Day At The Track

Friday night at Gloucester Park, Perth, Western Australia saw the last of the Group 1 races for the 2018 season, and what a race it was. The 2018 Golden Slipper worth $125,000 in prize-money for open 2 year old pacers produced a great finish with Franco Edward winning by a nose. Drawn barrier 11 which is second on the back line Franco Edward running 3rd last with 900 metres to go pulled out 3 wide to chase the leading pair- stable mate Soho Thunderstruck and the hard working & unlucky Shockwave. Turning into the straight any one of five could have won it, but the son of American Ideal out of the New Zealand bred mare Edinburgh Franco got the win from Bletchley Park and third place Its Rock And Roll. Sectional times for the 2130 metre race where.. Lead Time 38.0..First Quarter..30.3..Second Quarter..28.5..Third Quarter..28.3 Fourth Quarter..28.4 and a mile rate of 1.56 which was just a tenth of a second outside the race record . Franco Edward joins past winners such as..1979 winner San Simeon..1992 winner Chandon. 1997 winner Saab..2010 winner Ohokas Bondy and 2014 winner Beaudiene Boaz . Click this link for race replay.. Franco Edward bred in New Zealand by Spreydon Lodge and owned by Robert Watson for trainer/driver Kyle Harper now has a career of.. 6 Starts ..4 Wins and 2 Seconds and $156,000+ with a best of 1.54.2MR. Click this link for his six generation pedigree.. Franco Edward is a descendant from the USA maternal family ..U301 - Kate by Highland Chief.. Classic winning family members include.. Sidepocket 1997 by In The Pocket - 1:52.0US $164,943 Lets Chase the Dream 2012 by Bettors Delight - 1:49.9 $490,835 Dream Royale 2000 by Beach Towel - 1:53.3US $145,068 Soho Lennon 2010 by Mach Three - 1:51.0US $337,627 Western Dream 2002 by Badlands Hanover - 1:56.3 $332,895 Western Cullen 2008 by Christian Cullen - 1:55.6 $447,536 Lochinver 2009 by Mach Three - 1:52.2 $262,530 Wee Brother 2006 by Elsu - 1:51.1US $166,812 Numberone Amenophis 2006 by Live Or Die - 1:53.6 $165,147 Franco Emirate 2006 by Christian Cullen - 1:53.8 $332,830 Artemis Belle 2007 by Artiscape - 1:56.1 $359,599 Franco Enforce 1993 by OK Bye - 1:50.3US $593,738 Kevin Dinnigan  

JULY 13, 2018 - Woodbine Mohawk Park was flooded with two-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Friday evening as 68 of the harness racing youngsters went postward in seven Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions. Driver Bob McClure kicked things off in the $19,150 first division, employing a come-from-behind strategy with B Stoney who paced under the wire three and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:54. Fan favourite Kenny Joe finished second and Century Farroh was third. "He has lots of go, he just needs some experience," said McClure of B Stoney, whose time would stand up as the fastest of the Grassroots divisions. "He's kind of goofy, but he was significantly smarter from his first start to this week." McClure piloted the Sunfire Blue Chip son to the win for trainer Murray Brethour of Sunderland and his partners, breeder Doug Millard of Woodstock and Barry McClennan of Cavan, Ontario. In B Stoney's first start, a July 1 two-year-old race at Georgian Downs, the Elora resident engineered a fourth-place result with the youngster. B Stoney Both McClure and Brethour would return to the winner's circle with a second Grassroots winner, McClure in the fourth division and Brethour in the sixth. Aboard Sauble Play in the $19,500 fourth division, McClure also opted for come-from-behind tactics, getting the Shadow Play gelding home to a one-half length victory over Balder Son in 1:55.2. Favourite DA Delightful was another length back in third. "He seems to have very high speed," said McClure of the gelding, who paced home in :27.1. "I think he'll keep improving." Tara, Ontario resident Larry Hall trains Sauble Play and shares ownership of the homebred with his wife Marilyn through their Sauble Hill Farms. A half-brother to $206,548 winner Sauble Claire, Sauble Play now has one win, one fourth and one fifth in his first three career starts. Sauble Play Brethour returned to the winner's circle with Machdavid, who hung on for a neck victory after carving out most of the fractions in the sixth division. Sylvain Filion drove the Mach Three son to the 1:55.1 victory for Brethour and breeders Jeff and Lori Thomson of Chesley, Ontario. Boys Turn settled for second and Carlisimo sprinted into third. Machdavid Like McClure and Brethour, Filion also picked up a pair of Grassroots wins. The Milton, Ontario resident guided Battle Strong to a commanding five and one-quarter length victory in the second division, stopping the teletimer at 1:55.2. Ballparkfrank finished second and Come On Barney was third. Tony O'Sullivan of Cambridge, Ontario trains Battle Strong for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania, who also bred the son of Betterthancheddar at their Winbak Farm of Chesapeake City, Maryland. Battle Strong In between McClure, Brethour and Filion's first and second victories, Mo Bettor captured the third division with a late sprint that saw him reach the wire in 1:55.1, one and one-half lengths ahead of Ys Sunshine and Big Kiz. Guelph resident Anthony MacDonald drove the Bettors Delight son to his second lifetime victory for trainer Kevin McMaster and owners Thestable Mo Bettor Group of Guelph and breeder Karry Howard of Wardsville, Ontario. "He's a medium-sized horse that's filled out well, and you know, he's ahead of the curve right now because it's early in the season," said MacDonald. "He's been good from Day 1, he never wore a boot or anything like that and he's really turned into a nice little colt. "We're probably going to aim him toward the (Aug. 6) Battle of Waterloo," MacDonald continued. "He wears a 56-inch hopple, I think, and no boots or nothing like that so he's built for a half, I think he'll excel on a half." Mo Bettor The other divisions went to Sports Hero and Keystone Concrete. Fan favourite Sports Hero led from gate-to-wire in the fifth split, laying down a 1:55.2 effort for driver Jonathan Drury of Guelph. Twin B Jays recovered from interference to be second and Mittnite Delight was third. Blake MacIntosh of Cambridge trains Sportswriter son Sports Hero for his partners in the 3 Hero Stables of Cambridge, the 30 Plus Stable of Trenton and Touch Stone Farms of Guelph, Ontario. A half-brother to 2012 3-year-old pacing filly Super Final champion Mach A Wish ($601,975), Sports Hero was a $60,000 purchase from last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Sports Hero In the last division Keystone Concrete took command early and never looked back, cruising home to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:54.3. Chiefs Beach followed the pacesetter into second and Ok Kudo closed well for third. Oakville resident Rick Zeron piloted the Bettors Delight colt to the win for trainer Rob Fellows and owners Yolanda Fellows of Rockwood, Arpad Szabo of Bradford, Ontario and Blair Corbeil of Beaumont, Alberta. The partners acquired the colt for $18,000 at the 2017 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Keystone Concrete The two-year-old pacing colts will make their second Grassroots start on July 23 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to the Campbellville oval on Monday, July 16 with four Gold Series divisions for the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The trotters will make their Ontario Sires Stakes debuts in Races 2, 3, 6 and 9, with the evening's first race going behind the starting gate 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, N.J. - It was a night for the harness racing bettors at the Meadowlands Friday night, with big carryovers in the 50-Cent Pick-5 and Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five, as well as a third straight 50-Cent Pick-4 that saw big action. The Pick-5, which had a carryover of $28,976, saw $192,177 in "new" money poured into the pot, for a total of $221,153. For many, the wager played out as a Pick-4 would, as 4-5 favorite Greenshoe won the payoff leg (Race seven) with ease. For those who had the first four winners as well (the odds: 12-1, 6-1, 2-1 and 6-1), the payoff was a handsome $3,536. After failing to break the six-figure barrier for two months, the 50-Cent Pick-4 reached the $100,000 mark for a third straight time ($108,434), and after a sequence that saw winner's odds of 2-1, 3-5, 3-1 and 4-5, the return of $71.40 was respectable given that two odds-on favorites scored. The 13th and last race of the night was the big one, as the Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five had a mandatory payout. The carryover heading in was $276,939, and after an additional $260,783 was wagered, the total pool was a gigantic $537,722. Those holding tickets with the winning combination of 1-3-10-7-4 cashed in big, walking away with $76,472.76. SUTTON SCORES IN FEATURE: Sutton ($6.40 to win as the second choice) took the feature, the $20,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters, impressively for Team Orange Crush, driver Andy and trainer Julie Miller. The 5-year-old son of Donato Hanover stopped the clock in a lifetime-best 1:50.4. It was 2½ lengths back to second-place finisher Dunbar Hall. Sutton won for the 10th time in 35 career starts and upped his lifetime earnings to $503,288. MELANDER AND SEARS DOUBLE UP: Trainer Marcus Melander and driver Brian Sears scored twice on the card with heavy favorites. Greenshoe ($3.60) took the New Jersey Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the trot in 1:53.3 to remain unbeaten in two pari-mutuel starts, while Speed Titan ($3.20) hit the wire in 1:56.1 in her first-ever betting race in taking her division of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-old trotting fillies. A LITTLE MORE: David Miller recorded a natural hat trick, driving the winners of the last three races on the card, including 12-1 shot Super S Yzerman, who topped the JSH5. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,790,750. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6:35 p.m. and features the $701,830 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. Overall, more than $2.5 million is up for grabs over the course of seven stakes events on the 14-race card. ... At 11 a.m., a new era in Big M history will begin as wagers on professional sports events will be offered in the track's new Fanduel Sports Book @ Victory Sports Bar. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

When news broke of the sale of harness racing's New Zealand Champion Pacer Lazarus to North American interests in May of this year, one of the biggest questions from his army of fans was who will take on the responsibility of training the great horse. After all, Lazarus had amassed an impeccable record already for New Zealand trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. With 45 starts, 35 wins, 9 placings (he was only once out of the top three) and $3.8million in earnings, Lazarus had already won two editions of the country’s most prestigious race, the New Zealand Cup, and a staggering 15 Group One races in Australasia. He had won everything from standing start two mile staying tests in his New Zealand Cups, in which he set the record for the fastest ever time paced over the distance, to a scintillating mile mobile victory when he won the Chariots of Fire in 1.49, in New South Wales. And whilst the New Zealand bred horses currently dominate the North American open class ranks with three of the top seven earners Kiwi exports – Shartin (the richest overall pacer in the US this year to date), Bit Of A Legend and Sell A Bit – the road to glory for New Zealand standardbreds abroad has not always been easy. Adapting from the varied style of racing in New Zealand where race distances can be anything from one to two miles, stand or mobile starts or on grass or all weather tracks, our horses can sometimes find the transition to racing hard and fast miles at every start a steep learning curve. There have of course been great New Zealand pacers who have flown the flag boldly in previous eras – the great Cardigan Bay of course was the first Standardbred to earn one million dollars and he hit that mark in the United States. So famous and adored by the public he featured on The Ed Sullivan Show following his record setting achievement. In more recent years Bit Of A Legend has also gathered a legion of fans in North America. After leaving New Zealand at age six with 20 wins to his name, Bit Of A Legend has gone on to win feature races in the US and Canada collecting a further 24 wins and taking his earnings $2.2million in the past three years. For Lazarus, the man tasked with guiding him through the next chapter of his journey is New Jersey based trainer, Jimmy Takter. And if he can produce success with Lazarus it will complete one of the most unique and historic training trifectas in harness racing history. He’s trained the world’s richest trotter, the world’s fastest pacer and now has his sights set on converting a down under champion into the world’s next star. But time is not a luxury he has.   Born in Sweden, Takter is the son of a Swedish harness racing trainer and originally started his career as a driver. His father sent Jimmy to the USA when he was a teenager to learn more about the harness racing trade, and as soon as he set foot in the States Jimmy knew he had found his future home. “I feel like I fit in here,” Takter explained. “When I arrived I just fell in love with the place.” So after returning home briefly to marry his childhood sweetheart Christina, he returned to the United States with his young family in 1982 to pursue his North American dream. What followed would be such a successful and versatile career that it would lead to Takter being named a six time Trainer of the Year, and was then inducted into the US Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2012. He is ranked the second most successful trainer in history in the United States based on prizemoney, second only to Ron Burke, with a whopping $122 million in stakes to his name. Takter developed many top trotters in the 90’s including Hambletonian and Breeders Crown winner Malabar Man. He then hit international headlines when he trained and drove trotting champion mare Moni Maker to win the Elitlopp in his homeland in 1998. She went on to finish second in that great race in 1999 and won the Prix d’Amerique in France in ‘99 also. The grand mare was twice named US Horse of the Year and was three time Trotter of the Year. At the time of her retirement in the year 2000 she was the richest Standardbred racehorse, and richest mare of any breed, with $5.5million in earnings. It would have been easy for Takter to stick with what he knew best, after all he grew up around trotters and was picking up success in the biggest trotting races on the world stage, however Takter’s next move would see him lift his training game to a whole new level. Noted for his dedicated attention to detail and his drive to keep learning and improving, Takter turned his attention to also purchasing and training pacers. A foreign concept to him as in his homeland of Sweden they only race trotters. He adapted to training them with emphatic fashion, with success with Mr Feelgood in the 2006 Little Brown Jug when winning his two heats in an all age, combined time record. Then in 2010 and 2011 he produced the outstanding pacing filly See You At Peelers to win her first 22 starts in a row, capturing the imagination