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TROIS RIVIERES, QUEBEC - Trevor Henry is a quick study, and that fact was the primary reason why he and the Western Ideal stallion Western Fame emerged victorious in the $200,000 Prix d'Ete for four-year-old pacers, the signature race at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres (3R) in Quebec on Sunday. Henry said during the card that he had driven at 3R "only once before, years and years ago," but after the race he noted "I had been watching the starts here today, and the way the car goes it looked like a good spot for me to be leaving, from post five (the stats back his thinking up - 3R is a half-mile track, but posts four and five account for 39% of the winners). So I was thinking about leaving fast from the very start." Western Fame was of the same mind, and he and Henry made the lead before getting into the first turn. Awesomeness defended the pocket, so Roll Away Joe, looped leaving, was stuck outside nearing the 1/4, with Jody Jamieson, behind 1-5 favorite Sintra and starting from the rail (10% winners at 3R), doing his best to extricate himself from a tough situation by giving a tuck to "Joe," then backing out behind the still-parked-from-PP8 Dr J Hanover, just ahead of Lyons Snyder, just past the 27.1 quarter. Since a parked horse was "leading" the outer tier and not belligerently battling for command, Western Fame got a breather on the lead, reaching the half in a very pedestrian 56.3. With Sintra moving three-wide but failing to gain quickly, and Awesomeness in the pocket doing all he could to stay close, Western Fame was required to pace only a pair of 28.2 quarters home to stop the timer in 1:53.2, leaving Awesomeness 1 1/4 lengths behind and Roll Away Joe a further ¾ of a length back in third. Lyons Snyder had to rally four-deep to be along for fifth, ahead of final checkgetter Sintra, who just did not have his "A" game today. Western Fame, who has been there or thereabouts in many of the top races of his division at both three and four, is owned and was bred by the legendary Brittany Farms LLC, and is trained by Jimmy Takter, allowing Takter to combine with Ron Burke for a stranglehold on the Prix d'Ete trophy - Takter won the race that marked the revival of the stake in 2014, and Burke then took it the next two years. (More on this idea at the bottom.) "I wasn't sure how good a spot I was in coming off the third turn, because I knew Sintra would be coming up three-wide to challenge," Henry recounted. "But when we were heading towards the last turn and he was still out three-wide, I started to feel better about my chances." And Trevor Henry and Western Fame felt better and better about those chances the nearer they got to the wire. ****** There were $7500 divisions of Quebec-bred "Coupe de l'Avenir" contests for two-year-old pacers, colts and fillies each going in two sections - the babies' last chance to qualify for September 3's $480,000 day of Q-bred Championships for the eight divisions of two- and three-year-olds. The "Stock market" is certainly bullish at 3R right now, as the Sportsmaker colt Stock again turned in a dominant performance while winning in 1:55.4 as a shower started to pass quickly through. Stock opened his career with an Ontario Roots win, took a division of the opening leg of the Q series, then tried his luck at the Battle Of Waterloo, where he won an elimination before being undone by PP8 in the final. But he certainly bounced back with authority on Sunday, with only G A Speed Sammy able to stay anywhere close to the talented winner, who carried 77% of the win pool and 96% of the place pool. Stock is trained by Dany Fontaine for owner Sotirios Anastaspoulos and Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. and 3R's leading driver, Stephane Brosseau. Driver Louis Philippe Roy can seemingly do no wrong at 3R - even when it looks like he may have, as it did at the half in the other colt section. Roy kept the pocket shut early with El Muchacho behind a speed duel, then was locked in when the outer tier formed nearing the half, with odds-on favorite Power Fog second-over and looking like a possible sweeper. But the horse who had been two-wide in the speed duel, Determinant, bore out going to the third turn and severely cramped the chances of the outer tier while also giving a clear road to El Muchacho and Louis Phillippe. The Goliath Bayama colt, given this second life, moved to the lead before the ¾ and won nicely for trainer Maguire and the owning partnership of the driver and Ecuries Maguire Inc. Their main concern, in relation to the Championship, was framed by the timer, which stopped at 2:01.1 - a new mark for El Muchacho, now a two-time series winner, but five seconds slower than the clocking posted by Stock. Hall of Famer Mike Lachance was the grand marshal for Prix d'Ete Day, so it seemed appropriate that his buddy from the "French Connection" days of success in the mid-Atlantic area in the 70s, Yves Filion, would be a winners circle visitor in a division of the filly competition, as he overcame post eight with Katniss S BG to win handily in 2:03.2. The daughter of Mach Three, out of a full sister to Wakizashi Hanover, certainly looked like a warrior leader on Sunday, limbed out to a 29.4 quarter on a wet track before taking the lead, rating the middle half as she pleased and then striding home much the best. Filion is the trainer/driver of the two-time series winner for owners Sylvain Descheneaux and Gaston Bibeau. (This race lost some luster when DGs Shadowbell, the only baby of either sex going 2 for 2 to start the series, was scratched; she now has two weeks to get back to her best for the Championship.) In the second cut for the misses, first-time Q-Series winner Lit De Rose thrust herself squarely into the main frame of Championship possibles with a victory in 1:59.1, a personal best. The daughter of Leader Bayama paid a very high price for the lead, being parked in 28.1 before getting the top, then had to keep the speed going - middle fractions of 57.1 and 1:27.1 were required to keep favored La Balafre hung out to dry, driver Dan Dube (a four-time winner on the day) determining that he wanted the front end with his filly. His strategy worked as the hot fractions burned everybody else out, and his filly could coast home well ahead of the opposition for trainer Maxime Velaye and breeder/owner Guy Corbeil. A pair of $8000 Invitationals was also scheduled on the big card, with the trot reuniting driver Louis Philippe Roy, trainer Kevin Maguire, and the winners circle via the twelve-year-old Conway Hall gelding Four Starz Speed, who was parked to a 28.2 quarter to get the lead but turned back all challenges from there in his 1:59 victory. The win was the 52nd of Four Starz Speed's career, which has seen him run up winnings of $831,887. Ecuries Maguire Inc. own the spry graybeard, who is indeed the horse who won his New York Sire Stakes final - in 2008, when he was three. On the pacing side, the day's popular theme of "take the punishment you must to the quarter, as long as you then can control the pace" (see d'Ete, Prix) was again played out, as Louis Philippe Roy reported home first for the fourth time on the day after he and Ufdragons Rocket came home all alone in 1:54.1. The favored Dragon Again gelding was out to a 27.3 quarter, then parked major danger Bali through middle splits of 56.3 and 1:25.2; from there, he could pull away for his 11th victory of the campaign. The winner of $336,513 is trained by Yves Tessier for owner Francois Morin. FINISHING LINES - The sire of Roll Away Joe, third in the Prix d'Ete, is Roll With Joe, whose name is on a FFA pace held annually at New York's Tioga Downs. This race was held a few hours before the Prix, and was won by Dealt A Winner - the only reason we mention it here is that the 2-3-4 finishers in the race were Rockin Ron, Sunfire Blue Chip, and All Bets Off, who won the 2016, 2014, and 2015 Prix d'Etes, respectively! ... Also, because Dealt A Winner, the longest shot on the board at Tioga, paid $72.50 - and it took Hippodrome 3R, with 11 favorites successful on its 15-race card, until the very last race to have its win mutuels combined reach that figure! (The biggest contributor? Western Fame at $14.80.) From the Quebec Jockey Club

