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Astute Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed is confident that New Zealand-bred two-year-old Pocket The Cash is poised to end a sequence of five minor placings by winning the final event, the Chevron City To Surf For Activ Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pocket The Cash, to be driven by Reed’s son Mark, will start from the No. 2 barrier in the 2130m event and the plan would be to make use of the gelding’s good gate speed.  “We will be going forward,” Mike Reed said. “I think that we’ve got to go forward to keep the main dangers outside of us or behind us.” “I was very impressed with Pocket The Cash’s run last Friday night (when a fast-finishing third to smart fillies Remit Me Whitby and Star Fromthepalace). He went to the line really good and if he had been able to get clear earlier I think he would have won. But I’m not taking anything away from the winner, who was very good. “I think that Pocket The Cash can turn the tables on the fillies. He has pulled up well and I expect him to run a good race. He’s just got better and better and better.” In last week’s race Pocket The Cash raced in fifth position, three back on the pegs. He was badly blocked for a clear passage until the final 120m and was still hampered for room in the late stages. The Debra Lewis-trained Remit Me Whitby (Jocelyn Young) impressed with her stylish all-the-way win and should fight out the finish this week after starting from barrier four. The Peter Anderson-trained Star Fromthepalace (Deni Roberts) cannot be underestimated and is poised for a strong showing, even from barrier six. She charged home from last when second to Remit Me Whitby last week. Dissertation, a Well Said gelding trained by Craig Abercromby, will start from barrier five with Chris Lewis in the sulky and will be attempting to stretch his winning sequence to four after easy victories at Northam and Pinjarra (twice). Adding considerable interest to the race will be the debut of the Alta Engen, an Alta Christiano gelding trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo. Alta Engen is out of the Million To One mare Its Karma, who won six times from 46 starts and is a half-brother to Baylan Jett, who has raced 74 times for 11 wins, 24 placings and $103,676 in prizemoney. Reinsman Aiden de Campo is upbeat about the prospects of Alta Engen, who finished a good second to the smart youngster Longreach Bay (a half-brother to the brilliant Cott Beach) in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. The winner rated 1.57.8, with final quarters in 28.5sec. and 28.9sec. “We sat three back on the pegs in the trial,” de Campo said. “I pulled him out at the 500m and he ran the leader (Longreach Bay) to about a half-length. “Alta Engen is quite a big horse who has taken time to mature. He’s quite docile and every time we take him to the track he keeps improving. He’s got gate speed and from barrier one I’ll be trying to hold the front with him.” The father-son de Campo combination also has good winning prospects with American Delight (race one) and Handsandwheels (race 6). American Delight, a winner at five of her 11 starts, is awkwardly drawn at barrier six in the 2130m event but has the ability to overcome that disadvantage. She has won at her past two outings, scoring by two lengths over 2130m at Gloucester Park and then finishing solidly from sixth at the bell to win narrowly from While They Pray over 2100m at Bunbury last Saturday week. “Her form is really good,” said Aiden de Campo. “From barrier six we’ll probably have to press forward with her and if she happens to find the front, she’ll take a fair bit of beating. However, she’s versatile and can do a few different things.” Countess Grace and Mandy Joan are two of American Delight’s main dangers. But they have drawn out wide, at barriers seven and eight, respectively. Countess Grace set the pace and was an easy winner for the Reed stable at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Handsandwheels is in top form and has won narrowly, but impressively at his past two starts at Gloucester Park, over 1730m at a 1.53.9 rate and 2130m (1.55.6). He will start from barrier four over 2130m on Friday night and his clash with Im Soxy, Vampiro, El Jacko, King of Swing and Vultan Tin will be a highlight of the ten-event program. Fast beginners Im Soxy (barrier two) and Thereugo (three) have drawn inside of Handsandwheels and the battle for early supremacy will be most interesting. The Brian Clemens-trained Im Soxy will be handled by Shannon Suvaljko and Mark Reed has been engaged to drive the Sue Wiscombe-trained Thereugo for the first time. The speedy Thereugo last appeared three weeks ago when he led from barrier seven and finished a close third behind Handsandwheels and Im Soxy at a 1.53.9 rate over 1730m.  “It will be interesting to see what Thereugo does,” said de Campo. “They might cross to the front and take a trail. Handsandwheels sat outside Thereugo and beat him last start over a mile (1730m) and you would think that he couldn’t lead over 2130m and beat us. I’ll play it by ear. In an ideal world Thereugo crosses to the front and hands up to us. But it’s never that easy; we’ve got to come out and find a forward position and play it by ear.”   Ken Casellas

ANDERSON, Ind.--August 21, 2019-- TJ's Top Pick, with Trace Tetrick in the bike, became Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino's newest harness racing track record holder when he powered home a winner in 1:53.3 in the co-featured event of the evening, the first division of the $64,000 Indiana Sires Stakes action for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Wednesday, August 21. The 1:53.3 mark was a lifetime best for the freshman colt and also re-established the previous track record for two-year-old trotting geldings by nearly a full second, a 1:54.2 mark that he equaled in the last round of stakes action. In just the fifth start of his two-year-old season, TJ's Top Pick turned in a dominant performance to finish nearly five lengths in front of his next closest competitor and remain undefeated this season. His 1:53.3 victory also marked the seventh track record that has been equaled or re-established at Hoosier Park through 102 nights of live racing this season. Leaving from post seven in the field of seven, TJ's Top Pick left just enough to grab a seat along the rail in fourth. Osprey Hanover and Deshawn Minor would grab the early lead through the opening panel in :27.4. As soon as the field got straightened away down the backside, Tetrick gave TJ's Top Pick the green light and the colt quickly took command at the half in :57.3. When the field hit