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At the age of 81, Dan Graber says he’s been “up and down the pike a few times.” What he’s never been, at least to this point, is on the road to the Hambletonian. The Indiana resident is hoping this could be the year with his homebred trotter DG’s Caviar, who is undefeated in three races this season at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. DG’s Caviar is the 1-5 morning-line favorite in Wednesday’s $15,000 final of the Cardinal Series at Hoosier. Graber knows it’s a long way from a conditioned series for non-winners of one race to the sport’s premier event for 3-year-old trotters, but DG’s Caviar has impressed him from day one. “I can’t believe what kind of horse I got,” said Graber, who lives in Shipshewana and has been around horses since his childhood. “I started jogging him (just prior to him turning age 2) and I saw right away he was something special. It was just the way he went, and he wanted to go, and he was absolutely perfectly gaited. “I like the way he’s built and the way he can go. He’s a beautiful horse and he’s smart. He’s a nice horse. Everybody likes him. He’s a perfect mannered horse except for one thing; he doesn’t like you to play with his ears. I have a certain way I have to get the bridle on him. Other than that, he’s perfect.” DG’s Caviar is a son of Graber’s stallion Prime Time Caviar, who passed away two years ago, and his 20-year-old mare Dazzling Kosmos, who is no longer able to be bred. Graber also was the breeder of Prime Time Caviar, who won five races and had a mark of 1:57.2 despite battling health issues in his limited career. “He was a much faster horse than his record,” Graber said. Graber was introduced to Standardbreds when his father bought a retired pacer for the family’s 200-acre farm. “We farmed with horses,” said Graber, who grew up Amish. “We used to breed our buggy mare to the stallion, Herbert Patch. They were tough.” When he was in his early 20s, Graber drove in a harness race for the first time at a county fair. “I was working in construction and quit my job,” Graber said. “I had this pacing mare, Patsys Blue Ribbon. In our first race, I was in front at the half but I got beat. “The next day, I was back at my construction job,” he added, laughing. Graber continued in the construction business for a while before embarking on a 55-year career as a farrier. He also continued to drive in races, until 2015, and train horses on his own half-mile track. The only horse he has trained in the past two years is DG’s Caviar. “I’ve had a lot of experience in this business, both shoeing and training,” Graber said. “I’ve been up and down the pike a few times.” Last year, DG’s Caviar went off stride in all three of his races, but was discovered to have an undescended testicle, which was removed. “People told me the best thing I could do for the horse was to turn him out and let him mature and develop,” Graber said. “It was hard for me to do, but I did it, and I got a nice horse.” So far this year, DG’s Caviar has won each of his starts by a minimum of 2-3/4 lengths. His best win time of 1:56 is tied for 22nd among all 3-year-old trotters this season. In addition to the $1 million Hambletonian Stakes, DG’s Caviar is eligible to the Old Oaken Bucket, Circle City, and Indiana Sire Stakes. “Hopefully he can get to the Hambletonian, but he’s going to have to prove himself before that happens,” Graber said. “Naturally I’d like to keep on winning. That’s what everybody wants, right? I hope he keeps right on going.” Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Wednesday at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The card also includes the finals of the Mya Tri and Chad E. Carlton Trotting Series plus the second appearance of the year for 2017 Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill in the Open Trot. For complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

CHESTER PA – The Jim Campbell stable was certainly primed for the Tuesday morning qualifiers at Harrah’s Philadelphia, as four of its members won their a.m. events, all owned by Fashion Farms. Last year’s million-dollar winner Crystal Fashion, now four, went his own third quarter in 27.4 to sweep his field in 1:57 for driver Tim Tetrick. The Cantab Hall gelding had won a qualifier a tick slower last week. Two three-year-old trotting fillies won for Campbell. An intriguing one is Millie’s Possession, a daughter of Possess The Will out of Fashion Athena, a $300,000+ winner who won in 1:53.2 at two. Millie’s Possession did not race at two, and went in 2:03.1 in her first line last week, but today she came home in 28.3 for Dexter Dunn to win in 1:56.2. Her likely stakes compatriot is the Donato Hanover miss Jazzy Fashion, home in 1:57.1 for David Miller  Miller also handled the fourth winner for Campbell, the Chapter Seven sophomore gelding Chapter Fashion, who opened a big lead and reported home first in 1:56.1. Other qualifiers of note: --        The Heston Blue Chip filly Zero Tolerance, second in the Breeders Crown and Three Diamonds last year, who came his own last split in 27.2 to win in 1:53.1, with Miller up for trainer Joe Holloway; --       Another sophomore pacing filly, the Somebeachsomewhere distaff Trillions Hanover, who caught New York Sire Stakes champion Money Shot Hanover at the end of a 1:54.3 mile for Miller (he had four wins on the day) and trainer Tom Fanning;  --      The Muscle Hill colt Prospect Hill, at one point a winner of seven of eight in his freshman form before tailing off at the end of the year, looking good with a 1:57 wire-to-wire win for Andy and Julie Miller; ·        And the Mach Three mare Shebang N, winner of her last five starts in 2018, and today rallying from the two-hole in 1:53.4 for Dexter Dunn and trainer Nifty Norman.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia Jerry Connors

