Hi there,

Welcome to issue #19 of Insider Access.

Released every 2 weeks, Insider Access showcases insider rumors and commentary in the worldwide harness racing industry.

Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else - this week we review Yankee Cruiser. All previous reviews can now be viewed at www.stallionsphere.com

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Drop your foot and pay the fine

Last week Harnesslink featured its most controversial article ever. Thousands of views and hundreds of comments, both pro and con, on the David Miller interview about dropping his foot in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs.

Miller admitted he did it, said he would do it again in the same scenario and pay the fine. He said he would never hurt a horse and dropping his foot and "startling" the horse is not kicking or hurting the horse whatsoever.

We heard from veterinarians, judges, horsemen and woman, race fans, everyone with a different opinion.

We agree with David Miller.

We also agree that when rules are broken, fines need to be imposed and repeat offenders need to be punished severely with big fines and suspension from racing.

Dropping your foot off the peg or stirrup unless popping ear plugs should not be done. There is a reason for the rule. Accidents have happened, accidents will happen and drivers should not be allowed to jeopardize other drivers and horses in a race, needless to say their horse and themselves.

AU: You're only as good as your last win

We have all heard the adage "you are only as good as your last win."

Well, it would appear at least one well-known trainer has come to realise this to be true.

Recently questioned by an administrator, the horseman in question was asked what had he ever achieved in the industry?

While the trainer maybe semi-retired these days... His victories include the Inter Dominion, Group Ones & several country cups.

It would appear prominence has a time span!

NZ: 1000 wins and hardly a murmur

One thing that we struggle with in the harness racing game in New Zealand is how we treat our superstars of the sport.

In any other sport they shower there stars with awards and public recognition when they achieve something special.

Last Friday night Todd Mitchell nailed his 1000th winner at Alexandra Park as a driver but the whole event passed off with hardly a murmur.

Here was someone who had battled through a fair bit of adversity to reach a milestone that only 21 drivers before him had achieved in New Zealand.

We should have made a real fuss over Todd driving his thousandth winner and been forthright in acknowledging his achievement.

How can we expect the wider public to be passionate about our great sport if we are so reserved about the feats of our stars.

We don't have to go over the top but we badly need to promote our stars a lot better when they reach significant milestones in their careers.

Stallion Review - Yankee Cruiser
Yankee Cruiser
Yankee Cruiser

Yankee Cruiser 1:49.3s ($1,457,346) is by Artiscape 1:49.3z ($1,469,461) from A Yankee Classic 1:56.1f ($79,378) by Jate Lobell 1:51.2 ($2,231,402) from Choice Yankee 1:52.4 ($732,442) by Colt Fortysix 1:50.3 ($232,538) from Yankee Vicky ($44,208) by Adios Vic from Machree.


Artiscape has already sired a "Horse of the Year" in the great race filly Rainbow Blue p3,1:49.2s ($1,600,012). Rainbow Blue had 32 lifetime starts for 30 wins. She has become a great producer in her own right, being the dam of Breeders Crown Champion and "2-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year" Somwherovrarainbow who now has a record of p4, 1:48f ($1,328,356).

Artiscape's richest two horses produced are the great geldings Maltese Artist 1:48.3f ($2,340,872) and Escape The Wind 1:48.3s ($2,129,224). Artiscape has produced nine millionaires in total. Besides the ones just mention, Maltese Artist, Escape The Wind, Rainbow Blue and Yankee Cruiser, the others are the gelding Rare Jewel, the 2013 Breeders Crown winner Shelliscape 1:49.1 ($1,153,549), the stallion Art Director 1:49.3 ($1,123,734), the good mare Stonebridge Kisses 1:50.2s ($1,082,459) and the gelding Escapable Beaux 1:50s ($1,051,066).

Artiscape 1:49.3z ($1,469,461) has several sons now standing at stud and besides Yankee Cruiser he has a very promising son standing in Ohio called Feelin Friskie 1:49.1 ($825,889) who has already produced 184 foals eligible to race from four small crops for earnings of $6,350,623 to date. Feelin Friskie is placed eighth on the overall average earnings list of three-year-olds in North America in 2014 ahead of the great sires Bettors Delight, Western Ideal and Rocknroll Hanover. Other sons of Artiscape at stud are Art Director 1:49.3 ($1,123,734), Artesian 1:49.2 ($987,884) and Artzina 1:51.1f ($801,766).

