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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

TRACEUR HANOVER TAKES COLT DIVISION

After being involved in a series accident in the seventh race at Pocono Downs Wednesday, harness racing driver George Napolitano, Jr. recovered quickly from his hospital visit to make the journey to Harrah's Philadelphia and win two of the three divisions in the co-feature trots and a total of five races on the program..   The three divisions of the mid-conditioned level trot headlined the card on a rainy Thursday afternoon from Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of $17,000.   In the first division, it was 4 Leaf Racing's Smoother Ride (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) with a front-end victory.   The son of Yankee Glide quarter-brushed past early leader (and eventual second place finisher) Muscolo (Tim Tetrick) just after the quarter pole.   From that point, he never looked back, splashing to a two length victory in 1:55.3.   Hoosier Park invader Time Will Tell All (Corey Callahan) emerged first-over from the three-hole past three-quarters, but flattened out to finish third.   Smoother Ride ($2.40) picked up his fifteenth victory of the year for trainer John Mc Dermott.   In the second division, it was Howard Jacobs' Political Desire (Geo Napolitano Jr.) going gate-to-wire for the victory.   The 8-year-old son of Tom Ridge was well-rated the first half (58.1) and had plenty left in the tank for the stretch drive.   He went on to win by a length and a quarter, stopping the timer in 1:56.   Wind Neath My Feet (Marcus Miller) finished a game second in his debut for the Jake Huff barn, while Way Outta Here (Andrew McCarthy) rallied for third.   Political Desire ($3.40) was one of three training wins for Kevin Carr.   The gelding is one win away from notching his 40th career victory.   The third and final division went to J&T Silva Stables' Omnipotent (Andrew McCarthy).   The daughter of Donato Hanover laid off the early battle, which saw Il Mago (Daryl Bier) and Bastille (Andy Miller) exchange leads.   Omnipotent (8.40) worked out a solid second-over trip, and was able to out close the leaders in the final steps, winning by a neck, stopping the clock in 1:56.2.   Il Mago had to settle for second, while Bastille faded to third.   Driver George Napolitiano Jr., who was unseated in a drive Wednesday night at Pocono Downs, had five winners on the card, maintaining his lead in the driver standings.   Live racing returns Friday afternoon with a first post of 12:40 PM.   Mike Bozich  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - After keeping each other company on the sidelines for the past several months, driver Andy Miller and his world champion trotting mare, Perfect Alliance, are nearing an official return to the races. After fracturing a pair of lumbar vertebrae in an accident at Yonkers Raceway on April 15, Miller returned to the races Tuesday (October 14) morning to drive the mare to a 35-length victory in 1:54.2 in a qualifying race at Harrah's Philadelphia. "I felt very good this morning, obviously I'm still feeling the injury a little bit but it's not bothering me," said Miller. "I plan to ease back into racing. I'm not ready to drive 10 horses a day, but my plan is to be fully back by the time the Meadowlands opens on November 14." Perfect Alliance was also off-track for more than a month this summer. Beginning in June, she spent six weeks recovering at Allerage Farm in New York after battling sickness and other health issues upon returning from racing in Canada. The 4-year-old mare stormed to an 11-race winning streak earlier this season, including a win in the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine in a world-record time of 1:51.2 "She came back from her time off and looks super," said trainer Julie Miller, who is also Andy's wife. "She put weight on and she's been feeling great. We took her with us to Lexington last month so we could work with her every day. All along, we've said we would let her tell us when she was ready." With few racing options in the immediate future, Team Miller says the plan is to have Perfect Alliance qualify for racing once again next week. Her first race back is scheduled to be the $148,000 Muscle Hill Mare Trot at Vernon Downs on November 1 followed by the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands. Perfect Alliance is owned in partnership by Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, Jason Settlemoir, Dave Stolz and Art Geiger. "We know everyone has a watchful eye on her," said Miller. "The owners supported the decision to give her a rest, especially after she raced so hard over the winter. I think we did the right thing by her. Most of the other top mares have been racing hard straight through the summer and fall and hopefully we can be fresh and pick up the pieces here at the end of the year." Andy has a final checkup with his doctor Wednesday then will plan his official return to the races. While he's looking forward to the return, his wife is taking a more cautious approach: "If it were up to me, he'd only drive our own horses at first. I've gotten used to having him around all the time during his injury. It was nice to see him so much," stated Julie Miller. Andy Miller has won more than 8,000 races in his career with purse earnings of more than $100 million. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

Marvin Miller, the father of horsemen Erv and Andy Miller, died Saturday afternoon, Oct. 4, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Ill., after a long bout with cancer. He was 67. Mr. Miller, a member of the Old Order Amish Faith, was a long-time breeder and owner of Standardbreds. He managed the Arthur Sale Barn in Arthur, Ill., for more than 12 years, and also operated the Midwest Standardbred Sale in Arthur. Mr. Miller was born Feb. 19, 1947 in Tuscola, Ill. He was a son of Andy A. and Edna C. (Bontrager) Miller. He married his wife, Anna Mae Hostetler, on Feb. 24, 1966 in Arcola, Ill. Mr. Miller is survived by his wife of 48 years, Anna Mae; seven children, Ervin M. (Heidi Sue), Andy Ray (Julie), Mary Louise (Lamar Yoder), Ruth Ann (Raymond Herschberger), Mattie Marie (Nelson Miller), Omer Jay, and Elmer M. (Loretta); 34 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; three brothers, Melvin Ray (Mary), Alva (Elsie), and Edward (Ruth); five sisters Mary Miller, Dorothy Miller (Kenneth), Verna Herschberger (Mervin), Edna May Herschberger (William), and Anna Herschberger (Nelson). He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Ervin Miller. Visitation will be held Sunday, Oct. 5, from 2-5 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 6, from 6-8 p.m. at the HCK West Building in Arthur, Ill. Funeral services will held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at the HCK West Building, with Bishop Howard Miller officiating. Intermentl will be in the Otto Cemetery.  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 29, 2014 -- Weeper, Pennsylvania's champion 3-year-old filly pacer, performed like a champion Monday at The Meadows when she rolled to a stake record 1:51 in a division of a $90,000 Keystone Classic. Katie Said and Do Your Job took the event's other divisions, each in 1:51.4 -- the stake record until Weeper smashed it. Weeper was let go at 11-1 in the PA Sires Stake final, but the public displayed no ambivalence about her chances Monday, hammering her down to 1-5. The daughter of Allamerican Native-Pleasant Yet Bad, who extended her career bankroll to $392,888, charged to the front for Dave Palone and defeated Stucklikeglue by 1-1/4 lengths geared down. Fancy Desire was third. Because Weeper is still relatively fresh -- only 11 starts this year -- winning trainer Kelly O'Donnell said her owner, Joe Thomson's Bay Pond Racing Stable, may consider supplementing her to this weekend's Glen Garnsey at The Red Mile. "She's only raced twice in the last 13 weeks," O'Donnell said. "We hit a couple of bumps in the road, and we had to give her a little time. She's not a horse you can race every week, but she doesn't take a whole lot of work either. We'll have to see how she comes out of this." Although Katie Said has won nine of 16 outings this year, she hadn't been in front at the quarter in any of her last six races. She extended that streak Monday, moving to the lead past the quarter for Marcus Miller and downing Lasting Appeal by 2-1/2 lengths. Someislandsomwhere earned show.   "Earlier in the year, she had breaking problems," Marcus Miller said. "Everybody knew it, and she wasn't a pretty breaker, so they were often trying to leave around her. So it just worked out she learned how to race from behind. She absolutely will run down good mares." Julie Miller trains the daughter of Well Said-Katies Lucky Lady, who now has banked $192,926, for Andy Miller Stable and Black Horse Racing. Do Your Job hadn't raced since Aug. 29, but Brian Zendt gave her a ground-saving trip, and she found the Lightning Lane in time to upset 3-5 favorite Also Encouraging by a nose. Early leader Cinamony completed the ticket. Tom Fanning conditions the daughter of Western Terror-Tootsie J for Fly By Night Stables and David Van Wart. "I was a little worried when I saw she'd been off for awhile," said Zendt, who drove three winners on the 16-race card. "Tom called me