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It's like deja vu all over again for the connections of Hayden Hanover as they prepare to watch their colt in Saturday's C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Julie Miller-trained Hayden Hanover finished third last week in his North America Cup elimination, which was won by Stay Hungry, and will start Saturday's final from post No. 9. His elimination finish and draw for the final were nearly identical to his trip to Mohawk in September for the Metro Pace, when Hayden Hanover finished third in an elimination won by Stay Hungry and started the final from post No. 10. Despite his unfavorable Metro starting spot, which produced a track-low 4.4 percent winners last year, Hayden Hanover finished second to Lost In Time, so his connections might hope for the deja vu to continue. "Your starting point is only a position," said Miller, who will watch her husband Andy drive Hayden Hanover in Saturday's North America Cup final. "If Andy can maneuver a nice trip I hope we can take advantage of it. It's a deep field, a lot of nice horses, and I think it's going to come down to the trip." Hayden Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the millionaire Hana Hanover, has started three times this year and posted a second and a third. For his career, the colt has won two of 14 races and hit the board a total of 11 times to earn $303,992. He is owned by Pinske Stables and Jim Simpson. Last year, Hayden Hanover had the fastest winning mile of the season for a 2-year-old male pacer thanks to his 1:50 score in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. In addition to finishing second in the Metro, he was runner-up in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Hayden Hanover remained in Canada following his North America Cup elimination rather than returning to the Millers' base in New Jersey. He also remained in Canada last year for the Metro. "Last year he had a good experience up there, so I'm OK with leaving him up there for the week," Miller said. "He's good in the fact that he takes care of himself. He's a good eater, he loves the field, and he's an easy horse to jog and train, so I'm not on pins and needles in that respect. I have a lot of confidence in how he is up in Canada." Although post No. 9 at Woodbine Mohawk Park has produced only eight wins in 156 pacing races this year (5.1 percent), Miller is happy for the opportunity to experience the North America Cup with Hayden Hanover. "It's an honor just to make the final," Miller said. "It's a magical day up there in Canada. If we can have some success in it, it will even be better. We just need a lot of luck, a lot of racing luck." Andy Miller hopes Hayden Hanover's versatility can be a benefit on Saturday. "He can leave, or like on Saturday, I raced him off of cover and he was good that way," he said. "It's not like he's one dimensional. It will be a great race." Lather Up, Stay Hungry and Wes Delight won last week's North America Cup eliminations. That trio has won 11 of 13 races this year to lead a deep group into the final. Lather Up, who is unbeaten in five races this year, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite. The 35th edition of Canada's richest harness race, showcasing the finest 3-year-old pacers on the continent, will go postward at 10:40 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live on TSN2 from 10-11 p.m. The North America Cup undercard features the C$415,000 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies, C$370,000 Roses Are Red for pacing mares, C$250,000 Armbro Flight for trotting mares, C$266,000 Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotters and the C$100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational for older pacers. Post time for the first of 15 races on the Pepsi North America Cup card is 6:30 p.m. Here is the Pepsi North America Cup field in post position order: PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-St Lads Neptune-Jody Jamieson-Stephanie Jamieson-8/1 2-Stay Hungry-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna-5/2 3-Wes Delight-Corey Callahan-Mark Harder-9/2 4-Lather Up-Montrell Teague-Clyde Francis-2/1 5-American History-Yannick Gingras-Tony Alagna-10/1 6-Lost In Time-Scott Zeron-Jimmy Takter-8/1 7-Done Well-Tim Tetrick-Brian Brown-4/1 8-Nutcracker Sweet-David Miller-Jimmy Takter-15/1 9-Hayden Hanover-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-20/1 10-Hitman Hill-Brett Miller-Chris Oakes-20/1  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Trainer Nancy Johansson is happy with Fan Hanover favorite Kissin In The Sand and Roses Are Red contender L A Delight as those female pacers prepare for their races Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Kissin In The Sand enters the Fan Hanover, for 3-year-old filly pacers, off a 1-1/4 length win over I'm Trigger Happy and Shower Play in her elimination last week. She is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the field of 10. L A Delight heads to the Roses Are Red, for pacing mares, off a second-place finish to Blazin Britches in her elimination. She is 8-1 in the final. "They're doing good," Johansson said. "It should be all system's go." Kissin In The Sand won seven of 14 races last year and earned $231,175. She won the Kindergarten Classic Series championship and also divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. This year, she finished second in her seasonal debut before getting a second-over trip to win her Fan Hanover elimination in 1:51.1 with driver Scott Zeron. "She had the ideal race last week," Johansson said. "I told Scott before the race that if he got her a second-over trip he would be golden. It was the perfect race for her. I think it sets her up good for the final." Kissin In The Sand, who will start from post No. 3 in the final, is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of Kiss Me Kate. She was purchased for $130,000 at the 2016 Standardbred Horse Sale. She is owned by Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables. Her family includes Dan Patch Award winner Kikikatie, who finished second in the 2004 Fan Hanover, and O'Brien Award winner Camluck. "If she gets a similar trip to last week, or even if she was in a situation where she had to (set the pace) I think she would be fine," Johansson said. "I think she can do it either way. She's actually gotten a