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Driver Shawn Gray came in to pilot two horses on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The veteran reinsman sat behind the Jaymes McAssey-trained Nerve Of Steel (Art Official) and Pasultimatedelite N (Bettor's Delight). The former went wire-to-wire in a $5,200 claiming race while the latter sprung an upset in the $5,850 featured race for the ladies. Eleven year old Pasultimatedelite N is having a terrific 2020 campaign and won for the tenth time of the season on Tuesday. After going coast-to-coast last week, Pasultimatedelite N came from off the pace on Tuesday as Gray piloted the veteran distaffer perfectly, getting her cover heading to three quarters. With the track's most consistent mare of the last two years Bontz N (Billy Dobson) on the engine, Pasultimatedelite N came charging hard in the stretch before springing the upset at odds of 8-1. The favorite Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum) came on to be second while Bontz N held on to be third. Pasultimatedelite N paid $19.60 to win in the upset.   Nerve Of Steel N moved to claimers at Saratoga for the first time in a long time. The McAssey trainee cruised out to an early lead with Gray at the helm and proved dominant in a mile that went in 1:56.3. Nerve Of Steel N is owned by Pat O'Brien of New Hyde Park, NY who co-owns Pasultimatedelite N with George Hartman of Monroe Township, NJ. McAssey has had a terrific 2020 season and added two more victories to his strong tally on Tuesday with Gray guiding the way. Live racing has just one week remaining for the season. Monday and Tuesday matinees will begin at Noon next week with Monday's card highlighted by a Pick Five carryover of $2,787. The Pick Five is a 50 cent minimum wager and begins in the afternoon's first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Monticello, NY - Leading Monticello Raceway harness racing dash winner driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. padded his lead with 5 wins on the afternoon Thursday March 5 at Monticello Raceway, Mike Merton also drove 3 winners on the card. Aldrich won 3 consecutive races in the beginning of the card, the first win came aboard Western Bay Bay 1:58.4 - $3.60 in race 2 for trainer Robert Lounsbury, it was the 3rd seasonal win for the 4-year-old Art Official gelding in 9 starts, Aldrich scored with Lucky Leonard in 2:00, Bruce was content to sit the pocket while Giddyallyougot (Mike Merton) cut the mile his best winning time in 2 years for trainer Laura Perino and returned a healthy $40.80 win pari mutual. Someboysomewhere would account for win # 3, trained by the 3rd leading trainer on the grounds Jim Doherty Jr. the son of Somebeachsomewhere scored a 5 length romp in 2:00 for his first win of the 2020 season. The next win came aboard the favorite Regil Tiger, Aldrich worked hard for this win as the co-favorite Drive Em Cowboy (Jim Taggart Jr.) started to skip away from the field down the backside the second time, Aldrich did some serious urging to get the win with the 14-year-old gelding in 1:58. John Dally would account for Aldrich's 5th win of the afternoon for trainer David Dziengiel. It marked the 5th time this season that Aldrich won 4 or more races on the same day. Mike Merton who recently returned back in the bike after a prolonged absence due to a racing accident, brushed off the dust and won 3 races with Hot Seat - 1:59.2 - $2.80, Catcha Lefty A 1:57.3 - $2.70 and Upfront Countryboy 1:58 - $3.20 $724,787 was wagered on the 10 race card, for an average handle per race of $72,478 Live racing resumes Monday with a 12:50 Post Time by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - With Saratoga Raceway now open and driver's Jim Devaux and Greg Merton opting to race there, harness racing Bruce Aldrich took advantage of their absence and scored 5 winners' on the afternoon. Aldrich won the first 3 races on the program, it was the Rick Dane Jr. trained Ladybeluckytonite (PP4) the Art Major mare scored in 1:58.3 - $3.00 for her second win of the young season. Jasmin Ivory overcame the outside post from the 7 hole to win in a tight photo over The Filly Princess in 2:00.1 - $19.00 for trainer Raheim Strong, the Palone Ranger mare is owned by John DeSantis of Albany, NY. The triple came aboard the ultra-consistent Demand An Answer in a wire to wire win in 2:01.1 for trainer Laura Perino. Lily Hanover kept the banner afternoon alive when she scored a wire to wire win in 1:59 - $4.40, the win gave Laura Perino a training double on the afternoon in race 5. Storyboard would cap off the afternoon and give Aldrich win 5, Bob Lounsbury trains the well-bred daughter of Art Official who earned her first win of the year for owner Robert D Main of Leechburg, PA. Starting from the rail Storyboard won in 1:57.2 - $19.80 for her first trip to the