the three-quarters in 1:25.4, TJ's Top Pick was on top with a five length lead while the rest of the field was struggling to stay within striking distance. Turning for home, TJ's Top Pick found another gear and trotted away from the field with a :27.4 closing kick. Swan In Motion and Ricky Macomber Jr. rallied well late but were forced to settle for second while Emma Town Bud and Mike Oosting finished third. As the heavy 2-5 favorite, TJ's Top Pick returned $2.80 at the betting windows. "He's just so versatile," trainer Jeff Cullipher noted after the victory. "He really started to come around when we shipped into Hoosier Park in March and he's just been getting better every week. He's one of the smartest colts I've ever been around and I think he gets a little stronger every start." With the win, TJ's Top Pick became harness racing's newest $100,000 earner. The gelded son of Swan For All-J A's Ayd is undefeated through the first three rounds of Indiana Sires Stakes action and is owned in partnership by Jeff Cullipher, Pollack Racing, and Trace Tetrick. TJ's Top Pick was bred by Freeman Bontrager. In the second division of the stakes action, Brigotto broke his maiden in impressive fashion and pulled the 15-1 upset. Driven by Sam Widger for trainer Rodney Debeck, Brigotto staged a big rally late in the lane to score in 1:55.3. Leaving from post four, Brigotto found a spot along the rail in fifth and would let the dust settle before making his move. Simply Swan and Joe Putnam were on top through the opening quarter in :29.1 but would yield the lead to the heavily favored, Dude Included and Verlin Yoder just before the half. Dude Included led the field through middle splits of :58.4 and 1:27.4 but Brigotto was on the attack and tracking intently from first-over. Widger was patient with Brigotto through the final turn and when they straightened away from home, Brigotto dipped down to the inside and utilized a :27.2 final quarter to get the win by a length. Dude Included finished second while Rocket Lee Breeze and Jared Finn finished third. As the second longest shot on the board, Brigotto returned $33.60 at the betting windows. "He tries really hard," trainer, owner Rodney Debeck noted after the victory. "He made a break in his last start but he's still figuring things out so you have to expect that. He trained down great." With the win, the son of Bluto-Dream Act recorded his first win from six lifetime outings. Bred by Pond-A-Acres, Brigotto has now earned $35,201 in lifetime purse earnings. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, August 22 with three $47,000 divisions for two-year-old filly pacers highlighting the 13-race card. The 13-race card will also feature a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 pool in Races 3-6 and a $10,000 Hoosier High-5 in Race 13. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Emily Ratcliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

Victorian harness racing trainer Gary Merkel has tried taking extended breaks from the sport over the years, but each time finds himself back at it again. Merkel is in his early 70s and trains in the Goulburn Valley at Tongala, 50 kms north-west of Shepparton and said he couldn't put a number on the times he has thought the time had come to pull the pin. "I did give it up on two or three occasions and honestly believed that was the end," he said. "We were breeding up to a few years ago and we quit on that - but we kept three racehorses to try and sell, so after around 50 years, here I am, still at it! "But we've made some great friends and the industry has so many lovely people, you get so much enjoyment out of it, so I guess that's what keeps us coming back." But, with a touch of irony, Merkel and his wife Kathy are highly enjoying their involvement at the moment. Bay mare Roslyn Gaye (Artistic Fella-Madam Narryna (Fake Left) has posted impressive wins at Shepparton on August 7 and 18 and this afternoon competes in the $7000 Betta Home Living Pace Final at Cobram. "We've drawn nicely in barrier two and she has led-up in her last five starts so I would think Chris Svanosio, our driver, will adopt the same tactics. If we don't get early pressure, we should be right in the fight," Merkel said. "Last season she had four placings from 14 outings and looked a long way from a win. I decided to try to do what suited her the best in the way of training, so between races she gets interval training - some sprints up the straight, but with not a lot of work. "It seems to be working with her. This season she's had 22 runs for four wins, five seconds and two third placings." The Merkels named the pacer after their daughter Roslyn Gaye, who lives in Brisbane. "Roslyn has been on the sick list in recent times, so her namesake pacer has been giving her a bit of a lift. The other kids up there have also got right behind the horse which is great," Merkel said. Madam Narryna, the dam of Roslyn Gaye, was an outstanding performer winning 12 races (Merkel drove her to eight of these) with 21 placings for nearly $50,000. "She had a whirlwind sprint. Many times, she would come from the back and just overhaul them," Merkel said. As well as Roslyn Gaye, Madam Narryna has left two other winners from four foals - Superband (three wins) and Narryna Jetstar (two). Madam Narryna was the best-performed of nine foals produced by the Merkels' Hilarious Way-sired mare Narryna Way with other winners including Narryna Guy (seven), Narryna Scotch (two) and Narryna Fella (one). "We've had our ups and downs on the farm with breeding horses. We've bred many over the years and you take the good with the bad, but most of the ones we sold ended up winning races," he said. "Back in the day we would also buy some older horses and fiddle around with them and try to improve them, and we had a lot of fun in the 2000s with a Village Jasper mare in Global Village. "She won 10 at tracks like Shepparton, Cobram, and Echuca and had 36 placings. And it's most satisfying when you get a win and people come up and congratulate you. That's one of the best parts." Merkel said his interest in harness racing went back to many years ago when he attended Technical School. "The school was not far from the old Shepparton showgrounds and I used to watch the pacers being trained. Then later my brother left me a horse because he had nowhere to put it," he said. "I was a builder by trade and owned two acres at Kialla where I made a little jog track. I got a copy of 'the green book' on how to train standardbreds, asked friends and listened to others. "We later moved to Tongala on 40 acres, where we are now, and have our own 650m track. I still get up at daylight and if I need to do some fast work, sometimes I will head into the Kyabram track." And as for a retirement date? Merkel said he really hadn't given it much thought lately. "We are equal first with Roslyn Gaye in a Horse of the Year award up here so to clinch that would be nice and I also want to race at Albury again because we have fond memories from years ago when we competed there with a horse named Bill Hickock."