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Four short years ago Novak Djokovic was the undisputed king of world tennis, Barack Obama was presiding over the United States with a sense of quiet equanimity and Chris Lang was the ruling regent of southern hemisphere squaregaiting. Sadly for ‘The Joker’ dominance has made way for deterioration as he no longer occupies a place in the ATP top-20 while Obama’s diplomacy has been usurped by Donald Trump’s tweet-first-think-later approach to leading the world’s pre-eminent superpower. But what of Lang; whatever did become of Australasia’s one-time trotting kingpin? Just days ago the answer to that question – that he was part of a maintenance crew working on the Bellarine Peninsula specifically focussing on Curlewis Golf Course – would have been known by few. But while that may have been true just moments ago, now it seems one of harness racing’s most charismatic figures is re-joining the fray in a very big way. Before we examine the future however, let’s revisit the past. Having owned Australia’s squaregaiting scene for what felt like an eternity with horses like Sundons Gift and Let Me Thru among others, Lang declared, on the Breeders Crown weekend of 2014 if you don’t mind, that he was moving on. After several life-threatening health scares Lang was now being cruelled by a multitude of autoimmune diseases including Scleroderma, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Reynaud’s Syndrome, all of which were conspiring to make the business of training horses tougher than deemed tolerable. On advice from Physicians – who branded his range of ailments as Overlapped Connective Tissue Disease – Lang made the heartbreaking but pragmatic decision to give the game away. Time with family followed as Chris and wife Sharon moved from Aldebaran Park in Nagambie to the outskirts of Geelong. With the same dedication he had displayed during a brilliant career as both conditioner and reinsman, Lang sought to overcome the illnesses which had waylaid his world. Three years and 10 months later Lang has learnt to manage more than maul the maladies which saw his exit from the sport. But now it’s time to get back in the game he’s made his life. “It might sound a bit mischevious to a few people but the break I had was only ever meant to be a  hiatus; I never really thought I was retiring for good,” Lang said. “When I walked away I was doing so on advice from doctors and I can honestly say I believed I’d find a way to get on top of the Reynaud’s Syndrome which is a circulatory disease that badly affected my hands. “At the end of the day I tried my best and it’s no better but also no worse and there comes a time where you have to ask yourself whether you want to twiddle your thumbs doing something you’re not passionate about or have a crack at doing what you really love. “Don’t get me wrong, I am hugely appreciative of Lindsay Sharp who owns the Flying Brick Cider Company among other things for giving me a gig when I needed one. “The boys on site had no idea what I did when I first turned up and when I told them they started calling me the washed up jockey but they were a great bunch of people and I’ll miss them all, everyone bar the mechanic. “Seriously though, the time had come to give racing another chance and nothing has been taken lightly. It’s something I’m excited about for sure.” Having explored options in New South Wales and Queensland since committing his mind to a comeback more than four months ago, an opportunity to stay in Victoria materialised and from there the decision was made. There are still some formalities to be taken care of and some red tape to deal with but for all intents and purposes the king is back in his castle and once again searching for his throne. “Even when I was looking around at other states and what they had to offer nothing could compare with Victoria and the place we’re buying at Riddells Creek is totally perfect in every way. “It’s just part of my personality that I need to be where the action is and I need to be competing with the best. “Don’t worry I’m circumspect enough to know I’ll be starting small and that’s the way I want it but with the support of people like Richard Matthews and Jim Connelly among others I’ll get my opportunities. “Just being part of the game again and developing a small team will be enormous fun but I also don’t want to punch around the periphery for too long either. “I already have plans to implement some ideas I never had the time or energy to tinker with before I left the game; the fire is in the belly and that is what you need. “The Inter Dominion’s back and baby so am I.”   Jason Bonnington for Trots Media

MILTON, ON - June 12 – Lather Up, Stay Hungry and Wes Delight, all impressive winners in last weekend’s eliminations, headline a field of 10 for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, June 16 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 35th edition of Canada’s richest harness race, showcasing the finest three-year-old pacers on the continent, will go postward at 10:40 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast live on TSN2 from 10:00 – 11:00 .m. EDT. The winner of the Pepsi North America Cup earns $500,000. This year’s marks the 18th anniversary of Pepsi’s sponsorship of the race. Post positions were drawn today at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with Toronto Maple Leafs’ defenceman Connor Carrick as the guest drawmaster. A total of 29 three-year-old pacers competed over three $50,000 eliminations last Saturday to determine the field for this year’s race. The top-three finishers from each division, plus a fourth-place finisher drawn by lot, qualified for the $1 million final. The group of 29 entered in this year’s eliminations was the highest turnout since 2010. Elimination winners earned their connections the right to select their post position for the final. Nineteen of the 34 Cup winners won their elimination. Lather Up (PP4), an Ohio-sired son of Im Gorgeous, was the fastest elimination winner, as he shot up the inside to win his division by nearly three-lengths in 1:49.2 for trainer Clyde Francis and driver Montrell Teague. A homebred for owners Gary & Barbara Iles, Lather Up is undefeated in five starts this season and currently holds a record of nine wins and 11 top-three finishes from 12 career-starts. The bay colt holds a pair of Track Records in the state of Ohio and enters the Pepsi North America Cup with $167,100 in career earnings. The combination of Francis and Teague will be looking for redemption in this Saturday’s $1 million race after they finished second with superstar Wiggle It Jiggleit in the 2015 Cup. Teague understands the pressure that is on him and Lather Up following their dazzling elimination performance. “Adds more pressure (winning an elimination). I mean, you always got to figure out the next trip that’s going to be next week,” said Teague. “You got to make sure the horse is healthy, make sure I do my job, make sure he does his job. I had the best horse in 2015 and I got beat, so you never know.” Stay Hungry (PP2), last year’s Breeders Crown champion, came from third-over on the final turn to power by rivals in the lane and win his elimination in 1:50 for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Doug McNair. A son of Somebeachsomewhere, Stay Hungry was one of the Winter-Book favourites for this year’s Cup after winning six of nine starts and being named