Dune in Red (#1), a 5-year-old daughter of Duneside Perch

Dune in Red holds off the cavalry charge

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 24, 2015-Pole-assigned Dune in Red (Tyler Buter, $16.80) held off the cavalry Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing featured $31,000 Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace After seeing Fanticipation (Mark MacDonald) grab the first glory, Dune in Red edged from the pocket. The one made the lead just at a :27.3 opening quarter-mile, then rated a :57.3 intermission. Sweetnsinful (Jason Bartlett) then moved from fourth as the 3-2 favorite, prompting the pace through a brisk :27.4 third quarter (1:25.2). Delightful Dragon (Brian Sears) tried to match strides with Sweetnsinful, but found herself gapping down the backside. It was Dune in Red widening to 2¼ lengths in and out of the final turn. She would need just about all that margin in a very slow (:29.2) final quarter, before lasting by a neck in 1:54.4. RD IOU and Fanticipation wound up in a dead-heat for second, with a late-arriving Delightful Dragon and Sweetninsful rounded out the payees. The first five finishers were separated by a length-and-a-quarter. For fifth choice Dune in Red, a 5-year-old daughter of Duneside Perch owned by Hero Stables and trained by Chris Marino, it was her first win four seasonal starts. The exactas paid $30.40 (with RD IOU second) and $160 (with Fanticipation second), with the triples returning $287.50 (RD IOU second) and $448 (Fancipation second). The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with the sport's two richest races of the season to date-finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (purse $261,000) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (purse $529,000)-highlighting a $1.2 million purse card. GEORGE MORTON LEVY MEM. FINAL - SAT'S 8TH RACE HN/PP HORSE DRIVER 1/7 MACH IT SO Tim Tetrick 1A/8 P H SUPERCAM Jason Bartlett 2/1 DOMETHATAGAIN Dan Dube 3/2 LUCAN HANOVER Dave Miller 4/3 WINDSONG JACK Eric Carlson 5/4 BEACH MEMORIES Yannick Gingras 6/5 TAKE IT BACK TERRY George Brennan 7/6 POLAK A Brian Sears BLUE CHIP MATCHMAKER FINAL - SAT'S 6TH RACE HN/PP HORSE DRIVER 1/1 VENUS DELIGHT Jason Bartlett 1A/7 KRISPY APPLE Tim Tetrick 2/2 YAGONNAKISSMEORNOT Brian Sears 2A/4 CAROLSIDEAL Dan Dube 3/3 FANCY DESIRE Yannick Gingras 4/5 MONKEY ON MY WHEEL Dave Miller 5/6 STRINGS Eric Carlson 6/8 CAMILLE George Brennan The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with the two richest races of the season to date, finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (purse $261,000) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (purse $529,000). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM, $66,500 final of YR/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Daylon Miracle triumphed in 1:53.3

The $51,100 The Meadows Maturity

WASHINGTON, PA, April 25, 2015 -- Daylon Miracle stalked 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry from the pocket, then blew by the harness racing champ in the Lightning Lane to pull off a 5-1 upset in Friday's inaugural edition of the $51,100 The Meadows Maturity for mare trotters 4 and older. In the first start of her 4-year-old campaign, Shake It Cerry led the field through a snappy 1:24.3 three-quarters but tired late and faded to fourth, beaten 5 lengths. Classic Martine, the 2014 Mare Trotter of the Year, was buried from post 9 and never got involved, finishing sixth. Daylon Miracle triumphed in 1:53.3, 4 lengths better than Cowgirl Hall, with the winner's stablemate, Anaffairtoremember, third. That gave locally based horses a sweep and provided a bonanza for bettors who backed them to show. With Shake It Cerry off the ticket, the show payoffs for the top three were $9.40, $19.00 and $22.40, respectively. Dave Palone, who piloted Shake It Cerry, said there were no obvious problems with her as she suffered only the sixth loss in her 29-race career. "She felt great," Palone said. "I really got left alone the second quarter and got a nice breather up the backside. She probably just needed the work. She'll be just fine." Winning driver Aaron Merriman, on the other hand, was sitting with a handful of live horse and knew it. "Anywhere down the backside, I felt like I could have pulled at any time. She was that good," Merriman said of the 6-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur-Daylon Marvel, who now has banked $474,907 in her career. "But I was following a great horse and a great driver. David made my decision (to stay in the pocket) for me. His horse didn't look as sharp, and I thought he carried her a lot farther than she would have gone with somebody else." Bill Bercury, who owns and trains Daylon Miracle and Anaffairtoremember, called it the biggest win of his career. He had spoken of a 1-2 finish for his mares days before the race. It was a bold vision, and Bercury's mares nearly pulled it off with their 1-3 result. "We beat the two best mares in the country from last year," he said. "I'm very excited about that. I had a lot of confidence in both my mares. They both have a lot of heart. They both really like racing, and that means so much. I love them." He said his mares are headed to a May 3 stake at Miami Valley, where they expect to take on the best in their division again. "You have to remember -- this was the first start for the two mares we beat today," he said. "Next week will be a little tougher. At least now we feel we belong there." The Meadows Maturity for stallions and geldings 4 and older is set for Saturday, May 2 as part of the track's special Kentucky Derby Day program. $33,700 Do Me Honor Pace Friday's card also featured the $33,700 championship of the Do Me Honor Pace for sophomore fillies, which was taken by Dobre Povedane in 1:54.2. The daughter of Well Said-Vysoke Tatry sat patiently in the pocket for Mike Wilder before exploding in the stretch to down the early leader, Somewhere Fameous, by 1-1/4 lengths. One Over Par overcame traffic problems to earn show. Dobre Povedane crossed the wire first in the series opening leg but broke stride in the Lightning Lane after wrestling with Wilder and was disqualified. Following that episode, trainer Tim Twaddle made some rigging changes that Wilder said helped considerably. "Tim made a couple adjustments," Wilder said. "It's tough with a green horse, going from track to track, never been here. In the first leg, it was kind of my fault. She wasn't steering the best, and I kind of chased her off her feet. "Tonight, she felt super behind the gate, and I thought I'd give her a chance. She fell in a good spot and raced great." David Prushnok and John Prushnok campaign Dobre Povedane. Tony Hall drove five winners on the 12-race card while trainer Randy Bendis fashioned a triple. The pair teamed to capture the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace with Certified Ideal, who poured through the Lightning Lane to prevail in 1:52.2 and extend her career bankroll to $321,972 for owners Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack, James Walton and Bendis. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Brian Brown

