Muscle Hill joins world champion Vivid Photo the 2005 Hambletonian champion in the sport's headline trotting event for three-year-olds.In a New York Late Closer on Aug. 23, Western Wild King, a son of Riverboat King, who stands at Winbak of New York, turned in the fastest three-year-old colt pace division victory, notching a 1:54 score for driver Kyle Di Benedetto.
The win was the fourth in ten starts in 2009 for Western Wild King, trained and co-owned by Theresa Bantle, Joseph Meylan and Eric Felter.
In other important races in two hemispheres, Juanita, a three-year-old homebred trotting daughter of CR Commando from the Jim Morand bred and driven Nice Juan, a Super Juan mare, won her eighth of nine races this year to equal the Ocean Downs and Maryland Standardbred Race Fund (MSRF) stake record of 1:58.2. The victory is Juanita's 16th in 18 lifetime starts.
Juanita, the odds on favorite won the $18,500 MSRF event in impressive fashion now has won more than $150,000 this season and $325,000 in her two seasons of racing. Les Givens trains Juanita for driver Morand.
Juanita actually finished first in one of her only two career loses. She was placed sixth after breaking stride in the stretch in a Delaware Standardbred Fund (DSBF) elimination race at Harrington June 16. Juanita went on to win the DSBF final July 24.
Brandon Givens drove Always A Choice to an $18,500 MSRF Colt Pace win in 1:57.1. Last year, Always A Choice, a Three Olives from Myriad colt set both Ocean Downs and Race Fund records for a two year-old colt with a 1:56.2 victory. Robert Leager Jr. owns and trains Always A Choice.
CR Commando has been a dominant trotting stallion with Grand Circuit winners as well standing at Winbak of Delaware.
Across the Pacific Ocean, a Blissfull Hall juvenile, Led Suitcase scored the biggest win of her young career on Aug. 23, to win the $311,000 Australasian Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Filly Pacers at Tabcorp Park in Melbourne, Australia.
The victory was her third straight with the strong performance recorded over a 2,240 meter course. She won by a length for her fourth win of the year to boost her earnings to $216,290. Lady Belladonna, a Pacific Fella filly finished second.
Triple Crown winner, Blissfull Hall, now stands at Winbak Farm of Canada and during the Down Under breeding season at Empire Standardbreds.