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Virgil's win in the Group Two Diamond Creek Farm Two-Year-Old Classic at Ascot Park on Saturday made it a lucrative weekend for his Melbourne co-owner Jean Feiss, who races the All-Stars trained harness racing gelding with her husband Bill. The previous night, Feiss was at Alexandra Park watching her juvenile filly Amazing Dream triumph in the group one Woodlands Stud Caduceus Classic “I was already booked for Auckland so when word came Virgil would be nominated for today, I was able to add Invercargill,” said Feiss who flew to Auckland on Friday, then Invercargill via Christchurch on Saturday morning. She was booked to follow the reverse route on Saturday when returning to Auckland after the Diamond Day fixture, before heading home on Sunday. Driven by Tim Williams, favourite Virgil bided his time early and wasn't asked for much until second favourite William Wallace moved forward across the top. The two set down to a decent battle in the straight but the All-Stars rep prevailed by half a neck in 2:41.0, less than half a second outside the race record.   The Sweet Lou two year old Virgil after his second win.  Jean Feiss (left) with Ged Mooar from Nevele R, John Stiven (SBSR), Mark Smith (SBSR) and Tracey White (Woodlands Stud) It was the fifth running of the feature and the third win for Williams, following Lazarus in 2015 and A Bettor Act last year. Virgil is by Sweet Lou from the Bettor Delight mare Pacing Delight, a half brother to Amazing Art, Pacing Major, All U Need Is Faith and other winners. He was catalogued for last year's Australasian Classic Sale but withdrawn. Not before Feiss had inspected him at Woodlands Stud though, so when he was later offered at the Auckland Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale before last year's Jewels, Feiss was ready. “I liked him when I saw him at the stud before the first sale,” said Feiss who admits she is often asked what she is looking for. “Really, everyone looks for the same things but all interpret them a bit differently. He looked lovely again on sale day.” Feiss paid $150,000 for the gelding and hasn't been disappointed. Virgil has only once missed a top-three finish in seven starts and Saturday's win took his stake earnings past $60,000. “He was broken in straight after the sale and has been kept going. Mark (Purdon) said he's always 'wanted to be there' and does what he's asked. He might not be among the very best but has always been pretty good even against the really good ones.” Addington hosts a $175,000 Sale Series race for two-year-olds next Friday and in normal circumstances, Virgil might have been there. Feiss pointed out though that he wasn't eligible and that was one of the reasons the Invercargill race had been included in his programme. “He'll be kept in for the Jewels, then we'll hope for more improvement as a three-year-old.” Virgil is second on the list of qualifiers for the Two-year-old Emerald and Amazing Dream, second on the list for the Diamond. 'Southern Bred Southern Reared' Amazing Dream was offered at last year's Premier Sale by Vin and Daphne Devery and knocked down to Feiss for $77,500. Her weekend winnings were $57.000. By Mac Henry  

