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Star pacer Ohoka Punter still has the glint in his eye. The multiple feature race winner made a stylish debut for his new connections at Albion Park this afternoon (Tuesday) winning his 1660m trial with relative ease. Recently purchased by leviathan couple Kevin and Kay Seymour and placed in the care of leading horseman Grant Dixon, the rising nine-year-old entire led throughout in his public workout defeating Hughie Green and Lucifers Legend in a time of 1:55.7. The mile was covered in 28.3, 29.9, 30.2 and 27.4 seconds. It was his first public outing since finishing second behind his former stablemate Chicago Bull in the Gr.2 $50,000 Governor’s Cup at Gloucester Park on February 23. The millionaire pacer is winless to date this season from 16 starts. “I’m really happy with that effort; he felt really good and ran through the line strongly. It’s a good start point for this campaign and hopefully we can build on that.” Dixon said. And the Racing Queensland winter carnival is the immediate focus and a tilt at winning the main event, the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park on July 21 is again a distinct possibility. Ohoka Punter won the event two years ago (2016) when prepared by young Nathan Purdon, son of Mark. The Gr.2 $50,540 Garrards Sunshine Sprint on July 14 is another key target. As it stands, the Sunshine State is lacking a genuine open class star and Ohoka Punter could easily fill the void if he remains fit and healthy while a plethora of interstate talent is on the way to plunder the riches. Connections of both My Field Marshal and Soho Tribeca are keen on the Albion Park features. The Seymour couple purchased Ohoka Punter as a dual threat, a racing and breeding proposition. As soon as his racing days are completed, he will stand at their Egmont Park Stud property on the Darling Downs of Toowoomba alongside the likes of Mr Feelgood, Hurrikane Kingcole and Gotta Go Cullect. Chris Barsby

Not many male pacers have won Dan Patch awards at ages 2 or 3 and returned to capture another trophy against older horses. The list since 1990 features Artsplace, Jenna's Beach Boy, Gallo Blue Chip, Art Major, and Sweet Lou. All with the exception of Sweet Lou were 4-year-olds when they received their honor as an older horse; Sweet Lou was 5. McWicked, who earned a Dan Patch Award at age 3 in 2014, is hoping to add his name to the list -- at the age of 7. And trainer Casie Coleman says the stallion has never been better. "To see him still going, and going as hard as he is, is awesome; normally right now they're getting a little tired and tailing off," Coleman said. "I honestly think this horse seems stronger than he's ever been yet, which I don't even know how is possible, but he seems like a stronger horse right now." The winner of two of four races this year, McWicked on Saturday heads to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono for the eliminations of the Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers. McWicked is in the second of three eliminations on the card, which also features eliminations for the Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, and James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. McWicked is coming off a second-place finish to Sintra in the Gold Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park. McWicked got away eighth, 16 lengths off the lead at the quarter-mile point, before pacing his final three-quarters of a mile in 1:18.4 to rally for the runner-up spot. "It was insane the back half he had, but he was just too far back," Coleman said. "He couldn't have raced any better, he was just far out of the race. "Every time we've put him on the track he's raced great." McWicked, owned by Ed James' S S G Stables, won 12 of 23 races at age 3 including the Breeders Crown, Hempt Memorial, Adios, and Progress Pace on his way to $1.47 million in purses. He hit the board a total of 21 times that season and got checks in the North America Cup, Little Brown Jug, Messenger, Milstein Memorial, and Matron. He was winless in a combined 14 races at ages 4 and 5 because of breathing issues and multiple throat surgeries, but bounced back last year with seven victories in 27 races and $560,025. McWicked finished the campaign with four consecutive second-place finishes, including the TVG Series championship, Breeders Crown and Allerage Farms Open Pace and might have been in the mix for his second Dan Patch Award with a win or two in any of them. "He kept being the bridesmaid," Coleman said. "He just had a lot of bad luck with traffic. He was pacing harder than any of them at the wire, he just had some bad luck. But saying that, the horse has made over $2 million, so I guess you can't say it's too bad of luck." For his career, the son of McArdle-Western Sahara has won 24 of 78 starts and $2.37 million. "It's not often that he's off the board," Coleman said. "He usually gives you all he's got and he's usually right there. He's had a lot of first-over journeys where he still gets the job done. He can take any trip you give him. "He's staked in everything all summer long. As long as he's sound and healthy he'll be in all the events and hopefully he can win a couple of them." Coleman credited an offseason layoff in Kentucky, the work of trainer Jim McDonald in preparing McWicked in Florida, and the decision to bypass the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series in March/April as reasons for her horse's early-season success. "Hopefully it pays off for us," Coleman said. "He's been sharp, sound, and healthy. We just hope for a little bit of luck on the weekend." For Saturday's complete Pocono entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Hightstown, NJ --- North America Cup champion Lather Up surged to No. 2 in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, but was unable to overtake Hannelore Hanover in the top spot. Hannelore Hanover, the 2017 Horse of the Year in the U.S. and Canada, increased her points (plus-13) and first-place votes (plus-6) thanks to her third consecutive Armbro Flight Stakes victory last weekend. Lather Up, undefeated in six races this year, added 117 points and received four first-place votes. He was ranked No. 5 last week. Roses Are Red winner Shartin N gained 49 points this week, despite dropping her lone first-place vote from a week ago, and remained No. 3 in the rankings. Filibuster Hanover, who was idle, dropped 61 points and slipped from second to fourth while idle Atlanta rounded out the top five. Goodtimes Stakes winner Wolfgang added 93 points this week to join the Top 10, at No. 7. He was the only newcomer to the Top 10. Rockin Ron dropped from the group. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 4 – 6/19/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Hannelore Hanover (30) 6tm 4-4-0-0 $208,338 338 1 2 Lather Up (4) 3pc 6-6-0-0 $458,165 297 5 3 Shartin N 5pm 14-11-1-0 $560,923 269 3 4 Filibuster Hanover (1) 4pg 5-5-0-0 $202,225 224 2 5 Atlanta 3tf 3-3-0-0 $127,284 191 4 6 Manchego 3tf 2-2-0-0 $43,240 143 6 7 Wolfgang 3tc 2-2-0-0 $112,630 96 -- 8 Bit Of A Legend N 9ph 9-3-4-1 $330,775 89 7 9 Will Take Charge 5tg 12-6-3-1 $205,268 52 8 10 Keystone Velocity 10ph 6-2-2-0 $320,000 49 9 Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

WILKES-BARRE PA - The elimination races for the $2,000,000 Sun Stakes Saturday supercard at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono have been drawn. The elimination races will be conducted this Saturday (June 23), with those advancing to the Championships going for the big money on Saturday, June 30. A tremendous amount of subplots already suggest themselves from the elimination draws: the undefeated filly Manchego taking on the boys in the Beal Trot; arguably the three best colts drawing posts 6-7-8 in the same elimination of the Hempt Pace; Filibuster Hanover again testing older stock as he looks to keep his seasonal tally unbeaten in the Franklin Pace. Here is a brief preview of the four major races, with a listing of the field containing horse, post position, trainer, and probable driver at the end of each section. EARL BEAL 3YO OPEN TROT (this Saturday $25,000 eliminations in races 3, 5, 11; top three advance to June 30's $500,000 Championship) Manchego, perfect in 14 starts thus far in her career, with both her starts in 2018 winning ones at Pocono, will test the boys in this important stepping stone towards the Hambletonian and the rest of the sophomore riches. Manchego has done well in the barrier draw, getting post five, by far the winningest starting slot at Pocono, for trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras. (It was that team that tried the filly Ariana G in the Beal last year, and she gave a great race but wound up third over an off track in the Championship.) Manchego will have to face champion colts at two from both sides of the border, and here the gate, in this race 11 elim: Alarm Detector, 7 for 9 last year and coming off a third in the Goodtimes Final for trainer Benoit Baillargeon and driver Trevor Henry. He has the inside post; stuck with the outside post eight is Fourth Dimension (trainer Marcus Melander, driver Brian Sears), 8 for 11 in 2017 and second in his recent seasonal bow. New York star Six Pack, undefeated in three seasonal outings including the Empire Breeders Classic final, will go in race 5 from post six in a field of seven for trainer/driver Ã…ke Svanstedt. Two top Pennsylvania horses going against him are Moosonee (post two, trainer Chris Beaver, driver Aaron Merriman), a double stakes winner this year, and Fashionwoodchopper (post five, trainer Jim Campbell, driver David Miller), the 2017 Sire Stakes Champion. The Beal action starts from race 3, with Patent Leather (post one, trainer Jim Campbell, driver Tim Tetrick) back on the track after winning a Pennsylvania All-Stars race in 1:52.3 yesterday (Sunday), just six nights before the Beal elims. Sire Stakes winners in Ohio (Mission Accepted, post four, trainer Jeff Conger, driver Ryan Stahl) and New York (Voss Volo, post seven, trainer John Butenschoen, driver Corey Callahan) certainly figure as contenders. BEAL ELIMINATION RACE 3 - 1, Patent Leather, trainer Jim Campbell, driver Tim Tetrick; 2, Tito, Erv Miller, Marcus Miller; 3, Lawmaker, Andrew Harris, Anthony MacDonald; 4, Mission Accepted, Jeff Conger, Ryan Stahl; 5, Winning Shadow, Jake Huff, Corey Callahan; 6, Whats The Word, trainer Rene Allard, Callahan also listed; 7, Voss Volo, John Butenschoen, Callahan also listed. (A release with late driver changes and morning line odds will be sent out Tuesday afternoon.) BEAL ELIMINATION RACE 5 - 1, Missle Hill, Tony Alagna, Doug McNair; 2, Moosonee, Chris Beaver, Aaron Merriman; 3, Evaluate, Marcus Melander, Tim Tetrick; 4, Rich And Miserable, Todd Buter, Tyler Buter; 5, Fashionwoodchopper, Jim Campbell, David Miller; 6, Six Pack, trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt; 7, Scirocco Rob, John Butenschoen, Corey Callahan. BEAM ELIMINATION RACE 11 - 1, Alarm Detector, Benoit Baillargeon, Trevor Henry; 2, Gemologist; trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt; 3, Crystal Fashion, Jim Campbell, Tim Tetrick; 4, Mississippi Storm, Tom Fanning, David Miller; 5, Manchego, Jimmy Takter, Yannick Gingras; 6, Fashion Forever, Jim Campbell, Corey Callahan; 7, Fiftydallarbill, Bill Crone, Trace Tetrick; 8, Fourth Dimension, Marcus Melander, Brian Sears. MAX C. HEMPT 3YO COLT PACE (this Saturday $25,000 eliminations in races 6, 9, 12; top three advance to June 30's $500,000 Championship) The racing gods left no margin for error in the 12th race elimination of the Hempt. Only the top three horses in the eight-horse elim will advance, and the threesome many would rate as the top trio in the land drew the three outermost slots: Done Well (post six, trainer Brian Brown, driver Tim Tetrick), Lather Up (post seven, trainer Clyde Francis, driver Montrell Teague), and Courtly Choice (post eight, trainer Blake MacIntosh, driver Mark MacDonald). Lather Up, a perfect 6-for-6 this year, will likely emerge as the chalk off his easy win last Saturday in the North America Cup final; a win might not come so easily in