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["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

Gloucester Park winners closely related

Texas Tiger, who won the $50,000 4YO and 5YO Championship at Gloucester Park, and Suing You, a winner on the same night, are both members of the same family.

Texas Tiger, who is undefeated in six starts in Western Australia, is a four-year-old American Ideal gelding out of the In The Pocket mare Tiger Dion (2:01.2), who produced others in the Gloucester Park winner Twoandahalf Tigers 1:56.4 ($170,761), Ida Tiger (1:55.5) and Urban Tiger (1:57.3).


Texas Tiger winning at Gloucester Park                –Daryl Hallows, Paceway Photos
 

Tiger Dion, who won three races, was a sister-in-blood to the Breeders Crown champion All Tiger 1:49.2 ($496,107), being out of the former NZ 2YO Filly of the Year Tiger Turner, by Holmes Hanover from the Butler B G mare Tigerish 1:57 ($491,957), an outstanding racemare and dual Oaks winner.

Suing You, a four-year-old mare by the deceased Alta Christiano, is from the Perth winner Tiger Su (1:56), an Elsu half-sister to Tiger Turner, the second dam of Texas Tiger.

Suing You ranks as a half-sister to the Westbred 3YO Classic winner One Off Delight 1:54.2 ($237,931).

 

Tasmania Cup winner

Bullys Delight, a Bettor’s Delight five-year-old and the winner of the $75,000 Tasmania Cup at Hobart, is out of Mi Coconut, a fine racemare and a Group 1 winner who is proving a successful broodmare.


 Bullys Delight                 --tasracing.com.au Photo
 

Mi Coconut is also the dam of Kid Coconut 1:55 ($146,951), a prolific winner at Melton, and his half-brother Blisstar (1:58.8), a winner at Melton and Hobart. Mi Coconut was an Albert Albert mare from Milady 1:59.6 ($147,351), by Kotare Knight from Lucky Piece, by Aachen from the Meadow Vance mare Marana, a half-sister to the Kilmore Cup winner Free Vance.

Mi Coconut was a half-sister to Milady Meg (2:00.8), winner of seven races including the Granny Smith, and Mi Mademoiselle (2:00.4), who won five. Their dam, Milady, a Bandbox and Granny Smith victor, was a half-sister to Family Revenge (2:02.1), dam of a top Tasmanian pacer in Armbros Revenge 1:53.4 ($291,006).


 

Mister Rea unbeaten two-year-old

The Pet Rock colt Mister Rea firmly clinched his claim as the season’s top rating two-year-old in NSW when he won the Group 2 $50,000 Sapling Stakes at Menangle, and is now undefeated in two starts.

Actually he was a class above his rivals, and, after being required to overcome a difficult draw and a wide passage, the colt careered away to prevail by four lengths in 1:52.1.

A well developed youngster, possessing both speed and stamina, Mister Rea is the first Sapling Stakes winner trained by Riverina horseman Ray Walker, who brought out the cup class pacer Imastrongone. 

Mister Rea’s dam, Just Glenburn (1:59), was a Harold Park winner, being by Village Jasper from Glenburn Smoothie (1:59.8), a winner of three, and by the Most Happy Fella horse Smooth Fella, sire of a fine racemare in Smooth Sensation (winner of $249,419), dam of the Group winner Lombo Serene.

Glenburn Smoothie was out of Directa’s Special, by Hilarious Way from the UK mare Saunders Directa, by Holly Sand, a leading sire for many years in Tasmania. This is the family which produced winners such as Vincent, Self Denial, Full Pleasure, Kept for Pleasure, Nowitzki, Our Femme Fatale and others.
 

Oaks winner by The Gold Ace

Annerie, winner of the Tasmanian Oaks at Hobart at her first start on Australian soil, could develop into one of the best her age this year.

By the Bettor’s Delight horse The Gold Ace – a grand pacer and Derby winner himself – Annerie is from Feyonce, by Changeover (a son of In The Pocket) from My Khan, by the Meadow Skipper horse Genghis Khan, winner of the inaugural World Cup at The Meadowlands and one-time world mile record holder.

This family has produced some useful pacers over the years. Feyonce is a half-sister to the Harness Jewels winner Safin 1:55.3 ($246,810), the exported Kodan (1:52.4) and Drell (1:55.4) and the Harold Park winner Our Kumar (1:56).

Annerie has strong claims of colonial blood but she is none the worse for it.


 

Matai Geordie’s breeding background

The Washington VC gelding Matai Geordie, whose success at Gloucester Park recently was his fourth winning run in WA from six starts, is rated one of the brightest prospects in his class.

He has a good deal in his favour on the score of blood. Apart from being by Washington VC (sire of Im Themightyquinn), Matai Geordie is out of the Christian Cullen mare Matai Princess, a half-sister to the Menangle winner Matai Dream Away (1:57.1), being out of the B G’s Bunny mare Matai Gigi, who is a half-sister to the Queensland Governor’s Cup winner Matai B B C 1:56.1 ($143,485).

The family descends through mares by the leading stallions Neros’ BB, Tempest Hanover, Flying Song and Josedale Grattan to the Harold Rothschild mare First Water, a daughter of the noted foundation mare Red Diamond.

From the First Water branch of it and to which Matai Geordie belongs, top flight pacers such as Blacks A Fake, Tactile, Noodlum, Viking Water and others belong.


 

Won Go Girlfriend

Semi Sensation, who won the Group 3 Go Girlfriend at Menangle, leading from end to end in a fresh lifetime mark of 1:52.4, is by the Grinfromeartoear horse Mr Feelgood, sire of a top racemare in Charming Allie.

Semi Sensation is out of Left Laughing (2:00.7), by Fake Left from the Hilarious Way mare Peals Of Laughter, a daughter of Burgundy Belle, the dam of the Harold Park free-for-all winner Saint Albans, a smart juvenile in Star Of Alban and others.

Semi Sensation is a sister-in-blood to Happyever Laughter 1:53.2 ($113,583), a winner of 13 races.
 

Well related three-year-old

Alby Two Chains, who won the Tasmanian Guineas-Derby double at Hobart, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when he won two of his starts.

He has opened his three-year-old season on a winning note and will be well in line for the major classics on the mainland.

Bought at the APG Melbourne sale in 2019 for $70,000, Alby Two Chains is a colt by the Somebeachsomewhere horse, Captaintreacherous, from Slip Slop Slap, the best of whose several progeny has been the thrice Group 1 winner Jilliby Kung Fu (1:48.8), now at the stud in Victoria.

Slip Slop Slap ranks as a half-sister to a capable racemare and Victoria Gold Chalice winner in Lombo Mondoluce, being by Perfect Art from the SA Oaks winner Slaps, by Tuapeka Knight from the American-bred mare Tabella Ace, by Slapstick.

