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Joe P Racing's million-dollar earner Sevruga (Andy Miller) took the first of two co-featured events for upper-conditioned level trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday. The son of Sj's Caviar took command shortly after the quarter-pole, when Razor Ramone (Yannick Gingras) went off stride. Sevruga was able to hold off the late challenge of Joe Smith's Possessed Fashion (Brett Miller) to pick up his 32nd career win, and his second straight. The mile was completed in 1:53.2. Sevruga paid $4.00 in a field that was scratched down to five. In the second division, it was Christy Markos and Greg Peck's Stan The Man (Scott Zeron) winning his fourth straight. The son of Credit Winner drafted patiently in the pocket behind favorite Uva Hanover (Tim Tetrick) until the top of the stretch, when he won the sprint home by a quarter-length, stopping the clock in 1:54.4. It was his 11th career win and his 4th of 2015. He paid $7.00. Uva Hanover finished second, while My Love Bi (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) was third. Michael Bozich

On a night that was tough on horses looking to rally from off the pace, Odds On Equuleus bucked the Saturday night trend at The Meadowlands, rocketing off cover to win in his harness racing return off a month freshening. Considered just one of many contenders in a loaded condition event to kick off the Late Pick 4, Odds On Equuleus was released at 7/2 in the highly competitive field. Blatantly Best was sent off as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite in the field and Windsong Gorgeous, riding a four race win streak was dismissed at 5-1 despite winning as an overwhelming favorite the previous week. The early lead belonged to Dapper Dude, fresh off three attempts in the Levy series. In fact, the six year old led the field all the way to mid-stretch, reeling off fractions of 26.3, 53.4 and 1:21.4. Despite setting a brisk pace, Dapper Dude found himself in front with just an eighth of a mile to go. Pocket-sitter Windsong Gorgeous offered no pace in the stretch and retreated, as did the first over Mister Virgin. A perfectly positioned Ontario Success, who sat second over launched a rally in the stretch, but Odds On Equuleus was tracking that foe every step of the way and he exploded through the stretch with a 26.4 final quarter to win going away in 1:49.2. The win was the second of the season for Odds On Equuleus, driven to victory by Scott Zeron who won three races on the card for trainer Tony Alagna and owners, Odds On Racing. Odds On Equuleus In other action, Panchester United won the prep for the Whata Baron series, scoring a head victory over a game Rock Out in 1:51 for Dave Miller and trainer Ron Burke, who both scored doubles on the card. Panchester United Tonight's Dash For The "G" Notes Final went to Let's Foal Around, who held on by a nose over the surging Mambo Italiano and Rock Star in 1:51.2. The win was one of three on the program for driver Andy Miller. Stacy Chiodo trained the G-Note winner for Eugene Landy. Let's Foal Around The high-money condition pace on the card came in race 12, a $22,500 pacing event that featured a select field of six. Fool Me Once emerged victorious in wire to wire fashion for Scott Zeron and Tony Alagna, who teamed up to win with the aforementioned Odds On Equuleus. Fool Me Once fended off the late challenge of Dovuto Hanover to score a 1:50.4 triumph for owner Bradley Grant. Fool Me Once Both Jackpot Hi-5 pools went unclaimed again. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 sports a carryover of $80,594 into the Friday, April 17th program, while the last race Jackpot carryover now stands at $46,357. Racing resumes on Friday at 7:15 P.M. Horsemen are reminded of the double draw for The Meadowlands, which takes place on Monday for both the Friday and Saturday programs. The upcoming weekend includes the first round of the Whata Baron pacing series as well as the Spring Preview for three year old pacers and trotters, colts/geldings and fillies alike, with separate events for non-winners of 1 and non-winners of 2 company. The Spring Preview requires just a one-time $500 entry fee. The Meadowlands condition sheet is available here. Darin Zoccali

