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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

After a speedy opening quarter mile, New Zealand-bred Lazarus was able to take control of the race and lead the rest of the way to capture the harness racing  $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier Park Friday night. It was the North American debut for down under champion Lazarus, who started from the far outside in post nine for driver Yannick Gingras. The 11th race Dan Patch Stakes started off with Bit Of A Legend (Jordan Stratton) leaving from post five along with Rockin Ron (Trace Tetrick). Lazarus and Gingras left from post nine and were floating on the outside in fourth place, moving up as Bit Of A Legend cut the mile to the opening quarter in :26.1. Gingras continued to advance on the outside with Lazarus, taking control after the quarter mile. Lazarus cut the mile to the half in :54.2 and the three-quarters in 1:22.4 as Split The House and driver Brett Miller came first-over and continued to gain ground with Beckhams Z Tam (Ricky Macomber) second-over. As they came down the stretch, Gingras asked Lazarus and they kept Split The House a length off of them all the way to the wire. The mile went in 1:48.4 with McWicked (Brian Sears) closing well to be third. Last quarter mile for Lazarus was :26 second and McWicked's last quarter was :25.2. Trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, Lazarus is owned by Taylor Made Stallions of Nicholasville, Kentucky. He paid $3.00 to win. It was the third win in six starts (first five were in New Zealand) for Lazarus. The six-year-old stallion by Bettor’s Delight now has won 36 of his 46 career starts with lifetime earnings of more than $2,788,050. This year his earnings are now $452,113. Lazarus will now be pointed towards the Canadian Pacing Derby in Toronto. Lazarus Interview after the race By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

It's an all-star harness racing field Friday night at Hoosier Park for the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes. The Dan Patch takes place in the 11th race on the program. While it is the USA debut for Lazarus, it may not be a walk-in-the park for one of the top horses ever to come over from New Zealand since Cardigan Bay. Country-mate Bit Of A Legend has raced against Lazarus in the past and comes into the race off a 1:51.4 triumph in the Open at Yonkers Raceway. McWicked goes from post six and he has won four of his last five starts and is rated the top Free-For-All pacer currently in North America. And the hometown hero, Beckhams Z Tam, will look for a big upset as he has returned to winning form and enters the race off a 1:49 triumph. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Anderson, IN --Aug. 9, 2018--Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Arguably one of the most anticipated editions of Indiana's richest harness race, the event will feature a field of nine with combined lifetime purse earnings of more than $15 million. With three Breeders Crown champions, two World Champions, and one international icon, the August 10th Dan Patch Stakes is set for Race 11 with an estimated post time of 9:50 p.m. EDT. North America's leading money-winning trainer, Ron Burke, will look to score his third Dan Patch victory and be the first trainer to score back to back victories in the Dan Patch Stakes since Nat Varty scored with Ready To Rumble and Pacific Rocket in 1994 and 1995. Lazarus N, who is hailed as one of the greatest racehorses to ever emerge from New Zealand, will be making his North American racing debut in the Dan Patch and has been enlisted as the 6-5 morning line choice. The six-year-old Champion pacer was supplemented to the event for a fee of $25,000 and will start from post nine with Yannick Gingras in the bike for Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. The race card will offer premier exotic wagering; including a $20,000 guaranteed superfecta and a $15,000 guaranteed Hoosier High Five. A $10,000 Indiana Sires Stakes handicapping contest will also be offered on races five through 12 with a top prize of $5,000. Additionally, Indianapolis's WISH TV Channel 8 will broadcast live coverage of the Dan Patch Stakes starting at 9 p.m. Friday's Dan Patch festivities include family-friendly activities, special giveaways in the winner's circle, and a commemorative rocks glass set for the first 2,000 guests to visit Trackside Club Centaur, beginning at 2 p.m. Outdoor fair foods, including Dal Forno Pizza, FoxGardin, and Sweet Shack, will be available throughout the weekend. Admission is free for all racing events at Hoosier Park, including the Dan Patch Stakes. The festival weekend continues into Saturday and Sunday with Kammy's Kause Music Festival presented by FoxGardin. The outdoor festival features 22 bands including acts like Cliff Ritchey & Josh Kaufman, Rob Dixon Quartet and the Fighting Jamesons. Saturday's music will kick off at 9 p.m. and Sunday's music will kick off at Noon. Two-day pass tickets for this year's Kammy's Kause are on sale now for $20 via Ticketmaster. Proceeds will directly benefit the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Now in its 15th year, the Fortville-based Kammy's Kause has raised over $370,000 for 4p-, also known as Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome. A high-end silent auction will coincide with the music festival and will include items like a gas boulder fire pit donated by Fire Boulder, a Saffire ceramic grill and smoker donated by Family Leisure, and more. More information on the Dan Patch Stakes and Dan Patch Festival can be found at www.hoosierpark.com. by Kiersten Flint, for Hoosier Park

