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WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 16, 2015 -- Do Me Honor stalked the leader from the pocket, then blew by in the Lightning Lane to capture Monday's $22,500 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Hidden Land rolled through a swift 1:23.3 three-quarters but was unable to separate from the field. Do Me Honor, who was making her second start off a six-week freshening, found the Lightning Lane in time for Aaron Merriman and downed the rallying Macharoundtheclock by a nose in 1:52.1. Mamas Fallen Angel saved ground and earned show. Bill Bercury owns and trains Do Me Honor, a 7-year-old daughter of Cheyenne Rei-Do Me Right who now boasts $655,064 in career earnings. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 15-race card. Pick 4 increase guarantee to $12,500 Tuesday The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has increased — to $12,500 — the total-pool guarantee for its Tuesday, Nov. 17 Pick 4 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. While $5,000 Pick 4 guarantees are regular features each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, The Meadows sweetened the pot after Monday’s Pick 4 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $3,349.48. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (Races 4-7) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. Tuesday’s program also features a $1,028.40 carryover in the Pick 5, Races 11-15. First post is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattack, for the Meadows

WILKES-BARRE PA -- By George, he drove ten winners in one day again on Wednesday! And for 45 minutes, harness racing driver George Napolitano Jr. was tied for the North American lead in harness races won in 2015 -- until Aaron Merriman won his third of the night at Northfield to regain sole possession of the top.   Napolitano had a ten-winner day for the fourth time in as many months on Wednesday. He drove in nine of the first eleven races at Harrah's Philadelphia, winning four of them, then headed northward for nighttime racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where (as he does in Philly) George tops the driver colony. (By the way, he originally had a single call in the 13th race at Philly, One Badland Nite -- who won.)   Arriving at the mountain oval in time to drive in race three, "George Nap" went around a mucky track in 50-degree temperatures twelve times -- and won half of those races, giving him 10 on the day, a feat he previously achieved on July 26, August 16, and September 16. At the end of October 14, he has already driven 57 winners in the month -- more than 4 wins a day, despite Monday being a totally "dark" day in eastern Pennsylvania! (George had four at Pocono Tuesday; Philly was dark.)   His win in the very last race at Pocono, completing a Napolitano-driven / Anette Lorentzon-trained Late Double with Kayla As, was his 657th of 2015. And here's why that number is -- er, make that was -- so important.   For most of 2015, the North American sulky win derby has had Aaron Merriman a bit ahead of Ron Wrenn Jr. -- the same scenario as last year, where Wrenn had a tremendous flurry at the end of the year to catch Merriman and garner his second straight dashwinning crown.   But with the amazing totals Napolitano has been posting "back East" (he's had 355 victories since July 1), the two Northfield regulars have had company calling -- going into Monday, the scores were Merriman 648, Napolitano 643, and Wrenn 629.   The Ohio drivers haven't had time to look over their shoulders -- they've been too busy having their picture taken in the Northfield winners half-circle. Merriman had three wins on Monday and four on Tuesday to go into Wednesday with 655 wins; Wrenn did even better, with five and six win nights, respectively, to boost his total to 640.   On Wednesday at Northfield, Wrenn won four of the first nine, but did not win thereafter. Merriman achieved his third victory of the night in the 14th race with Rammy Girl, reaching 658 -- one more than "GNap"'s seasonal total after his double-digit day some 375 miles east southeast.   And then for good measure, Merriman duplicated Napolitano's nighttime Late Double by winning the 15th at Northfield with CMR Windmach, "doubling" his seasonal advantage -- after Wednesday's racing, the score is Merriman 659, Napolitano 657, Wrenn 644.   Tomorrow Pocono is dark, but Harrah's races in the afternoon. And it just so happens that Northfield is adding Thursday night racing to its schedule -- starting ... tomorrow.   Keeping track of this battle will not be for the faint of heart.   PHHA / Pocono            

