Day At The Track

WILKES-BARRE PA – Always At My Place, a six-year-old gelding by Always A Virgin who set a still-standing world record for his division with a 1:47.2 victory on Sun Stakes Saturday 2015, took Saturday night’s $20,000 harness racing pacing feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a 1:48.2 effort that may have approximated his record mile, as it was conducted over a track rated “sloppy +1.” George Napolitano Jr. placed Always At My Place in the “quarter-mover #2” position, tailing El Bloombito’s move to take away the lead from first-to-the-top Long Live Rock after the 26.2 opener. Once El Bloombito cleared, Always At My Place steamed by, putting up middle splits of 53.4 and 1:21.1, then coming home in 27.1 and looking like he could have gone around again as he won by 4½ lengths. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $642,022 for Burke Racing LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr, and Phil Collura. Top trot on the soggy card was a $16,500 contest, with “George Nap” completing a sweep of the high-level conditioned events with the SJ’s Photo gelding TSM Photo Bugger, who raised his earnings to $688,038 with a 1:54 score. After sitting a pocket trip behind a fast (1:24.4) pace, TSM Photo Bugger trotted to the top then held off Panana Republic for trainer Karen Fread and owner Theodore Tomson. Kevin Wallis, fifth on the list of active all-time winningest drivers (if you count Campbell and Lachance retired), added career victory 10,152 when he guided Dynamic Edge to victory as the biggest longshot of the night, helping him become a pocket rocket while paying $56.40 to win. PHHA / Pocono

The 2017 Harness Horse Youth Foundation Camp, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, wrapped up Saturday with three exhibition races featuring all 10 children accompanied by harness racing drivers. The camp was held at the track in Northeast PA from Tuesday, July 18 to Saturday, July 22, with all campers experiencing and learning everything about harness racing. Here are the results of the races: (race 1 and 2 are in this email. Race 3 in separate email. Race 1 - Royal Attire won the race, driven by Connor Luze of Etters, PA, accompanied by Anthony Napolitano. (Photo 1, Curtis Salonick pic. Left to right, next to bike - Connor Lutz; Anthony Napolitano; Logan Symons and Isabella Fallon. Race 2 - CD's Miss M won, driven by Emma Caruthers-Swortz of Kingston, PA, accompanied by Austin Siegelman. Left to right - Aiden Gregorowicz; Chris Capone; Alexis Wesnak; driver Austin Siegelman; and Emma Caruthers-Swortz, winning driver. Race 3 – Pokie’s Topshot was the winner, driven by Amanda Blackford, accompanied by Jim Marohn, Jr. Left to right, Cathy Vest; Trinity Bugno; Jim Marohn Jr.; Amanda Blackford. Jennifer Starr  

July 22, 2017 - Today’s featured Prix de Buenos-Aires (purse €120,000, 4150 meters distance handicapped, 17 starters, Quinte+) was a Gr. II International event and 9.7/1 Virgious du Maza (8g Prodigious-Pocket Edition) scored for trainer/driver Sebastian Ernault and breeder/owner Ecurie du Maza. 22/1 Unero Montaval (9g Nem-Heroine du Loir) took second for Eric Raffin and third went to 8/1 Clif du Pommereux (5m Love You-Noure du Pommereux) for J-M Bazire and trainer Sylvain Roger. 125/1 Vittorio de Carly and 88/1 Venus de Bailly ended fourth and fifth. Race time was 1.15.4kr. 5.4/1 Diadora BR (6f Ken Warkentin-Bauxite) was an impressive 1.14.3kr winner of the Pris Pont de la Porte Montmartre (purse €55,000, 2150 meters autostart, 15 starters). Christophe Martens raced the Vincent Martens trainee on the front and she was unstoppable for owner Ceke Farm BVBA. 56/1 Viking Dream (8g Isero) was second for trainer/driver A.G. Maillard, ahead of 42/1 Vanetta d’Azur (8f Lejarque d’Houlbec). Euro du Chene (3m Neoh Jiel-Oseilla du Chene) took the Prix de Rome (€85,000, 2875 meters, eight starters) for Mathieu Abrivard, trainer Jerome LeMer and breeder/owner Claude Gueji. The 17.4/1 outsider was timed in 1.15.4kr. 5.2/1 Elite du Ruel (3f Timoko-Romaine du Ruel) held second craftily reined by trainer Franck Anne for breeder/owner Annick Bazin. Third was 7.1/ Eridan (3m Ready Cash-Topize d’Atout) for driver David Thomain and trainer Sebastien Guarato. The 5/10 favorite Hambo Trannss R (3m Love You-Bewitched) was a non-threatening fourth for Robin Bakker/Paul Hagoort team. This one reached the front early, then was stuffed in the pocket by Elite du Ruel, and when free late showed little. The Prix du Faubourg Montmartre (purse €65,000, 2875 meters, 13 starters) went to 8.4/1 Dalixoria (4f Prince D’Espace-Java du Vaumicel) at 8.4/1 and driven by Eric Raffin for the team of trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. 16/1 Dynastie Aldo (4f Kiwi-Ocre Barbes) for J-M Bazire and 8/1 Daljamosa (4f Kaiser Soze-Jaldemosa) with David Thomain up, took the second and third positions to the line. Race time was 1.16.1kr. Thomas H. Hicks    

July 21, 2017 - Friday evening’s Hippodrome Cabourg Grand Prix de la Ville de Cabourg (purse €58,000, 2750 meters distance handicap, 16 starters), the Q+ race of the day and feature race, went to 1.2/1 favorite Cantin de l’éclair (5g Jet Fortuna-Noce Joyeause) in rein to jubilant Tony LeBeller for Ecurie Leclair and trainer Nicolas Catherine. The 25 meter handicapped Bugsy Malone (6g Ready Cash-Night Captain) at 4/1, set the pace for Yoann Lebourgeois and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire but held second after being unable to hold off the winner. 22/1 Yankee’s Photo (9m SJ’s Photo-Yankee Tracer_ was third for Franck Nivard and trainer Bjorn Gulbransen. Alienor du Godrel and Venkatesh were fourth and fifth. The Cabourg action also highlighted monte trots. The secondary feature at Cabourg was the Prix Fandango (monte, purse €54,000, 2750 meters, 15 starters) and Catalogne (5f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) scored, timed in 1.12.8kr, for Matthieu Mottier and trainer Denise Mottier. Catalogne, off at 2.8/1, recorded her seventh career win now for earnings of €250,180. Cassite (5f Neoh Jiel-Qiuiva du Rib) was second for jockey Matthieu Abrivard and the team of Ecurie Luck and J.L. Dersoir at 1.3/1 favorite. Bayern (6g Jam Pridem-Fulanera) was third for Oceane Briand and trainer Tony LeBeller at 18/1. Friday racing also took place at Wolwega was the Championnat d’Ete Elite Final (purse €9,900, 2100 meters, 10 starters) went to 1.13.4kr timed and 4/5 favorite Regio (7m Varenne-Leopardia) teamed with Robin Bakker. Paul J.P. Hagoort trains the property of Victoria Park Stable. Bakker recorded four wins on the card. Second in this one was 21/1 Feliai Boko (5f Virgil Boko-Serena Hall) also trained by Hagoort and driven by Hugo Langeweg, Jr. Third was 17/1 Freeway Fortuna (5f Conway Hall-Saratoga Yankee) driven by Joseph Verbeek for trainer S.M. Schoonderwoerd. Finally was the Biarritz – Prix du President de Folleville (purse €35,000, 3750 meters, 12 starters) and 5.3/1 Aladin (7g Love You-Joie de Mai) scored timed in 1.17.78 for Cedric Terry and Ecurie les Tilleuls. 13/1 Vainqueur D’ete and 8/1 Athos de Marlau were the next two on the line. Thomas H. Hicks