this collection. In the race six elim, New York Sire Stakes winners Keystone Tenacious (post four, trainer Paul Kelley, driver Mark MacDonald) and Springsteen (post six, trainer Rene Allard, driver David Miller) will be challenged by fast Ohio Sires winner Cinnamack (post three, trainer Brian Brown, David Miller also listed) and Dorsoduro Hanover (post seven, five, trainer Ron Burke, driver Matt Kakaley), who was the early leader pro tem in this division until getting a horrible trip in his NA Cup elim and not making the final. Race nine sees Stay Hungry trying to rebound from a fourth-place finish in the NA Cup Final after getting a golden second-over trip. To come back to winning ways, he'll have to overcome the outside post eight for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Doug McNair, along with foes such as I'm A Big Deal (post five, trainer Chris Ryder, driver George Napolitano Jr.), an impressive Sire Stakes winner here a couple of starts back. HEMPT ELIM RACE 6 - 1, This Is The Plan, Chris Ryder, Tim Tetrick; 2, Daddyofemall, Dan Altmeyer, Mike Wilder; 3, Cinnamack, Brian Brown, David Miller; 4, Keystone Tenacious, Paul Kelley, Mark MacDonald; 5, Dorsoduro Hanover, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 6, Springsteen, Rene Allard, David Miller also listed; 7, Stendahl Hanover, Eddie Sager, Marcus Miller; 8, Decoy, Jimmy Takter, David Miller also listed; 9, Closing Statement, Joe Holloway, Brian Sears. HEMPT ELIM RACE 9 - 1, Whos Better, Brian Brown, Tim Tetrick; 2, Sometimesawinner, Rene Allard, Simon Allard; 3, Shnitzledosomethin, Dylan Davis, David Miller; 4, Hitman Hill, Chris Oakes, Brett Miller; 5, I'm A Big Deal, Chris Ryder, George Napolitano Jr.; 6, Points North, Nifty Norman, Andrew McCarthy; 7, Grand Teton, Jimmy Takter, Scott Zeron; 8, Stay Hungry, Tony Alagna, Doug McNair. HEMPT ELIM RACE 12 - 1, Rock Lights, Katricia Adams, George Napolitano Jr.; 2, Babes Dig Me, Tony Alagna, Brett Miller; 3, Heavenly Sound, Bruce Saunders, Andrew McCarthy; 4, Nutcracker Sweet, Jimmy Takter, David Miller; 5, Wes Delight, Mark Harder, Corey Callahan; 6. Done Well, Brian Brown, Tim Tetrick; 7, Lather Up, Clyde Francis, Montrell Teague; 8, Courtly Choice, Blake MacIntosh, Mark MacDonald. BEN FRANKLIN FFA PACE (this Saturday $35,000 eliminations in races 2, 4, 10; top three advance to June 30's $500,000 Championship) Filibuster Hanover, who has handled the often-difficult stepup from age three to age four quite well so far, will try to run his seasonal undefeated string to six as he starts from post six in the 10th race Franklin elim for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. Filibuster has already shown he could handle older company with a win in the Commodore Barry Pace at Philly at the end of May. Sure to attract support is Sintra (post one, trainer David Menary, driver Jody Jamieson) off a 1:48 victory in the Mohawk Gold Cup last week. The horse who finished second to Sintra, McWicked, just might be the most intriguing horse in all of these Franklin elims. Last week he was sixteen lengths out at the quarter, yet rallied to be beaten only 2 3/4 lengths, which calculates to a last 3/4s in 1:18.4 - and three-wide on the far turn! The career winner of more than $2M starts from post four for trainer Casey Coleman and driver Brian Sears in the race 4 elimination. Heaven Rocks A, a champion in Australasia who was second to Filibuster Hanover in the Commodore Barry and then came back to win in 1:50 at Philly, may be getting better and better with each start; in his race 2 elimination, he'll try to sustain his improvement from post four for trainer Ross Croghan and driver David Miller. Western Fame (post five, trainer Jimmy Takter, driver Andrew McCarthy) will draw respect off a 1:49.1 - 26.1 win last week at The Meadowlands. FRANKLIN ELIM RACE 2 - 1, Easy Lover Hanover, Ben Wallace, driver TBA; 2, Check Six, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 3, Missile J, Scott Di Domenico, Tim Tetrick; 4, Heaven Rocks A, Ross Croghan, David Miller; 5, Western Fame, Jimmy Takter, Andrew McCarthy; 6, Split The House, Chris Oakes, George Napolitano Jr.; 7, Donttellmeagain, Jim King Jr., Tim Tetrick also listed. FRANKLIN ELIM RACE 4 - 1, Rockin Ron, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 2, Scott Rocks, Hunter Oakes, George Napolitano Jr.; 3, Waikiki Beach A, Ross Croghan, Scott Zeron; 4, McWicked, Casey Coleman, Brian Sears; 5, Mach It So, Jeff Bamond Jr., Tim Tetrick; 6, Mac's Jackpot, Jeffrey Smith, Andy Miller. FRANKLIN RACE 10 - 1, Sintra, David Menary, Jody Jamieson; 2, Boogie Shuffle, Mark Harder, David Miller; 3, Christen Me N, Jim King Jr., Tim Tetrick; 4, All Bets Off, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 5, Dealt A Winner, Mark Silva, Brett Miller; 6, Filibuster Hanover, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 7, Funknwaffles, John Butenschoen, Corey Callahan. JAMES LYNCH 3YO FILLY PACE (this Saturday $20,000 eliminations in races 7 and 8; top four and the faster fifth-place finisher advance to June 30's $300,000 Championship) The main question to be asked ahead of the Lynch is "Which Youaremycandygirl will show up this week?" The one who won 9 of 11 at two and was divisional champion, or the one who has won only one of three seasonal starts? Trainer Ron Burke has been diligently working to get the most successful answer to that question, as the filly starts in the race 7 elimination from post two for driver Yannick Gingras. Lismore champion Alexa's Power (post three, trainer Jim Campbell, driver Tim Tetrick) and New Jersey Sires final winner Hypnotic Tale (post five, trainer Linda Toscano, driver David Miller) will be among the many seeking out the answer to that puzzle. In the race 8 elim, Kissin In The Sand (post three, trainer Nancy Johansson, driver Scott Zeron) may become the public's choice after a very good second in the Fan Hanover final last Saturday. Two of Pennsylvania's best had the misfortune to draw outside posts in the eight-horse field: Serene Stride (post seven, trainer Mark Harder, driver Tony Hall) and Sidewalk Dancer (post