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CHESTER, PA - Harness racing driver Andrew McCarthy guided all three winners in divisions of the $96,801 Hardie Hanover, the John Simpson Sr. Memorial stake for three-year-old pacing fillies that was raced Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Two divisions of the $86,600 Elma, the companion Simpson stake for sophomore trotting fillies, were also contested. Fastest among the three McCarthy winners, all of whom were heavy favorites, was the Captaintreacherous miss Marloe Hanover, who made the top at the ¼, then powered home in :27.2 to be 5¾ lengths ahead of the nearest opposition at the end of a 1:50.4 mile. Nifty Norman conditions the winner of $413,273 for the Let It Ride Stables Inc.   Captaintreacherous scored another sires credit with Going Gone Hanover, whose path to victory was much more difficult. Gaining the lead from Shouldabeenatd past the opening turn, Going Gone Hanover had that rival on her back until the stretch and then gaining inch-by-inch on her late, but the winner withstood her determined rival by a neck in 1:51.3. In doing so, "Going Gone" upped her career bankroll over six figures for trainer Brett Bittle and Yankeeland Partners LLP. The Art Major filly Precious Alexis notched her third straight victory as part of the McCarthy sweeping triple, and she took a new mark of 1:51.4 in doing so after moving to the front going past the stands. Ed Gannon Jr. conditions the improving miss, who won by 2½ lengths, for Zippett Racing Stable. Contrasting with the pacing stakes, where the favorite won each time, both of the trotting events went to the crowd's second choice. In the first section, the Donato Hanover filly Dip Me Hanover came within 2/5 of a second of the divisional track record when she recorded a 1:53 victory. No Mas Drama, who had $9 more wagered on her to win than the winner, made a huge :27 charge down the backstretch to try to get the lead but pacesetting Hannah denied her the crossover. After the first-over faded then broke, Dip Me Hanover came out of the pocket and beat the leader by 1¾ lengths, raising her earnings to $377,934 for trainer Linda Toscano and the partnership of the trainer's Camelot Stable Inc., Dreamville Stable, and R-And-I Farms LLC. The $500,000 yearling Fifty Cent Piece certainly brought her "A" game to Philly on Wednesday, racing first-over yet still striding away to a 2½ length triumph in 1:53.4, her own last half :56, to be the only winner on the 14-race card to not be against the pegs when the field turned down the backstretch. Mattias Melander guided the daughter of Muscle Hill to the anti-bias victory for trainer/brother Marcus Melander and the S R F Stable. McCarthy and George Napolitano Jr., the track's leading driver, led the sulkysitters' colony with three successes on the afternoon; posting a pair of training scores were Ron Burke and Gilbert Garcia-Owen, 1-2 in the Philly standings. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - After getting a rude parked-the-mile reception in New York, the Mach Three mare Machnhope returned to Harrah's Philadelphia, a track where she had been doing well, and promptly won the $14,000 feature distaff handicap pace in 1:50.2. Andrew McCarthy got an early tuck with the winner of $296,301 as Caviart Cherie and Imprincessgemma A argued the :26.3 first quarter, then was underway in front of the stands, claiming the lead after some hard work to the :55 half. But Machnhope called the tune from there, passing the three-quarters in 1:22.1 and then drawing off to have a five length margin at the wire for driver Pat Berry and trainer Noel Daley, the latter co-owner with Deo Volente Farms LLC, Thomas Pontone, and L A Express Stable LLC.   In a $12,800 race for up-and-coming females, Dance Club made it two in a row at Philly, after winning her recent Liberty Bell division coming back here and fronting a field from early on to win by 2¼ lengths in 1:52.4. Ron Burke trains the winner for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc. and David Wills. The Well Said mare Apple Hanover disappointed as the favorite in the $11,600 distaff pacing class last time after a hard trip; this time she took all the variables out of play by going wire-to-wire for driver Marcus Miller in 1:51.3, finishing 1½ lengths clear. Now a winner of $226,884, Apple Hanover is trained by Katricia Adams and owner Benjamin Gordon. Andrew McCarthy and George Brennan tied for day's honors among drivers with three triumphs each. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Brad Grant watched Ramona Hill's Hambletonian Stakes win at The Meadowlands in August from his home in Canada because of COVID-19 international travel restrictions. But now Grant, one of Ramona Hill's six owners, is getting to spend some quality time with the harness racing filly in his own backyard at Ontario's Woodbine Mohawk Park. Last week, Ramona Hill won a division of the Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters at Mohawk for her fifth victory in six races this season. It was her first Canadian start since winning a Breeders Crown at Mohawk in October. On Saturday, she returns to the Ontario oval for the C$350,000 Elegantimage Stakes, where her nine rivals include Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella. Andy McCarthy will drive Ramona Hill for trainer Tony Alagna. "I'm excited," Grant said, adding with a laugh, "I was beginning to think my partners were hoarding her to the south. At least up here I get her all to myself. We're enjoying getting to spend some time with her." Grant shares ownership of Ramona Hill with U.S.