In the last five years harness racing yearlings produced out of Southland, Otago or Central Otago under the Southern Bred Southern Reared banner, have been among the sale toppers at the annual Yearling Sales in Christchurch. Last year Chicago Cub, a full brother to millionaire pacer Chicago Blues topped the sales, selling to Emilo and Mary Rosati for $190,000. He was bred and prepared by Winton couple John and Katrina Price. In 2016 SBSR group produced the top two lots in Mach Shard ($200,000) and Honor And Glory ($170,000) while further back Bollinger sold for $200,000 in 2015. The honour board also includes Titanium in 2013 at $170,000 and Beaudiene Beaufighter which topped the Sales in 2014.  The highest amount paid for a Southern Bred Southern Reared yearling was in 2008 when Tuapeka Mariner sold for $250,000. This February the SBSR group will present fifty two yearlings at the NZB Standardbred Sale in Christchurch. SBSR was a concept initially talked about by the late Doug Stiven of Tapanui, and Dave Kennedy of Bayswater and it was in 2002 that Dave Kennedy, Mark O’Connor, Debbie Smith and John Stiven formed the inaugural committee. “The reason we got SBSR going was to get Southerners working together to raise the profile of the product at the Sales,” Stiven said. SBSR is open to all breeders in Otago and Southland and one of the highlights of the year is the annual bus tour and yearling parades.  Stiven says the tour for trainers and buyers is one of reasons SBSR has been successful. “We get about 22 to 25 buyers each year now and it’s very beneficial for those buyers to be able to come, and of all our vendors. Ken Barron and Michael House have never missed one.” Dave Kennedy agrees the tour has been a big part of the success story. “The SBSR tour is the best thing we’ve ever done there’s no doubt about that. You get the main buyers arriving on your doorstep. They see your place and see what you’ve done and what your horses look like.” This year the tour will be held on 11th and 12th February. SBSR also promotes substantially through a variety of magazines and websites and employs local TV personality Tom Conroy to film their stock. Stiven says the SBSR brand is being recognised in Australian with horses like I’m Themightyquinn, Beaudiene Boaz, I’m Victorious, Fight For Glory, Arden Rooney and Galactic Star flying the flag. I’m Themightyquinn Outside of the Yearling Sales SBSR is also the group behind The Diamond Creek Farm Classic at Ascot Park Invercargill on Diamonds Day. To date the race has been won by Kept Under Wraps, Lazarus, Mongolian Hero, Aloka and A Bettor Act. It’s sponsored by American heavyweight Diamond Creek Farm.  “We asked Adam Bowden if he thought Diamond Creek Farm was a good fit for Diamonds Day and We said that SBSR supported the two year old race. He was happy to make a five year commitment through service to A Rocknroll Dance and Sweet Lou with the right of renewal.” For decades SBSR horses have been proving the importance of the southern region to the Australian racing industry and beyond. It all started with trail blazers like Cardigan Bay, Robin Dundee, Stella Frost and Young Quinn. Cardigan Bay - 1963 New Zealand Cup - Addington, Christchurch Cardigan Bay - 1964 Yonkers Raceway - Stanley Dancer - 1st USA start Cardigan Bay Stiven said “Southland has long been regarded as the Kentucky of New Zealand. The SBSR group has managed to work together for the betterment of the Southern region as a platform to show unity in the sale of yearlings from this special part of the world. It also shows the group is (about) more than yearlings with the sponsorship of the Two Year Old Diamond Classic.” Continuing to put Southland on the map, from now until sale time I’ll write a number of stories about SBSR including what makes the south so good for breeding, the twelve millionaires the group has produced, the SBSR yearling tour in February and I’ll profile six of the well-bred youngsters that SBSR will be presenting at the Christchurch yearling sales. Bruce Stewart

Diamond Creek Farm is pleased to announce that superstar harness racing trotting sire, Father Patrick is booked full and closed for 2019.   Father Patrick is currently the leading first year sire in average earnings per foal, ranking in the top three among all sires.  His impressive, yet limited, first crop included horses such as NJ and KY Sire Stakes Champion, Whispering Oaks, and the Champlain Stake winner, Hudson River, among many other stake winners.    His success continued to the yearling sales, where his first full crop of yearlings were well received.  In Harrisburg, his highly anticipated yearlings averaged for $119,000, bringing up to $300,000, making him just one of 2 stallions to average over $100,000.  In Lexington they averaged over $87,000, where on day 1 alone, he sold 9 yearlings over $100,000.    Final selections for Father Patrick's book will be made this week.   Whispering Oaks - Kentucky Sire Stakes Final     Whispering Oaks - International Stallion Stakes    

Diamond Creek Farm is pleased to announce that champion harness racing pacer, Sweet Lou is fully booked and closed in 2019.  Sweet Lou has served a full book of prestigious mares for the past four years and looks to continue that tradition into the future with another high quality group of mares in 2019.    His 2 year olds excelled on the track, including Breeder's Crown champion and world record holder Warrawee Ubeaut and Matron Stakes Winner, Blood Money.  In Harrisburg this past week, his yearlings sold for an average of over $66,000, with a profit of over eight times his stud fee in 2017.  He remains the #1 sire of two year olds by average earnings.    "We are grateful to all the breeders who have continued to support Sweet Lou," says Diamond Creek's Adam Bowden, "They are now being rewarded for their early support by the return on investment they have seen through the yearling sales and on the racetrack."    In 2019, Sweet Lou's stud fee has been bumped to $12,500 as an effect of the success he has found in the sales ring and on the track.     Sweet Lou is the only sire in history that has a two-year-old filly and colt that has a sub 1:50 mark. They are;   Warraee Ubeaut 1:48.3 the fastest two-year-old in history and the fastest two-year-old filly in history.   No Mas Amor 1:49.1 the fastest two-year-old colt in 2018.   Warrawee Ubeaut 1:48.3   Here is the average earnings for the top ten pacer sires in North America to date; Sire Foals in 2018 Money per Starter ==== ===== ======== ===== =========== SWEET LOU 97 68 $2,960,943 $43,543 CAPTAINTREACHEROUS 113 77 $3,292,016 $42,753 BETTORS DELIGHT 122 78 $2,727,760 $34,971 SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE 113 78 $2,657,962 $34,076 HESTON BLUE CHIP 27 16 $544,930 $34,058 ALWAYS A VIRGIN 81 44 $1,274,106 $28,956 BIG JIM 61 26 $727,856 $27,994 ART MAJOR 97 60 $1,620,460 $27,007 AMERICAN IDEAL 89 62 $1,574,238 $25,390 SAGEBRUSH 22 11 $264,658 $24,059 From Diamond Creek Farm

