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Artful Way (Artistic Fella) came up just shy of an Open harness racing win last weekend at Saratoga Casino Hotel when the Jackie Rousse-trained pacer got reeled in, in the final strides of the $15,000 Open. On Friday night, Artful Way would not be denied as he changed tactics a bit and sat the pocket behind the race's even money favorite JK Panache (Wally Hennessey). JK Panache powered out to the lead in a 27.1 opening quarter and paced consecutive 28 second quarters in the race's middle half before being confronted by the pocket-pulling Artful Way. Those two speedsters battled it out in the final eighth of a mile before Artful Way came on to win in 1:51.2. JK Panache was a strong second while longshot Respectable Dream (Stephane Bouchard) earned the show spot. Artful Way returned $8.00 to win and led an exacta completed by the favorite that came back $11.80. The win was one of three on the card for trainer Jackie Rousse and driver Frank Coppola Jr who also teamed up for victories with claiming pacers Wayne The Lefty (Allamerican Ingot) and Jojo Jove (Village Jove). Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. Mike Sardella

Titus Seelster (Artistic Fella) utilized his tremendous early speed at the start of Saturday's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel and then was able to sit back and watch as his hareness racing rivals duked it out. The Jackie Rousse-trained pacer sat the pocket in Saturday's $15,000 Open Pace and waited patiently while front-running Sassy Hanover was met with several challenges. Respectable Dream (Austin Siegelman) was dismissed at 13-1 and fought gamely on the outside while wearing down the leader. All the while, the race's odds-on favorite Givenupdreaming (Stephane Bouchard) was making progress in his attempt to go last to first. Respectable Dream took the lead turning for home and while Givenupdreaming was flying on the outside, Titus Seelster snuck up the passing lane and proved fastest of all, stopping the timer in 1:52.3. Titus Seelster returned $14.20 to win in the mild upset as he bested Respectable Dream who was a more than respectable second in his debut in the local Open and Givenupdreaming who had to settle for third. The exacta and triple came back $187 and $910, respectively. Titus Seelster was driven to his second local Open win of the year by Frank Coppola Jr. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga when three year old colts and geldings take center stage as part of the New York Sire Stakes. First post time is set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

Harness racing trrack records were broken and dreams came true at yesterday's (Sunday's)  Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Regional Finals Day ($30,600 each race) at Newcastle Paceway. The Blake Fitzpatrick-trained Fun Magic Trix set the scene setting a new age record when taking out the Two-Year-Old Fillies Group Three Final. Leading throughout, the daughter of Artistic Fella clocked 1:55.9 to eclipse the record of 1:57.1 that her stablemate Shez Sugarsweet set at that track a month ago. "Fun Magic Trix has the ability but is still very green," Fitzpatrick said. "It was a great effort by her and she will have a spell now." The Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Final was won by Hez All Courage. Piloted by Chris Geary for Georges Plains mentor Bernie Hewitt, the son of Courage Under Fire rated a career best 1:57.7 to secure his second win in just eight starts. It did not take long for the next record to be set, as Pixies Parlour made her presence felt in the Three-Year-Old Fillies Final rating a slick 1:54.4. Driver Amanda Turnbull was unsure of how the race would unravel with Pixies Parlour drawn wide beginning from barrier nine. "She has drawn wide again and bad draws have been working against her of late but she has been racing well enough," Turnbull said before taking out the Group Three. The track remained fast for the following race, the Three-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Final as Si Nardore lived up to his $3.50 favouritism rating a personal best 1:54.9. In the Four-Year-Old Mares Final the well-bred Maudie Mombassa swooped down the middle of the track to win the feature, beating fellow Sydney-trained pacer Deadly Merrywood. And it was another Sydneysider that won the Four-Year-Old Entires and Geldings Final when Valoroso Hanover produced a dominate display clocking 1:54.1. The son of Kenneth J had the odds against him having raced at Tabcorp Park Menangle the night before and also being involved in a transport issue on the way to Newcastle. However, that was not enough to stop the gelding from causing a minor upset and winning by more than seven metres. AMANDA RANDO

Artful Way (Artistic Fella) became the first horse to record his fifth win of the year in the Saturday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel as he came from off the pace to register his most recent victory. Frank Coppola Jr. had thoughts of leaving with Artful Way but had to back off as the six horse feature had too much early speed for him. Artful Way sat patiently as two rivals slugged it out in first half fractions of 26.3 and 53.4 before Coppola made his move. The Jackie Rousse trainee fanned three wide around the final turn and hit the wire first in 1:52.2. The race's odds-on favorite Givenupdreaming (Stephane Bouchard) followed Artful Way throughout but couldn't get by him in the stretch having to settle for second. Sassy Hanover (Billy Dobson) who raced parked the mile as part of the early speed duel held strong for third. For Artful Way, who returned $10 to win, it was victory number six on the year and his fifth in the $15,000 Open Pace. Givenupdreaming, who came into the Saturday tilt as a winner of five of his last seven races, secured his second second place finish of year. The exacta in the Open paid $10.20 while the triple came back $31. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga with two year old trotting colts featured as part of the New York Sire Stakes. First post time is set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

