Some of the races for divisional honors are done deals at this point. Wiggle It Jiggleit, who has earned more than $2 million; set world records for his class on half and 5/8 tracks; won the Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug; and come out on top in 20 of 24 starts that stretch through almost the entire calendar year, will win his division and be voted Horse Of The Year. He has one more start scheduled, in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs on November 29. Pinkman, with wins in the Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity and Canadian Trotting Classic, will win the Dan Patch for sophomore trotting colts. The gelded son of Explosive Matter has won 11 of 17 starts and earned more than $1.8 million for Jimmy Takter. Pinkman will give the latter consecutive wins in this division. Southwind Frank will top the freshman trotting colts. He won 15 of 17 starts, including the Breeders Crown and the Peter Haughton. He earned almost $800,000 and set a world record of 1:52.2 in a split of the ISS at The Red Mile. That’s almost two seconds slower than his paternal sister Mission Brief went last year, but that’s OK. Speaking of Mission Brief, she’ll win the three-year-old trotting filly division on brilliance alone. The three classic stakes for a sophomore trotting filly are the Oaks, Kentucky Filly Futurity and Breeders Crown. Wild Honey took all of them, and she has a bigger 2015 bankroll than the Muscle Hill Amazon, so on the basis of her resume she should be on equal footing with Mission Brief, at the very least. But life isn’t always fair, and brilliance sometimes trumps a season of stellar accomplishments. Last Thursday’s eye popping world record 1:50.2 win in the Matron by Mission Brief put her over the top. She also finished second in the Hambletonian, and won the Elegantimage, Zweig Filly, and a split of the Bluegrass. The public loves her and she will win the division, regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s Continentalvictory. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year in the US and Canada, will be back on the podium after an off year—for her—in 2014. She beat the boys in the Maple Leaf Classic, Charlie Hill, Cutler and Centaur. She also triumphed over the mares in the Armbro Flight. BAM is entered in the TVG Mare Trot on Friday. Regardless of the outcome, she will be hoisting a Dan Patch. Jimmy Takter’s SBSW two-year-old filly, Pure Country, should win a competitive contest for the Dan Patch with the Canadian based Bettor’s Delight filly, L A Delight. The former is a perfect 10 for 10 while Bob McIntosh’s L A Delight has experienced one loss in a dozen starts. Pure Country is almost $157,000 richer. This one came down to the Breeders Crown, which the SBSW filly won handily. L A Delight was not staked to it. Pure Country also won splits of the Bluegrass and ISS at The Red Mile and the Pennsylvania Championship. L A Delight won the Eternal Camnation, Great Lady and Champlain, as well as the OSS Super Final. Figuring out which freshman colt will take home a Dan Patch is much more difficult. If Control The Moment (Well Said), who won the Metro and Nassagaweya, had taken the Breeders Crown he would have ended the discussion, but he didn’t, and he hasn’t come to the States for the Matron or the Governor’s Cup. The Rocknroll colt Boston Red Rocks took the BC, but that’s about it. He is entered in Saturday’s Governor’s Cup. Ron Burke’s Western Ideal colt Big Top Hanover won the Matron, in addition to an ISS split in Lexington. A win on Saturday would make him a strong candidate. If neither Big Top Hanover nor Boston Red Rocks win the Governor’s Cup it may go by default to Control The Moment. If the Donato filly Broadway Donna had won the BC, the division would be hers. She entered her elimination a perfect 9 for 9 with wins in the Doherty, Bluegrass and PA Championship. But she failed to make the final, and is now at the mercy of Jimmy Takter’s Muscle Hill filly, All The Time, who starts from the rail in the upcoming Goldsmith Maid. She won the BC and will have $125,000 more on her card than Donna if she wins on Friday. All The Time has won seven times and she dominated in her recent starts. No sophomore pacing filly got even a single point in this week’s Top Ten Poll. The division will probably be settled in the 1 1/8 mile Tarport Hap at The Meadowlands. Divine Caroline, who starts from the seven for David Miller and Joe Holloway, won the Breeders Crown, Garnsey and a split of the Bluegrass. She’s the richest and fastest filly in that division. A win on Saturday should secure a Dan Patch for her. Ron Burke’s Sassa Hanover, the winner of the Jugette and Adioo Volo, is also entered in that race. Wrangler Magic won the Fan Hanover and Simcoe, and Purrfect Bags took the Lady Maud and Lismore, but both checked out of the division battle early. Also, the Courageous Lady is a week from Friday. The aged trotters are another difficult group in which to crown a leader: There is no Sebastian K this year. Bee A Magician won several of the trotting stakes that generally go to males. Papagayo E took the Yonkers International, while Creatine, who only made a couple of NA starts, won the Breeders Crown. Il Sogno Dream won the Allerage and the Dayton Trotting Derby. Is he the champ? JL Cruze was an early season sensation, winning sixteen times. However, once the four-year-old restricted races ended, he fell apart. His last win was four months ago in the Hambletonian Maturity. None of the TVG Final winners would become prime candidates with a win. No idea. Anndrovette won’t be winning the Dan Patch for aged pacing mares for a fifth consecutive year. At least I don’t think she will. She has only three wins, with the Golden Girls and Lady Liberty being two of them. But the latter was her last win and that was more than three months ago. She scratched out of the BC. Venus Delight, who won the Matchmaker, Artiscape and Milton, should take the division with a win in Friday’s TVG Mare for Tim Tetrick. On the other hand, last year’s three-year-old champ, Color’s A Virgin, has come alive at the right time with wins in the Allerage Mare and Breeders Crown. A win in the TVG for David Miller will secure another Dan Patch for her. The race for the Dan Patch in the older pacing division presents the voters with an interesting dilemma. Throughout most of the season it was assumed that six-year-old State Treasurer, who has nine wins and dominated that division for most of the 2014 season, would win in a walk. But then along came Miki. By the time Always B Miki made his first start, in an Indiana Sire Stakes elimination on October 3, State Treasure had already racked up wins in the Molson, Mohawk Gold Cup, William Haughton, the US Pacing Championship, Roll With Joe, Canadian Pacing Derby and Dayton Pacing Derby. All that before the four-year-old son of Always A Virgin made a single start. That’s a very impressive seasonal resume. Subsequent to that, State Treasurer was a disappointing seventh in the Allerage Open, after leading most of the mile. He then faced Miki in a Breeders Crown elimination, won easily by the latter, with State Treasurer finishing third, three lengths back. And the following week Miki took the final in handy fashion in 1:49.3, with State Treasurer finishing sixth. State Treasurer called it a year after his Breeders Crown loss, while Miki went on to win the American-National in 1:49.1 at Balmoral. Since he was not staked to the TVG, that’s it for him in 2015. This week’s Breeders Crown Poll shows Always B Miki in sixth place with 147 points, while State Treasurer is in twelfth with only 29 points. While some of the folks who vote in this poll will also vote for the division champions, not all will. Still, we must choose between five months of domination at the highest ranks of the aged pacing tree and one month of brilliance at the tail end of the season. Does that old saw “What have you done for me lately” rule the day? As unfair as it might be, I believe Always B Miki will take home the Dan Patch. by Joe FitzGerald for Harnesslink Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/. Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.
