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Offaly, Ireland - Management at Oakwood Stud have announced that they have reached an agreement with Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farms in Pennsylvania in the USA, to have semen shipped over from Sweet Lou, for breeding to pacers in Ireland and the UK. Sweet Lou is sired by Yankee Cruiser out of the mare Sweet Future. As a two-year-old, Sweet Lou set, and still holds, the world record on all sized tracks at 1:49. Sweet Lou currently holds the world record for older horses and the all-age mark on a five-eighths mile track in 1:47 with lifetime earnings of $3,478,894. In the summer of 2014 he won 10 consecutive races, with six consecutive wins in sub 1:48. He is the only pacer in harness racing history to achieve this feat. “It’s an honor for us at Oakwood Stud to be able to work on such a milestone project with Diamond Creek Farms,” said Derek Delaney of Oakwood Stud. “and make World Champion Sweet Lou available to breeders in Ireland & the UK via frozen semen for the 2018 Breeding season. Sweet Lou will be the fastest and richest stallion ever to stand in Ireland and the UK. “The timing of this could not have been better with the juvenile stakes racing at an all-time high with record purses in the Vincent Delaney Memorial, the Sire Stakes Ireland Program and the Breeders Crown UK/IRE in 2017,” Delaney added. “This has encouraged breeders to import record numbers of broodmares from USA in 2016, bred to top US studs and now they will have the opportunity to breed their mares to World Champion bloodlines in their own back yard. This in turn will make for a very exciting and competitive racing opportunity in the future for both Ireland and the United Kingdom. “We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Adam Bowden and all the team at Diamond Creek Farms,” Delaney said. “For their shared vision and forward thinking for the future of racing in both Ireland and the UK as we do at Oakwood Stud.”  There is no price yet set on how much breeding’s in Ireland and the UK will cost to Sweet Lou. For more information contact www.oakwoodstud.ie.   From Oakwood Stud

Diamond Creek Farm threw it’s 3rd annual open house on June 3rd, at their Wellsville, Pennsylvania location.  “The Open House is a way for us to welcome the community and all the fans to our farm,” say Diamond Creek’s Adam Bowden, “Many people never get a chance to see what happens behind the scenes at a breeding farm, or they are curious about what goes on here when they see all the fences and barns from the road.” The day was a huge success with well over 400 attendees largely from the community, and with some visitors as far as North Carolina.    Visitors were able to get up close and personal to stallions such as Southwind Frank, as well as watch two different breeding demonstrations, in which Always B Miki and Sweet Lou were artificially collected.  They were then welcomed into the lab, as the farm’s resident vet, Dr. Courtney Pink, processed the semen and answered questions from the group. Down in the mare barn, visitors were welcome to walk around on their own or take a hayride tour around the farm.  They had a chance to submit names for a new foal, as well as pet a few, and feed some carrots to some very willing mares.  The “guess the weight” game proved to be popular, with guesses to win a t-shirt ranging from 100 pounds to 700.  In the end, the colt weighed 500 pounds on the dot. Guests also got to meet Sweet Karen, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation’s spoke horse, and learn more about the program from director Ellen Taylor and her group of volunteers, as well as spin their wheel to answer some harness related questions for some of the new 2017 HHYF Harness Hero cards. Pacing For The Cure, represented by the founders, Jeff and Janine Gesek, were present as well, speaking about their work for MS research and raffling off some really great baskets, as well as a trip to the 2017 Hambletonian. With great weather, the farm served close to 600 hamburgers and hotdogs, and Bootleg Creamery gave out over 400 bowls of ice cream. “We look forward to doing this event every year,” says Rachel Keeney, Diamond Creek’s Administrator Director, “We are already planning on how to make it bigger and better in 2018.” Caroline Vazquez    

YONKERS, N.Y. - Early in the spring season, Adam Bowden paid a visit to harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter’s farm to see his star mare Pure Country. After being away from her for several months, Bowden was impressed by how much his homebred matured over the winter break. “She came out of the barn and I could have sworn she was a colt,” he remembered. “She’s always been a bigger filly, but she’s added mass to her. Just broader, she looks stronger. I remember watching her train that day, I was like, ‘ooh, she looks scary good.’ ” Pure Country is the great mare that Adam and his father, Chris, had in mind when they created Diamond Creek Farm. After winning the Breeders Crown at 2, Pure Country earned $1,082,430 last year in 21 starts with victories in a host of Grand Circuit events, including the Fan Hanover, the Lynch Memorial, the Simcoe Stakes, the Glen Garnsey Memorial, and the Matron Stakes. Pure Country’s accomplishments earned her the Dan Patch Award for 3-Year-Old Pacing Fillies. “After her first season, it was one of those things where you kind of hoped she would have a season like last year, but you never expected it,” Bowden said. “It was more of a blessing than anything else and we were really proud of her.” Sired by Somebeachsomewhere, Pure Country is out of Western Montana, one of the first horses Bowden purchased. Along with his father, Bowden was confident the Western Hanover mare would produce a champion, but he grew weary and impatient after her first three foals failed to stand out. “The mare was pregnant with Pure Country at the time and I remember calling my father and saying, ‘I don’t know if I want to wait. I think we need to get rid of the mare. She hasn’t really given us what we thought she’d give us,’ ” he recalled. “I remember him telling me, ‘just be patient, be patient. She’ll come through for us,’ and she did and did it in a big way, so it was worth it.” Pure Country will make her 4-year-old debut as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the sixth race $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers Raceway Friday, May 19. In preparation for her first start of the year, Pure Country qualified twice at the Meadowlands, winning the latest in 1:50.1 April 29. She then scratched sick from the $100,000 Noble Memorial at Miami Valley May 8 before being entered back at Yonkers. “I was anxious to see her race at Miami Valley and she came up with a little  bit of a fever, so we had to wait, scratch her. She got better pretty quick,” Bowden said. In her first local start, Pure Country and driver Brett Miller will start from post five, surrounded by Yonkers veterans Mach It A Par and Regil Elektra, who are each 5-1 from posts four and six, respectively. Mackenzie A will make her first start since winning the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series Final from post eight at odds of 7/2. “Yonkers is tough and she drew in the middle of the field, but those are tough mares to have to race against. They’ve all been racing and they’re sharp and this is her first start of the year,” Bowden said. “I think we’re expecting a good performance, but you can’t guarantee victory in any race, especially over there against those mares.” Although this is her first start at the Hilltop Oval, Pure Country has half-mile track experience. She finished third in the first heat of the Jugette individually timed in 1:51.2 before placing fourth in the final. She also endured a tough trip to finish second to Betting Line in the Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park last summer. “I think she’s versatile enough,” Bowden said. “I think her preference is a bigger track, but she’s got to get a start in somewhere. She got invited to the Betsy Ross at Chester on the 28th, so she needs a race before that and we’re running out of options if we wait any longer.” Lispatty, Medusa, Delightful Dragon, and last week’s winner, Freeze Out, complete the field of eight pacers in Friday’s feature. First post time is 7:10 p.m. Click here for entries for the card. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