and said she was ready, give her a shot, so we did. She's a pleasure to drive. She did it easily." $71,200 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-old Filly Trotters The program also featured a $71,200 Keystone Classic for sophomore filly trotters, with Donatella Hanover and Cantabs Fortune capturing the splits. Donatella Hanover was in her customary spot -- fifth down the backside -- when she moved with authority for Brett Miller, gobbling up the leaders and triumphing in 1:55.3, 3/4 lengths better than the fast-closing Steppin Out. Broadway Socks, who lacked late racing room, finished third. "I think she's better from off the pace; that's why I choose to race her that way," Brett Miller said. "I put her on the front once, and I didn't like her there. She waited on them. She's so well mannered that she never looks like she has a whole lot of trot, but when you pull her, she goes." The daughter of Cantab Hall-On the Glide has earned $143,146 for trainer Jimmy Takter and owner Christinatakterandthekids. Cantabs Fortune, a smallish filly, raced big after quarter-poling to the front for David Miller, trainer Rick Zeron and owners Rick Zeron Stables, Paul Marion and Ferme Rico Limitee. She prevailed in a career-best 1:54.2, 4-1/2 lengths better than Outsourced Hanover, with Travelin Dream third. "She's real handy, trots all the time," David Miller said. "And she can go some. I figured I could get back to the lead pretty easy. Everything went smooth." Tuesday's card at The Meadows features a pair of Keystone Classics for 3-year-old colts and geldings -- an $83,400 pace and an $81,200 trot. First post is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

LEXINGTON, KY-- In the premier afternoon card of the annual Grand Circuit fortnight, harness racing sophomore filly trotters were in the spotlight, as they competed in two divisions of the $173,400 Bluegrass Stakes. And one filly stole the spotlight as Cee Bee Yes became the fastest three-year-old trotting filly ever with her victory in 1:50.2. With Cooler Schooner setting fast fractions, Cee Bee Yes coasted in the pocket, passed her into the stretch and dueled with Hambletonian Oaks-winner Lifetime Pursuit, ultimately getting her neck in front to win in the world record clocking. The prior world mark was 1:50.4 set by Lifetime Pursuit earlier this year. Cooler Schooner took control with ease, while Cee Bee Yes sat in second and Lifetime Pursuit in third. The top trio remained in that order as Cooler Schooner set splits of :27.4, :53.2 (:25.3), and 1:21.4 (:28.2). Galloping at the top of the stretch, Cooler Schooner was passed by Lifetime Pursuit, with Cee Bee Yes circling by, too. In the final eighth, Lifetime Pursuit had a slight advantage on Cee Bee Yes, who trotted alongside, then by the world champion filly, to christen her has a champion in 1:50.2 (:28.3). Owned by Jason and Doug Allen, trained by Julie Miller, and driven by Scott Zeron, the daughter of Muscles Yankee-Enbeecee-Enjoy Lavec paid $115.40 to win, with the $2 exacta, over 1/9 favorite Lifetime Pursuit, paying $217. This victory pushed Cee Bee Yes's career earnings to $339,532. "I didn't expect her to be the fastest of all-time, but I knew the race would set up with fast fractions," regular driver Andy Miller said, whose been sidelined due to a race injury sustained in April. "She's a very tough filly. Scott [Zeron] did a great job getting her into the race. He was patient, then he got her home." "In this business, you always throw the audible, but we would talk to Ron Allen and see the plans," trainer Julie Miller said in regards to Cee Bee Yes's retirement at the end of the season. "I would think she'd be a great mother." Cee Bee Yes Shake It Cerry, clearing the lead before the half, strode through the stretch to win in 1:51.2. The other Takter-trainee in the field, Scream And Shout, took the lead, while My Inspiration got away in second and Shake It Cerry in third. After a :27.2 quarter, Shake It Cerry made her move. Controlling the pace through a :55.1 (:27.4) half and 1:23.2 (:28.1) third quarter, Shake It Cerry kicked clear of Scream And Shout chasing in second, while Chivaree Hanover was rallying down the center of the course into second, and My Inspiration weaved her way into third. Shake It Cerry crossed the line in 1:51.2 (:28). With career earnings of $1,405,205, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide is owned by Solveig's Racing Partners, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Ron Pierce. Paying $3.00, her 1:51.2 mile is a lifetime best. "The filly [Shake It Cerry] took me around there [The Red Mile] on her own," driver Ron Pierce said. "I just sat there, just a passenger." "She sure felt like it to me," Pierce also said in regards to Shake It Cerry's sharp form. "I was saying 'Whoa girl, whoa, girl,' and she was thinking I was saying 'Go girl, go girl.' I could have let her trot and easily broke the world record, but I didn't see any sense of it; we have the Breeders Crown coming up, the [Filly] Futurity next week. There are still some major races for her." Shake It Cerry Live racing will resume on Thursday, October 2 with the $300,000 International Stallion Series for two-year-old filly trotters. The entry box will be open until 9:30amEDT on Monday, September 29. Post time for that card is scheduled for 1:00pmEDT. Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 22, 2014 -- Staring at a 4-1/2-length deficit behind the loose leader, Kelsey's Keepsake launched a determined first-over move that carried her to the upset victory in the fastest division of Monday's Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The $118,200 stake for 2-year-old filly trotters was contested over three divisions, with Blessings Counted and Wouldn't Itbesweet also capturing splits. Winning driver Marcus Miller thought he had a shot to catch the 1-5 favorite, Jersey Strong, when his filly got away flat. "The one thing I was worried about -- my filly doesn't get off the car very well from the rail," Miller said. "I was worried first about her trotting, and she took care of the rest. She was very good today, very solid, the best she's been for me." Sent off at 5-1, the daughter of Yankee Glide-Distaff relentlessly tracked Jersey Strong and defeated her by a neck in 1:57.3, with Product Placement third. Julie Miller trains Kelsey's Keepsake for Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Peggy Hood. In the final start of her freshman campaign, Blessings Counted was determined to take the lead, and winning driver Dan Rawlings didn't think it wise to dissuade her. "She's been getting pretty grabby, so she was going to the front today," Rawlings said. "I thought I was the best in here, so I wanted to dictate fractions. She has a lot of potential, but they'll have their work cut out for them this winter trying to keep her manners under control. If they do that, she'll come back as a nice filly. She's going away sound and healthy." Even under Rawlings' restraint, Blessings Counted won handily in 1:58, 1-3/4 lengths better than Matter Hatter. The first-over Sweet Shurga completed the ticket. Rick Beinhauer trains the homebred daughter of Muscle Massive-Winner Springs and owns with Regina Beinhauer. Wouldn't Itbesweet also prevailed easily on the front end, although winning trainer/driver Jim Raymer wasn't completely satisfied with the way she finished. "She's so quick off the gate -- that first eighth, she can beat anybody -- that I can get her in a bad spot," Raymer said of the $30,000 yearling purchase. "She's a little filly, and I think she's telling me she's had enough. For the fractions she had, I thought she'd be a little better on the end of it." Nevertheless, she downed Cantabulous Julie by 2-1/2 lengths in 2:00.2. Trustworthy Gal earned show. Harbor Racing Stable campaigns the daughter of Cantab Hall-US Victory, who is eligible for the Circle City at Hoosier Park. In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Rescue Team turned back several challenges and scored in 1:52.4 on the front end for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Metro Ville was second, 1-3/4 lengths in arrears, with Do Me Honor third. The 4-year-old daughter of Western Terror-Tended Rose extended her career bankroll to $136,175. Palone, Burke and Eric Ledford each fashioned a three-bagger on the 16-race card. The Keystone Classics continue Tuesday at The Meadows with an $88,600 stake for freshman filly pacers. First post is 12:55 PM. by Nick Salvi, for the Red Mile

If you like trotters then Mohawk Racetrack was the place to be Tuesday evening, as the Campbellville, Ontario oval hosted five OSS Grassroots divisions for three-year-old fillies of the square-gaited variety. Quadrophenia prevailed in the first division, though things didn’t look pretty for the Dave Menary trainee at the head of the lane. James MacDonald treated the even-money favourite to a two-hole trip behind Diamonds For Life who threw down panels of :28, :57.2 and 1:27.1 before coughing up the lead to Suegrabbitnrun. Quadrophenia was double up in the two-hole looking for room, and she was fortune to get it in deep stretch. She then used a :29.4 closing quarter to win by a length over Suegrabbitnrun, with Northern Secret a well-beaten third. Kjell Magne Andersen of Slependen, Norway owns the youngster who improved her 2014 record to 4-2-0 from