John De Long, harness racing

Drivers doing "double duty" Saturday in Chicago

Most of the circuit’s top drivers are doing double-duty Saturday. They’ll compete in the afternoon in southern Illinois at the Du Quoin State Fair and then at night at Balmoral Park, wrapping up their day up some 12 hours after the first downstate post. “This year a lot of us plan to drive back to Balmoral instead of renting a plane like we did in the past,” said John De Long who will handle the favorites in 2 of the 5 major ICF trotting championships at Du Quoin. “Dave (Magee) drove back last year while we took a plane and Dave was at Balmoral around the second race and this year there are only 10 races at Du Quoin Saturday. The last one goes before 3 o’clock so we should be o.k.” De Long’s best chances Saturday afternoon are with the Curt Grummel Stable’s sister-brother Springfield champion tandem of Fox Valley Yoko in the Time Dancer, and Fox Valley Veto in the Pronto Don, and Say No Mo in the Windy Skeeter who earlier won the $42,000 Fox Valley Evita. “Yoko” may not have been 100 per cent when she was second in the Fox Valley Flan and Hanover,” said De Long. “They told me she had been a little sick. But last week at Springfield she bounced back and had a :26.4 last quarter for me and did it well in hand. “Veto has been awesome. The horse does everything absolutely perfect. “Say No Mo just didn’t fire at Springfield. She just wasn’t very good in her race. I had tipped her out near the half but she didn’t have any trot so I ducked her back in. They were going to scope her and do blood work if needed. Hopefully she’ll be good for the Du Quoin stake.” When De Long arrives from his 290 mile trip from Du Quoin to Balmoral he’ll have live drives on the Saturday night card including the Nick Giberson Stable’s Fashion Delight (5-1) in the fifth race Invitational Handicap. Owned by Illinoisan Mark Winship (Canton), the 6-year-old Fashion Delight is the winner of over $856,000 in his career. He’ll take-on some tough cookies like Al’s Hammered (programmed 8-5), last week’s Big Tom champion Fort Silky (5-2, Casey Leonard), Best Man Hanover (9-2, Todd Warren), Iam Bonasera (6-1, Kyle Wilfong) and Furious Frank (12-1, Ridge Warren). “Fashion Delight is just a nice older race horse,” continued De Long. “He likes to leave and he comes off a strong (1:49.4) mile last week. The 25-year-old Wisconsin native has the 5-2 favorites in a pair of high level conditioned paces that follow, Firstclassallthway in the seventh and Our Dragon King in the ninth. Both have the pole position. “I’ve driven Our Dragon King in the past, said De Long. “He’s a nice horse. He’s a American National and Hanover champion. The horse did get tortured last week so maybe that’s why I’m driving him this time around.” Our Dragon King cut bruising fractions of :26.4, :53.1 and 1:20.4 before going into retreat and finishing a far back sixth behind De Long and Fashion Delight. Du Quoin’s three-day harness met concludes Sunday (12 noon first post) with a number of championships to be decided including the $40,000 Governor’s Cup for ICF 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

Brian Sears and Muscle Hill, harness racing

Muscle Hill becoming an International Stallion

When World Champion and Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill retired from racing at the end of the 2009 racing season, Southwind Farms and the Muscle Hill Syndicate Manager, Mike Klau, had a plan. That plan was to turn the champion racehorse into an International Stallion.  Shareholders in the Syndicate hail from six different countries in Europe and Frozen Semen was made available to both Europe and the Southern Hemisphere. Now, five years after implementation, that plan has come into fruition.  This weekend Muscle Hill progeny will compete in major events all over the world. Glenferrie Burn, a two year Muscle Hill filly, will race in the Australian Breeders Crown Final at Melton on Sunday, after winning her elimination.  Three year old colts Emmett Brown and Sloopy Joe race in the E3 colt final in Sweden on Saturday and Sparkling Kronos, a three year old filly competes in the E3 filly final on the same day. In North America, his numerous stakes winners are headed by Hambletonian winner Trixton and World Champion and Merrie Annabelle winner Mission Brief.  He has sired a leading 14 three year olds with records of 1:55 or faster. Total earnings this year for his crop of two and three year olds have topped the $2 million mark. At the end of the recently concluded breeding season, Muscle Hill, who again bred a full book of 140 mares, and had 127 of those mares declared in foal. “He has always been a fertile horse and that has enabled us to freeze his semen and ship it around the world.” Said Klau. For the upcoming season (2015) his semen will again be available worldwide, with the Southern Hemisphere being handled by Stallions Australasia (Peter O’Rourke – David Shammall) and Europe being handled by Offspring AB (Anders Lindfors).  2014 saw the stallion moved to Marion Farms in New Hope, Pa. to take advantage of the rich Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program. Foals of 2015 will be eligible for that program. Booking Applications for the 2015 season will be available shortly on the Southwind Farms website at www.southwindfarms.net.  From Southwind Farms