The partners and trainer of Downbytheseaside have announced today that the champion harness racing pacing colt by Somebeachsomewhere will bypass the sire stakes this season and instead plans on next racing in the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers Raceway.   "We believe that the Art Rooney is the best preparation for our eventual goal of the Pepsi North American Cup " says partner Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farm. "We plan to give him the best possible opportunity going into the first big goal of the season, and we feel this is the right path to do so."   Downbytheseaside set the world record for two-year-old pacing colts on a half-mile track in 1:50 at the the Delaware County Fair last year, and then followed it up by equaling the record for a two-year-old pacer on a mile track, winning his International Sire Stake division in 1:49 at the Red Mile.    "He came out of his first start looking good," says trainer Brian Brown. "Eased into it as planned, and now he's primed and ready for what comes next." 

For the 3rd consecutive year, the former US Pacer of the Year has booked full before the start of the harness racing breeding season.  His book includes impressive race mares such as Loyal Opposition and Naughtytilltheend, millionairess Carolina Sunshine and West Side Glory, dam of See You at Peelers. Sweet Lou recently returned from Down Under where he also served an impressive book, including 3 and 4 year old champion Adore Me, winner of A$1,677,032 and 1:47.7 mile-track record holder. Adore Me was bred to Sweet Lou last year as well and had an impressive filly this year. “A stallion’s third year at stud is often a tricky year,” says Diamond Creek owner Adam Bowden.  “Often breeders are waiting to see the results of the yearling sales or how the 2 year olds do on the track.  It goes to show the confidence the breeders have in him as a sire.” Sweet Lou’s first weanling at sale, a colt out of Whetstone Hanover, sold in Harrisburg for $80,000. Sweet Lou stands at Diamond Creek Farm for a fee of $7,500. Sweet Lou’s debut crop of "baby blazes" will be on display at the yearling sales this fall.

Westfield, IN - Adam Bowden, the innovative leader of Diamond Creek Farm, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation (HHYF). The Maine native cut his harness racing teeth at Scarborough and Lewiston Downs in Maine, but he is now active on a far larger stage. Bowden's involvement and support of HHYF are just part of that larger picture, as he explains, " Not too long ago I was a kid growing up going to the track with my father and now that I am a dad with two young girls, I can only hope they inherit the same love and passion I have for the sport. Due to the opportunities that the Harness Horse Youth Foundation has developed, more and more young people have access to the sport we all know and love. I am told over and over that my generation is the future of the sport but I think we are the sport's present and the kids today represent the future. It is our job to expose them to it. No other organization does a better job. I am truly honored to be part of the future." HHYF Board President Marlys Pinske remarked, "I am very pleased that the board of Harness Horse Youth Foundation has chosen to appoint Adam Bowden as a member. In his capacity at Diamond Creek Farm, he has been an ardent benefactor of Harness Horse Youth Foundation." The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org.   For more information on this press release, contact HHYF Project Manager Keith Gisser at 216-374-1392 or keith@hhyf.org   From the Harness Horse Youth Foundation

