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As harness racing sales week approaches the men behind New Zealand's biggest club are starting to believe the once impossible dream. And they say it could be reality inside three years. The sales kick off at Karaka on Monday with the stronger Australasian Classic Sale before a new format in Christchurch which sees a parade and trotters-only sale on Tuesday and 250 lots on Wednesday. But Karaka has become the hotbed of the three days, with more Australian interest and, because of a smaller catalogue, less lulls. While the sale will be strong, especially in demand for Bettors Delight and Art Major colts, Auckland Trotting Club bosses are hoping the dawning reality of what lies ahead at Alexandra Park will be enough to attract new buyers. The club has the very rare advantage of having businesspeople who are also long-time breeders and horse people on their board, giving them a handle on how one side of the industry feeds the other. And that menu is about to get a lot bigger. With Alexandra Park's first real estate developments expected to be finished by the end of this year the club is rumoured to be considering a stake structure with $15,000 maidens, $20,000 next grade races and $25,000 mid to higher level races at every Friday meeting. And that is expected to rise every year after, with an average stake of $25,000 per race at all meetings now realistic in four years. "While we can't outline the exact figures we are committed to an extra $40,000 in stakes every meeting next year and to keep increasing that," says ATC president Bruce Carter. Carter did not dismiss the figures mentioned above. Those sort of numbers would give the Alexandra Park and Karaka relationship a ratio unheard of for a major sale anywhere else in the world. The average yearling price at Karaka last season was around $38,000 but that is enormously propped up by Australian buyers looking for New Zealand's best. The actual average price paid by domestic buyers would be way lower, around the $25,000 mark. Which means the average price of buying a standardbred yearling in Auckland will by the time most of them are racing be the same as the average stake for a harness race in the city, which when you have a very strong sale is remarkable. "We are aware that is the sort of thing we have to aim at, to make racing horses viable," says Carter. "Our board know the sums of racing so we are determined to see money go into stakes. "That helps the sales but also goes into the pocket of all owners and trainers and for us it is not a case of if it will happen, but when." The remarkable ratio could make buying standardbreds a viable racing option for most chasing anything but the top lots, which on Monday are likely to be those sons, and occasional daughters, of Bettors Delight. The sales parade starts at 2.30pm tomorrow with first lot through the ring at 10.30am on Monday. Michael Guerin If you want to buy a winner then the odds are in your favour, big time, when you buy a yearling from the Breckon Farms draft at the 2018 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale. There is no doubt that this years Australasian Classic Yearling Sale is the best Catalogue of yearlings ever produced in New Zealand. Be there. To view the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale catalogue click on this link. To view the entire Breckon Farms yearlings click on this link. Art Major hits $170,000,000 in earnings Muscle Hill - World's greatest trotting sire Speedster He’s Watching a life-changer Golden cross, Andover Hall - Muscles Yankee Generational speed 1:47.4 ---- 1:46.4 The Australasian Classic Yearling Sale You need a Somebeachsomewhere filly How to buy a millionairess! This stallion has 14 colts in 1:48.4 or faster 1,846 winners for Art Major Golden cross, Bettor's Delight x Christian Cullen

ONKERS, N.Y. – Blindswitch Racing Stable and harness racing trainer Al Annunziata will start a formidable pair in this week’s pacing features at Yonkers Raceway. Betabcool is the 7-2 co-second choice on the morning line in Friday’s $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap while Don’tcallmefrancis is the 3-1 early favorite in Saturday’s $40,000 Open Handicap. Created by David Litvinsky six years ago, Blindswitch Racing Stable boasts a roster of about 30 horses, the most recent to join the ranks being Have Faith In Me, a champion pacer in Australia and New Zealand Blindswitch owns in partnership with VIP Stable, Robert Cooper, and Gary Axelrod. To reach the point of racing competitively in the Opens at Yonkers and importing the some of the Southern Hemisphere’s top horses, Blindswitch built success on the backs of its “core” four horses. “The first horse we claimed was Pan From Nantucket,” Litvinsky said. “He was so good. From there, it was BJ’s Guy. It was just lucky claims one after the other. Then RU Ready to Rock and Rock To Glory. Those were the core that kind of grew the stable. They were super horses. We’ve just been lucky with the claims and the right horses.” After achieving success in the claiming game, Litvinsky turned his attention to importing horses from Australia and New Zealand. He realized an average horse Down Under could be a good horse in the United States and a top horse from the Southern Hemisphere could be superior when brought stateside. “I think we started maybe three years ago with the Australian horses. I deal with an agent that kept calling us and saying, ‘hey, you’ve got to get this horse.’ They were cheaper back then. They were cheaper than they are now because now everybody’s doing it,” Litvinsky explained. “The horses that came over here, they were just average horses there, average to below average. Some of these horses are bleeders and a little bit of Lasix really freshens them up and obviously, they can breathe. We said, ‘let’s get some of the better horses there and they can be something really special here.’ ” Betabcool was one of those top horses Blindswitch imported. Purchased last year, the daughter of Bettor’s Delight was a 19-time winner from 84 starts in Australia, including wins in two Group 3 stakes, the Cinderella Stakes and the Norms Daughter Stakes. She began racing in North America last February and has posted seven victories and earned $221,500 since. Despite her success, Betabcool was originally overshadowed by stablemate Quick Draft. “We got her around the same time as Quick Draft,” Litvinsky said. “Quick Draft was actually the more classy horse coming over here; she was supposed to be the real deal, but as soon as we trained them together the first time, we just all knew that Betabcool was going to be the tougher horse, the better horse. She’s a really gutsy horse.” To start her 2018 campaign, Betabcool posted a neck victory in a $20,000 overnight at Yonkers January 12 with Jason Bartlett in the sulky. She finished third in her next start January 26 before scoring a nose win over Regil Elektra at the same level February 2 after starting from post seven and racing 8 ¾-lengths behind early. “Betabcool, we gave a month off to freshen up. She had a big season, so we turned her out a little early and she’s come back really, really strong. She’s super sharp right now,” Litvinsky said. Betabcool’s impressive races justified moving up to the Filly and Mare Open this week, where she’ll meet last week’s winner Sell A Bit, Motu Moonbeam, who won at this level two weeks ago, and fellow class-jumper Cousin Mary. Juxta Cowgirl, Jag Out, and Annabeth complete the field. Betabcool will start from post three. “She got Bartlett, which is obviously a big bonus,” Litvinsky said. “She’s definitely better from off the pace. I’m hoping there’s little action up front and she gets away third and comes first-over, comes home late. She’s a different horse up front. She likes to chase for sure.” While Betabcool came from overseas, Blindswitch obtained Don’tcallmefrancis by more tradition means. Litvinsky acquired the Rocknroll Hanover gelding for $55,000 at the 2017 Meadowlands Winter Sale, seeing potential in the 2016 Anthony Abbatiello Classic winner to become a talented older horse. “He had an amazing 3-year-old season, made $150,000, beat some nice horses,” he said. “When we first got him, he was really good, then he started tailing off a little bit, he was tying up, so it took a little while to get him back to where he was at 3.” Don’tcallmefrancis won six of 37 starts last year, good for $74,770, but the 5-year-old is off to a faster start this year. He won four races in a row, including two for a $50,000 tag at Yonkers in January, before taking on Open company last week. Much to Litvinsky’s surprise, Don’tcallmerancis finished second by a nose. “I didn’t expect him to finish first or second last weekend,” he admitted. “There are some nice horses in the Open, it’s a big step up from a 50 claimer. When the horse is sharp, I guess he can beat anybody.” Saturday night, Don’tcallmefrancis will start from post three with Greg Merton in the bike and will face seven rivals, including Killer Martini, a 7-1 winner of the Open last week, Orillia Joe, who strung together three straight wins in January, and Dream Out Loud, who finished third in his last two Open tries. All Down The Line, Gokudo Hanover, Thisjetsabookin, and Soto complete the lineup. “If he gets a good trip, he can definitely win. I don’t think he’s going to win first-over, but if he gets the right trip, he can definitely catch them. It’s a very classy field.” First post time Friday and Saturday night at Yonkers is 6:50 p.m.  For entries to Friday’s races, click here.  Saturday’s fields can be found here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

