 1/5 favorite Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) with Jean-Michel Bazire up. Fabrice Souloy trains the Ecurie d’Heripre campaigner that was bred by Mlle Eugenie Quintin. He was timed in 1.09.8kr (mile rate 1:52.31) and recorded his 26th victory in 50 starts, now for €1,713,332 earned. Racing barefoot, Un Mec d’Heripre defeated another shoeless trotter, Pascia’Lest that Pippo Gubellini teamed for trainer Souloy and owner Samuel Querci of Italy as a 15/1 outsider. 13/1 Dante Boko (6g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa), also barefoot, was third for Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Be The Best. 46/1 Princess Grif (7f Varenne-Fauve Grif) was fourth for Bjorn Goop, trainer Souloy and Azienda Agricola Biasuzzi with fifth to 11.2/1 Olmo Holz (8m Uronometro-Veuve du Kras) and Christophe Martens. The Vitesse Trot (high-speed "TGV") at the mile distance had three venues this year, at Argentan, LaCapelle and Cagnes-sur-Mer. Organizers offered a bonus of €30,000 to the owner of the horse having trotted, during one of the stages of the TGV timed in 1.08.8kr or less, breaking the European record achieved on August 27, 2011 at Cagnes-sur-Mer by Commander Crowe (1.08.9kr). The winning trotter must, however, win one of the other events of the TGV. If the record of Commander Crowe is not broken (and it was not today), the premium was still offered to the owner of the horse who won two of the three tests of high speed trotting timed in 1.10.5kr or less.   Un Mec d’Heripre having won the opening stage, in lower Normandy, in the reduction of 1.10r, took the jackpot by winning in 1.10.5kr or less. The Fabrice Souloy trainee, with Jean-Michel Bazire in his sulky (with whom he fit well: nine wins and more than 85% top three finishes) did not disappoint and performed this day to form (last courses on the mile at Solvalla, Enghien and Mikkeli) in a sharp 1.09.8kr. On the sprinter oriented Cagnes sur Mer program the Prix de la Capelle (purse €30,000, 1609 meters autostart, nine European starters) went to 1.11.6kr timed (1:55.20 mile rate), 3/5 favorite Beverly Boulevard (7f Quite Easy-Long Beach) with Bjorn Goop up. Fabrice Souloy trains the winner that is owned by Mme. Camilla Vikstrom of Sweden. 2.7/1 Princess Kronos (7f Donato Hanover-Malibu Princess) took second for Christophe Martens. The Prix de Jagersro at CSM (purse €56,000, 2925 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.8/1 favorite Colonel Bond (4g Revel d’Anama-Miss Margharetha) timed in 1.13.9kr and handled by Pierre Vercruysse. J.P. Ensch trains the winner. 3.7/1 Creature Castelets (4f Pomerol de Laumac-Tragical Song) was second with J.Ch. Feron driving for trainer Nicolas Ensch and 64/1 Cavino (4g Severino-Ma Vive) was third. Orleans Font (8m Ganymede-Saint Ghil SM) won the Prix d’Argentan (purse €30,000, 1609 meters autostart, 10 European starters) clocked in a swift 1.11.6kr. Christophe Martens teamed the Vincent Martens trainee for owner Ecurie Domaine du Parc, that was off at 10.7/1 odds. The Prix d’Amiral Mauzun (purse €56,000, 2925 meters, 13 starters) went to 1.13.1kr timed and 1.6/1 odds Ambassadeur d’Em (6g Orlando Vici-Halatte) with Christophe Martens up. Vincent Martens trains the Ecurie du Domaine du Parc performer. 8.1/1 Antoine du Bourg (6g Oyonnax-Pin Up du Bourg) was second, six lengths in arrears, with 21/1 Atout du Cerre (6g Oakwood du Closet-Haquikmie) home third, this one owned by Franck Anne. Today, Mons Ghlin’s featured Prix Darby 4 Ans Belgique (purse €6,600, 2300 meters autostart, 11 starters) went to 1.3/1 Iron Vivant (4g Smoldering Pine-Ironie) with Rik Ebbinge driving. J.W.M. Engwerda trains this Jan Rits owned performer. 5.2/1 Imuscle Vrijthout (4m Muscle Mass-Winjet Vrijthout) rallied for second with Jo Corbanie up for owner/trainer Mlle. An-Sofie Bruyneel. Third was 2.4/1 Inlove Vrijthout (4g Love You-Penny Jet) for driver Nico Dhaenens and trainer/owner Rudy Smets. Also, today at Divonne le Bains, the Grand Prix du Trotting (purse €32,000, 2675 meters, 15 European starters) went to 1.13.9kr timed and 1.2/1 favorite Une Serenade (8f Gazouillis-Moonlight Serenade) with Serge Peltier aboard. 5/1 Upsalin des Baults was second ahead of 17/1 Vencedor. Thomas H. Hicks

