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Hightstown, NJ — Seven of the top 10 horses in last week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll lost their respective Breeders Crown finals this past weekend, resulting in little change in positions, but a tightening in points in the upper half of the rankings. Shartin N (second in the Mare Pace), Greenshoe (second in the 3-year-old colt-and-gelding trot), and Bettor’s Wish (second in the 3-year-old colt-and-gelding pace) remained 1-2-3 in the rankings. Warrawee Ubeaut, who won the 3-year-old filly pace, also saw her position unchanged at No. 4 but added four first-place votes and gained 110 points to pull within four points of Bettor’s Wish. Mare trot winner Manchego made the biggest position move, going from No. 10 to No. 5 while picking up 108 points. Gimpanzee, the winner of the 3-year-old colt-and-gelding trot, and Tall Dark Stranger, who was second-placed-first in the 2-year-old colt-and-gelding pace, joined the top 10 at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively. Gimpanzee gained 71 points from a week ago; Tall Dark Stranger, ironically, dropped four points but made up positions as Southwind Ozzi and Atlanta dropped from the top 10 and Lather Up and McWicked each lost nearly 40 points. 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 23 – 10/29/2019 Rank Name (First Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Shartin N (17) 6pm 17-14-2-0 $920,177 304 1 2 Greenshoe (11) 3tc 13-10-3-0 $1,277,049 274 2 3 Bettor’s Wish (1) 3pc 17-12-5-0 $1,436,445 255 3 4 Warrawee Ubeaut (4) 3pf 17-12-2-3 $923,898 251 4 5 Manchego (1) 4tm 15-7-0-0 $485,038 189 10 6 Real Cool Sam 2tg 10-9-0-0 $497,774 88 5 7 Gimpanzee 3tc 12-7-1-2 $997,163 82 — 8 Tall Dark Stranger 2pc 9-8-1-0 $717,514 75 — 9 Lather Up 4ph 12-8-1-1 $768,011 65 7 10 McWicked 8ph 16-6-3-3 $1,017,466 58 8 ALSO:  Caviart Ally 50; Atlanta 48; Bold Eagle 31; Dancin Lou 28; Southwind Ozzi 24; Papi Rob Hanover 22; Ramona Hill 18; Amigo Volo 11; Winndevie 9; American History, Forbidden Trade, Six Pack 7; Lyons Sentinel, Reflect With Me 6; Elver Hanover 5; Millies Possesion 2; Captain Crunch, Guardian Angel AS, When Dovescry 1. Bold Eagle received 1 first-place vote. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Hightstown, NJ -- Tony Alagna entered this past weekend's Breeders Crown finals without an elimination winner, without a harness racing favorite, and, in some cases, without a favorable post position. He did, though, enter with confidence. The result was a memorable couple of nights at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Alagna became the fourth trainer in the 36-year history of the Breeders Crown to win three or more trophies in a year when Ramona Hill, Reflect With Me, and American History captured their finals at Mohawk. The other trainers in that group are Jimmy Takter, Ron Burke, and Bob McIntosh. "That's great company," Alagna said. "The horses showed up and did what we thought they could do. It turned out to be a phenomenal weekend for us. The drivers stayed confident, I stayed confident, my staff stayed confident; if you get all that together, then anything can happen." Ramona Hill got the fun started with a victory in the Breeders Crown's first race, winning Friday's 2-year-old filly trot from post 10 at odds of nearly 15-1. In the next race, the 2-year-old filly pace, Reflect With Me won from post eight at 27-1. On Saturday, American History captured the Open Pace at 5-1. "We didn't win any eliminations, but I was really happy with all the horses," Alagna said. "You don't panic. You set a goal for the horses and you don't stray from your goal even though everything is not perfect along the way. You know you have a quality horse, you do the right thing, and you hope it pays off. The majority of the time, it will. "You learn that over time. The best thing is I've got a tremendous group of owners that don't waiver. They don't want to do this or that if the horse didn't have a good race. They keep the faith and let us do our job. They know that we're going to do the right thing." Robert LeBlanc was among Alagna's owners who tasted Breeders Crown success over the weekend. LeBlanc, who grew up in Toronto and now lives in Austin, Texas, got his first-ever Breeders Crown with Ramona Hill. Robert LeBlanc (center) with Brittany Farms’ George Segal (left) and Ramona Hill’s co-owner Brad Grant (right) after her Breeders Crown victory. USTA/Mark Hall photo "I was probably 8 or 9 years old when I first came to Mohawk, so to come back here for the Breeders Crown is something special; I am on cloud nine," said LeBlanc, a retired vice president at IBM who has partnered on horses in Alagna's stable for three years. "This is what it's all about. You want to be there at the end of the year when all the best horses are there and beat the best. It's fantastic." Ramona Hill started from post 10 but was hustled from the gate by driver Andy McCarthy and landed on the lead. She was third at three-quarters before bursting through the stretch to win by four lengths over Sister Sledge. "We knew that if she could get off the gate and into a position, she would be there at the end," LeBlanc said. "But your expectation is that (post) 10 against the best fillies in the country, you're hoping to get a good piece of it. But in the back of your mind, you're thinking maybe she can do it. "What a great mile, what a great drive by Andy, and what great preparation by Tony. This is fun." McCarthy's win with Ramona Hill was his first Crown triumph, and he would add three more (including with Reflect With Me) before the weekend was finished. Joe Bongiorno, who drove American History, also picked up his first win in a Crown final. Joe Bongiorno picked up his first win in a Breeders Crown final with American History. USTA/Mark Hall photo Bongiorno put American History in front from post three in the race's early stage, marking only the second time in 18 starts this season the 4-year-old stallion was on top at the first quarter. "I wasn't planning on leaving but when (Jimmy Freight in post two) wasn't taking off, I changed my plan," the 26-year-old Bongiorno said. "I had confidence, but I knew this was a great group of horses and I had to have him in the right spot. We put him in the right spot. The whole mile he was alive and felt great. He's a special horse; he knows what his job is. "To win a Breeders Crown, I'm just so thankful to Tony and his owners for having faith in me and trusting me with their horse. It's something I didn't even dream of. It's unbelievable." Alagna's stable now has won six Breeders Crown trophies. His previous victories came with Captaintreacherous (2013), Racing Hill (2016) and Stay Hungry (2017). "It just goes to show that the barn has matured," Alagna said. "The owners kept the faith, the drivers had confidence, and everything came together." USTA/Mark Hall photos   by Ken Weingartner USTA Media Relations Manager

Hightstown, NJ - McWicked's accomplishments have already put him in rarefied air, and the 8-year-old harness racing pacing stallion has a chance this weekend to add to his achievements. On Saturday, McWicked competes in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park, where he is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. With a victory, he would join Jenna's Beach Boy as the only male pacers with three Breeders Crown trophies. The only other horses with three Crowns are female pacers Eternal Camnation and My Little Dragon as well as male trotter Mack Lobell and female trotter Grades Singing. Female trotter Peace Corps holds the record with four. In addition, McWicked is on the verge of surpassing $1 million in purses for a third time in his career. The only pacer with three million-dollar seasons is Foiled Again. McWicked will enter Saturday with C$990,198 (US$981,466). For his career, McWicked has earned C$5.03 million (US$4.87 million) and is second to only gelding Foiled Again among all pacers in history. Last year at age 7, McWicked became the oldest pacer in history to receive Horse of the Year honors from the U.S. Harness Writers Association. He led the sport in earnings, with $1.57 million, and became the oldest horse in 43 years to top the money standings. He also broke Foiled Again's earnings record for a 7-year-old, which was $1.40 million in 2011. Foiled Again holds the record for an 8-year-old with $1.20 million. "He's an amazing horse, no doubt," said Casie Coleman, who trains McWicked for Ed James' S S G Stables. "There are not too many horses that have done what he's done, and to keep doing it at his age. You really wouldn't know this horse is 8 years old. "And he's got a lot of big, tough miles under his belt; it's not too often he has an easy race. Every time he goes behind the gate, they're pacing (1):47, (1):48, (1):49. He's definitely an unbelievable horse." McWicked won his first Breeders Crown at the age of 3 in 2014. When he won his second in 2018, he became the first pacer to ever win Crowns separated by four years. He will try Saturday to become the first repeat Open Pace winner since Always B Miki in 2015 and 2016. He starts Saturday from post eight with regular driver Brian Sears. Jimmy Freight is the 4-1 second choice. "Everything has been great," Coleman said about the horse's preparation for the race. "I trained him (Tuesday) and he was awesome. He's