Day At The Track
Search Results
33 to 48 of 91

We are in the thick of the most exciting time of the season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Over the next few weekends we'll be seeing some of the finest standardbreds in the world competing for some huge stakes. We've also been blessed with Sire Stakes and Stallion Series races just about every night of late. Through all of that, our overnight races continue to produce outstanding performances. It's not easy to choose the very best out of such a wealth of talent, but that's what we'll try to do as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: FATEFUL CHOICE When a horse is a part of a barn as successful as that of trainer Chris Oakes and it isn't winning with regularity, it can almost seem like an underachiever. In the case of 4-year-old gelding Fateful Choice, it may just have been a case early this year of running up against top competition while not quite on his best game. The result was just a single win in ten races to start the 2014 season. A drop down in class on June 3 to the non-winners of $7,000 in the last five starts did the trick though, as Fateful Choice found his confidence and his stride in a big way, blowing the field away by 4 ¼ lengths in 1:49:2, a new career-best. Bouyed by the victory, he moved up to take on a tougher group of non-winners of $12,500 in the last five starts on Saturday night. Driver Anthony Napolitano stayed aggressive with Fateful Choice, sending him to the front end, then rated him very well to the half. At that point, the gelding was a powerhouse and scorched the dirt on his way to his second sub-1:50 victory, this one coming in 1:49:4. All of a sudden, Fateful Choice has the look of so many other of his stablemates. In other words, he looks awful tough to beat. Other top pacers this week include: Bushwacker (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Ryder), who moved to two-for-two on the season with another impressive condition win on Sunday night, this one coming in 1:51; Colossal Cruiser (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who took a huge step up in class Saturday night to the $20,000 claimers and still picked up his second straight victory, doing so in a career-best 1:50; and Bolt The Duer (Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley), who tuned up in anticipation of the Ben Franklin pace at Pocono by dominating a Preferred group on Saturday night in the week's fastest time of 1:48:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: IL MAGO This 5-year-old stallion from the Mark Harder barn has been exceptional since arriving at Pocono for a condition trot on June 4. That was just his second start following a layoff of two months, but there was no rust evident whatsoever as he took the lead on the front stretch and then gutted out a tough stretch drive to win by a neck in 1:53:3. On Tuesday night, Il Mago was back at it against the non-winners of $12,500 in the last five starts once again, albeit this time in a slightly tougher post on the outer half of the field. Andrew McCarthy was still able to fire the stallion out of the gate and reach the front end before the quarter-pole. He was also able to slow the pace down with fractions almost identical to Il Mago's previous win. In the stretch, a couple horses drew to within striking distance, but McCarthy called on the afterburners and Il Mago responded. The result was a second straight victory with the same time of 1:53:3 from the previous week. That kind of consistent excellence is the stuff of long winning streaks, so watch out for this talented trotted in the weeks to come even if he moves up in class. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Not Afraid (Jim Morrill Jr., Jimmy Takter), who followed up a win at the Meadowlands with a Preferred win on Saturday night at Pocono in a new career mark of 1:51:4, which was also fastest trotting time of the week at MSPD; Bikini So Teeny (Charlie Norris trainer and driver, who won her second straight on Wednesday night, this one coming in Stallion Series company in a career-best 1:55; and Designed To Be (Brian Sears, Julie Miller), whose Sire Stakes win on Wednesday night matched a world record for 3-year-old trotting fillies on a 5/8-mile oval with a winning time of 1:51:3. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT Despite being laid off since a May 2nd victory in California, this mare with Andrew McCarthy in the bike rallied for a claiming pacing win on Sunday night at 23-1 for a $48.40 payout on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO A-Nap looks poised for his best season ever at Pocono, especially after a week in which he had mutilple wins in three of the four racing nights. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JULIE MILLER Miller had a wonderful night at the Sire Stakes on Wednesday, sweeping both divisions of the 3-year-old trotting fillies with her trainees Take The Money and Designed To Be. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Mike Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