Anderson, Ind.--Aug. 3, 2018 -- He's been immersed in the horse industry nearly his entire life, but Duncan Taylor admitted there is plenty of emotion involved when it applies to Lazarus N's North American and Grand Circuit harness racing debut in the 25th edition of the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes on Friday (Aug. 10) evening at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. "When we had the opportunity to become partners on California Chrome and preparing to watch him race for the first time we were truly over the moon," said the CEO of Taylor Made Sales and Stallions. "To have a horse like him was a dream come true, but I feel the same way about Lazarus. Like California Chrome he has proven himself, but it is very exciting to see what he will do in the U.S." The world will most certainly be watching when Lazarus N takes on eight extremely competitive rivals in this year's edition at the Anderson oval. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the horse will commence his journey from post position nine with Yannick Gingras holding the lines in the 11th race on the card. Despite the outside post, Lazarus N has been installed as the 6-5 morning line selection. His journey, however, will certainly be impacted by the presence of Dan Patch Award winner and world champion McWicked (post position six, Brian Sears, 2-1), 2017 Levy Memorial victor Bit Of A Legend N (post position five, Jordan Stratton, 12-1) and Breeders Crown winners Beckham's Z Tam (post position five, Ricky Macomber Jr., 20-1) and Split The House (post position two, Trace Tetrick, 20-1). "We realize there are some very nice horses in this field and are not taking this lightly," Taylor, who operates his business in conjunction with his brothers Ben, Frank and Mark and partner Pat Payne, said. "We just hope the horse provides a true account of himself. Jimmy has totally been the decision-maker in all things when it comes to him, but we trust his judgment." Although Lazarus N is not a two-time Horse of the Year like California Chrome, his credentials are just as impressive. Known as the Wonder from Down Under, the 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight-Bethany earned US$2.66 million while capturing 35 of his 45 career engagements. He has failed to hit the board on only one occasion. Lazarus N is the richest Standardbred of all time from the Southern Hemisphere and the New Zealand-bred established seven track records at various distances while being conditioned by Mark Purdon. The stallion was New Zealand's Pacer of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and is that nation's defending Horse of the Year. The industry received their first glimpse of the stallion in action at The Meadowlands on July 28 when he bested North America Cup winner Lather Up in a stellar 1:48.3 with an effortless :25.3 last quarter panel. "In my experience with Thoroughbreds they usually need about 90 days or more to acclimate after arriving from the Southern Hemisphere," Taylor said. "When Lazarus qualified he had only been here 50-plus days, but Jimmy said he was ready to go and the demonstrated he was. We could not have been more pleased with this qualifier." After Lazarus N appears at Hoosier Park the next engagement penciled in on his 2018 calendar is a trip to Woodbine Mohawk Park for the Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations on Aug. 25. The ultimate goal is the Breeders Crown at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Oct. 20 and 28. "That is the plan (Canadian Pacing Derby) as of now," Taylor said. "In this sport you can make a tentative plan, but it is always about what is the best for the horse. We will just allow the horse to take us where he wants to go and looking forward to seeing what the future brings. "We are also very excited about coming to Hoosier Park. We have never been there before and have only heard great things about the track and the facility." The $325,000-est. Dan Patch Stakes, Indiana's richest harness race and reputed as one of North America's premier races for older male pacers, will highlight the 14-race card and is set to be the 11th race on Friday, August 10 with a post time of 9:50 EDT. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information about the upcoming Dan Patch Stakes Festival weekend and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, which is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR), holds multiple awards from industry publications for customer service, entertainment, gaming, dining, and team member culture. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a fully-integrated gaming and racing facility, features 2,000 of the latest slots and electronic table games and a 7/8 mile oval horse track offering live harness racing each year. Simulcast wagering is offered year-round at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the Winner's Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and Winner's Circle OTB & VooDoo BBQ & Grill in New Haven/Fort Wayne, Ind. For more information, please visit www.HoosierPark.com. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing at racetracks and 21 or older to gamble at casinos. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-9-WITH-IT (1-800-994-8448) ©2018 Caesars License Company, LLC. Kim French, for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino B-roll footage of Lazarus N preparing for the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier Park (19:08).  Video Footage courtesy of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.  Click to follow link:   Lazarus & McWicked Broll 8 9 18.mp4    