Canada’s Top 2-Year-Old Pacing Colt at the O’Brien Awards. His trainer Alagna won the 2013 Cup with Captaintreacherous, while driver McNair, last year’s Driver of the Year in Canada, will be seeking his first Cup in his third try. “It feels good (winning an elimination),” said McNair following last Saturday’s victory. “That’s always what you dream of when you’re growing up watching the race, so to be in the race and have one that’s legit and low odds is a great feeling.” Stay Hungry has won seven of 11 career starts and earned $588,760 for owners Brad Grant, Woodbine’s leading owner, and the late-Irwin Samelman. Wes Delight (PP3) split rivals late to prevail victorious in the tightest finish of last Saturday’s eliminations for trainer Mark Harder and driver Corey Callahan. The son Bettors Delight stopped the timer in 1:50.2 for his fifth win in six starts this season. “I was kind of worried I wasn’t going to get any room,” said Callahan following the elimination. “But (American History) went on enough I could sneak out there and this little horse is so gritty, he just loves to win.” Owned by Rick Phillips, Deena Rachel Frost and Mark Harder, Wes Delight has had a powerful start to his three-year-old campaign after being competitive in his rookie season, winning three of 11 starts. The Harder trainee has made more starts (17) than any other horse in this year’s Cup. Wes Delight’s career-totals sit at eight wins and $232,573 earned going into Saturday’s $1 million race. Trainer Brian Brown, who won last year’s Cup with Fear The Dragon, has a chance at a repeat with Done Well (PP7). The son of Well Said finished second to Stay Hungry to suffer his first loss in six career starts. Jimmy Takter has won nearly all the sport’s biggest races, but the Pepsi North America Cup has yet to come his way in five-previous attempts. The Hall of Fame trainer will send out Nutcracker Sweet (PP8), who finished second by a neck to Wes Delight, and Lost In Time (PP6), the fourth-place finisher to draw in. Lost In Time captured last year’s Metro Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park and was named the Dan Patch Award winner as Top 2-Year-Old Pacing Colt in the U.S. A pair of Husband-Wife, Driver-Trainer teams will compete in this year’s Pepsi North America Cup. Jody and Stephanie Jamieson will send out Ontario-sired gelding St Lads Neptune (PP1), who finished second to Lather Up in his elimination. Jody is a two-time Cup winning-driver, having won in 2007 with Tell All and 2011 with Up The Credit. Andy and Julie Miller team up to compete with Hayden Hanover (PP9), a third-place finisher in last Saturday’s eliminations. The New Jersey based Miller’s have had a good run with Hayden Hanover, as the son of Somebeachsomewhere has two wins, 11 top-three finishes in 14 career starts. Stay Hungry may grab the headlines, but trainer Alagna is another trainer in this year’s race with two-entries. American History (PP5) finished third, beat less than a length, in the elimination won by Wes Delight. The son of American Ideal has won four of eight starts and is tied with Lather Up for the fastest career-mark in this year’s field at 1:49.1. Driver Brett Miller will sit behind Hitman Hill (PP10) in Saturday’s race hoping to change his luck and capture his first Pepsi North America Cup. The 44-year-old driver has finished second in three-different editions of the Cup and will be making his seventh appearance in Canada’s richest race. A son of American Ideal, Hitman Hill was nearly perfect in his rookie season, winning six of seven starts. The Chris Oakes trainee is winless in three starts this season. The North America Cup stakes record is 1:47.4, set by Thinking Out Loud in 2012 and equaled in 2016 by Betting Line. Hall of famer Bettors Delight holds the record for the largest margin of victory, four and half lengths in 2001. The list of past Cup winners is a who’s who of Standardbred greats, including Jate Lobell (1987), Precious Bunny (1991), Presidential Ball (1993), Cams Card Shark (1994), Gallo Blue Chip (2000), Rocknroll Hanover (2005), Somebeachsomewhere (2008) and Captaintreacherous (2013). The shortest-priced winners in Cup history are Jate Lobell and Presidential Ball at $2.70, while Goalie Jeff, in 1989, provided the biggest upset, returning $93.60 for a $2 Win bet. The Cup was raced at Greenwood Raceway from 1984-03, followed by Woodbine Racetrack from 1994-2006. The North America Cup was moved to Mohawk in 2007 and this year’s edition marks the first Cup since the renaming to Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Cup night card will offer three Pick-4 wagers, including an All Stakes Pick-4 with a $100,000 guaranteed pool, comprising of Races 9 through 12. There will also be a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5. The North America Cup undercard features the $415,000 Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies, $370,000 Roses Are Red for pacing mares, $250,000 Armbro Flight for trotting mares, $266,000 Goodtimes for three-year-old trotters and the $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 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-Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter  9-Hayden Hanover-Andy Miller-Julie Miller  10-Hitman Hill-Brett Miller-Chris Oakes  by Mark McKelive, for Woodbine Communications

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Two of the top harness racing drivers in all of Canada, Louis-Philippe Roy and Sylvain Filion, will face-off in the inaugural Ben Hur Cup at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, June 24. Check out the specia video by clicking here.  Roy is the currently the leading money and dash winner in all of Canada. The young driving sensation hails from H3R where he started off his great career. Filion, the two-time O'Brien Award winner as the top driver in Canada, is always in the top leader board on the WEG Circuit. Both drivers will compete in eight races that afternoon. Each driver will get to choose the horse they will drive in each race and each driver must chooses a number from 1 to 8 so that they will have a different post position in each of the eight races. The Ben Hur Cup plus bragging rights throughout all of Canada will be won by either Roy or Filion. Roy was very candid how he felt about this tournament. "Not only do I feel confident, I know I will win," bragged Roy. "I don't want to take anything away from Sylvain as he is a great driver, but I'm a way better half-mile driver than he is." Being both drivers started out their careers driving at H3R, who might have the home field advantage at H3R? "I think it will be divided," Roy said. "Sylvain is a charismatic man and I do not know any people that do not like him, so I would say he might have a few more people rooting for him, but I also know that I have a lot of fans that supported me the last few years. How does it feel for Roy, going back home to H3R. He has planned to return but not until July for Breeder's Cup Series. "I'm happy to be there (H3R) and would never expect to be there that soon," Roy explained. "And there will be pressure to perform well, when you do that good in the country, people expect you to do that good forever, but you have to understand that you've been doing that good because you drove good horses, and that you need good horses to keep doing so well." When asked if there may be a wager made between the two drivers on the outcome of the