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WILKES-BARRE PA -- At post time for the $30,000 Open pace Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, it was one degree above freezing -- and the veteran American Ideal gelding Bigtown Hero was one degree better than his opposition, winning by a neck over favored Dynamic Youth in 1:50.2.   You can say that Bigtown Hero "won out of the pocket," but that statement would not fairly convey the work that the winner did. Driver Simon Allard hustled him away from the gate from post seven in the 8-horse field, and the pacer was three-wide past the 1/8 and two-wide until just past the 26.3 opener, when he made the lead, yielding an 1/8 of a mile later to Dynamic Youth for the two-hole journey.   Dynamic Youth took the field to middle splits of 54.4 and 1:22.3, and for a good portion of the stretch it looked like the millionaire pacesetter might prevail. But Allard took his pacer outside, and despite a 10mph stretch headwind (the wind chill at post time was 23 degrees), Bigtown Hero was able to gain into the 27.4 kicker, with his late surge putting him a head to the good of Dynamic Youth on the money. Trainer/brother Rene Allard conditions the world champion (1:47.3f here last year at age five) for the ownership combine of Allard Racing Inc. and Yves Sarrazin.   "The Trot Man" of Pocono Downs, diamondgaited driving specialist Mike Simons, posted a 21-1 upset in the $24,000 trotting feature with the mare Tweet Me, rallying strongly in the lane after sitting third most of the way to take a new mark of 1:53 despite the chilly conditions. The Andover Hall mare is trained by Nicholas DeVita for owner Bridget McNeese.   Pocono now enters the final week of racing for its 2015 racing season, with the trotters and pacers on the track this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday nights starting at 6:30 p.m.   From the PHHA/Pocono Downs      

Spreester (American Ideal) went wire-to-wire in the Friday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Paul Zabielski-trained mare was a star in the New York Sire Stakes in the previous two seasons and this year has established herself as a force in the Fillies and Mares Open in her four year old campaign. Jim Devaux piloted Spreester, the race's 3-2 second choice in the wagering, and moved her out to the early lead in Friday's $19,250 Open for distaffers. It's A Miracle (Bruce Aldrich Jr), the race's favorite and runner up in last week's feature, sat the pocket to Spreester but never posed a big threat to the leader who cruised through a comfortable first half of 57.2. Spreester stopped the timer in 1:54.1 after sprinting home in a final quarter of 27.4 to secure her sixth win of the season and 20th in 53 career starts. It's A Miracle had to settle for being a bridesmaid again this week while Ella V Horse (Stephane Bouchard) came from a long way back to earn the show spot. Spreester is owned by Kim Zabielski of Greenfield Center, NY. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Tas Man Bromac further illustrated his class when he beat a handy field in the Sir Lincoln Riverton Cup yesterday.   His two and a half length win in a time of 3-28.1 was the third fastest run cup in the sixteen years the race has been run over 2700 metres. The race record of 3-26.5 is held by 2008 winner Presidential Reign.   “Yeah I was rapt with his run. He was made to do a bit. It was really windy out there today from about the 1500 to around the last bend. Most horses that worked into the wind today stopped. He’s a good wee horse,” said trainer driver Nathan Williamson.   The son of American Ideal ran his last 800 metres in front and into the wind in 56.5.     Williamson said the four year old will probably now go to Cup Week. “He's a four win horse so we have to decide whether we race on Cup Day or Show Day or both.”   There was plenty to admire in the run of runner up Uncle Ben who is also likely to head to Christchurch where he's performed with merit in the past.   Tas Man Bromac is out of the unraced McArdle mare Tasmcmanian and was purchased by Williamson on the first day of the 2013 Christchurch sale for $34,000.   Yesterday’s win advanced his race day record to 13-8-1-2 $60,193. He carries a C4 assessment.   He’s owned by Liz Greene, Pearl Dent, George Youngman, Robyn Jones, Katie Williamson and Allan Jones.   Allan Jones owned some good horses in a lifetime of involvement in the light harness sport including Scapa Chip (Taurus Chip – Scapa Lass 8 wins) , Effie Watt (Tactile – Rain Dream 5 wins), Abby Knight (Knowing Bret- Rain Dream 5 wins) and Camsplace Alec (Stand Together – Dream Century 11 wins).   He’s certainly enjoying the latest winning ride. Bruce Stewart Reproduced with permission of Southland Harness Racing   -   Check site here     

