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YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - In the Arsenal, already with a Yonkers Raceway open stakes wins to his credit, drew post position No. 2 for Saturday night's harness racing $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. The 25th edition of the Art Rooney, one of the sport's premier events for the 3-year-old male pacers, goes as the fourth of 12 races (first post 7:10 PM, approximate post for Rooney 8:15 PM). Brian Sears drives In the Arsenal, a son of American Ideal trained by Kelvin Harrison for co-owners (breeder) White Birch Farm and In the Arsenal Racing. The colt won the second of last weekend's two elimination races, defeating Rock N' Roll World by a head in 1:53.1. In the Arsenal has won eight of his 13 career races and $431,843, making him the richest of the octet the final. He first gained prominence last summer, winning the $125,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard, the Raceway's premier event for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Last week's other elim winner, Sonofa Sizzle (1:52.1), wasn't as fortunate with the open draw. He landed behind the eight-ball with George Brennan picking up the assignment for trainer Josh Green. Sears drove the son of Life Sizzles a week ago. The field for the Rooney Pace... 1 - Rock N' World (Dan Dube), 2 - In the Arsenal (Brian Sears), 3 - Arque Hanover (Jason Bartlett), 4 - National Seelster (Andy Miller), 5 - Betting Exchange (Dave Miller), 6 - Bet You (Brett Miller), 7 - Cartoon Daddy (Yannick Gingras), 8 - Sonofa Sizzle (George Brennan). Note that In the Arsenal and Betting Exchange shall race as a common-ownership entry. Saturday night's undercard is led by the companion event, the $117,724 Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies (6th race, approximate post 9 PM). The half-dozen lasses... 1 - Strut My Stuff (Jordan Stratton), 2 - Bedroomconfessions (Sears), 3 - Totally Rusty (Bartlett), 4 - Sassa Hanover (Gingras), 5 - Purrfect Bags (Tim Tetrick), 6 - Special Package (Brennan). Note Strut My Stuff and Totally Rusty race as a (common-ownership) entry, with the latter of $15,000 supplemental entrant. Changes (if any) to these races are to be made Wednesday morning. Frank Drucker

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Memorial Day is known as the unofficial start of summer. Another sure sign of summer is the arrival of the harness racing New York Sire Stakes at Buffalo Raceway.   Wednesday night, the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers invade Buffalo Raceway to begin the first of eight different divisions of the New York Sire Stakes that will visit the half-mile oval at the Erie County Fairgrounds now through the close of the meet on Sunday, July 26.   There are three divisions of the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace Wednesday that will be worth $105,000 total. The three legs has attracted big-name drivers along with some top horses which are eligible for North America Cup and/or Meadowlands Pace.   They'll be gunning for the track records as well as a nice payday. The 3-year-old gelding pace record is 1:53.4 set by Murder He Wrote in 2014 while the 3-year-old colt mark is 1:52.3 established by Steelhead Hanover in 2012. That clocking is also the all-aged pacing track standard.   The opening race on the 13-card will be the first Sire Stakes test and will feature Ultimate G, a third place finisher at Tioga Downs in his last attempt. In the money in all four starts this season, Jim Morrill Jr. will guide Ultimate G as the 2-1 choice, the only entrant in the field of seven with a victory in 2015.   Americanprimetime is Meadowlands Pace eligible and will score from the five post for driver Rick Dane Jr. Americanprime (American Ideal-Prime Xample A) broke stride in his last outing in the Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs and lost any chance.   The back half of the early daily double will also feature the boys. K-Rock is the early choice at 8-5 with Matt Kakaley scheduled to drive. K-Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sunduel A) has a win and two second place finishes in his three appearances thus far this season. On May 17 in Sire Stakes competition at Tioga, K-Rock scorched a 1:23 time to the three-quarter marker but stalled out and finished in second just a half-length behind National Seelster.   Berkley is the top threat in the race for driver Mark MacDonald. A winner of $118,470 last season, Berkley (Art Major-Monterey) has been saddled with bad posts in his last two starts but should be a factor after drawing better this time. He'll start out of the four spot.   