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Breedings to Trixton, Always A Virgin, Andover Hall, Courtly Choice, Jimmy Freight, JK Endofanera and Racing Hill are among the 75+ offered in the 22nd Annual New Vocations Stallion Auction that is currently in progress via OnGait.com. Visit https://ongait.com/s/newvocations to view breedings and bid until 2:00 p.m. Thursday Feb 6. The auction is held in an open-ended-format that allows for bidding up to two minutes after the last bid on breedings with high activity at the 2:00 p.m. cut off. All proceeds go to rehab, retrain, and rehome Standardbreds retiring from the track. For more information call (937) 947-4020 or email dot@horseadoption.com by Dot Morgan, for New Vocations  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 17, 2020--Itty Bitty (Dan Dube., $8.10) was the best after two moves Friday night (Jan 17th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. Away third from assigned post position No. 5, Itty Bitty watched as 3-5 favorite Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan) leapfrogged her quintet of inside rivals. After early intervals of :27 and :57, Itty Bitty was out and moving toward a 1:25.2 three-quarters. She then engaged the leader in and out of the final turn, with the people's preference empty through the lane. Itty Bitty was able to close the sale, the final margin over two-hole Cay's Blessing (Jason Bartlett) a neck in 1:54.2. Made of Jewels AS (Eric Goodell), Renaissance Lady K (Jordan Stratton) and Feelin' Red Hot settling for the minors. Tipp City (Brent Holland) was outrun.   For second choice Itty Bitty, a now-6-year-old daughter of Always a Virgin co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and John Schmucker, it was a successful seasonal debut for a 24th career victory. The exacta paid $51, with the triple returning $181 by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Always Giggling (John DeLong) sat chilly near the back of the pack as Imajean Rocks (Brett Miller), seeking her fifth consecutive victory at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, set torrid fractions in the weekly Friday night feature--the $17,500 Mares Open Pace.   The strategy paid big dividends as the :27, :54.4 and 1:22.4 fractions resulted in a relatively slow :29.2 final panel in which Always Giggling was able to rally from seventh to grab a narrow victory in the last quarter.   The final clocking of 1:52.2 resulted in the five-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin garnering her fifth seasonal win, the 16th of her stellar career which has now produced $434,527 in purse earnings. She is owned by Jeffrey Fought and trained by Peter Redder.   Always Giggling, dispatched at 10-1 odds, paid $23.40. Coupled with morning line favorite Imajean Rocks the perfecta returned $98.80. Eliza Dushku N (Mike Oosting) got the show dough, while Newsday (Trevor Smith), Knockout Queen (Jeremy Smith) and Elysium Seelster (Tyler Smith) also earned checks in the ten horse field.     The curtain comes down on Hollywood Dayton Raceway's sixth season on Saturday night (Dec. 28) when a strong 14-race card commences at 6:15 p.m.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

If you're keeping track, that's three straight wins at the head of the class for Its a Horse, including the Joe Lighthill Trot two weeks ago at Cal Expo Harness.  Ray Alan Miller's colorbearer, who takes his lessons from Marco Rios and has been guided in each of those scores by Dean Magee, had no trouble with the sloppy going in the Lighthill and reported home with two and three-quarter lengths to spare that evening. "The owner bought this horse last year and turned him out for sixth months, then I got him," Rios related when asked about the soon-to-be 7-year-old Ohio-bred. With his last tally, he is closing in on the $100,000 earnings plateau. Its a Horse likes to relax early and save his best for last, although in his last two wins he made his moves earlier than usual and actually had the lead by the time they hit the stretch on both occasions. "If you look at the races going back to when he was at Northfield Park, he was racing on the lead, but we were able to teach him a different style and it's worked very well," Marco noted. "As far as the sloppy track last time, I was a little concerned, but he had trained so well all week I still had a lot of confidence." Rios acknowledged that having veteran Magee at the controls is a major plus. "He knows all about the flow of the race, and if he feels he has to move early, he does it. The horse is very sharp right now and it's been very satisfying." Virgin Eyes seeking encore in main event Virgin Eyes, fresh from a game win over a sloppy track two weeks ago, attempts a curtain call in Saturday night's $6,200 Filly and Mare Open II Pace. The headliner