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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

For the second straight week undefeated harness racing pacer Perfect Sting continued his prepping for the 2021 season with another impressive qualifying race victory at The Meadowlands Friday morning. The 2020 Dan Patch Award winning Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer of the Year, Perfect Sting went 10 for 10 and is now ready to debut his talent for the 2021 season. Competing in the 12th race, Perfect Sting and driver David Miller got away with the lead from post six by the opening quarter mile in a slow :29.1 over a fast track with a one-second allowance. Pirate Hanover (Andy McCarthy) then moved to the lead and cut the mile to the half in :57.3. That was went the action began to heat up as Miller came first-over with Perfect Sting, collaring Pirate Hanover by the three-quarters in 1:24.3. Then once on the lead by the top of the stretch, Perfect Sting used a mild :27.4 last quarter mile to win by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:52.3. Pirate Hanover was second with Magnum Moon (Scott Zeron) third. Trained by Joe Holloway for owner-breeders Brittany Farms and Val D’Or Farms, Perfect Sting is sired by Always B Miki from the great mare, Shebestingin. Also of note, the 2019 Hambletonian Oaks winner, When Dovescry, was victorious in the 8th race trot qualifier. The daughter of Muscle Hill from the Andover Hall mare Cedar Dove, sat in the pocket for driver David Miller as Refined (Todd McCarthy) cut fractions of :29.3, :59.2 and 1:28.4 before Miller came on the attack with When Dovescry. Heading the lead by the top of the stretch, those two battled head and head down the stretch and right to the finish wire with When Dovescry winning by a neck over Refined in 1:56.4. Gangster Hanover (Ake Scanstedt) was also in the photo finishing third.  Now trained by Brett Pelling, When Dovescry is owned by John Lengacher of Indiana. For full race results, click here. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Pompano Beach, FL --- Steven Wolf, president of the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Racing Writers Association (USHWA), has announced that the chapter is now accepting applications for its 2021 Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship Awards. The scholarship fund was established in memory of Hall of Famer Allen J. Finkelson, the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park and longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization. "While our Florida Chapter was hesitant at first due to the pandemic that canceled our annual fundraising Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame banquet," said Steve Wolf, "we still felt we needed to continue our scholarship program, which is important for our young people to help them with the costs of tuition." Preference for these scholarship awards will be given to a student majoring in journalism, communications or veterinarian related studies. This year there are two sponsors of the scholarships. They are Maggie LaClair and Jay Farrar and Kathleen and Thomas H. Hicks. Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership. Applicants must have demonstrated scholastic ability with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 and show evidence of community service and leadership through certificates, awards and/or letters of commendation. Fully completed applications must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2021, for consideration of an August 2021 award. Recipients may reapply annually for a maximum of four years. Applications should be submitted/addressed to the Florida Chapter USHWA, Scholarship Committee, 3508 Sahara Springs Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33069. For more information or to receive an application on the internet, visit http://www.ushwa-florida.com/ or contact via e-mail to Thomas H. Hicks at renparlc@gate.net or Steven Wolf at stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. From the Florida Chapter of USHWA    