sharp, sound, healthy. I'm very happy with how he is coming in. "I obviously would have liked a little bit better (post) but it's better than the nine and it's better than the 10. The way this horse has been racing, I'm not too concerned about it. Everybody wants to draw the inside more but it's a big track and the eight-hole at Mohawk really isn't terrible." McWicked, who has battled throat and foot issues throughout his career, has won 40 of 108 races lifetime. He has won six of 15 this year, hitting the board a dozen times, and enters the Breeders Crown final with back-to-back victories in the Dan Rooney Invitational and Allerage Farms Open Pace. McWicked is one of three horses attempting to win a third Breeders Crown. The others are trotting mares Hannelore Hanover and Emoticon Hanover. Hannelore Hanover, from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, won her first Crown in 2016 in the Mare Trot. She came back the following year and won the Open Trot, becoming the first mare to knock off the boys since Moni Maker in 1998. Emoticon Hanover, a Luc Blais trainee, has won the past two editions of the Mare Trot. She was the first to accomplish that feat since Buck I St Pat in 2009-2010. Manchego, the fastest female trotter in history, is the 7-5 morning-line favorite in the $325,000 Mare Trot. The Nancy Johansson-trained Manchego is a past Breeders Crown champion, having won the 2-year-old filly division in 2017. Johansson's Captain Crunch was a Crown winner in 2018 in the 2-year-old colt-and-gelding pace. He is the 5-2 second choice behind 9-5 Bettor's Wish in the $600,000 event for 3-year-old male pacers. The most recent male pacer to win a Crown at both 2 and 3 was Artiscape in 1997-1998. Burke trained three past champions in addition to Hannelore Hanover that are in action this weekend: Warrawee Ubeaut, Youaremycandygirl, and Dorsoduro Hanover. Warrawee Ubeaut won last year's 2-year-old filly pace and is the 4-5 favorite in the $550,000 3-year-old filly pace. The most recent filly pacer to win at Crown at both 2 and 3 was My Little Dragon in 2005-2006. Dorsoduro Hanover won last year's 3-year-old colt-and-gelding pace and is 6-1 in the $500,000 Open Pace. The most recent male pacer to win a Crown at ages 3 and 4 was Art Major in 2002-2003. Youaremycandygirl was a Breeders Crown champion at age 2 in 2017. Now trained by Richard Moreau, she is 6-1 in the $300,000 Mare Pace, where returning champion Shartin N is the 4-5 chalk. Shartin N, trained by Jim King Jr. and ranked No. 1 in the sport's Top 10 poll, is looking to be the first repeat winner since Shelliscape in 2013-2014. Marcus Melander-trained Gimpanzee is back after winning last year's 2-year-old colt-and-gelding trot. He is 8-1 in the $500,000 race for 3-year-old male trotters, where stablemate Greenshoe is the 3-5 favorite. There is one other past champion competing this weekend, Fiftydallarbill, who claimed his title in the 2-year-old colt-and-gelding trot in 2017. He is in the $500,000 Open Trot. Lindy The Great is the 3-1 favorite, followed by Guardian Angel AS at 7-2 and French star Bold Eagle at 4-1. Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds are Friday at Mohawk. The finals for 3-year-olds and older horses are Saturday. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership is the presenting sponsor of this year's Breeders Crown. For Friday's entries, click here. For Saturday's entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Twenty years ago, Todd Clements was working as a network administrator in Toronto when his father got sick and asked his son to return home to Newfoundland. Clements resigned from his job and spent six weeks with his dad before Charlie passed from cancer at the age of 49. Their final days together changed the direction of Todd's life forever. "I'm a systems engineer by education," Clements said. "My dad was very proud of the work I did, but he knew my passion for racehorses. One of the last things he said to me was that life can be short, do what you love. Here I was in a three-piece suit, working in an office running a company. I really didn't like it. "My dad gave me the green light. I came back to Ontario and I went to work (in a harness racing stable) for $400 a week, which I was making a day, and it's all paid off." The 44-year-old Clements is in his first Breeders Crown, sending Fixed Idea to Saturday's $600,000 final for 3-year-old male pacers. Fixed Idea, who will be driven by Randall Waples, will start from post eight in a field of 10 that includes elimination winners Bettor's Wish and Dancin Lou as well as returning Breeders Crown champion Captain Crunch, Little Brown Jug winner Southwind Ozzi, and Meadowlands Pace winner Best In Show. "As a Newfoundland kid growing up, you dream about being in those races," said Clements, who made several starts as a trainer in the years prior to leaving home for his network administrator job. "I'm extremely excited to be in the Breeders Crown." Fixed Idea, a son of Big Jim-Calchips Artist owned by Christopher Nicol, was unraced at age 2 and joined Clements' stable this year. All five of the horse's wins this season have come in conditioned races but he earned checks in three preliminary rounds of the Ontario Sire Stakes series as well as the series championship. He also was fifth-placed-fourth in the consolation of the North America Cup. "The best thing about him is his durability," Clements said. "He can take a long road trip and the best part of his mile is the last sixteenth. If races were a mile-and-a-sixteenth, a lot of those 3s and 4s would probably be 1s. He has heart. He tries and there's not much more you can ask." Prior to Fixed Idea's fourth-place finish in the Breeders Crown elimination, Clements' thoughts returned to his father. "I looked up and said, dad, please send me down some luck," Clements said. "I don't know if it was that, but we made it. We're going to be one of the longshots (Saturday) but it's a horse race. You've got to be in it to win it. We're just very humbled and just excited to have the opportunity to be in it." Clements is not the only trainer in the race who made a career change. Tahnee Camilleri, a native of Australia, gave up a career practicing law to pursue her passion by moving to the U.S. to train horses. The 32-year-old Camilleri conditions Dancin Lou for owners David Kryway and 1362313 Ontario Ltd. Camilleri, who trained some horses in the States during a brief stay prior to completing her law degree, is in her first full season with her own stable. "There's definitely not going to be a lot of sleep this week," Camilleri said. "I'm so excited. I'm like a kid right before Christmas." Dancin Lou worked his way up through the conditioned ranks at Yonkers, putting together a five-race win streak, and won twice on the Kentucky Sire Stakes circuit. He was third in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes before winning a division of the Tattersalls over Southwind Ozzi. For the year, he has 10 wins in 17 starts. "I never thought initially when I got this horse that he was going to turn out like he has," Camilleri said. "It's been a gradual thing, but he's just gotten better and better. He got on a roll at Yonkers and it did wonders for his confidence. I still can't believe it's the same horse that I had at the start of the season. It's been unexpected, but a great ride along the way." Dexter Dunn drove Dancin Lou in his three most recent races but will sit behind Bettor's Wish in the Breeders Crown final. Andy McCarthy, who guided Dancin Lou to a career-best 1:48.3 victory in a division of the Kentucky Sire Stakes, picks up the drive. "He definitely can get the best out of him," Camilleri said. "Everything I've asked him to do, he's stepped up to the plate," she added about Dancin Lou, who is a son of Sweet Lou-Dancewiththebest. "There hasn't really been any pressure. It's just whether he was going to take the next step, and every step I've asked him to take, he's taken it. I'm really so proud of him." Breeders Crown finals for 3-year-olds and older horses are Saturday at Mohawk. The finals for 2-year-olds are Friday. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership is the presenting sponsor of this year's Breeders Crown. Following is the field for the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Southwind Ozzi-Brian Sears-Bill MacKenzie 2-Captain Crunch-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson 3-Covered Bridge-James MacDonald-Blake MacIntosh 4-Dancin Lou-Andy McCarthy-Tahnee Camilleri 5-Bettor's Wish-Dexter Dunn-Chris Ryder 6-Best In Show-Bob McClure-Linda Toscano 7-Semi Tough-David Miller-Ron Burke 8-Fixed Idea-Randall Waples-Todd Clements 9-Bronx Seelster-Simon Allard-Rene Allard 10-De Los Cielos Deo-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown  