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 31, 2015 - A week ago, we wrote...George Brennan won half of Yonkers Raceway's harness racing program Saturday night, his happy half-dozen including the tandem of $40,000 Open Handicaps. Now, we write...Jason Bartlett won half of Yonkers Raceway's program Saturday night, his happy half-dozen including the tandem of $40,000 Open Handicaps. Bartlett and Ideal Cowboy ($36.20) upset in the week's featured pace (1:50.4), while Bartlett and 6-5 favorite Melady's Monet ($4.40) won the week's marquee trot (1:55.1) from an impossible locale. Ideal Cowboy, leaving from a seat from post position No. 7, went up and over Lucan Hanover (Brian Sears) after that one's two-move, early intervals of :27.1 and :55.4. Ideal Cowboy moved from third, grabbing the lead at a 1:23 three-quarters. Meanwhile, Take it Back Terry (George Brennan), at just over even-money, was right behind, but couldn't match strides with the "Cowboy" as that one opened 3¼ lengths into the lane. "Terry" closed the final margin late, but missed by a half-length. Lucan Hanover, Soho Jackman A (Tyler Buter) and Big N Bad (Eric Carlson) came away with the remainder. For sixth choice Ideal Cowboy, a 4-year-old American Ideal gelding co-owned by Bamond Racing and J&T Silva Stables, it was his seventh win in 21 seasonal tries. The exacta paid $66, with the triple returning $601. Now, to Melady's Monet, remanded to an eight-hole despite three weeks off. He tried to leave, but several others inside of him were reading from the same script. He was forced to go to the back of the bus as DW's NY Yank (Brennan) gave his backers some brief hope (:27.3; :56.2, 1:25.4). Crazy About Pat (Buter), sitting an antsy pocket, pulled early, with Fort Valley AS (Carlson) slipping out behind that one. As for "Melady," he was last along the cones, then slipped out to race third-over, with nothing moving forward in front of him. Last, 6¾ lengths away turning for home, he had no right winning this race...except he didn't get the memo. Melady's Monet powered by on the far outside, whipping "Fort Valley" by a neck with an individual :27.4 final quarter. Third went to "DW," with "Pat" and Can Do (Jordan Stratton) settling for the small change. For Melady's Monet, a 6-year-old Revenue S gelding trained by Kevin McDermott for owner Melady Enterprises, it was his 12th win in 25 '15 tries. The exacta paid $21.20, with the triple returning $94. Frank Drucker

Batavia, NY---Despite stiff harness racing competition and some very inclement weather, Jokerman had the last laugh Saturday night (Oct. 24) by winning the $9,500 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs. Western Alumni (Ron Beback Jr.) left hard and made it known he was going to cut the mile. And in kind, everyone then followed in post-position order. Past the quarter, Button Fly (Shawn McDonough) came first up and brought Cobble Beach (John Cummings Jr.) in tow. This left Jokerman (Jim McNeight) tucked in nicely, second at the pylons. Positions remained basically the same through three-quarters and around the last turn. But as soon as they hit the stretch and the passing lane opened up, McNeight directed Jokerman into that gap and muscled his way to the lead and the win in 1:55. Western Alumni hung on for second with Cobble Beach rallying three-wide for show. It was the ninth win of 2015 for Jokerman who has now earned $66,051 for the year. The 5-year-old American Ideal gelding is trained by Richard Roth, who co-owns with Robert Roth and Randy Roth. The $8,400 Open II pace co-feature was one of the more entertaining races of the night. Lucky Nadotremblay (Kevin Cummings) and FB Seelster (Dave McNeight III) fought side-by-side, tooth, fang and claw for the front for almost three-quarters of the mile before Arrived Late (Shawn McDonough) tipped four-wide around them at that station to take the lead and open up by three. But he wasn't safe as If It Rains (John Cummings Jr.) who was right behind him, tracked him down in the stretch to win by a length. Sent off at 16-1, If It Rains, made it rain, returning $35.80. Jim McNeight scored a driving hat-trick while Kevin Cummings, Ron Beback Jr. and Jack Flanigen all registered doubles. Trainers Gerry Sarama, Alex Giuliani and Maria Rice each sent two winners to post as well. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 28) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Meetyouatmidnight (American Ideal) prevailed in his first start in the local Open Pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Saturday night. Brittany Robertson owns and trains the four year old pacer who set a lifetime mark last weekend in the $13,000 Winners Over at the Spa. Drawing the rail for his debut in the $18,000 Open, Meetyouatmidnight sat the pocket to longshot Spinarama (Austin Siegelman) before pacing by him in the stretch en route to victory in 1:52.2. The win time matched the career mark set just last weekend by Meetyouatmidnight. Spinarama was the runner up while JK Panache (Jim Devaux) came on for third. Bruce Aldrich Jr. piloted the Open winner who paid $7.50 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $71 and $647, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time of 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

