Day At The Track
Sparky Mark

$600,000 Governors Cup day at Harrington

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harrington Raceway hosted its annual Governor's Day harness racing card during the Delaware State Fair Thursday, featuring more than $600,000 in total purses over 13 races. The annual program is a focal point for many Delaware horsemen, as a showcase of The First State's top standardbreds as every horse on the program is either Delaware owned and/or Delaware bred. The coveted $40,000 Governor's Cup is a sought after title for older horses and was won for the second straight year by Foulk Stables' Sparky Mark ($45.80, Jon Roberts) via a pocket trip over Captive Audience and Tip It On Back. The 10-year-old Astreos stallion registered his 58th career win for trainer Trish Foulk. Governor John Carney was on hand to participate in the winner's circle ceremonies. Sparky Mark Four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund final races for 3-year-olds were much anticipated after two elimination legs were completed in June. Perhaps the most stirring finish came in the male pacing final as Bags To Riches ($8.20, Tim Tetrick) overcame an overland trip in which he was parked the mile to outlast Automatic Dragon and Daiymir. Trained by co-owner Jason Skinner for Only Money Inc., it was the seventh win of the year for the Roddy's Bags Again colt, who completed a sweep of DSBF final events this year. Bags To Riches Jo Ann Looney-King's Logan's Girl ($4.40, Victor Kirby) was an easy winner in the filly pacing final for trainer Jim King Jr. in 1:53.4. Spanish Dream was second with Lunar Phase third. A daughter of Roddy's Bags Again, "Logan" recorded her 13th lifetime win. The race honored the memory of the late Ben Stafford Jr., a well-liked Delaware horseman who passed away in 2016. Logan's Girl The filly trotting final, named the Jack Walls Memorial, was won in dominant fashion by Nanticoke Racing and Delbert Cain's Spoonful ($2.40, Corey Callahan) in 2:01.3 over Gogh Cinorita and Willow Mill Anna. Trained by Les Givens, the Political Briefing filly set all the fractions in her ninth career win, the 28th career DSBF final win for Givens. Walls was the former president of Harrington Raceway, who passed away in 2003. Spoonful Ben Brooks' Master Clave ($2.10, Ross Wolfenden) notched his 11th career win in the male trotting final for trainer John Wilkerson, who won two races on the program. The Master Lavec gelding took the lead in deep stretch to complete a sweep of 3-year-old DSBF finals. Command The Fire was second with Jiggs third. The race was named in memory of former trainer/driver Hal Belote, who was tragically killed in a racing accident. Master Clave Matthew Sparacino

Gelato Man

Regal Roxy, Major Millie win features

Regal Roxy (Shawn McDonough) would take the Fillies and Mare feature of the two harness racing co-features,Thursday night (July 27) at Vernon Downs. Regal Roxy (Stonebridge Regal) would have the lead at the first quarter but would yield to Major Millie (John MacDonald) before the first half. Major Millie (Art Major ) would then control the race all the way to the top of the stretch. Regal Roxy ($17.80) who is owned by Kathleen Lauer and trained by Misty Carey, would come out of the pocket in the stretch and wear down Major Millie (second) to win by a head in 1:54.1. Finishing third was E R Rhonda. Regal Roxy would pick up her fourth win on the season and her 20th career victory. The 13 year-old veteran Gelato Man (Chris Lems), would win the featured trot. Choke Hold (John MacDonald) would control the first half of the race with fractions of :27.1 and :57.2. Gelato Man (Incredible Abe) would work hard but eventually get the lead before the three-quarter mark. Owned and trained by Angus Macdonald, the gelding would hold off a late drive by Yankee Manny (Fern Paquet Jr.) to win the mile in 1:56.1. Yankee Manny (Yankee Glide) would settle for second best. Engagedatlexington (Jimmy Whittemore) finished third. Choke Hold ($7.30) would win his fifth time this season and would notch his 56th lifetime win. Vernon Downs returns to live action with another eight race card Friday night (July 28) starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs.

Caviart Caterina

New marks for all three victors

Plainville, MA---A trio of $14,000 condition races, two on the pace and one on the trot, headlined the Thursday afternoon (July 27) harness racing card at Plainridge Park and those races produced new marks for all three victors. In the $14,000 fillies and mares pacing feature, Caviart Caterina (Michael Stevenson) made it three wins in her last four starts by coming first-over from seventh to be parked-out the last half and get up to win by a neck 1:52, which was a new lifetime mark for the mare. Caviart Caterina ($14.80) raised her 2017 income to $77,465 for owner Joe Pisarski and trainer Robert Marston. The next $14,000 conditioned pacing event went to Prince Aston (Scott Renz) who was making his first start for new connections after being claimed last week. Prince Aston got away mid-pack before pulling past the half and closing strong to win by two-lengths in 1:51.3, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. Prince Aston ($29.20) registered his third victory of the year, but first for new owner Jeffery Kaylor and his trainer, Joe Therrien. Finally, the $14,000 trotting feature was captured by Trotalot (Chris Long) who had strung three consecutive wins together before breaking last week. Trotalot got a perfect two-hole trip behind Waiting On A Woman (Shawn Gray) before overtaking the leader down the stretch and pulling away to a five-length victory in 1:55, which was a new lifetime mark for the 10-year-old gelding. It was the sixth win of the year for Trotalot ($12.00) who is owned and trained by James Dunn. Michael Stevenson registered the driving grand-slam on Thursday while Chris Long finished the day with a double. Trainer Robert Marston also sent to horses to the winner's circle. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 28) and features the $250,000 Spirit Of Massachusetts Trot. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m. Estimated post time for the feature race in 6:40 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park