Veteran Ararat harness racing trainer Terry Young has been enjoying the highs of the sport in recent years with an enviable streak of success – but he’s also recently experienced the lows first hand.   Young, 77, who puts the polish on classy square-gaiter Deltasun (Tennotrump-Deltasu (Elsu NZ), had a fall at his hometown track and dislocated his collarbone.   “I was working a two-year-old named Premonition and he shied and spun back in the opposite direction,” Young explained.   “I just wasn’t ready for it because it’s just not part of his make-up,” he said.   “So while the horse trotted back to the stabling area to my wife Carol, I was sprawled on the track with my arm twisted up around behind my back.   “I popped the collarbone right out. The doctors put it back okay but told me I’m out of action for at least the next six weeks.   Young said he had already been toying with the idea of giving Deltasun, a winner of 17 races and 15 placings for $225,000, a short let-up.   “When I had the track mishap, that made the decision for me to spell him, and I’ve tossed the other three out for a break as well,” he said.   In just three seasons of racing, Deltasun has stamped himself as one of Victoria’s most consistent square-gaiters, winning seven races at TABcorp Park Melton, including the 3YO Vicbred final.   “He’s never far away, because he’s got outstanding manners and he’s very well gaited,” Young said.   “We have had a fantastic time with him because he’s won two Group One races and a few GroupThrees.”   Terry and Carol were especially thrilled to win the Central Victorian Trotters Championship and then the rich Tontine series early last year.   “Even more so because we aimed him specifically for those two events. It doesn’t happen all that often, when everything just goes right, but it’s great when it does!” Young said.   Deltasun with PT Young, Gavin Lang and Terry and Carol Young (Courtesy Tabcorp Park Racing)   He paid tribute to the stable’s main driver Gavin Lang.   “He’s been a major part in making the horse into a true racehorse. He’s outstanding with young ones and he’s taught me how to look after a good horse,” Young said.   “Just little things, like we never work Deltasun against another horse in trackwork because he just fires up and you can’t hold him.”   Deltasun, driven by Gavin Lang (Courtesy Wimmera Mail Times)   Young was a jockey as a youngster, and a respected one at that, landing country winners as well as a city win at Caulfield in 1956 for Jerry Tye, a Chinese trainer.   “The gallops were always hotly contested, and you know I was never thrown off or injured during the years I was involved. But my weight increased, and I was forced to give away race riding,” he said.   Young moved to Ararat in 1960 to be closer to his parents who lived near Port Fairy.   “Dad was a shearer and neither of them had an interest in horses. I worked as a roustabout in the shearing sheds and rode trackwork as well,” he said.   “And that was how I met Carol at an early morning trackwork session. She had ponies and her father Mick King was one of the first harness racing trainers in Ararat.   “Carol was virtually riding ponies before she could walk, and she could have easily carved out a career as a jockey if females were allowed back then.   “She was an excellent rider and had an uncanny way with horses, and she still does to this day. Along with being a hard worker and great support to me.”   Young was introduced to harness racing by Carol’s father Mick and didn’t take long to adjust. He won at the old Horsham showgrounds at his very first drive on Chalambar.   “The horse was probably classes above them, I think, but the gaps just opened up everywhere I went, and I thought how easy is this?!   “I was soon brought back to earth by the head steward, Mr Rowse who gave me a huge lecture, saying I didn’t display much control. I did admit that I was loose reining, but I’ve never forgotten that spray.”   When his interest in harness racing began to wane, Young opted for a break, turning his interest in the 1980s to running.   “I enjoyed that and was lucky enough to win the veterans event (restricted to runners over 40) at the Stawell Gift,” he said.   But his interest in harness racing became rekindled and Young found himself driving to Peter Manning’s place at Great Western to help out.   “I’ve now probably been doing that for the past 20 years or so and I’ve learnt so much from Peter and the team out there. Peter is always ready to give you a hand or some advice,” he said.   “I used to help work Tennotrumps and he was just a lovely horse. I decided to take our mare Deltasu to him when he stood as a stallion and I’m pretty glad I did because the result was Deltasun!”   Young uses the Manning track most days, trucking his small team out there.   And to add to the family flavor, son Peter (PT as he’s known) attends most meetings with his dad.   A talented jockey, PT was lured to Melbourne by astute trainer Jim Moloney.   “He couldn’t hack it in the city, like a lot of country fellas find out, but he had a successful career around the bush,” Young said.   “I asked him to come to the trots with me one day, and he was a bit undecided. Now he’s nearly the first in the car! He drives to the meetings which suits me perfectly,” he said.   “His wife Alison is right into the breeding and ownership side of it, so between the family we’ve got most parts of the industry covered. An old friend in Terry Cahill is also a breeder.”   Young intends to enjoy his enforced short break, despite counting down the days until he’s back doing what he loves.   “I’m still a bit dirty on myself for getting tipped out and hurt,” he laughed.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