Louisville, KY --- He’s earned $1.06 million, set his lifetime mark of 1:50.3f at age five, will be returning to the scene of his greatest triumphs on Friday night at The Meadowlands (March 20) and has the first stall in his barn. It’s not a bird, it’s not a plane. It’s Sevruga. “The horse was sold in July to Joe Pennacchio and he really cares about him,” said Julie Miller, the gelding’s conditioner. “He realized he might not be doing as well as he should have been and he sent him back to us. It is so terrific to have him back home. Right when he got off the van, his ears were pricked and he took up exactly like he had never left.” The 7-year-old son of SJ’s Caviar and the Malabar Man mare Stunning Lindsey will compete in a $27,500 Open Handicap at the Meadowlands on Friday. It is race six on the card and Sevruga will leave from post position five with his regular pilot, Andy Miller, in the bike. The venerable trotter will take on six foes and is listed at 6-1 on the morning line. It is his second pari-mutuel engagement of 2015 after finishing sixth at Dover Downs on March 11. “I can qualify him three times, but he’s just too smart and knows the difference between that and a real race,” Miller said. “He knows when there is money on the line and gets much more out of his races. At Dover he came out of that race a little sick, but he’s fine now. I expect him to take a couple starts before he is really fit.” Sevruga has faced the starter on 85 occasions with 30 victories, 19 second place finishes and 10 thirds. Unraced at age two, the gelding earned just under $150,000 as a 3-year-old while only performing in two races around the $100,000 purse mark. At that time he was trained by Tyler Raymer and co-owned by Raymer and Jim Meittinis. He was first sent to Andy and Julie Miller as a 4-year-old and earned $244,000 from 21 races. He was also fourth in that year’s Nat Ray and Maxie Lee Memorial behind champion Chapter Seven. It was as a 5-year-old, however, when Sevruga showed how classy he was. He banked $484,575, compiled a record of 22-9-7-2 and posted triumphs in the John Cashman Jr. Memorial and the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial and only failed to hit cash a check twice. “We were so tickled to death when he won those two stakes,” Miller said. “Especially after all the opens he had been in and he proved he could go anywhere as he had won at Pocono, Chester and Yonkers. We were so happy for him that he was able to accomplish that.” After failing to cash a check in the 2013 Breeders Crown and Allerage Pace at the end of his campaign, it was discovered the horse had a piece of bone jutting off the side of an ankle and after Dr. Patty Hogan removed the chip, Sevruga showed up for his 6-year-old campaign as good as new. He captured his first two starts, was second in the third, then third in the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial final and second in the Maxie Lee. Shortly after a fifth place finish in his Cashman elimination, Sevruga was sold and transferred to the barn of Kevin Carr. In his seven starts for Carr he won only one time. Pennacchio returned him to the Millers in the fall and in the six times he raced for them to end his season, he collected a win, two seconds and a third. For the 2014 season, the gelding added $186,870 to his bank account from 23 races. “We gave him some time off to freshen him up and now he is ready to go,” Miller said. “I don’t know if he can keep up with some of the top stakes horses out there, especially with the group of 4-year-olds we have coming out, but he still enjoys being out there. “We have been so lucky to have him and I can’t say enough good things about Joe Pennacchio giving him back to us. When you are a trainer, it’s a job, but there are some horses you really fall in love with and he is it.” As for his personality, Sevruga is exactly what you would expect of a horse that has put together such an outstanding career. “There is not much to say about him because he is such a pleasure to be around in every possible way,” Miller said. “He loves the attention he gets being in the first stall and he just always behaves like a classy, old gentleman. Like I said before, he might have lost a step, but he showed he can still get it done in his qualifying win at the Meadowlands on Feb. 26. We feel he can still do really well in the Opens, but no matter what he does, we are just so, so, happy to have him home.” by Kimberly French USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent Courtesy of the United States Trotting Association Web Newsroom