Hannah Miller

NAADA summer trotting series

Guess what? Hannah Miller won again today. This time she copped the final leg of the harness racing NAADA summer trotting series which was presented at Monticello Raceway on a muggy Thursday afternoon (July 27). She guided the veteran Pine Tab to a gate to wire victory in a 1:58.4 clocking and with that triumph she finished with the highest points total in the eight race event where races were presented at both Monticello and Yonkers Raceways. And she'll undoubtedly be the one to beat in the upcoming $15,000 series finale which is slated to go to post at the Westchester(NY) oval on August 4. In today's $5000 contest Hannah made easy work of it after sending Pine Tab to the lead from the six-hole and taking command on the first turn. From there the talented miss and her trusty steed cruised past the first stanza in:29.3 and they were three lengths to the good as they journeyed by the halfway point in 1:00 flat. However, as Pine Tab approached the three quarters he had company. As Hannah explained: "When the gate sprung my horse (Pine Tab) left strong and we crossed over on the first turn. From there we were on cruise control until the three quarters when Paul Minore's trotter (Wygant Prince) joined us but my guy dug in and he held tough all the way through the lane." At the wire Pine Tab was a 1-1/2 length victor over Wygant Prince. Eight lengths in the rears in third place was Zorgwijk Impact in rein to Joe Pennacchio. Trained by Nick Surick, Pine Tab paid just $3.00 for win. It was the trotter's fourth seasonal triumph and for Ms Miller her 16th driving victory of the season to go along with 11 seconds and five thirds for a whopping .466 UDR. Meanwhile in Italy, a four-man NAADA team, led by president Joe Faraldo and joined by Alan Schwartz, Tony Verruso and Tony Ciuffettelli were competing in the USA-Italy Friendship Competition and as of this writing the American team is on the short end of the points totals. By John Manzi for NAADA

Scarborough, Maine - July 27, 2017 ... Alittlebithiphop continued to waltz through his sophomore campaign on Thursday (7/27) as the Maine-bred juggernaut posted his sixth win from six seasonal starts, while dominating the harness racing competition in a $10,328 division of the Maine Sire Stakes program at Scarborough Downs. Driver Eddie Davis, Jr, who once again occupied his usual seat behind the son of Baron Biltmore-PowderHanover, guided his charge confidently to the lead while reaching the half-mile marker in a rather pedestrian 1:01.1 clocking. The turbo jets were then engaged as the pacer effortlessly shifted gears through a torrid .57 back half before stopping the clock at the wire timed in 1:58.1. The streaking Alittlebithiphop is trained by James Smallwood for owner Diane Bryant. Princeoftheforest (H. Campbell) recovered from back-to-back disastrous performances to grab the runner-up share, while Mic Woodrow (D. Campbell) finished an aggressive third. Maine Sire Stakes action returns to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/30) afternoon as the three-year-old filly pacing division takes center stage. Scarborough Downs is pleased to present twilight harness racing cards on a Thursday and Saturday schedule at 4:30 PM (EDT) with the Sunday matinee heading to post at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Rainbow Pick 5, offered on the last 5 races of each night, is now at a jackpot of $126,965.44 going into the Saturday, July 29th harness racing card. The wager has become extremely popular, and even though there can be only one winner to claim the large jackpot, and even though bettors may think it is difficult to hit, in the last week alone, there have been occasions, going into the last race, where some lucky fan just missed winning the large jackpot.  On one race night, there was one live ticket, and that bettor’s winning horse came in 2nd.  Another race night, we had five different horses live in the last race, and the horse that won the race only had two live tickets. Fans who are picking all five winners have been winning attractive consolation jackpots. The Rainbow Pick 5 will be races 10-14 on Saturday night, and is a twenty cent wager with a 15% takeout.  Plans for a mandatory payout are in the works, and will be announced when a decision has been made. Racing continues at the track in Northeast PA in Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday with a Post Time of 6:30PM; and Sunday nights at 7:30PM.  On September 4th, Mondays move to 4:30PM Post. Jennifer Starr – The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono

Pinkman returns to harness racing action for the first time in nearly 10 months on Friday, facing five foes in the preferred handicap at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The 5-year-old gelding, whose last visit to the winner's circle at the Big M followed his victory in the 2015 Hambletonian, was absent because of surgery to correct chronic throat issues. "I'm excited to have him back," trainer Jimmy Takter said. "He's probably the most low-profile top horse I've ever had. I think if he gets back to what he's supposed to be, everyone knows he's a heck of a tough horse. He's got it. "It's great to have him racing again." Pinkman, a son of Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster, received divisional Dan Patch awards at ages 2 and 3 and also was 2015 Trotter of the Year. He won 17 of 25 races and earned $2.45 million during his first two seasons, highlighted by his 3-year-old campaign in 2015 that produced victories in the Hambletonian, Canadian Trotting Classic, Kentucky Futurity, and Beal and Zweig memorials. Last year Pinkman won a Group 2 race for 4-year-olds in Sweden, but was winless in six U.S. starts. He last raced in early October. "He basically missed all his 4-year-old season," Takter said. "It is what it is. But his throat looks better now. Knock on wood, so far it seems like everything is working. We took our time with him. There's no rush. I want to be careful. No matter where you go, these races are hard." Pinkman is 5-1 on the morning line for Friday's race at the Meadowlands. Tuonoblu Rex, who has won four of six races in the U.S. since arriving from Europe, is the 2-1 favorite. Flanagan Memory, the 2016 Breeders Crown Open Trot winner, is the 5-2 second choice. Completing the field are Dayson, Muscle Diamond, and Lookslikeachpndale. "He's a big track horse so we're going to try to find the right races for him," said Takter, who trains Pinkman for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. "If he is good enough by October, he could go to the Breeders Crown. That's the goal, but that's a long way down the road. We'll see how he does Friday." Ken Weingartner

Dan Patch Award winner Walner will not race in the upcoming Hambletonian Stakes because of a minor injury, harness racing trainer Linda Toscano said Thursday, five days before entries are due for the sport's premier event for 3-year-old trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Toscano said the injury was not career threatening, but there was no timetable for Walner's return. Walner was unbeaten in two races this year. In his most recent start, Walner won a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial in a stakes-record 1:50.2 at the Meadowlands on July 15. The victory pushed his win streak to seven races dating back to September, with all of the wins by a minimum of three lengths. For his career, the colt has won nine of 10 starts and earned $567,652 for owner Ken Jacobs. Tim Tetrick has driven Walner in all his races. "We have to do what is best for the horse," Toscano said. "He's special. I can't do anything that might hurt him. I can't take a chance. We talked about it and collectively made the decision. It is what it is." Entries for the Hambletonian (Open) are due by 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, at the Meadowlands Race Office (877-782-2537 or Canada 201-460-4000.) The post position draw for the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks will be DIGITAL STREAMING ONLY at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, on the Meadowlands Facebook page and YouTube channel. Ken Weingartner

WASHINGTON, PA, July 27, 2017 -- As a Hall of Fame, high-profile harness racing trainer, it's hard for Jimmy Takter to fly under the radar. Yet that's exactly what he's done with Blood Line, who'll compete in Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows. Blood Line goes from post 8 with Mark MacDonald at the helm. The final anchors a blockbuster Adios Day Card that features six Grand Circuit stakes. First post is noon while the Adios goes as race 11 at approximately 4 PM. Takter won the Adios with Vintage Master (2009) and again with Sunfire Blue Chip (2013). For all that, Blood Line, a homebred son of Somebeachsomewhere-Blood Diamond for Diamond Creek Racing, was dismissed at 13-1 in his Adios elimination. After leaving for early position, he shot the Lightning Lane and missed upsetting heavily favored Huntsville by a neck. Blood Line has won only once this year -- a Pennsylvania Sires Stake split at Harrah's Philadelphia -- but finished second to Huntsville in a Meadowlands Pace elimination before breaking stride in the final. "I don't know what happened that day, but he wasn't far off there," Takter said. "He's a good horse, and if he steps up, he'll be a pretty solid horse." Takter knows that Blood Line, 12-1 in the morning line, must step it up now if he's to defeat Fear The Dragon and Huntsville, the No. 1- and No. 2-rated Standardbreds in North America. "If those two horses are in 100 percent form, without a doubt, they're a little better," he acknowledged. "But horses are flesh and blood. They can take so much and after a while, some of them go a little backwards." He also knows that Blood Line's upset chances took a blow when he drew outside. "If you have to have post 8, The Meadows is probably the best place to draw it because of the slanted starting gate," he said. "This horse has tremendous gate speed; I'm sure Mark will give him a try and leave with him. But if he goes a 26 quarter, he'll pay for it at the end of the mile." Takter indicated Blood Line is eligible for most of the late-season stakes, including the Little Brown Jug. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Trenton, NJ --- As a father of two, Staffan Lind knows about raising kids; which makes him qualified to assess that training a harness racing 2-year-old colt trotter like Captain Morgan is comparable in certain ways. Captain Morgan is racing in one of two eliminations of the Peter Haughton Memorial Friday night (July 28) at the Meadowlands. The top five finishers from each race advance to the final on Hambletonian Day (Saturday, Aug. 5), at the Big M. “It’s a challenge with 2-year-olds, but when you come this far, it’s basically like having your own kid at graduation,” Lind said. “You try to make improvements in helping them along. It’s similar with dealing with kids, they need the help and you appreciate the maturation as they get better. “There’s a lot of unknown, but that’s the beauty of it too. I think most guys that develop young horses, it’s everything from finding them at the sale and developing them, and trying to figure out which is the best way forward with him.” Lind owns a share of the horse, which was purchased for $47,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, with Bender Sweden Inc., Roy Holth, and KemppiSuojalampiStable. By Cantab Hall out of Muchness, his original name was Muchadoaboutnothin. But Staffan and Marie Lind felt that a nice glass of rum is much to do about somethin’ and renamed him Captain Morgan. “We were actually talking about naming a horse that,” Staffan said. “That’s my wife’s favorite drink. I like it too. We knew we had to have a good horse to give it that name.” And Lind thinks he has a good one, as this relationship was love at first sight. “I liked this horse from the moment I saw him at the farm in Kentucky,” the trainer said. “I was doing my homework in Kentucky before the sale, it was one of the horses that really jumped out that I liked. Going into the sale I knew that I would try to get him. He’s a big, good-looking horse that I see a lot of potential in. “I liked his build and his gait; the way he was moving in the field and on the video. He reminded me a lot of Billy Flynn, another colt that we had some success with in the past.” Captain Morgan has done little to dismiss those thoughts through his first three starts, where he collected a first and a third with Brett Miller in the sulky. The horse won his debut in a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars, but made a break in his next race (a PA Sire Stakes event) and finished third in his most recent, also in PASS company. Lind said of his victory, “He was good, he was up front all the time. He just did what he needed to do to win that day.” Things were going well in the second start until he broke. “He left the gate really good and Brett said once he got to the front he kind of relaxed and slowed down by himself; so he kind of lost focus there,” Lind said. “He did that in one of his qualifiers too. You have to keep him on his mind a little bit, but after that he’s usually very fast. “He’s like most 2-year olds, He’s developing as we go, it’s very hard to know who’s going to jump up more than others. I believe because of his size it should be beneficial to be on the big track (this week at the Meadowlands).” One thing the horse does not lack is the art of conversation. He’s one of those animals who’s already worldly at age 2. “He’s a big talker, but he never does anything wrong,” Lind said. “He wants to keep the conversation going with everybody, he’s a very friendly horse and nice to be around. He’s a sweetheart. He never minds his work and he knows everything about life at this point.” Lind is optimistic heading into the Haughton, noting that the horse has developed well in each start and trotted a solid 1:56.3 in his last start at Harrah's Philadelphia. “I think we have him set with the way we want him to race,” Lind said. “We have an outside post (six) but he’s good behind the gate. I think we can get into the top five.” In looking at the big picture, Lind said, “I think he’s a Grand Circuit horse for sure. He’s good sized, I think at this point he hasn’t reached his potential, I think he’s going to improve as we go along.” And if Captain Morgan does well this weekend, perhaps the Linds will celebrate with a yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum? “We will, for sure,” Staffan said with a laugh. For the complete entries for the Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations, click here. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