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Whether a season is a success or failure often depends on expectation. Which means most punters and even trainer Steven Reid would struggle to give Star Galleria a positive report card for last season. On raw data that hardly seems fair. Star Galleria finished second to Turn It Up in and Auckland Cup and Cambridge Flying Mile and was a consistent player at the highest level. But when you have been given that most potent of equine gifts, blazing speed, close enough isn’t good enough. So Reid is hoping this season, which starts at the workouts next week for Star Galleria, is better. A lot better. “I suppose it was a good season but it could have been much better,’” admits Reid. “But what a lot of people forget is that he had an operation for an entrapped epiglottis and that effected him at both ends of the season. “He had an operation on that after the NZ Cup (seventh) and then it bothered him when he flipped his palate in the Hunter Cup (February) so he did a good job to run second in an Auckland Cup in between.” The problem is that Star Galleria, while he has won 13 races and $362,171, has a million-dollar reputation and after a ballistic early season victory this time last year huge money offers were being thrown around. They were turned down and Star Galleria won one more race for the season. Reid hasn’t given up on the now six-year-old making good on his gifts. “He has come back stronger, a lot stronger,” he offers. “And we now know one of the keys to him is keeping him settled in his races because after the operation he has an increased risk of flipping his palate. “But with his speed and him being stronger I think he can have a better season than last season.” And Star Galleria has plenty of local targets, with Reid hoping some small fields hold together in the north over the next two months to allow him a home-based preparation for the New Zealand Cup, with Tony Herlihy to retain the drive. Then he has the Inter Dominion returning to his back door at Alexandra Park on November 29, with doubts over a range of top-end contenders. “I think he actually thrives on the back up so I am confident he will handle the series, especially being at home.”That is well over $1.5million worth of races for Star Galleria between now and the New Year. And plenty of chances to live up to the hype.B   Michael Guerin

Recently crowned junior drivers’ premiership winner John Morrison has the chance to kick start his title defence this week. Morrison heads to Addington on Thursday night to seek his first win of the new season and to reunite with promising pacer Only In America. The 5yr-old has impressed by winning two of his three career starts for trainer Mike de Fillipi.  “He has done everything we have asked of him so far - only three starts and he has done a really good job,” Morrison said. “He has got a great gait and great manners -  he is typical of one of Mike DeFilippi’s – he is very well mannered and great to drive.” “He is a very good judge, so it good to be pulling his colours on.” Only In America has shown versatility in his two starts by winning from the trail two starts ago and by leading all of the way in his last win. Despite the horse showing a professional attitude, Morrison is weary of the pacer stepping in up in grade to race seasoned horses in race 8. The only other thing Morrison is concerned about ahead of Thursday night’s 2600m handicap is that Only In America has not raced for over a month. “He hasn’t raced for a month, so he might need the run a wee bit.” “So far he has done everything right and there is no reason he couldn’t [step up in grade]. “He will just get better with racing, I would say.” Rollova heads Only In America’s more seasoned opposition in Thursday night’s rating 50-72 special handicap. Though the David and Catherine Butt trained 4yr-old is a relative newcomer to racing himself, with only seven starts behind him. Rollova impressed in the first run of his campaign, with hitting the line strongly for third behind Flying Mister Ideal at Addington last week. Rollova shares the 10m mark with Only In America and other leading contenders Santanna Mach and Secret Bet. Morrison has two other chances to notch his first win of the new term at Addington. He will reunite with consistent trotter Crusher Collins in race 9. The Lyndon Bond trained 6yr-old has won once and placed six times from behind the mobile. “Crusher Collins has been going really good, she went good at Oamaru on Sunday,” Morrison said. “I got to drive her in the junior championship and she went really good then.” Morrison also drives Tiger Moth, who seeks a maiden win from race 2. The Graham Bond trained 5yr-old ran last in his last start at Ashburton, but he deserved a better fate. “I was really happy with Tiger Moth until he got knocked over at about the 600m – he was going really good.” “His trial form was really good and it wasn’t his fault – I got knocked off my feet. I though he would have been in the money.” Tiger Moth has his first standing start from the unruly in race 2 on Thursday night. If he can not crack a win at Addington, he should be able to be rewarded at short notice, Morrison said. “He would win in the race in the near future, I would think.” Morrison has a strong book of drives at Gore on Sunday. It includes three good chances for trainer Paul Court in Mongolian Marshal, Storm Prince and Stick Man.   