Slip Slop Slap was 15 when she left Alby Two Chains.
 

Fourth win on end

Highway To Heaven, winner of the Mount Gambier Gold Cup and five days earlier a winner at Horsham, is one of the most promising four-year-olds in Victoria at present.

The gelding has won at four of his five appearances in Australia for $22,000 in stakes. By the In The Pocket horse Christian Cullen, he is out of Last Port Of Call, by a champion sire in Live Or Die from Port Medley, by Meddlesome from Sea Dream.

Last Port Of Call, the dam of Highway To Heaven, won only once race but she was a half-sister to 11 winners -  five in 2:00 – including two high class WA pacers in Lively Medley 1:54.6 ($131,055), winner of the Mount Eden Sprint and WA 4 &5YO Championship, and Falcon’s Medley 1:55.1 ($186,312).

Highway To Heaven was bred by Nevele R Stud, Christchurch.


 

Sire for South Australia

The Christian Cullen horse Gotta Go Cullect has been relocated to South Australia where he is to do stud duty at Mario Borg’s property at Sampson Flat, near Gawler.


Gotta Go Cullect in winning action
 

Gotta Go Cullect was first at the stud in New Zealand before doing a term at Egmont Park Stud in Queensland. His current crop of two-year-olds are grand individuals and those in work have shown marked promise.

His stock include the top WA racemare Gotta Go Gabbana, Al Raza (winner of $445,000), the Queensland Oaks winner Nek Time, Come Cullect (NSW Ranji Bill), Gotta Go Henry, He’s Okey Dokey and Sparkling Cullect.

A particularly well bred horse, Gotta Go Cullect is by Christian Cullen from a champion racemare in Elect To Live, the dam also of the Harness Jewels winner Gotta Go Harmony.

Elect To Live was by Live Or Die from Lopez Elect, by Lopez Hanover from Ruling Miss, by Card Shark from the Brahman mare Ruling Caste, who established a strong winning branch of the Norice tribe.

Gotta Go Cullect proved himself a brilliant pacer on his day, taking a NZ record of 1:57 beating Highview Tommy and Tintin In America in the Cardigan Bay Stakes.
 

Blue blooded youngster

Lightning Dan, a very impressive winner on debut at Horsham recently, is a two-year-old colt who can claim some worthwhile blood.

By Captaintreacherous, by Somebeachsomewhere from Worldly Treasure, by Artsplace, he is out of the Art Major mare Beninjurd, whose dam, My Liberty Belle (1:57.5), left a brilliant pacer and dual Inter Dominion heat winner in Philadelphia Man 1:52.6 ($559,135).

Beninjurd, who was unraced, ranks as the dam of the outstanding juvenile pacers Centenario 1:53.4 ($332,520) and Tough Tilly 1:54.9 ($191,040), both Vicbred champions, and the top Tasmanian pacer Somedan 1:55.9 ($131,690).


 

First winner for Dreamcatcher

The Love You horse, Dreamcatcher, who was bred in Sweden and raced in Victoria, was represented by his first winner from his first small crop when the two-year-old Eds Dream emerged successful at Melton recently.

Having only his second start, the colt led from the outset, and, after a brief mistake in the last lap, recovered his gait and marched away for a half-length win. 

Bred by Pat Driscoll, Eds Dream ranks as a half-brother to the Group/Listed winners My Valerie 1:54.8 ($132,655) and Parisian Chic (1:58.8), being out of Xena Hest, by Pine Chip from the Inter Dominion Consolation winner Amy Hest, by Game Pride.

Dreamcatcher will stand his first public season at stud at Driscoll’s Haras Des Trotteurs’ property near Ballarat next spring.



 

by Peter Wharton", "Victorian trainer Gary Lawlor is the first to admit that over the years, horses have been very good to him – and not just those in his current harness racing stable.

Lawlor, who hails from Camperdown, has shown a Midas touch over the years training both standardbreds and thoroughbreds.

“I worked hard in my late teens and then when I was 20, I had 12 months at Meadowbrook (Standardbred) Stud, run by Kevin and Patsy Abrahams, when it was at Riddells Creek,” Lawlor said.

“It was reasonably full-on because I was involved with the breeding side. When I left, I had enough to pay cash for my very first home.”

Lawlor got his first city winner at the old Melbourne Showgrounds harness racing track when he was an 18-year-old with Abbe Peak and has since won a couple at both the Moonee Valley and TABcorp Park Melton venues.

“I’m certainly proud of that achievement. It’s pretty special and I reckon I would have been one of, if not the youngest, to get a Showgrounds winner,” Lawlor said.

“Around that time, my dad Joe had a champion in Heytesbury Meadow, who was sired by Meadow Vance.”

Joe was a passionate industry participant and bred many horses with the Heytesbury prefix in their race name.

“He was one of the first to bring stallions from the USA. I think he got three or four out here and bred some top-liners,” Lawlor said.

Doing a favour for a friend saw Lawlor shift into the thoroughbred ranks for a three-year stint.

“I was asked to break-in a galloper and then ended up buying it when the owner got into a tight financial spot. I think I paid $1500,” he said.

“The horse raced as Opposing Miracle and won 10 races and over $80,000 in stakes.  I took it to the city on two occasions and each time Paddy Payne beat us by a short half head.

“In the gallops game, I had 33 winners and won a couple of cups including the Avoca Cup. I got a double at Stawell one day and landed another horse I had, Stylish Miracle at 50/1 at Geelong.”

Lawlor said training thoroughbreds worked well while his children were teenagers.

“Then when they grew up and got married, I gradually moved back to the trots. But while I was still involved in both codes, I did get a unique double—one at the gallops during the day and then a trots winner at night!” he said.

“I shifted away from the gallops because it was difficult to get jockeys. Any of them that showed ability were lured to the city. My sons Brian and Darryl rode trackwork.

“Brian is now a gallops trainer in Ballarat and going along okay with five wins. He’s also an A Grade farrier so he’s pretty busy.

“Darryl does shift work and helps me at home with the pacers.

Lawlor decided to retire from full time work 18 months ago after spending the previous decade on shift work as a pasteurizer operator at Camperdown Dairy.

“I’m loving working with the horses full-time.  We’ve got three in work and Darryl does most of the race driving for me – so far our strike rate’s been pretty good.”

The stable chalked up a Melton double recently when Reactor Factor (Auckland Reactor-Chloes Courage (Courage Under Fire) and Notnegotiable (Badlands Hanover-Total Credits (Courage Under Fire) both scored impressively.

Notnegotiable is a full brother to a smart pacer prepared by the Lawlor team in Bad Billy. He retired with 19 wins and $220,000 in stakes and is now being broken-in to saddle to eventually become a pony for Gary Lawlor’s grandchildren.

