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CHESTER, PA - The two-year-old pacing colt Captain Groovy saw his bid to win all four of his Pennsylvania Stallion Series preliminaries look good for much of his race at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday - until he got a bit tired late and was caught by $256.00 shock winner Keystone Dash in 1:53.4. The Sweet Lou - Keystone Dawn colt Keystone Dash did dash away quickly at the start from post seven and had the lead well before the :27.1 opener for Andrew McCarthy. Captain Groovy, starting just to his outside, was patiently guided up to command in front of the stands, and his swift stepping past the middle poles of :56 and 1:25 seemed to have paid off as most of the competition had melted off by the far turn. Most, but not all - Keystone Dash stayed connected in the pocket, eased out in the drive, and outpaced the Captain to the wire by a half-length, triggering the biggest win payoff at Philly since Thrillonthebeach paid $264.00 for $2 in September 2017. Far back in his first three races but better in finishing second against "nw2" company in his last race, Keystone Dash continued the improvement with the big upset for trainer Ãke Svanstedt and the ownership of Ãke Svanstedt Inc. In another of the three $20,000 Stallion Series divisions, the Well Said-Bodacious Hanover colt Lake Charles took a lifetime best of 1:52, a clocking which matched the fastest posted by this group in either Sire Stakes or Stallion Series action to date. Jordan Stratton went to the lead with the victorious Ray Schnittker trainee by the :27.2 quarter, yielded to the brushing favorite Sandbetweenmytoes as that one took the field past a :56 half and 1:23.3 three-quarters, then moved out for the drive and went by a bit more easily than the ¾ of a length final margin may suggest. Lake Charles is undefeated in three Stallion Series starts for the ownership of Schnittker, Dr. John Egloff, Max J. Hempt, and Steven Arnold. The other StS division saw another colt remain undefeated in the series, as the Somebeachsomewhere - Temptation Hanover baby Patriot Nation made it two straight since dropping down from the Sire Stakes, here lowering his mark to 1:53.4. Driver George Napolitano Jr. used his favored front-end tactics, and after fractions of :27.4, :57.1, and 1:25.3 the youngster had more than enough left, defeating Hunter Hill by 2¼ lengths by trainer Andrew Harris and the partnership of Michael Goldberg and A Harris Racing LLC. The Bureau of Standardbred Racing within the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission is the official tallier of the points earned in the Sire Stakes and the Stallion Series, but a quick, unofficial calculation performed after the last StS race today revealed the following nine horses with the most points: 1. Captain Groovy; 2. Lake Charles; 3. Lyons Music; 4. (tie) Cheerio Hill and Patriot Nation; 6. Paddy All Day; 7. Complete Kaos; 8. (tie) Sandbetweenmytoes and Sombodyitreasure. All eight of the Stallion Series Championships will be held on Monday, September 9 at Pocono. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

Monticello, NY  - On Monday August 12 Monticello Raceway and the New York Sire Stakes program featured 2-year-old harness racing trotting filly's. The 7 race card featured 2 divisions of Sire Stakes each racing for a purse of $51,000, 3 splits of the Excelsior A group ($15,000) and 2 Excelsior B ($6,500) The first heat of Sire Stakes was a short 5 horse field, the 1/5 betting favorite Seventimesalady, a $132,000 yearling purchase started from the outside from post 5, 2 of the starters made miscues in the middle of the first turn, after the early commotion Seventimesalady made the front and was uncontested through the mile, cutting fractions of 29.3,59.2, 1:29.2 and uncorking a last quarter of 28.4 to score an easy 5 length victory in 1:58.1. Ake Svanstedt trains,drives and co owns Seventimesalady, a daughter of Chapter Seven - Ava Marion, she picked up her 3rd consecutive NYSS win for owners Ake Svanstedt, Little E, Knutsson Trotting and L. Berg. The pocket sitting Flotus finished second followed by Illdoitmyself. Race 7 for the final heat of Sire Stakes and again it was Team Svanstedt who scored with Miss Jubilation who started from Post 4 and was part of the Svanstedt entry with Destiny Blue Chip, the Chapter Seven - Seven Blue Muscles lass scored a wire to wire win in 1:58.4 over Sorprese (Dan Daley)and Destiny Blue Chip - Charlie Norris. Miss Jubilation earned her 2nd Sire Stake victory of the year for owners Ake Svanstedt, Little E, Triple Play Trotters & Stolz Geiger. Excelsior A winners were C And T's Credit (Credit Winner - Love to Flaunt) who picked up her second consecutive win in this company