East Rutherford, NJ - With the announcement that the Standardbred Racing Integrity and Accountability Initiative (SRIAI) will not be implemented for 2018, The Meadowlands will address the immediate concern regarding Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED's) in their harness racing stakes by increasing both Out Of Competition (OOC) and post race testing this year.   The New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) has agreed to recognize the samples being sent to Hong Kong for testing, meaning that the results will now be subject to NJRC fines and suspensions being enforced. Hong Kong has agreed to cooperate in hearings that are necessary before any penalties can be issued by NJRC.   To help defray the cost incurred by the proposed increase in testing, 1% of the total money available from all revenue sources in Meadowlands stakes with a purse of over $100,000 will be used toward that expense.   "Based on the comments that Clay Horner and I received in discussing the SRIAI original plan, it is obvious the vast majority of owners of stakes horses support initiatives that level the playing field for all participants," said Meadowlands President Jeff Gural.   "The fact is those costs add up and 1% seems to me like a small price to pay for increased scrutiny."   Nick Salvi

In New Zealand champion harness racing stallion Bettor's Delight has left 125 individual winners from just Christian Cullen mares to date. Three of those horses are harness racing millionaires all destined to stand at stud including the champion superstar Lazarus who is Bettor's Delight's richest horse produced world-wide.  Lazarus ($3,663,438) from Bethany by Christian Cullen Highview Tommy ($1,021,904) from Baptism Fie by Christian Cullen Ohoka Punter ($1,031,960) from Milwood Minisota by Christian Cullen In North America the progeny of Bettor's Delight have won over $186,189,150 to date. He has produced 1102 race winners with 21 of his progeny winning over a million dollars, 77 winning over $500,000 and 493 winning over $100,000. His average earnings per foal born are already $116,441 and growing every day. In New Zealand Bettor's Delight has 1,711 foals 3-years-old and older and they have won $40,880,643 to date. In Australia Bettor's Delight has produced Australian bred progeny earnings of almost $30 million to date. Lazarus winning The Hunter Cup Highview Tommy winning The Ballarat Cup 2012 Ohoka Punter winning The Pure Steel 2016 At the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka, in Auckland on February the 12th (next Monday), there are four outstanding Bettor's Delight colts that are out of Christian Cullen mares and one additional colt out of an In The Pocket mare (In The Pocket is the sire of Christian Cullen) in the Breckon Farms draft. Here is your chance to buy a top racing prospect and a future stallion possibility that has a better than average chance of becoming a millionaire as the odds are in your favour with the  incredible results shown above.  The first of these colts is Lot 26 Tasman Tempest an outstanding prospect with a sensational pedigree choked full of winners who is out of the good race mare Temepara Cullen, a full sister to the 2008/2009 3yr old 'Pacer Of The Year' and Hunter Cup winner Stunin Cullen ($1,493,716) who is now a successful stallion at stud. Lot 26 – Tasman Tempest (bay colt Bettor’s Delight - Temepara Cullen - Christian Cullen) Lot 26 – Tasman Tempest (bay colt Bettor’s Delight - Temepara Cullen - Christian Cullen) The second colt in this sale Lot 47 bred on this amazing cross, Bettor's Delight x Christian Cullen, is Freddiesam another colt with a faultless pedigree. Freddiesam's third dam, yes third dam, is the famous broodmare Black Watch who needs no introduction to any breeding buffs. Freddiesam is a full-brother to the good winner Laredo Torpedo ($54,397) and is closely related to multiple Group 1 winner and 3yr old 'Pacing Filly of the Year' Lauraella ($649,946). Lot 47 – Freddiesam (brown colt Bettor’s Delight - Zingara - Christian Cullen) Lot 47 – Freddiesam (brown colt Bettor’s Delight - Zingara - Christian Cullen) The third colt Lot 60, bred on this incredible cross is Ray Donovan. He is a full-brother to recent impressive winner My Generation ($47,927) who beat one of New Zealand's best three-year-olds The Devils Own in the process. My Generation Lot 60 – Ray Donovan (bay colt Bettor’s Delight - A New Sensation - Christian Cullen) Lot 60 – Ray Donovan (bay colt Bettor’s Delight - A New Sensation - Christian Cullen) The fourth and last colt bred on this amazing cross is Lot 152, Prince Of Pleasure. This colt is the second foal bred from the mare and is from the family of Sovereign Hill ($432,555), Dartmoor ($427,361), Keyang Cullen ($406,810) and the 2013/2014 Australian 2yr old Pacing Filly of the Year Katy Perry ($517,733) who won the 2yr old Final of the Australasian Breeders Crown. Lot 152 – Prince Of Pleasure (brown colt Bettor’s Delight - Holly Madison - Christian Cullen) Lot 152 – Prince Of Pleasure (brown colt Bettor’s Delight - Holly Madison - Christian Cullen) Okay, those four colts above are all bred on the Bettor's Delight x Christian Cullen cross but the following colt Lot 102, Shoot Through, is bred on the Bettor's Delight x In The Pocket cross. As Christian Cullen is by In The Pocket this cross is not far removed in terms of pedigree. This cross has produced the outstanding horse and now stallion at stud Gold Ace ($1,247,053) the winner of 16 Group races. Gold Ace winning The New Zealand Derby Shoot Through is a full-brother to Delightful Dale the dam of recent Inter Dominion finalist Shandale ($296,505). He is also closely related to Katy Perry ($517,773), Cash N Flow and Reba Lord. Once again this is the family of that great broodmare Black Watch. Lot 102 – Shoot Through (bay colt Bettor’s Delight - Dale Elinor - In The Pocket) Lot 102 – Shoot Through (bay colt Bettor’s Delight - Dale Elinor - In The Pocket) If you want to buy a winner then the odds are in your favour, big time, when you buy a yearling from the Breckon Farms draft at the 2018 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale. There is no doubt that this years Australasian Classic Yearling Sale is the best Catalogue of yearlings ever produced in New Zealand. Be there. To view the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale catalogue click on this link. To view the entire Breckon Farms yearlings click on this link. Art Major hits $170,000,000 in earnings Muscle Hill - World's greatest trotting sire Speedster He’s Watching a life-changer Golden cross, Andover Hall - Muscles Yankee Generational speed 1:47.4 ---- 1:46.4 The Australasian Classic Yearling Sale You need a Somebeachsomewhere filly How to buy a millionairess! This stallion has 14 colts in 1:48.4 or faster 1,846 winners for Art Major Harnesslink Media

