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Trois-Rivieres, QC - The eight finalists have been declared for Sunday's $200,000 Prix D'Ete for four-year-old harness racing pacers at the Hippodrome 3R. The draw for post position will take place at the racetrack Tuesday evening after the fourth race on the betting program. Trainers Ron Burke and Richard Moreau, each have two horses from their stable entered in the big race. Burke has Filibuster Hanover and Eddard Hanover while Moreau has entered Modern Reflection and American Wiggle. Also entered is Western Joe for trainer Chris Choate. He has won his last two starts including the $260,000 Sam McKee Memorial against the best pacers in North America and the prior week won at the Meadowland in 1:47.3. Since the Prix D'Ete's revival at the Hippodrome 3R four years ago, the race has been won twice by Ron Burke horses and twice by Jimmy Takter trainees. Here is the field in alphabetical order with tentative drivers: American Wiggle (Tr. Richard Moreau, Dr. Louis Philippe Roy) Beckhams Z Tam (Tr. Jamie Macomber, Dr. Ricky Macomber) Blood Line (Tr. Jimmy Takter, Dr. Trevor Henry) Eddard Hanover (Tr. Ron Burke, Dr. Stephane Brosseau) Filibuster Hanover (Tr. Ron Burke, Dr. Louis Philippe Roy) Miso Fast (Tr. Virgil Morgan, Jr., Dr. Daniel Dube) Modern Reflection (Tr. Richard Moreau, Dr. Louis Philippe Roy) Western Joe (Tr. Chris Choate, Dr. Doug McNair) The post position draw takes place Tuesday evening at H3R after the fourth race on the betting card. Final drivers for the race will be declared by Wednesday morning. Post time for Tuesday's card is 6:30 pm and features five divisions of the second round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacers. For more information and a free program for Tuesday night, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 11, 2018-Veteran Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald, $9) finished what he started Saturday night (Aug. 11th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Using his usual gate speed, Great Vintage-from post position No. 5-threw down intervals of :27.1, :56.4, 1:24.2 and 1:52.2. He held off a first-up McErlean (Brent Holland) by a head, with 3-2 favorite Always at My Place (George Brennan a second-over third. Pacing Major N (Austin Siegelman) and Doctor Butch (Jason Bartlett) came away with the minors, while logical would-be favorite Evenin 'of Pleasure was scratched-sick. For third choice Great Vintage, a 10-year-old son of American Ideal owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Goran Anderberg & Goran Falk and trained by Jimmy Takter, it was his fifth win in 13 seasonal starts (career 45-for-161, earnings over $1.26 million). The exacta paid $102.50, the triple returned $402 and the superfecta paid $636. It was one of MacDonald's four wins during the 11-race card. Sunday's (Aug. 12th) matinee has a first post of 12:40 PM, with races 1 through 4 of the overflow-field, mile-and-a-quarter 'French' theme. The 'New York, New York Double' is comprised of Saratoga's first race and Yonkers' third. Post times are 1 PM and 1:40 PM, respectively. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Sunday afternoon’s (Aug. 12th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $4,979.96 and a $15,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 (if 11 or less races, the gimmick is the last five races on the card). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Saturday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Sunday‘s program may be downloaded at http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/sun_program.pdf First post Sunday is 12:40 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

The man enjoying the ride behind Kiwi pacing sensation Lazarus says only one horse may be able to stop him becoming the fastest pacer in history. And that would be Lazarus himself. Champion driver Yannick Gingras was still buzzing hours after driving Lazarus to a dominant victory in his first North American start, the pair overcoming the outside barrier to lead for the last half of the US$325,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park in Indiana on Saturday afternoon (NZ time). It was Lazarus’s first start in the United States since being sold for an estimated record price of $4million to Taylor Made Stallions. While he had been the best standardbred in Australasia for two years and qualified in sensational time in the US two weeks ago, any horse traveling to the other side of the world to take on their best comes with question marks. Lazarus turned those into exclamations marks with his 1:48.8 mile. The win has already justified his purchase price because with North American breeders now seeing how powerful Lazarus is in full flight he is guaranteed a commercial start to a dual hemisphere stallion career. That leaves the $3.8million earner with just a couple of major targets that could greatly embellish his reputation — winning at the Breeders Crown in late October and pacing a super fast mile time, close to the world record of 1:46 held by Always B Miki. But while Gingras says that time may be within Lazraus physical capabilities, the horse himself might need some company. “A lot of things need to happen to get down to that speed but I