Day At The Track
Scirocco Rob, harness racing

Scirocco Bob much the best at Pocono

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Favored Scirocco Rob sat behind second choice Whats The Word for most of the $17,500 harness racing trotting feature on Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, then moved out in the stretch and got by that tough rival by a half-length in 1:52.1, just a tick off his lifetime mark. Whats The Word buzzed away right to the lead, while the looped Scirocco Rob made his way to the pocket before the lively :26.3 quarter. The pacesetter went on to middle fractions of :55.3 and 1:23.4, with the winning Explosive Matter gelding coming outside for the stretch drive as the top two drew away from the rest. Scirocco Rob went by his game but outtrotted foe late, with George Napolitano Jr. getting his fourth win of the night for trainer Mark Silva and owners Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr. There were three $17,000 conditioned subfeatures, two on the trot and one on the pace. In the first trot, Daniel Dube made a cameo appearance at The Downs to drive his own Muscles Yankee sophomore gelding Brownie, and the journey was worthwhile for Dube as Brownie overcame a first-over trip and held off the horse on his back, Hill Of A Horse, by a half-length in a lifetime best of 1:54.3. The Pierre Paradis-trained youngster now has a 9-4-2-1 record since adding trotting hopples on June 20. The winner of the second trotting cofeature also reduced his lifetime best as the Lionhunter gelding The Lionking AS defeated first-over Boxing Gloves by two lengths in 1:54.2. The Lionking AS had been using his early foot to work out forwardly-placed trips, then had been close without winning, but this week owner/trainer/driver Kevin Wallis sent him right down the road, and the winner responded with a sharp last quarter of :28 en route to the victory. The pacing event likewise resulted in a lifetime effort from the winenr, the Rock N Roll Heaven gelding Rebel Rouser, who stopped the timer in 1:50.2 for driver Eric Goodell, trainer Bob Cleary, and co-owners W J Donovan and Donal Murphy. Rebel Rouser went straight to the top, yielded to the pacecontrolling move of favorite Sports Legend in front of the stands, then went to the Pocono Pike and worked past the leader to win by a half-length. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

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NJSS announces four new stakes

The Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Sire Stakes has announced that it will institute four new events for four-year-old harness racing trotters and pacers beginning in the spring of 2020. The new races, called the New Jersey Breeders' Maturity, will be open to all horses that were nominated as yearlings to either the New Jersey Sire Stakes Premier Division or the New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund. It is expected that the races will be conducted at The Meadowlands in late March or early April and will consist of a preliminary leg and a final. Preliminary legs will go for $12,500 or $15,000 depending upon the number of entries, with the top ten point earners advancing to the finals. All preliminary legs will be contested, regardless of the number of entries. Purses for the finals shall be tiered based upon the number of entries. If less than five horses enter the purse for the final will be $30,000; if five to seven horses are entered the purse will be $40,000, and if more than seven enter the purse will increase to $50,000. To remain eligible, a nomination fee of $200 must be made for each horse by January 15, 2020. A $200 starting fee will be required to enter the preliminary leg. There will be no additional starting fees for horses that qualify for the finals. From the New Jersey Sire Stakes

Century Farrari, harness racing

Excelsior A Finals held at Saratoga

There were eight harness racing Excelsior A Finals contested on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The culmination of the summer-long Excelsior series saw eight divisions which each went for a purse of $55,000 on a beautiful late summer evening in the Spa City. Two and three year old trotters who competed starting in late spring and through the summer saw their stakes campaigns culminate on Saturday night. It was "Miller Night" at Saratoga as reinsmen Andy and Marcus Miller prevailed in three of the eight Finals. Marcus Miller piloted Century Ferrari (American Ideal) to victory in the three year old colt and gelding pace in a sizzling 1:52.4 for his father trainer Erv Miller. Century Ferrari got the jump on his race's favorite Rickybobbynthehaus (Tyler Buter) and held that one off in the stretch before securing his fourth win of the season. Marcus Miller also sat behind the Anette Lorenzon-trained Alleyesonme As (Heston Blue Chip) in the two year old filly pace as she went coast-to-coast in 1:54.2. Andy Miller recorded a win on Saturday night as his Book Seven (Chapter Seven) went wire-to-wire in the two year old colt and gelding trot Final, stopping the timer in 1:59.4. Julie Miller trains the freshman trotter who moved his seasonal record to five for nine with the victory. Scott Zeron was the other out-of-towner to pilot a winner in a $55,000 Final as he guided the Blake Macintosh-trained Fool Me Again (Roll With Joe) to a 1:53.4 score in the three year old filly pace. Four local drivers logged victories among the eight Finals on Saturday night as well. Jimmy Devaux got the evening started for the Spa regulars by guiding Ideal Perception (American Ideal) to a front-running score in 1:54.2 in the two year old colt and gelding pace. Tony Alagna trains the freshman pacer whose victory was his third of the season. John Stark Jr. trains and drives C And T's Credit (Credit Winner) who cruised to a first-over win in the two year old filly trot, stopping the timer in 2:00 for an open-length score. Mark Beckwith and Frank Coppola Jr. each catch-drove a Finals winner on Saturday as Beckwith guided Certify (Credit Winner) to a career-best victory in 1:55, paying immediate dividends for his new connections as the three year old gelding went coast-to-coast in his first start out of the Lance Hudson stable. Coppola's win came while sitting behind George Ducharme's Hanna Dreamgirl (Chapter Seven) in the three year old filly trot. Hanna Dreamgirl sprung the biggest upset of the night, swooping the group in 1:58.3 and doing so at odds of 19-1 with Coppola at the controls. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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Iowa Championship card moved to Monday