Long before New Zealand-bred Lazarus arrived in the U.S. and was pointed toward Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for his North American debut, another Down Under import found his way to the central Indiana harness racing oval to start his stateside career. Peter Tritton. Tritton, a native of Australia, began his U.S. training career at Hoosier Park in May 2002. He remained there through the summer before heading to Delaware, where he became a regular on the Mid-Atlantic circuit. On Friday, Tritton, who now resides in upstate New York, will return to Hoosier Park for the first time since those early days in the States. He will bring with him New Zealand-bred Bit Of A Legend for the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes and in the process get a firsthand look at Lazarus in his anticipated debut for trainer Jimmy Takter. Lazarus, known as the Wonder from Down Under, has won 35 of 45 career races, missed the board only once, and earned the equivalent of $2.66 million. "I'm sort of looking forward to seeing him," Tritton said, adding with a laugh, "I just didn't want to be racing him." The Dan Patch Stakes features a nine-horse field of older male pacers. The race, the 11th on the 14-race card, is scheduled for approximately 9:30 p.m. (EDT). First post is 6:30 p.m. In addition to Lazarus and Bit Of A Legend, the field includes former Dan Patch Award winner and division leader McWicked, two Breeders Crown champions in Beckhams Z Tam and Split The House, a $3-million-earner in All Bets Off, two multiple-stakes-winners in Rockin Ron and Dealt A Winner, and Hoosier Park-based New Talent from the stable of the track's leading trainer, Jeff Cullipher. Bit Of A Legend has enjoyed a successful career in the U.S., with 25 wins in 69 races and $1.67 million since arriving in 2016. Overall, the 9-year-old stallion has 45 victories in 132 starts and $2.33 million. This season, Bit Of A Legend's wins include the Battle of Lake Erie, in a career-best 1:49.4 around Northfield Park's half-mile oval, and two preliminary divisions of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers. He finished second in the Levy final and also was second in the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial at Saratoga. Bit Of A Legend enters the Dan Patch with regular driver Jordan Stratton off a 1:51.4 win in the open handicap at Yonkers on July 28. "He's as good as he's ever been," said Tritton, who trains Bit Of A Legend for the Vonknoblauch Stable. "As long as you keep him happy he'll just go out and try for you. You've got to let him be the boss a little bit. He's likes to think he's getting away with stuff. We treat him like that and it makes him feel good. "I've had horses with more ability than him, but he just keeps turning it up. He's got a good heart to win. He's just the complete little horse. He wears an open bridle, no steering gear; he goes straight wherever you put him. He doesn't wear any boots. He's just easy on himself. He enjoys being out there and he always shows up. Jordan really suits him because he knows him like a book and looks after him. He's just a lovely horse." Bit Of A Legend has raced only once on a track larger than five-eighths of a mile, finishing second in an open at the Meadowlands in 2016. He lost by a head in 1:48.3 after setting fractions of :27.1, :54.4 and 1:21.4. "He did all the work in that race and he just got beat," Tritton said. "The big tracks don't bother him. He's definitely strong enough and he's brave. I'm not worried." Tritton is looking forward to returning to Hoosier Park. "The main reason I dropped in, because I don't like to go far from home, but the last few years (Bit Of A Legend) seemed to have success against the horses that were going in," Tritton said. "I've always been looking to go back to Hoosier Park because that's the first place I went when I came to America in 2002. It will be good to go back." McWicked, who won this year's William R. Haughton Memorial and Ben Franklin Pace, finished second in last week's Sam McKee Memorial, raced at 1-1/8 miles, at the Meadowlands. All Bets Off, Dealt A Winner, and Rockin Ron also were in the McKee. "That's why I gave my horse last week off; I'm sure my horse will be fresher," Tritton said. "I don't know if they'll beat them, but he'll be fresher." Bit Of A Legend will start the Dan Patch Stakes from post five. Lazarus will leave from post nine with driver Yannick Gingras in his U.S. debut. Lazarus arrived at Takter's farm in late May following his purchase by Taylor Made Stallions. During his career Down Under, Lazarus won two editions of the prestigious New Zealand Cup and 15 Group One events overall. He earned NZ$3.8 million. "He's probably the best horse to come out of New Zealand," said Tritton, who has trained a number of Down Under horses in the U.S. during his career. "He's very strong, very gutsy, so that big track will suit him. It's his first run and he's probably not completely acclimated, so he's got a few things against him. It will be interesting to see the transition, but I know he's a great horse." Following is the field for the Dan Patch Stakes. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Dealt A Winner-Brett Miller-Mark Silva-8/1 2-Beckhams Z Tam-Ricky Macomber Jr.-Jamie Macomber-20/1 3-Split The House-Trace Tetrick-Chris Oakes-20/1 4-Rockin Ron-Trace Tetrick-Ron Burke-10/1 5-Bit Of A Legend N-Jordan Stratton-Peter Tritton-12/1 6-McWicked-Brian Sears-Casie Coleman-2/1 7-All Bets Off-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-10/1 8-New Talent-Sam Widger-Jeff Cullipher-20/1 9-Lazarus N-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-6/5 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

