JK Will Power

$561,500 Pennsylvania Classic eliminations

JK Will Power (1:51.1) and Check Six (1:50.4) both posted new lifetime marks in winning the two $25,000 elimination races for next Saturday's inaugural $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic for harness racing PA-sired three-year-old colts and geldings at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The winning duo also contributed to give trainer Ron Burke a familiar position of domination, as he sent out both winners, a second-place finisher, and a third-place finisher from four starters. The Classic Championship is to be held during the evening portion of the Kentucky Derby Day doubleheader next Saturday at the mountain oval.   The Burke Stable had the two favorites in the first Classic elim in JK Will Power (1 to 2) and Manhattan Beach (9 to 5), and they finished 1-3 respectively, split by Canadian invader The Catamount Kid. JK Will Power, off a strong 2016 bow at Philly, went by his stablemate early, briefly gave up the lead to the parked The Catamount Kid at the 26.4 quarter, but was quickly in the move to reclaim the front. Explained driver Yannick Gingras, "I wasn't sure, with my driving the favorite, that Jody (Jamieson) and his horse were the ones to sit behind from the program, but as it turned out I could have gone either way."   JK Will Power got a real rest during panel and hit the half in 56.2, continued on with a tailwind to put up a 1:23.3 ¾, then sprinted home in 27.3 - and needed all of that dash through the lane as The Catamount Kid tried hard to emulate the three "pocket rocket" winners of the Miss Pennsylvania elims. His Pocono Pike late effort, at 11-1, came up a neck shy, with Manhattan Beach holding his third spot ahead of Western Dynasty. Trainer Burke conditions the victorious Somebeachsomewhere colt for the 3 Brothers Stable.   In the other elim, Check Six and Big Top Hanover were coupled in the betting as the 3-5 favorite, and they finished a nose apart on the money, just ahead of Lyons Snyder. These three had been in the thick of the action throughout - Lyons Snyder claimed the front, yielded to Easy Lover Hanover before the 26.3 opener, then was quarter-mover #1 to the lead in front of the stands, yielding to quarter-mover #2 Big Top Hanover, who took the field to the half in 55.   Check Six and driver Yannick Gingras, completing the Classic elim sweep along with Burke, came up first-over and made a bold backstretch brush to clear his stablemate by the 1:22.1 3/4s, then stayed game late as Big Top Hanover came outside from the pocket for the drive and lost by the smallest possible amount, with Lyons Shadow only a half-length off the win; Duke Of Delray was fourth, and from this division JJ Flynn had the faster clocking of the two fifth-place finishers and thus was the last horse advancing to the Championship.   Somebeachsomewhere picked up his fourth sire credit in the five stakes elims, two at each sex, with the victory of Check Six, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, William Switala and James Martin.   Gingras said that he would await the results of Monday's open draw before finalizing a selection of whom he'll guide in the Championship. Matt Kakaley guided the other two Burke-ites. Trainer Chris Ryder will have three in the final, Western Dynasty, Duke Of Delray, and JJ Flynn; owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound is in the interesting position of having two horses in the final with different trainers: Manhattan Beach (Burke) and Lyons Snyder (Mark Silva).   Cooperstown (11-1) and Doctor Butch (14-1) both came steaming down the extreme outside and finished on equal terms in the $25,000 winners-over pace, stopping the timer in 1:50.2. The winners came into the race on different win wavelengths - the Four Starzzz Shark stallion Cooperstown having won four of his last five, while the Art Major stallion Doctor Butch had been winless (though with 8 board finishes) in 11 seasonal starts - but both laid off a backstretch battle between favorites Lettucerockthem and JK Endofanera, then rallied strongly for the top-end dead heat.   Tim Tetrick guided Doctor Butch for trainer Linda Toscano and owner Kenneth Jacobs, while Anthony Napolitano, who had seven winners here last Saturday, posted his fifth win of the night in this tenth race co-feature (the sixth non-stake race of the night at this point) with Cooperstown, trained by Daniel Renaud for owners Brian and Ina Ross Wallach.   Pocono / PHHA

Artistc Major

Yonkers $40,000 Open Handicaps

Season-debuting Artistic Major (Brent Holland, $15.40) and odds-on Melady's Monet (Jason Bartlett, $3.30) shared the Saturday night harness racing glory, winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $40,000 Open Handicaps. The week's marquee pace had a different look, with many of the just-concluded G-M Levy Series participants getting some well-deserved R&R. At the outset, Mister Bling A (Jordan Stratton) was put in play, as was outside assignee Atta Boy Dan (George Brennan). The latter, as the slight 3-1 choice, broke, leaving "Bling" to his own devices (:27.4, :56.3, 1:24.4). Fiery Lustre N (Bartlett) was pocketed, while Artistic Major--from post position No. 2--was taking out of third. That one, opposing all elders, engaged a tiring leader in and out of the final turn, then put him away. Once in front, Artistic Major held off the foe on his back, Jeneral Patton (Pat Lachance) by a half-length in 1:52.1. Fiery Lustre N, Mister Bing A and Domethatgain (Dan Dube) rounded out the payees. For fifth choice Artistic Major, a 4-year-old son of Art Major co-owned by (trainer) Steve Elliott, Michael Cimiglio, David Van Dusen and Gunjan Patel, his fresh parimutuel Lasix win was his 11th in 26 career starts. The exacta paid $177, with the triple returning $983. The week's trotting feature was simple as simple of simple could be for "Melady," who--from post No. 7--stole away (:28.3, :58.2, 1:27.2, 1:55.1). His two-length lead entering the lane was 2¼ lengths at the wire. Luminosity (Brennan) was a two-move second, with a pocket-sitting Somebody AS (Stratton) fading to third. Home'n Dry (Dube) and Dewycolorintheline (Tyler Buter) settled for the remainder. For Melady's Monet, a 7-year-old s Revenue S gelding owned Melady Enterprises and trained by Kevin McDermott, he's now 3-for-4 this season (lifetime loot up over $800,000). The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $14.80, with the triple returning $53. Frank Drucker

