Stefan Melander and Elitloppet favorite Nuncio

Melander's Elitloppet favorite Nuncio is 'so special'

Stefan Melander has trained some great trotters during his harness racing career, including 2006 Prix d’Amerique winner Gigant Neo and 2001 Hambletonian winner Scarlet Knight, but he has never enjoyed a relationship with a horse in quite the same way as with Elitloppet favorite Nuncio. Nuncio, who is also owned by Melander, is the 2-1 favorite according to online oddsmakers to win Sunday’s (May 29) prestigious Elitloppet, an invitational for older trotters that features an international lineup, at Solvalla Raceway in Stockholm. Nuncio, a 5-year-old stallion who was a star in the U.S. at ages 2 and 3, has won all four of his races this season and 14 of 17 starts since arriving in Europe last year. He finished third in last year’s Elitloppet. “Last year he was just great; he came to Sweden in good shape,” Melander said in an e-mail translated by associate Simon Hagen. “Jimmy Takter and Jim Oscarsson (who each trained Nuncio in the U.S.) did a great job with him. He trained very good so we decided to participate in the Elitlopp last year even if I think it was a little bit too early. He arrived to my farm in February so he just had two races before the Elitlopp. “This year I have been able to get him in good shape before the race. He has grown enormously much. Last year I saw that he probably needed a year to be perfect, which I think he is now. He is much bigger and stronger.” Nuncio is a son of stallion Andover Hall out of the mare Nicole Isabelle. He raced primarily for Oscarsson at age 2 and solely for Takter at age 3, when Nuncio and regular driver John Campbell won the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot and finished second in the Hambletonian. For his career, Nuncio has won 30 of 44 races, never finishing worse than third in any start, and earned $2.18 million. “I am really impressed that he makes everything so easy,” Melander said. “He is so special, too. He knows that he is best in our stable but he is not cocky or anything. He is so smart. I have trained Gigant Neo and Scarlet Knight, but this horse is so special he actually understands you when you talk to him sometimes.” Melander, who is a renowned photographer as well as a horseman, won the 2010 Elitloppet with Iceland. He grew up less than a mile from Solvalla Raceway and took photos in the stables when he was a teenager. “If I could win again with Nuncio it would be just great,” Melander said. “Iceland was a really good horse but cannot compete with Nuncio. I train them different. Nuncio just wants to race with all my other horses so I have to drive him for himself on the straight track. Usually we have up to 30-35 horses in every set.” Nuncio trained Thursday and will jog and walk in the days prior to the race, Melander said. “He loves to go out and jog,” Melander said. “We also ride him and he really loves it.” Melander has been Nuncio’s regular driver, but will give the lines to Orjan Kilhstrom for Sunday’s Elitloppet. Kilhstrom won last year’s Elitloppet with Magic Tonight and the 2003 edition with From Above. “Orjan Kilhstrom is a better driver than me,” Melander said. “I think sometimes that I am a little bit too kind to (Nuncio). I actually wanted John Campbell to drive him, but his daughter would be getting married this weekend, which I understand is more important.” Nuncio races Sunday in the second of two Elitloppet eliminations. The top four finishers from each division advance to the same-day final. The first elimination features the next three best bets to win the race according to the oddsmakers: 2014 champion Timoko (7-1), formerly U.S.-based Propulsion (9-1) and U.S. representative Resolve (10-1). Timoko, who finished second in this year’s Prix d’Amerique, has won three of six starts this season. The 9-year-old stallion has earned $4.43 million in his career. Five-year-old Propulsion, who raced for trainer Tony Alagna in the States, is 3-for-3 this year. Resolve is trained and driven by two-time Elitloppet winner Ake Svanstedt. “This year almost all the horses can actually win this race,” Melander said. Nuncio isn’t Melander’s only shot at winning the race. He also sends out Volstead in the first elimination. Volstead is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Madame Volo. He was purchased as a yearling for $50,000 at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale. He is a full brother to stakes-winner High Bridge and his family also includes stakes-winners Missy’s Goalfire, Have You Ever, Lassie’s Goal, and Lear Jetta. “I actually think Volstead has a good chance to be among the (top) three,” Melander said. “His last performance he was outstanding. If we take it to the final and get a decent position, I would almost be worried if I was Nuncio.” Sunday’s card at Solvalla also features appearances by two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Pinkman, French Laundry, and Uncle Lasse in a Group 2 event for 4-year-old trotters. Yannick Gingras will drive Pinkman. Also, millionaire Wild Honey competes in a Group 2 event for 4-year-old female trotters. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Ohsowigglesspecial

Sophomore fillies set to battle in Ohio Sires Stakes

Four divisions of 3-year-old pacing fillies are set to battle in Ohio Sires Stakes on Memorial Day, May 30, in a 2 pm harness racing matinee at Scioto Downs. Each division for the sophomore side-wheelers sports a purse of $40,000. Trainer Jim Arledge, Jr. will harness OSS leg one-winner It's Your Fantasy from post six in the first division (Race 3). This Big Bad John lass stormed to a 1:55.1 career best victory on May 6 at Miami Valley Raceway with Danny Noble at the lines. The big brown filly followed that win up with a 1:55.3 triumph on May 17 at Scioto Downs, upping her seasonal earnings to $27,750 and her career bankroll to $61,955. It's Your Fantasy-a $45,000 yearling purchase from the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale-is the first foal out of the Camluck mare Favorite Fantasy p, 2, 1:58.2F ($36,490). Greg and Holly Martin of Columbus and Orient, Ohio bred this speedy filly. Queen Ann M (Chris Page, PP1), Ufpfortydevensgirl (Jason Brewer, PP3) and Naked By Nine (Jeremy Smith, PP4)-all of whom finished second in their respective divisions in the first leg of this series-will be trying to stop It's Your Fantasy from notching her third straight triumph. She Gone, who hails from the Brian Brown Stable, has been saddled with the eight-hole in the second OSS division (Race 5), but she won from the seven-hole in the first leg of this series on May 6 handily in 1:55.1. Owned by JK & BM Brown, CL McCown and RM Lombardo, this Feelin Friskie filly has three wins to her credit this season in five starts and earnings of $36,975. Bred by Midland Acres, She Gone has $55,885 in career earnings for these connections. A $20,000 yearling buy at the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale, She Gone is the fifth foal out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Semaj Hanover, and is a half-sibling to: Semaj Sam (by Nobleland Sam) p, 4, 1:53.2f ($46,410). Regular pilot Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. will be in the sulky once again. Give No Lip (Jeremy Smith, PP1) and John's One Desire (Kayne Kauffman, PP2) who both finished third in the first OSS legs at Miami Valley on May 6, have the advantage of better post positions than She Gone. Save My Tootsie (Josh Sutton, PP6) who was a strong second in leg one, should also be charging hard at the wire for trainer Ron Potter and owner Clyde Perfect of Lawrenceburg, IN. OSS Leg one winner Clarebear heads up the third OSS division (Race 7) for driver Peter Wrenn and the Carlo family of Lebanon, OH. This homebred daughter of World Of Rocknroll stormed to a four-length triumph in that May 6 contest at Miami Valley, tripping the timer in a career best 1:54.3 for the one mile test. Unraced at 2, in just five starts this season, Clarebear has earned $26,450 under the eye of trainer AJ Carlo. Feelin Lilly (Ryan Stahl, PP3) and Gorgeous Road (Kurt Sugg, PP8) appear to be Clarebear's main threats in here. Feelin Lilly, a Brian Brown-trainee, stormed to a career best 1:54.4 clocking in a Scioto Downs overnight on May 18, while Gorgeous Road captured a Northfield overnight in 1:54.3 in wire-to-wire fashion by three lengths on May 21 for trainer Cory Deyermand. My Tweed Heart hails from the rail for trainer Jim Dailey and driver Josh Sutton in the fourth and final OSS division (Race 11). The bay daughter by Manhardt captured leg one of OSS action on May 6 at Miami Valley in 1:54.4 for these same connections. Bred by Stanley Swango of Venice, FL, My Tweed Heart has $165,202 in career earnings for owners Carl and Melanie Atley of Xenia, OH and Alan Keith of Pataskala, OH. She is the fifth and most prolific foal out of the unraced Towner's Big Guy mare Tweedle D, and was a $2,500 yearling purchase from the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale. OSS leg one winner Ohsowigglesspecial will be trying for her fifth consecutive win (Dan Noble, PP 4) in this same division. The daughter of Mr Wiggles is conditioned and co-owned by Joe Paver for Pearl Warren of Marysville, OH and by Dennis Paver of Raymond, OH. Lifetime, this homebred has earned $61,710 and took her career mark in her last race on May 20 at Scioto Downs, when she swept under the wire in 1:53.4. Kimberly A. Rinker  

