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YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 16, 2018-It's not surprising that International Trot Day brought with it some off-the-beaten path Yonkers Raceway looks. Accordingly, we asked the Raceway's three photographers from Saturday (Oct. 13th) afternoon-Katy Gazzini, Mike Lizzi and Jelena Gerga-to go through their handiwork and pick out some shots to share. 1-Brian Sears (in Courant colors, lessee of winner Cruzado Dela Noche) and Raceway president Tim Rooney with the International Trot trophy  2-The 10 International Trot drivers (upper [l-r], Alessandro Gocciadoro [Arazi Boko, Italy], Jason Bartlett [Up and Quick, France], Wim Paal [Ringostarr Treb, Italy], Yannick Gingras [Ariana G, U-S], Flemming Jensen [Slide So Easy, Denmark], Tim Tetrick [Will Take Charge, Canada], Goran Antonsen [Lionel, Norway], lower [l-r], Scott Zeron [Marion Marauder, Canada], Johan Untersteiner [Pastore Bob, Sweden], Brian Sears [Cruzado Dela Noche, Sweden]) Gazzini pix (note picture was with Bartlett and Sears in 'regular' colors)  3-The brothers Tim and Trace Tetrick, the latter in what was his first Westchester appearance since 2013 to drive Endeavor in the Dan Rooney Invitational  4-It was a different-looking Jason Bartlett warming up France's Up and Quick  5-The Harry Harvey Invitational Trot had grandson Shawn Harvey presenting to Warrawee Roo  6-The International Trot drivers and presiding judge George Karam had a pre-race 'rules of the road' meeting  7-Wim Paal speaking with Equidia's (French Horse Racing TV) Kristin Odegard  8-Apron was the place to be as race approached  9- Cruzado Dela Noche beats Lionel to win the Yonkers International Trot 10-Adam Strom with Cruzado Dela Noche by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Ben Yole continued his powerful defence of his Leading Trainers Title by preparing four of the eight winners on the programme at Devonport on Sunday. Ben’s winning run commenced in race two with Pushkin, despite being friendless in the betting. “It was three-way photo at the finish and I was probably the only person not worried about which way the result went because we trained all three but Pushkin (pictured – middle) has been a grand campaigner for us, he won four races last season and has already picked up two wins this season at odds of $18 and $51,” said Ben. “Troy (McDonald) has been driving well so it was no surprise to see him lead all the way with Giant Steps in the fifth race and collect his double and I’m sure punters were much happier as it was well supported ($3.10) to run favourite.” Monarkmac has gone close to winning on two occasions this season going down narrowly to Haleys Comet in Launceston and El Jays Monet in Hobart. “He’s a ten-year-old now and he found himself in the right race with the right draw and he was able to do the rest, Rohan (Hadley) rated him well and he had enough in hand to stave off stablemate No Apachemee which made a late charge after getting off the pegs turning for home,” said Ben. “The stable finished off with Im Barney Rubble, he’s just a machine, he won six races last year at ten years of age and has already nailed three from six this season, he won by over five metres and had them covered a long way out.” The Todd Rattray trained and driven six-yer-old Taurisi ($1.60) showed his class to come off the 30-metre handicap and score a runaway 5.1-metre win in the Discretionary over Karalta Dazzler and Poker Storm. Paul Ashwood trained the quinella in the Maxfield Drilling Pace for Mick Maxwell but not in the order most punters would have preferred with Krafty Boy ($4.80), driven by Rohan Hillier,  storming home over the top of popular pick Miracle Marcus ($2.00). Punters won the battle on the night with six favourites saluting including the Bianca Heenan prepared Mon Poppy Polly ($2.70) driven by Taylor Ford and the Melissa Maine-trained Better Go Go ($2.30) steered home by Gareth Rattray. Shane Yates

Cranbury, NJ --- With many divisions still in flux as to year-end honors, the connections of three of the top pacers in their respective groups each supplemented to their Breeder Crown event. The Breeders Crown Open events attracted the richest female pacer, 5-year-old mare Shartin N, whose 16 wins in 21 starts and bankroll of $820,861 made the $31,250 supplemental payment an easy decision for co-owners Richard Poillucci and Jo-Ann Looney-King. Jo-Ann's husband, Jimmy King Jr. trains the imported daughter of New Zealand stallion Tintin In America-Bagdarin. Another Down Under sensation, Lazarus N, was supplemented to the $400,000 Crown Open Pace to the tune of $50,000. The racing world has enjoyed heavyweight match ups featuring Lazarus N and McWicked, but Lazarus was scratched sick from their last meeting in Saturday's Dan Rooney Invitational by trainer Jimmy Taker to ensure he was in top form for the Crown. Lazarus N, owned by Taylor Made Stallions, has banked $400,245 in North America this year, with a two wins and three seconds in just five starts on this continent. Combined with his New Zealand earnings, he's made $689,861 for a hefty $3 million lifetime. Gary and Barbara Iles homebred sophomore pacing colt Lather Up emerged as the early season sensation, blasting a 1:48.1 mile in his North America Cup victory back in June. Trained by Clyde Francis and driven by Montrell Teague, Lather Up's consistent performance on the racetrack has resulted in a 14-11-0-1 slate and $768,612 in earnings. Regular entries for 3-year-old and up trotters and pacers are due by 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Pocono Downs race office. Two-year-old entries closed at 9:00 a.m. Monday and you can see the fields here: The contestants for the 12 Breeders Crown finals will be determined through elimination races, if needed, this Friday and Saturday night at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Eliminations for all 2-year-old events will be raced on Friday [post time 7:00 p.m.] and eliminations for all 3-year-old and up events will be Saturday [post time 7:00 p.m.]. Elimination winners, in an order determined by lot, draw for inside post positions 1-5 for the finals. There will be an industry-wide low 15% takeout on all wagers on all three nights of Crown competition. The $6 million Breeders Crown finals will be raced on Saturday, October 27, with an early post time of 5:30 p.m. [EDT] For more information go to by Moira Fanning, for the Breeders Crown

Cranbury, NJ --- Warrawee Ubeaut, a filly who earlier this month became the fastest 2-year-old pacer in harness racing history, and divisional money-leaders Stag Party, The Ice Dutchess, Green Manalishi S, and Tall Drink Hanover were among the 71 freshmen entered Monday for the Breeders Crown at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Eliminations for the 2-year-olds, which are necessary in all four divisions and will have purses of $25,000 apiece, are Friday at Pocono. Post time is 7 p.m. (EDT) for the card's first race. The top-three finishers from each of three eliminations for 2-year-old filly trotters and 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers will advance to their respective finals. The remaining divisions -- filly pacers and colt and gelding trotters -- both will have two eliminations. The top-four finishers from each of those eliminations plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings will advance to their respective finals. Elimination winners draw for post positions one through five for the finals. Breeders Crown entries for 3-year-olds and older horses are due by 9 a.m. Tuesday and eliminations will be Saturday. All finals, with purses totaling $6 million, are Saturday (Oct. 27) at Pocono. Ron Burke-trained Warrawee Ubeaut was among a deep group of 2-year-old pacing fillies entered in the Breeders Crown, along with She's A Great Lady Stakes-winner Tall Drink Hanover and sire stakes champions Beautyonthebeach (Kentucky), Money Shot Hanover (New York), Queen Of The Pride (Ohio), and Sylph Hanover (Pennsylvania). Tall Drink Hanover, Warrawee Ubeaut, Beautyonthebeach, and Money Shot Hanover are in the second of the division's two eliminations. Warrawee Ubeaut won her division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 5 at Red Mile in 1:48.3, the first sub-1:49 mile in history for a 2-year-old pacer. For the season, the daughter of Sweet Lou out of Great Memories has won six of nine races and $300,393. Her victories also include the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes. She was among nine 2-year-olds entered by Burke. Tall Drink Hanover, by Captaintreacherous out of Take Into Account, brings a three-race win streak to the Breeders Crown. Her triumphs in addition to the She's A Great Lady include a division of the International Stallion. She is trained by Tony Alagna and has won six of nine races and $343,914. Stag Party, the richest 2-year-old in the sport with $514,368, has won six of nine races this season, including the Metro Pace. The son of Bettor's Delight out of My Lady Day, trained by Casie Coleman, is in the third of the three eliminations for the colt and gelding pacers. The elim also includes Workin Ona Mystery, who is unbeaten in five races for trainer Brian Brown. Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Proof, also trained by Brown, is the richest horse in the second elimination and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final runner-up De Los Cielos Deo, trained by Burke, is richest in the first. Proof, a son of A Rocknroll Dance out of Ginger And Fred, has earned $285,935. De Los Cielos Deo, by Captaintreacherous out of Lisjune, has earned $194,210. The Marcus Melander-trained duo of Green Manalishi S and Gimpanzee were among the 15 horses entered in the event for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Green Manalishi S, by Muscle Hill out of Naga Morich, has won five of eight races and finished no worse than second this season. His victories include the William Wellwood Memorial and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, helping the colt to $366,307 in purses. New York Sire Stakes champion Gimpanzee, by Chapter Seven out of Steamy Windows, is undefeated in seven races, all on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. He has banked $278,858. Also in the 2-year-old colt trot are Cantab Fashion, who has won five races in a row since going off stride in his August debut, and multiple-stakes-winner Kings County. Green Manalishi S, Kings County, and Cantab Fashion are in the second elimination while Gimpanzee is in the first. The Ice Dutchess leads a group of 20 filly trotters and competes in the third of three eliminations. Her wins this year include the Jim Doherty Memorial, Peaceful Way and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes. The Ice Dutchess, by Muscle Hill out of The Ice Queen, has won five of nine races and $412,290 to lead all 2-year-old trotters this season. She is trained by Jimmy Takter, who leads all trainers in Breeders Crown wins with 33. Also entered in the 2-year-old filly trot were Takter-trained Whispering Oaks, who won sire stakes championships in New Jersey and Kentucky, and Woodside Charm, who is unbeaten in five races for trainer-driver Verlin Yoder. Whispering Oaks, a winner of $264,844 by Father Patrick out of Vintage Oaks, is in the first elimination and Woodside Charm, who won the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters, is in the second. She is by Chapter Seven out of Fireworks Hanover and has earned $209,158. Following are the fields in post-position order for Friday's $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-olds at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT Elimination 1 (Race 3) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Champagne Jane-Bob McClure-Luc Blais 2-Ma Was Right-Dexter Dunn-Noel Daley 3-Starita-David Miller-Joe Holloway 4-Special Honor-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 5-Whispering Oaks-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 6-Conway Kellyanne-Charlie Norris-Charlie Norris Elimination 2 (Race 4) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Miss You Kelly-Tim Tetrick-Bruce Lauer 2-Asiago-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 3-Stella Jane-George Napolitano Jr.-John Butenschoen 4-Sonnet Grace-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 5-Woodside Charm-Verlin Yoder-Verlin Yoder 6-Golden Tricks-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 7-Princess Deo-Andrew McCarthy-Noel Daley Elimination 3 (Race 9) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Sette Deo-TBA-Benoit Baillargeon 2-Tommi Canu Hearme-Brett Miller-Dustin Jones 3-Fate Smiled-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 4-The Ice Dutchess-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 5-Sister's Promise-Tim Tetrick-Linda Toscano 6-Cloud Nine Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell 7-When Dovescry-Simon Allard-Rene Allard 2-YEAR-OLD COLT AND GELDING PACE Elimination 1 (Race 5) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Mangogh-Tim Tetrick-Bruce Saunders 2-De Los Cielos Deo-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 3-Lyons Night Hawk-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis 4-Air Force Hanover-David Miller-Brian Brown 5-American Mercury-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes 6-No Mas Amor-Matt Kakaley-Linda Toscano Elimination 2 (Race 10) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Semi Tough-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 2-Yacht Week-Christian Lind-Staffan Lind 3-Smooth Lou-Scott Zeron-Brian Brown 4-Captain Crunch-Scott Zeron-Nancy Johansson 5-Proof-David Miller-Brian Brown 6-Love Me Some Lou-Corey Callahan-Tom Cancelliere 7-Shake That House-George Napolitano Jr.-Chris Oakes Elimination 3 (Race 12) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Loutenant-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 2-Captain Trevor-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna 3-Sugar Factory-Corey Callahan-Tom Cancelliere 4-Blood Money-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 5-Stag Party-David Miller-Casie Coleman 6-Lyons Johnnyjnr-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis 7-Workin Ona Mystery-Tim Tetrick-Brian Brown 2-YEAR-OLD COLT AND GELDING TROT Elimination 1 (Race 6) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Chin Chin Hall-Peter Wrenn-Melanie Wrenn 2-Steuben Hanover-Bob McClure-Luc Blais 3-Hudson River-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 4-Demon Onthe Hill-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 5-Union Forces-Scott Zeron-Domenico Cecere 6-Brady Bunch-Marcus Miller-Erv Miller 7-Prospect Hill-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 8-Gimpanzee-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander Elimination 2 (Race 11) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Smart As Hill-Bob McClure-Paula Wellwood 2-Green Manalishi S-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander 3-Super Schissel-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 4-Kings County-David Miller-Domenico Cecere 5-Cantab Fashion-David Miller-Jim Campbell 6-Trix And Stones-Scott Zeron-Carl Jamieson 7-Mass Fortune K-Matt Kakaley-Charlie Norris 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE Elimination 1 (Race 7) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Annie Hill-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes 2-Cruise-David Miller-Brian Brown 3-St Somewhere-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 4-Queen Of The Pride-Tony Hall-Kevin Lare 5-Treacherous Reign-Scott Zeron-Tony Alagna 6-Sylph Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 7-Sweet Lucy Lou-Andy Miller-Don Swick 8-Prescient Beauty-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair Elimination 2 (Race 8) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Art Lecture-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis 2-Tall Drink Hanover-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna 3-Money Shot Hanover-Tyler Buter-Mark Harder 4-Beautyonthebeach-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair 5-Renaissance Lady K-Brian Sears-Norm Parker 6-Zero Tolerance-David Miller-Joe Holloway 7-She's Allright-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 8-Warrawee Ubeaut-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke From the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown

Last night’s Harness Racing Awards Dinner brought exciting news for junior drivers and cousins Nathan Dawson and Dannielle McMullen when they were announced winners of the 2018 Kevin and Kay Seymour Young Achievers Award. The award comes with an unbelievable all-expenses paid trip to North America working and learning under the watchful eye of successful harness racing trainer and former Australian Ross Croghan. The trip will be an incredible learning curve for the youngsters and will include opportunities to visit the stables of prominent standardbred trainers such as Jimmy Takter and Ron Burke, touch base with ex-pats such as Andy McCarthy, Noel Daley and Chris Ryder to name but a few, visit renowned racetracks such as the Meadowlands, Yonkers and Freehold as well as the possibility of securing a race drive. Young Achiever nominations were selected on a monthly basis throughout the season by a panel of industry experts. Other nominees included Trent Moffat, Hayden Barnes, Brittany Graham, Narissa McMullen, Isobel Ross, Mitchell Dawson, Alex Cain and Matt Elkins. Nathan Dawson was the obvious preference for the male award recipient given his unbelievable driving record in the 2017/2018 season and being nominated for the award on three occasions. He secured the Queensland Driver of the Year Premiership and was the only driver to land a double century of wins. Dawson’s career best month was in August where he landed 40 winners and 42 placings from 149 drives. In that month he drove four winners on two occasions, trebles on three occasions and recorded his 500th lifetime winner. “I hadn’t kept count of the winners that month, I just went out there and did my best. I had a really good season and it’s great to be rewarded for the hard work” Dawson stated. He was also selected to represent Queensland in the upcoming Australasian Young Drivers Championship held at Albion Park and Redcliffe in November. McMullen also enjoyed plenty of success last season finishing within the top 10 on the state drivers, metropolitan drivers and concession drivers premierships with 78 winners from 595 drives. Along with her sister Narissa, McMullen represented the state in the Australian Female Drivers Championship in Tasmania where she finished in 2nd place, as well as competing in the Reinswomen Invitational series at Globe Derby. Narissa was selected as last year’s Kevin and Kay Seymour Young Achiever and ironically the sisters finished on the same number of wins last season. “I’m really looking forward to the trip, it’ll be a really great learning experience and I know it wouldn’t be possible without the sponsors Kevin and Kay Seymour”, said McMullen. While the trip details are yet to be confirmed it has been suggested that the drivers will set off in August next year and their trip will coincide with the one million dollar Hambletonian Stakes at the Meadowlands Racetrack.   Albion Park Harness Racing  

YONKERS, N.Y. – When Sabine Kagebrandt came to work as the Racing Manager for Anders Ström’s Stall Courant AB, she did so on one condition. Accustomed to working with and being around harness racing horses, the former groom of Prix d’Amérique winner Gigant Neo would take the office job if she could have one horse to look after in her spare time. “I started at the office, I did all this paperwork and stuff like that, but I’m used to working with horses. If I’m going to do all this paperwork, I need one horse,” Kagebrandt said.  Ström let Kagebrandt pick any horse in his barn. Out of about 60 trotters, she selected Cruzado Dela Noche. Then a stakes-winning 3-year-old with a penchant for making breaks, Kagebrandt saw something special in the bay son of Muscle Massive. “When I started to work there, the first trip I made was when Cruzado Dela Noche was third in the Peter Haughton and then we went to Lexington, so I followed him all the time. I knew I wanted to take that horse when he came home,” she said. “First of all, he was really cute, he had a nice attitude, and he had this charisma. When you’re around him, you just get happy because he gives so much to the people around him. I really fell in love with him. He’s such a nice horse.” Cruzado Dela Noche shipped to Sweden to compete in the country’s rich 4-year-old program. Kagebrandt developed a bond with the horse while he raced in Stefan Melander’s stable, winning the Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Deutschland, the Group 1 Copenhagen Cup, and the Group 2 Norrlands Grand Prix. He also placed third in the Group 1 Sprinter Mästaren Final. However, this June, Ström began pointing Cruzado Dela Noche toward a fall campaign in the United States with a focus on the $1 million Yonkers International Trot and the Breeders Crown Open Trot. Cruzado Dela Noche shipped stateside to trainer Marcus Melander and groom Mikaela Melander in August and prepared for the International with two qualifiers at Pocono Downs in September. Being away from Cruzado Dela Noche was difficult, but Kagebrandt lessened the parting with frequent visits. “I’ve been in the States a lot, so I’ve followed him here. When he came here, I was here. Then I came here for the qualifications, so I’ve been here a little bit,” Kagebrandt said. “He was really good. He got better every qualifier he did because he needed time to be a little more in form. We tried to do the same schedule when he should do the qualification like we made with him at home. We tried to do as much the same as at home as possible.” With just two qualifiers on his card and off a June layoff, Cruzado Dela Noche started as a 30-1 outsider in the Yonkers International Trot. Still, Kagebrandt felt confident in the 6-year-old stallion and in Hall of Fame driver Brian Sears.  “Always when you race him, you know he always has a chance because he’s so strong and he has a good head and a strong will to win. He never gives up, that I knew from the beginning,” Kagebrandt said. “When he had the six hole and the other good ones had inside, then I thought it could be a little tricky. I was very confident in the horse and Brian, because he knows this track like his own pocket.” While rivals Pastore Bob and Ringostarr Treb makes breaks in stride on the opening turn and Arazi Boko forged to the lead from post eight, Sears was patient with Cruzado Dela Noche. He raced in sixth 5 ½ lengths from the top and followed Lionel on the outside behind a :28.1 opening panel. Ariana G pulled the pocket on Arazi Boko around the second turn and made the lead at the top of the backstretch, but Marion Marauder quickly ranged up to assume command in a :57.1 half-mile. The move left Lionel uncovered in third and Cruzado Dela Noche got a perfect trip in his wake. Marion Marauder led through 6-furlongs in 1:27 and a mile in 1:55.3. With a quarter-mile to race, Lionel ratcheted up the pressure, advancing to put his white-blazoned nose in front entering the final turn. Sears tipped Cruzado Dela Noche three-wide and the trio charged around the bend on even terms. Watching the action unfold from a perch in the paddock, Kagebrandt’s heart began to race as she realized her horse had a chance. Lionel put away a spent Marion Marauder at the top of the stretch as driver Gøran Antonsen snuck a peek over his right shoulder to see Cruzado Dela Noche looming. Antonsen went to the whip right-handed and implored Lionel while his gaze darted frantically between the finish line and his opponent.  Sears let the lines hang loose in his left hand and went to the stick with his right. He timed the move perfectly and Cruzado Dela Noche surged at the wire to win by a head in 2:24.3. Up And Quick shook loose late to be third while Ariana G was fourth. “We won,” Kagebrandt said as a smile crept up on her face and she let out a satisfied laugh. “Actually, we didn’t see much of the stretch. First, we thought he was going to be third, but we thought, ‘that’s OK, third is really good in the International. That’s amazing.’ Then we thought he was going to be second. We were screaming and cheering. Then we realized he actually won. They didn’t announce at first it either, so we weren’t sure if he won or not, so it was totally crazy. It was really crazy. “It means very much. To bring him over and he handled the trip and everything, I think it’s amazing. It’s a really big race,” she said. Cruzado Dela Noche’s victory in the Yonkers International Trot improved his record to 15 wins from 56 starts and boosted his earnings to $1,202,771. Cruzado Dela Noche is Sweden’s fourth representative to win the International, joining Callit, Atas Fighter L., and His Majesty. With the International under his belt, Cruzado Dela Noche will head to the Breeders Crown next and Kagebrandt will be along for the ride. “This was the first race he did here. Now I think he’s starting to get in shape. It’s going to be really nice to go to Pocono,” she said. “I love him so much.” For more information on the $1 million Yonkers International Trot, visit  by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

When harness racing 4yo Please Shuddup won at Saturdays Gore meeting, it capped off a commendable couple of days for his sire Auckland Reactor.   Well known for his deeds on the racetrack, Auckland Reactor is now making a name for himself as a Group 1 winning sire, headlined by his award winning son Chase Auckland.   Chase Auckland (Auckland Reactor - Delicata) swept all before him last season as a three-year-old winning eight of his nine raceday starts including the Great Northern Derby (Group 1), New Zealand Sire Stakes Final (Group 1), Elsu Alabar Classic (Group 2) and the New Zealand Yearling Sales Final (Listed).    He was named three year old of the year at the prestigious New Zealand harness racing awards and finished the season holding two New Zealand records, the 2700 metre mobile all-comers record of 3:16.8 and also the 1950 metre mobile all-comers record of 2:16.1   Although his season ended with an minor injury, Chase Auckland is now well healed and the striking four year old is back in full work hoping to be ready to race early in the new year or just before.   Chase Auckland - NZ Sire Stakes Final - New Zealand Record     Chase Auckland - The Great Northern Derby New Zealand Record     At Gore, the Murray Brown trained Please Shuddup (Auckland Reactor - Blah Blah Blah) was too good for his opposition, trailing early then jogging to the lead with 150m to go and winning as he liked without the removable deafeners being pulled.    Auckland Reactor picked up another milestone of sorts last Friday night when his daughter As Free As Air (Auckland Reactor - Cloud Cuckooland) won her first trotting race in the hands of driver Maurice Mckendry at Alexandra Park .   That win was Auckland Reactor's first trotting winner as a sire and it also gave Maurice Mckendry a total of six driving wins in the one night a feat he had accomplished only twice before.   As Free As Air     Amazingly the second of Mckendry's six wins on the night also came courtesy of the progeny of Auckland Reactor when Red Reactor (Auckland Reactor - Edernay) zipped home for an impressive win in quick time.   Mckendry who trains Red Reactor says the gelding is still improving and will be a better horse next year, a comment we have also heard being made by several trainers of Auckland Reactor bred pacers in both New Zealand and Australia.   Red Reactor     And then to top the week off Sergei (Auckland Reactor - Jane Of Eden - Strong Life) a gelding, won his third race in a row and fourth from his last six starts in NSW.   Sergei makes it three in a row     In New Zealand Auckland Reactor has had 21 individual winners to date and in Australia he has had even more with 32 winners already on the board.   That is a total of 53 winners with total stake earnings of $1,700,000 between both Countries.   He has had 96 qualifiers or starters in New Zealand and 80 in Australia to date.    He bred 76 mares in New Zealand and 112 in Australia for the past season.   In New Zealand Auckland Reactor finished third on the three-year-old sires list for the past season a great effort for his first crop to the races.   Leading HorsesSiresBroodmare Sires for the 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977 1976 1975 1974 1973 1972 1971 1970 1969 1968 1967 1966 1965 1964 1963  Season     Pacers OnlyTrotters OnlyCombined Gaits     All Ages2 year olds only3 year olds only4 year olds only5 years old and older 10/10/2018@11:18:32 Sires $Won ▾ Starters Foals Winners Starts Wins 2nds 3rds Bettor's Delight 2,320,600 93 195 62 806 135 126 94 Mach Three 747,078 64 117 49 489 77 51 58 Auckland Reactor 596,037 39 156 15 231 29 18 14   When you consider the great sires behind Auckland Reactor on this list such as Art Major, Somebeachsomewhere, American Ideal and Christian Cullen, Auckland Reactor has performed exceptionally well and is assured a bright future. In Australia Auckland Reactor has had 80 starters to date with 32 winners including the top filly Soho Burning Love who is probably the most unlucky and underated filly in all of Australia.  Soho Burning Love (Auckland Reactor - Soho Bordeaux - Western Terror) has had 30 starts for $157,170 to date with a record of 1:52.6 over 1720 meters winning by 34 meters but the real story with this filly was the shocking amount of bad draws in all her starts against the best Group horses in Australia. I believe she only drew inside post 8 three times in her three-year-old starts. She has had mostly second row draws. She had 21 starts as a three-year-old for 6 wins 10 seconds 3 thirds a ffith and a 10th. She won a heat of the Bathurst Gold Bracelet (second in the Group 1 Final), second in the heat and final of Group 1 New South Wales Oaks, second in the Group 2 Vicbred Classic and she was third in the Group 1 Victoria Oaks. Soho Burning Love winning in a 1:52.6 mile rate over 1720 meters. Auckland Reactor had 9 two-year-old winners in Australia and $148,527 in earnings for the last season. He had  20 three-year-old winners earning $402,523 for that season. He had 4 additional stake placegetters. Besides Soho Burning Love in Australia, Auckland Reactor has sired the Group 1 winning Gold Reactor, De La Tourbie (third in the Group 1 Westbred Classic), Delightfulreacion (second in the Group 1 Westbred Classic) and You Ninety Two who finished second in the Group 1 Vicbred Classic. Harnesslink Media

Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's success with ex-Australian pacers continued yesterday at Mt Harding racecourse when Cruz Bromac powered over the top of his rivals to win the Methven Cup by more than two lengths. The Falcon Seelster gelding was having his first start on the grass surface, a fact that did not worry his driver Natalie Rasmussen who commented on the All Stars website that the grass didn’t worry them because he is a good gaited horse. "He did scramble a bit early but that was probably getting used to the surface. "It was good to see him bouncing straight up with some form here. "We think he will probably go to the Kaikoura Cup. We have a huge week coming up and we expect to have 16 horses at Ashburton as well as some at Addington Friday and four at the trials on Wednesday," she said. Although the track was on the dead side the time for Cruze Bromac of 3-51.3 for the 3000m stand lowered the old track record held by Messini by nearly half a second, proving Cruz Bromac has what it takes to be a major force in the up-coming New Zealand Cup in November. The favourite for the race Star Galleria led for most of the way but weakened to only run third,while Forgotten Highway continued his good form and enhanced his Cup chances by running home well into second for driver Samantha Ottley.   Harnesslink Media