The $38,000 James K. Hackett Memorial

LEBANON, OH. - Friskie Lil Devil, who captured the $200,000 Ohio Sires Stakes championship for freshman pacing fillies in her final 2014 start, opened her 2015 harness racing campaign by copping the $38,000 James K. Hackett Memorial championship race at Miami Valley on Friday night.   Driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. decided to take the safest route possible by leaving alertly and cutting all the fractions in an impressive gate-to-wire performance.   The pride of the Lil Devil Stable, the Brian Brown-trainee coasted through quarter splits of :27.3, :57.4, 1:27.1 and 1:55.4 to garner the relatively easy 1-1/2 length victory over stablemate Corner Girl (Josh Sutton) and E Ticket Ride (Dan Noble).   With the Hackett victory, Friskie Lil Devil is approaching $200,000 in career earnings from just nine lifetime races with three wins and six place finishes.   Sent off at 3-5 odds on Friday she will undoubtedly be favored again next weekend when the first legs of the 2015 Ohio Sires Stakes for sophomore pacers and trotters are scheduled at Miami Valley.   The Brian Brown Stable enjoyed a huge night as Candy's A Virgin also captured the $17,050 Fillies and Mares Open Pace in her initial 2015 start; and her stablemate Candy's A Virgin won the $21,000 distaff invitational at Hoosier Park within the same hour. Both daughters of Always A Virgin, owned by Emerald Highlands Farm, are being pointed next at the $75,000 (est.) Chip Noble Memorial Grand Circuit stake for older female pacers on Sunday, May 3, which is closing day on the Miami Valley season.   Reinsman Chris Page guided Candy's A Virgin towards the front from the outside post position in a field of eight, gaining command just past a :26.2 first quarter. After tripping the middle teletimer beams in :54.3 and 1:23.3, the gray four-year-old posted a :28.3 final panel to win by a comfortable length in 1:52.1. Favored Native Dream (Dan Noble) sat the pocket throughout and finished second with Tarport Belle (Josh Sutton) finishing strong to complete the trifecta ticket.   Page had five trips to the winner's circle during the 12-race card. His other winners were Fox Valley Bonita (1:56.3), trotter Mischievous Jesse (1:58.1), Sectionline Aqua (1:53.2) and Buckeye Thea (1:54.1).   Racing resumes Saturday night at 6:30 with the $30,000 Hackett Memorial for pacing colts and an $18,150 Open Pace on tap.   Gregg Keidel

A Penny Earned wins the $10,000 Open Trot

George Ducharme trainee triumphs

A Penny Earned triumphs in Open trot, hat tricks for Lems and Dewhurst. After only mustering a fourth-place finish in his harness racing seasonal debut last week, A Penny Earned ($4.10) was quick to right the ship, taking Friday (April 24) evening's $10,000 Open Trot at Vernon Downs in 1:56.2.   The six-year-old Conway Hall gelding secured the pocket early behind Grey Ice (Jimmy Whittemore), brushing to a clear lead just upon entering the clubhouse turn. After exerting himself a bit to assume command through a :28.2 first quarter, he faced no pressure through a :31 stroll through the second. He was forced to pick up the pace on the far turn, as defending Open winner War Hero (Howard Okusko, Jr.) offered up mild first-over pressure. A Penny Earned would not be denied tonight, kept to task by Chris Lems to hold clear of War Hero by 1-1/4 lengths. Jaipur (Fern Paquet, Jr.) was urged to take third in deep stretch after loosely tracking War Hero's cover on the far turn.   Trainer George Ducharme co-owns the 22-time winner A Penny Earned with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.   The win was one of three on the night for Lems, who was also victorious aboard David Dewhurst trainees Hollywood Jess ($9.00, 1:59.4) and Kyler's Valentine ($5.10, 1:55.3) earlier on the card. Dewhurst's training hat trick was completed by The African ($14.00, 2:00), who was driven to victory by John MacDonald in the opener.   The African and Hollywood Jess earned their respective victories in two of four first-round divisions of the Catherine Burton Trotting Series, with each split carrying a $4,000 purse. The other two division winners were Deadhead Royalty ($6.20), driven by Howard Okusko, Jr. for a late-rallying 1:59.2 score, and Julmyra ($16.20), who pounced up the inside from a pocket trip in rein to trainer-driver Brett Crawford.   Live racing returns on Saturday evening, with a 13-race card slated to kick off at 6:45 p.m. EDT. A $10,000 Open Pace takes top billing, along with the first round of the Anthony Farina Pacing Series.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

