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Lochinvar Art proved life’s a breeze at the top of the trots with a commanding victory in the PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup, pouring home in a 53.1-second last half to claim the $110,000 Group 1. Trainer/driver David Moran was content to go the long way round with his million-dollar pacer, sitting outside leader Out To Play for much of the 2710-metre distance race and, when it came time to burn, he proved in a class of his own as he notched a seventh win in eight outings. “They don’t come around very often and thank God I’ve got him,” Moran said. “He’s got everything. He’s so fast that it’s just not funny.” Moran said the win was the perfect tune-up for the Shepparton superstar ahead of the February 6 Del-Re National A G Hunter Cup, when he will lock horns with the likes of Sydney raider King Of Swing. “He does always back up week-to-week a lot better,” Moran said. “I’m sure two 2700-metre races will tighten him up.” The fact that Moran didn’t bully the field, as was perhaps expected, has only reaffirmed the versatility of the five-year-old, who reminded of his extraordinary speed in the closing stages. Kate Gath nabbed the lead with Out To Play, winning an early speed battle with Sicario to find the front and then Lochinvar Art lobbed to the leader’s outside soon after. Moran was content to bide his time, following an 84-second lead time with moderate first (31.3-second) and second (29.8) quarters, before pressing in a 26.-7-second third quarter. Out To Play battled gamely, but Lochinvar Art had another gear to give, getting home in 26.4 seconds to win by seven metres, with Wolf Stride running on well to finish third ahead of Somewhere Secret. CLICK BELOW TO ENJOY LOCHINVAR ART'S BRILLIANCE: HRV - Michael Howard