in 2:01 for trainer John Stark. Dan Daley scored with the longest shot on the board at 25-1 with Lady Jeter (Muscles Yankee - Salt Hill Brigid) who picked up her maiden win in 2:00.3. Nasty Gal (Conway Hall - Dreama Littledream) scored in 2:00.2 for Vernon Down based horseman Gate Brunet. The combination of driver Michael Merton and trainer Dale Lawton garnered both heats of the Excelsior B with Dogs of War (Conway Hall - Extreme Balance) scored in 2:03.1 and returned $5.40, Some Crazy Fool (Crazed - Someway) won in in 2:02.2 The next leg of NY Sire Stakes is next Monday August 19 when 2 Year Old Trotting Colts come to town, post time is 12:50. By, Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 10, 2019--Funny thing about Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt, $2.70). Whenever he's invaded Yonkers Raceway, the end result is not a fair fight. Such was the case again Saturday night (Aug. 10th), when Six Pack drilled seven outclassed foes in the co-featured $46,000 Open Handicap Trot. Making short work an assigned eight-hole, Six Pack left around Eye ofa Tiger AS (Jason Bartlett), t hen made even shorter work of the teletimer. Never threatened at any point, he widened at every (:28, 57.2, 1:25, 1:53.1) point. The result was... a-matching the all-age trot track record, set by Svanstedt’s filly Plunge Blue Chip last September, and b- 6¼-length win over Lord Cromwell (Austin Siegelman), and c-a fifth consecutive win here, and d-the fastest local trot mile of the season, and e-a new track record for his weight class. For the record, New Heaven (Jim Marohn Jr.) was third, with Eye ofa Tiger AS and Such an Angel (Eric Goodell) settling for the small change. Six Pack, a 4-year-old $1.5 million statebred son of Muscle Mass co-owned by his driver/trainer, Little E LLC, Knuttson Trotting. Stall Kalmer and Lars Berg, it was his second win in seven seasonal starts (career 17-for-30). The exacta paid $28.80, the triple returned $173 and the superfecta paid $1,122. Not lost on Svanstedt was throwing down a gauntlet in the hopes of getting an invitation to October's million-dollar International Trot. "We wanted to see him back on a short track and he handled it well," Svanstedt said. "He's not been lucky in a many of his races this season. That's the biggest difference in him as a 4-year-old. "The owners wanted to enter him (tonight). We're hoping he's asked to race in the International." The weekly $46,000 adult-table pace was won by a down-the-road Scott Rocks (Goodell, $4.80) in 1:51.3. The 9-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding went up and over $995,000 in career earnings after a 57th lifetime win. For his part, Goodell won four of the night's last seven races. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, N.Y. - Tristan Sjoberg distinctly recalls a trip to Ake Svanstedt's stable in March 2018 when he visited his 2- and 3-year-olds in training. Before he left the barn, Svanstedt pulled out Six Pack. The freshman New York Sire Stakes Champion the previous fall hadn't embarked on his sophomore season yet, but Sjoberg loved what he saw. "He brought Six Pack out and said, 'take one good look, take one mental picture of this horse here right now, because this is the perfect conformation of a horse. This is the perfect horse,' " Sjoberg remembered. Sjoberg watched Six Pack's 3-year-old harness racing campaign with interest and soon, the entire trotting world followed. He won the Empire Breeder's Classic Final, the Stanley Dancer, the Yonkers Trot, the Kentucky Futurity, and the Matron and finished second in the Beal and the TVG Open Trot against older horses. By year's end, Six Pack's earnings swelled to $1,358,290 for owners Svanstedt, Jeff Gural's Little E, and Stall Kalmar. Six Pack also secured the Dan Patch Award for champion 3-year-old male trotter. Sjoberg got the opportunity to join the group this season and bought in under his stable Knutsson Trotting. "Jeff being a close friend and partner of mine, (Six Pack) was my favorite horse of the 3-year-olds and I was given an opportunity to buy into the horse earlier this year," Sjoberg said. "I thought it was great, so I took a piece of him and I'm very happy with that." Saturday night (August 10), Six Pack will return to Yonkers Raceway in the $46,000 Open Handicap Trot. Assigned post eight, the 4-year-old Muscle Mass son enters in the mist of a mixed season. Six Pack began his 2019 campaign with a 1:53.1 win in a $50,000 leg of the Graduate at the Meadowlands May 18. He was third to Crystal Fashion and Fiftydollarbill in the next leg June 8 and second to the latter rival in a third leg in a 1:50.2 mile June 21. Six Pack met Atlanta in the $250,000 Graduate Series Final July 6. He started from post nine and forged