Luc Blais was pleased when Forbidden Trade received a bye to advance directly to Saturday's $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old male trotters at Woodbine Mohawk Park. After the Hambletonian winning colt drew post eight, he was less enthused. "I was happy when they asked about the bye," Blais said. "After the draw, I said oops. But it's part of the game. A race is a race. All the time you need luck." Twelve horses entered the 3-year-old colt-and-gelding trot, which resulted in Forbidden Trade and Greenshoe receiving byes while the remaining 10 horses competed for the eight remaining spots in the final. Don't Let'em won the elimination with a Canadian-record-equaling 1:51.3 performance. His reward as an elim winner was being guaranteed a post in positions one through five. He will start Saturday from post two. Greenshoe, the winner of 10 of 12 races and C$1.16 million this season, will start from post four. He is one of three finalists for trainer Marcus Melander, with returning Breeders Crown champion Gimpanzee and Green Manalishi S. Forbidden Trade defeated Greenshoe by a neck in the Hambletonian. Since then, Greenshoe has won five in a row, including the Kentucky Futurity on Oct. 6 at Lexington's Red Mile. The colt's 1:49.4 triumph in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes on Sept. 29 at Red Mile is the fastest mile of the season for a 3-year-old trotter and the fourth sub-1:50 winning mile by a 3-year-old in history. "He's doing great," Melander said about Greenshoe, a son of Father Patrick-Designed To Be. "I was happy to take the bye. He's been on the road for a long time, so it was nice for him to be at home. I'm very happy with how he feels. I'm confident going into the race, he feels as good as he can. I think he'll be good." Green Manalishi S and Gimpanzee finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Crown elimination. Green Manalishi S (Muscle Hill-Naga Morich S) has two wins at Mohawk this year, in the Canadian Trotting Classic and Simcoe Stakes. Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows) was last year's Dan Patch Award winner and counts the Yonkers Trot and New York Sire Stakes championship among his 2019 victories. "There are good horses there," Melander said. "It's going to be a tough race to win, but I'm happy with my three horses. We drew good; I'm confident going into the race. It will be exciting." Forbidden Trade has won eight of 13 races and C$1.07 million. In his most recent start, he won his second Ontario Sire Stakes championship. The son of Kadabra-Pure Ivory was the 2018 O'Brien Award winner. "It's going to be a tough race," Blais said. "He feels good. He raced good in the Ontario final and he's in good shape right now. I hope everything goes well in the race." The fun-loving Don't Let'em was once described as "a class clown" by trainer Nancy Johansson but he got an 'A' for his elimination performance. The colt, a son of Muscle Hill-Passageway, has finished first or second 12 times in his career. He's gone off stride in his remaining nine races. "His mind is his own worst enemy," driver Yannick Gingras said. "A couple times in the middle of the summer he'd wheel around in the post parade for no reason, but he's doing none of that stuff now. It seems like he's got his mind on his business." Chin Chin Hall finished second to Don't Let'em in the elimination. The colt, by Cash Hall out of Canland Hall, had hit the board in seven consecutive starts before an eighth-place finish in the Kentucky Futurity. But that race over a 'good' track on a rain-filled afternoon did nothing to dampen trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman's good feelings. "I don't even count that race; you have to throw it out," Norman said. "I was really happy with his run (in the Crown elimination); why wouldn't you be. He's been good every start the last couple of months. He actually feels like he's getting better and better. I think he drew pretty good (post five). It's a tough group, it'll be hard enough to just get a check, but I think he's good enough to be top five." Breeders Crown finals for 3-year-olds and older horses are Saturday at Mohawk. The finals for 2-year-olds are Friday. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership is the corporate sponsor of this year's Breeders Crown. Following is the field for the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Green Manalishi S-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander 2-Don't Let'em-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson 3-Marseille-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 4-Greenshoe-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 5-Chin Chin Hall-Peter Wrenn-R. Nifty Norman 6-Gimpanzee-David Miller-Marcus Melander 7-Goes Down Smooth-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 8-Forbidden Trade-Bob McClure-Luc Blais 9-Soul Strong-Dexter Dunn-Ake Svanstedt 10-Super Schissel-Louis Roy-Per Engblom By Ken Weingartner for the Breeders Crown  

Third Shift and Moon Bridge got a little unscheduled time off recently because of sickness, but the two Ake Svanstedt trainees are ready to go Friday (Oct. 18) in the single Breeders Crown elimination for 2-year-old male trotters at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Thirteen horses were entered for the event, with the connections of Real Cool Sam, Port Perry, and Capricornus accepting byes to advance directly to the final. The top seven finishers from the remaining 10-horse field will join that trio in the $600,000 final Oct. 25 at Mohawk. Two-time Grand Circuit-winner Amigo Volo, a son of Father Patrick from the stable of trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman, is the elim's 5-2 morning-line favorite from post three. Dexter Dunn will drive the gelding, who won divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes at Lexington's Red Mile in his most recent outings. Third Shift, the New York Sire Stakes champion, is 8-1 and will be driven by Svanstedt from post one. Moon Bridge, who won the Ontario Sire Stakes championship this past Saturday at Mohawk, is 10-1 and will start from post seven with Sylvain Filion. Svanstedt considered sending the horses to the recently concluded Grand Circuit meet at Red Mile, but the health of the horses changed those plans. "Third Shift was sick, so we left him at home and decided to go for the Breeders Crown," Svanstedt said. "It was the same with Moon Beam. He was sick and hadn't raced for one month before the (Ontario) final. But both of them are sound and healthy now and I hope they can do good races." Third Shift enters Friday having last raced in the New York championship Sept. 14 at Batavia Downs. The colt, by two-time Breeders Crown champ Chapter Seven out of Overnight Command, zipped around the half-mile oval in a track- and stakes-record 1:56. He shaved more than a second off the previous Batavia standard of 1:57.1 and three-fifths of a second off the stakes record, which was set last year by Dan Patch Award winner Gimpanzee. "He hasn't raced since then, but he was very good in the final," said Svanstedt, who owns Third Shift with Mellby Gard Inc. "He has trained good and everything is good with him. He has everything. He is fast and strong and has a very good head. He is a horse that always tries; he wants to win. He's a good horse." Third Shift has won three of six races, finished second twice, and earned $198,212. His fastest win time of the campaign, 1:54.4, came at seven-eighths-mile Vernon Downs in a preliminary round of the New York Sire Stakes. "He is a big horse, but he handled the (half-mile) tracks good," Svanstedt said. "I hope he can go faster on the big track (at seven-eighths-mile Mohawk). He raced in (1):54 at Vernon in his third race, so I think he can go faster on the big track." Moon Bridge was unraced for nearly a month when he captured the Ontario title, beating Port Perry by a head in 1:55.4. The colt, by E L Titan out of Classic Belle, has won two of six races and earned $149,953 for owners Esa Lahtinen, Janne Korpi, and Jussi Hietalahti. He was bred by Lahtinen's Overseas Farms and Korpi. "He was good," Svanstedt said. "He is a nervous horse, but he handles it good. We have to be careful with him; we always take it easy with him. But he is a good racehorse. He comes to race." All eliminations for 2-year-olds, which go for $25,000 each, are Friday at Mohawk. Hypnotic AM and Ramona Hill are the morning-line favorites in the elims for 2-year-old filly trotters; Baby Your The Best, Alicorn and Lyons Sentinel get the nods in the elims for 2-year-old filly pacers; and Tall Dark Stranger is the choice in the single elimination for 2-year-old male pacers. Racing begins at 7:50 p.m. (EDT) Friday. The $600,000 finals for 2-year-olds will be Oct. 25 at Mohawk, with an early 7 p.m. post time. Elimination winners, in an order determined by lot, draw for post positions one through five for the finals. The draws for the 2-year-old finals, except for the colt-and-gelding pace, will be conducted Friday following the eliminations. The draw for the colt-and-gelding pace will be Tuesday at the post-position draw and press conference at Woodbine Mohawk Park. For Friday's complete entries, click here. Eliminations for 3-year-olds and up are Saturday, with a 7:10 p.m. post time. For Saturday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Brandon Bates has a horse in the Breeders Crown for the first time, and it's Priceless. Priceless, who last week won an Indiana Sire Stakes championship for her sixth victory of the season, was among the 21 horses entered in Friday's (Oct. 18) Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old filly pacers at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 44-year-old Bates trains and drives Priceless for owners Kevin Miller and Bert Hochsprung, who also are starting a horse in the Breeders Crown for the first time. It will be Priceless' second Grand