Freaky Feet Pete

Familiar faces in the winner's circle

On a chilly night in Indiana, odds-on favorites were hot at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as both of the heavy favorites delivered in the $21,000 featured trot and pace on Saturday, April 30. Each of the featured harness racing events saw familiar faces in the winner's circle as both races produced repeat winners from the previous week. Freaky Feet Pete, the 2015 Breeders Crown Champion for three-year-old pacing colts, turned in another dominant performance to score his second consecutive Hoosier Park victory in the $21,000 Invitational Pace. With regular driver Trace Tetrick at the lines, Freaky Feet Pete stopped the timer in 1:50.2 over a sloppy rated track. Using the same front-running tactics as the previous week, Freaky Feet Pete dictated first half fractions of :27.1 :55.2 while Fearless Diablo and LeWayne Miller benefitted from a pocket trip. With the heavy betting favorite calling the shots on the front, the rest of the field remained in single file line down the backside. Bluehourpower and Ricky Macomber Jr. were the first to commit to the outer flow but Freaky Feet Pete began to inch away from the field with every stride. With a three-quarter clocking in 1:23, Freaky Feet Pete began to put his talent on display as the rest of the field struggled to stay within striking distance. Freaky Feet Pete cruised to the wire under a hand drive from Tetrick finishing six and a half lengths in front of Fearless Diablo. SF Donttellonme and Joey Casagranda used a late closing kick to round out the trifecta. With the win, Freaky Feet Pete notched the second win of his four-year-old campaign and 26th career victory from 29 lifetime outings. The homebred son of Rockin Image-Skyway Lori has now earned $1,136,724 lifetime for his owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer. In much the same fashion on the trotting side of things, Hannelore Hanover and Ricky Macomber Jr. extended their winning streak as they easily handled an abbreviated field of six in the $21,000 Invitational trot in 1:52.4 over a track rated good. Hannelore Hanover was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in third behind Churita and Trace Tetrick who reached the first quarter mark in :28. Macomber Jr. gave Hannelore Hanover the green light down the backside and the Ron Burke trainee easily reached the front to dictate middle fractions of :57 and 1:24.4. As the field turned for home, Hannelore Hanover was two lengths in front of her next closest competitor and used a :28 final panel to coast home three lengths to the good. Churita maintained her position to finish second while Rever Ever rallied nicely to finish third. As the heavy betting favorite, Hannelore Hanover returned $3.20 at the betting window. The four-year-old daughter of Swan For All-High Sobriety notched her fourth consecutive victory and remains undefeated in four starts in 2016. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and F. Baldachino, Hannelore Hanover has now amassed $345,324 lifetime. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, May 3 with a 14-race card that is set to begin at 5:45 p.m. The 160-day racing season will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin

Nickle Bag

Bill Robinson trainee blazes to victory

Canada's reigning Horse of the Year made his season debut Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, but Nickle Bag spoiled the party with the nation's fastest harness racing mile of 2016. A strong field of nine older pacers competed in the $34,000 Preferred Handicap pace. State Treasurer, last year's Canadian Horse of the Year, was making his 2016 debut and started from the outside post-nine. Driven by Chris Christoforou, State Treasurer was able to float out and drop in sixth as the even-money favourite. Nickle Bag, the 8-5 second choice, left hard from post-six for Trevor Henry to grab the front and post an opening-quarter of :26. Nickle Bag kept the pace honest in the second-quarter and reached the half in :54.3. Christoforou started up State Treasurer nearing the half and the Dr. Ian Moore trainee was sent first up entering the final turn. However, cover did develop for State Treasurer rounding the final turn, as stablemate Arthur Blue Chip angled out from third at five-eighths. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:22.3, Nickle Bag brought the field into the lane and waved goodbye. The Bill Robinson trainee finished off his mile with a blazing :26.2 final-quarter to win by 4¾ lengths in a career-best 1:49. State Treasurer came off cover in the stretch, but was unable to gain any spots and finished fourth in his season debut, pacing home in :26.4. Mohawk Warrior came from sixth at the top of the lane to finish second, while The Rev turned his two-hole trip into a third-place effort. A six-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, Nickle Bag secured his ninth victory of the season Saturday. The Robinson trainee has picked up seven of his nine victories this year in the Preferred. Owned by Linda and Harry Loyens, Nickle Bag surpassed his 2015 earnings total with Saturday's victory. The veteran pacer has banked $167,860 in 15 starts this year, compared to $162,790 in 26 starts last year. Nickle Bag's victory Saturday was his 28th career triumph and it brings his career earnings to $627,490. He paid $5.30 to win. Nickle Bag Although State Treasurer was unsuccessful in his season debut, history shows that may not be a bad thing. The Dr. Moore trainee finished sixth last year in his debut (May 2, 2015 - Preferred Pace) before going onto divisional and Horse of the Year honours. Also on Saturday, the second leg of The Diplomat Series was contested. A group of 13 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into two $20,000 divisions. War N Munn continued his WEG Series success with a 1:52 victory in the first division. The Carmen Auciello trainee got away fourth in the field of six for driver Jonathan Drury. Mach Power posted an opening-quarter of :28.3, but was quickly passed in the second-quarter by Shocking Image. The new leader reached the half in :57.2 and led the field around the final turn, while War N Munn charged first up to pull to within a length of the lead at the three-quarter pole. Shocking Image reached the third marker in 1:25.3, but quickly surrendered the lead in the lane to War N Munn. The 2-5 favourite rocketed home in :26.1 for a 2 ¼ length victory. Shocking Image was second, while Mach Power finished third. A son of Stonebridge Regal, War N Munn now has five wins in nine starts this season. The sophomore pacing colt has signature victories this season in The Count B and Youthful Series finals. War N Munn now has seven career victories and earnings of $119,261 for owner George Munnuiksma. His mile of 1:52 knocked three-fifths of a second off his previous career mark. The Auciello trainee paid $2.80 to win. War N Munn In the second division, Gerries Sport got his own way in the middle-half and finished up strong for an impressive victory. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Gerries Sport, the even-money favourite, left from post-seven and touched down on the front just after passing the opening-quarter in :26.1. Flaherty, the 7-5 second-choice, got a two-hole trip behind the favourite. Gerries Sport went unchallenged in the middle-half and posted panels of :55.4 and 1:25.1. The soft middle-half was the turning point, as the public's choice left his rivals behind and charged home in :26.4 for a 3½ lengths victory in 1:52. Flaherty maintained his position to finish second, while Worthy Art was third. A son of Mach Three, Gerries Sport is trained by Richard Moreau for Gerrie Tucker. The three-year-old colt is now two for two to start 2016 after posting three wins in 12 starts as a rookie. Just like War N Munn in the first division, Gerries Sport lowered his lifetime mark by three-fifths of a second. The son of Mach Three now sports a career bankroll of $56,845. Gerries Sport paid $4.20 to win. Gerries Sport The first leg of The Diplomat did not fail, therefore the 10 horses that earned money Saturday night have landed spots in next Saturday's $57,600 final. In order to be eligible to The Diplomat, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2015. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