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, August 27, 2016 - Until last week, most racing fans in Quebec never heard of a two-year-old pacing colt by the name of Makasi. Now he's the talk of the province and rightly so. After becoming the fastest two-year-old pacing colt in the history of the Hippodrome 3R, Makasi returns to 3R Sunday to compete in the fourth and final preliminary round of the Future Stars Series. Once Sunday's final round is complete, the top eight point earners in the series will return on Sunday, September 4 in the $55,000 finals for each division by gait and gender. Also that day will be the four $65,000 finals of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old pacers and trotters. Makasi, who was winless in the first two starts of his young career, really wowed them at 3R last Sunday. Trained by Helene Fillion for owner/breeder Tony Infilise of Hudson Standardbred Stable, Inc. of Hudson, QC, Makasi was being driven by none other than Yannick Gingras, who was at 3R for the Prix D'Ete Day. Gingras sent the son of Shanghai Phil after the early lead, clearing to the front at the opening quarter mile and then they never looked back, opening up by the top of the stretch and with a :28.2 final quarter mile, winning in a romp by seven open lengths in 1:55.2. That clocking was a full second off of the previous track record. Infilise, no stranger in harness racing as the owner of top pacers including the great three-year-old, Sunshine Beach and Makasi's sire, Shanghai Phil, may have another champion in Makasi. "I purchased her dam, Hazel (by The Panderosa) for $25,000 in Lexington," Infilise, the former president of the Quebec Jockey Club said. "She raced in the Grand Circuit at age 2 in the She's A Great Lady, Champlain Stake, Robert Stewart, Bluegrass, getting checks but no wins other than some Quebec stakes. She did make over $100,000 with a record of 1:53.1. "Hazel has thrown some very talented foals," Infilise added, "but some had either bad luck or specific issues, but they did have speed and were great gaited. I thought that Shanghai Phil crossed well with Western Hanover line mares so I bred her back and got Makasi. "Mark Steacy trained him down early," Infilise explained, "and he looked decent, but it was only when he qualified that we saw something special in the way he just wanted to go and he came home in that race in :26.2 without any urging in his first and only qualifier. "I expected him (Makasi) to do well (at 3R) based on what he showed in his two Gold Cup appearances at Mohawk," Infilise said, "but didn't expect a track record last Sunday, but nevertheless I was very proud as the breeder and owner. And where did the name Makasi come from? "I actually named him after a sailboat belonging to a good friend," Infilise said. "It is Swahili meaning tough, hard, strong, resilient." Now Makasi will be put to the test in the eighth race Sunday against nine rivals and starts from post five for driver Stephane Brosseau, who has never driven the colt before. His competition will hope to keep up this time as Wildriverbumblebee (post eight) put in a valiant effort last week for driver Louis-Philippe Roy, coming first-over and gaining within a half-length on the leader at the three-quarters before fading. Other hopefuls in the race are Yogi Bayama (post eight), who won last week at 3R in 1:59.1, C L Sportsaction (post 3) and Mach Déjà vu (post six). "I would prefer him to race from off the pace this week," Infilise explained, "as he is still very green and we don't want to instill bad habits. The field is both larger and tougher but that shouldn't be a problem for driver Stéphane Brosseau. Our objective is to give him a chance to win and qualify for the final on September 4th. I'm very pleased to have bred and own him. He looks like his sire and is about the same size as Shanghai Phil at age two." The pacing fillies do battle in two divisions Sunday. The fourth race first division is headed by Chaleurs Melodie from post six for trainer Carl Duguay and driver Daniel Dube. The Omar Khayam daughter posted her maiden victory last week at 3R in capturing her division of the Future Stars Series, wiring the field in 2:00. She takes on Vee Breeze (post five), Shanghai Lady (post four) and HP Celina Shadow (post seven). The sixth race second division features the second track record holder this season in Yaris Bayama from post two for trainer/driver Yves Filion. This daughter of Sportswriter has been sensational this season with three wins in just five lifetime starts for the Bayama Farms of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, who bred and own her. Not only did Yaris Bayama take the lead after the opening quarter mile and wiring the field, she won with ease by two and one-half lengths in 1:56.4, making her the fastest two-year-old pacing filly in 3R history. Prior to that she won a $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes at Mohawk Raceway in a lifetime best 1:52.4, that combined with last week's track record mile, makes her the overwhelming favorite on Sunday. Her rivals include Queen Elsa (post five), who was second last week to Yaris Bayama for owner and breeder Daniel Dube and Kinnderuntouchable (post one), who was third in that