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JK Panache (Art Major) is once again a harness racing nominee for Pacer of the Year at Saratoga Casino Hotel and the ultra-consistent Dave Dewhurst trainee again showed why on Saturday night. A formidable threat in the Open Pace at the Spa for the last several years, JK Panache was the second-choice in the wagering when bet down to odds of 5-2 in Saturday's installment of the $20,000 Open. Driver Shawn Gray got the nine year old away well and sat patiently in the early going before springing JK Panache into action heading to the half. With longshot Yonkers invader Badix Hanover (Bruce Aldrich Jr) on the front end, JK Panache did what he always does. The classmaster attempted to grind the top one into submission while chipping away at the lead before putting him away in mid-stretch. JK Panache got up in time to prevail in 1:52.2 to record his fourth Open Pace win of the season and eighth victory overall. Though his last local Open win came in early May, JK Panache has been a regular runner-up in the Saturday feature and has recorded some victories in the Winners Over along the way as well. Badix Hanover was a strong second in his local debut on Saturday while Ourlittlegeneral A (Jordan Derue) followed the winner's cover to wind up finishing third. Paying $7.10 to win, JK Panache led an exacta and triple that came back $77.50 and $621, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with first post time set for 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Saturday featured two divisions of the second leg of the Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series. It is the fifth installment of the series that honors the memory of the longtime horseman at Saratoga Casino Hotel and is for young pacers, five years old and younger. Both divisions went for a purse of $10,000 and it was Arch Hanover (Art Major) who cemented himself as the series' one to beat on Saturday night. Arch Hanover brought a four-race win streak into the second leg but drew post seven in the eight-horse race. Leading driver Billy Dobson blasted Arch Hanover out early and the four year old wound up in the pocket. Rival Kiwi Tintin N (Frank Coppola Jr) came into the race with a three-for-three record since coming to the USA and the New Zealand invader was subsequently the 1-2 betting favorite despite starting from post eight. Kiwi Tintin N surged up first over and took the lead around the final turn but Arch Hanover came roaring out of the hole setting up a sensational stretch duel. Arch Hanover got up in the final stride to prevail in 1:53.4, matching his win time from leg one which served as a lifetime mark. Kiwi Tintin N will be a force in the final as he was a strong second while longshot Still To Come (Chris Long) earned the show spot. The other division of the series' second leg was won by SB Angelindisguise (Shawn Gray) who romped in his second local start, stopping the timer in 1:53.3 to punch his ticket to the final. The Joe De Carlo trainee spent his summer competing in the Midwest and headed east just two weeks ago to compete for new connections in the Kamal Memorial Pace. SB Angelindisguise bested Saulsbrook Deputy (Frank Coppola Jr) who was the race's odds-on favorite on Saturday night en route to his first local score. Barbados (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. The Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series Final will take place next Saturday night (Oct 27) and will be contested for a purse of $35,200. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Poisonous (Jimmy Whittemore) captures the Vernon Downs harness racing featured pace ($6,500) on Saturday (September 29). Golden Gun (Josh Kinney) charged out to the front and controlled all the early fractions (:27.1, :56.0, 1;23.4). Poisonous ($4.30) found himself sixth after three-quarters. Owned and trained by Whittemore, he would find an opening on the inside and sneak by them all in the stretch to win in 1:51.4. Card Knock Life (Truman Gale) finished second with Golden Gun settling for third money. Poisonous is a 6-year-old horse by Art Major. It was his fifth win in 2018. He would secure career victory number 16. John MacDonald drove four winners on the night. He got his wins with Electraluck ($7.30), Pink Gardenias ($11.40), Western Toro ($6.00), and Brookdale Bruiser ($2.30). He is second in wins with 92 on the season. Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore and Truman Gale both drove three winners on the night. Whittemore got his other two wins with Frappe' ($3.80) and Gracie G ($3.70). He now has 98 wins at Vernon Downs this season. Gale won with Vegas Again ($5.40), Painite ($5.80), and Roaddog Jess James ($3.40). He is third in wins with 49. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (October 5) starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Vernon Downs      