The Meadowlands racetrack was abuzz this morning (April 30) as some of the top older horses and three-year-olds were prepping for upcoming harness racing stakes. A dozen qualifiers began at 9:30 a.m. on a dry track under clear skies with little wind and the temperature in the 50’s. A number of Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff eligibles used today's qualifiers to prep for next Sunday’s stake and JL Cruze made a strong case for his chances, sprinting clear of a good field by several lengths off the last turn then coasting late in 1:53/:27. Crazy Wow left for the lead, released JL Cruze approaching the half and was second best while Pinkman made late gains to be third. Eric Ell conditions the winner for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Jr and Steve Iaquinta. DW’s NY Yank is another eligible that impressed with an easy 1:53.2/:27.3 win for Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. Canepa Hanover got another good work in on his return to the races and was a comfortable second while Jewels In Hock and Crazshana also went well and were together at the wire. Burke Racing owns the winner in partnership with Howard Taylor and Weaver Bruscemi. Radiant Beam won the day’s opener for Andy and Julie Miller in 1:56/:28.2 after a pocket ride behind Dizzy Broad. Hollywood Hill split horses to gain the place while Dizzy Broad tired a bit though held third. Jason and Ronald Allen own the winner. Several of 2015’s finest two-year-old trotting fillies gathered for the second race and Caprice Hill was the winner in 1:53 :28 for Tim Tetrick. She sat a pocket behind the anxious Black Broadway who rattled off fast fractions, went by quickly and finished willingly in the fast mile. Last season’s Dan Patch Award winner All The Time made good gains late to be just a neck back in second, a useful first seasonal effort and Womans Will was a good third in her first go. Tony Alagna trains Caprice Hill for owner Tom Hill. Southwind Flash (Y. Gingras/R. Burke) and Free Willy Hanover (T. Smedshammer) went under the wire together after a stretch-long duel finishing the 1:56.3 mile with a 27.4 final quarter in race four.  Lagerfeld won his second qualifier in 1:56/:28.1 with a strong rally from a stalking position for Gingras. He rode along in third as The Perfect Lindy set the fractions, fanned out and went by with no encouragement needed from the driver. Bar Hopping impressed in his first outing, closing strongly to be second for John Campbell and The Perfect Lindy held for third. Jimmy Takter trains Lagerfeld for his wife Christina, Herb Liverman and the Fieldings, John & Jim. After the break sophomore colt trotters resumed the program with Make Or Miss looking very strong in his first outing of the season. Held in third by driver Joe Bongiorno early as Brooklyn Hill set a faster clip than David Miller would have liked, Make Or Miss was fanned wide in the stretch and went by under his own power in 1:54.2/:28. Make Or Miss is conditioned by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and J&T Silva Stables LLC. Brooklyn Hill held up well for second with Milligan’s School and Love Matters both making a good appearance in their seasonal bow. Division leader Southwind Frank was programmed for this qualifier but did not race due to what’s being reported as a quarter crack issue. Pacers came up in race nine and a good group of sophomore colts and geldings finished across the track in a line with Voracity and Ideal Rocky together in advance of the six-pack. The mile was 1:52.3 with a 26.4 final quarter. Voracity is on his way to Ontario for trainer Alagna who owns the colt in partnership with Brad Grant and John Fodera while Ideal Rocky is prepping for the New Jersey Sires Stakes for trainer John Butenschoen and owners William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick. Mindtrip went a good mile this morning, taking over near the half then winning as driver Yannick Gingras pleased in 1:52.4/:27.1. Tap Into Power closed nicely for second and Highlandbeachycove was an even third, while racing a bit greenly when shown racetrack. Mindtrip hails from the Alagna barn and is owned by the trainer in partnership with Crawford Racing, Sbrocco, Fodera and Massey. American Ivy was a winner this morning in 1:52.4/:27.1 for Andy and Julie Miller. She sat second as Blue Moon Stride cut the mile then edged by that one late while staving off the rail rally by Three Dreams. Joe P Racing is the owner. Mcwicked closed out the day with a 1:50.4/:26.2 win for Scott Zeron. Mcwicked zipped to the lead early, yielded to In The Arsenal for the middle half then took the rail route back by that rival for the win. In The Arsenal went well in his first qualifier, a solid second. Steve Elliott now trains Mcwicked for the SSG Stables. Be advised that there will be no live racing at The Meadowlands on Friday, May 6. There will be a live card on Sunday, May 8 a Mother’s Day matinee card with post time at 12:40 p.m. The first race on that Mother’s Day card will be the $150,000e Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff. by Nick Salvi, Meadowlands Media Relations