July 16, 2017 - The Russian Trotting Derby was held Sunday at Central Moscow Hippdrome and raced over three 1600 meter heats for a total purse of 716,690RUB. Nine starters contested the first two heats and six in heat three with total placings determining the winner The well-bred Anika Ch. was the declared winner after taking the first two heats timed in 1:58.8 and 2:00.2 for trainer/driver Andrey Wilkin for owner Ms. Natalya Story. Vitally Chkalov bred the four year-old daughter of Nonsuchthing (Pine Chip-Armbro Nun) from Ultimate Choice (Classic Photo-Gonewiththewind). The third and fourth dams are well-known Perfect Mate and La Soubrette that have the spot Kick Tail and Duenna. Ayneka Ch now has made 32 career starts with 17 wins and earnings of 1,143,284RUB. The placed second horse in the standings was Sol Make (4m Make It Happen-Sol Kievitshof-Sugarcane Hanover (finished 10, 3, 1) with a 2:00.6 timed victory in heat three. President Lok (4m Drago Jet-Pozrira Lok-Yankee Slide) was placed third with a 2, 2, 1 finish in the heats. Russian horsemen have been purchasers of US yearlings at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, PA for many years. Central Moscow Hippodrome, Thomas H. Hicks      

The Meadowlands - Breakfast With The Babies began at 9:30 a.m. on a perfect windless, morning with the temperature at 82 degrees. Gabe Prewitt called the harness racing action.   Owner Ken Jacobs has discovered the key to trotting success. He seeks out and buys a nice looking Chapter Seven yearling, turns it over to Linda Toscano to train then sits back and collects the proceeds. They've done it again with the filly Seven Karats, a Diamond Creek bred lass Kenny bought for $75,000 in Lexington last fall. Tim Tetrick put her right on the front and let the filly trot home in 28.3 on the end of the 1:58.1 mile in her very first start. Lima Charisma (Ake Svanstedt) followed along the whole way to be second while Kyle's Sweetheart (Andy McCarthy) was third.   Trond Smedshammer has a nice Explosive Matter filly named Phaetosive for the Purple Haze stable. Trond sat her in behind the front running Endless Flirt (Andy Miller), when he tipped her out in the stretch she roared by in the 28 second end to the 1:57.4 mile with plenty left. Phaetosive was a $75,000 Standardbred Horse Sale yearling.   Jimmy Takter drove Samo Different Day to a sparkling 1:56.2 win in the third race. He sat just behind leader Chucky De Vie (Chris Ryder) as that one put up honest fractions then sailed by and kept going, widening to a six or seven length win with the final quarter in 28.3. The winner was a $130,000 Lindy bred Lexington yearling and is owned by Christina Takter and Samo Partners.   Perfetto won in 1:59.4 for Brian Sears, converting a pocket trip to a narrow decision over With Presence (Svanstedt). Nifty Norman trains the $32,000 Harrisburg yearling for his interests as Enzed Racing along with Dave McDuffee and Joe Hansford.   Marcus Johansson drove MS Triple J to a 2:01 win for trainer/wife Nancy. She cut the mile and held sway over Gemologist (Svanstedt). Nancy owns the Cantab Hall filly, a $20,000 Lexington bargain, with Rojan Stable and Joyce Mc Clelland.   Ake Svanstedt broke through with pacing filly Python Blue Chip, sailing along through fast fraction and lasting under mile encouragement in 1:54/28.3. Ake owns the $34,000 Goshen yearling with Blue Chip Bloodstock, Our Horse Cents and Rossie Smith. Odds On Stephanie (Sears) towed along with a pocket ride for second.   Babes Dig Me (Joe Bongiorno) was a 1:54.3 winner for trainer Tony Alagna today, setting a solid pace holding sway over a closing California Cruisin (Johansson) through a 27.1 final quarter. Babes Dig Me is a $100,000 Lexington Somebeachsomewhere colt owned by Brad Grant, Joe Sbrocco, Rob LeBlanc and In The Gym Partners.   Rush To Judgement set sail and kept going this morning for the Alagna / Bongiorno tandem. Joe pointed the American Ideal colt to the front, set honest fractions on a long lead and paced strong through the lane on his own ending the 1:55.2 mile in 29 flat. Rush To Judgement is a Riverview Racing / Alagna Racing homebred. Bohemian Rock (Andy Miller) was a wide second and Surfing Tide (Sears) third.   QUALIFIERS   Sortie has been torturing his connections of late, making breaks in the big stakes costing lotsa money and clouding his Hambletonian chances. Trainer Noel Daley sent him out with regular driver Andy McCarthy to go a good mile, and he did, setting fast fraction on his way to a 1:52.3 win with the greatest of ease.   Some of the world's best trotters gathered for the tenth race qualifier and the millionaire stakes winning Crazy Wow actually equaled his lifetime mark of 1:51.1 for Bongiorno. He cut the mile, equal 55.3 halves, then held that pretty Tuonoblu Rex (A. Miller) off through the 27 flat last quarter. All-time Meadowlands track record holder JL Cruze (A. McCarthy) gained late to be third.   Post time for tonight's live card is 7:15 p.m.   Nick Salvi  