tournament, Roy was talking a little "trash" to Sylvain. "If Sylvain is listening to me, and he better," Roy boasted. "I'm open to any kind of bet, as long as it doesn't involve my significant other Michelle. Even though I know I will win, there is still a very small amount of doubt about it." And what does Sylvain Filion have to say about all of this? "I am very confident I can beat him," Sylvain said with authority. "I think my overall experience says it all. I heard somewhere that he said he was a better half-mile driver than I am. I got some news for him. I was born on a half-mile track. When I first started and got my license it was at the Hippodrome 3R so I am very familiar with the track." Who does Filion feel the fans will side with at the Hippodrome 3R? "That is a good question." Filion replied. "Every time I go there I have so many fans come up to me and talk to me and they are so happy when I come to drive. I think the rooting will be half and half for us as Louie has made a lot of fans the past few years. Maybe the older fans will cheer more for me, the younger crowd for Louie. We will see come race day. "I have such great memories of driving at Three Rivers," Filion added. "I really looking forward to coming there June 24." This reporter then read Roy's statement to Filion about a possible wager on the competition and after he burst out laughing, Filion replied. "That was a good one," Filion said. "I will have to talk with Louie about this. I am open to anything he has to offer. Maybe it is a good idea to ask the race fans what the wager should be." No matter what the wager is between these two great drivers, the action in their eight Ben Hur Cup races will be fast and furious, just like it was between Ben Hur and his Roman adopted brother, Messala. There will be more to come on this great driver competition Sunday, June 24 at the Hippodrome 3R. Post time is 12:50 pm and there will be a meet and greet with both Louis-Philippe Roy and Sylvain Filion for the racing fans at 11:30 am in the Clubhouse. Also, on the race program June 24, will be the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Agnano Italy hosted two classic trots Sunday afternoon. The Gran Premio Unione Europa Filly (purse €88,000, 1600 meters autostart) was highlighted by the rallying victory by Vanatta (4f Pascia’Lest-Classic Toy-Malabar Man-Nina Toy Eden-Arnie Almahurst) timed in 1.12.6kr and reined by Roberto Vecchione. Holger Ehlert trains this winner now of eight victories in 22 career starts for €113,739 earned. Viscanda Jet (4f Pine Chip-Nives Jet-Naglo) held second ahead of Venariareale Font (4f Conway Hall-Blitz-Sugarcane Hanover) and Pietro Gubellini. Vale Capar (4f Conway Hall-Madame Capar-Supergill) and Victoria Luis (4f Conway Hall-Danae del Ronco-Lemon Dra) completed the top five. The companion Grand Premio Unione Europa (Open, purse €440,000, 2100 meters autostart) was won by 1.11.7kr timed Vitruvio (4m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu-Noccalula OM) with trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro aboard for the winner’s ninth career victory in 25 starts now for €496,937 earned. Va’Pensiero Gar (4m Varenne-Gala’By Pass-Lemon Dra) was a game second for Ant. DiNardo and Valchiria OP (4f Ideale Luis-Mayadel Ronco-Toss Out) was third for Roberto Andreghetti. Victor Chuc SM (4m CC’s Chuckie T-Conversa SM-Lemon Dra) and Valdivia (4f Adrian Chip-Love On The Rocks-Donerail-Long Term Goal-Armbro Goal-Sunbeam Hanover) completed the top five to the line. Last Saturday at Ostersund was the V75 day and the Gr. II Jamtlands Stora Pris, a UET Masters event, raced over 2140 meters autostart, with 700,000SWK to the winner. The 1.10kr victory was earned by 1.7/1 Readly Express (6m Ready Cash-Caddie Dream-Viking Kronos) and driven by Jorma Kontio. The winner has two wins in three starts in 2018 and has 22 wins in 26 career outings for €1,573,709n earned. 15.1/1 Diamanten (5m Adrian Chip-Iata Kill-Ata Star L) was second for Erik Adielsson and trainer Stig H. Johansson. 27.9/1 Trendy OK (6f Varenne-Annette Hanover-Sierra Kosmos) was third for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro and fourth was Love Matters. Gocciadoro also won the V75 Bronze (125,000SEK to the winner, 2640 meters autostart) with 1.12.5kr timed and 1.9/1 odds Volnik du Kras (4m Varenne-Oljka du Kros-Park Avenue Joe) that is owned by Anne Maria Ragau’. Next up for the International trotters is June 16 in the Kymi Grand Prix at Kouvola Finland. The lineup is a good one led by Elitloppet 2018 winner Ringostarr Treb. He will face the iron tough FR veteran Aubrion du Gers that Jos, Verbeeck is named to drive for trainer J-M Bazire. Romain Derieux’ s Dijon is an emerging top level performer too. The Kymi Grand Prix began in 1998 and past winners include Jag de Bellouet (timed 1.11.1kr), L’Amiral Mauzun, Commander Crowe, Rapide Lebel, Timoko, Trebol (two time winner), and Carbinieri (1.11kr race record holder). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink      

Cams Valentino crossed the finish line faster than any other four year-old pacing gelding on a half-mile track in the history of harness racing when he won the $14,500 Open II in 1:49 on Monday (June 11). The clocking also tied the all-age track on Northfield Park's half-mile oval. The former four year-old gelding world record was held by Wiggle It Jiggleit (2016, Nfld, Montrell Teague) and the Northfield record was solely held by Scott Rocks (6, 1:49, Aaron Merriman). Arold, Drury, Kohut LLC owns Cams Valentino. Kent Sherman is his conditioner and Aaron Merriman was in the sulky for the winning drive. Cams Valentino (Art Official-Cam's Valentine-Cam Fella) started from post one. He left from the gate and led the entire mile through times of :27, :54.2, 1:21.2 and 1:49, dominating his competition by 11 ½-lengths. Cams Valentino now has five wins in 16 starts this year. Monday's victory represents his 12th career score and bolstered his bankroll to $88,634. He was heavily favored and returned $2.20 to win. by Ayres Ratliff, for Northfield Park $50,000 Ohio Sire Stake at Northfield When Tyler Smith steered Spunky Bottom Girl to victory in the first of two $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for sophomore trotting fillies on Monday night, June 11 at Northfield Park, it brought to fruition a long history of genetic luck for owner/breeder Ed Teefey.   “I bought the granddam of this filly, Princess Pan, 2, 2:01.1M  ($14,205) some ten years ago at the Meadowlands Sale,” said Teffey, a retired banker, harness announcer and auctioneer from Mount Sterling, IL.    “She was a daughter of Supergill who was in foal to Classic Photo. I was standing next to trainer Tony Alagna, who told me he had bid on her yearling the year before for $70,000.  I was just standing there and made one bid of $5,700 and she, and her unborn foal, were mine.”   The following year, Teefey christened Princess Pan’s eleventh foal, a filly, Princess Addie, named after his first granddaughter.  Princess Addie is a full sister to the $384,105-winning mare Firstclassprincess 6, 1:53; and a half-sister to the gelding Peaceful Prince (by Lindy Lane) 7, 1:56.2f ($228,909), among others.   “She really didn’t have a lot of talent and then she broke a sesamoid at three,” Teefey recalled. “But she comes from the family of Illinois champion Lady Ann Reed, who was a prolific mare some four decades ago. So, on the advice of Tony (Alagna) and Myron (Bell), I bred her to My MVP, who stands here in Ohio (at Sugar Valley Farm) in Delaware.”   