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Who Will Win It? Handicapping by Steve Wolf

I had to wait until the very last race of Saturday night, the Gold Cup & Saucer, to give me my fourth straight winning weekend. The Bigtown Hero/Wazzup Wazzup exacta box saved it in what was a super dramatic race. There is not one race for more than $100,000 this weekend, but it isn’t always the purse that counts as there are some great races in store for fans at Mohawk with their eliminations for the Metro, Canadian Pacing Classic and She’s A Great Lady plus solid action Friday at Yonkers and Sunday at Harrah’s and Tioga. Good Luck! $44,000 Trot Open Yonkers Raceway 8th race FRIDAY – What a great race with world champion’s Bee A Magician and Arch Madness in the lineup. She may be the only mare in the field and shows just one win in seven starts this year, but Bee A Magician should be able to surprise this field having drawn the rail. This is just her third time ever on a half mile track but I see her wiring the field. Use Arch Madness and Somebody AS in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Canadian Pacing Derby Elims Mohawk 3rd race SATURDAY – He shows nothing but 1’s on his race program lines and Sweet Lou is no question the top pacer in the world this year. He is going for his ninth straight win and sixth straight mile in under 1:48. He is simply amazing for the Ron Burke Stable. Use Foiled Again and Sunshine Beach in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace She’s A Great Lady Elims Mohawk 4th race SATURDAY – As the lone return winners in this preliminary round, I think Shakai Hanover is also the one who can repeat. She has won two of her last three starts for Jamieson Stable and should be at her best again. Use Bedroomconfessions and Aria Hanover in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Metro Elims Mohawk Raceway 6th race SATURDAY – After showing everyone he has the gate speed to overcome post eight and get a perfect trip to win off of last week, Sports Bettor should be able to do it again from post seven this week. He gets slim call in very wide open race. Use Go Daddy Go and Lone Survivor in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Canadian Pacing Derby Elims Mohawk 8th race SATURDAY – When it is your home track it means a lot and that is why I am going with State Treasurer. He has seven wins this year and nearly everyone was either at Mohawk or Woodbine. He never got into the hunt last start in Dan Patch at Hoosier Park and should come back with a vengeance in here. Use Captaintreacherous and Ellis Park in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace She’s A Great Lady Elims Mohawk 9th race SATURDAY – When you are as well-bred as JK Shesalady is and are on a four-race unbeaten streak to start off your career, you can’t go against such success. As long as she does not get into any road trouble she should win once again. Use Cashaway and Solar Sister in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace She’s A Great Lady Elims Mohawk 10th race SATURDAY – Here is another undefeated young filly who has a passion for racing on the front end and not getting caught from behind. Band Of Angels could be tested well in here but I think she will still emerge as the winner. Use Happy Becky and Dancin Caroll in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Metro Elims Mohawk Raceway 11th race SATURDAY – Not much to speak of in here EXCEPT for Artspeak. Unbeaten in four career starts this colt has been ranked with Yankee Bounty as the two best colts in the nation and rightly so. He has been hot racing on the front end but shows he can come from behind too. Use Pierce Hanover and Traceur Hanover in exotic plays. $30,000 Pace winners-over $25,000 Harrah’s 9th race SUNDAY – I really tried to pick against P H Supercam in here. I don’t think he will like being away from Yonkers (as he showed last week) and racing in the daylight too. Just have a feeling but then I could not really put my hand on anyone else in the field that could beat. Thus with the rail for the first time in months I guess P H Supercam is the best. Use Great Vintage and Adventure Bound in exotic plays. $10,000 Trot Kindergarten Series Tioga Downs 10th race SUNDAY – What a great match up between Mission Brief and Allerage Star, two of the top young trotting fillies in racing. But I think that Mission Brief has too much front end speed to anyone to keep close enough to her the entire mile and she should win in here. Use Allerage Star and Josie’s Joy in exotic plays. 