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - (March 13, 2015) With harness racing Swedish interests looking on from The Meadowlands grandstand, Melady's Monet put forth a flawless audition, winning the $30,000 Open Handicap trot for the second week in a row and for the fifth time in his last eight starts. The 7/5 favorite from post 9, Melady's Monet was gathered back off the gate early in the mile and established a stalking position halfway through the field. The early lead belonged to longshot B YoYo, who reached the first quarter in 26.4, but Andy Miller and Lindy's Tru Grit was not content with his position and that trotter quickly assumed command down the back stretch. Not to be out-done, Brett Miller guided Odds On Amethyst off the pylons and they picked up the pursuit of Lindy's Tru Grit through a 56.3 half-mile. At that point, John Campbell elected to follow Brett Miller's move and Melady's Monet found himself well-positioned second over. But into the far turn, Odds On Amethyst cleared to the front, leaving Melady's Monet first over as the field rolled through three-quarters in 1:25. Both trotters coming off wins at the Open level would proceed to hook-up for a stretch battle. Inside the final eighth of a mile, Melady's Monet was able to wear down Odds On Amethyst to reach the wire in 1:52.3. The win was the fourth on the season for the six year old gelding. Melady's Monet is trained by Kevin McDermott for Melady Enterprises L.L.C. The co-featured event was the $30,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace. That race featured millionaire and world champion, Somwherovrarainbow, who was the 3/5 favorite. But it was not her night tonight as Radar Contact, in what may have been the best performance of her career, not only won, but dominated the field to win by four lengths, posting an 11-1 upset. Somwherovrarainbow was a bit wide in the first turn while following Camille who would grab the lead early in the mile. Those two hit the opening quarter, while racing on even terms in 26.4. The favorite cleared the lead shortly thereafter and took the field down the backstretch with Camille drafting in the pocket through a 55.2 half-mile. At this point, John Campbell guided his mare, Radar Contact to the outside and she committed to a first over grind around the far turn. With that mare at her throat, Somwherovrarainbow reached three-quarters in 1:23.3, but as the field turned for home, it was clear that Radar Contact was going the better of the two. As the mares straightened up in the stretch, Radar Contact found gears four, five and six and she pulled away from the millionaire, leaving her and six other mares in her wake as she rolled to an authoritative win in 1:50.2, pacing a 26.4 final quarter after racing first over. Charisma Hanover rallied for the runner-up spot. Radar Contact is trained by Noel Daley and was driven to victory by John Campbell. The first leg of the Shiaway St Pat trotting series was contested Friday night at The Meadowlands. With 13 horses entered, the first round was split into a pair of $20,000 divisions. The Super Bowl and Charles Singer winner JL Cruze was the name that headlined the list of entries. He was sent off as the 1/5 favorite in the second division and he picked up right where he left off. Settling into third position early in the mile through fractions of 28.2 and 57.4, JL Cruze committed first over as the field moved into the far turn and with a measured move, seized command as the field reached three-quarters in 1:27. In the stretch, JL Cruze turned it on, opening up at will and powering home in 27-seconds to win by many in 1:54. It was the sixth win from eight starts this season for the Eric Ell trainee. The win by JL Cruze gave John Campbell his third win of the program for Kenneth Wood, W J Dittmar Jr. and S J Iaquinta. When he doesn't face JL Cruze (and sometimes even when he does), he wins. That has been the case all winter for Opulent Yankee and that trend continued in the first round of the Shiaway St. Pat on Friday night at The Meadowlands. Sent off as the 2/5 betting choice in the first $20,000 Shiaway St Pat division, Opulent Yankee was kept off the gate slightly and allowed to settle into third position early in the mile with Andy Miller. The front end belonged to the Dover invader Razor Ramone, who was keyed up through a quarter of 27.2. Positions remained unchanged down the backstretch until Miller guided his trotter off the pylons past the half-mile in 57.3 where Opulent Yankee began his pursuit of Razor Ramone. Midway through the far turn it was clear that Opulent Yankee had more in the tank and the gelding cleared the lead going past three-quarters in 1:26.3. In the stretch, Opulent Yankee powered away with the end result never in doubt, gliding to an easy 1:55 score. Sheer Flex rallied for the runner-up spot, with Razor Ramone fading to third. Opulent Yankee is trained by Julie Miller for Little E L.L.C., Art Geiger, Jason Settlemoir and David Stolz. Rising star Jimmy Marohn Jr. had another impressive night at The Meadowlands, winning three races from six drives on the Friday program. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 carried over again. That carryover will be $50,461 into the Saturday program. The last race jackpot also went unclaimed and that carryover is now $167,731. The 13-race Saturday program features the $58,000 Buddy Gilmour Final, led by Wiggle It Jiggleit. Post time is set for 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 20, 2015) - The complexion of the featured $30,000 Open Trot on Friday night at The Meadowlands changed dramatically with the scratch of morning line favorite Melady's Monet. That left the role of the favorite in the hands of the harness racing entry, Lindy's Tru Grit and Master Of Law, sent off at 4/5. Neither was interested in mixing it up early, as Coffeecake Hanover showed good speed, but she quickly conceded the lead to Appomattox heading to the opening quarter in 28.1. Team Six, who established position third on the pylons, made a move heading to the three-eighths pole and took over command down the backstretch. He would lead the field through a 56.3 half-mile. Lindy's Tru Grit began to roll moving into the far turn and challenged Team Six with a first over grind through three-quarter of 1:25.1. His entry-mate, Master Of Law, tracked his cover into the stretch. Team Six came up empty in the lane as Lindy's Tru Grit wrestled the lead away and sprinted to the wire with Master Of Law in hot pursuit. They trotted to the wire together, with Lindy's Tru Grit prevailing by a neck in 1:53.2. Coffeecake Hanover raced very well, trotting strongly through the stretch, emerging from in between horses to finish third. The win was the second of the season for the son of Cantab Hall, driven by Andy Miller for his wife, trainer Julie Miller and owners Lindy Racing Stable and Robert Rudolph. A claiming mini-series for trotters with a claiming price of $12,500 was contested on Friday night at The Meadowlands as well, split in three divisions, with the top three finishers from each division and one fourth place finisher (drawn by lot), advancing to a $20,000 final next week. The first $7,000 division went to Fuel Cell (Corey Callahan), with Powerful Valor and Without A Clue guaranteeing spots in the final. The second division saw Fox Valley Legend (Jimmy Marohn Jr.) power through from in between horses to score. That gelding was claimed by trainer Scott Didomenico. Pocket Passer and Dash For The Cash also advanced to the final. The final division saw a 14-1 upset in the form of Northern Mattador (Scott Zeron), with Casanova Lindy and Free Rollin also qualifying for the final. The fourth place finishers hoping to join the nine automatic qualifiers are Keystone Wallace, Somolli Pirate and Marquesas. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 was unclaimed, producing a carryover into the fifth race on Saturday of $28,624, while the last race Jackpot Super Hi-5 carryover has grown to $133,604. Racing resumes on Saturday night, with three series finals, The Charles Singer, Burning Point and Sonsam featured on the 13-race program which gets underway at 7:15 P.M.   Darin Zoccali

Tim Tetrick has long been one of North America's top harness racing drivers. Now he is ready to take on the world. A native of Illinois who now lives in southern New Jersey, Tetrick will represent the U.S. in the World Driving Championship in Australia. The competition, which brings together 10 drivers from around the world for a 20-race series at six different tracks, begins Saturday at Tabcorp Park Menangle in New South Wales. The 33-year-old Tetrick, a four-time U.S. Driver of the Year who has led North America in purses seven of the last eight years, is making his first appearance in the World Driving Championship. "It's a great honor to be able to represent the United States and hopefully I can win it and make America proud," Tetrick said. "I love competing at a very high level and this is on the international scene. I'm just going to go into it and try to have a good time and enjoy myself and do what I love to do, which is race horses." The World Driving Championship, introduced in 1970, is now conducted every two years. France's Pierre Vercruysse won the 2013 edition, held in his home country, and will defend his title in Australia. Also part of this year's field is Canada's Jody Jamieson, a two-time WDC champion. Past U.S. champs are Joe Marsh Jr. (1974), Ron Pierce (1989) and Dave Magee (1995). "Timmy, good luck over there," Pierce said in a video message to Tetrick. "I hope you get on the right horses and put it on them boys. You know you're better than them. "You're driving for all of us, so we're all rooting for you." Drivers already have received their post positions for the World Driving Championship's 20 races and will drive whichever horse randomly draws the matching starting spot. Tetrick will drive the post No. 10 horse in the opening heat. All drivers will start twice from each of the 10 posts. "Hopefully they give me the best horses," Tetrick said with a laugh. "I'm going to study it the best I can, work with what horses they give me to drive, and hopefully I don't embarrass myself too badly. There are a lot of different (driving) styles. We're all kind of in the same boat, but hopefully I get some good luck with the draws." Learning to compete against various driving styles will be among Tetrick's most difficult challenges. "It was a completely different style of racing than what I was used to," said David Miller, who represented the U.S. in 1999 and finished fifth. "It took me a while (to adjust). We raced at five or six different racetracks and they were action packed. "I think (Tim) could probably watch tapes of races, maybe study the horses. I would just tell him to have fun. Go over there, go all out, and try to win the whole thing. He's a great driver, but you've got to get the horses and you've got to have luck." Andy Miller, who represented the U.S. in 2005 and 2007, with a best finish of fourth, said having a good time is important. "The camaraderie and meeting new people are great memories," Miller said. "I would tell him to have a great time and meet everybody you can and take everything in that you can. It's something you don't get to do very often, so enjoy it. If you're having fun, the wins will come and you'll do better." Tetrick, who in his career has won more than 8,500 races - including the Hambletonian Stakes and 14 Breeders Crowns, is one of five drivers making his first trip to the World Driving Championship. The others are Spain's Guillermo Adrover, Denmark's Knud Monster, France's Tony LeBeller, and Norway's Vidar Hop. Rounding out the field are Australia's Chris Alford, New Zealand's Dexter Dunn, and Finland's Mika Forss. "I definitely want to win," Tetrick said. "But I'm looking forward to visiting the country and seeing what it's like. I'm familiar with a few of (the other drivers). I'm looking forward to hanging out with them and getting to know them, and hopefully coming out with more friends." Ken Weingartner / Harness Racing Communications

