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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - August 5, 2017 -- Perfect Spirit was the winner by disqualification in a chaotic Hambletonian Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands Racetrack. It was a first time a horse first under the wire had his number taken down in the 92 editions of the $1 million trotting classic for harness racing 3-year-olds. What The Hill squeezed off the pylons in deep stretch and sprinted past the pacesetting Perfect Spirit as the crowd cheered what appeared to be the first Hambo winner for trainer Ron Burke and driver David Miller. But then the inquiry sign flashed on the tote board. The judges studied the replay and detected contact between What The Hill and Guardian Angel AS, who broke stride. After a lengthy review, the Hambletonian had it first DQ. "It was a tough break," Miller said. What The Hill was placed ninth and Perfect Spirit was stunningly on his way to the winner's circle. "Your horse raced great both heats," said Hall of Famer John Campbell, presiding for the first time as president of the Hambletonian Society as he handed the connections the cherished trophy. "It's unfortunate circumstances, but you can't take anything away from his performance today." Winning owner Lennart Agren, who races as the SRF Stable, chalked the victory up to the breaks of the game. "I know you have to be very lucky like we were today," he said. "It can end very quickly, so you have to live in the moment right now." The win gave international trotting master Ake Svanstedt, 58, his first Hambo win as both a trainer and driver in only his fourth year in the U.S. "It's very big," the Swedish horseman said. "I'm very happy." Perfect Spirit is by Andover Hall from a Kadabra mare. Perfect Spirit paid $17, $6.40 and $5.40 for his fifth win in nine starts this season. In the revised order of finish, Devious Man ($3 and $2.40) moved up to second and Enterprise ($4) was placed third. It was a tough race for the favorites. Devious Man, the 2-1 choice, had dead aim turning for home but could not sustain his bid. International Moni, the 5-2 second choice, broke stride in the first turn. By Mike Farrell

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - After the third race on Sunday, the management and horsemen and women at the Hippodrome 3R, paid tribute to harness racing legend Herve Filion, who passed away Thursday at age 77. A native of Angers, Quebec, Filion went on to become a harness racing icon in the sport. He came to the United States in 1961 and was the North America's leading driver 16 times, earning his first title in 1968 and last in 1990. He retired with 15,179 wins and had career earnings of $88.4 million. Many of the horsemen and women participating on the racing card, came out to the winner's circle, along with track management and racing fans. Handicapper Daniel Delisle read about Filion's illustrious career in both French and English, followed by a moment of silence. All of the infield flags on Sunday were lowered to half-mast. On the racetrack Sunday was the $30,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotting mares and horses. The horses were first in the limelight in the sixth race and no one was going to pass by Wildwild Men and driver Robert Shepherd when the starting gate pulled away. Shepherd sent Wildwild Men right to the front with KFB Amigo Cool (Stephane Brosseau) leaving from post six and grabbing the two-hole spot. After a fast :28.3 opening quarter mile, Shepherd was able to back off the pace by the half mile marker in 1:00 as the field remained in Indian-style format with no one willing to try and come first-over. When Wildwild Men got to the three-quarters in 1:29.3, Shepherd let the five-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass have his head and they held the field at bay, winning with ease by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:59.1 as Shepherd raised his whip in triumph coming to the wire. KFB Amigo Cool held for second place with last year's champion, Holiday Party (Pascal Berube) third. "He really behaved himself today." Said Robert Shepherd. "It feels good when you can open up in the stretch like he did today." As a two-year-old, Wildwild Men set the track record for his age at H3R in winning the Future Stars Final and now has added his second Final in capturing the Quebec-Bred Series. Trained by Isabelle Darveau, it was the second win in five starts this year for Wildwild Men, who has yet to finish worse than second place this season. He paid $2.80 to win. Wildwild Men was bred by Chantal Gravel of St-Cyrille-De-Wendover and she co-owns the horse with Catheline Pelletier of Mirabel. Rains came in and turned the track surface from fast to good by the ninth race $30,000 final for the trotting mares. Carl Duguay's Y S Suzanne left sharply for driver Stephane Gendron to take command with EAU Naturelle (Simon Delisle) getting the two-hole trip to the opening quarter mile in :30.1. Y S Suzanne then led the field to the half mile in 1:02 as Artemis Duharas and driver Raymond Gingras boldly came first-over to challenge. As the field reached the backstretch, EAU Naturelle went off-stride in the two-hole, but Gingras did not want to stop the moment of his mare and they stayed on the outside and were able to collar Y S Suzanne past the three-quarters in 1:32.2 and around the final turn. As they started down the stretch, Artemis Duharas would not be denied as Gingras urged his mare on to victory by one and one-half lengths in 2:03.1. Second was the 30-1 long shot, Grace And Claire (Francis Picard) with Y A Jailhouse Jodi (Guy Gagnon), who was unable to get into the flow of the race, rallied to be third. Sent off at odds of 9/2, Artemis Duharas paid $9.40 to win. It was the first victory in four starts this year for the four-year-old mare by Andover Hall. She is trained by Manon Levasseuri for owner/breeder Haras De L Estri, Inc. of Dunham. Track Notes: For the first time this season, not one driver or trainer on the race program could win more than one race. All ten races on the program were won by a different driver and trainer. The racing action continues at the Hippodrome 3R on Tuesday evening. First race post time is 7:00 pm and the feature event is the 6th race Invitational Trot headlined by return winner, Theregoesthegroom, taking on Caroluzzo, Four Starz Speed and Spicey Victor. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