lot more confident in herself. She's quieter than she was last year and I think that helps her a lot too." After last week's win Zeron said, "She can do it all. She can go to the front. She holds speed. It takes her a little bit to get up to that top, top speed, but she holds it well." Sudden Passing, trained by Gregg McNair and driven by Jody Jamieson, won the other Fan Hanover elimination, defeating favorite Alexis Faith by a neck in 1:51.1. Alexis Faith, with Doug McNair driving for Casie Coleman, is the 3-1 second choice in the final while Sudden Passing is 4-1. In the Roses Are Red final, L A Delight will start from post nine, but Johansson is hopeful she can be a factor from the unfavorable spot on the gate. "It's a little harder from an outside post, but I still think she can be close," Johansson said. "These big races at Mohawk, closers seem to do well. The fractions may be a little hot. We'll see what happens." L A Delight, who was based in Canada before being purchased by Diamond Creek Racing in January, finished 3-1/2 lengths behind Dan Patch Award-winner Blazin Britches in their elimination, which saw Blazin Britches reach the midpoint in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24.1. L A Delight was nearly eight lengths behind at the half. "I was really happy with her," Johansson said. "Blazin Britches got away with some cheap fractions. There was a group coming down the stretch behind her and (L A Delight) came out on top out of that group. She was super. I think she's coming into pretty good form. And it's her home track. Of all the money she's made the majority of it has been made at Mohawk. She knows that track pretty well." The three top choices on the Roses Are Red morning line all came out of L A Delight's elimination. Shartin N, who went off stride but rallied to be fourth-placed-fifth and get the last spot from the group to advance to the final, is the 9-5 favorite. Blazin Britches is 7-2 followed by Blue Moon Stride, who was fifth-placed-fourth, at 4-1. Tequila Monday, who won the other elimination in 1:50.1 with Brett Miller driving for Hunter Oakes, is 9-2. The past six editions of the Roses Are Red were won by only two horses, with Androvette claiming three consecutive titles from 2012-14 followed by Lady Shadow's three-year run from 2015-17. Yannick Gingras, who drives L A Delight, is looking for his third consecutive victory in the event. The Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red are part of a stakes-rich card at Woodbine Mohawk Park that also includes the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers. The North America Cup is scheduled for 10:40 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live from 10-11 p.m. on TSN2. First race post time is 6:30 p.m. for the 15-race card. The Fan Hanover is race nine and the Roses Are Red is race 11, with the Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters sandwiched between. Following are the fields for the Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red. For complete entries for Saturday, click here. Fan Hanover PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Just Her Luck-Chris Christoforou-Paul Reid-10/1 2-Sudden Passing-Jody Jamieson-Gregg McNair-4/1 3-Kissin In The Sand-Scott Zeron-Nancy Johansson-5/2 4-Shower Play-Louis Roy-Rene Dion-8/1 5-Kendall Seelster-Randy Waples-Paul Reid-6/1 6-Alexis Faith-Doug McNair-Casie Coleman-3/1 7-Reign On Me-Brett Miller-R. Nifty Norman-12/1 8-I'm Trigger Happy-David Miller-Tony O'Sullivan-12/1 9-Ubettergo Go-Tim Tetrick-Blake MacIntosh-10/1 10-Big Thong-James MacDonald-Scott McEneny-20/1 Roses Are Red PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Nike Franco N-Doug McNair-Jim King Jr.-12/1 2-Lyons River Pride-Jody Jamieson-Bruce Goit-20/1 3-Tequila Monday-Brett Miller-Hunter Oakes-9/2 4-Blazin Britches-David Miller-Brian Brown-7/2 5-Blue Moon Stride-Corey Callahan-Mark Harder-4/1 6-Artistic Madison-Jonathan Drury-Carmen Auciello-20/1 7-Shartin N-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.-9/5 8-Firebby A-Louis Roy-Ron Adams-6/1 9-L A Delight-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson-8/1 10-The Joy Luck Club-Chris Christoforou-Gregg McNair-15/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Woodlands Stud are opening their gates to the harness racing industry for an open day on Sunday, 30th September.   A rare opportunity for lovers of harness racing who wish to view the boutique breeding establishment and their imposing stallion roster.   Woodlands Stud is welcoming two new stallions, Downbytheseaside and What The Hill, to their already impressive stallion roster in the new season which makes it the perfect opportunity for potential breeders to inspect these stallions in the flesh.   Of course, it is also a chance to view World Class stallion Bettor’s Delight at his Southern Hemisphere home. An opportunity that can’t be missed!   The other stallions being paraded on the day will be Sweet Lou, the handsome stallion with plenty of recent hype, gun sire American Ideal who continues to stay amongst our top sires in Australasia and resident stallions Highview Tommy and Pegasus Spur.   “Woodlands Stud are thrilled to be able to give the industry a chance to come and see our top-class operation. We see it as our way to thank the industry for their support over the years as well as giving visitors a chance to see some of the best stallions of our time,” said Stacey Markham, Sales and Marketing Manager at Woodlands Stud.   “We have made the date work in conjunction with Harness Racing New Zealand’s Conference and Annual Awards dinner which is being held at Alexandra Park the night before. We will put on a bus to and from Alexandra Park on Sunday for anyone who wishes to come out to the open day,” Markham said.   There will be a breakfast and drinks provided and at the time of the open day there will also be an abundance of foals on the ground for viewing.   Giveaways and prizes will be drawn throughout the event for those in attendance, including a free service to one of the stallions.   In Brief: Woodlands Stud Open Day Date: Sunday 30 th September 2018 Time: 10am-2pm Location: Woodlands Stud, 460 North Road, RD2, Papakura   RSVP’s are a must for catering purposes, please contact Stacey Markham on stacey@woodlandsstud.co.nz or 021 595 492. Please note also that as there are quarantine areas on the farm there will be some restrictions in place on the day.   Stacey Markham