will go as the eighth of 12 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 6:10 p.m. A 4-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin, Virgin Eyes has turned in two big efforts since arriving from the East for owner Aleksandra Karl and Jacob Fox. In a needed local debut on November 29 she rallied smartly for the place spot despite suffering poor cover. In her most recent assignment over the wet going, Virgin Eyes brushed to the lead for Fox past the quarter, withstood a strong challenge on the final turn and prevailed by a length as the 5-2 choice. Marilyn was a strong runner-up that evening after posting nice tallies versus softer competition in her previous two appearances. Mark Anderson owns, Gordie Graham trains and James Kennedy has the return assignment. Dancingonthesand is a long-fused mare who will certainly have her share of backers off her two solid victories with this group last month. The Alan Cooper-owned, Kathie Plested-trained disaffer has Mooney Svendsen guiding from the No. 7 slot in the field of nine. Completing the cast are Shock N Awe, Capitol Hill, Magnifique, Brighten Your Life, Morgangetsherway and Cenalta Glory. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness        

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Preppy Art had been a harness racing machine of late, winning six in a row heading into the Toys For Tots Final for $7,500 claiming pacers at the Meadowlands Thursday night. It appears Forevernalways didn't read the press clippings. The 5-year-old Forevernalways, a gelded son of Always A Virgin-Jnb N Me, rushed up to challenge Preppy Art on the far turn before cruising by on the way to a 4¼-length win in a lifetime-best 1:51. It was apparent during the wagering that Preppy Art, who was making his sixth straight start in a different barn, would not be the post-time favorite, but as the 2-1 second choice, he fired away from the gate to the lead and cut out a :27.3 quarter before a :55.2 half.   Forevernalways vacated the three-hole approaching the far turn after Preppy Art hit three-quarters in 1:24 and made a bold move to poke a head in front with three-sixteenths of a mile to go. From there, the Kenneth Tisa trainee drew off with Dave Miller doing the driving during an explosive final quarter of :26.4 to win for fun. Walks Of Life was second, with Preppy Art third. Forevernalways, who paid $4.60 to win as the 6-5 favorite, was claimed for a third consecutive start, this time by Izzy Estrada. Preppy Art, who was claimed for a sixth consecutive outing, left the track on Bruce Lauer's trailer. There were two other Toys For Tots Finals on the program. JB's Shooting Star (Yannick Gingras driving) ran her win streak to three by taking the Fillies and Mares TrackMaster 77 or less Pace in 1:53 as the 4-5 public choice while Broadway Promise (Dave Miller) hit the wire first in 1:54.3 in the Non-Winners of $3,500 Pace at odds of 8-1. LARRY THE LIP: The always entertaining Larry Lederman called the Thursday night races, and as usual he provided some quips that are rarely heard: "Feel The Muscle is coming and so is Christmas." "This could be long-term parking, just like at the airport." "And the car leaves at 40 miles an hour, and there's R M Blackhawk going about 38." A LITTLE MORE: Dave Miller and Andy Miller were the driving stars of the night with three winners each while Andy McCarthy had two. Those three drivers accounted for eight of the 10 winners on the card. ... One player - wagering into the Midlantic hub - had the lone ticket to last all eight legs in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-8 and collected $6,183. ... Favorites won seven times on the program. ... All-source handle totaled $956,383. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

MILTON, ON - December 12, 2019 - Winter Series harness racing action finally got underway Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park with first round action in the Valedictory and Niagara Series. Each series featured two $17,000 divisions with three-year-old colt and gelding pacers dueling in the Valedictory and sophomore pacing fillies contesting the Niagara. The Valedictory Series launched with Windsun Ricky rallying from sixth at the head of the lane to reach up and defeat Lyons Pegasus, who led from the second-quarter on, by half a length in 1:51.4. What Up Mo was third, while Conboyville was fourth. Sent off as the even-money choice, Windsun Ricky was driven to victory by Sylvain Filion for trainer Murray Brethour. The gelded son of American Ideal now has five wins in 15 starts this season, with three of those victories coming in six starts since a break from the track in August and September. Windsun Ricky is now five for 20 in his career and has banked $69,080 for owners Brethour, Windsun Farm and Noblock Racing