winner's circle in 2020. This marks the 3rd time this season that Aldrich has driven at least 4 winners on an afternoon. The 5 wins puts Aldrich (39) in first place for leading dash winners, overtaking Jim Devaux (35) by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 11, 2020 -- Art Of Norma charged three wide through the final turn and had just enough racetrack to overtake the leader, Strawb's Chippie N, and capture Tuesday's harness racing co-feature at The Meadows, an $11,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Art Of Norma moved second over and had plenty of pace when Brady Brown sent her wide for the drive. But could she rally over the sloppy surface and catch the leader? The 5-year-old daughter of Art Official-Up Front Norma did just that, defeating Strawb's Chippie N by a length in 1:54.2, with Pappy Rocks third.   Paul Kennedy trains Art Of Norma, who lifted her career bankroll to $138,826, and owns with Keith Pippi. In Tuesday's companion feature, an $11,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot, Broadway Kabam outkicked Sophia Lia to score for Shawn Johnston, trainer Fred Uber, Jr. and owners Jodi Martin, Kaylee Martin and Nicole Uber. Dave Palone piloted four winners on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Ron Burke. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the program features a $15,927.66 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

LEBANON, OH. - Hilary Barry N (John DeLong) stamped herself as the harness racing favorite in the George "Red" Owens Memorial series for green pacing fillies and mares, winning the quickest of three first round divisions on Sunday (Feb. 9) at Miami Valley Raceway. The late closer is limited to non-winners of two pari-mutuel races or $20,000 lifetime and attracted 27 nominations. Heavily favored Hilary Barry N, a 4-year-old New Zealand bred daughter of Bettor's Delight, glided over Miami Valley's damp five-eighths mile oval in 1:56.1 for DeLong to easily defeat Crowntimerockette (Brett Miller) and Vinecancruise (Chris Page) without an anxious moment. Trainer Trent Stohler also owns the winner who looked every bit the part of a 1-9 favorite, paying just $2.10 to win. Big Bad Mosa (Tetrick) captured a split of the Owens Memorial in 1:57.1 over Jazzie Babe (Trevor Smith) and Rockinattheryman (LeWayne Miller). Ronnie Roberts trains the winning sophomore filly by Ohio stallion Big Bad John for owner Watson Stable of Illinois. She paid $3.60 to her backers. Pray The Rosary (Luke Ebersole) was the other winner, besting Lookintomyeyes (Tyler Smith) and Model Number Five (Tetrick) in 1:59.1. Ebersole found a seam in deep stretch to gain the nose victory, the third in five lifetime tries for the 3-year-old daughter of Art Official. Robert Boggs owns the winner, who kicked back $6.80 to her backers at the betting windows. Racing resumes Monday afternoon (Feb. 10) at Miami Valley when four $6000 divisions of the second elimination round of the popular Survivor Series for $5000 male claiming pacers will go postward; plus three $10,000 first round divisions of the Omar Hiteman Memorial series for non-winners of two or $20,000 lifetime colt and gelding pacers. Tuesday's action at Miami Valley will feature a $24,000 Open Trot, second round eliminations in the Survivor Series for $5000 claiming mares, and three second round splits in the Robert J. Brown Memorial series for non-winners of two or $20,000 lifetime trotters. From Miami Valley Raceway    

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 5, 2020 -- Officially My Way had it her way on the front end, scoring her second straight harness racing victory in Wednesday's feature at The Meadows, a $12,400 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Officially My Way was pressed early in a three-ply battle for the lead, but driver Mike Wilder threw on the brakes once on top, giving the 4-year-old daughter of Art Official-Eagle Way comfortable internal panels of 58.3. Officially My Way had plenty in reserve, defeating Play To The Crowd by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:54.2, with Lady Grande third.   Tom O'Donnell owns and trains the winner, who boosted her career bankroll to $133,084. Dave Palone piloted three winners on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Mike Palone, while Wilder also fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the program features a $9,788.34 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $1,691.27 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6). First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 7, 2020 — Harness racing driver Aaron Merriman isn’t really on a Milestone-A-Day Tour — it just seems that way. On Dec. 30 at Northfield Park, he became the first driver in harness racing history to record three consecutive 1,000-win seasons. That same day, he