Gotmoneyinmypocket put money in harness racing owners Jerry Zosel and Kathy Ratcliff's pockets on Saturday night (April 30) at Miami Valley Raceway capturing the $35,000 James K. Hackett Memorial championship in impressive fashion. The 3-year-old Ohio-sired son of Feelin Friskie set sail immediately for driver Kayne Kauffman, settling in briefly in fourth despite drawing an outside post position. Realizing the fractions were relatively soft, Kauffman moved Gotmoneyinmypocket to the outside shortly after the :28.2 opening quarter and was lapped on to the leader at the :58.2 halfway point. Immediately after crossing over to the lead a host of other Buckeye-breds mounted challenges that looked promising, but in the end the winner pulled away to a 3-1/2 length triumph in 1:53.1, including a final panel in :28 flat. Bill Dailey trains Gotmoneyinmypocket, who now sports an $88,600 bankroll in just a dozen lifetime starts. Friskie Cruiser (Ryan Stahl), the runnerup in last year's $225,000 Ohio Sires Stakes championship for freshman pacers, finished second with Whataboy (Chris Page) completing the Hackett final trifecta. Most of the Hackett finalists are expected back in action next Saturday (May 7) at Miami Valley when it hosts first round Ohio Sires Stakes action for both sophomore pacers and trotters. A compact field of six open pacers chased a $20,000 purse earlier on the program with Fancy Creek Elusiv (Peter Wrenn) scoring a narrow 1:52 victory over Gallipolis (Josh Sutton) and Can He Go (Dan Noble). Despite needing to race three-wide around the first bend to reach the top in a :26.3 opening quarter, Wrenn was able to coast through subsequent splits of :55 and 1:22.2 before withstanding the stout challenges he got in the stretch. Todd Rosenberg owns the winning Billy Farmer-trainee, who margin of victory was a neck over Gallipolis and a half-length over Can He Go. Fancy Creek Elusiv, a 6-year-old Sportsmaster gelding who surpassed the half-million dollar earnings plateau in his last start, now has 25 lifetime triumphs. In addition to the excitement that first leg Ohio Sires Stakes action will bring to Miami Valley Raceway on next Friday and Saturday nights, anticipation is building for a pair of $100,000 Grand Circuit Stakes on Sunday afternoon (May 8), closing day of the 2016 meet. The $100,000 Sam 'Chip' Noble Memorial, for the best older pacing mares in North America, is expected to attract Katie Said, Yagonnakissmeornot, Color's A Virgin and Safe From Terror, among others. Katie Said has won two straight $25,000 Mares Opens at The Meadowlands; Yagonnakissmeornot captured the rich Blue Chip Matchmaker final at Yonkers in her last start: Breeder's Crown champion Color's A Virgin paced a monstrous back half to finish third in her seasonal opener on Friday night at Hoosier Park; and Safe From Terror will enter the fray as the local hope following back-to-back wins in Miami Valley's weekly distaff feature. The $100,000 Miami Valley Distaff Trot has an impressive list of nominees as well, including Smokinmombo, Daylon Miracle, Hannelore Hanover, Churita and 2015 Ohio Horse of the Year Like Old Times. Stakes trainers are advised that the draw schedule for closing weekend at Miami Valley is: Tuesday (box closes at 9 a.m.) for Friday; and a double draw Wednesday (box closes at 9 a.m.) for both Saturday and Sunday. Online entries are encouraged, or call 513-934-7792. Gregg Keidel

Three $20,000 eliminations for next Saturday evening's inaugural $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania Pace for PA-sired harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies were held Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with the pocket the racing position to be in, as all three winners rallied from the two-hole - one outside, the other two inside up the famed "Pocono Pike."   In the first elimination, Pure Country, undefeated in 10 starts at two and national divisional champion, fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, as in a 54.3 sprint home she couldn't go enough in her seasonal bow and had to settle for third, and a position in the Miss Pennsylvania, behind the victorious Darlinonthebeach, a 1:50.4 winner, and Pocono Pike-shooting second-place finisher Newborn Sassy.   Driver David Miller sent the Somebeachsomewhere filly Darlinonthebeach directly to the front, ceding the lead at the 26.3 quarter to the 50-cent favorite Pure Country, with Newport Sassy sitting third. Pure Country got a breather into the second quarter headwind and hit the half in 56.1, picking up the tempo to reach the ¾ pole in 1:23.3.   Turning for home Miller pulled Darlinonthebeach (second choice at 2-1) outside and sailed right on by, with Miller sitting chilly in the bike. Newport Sassy came up the Pike to grab second, a length behind the winner and a neck ahead of Pure Country. Nancy Johansson had the winning filly ready for a 1:51.3 seasonal bow victory here, and now the fast miss is 2 for 2 in 2016 and possessor of a new speed badge for owner/breeder White Birch Farm.   "She was really strong all through the mile," Miller noted after the race; when reminded that a win in the Miss Pennsylvania would put Miller in the $200 Million Club in driving earnings, joining John Campbell and Ron Pierce, Miller gave the thumbs up and said, "Something to aim for!"   The two-hole was again the place to be in the second Miss Pennsylvania elimination, as the Well Said filly I Said Diamonds, parked to the 26.1 quarter for the top then yielding to sit behind Sail To The Beach through 54.2 and 1:22.3 middle splits, used the inside route to get the decision in a personal best of 1:51. I Said Please, uncovered from late backstretch, stayed game for second, a length back and completing the "I Said" Exacta, with Sail To The Beach hanging in for third, another half-length behind the victorious 3-5 favorite.   Matt Kakaley handled the sulky duties for Little Bapa LLC and trainer Matias Ruiz, who got the filly to train in the offseason and enjoyed victory with her at first asking. "She is by far the best horse I have ever trained," noted Ruiz after the race with a smile. "She was good last year, and she's a little bigger, a little stronger this year."   Driver Scott Zeron watched the first two elims and settled on a winning strategy in the third elim, sailing up the Pocono Pike to an easy 2 ¼-length triumph in 1:51.3 with the Somebeachsomewhere filly Call Me Queen Be, an even-money choice in her first start of the year. Zeron and the "Queen" parked main rival Ivy League to a 26.1 opener, and even when the pacesetter got a breather to the 56 half, Zeron was not worried: "This filly has great speed, and can do anything on the racetrack," he said after the race.   And sure enough, after a 1:23.3 ¾, Call Me Queen Be waited for the inside lane to open, then darted through with lightning quickness to go by with ease; Save The Treasure was along from third-inside position to get second, 1½ lengths ahead of Ivy League, who held for third. Ross Croghan trains the winner, who also took a new mark, for the Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham.   These top three fillies for each division will return for the Miss Pennsylvania Championship during the evening card of a Kentucky Derby doubleheader next Saturday at The Downs. David Miller has the only driving decision to make, as he guided Darlinonthebeach and Ivy League; Ivy League's trainer Jimmy Takter, who also handles Pure Country, was the only conditioner to land two in the rich event.   Pocono / PHHA  