The third member of the stable, bay mare Shady Credit (Shadyshark Hanover-Total Credits (Courage Under Fire) scored at Terang on Wednesday night.

“My dad was a genius when it came to pedigrees and Darryl has inherited that. When it comes to studying breeding and pedigree matching, it just comes natural for him.

“Reactor Factor was passed in at a Sydney yearling sale after not getting a bid. Darryl was all over it and we ended up paying just $5000. He was a bargain because he’s now won four races,” Lawlor said.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura", "WASHINGTON, PA -  March 18, 2021 -- Whiskey Blu easily captured the $19,750 championship of the Dale McConnell Memorial Trot Thursday at The Meadows to stretch his harness racing career unbeaten streak to seven and complete a sweep of the series for 3- and 4-year-old stallion, colt and gelding trotters.

Whiskey Blu settled in third from post 7 but not for long, as Dan Charlino hustled him to the point past the quarter. The 3-year-old Southwind Frank-Kendall Blue gelding never was challenged thereafter, jogging off to score in 1:56.4 over a sloppy surface. Massive Stroke rallied for second, 3 lengths back, with The Great PG third.

Trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Kitefield Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC didn't race Whiskey Blu at 2, giving him time to mature. Now, with nothing but victories on his card in strictly local events, do his connections think he'll be competitive against tougher?

WHISKEY BLU REPLAY

 

\"We honestly don't know yet,\" said Charlino, his pilot in all seven starts. \"\"We all thought he had a lot of talent and potential last year, and he just came unraveled a little bit. He races best when there's a horse beside him, and that hasn't happened yet. But he could be a good one.\"

Whiskey Blu wasn't the only trotter on Thursday's card to extend an impressive winning streak. In the $21,500 final of the Mary Wohlmuth Memorial Trot for 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares, Rebecca overcame a demanding trip from post 8 to notch her fourth consecutive victory.

Trainer/driver Dave Wade sent the 4-year-old daughter of Explosive Matter-SJ's Minolta for the lead, but it took her nearly three-eighths to reach it and cross over. Instead of tiring late, Rebecca surged through the lane and defeated long shot Caramel Macchiato by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:57.1. Early leader Wonmyheart Hanover earned show.

RECECCA REPLAY

 

Rebecca's game performance reminded Wade of her broodmare sire SJ's Photo, whom Wade campaigned on both sides of the Atlantic.

\"I was concerned when we got to the half because she didn't have her 'A' game today,\" said Wade, who owns the homebred with Gerald Brittingham. \"I didn't know if she'd be able to hold on. She showed me a quality I had in SJ. No matter what, the sonofagun tried hard. I hadn't had to ask her for determination before today. But I asked her, and she showed it to me.\"

He indicated Rebecca has no stake engagements this year.

\"I think eventually she'll be an Open trotter,\" he said, \"but I don't want to rush her. We'll let her tell me.\"

Elsewhere on Thursday's card, The First Step won the $16,200 Open Handicap Pace despite taking the overland route, triumphing in 1:51 for Dave Palone, Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Phillip Collura. The 5-year-old Betterthancheddar-Mery Linny Lee gelding lifted his lifetime bankroll to $175,319. Rock Candy and Whos Better rounded out the ticket.

Live racing at The Meadows continues Friday when the 13-race program features a $4,798.83 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and the championship of the Wilbur Zendt Memorial Pace. First post is 12:45 PM.

by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA", "East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs are announcing policy regarding the horses of which a majority interest of more than fifty percent is held by those harness racing owners affected by the press release of March 6.

Any horse sold publicly or privately to disperse those ownership interests must be a legitimate sale to someone other than and not affiliated with the current owners.

It is recommended that all prospective buyers/owners read through the \"Rules\" and \"Disputes\" section of conditions for stakes administered by The Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs which contain language that includes the right to exclude horses from stakes that do not meet the specifications within.

It is also recommended that any prospective buyer request from the seller the current stakes schedule for which all required payments have been made toward 2021 stakes. To date, there have been no exclusions or refunds of payments from stakes at The Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs on the horses that fall into the above category, so those horses are currently eligible to the stakes in which the payments are current. Their eligibility will continue, providing the remaining payments are made by the new owner.

The horses described above, if legitimately sold to the satisfaction of the stakes sponsors would become eligible to race in overnight or stakes races at The Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs sixty (60) days after the transfer is completed.

Any horse that is or was trained in the Allard Florida stable will be excluded from overnight and/or stakes races at The Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs indefinitely, as written in the March 6 release.


From the Meadowlands, Tioga and Vernon Downs", "Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series second leg, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features three $35,000 divisions on Friday (March 19) in the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for open pacing mares. The Monday (March 22) card at Yonkers will see four $40,000 divisions in the second round of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for open pacers.

Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Monday (April 19).

Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link.

Last Time: Alexa Skye and driver Todd McCarthy served notice in the second of three $35,000 divisions of opening round action in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for pacing mares on Friday night (March 12) at Yonkers Raceway with a blistering 1:51.2 victory.

McCarthy took the 4-5 public choice to the lead shortly after the start, putting second choice Seaswift Joy N, driven by his brother Andy, in the pocket. Alexa Skye dictated the pace, cutting the first two fractions in identical :28 quarters and keeping the abbreviated field of five at bay in the process.

Alexa Skye picked up the pace noticeably past the half and smoked her third quarter in :27.2, gaining ample separation on the field before marching home impressively with a :28 final kicker.

A 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Alexa Skye won for the first time since being purchased by trainer Jeff Cullipher, along with Pollack Racing, in February. Alexa Skye picked up her 13th victory overall and has now earned $174,890.

It was a chalky beginning to the 2021 MGM Borgata Series for free-for-all pacers on Monday night (March 15) at Yonkers Raceway as favorites delivered in four of the five $40,000 divisions.

Let It Ride N (Dexter Dunn) began the proceedings, prevailing off a second-over trip at 1-5 to run his record in the United States to seven wins from seven starts.

Dunn brought Let It Ride N to the outside from fourth after the :56.4 half, and then picked up cover when This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) tipped out of the pocket beyond the 1:24.1 three-quarters. Dunn sent Let It Ride N three-wide on the far turn, and he kicked home strongly to win by a half-length in 1:52.2. This Is The Plan was the runner-up, and Rodeo Rock (Tim Tetrick) closed from sixth to third in the last quarter.

Richard \"Nifty\" Norman trains Let It Ride N, an 8-year-old gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven, for owners William Hartt and Enzed Racing Stable. Let It Ride N has won 25 times from 61 lifetime starts and he has now pocketed $395,958.