nine starts with the win. Despite being unraced as a rookie, the filly has stashed away $37,900 to date. Mystical Wishes had a rough trip at Rideau Carleton Raceway in her latest, but she bounced back and won as she pleased in the second division. Doug McNair rallied the 1-5 favourite to the three-length score over Flexible Woman in 1:57.1. Taking home the show dough was Carefulwhatyouwish. Tony Alagna trains the homebred daughter of Muscle Mass for Indiana partners, Mystical Marker Farms LLC of Dyer and Peggy Hood of Valparaiso. The filly was winless in four starts last season, but she’s now 6-for-11 this year. She’s managed to bank over $48,000 to date. Dream Act destroyed the field she faced in the third division. Mario Baillargeon powered to the lead with the daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe-Dream Of Becca, and she successfully whacked out panels of :28, :56.4 and 1:25.2 en route to the eight-length triumph over Aphrodity in 1:55.2. Missys Ga Ga rounded out the top three finishers. Andy Miller Stable Inc, Nick Surick and Hannah Miller share ownership on the Ben Baillargeon trainee who won for the first time in six starts this season. The $9,000 payday lifted her lifetime loot to $34,320. Serendipitious forced a recall in the fourth division when she broke behind the gate and had her overcheck pop off, but she had a flawless start the second go around and went on to post a victory for driver Chris Christoforou. The Daughter of Majestic Son-Royal B G survived a first-over trip en route to posting the 1:58.2 win over Doweypuffandhow and Capturethememory. Guy Polillo of Brantford, Ontario owns the filly who is now 2-for-2 since relocating to the stable of trainer John Mungillo. The three-time winner bumped her lifetime bankroll to $28,772 with the win. Torches Star extended her OSS winning streak to three-in-a-row thanks to a career-best clocking of 1:57.2 in the final division. Steve Condren brushed the Ben Wallace trainee to the lead in the backstretch, and after doling out middle splits of :58 and 1:28 she was able to generate a :29.2 closing quarter which was good enough to earn her the score by three-quarters of a length over Chelseas Chance. Taking home the show dough was K D Bella. Brad Grant of Milton, Ontario owns the filly who improved this year’s record to 4-0-2 from 11 starts with the win. She’s banked in excess of $40,000 this year and more than $88,000 to date.   Before the pari-mutuel card got underway at Mohawk tonight, the $18,000 Grassroots final division for 3yo filly trotters that was rained out last night was held as a non-wagering event prior to Tuesday evening’s 12-race card. Jack Litten shot to the top from Post 8 for driver Doug McNair, and after slicing out splits of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.4 he fired home in :29.4 to win by 2-3/4 lengths over Class Me Nice in 1:56.3. Taking home third prize was Massive Pockets. Gregg McNair trains the son of Muscle Mass-PJ Naomi for Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan, and together they watched the gelding improve this year’s record to 2-1-3 from 11 starts with the win. The $9,000 payday bumped his overall earnings to $38,962. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Batavia, NY---There was a lot of harness racing action on Wednesday night (Aug. 27) at Batavia Downs and as the New York Sire Stakes headlined the racing, both man and beast were in top form. The Ron Burke trained Sassa Hanover (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sayo Hanover) re-wrote the record books when she toured the facility in a blistering 1:54.2, erasing the old mark of 1:54.4 for a 2-year-old pacing filly set by Barefoot Beauty just last year. This was the fourth track record set at Batavia Downs in 2014. Jim Morrill Jr. left the gate with Sassa Hanover from post five in the $35,867 division and dropped in third behind the early leader Devil Child (Jimmy Whittemore) and the pocket sitting Yes You Can (Mike Whelan). But when they headed up the backside for the first time, Morrill quickly came out and overtook the leader by the quarter in :28.1 and at that point, the race was over. Sassa Hanover got to the half in :57.1 and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 and from there her only adversary was the clock. Morrill popped the plugs past the last station and the slick-gaited filly paced her hips off down the lane in a :28 flat last quarter and the record breaking final time of 1:54.2. Sassa Hanover paid $2.10 for the win. Devil Child (American Ideal-Kattimon) was second and Yes You Can (If I Can Dream-Cantbuymehappiness) was third. This was the fifth win in six starts for Sassa Hanover