CHESTER PA - Driver Marcus Miller, who led the driver colony in his native Illinois before coming East and showing he can drive with the best sulkysmiths around, earned career victory #3000 by guiding the maiden trotter Boxing Gloves to a 1:59 victory Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. The milestone victory wasn't an easy one for horse or driver, as the 6-5 race favorite had to come uncovered at the 3/8 and grinded away. But turning for home, the winning Muscle Hill colt seized the lead, and Marcus kept his ridgling's mind to business to the wire to score number 3000. The victory was probably all the sweeter because Marcus won for his father, trainer Erv Miller, who conditions the sophomore for Silver Linden Farms. The 2016 Rising Star Award winner from the U.S. Harness Writers Association, the 29-year-old certainly has talent running throughout his pedigree: in addition to dad Erv, Andy Miller is his uncle, and "Hurricane" Hannah Miller is his sister. Currently seventh in the standings among the all-star Philly drivers colony, Marcus's biggest career victory came in a 2016 Breeders Crown with Someomensomewhere. A look at the feature races of the day: Driver Victor Kirby has seen both sides of the harness racing game at Harrah's Philadelphia recently. In his last pari-mutuel start, Kirby's pacer had stumbled and fell near the half-mile pole; in his first betting start since that unceremonious event, Victor guided New Heaven wire-to-wire from the outside post eight to take a new mark of 1:54.2 in the $17,000 trotting feature Thursday. The son of Yankee Glide, trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc., and David Wills, dictated early fractions of 28.1 and 57.4, then was required to speed up as favored EI EI O stormed up uncovered, with those two nose-to-nose past the 1:25.2  marker at the three-quaters. Through the stretch New Heaven was under attack from every direction, from Pricelesspossesion in the passing lane to Casa Palmera not all that far removed from the outside fence, but he held with determination, winning by a half-length over EI EI O, with Pricelesspossesion third and Casa Palmera fourth, those two both within a neck of second. In the $14,500 co-feature, first-over Classic Belisima wore down pacesetter Sir John F, who had been hard-used to make the top, drawing away late to tally by 1½ lengths in 1:56. John Cabot trains the daughter of Crazed, who has now assembled a bankroll of $269,760 lifetime, for owner William Cantrell. From the PHHA/Chester Philadelphia

Trois-Rivieres, QC - It's only eleven days until the inaugural Ben Hur Cup driver tournament takes place at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, June 24, where the Champion Sylvain Filion will face-off against the Challenger, Louis-Philippe Roy. These two outstanding harness racing drivers will compete in eight races where the two drivers will take turns selecting the horses they want to drive in each of the races and by post positions so that each driver starts from post one through eight in the competition. The marketing staff at the Hippodrome 3R has come up with a special video commemorating the debut of the Ben Hur Cup with highlights of both Filion's and Roy's careers in harness racing. It's less than three minutes long and well worth viewing. To view the video click https://youtu.be/v4LachSZyTo. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

The 2016 Armbro Flight Stakes can be looked upon as Hannelore Hanover's coming-out party, and in the two years that followed she went from an intriguing newcomer among older female trotters to the sport's reigning queen. Hannelore Hanover was a star on the Indiana circuit at ages 2 and 3, but eight races into her 4-year-old campaign made her presence felt on the Grand Circuit by winning the Armbro Flight by 6-1/2 lengths in 1:51, still the fastest mile ever by a female trotter in Canada. The next week she made her first appearance in harness racing's weekly Top 10 poll and has remained a fixture in the rankings ever since. Last year, Hannelore Hanover captured Horse of the Year honors in both the U.S. and Canada. On Saturday, she goes for an unprecedented third consecutive win in the Armbo Flight when she faces nine rivals in the C$250,000 race for older female trotters at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 6-year-old mare, unbeaten in three starts this season, is the 2-5 morning-line favorite. Since the beginning of her 4-year-old season, the Ron Burke-trained Hannelore Hanover has won 30 of 40 races and finished worse than second only three times. "She just shows up every week and puts in a great effort," said Frank Baldachino, who owns Hannelore Hanover with the Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and J&T Silva Stables. "You kind of get spoiled after a while. She's just all racehorse; all business when she goes on the track. Hopefully this week she'll be all business again." Named in honor of renowned German amateur driver Hannelore Würzinger, Hannelore Hanover is a daughter of Swan For All out of High Sobriety. She was purchased for $32,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and has subsequently earned $2.58 million on the racetrack. Her family includes Mack Lobell, who is joined by Moni Maker as the only two-time Dan Patch Award Horse of the Year honorees in the past 35 years. Hannelore Hanover, who was the first trotting mare since Moni Maker in 1999 to receive Horse of the Year honors in the U.S., will have the chance to duplicate their accomplishment this year. "Buying her as a baby we had limited expectations, hoping we had a nice Indiana Sire Stakes horse," Baldachino said. "For her to achieve the success she's had over the last two years is pretty amazing. You never think about that. Then when you get to this level everybody is gunning for you now, trying to knock you off that level, but she just keeps maintaining it. That's what is pretty special." Hannelore Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras defeated male rivals multiple times last year, most notably in the finals of the Breeders Crown Open Trot and Maple Leaf Trot, as well as in the Allerage Farms Open Trot. She became the fastest female trotter in history when she won the Allerage in 1:49.2 at Lexington's Red Mile and was the first mare to beat the boys in the Breeders Crown Open Trot since