-based partners Michelle and Al Crawford, Robert LeBlanc, John Fodera, and Steve Wienick. Grant, who was among the owners of 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta, watched this year's race on television with his wife Bonnie while the remainder of the group was at The Meadowlands. "It's not the same, but thankfully I had that experience a couple years earlier, so I know what it's like," Grant said. "I had the second-best seat in the house (this year) and I could rewind the race and watch it as much as I wanted. "Bonnie and I were just tickled to watch it on TV and see everybody. It's a great group. We're all just enjoying it. Tony has done a great job and Andy gets along with this filly amazing. Being up here, Tony's mom (Donna Lee, who runs the stable in Canada) has pampered Ramona to death looking after her. We couldn't have it any better." Ramona Hill, a daughter of Muscle Hill out of Lock Down Lindy, has won 11 of 13 career races and $1.17 million. She became the 15th filly to beat the boys in the Hambletonian, which she accomplished in a stake-record-equaling 1:50.1. In addition to the Hambletonian and Simcoe, her wins this season include the Del Miller Memorial and the filly division of the Harry M. Zweig Memorial. She is the No. 1-ranked horse in the sport's current Top 10 poll. "There are a number of colts and fillies that could be No. 1 this year," Grant said. "I think if you have a bad week, you could move off where you are and get bumped down the line in a hurry. So, to be on the top of that list, in my mind, is quite an accomplishment." Ramona Hill will look to remain on top with a win in the Elegantimage, but Grant knows it won't be easy. Nancy Takter-trained Sorella, the No. 8-ranked horse in harness racing, has won six of eight starts this season and heads to the race off a win over older male rivals, including returning O'Brien Award winner Musical Rhythm. "She is a great filly," Grant said. "I think it's going to be a heck of a race. There are some others in there, but obviously, a quick glance says the one to beat is Sorella. Hopefully, we can come back with another good race and get it done." Grant owns a second horse in the Elegantimage, Warrawee Vicky, who won last week's other Simcoe Stakes division. She has won three of six races this year and eight of 16 lifetime, earning $243,151. She is trained by Scott McEneny. "She raced well last week so we decided to put her in," Grant said. "We're racing for fourth or fifth money, but the filly has raced really well for me this year and we're pleased with her. Scott has worked hard to get her there, so we thought we should put her in and see how she does." Saturday's card at Mohawk also includes the C$560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old male trotters, headlined by Goodtimes Stakes and Zweig Memorial winner Ready For Moni, as well as eliminations for the Milton (pacing mares), Metro Pace (2-year-old male pacers) and She's A Great Lady (2-year-old filly pacers). Grant is among the owners of Alagna trainees Notorious Pink in the She's A Great Lady's first elimination and Pirate Hanover in the Metro's first elimination. Notorious Pink swept the Whenuwishuponastar at Mohawk earlier this year before competing in the Kentucky Sire Stakes. She has four wins and a second in six starts. Pirate Hanover has a win and a third in three races. "She's a really nice filly," Grant said about Notorious Pink. "I got in on her just as she started racing. She's green but she was pretty good up here before so we thought we would give her a shot. She does seem to like the track up here and (driver) Bobby McClure was her pilot up here before and got along with her really well. "I think Pirate Hanover is a sleeper. He made a break (in a division of the Nassagaweya) but I think he might have clipped the wheel of the horse in front of him. The colt has got a lot of speed and I don't think we've seen the bottom of his tank yet. I'm real excited about that colt. I think he has a ton of upside and I think he's just going to get better as he races." For more about Saturday's card, click here. For complete entries, click here. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Standardbred Canada is reporting that Andy McCarthy has been cleared to drive in Canada and will make his 2020 debut north of the border at Woodbine Mohawk Park this weekend. McCarthy will be the second U.S.-based driver to head to Canada for the Grand Circuit stakes at Mohawk. Yannick Gingras made the trek north in late August and is staying in Ontario for the time being. McCarthy is planning to drive in Canada this weekend and next, but returning stateside for the Kentucky Sires Stakes finals on Sept. 20. To read the full story on the Standardbred Canada website, click here. From Standardbred Canada

Over the past several years, harness racing driver Todd McCarthy contemplated leaving his native Australia to continue his career in North America. Watching his brother Andy win four Breeders Crown trophies last October at Woodbine Mohawk Park helped convince McCarthy to do it in 2020. The global coronavirus pandemic put his plans on hold for several months, but McCarthy finally was able to complete his move last week. And the 27-year-old wasted little time in finding the winner's circle, posting five victories in his first 28 starts. "I've always wanted to come, it was just a matter of time when I was going to be able to make the move," McCarthy said. "Probably after the Breeders Crown last year I started putting a few plans in place to make the move. That sort of made me think that this is the place to be. That definitely was motivating. "Initially, I wanted to come in March, early April, but (the pandemic) slowed things down. I was fortunate enough to be able to get over last week and it's all worked out. I've really enjoyed it at this