Complete recaps of all the races are available on the Grand Circuit website.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2021 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders (through the races on 3-15-21):

Drivers: 1. Austin Siegelman - 22; 2t. Andrew McCarthy - 20; 2t. Todd McCarthy - 20; 4t. Dexter Dunn - 12; 4t. Tyler Buter -12.

Trainers: 1. Nifty Norman - 17; 2. Ron Burke - 15; 3t. Todd Buter - 10; 3t. Jeff Cullipher - 10; 3t. Nancy Takter - 10.

Owners: 1t. Bd Racing - 10; 1t. Renee Bercury - 10; 1t. Jesmeral Stable - 10; 4t. Enzed Racing Stable - 7; 4t. Eric Prevost - 7.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata over the next three weeks. The finals for both events will be held on April 19.

by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit", "Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has no hesitation in classing Lavra Joe in the same elite company as former star three-year-olds Saab, Talladega, Hilarion Star and Flashing Star he drove to numerous feature wins in the 1990s.

And he is in awe of Lavra Joe, a remarkable three-year-old colt owned and trained by Ray Jones who has won at 14 of his 26 starts and is destined for stardom.

Lavra Joe, who set the pace and scored an effortless victory in the Group 3 Caduceus Club Classic a fortnight ago, has drawn awkwardly on the inside of the back line in the $50,000 Group 2 Intersport Slater Gartrell Western Gateway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“It’s a bit of a headache,” said Lewis. “Obviously, it is not the ideal draw for him; any other draw probably would be better, but we’ll take what we get. It would be nice to be able to get off the pegs as early as possible. He 2536m trip should be in his favour.

“Lavra Joe’s past two runs have been outstanding. He shouldn’t really be doing that; he’s just an exceptional horse and he is certainly right up there with some of the best three-year-olds I have driven. I hate comparing horses, but Lavra Joe is definitely in that league.”

Saab, his full-brother Talladega, Hilarion Star and his half-brother Flashing Star excelled after brilliant careers as two and three-year-olds, with Saab racing 63 times for 21 wins, 15 seconds and three thirds for stakes of $577,197, Talladega earning $411,680 from 18 wins and ten placings from 66 starts, Hilarion Star having 70 starts for 26 wins, 17 placings and $398,394, and Flashing Star racing 118 times for 23 wins, 32 placings and $352,888.

Lavra Joe gives every indication that he will prove extremely hard to beat in the $200,000 Sky Channel WA Derby on February 30 and then develop into a leading contender for WA’s major feature events in the following years.

With Lewis anxious to get Lavra Joe off the inside and into the clear as early as possible, the star reinsman will determine his tactics depending on the tempo of the race.

The Ross Olivieri-trained Carabao will start from the prized No. 1 barrier and Kim Prentice is likely to take advantage of the colt’s good gate speed like he did when Carabao led from barrier one and won convincingly in weaker company, beating Ima Rockabilly Rebel and American Bullitt.

Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice admitted he was disappointed at Mighty Ronaldo’s fading last-start ninth behind Lavra Joe last Friday week when the Alta Christiano colt started from the inside of the back line, got off the pegs after 500m and was sixth in the one-wide line at the bell before moving four wide 300m from home, but wilting quickly.

That followed Mighty Ronaldo’s all-the-way win (from barrier one) in the Group 2 Sales Classic in which he held on to defeat Lavra Joe by a head after his great rival started out wide at barrier seven and worked hard in the breeze throughout.

“That wasn’t the usual Mighty Ronaldo,” said Prentice. “He had an elevated heart rate, but other than that we haven’t found anything wrong with him. His work since has been good, and much will depend on where he ends up after starting from barrier five. I still think he is a good chance; he has proved that he’s good enough.”

Pinny Tiger (barrier two), Seeryanfly (three) and  Dominus Factum (four) are drawn to be prominent, with Dominus Factum surprising and delighting trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo with his excellent last-start second to Lavra Joe in the Caduceus Club Classic in which the American Ideal gelding began speedily from the No. 2 barrier to outgun Lavra Joe to take up the running after 250m. Lewis then dashed Lavra Joe to the front 150m later, giving Dominus Factum, an $81 outsider, an ideal trail before he fought on grandly to finish second.

Seeryanfly is racing keenly for trainer-driver Robbie Williams, and he impressed with his strong finishing burst when third behind Lavra Joe and Dominus Factum two weeks ago.

Pinny Tiger, to be driven by Michael Grantham for Blythewood trainer Michael Brennan, will be having his first start since he led from barrier one and was an easy winner in moderate company at Narrogin seven weeks ago. He warmed up for this assignment with a smart all-the-way 2185m trial win at Pinjarra on Wednesday of last week when he beat Be Seventeen by two lengths.

View the fields for Gloucester Park click here!

 

Ken Casellas", "Cigar Smoking Tony and Salt Life picked up their first victories in the event, and Diamondbeach backed up his impressive win from a week ago with another one in the three $15,000 splits of the third and final leg of the M Life Rewards Gents Pacing Series for harness racing colts and geldings on Wednesday night (March 17) at Yonkers Raceway.

Driven by Jason Bartlett, Cigar Smoking Tony hustled to the front from the outside post six in the first division, then yielded to race in the pocket behind Sailboat Hanover (George Brennan) after the 27.4 opening quarter.

Sailboat Hanover remained on the point at the 56 second half-mile marker, but Bartlett had Cigar Smoking Tony out and on the move prior to the 1:24.3 three-quarters, and Cigar Smoking Tony had the lead back in his possession beyond that station.

From there, Cigar Smoking Tony could not be caught as he went on to score by three-parts of a length in 1:54.1. Sweet Truth (Austin Siegelman) rallied for second at 13-1, and 32-1 outsider Social Theories (Tyler Buter) advanced from sixth to third in the last quarter.

 

Jose Godinez trains Cigar Smoking Tony, a 4-year-old son of Art Major, for co-owners/breeders Joseph Betro, Ian Behar, and Kristie Leigh Farm Inc. Cigar Smoking Tony has a record of 5-1-2 from 11 career starts, and he has now earned $30,600. Cigar Smoking Tony was a 9-2 shot and returned $11.40 to win. The exacta paid $118.00, and the trifecta was worth $407.50.

In the next grouping Diamondbeach (Siegelman) worked his way around Lou's Sweetrevenge (Brennan) to take command past a quick 27 second opening quarter. Diamondbeach was all business after that, posting a 55.4 half and a 1:24.4 three-quarters on his way to a 2 1/2 length decision in 1:53.3. Lou's Sweetrevenge held second, with Got The Mojo (Matt Kakaley) third.

 

Diamondbeach, a 4-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, is owned and trained by Ricky Bucci. Diamondbeach is now a six-time winner from 19 appearances, and he has banked $51,616. Diamondbeach, the 1-2 favorite, returned $3.10 to win and topped a $7.50 exacta and a $21.80 trifecta.