think he can do it,” Gingras said. “I have no doubt with the improvement he has in him he can pace 1:46 and change, maybe even 1:46 flat. “But to do that you need the right track, the right conditions and the right horses to push you. “Tonight he would have gone a lot faster if he had needed to and I think he is a horse who will always find more when another horse gets close to him and pushes him. “So to pace 1:46 he will need all of those things and a horse good enough to push him to that time. Otherwise I don’t think he is a horse who will want to go much faster than he has to to win. “But anything is possible because he had only had that one qualifier here before tonight’s race so he is obviously going to get better and better.” Lazraus’s next starts are likely to be in the heat and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby on August 25 and September 1 and yesterday’s win guarantees him a start in the Hoosier Park Derby on September 21. After that looms the US$500,000 major free-for-all at the rocket fast Red Mile (October 7) in Kentucky, the ideal track to attempt a lightning quick mile. “Tonight was the perfect starting point. He won, we got to show people how good he is but he wasn’t put under any strain.” What was it like driving the Kiwi hero? “It is a real thrill. Driving any great horse is amazing but the novelty around him tonight and the way the race was promoted, and knowing so many people Down Under were watching. It was pretty special.” Michael Guerin

Anderson, Ind.--Aug. 10, 2018-- On a gorgeous Friday evening (Aug. 10) in which it appeared a presence from above intervened to provide perfect conditions, Lazarus N, the Wonder from Down Under, anointed himself as a true harness racing superstar with an impressive 1:48.4 performance in the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino before a legion of admirers in his first pari-mutuel engagement in the U.S. "One of the reasons I decided to buy this horse with my brothers was because we are devoutly Catholic," said Duncan Taylor, whose Taylor Made Farms owns the 6-year-old stallion. "First of all his name is Lazarus which represents a miracle, and his dam's name is Bethany, which is the location where the resurrection took place. Then Bethany's sire is Christen Cullen. These factors made it appear as if (purchasing the horse) was meant to be and a gift from god." Guided by Yannick Gingras and conditioned by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, Lazarus N, a son of Bettor's Delight, left alertly from his assigned post position nine to settle into second behind fellow New Zealand-bred Bit Of A Legend N before the teletimer posted the first quarter-mile split of :26.1. Shortly after the two frontrunners glided around the first turn, Gingras brushed the stallion to the lead and the duo hit the half-mile marker in a measured :54.2. As Lazarus N continued to lead the field of nine through to the three-quarter pole in 1:22.4, he placed a bit of separation between himself and his rivals. As he rounded the final turn, it seemed the horse would pull away in the stretch to post a facile victory. Halfway down the lane, however, Breeders Crown victor Split The House (Brett Miller) mounted a furious rally which drew him nearly alongside Lazarus N. Proving he already has established a passionate fan base, those in attendance were cheering so loudly for Lazarus N to hit the wire first the words of announcer Steve Cross could scarcely be heard. As the noise of the crowd drowned out all sound, Gingras asked his horse for more. He responded in kind to spurt away from Split The House, as well as a closing McWicked (Brian Sears), to stop the clock in 1:48.4. The stallion paced his last quarter mile in a stellar :26. "Yannick said this horse only does what you ask of him," Taylor said. "In Thoroughbred racing we would refer to it as not getting to the bottom of them, but in Lazarus' case he is just a very relaxed horse. Jimmy (Takter) keeps telling us how intelligent he is and that characteristic definitely a part of why he is a special horse. All I know is he is a blessing." After his first U.S. victory, Lazarus N, New Zealand's defending Horse of the Year and that nation's Pacer of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017, now improves his record to 36 wins from 46 starts. The stallion has now earned more than $2.8 million. As the 6-5 favorite, Lazarus N provided his backers with $3 for their support. Split The House paid $7.20 at odds of 19-1 for his second place finish while McWicked offered his supporters $2.20 for third. By Kim French for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