Maxie Lee Memorial

The Maxie Lee Memorial

The twelfth race on a power-packed harness racing program at Harrah's Philadelphia this Sunday (May 29) is named after long time horsemen Maxie Lee.   A native of North Carolina, Lee made a name for himself as a trainer and driver in the Philadelphia area at Liberty Bell and Brandywine. He had back-to-back Delaware Valley Harness Horse of the Year winners in the mid-1970s with Black Gamecock and Valley Ken. Maxie Lee died in 2001 at the age of 70. Maxie's son Greg Lee makes the trip every year from North Carolina to present the trophy to the Maxie Lee Memorial winner, and this year will be no different.   In 1990, Maxie Lee became the first African-American with a starter in the Hambletonian, with the Peter Haughton winner Backstreet Guy. One of Greg's finest moments with his father was at the Little Brown Jug in 1991, when Maxie's charge Nuke Skywalker was runner-up to Precious Bunny in the finals. "My father said, come September, they will know who this horse is". In the Little Brown Jug, we're going to give them a fit."   The 2016 edition of the Maxie Lee Memorial features a very deep, talented field, led by Bee A Magician. The Nifty Norman trainee has won just about every award imaginable, as she continues on her trek to the $4 million mark in career earnings. She is making her fourth start of the year, and is coming off of an impressive tune-up at Yonkers, winning in 1:54.1 from Post 7 vs. open company.   The second-leading money earner in the field is Solveig's Racing Partner's Shake It Cerry. A Dan Patch award winner at ages 2 and 3, the now 5-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover comes into this event off of a sharp qualifier at The Meadowlands in 1:52.4 (last qtr :26.3). "I was really happy with the way she qualified," said regular Driver Dave Miller. "She didn't race good in the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff," Miller continued. "They looked at her and she was sick with an infection. They gave her some time." When asked about the her chances in the Maxie Lee, Miller responded "I like her spot. I think the race will set up good for her."   The race also includes 2015 older trotter of the year J L Cruze. The 5-year-old son of Crazed rebounded well from a disappointing effort in the Elitlopp Playoff at The Big M with an easy win over the Harrah's oval last start. The complete field is listed below.   $200,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Obrigado-Mark MacDonald-Paul Kelley-5-1 2-Wind Of The North-George Napolitano Jr.-Daryl Bier-12-1 3-Gural Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-20-1 4-JL Cruze-Corey Callahan-Eric Ell-7-2 5-Il Sogno Dream-Scott Zeron-Chris Beaver-7-1 6-Shake It Cerry-David Miller-Jimmy Takter-5-1 7-Bee A Magician-Brian Sears-R. Nifty Norman-5-2 8-Maestro Blue Chip-Tim Tetrick-Jo Ann Looney-King-8-1   There is a six-hour detention for the three big races (Maxie Lee, Betsy Ross, and The Dorothy Mullin). The Riverview Terrace will be open for lunch from 12-4 p.m. For reservations, call 484.490.2222 or 610.874.5200. It will be Family Fun Day , with face painters, balloon artists, and many more activities for the kids. There will also be a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool, which will encompass races nine-12 and include the invitational races. Mike Bozich

Boston Red Rocks faces five of the six he vanquished in 1:50.2 a week ago

New Jersey Sires Stakes pacers on tap Saturday

Saturday night harness racing at The Meadowlands features the $25,000 second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for sophomore pacers. Unlike the trots on Friday, both of last week's winners are back in the race this week. Boston Red Rocks faces five of the six he vanquished in 1:50.2 a week ago. He will begin from the outside post six in the second race. Those rivals include Ideal Rocky, who closed to within a head of the winner with a sustained rally into a 26.2 final quarter and Katie's Rocker, another who was inching in late. Boston Red Rocks is the early favorite for the July 16 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. He has come back from his award-winning freshman season in fine form for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks, who turn the colt over to Steve Elliott for the racing season. That practice worked to perfection last year, particularly when Tim Tetrick joined the team for the Breeders Crown. On the feminine side, it's Blue Moon Stride's tiara to lose. She was the winner of last year's final and took up right where she left off by scoring a convincing win in leg one against many of the same rivals she'll face from post six in Saturday's eleventh race. The filly has the speed and power to do it from any position, as evidenced by her relentless uncovered romp last week. Her team has a distinct international flavor, owners Emilio and Maria Rosati and driver Andrew McCarthy hail from Australia while trainer Mark Harder is a New Zealand native. The weekend promotions include the Sports Jersey and Ticket Palooza giveaway and box seats for the June 4 Belmont Stakes. The doors will open at 9:30 on Sunday morning so you may watch and wager on the Elitlopp simulcast from Solvalla, Sweden. The Meadowlands is also welcoming contestants for the June 24 Miss Hot to Trot contest. Sign up now, beat the rush. Post time on Saturday is 7:15 p.m. Meadowlands Media Relations