Salt Life (Mark MacDonald) had gotten involved in early pace battles that hurt his chances in the first two rounds of the M Life Rewards Gents Pacing Series, but he avoided that tonight, leading all the way from the pole position en route to a 1:54.3 score at odds of 14-1.

Salt Life lined up the field in post position order well before the 28.3 quarter went on the board and continued to be well-rated through the 57.4 half and the 1:26.1 three-quarters. Rolling With Sam (Brennan) marched up into second from first-over on the last turn and tried his best to menace Salt Life, but it was to no avail as the pace-setter kicked home in 28.2 to win by three-quarters of a length over pocket-sitter Panther Time (Joe Bongiorno). Rolling With Sam ended up third.

 

Another 4-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere, Salt Life is co-owned by trainer Bruce Mattison and Carmen Lemorta. Salt Life bagged his sixth career victory, and he has now put away $34,389. Salt Life, who returned $30.40 to win, keyed a $75.50 exacta and a $393.00 trifecta.

The M Life Rewards Gents Pacing Series comes to a close next Wednesday (March 24) with the $58,400 final and a $25,000 consolation. Series standings are available on Yonkers Raceway's website.

Stakes action resumes at Yonkers on Friday (March 19) with three $35,000 divisions of the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for pacing mares and continues on Monday (March 22) with four $40,000 splits of the second leg of MGM Borgata Series for free-for-all pacers. Post time is at 7:15 p.m.

For full race results, click here.

From Yonkers Raceway", "As far as interstate moves go, things really could not have got off to a shakier start for the Sanderson harness racing family.

A blown-up horse truck ensured things didn’t run quite to plan for Shane and Naomi Sanderson, when they began the epic task of relocating a family of four and 15 horses last week from NSW – but they certainly didn’t take long to turn things around!

Two meetings, seven starters and three winners put the writing on the wall that the stable is well-placed in its relocation from Menangle to Charlton, north west of Bendigo.

“The shift was definitely a bit of a hassle, with the truck blowing a head gasket at the worst possible time.  It definitely made things a bit unsettled and lot harder than they could have been!” Shane said.

“It threw things into a bit of disarray.  We had a few more things to organise to transport the horses down, and a few more trips up and back than we expected – but hopefully, after we get the truck back down here today (Thursday) we will be finally settled in Victoria!” he said.

The Sandersons arrived at their new Charlton Training Centre base just a day or two before the home-town cup on Sunday, where they had three horses engaged – one of them, seasoned campaigner Dikerry (Mach Three – Elena Star (Fake Left) scored a strong win in the 3SH Claiming Pace.

Watch Dikerry win his race click here!

On Tuesday, the Sanderson’s had three horses engaged at Swan Hill, and the result was a double, with Sea Hawke (Mr Feelgood – Spirit of Fun (McArdle) and Leigha Miller (Art Major – Misty Miller (Fake Left).

The breakthrough Charlton win was especially sweet, after Ryan’s last engagement there when he left the track in an ambulance. Ryan had been campaigning in Victoria and was involved in a sickening race fall in October and flown to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital.

Shane said it was a relief to get the first meeting out of the way at their new home track.

“We hadn’t thought too much about it, but we did joke with Ryan afterwards that it was nice that he left the course on his own two feet this time!” he said.

Ironically, it was that incident in October that introduced Shane and Naomi to the Charlton Harness Racing community and presented an ideal opportunity for them to move south for better opportunities for Ryan and his sister Abbey.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura", "SPECTRUM NEWS REPORTS that the 80th season of harness racing in Saratoga Springs opened on Monday, March 1. Depending on where negotiations end up in the state budget, this season could be harness racing’s last in the Spa City.

In a surprising move, Governor Andrew Cuomo included a provision in his executive budget that, if passed, will allow Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady to stop purse support payments to the Saratoga Harness Horseperson’s Association (SHHA) until six months after all pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

The provision is considered a surprise because it has no bearing on state tax revenue.

According to Assemblymember Carrie Woerner, the proposal renders the SHHA inoperable, and “there would no longer be harness racing in Saratoga Springs.”

“I have deep concerns that what has been proposed in the governor’s budget, what has been termed a sweetheart deal for Rivers Casino, would in fact make all of this impossible,” she said.



Carrie Woerner

Purse support payments were negotiated in 2013. The law requires that upstate casinos ensure that harness track revenues are what they were at the time the law was signed.

The money in question goes into a purse account, which is used for the benefit of the SHHA. It pays for purses – the money that owners race for – as well as operational expenses like track maintenance. The money from the fund also pays for members’ health insurance, drivers, and groomers. Anyone who is a member of SHHA can participate in the association’s health insurance plan.

By a quirk of fate, all of the upstate casinos are affiliated with harness tracks, except Rivers. Because of that, Rivers only pays a portion of what, for example, the Saratoga Casino & Raceway pays.

The Rivers Casino emailed the following to Capital Tonight in response to a request:

Rivers Casino was in a precarious economic situation prior to the pandemic and is now in far worse shape because of the six-month shutdown and current COVID-19 restrictions, including the state-mandated 25% operating capacity and limited hours (6 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily).

The gaming statute NEVER intended to place a struggling Rivers Casino on the hook to make up revenue declines at Saratoga Casino and Raceway caused by an unforeseen catastrophe like the COVID-19 pandemic, or a lack of performance at Saratoga. The budget proposal eliminates the windfall to Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

Rush Street Gaming, which owns Rivers, hasn’t paid its share to the Saratoga Harness Horseman’s Association since January of 2020, before the pandemic officially hit New York.

Rivers is open, though at partial capacity. The governor’s proposal reportedly requires Rivers to pay its first quarter payment of $825,000. 

“If and when the governor's proposal is enacted, we'll comply. The proposal gives Rivers time to come up with the money and regain some financial footing.”

There is some apparent thawing of the ice. As of this afternoon, the SHHA and Rush Street Gaming had agreed to sit down and negotiate.

If the two parties don’t come to an agreement, the fate of harness racing in Saratoga could be left up to the parties negotiating a state budget. While the Assembly’s one-house budget bill doesn’t include the governor’s provision, the Senate’s bill does, with a small change: Instead of purse payments being delayed until six months after all pandemic restrictions are lifted, they would be delayed three months.

Statement from Rivers Casino:

\"Rivers Casino was in a precarious economic situation prior to the pandemic and is now in far worse shape because of the six-month shutdown and current COVID-19 restrictions, including the state-mandated 25% operating capacity and limited hours (6 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily).

