Day At The Track
Captain Crunch,Harness racing

Captain Crunch sizzles to win season debut

WILKES-BARRE PA - Captain Crunch, last year's two-year-old champion, had people asking "What's he going to do when he gets tighter?" after taking his 2019 debut by an effortless 1¾ lengths in a harness racing division of the second preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts Sunday at Mohegan Sun Pocono, negotiating a sloppy track in an amazing 1:49.1, last quarter :26. 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Proof left hard from an outer post to clear to the lead just after the :27 quarter, with Scott Zeron already having given the word to Captain Crunch and the Captaintreacherous colt powering right to the lead before reaching the half in :55.2. Southwind Ozzi, a first-round PaSS winner, made a bold move from fifth to challenge the leader towards the 1:23.1 three-quarters, but then, without a race in 145 days, over off going, Captain Crunch charged home with the powerhouse :26 blitz, with Zeron mostly an interested passenger. Southwind Ozzi, the second choice, held extremely well in second, a length in front of third choice Proof, who also stayed on nicely after the early usage. Though some people have been known to complain about soggy cereal, Captain Crunch has no apparent aversion to moisture, having won the Breeders Crown (here) and the Governor's Cup on sloppy ovals, and now posting this off-track victory, which equaled his lifetime mark and is the fastest mile of the young season by a three-year-old on any size of oval. Nancy Johansson trains the divisional favorite and winner of $645,322 for 3 Brothers Stable, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. The major challenger to Captain Crunch may emerge to be Workin Ona Mystery, another Captaintreacherous colt who won his first five starts at two, then ended his season after having a horrible trip in his Breeders Crown elimination and not advancing. A 1:50.1 PaSS winner in his 2019 bow, Workin Ona Mystery traveled the sloppy Pocono oval in 1:49.3 to match his lifetime best. Tim Tetrick reserved his colt in fourth as Love Me Some Lou needed most of the :26.4 quarter to make the top. Workin Ona Mystery quickly moved and worked his way to command, but then got a very hard challenge from 40-1 Volley Ball Beach, who recovered from an early miscue to race as a team with the winner to a :54.2 half and got a short backstretch lead before his bid ended just past the 1:21.4 three-quarters. Despite the hard middle half, nobody could get near Workin Ona Mystery late, with Love Me Some Lou 4 3/4 lengths back at the wire. The Brian Brown trainee seems to have recovered well from his one hiccup for owners Diamond Creek Racing, Stambaugh Leeman Stable, Alan Keith, and Wingfield Brothers LLC. The third division of Sire Stakes produced the only non-favorite in the Sires and Stallion Series events, as 6-5 "longshot" Wild Wild Western, a Western Ideal colt who was unraced at two but now has posted a 10-6-4-0 scorecard at three after equaling his mark of 1:52. Driver Mike Wilder used the popular frontstretch brush tactic with the Norm Parker trainee after the :26.3 opener, put up middle fractions of :56.1 and 1:24, then had to hold off two late threats to his left, 26-1 Caviart Stetson in second and Semi Tough in third, both a neck back; even money favorite Major Deception was another half-length behind the top trio. Wild Wild Western is owned by Jacobs Creek Racing LLC, Andrew Altobelli, and John Deters. Fastest of the four Stallion Series winners was the Sweet Lou gelding Warrawee Unique, who got the evening off to a fast start by posting a lifetime best of 1:50.2 while doubling his lifetime win total and equaling his division's North American season's record. Warrawee Unique made two moves to control the pace for driver Yannick Gingras, then used identical :27.2 back quarters to win by 2¾ lengths for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Crawford Farms, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. The Captaintreacherous colt Odds On Boca Raton had the biggest win margin in the Stallion Series competition, coming home first by four lengths in 1:51.1 for driver Andrew McCarthy while like the first winner lowering his mark and doubling his career win total. The Tony Alagna trainee looks to be seriously on the improve for Odds On Racing. The only one of the seven stakes winners who did not beat or lower his mark was U S Captain, but since the Captaintreacherous colt won his first start of the year in 1:50.4 and was racing in sloppy going here, the 1:51.1 final clocking, including :55 - :27.2 back fractions, was quite acceptable. Andrew McCarthy and Tony Alagna combined again with a developing colt, as U S Captain was winless last year but here showed his mettle by withstanding a tough Stienams Beach by ¾ of a length for Brittany Farms LLC, Brad Grant, Joseph Barbera, and U S Captain Racing. The first three Stallion Series winners were all six-figure yearlings with glittering maternal sides; the final StS winner, the Sweet Lou gelding Skip To My Lou, is the only one of the four to have two Stallion Series victories to his 2019 credit. Like every other stakes winner tonight, Skip To My Lou moved to the lead in quarter two, and driver Eric Goodell had things under control through the stretch, with Rockme Rollme good late but not really threatening the half-length winner, who reduced his mark as second to 1:51. Robert Cleary, he of the 40% victory rate, trains the sophomore who has four wins in his last six starts for Royal Wire Products Inc. ATTRIBUTION - PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