The Meadowlands - As the 2017 Championship Meet at The Meadowlands draws to it's August 5 conclusion, the harness racing stakes action increases to a fever pitch.   Friday night brings with it elimination races for the track's top freshman trotting races, the Peter Haughton and Jim Doherty Memorials.   The Peter Haughton drew fourteen declarations, necessitating a pair of seven colt elims, the first of which comes in race six while the Doherty fillies number 16 and race in the ninth and tenth.   Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter has entered six of his freshmen trotters in the Haughton and sends out the top three morning line choices in the first division, led by the $350,000 Muscle Hill yearling purchase You Know You Do. The colt breezed through his Meadowlands morning trials and a PA All Stars division before tasting defeat in a PASS at Harrah's in his latest start.   You Know You Do races for the partnership of Howard Taylor, Order By Stable, Bud Hatfield, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld and leaves form the rail for driver Yannick Gingras.   The second division (race eight) contains a really talented bunch of trotting colts that include NJSS champ You Need Stones from the Ronnie Burke barn and PASS winner Met's Hall, the slight ML choice for the Millers.   You Need Stones had his way with three other Jersey-breds throughout the sparsely attended sires stakes but he did that in very impressive fashion. He trotted to a fast 1:55.2 in each of his last two starts with 27 and change last quarters in both, compelling his connections to take a crack against open company. You Need Stones gets introduced to a new driver in Tim Tetrick on Friday and starts from post six for owner / breeders Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Larry Karr.   Met's Hall has also won all of his races, including two stakes in Pennsylvania the most recent in track record time of 1:55.1 at Harrahs. The sharp looking Cantab Hall colt is owned by Stroy Inc and the Andy Miller Stable, trained by Julie and driven by Andy Miller.   Trainer George Ducharme has enjoyed remarkable success with trotters including a Hambletonian win in 2013 with Royalty For Life. This year George brings his filly Hey Livvy to The Meadowlands as the favorite in the first Doherty division (race nine). She's a speedy Donato Hanover lass the Ducharme and long-time owner (and a partner on Royalty For Life) Paul Fontaine paid the bargain price of $35,000 for at the Lexington sales last fall. Brian Sears drives Hey Livvy from post six.   Takter and Gingras team up again in the second Doherty split with the unbeaten Muscle Hill filly Manchego (PP #2). In a field of fast, talented fillies Manchego is the fastest thus far with a 1:54.4 win a PA Sires action at Pocono. She's been perfect through all five of her public appearances for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman but faces her toughest test to date on Friday.   The top five official finishers from all eliminations will move on to next week's rich finals on Hambletonian Day.   The undercard has several interesting contests led by a powerful field of Open trotters in race two that includes the return of 2015 Hambletonian winner Pinkman, 2016 Breeders Crown champ Flanagan Memory and speedy import Tuonoblu Rex as they prepare for the upcoming Cashman Memorial.   Open pacing mares are also on the card in anticipation of the Lady Liberty stake. Golden Girls winner Nike Franco N leads seven others in the $20,000 seventh race.   Just when it seemed things just couldn't get any better they did with Friday's Christmas In July promotion where gift cards will be awarded to lucky sweepstakes winners.   For the horseplayer Friday is a "Must Pay" night on the fifth race Jackpot Super Hi 5 carryover of $35,864. For the uninitiated that translates to a $35,864 head-start in that pool which will grow quickly with new money.   Post time is 7:15 p.m.   Nick Salvi