Louis-Philippe Roy won his first Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday and then won two more to lay emphatic claim to the Lampman Cup title as the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. A joyful group met the 28-year-old in the winner's circle after his first victory, as he guided two-year-old trotting filly HP Titania Runner to a narrow 1:57.4 score over Champagne Jane and favourite Presto Change O. "Those owners are maybe not the first ones, but among the first people that got me stake drives in Quebec," said Roy of owner-breeders Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, Quebec. "So the fact that they put confidence in me and now they are kind of rewarded with that win, I am happy for them." Woodbine-Mohawk Park fans sent the division point leader off as the second choice from Post 5 and HP Titania Runner charged from seventh to first in the last quarter to secure the championship. The E L Titan daughter wrapped up her freshman season with a record of four wins in eight starts and earnings of $248,650. While his first victory paid tribute to the past, Roy's second Super Final win had him looking toward the future. The reinsman teamed up with Keystone Concrete to deliver a giant-slaying upset in the two-year-old pacing colt and gelding division, laying down a :26.3 final quarter to collar Bettors Wish and Metro Pace winner Stag Party in 1:52. All three colts are by sire Bettors Delight. "For a while I was saying to myself, 'I will be third' and I would have been happy with a third, but then I seen Stag Party get a little tired so I said, 'I will probably get there for second', but that horse -sometimes horses they'll fight until the last one to pass, they'll just get to their head and kind of hang on a little bit, but this one he just kept going and he even went by the last horse," said Roy. "He's a really nice horse. I can't wait, if I have the opportunity, to drive him again at three." Roy drove Keystone Concrete to his fifth win in seven starts for trainer Rob Fellows of Rockwood, his wife Yolanda Fellows, and her co-owners Arpad Szabo of Bradford, Ontario and Blair Corbeil of Beaumont, Alberta. The win boosted the colt's earnings to $214,850 and Szabo was already looking forward to spending his share. "Maybe I can buy some more yearlings now because I am going to the sale tomorrow to spend the money I made. It's not going to stay in my pocket very long," said Szabo with a laugh, adding that Keystone Concrete had been something of a Cinderella story for his owners. "I never thought he was going to make it this far. He started in the Grassroots and he wound up in the Gold, and win the Gold, and beat a horse like Stag Party." Roy's third Super Final victory was the perfect end to his 2018 Ontario Sires Stakes season, coming with three-year-old pacing colt Jimmy Freight, who took him to open stake races across North America this summer. On Saturday night the pair battled harder than they had all season in the provincial program, using a late kick to nab stablemate and pacesetter Backstreet Shadow in the stretch for a one-half length victory in 1:50.2. St Lads Neptune was awarded third-place when The Downtown Bus was placed back to fifth for causing interference. "I knew I was going to float, I didn't want to rush him to go in the lead," said Roy of his strategy from Post 9. "Last start he raced really good, and the start before he got, I think, a little bit tired of racing on the front, and I really wanted not to end the season that way, like end it on a good note. He's been so much dominant in the Ontario Sires Stakes this year that I think he deserved that win." The soon-to-be Guelph resident drives Jimmy Freight for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch and owner Adriano Sorella of Guelph, Ontario. The Sportswriter son went undefeated through the Gold Series this season, winning four legs and the Super Final. His sophomore record stands at nine wins, four seconds and three thirds in 17 starts for earnings of $691,239. Three-year-old trotting colt point leader Run Director also wrapped up his season with a Super Final victory and owners Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, Ontario were delighted to be joined in the winner's circle by the colt's namesake, Rankin Cancer Run director Mary Ann Edwards. "He emailed me one day and said, 'Would you mind if I named a male horse after you?'" recalled Edwards. "So it was an honour to be here tonight for this and this man is unbelievable, it's unbelievable what he does in our community." "She keeps saying karma, you know you'll get repaid back, so I named the horse after her and he's done nothing but win," said Tom Rankin, who was certain the colt was going to finish second at the head of the stretch. After a breather behind pacesetter Stormont Ventnor around the final turn, Run Director and driver Sylvain Filion powered down the stretch to a one and one-half length victory in 1:54.2 Stormont Ventnor settled for second and Jula Downton was well back in third. Guelph resident Ben Baillargeon conditions the Kadabra colt for the Rankins. Three-year-old pacing filly Percy Bluechip repeated as Super Final champion, going gate-to-wire in 1:52 for driver Yannick Gingras. Kendall Seelster and Quints Dream finished one length back in second and third. "I wanted to race her on the front, I really did," said Gingras of the Shadow Play daughter. "That was the game plan." The New Jersey-based reinsman drove Percy Bluechip to the win for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA, Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA, Purnel And Libby LLC of Delray Beach, FL and Donald Emond of Taunton, MA. Gingras picked up a second Super Final victory with two-year-old pacing filly Summer Charm, who scored a 1:52.3 upset over division point leader Better Single and Quebec Blue Chip. Dave Menary trains the Bettors Delight daughter for Thomas Dillon of Anson, ME. Kadabra daughter Smoke And Mirrors kicked off the $1.8 million night with 1:55.3 victory in the three-year-old trotting filly division, hitting the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Superlative and Illusioneesta. Trevor Henry crafted the win for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. Forbidden Trade claimed the two-year-old trotting colt and gelding crown with a 1:56.2 triumph over Southwind Avenger and Only For Justice. Bob McClure drove the Kadabra colt to the win for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec. "When you got a season like that you want to win the final," said Blais, who trained the colt to a division leading four regular season victories. "That's a lot of pressure believe me, but it is an amazing feeling." From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

Scarborough, Maine - October 13, 2018 .... Festival of Champions Day, a showcase for the Maine Sire Stakes Championship Round started out cold and wet on Saturday (10/13) but quickly heated up and the sun finally made an appearance half way through the harness racing program. The large crowd at Scarborough Downs was treated to a live band along with many giveaways. The first of Eight Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes races, the $89.007 three year old colt & gelding final trot, was won by the 20 year old driver that is affectionately called "Matty Ice" guiding Mouthpiece into the winners circle. Matt Athearn steered the 3 year old son of Noble Venture-Beluga to a wire to wire performance in a time of 2:02.4 on a track rated as good. The heavily favored entry was on the lead at the quarter, parked to the outside, but when he cleared it was all over as he stormed home with a 5¾ length victory, that could have been a lot more. William Phipps of Yarmouth, Maine owns the winner and the entry mate He'salittlenoble, who couldn't keep his footing heading to three quarters and broke, but still managed to finish third. The trainer for Mouthpiece was as happy as happy could be and smothered her driver/son with hugs and kisses. Next the $89,278 three year old filly trotting final took