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Hunter Cup champion Bling It On is ready to go again. The $1.5 million earner is being primed for several upcoming harness racing features in the coming weeks culminating in the final leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit series, the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 15. But before heading north, the Sydney trained star will target the Gr.3 $30,000 Golden Mile on June 10 followed by the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile two weeks later, both events will be staged at TABCORP Park, Menangle. The Brisbane winter carnival targets are the Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint on July 8 followed by the Blacks A Fake. And success in the Blacks A Fake will see him crowned the 2016/17 Grand Circuit champion. “That’s something that we’re definitely aware of given he’s got a stud career in front of him, being crowned the Grand Circuit champion is an added bonus for his long term value. He needs to win the Blacks A Fake to land the title.” Regular driver Luke McCarthy said. Bling It On hasn’t raced since finishing 6th in the Miracle Mile behind Lennytheshark in 1:49.2 on February 25. But a private workout yesterday (Wednesday) at Menangle has proven that he’s ready for the upcoming campaign. A public trial next week has now been scheduled. “Originally he was going to trial this week but the volume of races plus trials this week at Menangle forced our hand, we gave him a good hit-out yesterday and he’s going to trial next week. He worked really well and felt very comfortable. “He enjoyed his break but his training indicates he’s in really good order, he’ll have a good trial next week and then we’re likely to go into the Golden Mile fresh-up. “The main target is the Brisbane feature, they’re going to be really strong races with the likes of Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay but I know Yank (Bling It On) is capable. We’ve beaten Lenny twice this season so we know we can match him.” Both victories over Lennytheshark have come via 1000m tracks – Melton and Bunbury. Bling It On beat Lennytheshark in the Smoken Up Sprint and in a heat of the Inter Dominion. The American Ideal entire has won 10 of his 15 starts at Albion Park, a track which also measures 1000m. The Queensland winter carnival officially starts on June 2 and reaches its climax on July 15. Chris Barsby

The Orange Agent capped an extraordinary three weeks of harness racing with a dominant win in the Benstud Queen Of The Pacific completing her clean sweep of the Mares Triple Crown. In Chris Alford’s hands the five-year-old American Ideal mare was again in a class of her own, sweeping to the front early in the $100,000 feature and being unchallenged amid a class group of challengers. “She’s just a perfect racehorse,” Alford said of The Orange Agent, who is trained by New Zealand’s Brian Hughes. “Great to drive, just does everything that you ask.” In fact, she was in such a class of her own Alford said the $1.04 favourite almost drifted off in the night’s feature. “She was just jogging around the home turn tonight,” he said. “She just sort of switched off a little bit when she got away, but once she found the front she was going to be very hard to beat. “If she had something to run with her tonight she would have won as easy as she did last week, but she just got a little lost in front. She’s beaten Grand Circuit horses before and wouldn’t disgrace herself in the really good races.” The victory came on the back of success in the Alabar sponsored Group 3 titles Make Mine Cullen and Angelique Club Cup, a succession of three victories in three weeks that ranged from 1720m through to tonight’s 2760m staying test. Not for the first time it was the New Zealand visitors who departed with a big chunk of the change from tonight’s racing, with My Field Marshall winning a survival of the fittest in the $75,000 TAB.com.au 4YO and 5YO Championship. The Tim Butt trained five-year-old is facing a crucial campaign according to driver Anthony Butt and tonight’s bold showing, when he come with a well-timed burst to mow down a tiring field, was encouraging reaffirmation of the Art Major entire’s elite talent. “Tim’s hoping he’s going to turn into a Grand Circuit horse,” Anthony Butt said. “This is perhaps going to be the make or break for him, he’s had some health issues over the past. He’s got the ability, it’s just getting his health right and Tim’s done a great job so far of doing that.” Tonight’s Group 2 was a certainly a fitness test, with the interchanging frontrunners running a record 41.7-second lead time. While Dont Hold Back, Egodan, Spare Me Days and Mattgregor all contributed to that early pace, Butt was happy to wait at the tail of the field. “Tonight they set it up for him and he was good enough to capitalise,” Butt