Day At The Track
George Napolitano, Jr., harness racing

George Napolitano, Jr. on a tear with 7 winners

CHESTER, PA - On a cold and wet Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, over a surface rated "good," the younger horses took the spotlight, competing in three $11,200 features - two on the trot and one on the pace. And driver George Napolitano, Jr. gave a driving clinic, winning seven races on the program. The winningest driver at both Philly and Pocono, Napolitano is second in 2020 North American victories behind perennial leader Aaron Merriman; from July 1 to the start of today's races, though, Napolitano had produced a 337-276 edge. The pacing group was dominated by the Captaintreacherous sophomore colt Sea Of Life, whose resume showed a 1:50 victory at The Meadows and a fourth-place finish in his division's Kentucky stakes final. Here driver George Napolitano Jr. kept him off a wicked early battle (:27 and :54.4), brushed him to the lead well before a 1:22.2 three-quarters, and went on to an in-hand 1¾ lengths victory over Bipbopnallie, a Pennsylvania fairs star, in 1:50.4, a remarkable time under the circumstances; the third-place horse was some thirteen lengths behind this duo. Tony Alagna trains the winner for Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant, and Captain Kirk Racing. In the opening trot, Contepartiro Deo brushed the length of the frontstretch to make the lead, then drew off to win by 3 ¾ lengths over The Great PG in 1:57.3. The sophomore daughter of Muscle Hill, who derived the "con te partire" part of her name from the Italian for "with you I shall leave," left this field far behind for driver Todd McCarthy, trainer Noel Daley, and the ownership of Andy Miller Stable Inc., Little E LLC, and Deo Volente Farms LLC (from whom she got the second part of her name). Tim Lancaster, who trained second-placed The Great PG in the first trot headliner, came back as trainer/driver of Willing Hanover, a Donato Hanover sophomore gelding who won the second section for trotters in a lifetime best of 1:57.1. Coming from second-over, not often a winning spot at Philly, Willing Hanover outclosed first-over Bang Bang Boinga by a neck for her trainer/driver, who also co-owns her with Mark and Meghan Lancaster. In the best purse race offered for fast-class veteran pacers, going for $10,000, the razor-sharp Sweet Lou gelding Razor's Edge went to the top early and could not be caught, winning in 1:51.2 by 2¼ lengths over place dead-heaters Mac's Big Boy and Tact Tate N. Razor's Edge posted his third straight victory for trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. The driver of Razor's Edge was George Napolitano Jr., who had his seven successes on the day. . From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Macadoodledoo, harness racing

Macadoodledoo jumps in class, upsets field

WASHINGTON, PA - Oct. 30, 2020 -- Defying a triple class jump and corresponding 10-1 odds, Macadoodledoo followed live cover and kicked home strongly to pull off the upset -- his third straight victory -- in Friday's $17,900 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Macadoodledoo was fifth down the backside when Aaron Merriman sent him after the first-over Wild Wild Western who made the front. But the 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Pirouette Hanover gelding overtook that rival through the final turn and scored in 1:51.3 in the slop. Father Ted GB shot the Lightning Lane for second, beaten a length, while Real Peace rallied for show.   Paul Corey trains Macadoodledoo, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $187,976, for Kenneth Ashba. Dave Palone and Merriman each collected three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the 13-race program features a $97,701.97 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

Austin Siegelman, harness racing

Austin Siegelman scores four-bagger

Freehold, NJ --- On Halloween Eve, harness racing driver Austin Siegelman had a scary good afternoon at Freehold Raceway. He drove four winners on the Friday (October 30) program.   He got his first win of the afternoon on Sheeza Shark N in race 2, winning a stretch battle to win on the Bill MacKenzie-trained mare. He got the double in race 7, guiding Twin B Friendly to the score for trainer Shaun Vallee.   Siegelman got the hat trick in race 9, as Massive Talent trotted to victory for trainer Jeff Smith. After a near-miss in race 10, Siegelman completed the grand slam on Odds on Daytona in the 11th race, who was indeed the odds-on favorite for trainer John Wyatt.   On the calendar year, Siegelman has 44 wins, good for fourth place in the driver standings. Since the resumption of racing on August 28, Siegelman's 31 wins are best among Freehold drivers.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday (October 31) with a 12-race card, starting at about 12:30 PM. There will be a pick 5 carryover, starting in race 5, worth $428.57.   From Freehold Raceway    