“Don’t look back. Something may be gaining on you.” -- Leroy “Satchel” Paige, legendary Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Harrisburg, PA --- Mr. Paige, this is Aaron Merriman and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. Ronnie, Aaron -- this is Mr. Satchel Paige, Hall of Fame baseball pitcher and icon. He is the author of the quote that starts this story. And the “something” he refers to is named George Napolitano Jr. For most of 2015, a casual glance at the leading dashwinning drivers in North America might have given you “déjà vu all over again,” as another baseball legend noted. Aaron Merriman has had the lead in the standings, with Ronnie Wrenn Jr. right behind. This is exactly the same scenario as happened in 2014, when Merriman led until the final days of the year, then saw Wrenn make a tremendous late push to secure himself his second straight North American title. But over the last three-plus months, a new wrinkle has emerged. (Well, not exactly new -- he was third behind “Double A” and “Ronnie” in 2014, and was national champion in 2010.) But the graph below shows what is meant by “a power move in the middle of the race”: MONTHLY AND SEASONAL TOTALS                                     AARON MERRIMAN   GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR.   RON WRENN JR.     Month Year   Month Year   Month Year                     end of April     290     124     263 May   66 356   101 225   78 341 June   70 426   77 302   61 402 July   79 505   100 402   67 469 August   63 568   106 508   62 531 September   52 620   92 600   75 606 Oct. 1-11   28 648   43 643   23 629 That’s right -- “George Nap,” 166 victories off Merriman’s lead at the end of April, has narrowed the gap to five after the racing of Sunday (Oct. 11). Wrenn has stayed within 20 or so victories of the lead throughout the year -- but now he finds himself looking up at two people, not one. And Napolitano shows no signs of present abatement, as the October numbers posted above show. A brief background: Merriman and Wrenn both have a base at Northfield Park in Cleveland. Wrenn has 488 seasonal victories there as of Oct. 11, Merriman 401, though their UDRs are practically the same (Wrenn .398, Merriman. 396). Where Merriman has gotten his edge is by doing “double duty,” also racing regularly at The Meadows near Pittsburgh, where he is in fourth place with 209 wins, behind perennial leader Dave Palone and the “second-third interchangers,” Mike Wilder and Tony Hall. The double duty sometimes means Merriman misses the last few races at The Meadows or the first few at Northfield; interestingly, the same thing happens with Napolitano. Napolitano’s season has one focus: a 100-mile strip of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and its Northeast Extension, between The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono (which races in 2015 from March 21 to Nov. 21, at night) and Harrah’s Philadelphia (which races March 20 to Dec. 11, during the day). During the eastern PA winter hiatus, Napolitano has in the recent past been going to his “official USTA” home in Florida, where he races a much-reduced, intermittent schedule at Pompano (he had 26 wins between the end of 2014 at Philly and its 2015 opening, with only 85 drives in 21 cards raced). But what a focus he has had in the Keystone State in 2015, by George! He had 100 or more wins in three different months (May, July, and August), and he had 10 winners in one day three times (July 26, Aug. 16, and Sept. 16). Between Philly and Pocono, there have been 124 cards between July 1 and Oct. 11; George has participated in 121 cards, and he has had at least one victory on 118 of those cards (97.5 percent). He is the runaway leading dashwinner at both tracks; at Pocono this will be his ninth win title, breaking a mark he shares with Bill Lambertus. This spectacular success rate has enabled Napolitano to get into the thick of the discussion of the North American sulky leadership. If he would have a couple of weeks producing at his current rate, it would not be a surprise to see George Napolitano at the top of the charts soon. Postscript “Objects in the rear view mirror may appear larger than they actually are.” --- A song by Meat Loaf, among other things Having said all of the above, it does not seem likely that George Napolitano Jr. will wind up as North American driving champion in 2015. Pocono raced its last Friday of the season this past weekend; there will be racing only on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday until season’s end, 18 more cards. Philly has four cards a week the rest of October, then reduces to three a week up to the final week of its season, 31 more cards. So Napolitano has fewer than 50 racing days left in his prime time. Even if he wins at his per-card rate since July 1 of 2.88, that would mean 141 more wins this season, 784 in all (if he can maintain this breakneck pace). George did not drive at Pompano at all from Dec. 14 of last year until Jan. 17 of this year. Merriman has his regular doubleheaders; Wrenn has been known for supplementing his Northfield total with day excursions to other pari-mutuel ovals (especially in his native Michigan, where he has 57 wins this year). And just for one example, Wrenn won more than 100 races last December alone in wrestling the win crown from Merriman in the final days. So, Mr. Paige, thank you for your counsel. It’s usually never a good idea to focus on what may be behind -- it’s always what’s up front, the pursuit of the next goal, that is the primary motivating force. I think these three talented “youthful veterans” would thank you and agree with you -- and they’ll go out and give North American harness fans some real excitement as the clock on 2015 winds down. by Jerry Connors  Jerry Connors is a freelance writer living in Pennsylvania and was recently voted into the Communicators Hall of Fame. The views contained in this column are that of the author alone, and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of the United States Trotting Association.

