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ANDERSON, Ind.-August 26, 2016 - Seventimesavirgin turned in a dominant performance to find the winner's circle in the featured event of the evening, her split of the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies, on Friday, August 26. Scoring in 1:51.4 over a track rated sloppy, Seventimesavirgin recorded her fifth consecutive win at Hoosier Park and remains undefeated in Indiana Sires Stakes action this season. Driven and trained by John DeLong, Seventimesavirgin grabbed an early spot along the rail in second while Shady Caroline and Ricky Macomber Jr. were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :28.1. DeLong gave his filly the green light down the backside and she ranged up to take the lead just past the half in :56.4. At the three-quarter clocking in 1:25.1, Seventimesavirgin's looked strong and the front as her lead was ever increasing. As the field turned for home, Seventimesavirgin began to put her talent on display and pace away from the rest of the field. Using a :26.3 final quarter, Seventimesavirgin finished six lengths in front of Dalianna and LeWayne Miller. Shady Caroline and Ricky Macomber Jr. rounded out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Seventimesavirgin returned $2.80 to her backers at the betting windows. Owned by Jesse DeLong, the homebred daughter of Always A Virgin-Mrs Grant Seven notched her eighth victory of the season from nine starts. Seventimesavirgin has now amassed $239,740 lifetime while winning 13 of 21 lifetime outings. DeLong also captured the first division of the stakes action for sophomore pacing fillies behind Can't Touch This for trainer Roger Welch. In a near gate to wire effort, Can't Touch This dictated fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.1 before kicking home in :27.4 to win in 1:53. Also sent off as the post time favorite, Can't Touch This returned $5.80 at the betting windows. Owned by W. DeLong, W.DeLong, D. Riccolo, and J. DeLong, the daughter of Rockin Image-Fox Valley Monika recorded her fifth win from ten seasonal starts. Can't Touch This has now bankrolled $262,005 lifetime while winning 12 of 26 career outings. With the victories, Seventimesavirgin and Can't Touch This earned their spots in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies slated for Friday, September 2 at Hoosier Park. The Indiana Sires Stakes season will culminate with a $200,000 Super Final for each division at Hoosier Park on October 15. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, August 27 with a 13-race card that will start at an adjusted post time of 4:30 p.m. to prepare for Chicago in concert after live racing. Saturday's 13-race card will be highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-August 24, 2016 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino highlighted the Wednesday, August 24 card with a pair of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals and it was Hoosier Park's leading harness racing driver, Trace Tetrick, who teamed up with trainer Erv Miller to sweep both divisions. It was the third round of five $75,000 preliminary finals offered throughout the stakes season for the freshman fillies. Hah ChaChaCha made amends for last week's second place finish in the eliminations to pull the 7-1 upset and score in a new lifetime best of 1:53.3 in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing fillies. Tetrick made his game winning move down the backside and Hah ChaChaCha did the rest to finish two lengths in front of her next closest competitor. Leaving from the trailing post ten, Hah ChaChaCha settled along the rail in sixth while Amazing Arya and John DeLong were setting the early tempo. Amazing Arya dictated fractions of :26.4 and :55.2 but Jason Dillander had the heavy post time favorite, Firstup, out and firing. Firstup grabbed the lead just before the third station in 1:24.3 but her lead would be short-lived as Hah ChaChaCha made a sweeping move to the lead and never looked back. Always Giggling and Andy Shetler staged a determined rally late in the lane but would have to settle for second place honors while Pretty Image and Dale Hiteman were third. Hah ChaChaCha returned $16.80 to her backers at the betting windows. "She had to work hard tonight off of that trip," Tetrick noted after the victory. "We made a bridle change after her elimination last week and she responded gamely tonight. There was a head wind and the conditions weren't ideal but she raced great." With the win, the homebred daughter of Always A Virgin-Miss Atm notched her fifth victory from nine lifetime starts. Owned by Shim Racing LLC, Hah ChaChaCha has now bankrolled $73,313 for her connections. Coming off the victory in the pacing filly final, Miller and Tetrick were holding a hot hand in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting fillies and Foxy Swan delivered as the 3-5 post time favorite. Foxy Swan solidified her divisional dominance in the two-year-old trotting filly ranks as she scored an easy two length victory and second $75,000 final win on the season. Driving confidently from the start, Tetrick pulled Foxy Swan just past the half and she maintained a clear advantage all the way to the wire. Stopping the timer in 1:58, Foxy Swan used a :29.2 final quarter to hold off a late charge from Doug Rideout and Ajessia. Donnas Dream and Robert Taylor rounded out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Foxy Swan returned $3.80 at the betting windows. "She raced great," Tetrick said. "She got to sit in for a good portion of the trip and was strong all the way to the wire. Erv (Miller) and his team have been doing a great job keeping them sharp all season." Owned by the Ervin Miller Stable and Anthony Lombardi, the daughter of Swan For All-Fox Valley Click has now won four of seven lifetime outings. With the win, Foxy Swan sent her seasonal earnings over the $100,000 mark as she has now amassed $107,286 lifetime. The Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, August 25 with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Three $20,000 eliminations for the three-year-old colt and gelding trotters will also compliment the 14-race card for Thursday. Live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:45 p.m. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