Lazarus N, the world champion harness racing pacer from New Zealand was given a tough welcome to the United States as he drew the far outside post 9 for his debut race in North America in the $325,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park on Friday. The career winner of more than $2.6 million (US), Lazarus N, a son of Bettor’s Delight, was supplemented to the Dan Patch for a fee of $25,000 that went directly to the purse. Lazarus N was purchased earlier this season for a reported 3.9 million by Taylor Made Stallions of Kentucky and is being trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter. Just ten days ago, Lazarus N, driven by Yannick Gingras, won a qualifying race at the Meadowlands in 1:48.3 in an impressive performance. It is off that mile that Lazarus N has been made the 6/5 morning line favorite in the Dan Patch despite drawing the outside post. Second choice in the race is perhaps the top pacer in North America, McWicked, who drew post six. He is at odds of 2-1 and third choice in the field is Dealt A Winner, post one, at odds of 8-1. Lazarus N will also be facing fellow country-mate, Bit Of Legend N, who drew post five. Bit Of Legend N has been in the USA for some time now and is a career winner of $2.3 million. These two have faced each other before in New Zealand. This is the 25th annual Dan Patch Invitational, which started out with a purse of just $40,000. The Friday night feature will go off as race 11 as the main event of the richest weekend of racing at Hoosier Park in 2018. Here are the Dan Patch Post Positions: $325,000 Dan Patch Invitational Race 11 Dealt A Winner by Cams Card Shark (8-1) Beckham’s Z Tam  by Always A Virgin (20-1) Split The House by Rocknroll Hanover (20-1) Rockin Ron by Real Desire (10-1) Bit Of A Legend N by Bettor's Delight (12-1) McWicked by McArdle  (2-1) All Bets Off by Bettor's Delight (10-1) New Talent by Mach Three (20-1) Lazarus by Bettor's Delight (6/5) By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - August 4, 2018 - Tactical Landing took the tactical route outside to avoid inside traffic and win the second $100,000 Hambletonian Elimination, the ninth race, on Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The Jimmy Takter driven and trained three-year-old son of Muscle Hill scored his third consecutive win, crossing the wire in 1:52.2. He returned $14.80, $7.80, $7.20. It was a quarter length back to Patent Leather ($50.20, $36.20) in second and Fashionwoodchopper ($21.40) in third by 1 ¾ lengths. Also advancing to the final were fourth place Alarm Detector and Classichap in fifth. The Tactical Landing Stable of Perrysburg, OH owns Tactical Landing, who was only making his sixth career start. "He's inexperienced, but he's a strong horse to go heats," said Takter. "We got pushed out on the back side. He was three wide for a while there. I mean, this is the Hambletonian, a lot of sh*t happens. It’s a crazy race, horses going in and out.  This horse has three lifetime starts never been in a stake race, and being that professional that he was today, I was so impressed with this horse. I’m proud of this guy." Six Pack, the 2-5 favorite, hooked wheels in the stretch, finished sixth and will miss the $1 million Hambletonian Final. From the Meadowlands Publicity Department  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - August 4, 2018 - The Ice Dutchess won Saturday's $357,450 James Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters, besting Beautiful Sin by a neck in 1:53 4/5 at the Meadowlands. Hanna Dreamgirl was third by three-quarters of a length. The Ice Dutchess and Beautiful Sin both are from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, who has won the Doherty Memorial three years in a row and six of the last nine editions. Johnny Takter, Jimmy's brother, drove The Ice Dutchess and put the filly in front on the backstretch after Hanovers Best left quickly from post nine and set the tempo of :28 to the first quarter. The Ice Dutchess yielded the lead to Beautiful Sin at the half, reached in :56.4, and followed the leader through three-quarters in 1:25.4. After turning for home, Johnny Takter and The Ice Dutchess found room inside and trotted to her second win in three starts. Her loss was by a nose in last week's Doherty eliminations. The Ice Dutchess is a daughter of Muscle Hill out of The Ice Queen and a full sister to stakes-winner Ice Attraction. She was purchased for $320,000 at last fall's Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by John Floren's Coyote Wynd Farms. She pushed her earnings to $189,790. The Ice Dutchess paid $12.80, $4.80 and $3.40 Beautiful Sin paid $2.60 and $2.20. Hanna Dreamgirl paid $3.40. From the Meadowlands Publicity Department  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- August 4, 2018 - Don't Let'em, driven by Yannick Gingras, led wire-to-wire to win by 3 1/4 lengths, setting a stakes and track harness racing record of 1:51 4/5 in the 38th edition of $422,350 Peter Haughton Memorial Final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, the fourth race on Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands. By winning the Peter Haughton, Don't is the early favorite for the 2019 Hambletonian as the race has always served as a preview to harness racing's biggest trotting race. He is trained by Jimmy Takter. Wallner previously held the track record of 1:53, set on October 29, 2016. At odds of 3-1, Don't Let'em took the lead at the quarter in 27.1 and never looked back. Don't Let'em paid $8.00, $4.20, and $3.20. The 11-1 Green Manalishi S ($12.20, $9.80), driven by David Miller, finished second and Mass Fortune K finished third ($27.00) by 6 ¼ lengths. "It doesn't surprise anyone from the farm or any of the ownership. He is a very, very talented horse," said General Manager Art Zubrod of Brittany Farms, the co-owner and breeder of the Muscle Hill colt who is also owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. This was Gingras's second win of the day and his fourth Haughton win, having won with You Know You Do (1:54.2) in 2017, Southwind Frank (1:53.4) in 2015 and Father Patrick (1:54.1) in 2013. From the Meadowlands Publicity Department    