said. “It was working out really good. I thought there were plenty of horses in no man’s land, I thought there was going to be a bit of speed with no real dominant horse in the race.” My Field Marshall hooked on to the back of Burnaholeinmypocket in the final lap, advancing steadily while Kerryn Manning placed Mr Mojito brilliantly to pinch a break on the field. At 200m to go some 20m separated My Field Marshall from a tiring Mr Mojito and by 100m that margin had halved, with the Kiwi clipping brave Mattgregor and third-placed Mr Mojito in the dying stages to take the honours. “He’s just a lovely horse, he can do anything. He can lead, he’s very adaptable, he can sit in the field, he’s a high speed horse.” And more wins are likely to come. “Tim just took him along quietly this year. He’s doing all his races now at a tough level, he has to race against the best and you don’t always win,” Butt said. “He’ll have a wee campaign over here and he should be a nice horse in the spring again. I think they are going to move on to the Len Smith Mile, it’s just a matter of how they get there. I think they are going to stay down here for a race in between. While he keeps going like that he will stay on.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Milky Way Rae (American Ideal) had little difficulty handling the step up in the harness racing company on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Heidi Rohr trainee was coming off a win in the conditional ranks when she stepped up into the $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open on Friday night. Billy Dobson has become the regular pilot for the four year old mare whose early speed is her best asset. Flashing that speed in the feature, Milky Way Rae made the lead in a 26.4 first quarter and sizzled through a half in 55.4. Feeling just mild pressure before reaching the top of the stretch, the talented distaffer faced a host of challengers in the lane but proved to be up to the task. Milky Way Rae stopped the timer in a seasonal best 1:53.1 to record her third win of the season, two of which came in the Open. Godiva Seelster (Shawn Gray) was the runner-up in the Friday feature while Her Own Land (Mark Beckwith) closed for third behind the 4-1 shot winner. Dobson and Rohr teamed up for another victory on the card as pacing mare Keene Olivia (Always A Virgin) recorded her second consecutive win despite being parked the entire first half of the mile before drawing off to prevail in 1:53.4. Live racing continues on Saturday evening with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella  

Not since Make Mine Cullen in 2012 has a mare completed the Mares’ Triple Crown. But a record-breaking win in the Alabar Angelique Club Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night has star Kiwi mare The Orange Agent within one win of completing the rare harness racing treble. The Brian Hughes-trained five-year-old smashed the clock, rating 1:53.7 – a new race record – to score by almost 10m over a game Milly Perez in the 2240m Group 3. Driven by Chris Alford, whose winning double at Melton moved him within three of the 6000-victory milestone, The Orange Agent (American Ideal-Lady Fingers) gapped the opposition to add the Angelique Club Cup to the Alabar Make Mine Cullen silverware she won last week. The next target will come next Saturday night, the $100,000 Benstud Queen of the Pacific, the jewel of the Mares’ Triple Crown. “The fast lead time certainly took the sting out of some of the leaders,” Alford said of last night’s win. “She felt amazing. She just strode up, she was just travelling that hard around the last turn. She was just charging." The early speed came from New South Wales trained Rakarazor, who found the lead from the top of the track early doors and ripped through the first 630m in 43.6secs. The tempo never cooled with Rakarazor then pacing the first half of her last mile in 58.9secs before a 28.4secs third quarter. She couldn’t maintain the rage. Alford let The Orange Agent do what she does best around the final bend and in the blink of an eye she put the pacemakers away. A bold Milly Perez ran on to get second for driver John Caldow, her effort probably one of the best of her career in defeat, while Bettor Downunder for Michael Stanley scorched home for third at big odds. The Orange Agent finished off with a 27.4secs final split despite having sat three-wide throughout the last lap. So now on to this week.  