Master Of Law

Takter "Masters" The Centaur Trotting Classic

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 20, 2014 - Master of Law pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season as he was able to wear down the overwhelmingly favored, Sebastian K, late in the stretch to win the $238,500 Centaur Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 20. Driven by trainer Jimmy Takter, Master of Law was able to close off cover to win at 21-1 in 1:54.2 over a track rated good. Sebastian K and driver, trainer Ake Svenstadt left alertly from post six but would have to work for position as Creatine and Trace Tetrick left aggressively to get the first call around the opening turn in :27. Their lead would be short lived as Sebastian K pressed on to the lead and reached the front just before the half mile time in :55.4. With a target on his back, Sebastian K would once again have to work for position as the outer flow quickly began to form. Verlin Yoder had Natural Herbie out and firing down the backside and was forcing the issue first-over approaching the final turn with Master of Law in tow. As the field began to tighten, Sebastian K still called the shots around the three-quarter clocking in 1:24.4 but the taxing trip began to take its toll. Sebastian K was able to fend off Natural Herbie but Master of Law loomed large in the background. Tipping three-wide late in the lane, Master of Law surged passed his rivals and coasted to the wire to finish two lengths in front of Creatine. Natural Herbie held on gamely to round out the trifecta while Sebastian K faded late in the stretch to finish seventh. Dismissed at the betting windows, Master of Law returned $44.00 for the victory. "We got away decent, obviously the track was a little sticky but everything worked out in my favor," Takter noted in the winner's circle. "The track favored my horse a little more versus my other horse in the field (Uncle Peter) who was not shod for this track. This is a nice horse. He's developing all the time and he can play with these guys." Master of Law who has now won three of six seasonal outings is owned by Lindy Racing Stable, Brittany Farms, Adam Victor & Son, and Christina Takter. The gelded son of Deweycheatumnhowe-Posses The Magic has now won nine of 17 lifetime outings and pushed his career bankroll to $331,753. "My owners wanted me to drive this horse," Takter continued. "He is kind of a one man show, you can't rush him. I've only had him for a little while but I really like this horse. He's only four and he is staked to everything, so We Will See." Master of Law Takter also scored another training win on the 14-race card with his two-year-old trotting filly Speak To Me in one of two divisions of the $154,150 Kentuckiana Stallion Management. With driver Brett Miller in the bike, Speak To Me recovered from a break in the final turn to stop the timer in 1:55.2, a new track record at Hoosier Park for two-year-old trotting fillies. The second division of Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes action for freshman trotting fillies went to Livininthefastlane and driver Tim Tetrick in 1:56. Trained by Julie Miller, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Nicole's Promise was able to score from off the pace to record her third win of the season. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, September 23 with a 14-race card. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 15. Emily Gaskin

The winning time of 1:47:3 shattered the mark of 1:48 for aged geldings

Bigtown Hero in a world-record 1:47.3

Bigtown Hero set a new world record for aged harness racing geldings on the pace in a Preferred Handicap victory on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $25,000. Leaving from post position #4 in a field of seven as the 8-5 second choice, Bigtown Hero (American Ideal-Art Account), a 6-year-old gelding from the Rene Allard barn, burned his way to the early lead. Driver Ron Pierce decided to cut the gelding loose, creating unforgiving fractions of 26:3, 53:3, and 1:19:4 and a huge lead. In the stretch, Bigtown Hero started to slow slightly, allowing for wild closing rallies by second-place Aslan and third-place Dancin Yankee, the 4-5 favorite, that came up a half-length short of the winner. The winning time of 1:47:3 shattered the mark of 1:48 for aged geldings on a 5/8-mile oval, which was set by Foiled Again in June of 2013 at Pocono and then matched a week later at the track by Abelard Hanover. Bigtown Hero, owned by Allard Racing Inc. and Yves Sarrazin, was fresh off an Open Handicap win at Yonkers and now has 9 wins in 27 2014 races. It was his 24th career victory, pushing his lifetime earnings to $187,823. Earlier in the night at Pocono in a $25,000 Preferred trot, Sevruga (S J's Caviar-Stunning Lindsey), a 6-year-old gelding from the Kevin Carr, scored his first win since the spring by flashing early speed that held up in the final strides. The 3-5 favorite in a field of six, Sevruga, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, led at every pole and dug deep late to hold off Wind Of The North by a nose in 1:52:1. Not Afraid finished third. Jim Beviglia

Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series

Sophomores’ turn in Grassroots Semifinals

Harness racing three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits set the fields for their $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series Finals with eight $20,000 Semifinals Saturday (September 20) at Mohawk Racetrack. The top five horses in each Semifinal moved on to next week’s Finals. Pacing Males High Flier (J. Harris) left out fast from his post nine starting spot in the first Semifinal, and he had the lead at the :26.1 opening quarter. Shadow Place (Trevor Henry) was in second at that point, but he moved to the outside and took control before the :55.1 half. Regal Son (Randy Waples) then rolled the dice first-over out of fourth, and he would match strides with Shadow Place at the 1:23.2 three-quarters. Regal Son forged his way around Shadow Place in the lane, but High Flier got a lane up the inside, and he took advantage, getting up to win by a head in 1:52.1. Shadowbriand (Mike Saftic) turned a second-over trip into the runner-up spot and Regal Son finished third. Some Major Beach (Doug McNair) came in fourth, followed by V I P Bayama (Sylvain Filion). Trainer David Taff of Waterdown, Ontario, shares ownership of High Flier, a Shadow Play colt, with Christopher Nicol of West Yorkshire, England. High Flier, who won at the Grassroots level on June 13 at Mohawk, has won five times from 11 attempts in 2014, and he has six career tallies. He has earned $43,436 this year and $47,386 in his life. Atomic Million AM (Rick Zeron) shot through from the pole position to take the field of ten to the :27.1 first quarter in the second Semifinal, but favoured Titus Seelster (Sylvain Filion) vacated the pocket past that marker, and he became the new front-stepper before the :56.3 half. Titus Seelster still had command at the 1:24.4 three-quarters while he felt some first-over pressure from Regal Babe (Doug McNair). Titus Seelster continued to hold Regal Babe off as they raced through the lane, but a number of horses began to close in on the leaders inside the final sixteenth, and it would be 50-1 shot Nirvana Seelster (Phil Hudon) charging up on the far outside to win the race in 1:53.4. Atomic Million AM, who lacked room for much of the stretch drive, was the runner-up and Regal Babe checked in third. Titus Seelster faded to fourth and Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) rallied to get fifth. Nirvana Seelster is a Camluck gelding trained by Bill Budd for owner Bruce Davy of Brockville, Ont. Nirvana Seelster, who was unraced at two, now has a trio of wins from 19 efforts and has put away $52,296. He was bred by Seelster Farms. Trotting Males Warrawee Promesse (Wayne Henry), who was starting from post ten and gunning for his eighth consecutive victory, took the lead away from 80-1 shot Hetties Commander (Paul MacKenzie) just after the :27.4 first quarter in the Semifinal opener for this bunch. Warrawee Promesse would go on to reach the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:27, never facing a serious challenge along the way. At the top of the lane Henry asked Warrawee Promesse to kick away, but inside the final sixteenth he was overhauled by several challengers, including Kremlin (Sylvain Filion), who rallied from next-to-last at three-quarters to the win by a quarter of a length in 1:57.1. Hetties Commander shook loose from the pocket and wound up second with Tyrone Haji (Randy Waples) nabbed third. Warrawee Promesse had to settle for fourth and Massive Pockets (Jody Jamieson) survived a tough outside journey to finish fifth. Richard Moreau trains Kremlin, a Kadabra gelding, for owner Mike Wassilyn of Rockwood, Ontario. Kremlin, a winner in Grassroots competition on June 9 at Mohawk, scored his fifth triumph from 15 efforts this season and his seventh career victory. Bred by Overseas Farms Ltd., Kremlin has put away $45,472 on the campaign and $55,352 lifetime. It looked like Totally Ripped (Steve Byron) was going to the lead in the other Semifinal, but then he went off-stride, leaving Jack Litten (Doug McNair) in first at the :27.3 opening quarter. Justcallmeronald (Jody Jamieson) then popped out of the pocket, and he would take the lead before the 58 second half-mile marker. Justcallmeronald would go on to click off three-quarters in 1:27.4, but McNair angled Jack Litten back out of the two-hole in the lane, and he would out-trot Justcallmeronald late in the mile to prevail by just over a length in 1:57.4. Justcallmeronald, Ramas Last Son (Steve Condren), Crowningcrest (James MacDonald) and Taurus Seelster (Randy Waples) rounded out the top-five finishers. Jack Litten is a Muscle Mass gelding trained by Gregg McNair for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan. Jack Litten, who did not compete as a two-year-old, has three wins from 12 starts in 2014, and he has put away $48,962. Jack Litten, who was bred by Tony Holmes and Walter Zent, also won in Grassroots competition on June 26 and September 2 at Mohawk. Pacing Fillies 70-1 shot Stellllllla (Jody Jamieson) held the lead at the :27.2 first quarter in the Semifinal opener, but Murrayfield (Sylvain Filion) would take over the front prior to the :56.1 half. Murrayfield then came under siege from first-over challenger Regally Ready (Doug McNair), and Murrayfield and Regally Ready were head-and-head at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. In the stretch Regally Ready put away Murrayfield, but then Bet Ya (Paul MacDonell) came from off cover to duel with the new leader. Meanwhile, 3-5 favourite Dana Dearest (Chris Christoforou), who had been fourth-over at three-quarters, began to close in as well. Regally Ready managed to fight off Bet Ya, but Dana Dearest was unrelenting with her brush, and she got up to win by about a neck in 1:53.3. Regally Ready came in second and Bet Ya was third. Mea Lilley Mark (Mike Saftic) checked in fourth and Double Joy (Mario Baillargeon) finished fifth. Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner/breeder Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ontario. Dana Dearest was winless in four starts last year, but she’s turned it around in her sophomore campaign, going eight-for-15. She has season’s earnings of $77,820 and a career bankroll of $82,048. Dana Dearest has only been defeated once in five Grassroots starts in 2014. Her Own Land (James MacDonald), the public’s 4-5 choice, led through fractions of :26.4, :56.1, and 1:24 on her way to a 1:54 decision in the second Semifinal. She beat runner-up Shadows Wonder (Chris Christoforou) by about two lengths with Artful Impulse (Randy Waples) back in third. Fourth went to Born To Dream and Royal Mama (Steve Condren) collected fifth. Dave Menary trains Her Own Land, a filly by Blissfull Hall, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Her Own Land now has five wins in Grassroots company and six wins from 14 starts overall this year. Now a seven-time winner in her career, Her Own Land has earned $77,490 in 2014 and $87,050 lifetime. Trotting Fillies In the first Semifinal for this group it would be Serendipitious (Chris Christoforou) who took the field of ten through fractions of :27.4, :58.3, and 1:28. Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) attacked the pace-setter from first-over on the final bend, and that gave a second-over tow to public choice Mystical Wishes (Doug McNair). Serendiptious put away Flexible Woman turning for home, but Mystical Wishes was sent into three-wide territory for McNair, and she would trot past the pace-setter on her way to a 1:56.4 victory. Serendiptious held second, beaten a length by the winner, and Diamonds For Life (Sylvain Filion) took third. Also securing positions in next week’s final were fourth-place finisher Missys Ga Ga (John Campbell) and fifth-place filly Chelseas Chance (Randy Waples). Tony Alagna trains the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, for co-owner/breeder Mystical Marker Farms LLC. of Dyer and co-owner Peggy Hood of Valparaiso, Indiana. Mystical Wishes is eight-for-13 in the win column this year after going winless in four tries as a rookie. Mystical Wishes has earned $63,990 in 2014 and $67,740 lifetime. This was Mystical Wishes’s fourth OSS win of the year, joining her successes on August 12 at Mohawk, September 2 at Mohawk, and September 11 at Flamboro Downs. Quadrophenia (James MacDonald) blasted out from post ten to take the second Semifinal field to the opening quarter in 28 seconds, but 3-5 favourite and point standings leader Torches Star (Steve Condren) trotted her way to the top before the :57.1 half. Torches Star was still the boss at the 1:27.2 three-quarters, but she didn’t have her best game on this night, and she was overtaken by first-over challenger Doweypuffandhow (Steve Byron) with an eighth of a mile to go. A host of closers were coming after the new leader, though, and trotting fastest of all was Lenny Mac (Randy Waples), who surged from third-over at the top of the lane to win in 1:57.3. Wonderland Snow (Trevor Henry) split horses to get second and Quadrophenia was third. Nickange Two (Mike Saftic) got fourth at 60-1 and Northern Secret (Mario Baillargeon) nailed down the last spot in the final. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, also co-owns Lenny Mac, a filly by Kadabra, with partner Earl Hill Jr. of Ohsweken, Ontario. McIntosh also bred Lenny Mac with C S X Stables and Michael Kohler. Lenny Mac has four triumphs from 14 trips behind the gate this year, and this was her seventh career trip to the winner’s circle. She has banked $57,759 this season and $97,099 in her life. This was Lenny Mac’s third Grassroots win of the season, matching her total from her freshman campaign. Mohawk Racetrack will roll out the red carpet again next Saturday night with eight $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Finals for two- and three-year-olds. For full results of this Saturday night’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0920mohsn.dat. OSS News