JULY 21, 2017 - Pacing fillies were in the harness racing spotlight at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening with three Grassroots divisions for the sophomore lasses and five for their novice counterparts. Trainer Jack Darling harnessed two starters, both two-year-old pacing fillies, and the Cambridge, ON resident made two visits to the Mohawk winner's circle. Darling trainee Write Me A Song captured the second freshman skirmish, sailing home three and three-quarter lengths ahead of her peers in 1:55. Breezy finished second and So Bananas was third. The victory, engineered by Milton, ON resident Randy Waples, boosted Write Me A Song to the top of the two-year-old pacing filly standings, giving her a total of 75 points from one win and one second in the first two Grassroots events. "She raced good. She was a nice filly training down, always showed lots of talent," said Darling, who acquired Write Me A Song from last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale for $47,000. "She's coming along well." Write Me A Song The horseman's other winner was homebred Neon Moon, a Sportswriter daughter out of his former race mare Beach Of A Time. Like her stablemate, Neon Moon took command before the halfway marker and was never challenged, cruising under the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Ashlees Sport and Voulez Hanover in 1:54.1. Friday's test was Neon Moon's first; she missed the July 11 Grassroots opener after breaks in her first two qualifiers required a third attempt. Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson was in the race bike for all three qualifiers and Friday's victory. "The first week (June 26) she jumped a shadow, and then the next week (June 30) it was just kind of an equipment problem, but she seems nice and solid now," said Darling of the filly's qualifying difficulties. "You just don't know until you see them race." Darling said the fillies trained together all winter - sharing both training miles and a tendency toward grabbing hold of the bit - with Write Me A Song having a slight edge on Neon Moon. "Write Me A Song was, she's just been more talented, she's bigger and taller, and a bigger gait, so she was one you would maybe get a little higher on," said the owner-trainer. "But this filly (Neon Moon), she's just like a machine out there, very efficient over the ground." Neon Moon Darling's fillies will continue to advance their education in the third freshman pacing filly Grassroots event at Grand River Raceway on August 14. The other two-year-old Grassroots divisions were captured by first-time Ontario Sires Stakes starters Lady Bubbles, Duchess Dolly and Dry Silk Flowers, who all used late sprints to claim their victories. In the first $19,150 division Lady Bubbles was victorious in 1:56 for driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON, trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC, who also bred the daughter of Sportswriter. Favourite Shower Play was second and Hey Sweetie was third.. Lady Bubbles Shadow Play daughter Duchess Dolly captured the third division in 1:56.3 over Iveseenthefuture and favourite Campassion. Jonathan Drury of Guelph crafted the victory for trainer Jim Wellwood of Ancaster and owner Jeff Wellwood of Toronto, ON. Duchess Dolly Dry Silk Flowers sprinted home to a 1:55 victory over favourite Love Kills and Rendezvous Hanover. After finishing third in the first three freshman Grassroots divisions, Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON piloted the chestnut daughter of Vintage Master to the win for trainer Paul Reid and owner Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. Dry Silk Flowers In the three-year-old pacing filly divisions, Manhattan Play took sole control of top spot in the point standings with her third straight Grassroots victory. The Shadow Play daughter and driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON controlled the tempo for the bulk of the mile and had another gear left for the stretch, pacing home to a one length victory in 1:53. Favourite Bid Writer was second and Snappy Dresser finished third. "She was first up the first two (Grassroots), and I thought that was going to happen tonight too, but I'm glad Jody (Jamieson with Bid Writer) let us go because that's a long stretch," said Cambridge resident Nicky Comegna, who conditions the filly for his father Bruno Comegna of Burlington, ON. "She's been real good." Manhattan Play made two starts at the Gold Series level during her 10-race two-year-old campaign, but the Comegna's opted to focus on the Grassroots this season when the filly developed allergies earlier in the year. Through 12 sophomore starts Manhattan Play now boasts a record of three wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $39,860. Manhattan Play The other two $18,800 Grassroots divisions went to Shewearsthepants and Diamondtoothgertie. Favourite Shewearsthepants and driver Doug McNair of Guelph, ON cruised home three and one-quarter length winners in 1:53, besting Rose Run Samantha and Fading Shadow. The driver's father, Gregg McNair, also of Guelph, conditions the Big Jim daughter for owner-breeder Anatolia Farm LLC of New Holland, PA. Shewearsthepants First time Ontario Sires Stakes starter Diamondtoothgertie roared home in the last sophomore division to claim a three length victory over Style Snapshot and P L Kahluaa. The 1:52.4 clocking was a personal best for the Sportswriter daughter, who was driven to the win by Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion and is owned by trainer Sylvain Grenier of Saint-Rene, QC. Diamondtoothgertie The three-year-old pacing fillies return to Grassroots action on August 5 at Hanover Raceway. On Saturday evening Mohawk Racetrack will showcase the top three-year-old pacers and trotters in nine Gold Series divisions worth a total of $779,200. The first race goes postward at 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 21, 2017) - Six days ago, she finished third at nearly 100/1 odds behind world champion Hannelore Hanover in the Miss Versatility. Tonight, the previously unheralded mare Oho Diamond broke that superstar's track record, winning a conditioned trot at the Meadowlands in 1:50.2, one-fifth of a second faster than Hannelore Hanover's record set in that race six days ago. Oho Diamond, a 6-year-old mare by Ken Warkentin who is owned by Dan Clements and trained by Renaldo Morales III, moved to the front for driver Brett Miller after a :27 opening quarter. From there, Miller had Oho Diamond comfortably on the lead with the talented 3-year-old colt Victor Gio chasing from second. After three-quarters in 1:22.3, Oho Diamond just kept going while comfortably in front, tacking on a :27.4 final quarter to stop the teletimer in the record time. "She has always had a ton of ability but she's been a little fussy," explained Miller. "I got her going and just kept her going. When three quarters flashed up that fast, I kind of smooched at her a little bit because it felt like she was going track record time. Even though she doesn't have as much money on her card as some of those other mares, she proved she can go with them tonight." Oho Diamond has now won 18 times from 56 career starts good for $184,648 in lifetime earnings. She is eligible to the TVG Mares Trot series at the Meadowlands. Miller and Morales teamed up to win in the other division of the featured overnight trot with P L Jill, who also dropped out of the Miss Versatility on the Pace Night undercard. Takter wins three Kindergarten divisions. In second leg action in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds, Jimmy Takter won three divisions with filly trotter Dab Hanover, colt trotter Hill Street, and colt pacer Grand Teton. Takter added another win with Hambletonian-eligible Achille Duharas, to make it four wins on the card. Total handle on the 11-race card was $2,010,474. Live racing continues Saturday with a 12-race program headlined by the Tompkins Stakes for 3-year-old trotters on the road to the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz  