At the mutuel windows Thursday night at The Meadowlands, there was $33,183 wagered into the last race Jackpot Super Hi-5 pool, over fifty-percent more than the previous Thursday night. With more than one winning ticket, the carryover expanded to $110,127.87. Additionally, the fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 also continued to grow its carryover which now stands at $18,506.14. On the race track, they have exchanged wins all winter and Thursday night was no exception. The setting was round two of The Charles Singer Memorial Trotting Series, with a purse of $15,000 and the match-up was Opulent Yankee and JL Cruze. Coming into Thursday night, the scoreboard showed a three-to-one lead for JL Cruze, with Opulent Yankee's victory coming in round two of the Super Bowl Series. The "Round Two" trend continued for Opulent Yankee on this night. Sent off as the 3/2 second choice (coupled with Blocking The Way and Propulsion), Opulent Yankee was sent straight to the lead with his driver Andy Miller, posting fractions of 28.1, 57.1 and 1:25.2. JL Cruze got away mid-pack and waited for the cover flow develop as Campbell sat patiently with his Super Bowl Champion. Blocking The Way committed to the lead and JL Cruze took up the chase behind that trotted, but sat loose cover on the far turn while Opulent Yankee continued to coast. Turning for home JL Cruze had work to do while Opulent Yankee shot away from the field. Campbell's trotter accelerated nearing the wire and closed the margin, but he could not catch Opulent Yankee who went a big mile on a cold night in 1:53.4. Detroit Rapper rallied to finish third. Opulent Yankee is owned by Little E L.L.C., Arthur Geiger, Jason Settlemoir and David Stolz and is trained by Julie Miller. The Charles Singer Memorial Final will be one of three series finals contested on the Saturday, February 21st program. Yannick Gingras won three races, while Andy Miller and Brett Miller each drove two winners on the card while Steve Elliot was the trainer of the night winning with two of his three starters. The pick five paid out to one winning ticket on Thursday night, returning $27,930.10 for a $.50 cent wager. Racing resumes on Friday night with post time at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

The Super Bowl re-match took center stage in the first round of the harness racing Charles Singer Memorial Trotting Series Thursday night at The Meadowlands, a night that saw temperatures fall into the single digits, with a windchill approaching zero. It featured Super Bowl Champion JL Cruze and the runner-up, Opulent Yankee. Sent off as the 1/2 choice, JL Cruze got away fourth early, while his rival, Opulent Yankee went straight to the lead, establishing and opening quarter of 28.3. Sensing a softening pace up front, John Campbell sent JL Cruze to the lead down the backstretch, where he took over through a 58-second half. Candy Stash, who left for position was moved to challenge JL Cruze fist over through three-quarters of 1:26.3, while Opulent Yankee loomed in the pocket as the field turned for home. In the stretch, JL Cruze maintained his advantage over Opulent Yankee, who began to pick it up nearing the wire, but fell one length short of his rival. The victory marked the third time in four starts that JL Cruze defeated Opulent Yankee. It was also one of three consecutive wins to start the program for John Campbell. Candy Stash checked in third. JL Cruze is trained by Eric Ell for owners Kenneth Wood, William Dittmar Jr. and Stepehn Iaquinta. The second division was more wide-open on paper and it played out that way as three horses were sent off at 5/2, with Propulsion being a slight favorite by a few hundred dollars. Surprisingly, it was 79-1 longshot Lady Windsor who established the early lead from her outside post, getting to the first quarter in 28.1. She relinquished that lead to the oncoming Propulsion early on the backstretch, who quickly felt a stiff challenge in the form of a blitz from Donnie Darko who cleared the lead just past the half-mile in 56.4. Donnie Darko quickly felt pressure from Walk The Walk who began the first over grind around the far turn, with longshot Detroit Rapper right on his back. In the meantime, Two Hip Dip was starting to rev his engine from the back of the pack. As the field went past three-quarters in 1:25.4, Walk The Walk took the lead as Donnie Darko faltered. Detroit Rapper was a fresh threat with Two Hip Dip charging and Propulsion in behind horses. Nearing the finish, it appeared that Two Hip Dip was going to trot by them all, but he went off-stride in the final sixteenth of a mile, and Walk The Walk hit the wire first for Dave Miller. Detroit Rapper out-performed pari-mutuel expectations to be second with Propulsion and even third. Two Hip Dip was disqualified from fourth and placed fifth behind Lady Windsor for a violation of the breaking rule. Walk The Walk is trained by Chris Ryder, who co-owns the trotter with Sidney Korn, Robert Mondillo and Max Wernick. The $25,000 Dash For The "C" Notes Final for the mare pacers was also contested Thursday night at The Meadowlands. The race featured plenty of early action, with Antigua Hanover heading to the lead before releasing Caviart Shelly through a quarter of 28-seconds. SGT Molly Pitcher promptly engaged the leader, but could not advance past the leaders wheel through a 56-second half mile. Meanwhile, Marty Party, the 7/5 favorite was struggling to catch the cover of SGT Molly Pitcher as the leaders separated themselves from the field through three-quarters of 1:24.1. Caviart Shelly turned for home with the lead, with a pocket-sitting Antigua Hanover in pursuit second. That mare dove to the pylons and took over in mid-stretch and faced a challenge from longshot Stormunn who followed Antigua Hanover around the track, but Antigua Hanover held on to win in 1:54. Stormunn was the runner-up with Caviart Shelly holding on to be third. Antigua Hanover was driven to victory by Andy Miller for trainer Amber Buter and owners Oldford Farms LLC and Tyler Buter. There will be a pair of Jackpot Super Hi-5 carryovers into the Friday card at The Meadowlands. The fifth race carryover is $9880.26, while the last race carryover grew to $87,669.49. Post time for the Friday card is 7:15 P.M. It features round one of the Worldly Beauty series for pacing mares and the $25,000 Final for the trotters as they Dash For The "C" Notes. Darin Zoccali Director of Racing Operations New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC

The first of the Dash For The "C" Notes mini-series this week at The Meadowlands got underway on Thursday night with the filly and mare pacers. It was contested in four divisions requiring a horse finish first or second to guarantee a spot in the $25,000 harness racing Final next week. The word of the night was upset. The first division saw a mild upset as SGT Molly Pitcher (9/2), who led early in the mile, yielded to pressure and re-rallied to score the win in a lifetime best 1:51.2 for driver Vincent Ginsburg. The winner was trained and owned by Robert Ginsburg Jr. Next up was another upset as Antigua Hanover overcame post 10 to score a sharp first over victory at 8-1. Forced to press the pace uncovered after leaving smartly from the outside post, Antigua Hanover just kept on coming wearing down favored Best Boss to win in 1:52.1. Antigua Hanover was driven to victory by Andy Miller for Amber Buter and owners Oldford Farms LLC and Tyler Buter. The third division was captured by 11-1 Weekend Getaway and Yannick Gingras. Entering the contest off a seven week layoff, Weekend Getaway went first over, wearing down Marty Party on the far turn and then holding that mare at bay through the stretch to win in 1:51.2, easily a lifetime mark. Weekend Getaway is trained by Phil Fluet who co-owns the mare with Keith Franklin. The final division also featured an upset winner as Deliciouslynaughty worked out a perfect second over trip to score the victory at 12-1. The race became wide open when 3/5 favorite, Bring Them Home, broke on the first turn. Deliciouslynaughty tracked cover and chased down Rhapsody Rose who did the work on the lead to score in 1:52.4 for John Campbell. The winner was trained by Mark Ford who also owns the mare. The $.20 cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 in both races went unclaimed. The fifth race carryover stands at $1,797.86 while the last race carryover has grown to $71,788.83. Post Time for the Friday program is 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

From where trainer harness racing Linda Toscano sits, JK Patriot looks like his mom. More importantly, the 4-year-old pacer acts like her too. Toscano trained JK Patriot's dam, JK Majorette, a stakes-winning three-quarter sister to millionaire Yankee Cruiser, in 2007 and 2008. Now she conditions JK Patriot for owners Matt Bencic and Sam Schillaci, and is preparing the gelding for Saturday's $56,000 Escort Series final for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers at the Meadowlands. "They have a similar gait," Toscano said about JK Patriot and JK Majorette. "Sitting behind them, his rear end is the exact same as hers was. "She was a good race mare for me, so to get to race him is kind of a cool thing. He's got a really good desire and she was the same way too. She wanted to win." JK Patriot will start Saturday's nine-horse Escort final from post eight with driver David Miller. JK Patriot, who had a win and a second-place finish in the two preliminary rounds of the series, is 6-1 on the morning line. Toscano also will send Khan Blue Chip into the final. Khan Blue Chip, who had a dead-heat win and second-place finish in his preliminary rounds, is 4-1 from post three with driver Andy Miller. The entry of Major Uptrend and Brick Bazooka is the 8-5 morning line favorite, followed by What I Believe at 2-1. JK Patriot and Khan Blue Chip both were trained by Schillaci before being sent to Toscano for the Escort. JK Patriot has won seven of 24 career races and $59,709. In his last nine starts, dating back to early November, he has five victories and four second-place finishes. Khan Blue Chip, owned by William Heinz and Jack Heinz, has won six of 16 lifetime races and $38,739. "They both came from Jodi and Sammy Schillaci; I babysit for them in the wintertime, and I'm happy to do it," Toscano said. "They're good horsemen and they always send horses that look great and are ready to do exactly what they tell me they're ready to do. "(JK Patriot) was good every start before I got him and he's been holding his form. He's been very sharp. (Khan Blue Chip) is a fast horse. He was unlucky in his first start -- he got caught in -- but finished up good. Last week he raced great." Last week, JK Patriot won his Escort division - which was contested at 1-1/8 miles - by two lengths over Major Uptrend, who was eventually disqualified and placed 11th. Toscano believes the extra distance might help the horse in this week's traditional mile race. "It can't hurt," Toscano said. "I don't think (the horses) notice a difference unless they're on the lead or on the outside. But there's no question it will leg one up. When I'm trying to leg one up training, it's not uncommon for me to go a mile-and-a-half, so why wouldn't it help." Major Uptrend, Company Man and What I Believe each won a first-round Escort division. JK Patriot was joined by Khan Blue Chip and What I Believe, who finished in a dead heat, with victories in round two. What I Believe will start from post four with Ron Pierce driving for trainer Ron Burke. Major Uptrend, who went off stride last week in the race won by JK Patriot, leaves from post five with Corey Callahan at the lines, also for Burke. Major Uptrend is coupled with Brick Bazooka, trained by Larry Remmen, because of common ownership. Company Man, trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., drew post one and is 6-1 with driver Tim Tetrick. "It's a good group," Toscano said. "I think the trip will win it. That's what I like about the (JK) Patriot horse; he doesn't seem to need one. The outside hasn't hurt him too much and he's been first up for a long ways. He kind of does what he needs to do. "But there are some really nice horses in there and I think whoever gets the best trip is probably going to be the victor." By Ken Weingartner / Harness Racing Communications / USTA