Harness racing drivers Louis-Philippe Roy (LPR) and Doug McNair are leaving home in Ontario, Canada and are coming to America to compete Both LPR and McNair are O’Brien Award winning Drivers of the Year in Canada will arrive in the USA in time to start driving on Friday. Due to the lockdown in Ontario that has closed all of the racetracks, hundreds of horses and now prominent harness racing drivers are coming to compete in the USA. “I will be driving at Hoosier Park starting on Friday,” Roy explained. “As long as we don’t start back racing here in Ontario.” “Trainer Robert Fellows in Ontario,” Roy added. “He contacted me and offered me to go drive his horses at Hoosier Park, and that he was going to bring around a dozen to race there." McNair is heading to the East Coast. "I plan on driving at Poconos Chester, Meadowlands and Yonkers," McNair said. "I hope to drive at those tracks if I can get enough work." “With the situation here," LRP explained. "Not knowing if it’s gonna be 1, 2 or 3 months before we’re able to start back racing, the best choice for my “business” was to accept his offer.” Will Roy venture to drive at any other tracks in the USA? “I plan of only driving at Hoosier,” Roy said. “As they already have a busy enough schedule of racing.” Good news for the racing fans of Hoosier Park and the East Coast tracks. Bad news for the other drivers that will have to compete against them. It is sure that numberous trainers will want to have either driver on their horses. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Usually, you hear and read about the driving achievements at Northfield Park by Aaron Merriman, Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. or Tony Hall, all household names in the harness racing industry. Sunday night they all took a backseat to Hunter Myers. Myers, just 23 years old and Ohio-born, is the son of trainer Michael Myers. Hunter has been driving since 2014 and after the five wins Sunday, is just two scores away from his 750th career win. Myers started off the evening winning the third race pace with Bourbans Best ($13.00) in 1:54.4; then scored in the very next race, a trot, with Stars N Stones ($9.40) in 1:56. Then came the eighth race trot with Sass ($4.00) in 1:57.1. The ninth race was the $15,000 Open Pace where Myers was aboard Braley Hanover. Getting a second-over trip early on was not good enough for Myers, whose Braley Hanover, a seven-year-old gelding by Western Ideal, was full of pace and tipped three-wide in the backstretch. They were able to clear to the lead by the top of the stretch and then win with ease by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:51.4. And what were the odds on Braley Hanover? How about 29-1 and they paid a whopping $61.20 to win. BRALEY HANOVER REPLAY   Myers closed out the evening with another score in the 13th race pace with Wild Wild Western ($4.40) in 1:51.1. The only other driver close to Myers on the night was Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. who had a driving triple. For full race results, click here. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Harrah's Hoosier Park kicked off their 2021 harness racing season with a $20,000 Open Pace feature and Family Recipe needed every inch of the long stretch Friday to get up by nose over Ana Malak N. Trained and driven by Lewayne Miller, Family Recipe was the first off the gate in the seventh race main event. Then, after getting the lead, gave way to Americanprimetime (Peter Wrenn) to the opening quarter mile in :26.3, happy to grab the pocket trip.The race favorite The First Step (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) was sitting in third place. Then after a half mile clocked in :54.4, The FIrst Step came first-over to challenge Americanprimetime and was stuck outside, unable to get the lead past the three-quarters in 1:23.3 and giving Ana Malak N (Sam Wiidger) second-over cover. In the stretch, The First Step had the lead most of the way down the stretch, but was off the rail, allowing Family Recipe and Miller to shoot up the inside and into the lead, barely holding off Ana Malak N at the wire to win by a nose in 1:51.3. Ana Malak N was second with The First Step third by only a half length. FAMILY RECIPE REPLAY   It was the third straight win and fourth triumph of the year for Family Recipe. The four-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin is co-owned by Lewayne Miller, W Manders, A J Vieira and the Never 2 Late Stable. He paid $8.00 to win as the second choice in the race. For full race results, click here. After a successful opening night of the 2021 live harness racing season on Friday, March 26, Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino has announced a $45,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 pool for Saturday, March 27.  The Hoosier High-5 went unsolved on Friday as longshots prevailed and put an interesting spin on the opening night action. A $15,707.75 carry-over will kick-start the $45,000 Guaranteed Pool set for Saturday. In partnership with the Unites States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering program and the Indiana Standardbred Association, Harrah’s Hoosier Park will offer this signature wager for Saturday’s 14-race card. The Hoosier High-5, also known as the pentafecta, is featured in the last race of every program at Harrah’s Hoosier Park and features a reduced takeout of 12%. The Hoosier High-5 is responsible for one of the biggest payouts to date last season with a $15,157.36 winning ticket paid out. Free past performances for Saturday’s live racing card, including the Hoosier High-5 sequence, will be available on Harrah’s Hoosier Park’s website. Expert selections and handicapping tools are also available on the handicapping section of Harrah’s Hoosier Park’s website. Harrah’s Hoosier Park kicked off the 2021 live racing season and did it with a bang as the bettors came out in full force on the opening night of the season. Handle increases were felt both on track and through export wagering to produce $703,202 in all sources handle for the evening. All sources handle was up an impressive 7.5% over opening night in 2019 with the same number of races carded. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., Harrah’s Hoosier Park’s 2021 season will feature 160 live racing days and not only offer an extended racing season but will also bring back Sunday live racing cards.  Racing will be held on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule through mid-May before adding Sunday evenings. The full schedule continues through September before dropping back down to a Wednesday through Saturday schedule through December 4. For the first time ever, Harrah’s Hoosier Park will also offer live racing on both the night before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving night. For more information on the upcoming live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.  by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink with files from Harrah's Hoosier Park  

Beth and Doug Yontz of Anvil and Lace Farm in Kentucky have plenty to be thankful for these past years as their harness racing breeding operation in Cynthiana has grown by leaps and bounds. The new "Queen" of the farm is the 2019 Harness Horse of the Year, Shartin N, who was purchased this past January for a reported six-figure cost. At the time Shartin N's stablemate was also purchased. She was the top mare, Bettor Joy N, strengthening their broodmare band to rival most any other farm. "It's ironic that both these great mares," said Beth Yontz, were bred on the same day and now both are safe in foal, and they were checked together this past Sunday." World Champion Shartin N in her four-year racing campaign, made 68 starts and won 46 times, amassing $2.4 million in purses earned, most of that in the United States where she raced the last three years. She was voted the Dan Patch Harness Horse of the Year in 2019. That year Shartin N won 15 of 19 starts with three second place finishes and became the world's fastest and only mare to ever win in under 1:47, taking her lifetime mark with a 1:46.4 score in the Lady Liberty Pace at the Meadowlands. The prior year Shartin N became the first mare to win over $1 million in a single season with $1,053,236 earned. She also won 19 of her 24 starts headlined by victories in the Breeders Crown, Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, TVG Mares Pace, Rose Are Red, The Betsy Ross, Chip Noble Memorial, the Allerage Farm and the Artiscape Pace. That year Shartin N was voted the Dan Patch Pacer of the Year in 2018. Who do you breed a world class pacing mare to? Shartin N was bred to none other than Captaintreacherous. Shartin N is sired by Tintin In America from the Live Or Die mare, Bagdaren. "I'm very hands-on," said Yontz. "I put a lot of hours in on the farm. There are some other great farms in the Kentucky area and we are honored to have these two top mares at Anvil And Lace. "Despite the long hours I love what I do," Yontz said. "And I treat every horse as if they were mine. Shartin N gets treated the same as every horse we have." Bettor Joy N had the misfortune of having to race against Shartin N for most of her career in the USA. Sired by Bettor's Delight from the Road Machine mare, Joyfulbelle, Bettor Joy N did win 17 times in her career with a record of 1:50.1 and earnings of $516,000. Bettor Joy N is in foal to first year stallion, Capt Midnight. Both these mares were trained in the United States by Jim King, Jr. and owned by Richard Poillucci with Jo Ann Looney-King. "Currently this year," Yontz added, "We have nearly 50 mares we are breeding. Many are resident mares. We have 15 to 20 mare that come in to get bred and then head out again. Then we get mares ready to foal and then get bred again. There is always a flow of horses on the farm. "Shartin gets a lot of publicity," Yontz explained, "But we have other mares that have produced million dollars winners and we give them all the care they deserve. "I'm a little low key in social media," Yontz said. "I know everyone wants to know what's going on with Shartin and that is important, but every mare we have is important