The Iowa harness racing Championship Finals set for Sunday (9/22) at What Cheer have been postponed due to rain.  The finals have been rescheduled for Monday (9/23), post time is 12:30 pm.  Horsemen can take horses out of the detention barn to jog.  Horses may not leave the grounds or they will be disqualified. by Tara Spach, for the IaHHA

DAYTON, OH. - Western Fame tuned up for the Friday (Sept. 27) $150,000 Dayton Pacing Derby with a stellar winning 1:48.1 harness racing performance in Saturday's $17,500 Open Handicap Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. The clocking was the second fastest in the six year history of the southwest Ohio five-eighths mile oval. Trainer-driver Dan Noble gunned the 6 year old son of Western Ideal towards the lead as soon as the starting car folded the wings, but it took a determined :25.3 second effort to finally clear upset minded Fan Of Terror (Brett Miller) and My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith). The winner then cruised through subsequent timing stations in :53.1 and 1:20.2 before tacking on a final :28 panel to subdue a mild late challenge from Fan Of Terror. The victory was No. 23 for Western Fame from 64 starts, and added to his $1.7 million career bounty. He is owned by Go Fast Stable of Ohio, S. Klunowski of Ontario, B&I Stables LLC of New Jersey and Gil Short of Virginia. In the rapidly approaching Dayton Pacing Derby, Western Fame will square off against Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick), who owns the 1:47.4 quickest clocking in Dayton Raceway history taken in the track's signature event in 2018. Among the stellar notable Grand Circuit pacing stars that are also eligible to the stakes event are This Is The Plan, McWicked, Courtly Choice, Endeavor, Miso Fast and others. This coming Friday's card will also include the $170,000 Dayton Trotting Derby whose list of eligible nominees reads like a Who's Who of the active older squaregaiter set. Entries are due Monday morning for the Dayton Derbies as well as the strongest undercard of the season.   Gregg Keidel