Freehold, NJ --- Older male pacer Always B Miki is the unanimous No. 1-ranked horse in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. The harness racing 5-year-old stallion by Always A Virgin won last week’s William R. Haughton Memorial, defeating a field that included No. 2 Wiggle It Jiggleit and No. 7 Freaky Feet Pete. Three-year-old male trotter Southwind Frank moves to No. 3 in the rankings, coming off his victory in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. Four-year-old female trotter Hannelore Hanover also moves up, to No. 4, thanks to beating the boys in the Hambletonian Maturity. Meadowlands Pace winner Control The Moment joins the Top 10 at No 8. Also new to the rankings is Golden Girls winner Lady Shadow, at No. 10. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 9 – 7/19/2016  Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Always B Miki (35) 5ph 8-6-2-0 $560,887 350 1 2 Wiggle It Jiggleit 4pg 14-9-3-2 $673,667 285 2 3 Southwind Frank 3tc 5-4-1-0 $390,779 217 6 4 Hannelore Hanover 4tm 10-9-1-0 $460,105 209 7 5 Pure Country 3pf 8-5-1-2 $546,702 160 5 6 Betting Line 3pc 6-5-1-0 $492,030 151 3 7 Freaky Feet Pete 4ph 9-5-2-1 $327,802 147 4 8 Control The Moment 3pc 7-3-1-1 $527,063 146 -- 9 Racing Hill 3pc 7-2-4-1 $624,202 72 8 10 Lady Shadow 5pm 11-5-1-1 $315,733 67 -- Also: Resolve (29); Marion Marauder (27); Obrigado (12); Broadway Donna (8); Caprice Hill, Rockeyed Optimist (7); Bee A Magician, Mel Mara (6); Shamballa (4); Bit Of A Legend N, JL Cruze, Missile J (3); Magnum J, Rockin Ron (2); Maestro Blue Chip, Shake It Cerry (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- After two rounds, Always B Miki remains the undisputed champion of the Free-For-All pacers. The 5-year-old again affirmed his standing as the king of what has become harness racing's glamour division, improving to 2-0 in the second high-profile matchup with Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete. Always B Miki took command down the backstretch with a powerful brush past Wiggle It Jiggleit and went on to a three-quarter length victory over 39-1 shot Shamballa in the $471,800 William R. Haughton Memorial Saturday night at The Meadowlands. And it was another world record--his third straight--pacing the 1 1/8 miles in 2:01.1 as the 2/5 favorite in the 12-horse field. Always B Miki ($2.80) posted a fourth straight win, improving his season mark to 6-2-0 in eight starts for trainer Jimmy Takter and the ownership team of Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter. "He's just a fantastic horse to do what he does," Jimmy Takter said. "He's gone through a lot. It takes a special horse to come back from all the injuries he had. It gets me very emotional every time I see him race." The most surprising aspect of the Haughton was the determined showing by Shamballa, who ranged up first-over to challenge Always B Miki and hung in gamely right to the finish. Wiggle It Jiggleit, stung by a :25.3 opening quarter while forced three-wide as he worked his way to the front from post 10, finished third. Freaky Feet Pete was fourth. The stage for the Haughton was set in the Ben Franklin Pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on July 2. Always B Miki won that first meeting, a 1:47 mile equaling the world record. Wiggle It Jiggleit, the defending Horse of the Year, bested Freaky Feet Pete last weekend in the Graduate over the sloppy track at Big M, a race restricted to 4-year-olds. Returning after the week off, Always B Miki delivered another dynamite performance as the leader in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll again cemented his grip on the top spot. By Mike Farrell, for the Meadowlands    

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 8, 2016 - After a week's worth of stakes action, the pacing fillies took their turn in the spotlight at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as they played host to the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for both the two and three-year-old pacing fillies. It was the opening round of the $75,000 finals for the two-year-old competitors and the second round of $75,000 finals for the sophomore competitors. The three-year-old pacing fillies kicked off the stakes action for the evening and it was Seventimesavirgin and John DeLong who delivered as the heavy betting favorite to score in a new lifetime best of 1:51.1. Using the Hoosier Park passing lane to her advantage, Seventimesavirgin notched her second consecutive victory to make a clean sweep of the second round of the stakes action. Leaving from post three, Seventimesavirgin protected her inside position but Endeavors Fantasy and Sam Widger also left alertly to grab the first call in :26.1. It was a bit of give and go as DeLong sent Seventimesavirgin back out to the front but just as she grabbed command at the half in :54.2 Topville Cadillac and Tyler Smith were up to take the lead. Topville Cadillac continued to call the shots at the three-quarter clocking in 1:23.3 but the rest of the field was closing in. Seventimesavirgin sat patiently in the pocket before DeLong found late racing room up the passing lane and she powered home using a :27.1 final quarter. Seventimesavirgin finished three lengths in front of a hard-charging Aux D Lox Bluegrass while Topville Cadillac held on for third. "The trip never works out like you think it will," DeLong said with a smile in the winner's circle. "She raced very well, she doesn't like having to wait, she always wants to go but she loves to pace home. She's