The resulting foal was Spunky Bottom Girl, who, Teefey noted, is named after a bluegrass band in Teefey’s hometown.   “We raced her ten times last year as a 2-year-old in Illinois,” Teefey explained. “She did okay for us (earning $15,225).  Trainer Mike Brink had her then and I kind of thought she’d step up a bit this year and mature, and so we decided to race her mainly in Ohio.  Two friends—Dean Beachy and Carl Becker—suggested I leave her with (trainer) Brent Davis in Zanesville, so that’s what we did.”   Spunky Bottom Girl left the gate at 7-1 odds and sat quietly mid-pack, while 3-2 Sesame (Aaron Merriman) and 20-1 Alana’s Ways (Josh Sutton) slugged it out, taking the field of seven to a :28 first panel clocking. Around the final turn Spunky Bottom Girl moved three-wide, with 4-5 favorite Impinktoo (Kayne Kauffman) four-wide, with the former drawing off to win by two lengths in a career best 1:55.4.  Impinktoo held on for second, while Sesame nailed down show honors.   The win upped Spunky Bottom Girl’s career earnings to $57,215 and was her first win of her 3-year-old career. She now has four wins in 17 career starts, along with four second-place finishes.   In the second $50,000 OSS division, rivals California Love (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) and Non Smoker (Danny Noble) hit the finish line together, in a 1:56.2 dead-heat for the win.    Californian Love, a 17-1 shot trained and co-owned by Chris Beaver and Steve Zeehandelar, Marion Beachy and Moger-Delia Racing, is a Storming Norman lass bred by Beachy who has eight wins to her credit in 20 starts, with $96,752 in career earnings.  She was a solid fourth to Red Storm in Leg 1 of this series at Miami Valley on May 4.   Non Smoker captured her OSS Leg 1 division at Miami Valley on May 4 in 1:54 for owner Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH.  Trained by Noble, the grey daughter by My MVP has a career bankroll of $76,601 from five wins in 12 starts.    Leaving the gate at 7-2, Non Smoker repelled challenges by 1-2 Looking For Zelda (Tony Hall) and 9-2 Red Storm (Aaron Merriman), before getting caught by California Love at the wire.  Red Storm held on for third, three-quarters of a length behind the two victresses.   by Kim RInker, for the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund

TRENTON, NJ - Today, Governor Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill 4111, allowing sports betting at New Jersey casinos and racetracks for certain professional and collegiate sports or athletic events. "Today, we're finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey," said Governor Murphy. "I'm thrilled to sign Assembly Bill 4111 because it means that our casinos in Atlantic City and our racetracks throughout our state can attract new business and new fans, boosting their own long-term financial prospects. This is the right move for New Jersey and it will strengthen our economy." Under the legislation, a licensed casino or racetrack may accept wagers at a sports wagering lounge at its respective premises, and can petition to operate a sports pool at a temporary facility during the construction of a sports wagering lounge. In addition, licensed casinos and racetracks can seek to operate an online sports pool beginning 30 days after the effective date of the bill. Individuals placing wagers must be at least 21 years of age. The bill also provides that athletes, coaches, referees, and other persons with potential influence or access to non-public information regarding sporting events, are prohibited from placing bets on sporting events overseen by the league in which they participate. Additionally, wagers cannot be placed on high school sporting events or collegiate athletic events taking place in New Jersey or involving New Jersey teams. The bill authorizes the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the New Jersey Racing Commission to issue emergency regulations for a period of up to 270 days to govern sports betting. These regulations are to allow for already-licensed casinos and racetracks to apply for a transactional waiver that will enable them to commence sports betting. The estimated State tax revenues that could be generated from sports betting are projected at approximately $13 million in the first full year of operation. Bill sponsors include Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling, John J. Burzichelli, Joann Downey, Ralph R. Caputo, Raj Mukerji, Paul D. Moriarity as well as Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senators Jeff Van Drew and Vin Gopal. On Wednesday June 13th, the New Jersey Racing Commission will hold a meeting to review regulations related to the establishment of sports betting at New Jersey racetracks. Following the Racing Commission adopting regulations, the Governor will be able to ratify the Racing Commission's decision and licensed racetracks will then be able to apply for a temporary waiver to commence sports betting. From the NJ Governors Office

WASHINGTON, PA, June 11, 2018 — Sidewalk Dancer peeled off cover past the three-quarters, turned on the jets in the lane and rolled to her third straight victory in Monday’s $159,868 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event for 3-year-old filly pacers, known as the Adios Betty, was contested over two divisions, with Serene Stride taking the other split. All the victories in Sidewalk Dancer’s current streak, including a PASS leg at Harrah’s Philadelphia, have come since trainer Chris Oakes began treating her with Lasix. Winning driver Brett Miller believes the medication is making a difference. “I think it’s played a big part,” Miller said. “Last year, she was real high strung, so I’m sure Lasix is really helping her. She’s amazing. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope she stays sound.” In the Adios Betty, Sidewalk Dancer followed the live cover of Cult Icon before exploding late to triumph in 1:52, 2 lengths better than the rallying Alexa’s Power. Early leader Sansovina Hanover completed the ticket. Northfork Racing, Omar Beiler and Dennis Coons campaign the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance-Road Sign, who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $157,779. Serene Stride had a more anxious journey, stalking Double A Mint from the pocket and hoping to find the Lightning Lane before the closers brushed by. “I was a little bit worried about that,” said winning driver Tony Hall. “Once I got down in there and she cleared the horse on the lead, she kind of sat down on me the last 50 feet. She just kind of coasted through. The track’s a little heavy today on the inside, and I’m thinking that might have played a part.” Serene Stride held off Aldine Hanover, who found a late seam, by a head in 1:53.3, with Ideal Talker third. Mark Harder conditions Serene Stride, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Siren who won for the sixth time in seven 2018 starts and now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $126.678, for Emilio and Maria Rosati. Dave Palone collected three wins, including a pair for trainer Kevin Johnson, on the 13-race card. Stake racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the program features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event for sophomore filly pacers. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