of harness racing fans worldwide. But it would be in 2015 that Jimmy Takter would start to showcase his greatest pacing training achievement when the then four-year-old Always B Miki would enter his stable doors. Always B Miki arrived with four screws in his left hind pastern after a dramatic accident saw the stallion kick the wall of his stall just minutes before his Breeders Crown final. The horse was late scratched after being found to be lame in the warm up. Takter had the horse recover and resume training with him, only to injure the opposite hind leg. It was back to the drawing board and would be a further five months until Always B Miki would resume. It was worth the wait. Remarkably after facing all of the adversity in previous months, the horse went on to win all four of his starts that season, all in 1.49.4 or better. Takter proclaimed that the horse would make a big impact on the sport the following year, if he was able to keep him healthy and sound. And he was correct. On October 9 2016 Always B Miki changed harness racing history when he and regular driver, David Miller, paced the fastest ever mile in 1.46.0. The duo led throughout at the Red Mile in Lexington in the Allerage Farms Open Pace, and as Miller reeled off the opening sectionals the atmosphere on course became electric. There had been much hype about the horse being able to break the barrier set previously by Somebeachsomewhere, He’s Watching, Warrawee Needy and Holborn Hanover of 1.46.4 in race conditions – and to all present they had a sense that this could be the day. When Miki and Miller hit the three-quarter mile in 1.19.4 race announcer Sam McKee lifted to another level, and so did the horse. As the post loomed fans watched the clock and held their breath as the final time was announced. “Always B Miki – in 1.46!” McKee screams.  The crowd erupted into a standing ovation. The performance has set the new benchmark for greatness in the sport, and the occasion almost proved too much for Takter. “I was so nervous before the race and I never get nervous like that, but I was,” he revealed. “He was scared of shadows and he didn’t warm up well.” In his career Takter has trained four Horse of the Year title recipients, Always B Miki was his first pacer to win this. With Always B Miki retired a new challenge would soon arise. Following the purchase of Lazarus by Taylor Made Stallions of Kentucky, Takter was approached to take on the role of trainer for the five-year-old stallion. And even though he would be a long way from New Zealand, Lazarus will feel right at home in his new stable in East Windsor, New Jersey. The Takter property is one of the most immaculate you will ever see. The driveway is adorned by the American Flag and features a pond with its own seven foot Statue of Liberty. Set up in a similar style to the Purdon and Rasmussen training complex, the 40 hectare farm offers a stunning barn facility with walker, equine treadmill, a 1200m straight line training track, two mile jog track, a 1000m training track and is based beside a 75 hectare Horse Park.  Takter likes to utilize this and take his team through the park to mix up the workload and keep their minds fresh and active. Whilst Takter is at the top of his game, with one of the most enviable training complexes and training records in the world, it will all be over for him soon. In a shock announcement late last year, Takter indicated that in 2019 he will step down from training duties, and hand over the reins to his daughter Nancy and his trusted stable foreman, Per Engblom. They will train from Takter’s farm and he will still live on site and be available to offer assistance and advice, but is determined to step back and take some time for himself and his family. Takter has been open about the pressure he puts on himself to be at the top of his game. He can be extremely critical on himself and strives for perfection. “A sign of a good trainer is one that stays on top for many years,” he said. “I want to be on top, but I can’t all the time. It’s been 35 years of doing this and it’s hard. I get depression very easily and I get down on myself.” “You work yourself to death here,” admitted Takter. “I just feel like if I can’t be one hundred percent into it I don’t want to do it. But it is hard to back off.” “At this stage of my career Lazarus is actually a big plus. It is horses like this that make me remember why I wanted to be in harness racing. A horse like this is very special for me to be participating with.” It’s a brutally honest and admirable revelation from one of the greatest trainers in the sport. Highlighting once again the level of pressure that being the best presents. “I haven’t decided if I will totally stay out of the industry. But I need to take some time for myself and then make a decision. I would love to come down to New Zealand and maybe have a drive as it’s on my bucket list.” Latest reports from Takter have been positive about Lazarus and how he has settled into life at the Takter Stable. He has adapted to his new surroundings effortlessly, and has been complimented on his wonderful temperament and attitude towards his work. “He’s a cool horse. I’m very happy with him, you can see he is a legend,” said Takter. There has been talk about a potential start at the Red Mile in Kentucky in September, and also the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs in October. But nothing will be set in stone until Takter is one hundred percent happy with Lazarus and his progress. “My main goal is the Breeders Crown at Pocono for him. If I accomplish that it will be the icing on the cake,” stated Takter. So whilst many focus on the great horse himself, and rightly so, there is also a human element to this intriguing endeavor.  Lazarus could allow Takter a fairytale swansong to his career; the Hall of Fame trainer, who ventured away from his homeland to chase the American dream, retiring at the top of his game and potentially signing off by producing one of the most unique training triple crowns.  The world’s richest trotter, the world’s fastest pacer and transforming a national hero from a different hemisphere into an international icon.  by Jess Smith, for Harness Racing New Zealand    

If Louis-Philippe Roy gets goose bumps at the finish of Saturday's Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, it will not be the first time he experiences that sensation as a result of the race. This time, though, it would occur from an entirely different seat and, presumably, for an entirely different reason. The 28-year-old Roy will drive for the first time in a Meadowlands Pace final on Saturday, sitting behind Jimmy Freight in the Meadowlands Racetrack's signature event. Jimmy Freight is 9-2 on the morning line, the third choice behind 5-2 favorite Courtly Choice and 3-1 Stay Hungry in the $701,830 race for 3-year-old harness racing pacers. Roy will try to become the first driver since Tim Tetrick in 2007 to win the Meadowlands Pace in his first attempt. "I was thinking about it last week," said Roy, a native of Quebec who got his start on the fair circuit in his home province. "I remember 10 years ago I was watching Somebeachsomewhere in the Meadowlands Pace and I had the goose bumps when he got beat (by Art Official for the only loss of his career). "The two biggest races in my mind have always been the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace because where I'm from (in Canada) we were only racing pacers. So those were the two biggest races I always wanted to win. To be in it this year is very special." Roy spent six years competing, and dominating, at the fairs before making a name for himself at Hippodrome Trois Rivieres, which propelled him to regular drives on the Woodbine-Mohawk/Ontario circuit. In 