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Wilkes-Barre, PA - Ake Svanstedt expected his colt Marseille to follow heavy harness racing favorite Greenshoe in Saturday's (June 29) $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, but his plan never came to fruition. Instead, Marseille led from start to finish in the event for 3-year-old trotters to spring a 55-1 upset at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Marseille won the Beal by a head over Greenshoe, the 1-9 favorite whose furious rally in the final sixteenth of a mile came up a stride short, in a time of 1:52.3 over a track labeled "good" to spark a $116 payout on a $2 win ticket. Green Manalishi S finished third. At the start of the race, Marseille and Swandre The Giant each left quickly from outside spots on the gate, posts seven and eight, respectively, with Marseille getting the lead in a :26.2 opening quarter-mile. Marseille led by 1-1/4 lengths over Swandre The Giant and 5-1/4 lengths over third-place Osterc at that point. Svanstedt rated a :30.3 second quarter with Marseille, during which Osterc launched a first-over bid, getting out ahead of Green Manalishi S, who was fourth, and Greenshoe, who was sixth. Osterc attempted to overtake Marseille in a :27.4 third quarter but was unable to draw even with the leader. Osterc went off stride in the final turn while Green Manalishi S was on the move three wide and Greenshoe eventually four wide as they headed toward the top of the stretch. Marseille trotted his final quarter in :27.4, which was just enough to hold off Greenshoe, who was more than five lengths back after the field turned for home. It was Greenshoe's first loss in four races this season. Greenshoe entered the Beal as the No.1-ranked horse in Meadowlands Racetrack announcer/analyst Ken Warkentin's Road to the Hambletonian. The $1 million Hambletonian is Aug. 3 at the Meadowlands. Marseille also is eligible to the Hambletonian. "My chance to be second in this race was to leave fast and maybe come behind Greenshoe," said Svanstedt, who also trains Marseille. "But he never came, so then it was just to go to the front." Marseille, a son of Muscle Hill-Order By Wish, has won two of four races this season and two of eight in his career. He has earned $317,758 for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Order By Stable, and Howard Taylor. The Earl Beal Jr. Memorial honors the former president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, who was a driving force to bring casino gaming to the state's racetracks. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Sweet Lou - Keystone Dawn two-year-old pacing colt Keystone Dash set a North American season's harness racing record for his division as he dashed to a 1:54.2 victory in a morning baby qualifying race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Keystone Dash went right to the lead and posted equal halves of :57.1 while in control to the wire. Keystone Dash's trainer and driver may surprise some - he is a member of the Ake Svanstedt stable, and Svanstedt handled driving chores in his record mile for Ake Svanstedt Inc. But superior horsemanship is gait-transferrable - as proven by a fellow native Swede who wore green, black, and white in his Hall of Fame career. The Charlie Norris stable sent out both winners in two-year-old trotting males action: the Muscle Massive - My Winning Way K colt Moveoutofmyway K, driven by Matt Kakaley to a 1:59.3 win, and the Cantab Hall - Tough Girl Lindy colt Tuff To Be Lindy, whom Norris guided to a 2:00.3 victory.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Trixton sophomore filly Golden Tricks, developing rapidly for the Ake Svanstedt harness racing stable, won her second straight race and lowered her lifetime speed mark to 1:54 in winning the $15,000 featured trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono during the Tuesday twilight card. Eric Carlson got the catch-driving assignment from Svanstedt and kept the winner in the second half of the field to the half as Town Hall Justice cut out fractions of :26.4 and :56.2, then made a big backstretch move that brought her to the pacesetter by the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Golden Tricks was by the leader in a matter of steps and drew off to be clear by 3½ lengths at the finish for owners Brixton Medical Inc., whose filly was third in a New Jersey Sire Stakes Final in only her third lifetime start and is regaining peak form approaching the first of August In a $14,000 pace for mares, Rockin The Boys A posted her second straight victory, taking a North American speed mark of 1:51.1. George Napolitano Jr., a five-time winenr on the card, sent the Rock N Roll Heaven mare to the lead and through early fractions of :27.1 and :56.2, then got her to step consecutive :27.2 quarters home to defeat Bye Bye Michelle by 1¾ lengths and boost her lifetime earnings to $101,453. Andrew Harris conditions the winner for Cool Cat Racing Inc. A couple of $13,000 races for two-year-old trotters caught the eye, promising to deliver stakes performers in the near future. First up was a field of fillies, with Impressive Fashion, a daughter of Father Patrick out of Impressive Kemp (a Breeders Crown winner here and a half-sister to Hambletonian winner Trixton), sent out to the lead by driver David Miller and cutting fractions of :28.4, 1:00.1, and 1:29.1. Impressive Fashion had a lead of a couple of lengths nearing headstretch when she suddenly bore out to about the 3½-wide path (towards the headstretch Pocono paddock), giving her rivals what looked like a second life. But Miller got the filly, in her purse debut, corrected, and she took off again to win in 1:58, 1½ lengths ahead of Aperfectcrystal, for trainer Jim Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC. 18 minutes later, in a baby event for males, it was deja vu all over again for Miller, Campbell, and Fashion Farms, as pacesetter Steel Schooner, a Possess The Will - Broadway Schooner gelding and a ¾ brother to champion Broadway Donna, set the pace in :28.3, :59.3, and 1:28.4. Then, in about the same spot where Impressive Fashion started to bear out - so did Steel Schooner. Steel Schooner did not go as wide as his stablemate, again with Miller's quick handling, but lurking in the pocket was favored Paulie Walnuts, an Andover Hall colt out of D Liteful Hanover, a half-sister to Donato Hanover. "Paulie" took advantage of this opportunity, winning by a half-length over his resurgent foe in 1:57.2, a tick off the North American season's mark, for trainer Gareth Dowse and owner Howard Taylor. Paulie Walnuts                                        --  Curtis Salonick photo Last night one favorite and ten second choices were victorious; tonight ten favorites and one second choice won.   Jerry Connors