The last Sire Stakes contest, set as the fourth race, will feature Sicily (Art Major-Capri Hanover) who won the Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs on May17 in 1:51.1. Sicily, the 8-5 morning line favorite, will be driven by Matt Kakaley. A winner of over $114,000 in his young career, the Ron Burke trained Sicily could be using this race as a tune up for the prestigious North America Cup starting at June 13 at Mohawk Raceway along with the Meadowlands Pace.   The main challenger in the mile race could come from If You Want Fire who is also eligible for the Meadowlands Pace. With over $77,000 in the bank thus far in his lifetime, If You Want Fire (Bettor's Delight-Dream Of Treasure), will start from the six post for Brett Miller, who will be in the sulky for trainer Casie Coleman.   There will also be two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior 'A' Series for the 3-year-old colt and geldings and a $6,800 'B' Series race.   There are 13 races on tap with post time set for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 23, 2015 -Harness racing driver Brian Sears was the man about town Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's pair of $40,000 eliminations for the 25th Art Rooney Pace. A total of 13 3-year-old gentlemen-11 colts and two geldings-began the night, with the first four finishers in each elim getting a pass through the velvet robe into the stakes finale. Sears took of the first event with a first-up Sonofa Sizzle ($9.90) in 1:52.1. He held off Betting Exchange (Dave Miller) by a neck after the front end folded. The front end came in the form of 6-5 favorite Soto (Brett Miller), who worked around Arque Hanover (Jason Bartlett) and threw down intervals of :27.2 :56 and 1:24.1. Meanwhile, scourge of Delaware Sonaofa Sizzle, from post position No. 3, had engaged the leader before putting him away. He held off Betting Exchange, who was three-wide early before slipping out in the lane. Cartoon Daddy (catch-driver Dan Dube) was a never-threatening third, with Arque Hanover, despite breaking early in the lane, finished fourth to get into the final. A tiring Soto and an outrun A Bettor Hat (George Brennan) rounded out the order. For second choice Sonofa Sizzle, son of Life Sizzles owned by Michael White and trained by Josh Green, it was his fourth win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $81.50, with the triple returning $190. "He did everything I asked of him," Sears said "It helped that they mixed it up a bit early, but he was very sharp." Let's not gloss over the "interesting" effort of Arque Hanover, who, in the words of his date, was a victim of too much pace and no place to go. "I was overloaded," Bartlett said. "He was definitely a winner. He had so much pace, he started getting crooked on me and made a break. It's shows how good he was that he came back and made the final, anyway." The second elimination saw odds-on choice In the Arsenal ($2.50), whose debutante effort came in last season's Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace here, barely prevail. Leaving from post No. 2, he gave the first lead to Rock N' Roll World (Dube) before a 28-second opening quarter-mile. In the Arsenal then moved to the lead, completing his rounds (:57.2, 1:26, 1:53.1). Rock N' World, now a runner-up in all four races this season, tried In the Arsenal in the passing lane by missed a head. National Seelester (Dave Miller) and Bet You (Brett Miller) also earned their invites to return, while Rolling Ring Afire (catch-driver Tyler Buter), Western Pioneer (Brennan) and a breaking Penji Hanover (Mark MacDonald) completed the order. For In the Arsenal, a son of American Ideal trained by Kelvin Harrison for co-owners (breeder) White Birch Farm and In the Arsenal Racing, it was his second win in as many '15 tries. The exacta paid $10.20, with the triple returning $16. "He's more mature mentally and physically than he was at 2," Sears said. "In elimination races, you have to race a favorite as if he's the favorite, so I put him on the lead. He knows what he's doing out there." The $300,000 final of the Rooney goes next Saturday night (May 30), along with the six-lass $117,724 Lismore (3-year-old pacing fillies). The open draw for both stakes takes place late Tuesday morning. Saturday's $42,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --(Trot), Luminosity (Brennan, $6.50) in 1:54.4 --(Pace), Duc Dorleans (MacDonald, $16.60) in 1:51.3. No one took down the Saturday Pick 5, so Monday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $4,501.50 and offers a $10,000 guaranteed pool (program pages available at www.yonkersraceway.com). The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 every racing program. The Raceway's live season continues Memorial Day evening (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM, pair of finals in the Jackpot Next Door Claiming Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note there is no live racing or evening simulcasting June 3-12, inclusive. Afternoon simulcasting is available daily, including the June 6th Belmont Stakes. Frank Drucker