Vernon, N.Y. -- Harness racing driver Chris Lems availed 5-4 favorite Titus Seelster ($4.50) a clear pocket trip off a fast pace in the featured $6,500 top-level Miracle Mile pacing event at Vernon Downs on Saturday (July 9) evening, making his winning move in the last eighth of a 1:49.4 mile.   The 5-year-old Artistic Fella gelding was the only one able to keep up with the blistering pace set by Modern Gesture (Jimmy Whittemore), drafting intently off splits of :25.1, :53.4, and 1:22.2. Just upon cornering for home, Lems tipped Titus Seelster off the pegs, urging him to the fore in mid-stretch and edging away by 1-1/4 lengths in the end. Runner-up Modern Gesture was a farther 9-1/4 lengths clear of Fox Valley Cadet (John MacDonald), who passed a tiring A Fool for Mark (Dustin Ingraham) for third. Abreathofreshart (Dan Daley) was the tail-ender for the entire mile after breaking at race's outset.   Jackie Rousse trains 16-time winner Titus Seelster for the Kellogg Racing Stables, LLC.   John MacDonald padded his lead in the driver standings with yet another hat trick, giving him 10 over the last three cards. MacDonald teamed up with odds-on choices Ring Leda ($3.20, 1:53.3), Columbia Lion ($3.60, 1:57.2), and Aloneinspades ($3.70, 1:52.3).   The 50¢ Pick 5 returned $550.50, buoyed by 8-1 winner JD's Brent N Sheree and 11-1 outsider Mr Wiskers both prevailing in the sequence.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday (July 14) evening, with the first of 10 races due off at 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Artful Way (Artistic Fella) won his fourth Open Pace of the year on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Rousse-trained four year old not only set a lifetime mark but also paced the fastest mile of the year thus far at the Spa when he stopped the timer in 1:51. Frank Coppola Jr. pointed Artful Way out to the early lead in a sizzling 26.3 before yielding to rival JK Panache (Wally Hennessey) past the quarter. JK Panache flew through a half in 54.1 and three quarters 1:22.1 and still had something left in the stretch. Artful Way tracked him down in the final strides to record the mild upset at odds of 6-1. JK Panache held second while Caution Signs (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Artful Way, who won ten times in 25 starts last year en route to over $100,000 in earnings, is on almost that exact pace again in 2016 as he never owns five wins and more than $50,000 in his first thirteen starts of the season. The winner returned $15.80 while the race's exacta and triple paid $60.50 and $380, respectively. Live racing takes place on Sunday and Monday afternoons with matinees beginning at 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Artful Way (Artistic Fella) prevailed in the Open Pace for the third time in the last four weeks at Saratoga. The Jackie Rousse trainee got away last in the $15,000 harness racing  six horse Open on a hot night in the Spa City. Frank Coppola Jr. got a cover trip for Artful Way as the four year old pacer followed the race's 4-5 betting favorite Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) who wound up first over after the first half was paced in 55.2 by Spinarama (Austin Siegelman). Artful Way fanned off his cover and reeled in Panocchio in the final strides before stopping the timer in 1:52.1, matching the fastest mile time of the year thus far this season at Saratoga. Panocchio wound up second best while Caution Signs (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Artful Way paid $13.60 to win while pulling off the mild upset. The exacta returned $32.80 with the favorite finishing second and the race's triple came back $102. It was the fourth win in nine starts in 2016 for Artful Way who scored ten victories in 25 seasonal starts in '15. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Artful Way (Artistic Fella) scored in the Open Pace for the second time in the last three weeks on Saturday night at Saratoga. The Jackie Rousse-trained pacer faded on the front end in last Saturday's installment of the $15,000 Open as the favorite after being used hard throughout. This week, driver Frank Coppola Jr. elected to sit the pocket with Artful Way who tracked JK Panache (Wally Hennessey) throughout the 1 1/16 mile feature. Artful Way popped the pocket turning for home and cruised past the race's front running favorite before stopping the timer in a dazzling 1:58.2 for the elongated distance after covering the mile in 1:51.2. JK Panache was the runner up for the second consecutive week in the feature while Caution Signs (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Artful Way paid $11.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $40.20 and $349.50, respectively. The win was one of two on the card for conditioner Jackie Rousse and one of three on the night for veteran reinsman Frank Coppola Jr. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Last Saturday night, Artful Way (Artistic Fella) blasted out to the early lead in the $15,000 Open Pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Though the harness racing four year old flashed incredible turn of foot early in the 1 1/16 mile feature last week, Artful Way tired late before fading to a sixth place finish.   This week, the tune was much different for the Jackie Rousse-trained pacer. Frank Coppola Jr. once again powered Artful Way out early but eased him back before yielding to rival Spinarama (Austin Siegelman).   Spinarama got a big time second quarter breather but was hounded by the race's favorite JK Panache who was first over.   Dismissed at odds of 12-1, Spinarama turned back JK Panache but Artful Way got loose late and surged up the passing lane before hitting the wire first in 2:00 for the 1 1/16 mile.   Spinarama held second while E Z Noah (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot.   Artful Way returned $9.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $80.00 and $375.50, respectively.   Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Forbes will host a Carnival Of Cups meeting on Sunday afternoon and Toby Vautin is hoping to take out the harness racing feature event. Vautin has two runners in the $12,240 Forbes Services Memorial Club Final and both were impressive winners in the heats. Vautin will drive Playful Fella (Artistic Fella) while Casey Williams will partner Early Decision (Dawn Ofa New Day) with both horses set to start off the front row. "It was great to see Playful Fella finally win a race this time in, he has been a little bit frustrating for me and funnily enough I only nominated him for the heats so Early Decision had a travelling companion," Vautin said. "Playful Fella won a number of races early in his career and I decided to give him a good long break after a run at Menangle in January last year. I thought he had the makings of a nice horse and the break might take him to the next level but he has come back and he is not the same horse." Playful Fella defeated Tuapeka Glory in a heat but Vautin has nominated the Wendy Turnbull trained runner as the hardest to beat. "I was able to beat Tuapeka Glory in the heat but it has drawn barrier one this Sunday so it is the logical horse to beat. I'll be trying to get the front early and if I can't I'll race up on the pace because that's where he likes to be. "I actually think Early Decision is the better of my two chances, I'm driving Playful Fella because he can be a bit of a handful to drive." Early Decision has been plagued by bad barrier draws recently and that trend continued this weekend with the gelding set to start from barrier six. "I think he has drawn inside gate five once in his last fourteen or fifteen starts, he is the most honest horse you could find. He tries hard every start you give him and he'll just need a little bit of luck in the early stages. "I will be instructing Casey to come out on him early and look to slot in somewhere. The owners wanted to give Casey a chance to drive him because she helps out around the stable when she can, it was definitely the right thing to do." Early Decision won his heat by more than ten metres and Vautin is confident the gelding can win more races if he can get some luck with the barrier draws. "His luck will come, hopefully he gets the luck on Sunday. If I was to run first and second this weekend I reckon it would make my day a great one." Forbes will run seven races on Sunday with the first timed to begin at 1:20pm. Greg Hayes