The battle lines are being drawn up between the Albion Park Harness Racing Club and racing control body Racing Queensland. Like most wars, it is a dispute over territory - that territory being the Albion Park harness and dog racing complex. Like all such disputes, there will be artillery in the form of barristers and solicitors, the ammunition will be words both, verbal and written, and there will be several referees. The time frame at this point is anybody's guess. The ultimate cost, like all wars, will be staggering. The end bearers of that cost will be the harness racing participants in general and the hobbyists in particular. The greyhounds will also experience negatives from a financial aspect. Albion Park has fired the first shot with a full page advertisement in last Saturday's Courier Mail and the Brisbane City Council has made that shot more effective by rejecting RQ's current development application which does not include a racing facility. From the Sunday Mail (July 16): "In rejecting the application on Friday 14/07, BCC planning Chairman, Julian Simmonds said: 'The entire Queensland racing fraternity needs to speak as one voice on the future of Albion Park.'' The only way that racing participants will come up with a majority decision will be if the practice of full disclosure applies. At this point, "Joe Average” harness participant does not know who owns Albion Park, much less the benefits which might accrue from this current power struggle. We wait for the Minister and the Premier to supply this information. ............................................... Whip rules proposal ON a different but apparently equally taboo subject of whips, another gathering was held last week in NSW under the auspices of HRNSW. The following is taken from an interview with John Dumesny, CEO of that body. He believes that the road forward is tightening the way the whip is used, rather than an overall ban. "We have to be aware of the public and community standards about the whip and its use,” Dumesny said. "The whip itself is not cruel, it is the way it is used that can be seen to be cruel. "The drivers see it as a safety and integrity issue for the sport, and it is important to wagering and punters' confidence. We need to modify the rules to move with community expectations, but at the same time maintain safety and integrity concerns.'' A whip convention last week, with drivers, trainers and administrators from every state attending, worked towards a set of rules acceptable to all. Dumesny said consistency was the most important factor in whip rules, so they could be applied across every meeting in Australia. "We have told HRA that the whip will be continued . . . in NSW, but we don't want to get to the stage where there are different rules in different states,'' he said. "What we are looking towards is what is called a wrist-only method of using the whip. We held the convention last week, where there was a consensus that we need to work on the whip rules. It was a very good discussion from everyone involved from around the country. In the afternoon session the drivers got in a gig and showed their whip action as it is now, and how they would see it under changes to the rules. "We feel we have the support of the other states and continue to work with them, and there will be another meeting this week to get the right outcomes. "The main thing we want to work towards is something that is easily understandable and enforced by stewards.” The sad part is that for all the positive vibes coming from this move by NSW, none of the more vociferous supporters of cruelty free racing in the Sunshine State would have been aware of this particular convention, much less be invited to contribute to the discussion. Well managed THE late Tony Price was often the source of accurate comment. At a Botra meeting some years back, the "Big Fella” stated that Queensland was the easiest state for a horse to win $100,000. A quick check of stats for Darrell Graham's cash cow, Montana Falcon, indicate that lifetime earnings from 163 starts, stand at $209,995. The super impressive factor is that Montanta Falcon is still assessed at M0. That's well managed. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Quinella 4-12: Only The Brave (T. Dixon) and Montana Falcon (D. Graham). R2: Box trifecta 2-5-10: Any chance (D. Weeks)-Timmo Time (A.Sanderson)-Bettor Be Lucky (M. Neilson). R3: Box trifecta 1-8-10: Munroe (NA)-Written In Red (P. Diebert)-Lancelot Bromac (N. Dawson). R4: E/w 2: Philanderer (M. Neilson). R5: Quinella 1-3: Bettor Promise (M. Neilson) and Always Prompt (T. Dixon). R6: Quinella 4-6: Jerrys Jet (R. Thurlow) and Verdot (D. Cernovskis). R7: Box trifecta 1-4-7-9: Shardons Sheralee (J. Rattray)-Counterfeit Cash (G.Dixon)-Wicked Time (S. Graham)-Spare The Price (A. Frisby). R8: Box trifecta 3-1-6: Comply Or Die (N. Dawson)-Lombo Ranmiles (G. Whitaker)-Threo (C. Turpin). R9: Box trifecta 4-5-6: Majestic Major (G Dixon)-Majestic Mach (I Ross)-Alleluia (T Dixon). Honour board Tess Neaves, Chantal Turpin, and Trevor Lambourn led the way with two winners apiece. Nathan Dawson and Gary Whitaker shared driving honours posting thee winners each. Most pleasing was Tess Neaves' double at Albion Park on Thursday. Albion Park, July 14: Threo (Chantal Turpin); Heavens Hint (Nathan Dawson for Stewie Dickson); Lighting Colony (Gary Whitaker for Donny Smith); Nolonga Your Choice (Trevor Lambourn); Ashton K (Gary Whitaker for Trevor Lambourn); Village Cruiser (Adam Richardson for Dave Russell). Albion Park, July 18: Tygar (Adam Sanderson for Joe Taafe); Destreos (Kelli Dawson for Kenny Rattray); I'm