Somewhere In L A, harness racing

Takter aims for third Adios title in last 6 years

WASHINGTON, PA, July 24, 2014 — When trainer Jimmy Takter sends out Somewhere In L A in Saturday’s final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light at The Meadows, he’ll be gunning for the winner’s share of the $400,000 purse, of course. But there’s something more at stake for the Hall of Famer. It would be the third Adios final victory in the last six years for Takter, who won with Vintage Master in 2009 and again with Sunfire Blue Chip last year. That would leave him just one behind Billy Haughton and Brett Pelling, who top the list of Adios final training victories with four. And Takter figures to get many more opportunities to break their mark. Takter isn’t certain why he’s so successful in The Meadows’ signature race. “I don’t know, really,” he said. “The Adios is a great race, and it’s tough to win it. We race at The Meadows quite a bit, and it’s fun to go out there and win.” The owners of Somewhere in L A — J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable — acquired the son of Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A in mid-season from a group including trainer/breeder Bob McIntosh. So far, Takter likes what he sees. “He’s definitely a player,” Takter said. “He didn’t get good trips in a couple starts, but I know he can go. He’s a good, sound horse who’s raced every single week since I got him. I’m giving him just light work this week.” In his Adios elimination, Somewhere in L A exploded from well back when Brett Miller lowered his pull-down blinds, a device Takter added when the colt got “too grabby” with a blind bridle. “He raced well within himself that night,” Takter said. “It’s not easy at The Meadows sitting last and end up winning by 4 lengths.” But he warns not to expect miracles from the pull-down shades. “It normally helps the first or second start. Then they figure it out.” Miller will guide Somewhere In L A from post 5 while McWicked, the 7-5 morning line favorite, goes from post 2. Takter remains upbeat even while acknowledging how sharp McWicked is. “McWicked has been racing tremendous his last few starts. He’ll be tough to beat,” Takter said. “But the monkey’s on his back. If the trip works out, I have confidence my horse will be right there.” Saturday’s card gets underway at 12:20, with the Adios (race 12) set for approximately 4 PM. The blockbuster card features a total of six Grand Circuit stakes. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Trackmaster logo.jpg

Morning line at Yonkers now done by Trackmaster

Handicappers that closely follow the racing at Yonkers Raceway may have noticed a subtle change in the program information the last month. The morning line odds are now being prepared by a computerized program.   For the last three years, TrackMaster has been developing software to generate automated morning lines. In statistics compiled by TrackMaster, these automated lines have proven to be more accurate than the lines currently being used at most harness tracks   "While this has taken a substantial investment by TrackMaster and the USTA to build the automated line seamlessly into the eTrack race office system, it is of substantial benefit to racetracks and players," said David Siegel, TrackMaster President and Chief Executive Officer. "The lines are demonstrably more accurate in predicting what odds that the public ultimately dictate. Additional benefits include a uniform and unbiased approach to the line, fast turnaround time, perfectly balanced lines, reliability and potential cost savings."   Yonkers Raceway continues its five day a week racing schedule with a 7:10pm first post on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Yonkers has requested permission from the New York Gaming Commission to offer day racing on Sundays beginning November 9 through the end of the meet on December 14. The Sunday racecards would replace Tuesday nights and would begin weekly simulcasting of Yonkers races into the French PMU markets in Europe.   From the SOA/NY

Chris Ryder, harness racing

Four straight for Madewell Hanover at Harrah's

The talented 3-year-old trotter Madewell Hanover picked up his fourth straight win in the Wednesday featured, a trot for non-winners of $12,500 in their last 5 starts or non-winners of 7 pari-mutuel races. The heavy favorite coming in was another 3-year-old, Kelly Walker's Don Dorado. The Hambo hopeful brushed to the front past the opening quarter, and held the lead until the stretch. In the end however, it was Madewell Hanover out dueling Don Dorado in the final strides, closing home in 28.3, and completing the mile in 1:54.2, It was the seventh career win for Madewell Hanover, who is owned by trainer/driver Chris Ryder. Don Dorado held place, while long shot Sina closed for third. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Tall Cotton, harness racing

Tall Cotton shatters Meadows all-age trot record

WASHINGTON, PA, July 23, 2014 -- When Tall Cotton cut out a fast three-quarters in 1:23.4 in Wednesday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows, it seemed only a matter of time before the top trotters chasing him would gobble him up. They didn't, couldn't get anywhere near, in fact, and the timer told why. Tall Cotton blazed home for Tony Hall in 1:51.3, shattering the all-age trotting record at The Meadows. The previous mark of 1:52.2 was held jointly by Rembrandt Spur and Sharp Edge. Tall Cotton's fractions for the record mile were 27.1/55.3/1:23.4/1:51.3. Tall Cotton's stablemate, Cowgirl Hall, was 3 lengths back in second, with the first-over Trustworthy Kid third. Ron Burke trains Tall Cotton, an 8-year-old Revenue S-B Cor Peatra gelding who now boasts $576,831 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Edwin Gold and Howard Taylor. Dave Palone and Hall each drove three winners on the 15-race card. Live Adios Week racing at The Meadows resumes Friday with a program highlighted by a pair of Grand Circuit stakes -- the $80,000 Edward M. Ryan for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters and the $60,000 Judge Joe McGraw for freshman filly trotters. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 23, 2014-Special JJ kept her flawless freshman record intact using a perfectly timed rally late in the stretch to score in the featured attraction, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 23. With a final time of 1:57, it was a lifetime best performance and third victory of the season for Special JJ. Leaving from post two in the field of ten, Special JJ and driver Trent Stohler were away a worrisome seventh while the heavily favored Crunchess Finale and Darrell Wright made their customary move to the front. Crunchess Finale made an uncharacteristic break through the opening panel in :27.2 leaving Diamond Dagger and Thomas Russell to inherit the lead. Peter Wrenn sent Sloane Elise to the front through the half-mile time in :58.2 but would quickly yield the top spot to Churita and Trace Tetrick. Churita continued to call the shots as the field approached the final turn but was feeling pressure from Golden Big Stick and Brad Hanners on the outside. As the field hit the third station in 1:28.1, the top pair was stride for stride turning for home. Churita was able to put away Golden Big Stick halfway down the stretch but her biggest threat was still behind her. Just as Stohler found late racing room, Special JJ found another gear. Using a :28 final panel, Special JJ powered home to get the win by a head. Churita made a costly break just before the wire and was placed third leaving Golden Big Stick to inherit the second place honors. Slightly dismissed by the betting public at 5-1, Special JJ returned $13.60 at the betting window. "She's done everything we've asked of her so far," Stohler noted after the victory. "We've taken our time getting her ready. She's still learning and figuring things out but does know how to win." Trained by Trent Stohler, who also co-owns the filly with The Kales Company, Special JJ now sports a lifetime bankroll of $52,100 for her connections. The daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Rhonda T was also victorious in the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes elimination just last week at Hoosier Park. With the win, Special JJ also earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for October 18 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate with the top ten point earners from the previous $75,000 finals in each division returning to compete in the super finals. Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 24 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the two-year-old pacing colt division. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. by Emily Gaskin,for Hoosier Park