Silverlode,Harness racing

Silverlode makes it 6 in a row with feature victory

Columbus, MN -The first Sunday card of the 2019 Harness Racing season featured a $15,000 Open Trot event, with a strong field of contenders. Silverlode was making her Running Aces return after a stellar campaign in northern California at Cal Expo over the winter and spring. Banker Volo was making his Running Aces return and just second start of the year, after a winter campaign in western Pennsylvania at The Meadows. Those two were the talk of the tote-board and rightfully so, as they also dominated the action on the track. Banker Volo (Nick Roland) struck the front first, with a burst right off the wings of the gate to challenge the inside entry Doug's Hobby Horse (Rick Bertrand) and take the lead at the quarter in 29.2, while Silverlode (Steve Wiseman) floated away third from her outside eight post, and advanced to challenge and take over the front near the 3/8 marker. The fractions were tepid for the top class trotters as they hit the half in just 1 minute flat and also completed a middle half of one minute flat (1:30). Silverlode faced mild pressure near the 5/8 when Al Mar Reba Babe was advancing first-over on the outside, but was never in jeopardy. Turning for home Silverlode had taken a clear two-length margin and had full benefit of the soft fractions, kicking home in 29.1 to check in 3 ¾ lengths ahead of Banker Volo, with Bringoverthemoney (Tim Maier) picking up the pieces for third. Silverlode ($3.20) is a 10 year old mare by British Sterling and is trained by Kathleen Plested, who co-owns with Medinah Racing. She now has 6 wins in a row and 7 victories in just 10 starts in 2019, and She recently surpassed the quarter-million mark in career earnings and now sport's a tally of $258,072. Four year old pacer Just B Talking ($84.40) became the biggest priced winner of the meet so far in Race seven on the card for Owner-Trainer-Driver Gerald Longo, with an impressive tally on the front end in 1:58.2 to light up the board at more than 41-1, triggering a carryover in the Hi-5 wager. And when 6 year old pacer Buzz Light (Nick Roland) turned in a sharp looking win at 11-1 ($24.20) in the finale in 1:58, that helped to trigger a double-carryover of $8,049.09 for the High Five Wager on Tuesday Night (5/21). Drivers Nick Roland, and Dean Magee both picked up driving doubles on the Sunday program. Post time on Tuesday night (5/21) is 7:00 pm CT.   By Darin Gagne For Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

Poster Boy,Harness racing

9.3 million reasons to be Vicbred

Vicbred horses raced for $9.13million more stakemoney than other horses in Victoria during season 2017-18. Last season, Vicbred horses picked up $4.6m in Vicbred win bonuses, while a further $4.5m of stakemoney was paid out on Vicbred-only races. This week Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) launched its 2019 Vicbred Super Series campaign, with the key message “Why wouldn’t you be Vicbred”? HRV CEO David Martin said it was important for a fresh approach to the Vicbred Super Series, one which focuses on the breeders and industry participants. “A vibrant local breeding industry is crucial to the overall wellbeing of our industry as a whole and the Vicbred program is a critical component,” Mr Martin said. “Vicbred eligible horses race for extra stakemoney through races and bonuses, so it certainly makes sense to think locally and think Vicbred during breeding season. “HRV and Harness Breeders Victoria are working hard and in regular consultation to look at ways to stimulate the breeding industry and the Vicbred program as we confront the historical challenge of a worldwide downturn in harness foal numbers.” Imamenace, who caused a boilover winning the 2014 Vicbred Super Series 2YO Trotting Final   --Stuart McCormick photo A new naming rights partner has been signed for the pacing Vicbred Super Series this year, Alabar coming on board to join Aldebaran Park which sponsors the trotting races. “Alabar and Aldebaran Park have a deep appreciation and understanding of the breeding industry and the Vicbred program and we’re rapt they’re both on board with HRV to support this important race series,” HRV General Manager – Marketing Andrew English said. HRV today announced it will for the first time attach a $1500 breeding voucher to all 12 of this year’s Group 1 Vicbred Super Series finals. “When we announced the $1500 breeding vouchers for all fillies and mares’ races in May and June we said there would be more announcements on the way and this was one of those,” HRV General Manager – Racing Stephen Bell said. “Today’s announcement means a further $18,000 worth of breeding vouchers will be made available for Vicbred Super Series winning owners and breeders to reinvest in the local industry. “These vouchers are in addition to the $115,500 we committed to be reinvested to the industry through the May/June fillies and mares’ races.” This year’s VSS marketing campaign is centred on the Vicbred horse’s journey from foaling to racehorse to Vicbred champion. Explaining the concept, Mr English said: “Winning a Group 1 race is the dream and over the years the Vicbred Super Series has allowed stables big and small to taste top-level success. These are inspirational stories to tell; stories like Betty Hall and Immanence in recent years. This is what Vicbred is all about.” Flojos Gold, from Mildura, who won the 2015 2YO Vicbred Super Series Final   -Stuart McCormick photo July 5 and 6 will see two enormous nights of Vicbred Super Series action at Tabcorp Park Melton.  The Friday night will be all about the trotter as the finalists in the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series battle it out for supremacy.  The following Saturday night is all about the pacers as the Alabar Vicbred Super Series draws to an exciting climax with a cocktail function in the Legends Room on-course. Importantly, connections (including breeders) of Vicbred finalists will be treated to an evening of entertainment unlike any other as the “corporate” function becomes a colourful Vicbred celebration in the Legends Dining Room.   HRV Trots Media Cody Winnell

Homicide Hunter,Harness racing

Homicide Hunter claims gritty win

Chester, PA -- Despite being strung out early by rival Top Flight Angel, Crawford Farms Racing's Homicide Hunter ($4.40) had enough energy to fend off a late charge from All Champy in Great Northeast Open Series action on Sunday afternoon (May 19) at Harrah's Philadelphia, taking the day's featured $30,000 trot in 1:52.4. In their first meeting since the 2018 harness racing Breeders Crown, Homicide Hunter (Yannick Gingras) and Top Flight Angel (Marcus Miller) -- one-two in last year's season-ending classic -- threw down immediately from the outset. The pair sprinted well clear of Scirocco Rob (David Miller) on the first turn, and Homicide Hunter battled to force Top Flight Angel into the pocket through a :27 first quarter. After pulling the half back to :56.2, Homicide Hunter again accelerated up the far side, inching away from Top Flight Angel past three-quarters in 1:24.3 but also preparing for the first-over challenge of All Champy (Simon Allard). All Champy, who angled out from fifth at race's midpoint, worked to within a half length of Homicide Hunter at the eighth pole, but could get no closer at any point in the homestretch. Homicide Hunter earned the 40th win of his career by that same half-length margin over All Champy, while even-money choice Top Flight Angel finished third another 2-1/2 lengths in arrears. Ron Burke trains Homicide Hunter, whose 1:48.4 effort at The Red Mile last October is the fastest ever from a trotter. Tim Tetrick, who took the $14,500 pacing sub-feature with Rockeyed Optimist ($2.60, 1:51.1), led all drivers with a grand slam on the 14-race program. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover eclipsed the $30,000 mark after odds-on choice Crockets Cullen N ($3.80, Larry Stalbaum) won the fifth race and keyed an 8-3-5-4-1 combination which returned $98.90 on a 20-cent ticket. With multiple winners, the jackpot carryover for Wednesday's (May 22) fifth race has increased to $30,463.50. First post for Wednesday's 13-race card is 12:25 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite  Harrah's Philadelphia racing media.