Harness racing trainer Julie Miller thought Opulent Yankee might be well suited for series racing this winter at the Meadowlands, and so far the 4-year-old trotter has made good on the trainer's beliefs. Opulent Yankee, who joined Miller's stable in November, won both of his starts in the preliminary rounds of the Super Bowl Series for 3- and 4-year-old trotters at the Big M and is likely to be among the favorites in Saturday's $50,000 final. Saturday's card at the Meadowlands also features the $56,000 Escort Series final for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers and the $47,600 Worldly Beauty Series final for 3- and 4-year-old female pacers. Opulent Yankee will start the Super Bowl from post 10 with driver Andy Miller. Propulsion, who also won two preliminary divisions in the series, will leave from post one with Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer Tony Alagna. Other division winners JL Cruze, Two Hip Dip and Blocking The Way drew posts four through six, respectively. Jeff Gural's Little E LLC bred and co-owns Opulent Yankee with Arthur Geiger, Jason Settlemoir and David Stolz. Gural also is among the owners of Propulsion, with Brittany Farms, Joe Sbrocco and the partnership of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. "I've been really happy with him," Miller said about Opulent Yankee. "Mr. Gural sent him to us after Lexington and we evaluated him and we told him we really liked the horse. We thought he could be a major contender in the winter series at the Meadowlands and it's proven to be true. He's been good in the first two legs and hopefully he'll be right there for the final." Opulent Yankee (Muscles Yankee-Opulent Bluestone) was winless in eight starts at age 2, but finished third three times, including in a division of the Reynolds Memorial Stakes at Vernon Downs. He went off stride in his 2014 debut, in the Charles Smith Trot at Freehold in September, but rebounded to win in 1:51.4 in a late closer at The Red Mile two weeks later. After two more starts in October, Opulent Yankee was given time off. He was entered to sell in the November Standardbred Horse Sale's Mixed Sale, but was withdrawn. "He has a nice way of going and a great gait to him; a good attitude and nice size and conformation," Miller said. "When he was in Lexington he showed some speed, so I felt like he was definitely a horse that could be competitive at this level. If they show a little bit of talent at 2 and 3, there is something to work with from the get-go. "The first time Andy and I trained Opulent Yankee, I said to Andy that I hoped Mr. Gural didn't want to sell (Opulent Yankee) because I thought he would be something nice to hang onto for the 4-year-old year. I don't know if he can step up to being a Grand Circuit 4-year-old, but for what we're asking of him right now, I definitely think he's a major contender." Miller is no stranger to winter success at the Meadowlands. In 2013, she finished 1-2 in the Super Bowl with Windsun Galliano and Helios. Last year, she saw Perfect Alliance win the Singer Memorial Series and Bambino Glide capture two legs of the Horse & Groom Series. And in 2009, Lucky Jim won the Horse & Groom on his way to dominating the summer and fall open stakes and a Dan Patch Award as best older male trotter. Opulent Yankee's ownership group is the same partnership that raced Perfect Alliance last year. Opulent Yankee won his first round of the Super Bowl by 5-3/4 lengths over Annapolis in 1:55 and won his second round by a half-length over JL Cruze in 1:53.2. "I don't want to date myself, but when I first raced in the Super Bowl, they were going in (1):56 and (1):57 to win it," Miller said. "Now it's a whole different level of horses that are eligible to those races. It makes for competitive racing, which is what we're all looking for. There are no easy spots in these series. They've really developed a nice program for these horses. "This final should be a great race. It's going to be the draw and how the trip works out. But I have a lot of confidence in Andy and Opulent Yankee." by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA  