Batavia, NY - An enthusiastic crowd lined the fence to welcome back live harness racing at the oldest lighted harness track in North America and their zeal was rewarded with a great slate of exciting contests on a warm summer night. The feature race was the $9,500 mares Open pace where newcomer Bazooka Terror established her status the first start out of the box as she soundly defeated her competition in 1:55.4. Bazooka Terror got away fourth as Case Solved (John Cummings Jr.) and Mondatta (Ron Beback Jr.) argued for the lead in 28 seconds flat. But just before they hit the half, Shawn McDonough pulled the mare first-over where she seemed to hang a bit before getting in gear. By the time they hit the three-quarters in 1:26.2, Bazooka Terror found her stride and motored around Case Solved as they skated through the turn. When they hit the top of the stretch, McDonough was rocking and knocking and Bazooka Terror responded to pull away to a widening two-length victory. Bazooka Terror is owned by her trainer, Leonard Segall of Clearwater, Florida. This was her sixth win of the year and it pushed her bankroll to $43,904 for 2014.She returned $6.20 for the win. In the co-featured$7,500 Open mares trot, Love Me Do took a huge step in class and thought nothing of it as she cruised to a five-length victory in a seasonal best time of 1:59. Love Me Do was claimed last week for $8,000 after winning that race from post seven in 2:00.1. Apparently liking what he bought, trainer Alex Giuliani wasted no time in promoting her to the top level for her sex and gait this week and the move paid off. Love Me Do left and tucked third as 3-2 favorite Fiorentina (John Cummings Jr.) took the front and began to cut the mile. After a 29 second quarter and 59 second half, Love Me Do tipped at the five-eighths and took the lead past the three-quarters in 1:28.4. When she got the lead she got away from the pack and scored an easy five length victory, her sixth of the year. The time of 1:59 was a seasonal mark for Love Me Do and the winners share raised he annual earnings to $31,397. She paid $10.20 to win. Love Me Do is owned by Mark Jakubik of West Seneca, NY. Reinsman Kevin Cummings carried his hot hand over from the recently concluded Buffalo meet winning four times on opening night while 2013 Batavia leading dash driver Shawn McDonough notched a triple. Batavia Downs returns live this Friday night (July 25) with 12 races on the card. For more racing information, a list of racing promotions or to watch race replays as soon as they are declared official, logon to www.bataviadonwsgaming.com. Or if you would like to bet online and watch live streaming coverage of the races as they occur, logon to www.bataviabets.com and open an account. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Trainer Tony Alagna hopes Rare Gift delivered a special present in the form of 2-year-old colt trotter Gifted Way. Gifted Way, a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Rare Gift, was purchased for $170,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale. Gifted Way makes his third start Friday in the single elimination for the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. The colt is owned by Brittany Farms, Joe Sbrocco, Little E LLC, and Deo Volente Farms. Gifted Way is part of a four-horse entry in the Haughton elim, along with Jimmy Takter-trained Special Action, The Bank, and Uncle Lasse. The group is 3-5 on the morning line. Rounding out the horses in the elim, from which the top seven finishers advance to the $280,000 estimated final on Aug. 2, Hambletonian Day, are Ake Svanstedt's Centurion ATM and Amicus, Ray Schnittker's Broken Record, Erv Miller's SS Poseidon, Nancy Johansson's Cruzado Dela Noche, and Mark Harder's True Blue Stride. Three horses received byes to the final: Takter's Canepa Hanover, Nik Drennan's Guess Whos Back, and Jim Campbell's Honor And Serve. Gifted Way won his debut, a division of the Pennsylvania All Stars, on July 4 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He went off stride at the start in his second race, which was won by Canepa Hanover, on July 18 at the Meadowlands. "He's a nice colt," Alagna said. "When the gate left the other night, he just got off on the wrong foot and made a break, which he hadn't done before. He trotted good after making the break, came out of the race fine, and trained back good [Tuesday]. I think we're set for the elimination on Friday night." Gifted Way is Rare Gift's fourth foal, and first by Cantab Hall, who was the sport's leading trotting sire in 2012 and 2013. Rare Gift is a full sister to stakes-winner Stand Strong and a three-quarter-sister to 1996 Horse of the Year Continentalvictory and stakes-winner Victory Abroad. "The family has been a little stagnant, but this was by far the best colt the mare had thrown," Alagna said. "He's very correct. He was very athletic in the paddock. He just had everything going for him. "Cantab Hall has just been red hot the last couple years, so we thought we would take a shot. We're glad we did. I think he was the right horse." Gifted Way is not the only horse in the Haughton elim with well-known relatives. Uncle Lasse is a full brother to Shake It Cerry, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old filly trotter and a top contender in the upcoming Hambletonian Oaks, and Broken Record is a half-brother to 2005 Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo. Special Action's family includes 2006 Hambletonian winner Glidemaster and The Bank's dam is millionaire Lantern Kronos. Friday's card also features two eliminations for the Merrie Annabelle Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters and the second round of the Ima Lula Series for 4-year-old female trotters. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