Diamond Creek Farm is pleased to announce that champion pacer Sweet Lou’s 2019 stud fee will be raised to $12,500. The combined sales and racing success of Sweet Lou’s offspring provides exceptional value to those who supported the horse in his first couple of crops.  With stakes winners like Blood Money, Pyro, Lyons Nighthawk, and She’s Alright, Sweet Lou is currently in the top 3 for leading money winning sires of two year olds in 2018 along with average earnings per foal. When the stud fee is taken into account, Sweet Lou is head and shoulders above the rest. During the recent Lexington grand circuit meet, the phenomenally talented Sweet Lou filly Warrawee Ubeaut crushed the world record for a 2 year old on a mile track.  Originally set by Sweet Lou himself, Warrawee Ubeaut paced an otherworldly 1:48.3.  Later that week, No Mas Amor won his ISS division in 1:49.1, just missing the world record for 2 year old colts. The Lexington sale provided another shining moment for the offspring of Sweet Lou as he sold 26 yearlings for an average of $46,462.  This comes to more than six times his stud fee, a huge return on investment for breeders. The loyalty breeders have shown has given Sweet Lou a firm foothold at the top of the sire lists. We expect this to continue into the future. The future looks bright, not only for Sweet Lou, but for the other stallions standing under the Diamond Creek Farm banner. All other stallions fees remain unchanged for 2019. A Rocknroll Dance: $5,000 Always B Miki: $12,500 Creatine: $4,000 (stands in Ohio at Sugar Valley Farm) Downbytheseaside: $6,000 (stands in Ohio at Sugar Valley Farm) Father Patrick: $20,000 Ponder: $3,000 (stands in Indiana at Schwartz Boarding Farm) Southwind Frank: $10,000 Sweet Lou: $12,500

Wellsville, PA --- Diamond Creek Farm is pleased to continue their strong partnership with Oakwood Stud by offering Always B Miki's frozen semen in Ireland in 2019. "We formed a relationship with Oakwood Stud and the Delaneys through our sponsorship of the Vincent Delaney Memorial racing weekend," said Diamond Creek's Adam Bowden. "That continued with the expansion of opportunities for Irish and UK breeders by providing access to world champion and first year success Sweet Lou; it only makes sense for us to continue this venture with the introduction of Always B Miki." Always B Miki, the 2016 Horse of the Year, still holds the world record of 1:46. His other accomplishments include wins in the Ben Franklin, Haughton Memorial and being a two-time Breeders Crown champion. "We're very grateful to Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farm for all he has done for us to date here in Ireland and the UK," said Derek Delaney of Oakwood Stud. "Always B Miki joining our frozen semen roster in 2019 will improve the overall quality of the breed and with these types of bloodlines now available to both the Irish and UK breeder, we are very excited about the future of the racing in both Ireland and the UK." Always B Miki served a full book of mares in his second year at stud with exceptional pregnancy rates once again. His first crop of foals have had many compliments from top breeders. He is currently in quarantine while he waits to head to Alabar, Australia, for their upcoming breeding season. From Diamond Creek Farm