to us. "Shartin is the kind of mare that does everything right both on and off the track," Yontz said. She is not tough to deal with and is a sweet mare. It's great that she caught so early on the first breeding coming off the track." Beth and Doug Yontz purchased Anvil And Lace Farm in 2015 and since have bred, raised and sold world class horses including Dancin Yankee and Dancing Lou. Husband Doug helps Beth in running Anvil And Lace and he is also a local farrier. Beth has been in love with and has worked with horses since she was a child. She was the farm manager at Walnut Hall. The couple also have their own broodmares and some young racehorses. The Anvil And Lace Farm can be seen at www.anvilandlacefarm.com/. By Steve Wolf            

Pompano Beach, FL - Some of the harness racing horsemen in the backstretch at Pompano Park Wednesday morning received a pleasant visit from representatives of the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. Chapter president Steve Wolf and chapter national director and treasurer Thomas H. Hicks were visiting certain stables and presenting awards from last season that were not given out due to the pandemic. "We held off hoping we could do a presentation event," said Steve Wolf, "That did not work out and Tom Hicks said let's go to the backstretch and start giving out the trophies and I agreed." Being honored with their plaques were trainers John Hallett as the Dan Gawlas Good Guy Award winner, Mike Murphy and longtime blacksmith Phil Cable with Lifetime Achievement Awards. The Caretaker of the Year award went to Joe Kroll, who had since passed away. Trainer Jim McDonald accepted the award for Joe's wife, Shawna. The Florida Chapter of USHWA will be traveling to Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village in Delray Beach Saturday morning where at The Deck, members will be presenting awards including Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame induction trophies to Tony Alagna, Frank Antonacci and Tom Merriman. President's Awards will be presented to Myron Bell, Eric Cherry and Maurice Chodash and Peter Wrenn will receive his Stanley Dancer Award. You can follow the Florida Chapter of USHWA via their website at www.ushwa-florida.com/ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridachapterushwa/. From the Florida Chapter of USHWA  

Coral Springs, FL – It has been confirmed by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) that there will be harness racing at Pompano Park through the 2022 season. Joe Pennacchio, president of the FSBOA stated, “We’ve agreed with Caesars to race next year through the end of the season in May/June 2022. “It is pretty much an extension of last year’s agreement,” Pennacchio said. “Negotiations will continue,” Pennacchio added. “For what the future holds for long term racing with Caesars.” On Friday, Feb. 28 Caesars/Eldorado did submit their harness race dates for the 2021-2022 state fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.  It was reported last week by Harnesslink that Caesars/Eldorado Vice President of Racing, Joe Morris, met with the horsemen and woman at the track to discuss future racing at the facility. The FSBOA has had a lawsuit since April 2020 against Caesars/Eldorado concerning their efforts to obtain a full Jai Alai permit that would then do away with harness racing. Caesars would like to see that lawsuit go away. Morris said the FSBOA has been notified that Caesars/Eldorado would allow harness racing next year, but that could be the end of racing at the historic track. “We are in deep negotiations with Caesars,” explained Joe Pennacchio, president of the FSBOA. “We are trying to find a path forward to continue harness racing in Florida. Joe Morris has been great to deal with, very transparent, upfront. Lawyers on both sides have been in discussions on this statute and that statute and what ifs.” Pompano Park has been a winter haven for harness racing since the 1950’s. It was nicknamed the Winter Capital of Harness Racing and at one point housed nearly 2,000 horses and had hundreds of caretakers, trainers and drivers living and working at the track seven days a week. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Coral Springs, FL – On Sunday afternoon there was a meeting held with the Pompano Park horse people and track management that does not bode well for harness racing’s future at the track. Joe Morris, Vice President of Racing for Eldorado, which owns Pompano Park, met with the horsemen and women in the race paddock to discuss the future of harness racing at the facility. Morris said the Florida Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) have been notified that Eldorado would allow harness racing next year, but that could be the end of racing at the historic track. “We are in deep negotiations with Eldorado,” explained Joe Pennacchio, president of the FSBOA. “We are trying to find a path forward to continue harness racing in Florida. Joe Morris has been great to deal with, very transparent, upfront. Lawyers on both sides have been in discussions on this statute and that statute and what ifs.” The FSBOA has had a lawsuit since April 2020 against Eldorado concerning their efforts to obtain a full Jai Alai permit that would then do away with harness racing. Eldorado would like to see that lawsuit go away. On Friday, Feb. 28 is when Eldorado must submit their race dates for the 2021 state fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.  “We are trying to iron out everything we can before then.” Pennacchio said. “But there is no gun to our heads. We will be racing here until June 30 and continue to negotiate. “We have some major hurdles to overcome,” Pennacchio added. “At the meeting the horsemen asked Joe Morris if there will be a race meet next year and he answered them. They also asked why they cannot race long term and the answer was because of the value of the property.” It has been said that the 226 acres that Pompano Park sits on is worth an estimated $2 million an acre for development. The FSBOA Directors said they will be discussing the offer in great detail and are optimistic that an arrangement can be made that will be beneficial to both organizations. “I am cautiously optimistic that we have two parties that are trying to work to a conclusion that benefits everybody and maybe we can put that together.” Attempts were made to contact Joe Morris at Pompano Park to no avail. Pompano Park has been a winter haven for harness racing since the 1950’s. It was nicknamed the Winter Capital of Harness Racing and at one point housed nearly 2,000 horses and had hundreds of caretakers, trainers and drivers living and working at the track seven days a week. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Harnesslink is pleased to announce the signing of our newest reporter/editor, Nicholas Barnsdale, a 20-year-old journalism student from Toronto, Ontario. Barnsdale has covered harness racing for more than two years and has appeared in outlets such as the Daily Racing Form, Down the Stretch Newspaper, harnessracing.com, and Post Time with Mike and Mike. He will join Harnesslink full-time, mainly reporting on Standardbred racing in Canada. Barnsdale is enrolled in the Bachelor of Journalism program at Humber College in Toronto, and has been involved in the racing industry since childhood. Barnsdale has frequented racetracks from a young age with his father, Garnet, and has become more involved in the sport with age. In 2018, the junior Barnsdale wrote his first published article for Down the Stretch Newspaper. He has since joined the United States Harness Writers Association's Canadian Chapter as a youth member and attended the Clyde Hirt Journalism Workshop. He also wrote press releases for the Woodbine Entertainment Group and the United States Trotting Association. Barnsdale says he is excited to join Harnesslink while continuing his education. "When Mr. [Steve] Wolf offered me a place at Harnesslink, I was really excited," Barnsdale said. "I think it's a great organization, and I'm proud to be doing my internship with them and staying in the racing industry. It was a no-brainer, honestly. I can't wait to get started and do some great work." Harnesslink has brought Barnsdale aboard to have someone dedicated to Canadian coverage in conjunction with the website's new redesign which will debut shortly. He has years of knowledge of racing in the Great White North. "Nicholas, or as we like his nickname, Ace, will be a great new asset to our staff," said Steve Wolf, Director of North American Operations for Harnesslink. "His youthful and enthusiastic approach to harness racing will make for a special addition to Harnesslink. We also have a number of new projects that Ace will be a big help with." Recently, Barnsdale participated in the Leamington Raceway Youth Handicapping Challenge against fellow USHWA Canada youth member Nathan Bain, doing weekly analyses and race selections. Barnsdale lost the contest by a slim margin. He also participated in the Red Shores New Year's Eve Handicapping contest, finishing second there, too. His first assignment will likely be coverage of The Raceway at Western Fair district. It became the first Ontario harness track to announce a reopening after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in the province. Ace will cover most Canadian circuits as they reopen for racing. From Harnesslink Media  