Harness racing trainer Tim Butt has his insurance policy heading into Saturday night’s $200,000 Chariots of Fire at Menangle -- his brother. Butt prepares the big post-draw shortener Let It Ride in the four-year-old Group 1 mile, with the exciting pacer securing the ace. Butt, who has only been training at Menangle for a few months after making a surprise move from his New Zealand homeland, admits the draw could be good or bad. And that is where his brother, champion driver Anthony comes in. Anthony has driven Let It Ride six times for five wins and the only time they were beaten was a second to subsequent SA Cup winner Shadow Sax. He is also the leading ever driver of Grand Circuit winners, well clear of Mark Purdon, and between them the Butt brothers have won almost every race that matters in Australasia. “Having Ants on him in a Group 1 gives me so much confidence,” says Butt “I have actually been really happy with my regular driver Chris Geary and I think he has great hands but Ants has been doing it at the highest level for decades.” Butt says that could be important because while many punters will expect Let It Ride to lead, there could be plenty of early speed before the other favourites Jilliby Kung Fu and Atomic Red coming pouring the pressure on. “Leading would be good but so would trailing one of the good horses and Ants can make that decision based on the early sectionals. “But the horse is ready to do the job and has options.” Butt is enjoying his new life in New South Wales, with 12 horses in work and on his way to his capacity of 18. “I just needed a change and have always wanted to give living here a crack. We are loving it. “And to have one of the favourites in this race is a real bonus because just a month ago it looked like Vincent and Ultimate Machete were going to dominate this.” That pair both broke down, leaving three main chances at the head of Saturday night’s market, all probably feeling they have been gifted a Group 1 shot. Jilliby Kung Fu was awesome winning his qualifying race at Melton and won’t need to perform much better Saturday night, with his racing style suited to Menangle even though he is yet to race there. And Atomic Red is one of the brightest staying hopes in NSW and judging by his prelude win three weeks ago he could easily break 1:50. *A newcomer to the Butt team Saturday night is Afterdinnerspeaker (R3) but he is only set to arrive in the country on Friday. By Michael Guerin

Ballarat and Cranbourne clubs will each host 2018 Inter Dominion heats, providing a significant boost to both local economies. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today announced the two clubs had been selected to host the second and third rounds of the Inter Dominion series, which returns to Victoria for the first time since 2008. General Manager of Racing Glen Canty said HRV was delighted with the quality of the seven submissions from clubs wishing to host Inter Dominion heats. “The Board was in no doubt that each of the seven clubs could successfully host the heats, but ultimately only two clubs could be selected,” Mr Canty said. “The Board wishes to convey its appreciation for the quality of club submissions, which bodes well for the future when the Inter Dominion returns to Victoria in 2021 and 2024.” In further exciting Inter Dominion news today it was also revealed the Trotting Inter Dominion would make a return for the first time since 2012. “The trotting population now comprises almost a quarter of the total harness population in Victoria, so it was vital to recognise that appropriately. The 2018 Inter Dominion will now showcase both gaits,” Mr Canty said. Cranbourne and Ballarat were ecstatic to receive the news they would play a key role in the 2018 Inter Dominion. “We’re very excited and proud that our magnificent facility has been chosen to host the penultimate night of this time-honoured series,” Cranbourne President Bill Hutchison said. “The Ballarat Club is extremely excited to be given the opportunity to participate in the 2018 Inter Dominion to be conducted by Harness Racing Victoria. The club has a proven track record of hosting premium events and hopes to capitalise on the exposure of the 2018 PETstock Ballarat Cup experienced in a record-breaking year,” Ballarat CEO Paul Rowse said. “We’re looking forward to working closely with HRV and the City of Ballarat to showcase the best of harness racing and at the same time sharing the spotlight with Ballarat’s world-class tourist attractions.” Tabcorp Park Melton will host the first round of Inter Dominion heats on Saturday December 1 before the action heads to Ballarat for the second round on Wednesday December 5. The third round of heats will be run at Cranbourne on Saturday December 8 before the Grand Final night back at Melton on Saturday December 15. Racing conditions are yet to be determined, with discussion points in coming weeks to include the possibility of Ballarat installing a temporary sprint lane if required. Trots Media - Cody Winnell

Clay Horner told HRU Thursday there are two major reasons the Standardbred Racing Integrity and Accountability Initiative (SRIAI) rule being proposed by the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and the Jeff Gural owned tracks will not be in effect until 2019. (Read previous stories: 2018-01-07 and 2018-01-12) Horner, WEG’s chairman, had hoped the new integrity rule intended to increase horse owner accountability would be in place for 2018, but with February 15 stakes payment deadline looming quickly and Ontario’s regulator asking for more time to properly vet the rule, Woodbine at Mohawk Park president Jessica Buckley confirmed the decision has been made to hold off until next year. “I think it’s going to take more time than we hoped, but we’re definitely not going to back away from what we’re trying to achieve,” Buckley said. Horner stressed this is not a sign WEG, Gural or the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) that oversees racing in Ontario is giving up on the rule. “That would be the wrong message to take away (from the delay in implementation),” Horner said. “There are two messages (to take away): this is highly constructive and we’ll be back.” Burke issued penalty over TCO2 In semi-related news, judges at The Meadows have handed trainer Ron Burke a 30-day suspension and $1,000 fine after TJ Blast — a horse trained and owned, in part, by Burke — had a high blood gas reading (TCO2) prior to the third race on Monday (Jan. 22) at the Pittsburgh-area track. At the request of the horse’s connections — and in accordance to an authorized procedure offered to others with horses with high TCO2 readings in the past — TJ Blast was sequestered for 72 hours after the initial positive and then retested. The Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission has been told the penalty will likely be appealed, but no such appeal had been filed by Thursday afternoon. To read the entire article on Harness Racing Update click on this link.