stage. I've got a visa that allows me to stay for some time, so I'm planning on sticking around for quite a while." McCarthy's father, John, is a highly regarded trainer in Australia and brothers Luke and Andy are top drivers. Luke spent part of 2009 in North America and is best remembered for driving Muscle Hill to victory in the World Trotting Derby. Andy moved to the U.S. in 2007 and has won more than 2,500 races, including August's Hambletonian with Ramona Hill. Todd's accomplishments Down Under included winning the 2016 Australasian Young Drivers Championship and multiple New South Wales state and metropolitan premiership driving titles. He represented Australia at the 2019 World Driving Championship and counts the Inter Dominion as his top victory. "I think I'm most proud of the consistency," said McCarthy, who started driving in 2010. "I've had a lot of great support from trainers and that's something I'm proud of as well. My last couple seasons Down Under have been fantastic as far as the Grand Circuit goes, winning a lot of races. That's been pretty cool. "The timing (for this move) was perfect for me." McCarthy earned his first triumph in the U.S. in his third start and added four more victories in his next 25 races. He notched his first stakes triumph with Marloe Hanover in a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars. "I've been overwhelmed by the support, that people have been willing to put me down and give me a shot," McCarthy said. "I can't thank all the trainers enough for that. It's been fantastic. "I've met so many people this first week, even though COVID has made things a little difficult. It's a weird time to be meeting people and making new relationships because you don't get to see everyone's face. That's been a little bit tricky. I've joked around that once we take our masks off, I probably won't recognize people." Adjusting to new horses and new drivers are McCarthy's biggest challenges. "I've been watching for a long time, but you've got to be here and driving in races to really pick that up," McCarthy said. "Back home, you sort of know most horses and have an idea how they race. Over here, I've had to start from scratch. "I find myself watching a lot of replays and reading a lot of programs. I'm doing my very best to educate myself. Each time I go out there, I've got as much knowledge as I can about the race and the horses in it and how I think the race is going to go." Following in Andy's ever-growing footsteps might seem daunting, but Todd is grateful for his brother's support. "If anything, he's made it easier for me; he's done all the hard yards," he said. "He's thrown a few contacts my way and gotten me a little bit of work. I've got to give Andy a huge shout out there. He's given me pointers on what to do and not to do. He's pointed me in the right direction, that's for sure." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Hightstown, NJ — The moments following Ramona Hill’s win in the Hambletonian Stakes were unlike any Andy McCarthy ever experienced as a driver. “The feeling I got when I crossed the wire, I’ve never had that before, that amount of joy and emotion,” McCarthy said. “I don’t want to compare it to my kids being born, because that’s a completely different thing, but it was definitely emotional. Heading back to the winner’s circle, I’ve never felt anything like it in my life on the racetrack. Embracing the moment, just the feeling of joy, it’s unbelievable.” McCarthy and Ramona Hill captured the 95th edition of the Hambletonian this past Saturday at The Meadowlands. The duo won the $1 million event by one length over Ready For Moni in a stakes-record-equaling 1:50.1 for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert LeBlanc, and In The Gym Partners. Ramona Hill, a daughter of Muscle Hill out of Lock Down Lindy bred by Crawford Farms, became the 15th filly to win harness racing’s top race for 3-year-old trotters. The Hambletonian was McCarthy’s fifth win of the day on the stakes-filled Big M card. He won four of the afternoon’s first six races, including the Shady Daisy with Reflect With Me and the Jim Doherty Memorial with Darlene Hanover, and the fast start was beneficial. “It’s good to get some good vibes going for the day,” McCarthy said. “Confidence has such a main role in how you drive, I think. When the ball’s rolling and things are going good, you feel like you can do nothing wrong. For me, anyway, confidence is definitely a major player in how I do.” McCarthy’s biggest challenge was finding a way to enjoy the wins without getting too pumped up along the way. “You want to celebrate, and you want to feel that emotion, but you also don’t want to carry that over to the next drive,” he said. “You want to stay focused and you’ve still got work to do. I like to be confident but calm at the same time. I don’t want to be carrying too much emotion with me, just really stay focused on the job at hand. There are a million things that can go wrong in a race and you have to be super focused and aware of these things.” A native of Australia, the 34-year-old McCarthy has raced regularly in North America since 2007. He has seen his purse earnings increase annually since the start of 2013, reaching a career-best $7.67 million last year, when he ranked ninth among drivers in North America. In 2019, McCarthy became the eighth driver in history to win at least four Breeders Crown finals in a year. He became the first to accomplish the feat without driving a favorite. Last year, he also made his first appearance in a Hambletonian final, finishing seventh with Pilot Discretion. This year with Ramona Hill, he was fourth after a quarter mile, moved to the front on the backstretch, and cruised to victory. Her time equaled