Under The Bus (Truman Gale) charged late to win the harness racing featured fillies and mare pace ($6,500) at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 28). Jaclyn Hanover (John MacDonald) controlled the early fractions (:25.4, :55.0, 1:24.0). Angel Speak (Claude Huckabone III) popped the pocket at the top of the stretch to take a short lead. Under The Bus ($9.10), who is owned by Hossman LLC., and trained by Robert Gale , came flying in deep stretch to win her third straight victory with a time tonight of 1:52.4. A Wish For Wings (Fern Paquet Jr.) fired late to finish second. Angel Speak held on to take third money. Under The Bus is a 4-year-old mare by Art Major. It was her sixth win of the season and her 10th career victory. Bluffton (Homer Hochstetler) captured the nights top trot race ($6,000). Tournamant (Jimmy Whittemore) jumped out of the gate to lead to a first quarter of :27.3. Bluffton ($7.10) took over on the backstretch hitting the half in :57.3 and three-quarters in 1:26.3. Trained by Hochstetler for fellow owners Connie Hochstetler, Richard Buddig, and Alan Schwartz, he held off a late rush by second place finisher Cash N Chrome (Claude Huckabone III) to win in 1:55.2. If Not Why Not (Claude Huckabone Jr.) was third. Bluffton is a 3-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass. It was his fifth career win in 13 lifetime starts. All his wins were this season. Hochstetler and Joe Nassimos had driver-trainer doubles on the night. Hochstetler's other win came with First Call ($10.40). Nassimos got his victories with Velocity Kelli ($3.20) and The Big Muscle ($2.70). Vernon Downs returns to live racing with a 13 race card on Saturday (September 29) starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Vernon Downs        

Under The Bus (Truman Gale) captured the featured fillies and mares pace ($6,500) at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 21). Under The Bus ($12.80) charged to the front and led gate-to-wire putting up all the fractions (:27.1, :57.2, 1:25.4, 1:53.4). Owned by Hossman LLC and trained by Robert Gale, she held off second place finisher, Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) and late charging third place finisher, Jaclyn Hanover (John MacDonald) to win her second straight race. Under The Bus is a 4-year-old mare by Art Major. It was her fifth win this season and her 19th career victory. Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore won three on the night. He got his wins with Hanrahan ($4.90), Star Flyer ($6.00), and Come Monday ($11.40). John MacDonald and Leon Bailey each drove two winners on the night. MacDonald got his wins with Pink Gardenias ($10.20) and Agood Time To Rock ($2.60). Bailey went to the winner's circle with Ms Casey Mac ($31.40) and Southwind Vixon ($5.70). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 22) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Vernon Downs  

Delaware, OH - Courtly Choice and David Miller rebounded from a potentially damaging break in the first heat and got up in the shadow of the wire in the second to win the $642,000 Little Brown Jug, presented by the Ohio Harness Horseman's Association, Thursday evening at the Delaware County Fair. When the field of seven hanress racing pacers were sent on their way for the $436,560 final heat, the first elimination winner Lather Up (Montrell Teague) left from post two and outsprinted the second elimination winner Dorsoduro Hanover into the first turn and controlled the fractions of :27, :54 4/5 and 1:21 2/5. Coming down the lane for the final time, Lather Up looked like the champ, but weakened in the lane allowing Courtly Choice to win by a neck in a four horse photo finish in 1:49 4/5. In the final print, Dorsoduro Hanover rallied for second. Lather Up finished third and Hayden Hanover fourth. The three-year-old son of Art Major is trained by Blake MacIntosh and owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Mac & Heim Stables, Daniel Piouffe and Touch Stone Farms. With his fifth Jug victory, David Miller joins William Haughton and Mike Lachance with the most driver titles. "The first heat he raced great, but I felt horrible," noted Miller. "The only way to make it better was to win." "He puts up a big fight. He's game. I give him a lot of credit." The second elimination was action packed from the start. Courtly Choice made a costly break in stride and was last in the field of six. Andy Miller sent Hayden Hanover to the early lead pass the quarter in :26 2/5. The "triple crown" contender, Stay