Southwind Frank Tr 2, 1:52.4; 3, 1:52.2 ($1,950,887), the 2015 USA and Canadian 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year and a former world champion juvenile, will be available to Australian and New Zealand breeders this season. The frozen semen of the brilliant son of Muscle Hill will be distributed by Stallions Australasia at a fee of $6,600 including GST in Australia and $6,000 plus GST in NZ. Stallions Australasia principals Peter O'Rourke and David Shammall said they are delighted to form this association with Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farm, Pennsylvania. "Adam reports the frozen semen in Europe is proving very successful and they have the same good results from breeding some of their own mares with the frozen as well," O'Rourke said. Southwind Frank raced only as a two and three-year-old and from 26 starts only finished out of the top three twice. As a two-year-old he won 11 of his 12 starts and $786,419 in stakemoney and was the richest and fastest freshman trotter of his year. Southwind Frank established a new world record for two-year-old trotters on a mile track and a fresh stakes record of 1:52.4 winning the $264,000 International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile by open lengths. He also set a stakes record of 1:53.8 capturing the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final at The Meadowlands and capped his first campaign with a two lengths win in the $778,440 final of the Breeders Crown in 1:54.4 over a rain-soaked Woodbine oval. Among his other successes at 2 were the $349,850 Peter Haughton Memorial in 1:53.8 at The Meadowlands, the $373,000 William Wellwood Memorial in 1:55.8 at Mohawk, the $117,406 Champlain Stakes in 1:54.2 at Mohawk and a division of the Reynolds Stakes in 1:54.4 at Tioga Downs. Returning as a three-year-old Southwind Frank won a further six races including three of the gems on the US trotting calendar - the $500,000 Colonial Trot in 1:52.4, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jnr Memorial (in 1:52.8) and the $153,250 Stanley Dancer Memorial. He took his lifetime record of 1:52.2 at three years winning a leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes at The Meadowlands before effortlessly winning the $100,000 final in 1:52.6. He also finished runner-up in the Hambletonian, the Breeders Crown and Kentucky Futurity. Champion trainer Ron Burke, who prepared the colt throughout his career, said: "I've trained a lot of horses, but none have had Frank's package of speed, power and smarts. I truly believe he is one of the all-time greats." A $100,000 yearling, Southwind Frank is a son of the great Muscle Hill (tr 3, 1:50.2), the leading sire of trotters in America for the last two years. Muscle Hill has sired the winners of $40 million in stakes and to this stage is credited with more than 110 in the 1:55 list. Southwind Frank is out of the Stakes winning Flawless Lindy (tr 3, 1:58.2), by Cantab Hall (tr 1:54) from Classicaly Designed (tr 3, 1:56.4), by Lindy Lane (tr 1:53) from a noted broodmare in Classic Casette, the dam of Giant Hit tr 3, 1:54.4 ($646,650) and the USA 2YO Trotting Filly of the Year and world champion Cayster tr 1:55 ($530,451).   Peter Wharton

While the first Saturday in August is usually Hambletonian Week at the Meadowlands, perhaps the second biggest harness racing event of the month happens the following weekend, and it's only 3,200 miles away in Dublin, Ireland. It's the Vincent Delaney Memorial (VDM) weekend of racing at Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin. It's the biggest harness racing weekend of the year in both Ireland and the UK and will take place Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12. The race itself was developed by the Delaney brothers, James and Derek, who first came up with the special race for two-year-old pacers after their younger brother, Vincent, tragically died from a massive heart attack in 2011 at age 27. "Our brother Vincent loved working with the horse," explained Derek, who with brother James have Oakwood Stud, one of the bigger Standardbred breeding facilities in all of Ireland. "We only saw it fitting to have a special race in his memory. Little did we know back then that this race weekend would become a world-wide event." The Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend has been hailed as a miniature Little Brown Jug and Gold Cup and Saucer all rolled into one. People from all over the world now travel annually to Dublin to attend the weekend festival and the races. "It is just amazing how this race has grown in popularity over the last few years," Derek Delaney said. "Now we have world class sponsors from the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand involved in the races and they all come over after the Hambletonian for our big weekend." And the race itself has grown by leaps and bounds. The VDM is perhaps the most grueling test for two-year-old pacers in harness racing. It requires these young horses to first race in elimination heats on Saturday with the top finishers returning the very next day (Sunday) to compete in the finals. And every year there are so many young horses entered that most of the race card on Saturday are elimination heats. There are also special stakes for three-year-old's, Le Trot events, and stakes for older horses too over the weekend. Hanover Shoe Farms in the USA is the main sponsor of the colt division of the VDM and the filly division is sponsored by the USA's Diamond Creek Farm. A new sponsor for 2018 is Tara Hills Stud (David Heffering) in Canada. What is also impressive is the "guest list" of who is coming to Dublin for the VDM. "I know I will forget someone," laughed Derek Delaney. "This year we have some well-known people in the harness racing industry coming over for the Vincent Delaney. The list includes Jim Simpson from Hanover Shoe Farm along with Murray Brown and his wife Carol, Heather and Mike Wilder, and Mike will also be driving that weekend. "Also coming are Tom Charters and his wife Sue, Dr. Courtney Pink from Diamond Creek Farm, Australia's and UK's Bill Hutchison, Sweden and Germany's Klaus Koch,," Derek went on. "Our regulars Roger Huston, Heather Vitale (wouldn't the VDM without her running about), Dale Welk, John McDermott, Jeff Kuhen and more. I am getting emails, texts and calls almost daily." The VDM weekend kicks off on Friday night with a dinner and in the special VIP Tent at the races there will be a great auction for charity. Already donated are a helmet, gloves and colors from Yannick Gingras and a set of Doug McNair's colors. If you ever really want to renew your passion for harness racing, then contact Derek or James Delaney at Oakwood Stud and they will send you all the details. It's a guaranteed must on everyone's bucket list. Check out www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com or www.oakwoodstud.ie for more information and to contact Derek and James Delaney. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial    