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

Elkton, MD --- Post Time with Mike and Mike, presented by BetAmerica, continues their live remote season on Friday (Aug 11) with coverage of the 2018 Dan Patch Stakes, live from Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson, Indiana. The Dan Patch will feature champion Lazarus N who has taken North American harness racing by storm since coming in from New Zealand. His last start, a qualifier at The Meadowlands, was visually impressive as he won over Lather Up in 1:48.3 and had a final quarter of 25.3. He is a winner of 35 of 45 lifetimes starts and has raced at different distances throughout his career. Lazarus N is the richest Down Under Standardbred of all time with earnings of just over $2.6 million (US). He was Pacer of the Year at age two and three and has only missed the board once in his entire career. This will be the first pari-mutuel US start for the star New Zealander. Mike and Mike will have extensive coverage of The Dan Patch beginning at 8:30 p.m. via their website that will run for two hours. Jessica Otten, a normal correspondent for the program will be co-hosting the live remote for the first time. Otten, a native of Michigan, has worked with Mike and Mike since the inception of their live remotes three years ago. Since joining the Post Time team Otten has filled many roles including winners' circle analyst, paddock analyst, social media coordinator, and she also writes a monthly article for the program. Joining the trio on the program will be, Taylor Johnston. Johnston, a native of Ohio, has worked with Post Time with Mike and Mike for the last year working at various live remotes throughout their schedule. Johnston will be providing winners' circle and paddock reaction throughout the evening. Hoosier Park will have a lot going on throughout the entire Dan Patch Festival Weekend as they celebrate their 25th year hosting the big race. The first 2,000 guests to visit Trackside Club Centaur will receive a souvenir rocks glass set beginning at 2:00 p.m. Patrons on track can compete in a $10,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Handicapping Contest that will allow them to select the winners of races 5 thru 12 with the top handicapper receiving $5,000. For those bringing their family to the racetrack, there will be a plethora of things going on. There will be special giveaways from the winners' circle, outdoor fair foods, and much more. The festival continues on Saturday and Sunday with Kammy's Kause Music Festival featuring over 20 bands, free family activities, beer gardens, food trucks and more! Live racing on Saturday will commence at 6:30 p.m. In 2017, the Dan Patch Stakes All Bets Off fought off all challengers throughout the first three-quarters of the race, but when Sam McKee Memorial (2017) winner Check Six engaged him, it proved to be too much to handle. The race has a long storied history of being one of the year's top older pacing races. Mike and Mike will return to Hoosier Park on Hoosier Pacing Derby night in September. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live at www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. From the Mike & Mile Show

LAZARUS VS BIT OF A LEGEND

East Rutherford, NJ - Trainer Jimmy Takter brought the down under sensation Lazarus out for gate schooling after today's qualifiers and the pair went a dazzling mile in 1:51 flat, the only company being two trotters that were unable to keep up and the only encouragement a few "C'mon boy" calls from the driver.   Fractions were 29.2, 57, 1:25.3, 1:51.   The six-year-old New Zealand bred son of Bettors Delight was imported by Taylor Made Stallions and is expected to contest the top older horse events for the balance of the season.   Breakfast WithThe Babies (BWTB), sponsored by Fashion Farms Meadowlands Pace Day edition, was conducted at 9:00 am under ideal conditions, no wind and temperatures of 70 degrees. Pacing colts opened the card today and Goldberg rode the Team Teague bus up from Harrington this morning then went a sensational mile in 1:51.3 for catch driver Dewayne Minor. He went right to the front, set fast fractions and closed it out in 27.3 in hand. Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) rallied between horses for second and Alittlewiggleroom, driven by George Teague, gained wide late for third. Goldberg is a Montrell Teague homebred by family sire Mr Wiggles and is trained by his aunt Brenda Teague. Captain McKee was a 1:53.4 winner for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Scott Zeron. Zeron afforded the Captaintreacherous colt a perfect trip behind eventual second place finisher Cub Fan (Andy Miller), tipping off that one in the stretch through the 27.2 final panel for the win. Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant and Captain Trevor Racing gave $75,000 for the Hanover bred at Harrisburg last fall. Pacing filly Pace Baby Pace (Andy Miller) put one in the win column for her sire Sweet Lou with a 1:56.1 score for the Burke barn. She sat a pocket to Passion Struck (Andy McCarthy) through reasonable fractions then sailed by under minimal encouragement form the driver. JK Mardi Says (Zeron) rallied wide nicely for the place. The winner is a homebred for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC. Trotting fillies came next and Sister's Promise can now be counted among the winners from Father Patrick's first crop after her effortless 2:00.4 score for Tim Tetrick. Celebrity Serena cut the mile through slow numbers and led until mid-stretch where the winner and Mother Teresa (Zeron) went by in the 28.4 final stanza. Linda Toscano trains Sister's Promise for Brittany Farms. She was a $120,000 Harrisburg yearling, bred by Fred Hertrich, III. Andy and Julie Miller won the next race with the Donato Hanover filly American Kronos in 1:58. Getting away in third, American Kronos accelerated when asked around the last bend and sailed by early leader Lindy Pearl (Zeron) through the 27.4 end to the mile. Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and David Goodrow own the winner, bred in Italy by Allevamento Kronos. Full Right (Justin Morrison) won in 1:59.1, surging by a stubborn Celebrity Stalone (Minor) in the shadow of the wire. Jim Campbell trains the homebred son of RC Royalty for Runthetable Stable. Finally Dewayne Minor doubled up for the day by driving Fearless Dreamer, an Explosive Matter colt from Bold Dreamer to a front stepping 1:59.1 win over Practical Cat (Takter). The winner is owned by Rivers Stable who gave $35,000 from the Valley High consignment at the Lexington Yearling Sale. Also of note last season's Dan Patch award winning freshman trotter Fourth Dimension went a flat qualifier in 1:52.4 for Brian Sears as trainer Marcus Melander continues to seek answers to the colt's erratic performances thus far this year. Live racing tonight at 8:00 and it's Corntastic Night!   Lazarus “schools” in an approximate time of 1:51. Last qua in 25 and change. pic.twitter.com/U2fkysunXM — Dave Brower (@eedoogie) July 21, 2018   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

When news broke of the sale of harness racing's New Zealand Champion Pacer Lazarus to North American interests in May of this year, one of the biggest questions from his army of fans was who will take on the responsibility of training the great horse. After all, Lazarus had amassed an impeccable record already for New Zealand trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. With 45 starts, 35 wins, 9 placings (he was only once out of the top three) and $3.8million in earnings, Lazarus had already won two editions of the country’s most prestigious race, the New Zealand Cup, and a staggering 15 Group One races in Australasia. He had won everything from standing start two mile staying tests in his New Zealand Cups, in which he set the record for the fastest ever time paced over the distance, to a scintillating mile mobile victory when he won the Chariots of Fire in 1.49, in New South Wales. And whilst the New Zealand bred horses currently dominate the North American open class ranks with three of the top seven earners Kiwi exports – Shartin (the richest overall pacer in the US this year to date), Bit Of A Legend and Sell A Bit – the road to glory for New Zealand standardbreds abroad has not always been easy. Adapting from the varied style of racing in New Zealand where race distances can be anything from one to two miles, stand or mobile starts or on grass or all weather tracks, our horses can sometimes find the transition to racing hard and fast miles at every start a steep learning curve. There have of course been great New Zealand pacers who have flown the flag boldly in previous eras – the great Cardigan Bay of course was the first Standardbred to earn one million dollars and he hit that mark in the United States. So famous and adored by the public he featured on The Ed Sullivan Show following his record setting achievement. In more recent years Bit Of A Legend has also gathered a legion of fans in North America. After leaving New Zealand at age six with 20 wins to his name, Bit Of A Legend has gone on to win feature races in the US and Canada collecting a further 24 wins and taking his earnings $2.2million in the past three years. For Lazarus, the man tasked with guiding him through the next chapter of his journey is New Jersey based trainer, Jimmy Takter. And if he can produce success with Lazarus it will complete one of the most unique and historic training trifectas in harness racing history. He’s trained the world’s richest trotter, the world’s fastest pacer and now has his sights set on converting a down under champion into the world’s next star. But time is not a luxury he has.   Born in Sweden, Takter is the son of a Swedish harness racing trainer and originally started his career as a driver. His father sent Jimmy to the USA when he was a teenager to learn more about the harness racing trade, and as soon as he set foot in the States Jimmy knew he had found his future home. “I feel like I fit in here,” Takter explained. “When I arrived I just fell in love with the place.” So after returning home briefly to marry his childhood sweetheart Christina, he returned to the United States with his young family in 1982 to pursue his North American dream. What followed would be such a successful and versatile career that it would lead to Takter being named a six time Trainer of the Year, and was then inducted into the US Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2012. He is ranked the second most successful trainer in history in the United States based on prizemoney, second only to Ron Burke, with a whopping $122 million in stakes to his name. Takter developed