The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame has announced that broodmare Solveig will be inducted into the Living Horse Hall of Fame, having met the qualifications for broodmares. Solveig will be inducted along with Muscle Hill, Real Desire and broodmare Arl's Troublemaker on Hall of Fame Day, Sunday, July 3rd, 2016. The ceremonies honoring these extraordinary Standardbred horses will take place during the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame's annual dinner. For information on Hall of Fame weekend and other festivities surrounding this important occasion visit www.harnessmuseum.com or call the Museum at 845-294-6330. Solveig Bay Mare, 2002 4,1:54.4f ($820,791) Yankee Glide - Exquisite Amanda - American Winner Broodmare Solveig was foaled on May 18, 2002 in Lexington, Kentucky. Bred by Tom Crouch, Solveig raced from 2004 to 2007, earning $820,791. The progeny that qualified Solveig for the Hall of Fame are Shake It Cerry 3,1:51.2 ($2,497,785), Uncle Lasse 3,1:51.4f ($931,268) and Dontyouforgetit 3,1:52.1f ($598,049). To date, Solveig has produced five colts and 2 fillies, with five starters and earnings of $4,336,865. (USTA statistics)  

Look out boys the girls now have to be reckoned with in the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series. For the second time in consecutive days a gal has emerged victorious. On Wednesday night at Northfield Park, Michelle "the Belle" Ruvola scored an impressive harness racing victory and last night, May 26, at Yonkers Raceway "Hurricane Hannah" Miller won her Billings division. And in a second split where there was no female participant with a mount, "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli cruised to victory. It's no secret that the ladies are making inroads with more of gentler sex participating but especially with the emergence of Hannah Miller. Last year she won 32 races and walked away with the Dan Patch Trophy as National Amateur Driver of the Year and again this season the talented miss is picking up where she left off. Her victory last night was her 10th already this season. According to boyfriend Nick Surick, three different trainers wanted Hannah to drive their horse in the Billings at Yonkers on Thursday. So after doing some homework Hannah decided to pick Scottish Cross, a veteran trotter from the Rene Allard barn. "He's a really nice horse and he was easy to handle," Miller said of her first time behind Scottish Cross. They left hard from the two-hole and had command in a :28.2 first quarter. "Once the field settled I was looking for a breather (for my horse) and we got to the half in :59.2. From there we opened daylight on the field and we were three (lengths) in front coming off the final turn. I still had plenty of horse when we crossed the finish line." Scottish Cross traversed the mile distance in 1:59.1 and defeated Celebrity Stimulus driven by David "the Litigator" Glasser by 2-1/4 lengths. Third, some six lengths behind the winner, was Bullet Bob" Davis with Swift Blizzard. The winner is owned by Allard Racing Inc. In the second division Tony Ciuffettelli took no prisoners when he sent Star Studded Cast to the lead from the seven-hole and they were on top before the turn. They trotted by the first stanza in :28.1 and from there Ciuffetteli played catch me if you can, and nobody could, as Star Studded Cast trotted on the a five length triumph in a 1:57.3 clocking over For You Almostfree, and driver "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo. Third place went to Sam's Honeybee, driven by Billings president, Tony "the Capo" Verruso. "'Star' raced big tonight," Ciuffetteli said via email after his driving victory. "My game plan was to blast off the car and find a spot but after making front so easily I decided to keep him rolling and he responded nicely. He was strong all the way to the finish." "Tough Tony" also owns and trains the winner. Both Yonkers went as non-wagering events. John Manzi

With no live tickets remaining in either the Late Pick 5 or Late Pick 4 on Thursday night at Hawthorne, a pair of carryovers lead into the Friday evening harness racing card. The carryover for the Late Pick 5 at Hawthorne on Friday night is $6,420 while the Late Pick 4 carryover is $7,278. For the Friday evening card, Hawthorne Race Course, and the United States Trotting Association are teaming up with the Strategic Wagering Program to offer guarantees on both pools Friday evening. The Late Pick 5, beginning on race 8, will offer a $25,000 guaranteed pool, including the carryover from Thursday. The Late Pick 4, beginning on race 9, will offer a $30,000 guaranteed pool. Both wagers are a $.50 minimum wager and each carries a low 15% takeout. For details or information, visit www.HawthorneRaceCourse.com or www.USTrotting.com. Jim Miller   ABOUT HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE Founded in 1891, Hawthorne Race Course is the 4th oldest racetrack in the nation and the oldest sporting venue in Illinois. Located in Stickney, Illinois on the edge of Chicago's city limits, the 125 year old facility hosts thoroughbred racing in the Spring and Fall/Winter, and standardbred harness racing in January and the Summer. The family-owned and operated business has been an innovator in horseracing for more than 100 years and features the nation's most rewarding players program. For additional information: www.HawthorneRaceCourse.com | Facebook.com/ClubHawthorne | @ClubHawthorne.      

As the summer harness racing meet has gotten into full swing at Hawthorne, the numerous late closer series reached their finals this weekend. Three series finals took place on Thursday over a fast Hawthorne track. The first series final was for trotters that had never won two pari-mutuel races or $10,000 lifetime as of April 1, 2016. Leading the field of eight for the final was Skyway Jaylo from the barn of Larry Lee Smith. Skyway Jaylo entered the final winning both legs by daylight. In the Thursday final, Skyway Jaylo was once again the favorite, sent away at 2-5 odds. Things weren't easy on Skyway Jaylo as he had to work through the first turn to beat Hey Marcel to the lead through an opening quarter in :28.4. After a half, Skyway Jaylo opened a two length lead in :57.0. Into the lane, Skyway Jaylo held the lead by a length in 1:26.2. Asked late, Skyway Jaylo had to work, but was unable to hold off the late move of All About Cowboys and driver Matt Krueger. All About Cowboys scored his first career victory by a head at odds of 7-1. Skyway Jaylo finished second while Hey Marcel was third. Final time for the $12,800 final was 1:56.1. All About Cowboys returned $17.00, $4.80, and $2.60 for owners Green Acres LLC & Mike Klimas and trainer Gregory Kain. Skyway Jaylo returned $2.10 and $2.10. Hey Marcel returned $2.40. The second final on the night was for colts, horses and geldings, $5,000 claimers with allowances. With a purse of $13,200, a field of ten lined up behind the gate. Sent off as the choice in the final was Bossa Nova Baby from the inside at 2-1. Into the first turn Donald Himself was sent away from the outside for the lead in :28.2. First over was Dontgetbyme as he was unable to make the lead while Donald Himself went the half in :56.2. Into the lane, Winning Dream angled out for the lead in 1:25.0 for driver Travis Seekman and never looked back, winning by a length in 1:53.2. Longshot Shhrayray got up for second, just a head ahead of Bossa Nova Baby. Sent off at 12-1, Winning Dream is owned by Niss Allen Inc. and trained by Ken Rucker. Winning Dream returned $27.00, $14.00, and $7.80. Shhrayray came back $18.60 and $8.00. Bossa Nova Baby returned $4.20 to show. The third final on the night carried a purse of $15,400 and was for Illinois conceived or foaled trotters that had never won two races or $10,000 lifetime as of April 1, 2016. Sent off as the even money favorite was Powerful Princess, who broke stride prior to the start and spotted the field five lengths early. Through the opening quarter PJ Boy held the early lead in :29.4. After a half in 1:00.1, both Mr Strata and Awfully Emotional were on the move. Into the lane, Mr Strata and driver Kyle Wilfong were just in front of Awfully Emotional through three quarters in 1:30.0 as Powerful Princess began to close down the center of the stretch. At the wire, Mr Strata held on over Awfully Emotional in 1:59.0 while Powerful Princess finished third. Owned by Cynthia Kay Willis and trained by Nelson Willis, Mr Strata returned $17.00, $7.80, and $3.80. Awfully Emotional came back $7.60 and $2.80 while Powerful Princess returned $2.80 to show. Jim Miller

