Day At The Track
Kyvalley Hotspur.jpg

McCarthy brothers Big M mastery

After his younger brother Andy McCarthy won four races at The Meadowlands in the United States on Friday night, top harness racing driver Luke McCarthy stepped it up a notch landing five winners at Menangle, Sydney Australia, tonight. “I had to keep up with Andy,” McCarthy said. “It was a super night.” McCarthy won two of the main feature races on the program but the success started when he guided Kingmaker to victory for his wife, trainer Belinda McCarthy. Leading most of the way, Kingmaker remained unbeaten in his five Australian starts since arriving from New Zealand. A race later, McCarthy was back in the winners’ circle with another pacer trained by his wife in La Bella Vita. Another New Zealand import for the stable, La Bella Vita has won three races in-a-row and tonight clocked a personal best 1:52.7. McCarthy then went into feature race attack mode, taking out the Bulli Cup with noted Menangle speedstar Cash N Flow. Working to the front from the outside barrier, Cash N Flow found the top and remained there to win effortlessly in 1:51.3. Cash N Flow has now won 21 of his 34 victories at Menangle. “It’s nice to have Cash back to his best,” McCarthy said. Watch Cash N Flow's win below: A race later McCarthy combined forces with Victorian horseman Brent Lilly to take out the Group 2 NSW Trotters Derby with Kyvalley Hotspur. Once again McCarthy found the front and dictated terms letting Kyvalley Hotspur roll through the quarters evenly in 30, 30.5, 29.4 and 29 seconds. The colt crossed the line untouched, spacing his rivals by 14m in a mile rate of 1:58.6. Watch the replay below: Kyvalley Hotspur is by Muscle Hill, which McCarthy drove to victory in the 2009 $504,000 World Trotting Derby at Du Quoin State Fair in Illinois. With rain delaying the meeting by six hours, driver Brian Sears could not make the commitment and McCarthy was asked that day by trainer Greg Peck if he could drive Muscle Hill. Jumping at the opportunity of a lifetime, McCarthy made the four-and-half hour trip (295 miles) to the track to drive the champion trotter, and the rest is history. McCarthy’s fifth winner tonight was on the Lisa McDonald-trained Master Catch. He now has a clear lead in State and Metropolitan Drivers’ Premierships in New South Wales. At the age of 38, McCarthy has driven 2745 winners in Australia. Kyvalley Hotspur winning tonight's NSW Trotters Derby at Menangle. By Amanda Rando for Harnesslink

Machnhope, harness racing

Great night for McCarthy

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Harness racing driver Andy McCarthy was on fire at The Meadowlands Friday night, guiding four winners on the card, including Machnhope to a second consecutive win in the weekly $30,000 pacing feature for fillies and mares. One week after scoring as the fifth choice in the betting in the Winners Over/Preferred Handicap, the wagering public sent Machnhope, a Noel Daley trainee, to the gate as the second choice this time around, and once again she brought her "A" game. Away quickly from post seven in the seven-horse field, the 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Hope For Life was intent on making the front in search of a second straight speed score, and hit the quarter in a quick :26.1. McCarthy was able to rate the second fraction in :28.4, which left enough in the tank for later on. "There were some high-quality mares in there," said McCarthy, "and I wasn't sure how it was going to play out. I figured I might as well put her in play. We got a pretty good break down the backside." The pace picked up some heading to three-quarters, as JK First Lady started to roll while uncovered and was at the leader's throat at three-quarters (1:22.4). At mid-stretch, JK First Lady was right alongside Machnhope as the two went at it nose-to-nose, but in the final 50 yards, Machnhope paced clear to win by a length to break the 1:50 barrier for the first time in her career, stopping the clock in 1:49.1. JK First Lady, the 8-5 favorite making her seasonal debut for Nancy Takter, was a length back in second, with Lyons Sentinel finishing third. "I had to be careful with her on the turn," said McCarthy, "but once she straightened up, she paced home strong. She's been terrific lately. 1:49.1 is pretty special for her."   MACHNHOPE REPLAY   The winner of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, Machnhope has now won three straight and six of her last eight for owners Deo Volente Farms & T. Pontone, A. Express Stables and Noel Daley. Lifetime, she's been victorious 32 times from 106 starts and earned $551,394. She paid $8.40 to win after going off at 3-1. McCarthy's other winners on the card were Staycation Hanover ($3.00 to win) in the fifth race, Deltasun A ($22.40) in the 10th and Lovely Donna ($3.40) in the 11th. THE STREAK LIVES: The Big M's handle streak of wagering at least $3 million increased to 11 as a total of $3,318,763 was put in play on the 13 races. The 50-cent Pick-4 continued to be a hot ticket, as the Early P4 saw $122,687 in action and the Late P4 took in $107,211. Fourteen of the last 16 Pick-4s have seen pools of over $100,000. A LITTLE MORE: James MacDonald, who got his first-ever win at The Big M last Friday with Majestic Virgin, won again with the Carmen Auciello trainee in the ninth race as the 2-1 favorite. ... Andrew Harris trained a pair of winners on the card. Both were driven by McCarthy. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

American Courage, harness racing

American Courage brave in Reynolds

American Courage, who started his harness racing career seven-for-seven before an out-of-character seventh-place finish in the New York Sire Stakes final last September, began his 3-year-old campaign in style with an authoritative 1:52 victory in one of four W.N. Reynolds Memorial divisions for sophomore pacers of both sexes that took place on Friday night (May 7) at Yonkers Raceway. Driven by Matt Kakaley in the $23,750 event, American Courage gunned out from post six and was able to clear 1-5 choice I'll Drink To That (Dexter Dunn) before the 27.1 opening quarter. American Courage remained the boss through the 56.1 half and the 1:24.3 three-quarters, then paced home in 27.2 to defeat I'll Drink To That by a length and three-quarters. Shakespeare (Todd McCarthy) followed along in third throughout and ended up finishing in that spot.   AMERICAN COURAGE REPLAY The victorious American Ideal colt is trained by Travis Alexander for owner/breeder Fiddler's Creek Stables LLC. American Courage has put away $192,133 in his eight wins, half of which have come at Yonkers, and he returned $9.40 to win as a 7-2 shot. The exacta was $16.80, and the trifecta paid $34.80. In the other $23,250 split for the colts and geldings, Coalition Hanover (Kakaley) made front from post five and had command through fractions of 28, 56.3, and 1:24.4, but 1-5 favorite Whichwaytothebeach (McCarthy), who bided his time in the third position, wore the pace-setter down from first-up on the final turn and then pulled away to prevail by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:53. Coalition Hanover held second over He's A Snob (Mark MacDonald).   WHICHWAYTOTHEBEACH REPLAY A Somebeachsomewhere gelding, Whichwaytothebeach is trained by Brett Pelling for owners Alan Johnston and John Craig. Whichwaytothebeach now has a record of 6-2-2 from ten starts, and he pushed his earnings to $135,733. Whichwaytothebeach paid $2.40 to win and led a $4.20 exacta and a $12.80 trifecta. As far as the fillies, the first of their flights, worth $28,500, went to 1-5 choice Heart Of Mine (Scott Zeron) in 1:55. The runner-up in the New York Sire Stakes final a year ago, Heart Of Mine lined up her foes in post position order and then stepped off panels of 28.2, 58.1, and 1:26.4 on her way to a two length decision. Pocket-sitter Shania Blue Chip (McCarthy) was next, followed by Natchez Belle (Tyler Buter).   HEART OF MINE REPLAY Linda Toscano trains Heart Of Mine, a daughter of Roll With Joe, for owners The Bay's Stable LLC., Radio Racing Stable, Fred Wallace, and Camelot Stable Inc. Heart Of Mine is now a three-time winner from 13 efforts, and she has pocketed $152,655. She returned $2.50 to win and was atop a $16.20 exacta and a $45.00 trifecta. Easy To Please (Jordan Stratton) trailed through stations of 27.2, 56.4, and 1:25.2 in the second $29,000 tilt for the ladies, but she went widest from fourth-over on the final bend and then powered home strongly to get up in time to prevail by a neck in a 1:55.1 mile. Carrington (MacDonald) was the runner-up from second-over, and DC Batgirl (George Brennan), who wore down leader Podium Girl (Dunn) from first-over through the stretch, got third.   EASY TO PLEASE REPLAY Trainer Michael Hall also co-owns Easy To Please, another Roll With Joe filly, with partners Our Three Sons Stable LLC., Brad Grant, and Howard Taylor. Easy To Please has five victories from 11 lifetime appearances, and she has now banked $64,150. Easy To Please paid $38.00 to win, the exacta kicked back $172.00, and the trifecta was worth $628.00. On the undercard, 4-5 favorite Melady's Monet (Stratton) picked up his fifth straight win overall and continued to close in on $1.8 million in lifetime earnings, as the 12-year-old took the $37,000 Open Handicap Trot from the pocket in 1:55.3 for trainer Hermann Heitmann and owner Melady Enterprises LLC. There was also a $24,000 Preferred Trot that went to 5-2 second choice New Heaven (Jim Marohn Jr.) after he found room between foes from the two-hole in the lane and scored in 1:55.3 for trainer Eric Abbatiello and owner Allister Stables LLC. Live racing resumes at Yonkers Raceway on Monday night (May 10). For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

