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He started out his career racing in the New York Sire Stakes Fair Circuit and now J A T O has received and accepted the biggest invitation of his life. He is going to race in Sweden at Solvalla Racetrack the day before the Elitlopp Day this coming Saturday, May 27. He will be competing in what is called the "Little Elitlopp" for horses that nearly were invited for the big event. The Little Elitlopp is also raced in two heats.  The five-year-old gelding by Big Apple Deli from the Credit Winner mare, Highwaytoheaven, is currently being trained and will be driven by the world renowned Swedish horseman, Ake Svandstedt. J, A T O is co-owned by the Our Horse Cents Stable of Melville, NY with Rossie Smith of Greenville, NY. Longtime owner, Eugene Kurzrok, of The Horse Cents Stable, confirmed this morning that J A T O is leaving today for Sweden. “He (J A T O) will be racing in an undercard event for a purse of $180,000,” Kurzrok said. “and this is the first time I have ever had a horse race in Sweden. This is very exciting; the whole sport of harness racing is exciting. Unfortunately, I will not be going over to watch him race.” A career winner of $157,808 and a record of 1:54 at age four, J A T O has come a long way since the NYSS Fair Circuit. This year he already has two wins, three second place and two third place finishes in just seven starts. He recently won at the Meadowlands, beating Melady’s Monet in 1:54.1 and the week prior, won at Yonkers Raceway in 1:56.3. Growing up, J A T O was the stablemate with the top trotter, Dayson, and now travels to Sweden with the great Resolve as his new stablemate. At age two and three, J A T O was a terror on the New York Sire Stakes Fair Circuit, winning 25 of his 27 starts. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Showing no rust after a six-month layoff, Resolve went parked for the final half-mile on the way to a determined win in the $200,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for harness racing trotters at the Meadowlands Saturday night. "He raced well," understated trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "He was a little bit lazy but he was strong." Indeed. Resolve ($3.60 to win as the 4-5 favorite), who won four-of-13 a year ago while earning $1.2 million, was unhurried in the early going and got underway at the five-eighths after sitting fifth. The 6-year-old son of Muscle Hill went on a steady grind and got up to leader Crazy Wow's wheel nearing the head of the stretch. From there, Svanstedt's star pupil continued to gain steadily, forging to the front inside the sixteenth pole before going on to a 1-length win in 2:06.3 for the mile and an eighth distance. Crazy Wow held second with J L Cruze third. In the winner's circle, Svanstedt accepted an invitation for Resolve to participate in the May 28 Elitlopp at Solvalla, Sweden, a race in which he finished second a year ago. SINTRA-LATING!: Toronto invader Sintra destroyed five overmatched opponents in the first division of the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers. The gelded son of Mach Three sat in the five hole early before vacating the rail at the three-eighths, then sprinted up to engage leader Roll Away Joe. Sintra ($3.20 as the 3-5 public choice) then powered clear of the field on the way to a 6-length win in a lifetime-best 1:49.1 for driver Brett Miller and trainer David Menary. Western Fame was second with Awesomeness third. "Hopefully, we are just getting started here," said Menary, who indicated Sintra will be seen next in the May 14 Confederation Cup. Check Six never had an anxious moment in the second Graduate division, winning in wire-to-wire fashion for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. The son of Somebeachsomewhere hit the quarter and half in tepid fractions of :27.4 and :55.4, respectively, which left plenty in the tank as the flow did not develop until the five-eighths. After stopping the clock in 1:23 at three-quarters, Check Six ($8.00) sprinted home in :26.3 to complete the mile in a lifetime-best 1:49.3. Boston Red Rocks was a length back in second while 3-5 favorite Missile J, who had live cover approaching the top of the stretch, went evenly from there for third. "I was really happy with his effort," said Burke. "He's a very good horse. I don't know if he's a great horse but hopefully he's one of those that gets better with age." A LITTLE MORE: All-source wagering totaled $2,805,426. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

As a result of a hearing held on Nov. 30, the New Jersey Racing Commission has suspended harness racing trainer Ake Svanstedt 15 days and fined him $500 as a result of a positive test on Resolve in the $273,600 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot on Aug. 6 at the Meadowlands. Svanstedt also received a second positive on his trotter Blue Muse, who won an $8,000 amateur race on Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands with his wife, Sarah, driving, and received the same penalties. The positives were for Dexamethasone, which is a Class C violation as recommended by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. With Ake Svanstedt driving, Resolve won the Cashman in a career-best 1:50.2, besting Obrigado by 1-1/4 lengths. As a result of the positive test and subsequent disqualification of Resolve, Obrigado is now the official winner of the race. According to the New Jersey ruling, Svanstedt's two 15-day suspensions will be served consecutively, starting on Jan. 2, 2017, and continuing through and including Jan. 31, 2017. The ruling also states that "in addition to the penalty issued, a total of two Multiple Medication Violation points, as recommended by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, shall be assigned as a result of these Class C violations."   Resolve (Ake Svanstedt) John Cashman Memorial TVG FFA Trot     Courtesy of harnessracing.com 