wrapped up his fifth straight North American driving title. On Tuesday at The Meadows, he notched career win 12,000 when he piloted Shady Grey to victory for trainer Shane Heasley in the ninth race. What was he thinking as he crossed the wire for this latest milestone? “Years ago when I was a kid, Shane introduced me to Tone Loc, an old-school rapper I really like,” Merriman said. “I know it’s strange, but that’s the first thing I thought, that I was happy I could win for Shane. “Every win is special to me, but when you get these milestones and hit the zeroes, it’s kind of cool.” His 12,000th win was particularly meaningful because his dad, longtime trainer/driver Lanny Merriman, joined him in the winners’ circle. “Dad came to my house to wake me this morning to make sure I was up, but I didn’t know he came to the races. I saw him from afar. Let me tell you something — he enjoys it more than I do. He’s proud of his kids and grandkids, and it’s great to have that support.”   For a number of years, Merriman has maintained a grueling schedule, driving regularly at The Meadows and several tracks in his native Ohio. That regimen keeps him on the road constantly. He made a pledge to cut back in 2019 and honored it . . . sort of. “I took a lot of Thursdays off last year and ended up with a few hundred starts less,” he said. “Being in a car is wearing on me; it’s really tedious. “My ultimate goal is to try not to extend myself so much. I may not take big chunks of time off, but I will take off days here and there. Sometimes people tell me to step back and enjoy the moment, but I truly enjoy driving racehorses. It feels good when I can help people.” McDazzle set sail after her stablemate, Camera Lady, down the backside, passed her into the final turn and rolled to a sharp 1:52.3 victory in Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Open Handicap Pace. McDazzle was third when Mike Wilder tipped her of the cones. The 6-year-old daughter of Art Official-Dream McQueen simply overpowered Camera Lady, defeating her by 2-1/2 lengths. Dark Force was third.   Ron Burke trains McDazzle, who boosted her career bankroll to $320,296, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Tony Hall collected three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the program features a $2,879.03 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 3, 2019 — Enjoying a bit of class relief, Art Of Norma moved impressively first over, made short work of the leader and captured Tuesday’s harness racing co-feature at The Meadows, an $11,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Art Of Norma had been collecting checks, but no wins, against the track’s elite pacers, and the drop in class was just what the doctor ordered. When Brady Brown moved her down the backside, she easily overtook the leader, Our G G, and prevailed in 1:55, 1-1/2 lengths better than the rallying Ms Cheesman. Danikova Hanover finished third. Paul Kennedy trains Art Of Norma, a 4-year-old daughter of Art Official-Up Front Norma who now boasts $124,261 in career earnings, and owns with Keith Pippi. In Tuesday’s other co-feature, an $11,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot, Matterlei extended her winning streak to three for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Mike Wilder piloted five winners on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Jason Robinson. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the program features a $74,304.52 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $3,536.66 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6). First post for the 13-race card is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

Pascanas, Santa Fe, Argentina: Within the last few hours the so desired arrival of ART OFFICIAL to our country was finalized, becoming one of the most important imported additions in the history of the Argentine harness racing.    Standardbred breeders throughout South America have made many efforts to incorporate world-class genetics, which has now been achieved by the HARAS ALBION of the traditional family Diane, bringing the great North American stallion ART OFFICIAL to Santa Fe.   After negotiations led by one of the heads of the HARAS ALBION, we refer to Lawrence Diane, it was possible to materialize the arrival of ART OFFICIAL to our country, where he will have the most numerous mares in South America at his disposal, since they are more of 250 females that are part of the ALBION.   Art Official, remembered for being the only horse to defeat the world champion pacer SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE on the track in world record time for 3 Years in the mythical Meadowlands Pace in 1.47, added US $ 2,082,855 in prizes throughout his campaign. In addition to the aforementioned victory in the 2008 MEADOWLANDS PACE Final, he also won the CANE PACE at Freehold Raceway, one of jewels of the Pacing Triple Crown.   