Plainville, MA---Ten prominent national harness racing analysts and handicappers have weighed in on who they believe will win the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts trot to be held at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 28). Post time for the first race Friday is 4 p.m. Post time for the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot is estimated at 6:40 p.m. Please note that coverage and live streaming of the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot will be available Friday at DRF Harness (http://www.drf.com/harness) and at the Plainridge Park website (www.plainridgeparkcasino.com). Bob "Hollywood" Heyden, Hall of Fame Meadowlands statistician and handicapper 1-Hannelore Hanover was my vote for 2016 "Trotter of the Year" and is a touch better than last year and that is saying a ton. Remember, Moni Maker in 1998 was a 5-year-old and would win the first of two straight HOY titles, which has not been done since. This mare is very reminiscent of her and I think the boys will be in for a long afternoon. 8-Obrigado has the speed to negate the bad draw and is the most unheralded of the division winners of 2016 who raced at the Meadowlands on Pace night. The second richest gelding in the sport last year (WIJI), he's getting his sea legs and is the one to fear up front. 2-Crazy Wow joined the Burke Brigade after a strong 2-year-old season with Dan O'Mara which included a NYSS final win. He's the rare 3-year-old trotter to bank a MILLION without being Hambo eligible. He is a major threat. Ken Warkentin, Track Announcer at the Meadowlands 1-Hannelore Hanover is the current Queen of Trotting and has beaten the boys with regularity. She is fresh off a short-lived track record at the Big M and heads a formidable Burke duo from the rail. 2-Crazy Wow is the model of consistency this season. This versatile Burke trainee nailed Resolve in the Cleveland Classic, then freshened by equaling his mark of 1:51.1. He draws inside to stalk his stablemate. 6-Resolve was the decisive winner of the Cutler and just missed to Crazy Wow in the Cleveland Classic. This classy 6-year-old draws a demanding post off a tough trip from post eight at Yonkers. James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia Handicapper 6 - Resolve may have been defeated in four of his six races this year, but it's worth noting that two of those losses were to Bold Eagle and Timoko. In his narrow defeat to Crazy Wow at Northfield, this 6-year-old endured a first-over trip while Crazy Wow enjoyed a cozy pocket ride throughout. Despite last week's failed effort from post 8 at Yonkers, this one has impressed me most. 8 - Obrigado held his ground well under the pressure of Resolve over ten furlongs at Yonkers last week, only beaten by a neck in the end by a pair of late-emerging challengers. In their previous meeting, Resolve was just better despite a first-over push up the far side at Northfield. Given an abundance of pace in the race, this one has every chance to stay strong from the end with a more insulated journey. 1 - Hannelore Hanover has not only lost four of her last 25 races, but she's also won four straight, including the Armbro Flight at Mohawk and a scintillating 1:50.3 performance in her Miss Versatility preliminary at the Meadowlands nearly a fortnight ago. While she proved she can beat the boys at Hoosier last fall, this is her first such task of her 5-year-old season. That said, despite Crazy Wow's banner season thus far, I feel the mare is the stronger half of the Burke entry. Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications/USTA 1-Hannelore Hanover - After trainer Ron Burke said she wasn't as sharp as last year, Hannelore Hanover went a track-record 1:50.3 with a hand drive to win Miss Versatility division at Meadowlands. 6- Resolve - Got stuck leading the outside flow for nearly the entirety of 1-1/4 mile event last time out at Yonkers and should be a prime contender here. 5- Cufflink Hanover - Trying for some value here with a horse that was buried on the pylons in the stretch before fanning four wide and charging home to finish second to Marion Marauder in Hambletonian Maturity. Michael Carter, Co-Host of Post Time with Mike and Mike 1- Hannelore Hanover- Has been the dominate mare trotter and is back to take on the boys who she last defeated in the Centaur Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park. Her effort at The Meadowlands in the Ms. Versatility was a dominate one and I expect a fantastic trip from the rail for her. 8- Obrigado- He has done some fantastic things for trainer Paul Kelley in his career and I expect that to continue tonight. He draws a little tough towards the outside, but tends to grind away at the early pace and has been known to show a good amount of early speed from the outside. Expect him to be a part of the action. 2- Crazy Wow- Won his last pari-mutuel start at Northfield Park in the Cleveland Trotting Classic in World Record time. He draws well this week just to the outside of Hannelore Hanover. He can be a horse that can trip out and wait for the right moment to strike and that kind of trip could bode well for him here. Garnet Barnsdale, Woodbine/Mohawk Public Handicapper for DRF Harness 1- Hannelore Hanover has never been better, coming off a lifetime-best score to extend her winning streak to four. And while she faces all males here, Gingras will use the inside post to his advantage. She gets the nod. 6- Resolve is classy and consistent and he was victimized by a brutal trip last time at Yonkers. He should bounce back here. 2- Crazy Wow is having a sensational season so far and he is another strong contender that you must consider in this excellent field of aged trotters. Gabe Prewitt - Meadowlands/Red Mile TV Department 1-Hannelore Hanover would have been tough to tackle from any post, but the inside advantage is key. The lone mare is the one to beat! Lenny Calderone, Track Announcer at Plainridge Park 1-Hannelore Hanover has 30 wins in 46 career starts and $1.5 million in lifetime purse earnings and this trotting diva has done just about everything asked of her. Fresh off a dominating performance in a personal best 1:50.3 at The Meadowlands, Hannelore Hanover draws the rail and should be able to control her own destiny and beat the boys in the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot. 2-Crazy Wow turned in a giant winning qualifier six days ago at The Meadowlands following three week rest period and figures to be in the thick of it all from post two. 6-Resolve is as classy as they come. This 6-year-old son of Muscle Hill will depart from post six and may opt to come from off the pace and outkick rivals in the late going. Dave Brower, Meadowlands Race Analyst and Handicapper 1-Hannelore Hanover is the clear class of this bunch after her almost invincible looking efforts so far this year. From the rail, she'll have to push off strongly and allow only one horse by, if need be. 2-Crazy Wow is coming off a sensational qualifier which clearly shows he's back to top form. Given the right journey, he might even have a chance of upsetting the big mare! 3-J L Cruze hasn't had the best of seasons yet, but he plots for a good journey in here no matter what happens. He races just as well on the smaller tracks as the bigger ones and he can grind all day. He's hard to leave out. Gordon Waterston, Hall of Fame Associate Editor of the Horseman and Fair World 6-Resolve: There will be bunch busting out of there but when it settles down I look for Resolve to be the one in the best position and get the victory. 1-Hannelore Hanover: I have a hunch that Gingras will get away fourth or fifth but then will be able to put his mare in second-over position and get a nice trip 8-Obrigado: His gate speed will force the issue early and if MacDonald can work out the journey, he could be tough here.   By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park