Moni Maker in 1998. She finished last season with a win in the TVG Series championship for trotting mares and brings a six-race win streak to Saturday's Armbro Flight. Hannelore Hanover's victories this season include the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands, a track-record-equaling triumph in a division of the Great Northeast Open Series at Harrah's Philadelphia, and a 5-1/2 length win in 1:52 in her Armbro Flight elimination. "It's been awesome; I couldn't be happier," Baldachino said about the start of the season, which has seen Hannelore Hanover push her career record to 39 wins in 61 races. "She looks great, she's got a great way of going, Yannick's happy with her, Ronnie's happy with her -- we're all happy with her." Hannelore Hanover and Gingras start the Armbro Flight from post No. 5. The field also includes Emoticon Hanover, who also won an Armbro Flight elimination and handed Hannelore Hanover one of her losses in 2017 with a world-record mile in the Joie De Vie Stakes at Tioga Downs, and stakes-winners Celebrity Ruth, Caprice Hill, Dream Together, and Ice Attraction. Emoticon Hanover and Dream Together are both trained by Luc Blais. "(Hannelore Hanover) looks great, but Emoticon Hanover is a great horse, too, and there are other nice horses in there," Baldachino said. "All her main competitors are inside of her. I don't think they're just going to let her waltz to the lead and cut her own fractions. There's an entry in there and there could be some horses mixing it up early, so we'll see. Hopefully Yannick gets her in the right spot. We leave it up to him." The Armbro Flight is part of a stakes-rich card at Woodbine Mohawk Park that also includes the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers. The North America Cup is scheduled for 10:40 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live from 10-11 p.m. on TSN2. First race post time is 6:30 p.m. for the 15-race card. The Armbro Flight is race three. Following is the field for the Armbro Flight Stakes. For complete entries for Saturday, click here. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Caprice Hill-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna-12/1 2-Celebrity Ruth-David Miller-Trond Smedshammer-3/1 3-Dream Together-James MacDonald-Luc Blais-12/1 4-Emoticon Hanover-Bob McClure-Luc Blais-7/2 5-Hannelore Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-2/5 6-Checkmate Time-Donald Dupont-Marie Dupont-20/1 7-Southwind Tesla-Phil Hudon-Rene Dion-15/1 8-Majestic Presence-Chris Christoforou-Dagfin Henriksen-20/1 9-Ice Attraction-Jody Jamieson-Ake Svanstedt-20/1 10-P L Jill-Corey Callahan-Renaldo Morales-15/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

John Santoro, aka Santini on the track, was considered as one of the top blacksmiths on Roosevelt Raceway in the late 1970's and until the day the harness racetrack closed in '88--when --John's reputation followed him to Meadowlands and Yonkers. Santoro developed a reputation as one of the leading practitioners of his craft. He was sought after by national and international trainers, drivers and owners. Santoro's leathered and calloused hands crafted and molded the horseshoes that enabled champion horses and their drivers and trainers such as Jimmy Cruise Sr., Jimmy Cruise Jr., John Chapman Sr., John Chapman Jr; John Paterson Jr.; John Paterson Sr., Buddy Gilmore and Herve Filion,, [just to name a few] to break harness racing records.   Dr. Bernard Brennan, Roosevelt's Veterinarian called upon Santoro to work on difficult cases. Today's blacksmith, or farrier, has access to technology and standards that were established throughout the 1960s to the 1990's. In the 70's and 80's Santoro relied on his ingenuity and his ability to see things that others did not. Santoro experimented with developing patches for the horses that had problems such as quarter-crack and could not be shod. As Santoro still says today " a horse in the barn does not make money". Patches had already been around in the 70's and 80's; but there was a lot of room for improvement. Santoro explains that the patches did not stick, or stay in place and worst of all-- they did not let the horses foot heal. Santoro's drive to identify a solution led him to experimenting with proxies for the patch and soaking solutions. Santoro finally found the right mix and developed a soaking solution and patch that saved many horses and races. Over the years, Santoro's work in Roosevelt, Yonkers and Meadowlands, was never overlooked. Owners, trainers and drivers brought their horses to him because they knew that an improperly shod horse caused an awkward stride, back strain, muscle pulls or worse conditions...besides risking the race. As Jimmy Cruise Jr. says to this day, "Johnny was the best--there was no other like Johnny that could shoe horses like he did". Santoro worked 8 to 12 horses a day for various trainers. Today, blacksmiths are typically assisted by grooms, who hold the animal. I recall walking into Santoro's Black Smith shop while he was under the horse, pulling off the old shoe, smoothing the bottom of the hoof with an emery board, holding the new shoe over the hoof, then securing it by driving nails through the hoof wall--all by himself. I remember how backbreaking it was for him to work with animals that were prone to fight and flight." Santoro has not forgotten the man who taught him his craft, David Spence, a giant in the world of blacksmiths in harness racing . Santoro forged lifetime friends while crafting his custom made horseshoes. Jimmy Cruise Sr. and John Chapman Sr. served as a mentors for him and Cruise Jr. well as Chapman Jr. were and continue to be more like brothers than just friends. Santoro was a blacksmith for more than 20 years. His determination, self-reliance and self-deprecating humor have helped him through life's challenges--including a terminal illness. Today, he tells his stories of the famous horses he shod and describes their quirky personalities. He savors memories and victories of a place where Santoro--or "Santini"-- worked in the background, in late morning or early afternoon, after training hours had stopped, and before the races began--a place, that while shaping his horse shoes one by one--he contributed to shaping the history of harness racing--a place where he should never be forgotten--Roosevelt Raceway. by Maria V. Santoro-Delgado, Ph.D., Santoro's sister.