Circuit start of the year (she won the Kentuckiana Stallion Management on Sept. 20 at Harrah's Hoosier Park) and she is the 7-2 third choice on the morning line in the first of three eliminations. Baby Your The Best, the runner-up in both the Kentucky and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships, is the 5-2 favorite followed by two-time Grand Circuit winner Reflect With Me at 3-1. The field also includes International Stallion Stakes division winner Peaky Sneaky (4-1) and Kentucky Sire Stakes champ Gai Waterhouse (9-2). Ontario Sire Stakes champion Alicorn is the 4-5 favorite in the second elimination and She's A Great Lady winner Lyons Sentinel, who brings a six-race victory streak to the event, is the 3-5 chalk in the third. The top three finishers from each elimination plus the fourth-place finisher with the highest earnings as calculated by Standardbred Canada will advance to the $600,000 final on Oct. 25 at Mohawk. Priceless, a daughter of Rockin Image out of Btwnyurheartnmine, has earned $328,662 in nine starts, with an average margin of victory of five lengths in her six wins. She has finished second once and gone off stride twice, the first of which Bates attributed to a bad night and the second to interference. She heads to her Breeders Crown elimination off her 1:52.2 score in the Indiana championship, where she paced her final quarter-mile in :26.1 and won by 6-1/2 lengths. "I don't know that she's been any better all year," Bates said Tuesday. "She's really matured and attitude wise she seems as happy as she could be. I couldn't be more pleased." Bates and Priceless did not get off on the best foot. "The first three days I didn't like her at all," Bates said with a laugh. "She laid down three days in a row. The first day I was brushing her and she laid down in the crossties. The second day I was putting hobbles on her and she laid down in the crossties. The third day, just before we were coming off the track, she kind of folded up and laid down in the jog cart. "But when she got her mind on her business and her work, she just blossomed and excelled. She showed a lot of talent." One thing Bates has never had to worry about is Priceless missing any meals. The filly's nickname is "Pudgie." "She likes to eat, and she looks like she's a little fat," Bates said. "Her race-night groom, Dani Copeland, gave her the nickname the first time we raced her down here. She's a great eater." Bates would like to see Priceless eat up the racetrack Friday and advance to the Breeders Crown final. "She's got a lot of personality," Bates said. "She gets turned out every day for as long as she wants to be out. She really likes that. She's the first one out of the barn in the morning and then she gets back out and she likes to watch the other horses jog. She'll pace some of them down the fence line and just really enjoys herself." An Ohio native who 20 years ago moved to Indiana, Bates has won 926 races as a driver and 194 as a trainer. He is on the board of the Indiana Standardbred Association and has worked full time in racing since the mid-2000s. Prior to then, he split his time between the horses and a job in a soybean processing facility. Over the years, Bates thought he had two previous hopes of making it to the Breeders Crown, with trotters Haulin Laser (who got sick) and Swandre The Giant (who was sold). "Hopefully the third time is the charm," Bates said. Racing begins at 7:50 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Eliminations for all 2-year-old Breeders Crown divisions are on the card. Eliminations for 3-year-olds and up are Saturday, with a 7:10 p.m. post time. For Friday's complete entries, click here. For Saturday's complete entries, click here. By Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown  

MILTON, ON - October 15, 2019 - Filly pacer Lyons Sentinel, this harness racing season's richest 2-year-old, as well as undefeated divisional money-leaders Tall Dark Stranger, Real Cool Sam, and Hypnotic AM were among 63 freshmen entered Tuesday for the $6 million Breeders Crown at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Eliminations for the 2-year-olds, which are necessary in all four divisions and go for a purse of $25,000 each, are Friday at Mohawk. Post time for Friday's first race is 7:50 p.m. (EDT). The $600,000 finals for 2-year-olds will be Oct. 25 at Mohawk, with an early 7 p.m. post time. Breeders Crown eliminations for 3-year-olds and up are Saturday at Mohawk. Elimination winners, in an order determined by lot, draw for post positions one through five for the finals. The draws for the 2-year-old finals, except for the colt-and-gelding pace, will be conducted Friday following the eliminations. The draw for the colt-and-gelding pace will be Tuesday at the post-position draw and press conference at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Twelve horses were entered for the 2-year-old colt-and-gelding pace, with the connections of Capt Midnight and Catch The Fire accepting earnings-based byes to advance directly to the final. The top eight finishers from the remaining 10-horse elimination will join those two in the final. Capt Midnight, by Captaintreacherous, has won multiple Grand Circuit stakes for trainer Tony Alagna. Catch The Fire, also by Captaintreacherous and trained by John Ackley, is a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion. The connections of Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover declined a bye. Tall Dark Stranger is unbeaten in seven starts for trainer Nancy Johansson, with his wins including the Metro Pace at Mohawk. A son of Bettor's Delight, the colt has earned $411,265 this season. He starts the elim from post four. Papi Rob Hanover, trained by Brett Pelling, counts the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship among his three wins in eight starts. The son of Somebeachsomewhere finished second in the Metro and has earned $315,358. He leaves from post six. Thirteen horses were entered for the 2-year-old colt-and-gelding trot, with the connections of Real Cool Sam, Port Perry, and Capricornus accepting byes to advance directly to the final. The top seven finishers from the remaining 10-horse field will join that trio next week. Real Cool Sam, the Peter Haughton Memorial and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, is unbeaten in nine races. Trained by Jim Campbell, the son of Muscle Hill has earned $454,575. Ontario Sire Stakes final runner-up Port Perry, a son of Kadabra, has earned $224,090 for trainer Luc Blais while William Wellwood Memorial runner-up Capricornus, by Cantab Hall, has earned $192,885 for trainer Marcus Melander. Two-time Grand Circuit-winner Amigo Volo, a son of Father Patrick trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman and Carter Pinske, will start the elimination from post three. New York Sire Stakes champion Third Shift, a son of Chapter Seven, leaves from post one for Ake Svanstedt. Ontario Sire Stakes champ Moon Bridge, a son of E L Titan also from Svanstedt's stable, starts from post seven. Twenty-one 2-year-old filly pacers entered the Breeders Crown, requiring three eliminations. The top three finishers from each elimination plus the fourth-place finisher with the highest earnings as calculated by Standardbred Canada advance to the final. Lyons Sentinel, a daughter of Captaintreacherous trained by Jim King Jr., is in the third elim. She has won seven of 10 races this year and finished no worse than second in any start, earning $519,255. She brings a six-race win streak to her Breeders Crown elimination, with her victories including the She's A Great Lady at Mohawk and the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Ontario Sire Stakes champion Alicorn, trained by Chantel Mitchell, is in the second elimination while the first elim includes Indiana Sire Stakes champ Priceless, from the stable of Brandon Bates. Seventeen 2-year-old filly trotters were divided into two eliminations, with James Doherty Memorial and New York Sire Stakes champion Hypnotic AM in the first. Hypnotic AM, by Chapter Seven, has won all seven of her races this season and earned $386,457 for trainer Marcus Melander. Also in the first elim is Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Sister Sledge, trained by Ron Burke. The second elimination includes Peaceful Way winner Dip Me Hanover, trained by Linda Toscano, and multiple Grand Circuit winner Sherry Lyns Lady, trained by Jim Campbell. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the final. Following are the fields in post-position order for Friday's $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-olds at Woodbine Mohawk Park. 