The drive was inch perfect…..brilliant! The Gr.1 $100,000 Hurrikane Kingcole Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park was taken out by former brilliant juvenile Bling It On ($26.50) and defeated star Victorian Philadelphia Man ($2.10 fav) and Our Hi Jinx ($12.50) in the 2138m harness racing feature. Winning reinsman Luke McCarthy drove a masterful race after obtaining the back of Philadelphia Man soon after the start and remained in that position before unleashing the trademark sprint of Bling It On at the top of the home straight. Bling It On smashed the track record and set a new mark of 1;52.4, the previous mark was held by Avonnova at 1;54. With a frantic early speed being set by Sydney visitor Modern Ruler, the lead time was recorded in 34.7 seconds, the fastest ever section for a 2138m mobile start. The last mile was covered in 29.5, 29.6, 28.1 and 27.4 seconds. With many questioning Bling It On in recent times, the American Ideal – Alldatglittersisgold entire responded in the best possible manner with a decisive victory against high powered opposition. “We’ve been happy with the way he’s performed so far this campaign and we got lucky tonight and grabbed the right position, once we got the back of Gavin (Lang – Philadelphia Man) I thought we’d give it a real shake and he finished really well.” McCarthy said. With over 50 Gr.1 victories during his career to date and multiple drivers’ premiership titles at Albion Park, the victory of Bling It On provided McCarthy with his maiden Gold Coast Cup success. Bling It On has now won 10 from 14 at Albion Park including three victories at Gr.1 level. The Belinda McCarthy trainee will start next week in the opening leg of the 2015/16 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season, the $200,000 Gr.1 Queensland Pacing Championship which will be staged over the staying distance of 2680m. The McCarthy stable have dominated the QPC in the past decade winning it 8 times, Luke has driven 7 of the last 10 winners while his wife Belinda has trained the past two winners. Only champion pacer Blacks A Fake and his back to back triumphs (2008/09) have thwarted the McCarthy stranglehold. In the Gr.1 $50,000 Statewide Group Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final at 2647m, the Blake Fitzpatrick trained and Pete McMullen driven My Valerie ($10) finished best to beat the heavily backed Cyclone Lucky Seven ($1.90 fav) and Ivanov ($71.30). Beginning quickly from a 10m handicap, McMullen drove a canny race aboard My Valerie and made sure the Majestic Son – Xena Hest mare was within striking distance of the favourite. The victory provided both My Valerie and McMullen with their first Gr.1 success. My Valerie recorded a time of 2;01.8. As an added bonus, My Valerie gains automatic entry into the Gr.1 $300,000 Great Southern Star series at TABCORP Park, Melton on March 12. Racing Queensland

WILKES-BARRE PA -- Bigtown Hero and harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr. used well-timed sweeping tactics to notch a 1:50.1 triumph despite near-freezing temperatures in the $30,000 Open pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night.   Morrill laid off a fiercely-contested front end with the American Ideal gelding, then made a big three-wide move nearing the final turn to swoop to the lead midturn and open up an insurmountable advantage. Still the world record holder for older pacing geldings on an "f" track by virtue of a 1:47.3 triumph here last year, Bigtown Hero is trained by Rene Allard for Allard Racing Inc. and Yves Sarrazin.   R Gauwitz Hanover claimed for the 13th straight time   In other news, R Gauwitz Hanover, perhaps the most popular claiming pacer of all-time, changed hands after his 13th straight race when the Verrazano Stables LLC put up the $25,000 price to take ownership from Rene Allard. For owner/trainer Allard Saturday, R Gauwitz Hanover won for the 10th time in his last 11 races, moving to the lead after the quarter for driver George Napolitano Jr. and winning in 1:51.1 to give Allard two feature wins.   Here's a summary of the remarkable last four months for R Gauwitz Hanover. And though he keeps changing homes, one thing has remained fairly constant -- since July 25, George Napolitano Jr. has been tapped to drive every week.   Trainer Rene Allard had five wins and driver George Napolitano Jr. had four wins   Attribution: PHHA / Pocono

American Chocolate, a sharp looking daughter of American Ideal consigned by Eldred Nicholson topped the harness racing 2015 Atlantic Classic Sale, selling to Claude Poirier for $18,000.   The sale recorded the second highest gross in history, marginally behind the 2014 record setter.   Doug Hill bought the top Atlantic sired filly, Woodmere Dreams, an Articulator daughter consigned by Woodmere Farms for $15,500. Selling for $15,000 were Cowboys Don't Cry, a Brandon's Cowboy son, purchased by Reg MacPherson, from Meridian Farms, and Woodmere Soul, purchased by Dan Ross from Woodmere Farms.   Buntainwood Farms purchased two of the sales leaders, collaring the American Gigolo son Corner Man for $14,000 from Meridian Farm, and Woodmere Payback , another Articulator daughter, from Woodmere Farms for $13,500    Boyd MacDonald had the final bid on the top selling trotter, Mary Leah, a full‎ sister to his stakes star Time Warp, for $8,500.   Other sales leaders were ‎the Debbie Francis purchase of J J Horatio from Jamie MacKinley for $13,500, the same price paid Reg MacPherson for Howmacs Capri, an Articulator filly from Howmac Farms.   Woodmere Lukypercy also brought $13,500  from Boyd MacDonald and Dan Ross for the Articulator filly from Woodmere Farms.    For complete Sale Results click here