The Haras Albion has led the statistics in Argentina in races won for more than 50 years. In 2018 once again they were the winner, getting 380 victories leaving behind the Haras San Ramon and El Ceibo with 356 and 226 respectively.   This establishment is one of the most legendary of our country, started by Don Lorenzo Diane in 1945, then led by Aldo Washington Diane, who was also a leading national manager for several decades, and since the last years took the Aldo Diane (H), along with his wife Rosana Guarnieri and their children Aldo Diane (N) and Lawrence Diane.   ART OFFICIAL is the new addition but we can not forget the other great specimens that HARAS ALBION brought from the United States of America, such as MUMBO KING, CKS, WHATAPACER, NORBIE, who had sons ARGENTINE CHAMPIONS and many others exported to the USA, such as Albion King Espolon, Albion King Infinito, Albion What Puntual, Albion CKS Carkle. Their last two stallions, prior to the arrival of Art Official, are Stoneroll Jackson - who already had his first offspring on track - and it is expected that in 2021 the sons of Allstar Legend will run.   Art Official will begin its service season on July 1, 2019, and his children are expected to run in the 2023 season.   In Argentina, the start of the 2021, 2022, 2023 seasons is expected with great enthusiasm as we will see the children of CHASIN RACIN (Haras El Arroyo), PEDRO ISLAND (Haras La Leyenda), URGENT ACTION (Haras San Carlos), FINAL CURTAIN (Haras El Arroyo), ALLSTAR LEGEND (Haras Albion), MELMERBY BEACH (Haras San Ramon),and the already mentioned ART OFFICIAL on the track.   From these lines we congratulate and wish successes to the DIANE family and to their HARAS ALBION.   by German Barilari  

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 30, 2018 -- Fighting back when it looked as though she might be passed down the backside, McDazzle reasserted in the lane and captured her third straight harness racing victory in Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Touchamatic challenged McDazzle first over and got her head in front. But when Dave Palone asked McDazzle for more, the 4-year-old daughter of Art Official-Dream McQueen delivered it and downed the game Touchamatic by a length in 1:52.2. With her show finish in the Lightning Lane, Barley Nation vaulted over $100,000 in career earnings. Ron Burke trains McDazzle, who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $156,806, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. It was one of three wins for Palone on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

HARRINGTON, DE - Valuable Art ($52.40, Jon Roberts) was a 1:54 harness racing winner in a upset at 25-1 in capturing the $16,000 Mares Open Tuesday at Harrington Raceway. Shesarocker set the fractions throughout as the 9-to-2 third public choice, but tired in the stretch after pressure from Valuable Art who held off Empress Deo and Apple Bottom Jeans for the win. Trained by Nick Callahan, it was the fourth win of the year for the 5-year-old Art Official mare. Valuable Art had a short stint of racing in the Burning Point series at the Meadowlands, where she was very competitive with a win and two second place finishes before a trio of starts in Pennsylvania. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

Cams Valentino crossed the finish line faster than any other four year-old pacing gelding on a half-mile track in the history of harness racing when he won the $14,500 Open II in 1:49 on Monday (June 11). The clocking also tied the all-age track on Northfield Park's half-mile oval. The former four year-old gelding world record was held by Wiggle It Jiggleit (2016, Nfld, Montrell Teague) and the Northfield record was solely held by Scott Rocks (6, 1:49, Aaron Merriman). Arold, Drury, Kohut LLC owns Cams Valentino. Kent Sherman is his conditioner and Aaron Merriman was in the sulky for the winning drive. Cams Valentino (Art Official-Cam's Valentine-Cam Fella) started from post one. He left from the gate and led the entire mile through times of :27, :54.2, 1:21.2 and 1:49, dominating his competition by 11 ½-lengths. Cams Valentino now has five wins in 16 starts this year. Monday's victory represents his 12th career score and bolstered his bankroll to $88,634. He was heavily favored and returned $2.20 to win. by Ayres Ratliff, for Northfield Park $50,000 Ohio Sire Stake at Northfield When Tyler Smith steered Spunky Bottom Girl to victory in the first of two $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for sophomore trotting fillies on Monday night, June 11 at Northfield Park, it brought to fruition a long history of genetic luck for owner/breeder Ed Teefey.   “I bought the granddam of this filly, Princess Pan, 2, 2:01.1M  ($14,205) some ten years ago at the Meadowlands Sale,” said Teffey, a retired banker, harness announcer and auctioneer from Mount Sterling, IL.    “She was a daughter of Supergill who was in foal to Classic Photo. I was standing next to trainer Tony Alagna, who told me he had bid on her yearling the year before for $70,000.  I was just standing there and made one bid of $5,700 and she, and her unborn foal, were mine.”   The following year, Teefey christened Princess Pan’s eleventh foal, a filly, Princess Addie, named after his first granddaughter.  Princess Addie is a full sister to the $384,105-winning mare Firstclassprincess 6, 1:53; and a half-sister to the gelding Peaceful Prince (by Lindy Lane) 7, 1:56.2f ($228,909), among others.   “She really didn’t have a lot of talent and then she broke a sesamoid at three,” Teefey recalled. “But she comes from the family of Illinois champion Lady Ann Reed, who was a prolific mare some four decades ago. So, on the advice of Tony (Alagna) and Myron (Bell), I bred her to My MVP, who stands here in Ohio (at Sugar Valley Farm) in Delaware.”   The resulting foal was Spunky Bottom Girl, who, Teefey noted, is named after a bluegrass band in Teefey’s hometown.   “We raced her ten times last year as a 2-year-old in Illinois,” Teefey explained. “She did okay for us (earning $15,225).  Trainer Mike Brink had her then and I kind of thought she’d step up a bit this year and mature, and so we decided to race her mainly in Ohio.  Two friends—Dean Beachy and Carl Becker—suggested I leave her with (trainer) Brent Davis in Zanesville, so that’s what we did.”   Spunky Bottom Girl left the gate at 7-1 odds and sat quietly mid-pack, while 3-2 Sesame (Aaron Merriman) and 20-1 Alana’s Ways (Josh Sutton) slugged it out, taking the field of seven to a :28 first panel clocking. Around the final turn Spunky Bottom Girl moved three-wide, with 4-5 favorite Impinktoo (Kayne Kauffman) four-wide, with the former drawing off to win by two lengths in a career best 1:55.4.  Impinktoo held on for second, while Sesame nailed down show honors.   The win upped Spunky Bottom Girl’s career earnings to $57,215 and was her first win of her 3-year-old career. She now has four wins in 17 career starts, along with four second-place finishes.   In the second $50,000 OSS division, rivals California Love (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) and Non Smoker (Danny Noble) hit the finish line together, in a 1:56.2 dead-heat for the win.    Californian Love, a 17-1 shot trained and co-owned by Chris Beaver and Steve Zeehandelar, Marion Beachy and Moger-Delia Racing, is a Storming Norman lass bred by Beachy who has eight wins to her credit in 20 starts, with $96,752 in career earnings.  She was a solid fourth to Red Storm in Leg 1 of this series at Miami Valley on May 4.   Non Smoker captured her OSS Leg 1 division at Miami Valley on May 4 in 1:54 for owner Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH.  Trained by Noble, the grey daughter by My MVP has a career bankroll of $76,601 from five wins in 12 starts.    Leaving the gate at 7-2, Non Smoker repelled challenges by 1-2 Looking For Zelda (Tony Hall) and 9-2 Red Storm (Aaron Merriman), before getting caught by California Love at the wire.  Red Storm held on for third, three-quarters of a length behind the two victresses.   by Kim RInker, for the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund

CHESTER PA - Petal To The Metal and harness racing trainer/driver Stacy Chiodo watched many contenders expend much energy in battling for command, then swung three-wide late on the far turn and went by everybody en route to a 1:55.3 victory in the $17,000 distaff conditioned pace feature Wednesday at Harrah's Philadelphia. The five-year-old daughter of Art Official was in fact the sixth different leader in the race (in a field of seven), but she was the leader when it counted most, winning by a length over race favorite Lifetime Trust, who edged Never Back Down for third. Chiodo Racing LLC owns the come-from-behind specialist. Driver Marcus Miller, the day after he brought home $39.60 and $60.80 winners and missed a head with a 43-1 shot at Pocono, got the 2018 local "longshot season" off to a flying start in the day's second race, rallying Invested In Lindy from just off a contested pace to post a head winner while lighting up the tote board with a $113.20 payoff for a $2 win ticket. The victory was one of two on the day for Miller, who is currently sixth in the driving standings at The Meadowlands, fifth at Pocono, and tied for third locally three days into the meet. Invested In Lindy's win came in a $16,000 co-feature for "nw 5 races," and the trotter stopped the timer of 1:58.1 for trainer Marc Mosher and owners Edward Hall and James Hall Jr. There was a companion "nw5" class for pacers, and it went to Machiavelli, the full brother to 1:46.4 pacer Dr J Hanover, who took a new mark of 1:52.1 for trainer Gareth Dowse and co-owners Glenn Golter and Abraham Basen. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