Livininthefastlane, harness racing

Livininthefastlane sets stake mark in Meadow's PASS

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 23, 2014 -- Livininthefastlane pounced on the leaders down the backside, then blazed home in a stake-record 1:55.1 in Friday's $234,584 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event for freshman filly trotters, known as the Delmonica Hanover, was contested over three divisions, with Wild Honey and Kirsi Hanover taking the other splits. Livininthefastlane sat a comfortable third as the two favorites dueled for the early lead. Jersey Strong won that early battle but was no match late for Livininthefastlane, who defeated Speak To Me by a length for John Campbell. Jersey Strong saved show. "I didn't want to be a player in that first argument, but I was hoping for honest fractions at least," Campbell said. "She felt so good down the back stretch that I thought she would give me a good run." Julie Miller trains the daughter of Donato Hanover-Nicole's Promise for Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. The time knocked a tick from the previous stake record shared by Sand Violent Blu and Designed To Be. Wild Honey completed a sweep of the four PASS preliminary legs with a facile front-end victory in 1:56.1, aided by a measured 1:00.1 first half when no one challenged her. "She's the best (2-year-old filly) I've sat behind so far this year," said Dave Palone, who drove for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman. "It's nice when you're driving that kind of power that gets so much respect." Gatka Hanover closed well for second, 3/4 lengths back, while Smokinmombo earned show. A daughter of Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy, Wild Honey has won four of five career starts. Kirsi Hanover had lost all five of her previous career outings, and it appeared that she would extend that streak when she had to take back after dueling for the early lead, then challenge first over. But she kept on coming for Matt Kakaley and scored in 1:56.3, 3/4 lengths ahead of Kelsey's Keepsake, with Smexi third. "We always had high hopes for her, but she was sick at the beginning of the year," Kakaley said. "Tonight she raced as good as we thought she could be. I kind of sat on her until the last turn before I started to drive on her." It was a sweet victory for Kakaley, as he owns the Ron Burke trainee, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Kimberidge Hanover, with Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Tracy Hendler. In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, top 3-year-old Somewhere In L A took it to a distinguished field of older horses and geldings by prevailing in a sharp 1:50, 1-1/2 lengths better than Windsong Jack. Visible Gold completed the ticket. Tim Tetrick drove Somewhere In L A, a Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A gelding who extended his career bankroll to $317,136, for Takter and owners J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable. Palone drove four winners and Kakaley three on the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Lexington, KY --- Arthur "Artie” Lance Bier, 74, the father of Delaware-based horsemen Daryl and Sean Bier, died Aug. 21, 2014. A top horseman of the 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Bier's last drive came in 2002, although he continued to train horses through 2011. One of Mr. Bier's greatest days as a driver came on Valentine's Day 1981 at Northfield Park when scored six wins in six drives, equaling the track mark for single-day wins at the time with Herve Filion and Lew Williams. Because of thawing, the racetrack was listed as "slow” that afternoon, and the times for his wins -- all in pacing events -- ranged between 2:08.3 and 2:21.3. Following his sixth win that day with Labet's Buddy in the $4,500 Open Pace in 2:12, Mr. Bier quipped, "I weigh only 130 pounds and my tires don't sink down as much as some of the other guys'.” To view the rest of this story click here.

By Rick Foster for www.thesunchronicle.com Gov. Deval Patrick has blocked legislation that would reduce the state’s take on simulcast greyhound racing featured at Plainridge Racecourse and the state’s two other race tracks. Patrick sent the bill back with an amendment knocking out a provision he said would drain $600,000 budgeted for the state Gaming Commission and create a continuing shortfall. The gaming commission’s racing division oversees live horse racing at Suffolk Downs and Plainridge Racecourse. The tracks, along with the former Raynham Park dog track, also feature simulcasts of races from other facilities. The bill, originally filed by state Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, applies only to simulcast greyhound events and would also reduce the number of live racing days the tracks would have to host in order to qualify for simulcasting. Dooley said the provision reducing the state’s revenue take was not part of his original proposal and was added by another House member. Dooley said he was “thrilled” by the governor’s action which would leave the other portions of the bill intact. Penn National Gaming, which won a state license for a slot parlor in Plainville, is currently constructing a new facility in that town while continuing its harness racing schedule. Suffolk Downs, located in Revere and Boston, is competing with Wynn Resorts for a full casino license. Raynham Park, which lost out to Plainridge in its bid for a slot license, continues to offer simulcast wagering. A statewide referendum scheduled for November asks voters to repeal the 2011 law legalizing casino gambling. If approved, the measure would also ban simulcast dog racing. Dooley said he expects the amended bill will be taken up next week in the House.

Crazy About Pat (Crazed) pulled off a mild upset in the $14,000 featured trotting race on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Paul Kelley trainee won his previous start which was his first for new connections and on Friday battled some of the top local trotters. Benefiting from an early speed duel, Crazy About Pat and reinsman Shawn Gray moved three wide at the three quarter pole and outtrotted his rivals home to win 1:55.3. The four-year-old trotter moved his career earnings to over the $400,000 mark with his win that came at odds of 7-1. Longshot Walltocousins (Joe Bongiorno) held second while Slugfest (Jay Randall) closed for third. The victory was one of three on the night for Shawn Gray. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Vernon, NY - Vernon Downs will conduct a double draw with the entry box closing at 9:00am on the morning of Tuesday, August 26 for the Friday (Zweig Memorial, Crawford Farms open trot, 2014 Drivers' Championship) & Saturday (NYSS 2YO Colt Pace) race cards. The condition sheet will be available on Saturday afternoon.   Horsemen should contact the race office at (315) 829-6825 or to swarren@vernondowns.com for hotel reservations for next weekend. Rooms are limited on Saturday due to a wedding and a VIP Event in the casino, so reservations will be on a first come, first served basis.   From Nick Salvi, for Vernon Downs