center stage with all eyes pinned on favorite June Carter Cast who was having a near perfect season with 11 wins in 12 starts. Pembroke Dancer with driver Nicholas Graffam had the benefit of the rail though and used it to his advantage to pull off the minor upset. Trainer and the drivers' father, Mike Graffam, credits the victory to the early scrum between Pembroke Dancer and June Carter Cast. The daughter of Cr Power Glide-Spring Laughter stretched out June Carter Cast in an opening quarter of 29.4. Pembroke Dancer picked up the fight again at the three quarter pole and from there went on to a four length victory in a time of 2:06.3 for the Ben, Bill and Will Stable of Carmel, Maine. Two year old fillies, racing for $56,454 went to post in their respective final with the leading point earner JustCallMe Bets going off as the favorite. JustCallMe Bets grabbed the lead but had company all away around the seaside oval. Cominrightatyou and driver Ron Cushing hampered the favorite throughout the mile and managed a very game second but the outside route was costly. It was the daughter of Deuce Seelster- Guard The Rose, Moonlightandroses and driver David Ingraham that took home the big prize as Ingraham traveled on the outside following Cominrightatyou and picked up the pieces in the stretch with a four length victory for Canadian owner Clark Bustard of Elmwood, New Brunswick and trainer David White. Moonlightandroses won her fifth race in eight starts timed in 2:06.4. The $56,437 two year old fillies trot final saw Lady Victoria, the daughter of Victor Blue Chip-AJ's Baby, wait out a long photo as she and Buena Vita Bebe and Ron Cushing, who attacked on the inside, were noses apart at the wire. Cushing came back to the winners circle but the photo ultimately gave the win to Lady Victoria. Trainer/Driver Ivan Davies started from post eight and after a couple of missteps by the competition found himself grabbing the lead by the quarter with Lady Victoria. Lady Victoria had enough at the wire to hold on recording her seventh win in nine starts for owner Stephan Hall of Newport, Maine in a time of 2:08.4. The other half of the Davies/Hall Entry, Victor's Secret, finished fourth. The combination of driver Drew Campbell and trainer Jim Dunn captured the $15,000 Fillies and Mare Free For All Pace in 2:01.1 with Western Stepp. Campbell who charged from the back of the pack to record a head victory said in the winners circle that the track was heavy and was fortunate that he managed to get the victory. With the knowledge of the track being heavy Drew Campbell tried a different strategy in the $89, 311 three year pacing fillies final. Campbell left with Gonna Hear Me Rohr, the daughter of Western Maverick-Heather K and settled in behind pacesetter Saratoga Liz who was driven by long time veteran Bruce Ranger, who hasn't raced since 2015. Campbell at the three quarter pole tipped and went by Saratoga Liz and coasted home a 13 length winner in 2:01.4 for owner Bradford Veilleux of Greene, Maine and trainer Jim Dunn. Owners Thomas Dillon of Anson, Maine and Walter Hight of Skowhegan, Maine have teamed up year after year and have owned some of the best racehorses that Maine has offered. Ally Way Cast is another outstanding trotter for this pair and one that Tom Dillon said in the winners circle was one of the best that the team has ever owned. In a very uneventful win, Ally Way Cast, son of Current Cast-Ally-Gal Ridge, easily won the $56,426 two-year-old trotting final in a leisurely 2:06.2, ten lengths the best. Dillon credited his success to driver veteran reinsman Gary Mosher and the Maine stalwart trainer Donald Richards. The $56,460 two year old colt and gelding pacing final saw driver David Ingraham and trainer David White team up for another over the road victory. Bait A Hook from post position eight, saw Ingraham take the son of Deuce Seelster-Josie Plumstead to the outside going past the half and from there he grinded past the competition winning in a time of 2:01.2. When asked in the winners circle about his luck from the outside post positions Ingraham stated that the luck wasn't with him on the draw but he managed to overcome the poor positions. The win with Bait A Hook was the second stakes victory of the day for owner Clark Bustard of Elmwood, New Brunswick Canada. The $15,000 Free For All Trot was won in the same fashion that David Ingraham had demonstrated all day. From post position seven, Ingraham had BJ Anthony out and going at the half and he crossed the wire 11½ length victor in 2:02.2 for owner/trainer Dustin Ingraham. The final of the eight Breeders Stakes races saw the three year old pacing colts go to post battling for a purse of $89,321. Race favorite Pembroke Pharoah got away slow and had problems breaking as the field headed towards three quarters. The outside flow was active and Stormyweatherahead came like a thunderbolt with driver Matt Athearn guiding the son of Luckcamotion-Wolf Creek Cupid into the winners circle finishing off a day that the young driver will never forget. Stormyweatherahead won in a time of 2:00.3, seven lengths the best. Matty Ice, the son of Mark & Gretchen Athearn, started his racing career in 2014, and is now the sports newest millionaire with his driving purses now totaling 1,004,673. Stormyweatherahead is trained by Marc Tardif for owner Leighton Property of Waterboro, Maine. With the Maine Sire Stakes season now concluded, racing action in the PineTreeState will be controlled by the overnight ranks, with live racing action continuing at Scarborough Downs every Saturday and Sunday afternoon through December 9th. For more information, visit or visit our Facebook page. By William Ellis for Scarborough Downs and the New England Harness Writers Association

Sweden’s Cruzado Dela Noche made a three-wide move on the final turn and the 30-1 long shot was able to nip Norway’s Lionel at the wire in a dramatic photo finish by a head in winning harness racing’s $1 million International Trot at Yonkers Raceway Saturday. Driven by Brian Sears, Cruzado Dela Noche got away in sixth place as Arazi Boko (Alessandro Gocciadoro) took the early lead away from the USA’s Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) going to the first quarter in :28.2. Race favorite and Elitloppet winner, Ringostar Treb and Pastore Bob both went off-stride going for the lead on the first turn. Then Canada’s Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) came first-over and was able to clear to the lead and take the field to the half mile in :57.1 as Lionel and driver Goran Antonsen came first-over with Sears and Cruzado Dela Noche followed second over past the three-quarters in 1:27. As they came to the final turn, Sears made the big move three-wide with Cruzado Dela Notche past the mile marker in 1:27 and the three-horses raced side-by-side around the turn and then the battle began down the stretch. Marion Marauder began to tire, Lionel looked if he had the race won, but with every stride, Cruzado Dela Noche gained ground and then in the final strides to the wire, won by a head in 2:24.3. Up And Quick (Jason Bartlett) was third. A six-year-old stallion by Muscle Massive, Cruzado Dela Notche was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms in the USA and raced in the states at age two before being shipped to Sweden. He trained by Marcus Melander and is leased by Courant, Inc. of Delray Beach, Florida. He paid $62.50 to win. Also, of note is that Cruzado Dela Noche had not been in a pari-mutuel race since June 10. He did have two winning qualifying races before going in the International. “I’m just so proud and happy to be here today,” said winning driver Brian Sears. “The trip I got, I could not have drawn it up any better. Maybe I should have tipped him three deep a little earlier than I did. When I did tip out it made the 9 horse (Lionel) worked a little harder. Perhaps if I had waited until the top of the stretch my horse would have gotten to him sooner. “He just raced super,” Sears said. “He got the trip that he needed. It’s just awesome