just awesome." Owned by Jesse DeLong, the daughter of Always A Virgin-Mrs Grant Seven is also trained by John DeLong and notched her fifth victory of the season from six starts. Seventimesavirgin has now amassed $182,240 lifetime while winning 10 of 18 lifetime outings. A little later on in the evening, Rockin Serena and Trace Tetrick powered off cover to score as the longest shot on the board in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing fillies. Sent off at odds of 44-1, Rockin Serena was able to overcome post position nine and used the long Hoosier Park stretch to her advantage to score in a new lifetime best of in 1:55. The victory was also one of five winners on the program for Hoosier Park's leading driver Trace Tetrick. Owned by Kales Co., Dolne Farm Services, S&R Racing Stables, and Wrenn Racing, Rockin Serena is trained by Melanie Wrenn and notched her first win from two starts. The daughter of Rockin Image-Day Lily Hanover has now earned $37,900 lifetime for her connections. With the wins, both Rockin Serena and Seventimesavirgin also earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for October 15 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate with the top ten point earners from the previous $75,000 finals in each division returning to compete in the super finals. Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 9 with the second of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for the three-year-old pacing colts. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 7, 2016 - Fly Jesse Fly, with Trace Tetrick at the lines, stormed home a winner to pull off the upset in the co-featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 7. Fly Jesse Fly turned in a near gate to wire performance to hold off the heavy betting favorite, Bridge To Jesse's, to score in a lifetime best of 1:54.1. Leaving from post two in the talented field of ten, Fly Jesse Fly was sent away from the gate firing but he would have to work for his position as Sam Widger and J-S Livethedream also left aggressively. J-S Livethedream found the front through the opening panel in :27.4 but Fly Jesse Fly continued his mission to the front and grabbed command at the half in :57.1. J-S Livethedream benefitted from a pocket trip while Bridge To Jesse's and John DeLong were content to sit along the rail in fifth. Fly Jesse Fly went unchallenged to the third station in 1:25.2 and looked strong on the front. As the field turned for home, Bridge To Jesse's was underway with Lil Day Drinkin and Walter Haynes Jr. in tow but he would have his work cut out for him. Tetrick asked Fly Jesse Fly for more and he responded with a :28.4 final quarter to finish three lengths to the good. Bridge To Jesse's rallied nicely in the lane but had to settle for second place honors while Lil Day Drinkin rounded out the trifecta. As the 5/2 second choice, Fly Jesse Fly returned $7.00 to his backers at the betting windows. With the win, Fly Jesse Fly notched his fourth win from eight starts while pushing his seasonal earnings to $85,275. Owned by Robert Sidley and James Otto, the gelded son of Jailhouse Jesse-Flying Rae has now won seven of 21 lifetime outings. The $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts also produced a mild upset on the evening as On The Virg and Eric Goodell scored in 1:53.2, a new lifetime best. Also using gate-to-wire tactics, On The Virg notched his second lifetime victory and made a clean sweep of the opening round of the stakes action for the two-year-old pacing colts after scoring in his elimination last week. Saddled with the outside post nine, On The Virg left aggressively but would be caught wide as Always A Shark and Doug Rideout protected their inside position. On The Virg would reach the front at the opening quarter of :27.1 and dictated fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.3 before coasting home a winner. Using a :27.4 final quarter, On The Virg coasted to the wire to win by a length over Beckhams Z Tam and Ricky Macomber Jr. Incredible Shark and Sam Widger also rallied gamely in the lane to round out the trifecta. On The Virg returned $12.80 for the win and Meadowbrook Tiger, the heavy betting favorite, was off the ticket. Owned by R.M. Lombardo, H.A. Taylor, D.C. Kryway, and E.C. Goodell, the gelded son of Always A Virgin-Modern Bobbi scored his second win in 2 lifetime starts. On The Virg has now earned $47,500 in lifetime purse earnings. With the wins, both Fly Jesse Fly and On The Virg also earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for October 15 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate with the top ten point earners from the previous $75,000 finals in each division returning to compete in the super finals. Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 8 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the three-year-old pacing fillies and the opening round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for two-year-old pacing fillies. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 1, 2016 - White Metro returned to her winning ways as she pulled the slight upset to capture the featured event, a $21,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 1 at odds of 6-1. After a third place finish at this level last week, White Metro and harness racing driver Jason Dillander staged a big rally in the late stages of the mile to stop the timer in 1:51.3, just missing her lifetime mark established earlier this season. Sparks were flying early as Tyler Smith sent Rock The Look away from the gate firing but a host of others also left aggressively. Rock The Look got the first call but her lead would be short lived as Trace Tetrick had the post time favorite, American Girl, dialed in and aimed to the front. American Girl grabbed the lead just past the quarter in a brisk :25.4 and would continue to call the shots through middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:24.2 while the field remained in single file order. Unable to wait any longer, Dillander gave White Metro the green light and she began the long first-over grind with Wild Wanda and Ricky Macomber Jr. in tow. As the field turned for home, American Girl looked strong on the front but would have her work cut out for her down the long Hoosier Park stretch with the rest of the field closing in. Just as White Metro reached the leader, Wild Wanda tipped off her back and fanned out across the track. Dillander asked his mount for more and White Metro dug in gamely to wear down American Girl and hold of Wild Wanda to prevail in a tight photo. Despite her best efforts, American Girl was forced to settle for second place honors while Wild Wanda rounded out the trifecta. White Metro returned $14.80 to her backers at the betting window. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, White Metro scored the fifth victory from 12 starts this season while bankrolling $208,107 lifetime. Owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeff Cullipher, the four-year-old daughter of Metropolitan-Bye Bye Peachy Pie notched her 15th career victory from 49 outings. The evening also featured three divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for two and three-year-old pacing fillies on the 14-race card. It was the opening round of stakes action for the two-year-old competitors and second round for the sophomores. Each filly was aiming to earn a spot in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for their respective division slated for Friday, July 8 at Hoosier Park. Can't Touch This and Dan Shetler turned in the fastest division for the three-year-old pacing fillies as they took their split in 1:51.2. Trained by Roger Welch, Can't Touch This notched her second win of the season from four starts and established a new lifetime best in the process. The daughter of Rockin Image-Fox Valley Monika has now earned $213,354 lifetime for her owners W.C. DeLong, W.P. DeLong, D.A. Riccolo. Hah ChaChaCha produced the fastest mile of the three splits of eliminations for two-year-old pacing fillies after using a near gate-to-wire effort to score in 1:55.1 with LeWayne Miller in the bike. It was the second consecutive victory from two starts for the homebred daughter of Always A Virgin-Miss Atm. Trained by Erv Miller, Hah ChaChaCha has now earned $15,000 lifetime for her connections at Shim Racing, LLC. It was also one of four victories on the evening's card for driver LeWayne Miller. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, July 2 with a 14-race card that is set to begin at 5:45 p.m. Saturday's 14-race card will be highlighted by a $21,000 Invitational Pace and three divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for the sophomore pacing colts. In conjunction with the live racing action on Saturday, the 2nd annual Hoosierfest Community Carnival returns to Hoosier Park for three fun-filled, action-packed days of rides, games, fair food and amusement. The carnival is located in the South parking lot at Hoosier Park and all ages are welcome. Guests can enjoy full-day, unlimited ride passes for only $25. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-June 30, 2016 - On Saturday, July 2 the dream of being a Standardbred race horse owner will come true for 50 people, courtesy of First Turn Stable at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. While much of the harness racing world will be focused on the numerous stakes races around the country on Saturday, 50 first time horse owners will have their attention directed to the seventh race of the program at Hoosier Park as Boogie Nights makes his debut appearance for Hoosier Park's new ownership club. Boogie Nights is a six-year-old gelded pacer who has made $74,949 in lifetime purse earnings. Sired by one of Indiana's leading pacing sires, Always A Virgin, Boogie Nights has won 12 of his 83 lifetime starts and took his lifetime mark of 1:52 at the age of four. Boogie Nights has had 13 starts while earning $10,010 in 2016. Claimed out of a $10,000 race last Saturday at Hoosier Park, the brown gelding has now been entrusted to trainer Jeff Cullipher who has been assigned the training duties for First Turn Stable. With Jason Dillander in the bike, Boogie Nights will start from post eight in the field of nine and has been tabbed 6-1 on the morning line. "First Turn Stable's 50 new owners are about to experience something probably to a person they never dreamed of; that being the thrill of watching their very own horse race," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. "Best of luck to all of them!" The first of its kind in the state of Indiana, First Turn Stable was recently launched at Hoosier Park and designed to provide fans an easy and affordable way to experience the excitement of horse ownership for a one-time, $250 buy-in. Members of First Turn Stable will be treated to the on-track perks of racehorse ownership while experiencing firsthand the economics of what it takes to own a Standardbred racehorse. Updates for First Turn Stable will be posted weekly and via e-mail so members can follow along with the racing action throughout the season. Along with interactive social media pages, monthly financials will be shared with the group to provide a transparent and behind-the-scenes look into the real costs of owning a racehorse. On-site teaching tools and other resources will also be made available to the members. Hoosier Park's 14-race card on Saturday will also feature a $21,000 Invitational Pace and three divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for three-year-old pacing colts. The first race will line up behind the gate at 5:45 p.m. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . by Emily Gaskin for Hoosier Park

