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Two fields of 3-year-old pacing fillies vied for first money in a pair of harness racing $40,000 Ohio Sire Stakes (OSS) events on Friday night, June 12 at Northfield Park. Karlee Sue, a bay daughter by Feelin Friskie, took the first OSS division handily in 1:54.2 for Hall of Fame driver David Miller. After getting away at the back of the pack, Miller skillfully brought Karlee Sue up through splits of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:25.2, utilizing a modest :29 final brush to nail down the victory.   Friskie Tel Dawn (Aaron Merriman) finished second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner, with Friskie Lil Devil (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) getting up to nail show honors.   Bred by Midland Acres, Karlee Sue is conditioned by Al Tomlinson of Mason, Michigan, who owns the filly in partnership with Daniel Mitchell and Dennis Stolz of Michigan. The victory pushed the filly's career earnings to $65,765.   The second OSS split for sophomore pacing fillies was captured by the public's choice Crosswinds Cupcake and driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., in a lifetime best clocking of 1:55. Owned and bred by the Crosswinds Stable Farm of Waynesville, Ohio, this daughter of Stand Forever picked up her second victory of the year in six starts and now has $67,172 her lifetime bankroll.   After wrestling the lead away from Happy Jude at the :28 opening panel, Crosswinds Cupcake paced solidly through quarter fractions of :57.3 and 1:26 before brushing home in :29, drawing away from her rivals by 5¼ lengths. Corner Girl (Ryan Stahl) was second best while Happy Jude held ground to be third.   Third leg OSS action shifts to Northfield Park on July 17 for the colts of both gaits, while the fillies go postward on Aug. 14 at Northfield. Fourth road contests will take place at Scioto Downs on Aug. 28 for the fillies and Aug. 29 for the colts.   The $225,000 championship events for all the 2- and 3-year-old divisions will be held on Saturday (Sept. 12) during Scioto Downs' Super Night festivities. By Kimberly Rinker, Administrator, Ohio Standardbred Development Fund    