Hungry (Doug McNair) took command before the half mile in :55. Miller sent Courtly Choice three wide down the backstretch and was in contention at the three-quarters in 1:22 4/5. As the field turned for home Stay Hungry stayed strong and crossed the line ¾ of a length ahead of the late charging Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) and Courtly Choice. To see the final heat race video click here. Before the connections made it to the winners circle, the 'inquiry' sign was posted for possible interference between Stay Hungry and Dorsoduro Hanover in the first turn. After a lengthy review, Dorsoduro Hanover (timed in 1:51) was placed the winner and Stay Hungry was disqualified and placed fourth. Courtly Choice and Hayden Hanover also qualified for the final. Stay Hungry was later scratched from the second heat. In the first $102,720 elimination, Lather Up protected his rail position and led the field of seven through the into the first turn and past the opening quarter in :27. Done Well was the first to challenge when Tim Tetrick came to the outside before the half in :55 3/5. This Is The Plan, who sat second for the entire mile, put forward a late effort, but Lather Up used a :26 4/5 last quarter to cross the line in 1:49 3/5. This Is The Plan was second, 1 ½ lengths back. Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller) and Done Well finished third and fourth to advance to the final. Originally, Courtly Choice was ineligible for the 73rd LBJ, but his connections elected to pay the $45,000 supplemental entry fee after winning the $701,830 Meadowlands Pace Final on July 14. With the winner's share, Courtly Choice now sports $952,704 on his career earnings card. $111,075 Old Oaken Bucket I'm Your Captain (Andy Miller) used a four wide move around the final turn to defeat Hill Street (Yannick Gingras) and Maxus (Jimmy Takter) to take the Old Oaken Bucket in 1:55 2/5. The pacesetting Treasure Tee (Trevor Henry) faded to fourth. I'm You Captain is owned by Andy Miller Stable and Black Horse Racing and trained by Julie Miller. The Muscle Hill colt has won four out his last seven starts. $107,000 Ms. Versatility Trot Final David Miller and Broadway Donna used a perfect second over trip and defeated NF Happenstance (Jack Parker, Jr.) by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:53 1/5. Ice Attraction (Yannick Gingras) was third, another two lengths behind. Broadway Donna is trained by Jim Campbell and has amassed $1.4 million for Fashion Farms. $40,418 Standardbred Colt Pace Workin Ona Mystery (Tim Tetrick) defeated stablemate Air Force Hanover (David Miller) in 1:50 3/5 to take the freshman colt pace. The field raced in post-position order through the first three quarters of the mile in :27, :54 3/5 and 1:22 2/5. Tetrick tipped the eventual winner off the rail and cruised home in :28 1/5 to establish a new lifetime mark and remains undefeated in three career starts. The Captaintreacherous colt is conditioned by Brian Brown for Jim Stambaugh, Alan Keith, Milton Leeman and the Wingfield Brothers. $48,218 Standardbred Colt Trot Prospect Hill (Andy Miller) took the lead as the field approached the half mile station and never looked back to win the $48,218 Standardbred by 2 ½ lengths over Final Claim (Mike Wilder) in 1:55 1/5. The son of Muscle Hill has won seven of nine seasonal starts for Stroy Inc. and trainer Julie Miller. $111,554 Ohio Breeders Championship Three-Year-Old Colt Pace Rockathon (David Miller) took the opening division in 1:52 over Slick Mick (Tim Tetrick) and Born To Be Bad (Andy Miller). Trainer Kimberly Dailey and Carl & Melanie Atley own the gelded son of Pet Rock who has pushed his career earnings to $338,615. The second $55,777 division went to the heavily favored Bounding Dragon and Dan Noble in 1:51. The winner went gate to wire for owners Alan Keith and Melanie Atley and trainer Mike Roth. The ultra-consistent Bounding Dragon has finished in the top two places eleven times this season. $133,906 Ohio Breeders Championship Two-Year-Old Colt Pace Rock Candy (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) went gate to wire to win the opening division in a stakes record 1:51 3/5. The Pet Rock gelding is owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo. Trainer Brian Brown returned to the winner's circle in the second $66,953 division with Dislocator (Chris Page). Joelyn Ridder, Scott Davis, Sharron Sopronyi and VIP Internet Stable own the Big Bad John colt who defeated Seattle Hanover (Matt Kakaley) and Authentic Hanover (Tyler Smith) in 1:54 4/5. $111,704 Ohio Breeders Championship Three-Year-Old Filly Pace Baron Remy (Chris Page) and McVenus (Trace Tetrick) took the two $55,852 divisions in 1:53 and 1:52 2/5 respectively. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