Dublin, Ireland - Two of the harness racing world's top drivers, Aaron Merriman of the USA and Dexter Dunn from New Zealand, both found their own pots of gold on day one of the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend at Portmarnock Raceway Saturday. Merriman, the world's top dash winning driver in 2015 and the current world leader this season, had to wait until the last race on the program to get his first victory outside of North America. It came in the 11th race Free-For-All Pace sponsored by PJI Engineering and Lee Edwards, a bulky nine-horse field where only four horses can have their nose on the starting gate. Merriman was in post nine, thus starting from the third tier for the one-mile race. "I really wanted to get a win today," Merriman said, "and it may have taken until the last race but man is this awesome. My horse was a little aggressive and once we had clearance I just let him do it." Driving the six-year-old Somebeachsomewhere stallion, Sepia Sands, for owner/trainer Geoff Dunne, Merriman was able to swing wide of the field after the opening quarter mile and then came first-over, clearing to the lead at the half mile. From there they were home free, coasting to the wire four lengths up on the field. Their time of 1:58.1 was not only the fastest mile of the day on Portmarnock's half mile oval, but a lifetime mark for Sepia Sands. "I'm loving it here," Merriman added. "I have never been on this type of track before and might of have been a bit nervous at the start of the day, but after a couple of races I was into the swing of things. The people here are so friendly and outgoing, coming up to me just to say hello and welcome me to Ireland. It's all awesome!" There were four elimination divisions Saturday for the 5th annual Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial for two-year-old pacers. Two divisions for fillies and two for colts. The first two finishers from each division plus the fastest six other horses from either division, return and race on Sunday in their respective finals for colts and fillies. It was in the two filly divisions where Dexter Dunn rose to the occasion, winning one division and finishing third in the other, thus now having to choose between the two fillies on which one to drive Sunday in the final. The first division (sixth race) saw the unbeaten Rhyds Mystique and driver Vicky Gill post their fifth straight victory with a five length wire-to-wire romp in 2:02.1, the fastest of all four elimination divisions. In doing so, Rhyds Mystique also posted a lifetime mark for trainer John Gill (Vicky's dad) and owner Victoria Elvin of the UK. Second in the mile was Greenhillbebatable (Mick Lord) with Newtown Amber (Dexter Dunn) third and also making the final, She's Royal (Billy Roche). Then in the second division (seventh race), Dexter Dunn came first-over with IB Coyote (by Dark Bay), cleared to the lead at the half mile and then went on to win by one length in 2:04.9. It was Dunn's second winner on the day. IB Coyote is trained by Tadhy Murphy and is owned by Bill Donoan and the IB Stables. Second was Jennifer Camden (Aaron Merriman), third went to Crosshill Ace (William Greenhorn) and also making it to the final was Theladieslovejim (Andrew Cairns) in fourth. The first colt division was the third race where Share A Smile (Hugh Menzies) went right to the early lead from post two with Frankie Camden (Rock Laidler) right on their back through easy opening fractions as the favorite, Tyrion Hanover (Richard Haythornthwaite) made an early bobble around the opening quarter mile. But then surging to come back into contention, Tyrion Hanover and Haythornthwaite came sweeping three-wide before the final turn and flying on the far outside near the fan's fence, collared the race leaders and blew by them to win by three lengths in 2:03.2. It was the second win this year and a lifetime mark for Tyrion Hanover, a gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, who is trained by Samboy Howard and owned by John James Howard, Sr. Frankie Camden was second with Share A Smile third and also making it to the final Sunday was Dragon's Den (John Richardson) and Rodney Camden. In the fourth race second colt division, Benny Camden and driver Alan Richardson were seemly trapped in the two-hole early in the mile behind pacesetter Talavary Motivator (John Richardson) and All Good Hanover (Andrew Cairns) who was first-over early, but then went off-stride. Picking up the chase first-over at the half mile and locking Benny Camden in once again was Harrison Camden (M. Loughran), but after the three-quarters in 1:34, Richardson was able to find clearance with Benny Camden, swing to the outside and gun down Rhyds Rival (Billy Roche) to win by one length in 2:04.2. Harrison Camden held game for third place to make it to the final. A son of Pro Bono Best, Benny Camden is trained by Richardson and owned by the Kavanagh and Forari Stables. Sunday's action-packed program not only features the finals of the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial for colts, but also the inaugural VDM filly final that is being sponsored by Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Farm from the USA, the Oakwood Stud Derby for three-year-olds at 1.5 miles, the Paul Murtagh, Sr. Memorial for four-year-olds, the RocknRoll Heaven/Pet Rock Irish-American FFA Pace that is sponsored by Joe Bellino and the Elvin-Delaney French LeTrot FFA. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend    

DUBLIN, Ireland - The biggest and richest race weekend in all of Ireland and Great Britain, the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial, is set to go Saturday and Sunday (August 13 & 14) at Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin. With a record number of 180 horses set to compete over the two days, the limelight will be on the Vincent Delaney Memorial (VDM), which is for two-year-old pacers. For the first time colts and fillies each have their own divisions to compete in. Both divisions drew 14 entries so two elimination divisions will take place Saturday with the top four official finishers returning Sunday afternoon for their respective finals. "It is the biggest and toughest challenge for any two-year-old in the sport." Said Derek Delaney, head of the VDM committee. "No other race weekend requires 2yos to race back to back days. But every year since 2012 our entry numbers increase by more than 10 percent. The VDM has become the race that everyone wants to win in Ireland and the UK." The race was developed by Derek and his brother, James Delaney, who own and operate Oakwood Stud, one of the top up and coming breeding facilities in Ireland, to honor the memory of their younger brother, Vincent, who tragically died of a massive heart attack at age 27 in 2011. The first colt division is the third race Saturday and is headed by recent Breeders Crown UK & Ireland winner Share A Smile (Pro Bono Best), Rhyds Rock Star (Hasty Hall) and Tyrion Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere). The second division is the fourth race featuring the super tough Rhyds Rival (Hasty Hall) taking on Benny Camden (Pro Bono Best) and Talavary Motivator (Crown Manhattan). The fillies get underway in the sixth race with Breeders Crown UK & Ireland winner Rhyds Mystique (Hasty Hall) the big favorite going against Greenhilldebatable (Well Said) and Coalford Honey (Coalford Laag). The Share The Delight filly, IB Coyote heads the seventh race second filly division against Cross Hill Ace (Cam's Card Shark) and Theladieslovejim (Big Jim). "We have many of the leading owners, breeders, drivers and trainers from around the world coming to Ireland this weekend." Derek Delaney said. "Our feature drivers are Aaron Merriman from the USA, who led the world with the most wins in 2015 and currently leads all drivers in 2016. Also here for the second straight year is New Zealand's Dexter Dunn, who wowed the crowd at the VDM last year and has been racing in Wales at Tir Prince Raceway the last ten days. "We also have Adam Bowden from Diamond Creek Farm in the USA," Delaney explained, "and they are sponsoring the inaugural VDM Filly Final. Top owner Joe Bellino of Rocknroll Heaven and Pet Rock fame is here from the USA with his entire family, Alan Galloway, the owner of Alabar Stud, the biggest breeders in all of Australia and New Zealand is here. World renowned trainers John McDermott from New Zealand and Joann Looney-King from the USA are all here for the VDM weekend." Additional major stakes events over the weekend include the Oakwood Stud Derby for three-year-olds at 1.5 miles, the Paul Murtagh, Sr. Memorial for four-year-olds, the RocknRoll Heaven/Pet Rock Irish-American FFA Pace that is sponsored by Joe Bellino, the Lee Edwards/PJI Engineering Junior FFA Pace and the Elvin-Delaney French FFA Trot. In the Oakwood Stud Derby, all eyes will be on last year's VDM winner, Miraculous and driver Patrick Kane, Jr. This year Miraculous has become the top three-year-old pacer of the year with five straight wins and last week set the track record at Tir Prince and prior to that took his lifetime mark of 1:55.9 at Portmarnock Raceway. "We have full fields in nearly every race," Delaney added, "which should make for some great action and odds for the fans and the bookies on site. Both race cards are very competitive and I know the fans coming out and our special guests from around the world are going to have a super time. "And for the third straight year our special guest announcer is USA Hall of Famer Roger Huston joining Darren Owen in the booth." Delaney added. "It is just amazing how this weekend has grown into such a special event. Both James and I know that our brother Vincent would be so proud of what we have done in his memory." By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial

When his homebred harness racing champion Pure Country crossed the finish line to notch her 11th lifetime triumph on May 7 in the $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Adam Bowden was obviously grinning from ear to ear. Obviously his facial expression was the result of pure joy due to the victory, but Bowden acknowledged it was also directly associated with a tremendous weight being lifted off his shoulders. “When she won that race I breathed a huge sigh of relief,” he said. “Jimmy (Takter, her trainer) had told me after she suffered her first loss in the eliminations the week before that she might have been a little short for that start. There is always some concern when you have an undefeated horse and they lose their first race coming back. You wonder if maybe they did not improve from last year or other horses may have improved, but she erased all those doubts that night. “I thought it was a terrific race for her. It was a very tough first-over trip on a night when the weather was less than ideal. Not only did she establish a new lifetime mark (1:50.3), but she beat some very nice fillies in Darlinonthebeach, I Said Diamonds, Newborn Sassy and Call Me Queen Be. She illustrated her quality and demonstrated she is prepared to pick up right where she left off last year.” Pure Country will be facing one of the toughest tests of her career this Saturday (Aug. 6) at Meadowlands Racetrack when she tackles the boys, including Meadowlands Pace winner Control The Moment, in the $320,000 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown. The race attracted 11 entries, so it will be contested at the extended distance of 1-1/8 miles. Pure Country was last year’s Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female pacer and has won 16 of 19 career races. She will start from post position 11 in the second tier and is 4-1 on the morning line. Only one filly has ever captured the Cane Pace and that happened way back in 1960 when Countess Adios won the race at Yonkers Raceway. By Somebeachsomewhere and out of the Western Hanover mare Western Montana, Pure Country was bred and is owned by Bowden and his father Chris’ Diamond Creek Farm. Western Montana was one of the very first horses the duo purchased when they began their operation. Father and son paid $50,000 for her as a yearling in 2005 because they were enamored with her pedigree. Western Montana is a half-sister to LCB (Jate Lobell, $906,348) and a full sibling to Allamerican Ingot ($1,141,193) and Allamerican Inca ($889,090). Western Montana competed for the Bowdens for two years. During her racing career she earned $175,010 and won on five occasions from 16 trips to the gate. She even finished fourth in the Breeders Crown final as a 2-year-old, but her ability was limited by her attitude. “She was crazy,” Bowden said. “She was very high strung and had a goat in her stall as her constant companion to settle her down. We ended up retiring her when I received a call from Kelly (trainer O'Donnell) saying she was getting to the point where she was dangerous. She would just run off and bolt away even when she was jogging. That is when we decided it was time to breed her, which was always the plan for her anyway.” Western Montana’s first foal, Live Wire, was by Rocknroll Hanover and amassed just under $64,000 in her days on the track. Her second foal, Homestake, was sired by Ponder and the gelding only managed to accumulate $13,041. The mare’s third offspring was Hunger Games, who is a full sister to Pure Country. The Bowdens kept this filly and raced her for almost two years before selling her in 2014. She banked nearly $70,000. “All of Western Montana’s foals have had ability but they all had her temperament,” Bowden explained. “That is what limited them as racehorses. Hunger Games also had talent but she took after her mother. Linda Toscano, who trained her, always told us how much she believed in her and that she could be a very nice horse. The Crawfords have her now and they have done fairly well with her. “My dad and I debated back and forth on selling Hunger Games, so I told him we should sell her and keep Pure Country. In this business you never know what can happen and you are often taking a chance. I’m just glad in this situation I made the right choice.” From the very beginning Pure Country seemed to stand apart from her older siblings. “She was a little bit bigger, a little more correct and was never sick or had any physical issues,” Bowden said. “The thing that was different about her was she always had a great mind. Thankfully she did not inherit her mother’s personality. She is a very intelligent horse and with that as well as her speed, it makes her an excellent racehorse.” Pure Country debuted on June 30, 2015 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a $30,000 Pennsylvania All Stars event with Brett Miller in the bike. She broke her maiden at first asking and served notice she would be a force to be reckoned with thanks to a blistering :26.3 final quarter panel. Her next four engagements, all victories, were in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and the filly captured the $350,000 final on Sept. 11 at The Meadows to run her record to a perfect six-for-six. After dominating her competition in the Keystone State, Pure Country took her show on the road where she took an $81,000 division of the Bluegrass Stake and a $74,700 division of the International Stallion Stake at The Red Mile in Lexington. The filly completed her freshman season with wins in her $20,000 Breeders Crown elimination and in the $600,000 final at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 24. Pure Country was 10-for-10, earned just shy of $700,000 and was nearly the unanimous selection as the Dan Patch 2-year-old pacing filly champion. “Jimmy said she could be a great racehorse or it could all blow up in our faces shortly after she began training,” Bowden said. “She has been just perfect all along and has done everything we have ever expected of her. I also think she is in the right hands because Jimmy has been around so many top pacing mares. He knows how to get along with them and he keeps her happy. “She is very special to us,” he continued. “We have won Breeders Crown races before but this was our first one with a homebred. Words cannot really explain how rewarding and satisfying that feels. It was something we always looked toward accomplishing and she did that for us.” Bowden admitted Pure Country’s third place finish on April 30 in her $20,000 Miss Pennsylvania elimination was a bit disconcerting, but the powerful fashion in which she rebounded in the following week leads him to believe the filly is primed to defend her crown this season. “I’m not taking anything away from the other fillies in this division,” he said. “Honestly, I think it’s one of the deepest divisions we have seen in years and it’s unfortunate these fillies do not receive the same kind of attention as the 3-year-old pacing colts and the older horses. It’s just the way it is, but we feel she is prepared for another outstanding year and we are really looking forward to watching her perform.” The filly enters the Cane Pace on a five race winning streak, including triumphs in the Fan Hanover and James Lynch Memorial in a new lifetime best of 1:49.2. When her time on the track draws to a close, Pure Country will take up residence with her dam and become a broodmare for the Bowdens. “We are definitely keeping her and raising all her foals,” he said. “We always thought Western Montana would produce at least one championship caliber baby. Pure Country is it and she proves all our faith in the mare was justified. She has a home for life and we think she will carry on the family tradition without her mother’s quirks.” $320,000 Cane Pace Race 7 – Post time 2:32 p.m. PP-Horse-Sire--Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Check Six – Somebeachsomewhere - Yannick Gingras–Ron Burke-3/1 2. Manny – American Ideal - Andy Miller–Jessica Okusko-30/1 3. JK Will Power – Somebeachsomewhere - David Miller–Ron Burke-10/1 4. Control The Moment – Well Said - Brian Sears–Brad Maxwell-2/1 5. Adrian Hanover – Somebeachsomewhere - Eric Goodell–Chris Oakes-15/1 6. Manhattan Beach – Somebeachsomewhere - Matt Kakaley–Ron Burke-8/1 7. Highlandbeachycove – Somebeachsomewhere - Tim Tetrick–Tony Alagna-25/1 8. Ideal Rocky – Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan–John Butenschoen-15/1 9. American Passport – American Ideal - Scott Zeron–Tony Alagna-12/1 10. Big Top Hanover – Western Ideal - Joe Bongiorno–Ron Burke-20/1 11. Pure Country – Somebeachsomewhere - Brett Miller–Jimmy Takter-4/1 by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