The Golden Child (Dean Cernovskis for Megan Cockburn); Montana Falcon (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham). Redcliffe, July 19: Weedons Express (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen); Cheers Kathy (Brittany Graham for Darrell Graham); Slippery Jade (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby); Mach Torque (Chantal Turpin). Albion Park, July 20: Princess Jessica (Nathan Dawson for Doug Lee); Hammerhoff (Nathan Dawson for Narissa McMullen); Riverleigh Jeff (Steve Doherty for Tess Neaves); Call Me Yours (Steve Doherty for Tess Neaves); Gallymont Sport (Trent Dawson); Surface To Air (Greg Elkins). TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 21, 2017 - You didn't have to be a Yonkers Raceway "sissy" Friday night (July 21st), but it didn't hurt. HP Sissy (Daniel Dube, $9.90) picked off pace-setting Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) late in the lane, winning the harness racing weekly $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The race became a glorified two-speed number, with Sell a Bit N, from post position No. 2, leaving around the pole-dancing HP Sissy. Regil Elektra (Jason Bartlett) landed in a three-hole through early intervals of :27.1 and :56.1. Regil Elektra made a second move toward the 1:24 three-quarters, but Sell a Bit N owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Despite getting away rather cheaply, she could not stall the lass directly behind her. "Sissy" was anything but, ducked inside and winning by a half-length in a life-best 1:52.1. Sell a Bit N easily held second, with Lispatty (George Brennan) third. Regil Elektra and tepid 5-2 choice I Said Diamonds (Matt Kakaley) settled for the smaller envelopes. For fourth choice HP Sissy, a 4-year-old daughter of Up the Credit owned by Claude Hamel and trained by Rene Allard, it was her seventh win in 14 seasonal starts (2-for-2 since hitting town). The exacta paid $46, with the triple returned $119.50. Bartlett, who began the night with 6,997 career victories, went 1-for-11 Friday, so the quest for the next milestone continues upstate at Saratoga Saturday night (July 22nd). YONKERS’ SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $2,100 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (July 22nd) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $2,137.14.   The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing card. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

Forty-two harness racing 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings will battle in five Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) contests Saturday night, July 22 at Northfield Park. Each division--races four, six, eight, ten and 12--for these Buckeye-fathered freshmen sports a purse of $40,000. First race post time is 6 pm, ET. Each of the eight Leg 1 winners are returning for this second round of action in the four-bout series, which culminates with a $250,000 Championship Final on Sept. 2 at Scioto Downs. To be eligible to Ohio's most lucrative series for state-bred 2- and 3-year-olds, owners nominate their youngsters by March 15, who must be sired by an Ohio-based stallion registered with the Ohio State Racing Commission. Stallions represented by progeny participating in Saturday's OSS tests include Pet Rock, with 13 foals; Dragon Again with 10; McArdle with six and Big Bad John with three. The stallions I'm Gorgeous and We Will See each have a pair of freshman competing, while those with one foal each in Leg 2 action include Charley Barley, Mr Apples, No Pan Intended, The Panderosa, Woodstock and Yankee Cruiser. Leg One winners Born To Be Bad and Rock On Creek will square off in the first division (Race 4). Born To Be Bad, a son of Big Bad John, hails from the Ron Steck Stable and scored a wire-to-wire triumph in 1:55.1 at Scioto Downs on July 4. Josh Sutton is back in the bike from post three behind the winner of $27,250, who has two wins and a second in three starts. Rock On Creek's lone victory in as many starts saw him pace in 1:55.1 for trainer Brian Brown in that first OSS leg at Scioto on July 4. The son of Pet Rock also used wire-to-wire tactics to get the job done with Chris Page in the sulky. He'll start from post eight in Leg 2. The third OSS division (Race 8) features a trio of Leg 1 winners set to wage war. Trainer Brenda Teague's Sip And A Bite will be looking for a repeat of his 1:54 score on July 4 at Scioto Downs. The unaltered son of I'm Gorgeous hails from post two with Brenda's nephew Montrell Teague driving for his father/owner George Teague, Jr. Trainer Chris McGuire will harness Harambe Deo from post one in this same division. The bay son of Woodstock won his July 4 debut at Scioto by four lengths in 1:55 for driver Kayne Kauffman, who gets the nod again Saturday from the rail. Sectionline Bigry has been saddled with the eight-slot in this division for trainer Steve Bauder and driver Aaron Merriman, who steered the Pet Rock gelding to a 1:54.2 clocking in round one on July 4 at Scioto Downs. The homebred is owned by Harold Lee and Harold L Bauder of Delaware, OH. The Ron Burke-trained Seeing Eye Single is the lone Leg 1 winner going postward in the fourth OSS division (Race 10) on Saturday evening. The gelded son by the ill-fated Dragon Again won a pair of Meadows qualifiers before storming to a 1:53.1 triumph at Scioto on July 4. Dave Palone has been behind Seeing Eye Single in all three contests and Saturday will be no exception as the duo leave from post two. In OSS division five (Race 12), two of the fastest Leg 1 winners spar, from post seven and eight respectively. The aunt and nephew combo of Brenda and Montrell Teague send out Lather Up, who blazed to a 1:52.2 clocking in Leg 1 on July 4 at Scioto. The son of I'm Gorgeous is a homebred owned by Harrington, DE breeders Gary and Barbara Iles. Letsallrock also paced to a 1:52.2 victory that same afternoon at Scioto, for the partnership of trainer Jeff Smith and driver Tyler Smith. The Pet Rock gelding was bred by Kathy Smith and is co-owned by Smith and J S. Everhart and C. Young of Greenfield, OH. Kimberly Rinker