East Rutherford, NJ - The spring of 2019 has been a good one at The Meadowlands. Handle is up as a result of greater field size and the gradual return to better quality horses, the logical explanation being increased purses made possible by the supplemental funding from the state. The horseplayers are voting with their wagering dollars and handle begets handle, that is fact. The entry box has been solid. There have been enough horses entered to card 13 races for each live racing night, most of them with full fields, which is exactly what The Meadowlands' customers desire. "We have momentum that we haven't had in a while and I want it to continue. We appreciate the support at the entry box by those trainers racing with us this spring, that's a big part of it," stated Meadowlands GM Jason Settlemoir. "I was excited watching the races this weekend. There is no question that horses closing in on the leader as they approach the wire with five or six across the track in deep stretch creates excitement. We have to demonstrate to the legislators that our product is enhanced and improved to continue the purse allocation, we're going in the right direction and it must continue." Saturday's card resulted in another night of over $3 million in all sources handle on The Meadowlands races, which were interesting and entertaining. The track is playing fair, a bit less speed favoring, with horses able to win from virtually anywhere. In every one of the races this past Saturday, the fifth place finisher was no more than 6 lengths from the winner, most were far closer, and in the 11th race the first five finishers were separated by just a head.   The competitiveness of the races, leading to fewer short priced favorites, is an important component of what drives handle. The average win payoff on Saturday was slightly over $10 and as pointed out in Dave Little's release the percentage of winning favorites over the past two weekends (9 from 52 races) is around 17 percent.   With several of the top Meadowlands/Grand Circuit drivers absent for most of the winter/spring meet it has provided an opportunity for the next generation of talent to ply their trade on the big stage. Their desire to succeed when the chance presents itself, along with less familiarity within the driver colony, has made for some exciting racing.   "I thought the racing Saturday night was fun to watch. The drivers closed the holes which makes it much more competitive and the handle reflects that. Hopefully with the championship season on the horizon and many of our regular drivers returning from Yonkers after the Levy I hope we will continue to see the same level of competitive driving with the elimination of the courtesy holes that we have seen for the last several years. There is no question that the racing on Saturday was the best I have seen in many years and reminded me of the good old days of the Meadowlands when horses either got to the top or were parked when they left from the outside. It obviously makes for a much better product," said Meadowlands CEO Jeff Gural.   Nick Salvi

A plethora of harness racing. Who could wish for more? And yet it has been a sad road that has enabled the Port Pirie Harness Racing Club to mark up, at least, the next five weekends to a trotting programme.  But, like any opportunity, it should be grabbed with both hands and used to the best of its possibility. Due to the debacle that is happening in Adelaide, with all racing at Globe Derby having been postponed for the time being and the race meetings shared out among other country clubs until there is a resolution to the matters. There had been a break in Port Pirie for three weeks while meetings were sorted but all is OK to go again now.  This Saturday night will see nine races on the programme.  Amongst them is the $30,000 2019 Alabar Golden Nursery Stakes Final for 2 year olds run in a night of pacing that has been transferred to the Pirie track.  Along with the high stake money will be a rug and cup. Vying for the nice sized purse will be Peter Bain's Hilltop Surfer and Emma Stewart's Celebrity Chef. Giving them both a good run for their money in this elite event will be Wolf of West Bay and the local, Hesashark, trained and driven by Dale Afford.  Although Hesashark has drawn eleven in the barrier stakes, I am sure he will have the grunt to take out the 1609 metre race.  Along with this event on the evening's programme is the final in the Aaron Bain Racing Stable 3yo Colts & Geldings and also the final in the Biano Re-inforcing 3yo Fillies.  Both of these races are over 2050 metres and both are worth $10,000. The three year old fillies final will see Dale Afford's three year old filly, Shesashark and there will have to be some sporty speed to get up to beat this one. The fact that there was the extra break in the calendar was a God send to both John and myself as we have both been suffering badly with the flu, as have another 300 plus people in SA per day. If you haven't had your flu injection, don't mess around, have it now. A sentimental race of the evening will be the Bet McArthur Memorial.  Betty McArthur was around, carrying out her volunteering duties when I wasn't all that old, how I remember her buzzing around, always on the go.  She was a tiny sprite and no-one deserved to lose her life, the way that Betty did.  Struck down outside the trotting track, going to visit her long time friend Ailsa McBride, just across the road. It is now five years since Bet passed away and still it is hard to find a volunteer like she was. We remember you well, Betty.  This could be an interesting race with eleven nominated for the privilege. Leah Harvey's Nevaevabend will be battling it out against the likes of Tossup, The Quick Shadow and Tap The Keg. Nine races on the programme with the first race kicking off at 6.17pm. It should be a fantastic night of racing, so why be sitting home watching your footy team go down the gurgler.  Come on out and hear the pounding of hooves pounding down the straight. It' s a full month of harness racing at Phoenix Park, so don't miss a moment of it. See you at the track!   Sue Penny Reprinted with permission of The Recorder