HARRINGTON, DE - Artrageous ($4.80, Art Stafford Jr.) was a 1:52.2 winner Tuesday at Harrington Raceway in the featured $15,000 Mares Open. Owned by Bonnie Benson, J Johannsen, Art Stafford, and H Case, it was the 4-year-old Art Major mare's 11th win of her career. Artrageous set all the fractions and held off Shesarocker and On Your Six for the win. Artrageous was a top filly at 3 and banked more than $112,000 as a sophomore competing on the New York Sires Stakes circuit. Victor Kirby, the meet's leading driver, had four wins on the card. Stafford Jr. and Russell Foster each had three. DSBF 2-year-old trotters will complete their first leg to headline the Wednesday program. Post time is 5 p.m. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway    

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Stars Align A was able to steal off to a big lead by going in 26.4 down the backstretch in the $21,500 pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, then held together to fend off the late-charging Music Is Art to win by ¾ of a length in a personal best 1:50.4 The victorious son of Art Major took advantage of post two in the field of seven and went to the front, where he was joined by his fellow 8-5 shot Bettor's Edge nearing the 26.3 quarter. Bettor's Edge went on to work up to command in front of the stands, but he took the second turn badly and slowed drastically, forcing the entire field around him just past the 55.4 half. Driver Simon Allard got Stars Align A in high gear quickly past the trouble and to the lead, then tried to put as much distance as possible between his horse and the field, and had an advantage of four lengths at the 1:22.3 3/4s. That lead shrunk on the far turn and through the stretch, with Music Is Art leading the charge, but Stars Align A had enough left to raise his U.S. win percentage to 50% after a pair of starts after going 15-for-29 (52%) before his recent importation. Simon's brother Rene conditions the winner of $152,313 for Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, Bruce Soulsby, and Alan Weisenberg. Rene Allard is Pocono's leading trainer; his driving counterpart, George Napolitano Jr., continued his incredible form on Saturday nights with eight victories on the card, including one with the American Ideal gelding Ideal Kiss in 1:50 to take the $20,000 claiming handicap pace co-feature. "George Nap" pointed Ideal Kiss towards the top, as he has in all of his four starts for trainer Hunter Oakes and the Northfork Racing Stable, and the pacer again showed "1"s all the way across his charted line, winning by 2¾ lengths. Since being claimed by Oakes/Northfolk on August 11, Ideal Kiss has earned $40,000 by winning the high-level Pocono claim four starts in a row. He now has overall yearly earnings of $90,930, garnered mostly in his nine seasonal victories, and a $175,630 career bankroll. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

Goshen, NY - The Living Horse Hall of Fame Committee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame has announced the slate of six candidates for election into the Hall of Fame. The nominees are: ART MAJOR CAPTAINTREACHEROUS FATHER PATRICK FOILED AGAIN PEACEFUL WAY SWEET LOU Standardbred horses are elected into harness racing's Living Horse Hall of Fame by the members of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. Beginning this year, SIX candidates will be presented to the Museum membership for consideration. Ballots will be mailed to members in November. The THREE top vote getters will be inducted into the Living Horse Hall of Fame on Hall of Fame Day - July 7, 2019 - in Goshen, New York. If you wish to participate in the Living Horse Hall of Fame election process and are not currently a Museum member, please contact the Museum before October 31 to become a member. In July 2018, the Board of Trustees of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame approved a revised set of Living Horse Hall of Fame eligibility criteria. Those criteria are as follows: A racehorse must be retired from racing for two years and have had a drug-free career. In addition, racehorses must have been the winner of $2.5 million lifetime WITH 2 Dan Patch Awards, OR been the winner of $3 million lifetime, OR been named Dan Patch (U.S.) Harness Horse of the Year. Horses over the age of 12 that are still racing and meet the criteria are also eligible. A racemare must be retired from racing for two years and have had a drug-free career. In addition, racemares must have been the winner of $1.5 million lifetime WITH 2 Dan Patch Awards, OR been the winner of $2.5 million lifetime, OR been