Dublin, Ireland - It was a proud day for harness racing in Ireland as Trotter Francaise, Vichy de Moem, and driver Alan Richard put in a last half mile in :57.7 to rewrite the world record on a half mile track for two-miles at 4:05.7 Sunday at Portmarnock Raceway. The race was for the Barney Richardson Memorial Cup with five of the best trotter in Ireland going for the world record that was held by Ake Svanstedt's Clear Sign at 4:06.8 in Sweden in 2013. It was closing day at Portmarnock for the 2016 season and the world record attempt was the fifth race feature on the program. A huge crowd was in attendance to see if Ireland could own its first world record. It was Silvano Bello and driver Donal Murphy who took early commend and led the field for the first three laps, unofficially going to the first quarter in :31 as they raced Indian style to the half mile in 1:05, the three-quarters in 1:33.4. Then at the one mile marker in 2:35.7, the thought was that the record was out of reach, but once they passed the teletimer at the 1.5 mile mark in 3:08, Alan Richardson came charging to the front with Vichy De Moem for the final lap. Looking strong on the lead, Vichy De Moem was then challenged in the backstretch the final time by Twist Du Layon and driver Patrick Kane, Jr. of Miraculous fame, who came after the race leaders up on the outside. Those two made it a race to the finish as Vichy De Moem kicked in another gear coming down the stretch to win by one and one-half lengths. Twist Du Layon was second with Scoop's Team and driver Brenda Hudson grabbing third place. Driver Alan Richardson was beside himself as he brought Vichy De Moem back to the winner's enclosure amidst a roaring crowd cheering the world record holders on. There were nearly 100 family members, friends and well-wishers crowding the track. "What an amazing day." Richardson said as he got off the race bike. "He (Vichy De Moem) is a super horse and what a huge day this is for Ireland. We finally own a world record." A seven-year-old gelding by Viraldi De Chanu, Vichy De Moem has been one of the top Trotter Francaise in the LeTrot Series in Ireland and the UK this year. By Steven Wolf for Portmarnock Raceway  

DUBLIN, Ireland - With just over 24 hours to go before the world record attempt for 2 miles, the last of the preparations are currently taking place at Portmarnock Raceway, ensuring optimum track conditions for the seasons finale. The weather forecast is currently good for this time of year with an expected high of 18 degrees and plenty of sunshine forecasted for tomorrow (Sunday). Five of Irelands top trotters are set to go to post at approx. 3.30pm (10.30am USA) and for those that cannot make it in person, this race will be covered LIVE on Portmarnock Raceways Facebook page. Likely favourite is renowned stayer Vichy De Moem and trainer/driver Alan Richardson has oozed confidence all week in the run up to the 2 mile marathon. Brenda Hudson drivers her own Scoops Team and there wont be a dry eye in the house should the only female driver in the line-up beat the boys on the day. Billy Star the youngest in the field at only 5 years old will be driven by the oldest driver in the race Christy "Hopper" Foran and a win for him will ensure SHRI Trotter Of The Year honours for popular local trainer Stephen Foran. Silvano Bello for West Cork's Donal Murphy has hit form with a vengeance in recent weeks whilst Patrick Kanes Twist Du Layon claimed the last invitation to the race with a track record win over 1¼ miles at the venue last Sunday. Both look to be up against it on form but over this extreme trip of 2 miles, four laps, all 5 runners have live chances of landing the spoils. This event has captured the imagination of harness fans worldwide with luminaries such as top announcer Roger Huston, Australian broadcaster Gareth Hall, current record holder Ake Svanstedt, world driving champion Jody Jamieson from Canada, journalist Bill Hutchinson and US based driver "Irish" Joe Hanney all posting up messages of support on Portmarnock Raceway's Facebook page so far with many more well-wishing videos expecting to being posted up by the great and the good of the sport every other hour in the lead up to the contest. Local track promoter and photographer Nadina Ironia has been thrilled with the interest that this world record attempt has generated and for such a small trotting community the Irish are certainly punching above their weight knowing the eyes of the harness racing world will be on focussed on Portmarnock tomorrow afternoon. A recent on-line poll has revealed that over 75% of respondents believe that this record of 4:06.8 held by Svansted's Clear Sign, will be broken and it will be the first time that the Irish will hold a harness racing world record. So will it be victory for Vichy? can Hudson Scoop the pot? Is there a new Star about to be born? will Silvano be the saviour for the bookies? or will there be one final Twist on the final day of the season. Come out for the closing day of racing at Portmarnock tomorrow or watch on Facebook LIVE - Portmarnock Raceway Facebook page approx 3.30 local time (10.30am in USA). by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