Colin Brown.jpg

3000 wins for Brown

With his win at Gloucester Park last night behind the red hot favourite Joelene, champion harness racing reinsman Colin Brown brought up his 3000th winner in a 45-year driving career. Joelene was his 1532nd winner in Perth and 421st training success in the Perth. Only Chris Lewis and Gary Hall Jnr have driven more winners than Brown while Fred Kersley and Trevor Warwick are the only other Western Australians to have passed the 2000 career wins milestone. Of that elite quintet Brown is the only one yet to be inducted into The West Australian Racing Industry Hall of Fame. He is also the only driver in the State to have driven in excess of 2000 winners as a freelance driver for other trainers AND to have also trained more than 500 winners while he is approaching the 900 winners mark as a trainer. Brown drove his first winner on 9th October 1976 at the now defunct York track behind a gelding called Go To It which was trained by Brown’s mentor Jim Schrader. His first Perth winner came at Richmond Raceway behind Esteral Lass on 19th August 1977. Coincidentally the Fremantle circuit is also now defunct. Schrader never rushed to careers of aspiring young reinsmen and both Brown and Schrader’s son Peter went through three six-month Reinsman’s Schools before they were allowed to apply for their country licence. “It was a lot harder then than it is now. At that time drivers were allowed to push out at anytime in races and there were a host of old-time hard-school drivers out there and they were very good at driving on the margin”, Brown said. “It was almost impossible to hold your position when the likes of a Jim Schrader or Alan Woodworth decided that they wanted to get away from the rails”, he added.   By Alan Parker for Gloucester Park

Harness racing trainer Marcus Melander is enchanted with Hypnotic AM, and it is easy to understand why. Now ready to begin her 4-year-old season, the trotting mare has earned $1.15 million in her 22-race career, winning 12 times and finishing off the board only once. Hypnotic AM launches her campaign Saturday in the first of two $30,000 divisions of the Miss Versatility Series for older female trotters at The Meadowlands. She is 7-2 on the morning line, third choice behind Breeders Crown champion Next Level Stuff at 5-2 and 2019 Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry at 3-1. "She had a good winter and I'm very happy with how she's coming back," said Melander, who trains the homebred mare for Courant Inc. "She's always been a nice horse, from day one, honestly. You don't make over $1 million if you're not a good horse. She's always produced. I couldn't be happier with what she's done in her career." Hypnotic AM's career wins include the 2019 Jim Doherty Memorial, 2020 Empire Breeders Classic, two New York Sire Stakes championship, and a Kentucky Sire Stakes title. Last year, she finished second in the Hambletonian Oaks, Kentucky Filly Futurity, and Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old fillies. She was third in the 2019 Breeders Crown. "She maybe is missing that big, big win, but it's hard to complain about her," Melander said. "I thought she was very good in the Oaks, she just had a bad post (starting from the second tier, post 12). She's always right there." The daughter of Chapter Seven - Daydream AM S goes to the Miss Versatility's opening round off a 1:54.4 win in a qualifier April 24 at The Meadowlands. She will have regular driver Brian Sears in the sulky. "She had just one qualifier, but I think it's enough," Melander said. "We trained her a couple of times at The Meadowlands. She's not going to be in top form but she's a nice horse and she should be all right to race. "She can do everything you ask, and she is so professional out there. You can leave, you can sit behind a horse, she's so versatile. She has a lot of speed, she's strong. She's just a sweetheart." Next Level Stuff, who won the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old fillies last year, heads to Saturday's start off a second-place finish against mostly male foes in a high-level conditioned trot in her seasonal debut on May 1 at The Big M. The second division of the Miss Versatility features 2020 Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella and New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Ab'sattitudexpress. Ab'sattitudexpress, trained by Lucas Wallin, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite after capturing the New Jersey Breeders Maturity last week. Sorella, who had five Grand Circuit victories last season for trainer Nancy Takter, is 3-1. She is making her seasonal debut. Saturday's 13-race card also includes the first starts of the year for Meadowlands Pace hopefuls Abuckabett Hanover and Exploit plus 4-year-old Grand Circuit stakes winners Fortify and No Lou Zing. Tattoo Artist, an O'Brien Award winner in 2020, is making his second start after a fourth-place finish in a division of the Graduate Series for pacers. Racing begins at 6:20 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at The Meadowlands. The Big M and TrackMaster have teamed to regularly provide free past performances for each race card. Past performances can be found here on The Meadowlands website. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Claude Levesque is the president of the Quebec Jockey Club, a prominent harness racing owner and breeder, and he is excited for the start of the 2021 race season at the Hippodrome 3R. "There is not that much to say," Levesque laughed. "Except that we are very excited to get our race meet underway and that we are ready to race! The Hippodrome 3R opening day Friday card gets underway with a special post time of 5:30 pm. A free race program is available at www.hippodrome3r.ca. "The weather forecast for Friday is excellent," Levesque added. "Our racetrack surface is in prime shape. We have ten races, all with full fields of eight horses and I know that our horse people are ready to return to racing. "All that we are missing is our race fans," Levesque said. "And maybe we will be able to add them by mid-summer, but we are not counting on that. It would be great as racing is not the same without race fans cheering. I am glad we are able to start racing. We will be the only track in all of Canada racing Friday. "Most important," Levesque added. "Is that we will continue to do Covid protocols in our race paddock. I am proud of all our employees and our horse people who did safe practice as we did not have one Covid case all last season and we want the same again this season. "We also want to see how many horses are entered for our qualifying races on Saturday," Levesque explained. "If there are a lot more horses coming here to qualify, we might even consider racing two days next week, Friday and Sunday. But we have to wait and see on that." For opening day, there are two Preferred pacing and one Preferred trot on the race card. The 7th race Preferred 1 pace features nine-time race winner last year, Mickeymakesomespeed from post five for driver Richard Simard and trainer Michel Allard. Mickeymakesomespeed won his qualifying race last week at H3R in 1:59.4 by three and one-quarter lengths and takes on Big Petes Style (post 1), also a qualifying winner last week in 1:59.4, Woodbine invaders Solid Man (post 6) and Take The Deal (post 7). The Preferred-Handicap Trot is race five and spotlighted is the top mare, Kinnder High Class (post 6), who won 10 of 13 starts and set a track record last season at H3R. She is the lone mare in the field and goes against track record holder Wildwild Men (post 8), Franks Angel (post 7) and Pompano Park shipper, Captain Krupnik (post 3). Trainer Francis Richard, who will be gunning for his fifth straight training title at H3R, is back in action along with last season's leading driver, Pascal Berube. For more information, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. The website is in both French and English. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Columbus, OH — Hall of Fame harness racing trainer Ron Gurfein, 80, died May 5, 2021. The following message was posted on Mr. Gurfein’s Facebook page this afternoon by his children, Lauren and Blake. “It is with profound sadness that we share that our dad, Ronnie Gurfein (a.k.a. “the Guru”), passed away earlier today. His was a long life filled with many joys, successes, and love. His wit was second to none and he had us laughing till his final moments. “Per his wishes, there will be a small family-only ceremony. We know he will be missed by many, so please stay tuned for information about a future celebration of his life and career. “In lieu of flowers or cards, we would appreciate donations in his name to Caring Across Generations — an organization dedicated to changing the way we care for older adults: https://go.caringacross.org/a/give.” Mr. Gurfein was one of the top conditioners of trotters and a 2006 inductee into the Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. He opened up his stable in 1965, moved to Monticello Raceway in 1967 and spent the better part of the next two decades at the Mighty M. He toiled in relative obscurity through that time even though he won the 1982 Adios Stakes with Higher Power and also conditioned the likes of Hardesty ($367,426) and the world champion mare Franconia ($527,151). Mr. Gurfein moved to The Meadowlands in 1987 and five years later came up with an imposing trio of Imperfection, Baltic Striker, and Lady Starlet. He hit the pinnacle of the sport later that decade with horses such as Victory Dream and Beat The Wheel. The best horse of his career was the outstanding trotting filly Continentalvictory, who captured the Yonkers Trot and Hambletonian in 1996 on her way to earning Horse of the Year honors. Other top horses for Mr. Gurfein included 1999 Dan Patch Award divisional champion Self Possessed and 2003 Trotter of the Year Cantab Hall. Mr. Gurfein won the 1999 Glen Garnsey Trainer of the Year Award from the United States Harness Writers’ Association. From the USTA