It was a night to remember for Wayne and Lyn Graham. Within the space of 25 minutes, the popular Queensland couple snared their biggest double during their long and decorated careers in harness racing after claiming the Gr.1 $322,000 Australian Pacing Gold Fillies Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle plus the $80,000 Albion Park Gold Final. Park Life, handled by their son Shane, claimed the Sydney classic while in-form reinsman Adam Sanderson handled Jossie James in the home state feature. The respected couple have been a regular fixture in Brisbane harness racing circles for decades and has enjoyed tremendous success with such stars like Sparkling Melody, Mach Alert, Yahoo Buckaroo, Lively Highlander, Bossys Henry, Power In Disguise, Innocent Nero, Rapt In Red, French Heiress and Albert Aralar among others at Moomba Lodge, their property at Beaudesert. Their current team is headed by exciting four-year-old Major Coup, a last start winner of the QBRED Breeders Classic Final at Albion Park plus this pair of precocious fillies. Park Life, a $16,000 purchase from the Brisbane division of the Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sale last year is raced by Victorian based couple Stephen and Narelle Dickson in partnership with local owner Pete Poulsen. The filly was bred by Mario Di Carlo. From 6 starts to date, the Rock N Roll Heaven – Strawbs Interact filly has recorded 3 wins and 3 minor placings while amassing more than $168,000 in stakes. After drawing the coveted inside gate, Park Life was handled perfectly by the reigning Australian Driver of the Year and sat just off the pace which was set by race favourite High Rolling but that filly could not withstand the strong sprint from Park Life at the top of the long straight before defeating Victorian fillies Perfect Sense and Petacular in a time of 1:53.2. High Rolling finished 5th. The time is the fastest recorded by a two-year-old this season. While celebrations and presentations were underway for the diminutive filly, the couple took time out to witness stablemate Jossie James lead throughout and beat Our Major Day and Rock With Sam in the Brisbane feature. The punters favourite rated 1:55.4 in the 1660m event, slightly slower than her heat success of 1:55.0 eight days earlier. Bred and raced by longtime stable clients Trevor and Louise O’Reilly, the Big Jim – Empty Promises filly has now won 2 of her 4 starts to date. The filly was passed in at $7500 after failing to make the reserve price of $16,000 at the Brisbane division of the Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sale last year. Jossie James has now banked more than $39,000 in stakes. The O’Reilly’s have been breeding from this family for over three generations and have enjoyed considerable success with this lineage. Local horseman Garry Fliedner has played a major role in the development of both fillies and was on hand at Albion Park to share in the celebrations. Both fillies will be aimed at the upcoming QBRED features during the Brisbane winter carnival. Chris Barsby

Keystone Del took his place among the illustrious harness racing millionaire stake earner’s club last night, the champion trotter’s comfortable Uncle Petrika Free-for-All win at Tabcorp Park Melton driving his career winnings to $1,001,176. “He deserves it,” reinsman Anthony Butt said after steering Keystone Del to the 9.8-metre success over flying mare Barefoot Sally. “He’s a great horse and he’s going as good as ever at the moment.” Keystone Del posted a winning mile rate of 1:55.3 after ambling along three-wide at the back of the small six-horse field early, eventually cruising to the breeze at the bell, and putting the matter to rest at the quarter pole when Butt said go. VIDEO: KEYSTONE DEL WINS THE UNCLE PETRIKA FFA Since joining the Brent Lilley stable Keystone Del has won four Group 1s, adding to the six he picked up with former trainer Nicole Molander. Keystone Del's Group 1 resume features dual victories the V L Dullard Trotters Cup, Glenferrie Challenge at Menangle and Great Southern Star heats. He also picked up the Great Southern Star Final and the Bill Collins Trot at Cranbourne in 2014, and the Trotters Grand Prix at Melton and the Knight Pistol at Cranbourne this year. Among his millionaire Australasian trotting alumni are Lyell Creek, I Can Doosit, Sundons Gift, Take A Moment, Stent and One Over Kenny. Cody Winnell