Three second-round $15,000 divisions of the Super Bowl headlined an 11-race Thursday program at The Meadowlands. Each of the three divisions featured at least one first round winner. The first division featured first round winner Blocking The Way, who ironically was not sent off as the favorite. That honor went to Two Hip Dip at 4/5, who broke in round one but rallied impressively to get back into the race at the end of the mile. The early speed came from Bad I Am who got to the opening quarter in 28 seconds flat. He quickly yielded to the pocket behind Blocking The Way and Andy Miller who would dictate the terms through a 56.4 half-mile and a 1:25.4 third quarter. But trouble was lurking in the form of Two Hip Dip who was following dull-cover but that didn't stop him from exploding through the stretch to win going away by three-plus lengths in 1:54.1 Dave Miller was the pilot for trainer/owner Nick Salenetri. Propulsion was the headliner in the second division, and he certainly did not disappoint. A compelling winner as a prohibitive favorite in round one, Propulsion once again took all the tote action as the 1/9 favorite and while he had to work harder on this night, he still emerged victorious. Electing to sit just off the speed, set by Annapolis, Propulsion trotted along from third position through fractions of 28.4 and 58.1, before pulling first over towards three-quarters in 1:27.1 and then fighting gamely to fend over Passing Jetta to win in 1:55 flat. Propulsion was driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Brittany Farms, Katz, Libfeld, Goldband, Sbrocco and Little E L.L.C. The third division featured a showdown between a pair of round one winners in Opulent Yankee and JL Cruze. In their previous meeting, JL Cruze soundly defeated his rival, but the story played out differently Thursday night. JL Cruze was asked for speed right off the gate and made the lead through fractions of 28.2, 56.4 and 1:25.3. All the while Opulent Yankee was sitting the pocket just behind JL Cruze. Into the stretch, a first over Cue Hall was keeping Opulent Yankee pinned at the pylons, but when that trotter backed away a touch, Opulent Yankee had dead aim on the leader and came charging out of the pocket to nail JL Cruze in the final strides. The wins now stand at one-a-piece going into the rubber match in the $50,000 Final on Saturday, January 24th. Opulent Yankee is trained by Julie Miller for Little E LLC, Geiger, Settlemoir and Stolz. Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 pools carried over again. The fifth race carryover now stands at $19,726.07 while the thirteenth race carryover is $42,474.52. Racing resumes on Friday, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. That program features the second round of the Wordly Beauty series for the pacing fillies and mares. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

Lindy's Tru Grit, who just one month ago was struggling to stay trotting at the C-1 level scored his third consecutive victory since the addition of trotting hobbles Friday night at The Meadowlands, defeating some of the best trotters on the grounds, winning the Free For All Handicap in a lifetime best 1:52.1. Sent off as the 2-1 favorite, Lindy's Tru Grit left for position from his inside post and was allowed to sit the pocket behind the pace setting Odds On Amethyst who cut the mile through fractions of 27.3, 55.2 and 1:23.1. The outer flow never developed as Appomattox attempted to rally first over, but never got close to the leaders and Odds On Amethyst was able to lead the field all the way into the stretch. That enabled Lindy's Tru Grit to pull the pocket nearing the top of the stretch, then rallied to the outside of Odds On Amethyst who he wore down coming down to the wire and scored the victory with Andy Miller in the bike. Upfront Billy maintained his position in third throughout the mile. Lindy's Tru Grit is trained by Julie Miller for Lindy Racing Stable and Robert Rudolph. With Dali did it again in the first round of the Wordly Beauty series. Her trainer Tony Alagna said in a paddock interview with Meadowlands television personality Justin Horowitz that With Dali "spent a lot of the last year practicing for her return to the races." Practice makes perfect, literally. Witch Dali has not lost since returning from her year layoff, sporting a perfect five for five record since her first start back on December 5th. She was a dominant winner at The Meadowlands Friday night and looks like the horse to beat in the Worldly Beauty following her 1:51.1 lifetime best performance. Sent right to the lead by Tim Tetrick, the 1/5 prohibitive favorite Witch Dali established a strong pace, setting fractions of 27.1, 55.3 and 1:23.1 before turning for home and pulling away to an impressive 1:51.1 score over longshot Frame Worthy, who chased from the two-hole throughout the mile. Safe From Terror completed the trifecta. Witch Dali is owned by Alagna Racing L.L.C. and Bradley Grant. The favorite-trend continued in the second division of The Worldly Beauty with Donttellruss, sent off as the overwhelming 2/5 choice, scoring the victory in a lifetime best 1:51.2. Yannick Gingras elected to keep the favorite mid-pack while the leaders took turns battling for the front end through fractions of 27.2 and 55.4. It was at that point that Donttellruss made her move for the lead going into the far turn and she had little trouble clearing the front around the turn. Taking the field past three-quarters in 1:24, Donttellruss was feeling pressure from Impatience, who she fought off before fending off the challenge of Empress Deo through the lane, while drawing clear to win decisively. Donttellruss is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Karr and Baladchino. Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 wagers continued to carry over. The fifth race carryover now stands at $14,812.80 while the thirteenth race carryover is now $34,996. Total Handle for the Friday program was $2,901,128. Post Time for the Saturday program, featuring the first round of the Escort Series is set for 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

