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Feelin Red Hot crossed the finish line faster than any other five year-old-and-up pacing mare on a half-mile track in the history of harness racing when she won the $16,500 F&M Open Handicap in 1:50.1 on Saturday (May 5) at Northfield Park. In fact, the clocking tied the all-age record for distaff pacers on a half-mile oval which was held by Call Me Queen Be (3, 2016, Dela, Scott Zeron). The former five and-up world record was held by Mach It Par (6, 2016, YR, Brian Sears) and the Northfield record was held in a tie by Beyonces Rockin (5, 1:51, Ryan Stahl) and Olivia V (6, 1:51, Aaron Merriman). The partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC own Feelin Red Hot. Ron Burke is her conditioner and Ryan Stahl was in the sulky for the winning drive. Feelin Red Hot (Feelin Friskie-Red Rapid Girl-Red River Hanover) started from post five. She left from the gate and led the entire mile through times of :26.4, :55, 1:22.2 and 1:50.1, besting her competition by three lengths. Feelin Red Hot now has five wins in 12 starts this year. Saturday's victory represents her ninth career score and bolstered her bankroll to $119,739. She was heavily favored and returned $3.20 to win. Ayers Ratliff

Pompano Beach, FL...February 14, 2018...Sooo Handsome, who earned a world record mark of 1:09.3 for five-eighths of a mile on a similar sized track just a week ago at Pompano Park, smashed that mark on Tuesday night by sizzling that same distance in 1:09 for harness racing trainer-driver Rick Plano. The homebred five year-old gelded son of Cash Hall used his rail post position to perfection, out-dueling the anxious opposition early and sprinting through fractions of :27.2 and :55.2 before tacking on a 13.3 final eighth to hit the wire 5 1/4 lengths to the good over William Star, handled by Wally Hennessey, finished second while Legend Field, teamed up with Corey Braden, next. Love Hunter and Overnight Shipper completed the order of finish in this quintet. In reflecting on his second world record performance in just seven days, Plano said, "He did it very easily tonight. You know, he's a very good gaited horse and he's very handy, so all I did was ask him for a bit early and he gave it to me. He was on cruise control the whole way. "He's very fond of Florida and loves this weather. It's especially gratifying because he's a homebred and we have had him since day one." In response to whether a short distance event makes training for a longer event more difficult, Plano responded, "I usually train him a mile-and-a-half and then a mile-and-a-quarter, so I really don't think it will bother him. We'll see how he does against the Open horses where he's been competitive over the last several starts." Now showing a 3-2-0 scorecard in five starts this year, Sooo Handsome has banked $19,000 this semester and $112,340 lifetime in 73 starts to go along with his 1:54.1 mark at Pompano Park set as a three year-old. Off as the 1 to 10 favorite, Sooo Handsome paid $2.20 to win. Racing continues on Wednesday night duet of $11,000 Open Handicap trotting events highlighting the competitive card. Prairie Fortune makes a return following a brief respite from the racing wars and will have Born To Thrive, Zoraze, Uncle Hanover and Foundonabeach as his rivals while A TC Queenie looks for a repeat in the companion event for mares. The Super Hi-5 finale has ballooned to $193,652 for the Wednesday card with post time set at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...December 29, 2017...Winyard Hanaover, driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Mike Deters, set the world record for a five-eighths mile dash on a five-eighths mile track by scorching the South Florida harness racing oval Pompano Park in 1:08. The seven year-old gelded son of Cam’s Card Shark, leaving from the track’s coveted five post, sizzled panels of :27 and :54.3 before a 13.2 final eighth mile sealed the victory and the world record.  Winyard won by a comfortable 2 3/4 lengths over Sucrose Hanover, driven by John MacDonald, with Rebel Jet and Fern Paquet, Jr. teaming up for third. Mach Power and Kirktons Credit were next in the speedy sextet. At the outset, Winyard Hanover left from his “center-of-the-track” post to take charge heading into the initial turn and hardly had time to take a breath as he widened his margin throughout the journey. Said pilot Wally Hennessey after the race, “he was sizzling all the way tonight. It’s kind of advantageous leaving from a the center of the track in a situation like that where there’s not a heck of a lot of distance to the first turn.  “I though, ‘it’s now or never in a sprint like, so I sent him. I know he’s done that before in a mile race, so I wasn’t at all concerned about sending him hard. He’s a very good horse and can handle it. “To tell you the truth, I thought he was going more at the end of the mile.”  Winyard Hanover eclipsed the former record of 1:08.1 by Anais Kicker at The Meadows back in 2009 with Dave Palone in the bike. Owned by trainer Deters along with Joel Warner, Winyard Hanover won for the ninth time this semester in 32 starts to complete his 2017 campaign with earnings of $42,831. Lifetime, Winyard Hanover has banked $217,125 to go along with his Pompano Park mark of 1:51 set earlier this year. As the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Winyard Hanover paid $3.80 to win Racing continues on Saturday night with the Super Hi-5 jackpot carryover standing at $32,011.59. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 3 – Fans that came to Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening witnessed history, as four-year-old pacer Dr J Hanover paced the fastest mile in Canadian harness racing history. The Tony Alagna trained son of Somebeachsomewhere and driver Doug McNair took full advantage of wild fractions to come away with a 1:46.4 victory. The clocking not only set a new Canadian record, but also established a new World Record for a four-year-old gelding. “I thought around the last turn he felt good,” said McNair following Dr J Hanover’s historic mile. “At the head of the stretch he still felt good and then half way down the lane I thought he had a pretty good shot (at the record), but I couldn’t believe it after.” Dr J Hanover was fired to the front by McNair in a field of six and posted an opening-quarter of :26.2. Boston Red Rocks and Brett Miller swept up to take the lead entering the backstretch, but they immediately had company in the form of Lyons Snyder and Yannick Gingras. The half flashed up in :53, as Lyons Snyder powered by Boston Red Rocks and continued to set a wild pace entering the far turn. Positions went unchanged in the third-quarter, as Dr J Hanover sat third and three-lengths back, while Lyons Snyder hit three-quarters in 1:20. In the stretch, Boston Red Rocks angled out and paced by Lyons Snyder, while Dr J Hanover followed the path and eventually tipped off his back to set up a two-horse battle. Boston Red Rocks tried his best to fight off the outside pressure, but Dr J Hanover was too much to handle and powered by to win by a length at odds of 15-1. Saturday’s $67,230 Graduate leg was the first time McNair had driven Dr J Hanover. “They just told me he had pretty good gate speed,” McNair commented. “He had been racing on the small tracks the last six or eight starts, so they told me if I got him out of there he should perform well and they were right.” Trained by Alagna for owners Brad Grant, Robert LeBlanc, Steven Wienick and Irwin Samelman, Dr J Hanover was winless in nine starts heading into Saturday, but that is quickly forgotten after his record performance. “He made the front pretty easy,” McNair noted. “I kind of had him shut down at the quarter-pole, but Brett (Miller) came around and we just kept pacing. “When Yannick (Gingras) came, they went :53 and 1:20 and when Brett came back out (at the top of the stretch) he gave me cover again and when I kicked off cover he felt like he was really pacing and I was surprised to see that kind of a mile.” Dr J Hanover now has career numbers of nine wins and $387,961 earned. He paid $32.90 to win. The clocking of 1:46.4 breaks the Mohawk and Canadian record of 1:47.1, which was set last June by Always B Miki. Dr J Hanover is now also a World Champion, as he broke the four-year-old gelding mark of 1:47.2, which was held by Bettor Sweet and Wiggle It Jiggleit. He also equaled Warrawee Needy’s overall record for a four-year-old pacer. Dr J Hanover The other $67,230 Graduate division didn’t feature any records, but did have a thrilling finish. Dave Menary trainee Sintra battled back to edge out Western Fame in 1:49.3. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Sintra made a second-quarter move to the lead from third to take command away from Western Fame. Jamieson’s charge posted middle-half fractions of :53.3 and 1:21. In the stretch, Western Fame was angled to the outside and got by Sintra for a moment, but the Menary trainee wouldn’t quit and fought back to win by a nose. Easy Lover Hanover shot up the rail late to finish third. “I knew he was going to have to dig deep,” said Menary about his feeling at the top of the lane. “I knew he really dug back in and was by the horse after the wire,” said Menary about his feeling at the wire. “He’s a good enough horse that he was passed and he dug. That’s the kind of a horse he is.” A four-year-old gelded son of Mach Three, Sintra improved his 2017 record to four wins in five starts with his triumph Saturday. He is now a 12-time winner with career earnings exceeding $400,000 for owners Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc. Sintra paid $3.90 to win. Sintra Over on the trotting side, Ron Burke trainee Dayson prevailed in a photo finish over Trolley to win the $100,845 12-horse Graduate Series Trot. Driven by Gingras, Dayson grabbed the lead in the second-quarter, but had to deal with pressure by first-over challenger Warrawee Roo throughout the middle-half. After trotting a third-quarter in :28 to reach that station in 1:24.1, Dayson put away Warrawee Roo, but immediately had to deal with Trolley, who had been sitting second-over with driver Marcus Miller. Dayson and Trolley went toe-to-toe down to the wire, with the leader holding on to win by a nose in 1:52.3. “I thought maybe he got me in the last step,” admitted Gingras post-race. “My horse had raced on the front a few weeks in a row…I really wanted tonight to race him from the back if it was a shorter field, but I was in a tough spot and if I took him back I would’ve got away about sixth or seventh, but my horse raced another big mile.” Broadway Donna, who had captured the opening leg of the Graduate, didn’t have her usual punch in the lane and finished third. A four-year-old gelded son of Conway Hall, Dayson was winless in three starts heading into Saturday’s outing. He now has 20 career wins and earnings of over $700,000 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, J And T Silva Stables LLC