Stable. He paid $4.10 to win. To watch the race replay, click here. No rallying was needed in the second division, as Virgin Storm went coast-to-coast on the lead to win in 1:52.4. James MacDonald guided the Nick Surick trainee to his fourth win in 25 starts this season. Jknr Liketell rallied for second, beat a length. Dreamfair Charro was third, while Legion Seelster was fourth. Unraced at age two, Virgin Storm entered Thursday's race having not scored a victory since his fifth start of the season. The gelded son of Always A Virgin now displays totals of four wins, $57,555 earned and a mark of 1:52.4 for owner M Spacc Stables. Virgin Storm paid $11.30 to win. To watch the race replay, click here. The Niagara Series started with Sunfire Blue Chip filly Dreamfair Zenfire scoring at odds of 4-1 for driver Travis Cullen and trainer Jodie Cullen. Dreamfair Zenfire rushed up from third to claim the top at the half and went on to pace a :56.2 back-half to win by a length and a quarter in a career-best 1:53. Cranberry Brie took second, while Erikas Shadow and Mary Goodnight completed the Superfecta. The most experienced competitor in the Niagara, Dreamfair Zenfire is now six for 37 on the season after going winless in four starts as a rookie. She is a homebred for John Lamers that has now earned $64,131 during her racing career. Dreamfair Zenfire paid $11.40 to win. To watch the race replay, click here. Arya Stark closed out Thursday's series action in exciting fashion, winning by a neck over Giggle Hanover in 1:53.4. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Arya Stark angled out from fourth heading to three-quarters, collecting cover from a two-hole pulling Passport Hanover. Trip Aces Hanover, who led into the stretch, surrendered the lead late to Arya Stark, while Giggle Hanover charged up the rail late. Passport Hanover was fourth. A daughter of Royal Mattjesty, Arya Stark picked up her fifth win 34 starts this season and sixth career win overall with the upset score. Melissa Lamoureux trains the sophomore and co-owns with Jeffrey Boyd and Jefferson Davis. Arya Stark, who paid $23.80, now has career earnings of $68,537. To watch the race replay, click here. The Valedictory and Niagara Series were open to three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2019. Each event will resume next Thursday (December 19) with second-round action. The series finals will be contested on Boxing Day (December 26). Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Always A Prince and driver Yannick Gingras stole the show in the $350,000 TVG Open Pace Final Saturday at the Meadowlands. Starting from post eight, Yannick sent the four-year-old gelding by Always A Virgin right to the front and never looked back. The duo held the field at bay and then pulled away in the stretch for a 1:48.2 triumph. He is trained by Tyler George and is owned by Carl and Melanie Atley of Xenia, Ohio. He paid $12.00 to win. Bettor's Wish was second with American History third. "It was the first time I ever drove him was tonight," said Yannick Gingras. "He was really nice to drive." by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink  

DAYTON, OH. - Tookadiveoffdipper, the ultra-consistent 5-year-old son of Always A Virgin, copped the $17,500 Open Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday (Nov. 2) for his seventh harness racing win of the season. The Virgil Morgan Jr. trainee surpassed the $100,000 seasonal earnings plateau with the victory. In 2018, the winner also triumphed on seven occasions and banked $99,360. Driver Brett Miller opted to take control early, speeding to the quarter pole in :26.4 with the public's second betting choice. Tookadiveoffdipper also fronted the field at the half in :55.1 and the three-quarters station in 1:22.4 before sealing the deal in 1:50.4.   Pocket sitter Granite (Jeremy Smith), the slight race favorite, tried gallantly to overtake the leader in the stretch but fell one length short. Former multiple Ohio Horse Of The Year honoree Dancin Yankee (Chris Page), got loose late in the fray and closed for the show dough. The 11-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser, presently seeking his 80th victory, needs just $4,600 to reach $2 million in career earnings.   Tookadiveoffdipper is owned by Jane Cross of Illinois and Mark Cross of Tennessee.   The feature race win was one of four on the first dozen races for leading driver Brett Miller. A race later he guided Rock Out to a 1:50.2 tally in a $20,000 claimer for trainer Morgan Jr. Earlier on the program, Miller won a $15,000 claimer with Rush To Judgement, also from the Morgan Jr. barn; and lit up the toteboard with upset winner Omega Cat ($85.40) for trainer Steve Brannan in a top level condition pace.   Omega Cat's mega payoff in the seventh race caused a $2006 carryover in the track's 20-cent Hi-5 wager which prompted a $5000 guaranteed Hi-5 pool when racing resumes at Hollywood Dayton on Monday afternoon.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway    