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Banks Peninsular today with an eleven race program starting at 12:34pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. Banks Peninsular selections 24th January 2021 Best Bet:  R7 Judgement Bay Best Value:  R9 Blue Chip Delight   Race 1 Classic Call nice at trials and grass will suit. Should be hard to beat with manners… Line A Love tidy form line and goes good on grass. Should run top three…… Majestic Jag getting better with racing and looks a good winning hope here if he can step away with them early….. Dashing Dutchy tricky draw but good enough to get into the placings with a bit of luck. One for longer odds Selections:  Classic Call (5),   Line A Love (2),   Majestic Jag (9)   Dashing Dutchy (17)   Race 2 Haiti Franco good run after getting back last start and drawn well. Has the speed to be a major player here.……. Morries Girl in good form and well placed here. Has to be included and will be hard to beat…… Dixie Flyer bad draw but has raced well on the track. Good winning claims if she can get close to the leaders before the home turn…… With Grace has been disappointing at times but looks stronger this campaign and stable goes well on grass. Can win Selections:  Haiti Franco (2),  Morries Girl (4),   With Grace (11),   Dixie Flyer (13)   Race 3 Wee Ring The Changes last run better than it looks on paper and stable change for this. Has to be hard to beat….. Proviseur terrible last start but top driver booked and give another chance. Include….. Saginaw tidy draw and could get a cosy run on the fence. Can run top three in this field at nice odds….. Takemybreathaway terrible draw but has a ton of ability. Could upset with a good run iin transit Selections:   Wee Ring The Changes (7),   Proviseur (11),   Takemybreathaway (9)   Saginaw (1)   Race 4 Seapris quick beginner who will take some catching if she can land the front from the front row draw. Has a good winning chance….. Dalness First racing into form and tidy draw. One of the leading players in the race. Include….. Miss Behavin steps quickly and will be in the fight early. One for longer odds here ….. Piece Of Gold a bit one paced but drawn well and driver sticks with. Place chances look best Selections:   Seapris (4),   Dalness First (6),   Piece Of Gold (2)   Miss Behavin (5)   Race 5 Hittheroadjack good run for second last start and getting fitter. Can win but tricky draw….. Fraud should get a run through from the draw and looks the early leader in the. Good winning chance….. It's A Laugh disappointing last start but good previously and grass suits. Top selection..….. Bromac Hype out of form but has the draw and could surprise at nice odds Selections:   Hittheroadjack (13),   Fraud (6),   It's A Laugh (9)   Bromac Hype (1)   Race 6 Martha Stuart out of form but conditions suit and drawn ok. Good winning claims and can run top three.…. Prince Ranier nice draw and should be close to the lead early. Good chance here…… Sierra Gold ok draw and ok last start in a stronger field. Could upset here but place chances look best..… Sally Lindenny galloped last start but has good grass form. Hard to beat with manners Selections:  Prince Ranier (1),   Martha Stuart (2),   Sally Lindenny (11),   Sierra Gold (7)   Race 7 Judgement Bay building into fitness and looks the leader early. Can win and is one of the leading chances in this field …. Four Starzzz Shiraz usually holds his form ok and paying good money. Might get back from the draw but will finish well….. Edge Sheeran has been good the last couple and getting fitter. Nice draw and can upset…. Alta Redeemer getting better with racing and form is top notch. Good winning chance Selections:   Judgement Bay (4),  Alta Redeemer (6),   Edge Sheeran (1),  Four Starzzz Shiraz (9)   Race 8 The Kaik going ok fram tricky draws against strong fields. Looks hard to beat here if he goes forward early ….. A Rocknroll Star good win last start and will be improved. Can repeat….. Just N Awe tricky draw but has grass form. Should be close to the placings with luck in the running….. Eastwood Isabella draw not great and will need luck in transit, but at her best would be hard to beat. Needed Selections:   A Rocknroll Star (7),   The Kaik (2),   Just N Awe (8)  Eastwood Isabella (15)   Race 9 Blue Chip Delight racing well and paying great money. Distance suits and will be hard to beat if he can get handy early….. Cheezel racing well and good finisher who should be hard to beat if she can step away with the field. Include….. Bettor Grunter racing well and raced on grass with merit last few starts. Top driver so needed here…… Back In Black has been racing at well at trials and workouts and can grass suits. Can upset if he leaves the stand quickly Selections:  Blue Chip Delight (4),  Cheezel (11),   Bettor Grunter (5)    Back In Black (12)   Race 10 Majestic Action badly drawn but has a big reputation and was knocked over in the straight last start. Winning claims with a track into the race….. Alvira Hest top driver booked and has won on grass. Good winning claims at nice odds….. Take After Me better draw and will be a factor if he can lead early. Paying great money and can upset….. Beyond The Horizon getting fitter and dangerous if the pace is on all the way. One for longer odds Selections:   Take After Me (2),   Majestic Action (13),   Alvira Hest (9)   Beyond The Horizon (8)   Race 11 Mad Lu Li out of form and tricky draw but one of the better horses in the race. Has a good winning chance….. Dallas Grimes racing into form and tidy draw. One of the leading players in the race. Include….. Jazelle good win last start but drawn wide. Can win if she gets a track into the race ….. Chal Be galloped early last start but better than that. Winning claims at nice odds Selections:   Dallas Grimes (2),   Mad Lu Li (9),   Jazelle (8)   Chal Be (4)   Harnesslink Media

Zachary Butcher doesn’t get emotional too often, but he admitted to fighting back tears when he met his Nana in the winner’s circle after Zarias won on debut at Alexandra Park on Friday night. The three-year-old son of Changeover is raced by his Nana, Colleen Butcher, and the Estate of his Grandfather, John. “It was pretty exciting,” Butcher said. “We are all in the game to get those thrills and it was a pretty cool night. “Nan made the trip up, so seeing her in the winner’s circle was pretty special. I even shed a tear. “She enjoyed it a lot and it’s been a while since she has had one at the races. “It was just great to get it for Nan and the rest of the family.” Butcher was confident of a solid debut performance after Zarias’ three trial wins, and that was justified with a half-length victory over Cowboys N Bandits, with a further half-length back to Bettor Listen in third. “He had shown enough at the trials and there was still a bit of improvement in him,” Butcher said. “He is going to have to keep stepping up into those tougher grades. To me he has got the ability to do it.” Butcher is now eyeing loftier targets with his charge, including a possible tilt at Classic assignments. “We are looking at possibly going down south for a $40,000 race for horses bred by lesser stallions you could say. He has come through the run pretty well, so we will aim for that,” he said. “We might nominate him for the Derby and see what happens.” While Zarias may have piqued the interest of a few bloodstock agents, Butcher said they may look at keeping him for the meantime. “The offers might come in but I think Nana is pretty keen to race,” he said. “It’s not often that you get a horse that goes out and wins a maiden like that, so you have got to enjoy it.” Later on the card Butcher secured a training double when Call Me Trouble made it three wins on-end in the SBSR Follow Us On Facebook & Harnesslink Handicap Trot (2200m). “He went good again and he did everything right,” Butcher said. “I looked at dropping in behind, but they were going a bit slow, so I was going to have to pull back all the way to last, so I let him run up and he got to the front easy enough. “He was sensible after that. He was able to take a trail and won it quite comfortably in the end.” To top off the night, Butcher made it three wins in the cart when steering Raven Banner to victory in the SBSR Diamon Creek 2YO Group 2 Classic Sun May 2 Mobile Pace (2200m) for trainers Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan. “If he got the right drag up into it and got the right luck he was always going to be thereabouts,” Butcher said. “He just rolled over the top of them, it was a good run from him.” On Saturday, Butcher was pleased to qualify three-year-old gelding Jezonias at the Auckland trials, but his future is destined with another trainer. “I qualified him and he is going to head down to Scott Dickson’s and maybe race down in Palmerston North,” Butcher said. “It’s a bit hard for me to travel back-and-forth there, so he will have a crack down there and hopefully they can win one down there.”