TRIOS-RIVIERES, Quebec - The 1/5 wagering favorite Y S Suzanne saw her four-race winning streak come to an end Tuesday evening at the Hippodrome 3R as Y A Jailhouse Jodi wore her down in the stretch to pull off an upset victory in the third leg of the Quebec-Bred Series. Seven four and five-year-old trotting mares went to post in the third race, the first of two divisions for mares and horses. It was the overwhelming favorite Y S Suzanne, who had soundly defeated Y A Jailhouse Jodi the last two weeks, who went right out to the early lead for driver Stephane Gendron with Grace And Claire (Sylvain Lacaille) grabbing the two-hole seat to the opening quarter in :29.4. Then before the half mile marker, driver Guy Gagnon sent Y A Jailhouse Jodi first over after Y S Suzanne, past the half mile pole in 1:00.4, Y A Jailhouse Jodi continued to gain ground and was head and head with Y S Suzanne at the three-quarters in 1:30.4. Nearly staying stride-for-stride around the final turn, Guy Gagnon kept after Y A Jailhouse Jodi down the stretch and they were able to collar Y S Suzanne and then beat them to the wire, winning by one-quarter of a length in 2:02. Grace And Claire was third. For Y A Jailhouse Jodi, who was the Quebec-Bred Series Champion last year at age 3, it was the first win in seven starts this year for the four-year-old mare by Andover Hall. She is trained by Michel Allard and co-owners Yves Sarrazin and the Allard Racing Stable. Sent off at odds of 9/2, Y A Jailhouse Jodi paid $11.00 to win. The horse division of the Quebec-Bred Series was a non-wagering race with just four started and was held between the fourth and fifth races on the program. KFB Amigo Cool and driver Stephane Brosseau were quickly on the lead with Holiday Gift (Sylvain Fontaine) grabbing the two-hold seat to the opening quarter mile. Then with a burst of speed, Holiday Party, who won last week's second round for driver Pascal Berube, shot to the lead before the half mile marker. Down the backstretch, Holiday Party, last year's three-year-old colt champion, held command of the race, but then in the stretch, Brosseau came after Holiday Party with KFB Amigo Cool and they were able to nip Holiday Party at the wire by a head in 2:02. Holiday Gift was third. It was the second win in five starts this year for KFB Amigo Cool. The four-year-old ridgling by Amigo Hall is trained by Dany Fontaine, who also trains Holiday Party. KFB Amigo Cool is owned by the KFB Stable. Track Notes: Trainer Michel Allard sent out two winners on the program, also the trainer of Herspeedfromheaven ($7.50) in the fourth race. Live racing resumes at H3R on Sunday, June 18 with first race post time at 12:30 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