Trailling by 11 lengths at the half, Biggie stormed past the weary leader and broke his maiden in a stake-record 1:51.4 in Monday's $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event at The Meadows. The event for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers was conducted over five divisions, with Toddler Tantrum, Nimble And Quick, Beach Ogre and Art's Dragon taking the other splits. Aaron Merriman fashioned a stake double with Toddler Tantrum and Nimble And Quick. Biggie was 0-4 entering the stake and off his worst race, which was marred by an early break. But when the front-ending Tailgunner Hanover tired after a swift 1:22.1 three-quarters, Biggie blitzed by him for Tony Hall and kept on rolling, lowering by three ticks the previous stake mark of Somewhere In LA. Arthur Pendragon shook loose for second, 11-1/2 lengths back, with On The Gogh third. "I figured we'd be following, and if everything worked out we'd be top three," Hall said. "But when the fractions got mixed up like that, I figured that would definitely help him. I really didn't expect him to have that much left. I don't think he's seen numbers like that." Ron Burke trains Biggie, a Somebeachsomewhere-Wenditions gelding, for J&T Silva Stables, TLP Stable and Deo Volente Farms. It was one of five wins for Hall on the 15-race card. Toddler Tantrum lost a disagreement with Merriman in the stretch, yet it helped him score a 1/2-length victory over Playlist Hanover in a career-best 1:53, with Cheapskate Hanover third. "I wore a Murphy blind on him all year but took it off after the last start," explained Tim Twaddle, who trains the son of Western Terror-Ubetterthink Think for Don Tiger and Birnam Wood Farms. "It looked to me like he wouldn't come off that line -- he wanted to go inside -- but once Aaron got him out, he was perfect." Nimble And Quick captured his third straight stallion series win -- he was second a neck in the opening leg -- with a front-end jaunt in 1:53.1, fastest in the career of the Western Ideal-Cam Swifty gelding. The pocket-sitting Owen Hanover was second, 3-1/4 lengths back, while Twinspeak Hanover earned show. "He was very little, and he was a little behind the other colts early," said winning trainer Richard Ringler. "So we accomplished a lot more with him than we thought we would three or four months ago. He's turned into quite a little racehorse, so he'll probably have a little more on his plate next year." Pat Lachance and M&M Harness Racing own Nimble And Quick. In the $15,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life Trot, Monte Cristo Spur quarter-poled to the lead for trainer/driver Dick Stillings and sailed home in 1:53, fastest ever by a 4-year-old trotting horse at the Meadows. The time eclipsed the previous mark of 1:53.2 held by Chips And Wings. Call To Post was 3-3/4 lengths back in second, with Summer Indian third. Richard Davis owns the son of Cantab Hall-Sweet-Gabriella. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the Tyler B, a $212,142 PASS for freshman colt and gelding pacers. First post is 12:55 PM.                                                                                                                          Evan Pattak

Smokinmombo and Bright Baby Blues each captured a division of Tuesday's Meadow Bright, a $188,066 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows, and each did it handily on the front end. Already a winner in PASS action this year, Smokinmombo pocketed Sarcy, the 4-5 favorite, and had plenty left in the lane after a comfortable 58 half to defeat her by 2 lengths in 1:54.3, with Speak To Me third. Winning driver Aaron Merriman indicated that taking the point with the daughter of Explosive Matter-Horizontal Mombo wasn't necessarily his game plan. "I do believe she's better out of a hole because she's smaller," Merriman said. "When you move her out of a hole, she just sprints." "She has a great attitude." "But she was absolutely in hand." "She's just getting better and better." Chris Beaver trains Smokinmombo, who extended her career bankroll to $195,558, and owns with Synerco Ventures and James Gallagher. Bright Baby Blues had endured a frustrating season -- no wins in six starts despite performing well -- but her disappointment ended when she trotted strongly through a brief downpour and scored in 1:56 for David Miller, trainer Bob Stewart and owners Bluestone Farms and Fredericka Caldwell. Meadowbranch Wendy was second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Lilu Hanover earned show. "It's a tough division anymore," Stewart said of the daughter of Andover Hall-Bar Slide, who is eligible for the Hambletonian Oaks. "She trotted in 1:53 at the Meadowlands, and that wasn't enough." "But she's a very nice filly." "I don't think she's reached her potential yet." "It was good to get an easy race into her." "I don't know if we'll go to the Oaks or not." "The owners will make that decision." In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot, Kandian Klub pulled off a 9-1 upset for Mike Wilder when she rallied to nail Cowgirl Hall in the stretch and down her by 3/4 lengths in 1:54.3. Bessie completed the ticket. Ron Burke conditions Kandian Klub, a 6-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur-KT Dee Dee who now boasts $219.266 in lifetime earnings, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. It was one of four wins for Burke on the 15-race program. Wednesday's card at The Meadows features two events for sophomore colt and gelding trotters -- The Hickory Smoke, a $189,616 PASS stake, and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake. First post is 12:55 PM. Evan Pattak