many top trotters in the 90’s including Hambletonian and Breeders Crown winner Malabar Man. He then hit international headlines when he trained and drove trotting champion mare Moni Maker to win the Elitlopp in his homeland in 1998. She went on to finish second in that great race in 1999 and won the Prix d’Amerique in France in ‘99 also. The grand mare was twice named US Horse of the Year and was three time Trotter of the Year. At the time of her retirement in the year 2000 she was the richest Standardbred racehorse, and richest mare of any breed, with $5.5million in earnings. It would have been easy for Takter to stick with what he knew best, after all he grew up around trotters and was picking up success in the biggest trotting races on the world stage, however Takter’s next move would see him lift his training game to a whole new level. Noted for his dedicated attention to detail and his drive to keep learning and improving, Takter turned his attention to also purchasing and training pacers. A foreign concept to him as in his homeland of Sweden they only race trotters. He adapted to training them with emphatic fashion, with success with Mr Feelgood in the 2006 Little Brown Jug when winning his two heats in an all age, combined time record. Then in 2010 and 2011 he produced the outstanding pacing filly See You At Peelers to win her first 22 starts in a row, capturing the imagination of harness racing fans worldwide. But it would be in 2015 that Jimmy Takter would start to showcase his greatest pacing training achievement when the then four-year-old Always B Miki would enter his stable doors. Always B Miki arrived with four screws in his left hind pastern after a dramatic accident saw the stallion kick the wall of his stall just minutes before his Breeders Crown final. The horse was late scratched after being found to be lame in the warm up. Takter had the horse recover and resume training with him, only to injure the opposite hind leg. It was back to the drawing board and would be a further five months until Always B Miki would resume. It was worth the wait. Remarkably after facing all of the adversity in previous months, the horse went on to win all four of his starts that season, all in 1.49.4 or better. Takter proclaimed that the horse would make a big impact on the sport the following year, if he was able to keep him healthy and sound. And he was correct. On October 9 2016 Always B Miki changed harness racing history when he and regular driver, David Miller, paced the fastest ever mile in 1.46.0. The duo led throughout at the Red Mile in Lexington in the Allerage Farms Open Pace, and as Miller reeled off the opening sectionals the atmosphere on course became electric. There had been much hype about the horse being able to break the barrier set previously by Somebeachsomewhere, He’s Watching, Warrawee Needy and Holborn Hanover of 1.46.4 in race conditions – and to all present they had a sense that this could be the day. When Miki and Miller hit the three-quarter mile in 1.19.4 race announcer Sam McKee lifted to another level, and so did the horse. As the post loomed fans watched the clock and held their breath as the final time was announced. “Always B Miki – in 1.46!” McKee screams.  The crowd erupted into a standing ovation. The performance has set the new benchmark for greatness in the sport, and the occasion almost proved too much for Takter. “I was so nervous before the race and I never get nervous like that, but I was,” he revealed. “He was scared of shadows and he didn’t warm up well.” In his career Takter has trained four Horse of the Year title recipients, Always B Miki was his first pacer to win this. With Always B Miki retired a new challenge would soon arise. Following the purchase of Lazarus by Taylor Made Stallions of Kentucky, Takter was approached to take on the role of trainer for the five-year-old stallion. And even though he would be a long way from New Zealand, Lazarus will feel right at home in his new stable in East Windsor, New Jersey. The Takter property is one of the most immaculate you will ever see. The driveway is adorned by the American Flag and features a pond with its own seven foot Statue of Liberty. Set up in a similar style to the Purdon and Rasmussen training complex, the 40 hectare farm offers a stunning barn facility with walker, equine treadmill, a 1200m straight line training track, two mile jog track, a 1000m training track and is based beside a 75 hectare Horse Park.  Takter likes to utilize this and take his team through the park to mix up the workload and keep their minds fresh and active. Whilst Takter is at the top of his game, with one of the most enviable training complexes and training records in the world, it will all be over for him soon. In a shock announcement late last year, Takter indicated that in 2019 he will step down from training duties, and hand over the reins to his daughter Nancy and his trusted stable foreman, Per Engblom. They will train from Takter’s farm and he will still live on site and be available to offer assistance and advice, but is determined to step back and take some time for himself and his family. Takter has been open about the pressure he puts on himself to be at the top of his game. He can be extremely critical on himself and strives for perfection. “A sign of a good trainer is one that stays on top for many years,” he said. “I want to be on top, but I can’t all the time. It’s been 35 years of doing this and it’s hard. I get depression very easily and I get down on myself.” “You work yourself to death