Natasha House was presented with the 2014 Caretaker of the Year Award at this year's harness racing "Raceway Awards Banquet" by Hugh Mitchell and Don McCallum of Western Fair District. Natasha House went shopping for a racehorse last week at The Raceway at Western Fair District... She ended up with Sandburg Hanover after multiple claims were entered on the horse at the $5,000 claiming level.  “He was an early Birthday present for myself,” House said – who will celebrate her Birthday this coming Sunday, May 24th. “And now he’s given me an even better early Birthday gift – my first training win!” Sandburg Hanover would face tougher foes on Monday evening, at The Raceway, but he was given 8/5 respect by the betting public and his competition would never seriously challenge him, from start to finish, as driver Lorne House would guide him to a 1:55.2 score. “He’s meant to be a good one. He’s the nicest stud to be around – just like a puppy dog... Lorne has always liked him too and when the opportunity was there to claim him – I didn’t hesitate,” stated Natasha. Sandburg Hanover now has a nine-race win streak dating back to August 30th of last year. Conditioned then by Kevin McMaster – the wins started at Sarnia and continued at Hanover and Kawartha before his season ended on October 11th. Miroslaw Czupa purchased the horse from McMaster during the off-seaon and then had the horse return for his season debut on May 6that The Raceway. An eye-popping 1:55.3 win at the $5,000 claiming level would spark multiple claims when Sandburg Hanover was entered back for the same price the following week. Five claims were entered on the great looking stallion son of American Ideal on May 11th at The Raceway. “We had talked to the former owner/trainer (Czupa) about purchasing the horse and he was very excited to see him go to us. We’re going to make sure he has a great home going forward,” she continued. Natasha’s first career training win comes seven years after she first obtained a training licence. “I had a licence in the Spring of 2008 and decided to get back to training again this year,” she explains. “I’ve been around racing my whole life, so this first training win is pretty exciting for me!” Natasha and husband Lorne look after a stable of nine horses. Eight trotters and one single pacer now in Sandburg Hanover. “I do enjoy the trotters,” Natasha stated. “But we’re hoping to keep this pacer around for a long time. He won’t be in a claimer next time out – that I can tell you,” she added. If not in a claimer then where does this red hot horse, with the long running win streak, go?  “He’ll likely be entered at the Preferred level now,” she said. “Maybe there’ll be a race we can enter him in for Molson Pace night (May 29th)... That would be exciting!” she continued. “For now we’ll just see how he comes out of this race and give him a few days off in the paddock. He has his issues and he’s the kind of horse we’ll have to manage well, but we’re good with that – he’s worth it!” Shannon Doyle Email:  sdoyle@westernfairdistrict.com Web:    www.westernfairdistrict.com The Raceway @ Western Fair District

Nichols, NY -- After his two-year-old season culminated in a second-place finish in the Breeders Crown, In the Arsenal ($2.60) made good on his odds-on promise in one of four New York Sire Stakes events ($110,000 added total purse) for harness racing three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Sunday (May 17) afternoon at Tioga Downs.   The son of American Ideal and Ladyotra (On the Road Again) settled well off the early pace, retreating to fourth after he was caught wide on the first turn behind eventual pacesetter Gold Coast Muscle (Mike Simons). In the Arsenal would stalk comfortably from midfield as Soto (Brett Miller) made a push to the fore after a :26.1 first quarter mile, advancing in the breeze to press the pace on the backstretch. While able to make gradual gains on his own, he found another gear just before the far turn upon immediate asking from Brian Sears, making up two lengths on Soto through a :27.1 third quarter. In the Arsenal continued his pursuit in earnest, dueling with and just collaring Soto in the final yards, prevailing by a scant neck in 1:50. Oneisalonelynumber (David Miller) stayed on to finish third after following the winner's cover.   