today. To win the International Trot is great. This was my fourth time in the race. You don’t get that many chances to compete at this level. To win this today is quite a thrill.” “We did the qualifiers at Pocono,” said trainer Marcus Melander. “And we really did not know if they were enough for him to get ready for this race. He showed up today in good shape. “We train our horses a lot,” Melander said. “He was use to the extra distance racing from Sweden.” Warrawee Roo and Dube take $250,000 Harry Harvey Trot With a huge three-wide move from fourth place, Warrawee Roo and driver Daniel Dube was able to collar pacesetter Gruden and go on to win the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. Gruden, at 22-1, and driver Tim Tetrick grabbed the lead away from In Secret (George Brennan) to start off the seven race one and one-quarter mile race and led the field past the opening quarter in :28.1 and the half mile in :57. Yes Mickey and driver Jason Barlett had started up first-over with Warrawee Roo following the outside flow second-over as they past the three-quarters in 1:27. Then at the one-mile mark in the race at 1:56, Dube moved Warrawee Roo three-wide, clearing by Yes Mickey and then collaring Gruden as they started down the stretch. Warrawee Roo then has plenty of trot in the stretch, holding off Tap Flight Angel (Andy Miller) to win by one length in 2:25.2 with Gruden third. Winless in his last seven starts, Warrawee Roo, a five-year-old stallion by Majestic Son, posted his fourth win of the year for trainer Luc Blais and the Determination Stable of Montreal, Canada. He paid $10.60 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

It was a big harness racing day for driver Brian Sears at Yonkers Raceway Saturday afternoon. After capturing the $1 million International Trot with Cruzado Dela Noche, Sears then came back in the 11th race $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace to win with ease with McWicked. It was Mach It So (Jason Bartlett) who flew out of the starting gate to take command and then Nuclear Dragon and driver Tim Tetrick came right after Mach It So to control the pace at the first quarter in :27. As they came past the grandstand the first time, Sear came out with McWicked and started to grind his way towards the leaders at the half mile in :55.3. Following second-over was Bit Of A legend with driver Jordan Stratton. Then in the backstretch, McWicked was able to overpower Mach It So and take command with ease going to the three-quarters in 1:22.4. From there is was all McWicked as he pulled away in the stretch to win by four open lengths in 1:50.4. Bit Of A Legend was second with Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) third. “He always gives a great effort,” Sears said after the race. “I was OK with getting away third and I knew we would have to come first up and he just makes it look so easy. I don’t want to always come first up with him, but today he was OK. He is just so easy to drive.” A seven-year-old stallion by McArdle, it was the ninth win this year for McWicked. He is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by Ed James SSG Stable of North Boston, NY. He paid $2.90 to win as the race favorite with the scratch of Lazarus from the race on Friday. McWicked now sports 31 career wins in 90 starts and lifetime earnings of $3.500,376. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Sunshine Sprint winner Tact Tate has been sold. The Amanda Turnbull prepared pacer will do his future racing in North America and is scheduled to fly out this weekend. Tact Tate scored a brilliant victory in the Gr.2 $50,540 Garrards Sunshine Sprint in 1:53.0 defeating Celestial Arden and Ohoka Punter before finishing an unlucky 6th behind Let It Ride the following week in the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship back in July during the Queensland winter carnival. The McArdle gelding was unplaced in his only start since the Brisbane campaign, finishing 9th behind Gotta Go Ya Hu on September 15 at Menangle. “It obviously was a very tough decision but there was plenty of interest in him and things moved along pretty quickly and he’s headed out this weekend. He’s been an absolute ripper for me and all of the other owners and provided us with so much fun and excitement, he won two Gr.1 features and I’m sure he’ll do a great job in the States.” Co-owner Steve Salter said. Purchased for a moderate amount from New Zealand back in 2015, the former Southland pacer transformed into a great money-spinner for his connections winning 11 races including his first five starts in Victoria. His biggest victories came via the Gr.1 $100,000 Bonanza at Melton in a career best 1:51.9 and the Gr.1 $100,000 Bohemia Crystal FFA at Menangle defeating Have Faith In Me in 1:53.6 for 2400m. Other feature victories include the Gr.2 $50,000 Treuer Memorial and the Gr.3 $30,600 Sydney Cup. His most recent victory came via the Sunshine Sprint back on July 14. In recent times, former southern hemisphere pacers have performed exceptionally well in North America highlighted by the deeds of star mare Shartin and the mighty champion Lazarus. Shartin, a former winner of the Queensland Oaks, has confirmed her ranking as the best pacing mare in the world this year with a string of feature race victories throughout North America and Canada. The Tintin In America mare has banked more than $820,000 this year.   Chris Barsby

Tiger Tara tore shreds off his rivals to score a remarkable 12.2-metre win in the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton. The New South Wales-trained eight-year-old clawed his way to the lead early for reinsman Todd McCarthy, defying the challenge of fellow Sydneysider Mach Doro, and powering past polemarker Gotta Go Ya Hu, before ripping home with a 54-second last half. That made it virtually impossible for anything to make ground from out the back following a 44.2secs lead time and 59.6 first half. “Being able to lead on him worked out perfectly,” McCarthy said. “We got that breather early and were ready to roll after that. Full credit tonight to (trainer) Kevin Pizzuto; he had him absolutely at the top of his game.” Chicago Bull lost no admirers, boxing on gamely to run second, covering ground in the breeze and holding off third-placed Carlas Pixel – the mare running a bottler to finish third – and Franco Nelson, who did his share of work early, finishing fourth, just ahead of stablemate My Alpha Rock. Chicago Bull remains the favourite for the TAB ID18. Ameretto, who finished last, was scoped post-race and showed signs of mucous, according to trainer-driver Kerryn Manning, which may explain the performance. Tiger Tara will now head to New Zealand for a tilt at the $800,000 New Zealand Trotting Cup, one of the international jewels of the sport, before returning to Victoria for the TAB Inter Dominion from December 1. Ranked No.3 in the Inters earlier this month, there would be every chance Tiger Tara could launch to the top of the charts when rankings are updated this week. “We’ll definitely be back for the Inter Dominion,” an elated Pizzuto said. “He’s such a great horse with a big heart.”   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA 