Kissin In The Sand, harness racing

Takter hopes Kissin ends Crown curse

Two years ago, harness racing trainer Nancy Takter accepted a bye for Kissin In The Sand and advanced directly to the Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old female pacers. By skipping the eliminations, though, Kissin In The Sand missed the chance to earn an inside starting position with a win. Kissin In The Sand ended up drawing post nine for the final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, got parked out the entire mile, and finished second by three-quarters of a length. So, this year when Takter was once again offered a Breeders Crown bye for Kissin In The Sand, she declined. And Kissin In The Sand drew post nine for her elimination at Harrah's Hoosier Park. "I was like, what the heck," Takter said with a laugh. This time, however, Kissin In The Sand prevailed from post nine, winning the single elimination by three-quarters of a length and securing post-position safety for the final. Kissin In The Sand starts from post three in Saturday's $300,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace at Hoosier Park. Dexter Dunn will drive the 5-year-old, who brings a five-race win streak to the event and is the 7-5 morning-line favorite. "She's just been really good," Takter said. "She's a little cursed when it comes to the Breeders Crown, so I hope we can get this done. She's my girl." Kissin The Sand is making her fourth appearance in the Breeders Crown, and her third in a final. Last year, she drew post seven in a seven-horse Mare Pace final at Woodbine Mohawk Park and finished third. In 2017, at Hoosier, she drew post eight in an eight-horse elimination and failed to advance. For her career, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Kiss Me Kate has won 25 of 56 races and $1.51 million for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. Saturday's Mare Pace field includes three previous Breeders Crown champions: 2019 Mare Pace winner Caviart Ally, 2018 Mare Pace winner Shartin N, and 2- and 3-year-old filly winner Warrawee Ubeaut. Shartin N, the 2019 Horse of the Year, is the 2-1 second choice. Caviart Ally will attempt to become the first repeat Mare Pace winner since Shelliscape in 2013-14. Warrawee Ubeaut will try to become the first female pacer to win three consecutive Breeders Crown finals and the first 3-year-old filly champ to win the Mare Pace as a 4-year-old. Kissin In The Sand is one of four morning-line favorites Takter will send out in Saturday's eight Breeders Crown finals. The others are 3-year-old colt pacer Tall Dark Stranger, 3-year-old filly trotter Spoiled Princess, and 5-year-old mare trotter Manchego. (To read a story on Tall Dark Stranger, click here. To read about Spoiled Princess, click here.) Manchego is a two-time Breeders Crown champion, with titles at ages 2 and 4. Only three trotters in history have won three or more Breeders Crown trophies. Female trotter Peace Corps holds the record with four. Grades Singing, another female, won three as did male trotter Mack Lobell. Manchego, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic, has won 31 of 54 career races and $2.41 million. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 2 and is owned by Black Horse Racing. She will start the $300,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot from post seven with Dunn in the sulky and is the 8-5 morning-line favorite. She is the fastest female trotter in history, with a 1:49 mile in 2019, and the only female trotter ever with sub-1:50 wins in multiple years. Last Saturday, Manchego finished second to Gimpanzee, a stallion with two Breeders Crown titles to his credit, in an invitational at Hoosier. She was sixth for most of the mile before closing with a :25.1 last quarter. As a point of reference, the fastest last quarter by a trotter in Breeders Crown history is :26, shared by Greenshoe and Chin Chin Hall in 2019. "I was really happy with her," said Takter, a four-time Breeders Crown winner. "I made some changes on her just to keep her a little quieter. I changed her bit and put an ear hood on her, just so she could maybe be taken off the gate a little bit more and not go so hard the first three-eighths of a mile. She trotted really good. I changed her shoes up a little bit too. I think she'll be in good form this week. She needed that mile." Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts the four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown Mare Pace. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Sweet Lucy Lou-Brian Sears-Robert Cleary-30/1 2-Rockin Nola-Joey Putnam-Joe Putnam-8/1 3-Kissin In The Sand-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Takter-7/5 4-Caviart Ally-Andrew McCarthy-Brett Pelling-15/1 5-Warrawee Ubeaut-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-6/1 6-Shartin N-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.-2/1 7-Philly Hanover-Scott Zeron-Robert Fellows-30/1 8-Treacherous Reign-David Miller-Tony Alagna-30/1 9-Trillions Hanover-Bob McClure-Tom Fanning-20/1 10-Stonebridge Soul-Brett Miller-Chris Ryder-30/1 Stonebridge Soul starts from the second tier. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown Mare Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Weslynn Quest-Scott Zeron-Chris Beaver-20/1 2-Conway Kellyanne-Yannick Gingras-Daryl Bontrager-30/1 3-Pat Matters-Andrew McCarthy-R. Nifty Norman-8/1 4-When Dovescry-David Miller-Brett Pelling-7/2 5-Plunge Blue Chip-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-9/5 6-Felicityshagwell S-Andy Miller-Ake Svanstedt-15/1 7-Manchego-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Takter-8/5 8-Grand Swan-LeWayne Miller-LeWayne Miller-20/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

Chris Ryder says having a horse like Bettor's Wish is probably the highlight of his harness racing career as a trainer. Having another like Party Girl Hill is not far behind. "That's exactly right," Ryder said. "It's great to have two horses like this." Bettor's Wish, a 4-year-old stallion, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Five races earlier, Party Girl Hill, unbeaten in 14 lifetime starts, is the 2-5 choice in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old female pacers. Party Girl Hill is the No. 2-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, behind 3-year-old male pacer Tall Dark Stranger. Bettor's Wish is No. 8. Bettor's Wish, co-owned by Ryder, has won five of 10 races this year and $384,732. His triumphs include the Sam McKee Memorial, Dayton Pacing Derby, and Allerage Farms Open Pace. He was second in the Dan Patch Stakes. For his career, the son of Bettor's Delight-Lifetime Star has won 23 of 41 starts and $2.30 million. He led the sport in earnings in 2019 with $1.64 million and was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male pacer. At the end of the season, Bettor's Wish will retire to stallion duties at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania. "Bettor's Wish is probably the highlight of my training career," Ryder said. "He's like part of the family. He's got such a great personality, I really appreciate him around the barn, and he just keeps coming out and producing time after time. Right now, he's just got a couple starts left. Then you realize it's going to be done. It's going to be bittersweet. But we're pleased it's working out the way it is. "He's going to retire sound and at the top of his game. He's got a great gait, a great attitude, a big heart, he knows how to win, and he's from a great family; I don't know what more people could want in a horse. He's going to be a popular stallion. It's going to be fun to see his babies." Bettor's Wish was purchased for $20,000 at the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Ryder owns the horse with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Bettors Wish Partners. Last year in the Breeders Crown, Bettor's Wish finished second by a head to Dancin Lou. This year, he starts from post nine, the outermost spot on the gate. He brings a three-race win streak to the final. "No matter how it goes, he's the horse to beat," said Ryder, who has won four Breeders Crown trophies in his career. "He had the seven (post) in the Allerage and eight in the Sam McKee, and he got the job done. He's real good at the moment. If he stays healthy, I think people are going to see something pretty good."   Something pretty good could be in store with Party Girl Hill, as well. Unraced at age 2 because of an injury, she has dominated at 3. Her victories this season include the Fan Hanover, Jugette, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and Tattersalls Pace division, where she became only the second pacing filly to beat male rivals in a race worth at least $100,000 in the last 30 years. She won her Jugette elimination in 1:49.3, the first sub-1:50 mile on a half-mile track by a female pacer in history. "It's all systems go," Ryder said. "It's not like she's done a lot of easy races, they've all been top of the line. "She's a phenomenal filly. I feel confident going into (the final), although there are some tremendous horses here. She has many qualities. She's got class. She's got speed and she can relax. She's got it all. She is versatile and takes everything that comes at her. She's undefeated, you can't beat that." Party Girl Hill, a daughter of Captaintreacherous-Look Cheap, is owned by breeder Tom Hill. Lyons Sentinel, the 2019 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old filly pacer, is the 9-2 second choice in the Crown final. Peaky Sneaky is 5-1. Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts the four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown Open Pace. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Sectionline Bigry-Tyler Smith-Steve Bauder-8/1 2-Filibuster Hanover-Chris Page-Ron Burke-12/1 3-Western Joe-Andrew McCarthy-Christopher Choate-30/1 4-Dorsoduro Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-20/1 5-Sintra-Trace Tetrick-Tyler George-20/1 6-Backstreet Shadow-Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke-9/2 7-Century Farroh-David Miller-Ian Moore-4/1 8-Dancin Lou-Brian Sears-Tahnee Camilleri-20/1 9-Bettor's Wish-Dexter Dunn-Chris Ryder-8/5 10-This Is The Plan-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5/1 This Is The Plan starts from the second tier. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly pacers. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Drama Act-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-15/1 2-Party Girl Hill-Dexter Dunn-Chris Ryder-2/5 3-Lyons Sentinel-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.-9/2 4-Peaky Sneaky-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Takter-5/1 5-Pettycoat Business-Trace Tetrick-Brian Brown-30/1 6-Rocknificent-Scott Zeron-Linda Toscano-12/1 7-JK First Lady-David Miller-Nancy Takter-10/1 8-Lady Lou-Brett Miller-Tony Alagna-30/1 9-Hen Party-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna-30/1 10-New Year-Joe Bongiorno-Chris Ryder-30/1 New Year starts from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Anderson, IN --- Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is set to host the 2020 Breeders Crown on Friday (Oct. 30) and Saturday (Oct. 31) with limited spectators, in accordance with the approved health and safety plan for the harness racing event. The first event in 2017 was a rousing success, producing record handle and rave reviews. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, will be a ticketed-only event with three main experiences hosted in a limited-capacity format: Breeders Crown Owners & Sponsors Experience - Located in the Homestretch Dining Area, Lower Level Grandstands, and Terrace Showroom Suites Breeders Crown Grandstand Experience - Located in the Terrace Showroom Grandstand Seating Breeders Crown Simulcast Center Experience - Located in the State-of-the-Art Simulcast Center Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the entire Breeders Crown cards on YouTube or can be found by clicking here. The Breeders Crown Facebook page will also stream the Breeders Crown events. In addition to live streaming, there will be over 500 outlets receiving the Harrah's Hoosier Park racing signal including Australia and for the first time the Harrah's Hoosier Park live racing signal will be seen in the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. In addition, a free program will be available for download on Hoosier Park's website. "Our team at Harrah's Hoosier Park remains focused on hosting a highly-successful Breeders Crown, in partnership with the Hambletonian Society, the Indiana Standardbred Association, and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission," Moore said.. "We will once again execute a top-notch, two-night event to decide year-end honors for the best harness racing athletes in North America, all while keeping the safety of our guests, team members, and racing community at the forefront of our event." The Breeders Crown is a $6 million championship series designed to decide year-end honors and draws the best Standardbreds from across North America to compete. The 2020 events at Harrah's Hoosier Park will be the 37th edition of the Breeders Crown, with the following lineup: Friday (Oct. 30) - First Post 6 p.m. Breeders Crown 2-year-old Filly Pace Breeders Crown 2-year-old Filly Trot Breeders Crown 2-year-old Colt/Gelding Pace Breeders Crown 2-year-old Colt/Gelding Trot Saturday (Oct. 31) - First Post 6 p.m. Breeders Crown 3-year-old Filly Pace Breeders Crown 3-year-old Filly Trot Breeders Crown 3-year-old Colt/Gelding Pace Breeders Crown 3-year-old Colt/Gelding Trot Breeders Crown Open Mare Pace Breeders Crown Open Mare Trot Breeders Crown Open Pace Breeders Crown Open Trot The first Breeders Crown race will be race eight each evening and will have an estimated post time of 8:24 p.m. EDT. Harrah's Hoosier Park is currently operating at a reduced capacity, in accordance with the State of Indiana and regulatory guidelines. Both Harrah's Hoosier Park and the Hambletonian Society remain committed to following all safety protocols outlined by the State of Indiana and set forth in Harrah's Hoosier Park's health and safety plan. For more information on the 2020 Breeders Crown, please click here. More information on Harrah's Hoosier Park, event FAQ, Breeders Crown experience and the fields please visit www.HarrahsHoosierPark.com by Kim French, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