March 22, 2017 - Harness racing trainer Stefan Melander’s Nuncio (6m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane), off at 1.09/1 odds,  recorded his second straight 2017 victory tonight at Solvalla for teamster Orjan Kihlstrom clocked in 1.12.2kr. The race was the Kentucky Fibbers with 80,000SEK to the winner over the 1640 meter autostart course. Nuncio led throughout during modest fractions (1.14kr at the first 500 meters; 1.13.7kr at the first 1000) and held off fast closing 9.67/1 Volstead (6m Cantab Hall-Madame Volo-Yankee Glide) by a short length, the latter reined by Erik Adielsson for trainer Melander. Arden Homestead Stable bred Volstead and Russell Williams (new USTA President) bred Nuncio, now with a career slate of 39-12-2 in 53 starts for 27,803,230SEK earned. Nuncio was a perfect 11 for 11 in 2016. 12.9/1 Coldtown (8g Cantab Hall-Brylin Starlet-Balanced Image) landed the third spot. Nuncio tonight took the next step toward the 2017 Elitloppet. Thomas H. Hicks

DOVER, DE -- Art Stafford Jr. took Celebrity Pegasus to the outside in mid backstretch and came on to notch a 1:56.1 triumph on a windy and cold Ides of March feature race, Wednesday, March 15 at Dover Downs. Celebrity Pegasus and leader Bluebird Reverend races as a team from the three-quarters until turning for home before Celebrity Pegasus pulled away for his second straight and fourth victory of the meet for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farm. Bluebird Reverend (Montrell Teague) was second in front of Hollywood Highway (Ross Wolfenden) third. The victory for Celebrity Pegasus, a five-year-old son of Andover Hall-Celebrity Athena, was his 16th lifetime making his career earnings $178,610. After two straight seconds, Bobby Glassmeyer's Streamsong got back in the winner's circle In a $13,000 sub feature for 4&5-Year-Old trotters, when Jonathan Roberts piloted a 1:57.4 wire-to-wire decision, his third of the year. United B (Russ Forster) closed for second. Myclaimtovictory (Kin Vincent) was third. A 31-1 longshot Five Towns, claimed after consecutive second-place finishes last week by Tate Lewis, moved three wide around the final turn by Frank Milby to get the lead at the top of the stretch then held off fast charging Il Mago (Tim Tetrick) to score a 1:57.1, victory by a neck in a $12,000 trot. War Cry Hall (Wolfenden) who led briefly after the three quarters, held on for third. Five Towns, who has been claimed twice since early February, won for the third time this year. The gelding by Andover Hall-Southwind Maywood, won for the 29th time in his career and upped his lifetime earnings to $306,772. Razor sharp Guiltywithanexcuse was at the top of his game putting away Deacons Valley (Stafford Jr.) after a head-to-head 1:56 battle heading to the last turn. Tim Tetrick drove the Classic Photo-Gold Medalist gelding to his fifth victory this meet for trainer Jim King and owners RBH Ventures and Spagnola Racing. Gillie The Kid (Vic Kirby) was the show horse. Art Stafford, trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta, along with Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King, had doubles. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:t30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are dark days. Parking and admission at Dover Downs is free. Reservations are suggested for the popular Winner's Circle Restaurant and its acclaimed Buffet. . For reservations, call 302-674-4600. The Dover Downs Racing and Sports Book features simulcasting of top harness and thoroughbred racing from 12 Noon to 12 Midnight daily. By Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

February 18, 2017 - Nuncio (6m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) record an easy, and well-rated. front end harness racing victory tonight in the V75 Gold at Axevalla in Sweden. The Orjan Kihlstrom driven and Stefan Melander trained and owned (Stall TZ) champion was timed in 1.15.7kr (fractions: 1.17.3kr at first 500 meters; 1.18.3kr at the first 1000; 1.18.1kr at the 1500) over 2140 meters autostart to earn 150,000SEK first prize. Nuncio last raced September 18, 2016 at Bjerke. Russell C. Williams of Hanover, PA bred Nuncio, the 1.07/1 favorite that bested 30.79/1 Bruno di Quattro (9m Broadway Hall-Ussel-Speedy Soma) with Kenneth Haugstad up and 31.88/1 Art On Line (9g Rite On Line-Fleur-Backstreet Guy) for Johnny Takter. Winmecredit and Spring Erom were fourth and fifth. Nuncio’s career slate now stands at 38-12-2 in 52 starts for 27,723,230SEK earned. He is now 12 for 12 in 2016-17. This night Nuncio was eased to the front, faced a challenge deep in the last bend, and then drew off for a four length score. Nuncio (Ö.Kihlström/S.Melander) Thomas H. Hicks  