Titus Seelster (Artistic Fella) scored his first feature win of the season at Saratoga on Saturday night. The Jackie Rousse-trained pacer always utilizes his early speed and did so in the $12,000 Winners Over with harness racing driver Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. Dismissed at odds of 7-1, Titus Seelster wound up sitting the pocket to invader Outrageous Art (Artsplace) in the 1 1/16 mile Winners Over pace. Titus Seelster surged late and came on to win by a half length covering the 1 1/16 in 1:59.2. The race's favorite JK Panache (Bruce Aldrich Jr) toughed out a first over trip to finish second while Pappy's Pal (Jim Devaux) earned the show spot. Titus Seelster returned $17.80 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $59 and $351.50. The win was the first of what would be four on the night for the tandem of Coppola and Rousse who teamed up for a Saturday night grand slam. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Legion of Boom lowered the boom with a 42/1 harness racing upset in the Ontario Boys Series final Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A compact field of six competed in the $45,000 final of the three week series event for Ontario sired four-year-olds. Headlining the group of six was a pair of Richard Moreau trainees. Cajon Lightning entered the final off a victory in leg one and a third in leg two, while Rafa looked to turn the tables after finishing second in both preliminary legs. Legion Of Boom and driver Doug McNair left hard off the gate, but Rafa and Sylvain Filion also had the same strategy. McNair opted to drop in behind Rafa and take the two-hole trip. Rafa, who was 8/5, posted an opening-quarter of :27.1 and a half of :56. Outside challengers developed around the final turn with Mach Code first up and Cajon Lightning, the 4/5 favourite, second over. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:24, Rafa led the field into the stretch looking for the gate-to-wire victory. In the stretch, McNair came off the pylons with Legion Of Boom and the 42/1 longshot grinded away at Rafa. Cajon Lightning also came charging with late speed and Half A Billion was flying from the back to make it a four-across finish. Legion Of Boom hit the wire first in 1:53.1 to win by a head over Cajon Lightning. Half A Billion finished a neck back in third, while Rafa was defeated by just a half a length, but finished fourth. A four-year-old son of Artistic Fella, Legion Of Boom had just one win in six starts this season entering the Ontario Boys final. He finished sixth in both preliminary legs. Legion Of Boom is co-owned by driver Doug McNair, who shares ownership of the gelding with Equus Standardbreds Inc. Gregg McNair is the conditioner of the four-year-old. Saturday's victory was the sixth career win for Legion Of Boom and it increases his career earnings to over $92,000. The clocking of 1:53.1 also established a new career mark for the son of Artistic Fella. Legion Of Boom paid $86.20 to win. Legion Of Boom In order to be eligible to the Ontario Boys, the Ontario sired four-year-olds had to be non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Mark McKelvie