SMYRNA, DE  -- Harness racing podcast The Extra Mile offers listeners an in-depth look at Saturday's (Oct. 31) Breeders Crown Pick-8 at Harrah's Hoosier Park.   Presenter James Witherite delves into the Pick-8 sequence, which consists of the Breeders Crown finals for 3-year-olds and older horses, with help from harness racing handicapper -- and fellow former Meadowlands oddsmaker -- Darin Zoccali. Discussions with Breeders Crown participants Bob McClure, driver of On A Streak and Trillions Hanover, and Marcus Melander, trainer of Gimpanzee and others, are also available on the podcast's feed. To listen to "Handicapping the Breeders Crown," click here. To listen to discussion with Bob McClure, click here. To listen to last week's discussion with Marcus Melander about trotting titan Gimpanzee, click here. Listeners can have new episodes of The Extra Mile delivered to their iOS devices by subscribing on Apple Podcasts. Alternately, new episodes can be found at the podcast's new online home.   Listeners are encouraged to follow The Extra Mile on Twitter at @TheExtraMile412.   From 412 Communications    

Boynton Beach, FL - Stall space is available at the Olympia Palm Beach (formerly the South Florida Trotting Center) for those wishing to get out of the cold this winter to train their horses in south Florida. The picturesque all-breed equestrian center sits on 102 acres and features 14 barns totaling 399 stalls, 50 caretaker residents, a veterinarian lab and equipment maintenance building. The property has three hot-walkers, two equine exercise pools, a newly re-surfaced 5/8th mile track, a 1/2-mile-deep sand track and a 1/2-mile straight training strip, plus a new synthetic surface show jumping ring and recent upgraded buildings and landscaping. The training facility is just seven miles from downtown Wellington and a 40-minute drive to Eldorado Pompano Park. It is the perfect location for any trainer who does not want to miss one day of training their horses during the winter months. The Olympia Palm Beach is located at 7563 S State Road 7, Lake Worth, FL. For more information, contact Ann-Mari Daley at 315-225-4992 or email dandaleystable@aol.com. Video of the farm can be seen at https://vimeo.com/127206037 . The farm brochure can be seen at file:///C:/Users/Steve/Downloads/brochure%20Harness(1)%20(1).pdf From the Olympia Palm Beach Training Center    