In the harness racing breeding business, having your book full and closed on the first season of breeding is a great accomplishment. Being overbooked shows how much in demand breeders want a son of Captaintreacherous and such is the case of Capt Midnight, who is standing stud at Premier Acres in Indiana. "We want to thank all the breeders who submitted booking applications for their tremendous response and support of Capt Midnight," said Dean Miller, the owner and corresponding officer for Capt Midnight. "As of today, we have received 190+ applications and they are still coming in strong," Miller added. "Regrettably there will be 50+ applications not accepted this season due to the 140-book limit. "I would urge anyone who still has an application in hand to please return that application to Premier Acres before February 10th," Miller said. "So that we can promptly notify those not getting a booking contract to Capt Midnight this season." Capt Midnight has retired to stud duty with a two season resume of 25 starts, 8 wins, 7 placings and prize money of Can$662,286 or US$551,567. Highlights of his career included; Wins at two in the Nassagaweya Stakes, Champlain Stakes, Dream Maker Series, International Stallion Stakes [Red Mile] and an elimination of the Metro Stakes. The leading Stakes winning 2-year-old son of Captaintreacherous in 2019. Paced in sub 1.48 on three occasions as a 3-year-old. Paced 14 of his 15 starts as a 3-year-old in 1.49.4 or faster. His other start was in a Heat of the Little Brown Jug when he was timed in 1.50.1 on the half mile track. Capt Midnight is from the second crop of sensational sire Captaintreacherous and is the second foal of the Stakes winning American Ideal mare It Was Fascination 1.51.2 $317,222. Captaintreacherous has been a revelation since retiring to Stud in 2015. From his 330 foals of racing age, he has sired 217 winners [to 23rd Dec 2020] including an unbelievable 30 in 1.50 and 170 in 1.55. His 270 starters have averaged in excess of $100,000 per starter. It Was Fascination counted a victory in a New York Sires Stakes Final [3-year-old Fillies] amongst her 6 wins and $317,222 in prizemoney. For more information contact Dennis Bontrager at (260) 585-4927, email premieracres@gmail.com or go to the website www.premieracresindiana.com. Capt Midnight's stud fee is $4,000. By Steve Wolf, for Premier Acres

Face Time Bourbon (6m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) with driver Bjorn Goop made history repeat itself as the duo again captured the prestigious Prix d'Amerique at the Hippodrome Paris Vincennes Sunday in France. With a purse of $1 million euros, there were 18 starters in the 2,700 meter contest. Goop was able to get good position early in the race for Face Time Bourbon as they were second-over once the field settled down after the early calvery charge in the standing start race. Bahia Quesnot (Junior Guelpa) got to the lead and Goop started to charge up with Face Time Bourbon, getting Bahia Quesnot to pick up the tempo and then Goop ducked right into the two-hole trip with Face Time Bourbon. Then with just over 1,000 meters to go in the race, Goop came after Bahia Quesnot with Face Time Bourbon and they cleared to the lead with ease. Holding the field at bay with a two length lead, Goop urged Face Time Bouron on to victory in the stretch with 2.7/1 Davidson du Pont (8m Pacha du Pont) that Jean Michel Bazire trains and drives for owner Albert Rayon. Face Time Bourbon covered the 2,700 meter race in a record 1.10.8. He was sent off as the 9/10 favorite in the race. He is trained by Sebastien Guarato for Scuderia Bivans Srl. and recorded his 29th career victory in 34 starts for 2,647,440€ earned.  The 17/1 Gu d’Heripre (5m Coktail Jet) was third for Franck Nivard. 9/1 Delia du Pommereux (8f Niky) was foruth with Eric Raffin up and fifth was last week’s Cornulier winner Bahia Quesnot (10f Scipion du Goutier) for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa in a very courageous efffort.  Face Time Bourbon is a deserving winner and a great horse. In modern times he joins Bold Eagle, Ready Cash, Offshore Dream and Varenne as back to back winners of this classic and most prestigious race. Face Time Bourbon   Replay - https://www.letrot.com/fr/replay-courses/2021-01-31/7500/6 LeTrot files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks and Steve Wolf for Harnesslink  