DAYTON, OH. - Its been a very exciting week for harness racing driver Travis Seekman, to say the least. His wife Desiree presented the 27-year-old reinsman with their first child, a healthy 8 pound 1 ounce baby girl they've named Raegyn, on Thursday morning; and Saturday night (Nov. 18) he won the $18,500 Open Handicap Pace with Let's Drink On It at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. Despite persistent night-long rainfall and strong gusting winds, the 6-year-old son of Art Official, trained by "Grandpa" Joe Seekman and taken care of by "Grandma" Tina Seekman, overcame the dreaded 9-hole and swept to a convincing 2-1/4 length 1:54.1 score over the sloppy surface. Go Daddy Go (Randy Tharps) and Dreamfair Mesa (Josh Sutton) battled through the first quarter in :28 and the half in :56.3 before Dalhousie Dave (Kyle Ater) ranged up to challenge the leaders at the 1:25.2 three-quarters with Let's Drink On It in tow in the outer flow. It was at that point that "Daddy" Seekman swung his charge three-wide and got the response he hoped for. "That wind was brutal on the last turn and I was out three wide, but Let's Drink On It raced big tonight and went a big mile," beamed Travis. "I'll have enough for my first load of diapers now," he laughed. Prince Bayard (Kayne Kauffman) and Dont Say Goodby (Trace Tetrick) were also near the back of the pack in the early going, but also responded well throughout the second half to garner runnerup and show finishes, respectively. Let's Drink On It has now scored 33 triumphs and pushed his lifetime earnings past $850,000 with the win. Gregg Keidel

Columbus, OH --- While most eyes and ears may be fastened upon what world champion Downbytheseaside will accomplish this season, harness racing trainer Brian Brown has two fillies prepared to step upon center stage in Friday’s (April 21) $40,000 James Hackett Memorial final at Miami Valley Raceway in Type A Grey and Glorious Intent. Each young lady is poised to make her presence known and seeks to have her own successful season. “Ronnie’s (Burke) filly (Rosemary Rose) is very, very tough,” said Brown. “Mike (Wilder, her driver) was just sitting on her last week and the whole field is quite good. I think Type A Grey is sharp right now, but Glorious Intent might need a race a two to tighten her up.” Type A Grey, a daughter of  Art Official-Just My Type, was purchased by Bruce Trogdon’s Emerald Highlands Farm for $20,000 at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg. The striking filly has collected $109,022 from a record of 8-6-0-0 and was dominant in Ohio Sire Stakes company last year at age two, prior to experiencing some difficulties at the end of the season in the $250,000 Ohio Sire Stakes final and a $60,900 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship series. She will leave from post position two with Chris Page in the sulky and is rated 7-2 on the morning line in the field of nine. “In those two races she tied up,” Brown said. “But she is doing very well right now and we have had no problems with her since. She is in very good form right now and training very well. As I said, this is a very tough field of fillies, but we think she should race well.” Not only will Type A Grey have to contend with the undefeated Rosemary Rose, who is a perfect six-for-for-six in her career and is the deserving early favorite at 5-2 (Mike Wilder, post six), she will have to compete against Rosa’s Touch (Ron Burke, Josh Sutton, post three, 9-2), Ohio Sire Stakes victress Zoe Ellasen (Ron Potter, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., post eight, 12-1), as well as her stablemate Glorious Intent (Kayne Kauffman, post four, 5-1). Glorious Intent, a daughter of No Pan Intended-Rock For Glory, competes as a homebred for Trogdon and enters this contest off a very solid triumph in last Friday’s eliminations. The filly, who is the result of four generations of breeding by Trogdon, demonstrated ability last year as a 2-year-old as an Ohio Sire Stakes winner, before encountering some issues of her own. She has banked $40,500 with a resume of 6-3-1-0, hails from a stalwart female family, just like Type A Grey and also happens to share the same color coat. Trogdon has an affinity for gray horses and Glorious Intent is the result of his passion for that particular shade. “Glorious Intent’s line has become my favorite “gray” foundation,” he said. “It started when I bought the Laag gray broodmare Faded Glory. I remembered her racing for Jack Darling and winning the American-National (1995). I bought her from the reject pile at Harrisburg after her first couple foals when she was still fairly young. She was not very big but very pretty and had great