Hot favourite Escalera ($1.35) didn’t let favourite backers down when winning the second annual $25,000 Listed Oakwood Capital Goldstrike Series Final at the Marburg Showgrounds on Sunday. But it was a 75-year-old horseman, who has been training standardbreds for more than half a century, that epitomised the Marburg Pacing Association's (MPA) biggest day of the year. Purga trainer, Denis Smith, first climbed into a sulky back in 1964. Nineteen years later the MPA was established. “It’s a great day out and there should be more like it. Who said they couldn't win from back-marks on the 700m Marburg track? I wish they were all like him," Smith said. He was referring to his 5-year-old Down Under Muscles gelding, Northern Muscle, whom he steered to a 4.2m victory over stablemate, Norahs Fling (Adam Richardson) in the second event. "It was great to train the quinella, but I wish they were all like this fella (Northern Muscle). He's the best of the six I've got in work. He’s amazing really because he’s overcome a hock problem which couldn’t be cured. It was bred in him. He's so tough and never stops trying," Smith said. Northern Muscle had to be good to win from his 40m back mark on Sunday. Not only did he have to get around the entire field, but he had to negotiate 12 bends as he trotted the 2200m Nationwide Boring Handicap in 2:55.7 (mile rate 2:06.2). “To go that time on the small track he had to be better than average. His sire won Group races here and his grand-sire (Muscles Yankee) was one of the best going around in America at his peak, so he has good breeding. I think that's where he gets his toughness," Smith said. The punters obviously knew Northern Muscle's potential. He paid $5 to win in what was his 14th career victory ($53,916) since making his debut, ironically at the Marburg Easter meeting two years ago. He was bred and is owned by Kathryn McLachlan. The obvious highlight on Sunday was the Darrel Graham trained and driven Escalera’s ridiculously easy 15.3m win over the Graham Dyer trained Goalkicker (Lola Weidemann) in the feature event. Half-a-neck back in third was the Graham trained second favourite, My Ultimate Romeo (Adam Sanderson). “I always thought he might be tough to bowl from the nice draw (2) and the punters seemed to agree as well. That was a big effort to do what he did around this little track and still win with a 2.02-minute mile rate. "He's got good manners and he's a tough little fella. I wanted to run them off their feet and that's how it worked out,” Graham said. “I love coming here. It’s great to win grassroots racing events like this with a good little horse,” he added. Graham said he would now attack the Queensland Derby and a couple of Country Derbies with the talented three-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight. It was Escalera’s seventh win from 16 starts. He's also placed four times and banked $45,292 in stakes. He is owned by Tumby Park Limited and was bred by Dr Charles Roberts of Woodlands Stud in New Zealand. The talented bay gelding led from the outset and paced the 2200m stand in 2:46.8. His sectionals were 29.3, 31, 30.1, and 30.1. The other highlight of the meeting was the Chantal Turpin trained and Peter McMullen driven Argyle Beach's very easy 27.9m win in the $11,000 Stanley Road Construction Diamond Series Final. An aggressive drive by McMullen saw the five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare work hard for the lead from her 20m handicap with two laps remaining, and then at the 400m the duo said goodbye. That was her 17th win ($99,764) for owner Ross Patrick. "She's just a beautiful little mare who you can put anywhere in the race. You can make a move with her and she always gives. We all love her," the man nicknamed 'Leader Peter' said.   Duane Ranger for Racing Queensland