race. Post time is 1:30 pm Sunday. For a free race program and live video feed of the race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 26 - Emoticon Hanover and Caprice Hill made their sire Kadabra proud with impressive harness racing victories in the Casual Breeze Stakes Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 20 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into a pair of $97,000 divisions. Emoticon Hanover was a gate to wire winner in the first division for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Luc Blais. The daughter of Kadabra left alertly from post two to grab the lead and it was lights out from there. Emoticon Hanover posted fractions of :28, :57.1 and 1:26.2 before firing home in :28 for the victory. Double Exposure left hard from post eight, landed the two-hole and ultimately finished a length and a quarter back in second. Jangone finished third, while Worldclass Hanover was fourth. Following the race, Filion was very pleased with the Emoticon Hanover's effort in the Casual Breeze and her progression as a three-year-old. "I wanted to get to the front and control the pace, which we did, and she did it pretty handy," said Filion following the race. "Last year she was a little tough to drive, but this year she is way handier, so that makes her much better." Owned by Determination of Montreal, Quebec, Emoticon Hanover scored her fourth victory of the season Friday in her eighth outing. She now has eight career victories and a bankroll of $436,658. The Blais trainee paid $2.80 to win. Emoticon Hanover Caprice Hill continued her fantastic season by overcoming the ten-hole to win the second division in 1:53.3. The Tony Alagna trained filly was unhurried at the start by driver Randy Waples and eventually found a spot along the rail in sixth just after the opening-quarter. Side Bet Hanover led the field to the half in :57.3, but was quickly confronted entering the far turn by a charging Caprice Hill, who took the lead before five-eighths. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:26, Caprice Hill trotted home strongly in :27.3 to win by 3 ¼ lengths. Side Bet Hanover held on to second over a charging Flowers N Songs. Also a daughter of Kadabra, Caprice Hill now has five wins in 2016 and has yet to finish outside the top two in eight starts this season. Following the race, Alagna passed along much of the credit for Caprice Hill's excellent season to his mother, Donna Lee. "Everybody who knows the filly knows that this is my Mom's pride and joy and she's done a great job with her," he said. "(Caprice Hill) is just very easy on herself, rests, does all the right things, good eater and that's why she looks as great now as she has all year." Owned by Tom Hill of Hamilton, Ontario, Caprice Hill is nearing millionaire status with $980,377 in lifetime earnings following the Casual Breeze victory. She paid $2.90 to win. Caprice Hill Up next for the three-year-old trotting fillies is the Simcoe Stakes next Friday (September 2) followed by the Elegantimage eliminations. Emoticon Hanover and Caprice Hill are both eligible to those upcoming events. Live racing continues Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack with the eliminations of the Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady headlining the card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

ANDERSON, Ind.-August 26, 2016 - Seventimesavirgin turned in a dominant performance to find the winner's circle in the featured event of the evening, her split of the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies, on Friday, August 26. Scoring in 1:51.4 over a track rated sloppy, Seventimesavirgin recorded her fifth consecutive win at Hoosier Park and remains undefeated in Indiana Sires Stakes action this season. Driven and trained by John DeLong, Seventimesavirgin grabbed an early spot along the rail in second while Shady Caroline and Ricky Macomber Jr. were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :28.1. DeLong gave his filly the green light down the backside and she ranged up to take the lead just past the half in :56.4. At the three-quarter clocking in 1:25.1, Seventimesavirgin's looked strong and the front as her lead was ever increasing. As the field turned for home, Seventimesavirgin began to put her talent on display and pace away from the rest of the field. Using a :26.3 final quarter, Seventimesavirgin finished six lengths in front of Dalianna and LeWayne Miller. Shady Caroline and Ricky Macomber Jr. rounded out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Seventimesavirgin returned $2.80 to her backers at the betting windows. Owned by Jesse DeLong, the homebred daughter of Always A Virgin-Mrs Grant Seven notched her eighth victory of the season from