After watching Bee A Magician put together an 18-race win streak that began at age 2 and covered her entire 3-year-old season, harness racing fans wanted to know what was wrong with the 2013 Horse of the Year as she went winless in her first four starts this season. Not much, says trainer Nifty Norman, other than the fact that winning is difficult. "Lots of people have said to me that she's been no good, but only once really," Norman said. "Her first start was a great run, [second in 1:51.3] right off the bat and she had trot finishing. We kind of raced her easy in her second start and she was second; she was a little bit flat. Then she was sick, but she's been good again ever since. "People just expect her to win," he added with a chuckle. "It's not that easy; I wish it was. But I think she's been pretty solid." Bee A Magician, owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, returned to her winning ways with a world-record 1:51.1 triumph July 12 in the third round of the Miss Versatility Series at Meadowlands Racetrack. She now holds the records for fastest 3-year-old (1:51) and 4-year-old female trotters in history. She will try to make it two victories in a row when she meets six rivals in Friday's second leg of the Ima Lula Series for 4-year-old female trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Bee A Magician and regular driver Brian Sears will start from post one. The rest of the field in post order is Handover Belle, Rockin With Dewey, NF Happenstance, Ma Chere Hall, Mistery Woman, and Classic Martine. Handover Belle won the Ima Lula's first round on July 18 by a half-length over Ma Chere Hall in 1:51.4. The $55,000 estimated final is Aug. 2, Hambletonian Day. Bee A Magician -- who has won 28 of 35 career races, finished second on four occasions, and earned $2.45 million -- was eligible to the John Cashman Jr. Memorial, but the mare's connections decided against facing the boys. She raced against her male counterparts in the Hambletonian Maturity on July 5, finishing second to Your So Vain. "I want to race her as easy as I can," Norman said. "I'll consider racing those horses again later in the year maybe, but not right now. You can't be too tough on them. You see some of the other 4-year-olds that have come back and are not what they were. It's a tough thing to do because most of them have laid it all on the line last year." As it is, racing against the mares is difficult enough. "It's a tough division; very solid," Norman said, adding about her 1:51.1 win in the most recent Miss Versatility round, "It was a good race. She didn't jog, it was a good race." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

This Week: Delvin Miller Adios final, Adioo Volo and Arden Downs, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; John Cashman Jr. Memorial, Lady Liberty, Peter Haughton Memorial and Merrie Annabelle eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit actions kicks off this Friday (July 25) at The Meadows with four divisions in the $80,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt trotters and three divisions in the $60,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Saturday (July 26) card at The Meadows features the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios final and $30,000 Adios consolation for 3-year-old colt pacers, a single division in the $114,175 Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, three divisions in the $75,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the $75,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the $65,310 Arden Downs for 3-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the $54,952 Arden Downs for 3-year-old filly trotters. Meadowlands Racetrack will offer four sets of elimination races this week, with all the finals slated for the Hambletonian card of Saturday (Aug. 2). On Friday, the Meadowlands will host two $20,000 eliminations in the Merrie Annabelle for 2-year-old filly trotters and a single $20,000 elimination in the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters. On Saturday the program will feature two $50,000 eliminations in the John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters and a single $40,000 elimination in the Lady Liberty for older pacing mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Intimidate, trained by Luc Blais and driven by Sylvain Filion, pulled off a 45-1 upset over the heavily favored Sebastian K in the $560,790 Maple Leaf Trot this past Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. Intimidate won the Maple Leaf Trot by a nose over Sebastian K. Sent postward as the 1-5 favorite, Sebastian K got away in second behind post ten starter Modern Family who was sent hard to the lead over the 'sloppy' track to post an opening quarter of :26.4. In the second quarter, trainer-driver Ake Svandstedt sent Sebastian K to the lead and controlled the race through the middle half with fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.4. Intimidate got away in sixth and picked up cover in the second quarter behind Flanagan Memory and was towed around the final turn second-over and just a few lengths away from Sebastian K. In the stretch, Sebastian K continued to dig in and tried to hold off his challengers, but Intimidate in the final stride nailed the heavy favorite to win the 63rd edition of the Maple Leaf Trot in 1:54.2. Market Share, the 2013 Maple Leaf Trot winner, came off the rail and made a late charge on the far outside to finish third. The Maple Leaf Trot victory was the third win in seven starts this season for Intimidate, a 5-year-old son of Justice Hall-Fabulous Tag, owned by Determination and Judith Farrow. In other Grand Circuit action over the weekend, Clear Vision broke the Northfield Park track record for older pacing geldings, posting a 1:49.3 win in the 29th edition of the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie. Clear Vision (Western Hanover-Artistic Vision) is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, The Panhellenic Stable and James Koran. He is trained by Ron Burke, who called upon Brett Miller to drive. Clear Vision started from post four and immediately advanced a position when Bolt The Duer made an uncharacteristic break to his inside. He was still sitting third at the :26.2 opening quarter. Miller pulled Clear Vision in the second panel and he remained first-over through times of :54.2 and 1:22. Clear Vision locked horns with pacesetter Night Pro in the last turn and bested him by two lengths in the stretch, stopping the timer at 1:49.3. Foiled Again finished third. In The Arsenal (Eric Goodell) never had an anxious moment this past Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $125,000 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace in 1:56.4. In the Arsenal opened 2-3/4 lengths on the field in and out of the final turn. A pocketed Rock N' Roll World cosmetically cut the final margin down to three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Third went to a stubborn Parklane Eagle. Second choice In the Arsenal, a White Birch Farm homebred son of American Ideal-Ladyotra trained by Kelvin Harrison, returned $6.30 for his second win in three seasonal/career starts. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 437; 2. Tim Tetrick - 434; 3. Ron Pierce - 292; 4. Brian Sears - 205; 5. George Brennan - 174.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 767.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 397; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Ray Schnittker - 184; 5. Joe Holloway - 152. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 177.8; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 160.3; 3. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 92; 5. Brad Grant - 79.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack, Balmoral Park and Tioga Downs. Meadowlands Racetrack will host nine Grand Circuit events, led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian, the first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Balmoral Park will contest Hanover Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters. Tioga Downs will race Tompkins-Geers stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit        

Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and Dan Noble will be recognized for their National Dash Driving Championships as part of the Wall of Fame ceremonies at Northfield Park on Sunday, August 10, 2014. The banquet will begin at 5:00 p.m. Wrenn topped the North American driving ranks in 2013 with 714 victories. Dave Palone (645), Bruce Aldrich, Jr. (645), Corey Callahan (619) and Tim Tetrick (582) completed the top five drivers by wins. Despite being a regular at Northfield Park, where he picked up 55% of his 2013 total wins, Wrenn split his time among several different venues last year. In addition to being a regular at Northfield, he drove at Batavia Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Colonial Downs, Monticello Raceway, Northville Downs, Raceway Park, Scioto Downs and several county fairs. Wrenn garnered 388 wins over the Flying Turns in 2013, placing him atop Northfield's leader board. His nearest competitor, Aaron Merriman, drove 234 winners. Keith Kash, Jr. (213), Jason Thompson (196) and Chris Page (193) rounded out the top five local reinsmen. "The dash title is really nice to have been able to accomplish. I have been very lucky and blessed to have driven well-conditioned horses for some great trainers," commented Wrenn. "It means a lot that my Dad was able to see me win the title. That definitely made it more special." Wrenn's father, Ron Sr., passed away in May, 2014. Dan Noble was North America's Dash Champion in 2011. Noble scored 773 victories in 2011, finishing ahead of George Brennan, who had 754 wins. Tim Tetrick (746), Dave Palone (698) and George Napolitano, Jr. (540) followed. Noble scored 56% of his yearly win tally at Northfield, topping the local driver standings by an authoritative margin. With 436 victories, his nearest competitor was Ryan Stahl, who drove 283 winners. Kurt Sugg (252), Wyatt Irvine (223) and Aaron Merriman (196) completed the top five. Winning Northfield's title was not Noble's only accomplishment in 2011. He also claimed the dash titles at Scioto Downs, The Red Mile and Lebanon Raceway's spring meet. Noble's busy 2011 season meant a lot of travel. "It was a long year to pursue the dash title, but I'm really glad I did it," Noble commented. Dan's father, Sam (Chip) Noble III, who was the national UDRS driving champion in 1978, 1981 and 1983, had the joy of witnessing his son's feat before his death from cancer in January of this year. Northfield Park's Wall of Fame Banquet is a triennial event. Candidates are nominated and considered by the Wall of Fame Trustees: Tom Aldrich, Vice-Chairman of Milstein Entertainment; Jerry Knappenberger, General Manager of the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association; Ayers Ratliff, Northfield Park Director of Racing Communications and Assistant Director of Racing. Once a consensus is reached among the trustees, additional input and final approval is sought from the Wall of Fame Advisory Committee consisting of Scott Cox, Northfield Park OHHA Track Director; Amy Hollar, Northfield Park OHHA Track Representative; Tye Loy, 2010 Wall of Fame Inductee; Kent Sherman, Trainer/Driver At Large OHHA Board Member; Clair Unholtz, 2004 Wall of Fame Inductee; Martin Wollam, 2010 Wall of Fame Inductee; Dave Bianconi, Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting; and Mike Colacarro, Northfield Park Assistant General Manager. Other presentations at the August 10th event will be made to the Class of 2013 Wall of Fame Inductees, the Distinguished Owner, and the winners of the John Lee Good Fellowship, Willie C. Banks Ideal Employee, and Outstanding Caretaker Awards. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