Jimmy Takter has an idea of what to expect in Saturday's 93rd Hambletonian at The Meadowlands. The unexpected. Takter, who will send four horses into the sport's grand harness racing event for 3-year-old trotters as he tries for a record-tying fifth win, said the Hambletonian is a race that rarely follows conventional wisdom. Only five favorites have won the Hambletonian in the 21st century, and three came in the span of three years, 2007-2009, when future Hall of Famers Donato Hanover, Deweycheatumnhowe and Muscle Hill claimed the trophy. The other favorites to win were Royalty For Life in 2013 and Scarlet Knight in 2001. Ten winners during that span were at odds of more than 4-1. "I think it's going to be a (1):50 mile," Takter said about Saturday's race. "But the Hambletonian, somehow, is not known to be a record-breaking day. I don't know; maybe there is so much tension. That race never goes as you predict it will go. Always something happens in that race. "It's a lot of tension in that race. You can feel it. When you go out behind the gate, you see the drivers and they don't have the same coolness in their face. That includes myself. The horses don't know it, but the people do. People say to treat it just like another race, but it doesn't work like that. "But you've got to be cool and you've got to let the horse do the work." Takter has the 5-2 morning-line favorite, Wolfgang, in the first of Saturday's two $100,000 eliminations. The top-five finishers from each elimination return later in the day for the $1 million final. Wolfgang is 3-for-3 this year, with wins in the Goodtimes Stakes and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, but faces a field that includes the race's lone filly, Atlanta, and Earl Beal Jr. Memorial winner Crystal Fashion. Atlanta is undefeated in five races this season and Crystal Fashion has been no worse than second in eight starts, with five victories. "He's very good," Takter said about Wolfgang. "I trained him a (1):56 mile here last Friday with a good last half and he felt awesome. You try to peak them as best you can. "He's been very good every start. He's so professional. He's most likely the most reliable horse I have in the Hambletonian this year." Takter also has Zephyr Kronos, at 10-1, in the first elimination. The horse has won four of nine races this year. All of his victories came in conditioned races, but he was third in the Dancer division won by Wolfgang on July 14 and second in the Tompkins-Geers on July 21. "He's been a project, but I like the program we've set for him," Takter said. "I did not leave the Meadowlands. I was going to sit there and milk him in the (conditioned) class. The horse is coming in as good as I can have him. He's a strong horse. He hasn't really been down to the speed that it's possible he'll have to go, but he's trotted a :54.2 last half so I know he has the speed. He's kind of an interesting horse." In the second elimination, where Six Pack is the 2-1 favorite, Taker sends out Tactical Landing (4-1) and You Know You Do (8-1). Tactical Landing was purchased for $800,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale, the second-highest yearling price in harness racing history. The colt is a full brother to Mission Brief, the two-time Dan Patch Award-winner and multiple world-record-holding filly who finished second to Pinkman in the 2015 Hambletonian. He joined Takter's stable in the spring after going off stride in his only two races at age 2. The colt has won two of three races this year, but has yet to face open stakes company in his career. "I don't think two heats will bother him," Takter said. "He's a low-pulsed horse; he recovers very well after races. His lack of experience might hurt him. "He's more a grinder type of horse. He doesn't care if he's outside. I like him. His last start, I felt comfortable with him. I felt I could trust him a little bit more. I think he has confidence. He's a smart colt. If he wins this race it will be a remarkable story. I don't think it's impossible." You Know You Do, last year's Peter Haughton Memorial winner, has won six of 16 career races and enters the Hambletonian off a second-place finish behind Six Pack in their Dancer division. "He's a little sleeper," Takter said. "He's also coming in I think in the right form. I feel optimistic about him. He's a very gifted horse. And he's got a good attitude, he's not selling himself short. He's a real fighter. He likes to be up in contention and if he gets a decent spot I wouldn't rule him out." Takter is tied with Chuck Sylvester for the second-most training wins in the Hambletonian. Billy Haughton, Stanley Dancer and Ben White share the record of five. Takter won the Hambletonian in 1997 with Malabar Man, 2010 with Muscle Massive, 2014 with Trixton, and 2015 with Pinkman. He drove Trixton to his victory. The $1 million Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks will be shown live from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT) on