Sekkie Monkey upset a strong field of maiden trotters at Ascot Park today. The four year old daughter of Monkey Bones was the sixth favourite in a race that was expected to be dominated by well bred Jaccka Jeorge and Liberty Stride. “That was a good maiden field and I wasn’t sure how we would go. But she went well,” said trainer driver Nathan Williamson. Both Liberty Stride and Jaccka Jeorge broke with Jaccka Jeorge losing all chance. Liberty Stride made ground late for fourth. All the honours went to Sekkie Monkey which led early before handing up to Cuchulainn. “She’s just a bit lazy in front so I was quite happy to hand up. She was pretty strong at the finish. I was pretty happy with her. She’s just getting used to the tighter circuits.” At the top of the straight Williamson pushed Sekkie Monkey up the passing lane and she trotted home nicely to beat Cuchulainn by three quarters of a length.   Sekkie Monkey on the inside gets the winning call - Photo Bruce Stewart. The four year old was initially prepared for racing at Waikouaiti Beach by Amber Hoffman. She was sent to Williamson in December. The Branxholme trainer qualified her at Gore in February. “We had to put a lot of miles into her just to get her trotting solid but she’s pretty solid now. I don’t think she’s made a break off the place.” Sekkie Monkey is out of the Sundon mare Sekkie and is owned by Kevin Strong. “I was on the lookout for a Sundon mare after I lost one. She was advertised by Michael House in foal to Monarchy. That horse was no good so I put her in foal to Monkey Bones and that’s turned up trumps,” Strong said. Sekkie is no longer alive but Strong does have a three year old by Superfast Stuart named Super Sekkie out of the mare. Sekkie is a half-sister to Avatar (7 NZ and 5 AUS wins) and What Ever You Like (7 NZ and 16 AUS wins). “I’ve had a few horses over the years but never a good one by myself. The best one I raced with Neville Cleaver was Hopes And Dreams.” Strong and Cleaver are currently breeding from Sunrise Delight but unfortunately her first two foals have died. Currently they have two fillies out of the mare by Repeat Love and Peak. Nathan Williamson, Sekkie Monkey, Kevin Strong, Invercargill President Barry McCulloch and Trevor Little - Photo Bruce Stewart. Strong’s horses are now managed by former Gore trainer Trevor Little. “I’m retired and I thought I was out of it. Kevin had thirty odd horses. We’ve just worked our way through them. We’ve leased a few and kept a few of the trotters. We’re still breeding from Sunrise Delight (Sundon – Little Miss Watch) and Easy Option (Great Success – Sunrise Girl). ” Little trained Fakes Dream to win for Strong and Cleaver at Invercargill in February 2005.   Bruce Stewart  

Sportswriter gelding Hampton had a bit to live up to. Until today, his Christian Cullen dam Baptism Of Fire had left six winners from eight foals of racing age including Highview Tommy (17 wins and $1,021,904) Highview Chartom, Highview Teejay and Highview Freddy; all five win horses. “Everything out of that mare has won races with the worst winning four. So he (Hampton) should be able to get another couple of wins at least. This horse will be better in twelve months,” said Kirstin Barclay who co-trains the gelding with Paul ‘Tank’ Ellis. Driver Blair Orange settled the Hampton at the back of the main bunch before getting on the back of Mark O’Ronga to move forward with a lap to run. At the 800 metres Orange had Hampton parked outside leader The Interceptor. At the top of the straight Hampton had hit the front and he went down to the finish two and a half lengths clear of the second horse Bettor Rock Again. Hampton was bought by Wayne McEwan principal of McEwan Bloodstock, at the 2017 Christchurch Sale for $20,000. “It’s taken a while for him to get his confidence. He’s got a lot of high speed. We knew he would do a good job once he got going.” Today was only the gelding’s fifth start. Barclay says his confidence was knocked after his first start. “It was driver error first start. He got knocked over at the start and I then let him loose around the field and it just blew him over. It was too much for him and it’s knocked his confidence. It’s taken him a wee while to come back.” Orange was wearing a black arm band in today’s race to acknowledge the passing of Rewa Burns yesterday. Rewa was the wife of long time Secretary of Southland Trotting Clubs Peter Burns. Kirsten Barclay said “She and Peter were such an integral part of Southland Harness racing. They were like the power couple back in the day. They lived in the cottage across from the stable. Sometimes I’d get home from the races really late at night but she’d always come out to say well done.” Rewa raced cup class pacer Haughty Romeo back in the late seventies and early eighties. He won nine races, eight for Maurice Skinner and one for her son Tim. Meanwhile the Barclay/Ellis stable’s star pacer U May Cullect looks set to reappear at Ascot Park on Saturday. The Gotta Go Cullect five year old is unbeaten in only three starts and will line up on Diamonds Day in what will be his last start of the season. “It’s just amazing how he handled the trip (to Addington). He hadn’t been further than Winton and he went up to Canterbury, ate up, raced under the lights for the first time, won, and came back to his paddock and ate up.” Barclay says it doesn’t take too much to keep the quality gelding ticking over and race fit. “Tank spends a lot of time walking him and we space his races. We do a lot of slow long work, endurance work with him, so he’s always fit without sprinting.”   Bruce Stewart  