Dions Prayer (Like A Prayer) set a lifetime mark in Thursday's harness racing feature at Saratoga.  Phil Fluet moved Dions Prayer out to the early lead in the $9,300 feature for New York Sired Trotters and the Andy Byler trainee powered away to win by more than five lengths in a career best 1:57.2. The race's 8-5 betting favorite on Thursday, Dions Prayer recorded her third win in ten seasonal tries. Deadhead Royalty (Don Sherman) closed for second while Kinda Naughty (John Stark Jr.) earned the show spot. It was one of two wins on the day for driver Phil Fluet who piloted his Mo Titos Blue Chip (Crazed) to victory on the afternoon card. Live racing continues on Friday evening with a first post time of 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Three $40,000 divisions of Ohio-bred filly trotters will line up behind the Northfield Park starting gate on Sunday night, May 29, in the second leg of Ohio Sires Stakes for harness racing 3-year-olds. First race post time is 6 pm, ET. The first leg of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) was contested May 6 at Miami Valley Raceway, with 27 horses of this age, gender and gait entered into three divisions. Overall, 69 sophomore trotting fillies were nominated to the first and second leg of this series, with 71 being nominated to the third and fourth legs of OSS contests. In regards to the number of OSS participants nominated by stallions standing in the Buckeye State, Dejarmbro topped the list in the trotting ranks with 58 nominees, followed by Triumphant Caviar with 29, Chip Chip Hooray with 22, Woodstock with 13, Full Count with 12 and Break The Bank K with nine. His Highness garnered six nominees, while Amigo Hall, And Away We Go, Hard Rock N Roll, and Trainforthefuture had five each. Big Rigs, Lion Hunter, Tom Cango and Victory Sam each had four nominees. Those Ohio-based stallions with three nominees to their credit include Cayenne Turbo, Pilgrims Taj and Royal Strength. Bite The Taxman, Iron Duke, Keystone Nordic, Rompaway Wally, and Southwind Wrangler each had two of their progeny nominated to the OSS program, while All In Hall, Home Stretch, Ilooklikemymom, Lou's Legacy, Manhattan, OU Man, Rose Run Hooligan, Southfork and Steven One all had one nominee each in the trotting ranks. Heading up the first $40,000 division (Race 5) of diagonally-gaited specialists is the Jim Arledge, Jr.-trained Consolidator. Owned by the Green Acquisition Corporation of Canfield, OH, this daughter of Triumphant Caviar won her 2016 debut in the first leg of this series on May 6 at Miami Valley in gate-to-wire fashion in 1:57.4. Handled deftly by Chris Page, this big bay filly won that start by 2½ lengths, pushing her career earnings to $97,616. After winning two OSS legs as a freshman, she was a solid third in the $225,000 OSS Final at Scioto Downs last fall. Consolidator is the sixth and most prolific foal out of the Muscles Yankee mare Muscle Toy, 3, 1:55.3 ($107,723). Muscle Toy was no slouch as a racehorse-winning among others the $44,000 Hayes Memorial in 1:56.3 as a 2-year-old at DuQuoin in 2003. Consolidator was bred by the Rose Run Farm of Sugarcreek, OH and sold for $25,000 at the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale. Regular driver Chris Page will be aboard from post six against seven rivals. Up Front Racing's Hoorah Hoorah-who was second in her OSS-leg one test on May 6 to Kerfuffle Cookie-will be looking for her first victory of the season in four tries. Conditioned by Kelly O'Donnell, this $27,573-winning daughter of Chip Chip Hooray could be a serious threat to Consolidator from the rail with Aaron Merriman driving. Kim Dailey's Wegotthechips is another looking to stop Consolidator's bid at a second victory. This daughter of Deep Chip-Margie Lavec-Master Lavec was second to Kandy Krisp in the first leg of this series at Miami Valley. Conditioned by Jim Dailey, Wegotthechips has career earnings of $33,630 and won five starts at two, but has yet to visit the winner's circle in 2016. She comes into this race fresh off a May 25 victory at Scioto Downs, when she was clocked in a career best 1:58. Peter Wrenn drives from post three. The second $40,000 OSS division (Race 9) features a field of nine sophomore filly trotters, headed up by Kestrel, the 2-year-old Trotting Filly of 2016. She's drawn the coveted rail slot for trainer/co-owner Chris Beaver and owner Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, OH and will have Aaron Merriman in the sulky. The daughter of Triumphant Caviar won six of seven starts as a freshman, with one second and earnings of $191,650. The homebred filly was a multiple OSS winner at 2 and finished second by a nose to Count On Kami in the $225,000 Final on Super Night last year. Kestrel is the first foal out of the unraced Credit Winner mare Blackrock-herself a half-sister to Pop I (by Andover Hall) 4, 1:55.2h ($164,109) and to Swan Princess (by Swan For All) 4, 1:57f ($97,052). Though Kestrel looks much the best of this division, she'll face strong efforts from the likes of the Chris Beaver-trained Evanora with Josh Sutton driving from post four. A career winner of $75,250, the daughter of Pilgrims Taj won a pair of OSS events last season, but had her issues staying on gait at times. She finished fourth in the first leg of this series on May 6 at Miami Valley. Buckeye Lady One is another serious threat who'll go postward with Ronnie Wrenn Jr. in the sulky, scoring from the second-tier. Trained by Josh Green for Jj&M Stable of Harrington, DE; Richard Lombardo, Solon, OH; and Baron Racing Stable of Horsham, PA, the daughter of Pilgrim's Taj was second to Consolidator in the first leg of this series and has one win under her belt thus far this season. A winner of $46,973, Buckeye Lady One was bred by Eli Miller of Sugarcreek, OH and was a $32,000 yearling buy at the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale. She is a half-sister to Jessie's Song (by Jailhouse Jesse) 4, 1:54.2f ($136,576). OSS leg one winners Kerfuffle Cookie (post 2~Chris Page) and Kandy Krisp (post 8~Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) will square off in the third $40,000 OSS division (Race 11) that features another nine-horse field of filly contestants. Chris Beaver trains and co-owns Kerfuffle Cookie along with owners Synerco Ventures, Inc. of Toronto, Canada. A winner of $100,170 to date, the daughter of Chip Chip Hooray won a trio of OSS events as a freshman, and recorded a career mark of 1:57.1 this season at Miami Valley Raceway in a conditioned trot. Bred by Lmn Bred Stables of Mount Sterling, OH, Kerfuffle Cookie is the third of five foals out of the unraced Conway Hall mare Minor Skirmish, and was a $20,000 yearling at the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale. She has half-siblings in Allie's Gift (by Holiday Road) 3, 1:57.1h ($55,241) and Special Agent Man (by Federal Flex) 3, Q1:59.1s ($45,037). Kandy Krisp is conditioned by Kim Sigler for John Stafford of Warren, OH and Tucker Baumiller of Boardman, OH. This winner of $38,656 lifetime has a pair of impressive efforts on her card coming into this OSS division. She won OSS leg one in 1:58.4 by two lengths in an impressive, come-from-behind effort on May 6 at Miami Valley, and followed that up with a 5¼ length rally on May 17 in a Northfield Park overnight, stopping the clock in a career best 1:56.4. A $6,000 yearling purchase at the 2014 Blooded Horse Sale, Kandy Krisp is the fifth of five foals out of the Keystone Nordic mare Kandy's Lc 3, 1:59.4f ($155,893). Her siblings include: High Jacked (by Davanti) 5, 1:56.4 ($133,810); and Shezalock (by Lockkeeper) 4, 1:57.4f ($43,951). Ohio Sires Stakes action continues on Monday afternoon at Scioto Downs with four $40,000 divisions for 3-year-old Ohio-bred pacing fillies. Post time is set for 2 pm, ET. by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator  