This Week: TVG Free For All Trot, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Ben Franklin Pace, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Max C. Hempt Memorial and James M. Lynch Memorial eliminations, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will shine on Meadowlands Racetrack on Friday (June 20) with a $50,000 leg of the TVG Free For All Championship Series for older trotters. A field of seven will go to the post in race 11. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs will host four sets of stakes eliminations on Saturday (June 21). There will be two eliminations in the Ben Franklin for older pacers and the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters and three eliminations in the Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and the James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the $920,000 Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old pacers at Mohawk Racetrack. JK Endofanera, with driver Brian Sears, roared down the stretch to take the Cup, Canada's richest harness race, in 1:48.4. It was the second Cup win for Sears, who took the 2005 edition with Rocknroll Hanover, but the first for trainer Ron Burke and owner 3 Brothers Stables (Alan, Steven and Ronnie Katz) of New York City. Dismissed at 12-1 odds, JK Endofanera, leaving from post nine, came from well out of it, collaring He's Watching and favored Tellitlikeitis deep in the lane. The winning margin was 1-1/2 lengths over Tellitlikeitis, with He's Watching third and McWicked fourth. Mohawk also hosted four other lucrative stakes events on the Saturday evening program. Trixton, the 1-9 choice in the $250,332 Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old trotters, kicked off the evening and lived up to his billing with another facile triumph. Trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, Trixton romped as his odds reflected, scoring by six lengths in a stakes, track and Canadian record time of 1:51.3. Trixton took over from Harper Blue Chip after a half in :55, got to three-quarters in 1:22.4 and floated home in record time. Il Sogno Dream wound up second and Harper Blue Chip was third. Classic Martine snapped Perfect Alliance's attempt at a perfect season by capturing the $244,720 Armbro Flight Stakes for older trotting mares. After following in third, Classic Martine found open racetrack at the top of the stretch. The Chris Oakes trainee dug in, trotting past Perfect Alliance just strides before the wire to win by a length. The mare stopped the clock in 1:52.1, which was a fifth of a second off the stakes record. Perfect Alliance finished second and Rockin With Dewey was third. The classy veteran pacing mare Anndrovette showed she was all heart by completing the three-peat in the Roses Are Red stakes. Anndrovette was pushed hard off the gate by driver Tim Tetrick and got to the front near the quarter pole. Leading the group of mares in the $303,600 event, Anndrovette took the field down to the three-quarter pole in 1:21.4 with Somwherovrarainbow and driver Brian Sears pressuring first-over. The two mares would then hook up in the stretch with Somwherovrarainbow taking a slight lead, but Anndrovette was dead game, fighting back on the inside to retake the lead and win the Roses Are Red in 1:49.1. Rocklamation wound up third in the mile. Trainer Jimmy Takter scored his second stakes wins on the card with Uffizi Hanover in the $420,900 Fan Hanover final for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Into the lane, Uffizi Hanover was angled out of the pocket spot by driver David Miller. Nat A Virgin and Uffizi Hanover battled for the lead and it was Uffizi Hanover who was victorious by 1-1/4 lengths. The 8-5 favorite stopped the timer in 1:50.4. Nat A Virgin was second and Take That Hanover was third. The $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity Pace was the feature of last Friday night's card at the Meadowlands and served as the stage for the successful return to the races of two-time defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous. Saddled with post ten for his seasonal debut, Captaintreacherous was sent away from the gate by Tim Tetrick, improving to a mid-field tuck in fifth as first Word Power and then Apprentice Hanover led past the opening quarter in :26. Tetrick tipped Captaintreacherous at about the three-eighths mark and within a few strides had the lead at the half in :54. A :28.2 breather in the third panel was all he needed to get home as Captaintreacherous responded to Tetrick'a urging when Sunfire Blue Chip approached head-stretch and then held stablemate Odds On Equuleus safe by a length in 1:49.2. Dovuto Hanover was third. Complete recaps of the weekend 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. Tim Tetrick - 341; 2. Yannick Gingras - 328; 3. Ron Pierce - 215; 4. Brian Sears - 165; 5. George Brennan - 164.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 527.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 225; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Joe Holloway - 132; 5. Julie Miller- 110. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 2. Burke Racing - 112.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 104.8; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 82; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Next weekend Grand Circuit action will be taking place at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Mohawk Racetrack. Pocono will have the finals for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old male trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old male pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 28). On Monday (June 30), Mohawk will host a leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