ANDERSON, Ind.-April 24, 2015 - Color's A Virgin notched her second consecutive victory at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino after she effortlessly captured the featured harness racing event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares, on Friday, April 24.The reigning three-year-old pacing filly of the year has now gone back-to-back at the top level with her 1:52.2 victory and remains undefeated in 2015. Sent off as the overwhelming favorite in a field of eight, Color's A Virgin and regular pilot Trace Tetrick changed up their racing tactics and surprisingly left for early position. With American Girl and Sam Widger gunning for the lead from post six, Color's A Virgin left just enough to find a spot along the pylons in fourth. American Girl dictated the early tempo of :27.1 before yielding the lead to Montenegro and Jason Dillander just before the second station in :56.2. Fits Well and Tyler Smith, sitting along the rail in third, made a costly break down the backside and scattered the field behind them. Unwilling to take any chances, Tetrick avoided the breaker and gave Color's A Virgin the green light down the backside. She reached command just past the three-quarter clocking in 1:25 before turning for home with an ever-increasing lead. As the rest of the field struggled to stay within striking distance, Color's A Virgin found another gear and kicked home in :27.2 to finish two and three-quarter lengths in front of Montenegro. American Girl rallied gamely in the lane to round out the trifecta. Color's A Virgin returned $3.20 to her backers at the windows. Trained by Brian Brown, the four-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color now sports a lifetime bankroll of $765,322 for her connections at Emerald Highlands Farm. Color's A Virgin won 13 of 18 starts in 2014, including the $178,862 Jugette on September 17 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. "Everything has been good with her, so far anyway," winning trainer Brian Brown noted after the victory. "I feel like she has really come back well. She seems a little happier to me this year not that she was unhappy last year, but I think she has come into herself this year." Color's A Virgin now has 20 career victories to her credit and has been nominated to races such as the TVG Mares Pace, The Lady Liberty and The Golden Girls for her four-year-old campaign. "To be honest, I haven't looked past the next race for her," he continued. "We're going to Miami Valley next Sunday, but as far as the rest of the year goes, we will play it stake race to stake race based on what she's ready for. I just want to make sure she's healthy, she's not tying up, and everything is good with her and so far it has been." Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, April 24 with a 14-race card. The live racing schedule at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The top three in the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings showed the way on Friday night (April 24) as the harness racing trio combined for seven victories on the 12-race card.   Drew Monti, who sits in third place in the rankings, had a triple and moved his seasonal total to 71. Last season, he posted 86 victories the entire season at Buffalo Raceway.   Leading driver Kevin Cummings had a double and now has 121 wins in 2015. Shawn Gray, who sits in second place with 72 trips to the winner's circle, also had a double.   It was bombs away in the ninth race as Shawn McDonough drove Girls Luv Diamonds to a $72.00 victory.   Looking ahead to Saturday's card, sometimes it's all about timing and luck. For Eim Racing and trainer Bradley Jackson, it was perfect timing and the luck of the draw.   They won 'the shake' from multiple claims put in on Dedalos in last week's semi-finals of the Niatross Claiming Knockout 'B' Series for $7,000 and are now in line for a couple of big paydays if things work out right starting Saturrday.   Dedalos, who drew the three post, is the 3-1 choice on the morning line in the Niatross $24,500 championship which highlights the program at Buffalo Raceway.   After winning the Niatross Knockout Claiming 'A' Series back on March 7th, Dedalos automatically earned a spot in the $25,000 Invitational set for Saturday, May 9th along with Goddess's Justin, It Was An Honor and Delightful Caitlin.   But with a spot already secured in the Invitational, Dedalos and his new owners would love nothing better than winning both ends. Riding a three-race win streak in the series, Dedalos posted the fastest time in the semi-finals last week with a 1:57.1. But don't expect things to be easy.   Jettison starts from the seven post. He's been claimed in three consecutive weeks in the series and ends up in the finale for co-owners Curtis Edholm and the Ultra Racing Stable and trainer Darren Taneyhill. Jettison, pegged at 4-1 in the morning line, has had two wins and a pair of second place finishes in his last four starts. Unfortunately, his losses have come to Dedalos.   Secluded Island is a dangerous 5-1 and scores out of the six spot. He cruised to a two-length win in the other semi-race last week in 1:58.0 and has four victories in his last five starts.   The field from the inside out include Full Circle Spirit (Ron Beback Jr.), Nighthawk Hall (Kevin Cummings), Dedalos (Shawn Gray), K C Colt (Jim McNeight), Tymal Torch (David McNeight III), Secluded Island (Jack Flanigen), Jettison (John Cummings Jr.) and Feets Of Magic (Drew Monti).   The top four finishers, as in the 'A' series, will advance to the $25,000 Invitational on May 9th.   The $10,000 consolation race of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series will go as the sixth race while the $9,500 conditioned pace is set for the second.   Post time for the solid 12-race card is 6:35 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, April 24, 2015 - For the past two weeks, Inittowinafortune has chased Radar Contact from the pocket and each time she came up short. That changed Friday night at The Meadowlands as the five year old mare earned a hard-fought harness racing victory by a flared nostril in the featured $27,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap. Inittowinafortune was released as the 4-1 third choice behind Radar Contact (3/5) and Rocklamation (2-1). Radar Contact was sent immediately to the lead from her assigned outside post and she would remain on the point through strong fractions of 26.2, 54 and 1:22.1 before turning for home with Inittowinafortune right on her tail. As the open mares straighted away, Corey Callahan guided Inittowinafortune to the outside and mounted their bid for the lead. Callahan's mare put a head in front in mid-stretch, but Radar Contact dug back in and the two talented mares paced all the way to the wire together. Only a nose separated the pair, with Inittowinafortune earning a well-deserved victory over Radar Contact. Rocklamation was three lengths back in third in the 1:50.2 mile. Inittowinafortune is trained by Michael Russo for owner Michael Pagonas. Whom Shall I Fear was the easiest of winners again Friday night at The Meadowlands, as he coasted to a dominant wire to wire performance in his division of the Spring Preview for the three year old trotters. It appeared as though the $475,000 yearling never took a deep breadth as he coasted to a 1:54.4 triumph. The brother of Father Patrick, controlled the tempo through fractions of 28.4, 58 and 1:26.2 while never facing a challenge. Whom Shall I Fear is trained by Jimmy Takter for the Whom Shall I Fear Stable. For the second consecutive week, social media went abuzz as Whom Shall I Fear crossed the finish line Friday night. Many were asking the question as to if this is the three year old colt to watch leading up to The Hambletonian and if this is the horse that can push Mission Brief? The most interesting aspect of that question is that Yannick Gingras drives both horses. Muscle Network, the 2013 Valley Victory made his four year old debut a winning one, by taking a condition trotting event in 1:54.3. The Tony O'Sullivan trainee was last early in the mile and was allowed to find his stride through fractions of 28 and 56.4 before being guided to the outside by Dave Miller. Muscle Network found a live outer flow where he positioned himself third over and followed live cover past three-quarters in 1:25 where he set up his late rally as the field turned for home. From there, the classy four year old closed in on Quick Deal and reeled him in just before the wire to earn the comeback victory. Muscle Network is staked well, including the TVG Trotting Championship, and the upcoming Graduate series which begins one month from now at Tioga Downs. He is owned by Frank Bellino & Sons L.L.C. Stacia Hanover also returned a winner in a condition event for filly and mare pacers. The 2014 New Jersey Sire Stakes champion was relegated to last early in the mile through rather tepid fractions of 28.2 and 57.1. Shortly past the half-mile pole, Stacia Hanover was guided outside and tracked live cover from a third over position where she would remain past three quarters in 1:26.1. From there, Scott Zeron would show his filly racetrack and she responded rallying home well to score in 1:55 over an equally fast-closing Strut My Stuff. American Truth saw her three race win streak come to an end, cutting the mile and finishing third. Stacia Hanover is trained by Steve Elliot for David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio. In amateur racing news, Hannah Miller continues to ride her amazing hot streak. Miller won the first race on the evening, the French-American Friendship Amateur event with Jacks To Open. Her record this season now stands at 6 wins from 21 starts with 12 of those 21 races resulting in an in-the-money finish. For her career, Miller has won 15 of 41 starts. The other amateur event went to Mr Ridgetaker and Alan Charles who took the field wire to wire. Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 wagers saw their carryovers continue. The 5th race carryover has grown to $91,918, while the last race carryover now stands at $62,450. Total handle for the 13-race program of $2,649,116 was an eight-percent (8%) increase over the same Friday one year ago. Racing resumes on Saturday, featuring the second round of the Whata Baron series, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. Meadowlands To Open For Two Year Old Training on April 30th Two Year Olds Welcome To Train at The Meadowlands through the end of May Beginning Thursday, April 30th, two year olds will be able to train at The Meadowlands on Thursday mornings throughout the month of May. Horsemen can supply The Meadowlands with $1,000 for an unlimited number of two year olds to train or can pay $50 per horse.  All payments made will be added to The Meadowlands purse account, less expenses. Horsemen must submit payment along with a list of horses that will be training to the Meadowlands Race Office on Tuesday of each week, with training hours taking place on Thursday morning. Any horsemen with questions should contact The Meadowlands Race Office. In addition, please note that qualifiers next week will take place on Friday, May 1st at 9:30 A.M.  Qualifiers will return to Saturdays the following week. Darin Zoccali