WILKES-BARRE PA - Hall of Fame harness racing driver David Miller, second on the all-time money list (he passed Ron Pierce on Hall of Fame Day) and the leading active driving earner with John Campbell retired, took all three $54,785 divisions of the fourth and final preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, two of them with youngsters garnering their second Sires triumphs, and the other with a maiden who was "graduating" to the Sire Stakes off two Stallion Series seconds. Ironically, the fastest winner was the previous maiden, the Broadway Hall-Designable colt Patent Leather, who gained cover behind Samo Different Day late in the mile, then outrushed his foe at the end to win by a neck in 1:54.2. Patent Leather, atypically purchased as a yearling by Hall of Fame nominee Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms LLC, looks like he might be a good $10,000 purchase (the dam was a $483,000 winner) under the tutelage of trainer Jim Campbell, and here he paid $24.80 to win as by far the longest shot in the field of five. Miller, Campbell, and Fashion Farms doubled up behind 7-1 prospect Crystal Fashion, a son of Cantab Hall (Broadway Hall's sire) who rallied to put the first blot on Cinderella story Hockey Hanover's past performances, taking a nose triumph in a personal best 1:56.4. Hockey Hanover (Explosive Matter-Hotentrot Hanover) is the winningest two-year-old trotter in North America with eight triumphs, and he entered the Sunday contest undefeated (five Fair Sire Stakes and all three of his Stallion Series starts), but the unbeaten designation was just put by the boards as the $100,000 yearling edged the $10,000 yearling, with a $350,000 yearling, 1-10 favorite and Peter Haughton winner You Know You Do, making a break and all but taking him out of Championship competition. (Crystal Fashion's dam, by the way, is Window Willow, a full sister to the millionaire Lolique, who was such a slow learner as a youth that his trainer John Wagner put him in the box as LOLIQUE; in his three-year-old qualifying debut, he beat defending Hambletonian champion Vivid Photo and started getting a lot smarter). Miller other triumph was with 1-10 shot Scirocco Rob in 1:55.3, but even the heavy favorite, by Explosive Matter-Fun At Parties, tried to make heavy work of his victory, losing all but a half-length of a 2 1/4 length stretch lead but persevering on to keep Max's Beast at bay for trainer John Butenschoen and owners Lewis Whitaker Jr. and Kathleen Whitaker. An unofficial tally of this division's top pointwinners at their preliminaries' conclusion reads: Crystal Fashion and Lawmaker (tied for #1), Scirocco Rob and Toast Of Lindy (tied for third), Maxus, What's The Word, and Fashionwoodchooper and Quality Kemp (tied for seventh); Final Dream is "on the bubble" as ninth and AE1 if all of the top eight declare for the Championship, with Max's Beast tenth and AE2. The $252,000 divisional Championship will be held at Pocono on Labor Day, September 4. Monday at Pocono, there will be seven divisions of the final prelim for this two-year-old trotting colt group, and with that many horses in play, the competition for places in their Championship should be quite fierce. PHHA / Pocono

Heaven's Gait (David Miller) would win the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) on Sunday (August 20) with a purse of $263,100 for harness racing sophomore pacing Colts & Geldings at Tioga Downs. Two track records, beautiful weather, and big long shot made it a perfect day of racing at the five-eighths oval in Nichols, NY. In the EBC for 3 year-old colts and geldings, it was In A SIngle Bound (Billy Dobson) who would take charge with a first quarter in :27.4, and a half in :55.4. Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan) would battle and take the lead to the three-quarter mark in 1:21.4. Heaven's Gait (Rock N Roll Heaven) would watch this speed duel from the third. Owned by John Cummins and trained by Nicholas Devita, the 3 year-old colt would charge down the stretch like he was shot out of a cannon. Heaven's Gait ($4.50), would win in 1:49.2. He would win for the fifth straight time. Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley) would fire late to finish second. Music Is Art (Tim Tetrick) came up late to finish third. In the EBC final ($257,850) for sophomore pacing fillies, it was big long shot Obvious Blue Chip (Scott Zeron), who was victorious. Tequilla Monday (Brian Sears), would put up all the early fractions, :26.3, :54.4, 1:22.3. Clear Idea (Mark MacDonald) would put on pressure during the whole race. He was parked almost the whole way and would take the lead at the top of the stretch. Obvious Blue Chip (Roll With Joe), who is owned by NLG Racing Stable with Stephen Klunowski and trained by Mark Steacy, would take advantage of a second over trip. The 3 year-old filly blew right by Clear Idea (second) to win in a lifetime best of 1:50.2. Third place went to Ameriway (Corey Callahan). Obvious Blue Chip ($57.50), would win for fourth time this season and the fifth of her career. Dealt A Winner (David Miller) shocked the field to win the Roll With Joe ($163,000), with a track record for aged geldings at 1:47.4.. Sunfire Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) would hit the first quarter in :26.1. Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) would then continue the fast pace hitting the half in :54.1 and three-quarters in 1:20.4. Dealt A Winner (Cam's Card Shark) would follow Wakizashi Hanover (Tim Tetrick) with a second over trip. Dealt A Winner ($72.50), who is owned by Jeffrey Snyder and trained by Mark Silva, would go three wide at the top of the stretch flying to the lead and tack record. He would fall short of the world record for aged gelding pacers for a five-eighths mile track by one-fifth of a second. The 5 year-old would win for the 13th time in his career. Rockin Ron hung on for second with Sunfire Blue Chip getting third. Pasithea Face S (Tim Tetrick) would win the third leg of the Ms Versatility ($40,000) setting a new track record for all trotters in 150.4. Oho Diamond (Brett Miller) would lead into the first quarter in :27.1. Pasithea Face S (Muscle Hill) would take over as they went by the stands for the first time. She would follow with times of :55.1, 1:23.4, 1:50.4. Pasithea Face S ($3.40) didn't have it easy though. She battled the first over PL Hill (Corey Callahan) all the way from the three-quarter mark and holding on by a quarter-length. PL Hill (Kadabra) finished second with entry mate Oho Diamond (Ken Warkentin) getting third. Pasithea Face S is Owned by Courant Inc. and trained by Jimmy Takter. She won for the fifth time this season getting a new lifetime mark. She was just one-fifth of a second off the world record for aged mares for a five-eighths mile track. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Monday (August 21) post time for the 10 race card begins at 6:50 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 20, 2017 - In Secret (George Brennan, $27) earned it Sunday afternoon (Aug. 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 harness racing 'Open Handicap Trot'. With 'only' a seven-horse field (after a scratch), the weekly trotting feature went at the flat mile. From post position No. 6 (in one notch with said defection), In Secret---and half the field-was pointed forward. In Secret's job was made that much more difficult when Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno) broke directly inside of him. That forced In Secret very wide, eventually taking over from Buen Camino (Jordan Stratton) after a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. Once In Secret made the lead, he rebuffed even-money choice Homicide Hunter (Brent Holland). Even though they weren't going much in the middle half (:57.1, 1:25.4), Homicide Hunter was in trouble. In Secret opened a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn and Buen Camino couldn't do anything with him. The former whipped the latter by a length in 1:55. Homicide Hunter was an out-the-mile third-ending his marque trot 'run' at three-with Dewycolorintheline (Jeff Gregory) and Taco Tuesday (Jim Marohn Jr.) settling for the remainder. For fifth choice In Secret, a 5-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, J&T Silva Stables, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his sixth win in 17 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $108, with the triple returning $273. Sunday's installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a 'double nickel' winning combination of 5-Empressof the Nile (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 5-Auspicious Hanover (Yonkers' 5th race) returning $29.25 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $5,807. Note the Raceway's post time next Sunday (Aug. 27th) is 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

August 16, 2017 - The Wenngarn SWE Sale, mostly harness racing yearlings, was held August 14-15 at historic Wenngarn, north of Stockholm. Two sessions of yearlings were presented, along with a few mixed horses and stallion shares, the most expensive being a Muscle Hill share that Ecurie de Lempeur acquired for US$184,000 from seller John Bootsman. The mixed session also included shares of Southwind Frank, Creatine and Father Patrick along with a weanling colt foaled 1/23/17 named Body Builder by the currently racing and winning Readly Express, in fact a Gr. I winner August 16th at Solvalla. The top five selling yearlings are listed below: Hip/Horse/Sex/Sire and Dam/Price 94-Champ Lane (colt, Bold Eagle-Citron-Varenne-Dame Edith Hanover), US$173,363, Timo Nurmos 59-High Roller Sox (colt, Ready Cash-Dicey Spicey-Broadway Hall), US$147,950, Peter Untersteiner 97-Gaylord AM (colt, Muscle Hill-Deese d’Inverne-Korean). US$136,259 2 – Someone Special AS (filly, Trixton-Fortunes Dream-CantalbHall), US$135,631 15-Eaglemaniac Sox (colt, Bold Eagle-Jolie Reve-Lindy Lane), US$117,139 Catalog pages of these and others may be found here For full results of the sale click here ABOUT WENNGARN The oldest kept letter in Sweden dates from 1164 and tells about the area around Wenngarn, through the centuries, the Vasa dynasty, statesmen, knights and councilors have lived and ruled in Wenngarn. Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie's magical castles and picturesque baroque park are some of the gems of a place where a community once was built during the 1900s, becoming Sweden's first institution to treat alcohol addiction. Wenngarn is today a vibrant village community adapted to human needs and conditions. A magical place with 1000-year-old history. Following the sale was racing the next evening at Solvalla. The August 16 program was a good one led by the Gr. I Prix Maharajah European Championship (purse €163,840, 2140 meters. 12 starters) and 40/1 I Love Paris (7g Steinlager-Maria Dulcinia) was victorious for catch-driver Johnny Takter, taking over for trainer Bjorn Goop who is in Canada competing in the World’s Drivers Championship. G. Sem Morten owns I Love Paris. This winner was clocked in 1.11.09kr. The 3/2 favorite Anna Mix (7f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) was second driven by Kim Eriksson for trainer Sofia Aronsson and owner Franck Leblanc. 339/1 Mountain Clever (7f The Bosses Lindy-U Go Hornline) was home third. The Gr. I  Jubliesumspokalen  (purse €179,200, 2140 meters, 12 starters) at Solvala produced an exciting finish won by 1/5 favorite Readly Express (5m Ready Cash-Caddie Drean) reined by Jorma Kontio for trainer Timo Nurmos and BRO Bygonads AB. A game second after a first over lengthy try was 8.2/1 Twister Bi (5m Varenne-Lorraine Bi) driven by Christoher Eriksson for owner Pasquale Ciccarelli and conditioner Jerry Riordan. 31/1 Workout Wonder (5m Conway Hall-Dear Abs) took the third spot ahead of Cruzado dela Noche (5m Muscle Massive), Tango Negro (5m Infinitif and also a Riordan trainee) and Tjacko Jaz (5g Crazed). Race time by the winner was 1.09.9kr. Thomas H. Hicks

The two-year-old pacing males Breeders Crown Final shapes as one of the toughest nuts to crack from a harness racing punting viewpoint this coming Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton. Last night’s Semi-Final winners, Sicario and King Of Swing – both Kiwis – were awesome, and Poster Boy was enormous in defeat.  Then there’s Colt Thirty One, who made up many lengths from the back for Grant Dixon – a renowned presenter of young talent when he treks to Victoria, Master Moonlite – another Kiwi, and his trainer Cran Dalgety doesn’t visit Melton without a live chance – and then the sleepers, probably spearheaded by Braeview Bondi, who promises to deliver a big blow on the big stage at some stage. Sicario, which hails from the all-conquering Mark Purdon Allstars camp, was at his career best so far last night at Bendigo, comfortably handling his opposition and clocking the second-fastest mile rate of the night, only behind potential free-for-all star mare Amaretto. “The last six to eight weeks he’s gone to another level,” said winning reinsman Luke McCarthy shortly after climbing out of the cart aboard Sicario. “His trials and races have been very good and tonight he just felt fantastic. He ran super. Especially on a cold night – it’s gotten quite cold now, that time is fantastic.” Earlier in the night King Of Swing went 1:55.1 to win his two-year-old boys’ division semi-final for trainer Ray Green and reinsman David Butcher. And his run was enormous. Three-wide the last lap without cover, King Of Swing held off the two horses who followed him into the race. “He’s improving with every run and I can’t fault the run (tonight),” Butcher said. “Hopefully we can do the job on Sunday. I think he’ll improve off (tonight) … he seems to get better all the time.” Of the beaten brigade last night boom youngster Poster Boy was brave to run second after being inconvenienced early then parking for the last lap. He lost no admirers. The draw for Sunday’s Woodlands Stud sponsored final has made life tricky for Sicario (gate 10), while Poster Boy also lobbed the second row (gate nine). Meanwhile, King Of Swing landed the pole draw, which shortened his odds dramatically. Colt Thirty One has gate six and Braeview Bondi barrier five. WATCH THE REPLAY OF THE 2YO BREEDERS CROWN C&G 1st SEMI-FINAL WATCH THE REPLAY OF THE 2YO BREEDERS CROWN C&G 2nd SEMI-FINAL $285,000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo colts & geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - King Of Swing NZ by Rocknroll Hanover from a Artsplace mare - David Butcher 2 - Kasbah Kid by Art Major from a Western Terror mare - Greg Sugars 3 - Forte Courage by Courage Under Fire from a Aces N Sevens mare - Glen Craven 4 - Tam Major by Art Major from a Camluck mare - Rodney Petroff 5 - Braeview Bondi by Somebeachsomewhere from a Badlands Hanover mare - Josh Duggan 6 - Colt Thirty One by Mach Three from a Perfect Art mare - Grant Dixon 7 - Beltane by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - John Caldow ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Joe Nien by Shadow Play from a Art Major mare - Greg Sugars 9 - Poster Boy by Somebeachsomewhere from a Artsplace mare - Chris Alford 10 - Sicario by Somebeachsomewhere from a Bettor's Delight mare - Luke McCarthy 11 - Mister Moonlite NZ by Art Major from a Christian Cullen mare - Anthony Butt 12 - Seeuinnashville by Mach Three from Fake Left mare - Nathan Jack 13 - Tin Roof Raider by Mach Three from a Life Sign mare - Michael Bellman  Em 1 Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The big-race barrier curse of Petacular has been lifted. The marbles fell the way of the harness racing star Burrumbeet filly last night at Bendigo shortly after her Breeders Crown Race to Royalty Semi-Final win. Petacular drew gate three for Sunday’s $190,000 Woodlands sponsored three-year-old fillies Breeders Crown Final at Tabcorp Park Melton, a welcome change for connections who have endured horror luck at the draws in big races over the last 12 months. Petacular has also been made to work hardest several times in key qualifiers, so last night’s comfortable win was music to trainer/driver Michael Stanley’s ears. “It worked out really well,” he said of the Somebeachsomewhere daughter’s Semi-Final win, which saw her rate 2:00.8 after the 2150-metre race became just a dash up the straight (26.5s last quarter) after opening sectionals of 33.5s, 33s and 30.5s. “I was happy to go as slowly as I could once I was able to get to the lead because she’s had a few hard runs this year, and most of her semi-finals have been hard,” Stanley said. “It’s good that she’s had an easy one for a change. Hopefully we can go in (to next Sunday’s Breeders Crown Final) with a different game plan this time.” Partyon was a significantly quicker Semi-Final winner last night for trainer Mark Purdon and driver Luke McCarthy. The Allstars filly stopped the clock at 1:56.1 in the first semi, also leading throughout, but will have to negate a back-row draw on Sunday. Partyon has drawn gate nine, trailing out Gilty Hanover in two, whose runner-up effort to Petacular last night was full of merit for Kari Males and Zac Phillips. New South Wales filly Shezallapples will start from pole, which brings her absolutely into contention with the coveted leader’s back position behind Petacular a logical aim for reinsman Jimmy Douglass. Fellow NSW raider My Casino Belle has barrier four for the final, inside Better B Chevron, Perfect Look and Oaks winner Miss Graceland rounding out the front row. Tasmanian El Jays Mystery has the inside-back-row draw, just inside Partyon, with Lincolns Superstar, Six Elements, Be Not Afraid and Petacular’s stablemate Soho Angel, giving Stanley two runners in the final, rounding out the back row. Emma Stewart also has two runners qualified – Miss Graceland and Perfect Look. Video replay: Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies 1st Semi-Final at Bendigo Video replay: Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies 2nd Semi-Final at Bendigo $190.000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Shezallapples by Sportswriter from a Fake Left mare - Jim Douglass 2 - Gilty Hanover by Rocknroll Hanover from a Courage Under Fire mare - Zac Phillips 3 - Petacular by Somebeachsomewhere from a Western Ideal mare - Michael Stanley 4 - My Casino Belle NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Christian Cullen mare - Brad Hewitt 5 - Better Be Chevron NZ by Bettor's Delight from a In The Pocket mare - Luke McCarthy 6 - Perfect Look by Art Major from a Live Or Die mare - Sidney Van Den Brande 7 - Miss Graceland by Rocknroll Hanover from a Fake Left mare - Chris Alford ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - El Jays Mystery by Live Or Die from a Perfect Art mare - Anthony Butt 9 - Partyon NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Beach Towel mare - Luke McCarthy 10 - Lincolns Superstar NZ by Mach Three from a Beach Towel mare - Ashlee Grives Em 1  11 - Six Elements - by Art Major from a Classic Garry mare - David Miles 12 - Be Not Afraid by Courage Under Fire from a Lucky Camilla mare - Rodney Petroff 13 - Soho Angel by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - Michael Stanley Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 19, 2017 - Odds-on Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $3.30) paid a price for the lead, then made his harness racing opponents pay the price for giving it to him Saturday night (Aug. 19th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Open Handicap Pace. In the hunt early from assigned post position No. 6, the 2016 George Levy Series winner took over from 21-1 shot Caviart Luca (George Brennan) just after a zippy :26.3 opening quarter-mile. A rated, :29.1 next substation (:55.4 half) was going to make the people's preference tough to catch. Melmerby Beach (Greg Merton) and Mach it So (Brent Holland) tried it from first- and second-over, respectively, as Bit of a Legend N found a 1:24.2 three-quarters. He widened to 2¼ lengths in and out of the final turn, then held Caviart Luca at bay. The margin was measured three-quarters of a length in 1:51.3. Bakersfield (Mark MacDonald) and Melmerby Beach hit the line together for third, with Mach it So settling for the final pay envelope. For Bit of a Legend N, an 8-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his fifth win in 17 '17 tries. The exacta paid $33.50, with the triple returning $89.50 (Bakersfield third) and $92 (Melmerby Beach third). Prior to the race, Tritton spoke of von Knoblauch, who passed away early this month at age 90. "Harry was a gentleman who enjoyed racing and not afraid to spend money to get good horses. His daughters want to keep the stable going, and I'm fortunate to train for them." Bit Of A Legend's official lifetime record is as follows; Down Under - 63 starts for 20 wins, 15 seconds and 4 thirds for $810,101 North America - 45 starts for 17 wins 10 seconds and 4 thirds for $1,101,920 Total - 108 starts for 37 wins, 25 seconds and 8 thirds for $1,939,521 Bit Of A Legend Yonkers offers up the sixth of eight consecutive Sunday matinees (Aug. 13th), with a first post of 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

AUGUST 19, 2017 - Two-year-old pacers were in the harness racing spotlight at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night, competing in four Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions worth a total of $390,400. The two fastest divisions were clocked in 1:51.4, one by pacing colt Declan Seelster in his first lifetime start, and the other by pacing filly Percy Bluechip in her third straight Gold win. In the first pacing colt division, Declan Seelster and driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON lined up at Post 6 and landed on the rail in seventh as Jimmy Freight took the field to a :27 opening quarter. Fan favourite Shadow Moon took command on the way to the :55.3 half and continued to lead at the 1:23.3 three-quarters, while Jamieson opted to keep Declan Seelster on the rail. In the stretch a sliver of racetrack opened up on the rail and, after some manoeuvering, Jamieson was able to squeeze Declan Seelster up the inside to a head victory over a duelling Shadow Moon and Jimmy Freight. "Putting him in there tonight, I really wished I could have had a maiden start into him. I just told Jody (Jamieson) not to sacrifice him, you know, put him in a spot where if he can win he can win, but it's an awful lot to ask," said trainer Dave Menary. "That qualifier (1:55.4 on August 8) was his very first time behind the gate. We did stretch him out a little bit the last three-quarters aiming for this, but you know there's a difference when they're down to the quarter in :27 or they're down to the quarter in :33." Declan Seelster's debut was a long-awaited one for the Cambridge resident and his partners Michael Guerriero of Brampton, Denis Breton of Welland, ON and Tim Purkiss of Port Coquitlam, BC. Menary had been impressed with the colt early in his education, but some growing pains in the spring caused the trainer to back off with the son of Big Jim and Demi Seelster, who was a $48,000 purchase out of last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale. "February-March he was definitely my favourite colt. He just did a lot of growing and his feet were really bothering him right when baby races were getting started," recalled Menary. "I backed off and worked on his feet, and actually I sent him to a friend of mine, Brian Lee, to go on the TheraPlate and swim for two weeks. Brian did a great job and that really helped him turn the corner. "And Frank O'Toole was a very good help with the horse, and Jeff Courchesne takes care of him and does a very good job, so just everybody working together," Menary continued. "I appreciate my partners' patience, everybody was getting a little antsy because I touted the colt so much, so early, and they're watching all our other colts out there racing and winning, and I kept telling them. 'It's gonna be okay, it's gonna be okay,' and tonight their patience was rewarded." Declan Seelster The patience of trainer Dr. Ian Moore and driver Trevor Henry was tested in the evening's last Gold division as Percy Bluechip arrived at Mohawk for her third start with a newfound level of aggression. "She was a handful warming up tonight, holy smokes," said Dr. Moore. "She took off right there on the track on me, like pretty well ran away with me tonight warming up, and I turned her to go the right way thinking that might help and that was worse, so I put ear plugs in her to race, she's never had them in in her life." The ear plugs did not help Henry in the post parade as Percy Bluechip once again tried to start the race early. With some assistance Henry was able to get the filly settled and the Arthur, ON resident kept her at a walk until the starter called the fillies to the gate. Fortunately, once the gate started to roll Percy Bluechip was all business and after getting away second from Post 2, Henry sent her after the lead just after the :28 quarter and she rolled through a :56.2 half and 1:24.1 three-quarters on the way to her third Gold Series win. Kendall Seelster finished one and one-half lengths back in second and Play The Bell was another length back in third. "I think she took a lot out of herself warming up tonight, she had to, it's impossible that she didn't," said Dr. Moore. "She's a very smart filly so I'm hoping that this is a phase she's going through and that she will eventually settle down and relax a bit, but at least she was good in the race, so that's good to know." Moore shares ownership of the daughter of Shadow Play and Advantest with his partners in the Shadow Two Stable of Puslinch, ON, James and Wilma Mackenzie of Ennismore, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The group, who offered up $110,000 to acquire the filly from the Forest City Yearling Sale, was hoping Percy Bluechip would make her open stake debut in the Eternal Camnation at Mohawk on August 26, but Moore is tempering expectations after Saturday's fractious outing. "We're hoping to go in the Eternal Camnation next week, but it doesn't give me much time to resolve some of that situation, to get her under control," said the Puslinch resident. "Hopefully I'll have a little bit of equipment on her to settle her a bit. I don't want to T her off, but I've got to do something." Percy Bluechip The other pacing filly Gold trophy went home with Lady Grande, who went gate-to-wire from Post 6, hitting the wire three and three-quarter lengths ahead of Delaney R and Lady Ella in 1:52.3. Jonathan Drury of Guelph engineered the win for trainer Victor Puddy of Mountain, ON and owners Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, Lloyd Stone of Portland, Jerome Voldock of Arnprior and numbered company Ontario 1085195 of Gloucester, ON. The group purchased the daughter of Big Jim and Lady Latte out of last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale for $25,000 and Lady Grande has returned $97,992 from one win, four seconds and one third in seven starts. Lady Grande Hudson Phil captured the other pacing colt division, making a successful leap up from the Grassroots Series for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The son of Shanghai Phil and Hazel, in rein to newly crowned World Driving Champion James MacDonald of Guelph, also found racing room along the rail, sprinting from fifth at the top of the stretch to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:52.4. Favourite Evening Play was second and Taste Of History was third. Hudson Phil The two-year-old pacing fillies and colts return to Mohawk Racetrack for their fourth Gold Series event, the fillies on Friday, Sept. 8 and the colts on Saturday, Sept. 9. Two-year-old pacing fillies will also be featured at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, August 24 as the Campbellville oval hosts the fourth Grassroots event for the novices, with a first race post time of 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack. Ontario Racing

Lexington KY - The Red Mile hosted the first leg of the Kentucky Sire Stakes for harness racing 2-year-old pacers with two divisions of both colts and fillies racing for a purse of $30,000 and Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter came to play.   The first colt division was the evening's fourth race and Grand Teton lived up to his advance billing by steamrolling the field in the stretch for the Takter - Brett Miller combo to win going away in 1:52.4. Away mid-pack, Miller followed up third over with the 1-9 favorite as You Said It took the field into the final bend where Trajectory loomed up to challenge as they passed the three quarters in 1:25.4. When shown racetrack, Grand Teton found a faster gear and was by the field in a blink. Gone Again (Tyler Smith) rallied for second and Whos Better (Don Harmon) was a good third. The winner is a Diamond Creek homebred by first crop sire A Rocknroll Dance from their prolific producer Western Montana.   Fillies came up next in the fifth and Santa Rosa converted a ground saving trip by Brett Miller (his third consecutive win), closing up the inside for the win in 1:52.4. Post time favorite Let's Fall In Love set the fractions with token pressure from the parked out Angelou past a 56 half and 1:25.1 three panels before giving way to the closing wave. Fine Art (Tyler Smith) followed in second and Tipp City Hugh Beatty) rallied for third. Santa Rosa is a Brittany Farms homebred on both sides by Western Ideal from Art's Vintage and was winning for the first time in her fourth try. She is also a product of the Takter barn.   Brett Miller made it four and Takter three consecutive wins with heavy favorite Decoy lasting over the furious late rally of Key Advisor (Joe Bongiorno) in 1:52.4. Miller settled Decoy in fourth early as Key Advisor left to the top from post 7 then brushed the colt up to take over as they passed the half in 55.4. A 29.4 third quarter breather under token pressure was just what Decoy needed as he opened up three quick lengths off the turn and held safe to the wire. Tiffany Marie (Dan Shetler) was third. The winner is a son of top sire Somebeachsomewhere and was a $110,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase by Brixton Medical, RAW Equine and Joe Sbrocco.   Band Stand was a 1:51.4 winner in the final of the evening's stakes for driver Joe Bongiorno who was making his first foray to the Bluegrass. Joe pulled the filly first over against Dance Blue who took over going to the half in an attempt to complete the KYSS sweep for the Takter/Miller duo and Band Stand gradually ground that rival into submission through a testing 1:23.2 three quarters. Moving to a clear lead in the stretch Band Stand held safe right to the wire for the speedy record. Shakewhatmamagaveu (Tharps) was second just holding off the close of Pure Paradise and Tyler Smith. The winner is trained by Tony Alagna for owner Brad Grant who gave $40,000 for the A Rocknroll Dance filly in Lexington last fall.   Band Stand     Live racing resumes at The Red Mile on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. with the Kentucky Sires Stakes for 3-year-olds.   Nick Salvi  

The 2017 TAB Breeders Crown barrier draws have been completed in front of a big harness racing crowd at Lord’s Raceway Bendigo. This weekend's Super Sunday will see eight Group 1 finals at Tabcorp Park Melton as the Race to Royalty draws to an electric finale. $190.000 IRT Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo colts & geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - The More Than Better NZ by Bettor's Delight from an In The Pocket mare - Luke McCarthy 2 - Solid As A Rock by Rocknroll Hanover from a Life Sign mare - John Caldow 3 - Our Little General by Mach Three from a Western Terror mare - Chris Alford 4 - Alabrock by Rocknroll Hanover from an Albert Albert mare - Christopher Shinn - Em 1 5 - Mista Lombo by Somebeachsomewhere from a Blissfull Hall mare - Emmett Brosnan 6 - Big Mach NZ by Mach Three from an Elsu mare - Nathan Jack 7 - Cruz NZ by American Ideal from a Dare You To mare - Gavin Lang ...........................................Second Row................................................ 8 - Stars Align by Art Major from a Albert Albert mare - Anthony Butt 9 - Wrappers Delight by Bettor's Delight from a Christen Cullen mare - Greg Sugars 10 - Motu Meteor NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Falcon Seelster mare - Kerryn Manning 11 - King Solomon NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Badlands Hanover mare - Anthony Butt 12 - Jilliby Kung Fu by Four Starzzz Shark from a Perfect Art mare - Glen Craven 13 - Rock Diamonds NZ by Rocknroll Hanover from a Bettor's Delight mare - Luke McCarthy   $190.000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Shezallapples by Sportswriter from a Fake Left mare - Jim Douglass 2 - Gilty Hanover by Rocknroll Hanover from a Courage Under Fire mare - Zac Phillips 3 - Petacular by Somebeachsomewhere from a Western Ideal mare - Michael Stanley 4 - My Casino Belle NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Christian Cullen mare - Brad Hewitt 5 - Better Be Chevron NZ by Bettor's Delight from a In The Pocket mare - Luke McCarthy 6 - Perfect Look by Art Major from a Live Or Die mare - Sidney Van Den Brande 7 - Miss Graceland by Rocknroll Hanover from a Fake Left mare - Chris Alford ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - El Jays Mystery by Live Or Die from a Perfect Art mare - Anthony Butt 9 - Partyon NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Beach Towel mare - Luke McCarthy 10 - Lincolns Superstar NZ by Mach Three from a Beach Towel mare - Ashlee Grives Em 1  11 - Six Elements - by Art Major from a Classic Garry mare - David Miles 12 - Be Not Afraid by Courage Under Fire from a Lucky Camilla mare - Rodney Petroff 13 - Soho Angel by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - Michael Stanley   $285,000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo colts & geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - King Of Swing NZ by Rocknroll Hanover from a Artsplace mare - David Butcher 2 - Kasbah Kid by Art Major from a Western Terror mare - Greg Sugars 3 - Forte Courage by Courage Under Fire from a Aces N Sevens mare - Glen Craven 4 - Tam Major by Art Major from a Camluck mare - Rodney Petroff 5 - Braeview Bondi by Somebeachsomewhere from a Badlands Hanover mare - Josh Duggan 6 - Colt Thirty One by Mach Three from a Perfect Art mare - Grant Dixon 7 - Beltane by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - John Caldow ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Joe Nien by Shadow Play from a Art Major mare - Greg Sugars 9 - Poster Boy by Somebeachsomewhere from a Artsplace mare - Chris Alford 10 - Sicario by Somebeachsomewhere from a Bettor's Delight mare - Luke McCarthy 11 - Mister Moonlite NZ by Art Major from a Christian Cullen mare - Anthony Butt 12 - Seeuinnashville by Mach Three from Fake Left mare - Nathan Jack 13 - Tin Roof Raider by Mach Three from a Life Sign mare - Michael Bellman  Em 1   $285,000 Always B Miki Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Passions Delight by Bettor's Delight from a Modern Art mare - Gavin Lang 2 - Our Bettor Joy NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Road Machine mare - Gavin Lang 3 - Our Angel of Harlem NZ by Mach Three from a Bettor's Delight mare - Anthony Butt 4 - Red Charmer by Mr Feelgood from a Fake Left mare - Grant Dixon 5 - Amelias Courage by Courage Under Fire from a Art Major mare - Kerryn Manning 6 - Hows The Memory by Mach Three from a Troublemaker mare - Bill Trembath 7 - Angel Of Arts by Art Major from a Artiscape mare - Josh Aiken ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Goodtime Heaven by Rock N Roll Heaven from a Village Jasper mare - Glen Craven 9 - Captured Delight by Bettor's Delight from a Million To One mare - Chris Voak Em 1 10 - My Sweetchilliphilly NZ by Betterthancheddar from a In The Pocket mare - Chris Geary 11 - Molly Kelly by Four Starzzz Shark from a Albert Albert mare - Chris Alford 12 - Nostra Beach by Somebeachsomewhere from a Fake Left mare - Mark Pitt 13 - Nostra Villa by Art Major from a Sands A Flyin mare - Chris Alford   $65,000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo Trotting Colts & Geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - Our Fast Forward by Skyvalley from a Dream Vacation mare - Chris Alford 2 - The Male Model NZ by Muscle Mass from a Sundon mare - Anthony Butt 3 - The Spanyen by Blissfull Hall from a Yentls Image mare - Jullian Attard Em 1 4 - Aldebaran Prince by Angus Hall from a Muscles Yankee mare - Lisa Miles 5 - Kheiron by Majestic Son from a Great Success mare - Chris Alford 6 - Clarkes Hill by Metropolitan from a Chiola Hanover mare - Chris Svanosio 7 - War Spirit NZ by Monarchy from a Gee Whiz 11 mare - Kath Gath ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Claudys Prince by Bacardi Lindy from a Wind Cries Maori mare 9 - Empire Bay by The Prez from a Monarchy mare - Greg Sugars 10 - Truscott Hall by Angus Hall from a SJ's Photo mare - Brad Angove ODM 11 - Mano De Dios by Great Success from a Keystone Salute mare - Anthony Butt ODM 12 - Hammers Law by Lawman from a Safely Kept mare - Gavin Lang ODM 13 - Jilliby Babavska by Sundon from a Continentalman mare ODM   $65,000 Yabby Dam Racing Breeders Crown Series  (3yo Trotting Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Hotjane Bling by Eilean Donon from a Muscles Yankee mare - Josh Aiken  2 - Chevron Express NZ by Muscle Mass from a Sundon mare - Anthony Butt 3 - Four Walls by Armbro Variable from a Ganymede mare - Matthew Craven 4 - Iona Spider by Yankee Spider from a Our Sir Vancelot mare - Chris Alford 5 - Dance Craze by Muscle Hill from a Safely Kept mare - Nathan Jack 6 - Breezin Around by Skyvalley from a Windsong's Legacy mare - Greg Sugars 7 - Hiding My Heart Fin by Like A Prayer from a Super Punk mare ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Une Belle Allure by Angus Hall from a Onyx Du Goutier mare - Zac Phillips 9 - Andyou by Majestic Son from a SJ's Photo mare - Kerryn Manning 10 - Skyeski by Angus Hall from a Wagon Appolo mare - Rodney Petroff 11 - Kinvara Sue by Yankee Spider from a Pegasus Spur mare - Jason Lee 12 - Downtown Miss by Majestic Son from a SJ's Photo mare - Ellen Tomey - ODM Em 1 13 - Bigonluck by Muscle Mass from a Malabar Maple mare - Alex Ashwood - ODM   $90,000 Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo Trotting Colts & Geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - Kyvalley Frank by Majestic Son from a Sundon mare - Anthony Butt 2 - Wobelee by Down Under Muscles from a Sundon mare - Chris Alford 3 - Smashthemcalder by Lucky Chucky from a Balanced Image mare - Anthony Butt 4 - One Muscle Hill NZ by Muscle Hill from a Earl mare - Gavin Lang 5 - Majestic Eyes by Majestic Son from a Maori's Idol mare - Ginger Gleeson 6 - Maziah by Bettor's Delight from a Our Sir Vancelot mare - John Caldow 7 - La Grange by Muscle Hill from a Safely Kept mare - Zac Phillips ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - More Shades Of Gold NZ by Majestic Son from a Evander's Gold mare - Nathan Jack 9 - Whizzbang Dan by Danny Bouchea from a Classic Adam mare - Christopher Shinn 10 - Imperial Whiz NZ by Imperial Count from a Gee Whiz 11 mare - Jim O'Sullivan 11 - Runaway Success by Great Success from a Ok Bye mare - Greg Sugars 12 - Bebubbalouie by Louey Louey Louey from a Keystone Salute mare -  Brett Shipway - ODM 13 - Tomahawk Phoenix by Angus Hall from a Sundon mare - Josh Aiken - ODM Em 1   $90,000 Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo Trotting Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Our Renezmae NZ by The Prez from a Lindy Lane mare - Anthony Butt 2 - Miss Kaikoura NZ by Majestic Son from a Dream Vacation mare - Alex Ashwood 3 - Princessa Ruth by Down Under Muscles from a Wagon Apollo mare - Josh Aiken 4 - Moonshine Linda by Majestic Son from a Sundon mare - Nathan Jack 5 - Louieville Lass by Louey Louey Louey from a Earl mare - Brett Shipway 6 - Moresuccess by Great Success from a Wagon Apollo mare - Greg Sugars 7 - Amour De Frere NZ by Love You from a Sundon mare - Zac Phillips ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Meadow Valley Sky by Skyvalley from a Wagon Apollo mare - Josh Duggan 9 - Hades Sky by Skyvalley from a The Wrath Of Pan mare - Tony Xiriha 10 - Fairytale Hall by Angus Hall from a CR Commando mare - Nathan Jack 11 - Aleppo Jewel by Angus Hall from a Safely Kept mare - Kerryn Manning 12 - Di Li by Louey Louey Louey from a Dr Ronerail mare -  Brett Shipway  Em 1 13 - Allthemoves by Muscles Yankee from a Sundon mare - Chris Alford Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Charlottetown, PEI -- On Saturday, August 19, the International Media Award winners were announced at the 25th edition of the harness racing World Trotting Conference, hosted in Charlottetown, PEI. Winners in eight categories were awarded at the closing ceremonies. Here is a complete list: BEST PHOTOGRAPHY France 'Waterworks', photographed by Jean Luc Lamaere BEST NEWS ARTICLE Australia 'Desperate attempt to save promising pacer', written by Paul Courts BEST MAGAZINE ARTICLE Sweden 'The man from Finnskogen', written by Even Elvenes BEST VIDEO OR FILM (ONLINE INCLUDED) AD France Prix D'Amerique, produced by Le Trot TV BEST TELEVISION PROGRAM OR DOCUMENTARY Sweden The Ultimate Triumph, Produced by Kanal 75 AB; Producer: Lissi Gustafsson BEST POSTER Canada San Pail, Produced by Standardbred Canada. Art Director: Kathy Wade Vlaar. Graphic Designer: Andrea Bertucci BEST WEBSITE Sweden Travronden.se; Chief Editor: Joakim Svensson BEST SOCIAL MEDIA Australia - Scott Hamilton Media    

The 2017 World Trotting Conference concluded with its official closing ceremony on Saturday, August 19, at the Delta Prince Edward, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The torch was passed from Canada to Sweden, where the Conference will be hosted in 2019. Standardbred Canada president and CEO, Dan Gall addressed the international delegates and observers. "We have identified through the committee work a distinct message of committing to be open, and a commitment to work together better than we have in the past," said Gall. "I have heard the need to be action-based and results-oriented as a priority for the International Trotting Association. We are working as a united front in the best interests of our sport, and the interests around the world are very similar. As champions and leaders of our sport, it's incumbent on us to take our sport forward in the future. "We must ask the customer how they want us to move forward. We need to listen to our customers, at our racetracks, in our paddocks and of course, our fans. By listening to them, our job is relatively easy." Prior to closing the conference, Gall thanked the efforts of delegates, management, staff, volunteers, and the province of Prince Edward Island. "Kent Oakes and his team at Red Shores have done a fantastic job," said Gall. "I can't believe the number of people that have told me how great it was to have hosted this event in Prince Edward Island. There is a great link between harness racing and the province of PEI. It is a model for all of us to aspire towards." International Trotting Association committees also presented their reports and recommendations during the ceremonies. Edward Rennell, of New Zealand (Constitution committee), discussed membership categories, the classification of countries participating at conferences, and early planning for future WTC and WDC sites. T.C. Lane, of the United States (Breeding committee), said that his committee looked at issues including data sharing; microchipping; moving toward wider use of electronic export certificates; and genomic research in Standardbreds. Ken Spicer, of New Zealand (Health and welfare committee), spoke about uniformity in penalty enforcement across ITA countries; sharing of international equine health and welfare statistics; and recognizing the whip as a welfare, rather than a performance, issue in the sport. Geoff Want, from Australia (Racing and wagering committee), said his committee focused on international growth of wagering markets for harness racing; addressing illegal wagering; and ensuring good relationships with government, including maintaining and providing appropriate data about the industry's value. Mike Tanner, of the United States (Marketing and business development committee), reported on his committee's discussion of quantifying worldwide impact; strengthening international communication, including social media; and comparative evaluation of horses and drivers worldwide. Kathy Wade Vlaar, Standardbred Canada's manager of industry marketing, shared her final assessments of the 2017 World Driving Championship. "With three plane trips and multiple bus trips, aside from putting on a great show, the drivers were great ambassadors for their countries and for harness racing," said Wade Vlaar. Next, the ITA's International Media Award winners were announced, with national representatives present accepting on behalf of their countries' top journalists, photographers, broadcasters, and new media. Canada formally handed over the World Trotting Conference and World Driving Championship to Sweden, the host of both events in two years. "It was great to be in Charlottetown for the World Trotting Conference," said Johan Lindberg, the Secretary General of Svensk Travsport (Swedish Trotting Association). "Old Home Week will be something I will always remember. In less than two years, we will go to Sweden. Like with the Gold Cup & Saucer, the event will coincide with the Elitloppet - one of the biggest events in our country." Sweden had generously deferred hosting the 2017 editions, in order to permit Canada to do so during the 250th anniversary of its first-ever horse race and "Canada 150" celebrations recognizing a century-and-a-half of existence as a nation.   Darryl Kaplan Manager, Industry Communications and Business Development Standardbred Canada Editor, Trot Magazine

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Harness racing trainer Maxime Velaye says he is on "Cloud 9" that his horse, Sports Authority, is in the C$200,000 Prix D'Ete race at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday. The energetic young trainer, who two years ago won his first training title at H3R, has really come of age with his stable and despite his horse being the long shot in the race, is happy just to be in it. "He is feeling great," Velaye said of Sports Authority. "I was very pleased he went a fast mile last week (winning at Rideau Carlton from start to finish in 1:52.4), so he will not be surprised on Sunday following a fast pace." A gelded son of Sportswriter from the Good New Scooter mare, Alcyon Semalu, a 100% producer from six foals, Sports Authority is a half-brother to the $436,000 winner, Style Semalu (p, 5, 1:51). Sports Authority is owned by Guy Corbeil of Mirabel and will start from post seven in the 14th race feature. "I am hoping he will do really well on Sunday." Velaye said. "He has shown the speed in the past. I just need him to do it for four quarter miles and I think he can do it. "I'm really on Cloud 9 right now," Velaye smiled. "It is an honor for me to compete against the best four-year-old's in the business. You always dream about being in a big race like the Prix D'Ete, but now it is no longer a dream but reality. I am proud to represent Trois-Rivieres because we are the local stable." It is a tall order that Velaye and Sports Authority are hoping to do well in the Prix D'Ete. The 2-1 race favorite, Sintra, comes to H3R with seven wins in ten starts and a record of 1:47.2 taken July 1. Just two weeks ago in his last start he won at Mohawk Raceway in 1:48.4. Other contenders include Dr J Hanover, the fastest horse ever in Canada with a record of 1:46.4, Awesomeness, who just won at Mohawk Raceway in 1:50 and then there is the local hometown favorite, Sports Authority, who drew outside in post seven for driver Pierre-Luc Roy. "I am hoping for a "wicked" first half mile," Velaye said as he gave his thoughts on how the race should go. "I'm guessing the #8 horse, Dr J Hanover, is not going to back off from such an outside post and he has shown good early speed in the past. "So, there is a good chance some of the inside horses will leave hard too," Velaye explained. "And if my horse can stay inside and save some ground, he can grab a piece of the pie in the stretch. Plus, I almost forgot, we will most certainly need a lot of luck too! "I remember Dan Dube had Duc D'Orleans in the Prix D'Ete in 2014 and he was the local favorite and long odds and Dan gave him a perfect drive that day and they finished second," Velaye recalled. "Maybe my horse can have the same kind of trip. I am confident that Pierre-Luc will give him the perfect drive." Velaye said he was too young to remember the glory days of the Prix D'Ete back at Blue Bonnet Raceway, "but I have seen many photos of the great horses that have won the race and the huge crowds that would come out to the races back then," Velaye said. "I am hoping that the race fans from all around Quebec and especially Trois-Rivieres," Velaye said. "will come out this Sunday and be cheering loud for us. We can most certainly use that energy to help us score an upset. Just like it would happen in the movies, anything can happen." Track Notes: None of the eight drivers in the big race have ever won the Prix D'Ete before. Trainer Ron Burke is going for his third straight Prix D'Ete victory and Jimmy Takter won it in 2014 with Sunfire Blue Chip. The special 15-race program starts at 2:30 pm. Also on the card are four divisions of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacers with two colt and two filly divisions. Harness racing Hall of Famer, Michel "Mike" Lachance, is the Grand Marshal for this year's Prix D'Ete. He won the Prix D'Ete back to back with Matt's Scooter in 1988 and Goalie Jeff in 1989. Driver James MacDonald, fresh off capturing the World Driving Championship Friday night, will be at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday, driving Awesomeness in the Prix D'Ete. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