Can anyone turn the tables on The Orange Agent? It’ll be tough. But connections of Milly Perez and Bettor Downunder would have been thrilled with the performances of their mares. Both savaged the line and should appreciate the 2760-metre trip, while Dennis Picker-trained Onlykidding was solid in fourth and Rocker Band found the line well out wide for fifth. You can put Heavens Trend into the forgive file from the Angelique Club Cup. She came in tailed off last after striking trouble around the final bend, while classy Mark Purdon-trained Our Golden Goddess compounded to finish 10th after parking in the chair. She is better than that. The eye-catcher was Shakahari, who was bowled over around the final bend before picking up and flashing to the line in seventh place. She should have finished much closer and could spring a surprise next weekend for Bec Bartley and Stephen O’Donoghue. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Milky Way Rae (American Ideal) went coast to coast in the Friday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Heidi Rohr-trained mare was dropping out of the Filly and Mare Open in which she finished third last week and was the 2-5 betting favorite in Friday's $9,500 feature for distaffers. Milky Way Rae moved out to the early lead in a fast 27 second opening quarter and the four year old mare never looked back. With Billy Dobson in the sulky, Milky Way Rae stopped the timer in a seasonal best 1:53.3, the fastest of her two seasonal scores. A winner in the Open back in March, Milky Way Rae has consistently hit the board this year against the track's top mares. Bettorhaveanother (Frank Coppola Jr) sat the pocket to the winner on Friday and finished second while longshot Weekend Getaway (Jimmy Devaux) closed to be third. The win was one of two on the card for Rohr and Dobson who also secured a victory with heavily favored Keene Olivia (Always A Virgin) earlier in the night. Live racing continues on Saturday evening at the Spa with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 12, 2017 - A first-up Freeze Out (Jordan Stratton, $8.10) did it with a flourish Friday night (May 12th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace for a fifth consecutive harness racing victory. Away fifth from post position No. 4, Freeze Out was uninvolved early as Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron) quarter-moved past Apple Bottom Jeans (George Brennan). The 'Queen' made the lead just at :27.4 opening quarter-mile, then found a :56.2 intermission. Freeze Out took aim at her target going by a 1:25 three-quarters, then went past early in the lane. Freeze Out finished out winning by a length-and-a-half in a life-best 1:53.2. Apple Bottom Jeans, compromised sitting behind a tiring leader, closed inside for second, with Sassa Hanover (Matt Kakaley), Jag Out (Brent Holland) and a never-in-it 8-5 choice Mach it a Par (Brian Sears) rounding out the payees. For third choice Freeze Out, a 4-year-old daughter of American Ideal owned and trained by Ricky Bucci, it was her seventh win in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $138, the triple returned $890 and the superfecta paid $2,389. During her form spree, she hasn't once been sent off as the betting favorite. Frank Drucker

Mister Daytona N is now a perfect two-for-two in North America. The 5-year-old pacing son of American Ideal used a well-timed move to dispose of 7 other harness racing rivals in Sunday's feature at Harrah's Philadelphia, a non-winners of $20,000 in their last 5 starts. Starting from post 5, the Brewer Adams trainee settled in mid-pack, well off the deliberate speed of Dream Out Loud N (Brett Miller). He set fractions of :26.1, :54.4, and 1:23. "He is a very cool little guy, great to drive,"  said Driver Andy McCarthy.  "Feels like you are driving a supercharged Mini Cooper. I think he has the potential to go places." The final time was 1:51.2, a lifetime achievement for the winner. Mister Daytona N (Andy McCarthy) has now won 17 races in 23 career starts. He is owned by Albert Abdala III. In other action, Randy Bendis pupil Bilbo Hanover (George Napolitano Jr) and Bill Mac Kenzie trainee Trading Up won their respective divisions of a non-winners of $15,000 in their last 5 starts on the pace. Bilbo Hanover brushed to the front, and opened up to win by 4 lengths, stopping the timer in 1:51.2 to win for the 23rd time. Trading Up grinded persistently to wear down favorite Arque Hanover to win his division in a clocking of 1:51. Driver Tim Tetrick led all drivers on the day with 4 wins, while Corey Callahan, Brett Miller, and George Napolitano Jr each had driving doubles. Live racing returns on Wednesday, with a post time of 12:40 PM. Michael Bozich