Driver Jay Randall is having another terrific year at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The veteran reinsman sits third in the local driver standings at the conclusion of this week's harness racing action. Heading into Sunday's card, Randall had a difficult choice to make. He was listed as the driver for both Ulster (Glidemaster) and Bobs Hope (Donato Hanover) in the afternoon's $15,000 Open Trot. Ulster, who is the defending Trotter of the Year at the Spa and was piloted by Randall is all eight of his Open wins last season, was making his 2019 debut. Bobs Hope has been the dominant force in this year's installments of the Sunday feature at Saratoga. Randall drove him to all four of his Open wins heading into Sunday's try. Randall opted for Ulster, who one would think he would now stick with moving forward. Jimmy Devaux subsequently picked up the catch-drive behind the Amanda Kelley-trained Bobs Hope, who was the public's 3-5 betting favorite on Sunday despite being assigned the outside post. Ulster made it to the front end and was untested through three quarters in a reasonable 1:26.2. Bobs Hope, who left to get away third, revved up the engine and powered up to challenge Ulster around the final turn. Those two squared off in the stretch before Bobs Hope got the better of Ulster, who had to settle for second in his return. Bobs Hope stopped the timer in 1:55.3 to record his fifth Open win in seven tries at Saratoga in the '19 campaign. Ulster was a strong second in his seasonal debut while Freddie Mac (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. For Devaux, the win was one of four on the day for the red-hot reinsman who also piloted four winners on the Saturday card. As for Randall, the regular driver for the Trotter of the Year at the Spa in three of the last six seasons, he stuck with Ulster who gave every indication in his return that '19 may be another terrific campaign for the veteran trotter. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:00 Noon first post. There will be a Pick Five carryover of $2,644 on Wednesday with the Pick Five starting in the matinee's first race.   Mike Sardella

A couple of one-time favourites for the Harness Jewels face a nervous week to even make it to the mega meeting. Because the Jewels campaigns of stablemates Smooth Deal and Oscar Bonavena hang in the balance for very different reasons. Oscar Bonavena rocketed to favouritism for the 3-year-old trot division with a comeback win at Addington two weeks ago but after three rivals passed him on the stakes-based leaderboard he is now ranked 14th to make the field of 12. So his connections have to hope for one withdrawal before the fields are drawn on Friday to even be the emergency for the $125,000 trot at Addington on June 1. Get Lucky was the last horse to usurp Oscar Bonavena with his effortless win in the last race at Oamaru yesterday, the last day for Jewels qualifying. Connections of horses have until Friday to withdraw and the fields of 12 plus one emergency will be drawn at noon. Oscar Bonavena's late fall down the ranking has seen him drift from $1.90 to win his division a few days ago to $2.80 last night. Stablemate Smooth Deal's fall has been even more dramatic as he was the $1.40 favourite to win his division a few weeks ago but has since been beaten twice, including a battling sixth at Addington on Friday night. But he was bouncing around his paddock on Saturday morning, which was enough to deter trainer Mark Purdon from scratching him from the Jewels. "He came home, ate up and has been fine since so maybe it was just one of those nights," said Purdon. "We really don't know but we will get him vetted and then decide. But at this stage, unless the vet examination and blood tests show something is wrong with him, he will still be aimed at the Jewels." Smooth Deal is likely to trial at Addington on Saturday along with many of the Purdon-Rasmussen stars including Auckland Cup winner Turn It Up.   Michael Guerin