Hegate Love (4f Bilibili - Regate du Popey) took the Summer Races Monte 1st Qualifier for four year olds (Gr. II, purse 100,000€, 2175 meters, monte), clocked in 1.12.5kr at Paris-Vincennes. Alexandre Abrivard was the jockey for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard as the winner scored for the fifth time for 129,550€in life earnings. She was off at 6/1 odds and defeated 25/1 Hyette du Terroir (4f Boccador de Simm) with Leo Abrivard in the irons for L.C. Abrivard. 36/1 Hollywood Night (4f Boccador de Simm) took third for P.Y. Verva. Hegate Love The same day at Chartres saw three year olds on stage. In the Prix Roger Pateny/Open des Regions Haute Normandie-Ile de France (purse 17,000€, 2800 meters) the 2.1/1 In Love With Chenu (3f Briac Dark) scored in 1.20.3kr for Pierre Pellerot and breeder/owner/trainer Franck Pellerot. Second was 3/1 Isolente Revisite (3f Ready Cash - Mara Bourbon) for Jean Pierre Dubois and trainer J,A. Hernandez-Navarro. In Love With Chenu In the Prix Ambulance Phenix/Open des Regions Haute Normandie Ile de France (three year olds, purse 17,000€, 2800 meters) Infiel (3m Goetmals Wood - Avenue Victoria) scored in 1.19kr for owner/driver Jean Pierre Dubois and trainer Hernandez-Navarro. Off at 10/1 Infield now has two career wins in as many starts for 13,500€ earned. The 9/10 favorite Isocrate d’Ela (3m Bird Parker) was second for Romain Derieux and 3.7/1 Invincible Bourbon (3m Love You - Ceta Extra Bourbon - Ready Cash-Etta Extra) rallied for third for Eric Raffin. Infiel LeTrot files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound. Ego about top four-year-old Expensive Ego, a good looking Rock N Roll Heaven entire, is rated Australia’s top four-year-old this season, particularly after his superlative win in the $210,000 Australian Pacing Gold Final at Melton, one of the season’s major harness racing classics. He has won six and been twice placed from nine starts for $418,390 in stakes. In the APG Final, he was never really extended in running out the 1720 metres in a 1:52.1 rate, the last 800 in 55.3 and the final 400 in 27.7, figures which he could have sharply improved. Expensive Ego is out of Art Start, who took a record of 1:58.2. Art Start was a Perfect Art mare from the Oaks winner Sweet Clementine (1:59.6), by Land Grant from the noted producer Sue Adios NZ, by Jerry Adios. Art Start, a winner of 14 races, has proved a very successful broodmare. Besides Expensive Ego, she is also the dam of the QBred Triad 2YO winner Art’s Treasure 1:50.9 ($152,542), Bodhi Tree 1:52.1 (winner of 26 races and $192,854) and Golightly (1:54.5), who has won his last four starts at Albion Park. Art Start was a half-sister to the Albion Park and Gloucester Park winner Stage Coach Kid 1:56.5 ($139,575) and to the dam of the exported Who Said What 1:54.2 ($191,803), their dam Sweet Clementine being a half-sister to the multiple Group winner Sweet Liberty 1:57.9 ($102,706), who founded a strong winning branch of The Brat family. It includes My Liberty Belle (Qbred Triad 3YO), the dual Inter Dominion heat winner Philadelphia Man 1:52.6 ($559,135), the former 2YO of the Year Centenario, last year’s outstanding two-year-old filly Tough Tilly and Somedan (1:55.9). Expensive Ego wins APG 4YO Final at Melton – Stuart McCormick photo WA Derby winning line The Western Australian Derby winner, Mighty Ronaldo, is a son of the Christian Cullen horse Alta Christiano, who won the Derby himself as well as other Group races in NZ and WA. It was Mighty Ronaldo’s third success at Group level and his fifth lifetime. He has stakes totalling $270,255, One of the third crop sired by Alta Christiano, he is out of Millwood’s Delight (1:57), by Bettor’s Delight from Gliding By (1:57.4), a Cambridge Cup winner by Vance Hanover from Significant, by Out To Win from the broodmare gem Black Watch. Millwood’s Delight, the dam of Mighty Ronaldo, was last season sent to the world champion McWicked. The winner of three at Gloucester Park, Millwood’s Delight ranked as a half-sister to the NZ and USA winner Raptorial 1:50.2 ($316,088), the Gloucester Park victor Face Your Fears (1:58.6), Seaward 1:59.2 (9 NZ wins) and to the McArdle mare Shes Got It All (1:58.6), the dam of two high class pacers in Malcolm’s Rhythm 1:52.9 ($248,850) and Be Major Threat 1:55 ($125,639). Another half-sister in Zwish (by Dream Away) was responsible for the good Melton winner Phil Monty 1:54.3 ($130,216) and the brilliant but ill-fated Zee Dana (1:54.6). Significant, the third dam, left seven individual winners including the NZ Oaks winner Pacific Flight 1:51.2 ($562,345), who later competed with great distinction in America, and the Victorian country cups hero The Unicorn 1:57.8 ($488,524). Mighty Ronaldo was bred by leading Perth breeder Dr Trevor Lindsay. Mighty Ronaldo wins WA Derby at Gloucester Park – Paceway Photos   Leading sire’s absence a loss The runaway success of Cat King Cole in the $50,000 APOG Gold Bullion Final for two-year-old fillies at Albion Park further demonstrated the loss of Hurrikane Kingcole to breeders. One of his third crop, Cat King Cole has won three of her four starts and looks to be well in line for the major juvenile classics later in the year. She is out of the multiple Group winner Catwalk Beauty 1:58.2 ($156,566), a P B Bullville mare who produced others in Werelivingthedream (1:54.3) and Matron Jujon (1:55.4). Venus Jujon, a four-year-old mare by Hurrikane Kingcole, finished third in the $50,000 APG 4YO Consolation Final on the same night as Cat King Cole won. In all, Hurrikane Kingcole has produced 67 foals to have raced with 45 of those having been successful and his progeny has earned $1.1 million to date. Cat King Cole wins APG Gold Bullion Final at Albion Park – Dan Costello Photography   Class prevails at Albion Park A top colt in Queensland this year – he won the $50,000 APG Gold Bullion Final at his second start – is Class To The Max, a half-brother to the outstanding pacer Colt Thirty One. Class To The Max belongs to one of Queensland’s premier families, being by American Ideal from Charm Personified, by Perfect Art from Charming Reminder, by Vanston Hanover from the Tempest Hanover mare Call Girl, who established a great winning line for well known Brisbane identity Kevin Seymour. She left an Oaks winner in Goldrush Girl and a smart colt in Destiny Calls. Charm Personified, the dam of six sub 2:00 winners, was a half-sister to the dual Oaks winner Cherry Cheer 1:56.7 ($278,372), dam of the Breeders Crown Silver winner Cherish The Moment 1:53.1 ($135,595), and to the Seymour Nursery winner Rhapsody In Red 1:56.8 ($167,715), who left a string of classic winners in Rani Major, Raring To Go, Rich Heritage and Red Charmer. Other members of this fine family have been Good Lookin Girl (NSW Ladyship Mile), the QBred Triad winners Girl From Ipanema and Charming Allie (half-sister to Class To The Max), Cavetto (1:51.2), Cheers Robbie (1:53.9), Cherry’s The Best (1:53.1) and recent Albion Park three-year-old winner Frontliner. Class To The Max wins APG Gold Bullion Final at Albion Park – Dan Costello Photography   Yianni shows promise The four-year-old Yianni to uphold the fine record of Changeover’s stock. Trained by Emma Stewart, he effortlessly won the $50,000 APG 4YO Consolation at Melton in a career-best 1:53.8. Yianni has not raced a great deal. From 34 starts he has won seven with 11 placings for $73,945. A gelding by Changeover (son of In The Pocket), he is out of a useful racemare in Jodila (1:57.5), who ranked as a half-sister to the metropolitan winners Jodan 1:52.9 ($147,129) and Walkabout Creek (1:52.7). Their dam, Trudee, was a top flight racemare in the Harold Park era. She won 21 races and $167,757 and at the stud left five winners – all inside 2:00 – from eight foals to race. Trudee was an Albert Albert mare from the noted producer Avonali, by Toliver Hanover from Stormy Helen, by Stormyway. A champion racemare in Make Mine Cullen belongs to this family. She won a record 29 races at Melton and, at one stage, held the Australian mares’ mile record of 1:53. In all, she won 40 races and $874,178 in stakes. Yianni ranks as a half-brother to the Victoria Sapling Stakes winner Ideal Dan. From Group 1 family Michelle Lee Mac, who won the $210,000 APG Gold Bullion Final for four-year-old mares, one of the features of last weekend’s Melton meeting, is a Bettor’s Delight mare from the same family as that which produced a champion racemare in The Private Dancer. Michelle Lee Mac, who won the Bathurst Gold Tiara as a two-year-old and the NSW Breeders Challenge Regional Final at three, has been a model of consistency throughout her career. Bred and raced by the McDowell family, she has a wealth of breeding on her dam’s side, being out of the Armbro Operative mare Duets, a member of the prolific First Water family. Duets (1:56.2), a dual Listed winner, produced earlier winners in Thunder Dance 1:50.5 ($209,030), Butterfly Princess (1:56.1) and Dance Teacher (1:57.3), an Artsplace mare who left the good NSW and USA winner Jive Dancing 1:51.8 ($152,883). Duets was a half-sister to the NSW Sapling Stakes winner Stardust 1:52.9 ($118,705), Private Road (NSW Breeders Challenge Regional 3YO) and Prince Syntax (1:52.8), being out of the Edgar Tatlow winner The Irish Dancer, by Torado Hanover from the glamour filly of the 1980’s, The Private Dancer, the winner of her first 12 starts including the Edgar Tatlow Memorial, NSW Pink Bonnet, NSW Princess Mile and Raith Memorial. At the stud The Private Dancer left seven winners and was the ancestress of horses the calibre of the NSW Breeders Challenge winner Home Of The Brave (1:53.4), Palace Star (NSW Princess Mile and Raith Memorial), Zenyatta (NSW Breeders Challenge Regional 2YO) and Pacific Drums (1:52.8). Michelle Lee Mac wins APG 4YO Mares Final at Melton – Stuart McCormick photo Stars Align in 1:48 Stars Align has become the third Australian-bred performer to enter the 1:48 list in America. He recorded 1:48 when he was successful in a $US16,500 race at The Meadowlands on April 24. He won again in 1:49 the following week. By the Artsplace horse Art Major – a champion racehorse himself – Stars Align is out of the Albert Albert mare Nosotros, a half-sister to the cup class pacer and Inter Dominion heat winner Hexus 1:55 ($555,199). Nosotros produced others in Red Vee Hanover 1:54 ($181,436), Ichiba Newy (1:57.1) and Tell A Tall Story. Stars Align, who was bred by leading Victorian nursery Benstud Standardbreds, joins Majordan (1:47.8), also bred by Benstud, and Leonidas (1:48) as Aussie bred 1:48 pacers. NSW Trotters Oaks to Aldebaran Ursula The Group 2 NSW Trotters Oaks, for three-year-old fillies, one of the features on the trotting calendar at Menangle, was won by Aldebaran Ursula, a filly by the Swedish sire Yield Boko from Ushaka Bromac NZ. Yield Boko, a son of the Italian bred champion Viking Kronos, has not been extensively represented to this stage but has a tidy score of winners to starters. He has sired such winners as Godofthunder (SA Hambletonian), the Vicbred Final placegetter Fend Off, Flyin Around and Forever Kronos. Ushaka Bromac, the dam of Aldebaran Ursula, was by Continentalman, who also distinguished himself as a sire of trotters, from Ursula Bromac, a mare by Live Or Die from a predominantly pacing family. Ushaka Bromac won 16 races and $144,985 in stakes and took a mile record of 1:59.3 and was a top racemare in her own right. This has been a most successful family, as Caligula, a winner in 1:55.2 on Oaks night, is out of Una Bromac, a full sister to Ursula Bromac. A half-sister by Union Guy to the pair in Ulrica Bromac went in 1:49.6 in North America. Aldebaran Ursula was bred by Aldebaran Park and was sold for $8,000 at the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale in 2019. 50th SA Golden Nursery An important milestone for South Australian harness racing will be marked on October 30 when the Alabar Bloodstock Golden Nursery will be held for the 50th time. The two-year-old feature was first run at the Wayville Showgrounds in 1971 and was won by Karomin, driven by Lloyd Webster. Over the years the race has been won by many of SA’s top juveniles including Dancing Finn, Emain Macha, Aspiring Artist, Flagbearer and Oztreos. Alabar Bloodstock is sponsoring the classic for the eleventh consecutive year.   By Peter Wharton