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT Elimination 1 (Race 1) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Madame Sherry-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell 2-Shishito-Dexter Dunn-Per Engblom 3-Winter Olympics-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 4-Sister Sledge-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 5-Whose Blues-Bob McClure-Luc Blais 6-Hypnotic AM-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 7-Globetrotting-Anthony MacDonald-Jason McGinnis 8-Violet Stride-Tyler Buter-Mark Harder Elimination 2 (Race 3) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Tricky Sister-Dan Dube-Andrew Harris 2-Crucial-Chris Page-Ron Burke 3-Jula Shes Magic-Jody Jamieson-Susanne Kerwood 4-Romona Hill-Andy McCarthy-Tony Alagna 5-Dip Me Hanover-David Miller-Linda Toscano 6-Wine Rack Hanover-Sylvain Filion-R. Nifty Norman 7-Sherry Lyns Lady-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell 8-Ms Savannah Belle-Yannick Gingras-Per Engblom 9-May Baby-James Yoder-James Yoder 2-YEAR-OLD COLT & GELDING TROT Single Elimination (Race 2) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Third Shift-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 2-Synergy-Yannick Gingras-Per Engblom 3-Amigo Volo-Dexter Dunn-R. Nifty Norman 4-Rome Pays Off-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander 5-Back Of The Neck-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 6-Chestnut Hill-Tim Tetrick-R. Nifty Norman 7-Moon Bridge-Dexter Dunn-Ake Svanstedt 8-Beads-Paul MacDonell-John Bax 9-Blue Cupertino-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair 10-Horse Trader-Trevor Henry-Paul Walker 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE Elimination 1 (Race 4) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Baby Your The Best-David Miller-Linda Toscano 2-Peaky Sneaky-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Johansson 3-Sound Idea-Chris Christoforou-John Balzer 4-Gai Waterhouse-Yannick Gingras-Domenico Cecere 5-Priceless-Brandon Bates-Brandon Bates 6-Reflect With Me-Andy McCarthy-Tony Alagna 7-Merga Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE Elimination 2 (Race 6) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Keystone Kalimba-Jody Jamieson-Dave Menary 2-New Year-Corey Callahan-Ross Croghan 3-Shouldabeenatd-David Miller-Ron Burke 4-Alexa Skye-Dexter Dunn-Ian Moore 5-Alicorn-Louis Roy-Chantal Mitchell 6-Off The Press-Yannick Gingras-Paul Reid 7-Lady Lou-Andy McCarthy-Tony Alagna 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE Elimination 3 (Race 8) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Somebeachsometime-Jody Jamieson-Dave Menary 2-JK First Lady-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson 3-Marloe Hanover-Dexter Dunn-R. Nifty Norman 4-The Bethinator-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 5-Looksgoodinaromper-Chris Page-Ron Burke 6-Lyons Sentinel-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr. 7-Betalady-Jody Jamieson-Susanne Kerwood 2-YEAR-OLD COLT & GELDING PACE Single Elimination (Race 10) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Mayhem Hanover-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair 2-Team Best-David Miller-Blake MacIntosh 3-Seeyou At Thebeach-Tim Tetrick-Brian Brown 4-Tall Dark Stranger-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson 5-Cattlewash-Louis Roy-Ron Burke 6-Papi Rob Hanover-David Miller-Brett Pelling 7-Freedom Warrior-Brian Sears-Kevin Lare 8-Put To Right-Andy McCarthy-Tony Alagna 9-Major Betts-Dexter Dunn-Mark Harder 10-Allywag Hanover-Tim Tetrick-Casie Coleman For more information go to www.Hambletonian.com or https://woodbine.com/mohawk/events/breeders-crown/. by Ken Weingartner, for Hambletonian Society  

Hightstown, NJ — McWicked rejoined the top 10 in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll following his victory in the Dan Rooney Invitational Pace on Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. The 8-year-old pacing stallion, who was the 2018 Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada, was ranked No. 9. His most recent previous appearance in the top 10 came in week 14 of the voting, when he was No. 10. Pacing mare Shartin N remained No. 1, followed by 3-year-old colt trotter Greenshoe and 3-year-old colt pacer Bettor’s Wish. 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 21 – 10/15/2019 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Shartin N (19) 6pm 16-14-1-0 $848,177 328 1 2 Greenshoe (14) 3tc 12-10-2-0 $1,164,550 318 2 3 Bettor’s Wish 3pc 15-11-4-0 $1,288,944 278 3 4 Real Cool Sam 2tg 9-9-0-0 $454,575 138 7 5 Southwind Ozzi 3pc 12-9-2-0 $804,435 132 5 6 Lather Up 4ph 12-8-1-1 $768,011 120 4 7 Warrawee Ubeaut 3pf 15-10-2-3 $636,398 118 8 8 Tall Dark Stranger (1) 2pc 7-7-0-0 $411,265 99 9 9 McWicked 8ph 15-6-3-3 $981,466 97 -- 10 Atlanta 4tm 12-7-3-0 $658,400 88 6 ALSO:  Manchego 67*; Forbidden Trade 26; Captain Crunch, Gimpanzee 18; Elver Hanover 13; Alicorn, Hypnotic AM 10; Lyons Sentinel 9; Boadicea, When Dovescry 7; Century Farroh, Guardian Angel AS 5; Caviart Ally, Green Manalishi S 4; Rich And Miserable 3; Custom Cantab, Six Pack, Tall Drink Hanover 1. *Manchego did receive one first place vote by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Yonkers, NY - Both Guardian Angel AS and Marion Marauder have enjoyed harness racing success at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway in the past and each will try to add to his accomplishments Saturday (Oct. 12) in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. Marion Marauder, whose three lifetime wins at The Hilltop include the 2016 Yonkers Trot, is making his third appearance in the International. He finished second in 2017 and fifth in 2018. Guardian Angel AS, who is heading to his first International, has six career victories on the half-mile oval at Yonkers. Saturday's 41st edition of the International Trot brings together an invitational field of 10 older trotters, including 2018 champion Cruzado Dela Noche, representing nine nations. Guardian Angel AS, one of two U.S. representatives, is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line after drawing post nine in the second tier behind the starting gate. Atlanta, the other U.S. rep, is the 3-1 favorite from post three. Guardian Angel AS has won seven of 12 races this season and earned $664,634 in purses, which leads all older trotters in North America. The 5-year-old stallion has won at least one race on every sized racetrack in North America this season, including a half-mile world-record 1:52 performance at Northfield Park in the Cleveland Trotting Classic, Canadian-record-equaling 1:50.4 effort in the Maple Leaf Trot at seven-eighths Woodbine Mohawk Park, and a track-record 1:51.3 clocking in the Spirit of Massachusetts at five-eighths Plainridge Park. For his career, Guardian Angel AS has won 23 of 52 starts and $1.18 million. He is trained by Anette Lorentzon, driven by Tim Tetrick, and owned by ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson. Guardian Angel AS will start from the second tier for the second consecutive race, having left from the trailing position in the Caesars Trotting Classic on Sept. 20 at Harrah's Hoosier Park. He finished third. "I'd rather have my nose on the gate, that way I'd have a fair shot at using his gate speed if I want," Tetrick said. "(Post) 10 would have been better, where I don't get locked in along the rail. But, that's what God gave us, so we just have to work with it. "Anytime you get to race for a million, it's pretty awesome. Yonkers is a very historic track and I enjoy getting to race here every time I come here." Marion Marauder, a 6-year-old stallion, is seeking his first win in 2019. He has won 20 of 60 career races and earned $3.21 million for trainer Paula Wellwood and owners Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. He was the 2016 Trotter of the Year after sweeping the Triple Crown. He was entered to race Sept. 30 at Mohawk but was scratched. "He had a temperature and hopefully that's under control," driver Scott Zeron said. "He's come into big events with three or four weeks off before, so I'm not worried about the layoff." Marion Marauder has raced six times at Yonkers and finished worse than second only once. "He's gotten around this track a bunch of times and has done well," Zeron said. "He's a relentless horse; he tries every time he gets out there. He's had an off year for the way he's been his whole career, so we're just hoping things are going to change. Hopefully I can trip him out and drive him the right way. "(The foreign horses) are very good. They can stay on the outside and take a lot of air, when a lot of our horses, we've just never taught them that type of system. You can't underestimate any of them." Atlanta is one of three mares in the International Trot field, with France's Bahia Quesnot and Switzerland's Uza Josselyn. Bahia Quesnot, who starts from post two, and Uza Josselyn, who leaves from post four, are both 5-1 on the morning line. In August, Uza Josselyn won the Group 1 Prix Maharajah at Solvalla in Sweden, with Bahia Quesnot finishing second in the championship event for trotting mares. Earlier in the year, Uza Josselyn finished second in the Group 1 Prix de France at a distance roughly equivalent to the 1-1/4 miles for the International. The Prix de France was won by Readly Express, with Bold Eagle third and Dijon (who later won the Elitlopp) fourth. For her career, the 8-year-old Uza Josselyn has won 32 of 70 races and $1.41 million. "She had some very good races in France going against the best horses over the same distance," said Barbara Aebischer, the caretaker of Uza Josselyn and wife of trainer Rene Aebischer. "It's her distance on Saturday, so we hope she does as well as there. "She always does very well. She always gives her best. She really goes with the heart." Bahia Quesnot most recently finished second to Propulsion in the Group 2 European Trotting Masters championship. She enters the International off three consecutive second-place efforts, with