  Ohio Sires Stakes and Opens highlight the Friday night card at Scioto Downs Friday. The two and three year old fillies in their respective divisions went post ward for their share of the $40,000 purse. There were nine total divisions for the trotting and pacing fillies and many favorites prevailed. The Sire Stake action kicked off in race one on the 14-race card with two-year old pacing fillies. A field of eight went behind the wings, including the 1-9 favorite, Bell Flower. Bell Flower showed her talent and dominated the field in 1:55.3. She's a daughter of Fly Fly Buckeye and Our Lady Countess. She's trained and partially owned by Fred Huff Jr and John Fairchild. Coming off her impressive qualifier of 1:54.4, she didn't disappoint her supporters. Chris Page had the lines and started from post two. The pair left for command and were the uncontested pace setters. Page clicked fractions of 27.1, 57, 1:26.1 and cruised to a four and three quarter length victory. Zoey's Lemon Tart and Aaron Merriman closed for second and Medoland Kendolin was third. The second race on the program featured a field of seven two-year old trotting fillies. Student Of Life for trainer and driver Marty Wollam prevailed in an impressive 1:58.3. Student Of Life is by Full Count out Lynn's Slider. She's owned by Acadia Farms Inc and G&B Racing of Ohio. The filly started from post three and that's were they got away. The heavy favorite, Bet On Chip and Chris Page for trainer, Devan Miller set the fractions of 29.2, 58.2 and 1:27.4. Giving Sammy Star and Aaron Merriman a perfect pocket trip, but it wasn't enough to fend off the late brush of Student Of Life. Bet On Chip was second and Sammy star was third. Only a neck separated these three fillies. The third race was a mild upset in the three year old trotting fillies first division. Sandys Victory and Josh Sutton rallied in 1:57.2. Sandys Victory is the daughter of Victory Sam and Amessageforsandy. She's conditioned by Larry Tinch who also owns with John E Reames. The filly started from post eight in the field of eight and was the post time second choice. In The Grippers was the 3-5 favorite and she started from post one. Page used the inside to his advantage and clocked favorable fractions of 28.3, 59 and 1:27.4 with In The Grippers. He had company going to the three quarters in the form of Sandys Victory. The filly wrestled the lead away in the stretch and trotted on to a one and a quarter length victory. Majesty Dream and Kayne Kauffman rallied for place and In The Grippers completed the trifecta. Three year old filly pacer Crown Time Keeper kept her stellar season going with a career best effort of 1:54. Crown Time Keeper and driver Chris Page were the post time favorite at 2-5 and rightfully so. The three year old filly by Feelin Friskie out of Crowntime Noreturn is trained by Steve Carter for owner and breeder, Esther Crownover. The filly didn't have her usually front end spot, but it didn't derail her. The fractions of 28 and 56.2 flushed her and she started her first over grind. Crown Time Keeper hit the three quarters in 1:24.1 and finally cleared the game, Lady Julie in the stretch and paced clear by two lengths. Lady Julie for trainer Jim Dailey was a solid second and God Only Knows was a closing third. Novascotia Hanover and Aaron Merriman collar the $25,000 Filly and Mare Open pace in 1:51.3. A full field of 10 went behind the gate. Novascotia Hanover started from post three and used her lucky draw to her advantage. The four year old mare by Somebeachsomewhere out of Northern Sky received a perfect pocket trip behind the heavy favorite, Continual Velocity. She set the fractions of 27, 54.2 and 1:22.3 with the steady pressure from a parked, Betterluvnexttime and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. Novascotia Hanover had some left in the tank when Merriman showed her racetrack and she responded by her one length victory over Continual Velocity and Better Think Twice for trainer Danny Collins who was a fast closing third. Karlee Sue and Josh Sutton took the second division of the two year old filly pace in 1:56. The daughter of Feelin Friskie is trained and partially owned by Al Tomlinson along with Dennis Stolz and Daniel Mitchell. Sutton and Karlee Sue stole the fractions of 28.3, 59.1 and 1:27 and fended off a strong rally by Friskie Lil Devil who was second and Hailstorm Grace for trainer Tom Blankenship was third. Its Complicated and Josh Sutton wired the field in the $25,000 Open Trot in 1:53.4. This win gives Its Complicated five wins in his last six starts. The four year old gelding by Sj's Caviar out of Before The Rain is trained by Brent Davis for breeder and owner Hatfield Stables. The upset minded Turbochargedroxie rallies in a division of the three year old filly trot in 2:00.4. The steady rain that continued to fall quickly turned the fast track into a sloppy one. The filly by Cayenne Turbo was driven by Danny Noble for trainer Danny Collins for owners, Joyce McClelland, DM Stables Llc, Dean Davis and William Rufenacht. She drew post nine in the field nine, but she had some luck and talent on her side. Getting away seventh in the full field as the heavy favorite, Anniesbluejeanbaby set the fractions of 29.3, 1:00.4 and 1:30.2.  Noble was unhurried in the early going and he finally started making his bid at the three quarters, but it was more than enough time. The filly caught Jim Lupton's, Dellou by a head and Anniesbluejeanbaby was a tiring third. Heavy favorite Paydaze On The Way and Josh Sutton got the job done in1:56 in her division of Sires Stakes. Paydaze On The Way is a three year old daughter by Look Sharp out of Shantytown Girl. She's trained by nation leading trainer Ron Burke for Howard Taylor,Edwin Gold,Richard Lombardo and Karen Rose Greg Grismore and A P P Panda was placed second and Shakin Friskie was second placed third for going inside the pylons in the last quarter. The final two divisions of the two year old filly trot rounded out the evening and the favorites prevailed. Lisa Jane for trainer Scott Cox and Driver Ryan Stahl took her division in 2:03.3. The filly by Neely Dunn is owned by Parent Racing Stable Llc and G.Peters of Ohio. After mild fractions of 30,1:02.1 and1:33, set by Talissa and Jonas Hershberger, Stahl angled the filly out and got her underway from the back. Lisa Jane swallowed up race track and beat Song Of The Valley by a neck. Bettys Sam was third. Sunrise Nibbles dominated her division for driver Chris Page and trainer, Chris Beaver. The two year old trotting filly by Iron Duke is owned by Chris Beaver, Synerco Ventures Inc, Steven Zeehandelar and David Lang. The perfect filly went to the front and never turned back. She drew clear by three and a half lengths from Dolly Dunn for trainer Brian Brown and Honey B for trainer Dan Ater took the show spot. From Scioto Downs Racino