It’s Academic and driver Yannick Gingras had little trouble handling the field as they led from start to finish in winning the $135,000 Charlies Hill Memorial for older trotters Thursday at Eldorado Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio. Leaving from post two in the ninth race feature, Gringas settled It’s Academic on the lead and pretty much let the trotter do his own thing from there. With stablemate race favorite Mission Accepted (Chris Page) sitting in second place, It’s Academic cut fractions of :28, :56 and 1:25 before pulling away in the stretch to win by two and one-quarter lengths in 1:52.3. Mission Accepted held for second with Majestic Player A (Brett Miller) third. IT’S ACADEMIC REPLAY   A four-year-old stallion by Uncle Peter, It’s Academic is trained by Ron Burke for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ontario. It was the third win in seven starts this year for It’s Academic, who paid $6.00 to win. “Obviously, I liked the fractions,” said winning driver Yannick Gingras. “They were in my favor. When Chris (Page) at us I thought we would have a good run to the finish but my horse is too good right now. “I drove him once last summer,” Yannick added. “And I really liked him. I’m lucky to get back on him. He is just beautiful to drive. You can drive him with two fingers.” In the sixth race $30,000 Open Trot, Lane Of Stone and driver Jeff Nisonger pulled off the mild upset at nearly 5-1 odds. It was Icanflylikeanangel (Dan Noble), the favorite in the race, shooting to the lead from post five and taking the field to the opening quarter mile in :27.3. Jeffery P (Chris Page) took a tuck in second place with no one else in the field yet to challenge. Then going to the half mile marker, Nisonger came first up slowly from seventh place as the field past the half mile marker in :56.2. Nisonger had Lane Of Stone in full stride and they were able to move into second place on the outside at the three-quarters in 1:25.2. Finally able to collar Icanflylikeanangel by the top of the stretch, Lane Of Stone easily held off the race favorite to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.3. Jeffery P was third. LANE OF STONE REPLAY   It was the third win in ten starts this year for Lane Of Stone, a five-year-old stallion by Wishing Stone. He is trained by Mark Winters for owner Henry Horowitz of Brooklyn, NY and paid $11.40 to win. For full race results, click here. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Snobbytown drove on to the lead and never looked back in a Thursday night harness racing score in the $37,000 Yonkers Raceway Open Pace.   George Brennan exemplified his "Minister of Speed" moniker by sending Snobbytown four-wide into the first turn from post five to contest the early pace. The pair fought their way forward and settled on the engine prior to the completion of the :27 opening quarter. Brennan didn't let off the accelerator through a :55.3 half and 1:23.4 three-quarters and turned for home with a two-length cushion.   Snobbytown maintained her gap to rivals in the stretch and crossed the finish line victorious ahead by two and a half lengths in 1:53. Norman's Madeline (Brent Holland) rode the pocket to a place cheque, and Surreal Feeling (Jason Bartlett) picked up ground late for show.   SNOBBYTOWN REPLAY     Snobbytown's victory avenged her loss in the prior week and improved her career record to 20-for-53. The five-year-old Nob Hill High mare has earned more than $430,000 lifetime. Ron Burke trains and co-owns with his Burke Racing Stable LLC alongside Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg and Jason Melillo of Powell.   Yonkers Raceway will conclude its week of action on Friday, May 7. That night's 10-race card will begin at 7:15 p.m. EDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Hanover, PA - Hanover Shoe Farms is proud to report that World Champion and 2017 Dan Patch Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover 1:49.2 ($3,069,857) delivered her first foal, a colt from the first crop of 2019 Dan Patch Trotter of the Year Greenshoe, at midnight May 6, 2021. Hannelore and son are healthy and doing extremely well. Hannelore Hanover was owned throughout her illustrious racing career by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Weaver Bruscemi and J & T Silva Stables. She was trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras.   She was purchased privately at the conclusion of her racing career by her breeder Hanover Shoe Farms.   "The colt is just perfect", says Hanover Executive Vice President Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky. "He is healthy, is very handsome with good conformation and is a perfect size. He was standing within an hour and nursing within an hour and a half. Hannelore is an excellent mother. We are all relieved that Hannelore delivered her first foal with no issues and could not be happier with her baby". Hannelore Hanover will be bred back to Greenshoe in 2021.   From Hanover Shoe Farms