VERNON, NY-- Sitting off a contested front, Yes Mickey snuck up the pylons to edge past harness racing 6-5 favorite Ariana G and upset at 34-1 in the $320,000 Dr. Harry Zweig Memorial on Friday, August 18 at Vernon Downs. Long Tom grabbed the front from Yes Mickey before a :26.4 first quarter. Ariana G, sitting third, edged outside and brushed to the lead off a :55.1 half. Devious Man, behind International Moni stalled first over, loomed wide and trotted towards Ariana G's wheel, pressuring the leader through a 1:23.3 third-quarter while Long Tom drifted off the rail, giving room to Yes Mickey. Yes Mickey gradually approached the leader up the inside, getting his nose in front within the final sixteenth and edging away to win by a neck over Ariana G in a lifetime-best effort of 1:51.4. Devious Man finished third and International Moni finished fourth. A three-year-old gelding by Muscle Hill from the Pine Chip mare My Favorite Chip, Yes Mickey won his second race in ten starts, earning $223,087 for owner Mellby Gard Inc. Trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, he paid $71.00 to win. "He's a very nice trotter, but it has been hard for him to win races -- he always finishes second -- but today was the right race to win," Svanstedt said. "He was very good the whole race and when I [got] free on the inside, he did it easy." Yes Mickey Svanstedt completed a sweep of the Zweig finals when Evelyn shook loose off a pocket trip to win the $135,000 Filly Final in 1:54.1. Sitting behind a tempo of :27, :57, and 1:25.4 set by Feed Your Head and pressure from Sunshine Delight parked first-over, Evelyn managed to weave through the dueling leaders midway through the stretch to win by a length over Sunshine Delight, with Feed Your Head faltering to third and Glitzey Gal recovering from an early break to take fourth. Racing for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, Borje Nasstrom, and Silva Stable 45, Evelyn won her fourth race in 20 starts, pushing her career earnings to $192,166. Driven by Andy Miller, she paid $16.00 to win. "I felt really good except I was a little claustrophobic looking for a little room," Andy Miller said. "She felt really good, I was just kind of waiting, biding my time to get a little room there, and when she got room, she took off." Evelyn New York-sired freshmen colt pacers competed on the undercard of the Zweig Memorial, competing in three $37,266 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) divisions as well as two splits of the Excelsior A and B Series. Lagging off a hot pace set by Courtly Choice, Hitman Hill struck around the far turn, brushing to a two-length lead over Keystone Tenacious and Topville Olympian rallying late in a 1:50.4 mile in the first NYSS division. Owned by Tom Hill and North Fork Racing Stable, trained by Chris Oakes, and driven by Brett Miller, he paid $12.80 to win. Casual Cool took the second NYSS split after taking the lead before the half, winning in 1:52.2 over Paprike Blue Chip and I Soar Him First. Owned by Kenneth Jacobs, trained by Linda Toscano, and driven by Jason Bartlett, he paid $6.70 to win. Mr Profeta snagged the final NYSS division, sitting off a slow pace set by odds-on favorite Jimtastic and rallying to a 1:54 score over American Vision and My Delight. Owned by Anatolia Farm LLC, trained by Roland Mallar, and driven by Scott Zeron, he paid $14.00. Rockapelo, by Rock N Roll Heaven from the Camluck mare Capelo Rose, won his division of the Excelsior A Series going wire to wire in 1:53.1, while Prophet Blue Chip, a gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Artsplace mare Weeping Wannabe, won off a pocket ride in 1:55.3 Rockapelo, owned by Enviro Stables LTD, trained by Linda Toscano, and driven by Jason Bartlett, paid $5.80 to win. Prophet Blue Chip, competing for trainer David Dziengiel with partners Robert Sholes and Edward Davis, was driven by Andy Miller and paid $16.80 to win. Brinks Job, by Roll With Joe from the American Ideal mare Exclamation, and Buckeys Brat, by Quick Pulse Mindale out of the Real Artist mare Artists Jewels, won their Excelsior B divisions going wire to wire, doing so in 1:54 and 1:54.1 respectively. Brinks Job, paying $3.60, races for owner Rick Berks, is trained Michael Deters, and was driven by Brett Miller. Buckeys Brat, returning $6.20, is owned by trainer Lawrence La Page and was driven by Jason Bartlett. Live racing at Vernon Downs resumes Saturday, August 19 with a 13-race program that kicks off at 6:45pmET. By Ray Cotolo, for Vernon Downs        

Charlottetown, PEI -- Canadian harness racing driver James MacDonald of Guelph, Ont. clinched the 2017 World Driving Championship (WDC), and its $25,000 top prize Friday evening (August 18) at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park, Prince Edward Island. In a night to remember, a capacity crowd witnessed the hometown triumph of MacDonald, the first-ever Canadian to claim the international title on home turf. MacDonald entered the fifth and final day of competition with a 26-point lead over Finland's Mika Forss. Without a win in the first three races to clinch the overall points lead, MacDonald sealed his claim to the WDC title in the night's final of four races by earning four points for an eighth-place finish with Instant Shadow. The Canadian reinsman amassed a total of 211 WDC tournament points, ultimately besting overall runner-up Forss, who completed his drives with an accumulated 193 points for second. Marcus Miller, from the United States, tallied 181.5 points to round out the top three WDC drivers.      The 31-year-old Prince Edward Island native returned to his home province as the only one of the 11 WDC contestants to have won at least one race at each track leading up to the final leg of the tournament. MacDonald won two of five heats at Century Downs in Alberta on Saturday (August 12), teaming up with Lucky Lucka and Barossa Blue Genes, before prevailing with Mystery Bet on Monday (August 14) at his current home base of Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. He went on to double up again at Georgian Downs on Tuesday (August 15), reaching the winner's enclosure with Shemars Lulu and Walk The Plank, before earning his sixth WDC win at Québec's Hippodrome 3R on Wednesday (August 16) aboard Federal Strike.   Hosted by Standardbred Canada, the World Driving Championship is held every two years in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference. The 2017 editions of the events coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.  MacDonald is now the fourth Canadian driver to win the World Driving Championship, the first to do so on Canadian soil. Hervé Filion won the inaugural edition in 1970; his nephew Sylvain Filion won in 1999; and Jody Jamieson won the 2001 and 2011 editions of the WDC. 2017 World Driving Championship Leaderboard (final) Rank - Driver (Country) - Points 1. James MacDonald (Canada) - 211 2. Mika Forss (Finland) - 193 3. Marcus Miller (United States) - 181.5 4. Dexter Dunn (ITA/New Zealand) - 166 5. Björn Goop (Sweden) - 152 6. Noel Baldacchino (Malta) - 148 7. Eirik Høitomt (Norway) - 136 8. Shane Graham (Australia) - 135 8. Gerhard Mayr (Austria) - 135 10. Mark Purdon (New Zealand) - 124.5 11. Rik Depuydt (Belgium) - 107   A more detailed release will follow.   Jeff Porchak World Driving Championship Media Liaison standardbredcanada.ca

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