Amour Angus is regarded as one of the greatest trotting mares ever bred if not the greatest! Amour Angus is by Magna Force from Kenwood Scamper by Texas from Lindys Speedy Lady by Speed Count from Brendina Hanover by Hoot Mon. Thats it, if that means anything to any of you harness racing pedigree fanatics. This great standardbred mare is responsible for changing the breed world-wide producing three sons that are all full brothers and they have impacted the breed profoundly. These three sons are all by Garland Lobell. They are; Angus Hall is now the sire of over $95,000,000 in progeny earnings in North America.  Conway Hall is now the sire of over $80,000,000 in progeny earnings in North America.  Andover Hall is now the sire of over $72,000,000 in progeny earnings in North America.  Amour Angus also produced a full sister to the above three stallions called Emilie Cas El the dam of Trixton who won the Hambletonian and is standing at stud. Trixton was syndicated for huge money before serving a full book of mares in his first crop.. Andover Hall was the two-year-old trotting colt of the year in North America and has proven to be a great sire and now a great sire of sires leaving from his first crop the great Donato Hanover t3,1:50.1 ($3,058,058) himself the sre of over $36,000,000 in progeny earnings from his six crops old enough to race to date. Andover Hall has not only produced Donato Hanover as a $3 million plus earner but his other great son racing in Europe, Nuncio has earnings of over $3 million as well and Nuncio was just named Sweden's 'Horse Of The Year' for 2016. Andover Hall has also left Creatine another great International star that has won over $2 million and is now standing at stud. Andover Hall was made avaliable to New Zealand breeders for the first time by frozen semen two years ago and the resultant 24 live foals are now yearlings and two of those foals are in the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka next Monday the 20th of February. What will they fetch? They should be really sort after with Andover Hall producing some of the richest and finest progeny of any trotting stallion in the world today. Lot 87 – Meantobe (bay colt, Andover Hall - Yankeedoosie) This colt Meantobe is the second  foal from the race winning Muscles Yankee mare Yankeedoosie ( $43,999) who is a full-sister to I Can Doosit ($1,445,774) and Group 3 winner Sno’s Big Boy ($215,309).The second dam is the broodmare gem Sheezadoosie ( $48,632) the dam of 6 to race for 6 winners. Lot 120 – Whatuhot (bay colt Andover Hall / Broadband) Whatuhot is the first foal from the Muscles Yankee mare Broadband ($4,529) who is a full-sister to the Group 3 placed Cyberspace ($27,106). The third Dam is Inda Bank ( $126,410) who is the dam of 7 winners including Yogi Johnson  ($66,681), the Group 1 winner Frozen Funds ($55,049) and The Almighty Johnson ($78,517 to date). Harnesslink Media          

Nuncio was named Horse of the Year in Sweden Friday night (Feb. 10) at the Swedish Galla night in Stockholm. Unbeaten in 11 races last year, the North American bred son of  Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle, received 86 percent of the votes. Nuncio has not raced since Sept. 18, but is in training and Stefan Melander expects to bring the now 6-year old trotter back in action in late March. The first big target for Nuncio could be the Olympic Trot to be raced in Gothenburg late April. While Nuncio has been resting another top trotter, Bold Eagle is busy at the racetracks and on Sunday (Feb. 12) Bold Eagle, driven by regular driver Franck Nivard, will race in the Prix de France at Vincennes. The Prix de France is raced over 1-5/16 miles, which is the shortest distance races are carried out at Vincennes. The total purse is $425,000. Bold Eagle won this race last year when he beat Timoko, driven by Bjorn Goop, to second. Timoko will also race tomorrow. Bold Eagle will also take on North American breds Propulsion, driven by Ôrjan Kihlström and Wild Honey, driven by David Thomain. by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Internet Correspondent