By Jonny Turner Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Two well-bred winning Love You mares, Silicon Valley, (who has not been to stud) and Glenferrie Sunbird, (who has only been bred once, producing a colt to Andover Hall), are the latest additions to Yabby Dam Farms Annual Broodmare reduction sale. The lightly raced Glenferrie Sunbird is a half to the good winner The Foot Tapper and from champion Lyell Creek’s family which has been firing on all cylinders in recent years. Out of Pine Chip mare Blue Jacket, Glenferrie Sunbird is closely related to Group winners Marcoola, Armaretto Sun, Arboe, Ima Bourbon Girl, Kincaslough and Kahdon plus the group placed Le Reveur, Ballyronan and Ronald J, making her an outstanding broodmare proposition. Five-win mare Silicon Valley took a record of 1.58.9 in amassing earnings of $27,820. From the Pine Chip mare Micro Chip, she is a half to the group placed Cyberspace and two other winners. Her grand dam is the Group winner Inda Bank (t, 1.58.9, $138,660) who is a close relation to good winner The Almighty Johnson (t1.58.9m $199,169). Tricia Powell, the dam of recent 3YO winner Travel Bug, who is the only progeny of racing age, is among mares still available in the first annual broodmare reduction sale with an adjusted price. These include New Zealand champion Enghien’s half sister The Pink Diamond who won nine races in New Zealand and Australia, multiple Group one placed Amarula, Group one placed Moyabamba, NZ Trotting Oaks winner Commander Jewel and Group one winning Sundon mare Fiery Mountain Girl who is in foal to Love You. This is a genuine broodmare reduction sale, due to an influx of retiring mares from Yabby Dam Farms’ racing arm, and a change of direction, meaning a number of beautifully bred mares from its broodmare band are available for sale online on its website, on a first come first served basis. Yabby Dam Farms is offering a wide mix of mares, unproven, proven, young and old broodmares to suit all clients, from established breeders to new breeders wanting to get in-to the game, or those trying to get into that special family through an older mare. So here is a great chance to supplement your broodmare band from some of the southern hemisphere’s best families. Please call Dave on +64 21 245 2584 or email dave@harasdestrotteurs.com.au   Dave Sanders

NORTHFIELD, OH — He may very well be the Roy Hobbs of harness racing. In the classic baseball movie “The Natural,” Hobbs, portrayed by Robert Redford, endures 16 years between striking out a Babe Ruthian character known as Whammer and playing for the big league New York Knights as a 35-year-old rookie. A silver bullet delayed his debut. Cooper, a bay six-year-old harness racing trotter, had been missing in pari-mutuel action for nearly four years, a lifetime for a racehorse, when he showed up to compete at Northfield Park in early June. For a Standardbred who hadn’t raced in 45 months, he’s become an overnight success. Cooper, who failed to win a race in six starts in 2015 as a freshman and banked a measly $3,305, has ripped off six consecutive victories ($20,700 in earnings) at Northfield Park. Remarkably, he trots faster with each and every outing. Where has he been? He was busy pulling an Amish buggy around Sugarcreek, Ohio, a village in Tuscarawas County that’s about an hour south of Northfield Park. Cooper, no longer an equine limousine, seeks his seventh straight victory Wednesday night in the 10th race at Northfield. The masterminds behind the magical rebirth of the son of Canadian sire Kadabra, are longtime Sugarcreek friends Homer Stutzman and Firman Troyer. “He’s a total surprise,” said Troyer, who owns and trains Cooper after purchasing him privately from Stutzman. “Every time he races, he amazes me.” Stutzman, who bought Cooper at auction a few years back for a few thousand dollars, is not as surprised. “When I first got him, he (had a) sore behind and he also had a kidney infection,” said Stutzman. “I called an equine chiropractor and he worked on him. It just took some time for him to come up to snuff.” And when he did, Cooper started transporting the Stutzman family around town with improved smoothness. There were the usual trips to the store, to church and to the homes of relatives, all with great zip. It’s also when Stutzman heard a sound that made him think Cooper wanted to once again trot for his dinner. “I started hearing his hooves hitting the axles on the buggy,” he said. “That told me that he was really feeling good and stretching out.” So, Stutzman reached out to Troyer earlier this year and encouraged him to give Cooper a second chance at the races. “I have a day job in Sugarcreek, building doors at Provia Door, so training horses is a hobby of mine,” said Troyer. “Homer knows horses and he said he thought Cooper would do, so I decided to try him as a racehorse.” After getting him in shape at a stable in Sugarcreek, Troyer shipped Cooper to Northfield for a morning qualifying mile on May 30. It was the first time he’d been on a racetrack since Sept. 6, 2015, when he failed to finish in a race at Flamboro Downs in Canada. Not only did Cooper go wire-to-wire over a sloppy track to win the qualifier by 1 ½ lengths, he was timed his mile in 1:57 4/5. “My first reaction was that I wasn’t sure the timing device was working,” said Troyer. “That was mighty fast.” The timer was accurate and the impressive clocking earned Cooper the right to race for purse money at night. He has more than made the most of the opportunity, perhaps fearful of being returned to the life of a Sugarcreek taxi. Cooper has not only won all six of his starts by an average margin of 6 1/2 lengths, he has dramatically lowered his winning time in each subsequent outing, turning in an eye-popping career best 1:53 2/5 last Wednesday. “We never figured this would happen, but we’re enjoying every minute of it,” said Troyer. “Cooper is the best horse I’ve ever had. He has the nicest temperament. There isn’t a mean bone in his body. My little boy could race him.” And what does Mark Steacy think of Cooper? He’s the trainer who had him in his failed first year of racing. “What he’s done (at Northfield) is something you don’t see very often,” said Steacy. “I sent him back to his owner because he was just too slow. But good for him. Perhaps he just matured.” Troyer isn’t sure what has gotten into Cooper, but whatever it is, he’ll gladly accept more of it. “The future? I don’t know,” he said. “The future will just have to tell us what it is.” By Bob Roberts, Special to The Plain Dealer, reprinted with permission

Former AFL sharpshooter Rick McLean was regarded as one of the toughest players ever to pull on a guernsey - but fortunately there was a soft side to him when it came to his harness racing horses. Had McLean not gone against advice from veterinary surgeons and saved a horse he bred at his then Toolern Vale property many years ago, his sensational "Broadway" dynasty may never have materialized. "I think it would have been in the early 1990s when dad was faced with the dilemma of what to do with Broadway Gal," Rick's son and harness racing trainer Shannon said. "She was a handy horse he had bred by Muckalee Strike out of a mare he purchased called Neshia, but she went through a fence and ripped arteries in the lower part of one of her legs. The vets suggested she be put down, but dad said 'No way' and that was that," he said. "After being nursed back to health, she returned to the track and won a heap of races. I think it was 15. "Dad has owned horses for a long time. He had them with a number of trainers when he was