ANDERSON, Ind.--September 19, 2019-- Fresh off a big night of Grand Circuit harness racing action, two divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies were the featured attraction at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 21. The sophomore pacing fillies have now completed seven rounds of their eight round series. The Indiana Sires Stakes season will culminate with the $250,000 Super Finals for each division on October 11. In the opening division, Play For Pay and driver Brandon Bates switched up their tactics and opted for a trip off the pace and came charging late in the lane to score in 1:51.1. Dojea Rita and Charlie Conrad were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.1 before yielding the lead to Lady Capulet and Michael Oosting just before the half. Lady Capulet clicked off fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.2 and when the field turned for home, it was a cavalry charge to the wire. Using the long Hoosier Park stretch to her advantage, Play For Pay tipped off tiring cover and used a :26.3 closing kick to get the win by a head. Pure Maid and LeWayne Miller finished second while This Peach Rocks and Ross Leonard rounded out the trifecta. Sent off at odds of 5-1, Play For Pay returned $13.60 at the betting windows. Trained by Michael Arnold, Play For Pay recorded her fourth win from 15 starts this season. The daughter of Tellitlikeitis-Fox Valley Ivy now sports a lifetime bankroll of $162,335 and is owned by Ira Steinberg. Fully A Virgin and Michael Oosting used similar tactics to get up in the final strides of the mile and capture the second division of the stakes action in 1:50.1. Utilizing a :25.4 closing quarter, Fully A Virgin tipped off cover and powered home a winner to stick a nose in front of stablemate Pansy's Image and Trace Tetrick. Rockin Nola and Joey Putnam also rallied well late to finish third. The 1:50.1 clocking was a new lifetime best for the Shane Bowermaster trainee and the third win from her last four outs. With the win, the homebred daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Of Gold recorded her sixth win from 14 starts this season. Owned and bred by Emerald Highlands Farm, Fully A Virgin has now amassed $205,180 in lifetime purse earnings. Live racing action will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, September 24 with an 11-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Emily Ratcliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park  

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 13, 2019- Sophomore harness racing pacing colts & geldings were back in the spotlight and as predicted, turned in ultra-competitive stakes performances on Friday, September 13 at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The evening featured two $49,000 divisions in leg seven of eight Indiana Sire Stakes legs for the division as the horses prepare for the upcoming Stakes Super Finals next month. Each division produced slight upsets with victories from Shamwow and Tellmeaboutit. In division one, Shamwow turned in a gritty performance to get the victory over rival Rockie Got Framed. After finishing second to Rockie Got Framed in his last two starts, Shamwow was able to turn the tables and stop the timer in 1:50, just a tick off his lifetime best, for trainer Melissa Essig. When the wings of the gate opened, Rockie Got Framed with Ricky Macomber Jr. quickly grabbed the lead, as they were looking their third consecutive stakes win. Alwaysasweetvictory with Todd Warren settled in second while Shamwow with LeWayne Miller waited patiently in third, poised to attack through the opening quarter in :27:0. At the half in :55:3, Miller guided Shamwow to the outside and urged him to the front to grab the lead from Rockie Got Framed who was content to sit in the pocket. Ima Real Ladys Man with Michael Oosting began pressuring the leader at the third quarter in 1:23:4 and was able to stick a nose in front as the field turned for home. The top trio matched strides in the stretch and it appeared to be anyone's race. Using a :26.1 final quarter, Shamwow fought back gamely to stick a nose in front and reach the wire first, followed by Rockie Got Framed in second and Shamwow in third. Shamwow paid $5.20 to win at the betting windows. "I knew I wanted to be forwardly placed," driver LeWayne Miller noted in the winner's circle. "We've been trying to teach him how to race and that was a big mile tonight by him. He raced really strong." Shamwow, the son of Always A Virgin-Bolero, has won five of eight lifietime starts and has yet to finish worse than second in his young career. Unraced