Dreamy Fella paced home for his fifth straight win Wednesday (January 27) in Northfield Park's 12th race. The four year-old stallion is owned by Tessa Roland of Lackawanna, New York and trained by John Perrin. Harness racing driver Aaron Merriman was aboard for the winning drive. Dreamy Fella started from post four and made every pole a winning one through fractional times of :28.1, :58.1, 1:28.2 and 1:58.2. He never experienced an anxious moment in the mile and was 1¼-lengths ahead of his competition at the wire. Wednesday's triumph was the tenth career start for Dreamy Fella (Artistic Fella-Cerulean Dream-Dream Away). He raced in New York and Canada and was beaten in all of his first five races. However, he has excelled under Perrin's tutelage and remains undefeated over the Flying Turns. Wednesday's triumph increased Dreamy Fella's lifetime earnings to $9,590. He was the overwhelming favorite and returned $2.40 to win. $2,829.90 Carryover Sparks $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-5 Total Pool Saturday at Northfield Park Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $10,000 Pick-5 total pool guarantee to Saturday’s (January 30) program.  Beginning in Race 3, the $10,000 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $2,829.90. Northfield’s Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3’s offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent.    Saturday’s post time is 6:00 p.m. Ayers Ratliff

Artful Way (Artistic Fella) prevailed in his first try in the local harness racing feature on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Jackie Rousse-trained three year old won the Open Pace while competing in it for the first time since coming to town in October. After moving aggressively to the early lead in 26.3, Artful Way kept rolling along on the front end, clicking off middle half fractions of 55 and 1:23.1 en route to victory in 1:51.4. Invader Dynamic Youth (Billy Dobson) was the race's favorite and moved first over on Artful Way but didn't make much of an impact before fading late to a fourth place finish. Longshot Duel In The Sun (Cambest) came charging hard in the stretch to be the runner up in the final $18,000 Open Pace for 2015 while Theseyesrcrying (Bruce Aldrich Jr) came on for third. Artful Way, who was driven to victory by Frank Coppola Jr, was dismissed at odds of 10-1 while second place finisher Duel In The Sun went off at odds of 31-1. The exacta with the longshots returned $387.50 while the triple came back $2016. Saturday night served as closing night for the '15 racing season with live racing set to resume in March of 2016. Mike Sardella  

Harness racing trainer Jackie Rousse and driver Frank Coppola Jr. swept the co-features on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Titus Seelster (Artistic Fella) went coast to coast in the $13,000 Winners Over pace while Artful Way (Artistic Fella) went start to finish in the $13,000 Winners of 5 but not more than 8 races lifetime pace on a comfortable December night in the Spa City. Titus Seelster pulled off a mild upset while going wire-to-wire in 1:52.4 at odds of 9-2 while Artful Way was the race's overwhelming favorite while backed to odds of 1-9. Both Rousse trainees are co-owned by Janie Martin and the Kellogg Racing Stables LLC. Rousse piled up three winners on the Saturday card as her Winter Blast also prevailed with Coppola in the sulky. With just one week of racing left in the 2015 season, it appears that Rousse and Coppola will both finish in second place in the trainer and driver standings, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

DAYTON, OH. - Locally-based Artistic Fusion bested invaders Rev Me Up and American Girl to capture the $10,500 Mares Open pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night (November 6). The four-year-old daughter of Artistic Fella, trained and driven to victory by Kayne Kauffman, controlled the throttle throughout splits of :27, :56 and 1:24.1 before scurrying home in :28.4 to complete her 1:53 triumph. It was the eleventh seasonal victory for Artistic Fusion, owned by Mike Foote, and increased her 2015 bounty to $85,000 in 26 starts. Sent off at odds of over 5-1, the winner returned $13.40. Combined with runnerup Rev Me Up, who benefitted from a pocket ride throughout, the $2 exacta returned $55; while those that tacked American Girl, who got a second-over journey, onto the end of their $2 trifecta tickets were rewarded with a $395.20 return. From the Media Department at Dayton Raceway

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