the stakes mark set by her sire Muscle Hill in 2009. “In my mind, I had the best horse in the race,” McCarthy said. “I just wanted to be safe through the first turn. Once I got through the first turn, I thought I could win the race however it went down.” McCarthy followed the Hambletonian while growing up in Australia but became more focused on the race after arriving in the U.S. to compete. He is the 28th different driver to win the Hambletonian in the 40 years it has called The Meadowlands home. “When I was a teenager, I started following the American racing more,” McCarthy said. “Back then, it was kind of pre-social media days, so it was kind of hard to keep up with it. I always liked American racing and I loved the Hambo. As far as thinking I could win it one day, that was a different story. “Once I got over here and went to the Hambo every year and watched it, it’s become the race. It’s the race you want to win, for sure. I’m just very lucky and privileged to be able to do that.” by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 10, 2020 -- Harness racing driver Andrew McCarthy, who captured Saturday's Hambletonian with the fantastic filly Ramona Hill, continued his roll Monday at The Meadows when he swept the $205,032 Pennsylvania Sires Stake with the freshman filly trotters Flawless Country and Anoka Hanover. Flawless Country had a straightforward path to the winners' circle in the event known as the Delmonica Hanover, zipping to the point from post 4 and easily turning back the first-over You Ato Dream to down her by a length in a career-best 1:55. Gimme Shelter finished third. "Her connections told me she drives like a car, and she did," McCarthy said. "I think she'll go a long way. She has very good manners and high speed. I had to tell her what to do a little bit, but she responded and got the job done."   Ake Svanstedt trains Flawless County, a daughter of Southwind Frank-Aleah Hanover who has finished first or second in all four career starts, for Ake Svanstedt Inc., Wolfgang A Stable and Borje Nasstrom. Anoka Hanover's journey was more circuitous -- at least for the opening panel, when Pub Crawl looped her and left her parked out. "I really like this one," McCarthy said. "She still has a lot to learn, but she's very powerful and has a great gait and a willing attitude. I was hoping I could sink into a spot and maybe come first over with her, but it didn't work out that way. But she's a very strong filly." The daughter of Donato Hanover-Aunt Mel finally crossed over at the three-eighths and had little trouble from there, scoring in 1:55. Pub Crawl was second, 3-1/2 lengths back, while DD's Diamond earned show.   Noel Daley conditions Anoka Hanover, who notched her first stakes victory, and owns with L.A. Express Stable and Caviart Farms. $60,000 PA Stallion Series -- 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters In Monday's subfeature, Love Muffin, Kayla's Playmate and Alpine each took a $20,000 split. Love Muffin had the early lead but, thanks to a slight shuffle, needed to move wide down the backside for Jim Pantaleano to reclaim the front. She drew off late to triumph in 1:55.4, a life mark, 5-3/4 lengths better than Trend, with a rallying Mother Lin third. "I put her in a couple overnights to change some equipment on her," winning trainer David Wiest said. "One race, it didn't work so good, so we put her back to what she was. We'll just have to deal with her. She comes from a hot family, but she's one of the better ones out of the family." Edward Kimmel and Donald Wiest campaign the daughter of Andover Hall-Pine Yankee, who won her second PA stallions split. Kayla's Playmate broke stride in her two most recent outings, causing trainer Julie Miller to rethink her rigging. The results showed Monday, as the daughter of Father Patrick-Lima Playtime romped to a 3-1/2-length maiden score in 1:57.4. Midpoint and R Speed Of Light rounded out the ticket. "We changed her shoes a little bit, and she seemed to behave today," said winning driver Andy Miller. "I hope she's on the improve. She's a pretty nice filly; it's just a matter of getting her hung up right" Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the 15-race program features a $7,199.23 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3). First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA  

Post Time with Mike and Mike is proud to announce the show's lineup for Thursday, August 6th, 2020, at 10:30 AM. Guests include Andy McCarthy, Mike Wilder, and Dave Little. McCarthy, the regular driver of Ramona Hill, will talk about the filly's chances in the upcoming Hambletonian at The Meadowlands on Saturday. She's coming off of an impressive come-from-behind win in her elimination. Wilder, the go-to pilot of Catch The Fire, won his first Adios at The Meadows this past Saturday in an emotional win over his home oval. Wilder will talk about what was going through his mind after he crossed the wire first. Little, part of the broadcast team at The Meadowlands, will preview the upcoming Hambletonian card from a handicapping point of view. You can listen live at 10:30 AM Eastern or on-demand at posttimewithmikeandmike.com. by Michael Bozich, for Post Time