\"Rivers Casino is the ONLY casino which does not own or operate a track that is obligated to subsidize a harness track. The gaming statute NEVER intended to place a struggling Rivers Casino on the hook to make up revenue declines at Saratoga Casino and Raceway caused by an unforeseen catastrophe like the COVID-19 pandemic, or a lack of performance at Saratoga.

\"The budget proposal eliminates the windfall to Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Our top priority at Rivers is the economic viability of Schenectady and the well-being and job stability of our 1,000 team members, a significant amount of whom are from underserved and minority communities. The pandemic presents an unprecedented economic disaster to the city of Schenectady and the state of New York, and Rivers looks forward to being part of the plan to help revitalize the city during its recovery.\"

Reprinted with permission from Spectrum News", "Indiana stallion Helpisontheway, the third richest son of the champion racehorse and stallion, Chapter Seven, will service a projected book of 70 European based mares via frozen semen.

Helpisontheway (Chapter Seven-Porque) took a mark of 1:51.4 at three accumulating $610,446 in earnings is in the process of serving another full book in his third season at Indiana’s Maple Lanes Farm.

“It’s rewarding to have so many repeat breeders” said Jon Wiesman of Wiesman Farms owner and manager of the Chapter Seven stallion.  “And now he’s available on an International basis.”

Thus far 60 mares from Italy, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Belgium have been booked and more are anticipated”.  

According to the noted horseman Carter Duer, “My Helpisontheay yearling is an exceptional colt one of my best in the field this year.” Other prominent breeders have indicated similar sentiments.  

The first crop of Helpisontheway will reach the yearling auctions later this year. 

by Bob Marks", "Passionate country New South Wales harness racing trainer Grant Forrest is enjoying a flying visit to Victoria-so much so, that he's already pencilling in a return trip for Maryborough's prestigious Redwood Trot Carnival later this year.

Forrest is currently campaigning two horses-Sally Em and Thebestbourbon-out of a temporary base at Maryborough, in Victoria's Central Highlands, organized by local trainer Tim Mortlock.

\"Sally Em is eligible for a VicBred bonus, but she is really a travelling companion for the other one which I expect will develop into a handy horse,\" Forrest said.

Forrest admits he's another of the growing band of trainers leaning toward specialising in square-gaiters and has 11 trotters in work at his Mount Fairy base, north east of Canberra.

\"Where I live is a lovely rural town in the southern highlands, roughly positioned halfway between Canberra and Batman's Bay on the coast,\" he said.

\"I have to be honest and say that in a perfect world, a shift to Victoria would be ideal because you can place your horses much better. And that goes from maiden trotters, down through all the other grades to the fast class.

\"The percentage of trotters is certainly on the increase. I compete at Canberra, Goulburn and Menangle, while lately I've been going to Penrith because they seem to be starting to program more trotting races.\"

Several of the team came from Haras de Trotters and Yabby Dam Farms at Ballarat, and Forrest has recently arranged with Yabby Dam principal Pat Driscoll to stand promising Swedish sire Dreamcatcher next season.

\"Dreamcatcher had his first starter recently (Eds Dream, out of Xena Hest) for a win so we're pretty excited. Pat is a really smart operator who puts the industry first and not himself. He's had such a huge influence in the trotting ranks throughout Australia,\" Forrest said.

\"We've also got six broodmares and we stand Yankee Spider at stud. We lease Thebestbourbon from Pat and she will be my second Group One starter when she lines up at Melton on Saturday night.\"

Thebestbourbon (Sam Bourbon-Maidstone Miss (Sundon) has drawn barrier seven in the $50,000 Aldebaran Park VicBred Platinum Home Grown Classic for three-year-old trotting fillies.

The youngster made her race debut at Maryborough last Thursday and caught the eye with a nice third after blowing her chances at the start by galloping. She was beaten six metres by the Chris Lang-trained Perfect Polly in 2.00-4.

Forrest said he planned on bringing at least a truckload down for the Redwood Carnival in late October.

\"I travelled down with three horses a few years ago and it's an awesome carnival. My dad Greg is at home at the moment keeping the rest of the team ticking over so it gives me a chance to get away,\" he said.

The Maryborough club yesterday released news that Australasia's premier all-trot country carnival would be conducted on Friday and Sunday, October 29 and 31.

The club will stage several meetings in a busy month. The Cup will be run on October 17 and this will be followed by Derby heats a week later on the 24th.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura", "YONKERS, N.Y. – If harness racing future wagering were offered today on the Borgata Pacing Series Final, which will be held Monday, April 19, 2021 at Yonkers Raceway after five preliminary legs, the two favorites would undoubtably be Let It Ride and This Is The Plan.

After 40 of the 47 eligible pacers were entered into the Borgata Series first leg and split into five divisions, those two favorites found themselves in the same split – the first one of the series – which begins tonight (March 15) in race three.

Let It Ride won two Group 1 stakes in Australia in 2018, but lost his form and settled into a winless rut in 2020.  He shipped to America last fall to Nifty Norman’s stable and added Lasix, which Norman credited as a key change for the 8-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding. 

Let It Ride is undefeated in six U.S. starts, including a 1:48.1 victory in the $28,000 Meadowlands open/preferred handicap Jan. 2 and an off the pace victory in 1:52.1 with a :26.4 final quarter in the $30,000 Yonkers open handicap Jan. 11, his latest pari-mutuel outing. 

Let It Ride tuned up for the Borgata Series with a 1:54 qualifier at the Meadowlands March 6. He drew post four in the $40,000 Borgata opening division and with regular reinsman Dexter Dunn set to drive, is the 9-5 morning line favorite.

While Let It Ride will make his first Grand Circuit start in the Borgata, This Is The Plan is no stranger to the series; he’s been an active player in North America’s top races since 2017. Career highlights include wins in the $176,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby in 2020, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Final and $200,000 Prix d’Été in 2019 and the $260,000 Progress Pace in 2018. 

In his most recent stakes outing, George Brennan found This Is The Plan a perfect second-over trip from post seven in the $125,000 Invitational Pace for Borgata Series Eligibles at Yonkers Nov. 28. The Ron Burke trainee capitalized, earning a half-length victory in 1:52. This Is The Plan then finished second in a Meadowlands preferred Dec. 5 before getting a winter break. He returned with a 1:54 qualifier at the Swamp March 6 to prepare for the Borgata Series.

This Is The Plan drew post one in the Borgata first division and with regular driver Yannick Gingras in the sulky, is 3-1 on the morning line.

Other players in the Borgata first division include Western Joe, American History, Stars Align, Rodeo Rock, Bronx Seelster, and Tellitsabb.

The second division of the Borgata first leg features the returns of American Mercury, who switches barns to the Norman stable and finished a nose ahead of Let It Ride in the March 6 qualifier, and None Better, who is back off two qualifying wins (1:50.4 at Pompano Feb. 15 and 1:50.1 at the Meadowlands Feb. 27) and is now in the Nancy Takter stable.