It is only fitting that on a weekend when we pause and honor those that have served and perished in our country's Military, that the aptly named Omaha Survivor would prevail against all odds. He gallantly battled back from a break behind the gate and spotted the field 15 lengths at the start, at the ¼ pole the charter had him 11 lengths behind the leader. Now in full charge he was parked 4th on the outside at the 1/2, still taking the overland route on the outside, at the ¾ mile marker he ranging into contention, parked first over from the fraction setting Shark Treasure. Omaha Survivor briefly save some real estate and dove in the 2 hole ever so briefly, at the top of the lane Mike Merton pulled the right line and the veteran 11 year old harness racing gelding gallantly charged thru the lane in spirited stretch drive in the middle of the track to be victorious in 1:58 giving Mike his 4th win of the afternoon. Omaha Survivor is trained by Dolores Basilone for owner Greg Gardner of Sheridan MI. Mike Merton took advantage of the absence of Monticello Raceway's top leading drivers Bruce Aldrich and Jimmy Taggart Jr. and drove 5 winners on the afternoons 9 race card. The UDRS stat building day started in the second half of the early double, scoring with Last Chance T, he came right back in the 3rd to win with Brooklyn Benny in 1:56.3. He finished 2nd in the 4th race. In Race 5 he scored with Omaha Survivor. He also won with Conrad Hanover in race 7 ($3.30) and Mungo in the 8th race ($19.20) D.R. Ackerman also had a training driving double on the card, reigning Magic Tail, a 3 year old daughter of Muscle Massive to a 2:03 win and Uncle Hanover (Muscle Hill) in 1:59.1. On Monday May 30, Monticello Raceway will be dark Monday for Memorial Day, live racing resumes Tuesday thru Friday with a 12:50 post. By Shawn Wiles

The New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for three-year-old trotters resumes on Friday night at The Meadowlands with leg two. The number of races mirrors last week with two filly divisions and a single colt contest but he players have changed significantly with the winners of all three races remaining in the barn this week, their spot in next week's harness racing finals secure. The first $20,000 division for the ladies is the second race, a field of six. Hillosophical has been steadily improving for Valeriya Medik and took a giant leap forward in last week's race, trotting in 1:54.4, her fastest mile to date by three seconds while finishing second at odds of over 100-1. She won't have to deal with the Garden State's top filly this week, All The Time, and that alone may land her in the winner's circle for owner Green Acquisition Corporation. Andy Miller has the drive. Southwind Hope is the filly to beat in division two (race 4). She did all the hard work in last week's race leading until the final stride when Wildflower stuck her head in front just in time for the win photo in 1:55. Southwind Hope has two wins and hasn't missed the board in her five seasonal outings this year while banking more than $37,000 for Andy Miller Stable, Little E, LLC and Lawrence Dumain. Andy will drive and Julie Miller is the trainer. The seven (of nine) colts back from the first leg will advance at least three places in the order of finish in the $25,000 sixth race as the top three finishers from that race, Southwind Frank, Brooklyn Hill, and Bar Hopping, are absent from leg two. That leaves Double L Lindy as the returning leader off of a solid fourth after surviving a long first over bid last week, beaten just five lengths and five in front of the rest of the field. Unraced at two, Double L Lindy races out of the Ake Svanstedt barn for owners Lindy Farms, Joe Sbrocco and Paul Van Camp and Little E. Steve Smith has the drive on him. The Friday offering begins at 7:15 p.m. with $226,527 in the Super Hi-5 Jackpot pool to open the weekend. Meadowlands Media Relations