Three of North America’s best harness racing catch drivers — Dexter Dunn, Andrew McCarthy and Doug McNair — were featured on Wednesday evening’s (April 15) episode of COSA TV. The trio of drivers, who have taken the driving scene by storm in recent years, revisited how they got their starts in the business, family ties, answered questions from fans and relived some memorable moments of their careers while racing continues to take a hiatus due to COVID-19. Early on in the conversation, Australian native Andrew McCarthy discussed how he mapped out his rise to the top and did so in quick fashion. “The last two or three years I have hit more of the Grand Circut scene, it’s always been my plan and I finally made the decision about four or five years ago to make the move over to the Meadowlands and that was the key,” McCarthy told Greg Blanchard. “I’ve had a lot of support along the way…Noel Daley really helped me get going and in the last two or three years things have just snowballed for me. I’ve gotten to do a lot of travelling and it’s been a hell of a lot of fun.” Dexter Dunn made the decision to move from New Zealand to North America on a whim, but also discussed his rise to the top while fulfilling his childhood dreams. “I grew up in horse racing and it was always a dream of mine to come here and race so I finally made the decision to come over here. The year I had last year was a huge surprise, I’ve been very lucky to have had the support that I’ve had and I’ve been lucky to drive some great horses. I really enjoyed last year and got to experience a lot of big thrills. Moving to the USA was something that was always in the back of my head, when I was here in 2011 for the World Driving Championship and I really liked the racing here. I actually just woke up one day on my way to qualifiers and decided it was now or never. I knew that if I didn’t do it while I was still young enough to do it then I would grow old someday and wish I did it. So I did it and here we are.” For Doug McNair, his rise to the top included a more local move from Ontario’s ‘B’ tracks to the WEG Circut. The big break for McNair, who has been heavily involved in the harness racing industry for as long as he can remember, came very close to home in the 2008 Battle Of Waterloo with his father’s trainee, Trail Boss. “My dad trained the horse and it was quite the thrill to win the race that day. At the time, I really didn’t even know how big of a deal it was until it really sunk in for me a couple years later. It’s a race that most people never get to win in their career and I won it in my first year of driving. My Grandmother and Father bred the horse, my dad doesn’t usually say much but I remember him telling me when he was training him down that he really liked him so I figured he would turn out to be a nice horse. I didn’t get the best trip that day but I had the best horse in the race. My dad’s farm is less than 15 kilometres from Grand River and I went to school just down the road and spent a lot of years there as a kid. We had a big party at the farm that night, it was a really big night for my family and it just really doesn’t get much better than that.” While McCarthy is coming off an astonishing 2019 season, one horse he holds close to him would be Tony Alagna trainee, Tall Drink Hanover, winner of the 2018 She’s A Great Lady. “She is such a terrific mare. As a two-year-old she would do anything you asked her to do. You can put her on the front, race her from behind. Tony did a great job prepping her for that race, she had been over the surface four or five times before this race and I think that really helped her a lot. For me and the horse it’s nice to know that the horse has been over the track before a big race. I am a big believer in trying not to use a horse very much in the first eighth of the mile, especially if you think you have the best horse in the race. I’m also a big believer that using a horse too much in that first eighth will catch up to you in the end. Obviously you have to leave a little bit to figure out where everyone is going to land but I try to manage them and then figure it out from there.” McNair holds fond memories of another recent Alagna trainee, pacing colt Stay Hungry. “He’s a horse that’s right up there as the best I’ve ever driven for sure. I won my first and only Breeders Crown with him and I got to race in races and win some that I have ever been in before. It makes your job a lot easier having a nice horse like that to drive in big races.” For Dexter Dunn, the list of great horses he had the pleasure of driving in his career year of 2019 would be long and plentiful. However, one that sticks the most would be Chris Ryder-trained Bettors Wish. “Coming into 2019 I thought to myself that if I just had one stakes horse to follow around all year, it would be pretty cool. I started driving Bettors Wish late in his two-year-old season and had some luck with him. I knew he was good enough to chase around and drive in big races. He didn’t disappoint me last year at all and was very special to drive. I’m really looking forward to driving him again this year. His races last year speak for themselves, he didn’t have a lot of easy races but you can drive him however you want and know he is going to give you 100 percent. He’s not a big horse at all but he’s muscular and takes a big stride, he gave me a very special year and I had a lot of fun with him. I’ve trained him a couple times and he feels bigger, better and stronger.” The elite group of drivers entertained fans with answers to lots of questions while providing a different perspective on harness racing with backgrounds coming from different hemispheres. While the trio reminisced on memorable moments throughout their career, all are ambitious and eager for their 2020 stakes seasons. The feature can be viewed below. Central Ontario Standardbred Association