With the passing of founder Bill Perretti earlier this year, the future of one of harness racing's most successful breeding farms is uncertain. The 700 acres that were once populated by mares and foals that won racing classics are now empty; parcels of the preserved farmland are likely to be sold in the coming months. Offers have been made on certain properties and the executors of the estate will continue to receive and review offers from any interested parties. Most of the farm's mares and yearlings have been sold and 29-year-old Matt's Scooter, the stallion who has contributed so much to the sport and made his home at Perretti Farm for 25 years, died June 30th. However, all farm properties are being maintained with the high standards set by Mr. Perretti, every inch of the farm properties precisely mowed, painted and shined. Visitors during Hambletonian week are invited to tour the showcase farm in Cream Ridge, N.J. Stroll the grounds and see our beautiful barns and dressage arena. Visit the stalls of leading stallions Rocknroll Hanover, Muscles Yankee, Matt's Scooter, Windsong's Legacy and others. Take a guided tour, get an update on our active stallions Lucky Chucky and Muscles Yankee, enjoy a cool snack and view our collection of Hambletonian and stakes race memorabilia recording the legacy of Perretti Farms. Visitors can take home a Perretti Farms hat as a memento of their visit. Both the late Matt's Scooter and Hambletonian heat-winner Winky's Gill, still living at the farm at age 34, are featured in the book, Standardbred Old Friends, which will be on sale at the farm on open house days. Visitors are welcome from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, Thursday, July 31 and Friday, Aug. 1, in the week leading up to the Hambletonian. Please contact the farm to arrange your visit. Our office number is 609-259-7555 or email nicolaa@perretti.com. We also are available to show the properties to any interested purchaser at other times and dates by special appointment. For more information about Perretti Farms please visit our website and view our slide show at www.perretti.com. Submitted by Perretti Farms

BEDFORD PA - There is a white wall against the outside backstretch fence at the half-mile oval in Bedford PA, and it says "Bedford Speedway" - appropriate, because much of the year the facility is used for auto racing. But the term "Speedway" certainly was also appropriate this past Monday and Tuesday, when horsepower of a different type - Pennsylvania trotters and pacers racing over the Bedford oval - was featured: --The all-time track trotting mark of 2:00.4 was set by the 3YO Faust, and a 2PG named Gordo was shocking in authoring a 1:57 win, only 2/5 off both the national season's record and the all-time Bedford pace standard; --Nine divisional track records were written - three of which not lasting two hours before being eclipsed; --Seven of the eight PA Fair Season's Leaders resulted from the two-day session, as did the first six 2:00 miles of the year on the twicearound circuit. Tuesday's highlight was the recordsetting 2:00.4 effort of the Glidemaster gelding Faust in the final division of the 3TC Fair Sires event for trainer Jim Raymer and the Harbor Racing Stable LLC of the noted harness racing hotbed of Texas. In that race, Fly Past Hanover and the fair season's leading driver Steve Schoeffel had carved splits of 29.2, 1:01.2, and 1:30.3, but in the stretch Faust "used the passing lane," squeezing through inside of the frontstepper to render a nose decision Ironically, Fly Past Hanover's stablemate in the Bill Daugherty Jr. barn, Broadway Charm, had lowered the local all-time trot standard to 2:01.2 30 minutes earlier, beating by a tick the old mark of Super Fellow, in a 3TC Fair Sire Stakes division a half-hour earlier. The track standard for 3TF was also rewritten twice on Tuesday, and for both fillies, it was their second rewriting of a divisional standard this summer. First up was The Yankees Win, who took a Quaker State event in 2:03 for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer, knocking a full second off the record set last year by Homepage and Chrissie O. But later Bessie, in rein to owner/trainer Dave Brickell, would do even better, winning in the Sire Stakes in 2:02.3. Fastest of the three-year-old pacers was gelding Spot Lauxmont, who even trainer Ted Williams thought would not have been among the favorites were there pari-mutuel wagering. But "Spot" teamed with 21-year-old driver Shawn Johnston, himself eligible for the "nw 12 races lifetime" class, to get a 1:57.3 victory in a Sire Stakes heat. FINISHING LINES - Following up on Gordo, the 2YO who paced Bedford in 1:57 on Monday: he is a gelding, something not clear in all editions of yesterday's story; and his time made him co-equal fastest 2YO ever at a Pennsylvania fair, with Dixie Pride and Shu Hanover (both on the same 2003 day at Bloomsburg) and Evening Shadows (2010 at Port Royal) ... There are now two ways for fans to see Gordo - he'll be in the race right after The Adios this Saturday, in an Arden Downs stake ... ...and you can see his 1:57 mile on YouTube, as the crack Zidek videography crew was at the Bedford fairgrounds for this week's action.  The fair circuit now sets up shop at the Clearfield Fair for four days of action starting at noon each day. Clearfield is trying a Sunday through Wednesday schedule for its harness program this year ... and if you're going to the Adios, Clearfield is only 138 miles away ... From the PA Harness Horsemen's Association