eight, trainer Chris Oakes, driver Brett Miller. LYNCH ELIM RACE 7 - 1, Carlo's Superstar, Rene Allard, Simon Allard; 2, Youaremycandygirl, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 3, Alexa's Power, Jim Campbell, Tim Tetrick; 4, Double A Mint, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 5, Hypnotic Tale, Linda Toscano, David Miller; 6, Pass Line Bluechip, Wayne Givens, driver TBA; 7, Majorsspeciallady, Ron Burke, Brett Miller; 8, Ideal Talker, Noel Daley, Andrew McCarthy. LYNCH ELIM RACE 8 - 1, Python Blue Chip, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 2, I'm Trigger Happy, Tony Osullivan, David Miller; 3, Kissin In The Sand, Nancy Johansson, Scott Zeron; 4, Solitary, Nick Surick, Tim Tetrick; 5, Cuts Like A Knife, Bruce Saunders, Tim Tetrick also listed; 6, Sansovia Hanover, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 7, Serene Stride, Mark Harder, Tony Hall; 8, Sidewalk Dancer, Chris Oakes, Brett Miller. One final note - you won't want to miss the first race, a $30,000 open pace in the Great Northeast Open Series, with two $2M+ winners: Bettors Edge (post one, trainer Jennifer Lappe, driver Scott Zeron), and another Takterite taking on "the boys," Pure Country (post three, driver Yannick Gingras). Add Rockeyed Optimist, Rodeo Romeo and others to the mix, and you have a field with 151 lifetime wins and a combined bankroll of $6.3M, with an average mark of 1:48.4. This curtainraiser at Pocono on Saturday is slated for 7 p.m. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs                

Australians are increasingly using mobile phones to place bets - but fewer are taking a punt, according to a study by Australian research company Roy Morgan. Some 3.4 million Australians bet on a sporting event, horse racing, harness racing (trots), greyhound racing or some other event in the 12 months ending in March 2018, Roy Morgan said in figures released on Monday. That figure was down from more than 3.7 million Australians six years ago.  More than one-third of Australians (34.1%), make their bet using the Internet compared to 15.7% six years ago. Tabcorp Holdings was used by 17.4% of bettors, while Sportsbet.com.au was second with 12.9% of users. Crownbet had 6.5% of users. While fewer Australians are gambling, those who do place a bet are using their mobile devices more often. "The growth is clearly being driven by the increasing use of mobile phones to place bets," Roy Morgan said, adding that 22.7% use their mobile phone now compared to 5.6% in 2012.  Most bets are not placed online, however. “A majority of Australians who bet still don’t bet via the Internet. Over two-fifths of Australians who bet have not used the Internet to place a bet and these are the key market companies offering online betting need to target to grow their revenue," Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, said in a statement after the results were released. The Australian market has significantly changed over the years.  Tabcorp merged with Tatts Group in late 2017, Sportsbet was bought by the Irish Paddy Power Betfair, and 80% of Crownbet was acquired by the Canadian gaming company, the Stars Group, in March.  By Nicole Gheller Reprinted with permission of The Gambling Insider 

WILKES-BARRE PA - Three-year-old colt trotters who may have been eyeing the Earl Beal Trot, with its $500,000 final on Saturday, June 30, had their final pretest six days before the harness racing eliminations, as they contested three $30,000 divisions of their Pennsylvania All-Stars event at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Patent Leather came a long way uncovered from midpack, collaring pacesetting (27, 55.4, 1:24.2) favorite Whats The Word in midstretch and drawing away to a 2¼-length victory in a personal best of 1:52.3. The Broadway Hall colt, driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Jim Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC, indicated his fitness for meeting the best of his division with a very strong victory, raising his bankroll to $117,271. The Cantab Hall gelding Haveitalltogether got all the "breaks" in posting a 1:53.4 victory. After Rich And Miserable got the top past the 27.3 and kept favored You Know You Do parked until that foe broke at the 56.1 half, Eric Carlson moved the Julie Miller-trained trotter out second-over behind his stablemate Max's Beast down the back, but they went back inside before the 1:24.2 3/4s. Around the far turn pocketsitting For A Dreamer lost his gait, allowing Haveitalltogether another life, and the winner of $106,680 took full advantage, catching the beleaguered Rich And Miserable by a neck. The Pinske Stables, the Andy Miller Stable, Kentuckiana Racing Stable, and Eddie Gran saw their sophomore run his 2018 tally to four wins in six starts. The third cut provided a three-way drive to the wire, with Lindy's Bang Bang taking the bang-bang-bang finish while lowering his mark over two seconds with a 1:52.2 victory. The Explosive Matter gelding yielded to Make It A Double and sat behind him through fractions of 27.1, 56, and 1:23.4, at the last station the pacesetter battling with first-over favorite Donatover and Crystal Fashion, who had picked an early 3-tuck, second-over. Donatover tired around the turn and Crystal Fashion quickly ducked in, and when Lindy's Bang Bang vacated the pocket, he had a chance up the Pocono Pike, but the winner was able to stave off Crystal Fashion by a nose, denying the Jim Campbell stable a double; just a half-length back in third was Make It A Double, who was trying to make it a double for Team Orange Crush. But Lindy's Bang Bang got the nod, making the Nifty Norman trainee's 2018 scorecard 5-for-7 and his lifetime earnings $153,108; driver David Miller also co-owns the winner with Melvin Hartman and David Mc Duffee. There was also a $30,000 division of the Great Northeast Open Series for trotters on the Sunday card, and in it George Napolitano Jr. was in constant motion through most of the mile as his drive, Homicide Hunter, held off the 2016 Trotter of the Year, Marion Marauder, by a neck in 1:52.2. Those two