named Dan Patch (U.S.) Harness Horse of the Year. Mares over the age of 12 that are still racing and meet the criteria are also eligible. Stallions must rank among the 10 all-time leading moneywinning sires at their gait, OR have sired at least 100 $200,000 winners, OR been a leading moneywinning sire at his gait in three or more seasons. Annually on March 1st, a list of broodmares that have produced two Dan Patch winners, OR two millionaires, OR one Dan Patch winner and one millionaire will be assembled for the Living Horse Hall of Fame Committee to review. Committee members can also nominate a broodmare that does not meet the criteria. Each of the committee members votes for his or her top 5 broodmares, voting results are tabulated and the top two vote getters are elected to the Living Horse Hall of Fame. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY and is open Tuesday - Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thanks to industry support the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and $4 per person for group docent-guided tours. For information on the Museum, membership, special events, gift shop services and educational programs the Museum offers, please call (845) 294-6330 or visit Additional funding provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. by Janet Terhune, for the Harness Racing Musuem 

Batavia, NY --- Two divisions of New York Sire Stake (NYSS) 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers were in town on Wednesday (Sept. 12) to compete for $109,000 in purses at Batavia Downs and in the first $54,500 split, Melodies Major (Art Major-Hilarious) left a lasting impression on the locals by setting a new track record. Bicorne Hanover (Matt Kakaley) left from post one and opened up a quick two-length advantage while Melodies Major (Tyler Buter) dropped in second to get the perfect garden spot trip. The top two broke away from the field while setting fractions of :28.3, :58 and 1:26.3. At that last station Buter popped the plugs and pulled Melodies Major and he went right past Bicorne Hanover in the blink of an eye. At the top of the lane, Buter sat chilly while Melodies Major paced home in :27.3, well in hand at the wire in 1:54.1. The time of 1:54.1 is a new track record for 2-year-old pacing colts at Batavia Downs, replacing the 1:54.2 standard set by Doctor Butch in 2012 and matched by He's Watching in 2013. "When I pulled him he was loaded with pace," said Buter after the race. "We got a perfect trip, everything went well and I couldn't have asked for anything better." It was the sixth win in eight starts this year for Melodies Major ($5.50) who now has earned $166,433 in NYSS purses and finished as the top point-getter in his division with 325. Melodies Major is owned by Martin Scharf, is trained by Mark Ford and was bred by James Avritt Sr. In the second $54,500 division, Covered Bridge (American Ideal-Stonebridge Kisses) provided a major upset in a blanket finish. The heavily favored Reining Deo (Jim Morrill Jr,) took an expected spot on the front end and with no early challengers, Morrill took advantage and backed the half off to :59.1. Having his fill of the slow fractions, Ray Schnittker pulled Hurrikane Kingklee from fourth and started moving up the outside. Morrill responded with a :28.1 third panel effectively ending the first challenge. However Covered Bridge (Kevin Cummings) who was drafting second-over, tipped three wide at the same time and was raging with pace. Covered Bridge got to within a length of Reging Deo going into the final straight and then proceeded to run him down to the wire, winning by a head in 1:55.4 at 22-1. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner. "Off a half in :59, she went a big mile from where she was," said Cummings. "She raced huge, I like her a lot. She's a nice horse." It was the second win of the year for Covered Bridge ($46.80), both in NYSS action for owners David Smith and James Giannuzzi and trainer Jessica Okusko. Covered Bridge was bred by WInbak Farm. There were also two $15,000 Excelsior "A" races on the card. The first division was won by Shim (American Ideal-Feel Life) who got away sixth by 12 lengths, survived an interference break then rallied to win by two in 1:57.1. Shim ($5.90) was driven by Ray Fisher Jr. for owners Pat Lachance (who also trains the winner), M & M Harness Racing, Ira Rosenblum and the Royal Flush Stable. Shim was bred by White Birch Farm. The second division went to Cal (American Ideal-Hula's Z Tam) who got away third before pulling at the half to take the lead and eventually the race in 1:58.1. Cal ($10.40) was driven by Matt Kakaley for owners Crawford Farms Racing and the Northfork Racing Stable and trainer Chris Oakes. Cal was bred by Pat Lachance and the Z Tam Stable. The $320,000 NYSS consolation races will be held at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 21). The $1.8 million NYSS finals are the following night, Saturday (Sept. 22) at Yonkers Raceway. By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