STICKNEY, IL--After a string of weeks of gorgeous weather at Hawthorne Race Course, Mother Nature wasn't nearly as kind when it came to Saturday's Night of Champions. The 12 race card kicked off with a fast track, but the skies opened up prior to the start of the 11 stakes events, leaving for sloppy going through the stakes harness racing action.   THE ROBERT S MOLARO CHAMPIONSHIP Jim Ballinger's Fox Valley Gemini, two-time Illinois Horse of the Year, went off as the 1-5 favorite in the $45,000 Robert S. Molaro and didn't disappoint. Winning his fourth straight race, Fox Valley Gemini drew off to a commanding victory, getting the mile in a lifetime best of 1:50. At the finish, he was seven and a half lengths clear of the rest of the field. Dakota Roadster got up for second while Royale Rose got third. Driven by Casey Leonard and trained by Terry Leonard, Fox Valley Gemini won for the 30th time from only 39 starts. As written above, Fox Valley Gemini got the mile in 1:50 after fractions of :27.1, :59, and 1:22.3.   THE FOX VALLEY FLAN CHAMPIONSHIP Lous Abigail, winning for the seventh time in 10 starts, took Saturday's $82,000 Fox Valley Flan Championship, for three years old and up ICF Pacers. Driven by leading driver Casey Leonard and trained by Steven Searle, Lous Abigail won by a comfortable four and three-quarter lengths. Owned by Flacco Family Farms LLC, Lous Abigail got the mile in 2:00.1, after fractions of :29.4, :58.4 and 1:28.3 Bee See held on for second while Fox Valley Lush finished third.   THE INCREDIBLE TILLIE CHAMPIONSHIP Morning-line favorite but second-choice in the wagering, Fox Valley Exploit, owned by David Brigham and Kyle Husted, and driven and trained by Kyle Husted, won the $115,000 Incredible Tillie Championship, for two-year-old filly Trotters, by three and a half lengths. They raced through fractions of :29.4, :58.4, 1:28.3 with a final time of 2:00.1 Bee See, the slight wagering favorite, finished second with Lous Abigail getting up for third.   THE PLESAC CHAMPIONSHIP It was never really a contest. Danny S. Graham's Annas Lucky Star, already a track-record holder, simply dominated in Saturday's $45,000 Plesac Championship, for 3-year-olds and up ICF Trotters. She took the lead quickly and won as she pleased, going off at 1-9 and drawing off to win by 15 lengths. Her time of 1:56.3 was seconds slower than her lifetime best of 1:53.1 but it didn't matter. She set modest fractions of :30, :59, and 1:27.3. Trained by Nelson Willis and driven by Kyle Wilfong, Annas Lucky Star won for the 33rd time in her career, and her ninth from 15 starts in 2019. Primed N Powerful tracked all the way and held for second with Majistic Caprice finishing third.   THE BEULAH DYGERT MEMORIAL CHAMPIONSHIP Flacco Family Farms' popular filly Louzotic made every pole a winning one in the $95,000 Beulah Dygert Memorial Championship, for 3-year-old ICF filly Trotters, on Saturday night. Winning for the 11th time in 15 starts this year, including her fifth straight, Louzotic had regular driver Kyle Husted in the bike. This talented filly is trained by Steven Searle. She finished six and a quarter lengths ahead of rival Heidi High with Lous Paramour getting up for the show dough. Louzotic led all the way through fractions of :29.1, :59.4, 1:29.4 with a final time of 1:58.3.   THE ERWIN F. DYGERT CHAMPIONSHIP Lourhianon, winning for the second straight time since getting Lasix, overcame the outside post position and the sloppy track to take the $92,000 Erwin F. Dygert Memorial, for 3-year-old ICF colts and geldings, going away. Owned by C Lawrence Mc Burney, trained by Kennedy Lindsey, and driven by Luke Plano, Lourhianon took the lead soon after coming out of the far turn, raced wide through the stretch and still won by six and three-quarter lengths. He got the mile in 1:57.3 after early fractions of :29.4, :59.3, and 1:29. Frontier Maynard grabbed second with For Trots Sakes coming in third.   THE KADABRA CHAMPIONSHIP When favored Fox Valley Quest broke coming out of the first turn in Saturday's $108,000 Kadabra Championship, for 2-year-old ICF colt and gelding Trotters, that opened up the opportunity for everybody else. Ed Teefey's Crooked Creek took advantage. Winning for the third straight time and the fifth time in nine races, Ryan Anderson guided this Mike Brink trainee to a six-length victory in 1:55.3. Desert Sheik, another Brink-trained Trotter, finished second. Longshot Fitchey For Fun snagged third place. Early fractions for the race were :29.4, :58.1. and 1:27.3.   THE INCREDIBLE FINALE CHAMPIONSHIP Triple Zzz's He'zzz A Wise Guy was a three and a quarter-length winner in Saturday's $102,000 Incredible Finale Championship. The race was for 2-year-old ICF colt and gelding Pacers. His victory was his fifth straight from only seven races. Trained by Donald Filomeno, He'zzz A Wise Guy was guided to the victory by Robert Smolin. Favored Fox Valley Ren, who had won seven of nine races, finished second with RJ Wulfy finishing third. He covered the mile in 1:55.0 after fractions of :28.3, :57/4 and 1:27.1   THE ROBERT F. CAREY, JR. MEMORIAL CHAMPIONSHIP Fox Valley Triton, who was beaten as the favorite in his last leg of the Carey, made amends in the $109,000 Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial Championship on Saturday night. The Carey was for 3-year-old ICF colts and gelding pacers. Owned by Dandy Farms Racing, FT Racing and Peter A Kouchis, trained by Terry Leonard and driven by Casey Leonard (his third win of the night) Fox Valley Triton eked out a neck victory over Meyer On Fire. Maximus finished third. With fractions of :28.3, :57.3, 1:26.1, he got the mile in 1:54.1   THE PLUM PEACHY CHAMPIONSHIP Fox Valley Halsey made it two in a row with a victory in Saturday's $100,000 Plum Peachy. Owned by Cynthia Kay Willis, Ronnie J & Jerry D Graham, Fox Valley Halsey is trained by Nelson Willis and was driven by Juan Franco. Fox Valley Halsey finished a neck ahead of Fox Valley Lil Kim with Fox Valley Torrid a neck behind. He covered the mile in 1:54.4 after early fractions of :28.4, :58.1 and 1:25.3   THE TONY MAURELLO CHAMPIONSHIP Francis L Greer and James E Greer's Skeeter Machine won the finale on the Night of Champions. The race, The $45,000 Tony Maurello Championship, was for ICF 3-year-olds and up Pacers. Trained by Nicole Agosti and driven by Kyle Husted (his third victory of the night) Skeeter Machine won for the fifth time this year and the 17th time in his career. The final race of the night brought fractions of :28.1, :57, 1:25.1 with a final time of 1:54.0 Whiskersonkittens got up for second place, a half-length back, while there was a dead heat for third place between San Antonio Rose and Fox Valley Charm Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, returned for live harness racing on Friday, May 3. The summer harness meet opened on Friday, May 3 and races through September 22. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 10 through December 28. For more information, visit www.Hawthorneracecourse.com or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.   Jim Miller