The defending Pacing Mare of the Year at Saratoga Casino and Raceway Road Bet (Bettor’s Delight) scored her second Open win of the season on a chilly Friday night in the Spa City. Stephane Bouchard piloted the five year old Kyle Spagnola trainee to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:55 in the $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Cherry Bliss (Mark Beckwith) closed to finish second besting Let’s Go Higher (Billy Dobson) who had to settle for the show spot. Road Bet, who became the second mare to win the feature twice in 2015, returned $8.90 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $28.20 and $71, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm.  Mike Sardella

A field of eight upper-conditioned level filly and mare pacers lined up for the featured harness racing event on Friday afternoon (April 24) from Harrah's Philadelphia. The wagering public put their support behind Linda Toscano trainee Blush Hanover. The daughter of Art Major was coming off of a solid third place performance against similar. At the start, the race favorite initially left, but took back, as class-dropping Jeremes Sweetheart (Vic Kirby) left hard for the lead. After a swift :27 opening quarter, the pace slowed down some at the half (:56.3/:29.3). Business picked up however, as long shot Odds On Alpha (Marcus Miller) moved up first-over to challenge at three-quarters (1:24.2/:27.4). Jeremes Sweetheart shunned that challenge by stretch's beginning, but faced a host of fresh challengers in the stretch, including favorite Blush Hanover. At the finish, it was Blush Hanover (Tim Tetrick) moving through to narrowly win, stopping the clock in 1:53.3 (:29.1). Jeremes Sweetheart finished second, while Stormunn (Pat Berry) was third. Blush Hanover is owned by Stake Your Claim Stables, Seth Coen, and George Derocker. Michael Bozich