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 18 - Always B Miki became the fastest horse in Canadian harness racing history with a 1:47.1 winning mile in the Mohawk Gold Cup Saturday night. The $100,000 Invitational event for pacers was one of the highlights of the Pepsi North America Cup undercard. Always B Miki, the 1-5 favourite, got away sixth for driver David Miller. Nirvana Seelster was blasted to the front and posted hot fractions of :25.2 and :53.2. Nirvana Seelster continued to roll around the final turn posting a three-quarter time of 1:20.2, while Always B Miki got into the outer flow and was spotted fifth and less than four-lengths from the front at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Always B Miki rocketed by his opponents to grab the lead with powerful strides at the eighth pole. The Jimmy Takter trainee cruised home impressively in :26.1 to win by 3½ lengths in 1:47.1. The clocking of 1:47.1 is the fastest mile in Canadian harness racing, breaking the former mark of 1:47.2. A five-year-old son of Always A Virgin, Always B Miki is owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter. The Takter trainee now has three wins in five starts this season after going undefeated in four starts last season. Always B Miki has an impressive career earnings total of over $1.3 million. The mile of 1:47.1 is a Track, Canadian and Stakes Record. It also lowers Always B Miki's previous career mark by three-fifths of a second. Shamballa finished second, while Evenin Of Pleasure for third. Always B Miki paid $2.50 to win. Mark McKelvie

The Sunday, June 12 nightcap race at Running Aces proved to be an amazing display of guts and determination for harness racxing winner Lil Orphan Elmer, who was sent off at just over 15-1 from post 6 in the 8 horse field. Driver Ryan Lems left alertly from the gate looking for a position for his 4 year old gelding by Always A Virgin, but there would be no spots along the pylons, and Elmer was parked-out 4th at the 28.2 quarter, within a neck of the leader past the 58.0 half, and was still applying heavy pressure to the front runner through a 28.1 third quarter (1:26.1) with horses stacking up 3-wide around him, before dropping back two lengths off the leader turning for home. Most horses on most days would then quietly throw in the towel off of this brutal trip, but after straightening away for the stretch drive, Elmer and Lems kicked it into another gear, and powered past pace-setter Go Places (Moonie Svendsen) to draw away by a full length at the wire, stopping the clock in 1:55.4. This was the third winning trip in 11 starts this year for Lil Orphan Elmer who is owned and trained by Robert Lems. He paid $33.20 to his supporters at the windows, after turning in the gutsiest effort seen by this race-caller in quite some time. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tuesday night, June 14 at 7:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $8,323.10. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

Heavy pressure from Mel Mara could not faze 2015 Breeders Crown champion Always B Miki ($2.40), as he fought back from being headed in mid-stretch to take Saturday (May 14) evening's $25,000 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadowlands for a second consecutive harness racing win.   The 5-year-old Always a Virgin entire made his push to the lead just after fellow Jimmy Takter trainee JK Endofanera (Yannick Gingras) worked clear of McWicked (Scott Zeron) in a :27.2 initial quarter. Upon taking command on the backstretch, Hall of Fame driver David Miller managed to slow the pace down enough to give Always B Miki a brief breather on the far turn before Mel Mara (Corey Callahan) mounted a first-over bid out of fifth. Despite Mel Mara's sustained press into the lead at the eighth pole, Always B Miki would not be denied, using a :26 last quarter to repel Mel Mara for a neck victory in 1:48.4. Mel Mara was a game second, while JK Endofanera labored from the pocket yet still held third.   Always B Miki, now a 20-time winner, is owned by the Bluewood Stable, the Roll the Dice Stable, and Christina Takter.   Tim Tetrick led all drivers with three wins on the 12-race card, prevailing with Mindtrip ($2.80, 1:52), Missile J ($3.60, 1:51), and Union Man Hanover ($8.20, 1:50.4). Scott Zeron and Corey Callahan won two races apiece.   Total betting turnover for the 12-race card was $2,559,464. The final race 20¢ Jackpot High 5 carryover continues to climb, mounting to $222,459.18 for Friday (May 20) evening's program.   Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Friday (May 20), with post time slated for 7:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media

Mother's Day at the Meadowlands wasn't all about the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff as Always B Miki and Gallie Bythe Beach were winners in the co-features on the Sunday matinee program's harness racing undercard. Making his second start of the year, Always B Miki scored decisively in the $25,000 open handicap pace for trainer Jimmy Takter. After making the top in a leisurely opening quarter that was timed in :27.4, the field raced in a straight line past the half in :55. The 5-year-old son of Always A Virgin, who was 4-for-4 a year ago, reached three-quarters in 1:22.1 before sprinting home in :27 to record a 2¾-length, never-an-anxious-moment victory in 1:49.1 with David Miller at the lines. McArdles Lightning was second with Doctor Butch third. As the 1-9 post-time choice, Always B Miki returned $2.10 to win for owners Bluewood Stable, Roll the Dice Stable and Christina Takter and now has 19 wins in 37 career starts. Gallie Bythe Beach sat fourth to the three-eighths and was brushed to the top before the half by driver Tim Tetrick and maintained the lead from there to win the $25,000 open pace for fillies and mares by a hard-fought neck over Aniston Seelster. Empress Deo was third. Sent postward as the 7-1 fourth choice, Gallie Bythe Beach returned $16.80 to her backers and covered the mile in 1:50.2 for owners Fashion Farms of New Hope, PA. The