Brady Woods decision to interrupt his Australian Kelpie Muster holiday in Victoria paid dividends when he sealed the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge in Launceston on Sunday night. Brady led the six-heat Series by eight points over Samantha Gangell going into the final night of heats but it didn’t take long for the Series to take a major twist. Samantha Gangell stormed into contention lifting outsider Streetside Classic into second place behind the Shelley Barnes-trained Lead Singer, driven by Wade Rattray in Heat five to close the gap in the Series to just a solitary point as Brady laboured into sixth place on Keep Playing. With the pressure well and truly on the two combatants lined up aboard two of the top fancies, Usain Jolt (Brady) and Zhukov Leis (Samantha) in heat six. Hannah Van dongen, went into the final Heat with a sneaky chance of pulling off the Youngbloods Title and duly fired the Christian Salter-trained pacer Metro Star to the lead. Brady settled Usain Jolt back third last with his main danger Samantha behind him at the tail with Zhukov Leis, the Series leader made his move on the $2.20 favourite in the run to the bell and was up chasing the leader at the 800-metre pole, Gangell surged Zhukov Leis forward but it was painfully obvious turning into the back straight she faced a forlorn task of outpointing Woods in the final lap. Metro Star always looked to have enough up its sleeve in the run to the post to hold Usain Jolt with Zhukov Leis left lamenting back in fifth place. Hannah’s win not only lifted her into third place in the final standing’s of the Youngbloods Challenge but also catapulted the youngster to the top of the Leading Female Drivers Premiership with nine wins for the season. 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge Final points: 58 pts – Brady Woods 51 pts – Samantha Gangell 48 pts – Hannah Van dongen “I’m rapt to have won the Youngbloods Challenge, even though I had planned my trip to the Muster a long time ago I would never pass up the opportunity to win such a prestigious Series as the Youngbloods, I’ve had a few cracks at it and this was my last chance so I’m very happy to finally get the job done,” said Brady. “It’s a great Series and gives all up and coming drivers the opportunity to experience the pressure of a Series, a big thanks must go to all the trainers who support the Challenge every year and 6ty° for their sponsorship every year.” Shane Yates

WALES, UK - It was a first class night of racing at Tir Prince Raceway, north Wales, on Saturday 9th June as the track played host to the NWHOA 2 and 3 year old divisions for colts and fillies, as well as the first heat of the Crock of Gold. The first race on the card was a maiden and novice event, which saw the heavily-backed Teatime Preacher (William Laidler) take up the running at the half and go further and further away from the field, with only Triplicity (Jonathan Dunne) putting up any sort of chase. This was the four-year-old mare's first start for the Laidler stable and she made it an impressive one, breaking the track record for her age category in 1.59.1. This half-sister of top racehorse Stamp Hill looks to be going places. The next race was the Le Trot/TrotBritain Silver Division trot over a mile and a half and in a repeat of the race at Appleby two weeks earlier, Bora Bora De Seg (Andrew Cairns) led the field into the final turn with Amazing (Jason Ali) hot on its heels. The leader put in a replica performance and broke stride when being strongly pressed, leaving Amazing a clear run home to notch up its second consecutive win since being imported to the UK. The Brightwells-sponsored 2YO Fillies pace was dominated by two fillies, eventually being won by the sales-topping filly from last October, Oakwood Starcam (John Richardson), who led out and made all. The Mockingjay (Marc Jones) put in a strong show to finish second and clear of the field. The winner set a new track record for her age division in 2.01.1. The 3YO fillies followed, and it was another Irish-trained filly which dominated. Last year's record-breaking 2YO filly and BHRC Overseas Horse of the Year, Robyn Camden (Clive Kavanagh), led out and was never to be headed, setting a new track record for her age division in 1.57.3. Rhyds Sapphire (William Laidler) and Ayr Empress (Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr) were the best of the rest, finishing some 16L behind in second and third respectively, with only a nose splitting them. After the VDM Fillies Final winner had notched up her first victory of the 3YO season the VDM Colts Final winner Matticulous (William Laidler) was set to do the same. The BHRC 2YO Colt of the Year settled mid-pack in the early part of the race, and then tipped three wide in the last quarter to take up the running, closely pursued by Monsieur Bibeau (John Richardson) who could never match the leader in the stretch. The winner pulled up in 1.58.6. The first Crock of Gold heat for Free For All pacers looked set to be dominated by last year's joint winners Evenwood Sonofagun and Miraculous, and the four-year-old track record holder Rhyds Rock Star who was drawn in pole position. As expected, Rhyds Rock Star (James Haythornthwaite) led out and set good fractions. At the three quarters, Rockin Mambo (Marc Jones) tipped out to challenge and cleared the leader with ease. He was followed by Coalford Tetrick (Alan Wallace Snr) but was never to be challenged and came home in an overall track-record equalling time of 1.56.1 much to the delight of owner/trainer/driver Marc Jones and his wife Jenny. The five-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover was purchased by Marc and Jenny at Harrisburg as a weanling, as was his mother Mambo Western at the same sale. The fifth leg of the BHRC & Standardbred Horse Sales Co. Star Makers series went to Borntorun (James Haythornthwaite), who had previously put in a good performance in the first leg at Tregaron before going on to win at Appleby two weeks ago. Borntorun joins the other leg winners in the grand final at Tir Prince on Saturday 14th July. The penultimate race of the night was the Le Trot/TrotBritain Gold Division trot over a mile and a half and the unbeaten this season Valseur Du Cygne (William Laidler) dominated throughout to take victory. The Irish visitor, Ultimo D'ouville (Billy Roche), the winner of the FFA Trot at Portmarnock at the VDM weekend last year, put in a good show to finish second over the extended distance, with the 2 mile World Record Holder Vichy De Moem (Jonathan Dunne) finishing third on his debut for new connections in the UK. The last race on the card was the Brightwells-sponsored 2YO Colts & Geldings division for pacers. Takemetothelimit (Alan Haythornthwaite), the half-brother to earlier winner Borntorun, won on his career debut in an eventful race which saw multiple horses make mistakes. The winner was flawless and did not appear fazed by the magnitude of the occasion to land the spoils. Christy Camden (William Laidler) put in an eye-catching performance to finish strongly in the stretch to take second. Long-time leader Anglesey Fallguy (Patrick Kane Jnr) faltered on the last bend when in front, losing his position, before recovering and running on for third, however broke stride again on the line and was demoted to fourth position behind betting favourite Rhyds Seeandbeseen (James Haythornthwaite). Racing returns to Tir Prince on Saturday 30th June featuring five Group 1 races, a STAGBI Future Broodmares Race and heats of the 3YO and 4YO Le Trot/TrotBritain Series Finals. If last night is anything to go by, then we are in for another treat in three weeks' time! by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