The trotting mare Silverlode went over the $100,000 plateau recently, while her pilot Steve Desomer comes into this weeks action with 2,627 trips to the charmed enclosure for just shy of $11 million in earnings. The 6-year-old daughter of the British Sterling and the 78-year-old Desomer teamed up last Sunday for a coast-to-coast jaunt over conditioned foes, with the 1:57 4/5 once-around being three-ticks off the career standard she established last season. Less than an hour later it was Steve and Vickie Desomer posing for pictures once again with another trotting mare, as Tour Guide pretty much followed Silverlodes modus operandi and gamely held off all challenges for a $21 upset. Silverlode is one of Steves favorites, Vickie related when asked about the trotter. As far as her earnings, a lot of that is reflected in Sire Stakes money. When it comes to staying involved in the game, Vickie said, The young trotters are what keep Steve and I going. Making the racehorse is more important to us than racing the racehorse. As far as when the meeting concludes in two weeks, Vickie explained that Steve will get back to one of his other passions. He's looking forward to wrapping up the meet, so he can return to his cabin in Klamath River to resume his never ending quest for gold! Good prospecting, Steve. ******** A reminder that there are four wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the Jackpot 6 and Hi-5, which are both 10-cent minimum bets; the 50-cent Pick 5: and the 20-cent Pick 4, which has a $25,000-guaranteed pool as part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program. Sire Stakes bringing out top trotters, pacers A pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes highlight the Sunday night program at Cal Expo, with Avila Beach and Speak English heading the pacing contest, while stablemates Zoeys Delight and Sandys Song have top billing in the trotting affair. There will be 10 races on the menu Sunday evening with first post for the Watch and Wager LLC program scheduled for 5 p.m. The Sire Stakes for the pacing fillies goes as the third event on the card, while the trotting Sire Stakes will be a non-betting event prior to the regular program. Speak English is looking to make amends after finishing third as the odds-on favorite in the most recent stakes clash for the pacing distaffers two weeks ago. Frank Nevarez owns and bred the daughter of Power Of Art with Gordie Graham doing the conditioning. The dark-hued filly was a very impressive winner of her first two starts with Tim Maier guiding, both resulting in Sire Stakes victories and accomplished in first-over fashion. She tried similar tactics in the last stakes clash on April 12, but weakened in the lane to finish third that evening as the 1-2 favorite. It was Avila Beach who prevailed in that contest for owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Mooney Svendsen. She rallied off the favorites cover to get the job done by a length and a half, with the 1:56 3/5 clocking being just a tick off the career standard she established with an April 3 conditioned score. Rounding out the field are Pips Valentina and Little Cher Amo, who both hail from the George Reider barn and occupy the inside two slots; and Smash, who leaves from the outside for trainer Junior Wilkinson. Trainer Johnson is holding the aces in the Sire Stakes for the sophomore trotters with Sandys Song, who accounted for the first six big-money clashes for the division; and Zoeys Delight, who upset her stablemate in the most recent Sire Stakes two weeks ago. Taking them on are Jk Journey and Sandys Song. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity Cal Expo Harness

Pompano Beach, FL - Harness racing hall of fame communicator and World War II decorated veteran, Murray Janoff, will be honored at the Isle Casino & Racing Pompano Park Saturday as he celebrates his 100th birthday. Janoff, of Boca Raton, will have the third race on the program named in his honor as family, friends and well-wishers are all invited to join him in the winner's circle for a special race blanket presentation. Arranged and hosted by the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association, it is hopeful that 100 people will in the winner's circle for the presentation race. Janoff will also be interviewed after the race is official. Janoff is the only surviving member of the original group of harness racing journalists who met 68 years ago and formed the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). The organization votes for the annual Dan Patch Harness Horse of the Year award winners and also the inductees of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Communicators Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2008. He is still an active member of the Florida USHWA Chapter. Janoff is also a decorated World War II veteran who landed on Normandy Beach and fought in five major campaigns, including the Battle of the Budge, and served in Gen. George Patton's legendary Third Army. He left the army as a Major, received five Battle Star decorations including the Bronze Star and after the war picked right up as a sports journalist for the rest of his career. The third race special presentation for Murray Janoff is scheduled to take place 8:00 pm and the public is invited free of charge to attend. By Steve Wolf, for the Florida Chapter USHWA  

After driving a winner in the first leg of the seven-month C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series at Pompano Park last Saturday, Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford was back in the winners circle at Northfield Park on Thursday (April 23) after the completion of the second leg of the seven month series. Up behind his own Bold Strike, Oldford took no prisoners and used the front-end route to score an easy three-length victory in a time of 1:59.2. For the Croswell, Michigan automotive manufacturer rep marked his 103rd career win. He (Bold Strike) was full of trot and when the gate sprung he was in high gear so I just let him ramble,"Oldford said via phone after the race. "We had an easy lead and were never seriously challenged throughout the mile." Perhaps no serious challenges arose because after the :28.2 first quarter Oldford kept the pedal to the metal as Bold Strike trotted the next three quarters in :30 and a piece to lead Pembroke Snapshot and driver "Hot-Handed Hannah" Miller to the finish wire. Third place went to Good Friend driven by "Lawbook Larry" Farley. Although Oldford was pleased with his driving victory he couldn't say enough nice things about Hannah Miller who is beginning to make a name for herself as an excellent harness driver. "She's won quite a few races lately against some veteran amateur drivers and wherever she races she's usually the one to beat," he said. "She did a masterful job tonight with her trotter despite having to start from the eight hole. She gunned him out of there and found the two hole and got a good journey. However, my horse was strong on the lead... but she was second best." For Oldford, USHWA's Amateur Driver of the Year in 2013, it was his second consecutive driving victory and third in his last five starts. Already Oldford has six winners this season and has his sights on winning more than19 races which is his most prolific output since he started amateur driving in earnest in 2006. John Manzi

Plans are in the works for a gala affair to be celebrated at Goshen Historic Track around the running of this years Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2. To be used as a fundraiser for the world's oldest harness race track and National Historic Landmark, a Kentucky Derby-style party will be offered from 3pm-8pm on that first Saturday in May "This is a fundraising project of Goshen Historic Track in its continuing efforts to carry on the heritage of Goshen Historic Track and its contributions to the harness racing industry," says Historic Track Board member, John Manzi Plenty of entertainment, good food, music, dancing and even a Ladies Hat Contest will be in the offering, as well as the ability to wager on the Kentucky Derby and other races presented on that number one race card in North America. Waging will be available at Delanceys Restaurant, which is adjacent to Historic Track and is an outlet of the Catskill Regions' Off-track betting network. Party-goers will be able to wager on their choices and view the races from Louisville, KY that afternoon and watch the action on two monstrous television screens which will be set-up for the attending crowd. "The entire afternoon will center around the running of the Kentucky Derby and fun for all that attend. However, along with the Derby attendees will be able to enjoy live music and be able to dance on a floor set-up on the racetrack under a tent. There will be door prizes, raffles and great food, which is a specialty of Delancey's. And Mint Julep cocktails which are synonymous with the running of the Kentucky Derby will also be available. Tickets are $70 per person. For further information please contact Historic Track office at 845.294.5333.  