YONKERS, N.Y. - Since returning to harness racing at Yonkers April 14 off a September layoff, 5-year-old mare Jag Out is perfect in two starts for trainer Nick Surick. She won her seasonal debut in a $27,000 overnight after racing first-over for the last quarter mile, then returned a wire-to-wire the following week when racing for $35,000. For Surick, seeing Jag Out finally put her best foot forward has been a process months in the making. Surick purchased Jag Out, a daughter of American Ideal out of the Albert Albert mare Impertinent, from the 2015 Harrisburg Mixed Sale for $60,000. The purchase came on the advice of Erv Miller, who trained Jag Out in her 2- and 3-year-old seasons. “He told me this little filly is tough as nails and she has a lot of gate speed if you’re looking for something to race at Yonkers,” Surick recalled. “He kind of pushed me into her and that’s why I bought her.” After a winter freshening, Surick brought Jag Out back as a 4-year-old in April 2016. Surick and his owners hoped she would be a free for all mare from the start and ambitiously spotted her in the top classes at Yonkers in her first three races. By the end of her season however, Jag Out had only two wins in 17 starts, both in non-winners conditions, and had earned just $42,100. “I gave her the winter off and she trained back ok, but she just wasn’t 100 percent for me,” Surick said. “She was still a little immature and she was growing up and she went through a growth spurt. She was a little sore on me. I raced her five months and she just was never 100 percent. She would sit the two hole and wouldn’t win. I thought I could get her sounder and I didn’t.” Surick shut Jag Out down in September 2016 and sent her for a body scan at Mid-Atlantic Equine Center. The results confirmed Jag Out had heat in her joints and was sore from inflammation related to her growth spurts. “We thought it was best to turn her out again and not push her and hurt her,” Surick said. “We stopped with her in September, gave her off through December and brought her back in January this year, not knowing what we were going to have.” Jag Out returned to training a transformed horse. As she trained back, her development became clearer, leading Surick to believe she was finally living up to the potential they saw when they purchased her. “She’s filled out now, she’s got a bigger chest on her, and she’s strong-boned. We let her hobbles out an inch-and-a-half coming back and I just see a real difference in maturity and in her attitude,” Surick detailed. “I think we let her grow up and I’ve seen a big difference just in her first two races and I think we’re going to see a big difference going forward.” Nursing Jag Out through her growth spurts wasn’t the only challenge facing Surick and his team. She can be difficult to handle on a daily basis, forcing Surick to take special precautions to keep her safe and happy. “A lot of my horses go out in pairs and they have friends. She kind of just likes to be left alone,” Surick said. “One thing that she does like, she gets a weekly massage and she gets acupunctured every week. Besides that, the more you leave her alone, the better off she is. “She’s not really a people person. Just myself and the girl that takes care of her, we handle her ourselves and that’s about it.” he continued. “In the barn, she’s a disaster. If you walk past her stall, she kicks the wall. She’s got a matted stall that looks like solitary confinement. Her stall is padded from the floor to the ceiling, all the walls. I couldn’t take a chance at her hurting herself.” Although she’s difficult to handle in the barn, Jag Out is a dream on the racetrack. She’s fast off the gate, her biggest asset according to Surick, and is easy to drive. Those qualities will make Matt Kakaley’s job easier as he will sit behind her for the first time this week. “Some horses, if you fire them up too soon and you get to the front, they become uncontrollable and they’re like a runaway train. Whereas she’s two fingers. You can go, stop, she’s like driving a car. It’s like having a gas and a brake. It’s a huge quality to have when you’re racing on a half-mile track,” Surick explained. Friday night, Jag Out will look to prove she can take on the country’s best mares when she steps up into the $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap at Yonkers. She was assigned post six in an eight horse field that includes two standouts from the recently-concluded Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, Bedroomconfessions and Regil Elektra. They were dealt posts seven and eight, respectively. Surick is counting on a big performance to put his mare in the running for an invitation to the Betsy Ross Mares Invitational Pace at Harrah’s Philadelphia. “Both of them got tortured in the final, so drawing inside them is a good thing,” Surick reasoned. “I have to think those trainers and drivers are going to have to come up with a plan “B” on racing those mares this week. I think those two horses are going to have to get taken off the gate and I don’t think they’re going to be close enough. I think we’ll be up on the lead or near it and I think they’ll be chasing us.” First post time at Yonkers is 7:10 p.m. Click here for entries for Friday’s card. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 28, 2017 - Freeze Out (Jordan Stratton, $8.90) was first-up and first home Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 harness racing filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. Away fourth from post position No. 2, Free Out saw Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron) leaving around 9-10 choice Windsun Glory (George Brennan), the latter shoehorning herself into a pocket. Call Me Queen Be set early intervals of :27.3 and :57.4 before Freeze Out took out after her. She engaged the leader in and out of the third turn, dispatching her in and out of the (1:25.4) three-quarters. Freeze Out, continuing her form spree, opened to 2¾ lengths into the lane. The final margin was a length-and-a-half in 1:54. Motu Moonbeam N (Mark MacDonald) rallied into second, with a second-over Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) third. Apple Bottom Jeans (Brian Sears) and Keystone Riptide (Jason Bartlett) settled for the remainder. For third choice Freeze Out, a 4-year-old daughter of American Ideal owned and trained by Ricky Bucci, it was her sixth win (fourth consecutive) win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $57, the triple returned $361.50 and the superfecta paid $2,203. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (April 29th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $3,110.41.   The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing card. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

In The Huddle (American Ideal) parlayed the pocket trip to harness racing victory in Saturday's $13,000 Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Joe De Carlo-trained pacer has spent much of his year competing at Yonkers Raceway but won his lone start at the Spa last month. In the Huddle did not disappoint the betting public on Saturday night who backed him to the tune of odds of 3-5. The five year old pacer sat the pocket to JK Panache (Mark Beckwith) who set blistering fractions in the feature. After a first quarter in 26.4 and a half in 55.2, JK Panache held strong in the five horse Open before giving way to In The Huddle who surged by late to win in 1:51.3 over a track labeled 'good.' JK Panache had to settle for second and has now finished first or second in six of his last seven starts. Artful Way (Frank Coppola Jr), the only horse to post a faster time this year than the one put up by In The Huddle on Saturday night, earned the show spot. In The Huddle, who is owned by the Bigshow Racing Stable of Saratoga Springs, was driven to the Open score by Chris Long. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at the Spa with a 12:15pm first post. Mike Sardella

Runrunjimmydunn, a recent arrival from New Zealand, is poised to make a successful Australian harness racing debut when he starts from barrier two on the back line in the Follow Gloucester Park On Facebook Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The American Ideal three-year-old is the youngest and least experienced runner in the 2130m event for C1 to C4-class performers. But the gelding who has won at three of his 11 starts in New Zealand looks to have a decisive edge in class on his 11 rivals. He is prepared by ace trainer Gary Hall sen. and will be driven by Clint Hall, who drove the gelding to a runaway victory in a six-horse trial field at Byford on Sunday morning. He rated 1.59.8 in defeating Righteous Brother by 17 lengths, with final quarters of 29.1sec. and 27.1sec. “He worked his way to the front in the trial and his final quarter was very good,” said Clint Hall. “Starting from the back line on Friday night shouldn’t bother him at all. He should be able to follow In Nyrobi, who looks the likely leader from barrier two on the front line. “I would have preferred the front line on Friday night to test his gate speed., mainly because he has drawn the back line for most of his career.” Runrunjimmydunn last raced when a splendid neck second to Northview Hustler over 2200m at Alexandra Park on February 24, rating 1.57.6 over 2200m, with final quarters of 29.3sec. and 28sec. A 7/1 chance, he settled in eighth position before Maurice McKendry dashed him forward, three wide, after 550m. Then he was able to gain a one-wide trail in seventh place before starting another three-wide move approaching the bell. He moved to the breeze at the 900m and then again was able to gain a good sit, one-out and one-back, with 900m to travel. He finished strongly into second place. At his previous start, a fortnight earlier, Runrunjimmydunn was an 8/1 chance and won at a 1.57.4 rate over 2200m at Alexandra Park. He raced wide early and moved to the breeze before gaining a trail, one-out and one-back, with a lap to travel. McKendry switched the gelding three wide at the 500m and he finished strongly to burst to the lead in the final 25m to win stylishly from the pacemaker Rhythm N Blues. Runrunjimmydunn Runrunjimmydunn is a half-brother to Tosti