When harness racing  owner Bill Dittmar Jr. visited the winner's circle with Anders Bluestone following the 2011 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational, it seemed like the moment of a lifetime. On Sunday afternoon, he returns to the same event at Harrah's Philadelphia with what seems like the horse of a lifetime. Dittmar is among the owners of JL Cruze, who last year won 16 of 21 races, set numerous world records, and received a Dan Patch Award as harness racing's best older male trotter. JL Cruze is part of a star-packed 2016 edition of the $200,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for older trotters. The field includes 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician and 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry. Bee A Magician, unbeaten in three races this year, is the 5-2 morning line favorite. JL Cruze, with four wins in five starts this season, is the 7-2 second choice. "When we won with Anders Bluestone a few years ago that was really a highlight with our horses at that time," Dittmar said. "That was fun. "It would be nice to be competitive again. We've always been a group with (non-stakes) horses. When you get a stakes horse, it's exciting. It really is. We're a small stable and you find the diamond in the rough once in a while and try to have some fun with it." Sunday's Philly card also includes the $200,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers and the $200,000 Dorothy Mullin Invitational for older male pacers. Delaware-based Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 2015 Horse of the Year, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Mullin Invitational. He has won five of eight races this year, finishing no worse than second in any start, and heads to Sunday's festivities off a track-record performance in winning the Battle of Lake Erie last weekend at Northfield Park. Rockin Ron, who established a Canadian record in defeating Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Confederation Cup earlier this month, and New Zealand-bred Levy Memorial Pacing Series champion Bit Of A Legend are also among the Mullin's eight starters. Multiple-stakes-winner Devil Child is the 5-2 morning line choice in the Betsy Ross, which also includes 2015 Breeders Crown champion Color's A Virgin and this year's Blue Chip Matchmaker Series winner Yagonnakissmeornot. First race post time is 12:40 p.m. Sunday. The Betsy Ross, scheduled for approximately 3:40 p.m., is the first of the three invitationals, which will be raced consecutively. JL Cruze is owned by Dittmar, Stephen Iaquinta and Ken Wood. Some of JL Cruze's $627,456 in earnings last year went to help dig wells in Ghana and Tanzania and bring clean drinking water to 50,000 people as part of a longtime humanitarian effort spearheaded by Wood. A 5-year-old gelding, JL Cruze was purchased by his current owners for $37,000 in November 2014. They hoped he would be a nice fit at Dover Downs, where the group races frequently, but the horse blossomed with trainer Eric Ell last winter and then stormed to three consecutive stakes-level world-record wins during the summer before being sidelined by a virus. JL Cruze returned this season with three consecutive victories in open handicaps, but then finished off the board in the $150,000 Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff on May 8 at the Meadowlands. He bounced back with a non-stakes win at Harrah's Philadelphia on May 19 in his first-ever race at the track. "We were disappointed with his performance in the Elitlopp Playoff," Dittmar said. "He just wasn't feeling right. I hate making excuses for horses, but things happen. We all thought he was sitting on a good race going into it. It just wasn't his day. "Coming off his performance there and then racing for the first time at Philly, it was good to see him get around the turns there and come out of it in good shape. It should be fun Sunday." $200,000 Betsy Ross Invitational PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Yagonnakissmeornot-Daniel Dube-Rene Allard-7-1 2-Sassa Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-10-1 3-Venus Delight-Tim Tetrick-Jeffrey Bamond Jr.-7-2 4-Devil Child-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes-5-2 5-Katie Said-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-6-1 6-Waasmula-Trevor Henry-Bruce Goit-20-1 7-Sell A Bit N-Jordan Stratton-Peter Tritton-15-1 8-Color's A Virgin-David Miller-Brian Brown-4-1 $200,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Obrigado-Mark MacDonald-Paul Kelley-5-1 2-Wind Of The North-George Napolitano Jr.-Daryl Bier-12-1 3-Gural Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-20-1 4-JL Cruze-Corey Callahan-Eric Ell-7-2 5-Il Sogno Dream-Scott Zeron-Chris Beaver-7-1 6-Shake It Cerry-David Miller-Jimmy Takter-5-1 7-Bee A Magician-Brian Sears-R. Nifty Norman-5-2 8-Maestro Blue Chip-Tim Tetrick-JoAnn Looney-King-8-1 $200,000 Dorothy Mullin Invitational PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-JK Endofanera-David Miller-Jimmy Takter-20-1 2-Wiggle It Jiggleit-Montrell Teague-Clyde Francis-2-1 3-Rockin Ron-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-6-1 4-Rockeyed Optimist-Brett Miller-Steve Elliott-12-1 5-Mach It So-Tim Tetrick-Jeffrey Bamond Jr.-9-2 6-Mel Mara-Corey Callahan-Dylan Davis-10-1 7-Luck Be Withyou-George Napolitano Jr.-Chris Oakes-9-2 8-Bit Of A Legend N-Jordan Stratton-Peter Tritton-6-1 Ken Weingartner

If you don't think that amateur harness drivers enjoy the competitions you'd be terribly mistaken. They race for sport and the love of the game. Take Michelle "the Belle" Ruvola, for instance. The business professional winged her way in from Chicago along with her dad, "Chicago George" Bonono, to drive in a mid-west region Billings Series trot at Northfield Park in greater Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 25. Perhaps somewhat intimidated by handling a longshot and being the only woman in the race still Ruvola was up for the task. After all it wasn't her first rodeo. She was up behind Upfront Chip Daddy from post five, a decided outsider at odds of 40-1..But as NY Yankee slugger Yogi Berra once famously said "it ain't over till it's over". Not expecting a whole lot Ruvola took advantage of the breaks in the race and worked herself and great trip and much to her surprise her horse was more than ready and she rallied him to a 1:57:3 victory. Trailing by two lengths in forth position at the head of the stretch Upfront Chip Daddy charged home a one length winner over 1-5 favorite Star Chip driven by Gregg "Fast Greggy" Kiedel. Third place went to Heza Rube and driver Bob "the Lumberman" Troyer. To say that "The Belle" was overjoyed by her victory would be a gross understatement. Ruvola, also an accomplished horsewoman, scored her first win in her first seasonal start and the 38th of her limited driving career which began in 1996. But this longshot victory was special. Besides beating her dad- he finished seventh-she also beat some nice trotters and many seasoned amateur drivers Contacted after the race Ruvola was exuberant and full of joy. She started by yelping "Woo Hoo!!" and added "it isn't very professional, but add a face-splitting smile to that whoop of joy and you may get an inkling of how I felt crossing the finish line! I had no idea we had any chance of beating the "big boys". "This race was one of those rare occasions when the stars aligned and the rest just came together. . "We came out of the five hole, parked to the quarter and then tucked in the fourth. And as the first three started to open up in a quick (:57.4) first half I hoped if we could just hang with the good horses we'd have a shot at passing them. And then, lo and behold, I asked my horse to go wide on the turn and he went on and never looked back! "Can you tell I'm still on an adrenaline high?" Michelle was quick to share the accomplishment with trainer Crist Hershberger and others behind the scenes. . "Thanks to everybody who helped us get to the winner's circle tonight. In horseracing, it truly takes a village," she gleefully added. Upfront Chip Daddy is owned by George and Rose Bonomo. He paid $82.20; $20.40; and $5.00 across the board. By John Manzi for the Billings Series