Freehold, NJ--"Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio, last years Amateur Driver of the Year" fortified his 2019 harness racing credentials with a driving victory in the CK Billings Series Eastern Region at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, May 18. Up behind his classy old veteran, Super Manning, Pennacchio made a first -over move going to the half hold up for a 2:01.3 triumph. After starting from the four-hole "Joltin' Joe" angled his trotter to the pylons as Caravelle ("Buffalo Bob" Davis) and Uriel and Annie "Get Your Gun" Stoebe , battled for command past the quarter in :29.2. But as soon as Uriel was clear on the front-end Pennacchio moved Super Manning first-up and they had the lead at the halfway point with Landonfitz (Dave "the Rave" Offenberg) and Noble Warrawee (Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff) in hot pursuit. At the third stanza Super Manning had a length and a half lead which was opened to 2-1/4 lengths as the field headed for paydirt. However, in mid-stretch Offenberg, with Landonfitz and Hechkoff with Noble Warrawee ,came with a rush and the leaders were side-by-side as they approached the finish. But Super Manning would not be denied and held-on for a neck triumph over Landonfitz. Right there in the photo, just a head behind the top two, was Noble Warrawee. For defending amateur champion, Joe Pennacchio, it marked his 5th win this season and which increased his UDR to.314. Since first sitting behind a spirited steed in 1995 Pennacchio now has driven 182 winners in the USA, along with a few in Europe. Owned by Joe P Racing and trained by Allen Sisco, Super Manning paid $5.00 for win. Next Billings action will be on Friday May 24th at Scioto Downs in the series mid-west division.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - If excelling with trotters was a course one could take in school, there's little doubt Ake Svanstedt would get straight 'A's. Saturday night at the Meadowlands, Svanstedt - serving as both harness racing trainer and driver - won both divisions of the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-olds on the trot with Six Pack and Muscle M Up. In the first division, the look of the race changed with the scratch of 2018 Hambletonian champion Atlanta, but that appeared to suit Six Pack just fine. The son of Muscle Mass-Pleasing Lady was on the move from the start and moved to the lead while parked past the quarter in :27.2, putting 3-5 favorite Fiftydallarbill in the pocket. A :30.3 sleepwalk of a second quarter followed as the top two betting choices raced 1-2 all the way to the wire. Fiftydallarbill rallied some in deep stretch but was no threat to Six Pack, who held on by a half-length in 1:53.1 in his 2019 debut. As the 6-5 second choice, Six Pack returned $4.40 to his backers while winning for the 16th time from 24 career starts, good for earnings of $1,383,290. A year ago, his major wins included the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot. While Six Pack has a monster resume, stablemate Muscle M Up does not, but that did not stop the son of Muscle Hill-Fashion Athena from taking the other Graduate division in a sizzling lifetime best of 1:51.2. Svanstedt once again asked his horse for early speed and got it, racing on the lead at the quarter in :27.2 before yielding to 3-5 chalk Mission Accepted. Crystal Fashion raced first-over to go after the leader around the far turn with Muscle M Up waiting for some space to race. He found it by swerving out to the four path for the stretch drive once there was enough clearance to do so and cruised past the field to record a half-length win over Crystal Fashion. Mission Accepted was third. The winner returned $17.60 to his backers as the third choice in the wagering and won for the seventh time in 14 lifetime starts. His earnings stand at $87,972. A LITTLE MORE: Tim Tetrick drove four winners on the card, while Andy McCarthy had two to run his total to nine over the last three programs. ... Betting on the 50-Cent Pick-4 was vigorous as a total of $111,102 was poured into the pot. Those sharp enough to have the sequence with winner's odds of 4-1, 7-1, 7-2 and 11-1 hit for $1,182.15. ... Conditions were ideal as of the 11 pacing events on the card, seven went in under 1:50. ... All-source wagering was just short of the $3 million mark, as $2,947,166 was pushed through the windows. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. Gabe Prewitt will make his return to the Meadowlands' TV team and serve as co-host of the live in-house simulcast show.   By Dave Little Meadowlands Media Relations

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 18, 2019--They were lacking in quantity, but there was some quality to be found Saturday night (May 18th) during the harness racing eliminations for winning Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney and Lismore Paces. The 29th Rooney began with two, six-horse $40,000 elims for the 3-year-old colts and geldings. Odds-on Air Force Hanover (Dave Miller, $2.20) won the first elimination, though with few style points. Away from post position No. 2, he controlled (:27.4, :56.2, 1:24.2, 1:52.4) after taking over from Captain Malicious (Mark MacDonald). Air Force Hanover did have to hold off a long, first-up Buddy Hill (Brian Sears). The 2½-length lead in and out of the final turn was a diminishing neck, with Price Hanover (Dan Dube) third and Captain Malicious fourth. Goldberg (Montrell Teague) was an unlucky fifth, sitting a trapped three-hole behind a tiring pocket-sitter and a gapping second-over number...both of whom beat him to the line. For Air Force Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere co-owned by County Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo & W. J. Donovan and trained by Brian Brown, it was his second win and three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $26.40, the triple returned $127 and the superfecta paid $343.50. The second elim for the Rooney saw Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn, $5) stuff 3-4 favorite Blood Money (Scott Zeron) in behind, then go the distance. From post No. 3, he laid down intervals of :28, :57.2, 1:26.1 and 1:53.2, easily handling his pocketed rival by a length-and-a-quarter. Rollwithpapajoe (Joe Bongiorno) sat a three-hole and photoed a first-up Branquinho (Tyler Buter) for third For second choice Bettor's Wish, a Bettor's Delight colt co-owned by (trainer) Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Kenneth Solomon, he's won both of his '19 tries. The exacta paid $9.30, the triple returned $14.80 and the superfecta paid $33.80. Bettor's Wish                                --Mike Lizzi photo The companion event, the 15th Lismore for soph fillies, offered two, $20,000 eliminations race, though the first of those didn't eliminated anyone. A quartet of lasses (after a defection) had Annie Hill (Sears, $2.90) move from last, then pick off pace-setting As Time Goes By (Jordan Stratton) by a neck in 1:55.4. Privacy Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was third and Mi Nina Bonita (Brent Holland) fourth. The second elim was won by Queen of the Pride (Stratton, $2.40)--from post No. 2--assuming the lead early and going the route (:27.2, :56, 1:24.4, 1:53.2). Bestseller Hanover (Bartlett) moved from third and was a solid second, beaten three-quarters of a length. Rockn' Philly (Victor Kirby) was a belated third and Rock N McRoll (Dube) snapping Blue Ivy (Sears) for fourth. The open draws for both the Lismore ($109,234) and Rooney ($300,000) take place Monday afternoon (May 20th) in ad advance of the Saturday, May 25th, finals. Saturday night's pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --Trot--Swansea (Bongiorno, $8.20) in 1:56, --Pace--Mac's Jackpot (Dunn, $5.40) in 1:52.   BY FRANK DRUCKER  Publicity Director