here,” admitted Takter. “I just feel like if I can’t be one hundred percent into it I don’t want to do it. But it is hard to back off.” “At this stage of my career Lazarus is actually a big plus. It is horses like this that make me remember why I wanted to be in harness racing. A horse like this is very special for me to be participating with.” It’s a brutally honest and admirable revelation from one of the greatest trainers in the sport. Highlighting once again the level of pressure that being the best presents. “I haven’t decided if I will totally stay out of the industry. But I need to take some time for myself and then make a decision. I would love to come down to New Zealand and maybe have a drive as it’s on my bucket list.” Latest reports from Takter have been positive about Lazarus and how he has settled into life at the Takter Stable. He has adapted to his new surroundings effortlessly, and has been complimented on his wonderful temperament and attitude towards his work. “He’s a cool horse. I’m very happy with him, you can see he is a legend,” said Takter. There has been talk about a potential start at the Red Mile in Kentucky in September, and also the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs in October. But nothing will be set in stone until Takter is one hundred percent happy with Lazarus and his progress. “My main goal is the Breeders Crown at Pocono for him. If I accomplish that it will be the icing on the cake,” stated Takter. So whilst many focus on the great horse himself, and rightly so, there is also a human element to this intriguing endeavor.  Lazarus could allow Takter a fairytale swansong to his career; the Hall of Fame trainer, who ventured away from his homeland to chase the American dream, retiring at the top of his game and potentially signing off by producing one of the most unique training triple crowns.  The world’s richest trotter, the world’s fastest pacer and transforming a national hero from a different hemisphere into an international icon.  by Jess Smith, for Harness Racing New Zealand    

For the elite horse trainers race day might as well be renamed text day. For some the phone never stops, whether it is mates looking for a winner, owners wanting last minute updates, staff asking questions or even the pesky media. It would be no different, probably worse, for Mark Purdon, whose phone sometimes sits ignored for hours so he can actually get some work done. But one text on Saturday morning, as he was preparing for his six-win domination at the Harness Jewels at Cambridge, brought a wry smile to Purdon's face. It was from North American trainer Jimmy Takter, the new trainer of Purdon's champion pacer Lazarus. Takter is a harness racing legend. His horses have won more than US$120 million. He wanted to chat to Purdon. "Jimmy texted saying he had got my number off somebody and he wanted me to know that Laz has arrived safe and sound and looked great," said Purdon. "And then he asked me if we could talk sometimes because he had some questions about Laz. "I was stoked to get the text and am looking forward to talking to him because he is obviously one of the leading trainers in the world and I am really hoping Laz will do a great job up there so I am happy to help," said Purdon yesterday. "To be honest, if Laz was going really well and was set for a decent race or two in September, I'd love to go up there and watch him race and even ask Jimmy if I could spend some time at his stables. "I think that would be a really good experience." That Purdon still has that thirst for knowledge after a season in which he has won $4.4m in New Zealand alone, and it's is one of the best indicators as to why he is such a phenomenon. Then again, Takter did win US$2.7m at just one Breeders Crown meeting in 2015 so he might know a new trick or two. If Lazarus can race up to anything like his best Australasian form in North America, he could help the New Zealand punting public re-engage with harness racing in that part of the world, a relationship largely dormant for the last decade. Decades ago the performances of Cardigan Bay and Young Quinn meant US harness racing was newsworthy here and when Lyell Creek raced regularly, and with some serious success, in the early 2000s punters and harness fans watched. But the last time US harness racing captured the imagination even briefly was when Auckland Reactor headed there and bombed, turning people off very quickly. US harness racing continues to be broadcast during slow times on Trackside but the pools are very small and even with a regular smattering of former Kiwi pacers it is little more than a minor fascination for a small sector of the industry. But with Heaven Rocks and Bit Of A Legend impressive winners there over the weekend and Dexter Dunn set to start driving there soon, US harness racing could be in for a resurgence in interest, especially if Lazarus wins a major race. Whether that translates to any significant boost in turnover remains to be seen. Although Purdon could head Stateside for a Lazarus-inspired working holiday, he and training partner Natalie Rasmussen won't have anything like their usual Victorian winter team. They have only four likely Breeders Crown starters, with Shez All Rock now staying with them rather than returning to former trainer Mark Pitt and she will be set for the August series providing she passes an extensive veterinary examination. "I am a little worried she might have something bothering her and the same for Enhance Your Calm so they will both undergo scintigraphy in Matamata this week to make sure they are 100 per cent. "If they are, they will press on to the Crown with Princess Tiffany and Cheerful (two-year-old trot) but the rest of the horses who raced at the Jewels are heading to the paddock." Stateside • Lazarus has joined leading US trainer Jimmy Takter. • Soon Dexter Dunn will resume his North American driving career. • Former Kiwi stars Heaven Rocks and Bit Of A Legend were feature race winners there over the weekend. • All of them racing in the next few months could boost stagnant local interest in US harness racing. By: Michael Guerin