Victory Is Coming and Ronnie Wrenn Jr.stole the spotlight with their world and new track record performance of 1:51 at Scioto Downs Friday. The previous world record of 1:51.4 for an aged trotting mare on a 5/8 mile track was set by Beatgoeson Hanover and In Your Room, both in 2013.  The previous track record of 1:52.2 was held by Unefoisdanmavie and Modern Family. The 7-year old mare by Victory Sam out of Norse Comer is trained by Ammon Hershberger for Betty and John Shaw. Victory Is Coming has now earned over $520,000 in her 107 starts and has made 47 trips the winners circle. The mare started from post five in the full field of 10 and went off at odds of 8-5. Wrenn got away an early fifth behind the battle of Its Complicated and Creatine. Clicking the opener quarter in a hot, :26.2. The pace didn't slow much when Lachance grabbed leather with Creatine to drop in third. They clocked the half mile in :54 and it was shortly after that Wrenn pulled the right line and made a quick brush to the front. Victory Is Coming quickly opened up 3-lengths on the field as she hit the three quarters in 1:22.2. Wrenn had the talented mare well in hand as the cruised to a 1-1/4 lengths victory over Southwind Pepino. The other lone mare in the field, Daylon Miracle was a closing third. Freshman fillies dominate in $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes at Scioto Downs on Friday night. Like Old Times and Josh Sutton set a new track record of 1:57.2 for 2-year trotting fillies at Scioto Downs. The previous record of 1:57.2 was held by Rose Run Keepsake. Like Old Times is a daughter of Chip Chip Hooray out of Royal Two. She's trained by Don McKirgan for Keith Ross of Bellefontaine, Ohio. She started from post four in the field of eight and was in good company. The 9-5 morning line favorite, Dark Roast started from post five. Dark Roast and Kurt Sugg left out for command and landed In The Pocket spot, but were out to take command just passed the 1/4 that was trotted in :28.3. Sutton and Like Old Times were parked the entire way and still were charging for command after the half that was trotted in :59. Dark Roast and Like Old Times went toe to toe and stride for stride down the three quarters that was clocked on 1:27.4. Sutton finally asked the filly for more and she responded by opening up on the field by 5-3/4 lengths. Sammy Star and Aaron Merriman came on late for second and Dark roast held on for third. Bettys Sam and trainer, driver Ammon Hershberger upset their division in 1:57.4. Bettys Sam is owned by John "Red" and Betty Shaw of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. She's by Victory Sam out of Norse Comer. She was out to prove that she wanted to be just like her sister, Victory Is Coming and her point was made. The filly started from the rail, but still had hard work ahead of her. The undefeated Sunrise Nibbles had post four in the field of eight. Page sent Sunrise Nibbles to her normal spot and clocked the opening quarter in :29. Ammon had Bettys Sam sitting third and after the :30 second quarter decided it was time to move. She started her first over grind and hit the three quarters in 1:28.2. Sunrise Nibbles and Bettys Sam battled down the stretch, a small neck separated the fillies. Bettys Sam earned the victory and paid $71.40 to win. Chip Girl and Ronnie Wrenn Jr.completed the trifecta. Lisa Jane takes the final division for trotting fillies in a career best, 1:57.2. Lisa Jane started from post five and Ryan Stahl had the lines for trainer, Scott Cox. She's a daughter of Neely Dunn out of Vanilla B and is owned by Parent Racing Stable LLC and G.Peters. Stahl wasted no time to gain control of the fractions. After the opening quarter was trotted in :28.4 by Tt'scaramelcream, Ryan made the move to the front. The trotted to the half in a moderate :59.1 and passed the three quarters in 1:28.2. Lisa Jane was well in hand and won by 3-1/2 lengths over Student Of Life and Dolly Dunn was third. Bell Flower and Chris Page dominate their $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes division in 1:55. Bell Flower never made her connections anxious as the heavy favorite. She started from post six in the field of eight. Page steered the perfect filly to the top and never looked back. She clocked fractions of :28.1,:57.1 and 1:25.4 before drawing clear by 7 lengths. Crosswinds Cupcake and Dan Noble rallied for second and Ut Oh Spakiddio grabbed the show spot. Sectionlinefriskie breaks her maiden with a win in her division of Ohio Sires Stakes in 1:56. Sectionlinefriskie is a daughter of Feelin Friskie out of Aquatic Yankee. She's trained by Steve Bauder for Harold Bauder, Michael Dixon and Harold Lee Bauder. Dan Noble had the assignment from post seven and was overlooked at 22-1. Noble ended up an early seventh in the field of eight. The heavy 1-5 choice, Friskie Lil Devil was the pace setter and cut fractions of :28.2, :57.4 and 1:27. Aaron Merriman and Zoey's Lemon Tart sat the pocket trip and waited to pounce in the stretch. Neither one could hold off the late charge from Sectionlinefriskie. She paced her final quarter in :28.3 Friskie Lil Devil settled for the place spot and Zoey's Lemon Tart was third. From Scioto Downs Racino