2016, he won the Gold Cup & Saucer with YS Lotus on Prince Edward Island and received Canada's Future Star Award. Since then, he has lived up to the billing. In 2017, Roy won 377 races, good for second among all drivers in Canada, and earned $4.44 million (U.S.) in purses and was a finalist for Canada's Driver of the Year, which ultimately went to Doug McNair. This year, Roy has 232 victories and $2.66 million in purses and leads Canadian drivers in both categories. "It's just a dream," Roy said. "From the time I got interested (in the sport) I always wanted to be a driver. But it's a long step from starting on the fair circuit and then making it as a living. It's like dreaming about playing in the NHL; you dream about it, but you never expect it." Roy's success has attracted attention on both sides of the border. Ron Burke, the sport's leading trainer in wins and purses for 10 years running, has given Roy drives in several stakes races. Roy won the 2017 She's A Great Lady with Youaremycandygirl, at odds of 40-1, and finished second with Rockin Ron in the Canadian Pacing Derby. He won this year's Camluck Classic with Rockin Ron and also captured the Fan Hanover Stakes with Shower Play for trainer Rene Dion. Starting in 2016, Roy has driven in 29 Grand Circuit-level races and posted five wins and a total of 18 top-three finishes, good for a .391 driver's rating. He has sat behind only one favorite in those 29 starts, and while several others have gone off at short odds, most of his drives have been with horses with double-digit odds. "Last summer, especially with stakes horses, I didn't have much experience with young horses," Roy said. "I think this year that is part of my driving that might improve. I still have a lot of experience to get, but I have a lot more than I had last year. I hope it will keep helping me. "Getting drives from the big stables, that does help for sure. I guess they like what I'm doing in Canada. As a driver that's what you need, a good stable behind you giving you a lot of chances. We've had some good results so far. I'm very thankful." Roy's drive in the Meadowlands Pace, Jimmy Freight, was not staked to the race, so owner Adriano Sorella paid a supplement of $61,690 to give his horse a shot at the trophy. Jimmy Freight, a son of Sportswriter out of Allamerican Summer, has won five of eight races this year and hit the board in every start. Last year, he won seven of 12 and again was always among the top-three finishers. Jimmy Freight's wins this year include a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and two divisions of the Ontario Sire Stakes. The colt finished third in the Gold Cup Invitational, behind top older pacers Sintra and McWicked. He enters the Meadowlands Pace final off a dead-heat third in his elimination. He led for much of the way before Courtly Choice and American History passed him in the stretch. "I can't complain about Jimmy, he raced good like he's always done this season," Roy said. "Courtly Choice impressed me. Even though he had a tough mile having to go first-up, he was a rocket down the lane. We'll have to find a way to beat him, and the eight other horses, in the final." If Roy can, watch for the goose bumps. Following is the field for the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, which is part of a stakes-filled card at the Meadowlands that begins at 6:35 p.m. (EDT). PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Stay Hungry-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna-3/1 2-This Is The Plan-Tim Tetrick-Chris Ryder-15/1 3-American History-Yannick Gingras-Tony Alagna-5/1 4-Jimmy Freight-Louis Roy-Andrew Harris-9/2 5-Courtly Choice-David Miller-Blake MacIntosh-5/2 6-Nutcracker Sweet-Brian Sears-Jimmy Takter-15/1 7-Hayden Hanover-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-8/1 8-Thinkbig Dreambig-Jordan Stratton-Jimmy Takter-12/1 9-Babes Dig Me-Brett Miller-Tony Alagna-30/1 10-Dorsoduro Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-15/1 Elimination winners Stay Hungry and Courtly Choice drew for posts one through six. The remaining horses were then placed in an open draw. For the complete Meadowlands card, click here. For Meadowlands announcer Ken Warkentin's analysis of all the races, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Columbus, OH --- The U.S. Trotting Association has announced that all of its edited pedigrees provided for sales catalogs will now include each horse's fastest beaten time starting with the Tattersalls 2018 Summer Mixed Sale at the Meadowlands on Sunday (July 15). This addition of a horse's fastest beaten race time will be included if the beaten time is faster than the horse's record and if the horse was foaled in 1990 or later. The fastest beaten time information will also be made available in several Pathway reports shortly. "While the USTA takes great pride in the idea that many in the industry consider our pedigree pages to be the best in the business, we will continue to find ways to make our products even better," said USTA Registrar T.C. Lane. Following are examples of how the information displays in edited pedigrees, as highlighted in the partial pedigree below: CATHEDRA DOT COM p,2,1:53.2; 3,1:51; BT1:50.2s ($1,520,487) by Presidential Ball. 26 wins, 2 thru 5. O'Brien 3-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year in 2001. At 2, winner Bluegrass S., elim. and Final Lou Babic Filly S., leg and Final New Jersey Sires S. at Freehold, Molly Pitcher P., The Standardbred S.; second in Reynolds Mem., elim. Three Diamonds P.; third in International Stallion S. At 3, winner Final Fan Hanover S., Nadia Lobell P., Tarport Hap P., Bluegrass S., Shady Daisy P., Lady Maud S., leg New Jersey Sires S. at Freehold, Meadowlands (2), elim. Mistletoe Shalee P. at Meadowlands, elim. Miss New Jersey S.; second in elim. and Final Breeders Crown at Woodbine, Final Matron S., Final Miss New Jersey S., Final New Jersey Sires S. at Meadowlands, Cinderella S., elim. Fan Hanover S.; third in elim. Matron S. At 4, second in Milton S., elim. Lady Liberty P. From 8 living foals, dam of 4 winners, 1 in 1:50, 1 in 1:55, 4 in 2:00, including: SIMPLY BUSINESS p,2,1:50.1; 3,1:50.1f; 1:50f; BT1:48 ($1,048,117) (Rocknroll Hanover). 18 wins, 2 thru 8. At 2, winner Final Metro S., Bluegrass S., leg New Jersey Sires S. at Meadowlands; second in Woodrow Wilson P., International Stallion S.; third in elim. Metro S. At 3, winner Battle Of The Brandywine P.; second in leg New Jersey Sires S. at Meadowlands; third in leg and Final New Jersey Sires S. at Meadowlands, elim. Meadowlands P., elim. New Jersey Classic. Often at the request of European interests in the past, the USTA staff had to calculate and add the fastest beaten time information manually. Now it will be included in all sales catalogs that the USTA prepares edited pedigrees for. Following is a list of sales that the USTA provides pedigrees for: the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale; Standardbred Horse Sales Co. Yearling and Mixed Sales; Ohio Selected Jug Sale; Goshen Yearling Sale; Morrisville Sale; Tattersalls Mixed Sales; and the blacktype yearling pedigrees in The Blooded Horse Sales catalogs. From the USTA Communications Department