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 21, 2019 -- Goes Down Smooth drew away from the harness racing field late with a powerful finishing kick that carried him to victory in a track-record 1:52.3 in Saturday's $75,299 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows. The mile lowered the mark set by Explosivebreakaway in another Keystone Classic division only about 30 minutes earlier. The event was contested over three divisions, with Lindy's Crazy Hall taking the other split. Goes Down Smooth battled three wide for the early lead, but after Matt Kakaley gave him a 29 second-quarter breather, the Muscle Hill-Peach Martini gelding made a shambles of the race, defeating Nextroundsonme by a widening 9-1/2 lengths. Darty finished third. " I let him trot out a little bit, but he did it real easy today," Kakaley said. "He's been good for quite a while now." Ron Burke trains the winner, who vaulted over $200,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The time also is a stake record and the fastest this year by a sophomore gelding trotter on a five-eighths-mile track. While Explosivebreakaway's 1:52.4 performance will go down as one of the most fleeting track records in The Meadows history, he had plenty to celebrate. He found the pocket for Tom Jackson in a blistering 26 opening panel. The Explosive Matter-Phaeton gelding brushed outside through the lane and downed Kate's Massive by 3-1/4 lengths, with Stonebridge Symba third. "I wasn't worried about my horse finishing; I was worried about the horse in front of me carrying me far enough," Jackson said. "He took me plenty far enough. We changed his shoes after his last race here, and he's been a different horse ever since." Fred Grant trains Explosivebreakaway, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $131,925, and owns with Janice Rubin, Steven Katz and Murray Brown. $75,300 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pacers Pyro and Highlandbeachlover captured the divisions in Saturday's other Keystone Classic. Kakaley hustled Pyro to the point from the rail and eschewed the opportunity to release a pair of early challengers and take a covered trip. " I wanted to line them up and have my colt in front, give him a shot on the lead," he said. "I thought he was the best. He dug in, and he was good." Kakaley knew his horse, as Pyro prevailed in 1:50.3, 1/2 length better than Waterway. Lyons Night Hawk completed the ticket. Pyro, a Sweet Lou-Whetstone Hanover gelding, now boasts $170,266 in earnings for Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, Phillip Collura and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Highlandbeachlover scored impressively in 1:51.1 after a desultory first quarter that frustrated Aaron Merriman, who couldn't put the Somebeachsomewhere-Rockn Highland gelding where he wanted to. "This horse isn't the easiest horse to drive, so I really didn't have a plan, to be honest with you," Merriman said. "This horse has some go, but there's nothing real easy about him. He was very resilient today. He's usually not a front-end horse, but I thought I better put him in the best stop to win," Aflame Hanover was second, beaten 1-1/4 lengths, with He's Packin third. The judges reviewed the actions of three horses, including the winner, before declaring the race official with the order of finish unchanged. Desyllas Racing, Elmore's Races Horses and William Beck campaign Highlandbeachlover. Winning trainer Kelly O'Donnell indicated the horse is eligible for stakes at the Red Mile but that his schedule has not been determined. In the $20,000 Open Handicap Pace, Windsong Leo made it three straight with a two-move victory in 1:49.2 for Dave Palone, trainer Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Collura. The 7-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding extended his lifetime earnings to $517,900. Burke fashioned a four-bagger while Tony Hall, Kakaley and Palone each piloted three winners on the 14-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the program features a pair of Keystone Classics for 3-year-old fillies -- a $65,500 trot and a $59,300 pace. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