Fillibuster Hanover (Yannick Gingras) won the first division of The Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers at Tioga Downs on Sunday afternoon (June 10). Tioga Downs hosted three divisions of The Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and two divisions for trotters. All five raced for a purse of $50,000. Also on hand were three divisions of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for sophomore pacing colts and geldings. Fillibuster Honover ($2.50) went right to the lead and carved out all the fractions (:27.4, :56.3, 1:24.0, 1:50.3. Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan) went first-over and was within a nose and look like he might get by. Filibuster Hanover had other ideas. He dug in and withheld the challenge to score the victory. Funknwaffes settled for second. Bloodline (Tim Tetrick) followed in the pocket the whole way and finished third. Unbeaten this year, Filibuster Hanover is a 4-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J Di Scala Jr and J & T Silva Stables. Ron Burke trained him to his fifth win in five starts in 2018. It was career win number 12. Miso Fast (Tim Tetrick) holds off late rush by Western Joe (Scott Zeron) to capture the second division of The Graduate Series for pacers. Miso Fast ($3.10) went to the lead and was first at every pole (:27.0, :53.4, 1:21.0, 1:49.2). Boogie Shuffle (David Miller) went three-wide around the last turn to pressure Miso Fast. Miso Fast responded and opened up by two lengths in mid-stretch. Western Joe followed in the pocket trip the whole way. He found an opening on the inside but fell just short and had to settle for second. Rock N Tony (Matt Kakaley) came up to finish third. Miso Fast is a 4-year-old horse by Roll With Joe. Owned by Winchester Baye Acres LLC and trained by Virgil Morgan Jr. He won for the third time this season and notched career victory number 10. Highalator (David Miller) impressive in gate-to wire win in the third division for pacers. Highalator ($3.80) charged out of the gate and never looked back. Owned by Joann Dombeck, Midsize Construction Inc., and trainer Jenny Bier, he owned all the fractions (:27.0, :55.3, 1:22.0, 1:49.0). It was the fastest mile of the day. Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick) was second with Beckhams Z Tam (Ricky Macomber Jr.) finishing third. Highalator is a 4-year-old horse by Somebeachsomewhere. It was win number six of the season and the 18th of his career. Guardian Angel As (Tim Tetrick) uses his wings to win the first division of The Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters. Fraser Ridge (Dave Miller) laid down the early fractions (:28.0, :56.2, 1:24.0). After the favorite Yes Mickey (Andrew McCarthy) went on a break, Guardian Angel As ($5.90) went three-wide at the top of the stretch and flew by to win in a lifetime best mark of 1:52.4. Lord Cromwell (Jim Marohn Jr.) finished second with Fraser Ridge hanging on for third. Guardian Angel As is a 4-year-old horse by Archangel He is owned by Acl Stuteri Ab and Kjell Johansson while trained by Annette Lorentzon. He is two for two as a 4-year-old. It was career win number 11. Moonshiner Hanover (David Miller) gets big upset victory in the second division for trotters. Top Flight Angel (Andy Miller) put up all the early fractions (:28.0, :57.2 1:25.1). Moonshiner Hanover ($51.50) stayed patiently in the pocket until he got an opening at the top of the stretch. He blew by to win in a career best time of 1:53.1. Bill's Man (Corey Callahan) charged late to finish second. Top Flight Angel was third. Moonshiner Hanover is a 4-year-old horse by Andover Hall. Owned by Synerco Ventures, Bill Maines and trainer Christopher Beaver, he won for the third time this season. It was career victory number seven. Springsteen (David Miller) is the boss in the first division of the NYSS ($40,600) for sophomore colts and geldings. Real Surreal (Scott Zeron) led all the way through three-quarters (:27.3, :56.2, 1:23.0). Springsteen ($3.80), who is owned by Allard Racing, B. Soulsby, A. Weisenberg, and K. SIngh, while trained by Rene Allard, went first-over from fourth and battled Real Surreal (second) all the way down the stretch to win in 1:51.0. I Soar Him First (Jason Bartlett) was third. Springsteen is a 3-year-old colt by Rock N Roll Heaven. It was his first win in 2018. He secured his fourth career victory. Heavenly Sound (Andrew McCarthy) wins the second division for the NYSS 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings ($39,900). After Ostro Hanover led them to the first quarter in :26.4, Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett) took over before hitting the half in :55.3. Heavenly Sound ($22.00) went first-over after after the halfway point. Heavenly Sound and Trump Nation battled back and forth around the final turn. Owned by M&M Racing LLC., and trained by Bruce Saunders, Heavenly Sound shook loose in the stretch and held off a late charge by second place finisher Ideal Feeling (Tim Tetrick) to win in 1:50.4. Trump Nation ended up finishing third. Heavenly Sound is a 3-year-old colt by Rock N Roll Heaven. It was his fourth win this season and career victory number six. Keystone Tenacious (Mark MacDonald) was a gate-to-wire winner in the last division for NYSS pacers ($39,900). Owned by the Patricia Stable with Lawrence Thomases and trained by Paul Kelley, Keystone Tenacious ($7.30) put down all the fractions (:27.2, :57.1, 1:24.2, 1:52.1). My Delight (Marcus Miller) finished second. Twin B Tuffenuff was third. Keystone Tenacious is a 3-year-old colt by So Surreal. It was win number two this year and he won for the third time in his career. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (June 15) with a post time of 6:15. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Luke McCarthy knew the time had come.  As he drove Bling It On back off the Menangle track last night (Saturday), he knew it was the last time the superstar pacer would contest a race.  It was Bling It On’s 86th and final race start. A staggering 49 of them were at Group level.  He retires with 45 wins, 20 placings and earnings of $1,656,656.  “He went to this race as a D-day. He needed to go really well to continue on and he didn’t,” McCarthy said. “We made excuses for him first-up and then trialled quite well, but he didn’t do enough last time. It’s the right time to retire him.  “The timing works well actually. The breeding season isn’t far away. He served 130 mares when he was at stud recovering from his injuries last year and hopefully he can get another 100 mares or so this year to give him a chance to make an impact as a stallion.”  McCarthy quickly declared the 2017 Hunter Cup as Bling It On’s greatest moment on the track.  “That was the most special to me, but there were so many others. His Queensland Derby win, that Breeders Crown win as a two-year-old and that Gold Coast Cup where he won and smashed the track record,” he said.  “He was such a great horse from day one and just about all of his runs were against top opposition.”  McCarthy was proudest of how Bling It On recovered from horrific injuries sustained in a fall at Albion Park on June 17, 2017.  “I still look back at the photos of the injuries to his knees and wonder how he made it back to the races,” McCarthy said.  “To think he came back and won his first three starts and went 1min50.8sec in one of them, which was his career-best.  “You can only marvel when a horse can comeback from that and still be so good.  “I’m really looking forward to seeing the impact he make at stud. He’s from such a great family with Baby Bling and now Bletchley Park along as a few others. He’s got everything going for him.”   Adam Hamilton