CBS Sports Network. The stakes-filled Hambletonian Day card begins at noon. Following are the fields for the Hambletonian eliminations. Hambletonian Elimination One PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Shoshie Deo-George Brennan-Dewayne Minor-10/1 2-Evaluate-Orjan Kihlstrom-Marcus Melander-15/1 3-Met's Hall-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1 4-Lawmaker-David Miller-Andrew Harris-8/1 5-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/2 6-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-7/2 7-Atlanta-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron-3/1 8-Hat Trick Habit-Brian Sears-Scott DiDomenico-12/1 9-Zephyr Kronos-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-10/1 Hambletonian Elimination Two PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Fashionwoodchopper-David Miller-Jim Campbell-10/1 2-Patent Leather-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-15/1 3-Classichap-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-6/1 4-Alarm Detector-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon-10/1 5-Fourth Dimension-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-10/1 6-Southwind Chrome-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-5/1 7-Tactical Landing-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-4/1 8-You Know You Do-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-8/1 9-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-2/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Lazarus' army of Kiwi fans will be able to watch his first US start next week, something his new trainer Jimmy Takter may not be able to do. The champion pacer kicks off his North American career a lot sooner than anybody anticipated on Saturday week (NZ time) after a US$25,000 late payment was made for the now US$325,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park in Indiana. The race is scheduled for early Saturday afternoon on August 11 and wasn't originally going to be covered by Trackside but with the TAB wanting to support the huge interest in Lazarus, it will now be broadcast live, most likely on Trackside 2. This means Kiwis will get to see a race that Takter himself is likely to miss. The Hall of Fame trainer is going on his annual holiday next week because he, like everybody else, didn't think Lazarus would be racing yet. Takter says the trip to Indiana will involve a 10-hour transporter (horse float) ride for Lazarus. Depending on how he performs in the Dan Patch, Lazarus's next major target has been confirmed as the Canadian Pacing Derby, which has eliminations on August 25 and the final on September 1 (Sunday NZT).   Michael Guerin

ANDERSON, ID --July 31, 2018--Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is proud to announce Lazarus N, who is hailed as the greatest racehorse to ever emerge from New Zealand, will be making his North American racing debut at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for the 25th edition of the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes on Friday, August 10. Lazarus N will be supplemented to the Dan Patch Stakes for a fee of $25,000 by Hall of Fame trainer, Jimmy Takter. Takter is no stranger to the Dan Patch Winner's Circle as he won the 2015 edition of the race with JK Endofanera and driver Brett Miller. The event is for older male pacers and restricted to the 10 highest lifetime money-earners that enter. With the supplemental fee, the Dan Patch Stakes will boast an increased purse of $325,000 for the third consecutive year. A winner of 35 of his 45 lifetime starts at the variety of distances raced in Australia and New Zealand, Lazarus N is the richest Down Under bred Standardbred of all time with earnings of NZ$3,821,066 (US$2,683,343). The New Zealand bred was named Pacer of the Year at ages 3 and 4 and was victorious in two editions of the prestigious New Zealand Cup and 15 Group One events overall. Lazarus N has only finished off the board once in his career. Lazarus N was recently purchased by world-renowned Thoroughbred farm Taylor Made Sales and Stallions of Nicholasville, Kentucky as they returned to the Standardbred world with a huge splash. The six-year-old horse arrived in the United States in late May and made his debut on the racetrack with a dazzling 1:48.3 qualifying mile on Saturday, July 28 at The Meadowlands. "It is truly an honor to have a horse as incredibly renowned as Lazarus N make his North American debut at Hoosier Park during our 25th anniversary season," said Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing Rick Moore. "He's taking the world by storm, and his presence at our 25th edition of the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes is a testament to the racing program we've built here in Indiana." When the nominations closed for the Dan Patch Stakes, a total of 26 of the top rated older pacers in North America were included in the lineup. William R. Haughton Memorial winner McWicked, who is currently ranked No. 2 in harness racing's weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, is among the list of eligibles. McWicked has won six of eight starts while amassing $574,561 in purse earnings this season. The Casie Coleman trainee is approaching $3 million in career earnings and is