The 2018 McMillan Equine Feeds NZ Junior Driver Champion has been found. Congratulations to Alicia Harrison who finished the Championship on 49 points after continuing her winning streak by taking out Heat 3 on Queen Of Glory, and securing the  Championship with a mid placing in the last and final heat. Second placing was taken out by Benjamin Butcher and third place went to Mark Hurrell.  The championship was hard fought throughout all four heats but after Alicia got off to an early lead, she was always the one to beat. “It’s been a real privilege, and I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity,” said Harrison. The Inter-Island competition was won by Team North, team captain Benjamin Butcher is pleased to have the trophy back in the North. “It’s good to have it coming home” said Butcher. We would like to thank all the trainers and owners who supported this series and also to our sponsor Mcmillan Equine Feeds. Please see the full final standings below:   Final Points      Alicia Harrison                   49 Benjamin Butcher             46 Mark Hurrell                      39 Matt Anderson                  34 Luke Whittaker                  29 Dylan Ferguson                 27 Jack MacKinnon                26 Tony Cameron                   26 Ben Hope                            25 Kimberley Butt                  18 John Morrison                   17 Sheree Tomlinson             12                                                   North Island                     203 South Island                     145     Courtney Clarke Marketing and Communications Executive | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

Can more history be created at Albion Park this weekend? Fresh from the success of the four McMullen siblings all driving winners at Albion Park on Tuesday afternoon, another chapter can be created tomorrow (Saturday) night. The Gr.2 $75,540 AQWA Constructions Queensland Oaks is one of the co-features on a sensational card of racing and the three-year-old fillies are chasing the major riches on offer. But for Isobel Ross, the talented young driver has a chance at etching her name into the record books. Ross will partner Red Charmer, a winner of last week’s Gr.3 South East Oaks, the traditional lead-up event to this week’s feature, and join Shane Graham as the youngest driver to land the Queensland Oaks. Back in 2002, Graham steered a magnificent race when successful with Sparkling Melody, prepared by his father Wayne, to beat some of the best fillies in the southern hemisphere. He was 20 years of age when triumphant. If Ross is successful, she will join Graham as a winner at the age of 20; her 21st birthday comes up later this year (October). But there’s a twist with Ross. The natural lightweight is a quadruplet, sister to Victoria and Stephanie and brother Sam. None of her siblings took up race driving but are all capable on horseback. The Ross family is synonymous in harness racing circles with the family conducting the Clerk of the Course services at all TAB tracks in south-east Queensland. Don Ross snr occupies the role with his son Donny and grandson Donald plus the assistance of Dexter McLean each and every week. Donald is the older brother of Isobel, Victoria, Stephanie and Sam but is currently on annual vacation and sunning himself somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea. All five kids are the children of Donny and Lisa Ross. A scan of the record books indicates that no quadruplet has won a Queensland Oaks, let alone a feature harness event in this part of the world. Red Charmer, with Ross driving last week sprung an upset when victorious in the South East Oaks downing stablemate Aqua Miss and race favourite Sociable. Can they do it again? Tomorrow night, Ross and Red Charmer will line up in gate seven, the outside of the front-line, and will again be at big odds as a result but the youngster is confident her filly can feature again. “The draw is far from ideal but she’s got quality and class and just needs some luck going her way, she’s super fit and ready to go again.” Ross said. Red Charmer is prepared by the state’s leading horseman Grant Dixon and Ross has been part of the “Black & White’ army for just over 12 months now working alongside the husband and wife team of Grant and Trista. The Mr Feelgood filly has won 9 of her 23 starts to date and Ross has a near perfect record with the filly. From two drives to date, Ross has claimed the South East Oaks while finishing a narrow second behind Aqua Miss in the Gr.2 $50,540 QBRED Triad Final back on May 12. “She’s a real sweetie to drive and work with; I’ve had some luck from the two drives to date and hopefully its third time lucky this weekend. It wasn’t a shock to me last week because she was luckless in the Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle in her previous start. “This is a harder field with the likes of Goodtime Heaven, Chevrons Reward, Art Series and Major Occasion all starting but my filly will compete hard again. Goodtime Heaven is the filly that won the Breeders Challenge in Sydney so she’s the class runner. “I think all of Grant’s fillies will race very well, Fame Assured has a good front-line draw while Aqua Miss is nicely placed off the second-line. Hopefully, one of us can take the prize.” Gambling giant UBET has installed Goodtime Heaven as the favourite at $3.20 despite drawing gate 13, the outside of the second-line. The Courtney Slater trained filly is having first start in the Sunshine State. Red Charmer is quoted at $21. The trio of Dixon trained fillies is raced by their breeders, Kevin and Kay Seymour. Surprisingly, Dixon has never prepared a Queensland Oaks winner. First staged back in 1972, the list of winners is loaded with talent with names including Jan’s Chance, Amber Lobell, Ashton Lass, Girl Called Destiny, Handibank, Happy Haldon, In A Whisper, Kates First, Tailamade Lombo, Tupelo Rose, Ima Spicey Lombo, Nike Franco and Shartin among others. As it stands, last year’s winner Shartin has now established herself as the best pacing mare in the world with a string of feature victories in North America and Canada this season. Unfortunately, a training mishap has forced the scratching of talented Bathurst filly Callmequeenbee. Miss Hooligan has now gained a start.   Chris Barsby

In conjunction with two of Emmis Communications' FM radio stations, 1070 The Fan and B105.7, the Indiana Standardbred Breed Development Program has launched three fun, yet educational videos, highlighting the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit and harness racing in Indiana. The three videos, which feature personalities from the two sister stations, were released as part of a marketing campaign spurred by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission's aim to promote grassroots horse racing in the Hoosier State. In the first video, 1070 The Fan's "Tony at the Track" visits a different kind of racetrack when he learns more about harness racing at the horse racetrack. Tony D interviews drivers Matt Rheinheimer and Jordan Ross to learn the intricacies of harness racing, followed by speaking with program coordinator Rachel Klotz to learn more about what goes into organizing the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit. (Video: The second video pits the boys from 1070 The Fan's "Espresso" as they get firsthand experience of harness racing. Joey Mulinaro and Ben Polizzi take a trip around the Indiana State Fairgrounds' historic one-mile dirt track in two-seater carts, then try their hand at calling a race with help from veteran race caller Rick Upell. (Video: And, finally, B105.7's "Sean in the City" shows what happens when a neophyte to horses learns how to bathe a racehorse. (Blog and video: The videos are being used to promote a VIP Fan Experience for four to watch the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit State Finals on August 9. Both radio stations will give away a four pack of tickets and parking pass to the Indiana State Fair, VIP seating in the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand for the Finals, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Speed Barns and food and drink vouchers. Listeners are encouraged to register online and the winners will be chosen the first week of August. "The videos were so much fun to put together, and we really appreciate Emmis, and our drivers and owners for working with us," says Klotz. "We hope this not only encourages more fans of harness racing at the fair circuit, but of horse racing in general throughout Indiana." Indiana Sired Fair Circuit action can be followed on social media by following #ISFC18 on Twitter or Instagram and the Indiana Standardbred Breed Development Program Facebook page. For more information on the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit, reach out to the IHRC at 317-232-2897 or by emailing From the Indiana Horse Racing Commission