and Rossie Smith. Dayson paid $4.40 to win. Dayson Saturday’s card also featured a pair of 11-horse $70,000 Somebeachsomewhere Stakes divisions, as many Pepsi North America Cup eligible three-year-old pacers were putting in their final preparations ahead of next week’s eliminations. Hurricane Beach and driver Louis Philippe Roy captured the first division in 1:50.3. The Luc Blais trainee went gate-to-wire to score his second win of the season. A gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere and North America Cup eligible, Hurricane Beach set fractions of :26.3, :55 and 1:22.1, before scooting home in :28.3 to capture a division of the race named for his sire. Lawrencetown Beach finished four-lengths back in second, while Sports Column was third. Roy’s victory with Hurricane Beach Saturday was the first Grand Circuit victory of his career. Following the race, he noted that some equipment adjustments made a big difference for his charge. “We trained him with different equipment last week and he was too grabby,” said Roy. “So (Blais) put back the equipment he had before cause he couldn’t relax like he did tonight with the other equipment.” Hurricane Beach, who was winless in three starts as a rookie, came into Saturday’s start with only $12,180 in earnings. His bankroll now sits at $47,180 for owner Determination. A $2 win ticket on Hurricane Beach returned $14.40. Hurricane Beach Another son of Somebeachsomewhere captured the second division to make it a perfect sweep for “The Beach” in his own race. Despite never seeing the rail, Macs Jackpot and David Miller came from way back to score a 42/1 upset. The Jim Campbell trainee sat eighth and on the outside throughout the majority of the mile, but was able to pick up the pieces when leader Richard Hill tired in the lane. Richard Hill cleared to the lead just after the opening-quarter and posted fractions of :54.3 and 1:22.1. In the stretch, Richard Hill had to fight off Frontier Seelster, but that took its toll and the backfield came to life. Macs Jackpot followed Stealth Bomber down the lane and was able to surge by all his rivals to win by a neck in 1:51.4. Stealth Bomber edged out Richard Hill for second. Trained by Campbell for owner Jeff Snyder, Macs Jackpot overcame post-nine to score his second victory in six starts this season. “We had planned on trying to get him into the race, but with a big field and all, a lot of guys were taking a shot,” said Miller following the race. “He ended up fourth-over and was out the whole way, but he was just kind of feeling pretty comfortable until the last turn and then he did get interested and finished it up good.” Macs Jackpot is eligible to next week’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. He paid $86.30 to win. Macs Jackpot The Pepsi North America Cup eliminations will take place next Saturday (June 10). Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

DOVER, Del. --- Mission Brief stole the thunder while Wiggle It Jiggleit was dominant in Thursday harness racing highlights of the Matron Stakes Series Finals at Dover Downs on Nov. 12. Crazy Wow and Mosquito Blue Chip won the other Matrons on a balmy 60-degree night. In the $187,400 Matron Mission Brief got back in winning form establishing a 1:50.2 world record over a five-eighth mile track. Yannick Gingras took the Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena brown filly past Wild Honey (John Campbell) after the opening panel and set sail to her ninth win of the season in 13 starts, along with three seconds, drawing off for a 5¾ -length conquest. Trained by Ron Burke, she now has $929,317 this season and $1,520,387 lifetime for Weaver Bruscemi, Our Hrs Cents and Burke Racing stables. Wild Honey (Campbell), who set a world record winning last year's freshman Matron, was second best with Speak To Me (Brett Miller) third. I'm So Fancy (Matt Kakaley) and Juanitas Fury (Tim Tetrick) took the fourth and fifth place checks. Mission Brief Wiggle It Jiggleit continued his assault on sub 1:50 miles for a sophomore\e pacer annexing a 1;49.4 triumph in the $201,900 Matron Male pace. Montrell Teague , who drove his second win on the program, permitted Wakizashi Hanover (Tetrick) to set the early tempo before pulling out in front of the grandstand and annexed command at the half. The George Teague Inc.-owned and Clyde Francis trainee, then roared down the backstretch and came home in :27.4 for a 2½-length score. The win was the 20th of 2015 for the Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover gelding, who in 25 lifetime races has 21 wins and 3 second-place finishes. The dark bay pacer has now won $2,014,495 this campaign with two more starts to go later this month in the $350,000 (estimated) Hap Hansen Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Dealt A Winner (David Miller) was second and Artistic Major (Scott Zeron), third, as second-favorite Wakizashi Hanover back up and finished eighth for the first time in his career. Badiou Hanover (Andy Miller) and Dude's The Man (Corey Callahan) got the fourth and fifth place payoffs. Wiggle It Jiggleit  Tim Tetrick sent the sharp Crazy Wow to the front after the opening quarter and never looked back enroute to a 7-length victory in the $243,550 Matron Male trot giving the sport's leading trainer Ron Burke a double. The win was the ninth this season for the Crazed-No Pan No Gain colt who now goes into seven-figure earnings, $1,027,612 this season and $1,260,540 lifetime. He is owned by Deo Volente Farms, Our Hrs