DOVER, Del. --- Defending driver champion Corey Callahan won five races including the $27,500 Preferred Open harness racing feature in 1:50.1 on a longshot filled Thursday, Feb. 8 at Dover Downs. In a pulverizing stretch finish 15-1 Super Imposed N stepped up in class and beat home fast closing Sicily (Montrell Teague) with Cajon Lightning (Art Stafford Jr.) and leader turning for home Missle J.(Tim Tetrick), the race favorite right there in the photo. Missle J had battled Something Said (Jonathan Roberts) from the three quarters until finally taking the lead on the final turn. The win by the Jereme's Jet-Madam Superior gelding was the fifth for Callahan. It was the first of two for owner-trainer Mike Hall and partner David Hamm. Highalator, off at 10-1, also finished strongly for Roger Plante Jr. drawing off for a 1:52.1 conquest in an $18,000 4-Year-Old Open/Handicap. Trainer Jenny Bier and Joann Dombeck own the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Higher And Higher who won for the first time this season and 13th time in his career with a $144,598 bankroll. Allwillworkout (Callahan) was runner-up with Down On Mainstreet (Stafford Jr.) third. Major Uptrend won the fastest race on the card in 1:49.1 with Tony Morgan handling the reins for trainer Tim Crissman and owners Crissman and Niss Allen Inc. The Somebeachsomewhere-Tricky Tooshie gelding won his first of 2018 and 39th lifetime building his earnings to 455,833. Sweet Rock (Vic Kirby) was a strong second. Moonliteonthebeach (Allan Davis) was the show horse. Howard Taylor and Rich Lombardo's Dialamara won the first of two $25,000-$30,000-$35,000 Claiming paces with Tim Tetrick at the controls. Ideal Fashion (Morgan) was second with Hi Sir (Russell Foster) third. Josh Green conditions the Lis Mara-Ladysai gelding. Captive Audience, who started from the rail, came along the passing lane to get up in 1:50.1to win the other high claiming division. Mike Cole drove the Art Major-Captive island 8-year-old to his initial win of the year, his 18th lifetime with earnings of $877,623. Whirl Monroe (Kirby) was a close second with Reggiano (Morgan) third and was claimed. Callahan had five winners, Morgan and trainer Tim Crissman had three. Live racing is featured Monday through Thursday weekly with a 4: 30 p.m. post time. No live racing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. A changing menu of fine foods is available to diners watching the races from the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred races continue each day from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. Marv Bachrad

Boom pacer Cruz Bromac now holds the Tabcorp Park Melton track record following his astonishing first-up harness racing victory on January 27 in a time of 1:50.7 for the 1720m event. But the time on the night wasn’t officially recognised owing to major electrical issues which had the timing system at odds with itself before being timed and re-timed by officials again later in the week. Independent clockers confirmed the time of 1:50.7. Sectionals of 27.2, 27.2, 28.2 and 28.6 seconds. And the confusion was quickly dispelled. The previous record was held by Cold Major at 1:50.8 when successful in the Gr.3 $30,000 Bertocchi FFA on February 6, 2016. Cruz Bromac was resuming from a 12 month layoff and overcame a second-line draw to score convincingly from Mar Nien and Mach Cruiser. “It’s great to have it confirmed, we thought on the night he would’ve gone close to the record but now it’s official so it’s extra special. He’s a great talent and it was a super training effort by Dean (Braun – trainer) given his time away from the races.” Co-owner Pauline McColgan said. Cruz Bromac track record The following week, Cruz Bromac as a short priced favourite behind Clancys Fobwatch in the Gr.3 $30,000 Pure Steel in a time of 1:54.6 for the 2240m feature. The Falcon Seelster gelding was forced to work hard over the concluding stages before being dive-bombed late by the hard finishing Clancys Fobwatch. Connections are now considering a trip to Sydney in the coming weeks for a shot at some of the feature events during the Miracle Mile carnival at TABCORP Park, Menangle. Options include the Gr.1 $100,000 Miracle Mile qualifiers next week (Saturday 17th) or the Gr.1 $100,000 Bohemia Crystal FFA the following week. Harnesslink Media