Exciting three-year-old Jack Mac faces a moment of truth at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he clashes with the highly-promising Bettor Aim in the Visit Princi Butchers in North Perth Pace. Neither youngster has tasted defeat in Australia and Jack Mac has the brilliance to overcome the outside barrier in the field of eight and beat Bettor Aim, who will be driven by Ryan Warwick for trainers Greg and Skye Bond from the No. 6 barrier in the 2130m event. Jack Mac will be strongly fancied to chalk up his tenth victory at his tenth start in Western Australia after scoring decisive victories at his two outings after resuming after a four-month absence. He followed his first-up win over 2130m at Gloucester Park on May 25 with a commanding victory by 12 lengths over Blackjack Anna over the same distance on Tuesday of last week when he raced three wide early, sped to the front after 550m and was unextended in careering away from his rivals. Busselton trainer Barry Howlett certainly is more than happy that he rejected a tempting offer of $100,000 for the Mach Three colt in April last year. Howlett, who races Jack Mac in partnership with his wife Lyn and their son Jim, was purchased for $31,000 at the Auckland weanling sales and a win this week will take the colt’s earnings to $236,181. Howlett picked out a couple of youngsters who were being offered for sale as weanlings and he asked experienced New Zealand trainer-reinsman Brent Mangos to have a look at them. Mangos took a liking to Jack Mac and he purchased him at the sale on behalf of Howlett. Mangos broke in the colt and gave him five starts for five unplaced efforts against the best two-year-olds in New Zealand. Those five runs netted his owners $7450 and few pacing pundits predicted that the colt, the seventh foal out of unfashionable mare Matavutu, would develop into a juvenile champion. Bettor Aim also looks destined to become a star performer. A winner at his farewell appearance in New Zealand, over 1950m at Addington in early April this year, the Bettors Delight gelding has been ultra-impressive in winning effortlessly at his first two starts in WA, both over 2185m at Pinjarra in the space of eight days this month. Bettor Aim sustained a powerful three-wide burst to beat Itsnotova by almost three lengths at a 1.57.3 rate and a week later, on Monday of this week, he was untroubled to lead from barrier one and coast to victory by two lengths from Seeknyoushallfind at a 1.57.8 rate, with a final quarter in 27.8sec.   Ken Casellas  

Glamour three-year-old, Chase Auckland returned to the stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen on Monday, 11 June. He’s reported to be looking a picture and is ready start work to build towards his four-year-old season. The star son of Auckland Reactor last stepped on to a racetrack on the 9th of March when he scored an emphatic victory in the Group 1 Woodlands Northern Derby at Alexandra Park. He was then put aside due to curbing a hock. Even though his untimely minor injury meant he missed the NZ Derby and Harness Jewels, Chase Auckland will still be a short priced favourite to win the NZ Three-Year-Old of the Year title. Owned by the Alabar Racing Syndicate he won 8 of 9 starts including other eye-catching victories in the Group 1 NZ Sires Stakes Final (3yo colts and geldings) and, New Zealand’s richest race for three-year-olds, the NZ Yearling Sales Series Final. With $392,329 in stakes he was the second only to Lazarus as the highest stake earner in New Zealand for the season. The delight of the Alabar Racing Syndicate members was one of the feel-good stories of the harness racing season. No doubt the syndicate members, their supporters and harness racing followers in general will be counting down the days until his return. Even in the absence of his flag bearing son, Auckland Reactor has continued to build on his early siring success. With two new two-year-old winners in the last week, Auckland Reactor is now up to seven individual two year-old winners for the season – all of which are in Australia. These new winners were Heir To Zanzibar at Mildura and Watch Me React in 1:59.5 at Narrogin. They boost Auckland Reactor up to an impressive 41 individual winners to date in his burgeoning career. They include two Group 1 winners and one Group 1 placegetter. Three of his winners have won in sub-1:55 and 28 have won in sub-2:00.   Alabar Stud  

In a major move New Zealand Bloodstock, a leading thoroughbred auction sales, air freight and insurance company, announces plans to expand into the standardbred market offering a full complement of auction sales and ancillary services. It’s a significant development that will see the New Zealand Standardbred industry benefit from NZB’s existing business capabilities, world renowned brand, and top class service levels. To be run as a division of New Zealand Bloodstock, NZB Standardbred plans to deliver a comprehensive sales calendar, diverse range of complimentary services, and market-leadingpromotional activity in a welcomed move for the New Zealand Standardbred industry. “Over the last several months we have had numerous leading industry players suggesting and encouraging us to enter the Standardbred industry,” commented NZB managing director Andrew Seabrook. “It’s a big challenge and may take a little time, but I truly believe we can help take this industry to another level. The staff and I are really excited about being able to better service this market.” Standardbred vendors and buyers can expect to see a number of enhancements under the NZB umbrella including access to a range of bloodstock, finance, air freight and insurance services, along with increased promotion to domestic and international markets. Harness Racing New Zealand Chairman and Canterbury breeder, Ken Spicer, welcomed the news. “New players entering the harness racing industry can only be beneficial.” “New Zealand Bloodstock has a wealth of experience and a worldwide reputation as a leading bloodstock company. Their experience with other arms of their business, such as insurance, air freight and finance can only be of additional value." “I applaud their decision to spread their wings and enter the Standardbred industry.” The first standardbred sales to take place under the NZB Standardbred banner will be the 2019 New Zealand National Standardbred Yearling Sales in February, with sale sessions to be held at both Christchurch and Karaka. About New Zealand Bloodstock New Zealand Bloodstock is a leader in bloodstock auctions, private sales and supporting services tothe thoroughbred market. Since 1995, New Zealand Bloodstock has provided auction sales, bloodstock, insurance, finance and airfreight services to customers worldwide. New Zealand Bloodstock is a privately-owned business based at Karaka with representation throughout New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia, Europe and North America. For more information contact us on +64 9 298 0055, reception@nzb.co.nz, or visit us online at www.nzb.co.nz   