THE PAULICK REPORT has reported that two more people have been indicted as part of an ongoing federal case focusing on adulterated and misbranded performance-enhancing drugs in horse racing. On March 11, a new superseding indictment was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in the case of former pharmacist Scott Mangini, who has since entered a guilty plea to a charge of conspiring to unlawfully distribute adulterated and misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead. The new indictment also names harness racing's Carl Garofalo Sr. and veterinarian Dr. Michael Posner. This is the third version of an indictment for Mangini, who was originally indicted alongside associate Scott Robinson in March 2020 and then was named in a superseding indictment that dropped Robinson. Robinson pleaded guilty to one count of drug adulteration and misbranding conspiracy in September 2020 and was sentenced in March 2021 to 18 months in prison. According to the indictment, Mangini collaborated with others, including Robinson and Garofalo, to operate a series of online marketplaces which advertised substances designed to enhance performance or serve as copies of prescription drugs. Court documents filed in Mangini's case before his guilty plea detail the tangle of businesses Mangini and his associates created in an attempt to make it harder for consumers and regulators to work out who was behind their various storefronts. Mangini apparently kept busy with multiple businesses operating on overlapping timeframes. As reported by the Paulick Report in 2016, Mangini was the pharmacist at Ergogenic Labs in Wellington, Fla., before the facility closed following a particularly negative inspection by state health department regulators. Mangini surrendered his license after that state inspection, which highlighted unsanitary facilities and mislabeled product ingredients. According to prosecutors, some of the products Mangini made at Ergogenic were sold to Robinson, who distributed them to the public via HorsePreRace. During the same time he was working at Erogenic, Mangini, Robinson, and others were also making illegally-compounded ulcer medication under the banner of Horse Gold. Mangini, HorseGold, and HorsePreRace were all recipients of FDA warning letters in 2014 regarding ulcer products called GastroMax3 and Gastrotec which the agency said were illegally compounded. A series of knock-off omeprazole products on the market at the time had remarkably similar logos of a running horse outline with a starburst behind or near the horse. One document from prosecutors acknowledged the same group was behind various iterations of the ulcer medication and were trying to walk a line between maintaining branding and escaping the notice of state authorities. In November 2015, Robinson allegedly wrote to someone: “Don't use that artwork for gastromax 3 that my guy sent u – u get us all ****ed – too close-why wouldn't u use original artwork I'm serious-I don't need board of pharmacy seeing that and linking to me.” According to a press release from Horse Gold in 2011, its ulcer products were carried in racing tack shops around the country and were also donated to aftercare charities. After Ergogenic shuttered in 2016, prosecutors say Mangini and Robinson stopped working together and Mangini and Garofalo incorporated Pegasis Investment Group, which served as a shell for RacehorseMeds. Garofalo is accused of helping to manufacture and ship “identical drugs to those Mangini had produced while operating Ergogenic” and of enlisting family members to do the same. Documents reveal that one of the people on the government's witness list helped Mangini and Garofalo create a shell company called Diamond Enterprise Group to obscure the identity of the “true manufacturer and shipper of the drugs sold to consumers.” The person identified only as “Witness-1” was paid $1,000 a month and opened bank accounts and multiple mailboxes outside the state of Florida in the company's name to make it appear as though Diamond Enterprise was based elsewhere. Indeed, it would seem as though the scheme was successful at making it difficult for consumers to figure out how to report a problem with products purchased from one of the companies. A government motion told the story of an unidentified owner whose trainer advised her horse needed ulcer medication and directed the owner to RaceHorseMeds. The owner purchased omeprazole paste from the website without being prompted for a prescription and began giving the paste to her horse. Eight days later, she “observed a serious deterioration in her horse's health, resulting in the horse's hospitalization at an animal hospital. “Witness-3 attempted to contact the company operating the Racehorsemeds website to find out what was in the product she ordered, but the only person Witness-3 could link to Racehorsemeds was Witness-1.” Federal regulations require, among other elements of labeling, that the manufacturer of a drug be clearly identified on the label so consumers can report adverse drug reactions if needed. Prior to entering his guilty plea, Mangini's attorneys had been trading motions with prosecutors about which pieces of evidence would be admissible at his trial. One point of contention was that Mangini was apparently on the radar for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. The agency seized two packages that were addressed to people other than Mangini – one in 2020 from Wuhan, China, was bound for “Frank Stef” and one in 2018 from Jalisco, Mexico, was addressed to “Michael O'Donnell.” A defense motion sought to have this evidence excluded, pointing out that Mangini was not the addressee on either package but did not explain exactly how he related to either package. The motion did point out that the accusations against Mangini related to his sale of products in the United States, not to his receipt of drugs from foreign countries. Garofalo, Mangini and Robinson were all longtime owners on the Standardbred racing scene, but Mangini and Garofalo did make a foray into the Thoroughbred world. In late 2015, trainer Maria Borell claimed two horses for their Pegasis Investment Group. One was claimed away and the other was later transferred to trainer Sal Santoro after Borell left Florida. A third Thoroughbred racing for Pegasis Investment Group the following year was trained by Barry Kirkham. The indictment accuses Posner of allowing Mangini to use his name and veterinary licensing credentials to create prescriptions for horses which neither Posner nor Mangini (who is not a veterinarian) had examined. The March 2021 indictment points to a check to Posner issued by Ergogenic Labs for $243.50, with “March 2016 commissions” written in the memo line. Mangini and Posner were charged with one count of drug adulteration and misbranding conspiracy, while Mangini and Garofalo were charged in a separate count of drug adulteration and misbranding conspiracy. Garofalo and Posner have entered not guilty pleas. by Natalie Voss, for the Paulick Report