Cents and J&T Silva stables. Crescent Fashion (Scott Zeron) was best of the rest with French Laundry (B. Miller) third. The other purse earners were Bluebird Reverend (D.Miller) and Southwind Mozart (Ake Swanstedt). Crazy Wow In the $205,150 Matron Filly Pace, Daniel Dube went right to the front with Mosquito Blue Chip and took no prisoners chalking up a 1:49.2 success, only one-fifth-of-a-second off the track record set last year by Shebestinging. Owned by Falcicchio, Jessup and Our Three Sons Stable, the Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover distaff conditioned by Rene Allard, racked up her sixth win of the year for $373,535. She has now earned $614,086 in her two years of racing. Race Favorite Devil Child (Tetrick) saw her three race win streak come to a close finishing second. Bedroomconfessions (Gingras) was the show horse. Single Me (A.Miller) was fourth and Divine Caroline (D.Miller) fifth. Mosquito Blue Chip There were two Matron $25,000 consolations. The trot was taken by Synerco Venture's Muscle Up The Goal. It was Yannick Gingras second winning drive making good use of post-1 for a 6¾ length victory. Chris Beaver trains the Muscle Mass-Taps Goal brown colt, now a three-time winner this year for $122,766, Cue Hall (D.Miller) was second, Olympic Son (A.Miller) third. The rail also paid off for Black Horse Racing's Storm Point and driver John Campbell. It wasn't easy, as 44-1 Girlofyourdreams (Montrell Teague) was only a nose away at the wire in the 1:50.2 Matron Filly consolation. Luck Be A Lindy (Tetrick) was third. Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are dark live racing days at Dover Downs Two $20,000 DSBF freshman colt 2nd leg pace prelims and an $18,000 Open trot tops the Monday card. A $5,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 Pool is now featured daily. By popular request, the Winner's Circle Buffet is back for those dinning in the Winner's Circle Restaurant. At Dover Downs, there is no charge for parking and admission. Harness and thoroughbred simulcasts is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

It was no secret that Always B Miki would be qualifying today (Friday, September 25) at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky. Now everyone will know exactly what the Always A Virgin horse did over the famed clay course. Here’s a three-word hint: world record speed. A compact seven-dash card comprised the qualifying session. When it comes to Always B Miki’s mile, if you blinked you may have missed it. Trainer Jimmy Takter was in the race bike for Always B Miki's mile. The duo started in Post 5 and made every pole a winning one. The margin of victory was 10 and a half lengths. The win time was a scintillating 1:48.2. To read the full article click on this link    

Delaware, OH --- The Brian Brown training stable captured both $23,100 divisions of Thursday’s (Sept. 24) Standardbred Stakes for harness racing 2-year-old male pacers at his home track, the Delaware County Fairgrounds, with his friendly neighborhood Spider Man Hanover capping the sweep with a world-record 1:51.4 performance. In the first division, Mr Right Hanover led from start to finish, surviving an inquiry for getting rough gaited in the stretch, to win in 1:53.4. Spider Man Hanover, with David Miller in the sulky, sat in third around the first turn behind More Dragon and Mr D’s Dragon, then slung his way to the front as the field approached the quarter in :28.3. From there, Spider Man Hanover hit the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.2 before shaving three-fifths of a second off the world record for a 2-year-old male pacer on a half-mile track. The margin of victory was 3-1/4 lengths for Spider Man Hanover, the 1-9 favorite who is stabled regularly at the fairgrounds. More Dragon finished second and Mr D’s Dragon was third. On Golden Ponder and He's Watching shared the previous world record of 1:52.2. Spider Man Hanover, a son of Western Ideal out of the mare Stolly Up Bluechip, is a full brother to Shady Daisy winner Stacia Hanover. He has won four of seven races this year, finished second in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and earned $189,300. He is owned by Country Club Acres, Kenneth Vaupel, Mike Mallett, and Milton Leeman. "This colt gets over the ground so well and has high speed," said Miller. "He has always been talented but was a little too aggressive. That one race in Pennsylvania he was just bad (eighth in a Sire Stakes race on Aug. 20). I'm not sure why but I got with Brian and we made some equipment changes to give me more control and he has just improved ever since. "I was a little concerned about putting him on the front but with that first quarter in :28.3 that definitely helped. I just didn't want to have to come first up with him into a :56 half. Even coming to the three-quarter pole I was still trying to rate him but he was well within himself and very strong. "The world record is a little bit of a surprise but he is a very nice horse. He just showed today what we have already known." Dave Palone, harness racing’s winningest driver in history with 17,199 victories, guided 1-5 favorite Mr Right Hanover to the triumph in the opening division. Granite finished second and Gleneagles was fourth-placed-third after Fernando Hanover was dropped a spot for violating the breaking rule. There was only win and place betting in the five-horse race. Mr Right Hanover led through fractions of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:25.4. He