Saturday, June 2 was a perfect day to pay a visit to the Diamond Creek Farm Open House and get up close and personal with the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono 2016 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot winner Southwind Frank; 2016 Ben Franklin Winner Always B Miki; and 2014 Ben Franklin Winner Sweet Lou, along with numerous Mares and a few adorable foals. Children of all ages experienced the farm's amenities, including tours of the stallion barns; hay rides; demonstrations and exhibits from the Harness Horse Youth Foundation (hhyf.org), including a special meet and greet with ambassador Sweet Karen; and a menu of delicious grilled food and ice cream. It has been reported that 1,500 people attended the special Open House. Notable attendees from the State Horse Racing Commission included Standardbred Bureau Director Brett Revington; Commissioners Ed Rodgers and Darryl Breniser; and Marketing Director Ashley Eisenbeil. Also attending were Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association president Sam Beegle and Executive Director Mike Harant as well as Bob Boni, a notable bloodstock agent and co-owner of Always B Miki. To learn more about Diamond Creek Farm, visit https://www.diamondcreekfarm.com/about/ From Diamond Creek Farm

The Betsy Ross Invitational for mares is known for featuring some of the sport's finest distaffers each year, and the 2018 edition coming up Sunday (May 27th) will be no exception. Leading the charge in overall accomplishments is three time Dan Patch Award winner Pure Country. The multiple stakes winner is making her 50th career start, sporting a robust bankroll of over $2.2 million and 25 lifetime wins. The 5-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere is making her third start of the season, and seeking her first win of the campaign. The Jimmy Takter trainee has been competing in the Great Northeast Series as of late, finishing 2nd and third respectively. She draws post number 1 and will be driven by Mark MacDonald. The race features three other millionaire mares, including Agent Q, Darlinonthebeach, and racing's newest seven digit earner Blue Moon Stride. Agent Q comes into it riding a four race win streak that dates back to November 4th of last year in a stakes event at Hoosier Park. Her seasonal debut was sharp, rallying from last at the 1/8th pole to sweep by in a Great Northeast Series race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono two weeks ago. She followed that up with an in-hand win over this oval in a similar event. The 4-year-old daughter of Western Terror has 15 wins out of 29 starts and a mark of 1:48.4 at The Meadowlands. She draws the winningest post at Harrah's Philly, number 5. White Birch Farm's Darlinonthebeach draws post 7 for the second straight week. The 5-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere is making her 4th career start for Trainer Nifty Norman, with a win back on the 5th of May in a Great Northeast Series event at Harrah's Philly in 1:51.1. She has 18 wins out of 48 starts and a 1:48.1 mark at The Red Mile. Harness racing's newest millionaire Blue Moon Stride will have to overcome post 8 to take the lion's share. The 5-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover has won two of her last three, including a win over Darlinonthebeach in her last in 1:49.4 over the Harrah's oval. The Mark Harder trainee has won 16 times in 53 starts with a 1:48.4 mark north of the border at Mohawk. Jim King Jr. Trainee Shartin N has been nearly unbeatable in the late winter early spring. She's posted wins in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Final at Yonkers and the Chip Noble at Miami Valley, earning $343,975 all ready this season. The overseas import will be facing a new and tougher group here in the Betsy Ross, but she does draw the second winningest post at Harrah's Philly, number 4. Little Brown Jugette Champion Caviart Ally has looked impressive so far in her 4-year-old season. The daughter of Bettor's Delight has shown versatility in her two starts this season, winning on the pace on May 9th and in grinding first-over fashion on May 18th. She draws post 2 for owners Caviart Farms and trainer Noel Daley. She has won 11 times in 36 starts, with earnings of $828,510. Trainer Jen Bongiorno will send the game Diva's Image from post 3. The 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight has proven in her last two that she can go with the best mares in the business with a second and a third in her last two against Darlinonthebeach and Blue Moon Stride. KDK Standardbred's Apple Bottom Jeans will start from post position number 6. The 5-year-old daughter of Mr Apples earned her Invite after winning the Burning Point Series at The Meadowlands after sweeping the preliminaries. She has 18 wins out of 45 starts and is trained by Kevin Switzer. The Betsy Ross will be the 11th race on the staked-laden program, going for a purse of $150,000. It is part of a $10,000 guaranteed stakes pick 4 which starts in race number 9. The Pick 4 always has a low 15% takeout. Post Time is 12:40 Eastern. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Over the past three years, no female pacer can match the accomplishments of Pure Country. In fact, few in the history of harness racing can produce better resumes when it comes to accumulating awards. Pure Country became the first female pacer to receive a Dan Patch Award at ages 2, 3, and 4 when she was named the sport's best older pacing mare in December. Only two pacers have ever won more Dan Patch trophies, Anndrovette and Eternal Camnation, with four each. "It's quite an accomplishment," said Adam Bowden, whose Diamond Creek Racing owns Pure Country and whose Diamond Creek Farm bred the mare. "It takes a special horse to be the best at 2 when they're early developers and then continue to be the best at 3 and 4 when everybody else catches up. "I'm just happy to be part of it." Pure Country was a perfect 10-for-10 at age 2 and joined JK She'salady (2014), See You At Peelers (2010) and My Little Dragon (2005) as the only 2-year-old female pacers to win a Dan Patch Award with an undefeated season. Pure Country and See You At Peelers won again at age 3. For her career, the Jimmy Takter-trained Pure Country has won 25 of 47 races and earned $2.23 million, which puts her on the verge of joining the 10 highest-earning female pacers in North American history. Her victories include two Breeders Crown finals, the Fan Hanover Stakes, Lynch Memorial, Lady Liberty, TVG Series championship, Artiscape, and Matron. Pure Country started slowly in 2017, but won five of her last 10 races of the campaign, including the Breeders Crown and TVG Series championships to close out the stakes season. "I think in many of the big races in her career, Jimmy has gotten her to race at her best," Bowden said. "And she did it again this year when the big money was on the line. She won the races she had to win to win the (Dan Patch) award. "It's always tough to come back at 4 and do it. As Jimmy said last year, it's sort of a two-year commitment because these 4-year-olds need time to mature and learn how to race against these older, tougher mares. She clearly learned how to do that and ended the year on the top." Pure Country is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of one of the first horses Diamond Creek bought, Western Montana, in the farm's formative years. Pure Country is enjoying a winter holiday in Kentucky, but will return to Takter's stable in the coming weeks to begin preparations for her 5-year-old season. "She's hanging out right now getting bigger and stronger," Bowden said. "She looks great. She's bigger than the colts that we have; she's always been like that. She's a big strong mare. I would expect her to come back and have a good season again. Or at least I hope so. "The expectations placed on her by me personally are probably almost too much to live up to. That may not have been fair. She's always been at the top of her division. We've entrusted her to Jimmy Takter, who has gone above and beyond. I can't be more thrilled with that." Bowden's award-winning horses in 2017 were not limited to Pure Country. Diamond Creek Racing is among the owners of 3-year-old male pacing champion Downbytheseaside and 2-year-old male pacing champion Lost In Time. Diamond Creek Farm bred Lost In Time, a son of A Rocknroll Dance out of Summer Mystery who sold for $47,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale. Diamond Creek Racing joined the colt's ownership group in September 2017. "It's kind of neat," Bowden said. "A Rocknroll Dance was kind of the first major stallion that we went after and stood. To have his best son so far, not only that we bred but now own a piece of, is exciting. He clearly got a lot of his father's qualities, which proved themselves on countless occasions. He's such a big, strong horse that I would expect to see good things from him (at age 3). "It's fun to be involved with good horses. Just being part of the ride is exciting. A lot of times, we as owners get to give interviews and get attention, but really it's a team effort, especially for us with these homebreds. From the girls that work at the farm to the farm managers to the trainers to the grooms to the drivers. Everybody gets to take credit for the success of these horses, everybody can share in it. That's great." Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications  