Oslo, Norway - The 3.6/1 Urlo dei Venti (5m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy-Malabar Man) with Enrico Bellei up for trainer Gennaro Casillo, made a shambles of the Gr. I International UET Masters Series VG Grand Prix Oslo (total purse €289,226, 2100 meters autostart, 10 starters) scoring by seven lengths in the 1.10.5kr clocked victory. Bellei had the winner in front early and the result was never in doubt as the 9/10 favorite Twister Bi made a dq miscue before at the start. Urlo dei Venti raised his career earnings to €930,050 for owner Scuderia Barbalbero of Italy. The 63/1 Evil Enok ME (5m Magnetic Power-Topaz Dragon) was second for trainer/driver Noralf P. Braekken and owner Lars Mikal Braekken. Third was 14/1 Uza Josselyn (7f Love You-Tea Josselyn) reined by Erik Adielsson for trainer Rene Aebischer and Ecurie Rhythm and Blues.The 50/1 Rajesh Face (5m Raja Mirchi) was fourth for Per Oleg Midfjeld driving for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. The 3.9/1 second choice Cyber Lane was fitth. 11/1 Dreammoko ended eighth.  by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink      

FAN HANOVER & ROSES ARE RED ELIMS

Columbus, OH --- Homicide Hunter and driver Aaron Merriman moved to the lead following the halfway point of Saturday’s (June 9) Charlie Hill Memorial and never looked back, winning the $200,000 event for older trotters by 4-1/2 lengths over In Secret in 1:50.3 on a track labeled good at Eldorado Scioto Downs. Charmed Life finished third. Defending champion Crazy Wow and two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Marion Marauder were scratched sick, reducing the field to seven horses. Race favorite Will Take Charge went off stride at the start and finished sixth.The winning time equaled the world record for an older gelding trotter on a five-eighths-mile track and was a stakes and track record. I Know My Chip took the early lead in a :26.3 opening quarter-mile before seeing Smalltownthrowdown get the top spot prior to the half-mile point. Driver Sam Widger moved I Know My Chip back to the lead at the half, reached in :54.2, but faced pressure from Homicide Hunter, who was in front by the time he reached three-quarters in 1:22. Homicide Hunter is a 6-year-old gelding by Mr Cantab out of Evening Prayer. He is owned by Crawford Farms Racing of New York and trained by Chris Oakes. The horse was bred by Patrick Graham. For the year, Homicide Hunter has won two of three races and earned $116,500. For his career, he has won 32 of 65 starts and banked $1.22 million. The Charlie Hill Memorial honors Hall of Famer Charles Hill, who was the founder and former president and chairman of the board of Scioto Downs. Homicide Hunter went off at odds of 3-1 and paid $8.60 to win. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

East Rutherford, NJ - Breakfast With The Babies (BWTB) Saturday morning were sponsored by Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm was conducted under perfect conditions on a clear, windless morning with temperatures in the 70's. The Meadowlands racetrack was rated as fast. The Captaintreacherous colts were on display in a big way this morning as a half dozen well-bred colts from his exciting first crop purchased last fall by Myron Bell's consortium and trained by Tony Alagna positioned themselves on a course to advance the legacy of their champion sire and they did him proud. Shipshape (Brett Miller) was the first to go in race six, was sent right to the front and faced no opposition as he cruised the oval in 1:54.2 home in 27 seconds in hand. The sharp looking Brittany Farms bred from Fresh Idea was a $175,000 Lexington purchase by Brittany, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant and Captain Trevor Racing. Captain Ahab (Yannick Gingras) went virtually the same mile in the 7th, just a tick faster as he finished the mile in 1:54 flat. He rolled off similar numbers and finished well in hand, holding two other "Captaian" colts followed him across the wire with Odds On Boca Raton (Scott Zeron) second and Waterway (B. Miller) third. All three are sons of Captaintreacherous and trained by Alagna and Captain Ahab's owners are listed as Brittany Farms, Brad Grant, Vinnie Barbera and Captain Ahab Racing who paid $100,000 for him in Lexington. Brittany Farms bred this colt as well. US Captain closed the day on a high note for the team as he held challengers on both sides at bay through a 27.1 end to a 1:55.2 mile. Gingras moved US Captain to the front as they passed the half in 59.4, faced a stern rush from another "Captain" in Latissimus Hanover (Tetrick) through a 28.2 third panel then put that rival away and held Caviart Rockland (Marcus Johansson) off up the inside through the final strides. US Captain is from the champion mare American Jewel and was also bred by Brittany who retains a piece of the colt with partners Brad Grant, Joe Barbera and US Captain Racing. He was a $180,000 Lexington yearling purchase. Trainer Joe Holloway also had a huge day with three impressive winners, all driven by Hall of Famer David Miller. Trixton also impressed as the first crop sire and 2014 Hambletonian winner sired a few winners including Battenberg, a colt from Coffeecake Hanover who wowed the crowd with a 1:55.4 mile where he was in front by 10 to 15 lengths the entire way. He snapped from the gate quickly for David Miller and had 10 on the field by the 28.1 quarter, continued through the half in 57.1 and 1:26.4 three quarters before coasting home in 29 to win by 13 lengths. Holloway trains Battenberg for Crawford Farms and Val D'Or Farms who gave $210,000 for him at last fall's Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg. Millstream Stable bred the colt. Joe also sent out a Heston Blue Chip filly by the name of Zero Tolerance who zipped around the oval in 1:53.3 with an ultra-impressive 26.3 final quarter, absolutely flying in late stretch for Miller. She is a Winbak Farms bred $30,000 Lexington Select Sale purchase by Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. Trotting fillies opened the card and the Starita, also by Trixton was a convincing 1:58.2 winner for Miller. Starita went right to the front, set comfortable fractions and sprinted home in 27.4 under her own power. Mimi'spearloflindy (Mattias Melander) was second. Holloway trains the $50,000 (LEX Select) Brittany Farms bred filly for owners Val D'Or Farms and Gewertz. Speed Titan, by another exciting first crop sire in EL Titan, was an easy 1:58.1 winner for Marcus Melander in race 2. She followed along behind Taja Mahala (Chuck Connor) as that one cruised through a 1:00.3 half and 1:29.3 three quarters before Melander tipped her out and she charged by that rival to win by a widening five lengths. Taja Mahalla held for second. Speed Titan was a $50,000 (LEX Select) buy for Rick Wahlstedt from breeder Kjell Andersen. Melander came right back in the third with the $225,000 (LEX Select) Muscle Hill colt Gerry, who cut the mile and moved away from the competition with a 28.1 end to his 1:57.3 mile. Osterc (Yannick Gingras) sat behind throughout and finished second. Gerry was bred by KG Bertmark and is owned by Svensk Reklamfinans AB. Live racing tonight with an 11 race card beginning at around 7:15 pm with Justify chasing the Triple Crown in the Belmont at 7:00 pm. by Nick Salvi, for The Meadowlands