The third division features the Grand Circuit debut of Pat Stanley for Shane Tritton, the Yonkers return of San Domino, the beaten favorite in the Invitational for Borgata Series Eligibles last fall, and Tookadiveoffdipper, who was third in that Invitational. 

The fourth division pits several stalwarts of the Yonkers open handicap pace against each other, including Hesa Kingslayer, Ideal Jimmy, The Wall, Shnitzledosomethin, and Ostro Hanover. 

The final division of the Borgata first leg sees the return of Backstreet Shadow, winner of the $164,000 Roll With Joe in 2020, and the 16-1 upsetter of the 2020 $100,000 Potomac Pace, Leonidas, who captured a $30,000 Yonkers open in his pari-mutuel return March 1.

Monday’s card features a $2,884 pick six carryover. The wager begins in race three and encompasses all five divisions of the Borgata first leg, plus the $25,000 preferred handicap pace. The wager features a $1 minimum stake, a 20% takeout rate, and no jackpot provision. Free full-card past performances are available here.

Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday through Friday with a first post time of 7:15 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.

By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY", "Down Under Pacer looking the goods so far in the US.

Meadowlands Racing on Saturday night saw Down Under Pacer Colossal Stride A get a good harness racing win when crossing the line first in a slick 1:50.3.

It was a three way Down Under victory with both down under horsemen trainer Nifty Norman and driver Dexter Dunn handling the gelding. The son of Bettors Delight came first over and then kicked away with the leader to then steadily ware him down to take home the $18,5000 prize money.

Since joining the Nifty Norman stable, Colossal Stride A has had 4 race starts for 3 wins and a second. A faultless record.

With this tough victory the 6yos harness racing career looks very bright for the future in the US.



When Colossal Stride A was racing down under he won 9 races and placed 8 times and picked up a Group 3 placing. 

 

Monday 8th March

Dover Downs DE

Montefelco N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $6,500

 

Yonkers Raceway NY

Soho Lennon A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $17,500

Redbank Blaze A – Time: 1:52.4 Stake: $17,500

 

Tuesday 9th March

Monticello Raceway NY

Im A Director N – Time: 1:58.0, Stake: $5,600

 

Northfield Park OH

Iam Erik N – Time: 1:57.0, Stake: $5,200

 

Pompano Park FL

Lucky Artist A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $11,000

 

Saratoga Harness NY

Waimac Attack N – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $6,300

Walkinshaw N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $11,000

Tuapeka Trick N – Time: 1:58.0, Stake: $4,825

 

Yonkers Raceway NY

Hundie N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $14,000

Anthem A – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $14,000



Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Benhope Rulz N, 3rd Mister Spot A



 

Wednesday 10th March

Rosecroft Raceway MD

Shezallapples A – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $6,000

 

Thursday 11th March

Dover Downs DE

Bad Boy Brad A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $10,000

Jacks Shadow N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $9,000

 

Monticello Raceway NY

Fiery Lustre N – Time: 1:57.4, Stake: $3,100

 

The Meadows PA

Dream Out Loud N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $7,200

 

Yonkers Raceway NY

Coveredndiamonds N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $9,500

Quite A Delight N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $9,500

Imprincessgemma A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $25,000



Down Under First 5 – 2nd Demeter N, 3rd Shes Pukka N, 4th Dongal Rundlscrk N, 5th Bronskimackenzie A



 

Flamboro Downs CA

Hold Thumbs N – Time: 1:57.0, Stake: $6,400

 

Friday 12th March

Freehold Raceway NJ

Classy Chapel N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $6,300

 

Meadowlands NJ

Statesman N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $8,125

 

Yonkers Raceway NY

Herrickroosevelt N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $9,500

 

Western Fair Raceway CA

Smoke N Reactor N – Time: 1:58.3, Stake: $8,500

 

Woodbine Mohawk Park CA

Major League N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $14,000

 

Saturday 13th March

Freehold Raceway NJ

Tisadream A – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $10,500



Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Soho Wallstreet A, 3rd Christen Me N



 

Meadowlands NJ

My Alpha Rock N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $13,750

Lexus With A View N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $15,000

Colossal Stride A – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $18,500

 

Miami Valley Raceway OH

Montana Pablo A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $4,500

 

Northfield Park OH

Lovin Miss Daisy N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $6,800


The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA

Redbank Blaze A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $14,000



Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Thatswhatisaid N, 3rd Tam Major A



Tullow N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $16,000

Foo Fighter N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $12,800

 

Woodbine Mohawk Park CA

Ivana Flybye N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $26,000


Sunday 14th March

Miami Valley Raceway OH

Persistent Threat A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $4,000

 

Northfield Park OH

Chumlee A – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $6,800

Executive Dash N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $8,500

 

 




Click here for previous weeks articles

 

by Carter Dalgety", "It was a chalky beginning to the 2021 MGM Borgata Series for free-for-all harness racing pacers on Monday night (March 15) at Yonkers Raceway as favorites delivered in four of the five $40,000 divisions.

Let It Ride N (Dexter Dunn) began the proceedings, prevailing off a second-over trip at 1-9 to run his record in the United States to seven wins from seven starts. Dunn brought Let It Ride N to the outside from fourth after the 56.4 half, and then picked up cover when This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) tipped out of the pocket beyond the 1:24.1 three-quarters. Dunn sent Let It Ride N three-wide on the far turn, and he kicked home strongly to win by half a length in 1:52.2. This Is The Plan was the runner-up, and Rodeo Rock (Tim Tetrick) closed from sixth to third in the last quarter.

Richard \"Nifty\" Norman trains Let It Ride N, an 8-year-old gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven, for owners William Hartt and Enzed Racing Stable Inc. Let It Ride N has won 25 times from 61 lifetime starts, and he has now pocketed $395,959. Let It Ride N paid $2.30 to win and led a $5.30 exacta and a $53.50 trifecta.

 

The lone upsetter was 9-2 offering Lyons Steel (Austin Siegelman), who won the second split in 1:53.1. Lyons Steel raced in fifth through fractions of 27.3, 56.4, and 1:25, went four-wide from third-over on the final turn, and got up in the stretch to defeat American Mercury (Andrew McCarthy), who had the second-over journey, by a neck. Mac's Jackpot (Brent Holland) was third after popping out of the two-hole nearing three-quarters.

A 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding, Lyons Steel is trained by Dennis Watson for owner BD Racing LLC. Lyons Steel picked up career victory 27, and he pushed his bankroll to $394,668. Lyons Steel returned $11.40 to win. The exacta kicked back $58.00, and the trifecta was worth $231.00.