Jim Campbell trainee now has 16 wins in 57 career starts. Sheeza Shark N, the 3-5 favorite who entered the race perfect in three starts at the Big M since shipping in from New Zealand, went an ideal second-over trip but did not fire in the stretch TWO INVITATIONS: After crossing the wire first but then being disqualified and placed ninth in the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff earlier on the program, Resolve was extended an invitation to the May 29 Elitlopp in Sweden nonetheless, as was Bee A Magician, who was the official winner of the race at the conclusion of the judges' inquiry. STILL GROWING: The 5th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five might have been hit earlier on the Mother's Day card for better than $20,000, but the 12th race version of the wager continues to not get hit and now sports a carryover of $212,593.38 heading into the Big M's next live program, which is Friday night. Post time is 7:15 p.m. MEADOWLANDS JACKPOT SUPER HIGH FIVE HIT FOR $22,612 20-cent wager had gone unclaimed since April 1, 2016 Mother's Day proved to be extra sweet for one lucky horseplayer who took down the $22,612 jackpot in the Meadowlands Super High Five wager. The 20-cent wager requires a horseplayer to correctly pick the first five finishers of the race in order. The jackpot amount only pays out in its entirety if there is one single winning ticket. Otherwise, 75-percent of the net pool is paid out to the multiple winners while the remaining 25-percent is added to the jackpot amount. The Race Five winning combination of 4-10-2-4-5 was led by 2/1 second choice Can Do. 24/1 Sheer Flex helped juice up the sequence in second place while 18/1 I C Caviar was third. Fellow long shots Blue Muse and Never Ever Clever rounded out the top five. Favorite Forever As made a break in stride while third choice Mesmerized faded down the stretch to finish sixth. The winning ticket was purchased through the AmTote Oregon Hub. The wager featured a carryover of more than $17,250 coming into Sunday afternoon. Nobody had hit the Jackpot Super High Five at the Meadowlands since April 1 when the wager was hit for $20,354. Another Jackpot Super High Five wager on the final race of the program has proven difficult to take down. Its carryover is more than $204,233 entering this afternoon. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

As Bob Boni gets older, he appreciates more and more the value of each day. That being said, Boni perhaps envies Rip Van Winkle a bit, wishing he could have slumbered through the winter to only awaken for the day that star male pacer Always B Miki made his 2016 racing debut. Boni, of course, did not sleep the months away. But the day for which he waited finally arrives Saturday. Always B Miki, undefeated in four races last year after overcoming two bouts with injuries that had sidelined him for 11 months, makes his seasonal bow in the $25,000 Open Handicap at the Meadowlands. Always B Miki, starting from post seven in a seven-horse field, is the 7-5 favorite with regular driver David Miller at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. "I think everyone involved with the horse is anxious to see him get back," said Boni, who is a member of the Bluewood Stable group that owns Always B Miki with Joe Hurley's Roll The Dice Stable, and Christina Takter. "I've said (to fellow owner Mitchel Skolnick) that one of the negatives of this business is you want time to pass too quickly. It's almost like you'd like to fall asleep and wake up and we're ready to race. There was that anticipation." Last year, Always B Miki was 4-for-4 with his wins including the Breeders Crown Open Pace in late October and the American-National Stakes in early November. He won his four starts by an average of nearly four lengths, never seeing a foe nearer than 1-3/4 lengths of him at the finish line. "It was frustrating to have to close up shop when it seemed like he was fresh and fit and really starting to get stronger, but there were no other races for him at that time of year," Boni said. "He's shown us, throughout his career, what he's capable of. Hopefully, knock on wood, he gets the opportunity this year." Always B Miki, a son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper bred by Roll The Dice Stable, has won 18 of 35 career races and earned $1.22 million in purses. As a 2-year-old, he raced predominantly at Hoosier Park in Indiana, where he won a preliminary division of the Indiana Sire Stakes and finished third in both of the $200,000 finals. At 3, he spent the season in the stable of trainer Joe Holloway and won the Indiana Sire Stakes championship and Monument Circle plus a division of the Tattersalls Pace and finished second in the Meadowlands Pace. He also won an elimination for the Breeders Crown, but was scratched moments before the final because of the first of his two leg injuries. "He's had a great career for us," Boni said. "Joe did a terrific job racing him at 3. He wasn't always the straightest horse on the racetrack, he'd get himself crooked in the turns, but still showed that ability. "I think that something that gets lost in the shuffle is (trainer) Roger Welch did a wonderful job with him at 2. It doesn't get enough attention, but he really taught him how to be a racehorse. He had his issues at 2 as well, then coming back at 3 Joe did a great job with him to do what he did. Hopefully it just continues on now." Always B Miki, who has finished no worse than second in his last 16 races dating back to July 2014, has developed into a "really impressive looking horse," Boni said. Some of his maturation might be the result of sitting out much of last year. "He's a big, strong guy," Boni said. "It shows you the difference that we always get to see with our older horses. Due to circumstances that we wish did not happen, he had the opportunity maybe to develop physically a little more than he might have. Especially through