After Hambletonian Week is over, a large number of owners, breeders, trainers, drivers, caretakers, journalists and race fans from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe will all be boarding planes and heading to of all places, IRELAND! They will all be coming to Dublin as part of a new age Mecca of harness racing called the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, August 13 and 14.   But two very prominent owners and breeders in the industry, Joe Bellino, of Rocknroll Heaven, Pet Rock and Bellino Racing stardom and Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farm, Pure Country, Creatine and Divine Caroline fame are coming to Dublin for more than just a great vacation.   They are also sponsoring races that weekend at Portmarnock Raceway and are big time excited to feel the passion for harness racing that the Irish and UK horsemen and women have for the sport.   The reason that both of these men are not just coming over on holiday, but sponsoring races, came about because of their Facebook friendship with Derek Delaney, the chairman of the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend (VDM). Derek, along with his brother James, run Oakwood Stud, a prominent breeding and training facility in Ireland and where they stand the former top racehorse, Foreclosure N.   Back in 2011, Derek and James lost their younger brother, Vincent, age 27, after a massive heart attack. Young Vincent was helping run the farm, working with the yearlings and showing great promise in the sport. To honor their late brother, they developed a race in his memory that has grown to become the richest and biggest stakes weekend in all of Ireland and the UK.   To Joe Bellino, his Facebook friendship with Derek Delaney has grown to the point where barely a day goes by that they are not in contact with each other via FB messenger. "I have become great friends with Derek through Facebook." Joe Bellino explained. "We have a lot in common, we both lost our brothers, and I think that has some special meaning to me.   "I am always looking to help (sponsor) groups that help promote harness racing," Joe explained when asked what prompted him to sponsor the Rocknroll Heaven/Pet Rock Irish-American FFA Pace at Portmarnock Raceway that weekend.   "Derek has a lot of the same love that I do for harness racing," Joe said, "We speak almost every day about racing. I have never met the guy face-to-face, but we are like best friends. It will be so great to finally meet him." "I have never been to Ireland," Joe said. "My mother is from the Dublin area. Maybe I will meet someone who knew her family.   "We are so excited about this trip." Joe explained, "That my wife and I are bringing her mom and most of our team over with us. Maybe eight to ten of us are coming to Ireland.   What does Joe Bellino look forward to most on this trip? "Meeting Derek and his family and then the two race days," Joe said. "I'm ecstatic about all of this. I don't go much to the races here in America. Even for the big races as we feel it is taboo, but I can't wait to come to Portmarnock Raceway for Derek's big weekend."   "I've never been to Ireland and am really excited about going." Adam Bowden said. "My wife Lindsay and I are looking forward to this trip and we are even leaving the kids are home.   "It was Heather Vitale who first came to me to consider sponsoring a race in Ireland at the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend." Adam said. "I wanted to make sure if I was sponsoring a race that I would be to come over and attend. I could not do it last year but made it a priority for this year and it's all come together nicely." Adam and Diamond Creek Farm are the name sponsors of the inaugural filly final of the VDM.   "The story that Heather told us about the VDM weekend was really intriguing," Adam explained, "Then I started reading about it online and then got a hold of Derek. He and others from Ireland and the UK have purchased horses from us over the years and this is a great way to give back and what Derek and his brother James are doing is inspiring in memory of his brother.   "Derek has developed this race and made it really big." Adam said. "They are promoting our sport and Derek has pretty much accomplished all the goals he has put to his committee. Their ability to get this race weekend so popular it is attracting people from all over the world is pretty neat and I wanted to be part of it."   Is there any Irish blood in the Bowden family? "Probably." Adam laughed. "I would have to say yes figuring if you go back far enough we would find some Irish blood.   "Everyone I have ever talked to about this race weekend has said what a wonderful place it is." Adam said, "We're really excited to experience whatever comes our way. Hopefully I will love it so much I will want to come back again next year. It's really shaping up that way." Joining Joe and Adam on this special adventure to Ireland will be Hall of Fame announcer Roger Huston and social media extraordinaire Heather Vitale, each of whom, along with this reporter, are making our third straight trip for the VDM.   Newcomers this year include North America's leading driver in 2015, Aaron Merriman, USA's Heather Wilder from the Meadows, Hanover's Murray Brown, Heather Vitale's mom (Joanne Looney-King) and sister Susan and Canada's darling owner, breeder and journalist, Sydney Weaver and her family.   Returning for his second year at the VDM is Dexter Dunn, the reigning world trotting council driving champion along with an entire tour group from down under. Other prominent breeders, owners and horsemen from down under include Alan Galloway, John McDermot, Bill Hutchison, Clive Dalton, Peter Ferguson, Peter Larkin and Steve Phillips.   "It is just so grand that Joe and Adam and everyone is coming to Ireland for the VDM," Derek Delaney said. "My brother James and I and the VDM committee are so thankful to Joe and Adam for their sponsorships and for their friendship. And for sure we will be showing everyone a great time, great racing and hopefully everyone will go home and tell their friends how they must come over to Ireland next year. That's the impression we love to leave with our guests." Just by this VIP guest list alone, Portmarnock Raceway, on the outskirts of Dublin, Ireland, is THE place to be the second week of August.   For more information, visit www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com.   By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend          