 

San Domino A (Todd McCarthy) didn't disappoint at 3-5 in the next grouping, tallying in 1:53.1. San Domino A sped out from post four and cleared to the point around Tookadiveoffdipper (Pat Lachance) passing the 27 second opening quarter. After a 56.1 half and a 1:24.3 three-quarters, San Domino A slammed the door with a 28.3 final kicker, topping a first-over Tyga Hanover (Jason Bartlett) by a length and a half. Pat Stanley N (Jordan Stratton) turned a second-over trip into a third-place result.

The victorious 8-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding is trained by Nancy Takter for the ownership group of Joe P Racing LLC. and Oldford Racing LLC. San Domino A now has 30 lifetime wins, and he has earned $367,225. San Domino A paid $3.30 to win and was atop a $23.80 exacta and a $58.00 trifecta.

Hesa Kingslayer N (Jim Marohn Jr.) was the even-money choice in the fourth flight, and he would get the job done in a 1:52.4 mile. This race was action-packed as 42-1 shot Ideal Jimmy (Holland) forged his way to the lead going to the 27 second opening quarter, then gave a parking ticket to Shnitzledosomethin (Gingras) through a 55.3 half and a 1:23.3 three-quarters.

Hesa Kingslayer N, who had joined the two-wide flow from fourth before the half, went on the attack three-wide prior to three-quarters, assumed the first-over position on the final bend, and showed an advantage on the outside before they turned for home. From there, Hesa Kingslayer N went to win by a length over Semi Tough (George Brennan), with Ostro Hanover (Tyler Buter) third from off-the-pace.

Trainer Michael Deters also co-owns Hesa Kingslayer N, an 8-year-old gelded son of Christian Cullen, with Joel Warner. Hesa Kingslayer N now has 18 career triumphs, and he has put away $149,962. He returned $4.00 to win and keyed a $69.50 exacta and a $258.50 trifecta.

Siegelman picked up another MGM Borgata Pacing Series victory when he guided even-money favorite Leonidas A to a 1:53.1 decision in the final tilt. Western Fame (Daniel Dube), who won this event the last time it was held in 2019, posted stations of 28.1, 57.1, and 1:25.1, but Backstreet Shadow (Tetrick) was moving quickly towards him from first-over heading to three-quarters, and Leonidas A was glued right to that rival from second-over.

Siegelman tipped Leonidas A three-wide on the last turn, he vaulted into the lead in upper stretch, and then drew off to a convincing 2 1/2 length tally. Backstreet Shadow had to settle for second, and Chief Mate (Scott Zeron), who started from post eight, advanced from last to third in the final quarter.

Last year's Potomac Pace champion, Leonidas A is trained by Sheena McElhiney for owner Jesmeral Stable. A 6-year-old Mach Three gelding, Leonidas A has won 50 percent of his lifetime starts (26 of 52), and he has earnings of $251,848. Leonidas A paid $4.00 to win. The exacta returned $8.90, and the trifecta kicked back $76.50.

The MGM Borgata Series continues with preliminary round action through April 12, and the final is scheduled to take place on Monday, April 19.

There is more stakes racing ahead at Yonkers this week with the third and final leg of both the M Life Rewards Ladies Pacing Series on Tuesday (March 16) and the M Life Rewards Gents Series on Wednesday (March 17). On Friday (March 19), pacing mares take to the track in three $35,000 divisions of the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series. Alexa Skye, Blue Ivy, and Machnhope, who were victorious in the first leg of that event, have drawn in separate races again this time. Post time for all of those programs is 7:15 p.m.

From Yonkers Raceway", "Anyone in harness racing will tell you that personal milestones are not always easy to achieve, so hard-working Bendigo harness racing trainer Carla Innes-Goodridge truly enjoyed her success at Melton on Saturday night.

Carla, who works a small team at her hometown track, landed her first metropolitan winner when up-and-coming trotter Zarem scored impressively.

“We thought he had some chance because he’s run a few placings and went super in a very strong race in town at his previous start,” she said.

“That run he was way out of his class because it was virtually a free-for-all event. He got cleaned up, but then a few days later come out and trialled the place down.”

Five-year-old gelding Zarem (Wishing Stone-Broadacrossthebeam (Keystone Salute) was well-handled by Ellen Tormey, who is in red hot form.

Carla said she is always confident when she hands over the reins to Ellen.

“She knows the horse very well. While he can be quick, he’s better when he’s driven cold and he just doesn’t like the whip. Ellen knows just how to handle him,” she said.

Beginning two off the inside on the back row, Tormey was quick to duck down behind the leader when the horse beside her galloped shortly after the start.

“It was so nice to get some luck for a change. We were always in the box seat then, and Ellen ripped up the sprint lane and scooted away to win easily,” Carla said.

View the race replay click here!

Known as “Zac” at home, the square-gaiter has now won seven races with 21 placings from 53 starts for a bankroll of over $77,000.

Zarem was originally only having a quick stop-over at the stables of Innes-Goodridge as the owners believed he was better suited to compete in Queensland.

“He’d shown ability now and again, but I think he ended up staying with me because he had the VicBred bonus. The three owners are great guys and I told them that I would give him a go.  Thankfully he’s continued to keep on improving,” Carla said.

“One of the secrets has definitely been to work him against other horses. He just won’t work on his own. My husband Dean drives a pacemaker in front because he’s spot-on with a stopwatch.

“Dean is a teacher, so we are up before sunrise most times, but it’s all worth it because we think Zarem can work through the grades. He’s back at Melton next Saturday and with Ellen unavailable, we’ve put Jason Lee on him. He knows the horse and has won twice with him.”

Carla, a daughter of legendary horseman Kevin “Boofa” Innes, has been around horses all her life.

“I was born into it, along with my brother Grant who trains down the road at Inglewood,” she said.

“I wanted to drive from an early age, but dad was stubborn. He was old school, so I became a strapper…in the end probably a really, really good strapper!”

Carla did eventuallly get to drive in races, and while she enjoyed it, decided she didn’t do it enough and it was better to book the top drivers.

“I also lost the sight in one eye after a car accident in 1982. The seatbelt broke when we hit a tree and I went through the windscreen. I’m really lucky to be alive so I’m happy to stick to the training side of it,” she said.

The stable has three horses in work, all square-gaiters, although a former Queensland pacer recently arrived to be tried out.

“It’s not by design that we have trotters. It’s just ended up that way and we’re not complaining one bit,” she said.

As well as training, Carla works as a track attendant at both Bendigo and Kilmore meetings.

“I’ve probably been doing it for 10 years now. I enjoy it and it also gives me a chance to regularly catch-up with brother Grant, who has been at it at Bendigo for 17 years,” she said.

 

Terry Gange

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