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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

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.  

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