another Group 2 runner-up finish sandwiched between the Trotting Masters final and Prix Maharajah. Also an 8-year-old, Bahia Quesnot has won eight of 84 lifetime starts and $1.01 million. She has finished second on 16 occasions. "She's been doing really good," said Paola Guelpa, Bahia Quesnot's caretaker and the sister of trainer/driver Junior Guelpa, through a translator. "We got her in training in December last year and we have been working on her morale. She is very happy now and that's probably why she has been doing so well. Hopefully, she will get her big day soon." The International Trot has been won by a mare 11 times, most recently by Peace Corps in 1991. The International Trot was contested from 1959 through 1995 before being resurrected in 2015. Italy's Zacon Gio enters the International as the field's hottest horse, with 11 consecutive victories. This will be the 4-year-old stallion's first time racing outside of Italy. He has won 20 of 29 career races and $496,834. "He's just a really good horse," trainer Holger Ehlert said through a translator. "He's getting better and better and he knows how to do anything. He can wait, he can go on the lead, he can do any tactic. "I hope he gets a good race. It's not going to be easy because there are a lot of good horses, but my horse is very good too." Racing begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. The International Trot is race seven with a 3 p.m. (EDT) approximate post time. The card also includes the $250,000 Harry Harvey Trot (race eight) and the $250,000 Dan Rooney Pace (race 11). Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Slide So Easy-Ake Svanstedt-Flemming Jensen-10/1 2-Bahia Quesnot-Junior Guelpa-Junior Guelpa-5/1 3-Atlanta-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-3/1 4-Uza Josselyn-Erik Adielsson-Rene Aebischer-5/1 5-Zacon Gio-Roberto Vecchione-Holger Ehlert-8/1 6-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-6/1 7-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-8/1 8-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Goran Antonsen-8/1 *9-Guardian Angel AS-Tim Tetrick-Anette Lorentzon-4/1 *10-Norton Commander-Conni Lugauer-Conni Lugauer-15/1 *Guardian Angel AS and Norton Commander start from the second tier. For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

Harness racing trainer/driver Goran Antonsen learned a lot during his first trip to the $1 million Yonkers International Trot last year, and following the draw for this year's race, he wished he didn't need to recall some of the knowledge he gained. "I learned that post positions seven and eight are really, really bad," Antonsen said with a wry laugh after his Lionel, the runner-up to Cruzado Dela Noche in last year's International Trot, received post eight for Saturday's 41st renewal of the invitational for older trotters at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway. Lionel is 8-1 on the morning line for the International Trot, which brings a 10-horse field representing nine nations to Yonkers Raceway. Atlanta, one of two U.S. representatives, is the 3-1 favorite from post three. Antonsen owns, trains and drives Lionel, a 9-year-old stallion who represents Norway. Last year, Lionel and Antonsen started from the second tier's post nine and raced in the outer flow for much of the mile. In fact, Lionel was first over from the half-mile point to the final turn, where he took the lead from Marion Marauder but was unable to hold off Cruzado Dela Noche, losing by a head. "It was a great experience," Antonsen said. "The driving culture here is very much different from home. I feel the last experience is important, especially now when we have post position eight, because when you have a bad (post position) you are so dependent on what the others do. "Even though we drew number eight we are still optimistic. But, of course, it is more difficult." Lionel has won 25 of 82 career races and just shy of $2 million. His victories include a handful of Group 1 events overseas, including the 2017 Olympiatravet (Olympic Trot). Following last year's International Trot, Lionel returned to action in Paris, but was not in best form. He got time to freshen up and Antonsen said the horse is entering this year's International in good shape. "When he was finished (in Paris) he was very tired," Antonsen said. "But he's been very good since July, when he started to find his top form. Now, he should be as good as last year." Despite Lionel's starting spot Saturday, Antonsen is enjoying his return trip to New York. "But," he said with a grin, "it would be even more fun if we had (post) two." * * * * * * The connections of Denmark's Slide So Easy, also a returnee from last year's International Trot, were on the other end of the spectrum when it came to the draw for Saturday's race. Slide So Easy got post No. 1, which caused his table of supporters to erupt in cheers when it was announced at Tuesday's luncheon in Empire City Casino's Good Time Room. "It couldn't be better, so we're very happy," said Thomas Clemmensen, who owns the 10-year-old gelding with Soren Christensen. Slide So Easy arrived in the U.S. earlier than his European counterparts and stabled at Ake Svanstedt's Legend Farm in central New Jersey. Svanstedt will drive Slide So Easy for trainer Flemming Jensen in Saturday's race. The horse has enjoyed a strong campaign overseas, winning seven of 11 races this year and finishing worse than second only once. His victories include a second consecutive Danmark Mesterskab (Denmark Championship). For his career, the son of North American stakes-winning stallion Quite Easy has won 39 of 95 starts and $405,585. "I think he is a little bit better this year, so hopefully we can have a good race and come out and win," Clemmensen said. "He can open very fast, so if he wants, he can take the lead. I hope that Ake will take position second or third inside and come out at the end of the race." Asked if that would be his instructions to Svanstedt, Clemmensen responded with a laugh. "I don't do that," he said. "I think Ake knows (what to do)." * * * * * * A horse representing Germany has never won the International Trot. Norton Commander will try to become the first on Saturday. Owned by Ulrich Mommert, the 5-year-old stallion is trained and driven by Conni Lugauer. He has won three of seven races this year and 12 of 24 lifetime, good for $146,519. He will start the International Trot from post 10. In August, Norton Commander finished third in the Group 1 Jubileumspokalen (Jubilee Cup). "We're very happy with him," caretaker Nick Elving said. "He always gives 110 percent in every race he does. We actually wanted (post) 10, to be an outsider." Several weeks ago, Lugauer was asked by writer Brandon Valvo what it would mean to win the International Trot. "I'm always thinking about victories, but I didn't think about victory in the International Trot," he replied. "The question is too big. I don't know." Racing begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. The International Trot is race seven with a 3 p.m. (EDT) approximate post time. The card also includes the $250,000 Harry Harvey Trot (race eight) and the $250,000 Dan Rooney Pace (race 11). Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Slide So Easy-Ake Svanstedt-Flemming Jensen-10/1 2-Bahia Quesnot-Junior Guelpa-Junior Guelpa-5/1 3-Atlanta-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-3/1 4-Uza Josselyn-Erik Adielsson-Rene Aebischer-5/1 5-Zacon Gio-Roberto Vecchione-Holger Ehlert-8/1 6-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-6/1 7-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-8/1 8-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Goran Antonsen-8/1 *9-Guardian Angel AS-Tim Tetrick-Anette Lorentzon-4/1 *10-Norton Commander-Conni Lugauer-Conni Lugauer-15/1 *Guardian Angel AS and Norton Commander start from the second tier. For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Atlanta was made the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's (Oct. 12) $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway after drawing post three for the 41st edition of the invitational for harness racing older trotters. A 4-year-old mare, Atlanta will represent the United States in the 10-horse, nine-nation field. The draw for the race, which will be contested at the distance of 1-1/4 miles around Yonkers' half-mile oval, was held Tuesday (Oct. 8) during a luncheon at Empire City Casino's Good Time Room. Atlanta, the 2018 Trotter of the Year in the U.S., is one of two stateside representatives in the International Trot and heads to the race off a 1:53 qualifier at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sept. 24. In her previous start, she won the Charlie Hill Memorial on Sept. 7 at Scioto Downs. For the year, Atlanta has won seven of 11 starts and finished second on three occasions, earning $658,400. She has won 19 of 35 career races and $1.79 million. The 4-year-old mare is trained by Ron Burke, driven by Yannick Gingras, and owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant, and Howard Taylor. "At the end, it was (posts) two, three, and five; it didn't matter which one of the three," Gingras said. "Post three is as good a spot you're going to get. We're really happy with where we're starting. "I feel really good because she trained here last week and she was so good. She was strong finishing, too, and