AT DOVER, Del---- Art Stafford Jr. took Celebrity Pegasus to the front and then took no prisoners along the way to a lifetime best equaling 1:53.3 harness racing conquest in the Wednesday, Jan. 25 $15,000 Mares 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot at Dover Downs on Jan. 25. A five-year-old by Andover Hall-Celebrity Athena, Celebrity Pegasus had been racing well since her last win in late November three consecutive seconds, a third and a fifth last week, but a change in post positions, from the outside to post 2 did the trick for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms. A 15-1 shot Machuca (Tony Morgan) finished second in front of fast closing Royal Becca J (Jack Parker Jr.). The brown trotter won for the13th time and now has won $154,010 lifetime. Tony Morgan won his third of four wins during the day guiding Richard Gutnick and TLP Stable's Moonlight Cocktail, trained by Linda Toscano, to a career fastest 1:54.4 triumph from post 8 in the $13,500 semi feature. A Canadian stakes seasoned daughter of Kadabra-Angustura, it marked the four-year-old's third straight victory. Streamsong (Jonathan Roberts) led for most of the mile holding on for second-place. Myclaimtovictory (Kim Vincent) was third. Morgan, who is the second-leading dash winning driver in North America, finished the program with four trips to the winner's circle. Ross Wolfenden, Yannick Gingras and Art Stafford Jr. had two wins each. BUSHWACKER, ARQUE HANOVER STREAKS ON LINE IN $30,000 PACE Bushwacker and Arque Hanover, winners of the last two $30,000 Preferred paces drew outside posts this week while Jet Airway seeks a third straight win in  the $21,000 Open on another outstand out Thursday program, Jan. 26 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Post 8 could not deny Corey Callahan from driving Henderson Farms’ Bushwacker from scoring a 1:49.3 victory in the Preferred. It was the first sub 1:50 clocking of 2017, and the Chris Ryder-trainee’s second consecutive victory. The week before, the six-year-old won the $20,000 Open in 1:51 wire-to-wire. To his inside, Abe Basen, Tom Lazzaro and Robert Cooper Stable’s Arque Hanover has been equally as sharp winning three of his last four outings. Yannick Gingras is his pilot in this one. After a week off, Rich Lombard and L&J Racing’s $1.5-million winner Dancin Yankee with Tony Morgan has a second and a win in his last two races. The power-packed feature field also has another all-time rich campaigner $2.5-million winner, Clear Vision, racing for Weaver Bruscemi, Jay Koran, Panhellenic and Burke Racing stables. George&Tina Dennis’ stalwart Seventh Secret is in rare form. Sweet Rock and Allan Davis finished a game second last time for G.P. Calloway, Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing. Not to be overlooked, Janet Hudson and JoAnn Looney King’s Little Ben has been one of the meet’s top horses. Though Soto ay be overlooked, the five-year-old owned by Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta has drawn outside in his last two but gets the rail this week and will be a tough one to catch while on the lead.  There’s plenty of speed and talent in the $21,000 Open Handicap. Jet Airway Callahan) has won his last two races, and starts from post 8 in the nine-horse lineup. Al Carter and trainer Doug Lewis’ Captive Audience (Gingras), J.L. Sadowsky’s Te Kawau N (Daryl Bier), Bill Sartin and Mark Salerno’s Special T Rocks (Jim Morand), drew post 4 this time after post 8 last start.   Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing’s Sicily (Allan Davis) and Cliff Grundy’s Screaman Seaman A (Kirby) leaving from post 9 in the second tier, plus two newcomers to the Open ranks, Niss Allen inc.’s Rockinonby (Tony Morgan) from the rail and Angela Coombs’ recent claim Skyful Of Lighters (Jason Thompson). When at the track enjoy racing and tasty food in the Winners Circle Restaurant acclaimed buffet. Call for reservations at 302-674-4600. Harness and Thoroughbred Simulcasting daily 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs Race and Sports Book in the Colonnade. There is no charge for parking or admission at Dover Downs. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are dark days for live racing at Dover Downs. Weekdays - Monday through Thursday – racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Marv Bachrad