As the 2013 harness racing season came to an end, the most anticipated race of the year featured the sport's most recent Pacer of the Year Award winners - Captaintreacherous and Foiled Again. On Saturday, the two stars will renew their acquaintance in the first of two eliminations for the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Foiled Again, a 10-year-old who is the richest harness racing horse in North American history, won their first encounter in November's $512,000 TVG Free For All Series championship. Captaintreacherous, who was trying to become the first 3-year-old to defeat older stakes rivals since Niatross in 1980, finished sixth. Now at the age of 4, Captaintreacherous will face older rivals on a regular basis. And it begins Saturday. "I felt good with the way he ended up last year," trainer Tony Alagna said about Captaintreacherous. "He finished sixth, but he was only beaten two lengths by the best aged horses out there. That showed a lot, with as tough of a 3-year-old campaign that he had. I think he's definitely going to be a force in the open division." Saturday's two Ben Franklin Pace eliminations are part of a card that also includes two eliminations for the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Stakes for 3-year-old trotters, three eliminations for the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, and three eliminations for the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. Captaintreacherous, who was named the Dan Patch Award-winning Pacer of the Year in 2012 and 2013, has won 22 of 27 career races and earned $3.02 million for the Captaintreacherous Racing ownership group. He won his 2014 debut last Friday at the Meadowlands, beating a field of 4-year-olds in the $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity, which pushed him past Presidential Ball to No. 13 in purses among all pacers in history. Captaintreacherous started the Maturity from post 10 and took the lead on the backstretch on his way to a 1:49.2 triumph. "I was very happy with his first start," Alagna said. "There's always concern, first start coming back, drawing the 10 hole against horses that already had some starts under their belts, but off three qualifiers - especially the last one - we thought he was ready to go. He raced very well." Captaintreacherous and driver Tim Tetrick used a :27 move during the Maturity's second quarter to take the lead. They settled into a :28.2 third quarter before coming home in :27. "I liked the way he moved up the backside," Alagna said. "He really went to the backside strong, which is good because he's going to have to learn a little bit more maneuverability this year against those types of horses. Like always, he came right back to Timmy and was very quiet in the third quarter and when he called on him at the head of the lane he sprinted off. "He was doing his best pacing at the wire, so I was very happy about that." Captaintreacherous won five of six starts at Pocono Downs last year. He won the Breeders Crown in October, two months after suffering his only setback at the northeast Pennsylvania oval, losing the Battle of the Brandywine by a nose to Sunshine Beach in a world-record 1:47.4. "We raced him at Pocono as a 3-year-old and he was very good over the track," Alagna said. "Of course, it's a different group of horses, but we think he's ready to go." Foiled Again has won 80 of 207 races and earned $6.25 million. He has won four of nine races this year and only once finished worse than third. He comes into the Franklin elim off a second-place finish in last weekend's $92,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational. The top four finishers from each of the two Franklin eliminations advance to the final on June 28. Also advancing will be the fastest fifth-place finisher. In the first elim, the field in post order is Domethatagain, Bettor's Edge, Sunfire Blue Chip, Captaintreacherous, Foiled Again, Sunshine Beach, and Beach Memories. The second elim is Captive Audience, Modern Legend, Sweet Lou, Allstar Legend, Clear Vision, Rockin Amadeus, and Bolt The Duer. Saturday's Earl Beal Jr. Memorial elims feature Father Patrick, who was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. Father Patrick is 3-for-3 this season and has won 13 of 14 lifetime races. Uffizi Hanover, who won last weekend's Fan Hanover Stakes, is among the 3-year-old filly hopefuls in the Lynch Memorial while Art Rooney Pace winner All Bets Off is among the 3-year-old male pacers in the Hempt. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications U.S. Trotting Association

WILKES-BARRE PA - "FOILED AGAIN VS. CAPTAINTREACHEROUS - ROUND 2", plus the continuing march of Father Patrick towards possible harness racing immortality, are the main storylines to be on display this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as the northeast PA track presents elimination races for the $500,000 Ben Franklin Free-for-All Pace, the $500,000 Earl Beal 3YO Colt Trot, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt 3YO Colt Pace, and the $300,000 James Lynch 3YO Filly Pace, with those rich finals a week from this Saturday on the $2.3M "Sun Stakes Saturday" card. The Franklin and Beal will each have two elimination races Saturday; the top four finishers plus the faster of the fifth-place finishers will punch their tickets to their rich Championship races. The Hempt and Lynch have three eliminations, meaning that one would have to be among the top three finishers in her or his elim in order to progress to the big money next Saturday. (The track intends to hold consolation races for those not qualifying for the finals next week, if interest permits.) Here's a look at the eliminations for the four races: FRANKLIN ELIMINATIONS The luck of the draw has put Captaintreacherous, the richest harness horse of 2013 and the Pacer of the Year, just inside Foiled Again, the richest harness horse of all-time with earnings of $6,251,068, in the same Franklin elimination, race 10. Foiled Again has several advantages he can tick off: he was four for four at Pocono Downs last year, winning the Franklin elimination and final and the Breeders Crown elimination and final; he defeated his younger rival in "The Race of 2013," the TVG Series Final at The Meadowlands; and of course his accumulated bankroll, which at this point shows no signs of stopping its growing for the evergreen 10-year-old gelding. Foiled Again also has many early-season races under his belt, with four