Presiding Judge John Tomasello has informed Meadowlands Racetrack management Saturday evening that driver Brian Sears has been suspended for 15 days for "lack of judgment in his driving performance," pertaining to his drive of Bee A Magician in the second race on Friday night at The Meadowlands. No other details were made available at this time. The hearing had been scheduled for Saturday, regarding the drive of Bee A Magician in the 2nd race at The Meadowlands on Friday night. Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural was flabbergasted by what transpired and believes the betting public needs to be protected. The matter will be investigated and a course of action regarding this race will proceed accordingly. A hearing has been scheduled with Brian Sears for later today. After the conclusion of the hearing with , an update will be offered to our customers and the industry. In addition, a meeting of the drivers and trainers has been scheduled for 6:15 this evening where this matter will most certainly be spoken about. Mr. Gural made it clear to Bee A Magician's trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman that the effort put forth on the racetrack was unacceptable and to Mr. Norman's credit he understood and agreed that it was a mistake for Brian Sears to drive the horse so conservatively although because the horse had been tying up he did tell Brian to try not to race her on the front end. After consulting with and at the suggestion of several trainers that Mr. Gural spoke with, it has been decided that going forward every trainer will be obligated to give the race office an update on how the horse they are entering has been training so that information can be provided to our customers, who are the betting public. Without them, we would not exist and they must be protected. The information will be printed in our live program and will be available on our website as well. Effective immediately, all trainers that have entered horses to race at The Meadowlands will be required to supply a comment regarding how their horse trained a minimum of 72 hours prior to the race day and that report will be included in the live race program and will be accessible in the "race review" portion of The Meadowlands website. It is expected that all trainers with horses racing on Friday will submit an update on how their horse trained no later than 5:00 P.M. Tuesday and horses entered for Saturday are required to have their update submitted no later than 5:00 P.M. Wednesday. All trainers are to submit the update on how their horse trained to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. In the event a trainer does not have e-mail access, he is asked to provide the update over the phone to The Meadowlands race office. If a trainer does not provide the necessary information, the race office will call the trainer until he/she is reached. This policy is being implemented to protect the betting public as they are the reason we are all here. We thank the horsemen for their anticipated cooperation in this matter. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands
East Rutherford, NJ - Live harness racing returns to the Meadowlands on Friday (Nov. 13) as the New Jersey track opens its annual Fall/Winter meet with top older mares competing in TVG opens and freshmen filly trotters battling in a Fall Final Four elimination. Bee A Magician will be favored in the $25,000 TVG Mare Open trot as she sharpens her claws for next week's $200,000 TVG Final. Winning that final would result in a million-dollar season for "Queen Bee" and her connections. Brian Sears is listed to drive for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and Dave Mc Duffee. Pacing mares are led by series point leader Venus Delight who has already collected over a half million dollars in purses this season on the strength of seven wins for the interests of Bamond Racing, LLC. Yonkers' leading reinsman Jason Bartlett is due in to drive for trainer Jeff Bamond, Jr. With eleven trotting fillies declared for the Goldsmith Maid, a single elimination is necessary with nine of the ten racing returning to join Kathy Parker (her connections accepted a bye) in the $409,950 final next Friday. Jimmy Takter stable sends out the morning line fave in Breeders Crown winner All The Time. Perennial Meadowlands leading driver Yannick Gingras has the assignment on behalf of owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, who also bred the Muscle Hill filly. The Three Diamonds for pacing fillies drew just eight declarations, eliminating any need for eliminations. All eight fillies will return for the $385,250 final. The eight declared are Blue Moon Stride, Call Me Queen, I Said Please, JK Fannie, Penpal, Shezarealdeal, Skinny Dipper and Yankee Moonshine. The meet begins with an eleven race card at a slightly earlier post time of 7:00 p.m. One pari-mutuel note, the late Pick 4 begins with race eight. The fifty cent minimum wager offers players a low 15% take-out with the pool guaranteed at $50,000. The first 3,500 fans ages 18 and over attending opening night will receive a mystery voucher that can be redeemed and could be worth up to $500. All vouchers will be worth at least two dollars. Reservations may be made at Pink Restaurant, the upscale dining room on the track's third floor overlooking the racetrack. Executive Chef Dennis Sammarone, a well-known veteran of the New York City dining scene, creates a rotating seasonal menu. Tableside cocktail service compliments the delicious fare, which includes dishes such as fresh seasonal salads, authentically prepared pastas, a variety of entrees and delicious desserts. Call 201.THE.BIGM for reservations or visit www.opentable.com. For complete racing and promotional schedule plus updated dining menus, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. From the Meadowlands Media Department
Freehold, NJ --- There was little change in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown weekly poll as No. 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit was idle heading into Thursday’s Little Brown Jug and many other ranked horses posted wins. No. 2 Mission Brief won the Elegantimage Stakes, No. 3 Pinkman captured the Canadian Trotting Classic, No. 4 Bee A Magician won the Maple Leaf Trot and No. 7 Southwind Frank won the Wellwood Memorial. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 19 – 9/22/2015& Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (32) 3pg 18-16-1-0 $1,439,144 338 1 2 Mission Brief 3tf 9-7-2-0 $728,992 277 2 3 Pinkman (1) 3tg 14-10-2-0 $1,486,965 237 3 4 Bee A Magician (1) 5tm 13-9-4-0 $783,545 226 T5 5 State Treasurer 6ph 15-8-1-4 $788,357 195 4 6 Wakizashi Hanover 3pg 15-9-3-2 $1,036,738 129 T5 7 Southwind Frank 2tc 9-8-0-0 $450,319 118 8 8 Control The Moment 2pc 7-7-0-0 $331,757 79 9 9 JL Cruze 4tg 21-16-2-0 $627,456 77 7 10 L A Delight (1) 2pf 10-9-0-1 $397,502 54 10 Also: Freaky Feet Pete (38); Broadway Donna (36); Caprice Hill (30); Habitat (15); Crazy Wow, D’One (11); Doo Wop Hanover, Wild Honey (8); Homicide Hunter (6); Artspeak, Daylon Miracle, In The Arsenal, Pure Country (5); Dime A Dance, Resolve (3); JK Endofanera (2); Bettor Be Steppin, Dude’s The Man, Dynamic Youth, Wrangler Magic (1). by Ken Weingartner, for USTA