The $1,000,000 International Trot over a mile and a quarter held at Yonkers Raceway today Saturday October the 15th was taken out by the USA's Muscle Hill harness racing five-year-old Resolve and Ake Svanstedt who lead all the way in a world record for the distance . Oasis Bi was second and Flanagan Memory third. The time was - 28.1  - 57.1  -  1:26  -  1:54.4  -  2:23.4 Resolve (Ake Svanstedt) The 1,000,000 International Trot Yonkers, NY --- Resolve and trainer/driver Ake Svanstadt, representing the US, staked out their spot on the lead early on and went a 1-1/4 miles with no serious challengers to win the $1 million Yonkers International Trot on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 15) at Yonkers Raceway. The time of 2:23.4 was a stakes and world record for the distance on a half-mile track. The field of ten trotted off the gate with Oasis Bi (Italy) briefly in the lead before Resolve took over that spot and held it to the :28.1 quarter-mile, on to the :57.1 half-mile, 1:26 three-quarters and 1:54.4 at the mile marker. Oasis Bi and driver Erik Adielsson gave futile chase throughout those fractions with Explosive De Vie (Sweden, Kevin Oscarsson) and Obrigado (US, Mark MacDonald) behind him in pursuit. The win, by about a length, was the 14th time the race has been won by the American representative since it was first contested in 1959. Oasis Bi was second and Flanagan Memory (Canada, Brian Sears) was third. “It felt good to be second. I was happy with the horse’s performance," Adielsson said. "In a strange way, I was a little disappointed because we had such a good trip (second behind winner Resolve) the whole race, and thought we had a chance.” “We made the best of the situation," Sears said. "There was a horse blocking us early, and that made it tough to get out. We ended up three horses deep, but my horse is a closer. So we were able to make up a lot a ground to finish third. I'm happy we got third. The winner was fantastic, a world record for the 1-1/4 miles. Thank you to Tim Rooney (Yonkers president and CEO) for putting this race on. It was a really great week, and I’m proud to be a part of it.” The public's second selection, Hannelore Hanover, (US, Yannick Gingras) saw her hopes for victory dashed at the beginning of the contest, as she uncharacteristically broke stride moving towards the starting gate and when she regained her footing, went inside the pylons. The complete order of finish was On Track Piraten fourth, Explosive De Vie fifth, Obrigado sixth, Hannelore Hanover seventh, Jonesy eighth, BBS Sugarlight ninth and Tano Bork tenth. “I tried to go to the lead because I know he’s very fast, said Svanstadt. “No race is easy; he worked hard, he did a good job. I was hoping to control the race, and was able to do so. I wanted to be aggressive. He did everything himself, I was just a passenger. Once he got the lead, he was very comfortable. He could have gone even faster.” Owned by Hans Enggren, Resolve is by Muscle Hill out of the Credit Winner mare Anikewiesahalee and was bred by Michael Pozefsky and Edward Wilson. "I'm on my second pacemaker,” laughed Enggren, who has owned trotters for nearly 70 years and is 87. He holds dual citizenship in the US and Sweden, while residing in Abbottstown, Pa. "It is amazing how he (Svanstadt) trains a horse and how he knows. They work together so fantastically. I don’t think I’ve ever had a pair like that. You can put another driver on and this and that, but it’s Ake and Resolve, they’re marvelous. Ake, if he sees something that doesn’t make Resolve happy, he checks it out until he’s happy again. It’s just wonderful.” Enggren, who won the Hambletonian with Prakas in 1985, says next up for Resolve is the Breeders Crown and then the TVG event. “Then rest in Florida and we have been invited to Sweden again next year, but this time I am sending my son," he said. "I am too old for that stuff. My son will go next. My wife, we own a breeding farm (Meadowbranch which Enggren describes as a “half goofy translation of my last name”) and she likes all the babies – a lot. But when Resolve came to do such marvelous things, now she’s interested in this too. “I bought the horse at (age two) and I should mention one name – Roman Lopez. He broke Resolve originally and raced him. I got to see him when I went to visit Roman and his wife and as soon as I saw him (I wanted to buy him), but it took a long time, from Nov. until Aug. (of 2014). The owners (brothers Michael and William Pozefsky) said yes and then I ran like a son of a gun to the bank. I wore them down and I wore myself down. "He’s not for sale. If I’m that lucky at my age, you can’t sell something like that. I’ve had too many offers, but I start to recognize the phone numbers and I say right away, ‘If you’re calling about Resolve, we can talk, but he’s not for sale.’” Enggren says the Elitlipp is a possibility for 2017. “He (Svanstadt) might want to go over but he does so many good things for me, so I cannot very well say no," he said. The Prix d’Amerique, however, is not under consideration. “I am extremely grateful for the trotting horses I have been associated with since 1939, in one way or another," Enggren said. "I sold tip sheets and programs and I traveled between racetracks (in his native Sweden) by bicycle, pretty far. That’s probably why I’m getting so old. This has to be something that I hope this form of racing – bringing horses from Europe and Canada – the name for this race can be built up and compare perhaps with the Elitlopp and other races. It’s a great feeling. I’ve had I think a wonderful life with the horses, as a breeder for 40 or 50 years and an owner for about 70 years." Post-mortem from some beaten runners in $1m International Trot Kevin Oscarsson (Explosive De Vie, 5‎‎th) "I wanted to be as close to the front as possible from the very start. Hannelore Hanover made a break in the turn, so I took my chance and tried to get in front of her on the inside which was perfect for me. "I'm happy with the horse, he's new in this class, he's getting better and better and I'm really looking forward to next year." Mark MacDonald, (Obrigado, 6th) “The six hole hand-cuffed us a bit,  but was happy with trip the horse got. We sat into the three-quarter pole, and in the last turn he usually kicks in, but he never really got going today. He hasn't been as sharp as he was in mid-season. Had that been the case we could have placed third. Post means so much. It was a good race.  “The winner was unbelievable. It was an amazing mile and a quarter. He controlled from get go. No one got to him, even a world-class horse in two hole. One of better races he has raced.”  Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras, 7th ) "She warmed up so good, but when the race started, she wanted no part of the turns. None of the five. I'm very disappointed in the performance. She made a break and finished well behind. That's not what I was expecting at all."   Jonesy (Tuomas Korvenoja, 8th) “It was a fantastic experience here and we’re not disappointed at all and hopefully we can come back here.” Harness Racing Communications