CHESTER, PA - I'm Trigger Happy, happy to not have to face recent foes Youaremycandygirl and Kissin In The Sand in the $17,000 distaff featured pace at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, worked her way to the front early and scored impressively in 1:51.4. Driver Corey Callahan, finishing a consecutive driving double, sent the Art Major sophomore filly to the point before the 27 quarter, then maintained command past the middle poles of 55.3 and 1:23.4. In the stretch, second choice Big City Betty tried to rally from the pocket, but the favored frontstepper still had a 28 last quarter in her to win by ¾ of a length for trainer Ross Croghan and the Let It Ride Stables Inc. Driver Eric Carlson, behind Big City Betty, had to settle for second in the feature, but earlier he had put together a very memorable consecutive double of his own, guiding Bold Goddess to her maiden win at a win price of $116.20, and then coming right back with another longest shot on the board, Rentier, who paid $81.00 for a $2 win ticket. With the victories, Carlson tied Brett Miller for the meet lead in $50+ wins (4) and $100+ wins (2). Bold Goddess's $116.20 mutuel also equaled the biggest payoff of the year at Philly, set three days ago by Lookinforadventure ... who was driven by Brett Miller! From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

Sir Ziggy's Z Tam (Mike Simons) takes the Open Pace 1 ($12,000) at Tioga Downs on Monday (September 3). Seel The Deal N (Austin Siegalman) controlled all the early fractions (:27.0 :55.4, 1:22.2). Sir Ziggy's Z Tam ($29,60) was fifth after the three-quarters. Owned by Tessa Roland and trained by J D Perrin, he squeezed through a small opening at the pylons to sneak by and get the win in 1:51.3. Seel The Deal N held on for second money, Dreams Beachboy (Gates Bruntet finished third best. Sir Ziggy's Z Tam is a 10 year-old gelding by Art Major. It was his ninth win in 12 starts this season. It was his 36th career victory. Simons won two more on the day. His other wins came with City Hall ($3.40) and You Said It ($2.60). Time Out I'm Tired (Aaron Byron) captured the Open Pace II ($10,000). Time Out I'm Tired ($20.20) went gate-to-wire (:26.4, :55.4, 1:23.2 1:51.3). Trained by Joe Skowyra for owners William Mears and Janine McIlvane, he gutted out a great stretch drive with second place finisher Pretty Boy Swag (Mike Merton). Finishing third was Spirit Shadow (Fen Paquet Jr.). Time Out I'm Tired is a 6-year-old horse by Artiscape. It was his third win this season and career victory number 17. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 7) at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Vernon Downs will host two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old pacing colts & geldings, in a special Labor Day matinee on Monday (September 3). Both divisions will race for a purse of $56,500. The first division features three time winner Major Blake (Jason Bartlett) as the 5-2 morning line choice. Matthew Bencic, Howard Berke, and trainer Sam Schillaci own the colt by Art Major-Bet Your Life. He has paced his way to NYSS wins at Yonkers ($53,000) on June 26, Tioga Downs ($36,566) on July 29, and again at Yonkers ($52,000) on August 24. The second morning line choice in the first division is the Brett Pelling trained Reigning Deo (Jim Morrill Jr.) at 7-2. The colt by Rock N Roll Heaven-Little Miss K is owned by Deo Volente Farms, Pelling Racing, and S Gordon. Reigning Deo is two for four with a NYSS win at Saratoga ($81,750). The first division will also include four time NYSS winner Melodies Major (Tyler Buter) at 9-2. Owned by Martin Scharf and trained by Mark Ford, he is a colt by Art Major-Hilarious. He got his wins at Yonkers ($52,000), Monticello ($54,500), Buffalo ($53,500), and Tioga Downs ($35,866). In the second division, the morning line favorite is Hickfromfrenchlick (Ray Schnittker) at 5-2. The colt by So Surreal-My Girl's A Star is owned by Nolamaura Racing LLC., Thomas Spatorico, and trainer Schnittker. He has three wins in four starts including a big win in the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace ($100,000) on July 14th at Yonkers Raceway. The Second morning line choice is the Erv Miller trained Cub Fan (Marcus Miller). The gelding by So Surreal-Pardon is owned by Michael Anderson. Cub Fan is one for three in his young career. His victory was a Geers Stakes ($25,200) win at Tioga Downs. The 11 race card at Vernon Downs on Monday (September 3) starts at 1:05 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - Courtly Choice made his Yonkers Raceway debut Tuesday night (Aug. 28th), toying with his foes in the $173,500 New York Sire Stakes Armand Palatucci Pace for harness racing 3-year-old colts and geldings. The 1-20 favorite ($2.10), in rein to Dave Miller, was a two-move, 6½-length winner in the first ($86,750) division). Away third from post position No. 6, he dusted early (:27, :56.1; 1:23.3) leader Rockapelo (Jason Bartlett) right after the three-quarters, opened a coupled of lengths into the lane, then widened as he pleased in 1:51.1. Cheese Melt (George Brennan) won the scrum for second at 78-1, with Rockapelo holding third and Ostro Hanover (Brian Sears) fourth. For Meadowlands Pace champ Courtly Choice, the son of Art Major has won nine of his dozen seasonal starts ($655,393) for co-owners (as part of Mac and Heim Stables)/trainer Blake Macintosh, Daniel Plouffe, Hutt Racing and Touch Stone Farms. The exacta paid $56, the triple paid $183 and the superfecta paid $772. "He's a lot of fun," Miller said. After this rare sire stakes appearance, Macintosh said Courtly Choice is Ohio-bound for both the Jug Preview and Little Brown Jug. Tuesday night's second (also $86,750) and final grouping saw Ghost Dance (Scott Zeron, $12) prevail from first-over. Away fourth from post No. 3, Ghost Dancer hooked last season's statebred champ, Jersey Jim (Jordan Stratton), after that one's intervals of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:25.2. 'Jim,' the even-money favorite here, owned a length lead off the final turn, but tired. Ghost Dancer whipped the rival on his back, Twin B Tuffenuff (Brennan), by a half-length in 1:54.1. Jersey Jim salvaged the bottom of the ticket, with Keystone Tenacious (Jim Marohn Jr.) fourth. For third choice Ghost Dance, a Millar Farms homebred American Ideal colt trained by Rick Zeron, he's now 3-for-11 this season. The exacta paid $165.50, the triple paid $435.50 and the superfecta paid $1,495. "I couldn't hold him the last time he was here (late July)," Zeron said. "Tonight, he was much more manageable and when I asked him in the last turn, he went." New York Sire Stakes return here Thursday, Sept. 6, with the Mike Cohen Pace (3-year-old fillies, purse TBA). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, - Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Aug. 24th) hosted the $156,000 New York Sire Stakes Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Three divisions, worth $52,000 each, comprised the event. The opening group offered minimal suspense, as 1-5 favorite Major Blake (Jason Bartlett, $2.40) had an open lead virtually from the outset. From post position No. 3, he rolled through intervals of :28.2, :58, 1:26.2 and 1:55. Major Blake disposed of a loosely-pocketed World on Edge (Matt Kakaley) by a couple of lengths, with Chatelroll (Jordan Stratton) a wide and rallying third. Buddy Hill (Dexter Dunn) wound up a first-up fourth. For Major Blake, an Art Major colt co-owned by (trainer Sam Schillaci, Howard Berke and Matthew Bencic, it was his third win in four seasonal/NYSS starts. The exacta paid $8.60, the triple returned $27.20 and the superfecta paid $86.50. The second go-round saw Sheppard Pace winner Hickfromfrenchlick (Ray Schnittker, $5.20) stalk pole-sitting 13-10 fave Melodie's Major (Tyler Buter), then make up some distance to get him and get away (:28.2, :56.4, 1:24.2, life-best 1:53.3). From post No 2, Hickfromfrenchlick had to chase from 2¼ lengths off the final turn before winning by a half-length. Cup Fan (Marcus Miller) and Covered Bridge (Jordan Stratton) were third and fourth, respectively. For second choice Hickfromfrenchlick, a son of So Surreal co-owned by his trainer/driver, Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico, he's now 3-for-4 this season. The exacta paid $9.60, the triple returned $29.60 and the superfecta paid $117.50. The third and final sire stakes get-together was won by polester Artie's Ideal (Miller, $14). After stuffing Rock America (catch-driver George Brennan) in behind early, 'Artie' rated it well (:28, :58, 1:27, 1:55.1). He put away both a first-up Bicorne Hanover (Kakaley) and a second-over, 4-5 choice Reigning Deo (Stratton). Artie's Ideal defeated Reigning Deo by a length-and-a-half, with Bicorne Hanover third and Jet Rock (Jim Marohn Jr.) recovering from an early break to finish fourth. For third choice Artie's Ideal, a son of American Ideal owned by Bay Pond Racing Stable and trained by Erv Miller, it was his second win in four '18 tries (2-for-3 in statebred ranks). The exacta paid $36, the