When Ontario Sired super mare Bee A Magician turns to the starting gate Saturday in the $680,000 final of 63rd edition of the Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk Racetrack, her part-owner Mel Hartman will be biting his nails watching the race on TV from his Ottawa home. The five-year-old daughter of Kadabra out of Beehive has earned more than $3.3 million, but Hartman said he still gets nervous every time she races. "If she can beat the boys I think it is another feather in her hat," Hartman said. "It's an honour, in a way, because usually horses race in their own class, which is tough enough." Hartman shares ownership of Bee A Magician (New Image Media photo) with Montreal native and former Toronto resident Herb Liverman and David McDuffee of Florida. Bee A Magician finished a neck behind Natural Herbie Sept. 12 in their Maple Leaf Trot elimination. The mare drew post two in the final, which is race seven on a card that features four other rich stakes finals for trotters, including the $700,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-olds. "I feel more confident this week, because last week she hadn't raced in about three weeks and I thought she'd be short, but she raced very well," Hartman said. Earning a cheque would push Bee A Magician past Hall of Fame pacer Somebeachsomewhere on the all-time earnings list for Ontario-sired standardbreds into fourth place behind trotter Arch Madness ($4.3 million) and pacers Mister Big ($4.1 million) and Boulder Creek ($3.8 million). Hartman said Bee A Magician would be given every opportunity, health willing, to continue to climb the money list. On Oct. 10, she will represent Canada while taking on the boys again in the $1 million International Trot at Yonkers Raceway in New York City. "I think we would like to race her as long as she's sound and healthy. If she can continue to race at this level I take a look at what Moni Maker made and there's been some comparisons of (Bee A Magician) to that horse," Hartman said of the late, great U.S. trotting mare that earned nearly $5.6 million lifetime and frequently beat the boys in stakes races on both sides of the Atlantic. "That horse was a hell of a horse. I don't know if (Bee A Magician) is in the same league or not, but she can be mentioned in the same paragraph, that's for sure." Two years after Bee A Magician was a perfect 17-for-17 and earned more than $1.57 million en route to the Horse of the Year Award in both Canada and the United States, the magic mare is still a model of incredible consistency. She's won eight of 12 starts this year and put more than $550,000 in the bank for driver Brian Sears and New Jersey based Richard "Nifty" Norman. "Honestly, every day I think about her I have to pinch myself that I own a horse like that," Hartman said. "She's just one hell of an athlete. She knows how to take care of herself and she's really something special... I can't say enough about her. She's just a special, special horse. It's more than a once-in-a-lifetime dream. It's an honour to own a piece of her." Hartman, the owner of the wholesale produce company Orleans Fresh Fruit based in Ottawa, said some of his customers get a kick out of seeing what trinkets he's added to the Bee A Magician display he has in his office. "It's nice to work away at my desk and look up and see her. It just gives me a warm feeling," he said. "I have Breeders Crown trophies, I have pictures. If I added more I'd have to build a bigger office and add more walls." He would dearly love to add a Maple Leaf Trot to the collection, despite no longer having the desire to make the long road trip from the nation's capital to Campbellville to see the race in person. "It would be a hell of an honour to win Canada's prestige trotting event and something that would be down in history forever. It's something they'd never be able to take away from her," Hartman said. By Dave Briggs, for Ontario Horse Racing
CAMPBELLVILLE, June 12 - Bee A Magician set a Canadian record in her harness racing return to Mohawk Racetrack Friday night for the Armbro Flight eliminations. A fantastic group of 17 older trotting mares were split into two $35,000 eliminations to qualify for the $272,000 Armbro Flight final. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, headlined the first elimination and continued her impressive five-year-old season with a Canadian and track record performance of 1:51.1. Driven by Brian Sears, Bee A Magician got away in fourth and sat in that spot through the opening-half. Around the final turn, Sears sent the Richard 'Nifty' Norman trainee first up to challenge the leader Handover Belle and edged ahead to the lead at the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4. In the stretch, Bee A Magician trotted home effortlessly in :27.2 to win by four-lengths and establish a new Canadian and track record. Classic Martine finished second, while Allie Labrook was third. "I was really happy with the way things worked out," said Sears following the race. "She was really good tonight scoring down and I think the cool weather might have helped her a little bit too." Bee A Magician has now won five of six starts this year. All six of her starts have been made over the course of the last 41 days, but Sears said that didn't show Friday night. "She was razor-sharp tonight, I was really happy with her." A daughter of Kadabra, Bee A Magician now has 36 career victories and added to her bankroll of over $3 million. The clocking of 1:51.1 erased the former track record of 1:51.4 set by Perfect Alliance in last year's Armbro Flight final. Perfect Alliance also set the former Canadian record of 1:51.2 in May last year at Woodbine. A graduate of the Ontario Sires Stakes program, Bee A Magician has now won 15 of 17 career starts at Mohawk. She returned $2.80 to win. Bee A Magician The second elimination saw another heavy favourite visit the winner's circle. Shake It Cerry extended her win streak to three in a row with a 1:52.4 victory. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Shake It Cerry made a second-quarter move from fourth to take the lead at the half in :56.1. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4, Shake It Cerry pulled away from her rivals in the lane and trotted home under no urging from Gingras in :28 for a 2 ¾ length victory. Rockin With Dewey finished second, while Bax Of Life got up for third. Charmed Life and Frau Blucher rounded out the top-five to advance to the final. Following the race, Gingras talked about a pending matchup with Bee A Magician. "Bee A Magician is tough and she's a great mare," said Gingras. "She won just as easy as myself, so it's going to be a great matchup." A four-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover, Shake It Cerry is trained by Jimmy Takter for the Solveigs Racing Partners. She now has three wins from six starts this season and 26 in her career. Shake It Cerry's career earnings sit at over $2.1 million. She paid $2.60 to win. Shake It Cerry The Armbro Flight final will take place next Saturday (June 20) as part of the Pepsi North America Cup card. The post positions for the final were drawn following the eliminations. Here is how they will lineup in the $272,000 final. 1. Bax Of Life 2. Classic Martine 3. Shake It Cerry 4. Rockin With Dewey 5. Bee A Magician 6. Charmed Life 7. Frau Blucher 8. Harley Momma 9. Handover Belle 10. Allie Labrook AE: White Becomes Her Mark McKelvie
A multiple-stakes winner in 2014, the harness racing 4-year-old Il Sogno Dream is among 10 horses entered in Saturday's $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters at Scioto Downs Racino. The field also includes Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, and stakes-winner Natural Herbie. Il Sogno Dream will start from post No. 2 with driver Aaron Merriman. Bee A Magician, with Brian Sears listed to drive, drew post four and Natural Herbie, with owner-trainer-driver Verlin Yoder at the lines, got post eight. Modern Family won last year's inaugural Charlie Hill Memorial in a then-track-record-equaling 1:52.2. Interestingly, Il Sogno Dream won his seasonal debut on May 22 at Scioto Downs in a career-best 1:52.2. "I can't say I expected him to go (1):52 in his first start, but he was ready I guess," Beaver said with a laugh. "He's come back better than he was. Last year, he would kind of lay into the turns a bit. He's straighter this year; I could probably race him without hobbles, but I don't like to change in case they ever need them on. "He's filled out a bit. I wouldn't say he's any taller, but there's more weight on him. And it seems like he's gotten a little faster over the winter. I think (the improvement in the turns) is a part of it, but I think his stamina is better than it was last year." Il Sogno Dream won five of 18 races last year and earned $323,952 for owners Bill Manes, Dan Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. He captured divisions of the Currier & Ives and Circle City Trot and finished second in the Goodtimes Stakes. He also had third-place finishes in the Kentucky Futurity and Carl Erskine Trot and was fourth in the Hambletonian Stakes. For his career, the son of Cantab Hall-Le Reve has won nine of 31 starts and earned $451,601. Il Sogno Dream has raced twice this year and heads to the Charlie Hill Memorial off a second-place finish to Final Breath in the May 29 Open at Scioto Downs. Il Sogno Dream lost by a head despite starting from post eight and racing on the outside for the entire mile. "I'm really happy with the condition of the horse going into this race," said the 43-year-old Beaver, who established a career high with $1.27 million in purse earnings last season. "I think he's got a good chance to get a top-three finish in (the Charlie Hill Memorial). "I'm not sure he's not up to being able to race against the top horses, I think he can race with them; I don't think they're going to overshadow him. Is he ready to beat that kind? I don't know. He hasn't faced anything like them so far this year. But I feel pretty good about him in there." Il Sogno Dream has a limited stakes schedule this year. Among the races to which he is eligible are the Hambletonian Maturity, Maple Leaf Trot, Chip Noble Memorial Trot, Centaur Trotting Classic, and Dayton Trotting Derby. "I didn't over-stake him this year," said Beaver, who is based in central Ohio and also has 10 horses with a second trainer in Ontario. "I figured he'd be racing a few more years at least. I'm hoping he can be really good around here and compete on the Grand Circuit locally. I hope he develops into a horse that could race everywhere. I think he's well on his way." Bee A Magician has won three of four races this year and is coming off a second-place finish to Father Patrick in the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational on May 24 at Harrah's Philadelphia. The 5-year-old mare, who has raced exclusively against the boys so far this year, has won 34 of 51 career races and earned $2.90 million. Natural Herbie is winless in five starts this season, but last year won the International Trot Preview, Chip Noble Memorial and Vincennes Invitational. He has won 24 of 51 lifetime starts and $763,491. Following is the field in post order for the Charlie Hill Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1 Final Breath, Dan Noble, Hugh Beatty 2. Il Sogno Dream, Aaron Merriman, Chris Beaver 3. Fusion Man, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Jeff Smith 4. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman 5. DW's NY Yank, Chris Page, Ron Burke 6. Obrigado, Mark MacDonald, Paul Kelley 7. Southwind Pepino, Hugh Beatty, Hugh Beatty 8. Natural Herbie, Verlin Yoder, Verlin Yoder 9. Lindy's Tru Grit, Andy Miller, Julie Miller 10. Count Me In, Mike Wilder, Ron Burke Note: DW's NY Yank and Count Me In will race as an entry. Note: Count Me In starts from the trailing position. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA
Columbus, OH --- On Saturday (June 6), Scioto Downs Racino will play host to plenty of harness racing stakes action featuring the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot. Ten of the country’s top trotters will go to the gate, including 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. Bee A Magician will ship to Scioto Downs off a second place finish in the Maxie Lee to Father Patrick. With regular pilot Brian Sears listed to drive, Bee A Magician will try to gain a victory and push her lifetime earnings to more than $3 million. The race will also see DW’s NY Yank, Lindy’s Tru Grit and Obrigado ship in from the east to stake their claim to the $200,000 purse. Verlin Yoder will be bringing Indiana bred Natural Herbie to the High Street oval to tackle the country’s best once again after earning more than $300,000 in 2014. The stellar field will also consist of Count Me In, Final Breath, Fusion Man, Il Sogno Dream and Southwind Pepino, who have been battling week in and week out in some of Scioto Downs' finest trot races. Ohio’s top 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers and trotters will also slug it out in the second leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes with two divisions for each gait. The pacers will include Gray Camo and Chief Talkalot, who were winners in the first round at Miami Valley Raceway. Neely’s Messenger, last year’s 2-year-old trot Sires Stakes champion, will continue his quest to be Ohio’s best trotter for trainer Al Manke III. I Know My Chip will try to push his winning streak to four for trainer Ron Burke. Be sure to make it to the racetrack early as American Pharoah attempts to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed accomplished the task in 1978. American Pharoah will go postward at approximately 6:35 p.m. in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, with jockey Victor Espinoza aboard. Racing continues at Scioto Downs through Sept. 12, Super Night. Post time is 2 p.m. for Tuesdays and holiday race days and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays-Saturdays. by Myles Linderman, for Scioto Downs
Three invitationals headline a star-studded program of harness racing at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon, each going for a purse of $150,000. The Jerry Taylor Invitational for colt and gelding pacers is race ten on the fourteen race program. Jerry Taylor was a prominent horse owner for many years, owning horses like Devil's Adversary, Exotic Earl, Sunny Disposition, Mister Karamea, Sands A Flyin, among others. George Morton Levy winner Domethatagain drew post three in the field of eight. The son of Bettors Delight had a perfect trip behind defending champ PH Supercam before gunning him down in the stretch, pacing the mile in 1:51.1, just one-fifth of a second off the stakes record at Yonkers. Millionaire Dancin Yankee is making his ninth start of the season for Baron Racing and Richard Lombardo. The 7-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser is looking to regain the form of last season, where he won eighteen of twenty-nine starts, highlighted by a world record performance (1:48.4) in the Gerrity Pace at Saratoga. Two-time millionaire Clear Vision drew post seven in Sunday's event. The multiple-stakes winner is looking for his first win of the season, finishing on the board in four straight starts against open competition for trainer Ron Burke. The field also includes 2013 Art Rooney winner Doctor Butch (post 1), millionaire and Levy Consolation winner Sapphire City (post 2), Jimmy Takter trained pacer Great Vintage (post 4), Bamond Racing's Mach It So (Post 5), and 2014 Canadian Derby up setter Modern Legend (post 8). The Betsy Ross Invitational for pacing mares is race eleven on the all-star program. Multiple Dan Patch and O'Brien award winner Anndrovette will be looking to add to her $3 million dollar bankroll. Drawing post two for this event, the forty-two time winner, trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., is looking to go back-to-back in the Betsy Ross. She also won this event in 2011. Yagonnakissmeornot drew post six. The 6-year-old daughter of The Panderosa is just shy of one million dollars in career earnings. The Rene Allard trainee is coming into this race off back-to-back wins including a narrow win in the Chip Noble Pace at Miami Valley. She finished a close second after setting the tempo in the Blue Chip Matchmaker at Yonkers three starts back. The field also includes Ron Burke trainee Sayitall BB (post 1), who had a tremendous season in 2014, thirty-time winner Radar Contact (post 3), Jerseylicious (post 4), Table Talk (post 5), who suffered a heart-breaking loss to Yagonnakissmeornot in the Chip Noble in Ohio, Ooh Bad Shark (post 7), and For The Ladies N (post 8). The Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for trotters is race twelve on the program. It features perhaps the most anticipated matchup in all of harness racing as superstar mare Bee A Magician squares off against the great Father Patrick. Bee A Magician drew post three for the event, with wins against the boys in her first three starts of the season. She is the only female to win the Cutler Memorial, which she did easily in her last start. Approaching three million in career earnings, she looks to be in top form heading into this affair. Jimmy Takter trainee Father Patrick (post 6) has qualified well at The Meadowlands in preparation for his 4-year-old season. The multi stakes winner put an exclamation point on his unforgettable 2014 season, with a win in the Breeders Crown. He is making his first start of the season. The field also includes Lindy's Tru Grit (post 1), Ron Burke trainee Dw's NY Yank (post 2) who is making his 100th start of his career, three time millionaire Market Share (post 4), Meladay's Monet (post 6), millionaire Classic Martine (post 7), and Bourbon Bay (post 8). Sunday will be Family Day at Harrah's Philadelphia. There will be family friendly activities including prize giveaways and much more. The Riverview Terrace will be open for lunch from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Michael Bozich