YONKERS, N.Y. – The first time Justin Huckabone drove Winning Legends at Monticello Raceway Jan. 8, the trotter went wire-to-wire in a $5,500 overnight, drawing away by 6 1/2 lengths in 2:00.4. After another two straight harness racing victories at the Mighty M from posts seven and eight Jan. 15 and 22, respectively the 25-year-old driver was impressed. “He won three in a row and I called owner (Jonathan Appelbaum) after he won his first start and said, ‘wow, this horse is talented. This horse is real talented,” Huckabone recalled. “I was shoeing him and driving him for Austin Gilbert and I said, ‘man, this is a really nice horse, you guys got lucky here.’ ” After the COVID-19 shutdown hit, Winning Legends went on the shelf. By spring, Appelbaum was calling Huckabone asking him to train the trotter. Huckabone declined, ‘sour about training’ after serving a lengthy suspension for possession of hypodermic equipment in 2015. Finally, Appelbaum convinced Huckabone to take Winning Legends. Huckabone began working with Winning Legends June 4. With the 4-year-old Winning Mister gelding unraced and out of training since Feb. 12, Huckabone gave a 12-week timeline to qualify. “He hadn’t done much, he was really out of shape. This horse didn’t have a bad day for 12 weeks. Every single day, he was good and he just kept getting better,” Huckabone said. “He’s a great horse to be around. He’s really enjoyable. He’s always real friendly, always real personable,” Huckabone continued. “This horse has a personality, he knows when you’re talking to him, he’ll be really interactive to be around, really nice that way. “He’s kind of a high-strung horse and that’s probably his biggest limiting factor. If he ever learned to relax, he’d be even better than what he shows now,” Huckabone continued. “That’s his biggest limiting factor by far now is he gets excited. There’s nothing he really can’t do. He can out-leave the car if necessary. He’s got two really good moves. He’s got a wicked eighth off the car and if you sit him in and never use him, he’s got another wicked eighth right at the end. Very athletic, classy sort of horse.” Winning Legends qualified ahead of schedule at Pocono Downs Aug. 12, going wire-to-wire to win by 3 lengths in 1:57.2.  “I knew training down he was a killer, but I qualified him and said, ‘this thing is a real freak,’ ” Huckabone said. “I don’t know how anybody got him to go slow, but this horse is fast. He won his qualifier really handy. He won in 1:57.2, probably had 1:55 in the tank.” Winning Legends made his first pari-mutuel start back in a $10,000 overnight at Harrah’s Philadelphia Aug. 20. After riding in the three-hole, he won by a half-length, trotting a mile in 1:54.3. After a setback in his next start Aug. 27, in which Winning Legends went off stride, Huckabone made a rigging change and it has been smooth sailing ever since. “I took him to Chester, he got a great trip up the inside, he won in 1:54.3. It was a really good tightener and he rose to the occasion. If he had gotten a check, I would have been happy. He’s overachieved,” Huckabone said. “The next start, he made a break and I re-rigged him,” Huckabone explained. “He had a big laceration on his tongue from being hot. He wears a dog chain. So, I put a lip cord on him and ever since then, he’s been really good, really drivable.” Winning Legends has finished first or second in each of his last five starts, including a 1:53.2 lifetime mark at Pocono two back Oct. 10, in which he got a pocket trip before beating Broadway Athena by a neck. Winning Legends also jogged by 2 1/2 lengths at Harrah’s Philadelphia Sept. 17.  “The start that impressed me the most was when he won in 1:53.3 and I never breathed on him. I had the whip tucked the whole way and cut it at Chester and he won handy. Nobody even got near him,” Huckabone said. “He beat Broadway Athena at Pocono.  “I didn’t think he would get here. I thought training him down, he would get to this point, but I thought he would be a 5- or 6-year-old before he matured like that. He’s advanced rapidly. Every week he’s better. I don’t really expect anything from him. Whatever he does, he does. He’s done so well so quickly, he’s taken the pressure right off himself.” Winning Legends went to the Saratoga open handicap pace in his last start Oct. 19. Huckabone timed the gate and advanced from post seven, but looking to his left, saw four horses leaving to his inside. Trotting around the first turn, Huckabone went with plan “B” and took back to land a seat in fifth. Winning Legends didn’t stick to the pylons long, angling first-over from 5 lengths behind hitting the stretch the first time. By the third turn, Winning Legends applied pressure to leader Gruden, who was softened by a :27.3 first quarter. Around the final turn, Winning Legends turned the screws on Gruden, drawing even under a hand drive while the longtime leader was all-out. At the same time, Brett Crawford tipped Ronnie Goldstein three-wide off cover.  Winning Legends put a nose in front at the top of the stretch. Huckabone cracked the whip three times, but approaching the wire, looked to his right at the approaching Ronnie Goldstein and tucked the stick. Winning Legends held on by a nose in 1:56.2. “I knew I had (Gruden) put away going into the last turn. Brett Crawford was the one that I was really worried about and he was third-over, moved wide, got pulled right into the race, never had to use his horse,” Huckabone said. “I wasn’t going to abuse ‘Legends’ to hang on. I quit driving on him and let him finish up what he wanted to and he held on. He was really large that start. He was probably out for three turns out of four.” With Saratoga not carding an open trot Oct. 26, Huckabone entered Winning Legends in the $25,000 trotting feature at Yonkers Raceway Oct. 30. The 14-time winner and earner of $92,602 is 20-1 on the morning line as he steps up to face the likes of Melady’s Monet, Stormy Kromer, Muscle M Up, Cash Me Out, Nows The Moment, Mississippi Storm, and a familiar face in Broadway Athena, who upset this feature Oct. 23 at 12-1. “I saw Broadway Athena was in at Yonkers and the trip worked out for her and she won. There’s really no reason (Winning Legends) couldn’t have done the same thing. I figured I would give him a test and see what he’s made of,” Huckabone said. “The purses are going up and if he acts like he can go with them now, I’ll probably try bringing him regularly. If it seems like it’s too much for him to handle, I’ll probably wait on him until next year. I didn’t want to put him in against the real horses just yet, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a read on him. “Coming in here, these are way better horses than what he’s faced,” Huckabone continued. “He’s kind of in a compromised spot having the four hole. It looks like there are three leavers underneath him, probably somebody is going to press from the outside. They aren’t going to trot away from him at any point, that’s for sure, so it’s all going to depend on how the trip works out.” Although Winning Legends has been close to the pace in most of his starts for Huckabone, the trainer-driver isn’t looking to be as aggressive early in a spot like this. “What’s going to matter is whether the flow keeps going,” Huckabone said. “If the flow doesn’t keep going and you get away fourth, fifth on the rail, it’s going to be hard to make a big move for more than a half-mile on those horses. He’s not going to be able to handle that sort of trip, and there’s no passing lane. I’m just going to drive smart. If I drive him smart, I’m quite sure he can get a piece of it if it goes his way.” Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights through Dec. 22. First post time is 7:12 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras has won numerous Grand Circuit stakes, including 23 Breeders Crown finals, in his career. That can only be done with some great horses. Thus, it's an impressive declaration when Gingras says of Tall Dark Stranger, "He's the most complete horse I've ever driven." "For pure blazing speed, maybe I've driven horses that are a bit quicker than him; not a lot, but a bit quicker," he added. "But for a horse that can absolutely do it all, I don't really think I've driven one like that and I don't think many other people have, either." Gingras will have perhaps his final chance to drive harness racing's No. 1-ranked horse Saturday in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old male pacers at Harrah's Hoosier Park. In September, Hanover Shoe Farms announced that Tall Dark Stranger will join its stallion roster for the 2021 breeding season. Tall Dark Stranger will start the Breeders Crown final from post one and is the 3-5 favorite on the morning line. A Breeders Crown winner at age 2, Tall Dark Stranger is looking to become the first male pacer to add a trophy at 3 since Artiscape in 1997-98. "I don't mind the pressure," Gingras said. "If I did, I'd be in the wrong business and maybe being a driver wouldn't be the right thing to do in my life. This week, he's the horse to beat and everybody knows that. "I think that's what makes it fun. I'd rather have the pressure of having the best horse than not having any pressure." Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor, Tall Dark Stranger is trained by Nancy Takter and has been driven by Gingras in every lifetime start but one. He enters the race with 11 wins in 12 starts and $1.19 million in earnings this year; and 19 wins and one second in 21 career starts with $1.90 million in earnings. Sired by Bettor's Delight out of Precocious Beauty, Tall Dark Stranger is the only horse to ever win the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown as a 2-year-old and the Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup as a 3-year-old. He was the Dan Patch 2-Year-Old Colt Pacer of the Year in the U.S. and earned the same honor in Canada. "He's the total package," Gingras said. "It would be hard to pick just one thing I liked. He's big, he's strong, he's fast, he's got heart. He can do it all, there's really no flaws in his armor." Those qualities were not completely apparent as a baby, but Takter and Gingras have cultivated all the potential over two years. "I really loved him from the start but to say he was the most complete horse, I'd be lying if I was saying that at the beginning," Gingras said. "I think he's developed to be that. When I baby raced him I absolutely loved him. He showed then he had tremendous speed and he had a great gait to him. "But until you really test them once or twice you don't know what the heart is. You could have an idea whether they're going to be game or not. Two-year-olds, they're a little dumb in a way. They do things sometimes that they physically can't, but their brains are not telling them not to do it. That's why you have to be careful not to ask a 2-year-old to do too much really early. "We took it easy a little bit on him in the beginning, but when it was time to put the money on the line we raced him and he showed up every single time. He's proved to be a tremendous, tremendous horse." Coming off his Dan Patch-winning year, expectations were obviously high for Tall Dark Stranger. But not so great that he couldn't go even higher. "It would be hard to say he didn't surpass expectations," Gingras said. "Of course I was super confident in the horse, I thought he could win it all and he hasn't lost a race of any major importance. Every big race Nancy put him in the box, he's won them all. It would be hard to say he could do anything more than he's done so far. Now the Breeders Crown is the last little check mark." Gingras feels the colt's breakout race was last year's Metro Pace, when he got out in front and held off a late challenge from Papi Rob Hanover. "He just exploded," Gingras said. "Up until that point we really hadn't raced him too hard. We didn't have to dig until then, and that's when I actually raced him pretty hard. That's when I knew he was better than just a very good horse, he was a great horse, and he hasn't disappointed me since." As for Tall Dark Stranger's best race, Gingras opted for the Meadowlands Pace, when the horse overcame an off day. "He wasn't maybe at his best, there were other races where he's been a little sharper than that," the driver said. "That day he really had to dig deep. Papi Rob took it to him. That day he just showed all the grit I knew he had, and he showed the world how tough of a horse he was." In fact, it is emblematic of how Tall Dark Stranger likes to race. He can get out in front or come from behind, but seems content to always make it a battle. "He likes to fight," Gingras said. "He's not a horse that's going to come home at :25 flat like some of the others. He likes to race, he likes the fractions to be fair. I don't think he's quite the sprinter that many others can be. "Other than that, this week if they mix it up fast the first three-eighths, I could definitely come first up, second over or I could be in the front, and have no worries. I'm not looking to be too far back, so he's going to be put in play one way or the other." In looking at the field, Gingras feels that Cattlewash, Warrawee Vital and Captain Barbossa are among the horses that can give Tall Dark Stranger a challenge. Cattlewash, trained by Ron Burke, won the other Breeders Crown elimination in a track-record 1:47.2 and has a world-record-equaling 1:46.4 mile to his credit. "It's definitely not a one- or two-horse race," he said. "It's a complete field of horses and it goes to show how great of a horse he is because he's beaten them every time." And he will look for one more victory to cap a memorable career. "It actually got into my head about two starts ago, once I got to Lexington. I thought, you know what, there's not much left," he said. "Realistically this weekend could be his last lifetime start. There's a chance he goes to TVG, but it's not official, it depends on how this weekend goes and how he comes out of the race. "I've enjoyed the run, but I think he would be a tremendous aged horse. He's the kind of horse that keeps getting better and tougher. If he came back at 4 and 5, I think he would dominate. Selfishly, I'd love to have him for a couple more years and I think the fans would love to have him. But I understand the breeding part of the business. I totally get it. I know the horse is worth a fortune as a sire." He has already been worth fortune in memories. Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt-and-gelding pace final. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Tall Dark Stranger-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Takter-3/5 2-Manticore-Jordan Stratton-Bruce Saunders-20/1 3-Cattlewash-David Miller-Ron Burke-5/2 4-Warrawee Vital-Tim Tetrick-Robert Fellows-6/1 5-Save Me A Dance-Andrew McCarthy-Andrew Harris-20/1 6-No Lou Zing-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Takter-8/1 7-Captain Barbossa-Joe Bongiorno-Tony Alagna-20/1 8-Sandbetweenmytoes-Scott Zeron-Jim Campbell-30/1 9-The Greek Freak-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-30/1 10-Elver Hanover-Chris Page-Ron Burke-30/1 Elver Hanover starts from the second tier. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA    

ANDERSON, IN -- Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, in conjunction with the Hambletonian Society, has announced the addition of several guaranteed wagers and multi-leg wagers for the 37th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's annual series of 12 championship races, which will be held on October 30 and 31, at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. First post for both nights will be 6:00 p.m. EDT. The two-year-old Breeders Crown finals will highlight the 15-race card on Friday evening while the sophomore and open competitors will take center stage on Saturday evening. The first Breeders Crown race will be race eight each evening and will have an estimated post time of 8:24 p.m. EDT. In addition to the regular pick-4 sequence in races 3-6, two pick-4 sequences have been added to both Friday and Saturday's cards. A $20,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 will be featured in races 7-10 with a $40,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 in Races 12-15. Harrah's Hoosier Park will also guarantee their signature wager, the Hoosier High-5, at $20,000 each night and will be featured in Race 15 with a 12% reduced takeout. A special all-stakes pick-8 has been added to the wagering menu for Saturday's card and will begin with the first Breeders Crown race, race 8. The pick-8 will be guaranteed at $10,000. "Our racing fans will notice a number of additional wagering pools when they begin handicapping our Friday and Saturday Breeders Crown racing cards," said Harrah's Hoosier Park VP and GM of Racing, Rick Moore. "We believe these pools will be well received and will provide value and liquidity for those participating and fortunate enough to select the winning combinations. The entirety of our wagering menu is designed to bring added excitement to two incredible racing cards featuring the greatest equine and human stars our sport has to offer." The full list of multi-leg wagers for this weekend's Breeders Crown cards is listed below: Friday: Early Pick-4 in Races 3-6 Pick-5 in Races 1-5, 6-10 and 11-15 $20,000 Mid-Card Pick-4 in Races 8-11 $40,000 Late Pick-4 in Races 12-15 Jackpot Pick-6 in Races 10-15 $20,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 in Race 15 Saturday: Early Pick-4 in Races 3-6 Pick-5 in Races 1-5, 6-10 and 11-15 $20,000 Mid-Card Pick-4 in Races 8-11 $10,000 Guaranteed All Stakes Pick-8 in Races 8-15 $40,000 Late Pick-4 in Races 12-15 Jackpot Pick-6 in Races 10-15 $20,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 in Race 15 Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the entire Breeders Crown racing cards on YouTube and can be found by clicking here. The live stream broadcast will be part of a week-long coverage leading up to the Breeders Crown finals. Harrah's Hoosier Park's social media feeds will also stream the Breeders Crown event week festivities. In addition to live streaming, there will be over 500 outlets receiving the Harrah's Hoosier Park racing signal including Australia and for the first time the Harrah's Hoosier Park live racing signal will be seen in the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will host the 2020 Breeders Crown Finals with limited spectators, in accordance with the approved health and safety plan for the event. "Our team at Harrah's Hoosier Park remains focused on hosting a highly-successful Breeders Crown, in partnership with the Hambletonian Society, the Indiana Standardbred Association, and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission," Moore noted. "We will once again execute a top-notch, two-night event to decide year-end honors for the best harness racing athletes in North America, all while keeping the safety of our guests, team members, and racing community at the forefront of our event." The 2020 Breeders Crown event, presented by The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, will be the 37th edition of the $6 million event. For more information on the Breeders Crown or upcoming events at Harrah's Hoosier Park, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

Aussie harness racing expats Shane and Lauren Tritton might be on the steepest learning curve of their career, but they’re making their mark in their new adopted home at Pine Bush NY in the USA. Despite missing the first three months of the year (the couple relocated early in 2020 and began racing only in April) Shane Tritton is now sitting eighth on the Yonkers trainers’ table but his impressive win-to-starters ratio of just under 33 percent (26 winners from 79 starters) leads the strike rate table. The Trittons had some early success, but it’s in the past two months that they have done their best work, including an unforgettable day on October 1 – 18 starters for eight winners and eight placings, with victories at Yonkers, Pocono and Meadowlands. Their overall tally is 38 wins and 44 placings. “We had a quiet time of it for the first two months, but with the results have come the owners.  The support from owners has been fantastic and we feel confident now that we know what we are doing and the results are coming,” Shane said. “It was a nice surprise to be in that (top 10) list, because it’s hard to know where you are day to day. You just keep turning up at the meetings doing your best!” The couple, with the assistance of six staff, now has 27 horses in work, and are keen to keep it to that number. Shane Tritton hard at work at Pine Bush Shane said it’s been a constant process of the couple learning and refining their training techniques. “In Australia, a lot of the focus is on stamina. The horses need to be tougher because of our style of racing back home – they’re asked to go flat out at the start, then back off, and then pick the bit up over the latter stages and go flat out again,” he said. “If you can get an easy quarter you grab it, cos the last quarter is the quickest. “When we first of all came over, we had probably the wrong opinion about the American style of racing in thinking that it was all about speed. “But we’ve learnt that’s really not what it’s all about— the versatile types of horses, those are the ones that will make you the most money.” Shane said the experiences of his father Peter, who relocated to the USA more than 20 years ago, were instrumental in being able to make some short-cuts in trial and error on their training regime. “When we first arrived, I remember dad telling us that in six months we’d look back and realize we weren’t training them anywhere near like we were back home,” Shane said. “He was right. So we virtually went just straight to what has worked for him and we’ve just tried to fine tune things along the way. “Over here there’s a lot of emphasis on health and soundness and I think keeping the horses a bit fresher – sort of along the lines of preparing thoroughbreds really. We have the horses looking good, they’re happy and they’re feeling great.” Shane said one of the main challenges they’d faced was working out which tracks suit which horses. “We’re basically racing nearly each day. We tend to stick to the same three or four racetracks, with the furtherest being one and a half hours away from Pine Bush,” he said. “The racing is definitely harder at some of the tracks where they just go all out, all the way – it definitely takes a bit out of the horses.  They run some very fast times, and the drivers kind of keep pushing them hard. “We do race at Meadowlands a lot – they don’t seem to go as hard there as some of the other tracks.  But because of the stakes, Yonkers is definitely the place to be if it suits the horse.  The first half there is always faster than the last. “We have horses that like to lead and be driven forward, but some of the drivers decide after doing the form that the best option is to go back, and that’s where the versatility of the horses comes into play.” Shane said there was a renewed buzz around the industry with a post-COVID rise in stakes being slated soon. “With COVID shutting down the casinos, we’ve been racing for 50 percent of normal stakes,” he said. “It’s going up by another 14 percent in a fortnight and hopefully by next February, everything will be back to normal. “We are learning that the sport over here is very healthy.  Our runners have earnt $412,000 in stakemoney so far.  It’s a bit scary to think that in a normal season it would have been double that.” Two former Aussie pacers to recently join Team Tritton have already made their presence felt in the US. “War Dan followed a second placing with a smart Meadowlands victory in 1.50 flat, while Pat Stanley has a Yonkers win and two placings—all three of his starts have been great,” Shane said. “We’ll just keep whacking away. I think we are adapting pretty well and our horses should keep getting better,” he said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Perfect Sting can do what's never been done in Friday's $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old male harness racing pacers. With a win, the Joe Holloway-trained colt will finish his campaign 10-for-10. In the history of the event, none of the 36 male pacers to win a trophy at age 2 ever finished his rookie season undefeated. Holloway said the Breeders Crown start at Harrah's Hoosier Park will be Perfect Sting's last race of 2020. The colt heads to the final off a 1:50.4 score in his elimination last week. He defeated Summa Cum Laude by 3-3/4 lengths and his time over a sloppy surface was just a tick off the track record. Perfect Sting will start Friday from post two with David Miller in the sulky. He is the 7-5 morning-line favorite. "He just keeps feeling better and better, so that's a good thing," said Holloway, a seven-time Breeders Crown winner. "I hope he gets the job done. I think he deserves it because I truly think he's a great horse. Hopefully, he can show it on Friday." Perfect Sting is a son of Always B Miki out of Shebestingin. Always B Miki, a two-time Breeders Crown Open Pace winner trained by Holloway at ages 2 and 3, shares the record for history's fastest mile, 1:46. Shebestingin, trained by Holloway throughout her career, was the all-time fastest female pacer until 2019, when Shartin N's 1:46.4 mile bettered her mark by one-fifth of a second. In his three starts prior to the Breeders Crown, Perfect Sting won the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship before picking up his first Grand Circuit scores in divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. He rallied from third in the stretch to win the International Stallion by a head. In his Crown elim, he led in the stretch and extended his advantage by an additional two lengths. "There is something every time," Holloway said, referring to Perfect Sting's improvement. "Two starts prior, he ran that horse down; I thought he had an insurmountable lead. His last start, when he was on the front, when David called on him, he was out there going. "I think he's learned how to be a racehorse now. He knows what he's doing now, so I think he'll do what he has to." Perfect Sting's path to perfection will not be easy. Southwind Gendry won the other Breeders Crown elimination by three lengths over Caviart Lotus in 1:51. He has captured nine of 11 starts, including the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion. He brings a seven-race win streak to the final. Southwind Gendry, a son of Always B Miki-Gambler's Passion, is the 8-5 second choice on the morning line, leaving from post three with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke. The final will be the first meeting between Southwind Gendry and Perfect Sting. "I know he's been racing well and he's tough," Holloway said about Southwind Gendry. "But I think my horse is better. I'm supposed to think that way. They're supposed to think that way. We'll find out come Friday." Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts the four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for Friday's Breeders Crown 2-year-old colt-and-gelding pace final. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-JK Going West-LeWayne Miller-LeWayne Miller-12/1 2-Perfect Sting-David Miller-Joe Holloway-7/5 3-Southwind Gendry-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-8/5 4-Always A Miki-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Takter-12/1 5-Bayfield Beach-Trace Tetrick-Brian Brown-20/1 6-Summa Cum Laude-Brian Sears-Ron Burke-10/1 7-Abuckabett Hanover-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna-20/1 8-Caviart Lotus-Tim Tetrick-Nancy Takter-15/1 9-Captains Place-Tyler Smith-John Ackley-30/1 10-Literl Lad Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-20/1 Literl Lad Hanover starts from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

DAYTON, OH - Fanatic (Josh Sutton) and Refined (Brett Miller), a pair of 4-year-old harness racing newcomers to the open trotting ranks at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, dominated a compact field of six on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 29).   Fanatic, who left the gate alertly and cut all the fractions, had a sizeable open lengths advantage at the head of the stretch, but just barely managed to hold off fast-closing Refined in 1:55.3 over a rain-soaked 'sloppy' track.   Sutton got Fanatic to the top in a relatively soft :28 opening panel, then advanced unchallenged through a pair of :29 middle quarters. With an approximate five length margin as the field turned for home it looked like the son of Cantab Hall had free sailing to the wire, but Refined had other ideas. With a furious closing rush the daughter of Uncle Peter made it interesting at the finish by falling just a nose short.       Cash Hit (Ricky Macomber Jr.) garnered the show dough.   Black Magic Racing LLC of Ohio owns Fanatic, who now sports ten career triumphs and $149,432 in earnings. Todd Luther trains the winner, who paid $7.40 to win. Coupled with Refined, the exacta returned $21.20.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

Monticello, NY - On Thursday October 29, harness racing driver Mike Merton drove 4 winners on the 9 race card at Monticello Raceway. The banner day started off with Crixus in race 2 (2:00.4 - $3.80) the Keith Haase trainee notched his first win for the year. Fox Valley Julius (PP5) was a 2 length winner in 1:59.3 - $2.30 for trainer Tyler Freese in the third race Drive Em Cowboy won his 8th race of the year for trainer Tom Merton in 1:53.3 - $2.50. In the last race of the day Michael won with Bold And Brave in 1:58.1 and returned $3.40 to win, the son of Bold Hope is trained by Art Green and is owned by William E. Emmons of Farmingdale, NY. James DeVaux also drove home 2 winners on the card, the leaderboard for top drivers at the Mighty M shows Bruce Aldrich Jr, atop of the list with 86 wins, followed by Jim Taggart Jr. with 69, the young Brandon Parker is in 3rd place with 59 wins, followed by Greg Merton 56, rounding out the top five is Mcgwire Sowers with 45 wins Bo Sowers has a commanding lead for leading dash winning trainers with 55 wins, Gary Messenger trails him with 19 wins and is in second place with 37 trips to the winner's circle. James Doherty Jr is in the show spot with 26 winners. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