triple returned $83.50 and the superfecta paid $211.50. Friday night's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by Lispatty (Mark MacDonald, $14.80) in 1:52.2. Saturday night (Aug. 25th), the Raceway offers a pair of $40,000 elimination races for the 63rd Messenger Stakes, second jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown. PICK 5 GUARANTTED AT $10,000 SATURDAY A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening's (Aug. 25th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $3,500.54 and a $10,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 Saturday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Major Secret, a Group winner in three States and one of the best performed sons of supersire Art Major, will stand at one of South Australia’s best known breeding establishments, Allenby Lodge Stud for proprietors Steve and Teresa Norman this season. His service fee is $1,500 including GST. Major Secret was a top racehorse from a juvenile through to cup class, winning in Group and Listed company from two to seven years. From only 53 starts he recorded 22 wins and 15 placings, for earnings of $464,872 – an impressive total for a brief career. He ran second in the $54,000 Southern Cross 2YO Final at only his second start and won the $50,000 Tasmania Cup in Hobart in one of his final outings before succumbing to a fetlock injury. As a two-year-old Major Secret won five of his nine starts, highlighted by a win in the $100,000 Vicbred Super Series Final, defeating Hectorjayjay, Messini and co. His other successes at 2 included a heat of the Australian Breeders Crown (5th in the final) and heats of the Vicbred and Southern Cross. At three he crowned his career with a world record-breaking win in the $200,000 NSW Derby, covering the 2400 metres journey in 2:52.4, a mile rate of 1:55.6 while leaving Bling It On, Isaiah and Major Crocker in his wake. He also picked up another Vicbred heat and finished third in a Victoria Derby heat. Following a nine month let-up, Major Secret made a clean sweep of the time-honoured Central Victorian Championship before embarking on a highly successful open age career. Possessed of strength and stamina, the entire showed his liking for long distances, winning the $70,000 Horsham Cup in a 1:55.7 rate over 2700 metres to smash the track record by an amazing 2.4 seconds, the Geelong Cup (2570m), the Italian Cup (2240m) at Melton and Tasmania Cup (2579m). A magnificent individual, Major Secret is also quality young horse bred on a classic cross of blood – that of Art Major his sire and Safely Kept his maternal sire. Art Major, sire of Major Secret, is Australia’s leading sire and broodmare sire of two-year-olds. A champion pacer himself, with a record of 1:48.8, Art Major was the USA and Canada 3YO Pacing Colt of the Year and Aged Pacing Male of the Year and ran up a then record tally of $3,273,217 to the end of his four-year-old racing. On his dam’s side, Major Secret belongs to a family which has distinguished itself by the number of fine juveniles it has produced. His own dam, Secret Life (1:58.6), a winner at Moonee Valley and Gloucester Park, has thrown seven winners from seven foals, five of whom took records of better than 2:00, including a crack racemare in Beauty Secret 1:52.4 ($425,921), Vanderley (1:54.2) and Perfect Life (1:58). Secret Life is also the grand-dam of the Southern Cross Final winners That’s Perfect (1:56.6) and Perfect Look (1:53), the Melton winner Striking Beauty (1:54.7), and others in Seaside Beauty (1:55.7), Paintball (1:54.4) and Stay And Play (1:55.5). Secret Life ranked as a half-sister to the Southern Cross winners Lovelist 1:53.2 ($222,889)  Punch Line (1:54.2) and Royal Crime 1:55.7 ($100,753), being out of Lifeline, by Classic Garry from the broodmare gem Larrakeyah Lady (by Windshield Wiper). Larrakeyah Lady, a Group 1 winner herself, became the dam of nine individual winners including the A. G. Hunter Cup and SA Cup winner Safe And Sound ($990,006), Gold Rocket ($393,387), Massarua ($282,692) and The Good Times ($201,024), all top performers. Rocknroll Magic, a Vicbred and Breeders Crown champion, Exciteusinthecity, Starburst Girl, Ample Power and a capable young pacer in Ride High are a line up of smart performers from the same family as Major Secret. The Larrakeyah Lady tribe is one of the most highly prized in Australia today. Major Secret is a young stallion with the bloodlines, racing performance and conformation to commend him to the most discriminating breeder anywhere in Australia and his acquisition by Allenby Lodge ranks as one of the greatest boosts to the SA breeding scene for many years. Peter Wharton

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