Every little thing she does is magic. Or at least it has been so far this harness racing season for Bee A Magician. The 5-year-old female trotter, who was harness racing's 2013 Horse of the Year, has started her campaign with back-to-back wins over male rivals - first in a track-record performance in the Open Handicap at Yonkers Raceway and next from the Meadowlands' post 10 in a prep for Saturday's Arthur J. Cutler Memorial. She will try to make it three in a row when she leaves from post eight with driver Brian Sears in the $183,650 Cutler Memorial final at the Big M. A mare has never won the Cutler, which was first contested in 1998. In fact, Bee A Magician is only the fourth to compete in the event, joining Fern (eighth in 2000), Mystical Sunshine (fifth in 2006) and Buck I St Pat (second in 2011). The Cutler is part of a card at the Meadowlands that includes the seasonal debuts of Dan Patch Award-winner Artspeak in a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers and millionaire JK Endofanera in the first round of the TVG Free For All Series for older pacers. Last year, Bee A Magician won four of 17 races and earned $421,314 for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. Her victories included the Breeders Crown Mare Trot and she finished second in the Hambletonian Maturity, Allerage Farms Mare Trot, and Ima Lula Series championship. "She's just bigger, stronger, more mature," trainer Nifty Norman said. "It's just the difference between being a 4-year-old and a 5-year-old. And she seems very settled and happy with herself. Her appetite is great and she just seems really content. Hopefully that trend continues." Bee A Magician was undefeated in 17 starts at age 3, earning $1.54 million, and was named Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada. Although she saw her win rate drop last season, she hit the board 12 times and trotted a then-world-record 1:51.1 to capture a preliminary division of the Miss Versatility Series. Three times she finished second in races that either set or equaled the world record. "I think the strength of that (trotting mare) group probably doesn't get enough credit," Norman said. "Classic Martine and company, there are some good horses in that class. We went in (1):51 a bunch of times last year racing those mares. I think two or three of them are probably good enough to go against the boys as well. It was a really good group. "At the same time, I think (Bee A Magician) is better this year. She seems to be handling things better." Last week, Bee A Magician and driver Scott Zeron left from post 10 and methodically moved to the front in an opening quarter-mile of :27.4. They yielded the lead to DW's NY Yank prior to the halfway point and remained in second until exiting the final turn, when Zeron moved Bee A Magician to the outside and trotted home in a national season's best 1:51.3. Elitloppet invitee Wind Of The North finished second and Melady's Monet was third. "It was fantastic," Norman said. "I was very, very pleased with that. It was unbelievable. Scotty read the race well. No one left (from the starting gate) and he ended up getting a perfect trip really. But she was very good as well." Bee A Magician is not the only former Dan Patch Award winner in the Cutler Memorial final. Two-time honoree Market Share, who was making his 2015 debut in the prep and finished sixth, will leave from post three. The remainder of the field includes Opening Night, Master Of Law, Expressive Action, Lindy's Tru Grit, and Appomattox. "I think Brian will probably try to do a similar thing to what Scotty did," Norman said about the final. "He'll probably put her in the flow and try to be the last horse to the top, I would imagine. But we'll see how it works out." If all goes well, Bee A Magician will follow the Cutler with a trip to Harrah's Philadelphia for the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational on May 24. And she could see a number of starts against the boys throughout the season. If that's the case, once Sebastian K and Father Patrick enter the fray there could be times when at least four Dan Patch Award winners meet up. "As long as we're competitive I think we're probably going to race the boys a bit more often," Norman said. "Obviously there are some horses to come out of the woodwork yet; I think the class is probably going to get stronger as we go forward. But at the moment it seems like we're competitive in there, so that's alright." Following is the field in post order for the Cutler Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Opening Night, Corey Callahan, Jim Campbell 2. DW's NY Yank, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano 4. Master Of Law, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter 5. Expressive Action, Pat Berry, John Grasso 6. Wind Of The North, David Miller, Daryl Bier 7. Lindy's Tru Grit, Andy Miller, Julie Miller 8. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman 9. Appomattox, Andrew McCarthy, Ron Burke 10. Melady's Monet, John Campbell, Kevin McDermott by Ken Harness Racing Communications USTA
EAST RUTHERFORD (May 9, 2015) - If the first two starts of her 2015 harness racing campaign are any indication, Bee A Magician will be a force to be reckoned with once again. On Saturday night at The Meadowlands, she not only defeated the boys in the $50,000 prep for the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, she destroyed them. Escaping at 12-1, despite coming off a track record performance at Yonkers, Bee A Magician was dismissed by the punters from post position 10. Off the gate, Zeron asked his champion mare for a little speed, but his plan wasn't to make the lead. "I figured we would float out there and I would try to set her up second or third over," said Zeron, "but nobody else really pushed out there, so she brought me to the top rather easily and then we let Yannick go, sat behind him and that was perfect." Bee A Magician did lead at the first point of call, which she reached in 27.4, but she would relinquish that lead to DW's NY Yank, who briefly went off-stride at the start. The Burke-trainee entered tonight riding a four race win streak and he would lead the field past the half-mile in 55.4. Meanwhile. The even money favorite, Melady's Monet was taken back off the speed and would commit first over as the field moved down the backstretch. Hambletonian Winner Market Share would ride his cover around the far turn. Bee A Magician continued to draft in the pocket behind the leader past three quarters in 1:24.3. But from there, the mare made her move. "She pulled me out of the pocket," added Zeron. "She wanted to go and once she made the lead she kicked in even more." Bee A Magician opened up daylight in the stretch and was a geared down and ultra-impressive winner in 1:51.3. Wind Of The North rallied well to finish second, with Melady's Monet holding onto third despite a tough first over trip. In 2013, Bee A Magician completed an undefeated campaign, that included a Hambletonian Oaks win. That campaign led to her being voted the Horse of the Year. She will look to become the first mare to win the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial in the 17-year history of the race in the $175,000 Final on Saturday, May 16th. The magnificent mare by Kadabra is owned by Melvin Hartman, Marvin Katz and David Mc Duffee and trained by Nifty Norman. For Queen Bee, it was her 33rd victory from 49 starts. Her earnings continue to close in on $2.8 Million. The win capped off a big night for Scott Zeron, who won four races on the card. Bee A Magician Earlier on the racing program, the top pacers contested the $27,500 Open Handicap which was scratched down to a field of six. Newcomer Ellis Park was a 9/5 favorite at post time, but both Dovuto Hanover and Doctor Butch were not far behind in the pari-mutuel wagering. Doctor Butch was asked for speed off the gate and would be guided to a pocket spot behind Fool Me Once who would lead the field for the first three quarters of a mile, establishing fractions of 26.2, 54.2 and 1:21.2 but the lead would not last the length of the stretch as the field closed in, none more so than Doctor Butch. The five year old son of Art Major ripped out of the pocket in the stretch and scampered away from the field to win impressively in 1:48.1, establishing a new lifetime mark and sending his lifetime earnings past $900,000. Dovuto Hanover rallied from off the pace to finish second, while Ellis Park, who roughed it first over, held on for third. Doctor Butch won for the 23rd time in his career for Linda Toscano and Kenneth Jacobs and was driven to victory by his usual partner in