Girl (19 starts for seven wins, six placings and $190,301), Delightful Soky (33 starts for two wins, seven placings and $13,680), Sir Tosti Boy (83 starts for 11 wins, 27 placings and $99,390) and Delightful Christian (42 starts for 16 wins, 11 placings and $297,501). The powerful Hall stable also has bright prospects in the Book Into The Beau Rivage Restaurant Pace in which they will be represented by newcomer Webb Ellis and Eyre Crusher, who look set to dominate the betting after drawing barriers one and two, respectively, on the front line in the 2130m event. Clint Hall will drive the New Zealand-bred five-year-old Webb Ellis, who has done his recent racing in New South Wales where his 23 starts produced eight wins and three placings. Gary Hall jun. will handle six-year-old Eyre Crusher, who will be making his first appearance since winning easily at Bunbury on April 25, 2015. That success followed runaway victories at Gloucester Park and Pinjarra at his two previous outings. Webb Ellis has won at his two most recent starts, both over 1730m at Bathurst in the space of six days early last November. He began speedily from a wide barrier in both events in which he set the pace and won rating 1.56.3 and 1.54.5. Eyre Crusher has been out of action for almost two years. He has shown wonderful potential, with his 14 starts producing seven wins, five seconds and one third placing. Ken Casellas

Penpal is yet to come up with a statement win so far in her career, but the now 4-year-old pacing mare has done plenty to enhance her bank statements through two seasons of harness racing. A daughter of stallion American Ideal out of the stakes-winning mare Copywriter, Penpal has won four of 28 career races, but earned $288,639 lifetime for owners Patrick Lachance and M&M Harness Racing thanks to picking up checks in 25 of those starts. Penpal, who finished second in two qualifiers this month, is expected to make her seasonal debut later this week at the Meadowlands Racetrack. "She qualified good," said Lachance, who also trains and regularly drives Penpal. "We'll see it how it goes and take it week to week. If she's real good we'll try her in a few stakes and see what happens. She was very good last year and came back bigger and stronger. She seems like she matured quite a bit. I hope to see good things from her this year." Penpal won two of 17 races last year and earned $204,288. She finished second to two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Pure Country in the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers and second to Blue Moon Stride in the Mistletoe Shalee. Penpal, who possesses a strong finishing kick, was in contention in numerous stakes last season, but ran into a deep group of fillies that included multiple-stakes-winners Pure Country, Blue Moon Stride, Darlinonthebeach, Call Me Queen Be, and L A Delight and Newborn Sassy. "I was happy with her," Lachance said. "She held her own and made some decent money. "Speed is her best tool, but she's tough to manage. She gets really hot and she's not easy to drive. But she's very fast." Penpal is a full sister to Capital Account, a winner on the New York Sire Stakes circuit and runner-up to Always B Miki in a division of the 2014 Tattersalls Pace. Penpal was purchased for $65,000 at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale and her family also includes past Lachance star Image Of Dawn. "I've been with that family and had luck with it," Lachance said. "Her page caught my eye and when I saw her, I liked her. We took a shot at her. She showed ability right off the bat." With only four wins to her credit, Penpal still fits in conditioned classes, which will enable Lachance to ease the mare into competition this year. Lachance bypassed the ongoing Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers because Penpal is less handy on a half-mile oval. "She's too big and she runs in pretty good," Lachance said. "Maybe in the future sometime, but I certainly didn't want to start her (year) on a half-mile track. "It's a transition year, and that's why I got her ready a little bit earlier. I wanted to give her some overnights and see what she's about. We didn't want to bring her right into that competition. She's only got four lifetime wins, so she fits non-winners of five. That leaves her some nice options." If all goes well this spring, Lachance will send Penpal to chase her first major stakes victory later in the year. Penpal is staked to events including the Graduate Series, Betsy Ross, Golden Girls, and Lady Liberty. "It would have been nice to get a big win last year, but it didn't happen," Lachance said. "I think that she will (go with the best mares this year). She's got some options to do some decent stuff." Ken Weingartner