WILKES-BARRE PA - Wilberforce rolled to his third straight harness racing victory on Sunday night, never looking back in the $20,000 conditioned trotting feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and crossing the wire 2¼ lengths to the good in 1:53.3.   Driver Eric Carlson wasn't fastest away with the gelded son of Caviar Crown, but he used the track geometry advantage of starting from the rail to maximum effect, never letting his outside early pursuers get around him and then forcing them to drop in behind by the 27.2 quarter under pain of being parked the duration. From there things were fairly easy for Wilberforce, as he notched middle splits of 56.2 and 1:25, then trotted home strongly for his tenth triumph of the year. Uncle Hanover came up the Pocono Pike to take away second late from pocketsitting Stonebridge Combat behind the winner, who pushed his seasonal earnings over $100,000 for trainer Kris Rickert, co-owner with Dale Wareham.   The three-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding Double L Lindy, unraced at two, has really found his trotting form in recent starts and went even faster than the feature horses, posting a 1:53 win on a 53-degree night in a $16,000 event. A winner of only one of his first 11 career starts, Double L Lindy has now won four straight, including this smashing mile which saw him 19¾ lengths to the good at the wire. Anthony Napolitano, who had posted ten victories in his last three Pocono cards at press time, handled the promising youngster for trainer Ake Svanstedt and the ownership of Lindy Farms of CT, Joe Sbrocco, Paul Van Camp, and Little E LLC.   In the $18,000 featured pace, Michael's Victory ran his current winning streak to three with a 1:51.3 victory, overcoming a first-over trip and holding off second-over Perfect Bet by a head. Simon Allard, also with les mains chaudes recently (23 victories in October), sulkysat behind the sophomore Rocknroll Hanover gelding, whose dam Michell's Victory is a ¾ sister to the $1.3M-winning Rare Jewel, for trainer Mark Silva and owner Jeffrey Snyder.   PHHA / Pocono      

WILKES-BARRE PA - Allbeef N Nobull and Bourbon Bay, which sounds like a very good dinner, were the winners of the $15,500 featured harness racing events on the pace and trot, respectively, on Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Allbeef N Nobull swung four-wide headstretch from third-over and, still some 3 1/2 lengths out approaching midstretch, took advantage of a big late kick and a helping tailwind to run down YS Lotus in the final strides to post a neck tally in 1:51.2. The son of McArdle showed precociousness since his earliest racetrack days, where on July 9 of his freshman year he debuted with a 1:59.2 - 28.4 win at the Martinville IL Fair, and he has continued that ability to run his bankroll to $288,872 one start shy of his fiftieth race, winning tonight for driver Mike Simons, trainer Ron Burke, and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Donald Eamon, Howard Taylor, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In contrast to the hard late charge Allbeef N Nobull put in to gain his victory, the Sand Vic gelding Bourbon Bay had an easier time in taking his feature, leaving in 27 to discourage any early challengers, continuing on quickly and hitting the wire in the clear while posting a time of 1:52.3. Anthony Napolitano had sulky duty behind the winner of $238,048 for trainer Ake Svanstedt, who assumed the trotter's training four starts back and already has rung up two wins and a third with him for Our Horse Cents Stables, JT45, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Rossie Smith. FINISHING LINES - Pocono's and Philadelphia's strength were evident through the Grand Circuit card at Lexington's Red Mile on Saturday. Huntsville and Downbytheseaside, respectively 1-2 in the recent Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship and both by Somebeachsomewhere, both equaled the world record for two-year-olds of 1:49 first set by Pocono's co-track recordholder Sweet Lou; in another division of this two-year-old colt pacing stake, the Dragon Again gelding Dragnet Alert, trained by Oakes, set a divisional world record of 1:49.2. The other division of this stakes was won by Chip Walther, trained by Erv Miller and driven by his son Marcus, King of the Pocono Longshots - who paid $84.80, or less than half of what baby filly Zane Hanover paid ($189.80) for Miller and Miller in a division of the filly stake one race before Chip Walther won! The Napolitano brothers were dominant at Pocono Saturday, with Anthony recording five victories and George Jr., one ahead of his brother atop the local driving standings, visiting Victory Lane four times. Jim Marohn Jr. continued a hot recent hand with three scores; the evening's other two winners were driven by Mike Simons and Eric Carlson, and the way the aforementioned trio were going, it may not be surprising to learn that Carlson and Simons handled the two longest-priced horses of the night. PHHA / Pocono      