the sulky, Tim Tetrick. Doctor Butch In other action, Rock Of The Ages scored a victory over a trio of Meadowlands Pace-eligibles, winning in 1:51 for Brett Miller. Trading Up, Sicily and Jo Pa's Well Said, all on the road to The Meadowlands Pace finished behind the 7-1 upset winner. Rock Of The Ages Tony Alagna had a good night on Saturday at The Meadowlands. In addition to his Trading Up finishing second in his three year old debut, he won a pair of races with Shades Of Bay and Odds On Equuleus, both with Scott Zeron in the sulky. The former is a Meadowlands Pace-eligible colt who was making his three year old debut. He was victorious in a very sharp 1:50.3. The Meadowlands Pace theme would continue in the very next race, as Edward Teach, another Pace-eligible colt scored in a condition event in a lifetime best 1:51 for the Burke/Gingras connection. Shades Of Bay Odds On Equuleus Art History won for the third consecutive time, taking a tough condition even in 1:51.1 capping what was a very good night for Scott Zeron. Art History There were two winning tickets in the fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5, so that jackpot pool carried over once again and will feature a $112,844 carryover into Friday night. The last race jackpot also went unclaimed and that carryover will be $87,837 into the Friday program. The handle of just over $2.8 Million was virtually flat compared to this night in 2014, with one less race. Racing returns on Friday which features the New Jersey Sire Stakes for thee year old trotters and the eagerly anticipated three year old debut of Mission Brief. Post time is 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali
After four straight weeks of pickin'em pretty good, I finally ran into a brick wall Breeders Crown weekend. But you can't win'em all so back to the drawing board. Sadly the stakes season is drawing to a close this weekend with the TVG finals at the Meadowlands and then next week the rich Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Then we get into tough winter overnights and some good late closing series throughout the county. Good Luck! $49,000 Pace 3YO's n/w $100,000 in 2014 Meadowlands 3rd race SATURDAY - It is too tough to try and go against the triple entry of Hall Bro, Lord Of Misrule and Journeyman. Both Hall Bro and Journeyman are coming off very strong winning efforts and with good inside post position they will be very tough to beat in here. Use Caviart Chase and Caviart Luca in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Open Handicap Yonkers Raceway 6th race SATURDAY - Beach Memories or P H Supercam....I nearly flipped a coin to decide in here but came away going with Beach Memories. He has the better inside post and the gate speed to insure good positioning to score from. Has been first and second twice in photos last three starts. Use P H Supercam and Holdallthecards in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace TVG FFA Final Meadowlands 7th race SATURDAY - This is the last big bang for the older pacers and it's a great field to close out the season with. Sweet Lou and Foiled Again do their swan song for the end of their great racing careers. I'm going with Sweet Lou as in his last two starts he seemly had the race won only to get nipped at the wire. I don't think this world champion will get caught tonight. Use Thinking Out Loud and State Treasurer in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot TVG FFA Final Meadowlands 10th race SATURDAY - It didn't "All come down to the Breeders Crown" last week as it does in here. Sebastian K could sew up Harness Horse of the Year honors with a convincing victory in here but both Maven and Bee A Magician will be all out to not let that happen. Don't look for a super-fast mile as it will be clear but only in the low 30's at post time. But I think if the "old" Sebastian K shows up he will take this field and then maybe beat out JK She'salady for top honors in the Dan Patch Voting. He has truly been a champion this year. Use Maven and Bee A Magician in exotic plays. $30,000 Pace FFA Handicap Meadowlands 11th race SATURDAY - Everyone will lead toward Aslan as he has been the strong horse with two straight convincing wins in this class. But I like Wake Up Peter who last week was strong on the front end and may be able to turn the tables on Aslan in here. Use Aslan and Speed Again in exotic plays. $46,000 Trot Open Handicap 1¼ mile Yonkers Raceway 1st race SUNDAY - It's the France Handicap with a super full field of 12 trotters going the extra distance in the Yonkers-France matinee. Great to see such full fields going the extra quarter mile. Thus I have no fear in promoting Dancehall Mistress, one of four mares in the field against male rivals. She beat the pants off everyone last week with a four length romp at 11-1 and can do it again. Use Somebody AS and Super Manning in exotic plays. $17,000 Trot Open Handicap Saratoga Raceway 7th race SUNDAY - After having his head handed to him the last couple of starts against the best at Yonkers, Zooming takes a big drop in class and switch to Saratoga. This should aid him big time, even if he did get the far outside post eight. Still have the class to overcome the post problem as he did before trying his luck at Yonkers. Use You Rock My World and Slugfest in exotic plays. $25,000 Pace Winners over $25,000 Harrah's Philadelphia 11th race SUNDAY - With six of the eight starters in here all coming off wins in their last start it makes for a great competitive race. I don't think Dial Or Nodial can repeat because of outside post. Thus I am going with Mach It So. He was a game second from post eight last week but draws better in here and can win as long as he can grab some live cover. Use Dial Or Nodial and Voice Of Truth in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Progress Preview 3YO Colts Dover Downs 10th race SUNDAY - This will be a great preview towards next weeks $300,000 final. Superb field of colts will do battle big time. I like McWicked to repeat after his impressive Breeders Crown victory. He flashed his brilliant early season form last week with big 1:49 effort and draws the rail
East Rutherford, NJ - What is a racetrack to do when faced with following a Breeders Crown weekend chock full of thrills? Why at The Meadowlands the response is to come right back with the $1 million TVG Series Championship featuring the very finest of the older set on both the trot and pace. After following a season-long trail of top class events that began in May and concluded with last Saturday's Crown Finals, the TVG Championships close out a fantastic season for the top Free For Allers with year-end awards hanging in the balance. The $500,000 Pacing Championship comes as the seventh race on the card and offers a renewal of the thrilling rivalry between Thinking Out Loud and Sweet Lou who have been duking it out in headline events for the past three years. "Lou" put together an unprecedented string of six straight sub-1:48 miles during the heart of the summer season, winning ten in a row once united with Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce. He's the division's top seasonal money winner with more than $1.1 million this season and has amassed a lifetime bankroll of over $3.2 million for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. They've enjoyed a great ride with the son of Yankee Cruiser from Sweet Future who remains the fastest freshman of all time with his 1:49 score in the 2011 Breeders Crown. Ron Burke has trained Sweet Lou throughout his career, which comes to a close on Saturday as he goes to stud at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. Thinking Out Loud is a pure homebred, by Ponder from the mare Los Angeles, both raced in the stable of his Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh who shares ownership with brother Al McIntosh and long-time patrons CSX Stable (brothers Keith, Ken and Mike Carpenter). The winner of the 2012 North America Cup, Thinking Out Loud has amassed over $1.8 million career-wise with $200,000 coming in last Saturday's Breeders Crown Final where he and driver John Campbell used every inch of the long Meadowlands stretch to nail Sweet Lou on the wire. Known for his late rallying style and nail-biting finishes, Thinking Out Loud comes to this race near his best form. Space does not permit the tale be told of the depth present for the TVG Pacing Championship. Suffice to say that these eight champions have amassed nearly $18.5 million in earnings and