Premier reinsman Gavin Lang came out in support of standing-start races after winning the Easter Cup at Mowbray on Saturday night. Lang said he would like to see them reintroduced in Victoria where there have been no standing starts for pacers since the start of the 2017-18 season. "I believe there is still a place for them, especially at this level where you are dealing with readymade racehorses," the trainer-driver said. Harness Racing Victoria made its contentious decision to scrap stands after an extensive review of the format from both a wagering and an image perspective. "On both counts, the board has viewed standing start races as harmful to the viability of the industry," chief executive John Anderson said at the time. Prominent media commentator Adam Hamilton supported the decision, saying "standing starts have served the sport well through history but have passed their use-by date." There's been no suggestion, not in public anyway, that Tasracing has ever considered following suit. Opinions will always be divided but standing starts still have a strong body of support among diehard harness racing followers. Punters know the risks involved when they bet on stands. So the only real problem is their potential to seriously delay the start of races which can lead to them being 'flicked' by Sky Channel. But plenty of mobile races run late as well, as was the case on Saturday night for some reason. Although Franco Tristan was Lang's fifth Easter Cup winner, it was the first time he's won it from a standing start. Franco Tiger, Northern Brewer, Here Comes David and Jonells Son all won when it was a mobile free-for-all.   By Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission of The Examiner

A simple question could decide the $100,000 Taylor Mile at Alexandra Park on Friday night. Does a Miracle Mile winner respect an Auckland Cup winner enough to trail him, especially in a group one sprint at Alexandra Park? Because that is puzzle facing punters after Spankem drew inside stablemate Turn It Up in one of the last group ones of the northern season. The pair will dominate betting on the Mile, which actually reverts to the true mile distance of 1609m after being run over 1700m since 2007. After winning the Auckland Cup and then the Easter Cup last start, Turn It Up might be the best pacer in the country and in any normal race against even this elite level of opposition he would be expected to lead and win. But stablemate Spankem is drawn inside him at barrier two and considering he won both a prelude and then the Miracle Mile itself by leading he would seem to have every right to park out his stablemate and try for another all-the-way win if he can he reaches the front. It will be a fascinating key plot to the race, with any pre-race indications from trainers the All Stars sure to have a significant impact on the market. For all their exploits this season the pair can’t lay total claim to the four-year-old sprint with all but one of their rivals rated 90 or above, which is pretty much open class these days. While they were the big winners out of the draws in the main pacing race on a stellar premier programme at Alexandra Park, some of the other recent group one winners at the Addington carnival haven’t fared so well. NZ Trot Championships hero Speeding Spur faces the outside of the front line in the $100,000 Anzac Cup, the final lead-up to next week’s Rowe Cup. Trainers John and Josh Dickie are happy with how the veteran has come through his last-start win but with Massive Metro (barrier three) and Lemond (four) drawn inside him and Marcoola and Sundees Son certain to be moving from the second line, the race looks one of the hottest contest of the trotting season Also disadvantaged by the draw at the trifectamates from the NZ Trot Derby, with Lotamuscle, Enhance Your Calm and Tricky Ric all drawing the second line in Friday’s $60,000 Sires’ Stakes Trot. But while some of those stars face interesting nights at the office exceptional juvenile pacing filly Sweet On Me will be a long way into red odds to remain unbeaten after drawing the front line in the $100,000 Caduceus Club Final, making her everybody’s anchor in the first leg of the $40,000 Pick6. While Friday night’s meeting is one of the strongest of the season a couple of the big players will be just as focussed on Melton in Victoria on Saturday night, with northern filly Belle Of Montana opening $1,40 to win the A$150,000 Victoria Oaks. She was brilliant coming from a long way back to win her heat last Saturday and has drawn the ace in this Saturday’s classic, with her natural speeding giving driver Zac Butcher plenty of options on the Barry Purdon-trained filly. Already the winner of a group one Sires’ Stakes Championship at home if Belle Of Montana can add an Australian group one this weekend she will have gone from unknown maiden to one of the most valuable female pacers in Australasia in just nine starts. Michael Guerin

Plainville, MA --- Heavy downpours, steady wind, a sloppy track and seven formidable foes could not prevent Starznheaven from capturing the $16,000 Open Handicap pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 22). Avatartist (Mark Eaton) was the fastest off the wings and skimmed through the water to the quarter in :26.2. But despite the torrid pace for any condition, Shawn Gray was not content to sit and pulled Starznheaven, took the lead and then dared everyone to catch him. Starznheaven got to the half in :54.2 and the three quarters in 1:23. There Tisadream N (Mitchell Cushing) pulled from third and paced even with Avatartist but the pair were still two-lengths behind the leader heading into the stretch. Starznheaven was motoring strong under a hand-drive from Gray while his pursuers tried to catch him, but that was not the case this day as Starznheaven held off their bid to win by two lengths in 1:51.4. The time was a new seasonal mark for the winner. It was the third win of the year and 40th of the career for Starznheaven ($3.60) who is owned by Marc Reynolds, Scott Dillon and Bradford Veilleux and trained by Jimmy Nickerson. In the $15,000 Winners-Over pacing co-feature, Gibbs (Mitchell Cushing) got away a distant seventh at the quarter before pulling third-over in a lively outer flow and then tipped three-wide coming off the far turn to circle the field and pull away to a two-length win in 1:53.1. It was the second straight win at Plainridge Park for Gibbs ($17.20) who is owned by Rick Howles. Eric Beach does the conditioning. Mitchell Cushing and Shawn Gray both had driving triples on the card while trainer Jimmy Nickerson did the same on the training side. The oppressive racing conditions provided some premium payouts on Monday including Rockin Cougar (Nick Graffam) who paid $58.40 in the ninth and All Artist (Drew Campbell) that returned $61.20 in the tenth. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (April 25) with post time at 4 p.m. For more information of harness racing in Massachusetts log on to the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts at www.sominc.net and Plainridge Park at www.plainridgeparkcasino.com.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