JULY 21, 2017 - A total of $779,200 will be up for grabs at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night as the Campbellville oval showcases the best of the Ontario Sires Stakes sophomore crop. Harness racing pacers and trotters, colts and fillies will line up behind the Mohawk starting gate in nine Gold Series divisions. "All the best three-year-olds are there," said the program's leading driver Sylvain Filion. "I think fans will enjoy watching all the good three-year-olds in the same night. They should have one heck of a race card to watch." The three-year-old trotting fillies will kick things off at 7:30 pm in the first race and the absence of division heavyweight Magic Presto, currently competing stateside, gives the other fillies a chance to pad their point tally in the quest for a season ending Super Final berth. Filion will drive one filly in each of the $96,400 divisions, guiding July 7 Gold Leg winner On A Sunny Day from Post 6 in the first race and last year's division champion Winter Sweet Frost from Post 3 in the third. "I feel lucky to get the opportunity to drive them two fillies," said the Milton, ON resident, who is the regular pilot for On A Sunny Day and will make his debut in Winter Sweet Frost's race bike. "On A Sunny Day, she raced real big last time at Georgian (July 2); that was one heck of a trip. She fought off Trevor Henry's, Nifty Norman's, filly there (Magic Presto). That was a really, really super mile." Filion will also steer trotting colts Magic Night, Post 6 in Race 6, and R First Class, Post 6 in Race 8, pacing colts Yogi Bayama, Post 3 in Race 2, and Tymal Peacemaker, Post 8 in Race 9, and pacing fillies Soiree Seelster, Post 5 in Race 11, and Yaris Bayama, Post 2 in Race 12. The four-time winner of the Lampman Cup award as the top driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes, Filion noted that Tymal Peacemaker could be poised for a big effort in the third pacing colt division. The Stephane Larocque trainee heads into the event off a 1:51.2 victory in an overnight event at Mohawk on July 15. "Tymal Peacemaker really raced good his last start. His first Sires Stakes this year (July 1) I shut his air off, so he didn't race that good that night, but he bounced back pretty good, and he felt really good the other night," said Filion. "I know he drew the outside post (8), but I think if he races the way he did last time he should be really tough to beat in there." Looking at the nine Gold Series events, Mohawk announcer Ken Middleton sees a variety of interesting wagering propositions for fans looking for selections beyond the expected favourites. "Saturday's card should offer a number of value play possibilities in the Gold Series events. Especially with horses that are on a roll, but have yet to prove themselves at this elite level," said Middleton. "A prime example of a horse that fits the bill is Bills Fella (Post 2 in Race 5). He's a bit of a late bloomer who has started to come into his own in recent weeks for trainer Gregg McNair. "He'll hook up with two of last year's big name pacing colts in Sports Column and Arsenal Seelster, but it looks like he might be catching them at a good time," Middleton continued. "He's one I'd take a rip at if the price was 4-1 or higher." Saturday's contest marks the midway point in the sophomore Gold Series season, so all 74 hopefuls should be in top form as they battle for points toward a berth in their respective $225,000 Super Final. The top 10 point earners from each division will qualify for a spot in the Oct. 14 Super Finals at Mohawk. Post time for Saturday's talent-laden event at the Campbellville oval is 7:30 pm, with the three-year-olds starring in Races 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing  

July 20, 2017 - 2/5 favorite Aubrion du Gers (7g Memphis du Rib-J’Arnue du Gers) continued his winning ways for harness racing owner/trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire by winning the Prix des Les Sables d’Olonne (purse €50,000, 2775 meters, 17 starters) at the track of the same name in France. The winner was timed in 1.12.6kr and recorded his 25th win in 48 career starts, now for earnings of €1,072,872. 8.5/1 Attacus (7g Hand du Vivier-Nelocata) was second driven by Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastien Guarato. Third was 4.9/1 Bird Parker (6m Ready Cash-Belisha) reined by J.Ph. Monclin for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. At Baden, Vienna Austria, was the Monte Derby de l’Autriche (purse €8,000, 2600 meters, 14 starters) with the 1.18kr timed victory earned by 2.7/1 Tenor du Ruel (10g Mickael de Vonnae-Jacarandine). Martin Hinterholze was the jockey this day for owner Oliver Korth and trainer Robert Pletschacher. 6.4/1 Ronaldo Solace (9g Inforno Lavec-Frascati Guy) was second ahead of 24/1 Ms Ridalgo (7m Tarport Goal SL-Heavenly Lite). Thomas H. Hicks

JULY 20, 2017 - Sixty-six freshman pacing colts invaded Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening and delivered impressive harness racing performances in two Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series and five Grassroots divisions. Phantom Seelster opened the program with his second Grassroots victory, sprinting down the stretch to a 1:52.3 triumph. Pretty Handsome finished two lengths back in second and P H Hippie was two more lengths back in third. "Phantom was perfect tonight," said driver Rick Zeron of Oakville, ON, who sat fourth with the gelding through much of the mile after starting from Post 6. "He's getting better every start. He just waits for me to ask him to go; he's just a pleasure to drive." Zeron guided the roan son of Mach Three to the win for trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge, ON and his partners Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueuil, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC. A $74,000 acquisition from the Forest City Yearling Sale, Phantom Seelster has earned $22,825 through his first three starts. Phantom Seelster Next up were the Gold Series colts and Shadow Moon made the transition from Grassroots to Gold look easy, doing all the work on the front-end and then digging in down the stretch to hold off Western Passage and Sports Legend. The 1:53.4 clocking matched the effort Shadow Moon delivered in the two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots opener at Mohawk on July 10 and boosted his earnings to $57,775. "This colt's been a nice colt from Day 1, he actually was my favourite all winter long," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore from the winner's circle. "He ran into some problems in March so he got behind the rest of them for about a month, so I opted to start him in the Grassroots - in fact this was probably only his fourth time on