With a returning Dan Patch Award winner (Six Pack) and multiple world-record-holder (Plunge Blue Chip) among his 4-year-old trotters, it's no surprise to find harness racing trainer Ake Svanstedt with a horse tied for the points lead after three rounds of the Graduate Series. Except for the surprise. The horse is Muscle M Up. "He's a surprise. He's surprised me," Svanstedt said with a laugh about the 4-year-old stallion, who has a win and a second in his two Graduate starts. "When he came to me, he did not train so good before he qualified. But when he qualified, he was a different horse. He was a real racehorse. He wants to race. He has a good heart, very good heart." Muscle M Up has won three of four races overall this season, earning $54,000. The stallion was purchased by Knutsson Trotting Inc. at last fall's Standardbred Mixed Sale for $65,000 after campaigning for breeder-owner Fashion Farms and trainer Jim Campbell. As a 2-year-old, Muscle M Up won two of three races including a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. He was limited to eight starts, winning two, at age 3. "I talked with Jim Campbell and he said he had a lot of problems when he was young," Svanstedt said. "Maybe he is older now and stronger. I think the time has helped. He feels like a good horse." Muscle M Up, a son of Muscle Hill out of stakes-winner Fashion Athena, won his first Graduate start in a career-best 1:51.2 on May 18 at The Meadowlands. On June 9, he finished second to mare Custom Cantab in a Graduate division at Tioga Downs. Custom Cantab and gelding Crystal Fashion are tied with Muscle M Up with 60 points apiece in the series. On Friday, Muscle M Up competes in the first of two $50,000 final preliminary rounds of the Graduate Series at the Meadowlands. He faces a challenging task, meeting a field that includes newly minted Canadian record holder Atlanta, Crystal Fashion, Custom Cantab, Plunge Blue Chip, and 2017 Dan Patch Award winner Manchego. Atlanta, the 2018 Trotter of the Year, is unbeaten in four races this season and heads to Friday's start off a 1:50.2 win in the Armbro Flight Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Ron Burke-trained mare is the even-money favorite on the morning line. "This is a tougher race for him, but I think he can do a good race," Svanstedt said about Muscle M Up, who will have Andy Miller in the sulky because Svanstedt will drive mare Plunge Blue Chip. "I think he is going to race good." Plunge Blue Chip finished second to Atlanta in her elimination for the Armbro Flight Stakes but got sick the day after the race and was scratched from the final. She shares the world records for 3-year-old filly trotters on a half-mile track (1:53.1) and mile track (1:49.4). Plunge Blue Chip (Curtis Salonick Photo) "She grew a lot during the winter," Svanstedt said about the mare, who has won 17 of 27 career races and earned $1.01 million. "She is bigger and taller. She is a bigger horse. She did not grow so much between (ages) 2 and 3, but this winter she grew a lot. I'm excited to see what she can do this summer. "There are some tough horses, but she raced (1):49.4 two times last year, so she's not so bad either. She trained a lot of miles but not so fast before she qualified, so every race is going to move her forward." Svanstedt expects the same from Six Pack, improvement in every start. Six Pack, who last season became the fastest 3-year-old trotter in history (1:49.1) on his way to Dan Patch honors, is in the second Graduate division, where he is the 2-1 morning-line favorite over Fiftydallarbill (5-2) and Phaetosive (4-1). Six Pack, a stallion who has won 16 of 25 career starts and $1.38 million, captured his Graduate debut at the Big M before finishing third behind Crystal Fashion and Fiftydallarbill at Tioga. The $250,000 Graduate Series finals for trotters and pacers are July 6 at The Meadowlands. Friday's card at the Big M also includes the third round of the Rainbow Blue Series for female pacers. Caviart Ally is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in a field of six going for a purse of $40,000. Caviart Ally won the May 18 leg of the Rainbow Blue and enters Friday's race off a third-place finish in the Roses Are Red Stakes. Kissin In The Sand, the 2018 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly pacer, is the 2-1 second choice. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) Friday. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will host the third leg of the Grand Circuit Graduate Series for 4-year-olds on Sunday afternoon. Both the pace and trot split into two divisions, each for a purse of $50,000.   Lather Up and Courtly Choice will hook up in the first of two seven horse pacing divisions in race six. This pair split the first leg of Graduate divisions at The Meadowlands back on May 4 with Lather Up taking the single division of the second leg at WMP last Saturday. Lather Up is a slight favorite in the field of seven with Montrell Teague back aboard for trainer Clyde Francis and owners Gary & Barbara Iles.   Division two (race 9) features Done Well and Thinkbig Dreambig who are both off to strong starts on the season. Thinkbig Dreambig is the 2-1 choice in this division off losing a photo to Lather Up in last week's race. Scott Zeron has the drive for trainer Nancy Johansson and owners Brixton Medical, Fielding, Anderberg and Falk.   The first trotting division (race seven) sees leg one winner Muscle M Up (Ake Svanstedt) look to double up in the series from post 2 in the abbreviated five horse field. He has won all three starts this year for owner Knutsson Trotting but has been on the bench since his May 18 Graduate success.   Division two (race 10) features plenty of horsepower with a pair of million dollar winning sophomores from last year, Six Pack and Crystal Fashion, meeting up for the first time this season. Six Pack became the fastest 3-year-old colt trotter ever twice last year by winning in 1:50 at The Meadowlands then taking the Kentucky Futurity in a sizzling 1:49.1. Six Pack captured his division of the first Graduate leg then skipped leg two in Canada and will make his second seasonal start on Sunday. Ake Svanstedt drives and trains for his own interests along with partners Little E, LLC, Knutsson Trotting, Stall Kalmer and L. Berg.   Post time for the 13 race card is 1:00 pm.     Nick Salvi