was challenged by Gleneagles on the backstretch and a three-wide move from Fernando Hanover on the final turn, but marched to victory by a half-length. A son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Mouse Hanover, Mr Right Hanover has won three of eight races for trainer Brian Brown and earned $41,349. He is owned by James Stambaugh, Wingfield Brothers, Alan Keith, and Milton Leeman. "He's really been a good horse all along," said Brown, "but the problem was he didn't want to pass horses until we opened up his bridle for the Arden Downs, because in the Sire Stake before that he should have won but just came out and hung there. In his last Sire Stake he was good again but he was locked in and had nowhere to go. "I did not tell Dave to put him on the front. Actually I warned him about it because yesterday front end speed was not holding up here. But he's Dave Palone. He's also driven the horse before and he knew what to do with him." by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications  -- Kimberly French also contributed to this report

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 19, 2015 - Sevruga cut all the fractions in the Open Space Pace Day $20,000 preferred trot, setting a harness racing world record for a mile and a half on a half-mile track with a time of three minutes flat on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. The fourth edition of Open Space Pace Day, which begin with a parade down Main Street in Freehold, drew a family-friendly crowd of several thousand who took advantage of live music, petting zoo, exhibitions, displays, food trucks and perfect weather. To the best of anyone's knowledge, this was the first time the distance - three times around the track - was ever offered. Sevruga [$4], a seven-year-old gelding, was sent off as the even-money favorite in the featured seventh race and cruised the three times around the track on the front end. The anticipated challenge from 6-5 Gural Hanover never developed when that horse broke stride at the start. Trained by Julie Miller and driven by Andy Miller, Sevruga won by a length and three-quarters over Pop I with Silver Credit third by two and three-quarters in the field of nine veteran trotters. "He is the same old grinder of races," said Julie Miller, who with Hannah Miller signed autographs before the card began. "I knew if Andy could set the fractions, and with Gural Hanover breaking, it was ours to have. "I couldn't be more pleased with him," the trainer added. "It was a beautiful day, and it was great for the Landy Family and Freehold to host this event. It's very important to New Jersey racing." The previous world record for the distance on a half-mile track was 3:01.3 by Kash Minbar on July 30, 1977 at Roosevelt Raceway. Sevruga, who is owned by Joe P Racing LLC of Delray Beach, FL, picked up his sixth win in 20 starts this year, and it was his 36th win in 104 career starts. He has earned $1,159,326 lifetime. Sponsors of the preferred trot were New Jersey-based trainers and owners Ross Croghan's Dockside Stables, Joe Holloway. Linda Toscano, Mark Harder, Weaver & Bruscemi Stable. Ron Burke, Tom Fanning, Scott DiDomenico, Julie and Andy Miller, and Tony Alagna. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

The brothers Tristan Sjöberg and Michael Knutsson (Knutsson Trotting Inc) are proud to announce that they have reached an agreement with Jim Simpson, the President of Hanover Shoe Farms to stand the World's fastest trotter Sebastian K at the world's most renowned Standardbred breeding Farms beginning with the 2016 breeding season. "Anybody who ever saw Sebastian K at his best had to be impressed with his breathtaking speed, his incredible gait and the charisma that shone from every hair on his coat. He brings to Hanover a perfect outcross and possesses the magic elixir of the combination of great French and American blood that has dominated the best of world trotting for the last several decades. Moreover he is a great individual, who I feel confident will produce beautiful yearlings and very fast racehorses" says Jim Simpson. Tristan adds "Michael and I are delighted to be given the opportunity to stand Sebastian K at the most prestigious stud farm in the world. We are convinced that Sebastian's flawless technique and excellent conformation will translate to his offspring". Sebastian K was a beacon of trotting in North American trotting from his very first start in 2014. He won eight of his first nine races on his way to a near unanimous choice as the older trotter of 2014. The apex of his astounding season took place at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on June 28, when he shattered the world record in taking an incredible record of 1.49f in defeating a host of North America's best trotters. Sebastian K comes to Hanover with lifetime earnings of $2,973,252, over two million dollars of it earned in Europe where he took on and often defeated the best Free For All trotters in the world including victories in the Oslo Grand Prix, UET Trotting Masters and Åby Stora Pris (twice).. Appropriately he will be officially retired in a special ceremony at the scene of his greatest triumph at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on August 22nd. The Open trot will be named in his honour - The Sebastian K Invitational. Meet World Record Holder Sebastian K. in his paddock at Legend Farm, Åke Svansted's training camp in New Jersey.  Murray Brown Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc.