Batavia, NY- As Batavia Downs kicks off its 2014 live racing season tonight, the best of the resident distaff congregation takes main stage as both feature races focus on the best local mares from both gaits. The evening's first race is a $7,500 mares Open trot that has seven going postward. The 2-1 morning line favorite is Fiorentina. This 5-year-old Angus Hall mare has been facing the boys each week in Open company at the recently concluded Buffalo Raceway meet and has been no worse than third in her four most recent starts. However you have to go back to February 28 to find the last time she has won a race. That said, competing within her peer group tonight will provide some welcomed class relief for this outing. Fiorentina, who is conditioned by the Downs defending training champion John Mungillo, has three wins in 12 starts for the year with a mark of 1:58.3 at Buffalo. She drew post two and has Truman Gale in the bike. Stormont O My has the rail and a 3-1 second choice designation. This classy 10-year-old has been racing mostly in claiming races this year, winning her last start handily in 1:59.4 with a $12,500 price tag. She has raced in Open class company twice at Buffalo and faced Fiorentina both times. On April 18 Stormont O My was second, finishing ahead of Fiorentina who was third and on January 23 she was also second, only behind Fiorentina who won that race. Stormont O My is trained by Darrin Monti and is co-owned and driven by Drew Monti. She has four wins in 15 starts this year with her best winning effort of 2014 coming just last week. In the night's featured sixth race, seven starters will line up in the mares Open pace to compete for the winner's share of $9,500. The 5-2 odds maker's choice is Bazooka Terror, who hails from the barn of local newcomer Leonard Segall. This 5-year-old Western Terror has been competing most recently at Scarborough Downs in Maine and had a 1:56.2 win in the top mares class there three starts ago. After finishing second at that level once again, she was dropped to a lower condition where she dominated the field and registered a 1:54.2, nine-length victory over the half-mile track. She took her lifetime mark of 1:52.1 at Tioga Downs on June 6 of this year and has registered three wins in her last five starts. Bazooka Terror has been overcoming outside posts in seven of her last eight starts and gets some inside relief tonight from post three. She also gets the services of defending Batavia Downs dash winning driver Shawn McDonough. Her main rival in the race is the 3-1 second choice, Case Solved. This recent addition to the Adam Short stable has been impressive locally since coming in from Hoosier Park in Indiana. After winning her initial start at Buffalo for her new connections in an uncontested 1:54.2 wire-to-wire romp, Case Solved moved into the mares Open ranks and finished a narrowly beaten second two consecutive times. Driver Ray Fisher Jr. will pick up the lines once again and look to allay those back to back defeats this week. Post time for the 12 race card is 6:35. Opening night will also feature two giveaways for the fans on hand. Free Batavia Downs racing programs and magnetic schedules with be distributed to all in attendance, as long as supplies last. For more racing information or to watch race replays as soon as they are declared official, logon towww.bataviadonwsgaming.com. Or if you would like to bet online and watch live streaming coverage of the races as they occur, logon towww.bataviabets.comand open an account. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