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 17 - Resolve turned in a game harness racing effort to come away with 1:51.4 victory in the $632,000 Maple Leaf Trot Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The five-year-old stallion was went toe-to-toe with standout mare Hannelore Hanover for the final-half and ultimately wore down the powerhouse to score a length and a half victory for Swedish native and trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Resolve, who finished second in last year's Maple Leaf Trot, left from the rail and got away third, while Hannelore Hanover released Musical Rhythm to the lead at the opening-quarter in :26.4. Driver Yannick Gingras wasted little time circling Hannelore Hanover back around to the front in the second-quarter and the trotting mare led the field by the half in :55.3. Svanstedt started up Resolve nearing the half and immediately confronted the leader moving into the final turn. Hannelore Hanover and Resolve dueled to three-quarters in 1:23 and continued their battle into the lane. The Svanstedt trainee had no quit and finally edged by the gutsy mare in deep stretch for the win. "He's a really great horse and it was difficult today," said Svanstedt following Resolve's triumph. "He (left) very fast and then he was first over the second-half, so he did a very good job." A son of Muscle Hill, Resolve was last year's O'Brien Award winner for top older trotter in Canada. The Svanstedt trainee is well traveled this season, as he raced in Sweden's biggest race, the Elitlopp, back in May and finished second. Owned by Hans Enggren of Abbottstown, Pennsylvania, Resolve now has 14 career victories and over $1.7 million earned. The five-year-old stallion scored his fourth victory of the season Saturday to bring his seasonal earnings to over $700,000. Hannelore Hanover, a four-year-old mare, was a $45,000 supplemental entry to the Maple Leaf Trot. The Ron Burke trainee entered Saturday's rich final off an impressive elimination victory and had only one loss in 15 prior starts this season. "She raced very good," acknowledged Svanstedt. "She's just a four-year-old and a mare. She's very good." Saturday's clash was the first meeting between Resolve and Hannelore Hanover. Although there is no upcoming meeting scheduled between the two star trotters, racing fans will certainly be hoping to see a rematch sooner rather than later. Svanstedt noted that he isn't sure what is next for Resolve, but has an idea of where he hopes to race. "We hope he'll be invited to the International Trot (at Yonkers Raceway)." Five-year-old mare Shake It Cerry finished third in Saturday's event, while locally trained trotters Flanagan Memory and Lookslikeachpndale rounded out the top five finishers. Swedish trotter Nahar, who is owned by Daniel and Henrik Sedin of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks, broke stride on the final turn and finished tenth. The wagering public was split between Resolve and Hannelore Hanover, as they went off as even-money co-favourites. Resolve returned $4.30, $2.50 and $2.20, while the $2 Exactor paid $8.40.   Mark McKelvie

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - My Happiness E P emerged from a tough spot before exploding home in the stretch to take the featured $40,000 fifth leg of the Miss Versatility for free for all trotting mares at the Meadowlands Friday night, kicking off the track's abbreviated two-week September harness racing schedule. The 8-year-old daughter of Credit Winner came back from more two months on the shelf to score in a conditioned event on September 3 at Pocono Downs, which prepared her to take on a tough Big M field that included 2-1 second choice Jewels In Hock, who had raced well against division giant Hannelore Hanover in her three previous starts. The post time favorite, 6-5 chance Charmed Life, reached the lead in :28 and was permitted to march on the front end through fractions of :56 and 1:23.2. Charmed Life was clear by a length and half at the head of the stretch, but My Happiness E P, who appeared to have no shot racing in fifth at three-quarters in a dull second-over flow, tipped off cover and sprinted home in :27 to get up by a head in a lifetime-best 1:51.3. Barn Doll got up for second with Charmed Life hanging on for third. My Happiness E P, the 5-1 fourth choice in the wagering, paid $12.80 in winning for the second time this year in seven starts for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Ake Svanstedt and owners Pal Granlund and Thomas Grini. HOT HAND ANDY: Andy Miller led the driver colony with four winners on the program, among them 2-year-old colt trotter Fly On, who scored in 1:56 in the third leg of the Kindergarten Classic for freshmen colts and geldings. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Vernon, N.Y. -- Following wins in the Hambletonian Maturity, Fresh Yankee, and a Miss Versatility preliminary event, Hannelore Hanover ($2.90) had no trouble maintaining her dominance in the harness racing distaff trotting ranks on Friday (August 26) evening at Vernon Downs, posting a resounding 1:51.3 victory in the $170,000 Muscle Hill, the ninth event on a 12-race program.   Yannick Gingras had the 4-year-old Swan For All mare involved from the outset, working clear of 2015 Empire Breeders Classic winner Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory) just after a :27.1 first quarter mile. Upon taking charge, Hannelore Hanover faced no threats whatsoever, rating a soft :29.4 second sectional before accelerating clear of the competition off the far turn. She used a :54.3 final half to put 3-3/4 lengths on the first-over Shake It Cerry (David Miller), who rallied to take second from the fully extended Barn Doll.   