Editor's Note: The owners of Sebastian K have announced his retirement after two separate ultrasound examinations confirmed a significant tear in the left hind suspensory ligament. Below is a press release sent by Tristan Sjoberg, who with his brother Michael Knutsson makes up Knutsson Trotting Inc., the owners of the 9-year-old stallion. Gothenburg, Sweden --- It is with a heavy heart that Michael and I have to announce the forced retirement of Sebastian K from racing. Two separate ultrasound examinations have confirmed a significant tear in the left hind suspensory ligament. Although it is impossible to determine the exact cause of the injury, his last race was most certainly a truly valiant effort, all things considered. We are immensely proud of the privilege to own Sebastian K and he has given us so much joy over the years. We are also very thankful to the North American harness racing fans who have taken "Seabass" to their hearts and voted his all-age world record mile of 1:49 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on June 28, 2014 as the Racing Moment of the Year. That means a lot to us and we are sincerely grateful for this award. Sebastian K finished his career with a record of 77-34-15-2 and lifetime earnings of $2,973,252. He retires as the fastest trotter of all time. Tristan Sjoberg, Knutsson Trotting Inc.

The harness racing industry is filled with its up and downs, especially with its horses. Such was the case with the Joel Smith Stable’s Kennan’s Max, a world record holder in 2002 as a 2-year-old and the runner-away winner of his ICF freshman trotting male division. However, three starts into his 3-year-old campaign the homebred son of Vaporize out of the broodmare Lake Hills Suzanne was basically done racing for Smith, his Indiana owners Phil Wiley and Ken Spurlock, who bred the champion Illinois trotter with Erich Boehm of West Palm Beach, Florida. Kennan’s Max had an outstanding 2-year-old season, sweeping Springfield where he set a world record for a 2-year-old trotting geldings with a 1:55.3 clock in the $60,000 Final and it came in just his third career start. “I remember that day very vividly,” said Joel. Kennan’s Max finished five-plus length ahead of Customize, who would become his chief ICF freshman rival. Kennan’s Max also captured Balmoral’s $130,000 Lincoln Land Final with his regular driver Jason Dillander, again by more than 5 lengths over Customize in mid-September. A week later “Max” breezed in the $25,000 Darn Safe at Du Quoin. In the $54,000 Cardinal Championship at Maywood Park Customize gave Kennan’s Max all he could handle. A nose decision went to ‘Max’ and Dillander over Customize and Dave Magee. A triumph in Balmoral’s $35,500 Sarah Myers stake followed for Kennan’s Max who was third in the $150,000 American National behind the winner Cantab Hall, the Illinois bred trotter’s final race of the 2002 freshman season. “Kennan’s Max owners staked the horse to just about everything as a 3-year-old except the Hambletionian,” continued Joel. The trotter’s schedule that year could have had Kennan’s Max going in such prestigious open company stakes as the Stanley Dancer, World Trotting Derby, Bluegrass and Breeders Crown. Nevertheless Kennan’s Max sophomore season ended not very long after it began. “The horse dropped a back suspensory in his third start back as a 3-year-old and was pretty much finished after that”, said Joel. “We brought him back as a 4-year-old and tried to race him a couple of times but that didn’t work out.” Kennan’s Max made an even $180,000 in 16 career starts with all but $1,650 coming as a 2-year-old. “Max is still running out here in the field at my farm,” said Joel. “And he has company. My old pacer Master Mark Grace is running along with him.” Now there’s another name that stirs up some great looking back memories, especially for Cubs fans. By Mike Paradise

Pompano  Beach, FL- Long time Grand Circuit harness racing trainer/driver Paige H. West, passed away early Sunday morning Nov. 23, 2014, after a long illness. He was 82. He had been a local resident since 1986 after moving from Salisbury, MDs. Mr. West was retired from the harness horse racing business. He was the trainer and sometimes driver of Adios Butler, the Horse of the Year in 1960 and 1961. Purchased as a yearling by 24-year-old West in 1957, Adios Butler would  become harness racing's first Pacing Triple Crown Winner in 1959. Racing free-legged, he would go on to become the fastest Standardbred of all time in 1960 with his 1:54.3 time trial at Lexington’s Red Mile.  “What a great horseman and friend he was,” said fellow driver Lucien Fontaine, “I had known Paige for 57 years and he was the consummate gentleman and one of my mentors. Later in his life he became an avid golfer and had five holes in one.” He is survived by his wife, Lois; sons, Todd (Mary) and Dana; grandchildren, Lauren and Cory; and many friends. No services are being planned. Memorial contributions may be made to St Jude Children's Hospital, 501 St Jude's Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, 108 F. Old York Road, Hamilton, NJ 08620. Arrangements were made by Kraeer Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 200 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach, FL 33062. Phone: 954.941.4111 By Steve Wolf with files from USTA