Downbytheseaside, the richest harness racing racehorse of 2017, is now booked full and closed for 2018.   "We are in the enviable position of being oversubscribed," says Sugar Valley's Joe McLead, "We are proud to be part of this horse and to have him here in Ohio."   The world champion, Downbytheseaside, wrapped up his racing career with a win in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace, tying his lifetime mark of 1:48.3.  He earned $2,179,558 over his lifetime and became the richest 3 year old pacer of 2017.     "The response for the horse has been outstanding, especially the support from the Ohio breeders," says Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek. "We are all very excited about the future."   Downbytheseaside will be standing his first season in 2018 at Sugar Valley Farm in partnership with Diamond Creek Farm.       

Wellsville, PA --- Diamond Creek Farm has announced the 2018 stud fees for their harness racing stallions. They are as follows: Father Patrick - $20,000 Always B Miki - $12,500 Southwind Frank - $10,000 Sweet Lou - $7,500 A Rocknroll Dance - $5,000 Standing at Sugar Valley in Ohio New for 2018 Downbytheseaside - $6,000 Creatine - $4,000 Standing at Schwartz Boarding Farm in Indiana Ponder - $3,000 Diamond Creek Farm

 In an exciting turn of events for Ohio harness racing breeders, multi-millionaire trotter, Creatine, will be standing at Sugar Valley Farm in 2018. Creatine, one of the richest sons of Andover Hall, made over $2,000,000 throughout his career, with wins that included the Kentucky Futurity, Breeders Crown and Allerage Trot, over heavy favorite Sebastian K.   This move to Ohio will make him one of the fastest and most successful stallions to stand in the state. "We decided to stand Creatine in Ohio as a testimony to the Ohio breeding industry", says Diamond Creek's Adam Bowden, "The industry in Ohio is no longer limited regionally, but is becoming a national force." Sugar Valley Farm has already had success with stallions such as Well Said and the ill-fated Dragon Again, adding Creatine to their lineup will give them even more star power.  Sugar Valley's Joe McLead says, “Creatine standing in Ohio is a value play for breeders.  Creatine has everything a breeder could be looking for; the pedigree, speed and heart. We are excited for this partnership with Diamond Creek”. Diamond Creek will continue to manage and support Creatine in this lateral move to Ohio. "Our full support is behind Creatine," emphasizes Bowden, "not only will we be handling his bookings and interests, we will continue to breed many of our top mares to him. We are very proud of Creatine and we intend to remain fully involved to ensure his continued success." Creatine will stand at Sugar Valley Farm in partnership with Diamond Creek Farm.  His 2018 stud fee will be $4000. For bookings or more information on breeding, please contact Diamond Creek at 717-638 -7100 or find out more at www.diamondcreekfarm.com  

ANDERSON, Ind. - Eight horses fanned across the track in a battle down the stretch with Pure Country surging in the closing strides to capture Friday night's $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace by 1¼ lengths over Bedroomconfessions in 1:52.1 over a sloppy harness racing track at Hoosier Park. Lady Shadow was third. Pure Country, trained by Jimmy Takter for Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Racing, was a Breeders Crown champion at age 2. Diamond Creek Farm bred the filly, who snapped a four-race skid with her Breeders Crown win at odds of 14-1. "We have been dealing with a lot of struggling with her all year," said Takter. "She got sick early and then she raced good. She is a pure champion. She has made over $2 million and that is hard to do in this game. She is just a fantastic horse and I am so happy for Adam. He raised this filly and she is just so wonderful." Lady Shadow took the lead after a tussle with 6-5 favorite Nike Franco N and Darlinonthebeach, bringing the field to the opening quarter in :26.2. She set the pace from there, with the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:23.2, before facing pressure from everywhere as the field made its way down the stretch. Pure Country was sixth at the top of the lane, but rallied on the outside to win. "I thought she had a shot, I really did," said winning driver Mark MacDonald. "I thought the way the race was going to go it would work out. I figured Lady Shadow would blast out of there from the outside and I had a couple of good ones inside of me to follow. I kind of almost automatically was going to get a good trip and it turned out and she did." Takter finished Friday's Breeders Crown card with three wins in the series, pushing his record total to 33. Diamond Creek Racing and MacDonald have each won three Breeders Crown trophies. "I've always been lucky in the Breeders Crown," said Takter. "It's like a magic night for me. I won six in one year and three almost every year. Things just work out for me on that night. I don't know why, but we have a great crew and my trainer has done a fantastic job. Without those guys, I can't do it." Pure Country, a Dan Patch Award winner at ages 2 and 3, has won four of 14 races this year and earned $376,293. For her career, she has won 24 of 45 starts and earned $2.14 million. She paid $31.00 to win. Pure Country By Ken Weingartner, for Breeders Crown