Kelvin Harrison trains seven-time winner In the Arsenal for owner-breeder White Birch Farm and the In the Arsenal Racing partnership.   For Sears, the victory was one of three on the card, also teaming up with Time Out I'm Tired ($25.00, 1:52.4) and JK Allnitelong ($8.80, 1:51.4) in a pair of Excelsior events on the undercard.   Art Major sired two of the other three New York Sire Stakes winners on the afternoon's program, with Yannick Gingras driving Sicily ($9.70, 1:51.1) and Cartoon Daddy ($4.30, 1:51.4) to victory in their respective divisions. National Seelster ($5.80, 1:51.4)--who gave futile chase to Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $58,000 Gilmour at the Meadowlands in March--captured the fourth division, with Andy Miller piloting the Bettor's Delight colt.   A special Monday evening card is up next at Tioga Downs, with the first of 11 races on May 18 due off at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

Headed briefly by Unlocked in upper stretch, Fireyourguns ($3.80) battled valiantly to a 1:50.4 triumph in Sunday (May 10) afternoon's $14,000 Open Pace  at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs. Aaron Byron initially settled in the pocket with the six-year-old American Ideal gelding, but an eager Fireyourguns vacated the pocket and cleared to the lead immediately after Unlocked reeled off a :26.2 first quarter. Fireyourguns would then control the pace through a solid :55.1 middle half before facing a late challenge from Unlocked on the far turn. While Unlocked took a brief lead in upper stretch, Fireyourguns would not be denied, battling back to stick a neck in front in the final yards. Unlocked was a game second, while Damon Blue Chip (Tyler Buter) closed belatedly up the pegs to take third.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyour guns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe. The win was the second on the year in as many starts for Fireyourguns.   Jim Marohn, Jr. and Jim Taggart, Jr. shared top driving honors on the 12-race card, recording three wins apiece.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m.   James Witherite

Every now and again a horse comes along in harness racing that has everybody reaching for the superlatives and shaking their heads in disbelief at what they have just witnessed. Today at Addington (May 9th) we were privalidged to witness one of the best performances ever produced by a three year old filly in New Zealand when The Orange Agent demolished her rivals in the $150,000 Nevele R Fillies Final. Sent straight to the front by driver Maurice McKendry from barrier two, the American Ideal filly put the foot down from the start and once they settled down after 250 metres there was no mid race moves as the speed was on. Second favourite Fight For Glory with Natalie Rasmussen in the bike ended up in the death seat from barrier six and sat on The Orange Agent's wheel with Democrat Party and Zac Butcher getting the dream run in the one by one. Going past the 400 metres Maurice applied some pressure and The Orange Agent immediately shot clear and but for knocking off when well clear would have won by a lot more than the official margin of 1 3/4 lengths. Fight For Glory went super to finish second after sitting parked the whole journey and she was clear of Democrat Party who just held third from a fast finishing Supersonic Miss. The Orange Agent broke the New Zealand record for the 1950 metres of  2:18.2, a mile rate of 1:54 with closing sectionals of 55.1 and 27.1. The previous record of 2.19.1 was held by Venus Serena. The Orange Agent is trained by Brian Hughes of Ardmore and is owned by her breeders Mrs P C Green, J P Green, Mrs M E Green and P C Bult. Harnesslink Media