currently the top horse in harness racing's older male pacer division. As an added bonus, the winner of the 2018 Dan Patch Stakes will get an automatic nomination to the 2018 edition of the $175,000 est. Hoosier Park Pacing Derby slated for Friday, September 21 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. All nomination fees will be waived but in the event the winner of the Dan Patch has already been nominated to the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, a refund of all fees will be given upon declaration. Once again, the Dan Patch Stakes will highlight the 2018 harness racing season as the best in the sport of harness racing will descend upon the seven-eighths mile oval seeking glory in Hoosier Park's premier harness racing event. As part of a weekend long festival of entertainment and racing, The Dan Patch stakes will serve as Indiana's richest harness race of the season and will be broadcasted live on Indianapolis's WISH-TV Channel 8. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

After making his U.S. debut with a 1:48.3 qualifying mile Saturday (July 28) at The Meadowlands, the next time New Zealand-bred pacer Lazarus emerges will be for real. If all goes as planned, Lazarus will be supplemented to the $300,000 Dan Patch on Aug. 10 at Hoosier Park for his first official race in North America. The event is for older pacers and restricted to the 10 highest lifetime money-earners that enter. The fee to supplement Lazarus, who earned the U.S. equivalent of $2.66 million during his storied career Down Under, would be $25,000. Jimmy Takter, who trains Lazarus for owner Taylor Made Stallions, said it would have been nice to race the 6-year-old pacer on Hambletonian Day this Saturday at the Meadowlands, but the Dan Patch was a better fit in the horse's schedule. In addition, the winner of the Dan Patch receives an automatic nomination to the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby on Sept. 21. Furthermore, in the past three weeks Lazarus trained in 1:52.2 at Takter's farm, 1:51.2 at the Meadowlands, and then qualified in 1:48.3. "Three weeks in a row he's gone up, now it gives me two weeks," Takter said. "I think (the Dan Patch) is a good spot for him. If he wins that one, he could race in the (Hoosier Park Pacing Derby). And Hoosier is a good track. It's a fast track too." Lazarus arrived at Takter's farm in late May following his purchase by Taylor Made Stallions. During his career Down Under, Lazarus won 35 of 45 races, including two editions of the prestigious New Zealand Cup and 15 Group One events overall, and finished off the board only once. He earned NZ$3.8 million. On Saturday, the stallion capped his 1:48.3 mile with a :25.3 final quarter. His time was only three-fifths of a second off Pure Country's 1:48 record for a qualifier. Driver Yannick Gingras told DRF's Derick Giwner, "He couldn't have done it any easier." Later, Takter concurred. "It wasn't like Yannick was hard on him," Takter said. "He's a heck of a horse." Lazarus is a son of Hall of Famer Bettor's Delight out of Bethany, who was sired by top Down Under stallion Christian Cullen. It did not take long for Takter to determine Lazarus was worthy of his reputation. "I could feel pretty early that he was a little special," Takter said. "You could feel it. This is not just a horse. We knew that, but you never know. He came from a totally different continent. Everything is different. I've never been in New Zealand or Australia, but everything is so different compared to our racing. You never know how they're going to do. "But a lot of these horses that have come from Down Under have done well. And he was one of the best they ever had down there." Takter was surprised by how quickly Lazarus acclimated to life in the States and proved to be ready for action. Takter decided it was time to start the horse's North American campaign sooner than later. "He feels so good," Takter said. "I'm scared to over-train an older horse. Too much training makes them a little bored at it. Especially the training I do, it's a little boring. It's like a job." As much as Takter appreciates Lazarus' talent, he is equally impressed with his disposition. "I like when you get those nice Bettor's Delights," Takter said. "They're very laid back and sweet, not a mean streak in them. They are just sweethearts. "He's such a laidback horse. He's not a horse that does anything flashy when he's training, he just goes through the motions. He takes care of himself, he's a smart colt. But when you ask him, he's serious. Very serious." Lazarus' schedule could include the Canadian Pacing Derby (eliminations Aug. 25; final Sept. 1 at Woodbine Mohawk Park), Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Allerage Farms Open Pace (Oct. 6 at Red Mile) and the Breeders Crown (eliminations Oct. 20; final Oct. 27 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono). "I'm excited by it," Takter said. "We'll play it by ear. We're going to play it a little as it goes. It might work out pretty good." Here is the video from Lazarus N's qualifying win https://youtu.be/TOsxouUW7xk  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Lazarus’s debut in North America looks set to be fast-tracked after the Kiwi champion dazzled in his first public outing