Voelz Hanover's fifth win of the season and the 43rd of her career

Voelz Hanover upsets in Milton Stakes Final

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 20 - Voelz Hanover and Randy Waples converted off a two-hole trip to pull off a 30-1 upset in the $286,000 Milton Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk. With a starting spot of post six, Voelz Hanover left hard off the gate against nine of the sport's top older pacing mares, but was out sprinted by Anndrovette, who started from post seven, past an opening quarter of :26. Anndrovette would lead the field to three-quarter pole, hanging up fractions of :54.1 and 1:22.2, to bring the field into the lane. Challenging Anndrovette first up around the final turn was Yagonnakissmeornot, while Voelz Hanover sat in the garden spot waiting for the stretch. In the stretch, Yagonnakissmeornot over took the lead, but once Waples brought Voelz Hanover off the rail she powered past the leader to win by a length and a half in 1:50. Yagonnakissmeornot finished second, while Anndrovette held on for third over Krispy Apple. Following the race, Waples, a resident of Milton, Ontario, said he had a few game plans in his head before the race, but wasn't sure how things were going to play out. "There was just so many good horses in there to follow I was really half thinking about backing her off the gate for a change and following," said Waples. "Nobody was really on the gate on the inside...so off I went." Trained by Corey Johnson for owner Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Quebec, Saturday night's victory was Voelz Hanover's fifth win of the season and the 43rd of her career. The nine-year-old daughter of Astreos has earned over $1.6 million in her career, but the Milton Stakes victory is the biggest triumph of her career, since she won the $300,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final as a three-year-old in 2008 at Woodbine. Waples talked about racing against Voelz Hanover when he was driving the great mare Dreamfair Eternal several years ago. "I can remember having what I consider the best mare around here, Dreamfair Eternal, and Benoit Baillargeon had her (Voelz Hanover) and I was scared of her every week," said Waples. "She could always do damage to me. I think she was second in the (2010) Breeders Crown when Dreamfair Eternal won it and she's kept going and going." Waples, who won this event in 2010 with Dreamfair Eternal, is now a two-time Milton Stakes winner. Voelz Hanover's clocking of 1:50 just missed equaling Rocklamation's stakes record of 1:49.4. Voelz Hanover paid $68.30 to win. Mark McKelvie

After winning the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio this past Thursday for the first time in his career, one would think that harness racing driver Yannick Gingras could breathe a sigh of accomplishment and perhaps relief from his hectic schedule. Nah, he's not, in fact he is at Hoosier Park Saturday night for their Super Night program and then on Sunday it's off to the Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec for the $200,000 Prix D'Ete for four-year-old pacers. "Lately it never ends," Yannick Gingras said. "One big stakes race program after another, but I love it." Coming to Trois-Rivieres and racing at the Hippodrome 3R is home to native son Yannick Gingras as it also is to fellow driver Daniel Dube. And with a homecoming both drivers are in demand and Dube has drives in nine of the ten races and Gingras in five of the ten races. "It is always fun to come back to Quebec to race but then again for $200,000 makes it even better," Gingras said. "It's going to be a great time. They have some good horses coming to compete and it should be a great day for the track and the fans. "They (3R) has done such a great job bringing back harness racing in Quebec," Gringras said. "They have been getting great publicity and renewed interest in the sport and that is very good. Hopefully they will build on this race and racing will grow." The main reason Yannick Gingras is coming back home to race is because he is the driver of Sunfire Blue Chip, who is the 5/2 morning line favorite in the $200,000 Prix D'Ete. The son of American Ideal comes to Quebec on a four-race winning streak for trainer Jimmy Takter and co-owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical Ab and R.A. W. Equine. In his last start at Pocono Downs in a $50,000 Open, Yannick and Sunfire Chip Chip teamed up for a lifetime mark of 1:49.2. The only problem is that the Hippodrome 3R is a half mile track and Sunfire Blue Chip drew the far outside post 8. "I think I have the sharpest horse in the race," Gingras said. "He has won his last four starts and is coming into the race in great form. I know the track at Hippodrome 3R and it is a tough task from the 8-hole. But I know the horse is sharp and we will give it our all. I am not coming home to Quebec just to go around the track twice. "If I was not in the race with Sunfire," Gingras said, "I would have to go with either Lucan Hanover or Mach It So. Lucan is really good on a half mile and has been sharp lately and Mach It So can close so strong. I know he won last month at Yonkers so he can handle a half mile track. "It would be great to see the local favorite do well," Gingras said of Duc D'Orleans, "but he has a tough task ahead of him. He knows this track better than anyone else having raced on it before but he is facing some tough horses he had not gone against before. "I think it will be a great race for bringing back the Prix D'Ete," Gingras said. "I only hope that the weather is good so everyone will come and enjoy it." From the Ontario Jockey Club   Steven Wolf   Director of North American and European Operations  

Saturday afternoon at Fredericton Raceway is a day that harness racing driver young Kent Beattie will remember for a lifetime.   In his fifteenth career drive, the promising rookie captured his first career victory at his hometown track.   Provoke Me, owned by Gary Beattie of Fredericton, was making his final start of his career as the nine-year-old veteran did all the work on a front-end winning performance.   Time of the mile was 2:02.2 as the pacer drove on to a two and a half-length win to best Royal Putnam and OK Elegant.   Fastest mile of the day was turned in by Joseph Michael who despite less than ideal conditions on the blustery Saturday afternoon, scored in 1:56.3. Todd Trites drove the local owned pacer as one of his two wins on the program.   Racing wrapped up for 2014 racing season at the capital city track and Horse Racing New Brunswick extends thanks to all who made the year a success despite many challenges.   Next card of racing will be contested on Saturday, September 27th at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John.   Scott Waddell