However, it appears those days are behind us. Many of the Illinois bred sophomore pacers and trotters are now ready to race and those who aren’t, look to be only a week or two away. All three of this weekend’s state-bred stake races are a “go,” including the $14,000 Rambling Willie for older ICF pacers. Three weeks ago the Song Cycle, the first 3-year-old and up ICF stake, didn’t fill. Nevertheless, Saturday’s ninth race Rambling Willie saw six pacers pass the entry box, including the current big three of the ICF heavyweight division—Iam Bonasera, Fort Silky and Ice Scraper. The 9-5 morning line favorite Iam Bonasersa made a break near the top of the lane last week, costing him any chance to pick-up his third “Winner’s Over,” in a row. The 8-year-old Nelson Willis trainee did regain his stride quickly and rattled off a 26.1 last panel finishing third behind Best Man Hanover and Fort Silky. “It was just a speed break and nothing to be that concerned about”, said Iam Bonasera’s regular driver Travis Seekman. “Every once in a while he out-paces himself before he gets completely straighten out coming out of that last turn. “I kind of rushed him trying to keep up with the field because I didn’t want to have them get to too far ahead. He can come off a break quick, like he did, and always make up some ground.” Iam Bonasera drew the two-slot Saturday with the speedball Ice Scraper, programmed at 2-1, Brian Carpenter) landing the five and Fort Silky (3-1, Casey Leonard) getting the four. Ice Scraper hasn’t started at Balmoral since April 7 when he was third in a “Winner’s Over.” In fact 6 of his 9 season outings have been in Ohio at Miami Valley Raceway where he’s posted 2 of his 3 season wins. Fort Silky’s stable-mate Whirtlwindiplomacy has the pole position in the Rambling Willie with driver Dean Magee. Bob Phillips Big Brad (6-1, Bobby Smolin) leaves from the three, while Dave Brook’s Rickie Bobbie (8-1, Mike Oosting) has the outside six-slot. Last season’s 2-year-old ICF colt division champion Earndawg makes his sophomore debut in Saturday’s fourth race $8,000 Betzotic stake. He’ll open as the 2-1 public’s choice with regular driver Todd Warren. I’ll have more on this 3-year-old colt stake in Saturday’s column. Sunday’s $8,000 Koochie for 3-year-old ICF trotting fillies lured a field of eight and was carded as race two. Mike Paradise

WASHINGTON, PA, March 24, 2015 -- Friday's inaugural staging of the $51,100 The Meadows Maturity for older distaff trotters has attracted two of harness racing's superstars -- 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry and 2014 Mare Trotter of the Year Classic Martine. But locally based horsemen aren't backing off. Instead, they're sending out The Meadows' female trotting elite -- Daylon Miracle, Anaffairtoremember, Cowgirl Hall and Whata Donato -- to challenge the glamor girls. Bill Bercury, who owns and trains Daylon Miracle and Anaffairtoremember, insists he's racing for more than a check and a moral victory. "I'm in it to win it," he said. "A win and a second would be perfect." Bercury, a retired auto dealer who still operates a home construction business, has the track record to lend credibility to his remarks. While some horsemen concentrate on stakes candidates and others play the claiming game, Bercury has a different approach. He locates proven, quality performers, pays market rates for them and hopes to recoup his investment and then some. Usually, he does. "There's a lot of money in harness racing now," he said. "Investing $100,000 in a horse is really not a gamble, whereas five or 10 years ago, if you invested $100,000 in a yearling, that was a gamble. I'm buying proven animals; we're asking them to do what they did before. If we can improve them just a bit, we'll do very, very well with them." Both Daylon Marvel and Anaffairtoremember fit the Bercury profile. He paid $150,000 for Daylon Miracle, a 6-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur-Daylon Marvel -- after she had amassed a considerable bank account in Canada. She earned more than $165,000 for Bercury last year alone and routinely faces, and defeats, male rivals. "Did I overpay for her? Maybe a little bit. Will I make money on her? Absolutely. I'd rather overpay for a really nice horse than get a good deal on a horse that won't be competitive." The acquisition price for Anaffairtoremember was slightly more modest -- $90,000 -- but she, too has panned out. The 5-year-old daughter of Angus Hall-Val Lee Woman has won three races and $41,625 already this season. "She likes to follow a helmet, and after she follows it, she sprints pretty hard," Bercury said. "I don't know if she's a top horse, but she loves her work, and she's easy to work with." Bercury said his reputation for purchasing quality and paying fair prices generates many queries from prospective sellers, so many that he doesn't need an intermediary to scout talent for him. "When people realize that you're a player and you don't jerk them around, they call you," he said. And he indicated his many years buying and selling cars have helped him in his pursuit of equine stars. "Something well bought is half sold," he said. The Maturity goes as race 9 on Friday's card, and it will follow the $33,700 championship of the Do Me Honor Pace for sophomore fillies. (Do Me Honor, by the way, is yet another current standout Bercury acquired using his tried-and-true methodology.) First post is 6:55 PM. Here is The Meadows Maturity field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Sweetie Hearts, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock, 20-1 2. Cowgirl Hall, Eric Goodell, Ron Burke, 8-1 3. Anaffairtoremember, Mike Wilder, William Bercury, 10-1 4. Daylon Miracle, Aaron Merriman, William Bercury, 5-1 5. Rockin With Dewey, Eric Ledford, Benoit Baillargeon, 12-1 6. Handover Belle, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1 7. Shake It Cerry, Dave Palone, Jimmy Takter, 7-5 8. Whata Donato, Doug Snyder, Doug Snyder, 20-1 9. Classic Martine, Dan Rawlings, Chris Oakes, 4-1 Evan Pattak