LEXINGTON, KY-- The Tony Alagna-trained American Passport claimed one a quartet of races for the $272,000 International Stallion Stakes (ISS) also held over the good track at The Red Mile on their Friday, October 9th harness racing program.   Taking the lead before the quarter, American Passport soon went a :28.3 first panel. He braced pressure from Good Living through a :57.3 half and 1:25.2 third quarter before odds-on favorite Spider Man Hanover tipped off cover and commenced his challenge. Yet, American Passport was under a hand drive through the stretch as he drew clear from Spider Man Hanover, Fine Diamond, and Good Living.   Winning his third race in nine starts this season, the American Ideal colt, out of the Four Starzzz Shark mare Star Of The Show, is owned by Brittany Farms, Riverview Racing, and Alagna Racing. He returned $4.60 to win.   "We were always very high on this colt," Tony Alagna said. "He baby raced very well, and then he just kind of got off on the wrong foot. We had to take a deep breath and regroup a little bit. Ever since we've done that, he's come back and paid us back for the kind of horse we thought he'd be."   "In his elimination for the Metro, he was second to Control The Moment, who's probably the top-ranked colt in the country right now," Alagna also said. "And then he drew the 10-hole [in the final]. The day we qualified him out here, it was real windy. The leaves were falling off the trees, and he was trying to step over every leaf on the track. Chris Loney said 'I've never seen a horse jump that high in the air and land, pace, and take off again,'" he also said regarding American Passport's break in his qualifier.   "Scott's [Zeron] a very professional driver," owner Myron Bell said. "He's a young man, and he has a lot of wisdom for a young man."   "We sold a mare to a gentleman in Ohio," Bell also said when talking about how Brittany Farms, the breeder of American Passport, acquired him through sale. "He raised this colt, and we saw him at Harrisburg last fall and purchased him."   Trainer Tony Alagna took another ISS division with Racing Hill, a colt by Roll With Joe out of the American Ideal mare Chasing Ideals. Driven by Brett Miller, Racing Hill won his ISS split in 1:51.2.   Racing Hill stalked Manny off a :27.3 first quarter before being shuffled to third by the brush of Travel Playlist to the lead. After a :56.4 half, Racing Hill was locked at the pylons while Travel Playlist tussled with first-over challenger Talk Show. Together, the duelers passed three-quarters in 1:25, which was where Racing Hill began to fan from the pylons towards the center of the course. By the eighth pole, Racing Hill was at his best strides, quickly drawing away from Travel Playlist and Talk Show to an open length win.   Owned by Tom Hill, Racing Hill took his fourth race in eight starts this year. He paid $11.80 to win.   "We left out of there and I really wanted to follow the five-horse [Travel Playlist], but when the three [Manny] was coming at us, that wasn't my plan. When I turned the three loose, I said 'Well, we're going to need some luck on our side,' which we did. Once he squeezed out, he was vicious today."   "I was very impressed with him in Canada [in the Metro Pace]," Miller also said. "I couldn't get him on the gate, and we were way back. He raced very well that night."   "I've always had a lot of confidence in this colt," Tony Alagna said. "He had some things not go his way; when Brett [Miller] was talking about being a little funny behind the gate, they [Mohawk Racetrack] have the timed starter there, and the numbers stopped flashing. When they stopped flashing, he just hit the brakes; it scared him to death. He was lucky to make the final, and he just wasn't at his best that night. We scoped him and he was a little sick."   "I thought the addition of Lasix down here would really help this horse," Alagna also said. "He had a lot of allergies, and it has really turned a corner on the horse. Even after we scoped him that day, he still had some white, frothy mucus in there, and I said 'This time of year, if he has that issue, he needs it.' He gets a really low dose, but it's enough to drive him up for the race."   "It's fantastic," owner Tom Hill said about winning two Grand Circuit events over the meeting at The Red Mile. "The only thing I'm sorry about is that my other son, William, is at home doing the work, looking after the business. I wish he was here, because he'd be really pleased. I'm having plenty of fun thanks to Tony [Alagna], and the rest of my family are here. The whole family's here except for my son William, who's with his family at home. It's been a great day and I'm really honored to win the race."   