his hind end, he's a bigger, stronger horse right now. Hopefully we see it this year. "Jimmy has done great work with him; he does everything Jimmy asks him to do. David also does a superb job. When you watch him train, or watch him race, you really don't get an idea of how fast he's going. The horse just gets over the ground so nice and easy." Always B Miki's competition Saturday includes Rockeyed Optimist, who has won five of seven races this year and finished no worse than second in any start, stablemate JK Endofanera, and Atta Boy Dan, who arrives from Dover Downs where he won two of his last three races in the Open Preferred Handicap. His setback was a second-place finish to Rockeyed Optimist, who is the 8-5 second choice on the morning line. by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Always At My Place found the drop in class from the open handicap ranks very much to his liking Saturday night as he overwhelmed seven overmatched foes in the featured $17,000 conditioned pace at the Meadowlands. The 5-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin was urged to the lead by driver David Miller just after the quarter - which went in :27 - and maintained the top at the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.3. Pansformative and driver Joe Bongiorno could only provide token pressure while racing first-over heading for the top of the stretch, at which time Always At My Place powered clear of the field with Miller sitting still in the sulky. Always At My Place was a 1¾-length winner gearing down at the wire and paid $3.80 to win as the 4-5 public choice. After pacing a final quarter in :26.4, the Ron Burke trainee hit the finish in 1:49.2, winning for the first time in four 2016 starts. All Week split rivals in deep stretch to get second, while Ashley's Husband was third. Miller had the hottest hands of the night, visiting the winner's circle four times. In addition to Always At My Place, "The Buckeye" also scored with Well Bred ($6.20 to win) in the first race, Good Day Mate ($14.20) in the ninth and Lyons Snyder ($5.20) in the 10th. All-source wagering on the 12-race card was $2,756,830, which was $104,839 more than the corresponding program from the year prior, which had 13 races. Once again, the 12th race Jackpot Super High Five was not hit, upping the carryover for the next card to $184,704.87. Live racing resumes at the Meadowlands on Friday, first race post time is 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Every year it appears that the aged pacing ranks will be energized by an infusion of talent from the newly minted four-year-old class, but it rarely happens. This year may be an exception. Wiggle It Jiggleit will make his fourth start of the year in the fifth leg of the Levy Series on Saturday. He kicked off the season with an effortless 1:51.4 win in a $60,000 invitational at Dover Downs on March 28, a race that probably cost him a spot in the upcoming Levy final, as he missed the first two legs. His second place finish in the third leg of the Levy, from ten off at the half, was very impressive, and he wired the field in the fourth leg. Meanwhile, another Indiana bred, Breeders Crown champ Freaky Feet Pete, who beat Wiggle twice last year, has already qualified at Hoosier Park. And the chronically under- valued Dragon Again gelding, Wakizashi Hanover, who bested Wiggle in the NA Cup and Pete in the Jenna's Beach Boy, is reported to be prepping for the Graduate Series. The cherry on the sundae is the Always A Virgin five-year-old, Always B Miki, who only started four times last year, including a dominant thumping of his division rivals in the B C. Since he was so lightly campaigned, I think we can safely lump him in with those expected to introduce new life to the division. Miki missed most of 2015 to injury, but came back with a vengeance when he qualified in 1:48.2 at The Red Mile at the end of September. That equaled Shark Gesture's 2010 world record for the fastest qualifier ever. After a tune-up in an ISS elimination at Hoosier Park, he crushed his peers by three in his BC elimination and by five lengths in the final. A handy win in the Am-Nat closed out his abbreviated season. There are others, but these are the highest profile newbies, so we'll concentrate on them. Gaming dollars have given the breeding business in the Hoosier State a boost, but it still isn't Pennsylvania. That's why it's a pleasant surprise that three of the four horses we're looking at were bred in Indiana. During his first four years at stud Wiggles' sire, Mr Wiggles, bred only 46 mares and that was in three states--Indiana, Ohio and Delaware. Only eight of his offspring raced last year. He is now back in Ohio. The nomadic stallion had only produced a couple of dozen foals all told coming into this year. He covered 42 mares last year, on the heels of his son's success, so things should improve over time. Miki's daddy, the Western Ideal stallion Always A Virgin, is standing his eighth year in Indiana for $4,000. Aside from Miki, he's also tasted success with Jugette and BC winner Color's A Virgin as well as the ISS standout Always About Katey. Last year proved to be an aberration for AAV as he had only 26 2YO starters that earned $309,000. Contrast that with Pete's sire, Rockin Image, who had 62 freshmen start and earn $1.2 million. The latter stands his sixth year in Indiana, also for $4,000. He and AAV are the two highest priced pacing stallions in the state. Wiggle It Jiggleit is by far the most accomplished of the new additions to the aged pacing ranks. He has demonstrated oodles of speed and class. When he won his second start of 2015--third lifetime--in 1:49.4, while nuking the opposition in a split of the Sonsam at The Meadowlands in February, heads were turning. Later on, in early May, he became the fastest three-year-old pacer ever on a half when he won a condition pace in 1:49 at Harrington. There was no doubt that he had the