Pure Country has already proven herself a star, but she might have to start sharing space in the family scrapbook with younger harness racing sibling Grand Teton. Grand Teton, a half-brother to two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Pure Country, has won five of six races this year and is a neck from being undefeated. The 2-year-old male pacer is owned by Diamond Creek Racing, which also owns 4-year-old female pacer Pure Country. Both horses are out of the mare Western Montana and were bred by Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. Pure Country's sire is Somebeachsomewhere; Grand Teton's sire is Diamond Creek Farm-based A Rocknroll Dance. "You hope a mare ends up giving you something like Pure Country, but to have more than one look like they're a star is always really cool," Diamond Creek's Adam Bowden said. "Especially being a homebred from our stallion too. It's a full-circle thing for us. "These are the kinds of things you dream about." Pure Country and Grand Teton, both trained by Jimmy Takter, will be in action this weekend. Pure Country competes Saturday at Ontario's Mohawk Racetrack in the C$256,000 Milton Stakes for older female pacers. Grand Teton races Sunday at Lexington's Red Mile in the $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers. Grand Teton and Key Advisor both won two preliminary rounds of the Kentucky Sire Stakes series and finished second in the remaining leg. The draws for all eight Kentucky Sire Stakes finals are Thursday. "At this point he really hasn't beaten any of the top colts, but from what he's done so far, I think he's shown that kind of ability," Bowden said about Grand Teton. "I think he's the type that will take the next step. At least we hope so." Grand Teton has twice won in 1:52.1, which is his best victory time so far, and has flashed ample finishing speed with three consecutive final quarter-miles of :26.2 to go with a :26.1 in his second start. "From what I hear from Jimmy, he's not quite as good gaited as Pure Country, but I think he has that same ability and same desire to win," Bowden said. "He's scary fast. I think he's shown that turn of foot you like to see in good horses. "I think he's got as good a shot as any on Sunday night to win." Pure Country enters the Milton off a win in her elimination last weekend. It was Pure Country's third consecutive victory after going winless in her first six races of the season and pushed her career earnings to $2 million. On Saturday, Pure Country and driver Mark MacDonald, who has been in the sulky for the mare's past four starts, will start from post three. Blue Moon Stride, the remaining Milton elimination winner, will start from post two and returning champion Lady Shadow leaves from post one. "There was a little bit of circumstantial stuff early in the year; bad posts or bad trips or something like that," Bowden said. "She's the type of filly that clearly wants to be involved in the race. As Mark said in the winner's circle the other night, she can take a lot of air. I think she's shown how good she is and that she can compete at this level against these older mares." In the last nine years, the only 4-year-old mare to win the Milton was Rocklamation in 2012. The 4-year-olds in this year's 10-horse field are Pure Country, Blue Moon Stride, LA Delight, Darlinonthebeach, and Lyons River Pride. Rocklamation also was the last mare to win the Milton in consecutive years (2012-13), a feat 6-year-old Lady Shadow will try to accomplish. "Those are good mares," Bowden said. "Lady Shadow, Darlinonthebeach, LA Delight; there's a whole herd of them that are good. I think it shows these 4-year-old mares can compete at this level. I think it's been a great crop. They've proved it this year. Other than Lady Shadow and Nike Franco, the best mares are 4-year-olds." For Saturday's complete card at Mohawk, which also includes finals of the Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage plus eliminations for the Metro Pace, click here. Ken Weingartner

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