February 8, 2018 - Fifteen top level international trotters drew in for Sunday’s harness racing Grand Prix de France (Gr. I, purse €400,000, 2100 meters autostart) led by Bold Eagle (post position 8), Propulsion (pp4), Belina Josselyn (pp3) and the recent monte titan Traders (pp1). Post positions are drawn with the top career earners vying for the nine positions in tier one. Bold Eagle has been second in his last five outings. Blue Story Wins Q+ at Vincennes Today’s Quinte+ was at Paris-Vincennes in the Prix Guy Lux (purse €75,000, 2700 meters, 16 European starters).  2.8/1 Blue Story (7g Opium-Loumana Flor) scored for driver/breeder Pierre Levesque, and trainer Thomas Levesque, timed in 1.16.5kr. 69/1 Jet Set (9f Juliano Star-Superlet) and driver Mathieu Mottier was second for trainer Jorgen Westholm and Swedish owner Lars Melin. Third was 6.3/1 Seibella Park (7f Varenne-Grandera Park) took third for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Vincent Lacroix and Scuderia Allemento Team Minopoli. 18/1 Agora du Goutier (8f Jardy) and 12/1 Beaute de Bailly completed the top five. The undercard included the Prix de Luneville (Gr. III, purse €82,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) and 38/1 Elusive Feeling (4f Goetmals Wood-Quechya de Charve) scored for J-Y Ricart and trainer Philippe Billard. 3/1 Elino Bilou (4g Uniclove) was second for Matthieu Abrivard and owner/trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. Third was 16/1 Etoile de Bruyere for Adrien Lamy. Yesterday the Q+, at Vincennes, was the Prix de l’Ille-et-Vilaine (purse €50,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters). The ten length 1.11.6kr timed winner was 3/2 favorite Abydos du Vivier (8g Diamant Gede-Osmie du Vivier) for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner Mlle. Cl. Minier. Jean Yves Lucuyer bred the winner now with 10 wins in 43 starts for €216,620 earned. 6.5/1 This Is It (7f Ballingary-Traicy) was second with Alexandre Abrivard up. Bjorn Goop trains this one for Stall Panamera Racing of Denmark. 15/1 Ahrima Turgot (8f Prodigious) was third ahead of 16/1 Super Fez (7m Love You) and 8.1/1 Seattle ( Bi (7f Equinox Bi) completed the top five. The Prix de Bourg-en-Bresse (purse €64,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) went to 1.3/1 favorite Calaska de Guez (6f Pomerol du Laumac-Miss de Geuz) for trainer/driver J-M Bazire for Ecurie Vautors, timed in 1.15.2kr. 4.1/1 Costa Haufor (6f Saphir d’Haufor-Santa Haufor) took second for Charles J. Bigeon and breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. 5.7/1 Calizza Boko (6f Qwerty-Trancosa Boko) was third for driver Franck Nivard, owner Camilla Vikstrom and trainer Philippe Billard. The lineup is shown below for race four on the fine Paris-Vincennes program Sunday’s Grand Prix de France. N° Cheval Père Mère Père de mère Tps qualif. Date Site Spéc Éleveur 000011 TRADERS READY CASH GRAZIELLA (ITY) GIANT CAT           000022 ANNA MIX LUDO DE CASTELLE IRES TENOR DE BAUNE 1'21"0 06/11/2012 MESLAY-DU-MAINE A Indivision Félix DEBROIZEIndivision Félix DEBROIZE 000033 BELINA JOSSELYN LOVE YOU LEZIRA JOSSELYN WORKAHOLIC 1'20"2 11/07/2013 CAEN A Ecurie Yvan BERNARDEcurie Yvan BERNARD 000044 PROPULSION MUSCLE HILL DANAE ANDOVER HALL           000055 TIMONE EK MR VIC GEMONA             000066 WILD HONEY CANTAB HALL U WANNA LINDY             000077 BILLIE DE MONTFORT JASMIN DE FLORE QUISMY DE MONTFORT AND ARIFANT 1'17"3 28/08/2013 CAEN A Philippe DAUPHINPhilippe DAUPHIN 000088 BOLD EAGLE READY CASH REETHI RAH JET LOVE YOU 1'18"8 05/09/2013 CAEN A Jean Etienne DUBOISJean Etienne DUBOIS 000099 BOOSTER WINNER LOVE YOU QUILLE VIRETAUTE ELVIS DE ROSSIGNOL 1'20"8 13/09/2013 GROSBOIS A Ecurie WINNEREcurie WINNER 0001010 VAL ROYAL CAPRICCIO QUARDA DU RIB GOBERNADOR 1'20"2 26/08/2011 GROSBOIS A Ecurie des CHARMESEcurie des CHARMES 0001111 CALL ME KEEPER PINE CHIP ELIZA KEEPER             0001212 BRIAC DARK PRINCE GEDE QUEEN DES CHARMES LOOK DE STAR 1'20"5 16/08/2013 CAEN A Mathieu CATHERINEMathieu CATHERINE 0001313 UZA JOSSELYN LOVE YOU TEZA JOSSELYN GANYMEDE           0001414 VIVID WISE AS YANKEE GLIDE TEMPLE BLUE CHIP             0001515 RINGOSTARR TREB CLASSIC PHOTO FARSALO EGRAL               The Grand Prix de France is the second leg of the FR Triple Crown and race speed record is 1.09.8kr set by Kool de Caux in 2007. Ourasi was a triple winner in 1986-88 and Jamin preceded him with three straight in 1958-60.   Année Cheval S/A Pays Temps Père Driver Entraîneur 2017 Bold Eagle M.6  France 1'10"9 Ready Cash Franck Nivard Sébastien Guarato 2016 Bold Eagle M.5  France 1'10"7 Ready Cash Franck Nivard Sébastien Guarato 2015 Timoko M.8  France 1'11"4 Imoko Björn Goop Richard Westerink 2014 Noras Bean M.9  Suède 1'12"1 Super Arnie Björn Goop Ulf Stenströmer 2013 Ready Cash M.8  France 1'11"4 Indy de Vive Franck Nivard Th. Duvaldestin 2012 Royal Dream M.7  France 1'11"6 Love You Jean-Philippe Dubois Philippe Moulin 2011 Ready Cash M.6  France 1'10"3 Indy de Vive Franck Nivard Th. Duvaldestin 2010 Meaulnes du Corta M.10  France 1'11"7 Voici du Niel Pierre Levesque Pierre Levesque 2009 Meaulnes du Corta M.9  France 1'11"6 Voici du Niel Pierre Vercruysse Pierre Levesque 2008 Exploit Caf M.7  Italie 1'10"7 Toss Out Jean-Michel Bazire Fabrice Souloy 2007 Kool du Caux M.9  France 1'09"8 Bijou du Bignon Franck Nivard Fabrice Souloy 2006 Jag de Bellouet M.9  France 1'11"6 Viking's Way Christophe Gallier Christophe Gallier 2005 Naglo M.6  Suède 1'12"2 Coktail Jet Örjan Kihlström Stefan Hultman 2004 Naglo M.5  Suède 1'10"7 Coktail Jet Örjan Kihlström Stefan Hultman 2003 Hilda Zonett F.6  Suède 1'12" Spotlite Lobell D. Locqueneux Robert Bergh 2002 Fan Idole F.9  France 1'13" Le Ham R-W. Denéchère R-W. Denéchère 2001 Gobernador M.7  France 1'12"2 Buvetier d'Aunou D. Locqueneux P.-D. Allaire 2000 Giant Cat M.6  France 1'13"1 Quito de Talonay Nicolas Roussel Nicolas Roussel 1999 Moni Maker F.6  États-Unis 1'13" Speedy Crown J-M. Bazire Jimmy Takter 1998 Balou Boy M.9  France 1'13"6 Moscantido Yves Dreux Yves Dreux   The Grand Prix de France weekend festivities also include seven other top level events: Saturday February 10 Prix de Munich €95,000 Prix de Lisieux €88,000 Prix Ephrem Houel €120,000 Gr. II Sunday February 11: Prix Jean le Donidec €120,000, Gr. II Prix Salem €90,000 Prix de Chambord €90,000 Gr. III Prix des Centaures €240,000, Gr. I monte four to six year olds Thomas H. Hicks  

Colin Mello achieved his goal of breaking the mare’s record with his pony Pocket de Gold on a night of harness racing when multiple track records tumbled at the weekend. Mello’s Indiana-bred pony ran a blistering 1:02/4 in the Free for All with teenaged driver Christian Truran at the helm to eclipse the previous mare’s record (1:03/1) held by IC’s Overextended and record a lifetime best. “This is a big achievement and something that I have worked hard for the last couple of years,” said Mello, whose retired stud Big Red Machine holds the overall track record, which stands at 1:0¼. “She had been in 1:03/2 twice this season, which is a fifth off the record, so I figured she would be able to do it and the last couple of weeks she has been really strong. “I am excited and happy and this is one of the things that Christian and I wanted to accomplish this season because she is retiring at the end of this year and going back to Indiana to breed. “I am really proud of Christian who has put lifetime marks on all the horses I have this year, which includes Itsallaboutme, Pocket de Gold and Thisbabyrocks. “He took my filly Thisbabyrocks in 1:06 flat, which is a fifth of a second off the Bermuda-bred two-year-old record, so he has done really well this season.” Pocket de Gold is a former New Year’s Day Stakes winner in the both the three and four-year-old divisions and also previously held the two-year-old record for the 5/16th mile track in Indiana. Gold N Glory and Reel Patrol were the other two ponies breaking records during last Saturday night’s racing schedule. Charles Whited’s gelding Gold N Glory broke the overall two-year-old’s record with teenage driver Kiwon Waldron. It is the third time this season that Waldron has steered a pony to the overall two-year-old’s record, having already done so twice with Lee Raynor’s stud Special Gold. Pocket de Gold, Gold N Glory and Special Gold all share the same father. Also in record breaking form was Ashley and Jason Peniston’s mare Reel Patrol, who set a new overall Bermuda-bred record after running a 1:03/3 with Andrea Westerfield in the bike. Reel Patrol also holds the Bermuda-bred two year-old record, which stands at 1:05/4. Colin Thompson Bermuda Reprinted with permission of The Royal Gazette