WILKES-BARRE PA - Rodeo Rock posted the fastest clocking of the year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1:49, in winning a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series for open harness racing pacers on Saturday night. The altered son of Rock N Roll Heaven got away midpack in a field of seven as Tiger Thompson N, winning of the GNOS divisional leg at Philly last week, took the early lead via a :26.2 opener. With the leader applying the brakes, Rodeo Rock and driver Eric Goodell (a three-time winner on the evening) made a quick move at the 3/8 to pass the three horses in front of him, reaching the half in a "leisurely" :55.4. The price of pacing went up dramatically down the back, as suddenly-uncovered favorite Dealt A Winner tried to challenge the leader down the back, but couldn't really menace as Rodeo Rock went his third panel in :26.1 for a 1:22 tripping of the three-quarters timer, then added a :27 kicker to be an easy 1 ¾ length winner at the end while also establishing a new lifetime mark. Tiger Thompson N held on well for second, with 2019's fastest pacer, Sweet Rock (1:48.1), another half length back while bagging the show dough. Rodeo Rock is the third-leading moneywinning horse in North American this year with $264,400, the majority of which was banked in finishing second in the Levy Final on April 20. Trainer Robert Cleary, sending them out at nearly a 40% victory clip, conditions the career winner of $623,055 for Royal Wire Products Inc. In the $21,500 co-featured pace, Soho Wallstreet A and Ballerat Boomerang could not be separated by the photo finish camera at the end of a 1:51.3 mile. The If I Can Dream gelding Ballerat Boomerang put everybody in behind him early, then yielded in front of the stands to the Four Starzzz Shark gelding Soho Wallstreet A. Ballerat Boomerang and driver Matt Kakaley went to the Pocono Pike and appeared to get a nose advantage midstretch, but the favored Soho Wallstreet A and driver Pat Berry refused to give way and battled back for the tie. Soho Wallstreet A is trained by Scott Di Domenico for owner J G Racing Stable; Ballerat Boomerang is conditioned by Nick Surick for the Engel Stable of IL LLC and the J L Benson Stables Inc. Pocono established a new seasonal record for dollars spent in claiming activity, as $347,750 was laid out for 15 horses who will find new homes, including a Pocono record of $40,000 being paid for Raksmach N for the second straight week. For the meet, $3,082,250 has changes hands as 170 horses have gone home to a different barn or trailer from which they came to the paddock. Perennial Pocono driving leader George Napolitano Jr. brought home four winners on the Saturday night card.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

In A Single Bound (Roll With Joe) won his first local Open Pace last month at Saratoga Casino Hotel and the Monica Krist harness racing trainee has become a staple in the feature ever since. On Saturday night, the five year old started from post position one and wound up getting a pocket trip behind Mar Nien A (Greg Merton), the race's other 8-5 co-favorite. After checking in at three quarters in 1:23.2, Mar Nien A still appeared strong but was met with a late challenge from In A Single Bound who came flying up the passing lane. Those two hit the wire noses apart but it was the Krist-trained pacer who prevailed, stopping the timer in 1:51.3 for his fourth victory of the year and second in the $15,000 Saturday night Open Pace. Mar Nien A had to settle for second while Carolina Beach (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. The win was the 20th in the career of In A Single Bound in just 48 lifetime starts. The exacta comprised of the pair of 8-5 shots paid $23.00 while the triple returned $47.80. Leading driver Billy Dobson, who celebrated his birthday on Saturday, piloted the Open winner as well as another for Krist on the card. Their Half A Billion (Sportswriter) set a lifetime mark in a $10,000 event for pacers, going coast-to-coast in 1:51.3, the same final time as his stablemate In A Single Bound scored in in the evening's feature. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:00 Noon first post.   Mike Sardella

Columbus, MN -The Opening night harness racing card at Running Aces featured the $14,000 Open handicap Pace for horses & geldings and promised to be a good contest. Stuckey Dote was installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite having just turned in a career best winning mile at El Dorado Scioto Downs in 1:50.3. Stuckey Dote got in gear early with a sweeping move into the first turn to establish the lead over Firedrake (Brian Detgen) who got away quickly from post 6, and secured the pocket through a 27.2 opener. Driver Rick Magee settled his charge down nicely on the front and registered a 30 second breather in the second panel. From there they weathered a good challenge from King of The Crop (Steve Wiseman) through the final half mile, and the 1:26.3 three-quarters, with Firedrake saving ground and closing late to make it close for the place spot. Stuckey Dote paced home strong to register a 3 ¼ length tally over King of The Crop and Firedrake in 1:54.1 for his 30th career win from 90 starts. The winning trainer is Brett Ballinger and winning owner is Merlin Van Oterloo. Longshots dominated the middle part of the Opening-night program, with Brushin Albert (Dean Magee) registering a 16-1 upset in the third contest, paying a $34.20 mutuel. Race four was won by Cenalta Cougar ($44.80) with driver Tim Maier, who would go on to lead the night with 3 wins. The longshot trail continued in Race 5 when Trinitysfancyfilly (Brian Detgen) scored at just under 10-1 for a $21.60 payout. Stuckey Dote delivered in the featured seventh as the favorite, and Tim Maier completed both halves of the late double while favored in both events (Fox Valley Nemitz, paying $3.80, and Crystal Hotspur paying $5.20) Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday, May 19 with first post at 6:00 pm CT.   Darin Gagne

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Beachy Dream ($12.80) put in a gutsy effort and notched the harness racing victory in Buffalo Raceway's $12,500 Class AA Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night (May 18)..   The tempo-setting Beachy Dream found plenty of challengers in the stretch but had just enough to hold off the serious late bids of Rose Run Ranger and Heaven Rocks who finished second and third respectively.   Putting up splits of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:26.1, Beachy Dream braced himself for the expected charge to the finish line and the closers didn't disappoint.   Rose Run Ranger (Ray Fisher Jr.) took dead aim on Beachy Dream on the outside while Heaven Rocks (Drew Monti) mounted his bid through the passing lane. But those attempts were thwarted as driver Cummings kept Beachy Dream on task and posted the narrow win in 1:55.0.   Owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, it was the fifth win in 14 outings for the 8-year-old gelded Beachy Dream (If I Can Dream-Beachy Girl). The victory improved his 2019 earnings to $38,295 and $218,435 in his career.   In the $11,500 Class AA Open Handicap Pace, Upfront Countryboy (Fisher Jr.) went from last to first and turned back Charmbo Orbit (David McNeight III) by a half length in 1:54.4.   After watching Charmbo Orbit set the splits of :28.4, :58.1 and 1:26.4, Upfront Countryboy ($11.80) sat last but began to gobble up ground just past the half.   Reaching the lead, it appeared Upfront Countryboy was about to drop anchor at the top of the stretch but Fisher Jr. re-rallied the 10-year gelding and took the win. Charmbo Orbit held on for second with Andy's Ideal (Mike Caprio) finishing in third.   Trained by James Clouser Jr. and owned by William Emmons, it was the fourth win in 15 attempts for Upfront Countryboy (Dragon Again-Cambloid). The win sent his earnings to $37,845 this year and $477,265 lifetime.   A F F Bigdaddy (David McNeight III) collected the $4.90 decision in the $10,000 Class A pace with a two length nod over Focus Power in 1:55.2.   It was the fourth victory in 10 tries for A F F Bigdaddy who is owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steve Kiblin. The triumph moved his seasonal winnings to $22,440 and $101,465 lifetime.   Shawn McDonough and Fisher Jr. had driving doubles while Clouser Jr. collected three training wins and McDonough two.   Racing will resume on Wednesday evening with a nine race program set for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     by Brian J. Mazurek for Buffalo Raceway