Driver Aaron Byron had the hot hand at Tioga Downs on Friday (August 22) evening, taking five of the evening's ten races. Among his triumphs was a 1:52.1 win in the $15,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace with Inittowinafortune ($6.20).   After establishing the lead with the four-year-old Cams Fortune mare, Byron yielded to the pocket, allowing Southwind Trini (Jim Meittinis) to set steady fractions of :27.3, :56 and 1:24. With the first-over De Vins Girl (John Cummings, Jr.) fading on the approach to the far turn, and even-money favorite Pan Luis Obispo (Vinny Ginsburg) commencing a three-wide bid off stalled cover,   Byron was able to wedge out of the pocket with Inittowinafortune. The Michael Russo trainee struck the front in the final sixteenth, driven clear to a 1-1/2 length win over Southwind Trini. Pan Luis Obispo stayed on for third.   Byron also teamed up with Odds On Aventure (1:54), Belle Boyd (1:53.3), Shutthefrontdoor (1:54.1), and Rompaway Brandon (1:57.1) to complete his quintet of wins on the evening.   Live racing returns to Tioga with a 12-race card on Saturday (August 23). Post time is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 22, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $44,000 co-featured Opens--a handicap for harness racing distaff pacers and a blind draw all socially-acceptable trotters--were won by odds-on numbers Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton, $3.70) and Bee A Magician (Brian Sears, $3.10). From penultimate post position No. 6, Robin Cruiser was in the game early, yielding to outside assignee Summertime Lea (George Brennan). just after a 27-second opening quarter-mile. Social Scene (Sears) was away third. After a 55-second half and before a 1:23.3 three-quarters, "Lea" was getting only mile pressure from a first-up Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett). The lead was length-and-a-quarter into the lane. However, she tired mid-stretch, passed on the inside by Robin Cruiser and on the outside by a fast-closing Crazy on You (Brent Holland). The former beat the latter by a neck in 1:52.3, with Summertime Lea, the filly Fanticipation (Larry Stalbaum) and Krispy Apple rounding out the payees. For Robin Cruiser, a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Yankee Cruiser owned by Pinske Stables and trained by Julie Miller, it was her sixth win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $74.50, with the triple returning $345.50. ...and then there was the week's featured trot, where the name above the marquee was one Bee A Magician. The reigning Harness Horse of the Year, in her first Westchester work night-and just third career half-mile excursion-took to the four turns like a veteran. Winning the draw, she allowed the 2013 Yonkers Trot champ Dewycolorintheline (Stratton) to throw the first salvo. Bee A Magician then secured the lead after a :28.1 first station. From there, a waltz--around :59.3 middle half (:58.4 intermission, 1:27.4) gave the lass three lengths in and out of the final turn. Millionaire four times over Arch Madness (Trond Smedshammer) was the first to move, trotting in place from fourth before Somebody As (Dan Dube) tried his luck advancing modestly from third. A :27.1 chaser closed the sale by 3¾ lengths in 1:55...a new track record for her division. Somebody As won the scrum for second, with "Dewy," Tober (Bartlett) and Arch Madness rounding out the payees For Bee A Magician, a 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Nifty Norman for co-owners David McDuffee, Mel Hartman and Herb Liverman, she's now 2-for-8 this season (career 29-for-38 with earnings a shade under $2.5 million) "She handled the track perfectly, and I'm hoping she returns," Sears said of the first HOY to race here after winning the award since Gallo Blue Chip (won HOY in 2000, raced here twice in '03). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

ANDERSON, Ind.-August 22, 2014 - Don't Spank Me, driven by Andy Shetler, utilized her customary late charge to prevail in the featured event of the evening, a $22,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 22. The 1:51.2 victory was a new lifetime best and the third win at this level in the last four outings for Don't Spank Me. Leaving from post seven in the talented field of nine, Don't Spank Me was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in eighth while a host of others left alertly. Latenite Rendevous and Ross Leonard were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :26.3 while Nutmegs Yankee and Terry Cullipher were well placed In The Pocket second. Peter Wrenn had Miss Millie out and firing early down the backside and the duo found the front through the second panel in :55.2. Miss Millie continued to call the shots around the third station in 1:23.3 but Blissful Romance and Ricky Macomber Jr. were applying pressure to their outside with the rest of the field also closing in. As the field turned for home, Don't Spank Me was perfectly placed second over and had her sights set on the leader. Just as Miss Millie began to tire on the front, Don't Spank Me found another gear and exploded past her rivals halfway down the stretch. Using a :27.1 final panel, Don't Spank Me finished four lengths in front of American Girl and Sam Widger who closed gamely to finish second. Latenite Rendezvous also rallied late in the lane to round out the trifecta. As the 8-5 favorite, Don't Spank Me returned $5.20 to her backers at the window. "She's a fun mare to drive," Shetler noted in the winner's circle. "She's the type of mare that if you put her in position to win, she will do the rest. She raced big again tonight." Trained, owned and bred by Wayne Carter, Don't Spank Me notched fifth first win of the season from 15 starts. The four-year-old daughter of Capital Request-Catalog has now won 13 of 36 lifetime outings while amassing $170,337. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, August 23 with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. The 14-race card will be highlighted by the $22,000 Invitational pace. With an extended stakes scheduled offered for the 2014 live racing season, the live racing season will be conducted through November 15, 2014. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