Caviart Ally finished last season with a flourish and owner Buck Chaffee hopes his mare can continue her winning ways when her 2020 campaign begins Friday at The Meadowlands. A 6-year-old pacer, Caviart Ally closed last season by winning four of her final five races, with three of the victories coming over eventual Horse of the Year honoree Shartin N. Caviart Ally's triumphs during that stretch came in the TVG Series championship for older female pacers, Breeders Crown, Allerage, and Milton. She makes her seasonal debut in Friday's $30,000 preferred for fillies and mares at The Big M, where she is the 3-1 morning-line favorite from post eight in a field of eight. She prepped for the start with two qualifiers, winning the second this past weekend in 1:52.3 with regular driver Andy McCarthy. "We're very hopeful she can pick up where she left off," said Chaffee, who owns Caviart Ally with his wife Judy under the Caviart Farms stable banner. "Andy said that when he qualified her, he didn't even ask her to go, she just wanted to go by herself. That's been the way she's been pretty much all along. She just really tries and wants to do it. "Physically, I always thought she looked like a linebacker. And she's always had that desire, which I think has been a real plus for her." Caviart Ally, by Bettor's Delight out of Allamerican Cool, has won 25 of 72 career races and $1.82 million. She was trained by Noel Daley at ages 2 through 4 before heading to Brett Pelling's stable when Daley took a year in Australia. Pelling believes he has a good understanding of Caviart Ally as she begins her second season with him. "I brought her back a little different than last year," Pelling said. "I think she's one of those mares that likes you to push the buttons and likes to work. If you let her have a bit of a vacation, it rears up in your face. She really showed us that. I've got a pretty good handle now on everything that makes her tick." Following this week's start, Caviart Ally will head to the six-week Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway. It will be the mare's first appearance in the Matchmaker, which has been won each of the past two years by Shartin N. "She's 6 now, so there is no (concern about the) age thing," Pelling said. "There's no hiding from anyone. That's why we're in the Matchmaker. She's 6 and she's here to go race." Caviart Ally and Shartin N finished 1-2 in eight races last year, with Shartin N winning five. The emergence of their rivalry, which produced memorable finishes in the Betsy Ross and TVG final, was a big reason the Chaffees decided to race again this season rather than send Caviart Ally to motherhood. Shartin N got her season off to a winning start Wednesday with a 1:50 score in the fillies-and-mares invitational at Dover Downs. "I think it's great," Buck Chaffee said. "We had always said we were going to quit with her and breed her, that's always been our plan. But when she raced so good at the end of the year and that rivalry really kicked in, we decided that we had to bring her back. The sport needs rivalry. I think it's exciting. Hopefully it's the right decision." Racing begins at 6:55 p.m. (EST) Friday at The Meadowlands. The fillies-and-mares preferred is race four. For the night's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingarder, for the USTA

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Andy McCarthy put Elysium Lindy in play early, and the veteran trotter took care of the rest, pulling off a 10-1 surprise in the featured $31,250 high-end conditioned trot at the Meadowlands Friday night. The 7-year-old gelded son of Cantab Hall-Olympic Lindy displayed a burst of speed at the start from post six and had the lead around the first turn before yielding the front to 3-5 favorite Misslarose, who has been doing good things of late against the likes of Pappy Go Go and JL Cruze, as the quarter was reached in :28.4. The second quarter saw little in the way of action, but on the way to three-quarters the outer flow developed with Winning Lyric, Kenziesky Hanover and Eye Ofa Tiger As gaining ground on the rim. At the head of the stretch, Misslarose looked strong on the point with Kenziesky Hanover still going well on the outside as McCarthy waited for just the right moment to move Elysium Lindy from the pocket. That moment came at the sixteenth pole, when Elysium Lindy split rivals - Misslarose to his inside and Kenziesky Hanover to his outside - and got up on the wire to win by a hard-fought half-length over a game Misslarose. Kenziesky Hanover finished third.   "Paul Gagne and Anthony MacDonald sent me this horse," said winning trainer Andrew Harris. "And I can't thank them enough. He's been so good and the only reason he threw a couple of clunkers in his last two starts was he was hitting the bike. We got that sorted out. Andy Mac is just a magician. I love that guy." Elysium Lindy, making his first appearance at the Meadowlands since March 8 of last year, returned $22.60 to his backers as the fifth choice in the wagering in the seven-horse field. He completed the mile in 1:53.3, equaling his lifetime best on a chilly night when the track variant was -2. He's now won 28 of 133 lifetime starts and earned $428,467 for owners Panic Stable. A LITTLE MORE: Corey Callahan and Yannick Gingras both recorded driving triples on the program while McCarthy guided two to victory lane. ... Ron Burke and Harris, the top two trainers in the Big M standings, each had a pair of winners. ... Despite 3-5 shot Caviart Jane, 6-5 Obrigado and Misslarose all tasting defeat, six favorites still emerged victorious on the program. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,187,146. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6:55 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - For a second straight night, harness racing driver Andy McCarthy ruled the Meadowlands. The 33-year-old native of Australia followed up his five-winner Friday with another five-bagger Saturday night. All told, when you add in the two victories McCarthy had Thursday, you end up with one dozen winner's circle visits over the course of the three-card race week at the Big M. On Saturday, McCarthy got his night underway with Jims Perfect Ten in the second race, scoring in 1:51.4 as the 4-5 favorite in a low-end conditioned pace. McCarthy and Duddie's Lor overcame post 10 to take the fourth in 1:51 (a lifetime best) as the 9-5 second choice in a non-winners of four pace. Andy Mac then finished with a flourish, winning three straight, scoring in race eight with 2-1 public choice Drawing Dragons in 1:50.3 in a high-end conditioned pace, race nine in a mid-range conditioned pace with 6-5 favorite Odds On Lauderdale from post 10 in 1:52.3, before capping his big night - with his biggest price - by scoring in race 10 with 7-1 fourth-choice Reagan's Avenger in wire-to-wire fashion from post nine in 1:51.2 in a TrackMaster 85.5 or less pace. Reagan's Avenger NEW HANDLE HIGH: Andy McCarthy's hands were on fire this weekend, and so were those of the Meadowlands' faithful, who bet with both of their's early and often on the Saturday card, establishing a new Fall Meeting handle high of $2,913,163. The previous best of $2,907,339 was set on Friday. A LITTLE MORE: On a night that saw big pools, it's no surprise that the 50-cent Pick-4 had a huge one. A total of $107,485 was poured into the pot, only $3,000 or so less than the previous Fall Meet best of $110,502, which was established on Nov. 23. ... Joe Bongiorno and Pat Berry both had driving doubles. ... Once again, the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 played out like a jackpot wager, as one shrewd player wagering into the Catskills hub held the lone ticket to last eight legs and walked away with $8,659. ... Racing resumes Thursday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

For the third time this season, Caviart Ally has nosed out world champion Shartin N, this time in the $175,000 final of the TVG Series for old harness racing pacing mares. It took the photo finish camera to declare the winner at the Meadowlands Saturday. Shartin N and driver Tim Tetrick took the lead after the opening quarter mile while Caviart Ally and driver Andy McCarthy were content to sit in second place until the stretch drive. Going head and head to the wire, Caviart Ally came on to win by a nose in a stakes record clocking of 1:48.3. KIssin In The Sand was third. Trained by Brett Pelling for Caviart Farms of Vienna, VA, it was the ninth win this year for the five-year-old mare by Bettor's Delight. She paid $8.80 to win. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink ;

CHESTER, PA - Nutcracker Sweet, who has been in the harness racing headlines ever since he won his purse debut in 1:52 in June of his two-year-old year, won for the first time in 753 days - just over two years - as he took the pacing division of the $16,000 tri-features Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. The four-year-old son of Bettor's Delight showed good speed in making the lead before the :26.4 quarter, then was used further to keep Major March outside most of the way to a :55.3 half. Cecil Casanova moved to challenge raw before the 1:23 three-quarters, but in the stretch driver Andrew McCarthy was able to find room up the inside and got past the tough first-over by 3/4 of a length - in 1:52. A full brother to $2.7M winner Bettor Sweet and a half brother to $3.4M winner and top sire Sweet Lou, Nutcracker Sweet danced almost all the major dances at both two and three, though he hadn't won since Lexington of his freshman campaign. Today's victory boosted his lifetime earnings to $404,294, with but five wins, for trainer Tom Cancelliere and owner John Cancelliere. In the first of the trotting features, Yannick Gingras was able to work out a pocket trip with the Donato Hanover sophomore gelding Crossfit, then came clear in the stretch to catch pacesetting filly Queen Of Trixs by 1½ lengths and reduce his mark to 1:54.2. Ron Burke conditions the winner for owner Joe Sbrocco. The other trot saw Take A Wish make an early move to the lead for driver Steve Smith, then withstand a long grind by SVF Cash Deposit by a neck in 1:55.4. The four-year-old daughter of Wishing Stone is owned by driver Smith, trainer Dawn Anderson, and Mark Schulstrom.  From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA/BetAmerica, is excited to announce the line-up for Thursday morning (Oct. 31) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Tahnee Camilleri, Andy McCarthy, John Hensley, and Elizabeth Cheesman Camilleri, who got her first Breeders Crown trophy this past Saturday in the 3-year-old pace with Dancin Lou, will talk about that experience, as well as her career in the sport of harness racing. McCarthy, who drove Dancin Lou to victory, will talk about his memorable Breeders Crown weekend. The Australian native had four driving wins this past weekend at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Hensley, who is the Director of Racetrack Operations at Dover Downs, will talk about the upcoming meet, which gets underway on Monday, November 4th. Cheesman, who is part of the Pacing For The Cure Team, will talk about the upcoming Pacing For The Cure Annual Dinner Party on Monday, November 4th at 6:00 PM in Harrisburg, PA. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA/BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. From Post Time with Mike and Mike  