Hamburg, NY - On a night where the track was lightning fast all night there were some very big winners on the harness racing program at Buffalo Raceway. Fireyourguns (American Ideal-Villa Hanover) returned to pari-mutual action this week after a valiant qualifying effort last week with Michael Caprio driving. When the gates swung open tonight Fireyourguns went right to the lead and never looked back. At the ½ Bahama Bay (Drew Monti) tried to make his presence felt and was joined by Mach Stockn Barrel (Kevin Cummings) on the outside. When they reached the back stretch it was obvious that the field was too tough for Mach Stockn Barrel never advanced. Fireyourguns set some wicked fractions early in the race and continued that strong effort when they passed ¾ in 1:25 3/5. Turning for home it looked like Lucky Nadotremblay might pull off the shocker from the perfect pocket ride, but Fireyourguns dropped and hit another gear stopping the clock in 1:53 3/5 just missing the track record by 1/5 of a second. Bahama Bay closed strongly to finish a game 3rd. Fireyourguns is trained by Terrance McClory and owned by Terence P McClory and Jennifer and Robert Lowe. In the co-featured Open II pace Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) continued his dominance after being parked the mile last week and finishing 5th. He left and cleared before the ¼ and had no issue getting to the top spot. At the ½ Salazar made his move and was followed by Bakken who never advanced. Going up the back stretch Unicorn Hanover challenged, but stalled and tried to come back on in the stretch to no avail. Youwillwishyouhad is trained by James Clouser Jr. and owned by Leonard Segall of Clearwater, FL. Racing resumes on Wednesday with a first post of 5:00 PM featuring $3.00 food specials at the Clubhouse Sports Bar. By Michael Carter, for Buffalo Raceway

Unbeaten harness racing youngster Ideal Tyson gives every indication he is ‘one out of the box’. Successful at his six starts, Ideal Tyson appears to have it all – he can sprint and stay with equal ease. As such, it appears certain the Gary Elson-trained two-year-old will join past greats as the winner of tomorrow night’s Champagne Stakes at Gloucester Park. One of Western Australia’s most popular features, the Group Two has been captured by the likes of Chandon, Saab, Talladega, James Matthew and Tricky Styx. Although drawn awkwardly in barrier five, Ideal Tyson is expected to work his way to the front, which has seen him installed a prohibitive $1.80 favourite. To be driven by Chris Voak, the son of American Ideal is one of three Elson-trained runners, with the astute mentor also represented by Scoobys Delight and Sprinter. Although drawn better of the pair in gate four, Scoobys Delight is yet to win from four outings, whereas Sprinter boasts three wins and two placings from five starts. The son of Mach Three faces a tough task from the outside of the front row. One of Sprinter’s defeats came behind Rich Yankee, which is trained by Jesse Moore who is no stranger to Champagne Stakes glory. Triumphant with Nixon Adios in 1979, Moore also captured the feature with Wirrpunda in 2001, All Four Firing in 2002 and Tricky Styx last season. As for Rich Yankee’s prospects, the colt will have to overcome the outside of the back line with Aiden De Campo in the cart. PAUL COURTS

Former exciting harness racing youngster Resurgent Spirit has taken a while to recapture his best form, but he did it in style at Devonport last night when leading throughout the $30,000 Raider Stakes final over 2665 metres. Resurgent Spirit equalled Halwes’ record for the most number of consecutive wins (13) as a two and three-year-old, but a trip to Victoria last year led to the gelding contracting a virus, which combined with a knee injury, all but ended the back end of his three-year-old campaign. His road to recovery has not been smooth either, but owner-trainer-breeder Roger Whitmore has left no stone unturned in his quest to rejuvenate his stable star’s career. The son of American Ideal had shown a glimpse of his best form leading up to the futurity, and despite finishing second to Le Premiere in their heat a week earlier, punters were keen to invest when the gelding drew the pole position in the Final. Driver James Austin urged Resurgent Spirit forward at the start to find the lead, and once settled, he was never in danger of defeat. Resurgent Spirit hit the line over 10 metres clear of Chirac, which had enjoyed the run of the race in the one-one, with outsider Le Wi Bulent third nine metres away. Covering the last half in 59.2 seconds, Resurgent Spirit rated 2:00.9, slicing two-tenths of a second off Devendra record established in last season’s edition of the feature. “He had a niggling knee injury and then he went to Melbourne and contracted a virus, so you pretty much have to write off his three-year-old season even though he won a few races,” Whitmore said. “I knew I had him right for this race because I took his heart rate after he came off the training track at New Norfolk through the week and it was only 66 and by the time I’d washed him down it had dropped to 45. “I knew then that I couldn’t have him any better, but I still thought he’d have to draw well to win the race because the draw is everything on the Devonport track.” Whitmore has no specific plans in mind Resurgent Spirit for the remainder of the season. “I haven’t looked beyond the Raider Stakes because this was his main mission this time in,” Whitmore said. PETER STAPLES