There isn’t a lot prominent harness racing owner Robert Watson hasn’t achieved in the sport, but this weekend he, and two of his star pacers, have quite a mountain to climb this weekend. On Friday night, Watson’s up-and-coming two-year-old Franco Edward will look to secure his first Group 1 win in the Pearl Classic Final (2130m) at Gloucester Park. On Saturday night, Soho Tribeca begins his campaign aimed towards the Len Smith Mile and Blacks A Fake Championship in the Italian Cup (2240m) at Melton. After the races are run and won, Watson boards a flight to South Africa for a fortnight where he will climb Mount Kilimanjaro. “I like challenging myself,” Watson said of his reasoning behind climbing the 5,895m mountain. “It’s an eight day trek up the mountain, and it’s minus 20 at the top of the mountain. “I’ll then explore Tanzania for another four days.” Watson’s trip to South Africa means he will miss Soho Tribeca’s run in the Len Smith Mile on July 1, while he has the chance to be crowned the Grand Circuit Champion if he wins the Blacks A Fake Championship on July 21. The WA Pacing Cup champion will be seen on the track for the first time since March 24 on Saturday night, where he starts from the outside of the second row in the $20,000 Italian Cup. Watson said he expected Soho Tribeca, now under the care of Mick Stanley, to win on Saturday night, and also expected him to be very competitive in Queensland. “He’s back, he’s really good,” he said. “He won’t be at his top, but we do expect him to win. “We want him to peak in Queensland.” Although the three start campaign in Queensland is at the front of Watson’s mind for Soho Tribeca, plans for a trip to the New Zealand Cup in November are well and truly underway. Soho Tribeca took part in a standing start trial earlier this week, as he looks to qualify for the New Zealand Cup, with Watson looking to win a Group 1 in New Zealand with the pacer to boost his stallion credentials. On the other side of the Nullarbor, Watson’s hopes of winning the Pearl Classic on Friday night at Gloucester Park received a significant boost when Franco Edward drew barrier one for the two-year-old feature. Franco Edward was, arguably, the most impressive of the three heat winners for the Pearl Classic last Tuesday night. Franco Edward has been installed as a $1.50 TABtouch favourite for the $100,000 event, ahead of the two other heat winners from last Tuesday night Bletchley Park ($3.20) and Shockwave ($10). Watson said while he did think Franco Edward would feature prominently in the finish, he was full of praise for this year’s group of two-year-olds. “It’s the best crop of two-year-olds I’ve seen race at Gloucester Park,” he said. “I’ve been in the Pearl before, and generally there’s only one smart horse in there. “This year there’s Its Rock And Roll, Smart Fortune, Shockwave, The Embezzler, Bitcoin, Bletchley Park and Franco Edward. “Those seven on the front line are all extremely good.” Watson said he hoped trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper would be able to hold up with Franco Edward from gate one. “Leading is half of the battle at Gloucester Park,” he said. “Hopefully we will hold up from the one. “He has got a lot of diversity though, he can race tough or on the speed.” Watson also has star two-year-old filly Soho Nolita, a sister to Soho Tribeca engaged in heats of the Vicbred series next week. The Pearl Classic Final gets underway at 7.20pm on Friday night.   Tim Walker

HARNESS Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry today into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that meloxicam had been detected in the blood sample taken from CORRINYAH CONMAN following its win in race 5, the HUTCHEON & PEARCE PACE (2000m) at Temora on Friday 9 March 2018. The “B” sample was confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. Mr Hillier appeared at the inquiry and presented evidence in relation to his registered training establishment, his husbandry practices and the horse CORRINYAH CONMAN.  Evidence including the Reports of Analysis and expert evidence from HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Martin Wainscott was also presented. Mr Hillier pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting CORRINYAH CONMAN to race not free of a prohibited substance. Mr Hillier was disqualified for a period of 12 months to commence immediately. Mr Hillier also pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to AHRR 190B for failing to keep and maintain a log book. Mr Hillier was fined $500. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: This was Mr Hillier’s second Prohibited Substance offence for which a penalty was imposed- there was also previous HRV arsenic matter for which no penalty was imposed by the RAD Board; Mr Hillier’s guilty plea; Circumstances of this matter; Class 3 Prohibited Substance; Mr Hillier’s offence record, training record and other personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, CORRINYAH CONMAN was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Mr Hillier was advised of his right to appeal these decisions.   Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •  gadams@hrnsw.com.au     Harnesslink Media