It was the battle of the $2 million "ladies" in Friday's feature race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, a Preferred Handicap for Fillies and Mares. Seven fillies and mares went to the gate in the race, the 10th on the card, with a purse of $25,000. The skies opened up prior to the race, but that didn't stop this field from jetting out of the gate. George Napolitano Jr. gunned Show Runner (Little Steven-Peace Runner) out of the gate, followed by Rocklamation (Rocknroll Hanover-Art Sale) with Andrew McCarthy in the bike, and Anndrovette (Riverboat King-Easy Miss), but Anndrovette, piloted by Hall of Famer Ron Pierce took over approaching the half-mile post. Fractions were 25.3; 54.3; 122.3; and the $2.9 million mare Anndrovette held on over a fast-charging Rocklamation for the win in 1:50.4. Lucy's Pearl (Well Said-Remember When) was third, driven by Corey Callahan. The victory was the 14th start this season and the 5th win for the 7-year-old mare, trained by P J Fraley. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs  

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. was the star of the evening on Friday night at Vernon Downs. He won with six of his nine drives on the 12-race program.   One of those wins was with Gural Hanover (Crazed-Givemearing) in the $59,100 New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. The win was the seventh consecutive Sire Stakes win for Gural Hanover. Gural Hanover actually sat second behind Wild And Crazy Guy (John Macdonald) through the opening quarter of 27.4 seconds.   As the field moved into the backstretch, however, Gural Hanover powered to the lead and never looked back. He dominated the remainder of the race and eventually moved away with authority in the stretch to win by four lengths.   The rest of the fractional times were 56.4 for the half, 1:25.3 for three-quarters, and a final time of 1:53.3. Wild And Crazy Guy tracked Gural Hanover after being passed, but could never again mount a serious threat. The complete order of finish for the second division of the New York Sire Stakes was: Gural Hanover, Wild And Crazy Guy, Zoey De Vie, Karets, and Hallanet.   Gural Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Pennsylvania and Little E LLC and Panhellenic Stable Corporation of New York. The trainer is Ron Burke.   The first division of the $59,100 New York Sire Stakes for the sophomore trotters actually produced a better final time of 1:52.4.   The winner was Flyhawk El Durado (Conway Hall-El Paso Gal), driven by Mark MacDonald. The race was similarly run to the second division, as Royal Max (John Macdonald) led through the opening quarter of 26.4 before Flyhawk El Durado moved past and led the rest of the way.   The half was 56.1 seconds and three-quarters went by in 1:24.3. The complete order of finish for this division of the New York Sire Stakes was Flyhawk El Durado, Royal Max, Expressive Action, Daley Lovin, Mister Anson, and Lukas Hall.   Flyhawk El Durado is owned by Martin Scharf of Lawrence, New York and trained by Mark Ford.   The dominant man of the evening, though, was Morrill. He started the evening off right, winning with his first two drives, Winbak Glory in the second and Morning Joe in the third.   He didn't return to the Winner's Circle until the seventh race with Genius At Work in the first division of the New York Excelsior "A" Series.   The score with Gural Hanover in the ninth followed. That was part of a natural hat trick of wins for Morrill to wrap up his night. He won with Engagedatlexington in the tenth and Flaming Yankee in the eleventh. Morrill also finished second twice on the night, with Omnipotent in the fifth and Crazzycrazzy in the eighth.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Saturday night with a 12-race program. First post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

A large group of horsemen from The Meadows tonight accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Roger Huston and MSOA Executive Director Kim Hankins offer comments before the video begins:   by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA

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Most of the circuit’s top drivers are doing double-duty Saturday. They’ll compete in the afternoon in southern Illinois at the Du Quoin State Fair and then at night at Balmoral Park, wrapping up their day up some 12 hours after the first downstate post. “This year a lot of us plan to drive back to Balmoral instead of renting a plane like we did in the past,” said John De Long who will handle the favorites in 2 of the 5 major ICF trotting championships at Du Quoin. “Dave (Magee) drove back last year while we took a plane and Dave was at Balmoral around the second race and this year there are only 10 races at Du Quoin Saturday. The last one goes before 3 o’clock so we should be o.k.” De Long’s best chances Saturday afternoon are with the Curt Grummel Stable’s sister-brother Springfield champion tandem of Fox Valley Yoko in the Time Dancer, and Fox Valley Veto in the Pronto Don, and Say No Mo in the Windy Skeeter who earlier won the $42,000 Fox Valley Evita. “Yoko” may not have been 100 per cent when she was second in the Fox Valley Flan and Hanover,” said De Long. “They told me she had been a little sick. But last week at Springfield she bounced back and had a :26.4 last quarter for me and did it well in hand. “Veto has been awesome. The horse does everything absolutely perfect. “Say No Mo just didn’t fire at Springfield. She just wasn’t very good in her race. I had tipped her out near the half but she didn’t have any trot so I ducked her back in. They were going to scope her and do blood work if needed. Hopefully she’ll be good for the Du Quoin stake.” When De Long arrives from his 290 mile trip from Du Quoin to Balmoral he’ll have live drives on the Saturday night card including the Nick Giberson Stable’s Fashion Delight (5-1) in the fifth race Invitational Handicap. Owned by Illinoisan Mark Winship (Canton), the 6-year-old Fashion Delight is the winner of over $856,000 in his career. He’ll take-on some tough cookies like Al’s Hammered (programmed 8-5), last week’s Big Tom champion Fort Silky (5-2, Casey Leonard), Best Man Hanover (9-2, Todd Warren), Iam Bonasera (6-1, Kyle Wilfong) and Furious Frank (12-1, Ridge Warren). “Fashion Delight is just a nice older race horse,” continued De Long. “He likes to leave and he comes off a strong (1:49.4) mile last week. The 25-year-old Wisconsin native has the 5-2 favorites in a pair of high level conditioned paces that follow, Firstclassallthway in the seventh and Our Dragon King in the ninth. Both have the pole position. “I’ve driven Our Dragon King in the past, said De Long. “He’s a nice horse. He’s a American National and Hanover champion. The horse did get tortured last week so maybe that’s why I’m driving him this time around.” Our Dragon King cut bruising fractions of :26.4, :53.1 and 1:20.4 before going into retreat and finishing a far back sixth behind De Long and Fashion Delight. Du Quoin’s three-day harness met concludes Sunday (12 noon first post) with a number of championships to be decided including the $40,000 Governor’s Cup for ICF 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA
When World Champion and Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill retired from racing at the end of the 2009 racing season, Southwind Farms and the Muscle Hill Syndicate Manager, Mike Klau, had a plan. That plan was to turn the champion racehorse into an International Stallion.  Shareholders in the Syndicate hail from six different countries in Europe and Frozen Semen was made available to both Europe and the Southern Hemisphere. Now, five years after implementation, that plan has come into fruition.  This weekend Muscle Hill progeny will compete in major events all over the world. Glenferrie Burn, a two year Muscle Hill filly, will race in the Australian Breeders Crown Final at Melton on Sunday, after winning her elimination.  Three year old colts Emmett Brown and Sloopy Joe race in the E3 colt final in Sweden on Saturday and Sparkling Kronos, a three year old filly competes in the E3 filly final on the same day. In North America, his numerous stakes winners are headed by Hambletonian winner Trixton and World Champion and Merrie Annabelle winner Mission Brief.  He has sired a leading 14 three year olds with records of 1:55 or faster. Total earnings this year for his crop of two and three year olds have topped the $2 million mark. At the end of the recently concluded breeding season, Muscle Hill, who again bred a full book of 140 mares, and had 127 of those mares declared in foal. “He has always been a fertile horse and that has enabled us to freeze his semen and ship it around the world.” Said Klau. For the upcoming season (2015) his semen will again be available worldwide, with the Southern Hemisphere being handled by Stallions Australasia (Peter O’Rourke – David Shammall) and Europe being handled by Offspring AB (Anders Lindfors).  2014 saw the stallion moved to Marion Farms in New Hope, Pa. to take advantage of the rich Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program. Foals of 2015 will be eligible for that program. Booking Applications for the 2015 season will be available shortly on the Southwind Farms website at www.southwindfarms.net.  From Southwind Farms
I had to wait until the very last race of Saturday night, the Gold Cup & Saucer, to give me my fourth straight winning weekend. The Bigtown Hero/Wazzup Wazzup exacta box saved it in what was a super dramatic race. There is not one race for more than $100,000 this weekend, but it isn’t always the purse that counts as there are some great races in store for fans at Mohawk with their eliminations for the Metro, Canadian Pacing Classic and She’s A Great Lady plus solid action Friday at Yonkers and Sunday at Harrah’s and Tioga. Good Luck! $44,000 Trot Open Yonkers Raceway 8th race FRIDAY – What a great race with world champion’s Bee A Magician and Arch Madness in the lineup. She may be the only mare in the field and shows just one win in seven starts this year, but Bee A Magician should be able to surprise this field having drawn the rail. This is just her third time ever on a half mile track but I see her wiring the field. Use Arch Madness and Somebody AS in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Canadian Pacing Derby Elims Mohawk 3rd race SATURDAY – He shows nothing but 1’s on his race program lines and Sweet Lou is no question