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 18... Pure Country, driven by Brett Miller, showed she has off-the-pace power when she captured the $438,000 Fan Hanover final for harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack, part of the Pepsi North America Cup undercard. The Jimmy Takter pupil followed mid-pack as elimination winner Good Will Hanover laid down fractions of :26.1, :54.3 for the half and 1:22.2 for three-quarters. Into the final turn, a first-up Lindwood Beachgirl put pressure on the tempo-setter as Newborn Sassy followed second-over. Pure Country, the 2-1 favourite, found live third-over flow after being shuffled back to seventh. Pure Country angled off cover at the head of the lane, and once the pacing miss was fed open racetrack, she marched past her foes to capture the rich final in a new lifetime mark of 1:49.3. Darlinonthebeach finished second, one length behind the victress. L A Delight got up for third. "There is nothing better than owning and breeding, and then ending up winning one of these races like this," said Diamond Creek Racing's Adam Bowden. "He [Brett Miller] was third-over coming off the final turn. She looked like she was full of pace and I was confident." Pure Country notched her second victory of the season and 12th lifetime. With the win, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere and Western Montana earns millionaire status, lifting her career earnings to $1,178,953 for owner/breeder Diamond Creek Racing. Pure Country paid $6.10 to win. Mark McKelvie

Addington are excited to announce renowned stallion proprietors, Diamond Creek Farm, USA are the proud new sponsor of the Group One $200,000 New Zealand Derby. Adam Bowden, CEO of Diamond Creek Farm is delighted to be partnering with Addington. “We are a firm supporter of the breeding industry in the Southern Hemisphere and sponsoring the prestigious New Zealand Derby is an excellent fit for us as our stallion ‘A Rocknroll Dance’ is the first pacer in the harness racing history to be the winner of 3 consecutive sub 1:48 races, with two of these being Canadian Derby’s.”  Adam continued to state “after A Rocknroll Dance served a full book in 2014 in the Northern Hemisphere, he was then able to stand in the Southern Hemisphere at Nevele R/Alabar Studs. There he was bred to over 300 mares between New Zealand and Australia, making him an in demand stallion. Upon returning to the states for the 2015 year, ‘Dance’ has once again been fully booked. With such an outstanding first crop in both hemispheres, ‘A Rocknroll Dance’s’ continued success and popularity looks bright.”  This year Sweet Lou followed his stable mate and travelled down under, joining the roster at Woodlands Stud. “By partnering with studs in the Southern Hemisphere, the potential reach of these great champions will be limitless.” stated Adam. ‘A Rocknroll Dance’ New Zealand Derby will be held at Addington on Friday, 8 April.  For more details on nominations and conditions of ‘A Rocknroll Dance’ New Zealand Derby please visit addington.co.nz/racing/promotions-incentives/. Alternatively, please call Brian, Richard or Colin of Addington’s Racing Department on (03) 338 9094.  Keryn McElroy