Today’s €299,407 purse Gr. I International Olympiatravet over 2140 meters at Goteborg (Aby) SWE went to hot trotting mare Your Highness (7f Chocolatier-La Belle Lady-Conway Hall-Lady Stormont) with harness racing driver Bjorn Goop up for trainer Fabrice Souloy and PV Racing HB, the owner. This 1.4/1 odds winner has five 2016 wins in as many starts for seasonal earnings of 3,127,737SEK. Her career slate is now 23-7-5 in 47 starts for 6,602,022SEK earned. Your Highness was timed in 1.10.9kr and raced without shoes. 10/1 Sauveur (6g Echo-Operah Bob-Easy Lover) was second for driver/trainer Ake Lindblom and 8/1 Anna Mix (6f Ludo de Castelle-Irco-Tenor de Baune) rallied strongly for third for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Franck Leblanc after getting a slow start away from the car and trailing the field in early going. BBS Sugarlight finished fourth at 2.2/1 and On Track Piraten was fifth at 2/1 after leading much of the way. Nahar made an early miscue and was disqualified. Thomas H. Hicks

A harness racing solid sprinter field faced the starter for the €100,000 purse, 1609 meter autostart, Gr. II Criterium de Vitesse at Argentan. Third in the recent Prix d’Atlantique, the winner Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling)  with Jean-Michel Bazire up for trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Ecurie d’Heripre at 9/10 odds, scored in a sharp 1.10kr (mile 1:52.7). A length and a half back was Billie de Montfort (5f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) handled by David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Dauphin at 10.2/1 odds. The next three to the line, all clocked in 1.10.5kr, were 311/1 Tabrix du Gite (9m Ganymede-Kadrizia du Gite) for Alexandre Abrivard, 11/1 Aladin d’Ecajeul (6m Quaker Jet-Nancy d’Ecajeul) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Guarato and owner Philippe Dewulf and fifth finishing 27/1 Univers de Pan with trainer Philippe Daugeard driving. 3.4/1 odds Amiral Sacha was disqualified for a miscue as were Kadett CD and Luckycharm Hanover. Thomas H. Hicks

Ten upper level harness racing trotters faced the mobile in this 2100 meter autostart Seinajoki Race in Finland, with a €60,000 purse on the line. 7.5/1 El Mago Pellini (7m Chocolatier-My Intuition-Andover Hall) driven by Adrian Kolgjini recorded a comfortable victory clocked in 1.12.1kr, two lengths the best over 5/1 Ed You (9g Love You-Lancia Brick-Super Arnie) handled by Mika Forss. 10/1 Ringostarr Treb (6m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral-Supergill) rallied for third driven by Wim Paal. Summary and video replay link follow. Lähtö 10 TRO DUO 1. Palkinto 60 000,00 € Katso video Lämminveriset ryhmäajo 2100 m Avoin Seinäjoki-Race P. 60 000 e. (60000-25000-15000-6000-2000) Toto76 Sij. Hevonen Ohjastaja Matka:Rata Aika Palkinto Kerroin 1 6   El Mago Pellini* (SE) Adrian Kolgjini 2100:6 12,1a 60000 € 8,55 2 10   Ed You* (SE) Mika Forss 2100:10 12,4a 25000 € 6,53 3 2   Ringostarr Treb* (IT) Wilhelm Paal 2100:2 12,5a 15000 € 9,89 4 7   Quid Pro Quo* (SE) Erik Adielsson 2100:7 12,6a 6000 € 12,49 5 9   Donna di Quattro* (SE) Christoffer Eriksson 2100:9 12,8a 2000 € 6,37 6 8   Twigs Voici* (SE) Pekka Korpi 2100:8 12,8a   24,53 7 5   Jontte Boy Tuomas Korvenoja 2100:5 12,8a   13,55 8 4   Edward Ale Peter Ingves 2100:4 12,9ax   7,13 9 1   Jeppas Maxi* (SE) Torbjörn Jansson 2100:1 13,0a   5,43 10 3   Bret Boko (SE) Ari Moilanen 2100:3 13,7a   7,69 Väliajat 10.0/Bret Boko, 13.5, 12.0, 10.0 Link: http://tototv.icareus.com/web/guest/archive?video=20160430_25_110 Separately, it was reported that the fine mare Delicious was declared out of the upcoming 2016 Elitloppet. The mare was operated on Friday and trainer Daniel Reden would not comment on the outcome. On Friday it was discovered that Delicious had a swollen carpal. Thomas H. Hicks

Friday evening action at Paris-Vincennes featured a solid program including the Gr. III Prix Antigone for 13 monte performers over the 2850 meter distance (distance handicapped) for a purse of €110,000. The impressive 1.12.8kr timed winner was 4.4/1 Ulka des Champs (8f Offshore Dream-Melissa des Champs) for Eric Raffin as they bested 2.6/1 Botido (5g L’as de Neige-Otida) withMatthieu Mottier up. 23/1 Bijou d’Auvillier (5g Kepler=Olive d’Auvillier) was third ahead of 52/1 Vagabondu Mag, that one timed in 1.12.5kr after a distance penalty. On the same card the Prix Maginus (purse €80,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters) went to 1.13.6kr timed, 3.8/1 odds Coup de Poker (4m Coktail Jet-Tac Ticienne) for owner/trainer/driver Christophe Gallier. 4.3/1 Caduceus des Baux (4g Mark Speed-Festina des Baux) was next for Matthieu Abrivard with 8/1 Class de Loriol (4f Ready Cash-Orageuse de Margin) third. This was a Pick5 wagering race. The Quinte+ this evening was the Prix Huberta (purse €54,000, 2850 meters, 15 starters) and the 1.12.9kr winner was 1.3/1 favorite Anzi des Liards (6g Look de Star-Narsicaa du Sud) with Romain Derieux at the lines. 3.6/1 Vivaldo Bello (7m Love You-Enfilade) landed second for Franck Nivard and trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. Enfilade is the dam of Offshore Dream and many other good performers. 22/1 Accordeon (6g Baccarat du Pont-Quaba des Corvees) was third for driver Beloit Robin. Cl. N° Chevaux Drivers Propriétaires Entraîneurs 1er 14 Anzi des Liards R. Derieux Ecurie Bkr D. Békaert 2ème 13 Vivaldo Bello F. Nivard R. Boucret T. Duvaldestin 3ème 10 Accordéon B. Robin L. Leduc L. Leduc 4ème 2 Apollo de Souvigné M. Lenoir G. Simon M. Lenoir 5ème 8 Alik Julry J.-P. Gauvin Ecurie Julry J.-P. Gauvin     At Napoli (Agnano) Italy the Amateur Friendship competition began between Italy and the USA. The first event (purse €5,500, 1600 meters autostart) went to Team Italy’s Perche’ Si Jet (7m Pine Chip-Sovrana Jet-Sharif di Jesolo) with Giovanni DeSimone Jr. aboard timed in 1.15.1kr. The five-length win was secured over Matteo and Hannah Miller with third to Paplov and driver Ciro Ciccarelli. The second amateur event went to Obelix Bi (8g Angus Hall-Claudette Bi-Toss Out) for Team USA’s Dein Spriggs. The 1.15.6kr timed winner defeated Ologramma with Antonio Simioli up and third was Oliseo and Ciro Ciccarelli. Another battle is set for April 30 with Hannah Miller’s mount the favorite from post 10. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