Bigtown Hero set a new world record for aged harness racing geldings on the pace in a Preferred Handicap victory on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $25,000. Leaving from post position #4 in a field of seven as the 8-5 second choice, Bigtown Hero (American Ideal-Art Account), a 6-year-old gelding from the Rene Allard barn, burned his way to the early lead. Driver Ron Pierce decided to cut the gelding loose, creating unforgiving fractions of 26:3, 53:3, and 1:19:4 and a huge lead. In the stretch, Bigtown Hero started to slow slightly, allowing for wild closing rallies by second-place Aslan and third-place Dancin Yankee, the 4-5 favorite, that came up a half-length short of the winner. The winning time of 1:47:3 shattered the mark of 1:48 for aged geldings on a 5/8-mile oval, which was set by Foiled Again in June of 2013 at Pocono and then matched a week later at the track by Abelard Hanover. Bigtown Hero, owned by Allard Racing Inc. and Yves Sarrazin, was fresh off an Open Handicap win at Yonkers and now has 9 wins in 27 2014 races. It was his 24th career victory, pushing his lifetime earnings to $187,823. Earlier in the night at Pocono in a $25,000 Preferred trot, Sevruga (S J's Caviar-Stunning Lindsey), a 6-year-old gelding from the Kevin Carr, scored his first win since the spring by flashing early speed that held up in the final strides. The 3-5 favorite in a field of six, Sevruga, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, led at every pole and dug deep late to hold off Wind Of The North by a nose in 1:52:1. Not Afraid finished third. Jim Beviglia

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 12, 2014 -- So impressive in capturing the Hambletonian Oaks, Lifetime Pursuit was just as dazzling Tuesday at The Meadows when she matched the world record of 1:51.3 in a division of a $199,994 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters. Her harness racing stablemate, Shake It Cerry, may not have been as flashy, but she took the other division of the event known as the Meadow Bright while under wraps. The weather cooperated beautifully with Lifetime Pursuit, as a hot sun baked off the moisture from morning rains but kept the air steamy. Moreover, storms forecast for the region would hold off for another hour. Lifetime Pursuit didn't need more help. She brushed to the front past the quarter for Yannick Gingras and drew away them there, reeling off fractions of 28.2/56.2/1:23.1/1:51.3. That time equals the world record, held jointly by Check Me Out and Designed To Be, for sophomore filly trotters on a five-eighths-mile track. It also matches Tall Cotton's all-age trotting mark at The Meadows and is the fastest mile ever trotted by a filly or mare at The Meadows. For good measure, Lifetime Pursuit shattered Classic Martine's stake record of 1:53.2. Broadway Socks was second, 11-1/4 lengths back, with Donatella Hanover third. Gingras said he's sure the daughter of Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace could have gone faster. "I still had the plugs in, and I was holding her up the whole stretch," Gingras said. "The track is really fast today, and she kind of got away from me. I went 26-and-change up the backstretch just sitting on her. She was trotting more than I thought she was. "We always thought she was that kind of filly from the time we baby raced her last year. She wasn't disappointing because she's been really good, but I always thought she had more than what she showed. We raced her a little more aggressive last week. I put her on the front today, and she was scary." The homebred Lifetime Pursuit now has banked $657,613 for Brittany Farms. Lifetime Pursuit Off her fourth-place finish in the Oaks, Shake It Cerry made an easy lead for Ron Pierce and prevailed effortlessly in 1:53.1, 1-3/4 lengths better than the pocket-sitting Cantabs Fortune. Struck By Lindy earned show. Pierce indicated he never cut loose the daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig, who is campaigned by Solveig's Racing Partners. "I just hung onto her," Pierce said. "I guess she heard someone coming that third quarter, so she just took off on her own. Nobody was even close to me, so I just let her coast home. She's getting bigger and stronger -- she's still growing." Shake It Cerry, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for her division, extended her career bankroll to $1,147,805. Prior to the stake, trainer Jimmy Takter said he doesn't expect his two star fillies to go head to head again anytime soon. "One of them will head off to Canada, and one will stay in Pennsylvania for the sires stakes final," Takter said. "I'm not sure yet which will go where." Dave Palone drove four winners and Eric Ledford three on the 16-race card. Stake racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the card features a $120,000 PA Stallion Series event for freshman filly pacers. First post is 12:55 PM. Evan Pattak