Faithful Gabby’s emphatic win in last night’s $30,000 Granny Smith Stakes was a gratifying result for multiple premiership-winning driver Gareth Rattray and his partner-trainer Melissa Maine. Faithful Gabby started a short-price favourite against top opposition, but once she rolled to the front early in the race, it was always going to be a matter of ‘how far’. The daughter of American Ideal scored by 23-and-a-half metres from Jane Grant, with Pharaohs Wrath a metre away third in 2:03.7 over 2665 metres. The mare has been dominant in everything she has tackled this season and it was just reward for the couple. A year ago Rattray and Maine made a decision to branch out on their own by buying a property at Latrobe and have developed it into a great training complex. “It’s been a long 12 months…for Melissa and I to do this by ourselves makes it very special,” Rattray said. “This is probably the best horse we’ve trained and we’ll now give her a break before we take her interstate. “We’re looking at either the Breeders Crown in Victoria or some mares’ races at Menangle.” Rattray has dominated Tasmania’s driving ranks for the past decade, winning the drivers’ premiership since the 2005-06 season and this year is on target to collect his 10th consecutive title. Maine sits second on the trainers’ premiership table with 25 wins courtesy of a double last night. She is only two behind Rattray’s father, Barrie. Rattray has 72 wins on the board, with his nearest rival Ricky Dugan sitting on 38. PETER STAPLES

Last nights harness racing meeting at Addington was notable in the first instance for being held on a Wednesday night which is unusual to say the least. Several longshots got home early in the programe with one of these being the Andrew Stuart trained Styx On. Driven on racenight for the first time by in form reinsmen Bob Butt, Styx On jumped to an early lead from the 2000 metres stand, steadied them in the middle stages before zipping home in 27.8 to just hold out the big late charge of Matty Groves and Ricky May. Bob liked attitude of the Art Major three year old filly. " She has got lovely manners and that's what got her home tonight" " She does everything right and thats always a big help in standing start races," Bob said. That was the start of what turned out to be a productive night at the office for the North Canterbury horseman. Next up was Kashana in the two year old pace and that was to be the only time Bob missed a dividend bearing place in his five drives with Kashana finishing sixth. Bob's next drive was on a horse he part owns and trains in Ancient Moonlight and he turned in a career best effort to only go under by a nose to Change The Rulz after coming from second last at the 800 metres mark. The son of Live Or Die was privately timed to run his last 800 metres in 57 out three and four wide and Bob was thrilled with the effort. " He went huge from where he was." " I had to go when I did or else it would have just been a sprint from the 400 metres and we would have got nothing". "Going by that run, his next win is not far away," Bob said. The next drive for Bob was on the old warhorse Vulcan who had been very disappointing lately after some good form around christmas time. Away well from his 30 metres handicap, Bob settled Vulcan three back in the running line and didn't move until the corner where to the surprise of everyone, Vulcan sprinted up to the leaders and only went under by 3/4 of a length when running third to the very impressive Belles Son. Bob was a bit non plussed about what to make of the run. " That was a lot more like it tonight but I think the slow sectionals in the middle stages helped." " In saying that, Roddy has been making a few little changes and that probably helped as well," Bob said. Bob's last drive of the night was on the son of American Ideal in Idealindiamonds who is trained by his parents, David and Catherine and once again manners were the key to the win. Away well to lead early, Idealindiamonds was restrained to trail the well supported Sandvik Star after 600 