had been among those battling for the lead in early numbers of 27 and 55.3 before Homicide Hunter finally got control around the Marauder at the half, then turned back the first-over bid of Melady's Monet just past the 1:23.3 3/4s. In the Pocono Pike Marion Marauder launched a strong thrust and looked like he might catch the leader, but Homicide Hunter responded to "GNap"'s urging to preserve the victory. Homicide Hunter, an altered son of Mr Cantab, holds the world for 5/8-mile tracks for both four-year-olds (1:50.1, 2016, here) and older performers (1:50.3, last week, Scioto). He ran his career total to $1,240,907 while getting the nod in the hard-fought contest for trainer Chris Oakes and Crawford Farms Racing. George Napolitano Jr. had four wins on the Sunday night Pocono card after three in the afternoon at Philly, which came after winning eight times at Pocono on Saturday night, giving him 15 winners in 28 hours …   ...after guiding his 9000th career victory here on Monday night. PHHA / Pocono

The Father's Day Sunday (June 17) Harness Racing program at Running Aces got off to a soggy start, and saw a one and a half hour delay that forced the cancellation of race one. Heavy rains pelted the track surface on multiple occasions during the hour before scheduled post time, and forced the track maintenance crew to go into beast mode in order to facilitate the evening's racing program. A large holiday crowd waited patiently for the track to be restored to safe conditions, and once the racing began, the action did not disappoint. The first event of the night went to Scramble Camp ($2.40), who posted an impressive sweeping victory from the back of the pack to blast by his rivals in the lane and win by 4 lengths in 1:58.2 with driver Mooney Svendsen. The eye-opening win came in the $8,800 three-year old open trot, and Scramble Camp now remains undefeated in 4 starts in 2018. He is a gelding by Weight Lifter and is owned by Daniel and Jeralene Roland. As a testament to the hard work of the track crew, the 7 year old gelding pacer Prodigal ($8.20) posted an impressive 1:52.4 lifetime best victory in the third contest of the night, with driver James Yoder for owner/trainer Mark Anderson. That victory coming in a $6,800 conditioned event. The $20,000 Running Aces Featured Pace was the drawing card on the night, and it indeed drew a field of talented pacers. Hawk's Red Chief (Dean Magee) was the post time favorite at 8-5, fresh off a near miss by a neck in his last start. Second wagering choice Stevensville (5-2) fired fastest from the gate with Rick Magee to take an early lead from the other fast leaver Firedrake who was also (5-2). Nick Roland yielded with Firedrake to sit the pocket, while Stevensville posted the early fractions of 26.3 and 56.1. In the second half, Bestinthebusiness got rolling as driver James Yoder sent him first-over and on the attack, he grinded along-side the front runner Stevensville down the backstretch, and was able to stick a neck in front at three-quarters in 1:23.3. From there, the 10 year old gelding by Another Mile stayed ultra-game, fighting off strong late rallies from a pair of longshots to post a one length tally in 1:52.2 over To The Limit (Tim Brown) and Make It Big (Steve Wiseman), with Hawk's Red Chief and Firedrake completing the top 5. Bestinthebusiness ($14.00) is owned by Brett Boyd Racing, Inc. and trained by Gene Miller. The talented pacer has very impressive career numbers with 43 lifetime wins and 103 top 3 finishes, while bankrolling $410,330. Winning driver James Yoder completed a Hat-Trick on the program with the feature-race tally. Driver Lemoyne "Mooney" Svendsen also completed a Hat-Trick on the program. By Darin Gagne', Running Aces Track Announcer          

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today officially announced the return of the time-honoured Inter Dominion (ID) Trotting Championship.   The ID Trotting Championship was placed in a period of hiatus after the win of I Can Doosit at Tabcorp Park Melton in 2012, no longer forming part of the annual Inter Dominion carnival in following years in New South Wales and Western Australia.   However, the recent decision by Harness Racing Australia (HRA) to rescind a previous motion “preventing the use of the term and conduct of the Inter Dominion Trotting Championship” paved the way for the current Inter Dominion hosts – HRV, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) and Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) – to reinstate the ID Trotting Championship.   “It is a wonderful outcome for the trotting gait, to have the Trotting Inter Dominion reinistated alongside the pacers’ Inter Dominion,” HRV CEO David Martin said.   “There has been significant growth in trotting in recent years and the 2018 Australasian Premier Trotting Sale produced strong results.   “The Inter Dominion Trotting Championship has a rich history and has been won by some famous horses, including Sundons Gift, who went back-to-back at Moonee Valley in 2009 and 2010, Lyell Creek, Pride Of Petite, True Roman and Scotch Notch.   “We’re proud to announce the Inter Dominion Trotting Championship will feature as a key part of our ID18 line-up of races and we look forward to hosting the best trotters in Australasia as they target this illustrious series.”     Victorian Square Trotters Association (VSTA) President Nick Youngson celebrated the decision.   “The promotion of the squaregaiter through the Inter Dominion series has always been enormously important and the VSTA wishes to thank HRA and the Inter Dominion hosts HRV, HRNSW and HRNZ for this action,” Mr Youngson said.   “We can’t wait to see the best trotters vying it out for the Inter Dominion trophy at Ballarat, Cranbourne and Tabcorp Park Melton later this year.”     CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA

The American bred and raced Propulsion (7m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall) was a game 1.11.4kr timed winner of Saturday’s Boden, Sweden featured Gr, I International, UET Masters Series, Norrbottens Stora Pris with 1SEL million to the winner. The distance was 2140 meters autostart. Propulsion drew post 10 in a field of 9 (after post 1 Sorbet was scratched) and was away at the back, Driver Orjan Kihlstrom made an aggressive three wide move  after 600 meters and drew alongside then leading Nadal Broline that had taken the front from Arazi Boko.  Nadal’s driver Ulf Ohlsson refused to let Propulsion pass and the pair raced nose to nose until top of stretch when Nadal faded and Makethemark (5m Maharajah-Global Naughty-Conway Hall) rallied three wide off the turn for Bjorn Goop. His charge was less than a length short while Arazi Boko (11g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) held third on the pegs for Jorma Kontio On the Boden undercard was the V75 Bronze that went to 8/1 Dice Man (5g SJs Caviar-International Red-International Chip) with Bjorn Goop up for Stall Courant AB and trainer Stefan Melander. Race time was 1.12.5kr over 1640 meters autostart with 125,000SEK to the winner. Mellby Dealer (6g Going Kronos) and Ebony Bond (7g Chocolatier) trailed the winner. The V75 Silver (2640 meters autostart, 150,000SEK to the winner) was won by Qahar QC (7g Scipion du Goutier-Mumma QC-Enjoy Lavec) at 4/1 for driver Ulf Ohlsson, trainer Catarina Lundstrom and owner Fire-Talli of Finland. Don’t Mind Me (6m Andover Hall) and Linus Boy (6g Zola Boko) were second and third. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

FAN HANOVER, ROSES ARE RED AND GOOTIMES FINALS

MILTON, ON - June 16, 2018 - Sintra converted off a perfect second-over trip from driver Jody Jamieson to win the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup on Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup undercard at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A strong field of nine pacers, featuring eight older heavyweights and three-year-old Jimmy Freight, battled in the annual Invitational. Nirvana Seelster and driver Trevor Henry did the heavy-lifting early, cutting out fractions of :26.3, :54.3 and 1:21.2. Just after the half, Check Six angled out from third to come first-up and supplied cover for Sintra from fourth. In the stretch, Sintra exploded off cover to rocket by and storm home to a 2¾ lengths victory in 1:48. McWicked, who was fourth-over turning for home, got up for second. Jimmy Freight got an inside trip, racing seventh most of the mile. The son of Sportswriter charged home strong along the rail to finish a very respectable third. A five-year-old gelding, Sintra picked up his first win in three starts with Saturday's sizzling mile. The Dave Menary trainee had finished second in his first two outings this season, which come on the heels of an award-winning season in 2017. Owned by Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc, Sintra is now a 18-time winner with $988,425 in career earnings. He paid $18 to win. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - June 16, 2018 - Hannelore Hanover captured her third consecutive Armbro Flight Stakes on Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup undercard at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The reigning Canadian and American Horse of the Year was untouchable in the $250,000 event for trotting mares, as she completed a front-end mission with a :27.2 final-quarter to win by three and three-quarter lengths in 1:52. "Right now she couldn't be any better," said driver Yannick Gingras following Hannelore Hanover's victory. "She's sound, she's happy, I didn't even kick the plugs the last couple of weeks, she's doing it on her own." A six-year-old daughter of Swan For All, Hannelore Hanover left hard from post-five to secure the lead and proceeded to post fractions of :27, :56.1 and 1:24.3. Emoticon Hanover tracked Hannelore Hanover's every move from the two-hole, but couldn't touch the defending champion, who recorded her 40th career victory. Emoticon Hanover held second, while Caprice Hill and Dream Together rounded out the Superfecta. Trained by Ron Burke, Hannelore Hanover is now perfect in four starts this season. Her three-peat in the Armbro Flight increases her career earnings to over $2.8 million for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and J And T Silva Stables LLC. Hannelore Hanover has defeated male rivals on multiple occasions, including last season's Maple Leaf Trot. Gingras noted how important the easy victory was for the big plans her connections have in mind. "The more easy miles we can put on her now, we have some big races later on and maybe even some big plans over the winter." A $2 win ticket on Hannelore Hanover returned $2.20. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

East Rutherford, NJ - Breakfast With The Babies sponsored by Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms took place at The Meadowlands on a grand Saturday morning with clear skies, little breeze and temps in the mid-70's at 10am.   It turned out to be Father Patrick day as that first crop sire had five winners in the seven trotting races. an impressive showing indeed.   Trotting fillies opened the card with Whispering Oaks a 1:57.3 win, the second in a many appearances for the imposing $100,000 (LEX Select) Father Patrick filly. Yannick Gingras sat chilly with Whispering Oaks tight on the back of Frauline Blucher (Marcus Johansson) as that rival set moderate fractions, then tipped his charge as they turned home and she exploded by with a 28 flat final quarter.   Jimmy Takter trains the winner for Brixton Medical, Herb Liverman and RAW Equine. Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband are the breeders.   Father Patrick got another credit when Devilish Delight won the second race in 1:58 / 28.4 for Andy McCarthy. She did it all on her own, setting comfortable fractions then sprinted home to easily hold Caviart Jenny (Johansson) and the rest of the field at bay. Tom Dillion paid $80,000 for Devilish Delight in Lexington last fall, buying from breeder Kentuckiana Farms. Jonas Czernyson trains.   Special Honor by, guess who, Father Patrick took the third for Andy Miller in 1:58.1 / 27.4. She converted a perfect trip, tracking Given (Gingras) until headstretch then ground past that stubborn rival as they neared the wire. Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld bred and own Special Honor.   The fourth race this morning saw two talented, well-bred filly trotters square-off and it went as if scripted. The Muscle Hill x Sina lass Beautiful Sin (Gingras) wore down French Café (Andy Miller), another Father Patrick this one from Creamy Mimi, through a stretch-long battle to win in 1:56.4 / 28.1.   While Isolde (Dave Miller) was rank on the lead early through fast fractions, French Café followed in the pocket before gliding by that rival around the final bend with Beautiful Sin in close pursuit. In the stretch both fillies dug in gamely and it did take a photo to determine Beautiful Sin as the winner. Lennart Agrin paid $480,000 for Beautiful Sin at the Lexington sale last fall and she races under his SRF Stable banner for trainer Jimmy Takter. Jeff Gural and the Moon Goddesses bred and raised the winner.   Colt trotters came around in the 5th and Kredit Karma (David Miller) led all the way to win in 1:58.2 / 27.4 over Amico Mio B (Jordan Stratton). The winner was a $110,000 (LEX Select) Credit Winner bred by Steve Jones and Fair Winds Farm and now owned by Our Horse Cents Stable. Marcus Melander is the trainer.   Hudson River became yet another credit for Father Patrick when he won in 1:58.2 with trainer Jimmy Takter at the lines. Hudson River took the field by the 1:00.3 half, yielded to stablemate and eventual second place finisher Gerris Trix (Gingras) then trotted by that one in deep stretch for the score. Hudson River is a homebred racing for Christina Takter and Goran Falk.   Saving perhaps the best for last and making five winners on the day for Father Patrick was the highly regarded colt Greenshoe. He turned heads when he won in 1:55 with the greatest of ease two weeks ago and returned with another impressive win this morning, albeit a bit slower in 1:56.1 / 28.1 with Brian Sears driving for trainer Marcus Melander.   Greenshoe was pretty fresh scoring and anxious behind the gate but Sears was able to soothe him away with the good colt Don't Let'em (Gingras) landing on his back. Moderate fractions ensued with no real trotting done until midway through the stretch when Gingras moved Don't Let'em out to challenge and made a bit ground but couldn't threaten the winner. Anders Strom using his nom d'course of Courant, Inc bought the Greenshoe in Lexington last fall for $330,000 from breeders Libfeld and Katz.   JK American Beauty took the first pacing race in 1:56.1 for Tim Tetrick. She was just up over Wicked N Wonderful (Gingras) with Mollydooker going off stride when pacing fast at the wire. Nancy Johansson trains the American Ideal filly for owner/breeder 3 Brothers Stable.   Hurrikane Norakane (Dan Dube) was a 1:56.3 winner for trainer John Mc Dermott, Jr. Trapped until very late, when a seam appeared the Art Major filly shot through to nip Odds On Clearwater (Scott Zeron). Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investments and George Vierno own the $24,000 Harrisburg purchase who was bred by Twinbrook LTD.   Blood Money (Gingras), representing the first crop by Sweet Lou, took the 10th in 1:54.2 / 27 just holding off the furious late rally of Hurrikane Emperor (Dube). The homebred is now two for two for Takter and Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Racing.   The exact same connections came right back to win the last of the 2-year-old races with Blacklight in 1:56 / 27.2. Yannick held the Somebeachsomewhere colt from champion mare I Luv The Nitelife well back early then unleashed him in deep stretch to nail Waterway (Brett Miller) in the last step. Another good Diamond Creek homebred prospect in the Takter barn.   Hey Blondie took a handy qualifier in 1:53.2 for Andy McCarthy in a race where Tactical Landing set brisk fractions before rolling off stride as they turned home.   Live racing tonight at The Meadowlands highlighting the annual appearance by the Camel and Ostriches.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands    

Morsels of trivia by their very definition are trivial. So it matters very little that no horse has won a Del-Re National Italian Cup and an Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final in the same year, because if Soho Tribeca proves ID18 king of Victoria this coming December he’ll obviously have created all kinds of history. That said, I did find it interesting that My Lightning Blue, somewhat relatively similar to Soho Tribeca in that he was famous in the mid to late 1980s for his toughness, won the ’86 Italian Cup and went on to win the ’87 Interdom. Tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton, Michael Stanley produced a racehorse perfectly placed to grab command of the Grand Circuit spotlight in coming months and seasons, Soho Tribeca, to take out this year’s Del-Re National Italian Cup. The talented Burrumbeet trainer/driver in fact, for just the first time ever, had the reins behind the authoritative five-year-old son of American Ideal in a race situation. He’s driven the horse to countless laps of his training track, but this was something else. Despite being only “about 80 per cent” according to Stanley post-race, Soho Tribeca thoroughly thrashed his rivals in the 2240-metre fast-class feature from the extreme second-row draw, cruising home in a 1:54.5 mile rate and in a style that made it crystal clear he could have significantly lowered that mark if required.                                                                                               -Stuart McCormack photo Stanley spoke of the “privilege” of being involved with a horse like Soho Tribeca post-race. “That’s the first time I’ve had the privilege of sitting behind him in a race and that was something special,” he said. “I’ve never felt that before. We’re really excited to see what’s in store for the rest of the preparation.” It’s a preparation that will take in New South Wales and Queensland in coming weeks, and the superstar pacer’s race-fitness levels will only improve each time he steps out until his Queensland Grand Final in the Blacks A Fake. “He’s 80 per cent, I’d say. We’ll press on to the Len Smith (Mile) in two weeks then we’ll go to Queensland for the Blacks A Fake. The whole preparation is aimed at that last run in Queensland,” he said. Soho Tribeca and Stanley wasted no time getting into the action tonight from barrier 11, working around the field for the first 600m or so before taking up the running. The Kilmore Cup winner and Hunter Cup runner-up then produced a final half-mile of 56.1 and cruised home by 5.2m ahead of a gutsy Sams The Master in second for Greg Sugars, with a further 9.4m back to Magical Marn in third place. Stanley acknowledged all his training as a “team effort”, making special mention of wife Gen and the stable’s gun rising star reinsman Ryan Duffy, and he lauded Soho Tribeca’s maturation in the previous 12 months. “This time last year he won the four-year-old Vicbred, and what he has done since then has been amazing,” he said. “I’m just very grateful from Robert and Annette Watson to have the opportunity with Soho Tribeca and hopefully he’s the one to step up and take that place (at the top of the Grand Circuit ladder).” Tonight’s trotting feature, the Wagon Apollo Trotters Free for All, went to another rising open-age star in Tornado Valley for trainer Andy Gath and reinswoman wife Kate Gath. The six-year-old son of Skyvalley led from gate seven in the 2240m race and held off a flashy Kyvalley Blur by 2.5m in a rate of 1:59.5. Driver Kate Gath dictated terms perfectly from the front in full knowledge her major danger, Tough Monarch, was following her helmet. Approaching the final bend Gath saw Alford and Kyvalley Blur coming out wide and upped the ante aboard Tornado Valley, the gun squaregaiter responding to make it nine wins from his past 10 starts (and nine wins out of 12 since joining the Gath stable from New Zealand). “I saw Puppet (Alford) coming so I thought ‘I have to ask him now’,” Gath said. “When you got a little bit slower like that it does bring other ones in, so you do have to be careful but it worked out well tonight. “He’s just done such a good job. He’s been up a long time but he’s relishing where he is and he just knows how to find the line.” Gath said the Trotters Inter Dominion later this year was the major aim for Tornado Valley. Earlier tonight Lance Justice produced Rishi for a narrow win in the M0 Allied Express Pace over 2240m from gate two. The four-year-old gelding by Bettors Delight held the front early, which proved invaluable, and then held off an audacious Artful Christian for Chris Svanosio to win by a half-head in 1:58.0. Punters who took the $1.5 about the favourite may have been nervous as the margin got shorter and shorter in the home stretch, but Justice said he always felt confident. “It felt like he was always going to do the job. That’s the sort of horse he is, he just does what he has to do. There are plenty of races left him, that’s for sure,” Justice said, going on to nominate the Breeders Crown as the target after a freshen-up. And trainer Dean Braun told Trots Vision that Duplicated, his three-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, would head to Queensland for a Derby tilt after an effortless win in the Nicola Pace Final over 2240m with Nathan Jack in the gig. Duplicated has a four-out-of-four win record since crossing the ditch and did it very comfortably tonight in 2:01.7. Other winners were Solarsonic for Chris Svanosio in the DNR Logistics Pace, Kinvara Sue for Anton Golino and Jason Lee in the TAB Multiplier Trot, Deltasun for Terry Young and Gavin Lang in the Alabar 4YO Trot, Classy Western for trainer/driver Allan McDonough in the Pasticceria Padova Claiming Pace, Eleniark for Qld’s Grant Dixon and reinsman John Caldow in the DRN Gold Vicbred Pace, Hot Breakfast for Malcolm Phillips and James Herbertson in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series O Final and Flyin Around for Anne-Maree and Glenn Conroy in the Bertocchi 3YO Trot.   Cody Winnell

This photo was taken by Hall of Fame Communicator Carol Cramer at Virgil Morgan's new "Winners Circle Training Center" ..just south of Scioto Downs... A massive breath of fresh air...wonderful facility...many things still under construction but what a super place to train and stable...(and yes, take photos...)  These two trotting youngster are sired by Dontyouforgetit (Scott Mogan in red) and Uncle Peter (Danny Collins on the inside) as they were coming to the finish.  From Carol Cramer    

Driver Billy Dobson reached the 4,000 win plateau on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. At just the age of 34, Dobson has piled up victories at an incredible rate since coming to Saratoga about a decade ago. The Michigan native quickly became one of New York's top catch-drivers when he moved east and found a home at Saratoga. Dobson won his first local driving title in 2010 and went on to be the top driver at the Spa for five consecutive seasons. Though 2014 was the last time he was the track's leading reinsman, Dobson has continued to finish in the top three every year since. Here in '18, Dobson is not only back atop the driver standings at Saratoga but has been dominant throughout the first four months of the season. Dobson, who is currently driving to the highest percentage of any year in his career to date, piloted young pacer Short Term to his third consecutive victory in the Friday opener to move his career total to 3,999. Dobson sat behind the Jim Nickerson-trained Osprey Blue Chip in the evening's tenth race and the track's leading driver made history. Osprey Blue Chip cruised to an open length score in 1:54.4 for Dobson who made his 4,000th career trek back to a winner's circle. At just 34, Dobson achieves the 4,000 win milestone at such a young age that there is no telling how high that win total will go over the course of the remainder of what has already been an illustrious career. Congratulations to Billy Dobson on his historic achievement. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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