A $7,400 Open Trot that finds Silverhill Volo aiming for his fifth straight harness racing victory and a $7,200 Filly and Mare Open Pace with Bertha Vanation eyeing the hat trick are the marquee events on Sunday's Cal Expo card. There will be 12 races under the Watch and Wager LLC banner and things get underway at 4:55 p.m.The Open Trot is scheduled as the third race, while the Distaff Open will occupy the sixth-race slot on the evening. Silverhill Volo, perfect in his four outings at this meet, looks to keep the streak going in the Open Trot while leaving from the assigned outside post in the field of nine. A 10-year-old son of Muscle Hill, Silverhill Volo is owned, trained and driven by Chip Lackey. He is eyeing his 29th victory from 140 trips to the post, has $168,000 in his bank account and sports a 1:55 1/5 mark. Silverhill Volo has raced up close and personal in all his wins here, including a coast-to-coast decision in the Joe Lighthill two back. He was hard used while first over in his most recent tally three weeks ago, pulling away by two and a half lengths while making 3-5 look like a gift. Mandeville could prove to be the main rival for owner/driver/trainer Gerry Longo. The 9-year-old sidewheeler had a second, a third and a fifth-place finish behind Silverhill Volo before returning to his winning ways two weeks ago in a conditioned affair. Leaving from the outside post in the field of seven, he left into a pocket journey, then had the needed response when asked in the lane and drew off by a length and a quarter. It was the 31st snapshot in 142 trips to the post for Mandeville, who pushed his earnings close to the $270,000 mark. He lands two slots inside his main rival in the No.7 post for this go-around. In the co-featured Distaff Open, Bertha Vanation has posted back-to-back surprise scores at the top rung for owners Bill and Cathy Dessert and driver/trainer Nick Roland, working out sweet trips on both occasions. This time around she will be asked to depart from the assigned outside slot in the field of seven. Bertha Vanation longshot players delight Those who have backed Bertha Vanation in her last two starts at the head of the distaff pacing ranks have been nicely rewarded, as the mare clicked at 25-1 weeks ago and came back to get the job done at 7-1 last Saturday evening. The 6-year-old daughter of Voracious Hanover is owned by Cathy and Bill Dessert and is trained and driven by Nick Roland, who has been able to work out perfect two-hole trips with Bertha Vanation for those two upsets. "I've been with Cathy and Bill for five or six years now and we bought this horse from her breeder John Hendricks three years ago," Nick related. "She got sick on us this summer and kind of went off form, but the minute she got here she perked right up and showed how much she likes this track." Bertha Vanation won her first start at the meet, had to settle for minor awards in her next two tries, then missed a couple of weeks before suiting up for the January 2 Filly and Mare Open where she dismissed at 25-1 from the No. 2 slot. "Because she'd missed some time, she needed every bit of that two-hole trip and the moderate fractions to get there by a nose," Roland noted. Nick admits he didn't see another pocket journey in Bertha Vanation's future when she left from the No. 4 post in a compact cast last week, but the racing gods were once again in her favor and she prevailed once more at the head of the class. "I didn't see it happening on paper, but for whatever reason Brighten Your Life didn't go and I left hard for the top. I didn't mind it at all when Delightfully Wild retook the lead and we were able to work out another good trip." Upsets are often made of such things. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Abermain harness racing trainer Cameron Davies hopes Ticktockpocketwatch or Battle Chimes can go one better on Sunday at Tamworth as he chases an elusive win in the $30,000 Gold Guitar Final (1980m). Battles Chimes was third in the final last year behind the Clayton Harmey-trained Wet My Whistle and was second in heats last week behind Balducci. Ticktockpocketwatch was also second last week. Geoff Harding's The Choreographer won that heat and the Bobs Farm trainer also has Rocknlachlan in the final. Davies has Ticktockpocketwatch from gate three and Battle Chimes from six, the outside of the front line, in the decider. "I do like to set horses for the Golden Guitar each year, it is a race that most trainers up this way aspire to win," Davies told Harness Racing NSW. "This year I have qualified two for the final and for the past three years I have had a finalist in the prestigious race. "Battle Chimes ran an unlucky third beaten by less than three metres in last year's final. "Ticktockpocketwatch came to me from New Zealand midway through last year and we could not be happier with her. "She has won two and been placed three times since we got her. "She also finished second in her heat last Sunday and deserves her place in the final. "It's nice to have two runners in such a prestigious race and it would be a huge thrill if I happened to win it." The Choreographer has gate four and Rocknlachlan the nine. Maitland reinsman Brad Elder drives My Ultimate Star for Jarrod Alchin from gate eight. Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