Artiscape - overall North American statistics

Eligible to race - 1227

Winners - 860

$1,000,000+ - 9

$750,000+ - 14

$500,000+ - 25

$250,000+ - 89

$100,000+ - 256

Sub 1:50 - 33

Average earnings per starter $93,373

Average earning per eligible horse - $77,164

Total earnings to date $94,679,889

Artiscape also stood at stud in New Zealand producing 95 winners of $1,832,858 in stakes to date.


The dam of Yankee Cruiser is the Jate Lobell race mare A Yankee Classic 1:56.1f ($79,378). Besides Yankee Cruiser she has produced seven other winners including the good Art Major mare JK Majorette 1:53.4f ($231,599), a Life Sign daughter Yankee Charisma 1:57.1f ($51,869) the dam of Speed Date ($212,347) and grand-dam of Faster Faster ($161,249), and an unraced Jenna's Beach Boy daughter Classical Yankee has produced the very good two and three-year-old Doctor Butch 1:51.1 ($786,192).

The second dam of Yankee Cruiser is the excellent race mare Choice Yankee 1:52.4 ($732,442). By Colt Fortysix Choice Yankee was a very good two and three-year-old winning the Mistletoe Shalee elimination and final at the Meadowlands. Other than producing A Yankee Classic (The dam of Artiscape) Choice Yankee has been disappointing at stud, her richest race horse produced being the Rustler Hanover gelding Dr Pete 1:54.1s ($124,666)

The third dam of Yankee Cruiser is the super producing Adios Vic mare Yankee Vicky 2:03f ($44,208). From 13 foals she has left nine winners. Besides Choice Yankee they include Mostest Yankee 1:56 ($484,248) who stood at stud in New Zealand in the early 90's producing 70 winners of $450,000, Adored Yankee 1:56.2f ($125,972) dam of Atlantic Yankee 1:50.4 ($430,121) Yankee Ace 1:53.4s ($303,098) and Lady Jack 1:51.3s ($271,389) the dam of 6 winners, Hot Pants 1:52.4s ($258,120), Lovin Yankee ($256,106) the dam of seven $100,000 winners including Up Front Charlie 1:51.1 ($366,485) and Yankee Landa 1:50 ($313,470), Miss Yankee ($125,781) dam of Yankee Co Ed 1:53.4 ($671,110) who in turn is the dam of Yankee Cam ($510,237) The Fraternity Pan ($442,319) Coastocoast Yankee ($332,572) and many others too numerous to mention.


Not exactly a "blue blood" pedigree but one full of quality horses never the less. Every generation contains an elite level horse and while a lot of the sires in the pedigree may be out of fashion these days, those sires still have the runs on the board. This is exactly the type of maternal family that we find a lot these days in our better performed stallions such as Mach Three or his outstanding son Somebeachsomewhere.

Two-year-old record

Yankee Cruiser had 13 starts for nine wins two seconds and one third for purses of $360,867 with a fastest time of 1:51.2 taken in his first major stake the $128,000 American National at Balmoral Park. In that race Yankee Cruiser beat the great horse No Pan Intended ($1,613,180) easily by three and a half lengths. The following week Yankee Cruiser won the $52,000 Review Stakes at Springfield in the same time 1:51.2 winning by six and a half lengths. Behind him that day was No Pan Intended who finished third some nine lengths in arrears.

Yankee Cruiser then went on to win the elimination and $165,000 Final of the Lou Babic Memorial on the half mile track at Freehold Raceway. He paced his mile in 1:55 winning by two lengths. Behind him was Artesian ($987,884) and Armbro Animate ($1,366,048). In his next start Yankee Cruiser was beaten in the $153,550 Nassagaweya by Sir Luck ($1,255,804).

Yankee Cruiser bounced back at his next two starts at Lexington's Red mile winning both the $89,000 Bluegrass Stakes by five lengths in 1:52.1 with a 26.2 last quarter on the end, and the $87,000 International Stallion Stakes in 1:53.1 by three and a quarter lengths beating the outstanding Allamerican Native ($1,499,977) and Totally Western ($648,364).

Yankee Cruiser then raced in the elimination of the Breeders Crown finishing second to Bradley Hall at Woodbine before not getting a chance in the $943,809 Final after starting from post 10 finishing a well beaten eighth to Totally Western. Yankee Cruiser finished his two-year-old season at his next start by winning the $70,000 Abe Lincoln at the half-mile track Maywood Park in 1:56.3.

Yankee Cruiser was trained by the late Brian Pinske throughout his two-year-old career. Upon Brian's death Timothy Pinske, Brians father took over the training duties for the remainder of Yankee Cruiser's career.