among those not mentioned above are both the richest at $6.77 million, 2013 TVG champion Foiled Again and co-fastest, Warrawee Needy at 1:46.4, pacers in the history of the sport. Hoosier Pacing Derby winner Bettor's Edge, Canadian Pacing Derby champ Modern Legend, winner of the inaugural Dayton Pacing Derby Clear Vision and Allerage Farms Open victor State Treasurer complete the All Star line-up. If it were possible to out-do the race that I have just described, it could likely occur just three races later in the $500,000 TVG Trotting Championship, where the career earnings of the ten participants is over $21 million! The Trotting Championship has something for everybody; including the fastest trotter ever in Sebastian K who set the trotting world on its ear with his epic 1:49 masterpiece at Pocono this summer. Though his air of invincibility may have been breached, the majestic Swedish invader racing for Knutsson Trotting has a chance to reassert himself in Horse of the Year balloting in this contest. Ake Svanstedt trains and drives the champion. The competition is fierce, led by a pair femme fatales who are just now finding their best form of the season. From Sebastian K's inside starts 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. She is the winner of the Breeders Crown Mare Open Trot, thus the lone invitee to this race as allowed by the TVG conditions. She was devastating in victory, scorching the first quarter in 26.1 to line up the competition in her wake, then sprinting home in 27.2 to hold them off in 1:51.4. Brian Sears was at his best in orchestrating the winning trip on behalf of trainer Nifty Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. Maven made headlines when she commanded a king's ransom of $750,000 when offered at auction just three weeks ago and has made buyer Herb Liverman look like the Warren Buffet of horse racing since. Declining the chance to race the girls, she went into the Open division of the Breeders Crown and won the elimination despite the disadvantage of post ten. Another brave performance followed in the final of that race where she not only survived a long, uncovered bid into International champion Commander Crowe but was still inching in on his lead when the wire came in 1:51. Maven begins again from the far outside here but asks no quarter from her rivals. Top driver Yannick Gingras will attempt to overcome the poor starting position in his quest to find the best course to victory, as the pair has done many times. She is most recently trained by Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter and Mr. Liverman now has John Fielding and Joyce McClelland as partners in the mare. Beyond those three lurk such talented trotters as last year's TVG Champion, the $3.5 million winning Market Share, Allerage Farms Open and American National winner Creatine, International star and classics winner Wishing Stone, Maple Leaf Trot winner Intimidate, ageless wonder, $4.2 million, multiple classics winning world record holder Arch Madness, 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes champ Flanagan Memory and the iron tough DW's NY Yank. These are but the highlights of a titillating thirteen race Saturday night program at The Meadowlands. First post is 7:15pm and the wagering options are many; multiple guaranteed Pick 4's and the brand new Super Hi Five wager with a building jackpot. More details may be found at www.playmeadowlands.com . From The Meadowlands Media Relations Department
This Week: TVG Series finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will be at Meadowlands Racetrack this Saturday (Nov. 29) for the $500,000 TVG Series final for 3-year-old and up open pacers and the $500,000 TVG Series final for 3-year-old and up open trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Twelve classes competed in Breeders Crown finals this past weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. Let's take a look at some of the highlights: Commander Crowe won the $500,000 Open Trot by three-quarters of a length over favorite Maven in a stakes-record-equaling 1:51. Le Grand Blond -- European star Commander Crowe -- provided a grand finale to Saturday's eight Breeders Crown races, winning the $500,000 Open Trot by three-quarters of a length over favorite Maven in a stakes-record-equaling 1:51. An 11-year-old chestnut, Commander Crowe became the oldest Breeders Crown champion in history. Foiled Again, who won last season's Breeders Crown Open Pace at the age of 9, held the record for oldest winner. The Swedish-born Commander Crowe, who has won 61 of 106 career races and earned $5.09 million, captured his first Breeders Crown after third-place finishes in 2011 and 2012 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. His earnings rank No. 4 among all trotters in history and his triumphs include the Elitlopp Invitational, which he captured in 2012. Commander Crowe, trained by Fabrice Souloy, was driven to victory by Orjan Kihlstrom. Maven, who was trying to become the first mare since Moni Maker in 1998 to win the Breeders Crown Open Trot, raced on the outside from the half-mile point, closing from fourth to second, but getting no nearer. Creatine finished third, followed by Flanagan Memory. Three of the Crown winners put themselves in prime contention for Horse of the Year honors. On Friday, Shake It Cerry and Ron Pierce made it back-to-back Breeders Crown victories as the duo won the $500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Trot edition in a stakes record time of 1:52.2, two-fifths of a second better than the old mark set by Bee A Magician last year. Shake It Cerry shook off the competition and left the field behind to win by 2-1/4 lengths. Cee Bee Yes was second and Struck By Lindy closed strongly for third. It was the 19th Breeders Crown for her trainer Jimmy Takter and 30th for driver Ron Pierce, and she was the first trotting filly to win back-to-back Crowns since Cameron Hall in 2001-2002. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig is owned by Sloveig's Racing Partners. Make that an even dozen in as many tries for JK She'salady as she and driver Tim Tetrick won the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. She covered the mile in 1:50.2, a track and stakes record. Tetrick kept JK She'salady to her task and went straight to the finish line by 1-3/4 lengths in front of second place finisher Sassa Hanover and Bettor Be Steppin in third. JK She'salady is trained by Nancy Johansson and owned by 3 Brothers Stables of New York. It was the first winner for 33-year-old Johansson, who is the daughter of Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. If she would be voted the Horse of the Year, the homebred daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady would be the first 2-year-old pacing filly accorded that honor. "Redemption for Father Patrick. He is blessed with a Breeders Crown," called out track announcer Ken Warkentin as Father Patrick hit the wire to win the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old trotting colts by a neck in a stakes record time of 1:51.4 on Saturday. E L Titan was second and Nuncio, who was looking for late racing room along the rail, was third. Harper Blue Chip was fourth. Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream, is owned by the Father Patrick Stable, is trained by Jimmy Takter and was driven to victory by Yannick Gingras. He has won 12 of 17 starts this year, good for earnings of $1,693,081. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 2,267; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,162; 3. David Miller - 1,003.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 852.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 647. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 2,445.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,908; 3. Erv Miller - 446.5; 4. Joe Holloway - 411; 5. Julie Miller - 347. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 540.48; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 490.48; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 357; 4. Brittany Farms - 294.45; 5. Robert Key - 272. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs as the Delaware track will host the Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