playing footy (for Carlton and later Richmond), and loved a bet," Shannon said. Rick McLean, a powerfully built 185cm, 92kg full forward, joined Richmond at the end of 1971, after being cleared from Carlton, where he'd been starved of opportunities (with just 19 games). Rick McLean in his AFL heyday After joining the Tigers, McLean finished 1972 with a career-high 55 goals, with a best return of eight against St Kilda at the MCG. He left Tigerland in '74 to play for Burnie, in Tassie, before returning two years later for three more senior games. He averaged nearly three goals per game in his 39 appearances at Richmond, providing a strong and aggressive focal point. What would become McLean's foundation mare, the rejuvenated Broadway Gal finished her career with 20 wins and 15 placings for stakes of $100,000. But as good as she was at the racetrack, the mare, owned by Rick and sons Christian and Shannon, has proved to be a marvel in the breeding barn. From eight foals, Broadway Gal has left seven winners with combined success of 110 victories and 157 placings for more than $1.2 million. "Over the years he's spent a lot of time and money on them, but he always tried to have well-bred stock. While he has been getting the rewards for the last 20 years, it's been particularly satisfying in the last 10 years," Shannon said. Undoubtedly heading the list of the McLean breed, courtesy of Broadway Gal, was Broadways Best (29 wins, 29 places for $643,000). Then there was also Broadway Playboy (30w, 40 p $215,000); Broadway Play (20w, 32 p $173,000); Another Broadway (19 w, 18 p $106,000); Fifth And Broadway (9 w, 17 p $49,000); Spirit Of Broadway (5w, 14 p $28,000); and Just Tommy (3w, 7p $13,000). The daughter of Broadway Gal, the Safely Kept-sired Broadway Play is now also showing her talents as a broodmare. She is the dam of bay gelding Live On Broadway (By Art Major), bred by Christian, owned by Rick and trained at South Gisborne by Shannon. The five-year-old has had seven starts for six wins - the past five this season. "We are all certainly enjoying the ride with him. But it hasn't all been plain sailing because he had an enforced spell for over 18 months," Shannon said. After winning a 3YO Vicbred event at Maryborough in August 2017 Live on Broadway pulled up lame. "We thought it was an abscess," Shannon said. "This went on for five or six weeks so then we got an x-ray done and the vet found he had ringbone." (*Ringbone is a bone growth in the pastern or coffin joint. In severe cases, the growth can encircle the bones, giving ringbone its name.) Shannon said as a young horse, Live On Broadway tore half of his hoof off. "It was built up with Equilox, an adhesive hoof repair resin. We often wonder if his problems started from there," he said. "We were aware he had ability, so he got thrown out into the paddock for a long spell. He's not showing any signs of discomfort so hopefully it's behind him." Live On Broadway, with Chris Alford driving, was forced to race outside the leader at Yarra Valley on Monday and had enough in reserve to hold off a fast-finishing Machs Gold (Kate Gath). The pacer may have his next start at Cranbourne on Sunday. Shannon, who has been training for about 20 years, is nearing the 100 mark with 93 wins and 124 placings (over $1M in stakes) from 420 starters. "We're very family-orientated. My wife Jess is always there to lend a hand and our boys Jensen (4) and Hunter (6) love the horses. In fact Hunter's been at all of Live on Broadway's five races this season, so we think he's our lucky charm!"   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 20, 2019--Sometimes, we realize communication ain't all it's cracked up to be. That's our story and we're sticking with it. When the list of Yonkers Trot entrants was sent out Monday (Aug. 19th), it numbered seven. Well, make it eight. A bad game of telephone omitted one...a Hambletonian-winning one. Forbidden Trade was indeed put in the box Monday for the 65th Trot, and for that omission in print, it's a mea culpa. "It wasn't in our original plan, but plans change," trainer Luc Blais said. "We let him tell us what to do and he's been training so well." Forbidden Trade, a son of Kadabra, was among the list of Yonkers Trot eligibles, supplemented after his 2-year-old season. He has won six of his nine starts at 3 ($671,484), the latest an Ontario Sire Stakes Gold event at Mohawk. The colt, has who made two half-mile-track OSS starts in his career, is owned by Serge Godin's Determination and driven by Bob McClure. Even with the 'addition' of Forbidden Trade, the limited number of entrants makes this season's race a one-dash-for-the-(half-million-dollar)-cash event, set for Saturday night, Aug. 31st. The new-and-improved alphabetical list of Yonkers Trot entrants, with declared drivers, are... Forbidden Trade (Bob McClure) Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) HL Revadon (g) (Jim Marohn Jr.) Livinonthedash (Marcus Miller) No Drama Please (Tim Tetrick) Osterc (Dexter Dunn) Sheena's Boy (g) (Dunn also listed) Soul Strong (g) (Dunn also listed) by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Haras des Trotteurs-bound Sweden Cup winner Volstead leaves for Australia tomorrow after spending his two week post-arrival quarantine at IRT’s Karaka (Auckland) facilities in New Zealand. The first son of Cantab Hall to stand at stud in the southern hemisphere looked relaxed and in wonderful condition as he nibbled on a carrot offered by IRT handler David Cudden who accompanied him from his new permanent residence in America after a stellar racing career in Sweden. New Zealand and Australian breeders will be the first to welcome Volstead foals for the US-bred stallion who raced out of top Swedish trainer Stephan Melander’s stable winning 23 of his 72 race starts. A very sound, versatile and exceptionally fast horse, Volstead won races in each year from age 3 until 7 and from distances ranging from a mile (where he took a record of 1.51.5 on a 1000m track) to 2640m competing  against some of the very best horses in the world. He won some of Sweden’s most prestigious races including the 4YO classic Group 1 King’s Cup and as a 6YO, the international Sweden Cup, and during his stellar career also competed in the famous Elitloppet against the likes of world superstars Timoko and Propulsion. Standing at Haras des Trotteurs at Cardigan (Ballarat), Victoria, Volstead’s chilled semen will be available throughout New Zealand and Australia with $500 discounts available to Victorian Square Trotters Association and New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Association members. Enquiries to Dave Sanders, dave@harasdestrotteurs.com.au. TEL +64 212 452 584.