to the lead in a :54.2 half-mile, but lost to the Hambletonian winner by a neck while trotting 1:49.1 "I thought he was absolutely excellent considering where he was," Sjoberg said. "He wasn't meant to be 100 percent at that race. The Swedish trainers usually don't have them super ready at the beginning of the season, they do need a couple of tighteners and he is a big horse and we're expecting a long season. A lot of the big races are near the end of the season. "To beat Atlanta, you've got to get a good trip and you have to be 100 percent," Sjoberg continued. "He was probably 95 percent at the time. He wasn't quite enough and the form Atlanta was in was fantastic. It was a great race, one of my favorite races, even if we lost by a neck." Six Pack faced Atlanta and Crystal Fashion again the following week in the $450,000 Hambletonian Maturity. Starting from post 11, Six Pack got away seventh and was interfered with late in the 9-furlong stakes, finishing third behind his two rivals. Three weeks later on Hambletonian Day, Six Pack blasted from post nine in the $280,000 Cashman, but was tracked down late by Crystal Fashion and Guardian Angel As. "Six Pack is a big horse, he takes a bit of time to get going, and I think it's been a good season so far. I wouldn't call it a great one yet," Sjoberg said. "He's come back strong, he's had a lot of tough races, and particularly a lot of bad posts. He's been stuck on the outside, had a trailing post, he was interfered with, so he really hasn't had a lot of racing luck this year." Sjoberg, present for the difficult loss on North American harness racing's biggest day, felt the :26.3 first quarter compromised Six Pack. He also conceded the three weeks between races heading into the Cashman may have been too much. "I thought the first quarter really took a bit of sting out of him because he had to leave so hard from post nine to get to the front," Sjoberg said. "On those kind of days, no quarter is asked, no quarter is given. Nobody was letting anyone down to the rail. From post nine, there was just no hole to get to. He had to go to the front and I think that initially took the sting out of him. That whole first turn was a killer. "Three weeks in between races might not have been ideal from the Hambo Maturity to the Cashman," he continued. "In hindsight, maybe we should have thrown in one more race in between. I think that was a little on Ake's mind as well." With another three-week gap to Six Pack's next major target, the Maple Leaf Trot, Svanstedt aimed for a tightener and entered Six Pack in the local weekly trotting feature one week after Hambletonian Day. Besides the timing, Sjoberg also hopes Six Pack can make his case for a ticket to the $1 million Yonkers International Trot October 12. Atlanta has already accepted an invitation, and Sjoberg wants to see the rivalry continue. "The International Trot is one of the most absolutely important races for Swedish people. We don't even call it the International Trot, we call it the World Championship of harness racing, so that's really how important that race is for us Swedes," Sjoberg said. "I remember when I was at Roosevelt, I would get up early in the morning. It wasn't televised, but it would be on the radio. I would turn the radio on and listen to all those great races. I remember when one of my favorite horses won it (in 1987), Callit. Legolas, that was the first race he was beaten at when Ideal du Gazeau won. It's a very important race. "I'm super excited to have a horse that's in contention for this race," he continued. "I think with these kind of races, it's very important also to try and get not just the flag horses from abroad, but it's also important to look at the rivalries you have in North America at the time. You want to see those continue in the International Trot as well." Saturday's trotting feature also includes Eye Ofa Tiger As, who beat Will Take Charge last out July 27 and seeks a repeat win in the local Open Handicap from post seven. Weslynn Dancer's last Yonkers start resulted in an Open win and she returns after tries in the Armbro Flight, Cleveland Trotting Classic, and Spirit of Massachusetts Trot. She will start from post five. Tight Lines finished eighth in the Cashman and drew an advantageous post two dropping back into the Open. New Heaven, Cash Me Out, Lord Cromwell, and Such An Angel complete the lineup. Although Six Pack is likely to be a heavy favorite, Sjoberg isn't sure how the horse's trip will set up from the far outside post. Contrary to Six Pack's recent tactics, Sjoberg feels he is better off cover than on the lead. Six Pack's only loss at Yonkers from four starts came in a NYSS leg at 2 when he started from post eight. "I would love for him to get a helmet drive and get some cover and give the horse a breather and maybe attack with a quarter left to go. I would love some live cover, but whether that's possible or not, that's debatable," Sjoberg said. "Obviously from post eight, you either take him down immediately and hope you get good cover or you go to the front again. That's it," he continued. "There's some good horses there with Eye Ofa Tiger As, who's in the form of his life, and Weslynn Dancer, she's a very good mare. There's a couple of horses who are tough to beat on a half-mile track and know Yonkers. I think a lot will be decided in the first 50 yards." Saturday night's card also features the $46,000 Open Handicap Pace and $37,000 4-Year-Old Open Handicap Pace. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY  

In past years, when Robert LeBlanc went to The Meadowlands to watch the Hambletonian, he always thought how cool it would be to have a horse in the race. This year, he finds out. LeBlanc, a retired vice president at IBM who has partnered on horses in trainer Tony Alagna's stable for three years, is among the owners of Pilot Discretion. The colt competes in the second of Saturday's (Aug. 3) two $70,000 Hambletonian Stakes eliminations at the Big M, where the top-five finishers from each division return for the $1 million final later in the day. Pilot Discretion will start from post three with Andy McCarthy in the sulky. He is 10-1 on the morning line. Greenshoe is the 4-5 favorite in the division. The Hambletonian Day card begins at noon. The Hambletonian, the sport's premier race for 3-year-old trotters, and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, restricted to 3-year-old female trotters, will be featured during a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT). "As an owner, this is our race," said LeBlanc, a Canadian who now resides in Austin, Texas. "Everybody wants to be in the Hambletonian. Having a horse that's good enough, it may never happen again. But I'm enjoying the ride. Tony and the team have done an amazing job with him. Tony has managed him very well and he just keeps getting better and better." Pilot Discretion has won six of eight career races and never finished worse than third, earning $174,029. He was 2-for-2 in 2018 but saw his season end because of sickness. The son of Muscle Hill-Self Indulgent won his first four races this season, including the Goodtimes Stakes, before finishing second to Greenshoe in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial and third in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. "We raced him in the Tompkins-Geers just to get him another race because he'd had a month break between the Goodtimes and the Dancer," Alagna said. "We wanted to race him and give him last week off. We raced him off the pace; we didn't want to put him on the front again in his last start since we put him on the front in the Dancer. He closed very well, :26.3. "He seems great. He's very fresh. Even the night I warmed him up his last start at the Meadowlands, he was bucking and playing and kicking just going his first trip. He hasn't done that in the last couple starts. So, I think he's as fresh as a horse could be going into it." For LeBlanc, who owns Pilot Discretion with Dave Anderson and John Fodera, it's been difficult to wait for Hambletonian time to arrive. "I've got no more fingernails, I've bitten them off," LeBlanc said. "It's been a buildup every week. I'll be pretty wound up by Saturday. I'll be super excited. I've already told my wife that I have to watch the race outside (the grandstand) because I'll be the one screaming the loudest. "If you see a lunatic screaming if he's coming down the stretch with a shot (to win) you know it will be me. Every owner will be a lunatic, absolutely. That's the fun of it. This is what makes this game so much fun." Can Ake Svanstedt win another Hambletonian? Ake Svanstedt, who won the 2017 Hambletonian through disqualification with Perfect Spirit, will send two horses into Saturday's event. Marseille is 5-1 in the second elimination, where Greenshoe is the 4-5 favorite, and Soul Strong is 8-1 in the first elim, where Gimpanzee is the 2-1 choice. Svanstedt trains both horses and will drive Marseille, who is owned by Svanstedt, Stefan Balazsi's Order By Stable, and Howard Taylor. Dexter Dunn is listed to drive Soul Strong, who is owned by Cees Faber's Stable Why Not. Marseille upset Greenshoe to win the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial on June 29. For the year, he has won three of five races and never been worse than third. The son of Muscle Hill-Order By Wish heads to the Hambletonian off a career-best 1:51.4 victory in a division of the Tompkins-Geers on July 20. "He raced good the last time and he is training normal," Svanstedt