The follow story appeared today at  SUMMERSIDE, PE – There is one familiar face missing from the track at Governor’s Plate Week harness racing in Summerside, and it all appears to be caused by a case of gout. Marc Campbell, a regular driver in both Summerside and Charlottetown, is serving a suspension from July 8 to 22, after a horse he trains and drives –  Freddie – had a Class 4 positive test at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park on June 14. Standardbred Canada’s website notes that Freddie has been suspended for 15 days, and must requalify within three seconds of the June 14th race. Trainers are held responsible when horses test positive, and Campbell was previously suspended for a Class 4 positive test in August 2013. Paul Hogan, director of racing for the Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission, noted there are five classes of violations, and Freddie’s test was the second-least serious. “Class 1 is the most severe, Class 2 lesser, Class 3, Class 4 and Class 5,” explained Hogan. “This is on the lower end of the scale in terms of the classifications.” Hogan explained the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) looks after post-race testing that is done at a lab in British Columbia. “They have a company called Racing Forensics Incorporated, and they are contracted by CPMA to collect the samples,” continued Hogan, who added, “Sometimes it’s a quick turnaround, and sometimes it could be getting close to three weeks before the test results are finally received.” The results of Freddie’s positive test were received the first week of July. Marc Campbell’s side Campbell, who represented P.E.I. in the Atlantic regional driving championship in Truro, N.S., on June 29, offered his side of the story. “(Freddie) races from our farm in Winsloe,” explained Campbell. “That particular night, we had no stalls available in our main barn, so I arranged for a stall next door. “It was empty for quite a time, we went in and the stall looked clean to us, there might have been a mouthful of hay there or whatever. It turns out the gentleman next door who does the stalls over there was on a medication for gout. The medication is called Probenecid. “Anyway, I got a call last week on Wednesday night (July 4) telling me I had a positive test for Probenecid. “I had no idea what Probenecid was, and I had to look it up. After a day or two of trying to think and figure out what happened, because obviously I didn’t give my horse medication for gout, we figured out that the gentleman next door was on this particular drug." To read th.e rest of the story click here

The following story is reprinted with permission from the   This Pompano Beach harness racing horse track once thrived in spectacle, luring thousands each night to the “Winter Capital of Harness Racing.” Some nights, the crowds at Pompano Park increased the city’s estimated population by a fourth. More than 50 years ago, they started coming for the harness racing, an extravaganza whose origins link to the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, a kind of tourney mentioned in Homer’s The Iliad. They cheered as racers reclined in two-wheeled carts and shook the reins, urging their horses to advance. The throngs of people, who once included the likes of Jackie Gleason, Kay Stevens and Rodney Dangerfield, have thinned out at Florida’s last remaining harness racing track. Now, changes are on the way. Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher said he met with Isle Casino’s leaders this week and plans are to tear down the old grandstand building and build a 400-room hotel on the Isle Casino’s property. After the first phase, the site, at 777 Isle of Capri Circle, may be developed into a retail, restaurant and office complex similar to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino complex in Hollywood. He said the Isle Casino has partnered with the same company that developed the Hard Rock — The Cordish Cos. “This is a major game-changer for Pompano,” Fisher said. There is still harness activity afoot. Jennifer Swope, spokeswoman for Isle Casino, which owns Pompano Park, said she’s working on firming up a racing schedule for next year. The track, which opened in the 1960s, is filled with memories. The old grandstand closed after the current grandstand was built 10 years ago. Isle officials aren’t saying anything about the long-term plans for the old grandstand beyond a sign that says the building is permanently closed to the public. How the development will fit in with the existing track is unclear as plans have not yet been submitted to the city. There is still harness activity afoot. Jennifer Swope, spokeswoman for Isle Casino, which owns Pompano Park, said she’s working on firming up a racing schedule for next year. The track, which opened in the 1960s, is filled with memories. Mayor Fisher said he used to go there, even as a young boy. “My grandfather was part owner of some of the horses there,” he recalled. “I would go with him to the stables and to watch the races.” To read the rest of the story click here

East Rutherford, NJ - Meadowlands Pace night is billed as the "Greatest Party in Harness Racing" and the 2018 edition promises to live up to that tag line both on and off the track. Post time on Saturday is 6:35 pm.   Pace weekend begins with a busy Friday night card where the $350,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) freshman finals hold center stage supported by four Kindergarten legs, a Pick 5 Guaranteed pool of $100,000 buoyed by a $28,976 carry over and the mandatory payout of the last race Jackpot Super Hi-5 pool, currently at $276,939, that could well enter seven figure territory by post time.   The $75,000 NJSS pacing finals are led by Hurrikane Emperor who has dominated the pacing colts in each leg and meets the same three rivals on Friday (non-betting event at 6:15 pm) for trainers John McDermott, père et fils and owners Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Invst Group, and G. Vierno.   Molly Dooker is an even money morning line choice in the filly race for the Visionary Breeders of NJ, who turns out to be trainer Tony Alagna. She jogged in last week's leg, finishing a 1:54.1 mile with a 27.1 final quarter for driver Brett Miller to win by more than four.   The NJSS trotting finals are both full of exciting prospects, ten in each $125,000 race in fact.   The fillies come up in race 5 where sires Father Patrick and Trixton, who are represented by 19 of the 20 finalists, have the two logical favorites.   Whispering Oaks, by Father Patrick, was a leg #1 winner in 1:55.4 largely due to the talents of her driver Yannick Gingras as she raced greenly while Yannick kept her not only on stride but on course to get the win in the last step. Jimmy Takter trains Whispering Oaks for Brixton Medical, Herb Liverman and R A W Equine, Inc.   Mother Bonnie scored her win in leg two for Andy McCarthy trotting to a national season's best of 1:55. The Trixton lass is a Robert McNerney and Hauser Brothers Racing homebred from the Noel Daley stable.   