MILTON, May 18, 2019 - The SBOA Stakes finals and a season debut victory by McWicked highlighted a busy Fireworks and Family Fun Night on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Reigning harness racing Horse of the Year McWicked made a statement in his season debut by winning the $34,000 Preferred in 1:49.4. The Casie Coleman trainee came first up on the far turn from mid-pack and used the entire length of the stretch to wear down Sintra for a thrilling victory. Sintra made a second-quarter move to the top and led by the half in :55.2. The Stephanie Jamieson trainee and driver Jody Jamieson created separation on their rivals by pacing a :27.3 third-quarter. McWicked was more than four lengths from Sintra turning for home and delivered a stunning performance in the lane to track down and pace by Sintra in the final strides for a victory of just over a length. McWicked season debut victory snapped Sintra's win streak at seven. P L Jackson finished third, while American Virgin was fourth. Now eight-years-old, McWicked is back to defend his Canadian and American Horse of the Year title. He won 12 of 19 starts and earned $1.6 million last season to bring his career earnings to over $4 million for owner S S G Stables. The 35th career victory for McWicked saw him return $3 for a $2 win ticket. Sunny Dee And Haveoneforme captured their respective SBOA Stakes finals for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies. Bob McIntosh trainee Sunny Dee went to the front and never looked back to collect a 1:53 victory. The daughter of Sunshine Beach and driver Trevor Henry muscled to the top and posted fractions of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:24.4 before pacing home in :28.1 to win by 3 ½ lengths over fellow McIntosh student Thats Incredible. Better Single finished third, while Village Joules was fourth. Sunny Dee                                               --New Image Media photo        Sunny Dee is now undefeated in seven career starts for owner/breeders Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. Her career earnings now sit at $135,645. A $2 win ticket on Sunny Dee returned $3.30. Richard 'Nifty' Norman trainee Haveoneforme delivered another powerful performance to win the $164,290 final for three-year-old trotting fillies. Driver Paul MacDonell had the daughter of Kadabra placed mid-pack and sat second-over turning for home. Bright Eyes M, who came first-up, claimed the lead at the top of the lane and trotted home strong in attempt to hold the lead. However, Haveoneforme was too much and stormed by in the final sixteenth to win by a length and a quarter in 1:56.1. Mattys Smilin finished third, while Presto Change O was fourth. Haveoneforme has now won five of seven starts in her first season on the track. The SBOA final victory increased her earnings to $118,742 for owners Enzed Racing Stable Inc, Mel Hartman and Little E LLC. Haveoneforme                                  --New Image Media photo A $2 win ticket on Haveoneforme returned $2.50. Saturday evening's card kicked off the 2019 Championship meet at Mohawk Park. Reinsman Louis Philippe Roy and trainer Richard Moreau were recognized for leading their respective categories during the Winter/Spring meet. Roy led all drivers with 141 wins, which was 17 more than nearest rival Sylvain Filion. Moreau finished the Winter/Spring meet with 119 wins, 59 more than runner-up Rod Boyd. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. REPLAYS: www.YouTube.com/WoodbineReplays   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications

Washington, PA – Four divisions of the Meadow Bright for three-year-old PASS trotting fillies were the feature races on the 14 race Meadows Saturday afternoon card.   Each harness racing division carried a purse of $42,600 with three prohibitive favorites going down to defeat.   Firedbylindie started off the upsets winning the first division in 1:54 for Matt Kakaley defeating the 1-5 favorite Asiago. The favorite moved to the front past the quarter for Yannick Gingras but was no match for the winner in the stretch eventually fading to fourth. Matter Of Fact and Magical Beliefs followed the winner home. Firedbylindie is a daughter of Explosive Matter trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura. Firedbylindie paid $15.80 to her backers.    Division two saw 3-5 favorite Sonnet Grace make a break in the first turn taking herself out of contention and opening the door for Jazzy Fashion and David Miller to secure the win in 1:54.1. Jazzy Fashion is a daughter of Donato Hanover owned by Fashion Farms LLC of New Hope, PA and trained by Jim Campbell. Nomo Volo finished second for Jeff Gregory with Grimmie Hanover and Dave Palone rounding out the trifecta.    Fashion Farms and Jim Campbell were not done yet as their undefeated homebred Possess The Will filly Millie’s Possesion captured the third division of the Meadow Bright. The only favorite to win a division, Millie’s Possesion is now 3 for 3 lifetime capturing her division in a lifetime best 1:54. The winning filly driven by Dexter Dunn held off Personal Paradise by a neck with Southwind Casha finishing third. Millie’s Possesion paid $2.80 to win.   The fourth and final division saw the 1-2 favorite American Kronos make a break going to the three quarters allowing Dexter Dunn and Antonia to upset the field. The second winner for Dexter Dunn and stallion Donato Hanover scored in 1:54.3 over Swizzle Sticks and Fade Into You. Trained by Nifty Norman, Antonia paid a healthy $28.20 to her backers.   On the undercard were four divisions of the PA Stallion Series for the sophomore diagonal gaited fillies.   Joplin opened the day’s festivities with an upset win n the first race for Christen and Jim Pantaleano stopping the timer in 1:56.2. Favorite Can’t Touch It made a break in deep stretch while not threatening the winner and finished 3 rd before being disqualified to 4 th place.   The second division of the Stallion Series went to Dawn of Glory for Yannick Gingras and trainer Julie Miller in 1:57.4. The winner sat a two-hole journey before collaring the front running favorite Altercation by a head at the wire.   Next up was a win for Keystone Abbey and Aaron Merriman for trainer Chris Beaver. The Cantab Hall filly led every step of the way scoring in 1:56.4 by a head over favorite Fraulein Blucher. Yannick Gingras returned to the winner’s circle in the 4 th and final division of the Stallion Series with the Steve LeBlanc trained Spring In Paris.   The pacing feature of the day was the Winners Over $10,000 life won by the hard hitting 7-year-old gelding Windsong Leo in 1:49.4 for Dave Palone and trainer Ron Burke.   Racing resumes Monday with a 1:05 post.   The live schedule changes this week with live racing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and a special Friday night program starting at 5:00 PM with the 3-year-old C&G trotters back in action in the Currier and Ives Stake.     Mark J. Loewe VP of Racing Operations