DOVER, Del. --- Shartin N stepped up to the $25,000 Mares Open/Handicap on Wednesday, Feb. 7 for a 1:52.3 triumph ending long win streaks for two harness racing rivals over a sloppy track at Dover Downs.    . The five-year-old daughter of Tintin In America-Bagdarin won for the fourth straight time, including her last race Down Under, ending Divas Image and Terror At Night’s three wins-in-a-row. With Tim Tetrick at the controls, Shartin N pealed three-wide around the final turn to take the lead on the way to a 1:52.3 victory. Scandalicious (Jonathan Roberts) moved closer to $500,000 lifetime earnings, finishing second with Divas Image (Tony Morgan) third. Enhance Your Mind was scratched. Shartin N joins several others owned by Richard Pollucci and JoAnn Looney King as a top-class performer in the Jim King Stable. On the undercard: Moments Of Joy , owned and trained by Bryan Truitt with Vic Kirby driving equaled her lifetime record of 1:54 besting Goin Again (Vince Copeland) at the wire for her second consecutive win and fourth in her last six to win the $15,000 Mares pace. The Lion Sleeps (Russell Foster) was third. Moments Of Joy is a four-year-old by Western Terror-Joy Luck Hall. Montrell Teague guided Use Your Noodle to her fourth win in her last six races registering a 1:53 victory in a $13,000 distaff pace. Henry Faragalli III, Feeney, Johnson and Nanticoke Racing own the five-year-old Artzina-Lo Gophobia mare who held off a determined challenge by Duneside Chella (Kirby) by a half-length. Skateboard Chic (Russell Foster) was the show finisher. Tetrick had a triple while Teague and Callahan made the winner’s circle twice.   MISSLE J, SOMETIMES SAID, SICILY HEAD DOVER $27,500 THURSDAY Missle J, last week’s 1:50 winner of the $27,500 Preferred- Open/Handicap returns to meet emerging speedster Sometimes Said, a 1:49.3 winner of a sub-feature and Sicily, a 2017 standout,  among the seven speedballs in this week’s feature on another standout 13-race card at Dover Downs on Thursday, Feb. 8. John McGill and Brian Carsey’s Missle J, with Tim Tetrick turned in a wire-to-wire victory last week and faces Bobby  Glassmeyer’s Sometimes Said, who stepped up after his sixth consecutive win, even faster, a week ago. There is plenty of opposition headed by Reggie Hazzard and Legacy Racing’s Sicily, who closed out last December with a font-pacing 1:48.4 performance, with Montrell Teague at the controls. Cajon Lightning is another hard-hitter with regular driver Art Stafford Jr. back in the bike. Eric Ell trains for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisik Farms. Rich Pollucci’s Baileys Rock N has won six times with Tim Tetrick in his last eight races with two close-up seconds during that spell, Mike Hall and Dave Hamm’s Super Imposed N drew the rail with Corey Callahan while the only newcomer Jennifer Bongiorno Stable’s Gratian Hanover reports from Yonkers but must start from post 7. Three in the $18,000 4-Year-Old Open/Handicap seek to extend win streaks: George Teague Jr.’s fast Daiymir (Montrell Teague), with three in-a-row, JoAnn Loone-King’s Q’s Cruise (Tetrick) off a Meadowlands win and George&Tina Dennis’ Nothwest Yankee (Mike Cole), a 1:51.4 winner last week. Nine start in the last race on the strong 19-race card going for a $19,000 purse in a highly competitive $25,000-$30,000-$35,000 Claiming Handicap: For the second straight week, Mike Casalino and trainer Dylan Davis’ Jet Airway (Callahan), a winner last Thursday, starts from the outside, post 8. Chief contenders are Arty Foster II and Wanda May Saulsbury’s sharp Whirl Monroe (Kirby), Mildred Ventriglio’s fast finishing Reggiano (Morgan), and Arty Foster’s Legion Of Boom (Russell Foster), On a solid undercard are a $16,000, two $14,500 and three $13,000 paces. Dover Downs offers a 50-cent Pick 5 wager, starting with the 2nd race through the 6th. A late daily double is carded for the 12th and 13th races. Live racing each Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. A fine and varied selection of food is available to enjoy while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred races is featured daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight in the Race and Sports Book. Marv Bachrad

HAMILTON, OH --- Howard F. Beissinger, 94, a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame for 44 years, died February 6, 2018 in Hamilton, Ohio. Born on May 23, 1923 on the family farm near Hamilton, Beissinger died only a few miles from where he'd been born. He won the Hambletonian, America's greatest trotting classic, three times, earning the nickname "Hambo Howard." He enjoyed international fame, and raced across the United States and Canada as well as at tracks in Russia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, and elsewhere. He was also a member of the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame and the Butler County (Ohio) Sports Hall of Fame. He was known for his tough, no-nonsense approach to his profession. His unfailing attention to detail in matters such as proper shoeing won him the admiration of many of his fellow horsemen. He is best known as the trainer and driver of the great trotter and stallion Speedy Crown. Speedy Crown was foaled in early 1968 and raised on the Beissinger family farm in Hamilton. In 1971 Speedy Crown won the Hambletonian in straight heats and went on to a breeding career that would make him legendary in the world of trotting. Two years earlier, Beissinger had won his first Hambletonian with Lindy's Pride, a colt that overcame faulty hooves with his speed and competitive spirit. Beissinger drove him to victory in the trotting Triple Crown---Yonkers Trot, Hambletonian, and Kentucky Futurity---in 1969. His third Hambletonian victory came in 1978 behind the meteoric Speedy Somolli, a son of Speedy Crown that Beissinger always said was the fastest trotter he'd ever driven. Beissinger learned the horse business from his father, who farmed and raced a few horses in the summer. After World War II, when Howard told his mother that he planned to make horse racing his profession, she greeted the news with tears. Her son achieved success quickly, however, becoming one of the leading drivers on the tough Chicago racing circuit. His abilities and his work ethic drew notice and he began to attract the support of prominent owners. In 1955, he married the former Ann Wingers. They were divorced in 1999. In the mid-1960s Beissinger earned the confidence and patronage of the Antonacci family of New York, a partnership that lasted for decades. For the Antonaccis and partners, Beissinger developed and raced countless stakes winners. Howard's peers in the training fraternity admired his mastery of all aspects of horsemanship. For decades he campaigned a stable that competed with success in the sport's largest stake races. In 1984, Beissinger entered four trotters in the Hambletonian, but decided to find other drivers for all four horses so that he didn't show favoritism to certain owners. In 1987, he drove Defiant One to victory in the Breeders Crown in Toronto, Ontario at age 64, and he is still the oldest driver ever to win a prestigious Breeders Crown event. For a half-century, he was also involved in rodeo and traveled across North America to visit rodeos and connect with his cowboy friends. His daughter Vana was extremely successful as a barrel racer in rodeo. Beissinger produced rodeos throughout the Midwest in partnership with Don Hight, a South Dakota cowboy Howard greatly admired. Beissinger was well known in the rodeo world to the cowboys and cowgirls, as well as stock contractors and officials. In many ways, Beissinger personified the Cowboy Way: he was strong, independent, and resilient. He was up every day before dawn to start work, and his associates marveled at his energy and work ethic. Beissinger was fearless in pursuing his passion for adventure. When he became interested in rodeo, he took up steer wrestling, an event in which the cowboy jumps from a running horse onto the back of a running steer and wrestles it to the ground. This event is often called "bulldogging" and it's most appealing to young men who feel invincible, but Beissinger began steer wrestling when he was in his 40s. He earned the nickname "Bulldog Beissinger." On his 80th birthday, he went para-sailing off the coast of Florida. A decade later on his 90th birthday, he went hang-gliding at 3,000 feet near Lookout Mountain, Georgia. He is survived by daughter Jane Freeman (Dave) of Naples, FL; daughter Gloria Beissinger (Joseph Rickard) of Naples, FL; son Orrin (Minna) of Randolph, NJ; daughter Vana Beissinger; and two grandchildren Julia Ganzi and Markus Beissinger. A memorial service will be held at the Webb-Noonan-Kidd Funeral Home in Hamilton, OH on March 10. Dean Hoffman      