the top pacer in the world this year. He is going for his ninth straight win and sixth straight mile in under 1:48. He is simply amazing for the Ron Burke Stable. Use Foiled Again and Sunshine Beach in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace She’s A Great Lady Elims Mohawk 4th race SATURDAY – As the lone return winners in this preliminary round, I think Shakai Hanover is also the one who can repeat. She has won two of her last three starts for Jamieson Stable and should be at her best again. Use Bedroomconfessions and Aria Hanover in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Metro Elims Mohawk Raceway 6th race SATURDAY – After showing everyone he has the gate speed to overcome post eight and get a perfect trip to win off of last week, Sports Bettor should be able to do it again from post seven this week. He gets slim call in very wide open race. Use Go Daddy Go and Lone Survivor in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Canadian Pacing Derby Elims Mohawk 8th race SATURDAY – When it is your home track it means a lot and that is why I am going with State Treasurer. He has seven wins this year and nearly everyone was either at Mohawk or Woodbine. He never got into the hunt last start in Dan Patch at Hoosier Park and should come back with a vengeance in here. Use Captaintreacherous and Ellis Park in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace She’s A Great Lady Elims Mohawk 9th race SATURDAY – When you are as well-bred as JK Shesalady is and are on a four-race unbeaten streak to start off your career, you can’t go against such success. As long as she does not get into any road trouble she should win once again. Use Cashaway and Solar Sister in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace She’s A Great Lady Elims Mohawk 10th race SATURDAY – Here is another undefeated young filly who has a passion for racing on the front end and not getting caught from behind. Band Of Angels could be tested well in here but I think she will still emerge as the winner. Use Happy Becky and Dancin Caroll in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Metro Elims Mohawk Raceway 11th race SATURDAY – Not much to speak of in here EXCEPT for Artspeak. Unbeaten in four career starts this colt has been ranked with Yankee Bounty as the two best colts in the nation and rightly so. He has been hot racing on the front end but shows he can come from behind too. Use Pierce Hanover and Traceur Hanover in exotic plays. $30,000 Pace winners-over $25,000 Harrah’s 9th race SUNDAY – I really tried to pick against P H Supercam in here. I don’t think he will like being away from Yonkers (as he showed last week) and racing in the daylight too. Just have a feeling but then I could not really put my hand on anyone else in the field that could beat. Thus with the rail for the first time in months I guess P H Supercam is the best. Use Great Vintage and Adventure Bound in exotic plays. $10,000 Trot Kindergarten Series Tioga Downs 10th race SUNDAY – What a great match up between Mission Brief and Allerage Star, two of the top young trotting fillies in racing. But I think that Mission Brief has too much front end speed to anyone to keep close enough to her the entire mile and she should win in here. Use Allerage Star and Josie’s Joy in exotic plays. 
WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 23, 2014 -- Livininthefastlane pounced on the leaders down the backside, then blazed home in a stake-record 1:55.1 in Friday's $234,584 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event for freshman filly trotters, known as the Delmonica Hanover, was contested over three divisions, with Wild Honey and Kirsi Hanover taking the other splits. Livininthefastlane sat a comfortable third as the two favorites dueled for the early lead. Jersey Strong won that early battle but was no match late for Livininthefastlane, who defeated Speak To Me by a length for John Campbell. Jersey Strong saved show. "I didn't want to be a player in that first argument, but I was hoping for honest fractions at least," Campbell said. "She felt so good down the back stretch that I thought she would give me a good run." Julie Miller trains the daughter of Donato Hanover-Nicole's Promise for Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. The time knocked a tick from the previous stake record shared by Sand Violent Blu and Designed To Be. Wild Honey completed a sweep of the four PASS preliminary legs with a facile front-end victory in 1:56.1, aided by a measured 1:00.1 first half when no one challenged her. "She's the best (2-year-old filly) I've sat behind so far this year," said Dave Palone, who drove for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman. "It's nice when you're driving that kind of power that gets so much respect." Gatka Hanover closed well for second, 3/4 lengths back, while Smokinmombo earned show. A daughter of Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy, Wild Honey has won four of five career starts. Kirsi Hanover had lost all five of her previous career outings, and it appeared that she would extend that streak when she had to take back after dueling for the early lead, then challenge first over. But she kept on coming for Matt Kakaley and scored in 1:56.3, 3/4 lengths ahead of Kelsey's Keepsake, with Smexi third. "We always had high hopes for her, but she was sick at the beginning of the year," Kakaley said. "Tonight she raced as good as we thought she could be. I kind of sat on her until the last turn before I started to drive on her." It was a sweet victory for Kakaley, as he owns the Ron Burke trainee, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Kimberidge Hanover, with Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Tracy Hendler. In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, top 3-year-old Somewhere In L A took it to a distinguished field of older horses and geldings by prevailing in a sharp 1:50, 1-1/2 lengths better than Windsong Jack. Visible Gold completed the ticket. Tim Tetrick drove Somewhere In L A, a Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A gelding who extended his career bankroll to $317,136, for Takter and owners J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable. Palone drove four winners and Kakaley three on the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
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