MILTON, ON June 8, 2018 - The return of the reigning Canadian and American Horse of the Year highlighted stakes elimination action Friday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Armbro Flight for trotting mares and Goodtimes for three-year-old trotting fillies both required two eliminations Friday to kick off a busy stakes weekend. Hannelore Hanover, last year's O'Brien and Dan Patch Award champion, returned to Woodbine Mohawk Park looking to give herself a chance at her third consecutive Armbro Flight title. The six-year-old superstar and driver Yannick Gingras were successful in the opening $35,000 elimination, defeating six rivals in an easy 1:52. 'Hannelore' left from post-six and was parked by the opening-quarter in :27 before clearing to command. The Ron Burke trainee proceeded to reach the half in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24.2 before making her :27.3 final-quarter look effortless to win by five and a half lengths. Southwind Tesla finished second, while Caprice Hill and Dream Together rounded out the Superfecta. Checkmate Time was fifth to grab the final spot in next week's final. Hannelore Hanover was two for two on the season going into Friday's elimination. "That's probably the easiest race I'll win all year," said Gingras following the race. "She was wrapped up and did it very easy. She's so solid right now there is no worries, knock on wood, but she's something else." Now a 39-time winner with over $2.7 million earned, Hannelore Hanover is owned by Burke Racing LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and J And T Silva Stables LLC. The daughter of Swan For All will be looking for the Armbro Flight three-peat in next Saturday's (June 16) $250,000 final. 'Hannelore' won the 2016 edition in an Canadian Record 1:51 and last year's edition in 1:51.4. As expected, Hannelore Hanover paid $2.10 to win. The second elimination saw another superstar trotting mare find the winner's circle. Emoticon Hanover and Bob McClure was a coast-to-coast front-end winner in 1:52.4. The Luc Blais trainee posted fractions of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:24.1 before trotting home in :28.3 to win by three and a half lengths. Friday's start was the first-time McClure sat behind 'Emoticon' in a race. The young reinsman has been driving this season for Blais and did have his choice of stablemates Emoticon Hanover and Dream Together in the May 21 Miss Versatility Stakes. "I had the option last week and I took (Dream Together), but I knew (Emoticon Hanover) was probably the better of the two," said McClure. "The other mare was race-tight, but this mare is all-class," said McClure is confident in his mare heading into next week's final. "Hannelore is going to be tons the best in there, but my mare did beat her last year, so it is a horse race." Celebrity Ruth, who was the 1/2 favourite, finished second, while Ice Attraction came up the rail to finish third. The final two spots in the Armbro Flight final were secured by Majestic Presence and Barn Bella. A five-year-old daughter of Kadabra, Emoticon Hanover hasn't impressed many during her four qualifiers this season, but she's turned it on when it counts with now two wins in two starts. Owned by Determination, Emoticon Hanover now has 18 career wins and earnings of over $1.3 million. Emoticon Hanover paid $7.70 to win. The Goodtimes for three-year-old trotters featured two $30,000 eliminations and just like the Armbro Flight, driver Gingras was back in the winner's circle following the first elimination. Jimmy Takter trainee Wolfgang was ready to go in his first start of the season, front-stepping to a career-best 1:52.2 victory. Wolfgang and Gingras left hard to claim the lead, posting a :27.2 opener. The son of My Mvp hung up fractions of :56.1 and 1:2 to lead into the lane. Hat Trick Habit, the _ favourite, came first-up from third on the far turn, while Lawmaker tracked in the two-hole. Wolfgang did not give his rivals any chance in the lane and trotted off in _ to win by _ lengths. Lawmaker finished second at 40-1, while Run Director was third. Hat Trick Habit and Stormont Ventnor rounded out the top-five to advance to the June 16 final. "Jimmy told me he trained really good at the farm and I know he didn't show a (1):52 mile, but the day he qualified at The Meadowlands it was a real good mile," said Gingras post-race. "I liked the colt. I raced him a few times last fall and I thought he was a top horse and he showed it tonight." Wolfgang won three of 10 starts last season, banking $316,275 for owners Brixton Medical Inc, Goran Falk, Hatfield Stables and Fair Island Farm Inc. A $2 win ticket on Wolfgang returned $6.20. The second elimination featured a showdown between O'Brien Award winner Alarm Detector and Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill. The two stars finished one-two with Alarm Detector taking the victory in his three-year-old debut. Driven by Trevor Henry, Alarm Detector left strong to grab the lead and that was the winning move. Henry got a soft :29.1 second-quarter to lead by the half in :57.1, while Fiftydallarbill had to angle out first-up from fourth. Alarm Detector trotted a solid :28 third-quarter before finishing up strong in :27.4 to claim the victory. Fiftydallarbill turned in a game effort, closing in on the wrapped up leader at the wire to finish second by three-quarters of a length. Cruising In Style finished third, while Hill Street was fourth. The final qualifier for next week's final was Missle Hill. Trainer Ben Baillargeon has mapped out a plan for Alarm Detector this season and was very pleased with the Chapter Seven colt's season debut. "I was okay with it, mile in (1):53, it's getting a little cooler right now at this time and you can train them as much as you want, but it's not like racing," said Baillargeon. "He was ready and up to the task." Owned by Tom & Elizabeth Rankin, Claude Hamel and Santo Vena, Alarm Detector went six for seven during his rookie season and banked $276,870. Baillargeon hasn't been shy in pointing out what his main focus is for the season. "The game plan is the Hambletonian and hopefully we will get there, but the Hambletonian will be his number six race, so four more starts after (the Goodtimes)." Alarm Detector paid $3.30 to win. Friday's elimination winners earned the right to select their post for their respective finals. Here are the post positions for next Saturday's $250,000 Armbro Flight and $266,000 Goodtimes finals. $250,000 Armbro Flight 1. Caprice Hill 2. Celebrity Ruth 3. Dream Together 4. Emoticon Hanover 5. Hannelore Hanover 6. Checkmate Time 7. Southwind Tesla 8. Majestic Presence 9. Ice Attraction 10. Barn Bella AE: P L Jill $266,000 Goodtimes 1. Stormont Ventnor 2. Hill Street 3. Alarm Detector 4. Wolfgang 5. Lawmaker 6. Hat Trick Habit 7. Fiftydallarbill 8. Run Director 9. Missle Hill 10. Cruising In Style AE: Jula Downton by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

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