Traveling 2624kms is a long way to go to drag race your stablemate up a short straight in search of group one glory.  But that is the unusual situation Zeuss Bromac and Perfect Stride find themselves in in the A$300,000 Breeders Crown juvenile boy’s final at Melton on Saturday night.  Of course Zeuss Bromac and Perfect Stride aren’t technically stablemates. The former is the first horse trained by young gun driver Zac Butcher while Perfect Stride is trained by Ray Green.  But Butcher actually works for Green and his Lincoln Farm’s bosses so Zeuss Bromac is trained at the same stable, eats the same food and basically lives the same stable life. Butcher, as the stable driver, has even driven Perfect Stride in his ealry races.  And yet here they are two unlikely favourites in one of the richest juvenile pacing races in the world.  Perfect Stride only ended up at the Crown after a mid-season lull that saw him left with petrol in the tank to race into August and is owned by huge-spending NSW couple Emilio and Mary Rosati, who are never scared to travel their horses to the best races.  Zeuss Bromac is an even more unlikely Crown story, being a maiden in June and Butcher’s first horse.  But since arriving in Australia, together naturally, they have both been very good in their heats and semi finals of the Crown and then their chances got massive boosts at Saturday night’s barrier draw where Perfect Stride drew the ace and Zeuss Bromac barrier four.  That suits both as Perfect Stride, even though he led to win his semi final, is a better follower and Zeuss Bromac is the stronger horse better suited to leading and rolling.   So there is a very real chance the two South Auckland babies could end up lead-trail in the group one and while they will still have to stave off high-class local Be Happy Mach, he has the handicap of starting from the outside of the second line. “I think if they lead and trail, which would probably be ideal, then they are going to give the locals a good go,” said Green, who won the Crown two years ago with King Of Swing.  “I’d love to win it again and it would be great for Emilio and Mary because they put so much money into the game.  “But I honestly think our best chance is trailing because he loafs a bit when he leads but he sprints very sharply coming off another horse’s back.  “Would we beat Zac’s horse coming off his back up the sprint lane at Melton? I think we would go close. I’d love to think so. “But if we had to get beat, and I don’t want to, there is nobody I’d rather lose to,” laughs Green.  Bookie have already taken money for Zeuss Bromac as the possible lead-trail scenario became more evident and while Be Happy Mach is enormously better performed than the Kiwis, Breeders Crown are notoriously hard to win sitting parked when the other favourites lead and trail.  So the two South Auckland unofficial stablemates could be each others greatest ally on Saturday night. Right up until they become each others greatest rival.   Michael Guerin

Kate Gath already boasts her best season, but hopes to take it another level on Breeders Crown night at Melton.  Gath has smashed her PB with 152 wins and there’s been plenty of quality amongst them, most notably an Inter Dominion and string of other Group 1’s aboard Tornado Valley.  But the extra dimension of this season has come as a bit of a surprise to Gath.  “It’s been the outside driving opportunities which have been the pleasant surprise,” she said. “It’s been great to get drives for a few different stables, obviously Emma (Stewart) and Clayton (Tonkin) being on some fantastic horses.  “That’s been a big part of what’s certainly been my best season. Not only have I driven more winners than ever before, but I’ve been in more big races as well.  “I think that says some great things about our sport … that at 36 years of age I’m having by far my best season and getting more opportunities than ever. In so many other fields, it gets harder for women as they get older.”  Gath has drives in three of the Group 1 Breeders Crown finals on Saturday night: Majestuoso (Race 6, 3YO colts and geldings trot); Demon Delight (Race 7, 3YO colts and geldings pacing final) and Pacifico Dream (Race 8, 2YO colts and geldings pacing final). She’s also down to drive Jo Dina in the 2YO pacing fillies’ final if the first emergency gains a start.  Gath will also take the reins on major players Maraetai in the Group 2 4YO entires and geldings final as well as Nostra Beach in the Group 2 4YO mares’ final.  In a sign of the career shift for Gath, only Majestuoso is trained by her and her husband, Andy.  “It’s a great book of drives on a fantastic night of racing,” Gath. “It’s terrific to be part of it, especially with so many good drives.”  Majestuoso gave Gath her latest Group 1 win in the Victoria Trotters’ Derby at Maryborough last month and is a $2.20 favourite to win his Crown final.  “I was probably a tad easy on him after the Derby win because he’s had to the two staying races back-to-back. Even though he was beaten, he still got very close and fought it out well,” Gath said.  “It’s a good field, but thankfully most of our main dangers, including All Cashed Up who beat him in the heat, are drawn the back row with us.  “The shorter 2240m trip compared to the Derby distance is a bit of a leveller, but he’s so fast this guy. He’ll be very hard to beat.”  Gath can’t wait to drive Demon Delight for Stewart and Tonkin again.  “He’s got everything this horse. He’s so versatile. We knew he was tough and then he comes out and shows that sort of speed to win from back in the field last week,” she said.  “He never seems to draw well for me, but it’s great to have options and be able to drive him according to how the race is run. He’s such an exciting horse.”   Adam Hamilton