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YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 24, 2015-Pole-assigned Dune in Red (Tyler Buter, $16.80) held off the cavalry Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing featured $31,000 Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace After seeing Fanticipation (Mark MacDonald) grab the first glory, Dune in Red edged from the pocket. The one made the lead just at a :27.3 opening quarter-mile, then rated a :57.3 intermission. Sweetnsinful (Jason Bartlett) then moved from fourth as the 3-2 favorite, prompting the pace through a brisk :27.4 third quarter (1:25.2). Delightful Dragon (Brian Sears) tried to match strides with Sweetnsinful, but found herself gapping down the backside. It was Dune in Red widening to 2¼ lengths in and out of the final turn. She would need just about all that margin in a very slow (:29.2) final quarter, before lasting by a neck in 1:54.4. RD IOU and Fanticipation wound up in a dead-heat for second, with a late-arriving Delightful Dragon and Sweetninsful rounded out the payees. The first five finishers were separated by a length-and-a-quarter. For fifth choice Dune in Red, a 5-year-old daughter of Duneside Perch owned by Hero Stables and trained by Chris Marino, it was her first win four seasonal starts. The exactas paid $30.40 (with RD IOU second) and $160 (with Fanticipation second), with the triples returning $287.50 (RD IOU second) and $448 (Fancipation second). The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with the sport's two richest races of the season to date-finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (purse $261,000) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (purse $529,000)-highlighting a $1.2 million purse card. GEORGE MORTON LEVY MEM. FINAL - SAT'S 8TH RACE HN/PP HORSE DRIVER 1/7 MACH IT SO Tim Tetrick 1A/8 P H SUPERCAM Jason Bartlett 2/1 DOMETHATAGAIN Dan Dube 3/2 LUCAN HANOVER Dave Miller 4/3 WINDSONG JACK Eric Carlson 5/4 BEACH MEMORIES Yannick Gingras 6/5 TAKE IT BACK TERRY George Brennan 7/6 POLAK A Brian Sears BLUE CHIP MATCHMAKER FINAL - SAT'S 6TH RACE HN/PP HORSE DRIVER 1/1 VENUS DELIGHT Jason Bartlett 1A/7 KRISPY APPLE Tim Tetrick 2/2 YAGONNAKISSMEORNOT Brian Sears 2A/4 CAROLSIDEAL Dan Dube 3/3 FANCY DESIRE Yannick Gingras 4/5 MONKEY ON MY WHEEL Dave Miller 5/6 STRINGS Eric Carlson 6/8 CAMILLE George Brennan The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with the two richest races of the season to date, finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (purse $261,000) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (purse $529,000). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM, $66,500 final of YR/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
WASHINGTON, PA, April 25, 2015 -- Daylon Miracle stalked 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry from the pocket, then blew by the harness racing champ in the Lightning Lane to pull off a 5-1 upset in Friday's inaugural edition of the $51,100 The Meadows Maturity for mare trotters 4 and older. In the first start of her 4-year-old campaign, Shake It Cerry led the field through a snappy 1:24.3 three-quarters but tired late and faded to fourth, beaten 5 lengths. Classic Martine, the 2014 Mare Trotter of the Year, was buried from post 9 and never got involved, finishing sixth. Daylon Miracle triumphed in 1:53.3, 4 lengths better than Cowgirl Hall, with the winner's stablemate, Anaffairtoremember, third. That gave locally based horses a sweep and provided a bonanza for bettors who backed them to show. With Shake It Cerry off the ticket, the show payoffs for the top three were $9.40, $19.00 and $22.40, respectively. Dave Palone, who piloted Shake It Cerry, said there were no obvious problems with her as she suffered only the sixth loss in her 29-race career. "She felt great," Palone said. "I really got left alone the second quarter and got a nice breather up the backside. She probably just needed the work. She'll be just fine." Winning driver Aaron Merriman, on the other hand, was sitting with a handful of live horse and knew it. "Anywhere down the backside, I felt like I could have pulled at any time. She was that good," Merriman said of the 6-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur-Daylon Marvel, who now has banked $474,907 in her career. "But I was following a great horse and a great driver. David made my decision (to stay in the pocket) for me. His horse didn't look as sharp, and I thought he carried her a lot farther than she would have gone with somebody else." Bill Bercury, who owns and trains Daylon Miracle and Anaffairtoremember, called it the biggest win of his career. He had spoken of a 1-2 finish for his mares days before the race. It was a bold vision, and Bercury's mares nearly pulled it off with their 1-3 result. "We beat the two best mares in the country from last year," he said. "I'm very excited about that. I had a lot of confidence in both my mares. They both have a lot of heart. They both really like racing, and that means so much. I love them." He said his mares are headed to a May 3 stake at Miami Valley, where they expect to take on the best in their division again. "You have to remember -- this was the first start for the two mares we beat today," he said. "Next week will be a little tougher. At least now we feel we belong there." The Meadows Maturity for stallions and geldings 4 and older is set for Saturday, May 2 as part of the track's special Kentucky Derby Day program. $33,700 Do Me Honor Pace Friday's card also featured the $33,700 championship of the Do Me Honor Pace for sophomore fillies, which was taken by Dobre Povedane in 1:54.2. The daughter of Well Said-Vysoke Tatry sat patiently in the pocket for Mike Wilder before exploding in the