The second round of the Princess Series highlighted harness racing action Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack.  Following a scratch, a group of 11 three-year-old pacing fillies competed in a pair of $20,000 second leg divisions. Leg one winner American Curves skipped the second round, which opened the door for two new winners. In the first division, Noone To Depend On scored a 16-1 upset victory in a flashy 1:51.4 for Jody and Carl Jamieson. Party In Rome, the 5-2 second choice, cut out fractions of :28 and :56.4 before Lay Lady Lay, the heavy 1-5 favourite, came out from fourth to challenge first up entering the final turn. The top two choices waged war to the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4, while Noone To Depend On and Jamieson sat patiently in third. In the stretch, Party In Rome put away Lay Lady Lay, but Noone To Depend On clearly had more energy than the roughed up leader and cruised by to score a 3 ¾ lengths victory. Party In Rome held on for second, while Lay Lady Lay was third. A daughter of Santanna Blue Chip, Noone To Depend On was winless in three attempts this season entering Friday's Princess Series leg. All three of her previous starts were in the Blossom Series. Noone To Depend On now has three victories in 21 career starts and $66,980 earned for owners Carl and Brandy Jamieson. The sophomore pacing filly established a new career-mark with her 1:51.4 victory and paid $34.90 to win. Noone To Depend SodwanaBay prevailed in a stretch battle with Divas Image to win the second division in 1:53.4 at odds of 14-1. Driven by Rick Zeron, SodwanaBay left from post two and got away second. Sports Expert and driver Doug McNair found the front and went uncontested through fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26. In the stretch, SodwanaBay came off the pylons from second and Divas Image followed from third to blow by the leader. The two fillies slugged it out to the wire with Sodwana Bay holding off her rival by a neck for the win. Danish N Coffee finished third. Trained by Eric Adams, SodwanaBay now has two victories in eight starts this season. The sophomore pacing filly is a daughter of the late No Pan Intended, who passed away Friday. SodwanaBay, who was winless in six starts as a rookie, now has a new career-mark and earnings of $30,960 for owners Millar Farms. She paid $31.90 to win. In order to be eligible to the Princess Series, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2015. SodwanaBay The $57,400 Princess Series Final will take place next Saturday (May 7). Live racing continues Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack with an 11-race program. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

After getting grounded in Germany because of a strike at the airport Hannah Miller, along with her boyfriend Nick Surick, found another way to get to Naples for the harness racing International Friendship Challenge which began today (Friday) at Agnano race track. With the visiting Americans now at full strength--Hannah missed the opening ceremonies on Thursday due to the airport strike--the 10 drivers were ready to do battle in the first of the Challenge races. Despite being on unfamiliar turf the visiting Americans made a strong showing on the first day of competition in the Friendship Challenge, especially Dein Spriggs, who won the second Challenge trot and Hannah Miller, who had a second place finish in the first Friendship Challenge race. In the second event Pennacchio hustled his charge to the lead while Spriggs settled in fifth position on inside and Hannah got away stuck on the limb. Oldford's trotter made a break early and Mitchell's horse was never got in contention. Spriggs sat chilly with a very live horse while pinned in as Pennacchio cut the mile. When Hannah's trotter tired it allowed Spriggs to see daylight and he angled his horse to the outside and took the lead and then charged home an easy winner. In the earlier race Hannah went to the lead and then let Joe Pernnacchio take command, which he did but then he allowed an Italian to cut the fractions. When the field headed down back side both Pennacchio and Hannah got shuffled farther back as another Italian cleared to the front. When the field rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt , Hannah pushed her way out and began a charge but her trotter fell just a neck short and they finished a very creditable second.. Pennacchio finished fifth, Steve Oldford was sixth and Dein Spriggs and Mike Mitchell's horses both made breaks and they were disqualified. The afternoon action on day- one of the Friendship Competition. was related by both Nick Surick and Steve Oldford and it was a delighted Oldford who spoke for Team USA when he said; "Our Italian friends are treating us to mucho wine and fine food," and then he added ,"Viva Italia!!" Racing continues Saturday with one race slated for the Friendship Challenge. The Gran Premio Lotteria will be raced on Sunday and prior to that event there will be a final race in the USA vs Italy Friendship Challenge. John Manzi

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NAPLES, Italy - The second day of the competition in the USA vs Italy Friendship Challenge proved nearly fruitless for the visitors but with Hannah Miller's third place finish in the race saved face somewhat for the visitors. With incredibly sunny Italian sky's overhead, the USA-Italy Amateur Friendship Challenge concluded on Sunday (May 1) and though uneventfully on the racetrack, at least for the visitors, every moment was cherished and will forever be remembered by all the participants.. With all the events contested in the four race competition the Italians prevailed with three wins to the American's one, which came from a heads-up drive by Dein Spriggs, USA Team Captain Joe Pennacchio said of the Friendship Competition, "We couldn't be happier with the races and hospitality shown to us and we expressed special thanks to track, (Ippodromo di Agnano) owner Pier Luigi D'Angelo, who went overboard making us welcome." Hannah Miller led the Americans with a third place finish with 31.5 points and received a trophy to mark that occasion. The competition point leader was Italy's Ciro Ciccarelli who finished with 60.5 points. "You really have to drive the horse. They need lots of help at the start and in the turns and if your horse breaks (stride) you are disqualified. So I was careful," Ms. Miller explained. "The Italians drove like a team and did a lot of blocking to clear their better horses," added USA team member Steve Oldford. "Ciro had the best showing by winning two races. "We had a great lunch after the competition with all the drivers and our new friends and enjoyed the 67th edition of the Gran Premio Lotteria Di Agnano which was won by Oasis Bi, who was driven to victory by Johnny Takter, Jimmy's brother." by John Manzi for Team USA Amateur Drivers
Racing Secretary Peter Hanley has released the condition sheet for the opening weekend of the upcoming 2016 "Summer" Harness meet at Hawthorne Race Course. The condition sheets can be found at http://www.hawthorneracecourse.com/horsemen/condition_sheet.php or at www.ustrotting.com. Racing will kick off on Friday, May 6th and continue on Saturday, May 7th. There will be no racing on Sunday, May 8th for Mother's Day. Hawthorne will then begin its regular four night a week a schedule, Thursday-Sunday on Thursday, May 12th. Post time each night will be at 7:20 p.m. (central). Also please note that any "Late Closing Series Events" that had been scheduled to begin on Sunday, May 8th will now begin one week later on Sunday, May 15th while any other late closing events that had been scheduled for Wednesday nights will now be contested on Thursday nights. The same will hold true for any ICF Stakes that had been scheduled for Wednesday's beginning in June. Qualifiers are scheduled to be held on Wednesday, May 4th at 11:00 am and another round of qualifiers will be held on Saturday, May 7th if need be. Qualifiers will be held throughout the summer on Wednesday's at 11:00 am. Entries will close at 10 am on Tuesday for this Wednesday's qualifiers. Horsemen are reminded that they can begin moving in on Tuesday, May 3rd. From Tom Kelley, for Hathorne Race Course
YONKERS, NY, New York, Thursday, April 28, 2016 --If you're not going to Churchill Downs in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, Empire City Casino is the place for New Yorkers to watch the "Run for the Roses." Real Housewives of New York megastar Bethenny Frankel, the daughter of the late and legendary Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, will host the casino's Kentucky Derby Viewing Party on Saturday, May 7, trackside at historic Yonkers Raceway. A bevy of trackside activities at the casino's historic Yonkers Raceway will be highlighted by the opportunity to meet and take a photograph in the winner's circle with the wildly-popular Frankel from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The annual Kentucky Derby "Fancy Hat Contest," a free two-horse exacta box on the "Run for the Roses" to the first 1,000 Empire Club members, the Cooler than Julep made with Bethenny's Skinny Girl Sangria and Skinny Girl Vodka, live entertainment by DJ LAX, and of course the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby at 6:34 pm will turn Empire City into Churchill Downs East. Empire City's Kentucky Derby extravaganza is open to the public, and gets underway at 3:00 pm on the raceway apron. Frankel is among the most popular reality television personalities in America with 1.5 million twitter followers, has hosted the talk show Bethenny, and is the best-selling author of four self-help books, chef, entrepreneur, and founder of Skinnygirl Cocktails. Participants can register for the Fancy Hat Contest trackside from 3:00-4:30 pm, and the winner will be announced at 5:00 pm. The Grand Prize is $500 in cash; second place wins $250 cash, and third place receives $100 cash. A celebrity pick will be announced at 5:30pm and the winner receives $750 cash. While the traditional and classic Mint Julep is on the menu, the Cooler than Julep rules at Empire City. Its ingredients include: Skinny Sangria, Skinny Vodka, Raw sugar, Lime, and Mint. Simulcast locations include: trackside, the Winner's Circle Bar in Empire Terrace on the 2nd Floor, the Simulcast Room on the 3rd Floor, the 4th floor Grandstand and Dan Rooney's Sports Bar. The first 1,000 Empire Club Members to visit the entertainment lounge beginning at 4:00 pm will receive a two-horse exacta box for the Kentucky Derby whiles supplies last. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
ALLENTOWN, NJ - May 1, 2016 - To shoe or not to shoe - that is one of the questions addressed in the third edition of "Fika with Jonas," which airs on YouTube, starting on May 1, 2016. Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break, and Swedish-born trainer Jonas Czernyson is the star of the monthly series produced by Cody Bach Productions. Czernyson, who is stabled at Winners Training Center in Chesterfield, NJ, introduces his farrier, Dean Vandervort, who discusses his blacksmithing career and demonstrates shoeing options. Then Czernyson answers questions from viewers, including when it is appropriate for a racehorse to compete without shoes. Racing footage of some of his most accomplished barefooted trotters is featured. Questions and comments may be sent to Christine and Jonas Czernyson through the Team JC Stable page on Facebook, @teamjcstable on Twitter or by email to info@teamjc.net. To view the video: https://youtu.be/nSq9z1pQNn4 From Cody Back Productions            

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