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WILKES-BARRE PA - Captain Crunch, last year's two-year-old champion, had people asking "What's he going to do when he gets tighter?" after taking his 2019 debut by an effortless 1¾ lengths in a harness racing division of the second preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts Sunday at Mohegan Sun Pocono, negotiating a sloppy track in an amazing 1:49.1, last quarter :26. 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Proof left hard from an outer post to clear to the lead just after the :27 quarter, with Scott Zeron already having given the word to Captain Crunch and the Captaintreacherous colt powering right to the lead before reaching the half in :55.2. Southwind Ozzi, a first-round PaSS winner, made a bold move from fifth to challenge the leader towards the 1:23.1 three-quarters, but then, without a race in 145 days, over off going, Captain Crunch charged home with the powerhouse :26 blitz, with Zeron mostly an interested passenger. Southwind Ozzi, the second choice, held extremely well in second, a length in front of third choice Proof, who also stayed on nicely after the early usage. Though some people have been known to complain about soggy cereal, Captain Crunch has no apparent aversion to moisture, having won the Breeders Crown (here) and the Governor's Cup on sloppy ovals, and now posting this off-track victory, which equaled his lifetime mark and is the fastest mile of the young season by a three-year-old on any size of oval. Nancy Johansson trains the divisional favorite and winner of $645,322 for 3 Brothers Stable, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. The major challenger to Captain Crunch may emerge to be Workin Ona Mystery, another Captaintreacherous colt who won his first five starts at two, then ended his season after having a horrible trip in his Breeders Crown elimination and not advancing. A 1:50.1 PaSS winner in his 2019 bow, Workin Ona Mystery traveled the sloppy Pocono oval in 1:49.3 to match his lifetime best. Tim Tetrick reserved his colt in fourth as Love Me Some Lou needed most of the :26.4 quarter to make the top. Workin Ona Mystery quickly moved and worked his way to command, but then got a very hard challenge from 40-1 Volley Ball Beach, who recovered from an early miscue to race as a team with the winner to a :54.2 half and got a short backstretch lead before his bid ended just past the 1:21.4 three-quarters. Despite the hard middle half, nobody could get near Workin Ona Mystery late, with Love Me Some Lou 4 3/4 lengths back at the wire. The Brian Brown trainee seems to have recovered well from his one hiccup for owners Diamond Creek Racing, Stambaugh Leeman Stable, Alan Keith, and Wingfield Brothers LLC. The third division of Sire Stakes produced the only non-favorite in the Sires and Stallion Series events, as 6-5 "longshot" Wild Wild Western, a Western Ideal colt who was unraced at two but now has posted a 10-6-4-0 scorecard at three after equaling his mark of 1:52. Driver Mike Wilder used the popular frontstretch brush tactic with the Norm Parker trainee after the :26.3 opener, put up middle fractions of :56.1 and 1:24, then had to hold off two late threats to his left, 26-1 Caviart Stetson in second and Semi Tough in third, both a neck back; even money favorite Major Deception was another half-length behind the top trio. Wild Wild Western is owned by Jacobs Creek Racing LLC, Andrew Altobelli, and John Deters. Fastest of the four Stallion Series winners was the Sweet Lou gelding Warrawee Unique, who got the evening off to a fast start by posting a lifetime best of 1:50.2 while doubling his lifetime win total and equaling his division's North American season's record. Warrawee Unique made two moves to control the pace for driver Yannick Gingras, then used identical :27.2 back quarters to win by 2¾ lengths for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Crawford Farms, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. The Captaintreacherous colt Odds On Boca Raton had the biggest win margin in the Stallion Series competition, coming home first by four lengths in 1:51.1 for driver Andrew McCarthy while like the first winner lowering his mark and doubling his career win total. The Tony Alagna trainee looks to be seriously on the improve for Odds On Racing. The only one of the seven stakes winners who did not beat or lower his mark was U S Captain, but since the Captaintreacherous colt won his first start of the year in 1:50.4 and was racing in sloppy going here, the 1:51.1 final clocking, including :55 - :27.2 back fractions, was quite acceptable. Andrew McCarthy and Tony Alagna combined again with a developing colt, as U S Captain was winless last year but here showed his mettle by withstanding a tough Stienams Beach by ¾ of a length for Brittany Farms LLC, Brad Grant, Joseph Barbera, and U S Captain Racing. The first three Stallion Series winners were all six-figure yearlings with glittering maternal sides; the final StS winner, the Sweet Lou gelding Skip To My Lou, is the only one of the four to have two Stallion Series victories to his 2019 credit. Like every other stakes winner tonight, Skip To My Lou moved to the lead in quarter two, and driver Eric Goodell had things under control through the stretch, with Rockme Rollme good late but not really threatening the half-length winner, who reduced his mark as second to 1:51. Robert Cleary, he of the 40% victory rate, trains the sophomore who has four wins in his last six starts for Royal Wire Products Inc. ATTRIBUTION - PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors
Columbus, MN -The first Sunday card of the 2019 Harness Racing season featured a $15,000 Open Trot event, with a strong field of contenders. Silverlode was making her Running Aces return after a stellar campaign in northern California at Cal Expo over the winter and spring. Banker Volo was making his Running Aces return and just second start of the year, after a winter campaign in western Pennsylvania at The Meadows. Those two were the talk of the tote-board and rightfully so, as they also dominated the action on the track. Banker Volo (Nick Roland) struck the front first, with a burst right off the wings of the gate to challenge the inside entry Doug's Hobby Horse (Rick Bertrand) and take the lead at the quarter in 29.2, while Silverlode (Steve Wiseman) floated away third from her outside eight post, and advanced to challenge and take over the front near the 3/8 marker. The fractions were tepid for the top class trotters as they hit the half in just 1 minute flat and also completed a middle half of one minute flat (1:30). Silverlode faced mild pressure near the 5/8 when Al Mar Reba Babe was advancing first-over on the outside, but was never in jeopardy. Turning for home Silverlode had taken a clear two-length margin and had full benefit of the soft fractions, kicking home in 29.1 to check in 3 ¾ lengths ahead of Banker Volo, with Bringoverthemoney (Tim Maier) picking up the pieces for third. Silverlode ($3.20) is a 10 year old mare by British Sterling and is trained by Kathleen Plested, who co-owns with Medinah Racing. She now has 6 wins in a row and 7 victories in just 10 starts in 2019, and She recently surpassed the quarter-million mark in career earnings and now sport's a tally of $258,072. Four year old pacer Just B Talking ($84.40) became the biggest priced winner of the meet so far in Race seven on the card for Owner-Trainer-Driver Gerald Longo, with an impressive tally on the front end in 1:58.2 to light up the board at more than 41-1, triggering a carryover in the Hi-5 wager. And when 6 year old pacer Buzz Light (Nick Roland) turned in a sharp looking win at 11-1 ($24.20) in the finale in 1:58, that helped to trigger a double-carryover of $8,049.09 for the High Five Wager on Tuesday Night (5/21). Drivers Nick Roland, and Dean Magee both picked up driving doubles on the Sunday program. Post time on Tuesday night (5/21) is 7:00 pm CT.   By Darin Gagne For Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack
Deetzy (Shawn Gray) glides to an easy harness racing win at the Tioga Downs Open Handicap Pace ($12,000) on Sunday (May 19). Americanprimetime (Mike Merton) grabbed the lead just before hitting the first quarter mark in :26.2. The lead was short lived as Deetzy ($4.10) took over as the lead as they went by the stands for the first time. Deetzy led to the half in :54.1. New World Order (Tyler Buter) put on some pressure just before Deetzy hit the three-quarter mark in 1:22.1. Deetzy is trained by Jimmy Nickerson and owned by the Holland Racing Stable. He shook loose in the stretch to win in 1:50.1. Americanprimetime was second best with Dakota Jack (Mike Simons) getting third money. Deetzy is a 7-year-old gelding by Jerome's Jet. It was his third win this season. He now has reached the winner's circle 26 times in his career. Tag Up And Go (Mike Merton) charges late to capture the Open Handicap Trot ($12,000). Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) went to the front and carved out all the early fractions (:27.2, :57.0, 1:25.1). Tag Up And Go ($2.40), who is trained by Patti Harmon for owners Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro, was fourth heading into the stretch. He looked like he put on wings as he out-dueled second place finisher Golden Son (Mike Simons) to win in 1:54.2. Prairie Fortune held on to finish third. Tag Up And Go is a 9-year-old gelding by Angus Hall. He has six wins this season including the last four in a row. The gelding now owns 45 career victories. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (May 24) at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs
Chester, PA -- Despite being strung out early by rival Top Flight Angel, Crawford Farms Racing's Homicide Hunter ($4.40) had enough energy to fend off a late charge from All Champy in Great Northeast Open Series action on Sunday afternoon (May 19) at Harrah's Philadelphia, taking the day's featured $30,000 trot in 1:52.4. In their first meeting since the 2018 harness racing Breeders Crown, Homicide Hunter (Yannick Gingras) and Top Flight Angel (Marcus Miller) -- one-two in last year's season-ending classic -- threw down immediately from the outset. The pair sprinted well clear of Scirocco Rob (David Miller) on the first turn, and Homicide Hunter battled to force Top Flight Angel into the pocket through a :27 first quarter. After pulling the half back to :56.2, Homicide Hunter again accelerated up the far side, inching away from Top Flight Angel past three-quarters in 1:24.3 but also preparing for the first-over challenge of All Champy (Simon Allard). All Champy, who angled out from fifth at race's midpoint, worked to within a half length of Homicide Hunter at the eighth pole, but could get no closer at any point in the homestretch. Homicide Hunter earned the 40th win of his career by that same half-length margin over All Champy, while even-money choice Top Flight Angel finished third another 2-1/2 lengths in arrears. Ron Burke trains Homicide Hunter, whose 1:48.4 effort at The Red Mile last October is the fastest ever from a trotter. Tim Tetrick, who took the $14,500 pacing sub-feature with Rockeyed Optimist ($2.60, 1:51.1), led all drivers with a grand slam on the 14-race program. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover eclipsed the $30,000 mark after odds-on choice Crockets Cullen N ($3.80, Larry Stalbaum) won the fifth race and keyed an 8-3-5-4-1 combination which returned $98.90 on a 20-cent ticket. With multiple winners, the jackpot carryover for Wednesday's (May 22) fifth race has increased to $30,463.50. First post for Wednesday's 13-race card is 12:25 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite  Harrah's Philadelphia racing media.
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