Ron Burke trains Hannelore Hanover for the Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Frank Baldachino. Hannelore Hanover captured the Vernon track record for 4-year-old trotting mares with her 1:51.3 score, topping Maven's performance in the 2014 Muscle Hill by two-fifths of a second.   Obrigado duels, defends his Crawford Farms title   In the $193,000 Crawford Farms for open trotters, carded as race ten, 2015 Crawford winner Obrigado ($14.80) proved successful in defending his crown, dueling with odds-on favorite Resolve (Åke Svanstedt) for nearly the final three-eighths of the mile en route to a 1:51.2 triumph in rein to Mark MacDonald. The 6-year-old Boy Band gelding approached the first turn from second-over, drafting behind Resolve into a :26 first quarter before capturing the lead for himself in a backed-down :55.1 half mile. Just as Obrigado cleared, Resolve angled back off the pegs to re-engage, and the two dueled through the far turn. Despite being headed just above head-stretch, Obrigado dug deep to prevail, reclaiming the lead in the final 100 yards to narrowly beat Resolve. Flanagan Memory (Brian Sears) closed from last to take third, making massive gains down the grandstand side.   Trainer Paul Kelley shares in ownership of Obrigado with the SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins, and Stable 45.   Major Moe, Funknwaffles take freshman Sire Stakes splits   A pair of New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings served as supporting events on the undercard.     Major Moe ($5.40) worked to earn his 1:52.4 victory in the $54,500 seventh race, making steady first-over gains on the far turn to reel in pacesetter Andy's Ideal before holding sway from Very Special Agent's late charge by half a length. Scott Zeron drove the son of Art Major and Maureen Rocks for trainer Chris Ryder.   Funknwaffles ($2.20) did not disappoint at odds-on in the $55,500 eighth event, keeping his undefeated record intact through six career races to date. The son of American Ideal and Hatsoff Hanover brushed to the fore before race's midpoint, evading Serious Major by two lengths in 1:52.3. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove Funknwaffles for trainer John Butenschoen.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 27) evening, with first post slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

East Rutherford, NJ --- Resolve and harness racing driver/trainer Ake Svanstedt withstood a judge’s inquiry to win the $273,600 John Cashman Memorial for older trotters on Saturday (Aug. 6) at The Meadowlands in a time of 1:50.2. The 6-5 favorite Resolve was first to the lead at the :27.1 first quarter, with Crazy Wow (Tim Tetrick) behind him on the rail. JL Cruze (John Campbell) was on the move past that mark, grabbing the lead briefly, before ceding to Flanagan Memory (Chris Christoforou) just past the :54.3 half. Flanagan Memory held that lead to the 1:22.2 three-quarters. Meanwhile, Resolve was moving three wide close to the three-quarters, prompting a judge’s inquiry to look closely at whether he interfered with Homicide Hunter when he fanned wide. As the field turned for home, Flanagan Memory was hard pressed by JL Cruze and Il Sogno Dream (David Miller), but Resolve was coming fastest of all in the center of the track, getting up to win by 1-1/4 lengths. Obrigado (Mark MacDonald) was second and Flanagan Memory was 1-3/4 lengths off the winner in third. Resolve, a 5-year-old Muscle Hill stallion, is owned by Hans Enggren. The victory was his 12th lifetime and improved his career earnings to $1.31 million. We have good tracks to train the horses on our farm,” said Svanstedt. “This horse is a little bit different. If it’s a long way between the races he’s more excited and he wants to race. He always does better races when there are a couple of weeks in between. He’s not like (former Svanstedt trainee and world champion) Sebastian K, but he’s a very good horse and I hope he can race at that level for maybe one more year.” by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications 

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, July 21, 2016 - In theory, it's an Open Handicap. For Resolve, it's also an audition. The millionaire trotter makes a rare Yonkers Raceway appearance Saturday night (July 23), remanded outside of his six harness racing rivals in the $45,000 Open Handicap. The weekly featured trot, going as the sixth of 12 races, brings arguably North America's best trotter to Westchester for the first time since the 2014 Yonkers Trot (second in elim, third [to Nuncio] in half-million-dollar final). It was Nancy Johansson training him then, it's Ake Svanstedt training and driving him now. The 5-year-old son of Muscle Hill is going to be 29 days removed from his last start, a down-the-road, 1:52.2 effort in the $200,000 Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. The time between works nights does not concern Svanstedt. "I'm not worried at all about he have some weeks off," Svanstedt answered in an e-mail 'questionnaire' with himself and assistant trainer Oskar Florhed. "It was (26 days) between his races in the Elitlopp (second in both elim and final) and (the Cutler). "He has trained well at home and Ake had him go faster this week, so he should be fine." While the winner's share of the 45-large would pay the bills for a while, Svanstedt has his eyes gazing at a much bigger prize, as in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot Oct. 15. "It's true," he said. "In this race, I'm going to show everyone that he can handle a half-mile track, so hopefully he can get a invite. "Maybe he will race in a similar (Open Handicap) race one more time before that." As far as any equipment changes, "Shoes this time on all four feet. Last race, he raced barefoot upfront, but he will be fine with that, no problem." The field for Saturday night's Open Handicap Trot (all post assigned)... 