a starting gate and fifth time in a bike - so I hummed and hawed about where we should start him tonight. Anyway, a bit of a slow last quarter, but he got it done." "We went a very fast third quarter (:26.4)," added driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON. "I think that's why he didn't pace home that fast, but he's a nice colt. He can leave the gate fast." Puslinch, ON resident Moore shares ownership of Shadow Moon with R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, NB, Serge Savard of St-Bruno, QC and Gordon McComb of Fall River, NS. The son of Moore's former trainee Shadow Play was a $60,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Shadow Moon The other $97,200 Gold Series division was captured by Jimmy Freight, in his first start since being acquired by Adriano Sorella of Milton and moving from Iowa to Ontario. The son of Sportswriter tussled with Lucky Sport and Goth Hanover throughout the mile before prevailing over those two colts, also sons of Sportswriter, by a neck in 1:52.3. "I thought the colt was ultra-impressive considering the fact that he was purchased on Thursday (July 13), shipped from Iowa to New Jersey on Friday, trained Monday in New Jersey and shipped to Canada on Tuesday," said New Jersey-based trainer Tony Alagna. "He bounced off the trailer and got the job done tonight, with a huge step up from county fair racing to Gold action on a big track. "I knew the family, having owned the sister to Jimmy Freight (Frog Pond Princess), and I have driven horses previously on the Iowa tracks he was winning on, I know what kind of miles those were," Alagna added, referring to the colt's record of five wins in five starts on the Midwestern county fair circuit. "Huge congratulations to Adriano Sorella for stepping up and buying the horse." Jimmy Freight and driver Jonathan Drury will have an opportunity to cement their position as top contenders in the Ontario freshman pacing colt ranks in the third Gold Series event on August 19 at Mohawk. Jimmy Freight Owners Brad Gray of Dundas and Denise Guerriero of Toronto, ON made two visits to the Grassroots winner's circle on Thursday as Family Sports and Burning Midnight captured their respective divisions. Family Sports got a perfect pocket trip from driver Jody Jamieson and then powered out in the final quarter to claim a 1:53.3 victory, three and one-half lengths ahead of pacesetter Sprocket. Letjimmytakeover completed the top three. Cambridge, ON resident Dave Menary trains the son of Sportswriter for Gray and Guerriero. Family Sports Two races later Burning Midnight and driver Louis-Philippe Roy also used a late sprint to post a seven and three-quarter length victory in 1:53.2 and give Gray and Guerriero their second trophy. The son of Mach Three, who is trained by Corey Giles of Cambridge, ON, bested Lucky Michael and When You Dance. Burning Midnight The other two Grassroots trophies went home with Chocolate Swirl and Hudson Phil, who delivered identical 1:54.2 clockings. Chocolate Swirl controlled the pace from start to finish for driver Travis Cullen and hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of JM Jack Of Hearts and Barn One. Eric Adams trains the son of Mach Three for owner-breeder Millar Farms of Stouffville, ON. Chocolate Swirl Hudson Phil and driver James MacDonald powered up the outside to a one-half length win over Bo Mach and Dismissal Slip for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. Lansdowne, ON resident Mark Steacy conditions the son of Shanghai Phil. Hudson Phil The colts will make their third Grassroots appearance on August 16 at Grand River Raceway. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday night (July 21) with Grassroots action for the two-year-old and three-year-old pacing fillies. The two-year-olds kick things off in the first race at 7:30 pm and will also compete in Races 3, 5, 7, and 11, while the sophomores battle in Races 2, 6 and 9. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

He may not have been able to beat him in the national drivers premiership, but Blair Orange is in a position to take control of another title that Dexter Dunn has had a stranglehold on. Heading into the last meeting of the season at Addington tonight, Orange has a slim, one-win, margin in the Addington drivers’ premiership with 58 winners for the term at Harness HQ. With 57, Dunn is breathing down the neck of his good mate but he is also in the unfamiliar territory of being the one who is doing the chasing as opposed to the being the one who is getting chased. He does have the huge advantage however of two non-tote drives that should see him put himself in front. He jumps on the Cran Dalgety trained pair of Bettor Joy and Master Moonlite, both of whom should taste success in their respective Breeders Crown heats, putting Dunn back in the hotseat and setting up an intriguing battle over the night. Dunn also has strong winning hopes with Especial in the South of the Waitaki Series early in the night while Kamwood Kid and Mikey Maguire are also good winning options. Orange’s book tonight is full of each way chances with no superstar standouts. His best could be the Roger Austin trained pair of Idle Moose and Idle Monkey. Both are talented trotters with the all-round game to be victorious and provided they bring their manners they will be right in the fight. Theboyslightup and Reaza Grunter are also good chances for Orange. The remainder of the Addington premiership races are all over with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen prominent figures among the prize winners. With 53 wins they are well clear on the overall trainers’ premiership - 25 wins clear of Greg and Nina Hope, while they also lead the Universal Trainer Rating with an impressive .4381 % from 174 starters. Paul Court is next on that list with a strike-rate of .3118 % from his 67 starters. Rasmussen has the strike rate drivers prize all to herself with an incredible .6580% from her 51 winners. With no junior drivers race tonight, Kim Butt will finish a one-point victor in the Junior Drivers Prize and Spanish Armada has the popular Filly or Mare of the Year award. Meanwhile, Addington officials will make a decision on tonight’s meeting around 1pm today. Inclement weather is tearing it’s way down the country with a deluge of rain and the threat of some heavy snowfalls. Contingency plans were put in place yesterday that could see the meeting shift to tomorrow if need be. Those decision are expected to be made after lunchtime to allow enough time to see how the storm is going to play out.   Matt Markham - Addington Selections Race 1: Sharknado, Lloydin Magic, All Nuts N Bolts, As Kiwi As Race 2: Jerry Garcia, Spurred By Success, Sunshadz, Spurofthemoment Race 3: Vera’s Delight, Especial, Jody Direen, Melina Lowe Race 4: Gunpower, Rocknroll Nevin, Sportscaster, Takitimu Express Race 5: Beyond The Horizon, Jean Sebastien, Idle Moose, Diana Harbour Race 6: Boults On Fire, Hypervelocity, Bite The Bullet, Compliant Race 7: Ronald J, Idle Monkey, He’s Like The Wind, All Settled Down Race 8: Christmas Toyboy, Kamwood Kid, My Nikayla, Theboyslightup Race 9: Mikey Maguire, Spirit Of Delight, One Direction, Reaza Grunter Best Bet: Christmas Toyboy (Race 8) Value: Vera’s Delight (Race 3) Matt Markham