Tweet Me (Pat Lachance, $24.80) whipped 'fellow lass' Dot Dot Dot Dash (Steve Smith) Sunday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing mile-and-a-quarter, $56,000 Open Handicap Trot. The added-distance feature was an all-on-the-gate-eight soiree, with any number of early interest parties. One of those, Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett), jumped it off as the 11-10 favorite. Not Afraid (Dan Dube), Lady's Dude and Wind of the North (Mark MacDonald) were all in the game at the outset. Wind of the North was out two turns (:28.1, :57) before eventually making the lead. After a 1:26.3 three-quarters, Not Afraid made a second move, disposing of the leader and bringing the ladies into contention. Not Afraid led past the 1:56.2 milepost, taking a length-and-three-quarter lead into the lane. However, a third-over Tweet Me and fourth-up Dot Dot Dot Dash were beginning their assaults, the former getting to the wire three-quarters of a length before the latter in 2:26. Not Afraid, Red Hot Herbie (Jordan Stratton) and Bentley Spur (Joe Bongiorno) rounding out the payees. For Tweet Me, a 5-year-old daughter of Andover Hall owned by Bridget McNeese and trained by Nicholas Devita, it was her sixth win in 25 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $149.50, with the triple returning $601. This week's installment of the "New York, New York Double' offered a 2-Best Play (Aqueduct's 3rd race) and 4-Lo Rail Crossing (our 5th race) winning combination, which returned $13.10 for every correct dollar wager. Total pool was $4,408. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, October 30, 2016 - Tweet Me and harness racing driver Pat Lachance, $17.20) was given a perfect trip Sunday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway's $56,000 Open Handicap Trot. Leaving from the pole in a field of 10 going the mile-and-a-quarter, Tweet Me was pocketed to the quick start of Cash Me Out (Tyler Buter). That one led through early intervals of :28 and :57.1), with Lily's Swan Pond (Joe Bongiorno) managing to get parked out from post position No. 2. Cash Me Out maintained the lead at the 1:26.3 three-quarters, with 'Lily' dropping anchor. Luminosity (George Brennan) went wide around that one, but couldn't sustain a bid. After a snappy 1:55.2 mile, the leader was in trouble. Twee Me edged from the cones and went by, getting the jump on her main threats, stout closers by a ninth-early Wind of the North (Jason Bartlett) and a last-early Dot Dot Dot Dash (Steve Smith). Tweet Me parlayed the route to win by a neck in 2:24.4...breaking (by a tick) her own track record for an aged mare at the 10-furlong distance. Dot Dot Dot Dash snapped second over Wind of the North, with Luminosity and Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton) settling for the remainder. For Tweet Me, a 5-year-old daughter of Andover Hall owned by Bridget McNeese and trained by Nicholas Devita, it was her fifth win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $157, with the triple returning $897. This was the first of a half-dozen Sunday matinees leading to the end of the season. Post times for the remainder (next one is Nov. 11th) are TBA as of this writing. A late-afternoon downpour forced the cancellation (unsafe track conditions) of Yonkers Raceway’s final two races during Sunday afternoon’s scheduled 11-race card. After a lengthy delay, the horses did parade for the 10th race, but returned to the paddock during more track maintenance. The surface was eventually deemed ‘unplayable’ and the last two races were scrapped. Live racing is scheduled to resume Monday night (Oct. 31st), with a Trick or Treat first post of 7:10 PM. Frank Drucker

Aberforth (Andover Hall) swooped the group to win the fourth annual harness racing Jim Derue Memorial Trotting Series Final on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Francis Mahoney-trained four year old was the 9-5 top choice in the wagering in the $32,200 Final and his backers couldn't have been encouraged when the young trotter spotted the field about ten lengths in the early going as he gapped throughout a first half that went in 58.2. Driver Shawn Gray asked Aberforth for his best down the backstretch and the razor sharp highstepper responded surging up alongside leader Iwantmytwodollars (Jim Devaux) before bypassing that one en route to victory in 1:59 on a chilly, windy afternoon in Saratoga. Longshot Strong Crazed (Stephane Bouchard) finished second while Mugshots Bro (Mark Beckwith) came on for third. The exacta and triple paid $108 and $601, respectively. Aberforth, who is owned by Ali Kilpatrick of North Bennington, VT adds his name to the list of previous Derue Memorial winners which includes Jelectric, The Lindy Treaty and Showmeyourguns. Grand Vision set a lifetime mark to win the $15,000 Jim Derue Memorial Consolation in 1:59.1 with Frank Coppola Jr in the sulky. Live racing resumes at Saratoga on Thursday afternoon with a first post time set for 4:00pm. Mike Sardella