John Butenschoen's Ideal Rocky won the first division of the ISS. The son of Rocknroll Hanover out of the Bettor's Delight mare Eternity's Delight, flew into contention after stalking a pace of :29.2, :59, and 1:27.2 set by I'm Some Graduate. Driver Corey Callahan positioned Ideal Rocky third over in the far turn, fanning him wide of More Dragon and Sam Mcsmith. His acceleration didn't begin until mid stretch, where he powered alongside Sam Mcsmith and soon powered by him to a 1:54 mile.   Owned by William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, and Eugene Schick, Corey Callahan steered Ideal Rocky to his fifth win in 11 starts this season, paying $11.00 to win.   "I was concerned at the quarter pole," Corey Callahan said. "[They went] :29.2, then a half in :59. My colt felt good, but he was going to have to come a big back half to get there, and obviously he did. He was absolutely super today."   "He's normally really responsive," Callahan also said regarding his effort in a $97,400 Bluegrass division on Friday, Oct. 2. "Last week, I was even trying to zing him up a little bit scoring down, and I couldn't get him to grab the bit at all. He just had a bad day; I knew today, following cover, that he felt good. When I move him, he's got a wicked move, and he showed it here today."   "He was fine behind the gate," Callahan also said regarding Ideal Rocky's maturity. "In those first couple of starts at the Meadowlands, he wouldn't go to the gate, which is kind of way we would always end up in the back. He has overcome that; John [Butenschoen] has done a good job with that. I think he has a very bright future."   Striding to the wire effortlessly off a first-over trip, Big Top Hanover took the second ISS division in 1:52.1 by open lengths over Fernando Hanover and Mindtrip.   The fractions were set by Owen Hanover, with splits of :28.1 and :56.2. Big Top Hanover edged to the outside slightly after the half, and came eye to eye with Owen Hanover midway through the turn. By three-quarters in 1:25.1, Big Top Hanover pulled away from Owen Hanover, who was overtaken for second by closers Mindtrip and Fernando Hanover, who only chased home Big Top Hanover and narrowly cut into his margin of victory.   A $3.20 winner, Big Top Hanover, by Western Ideal out of the Art Major mare Blind Ambition, is owned by Jt45 and Burke Racing Stables, trained by Ron Burke, and driven by Yannick Gingras. This was his second win in 10 starts this year.   "Yannick [Gingras] just gave the perfect drive to Big Top [Hanover]," owner Jerry Silva said. "Big Top is a grinder. This time, he [Gingras] pulled him early and no one was able to go with him."   Live racing resumes and concludes tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 10. Highlighting the closing card are the $79,000 Allerage Mare Pace, $66,000 Allerage Mare Trot, $134,000 Allerage Trot, $148,000 Allerage Open, two divisions of the $232,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial, $262,500 Kentucky Filly Futurity, $450,000 Tattersalls Pace, and the $527,000 Kentucky Futurity. First-race post is at 1:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

The belief and faith in star harness racing pacer Bling It On runs deep. Just ask his co-owner and breeder Harvey Kaplan. But that belief and faith will be severely tested in the coming weeks as the American Ideal entire tackles the Queensland spring carnival at Albion Park. His deeds as a juvenile were simply sublime, constantly moving at the speed of light as he regularly took down his opponents which featured a galaxy of stars. Over the past twelve months, Bling It On has taken some brutal body blows which in turn, has left many wondering if he will take that next step. Bling It On was a beaten favourite at TABCORP Park, Menangle on September 26 when 7th behind Devil Dodger following an indifferent Brisbane winter carnival campaign in July. The now five-year-old is looking to make his mark at the elite level where there is no room for weakness and only the tough survive this hard road. “He’s still one of the most exciting pacers racing in this part of the world and his overall record clearly proves that, this Brisbane campaign won’t be easy but it looks an ideal springboard into bigger events later this season. The Miracle Mile on his home track and the Victoria Cup are the two main events for this him.” Kaplan said. Bling It On starts this Saturday night in the Gr.2 $50,000 Be Good Johnny Sprint at Albion Park but faces a massive challenge after landing gate six in the 1660m feature. UBET bookies have priced him at juicy odds of $6.50 following the draw. “I’ll be honest, I was initially disappointed following his run the other week because he had a good run in transit and trialed exceptionally well in lead-up to that race but upon closer inspection of times, the run was actually very good. “Yes, some horses were able to pass him in the straight but they took inside runs where Yank (Bling It On) came wide at the turn. His own sectionals and time were pleasing and he pulled up great following the hit-out. If you’re not on the pegs at Menangle when they’re running time, its mission impossible. “Originally, we were only heading up for the Gold Coast Cup and Queensland Pacing Championship but after a re-think, we’ve decided to tackle all three events. The draw is very unkind but he’s good enough to win, we just need no bad luck going our way.” Bling it On boasts an outstanding record at Albion Park with 9 victories from 12 starts including four features. UBET bookies have installed the locally trained Majestic Major as the favourite for Saturday’s feature after landing gate two. Majestic Major is looking for back to back victories in the Be Good Johnny Sprint after he led throughout last year in 1;54.1. by Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 10 October 2015 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 10 October 2015