I was on a pretty good roll last week, selecting 10 of 16 race winners and ending the weekend with a $19.00 profit plus some decent straight trifectas and exactas. So how best to cap a good weekend like that? To do even better this weekend! It all comes down to the Breeders Crown so we are totally focused on the 12 Breeders Crown Championship Finals Friday and Saturday at the Meadowlands. Many of these races may decide divisional honors for a lot of Dan Patch Horse of the Year award winners. Good Luck! $250,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final Mares Open 7th race FRIDAY - Usually I would jump all over Bee A Magician in here but something told me last week that CLASSIC MARTINE is back in prime shape and ready to cut loose for the Chris Oaks Stable. She has a good inside post to either try and wire the field or get great cover to score from. Use Bee A Magician and Handover Belle in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final 2yo Fillies 8th race FRIDAY - Here is one of the races that could decide divisional horse of the year finals. Mission Brief has been super-fast but also very erratic with making breaks. Last week she was at her best in three length score. But WILD HONEY never makes breaks, has won ten straight races and should get perfect cover behind Mission Brief and beat her to the wire. Use Mission Brief and Danielle Hall in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final 3yo Fillies 9th race FRIDAY - With eight straight wins and 14 scores in 16 starts there is no way I can pick against SHAKE IT CERRY. She has been nearly perfect all season long and has beaten most everyone in this field this season and should be able to do it again. Use Lifetime Pursuit and Cee Bee Yes in exotic plays. $593,750 Pace Breeders Crown Final 3yo Fillies 10th race FRIDAY - This could be the grand finale of a superb season for COLOR'S A VIRGIN. All she needs to do is have one more parked-first-over-and-grind-it-out victory in here. She's done it all since winning Jugette and seals the season with her eight straight win and 14th score of the year. Use Gallie Bythe Beach and Precocious Beauty in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final 2yo Colts 4th race SATURDAY - This will be one of the top races of the weekend with Pinkman the favorite going against top colts French Laundry and Habitat. I am going with HABITAT as he drew a good inside post, figures to leave enough to insure great live cover from French Laundry or Pinkman and beat either one or both in a classic stretch drive. Use French Laundry and Pinkman in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace Breeders Crown Final 2yo Fillies 5th race SATURDAY - This should be the chalk race of the evening. Undefeated JK SHE'SALADY goes for her 12th straight win in a nearly perfect season. Somewhat safe to say that if she can win tonight she could become the first two-year-old filly ever to be name Harness Horse of the Year and deservingly so. No one has been within a length of this top filly since early August. Use Sassa Hanover and Heart Major in exotic plays. $400,000 Pace Breeders Crown Final Open Horses 6th race SATURDAY - Sweet Lou or Bettor's Edge may end up being the race favorites in this good match-up but with the big money on the line I am looking to the class of the field to win, FOILED AGAIN. Three of his last five losses were by photo finishes and he needs just to get a good trip and he can beat his younger rivals. Use Bettors Edge and Sweet Lou in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace Breeders Crown Final 2yo Colts 7th race SATURDAY - Provided Brian Sears can leave and get position and not stung to a :26 opening quarter, IN THE ARSENAL can overcome the outside post 10 and take this field. Before last week he had between two top undefeated colts in back-to-back stakes and last week he was still a game third place finisher. Use Go Daddy Go and Lyons Levi Lewis in exotic plays. $281,250 Pace Breeders Crown Final Open Mares 8th race SATURDAY - Wow is this a great match-up. Nearly every horse in this field has the ability to dig down deep and come up with a winning effort and not surprise me the least. I am going to go with YAGONNAKISSMEORNOT from post five. She can leave enough to get good cover and if need be also grind it out. She leads all mares in this field with 14 wins. Use Anndrovette and Somwherovrarainbow in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final 3yo Colts 9th race SATURDAY - This is where the slogan, "It All Comes Down To The Breeders Crown" really comes into play. If Nuncio beats his stable mate, Father Patrick here, he will sew up divisional Horse of the Year honors. If Father Patrick can win over Nuncio, then it will be a toss-up between the two horses. I think NUNCIO is just so consistently great that he will get to the front and not look back. Use Father Patrick and Harper Blue Chip in exotic plays. $531,250 Pace Breeders Crown Final 3yo Colts 10th race SATURDAY - Another classic battle will take place in here. Nearly every top sophomore colt in the sport is in this field. I see ALWAYS B MIKI continuing his winning ways with his 6th straight win. Winless in first six starts and now has won 12 of his last 13 starts. But he will have to be at his best once again to win in here. Use Let's Drink On It and Limelight Beach in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Breeders Crown Final Open Horses 11th race SATURDAY - Can the invading world champion from Europe come here and beat North America's best or can the lone lady of the field show her heels to the boys for a second straight week. I have to go with MAVEN to repeat. She won against good horses last week from post ten and draws much better in here. Use Commander Crowe and Your So Vain in exotic plays.
Top older mares of both gaits and two-year-old trotters of both sexes will vie for over $800,000 in purses on a blockbuster closing night card this Saturday (November 1) at Vernon Downs. Triple millionaire Anndrovette headlines the $178,000 Artiscape Mares Pace (race six), and the seven-year-old veteran will square off against seven rivals in the first leg of an all-stakes Pick 4. Trainer PJ Fraley listed Tim Tetrick to drive the 41-time winner, and she'll line up in post 3, just outside her entrymates Krispy Apple (Brett Miller) and Shelliscape (John Campbell). Double millionaire Rocklamation also figures to be among the standouts, having won the Lady Liberty and the Golden Girls at the Meadowlands this summer. Yannick Gingras is listed to drive the six-year-old for trainer Ron Burke. In all, the Artiscape field boasts 200 career wins, along with combined earnings in excess of $11.9 million. Races seven and eight are the culmination of the Kindergarten Classic series, with nine two-year-old trotting colts and geldings competing for a $240,500 purse in the seventh race. Indiana standout Airman Batten (Marcus Miller, post 1) has won 10 of 13 career races, and the Erv Miller-trained Swan For All colt figures to be prominent along with the Jimmy Takter-trained French Laundry (Yannick Gingras, post 5). The son of Muscles Yankee has won five of his nine career races, taking a 1:54.4 lifetime mark in his Kindergarten preliminary at the Red Mile on September 18. Freshman fillies contest a $250,000 purse in the eighth race, with five-time winner Bee the Queen (Brian Sears, post 9) coming in off multiple Kindergarten preliminary wins. While she consistently shows speed, the George Ducharme-trained daughter of Donato Hanover has a number of four-time winners lining up to her inside, including Allerage Star (Corey Callahan, post 1), Josie's Joy (Tim Tetrick, post 5), Lady Clarabella (David Miller, post 6), and Sweet Thing (Charlie Norris, post 8). Ten top distaff trotters square off in the $178,000 Muscle Hill, carded as race nine on the 11-race program. Bee a Magician, fresh off her third-place finish to Natural Herbie and Commander Crowe in the Yonkers International Trot Preview, has drawn post 9 in the full field. Usual driver Brian Sears is listed to drive the 30-time winner for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman. The other millionaire in the field is 27-time winner Maven (post 7), making her debut from the Ron Burke stable off a sharp 1:54 qualifier at Pocono. Yannick Gingras has been nominated to retain his drive aboard the five-year-old Glidemaster mare. The closing night card is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. EDT start time, with a long-sleeve T-shirt giveaway to commence an hour earlier (while supplies last). A fireworks display over the Central New York Sky will take place following the evening's final race. by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs