Day At The Track

Another day another harness racing record on the lightening fast Addington surface.  This time it was Ultimate Machete who won this years Woodlands NZ Free For All by blazing around the Addington track in a 1-51.9 mile rate. In doing so Ultimate Machete reclaimed a record he also once held this time last year.  The 4yo by Bettor's Delight trimmed 0.4 of a second off the old 1950m mobile record set only a few days earlier by stable mate Chase Auckland in the NRM Sires Stakes Final. Ultimate Machete had to be the best to win the race, after sitting parked for the whole way and then wearing down the leader Tiger Tara in the shadows of the post. Driver Natalie Rasmussen wasn't worried about sitting parked saying after the race "I was happy to be there. He is so tough and is best rolling along so it suits him. I could see Jacks legend was just starting to battle and I was still traveling. A great effort" Tiger Tara was game in defeat after leading for most of the way for driver Todd McCarthy. He pinged to the lead from the start and kept up a steady tempo but was beaten by a tougher horse on the day.  Jacks Legend was only a nose back in third after trailing all the way. Ultimate Machete zipped over his last 800m in 54.6 with a final quarter in 26.9 seconds. Close finish, but Ultimate Machete (far left) to strong      -   All Stars Stable photo Amazingly the last seven times a New Zealand record has been broken over the 1950m mobile distance, they have all been broken by a horse trained by the Purdon/Rasmussen All Stars Stable. 1950m New Zealand Record history. Ultimate Machete 17/11/2017 Addington Raceway 2-15.7 Chase Auckland 14/11/2017 Addington Raceway 2-16.1 The Devils Own 12/05/2017 Addington Raceway 2-16.3 Lazarus 11/11/2016 Addington Raceway 2-16.3 Ultimate Machete 08/11/2016 Addington Raceway 2-16.5 Have Faith In Me 11/11/2014 Addington Raceway 2-17.3 Auckland Reactor 10/11/2009 Addington Raceway 2-17.8   Ultimate Machete winning this years FFA   Harnesslink Media

In Christchurch.--- It has all the ingredients of a racing fairytale --- a young girl and the horse she loves triumphing against all odds on the biggest stage. And the joy 19-year-old Sheree Tomlinson felt as she won her family’s version of the New Zealand Cup, the $300,000 Dominion at Addington, yesterday was impossible to not to love. Tomlinson never went around a horse on 90-1 chance Amaretto Son, trained by her grandfather Ken Ford, sneaking up the passing lane to become the first female to win our greatest trot race. And all this on a horse who first brought Tomlinson to the attention of the punting public but a horse who needed an operation this time last year to keep racing. But there is only one problem with this girl loves life-changing horse storyline. “He is actually a bugger,” laughs Tomlinson. “He tries to kick me out of the cart every time I drive him. Not just race day, every time. “That is just him. So we have had our moments along the way. He is not easy.” So while he may not be the textbook equine hero, Amaretto Son gave the Tomlinson and Ford family their proudest moment in racing. They are trotting people through and through, breeding horse of that that gait as opposed to pacers and therefore they don’t dream of New Zealand Cups, they dream of the Dominion. “That is why I am so emotional, I can’t believe we, not me but the whole family, have won the race we want the most,” says Sheree. “Especially with this fella because he had those bone chip issues last season and he hasn’t been an easy horse for us.”Tomlinson may be a teenager with an infectious smile but she is no newcomer to the sulky, having been brought up through harness racing’s hugely successful Kidz Kartz programme. “That was a great way to get into racing and get out there on the track before I was allowed to drive properly but I can’t believe something like this has come so early in my career. “I am absolutely buzzing. It is all a bit of a blur.” Amaretto Son will now travel north for the plethora of major trots over the summer at a time when the open class ranks, shorn of Monbet, have a very open feel to them. That wasn’t supposed to be how yesterday’s Dominion turned out as Great Things Happen was a $1.50 favourite and when he jogged to the front in the early stages he should have been too good. But he was beaten at the 300m, leaving trainer-driver Gavin Smith wondering whether his stable star had suffered from a tying up problem as he took an age to recover after the race. While Amaretto Son was a crushing blow for punters in yesterday’s great trot, Ultimate Machete was simply crushing in the A$260,000 Woodlands Pacing Free-For-All. The four-year-old showed the benefit of coming in fresh after missing Cup day to sit parked outside Tiger Tara and Jack’s Legend, smashing the national all comers 1950m mobile record in the process. He will head off to Perth this week to join stablemate Lazarus at the Perth Inter Dominion series but Ultimate Machete will be aimed at the four-year-old support races worth a total of A$375,000 over the next three Fridays. By Michael Guerin

It was an upset of gigantic proportions. But it was also history in the making. Talented trotter Amaretto Sun and harness racing teenage driver Sheree Tomlinson proved victorious in today’s (Friday) Gr.1 $300,000 Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Handicap at Addington in Christchurch. Prepared by respected horseman Ken Ford, Amaretto Sun was friendless in the betting and saluted at odds of $91.20 while defeating The Foot Tapper and Monty Python in the 3200m stand-start classic, the biggest trotting event staged in New Zealand and first staged in 1911. Tomlinson, 19, becomes the first female driver to win the time-honoured trotting feature and showed patience beyond her youthful years when guiding the Sundon gelding to victory. The pre-race hype focused on Tuesday’s Trotting Free-For-All winner Great Things Happen with many expecting the giant trotter to repeat his crushing victory while the flashy Bordeaux was tipped to be his biggest challenger. When the strands released, Amaretto Sun pounced on the early lead before releasing The Foot Tapper while Great Things Happen quickly moved forward and tackled for the lead role. With Great Things Happen controlling the speed, there were little or no moves within the first mile of the event which had punters on good terms with themselves. The lead time was covered in 2:06.8. The first move in the race came via Bordeaux who moved three-wide with 1300m to run while Daryl Boko and Dark Horse joined the developing cover. But Great Things Happen continued to cruise in the leading role and posted sectionals of 29.1 and 29.5 seconds for the first half of the final mile. Approaching the home turn, Great Things Happen found little when challenged quickly by Bordeaux while The Foot Tapper and Amaretto Sun went to the passing lane with Monty Python and Harriet Of Mot both starting to charge deeper off the track. At the 100m mark, it was Amaretto Sun who struck the lead while The Foot Tapper, Bordeaux and Monty Python battled hard. Harriet Of Mot, who almost fell soon after the start, made a break in the final stages and cost itself a certain placing. At the finish, it was Amaretto Sun who sprinted best to score by over a length from The Foot Tapper with another half-length back to Monty Python in third while Bordeaux finished a close-up fourth. The final half was covered in splits of 29.4 and 29.7 seconds. The gross time was 4:04.7 – the mile rate was 2:03.0. It was well outside of the race record set twelve months earlier when Monbet trotted 4:00.7. Race favourite Great Things Happen weakened to finish 11th. "He felt good in the running and has so much speed. It felt amazing," Tomlinson said. “It’s very special for the family.” She added. Tomlinson is the granddaughter of Ford and the family has enjoyed tremendous success in recent times with outstanding trotter Marcoola. The shock result provided Tomlinson with her maiden Group One triumph and it’s a victory she will never forget. Amaretto Sun's sire Sundon won the Dominion in 1990. The next leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters takes place at TABCORP Park, Melton on January 27 with the running of the $300,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star. Chris Barsby

GUELPH, ON — There’s a fierce rivalry brewing between the 110 harness racing horses and their 362 owners at The Stable in Guelph. But it’s not about which horses can trot or pace the quickest race. It’s about which horses will feed the most people. During The Stable’s annual Christmas Open House on November 26, each horse will be represented by an empty 25 kg feed bag — all displayed with bows and the horses’ nametags, adorning the front lawn at Tomiko Training Centre (near Puslinch, ON). The goal is to fill all 110 bags (three tons — the weight equivalent of three racehorses) with much-needed items for the Guelph Food Bank, which services between 85 – 110 people every day. The Open House is free to attend and all ages are welcome. An RSVP is requested. Complimentary hot drinks and snacks will be available. The Stable urges guests to bring items listed on the Guelph Food Bank’s most wanted list. For those unable to attend the Open House, but wishing to participate in the effort, a GoFundMe page has been established. Funds will be used for the purchase of food items and any remaining monies will be donated directly to the Guelph Food Bank. The event runs 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and features 57 of The Stable’s horses training in 12 sets on the racetrack. The races will be captured by drone camera and streamed on The Stable’s website. The broadcast will include interviews, feature stories about the horses, and commentary from show hosts and drivers on the racetrack. Throughout the day, guests can meet the horses, plus clients and staff of The Stable. Shares are available for 12 of the horses, and purchases can be made on-site. Clients can purchase as little as one share, which currently run as low as $95 (plus tax). A fixed monthly fee of $23.85 (plus tax) covers the horse’s daily care and training. There are currently 110 horses and 362 active racehorse owners from 10 countries in The Stable. Trainers Anthony and Amy MacDonald launched the venture in 2015 as a fractional ownership stable — a model which welcomes newcomers to Standardbred racehorse ownership with a very modest and low-risk investment, and completely accessible and transparent operations. A catalogue will be available on The website on November 24, detailing all horses for which shares are available for purchase. The catalogue will include a schedule of when each horse will be showcased on the broadcast during the Open House. For more information, contact Anthony at or (519) 400-4263. EVENT SNAPSHOT • The Stable’s Annual Christmas Open House • Sunday, November 26, 2017 • Drop-in any time between 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. • Tomiko Training Centre 210 Campbellville Rd, Campbellville • Free admission but RSVP appreciated. Children welcome. • Bring at least one of these items for the Guelph Food Bank • Supervised access to the horses available all day • Complimentary hot drinks and snacks • Questions? Anthony or (519) 400-4263 • Website • Facebook  

Led by a powerful harness racing consignment from Walnut Hall Ltd, the 70th Annual Blooded Horse Sale held Nov 13-16 in Delaware, OH, was the strongest in its history. The sale opened with black type yearlings on Monday followed by racing and breeding stock the other three days. Yearlings, racehorses and breeding stock proved to be in high demand across the board. Walnut Hall Ltd brought an 8-horse consignment led by the sale topping mares Debbie Hall and Danica Hall at $120,000 and $115,000 respectively. Danica Hall, a fast stakes winning daughter of Danica Hall in foal to Cantab Hall, was purchased by Andrew Wengerd of Middlefield OH, and Grand Circuit winning Debbie Hall, already the dam of an Ontario champion and in foal to Muscle Hill, was purchased by Dunroven Stud. Walnut Hall also consigned the two $65,000 sale topping weanlings with the Donato Hanover son of Grand Circuit winning Ma Chere Hall going to James Kunkel of MA and the Kadabra son of Danica Hall secured by Dan Kuhns and Bob Farmwald of Kentucky. The yearlings were led by a McArdle first colt from stakes winning Chica Hanover for $45,000. Consigned by Abby Stables, the strikingly handsome individual was purchased by Kelley O'Donnell of Ohio. Sam Beegle got the nod at $31,000 for the popular Captaintreacherous son out of Good News Lady consigned by Emerald Highlands Farm. Dragon Again was well represented by the colt Forum's Diamond from Spring Haven Farm that was purchased by Scott Cox for $30,000 and a colt out of the fast Mississippi River for $25,000 by Mark Evers from Emerald Highlands Farm. Indiana breds dominated the top end of the racehorses. That group was led by the Indiana Sires Stakes winning Rockin Serena from the Eash Racing consignment. The 3-year-old daughter of Rockin Image was purchased by Emerald Highlands Farm to breed to Fear The Dragon. Eash Racing also consigned the upper level conditioned pacer Undertaker and ultra-consistent trotter ER Ben that were both purchased by Rene Allard for $45,000 and $42,000 respectively. A pair of Indiana breds from Eleven Star Stables created spirited bidding, as well. Sires stakes winner Bluebird Pacific brought $45,000 from Jeff Cullipher and winning $40,000 claiming pacer Freedomformysoul was purchased by Herman Hagerman for $43,000. "We sure appreciated Walnut Hall Ltd bringing such a nice consignment," said sale manager Jerry Haws. "However, we had a lot of good consignments, and even without the Walnut Hall horses, it was the best Blooded Horse Sale in our 70 year history." View complete sale results at The next sale is February 12-13. Entries close in early January and can be made online. Dot Morgan Executive Director New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program

Hanover Shoe Farms announces that Artspeak, the outstanding son of the sire of sires Western Ideal, will stand at Winbak Farms in Ontario for the 2018 harness racing breeding season. Artspeak's oldest foals will be yearlings in 2018. "From the ones we can see here at Hanover, and from what we hear from other breeders, Artspeak's foals are exceptionally good-looking," said Jim Simpson, Hanover Shoe Farms CEO and Artspeak's syndicate manager. "We intend to continue breeding to him and expect that he will prove to be one of North America's leading sires." Artspeak's service fee will be $4,000 Canadian. Hanover Shoe Farms announces that Muscle Massive, winner of the 2010 Hambletonian, will stand at Victory Hill Farm in Indiana for the 2018 breeding season. From only four crops of racing age, Muscle Massive has already sired numerous stake winners, including 2016 Valley Victory and 2017 Kentucky Futurity winner Snowstorm Hanover, and the European sensation Cruzado de la Noche. “The Indiana program is one of the very best in harness racing,” said Jim Simpson, Hanover Shoe Farms CEO and Muscle Massive syndicate manager, citing the results of the Indiana sale and the fact that three Indiana-sired horses won Breeders Crown finals this year. “We want to be part of this lucrative and growing program. Swan For All is proving to be an important sire, and we think that the blood of Muscle Massive will complement his through his daughters. We intend to continue breeding to him in Indiana.” Muscle Massive will stand at Victory Hill Farm at a service fee of $4,000.      James W. Simpson Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc.    

YONKERS, N.Y. - As the longtime trainer and driver of $904,593-earner The Real One, Pat Lachance could easily take credit for much of the Mach Three gelding’s success. Instead, the harness racing horseman defers praise to owner Helene Fillion, who is understanding of The Real One’s off-the-pace style and doesn’t pressure Lachance to take the horse out of his comfort zone. “I think the key is the owner. We’re on the same page, we understand how he races and we understand that sometimes you’re at the mercy of the pace and it’s not going to work out, but you also know that if you fire him up and send him out of there, it’s not going to work either, so you try to race him the way he likes to race and try to win the race,” Lachance said. “That’s the biggest asset. I give her a lot of credit because she never puts pressure on him. He’s the kind of horse that if you had put pressure on him, he never would have been The Real One, he’d never be what he is, no question in my mind,” Lachance continued. “He’s the type of horse that if you put pressure on him, it’s not good. He wouldn’t be racing right now if that wasn’t the case.” Fillion bought then 3-year-old The Real One online for $10,000 in 2014 and initially trained him herself. After a slow start at Rideau Carlton, where The Real One failed to finish in the trifecta, Fillion campaigned her budding star to a win and three more placings at Hippodrome 3R. Recognizing his talent, Fillion sent The Real One to Lachance to compete for the rich purses at Yonkers Raceway. “She lives maybe 10 minutes from where I was raised as a kid until I was 10 on the farm in Montreal,” Lachance said. “I never knew her until this horse and she was looking for somebody who’s French-Canadian who she can communicate with and she knows I take care of my horses and I have a good reputation for taking care of them and she wanted to send them to somebody that she trusts. “It means a lot to me because you don’t see that as much anymore and obviously there’s not a lot of trainer-drivers around, I’m one of the few and people still like that,” he continued. “People still come to me because of that, so it makes me feel great, no question.” The Real One blossomed under Lachance’s tutelage. He’s won 41 of 150 races with another 50 placings. Last year, he took a lifetime mark of 1:50.0 when setting an all-age track record in the Open Handicap at Yonkers November 19. With six wins, including a 1:50.3 score in the Yonkers Open September 23 and $179,350 in earnings this year, The Real One isn’t showing any signs of slowing down nearing the end of his 7-year-old season. The Real One’s class and closing style help keep him in top form, Lachance explained. “It’s very rare that you see horses stay at this level for four years in a row. It’s amazing,” he said. “He’s just so consistent and just a nice horse, a top horse, and he just does his job. He loves to race, he stays sound. We’re very fortunate to have him. “He’s a closer, he likes to chase, he has one big run. He’s not a front-runner, he’s not a horse that you want to send out of there. He likes to finish up at the end and pick off horses. That style of racing, it just gives him a chance to stay good,” Lachance explained. As a trainer-driver, Lachance gets the opportunity to know his horses habits on the racetrack better than most. The Real One is no exception and Lachance understands exactly what he can and can’t do in the driver’s seat. “He can get a little grabby, he can get a little anxious. That’s the only thing he does wrong,” he said. “When he follows cover sometimes you’ve got to be a little careful with him that way. Besides that, he’s pretty much ok. You just can’t fire him up too much.” Despite posting a neck victory in last week’s pacing feature, an open draw in Saturday’s (Nov. 19) $40,000 Open Pace afforded The Real One the rare luxury of starting along the pylons. The Real One has started from posts seven or eight in three of his last five starts and hasn’t drawn inside post four since winning a $35,000 overnight from post two August 19. Lachance plans to be more aggressive as a result. “I definitely want to protect the rail a little bit, no question,” Lachance said. “I’ll try and get away as close as I can without firing him up to where he’s out of control. If I fire him up, he’s going to want to go a thousand out of there and that’s not good for him. I’ll try to keep him as relaxed as I can and try to keep him as close as I can and we’ll take it from there. “If we end up in the two-hole, great. If not, I can come first-up with him and he likes that, he doesn’t mind that,” he continued. “Hopefully things work out for us, but there’s definitely a lot worse spots than the rail.” The Real One is the 3-1 morning line choice in Saturday’s Open Pace, but isn’t the only local standout moving inside. Bit Of A Legend drew post four and off a third place finish last week, is the 7-2 second choice on the line. Caviart Luca, last week’s runner up, will start from post seven while Dr. J Hanover, a wire to wire Open Handicap winner Oct. 28, drew post eight. Orillia Joe, Maxdaddy Blue Chip, Scott Rocks, and Blood Brother complete the field. “Bit Of A Legend is probably the horse to beat in there, there’s a few other ones. They’re in the open for a reason, they can all win with a trip, so hopefully it all works out,” Lachance said. “We’ve been assigned the seven and eight hole quite a bit, so we have the rail now, so we’ll take advantage of it.” First post time Saturday at Yonkers Raceway is 7:10 p.m. For entries for the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

ANDERSON – Change could be coming soon to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino if a potential sale is approved. Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment announced an agreement Thursday to purchase two Indiana casinos, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson and Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, as well as three off-track betting locations in Indianapolis, New Haven and Clarksville. Bloomberg News reported the sale to be worth more than $1 billion. “We believe Caesars’ acquisition of Centaur Gaming will further build on the successes and contributions of the properties for the benefit of our customers, team members, horsemen, community partners, and financial stakeholders,” said Centaur Gaming Chairman and CEO Rod Ratcliff in a press release. The sale is expected to close in the first half of 2018; however, the sale would be subject to approval by the Indiana Gaming Commission and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. Both regulatory groups said they had not received notice about the reported sale ahead of Thursday’s release. If approved, the purchase would make Caesars Entertainment owner of four of the state’s five largest casinos in terms of revenue. Centaur Gaming brought in $480 million in casino revenue last fiscal year from the Anderson and Shelbyville casinos. “I am thankful for the hard work and dedication of Centaur Gaming’s team members and I’m confident that they will continue to make many valuable contributions with a company as strong and geographically diversified as Caesars,” said Ratcliff. Caesars Entertainment already owns the state’s largest casino, Horseshoe Hammond, which brought in $450 million in gambling revenue last year and Horseshoe Southern Indiana, which ranks third with $248 million. State law prohibits one company from owning more than two casinos in the state; however, that does not apply to racetrack-based casinos, which were authorized under a different Indiana statute, Jennifer Reske, deputy director of Indiana Gaming Commission, said. Caesars Entertainment and Centaur Gaming would both have to provide documentation and information to IGC and IHRC so they could rule on the sale. Edward Feigenbaum, publisher of weekly industry newsletter Indiana Gaming Insights, said if Caesars were to buy the two properties, it would mean the company would be responsible for more than 50 percent of all Indiana gaming revenue. “There is certainly concern about overconcentration and potential leverage that one operator might have,” Feigenbaum said. That’s exactly the reason the Indiana Legislature included the two-license per company restriction, he added. “The two-license limit was the concern about one company having too much leverage and opportunity to have a little too much clout,” he said. “Essentially they could become too big to fail like we saw with banks in 2007 and 2008.” But despite some reticence, the deal could be huge for Indiana gambling. “In terms of big positive, Caesars is the world’s largest gaming company … they have got the ability to put out opportunity capital anywhere in the world,” he said. He wagers it would also be a great move for Caesars. “What Caesars could get out of this, all kinds of synergy that could cut their costs and increase profits,” he said. “They would have a string of casinos that stretches from essentially Chicago all the way to Louisville, with Indianapolis in between … they have an opportunity to invest in that whole I-65 and I-69 corridor.” The sale comes at an opportune time for Indiana’s racinos. In October, Hoosier Park hosted the nation’s most prestigious harness racing championship, the Breeders Crown, which brought national spotlight to Madison County. Also, legislation passed in 2015 would allow the owner of Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand to seek permission from the state to add table games, such as blackjack and poker, to their casinos starting in 2021. The potential deal would be the first major deal for Caesars since it restructured more than $18 million in debts in 2015. Last month, Caesars restructured its debt in a deal that created Vici Properties Inc., a separately traded real estate investment trust. Gaming revenue If Caesar Entertainment purchases Centaur Gaming's two racing casinos, it would own four of the state's five largest casinos in terms of revenue: • Horseshoe Hammond: $450 million • Indiana Grand: $271 million. • Horseshoe Southern Indiana: $248 million. • Hoosier Park: $209 million. By Christopher Stephens Reprinted with permission of The Herald Bulletin

DOVER, Del. --- Downbytheseaside became a $2 million winner, Bill's Man closed strongly for harness racing driver Tim Tetrick's first of four wins, Agent Q got up for Hall of Famer David Miller and Dream Together -led off the four Matron Stakes championships on Thursday, Nov. 16 at Dover Downs. Tim Tetrick added to his current leading driver total scoring four winners. The passing lane was handy for driver Chris Page to catch front-pacing Filibuster in the final steps for a 1:50.1 victory on a chilly and windy night. Brian Brown trains the Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover colt owned by Joe Sbrocco, Rich Lombardo, Country Club Acres and Diamond Creek Racing. It was his 12th win of the year with two seconds and three thirds. Bringing his earnings to $1,430,922 this season and $2,008.028 lifetime. Filabuster Hanover (Yannick Gingras) was a game second with longshot Eddard Hanover (Tetrick) third. M&L of Delaware, the nom de course for Ralph, Roz and Doug Paul, longtime harness patrons who usually own pacers, now have a Matron trotting champion with their partner Bill Wiswell. Tim Tetrick guided Bill's Man to a come-from-off the pace 1:52.2 career fastest win. What The Hill (David Miller) and Devious Man (Andy Miller) traded leads before Bill's Mann closed with authority for his fifth win of the season. John Butenschoen conditions the Credit Winner-Silver Springs trotter who now has banked $453,396 of his more than half-million dollar lifetime earnings. Devious Man was a close second with Top Flight Angel (Daniel Dube) third. David Miller and Agent Q got home first in the $182,700 Matron sop filly final. The daughter of Western Terror-Teenage Paige scored her 10th triumph of 2017 with two seconds and two thirds for Martin Scharf, Bob Muscara and Rochetti Cassar Racing. Aaron Lambert trains the now winner of $1,137,620. Another $1-million winner Idyllic Beach (Gingras) was runner-up with Tequilas Monday (Brett Miller) third. Determination of Montreal's Dream Together handled by Daniel Dube, caught Evelyn (Andy Miller) at the wire to notch a 1:53.2 win at the wine for trainer Luc Blais. The Muscle Hill - Danae three-year-old won for the fourth time this year, the 13th time in 15 starts that she finished 1,2,3. Race favorite Ice Attraction (Ake Svanstedt) finished third. Mach It So, the oldest horse at seven in the /$30,000 Preferred Handicap, was a 1:50.3 winner. Jeff Bamond trains the Mach Three-Beach Dancer gelding for Bamond Stables. Sweet Rock (Vic Kirby) was second. Always At My Place (Gingras) took third. Ironically, Christen Me N was scratch and it was on his real birthday. Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms' Cajon Lighting was at his best to win the $26,000 Open pace in 1L51.1 with Yannick Gingras in the bike. Arque Hanover (Corey Callahan) was a head back in second with Q's Cruise (Tetrick) third. Dover Downs now features a 50-cent Pick 5 wager starting with the 2nd race through the sixth. A late daily double is carded for the 12th and 13th races. Dover Downs races four days a week, Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. Fine food is available while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred races each day from 12 Noon until 12 LMAN, Marv Bachrad

A member of a prominent Tasmanian harness racing family who punched a horse in the head just before a race at Launceston has been stood down by TasRacing. The incident, involving harness racing driver Wade Rattray, was captured on a mobile phone camera while the attendant was handling the Angela Brakey-trained Century Arrow prior to the first race of Wednesday's Newmarket Handicap meeting, with the footage posted to Twitter. Mr Rattray was working as a barrier attendant at the race. He has been described in racing circles as a member of the Rattray "harness racing dynasty". In a statement on Thursday afternoon, TasRacing said Office of Racing Integrity (ORI) stewards had "concluded an inquiry into an incident that occurred at the barrier prior to Race 1 involving barrier attendant Mr Wade Rattray and Century Arrow" at the meeting, finding he had "struck that horse with a clenched fist in the vicinity of the head". "After taking initial evidence at the race meeting, Mr Rattray was stood down from his duties for the remainder of the meeting by the Stewards acting under the provisions of AR 8(r)," TasRacing said. Mr Rattray, who represented Tasmania at the 2016 Australasian Young Drivers' Championship in Perth, was found guilty of "conduct prejudicial to the image of racing". TasRacing said stewards took into account the nature of the offence, the detrimental effects to the image of racing, deterrent factor as well as "Mr Rattray's clean record" and his "personal circumstances". Mr Rattray was fined $1,500. A TasRacing spokesperson said Mr Rattray had been "stood down pending an internal review" which is expected next week and that Mr Rattray "won't be handling horses for TasRacing in the meantime". PHOTO: Wade Rattray's future as an employee with TasRacing is unclear. (Facebook: Wade Rattray) Racing officials 'don't condone cruelty' TasRacing said the ORI would "submit a report relation to this matter" and "work with TasRacing in developing appropriate standards and conduct for barrier staff". Earlier on Thursday, TasRacing CEO Vaughn Lynch said his organisation did not condone animal cruelty. "Animal welfare is a strong focus for TasRacing, and we do not condone what appears to have occurred in the incident in question in any way," he said. Mr Lynch said "training requirements are regularly reviewed and will be considered further following the conclusion of the stewards investigation". With Jason Maskiell aboard Century Arrow, the four-year-old gelding entered the race as favourite, but went on to finish second behind the Mick Burles-trained Clean Acheeva. Mr Rattray has been contacted for comment. Elio Celotto, from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, said the $1,500 penalty was "totally inadequate". "What happened in Tasmania is animal abuse, it's a breach of the prevention of cruelty to animals act and they need to be punished accordingly, perhaps a jail sentence." Mr Celotto said the incident was "just another example of the racing industry abusing their horses and forcing them to compete". Reprinted with permission of ABC News

Plainville, MA---After competing against Hannelore Hanover, Crazy Wow and Marion Marauder in the Breeders Crown last month, Mambo Lindy returned home to Plainridge Park for his first start in 19 days and won the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot in commanding style on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 16). The strategy was simple for driver Greg Merton; go to the front and win the race. After floating out fifth over the rain-soaked track until everyone seated, Mambo Lindy then brushed for the lead and had it by the quarter in :28.3. From there it was pretty much a training mile. Sitting chilly in the bike, Merton guided his horse to the half in :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.4 before letting loose on the lines and letting Mambo Lindy do it on his own. Mambo Lindy visibly accelerate around the last turn and put some space between himself and most of the field. With only Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) still in the conversation, Merton didn't raise a line or move a muscle because Mambo Lindy was on cruise control and rolled to a measured length victory in 1:54.3, with a last quarter in quick :27.4 over the sloppy track. It was the 10th win in 17 starts this year for the heavily favored Mambo Lindy ($2.10) who now has $114,375 on his card for owners Greathorse of Massachusetts. Frank Antonacci trains the 6-year-old gelded son of Donato Hanover. In the $12,000 conditioned undercard trot, it was bombs-away as 30-1 Neverdie (Chris Long) came barreling down the lane from sixth at the head of the stretch to overtake fellow 36-1 longshot Annie OK (Truman Gale) at the wire to win by a length in 1:56.3, blowing up the tote board. Owned by Mike Graham and Mike Cushing (who also trains him), the sixth win of 2017 for Neverdie was memorable for the betting public. He paid $65.20 to win and triggered a 4-9-3-all Superfecta that paid $17,321.20. Greg Merton scored three more wins on Thursday pushing his meet total to 225. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Nov.17) at 1 p.m. There are only four more days of live racing at The Ridge for the 2017 meet that concludes on Friday (Nov. 24). There is no racing on Thanksgiving Day.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Harness racing trainer Tony Alagna knows Breeders Crown champion Stay Hungry will race in next week's $411,700 Governor's Cup final and he hopes to send the colt some company for the event. Alagna-trained American History and Captain Deo are among the 2-year-old male pacers in Saturday's single Governor's Cup elimination at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The top nine horses from the $20,000 elimination will join Stay Hungry in the $411,700 final on Nov. 25 at the Big M. Stay Hungry received a bye based on earnings. The Governor's Cup is part of the "Fall Final Four," four stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. Saturday's card also includes single $20,000 eliminations for next week's $464,650 Valley Victory for male trotters, the $420,750 Goldsmith Maid for trotting fillies and the $381,200 Three Diamonds for pacing fillies. Post time is 7:15 p.m. (EST) for the night's first race. Fourth Dimension is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the elimination for the Valley Victory, where Samo Different Day received a bye. Basquiat is the 3-1 choice in the Goldsmith Maid elimination (bye to Hey Blondie) and Kissin In The Sand is the 2-1 pick in the Three Diamonds elimination (byes to Youaremycandygirl, Majorsspeciallady, and Rainbow Room). Elimination winners will draw for posts one through six for their respective finals. All other finalists will be in an open draw. American History, undefeated in three races since launching his career a month ago, is the 7-2 second choice in the Governor's Cup elimination, leaving from post nine with driver Yannick Gingras. Metro Pace winner Lost In Time, now in the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, is the 3-1 favorite from post 10. Captain Deo, who has a win in three starts and was second to American History in his most recent race, is 15-1 from post three with driver Joe Bongiorno. "Both colts just needed a little time," Alagna said about their late starts to the season. "We were high on them all along and they trained down with Stay Hungry and Key Advisor and our better colts. "So far (American History) has put it together on the racetrack. I sure wish he'd drawn better, but I'll leave it up to Yannick. "(Captain Deo) I thought came up a little short the other night, but he was used pretty good getting out of there so I think that's why he was a little flat on the end of it. He scoped clean, his blood work was good, and he trained back good. Hopefully with a trip he'll fire right back." Alagna anticipated a bye for Stay Hungry, so he had the horse in a qualifier last Saturday at the Meadowlands. The colt won in 1:53. "We got a good work into him last weekend," Alagna said. "I'll train him a pretty good trip on Saturday and he'll be fit going into the final." In addition to sending horses to the Governor's Cup, Alagna will have Missle Hill in the Valley Victory elimination. Missle Hill was third in his Breeders Crown elimination and seventh in the final, when he started from post eight. He is 15-1 in the Valley Victory elim, leaving from post three with driver Peter Wrenn. "He's shown in the last couple starts he can go with the better colts when he gets a decent shot," Alagna said. "He had bad luck in the Breeders Crown and just got away too far back. But he showed good trot on the end of it. If he races as good as he did in his elimination of the Breeders Crown he can get some money." The sport's top pacing mares also will be in action Saturday, competing in the final preliminary round of the TVG Series. Nike Franco N is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Alagna's Bedroomconfessions is 5-1. The 5-year-old mare has won 20 of 77 career races and earned $952,754. She was second to Pure Country in the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. "She's had a solid career," Alagna said. "Every year she shows up and does her work and puts a couple hundred thousand on her card. She's almost to a million dollars, and for a homebred, we're tickled to death with that. Hopefully she races as well as she did in (the Breeders Crown) because she was excellent. "After this year we'll most likely breed her to (Captaintreacherous). That's been our plan all along. We always hoped we could get her to a million dollars, but if we didn't it wasn't the end of the world. It would be a nice feather in her cap because she's earned it. She got a new lifetime mark (1:48.4) this year. She deserves it." For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here. Ken Weingartner

TORONTO, November 14 - A Toronto area couple enjoying a Friday night movie at home got a surprise ending that seemingly only Hollywood writers could manufacture. However, the harness racing shocker didn't come on the small screen they were expecting. A female HPIbet customer, who asked not to be identified, and her husband took down the entire Woodbine Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 last Friday for a $146,937.92 pay day. While many horseplayers were left scratching their heads when the payouts on Friday's tenth-race at Woodbine appeared, the Toronto couple was locked in a flick and had no idea of their luck. "We were watching a movie, we didn't see it," said the Toronto HPIbet customer, whose husband placed the wager on their account. "He just ran upstairs did it, noticed it was zero minutes, put it in, ran back downstairs and we finished watching our movie." It wasn't unusual for her husband to make a wager on the Jackpot Hi-5, as he was aware that the carryover was up over the $100,000 mark. The ticket that her husband wagered cost just a mere $1.20 and was the only ticket in the $27,048 pool to correctly select the top-five finishers in order. Long shots filled the top-five, while the public's top choices failed to make an appearance. The average horseplayer couldn't have predicted the results of the bizarre Jackpot Hi-5 race, but the winning couple wasn't playing by the program page, but rather by numbers that had a special meaning. "Part of the numbers were my husband's dad's room numbers from when he was in the hospital - six, five, two, nine - and then he just took 'all' after that and it came in." The winner's husband's father passed away three years ago. The special numbers ended up leading to the Toronto couple winning the $146,937.92 jackpot. The couple didn't get a chance to react in the moment, instead finding out as they went to bed. "He went back upstairs just before bed and he hit refresh and that number came up," recalls the Toronto woman. "I was still watching TV and he yelled at me to go upstairs and I thought something was wrong because he had a heart attack a couple of years ago...and then I went upstairs and I didn't believe it until I actually got the cheque in hand." The Toronto couple visited Woodbine the following afternoon to receive their winnings and proceeded to have lunch while enjoying some Thoroughbred racing. "It was the most relaxing lunch we've had." Ironically enough, the couple first signed up for their HPIbet account when having dinner at the track just a few years ago. "One time we went to Woodbine and we had dinner there at the buffet and sat at the front and watched the horses, so we just signed up." Winning $146,937.92 doesn't happen every day and the couple has a few ideas for what they plan to do with their winnings. "We are going to put some money aside for the kids for school and we could do a nice trip and pay our bills." With the weather now on the chilly side, it wasn't lost on the couple the timing of their luck. "It's making things a little more comfortable and helpful especially with Christmas right around the corner." Mark McKelvie

Jack's Legend gets the perfect chance to replicate the richest win of his career on an even bigger stage at Addington Raceway in Christchurch today. A driving masterclass from Zachary Butcher helped Jack's Legend cause a huge upset at the Harness Jewels in June when he blasted across to a shock early lead before trailing Ultimate Machete and waiting until late in the straight to surge past him via the passing lane. He meets Ultimate Machete again in the $260,000 NZ Free-For-All today but if Butcher wants to try those lead-then-trail tactics again he will probably end up following a different rival, Australian visitor Tiger Tara. The pair chased home Lazarus, who is absent today as he travels to the Perth Inter Dominions, in the New Zealand Cup on Tuesday and while Jack's Legend was impressive in second, Tiger Tara was the run of the race outside Lazarus. He was parked for much of the race before galloping and losing four lengths at the 800m mark when he jumped a mark left on the track by the Seal The Deal/Dream About Me meelee at the start of the race. Tiger Tara has developed high gate speed since being sold to Australia and driver Todd McCarthy says he will be using it today. "He gets off the gate well and loves to lead and run along so that will be the plan," he says. "And I think most of the other drivers would be keen to follow him because he will give whoever is in the trail their chance," says McCarthy. "I was thrilled with him in the Cup and he has come through it really well." For all the talent of Ultimate Machete and Dream About Me, if Tiger Tara leads with Jack's Legend trailing they have a huge advantage. The question of the $260,000 may be whether Jack's Legend has enough change up speed to slingshot Tiger Tara. Ultimate Machete can win but will have to do it the hard way while Dream About Me's nightmare week continues with her wide draw. The draws have been kind to Great Things Happen, though, in the $300,000 Dominion Trot as he secured the front line while key rival Bordeaux will have to start from the second line. There is little between the pair on raw ability but Bordeaux is at his most potent when able to lead and roll even sectionals, which now looks unlikely. Great Things Happen was awesome winning the Trot Free-For-All on Tuesday. Trainer-driver Gavin Smith says he has pulled up perfectly. "I got a blood [sample] done and it is even better than it was going into Tuesday," says Smith. "I have been thinking for a while it is a race in two between us and Bordeaux so to draw in front of him is a big advantage and I'll be keen to get to the front." Smith says punters concerned about Great Things Happen returning to standing start after the hustle and bustle of two recent mobile starts need not worry. "I can't remember the last time he galloped away. "In fact, I'd love the start to be a long one with some waiting around because he will just relax and then perk up when I ask him to go," says Smith. If Smith is right and Great Things Happen is able to lead, it is hard to see him getting beaten. Michael Guerin  

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Monticello, NY - Harness racing trainer Ray Schnittker has become a household name around Orange County, New York. When the Monticello - Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers hold their 59th annual awards banquet on Sunday, December 3, 2017, Ray Schnittker will again be the talk of the town. The New York horseman will receive the organization's highest honor: The Lifetime Achievement Award. Having been a fixture around Goshen Historic Track and wherever top Harness Horse's are raced, "Rockin' Ray" and his Grand Circuit stable have amassed over $37 million in purse earnings since calling the Cradle of the Trotter home. As a driver, he has won over $42 million and 2,761 dashes, often dominating the lucrative New York Sire Stakes. In 2008, when his undefeated 3-year-old trotter Deweycheatumnhowe swam, rode and drove his way into Hambletonian stardom, Ray was in the driver's seat. Although Schnittker may be best known for his association with the aforementioned $3 million dollar-winning triathlete, Ray has managed to develop a top horse nearly every season since since. 2017 is no exception. His star 3-year-old pacer Huntsville earned over a million dollars and won both the Meadowlands Pace and the Cane Pace at the Meadowlands while battling with some of the best colts in the country. A world champion at 2, the son of Somebeachsomewhere won 8 with 4 seconds in 14 starts this year. Schnittker has developed other World Champions and multiple stakes winners such as, Check Me Out, One More Laugh and Covert Action, just to name a few. This year, in addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Dave Hanson (Excelsior Award); Dr. Herbie Burns (John Gilmour Good Guy Award); Crevani Farms (Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award); Tim Masters (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Joseph Lee (Amateur Driver); Brandon Parker (Rising Star); and Carole Macedonio (Award of Appreciation).   Tickets for the gala event can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email:   To place a congratulatory ad in the souvenir journal, please contact Chris Tully at (845) 807-7538 or Email:   by the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA