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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It has been a long time between drinks for harness racing's 2015 Hambletonian champion Pinkman, but his extended wait to return to the winner's circle is finally over. The Jimmy Takter trainee, who last won on May 29, 2016 in a stakes event in Sweden, took the featured conditioned trot Friday night at the Meadowlands in 1:52 by a half-length over Misslarose. Opulent Yankee finished third. Prior to his score in Sweden, Pinkman's previous North American victory came in the October 10, 2015 Kentucky Futurity, two months after he hoisted Hambletonian hardware. Friday night, driver Andy McCarthy was in the sulky as Pinkman, who never saw the rail, was in a live second-over flow heading for three-quarters. He tipped off his cover in midstretch and rolled to his 19th career win in 42 starts for owners C. Takter, John and Jim Fielding, J. McClelland and H. Liverman. Lifetime, the 6-year-old gelded son of Explosive Matter has earned $2.65 million. As the 3-1 second choice in the wagering, Pinkman returned $8.00 to win. Lindy The Great, the 3-2 public choice, broke stride before the quarter. HAMBO HOPEFULS: The Paula Wellwood-trained Southwind Chrome crushed an overmatched field in a non-winners of two earlier on the card. The Hambletonian eligible, a son of Chapter Seven, was driven by Scott Zeron and completed the mile in 1:54 as the 1-5 favorite for his first-ever win in his fifth start. Zephyr Kronos, trained and driven by Takter, won a non-winners of three later in the evening. The son of Ready Cash, another Hambo eligible, scored on the front end in 1:53 as the 5-1 third choice in the wagering. A LITTLE MORE: The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $262,148. ... One lucky player walked away with $11,470 after being the only bettor to survive eight legs in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-9. ... All-source wagering on the nine-race card totaled $1,767,338. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

The following story appeared today on the Paulickreport.com by Joe Gorajec. This is a story of a positive test for a Class 1 drug that was lost for eight months, then ignored for a year, only to resurface now. Here's the short version. On September 11, 2016, a field of eight Standardbreds competed in the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship at Harrah's Philadelphia in Chester, Pa. Ten days later, the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory (PETRL), the official racing laboratory, issued a report to Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission (PHRC) headquarters in Harrisburg with a finding of oxycodone in the blood and urine of a horse that won part of the purse money. What happens next is – nothing. At least nothing happened for the next eight months. From September 21, 2016, until approximately May 31, 2017, this information remained in limbo. Not even the judges at the track were aware of the lab report. After May 31, 2017, the matter was ignored. Below is a statement from Brett Revington, director, Pennsylvania Bureau of Standardbred Horse Racing. It's dated June 19, 2018, and was sent to me via email in response to several questions I asked for an article that I was writing on this matter. It is important to note that this statement is the first public acknowledgment of the positive test: I can confirm that the 9th race of September 11, 2016 was the PA Sire Stakes Championship. On May 31, 2017, I became aware that there was a test result by PETRL on a particular sample for the 9th race of September 11, 2016 that had not been called.  At the time, the Commission and the Bureau were in a state of transition in a few key personnel areas and unfortunately, this test result was not timely addressed. When we discovered the PETRL test result approximately nine months later, we concluded, in consultation with our legal department, that due to the unusual length of time between the race date and our discovery date, we decided that we could not properly proceed with the matter against the individual trainer or owner. The matter has been closed since June of 2017. No penalties were imposed as a result of human error. In light of this circumstance, new procedures we're (sic) put in place to prevent another such occurrence. There are three non-negotiable characteristics that are expected of racing's regulators: Be fair, be consistent, and be transparent. Fail in any of these areas, and you lose the trust and respect of the public. Or in this case specifically, the horsemen. Fairness and Consistency The positive finding from the lab on the Sire Stakes horse did not occur in a vacuum. In the latter half of 2016, the PHRC and the drug oxycodone were not strangers. The PHRC prosecuted four laboratory findings of oxycodone between July 2016 and December 2016. Here is a synopsis of relevant laboratory findings in the above-mentioned time period. In all four cases that penalties were assessed, the judges were notified within days of the lab report's being issued. Their first step was to promptly notify the horse's trainer. Each trainer received a year suspension and a $5,000 fine and the purses were ordered to be forfeited and redistributed. Each trainer appealed. The penalties were reduced due to mitigating factors. The suspensions and fines were rescinded but the purses remained forfeited. The oxycodone finding in the Sire Stakes Championship was the only outlier. No notice. No hearing. No appeal. No forfeiture of purse. Owners and trainers in the $252,000 stakes race were denied money that was retained by the connections of a horse testing positive for oxycodone. Is that fair and consistent? Transparency Even after eight months in limbo the judges were ready to proceed with the standard protocol. But as soon as the lab finding came to their attention in late May 2017 they got word to back off. Don Harmon was the Presiding Judge at the Chester track. The judges were told by Mr. Revington not to pursue this matter. Mr. Revington had become Mr. Harmon's supervisor when Mr. Revington was hired in November 2017 as the director of the Bureau of Standardbred Horse Racing. How unusual was Mr. Remington's directive? Mr. Harmon said, “There has never been a time in my 25 years of judging that I received a report for a positive test that I didn't follow up on it. Until this time.” Mr. Harmon met with Mr. Revington twice in person to voice his concerns. According to Mr. Harmon's calendar, the first meeting took place on June 4, 2017, at the Oxford Diner in Oxford, Pa. This meeting was held at Mr. Harmon's request. His main purpose at the meeting was to discuss the lack of action on the laboratory findings in the 2016 Sire Stakes Championship. “I told him we can't do that, I don't want to be any part of that. I said it's wrong. I said it's a positive test. I have the paperwork and we have to treat this like any other positive test.” According to Mr. Harmon, Mr. Revington could not be persuaded. This case was not going to be pursued. Undeterred, Mr. Harmon met again with Mr. Revington later in the summer at the track in Chester to plead his case. “We had another discussion about it. I told him I can't be any part of it. Something needs to be done. These things are going to come out and somebody is going to get in trouble for this.” Mr. Harmon added, “He just told me that nobody would ever find out, and nobody would ever do anything with it.” The Chester meet ended on December 17, 2017. The following day, Mr. Revington informed Mr. Harmon that his employment with the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission was being terminated. Mr. Harmon had served as a judge in Chester for 10 years. The only reason given was that they wanted to move in a different direction. Reprinted with permission from the Paulick Report

Top trainer Ryan Hryhorec is certain to win his fifth South Australian trainer’s premiership but still has goals to achieve before season’s end. Hryhorec has 75 winners in the state this season and would like to better his career-best of 88 set in the 2015/16 season but he also would love to reach 100 winners in a season. “I came close in that 2015/16,” Hryhorec said. “Apart from the 88 locally, I also had 11 interstate for 99 and had Star Brutus in at the last meeting at Globe Derby Park. “He looked a good winning chance, but a race incident saw me lock wheels and he didn’t win so 100 would be a great achievement.” With five interstate wins so far this season, Hryhorec is on 80 nationally and knows that another 20 winners in just over two months is a tough ask. “I have to train roughly three a week for the rest of the season. I have 30 horses in work, but it is going to be hard.” Hryhorec believes he has three strong chances at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. Live For Peace and The Damage Done look excellent hopes in the two heats of the Wunderland Cup while the squaregaiter Gin also looks a winning chance. Live For Peace comes from gate eight in the Hann’s Horse Transport Winter Wunderland Cup, heat one (1800m) while The Damage Done will start from barrier five in the Pronto United Finance Winter Wunderland Cup, heat two (1800m). Gin will start from a 10 metre handicap in the DPR Insurance Brokers Trotters Handicap (2230m). “Live For Peace will be fitter for his win last week at Globe Derby Park,” Hryhorec said. “He had a slight setback before the run so will be fitter this week and even better for the final. “I will look to come off the inside row draw early and hopefully he will be good enough to come around and win. “The Damage Done put up a tough performance at Strathalbyn at his last start and with luck in running should be hard to beat on Saturday. “Gin looks well placed. She raced roughly at her last two runs at Strathalbyn, but I won well on her at Globe Derby Park previously and provided she trots should be hard to beat.” Hryhorec also sits second on the SA Drivers’ premiership with 131 winners and would love to reach 150 by season’s end. On Sunday at Port Pirie, Hryhorec has Supernova Silvia and Darkndapper engaged in the Drivers Invitation series and believes they are drawn to prove excellent chances. “Supernova Silvia looks a great hope but while he has drawn well Darkndapper is meeting tougher opposition than his recent wins.” See form expert Ben Harding’s thoughts on trotsguide.com.au where he has comment and selections for all seven races.   Graham Fischer

The heart of a horse is approximately eight pounds. The heart of a racehorse can nearly double or triple that with a range of 18 to 22 pounds. A Standardbred harness racing horse trots at just about or over 30 miles an hour. They can pace at about 35 to 40 miles an hour. Every bit of the horse is being used to break barriers of distance over less times. The muscles of the legs are a driven power that pull the horse forward with every thump to the ground. The ears, the eyes, the nose guiding the horse towards the direction of the finish line. The mouth controlled by driver on board to steer to victory. Air is circulated through the nostrils and into the respiratory system, into the lungs. The lungs have a capacity of about 55 liters, which is the equivalent of approximately three water buckets. People naturally have a lung capacity of about 6 liters. These differences are what make a racehorse unique and powerful. Horses have nearly the same anatomical and physiological make-up; yet, one horse paces wire-to-wire in 49.1 while the horse in the same race finishes up the track in over two minutes. The great natural set apart is the heart. Not just the anatomy or conditioning of the heart, but the heart of the horse that drives its behavior – their inner motivation. Horsemen recognize the power and potential of their horses. They can give a biography and stats book for each horse in their barn. There are, too, people who have this power and potential. Strength and resilience that may seem to go unnoticed. However, the success in the end is not, in fact, unnoticed. Horsemen harness this power to share their success and share their hard work by just sending a horse to the track. Thus, this story is about one of those people who possesses that strength and resilience and his name is Mike Deters. “I can go on and on about what a good person and great horseman Mike is. His stats tell it all!” owner, breeder and driver Laurie Poulin said. Mike Deters was born in Ohio and raised in Florida, when his family moved to race at Pompano Park in 1966. In 1975, he moved again to Michigan where he attended high school and college. Ten years later in 1985, Mike moved back down to Florida, where he considers home to be. He was born and raised in the horse business. His father, Bill, was a driver-trainer. “I have known Mike Deters since I was seven years old,” trainer Jake Huff said. “His father did blacksmith work in my father’s stable. They moved to my town. His father became a trainer at our stable and I have been around Mike for most of my life. He is a good worker and a good friend with high principles.” When his dad died in 1985 from cancer, Mike went into the business full time. Deters has been training his own stable since 1985. He has been a driver, trainer, and owner from the beginning. He was involved in the FSBOA for approximately 15 years, being president of the association for around five to six years. Mike used to drive, but decided he was a much better trainer than driver. Today, he drives occasionally with the “problem children” as he puts it. When asked who he looked up to in the harness business, Deters describes his father. “My dad was a great horseman. He could do it all – drive, train, and was one of the best blacksmiths I have ever seen. “He thought to be nice to people and instilled in me a great work ethic. He said, ‘if you are not afraid to work, you will never go hungry’”. Deters says his mother, Marilyn, has been a tremendous supporter of his forever. His wife, Shelly, has been his backbone forever. His son, Michael, has been a huge help both in and out of the horse game. He also has two sisters, Melanie and Liz. Melanie is married to trainer-driver Peter Wrenn and Liz lives in North Carolina and is outside of the racing business, living the “normal life”. Recently, Mike had been diagnosed with cancer. “I went through a pretty brutal bout of stage 4 cancer in the head and neck. I went through eight chemo treatments and 33 radiation sessions and have a clean bill of health now,” Deters said. The sport of harness racing is much more than just that. It is comparable to life. It is the lives of many, if not all, horsemen. As with the races, there are ups and downs in life. One week a stable can hit the board with every horse and the next, not make a dime. It is the long run that counts. The long hours in the barn – early in the morning, first one to show and late at night, last one to leave. Being a part of this business means inviting the horses and the owners into your family. It isn’t just about winning, it is about the relationships you form – with horses and with other horsemen. “I would like to thank my wife, son, family, and all my owners for sticking with me through treatment and hope for continued success. I would also like to thank a couple people for helping along the way. John Spindler, my mentor and a father-like figure to me growing up after my dad died. I couldn’t have done it without him. And Joe Kunkel and his daughter, Betty, who I am still partners with. They both helped my wife and I tremendously along the way.” – Mike Deters Mike would also like to pay tribute to his late father-in-law, Tom Sells. Mike has had a partnership with Laurie Poulin for about eleven years. “The first few years were pretty lean, but she has upgraded her broodmare band and the last few years have been very successful,” said Mike.  “Laurie manages a breeding farm and I just try to make the babies she has go, hopefully fast.” “Mike and I have a great partnership and our families are very close. We both have been around a long time and we understand about having the good and the bad,” said Poulin. “We agree on just about everything, the only difference we have is that I want to keep them ALL,” she laughed. The two have known each other for about twenty years or more. They met through Terry Kerr, still a great friend to both Laurie and Mike to this day. Mike started driving a mare, Lobro Zepher, for Laurie in the open mares whenever Terry had his horse in the same race. Later, Mike started turning horses out at Laurie’s farm. At the time, Poulin was breeding a few mares and had some foals that would need to be broke in the near future. So, the two started to barter and that is how “things started to roll” as Laurie put it. “Joe Pennacchio gave me Arapa Victory to start my breeding operation on one condition,” Laurie recalled. “That I would give his favorite horse, Fox Valley Trump, who Mike drove and gave him his lifetime mark, would have a forever home with me.” “Prairie Big John started our partnership about eleven years ago. We have had a few that didn’t make it but we have had a lot that did and it have been quite a ride!” Laurie said. “Mike is as honest as it gets and cares so much for the well-being of the horses in his care. Believe me, he’ll tell you in a minute if one is not fast enough and not going to make it.” Working in the harness racing business and working with horses, horsemen begin to form relationships with those horses. People begin to understand the horse’s attitude and quirks, how to handle the horse, or their favorite treat. They accommodate the horse and in the long run, benefit themselves and their stable. This form of time-driven observation happens everywhere. Humans are observational animals that make decisions and judgments based on their current observations connected to past experiences. Yet, the only difference here is that this relationship created is made with a different species with no form of solid communication whatsoever. Still, horsemen acquire this ability to read their horse throughout their ownership. They can assign personalities and emotional qualities to each horse. Ultimately, all of these abilities and observations leads to the picking of a favorite. Of course, all horsemen can love and treat their animals equally. However, there is always one, or perhaps more than one, particular horse that stands out among the rest in a ranking of favorites. There are many reasons for choosing this particular horse. Maybe it was a world champion or maybe it was a calm horse with a sensible attitude. Maybe the personality of the horse matched or maybe there was a great length of time of ownership. No matter what – there is always at least one, especially if time working in the business is a great length of time. Mike Deters was readily able to list seven of his favorite horses: Prairie Fortune, Prairie Sweetheart, Prairie Jaguar, Motor City Madman, Jersey Gigilo, Summer Class, and Nononsenseyankee. According to Deters, Summer Class was Mike’s first really good horse that he has ever had. Nononsenseyankee was very fast, Mike’s first 1:50 horse, and bought his wife a new kitchen. Prairie Jaguar was Mike’s first 1:49 horse. Mike says his best horse he has ever had was Prairie Sweetheart. “She was a natural, a freak. Her motor was unbelievable,” he said. “Also, Prairie Fortune. He was as honest as the day is long and shows up every week.” While Deters has owned these and many other fast and powerful racehorses, he says his greatest accomplishment is finding his wife, Shelly, and having a son, Michael. “They are my biggest supporters. Shelly is my rock. She keeps me grounded and my head on straight.” His greatest harness racing related accomplishment is being able to make a living, according to Mike. It is developing young horses and having success. Besides following his lifetime passion of harness racing, Mike says he likes to golf and to bowl. “I am not very good at either, but I really enjoy both,” said Mike. Laurie Poulin recalls three specific moments to be her best moments with the Deters Stable. The first is getting her picture taken eleven times in a row with Prairie Sweetheart. The second, having their first undefeated two-year-old, Owosso Flash, that was undefeated at two and three with Mike doing all the driving. He was big brother to Prairie Sweetheart. “I cannot forget my gentle giant, Prairie Jaguar,” Laurie said. The third best moment so far in their journey and partnership is this horse having the record at Pompano for the most wins of 1:50 or better in a row. “I think it was five!” He is currently training around 30 head at Tioga Downs this summer. “When I was asked to write something down about Mike Deters, I came up with a lot to say, but I will be brief. He is a very good man to work for. He works alongside of us all. He gives 110% all the time. He would make a good role model to all,” Debbie Gagnon, a dedicated groom for Deters Stable, said. Mike Deters is a true horseman for life. He was raised into the business and has worked his way to the top. He has the heart and strength of a racehorse as he has fought off cancer, is now is remission and still goes to the stable every morning. By Jessica Hallett, for Harnesslink

Harness Racing Victoria today announced prizemoney for the 2018 Inter Dominion (ID) series of races.   For pacers, the prizemoney will be distributed across three rounds of three heats ($30,000 per heat), a $50,000 Consolation Final and a $500,000 Group 1 Grand Final, while for trotters there will be three rounds of two trotting heats ($20,000 a heat) and a $150,000 Group 1 Grand Final.   Harness Racing New South Wales and Harness Racing New Zealand confirmed the same prizemoney for Inter Dominion finals over the following two years.   The ID hosts acknowledged the importance of maintaining the Inter Dominion’s position as Australasia’s premier harness racing series, while also committing to a financially sustainable model that ensures its survival.   Speaking on behalf of the ID hosts, HRV CEO David Martin said: “By working together we have ensured the future for the Inter Dominion series at a level that the three jurisdictions can afford.   “The Inter Dominion brand and tradition is an essential part of the Australasian harness racing industry. Our collaboration means we can all continue to celebrate our champions and feature their battles to hold the illustrious title of Inter Dominion champion.   “From the first night of heats this year on 1 December through to the final on 15 December, HRV will deliver an event that re-engages past trots-lovers and attracts new fans to our international sport.”   For the first time in 10 years Victoria will host the Inter Dominion, with both trotters and pacers being featured.   Cody Winnell 

The New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Association welcomes the arrival of New Zealand Bloodstock into the harness racing community.   You read that right.   Last Thursday the New Zealand harness racing industry was delivered the news that New Zealand’s leading bloodstock company was entering the Standardbred market.   The feedback since has been overwhelmingly positive. Breeders, vendors, purchasers and horsemen and horsewomen have all been quick to rejoice.   This comes as no surprise given in recent years, many breeders had voiced concerns surrounding the direction and future of the only platform they had to sell young bloodstock in New Zealand.   Marketing of the sales, health & safety concerns, along with a declining buyer bench were some of the pertinent issues at hand for vendors.   The future is now a lot clearer, and that future looks to be with NZB Standardbred.   “We have plans to take this to a whole new level – it won’t just be business as usual,” said New Zealand Bloodstock’s Managing Director Andrew Seabrook this week.   “Sir Peter Vela (one of two brothers who established New Zealand Bloodstock in the mid-90s headquartered at the world-class Karaka Sales Centre) is really excited by the challenge and the opportunity to grow the company.”   With access to a range of proven bloodstock, finance, airfreight and insurance services, and increased promotion to domestic and international markets, the harness racing community is assured of a company working in their best interests on several fronts.   Seabrook says NZB prides itself on its lease-to-own scheme and its in-house finance division.   “All I know is our business got a huge shot in the arm in 1997 when, after being purchased by the Vela brothers, we opened up a credit arm and started financing both short and long-term.   “We see it as a pretty significant part of our thoroughbred business, giving people an opportunity to secure their future breeding stock, and it has been a very successful endeavor for us.   “For young trainers, especially, this will significantly change their approach to the sales,” commented Seabrook.   “After the 2017 Sales, breeders asked the NZBSA to advocate for changes with PGW,” said NZSBA Chairman John Mooney.   “The primary concerns were around the lack of marketing and the diminishing small buyers bench. We are confident that the NZB ‘machine’ will address these issues aggressively.   “They are a company whose sole focus is selling horses. Andrew Seabrook and his team have made it clear to ‘The Breeders’ that they will leave no stone unturned when supporting vendors.”   New Zealand Bloodstock has an illustrious track record of success as the source of New Zealand champions to the global thoroughbred market.   The New Zealand Standardbred is a world class equine athlete capable of dominating on the world stage.   The Australians know it, so too the North American industry.   NZB’s Andrew Seabrook is also aware of the dominance of the New Zealand Standardbred.   “Obviously, the thoroughbred breeding industry is much more aligned to international markets and the yearling sales rely heavily upon those buyers.   “But when one market dries up you have to try and develop other markets and we have people employed to do that.   “I think the New Zealand Standardbred has probably been more successful than the thoroughbreds in Australia in recent times and that’s something which should be promoted.   “The American market especially, looks to have been neglected in recent years.   “But with some good New Zealand-bred horses up there like Lazarus, we plan on making a splash in that market, too.   “We are quite excited about the future of this and are not going in to this lightly.”   Highlights   Yearling Sales: Yearlings will sell in their traditional February timeslot at both the Karaka and Christchurch venues. The entry fee will slightly increase by $50 (+GST) at each venue, however entries will be invoiced in January and deducted from the yearling sale proceeds.   There is a confirmed commitment to holding a Christchurch Sale.    Payments to vendors will be received within 30 days of sale.   Yearling, Weanling & All Age Sale: A big change to the current market will be the ability to sell yearlings at the Christchurch Yearling, Weanling & All Age Sale in late April – with all yearling stock going through each ring to be Sales Series eligible.   Breeders have been wanting this concept for years, and it can only be positive. Yearlings that need time or may suffer an injury close to February now have another opportunity to be sold for their vendors.   Two-Year-Old Sale: September 2019 will see a return of the Ready-to-Run format. This could potentially open a speculative buying market at both the Yearling and Weanling Sales. Particularly with NZB’s finance facilities such as pin hook funding.   Horsemen and horsewomen, and breeders have another platform to chance their arm on stock purchased or retained with a view to get them up and going for a sale at the 2YO Sale.   Finance Facilities: Through NZB’s own finance arm, pin hook funding and lease to purchase facilities on fillies and mares, purchasers will find life much easier to secure bloodstock at the Sales.   Marketing: The NZB marketing machine have already hit the ground running with digital media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram already in use with the Standardbred handle.   Sales Calendar   2019 New Zealand National Standardbred Yearling Sale: Auckland Sale 17 & 18 February at Karaka Christchurch Sale 19 & 20 February at Canterbury Agricultural Park Entries Open: 01 July Entries Close: 01 August   2019 New Zealand National Standardbred Yearling, Weanling & All Age Sale: Christchurch Sale, 29 April   2019 New Zealand National Standardbred Weanling & All Age Sale: Auckland Sale at Karaka, May - date tbc   2019 New Zealand National Standardbred 2YO Sale: Christchurch Sale, September - date tbc     Brad Reid New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Association  

Catch me if you can will be champion reinsman Gary Hall Junior’s mantra when he plans to take full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier with One Off Delight in the $100,000 Westbred Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “The last time he led was four starts ago at Gloucester Park when he won pretty convincingly,” said Hall. “So, setting the pace will be my intention on Friday night.” One Off Delight warmed up for this week’s assignment with a sound third behind Major Pocket and Slick Artist last Tuesday fortnight when he finished solidly after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. One Off Delight is the first foal out of New Zealand-bred mare Tiger Su, who won once from 11 starts in New Zealand and three times from nine starts in WA in 2012. Tiger Su’s dam Tigerish was an outstanding juvenile performer in New Zealand and retired with earnings of $491,957 from 15 wins and 21 placings from 79 starts. The main dangers to One Off Delight appear to be Thisbeachrighthere and Murphys Bettor. Thisbeachrighthere (barrier five) was a winner at Ballarat and Melton as a two-year-old and he has impressed with three wins and a third placing from five starts in WA for owner-trainers Greg and Skye Bond. Thisbeachrighthere was untroubled to set the pace from barrier two and win by 8m from Arma Rich Girl over 2185m at Pinjarra three Mondays ago when he dashed over the final quarters in 27.9sec. and 28.1sec. Murphys Bettor, an inexperienced gelding with two wins from eight starts, will begin from barrier four with Chris Voak in the sulky. He resumed after an absence of four months when he made most of the running and won easily from Kamendable Joe over 2190m at Northam on May 29. “Murphys Bettor has had a bit of an interrupted campaign, but is certainly capable of winning,” said Voak. “He is one of those horses who does just what he needs to do. He’s a casual, cool dude.” Murphys Bettor is prepared by Ross Olivieri, who has trained 98 winners this season and has several good each-way prospects among his ten runners on Friday night. Highroller Joe, trained in Busselton by Jamie Howlett, has shown promise with three wins from nine starts and has each-way prospects from the inside of the back line. He impressed when he scored an easy win in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning, with final quarters in 27.1sec. and 27.8sec. Ken Casellas

New Zealand’s most successful ever horseman is finally over one of the worst injuries of his career. But don’t expect to see champion driver Tony Herlihy back at Alexandra Park tomorrow night or any time in the next month. Herlihy resumed driving fast work at his South Auckland training established this week, over five weeks after a race smash at Alexandra Park left him with ribs broken in a particularly nasty place. That ruled Herlihy — who has won more races than any other New Zealand-based driver or jockey —out of the Harness Jewels and a spectator at his own stables for much of the first month. “It took a while to get over, longer than last time I had a similar injury, but it is good to be back driving fast work,” he said. “But I am not going to rush back into race driving. I am going on holiday in a few weeks and I rather give the injured ribs that extra time to recover. “So I probably won’t be back driving on racenight for another three or even four weeks.” That will see his stable’s young reinsmen Tony Cameron and junior Luke Whittaker do the majority of his driving at what is admittedly a quieter time of the season. But Herlihy still has some major winter goals with juvenile trotter Tickle Me Pink, who is being set for an Australian campaign. The previously unbeaten filly broke for no apparent reason at the start of her Jewels final but is heading to Victoria in early August. “We are still keen to take her to the Breeders Crown, especially as there is a separate juvenile filly trotting section which she is eligible for. “So she might also go to the Redwood at Maryborough before that and could even contest her Breeders Crown heat over there in Victoria depending on how the timing works out.”  Herlihy’s stable star Temporale has also rejoined the stable after a huge season which saw him win the National Trot and finish second in two of Australia’s biggest races. That form plateaued toward the end of the season but Temporale raced like a horse still growing into his big frame and could be even better next season. “He looks like he has put a bit of muscle on and all going well we will give him a shot at Cup week in Christchurch this time in.” Michael Guerin

When owner Gary Iles reflects on Lather Up's win in last week's Pepsi North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park, he cannot help but feel blessed. Iles and his wife Barbara watched their homebred colt overcome a number of obstacles and horses to reach the top of the 3-year-old pacing ranks with his win in the C$1 million race. "There is one horse a year that gets to do this," Iles said. "I'm 79 years old; I thought I was running out of time. Thank God it worked out and I had my opportunity and we succeeded. I'm humbled by it. I'm humbled by the whole thing. We're very fortunate. "There were 79 horses nominated (to the North America Cup) and 29 started and to think that out of that you end up being the best of the best. It's a wonderful situation. You have to be blessed." Montrell Teague drove Lather Up, the 3-5 favorite, to victory for trainer Clyde Francis and the George Teague Jr. training stable. Montrell Teague and Francis finished second with Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 2-5 favorite, in the 2015 North America Cup. "It made me want it more since I lost it with Wiggles," the 27-year-old Teague said. "It's a million-dollar race, the first million-dollar race I ever won, so to be added to that list and add that to my accomplishments, it feels great." Added Francis, "We went up there with Wiggles and were the best going into the race, but anything can happen. It's horseracing. Going to the final (with Lather Up) I really thought we had a good shot at it. But I wasn't going to say anything before, just keep it to myself. When it was over, it was a great feeling." Iles, Teague and Francis all were happy with Lather Up's trip in the North America Cup, which saw him get to the front in a :26.3 opening quarter, yield the top spot briefly to Done Well, and retake the lead prior to reaching the half-mile point in :54.1. From there, Lather Up led to three-quarters in 1:21.3 before winning by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:48.1. "I got the trip that I didn't expect to get, but the trip that I wanted," Teague said. "I was happy when (Done Well) came and Montrell retook and no one else came," Iles said. "I thought we had a shot at it then because I know (Lather Up) has that good speed coming home. That's the way it worked out. I'm just amazed he has that kick at the end. But you don't take it for granted until he crosses that wire because a lot can happen." Said Francis, "When he moved him back to the front I thought he was in a good spot there because they were going to have to come after him. (At the top of the stretch) I was still pretty confident; Montrell hadn't urged him. When he popped the plugs, it was over. They weren't getting to him. Every start he raced, when they came off the turn and hit the lane he was ready to roll. Everything worked out well." All that remained was a trip to the winner's circle, where the Iles were joined by family and friends. "There were all those (camera) shutters going off and everyone saying, 'Look here, look here, look here.' It was quite amazing," Iles said. "It was a wonderful feeling. I was really thankful for the support we had. "More than that, the horse is down in history. That's something quite exciting." Lather Up will look to remain undefeated in 2018 Saturday when he competes in the third of three Max C. Hempt Memorial eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Lather Up, who is 6-for-6 this season, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in his elim, which also includes North America Cup runner-up Done Well. The top three finishers from each elimination advance to the $500,000 Hempt final on June 30 at Pocono. Saturday's card also features eliminations for the Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters and James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. "It's a tough field, a very tough field," Iles said about the Hempt. "I'm happy to be there. When you're doing this shipping, a lot of horses come down with some kind of sickness. Fortunately, it hasn't hit us. Hopefully, it doesn't hit anybody. But it's always a concern." "I think he will be all right," Francis said. "He's in with a bunch of the same horses he raced (last) Saturday night. He trained good today and came out of it well. We're just hoping for the best." Following the win in the North America Cup, Lather Up moved up to No. 2 in the sport's weekly rankings, trailing only 6-year-old female trotter Hannelore Hanover, the defending Horse of the Year in the U.S. and Canada. Lather Up was the only 3-year-old male pacer among the top 14 horses in the poll. "It's still early," Teague said. "Mine looks the most exciting so far, but any of them can step up at any time. That was the first big race, but there are plenty more. You never know who is going to step up. "But so far it's definitely fun. He's looking like the good horse we thought he was going to be. Even more." For Saturday's complete Pocono entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

ANDERSON, IN.- Driver Peter Wrenn joined elite company as he became the 14th driver in harness racing history to reach 10,000 career driving wins at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, June 19. A winner of more than $72 million in lifetime purse earnings, Wrenn joins harness racing greats Herve Filion, Cat Manzi, Dave Palone, Tony Morgan, Walter Case Jr., and Dave Magee in the elusive 10,000 win club. Wrenn needed three wins coming into Tuesday's card and with five scheduled mounts, he found the winner's circle three times to reach the milestone. Wrenn collected win 9,998 with Skyway Jewel in race three and win 9,999 in the very next race behind Mr Gorgeous for trainer Larry King. Win number 10,000 came as Wrenn steered Blue Power to a gate to wire maiden breaking victory for trainer Ron Otto. Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager, Rick Moore, along with Wrenn's family and friends, were in the winner's circle to congratulate and acknowledge his accomplishment. "What an accomplishment," Moore noted. "On behalf of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and Centaur Gaming, I would like to congratulate Peter on this monumental milestone. He now joins elite harness racing company and we are honored to have Peter as part of the driving colony at Hoosier Park." The Michigan native recorded his first win in 1978 and by the mid-1990s was winning driving titles all over the country. Wrenn has competed in nearly every major race to date and included in his impressive array of major stakes wins are two prestigious Breeders Crown wins and a victory in the Jugette with Paige Nicole Q. Wrenn won a career-high 634 races in 2007 and has surpassed the $2 million mark in purse earnings seven out of the last ten seasons. "First and foremost, I would like to thank all the owners and trainers that have given me the opportunity to drive so many great horses over the years," Wrenn noted after the victory. "I've been very fortunate throughout my career and I've had a lot of fun doing it." "I didn't feel very confident coming into tonight," he continued. "But, the horses showed up and we got lucky. I am really glad my family was able to be here tonight and to have that one under my belt." For the year, Wrenn has won 62 races with 36 of those victories coming at Hoosier Park, which lands him eighth in the leading driver standings at Hoosier Park for the 2018 season. Wrenn and his wife, Melanie, have three children, Tyler, Billy, and Courtney. The Wrenns relocated to Indiana in 2009 and have a successful training operation based out of Central Indiana. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Wednesday, June 20 with a 13-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