The story of 4-year-old harness racing female trotter Perfect Alliance, who enters Saturday's $266,000 Armbro Flight Stakes with 11 wins in 11 starts this season after winning a total of just two of 18 races at ages 2 and 3, would seem farfetched if it didn't sound so familiar. Perfect Alliance races out of the stable of Julie and Andy Miller, who five years ago took an unheralded 4-year-old male trotter named Lucky Jim and helped lead him to an award-winning season. Lucky Jim joined Team Miller with a total of just two wins in 20 career races. He won his first eight starts that season, including two winter series at the Meadowlands, before tackling the sport's top older trotters. He didn't slow down, winning seven more races in a row before finishing the campaign with 17 victories in 18 starts. His triumphs included the Breeders Crown, Nat Ray, Maxie Lee Memorial and Cutler Memorial, and he received the 2009 Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter. Whether Perfect Alliance can write the same ending as Lucky Jim remains to be seen, but the first few chapters of her story are strikingly similar. She won two winter series - one at the Meadowlands and one at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs - before challenging the top female trotters in the game. In her first try against the big girls, in a division of the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine, Perfect Alliance won in 1:51.2, equaling Classic Martine's world record for the fastest mile ever by a 4-year-old female trotter. Incidentally, Lucky Jim shares the world record of 1:50.1 for the fastest mile ever by any trotter on a one-mile racetrack. Last weekend, Perfect Alliance won her elimination for the Armbro Flight by 6-1/2 lengths in a track-record 1:51.4 at Mohawk. She starts the final from post four with Yannick Gingras at the lines and is the 6-5 morning line favorite. "It's hard to believe we could ever do that again - and she hasn't done it yet - but the way she started out is a lot like the way we campaigned [Lucky Jim] because she fit some of the winter series," Andy Miller said. "She got a lot of confidence out of those series and just kept progressing and getting better and better. "Now she's as brave as a horse can be. Now that she's facing the better mares, she thinks she can tackle anything." Miller drove Perfect Alliance in her first seven starts, but has been sidelined since mid-April because of injuries sustained in an accident. In her second race this year, Perfect Alliance won from post 10 at the Meadowlands despite being stuck on the outside for most of the mile and getting a flat tire on the final turn. "She still dug in and won the race," Miller said. "When she did that, I thought it was something special. I didn't know if she would go [onto record-setting performances] but I knew there was a lot there." Perfect Alliance is owned by New Meadowlands Racing Chairman Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, Meadowlands Racetrack General Manager Jason Settlemoir, David Stolz and Arthur Geiger. She is a daughter of stallion Credit Winner out of the mare Yalta Hanover and was purchased for $75,000 under the name Perfect Deo at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale. Her mother is a half-sister to stakes-winners Yursa Hanover, He's Spooky and Scary Good. She is a three-quarter sister to Thistle Dhu, who ironically edged Perfect Alliance last season by a nose in the $40,000 Zweig Memorial Consolation for 3-year-old filly trotters. "Last year [Perfect Alliance] was hot on the gate and had a few little issues, just immaturity," Miller said. "I think the time off and bringing her back this year she's just matured so much. The second time I qualified her, I covered her up a bit and put some earplugs on her and when I popped them she responded. I knew there was a lot there, but how far it would go, I didn't know. "It's worked out good. With these types of horses, you just hope you don't do anything wrong. She kind of takes care of herself. She does everything we ask and we just try not to mess it up." Following is the field in post order for the Armbro Flight with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Lady Laker, Trevor Ritchie, Al Tomlinson, 20-1; 2. Bax Of Life, Chris Christoforou, Jerry Duford, 15-1; 3. D'Orsay, Sylvain Filion, Jonas Czernyson, 6-1; 4. Perfect Alliance, Yannick Gingras, Julie Miller, 6-5; 5. Classic Martine, Tim Tetrick, Chris Oakes, 5-1; 6. Upfrontluckycarol, Steve Condren, Clark Beelby, 20-1; 7. Rockin With Dewey, Mario Baillargeon, Benoit Baillargeon, 12-1; 8. Charmed Life, James MacDonald, Dave Menary, 12-1; 9. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, Nifty Norman, 4-1; 10. Angies Lucky Star, Trevor Henry, Richard Moreau, 25-1. Andy Miller got a positive report from his doctors recently as he continues his recovery from vertebrae surgery, but still is several months from returning to action. "He said everything looks good," Miller said Monday while watching qualifiers at Gaitway Farm, where he and wife Julie Miller are stabled. "He said in six weeks I can probably get rid of the [back] brace, but as far as doing anything, it'll be a couple months yet. "I was hoping I could do a little bit of work. Hopefully in six weeks I'll get a little more clearance, but I'm sure it will be a couple months before I can really do much." Miller said it was "frustrating" to be on the sidelines, but he is still active in watching horses train and race and providing his input. Miller has won 8,054 races in his driving career and nearly $101 million in purses, with both totals ranking among the top 25 in North American harness racing history. "Eventually, I'll get back out there, but I'll just take my time," Miller said. "I'm so thankful that I can be here and watch them and give my input on them training. "There haven't been any setbacks and if I didn't have the brace on, you wouldn't know anything is wrong with me. I can get around pretty good; I'm not running sprints, but everything is as good as it can be." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Eight Michigan Sires Stakes (MISS) finals were held on the Monday, Sept. 2, Labor Day afternoon card at Hazel Park, with four going being the gate as non-wagering affairs prior to the regular program. Although for the most part the races consisted of short fields, eight different stallions were represented in the winner's circle. The quartet of races on the betting card got underway with the $35,172 MISS final for 2-year-old male pacers. The Brad Kramer-driven Beastly was fourth at the three-quarters but the gelded son of Stampede Hanover-Todd's Affair rushed past the competition in the final turn to draw clear by 10 1/2 lengths as the 1- 9 favorite in 2:02.2. Man The Torpedo (Skip DeMull) was a distant second, with Chasing Jake (Jason Merriman) third. Kelly Goodwin owns and trains Beastly, who won for the third time in six starts. Kramer sent Lady Laker to the lead from post 7 in the $39,377 MISS final for 3-year-old filly trotters, and by the :58.1 half she had a three-length lead, expanding the margin to seven lengths at the 1:27 three-quarters. The 1-9 favorite then cruised to the wire 15 lengths in front in 1:58. Defending MISS champion Kendall Marie (Peter Otten) finished second, with Crazy Sherry (Carl Putnam Jr.) third. A daughter of Lockkeeper-Hyercass, Lady Laker is trained by Al Tomlinson for owner David Vanderhyde. She was  undefeated in four starts in 2012, and in 2013 her four wins also include the Hanover in mid-July at Balmoral Park. Her earnings went past the $100,000 mark with her MISS win on Monday. Ovewhelming favorite That'll Be The Rei successfully defended his MISS title as Mike Micallef directed the son of Cheyenne Rei-Unspeakable Joy gelding to a wire-to-wire, 1:55.1 victory in the $37,827 MISS final for sophomore male pacers. That'll Be The Rei defeated runner-up Lexington Avenue (Kody Massey) by five lengths, with Sharp Cheeser (Darrell Wright) third. Micallef also trains That'll Be The Rei for owner Dan Courtemanche. The win was his ninth in 14 starts this year and 18th