When Diamond Tiara scored her 17th victory at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday afternoon, July 22nd that total continues to lead all others in races won this year in North America. And quietly, without much fanfare, Shortest Distance's 15th seasonal victory,,also on the Tuesday card, positions her a clear second on the North America leaderboard in races won in 2014. "One of our highlights last year was keeping track of Tracys Song as she kept piling up wins and now this year we have two pacers who are one-two in races won on the continent," noted Eric Warner the tracks senior director of racing. "And again this year it's the girls (mares) making all the news." Warner's comments are quite accurate where Diamond Tiara is concerned. The 7 year old daughter of McArdle-A Diamond In June has headlined many a story coming from the Mighty M this year. She was claimed from Philip Schultz for $9,000 by on June 16 by Al Annunziata and the following week Schultz claimed her back for the same price. But Schultz didn't have her long because Annunziata claimed her back again for $9,000 on June 30. During that three week stretch Diamond Tiara won twice and finished second when claimed on June 16. After throwing a clunker in her race on July 8 where she was beaten 24 lengths and finished last, Annunziata's Diamond Tiara bounced back on Tuesday (July 22) and wired the field in a season's equaling 1:55.2. Asked what happened to Diamond Tiara when she was beaten so badly on July 8, Annunziata explained: "Even though we stepped her up in class I knew there was something wrong with her.We had her scoped and found out she was full of mucus which tremendously hampered her breathing. I had the vet(veterinarian) work on her and today she was her old self and wired the field like she also did." Bruce Aldrich Jr. was at the lines for Annunziata and he sent Diamond Tiara to the front and she paced through fractions of :28.1, 58.1; 1:27.2 being shadowed closely by Mike Merton with Get Your Own. They were on Aldrich's back as the field headed for home but when Aldrich asked for more, Diamond Tiara kicked in and opened up daylight and paced a :28 final stanza en route to a three length triumph in 1:55.2. "She's (Diamond Tiara) got her issues," Aldrich admitted, "but when she gets to the top of the stretch on the lead she fights hard to win. And, as you have seen this year, she usually does (win)." In 24 seasonal starts Diamond Tiara has won 17 times and has three second and three thirds and has bankrolled $29, 311. Before Diamond Tiara was claimed from Annuniziata by Philip Schultz, Mike Watson had been her trainer. On July 7, with Watson's guidance, Schultz took Shortest Distance from Annunziata for $6,000 in a claiming race.. While racing for Annunziata, Shortest Distance had 14 wins in 23 starts and her first start for Watson and Schultz she finished fourth in a 1:56.4 mile with a $9,000 claiming tag. But yesterday (July22) Shortest Distance took home all the money racing with a $6,000 claiming price. Watson's driver of choice, Jimmy Taggart, Jr. was at the lines and they wired the field and with a gritty :28 last quarter held off hold Midnight Mass and Zeke Parker by a head in a time of 1:56.3. By the way, Taggart drove Diamond Tiara to 15 of her victories when she was in Watson's barn. On Tuesday both Diamond Tiara ($5.40) and Shortest Distance ($3.40) were betting favorites in their races. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Three trotters from the sophomore class of 2010 have come online with their initial crops this year; Muscle Massive is standing at Hanover, Lucky Chucky at Winbak in New York and Holiday Road in Ontario. Pilgrim’s Taj is a fourth, but he only spent one year in Canada, after which he was relocated to Ohio and ultimately exported to Finland. That being the case, we’ll look at the first three. To this point restricted races have provided the only basis for judging them, but the open portion of the season commences this week with elimination rounds for the Peter Haughton and Merrie Annabelle at the Meadowlands as well as several splits of the Arden at The Meadows. Much of the focus has been on Muscle Massive and Lucky Chucky, beneficiaries of generous state bred programs who finished one-two in the Hambletonion. The former was a $450,000 yearling who was lightly raced at two but managed to win the Hambletonion as well as the Dancer at three, while Chucky was a precocious freshman, showing wins in the Valley Victory, Matron, ISS and Bluegrass. He was the 3/2 favorite in the Hambletonion and appeared on his way to victory when 6/1 Muscle Massive, piloted by Ron Pierce, ruined his day. Regardless, Chucky did win the Canadian Trotting Classic and Colonial at three, and he earned more money than Muscle Massive both years. Both sold close to seventy yearlings last year, with Chucky’s brood averaging quite a bit more. Both have seen their stud fees fluctuate before their first crops hit the track. Muscle Massive started at $10,000, only to have his fee cut to $7,500 and $6,000 in successive years. Cantab Hall, Donato Hanover, Andover Hall and Explosive Matter all command higher fees than their younger stablemate at Hanover. Chucky, on the other hand, started at $7,500 in New York, was dropped to $5,000 during a year spent in Pennsylvania, and came back up to $7,500 when he returned to Winbak, where nineteen-year-old Muscles Yankee stands for $2,500 more. Muscle Massive has benefited from the success of his older brother, Muscle Mass, sire of O’Brien winner Riveting Rosie and the successful OSS colt Muscle Matters. Thus far Muscle Massive has given us some outstanding fillies. Gatka Hanover, a big rugged gal out of the Conway Hall mare Girlie Tough, from the Ron Burke barn, has left many wondering where her ceiling is. Gatka rolled through a couple of baby races and has now chalked up three wins in the PA Sire Stakes, one each at The Meadows, Pocono and Harrah’s. Matt Kakaley steered her to an effortless four length win in 1:57 in her latest. She leaves from the five for Matt K in Friday’s first Merrie Annabelle elimination. Gatka takes on Lucky Chucky’s daughter, Lock Down Lindy, who drew plenty of attention with a very strong first over win in a Merrie Annabelle Prep at the Meadowlands Friday for Scott Zeron and Tony Alagna. Another Muscle Massive star in the making is Jimmy Takter’s Speak To Me, an $80,000 Harness Breeders purchase by Myron Bell. She is also three-for three in the PA Sire Stakes and has trotted in 1:55. Last time out, in a $57,000 sire stakes division at Harrah’s, Speak To Me gapped the field by ten on her way to an easy win at a stingy 1/5 price. Unfortunately this filly was not staked to the Merrie Annabelle and will be missing from the fray on Friday night. Blessings Counted is another talented filly by Muscle Massive. She was second to Speak To Me in a PASS race at The Meadows a couple of weeks ago and won a $57,000 race at Harrah’s in her latest start. She is not eligible to the Merrie Annabelle but is entered in a split of the Arden at The Meadows on Friday. Missive and Youth Gone Wild, both winners in the Stallion Series, will also race in the Arden. Jersey Strong, a talented filly with a win in the PA All Stars and a second in the PASS, isn’t entered at The Meadowlands or The Meadows on Friday. The top colt by Muscle Massive is Ake Svanstedt’s Lima Pride, who beat Jimmy Takter’s 1/9 favorite The Bank in a split of the Hickory Pride when The Bank went on a run at the three-quarters. Lima Pride, a $25,000 yearling purchase, was not nominated to the Peter Haughton. The priciest freshman trotter by any first crop stallion is Mr Lucky Luke, a $450,000 Lucky Chucky half- brother to Muscle Massive, Muscle Mass and 2010 Merrie Annabelle winner, Thatsnotmyname. The Cancelliere brothers, of Detour Hanover fame, purchased him at Lexington in the fall. He has yet to make a pari-mutuel start; let’s hope he generates a better ROI than Detour has. As for the Lucky Chucky colts and fillies that have raced, there is no eye popping Gatka Hanover out there, but there are plenty of good ones. I already mentioned Merrie Annabelle candidate Lock Down Lindy, who possesses the same rugged demeanor as Gatka. She is a half-sister to 2006 HOY in Canada, Majestic Son. He has sired Harper Blue Chip, Murmur Hanover and Charmed Life. Ray Schnittker has Gabe The Bear Dean, a $105,000 Harness Breeders buy, who has an impressive wire-to wire five length win in the NYSS at Buffalo. Jonas Czernyson has a few Lucky Chucky youngsters in his barn and he’s high on all of them. At the end of June Hot Start, a half-sister to Religulous, won a $27,000 NYSS split at Vernon Downs for Corey Callahan. Next time out, at Tioga, she cut most of the mile from the outside post only to lose to paternal sister My Twisted Sister, from the Paul Kelley barn. Hot Start is entered in the second Merrie Annabelle elimination on Friday. Nunkeri is another very promising Lucky Chucky filly from the Czernyson barn. She finished second to the Muscle Hill filly Josie’s Joy at the Meadowlands the other night, race timed in 1:57.2 as the second choice. Nunkeri won her start previous to that one, a $28,000 NYSS division at Tioga. George Ducharme’s sharp looking Conway Hall filly, Concentration, pressured her all the way home in a 1:59.3 mile. On the male side Mal and Janet Burroughs’ Mambo Blue Chip, a $40,000 Harness Breeders buy, won a $28,000 split of the NYSS in 1:57.2 at Tioga last time out. Holiday Road, a $115,000 yearling who is a full brother to Ken Warkentin, was lightly raced, making only ten lifetime stars. While staying on the track was an issue, speed wasn’t; he won the Peter Haughton at two and a split of the Dancer at three. He opened his stallion career for $4,500 at Seelster Farms and now stands for $3,500. This week the Holiday Roads started to turn heads and earn respect at Mohawk as they performed admirably on the various OSS platforms. John Bax’s Hemi Seelster was long and tough winning a Grassroots division in 1:58.4 at 2/1. It was noteworthy that the gelding engaged in a head to head battle the length of the stretch with Pilgrim’s Joy, a son of first crop stallion Pilgrim’s Taj. Tony Alagna’s filly Gee O’Keeffe logged a very strong second in a $53,000 OSS Gold leg at Mohawk for Jody Jamieson, losing a length to the highly regarded Kadabra filly Juanita’s Fury. And Keith Jones’ gelding, It’s Huw You Know, was an upset Grassroots winner in 2:00.3 on Monday at 75/1, paying $159.60. And Ontheroad De Vie made a very impressive brush on the back as he came from the 10 post to finish second for Rick Zeron in a Grassroots leg. The Holiday Roads are looking good. Rock N Roll Heaven and Sportswriter are lighting it up in the freshman pacing division, but it’s expected that the trotters will take a little longer to get their bearings and hit their stride. Muscle Massive, Lucky Chucky and Holiday Road will all be prospering when they do. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