Two divisions of $7,700 Open II pacing mares headlined the harness racing card at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 7) with eleven ladies going postward. The better of the two contests turned out to be the second when Country Delight ($5.00) took a pocket trip en route to winning the seventh race by a long length. Memumsnotnice (Kevin Cummings) got away sharply as Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) tucked in behind her as the only leaver in the race. From there, Cummings led the field through fractions of :28, :58.2 and 1:27 before they circled the far turn. At the top of the stretch it appeared as if Memumsnotnice had the race won, but Flanigen shooed Country Delight into the passing lane where she accelerated past the leader to win in 1:55.4. It was the ninth win of the year for the 5-year-old American Ideal mare who has now earned $57,473 in purses this year for owner James Frandsen. Country Delight is trained by James Clouser Jr. In the first division, Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight) went to go in front immediately at the start and maintained that position the entire mile, hanging on to beat the pocket-sitting 1-9 favorite, Climate Hanover (Drew Monti) by a mere nose in 1:57. It was the fifth win of 2015 for Infrontigo Hanover who now has $50,444 in the bank for the year. The 7-year-old Western Hanover mare is trained by Bob Gruber, who co-owns with Summer Wind Stable of NY. Driver John Cummings Jr. was on fire Wednesday, winning five races on the card. He took his picture with LG's Pride ($65.50), Seascape Hanover ($5.10), Voltina ($10.80), Hawaiian Joe ($4.60) and Regal Beau ($4.60). Sean McDonough and Jack Flanigen each had driving doubles. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night with the first post set to go at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Kelvin Harrison's In The Arsenal won the fastest of the two splits for the $185,000 Bluegrass Stakes at the harness racing meeting in The Red Mile 3-year-old colt pace, winning in 1:52.3.   Sitting off a hot pace set by Paparazzi Hanover, including fractions of :27.4, :54.3, and 1:23, driver Brian Sears pulled the even-money choice off the pylons and around a tiring pocket sitter in National Seelster.   Catching Paparazzi Hanover at the top of the stretch, In The Arsenal progressed to the lead with Rock N' Roll World, following his move after the leader, beginning to challenge for control.   However, In The Arsenal dug in to the inside of Rock N' Roll World and held a half-length advantage in the end. Reggiano closed for third.   Getting the 13th win of his career and earning $885,973 in the process, the colt by American Ideal, out of the On The Road Again mare Ladyotra, returned $4.00 to win. He's owned by breeder White Birch Farms and In The Arsenal Racing, trained by Kelvin Harrison, and driven by Brian Sears.   "He raced well tonight," Kelvin Harrison said. "Like you said [to interviewer Gabe Prewitt], he was good here last year." " In the Messenger, he got it the way he likes it, and he got nailed."   "We had some sickness issues coming out of Tioga [in the Empire Breeders Classic], and still a little bit coming out of the Messenger, but I think we finally got him cleaned up."   "We'll be here next week for the Tattersalls Pace, and then hopefully everything's good because then we're going to the Breeders Crown," Harrison also said.   Flushing cover as he began his bid past the half, Split The House rallied down the center of the course and by speed-maker Penji Hanover to take the second split of the Bluegrass in 1:53.1.   Penji Hanover established fractions of :29.1, :57.1, and 1:25.3. Dude's The Man, flushed out by Split The House after the half, came up to challenge Penji Hanover at the top of the stretch.   Penji Hanover drifted off the pylons, allowing pocket-rider Blood Brother to sprint into contention through the stretch.   Off cover, Split The House managed to out sprint Blood Brother heading to the finish, doing so while besting third-place finisher Penji Hanover and fourth-place finisher Dude's The Man.   A recent purchase by owners Crawford Farms LLC and trainer Chris Oakes, the colt by Rocknroll Hanover out of the Camluck mare Shake That Junk claimed the eighth win of his career, and pushed his earnings to $241,481.   Driven to victory by Tim Tetrick, he paid $3.20 to win.   "It's really hard for these horses to go twice in one day," Chris Oakes said in regards to scratching Split The House from the Little Brown Jug final.   "He drew badly, and I hadn't had the horse that long, so not knowing him and his characteristics, I didn't want to put his future in jeopardy; I'd only had the horse a week at that point. He was good. You could see in the last turn, he was full of pace, and I figured he'd fire home pretty well, and he did."   "I kind of had my eye on him and I mentioned it to the Crawfords," Oakes also said in regards to purchasing Split The House. "I haven't even been with them that long and they knew all about this horse. As soon as he became available, they jumped on it."   "He wasn't paid in next week [to the Tattersalls], but he does have the Breeders Crown coming up and I'm pretty sure that's what we'll be pointing to," Oakes also said.   Ray Cotolo