ANDERSON, Ind.--September 19, 2019-- Fresh off a big night of Grand Circuit harness racing action, two divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies were the featured attraction at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 21. The sophomore pacing fillies have now completed seven rounds of their eight round series. The Indiana Sires Stakes season will culminate with the $250,000 Super Finals for each division on October 11. In the opening division, Play For Pay and driver Brandon Bates switched up their tactics and opted for a trip off the pace and came charging late in the lane to score in 1:51.1. Dojea Rita and Charlie Conrad were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.1 before yielding the lead to Lady Capulet and Michael Oosting just before the half. Lady Capulet clicked off fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.2 and when the field turned for home, it was a cavalry charge to the wire. Using the long Hoosier Park stretch to her advantage, Play For Pay tipped off tiring cover and used a :26.3 closing kick to get the win by a head. Pure Maid and LeWayne Miller finished second while This Peach Rocks and Ross Leonard rounded out the trifecta. Sent off at odds of 5-1, Play For Pay returned $13.60 at the betting windows. Trained by Michael Arnold, Play For Pay recorded her fourth win from 15 starts this season. The daughter of Tellitlikeitis-Fox Valley Ivy now sports a lifetime bankroll of $162,335 and is owned by Ira Steinberg. Fully A Virgin and Michael Oosting used similar tactics to get up in the final strides of the mile and capture the second division of the stakes action in 1:50.1. Utilizing a :25.4 closing quarter, Fully A Virgin tipped off cover and powered home a winner to stick a nose in front of stablemate Pansy's Image and Trace Tetrick. Rockin Nola and Joey Putnam also rallied well late to finish third. The 1:50.1 clocking was a new lifetime best for the Shane Bowermaster trainee and the third win from her last four outs. With the win, the homebred daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Of Gold recorded her sixth win from 14 starts this season. Owned and bred by Emerald Highlands Farm, Fully A Virgin has now amassed $205,180 in lifetime purse earnings. Live racing action will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, September 24 with an 11-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Emily Ratcliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 21, 2019- Favored Darling Mearas S (Ake Svanstedt, $4.60) threw down the gauntlet Saturday night (Sept. 21st), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Open Handicap Trot. Despite no previous small-track experience and having to requalify after two Tioga breaks, Darling Mearas S beat the boys and made them cry. Offering high speed from post position No. 4, Darling Mearas S was gingerly-handled early after making the lead. She was apparently emboldened soon thereafter, stuffing Eye ofa Tiger AS (Jason Bartlett) in behind. A :27.1 opening quarter-mile gave way to a rated :57.4 intermission, and the lass was gone. She widened passing a 1:26.4 three-quarters, taking 2½ lengths into the lane. The margin was 4¼ lengths by the time she hit the wire in 1:54.4. There'sademonimme (George Brennan) lasted for second after trying it first-up, with Will Take Charge (Jordan Stratton) third. Eye ofa Tiger AS and a returning Melady's Monet (Eric Goodell) rounded out the payees. For Darling Mearas S, a 6-year-old Swedish homebred daughter of Cantab Hall trained by her driver for owner Snogarps Gard, it was her second win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.80, the triple returned $170 and the superfecta paid $493. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Miss Flora (Corey Braden) takes the featured $11,000 open trot on closing night (September 21) at Tioga Downs. Beguin Dugoutier F (FernPaquet Jr.) was first to the first quarter in :27.2. Prarie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) took over and led to the half in :55.4. Campbellini (Wally Hennessey) was next to the front leading to three-quarters in 1:25.0. BJ Lorado (Michael Merton) had the lead at the top of the stretch. Miss Flora ($17.20), who is owned and trained by Mario Dessureault, blew right by to win in 1:54.4. Beguin Dugoutier F finished second. BJ Lorado was third best. Miss Flora is a 7-year-old mare by SJ's Caviar. It was her seventh win this season. She now has 28 career victories. Aaron Byron drove four winners on closing night. He combined for three of those wins with trainer Jeff Byron. They got wins with Big Bad Bill (17.40), Neat ($6.60), and Andreios Kardia ($17.40). His other win came with Jett Star ($3.10). Wally Hennessey is top driver of 2019 with 136 wins. Mike Merton was second best with 77 trips to the winner's circle. Mike Simons (54), Jim Taggart Jr. (44), and Fern Paquet Jr. (43), round out the top five.                                                                                                     --Fred Brown photo Mike Deters wins the training title with 42 victories. Joe Skowyra was second with 37 tallies. Patti Harmon used 34 wins to be third. Rick Dane Jr. (28) was fourth with Gary Messenger (27) was fifth best. Prairie Fortune is top trotter with six wins in 13 starts at Tioga. The 7-year-old gelding by Arapa Victory is owned by trainer Mike Deters and Laurie Poulin. Top pacer honors went to Americanprimetime with five wins in 12 starts at Tioga. The 7-year-old horse by American Ideal is owned by Rock And Roll Stable Inc, and trained by Rick Dane Jr. Truth And Liberty is the top mare pacer with nine wins in 15 starts at Tioga. The 7-year-old mare by Total Truth is owned by Fairy Horsemother Stables and trained by Mike Simons Kim Wahila wins the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback in the horseplay car giveaway. Tioga Downs wants to thank all horsemen and fans on a very successful season. Fireworks followed the last night of racing. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Aggressive handling by driver Eric Carlson helped the Rocknroll Hanover gelding Sweet Rock to defeat 2-5 favorite Springsteen in 1:50.1 to take the $21,500 featured pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night. Sweet Rock left hard from the rail and would not let Atta Boy Dan (more on him in a minute) go by early; once putting that rival behind Carlson started to hit the brakes, bringing Springsteen out of last in the field of four to quickly grab the lead past a :27.2 quarter. Springsteen then went his middle half in :53.4 (:54.2, 1:21.1) trying to get away from the field, and indeed he had an open length lead from shortly into the backstretch until turning for home. But Springsteen began to tire after the huge numbers, and Carlson managed to get his pacer up on the bit, shifting outside nearing midstretch and getting by the chalk by a head. The winner of $778,906 is trained by Wayne Givens and the ownership of Legacy Racing of Delaware Inc., Reggie Hazzard II, and Gary Calloway. As for Pocono's "King Of The Claimers," Atta Boy Dan - the highest level of claimer was not filling, so an optional $40,000 claiming price was added to the conditions of the feature. Atta Boy Dan had won his last five starts and ten of his last eleven races, but he had to settle for third in this higher company after a week away. However, he was claimed for $40,000 out of his 14th straight race, beating the unofficial local record of R Gauwitz Hanover set in 2015. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding Somebeach Baron laid off of a hot pace, moved to contention on the far turn, then paced away from his field for a 1¼ length victory in the $17,500 co-feature, equaling his lifetime record with the 1:50.3 victory. Somebeach Baron has now taken three of his last five starts for trainer Marta Piotrow and owner Ameer Najor. Somebeach Baron was driven by Anthony Napolitano, who had four victories on the card, as did his brother George. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