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 18, 2017-Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series for Free-For-Allers began Saturday night, with a quartet of $50,000 divisions over a 'sloppy' surface. The opening event saw 3-2 choice Missile J (Tim Tetrick, $5) charge from sixth in the lane to win going away in 1:54.1. Unhurried from post position No. 2, he rolled late, whipping a pocketed Blood Brother (Jason Bartlett) by a length-and-a-half. Third went to a rallying Guantanamo Bay (Scott Zeron), with 78-1 Burning N (Ron Cushing) and a pace-setting Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube) settling for the remainder. For Missile J, a 4-year-old American Ideal gelding trained by Scott DiDomenico for Hoosierland co-owners John McGill and Brian Carsey, it was his fifth win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $22, with the triple returning $76.50. Saturday night's second Levy grouping saw Long Live Rock (Dube, $38.60) author a decisive, first-over upset. Moving from fourth (from post No. 2), he dismissed 1-2 favorite McWicked (Zeron), then drew off to win by three lengths in 1:54.1. Season-debuting All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) couldn't match the winner's tow but finished second, with 62-1 shot Mattamerican (Mark MacDonald) third. Santa Fe Beachboy (Jordan Stratton) and Melmerby Beach (Tetrick) grabbed the minors. McWicked, caught three-deep early, wound up a badly-beaten seventh. For fifth choice Long Live Rock, an 8-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding owned and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $232, with the triple returning $3,014. The evening's third series soiree has Provocativeprincen (Stratton, $5.70)-from post No. 2-prevail in a blanket finish. Away third, he engaged Bettor's Edge (Brett Miller), then outgamed a pocketed, 8-5 fave Rockin' Ron (Yannick Gingras) by a head in 1:54.2. Mach it So (Tetrick) in his first seasonal start, was third, beaten a neck, with Bettor's Edge and 77-1 Texas Terror N (MacDonald) earning the lesser loot. For second choice Provocativeprincen, an 8-year-old Down Under Grinfromeartoear gelding owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, he's now 4-for-4 to begin the season. The exacta paid $16.60, with the triple returning $62.50. "He's done nothing wrong since I've sat behind him," Stratton said,. The first round's final foray offered the fastest feet as Soto (Kakaley, $14) from the pocket was able to get 'first run' against defending series champion Bit of a Legend N (Stratton). The former, from post No. 3, whipped the latter by a half-length in 1:53.3. Bit of a Legend N, as the 2-5 choice, was second-up and may have waited a tad too long. Pace-setting Somewhere in L A (Bartlett), Wakizashi Hanover (Tetrick) and a Always at My Place (Gingras) rounded out the payees. For third choice Soto, a 5-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven trained by Eric Ell for co-owners Kenneth Wood, William Dittmar Jr. and Stephen Iaquinta, it was his fifth win in nine '17 starts. The exacta paid $23, the triple returned $55 and the superfecta paid $198. "He's just a versatile horse," Kakaley said. "I would have been happy either cutting the mile or sitting second. It may have been different had Bit of a Legend N been first-up, but my horse was very good." The Saturday night Pick 5, buoyed by a carryover in excess of $3,100, was taken down by one bettor. A winning combination of 2/3/8/7/3 returned $13,468.25 for that 50-cent wager. Reminder that Sunday's live all-trot 'French' card begins at 12:30 PM, the final Sunday card until the end of May. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

DOVER, Del.--- Scandalicious battled harness racing favorite Enhance Your Mind side-by-side down the lane before edging to the front at the wire by a head to win the Tuesday, March 4 $20,000 Mares Open Handicap at Dover Downs. Tim Tetrick pulled Scandalicious out of fourth just before a :55.2 half and quickly moved alongside leader Enhance Your Mind as they journeyed along the backstretch passing the three-quarters in 1:23.1, still a tandem. Enhance Your Mind and Vic Kirby had a slight edge on the inside turning for home. There was little room between the pair down the stretch before Tetrick urged Scandalicious up enough to put her head in front at the wire in 1:51.3 for the six-year-olds second straight victory. Tim Tetrick had a four bagger. The win marked the Scott DiDomenico-trained American Ideal-The Company Store mare's 24th lifetime win and boosted Scandalicious' earnings to $382,653. For Enhance Your Mind, it marked the end of a two-race win streak and was her first second-place finish after five wins in her eighth race of 2017. Sayulita (Allan Davis) finished third. Barbara's Shadow chalked up her third consecutive success in the $15,000 4&5-Year-Old Mares pace in a new personal fastest 1:51.1 clocking. Driver Vic Kirby