Credit Fashion crossed the finish line faster than any four-year-old trotting horse in the history of harness racing at Northfield Park when he won a $7,000 conditioned race in 1:53.3 on Monday (July 20). The clocking breaks the 1:56.3 former record by Patio Pete (Walter Case Jr.) in 2001. Martin Yoder of Kidron, Ohio owns Credit Fashion. Jeff Hochstetler is his trainer and Aaron Merriman was in the sulky for the winning drive. Credit Fashion (Credit Winner-Whata Softie-Self Possessed) started from post two. He led his competition through fractions of :28.1, :57, 1:25 and 1:53.3. There was never an anxious moment for the winner, who bested his competition by 11¼-lengths. Credit Fashion now has two wins in three starts this year. Monday's victory represents his sixth score in 14 career races and bolstered his bankroll to $304,137. He was the race favorite and returned $3.20 to win. Ayres Ratliff

Terror At Night moved smartly first over to score in a stake-fastest 1:54.1 in the $140,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake for freshman filly pacers at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows on Wednesday night The event was contested over seven divisions, with Triple Charm, Healthy Gain, Gingertreescarlett, Burden of Proof, Out West Somewhere and End To End Hanover taking the other splits. Aaron Merriman fashioned a stake double behind Triple Charm and Gingertreescarlett. Terror At Night hadn't seen the lead at any point in her brief career, but she was plenty determined to get there when Eric Goodell unleashed her from third. "The only reason I came with her was because she got a little antsy in the hole," Goodell said. "Instead of having her run, I gave her a little room." "Once she got out there, she was really relaxed." "I don't think she ever turned her motor on." The daughter of Western Terror-Enhance the Night defeated Catharsis by 1-3/4 lengths, with Some Fancy Filly third. Les Givens trains Terror At Night for Nanticoke Racing, Edward Mass III and Arlene Paisley. Triple Charm also was a newcomer to the lead, but as he sized up the field at the gate, Merriman decided to show her what the front end is about. "I didn't think the lead was necessarily the spot for her, but it looked like only a couple were leaving, so I left," Merriman said. "You have to be forwardly placed a lot of times when no one else is on the gate." "She was extremely laid back, but if they went around another time, they wouldn't have gone by her." "That's how tough she was." She held off Sweet As Sugar by a neck in 1:54.4 while Newborn Sassy earned show. Casie Coleman conditions Triple Charm, a daughter of Western Terror-No One Is Alone, for West Wins Stable, Adriano Sorella and Howard Taylor. Healthy Gain endured the kind of trip that would frustrate many green youngsters. She was looped from the gate, forced on to the front when no hole was available and passed in mid-race. But the daughter of Western Ideal-Electric Smile, a two-time winner at the Pennsylvania Fairs, persevered for Tony Hall, rallying in the lane to prevail in 1:55. East Side Hanover was 1/2 length back in second with Official Treasure third. "She really isn't in the best shape of her life right now," said Shawn Johnston, who trains the $15,000 yearling purchase for Tracy Chropek and Gary Johnston. "She started late, and we had terrible track conditions where I'm based." "I fair-raced her for tighteners" "She should only get better." In the $22,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Brooklyn Flight pulled off a 12-1 upset -- his third win in the last four starts -- for Hall, trainer Frank Consiglio and owner Team 19 Stables. He scored in 1:50.3, 1-1/2 lengths better than Seventh Secret. Hillbilly Hanover finished third. The 7-year-old Panspacificflight-Brooklyn Belle gelding now boasts $293,888 in career earnings. It was one of four victories on the 15-race card for Hall. Friday's program at The Meadows features the Sand Tart, a $214,776 PA Sires Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers, as well as a $25,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 5 (races 9-13). First post is 6:55 PM. Evan Pattak