January 23, 2021 - The 2.3/1 odds Hallix (4f Roc Meslois-Titania) rallied for harness racing jockey Eric Raffin the Gr. II monte Prix de Pardieu this day at Paris Vincennes. Timed in 1.11.9kr the four-year old daughter of Roc Meslois-Titania is trained by Guillaume Gillot for Ecurie Cheffreville, She won for the sixth time in her career now for 150,850€ earned. 23/1 outsider Hora Bot Eur Moel (4f Prodigious-Oeurmoel) earned second money for jockey Guillaume Martin and conditioner Arnaud Desmottes. Third was 13/1 Hera Landia (4f Ludo de Castelle) with Paul Philippe Ploquin aboard. ​Hallix   On January 21 at Vincennes the featured Prix d’Erbray (purse 51,000€, 2100 meters autostart for 9-10 year old Europeans) saw 3.7/1 Carioca (9g Jag de Bellouet-Quantas) rally to win timed in 1.11.6kr with Thomas Levesque at the lines for Pierre Levesque and owner Camille Levesque. This was his 12th career victory now for 219,180€ earned. The 1.7/1 favorite Comtes des Tithais (9g Neoh Hiel) held second for pilot Eric Raffin and trainer/owner Sylvain Marmion. Third home was 36/1 Say That Again (10g Viking Kronos-Kiss Me Again) for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop and Stall Kennys. Carioca That day at Cagnes sur Mer saw the featured Prix Jag de Bellouet (purse 39,000€, 2700 meters autostart, 7-10 year olds) go to 1.8/1 Deko de Tilou (8g Royal Dream-New Sommer Dream) with Christophe Martens up for Ecurie Pietors and trainer Vincent Martens. Dekoi scored for the 11th time in his career now for 189,760€ earned. 3.8/1 Cristal du Lupin (9g Ganymede) was second for Stephane Cingland and 33/1 Davina du Capre (8f Magnificent Rodney) was third for Virgile Foucault. Deko De Tilou   Thomas H. Hicks    

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund has published its list of eligible stallions for the 2021 breeding season. The list includes 34 registered standardbred stallions. The full Stallion Directory, featuring pedigrees, career statistics and earnings of the eligible stallions, is currently available online. Hard copies of the Stallion Directory will be available through the Fund upon request. Eligible stallions are those stallions that have met the ownership or leasing requirements of the Fund and were registered by the Jan. 1 deadline. Copies of the 2021 New York Stallion Directory can be requested by calling 518-388-0178 or emailing info@nysirestakes.com. Keep up to date with news by visiting www.nysirestakes.com. About the Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund:  The Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races.  