TSM Photo Bugger moved first over to gain better position, then brushed again in the lane to capture Wednesday's harness racing $13,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life Trot at The Meadows. TSM Photo Bugger was third down the backside when Aaron Merriman sent him after the leader, Lady's Dude. When the pocket-sitting Classicality gapped, TSM Photo Bugger slipped into the two hole and kept the pressure on. The 9-year-old SJ's Photo-Rewarding Wink gelding overpowered Lady's Dude in the stretch, downing him by a length in a career-best 1:52.4. Classicality saved show. Jan Fread trains TSM Photo Bugger, who now boasts $591,470 in lifetime earnings, for owner/breeder Ted Tomson. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday with a special post time of 5 PM. The program features two stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers: a $161,760 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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Stefan Melander has trained some great trotters during his harness racing career, including 2006 Prix d’Amerique winner Gigant Neo and 2001 Hambletonian winner Scarlet Knight, but he has never enjoyed a relationship with a horse in quite the same way as with Elitloppet favorite Nuncio. Nuncio, who is also owned by Melander, is the 2-1 favorite according to online oddsmakers to win Sunday’s (May 29) prestigious Elitloppet, an invitational for older trotters that features an international lineup, at Solvalla Raceway in Stockholm. Nuncio, a 5-year-old stallion who was a star in the U.S. at ages 2 and 3, has won all four of his races this season and 14 of 17 starts since arriving in Europe last year. He finished third in last year’s Elitloppet. “Last year he was just great; he came to Sweden in good shape,” Melander said in an e-mail translated by associate Simon Hagen. “Jimmy Takter and Jim Oscarsson (who each trained Nuncio in the U.S.) did a great job with him. He trained very good so we decided to participate in the Elitlopp last year even if I think it was a little bit too early. He arrived to my farm in February so he just had two races before the Elitlopp. “This year I have been able to get him in good shape before the race. He has grown enormously much. Last year I saw that he probably needed a year to be perfect, which I think he is now. He is much bigger and stronger.” Nuncio is a son of stallion Andover Hall out of the mare Nicole Isabelle. He raced primarily for Oscarsson at age 2 and solely for Takter at age 3, when Nuncio and regular driver John Campbell won the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot and finished second in the Hambletonian. For his career, Nuncio has won 30 of 44 races, never finishing worse than third in any start, and earned $2.18 million. “I am really impressed that he makes everything so easy,” Melander said. “He is so special, too. He knows that he is best in our stable but he is not cocky or anything. He is so smart. I have trained Gigant Neo and Scarlet Knight, but this horse is so special he actually understands you when you talk to him sometimes.” Melander, who is a renowned photographer as well as a horseman, won the 2010 Elitloppet with Iceland. He grew up less than a mile from Solvalla Raceway and took photos in the stables when he was a teenager. “If I could win again with Nuncio it would be just great,” Melander said. “Iceland was a really good horse but cannot compete with Nuncio. I train them different. Nuncio just wants to race with all my other horses so I have to drive him for himself on the straight track. Usually we have up to 30-35 horses in every set.” Nuncio trained Thursday and will jog and walk in the days prior to the race, Melander said. “He loves to go out and jog,” Melander said. “We also ride him and he really loves it.” Melander has been Nuncio’s regular driver, but will give the lines to Orjan Kilhstrom for Sunday’s Elitloppet. Kilhstrom won last year’s Elitloppet with Magic Tonight and the 2003 edition with From Above. “Orjan Kilhstrom is a better driver than me,” Melander said. “I think sometimes that I am a little bit too kind to (Nuncio). I actually wanted John Campbell to drive him, but his daughter would be getting married this weekend, which I understand is more important.” Nuncio races Sunday in the second of two Elitloppet eliminations. The top four finishers from each division advance to the same-day final. The first elimination features the next three best bets to win the race according to the oddsmakers: 2014 champion Timoko (7-1), formerly U.S.-based Propulsion (9-1) and U.S. representative Resolve (10-1). Timoko, who finished second in this year’s Prix d’Amerique, has won three of six starts this season. The 9-year-old stallion has earned $4.43 million in his career. Five-year-old Propulsion, who raced for trainer Tony Alagna in the States, is 3-for-3 this year. Resolve is trained and driven by two-time Elitloppet winner Ake Svanstedt. “This year almost all the horses can actually win this race,” Melander said. Nuncio isn’t Melander’s only shot at winning the race. He also sends out Volstead in the first elimination. Volstead is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Madame Volo. He was purchased as a yearling for $50,000 at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale. He is a full brother to stakes-winner High Bridge and his family also includes stakes-winners Missy’s Goalfire, Have You Ever, Lassie’s Goal, and Lear Jetta. “I actually think Volstead has a good chance to be among the (top) three,” Melander said. “His last performance he was outstanding. If we take it to the final and get a decent position, I would almost be worried if I was Nuncio.” Sunday’s card at Solvalla also features appearances by two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Pinkman, French Laundry, and Uncle Lasse in a Group 2 event for 4-year-old trotters. Yannick Gingras will drive Pinkman. Also, millionaire Wild Honey competes in a Group 2 event for 4-year-old female trotters. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 
Four divisions of 3-year-old pacing fillies are set to battle in Ohio Sires Stakes on Memorial Day, May 30, in a 2 pm harness racing matinee at Scioto Downs. Each division for the sophomore side-wheelers sports a purse of $40,000. Trainer Jim Arledge, Jr. will harness OSS leg one-winner It's Your Fantasy from post six in the first division (Race 3). This Big Bad John lass stormed to a 1:55.1 career best victory on May 6 at Miami Valley Raceway with Danny Noble at the lines. The big brown filly followed that win up with a 1:55.3 triumph on May 17 at Scioto Downs, upping her seasonal earnings to $27,750 and her career bankroll to $61,955. It's Your Fantasy-a $45,000 yearling purchase from the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale-is the first foal out of the Camluck mare Favorite Fantasy p, 2, 1:58.2F ($36,490). Greg and Holly Martin of Columbus and Orient, Ohio bred this speedy filly. Queen Ann M (Chris Page, PP1), Ufpfortydevensgirl (Jason Brewer, PP3) and Naked By Nine (Jeremy Smith, PP4)-all of whom finished second in their respective divisions in the first leg of this series-will be trying to stop It's Your Fantasy from notching her third straight triumph. She Gone, who hails from the Brian Brown Stable, has been saddled with the eight-hole in the second OSS division (Race 5), but she won from the seven-hole in the first leg of this series on May 6 handily in 1:55.1. Owned by JK & BM Brown, CL McCown and RM Lombardo, this Feelin Friskie filly has three wins to her credit this season in five starts and earnings of $36,975. Bred by Midland Acres, She Gone has $55,885 in career earnings for these connections. A $20,000 yearling buy at the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale, She