1-Money Maven (Andy Miller), 2-E R Ellie (Larry Stalbaum), 3-Muscle Up the Goal (Brian Sears), 4-Lady's Dude (George Brennan), 5-Undercover Strike (Tyler Buter), 6-Shake it Cerry (Dan Dube), 7-Resolve (Ake Svanstedt). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, July 14, 2016-They won the draws as well as and the hearts and minds of the electorate Thursday night. Short-priced pole-sitters Dayson (Yannick Gingras, $2.60) and Dante (Ake Svanstedt, $2.80) delivered in Yonkers Raceway $163,374 New York Sire Stakes Michael Sorentino Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Dayson, racing in a money start for the first time since adding trotting hopples, allowed Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley) the initial lead in the opening ($80,937) division. Dayson then retook right before a :29.4 opening quarter-mile, with none of his five rivals electing to press the issue. After a :59.2 intermission and 1:27.3 intermission, Smalltownthrowdown pulled an early pocket in the final turn. Dayson met that challenge and widened, open to 2½ lengths in 1:56.1. Royson (Jim Marohn Jr.) skimmed the cones to grab second, with "Throwndown" third. For Dayson, a Conway Hall gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Our Horse Cents and J&T Silva Stables and Rossi Smith, it was his fifth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $15.20, with the triple returning $35.40. "It was nice and easy," Gingras said. "The straps definitely helped him keep his mind on business." As for Dante in the $82,437 second division, he was content to sit pocketed to uncoupled stablemate The Royal Harry (Mark MacDonald) though intervals of :28.0, :58.2 and 1:28.1. That one had a length-and-quarter lead entering the lane, but Dante edged out and edged by. He beat his barn neighbor by a length in 1:57.2, with Credevie (George Brennan) third. For Dante, a son of Credit Winner trained by his driver for owner Courant A B, he's 4-for-6 this season. The exacta paid $7.60, with the triple returning $105.50. "He doesn't pull as much as he did (at 2)," Svanstedt said. "He's a better horse to drive now." Stakes action continues here this weekend. Friday night, the $167,874 New York Sire Stakes Art Watson Pace (3-year-old fillies). Saturday night, it's the $100,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard (2-year-old colts/geldings). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands features a quartet of $100,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) freshman finals among fourteen live races on Friday, July 15.   The pacing colts come up first in race two and the road to the title goes through Every Way Out. An easy winner in both preliminary legs including a sharp 1:55 effort in his last, Every Way Out faces just five rivals for new connections this week.   Previous owner Aaron Lambert sold the colt between starts to the partnership of Howard Taylor, Abe Basen, Ed Gold and Tom Lazzaro and Dylan Davis takes over the conditioning. Tim Tetrick is the one constant, back in the bike from post six in the final.   The fourth race is composed of ten colt trotting prodigies seeking the state crown. Of the three prelim winners, both Hammer Time and Fly On paired a win with a third place finish for their dual efforts while New Jersey Viking had the week off after his leg one success.   Trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt had New Jersey Viking ready to win in the first leg off a single qualifier. After letting the dust settle around the first turn, Svanstedt moved his charge to the front on the backstretch and the colt responded with a 27.2 end to a 1:55.4 mile. With his final berth secure, the son of Muscle Hill from Hall Of Wishes was held out of leg two.   New Jersey Viking has drawn post three on Friday. He carries the hopes of Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural via his nom de course Little E, LLC and his partners Knutsson Racing, familiar as the owners of the great Sebastian K.   The trotting fillies are a dynamic group of ten that will settle the issue of who's the fairest of them all, Garden State style, in the sixth race.   Checkmate Time is a slight favorite over Ariana G, based on her pair of leg wins over the latter's single successful appearance in the stakes.   Checkmate Time has been impressive right from the start and showed some grit last week battling her way past a stubborn Waffle Cone to get the 1:55 win. She seems to do her best work following and Scott Zeron has been assigned to sort out a winning trip by trainer Dennis Laterza for owner/breeder Roy Dobbins.   Ariana G is also a homebred, racing for the interests of Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. By Muscle Hill from Cantab It All, she's a sister and barn mate in the Jimmy Takter stable to Hambletonian Oaks contender All The Time who won this race last year. Ariana G was rated kindly in her leg one win by Yannick Gingras before sprinting home in 28 flat for the 1:58.2 record.   Pacing fillies will wrap the NJSS races in the eleventh race where Livingthedream will command respect from her eight female rivals. She won both legs at a jog, forwardly placed in each by driver Marcus Miller and has drawn the rail for Friday's race. Trainer Erv Miller bred and owns the If I Can Dream lass with partner Ron Michelon.   Post time on Friday is 7:15 p.m.   From the Meadowlands Media Department