metres and that move was the winning of the race. Sandvik Star took Idealindiamonds to the passing lane and he zipped home in 28.2 to just hold out a fast finishing Four Starzzz Shiraz and Dexter Dunn and claim his second win at just his fourth lifetime start. Bob half expected a good run. " He has got such great manners from the stand and I thought we would get a good run if he could lead early." "He is a wee tradesman and his manners always give him a chance in a race like that," Bob said. Bob has been having a great run lately and the thing to note for punters out there is he rated Waterloo Sunset at Alexandra Park tomorrow night his best drive for the week. Harnesslink Media     

Upper conditioned level pacers highlighted the Sunday afternoon harness racing card from Harrah's Philadelphia. The wagering public placed their support behind 25 time winner Big Town Hero. The son of American Ideal was coming off of a troubled trip from an outside post at Yonkers in his most recent start. As the wings closed, it was Chris Freck trainee Dial Or Nodial (Dave Miller) moving out for the lead, with Adventure Bound (Allan Davis) securing the pocket spot. After an opening quarter of :27.3, Dial Or Nodial was able to rate the second quarter in :29.3 (:57.1). Ron Burke trainee Bat Boy Matt (Yannick Gingras) gained first over. He was followed by the upset-minded American Venture (Eric Carlson). Off at odds 26-1, American Venture powered up three wide, and cleared before the three-quarters (1:24.1). It was a battle for the minors from there, as American Venture was well clear, winning by five lengths in the end, stopping the clock in 1:51. He returned $55.20. It was the 15th career win for the son of American Ideal, who is owned by Little Bapa LLC, and trained by Jennifer Sabot. Michael Bozich

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jokerman had the last laugh in the featured $9,500 conditioned pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (April 4) with a stunning upset harness racing victory in a seasonal best time of 1:55.1 over the fast track.   Overlooked by the betting public, Jokerman returned a hefty $27.00 to his backers after turning back the mild rally of Bakken in the race to the wire   It was a battle to the lead as rail-sitting Lucky Nadotremblay tussled with the parked Jokerman to a quarter in a red-hot time of 27.4. Jokerman (Jim McNeight) was finally able to clear for the lead and posted times of 56.2 and 1:25.4 from there.   In the race to the finish, Jokerman posted a final panel of 29.2 and that was more than enough to hold off any challenges from the remaining six horses in the field. Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) show some mild kick but finished a non-threatening length back while Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) rolled into the show position.   It was the fourth win in 12 starts for Jokerman and the 6-year-old gelding has now been in the money in all but one start in 2015. He is co-owned by trainer Richard Roth along with Robert and Randy Roth. Jokerman (American Ideal-Shark Tail) has now earned $29,289 this year.   In the first round of the Niatross Knockout Claiming 'B' Series, Secluded Island ($4.10) was the fastest winner in the five divisions with a 1:57.1 clocking.   Dedalos ($3.30), who captured the Naitross 'A' Series earlier this season, took his leg with a 1:57.4 mark.   Other preliminary round winners included Nora Lee ($4.00), K C Colt ($15.80) and Full Circle Spirit ($12.00). The quarter-finals will be held next Saturday night.   Driver Drew Monti had a four-bagger on the night and Kevin Cummings went over the 100-win plateau on the year with four victories as well.   Trainer Michelle Gramza had three wins.   The racing action will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.   For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news. results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Last nights harness racing meeting at Cambridge was notable for having one of those rarest of happenings, a double deadheat. There was only five runners in the PGG Wrightson Sales Graduette and as expected with such a small field, it turned into a bit of a cat and mouse affair. The favourite Poppy Maguire with Maurice McKendry in the bike came out of barrier one quickly before handing up to Killer Queen and Simon Lawson after 200 metres. Simon immediately put the brakes on and they dawdled down to the 400 metres mark before the sprint really went on. Poppy Maguire quickly got up to Killer Queen on the passing lane but couldn't get past her and they went to the line locked together. Pure Opulence,after enjoying a soft run run three back on the inner, ran on well late as did Bettor Love Me who sat last the whole way and the second pair also went to the line locked together. The unlucky runner was Tuapeka Sky who got up to the leader on the corner and looked to be travelling better only to have her inexperience come through when she went rough entering the home straight and lost any winning chance she had. After what seemed an eternity, the judge called a deadheat for first between Poppy Maguire and Killer Queen and a deadheat for third between Pure Opulence and Bettor Love Me.  