nine starts. Seventimesavirgin has now amassed $239,740 lifetime while winning 13 of 21 lifetime outings. DeLong also captured the first division of the stakes action for sophomore pacing fillies behind Can't Touch This for trainer Roger Welch. In a near gate to wire effort, Can't Touch This dictated fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.1 before kicking home in :27.4 to win in 1:53. Also sent off as the post time favorite, Can't Touch This returned $5.80 at the betting windows. Owned by W. DeLong, W.DeLong, D. Riccolo, and J. DeLong, the daughter of Rockin Image-Fox Valley Monika recorded her fifth win from ten seasonal starts. Can't Touch This has now bankrolled $262,005 lifetime while winning 12 of 26 career outings. With the victories, Seventimesavirgin and Can't Touch This earned their spots in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies slated for Friday, September 2 at Hoosier Park. The Indiana Sires Stakes season will culminate with a $200,000 Super Final for each division at Hoosier Park on October 15. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, August 27 with a 13-race card that will start at an adjusted post time of 4:30 p.m. to prepare for Chicago in concert after live racing. Saturday's 13-race card will be highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

Vernon, N.Y. -- Following wins in the Hambletonian Maturity, Fresh Yankee, and a Miss Versatility preliminary event, Hannelore Hanover ($2.90) had no trouble maintaining her dominance in the harness racing distaff trotting ranks on Friday (August 26) evening at Vernon Downs, posting a resounding 1:51.3 victory in the $170,000 Muscle Hill, the ninth event on a 12-race program.   Yannick Gingras had the 4-year-old Swan For All mare involved from the outset, working clear of 2015 Empire Breeders Classic winner Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory) just after a :27.1 first quarter mile. Upon taking charge, Hannelore Hanover faced no threats whatsoever, rating a soft :29.4 second sectional before accelerating clear of the competition off the far turn. She used a :54.3 final half to put 3-3/4 lengths on the first-over Shake It Cerry (David Miller), who rallied to take second from the fully extended Barn Doll.   Ron Burke trains Hannelore Hanover for the Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Frank Baldachino. Hannelore Hanover captured the Vernon track record for 4-year-old trotting mares with her 1:51.3 score, topping Maven's performance in the 2014 Muscle Hill by two-fifths of a second.   Obrigado duels, defends his Crawford Farms title   In the $193,000 Crawford Farms for open trotters, carded as race ten, 2015 Crawford winner Obrigado ($14.80) proved successful in defending his crown, dueling with odds-on favorite Resolve (Åke Svanstedt) for nearly the final three-eighths of the mile en route to a 1:51.2 triumph in rein to Mark MacDonald. The 6-year-old Boy Band gelding approached the first turn from second-over, drafting behind Resolve into a :26 first quarter before capturing the lead for himself in a backed-down :55.1 half mile. Just as Obrigado cleared, Resolve angled back off the pegs to re-engage, and the two dueled through the far turn. Despite being headed just above head-stretch, Obrigado dug deep to prevail, reclaiming the lead in the final 100 yards to narrowly beat Resolve. Flanagan Memory (Brian Sears) closed from last to take third, making massive gains down the grandstand side.   Trainer Paul Kelley shares in ownership of Obrigado with the SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins, and Stable 45.   Major Moe, Funknwaffles take freshman Sire Stakes splits   A pair of New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings served as supporting events on the undercard.     Major Moe ($5.40) worked to earn his 1:52.4 victory in the $54,500 seventh race, making steady first-over gains on the far turn to reel in pacesetter Andy's Ideal before holding sway from Very Special Agent's late charge by half a length. Scott Zeron drove the son of Art Major and Maureen Rocks for trainer Chris Ryder.   Funknwaffles ($2.20) did not disappoint at odds-on in the $55,500 eighth event, keeping his undefeated record intact through six career races to date. The son of American Ideal and Hatsoff Hanover brushed to the fore before race's midpoint, evading Serious Major by two lengths in 1:52.3. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove Funknwaffles for trainer John Butenschoen.