The night of July 27th in northern Italy started off with the Italian team once again besting the Americans, scoring yet another victory. It came in the first event over Padova's half mile oval when Ortello Zorzetto piloted Urgara wire to wire which dashed hopes of any chance for team America. Aided by a teammate riding shotgun the Americans have yet to forego the individual sacrifice for a team effort, which is frowned upon by US regulators and bettors alike but seemingly acceptable on this side of the pond. Tony Ciuffetelli, the most consistent of the American team thus far, picked up a fourth place finish.in the first race. But depression was fast setting in. Then came the second chance in the next event and the least likely to emerge a winner after two horrible experiences the night before was the so called team leader, Joe Faraldo, who racketed a fractious Tieppo Mrs to the lead from her outside post at 21-1 and she never yielded and went on to win in 2:01:4.What was especially pleasing for Faraldo was that the fractious mare had made breaks in half of her previous 15 starts. According to Faraldo, " it was a long time since my first ever win with my P license which came here at this track, Padovanelle, 25 years ago with the horse Aggonismo from the stable of Mr. Valpo". Mario Greco the trainer and regular reinsman for Tieppo Mrs was shocked at Faraldo's win but very, very happy with the share of the win from his mare's most often unpredictability and her difficulty to drive, especially for an amateur. After his recent driving victory at Vincennes it was a little bit disquieting for Joe who claimed to get only wins across the pond . Alan Schwartz, got a taste of the Italian team racing as he was charging for second but got the tarantella from Team Italia pushing him so wide to rest second from his grasp and forcing him to to a third place finish. The evening ended with a visit from Walter Destro, the 15 year president of the Veneto club who started the friendship competition with The North American Amateur Drivers Association 25 years ago. That special treat and a super dinner at Villa D' Italia with Team Italia topped off a night when previously the US team was just treading water. Hopefully, Ciuffetelli,the most consistent point getter,will be picked up by Tony Verruso, Schwartz and Faraldo to pull the preverbal rabbit out of the hat. Tomorrow the American team meets the former Italian Champion Michele Canali and another team of Italian super amateurs at the beautiful Cesena racetrack by the sea. Frequented by large crowds, the Americans will need to be at their best and will need some bocca lupo for sure. by Joe Faraldo with assistance from John Manzi

Tropical Storm Bi (Yankee Glide) set a lifetime mark winning the Winners Over trot in 1:55 last week at Saratoga Raceway. On Wednesday night, the Tony Ciuffetelli-trained trotter was dismissed at odds of 5-1 as he looked to repeat with harness racing driver Jimmy Devaux in the sulky.  Devaux blasted Tropical Storm Bi off the car as the five year old flashed some uncharacteristic early speed. Fending off a few challengers along the way, Tropical Storm Bi stopped the timer in 1:57 to record his second of back-to-back jacks in the $12,500 feature. Mugshots Bro (Bruce Aldrich Jr) sat the pocket and finished second while longshot Silent Pine (Bruce Cooper) earned the show spot. Tropical Storm Bi returned $12.20 to win in his second consecutive victory. The win was one of four on the night for Devaux who is in the midst of a big month at the Spa. Aldrich piloted five winners on the Wednesday card. Live racing resumes on Friday evening with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