hops, but would he have the class to carry that speed against the cream of his class on the Grand Circuit? Oh yeah. Wins in the Pace and the Jug--the latter a boffo performance--made his reputation as one of the top pacers of this era, and he augmented those triumphs with successful forays in the Hempt, Milstein, Matron and Progress. He joined Captaintreacherous and A Rocknroll Dance as the only three to win the Hempt and Pace. And Wiggle and Beach Towel are the only two to win the Hempt, Pace and Jug (The Hempt was called the Miller Memorial when Beach Towel won it.) He set a 1:49.3 track record for sophomore pacers when he won the Milstein at Northfield in mid-August. In an age when it's like pulling teeth to get connections to agree to race their star pupil on a half, Wiggle is poised to make his sixth on Saturday. His overland journey to pluck the Jug from the arms of defeat was reminiscent of Life Sign's implausible Delaware win. Of course, he did have a problem holding his lead against the pocketed Wakizashi Hanover in the NA Cup, as he suffered his first lifetime loss. It came at 2-5, a week after pacing away from his elimination field to win by six in 1:49.2. The final went more than a second faster. And Pete picked him up in the $220,000 ISS Super Final in October at Hoosier Park, and again in the Monument Circle at the end of October. Back in May Wiggle had won the day in an ISS leg. So, with a 2-1 edge on Wiggle, can we privilege Pete? No. For openers, 24 of Pete's 27 lifetime starts have been at Hoosier Park, and all but a couple of those have been ISS races. And just as Waki had burst Wiggle's balloon in the NA Cup, he took down Pete in the Jenna's Beach Boy at Hoosier Park. A terrific win in the BC from downtown over a sloppy track is Pete's gem. But that win, combined with one over a soft field in the Am-Nat at Balmoral, and the other in the Monument Circle, can't compete with what Wiggle has accomplished in the open realm. He'll race in the Graduate series and is apparently staked to a few of the aged events, but his connections are not of the George Teague take on all challenges mind set. The sons of Dragon Again are type cast as geldings that last a long time at a high level and earn lots of money; winning the Grade 1 colt stakes at the apex of our sport is not their forte. Foiled Again and Atochia are a couple of examples. Gryffindor won the Messenger a decade ago and Hugadragon took a split of the Tattersalls Pace, but no son of Dragon Again has won the Meadowlands Pace, Cane, Adios, or, up until 2015, the North America Cup. Wakizashi Hanover, the highest earning Dragon Again colt as a sophomore with $1.2 million, checked that one off when he upset 2-5 Wiggle It Jiggleit off a pocket trip in 1:48 in the final. While Waki won 11 races and earned $300,000 more than Pete did in 2015, he didn't take the division by storm--that was Wiggle's role. But, aside from the cup, Waki also beat Freaky Feet Pete on his home court in the Jenna's Beach Boy. Between August 28 and October 6 he won five in a row: a split of the PASS at The Meadows, the PASS final at Pocono, a split of the Liberty Bell at Philadelphia, the Jenna's Beach Boy at Hoosier Park and a split of the Keystone Classic at The Meadows. He finished third in the Pace and the Milstein; second in the Battle and fourth in the Hempt. Waki always had his hoof out for a check. Wiggle, who was held out of the first two legs of the Levy, is a lottery-grade longshot to make the final in Saturday's fifth leg. He has a much better chance to make the consolation, which went for $429,000 less than the final last year. Regardless, he'll then move on to the elimination round for the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs on May 8 and probably the Graduate Series after that. Always B Miki qualifies at The Meadowlands on Saturday. It will probably be tough for him to find races until the Roll With Joe at Tioga on June 19. The Molson is at the end of May, but the five-year-old has never started on a half so it's unlikely he wants anything to do with that little track. Pete's connections apparently want to get him a couple of races at Hoosier Park? It's on to the Graduate after that, I guess. Waki is also being pointed to the Graduate. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/. Joe's commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.    

LEBANON, OH. - Alwayssmoothraign pulled a startling upset in the $15,000 championship of the "Red" Owens Memorial Series Monday afternoon (April 11) at Miami Valley Raceway and paid $76.00 to win. With trainer Randy Crisler in the sulky, the 4-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin was dispatched at 37-1 odds despite finishing second in the final preliminary leg a week earlier. The winner dropped in fourth off the gate as odds-on favorite Asadvertised (Jeremy Smith) made the front prior to the :28.4 quarter-mile marker over the sloppy track. Crisler was not content to race for a check, though, and set sail to on the outside shortly thereafter. Alwayssmoothraigin moved up to second on the outside by the :59.1 rated half, remained parked in second at the 1:27.2 third interval, then pressed onward through the :29.2 final panel to pass Asadvertised midway down the stretch and then hold off fast-closing ER Lila (Peter Wrenn) in the final strides. John Lewis of Alabama owns the winner who now has five career wins and $17,000 in earnings just this young season. The George "Red" Owens Memorial Series, for female non-winners of two races or $15,000 at the outset of the series, is one of nine Lebanon Legends late-closers currently underway that honor some of the prominent horsemen who helped to put Lebanon Raceway "on the map" in earlier days. Driver Chris Page solidified his second place standing in the local dash derby with five wins on the matinee card. From the Miami Valley Media Department

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