(NEW KENT, VA --- 9/20/14) ---- Vertigo Hanover captured his second opening week win in four days Saturday afternoon and connected in identical wire-to-wire fashion as he did in Wednesday's harness racing opener. The classy 8 year old The Panderosa gelding scored a triumph Wednesday in 1:53.0, then shaved a full second off that time in connecting over six other pacers in a C-2 conditioned event Saturday. Chuck Perry drove the Henry Lewis trainee to fractions of :27 1/5, :55 4/5 and 1:24.0 before crossing 3 ¾ lengths ahead of Prince Of Badlands in 1:52.0. Vertigo Hanover has 4 wins in just 7 starts this year, and saw his career bankroll exceed the $326,000 mark. Brian Detgen's Forceful Gale and Jane Dunavant's Apparition earned division victories in the "Good Ole USA" Trotting Series Saturday as well. Forceful Gale passed five front steppers in the final quarter mile to post a one length win in a lifetime tying best of 1:57 1/5 while Apparition shook off rust from a four month layoff and also crossed one length in front in 1:57 4/5. Colonial Downs presents nine harness races Sunday at 1:00 PM and will have an exhibition camel race and ostrich race to complement the card. Colonial Downs 

Several of harness racing’s major events – including the New Zealand Cup – are on the cards for top pacer For A Reason. Due to return to racing at Tabcorp Park Menangle in the first week of October, For A Reason will have at least one more trial before a firm date is set for the stallion’s first-up run according to trainer Belinda McCarthy. Should all go according to plan, For A Reason will have “two or three runs” before being taken across the Tasman for New Zealand’s premier event. “At this stage he will have another trial at Menangle on Tuesday week before heading to the races the following week,” McCarthy explained. “He is paid up for the New Zealand Cup but whether he goes will depend on his fitness. “Ideally he will have two or three runs here to bring him to his peak then we’ll go over for the Cup and Free-For-All.” While the Shaky Isles’ campaign is yet to be confirmed, McCarthy stated the SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile is a certain target. Australasia’s premier sprint is scheduled to be run at Menangle on November 29. The son of Art Major will then be given a freshen up ahead of his Victoria Cup title defence at Melton on January 31 followed by an Inter Dominion heat three weeks later. “The Miracle Mile is one race we are definitely aiming at,” McCarthy said. “Whether he goes to New Zealand or not, we want him at his best for the Miracle Mile. “He’ll also go south for the Victoria Cup and then head into the Inter Dominion. “He has a long summer ahead.” McCarthy is also set to give former boom pacer Bonavista Bay his first start since March 2013…that appearance, for Western Australian trainer Mike Reed, followed a three-year absence from the track. Retired to stud due to injury, the Group One winner has progressed well this campaign. “He will have another trial, and if he comes through that okay, he will be ready to race,” McCarthy said. “He was sent to us so he can race on Menangle, which should be better on his legs given the wider turns.” Originally trained in Victoria by Emma Stewart, the injury-plagued stallion won 14 of his first 20 starts, with three placings also to his credit. Bonavista Bay’s victories include the Melton Plate, Golden Nugget, Vicbred Final and Ford McInerney Classic. The nine-year-old is poised to make his debut for McCarthy the same time as For A Reason’s return. PAUL COURTS

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 19, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps-one for distaff pacers and one for trotters of any make or model--were won by Campanile (Tyler Buter, $10.40) and Lorenzo Dream (Brent Holland, $26.80). Unhurried from post position No. 6, Campanile saw Set Me Up (George Brennan) lead the conga line through early intervals of :28.2 and :56.3. Virgin Mary (Eric Goodell) was pocketed from the pole, while slight 2-1 choice Scandalous Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was first-up from fifth. Chasing that was Campanile as Set Me Up remained an unpressured leader in and out of a 1:24.2 three-quarters. Set Me Up owned a length lead into the lane, but was about to drop anchor. Scandalous Hanover went by first, then Campanile went by last. The latter whipped the former by a length in 1:52.2. Last week's victress, Royal Cee Cee N (Brian Sears), rallied for third here with Crazy on You (Holland) and a tiring Set Me Up completing the cashers. For fourth choice Campanile, a 5-year-old daughter of No Pan Intended trained by Allan Johnson for owner Michael Casalino Jr., it was her eighth win in 26 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $49.40, with the triple returning $182. The week's marquee trot saw Lorenzo Dream-banished behind the eight-ball-make short work of that inconvenience. Vaulting to immediate command, he was a lonely leader through sub-stations of :28, :57.2, 1:26.3 and 1:55.3. Up four lengths turning for home, and with pocket-sitting longshot Neighsay Hanover (Jordan Stratton) and a first-up, 17-10 fave Backstreet Hanover (Bartlett) both doing nothing, "Lorenzo's" final margin was three lengths. The Triple Lindy (Eric Carlson) found room late to grab second, with Zooming (Buter), Backstreet Hanover and Rossini (Dan Dube) settling for the small change. For sixth choice Lorenzo Dream a 7-year-old Taurus Dream gelding owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Julie Miller, he's now 8-for-25 this season. The exacta paid $626, the triple returned $1,683 and the superfecta paid $15,476 (base two-dollar wager). Note that since no one hit Friday's Pick 5, Saturday night's gimmick begins with a $3,363.16 carryover. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager (races 5 through 9). Over the past number of years, employees and staff from Empire City, Yonkers Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York have visited the Food Bank For Westchester in nearby Elmsford, helping out with the fine work of that organization. Friday night, the folks from Food Bank returned the favor, visiting Yonkers to enjoy dinner, a night at the races....and to receive a donation. The Raceway and the SOA made a contribution to the Food Bank, which goes toward feeding the hungry throughout the county of Westchester. "Yonkers is pleased to assist such a worthy cause," Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. "So many of our employees generously donate their time every time we visit. Anything we can do to help, it's our pleasure." "We have had tremendous support from horsemen and owners throughout our organization," SOA of New York president Joe Faraldo said. "Many of Yonkers' leading drivers have been to the Food Bank to lend a hand and see what this organization does." For more information, visit www.foodbankforwestchester.org. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 19, 2014 - Hoosier Park will offer arguably the best 14-race card of the 2014 live harness racing season to-date on Saturday, September 20. Grand Circuit racing action will make its way to Hoosier Park for the second time this season and with it, bring the top rated horses in North America to Hoosier Park as they convene on the seven-eighths mile oval in search of the lucrative purses offered on the card beginning at 5:15 p.m. Hoosier Park will host a standout card that includes the $238,500 Centaur Trotting Classic, the $250,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, the $150,000 Elevation Pace and the $50,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Invitational Pace. The world's fastest trotter, Sebastian K will highlight a powerful field of ten for Hoosier Park's richest trotting event, The Centaur Trotting Classic which has been slated as the twelfth race on the 14-race card. Fresh off his win in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Trot, Sebastian K has won eight of nine outings this year with a career bankroll of over $2.9 million and will start from post six with driver, trainer Ake Svenstadt at the lines. Joining the stellar cast of entrants in The Centaur Trotting Classic will be Hambletonian Winner, Market Share who has drawn the coveted rail position. The winner of last year's edition of the Centaur Trotting Classic and Hoosier Park's current track record holder for older horses on the trot, Uncle Peter will start from post seven. "I am overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of exceptional horses that are coming to Hoosier Park," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager or Racing, Rick Moore noted. "This is unequivocally the best harness racing card to take place at Hoosier Park this season and we couldn't be more excited to showcase this night of nights to racing fans across the country." In a continued partnership with Hoosier Park, HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, will provide exclusive coverage for all the Grand Circuit racing action on Saturday. HRTV will be on property to provide racing fans with exclusive coverage of all the festivities happening on and off the race track. Racing fans can also catch exclusive interviews from drivers and trainers racing at Hoosier Park on the HRTV programming. In conjunction with all the action taking place on the track, Hoosier Park will host the inaugural "Food Truck Throwdown" in Hoosier Park's yard. Starting at 5 p.m., racing fans will have the opportunity to select from a variety of the best food trucks in the area and local craft beers. The Food Truck Throwdown ticket package costs $20 and includes: $10 food truck voucher, 16 oz. Dan Patch mug, two craft beer pints, and a mystery racing voucher that could be worth up to $1,000. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Madison County United Way. Racing fans will also have the opportunity to enjoy the annual FarmTastic event, a farm themed and family friendly day at the races. The event will feature an antique tractor exhibit, a tractor parade, children's activities and farm food favorites. Free sweet corn and watermelon will be available while supplies last. Hoosier Park's stakes filled 14-race card will begin at its regularly scheduled post of 5:15 p.m. Hoosier Park's live racing action will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 15. Emily Gaskin