went a good mile. I wasn't really planning on going super-fast, but she felt good and wanted to buzz her through one turn, and she did. I think all systems are go. We've got a good post, a sharp mare, and we'll see what we can do." Atlanta is one of three mares in the field, with France's Bahia Quesnot and Switzerland's Uza Josselyn. Bahia Quesnot most recently finished second to Propulsion in the European Trotting Masters championship and earlier this season was second in two Group 1 events, the Oslo Grand Prix and Prix Maharajah. Uza Josselyn also has two Group 1 runner-up finishes this year, in the Prix D'Atlantique and Grand Prix de France. Bahia Quesnot, who starts from post two, and Uza Josselyn, who leaves from post four, are both 5-1. The International Trot has been won by a mare 11 times, most recently by Peace Corps in 1991. The International Trot was contested from 1959 through 1995 before being resurrected in 2015. Guardian Angel AS drew post nine in the second tier and is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line. He finished third in his most recent race, the Caesars Trotting Classic on Sept. 20 at Harrah's Hoosier Park. His most recent victory was in the Maple Leaf Trot on Aug. 31 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 5-year-old stallion, also representing the U.S., has won seven of 12 races this season and earned $664,634. He is trained by Anette Lorentzon, driven by Tim Tetrick, and owned by ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson. "I'm not very happy with it; we're much better being on the gate, but it is what it is," assistant trainer Anna Lorentzon said. "Timmy has to work the trip out from there. "He feels good. As soon as I shipped him back to New Jersey he's been back to his old self. He's had a really good season, better than we were hoping. So far so good. It would mean a lot (to win the International). There is a lot of prestige in it and we're representing the U.S. It's an honor to do that." There are four returnees from last year's International Trot, including winner Cruzado Dela Noche. The 7-year-old stallion, representing Sweden for owner Anders Strom's Courant Inc., is trained by Marcus Melander and will have Brian Sears in the sulky. He will start from post seven. Other horses back for another try are Canada's Marion Marauder, Norway's Lionel, and Denmark's Slide So Easy. Marion Marauder is making his third appearance in the race; he finished second in 2017 and fifth in 2018. The 6-year-old stallion, seeking his first win of the year, has captured 20 of 60 lifetime starts and earned $3.21 million. He is trained by Paula Wellwood, driven by Scott Zeron and owned by Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. Lionel, a 9-year-old stallion who has earned nearly $2 million in his career, finished second in last year's race while Slide So Easy finished eighth. Slide So Easy will start from post one, Marion Marauder from post six, and Lionel from post eight. Germany's Norton Commander and Italy's Zacon Gio complete this year's field. "Of course, it's a strong field," Gingras said, assessing the horses from overseas. "Uza Josselyn is a really strong mare and she's quick. Zacon Gio is unbeaten this year and everybody I've talked to says he's great on a half-mile track. He's a strong horse as well. Lionel, he's a little handicapped with post eight, but we saw what he could do last year. Bahia Quesnot has been really good in France. "(Atlanta) is not alone in the race. There are many horses that belong. Of course, we're one of them, but she's going to have to race hard." Racing begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. The International Trot is race seven with a 3 p.m. (EDT) approximate post time. The card also includes the $250,000 Harry Harvey Trot (race eight) and the $250,000 Dan Rooney Pace (race 11). Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Slide So Easy-Ake Svanstedt-Flemming Jensen-10/1 2-Bahia Quesnot-Junior Guelpa-Junior Guelpa-5/1 3-Atlanta-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-3/1 4-Uza Josselyn-Erik Adielsson-Rene Aebischer-5/1 5-Zacon Gio-Roberto Vecchione-Holger Ehlert-8/1 6-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-6/1 7-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-8/1 8-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Goran Antonsen-8/1 9-Guardian Angel AS-Tim Tetrick-Anette Lorentzon-4/1 10-Norton Commander-Conni Lugauer-Conni Lugauer-15/1 For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Lexington, KY — A night after establishing the record for gross, the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale concluded Saturday (Oct. 5) with the record for average, closing the book on a sale that saw the first million-dollar yearlings in history as well as the top-selling pacer and filly trotter pass through the auction ring. This year’s event at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion ended with a gross of $46.48 million for 762 horses and average of $60,997. The previous best average was in 2017, at $58,537 for 622 horses. Last year’s sale established the previous record for gross, with $39.77 million for 702 horses.The average this year was up 4.20 percent compared to 2017 and 7.66 percent compared to last year’s $56,652. The gross was up 16.87 percent. Saturday’s fifth session saw 129 yearlings sell for $2.96 million, an average of $23,016. The gross compared to last year’s fifth session, when 116 horses sold for $2.76 million, was ahead 7.37 percent. The average was down 3.44 percent from last year’s $23,836. The session’s top seller was pacing colt Tabooma, by Always A Virgin out of Walstan’s Lady, for $97,000. His half-sister PJ’s Legacy was an Ohio Breeders Championship winner this season at age 2. Tabooma was purchased by Kathy Smith, consigned by Anvil And Lace Farm, and bred by Walter Fister. Creedom, a trotting filly by Swan For All out of Cree, was second at $95,000. She purchased by Preferred Equine as agent for Lindy Farm. She was consigned by Peninsula Farm and bred by Michael Andrew. A total of 121 horses sold for at least $100,000 this year, three shy of last year’s record of 124. Muscle Hill and Father Patrick led trotting sires in gross, with 55 Muscle Hill yearlings totaling $7.15 million ($130,073 average) and 48 Father Patrick yearlings totaling $5.36 million ($111,667). The two also led in average among trotting sires with more than one horse sold. Somebeachsomewhere and first-crop sire Always B Miki topped the pacing sires in gross, with 38 Somebeachsomewhere yearlings totaling $4.28 million ($112,763 average) and 56 Always B Miki yearlings totaling $3.99 million ($71,321). Somebeachsomewhere led in average followed by Captaintreacherous at $73,776 for 49 yearlings sold. For complete results, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Lexington, KY — Trotting colts Captain Corey, by Googoo Gaagaa, and Stonebridge Danish, by Conway Hall, shared top honors at Friday’s (Oct. 4) fourth harness racing session of the Lexington Selected Sale, each selling for $150,000 as the sale exceeded $40 million in gross for the first time in history. Friday’s session totaled $4.58 million, driving the overall gross to $43.51 million for 633 horses, with Saturday’s final session remaining. Last year’s sale established the previous record for gross sales, with $39.77 million for 702 horses. A total of 168 horses sold Friday, with the $4.58 million gross representing a 23.87-percent increase over last year’s $3.69 million for the fourth session, when 159 horses sold. This year’s session average of $27,268 was a 17.24-percent hike compared to last year’s $23,258. Through four days, this year’s sale is averaging $68,738, which betters last year’s $63,148 by 8.85 percent. The 2017 sale set the record for final average at $58,537. A total of 121 horses have sold for at least $100,000 this year. Last year through four sessions the total was 120 and finished at a record 124. Captain Corey, the first foal out of Luv U All, was purchased by Robert Lindstrom as agent for S R F Stable. He was consigned by Peninsula Farm and bred by Carter Duer. Stonebridge Danish, out of Cream Puff, was purchased by Brixton Medical AB. The colt is a full brother to stakes-winner Creamy Mimi out of the family of Dan Patch Award-winner Pizza Dolce. He was consigned by Spring Haven Farm and bred by Angie Stiller. Eighteen of Friday’s top 19 sellers were trotters. The pacer in that group was colt Candy Trader, who sold for $72,000 to Dave Menary, as agent. By Bettor’s Delight out of Deception, the family includes the dam of O’Brien Award-winner Control The Moment. Candy Trader was consigned by Kentuckiana Farms and bred by Fred Kruszelnicki. Through four nights, Muscle Hill and Father Patrick led trotting sires in gross, with 55 Muscle Hill yearlings totaling $7.15 million ($130,073 average) and 48 Father Patrick yearlings totaling $5.36 million ($111,667). The two also led in average among trotting sires with more than one horse sold. Somebeachsomewhere and first-crop sire Always B Miki topped the pacing sires in gross, with 38 Somebeachsomewhere yearlings totaling $4.28 million ($112,763 average) and 56 Always B Miki yearlings totaling $3.99 million ($71,321). Somebeachsomewhere led in average followed by Captaintreacherous at $73,776 for 49 yearlings sold. The five-day yearling sale concludes Saturday, with the session beginning at 7 p.