there. The two-time New Zealand Cup winner paced a 1:48.6 mile in a qualifier (trial) at The Meadowlands in New Jersey on Saturday morning (US time), beating outstanding three-year-old Lather On, winner of the North America Cup. Purchased out of New Zealand for around $4million just a few months ago Lazarus is now trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter with the aim of winning a major North American race and pacing a sub 1:47 mile to make him a dual hemisphere stallion prospect. Saturday’s performance was a hugely positive step in that direction. It proved Lazarus is fit and healthy and handling his new training regime as Takter tries to sharpen him up for the almost exclusively diet mile racing in North America. And importantly Lazarus showed gate speed in the trial, leading from the ace early before trailing and the powering past Lather On at the 400m mark and holding him easily at the line. “I couldn’t be any happier with him,” driver Yannick Gingras “told local media. “He’s very easy on himself and had tons of pace.” Lazarus’s gate speed, or perceived lack of it, was one of the concerns for the $3.6million earner when he headed to the States as it will be incredibly hard to win a top level free-for-all in North America coming from back in the field. But the way he left the mobile, cruised past a serious horse and paced one of the fastest qualifying times in history suggests he is already set to pace 1:48 when needed, probably faster. When Lazarus left New Zealand the original targets were races at the Red Mile early in October, where the track is condusive to a very fast time, and the Breeders Crown at Pocono on October 27. But he looks way more advanced than anybody expected and Takter has indicated a late entry fee could be paid for Lazarus to contest the US$300,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park in Indiana on August 10. His next aim could then be the Canadian Pacing Derby (open to older horses) on September 1, with heats a week earlier. If he holds together and doesn’t get struck down by the illness so many imported horses are susceptible to because of their exposure to different viruses than they are used to Down Under, Lazarus looks set for a longer and more profitable North American campaign than many would have imagined.   Michael Guerin

Lazarus N, with a :25.3 last quarter mile for harness racing driver Yannick Gingras, was able to beat North America Cup winner Lather Up, by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:48.3 in his USA qualifying win Saturday morning at the Meadowland. It was Lather Up and driver Montrell Teague who left from post seven to take the early lead over Lazarus N in :28.2. The field then raced in alignment past the half mile in :55.3 and then the action began to heat up. Approaching the three-quarter mile marker, Gingras came first-over with Lazarus N and brushed right by Lather Up in 1:23. As they came down the stretch, Teague tried to urge Lather Up to come back against Lazarus N, but Lazarus N proved to be the strong horse as Lather Up could gain no ground on the winner. Blood Line (Andrew McCarthy) was third. The last half mile was also super impressive in :53 flat. "I couldn't be any happier with him," said Yannick as he dashed off to catch a flight to The Meadows for today's Adios stake. "He's very easy on himself and had tons of pace." Trained by Jimmy Takter for the Taylor Made Stallions of Nicholasville, KY, Lazarus is the richest Standardbred of all time down under. The son of Bettor's Delight came to the USA from New Zealand, seeking to break the world record of Always N Miki of 1:46 and then become a duel hemisphere stallion, serving stud both in North America and Australasia. Lazarus N by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Despite being on the other side of the globe, Lazarus is still King. The champion pacer is gearing up for a racing campaign on North American soil in the coming months following his sale earlier this year and the charismatic stallion is still very much on everyone’s mind. And with good reason. The 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season has come to a close and the Bettors Delight entire has claimed back to back titles following another brilliant season. Lazarus amassed 304 points during the term. Points are awarded during the Grand Circuit, 100 points for a win, 60 points for second, 40 points for third, and so on, to last placing. The eight leg series which commenced back in 1977 is now worth more than $4.4 million and starts in October at Melbourne with the Victoria Cup followed by the New Zealand Cup in Christchurch, Inter Dominion (Perth), Auckland Cup, WA Pacing Cup, Hunter Cup, Miracle Mile before concluding with the Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained star becomes the first pacer since Christen Me (2014/15) to record back to back titles as Grand Circuit champion. His Grand Circuit haul during the season included the New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup while his only unplaced run for the season came at his most recent start, finishing 7th in the Miracle Mile in Australasian record time. While Young Rufus and Smolda have been crowned previous Grand Circuit champions, Lazarus becomes the first horse from the