WILKES-BARRE PA - Harness racing driver Mike Simons combined with the Andover Hall mare Tweet Me to win the $20,000 feature on his favorite gait Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, as "The Trot Man" brought home the favored distaff two lengths clear in 1:54.2 - a race after he guided a pacing filly to her first victory in 26 career starts and paid $108.00 to win. Tweet Me was looped to the top by Flying Isa N early, continuing on to grab the lead past the 27.4 quarter. Simons posted middle splits of 57 and 1:25.3, and the victorious mare made it look easy in the last quarter by drawing clear for trainer Nicholas Devita and owner Bridget Mcneese. Flying Isa N came out of the pocket for the stretch drive, giving Pocono Pike access to third-inside Uncle Hanover, and that one closed to take second by ¾ of a length over "Isa," behind the winner of $390,678. Seventeen minutes earlier, it was Simons who had taken advantage of the "Pocono Pike from third-inside" situation, and he maximized his opportunity by getting Windup West home first with a length and a quarter to spare as she broke her maiden in 1:55.4 style. The Western Ideal filly, out of the four-time $100,000+ producer Matt's A Coming, had started her career in a PA Stallion Series race, but hadn't panned out as desired in eight starts at two and was purchased for $10,000 at the Blooded Horse Sale for owner/trainer Cindy Truitt; Windup West proved "18th time lucky," all at the mountain oval, for Truitt as she pulled the upset.... ... except that Mike Simons driving a $100+ winner isn't as much of an upset as one might think - it was the third time this meet that Mike has pulled off a mutuel supershocker, with no other driver at Pocono having more than one triple-figure winner, and only one other driver in the state, Dan Rawlings at The Meadows, having as many as three $100+ winners this year. PHHA / Pocono

LEXINGTON, KY-- Sent off the 1-5 favorite, Broadway Donna lost stride in her attempt to sweep by pacesetter Fad Finance, who won one of the three divisions of the $188,200 Bluegrass Stakes for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies in 1:53.1 on Sunday, October 2 at The Red Mile. Trotting a quarter in :28.1 and a half in :56, Fad Finance led Unica Steed, Gracie Hanover, and Broadway Donna into the far turn. Broadway Donna progressed towards Fad Finance to match strides with her at three-quarters, timed in 1:24 before stalling in her bid in the stretch and losing stride. Gracie Hanover circled around Broadway Donna, lunging to take second while Fad Finance remained in control. Unica Steed finished third. Owned by Purple Haze Stables LLC, Marc Goldberg, and Rojan Stables, Fad Finance, by Credit Winner out of the Sierra Kosmos mare Armbro Vanity, won her tenth race in 21 starts, earning $306,556. She is trained and was driven by Trond Smedshammer and paid $12.00 to win. "I didn't know how much David [Miller on Broadway Donna] had left, so it certainly made me feel better when she jumped," Trond Smedshammer said. "Then Ake [Svanstedt on Gracie Hanover] came late, but my filly has felt good all day today. She gave a real good effort." "She can win in [1]:54 at Saratoga, so the big track doesn't really pick her up that much, but [The Red Mile]'s nice. I was able to pull her shoes off for the first time today. It's always nice over the clay here." Ginny Weasley circled by the 1-5 favorite Celebrity Eventsy and drew away to win her division of the Bluegrass in a lifetime best of 1:53.1. Celebrity Eventsy grabbed the front from Ultimate Shopper and cleared through a :28.1 opening quarter. Ginny Weasley, trotting in third, was hesitant to pull first over, eventually committing to move outside after a :57 half mile, carrying with her Southwind Hope second over and Double Exposure third over. Ginny Weasley brushed by Celebrity Eventsy after a 1:26 third-quarter and kicked away from the field as Celebrity Eventsy faltered. Southwind Hope moved into second while Double Exposure came down the center of the track to take third. Winning her sixth race in 18 starts, Ginny Weasley, by Andover Hall out of the Donerail mare Donepunk, has earned $159,763 for owner Torp Trotting Inc. She is trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt and paid $9.00 to win. Losing the lead in the backstretch, Side Bet Hanover found room to trot up the pylons in the stretch to win the final division of the Bluegrass in 1:53.1. Side Bet Hanover led through a :28 first quarter before Gin And Lindy tipped first over from fifth and brushed to the lead after a :56 half. Into the far turn, Gin And Lindy held control as Womans Will advanced first over, keeping Side Bet Hanover in the pocket from third after they trotted three-quarters in 1:24. Gin And Lindy drifted off the rail into the stretch. Womans Will took the lead to her outside while Side Bet Hanover emerged up the pylons into second, soon sprinting past Womans Will to claim victory. Wildflower closed down the center of the track to finish third. Side Bet Hanover, by Donato Hanover out of the Muscles Yankee mare Sea Level Hanover, won her fifth race in 18 starts, earning $175,336 for owner Srf Stable. Trained by Jonas Czernyson and driven by Corey Callahan, she paid $9.00 to win. "[Gin And Lindy] was starting to get a little leg weary in front of me and I had plenty of trot," Corey Callahan said. "I was hoping I could shake free because she was so good in her last start up in Canada [in the Elegantimage]; she didn't get any room, but she found room today and shot by very strong." "I'm sure she'll be back next Sunday and hopefully she'll give us a good run." By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