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, September 19, 2014 - This Sunday the Quebec Jockey Club that runs the harness racing track Hippodrome 3R, which is half way between Montreal and Quebec City in the town of Trois-Rivieres, is hosting the revival of one of Canada's most prestigious races, the Prix D'Ete. The Grand Circuit race carries a purse of $200,000 and many of the best four-year-old pacers in North America have entered. Eight horses will go a mile on 3R's half mile oval. There is more to just a rich purse and good horses at the Hippodrome 3R. They have initiated a city and province-wide movement to bring back harness racing, which has been raced at this track for nearly 150 years. This past Thursday was the launch of Prix D'Ete Weekend and working with the city, the province tourism board, also with local farms (crops, not horses) to get only fresh locally grown vegetables, even honey, for their menus, the team at 3R have put together a great program that is sure to grow every year. Thursday featured a press conference with the drawing of post positions for the big race on Sunday. A local horse owner (Jean Tourigny) that has a training facility for Standardbreds nearby 3R, has generously offered everyone that is bringing a horse to race in the Prix D'Ete to board them on his farm and stay there for free. "It is so great how our horsemen, the city of Trois-Rivieres and Salon de Jeux Trois-Rivieres, a subsidiary of Loto-Quebec, has come out in support of our Prix D'Ete weekend," said Vincent Trudel, the general manager of 3R. "It shows that harness racing is still a popular sport and industry in Quebec and we look forward to an exciting weekend at 3R." Saturday is Family Day and the Quebec Jockey Club is rolling out the red carpet to the community. From 11 am to 8 pm there will be sulky trips around the racetrack with professional drivers, a BBQ, children's farmyard with more than 25 different animals, pony rides, tours of the race paddock area and workshops with veterinarians, farriers and race judges. The live racing card Saturday night starts at 7:30 pm. Then on Sunday at 10:30 am the track opens up for Prix D'Ete Day. At 11:30 am Saturday there will be a Meet and Greet with many of the great drivers competing in the Prix D'Ete, some of whom are coming to 3R for the first time. Hall of Famer David Miller, this past Thursday's Little Brown Jug winner, native son, Yannick Gingras, along with the return of Trois-Rivieres Daniel Dube, Ontario's top drivers Jody Jamieson, James MacDonald, Scott Zeron and Doug McNair along with 3R's leading driver Denis St Pierre. There is a chance that another Hall of Famer, Jimmy Takter, will also be at the Meet and Greet. It will be a wonderful opportunity for racing fans in Quebec to get to meet these world class horsemen and then at 1:00 pm watch them compete in ten great races culminating with the $200,000 Prix D'Ete. The Prix D'Ete is the richest race of the year in North America for four-year-old pacers and has attracted a super competitive field. Feature are Jimmy Takter's Sunfire Blue Chip who is on a four-race winning streak, Mach It So has won three of his last four starts, Locally owned Sunshine Beach has $940,000 in career earnings, Apprentice Hanover is the highest money earner this year with $350,000 bankrolled for trainer Ben Wallace. The hometown favorite is all-age track record holder at 3R, Duc D'Orleans. His record of 1:52.4 set last year is more than likely going to be rewritten on Sunday with the caliber of horses in the field. Rounding out the competition are early season sensation Captive Audience, Casie Coleman's tough pacer Lucan Hanover and five-time winner this season, Si Semalu. The 3R half mile track has been razor sharp this season and the young Quebec-Bred horses improving every year with 16 track records set or tied this season. It all makes for a superb gala weekend at the Hippodrome 3R and throughout Trois-Riviere. And with a good showing it will be the start of planning for a bigger and better Prix D'Ete Weekend in 2015. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Trenton, NJ --- For most of her life, the extent of Shelley Johnson’s photography featured holiday and vacation photos, much like the rest of the world. About 10 years ago, her husband Jeff surprised Shelley with a point-and-shoot camera for Christmas, in hopes that nine months later she would be able to take sharp action photographs at the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. “I’m not sure what Jeff was thinking,” said Johnson, who lives 35 miles east of Columbus, Ohio. “I had never taken action shots. I took it as a challenge.” Jeff must have known something no one else did, because the challenge has been well met. A decade later, most of the cover photos on Scioto Downs programs are taken by Shelley, who has developed an eye for action and just this week enjoyed shooting another Little Brown Jug. But her efforts in photography go beyond the racetrack. She also shoots photographs for the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, which has Standardbred facilities in Ohio and Michigan. “I find great joy shooting photos of Standardbred horses retiring from the track and moving on to other careers,” she said. “New Vocations retrains Standardbred racehorses for various occupations under saddle and places them in new, caring homes. Each month I photograph these great horses going up for adoption. This is my way of promoting harness racing and helping the Standardbred horse adoption program.” While Jeff is the big horseman in the family, he did provide Shelley with a birthday present when he bought her a horse for her birthday named Master Chip in 2005. But it wasn’t like she just had to unwrap the horse at the stable. “I had to do all of my own bidding at the (Ohio Selected Jug) sale,” she said. “I had never been to an auction, let alone bid on anything. It was quite stressful. He didn't do much on the track, but I sure loved him. He has a good home now and enjoys life.” The Johnsons have also partnered with other owners on trotting fillies She’s Not Red and ML Cupcake, who are both broodmares now. They still have ML Cupcake, who was Ohio’s 2-year-old filly Trotter of the Year in 2010. “I can't wait until next spring to see her baby,” Shelley said. They also have a 2-year-old filly trotter, Carolina Charm, who has won four of six starts this season. “The racing was always Jeff's thing,” Shelley noted. “He knows horses, stallions, etc. I only enjoyed watching the races if it was a horse I knew. That's when I started taking pictures. It gave me something to do, and he was able to stay for the entire card without me wanting to go home!” It has led to a long, steady climb for the Ohio retiree who is technically a professional photographer by virtue of her sales, but still considers it a hobby. After receiving that first camera, she experimented on her feathered friends before horses, taking photos of birds at the feeder outside the dining room window. When she and Jeff bought their first horse, Shelley would try to capture him in action at the track. When she shot the Jug, it became a bit tougher as horses trying to win races traveled a lot faster than those being jogged and trained. “I took pictures, but they didn’t really turn out,” she said. Johnson kept plugging away. She took online classes for nature photography and equine photography. Neither dealt with shooting actual race action, but did help in the process. “I learned a lot about headshots and conformation shots in the equine class,” she said. “Also the proper distance to avoid distortion in the photos.” She also put in countless hours practicing at the farm of her friend Doris, who jogged and trained her own horses and taught Shelley a lot about the animals. But all the practice and all the talent in the world can only get a photographer so far without the right equipment. As her interest increased, so too did the quality of Shelley’s cameras. The big turnaround in her photos came several years ago when Jeff bought his wife a professional grade lens. “That’s made a huge difference,” Johnson said. “He even said if he had known the lens would make that much difference, he would have gotten it for me sooner.” She knew she arrived as a photographer when Scioto Downs made her a cover girl two years ago. “At that point,” she said, “I guess I thought, hey, I got this!” The monumental first cover came on June 21, 2012, with a photo of the entire field of a race on the starting gate, and an Ohio Lottery billboard behind them proclaiming “Winners Are Everywhere.” “It felt amazing to see it,” Johnson said. Aside from the program covers, she has had several photos in magazines by virtue of New Vocations using them. A week ago, Johnson was thrilled to see that one of her photos was used on the Scioto Downs billboard out front. She has discovered that she gets her finest results when not focusing on anything in particular. “I do my best when I just shoot random, with no pressure,” she said. “If I get it, OK. If I don't, OK. I will try to focus on a certain horse in a race if someone wants me to get a picture of their horse. That's hard though. The horse isn't always in view.” And as good as she has become, Johnson still feels the biggest key to her success “is probably just good luck.” “Most of the time I single-shoot the pictures,” she explained. “My camera doesn't shoot enough frames per second to use continuous mode. If I try to shoot in continuous mode and the horse has its foot planted on the track, it usually ends up planted in all of the shots. I like to try for shots with all four off the ground.” As for attempting to choose her favorite photo, Shelley said it’s like trying to pick a favorite child. She notes that when so many photos do not come out, “whenever I get one that I think looks good, I’m happy.” Judging by her success in recent years, Shelley Johnson has had quite a bit of happiness lately. To view Shelly Johnson’s work, check out her website at www.sfjohnsonphotos.com by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent  Courtesy of the US Trotting Association Web Newsroom    