All Stars stable to record back to back titles. Overall, he won 8 of his 13 starts while amassing more than $1.6 million in prizemoney. The All Stars stable claimed 4 of the 8 legs with Lazarus winning three events while Vincent won the Auckland Cup. The full list of Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit winners during the season were Lennytheshark (Victoria Cup), Lazarus (New Zealand Cup), Lazarus (Inter Dominion), Vincent (Auckland Cup), Soho Tribeca (WA Pacing Cup), Lazarus (Hunter Cup), My Field Marshal (Miracle Mile) and Let It Ride (Blacks A Fake Qld Championship). And the Top 5 point scorers were; Lazarus – 304 points Soho Tribeca – 205 Tiger Tara – 145 Lennytheshark – 134 Chicago Bull – 120 Congratulations to the owners of Lazarus – Phil & Glenys Kennard, Trevor Casey and Kevin Riseley.   Hoofnote – Lazarus is now trained by Jimmy Takter after being purchased by Taylor Made Stallions.   Chris Barsby

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Both of the $21,500 features at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday night required the use of the photo finish camera, with the mare Satin Dancer holding off Crazshana by a nose on the trot and Juslikeaqueen rallying furiously from sixth at the 3/4 to get a neck decison in the distaff pace. Satin Dancer, a double winner in Open company at Hoosier before coming east, was sent right to the top in a 27.1 quarter over off going by driver Matt Kakaley in the trotting headliner, then got a breather to the half in 57. The winning daughter of Big Stick accelerated the tempo to the ¾, reaching that pole in 1:25.1, then had to go faster and dig deep as Crazshana narrowed in from the pocket, retaining the smallest possible advantage on the money while equaling her mark of 1:53. Travis Alexander conditions the winner, one of the big factors at two and three in Indiana as her $637,160 earnings would attest, for Summit Pacing Acres LLC (a "Pacing Acres" owning a fast trotter - they really have the winning touch!). Obvious Blue Chip tried to live up to 1-5 backing in the female pacing feature, moving to the front near the 27.4 quarter and then posting middle fractions of 57 and 1:24.4. But first-over Princess Fabulosa grinded at the leader, passed her in the stretch, then herself was caught by the flying-from-third-over Juslikeaqueen, from whom Anthony Napolitano summoned a huge last quarter while wide to take a 1:53.1 decision. Antonia Storer owns and trains the Palone Ranger mare, who now has a lifetime bankroll of $175,710. And just in case you thought that all those good Jimmy Takter trotters easily roll out of the barn all ready to go stakes-caliber miles, consider Fleet Admiral, who had a 1:56.3 win and a break in two qualifiers as a freshman, then put in two stretch breaks as a sophomore before qualifying at Pocono in 1:54.4. He made a break in his first purse start, was 16½ lengths out at the quarter, and rallied to be second, so when he broke at the start of his second race Sunday but was only 9¼ down at the quarter, he was "obviously" still in the hunt, and he again showed a giant recovery kick for driver Josert Fonseca, coming his last ¾ in 1:27.1 to win in 1:57.3 on a sloppy track. Oh, did we mention that he's a full brother to Ariana G? Hurricane Beach :51.3 to the half is fastest ever According to a detailed check of available records, the Somebeachsomewhere – Blazing Yankee four-year-old gelding Hurricane Beach cut the fastest half-mile ever in a Standardbred race mile on a 5/8-mile track, 51.3, in winning the last race on Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The final time for the mile was 1:49.4, over a sloppy track, in the $17,000 conditioned pace. Hurricane Beach blasted away from post eight for driver Simon Allard, hitting the quarter in 25.2 with the field well-strung-out behind, and Allard had the horse under a hold passing the stands for the first time. The half-mile station was reached as noted in 51.3, and the ¾ was reached in 1:19.3. Hurricane Beach officially had a 10-length lead at the stretch call, and won by 7¼ lengths. A detailed list of miles which have reached the 3/4s in 1:20, while not official, has been kept, and the 51.3 clocking eradicated the former mark for 5/8-mile tracks of 52.1 set by Split The House in the 2016 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft, won by All Bets Off. The record in such a race on an “f” track for the quarter is 25.1, notched by five horses (only one of which went on to win); Always B Miki went 1:19 to the 3/4s in winning the Ewart Pace at Scioto, also in 2016. The overall harness record for reaching the half in a mile race, according to this list, is 51.2, set by Devonshire Hanover at The Meadowlands in 2006. Those with long memories about unusual records probably had a bell ring as soon as they saw a horse named “Hurricane” involved in fast fractions. And yes, Hurricane Beach is a half-brother, out of Blazing Yankee, to the Cam’s Card Shark pacer Hurrikane Kingcole, who holds the overall record for the fastest-ever clocking to the ¾ in a mile race, 1:18.2, in the 2012 SBOANJ Classic at The Meadowlands, which was won by Panther Hanover. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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