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." - Thomas Jefferson. As I sit in Columbus Ohio at 11am in a local IHOP eating pancakes,  I can't stop smiling.  My waitress asks if I'm having a good day? I said "I certainly am". She curious, "anything special" she asks?  That was a big mistake.....i spend the next ten minutes talking about and the luck we are having in her country.    No,  I didn't sell her a piece of a horse.  But I did open her eyes to the world of Horse Racing.  By the time I was done holding court at IHOP I had given out 3 business cards and introduced Horse Racing to 8 or 9 people.    To you that may sound foolish as they may never become clients or fans?  They may never bring their families to the track, or visit the casino afterwards. They may never talk to their friends about the charming Canadian gentleman that travels all over North America racing Horses and eating pancakes at IHOP like they were a death row request; but, then again they might?    Building such a powerful tool that has proven to connect Horse Racing to the general public is important for all of us.  The simple message of affordable ownership combined with an unmatched point of view experience resonates well with all demographics in every walk of life all over the world.    Although I'm pretty sure has never met any of it's 277 paying customers in an IHOP,  today could be the day.    What I mean is if we don't reach out to the every day people how can we ever expect to show them how exciting this game is?   Affordable ownership is the way to do this.  But having this proven blue print to success and not implimenting it to our advantage is like finally getting that job interview and wearing a dirty old pair of blue jeans to it.    I wrote not that long ago that our industries success should be tied to entertainment value and customer service. Not forgetting that gamblers pay the bills, but by doing some gambling ourselves, focusing on bringing people to the track with alternative programs like this may lead to more gaming activity.    Most of our clients don't claim to be Gamblers.  But they Gamble when they are at the track. Guess where they are standing when their horse races whether they own 1% or all of the horse?  Not in their kitchen,  Not in their living room; right at the finish line at the track their horse is racing at.  These racetracks and their affiliate casinos are desperately trying to attract the very people that gravitate towards programs like this.    I was fortunate enough to win with one of our colts in the Meadows last week. When I came on the track there was a young couple screaming "good luck Anthony". I don't often get cheering strangers at a foreign tracks.  When I came around again I got a better look, but I couldn't for The life of me figure out who they were?  I never saw them before that I could remember.  I could hear them screaming loud as I went under the wire in first place.  Out they came to the winners circle; still no idea who they were.  The gentleman said "great drive" which I graciously accepted with a "thanks sir" reply. That was that,  And Away I went.    On my way back to Ontario the next day i got am email.  It's was from one of the owners of lawmaker. He said he had a great day at the Meadows. He drove all the way from Whitby ,Ontario to watch lawmaker and just got there in time to see him per parade and win.  I never met him before that day, and yet we lived a couple of hours apart.    Did they Gamble more after the race?  Did they go to the casino? I have no idea.  Imagine if the Meadows had a list of all our clients planning to travel to watch their horse race.  Imagine If they knew how many clients we had and reached out to invite them down for the day.  Make a weekend of it.  Maybe a discounted hotel,  maybe a meal?  A huge Win/Win for everyone.  All of us working together.    By making a great time for everyone, win lose or draw our clients now would have fond memories of horse racing.  By making this about being a part of something bigger, we change the draw of this industry from gaming (which will almost always be a loss) to entertainment.  This is a very exciting industry. The ups and downs are what makes it great.  By displaying affordable ownership front and center it changes the dynamic of what we are offering our customers, and when we turn the corner into the entertainment industry we will have vastly more to offer society than any theme park or mini vacation ever could.  We will be offering a continuous experience as hands on as any of clients want to make it.  With an open dialogue with trainers and the hope of going to the winners circle some day this industry could dominate this market.    When college kids, bakers, uber drivers, lawyers, doctors, and teachers can all share an owners box at the racetrack of their choosing, this industry will finally be where it deserves to be, at the top of the entertainment hill in society.    The math is simple and irrefutable.  More new clients means more horses purchased and more revenue streams for both sides of the industry.  More revenue and supporting numbers leads to a stronger industry.  A stronger industry leads to a properly working relationship with our governments and affiliated gaming partners.  There will be less need for mandated welfare from the government and more interest in a working mutual business relationship.    They say a rising tide lifts all boats. Well,  we have been waiting a long time for the tide to rise in Horse Racing.  Why don't we try something new, and actually capatalize on an opportunity rather than watch it float away.    Anthony MacDonald