It's been almost 20 years since the International Trot was last run at Yonkers Raceway, but it's back and may be better than ever before.   With a probable field including world record holder Sebastian K, along with the 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share, the 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician and the 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel, the 37th running of the $250,000 International Trot will be a must race to see at Yonkers Raceway on Oct. 25.   "The timing seems right to bring it back," said Bob Galterio, the vice president and chief operating officer of Yonkers. "This year, with so many good American trotters and a couple from overseas the time just seems to be right."   When last run in 1995, it was Sweden's His Majesty who took the International Trot over S.J.'s Photo and Panifesto, both American trotters, and this year Sweden looks well represented by Sebastian K. "Of course it means a lot," said Bjorn (Bernie) Noren, the assistant to trainer Ake Svanstedt for Sweden's Sebastian K. "It's a big event for Europeans and it should be a big race getting all the good trotters together from overseas."   His Majesty - 1995 International Trot   Linda Toscano, trainer of Market Share, grew up at Roosevelt Raceway, where the International Trot was conducted from its inception in 1959 until 1988.   "I come from Roosevelt and one of the highlights I looked forward to was seeing the other horses coming from the other countries to compete in the International," Toscano said. "I think it's a real cool thing that they revived it."   The International Trot will be run along with the Messenger Stakes and the Yonkers Trot that evening, making for a super night of racing at the Old Hilltop.   "We're very excited about that evening," Galterio said. "It should be a great night of racing and we're looking forward to it."   · Yonkers Raceway hopes to keep the international flavor going on Sundays, beginning on Nov. 9 through Dec. 14, when it will host an all trotting card that will be simulcast to Europe starting with an 11 a.m. first post.   The track will offer fans many promotions for the special Sunday cards. More details about the promotions will be available as the time draws closer.   By Jerry Bossert