Gone is the fifth foal out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Semaj Hanover, and is a half-sibling to: Semaj Sam (by Nobleland Sam) p, 4, 1:53.2f ($46,410). Regular pilot Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. will be in the sulky once again. Give No Lip (Jeremy Smith, PP1) and John's One Desire (Kayne Kauffman, PP2) who both finished third in the first OSS legs at Miami Valley on May 6, have the advantage of better post positions than She Gone. Save My Tootsie (Josh Sutton, PP6) who was a strong second in leg one, should also be charging hard at the wire for trainer Ron Potter and owner Clyde Perfect of Lawrenceburg, IN. OSS Leg one winner Clarebear heads up the third OSS division (Race 7) for driver Peter Wrenn and the Carlo family of Lebanon, OH. This homebred daughter of World Of Rocknroll stormed to a four-length triumph in that May 6 contest at Miami Valley, tripping the timer in a career best 1:54.3 for the one mile test. Unraced at 2, in just five starts this season, Clarebear has earned $26,450 under the eye of trainer AJ Carlo. Feelin Lilly (Ryan Stahl, PP3) and Gorgeous Road (Kurt Sugg, PP8) appear to be Clarebear's main threats in here. Feelin Lilly, a Brian Brown-trainee, stormed to a career best 1:54.4 clocking in a Scioto Downs overnight on May 18, while Gorgeous Road captured a Northfield overnight in 1:54.3 in wire-to-wire fashion by three lengths on May 21 for trainer Cory Deyermand. My Tweed Heart hails from the rail for trainer Jim Dailey and driver Josh Sutton in the fourth and final OSS division (Race 11). The bay daughter by Manhardt captured leg one of OSS action on May 6 at Miami Valley in 1:54.4 for these same connections. Bred by Stanley Swango of Venice, FL, My Tweed Heart has $165,202 in career earnings for owners Carl and Melanie Atley of Xenia, OH and Alan Keith of Pataskala, OH. She is the fifth and most prolific foal out of the unraced Towner's Big Guy mare Tweedle D, and was a $2,500 yearling purchase from the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale. OSS leg one winner Ohsowigglesspecial will be trying for her fifth consecutive win (Dan Noble, PP 4) in this same division. The daughter of Mr Wiggles is conditioned and co-owned by Joe Paver for Pearl Warren of Marysville, OH and by Dennis Paver of Raymond, OH. Lifetime, this homebred has earned $61,710 and took her career mark in her last race on May 20 at Scioto Downs, when she swept under the wire in 1:53.4. Kimberly A. Rinker  
The twelfth race on a power-packed harness racing program at Harrah's Philadelphia this Sunday (May 29) is named after long time horsemen Maxie Lee.   A native of North Carolina, Lee made a name for himself as a trainer and driver in the Philadelphia area at Liberty Bell and Brandywine. He had back-to-back Delaware Valley Harness Horse of the Year winners in the mid-1970s with Black Gamecock and Valley Ken. Maxie Lee died in 2001 at the age of 70. Maxie's son Greg Lee makes the trip every year from North Carolina to present the trophy to the Maxie Lee Memorial winner, and this year will be no different.   In 1990, Maxie Lee became the first African-American with a starter in the Hambletonian, with the Peter Haughton winner Backstreet Guy. One of Greg's finest moments with his father was at the Little Brown Jug in 1991, when Maxie's charge Nuke Skywalker was runner-up to Precious Bunny in the finals. "My father said, come September, they will know who this horse is". In the Little Brown Jug, we're going to give them a fit."   The 2016 edition of the Maxie Lee Memorial features a very deep, talented field, led by Bee A Magician. The Nifty Norman trainee has won just about every award imaginable, as she continues on her trek to the $4 million mark in career earnings. She is making her fourth start of the year, and is coming off of an impressive tune-up at Yonkers, winning in 1:54.1 from Post 7 vs. open company.   The second-leading money earner in the field is Solveig's Racing Partner's Shake It Cerry. A Dan Patch award winner at ages 2 and 3, the now 5-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover comes into this event off of a sharp qualifier at The Meadowlands in 1:52.4 (last qtr :26.3). "I was really happy with the way she qualified," said regular Driver Dave Miller. "She didn't race good in the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff," Miller continued. "They looked at her and she was sick with an infection. They gave her some time." When asked about the her chances in the Maxie Lee, Miller responded "I like her spot. I think the race will set up good for her."   The race also includes 2015 older trotter of the year J L Cruze. The 5-year-old son of Crazed rebounded well from a disappointing effort in the Elitlopp Playoff at The Big M with an easy win over the Harrah's oval last start. The complete field is listed below.   $200,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Obrigado-Mark MacDonald-Paul Kelley-5-1 2-Wind Of The North-George Napolitano Jr.-Daryl Bier-12-1 3-Gural Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-20-1 4-JL Cruze-Corey Callahan-Eric Ell-7-2 5-Il Sogno Dream-Scott Zeron-Chris Beaver-7-1 6-Shake It Cerry-David Miller-Jimmy Takter-5-1 7-Bee A Magician-Brian Sears-R. Nifty Norman-5-2 8-Maestro Blue Chip-Tim Tetrick-Jo Ann Looney-King-8-1   There is a six-hour detention for the three big races (Maxie Lee, Betsy Ross, and The Dorothy Mullin). The Riverview Terrace will be open for lunch from 12-4 p.m. For reservations, call 484.490.2222 or 610.874.5200. It will be Family Fun Day , with face painters, balloon artists, and many more activities for the kids. There will also be a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool, which will encompass races nine-12 and include the invitational races. Mike Bozich
Saturday night harness racing at The Meadowlands features the $25,000 second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for sophomore pacers. Unlike the trots on Friday, both of last week's winners are back in the race this week. Boston Red Rocks faces five of the six he vanquished in 1:50.2 a week ago. He will begin from the outside post six in the second race. Those rivals include Ideal Rocky, who closed to within a head of the winner with a sustained rally into a 26.2 final quarter and Katie's Rocker, another who was inching in late. Boston Red Rocks is the early favorite for the July 16 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. He has come back from his award-winning freshman season in fine form for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks, who turn the colt over to Steve Elliott for the racing season. That practice worked to perfection last year, particularly when Tim Tetrick joined the team for the Breeders Crown. On the feminine side, it's Blue Moon Stride's tiara to lose. She was the winner of last year's final and took up right where she left off by scoring a convincing win in leg one against many of the same rivals she'll face from post six in Saturday's eleventh race. The filly has the speed and power to do it from any position, as evidenced by her relentless uncovered romp last week. Her team has a distinct international flavor, owners Emilio and Maria Rosati and driver Andrew McCarthy hail from Australia while trainer Mark Harder is a New Zealand native. The weekend promotions include the Sports Jersey and Ticket Palooza giveaway and box seats for the June 4 Belmont Stakes. The doors will open at 9:30 on Sunday morning so you may watch and wager on the Elitlopp simulcast from Solvalla, Sweden. The Meadowlands is also welcoming contestants for the June 24 Miss Hot to Trot contest. Sign up now, beat the rush. Post time on Saturday is 7:15 p.m. Meadowlands Media Relations
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