as a two-year-old, Shamwow now sports a lifetime bankroll of $96,875 for owner, breeder Cornerstone Stock Farm. Not to be outdone, division two was the fastest division of the night as Tellmeaboutit with Michael Oosting found the winner's circle after a sizzling 1:48:4 effort. The 1:48.4 time was a new lifetime best for sophomore colt and just one-fifth of a second off of the current track record for three-year-old pacing geldings. Pure Rock with Rick Plano used their customary front-running tactics to grab the lead from the coveted post five. Jagger Rocks with Sam Widger followed in second while Tellmeabout waited patiently in third. The field remained in straight formation through an opening split of :25:4, but just before the half Jagger Rocks was given the green light and grabbed the front position at the half in a snappy :53:2. Tellmeaboutit began his attack on the leader when Oosting moved him second-over and he was able to take the lead just before the third quarter in 1:21:4. Tellmeaboutit used the long quarter-mile stretch to bolster his lead on the field, and ultimately crossed the wire three lengths to the good. Tellmeaboutit                                                                 --Linscott photography Little Rocket Man with Trace Tetrick rallied from well back for second while Ollie's Ztam with Ricky Macomber Jr. dug in for third. Tellmeaboutit paid $8.20 to win for his betting backers. "I've always known he's a nice colt," trainer Alvin Miller revealed after the victory. "We're just trying to keep everything together. He's got a little bit of an ornery streak in him. I always knew he could go that fast, just wasn't sure how far." Tellmeaboutit is the son of Tellitlikeitis-Portia Blue Chip and has now won nine of 23 lifetime starts. Bred by Lavon Miller, he now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $186,930 for owners Twila Harts and Alvin Miller. Live racing action will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Saturday, September 14. The evening's live racing card will feature both a $20,000 Open Pace and a $20,000 Open Trot. Indiana Sires Stakes action will return to Harrah's Hoosier Park on Tuesday, September 17 with a 12-race card featuring two divisions for the two-year-old trotting colts & geldings. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Rose Flood, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, Ind.-August 17, 2019- It was a winning night for trainer Shane Bowermaster on Saturday, August 17 at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as fillies from his harness racing stable swept both $49,000 divisions of the fifth leg of Indiana Sires Stakes action for three-year-old pacing fillies. With wins from Fully A Virgin and Pansy's Image, both fillies provided upsets over the heavy favorites in their respective divisions. The first upset came when Fully A Virgin and Michael Oosting surged past the field to cross the wire first and pay $16.00 to win. Stopping the time in 1:50.2, the sophomore filly used a valiant stretch rally to get up in the final strides of the mile and established a new lifetime mark with the win. Leaving from post eight in the talented field of nine, Fully A Virgin was unhurried from the gate and found a spot along the rail in eighth. The heavy favorite Rockin Nola with Joey Putnam and Tellitsassymae with Sam Widger battled for the early lead. When the field reached the first quarter in :26:3, Tellitsassymae claimed the front with Rockin Nola following closely from the pocket. The field continued in straight formation through the half in :54:4 before Rockin Nola was on the attack, first-over. Tellitsassymae and Rockin Nola were matching strides past the third quarter in 1:22:3 and when the field turned for home, the race appeared to be wide open. Oosting had Fully A Virgin well placed second over and when he tipped her to the outside, she dug in gamely and surged past her competitors to get the win by two lengths. She was followed by another Shane Bowermaster trainee, Glorious Virgin and Trace Tetirck, who utilized a ground-saving trip for second while This Peach Rocks with Ross Leonard got up for third. "She's been easy to handle since day one," Bowermaster noted in the winner's circle. "She's really easy on herself. It helps that she's filled out since last year-she's built like a tank. We took a headpole off tonight which seemed to help, that and having them out in the field last week-it really freshened her up." Fully A Virgin, the daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Of Gold, has now won seven of 23 lifetime starts and brought her lifetime bankroll to $168,555. Fully A Virgin is owned by the Emerald Highlands Farms, who also bred her. Bowermaster's second win of the night came when Pansy's Image and Sam Widger utilized a pocket trip to pull