This weekend may not be as exciting as the last one for Peterborough, Ontario, trainer John Bax who enjoyed a huge night at Mohawk this past Saturday when his two-year-old trotting fillies finished one-two-three in the $380,000 Peaceful Way final and his champion from last year, Riveting Rosie, was an impressive second in the $409,000 Elegantimage final. Rosie, who captured the Peaceful Way final last year at two, was dominant among the freshman trotting fillies last season and was named Canada’s Two Year Old Trotting Filly of the Year at the conclusion of the season. This year she’s had her share of issues but she’s still be able to compile a summary of 1-2-2 in 11 starts for $171,000 in earnings, $640,000 lifetime from just 19 career starts. Bax’s Parkhill Stud shares ownership of the daughter of Muscle Mass with Don Allensen, Wyoming, J And T Stable, Newmarket and John Hayes of Sharon, Ontario. “It’s just been one thing after another with her this year. Every time you think you’ve got everything straightened out something else happens to her,” noted Bax following the Elegantimage where Rosie finished nine lengths behind winner Shake It Cerry. “I was really happy with her. If she could have gotten out earlier, she wouldn’t have been nine lengths behind. It was the first race where she put it all together, she left hard and finished well. “I think she’s better on the front or first up because then she can get her stride going. She doesn’t trot as pretty when she’s doubled up, in a hole. Having said that, she got away with that at two (intimidating her opposition) and usually you find out at three you’ve got to race. It’s a learning process and I like it when they learn when we’re going for $400,000,” he laughed. Riveting Rosie won’t have much time to rest on her most recent accomplishment as she’s back in to race this Sunday at Flamboro in the first of two $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions. She’s drawn post one in the first split, race three with her usual pilot Paul MacDonell in the sulky. Right alongside in post two is this division’s leading point earner, White Becomes Her with Mario Baillargeon at the lines for brother Ben who trains for owner Twilight Stables of Brampton, Ontario. The filly with the second highest number of points in this division, Muscle Babe, has post five in the second division which goes postward as the 10th race on the program. James MacDonald will guide the Muscle Mass daughter for owner Kjell Andersen of Norway and trainer Dave Menary. Riveting Rosie currently sits in third in the point standings, but that all may change after her performance on Sunday. What will also change within the next few months is the time it takes for her trainer to truck to race at many of Ontario’s tracks. “I’m in the process of buying the main farm at Glengate Farm (just outside of Campbellville, about five minutes from Mohawk). Every time I drive by it I think, ‘gee, in five minutes I’d be home instead of two hours. The wear and tear of going up and down the road, it wears on you that’s for sure. Hopefully it will be settled this fall and we’d like to move in next spring.” This is the next to last OSS Gold event for this group who will meet once more, on September 30 at Mohawk, before the October 11 Super Final. To view the complete card for Flamboro on Sunday, which starts at 6 p.m., please click the link Flamboro Entries - September 21. OSS News

Lightly-raced trotter Elegant Image will be aimed at some of harness racing’s biggest features this season. Scoring a first-up win at Tabcorp Park Melton last night, Elegant Image will be eased along by trainer Andy Gath, who has earmarked several majors for the son of S J’s Photo. With events such as the Bill Collins Mile and Dullard Cup on the agenda, Gath’s primary target is the Great Southern Star in March. “He has come back in great shape,” Gath said. “He is a first-up specialist, so I expected a very forward showing from him tonight. “At this stage I will race him in the free-for-alls, which are on about every fortnight, as we prepare for the better races close to Christmas. “Long term, I’m looking at the Great Southern Star.” With Gath’s wife, Kate, in the sulky, Elegant Image showed his customary gate speed to find the lead from barrier six as My High Expectations worked at his wheel. Striding clear of the pack along the home straight, the gelding completed a three-and-a-half metre win from El Paco, with Cold Sister three metres away third. “Once he found the front I was pretty confident they wouldn’t run him down,” Gath said. “In the end he did it quite easily. “That run will tighten him up a bit and he will be better again next time around.” PAUL COURTS