wins and over $220,000 in his column already, and he begins from post five Saturday for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Ron Burke (who has 14 horses in the four sets of eliminations; more on that later), and Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and JJK Stables. But Captaintreacherous need not apologize for anything on his racing card. Trained by Tony Alagna for Captaintreacherous Racing, the four-year-old started his 2014 campaign in fine style this past Saturday at The Meadowlands, winning the Meadowlands Maturity despite the outside post ten. He is the defending champ in the sport among both pacers and moneywinners, and he has a fine record over the Pocono track, having won his Hempt elim and final and his Breeders Crown elim and final over the fast red surface last year. Tim Tetrick has the mount as The Captain begins from post four in the field of seven. The two Franklin elims contain 14 horses with combined earnings of $20,752,328 (and an average mark of 1:48.2), and just behind the two race 10 favorites in money is the likely choice for race 12 favoritedom, Sweet Lou. Another Burke trainee co-owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, here with Lawrence Karr and Phillip Collura, Sweet Lou was his generation's two-year-old champion, and was among its best at three and four. Now five, Sweet Lou has found crushing form in recent starts, running off three straight against FFA horses, the fastest in 1:48, last quarter 26, from post ten at The Meadowlands. BEAL ELIMINATIONS Father Patrick, undefeated and untested in three starts at three and a horse who Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter says "has the potential to be among the all-time greats of the modern era," will likely be a heavy favorite in his fifth race Beal elimination. Owned by the Father Patrick Stable and named after a New Jersey Catholic priest, Father Patrick has won three straight Pennsylvania Sire Stakes to start his march towards possible history, including a 19¾ length smashing triumph two weeks ago, and he will start from the rail Saturday for driver Yannick Gingras. Nuncio, the only horse ever to defeat Father Patrick, is likely to be highly-favored in the third race Beal elim. Owned by Stall TZ Inc, Nuncio switched barns over the winter to that of ... Jimmy Takter, with his fellow Hall of Famer, driver John Campbell, keeping the drive from last season. Nuncio, who also opened his yearly card with three straight Pennsy Sires wins, will start from post two in his elim for Campbell. The "unknown factor," probably rated #4 in the Hambletonian class at this point, is Datsyuk, unraced at two but with a 4-3-1-0 scorecard this year for trainer/driver Charlie Norris, who also co-owns with Leonard Buckner. Datsyuk, named after an NHL player, missed only a neck to Father Patrick at Pocono last Saturday, and will try to beat his stablemate this week from post three for Norris. (Oh, you ask ... Datsyuk is probably #4, and Nuncio and Father Patrick are rated at the top? Who's the other top trotter? His name is Trixton, he won the Goodtimes Final in Canada last week, he's considered more a "big-track" specialist and thus did not enter at Pocono ... and he is trained [and driven!] by Jimmy Takter.) HEMPT ELIMINATIONS The glamour division, the three-year-old colt pacers, assemble 22 strong in three eliminations this Saturday, searching for leadership in a group where the top horse seems to switch about every week. In the seventh race first elim, Always B Miki will be looking to rebound from a break in his North America Cup elim two weeks ago, from which he could recover for only fifth and thus did not qualify for the final. When on his best behavior, the Joe Holloway trainee, owned by Bluewood Stable, Val D'Or Farms, and Roll The Dice Stable, has shown terrific speed, including wins in the Somebeachsomewhere and Historic stakes. Corey Callahan has the drive behind Always B Miki as they start from post two. In the ninth race elimination, the crowd may have a hard time separating Western Vintage (post six, driver Yannick Gingras) and Doo Wop Hanover (post seven, John Campbell), who have traded New Jersey Sire Stakes victories this year, with Doo Wop taking the NJSS championship on May 31. All Bets Off (post two, driver Matt Kakaley) will try to extend the three-race win streak he has put together in New York state, including in the Rooney final, as he comes back to Pennsylvania. In the eleventh race elim, McWicked may be bad news for his opponents as he starts in the middle of the seven-horse field for driver David Miller, trainer Casie Coleman, and the S S G Stables. McWicked took his mark of 1:48.2 in winning his North America Cup elimination, and then was fourth, beaten only three lengths, in the final - only his second off-the-board finish in 15 career starts. LYNCH ELIMINATIONS In the fourth race Lynch elim, several horses have fine credentials. Act Now (post eight, driver Brian Sears) and Sayitall BB (post seven, Yannick Gingras) showed their quality by finishing 1-2 in their recent New Jersey sires final, but they may have a hard time from their outer draws and with opposition such as Gallie Bythe Beach (post five, John Campbell), who in her last local start set a 1:50.3 world record in her Breeders Crown elim, only to disappointingly come out of the race less than perfect and scratched from the final. In the race six elim, trainer Ron Burke, who we mentioned had 14 entrants in the stakes elims, has five in the Lynch and two in this event, starting from opposite sides of the starting gate. Allstar Rating (post one, Yannick Gingras) brings speed and consistency (in the money 10 of 11 times lifetime), while having the opposite luck at the draw was Southwind Silence (driver Matt Kakaley), the 2013 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion and third in the Breeders Crown final. Uffizi Hanover, after a very slow start to her 2014 campaign, has now won two straight, including the Fan Hanover final last week, and is the horse to beat in the eighth race elim, starting from post seven for driver David Miller. Trained by Jimmy Takter (yes, he does pacers, too) for the Ontario triumvirate of Libfeld, Katz, and Goldband, Uffizi Hanover has fond memories of Pocono, as she won the Breeders Crown here last year - only the second victory at that point of her career. From the PHHA for Pocono Downs