Diamond Creek Farm announced today that the book for harness racing World Champion and "Pacer of the Year" Sweet Lou is now full and closed for the upcoming breeding season.   "He closed just as quickly this year as he did last year, during his first season at stud," said Diamond Creek owner Adam Bowden. "I think it speaks very well of the confidence breeders have in him, not only in regard to his siring potential, but in the enthusiasm that's expected from buyers when his foals sell as yearlings," he added.   Sweet Lou p,1:47f ($3,478,894), by Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future, is the only horse in history to pace six consecutive winning miles faster than 1:48. He was a World Champion and Dan Patch Champion as a 2-year-old and was voted "Pacer of the Year" as a 5-year-old in 2014. He has stood for a fee of $7,500.   He booked full in 2015--his first season at stud in the U.S.--and repeated the feat Down Under. Those mares from Australia and New Zealand included the 3 and 4-year-old champion Adore Me, a winner of A$1,677,032 and 1:47.7 mile track record holder.   With this year's book including big names like I Luv The Nitelife, Somwherovrarainbow, Ginger And Fred, and the dam of the undefeated 2015 Dan Patch Champion 2-year-old filly Pure Country, Sweet Lou's popularity continues to shine.   "We'll start seeing his first foals any time now," Bowden said. "We look forward to welcoming the 'baby blazes' and expect them to be just as athletic and charismatic as their sire."   Breeders and fans may follow the siring career of the original "Great White Blaze" on Twitter @greatwhiteblaze.   Diamond Creek Farm   For further information contact Adam Bowden: (859) 707-5987, email bowdenmaine@gmail.com    

There is no denying that the international flair of the harness racing Breeders Crown Trot has led to considerable intrigue over the past few editions and this year's contest on Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack figures to be no exception.   The small twist is that this year's European "invader" is actually Creatine, a thoroughly blue-blooded American trotter.   After three seasons of racing stateside in the sport's most prestigious events for trainer Bob Stewart and owner/breeder Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Racing, the 2013 Kentucky Futurity winner was sent overseas for a European trotting campaign in 2015, returning to U.S. soil only a few weeks ago.   After disappointing results in his first four events in Sweden, racing out of the Robert Bergh stable, the horse was moved to trainer Jimmy Takter's European division and placed in the capable hands of his brother Johnny Takter. The change was positive for Creatine, who delivered two Group One victories, in Finland and Sweden, after that point in time.   "He did win two races over there at a mile and raced well at longer distances as well, but there's no question that a mile is his distance and we're very anxious to see him race a mile in Canada (for the Breeders Crown)," said Stewart, who now shares ownership of the horse with his wife Lynda and Bowden under the name Big C Racing.   "My wife and I kind of equated it to the difference between NASCAR and Indy car -- they are both car races, but it's a whole different scenario the way they race (in Europe). I think there was a bit of a learning curve for him that way, but he did get the hang of it and raced well, winning two Group 1 races over there, but I'm glad that he's back stateside now," said Stewart.   Creatine made his return to racing on American soil two weeks ago in the million-dollar Yonkers International Trot at a distance of a mile-and-a-quarter, where he finished a strong third behind Papagayo E and Timoko.   On the strength of his performance, the decision was made to pay the $62,500 supplemental fee to enter the Breeders Crown. At first report, the Open Trot appeared to be a six-horse field, however, that field expanded to seven after the late addition of superstar mare Bee A Magician, who had been initially placed in the Mare Trot in error.   "Obviously, we didn't mind it when it was a six-horse field, but we don't mind the seven-horse field, either. We aren't scared to race anybody, but it should be a very interesting race," he said.   "The filly ending up in there made it a better race, so we are looking forward to it."   Bee A Magician, now 5, the 2013 Horse of the Year and two-time Breeders Crown champion, has already proven willing and able to handle a field of male counterparts on many occasions in the past, most notably winning the $680,000 Maple Leaf Trot in September at Mohawk for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee.   Beyond Creatine and Bee A Magician, en masse it is an exceptionally interesting field, packed with wild cards such as Canadian contenders Intimidate and Flanagan Memory, who have proven to be more than capable of winning prestigious trotting stakes in the past.   Intimidate is returning to the scene of his greatest triumph, after winning the 3-year-old Colt Trot as a supplemental entry the last time the Breeders Crown surfaced at Woodbine in 2012. Since then, he's added the Maple Leaf Trot and TVG Final in 2014 to his credit. For his part, Flanagan Memory has been heard from in the older trotting ranks this year, beating a star-studded field, including Elitlopp winner Magic Tonight, Natural Herbie and Obrigado, in the $301,500 John Cashman Memorial.   Rounding out the field are Ake Svanstedt's Resolve, Ron Burke's Gural Hanover and another Takter trainee Master Of Law, who have all been in high-profile events this season. Resolve is the 9-5 morning line favorite, followed by Bee A Magician (2-1) and Creatine (4-1).   Creatine has been within striking distance before in the Crown, losing by just a neck in the 2013 edition as he stormed up the passing lane in the driving rain at Pocono to just miss Spider Blue Chip in the three-year-old Colt Trot. Last year, he was a locked-in third behind Commander Crowe at the Meadowlands.   According to Stewart, win or lose in the Crown final, Saturday is likely to be Creatine's final career start as retirement to stud beckons.   "He's got close to $2 million made, a record of :51-and-a-piece and he's won big races all over the world... I think he'll be well accepted (as a stallion). "You know, all of them deserve to win, but his career deserves to have a Breeders Crown win so hopefully that will happen."   A win for Creatine would be a wonderful swan song for the horse, while also carrying the flag for his sire, Andover Hall, in the Crown at Woodbine.   Andover Hall, who was trained by Stewart throughout his career, is firmly entrenched in Crown lore. In 2002, the 3-year-old star finished third in his Crown elimination but later spooked after being turned out in a paddock, hopped a fence and made a dangerous gallop down the shoulder of the 401, Canada's busiest highway, before he was rescued by motorists. He never raced again, but fortunately lived to become one of this generation's most influential trotting sires.   "I remember like it was yesterday," said Stewart. "We actually won a Breeders Crown that night with Cameron Hall (the second of two Crowns won by the filly) so I think it's better to dwell on the positive part."   Stewart plans to be in attendance on Saturday to watch Creatine try to earn his Crown.   "We know he can compete at the highest level anywhere in the world," he said. "He's got a lot of big races under his belt, but a Breeders Crown would be nice on his resume when all is said and done."   by Lauren Lee for Breeders Crown