The two winners covered the 1700 metres in 2:08.5, a mile rate of 2:01.6 with closing sectionals of 59.6 and 28.4. Killer Queen, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven has long been held in high regard by trainer Ray Green. " She was up and going earlier in the season but then she got sick and we had to back off her." " I am not sure if she is completely over it to be honest." " Last night she knocked off half way up the straight and only got going again late in the piece when the other filly came up on her inside, " Ray said. The plans are not yet set in concrete for Killer Queen and where she goes depends on how she keeps progressing. " She is on the improve but she will need to be if she is going to be competitive against those All Stars runners." " She can go to the final of the Sires Stakes now at Auckland and if she preforms good in that then we may head south for the Harness Jewels," Ray said.  Poppy Maguire, a daughter of American Ideal pleased her driver Maurice McKendry. " She is a lovely wee filly to drive." " Nicely gaited with a bit of speed and very professional and she will more than pay her way." "I actually thought I had got up but half a win is better than second," Maurice said. Both fillies are still on the improve and will be be very competitive when the final of the Sires Stakes is held at Alexandra Park on April 24th Harnesslink Media  

The rich QBRED Breeders Classic Finals were staged at Albion Park last night (Friday) and provided great harness racing. The Gr.2 three-year-old finals were worth $50,000 each while the Listed four-year-old finals were worth $25,000 each. The night coincided with the culmination of the Racing Queensland Girls On Track race series. In the 3yo Fillies final, the Phil Mitchell prepared Cullens Jewel made full use of her front-line draw and led throughout to score a convincing victory defeating Mathilda Diventa and Feel The Faith. Race favourite Bettorthanspecial finished fourth. Cullen Jewel rated 1;58.5 for the 2138m journey while covering her final half in 57.5 seconds. Mark Dux took the winning drive on the American Ideal – Cullens Cameo filly. It was her biggest victory to date and her fourth overall. Smart pacer Admiral Bronski took honours in the 3yo Colts and Geldings final after a brilliant tactical drive from leading reinsman Shane Graham. After starting from a second-line draw, the Art Major – Bronski Gorgeous colt whipped around the field at the 1200m mark and took the lead away from race favourite A Good Chance before handing back over at the 800m marker. Admiral Bronski finished quickly via the sprintlane and held off the fast finishing burst of Jack Malone with Uncle John filling third. Race favourite A Good Chance finished fourth. Admiral Bronski rated 1;58.0 for the 2138m journey with the final half covered in 58.9 seconds. Trained by Mick Grant, Admiral Bronski is now the winner of 7 races from 23 starts. In the 4yo divisions, the favourites proved too classy for their rivals. Flashy chestnut Mafuta Vautin, trained and driven by Darrel Graham, led throughout in the Entires and Geldings final defeating Mister Higgins and The Duke Downunder. Bred and raced by Linda Graham, the Rollon Bigred – Ashleysplace gelding has now won 9 of his 13 career starts. Mafuta Vautin rated 1;57.9 for the 2138m journey while finishing off in 58 seconds. In the 4yo Mares final, Charming Allie worked her way to the front and defied running down in the home straight defeating Beef City Safari and Morethanmeetstheye. Bred and raced by Kevin and Kay Seymour, the Grant Dixon trained and driven mare claimed her 17th career victory from 27 starts. The Mr Feelgood – Charm Personified mare rated 1;59.0 for the 2138m journey while running her last half in 57.1 seconds. Congratulations to all winners and their respective connections. Racing Queensland

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