The third edition of the modern day Hambletonian Maturity will go post ward Saturday, July 16 at The Meadowlands with a field of 11 four-year-old trotters competing for a purse of $471,200. Ten eligible trotters plus a $50,000 supplement by the connections of the latest Indiana-sired sensation, distaffer Hannelore Hanover, comprise the field of 11. Musical Rhythm, who won a Graduate leg at Mohawk Raceway and the $250,000 Final at The Meadowlands in 1:51.2 last Saturday, leads the field for trainer Ben Baillargeon. With 12 victories in 14 starts and $270,573 this year, a win with Musical Rhythm would give driver John Campbell consecutive victories in the Hambletonian Maturity, following his successful steer with JL Cruze, also a racetime supplement, last year. A son of 1998 Breeders Crown freshman champ Musical Victory and sire Cantab Hall, Musical Rhythm was a $33,000 Standardbred Mixed Horse Sale purchase at Harrisburg last November for owner/trainer Ben Baillargeon, Claude Hamel and Santo and Nunzio Vena. "He is amazing us," said Baillargeon after Musical Rhythm's Graduate Final victory from post 10, setting a new lifetime mark of 1:51.2. "I go to the sale and look for young trotters with speed - I don't care if they make breaks because I think I can fix them- but they have to show some speed. This guy was maybe a little guy when he went through the ring as a yearling but he fit what I was looking for and in my price range. "Both times down at the Meadowlands, I don't know what happened, he didn't get a good trip but he went a hell of a mile Saturday night," continued Baillargeon. "Because he won in 1:52 in March I was able to stake him to the Graduate, Crawford and Allerage, although I originally wanted him to just stay in 4-year-old races." Though Baillargeon has returned to his home base in Ontario, his daughter Sara is headquartered at Magical Acres training center in New Jersey with Musical Rhythm. Hannelore Hanover joins Bee A Magician (second in 2014) and Shake It Cerry (third in 2015) as the only mares to start in the Maturity against the males. The $50,000 supplemental decision was "kinda easy" according to trainer Ron Burke. "We've had to count on her to do everything we planned on Mission Brief doing this year and she has really come through," said Burke. "Her last two wins were in complete shutdown mode without her ever being asked, and everyone who has driven her believes she can trot in 1:49. She just won at Mohawk in 1:51, so that's not out of the question. "It's a lot of money to put up, but she's made a lot so we are kind of playing with our own money here. She has been just unbelievable this year - and no other horse shows the kind of miles she's been doing." The Burke Racing Stable owns Hannelore Hanover, along with the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and Frank Baldachino. A $32,000 purchase as a yearling from the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale, Hannelore started just twice at two in Indiana-sired events, and also stayed home in Indiana as a sophomore, racking up close to $300,000 in state-bred earnings. Now four, the daughter of Swan For All - High Sobriety has joined Indiana stand outs like Wiggle It Jiggleit, Freaky Feet Pete, Always Be Miki and Color's A Virgin in beating the best North America has to offer. Ironically, Hannelore Hanover's sole loss this year came in her home state to the mare Allie Labrook. Otherwise she has picked up stake wins in the Miami Valley Distaff, Armbro Flight and Miss Versatility. Burke will also start Crazy Wow for Our Horse Cents Stable, JT45, Silva Stables and Deo Volente Stable. A winner of $1.2 million lifetime, Crazy Wow has struggled to find his stride this year but put it together in an overnight race last Friday, scoring in 1:51.2. Ake Svanstedt will start three trotters: Centurion ATM, Crescent Fashion and Honor And Serve. Svanstedt won the first edition of the Maturity in 2014 with Your So Vain. Muscle Up The Goal comes in off a second-place finish to Obrigado in the Cleveland Trotting Classic an open race. Trained by Chris Beaver to more than $300,000 in earnings in just 25 lifetime starts, the son of Muscle Mass-Tag's Goal will be making his first start at The Meadowlands. 2015 Hambletonian winner Pinkman was not entered, but Jimmy Takter has representation in Canepa Hanover. Trainer Luc Blais who has a history of sending out longshot winners has entered Lookslikeachpndale, a lightly-raced son of Muscle Hill; George Ducharme could be the first trainer in modern times to send out a Hambletonian winner [Royalty For Life in 2013] and a Maturity winner should Wings Of Royalty step up; and Tom Fanning adds Fashion Creditor for owner Joe Smith to round out the field. Created by the Hambletonian Society and the Meadowlands as a racing opportunity solely for 4-year-olds previously eligible to the Hambletonian and Oaks, like those events the Maturity racing conditions prohibit the use of Lasix, the only race day medication permitted in New Jersey and entrants are subject to out of competition testing. The distance is a mile and an eighth. All starters in the race will receive money, with the winner receiving 50% of the purse. One percent of the total purse will be paid to the owners of the finalist finishing sixth thru eleventh. The remainder of the purse for the Maturity will be divided 50-24-16-10% for the horses finishing second through fifth. Post positions will be drawn later this afternoon with the rest of the sensational Meadowlands card which features the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, Mistletoe Shalee, Stanley Dancer Memorial, Delvin Miller Memorial, Golden Girls, Miss Versatility and the WR Haughton Memorial. The 11-horse field, in alphabetical order, is below: Canepa Hanover Centurion ATM Crazy Wow Crescent Fashion Creditor Hannelore Hanover (S) Honor And Serve Lookslikeachipndale Muscle Up The Goal Musical Rhythm Wings Of Royalty by Moira Fanning for the Hambletonian Society  

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