and it boosted her bank account to $125,992 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, The Panhellenic Stable Corp, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Lawrence Karr. In the first $35,167 division, Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover) made it two in a row for trainer Paul Jessop and driver Jim Morrill Jr. but not without a tenuous ending. My Little Delight (Mark MacDonald) left swiftly in the four horse field and spearheaded fractions of :27.4, :58.2 and 1:28.4. But the action picked up at the three-quarters when Pop The Tags (Brent Holland) came with a rush to challenge the front running filly around the turn and down the stretch. However when the rail opened up as the group straightened out, Mosquito Blue Chip buzzed through the gap and nipped the leader at the wire by a half-length in 1:56.3. The heavy 2-5 favorite returned $2.80 for the win. My Little Delight (Bettor's Delight-My Little Dragon) was second and Pop The Tags (Bettor's Delight-Breathe) was third. It was the second win in seven starts for Mosquito Blue Chip, pushing her annual income to $101,302 for owners Our Three Sons Stable LLC, Donato Falchicchio and Paul Jessop. The final $35,867 division was as good as it could be for Bettor N Better (Bettor's Delight-Vanite Semalu) as she won easily in her preferred front-running style. This was the second NYSS win on the night for trainer Ron Burke and the third for driver Jim Morrill Jr. Off the wings, One Hot Majorette (Mike Saftic) flew right to the front from post six and crossed over by the eighth pole. Jim Morrill Jr. played give-and-go with Bettor N Better off the rail and retook the front as soon as they straightened out up the backside. But Heavenly Bride (Mark MacDonald) was immediately at her again and established the third lead change as they passed the quarter in :29. Morrill, not content to sit in second, once again pulled Bettor N Better at the top of the stretch and retook the lead once more before they hit the half in :58. From there the race was Bettor N Better's to be won. She took the group to the three-quarters in 1:27.4 before On Hot Majorette came back for one more challenge. That was quickly rebuffed and Bettor N Better paced away down the stretch to a length and a half victory in 1:56. The winner returned $2.10. Heavenly Bride (Rock N Roll Heaven-Native Bride) was second and Heavens Legacy (Rock N Roll Heaven-Unique Legacy) was third. That was the fourth win in six starts for Bettor N Better and pushed her earnings to $117,125 for owners Our Horse Sense Stable and Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. Jim Morrill Jr. put on a driving clinic, scoring five wins and three seconds on the night. He was employing incremental positioning in many races where he made several moves within the mile to improve his horse's location during the race and the strategy was paying off. Morrill is the leading NYSS driver this year and has been annually for some time. In 2014, horses he drove have won 41 NYSS races and earned in excess of $1.6 million in those contests. After the races, Morrill spoke glowingly of all his charges. "Sassa Hanover is a very, very nice filly. She didn't really get over the track that well tonight but we got the job done anyway. She will definitely be one to beat in the final at Yonkers. Mosquito Blue Chip drew well and then had the race set up perfect for her. When the rail opened up, she sprinted to wire and got across. And Bettor N Better is just a sweet heart, but she is very professional too. We were on cruise control the entire mile." There were also three divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card that offered a total of $36,000 in purses. The first $12,600 division was won by Moremercy Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mercy Mercy Mercy) who is trained by Julie Miller and was driven by Chris Lems. The winner paid $4.70. Moremercy Blue Chip is owned by the Andy Miller Stable and the Pinske Stable. The second $12,600 leg was won by Rock My world (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love The Game) who is trained by Ed Hart and was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. She returned $4.20 for the win. Rock My world is owned by Jeffrey Snyder. The third $12,700 split went to Hey Kobe (Bettor's Delight-American West) who is trained by Jean Drolet and was driven by John Plutino. The victor returned $8.10. Hey Kobe is owned by Stephen Schneider, William Siegel and Marthe Drolet. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 29) with post time set at 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

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