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ANDERSON, Ind.-September 20, 2014 - Master of Law pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season as he was able to wear down the overwhelmingly favored, Sebastian K, late in the stretch to win the $238,500 Centaur Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 20. Driven by trainer Jimmy Takter, Master of Law was able to close off cover to win at 21-1 in 1:54.2 over a track rated good. Sebastian K and driver, trainer Ake Svenstadt left alertly from post six but would have to work for position as Creatine and Trace Tetrick left aggressively to get the first call around the opening turn in :27. Their lead would be short lived as Sebastian K pressed on to the lead and reached the front just before the half mile time in :55.4. With a target on his back, Sebastian K would once again have to work for position as the outer flow quickly began to form. Verlin Yoder had Natural Herbie out and firing down the backside and was forcing the issue first-over approaching the final turn with Master of Law in tow. As the field began to tighten, Sebastian K still called the shots around the three-quarter clocking in 1:24.4 but the taxing trip began to take its toll. Sebastian K was able to fend off Natural Herbie but Master of Law loomed large in the background. Tipping three-wide late in the lane, Master of Law surged passed his rivals and coasted to the wire to finish two lengths in front of Creatine. Natural Herbie held on gamely to round out the trifecta while Sebastian K faded late in the stretch to finish seventh. Dismissed at the betting windows, Master of Law returned $44.00 for the victory. "We got away decent, obviously the track was a little sticky but everything worked out in my favor," Takter noted in the winner's circle. "The track favored my horse a little more versus my other horse in the field (Uncle Peter) who was not shod for this track. This is a nice horse. He's developing all the time and he can play with these guys." Master of Law who has now won three of six seasonal outings is owned by Lindy Racing Stable, Brittany Farms, Adam Victor & Son, and Christina Takter. The gelded son of Deweycheatumnhowe-Posses The Magic has now won nine of 17 lifetime outings and pushed his career bankroll to $331,753. "My owners wanted me to drive this horse," Takter continued. "He is kind of a one man show, you can't rush him. I've only had him for a little while but I really like this horse. He's only four and he is staked to everything, so We Will See." Master of Law Takter also scored another training win on the 14-race card with his two-year-old trotting filly Speak To Me in one of two divisions of the $154,150 Kentuckiana Stallion Management. With driver Brett Miller in the bike, Speak To Me recovered from a break in the final turn to stop the timer in 1:55.2, a new track record at Hoosier Park for two-year-old trotting fillies. The second division of Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes action for freshman trotting fillies went to Livininthefastlane and driver Tim Tetrick in 1:56. Trained by Julie Miller, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Nicole's Promise was able to score from off the pace to record her third win of the season. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, September 23 with a 14-race card. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 15. Emily Gaskin
$154,150 Trot Kentuckiana 2yo Fillies Hoosier Park 2nd race SATURDAY – This is a tough call as you never know how young filly trotters will race. And so I am going with the class of the field in Speak To Me. She has been super consistent this season and hails from Jimmy Takter Stable. Use Gatka Hanover and Gold Cora in exotic plays. $154,400 Trot Kentuckiana 2yo Fillies Hoosier Park 4th race SATURDAY – Despite having just one win in eight starts this year I am going with Smexi. She never makes breaks, has the rail and has been game all season long. Use Livinthefastlane and Sweet Hana in exotic plays. $266,000 Pace Milton Final Older Mares Mohawk 7th race SATURDAY – Classic final with many of the top older mares in the sport going to post. I like Krispy Apple as draws well, has won her last two starts in this company both on and off the pace and if need be can wire the field as she did two starts back in 1:48.4. Use Yagonnakissmeornot and Anndrovette in exotic plays. $153,200 Pace Kentuckiana 2yo Fillies Hoosier Park 9th race SATURDAY – With more than three times the purse earnings of anyone else in the field you have to go with Southwind Roulette. She comes into the race on a four-race winning streak and should not be beaten. Use She’s A Hot Mess and Cashaway in exotic plays. $151,950 Pace Kentuckiana 2yo Fillies Hoosier Park 11th race SATURDAY – Fans will get to see a filly in here who is the leading contender for Horse of the Year honors in her division. JK She’salady has the breeding and ability to be a world champion. She is undefeated in six starts and will lay over this field with her great pacing speed. Use Bedroomconfessions and Mr Leland’s Filly in exotic plays. $238,500 Trot Centaur Classic FFA Hoosier Park 12th race SATURDAY – The last time Sebastian K took this much time off he came back and nearly set a world record. Super class trotter should be able to toy with this field and put on a great race for Hoosier fans who should be flocking to the track to see this world champion perform. Use Market Share and Uncle Peter in exotic plays. $200,000 Pace Prix D’ete 4YO Hippodrome 3R 9 th race SUNDAY – What a great match-up for the revival of the Prix D’ete, one of Canada’s premier events for many years. So tough to make a firm pick. Yannick Gingras comes back to his home track and after his impressive victory in the Little Brown Jug I think he can overcome starting from post 8 with Sunfire Blue Chip. He is on a four-race winning streak and has overcome starting this far out before. Use Mach It So and Lucan Hanover in exotic plays.
Bigtown Hero set a new world record for aged harness racing geldings on the pace in a Preferred Handicap victory on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $25,000. Leaving from post position #4 in a field of seven as the 8-5 second choice, Bigtown Hero (American Ideal-Art Account), a 6-year-old gelding from the Rene Allard barn, burned his way to the early lead. Driver Ron Pierce decided to cut the gelding loose, creating unforgiving fractions of 26:3, 53:3, and 1:19:4 and a huge lead. In the stretch, Bigtown Hero started to slow slightly, allowing for wild closing rallies by second-place Aslan and third-place Dancin Yankee, the 4-5 favorite, that came up a half-length short of the winner. The winning time of 1:47:3 shattered the mark of 1:48 for aged geldings on a 5/8-mile oval, which was set by Foiled Again in June of 2013 at Pocono and then matched a week later at the track by Abelard Hanover. Bigtown Hero, owned by Allard Racing Inc. and Yves Sarrazin, was fresh off an Open Handicap win at Yonkers and now has 9 wins in 27 2014 races. It was his 24th career victory, pushing his lifetime earnings to $187,823. Earlier in the night at Pocono in a $25,000 Preferred trot, Sevruga (S J's Caviar-Stunning Lindsey), a 6-year-old gelding from the Kevin Carr, scored his first win since the spring by flashing early speed that held up in the final strides. The 3-5 favorite in a field of six, Sevruga, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, led at every pole and dug deep late to hold off Wind Of The North by a nose in 1:52:1. Not Afraid finished third. Jim Beviglia
Vernon Downs held harness racing Finals in eight divisions of the New York Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night with purses totaling $360,000.   The 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings were first up and provided an 11-1 upset with Commissioner Daley (Conway Hall-Irish Washerwoman) storming through the stretch once he got into the clear and rolling right past Genius At Work late to win in a final time of 1:55.2.   Commissioner Daley is owned by Ann-Mari Daley of Lake Worth, Florida and Michael White of Royal Palm Beach, Florida. Dan Daley is the trainer-driver.   2-year-old trotting fillies were up next and, as opposed to the first of the eight Finals, this one went according to form as 3-5 favorite Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie) took the lead in mid-stretch and held off a strong closing kick from Morcredit Bluechip to score a victory in 1:57.   Barn Girl is owned by Steven and Nancy Pratt of Corfu, New York. The trainer is Howard Okusko and she was driven to victory by Jeff Gregory on Saturday night.   Freshman trotting colts & geldings provided the most exciting stretch drive of the night as part of a 5-1 entry, Progression (Credit Winner-Ens Curious), came through an opening on the inside left when the favored Crazshana drifted out in the lane. Progression's final time was 1:57.4.   Progression is owned by Leigh Raymer, who also trains, of Delaware, Stephen Moss of Pennsylvania, Harold and Helane Solomon of New York. Mark MacDonald was the driver on Saturday night.   The sophomore pacing filly race was won in gate-to-wire fashion by Expose (Artiscape-Good News Lady). She took the lead immediately and never was headed again as she triumphed in 1:52.4   Expose is owned by Linwood Higgins of Scarborough, Maine and Stake Your Claim Stable of Seacaucus, New Jersey. Linda Toscano trains and Jim Morrill Jr. was the winning driver.   Archetto Hanover (Bettor's Delight-Arts Masterpiece) took the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace after rallying past the favored Murder He Wrote at the top of the stretch. He went on to win by a length in a final time of 1:51.4   Archetto Hanover is owned by Paymaq Racing of Illinois, Greg Gillis of Ontario, Canada, and Louis Willinger of Kentucky. The trainer is Erv Miller and the winning driver was Marcus Miller.   2-year-old pacing colts and geldings might have provided one of the more impressive wins of the night from Artistic Major (Art Major-Western Dancer). Artistic Major (Brent Holland) made the lead at the top of the stretch and powered away to win by four lengths in a time of 1:52.4.   Artistic Major is owned by David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio of Ohio and Steve Elliott of New Jersey. Steve Elliott doubles as the trainer.   Freshman pacing fillies followed that and Rock Me Gently (Rock N Roll Heaven-Cam Swifty) prevailed in what turned into a clustered finish with multiple horses ending up close together. The final time was 1:55.   Rock Me Gently is owned by Old Block Stables Inc. and Kenneth Klein of New York and The Fra Stable LLC of New Jersey. The trainer is Steve Elliott.   The final Final of the Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night was 3-year-old trotting fillies and the winner was Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) with Jim Morrill Jr. driving. She took the lead right away and cruised to an easy victory by nine lengths in a final time of 1:56.3   Dreamsteeler is owned by Andrew Herzog of Monticello, New York and Tracy Brainard is the trainer.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with an 11-race program. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity
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