Years ago, harness racing driver George Napolitano Jr. asked his dad, who owned a high-performance shop building race cars, why he got out of the horse business. The answer turned George’s life around. “He told me it was because he couldn’t take the drivers. He swore that if he ever got back in the business, his sons would be driving,” George remembers. His dad got a few horses, and George, in his early 30’s, got his chance. “He made me into a driver.” Revelry (George) Photo Credit: Curtis Salonick Harness racing as a career wasn’t what George thought would be in his future, even as he helped his dad with the horses when he was in his teens. “I knew how to take care of the horses, but I never thought in a million years I would do it for a career because it was just too much work,” he said. “ I grew up racing Motocross, and boxing, and being a wild kid. I always wanted to do something else. But my dad got back in the business and that was it.” Now at over 10,723 wins* in his career, George is humble about his character years back. He regrets what he calls “always being in fight mode. “I couldn’t get it through my head that you can’t fight everyone you work with,” he explained. “I went through a lot of years fighting with drivers. Now we’re all friendly and buried the hatchet, but I hope that one day they’ll forgive me. I was a really bad guy. I’m not perfect now, and I still fall really short, but Jesus holds my ear and drags me down the right path.” Leading Driver Wins/UDR 2017 At the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, he’s won the Leading Driver-Wins title 14 times, including the last 9 years in a row; at Harrah’s Philadelphia, he’s been awarded the title 8 times. His success comes from a formula he follows daily. “I just go out and race, and then turn the page real quick when it’s over, and go back into fight mode,” he describes. “Going up against top drivers like Tim Tetrick and David Miller, you’ve got to have tiger blood running through your veins to compete. There are lots of highs and lows in this game, so if you let races get to you, it will drag you down real quick, and then you can’t drive the same.” His family inspires him every day. “My wife stuck by me and has given up her life to follow mine. She put herself through school and gave up her career as an ultrasound tech. Some day, I told her I’ll do the same for her and we can move back to Florida and I’ll follow her life,” he said emotionally. His son George is now 16 and is playing basketball at his high school Unityville, and since the games were played during the winter, his father decided to stay back here with his family rather than go to Florida as they would normally do, which was a decision that placed George in the top 3 at the driver standings at the Meadowlands’ winter meet. Another Napolitano enjoying driving success from hard work and passion for the sport is his younger brother Anthony. With over 3208** lifetime wins, he’s consistently been in the top 3 in the driver standings at Pocono for several years, and second to leading driver George. Anthony took care of his dad’s horses since he was a kid, and ran the stable at Pompano after his father passed away in 2006. Like George, he wasn’t sure that harness racing was something he could do as a career. “I had other things in mind, I wanted to be a professional boxer. I just wanted to do something else. Rockin The Hills & Anthony Napolitano Photo Credit: Curtis Salonick But it just comes naturally to fall into a family business than to go on your own and have to deal with another boss,” he said. He drove in the amateurs and then soon got his full license and made the transition to driving professionally. Anthony decided to make the move from Pompano to Pennsylvania when things began to slow down at that track, and he bought a small farm twenty minutes from Pocono, where he’s based today. He and trainer Marta Piotrow have been working together for several years. Marta, who has her degree in Animal Science and her Masters degree in Equine Reproduction, was Breeding Manager for Jeff Gural’s Allerage Farms and had been dating Anthony when he was involved in a serious accident at Pocono. She relocated to his farm from New York to help him recuperate and then started to learn the training end of harness racing. “She’s doing very well,” Anthony said proudly. “She does everything! I just drive them. I step in when she needs my professional input, and she takes my suggestions and puts her own twist on it, and it seems to work.” He emphasized that it’s difficult for a small stable like theirs to survive, but they work hard and it shows in their success. In their free time, both love the thrill of riding dirt bikes. “Big brother” George has high praise for Anthony and offered his help to get him started. “I put Anthony on his first win at Pocono,” he said. “He came to visit me and I told him to bring his colors, and I had a horse that could not lose. His name was Yankee Lander. I made a driver change, right in the paddock, I said put Anthony Nap on him. I told him ‘Ant, put this thing on the gate and roll him’, and he did; he went in :51 with him! He made that horse go faster than I did! My little brother is so amazing, he’s so gifted and talented, and I’m so proud of him that he followed his big brother’s footsteps. Everything I did, he did. I boxed, he boxed. I raced Motocross, he did. I race horses, and he races horses. Everything I’ve done, he’s done, and he’s better than me!” On the track, though, they are competitive and driven to win. “Oh, we fight!” exclaimed George. “My dad always taught us, maybe not the right thing exactly, to fight for anything. Me and my brother sometimes do fight, but we love way more than we fight.” Anthony agrees. “We’ve had some pretty aggressive arguments, but it goes away over time. We’re competitive on the track, but at the end of the day, we’re still blood, and we’re still family.” George always had helped Anthony through the early part of his career to get drives, but things have turned around. “Now that I’m getting older, he’s trying to help me, putting me on his backups!” he laughed. As for the future for both brothers, George is quick to note that, at age 54, retirement is not even on his radar. “Wally Hennessy is still driving at 65. I don’t know what my number is, but I’ll just let my body and Jesus tell me. I want to go heavy for a couple more years, provide for my family, and then relax.” Anthony, 39 years old, is looking forward to continuing driving the circuit and working alongside Marta, running their stable. One word that was echoed from both Anthony and George was “thankful”. Both are thankful to be doing what they love every day; for their success, and thankful for their strong family bond. The numbers (as of press time) compiled by Jerry Connors *George Napolitano Jr. 10,723 wins $96,854,274 lifetime Record year-2015-$8.57M/834 wins Leading Driver-Wins – Pocono – 14 times Leading Driver-UDR- Pocono – 12 times Leading Driver-Wins- Harrah’s-8 times Leading Driver-UDR-Harrah’s-4 times North America Leading Driver-Wins-2010 (753 wins) **Anthony Napolitano 3208 wins $31,032,168 lifetime Record year-2009-295 wins Record year-2018-$3.46M by Jennifer Starr, for the PA Horse Racing Association