Lady Athens, who was off stride in both her previous career outings, was flat and fast Wednesday at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows when she trotted to a stake record 1:57.1 in a $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event for freshman fillies. The stake was contested over five divisions, with LOL Hanover, Ballerina Volo, Real Caviar and Witnesstheprincess taking the other splits. Aaron Merriman and trainer Chris Beaver teamed for a pair of stake victories with Ballerina Volo and Witnesstheprincess. Rich Gillock, who trains the homebred daughter of Muscle Massive-Miss Athens for Thomas Brice and Charles Receski, indicated he's been tweaking Lady Athens' shoeing to keep her on gait. " She caught a hard track in her first start, and I'm not so sure her feet weren't hurting her," Gillock said. "It's taken us a while to get her squared away." "Today everything worked out nice." "I'd like to have seen the last quarter in 28 rather than the first one." "We'll have to work on that next." On Wednesday, she led the field through a swift 1:26 three-quarters before tiring late. But she responded to Tony Hall's urging and held off 41-1 long shot My Pink Bike by a neck. Global Installation finished third. The time knocked a tick from the previous stake mark established by Nitro Nittany in 2013. It was one of four wins on the 15-race card for Hall. Lol Hanover took to the track for her career debut before the surface was upgraded from good to fast, but the daughter of Explosive Matter-Lil' Miss Tut had little trouble overcoming a parked-out first quarter and prevailing in 1:57.3 for trainer/driver Charlie Norris. Early leader Moolah Moolah was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Moots third. "She wasn't real sure of the track when I warmed her up, and I just wanted to get her set before I went forward with her," Norris said. "She's growing so fast -- that's why I didn't throw her in the sires stakes." "I want to bring her along slow." Carrie Norris and Neal Goldman campaign Lol Hanover, a $13,000 yearling acquisition. Ballerina Volo has been ahead at every pole in her two-race career, and the daughter of Yankee Glide-Bank of Newport hardly was tested in Wednesday's victory. She scored for owners Synerco Ventures, Bill Manes and Beaver in 1:59.4, 3 lengths better than Goodtogo Hanover. High Beam Hanover completed the ticket. "She won on her own today -- I left the plugs in," Merriman said. "I don't know how good she'll be." "I'm sure she'll go a little bit more when she's following." "Honesty pays. When you have an honest trotter, you'll make money." In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Atta Boy Dan not only made it five wins in his last six starts, but he also eclipsed Itrustyou's track record for older geldings by triumphing in 1:49.1, fastest mile this year at The Meadows. Dave Palone drove the 6-year-old son of Western Terror-Dropitlikeitshot, who extended his lifetime bankroll to $339,117, for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Friday's program at The Meadows features six divisions of the Meadow Gladys, a $211,838 PA Sires Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters. First post is 6:55 PM. Evan Pattak

The Cleveland Trotting Classic, Northeast Ohio's newest premier race, will go to post Friday (July 3) at the harness racing meeting at Northfield Park. The Classic carries a $170,000 purse for its inaugural edition and has attracted some of the best veteran trotters in North America. The Grand Circuit race is the featured event of a stakes-laden program that offers total purses of $647,500. 1 - Count Me In Is one of two starters from the powerful barn of Ron Burke. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable and Michelle Yanek, he has won 30 and been on the board in 64 of 95 career races. His lifetime mark is 1:53.3 (Mea 5/8) with a career bankroll of $427,919. The six year-old has already posted four wins this year and has been racing against the best trotters at Scioto Downs. Burke has named Josh Sutton to drive this 9-2 morning-line competitor.   2 - Obrigado The 2-1 morning line favorite, has the highest win percentage of any starter in this inaugural edition. He has been victorious in 31 of 51 career races, including a 21 race win streak earlier in his career. He has earnings of $421,164 and a 1:51.3 (M 1) mark in his most recent race in the $50,000 TVG Free-for-All Trot. The five year-old is owned by Paul Kelley, Linwood Higgens, William Weaver III and Stable 45. He is conditioned by Paul Kelley. Canadian native Mark MacDonald has been named to steer.   3 - DW's NY Yank Sports career earnings of $855,914. He has 103 lifetime starts and 37 career victories. He is a six year-old son of Dilbert Hanover with a lifetime mark of 1:51.3 (PcD 5/8). DW's NY Yank, one of two entrants in this field by trainer Ron Burke, is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. He has won five of 13 starts this year and has been made the 7-2 second favorite. Chris Page has been given the driving assignment.   4 - Awesome Valley Will start for the Trust of Barbara Boese. With 27 career victories, he has been a model of consistency, finishing in the top three 62 of his 100 lifetime starts. He has already won four starts this year with three second and third place finishes in 16 starts. This six year-old son of Valley Victor has career earnings of $365,863 and sports a 1:53 (DD 5/8) lifetime mark. This 20-1 morning line selection is trained by Joseph Hundertpfund Jr. and will be driven by Montrell Teague.   5 - Datsyuk Enters this race for owners Leonard Buckner and Charlie Norris. He is also conditioned and usually driven by Norris, but Don Irvine, Jr. gets the reins for tonight's outing. The four year-old has garnered five career victories in 21 starts, earning a mark of 1:53.1 (TgDn 5/8) and $454,253 in earnings. The son of Explosive Matter was unraced as a freshman but had a stellar sophomore campaign last year, winning three legs of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes and a Tompkins Geers Stake. He carries a 15-1 morning line.   6 - Rompaway Galaxy Is owned by Rompaway Farms and trained by Krista Harmon. The four year-old has raced over Northfield Park's Flying Turns three times, posting two wins and a third place finish. He has a total of 29 career starts with 14 triumphs. He earned a 1:52 (M 1) lifetime mark just two races ago and has career earnings of $423,981. He was the Ohio Sire Stakes Champion as a freshman and won the Ohio State Fair Stakes and Ohio Breeders' Championship as a sophomore. Mike Micallef has been named to drive this 12-1 morning-line starter.   7 - Daylon Magician The 6-1 shot is the richest horse in the inaugural Classic field with $1,849,527 in earnings. This son of Kadabra has five wins in eight starts this year and 30 lifetime scores to his credit, the richest being the $1,020,000 Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk Racetrack in 2011. Jack Moiseyev is the 7-year-old's trainer and driver for owner Daylon Farms LTD. Moiseyev posted a win at Northfield Park in the Cleveland Classic with 3 year-old pacing star Precious Bunny in 1991. Daylon Magician has a 1:51.1 mark at Mohawk Racetrack, trotted in 2013.   8 - Il Sogno Dream Odds of 8-1, even though he won just two weekends ago by open lengths in an impressive effort from post eight at Scioto Downs. He has a 1:52.2 (ScD 5/8) lifetime mark, trotted this year, and career earnings of $488,101. This son of Cantab Hall has won 10 of 33 career starts and is two for four so far this year. Christopher Beaver trains Il Sogno Dream for owners Bill Manes, Dan Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. Aaron Merriman has been given the driving assignment. Merriman, the current leading driver in North America, has won more local races than any other driver over the Flying Turns.   This year's Classic program undercard is highlighted by 11 $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes races featuring the best freshman filly pacers and trotters in the Buckeye State. There will be six divisions of filly pacers and five filly trot stakes races going to post. Superfecta wagering has been added to Friday's 11th race, the Classic feature. A $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 has also been added and covers races eight through 11. First race post time is 6 p.m. Guests who want to be close to all of the racing action can stop by the grandstand apron for a plethora of free fanfare activities. These attractions include a t-shirt toss from the winner's circle by the successful driver of each race, driver meet-and-greets and commemorative poster signings throughout the evening, Harness Racing Bingo offering more than $1,000 in cash and prizes, country band Six String Cowboy performing on the apron from 6-10 p.m., and spinning of the Northfield Park Prize Wheel for cash and prizes from 8-9:30 p.m. Ayers Ratliff  