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - A parade of stars, one wicked-fast final quarter and total handle that came close to the $3-million mark highlighted a huge Saturday (May 18) night of harness racing last week at the Meadowlands. Some of the notable winners on the program were Caviart Ally, who won the Rainbow Blue in 1:49.2 for her second straight Big M score; Six Pack, who took his division of the Graduate in 1:53.1 in his seasonal debut; Muscle M Up (1:51.2), who won the other Graduate division to give Ake Svanstedt a training and driving sweep of the event's first leg; and Trolley, who sailed down the road in the second leg of the Mr Muscleman Series, in 1:52.1. Mach N Cheese made news by finishing second in his race, a Preferred for 4-year-old pacers. His final quarter was a nothing-short-of-electric :24.3, a time that impressed Big M Program Director Kelly Putaski. "I'm not sure if it's the fastest-ever final quarter at the Meadowlands," said Putaski. "But it is the fastest last quarter since January 8th of 2002, when I assumed charting duties." The winner of the race was Trump Nation, who scored in 1:49.3. Saturday wagering at the Big M totaled $2,947,166, falling approximately $50,000 short of reaching the $3-million mark for what would have been the 10th time this year. Betting in the 50-Cent Pick-4 pool was energetic as a total of $111,102 was poured into the pot. Players who correctly selected the winning sequence where winner's odds were 4-1, 7-1, 7-2 and 11-1 were rewarded with a payoff of $1,182.15. Speaking of wagering, the first Graduate division - despite being reduced to a field of seven after 2018 Hambletonian champion Atlanta scratched - took in a total of $307,793 in bets as both the Exacta and Trifecta pools edged past the $79,000 mark. McWicked, the 2018 Horse of the Year, started his defense of that trophy by defeating the previously unbeaten Sintra at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 1:49.4. Big M fans will recall how McWicked won his last two starts of last year at the New Jersey mile oval. As always, free program pages for the 20-Cent Can-Am Pick-4 (Friday only) as well as the Meadowlands' 50-Cent Pick-4 (Friday and Saturday) will be available at www.ustrotting.com and www.playmeadowlands.com. Twenty-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five fans are no doubt looking forward to Friday's fifth race, where a carryover of $94,720 awaits. Live racing will take place this Friday and Saturday. Post time is 7:15 p.m. SWIPE AND SCORE: If you are a Players Club member, you can win $2 - all the way up to $1,500 - in the Big M's "Swipe and Score" contest. A voucher will print when a Players Club card is swiped (first swipe only) on Friday (May 24), and if you are not a club member, become one by contacting James Johnston at jjohnston@playmeadowlands.com or any Players Club representative. WINNERS FOR CHARITY: A total of $15,000 will be up for grabs on Saturday (May 25) and the beneficiaries will be 10 local charitable organizations in New Jersey. The Meadowlands' "Charity Handicapping Contest" will bestow upon the organizations at least $500, up to a top prize of $5,000. The organizations will amass a mythical bankroll during the course of the card to determine the winner. PUT ON YOUR RUNNING SHOES: Beer, food, music and fun will be on the menu for the Big M's "Corporate Fun Run 5K" on Thursday (May 30). They'll be a DJ, a photographer, a race announcer and awards for fastest teams and individuals. Tackle Kids Cancer is the exclusive charity partner of the CFR North Jersey 5K. For more information about the event, contact amy.glazer@hackensackmeridian.org. HANDICAPPING YOUTH: Come on out to the Big M on Saturday (June 1) and take part in a free handicapping contest with cash prizes, but only if you are 18-30 years of age. The $5,000 prize pool is entirely sponsored by Jeff and Paula Gural's Allerage Farms and is earmarked for young folks who want to come out and see the live race card and try to pick winners along the way. Register on the night of the contest by 7 p.m. on Victory Terrace. First prize is $2,500, with the second- and third-place finishers taking away $1,500 and $1,000, respectively. TRIPLE CROWN FINALE: The featured simulcast event at the Meadowlands on Saturday (June 8) will be the Belmont Stakes. Big M gates will open at 10:30 a.m. The first race at Belmont is at 11:35 a.m. with the Belmont Stakes scheduled to go at 6:37 p.m. BURGER BATTLE: Make a good burger? Come on out to the Meadowlands on Saturday (June 8) and participate in the fourth annual "Battle for the Best Burger". You could win $1,500. The contest begins at noon and is open to area food trucks and restaurants. For complete details and the entry form, go to http://meadowlandsracetrack.com/uploadedFiles/burger%20battle_sign%20up%20sheet.pdf?_ga=2.178949665.422530968.1558563081-565511049.1524064426. TITLE CHASES: The FanDuel Sportsbook is the place to watch and wager on the NHL Stanley Cup Final, in which the St. Louis Blues will take on the Boston Bruins, and the NBA Finals, where the defending champion Golden State Warriors will face off against the Toronto Raptors or Milwaukee Bucks. The opening game of the NHL series is on Monday (May 27) at 8 p.m. while the NBA matchup will begin on Thursday (May 30) at 9 p.m. The FanDuel Sportsbook offers plenty of comfortable seating with a full-service bar and plenty of tasty food choices.     Dave Little

WILKES-BARRE PA – Millionaire trotting mare Plunge Blue Chip was impressive in her first official trip behind the gate in her four-year-old season, going wire-to-wire in 1:54.2 in a harness racing qualifier Wednesday morning at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The daughter of Muscle Mass was guided as usual by trainer Åke Svanstedt, and she set fractions of :29.2, :58.4, and 1:27 en route to a 5½ length victory, with a back half of :55.3, and a final quarter of :27.2. Åke Svanstedt Inc. co-owns the talented trotter with Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and Tomas Andersson. Last year Plunge Blue Chip turned in three world record performances. Over a mile track she twice trotted in 1:49.4, at The Meadowlands and at The Red Mile, to tie with fellow then-sophomore Impinktoo as the fastest distaff trotter in North America in 2018. At Delaware she tied the divisional world record of Frau Blucher with a 1:53.1 victory. She also won her New York Sire Stakes championship, and her career figures are now 26-17-3-4 for earnings of $1,003,559.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