Jimmy Takter has once again won the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for three-year-old fillies, only perhaps with the horse he did not figure winning it with this Saturday. Lifetime Pursuit upset her stable mate Shake It Cerry in the stretch and posted a world record mile of 1:50.4 in giving driver Yannick Gingras his first ever victory in the Hambletonian Oaks. Leaving from post seven, Gingras sent Lifetime Pursuit to the early lead with Take The Money (Dave Palone) right on their backs. They sped to the opening quarter in :26.3 and before anyone could settle down, here comes stable mate Shake It Cerry and driver Ron Pierce and they went to the front by the half mile in :55.1. Heaven’s Door (Ake Svanstedt) came first-over and gave outside cover to the race favorite Designed To Be (Brian Sears) as they raced to the three-quarters in 1:23.2. As the field started down the stretch, it was Gringas and Lifetime Pursuit pulling from the pocket, collaring Shake It Cerry and drawing off to win by two lengths over Designed To Be and Take The Money. Shake It Cerry was fourth. Lifetime Pursuit paid $22.00 to win. “She (Lifetime Pursuit) has been a little under the radar,” said trainer Jimmy Takter, “She is a top horse. She ran second to “Cerry” all last year. I felt good about her going into this race. She has been serious every race. I gambled a little bit, we made a few changes and it worked.” “She got a perfect trip,” Gingras said. “She probably needed that to win but she was awesome anyway. They pulled off her shoes and I think that made the difference. She is always good gaited but that really helped her today.” Owned and bred by Brittany Farm’s George Segal, her time of 1:50.4 surpassed the previous world record of 1:51 set last year by Harness Horse of the Year, Bee A Magician. “Absolutely she is a terrific filly,” said Segal, Jimmy’s done a great job, Yannick driving her great.  I don’t pay attention to the publicity. She’s been racing great.  You race for $30,000 and you do different things and you come out here for half a million bucks and you put it all on the line..” Lifetime Pursuit By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Nevele R Stud, in conjunction with EMP Invest Oy of Finland, is delighted to announce that one of the world's leading and most influential trotting stallions Andover Hall will be available to New Zealand and Australian breeders for the first time this coming breeding season. The youngest, and arguably the best, of the legendary triumvirate of Hall brothers - Angus Hall and Conway Hall being the other two - Andover Hall was a brilliant juvenile, winning eight of his nine starts at two which saw him crowned the Dan Patch and Nova 2-year-old trotting colt of the year in 2001. A natural two-year-old, legendary reinsman John Campbell had this to say about Andover Hall. “He was great-gaited and very athletic. It was unusual for a two-year-old to come to his speed as quickly as he did.” At three, Andover Hall set a then world record of 1:51.6 when winning the $550,000 World Trotting Derby at the Du Quoin State Fair in Illinois – defeating the likes of millionaire square-gaiters Like A Prayer, Chip Chip Hooray and Kadabra in the process. As good a racehorse as he was, it is unquestionably as a sire that Andover Hall has really made his mark. Incredibly popular with North American breeders from the day that he first went to stud at Hanover Shoe Farm, Andover Hall’s sensational first crop of foals included the champions Donato Hanover and Pampered Princess – whom both went on to claim the 2 and 3-year-old colt and filly trotter of the year titles and whom both contributed to him finishing his debut season as North America’s leading sire of two-year-old trotters – almost $850,000 clear of his nearest rival, his brother Conway Hall. Next season that phenomenal first crop would produce the Hambletonian winner (Donato Hanover), the Hambletonian runner-up (Adrian Chip), the Hambletonian Oaks winner (Danae) and the Elegantimage and Del Miller winner Pampered Princess. This exceptional group of youngsters, along with another very capable crop of 2-year-olds, saw Andover Hall become the Leading All Age Trotting Stallion with just two crops racing – something that very few stallions of either gait ever achieve. That incredible initial success saw his progeny sell up to $825,000 in the sales ring and his service fee rise at one point to $30,000.  Andover Hall remains one of North America’s leading trotting stallions with progeny earnings of over $53 million, six millionaires, 133 $100,000 earners and average earnings per starter of $97,000. He was the leading North American sire of 3-year-old trotters in 2013, courtesy of the outstanding Spider Blue Chip (winner of the Breeders Crown) and Creatine (winner of the Kentucky Futurity and Bluegrass Stakes), and also finished second on the All Age Trotting Sires Premiership. By Garland Lobell and out of the greatest trotting mare of the modern era Amour Angus (by Magna Force), Andover Hall is essentially an outcross sire and as such suitable for the majority of Australasia's trotting broodmare population, and should be a great match in particular for Sundon mares - with both his full brother Angus Hall and Angus Hall's son Majestic Son achieving tremendous success with daughters of Sundon to date. Andover Hall's service fee has been set at  NZ$7,500 + GST and AU$8,250 incl GST. For more information please visit Nevele R's website nevelerstud.co.nz or phone 03 349 8627.  

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