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion. For complete results, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Greenshoe, Gimpanzee, and Green Manalishi S see plenty of each other on a regular basis but have not seen much of each other on the harness racing racetrack. The three horses, all from the stable of trainer Marcus Melander, will compete in the same race for only the second time this year when they meet in Sunday's (Oct. 6) $450,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at Lexington's Red Mile. The Kentucky Futurity is the third jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. The only previous meeting between Melander's trio came in the first jewel, the Hambletonian, on Aug. 3. Greenshoe finished second to Forbidden Trade in the Hambletonian, with Gimpanzee third and Green Manalishi S fifth. Four weeks later, Gimpanzee was Melander's only entry in the Trotting Triple Crown's second event, the Yonkers Trot, where Gimpanzee claimed the trophy by defeating Forbidden Trade. Greenshoe, who has won nine of 11 races and $939,550 in purses this season, is the sport's richest trotter. Among 3-year-olds, Gimpanzee is third and Green Manalishi S is fourth. "They've been racing good all year," Melander said. "We couldn't be more happy with how they've been performing. They've had a long season, but they're still going strong and look good. "We made a lot of money with those three horses. We were lucky because they were in different sire stakes (programs) and we could separate them a little bit. I think we were smart to separate them like that and I think it was good for the horses, as well. It's good for their head to not race against each other. I think we did the right thing with all of them. They've all won big races." Greenshoe is the 4-5 morning-line favorite in the Kentucky Futurity, which attracted 12 horses and will be contested as a single dash with two horses starting from the second tier. Greenshoe's victories this season include the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial, New Jersey Sire Stakes championship, Kentucky Sire Stakes championship, and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. The colt enters the Kentucky Futurity off a 1:49.4 triumph in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes last week at Red Mile. The time is the fastest of the season for a 3-year-old trotter and the fourth sub-1:50 winning mile by a sophomore in harness racing history. Six Pack trotted the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old, 1:49.1, in last year's Futurity. "It was nice, of course," Melander said about Greenshoe's mile. "We knew he could do that, so it was nice to get that record for him. Especially if it's going to be bad weather on Sunday, he's probably not going to have that chance. "He came out of (the Bluegrass) great. It will be exciting to see him." Greenshoe, whose full brother Maverick sold for a record $1.1 million Tuesday at the Lexington Selected Sale, will start the Futurity from post four with regular driver Brian Sears. He is owned by Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, and Morten Langli. Gimpanzee, a Dan Patch Award winner last year at age 2, has won six of nine races this year and earned $691,163. His victories this season in addition to the Yonkers Trot include the New York Sire Stakes championship and Empire Breeders Classic. He finished second to Greenshoe last week. The colt is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. Gimpanzee (Mike Lizzi Photo) Green Manalishi S has won six of 10 races this season, including the Canadian Trotting Classic and Simcoe Stakes, and earned $638,838 for owner Courant Inc. Green Manalishi S Gimpanzee and driver David Miller start the Futurity from post six and Green Manalishi S and driver Tim Tetrick leave from post eight. The horses are both 6-1 second choices on the morning line. "I'm happy with how my horses are going into the race," Melander said. "I'm confident going into the race, but it's horse racing and there are some nice horses in there. A lot can happen." Five horses sit at 15-1 behind Melander's trio on Sunday. One, Marseille, is the only horse other than Forbidden Trade to beat Greenshoe this season, winning the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial by a head. Svanstedt, who won last year's Futurity with Six Pack, trains and drives Marseille. Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade was not eligible to the Futurity. This is the second time in four years the Futurity will be a single 12-horse dash. Marion Marauder completed a sweep of the Trotting Triple Crown by winning from the second tier's post 11 in 2016. In addition to the Kentucky Futurity, the card includes the $267,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old female trotters. Eleven horses entered the race. Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry is the 9-5 favorite followed by Millies Possesion at 2-1. For more on the Futurity Day card, including two Tattersalls Pace divisions for 3-year-old male pacers and Allerage events for trotting and pacing mares, click here. For complete entries, click here. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT). Following is the field for the 127th Kentucky Futurity. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-M/L 1 - Chin Chin Hall - Cash Hall - Peter Wrenn - R. Nifty Norman - 15/1 2 - Marseille - Muscle Hill - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Stanstedt - 15/1 3 - Super Schissel - Uncle Peter - Scott Zeron - Per Engblom - 20/1 4 - Greenshoe - Father Patrick - Brian Sears - Marcus Melander - 4/5 5 - Don't Let'em - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras - Nancy Johansson - 15/1 6 - Gimpanzee - Chapter Seven - David Miller - Marcus Melander - 6/1 7 - Mass Fortune K - Muscle Massive - Tyler Buter - Norm Parker - 30/1 8 - Green Manalishi S - Muscle Hill - Tim Tetrick - Marcus Melander - 6/1 9 - Pilot Discretion - Muscle Hill - Andy McCarthy - Tony Alagna - 15/1 10 - Soul Strong - Father Patrick - Dexter Dunn - Ake Svanstedt - 15/1 11 - Goes Down Smooth - Muscle Hill - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 20/1 12 - Union Forces - Cantab Hall - Andy Miller - Julie Miller - 20/1 by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager      

Erv Miller liked the direction Geez Joe was heading last winter, registering four wins in a seven-race span that saw him miss the board only once, but the 5-year-old harness racing Standardbred pacer required throat surgery in January and was sidelined for more than seven months. He returned in September and looks to be rounding back into form as he heads to Saturday's $186,000 Allerage Farms Open Pace at Lexington's Red Mile. Geez Joe has won two of four races since returning to action. He enters the Allerage off a 1:47.4 win in the open handicap at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Sept. 27. In his prior start, the gelding was eighth in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby but closed with the race's second-fastest final quarter-mile, :25.4, to make up six lengths and finish 3-1/2 behind winner This Is The Plan. "He's come back really good so far," said Miller, who trains Geez Joe for owner Bay Pond Racing Stable. "He was in Indiana against these horses, but he really wasn't ready and he drew outside some (post seven). This will be his bigger test. Hopefully he's more ready for them this time." Geez Joe, by Roll With Joe out of Beach Bretta, has won 19 of 59 career races and earned $242,978. "We always liked him," Miller said. "He's just a really big horse and had to catch up to himself. He's starting to show that. He's always showed good speed, he just had some aches and pains from being a big guy there early on. He's starting to put it together as an older horse. It just took him a while to get there." Geez Joe will start the Allerage from post six with driver Marcus Miller and is 12-1 on the morning line. "He's pretty versatile," Miller said. "You can leave and put him in a race, or he can come from out of it. That's what I like most about him. "If he races well this week, we'll probably keep on going," the trainer added about a possible trip to the Breeders Crown later this month. McWicked is the 5-2 favorite in the Allerage pace. He won the Ewart Memorial on Sept. 7 at Scioto Downs and heads to Saturday's start off a second-place finish behind Jimmy Freight in the Dayton Pacing Derby. He was sixth in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. Saturday's card at Red Mile also includes the $145,000 Allerage Farms Open Trot, $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers, and four divisions of the International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. Lindy The Great, fresh off his victory in the Caesars Trotting Classic, which is part of a five-race win streak, is the 2-1 favorite in the Allerage trot. He will start from post two with Louis Roy driving for trainer Domenico Cecere. Warrawee Ubeaut, making her first start since winning the Jugette on Sept. 18, is the 7-5 favorite in the Glen Garnsey. She will start from post three with Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Ron Burke. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA      

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