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 27) evening, with first post slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 26, 2016 - Favored Tessa Seelster (George Brennan, $5.60) just held off a stubborn Mach it a Par (Brent Holland) Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare harness racing open handicap pace. Put in play from her assigned post position No. 5, 'Tessa' had to wait her turn at the outset. She sat outside while Jonsie Jones (Tyer Buter) stuffed Inittowinafortune (Jon Bongiorno) in behind. Tessa Seelster then found an unimpeded path to the front, though she a paid a zippy :26.3 price for the opening-quarter privilege. After a rated :56.2 intermisision, she saw Mach it a Par, who tried it first-up from seventh. Tessa Seelster found a 1:24 three-quarters, taking a length-and-three-quarter lead into the lane. She lost everyone save for Mach it a Par, who did not go away quietly. Tessa Seelster did close the sale, however, winning by a nostril in 1:51.4. Rock N Roll Xample (Dan Dube) was a crisp, ground-saving third, with Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) and Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) settling for the minor awards. For Tessa Seelster, a 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Jonathan Newman, it was her seventh win in 15 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $100.50, with the triple returning $671.50. Saturday night's card includes a pair of stakes for 3-year-old fillies, the $118,574 Hudson Trot and $109,050 Lady Maud Pace. Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder also hits town, leading the lone, $40,000 elimination for Yonkers Trot No. 62. Frank Drucker

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Batavia, NY---Milliron Pete made his local harness racing debut for new connections last week after 19 days off and experienced an off-track and road trouble for his effort. But the Northfield Park invader more than made up for that outing on Saturday night (Aug. 27) when he won the $10,000 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs in convincing fashion. With the scratch of Heaven Rocks, the abbreviated field of five departed the gate with Milliron Pete (Ron Beback Jr.) scooting right to the front. Everyone stood pat until the three-eighths when the 2-5 favorite Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) pulled first up as they hit the half in a meager :58 flat. Positions remained unchanged as the group circled the final two turns with Knocking Around just outside the flank of the front-running Milliron Pete. And despite his best effort to collar the leader down the lane, Knocking Around could not as Milliron Pete held fast and paced home in :28.1 to win by a long-length in 1:54.4. Knocking around toughed out the place spot while China Dream (Jack Flanigen) came from mid-pack for third. It was the ninth win of the year for Milliron Pete ($20.40) and the winner's share of the purse pushed his annual income to $60,315. Milliron Pete is owned Elm Racing and is trained by Ron Beback Jr. Saturday turned out to be long-shot night at the Downs led off by Green Olives ($53.00) winning the second race and triggering a $305 Exacta (8-5), $1,662 Trifecta (8-5-3) and $4,220.50 Super (8-5-3-2). Then in the third, Kashability ($21.00) spurred a $621 Exacta (3-8) and a $2,712 Trifecta (3-8-5). Ray Fisher Jr. scored three wins on the card while Kevin Cummings followed up with two. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 28) with post time set for 1:15 p.m. Sunday is Family Fun Day featuring the annual Wiener Dog races and a guaranteed Pick-5 pool of $1,500 starting in the first race.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 27, 2016 — A year ago, it was Purrfect Bags. Saturday night, it was Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $3) wreaking havoc for co-owner and harness racing trainer Jo Ann Looney-King in Yonkers Raceway’s Lady Maud Pace. 'Sassy' won this $109,050 edition for 3-year-old fillies, rolling past Apple Bottom Jeans (Jason Bartlett) late in 1:53. Odds-on Newborn Sassy, leaving from post position No. 3, left into an immediate two-hole behind second-choice Apple Bottom Jeans. The fave went to pull pocket, but 'ABJ' was not in a giving mood. She reseated her rival, then put up intervals of :27.4, :56.3 and 1:25.2. Skinny Dipper (Brian Sears) made a move out of third, but backpedaled in a hurry. Apple Bottom Jeans did get some nighttime daylight, opening a couple of lengths entering the final turn. However, Newborn Sassy closed ranks and angled out, wearing down the leader late and winning by a half-length. Hug a Dragoness (George Brennan) photoed Cheyenne Triengel (Scott Zeron) for third, with Time on My Hands (Dan Dube) settling for the smallest envelope. Skinny Dipper faded to last among the happy half-dozen. For 'Sassy,' a Western Ideal miss also co-owned by CC Racing, it was her fourth win in 13 '16 tries. The exacta paid $5.70, with the triple returning $21.60. While King won this race for a second consecutive season, Stratton completed his own 'double," having guided Kryptos to win the Lismore Pace for this same division in late May. "I knew we had a bit of a post disadvantage (against Apple Bottom Jeans), so I took a chance at moving again," Stratton said. "I'm not surprised Jason (Bartlett) wouldn't let me go, so I just had to wait. "She's a very talented filly, and I knew it pained (regular driver) Timmy (Tetrick) not be get to drive her tonight. I'm just fortunate the connections had confidence in me." Saturday's $45,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --Pace, Doctor Butch (Brent Holland, $6.70) in 1:50.4; --Trot, Undercover Strike (Bartlett, $2.50) in 1:54. Special Saturday props, too, to Kevin McDermott, who earned his 1,500th career training victory after Badix Hanover (Tyler Buter, $8.40) 'won the bob' in the $18,000, first-race pace (1:52.3). Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 27, 2016 - Pole-sitting and pocketed, 14-1 Wildflower (Dan Dube, $31) picked off a drifting, odds-on Celebrity Eventsy (John Campbell) Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $118,574 Hudson Trot for harness racing 3-year-old fillies. The 1-4 choice had no visible excuse, waltzing around the oval (:28.2, 58.2; 1:27.3) with minimal first-up pressure from Windowshopper (Ake Svanstedt). The people's preference owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but tired late. Even with high-line urging from her chauffeur, she bore out more than enough to give her pursuer a shot. Wildflower ducked inside and stuck her tongue out a the wire, winning the Kodak moment in 1:56.1. Southwind Hope (Andy Miler), who slipped out in front of a gapper down the backside, offered good late foot to grab third while beaten a half-length. Dream Child (Jason Bartlett) and Windowshopper grabbed the final pay envelopes, while Hillosophical (Scott Zeron) was outrun and Dancing in Thehall (Mack MacDonald) broke. For Wildflower, one of three trained by Svanstedt here (Dancing in Thehall and Windowshopper, all racing separately), the daughter of Muscle Hill is co-owned by her trainer, Douglas Sipple and Mal & Janet Burroughs, it was her third win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $60.50, with the triple returning $119. "It's the first time I've driven her," Dube said. "I looked at the program and saw she doesn't make breaks, and thought she'd be a good horse for this track. "I saw John's filly (Celebrity Eventsy) starting to drift and thought I had a chance. When she made that last lunge, I thought I won it." Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 27, 2016 - Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder and harness racing driver Scott Zeron made short work of his small-track debut, winning Saturday night's lone $40,000 elimination for the 62nd Yonkers Trot. "Marion," starting from post position No. 3 in a Yonkers Raceway game of musical chairs (nine to eliminate one), took things in his own hooves early. The 3-10 choice moved past first leader Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley), then had few issues (:29.2, :58.4, 1:28.1, 1:56.2). The margin was a length-and-quarter over "Smalltown," with Iron Mine Bucky (George Dennis) a drifting, three-hole third. The real fun came in the back of the bus, when the second-tier Gleaming Memory (Ake Svanstedt) made an ugly break that directly wiped out Lagerfeld (Mark MacDonald), while any number of the trailers also broke, were impeded or were just plain outrun. Steed (Brian Sears) was a best-of-the-rest fourth, with Hititoutofthepark (Corey Callahan), Cuffllink Hanover (Jason Bartlett), Celebrity Express (John Campbell) and Lagerfeld also earning berth into next Saturday's $500,000 final (open draw for second jewel of Trotting Triple Crown is Tuesday morning). For Marion Marauder, a 3-year-old son of Muscle Hill trained by Paula Wellwood, who kept in the family for co-owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling, it was his seventh win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $7.80, with the triple returning $22.60. "I couldn't have been more pleased with the way he trotted the half tonight," Zeron said. "I'm confident in his abilities to get the job done in the final." "We just wanted him to get off the gate clean and command a race on a half-mile, Mike Keeling, husband of the winning trainer, said. "I think he showed everybody that he can do that. He steered great and he trotted well." Saturday's card also featured a pair of events for 3-year-old fillies, the $118,574 Hudson Trot and $109,050 Lady Maud Pace (3YO fillies). The report will be through soon. Frank Drucker
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