LEXINGTON, KY-- Joe Holloway-trainee Divine Caroline put in the fastest mile of the three harness racing divisions for the $189,400 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly pace, winning in 1:53.2. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Art Major mare Loving Caroline stalked a pace of :29.1, :57.4, and 1:26 set by Band Of Angels. Driver David Miller tipped the even-money favorite first over after the half, and applied pressure to the pacesetter nearing the top of the stretch. The two battled for control through the stretch, with Divine Caroline edging past race leader and forced to fend off the late-pacing Daut Full from off cover. She held Daut Full off, however, winning by about a length over the closer, with Band Of Angels finishing third and Storm Point fourth. Owned by Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stables, and Michael Ouriel, the $4.00 winner won the fifth race of her career, pushing her earnings to $396,633.   "She raced really well," David Miller said. "She's been really consistent this year and gives a good effort."   "The rail's very deep, still," Miller also said. "There's a little bit of a wind, and I guess they're [the track crew] working a little too hard on the inside."   "They're [Bettor Be Steppin and Divine Caroline] very good and they're very consistent," Joe Holloway said. "[Bettor Be] Steppin had been the better filly for most of the time, but [Divine] Caroline's been consistent and she may be the fastest. The next three to four weeks may be fun."   "We go here [for the Tattersalls Filly Pace] then to Canada for the Breeders Crown," Holloway also said.   Wicked Little Minx stalked the front for the entire mile until she had an opportunity to pace through a vacant slot in the stretch and sneak to the lead and to a 1:55.3 win in the first division. Bettor Be Steppin set the tempo after circling by early leader Invest In Art for control. Once on the lead, she put up fractions of :28.4, :57.2, and 1:27.1. Pressure came nearing the three-quarter pole from Invest In Art, who popped out of the pocket heading into the stretch. Bettor Be Steppin held her at bay in the stretch, but drifted off the pylons in the process, which allowed for Wicked Little Minx to pace by the 3-5 favorite who attempted to retake the lead approaching the finish, but settled for second. Invest In Art finished third. Wicked Little Minx, owned by Courant A B, paid $11.80 to win. This was the fourth win of her career, earning $193,679 to date. The daughter by Rocknroll Hanover, out of Beachy Lady by Jenna's Beach Boy, is trained by Nancy Johansson and driven by Brett Miller.   "She's gotten her things together from summer and onwards, and now she's going for it again," owner Anders Strom said. "Today's trip by Brett was perfect. And well done by the stable, trainer, groom, and everyone because this horse has a lot to do in the future."   "It's so fun to also be involved in the pacing business," Strom also said. "I'm a trotting person, but a few years back I told my friend Bernie Noren that I would like to get involved in pacing a little bit, and Bernie actually helped me pick this one out [Wicked Little Minx at the 2013 Harrisburg Yearling Sale]."   "Besides the Jugette, there's been many other races so far where I've gotten very bad trips with her," Brett Miller said. "Finally things worked out and we got a good trip."   "It's still tiring," Miller also said talking about the track surface. "They've [the track crew] done a great job with this track. With all the rain we had yesterday and as bad as it was last night, they've done a great job, but it's still very tiring."   Storming from the back of the pack down the center of the track, Bedroomconfessions fulfilled her duty as the 6-5 favorite by winning the second split of the Bluegrass 3-year-old filly pace in 1:54.1. Setting the pace was Devil Child, with fractions of :28.2, :56.3, and 1:26.2. Around the far turn, Triple V Hanover tipped first over, with Moremercy Bluechip and Bedroomconfessions tracking the cover. Triple V Hanover edged into second after pocket-sitter Happiness retreated at the top of the stretch, while Moremercy Bluechip fanned wide of her cover, as did Bedroomconfessions. Once rolling from the back, Bedroomconfessions soon rushed up to and by Devil Child and edged away to a two length victory.   Devil Child held on for second, Triple V Hanover finished third, and Moremercy Bluechip was fourth.   