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July 27, 2014 – The Meadow’s Adios Card is in the books and at the end of the day Handicapper Ray Cotolo reigned supreme for the week in HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest with a weekly net profit of $305, nearly $100 ahead of his closest opponent.     While Cotolo is a newcomer to the list of weekly winners, Bob Zanakis continues his run as overall leader with a combined net profit of $3,000.70 ($140 for the week), leading second place Brandon Valvo by $607.20. This week, the adage it only takes one hit to make you a winner applies as Cotolo’s victory came thanks to a single wager, a $150 win wager on Allstar Rating in the Adioo Volo which returned a $705 dividend.  Other handicappers had winners, but due to the short-priced nature of the card, significant winners were at a premium, amongst them were: Derick Giwner’s $150 Win ticket on Too Darn Hot in the second division of the Adren Downs 2yo C&G pace paid $480; Mark McKelvie’s $50 Win ticket on Rich Wisdom in the first division of the Arden Downs for 2yo C& G pacers paid $195; Rusty Nash’s $100 wager on the same horse paid $390; Dennis O’Hara ‘s $10 Exacta part wheel ($30 total) in the first division of the Arden Downs for 3yo Filly trotters returned $125; Josie Verlingierli $40 straight wager on the second division of the Arden Downs 2yo C&G pace, earned $156; Gordon Waterstone’s $50 Exacta in the third division of Arden Downs 2yo C&G pace which returned $115. As the Hambletonian marks the unofficial mid-point in the stakes season, the standings for the Handicapper Shoot-Out at the mid-point are: As of July 26, 2014 - Leg 19 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis $140.00 $3,000.70   2nd Brandon Valvo $50.00 $2,393.50 $607.20 3rd Derick Giwner $206.00 $623.17 $2,377.53 4th Ray Garnett ($218.00) $15.85 $2,984.85 5th Mark McKelvie ($119.50) ($91.50) $3,092.20 6th Brian McEvoy $7.50 ($185.00) $3,185.70 7th Earl Paulson ($71.00) ($437.00) $3,437.70 8th Josi Verlingieri ($126.00) ($956.40) $3,957.10 9th Gordon Waterstone $108.60 ($989.30) $3,990.00 10th Ann Stepien ($189.00) ($1,020.11) $4,020.81 11th Garnet Barnsdale ($280.00) ($1,078.00) $4,078.70 12th Sally Hinckley ($400.00) ($1,325.00) $4,325.70 13th Rusty Nash $160.00 ($1,712.40) $4,713.10 14th Dennis O'Hara $30.50 ($2,097.70) $5,098.40 15th Ray Cotolo $305.00 ($3,398.40) $6,399.10 This week, the Grand Circuit Handicapper Shoot-Out visits Meadowlands Racing & Gaming for the Hambletonian Day card amongst which are the $1.2 million Hambletonian, $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, $352,050 Merrie Annabelle, $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial, $257,700 U.S. Pacing Championship, $177,750 Lady Liberty, and $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial.  For more information regarding the handicapping contest, please visit http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.   by Allan Schott, for HANA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Harness driver David Miller was taking no chances with his top pacer, McWicked, sending the son of McArdle to the lead over At Press Time and never easing up as they won the $400,000 Adios Pace for three-year-olds at the Meadows Saturday afternoon. Trained by Casie Coleman, the first woman trainer to win the Adios, and owned by the SSG Stables of North Boston, New York, it was the fourth straight win for McWicked, who covered the one mile race in 1:49.1. Leading to the first quarter in :26.3, Miller kept McWicked in front to the half mile marker in :55.4 and then the action got underway as driver Brett Miller came first-over with Somewhere In L A, giving second-over cover to Beat The Drum (Ron Pierce) with Let’s Drink On It (Tyler Smith) third-over. Brett Miller kept Somewhere In L A well rated on the outside as the field past the three-quarters in 1:22.3 and then started to get after his colt as they were able to collar McWicked as they rounded the final turn. But once he was looked in the eye, McWicked dug in again for driver David Miller and held Somewhere In L A at bay as they went on to win by one and one-quarter lengths. Somewhere In L A was second with Cammikey (Brian Zendt) closing strongly for third place. “I was really anticipating a lot more leavers,” said David Miller. “Only the one horse pushed off and I got in front of him and pretty much just loafed around the track. I really did not have any pressure at all. I was kinda shocked that everyone grabbed up after the start of the race. “I was really surprised when I saw how cheap we got to the half mile,” Miller said. “I saw Brett (Miller) was