Trois-Rivieres, QC - After having perhaps the best harness racing season of her career in 2020, owner-trainer-breeder Denitza Petrova from Melbourne is looking forward to kicking off the 2021 meet at the Hippodrome 3R on Friday with her Kinnder High Class. Last year as a three-year-old, Kinnder High Class came into her own scoring an impressive 10 wins in just 13 starts including a dramatic track record 1:58.1 performance and a victory in the $65,000 Breeders Trophy Series final. Then she capped it off going to Mohawk Park for her last start of the year, winning in 1:56.2. Sired by Royalty For Life, Kinnder High Class was driven by regular pilot Samuel Fillion last Saturday in her qualifying race at H3R where she finished third, timed in 2:04, last quarter mile in :30.1. "I thought her qualifier was perfect," Petrova explained. "She did everything I wanted her to do. I did not want to go a fast mile, I just wanted her to follow and close well, which she did. Where she finished, I did not care as long as her confidence was there. Samuel (Fillion) said after the race that she is perfect and very strong. "She did not grow that much over the winter," Petrova said. "But she did fill out more and it is all muscle. She is so muscular now. There is no reason she should not do excellent this season. She was perfect at the end of last season. We did not really push her last year. She does not have that many starts so I am confident she will do well again. "At Mohawk Park for her last start in 2020," Petrova recalled, "She really had everything going against her yet she took it all in stride and scored a lifetime mark that I think she will beat this year. She had to travel nine hours in the trailer, she never raced on a big track before and she never raced under the lights before. "So, she went from racing on a sunny, half mile," said Petrova. "To the big track at Mohawk and under the lights. Yet she was perfect and scored her fastest win yet. She was very mature. And it was also Samuel's first time ever driving at Mohawk too. I think she was super in that she compensated for all of that." Kinnder High Class will need to be ready as she is going against a field of seven male rivals in the 5th race Preferred-Handicap Trot. She drew post six and is the 5/2 morning line favorite with Fillion in the sulky. Also in the lineup is Franks Angel (post 7), who won the qualifying race that Kinnder High Class was in last week. Track record holder Wildwild Men (post 8) is also in the field for trainer-driver Guy Gagnon. Other contenders include Frido PV (post 5), Captain Krupnik (post 3) and Keepall (post 1). How does Petrova feel about racing against the boys this year? "I was kind of expecting that she would have to race against the older male trotters from now on," Petrova said. "It may be tough in her first start but I think she is ready to take them on and do well." Undefeated track record holder Kinnder Dangerzone is another standout performer from last year for Petrova. The homebred half brother to Kinnder High Class raced just four times last year, but was the Two-Year-Old Colt Trotting Champion in Quebec and rewrote the track record for his age last year in winning the $55,000 Future Stars Final in 2:01. "Hopefully Kinnder Dangerzone will qualify next week at H3R," Petrova added. "He looks like a monster for this season. He grew more, filled out more and is now stronger than ever. I am very excited for him this year. "He is very playful and I can see he wants to race. He is still very green. He only had four starts as a two-year-old. I have to say he was greener than green last year," Petrova laughed. How do the two-year-old's stack up for Petrova this season? "I have three two-year-old's in my stable this year, all trotters, Petrova added. "The best bred of them is Kinnder Triplecrown. She is bred by Lindy's Tru Grit, who may not be a household name, but she is from my foundation mare, Majectic Joy, so that makes Kinnder Triplecrown a half sister to both Kinnder High Class and Kinnder Dangerzone. And she will continue to make Majectic Joy a 100 percent producing mare." Petrova is usually at times too busy to even make the one-hour drive from her farm in Melbourne to Trois-Rivieres. "I have seven race horses in my stable for this year," Petrova explained. "And they will keep me busy enough along with the broodmares that I board and own. It's also breeding season and we have foals that were born, so it is very active at the farm. I am fortunate that I can go and see Kinnder High Class race on Friday because of the late post time." Post time for the special opening day card Friday is 5:30 pm. After Friday, the next race date will be Sunday, May 16 with first race post time at 12:30 pm. For a free race program and information about H3R, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Harness racing driver Andy McCarthy was on fire at The Meadowlands Friday night, guiding four winners on the card, including Machnhope to a second consecutive win in the weekly $30,000 pacing feature for fillies and mares. One week after scoring as the fifth choice in the betting in the Winners Over/Preferred Handicap, the wagering public sent Machnhope, a Noel Daley trainee, to the gate as the second choice this time around, and once again she brought her "A" game. Away quickly from post seven in the seven-horse field, the 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Hope For Life was intent on making the front in search of a second straight speed score, and hit the quarter in a quick :26.1. McCarthy was able to rate the second fraction in :28.4, which left enough in the tank for later on. "There were some high-quality mares in there," said McCarthy, "and I wasn't sure how it was going to play out. I figured I might as well put her in play. We got a pretty good break down the backside." The pace picked up some heading to three-quarters, as JK First Lady started to roll while uncovered and was at the leader's throat at three-quarters (1:22.4). At mid-stretch, JK First Lady was right alongside Machnhope as the two went at it nose-to-nose, but in the final 50 yards, Machnhope paced clear to win by a length to break the 1:50 barrier for the first time in her career, stopping the clock in 1:49.1. JK First Lady, the 8-5 favorite making her seasonal debut for Nancy Takter, was a length back in second, with Lyons Sentinel finishing third. "I had to be careful with her on the turn," said McCarthy, "but once she straightened up, she paced home strong. She's been terrific lately. 1:49.1 is pretty special for her."   MACHNHOPE REPLAY   The winner of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, Machnhope has now won three straight and six of her last eight for owners Deo Volente Farms & T. Pontone, A. Express Stables and Noel Daley. Lifetime, she's been victorious 32 times from 106 starts and earned $551,394. She paid $8.40 to win after going off at 3-1. McCarthy's other winners on the card were Staycation Hanover ($3.00 to win) in the fifth race, Deltasun A ($22.40) in the 10th and Lovely Donna ($3.40) in the 11th. THE STREAK LIVES: The Big M's handle streak of wagering at least $3 million increased to 11 as a total of $3,318,763 was put in play on the 13 races. The 50-cent Pick-4 continued to be a hot ticket, as the Early P4 saw $122,687 in action and the Late P4 took in $107,211. Fourteen of the last 16 Pick-4s have seen pools of over $100,000. A LITTLE MORE: James MacDonald, who got his first-ever win at The Big M last Friday with Majestic Virgin, won again with the Carmen Auciello trainee in the ninth race as the 2-1 favorite. ... Andrew Harris trained a pair of winners on the card. Both were driven by McCarthy. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  