Batavia, NY --- Oh Canada! The Ontario based harness racing owner-trainer combination of Robert Woodburn and trainer Patrick Shepherd shipped south on Saturday (Sept. 21), enlisted the services of resident reinsman Drew Monti and then watched as their stable stars Sir Pugsley and Down On My Luck took the top two paces of the week at Batavia Downs. In the $12,000 Open I Handicap, Sir Pugsley took an early seat at the back of the pack in the abbreviated field of five while Some Attitude (Shawn Gray) went to the half at his own pace of :56.3. As the field was rounding turn three, Monti got Sir Pugsley underway at the five-eighths and the afterburners were on. Sir Pugsley took off like a jet and went from fifth to first during the third quarter timed in :28.1 and continued his assault in the turn where he cleared and opened up two-lengths by the time they hit the stretch.There, Sir Pugsley just strode away down the lane to win by 2-¾ lengths in 1:53.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Sir Pugsley ($3.30) who now boasts $63,395 in purses this year. Then in the $11,000 Open II Handicap, Down On My Luck left sharply along with Notabadgame (John Cummings Jr.) who took the lead and cut unchallenged fractions of :27.3, :56.4 and 1:25.1 in the first three panels of the race. Monti pulled Down On My Luck from the pocket at that point, sat in the breeze around the far turn and ran down the leader in the stretch to win by 2-½ lengths in 1:53.3. It was the third win in a row at Batavia Downs for Down On My Luck ($5.10) and seventh victory of the year overall. The 5-year-old son of Camluck-False Alert had now earned $41,487 this year. Monti and Shepherd completed a driver-trainer hat trick in the final race of the night when Fool Me Once ($5.10) pulled second-over from fourth at the half and put the swoop to the group three-wide around the last turn to win by 2-½ lengths going away in 1:54.1. Carl Kuepfer owns the winner. Billy Davis Jr. also had a driving hat trick on the evening. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 25) with post time set at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