Vincennes, FR - The 1.2/1 favorite Valse de Reve (9f Mister President-Nouba Houba) took Tuesday evening’s Gr. III Prix Jean Paul Fairand (apprentice jockeys, monte, purse €90,000, 2175 meters, 13 starters) clocked in 1.12.6kr and ridden by apprentice Julien Balu, his 47th victory. Valse de Reve, trained by Alain Roussel, also owner, recorded his ninth career victory in 79 starts now for €687,170 earned. The 35/1 Arena del Phedo (8f Magnificent Rodney-Feria de Vrie) was second with Pierre Thieulent in the irons and third was 128/1 Vulcan de Bellande (9g Magnificent Rodney-Etoile de Bellande) for jockey Dylan Dulong. Valse de Reve is head number 13 on the pegs in the photos below. Quite a monte finish!!! Also on the card was the Prix Loma (purse €54,000, 2700 meters, 12 European starters) and the 1.13.5kr timed winner was 3.9/1 Dede Au Chalet (5g Quito Kebir-Mammy Noce) with Alexandre Angot in the irons. This winner scored for the eighth time in 24 career appearances now for €140,300 earned. 4.7/1 Dame de Bellouet (5f Mon Bellouet-Odra de Bellouet) was second with Alexandre Abrivard up and third home was 1.1/1 favorite Derby Show (5g Reflet Gede) handled by trainer P-Y Verva. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Trainer Mark Harder says Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup might lack a prohibitive favorite, but it does not suffer from a lack of talent. "Just because there's not a standout doesn't mean there's not a lot of good horses," said Harder, who will send out Wes Delight in the C$1 million event for 3-year-old male pacers at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "There is probably a bunch of them that can win it. No one is running away from anybody, I don't think. It's a deep group." Wes Delight was one of three North America Cup elimination winners last weekend, along with Lather Up and Stay Hungry. That trio has won 11 of 13 races this year, with no finishes worse than third. In the eliminations, Wes Delight won by a neck over Nutcracker Sweet in 1:50.2, Stay Hungry won by a head over Done Well in 1:50, and Lather Up won by 2-3/4 lengths over St Lads Neptune in 1:49.2. "He's been good all along (this year) and he was good again," Harder said about Wes Delight, who has won five of six races this season. "He's just doing his thing and racing great every week." For his career, Wes Delight has won eight of 17 starts and earned $226,823. The son of Bettor's Delight-Maid West is owned by Rick Phillips, Deena Frost, and Harder. "He showed a lot of talent last year at 2, but just struggled with his gait a little bit," Harder said earlier this year. As for whether the colt has fulfilled Harder's expectations this year, the trainer said, "He's been what I hoped, more than what I expected. You hope for the best and hope you don't get the worst." The connections of the elimination winners picked their starting positions for the final and Wes Delight will leave from post No. 3 with driver Corey Callahan. Stay Hungry will start from post two and Lather Up will start from post four. "They'll race hard; they always do when it's a million dollars," Harder said. "(Wes Delight) is so handy; he can leave, he can duck, he can sit. He's a complete racehorse. If he has a good healthy week, it's up to the driver to figure it out." Stay Hungry, trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Doug McNair, was the O'Brien Award winner as Canada's best 2-year-old male pacer in 2017. The son of Somebeachsomewhere-My Little Dragon has won one of two races this year and seven of 11 lifetime, totaling $561,664 in purses for owners Brad Grant and the late Irwin Samelman. He was the 2017 Breeders Crown champion. Alagna, who won the North America Cup in 2013 with Captaintreacherous, also sends out American History in the North America Cup final. American History was third in his elimination, setting the fractions from post seven before finishing three-quarters of a length behind Wes Delight. The son of American Ideal-Perfect Touch has won four of eight career races and will have Yannick Gingras in the sulky. Lather Up, who set multiple track records in Ohio last year at age 2 before being sidelined because of illness and a near-fatal reaction to antibiotics, is a perfect 5-for-5 this season for driver Montrell Teague and trainer Clyde Francis. The homebred son of I'm Gorgeous-Pocket Comb is owned by Gary and Barbara Iles. He has won nine of 12 career races and earned $152,265. The North America Cup field also includes Lost In Time, who was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer in the U.S., and Nutcracker Sweet, both from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter. David Miller, who has won the past two North America Cup finals, will drive Nutcracker Sweet. Scott Zeron will pilot Lost In Time, whose ownership group includes professional wrestling legend Ric Flair. Over the past 10 years, three 2-year-old divisional champions have returned the following year and captured the North America Cup: Captaintreacherous in 2013, Sportswriter in 2010, and Somebeachsomewhere in 2008. All three received both Dan Patch and O'Brien awards at age 2. Done Well lost for the first time in six career races when he finished behind Stay Hungry in his elimination. Brian Brown, who won last year's North America Cup with Fear The Dragon, trains Done Well. Two-time North America Cup-winner Tim Tetrick will drive the colt, who won four races last year before being sidelined by injury. The 35th edition of Canada's richest harness race, showcasing the finest 3-year-old pacers on the continent, will go postward at 10:40 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live on TSN2 from 10-11 p.m. The North America Cup undercard features the C$415,000 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies, C$370,000 Roses Are Red for pacing mares, C$250,000 Armbro Flight for trotting mares, C$266,000 Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotters and the C$100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational for older pacers. Post time for the first of 15 races on the Pepsi North America Cup card is 6:30 p.m. Here is the Pepsi North America Cup field in post position order: PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-St Lads Neptune-Jody Jamieson-Stephanie Jamieson 2-Stay Hungry-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna 3-Wes Delight-Corey Callahan-Mark Harder 4-Lather Up-Montrell Teague-Clyde Francis 5-American History-Yannick Gingras-Tony Alagna 6-Lost In Time-Scott Zeron-Jimmy Takter 7-Done Well-Tim Tetrick-Brian Brown 8-Nutcracker Sweet-David Miller-Jimmy Takter 9-Hayden Hanover-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 10-Hitman Hill-Brett Miller-Chris Oakes by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