The result of the colt final will largely depend on the state of mind that the enigmatic Greenshoe brings into the race. The son of Father Patrick has exhibited extreme talent, winning a baby race in 1:55 on June 2, but has also demonstrated a fractious side which led to going him off stride at the start in his leg one appearance, only to make a sensational recovery and win the race in 1:56.2 despite the ground given with the miscue. Brian Sears has the assignment to keep Greenshoe to task for trainer Marcus Melander and owner Courant, Inc.   On Saturday night the eight Grand Circuit stakes are led by the $701,800 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace (race 8), clearly one of the most competitive in the 42 year history of the stake.   Last season's O'Brien freshman award winner Stay Hungry (Doug McNair), owned by Brad Grant and the late Irwin Samelman and Courtly Choice, racing for the interests of Hutt Racing, Mac & Heim Stable, Daniel Plouffe and Touch Stone Stable, supplemented to the race at a cost of more than $62,000, won last week's elimination races and have the favorite's target on their backs.   Trainer Tony Alagna sends out three for the final including the aforementioned Stay Hungry, the season's fastest sophomore in American History (Yannick Gingras drives for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and American History Racing) who was second in the Courtly Choice elim and Babe's Dig Me (Brett Miller for Grant, Joe Sbrocco, Robert LeBlanc and In The Gym).   Courtly Choice carries the hopes of trainer Blake Macintosh and partners who backed their talented colt with a large cheque to give him a shot at the title. He also offers Hall of Fame driver Dave Miller one of his best chances to win the Pace, something he has yet to do.   The supporting card is nothing short of amazing with the $405,000 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-olds bringing harness racing's newest diva Ariana G back to the track just one week removed from her brilliant world record 1:50.2 demolition of many of these same rivals in last Saturday's Graduate final. Gingras has the drive on her for Takter and owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.   A dozen talented debutantes will contest the sophomore pacing filly Mistletoe Shalee stake (race 5) led by Kissin In The Sand (Scott Zeron), trained by Nancy Johansson for Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield Stable, who turned heads with a gritty uncovered masterpiece in the Lynch Memorial final a fortnight past.   The WR Haughton Memorial (race 10) for older horses and Golden Girls (race 9) for their female counterparts also drew over flow fields of twelve with all of the stars of the division present.   Mcwicked (Brian Sears), as sharp as he's ever been at age 7 for Casie Coleman and owner SSG Stable, will be the choice in the Haughton off his bruising win in the Ben Franklin.   Shartin N (Tim Tetrick) has dominated the pacing mares in 2018, having won all of the major stakes thus far for owners Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney King and she'll be the strong public choice in the Golden Girls. Jim King, Jr trains.   Note that all 12 horse fields will race at a distance of a mile and one eighth.   Also on the Pace card are the final preps for the upcoming Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks which are set to be raced on Saturday, August 4.   The top colts are all counted among the 16 entered for the $362,000 (divided) Stanley Dancer Memorial (races 4 & 6) with several among them rounding into Hambo form at the perfect time and others still looking for answers.   The $257,000 Del Miller Memorial split into a pair of sevens (race 3 & 11) with a few of those fillies holding hopes of the main event come Hambletonian Day, depending on their performance and that of the colts racing in the Dancer.   How might one begin a card such as this?   Well, here at The Meadowlands we'll kick the evening off with a pair of Miss Versatility divisions for the finest aged trotting mares around, among them 2018 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover (Gingras) who has been flawless thus far in the new season.   Off the track there's a ton going on with the always popular Pace T-shirt giveaway, the $500 win wager promotion and a BBQ contest along with various activities for the family.   For the horseplayer Pace night is one of the highlights each season with big pools and the horizontal guarantees have been increased accordingly. The Pick 5 is guaranteed at $40,000 and the Pick 4 hiked to $75,000 for the evening. Free program pages are available courtesy of Trackmaster.   Pace night is always a highlight of the racing season and this year the experience is one you'll want to be a part of.   Remember, post time is 6:35.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands        

Tonight saw the first two heats of the 2018 McMillan Equine Feeds Junior Driver Championship held at Forbury Park. Alicia Harrison was successful in the first heat with Olde Oak Emma, Jack MacKinnon ran second on Omar Sharif and Benjamin Butcher finished third on Beaudiene Gambler.  The second heat was taken out by Mark Hurrell with Possente Cavallo and Benjamin Butcher and Alicia Harrison were second and third. Tomorrow we head to Addington Raceway for the final two heats. Alicia goes into tomorrow night leading the Championship “I am absolutely wrapt to be in this position, tonight couldn’t have gone any better ” said Alicia. The InterIsland Competition is currently being led by the North Island team. Please see below the standings as of tonight.    Points after Heat 2 Alicia Harrison 27 Mark Hurrell 25 Benjamin Butcher 22 Jack MacKinnon 19 Matt Anderson 16 Ben Hope 13 Luke Whittaker 13 Kimberley Butt 13 Dylan Ferguson 11 John Morrison 9 Tony Cameron 6 Sheree Tomlinson 6     North Island 98 South Island 82   Courtney Clarke Marketing and Communications Executive | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have completed an inquiry into a report received from Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) that a horse presented to race as ‘Systamatic’ was found to have the freeze brand relating to ‘Four Starzzz Chef’, a horse which was stabled and trained in Victoria. During the inquiry evidence was taken from Ashleigh Herbertson, trainer of ‘Four Starzzz Chef’ and Mr Anthony Logan who represented the ownership interests of the horse.  Review of the available registration documents relating to ‘Four Starzzz Chef’ and ‘Systamatic’ was undertaken and the DNA sample testing results of the two horses was tendered.  On the evidence the following was established: In late 2013 two colts were bred in Leeton, New South Wales. One colt with the breeding ‘Four Starzzz Shark CA X Cheftaine’ and the other ‘Mister Feelgood USA X Gilgirl’; In 2015 the colt with the breeding ‘Four Starzzz Shark CA X Cheftaine’ was named ‘Four Starzzz Chef’. The colt with the breeding ‘Mister Feelgood USA X Gilgirl’ was named ‘Systamatic’.Both colts remained in the ownership of the breeder; In 2017 Mr Herbertson undertook the training of an unraced horse, who he believed to be, ‘Four Starzzz Chef’ with the breeding ‘Four Starzzz Shark CA X Ceftaine’; Mr Herbertson provided evidence to the inquiry that he had departed from his usual stable practice on this occasion of comparing the horses appearance against that listed on the Registration Assessment Certificate (RAC); During the period 9 August 2017 and 30 October 2017 Mr Herbertson presented the horse, who he believed to be, ‘Four Starzzz Chef’ with the breeding ‘Four Starzzz Shark CA X Ceftaine’ to start in races; DNA sample testing revealed that the breeding of the horse in Mr Herbertson’s presented to race as ‘Four Starzz Chef’ was ‘Mister Feelgood USA X Gilgirl’. The DNA sample testing of