Paramount King was almost the forgotten horse of the two-year-old Ruby on Jewels day last year. That was until he put pay to the best crop of juvenile trotters in recent memory. The flashy chestnut son of Love You snuck under the guard of many punters, reflected in his tote price of $10. Co-breeder Graham Gimblett didn’t need reminding how good Paramount King was as in recent years, the progeny of his mare Paramount Star have come up trumps. Last season’s Two Year Old Trotter of the year makes his race day return tonight at Cambridge and looks well placed in his race day resumption. His co-breeder Graham Gimblett can hardly wait! Not only has Gimblett tasted success with standardbreds but can boast to have bred multiple Group One winner and Melbourne Cup placegetter Xcellent as his first thoroughbred foal! More on that later. His hobby and love of breeding has been a long road. However, the fourth-generation cattle & dairy farmer from Dannevirke concedes that for all his attempts at breeding champions, it was the breed right under his nose that has served him best. His father John was farming at a time when it was common to have a horse in the paddock. And that’s where the love affair starts. “My father had a mare dropped off to him in the 1940’s that was never picked up. It was at a time when it was common to have a horse in the paddock and being a farmer he had a bit of knowledge of horsemanship.” That mare was Lady Errol (1947 B m Robert Earl - Kaimata Daisy). She was untried as a race horse but was bred from in 1953 when served by Lucky Hanover, a pacing bred stallion who threw 2 trotting winners from his 22 race winning foals. One of which was the first foal from Lady Errol; Lassie Hanover (1953). She won twice and placed on 14 other occasions becoming the foundation for which Graham’s father John would breed and race horses with for the next twenty years. “Dad always had a horse or two, and at the time it was quite a social thing. He used to lease his horses out prior to breeding from Lassie Hanover but when he retired from the farm to a property on the outskirts of Dannevirke in 1968, he brought them back and started training them himself. The first foal from Lassie Hanover was Frosty Lass which Gimblett’s father was to train for six of her nine victories. Pretty impressive for a self-taught horseman who then gave the mare to John Dickie’s father Ivan to train where she was good enough to run second in the 1971 Rowe Cup. As history suggests later with the breed, the Dickie’s have been there almost every step of the way. “My father sold her to the States shortly after that but then along came Darky Forbes.” Darky Forbes (1966 Bl g Hi Lo's Forbes - Lassie Hanover) was to win 11 races including the 1974 National Trot with a young Mike De Fillipi in the sulky and Colin Berkett doing the training. Gimblett’s father is credited with no less than six of the victories of the trotter that had run second in a Dominion Handicap 6 weeks earlier which was taken out by Easton Light. The son of Hi Los Forbes also won a heat of the 1975 Interdominion Trotting Series before too being sold to the United States. The first two foals from Lassie Hanover were unique as like their mum, they were dual-gaited. While Lassie Hanover only qualified as a pacer, her first two foals raced in both gaits. Frosty Lass won three of her nine as a pacer with Darky Forbes winning once in the pacing gait also. They were after all by pacing stallions! Fourth foal Karen Maree won four races with two being credited to John Gimblett and the other two to Charlie Hunter NZOM. She wasn’t to split her deeds by gait racing exclusively as a pacer. She was the mare the Gimblett’s continued to breed from with Graham joining his father John in breeding his first standardbred in 1978 with the mare’s second foal, Karen’s Trowbridge (1978 Trowbridge – M). Karen’s Trowbridge paced. As did her older sister Karen’s Rainbow (1977 Adover Rainbow). Sadly, Graham’s father passed before ever seeing the foal they bred together race. “When my father died in 1981 I had a couple of horses looking across the fence at me on the farm. One of them was the third foal from Karen Maree, Karanero (1980 Bl m Lonero - Karen Maree). I’d only really helped gear a few harness horses up but I didn’t know too much about the training of them. I’d driven but as for the shoeing, feeding and the racing I had never been involved. What’s a man to do when he has a couple of horses in the paddock asking to be put in work? Get himself a trainer’s license of course! “At that time, Stephen Argue was actually based in Palmerston North and he helped me a bit getting started and there were lot of very helpful people in Palmerston.” Karanero was the first horse that Graham Gimblett took to the races as a trainer. She won five races in his care, her fifth at Auckland over two miles was achieved after master trainers Barry & Roy Purdon had lined her up for six starts managing only two second placings! “That is probably my biggest thrill in racing actually. I floated her all the way up to Auckland from Dannevirke and she can’t of enjoyed the trip as she ran dead last the first week. I decided to stay up there and train her in Auckland at Dave Jessop’s property. We came out the next week and won at Alexandra Park and I’ll never forget that.” Her last start was a 10th in the 1990 Rowe Cup where she received exactly half the stake money her dam’s sister Frosty Lass had been afforded in 1971 when running second in the same race. “That’s inflation for ya!” joked Gimblett. “Karanero was like the other foals of Karen Maree in that she was bred to pace, but she only managed one third and after about eight starts we put some trotting shoes on her. Well away she went, it was quite unbelievable. We had given up on her until we tried her as a trotter and away she went. Ever since that day when I realised she had the trotting genes I’ve only ever bred to trotting sires.” The first foal from Karanero was Jay H Gee (1992 g Gee Whizz) who won three races for Frank Phelan from only 16 starts. The second foal was the first of many ‘Paramounts’ for Gimblett. The moniker came about while brainstorming for the name of a milk station. “We were trying to come up with a name for a milking station in Masterton and the names ‘Apex’ and ‘Paramount’ were the ones being bandied about. We ended up settling on ‘Apex’ but I decided ‘Paramount’ would be a keeper for my horses.” Paramount Jack (1993 Gee Whiz II g) showed plenty of ability winning seven of his first ten starts in the care of Frank Phelan. As he started reaching a tough mark Gimblett decided his future racing was best to continue down south. “I sent him down to Paul Nairn because I worked out that while Jack was talented, we were only winning $3000 races around the Manawatu region while horses of his class were racing for much more down south.” It took the son of Gee Whiz II a while to settle into the South Island but during Cup Week in 2000, he ran a third on Cup Day behind Take A Moment before winning a $15,000 race on Show Day. Before being sold to America, Paramount Jack won 12 races and ran third again behind Take A Moment, this time in the 2001 Dominion Handicap. The next two foals were also by Gee Whizz II. Zesty (1995) won five races before being sold to Phillip Iggo to breed from leaving nice types like Armori (4 wins – 21 placings.) Gee F Gee (1996) won four races in the care of John Dickie some 30 years after his father Ivan had trained a trotter from the Gimblett breed. The next foal was Paramount Star, a talented trotter of seven wins (also for John Dickie) where she also managed a third in the 2003 Greenlane Cup. Upon her race retirement, Gimblett decided a change was in order for him to continue with his hobby and passion of breeding Standardbreds. “Dannevirke was a tough placed to be involved in those times, I was involved in administration as the president of the Manawatu Trotting Club for a number of years. We were racing for poor stakes, Hutt Park was winding down and I became pretty disillusioned with it all to be honest. I had become good friends with Brian West who I instructed to take the mare down to Christchurch and see if we couldn’t breed anything that was any good!” “I had just bought a galloping broodmare and put her in foal to Pentire.” The resulting foal was one of the most freakish gallopers to come out of New Zealand since the turn of the century. He ran third in the 2005 Melbourne Cup after winning the NZ Derby, NZ, Mudgway & Kelp Capital Stakes.  “Xcellent was a great thrill and a bit of a surprise to be honest. You don’t really expect to breed a horse like that and he was running for a wee bit more money than some of my other horses had.” Xcellent broke down during the running of the Trentham Stakes in 2008, abruptly ending the career of one of the most promising horses to grace an NZ turf. Gimblett didn’t have to wait long for another champion to appear as the first foal he and Brian West bred together out of Paramount Star was sold through the yearling sales in 2009 for $28,000 to John Dickie. “He was a massive yearling and that probably counted against him a wee bit. But it was great to see him heading to the Dickies.” Paramount Gee Gee was the third foal from Paramount Star and in 2010 was named two-year-old Trotting Colt of the Year. He won the NZ Sales Series, Trotting Stakes & Breeders Crown in his juvenile season. After running second by a head to Kylie Ree in the Hambletonian he was never beaten again as a three-year-old winning both Derbies, the Sires Stake & Sales Series, Harness Jewels and Breeders Crown in 2011. Good enough for another age group Horse of the Year title. As a four year old he won the Trotters Championship but was riddled with injuries. He sadly died in 2012 having amassed a whopping $561,000 in stakes. “Brian had been over in France on holiday and came back with the idea that we needed to breed to the French Stallion, Love You. He has to take the credit for the success of the mare in that regard as she has been a wonderful producer when mated with that stallion.”   Paramount Star has been a wonderful producer whoever she is mated with as seen below; 2005: Ellevenfiftyseven (Malabar Maple) | 16 Starts, 2 wins, 3 placings. $13,228 2006: Nonippin | (Earl) | Qualified but unraced. 2007: Paramount Gee Gee (Pegasus Spur) | 30 Starts, 17 wins, 6 placings. $561,342 2009: Paramount Queen (Love You) | 27 Starts, 8 wins, 12 placings. $122,612.  (3rd 2YO Trotting Stakes, 3rd 2YO Sires Stakes, 3rd 2YO Ruby, 1st Hambletonian, 2nd NZ Oaks, 3rd 3YO Ruby, 2nd Cambridge Flying Mile) 2010: Paramount Bliss (Majestic Son) $50,000 Yearling Sales Purchase | Unraced. 2011: Paramount Dream (Pegasus Spur) $50,000 Yearling Sales Purchase | 28 Starts, 8 wins, 5 placings. $69,496. 2012: Paramount Faith (Pegasus Spur) $48,000 Yearling Sales Purchase | Unraced 2014: Paramount King (Love You) $110,000 Yearling Sales Purchase | 8 Starts, 4 wins, 1 placing. $64,982. 2015: Paramount Prince (Andover Hall) $35,000 Yearling Sales Purchase   Her progeny has combined for 39 wins and four Jewels starters from seven foals of racing age. Paramount King’s win in the two-year-old Ruby last year was particularly sweet for Gimblett who these days gets his kicks out of simply being the breeder and following his stock. “John offered me a share in Paramount King but living where I do it’s pretty hard to get to the races and it’s not the same just watching it on the TV. For me breeding horses is another facet of my farming and I’m lucky to have it as a hobby. I get just as much from following the horses Brian and I are breeding from and it’s great to have another good one like Paramount King racing. Paramount Star this year produced a Muscle Hill filly after having missed in the 2016 season. “Paramount Queen should make a wonderful broodmare being by Love You and Brian and I are breeding from her also. Paramount Star is getting on a bit now so I’m hopeful her daughters will continue with the same success” Paramount Queen was served this year by Andover Hall and following on from a wonderful race career, will no doubt carry on the family line that has served the Gimblett’s (and Dickie’s!!) so well for 70 years. Co-breeder Brian West has little doubt it will touting that everything Graham Gimblett does is brushed with gold. With the Paramount mares and a full sister to Xcellent to continue breeding from, the golden run should continue a while yet.   Story from Breeding Matters, a publication of the NZ Standardbred Breeders Association - for more information on how you can join the NZSBA and get your copy email    Brad Reid NZ Standardbred Breeders Association 