It has been announced by the owners of Shartin N, the 2019 USA Dan Patch Harness Horse of the Year and the fastest pacing mare in history, has been retired from racing and has been sold. In a glittering harness racing career, the world champion mare won 46 of her 68 lifetime starts and $2,667,563 in purses- an average of $39,228 per start - and took a world record lifetime mark of 1:46.4. She clocked an amazing 20 winning miles in 1:50 or better. Bred in New Zealand, Shartin N did not race at age two and commenced her career in Australia as a three-year-old, winning seven races and $105,718 in purses including the Queensland and Tasmanian Oaks. Following her defeating Victorian Horse of the Year, Jilliby Kung Fu 1:48.4 ($529,710), at Melton in 2017, when Shartin N sat parked out the entire trip and won in a class record 1:52.5 mile rate over 1720 meters, Shartin N was bought by leading New Zealand bloodstock agent John Curtin on behalf of USA owner Richard Poillucci of South Easton, MA. Poillucci would then take on partners JoAnn Looney King of Delaware and later down the road, driver Tim Tetrick of Delaware. "In my wildest dreams I never thought I would have a mare like Shartin," said owner Richard Poillucci. "It does not happen very often in our industry or in a lifetime for an owner. "It was a hard decision to be made," Poillucci added. "We talked about it for the past few months and decided it would be in her best interest to become a broodmare. "It has been so surreal having Shartin these past few years. Poillucci said. "If you are into harness racing there is no greater feeling than owning a world champion like her. When she was good no one could beat her and when she was not good, she was still great." "She would not have been possible for her to do all that she did if it wasn't for trainer Jim King, Jr.'s tutelage and driver Tim Tetrick's patience," Poillucci said. "They, along with my co-owner JoAnn King, did such a superb job with her. When she first came into their barn, she was not a well-mannered mare and they made her the world champion she is today. "I can't thank my agent and friend John Curtin enough," Poillucci added. "He did not just find and purchase this mare for us, but he has been one of her biggest fans too, following every start she has made in North America. He does that with every horse I get with him." Shartin N took the North American racing scene by storm in 2018 for trainer Jim King, Jr., winning 19 of her 24 appearances and earning $1,053,236 - the highest total by a pacing mare ever in one season. She was named the Dan Patch Pacer of the Year and was second in the balloting for Harness Horse of the Year. She completed almost a clean sweep of the major races for mares in 2018, including the $373,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Final, $370,000 Roses Are Red, $270,000 Breeders Crown, $197,400 Lady Liberty, $175,000 TVG Free-for-all, $161,000 Artiscape Pace, $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitation, $102,200 Chip Noble Memorial and the $98,500 Allerage Farm Pace in a season's record 1:48.2. Shartin N put an exclamation mark on her 2019 career in August last year when she produced a jaw-dropping world record performance to win the $183,500 Lady Liberty at The Meadowlands, carving out the mile in 1:46.4 - 0.6 faster than the prior world mark. She also became the fastest Standardbred horse ever bred in New Zealand.   A month later Shartin N set another world record for mares on a five-eighths track when she was clocked in 1:48 at Harrah's Philadelphia in a $30,000 Open Pace. She continued her dominance of the distaff pacing ranks throughout the year, winning the $402,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker, $330,000 Roses Are Red, $179,550 Golden Girls, $137,000 Artiscape, $100,000 Clara Barton, $100,000 Betsy Ross and the $100,000 Chip Noble and finishing second in the Breeders Crown. Shartin N won 15 of her 19 outings in 2019 for $982,177 in stakes - a season's high for her gait and sex. As the result of a remarkable season, Shartin N was named 2019 Dan Patch Harness Horse of the Year and became only the fifth female pacer and the first horse bred outside of North America to pick up the prestigious award. In the voting she defeated the champion three-year-old's Bettor's Wish 1:47.3 ($2,781,240) and Warrawee Ubeaut 1:48.3 ($1,948,175), the top Free-For-Aller and world record holder Lather Up 1:46 ($1,917,935) and McWicked 1:46.2 ($5,103,271) and world record holders and leading trotters in Manchego 1:49 ($2,857,315) and Atlanta 1:49.1 ($2,859,610) in the end-of-year balloting. Shartin N returned to the track as a seven-year-old this year, winning an additional five races including the $177,100 Lady Liberty and $129,000 Artiscape for the third time each and notching consecutive wins in the $100,000 Clara Barton. "The barn will not be the same without her for sure," Said trainer Jim King, Jr. "Hard to imagine this barn without her and looking forward to her next race. "It's been the driving force for me these past three years. "We knew this day would come so ...it's tough." On the score of bloodlines, Shartin N has a great deal in her favor. Apart from being sired by the champion NZ pacer