MILTON, ON - August 20, 2019 - World champion Lather Up and defending champion McWicked headline a group of nine entrants for this year's $525,000 Canadian Pacing Derby. The entry box for Canada's oldest harness stakes race closed Tuesday morning with nine older pacers entered. Eliminations will not be required for this year's edition of the Canadian Pacing Derby and all nine will compete in the $525,000 final on Saturday, August 31 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Lather Up, the co-fastest Standardbred of all-time, will return to the site of his richest victory and attempt to add another lucrative victory to his dream season. The four-year-old captured last year's $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Park and earlier this season matched Always B Miki's world record of 1:46 at The Meadowlands. Trained by Clyde Francis, Lather Up is undefeated in six career starts at Mohawk Park. The son of Im Gorgeous is currently riding a four-race win streak, which includes victories in the Dan Patch, Sam McKee Memorial, Haughton Memorial and Graduate Series, to bring his season record to eight wins in 11 starts and career record to 23 wins in 36 starts. A 50 per cent interest in Lather Up was recently purchased by Taylor Made Sales and Stallions, who owned last year's 'Pacing Derby' runner-up Lazarus N. The ownership group of Lather Up consists of his breeders Gary & Barbara Iles, George Teague and Taylor Made Stallions. The four-year-old currently sits at $1.7 million in career earnings. Casie Coleman trainee McWicked is returning to defend his 'Pacing Derby' title. The eight-year-old captured last year's edition in convincing fashion en route to being named the Horse of the Year in both Canada and the US. McWicked continues to add to incredible legacy with over $500,000 earned this season to bring his career earnings to $4.5 million for owner Ed James' S S G Stables. The superstar pacer led all Standardbreds in earnings last season, becoming the oldest horse in 43 years to top the money standings. He is also the oldest horse in harness racing history to receive Horse of the Year honours. The Coleman trained McWicked most recently captured the Roll With Joe last Sunday afternoon at Tioga. Lather Up and McWicked have competed against each other five-times this season. The season-series currently favours Lather Up, who has scored victories in four of those five meetings. Ron Burke trainee This Is The Plan heads towards the Canadian Pacing Derby with plenty of momentum on his side. The four-year-old gelding captured last Sunday's Prix D'Ete at Hippodrome 3R in a Canadian record of 1:49.1. This Is The Plan's only other victory this season came against four of his 'Pacing Derby' rivals in the $500,000 Ben Franklin at Pocono. He sports the second highest seasonal earnings in the field with $651,868 collected in 13 starts. Done Well and Filibuster Hanover join This Is The Plan to make up a trio of competitors in this year's edition from the Burke barn. There are plenty of local hopefuls joining McWicked in this year's 'Pacing Derby. Dr. Ian Moore trainee Casimir Richie P, Blake MacIntosh trainee Courtly Choice, Richard Moreau trainee Jimmy Freight and Carmen Auciello trainee Western Fame will all compete in the $525,000 contest. Courtly Choice captured last year's Little Brown Jug and tuned up last Saturday for the 'Pacing Derby' with a 1:49 victory in the Preferred at Mohawk Park. He's won three of 10 stars to this point in his four-year-old campaign. Casimir Richie P has quietly risen to the Preferred ranks during his four-year-old season, posting six wins in 15 starts. Despite just one win this season, Jimmy Freight has banked more than $250,000 in 11 starts. The four-year-old's lone victory came in the Mohawk Gold Cup and he's also finished second in the Confederation Cup and Battle of Lake Erie. Levy Series winner Western Fame ranks third among the nine entrants in seasonal earnings with $551,400 earned in 13 starts this season. The six-year-old joined the barn of Auciello for his most recent effort, a second-place finish to Courtly Choice in last Saturday's Preferred. The nine entrants in this year's Canadian Pacing Derby have combined career earnings of $14.2 million. The draw for the $525,000 Canadian Pacing Derby final will take place Saturday evening (August 24). The $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot joins the 'Pacing Derby' to headline an huge stakes program on August 31 at Mohawk Park. The entrants for this year's Canadian Pacing Derby are listed in alphabetical order: Casimir Richie P Courtly Choice Done Well Filibuster Hanover Jimmy Freight Lather Up McWicked This Is The Plan Western Fame by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

Hightstown, NJ — McWicked, the 2018 Horse of the Year in the U.S. and Canada, returned to the harness racing top 10 in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll thanks to his win in the Roll With Joe Open Pace this past Sunday at Tioga Downs. The 8-year-old stallion landed in the No. 10 spot in this week’s rankings, his first appearance in the top 10 since week two, when he was ninth. Shartin N, who won the Artiscape at Tioga Downs on Sunday, remained entrenched at No. 1, the position she has held for all 13 weeks of the rankings. Lather Up (idle) was second, followed by Captain Crunch (idle), Bettor’s Wish (winner of a Kentucky Sire Stakes division) and Greenshoe (winner of the Zweig Memorial). Forbidden Trade (idle) was sixth. Completing the top 10 were Atlanta (idle), Real Cool Sam (winner of a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division), When Dovescry (who won a qualifier last week), and McWicked. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, which runs weekly through November, does not determine Horse of the Year. The members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association vote on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 13 – 8/20/2019 Rank Name (First Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Shartin N (30) 6pm 14-13-0-0 $811,427 345 1 2 Lather Up (5) 4ph 11-8-0-1 $677,448 318 2 3 Captain Crunch 3pc 7-5-0-0 $651,402 232 3 4 Bettor’s Wish 3pc 10-7-3-0 $839,544 211 5 5 Greenshoe 3tc 8-6-2-0 $751,500 193 6 6 Forbidden Trade 3tc 9-6-2-1 $671,484 152 7 7 Atlanta 4tm 8-6-1-0 $439,650 143 4 8 Real Cool Sam 2tg 6-6-0-0 $248,134 85 9 9 When Dovescry 3tf 5-2-2-1 $285,540 58 8 10 McWicked 8ph 9-3-2-3 $501,591 35 — ALSO: Hypnotic AM 24; Manchego, Tall Drink Hanover 16; Millies Possesion 15; Crystal Fashion 12; Southwind Ozzi 11; Green Manalishi S 8; Adriano Hanover, Century Farroh, Six Pack 7; Best In Show 6; Tall Dark Stranger 5; Hannelore Hanover, JK First Lady 4; Gimpanzee, Guardian Angel As 3; Capt Midnight, Hickfromfrenchlick, Rich And Miserable, Sister Sledge, Workin Ona Mystery 1. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