This Week: North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Goodtimes and Armbro Flight finals, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Meadowlands Maturity, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this weekend as the Ontario oval hosts five lucrative stakes finals on Saturday night (June 14) led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on the card will be the C$457,500 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$330,000 Roses Are Red for older mare pacers, the C$272,100 Goodtimes for 3-year-old colt trotters and the C$266,000 Armbro Flight for older mare trotters. Friday night (June 13) will see Meadowlands Racetrack host the $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity or 4-year-old pacers. Two-time defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous makes his seasonal debut in that race. Complete entries for the Mohawk races can be found by clicking on this link. Meadowlands entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters at Scioto Downs and second choice Modern Family prevailed in an all-age track record-equaling clocking of 1:52.2. Modern Family left alertly and took the front end from Creatine at the opening quarter in :27. The order remained intact with a very soft half-mile time in :56.4. At that point Arch Madness began to turn up the heat with a first-over move and gave the winner all he had to offer down the backstretch. He was followed on the rim by DW's NY Yank and favored Market Share. Driver Dave Palone asked Modern Family to trot in the third quarter and he responded with a :27.3 panel to gain some separation. From there the Daryl Bier trainee trotted away and won in 1:52.2 by 1-3/4 lengths over longshot Archangel and Creatine. Market Share finished a disappointing sixth. Five sets of eliminations for this weekend's Mohawk stakes finals were also part of last week's Grand Circuit action. Leading the way were the finest 3-year-old pacing colts on the continent facing off in three Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. Lyonssomewhere, McWicked and Tellitlikeitis all turned in impressive victories heading into this weekend's C$1 million final. Lyonssomewhere and driver Corey Callahan shot through an opening in deep stretch to take the first of three C$50,000 eliminations June 7 at Mohawk. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the son of champion Somebeachsomewhere kept his racing record perfect, now five-for-five, as he scored by 1-3/4 lengths in a career best 1:50.1. Beat the Drum wound up second, with JK Endofanera fading to third. McWicked and driver David Miller rallied from third in mid-stretch to haul down Sometimes Said and take the second C$50,000 Pepsi North America Cup elimination by two lengths in 1:48.3. Sometimes Said, with driver John Campbell, appeared headed to victory but Miller eased McWicked out from third and blew by the pair for the win. Sometimes Said wound up second, Let's Drink On It was third and Ideal Cowboy was fourth and also advanced to the final. The third and final Pepsi North America Cup elimination looked to be the toughest on paper, with He's Watching, Luck Be Withyou, Tellitlikeitis and Doo Wop Hanover all highly-regarded contenders. But at the finish, it was the Jimmy Takter-trained, Brett Miller-driven Tellitlikeitis who rolled by the odds-on choice, He's Watching, to win by a comfortable 2-1/4 lengths in 1:48.4, just a tick slower than McWicked's time in the second elim. He's Watching, the 3-5 favorite, took over from Luck Be Withyou before the half was reached in :54.2, while Tellitlikeitis was tucked in third along the rail. He's Watching hit the three-quarters in 1:21.4 and appeared capable of holding off a bid from Luck Be Withyou in mid-stretch. But Miller moved out from third with Tellitlikeitis and came motoring home for the emphatic win over He's Watching, with Luck Be Withyou third. Complete recaps of the weekend 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 - 313; 2. Tim Tetrick - 276; 3. Ron Pierce - 205; 4. George Brennan - 164.5; 5. Brian Sears - 135. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 502.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 175; 3. PJ Fraley - 169; 4. Joe Holloway - 122; 5. Julie Miller- 100. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 136.5; 2. Burke Racing - 112.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 104.8; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 62; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Next weekend will see Grand Circuit action taking place at Meadowlands Racetrack and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The Meadowlands will host a leg of the TVG Free For All series for older trotters on Friday (June 20), while Pocono will have eliminations for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old colt trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old colt pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 21). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

WILKES-BARRE PA - One of the greatest cards on the yearly schedule of world harness racing was made even better today, as the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association (PHHA), in conjunction with Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs racetrack, announces increased purses in the consolation races of three $500,000 stakes events, a new consolation for the $300,000 James Lynch Pace for sophomore fillies, and a brand-new event, the $100,000 "Mohegan Sun" Invitational Trot for world-class older horses. "The Pennsylvania 'racing revolution' has helped our state become of the brightest spots on the national and international harness racing scene," noted PHHA President Sam Beegle, "and 'Sun Stakes Saturday,' to be held in 2014 on June 28, is one of the greatest days of the season for all harness racing fans - as 'bright' as the 'Sun.' We are now pleased to announce that we have made a great day of racing even greater with these added events and purses." The three $500,000 events are the Ben Franklin Pace for free-for-allers, the Earl Beal Trot for three-year-old males, and the Max Hempt Pace for three-year-old males. These three events saw $50,000 consolations staged last year, and the consolations yielded the co-fastest mile of all-time on a 5/8-mile track (Bolt The Duer's 1:47.4) and an equaling of the world record for sophomore geldings (Beach Memories, 1:48.2) - and remember, these were consolations, for horses who the previous week had not qualified for the Finals! This year, all three events have had their consolation purses boosted to $75,000. The Franklin consolation for 2014 had been announced previously; the sophomore colt events now join it. The Lynch Pace for fillies will have a $50,000 consolation race, if, as in all the other races, enough horses who do not make the Finals show enough interest to race right back. "We have also added an event for what many people consider to be the best crop of free-for-all trotters of recent years, the $100,000 Mohegan Sun Trot," added Beegle. "This will be conducted as an Invitational event, so trainers of top older trotters interested in competing at Pocono on June 28 should contact Rick Kane in the Pocono race office immediately at 570 831 2126." With the four finals, the Invitational, and the consolations added together, Sun Stakes Saturday's card will be worth $2,175,000 - just for these races alone! (And don't sell the Sun undercard short - last year Abelard Hanover equaled the world record for older geldings of 1:48 in the Preferred pace, in a driving rainstorm!) Supplemented starters are allowed to compete in the four sets of elimination races for the headliners, held one week before (June 21), if paying the proper fees as noted in the USTA Stakes Guide - contact Mr. Kane for further details. It's a card no one will want to miss -live patrons and simulcast fans, trotters and pacers, owners and trainers alike. Sun Stakes Saturday has gotten even better - and it all will unfold at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday, June 28. Submitted by the PHHA for Pocono Downs

Yearling nominations for all events administered by the Hambletonian Society and sustaining payments for all other races serviced by the Society are due Thursday, May 15, 2014.   All payments must be postmarked by midnight, May 16 as provided by the USTA rule.   New this year is an additional May 15 payment for the Ben Franklin (open pacers) and Earl Beal Jr. Memorial (3-year-old trotters) and two new races with May 15 payments: The Dayton Derby (four-year-olds and up) and the Carl Milstein Memorial (3-year-old pacers).   Eligibility lists for races with a final payment on February, March, and April 15, 2014 are posted on the website. Race conditions, payment forms and much more information is now available online.   All races requiring payments are listed below.   For more information call 609-371-2211 or email callie@hambletonian.org.   For a complete list of stakes administered by the Society and accompanying yearling payment forms check the link below. FOALS of 2013 forms: Yearling Pacer Form Yearling Trotter Form   Those races requiring sustaining payments are listed below. Ben Franklin Free For All   Breeders Crown 2yr Earl Beal Jr Memorial Trot Dayton Derby Trot & Pace The Elevation Fox Stake 2CP Hoosier Stake Kentuckiana Stallion Mgnt Pace for 2yr Kentuckiana Stallion Mgnt Trot for 2yr Keystone Classics 2yr Matron Series 2yr Carl Milstein Memorial 3CP PA All Stars 2-year-olds Ralph Wilfong Horsemen 2CT   by Moira Fanning for the Hambletonian Society            

With the North American breeding season well underway we will continue with our "A Stallion Review" series highlighting the stallions that are making an impact on the harness racing breeding scene. Today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding racehorse Artistic Fella who had his first crop race as two-year-olds in 2013 in Canada and in Australia. His second crop of two-year-olds are now racing in Australia. Enjoy the read. BREEDING Artistic Fella is a son of the Cam Fella stallion Pacific Fella who earned $1,064,631 on the racetrack and took a best time of 1:48.4. He has been a successful sire in both North America and Australia with his stock having earned $20,727,656 in North America with three millionaires including No Pan Intended $1,613,180 and Romona Disomma $1,033,475. Pacific Fella is already a sire of sires with No Pan Intended already having passed the $28 million mark in earnings at stud. In Australia Pacific Fella made his mark with stake earnings of $8,100,881 (especially with his fillies) including such smart horses as Ima Spicey Lombo $483,686, Ruby Dazzler $350,767 and That's Mister Ali $312,662. Artistic Fella is from an unraced daughter of Artsplace in Everything's Easy, who has had 13 foals for six winners with four in 1:53 headed by Artistic Fella. Other notable winners include Melissa's Fancy 1:52f, ($473,313) and Easy Big Fella 1:50.4 ($246,764) The grand dam is the very smart No Nukes racemare called Everything Goes who took a record of 1:53 on her way to earning $342,033. She left 12 foals for seven winners with one in 1:53 and two in 1:55 including the talented Everything's Great 1:52.1f ($240,391) who is a full sister to Everything's Easy. The third dam is the Meadow Skipper mare in Easy To Love who left 12 foals for 10 winners with four in 1;53 including the smart Wear My Ring 1:52.4f ($284,258). Easy To Love is a three quarter sister to the great racemare Halcyon ($855,588) and a half sister to two sires who stood down under in Present Laughter ($509,912) and Paulsboro ($231,561). What makes Easy To Love so interesting is not only is she the third dam of Artistic Fella but she is also the second dam of his sire, Pacific Fella. So Artistic Fella is 3x3 to Easy To Love. A half sister to Easy To Love in Expressive Moves was imported into New Zealand and left the very smart race mare in That's Life Lavra ($191,346) who has two foals old enough to race for two very good winners in Neffeli Lavra 1:53.9 (Australia) and the 3yo Bio Marinus 1:58.3 mile rate with six wins from just the 16 starts to date. RACE RECORD Lightly raced at two, Artistic Fella faced the starter just four times at that age for three wins including two heats of the New Jersey Sires Stakes on his way to earning $51,250 and taking a mark of 1:53.3.  At three he faced the starter 18 times for 11 wins and $941,558 in stakes with a best winning time of 1:48.4. His biggest win was undoubtedly in the $1,000,000 Meadowlands Pace. That day he won in 1:48.4 beating a top line up including My Boy David ($1,339,281), Shark Gesture ($2,890,594), Total Truth ($2,105,122) and Western Ace ($1,924,290). Another top effort was his win in the $225,000 Berrys Creek final at The Meadowlands in 1:50.3 running his last quarter in 25.4. At four he raced a further 16 times for 7 wins 2 seconds and 3 thirds for $702,107 in stakes with a record of 1:48.4. His wins included the $540,000 Breeders Crown Final in 1:49.2 and the $200,000 Dan Patch final in 1:49.2. The Breeders Crown that year was an outstanding group of great horses. They included Mister Big, Lis Mara, Boulder Creek, Total Truth, Western Shore and Mypanmar. The nine starters had average earnings of $2,201,344 (can you believe that?) Total stakes earned by this group is a staggering $19,812,103. It was a great, great group!  Stepping out again at five, Artistic Fella raced 14 times for 5 wins, 7 seconds and 1 third for earnings of $945,617 and an improved record of 1:48 flat. He took his record in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Final at Chester. With just a little bit of luck he could have doubled his earnings as he ran second in the $702,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (to Mister Big), the $600,000 Haughton final (to Mister Big), the $532,000 Breeders Crown final (to Mister Big) and the $332,000 US Pacing Championships (to Mister Big). Retired at the end of his five year old campaign, he went to stud with a race record of 52 starts for 26 wins and 14 placings for stakes totaling $2,604,532. He took a best time of 1:48 and broke the 1:50 barrier 21 times during his career. NORTH AMERICAN STUD RECORD Artistic Fella stood in Canada and has made a good start to his siring career with his first crop of two year olds racing in the 2013 season. He made it on to the top twenty list of two year old sires in North America and with the hugely reduced stake money on offer in Canada this has been a good start. He was third on the Canadian based sires list behind Shadow Play and Mach Three and you would expect that like his sire, his progeny would improve markedly at three. His best two performers to date are the fillies Porsche Seelster ($107,647) and Regil Meg ($75,748). Others showing up are Allstar Seelster ($43,433), Concert Artist ($42,852), Titus Seelster ($40,125) while Can Art and Western Fella have looked progressive types.   With just the one crop racing in Canada, Artistic Fella has 98 old enough to race (2yo olds in 2013) for 47 starters, 25 race winners, 1 in 1:53, total stakes to date of $599,900. AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD Artistic Fella's first crop raced as two year olds in the 2012/2013 season and really made a statement. From a foal crop of 80 he produced the best two year old filly in Australia in Mindarie Priddy, now the best three-year-old in Australia p3.1:53.8 ($226,560) as well as Kimba Bay 1:57.5 ($100,273), Artistic Copper ($87,815) Majestic Amy 1:59.4 ($87,390) and Paua Fella 1:58.8 ($37,849). It was a great debut season and his second crop of just 56 foals has started in the same vein with the outstanding two-year-old colt Artistic Flite winning in sensational fashion the Bathurst Gold Final last week already confirming Artistic Flite as the best two-year-old in Australia this season. All up Artistic Fella has had 15 winners from 35 starters in Australia to date for $709,636 in total stakes. POSITIVES His stock are in the main like their sire, displaying both speed and grit. They are good gaited and his fillies seem as good as his colts. They should continue to improve as they mature as both their sire Artistic Fella and grand sire, Pacific Fella did. Has already shown that he has the ability to leave stock that can race and win at the elite level. NEGATIVES The only knock on him so far in North America is the low money his progeny will race for in Canada where he stands as the program there has almost disappeared. Although he has good size crops in Canada it will be difficult for his progeny to make any money of note and this will be a handicap as a stallion in the eyes of the breeding world.. Down under his problem will be the small crops over the next few seasons of just 67 and 42. He did breed big numbers this year at 220 mares. OVERVIEW A very good start to his siring career especially down under. He has a special three-year-old filly in Mindarie Priddy and a special two-year-old colt in Artistic Flite that could carry him through to when his big crop that has just been bred, starts to race. His fillies run as well as his colts which is a big plus but he does need to improve his overall percentages to cement his spot in the stallion market. It is early in his career and if age does help his stock as many predict, then those percentages may improve to the same level achieved by his competitors. OVER ALL RATING  5.5 out of 10 JC  