WILKES-BARRE PA –Cardiff had to go the dreaded “tuck-then-first-over” journey in the $30,000 Bobby Weiss Series Championship for pacing fillies and mares at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday, but the Sportswriter harness racing mare showed rare pluck in grinding raw for the last 5/8 and still getting the decision in a lifetime best 1:51.1. Cardiff, who had a first and two seconds in her Weiss prelims, tucked midpack from post eight for driver Simon Allard, as a pair of horses on a three-race win streak, 2-5 favorite Ghostwriter and Girl’s Got Rhythm, argued through a smoking 26.2 quarter, with the latter claiming the top at that point. Cardiff was again on the move under the wire the first time as Girl’s Got Rhythm led the field to the half in 54.4, then cut into the pacesetter’s advantage by the 1:22.3 3/4s, with the chalk lurking in the pocket. Turning for home it looked like the trip was starting to wear on Cardiff, as Ghosttothepost went to the Pocono Pike to try to catch Girl’s Got Rhythm. But Cardiff dug deep into her talent pool and gamely paced on to be 1½ lengths ahead at the wire, with Ghosttothepost next, a neck ahead of Girl’s Got Rhythm. Simon’s brother Rene trains the courageous winner for Allard Racing Inc. and Carmen Carson. Also on the Tuesday card were three $15,000 final preliminary round divisions of the Weiss Series for trotting males, and the Credit Winner four-year-old My Lindy Winner established himself as the likely Weiss Championship favorite by sweeping his three prelims, here scoring in 1:55.3 to reman undefeated in six seasonal starts. Though the Rob Harmon trainee won his other two prelims by six and four lengths, this half length victory over pacesetter Dover Dony may have been the most impressive of the trio, as Jim Morrill Jr. sent the horse uncovered from third at the 5/8, and his trotter responded by gaining into a 28.1 last quarter and finishing a measured winner. The Conway Hall gelding Hammer Creek must like suspense, as he had two wins in the Weiss prelims, but in both victories his winning margin was only a nose, on Tuesday over the wild-charging Livinonthedash in 1:55.3. Eric Carlson came uncovered at the 3/4, went to the lead in the stretch, then withstood the flying Livinonthedash for trainer Kenneth Hess Jr. and owner Richard Ciesielski. Lightfootedlegend, like his stablemate in the Erv Miller barn Livinonthedash, made his first start in the Weiss, and the Mr Cantab gelding broke his maiden in fine style, coming out on the far turn and catching pacesetting Higgs Boson by ¾ of a length in 1:56.3. Marcus Miller guided the four-year-old for the Ervin Miller Stable Inc, Ronald Michelon, and Harvey Eisman. Despite the good performances, the two Weiss debutants for the Millers did not finish in the top nine preliminary pointwinners (although they may make a $15,000 consolation, depending on how many and who declares in). The unofficial top nine pointwinners heading for next Monday’s $30,000 Weiss Championship in this group are: 1. My Lindy Winner, 2. Hammer Creek, 3. Higgs Boson, 4. Chapter And Ruth, 5. Dover Dony, 6. Got No Money Honey, 7. Keystone Thunder, 8. Loving Life, and 9. Teardown This Wall, with Flammable tenth and the pair of Brandywine Battle and London Hanover tied for eleventh in the shaping up of the “AEs” and the consolation PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

HARRINGTON, Del. - George Teague Jr. and Teague Racing Partnership's Daiymir ($5.80, Montrell Teague) was a 1:51.3 winner in the featured $18,000 Open at Harrington Raceway Monday. The Clyde Francis-trainee angled off the rail in the stretch and was full of pace, surging by his harness racing rivals impressively for two length length win over Slick Tony and Always The Sun. It was the fourth win of the year for the Mr. Wiggles-Cookie Money colt. The race capped off a pick four sequence that saw four straight horses from post four victorious for an uncommon 4-4-4-4 pick four payoff which paid $58 for the .50 cent base bet. Teague, Mike Cole, Allan Davis Tony Morgan and Ross Wolfenden each had driving doubles. Live racing continues a Monday through Wednesday schedule. Matthew Sparacino