Tintin In America, a $906,422 winning son of McArdle, she is out of a mare by the Governor's Cup winner Live Or Die, a leading sire in NZ for many years, while her grand-dam, is a daughter of the Bret Hanover foal, Save Fuel, a brother to the glamour American filly of the 1970's, Guiding Beam. The family has produced a host of 'black type' performers including Italian Delight (1:50.2), Donegal Delight (NZ North Island Breeders Stakes), Im Bella Jay (WA Wesbred 2YO Classic) and Kanturk (NZ Celebrity Stakes). "I can't hardly tell you what it's been like to have owned and raced a world champion like Shartin," said co-owner JoAnn Looney King. "She's the dream horse I longed for since I was a young girl in the horse business. She's the dream horse everyone longs for. Imagine owning a horse that North America knows by name seems unreal but it happened and to me and our team I also want people to know that the experience of meeting so many nice people and well-wishers on the road traveling has been one of the high points of owning a horse like Shartin. "People have been so nice everywhere we travelled," King add. "We met so many nice people that I still stay in touch with and I'm so appreciative of their kindness. "For the past few days now that she has been sold," King explained. "When I walk by her stall and speak to her I have some sadness but I know it's best for her and for the team, but damn it's going to be hard to watch her walk out of that barn the final time. "It will be emotional for me, real emotional. It's really been the best three years imaginable. A dream come true and I thank God every day." Bloodstock agent John Curtin also confirmed the sale of Shartin N for an undisclosed sum to Ola Yoder, owner of Kountry Lane Standardbreds, LLC of Indiana. Ola Yoder stunned the harness racing world with a significant investment in buying five sensational broodmares at the 2019 White Birch Farm dispersal sale held at Harrisburg. Since then, he has purchased the Breeders Crown winner Winndevie 1:53 ($863,257) and now Shartin N. Shartin N is scheduled to be bred to Captaintreacherous in 2021 and then Lazarus N in 2022. Plans for a special retirement ceremony will be announced soon. By Steve Wolf  

Coral Springs, FL - The 2021 harness racing seasonal opening of "On The Deck" will officially take place at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village in Delray Beach on Saturday, January 2. That's when editor Jeffrey Bell says the 2021 Roster Book will be ready for distribution and all two and three-year-old's in training will be wearing their saddle pad numbers. The 2021 Roster Book was first done by Bell two years ago and enables viewers watching the horses in training and then being able to look the horses up to see their pedigree, trainer and owners. "You do not have to wait until mid-February for pitchers and catchers to report to get a little excited," Bell said. "Come this Saturday, January 2, it's Opening Day at On The Deck at Sunshine Meadows. Everyone is invited to come and see the finest two and three-year-old pacers and trotters in their winter training for the upcoming 2021 racing season. "You will be able to see and identify any horse jogging/training six days a week by viewing the 2021 edition of champions and future champions in training," Bell added. This is volume number three of the special Sunshine Meadows Stable Roster and it is provided free of charge. On The Deck was developed by the Lindy Farms Stable, Tony Alagna Stable and Myron Bell. Every Saturday the public is invited free of charge to come to Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village where the On The Deck is located right on the finish line of the one-mile track and watch the horses train. In addition to the free Stable Roster Book, there is always bagels, cream cheese, coffee and tea offered for free. For more information or directions to Sunshine Meadows, go to https://www.sunshinemeadowsdelray.com/sunshine-meadows or on Facebook at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Center. Horses are usually on the track for training between 7:00 am to noon. The deck is furnished with comfortable deck chairs and couches and there is also a small bleacher area and plenty of grassy areas for lawn chairs. By Steve Wolf, for On The Deck    

The live harness racing card at Pompano Park was canceled for Monday night. The cancelation occured because of a power outage that took out the track lighting system. Pompano Park was to open Sunday night for its 57th season of harness racing, but had to cancel due to Tropical Storm Eta. It is hopeful that live harness racing will take place Tuesday evening. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

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