The Illinois Racing Board unanimously certified the dispersal of $12.2 million in recapture fees to the state's three horse racing tracks on Thursday ahead of the 2021 harness racing season.   Though still a point of consternation for the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA), the process went far smoother than last year's certification, when ITHA Executive Director David McCaffrey pointed out a potential flaw in the recapture accounting methods and found himself in a spirited back-and-forth with then-IRB Chairman Jeffrey Brincat.   On Thursday, McCaffrey noted the biggest problem remains the state's General Assembly not reimbursing the Illinois Department of Agriculture -- which oversees horse racing in Illinois -- to make the overnight purse whole after the recapture money is distributed to the tracks. McCaffrey said this part of the law "has not been followed since 1999" and claimed that nearly $300 million in recapture fees have been distributed to the tracks, a total that includes since-closed tracks at Maywood and Balmoral, since it took effect in 1995. (Ed. note - $98 Million to Arlington Park and $298 Million to all other tracks in 25 years (since 1995.))   Hawthorne Race Course, which is in the process of constructing a racino that has a target opening of December, received nearly $5.2 million in recapture fees for both thoroughbred and harness racing. Hawthorne, though, is deferring its collection of recapture fees until the racino is operational and had previously deferred $3.4 million in recapture fees from the 2020 fiscal year.   Arlington International, whose parent company Churchill Downs has not committed to racing at the facility beyond this season, was awarded $4.95 million, while Fairmount Park Race Track -- which also has plans to expand into a racino -- received nearly $2 million.   The return of the St. Louis Derby at Fairmount Park Race Track near the end of Thursday's meeting, Fairmount Park Race Track General Manager Melissa Helton announced the track has requested Aug. 26 as the date for the running of the St. Louis Derby, which would mark the first time the stakes race will be held in Collinsville (Illinois) since 2006. As part of FanDuel 's rebranding of the track to FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing, the sports betting titan is funding the $250,000 event.   Helton added FanDuel would be in demo at the track starting Monday, though COVID-19 mitigations where the track is located in the SouthWestern part of Illinois do not currently allow patrons at the grounds.   FanDuel announced in November it would transfer its sports betting license from Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino to Fairmount Park Race Track, which was granted a Master Sports Wagering organizational license by the Illinois Gaming Board in late October.   Chris Altruda @altruda83 has been a sportswriter with ESPN, the Associated Press , and STAYS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest. The Horseman's Voice

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The wins just keep on coming for harness racing driver Dexter Dunn. The 31-year-old New Zealand native, who was named the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year for a second straight time last week, registered four winners on the Friday night card at The Meadowlands. Before the start of the program, Dunn was awarded The Big M's Driver of the Week after winning seven times last weekend (Jan. 15-16), and now sits atop the standings at the mile oval with 19 victories in the early stages of the Winter-Spring-Championship Meeting. Dunn's backers got to cash in some nice prices, as after winning with 1-5 public choice Billion Dollar Day ($2.60 to win in race one), the track's leading driver (with 131 wins) during 2020 scored with Smooth Aceleration ($11.40 in the fifth) and Tango Dancer N ($12.40 in the featured 10th) before completing his grand slam with Alexander Hanover ($14.40 in the 13th). Tango Dancer N Another Down Under standout, Australia native Andy McCarthy, had a big night as well, scoring three times during the night. His fans were smiling after those races as McCarthy's winners (Rockin Panda, Always Mindy, Sheikh Yabooty N) were sent to the gate at odds of 7-2, 7-1 and 10-1. Sheikh Yabooty N PICK-6 CARRYOVER: With a sequence that began with a 10-1 chance and a 27-1 long shot, no one hit the 20-cent Pick-6, creating a carryover for Saturday night's program of $7,293. Those who had five winners cashed in for $347.34. Free past performances for the entire Saturday card are available by going to playmeadowlands.com. HIGHS AND LOWS: With three odds-on choices scoring during the sequence, the 20-cent Pick-5 returned $75.90. In sharp contrast, the Early 50-cent Pick-4 saw no winning favorites and a healthy payout of $8,987.35. A LITTLE MORE: Simon Allard drove two winners on the program while Kelvin Harrison registered a training double. ... Play in the two Pick-4s was predictably vigorous, as the two pools combined to see over $160,000 in action. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,806,228, the third consecutive Friday where at least $2.8 million was pushed through the windows. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