East Rutherford, NJ (January 8th) - The Super Bowl, which marks the traditional start of the winter late closer program at The Meadowlands saw its first round contested at The Meadowlands on Thursday night. It featured four divisions, each worth $12,500. The first division featured an overwhelming favorite in the form of JL Cruze. Sent off as the 2/5, prohibitive choice, JL Cruze settled into third position behind a pair of longshots who set the tempo to the tune of a 28.1 first quarter and a 57 second half mile. It was at that point that John Campbell decided to make his move for the lead as he guided JL Cruze off the pylons and asked his gelding for speed. JL Cruze responded and quickly asserted command as he trotted past three-quarters in 1:27, before powering away through a 27.2 final quarter to complete the mile in a sharp 1:54.2, winning by five lengths on a bitterly cold evening at The Meadowlands. Mm's Roanie was second with Charleston Springs third. The winner is trained by Eric Ell for W Kenneth Wood, J. Dittmar Jr. and S J Iaquinta. The second division also featured a short-priced favorite, in fact Propulsion was sent off as the 1/9 choice and did not disappoint. The speed came in the form of longshot Always Quick Star who set the pace through fractions of 28 and 57.4, with Northern Secret riding the pocket trip. Propulsion situated himself second over through three-quarter of 1:26.3, while Jewels In Hock, who was leading the outer flow took the lead turning for home. As the field straightened up, Jewels In Hock broke on the lead and Propulsion inherited the lead and quickly pulled away to score in 1:54.4 for Tim Tetrick. Teach Me To Bucky was second and Northern Secret checked in third. Propulsion is trained by Tony Alagna for Brittany Farms, Katz, Libfeld, Sbrocco and Little E L.L.C. Jeff Gural made a trip to the winners circle after the second division of the Super Bowl as one of the co-owners of Propulsion, he returned quickly after the third division with Opulent Yankee. Sent off as the 2/5 favorite, Opulent Yankee was allowed to settle into third position as longshot Mass Appeal dictated the terms through an opening quarter of 28.2 and a half-mile of 57.2, before conceding the lead to pocket-pulling second choice Annapolis, who led the field around the far turn before being pounced on by a tracking Opulent Yankee, who loomed up and powered past Annapolis to draw clear and win impressively in 1:55, completing the final quarter in just 27.3. Annapolis held on to the runner-up spot with Windsun Cobra third. The final Super Bowl division was the most wide-open division on paper. Blocking The Way was sent off as the 2-1 favorite at post time and took no prisoners as he led every step of the way to score in 1:54.1. Allowed to settle on the lead early in the mile, Andy Miller established the early pace through fractions of 28.1, 56.2 and 1:25.3 without seeing much of a challenge. Bad I Am committed first over, but was only able to get up to Blocking The Way's wheel as the field turned for home. Dress For Success, who was tracking the cover of Bad I Am accelerated in the stretch and was charging late after the winner, but came up just a head short while finishing second. Bad I Am saved the show. Blocking the way is trained by Julie Miller for The Lindy Farms of Connecticut. The second round of the Super Bowl series will take place next Thursday, January 15th. Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 wagers went unclaimed with multiple tickets winning. The fifth race carryover now stands at $12,446, with the last race carryover at $31,182. Racing returns at The Meadowlands on Friday Night, featuring the first round of the Worldly Beauty series. Post time is 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

DOVER, Del. --- Martz Time, an impressive winner last week with Andy Miller driving, drew the rail in the $18,000 Open/Handicap trot, Wednesday, Dec. 10 at Dover Downs. First post is 4:30 p.m. Quickly taking the lead on the backstretch last week, Martz Time went on to roll home a 4-1/2 length winner. John McGill and Brian Carsey own the Indiana bred gelding. Enrico AS with Ross Wolfenden driving for Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta, was the race-favorite last week. Tina Clark and Joe Clark's Baximum has been right there in all his four local starts with a win two seconds and a third. C & G Racing's The Triple Lindy is moving up from a powerful eight-length victory in a Winners-Over last time. Stakes seasoned Frost Free Hanover qualified well with Corey Callahan a week ago. E&J Stable and Lois and Earl Walters' I'm So Striking, a twice winner and second in his last start for Eddie Dennis, was scratched last Wednesday while Jonathan Roberts will drive the fast sophomore I Like My Boss owned by trainer Bob Shahan and Jim and A.M. Parsons. It's 4 of 5 wins for Star Recruit at Dover Star Recruit made amends for finishing second last time out, winning for the fourth time in five starts to win the $$20,000-$25,000 Claiming Handicap on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Dover Downs. Owned by Black Magic Racing, the Dragon Again-Remarkable Star gelding notched his 11th victory of the season in his 40th start while earning $85,245. Corey Callahan was the winning driver for trainer Nick Surick. Just Bettor (Vic Kirby) was second with Bettor And Bold (Trace Tetrick) third. Allan Davis steered four winners, Corey Callahan, owners Lou Catana and co-owner trainer Vince Bradley had doubles. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

DOVER, Del. --- Martz Time made his first local start a winning one taking the $18,000 Open trot on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at Dover Downs. Ross Wolfenden wins three more. With the starting field reduced to five as Cash On Delivery and I'm So Striking were scratched and Andy Miller in the bike for trainer Nick Surick, Martz Time, in his Dover debut, made a hurried move from third on the backstretch to collar front trotting Enrico AS and then sped away to his sixth victory of the season for owners John McGill and Brian Carsey, a 1:53.3 clocking in the week's feature trot. Baximum (Allan Davis), last week's winner, closed strongly for second in front of Powerful Charger (Trace Tetrick). Martz Times victory lifts the Primetime Ranger-Beccas Best five-year-old gelding's seasonal earnings to $109,700 and $225,081 lifetime. Ronan, with Corey Callahan at the controls, steered Mike Casalino and trainer Dylan Davis' Andover Hall-Roisin gelding, to a 1:57 victory in a $14,000 Winners-Over trot. Celia Hall (Roger Plante) was runner-up. The third finisher was Joyeaux Dream (Ross Wolfenden). In a $13,000 Winners-Over trot, trainer-driver Vic Kirby piloted The Triple Lindy to a 1:55.2 score for C&G Racing Stable. Dnieper (Tony Morgan) came on to finish second. Ashes Cash (Tyler Raymer) was third. Ross Wolfenden, who drove his 6,000th win Tuesday, added three more to his total. Vic Kirby and Jonathan Roberts and trainer Joe Hundertpfund had two wins as did Trish Foulk, with an owner-trainer double. So Take That, Nova Artist, Just A Jolt lead the $25,000 Delaware Special feature on a big Thursday card. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. There is no live racing Friday and Saturday. Sunday racing resumes at 5:30 p.m. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

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