BLOOMSBURG, PA - The 2019 Pennsylvania fair harness racing season ended this Friday and Saturday in this northeastern Pennsylvania town with two days of Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes racing, with the male trotters taking the spotlight. The two-year-old raced on Friday, and the Father Patrick - Yankee Etta gelding Penance posted a 20¼ length victory (after being behind at the three-quarters) for driver Kyle Bolon in 2:00.3 - just a tick behind the all-time state record at the fairs for the division, posted by Vulcan Hanover in an earlier stop at Bloomsburg this year. Penance also earned the honor of having the most wins in the "A" class of Sire Stakes, posting a remarkable record of 12-9-3-0 for trainer Bob Rougeaux III and the ownership of the Brocious Racing Stable Inc. On Saturday, the Andover Hall sophomore gelding Andovers Asset capped a fine season at the fairs with his eighth win over the twicearounds, in 2:00.2 - tying Vulcan Hanover for honors as being the fastest trotter on the local fair circuit this year. Linda Schadel, who trains one of the fairs' top stables which is usually driven by husband Tony, took a turn in the sulky here and doubled her lifetime total of wins, having won the other time in a race for women at Pocono in 2007 (she has driven fewer than five times in every year since 2006). Tony and Linda own the consistent three-year-old. There were two other eight-time winners in the "A" Sire Stakes in 2019 - one who did not race this weekend, defending champion trotting filly RT Gloria De Dios, and one who did, the A Rocknroll Dance - Clearly Foxy baby pacing filly Dream Dancing, who became the only circuit freshman to post two 2:00 miles this year when she won on Friday in 2:00 flat. Trainer Dave Brickell, co-owner with Mitchell York, was in the sulky behind the steady filly. The leading 2:00 mile producer at the fairs with four was Find One More, even though he was edged by ¾ of a length in Saturday's final fair divisional outing by his stablemate in the Todd Schadel barn, the Well Said gelding Motive Hanover, who himself turned in three "magic mile" clockings during the summer. Aaron Johnson handled the driving in this event behind the 2:00 winner for owners Todd and Cody Schadel. Crew Sock Hanover, the sophomore pacing filly who had two 2:00 miles, the only all-age track record of the year (2:00.1 at Butler), and the fastest mile of the year's twicearound traveling show (1:56.1 at Gratz last week), set the pace in her event on Saturday, but was caught out of the pocket by a head by the Somebeachsomewhere miss Queen Bee Hanover in 1:59, fastest mile of the two-day stand. Todd Schadel trains and drove the winner for owners George and Rose Bonomo. The other magic miler of the session was the Ponder - Odds On Affair freshman colt Champ Charbel, who recorded his fifth fair win with a 1:59.4 victory over chief nemesis Life's Marvalous for driver Shawn Johnston and owner/trainer Joseph Karrat. Todd Schadel and Aaron Johnston tied for the top in Bloomsburg Fair driving victories with four, while Todd sent out five winning charges to be #1 among trainers. For the season, Todd Schadel led both categories with 55 driving wins and 62 training triumphs. The Harness Bureau of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission will total up the final points accumulations for the fair year early this coming week, determining the ranking of eligibility for each division's $25,000 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship at The Meadows on Saturday, October 5. From the PHHA, MSOA, and the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association partnership

First Call (Homer Hochstetler) wins the $7,000 featured trot at Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 21). First Call ($5.50) took the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :27.4. She would lead to the half in :57.1. Rose Run Sydney (John MacDonald) went first over and put on the pressure. First Call lead was down to a half length at the three-quarter pole. First Call, who is Trained by Homer Hochstetler for owners Robert Buddig, Allen Schwartz, and Connie Hochstetler, shook loose as they made the turn for home. Simple Kaos (Jimmy Whittemore) made a late charge but had to settle for second as First Call won easily in 1:54.3. Spoiler Alert (Leon Bailey) got third money. First Call is a 4-year-old mare by Credit Winner. It was her seventh win this season. She now has 15 career victories. John MacDonald and Dylan Huckabone-Miller each had driving doubles on the night. MacDonald teamed up with trainer Jessica Okusko to win with Jackie's Express ($2.20), and Hennessey ($4.20). Huckabone-Miller teamed up with trainer Claude Huckabone III to get victories with Nubble Light ($7.70), and Private Performanc ($5.10). Both pacers were owned by Go Where The Money Is Stable. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 21) with a post time of 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Today’s big winner at What Cheer in Iowa was the rain.  The seventeen race harness racing program scheduled for Saturday (9/21) has been cancelled.  Weather permitting, the finals of Iowa Championship Weekend are slated for Sunday (9/22).  Post time is 12:30pm CDT. by Tara Spach, for the IaHHA