the horse located in New South Wales and presented to race as ‘Systamatic’ revealed its breeding to be ‘Four Starzzz Shark CA X Cheftaine’. After consideration of all the evidence Mr Herbertson was issued with a charge under Australian Harness Racing Rule 45(8) which states: (5) A person shall ensure that the correct horse is presented to start in a race. The particulars of the charge being that: As a licensed trainer he presented a horse with the breeding of ‘Four Starzzz Shark CA X Cheftaine’ (Four Starzzz Chef) to start in races during the period of 9 August 2017 and 30 October 2017, which subsequent DNA sample testing revealed to be the incorrect horse, as the horse presented to start had the breeding ‘Mister Feelgood USA X Gilgirl’ (Systamatic). Mr Herbertson pleaded guilty to the charge as issued. In assessing penalty Stewards were mindful of the following factors: Mr Herbertson’s guilty plea and his prior good record over an extensive period; Previous penalties imposed; The seriousness of the offence; Specific and general deterrence; Ultimate responsibility under the AHRR rests with the trainer to present the correct horse to start in a race. Stewards accordingly imposed a fine of $1,500. Stewards ordered under the provisions of AHRR 258(1) that ‘Four Starzzz Chef’ be disqualified from all prior races with the placings and prizemoney amended accordingly.  HRV Stewards further ordered that upon completion of the HRNSW Stewards Inquiry the registration details of the respective horse be amended to accurately reflect the horses owned by the current persons. In light of this matter, HRV Stewards have implemented various changes to the race day inspection process in order to prevent any reoccurrence and action has been taken against the relevant HRV officials in accordance with employment policies and procedures. Harness Racing Victoria

The Standardbred Owners Association of New York ("SOA") and Yonkers Racing Corporation have entered into an amendment of their current horsemen's agreement. The terms and conditions governing harness racing at Yonkers Raceway was just extended beyond the current expiration date of May, 2019 to May, 2021. The July 10th, 2018 agreement entitled the "First Amendment" will maintain the same number of annual race dates, as well as the current revenue stream for purses. Joseph Faraldo, President of the SOA of NY said, "The SOA Board of Directors has approved the negotiation of the terms and the execution of this First Amendment. I am pleased that this process was seamless and entered into with the knowledge and consent of the Raceway's new owners, MGM Resorts International, as the same portends a good working relationship with our new partners. Hopefully, this amendment will be followed by others in numerical sequence." Faraldo also noted that in April of this year MGM Growth Properties acquired the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park outside of Cleveland, Ohio and indicated, "We may now be referring to Northfield Park as our 'sister track' and vice versa. Coordinating post times may add some benefits to both tracks, with the racing fans the prime beneficiaries. In sum, despite the initial apprehensions expressed in some quarters, world class harness racing at the Hilltop Oval appears to have a very bright and elongated future." by Chris Wittstruck, for the SOA of NY  

Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr has earmarked the Inter Dominion Championship in Melbourne in December and the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups in January as the main targets for champion pacer Chicago Bull, who will resume racing after a spell in the $25,000 Christmas In July at the Beau Rivage Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This will be Chicago Bull’s first appearance in a race for 119 days and the five-year-old showed that he is fit and ready to maintain his magnificent record with an effortless win in a 2550m standing-start trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Driven by Gary Hall Jnr, Chicago Bull ambled to the front after 500m and coasted along in the lead before sprinting over the final 400m in 27.4sec to win by just under three lengths from M0-class performer Diamond Life. Chicago Bull, who has amassed $1,503,524 from 31 wins and 15 placings from 51 starts, last raced when he scored an easy victory over Maxentius and Runrunjimmydunn in the Group 2 Four and Five-Year-Old Championship over 2130m at Gloucester Park 17 weeks ago. Earlier in the season Chicago Bull finished a grand second to Lazarus in the Inter Dominion Championship final at Gloucester Park in December and won the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups in January. Chicago Bull, who has raced over 2130m at Gloucester Park 19 times for 14 wins, two seconds, two thirds and one fourth, will start from the outside barrier in a field on nine on Friday night and should have no difficulty in defeating The Bucket List and Costa Del Magnifico. The Bucket List, trained by Michael Brennan, will be having his 100th start in a race and he should be prominent after good efforts to be placed at five of his past six starts. He finished strongly from seventh at the bell to be second to Galactic Star last Friday week. The Ross Olivieri-trained Costa Del Magnifico has not raced since mid-January and he looks set for a rewarding campaign after a smart effort when second to stablemate Motu Premier in a Byford trial last Sunday week. The powerful Hall stable will have a big following on Friday night, with smart three-year-old Speed Man and talented five-year-old Chok Chai resuming after spells. Speed Man has not appeared since finishing a close-up fifth behind stablemate King of Swing in the WA Derby on April 6 and he looks the winner of the Follow Gloucester Park on Facebook Pace in which he has drawn favourably at No. 2 on the front line and will clash with several in-form three-year-olds, including Fizzing, Our Corelli and Robb Stark. Speed Man finished strongly and was not extended in finishing a head second to the pacemaker Muffins in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Fizzing also will have many admirers at his third start in Australia. A winner of three races in New Zealand, the Mach Three colt raced without cover before winning at his WA debut, over 2190m at Northam before he again faced the breeze and finished second to Rocky The Outlaw at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. Ryan Warwick will drive Fizzing for trainers Greg and Skye Bond and he should have a comfortable run after starting from the inside of the back line on Friday night. Justin Prentice trains and drives Our Corelli, who will start from barrier two on the back line. A versatile pacer, Our Corelli has won at three of his six starts, including wins at his most recent outings, at Pinjarra and Bunbury. Five-year-old Chok Chai will start from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the 2130m Book Your Next Conference at Gloucester Park Pace. A winner at ten of his 13 starts, Chok Chai will be attempting to extend his winning sequence to six. He has good natural pace and is capable of overcoming the disadvantage of the wide draw in a race in which his chief rivals appear certain to be The Freedom Fighter (inside of the back line) and Thereugo (barrier three on the front line). The Freedom Fighter, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, is in top form and will be attempting to win his fourth race in a row. Thereugo, trained and driven by Kyle Harper, is a brilliant frontrunner and he looks the likely leader. He started from 30m in a 2503m stand on Tuesday of last week and impressed when he sprinted home brilliantly to win from Swimbetweentheflags and Another Ayjay.   Ken Casellas