WILKES-BARRE PA - Manchego kept her place in the spotlight intact Tuesday night in one of four $30,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars event for three-year-old trotting fillies at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, overcoming the tuck-then-first-over trip to post a 1:52.4 victory. The undefeated daughter of Muscle Hill found herself in the middle of a quintet of strong leavers, and Yannick Gingras backed the winner of $917,188 into a midpack tuck, then started first-over on the second turn after Nixie Volo, who had been responsible for the early numbers of 27.1 and 56.3. Manchego started to gain the advantage at the 1:24.4 3/4s, but for a second the upset-minded had a thrill as Nixie Volo kept the champion out on the turn. But Manchego simply increased her distance consumption in her effortless way, coming home two lengths to the good of late-closing Top Expectations, with Nixie Volo another 1¼ lengths back in third. Manchego's 1:52.4 equaled her personal mark, achieved last year at both Mohawk and Lexington. Jimmy Takter had the filly in top shape after a 22-day racetrack layoff, getting her 14th win in succession without much of a sweat for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Manchego commanded so much of the crowd's respect, she drew almost $19,000 of the $22,000+ win/place/show pool, and the Exacta she headed with 43-1 Top Expectations second returned only $15.20 (the second choice was 23-1 behind the 1-9 shot). Then, the most marked of mutuel contrasts followed 18 minutes later, as the Explosive Matter filly Highland Dynamite made the most of a pocket trip behind pacesetter Bill's Lady, going up the Pocono Pike to catch that foe in 1:53.1 while returning $250.80 to win and combining with Bill's Lady, the 5-2 second choice, for a $4878.80 exacta. Simon Allard guided the Pierre Paradis-trained shocker, who reduced her mark 5 2/5 seconds while gaining into a 55.2 back half for the Highland Thoroughbred Farm. (The other galloping reference of the night came in race four, where the winner was named Justified.) Southwind Angelica came out before the ¾ to challenge pacesetting favorite Basquiat and wore her down late in their division, posting a neck victory while taking a new mark of 1:54.2. Another daughter of Muscle Hill, the winner stepped her own back fractions in 55.4 - 27.4 in taking the decision for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Jonas Czernyson, and owner Thomas Dillon. The final All-Stars contest was taken by the Donato Hanover filly Live Laugh Love, who gained solidly from third midrace to take the lead in early stretch and win by herself in 1:54.3. The Nifty Norman trainee, a Sire Stakes winner and then second to Manchego in her two previous starts, ran her record to 4-for-5 in 2018, with earnings of $117,227 lifetime for Melvin Hartman, David Mc Duffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. *************** In other important news, George Napolitano Jr., the all-time leading horseman in Pocono Downs history, goes so fast that a mere pencil cannot stay with him - it took a check of the USTA computer to show that in Monday's 12th race, his victory with Myidealson N was the 9000th of his top-notch career. "George Nap" becomes the 21st North American-based driver to get to 9000 wins, and ranks #12 among active drivers. The leading driver in North America in 2010 with 753 visits to Victory Lane, Napolitano has won a mind-boggling 29 titles at Pocono - 11 driving win titles (including the last six, and he leads the colony right now), 9 UDR championships (including the last five), and five training win titles. He has also won nine titles "down the Turnpike" at Harrah's Philadelphia - six for sulky victories and three for UDR. George will have his entire family to the track on Saturday night, where he will join with them to be honored in the Hanover Shoe Farms Winners Circle for this milestone triumph. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

The Queensland Derby plan remains in place.   Former New Zealand three-year-old Duplicated kept his unbeaten Australian record intact following a breathtaking victory at Cranbourne in the Woodlands Stud Heat Pace last week (Thursday).   The Dean Braun trained gelding obliterated the all aged track record when rating 1:55.8 for the 2080m event.   He posted sectionals of 30.4, 30.2, 28.2 and 28 seconds. With the winning margin posted officially at 34.5 metres, it could’ve easily been further if driver Nathan Jack chased him along or even pulled the ear plugs.   Duplicated will start this Saturday night at TABCORP Park, Melton in the $10,000 Nicola Pace Final and will again start a clear favourite after landing gate two in the 2240m event.   “That was pretty awesome last week because it wasn’t a good night weather wise and he definitely wasn’t full tilt given his plugs didn’t get popped. He’s got amazing speed and he’s very strong, the trip to Brisbane for the Queensland Derby next month is looking good.” Braun said.   Following three starts for Braun after being purchased from the All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen in Christchurch, Duplicated is shaping as one of the finds of the season with many features still to come.   The Queensland winter carnival is the obvious target followed by the Australasian Breeders Crown in August.   And given his heightening powers still rising, a trip west at the end of the year for the rich Perth four-year-old features at Gloucester Park is another possibility.   Braun is no stranger to success in Perth with feature race victories including the Gr.1 $125,000 McInerney Classic with Chancellor Cullen (2012) and Chilli Palmer (2013) plus the Gr.1 $125,000 Westral Mares Classic in 2015 with Nike Franco.   “He was purchased with the Queensland Derby as a primary target and things are progressing well, we’ll reassess things after he starts again this weekend.   “I’m happy, Nathan is happy and most importantly, the horse is happy so here’s hoping for a strong winter campaign. There’s no doubt that local star Colt Thirty One is the horse to beat in Brisbane.”   At this stage, Duplicated won’t start again after this weekend before heading north.   Interestingly, Nike Franco and Shartin, both graduates of the Braun stable will clash this weekend at Mohawk in Canada in the $370,000 Rose Are Red.   The mares feature is part of the undercard of the North America Cup program.   Both Nike Franco and Shartin enjoyed tremendous success with Braun and both previously won the Queensland Oaks.   Chris Barsby

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