Three-year-old record

Yankee Cruiser had 22 starts for five wins five seconds and four thirds for $1,096,479 in purses as a three-year-old.

Taken to Canada to prepare for the $1,542,500 North American Cup (the richest ever), Yankee Cruiser had three starts for two seconds before starting in the $35,000 elimination of the North American Cup which he won in 1:50.1s. In this race he beat He Wants It All ($1,016,087), Arts Chip ($809.235), Crystal Art ($601,257) and Quarter Carat ($531,896). In the rich final Yankee Cruiser was slow away and well back for most of the way before Dean Magee began launching the son of Artiscape at the 450 meter mark for the drive to the line, sustaining his run and getting up just in time in 1:49.3 to beat Allamerican Native and Artesian who dead-heated for second.

Watch - Yankee Cruiser - 2003 North America Cup

Yankee Cruiser's next two starts were in the elimination and final of the $1,000,000 Meadowlands Pace where he did not do well running third in the elimination and sixth in the final after been given every possible chance.

Back to his home track Balmoral Park, Yankee Cruiser once again performed very well winning three straight stake races, the $28,000 American National elimination in 1:51.2 by three lengths, the $285,000 American National Final in 1:50 by three and a quarter lengths after starting from the outside post, and the $52,000 Review Stake at Springfield by a nose in 1:50.1 over Arts Chip ($809.235). That was to be Yankee Cruiser's last lifetime win.

Yankee Cruiser ran second in a heat of the Little Brown Jug and finished seventh in the final. He ran second to No Pan Intended in the $153,000 Tattersalls Stakes and ran third in the $335,000 Windy City Pace.


A very talented colt who was only out of the money once as a two-year-old in 13 starts, Yankee Cruiser came back and won over $1,000,000 as a three year old. His win in 1:49.3 in the $1,542,000 North American Cup was undoubtedly his best performance but he was competitive whenever he lined up over a long season at three which totaled 22 starts. Overall a great record but just a little bit of luck could have seen him earn a heck of a lot more during his career.


Yankee Cruiser stood at stud in Ohio for his first four breeding seasons before he was moved to Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania in the 2008 breeding season. During this time the Ohio Breeding Industry was heading down a slippery slope and the purses available in Ohio were not very attractive so that has to be taken into account when assessing a stallions opportunities. Also most Ohio tracks are half mile tracks and that has to be taken into consideration when assessing a stallion's progeny as well.

Watch - Yankee Cruiser at Hanover Shoe Farms

Yankee Cruiser's first crop of foals were born in 2005 and are Ohio bred. He bred 141 mares in 2004 that resulted in 106 live foals born, 50 colts and 56 fillies.

This crop was headed by the mare Kays Yankee Lou 1:52.3f ($268,263), then the geldings First Victor 1:51.3s ($261,590) Beeeyouuuuuu 1:50.1f ($258,330), then the mare Cruzin Inya Jammys 1:52s ($246,316), followed by the geldings R C Cruiser 1:53.1f ($245,612), Thistricksforyou 1:52 ($217,840), Yankee Devil 1:51.1f ($209,797) and Thunder Cruise 1:53h ($202,661). Only two fillies made the top ten richest in this crop.

It is interesting to note that 25 of the 106 foals born in this crop have had over 100 starts each and are still racing today.

Yankee Cruiser's first crop - Eligible to race - 105

Winners - 73

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 0

$500,000+ - 0

$250,000+ - 3

$100,000+ - 20

Sub 1:50 - 0

Average earnings per starter $62,030.

Average earnings per eligible horse - $51,987

Total earnings to date $5,458,631

Yankee Cruiser's second crop of foals were born in 2006 and are Ohio bred. He bred 130 mares in 2005 that resulted in 98 live foals born, 55 colts and 43 fillies.

This crop is headed by the geldings Lolas Cruiser 1:51.3f ($381,493) and Mystique Cruiser 1:55.2h ($279,478), then the mare Yankeelicious 1:52s ($234,783) and then the geldings Native Art 1:50.4f ($225,735) Cruising Sage 1:53.1h ($220,130) and Four Hoof Drive 1:51.3f ($199,807). Once again just the two fillies made the top ten richest.

Yankee Cruiser's second crop - Eligible to race - 99

Winners - 72

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 0

$500,000+ - 0

$250,000+ - 2

$100,000+ - 19

Sub 1:50 - 1

Average earnings per starter $64,784.

Average earnings per eligible horse - $54,969

Total earnings to date $5,441,894

Yankee Cruiser's third crop of foals were born in 2007 and are Ohio bred. He bred 74 mares in 2006 that resulted in 57 live foals born, 37 colts and 20 fillies.

Up Front Cruiser 1:50f ($435,261), a very good mare heads this third crop of Yankee Cruisers. She is the only mare in the top ten richest of the crop, all the rest are geldings and are headed by Docs Yankee 1:51.4f ($294,009), Kid Cruiser 1:52f ($238,726), Colossal Cruiser 1:50f ($159,242) and Northmedo Cruiser 1:51.4z ($118,598).

Yankee Cruiser's third crop - Eligible to race - 56

Winners - 43

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 0

$500,000+ - 0

$250,000+ - 2

$100,000+ - 6

Sub 1:50 - 2

Average earnings per starter $55,539.

Average earnings per eligible horse - $50,580

Total earnings to date $2,832,483

Yankee Cruiser's fourth crop of foals were born in 2008 and are Ohio bred. He bred 94 mares in 2007 that resulted in 62 live foals born, 21 colts and 41 fillies.

This was the last Ohio crop born for Yankee Cruiser and with two thirds fillies six of the top ten richest were fillies. The richest bred foal that year though was the outstanding colt Dancin Yankee 1:47.2f ($1,095,922) who is still racing at the elite level. Another gelding from this crop that did very well was Hare Craft 1:50.1f ($387,737).

Watch - Dancin Yankee(1:48:4) World Record-(1/2 Mile Track) Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace

Dancin Yankee has been in scintillating form in 2014. In the sixth edition of the Gerrity Pace (2014) at Saratoga Raceway, the impossible happened. One year after Bolt the Duer's record-breaking performance, Dancin Yankee streaked around the Saratoga oval in a sensational 1:48.4, taking the $260,000 race by three and a quarter lengths and lowering the world record another fifth of a second. Dancin Yankee set a world record at Pocono Downs in 2014 a well. The fractional times for the mile were :26, :52.2, 1:20.1, and 1:47.2. That winning time broke Pocono's all-time mark of 1:47.4, which was accomplished three times in 2013. It also matched the fastest mile ever paced on a 5/8-mile oval, which was first set last year by Pet Rock at Scioto Downs. In addition, Dancin Yankee set a new world record for aged stallions on the pace with the winning time.

Watch - Dancin Yankee (1:47.2) World Record-Pocono Downs

Yankee Cruiser's fourth crop - Eligible to race - 62

Winners - 39

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 1

$500,000+ - 1

$250,000+ - 2

$100,000+ - 10

Sub 1:50 - 2

Average earnings per starter $67,594.

Average earnings per eligible horse - $55,602

Total earnings to date $3,447,313

Yankee Cruiser's fifth crop of foals were born in 2009 and are Pennsylvania bred. He bred 126 mares in 2008 that resulted in 89 live foals born, 42 colts and 47 fillies.

This first crop bred in Pennsylvania by Yankee Cruiser hit the jackpot and is the best crop that Yankee Cruiser has produced. It just shows the huge improvements a stakes program can make to a stallion's career although this crop was just exceptional in every way. Yankee Cruiser's progeny from this crop has produced the fastest two-year-old in history and world champion Sweet Lou p2,1:49, 1:47f ($3,484,251) and the very good mares Darena Hanover 1:50.2f ($665,207), Marty Party p2,1:51.2f ($601,338) and Robin Cruiser 1:51s ($437,386). Seven of his richest progeny were fillies as well. This was an incredible crop that has already produced stake earners of over $10,000,000 to date and still rising. It is just amazing when you consider that Yankee Cruiser was standing in Pennsylvania for the first time and the resultant progeny are this good.

Watch - Sweet Lou - William Haughton Memorial

Here is more on Sweet Lou. The son of Yankee Cruiser was a superstar at 2, winning 10 of 12 starts and making $686,647. His 1:49 clocking in the Breeders Crown that year remains a world record. Though earning over $1 million at 3, his year was not considered a major success since the bar had been set so high after the prior year. At 4, he went just 4 for 23. But something clicked in 2014 as the old Sweet Lou came roaring back. He reeled off 10 straight wins, all of them in a tough free-for-all division. In the process he became the first standardbred in history to win six consecutive races in "sub 1:48." Among the wins was a 1:47 mile in the Ben Franklin at Pocono, the fastest race ever on a five-eighths mile track.