The 3/10 favorite Nuncio (5m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle) took todays Gr. I UET Masters Finale (purse €399,908, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) by two lengths clocked in 1.10.66kr. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed the Stefan Melander trained and owned harness racing champion. 9/1 Oasis Bi (8m Toss Out-Up Front JM) took second for Erik Adielsson, trainer Stefan Pettersson and Ecurie Frackstad Lantbruks AB. Third was 16/1 Mosaique Face (7m Classic Photo-Iona LB) with Adrian Kolgjini up for Tommy Nilsson Holding AB and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Spring Erom and Explosive De Vie were fourth and fifth. Nuncio (Ö.Kihlström/S.Melander) G1 UET Masters Final 18/09/2016 Finale U.E.T Trotting Masters NUNCIO On the Bjerke program was also the VG Norsk Derby (purse €226,922, 2600 meters autostart, 12 starters) with victory to 1.9/1 El Diablo BR (4m Muscle Hill-Fiery Chip) for trainer/driver Frode Hamre. The winner was clocked in 1.13.42kr and is owned by Brinvest Danmark APS. 5/1 Cash Okay (4m Ready Cash-Tresokay) was second for G.V. Gundersen with third earned by 5/1 Ultimate Photo (4m SJ’s Photo-Madam Lavec) and Bjorn Goop. Fourth was the Jeppe Juel driven and trained Akermann (4g Crazed-Ta Ta Hall). The Finn Tack Norsk Criterium (purse €175,325, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) produced a 1.12.71kr timed winner in 14.3/1 Shocking Superman (3m Orlando Vici-Bernadette’s Cat). Bjorn Goop is trainer/driver of this Tar Stable KB owned performer. 19.5/1 Mini Viking (3m Maharajah-Jeunesse Defee) was second for trainer/driver Frode Hamre and third was 15/1 Evil Enok ME (3m Magnetic Power-Topaz Dragon) for trainer/driver N.P. Braekken. Thomas H. Hicks

Vernon, N.Y. -- Pop I ($10.40) sustained steady first-over gains through the far turn and ultimately reeled in 3-5 favorite Rules of the Road in Saturday (September 3) evening's harness racing featured $9,000 Miracle Mile/Open Trot at Vernon Downs.   Greg Merton situated the 6-year-old Andover Hall gelding in midfield early on before a last-to-first brush from Rules of the Road (Chuck Connor, Jr.) relegated Pop I to fourth at the completion of a :57.1 half mile. Pop I was quick to reclaim ground, angling first-over on approach to the far turn and steadily gaining on approach to the top of the stretch. Despite Rules of the Road's best attempts to evade her competition after a :28.2 third quarter, Pop I collared her in mid-stretch and drew off to a 1-3/4 length victory in 1:55. Wine Photo (Roman Lopez) made a stand-side rally from last to claim second, while Rules of the Road faded to third.   Harry Landy trains Pop I for Glat Kosher Racing.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Labor Day (September 5). Monday's first race is slated for 1:25 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

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