This week's harness racing action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono contained our first taste of both Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Pennsylvania Stallion Series action, while the Great Northeast Open series continued as well with the male pacers on Saturday night. There was a little bit of everything for the faithful on tap, including sudden thunderstorms, a dead heat for a win, and, of course, plenty of fantastic performances. Let's take a look at the best of those by handing out the Weekly Awards.   PACER OF THE WEEK: ATTA BOY DAN The hot streak for this 10-year-old gelding began on his way out of the Meadows on April 27 when he finished in a dead heat for the win in a condition pace in 1:51:1. He then came to Pocono and scored in a claiming handicap pace on May 11, winning that one in come-from-behind fashion in 1:51:4. On Saturday night he was at it again in that $30,000 to $40,000 claiming handicap group, only this time he was making his first start for trainer Hunter Oakes after he had been claimed in the previous race. In this race, Atta Boy Dan was saddled with the outside post in a field of seven, which was probably why he was only the 8-5 second choice on the board. Driver Eric Goodell decided he wanted his horse on the lead, and the gelding was able to achieve that with a swooping move around the first turn. On the back stretch, Atta Boy Dan faced down a first-over challenge from 6-5 betting favorite Dancin Hill, which he rebuffed with extreme prejudice. The work from Atta Boy Dan was far from done, as Concur and Boogie Nights, a pair of long shots who had been saving ground, both came charging up to challenge in the stretch. But the veteran answered the call by gutting out the win by 1 ¼ lengths over Concur in 1:51:4. At age ten, a lot of standardbreds are winding down. But Atta Boy Dan is on a blistering stretch right now and is showing no signs of giving his opponents a break and letting up. Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Rock The Town (George Napolitano Jr., Antonia Storer), who moved up in class to win a claiming handicap pace on Saturday night, his second straight victory since arriving from Delaware, in a career-best 1:50:4; Rodeo Rock (Eric Goodell, Robert Cleary), who tore it up for a victory in the Great Northeast Open pacing series on Saturday night in 1:49, a new career-best and the fastest pacing time of the 2019 Pocono meet to date; and Captain Crunch (Scott Zeron, Nancy Johansson), who returned to start off his three-year-old season at the scene of his Breeders Crown triumph and put on a show in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes victory on Sunday night, matching a career-best with a 1:49:1 mile in the slop.   TROTTER OF THE WEEK: DI OGGI Sunday night is usually the night when trotters take center stage at Pocono, but this past week, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Stallion Series for three-year-old pacers highlighted the action. Still, there were some outstanding trots that would normally have been features, including a condition trot with a purse of #17,500 early in the evening. It was a top field of seven, six of which have been campaigning regularly at Pocono this year with high levels of success. But it was Di Oggi, who had spent most of his time this year at the Meadowlands for trainer Ake Svanstedt, who went off as the 4-5 favorite. He came in on a streak of three second-place finishes, which included his lone start at Pocono this year when he came up short of Tag Up And Go. In this mile, Di Oggi, a five-year-old stallion, left from post position #5 but didn't get away quickly. He was forced to grind away first-over in the sloppy conditions, dueling away with Tyson, who set the pace. After wearing down Tyson, Di Oggi, also driven by Svanstedt, then had to deal with Lucky Colby, a 55-1 long shot who hugged the pylons most of the race and then came on strong late in the mile with a big move. But Di Oggi was up to the test, holding tight to beat Lucky Colby by a neck. His winning time of 1:54:1 was just shy of his career-best and was the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono, despite the fact that it came on a sloppy track. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: CR Blazin Beauty (Anthony Napolitano, Jose Godinez), a mare who beat the boys in a condition trot on Sunday night in 1:55:4 in the off-going; Don (Mike Simons driver and trainer), who captured a tough condition trot on Sunday night in the slop despite it being just his second start of the year, matching a career-best of 1:54:3 in the process; and Explosivebreakaway (Tom Jackson, Fred Grant), who delivered a career-best performance by winning a condition trot on Tuesday in 1:54:2.   LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MYSTICAL WYNN This trotter came rocketing up the passing lane late with Mike Simons in the bike to win a condition at 35-1, paying off a hefty $73.80 on a $2-win ticket.   DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANDREW McCARTHY McCarthy was on top of his game in his two appearances last week at Pocono, winning five times, including a pair of Stallion Series victories on Sunday night.   TRAINER OF THE WEEK: TONY ALAGNA Alagna seems to always have a deep roster of young talent, and that was proven on Sunday night when his horses took two of the four Stallion Series divisions for three-year-old pacers. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com.     Jim Beviglia

The 2019 Elitloppet harness racing field is now set as shown below for May 26 th at Solvalla.   The Jean-Michel Bazire trainees Looking Superb and Aubrion du Gers will be driven by Ake Svanstedt and Jos. Verbeeck respectively.   This pair are among the favorites along with Readly Express and Propulsion that drew in separate eliminations.   Elim 1 Elitloppet   Makethemark, Ulf Ohlsson Disco Volante, Jorma Kontio Double Exposure, Erik Adielsson Next Direction, Ilkka Nurmonen Looking Superb, Ake Svanstedt (JM Bazire trainer) Uza Josselyn, Gabriele Gelormini Readly Express, Bjorn Goop Sorbet, Carl Johan Jepson   Elim 2 Elitloppet   Aubrion du Gers, Jos. Verbeeck (JM Bazire trainer) Milligan’s School, Ulf Eriksson Bahia Quesnot, Junior Guelpa Day Or Night In, Johan Untersteiner Propulsion, Orjan Kihlstrom Milliondollarrhyme, Fredrik B. Larsson Heavy Sound, Kenneth Haugstad Dijon, Romain Derieux   The Sweden Cup lineup is set for May25 at Solvalla, with three eliminations. Cyber Lane. Arazi Boko, Dante Boko and Pastore Bob are among the likely favored starters.      