owns the Shadow Play-Bababababarapan mare with trainer Leigh Raymer and Brian Hoffecker. The victory was her sixth of the year in nine opportunities. She has now won $53,922 this year. Westluckycam (Tetrick) closed for second in front of On Your Six (Davis). Earlier, Allan Davis piloted a 56-1 shot, No Shadows, from post 8 to victory in a Mares Claiming Handicap scoring a 1:54 triumph. LA Express Stable owns the Shadow Play-Ocracoke four-year-old who won for the first time this year. Tim Tetrick had four wins, Allan Davis, Vic Kirby and trainer Jim King each had two winners. MARKET SHARE, TOUGH MAC, GURAL HANOVER HEAD $20,000 TROT Market Share, winner of the 2012 Hambletonian classic and Tough Mac, one of the top trotters at Dover Downs the last three seasons, and newcomer Gural Hanover, head this week’s eight horse field vying in the $20,000 Open trot on Wednesday, March 8 at Dover Downs. First post is 4:30 p.m. Richard Gutnick, Blueberry man Bill Augustine  and TLP Stable’s Market Share, won impressively last Wednesday and has two wins in his last five races and will be piloted by Tim Tetrick. Frost Free Hanover reined by Vic Kirby for Richard Pollucci, has three wins and a third in 2017 starts. Gural Hanover, a winner of nearly $785-thousand in his career and steered by Yannick Gingras, makes his first local appearance for owners Weaver Bruscemi, Burke Racing, Little E and Panhellenic stables. Not to be overlooked are the rest of the lineup including  CC Racing’s Il Mago with Jonathan Roberts; Leigh Raymer and John Whitby’s Buddy Hally, second last start for Montrell Teague; and from the rail, I’m So Striking, trained and driven by Eddie Dennis for owners Lois and Earl Walters and E&K Stable.. On the strong undercard is a $15,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot led by Dennis, Johannsen, Holly Case and trainer Bob Reeser’s, Bluebird Reverend (Teague), a 1:54 winner last week, and Celebrity Pegasus (Art Stafford Jr.), racing for Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms’ Celebrity Pegasus (Art Stafford Jr.), both leave from the outside posts in an eight horse field. Weekday post time for Monday through Thursday racing is 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are dark days. Parking and admission are free. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant’s acclaimed Buffet and for the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Top harness and thoroughbred races are featured in the Racing and Sports Book daily for 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Marv Bachrad

Harness racing driver Billy Dobson and trainer Heidi Rohr teamed up for three wins on the Thursday card at Saratoga Casino Hotel including a victory in the matinee's feature. Milky Way Rae (American Ideal) got a pocket ride for the second consecutive week in the $12,000 Fillies and Mares Open but this week rolled out of the two-hole and pounced on her rivals en route to her first victory of the year. For the four year old Rohr trainee, it was the first ever win in the local ladies' feature. Milky Way Rae paid $8.10 as she bested Elm Grove Inarush (Pat Curtin) and Annabeth (Mark Beckwith) who finished second and third, respectively. The win for Milky Way Rae was the third on the afternoon for the Dobson-Rohr combo who is off to a big start to the 2017 season as they scored victories earlier in the day with pacers Southwind Marilyn and Silouette. Live racing continues on Friday with the first evening program of the year. First post time is set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 17, 2017 - Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron, $8.70) gave nothing else a shot Friday night, easily winning the harness racing Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Bedroomconfessions threw down an early gauntlet, making the lead-from post position No. 7-before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. From there, she zipped the modern way, finishing her foray with intervals of :55.4, 1:24 1:52.1. Empress Deo (Matt Kakaley) yielded for the pocket and watched the winner get away as Bedroomconfessions opened a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn. The final margin was a never-in-question length-and-a-quarter. Empress Deo was second, with a season-debuting 6-5 choice Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett), Regil Elektra (Jordan Stratton) and Bettor N Better (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees. For third choice Bedroomconfessions, a repeating 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal co-owned (as Alagna Racing) by (trainer) Tony Alagna and Riverview Racing, it was her second win in three seasonal starts. The exacta (same combination as a week ago) paid $74.50, with the triple returning $189. Frank Drucker

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