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CHESTER, PA - On a cold and wet Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, over a surface rated "good," the younger horses took the spotlight, competing in three $11,200 features - two on the trot and one on the pace. And driver George Napolitano, Jr. gave a driving clinic, winning seven races on the program. The winningest driver at both Philly and Pocono, Napolitano is second in 2020 North American victories behind perennial leader Aaron Merriman; from July 1 to the start of today's races, though, Napolitano had produced a 337-276 edge. The pacing group was dominated by the Captaintreacherous sophomore colt Sea Of Life, whose resume showed a 1:50 victory at The Meadows and a fourth-place finish in his division's Kentucky stakes final. Here driver George Napolitano Jr. kept him off a wicked early battle (:27 and :54.4), brushed him to the lead well before a 1:22.2 three-quarters, and went on to an in-hand 1¾ lengths victory over Bipbopnallie, a Pennsylvania fairs star, in 1:50.4, a remarkable time under the circumstances; the third-place horse was some thirteen lengths behind this duo. Tony Alagna trains the winner for Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant, and Captain Kirk Racing. In the opening trot, Contepartiro Deo brushed the length of the frontstretch to make the lead, then drew off to win by 3 ¾ lengths over The Great PG in 1:57.3. The sophomore daughter of Muscle Hill, who derived the "con te partire" part of her name from the Italian for "with you I shall leave," left this field far behind for driver Todd McCarthy, trainer Noel Daley, and the ownership of Andy Miller Stable Inc., Little E LLC, and Deo Volente Farms LLC (from whom she got the second part of her name). Tim Lancaster, who trained second-placed The Great PG in the first trot headliner, came back as trainer/driver of Willing Hanover, a Donato Hanover sophomore gelding who won the second section for trotters in a lifetime best of 1:57.1. Coming from second-over, not often a winning spot at Philly, Willing Hanover outclosed first-over Bang Bang Boinga by a neck for her trainer/driver, who also co-owns her with Mark and Meghan Lancaster. In the best purse race offered for fast-class veteran pacers, going for $10,000, the razor-sharp Sweet Lou gelding Razor's Edge went to the top early and could not be caught, winning in 1:51.2 by 2¼ lengths over place dead-heaters Mac's Big Boy and Tact Tate N. Razor's Edge posted his third straight victory for trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. The driver of Razor's Edge was George Napolitano Jr., who had his seven successes on the day. . From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia
WASHINGTON, PA - Oct. 30, 2020 -- Defying a triple class jump and corresponding 10-1 odds, Macadoodledoo followed live cover and kicked home strongly to pull off the upset -- his third straight victory -- in Friday's $17,900 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Macadoodledoo was fifth down the backside when Aaron Merriman sent him after the first-over Wild Wild Western who made the front. But the 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Pirouette Hanover gelding overtook that rival through the final turn and scored in 1:51.3 in the slop. Father Ted GB shot the Lightning Lane for second, beaten a length, while Real Peace rallied for show.   Paul Corey trains Macadoodledoo, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $187,976, for Kenneth Ashba. Dave Palone and Merriman each collected three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the 13-race program features a $97,701.97 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA
Freehold, NJ --- On Halloween Eve, harness racing driver Austin Siegelman had a scary good afternoon at Freehold Raceway. He drove four winners on the Friday (October 30) program.   He got his first win of the afternoon on Sheeza Shark N in race 2, winning a stretch battle to win on the Bill MacKenzie-trained mare. He got the double in race 7, guiding Twin B Friendly to the score for trainer Shaun Vallee.   Siegelman got the hat trick in race 9, as Massive Talent trotted to victory for trainer Jeff Smith. After a near-miss in race 10, Siegelman completed the grand slam on Odds on Daytona in the 11th race, who was indeed the odds-on favorite for trainer John Wyatt.   On the calendar year, Siegelman has 44 wins, good for fourth place in the driver standings. Since the resumption of racing on August 28, Siegelman's 31 wins are best among Freehold drivers.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday (October 31) with a 12-race card, starting at about 12:30 PM. There will be a pick 5 carryover, starting in race 5, worth $428.57.   From Freehold Raceway    
Two years ago, harness racing trainer Nancy Takter accepted a bye for Kissin In The Sand and advanced directly to the Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old female pacers. By skipping the eliminations, though, Kissin In The Sand missed the chance to earn an inside starting position with a win. Kissin In The Sand ended up drawing post nine for the final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, got parked out the entire mile, and finished second by three-quarters of a length. So, this year when Takter was once again offered a Breeders Crown bye for Kissin In The Sand, she declined. And Kissin In The Sand drew post nine for her elimination at Harrah's Hoosier Park. "I was like, what the heck," Takter said with a laugh. This time, however, Kissin In The Sand prevailed from post nine, winning the single elimination by three-quarters of a length and securing post-position safety for the final. Kissin In The Sand starts from post three in Saturday's $300,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace at Hoosier Park. Dexter Dunn will drive the 5-year-old, who brings a five-race win streak to the event and is the 7-5 morning-line favorite. "She's just been really good," Takter said. "She's a little cursed when it comes to the Breeders Crown, so I hope we can get this done. She's my girl." Kissin The Sand is making her fourth appearance in the Breeders Crown, and her third in a final. Last year, she drew post seven in a seven-horse Mare Pace final at Woodbine Mohawk Park and finished third. In 2017, at Hoosier, she drew post eight in an eight-horse elimination and failed to advance. For her career, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Kiss Me Kate has won 25 of 56 races and $1.51 million for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. Saturday's Mare Pace field includes three previous Breeders Crown champions: 2019 Mare Pace winner Caviart Ally, 2018 Mare Pace winner Shartin N, and 2- and 3-year-old filly winner Warrawee Ubeaut. Shartin N, the 2019 Horse of the Year, is the 2-1 second choice. Caviart Ally will attempt to become the first repeat Mare Pace winner since Shelliscape in 2013-14. Warrawee Ubeaut will try to become the first female pacer to win three consecutive Breeders Crown finals and the first 3-year-old filly champ to win the Mare Pace as a 4-year-old. Kissin In The Sand is one of four morning-line favorites Takter will send out in Saturday's eight Breeders Crown finals. The others are 3-year-old colt pacer Tall Dark Stranger, 3-year-old filly trotter Spoiled Princess, and 5-year-old mare trotter Manchego. (To read a story on Tall Dark Stranger, click here. To read about Spoiled Princess, click here.) Manchego is a two-time Breeders Crown champion, with titles at ages 2 and 4. Only three trotters in history have won three or more Breeders Crown trophies. Female trotter Peace Corps holds the record with four. Grades Singing, another female, won three as did male trotter Mack Lobell. Manchego, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic, has won 31 of 54 career races and $2.41 million. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 2 and is owned by Black Horse Racing. She will start the $300,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot from post seven with Dunn in the sulky and is the 8-5 morning-line favorite. She is the fastest female trotter in history, with a 1:49 mile in 2019, and the only female trotter ever with sub-1:50 wins in multiple years. Last Saturday, Manchego finished second to Gimpanzee, a stallion with two Breeders Crown titles to his credit, in an invitational at Hoosier. She was sixth for most of the mile before closing with a :25.1 last quarter. As a point of reference, the fastest last quarter by a trotter in Breeders Crown history is :26, shared by Greenshoe and Chin Chin Hall in 2019. "I was really happy with her," said Takter, a four-time Breeders Crown winner. "I made some changes on her just to keep her a little quieter. I changed her bit and put an ear hood on her, just so she could maybe be taken off the gate a little bit more and not go so hard the first three-eighths of a mile. She trotted really good. I changed her shoes up a little bit too. I think she'll be in good form this week. She needed that mile." Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts the four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown Mare Pace. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Sweet Lucy Lou-Brian Sears-Robert Cleary-30/1 2-Rockin Nola-Joey Putnam-Joe Putnam-8/1 3-Kissin In The Sand-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Takter-7/5 4-Caviart Ally-Andrew McCarthy-Brett Pelling-15/1 5-Warrawee Ubeaut-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-6/1 6-Shartin N-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.-2/1 7-Philly Hanover-Scott Zeron-Robert Fellows-30/1 8-Treacherous Reign-David Miller-Tony Alagna-30/1 9-Trillions Hanover-Bob McClure-Tom Fanning-20/1 10-Stonebridge Soul-Brett Miller-Chris Ryder-30/1 Stonebridge Soul starts from the second tier. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown Mare Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Weslynn Quest-Scott Zeron-Chris Beaver-20/1 2-Conway Kellyanne-Yannick Gingras-Daryl Bontrager-30/1 3-Pat Matters-Andrew McCarthy-R. Nifty Norman-8/1 4-When Dovescry-David Miller-Brett Pelling-7/2 5-Plunge Blue Chip-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-9/5 6-Felicityshagwell S-Andy Miller-Ake Svanstedt-15/1 7-Manchego-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Takter-8/5 8-Grand Swan-LeWayne Miller-LeWayne Miller-20/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     
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