riding alongside us but I knew my colt would be fine. Once we got around the final turn I knew we were home. My horse was ready for him. My colt is very manageable. He would go a lot slower if I let him. But when I called on him he kicked it into gear and got the job done.” “He ranks right up there with some of the best colts I have driven,” Miller said. “He keeps winning these big races. I really like him a lot.” “It really worked out well,” Casie Coleman said. “We got to the front pretty cheap and he was great. We will give him around ten days off now and then go in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes legs and final and then get him ready for the Little Brown Jug. “So far every start I put this horse behind the gate,” Coleman said. “He gives everything he’s got, 110%. He is an iron tough horse, wicked fast and a pleasure to have in the barn. He does nothing wrong and is just a sweetheart of a horse.” It was the sixth win in just nine starts this year for McWicked. Bred by Andray Farms of PA, McWicked now sports career earnings of $798,447. He was sent off as the 1/5 betting favorite and paid $2.40 to win. Mattamerican took the $30,000 Adios Consolation for Dave Palone, trainer Norm Parker and owner/breeder Bob Key. The race was opened to PA-sired colts and geldings who did not compete in Adios eliminations . . . In a conditioned pace, David Miller piloted Santa Fe Beachboy to victory in 1:49.1, a track record for 4-year-old horses. That erased the mark of 1:49.3 established by Trick Man in 2011. Brian Brown trains the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Santa Fe Yankee for Santa Fe Stable By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

$75,000 Gov. David L. Lawrence, 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Yankee Bounty stayed undefeated in his four-race career with a victory in 1:51.3, a stake record. Although parked from post 8 for about one-half mile, Yankee Bounty thoroughly dominated his split, drawing off to win by 7-1/4 lengths. Cooperstown and Lone Survivor completed the ticket. Kevin Lare trains the Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee gelding for Frank Chick. Too Darn Hot, who had been toughened in New Jersey Sires Stakes competition, trailed the loose leader, UF Larry Alltheway, by 4-1/2 lengths at the three-quarters before his greater experience kicked in. He tracked the leader down and edged him by a neck at the wire in 1:53.3 for Yannick Gingras, with Hall of Terror third. "I figured the leader would come back to me at some point," Gingras said. "At that point, my hands were tied. If I chased him into a big quarter, that wouldn't do my colt any good. I trained him once -- he's a big colt, and I thought he would be a top colt. It's taken him a little longer." Ron Burke trains Too Darn Hot, a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Kiss Me Kate, for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Larry Karr. Rich Wisdom moved from sixth for cover and drew off to break his maiden in 1:53.1 for Matt Kakaley and give Burke a Gov. Lawrence double. My Hero Ron was second, 3 lengths back, while Denslow Hanover earned show. "He's gotten better every start," Burke said of his $25,000 yearling purchase. "I think he's a good colt, not a great colt, so probably this is where he fits. He has a lot of stakes this year. He might be the kind who does good at Lexington; he seems to be long winded." Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, JJK Stables and Phillip Collura campaign Rich Wisdom. $55,352 Ned McCarr, 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters   Donatella Hanover didn't move crisply first over when initially asked, but she found her best stride late and scored in 1:56.1 for Brett Miller, trainer Jimmy Takter and owner Christinatakterandthekids. The rallying Dancing Dynamite fell a neck short, with Jessie's Song third.   "She was really locked on the left line today, and I was having a hard time keeping her along the pylons," Miller said of the daughter of Cantab Hall-On The Glide. "The last half of the mile when we really started going fast, she straightened out. This filly is game. She kept fighting and didn't give up." Broadway Socks had little trouble wiring her field for her ninth victory in 17 lifetime starts, although winning driver Dan Rawlings indicated she might not have been at her best. "I didn't like the way she scored down, and I was actually planning on being a little bit conservative with her," Rawlings said. "But nobody came, and she's just a gutsy filly. I didn't have to work her that hard anywhere in the mile." She scored in 1:56.2, 1-1/2 lengths ahead of the