Returning $4.60 to win, Bedroomconfessions is by American Ideal, out of Jenna's Beach Boy mare Turnoffthelights. She's owned by Riverview Racing LLC and Alagna Racing LLC, trained by Tony Alagna, and driven by Tim Tetrick. She obtained her sixth win of her career, earning $372,893.   "My wife made me buy the dam, Turnoffthelights," owner and breeder Myron Bell said. "She's out of a sister to Keystone Horatio; that's a family that goes back to Smooth Fella and Happy Lady, and I always wanted to have a filly in this family. We bred her to American Ideal and Bedroom[confessions] was the first foal, so we're happy to have her."   "We bought her [dam Turnoffthelights] in Lexington about seven or eight years ago," Bell also said. "We raced her as a two-year-old. She had minor ability."   "She'll [Bedroomconfessions] be bred to the Captain[treacherous] either next year or the year after, it depends on how well she wants to race," Bell also said.   Live racing at The Red Mile continues on Wednesday, Oct. 7 with four divisions of the $268,000 International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. Wednesday also begins the week of matinee cards, with first race post set for 1:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY-- Earning his second win of the season, American Passport took the first of three divisions of the $292,200 Bluegrass 2-year-old colt pace in wire-to-wire fashion over the sloppy harness racing track at The Red Mile on Friday, Oct. 2.   The Tony Alagna trainee cleared the top easily and generated fractions of :29.1, :59, and 1:28 on the lead. The only challenge came from Rodeo Rock first over, with Big Top Hanover and Pretty Boy Hill tracking him two wide. American Passport easily kicked away at the top of the stretch, leading by 2 lengths over Big Top Hanover and Pretty Boy Hill, who began their bids down the center of the track. The two merely followed American Passport to the line and finished second and third, respectively, to the 7-2 third choice in his 1:56.1 win.   A $9.40 winner, owned by Brittany Farms, Riverview Racing LLC, Alagna Racing LLC, and Jodi Siamis, Scott Zeron steered the son of American Ideal out of the Four Starzzz Shark mare Star Of The Show to victory. He has earned $156,046 this season.   Jim Campbell's Katies Rocker also pulled off a wire-to-wire score, but did so in 1:57 at odds of 7-1. Andrew McCarthy sent the Rocknroll Hanover-Just Wait Katie-Real Artist colt for the lead, putting up times of :30.2, :59.3, and 1:29.1. Approaching the top of the stretch, Mr Right Hanover edged out of third and began a move first over, carrying 8-5 favorite Mindtrip behind. The two faded in the stretch, however, and were overtaken for the second and third spots by closers Talk Show and Fine Diamond.   Katies Rocker was a 3 length winner, paying $16.60 to win in his fourth win of the season. He pushes his earnings to $119,348.   Racing Hill, stalking in the pocket behind pacesetter Owen Hanover, drifted in his pouncing-stretch move but still managed to pull off a 2 length victory in the final division, doing so in 1:57.2. Owen Hanover led the field through panels of :30, :59.3, and 1:28.3 before losing control. Ideal Rocky, the 8-5 favorite, led the two-wide movement after Owen Hanover in the far turn, where Racing Hill began to edge off the inside and towards the center of the course. Once fed racetrack, he surpassed the 37-1 race leader and advanced to the wire in front, while Ideal Rocky finished third.   Driven by Brett Miller for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill, the Roll With Joe colt, out of Chasing Ideals by American Ideal, paid $10.40 to win. This was his third win of the season, banking $83,576 in earnings.   Live racing at The Red Mile continues tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 3, with the $189,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly pace, $144,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly trot, $220,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old colt trot, and $185,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old colt pace. First race post is at 7:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

Spreester (American Ideal) has been a winning machine throughout her career and the locally-based mare recorded her first win of the season against feature harness racing company on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Voted as the Two Year Old and Three Year Old of the Year at the Spa in the past two seasons, Spreester graduated from New York Sire Stakes star to overnight, hard hitting mare in 2015. In Friday's $17,900 Winners Over, the Paul Zabielski trainee moved out to the early lead and never had an anxious moment. Jimmy Devaux piloted Spreester, the race's 1-2 betting favorite, to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:54.1 holding off Bye Bye Michelle (Mark Beckwith) and Ella V Horse (Stephane Bouchard) in the stretch. For Spreester, it was the fifth win of the season and 19th in 48 career starts en route to earnings of over $337,000 for owner Kim Zabielski of Greenfield Center, NY. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Saturday night with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

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