CHESTER, PA - The 2015 Harness Horse of the Year, Wiggle It Jiggleit, a charismatic "people's horse" who has been hampered by physical problems over the last three years, finally got back to the races in a Tuesday morning harness racing qualifying session at Harrah's Philadelphia,   It had been 1,026 days after his last charted line. And "WIJI" came back in his usual game form, making up three lengths in the last quarter to win in 1:53.4, his own last split 27.   Wiggle It Jiggleit was reserved in third by Montrell Teague throughout most of the mile, then moved on the far turn. His late desire enabled him to get by Imprincessgemma A, an import with 11 career wins making her first start in the U.S., by a half length. Now seven, the altered son of Mr Wiggles - Mozzi Hanover won his only start at two, then won 22 of 26 starts and almost $2.2 million at three en route to being named 2015 Harness Horse of the Year. At four, he posted 15 wins and 7 seconds in 24 starts, worth another $1.7 million, and made his last start on October 28, 2016 in his Breeders Crown, cutting the pace then getting caught by ¾ of a length by his successor to Harness Horse of the Year, Always B Miki. His lifetime earnings currently stand at $3,907,557, and he took his present mark of 1:47.2 on July 9 of his four-year-old year, winning the Graduate Final. Clyde Francis continues to train the champion in the George Teague Jr. stable, who are of course the backing force behind FFA pacing power Lather Up. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

Much-loved Sydney harness racing icon Harry Martin will celebrate his 79th birthday shortly, but he has the drive and energy of a man half his years. "Yes I can say that I'm still as enthusiastic as ever. I'm still up and about between 5 and 5.30am - a routine I've had forever," Harry said with a laugh. Martin, who's trained out of Menangle Park for over 60 years has a team of four in his stable at the moment. And two of these have certainly hit a purple patch of form in recent weeks. Half-brothers in Double Encounter and Double Bliss are both in line for a hat-trick of wins following two victories apiece this month, with in-form reinsman David Morris at the helm. Double Encounter (Village Jasper-Lombo La Shelly (Pacific Fella) took out the $22,400 Seppelt One Mile Drive Pace on August 3, then a fortnight later claimed the Group Three $30,600 Campbelltown Catholic Club Pace, both at Menangle. "He is a very nice horse who can sprint quickly," Martin said. "He's now a winner of 15 races, 10 of these at Menangle, and is nearing $150,000 in stakemoney so he has been very good for his owners." Double Bliss (Blissfull Hall-Lombo La Shelly (Pacific Fella) is a lightly raced chestnut gelding with six wins and 12 placings from only 27 career starts. The pacer has been successful at his latest outings at Bankstown on August 9 and then six days later at Penrith. Martin said while he preferred to race at Menangle, he also enjoyed competing at other tracks near Sydney. And while he's currently enjoying another nice run of success, it would be unforgivable to write a story and not wind back the clock to the spine-tingling days of the champion pacer that made Harry Martin a household name. Double Identity (Embrace Me-Mercy Lyn (Southern Gentleman), who raced from August, 1999 to October 2006, had a rockstar-like cult following in that era, with fans embracing the gelding for his dogmatic will-to-win. "Gee I'd love to have one like him again-it probably won't ever happen, but I'll keep looking and hoping. I won't ever give up," he said. Double Identity had his first two dozen starts for trainer Colin Grimson, who won nine races with him. When Grimson decided to move to the country, the owners offered the gelding to Martin. The pacer took Martin on the ride of a lifetime during one particular campaign when he won eight of 10, culminating in the rich Group Two Winter Cup at Brisbane's Albion Park. But the gifted, gritty pacer wasn't without his challenges. "He was a chronic knee-knocker. I was never able to get him off his knee completely, and the old plastic-type knee boots that were around back then would be totally destroyed in about two or three weeks - he would just put a hole in them," Martin said. "But by using spreaders, and I would pull them up really tight, I was able to reduce the impact and get it as good as I could." The astute horseman, who remarkably still shoes all his horses to this day, found a square-toed aluminum shoe the best for Double Identity. The inimitable Double Identity driven by Harry Martin in his heyday   --Gary Wild photo With scalps in the Gold Coast Cup and the Queensland Pacing Championship, along with a close second in the Newcastle Mile, the target then became the 2002 Miracle Mile at Harold Park. In a brilliant display and aged 62 years, Martin would, at the time, become the oldest driver to win the feature race. He lobbed in the one-one from the wide six alley, pulled three wide on the home turn and held off a late run by Smooth Satin to win by half a head. Further wins came in the SA Cup at Globe Derby, a second Queensland Pacing Championship and a comfortable Truer Memorial victory. Then came success in the Victoria Cup - a win Martin believes was the finest ever recorded by Double Identity during his sensational career. "I remember I'd given up going down the back for the last time. They kept the speed on and I was struggling," he said. But the mighty horse dug deep from the 600metre mark and overhauled some classy rivals to post a winning time of 1.58-2 for the 2570m trip. The combination won another nine races to take his lifetime record to an amazing 51 wins and 39 placings from 146 starts and more than $1.2 million in stakes. Martin said after being retired, the life of Double Identity came to a sad end. "He was 10 years old and hit a corner post in a paddock. He wasn't in a good way and suffered a heart attack later," Martin said. Although Double Identity was clearly Martin's best-ever horse, he is rarely without a handy conveyance or two in the stable. "Double Event has been one of the nicer ones lately. He's just recently retired (after 17 wins and $188,000 in stakes) and he's landed on his feet. He's taken to riding under saddle really well, so that's always good to see," Martin said, with obvious pleasure. But the search goes on for another Double Identity, and if there's one within reach of wily veteran trainer Harry Martin, he'll unearth it. And he's got some faith in a rising two-year-old by Heston Blue Chip, purchased at the sales this year. "We keep looking! While you are keen and willing, you never think about stopping. That's the way I look at it anyway. Besides I don't know anything else - horses have been my life."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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