American Courage, who started his harness racing career seven-for-seven before an out-of-character seventh-place finish in the New York Sire Stakes final last September, began his 3-year-old campaign in style with an authoritative 1:52 victory in one of four W.N. Reynolds Memorial divisions for sophomore pacers of both sexes that took place on Friday night (May 7) at Yonkers Raceway. Driven by Matt Kakaley in the $23,750 event, American Courage gunned out from post six and was able to clear 1-5 choice I'll Drink To That (Dexter Dunn) before the 27.1 opening quarter. American Courage remained the boss through the 56.1 half and the 1:24.3 three-quarters, then paced home in 27.2 to defeat I'll Drink To That by a length and three-quarters. Shakespeare (Todd McCarthy) followed along in third throughout and ended up finishing in that spot.   AMERICAN COURAGE REPLAY The victorious American Ideal colt is trained by Travis Alexander for owner/breeder Fiddler's Creek Stables LLC. American Courage has put away $192,133 in his eight wins, half of which have come at Yonkers, and he returned $9.40 to win as a 7-2 shot. The exacta was $16.80, and the trifecta paid $34.80. In the other $23,250 split for the colts and geldings, Coalition Hanover (Kakaley) made front from post five and had command through fractions of 28, 56.3, and 1:24.4, but 1-5 favorite Whichwaytothebeach (McCarthy), who bided his time in the third position, wore the pace-setter down from first-up on the final turn and then pulled away to prevail by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:53. Coalition Hanover held second over He's A Snob (Mark MacDonald).   WHICHWAYTOTHEBEACH REPLAY A Somebeachsomewhere gelding, Whichwaytothebeach is trained by Brett Pelling for owners Alan Johnston and John Craig. Whichwaytothebeach now has a record of 6-2-2 from ten starts, and he pushed his earnings to $135,733. Whichwaytothebeach paid $2.40 to win and led a $4.20 exacta and a $12.80 trifecta. As far as the fillies, the first of their flights, worth $28,500, went to 1-5 choice Heart Of Mine (Scott Zeron) in 1:55. The runner-up in the New York Sire Stakes final a year ago, Heart Of Mine lined up her foes in post position order and then stepped off panels of 28.2, 58.1, and 1:26.4 on her way to a two length decision. Pocket-sitter Shania Blue Chip (McCarthy) was next, followed by Natchez Belle (Tyler Buter).   HEART OF MINE REPLAY Linda Toscano trains Heart Of Mine, a daughter of Roll With Joe, for owners The Bay's Stable LLC., Radio Racing Stable, Fred Wallace, and Camelot Stable Inc. Heart Of Mine is now a three-time winner from 13 efforts, and she has pocketed $152,655. She returned $2.50 to win and was atop a $16.20 exacta and a $45.00 trifecta. Easy To Please (Jordan Stratton) trailed through stations of 27.2, 56.4, and 1:25.2 in the second $29,000 tilt for the ladies, but she went widest from fourth-over on the final bend and then powered home strongly to get up in time to prevail by a neck in a 1:55.1 mile. Carrington (MacDonald) was the runner-up from second-over, and DC Batgirl (George Brennan), who wore down leader Podium Girl (Dunn) from first-over through the stretch, got third.   EASY TO PLEASE REPLAY Trainer Michael Hall also co-owns Easy To Please, another Roll With Joe filly, with partners Our Three Sons Stable LLC., Brad Grant, and Howard Taylor. Easy To Please has five victories from 11 lifetime appearances, and she has now banked $64,150. Easy To Please paid $38.00 to win, the exacta kicked back $172.00, and the trifecta was worth $628.00. On the undercard, 4-5 favorite Melady's Monet (Stratton) picked up his fifth straight win overall and continued to close in on $1.8 million in lifetime earnings, as the 12-year-old took the $37,000 Open Handicap Trot from the pocket in 1:55.3 for trainer Hermann Heitmann and owner Melady Enterprises LLC. There was also a $24,000 Preferred Trot that went to 5-2 second choice New Heaven (Jim Marohn Jr.) after he found room between foes from the two-hole in the lane and scored in 1:55.3 for trainer Eric Abbatiello and owner Allister Stables LLC. Live racing resumes at Yonkers Raceway on Monday night (May 10). For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway
Plainville, MA --- Eurobond made his last pari-mutuel start on November 23, 2020 when he scored a 2-1/4 length harness racing victory at Plainridge Park. Now 165 days later it was "deja vu all over again" after the 6-year-old horse won the $17,500 Winners-Over Handicap trotting feature at The Ridge on Friday (May 7). Eurobond (Bruce Ranger) got away a distant sixth while two-time feature winner Pappy Go Go (Jay Randall) grabbed the front in a quick :27.2. Positions remained unchanged to the five-eighths when Majestic Marvel (Shawn Gray) pulled first-over followed by Smooth Acceleration (Matty Athearn) and Eurobond, who started his big move. As the race made its way through the final turn, Majestic Marvel took the lead from Pappy Go Go and Smooth Acceleration then drew alongside him to challenge. But Eurobond was revved up three-deep and trotting under full throttle, looking past his competition. Ranger sat chilly and let Eurobond trot home on his own in a snappy :28.3 final split to win by a length in 1:55.2. EUROBOND REPLAY   It was the 13th lifetime win in only 52 lifetime starts for Eurobond ($6.00) and it pushed his total earnings to $316,650 for owners Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Robert Rudolf. Domenico Cecere is the trainer. There were two $12,500 co-featured divisions of the conditioned trot for 6-year-olds and under and both were won by Massachusetts-bred trotters. The first division was won by Royal Envy (Shawn Gray) who got away fifth before pulling at the quarter and grabbing the lead as they crossed the wire the first time. From there Royal Envy led the rest of the way while fighting off challenges from I Have A Dream (Kevin Switzer Jr.) and Big Weezy (Jay Randall) before winning by 1/2 length in 1:57, which was a new lifetime mark. Royal Envy ($4.40), who went undefeated in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes last year to become the 2-year-old trotting filly champion, is owned by Al Ross and Ray Campbell Jr., who also bred the filly. George Ducharme does the training. The second division saw the combination of Ranger and Cecere strike again with Marquis Lafayette, who made a first-over move from fourth before the half, then eventually draw alongside the leading Crazy Money De Vie (Jay Randall) around the far turn and then out-trot that one down the lane to win by 1/2 length in 1:58.2. Marquis Lafayette ($4.00), who finished second in the 2020 MASS final for 3-year-old male trotters, is owned and was also bred by K R Breeding. Ranger added two more wins during the card with Broadway Giant (1:58.4, $5.60) and Sortie Hanover (1:57.1, $10.40) to register a Grand Slam on the day. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (May 10) with post time at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts
Beyond Kronos (Dylan Huckabone-Miller), Sheer Talent (Justin Huckabone), and Badix Hanover (Leon Bailey) all captured the harness racing tri-features at Vernon Downs on Friday (May 7). Beyond Kronos ($4.60) breezes to easy win in the $5,000 featured trot. Beyond Kronos jumped out of the gate and led to the first quarter in :27.4. Used a :28.4 second quarter to lead to the half in :56.3. As they headed around the final turn Frisky Joe (Truman Gale) was the first to make a move as Beyond Kronos led to three-quarters in 1:25.2. As they made the turn for home Beyond Kronos shook free and won easily in 1:55.3. Bet Big On Blue (Leon Bailey) made a late bid to finish second. Cash N Chrome (John MacDonald) was third best. BEYOND KRONOS REPLAY   Beyond Kronos is a 4-year-old horse by Muscle Hill. Owned Ecurie CSL, Michael Sergi as well as trainer Sam Sergi. It was his second win of the season and the fifth win of his career. Disqualification gives Sheer Talent ($5.00) the win in the $5,000 featured fillies and mare's pace. Sheer Talent went right to the front and was followed by co-favorite Purameri (Leon Bailey). Sheer Talent controlled things with all the early fractions (:28.2, :58.0, 1:26.0). All the action came in the stretch. Under The Bus (Truman Gale) came first-over while Purameri, who had plenty of horse but nowhere to go. Purameri squeezed her way through a tight opening and went to the front. However, she interfered with Under The Bus in deep stretch and Sheer Talent was awarded the victory. Unusual Clarity (Ron Harp) came flying late finished third and place second. Under The Bus was fourth and placed third. SHEER TALENT REPLAY   Sheer Talent is 7-year-old mare by Badlands Hanover. She is owned by Bill Reepmeyer and trained by Bruce Lauer. It was her third trip to the winner's circle this season. She now owns 25 career victories. Badix Hanover ($3.30) holds firm to win the $5,000 featured pace. Badix Hanover claimed the lead and went to the first quarter first in :27.2. He continued to control the pace and led to the half in :56.3 and to three-quarters in 1:24.2. Badix Hanover led to the stretch and was challenged by Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) from the inside and Napper Tandy (Jimmy Whittemore) from the outside but in the end Badix Hanover was too strong and won in 1:53.1. Lucky Nadotremblay finished second while Napper Tandy had to settle for third. BADIX HANOVER REPLAY   Badix Hanover is a 9-year-gelding by Western Ideal. He is owned by Bill Reepmeyer and trained by Bruce Lauer. It was his third win of 2021. He now has 32 career victories. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (May 8) with a 10-race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com For full race results, click here. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs                          
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