Undefeated Pure Country took her act to the North Country on Friday night but the results were identical to what's been expected from the juvenile daughter of Somebeachsomewhere in the United States. The Jimmy Takter trained filly was powerful in capturing the first of two $20,000 US eliminations for the Breeders Crown harness racing two-year-old filly pace in 1:52 3/5 at Woodbine. Driven by Brett Miller the homebred from Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Farm's racing stable got away third as the 1-5 betting choice as Lyons River Pride and Yannick Gingras jetted from the outside to take charge in a :28 1/5 opening quarter. Lyons River Pride kept an honest pace and because of it there was little movement through the second quarter with the half reached in :56 2/5 before anyone began to move. Darlinonthebeach and driver David Miller were the first to pull at that point and slowly progressed on the rim with Pure Country pulling to provide cover with roughly three-eighths of the mile remaining. The pace and activity got serious as the field reached the three-quarters in 1:24. Brett Miller worked on Pure Country in the early stretch and the filly responded with authority, blowing past the leader and drawing clear to win in handy fashion. Darlinonthebeach looked to be a serious threat off cover on the final turn but couldn't accelerate with the winner into the stretch. Nevertheless driver David Miller was able to urge the filly on late to get the place spot with early pacesetter Lyons River Pride holding on for the third spot. Mayhem Seelster and Shezarealdeal picked up the final two qualifying spots and return for the $600,000 October 24 final. The victory kept Pure Country with a perfect nine wins in nine career starts during her first season at the races. Sent off as the 1-5 choice Pure Country returned $2.40 to win.   Pure Country     With the elimination winners drawing for posts 1-5, the complete field for the final is as follows:   1 Darlinonthebeach, Dave Miller, Nancy Johansson   2 Shezarealdeal, Marcus Miller, Tony O'Sullivan 3 Pure Country, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter 4 Lyons River Pride, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 5 Yankee Moonshine, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 6 Soft Idea, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano 7 Blue Moon Stride, Andrew McCarthy, Mark Harder 8 Skinny Dipper, Randy Waples, Tony O'Sullivan 9 Mayhem Seelster, Jack Moiseyev, Tony O'Sullivan 10 Call Me Queen Bee, Scott Zeron, Tony O'Sullivan AE: 1 Tipton Teeez, Tim Tetrick, Brian Brown AE 2 Rock Me Baby, John Campbell, Staffan Lind Jay Bergman for Breeders Crown  

When harness racing Adam Bowden and his father Chris bought female pacer Western Montana in the formative days of their Diamond Creek Farm a decade ago, it was with an eye toward the future. Today as Western Montana's undefeated 2-year-old daughter Pure Country prepares for the upcoming Breeders Crown, it appears the future is now. Western Montana was purchased for $50,000 as a yearling at the 2005 Standardbred Horse Sale and raced for the Bowdens the following two years, winning five of 16 starts and earning $175,010. She finished fourth in the 2006 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly pacers and her family includes a slew of stakes-winners such as Allamerican Ingot, Allamerican Inca, LCB, and Incredible Finale. Her pedigree was one of the major attractions for the Bowdens, who were starting their own breeding farm. Western Montana produced winners with her first three foals, although none has earned more than $69,042. Then came the Somebeachsomewhere-sired Pure Country, who is 8-for-8 with multiple stakes triumphs and $379,968. "Western Montana was actually the fourth horse we ever bought and from the beginning she was one that I thought we were going to keep all of her foals," Adam Bowden said. "We thought the pedigree was good enough that she was supposed to have a good horse somewhere along the way. For whatever reasons, the first three had issues here and there. They all had talent, but none of them sort of realized it. "(Pure Country) was sort of the perfect specimen. She was never sick, she was never injured, she went about her business. We had her older sister Hunger Games, who also is by Somebeachsomewhere, and Pure Country was just a little bit bigger, a little bit more correct, and a little bit smarter than her sister was. We ended up selling Hunger Games after her 3-year-old year. My father and I debated about whether we would keep her or sell her. I told him the next one we have I think is a better filly than Hunger Games. It's worked out so far." On Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, the Jimmy Takter-trained Pure Country headlines the second of two eliminations for the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female pacers. She faces a group that includes New York Sire Stakes champion Dime A Dance plus stakes-winners Darlinonthebeach and Shezarealdeal. Pure Country is the 1-2 morning line favorite. The first elim includes New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Blue Moon Stride, and stakes-winners Call Me Queen Be, Soft Idea, and Yankee Moonshine. The top five finishers from each elimination return for the $600,000 final on Oct. 24 at Woodbine. Elimination winners will draw for posts 1-5 for the final. Pure Country is trained by Jimmy Takter, the winningest trainer in Breeders Crown history with 21 trophies and more than $9 million in purses. Takter was impressed with the filly early on, commenting after she debuted with a 1:55.4 qualifier win in June, "She's scary." As Bowden recalled, "Jimmy felt she had a world of talent and she was either going to be really good or blow up in our face. Fortunately it's so far been the former rather than the latter." Pure Country's wins include the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship at The Meadows in September and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes at the recently-concluded Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile. She has been driven in every start by Brett Miller. "I'm most impressed with her consistency and her ability to either race on the lead or follow," Bowden said. "She's been able to do both and she's got an unbelievable kick coming home. Most of the races, she's been 27-(seconds) flat or sub-27. That's pretty impressive so far." The Bowdens have shared in ownership of one Breeders Crown winner, Father Patrick, but are looking for their first trophy with their own horse. "I don't know if there's anything better than that," Bowden said about the possibility of having a homebred champion. "That would be the ultimate." For Friday's complete race card at Woodbine, click here. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

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