overall in 24 career starts. That'll Be The Rei increased his earnings to more than $120,000 with the victory. Haberdashery busted the favorite brigade wide open in the last of the four betting races with a 50-1 upset in the $40,077 MISS final for 3-year-old male trotters. The 1-2 favorite Zeplin, driven by Goodwin, appeared on his way to victory but when he broke stride in the stretch, it paved the way for Haberdashery and driver Jeff Sweeney to go on to the 2:02.4 victory. Zeplin recovered to finish second, with Winwood Scout and driver DeMull third. A gelded son of Keystone Nordic-Ready Elegance, Haberdashery won for the first time in six career starts. The winner is trained and owned by Chris Allen. All four early races were won in relatively easy fashion. Lady Windsor started things off with a 2:00.1 victory for trainer-driver Wright in the five-horse, $35,272 MISS final for 2-year-old filly trotters. Keep It Sweet (Larry Lee Smith) was 13 lengths back in second, with Best Friend Always (Todd Buter) another 18 lengths behind in third. E.J. Underwood III owns Lady Windsor, a daughter of Coventry-Rhonda T. The career-best win was her sixth straight in seven career starts. Scrappy Alex and trainer-driver Putnam led wire to wire in the $35,222 MISS final for 2-year-old male trotters to score in 2:09.3. SS RC CR (Rex Putnam) finished 2 3/4 lengths behind in second, with Just A Kid (Tim Roach) third. A gelded son of Scrappy Robert-Classic Enterprise, Scrappy Alex is owned by Sam Heron. The win was his fourth in nine starts. Kramer and Kayla Grace romped to a 15 1/4-length win in 1:58 in the $34,372 MISS final for 2-year-old filly pacers. Sue's Your Daddy (Jeff Sweeney), TC Country (Otten) and Winwood Elle (DeMull) finished second, third and fourth, respectively, as the short field crossed the wire in post-position order. A daughter of He's All That-A Maze Of Grace, Kayla Grace remained undefeated in nine starts. She is trained by Marie "Ginny" St. Charles, who shares ownership withEd and Cheryl Sayfie's ECS Racing. Super Soph, whose nine-for-nine freshman season in 2012 included the MISS final, successfully defended that title with a career-best 1:53.2 score in the $34,627 contest for 3-year-old filly pacers. Jason Merriman was in the sulky as Super Soph led gate to wire to defeat Don't Stare (Keith Crawford) by 2 1/2 lengths, with Reiwatch (Kramer) third. A full sister to Canadian Hall of Fame inductee Admirals Express, Super Soph is a daughter of Admirals Galley-Platinum Card. Greg West trains Super Soph for owners Ryan Morefield, Brian Campbell and Mark Wamp. Her earnings now stand at more than $128,000. Submitted by Hazel Park Publicity Department  

With an opening quarter of :26.4, it looked like the harness racing fillies & mares open would be a fast mile but no one figured Betterluvnexttime would set a new track record.

Betterluvnexttime rattled off a sharp front end effort taking home the featured harness racing event, a $24,000 Invitational pace for fillies and mares, to notch her second consecutive victory at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, April 12.

Betterluvnexttime made her Hoosier Park debut a winning one as she captured the featured $24,000 fillies and mares Invitational pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, April 5 with harness racing driver Pete Wrenn at the lines.

When she collected the winner's share from her fifth consecutive victory on March 3 at Saratoga Casino and Raceway, obviously Dan Mitchell, her owner, was pleased with Betterluvnexttime's performance, but it wasn’t simply about the check. Her triumph appeared to be almost karmic.

On a chilly (14 degrees) Saturday night both Betterluvnexttime and St Elmo Hero had no trouble continuing to dominate their respective harness racing divisions.

After a four-week absence the Al Tomlinson trained mare Betterluvnexttime is back at Balmoral Park Saturday night where she's the 3-1 morning line harness racing favorite in the $16,000 Open Pace for distaffers.

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