Pompano Beach, FL...February 7, 2018...Rick Plano has won 6,896 during his illustrious harness racing career to go along with 3,766 training wins but Tuesday night, February 6, was a first for Plano as he set a world record with his homebred Sooo Handsome in the unique five-eighths mile dash over Pompano Park's five-eighths mile oval. The five year-old gelded son of Cash Hall went once around the slick track to hit the wire in 1:09.3, which eclipsed the former mark of 1:11 set by The Prowler at Georgian Downs on September 1, 2012. Thundercrest, driven by Dave Ingraham, was gallant in defeat, 1 1/2 lengths away, while Legend Field, with Corey Braden in the bike, finished third. William Star was fourth while Railee Workable picked up the nickel in the speedy septet. Sooo Handsome was away third after the wings folded as Prayer Session took the field through an opening panel in :27.3 with Thundercrest right behind. That's when Plano tilted Sooo Handsome to the outside and forged to the front after a half in :55.1. From there, the issue was never in doubt as Sooo Handsome sped his final eighth in :14.1 to crush the world record by almost two seconds. In a post race interview, driver Rick Plano lamented, "this, especially, was a very satisfying win as this is a homebred that we've had from day one. He always seems to be on his game and, tonight, we has REALLY on his game. Rick's wife, Maryann Plano, who owns Sooo Handsome, added, "I named him after my husband, because I think he's 'sooo handsome.' It's very exciting to have a world record holder in the family!' For Sooo Handsome, it was his second win of the year to go along with a pair of seconds in four starts, good for $15,000 starting this young season. Lifetime, Sooo Handsome has banked $108,340 to go along with a three year-old mark of 1:54.1. Off as the 6 to 5 favorite, Sooo Handsome paid $4.60 to his multitude of followers. Racing continues Wednesday night with a competitive 10 race program with a Super Hi-5 carryover of $161,432. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Columbus, OH --- Former Hoof Beats editor and Communicators Hall of Fame member Dean Hoffman has reported that harness racing 'Hall of Famer' Howard Beissinger, 94, died Feb. 6, 2018, in his home state of Ohio. One of the sport's top trainer/drivers and trotting specialists, Mr. Beissinger won three Hambletonians, with Lindy's Pride (1969), Speedy Crown (1971) and Speedy Somolli (1978). Mr. Beissinger drove Lindy's Pride to win trotting's Big Five in 1969: the Yonkers Trot, Kentucky Futurity, Hambletonian, Dexter Cup and the Colonial. The third generation Beissinger to make harness racing a profession, he also had Lindy's Crown, who held a world race record of 1:54.4 before Cornstalk broke it in 1984 with a 1:53.4 mile. Cornstalk was also driven by Mr. Beissinger. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1975. More information will be posted when available. USTA Communications Department

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