stretch to down the early leader, Somewhere Fameous, by 1-1/4 lengths. One Over Par overcame traffic problems to earn show. Dobre Povedane crossed the wire first in the series opening leg but broke stride in the Lightning Lane after wrestling with Wilder and was disqualified. Following that episode, trainer Tim Twaddle made some rigging changes that Wilder said helped considerably. "Tim made a couple adjustments," Wilder said. "It's tough with a green horse, going from track to track, never been here. In the first leg, it was kind of my fault. She wasn't steering the best, and I kind of chased her off her feet. "Tonight, she felt super behind the gate, and I thought I'd give her a chance. She fell in a good spot and raced great." David Prushnok and John Prushnok campaign Dobre Povedane. Tony Hall drove five winners on the 12-race card while trainer Randy Bendis fashioned a triple. The pair teamed to capture the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace with Certified Ideal, who poured through the Lightning Lane to prevail in 1:52.2 and extend her career bankroll to $321,972 for owners Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack, James Walton and Bendis. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
LEBANON, OH. - Friskie Lil Devil, who captured the $200,000 Ohio Sires Stakes championship for freshman pacing fillies in her final 2014 start, opened her 2015 harness racing campaign by copping the $38,000 James K. Hackett Memorial championship race at Miami Valley on Friday night.   Driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. decided to take the safest route possible by leaving alertly and cutting all the fractions in an impressive gate-to-wire performance.   The pride of the Lil Devil Stable, the Brian Brown-trainee coasted through quarter splits of :27.3, :57.4, 1:27.1 and 1:55.4 to garner the relatively easy 1-1/2 length victory over stablemate Corner Girl (Josh Sutton) and E Ticket Ride (Dan Noble).   With the Hackett victory, Friskie Lil Devil is approaching $200,000 in career earnings from just nine lifetime races with three wins and six place finishes.   Sent off at 3-5 odds on Friday she will undoubtedly be favored again next weekend when the first legs of the 2015 Ohio Sires Stakes for sophomore pacers and trotters are scheduled at Miami Valley.   The Brian Brown Stable enjoyed a huge night as Candy's A Virgin also captured the $17,050 Fillies and Mares Open Pace in her initial 2015 start; and her stablemate Candy's A Virgin won the $21,000 distaff invitational at Hoosier Park within the same hour. Both daughters of Always A Virgin, owned by Emerald Highlands Farm, are being pointed next at the $75,000 (est.) Chip Noble Memorial Grand Circuit stake for older female pacers on Sunday, May 3, which is closing day on the Miami Valley season.   Reinsman Chris Page guided Candy's A Virgin towards the front from the outside post position in a field of eight, gaining command just past a :26.2 first quarter. After tripping the middle teletimer beams in :54.3 and 1:23.3, the gray four-year-old posted a :28.3 final panel to win by a comfortable length in 1:52.1. Favored Native Dream (Dan Noble) sat the pocket throughout and finished second with Tarport Belle (Josh Sutton) finishing strong to complete the trifecta ticket.   Page had five trips to the winner's circle during the 12-race card. His other winners were Fox Valley Bonita (1:56.3), trotter Mischievous Jesse (1:58.1), Sectionline Aqua (1:53.2) and Buckeye Thea (1:54.1).   Racing resumes Saturday night at 6:30 with the $30,000 Hackett Memorial for pacing colts and an $18,150 Open Pace on tap.   Gregg Keidel
A Penny Earned triumphs in Open trot, hat tricks for Lems and Dewhurst. After only mustering a fourth-place finish in his harness racing seasonal debut last week, A Penny Earned ($4.10) was quick to right the ship, taking Friday (April 24) evening's $10,000 Open Trot at Vernon Downs in 1:56.2.   The six-year-old Conway Hall gelding secured the pocket early behind Grey Ice (Jimmy Whittemore), brushing to a clear lead just upon entering the clubhouse turn. After exerting himself a bit to assume command through a :28.2 first quarter, he faced no pressure through a :31 stroll through the second. He was forced to pick up the pace on the far turn, as defending Open winner War Hero (Howard Okusko, Jr.) offered up mild first-over pressure. A Penny Earned would not be denied tonight, kept to task by Chris Lems to hold clear of War Hero by 1-1/4 lengths. Jaipur (Fern Paquet, Jr.) was urged to take third in deep stretch after loosely tracking War Hero's cover on the far turn.   Trainer George Ducharme co-owns the 22-time winner A Penny Earned with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.   The win was one of three on the night for Lems, who was also victorious aboard David Dewhurst trainees Hollywood Jess ($9.00, 1:59.4) and Kyler's Valentine ($5.10, 1:55.3) earlier on the card. Dewhurst's training hat trick was completed by The African ($14.00, 2:00), who was driven to victory by John MacDonald in the opener.   The African and Hollywood Jess earned their respective victories in two of four first-round divisions of the Catherine Burton Trotting Series, with each split carrying a $4,000 purse. The other two division winners were Deadhead Royalty ($6.20), driven by Howard Okusko, Jr. for a late-rallying 1:59.2 score, and Julmyra ($16.20), who pounced up the inside from a pocket trip in rein to trainer-driver Brett Crawford.   Live racing returns on Saturday evening, with a 13-race card slated to kick off at 6:45 p.m. EDT. A $10,000 Open Pace takes top billing, along with the first round of the Anthony Farina Pacing Series.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs
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