Andy McCarthy was looking for his first Breeders Crown trophy when he arrived at Woodbine Mohawk Park this past Friday. By the time the weekend was completed, he had put himself among a small group of drivers to win four or more finals in a year. He set himself apart by doing it without the benefit of a favorite. McCarthy became the eighth driver with at least four Crowns in a year, joining record-holder David Miller (five in 2015), John Campbell, Yannick Gingras, Mike Lachance, Ron Pierce, Brian Sears, and Tim Tetrick. Campbell, Gingras, Pierce, and Sears accomplished the feat twice. But none sans chalk until McCarthy scored with 2-year-old filly trotter Ramona Hill (14-1), 2-year-old filly pacer Reflect With Me (27-1), pacing mare Caviart Ally (5-2), and 3-year-old male pacer Dancin Lou (5-1). "It's surreal," the 33-year-old McCarthy said. "It makes me feel pretty good about where I'm at right now. You want to give yourself a little pat on the back after hearing something like that. It's a pretty nice little niche to be in." McCarthy, a native of Australia who has raced regularly in North America since 2007, has seen his purse earnings increase annually since the start of 2013, reaching a career-best $6.56 million this season. For his career, he has won $44 million in purses and nearly 2,400 races. He got Breeders Crown triumph No. 1 in the first of the event's 12 races, capturing the 2-year-old filly trot from post 10 with Tony Alagna-trained Ramona Hill. "I was quietly confident going into the weekend; I didn't expect four, but I knew I had four or five decent chances," McCarthy said. "Ramona Hill, even though she had the 10-hole, I still considered her one of the better shots I had throughout the weekend because I know how talented she is. She wasn't herself the week before, but I knew Tony would get on top of that and have that figured out. I hold her in high regard as one of the better horses I've ever driven. I think she's that talented." McCarthy was happy to get his first trophy quickly. "It's always really nice to break the ice," he said. "Winning the first of anything, it's always nice to get that out of the way, then you can kind of relax and move on and not have that monkey on your shoulder. Just being able to concentrate on your job without any added pressure as the weekend goes on is definitely nice." He was back in the winner's circle again in the very next race with another Alagna trainee, Reflect With Me. Then on Saturday night, he again got off to a fast start when Brett Pelling-trained Caviart Ally upended her nemesis, Shartin N, in the mare pace. Caviart Ally had finished second to Shartin N on five occasions this season before winning their most recent two outings. "She's been terrific all year, I just haven't been able to get the better of Shartin until now," McCarthy said. "It does feel good. That rivalry, I think it's a good rivalry as much as any rivalry. Even though Shartin has had the better of us all year, it still is a rivalry. When people turn on that race, they're wondering how it's going to go down. I think we put on good racing. I think it's very good for racing. It's very cool to watch and even more to be a part of it." McCarthy wrapped up his four wins with Dancin Lou, trained by another Aussie import (and first-time Crown winner) Tahnee Camilleri. "That was special because I'm good friends with Tahnee," McCarthy said. "She's a special person. She's so happy and emotional. She was crying in the winner's circle and couldn't stop hugging the horse and I just love to see that. That worked out really cool. It was a lot of fun." The weekend was also cool because McCarthy's younger brother Todd, an accomplished driver in Australia, came to visit for the Breeders Crown. The two spent the week together and got to hang out in Toronto the day prior to the Breeders Crown's opening night. "I had a quiet week back home, so I thought I'd jump on a plane and come over and cheer him on," Todd said. "It's pretty awesome to be here and experience it with him. These races are so hard to win. I think that's what we're all here for, to try to win these sorts of races. To be here is pretty special. I called home and mom and dad were buzzing. It's great." Also cheering on Andy was his wife Katrina. "It was even more special having her there as well," Andy said. McCarthy was grateful to all the trainers and owners that gave him the chance to drive horses in the Breeders Crown. "Without them, none of this would be possible," McCarthy said. "Everybody always remembers these nights. As far as winning big races, this is right up there. I know there's a lot of them, but still it's nice to have at least one of those trophies on your cabinets." After a moment, he said with a laugh, "I might even have to buy a trophy cabinet now." * * * * * * McCarthy was not the only driver from Down Under to get his first Breeders Crown at Mohawk. New Zealand native Dexter Dunn, in his first full season of racing in North America, got two trophies. His first came with 2-year-old male trotter Amigo Volo for trainer Nifty Norman and the second with trotting mare Manchego for trainer Nancy Johansson. "I probably have to pinch myself a little; really, it's hard to believe," Dunn said in a winner's circle interview. "Back in New Zealand, I followed the American races, like (Hambletonian) Day and Breeders Crown, and I'd be back in New Zealand watching them on TV and now I'm here. It's pretty cool. It's very exciting. "I've been extremely lucky with the support I've gotten since I've been here. I have a lot of people to thank. It's been a great ride and I'm enjoying it thoroughly." Dunn has won 336 races and $10 million in purses this year. His earnings rank third in North America. "It's been a great year," Dunn said. "(Trainers) Chris Ryder and Nifty Norman were two of the first ones to jump on me and supported me when I got over here and got me kickstarted. Without their huge support I wouldn't be here. "I've been very fortunate this year with the horses I've gotten to sit behind. It's been a pleasure." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

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