She's the winningest horsewoman in human history and tonight harness racing’s ruling queen Kerryn Manning sits on the precipice of an almost unthinkable milestone.  It’s almost 28 years since a shy, raw kid from Victoria’s Western Districts won her first ever race.  That day, Manning manoeuvred her way to success aboard a juvenile filly named Gorgeous Gambit.  And, unbeknownst to all, a racing legend was born.  Tonight, that legend will pack her driver's bag and head to Ballarat knowing that she’s driven 3999 winners.  And if punters are the prognosticators they believe they are, win 4000 may be only hours away.  Amazingly, Manning has moderated her driving duties in recent years to concentrate on training.  Once upon a time she’d have nine drives on PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup night; this evening she has three.  Two of those will be long odds; but Red Hot Tooth, who has been heavily backed to win the Group 2 E B Cochran Trotters Cup looks perfectly placed to prevail.  It won’t be her biggest success - Manning has won most of Australasia’s biggest events with Arden Rooney and La Coocaracha among the greats she’s partnered, and she conquered the world with Knight Pistol, blazing the trail for female talent following in her footsteps - but it may well be her best.   HRV - Jason Bonnington

He would have likely started a warm odds-on favourite in one of tonight's support races, but Matthew Craven has opted to throw his exciting prospect Kowalski Analysis into the deep end of the PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup.  Craven's charge was emergency for the $110,000 Group 1 feature, but gained a start following the shock withdrawal of Hurricane Harley on Thursday.  The Ecklin South trainer said he was happy to skip the PETstock Rewards Pace and give the son of Roll With Joe his first crack at elite level open class company.  "We're looking at the bigger picture long term with him. We just threw him in just for experience really," Craven said.  "He's ticking along okay, but we think he's more a next year horse. If we can just hopefully get runs in some of these better races and he can just follow around the fence and really get accustomed to what the big racing is all about, I think we could see a really nice horse next year."  Kowalski Analysis has won five of 16 career races and heads to Ballarat on the back of a fifth in the Vincent Vicbred Super Series 3YO Colts and Geldings Final behind Pacifico Dream and a second to Fourbigmen in last weekend's Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup.  Craven isn't tipping miracles this evening - nor does he expect them - but he's just happy to give the four-year-old brown gelding an up-close-and-personal look at some of the best in the business.  "He's got really high speed and then he's just got to develop that tough edge to him to race these better horses," he said.  "I think just driven quiet and up the fence, he's going to win a nice race at some stage.  "If he happens to step up to where we think he is potentially capable, he could be one of the (Ballarat Pacing Cup) contenders next year rather than just a horse that's going to follow them around."  It's not just Kowalski Analysis that will gain some valuable knowledge tonight, with Craven's partner Sofia Arvidsson set to take the drive in one of Victoria's premier races. The Swedish-born horsewoman has partnered the horse in 12 of his 15 starts and will be out to do her best again from barrier 10.  "She's come a long way in a short period so far and the more experience she can get in these races, the better it will be for her going forward in any race," he said.  Kowalski Analysis is a $126 chance with the TAB behind the heavy odds-on favourite Lochinvar Art, who sits at $1.15.  Tonight's Ballarat Pacing Cup is race eight on the 10-event card and is set to go at 9.32pm.   HRV - Michael Howard

Should any horse beat Lochinvar Art home tonight not only will it become the PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup champion, but it will have to rattle Smolda’s track record in the process. A data deep dive reveals a history-making performance will be required to upstage the Shepparton superstar in tonight’s $110,000 Group 1, which promises to kick-start the TAB Summer of Glory in explosive style. Lochinvar Art, who’s just turned five, enters fresh off a victory in his home cup last Saturday night, when he became the 91st Australasian-bred pacer to eclipse $1million in stakes. Over the course of the next three weeks he could elevate himself into the all-time top 40, with tonight’s Group 1 preceding the $500,000 Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton on February 6. HAVE YOU FILLED OUT YOUR TROTSTARS TEAM? CLICK HERE TO JOIN Trainer-driver David Moran said Lochinvar Art’s “pulled up really good” from Shepparton, which was “was like track work for him” and he’s ready for even higher honours. “He hasn’t won a Hunter Cup or Miracle Mile yet, but he’s in the next bracket. If he wins one of those we’ll be able to say he’s one of the greats.” Time is on his side and the clock doesn’t lie. Lochinvar Art holds Tabcorp Park Melton’s track record over the short distance and last week matched the Shepparton track record over the long distance. He’s won eight of his last 10 starts, five of which have been in the 10 fastest times ever run at those tracks. The two times he was beaten he was pipped by one and 1.5 metres by Hurricane Harley, who was brilliant but advantaged by the draws and had to break the Bendigo middle-distance record and match Lochinvar Art’s Melton middle-distance record to hold ‘Arty’ at bay. “The biggest thing for him is it’s not one thing – it’s not speed, it’s not stamina, but it’s probably three things,” he said. “His will to win, his versatility and his raw ability. “You look at a lot of great horses and over time they are always quality at everything, whether it’s over distance or sprint. You look at the horses like Lennytheshark, Smoken Up, Westburn Grant – it didn’t matter the situation, they dealt with it. “There is not one thing that bothers him. He has it all.” And when he’s on, like in his recent Victoria Cup and Vicbred Super Series Group 1 wins, there’s nothing quite like it. “You can definitely feel it in the run. Sires night you knew, Vic Cup night you knew,” Moran said. “You just feel him ticking really good along the back (straight). It’s a great feeling. Scary sometimes when they can do the work they do, you click them up and they don’t find one gear, they find two.” He’ll be looking for that strength tonight, when Lochinvar Art rolls forward out of gate five and pursues the biggest open age win of his career thus far. “It’s obviously a very prestigious race and has been for a long time. It would be an awesome race to win.”   HRV - Michael Howard

LEBANON, OH. - The Bethinator, the youngest harness racing mare (at age 4) with the least earnings in the field, won the Miami Valley $22,500 Mares Open Pace on Friday (Jan. 22). It was the daughter of Somebeachsomewheres fourth win at the top level in her last six tries on the Miami Valley-Hollywood Dayton circuit. Driver Tyler Smith set sail early and was determined to dictate all the fractions with the razor sharp odds-on favorite. The outcome was never really in doubt as The Bethinator coasted through the mile in fractions of :27.3, :55.4, 1:23.3 and 1:51.4. Although all nine of her challengers had career earnings over $200,000, she has just reached $147,309 for her owner-breeder Megan Rogers Racing Stable. The Bethinator is trained by Nelson Willis. Sharing the Friday spotlight were a pair of lucrative Claim To Fame series finals. The finalists in the $20,000 claiming split for mares chased a purse of $30,000, while the male $12,500 claimers went for $25,000. Malnificent (Trace Tetrick) proved her many faithful were correct when she fronted the distaff field in 1:52.4 and returned a $3.00 win mutual. Owned by Ira and Brian Wallach Racing and trained by Tyler George, the winner bested Duck Duck Dragon (Chris Page) and M E Radar Girl (Tyler Smith) to claim the championship. J M Jet Set (Dan Noble) got the best of a very evenly matched field of championship hopefuls in the male division. Franzo (Sam Widger) and Armabluechipboy N (Kayne Kauffman) were next across the finish line, reached in 1:53. All nine finalists had won a heat of the series in the past two weeks. Noble's wife Christi conditions and owns the 11-year-old winner who now sports 40 career wins and over $400,000 in lifetime bounty.   Gregg Keidel

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 22, 2020 — Dorothy’s Legacy needed every bit of stretch to do it, but she finally put Morning Shadow away to capture Friday’s harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $9,100 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Morning Shadow set up the stretch duel when she pocketed Dorothy’s Legacy past the quarter. But when Tony Hall moved the 5-year-old daughter of Art Major-Put On A Display wide in the lane, she had enough to down Morning Shadow by 3/4 lengths in1:54.2. Marvalous Song finished third. John Sullivan trains Dorothy’s Legacy for Greg Usner. Hall collected four wins and Dave Palone three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Wednesday when the program features a $563.01 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

By Jonny Turner    Their long drive home was made a little easier after brothers Nathan and Matthew Williamson both snared driving doubles at Addington on Friday night. In typical Williamson style, three of their victories came with trotters with Matthew driving Miss Crazed and Missalyssa to win. Nathan continued a brilliant week of training and driving when Dark Horse took out Friday night’s feature trot. He then continued his winning run when making the most of a catch-drive behind Nirvana Beach. Missalyssa produced yet another excellent performance when doing plenty of work to find the front in the first lap of race 9. The Andrew Faulks trained mare shrugged off that burn when digging deep to score her sixth career win. “I just tried to keep her trotting early, but then we got left three-deep so we had to push on,” Matthew Williamson said. “It was a brave effort, she has raced like that a lot.” “She is used to doing her share of work and still kicking on, it was a good effort.” Despite running a huge race in her last start when second from a 10m handicap on the tight turning Roxburgh track, Missalyssa was let go at 10/10 in the betting on Friday night. Miss Crazed relished the wide-open spaces of the Addington track and the slotting into a rating 40-54 event in race 2. “The race was assessed right for her, in that grade she can do a bit of work,” Matthew said. “She is better following a helmet but in that kind of race she doesn’t have to.” “The bigger tracks are an assist for her too, she is a giant of a horse.” “She likes the big tracks and she did trot nice and to do a bit of work and hold them off over the short trip was a big effort.” Nathan Williamson had an even bigger trek home than his Oamaru-based brother following his double on Friday night. His trip up from Southland was made worthwhile when Dark Horse justified her favouritism for race 7. Known as a sit sprinter, Dark Horse showed she was at the top of her game by handling mid-race work before letting down with her customary finish to score. “She can do work when she is on song like she is at the moment,” Nathan said. “She can do it if need be, it is not her best option.” “But tonight I didn’t have any other option.” “She is just a great mare and she is in great form.” With plenty of good trotting races coming up at Addington, Dark Horse will be back up the road from Southland again soon. “I was going to race her here again next week, but I have decided against it,” Nathan said. “I will just take her up for the Summer Free-For-All, the group 3 race in three weeks time.” “She doesn’t mind her races being spaced, if need be I can give her a trial at home in between.” Williamson continued a winning week that started with brilliant victories with Pembrook Playboy and Ragazzo Mach at Winton on Wednesday by rating Nirvana Beach perfectly in front to win race 10. “He looks like one of those horses that if you don’t argue with him he is good,” Nathan said. “So we didn’t argue and he kept rolling and Brad (Mowbray) had him spot on.” Nirvana Beach has won three of his seven starts for the Mowbray stable and those victories have all come in his last four outings.

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway concluded the Vinny Fusco Jr Memorial Pacing Series this Friday (January 22), with a pair of harness racing finals. One saw a logical result, the other an upset.   Tall Poppy N completed a sweep of the second division, for fillies and mares with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 71.50 and 75.00 at the start of the series. Just like in the first two legs, George Brennan put her on the lead just after the quarter, and set comfortable fractions. In the stretch, she received a stiff challenge from Thaneeya, but Tall Poppy N held her at bay for a half-length win, in 1:56.3. The winner is owned by Curtin Anz Stable and trained by Kelvin Harrison, and paid $4.20 to win.   The first division final, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50, was won by 8/1 If Ur Richimsingle. Leaving from post position two, Daniel Dube put her in the pocket early on. Not long after the quarter, Dube activated his charge, and put her on the lead before the half. She drew off and opened up nearing three-quarters, and never looked back, crossing the wire 2 1/2 lengths in front.   The winning filly is owned by John Cancelliere and trained by Tom Cancelliere. She paced the mile in 1:58.2, for her first career win.   In between those two finals, Lean Hanover defeated Melady's Monet to win the Preferred Handicap trot. Jim Marohn Jr kept him in the pocket most of the way, then activated him in the stretch and rolled by for a 1 1/4 length win. He trotted the mile in 1:57.1, for owners PC Wellwood Enterprises and Karen Carroll, and trainer Linda Toscano.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday (January 23), with a 13-race card starting at about 12:30 PM. The card includes two finals of the Harold Kelly Memorial Pacing Series.     Publicity Freehold Raceway

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