Tamarind changed his tactics but the result was the same Tuesday at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows as he captured his third straight in the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. Customarily a closer, Tamarind zipped to the front for Aaron Merriman in a snappy 27.1 and was able to withstand the two-pronged late challenge from Trustworthy Kid outside and Tall Cotton in the Lightning Lane. The 7-year-old son of Angus Hall-Spicegirl Kosmos prevailed by 1/2 length over Tall Cotton in 1:53.2, with Trustworthy Kid a close-up third. Bill Bercury owns and trains Tamarind, who extended his career bankroll to $665,044. In Tuesday’s companion feature, the $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot, Whata Donato stalked Cowgirl Hall from the pocket, then charged by in the Lightning Lane for trainer/driver Doug Snyder to defeat Cowgirl Hall by a neck in 1:54.4. Unefoisdansmavie earned show. Frank Poerio, Jr. campaigns Whata Donato, a 5-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover-Donven Promise who now boasts $280,276 in lifetime earnings. Evan Pattak

Anaffairtoremember stalked Cowgirl Hall from the pocket, then blew by her inside to capture Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows. A storm midway through the card rendered the surface sloppy and forced a delay of approximately 50 minutes. After the interruption, Anaffairtoremember flashed some Lightning Lane magic of her own, blazing through for Aaron Merriman to down the first-over Whata Donato by a length in 1:54.2. Cowgirl Hall saved show. Bill Bercury owns and trains Anaffairtoremember, a 5-year-old daughter of Angus Hall-Val Lee Woman who extended her career bankroll to $372,479. Elsewhere on the 14-race program, Kanthaka won at first asking in 1:58, fastest this year by a 2-year-old colt trotter on a five-eighths-mile track. Dave Palone drove for trainer Chris Beaver, who owns the son of Triumphant Caviar-Elena with Wilbur Lang. It was one of three victories on the card for Palone. Evan Pattak

Tamarind made it two straight in the top trot at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows with another first-over victory in Monday’s $18,000 Preferred Handicap. Tamarind was sitting fourth down the backside when Aaron Merriman sent him after the leader, Tall Cotton. Much as he did last week, the 7-year-old son of Angus Hall Spicegirl Kosmos wore down Tall Cotton and defeated him by a length in 1:52.3, a tick off the track record for older horses. Trustworthy Kid finished third. Bill Bercury owns and trains Tamarind, who now boasts $656,044 in career earnings. Tony Hall piloted four winners on the 14-race card. Evan Pattak

Smokinmombo - especially her nose - foiled a Team Takter "sweep" of the three divisions of the $222,867 second leg Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event held Wednesday at the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   When the early smoke cleared, Smokinmombo found herself sitting second behind Wild Honey, the 1-10* Takterite who had won a division of the Sires first leg.   Wild Honey maintained the lead to approaching deep stretch, but the Explosive Matter filly Smokinmombo had an explosive last 50 yards to hang the smallest margin of victory on the chalk in 1:53.4, completing one sweep in this, the night's third division -- all Wednesday's winners took lifetime marks.   Aaron Merriman handled Smokinmombo, now a winner of three straight, for trainer Chris Beaver, who is also co-owner with Synerco Ventures Inc and James Gallagher.   Sire Explosive Matter had a double Sires credit Wednesday, as his daughter Smexi overcame the outside post nine to post the biggest Sires victory margin, 1¼ lengths, while stopping the clock in 1:53.3.   Corey Callahan handled the filly, who won her second consecutive race, for Jimmy Takter and her ownership of Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Jim Fielding.   The Donato Hanover filly Sarcy emerged as the only repeat Sires winner as she warded off the late charge of Day Lily to win by a neck in 1:53.1.   Yannick Gingras had sulky duties for Takter, with wife Christina and the Fieldings in the ownership combine of Sarcy, now with a winning string of three, along with Oakwood Farms.   Jerry Connors

WASHINGTON, PA, June 15, 2015 -- Tamarind ignored the off going and powered to victory in 1:53 -- fastest this year for an older harness racing trotting stallion on a five-eighths-mile track -- in Monday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap at The Meadows. Tamarind was third down the backside for Aaron Merriman when he swept by the leader, Tall Cotton, and went on to defeat him by 3 lengths. Call To Post finished third. The time lowered Tamarind's previous lifetime mark by two ticks. Bill Bercury owns and trains Tamarind, a 7-year-old son of Angus Hall-Spicegirl Kosmos who boosted his career bankroll to $647,044. Dave Palone piloted three winners on the 14-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON PA, June 6, 2015 -- Suit And Tie was dressed for success in Saturday's Currier & Ives open division at The Meadows, promenading through the Lightning Lane to earn a narrow harness racing victory in the $119,565 stake for 3-year-old trotters. Suit And Tie had won only two of his previous 21 starts and was somewhat overshadowed by his stablemate, Boots N Chains, who also started in the Currier & Ives. But John Butenschoen, who trains Suit And Tie for William Wiswell and M&L of Delaware, said the rangy son of Andover Hall-Warrawee Krisp came back a stronger horse at 3. "Last year, he had as much talent as Boots N Chains," he said. "Mentally, he just wasn't there. At the end of the year, he started to come around. He filled out and developed mentally and physically. Today, he pretty well exploded. I was happy to see that." In the Currier & Ives, Boots N Chains had to work hard for the lead, securing it at the three-eighths, and was pressured by the first-over Chef Lee. That set the stage for Suit And Tie's rally, as he poured through for Aaron Merriman and scored in a career-best 1:54.1. Shoot The Thrill, who was pushed four wide through the final turn, trotted wide gamely but came up a nose short while Boots N Chains saved show. Butenschoen said his $30,000 yearling acquisition will remain in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes and also is eligible for the Hambletonian, the Earl Beal, Jr. and the Colonial, among other stakes. $181,766 PASS, 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers In the companion feature on Saturday's special Belmont Day card, a $181,766 PASS for sophomore colt and gelding pacers known as the Bye Bye Byrd, Lost For Words made it three straight in PASS action -- and four in a row overall -- when he overcame post 9 to prevail in 1:50.1 Winning driver David Miller had Lost For Words outside for the entire 27 first quarter, but Miller said he wasn't unduly concerned. "Had there been a spot, I would have taken it," Miller indicated. "They weren't going really big. He can leave much faster. He's one of the better ones in the sires stakes, that's for sure." Lost For Words cruised home without a serious challenge, defeating Blood Brother by 2-3/4 lengths, with Rufo third. Brian Brown, who conditions the son of Well Said-Thou Shalt Not for County Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo and Strollin Stables, said he's unable to pinpoint the exact reason for Lost For Words' impeccable start to the year. "Maybe he's a touch sounder -- not that he was bad last year," Brown said of his $50,000 yearling purchase. "I really can't explain it. He's not a great, big strong horse who's just coming to his own. He's just a good little horse. But if Brown is at a loss for words about Lost For Words, that's about the only thing he's lost at The Meadows in 2015. In 15 starts at the track this year, Brown is 10-3-1 for an eye-popping .800 UTR. He said he didn't pay Lost For Words into the North America Cup or Meadowlands Pace lest those tough tests wear him down. Instead, he's pointing his colt to the Max Hempt. In the other division, My Hero Ron was making his first start for his new connections -- trainer Ron Burke, owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr and Frank Baldachino -- who purchased him for $130,000 at the recent Meadowlands sale. He returned immediate dividends, shooting the Lightning Lane for Matt Kakaley to triumph in 1:50.4. PV Coming Home was second, 1/2 length back, while Rise Up Now completed the ticket. Still, it was no slam dunk, as PV Coming Home and Merriman grabbed a daylight lead with a backside burst that left My Hero Ron 2-1/2 lengths behind at the top of the stretch. "My horse actually was loaded," Kakaley said. "Aaron's horse looked like he was getting a little weak, so I thought I could reel him in. Marcus Miller, who had been driving this horse, told me the horse is lazy. So I figured, a barn change to Ronnie, and he might wake up a little bit. And he did. Like Ronnie said last year about a filly I drove for him, 'It's penthouse or outhouse.'" Tony Hall piloted five winners on the 13-race program. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

A multiple-stakes winner in 2014, the harness racing 4-year-old Il Sogno Dream is among 10 horses entered in Saturday's $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters at Scioto Downs Racino. The field also includes Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, and stakes-winner Natural Herbie. Il Sogno Dream will start from post No. 2 with driver Aaron Merriman. Bee A Magician, with Brian Sears listed to drive, drew post four and Natural Herbie, with owner-trainer-driver Verlin Yoder at the lines, got post eight. Modern Family won last year's inaugural Charlie Hill Memorial in a then-track-record-equaling 1:52.2. Interestingly, Il Sogno Dream won his seasonal debut on May 22 at Scioto Downs in a career-best 1:52.2. "I can't say I expected him to go (1):52 in his first start, but he was ready I guess," Beaver said with a laugh. "He's come back better than he was. Last year, he would kind of lay into the turns a bit. He's straighter this year; I could probably race him without hobbles, but I don't like to change in case they ever need them on. "He's filled out a bit. I wouldn't say he's any taller, but there's more weight on him. And it seems like he's gotten a little faster over the winter. I think (the improvement in the turns) is a part of it, but I think his stamina is better than it was last year." Il Sogno Dream won five of 18 races last year and earned $323,952 for owners Bill Manes, Dan Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. He captured divisions of the Currier & Ives and Circle City Trot and finished second in the Goodtimes Stakes. He also had third-place finishes in the Kentucky Futurity and Carl Erskine Trot and was fourth in the Hambletonian Stakes. For his career, the son of Cantab Hall-Le Reve has won nine of 31 starts and earned $451,601. Il Sogno Dream has raced twice this year and heads to the Charlie Hill Memorial off a second-place finish to Final Breath in the May 29 Open at Scioto Downs. Il Sogno Dream lost by a head despite starting from post eight and racing on the outside for the entire mile. "I'm really happy with the condition of the horse going into this race," said the 43-year-old Beaver, who established a career high with $1.27 million in purse earnings last season. "I think he's got a good chance to get a top-three finish in (the Charlie Hill Memorial). "I'm not sure he's not up to being able to race against the top horses, I think he can race with them; I don't think they're going to overshadow him. Is he ready to beat that kind? I don't know. He hasn't faced anything like them so far this year. But I feel pretty good about him in there." Il Sogno Dream has a limited stakes schedule this year. Among the races to which he is eligible are the Hambletonian Maturity, Maple Leaf Trot, Chip Noble Memorial Trot, Centaur Trotting Classic, and Dayton Trotting Derby. "I didn't over-stake him this year," said Beaver, who is based in central Ohio and also has 10 horses with a second trainer in Ontario. "I figured he'd be racing a few more years at least. I'm hoping he can be really good around here and compete on the Grand Circuit locally. I hope he develops into a horse that could race everywhere. I think he's well on his way." Bee A Magician has won three of four races this year and is coming off a second-place finish to Father Patrick in the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational on May 24 at Harrah's Philadelphia. The 5-year-old mare, who has raced exclusively against the boys so far this year, has won 34 of 51 career races and earned $2.90 million. Natural Herbie is winless in five starts this season, but last year won the International Trot Preview, Chip Noble Memorial and Vincennes Invitational. He has won 24 of 51 lifetime starts and $763,491. Following is the field in post order for the Charlie Hill Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1  Final Breath, Dan Noble, Hugh Beatty 2. Il Sogno Dream, Aaron Merriman, Chris Beaver 3. Fusion Man, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Jeff Smith 4. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman 5. DW's NY Yank, Chris Page, Ron Burke 6. Obrigado, Mark MacDonald, Paul Kelley 7. Southwind Pepino, Hugh Beatty, Hugh Beatty 8. Natural Herbie, Verlin Yoder, Verlin Yoder 9. Lindy's Tru Grit, Andy Miller, Julie Miller 10. Count Me In, Mike Wilder, Ron Burke Note: DW's NY Yank and Count Me In will race as an entry. Note: Count Me In starts from the trailing position. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

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