Lazarus, considered the best Down Under harness racing horse since the immortal Cardigan Bay has arrived at the Jimmy Takter stable in East, Windsor, New Jersey to begin preparations for a North American campaign that may include an assault on the 1:46 all time world record for one mile set by Always B Miki in 2014. It is recalled that the same Jimmy Takter was the trainer for Always B Miki during that one’s record season. His Down Under trainer-driver Mark Purdom has been quoted as believing Lazarus will “indeed be up to that task” Lazarus won 35 out of 45 starts in Australia and New Zealand many on half mile tracks at assorted distances in bulky fields. He won 6 of 8 starts at age two setting a hemisphere record of 1:52.9 in which his final quarter was officially clocked in :25.1. Lazarus was undefeated at age three winning al eight of his starts. In all, Lazarus is by far the richest son of his famed “Dual Hemisphere sire Bettor’s Delight with earnings of $3,821,066. by Bob Marks

A tribute to Lazarus has been put together and shown on New Zealand's premier harness racing television weekly show 'The Box Seat' May the 9th 2018. You can watch the video below; Here is a behind the scenes feature video taken on Lazarus on the morning of the 22nd of February 2017 the day that Lazarus won the Victorian Cup. Harness Racing New Zealand produced this Good Luck Lazarus video;  

New Zealand's greatest racehorse Lazarus has been sold to a North American syndicate in a record deal and will not race here again. The $3.8million earner will leave for the US on May 24 where he will be aimed at a possible four-race mini career in an attempt to secure a major win there to help his dual hemisphere stallion credentials. While the exact price is confidential the Herald estimates it must be close to $4 million when the other public offer for the five-year-old stallion is taken into account. Lazarus has been purchase by US thoroughbred breeding giant Taylor Made Stallions, a Kentucky-based operation run by the Taylor brothers, who started their racing lives in harness racing but have concentrated on thoroughbred breeding and yearling preparation for the last three decades. It is believed they have recently reignited their interest in standardbred breeding by purchasing at least part of champion US trotter What The Hill but the Lazarus deal, put together by South Auckland agent John Curtin, breaks new ground. While North America's best horses shuttling here to stand at stud in their off-season is common, trying to turn an Australasian standardbred into a dual hemisphere stallion is extremely rare. Christian Cullen stood one season at stud in the US but without having raced there was never going to be hugely commercial. Lazarus will be given his chance with two races at the famous Red Mile track in October targeted as well as the Breeders Crown at Pocono, a series his new connections would need to pay a supplementary payment to make him eligible for. But he will head to the US without his champion trainer Mark Purdon, with two of North America's leading trainers apparently in the frame to take over his training. If, and it is a big if, Lazarus could win a serious race in the US and pace a super fast mile he has the attributes to become that rare dual hemisphere stallion. In his 45 start career he has proven to be one of the greatest stayer bred in this part of the world, with some remarkable wins in two New Zealand Cups, an Inter Dominion, Hunter and Victoria Cups. But just as importantly from a stallion appeal point of view he was a sensational two and three-year-old, suggesting his stock will have the natural speed to run early. And he is bred on Australasia's golden cross, being by breed-defining stallion Bettors Delight out of a Christian Cullen mare. The one down side to that he is obviously can't serve Bettors Delight mares, who could be the dominant broodmare bunch in Australasia over the next decade. Details on where he will stand and for which studs in either hemisphere are yet to be decided. His departure will sadden many local harness racing fans as it means Lazarus will not get the chance to attempt a third New Zealand Cup win at Addington in November. And with several other high profile retirements or exports in the last year - Smolda, Heaven Rocks, Vincent being the biggest - next season's open class pacing ranks looks the most open in a decade. LAZARUS Breeding: 5h Bettors Delight-Bethany Trainers: Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Record: 45 starts, 35 wins, nine placings. Earnings: $3,821,066. Highlights: New Zealand Cup (twice), Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup, Victoria Cup, Chariots Of Fire, Messenger, Taylor Mile, New Zealand, Northern and Victoria Derbys, Harness Jewels 2-yo, Sires' Stakes Final 3-y-o. By Michael Guerin Courtesy of The New Zealand Herald New Zealand Cup 2016 New Zealand Cup 2017 2017 Inter Dominion Grand Final Hunter Cup Victoria Cup

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