the 8-1 upset in the second division of stakes action. Following the trend from her stablemate earlier in the night, Pansy's Image also established a new lifetime mark with tonight's win, stopping the clock in 1:51:2. When the wings of the gate opened the post-time favorite Play For Pay with Brandon Bates grabbed the early lead but Widger also had Pansy's Image forwardly placed from post seven. At the first quarter in :26:1, Pansy's Image had reached the front but relinquished the lead to Play For Pay just before the half in :55. At the third quarter in 1:23:4, Queen Lagertha with John De Long moved first-over into second and began to engage Play For Pay for the lead. With the wire in sight, the top three were matching strides and pacing hard to the wire. Pansy's Image found late racing room up the inside and utilized a :27.1 final panel to get the win, crossing the wire three lengths to the good. Play For Pay held on for second and Queen Lagertha fought for third. Pansy's Image paid $19.20 to win. "She's really easy on herself too," Bowermaster revealed after the win. "I didn't really tell Sam what to do, but I knew if she was covered up she'd still be right there. I think fresher is better with these fillies, so we're planning on giving them a week off between stakes legs and make sure they are ready to go for these last few legs of the sires stakes." Pansy's Image is also owned and was bred by the Emerald Highlands Farms and has won five of 20 lifetime starts. She now sports a lifetime bankroll of $119,680, surpassing the $100,000 mark with tonight's victory. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Tuesday, August 21 with an 11-race card featuring two divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies. Tuesday's card will also feature a $10,000 guaranteed Hoosier High 5 in race 11. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Rose Flood, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 22, 2019-Tepid choice Itty Bitty (Jim Marohn Jr., $7.10) picked off a tiring harness racing leader Friday night (Feb. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Unhurried from post position No. 3, Itty Bitty saw a wide-early Monica Gallagher (Matt Kakaley) have to work to get around Ideal Lifestyle A (a returning Mark MacDonald). 'Monica' paid a :26.4 opening-quarter-mile price for the privilege, only to have Ideal Lifestyle A pull pocket by the :55.3 intermission. That lass began to open up down the backside, widening through a 1:23.4 three-quarters and taking a 3½-length lead into the lane. However, the hooves were getting heavy and Itty Bitty-who had gone three-deep around a dullard-found herself within range. Itty Bitty rolled past Ideal Lifestyle A late, winning by a half-length in a season's-best 1:53.4. A last-at-the-outset Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) did get the bottom of the ticket, with 79-1 outsider Shezza GNP N (Austin Siegelman) and Monica Gallagher settling for the minors. For Itty Bitty, a 5-year-old daughter of Always a Virgin co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, B & I Stables and Stephen Klunowski, it was her second win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $29, the triple returned $224 and the superfecta paid $4,332. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Harness racing stallion breedings to Kadabra, Always A Virgin, Andover Hall, Racing Hill, Muscles Yankee and Conway Hall are among the 75+ offered in New Vocations Stallion Auction that also includes the recent additions of All Bets Off and Boston Red Rocks along with four Michigan stallions. The auction is currently in progress at https://ongait.com/s/newvocationsauction and will end at 2:00 pm Thursday Feb 7. The auction is held in an open-ended-format that allows for bidding up to two minutes after the last bid on breedings with high activity at the 2:00 pm cut off. All proceeds go to rehab, retrain, and rehome Standardbreds retiring from the track. For more information call (937) 947-4020 or email dot@horseadoption.com by Dot Morgan, for New Vocations          

YONKERS, N.Y. – When harness racing trainer Erv Miller went to the Tattersalls July Sale with owner John Koliopoulos, they didn’t intend to come home with Air Strike. The 4-year-old Always A Virgin son impressed at 2, winning a $75,000 Indiana bred stakes at Hoosier Park and dead-heating in the $147,200 Kindergarten Classic at the Meadowlands. But with unimpressive resumes at 3 and 4, Air Strike didn’t even make Miller’s short list. However, as Miller stood around the sales ring watching horse after horse sell for more than he could stomach, he noticed Air Strike in the ring. Bidding maxed out at $26,000, a price the trainer couldn’t refuse.  “All the ones I looked at were bringing too much money,” Miller said. “I knew the horse a little bit from racing in Indiana, so I knew he was a high-ability kind of horse. I knew he must have some kind of problem because he hadn’t shown much at that time, but for $26,000, I thought I could put him in a claimer at Yonkers, so I just took a shot. “Most of the horses I was trying to buy that day I was trying to look at ahead of time and get a feel for what I was buying, but I didn’t look at that horse,” he continued. “We were very fortunate to find him the way we did, to come across him like that because he wasn’t the horse I went there to buy, but if the price is right, you do that sometimes.” Despite their unlikely pairing, Miller was immediately impressed with Air Strike. He won his debut for his new connections in an $11,000 overnight at Pocono July 24 and followed it up with a victory at Yonkers for $17,500 the next week. Air Strike went wire-to-wire in the $35,000 4-year-old open handicap pace August 18, but was unable to duplicate his success at that level in his next four tries. Miller regrouped and sent Air Strike to Hoosier Park. “When we bought him, at first he seemed like he was OK because he was down in class and then he got to where he didn’t race as good because he was up in class,” Miller said. “I sent him out to Indiana and the last start in Indiana he just started coming back around. We brought him back and he fit the low class again, and that’s how started back there.” Air Strike finished off-the-board in his three Indiana starts, but won two straight races at Pocono in October while down in class. Then the light-bulb went off. “He’s a really nice, big, strong horse. A good sound horse, too. He had a splint bothering him, so we worked on that some and got him a little sounder. Ever since we did that, he just keeps getting better every time we race him.” Air Strike returned to the 4-year-old open November 3 and after setting a :26.3 opening panel, went on to record a 7 ¾-length romp in 1:52.1.  “That’s about when he turned around,” Miller commented. “We’d worked on that splint a little before that and he just got a little sounder and everything went good for him. He’s always good on the front.”  Air Strike finished second to Mac’s Jackpot in his next start when handicapped by post seven, but recorded a 7-length score when he started from post five November 24. He was fifth from the outside December 1, but last time out racked up another win in the class from post five. He’s won 12 races this year and earned $139,825, pushing his career tally to $285,815. His success on the small track surprised his trainer. “I think he likes the smaller track now, now that he’s grown up,” Miller said. “It did (surprise) me a little bit because I watched his replays after I bought him that day and thought, ‘man, he doesn’t get around Yonkers very good. He struggles a little.’ I was a little surprised. I think it was just a maturity thing.” With the impending changing of the calendar, Yonkers’ 2018 racing season is coming to a close. This Saturday (December 15), Air Strike will get his final chance to compete in the $35,000 4-year-old open. He will start from post seven as the 5-2 morning line favorite, but unlike his prior outside efforts, rival Mac’s Jackpot isn’t drawn inside of him. Instead, Air Strike will contend with Rock N Blue, Treasure Mach, Aston Hill Dave, Machiavelli, Odds On Delray, and McSpidey. “It’s a good class to be in. It’s too bad it’s about to go away from him because he really does fit that class well,” Miller said. “It’s a little tougher when he’s got the outside like he does this week, but hopefully he’ll be OK. He’s better than he was and I think he’ll just keep getting better. A lot of people say it takes a certain kind of horse to compete at Yonkers and right now it looks like he might be that certain kind of horse. “Hopefully next year he can go to the Levy and just get better and better,” he continued. “We’re going to give him a little break here and point him toward that race. I think it just depends on how he comes out of it, but he’s made a lot of progress so far, so if he keeps making a lot of progress, I know there’s some good horses in there, but the way he’s gone so far, he really likes Yonkers and hopefully that’s what he’ll step up to.” Saturday night’s card also features a $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.  By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