Tornado Valley may head to New Zealand for a crack at the feature Kiwi trot races next month before returning home for the TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship after winning tonight’s Group 1 Aldebaran Park Bill Collins Trotters Sprint at Tabcorp Park Melton. First-up from a spell, Tornado Valley was aided by a 10-out-of-10 Kate Gath drive, going hard enough early for potential pest Conon Bridge to drop on to her steed’s back. “I thought if I keep on running through early it’s a chance of dropping on my back and that made a big difference. As soon as he did, I was able to ease the tempo straight away,” Gath said. Tornado Valley trotted his first split in 29.3 and his second in 31.1, which forced major danger Kyvalley Blur to launch from the back earlier than he would have liked, and the rest was elementary. Tornado Valley got home in 56 seconds. Dance Craze rattled home into second place for Anton Golino and Rodney Petroff, while Kyvalley Blur sustained his long effort to finish in third. Tornado Valley’s mile rate was 1:55.7. “I think he’ll be good with a sit as well,” Kate Gath said when asked about Tornado Valley’s plans in coming months. “I don’t think he has to be driven this way (tonight). At home, he’s really good with a sit. I think he’s versatile.” Tornado Valley – a son of Skyvalley – is now the clear TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship favourite. Representing race sponsor Aldebaran Park, Duncan McPherson remarked “to see Skyvalley sire the winner is a great thrill for us”.  Skyvalley stands at Aldebaran Park. Read about Tiger Tara's enormous Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup victory Book your ID18 tickets online now   Cody Winnell Trots Media

YONKERS, N.Y. – When Casie Coleman drew up the plans for McWicked’s 2018 campaign, Yonkers Raceway wasn’t among the potential targets for the star pacer. In fact, no half-mile tracks were, in part because Coleman believes McWick d is better on a big track and in part because owner Ed James of S S G Stable doesn’t like to race his horses on half-mile ovals. Coleman was surprised then, when James expressed interest in racing in the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace on the Yonkers International Trot undercard, especially since the timing of the race could upset McWicked’s path to the Breeders Crown. Despite the risk, Coleman changed course with McWicked to make the race, carded as the 11th of 12 on today’s program (October 13). “It wasn’t on the schedule at all. I wasn’t planning to get invited to it. It’s nice we did, obviously,” Coleman said. “My plan was to ship him home to Canada Sunday morning and have a week off to get ready for the Breeders Crown; that was the original plan that I thought was going to be perfect.  “When we got invited, you can’t turn it down. I didn’t think the owner would want to go. If the Breeders Crown goes eliminations, he’s going to be at six races in a row going into that Crown final, so it’s not something I would recommend,” she continued. “I’m really praying the Open Pace will go right to the final and then we’re perfect if that happens, but if they go elims, we’re going to be scared to have a tired horse going into the Crown final. The owner, I told him about it and he wanted to go. He said, ‘we’ll take a chance,’ so we’re going and we’ll hope for the best.” McWicked is the top earning Standardbred in North America this year with $1,053,864 in the bank. Wins in the Ben Franklin Final, Haughton Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, and a 1:46.2 lifetime best score in the Allerage Farms Open Pace last time out at the Red Mile October 6 earned him an invitation to the Rooney. It’s the best season the 7-year-old McArdle stallion has enjoyed since his sophomore year and has bolstered his record to 30-for-89 with $3,375,376 in career earnings.  “He was really good last year. He wasn’t this good, but he didn’t get into a lot of those big races because they went by money earned on the year and he didn’t have any money earned on the year,” Coleman said. “Now that he’s got money on his card, he’s been in all the big dances and he’s as strong now as he’s ever been, no doubt. He thinks he’s 3 again.” In his most recent start, McWicked raced off frantic fractions of :26.1 and :52.1 set by Western Fame and Heaven Rocks. He followed Filibuster Hanover around the final turn and tipped wide past three-quarters in 1:19.1. McWicked struck the front with a furlong to pace and held off parked-out rival Lazarus in the final sixteenth to win by ¾ lengths. “I couldn’t have been any happier with the way it set up. ‘Wicked’ seems to get a lot of tough trips, he’s first-over a lot. He seems to respond to it, he always races really well obviously,” Coleman said. “When I saw the fast fractions up front and he was second-over, Lazarus ended up being parked the mile, so that was to our advantage. I was really happy for the way it was setting up. “He’s been pacing some pretty big miles and that track was the fastest track I’ve seen of any track,” she continued. “That track was lightning. I was definitely expecting a big, big mile and with the fractions, it set up to go a big mile.” Despite McWicked’s torrid winning and beaten times – he’s been sub-1:50 in all but one of his 2018 starts at a mile and sub-1:49 in five – McWicked is a lazy horse in training and until recently, was a muted personality in the barn. “He’s always been a cool horse. As a 3-year-old, he was a really quiet horse. He made no noise and you would never even know he was in the barn. Now, he’s doing double duty, he’s breeding and racing, so he’s squealing and roaring and he knows he’s the boss, basically,” said Coleman, who’s trained McWicked for the bulk of his career. “There’s not many horses I’ve had as long as him except for back when I had claimers because the other ones either go to be broodmares or stallions,” she said. “He’s been around a long time. It’s pretty cool. We always call him the mascot. There’s not many mascots that are in the barn that have made $3.3 million. We call him the mascot because he’s been there forever. “To drive he’s an absolute sweetheart. If you want to go a mile in 2:25, he’ll go in 2:40. He’s very, very lazy. When you watch him race, he doesn’t want much part of the race until they’re past the half. He’s always gapped out and that’s just him,” she continued. “As a 3-year-old, he used to leave more, but this year, he’s very lazy. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, he’s a nice horse, he just squeals and roars a lot, makes a lot of noise, makes sure everybody knows he’s there.” Only $180,990 of McWicked’s career earnings have come on the half-mile track. He finished fifth in the Little Brown Jug and third in the Messenger at 3. At 5, McWicked finished third in the Molson Pace before finally winning on the half at age 6; he took a $30,000 overnight at Yonkers in his 2017 debut March 11 and won a leg of the Levy Series a month later. He finished last in the Levy Final April 22 for trainer Steve Elliot and hasn’t raced on the half since. “He gets around the half fine, he’s good-gaited. I haven’t been to the half that much with him,” Coleman said. “When I went to the Jug, I was extremely excited about McWicked. I thought he would fly over the half and he was no good there, I wasn’t happy with him, he was flat. I never really did find out what it was.  “I’m hoping he’s fine,” she continued. “I don’t see why he’ll have an issue with the half because he’s very good-gaited and he’ll get around anything, but he’s definitely not at his best on the half like he is on a big track.” McWicked drew post 2 in the Dan Rooney Pace and is the 2-1 morning line favorite with regular reinsman Brian Sears in the sulky. Nuclear Dragon is 5-2 from the inside off a front-stepping 1:50.2 score at Dayton while Endeavor to McWicked’s immediate outside enters off a similar score at Hoosier.  Bit Of A Legend, who finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in this race in 2015, will start from post 4 off a win in the local $44,000 Open Handicap Pace last out. Evenin Of Pleasure, Mach It So, and Always At My Place complete the lineup after the late sick scratch of Lazarus Friday morning.  “I have no idea what Brian will do on the half,” Coleman admitted. “The rail horse has a ton of speed and the three horse has a ton of speed. I don’t know what Brian will do, but as long as we get away midpack somewhere, I’m happy. I just hope that we can get our picture taken again.” Today’s card also features the $1,000,000 Yonkers International Trot and the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot. First post time is 1 p.m. For entries to the card, click here. For more information on the International Trot and its participants, click here. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

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