Batavia, NY---Ake Svanstedt put on a training and driving clinic in the $108,600 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing 2-year-old trotting fillies at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (July 26) winning all four divisions he competed in, going wire to wire with each and even equaling a track record with one. In the first $21,800 division, Fury Road (Muscle Mass-Bar Ballad) opened up a sixth-length lead at the quarter and never looked back. After setting almost equal fractions through the first three-quarters, she trotted home in :29.3 to score a seven-length, 2:00.1 victory. It was the first lifetime win for Fury Road ($2.80) after two second place finishes for owner Knuttson Trotting Inc. Next Svanstedt sent Natalie Hanover (Chapter Seven-Nanticoke Hanover) off the gate to lead the entire mile unchallenged to eventually win by three-lengths in 1:59.4, which shattered her previous lifetime mark of 2:04. That was the second lifetime tally in three tries for Natalie Hanover ($3.60) who is owned by the Svanstedt-Nasstrom Stable, the Van Camp Trotting Corp., Anders Olsson and Lars Berg. Lucky Ava (Lucky Chucky-Ava Marion) was the next stable star Svanstedt sent down the road, going in :29.1, :58.4 and 1:29 before trotting home to win in 1:59.3, which was another lifetime mark for the winner. Lucky Ava ($2.40) is now a perfect three-for-three lifetime for owners Ake Svanstedt, Little E LLC and the Van Camp Trotting Corp. Svanstedt's grand slam came when Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass) followed the script and chased the car off the wings. She opened up a three length lead setting quarters of :29.3, 1:00 and 1:29.4 before turning for home with a widening gap, stopping the clock in 1:59, which tied her lifetime best as well as the 7-year-old track record at Batavia Downs. Plunge Blue Chip ($2.10) is also undefeated lifetime with three consecutive wins so far this year for owners Ake Svanstedt and Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. In the only division Svanstedt did not start a filly, Missus Mia Wallace (Credit Winner-Upscale) overcame a break at the start to take the lead by the quarter and tour the facility unencumbered to win by two lengths in 2:02.2. It was the first lifetime win for Missus Mia Wallace ($12.80) that is owned by Connie Hochstetler, Robert Buddig and Allen Schwartz. Jim Morrill Jr. drove for trainer Homer Hochstetler. There were also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card. Barn Bliss (Credit Winner-Jupiter) won the first division in 2:04 to set a new lifetime mark. Barn Bliss ($5.90) is owned by Steve Pratt, Nancy Pratt, the Purple Haze Stable and the Out In The Country Stable. Jim Morrill Jr. drove for trainer Howard Okusko. In the second division, Miss Muscle (Muscle Mass-Pacific Edge) won by a mere head in 2:01.3 to win her first lifetime start for owners David Smith, John Stark Jr., James Gianuzzi and Daniel Gianuzzi. Miss Muscle ($13.80) was trained and driven by John Stark Jr. The final leg was won by Pittstop Emerald (R C Royalty-Nowerland Kristen) by a three-length margin in 2:00.2 which was a new lifetime mark in her second lifetime victory. Pittstop Emerald ($6.60) is owned and trained by Robert Gale and was driven by Chris Lems. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (July 28) with post time for the first race set at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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HARRINGTON, Del. - Harrington Raceway hosted its annual Governor's Day harness racing card during the Delaware State Fair Thursday, featuring more than $600,000 in total purses over 13 races. The annual program is a focal point for many Delaware horsemen, as a showcase of The First State's top standardbreds as every horse on the program is either Delaware owned and/or Delaware bred. The coveted $40,000 Governor's Cup is a sought after title for older horses and was won for the second straight year by Foulk Stables' Sparky Mark ($45.80, Jon Roberts) via a pocket trip over Captive Audience and Tip It On Back. The 10-year-old Astreos stallion registered his 58th career win for trainer Trish Foulk. Governor John Carney was on hand to participate in the winner's circle ceremonies. Sparky Mark Four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund final races for 3-year-olds were much anticipated after two elimination legs were completed in June. Perhaps the most stirring finish came in the male pacing final as Bags To Riches ($8.20, Tim Tetrick) overcame an overland trip in which he was parked the mile to outlast Automatic Dragon and Daiymir. Trained by co-owner Jason Skinner for Only Money Inc., it was the seventh win of the year for the Roddy's Bags Again colt, who completed a sweep of DSBF final events this year. Bags To Riches Jo Ann Looney-King's Logan's Girl ($4.40, Victor Kirby) was an easy winner in the filly pacing final for trainer Jim King Jr. in 1:53.4. Spanish Dream was second with Lunar Phase third. A daughter of Roddy's Bags Again, "Logan" recorded her 13th lifetime win. The race honored the memory of the late Ben Stafford Jr., a well-liked Delaware horseman who passed away in 2016. Logan's Girl The filly trotting final, named the Jack Walls Memorial, was won in dominant fashion by Nanticoke Racing and Delbert Cain's Spoonful ($2.40, Corey Callahan) in 2:01.3 over Gogh Cinorita and Willow Mill Anna. Trained by Les Givens, the Political Briefing filly set all the fractions in her ninth career win, the 28th career DSBF final win for Givens. Walls was the former president of Harrington Raceway, who passed away in 2003. Spoonful Ben Brooks' Master Clave ($2.10, Ross Wolfenden) notched his 11th career win in the male trotting final for trainer John Wilkerson, who won two races on the program. The Master Lavec gelding took the lead in deep stretch to complete a sweep of 3-year-old DSBF finals. Command The Fire was second with Jiggs third. The race was named in memory of former trainer/driver Hal Belote, who was tragically killed in a racing accident. Master Clave Matthew Sparacino
Regal Roxy (Shawn McDonough) would take the Fillies and Mare feature of the two harness racing co-features,Thursday night (July 27) at Vernon Downs. Regal Roxy (Stonebridge Regal) would have the lead at the first quarter but would yield to Major Millie (John MacDonald) before the first half. Major Millie (Art Major ) would then control the race all the way to the top of the stretch. Regal Roxy ($17.80) who is owned by Kathleen Lauer and trained by Misty Carey, would come out of the pocket in the stretch and wear down Major Millie (second) to win by a head in 1:54.1. Finishing third was E R Rhonda. Regal Roxy would pick up her fourth win on the season and her 20th career victory. The 13 year-old veteran Gelato Man (Chris Lems), would win the featured trot. Choke Hold (John MacDonald) would control the first half of the race with fractions of :27.1 and :57.2. Gelato Man (Incredible Abe) would work hard but eventually get the lead before the three-quarter mark. Owned and trained by Angus Macdonald, the gelding would hold off a late drive by Yankee Manny (Fern Paquet Jr.) to win the mile in 1:56.1. Yankee Manny (Yankee Glide) would settle for second best. Engagedatlexington (Jimmy Whittemore) finished third. Choke Hold ($7.30) would win his fifth time this season and would notch his 56th lifetime win. Vernon Downs returns to live action with another eight race card Friday night (July 28) starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs.
Plainville, MA---A trio of $14,000 condition races, two on the pace and one on the trot, headlined the Thursday afternoon (July 27) harness racing card at Plainridge Park and those races produced new marks for all three victors. In the $14,000 fillies and mares pacing feature, Caviart Caterina (Michael Stevenson) made it three wins in her last four starts by coming first-over from seventh to be parked-out the last half and get up to win by a neck 1:52, which was a new lifetime mark for the mare. Caviart Caterina ($14.80) raised her 2017 income to $77,465 for owner Joe Pisarski and trainer Robert Marston. The next $14,000 conditioned pacing event went to Prince Aston (Scott Renz) who was making his first start for new connections after being claimed last week. Prince Aston got away mid-pack before pulling past the half and closing strong to win by two-lengths in 1:51.3, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. Prince Aston ($29.20) registered his third victory of the year, but first for new owner Jeffery Kaylor and his trainer, Joe Therrien. Finally, the $14,000 trotting feature was captured by Trotalot (Chris Long) who had strung three consecutive wins together before breaking last week. Trotalot got a perfect two-hole trip behind Waiting On A Woman (Shawn Gray) before overtaking the leader down the stretch and pulling away to a five-length victory in 1:55, which was a new lifetime mark for the 10-year-old gelding. It was the sixth win of the year for Trotalot ($12.00) who is owned and trained by James Dunn. Michael Stevenson registered the driving grand-slam on Thursday while Chris Long finished the day with a double. Trainer Robert Marston also sent to horses to the winner's circle. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 28) and features the $250,000 Spirit Of Massachusetts Trot. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m. Estimated post time for the feature race in 6:40 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park
Guess what? Hannah Miller won again today. This time she copped the final leg of the harness racing NAADA summer trotting series which was presented at Monticello Raceway on a muggy Thursday afternoon (July 27). She guided the veteran Pine Tab to a gate to wire victory in a 1:58.4 clocking and with that triumph she finished with the highest points total in the eight race event where races were presented at both Monticello and Yonkers Raceways. And she'll undoubtedly be the one to beat in the upcoming $15,000 series finale which is slated to go to post at the Westchester(NY) oval on August 4. In today's $5000 contest Hannah made easy work of it after sending Pine Tab to the lead from the six-hole and taking command on the first turn. From there the talented miss and her trusty steed cruised past the first stanza in:29.3 and they were three lengths to the good as they journeyed by the halfway point in 1:00 flat. However, as Pine Tab approached the three quarters he had company. As Hannah explained: "When the gate sprung my horse (Pine Tab) left strong and we crossed over on the first turn. From there we were on cruise control until the three quarters when Paul Minore's trotter (Wygant Prince) joined us but my guy dug in and he held tough all the way through the lane." At the wire Pine Tab was a 1-1/2 length victor over Wygant Prince. Eight lengths in the rears in third place was Zorgwijk Impact in rein to Joe Pennacchio. Trained by Nick Surick, Pine Tab paid just $3.00 for win. It was the trotter's fourth seasonal triumph and for Ms Miller her 16th driving victory of the season to go along with 11 seconds and five thirds for a whopping .466 UDR. Meanwhile in Italy, a four-man NAADA team, led by president Joe Faraldo and joined by Alan Schwartz, Tony Verruso and Tony Ciuffettelli were competing in the USA-Italy Friendship Competition and as of this writing the American team is on the short end of the points totals. By John Manzi for NAADA
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