LEBANON, OH - The Ron Burke Stable has another superstar on its roster having assumed the training of Mission Accepted for his four-year-old harness racing campaign. The 4-year-old son of Manofmanymissions won 12 of 21 races at ages two and three for veteran Ohio conditioner Jeff Conger, earning a hefty $370,454. Owners Knox Services Inc. and David Wills have opted to hand the reins to Burke now that the Ohio juvenile events are in Mission Accepted's past and he'll soon likely be tackling the top aged trotters in the sport. As part of the Burke Brigade, Mission Accepted has reeled off three straight impressive triumphs in Miami Valley Raceway's weekly $25,000 Open Trot, all from assigned outside post positions, to start his 2019 campaign. The latest win came Monday afternoon (April 22) in 1:52.3 for driver Brett Miller. Content to let Pass The Vape (Derek Watiker) and Pittsburgh Hanover (Brady Galliers) each take a turn on the front end through fractions of :27.3 and :55.3, Mission Accepted gradually moved up to third on the outside at the 1:23.3 three quarters station, then breezed home in a :29 final panel to hold off fast-closing No Whip Chip (Dan Noble). Pittsburgh Hanover held on to garner the show dough. Racing resumes Tuesday afternoon at Miami Valley with a 14-race matinee commencing at 2:05 p.m. There will also be a special "make-up" matinee program on Thursday afternoon (April 25).   Gregg Keidel

Today at Halmstad Sweden the 2018 Elitloppet winner Ringostarr Treb (9m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral- Supergill) returned to the races (first since October 13, 2018 at Yonkers) and scored in gate to wire fashion in the Yngve Larssons Memorial (100,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart).   Race time was 1.10.3kr for the 2.4/1 harness racing favorite that is trained by Jerry Riordan for EVAM Racing Trotter Srls. of Italy and reined by Wilhelm Paal.   Ringo won for the 31 st time in his 88 race career and he now has career earnings of 13,434,364SEK.     The pace was quick (first 500 1.08.4 (3 Ringostarr Treb), 1000 1.09.5 (3 Ringostarr Treb) and Ringo was a diminishing length winner over 2.54/1 Racing Mange (6m Orlando Vici-Kara Kickan-Alf Palema) reined by trainer Joakim Lovgren and third finishing 9.49/1 odds Dante Boko (9g Going Kronos-Sandra Dime-Alf Palema) with trainer Adrian Kolgjini up.   Earlier on the card was the Euro Classic New Year (50,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart) with that victory to 17/1 Global Action (3m Broadway Hall-Global Mix-Cantab Hall) timed in 1.14.6kr and reined by Joakim Lovgren. Guzz Mearas (3m Muscle Mass-Intensity Kronos-Viking Kronos) at 1.6/1 odds took second for Johan Untersteiner and 48.6/1 One Deep Valley (3m Weingartner-Heavenly East-Juliano Star) was third for Stefan Soderkvist. Also today the lineup for the April 27 Olympiatravet at Aby was announced as shown below.   Thomas H. Hicks  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 22, 2019-There's a cool $73,000 up for grabs Tuesday night (Apr. 23rd) in the final of Yonkers Raceway/Standardbred Owners Association of New York Bonus Trotting Series. After three harness racing preliminary rounds, Swansea emerged as the only perfect participant, winning each as an odds-on favorite. The 4-year-old Swan for All gelding landed post position No. 3 in the seventh-race finale, with George Brennan driving for co-owners Triple D Stables & Dana Parham and trainer Scott DiDomenico. For the season, Swansea has seven wins and three seconds in a dozen starts ($91,375). Joey Bats (Jason Bartlett, post 8) sandwiched a pair of series wins around a second to Swansea. The 4-year-old Holiday Road gelding, 4-for-7 this season, is trained by Andrew Harris for co-owners Marc Reynolds, Scott Dillon and Michele Nelson. Rich and Miserable (Dave Miller, post 7) uncorked a solid rally to chase home Joey Bats a week ago after he won his previous start, while Chasin' Dreams (Jordan Stratton, post 6) had a win, a second and a third in his trio of tries. Omaha Omaha (Tim Tetrick, post 1), Henderson Seelster (Mark MacDonald, post 2), No Excuses (Scott Zeron, post 4) and Whether or Not Fi (Yannick Gingras, post 5) round out the roster. All entrants, save for Omaha Omaha, are eligible for an SOA-paid $10,000 bonus for winning the final. A $35,000 series consolation goes as the fourth race. The series was open to 3-year-olds and their elders who were non-winners of six parimutuel races and/or $100,000 through this past Feb. 1st (winners over $150,000 lifetime through that same date ineligible). First post for the 10-race card is 6:50 PM.   Frank Drucker Director of Publicity Yonkers

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