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - If excelling with trotters was a course one could take in school, there's little doubt Ake Svanstedt would get straight 'A's. Saturday night at the Meadowlands, Svanstedt - serving as both harness racing trainer and driver - won both divisions of the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-olds on the trot with Six Pack and Muscle M Up. In the first division, the look of the race changed with the scratch of 2018 Hambletonian champion Atlanta, but that appeared to suit Six Pack just fine. The son of Muscle Mass-Pleasing Lady was on the move from the start and moved to the lead while parked past the quarter in :27.2, putting 3-5 favorite Fiftydallarbill in the pocket. A :30.3 sleepwalk of a second quarter followed as the top two betting choices raced 1-2 all the way to the wire. Fiftydallarbill rallied some in deep stretch but was no threat to Six Pack, who held on by a half-length in 1:53.1 in his 2019 debut. As the 6-5 second choice, Six Pack returned $4.40 to his backers while winning for the 16th time from 24 career starts, good for earnings of $1,383,290. A year ago, his major wins included the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot. While Six Pack has a monster resume, stablemate Muscle M Up does not, but that did not stop the son of Muscle Hill-Fashion Athena from taking the other Graduate division in a sizzling lifetime best of 1:51.2. Svanstedt once again asked his horse for early speed and got it, racing on the lead at the quarter in :27.2 before yielding to 3-5 chalk Mission Accepted. Crystal Fashion raced first-over to go after the leader around the far turn with Muscle M Up waiting for some space to race. He found it by swerving out to the four path for the stretch drive once there was enough clearance to do so and cruised past the field to record a half-length win over Crystal Fashion. Mission Accepted was third. The winner returned $17.60 to his backers as the third choice in the wagering and won for the seventh time in 14 lifetime starts. His earnings stand at $87,972. A LITTLE MORE: Tim Tetrick drove four winners on the card, while Andy McCarthy had two to run his total to nine over the last three programs. ... Betting on the 50-Cent Pick-4 was vigorous as a total of $111,102 was poured into the pot. Those sharp enough to have the sequence with winner's odds of 4-1, 7-1, 7-2 and 11-1 hit for $1,182.15. ... Conditions were ideal as of the 11 pacing events on the card, seven went in under 1:50. ... All-source wagering was just short of the $3 million mark, as $2,947,166 was pushed through the windows. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. Gabe Prewitt will make his return to the Meadowlands' TV team and serve as co-host of the live in-house simulcast show.   By Dave Little Meadowlands Media Relations

Fans got their first look at Swedish-bred trotter Darling Mearas during Saturday's (May 11) qualifiers at The Meadowlands Racetrack, but they will have to wait a little longer than anticipated to see the 6-year-old mare in her first race in North America. Darling Mearas, who earned $750,199 in Europe and counted the 2016 Swedish Trotting Oaks and 2018 European Championship for harness racing mares among her wins, posted a 1:56.1 victory in her Big M qualifier for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. But Svanstedt was not completely happy with the performance, so he plans to delay Darling Mearas' debut, which was expected to come in Monday's (May 20) first round of the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "She trained back good but when she qualified, I was not a hundred percent satisfied with her," said Svanstedt, who took over the training of Darling Mearas following her arrival in the U.S. earlier this spring. "We're not going to race her yet. We're going to wait a couple of weeks. Her gait was not perfect in the last turn. She must feel a little bit better." Darling Mearas, a daughter of Cantab Hall out of the Muscles Yankee mare Khao Manee, won 12 of 29 races in Europe for trainer Stefan Persson and breeder-owner Snogarps GÃ¥rd, a farm run by the Wihlborg family. The family might be best known to North American racing fans as the owner of 2014 Breeders Crown champion Commander Crowe, who earned $5.09 million worldwide in his career. Calle Wihlborg told Sweden's Sulky Sport magazine the decision to send Darling Mearas to North America was made in part because she would have more opportunities to race in stakes events restricted to mares. Svanstedt was selected as the trainer because "purely historically, he has been very good at getting older horses to take another step." Darling Mearas is staked to a number of Grand Circuit events this season, including the Breeders Crown, Armbro Flight, Dr. John R. Steele Memorial, and the TVG Championship. "The plan is to race her here this summer and then breed her with a top stallion here in America next spring," Svanstedt said. "She is a good horse. She was one of the best mares and she was a good horse in the stakes races when she was young. She has a lot of power and she wants to do the job. She is always nice to drive and if you ask her, she does the job."   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

CHESTER PA – The stars of the day Friday at Harrah’s Philadelphia, where three-year-old trotting fillies contested their first preliminary harness racing round in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Pennsylvania Stallion Series, were driver Yannick Gingras, sire Cantab Hall – and a $200,000 yearling, never on the board in seven previous career starts, winning a Sire Stakes section and paying $100.80, or more than the other thirteen winners on the card combined. The longshot special was Hallintheclouds, who wasn’t a longshot on pedigree – sired by Cantab Hall, who added three Stallion Series credits, and out of the Yankee Glide mare Headintheclouds, the dam of the $870G+ winner Barn Girl. And she wasn’t a longshot in the mind of trainer/driver Åke Svanstedt, who sent her to the lead just after a :28 opener, then brought her back uncovered after two horses had passed her to the :57.2 half. Hallintheclouds went right up to favored Magical Beliefs, looked her in the eye to the 1:26.1 three-quarters, and went right on by headstretch, trotting out a 2 1/2 length winner over Firedbylindie, also used early and late, in a new mark of 1:55.4 for Åke Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, Fayette AB, and Gabriella’s LLC. Gingras had four trips to the Philly winners circle Friday, including one in the Stallion Series and two in the Sire Stakes. The fastest mile among the sophomore misses was the 1:54 posted in the Sires by the Muscle Hill filly Asiago (also a $200,000 yearling, with My MVP close-up on her dam’s side). Gingras guided her to the early lead, set fractions of :27.3, :57, and 1:24.3, then