conformation and a nice head. “Faded Glory produced some nice foals for me, most of which I sold but I kept one beautiful gray The Panderosa filly, Bound For Glory. Bound For Glory was trained by Tony O'Sullivan in Ontario back in the day when I did all my racing at Mohawk. We loved her -- she gave everything she had -- and earned over $300,000 while finishing second in the (2005) Fan Hanover. “I would like to have had some more gray fillies from her mother but it wasn't to be. One morning I went to feed her group and Faded Glory was laying in the pine trees behind my house. I thought she was asleep and went over to rouse her; she was dead. I looked at her feet -- they were black -- as she was killed by lightning. That was the only time that has ever happened to me; sad day because I wanted more out of her.” Brown feels the problems Glorious Intent endured last season may be behind her. “She was cross-firing on us,” Brown said. “The time off (winter vacation) has seemed to help her, but I think she might need some time to catch up with the rest of the fillies in this field. They just have more racing experience than she does.” Trogdon also possesses another 3-year-old filly that Brown is conditioning with some talent, although unfortunately, she is a bay rather than a gray. “My remaining gray line is from a gray mare that I bought as a weanling at Harrisburg many years ago,” he said. “Soggy Dragon raced well for us and produced a powerful bay Allamerican Ingot filly Soggy Britches that raced very well for us. She is a 1:48 producer and we are racing her daughter Blazin Britches right now. She is not gray either, but is a fabulous looker and may end up being the fastest filly I ever had; she's a beast. She didn't stay sound at two so she lived most of the summer out in that field behind my house with Glorious Intent and Type A Grey; quite a field. “I turn my 2-year-old fillies out in that field because it has 100 well-spaced, 70-foot tall white pine shade trees that I planted as saplings 40 years ago. It’s the same field where poor Faded Glory met her demise.” For the complete field for the James Hackett Memorial final, click here.   by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

LEBANON, OH. - The James K. Hackett Memorial Series, the traditional kickoff to the Ohio-sired stakes season, got underway Friday night (April 14) with three $12,500 elimination divisions of harness racing sophomore pacing fillies at Miami Valley Raceway. When the dust settled, 21 hopefuls were reduced to nine of the finest 3-year-old Buckeye fillies, who will return next Friday (April 21) for the $40,000 championship final. Three elimination heats of Hackett Memorial 'boys' will go postward Saturday night (April 15), hoping to earn berths in their $40,000 final on April 22. Type A Grey (Chris Page) used a pocket trip to the head of the stretch before shooting to the lead then holding off runnerup Full Body Shot (Mike Micallef) and Rosa's Touch (Mike Wilder) in 1:53.1. The even-money favorite won five of seven starts at age two and earned $102,772 for the Emerald Highlands Farm and trainer Brian Brown. A grey daughter of Art Official, Type A Grey paid $4.20. Undefeated Rosemary Rose (Mike Wilder) cruised through a relatively unchallenged mile in 1:53 to capture the second division. Rose Run Skyler (Derek Watiker) and Zoe Ellasen (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) also hit the board and advanced to next week's final. The winning Foreclosure N lass is now six for six lifetime with a pair of Ohio Sires Stakes victories in July of 2016 before being put away for the year plus three straight condition race triumphs at The Meadows to start 2017. Rosemary Rose is conditioned by Ron Burke for Burke Racing, Jason Melillo and Weaver Bruscemi LLC and she returned $2.80 as the prohibitive favorite. A 1:55 mile was good enough for Glorious Intent (Chris Page) to top Ellasen (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) and Won For Gigi (Peter Wrenn) and complete the nine-horse field for the $40,000 championship. The daughter of No Pan Intended is also owned by the Emerald Highlands Farm and trained by Brian Brown, giving the stable a powerful pair in the final. She banked $34,250 with two wins in just five starts as a freshman. She paid $5.20 to win. A $22,000 Open Mares Pace was also featured on the Friday night card with Jackie's Rocket (Brady Galliers) lowering her lifetime to mark to 1:51.1. Art I Sweet (Ken Holliday) and Aniston Seelster (Brady Galliers) followed the 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal through the finish line. Jackie's Rocket, a diminutive mare with a big motor, has now won five times this season and increased her seasonal bankroll to just shy of $50,000 in a dozen starts, all at Miami Valley. Gregg Keidel

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