pocket-sitting Global Magic. Travelin Dream earned show. David Wade trains the daughter of Broadway Hall-I Gotta Feelin and owns with Gerald Brittingham and William F. Peel III. $65,310 James Manderino, 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Skates N Plates, clearing to the lead by the quarter despite the outside 8-hole, was allowed to skate to the half in 58.3 during his division of the $65,310 Arden Downs 3-year-old colt & gelding trot, then scooted home in 57.1 to hold off Lightning Lane shooter Frost Free Hanover at the end of his 1:55.4 mile. Dave Palone handled the Revenue S colt for trainer Trond Smedshammer and owner/breeder Bob Key. Wheelsandthelegman, driven by Dick Stillings, set the pace, then rebuffed the last-quarter challenge of 1-5 favorite Il Sogno Dream to equal the 1:54.1 stake record of SJ's Caviar in the other division. The Donato Hanover gelding was unraced at 2, but he's making up for lost time in 2014, as he is now 6 for 7 for trainer Walter Carroll and owner Beth Carroll. $75,000 Mary Lib Miller, 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers Angel Or Terror is now two-for-three lifetime, and three-for-three in good performances, after winning the first of two divisions of the $75,000 Arden Downs 2-year-old filly pace. Driver Jason Brewer never looked back with the Jim Dailey-trained daughter of Western Terror, getting a cheap half and then sprinting home in 56.4-28 to complete the 1:55.2 win. Angel Or Terror adds this triumph to the 1:55.4 maiden victory and the hard-luck third after going first-over on her brief resume for the ownership combine of Dailey, Carlo and Down The Lane Stables. "She hadn't been on the front before," Dailey said of his $5,200 yearling acquisition. "If she didn't get lost, I felt pretty confident. I only plan to race her six or seven times. She's growing pretty good, and she'll make a nice 3-year-old if I don't beat her up." Hot Chica Boomba rewarded Daddy Dewdrop fans with a closing victory in 1:54.4 in the other freshman filly pace cut. The daughter of The Panderosa broke her maiden by following favored Melanies Sharkette, going past her in mid-stretch, then holding off Half Past Seven for driver Aaron Merriman, trainer Jim Arledge Jr. and owner Winchester Baye Acres Inc. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, July 25, 2014 -- Just as the winner of Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids presented by Coors Light will cash big time, harness racing bettors playing the Adios Day card at The Meadows will enjoy opportunities for a lucrative payday. For the Saturday card, The Meadows is offering four pool guarantees totaling $42,500 in association with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Initiative. Three of the multirace wagers include the Adios final, which goes as race 12. Here's the line-up: $20,000-guaranteed Pick 4, races 9-12; $10,000 guaranteed Pick 4, races 4-7; $7,500-guaranteed Pick 3, races 11-13; $5,000 guaranteed Pick 5, races 12-16. Minimum wager in each case 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. First post Saturday is 12:20 PM, with the Adios final set for approximately 4 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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

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

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

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

WASHINGTON, PA, July 22, 2014--McWicked, projected as the favorite for Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Lite at The Meadows, didn't hurt his chances when he pulled post position 2 in Tuesday's draw. Somewhere in L A and Let's Drink On it, who along with McWicked won Adios eliminations last Saturday, drew post positions 5 and 7, respectively. The draw was a mixed bag for horses with local connections. The Meadows-based trainer Ron Burke drew 3 and 9 for his Adios pair, At Press Time and Carracci Hanover, while Cammikey, campaigned by Cam Land Inc. of Washington County, will leave from the rail. No. 1 is the fifth-winningest post position this year at The Meadows. McWicked has won four of his last five starts--including the $500,000 final of the Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs--faltering only in the final of the North America Cup. The son of McArdle-Western Sahara is owned by SSG Stables and conditioned by Casie Coleman, who is bidding to become the first female trainer to win an Adios final. Several others have a chance to write their way into Meadows history. A win by Somewhere in L A would give trainer Jimmy Takter his third blanket of orchids in the last six years--he won with Vintage Master in 2009 and Sunfire Blue Chip last year--while a victory by Let's Drink On It would make 21-year-old Tyler Smith the youngest final heat winning driver in the 48-year history of the race. The Pace for the Orchids will go as race 12 with an approximate post time of 4 PM. It anchors a powerhouse 16-race card that features a total of six Grand Circuit stakes. The Adios field from the rail out, with drivers and trainers: 1. Cammikey Brian Zendt Bill Zendt 8-1 2. McWicked David Miller Casie Coleman 7-5 3. At Press Time Matt Kakaley Ron Burke 6-1 4. Beat The Drum Tim Tetrick Staffan Lind 20-1 5. Somewhere In L A Brett Miller Jimmy Takter 5-1 6. Stevensville Mark MacDonald Ray Schnittker 20-1 7. Let's Drink On It Tyler Smith Joe Seekman 7-2 8. Bushwacker Dave Palone Chris Ryder 10-1 9. Carracci Hanover Yannick Gingras Ron Burke 15-1 by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

BEDFORD PA - The two-year-old pacer Gordo astonished the racing fans at the Bedford (PA) Fair on Monday afternoon when he scorched to a 1:57 victory in a Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes event, missing both the all-time Bedford track record and the national season's record for age, sex, and gait by only 2/5 of a second. Driver Steve Schoeffel sent Gordo right to the front and blitzed amazing fractions of 28.2, 58.2, and 1:26.2 en route to the sensational victory. A son of McArdle out of the Blissful Hall mare Blissard Of Oz (who had had only one winner in four living foals pre-Gordo), the fast freshman was bred by Perretti Farms. (As to whether this horse is named after Gordon Waterstone, the Hervey Award-winning journalist for the Horseman and Fair World magazine, there are only two possible clues: 1) being a Perretti-bred, he was likely named by Communicators Hall of Fame candidate Bob Marks, who often incorporated people's names into horses' names: an earlier foal of Blissard Of Oz was named Duke Of Pellington; 2) the pacer is a gelding.) For driver Steve Schoeffel, the circuit's leading driver and trainer, it was his fifth visit to Victory Lane on the day (but first with a pacer; more on that later), all five of whom come from his own barn. His wife Kathy had her fourth winner of the day with Gordo, and co-owner Lander Stables LLC got their third. The other two winners in the sections of the FSS two-year-old colt pace had a distinctly "hometown" flavor. In the first, R N Nate paced in 2:00.2, which would be a divisional track standard for about 30 minutes, for breeder-owner-trainer-driver Roger Hammer, perhaps the best-known citizen of Bedford in harness racing. And in the second, Sam Beegle, PHHA president and a state wrestling championship finalist when attending his native Bedford High School, paraded back Modern Yankee after a 2:01.3 triumph. Two impressive freshman fillies paced home first in their Fair Sire Stakes cuts. Keystone I Wish was first up, and she went the first 2:00 mile of the local fair season when she won in even time for trainer/driver Todd Schadel. Her clocking shaved two seconds off the previous divisional track mark co-held by Keystone Trixie and Keystone Haden - a tribute to the Hempt Farms' "Keystones," which are still producing winners; Schadel is co-breeder of "Wish" with the Estate of George Hempt Trust. (And that is not to forget Keystone Famous, whose 1:56.3 here in 1986 is still the pacing record, though threatened by Gordo today.) The other baby filly winner, Tropical Terror, kept her distinction intact: she has now won at all seven stops to date on the circuit, here in 2:02.1 for (driver Chris) Shaw / (trainer Jason) Shaw / and (owner and 2YO himself Mason) Shaw. The Schoeffel barn sent out four of the five winners in Fair Sire Stakes freshman trotting competition, including the new track recordholder for 2TFs, Mooksie, who lowered the old mark 5 2/5 seconds with a 2:02.1 tally, over three seconds faster than any of her colt counterparts trotted today. Also a winner was Missive, in 2:05, for the same ownership as Gordo. The Schoeffelites winning the colt events were Police Navidad, fastest of the victorious trio in 2:05.3, and the unusually-bred Shark Gesture trotter out of an Artsplace mare, Chiney Babco, who has now won six "on the trot," here in 2:07.2. Trainer-owner Boots Dunn and driver Chris Shaw sent out 2:06.3 winner King Karma to break up a total Schoeffel sweep. Oh ... and the track was rated "slow" throughout the card. FINISHING LINES-The first race of the day was a Quaker State trot, and the only two entrants were from the Syl King Stable, so it was not really shocking to see a final time of 2:27.4 - which by the way, grouped with Gordo's 1:57 mile to produce a 30 4/5 second variance from fastest to slowest mile on a card, was NOT a record for Western Pennsylvania - just about 29 years ago, Marauder won his heat of the 1985 Adios in 1:52.1, and then, when Nihilator did not return for the final, took the trophy by walking over in 2:27.4, for a 35 3/5 second variance!... The three-year-olds take to the track at Bedford Tuesday at 11 a.m., and given the speed show put on by the babies, who knows how fast the sophomores will go? From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, July 21, 2014 -- An open draw for post positions for the $400,000 (est.) final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light is set for Tuesday, July 22, 12:30 PM, in The Meadows winners circle. All media are invited to attend. The draw will be available on Meadows Live! The final goes Saturday, July 26 and highlights a card that features six Grand Circuit stakes and is expected to offer more than $1 million in purses. First post Saturday is 12:20 PM. For more information, please see: www.meadowsgaming.com. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

July 20, 2014 – Sebastian K’s defeat in the Maple Leaf Trot broke many a handicappers’ heart but Anne Stepien managed to play the race right and as a result is the weekly champion in HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. By having a net profit of $479.06 for the weekend, moving from 12th place to 10th.  Rusty Nash was second best with a net profit of $260 won in the Lawrence B. Sheppard ay Yonkers Raceway, moving up one slot to 13th place.  Although showing only a $5 profit for the week, Bob Zanakis remains in 1stplace with an overall net profit of $2,860.70, $517.20 ahead of 2nd place Brandon Valvo.   There were several key hits for the weekend.  Ray Garnett managed to break even for the weekend thanks to his three horse $10 Exacta Box ($60 total) in the Battle of Lake Erie, which paid $240.  Derick Giwner managed a symbolic $2 profit for the weekend thanks to his $80 Win wager in the Sheppard which paid $252.00.  Rusty Nash’s 2nd place finish came as a result of his $100 Win, Place ticket in the Sheppard which rewarded him with a $510 dividend.  The weekly champion, Ann Stepien managed to earn her victory wheeling Sebastian K in a $4 Key Exacta Box with 8 horses ($64), earning her $619.40.  Bob Zanakis made a $5 profit thanks to his $50 Win, Place ticket ($100) in the Yonkers stake which paid $255.00.  Here are the standings after Saturday night’s action. As of July 19, 2014 - Leg 18 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis $5.00 $2,860.70   2nd Brandon Valvo ($210.00) $2,343.50 $517.20 3rd Derick Giwner $2.00 $417.17 $2,443.53 4th Ray Garnett $0.00 $233.85 $2,626.85 5th Mark McKelvie ($250.00) $28.00 $2,832.70 6th Brian McEvoy $12.50 ($192.50) $3,053.20 7th Earl Paulson ($250.00) ($366.00) $3,226.70 8th Garnet Barnsdale ($250.00) ($798.00) $3,658.70 9th Josi Verlingieri ($150.00) ($830.40) $3,691.10 10th Ann Stepien $479.06 ($831.11) $3,691.81 11th Sally Hinckley ($250.00) ($925.00) $3,785.70 12th Gordon Waterstone ($250.00) ($1,097.90) $3,958.60 13th Rusty Nash $260.00 ($1,872.40) $4,733.10 14th Dennis O'Hara ($250.00) ($2,128.20) $4,988.90 15th Ray Cotolo ($250.00) ($3,703.40) $6,564.10 The Grand Circuit Shoot-Out visits the Meadows this weekend on Saturday, July 26, for the $400,000 Adios, $150,000 Adioo Volo, and the Arden Downs for 2yo pacers and 3yo trotters of both sexes. Further contest details may be found at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. by Allan Schott, for HANA

Not even rainy conditions and a sloppy track could dampen the Adios Pace eliminations for three-year-olds colts at the Meadows Saturday as Somewhere In L A, Let’s Drink On It and McWicked all scored decisive triumphs in their respective divisions. The first three finishers from each $50,000 preliminary round return for the $400,000 final next Saturday afternoon. The first division saw driver Brett Miller give Somewhere In L A ($8.00) a golden second-over trip behind Journeyman (Scott Zeron) and they were able to top three-wide on the final turn and gun down pacesetter Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras) to score by an impressive four and one-half lengths in 1:50. His mile was the fastest of the three divisions and a lifetime mark for Somewhere In L A. Second was Bushwacker (Dave Palone) and Carracci Hanover (Matt Kakaley) finished third to make the final. Race favorite Limelight Beach faded to fourth place. It was the fourth win this year for Somewhere In L A. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere is trained by Jimmy Takter and is owned by J & T Stable, Deo Volente Farms and TL P Stables. Let’s Drink On It ($3.20) and driver Tyler Smith made a quarter move brush to the lead over Mattamerican (Dave Palone) and then held the field at bay to win his division by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:50.2. Beat The Drum (Brett Miller) closed well in the short field to be second and Cammikey (Brian Zendt) was able to grind it out first-over for third place and a spot in the final. “It was a little much going to the three-quarters in 1:21.4,” Said Tyler Smith after the race, “But he was up to it. “My horse is so much better from off the pace. He is wicked off the pace but did not get to do it tonight. But he was good tonight. He can do it either way as long as you don’t rough him up early. He is such a nice horse.” Sired by Art Official, it was the fifth win in nine starts this year for Let’s Drink On It. He is trained by Joe Seekman and co-owned by Tina Seekman, Larry Dond, Hal Hewitt and Vincent Boido, Jr. McWicked ($2.40) and driver David Miller went off as the overwhelming 1/5 betting favorite and did not disappoint his backers as they sped away to an easy three and one-quarter length victory in 1:50.4. Bondi Hanover (Scott Zeron) was the first on the lead, then At Press Time (Matt Kakaley) took command by the opening quarter mile and then they gave way to McWicked before the half mile marker. Brioni (Yannick Gingras) tried a first-over attempt to no avail. At Press Time was able to finish second with Stevensville (Mark MacDonald), who was third-over, closed well enough to finish third. “He was pretty comfortable,” David Miller said. “And he did it pretty easy. “He is an easy horse to rate. I knew Yannkick was just sitting out there so I took advantage of it. I didn’t want to leave real hard. I was waiting to see what would happen. He does not have to be on the lead. He can race just as well from off the pace.” Sired by McArtle and trained by Casie Coleman, it was the fifth win in eight starts this year for McWicked. In his last start he scored in 1:47.3 in winning the $500,000 final of the Max Hempt at Pocono Downs. McWicked is owned by the S S G Stables of North Boston, NY. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Here is an interview with Bill Zendt about his colt, Cammikey, who races tonight in the Adios Pace eliminations.   Produced by Jeff Zidek for MSOA    

ELORA, ON — Casie Coleman is just 33, but she has already been voted Canada’s harness racing trainer of the year five times and won many of the sport’s biggest races. Yet, the Cambridge, ON resident says she nearly walked away from the game at the height of her career. Despite all her success, her stable was too big, her health was suffering and she says she was absolutely miserable. “There were times I would say ‘I’ve had enough, I want to get out. I don’t like it.’ I didn’t like going to the barn,” she said July 15, a day before she swept all three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold events at Grand River Raceway for two-year-old pacing colts — all three sons of her former stakes star Sportswriter driven to victory by Chris Christoforou. On July 18, at Grand River, Coleman will try to repeat the hat trick when she sends out a trio of Sportswriter fillies to compete in OSS Gold events the same night the track celebrates the 40thanniversary of the sires stakes program. Saturday, her world champion McWicked will race in eliminations for the $600,000 Adios at The Meadows near Pittsburgh. In June, McWicked set a 1:47.3 world record on a five-eighths mile track when he won the $500,000 Max Hempt Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Regardless of what happens on the track, Coleman says her biggest victory came this winter when she lost 57 pounds and worked herself into peak shape in Florida as part of a number of major life changes. “I hired a personal trainer. I worked with him all winter. Basically, I was doing anywhere from two to four hours every single day. I never took a day off,” she said. “The diet thing was a huge. All I drink is water and green tea now, whereas before I would drink about four coffees a day (double-doubles), Grey Goose and Sprite, probably three or four Starbucks frappuccinos, Pepsi. You name it. I was drinking about 3,000 calories a day, I figured out. Now, all I have is 1,000 calories a day on the diet I’m on.” In recent years, Coleman was more of a barn manager overseeing 120 horses. Today she’s cut back to 41 — 20 in Ontario and 21 at her New Jersey stable.  She is also back on the track training many of her horses herself. “I couldn’t be any happier. I’m glad I’ve finally seen how out of shape I was and I wasn’t training my own horses and a million different things that I was doing wrong. I got them all corrected and back on the right path now,” Coleman said. “I feel awesome now. I used to always be tired and just not really feel that good all the time and always in a (bad) mood,” she said. When she returned to Ontario this spring after five months of training horses in Florida, Coleman said many people have done double takes. “You’ll hear them say, ‘Is that Casie?’ They don’t even recognize me. Everyone says I look 10 years younger,” she said. “I had some people tell me, ‘You’ve trained a lot of good horses, but the best training job you’ve ever done is on yourself.’” To hear our conversation with Casie Coleman — including wild tales of O’Brien Award parties, driving her new Maserati and what music she thinks is playing on repeat in hell — check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway By Dave Briggs, for Grand River Raceway

WASHINGTON, PA, July 19, 2014 -- A filly and her driver may be asked to do many things to win a stake race, but finding a path through a flock of truculent geese typically isn't among them. That was the case Friday at The Meadows, however, when Southwind Roulette and Yannick Gingras avoided the geese and captured a division of the Sand Tart, an $227,160 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for freshman filly pacers. The event was contested over three divisions, with Aria Hanover and Shakai Hanover also taking splits. Gingras enjoyed -- if that's the word -- a stake double, as he also piloted Aria Hanover. The geese, perhaps 15 of them, had "honkered" down around the three-quarter pole; as the field approached, they seemed determined to maintain their newfound territory. To complicate matters, a deer outside the fence was trying to match strides with the field. Dave Palone, sitting In The Pocket with Gold Beach behind Southwind Roulette, vacated the two hole and went wide when he noticed the birds. "I don't think Yannick knew they were there at all," Palone said. "I'm following him and I'm like, I better not be dead on his back in case his horse sticks her toes in. So I moved out in the two path. I figured, if he fell inside and mine fell outside, at least we wouldn't trip over them. I think we went right through them." Gingras indicated that by the time he saw the geese, there was no way to change course. "I've never seen geese and a deer at the same time," he said. "David screamed behind me when he saw them, but it was too late to move. My filly didn't care one bit. She just went right through them." The birds reluctantly scattered, and there were no injuries to humans or animals. The judges stamped the race official only after speaking with the drivers involved. Southwind Roulette defeated the rallying Kays Dragon Lady by 2 lengths in 1:53.2, with the unlucky Gold Beach third. Ron Burke trains the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Rio for Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor. Gingras' other stake victory was more conventional, as Aria Hanover followed the cover of Doctor Terror and prevailed in 1:53.4 for her second straight PASS win. Doctor Terror fell a head short while Arielle Lynn was fourth-placed-third. "About five horses left inside me," Gingras said. "I figured, if they mix it up enough, I'll be okay. But when I saw the first quarter in 28.2, I was a bit worried and wondered if I should have left harder. But it worked out. If they're good enough, they'll get it done." Jimmy Takter conditions the daughter of Well Said-Allamerican Cognac for Brittany Farms. Shakai Hanover was shuffled to fifth approaching the final turn but found late room outside and stormed through the stretch to score in 1:53.2, a head better than Ginger Tree Alexis. Eloquently Stated completed the ticket. Mark MacDonald drove the daughter of Well Said-She's A Fan, who broke her maiden with the victory, for trainer Carl Jamieson, who owns with Winnipeg Racing and Vira Johnson. "I was a little worried I might be too far back to win," MacDonald said. "She really paced hard when I showed her some racetrack. They're not supposed to win from there -- maybe third. At the wire, she really wanted it. She was sticking her head out and digging hard." Palone drove four winners on the 15-race card. Saturday's program at The Meadows kicks off Adios Week with three $50,000 divisions (races 3-5) of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Lite. Also featured are two events for sophomore filly pacers -- a $208,846 PA Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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