If Carol's Z Tam's performance at Dayton three weeks ago was something of an audition, her appearance in Saturday's (Oct. 20) Breeders Crown eliminations for older female pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono could be considered her callback. Now she will look to land a spot in the big show. Carol's Z Tam, trained by Jamie Macomber for owner Bill Matz's Z Tam Stables, competes in the first of two $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for the pacing mares at Pocono. Brian Sears, who leads all active drivers in Breeders Crown wins with 27, will be in the sulky. Sears also was in the bike on Sept. 28 when Carol's Z Tam won the open handicap for fillies and mares at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. Dayton, like Pocono, is a five-eighths-mile track. It was only the second time Carol's Z Tam raced on a track smaller than seven-eighths in her 58-race career. "I took her to Dayton and she seemed to like it; she had some confidence over there and Brian got along with her over there," Macomber said. "She's been training sharp the last month. I think this is her favorite time of year because this is when she got sharp last year too. That also helped make the decision (to enter the Breeders Crown)." Four-year-old Carol's Z Tam, by Always A Virgin out of Electric Sparkle, has won 15 races in her career and earned $362,994. She was an Indiana Sire Stakes champion last year and also competed in the Breeders Crown, which was held at Macomber's home track, Hoosier Park. Carol's Z Tam, whose family includes Breeders Crown champ Lis Mara, finished fourth in her elimination and fifth in the final. Five-year-old Pure Country is the defending Breeders Crown Mare Pace champion and will try to become the first repeat winner since Shelliscape in 2013 and 2014. She also would join Jenna's Beach Boy, Eternal Camnation, and My Little Dragon as the only pacers to ever win three Crowns. Pure Country's other previous trophy came at age 2. Pure Country is also in the first elimination, as is the event's other previous Breeders Crown champion, 5-year-old Call Me Queen Be. She won her title in 2016 at the age of 3. Carol's Z Tam's best win time this year, 1:49 at Hoosier Park, is among the fastest of the season among pacing mares. Only Shartin N and Caviart Ally, who are both in the second Breeders Crown elimination, have been faster. "Hopefully we're going to get a good trip and have some pace on the end of it, which is what my mare likes to do," Macomber said. "She likes to come home that last sixteenth of a mile, eighth of a mile." Shartin N, a 5-year-old who is the richest female pacer this season, has won 16 of 21 races this year and earned $820,861. She was a $31,250 supplemental entry. The top-four finishers from each elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings return Saturday (Oct. 27) for the $250,000 final. Elimination winners, in an order determined by lot, draw for posts one through five. Macomber, who shared the training title at Hoosier Park last year with Jeff Cullipher and trails Cullipher by three victories this season, won a Breeders Crown last year with pacer Beckhams Z Tam. The now 4-year-old stallion won this year's Prix d'Ete, which is restricted to 4-year-olds, but will sit out this year's Breeders Crown. "That's such a huge jump from (age) 3 to 4," Macomber said. "It's difficult going up against McWicked (the year's richest Standardbred with $1.17 million) and all those top older horses. We're looking for him to come back bigger and better as a 5-year-old." Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Pocono and features a card made up entirely of Breeders Crown eliminations for 3-year-olds and older horses. For the night's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Seventimesavirgin (Always A Virgin) made her local harness racing debut on Friday night while competing in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. A superstar in her "younger" years, Seventimesavirgin earned just shy of a half million dollars in her two and three year old campaigns. The five year old mare came to the Spa for the first time on Friday to compete in the evening's $16,000 feature for trainer Jimmy Nickerson. Billy Dobson got the driving assignment and the meet's leading driver sat patiently in last with the mare who was backed by the bettors to the tune of odds of 1-5 in the five-horse feature. After the first half was paced in 56.2, Seventimesavirgin began to move from last, flushing out the cover of Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr). Spreester moved first over and powered past the leader, grinding that one into submission at the head at the stretch. Seventimesavirgin tipped off her cover in the stretch and got up in time to edge Spreester for the win, a victory that came in 1:53.3. Spreester was the runner-up in the Open for the second consecutive Friday night while last week's winner Happy Heart (Mark Beckwith) came on to earn the show spot. For Seventimesavirgin, it was victory number five on the season and an incredible 28thin 59 lifetime starts. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Saturday night with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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