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WILKES-BARRE, PA - Favored Scirocco Rob sat behind second choice Whats The Word for most of the $17,500 harness racing trotting feature on Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, then moved out in the stretch and got by that tough rival by a half-length in 1:52.1, just a tick off his lifetime mark. Whats The Word buzzed away right to the lead, while the looped Scirocco Rob made his way to the pocket before the lively :26.3 quarter. The pacesetter went on to middle fractions of :55.3 and 1:23.4, with the winning Explosive Matter gelding coming outside for the stretch drive as the top two drew away from the rest. Scirocco Rob went by his game but outtrotted foe late, with George Napolitano Jr. getting his fourth win of the night for trainer Mark Silva and owners Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr. There were three $17,000 conditioned subfeatures, two on the trot and one on the pace. In the first trot, Daniel Dube made a cameo appearance at The Downs to drive his own Muscles Yankee sophomore gelding Brownie, and the journey was worthwhile for Dube as Brownie overcame a first-over trip and held off the horse on his back, Hill Of A Horse, by a half-length in a lifetime best of 1:54.3. The Pierre Paradis-trained youngster now has a 9-4-2-1 record since adding trotting hopples on June 20. The winner of the second trotting cofeature also reduced his lifetime best as the Lionhunter gelding The Lionking AS defeated first-over Boxing Gloves by two lengths in 1:54.2. The Lionking AS had been using his early foot to work out forwardly-placed trips, then had been close without winning, but this week owner/trainer/driver Kevin Wallis sent him right down the road, and the winner responded with a sharp last quarter of :28 en route to the victory. The pacing event likewise resulted in a lifetime effort from the winenr, the Rock N Roll Heaven gelding Rebel Rouser, who stopped the timer in 1:50.2 for driver Eric Goodell, trainer Bob Cleary, and co-owners W J Donovan and Donal Murphy. Rebel Rouser went straight to the top, yielded to the pacecontrolling move of favorite Sports Legend in front of the stands, then went to the Pocono Pike and worked past the leader to win by a half-length. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs
The Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Sire Stakes has announced that it will institute four new events for four-year-old harness racing trotters and pacers beginning in the spring of 2020. The new races, called the New Jersey Breeders' Maturity, will be open to all horses that were nominated as yearlings to either the New Jersey Sire Stakes Premier Division or the New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund. It is expected that the races will be conducted at The Meadowlands in late March or early April and will consist of a preliminary leg and a final. Preliminary legs will go for $12,500 or $15,000 depending upon the number of entries, with the top ten point earners advancing to the finals. All preliminary legs will be contested, regardless of the number of entries. Purses for the finals shall be tiered based upon the number of entries. If less than five horses enter the purse for the final will be $30,000; if five to seven horses are entered the purse will be $40,000, and if more than seven enter the purse will increase to $50,000. To remain eligible, a nomination fee of $200 must be made for each horse by January 15, 2020. A $200 starting fee will be required to enter the preliminary leg. There will be no additional starting fees for horses that qualify for the finals. From the New Jersey Sire Stakes
There were eight harness racing Excelsior A Finals contested on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The culmination of the summer-long Excelsior series saw eight divisions which each went for a purse of $55,000 on a beautiful late summer evening in the Spa City. Two and three year old trotters who competed starting in late spring and through the summer saw their stakes campaigns culminate on Saturday night. It was "Miller Night" at Saratoga as reinsmen Andy and Marcus Miller prevailed in three of the eight Finals. Marcus Miller piloted Century Ferrari (American Ideal) to victory in the three year old colt and gelding pace in a sizzling 1:52.4 for his father trainer Erv Miller. Century Ferrari got the jump on his race's favorite Rickybobbynthehaus (Tyler Buter) and held that one off in the stretch before securing his fourth win of the season. Marcus Miller also sat behind the Anette Lorenzon-trained Alleyesonme As (Heston Blue Chip) in the two year old filly pace as she went coast-to-coast in 1:54.2. Andy Miller recorded a win on Saturday night as his Book Seven (Chapter Seven) went wire-to-wire in the two year old colt and gelding trot Final, stopping the timer in 1:59.4. Julie Miller trains the freshman trotter who moved his seasonal record to five for nine with the victory. Scott Zeron was the other out-of-towner to pilot a winner in a $55,000 Final as he guided the Blake Macintosh-trained Fool Me Again (Roll With Joe) to a 1:53.4 score in the three year old filly pace. Four local drivers logged victories among the eight Finals on Saturday night as well. Jimmy Devaux got the evening started for the Spa regulars by guiding Ideal Perception (American Ideal) to a front-running score in 1:54.2 in the two year old colt and gelding pace. Tony Alagna trains the freshman pacer whose victory was his third of the season. John Stark Jr. trains and drives C And T's Credit (Credit Winner) who cruised to a first-over win in the two year old filly trot, stopping the timer in 2:00 for an open-length score. Mark Beckwith and Frank Coppola Jr. each catch-drove a Finals winner on Saturday as Beckwith guided Certify (Credit Winner) to a career-best victory in 1:55, paying immediate dividends for his new connections as the three year old gelding went coast-to-coast in his first start out of the Lance Hudson stable. Coppola's win came while sitting behind George Ducharme's Hanna Dreamgirl (Chapter Seven) in the three year old filly trot. Hanna Dreamgirl sprung the biggest upset of the night, swooping the group in 1:58.3 and doing so at odds of 19-1 with Coppola at the controls. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  
The Iowa harness racing Championship Finals set for Sunday (9/22) at What Cheer have been postponed due to rain.  The finals have been rescheduled for Monday (9/23), post time is 12:30 pm.  Horsemen can take horses out of the detention barn to jog.  Horses may not leave the grounds or they will be disqualified. by Tara Spach, for the IaHHA
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