said. Marseille was limited to four races last year because of soreness. When he returned this year, his behavior left much to be desired. The connections considered gelding Marseille but decided to hold off and gave the colt another opportunity to show improvement. He finished second in a qualifier and then won his seasonal debut, which ended the discussion. "Maybe he heard what we were talking about," Svanstedt said, smiling. "After he qualified and started racing, his head changed totally. He is not a stud when he comes to race. He has focus. He is a real racehorse and he wants to race. He is all business." Soul Strong was winless in eight races last year but has won three of six starts in 2019. He finished second to Marseille in the Tompkins-Geers. "He was not so good gaited when we started but his gait is better and better," Svanstedt said. "He was always a little sore and it was a balance how much we could train and race. But he has a good heart and has gotten stronger and stronger. We gelded him over the winter, and he is better now. He is older and stronger. He is going to be faster and faster." Svanstedt, like many others, considers Greenshoe the horse to beat. "Greenshoe is No. 1 but behind him it's wide open," Svanstedt said. "In the Hambletonian, there is good money behind the winner also. Of course, I want to win. But I must be realistic. "It's tough to be (in the Hambletonian). Everything must be a hundred percent perfect that day. When all the horses are on the same level, it can be the post position and the horse must be a hundred percent that day. Everything must be good." Andy & Julie Miller hoping for Summitt In Sight Team Miller - the wife-husband duo of trainer Julie and driver Andy - has hit the board in the past three Hambletonians and is hoping for more of the same on Saturday with Summit In Sight. The colt is 20-1 on the morning line in the first elimination, where Gimpanzee is the 2-1 favorite. "He is a longshot for the race but we're going to give him a chance," Julie Miller said. "We think we've got him sharp and ready. Basically, we need a lot of luck and hopefully he puts his best foot forward." Summit In Sight, owned by Natalia Stroy's Stroy Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable, was limited to two races in 2018 after suffering a bout of colic in the spring. He began this year with a sixth-place finish before putting together a streak of six starts where he finished either first (four times) or second. The string was broken when he went off stride and finished eighth in the Beal Memorial final. He heads to the Hambletonian off a fifth-place finish in a division of the Dancer. "We shut him down thinking he could be a nice 3-year-old," Julie Miller said about the son of Muscle Hill-Bluff. "We got him ready early and he flashed some talent. He had some unfortunate luck in the Beal with how the fractions of the race went; we really thought we had a good chance in there. "I trained him at the Meadowlands on Saturday just to get a good mile in him. I'm hoping I've got it all into place. He really developed from (age) 2 to 3 maturity wise. His gait got more extended and he grew up mentally as well. He's a more manageable horse, so however Andy chooses to drive him, suits him." Team Miller's past three finishes in the Hambletonian were a second by Met's Hall in 2018, third-placed second by Devious Man in 2017, and fast-closing third by Sutton in 2016. "Hopefully we can keep that momentum going," Julie Miller said. Hambletonian Elimination One PP-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Cantab Fashion-Dexter Dunn-Jim Campbell-6/1 2-Summit In Sight-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-20/1 3-Swandre The Giant-David Miller-Ron Burke-7/2 4-Soul Strong-Dexter Dunn-Ake Svanstedt-8/1 5-Mr Vicktor-Tyler Buter-Jennifer Lappe-15/1 6-Osterc-Yannick Gingras-Per Engblom-15/1 7-Gimpanzee-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-2/1 8-Green Manalishi S-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander-5/2 Hambletonian Elimination Two PP-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Forbidden Trade-Bob McClure-Luc Blais-12/1 2-Gerry-Orjan Kihlstrom-Marcus Melander-20/1 3-Pilot Discretion-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna-10/1 4-Reign Of Honor-David Miller-R. Nifty Norman-20/1 5-Greenshoe-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-4/5 6-Don't Let'em-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson-4/1 7-Super Schissel-Scott Zeron-Per Engblom-10/1 8-Marseille-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-5/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

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

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