Watch - Sweet Lou - TVG Free For All Final

Yankee Cruiser's fifth crop - Eligible to race - 89

Winners - 66

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 1

$500,000+ - 3

$250,000+ - 8

$100,000+ - 21

Sub 1:50 - 3

Average earnings per starter $133,394.

Average earnings per eligible horse - $112,411

Total earnings to date $10,004,543

Yankee Cruiser's sixth crop of foals were born in 2010 and are Pennsylvania bred. He bred 84 mares in 2009 that resulted in 57 live foals born, 29 colts and 28 fillies.

It is hard to believe that the fifth and sixth crops are so different in quality and quantity but they are way apart. Yankee Cruiser's sixth crop has struggled to make an impact. In fact it is the poorest result of all the years Yankee Cruiser has stood at stud to this date. Just the five progeny earned over $100,000 and under $200,000 in total. The richest of the crop is the gelding Smokealittlesmoke 1:50.4f ($190,903).

Yankee Cruiser's sixth crop - Eligible to race - 57

Winners - 39

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 0

$500,000+ - 0

$250,000+ - 0

$100,000+ - 5

Sub 1:50 - 1

Average earnings per starter $46,433.

Average earnings per eligible horse - $38,287

Total earnings to date $2,182,344

Yankee Cruiser's seventh crop of foals were born in 2011 and are Pennsylvania bred. He bred 71 mares in 2010 that resulted in 47 live foals born, 28 colts and 19 fillies.

Another crop that defies the odds with only two of Yankee Cruiser's progeny earning $100,000 plus. They were Invictus Hanover 1:52.3f ($152,463) and The Lunch Pail 1:51.3f ($125,449).

Yankee Cruiser's seventh crop - Eligible to race - 46

Winners - 26

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 0

$500,000+ - 0

$250,000+ - 0

$100,000+ - 2

Sub 1:50 - 0

Average earnings per starter $27,979.

Average earnings per eligible horse - $21,897

Total earnings to date $1,007,247

Yankee Cruiser's eighth crop of foals were born in 2012 and are Pennsylvania bred. He bred 53 mares in 2011 that resulted in 40 live foals born, 23 colts and 17 fillies.

This crop of foals are current two-year-olds in 2014 and Yankee Cruiser only produced the one horse of note the very good two-year-old Yankee Bounty 1:50.3f ($328,501) who has had only ten starts for eight wins to date. The next best horse in this crop Chaching Hanover earned just $37,950.

Watch - Yankee Bounty


Eligible to race - 554

Winners - 368

$1,000,000+ - 2

$750,000+ - 2

$500,000+ - 4

$250,000+ - 18

$100,000+ - 84

Sub 1:50 - 9

Average earnings per starter $67,800

Average earning per eligible horse - $55,807

Total earnings to date $30,916,960

Yankee Cruiser bred no mares in Australia or New Zealand.


Yankee Cruiser has earned his reputation as a quality sire the hard way. Standing in Ohio 10 years ago was a hard gig for any sire at the time but Yankee Cruiser did a fine job in the circumstances and when given his chance at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania in 2008, he didn't let anybody down with a superb crop that included the fastest two-year-old the sport has ever produced in Sweet Lou 1:49. His numbers of mares fell away in subsequent years there but Yankee Cruiser has proven that when given the opportunity he can deliver.


Yankee Cruiser has that something that all breeders look for when they send their mare to stud and that is the ability to leave that special elite level horse. His stock are very durable and hard wearing and are noted for their consistency. Yankee Cruiser has proven repeatedly that he can lift a maternal pedigree.


By standing where he did early in his career, Yankee Cruiser was out of sight and out of mind for most North American breeders and he is still suffering at stud for those early years. His percentages some years are not that flash but the quality of mare he has served has played a big part in that in our opinion. No stock in the Southern Hemisphere which is a shame as we think he would have been ideally suited to the mares down under.


A very good racehorse who has gone on to do a super job at stud from limited opportunities. Yankee Cruiser has had to establish himself the hard way and his success to date has been well earned. Being a son of Artiscape has meant no stud down under would consider Yankee Cruiser as Artiscape failed when he himself stood down under. Yankee Cruiser's best son Sweet Lou was rejected as a sire prospect 12 months ago by a number of the major studs in Australasia solely because he was by a son of Artiscape. After his sensational season in 2014, Sweet Lou now appears likely to shuttle to the Southern Hemisphere next year which will finally give breeders down under access to the Yankee Cruiser line.


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