coasted home four lengths to the good of Matter Of Fact for trainer Per Engblom, and the ownership of Marvin Katz, Sam Goldband, Al Libfeld, and Black Horse Racing. Another Sire Stakes winner for Gingras was the Muscle Massive miss Sonnet Grace, who made her 2019 debut a successful one. The well-bred filly (CR Kay Suzie is her granddam) set fractions of :27.4, :57, and 1:25, then held off the late rush of longshot Personal Pride (Svanstedt -- a foreshadowing of the next division?) by a nose for trainer Ron Burke and the Sonnet Grace Stable. The Possess The Will filly Millies Possesion, unraced at two, is undefeated in two career starts after setting an individual standard of 1:54.4 in the other Sires section. Dexter Dunn patiently worked up to the lead with “Millie” past a :28 opener, then put up middle splits of :57.2 and 1:25.3, after which she still had plenty to be three lengths clear of Jezzys Legacy on the wire for trainer Jim Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC. All five Stallion Series winners lowered their marks in victory. The three daughters of Cantab Hall who won were Cant Touch It, a 1:55.3 winner in her seasonal debut while a neck to the good of Swizzle Sticks for driver Scott Zeron, trainer Nancy Johansson, and the partnership of Christina Takter, John Fielding, and Stephen Gordon; Altercation, who withstood Lindy Misssunshine by a neck in 1:56.3 for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Jenny Melander, and the ownership of Melander Racing Inc. Noonan Harness Racing LLC, Clark Stables LLC, and John Devito; and Keystone Abbey, a half length winner over Giant Possession in 1:56.4 for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Beaver, the latter co-owner with Donald Robertson, Martin Yoder, and R.B.H. Ventures Inc. The Donato Hanover filly American Kronos was sharp in her 2019 bow, winning by three lengths over Matterlei in 1:54.3, fastest of all Stallion Series divisions, and quicker than three of the four Sire Stakes cuts. Yannick Gingras drove for trainer Julie Miller and owners Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and David Goodrow. The final Stallion Series victress was the Explosive Matter miss Spring In Paris, now five-for-six in 2019 after downing Fashion Rachel by a three length margin in 1:55.1 for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Steve LeBlanc, and Leblanc Racing Inc., Glenn Dyke, and Douglas Johnson. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia Jerry Connors

The finish of the August 5, 2017 $1 million Hambletonian, was the subject of two judge's inquiries, and resulted in the winner of the richest race for sophomore trotters being disqualified and placed out of the money for the first time in Hambletonian history. The appeal of that judge's decision has been finalized and purse monies from the event held 18 months ago were recently order disbursed by the NJ Racing Commission. What The Hill, driven by Dave Miller and trained by Ron Burke, was fourth in his Hambletonian elimination heat, but came roaring back in the final heat of the Hambletonian to win in 1:52.3. The inquiry light was flashed and after reviewing the race for two incidents - International Moni's break in the first turn and Guardian Angel AS going off stride in the stretch - both were deemed interference breaks, and What The Hill was placed ninth behind Guardian Angel AS, who galloped when the wheel of What The Hill's sulky struck his hoof. Second-place finisher Perfect Spirit, driven and trained by Ake Svanstedt, was placed first, his owners SRF Stable entered the winner circle and accepted the Hambletonian trophy, and they will now receive the disputed part of the purse totaling $275,000 as well. The judge's ruling, which also suspended David Miller for three days for careless driving, was appealed and eventually heard by the Office of Administrative Law as a contested case. In a ruling dated March 26, 2019, the NJ Racing Commission adopted the decision of the Administrative Law Judge, which confirmed the initial judge's ruling and ordered the purse money held in escrow be paid. The earnings of the participants and the race history will now officially reflect the following in finish order: Perfect Spirit receives difference between 2nd and 1st place money: $275,000.00 Devious Man receives the difference between 3rd and 2nd place money: $117,000.00 Enterprise receives the difference between 4th and 3rd place money: $36,000.00 Bills Man receives the difference between 5th and 4th place money: $27,000.00 Victor Gio T receives the difference between 5th and 6th place money. $35,000.00. The remaining 6-10 finishers, including What The Hill who was placed 9th, received the $10,000 starter's share of the purse.   What The Hill went on to win the Canadian Trotting Classic and Breeders Crown as well as the TVG against older trotters, and was voted Dan Patch honoree for his division. Now standing at Hickory Lane Farm in Ohio, he attracted 140 mares in his first year at stud and will welcome his first foal crop this year. Perfect Spirit continues to race as 5-year-old in Sweden and has earned over $1 million.   Moira Fanning

Dover, DE — A pair of long shots in This Is The Plan and The Downtown Bus stole the show in the $193,750 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing pacing colts and geldings on Thursday (Nov. 15) at Dover Downs, tag-teaming in deep stretch to nose out Jimmy Freight in a 1:49.1 dead heat. While Jimmy Freight and local favorite Lather Up tasted defeat in their Matron split, divisional standouts Six Pack and Youaremycandygirl refused to disappoint in their respective events. $210,150 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot (race four) In a meeting of the millionaires, dual classic winner Six Pack ($3.00) made easy work of the first-over Met’s Hall en route to a 1:54.1 score over sloppy going in his Matron Stakes division. Trainer-driver Åke Svanstedt sent the son of Muscle Mass to the front immediately from post five, and the pair floated clear of Fashionwoodchopper (Yannick Gingras) midway on the first turn before rating early splits of :28.1 and :57.3. Up the backstretch, Met’s Hall (Andy Miller) sustained a first-over ascent out of third to within half a length of the lead, but Six Pack shrugged off his rival under minimal hand urging through the final turn. With Met’s Hall no longer a threat past three-quarters in 1:26, Six Pack accelerated away from Fashionwoodchopper to take his 15th career win by four lengths. Mississippi Storm (Andy McCarthy) saved ground after gapping cover to just collar the weakening Met’s Hall for third. Svanstedt co-owns Six Pack with Little E LLC, Stall Kalmar FF, and Lars Berg. $183,900 3-Year-Old Filly Trot (race six) Indiana standout Custom Cantab ($17.80) had something left in the stretch after winning a cutthroat first-quarter duel, as she was able to turn aside Plunge Blue Chip not once, but twice en route to a 1:53.1 Matron score. David Miller put the Mr Cantab filly in play from the outset, but the pair faced immediate resistance from Supergirl Riley (Tony Morgan) on approach to the first turn. After pressing in the two-path through a :26.4 first quarter, Custom Cantab accelerated to the fore with a circuit to go, but shortly thereafter faced pressure from the emerging Plunge Blue Chip (Åke Svanstedt) nearing a :55.2 half. Custom Cantab asserted up the backstretch, but had to dig in again a quarter from home to fend off the resurgent Plunge Blue Chip a second time on the final turn. Not only did she have enough to parry her outside rival, but she also kept a second push from Supergirl Riley — who emerged up the open stretch in the final sixteenth — a head short. Plunge Blue Chip’s third-place finish, 1-3/4 lengths behind, was enough to push her past the million-dollar mark in career earnings, while Breeders Crown winner Lily Stride (Tim Tetrick) failed to threaten from second-over and finished last. Trainer Chris Beaver co-owns 15-time winner Custom Cantab with Donald Robinson and RBH Ventures Inc. $159,350 3-Year-Old Filly Pace (race 10) Youaremycandygirl ($2.40) strode strongly to the front and never looked back, avenging Breeders Crown defeat to stablemate Percy Bluechip with a 1:51.3 win in their Matron event. Entering off a resounding 9-3/4 length win in the $113,000 USS Indy at Hoosier Park, Youaremycandygirl and driver Yannick Gingras out-sprinted Percy Bluechip (Matt Kakaley) and Solitary (Andy Miller) through a :27.2 first quarter before pulling the pace back. With a circuit to go, Dance Blue (Andy McCarthy) commenced a first-over bid from fifth and advanced steadily as the pace slackened through a :56.2 half. Up the backstretch, Youaremycandygirl’s lead was cut to a length and a quarter by Dance Blue, but was never in jeopardy. The daughter of American Ideal coasted through a :27.1 third quarter to evade Dance Blue and kept the pocket-sitting Percy Bluechip 1-1/4 lengths at bay in 1:51.3. Alexa’s Power (Tim Tetrick) chased evenly for third after being hemmed in until the top of the stretch. Ron Burke trains 18-time winner Youaremycandygirl for William Donovan. $193,750 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace (race 12) After Ontario standout Jimmy Freight was tasked with the heavy lifting through strenuous fractions and sternly dismissed the challenge of 4-5 local favorite Lather Up, This Is The Plan ($17.00, Tim Tetrick) and The Downtown Bus ($20.60, Corey Callahan) emerged in the final stride to simultaneously nose out Jimmy Freight in a dead heat in the glamour boys’ division of the Matron. Jimmy Freight and driver Scott Zeron let This Is The Plan clear before taking charge midway on the first turn and reeling off a :25.3 initial quarter. A determined advance from Lather Up (Montrell Teague) out of fourth with a circuit to go kept the pace hot through a :54.4 half, but Jimmy Freight remained undeterred with three-eighths to go and shrugged off that rival. Meanwhile, This Is The Plan remained close from the pocket and The Downtown Bus followed the three-wide cover of Breeders Crown winner Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) past three-quarters in 1:22.1. Turning for home, Dorsoduro Hanover stalled and Jimmy Freight was driven out to maintain a two-length lead, but it began to shrink in the final sixteenth. This Is The Plan lunged up the open stretch and The Downtown Bus surged widest of all, and they both reached the winning post simultaneously in 1:49.1, a nose better than Jimmy Freight. Ron Burke trains This Is The Plan, a six-time winner by Somebeachsomewhere, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Silva Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr. Trainer Jeff Gillis co-owns 11-time winner The Downtown Bus with Ellen Ott. From the USTA Commincations Department

After driving Plunge Blue Chip to victory in her Breeders Crown elimination last weekend, and then watching rival Atlanta win hers, Ake Svanstedt seemed as intrigued as anyone by the possibilities in Saturday's $500,000 championship for 3-year-old female trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "She won easy," Svanstedt said about Plunge Blue Chip, then added with a smile, "but Atlanta won easy also. "We'll see how it goes in the final." All 12 Breeders Crown finals, with $6.4 million in total purses, will be raced Saturday at Pocono. Post time is 5:30 p.m. (EDT) for the first race. Svanstedt has top contenders in each the 3-year-old filly trot and $500,000 final for 3-year-old male trotters. Plunge Blue Chip is 4-1 on the morning line, the third choice behind 5-2 favorite Atlanta and 3-1 returning champion Manchego while colt Six Pack is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in his event. Plunge Blue Chip won her elimination by 3-1/4 lengths over Impinktoo in 1:53.3 over a sloppy rain-soaked track. The win came on the heels of her two-heat performance in the Kentucky Filly Futurity on Oct. 7, when she won her elimination in a world-record equaling 1:49.4 but went off stride in the same-day final, which was won by Atlanta. "She was dehydrated," Svanstedt said about the miscue. "But (Saturday) she was OK again, normal." Plunge Blue Chip has won eight of 14 races and $521,601 this year for Svanstedt, who owns the filly with breeder Blue Chip Bloodstock, Tomas Andersson, and Rick Zeron Stables. Rick Zeron co-owns, and trains, two other 3-year-old filly trot finalists in Atlanta and Courtney Hanover. Zeron will drive Courtney Hanover, a 20-1 shot, in the final while his son Scott will be behind Atlanta. Atlanta, who has won eight of 13 races this year including the Hambletonian Stakes against the boys and banked $902,278, captured her Breeders Crown elimination gate-to-wire by three-quarters of a length over Lily Stride in 1:53.1. "I was not surprised how easy I got away," Scott Zeron said. "I'm sure Yannick (Gingras with Manchego) was being a little conservative and at the same time I wanted to be conservative as well just to make sure my filly bounced back after the double heats in the (Filly) Futurity. I was able to command the lead early...and from there on when there was nobody power moving, I didn't think there would, I was able to control the race even more. "It worried me about bouncing back after the two heats because she didn't bounce back after the Hambletonian and it took her a little bit to get back into form. It's nice to see her come :27 on the end (Saturday)." Manchego finished third in her elimination, won by Atlanta. The Hambletonian Oaks champ has won seven of 13 races and $658,994 this year for trainer Jimmy Takter, driver Yannick Gingras, and owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. In her start prior to the Crown elim, Manchego finished third in the first heat of the Kentucky Filly Futurity and was scratched from the final. "In her last start I was very concerned because she really didn't have any kick at all," Takter said. "Her blood work was (no good). Her blood work is on the way up and I needed this start in her. "Yannick said he had plenty of horse, but on this track here she had a little problem finding her gear really. They were going plenty, the last half in :55.2, so how are you going to make up ground? You don't make up ground on that. I've got a week to figure her out. But I was happy." Phaetosive, who topped Atlanta and Manchego in the Elegantimage Stakes, finished fourth in Atlanta's Breeders Crown elimination and is 5-1 on the morning line. The filly has won seven of 10 races and $564,764 this year for owner Purple Haze Stables. She has been driven throughout her career by trainer Trond Smedshammer, but George Brennan will be in the sulky Saturday. "I'm just trying to mix things up a little bit," Smedshammer said. "It's the last race of the year, so I figured it was time to try something. George is more aggressive than me (and) he is 40 to 45 pounds lighter than me, which I think could be a factor also on a muddy off-track. I think Atlanta is going to try to do the same thing this week that she did last week. That's what we've got to try to stop. "This track favors certain horses over others and I think Atlanta has a bit of an advantage because of her style of racing on that type of track. Hopefully she won't have it as easy this week as last week." On the colt side, Six Pack enters the Breeders Crown final with a five-race win streak including the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot. He won the Futurity final in 1:49.1, the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old trotter. Six Pack has won 10 of 13 races and $970,573 this year for owners Svanstedt, Little E, Stall Kalmar FF, and Lars Berg. Six Pack won his Breeders Crown elimination by three-quarters of a length over returning champion Fiftydallarbill in 1:53.3. "He was good, but he is so lazy," Svanstedt said. "He slows down and takes it easy and I must push him. If I relax, he can feel everything, and he takes his chance to be lazy. He can also feel when I'm serious, and then he is a different horse. He is a smart horse. He is a nice horse." Tactical Landing, with Brian Sears driving for trainer Takter, won the other elimination by 4-3/4 lengths over Met's Hall in 1:52.2. He is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. The colt has won seven of 12 races and $392,800 for owner The Tactical Landing Stable. "He's got a hell of a set of lungs and he covers a lot of ground," Takter said. "He's a fantastic horse." Canadian Trotting Classic winner Crystal Fashion is 4-1 and Fiftydallarbill is 5-1. For Saturday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown  

CHESTER, PA - Over $190,000 in stakes purses were on the line as three-year-old fillies of both gaits each contested three division of John Simpson Sr. series stakes action on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Trotters were first to the track on the Wednesday card, and the Lucky Chucky filly Lucky Ava was first to the finish line, posting splits of 27.3, 56.4, and 1:26.2 en route to a 1¾ length wire-to-wire victory in a lifetime best of 1:55.1. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt, straight off a monumental Sunday at Lexington which may be part of a Trainer of the Year title possibility, was in the sulky for Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, and the Van Camp Trotting Corporation, whose trotter has now won $382,264. Driver Scott Zeron tucked the Chapter Seven filly Lima Novelty fourth early, then saw that become a 3-tuck as a rival broke, and was content to chase longshot Winbak Noelle, who set good fractions of 27.1 and 55.4. Lima Novelty moved down the backstretch, got to the lead by the 1:24.4 3/4s, then went on strongly through the stretch to have a 2½ length advantage at the end of a 1:54.1 mile. Linda Toscano trains the winner of $278,964 for owner Ken Jacobs. Zeron and Toscano came right back to take the final trot division with another daughter of Chapter Seven, Repentance, who crossed the wire 2 1/4 lengths to the good in 1:54.4. Once again first-over proved the winning route, as Hey Judy Judy, second choice to the victress, set fractions of 28.1, 57.2, and 1:26.1, but could not hold on against the winner the last 1/8 and faded. The winner, who lost a three-race win streak with an "untimely break" in her NYSS final (but what's "a timely break," anyway?), started a new winning streak while raising her bankroll to $247,327 for Diamond Creek Racing. On the sidewheeling side, Scuola Hanover looked the part of a 1-5 favorite, moving after a 26.2 opener to command, putting up middle numbers of 55.1 and 1:22.4, and then staying clear by 2¼ lengths at the end of a mile in a lifetime best of 1:50.4, which was only 3/5 of a second off Put On A Show's 2010 divisional standard for Philly. David Miller handled sulky chores behind the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance, who now has a bankroll of $207,298 for trainer Andrew Stafford, co-owner with Arthur Stafford and Thomas Ireland. The American Ideal filly Solitary, right back on the track after winning at Freehold on Saturday, was out most of a 25.4 quarter for driver Brett Miller before getting the lead in her section. Aldine Hanover, who forced that rough quarter, came back to take command and went middle splits of 54.4 and 1:22.4, with Solitary waiting in the two-hole and favored E Dees Well Said swinging wide into the lane. Through the stretch the battle was inside (Solitary) and outside (E Dees Well Said), with Solitary taking a neck decision while reducing her mark to 1:51.2. The winner went 17 starts in 2018 before getting to the winners circle, but now she has won three of her last four for trainer Nick Surick and the partnership of William Daggett Jr., Lawrence Vukovic, and the J L Benson Stables Inc. while raising her bank account to $199,097. In the final pacing cut, Alexis Faith got a tick closer to the local track record than did Scuola Hanover, as she lowered her mark to 1:50.3 while looking like a 1-20 shot should. Driver David Miller, taking two of the three pacing stakes divisions on the afternoon, kept her fourth in a five-horse field until the 5/8, then charged up raw and came a 54.2 back half with the filly to be 3¼ lengths clear on the money. Speaking of money, Alexis Faith gave both her sire American Ideal and her dam Cannae Cammie a new $500,000 credit as she pushed her earnings lifetime to $502,001 for trainer Casie Coleman and the ownership quartet of West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding, J. Robert Darrow, and Kevin McKinlay. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

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