WILKES-BARRE PA - Here are the fields for Saturday's elimination races to determine the various Championship finalists on June 30's $2,000,000 Sun Stakes Saturday supercard at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Listed are the post position, horse, trainer, driver (in italics if changed at scratch time today), and the morning line odds. The elimination purses are: $35,000 for the Franklin, $25,000 for the Beal and Hempt, and $20,000 for the Lynch. The Championships are $500,000 for the Franklin, Beal, and Hempt, and $300,000 for the Lynch. The top three from each of the three eliminations will return for their Championships except for the Lynch - it has only two eliminations, so the first four and the faster fifth-place horse will come back for the big money. BEAL TROT (3YO OPEN) BEAL ELIMINATION RACE 3 - 1, Patent Leather, trainer Jim Campbell, driver Tim Tetrick, 5-2; 2, Tito, Erv Miller, Marcus Miller, 8-1; 3, Lawmaker, Andrew Harris, Anthony MacDonald, 6-1; 4, Mission Accepted, Jeff Conger, Ryan Stahl, 3-1; 5, Winning Shadow, Jake Huff, David Miller, 12-1; 6, Whats The Word, Rene Allard, Simon Allard, 7-2; 7, Voss Volo, John Butenschoen, Corey Callahan, 9-2. BEAL ELIMINATION RACE 5 - 1, Missle Hill, Tony Alagna, Doug McNair, 5-1; 2, Moosonee, Chris Beaver, Aaron Merriman, 7-2; 3, Evaluate, Marcus Melander, Tim Tetrick, 3-1; 4, Rich And Miserable, Todd Buter, Tyler Buter, 10-1; 5, Fashionwoodchopper, Jim Campbell, David Miller, 6-1; 6, Six Pack, trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt, 2-1; 7, Scirocco Rob, John Butenschoen, Corey Callahan, 12-1. BEAM ELIMINATION RACE 11 - 1, Alarm Detector, Benoit Baillargeon, Trevor Henry, 3-1; 2, Gemologist; trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt, 15-1; 3, Crystal Fashion, Jim Campbell, Tim Tetrick, 4-1; 4, Mississippi Storm, Tom Fanning, David Miller, 12-1; 5, Manchego, Jimmy Takter, Yannick Gingras, 2-1; 6, Fashion Forever, Jim Campbell, Corey Callahan, 10-1; 7, Fiftydallarbill, Bill Crone, Brett Miller, 8-1; 8, Fourth Dimension, Marcus Melander, Brian Sears, 5-1. FRANKLIN PACE (FFA) FRANKLIN ELIM RACE 2 - 1, Easy Lover Hanover, Ben Wallace, Doug McNair, 8-1; 2, Check Six, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras, 9-2; 3, Missile J, Scott Di Domenico, Matt Kakaley, 6-1; 4, Heaven Rocks A, Ross Croghan, David Miller, 5-2; 5, Western Fame, Jimmy Takter, Andrew McCarthy, 3-1; 6, Split The House, Chris Oakes, George Napolitano Jr., 7-2; 7, Donttellmeagain, Jim King Jr., Tim Tetrick, 12-1. FRANKLIN ELIM RACE 4 - 1, Rockin Ron, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley, 5-2; 2, Scott Rocks, Hunter Oakes, George Napolitano Jr., 7-2; 3, Waikiki Beach A, Ross Croghan, Scott Zeron, 6-1; 4, McWicked, Casey Coleman, Brian Sears, 2-1; 5, Mach It So, Jeff Bamond Jr., Tim Tetrick, 5-1; 6, Mac's Jackpot, Jeffrey Smith, Brett Miller, 10-1. FRANKLIN RACE 10 - 1, Sintra, David Menary, Jody Jamieson, 3-1; 2, Boogie Shuffle, Mark Harder, David Miller, 8-1; 3, Christen Me N, Jim King Jr., Tim Tetrick, 12-1; 4, All Bets Off, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley, 7-2; 5, Dealt A Winner, Mark Silva, Brett Miller, 9-2; 6, Filibuster Hanover, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras, 5-2; 7, Funknwaffles, John Butenschoen, Corey Callahan, 6-1. HEMPT PACE (3YO COLTS) HEMPT ELIM RACE 6 - 1, This Is The Plan, Chris Ryder, Tim Tetrick, 5-1; 2, Daddyofemall, Dan Altmeyer, Mike Wilder, 12-1; 3, Cinnamack, Brian Brown, Scott Zeron, 4-1; 4, Keystone Tenacious, Paul Kelley, Mark MacDonald, 6-1; 5, Dorsoduro Hanover, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley, 5-2; 6, Springsteen, Rene Allard, Simon Allard, 3-1; 7, Stendahl Hanover, Eddie Sager, Marcus Miller, 20-1; 8, Decoy, Jimmy Takter, David Miller, 10-1; 9, Closing Statement, Joe Holloway, Brian Sears, 15-1. HEMPT ELIM RACE 9 - 1, Whos Better, Brian Brown, Tim Tetrick, 15-1; 2, Sometimesawinner, Rene Allard, Simon Allard, 10-1; 3, Shnitzledosomethin, Dylan Davis, David Miller, 6-1; 4, Hitman Hill, Chris Oakes, Brett Miller, 3-1; 5, I'm A Big Deal, Chris Ryder, George Napolitano Jr., 4-1; 6, Points North, Nifty Norman, Andrew McCarthy, 9-2; 7, Grand Teton, Jimmy Takter, Scott Zeron, 12-1; 8, Stay Hungry, Tony Alagna, Doug McNair, 5-2. HEMPT ELIM RACE 12 - 1, Rock Lights, Katricia Adams, George Napolitano Jr., 15-1; 2, Babes Dig Me, Tony Alagna, Brett Miller, 12-1; 3, Heavenly Sound, Bruce Saunders, Andrew McCarthy. 10-1; 4, Nutcracker Sweet, Jimmy Takter, David Miller, 8-1; 5, Wes Delight, Mark Harder, Corey Callahan, 4-1; 6. Done Well, Brian Brown, Tim Tetrick, 3-1; 7, Lather Up, Clyde Francis, Montrell Teague, 2-1; 8, Courtly Choice, Blake MacIntosh, Mark MacDonald, 5-1. LYNCH PACE (3YO FILLIES) LYNCH ELIM RACE 7 - 1, Carlo's Superstar, Rene Allard, Simon Allard, 12-1; 2, Youaremycandygirl, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras, 5-2; 3, Alexa's Power, Jim Campbell, Tim Tetrick, 3-1; 4, Double A Mint, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley, 9-2; 5, Hypnotic Tale, Linda Toscano, David Miller, 4-1; 6, Pass Line Bluechip, Wayne Givens, Montrell Teague, 6-1; 7, Majorsspeciallady, Ron Burke, Brett Miller, 10-1; 8, Ideal Talker, Noel Daley, Andrew McCarthy, 15-1. LYNCH ELIM RACE 8 - 1, Python Blue Chip, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras, 10-1; 2, I'm Trigger Happy, Tony Osullivan, David Miller, 9-2; 3, Kissin In The Sand, Nancy Johansson, Scott Zeron, 5-2; 4, Solitary, Nick Surick, Marcus Miller, 12-1; 5, Cuts Like A Knife, Bruce Saunders, Tim Tetrick, 15-1; 6, Sansovia Hanover, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley, 6-1; 7, Serene Stride, Mark Harder, Corey Callahan, 4-1; 8, Sidewalk Dancer, Chris Oakes, Brett Miller, 3-1. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

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

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

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

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

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

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