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WASHINGTON, PA, July 24, 2014 — When trainer Jimmy Takter sends out Somewhere In L A in Saturday’s final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light at The Meadows, he’ll be gunning for the winner’s share of the $400,000 purse, of course. But there’s something more at stake for the Hall of Famer. It would be the third Adios final victory in the last six years for Takter, who won with Vintage Master in 2009 and again with Sunfire Blue Chip last year. That would leave him just one behind Billy Haughton and Brett Pelling, who top the list of Adios final training victories with four. And Takter figures to get many more opportunities to break their mark. Takter isn’t certain why he’s so successful in The Meadows’ signature race. “I don’t know, really,” he said. “The Adios is a great race, and it’s tough to win it. We race at The Meadows quite a bit, and it’s fun to go out there and win.” The owners of Somewhere in L A — J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable — acquired the son of Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A in mid-season from a group including trainer/breeder Bob McIntosh. So far, Takter likes what he sees. “He’s definitely a player,” Takter said. “He didn’t get good trips in a couple starts, but I know he can go. He’s a good, sound horse who’s raced every single week since I got him. I’m giving him just light work this week.” In his Adios elimination, Somewhere in L A exploded from well back when Brett Miller lowered his pull-down blinds, a device Takter added when the colt got “too grabby” with a blind bridle. “He raced well within himself that night,” Takter said. “It’s not easy at The Meadows sitting last and end up winning by 4 lengths.” But he warns not to expect miracles from the pull-down shades. “It normally helps the first or second start. Then they figure it out.” Miller will guide Somewhere In L A from post 5 while McWicked, the 7-5 morning line favorite, goes from post 2. Takter remains upbeat even while acknowledging how sharp McWicked is. “McWicked has been racing tremendous his last few starts. He’ll be tough to beat,” Takter said. “But the monkey’s on his back. If the trip works out, I have confidence my horse will be right there.” Saturday’s card gets underway at 12:20, with the Adios (race 12) set for approximately 4 PM. The blockbuster card features a total of six Grand Circuit stakes. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
Handicappers that closely follow the racing at Yonkers Raceway may have noticed a subtle change in the program information the last month. The morning line odds are now being prepared by a computerized program.   For the last three years, TrackMaster has been developing software to generate automated morning lines. In statistics compiled by TrackMaster, these automated lines have proven to be more accurate than the lines currently being used at most harness tracks   "While this has taken a substantial investment by TrackMaster and the USTA to build the automated line seamlessly into the eTrack race office system, it is of substantial benefit to racetracks and players," said David Siegel, TrackMaster President and Chief Executive Officer. "The lines are demonstrably more accurate in predicting what odds that the public ultimately dictate. Additional benefits include a uniform and unbiased approach to the line, fast turnaround time, perfectly balanced lines, reliability and potential cost savings."   Yonkers Raceway continues its five day a week racing schedule with a 7:10pm first post on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Yonkers has requested permission from the New York Gaming Commission to offer day racing on Sundays beginning November 9 through the end of the meet on December 14. The Sunday racecards would replace Tuesday nights and would begin weekly simulcasting of Yonkers races into the French PMU markets in Europe.   From the SOA/NY
The talented 3-year-old trotter Madewell Hanover picked up his fourth straight win in the Wednesday featured, a trot for non-winners of $12,500 in their last 5 starts or non-winners of 7 pari-mutuel races. The heavy favorite coming in was another 3-year-old, Kelly Walker's Don Dorado. The Hambo hopeful brushed to the front past the opening quarter, and held the lead until the stretch. In the end however, it was Madewell Hanover out dueling Don Dorado in the final strides, closing home in 28.3, and completing the mile in 1:54.2, It was the seventh career win for Madewell Hanover, who is owned by trainer/driver Chris Ryder. Don Dorado held place, while long shot Sina closed for third. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia
WASHINGTON, PA, July 23, 2014 -- When Tall Cotton cut out a fast three-quarters in 1:23.4 in Wednesday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows, it seemed only a matter of time before the top trotters chasing him would gobble him up. They didn't, couldn't get anywhere near, in fact, and the timer told why. Tall Cotton blazed home for Tony Hall in 1:51.3, shattering the all-age trotting record at The Meadows. The previous mark of 1:52.2 was held jointly by Rembrandt Spur and Sharp Edge. Tall Cotton's fractions for the record mile were 27.1/55.3/1:23.4/1:51.3. Tall Cotton's stablemate, Cowgirl Hall, was 3 lengths back in second, with the first-over Trustworthy Kid third. Ron Burke trains Tall Cotton, an 8-year-old Revenue S-B Cor Peatra gelding who now boasts $576,831 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Edwin Gold and Howard Taylor. Dave Palone and Hall each drove three winners on the 15-race card. Live Adios Week racing at The Meadows resumes Friday with a program highlighted by a pair of Grand Circuit stakes -- the $80,000 Edward M. Ryan for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters and the $60,000 Judge Joe McGraw for freshman filly trotters. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
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