Cranbury, NJ... March sustaining and nominating payments for Hambletonian Society stake events are due Saturday, March 15 and per USTA Rule 12 section 4, must be postmarked by midnight on Monday, March 17. Changes to the March 15 payment schedule include an increase in the Breeders Crown future eligibility payment from $350 to $500 and the first of three payments for a pair of $100,000 (est.) open events for both gaits at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. The Hambletonian Society services 137 of harness racing's richest and most prestigious events and provides one-stop shopping for your staking needs. The website Hambletonian.org contains all the tools and information necessary to stake your horse yourself. All forms are available on the web site and are PDF fillable. Race conditions, payment forms and much more information are now available online, as well as eligibility lists for races that had a final payment on Feb. 15, 2014. For additional information call the Society offices at 609-371-2211. Listed below are the stakes with payments for all ages due March 15. Delvin Miller Adios (and Adioo Volo Filly Division) Arden Downs Stakes Ben Franklin Breeders Crown Cane Pace (and Shady Daisy) Carl Erskine (was Oliver Trot) 3-year-olds Centaur Trotting Classic FFA (was Pride in Progress) Circle City 3-year-olds Cleveland Classic (and Courageous Lady) Currier & Ives Trot (and Filly Trot) Dayton Derby 4 & Older Dexter Cup (and Lady Suffolk Trot) Earl Beal Jr Memorial Trot The Elevation 2-year-old Pacing Colts Fox Stake Hambletonian (and Hambletonian Oaks) Max Hempt Memorial (and James M. Lynch Filly Division) Historic Series Hoosier Park Pacing Derby FFA ( was Indiana Pacing) Hoosier Stakes The Horseman Ralph Wilfong (for 2YO Trotters) Kentuckiana Stallion Mgt. Filly Pace & Trot (for 2YO Fillies) Keystone Classics 2-year-olds Keystone Classics 3-year-olds Landmark Stakes Madison County 2-year-olds (was Circle City) Matron Series (3YOs) Matron Series (2YOs) Messenger Stake (and Lady Maud) Carl Milstein Memorial 3-year-olds Miami Valley Distaff 4 & Older Monument Circle 3-year-olds PA All Stars 2 & 3-year-olds Progress Pace W. N. Reynolds Memorial Stakes Art Rooney Pace (and Lismore Filly Division) John Simpson Memorial Colt & Filly Stakes Tompkins Memorial & Geers Stakes Yonkers Trot Yonkers Trot by Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society        

Cranbury, NJ... The initial payment deadline for eligibility to more than 137 stake events at 16 different tracks, headlined by the $1 million Hambletonian at The Meadowlands on August 2 and the $5 million Breeders Crown events at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ, on November 21 and 22, is fast approaching. Because of the federal holiday on Monday, payments for all Hambletonian-Society serviced Stakes must be postmarked by midnight on Tuesday, February 18, per USTA rule 12, section 4. A host of new stakes in Ohio will be administered by the Hambletonian Society, including the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park for three-year-old colt pacers, and a pair of open events for both gaits at Miami Valley Gaming & Racing and Hollywood at Dayton Raceway. The inaugural $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity for four-year-old trotters at the Meadowlands is new on the stakes calendar this year and the four Historic races for sophomores are moving to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Yonkers Raceway has guaranteed purses of $500,000 each for their Triple Crown events of the Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers and the Yonkers Trot for 3-year-old colt trotters. The Hambletonian Society services 137 of harness racing's richest and most prestigious events and provides one-stop shopping for your staking needs. The web site, Hambletonian.org, contains all the tools and information necessary to stake your horse yourself. Race conditions, payment forms and much more information is now available online. For more information call the Society offices at 609-371-2211. Races with February 15 payments due: •  Delvin Miller Adios and Adioo Volo Filly •  Arden Downs •  Ben Franklin Free For All •  Breeders Crown •  Cane Pace and Shady Daisy •  Carl Erskine for 3-year-old trotters (was Oliver Trot) •  Centaur Trotting Classic FFA (was Pride in Progress) •  Circle City 3-year-olds •  Cleveland Classic and Courageous Lady •  Currier & Ives Trot and Filly Trot •  Dexter Cup and Lady Suffolk Trot •  Earl Beal Jr Memorial Trot •  Hambletonian & Hambletonian Oaks •  Hambletonian Maturity •  Max Hempt Memorial & James M. Lynch Filly Division •  Historic Series •  Hoosier Park Pacing Derby (was Indiana Pacing Derby) •  The Horseman  • Kentuckiana Stallion Management Pace for 2YO Fillies •  Kentuckiana Stallion Management Trot for 2YO Fillies •  Keystone Classics 3-year-olds •  Landmark Stakes •  Matron Series 3-year-olds •  Messenger Stake & Lady Maud •  Miami Valley Distaff Pace for Mares •  Miami Valley Distaff Trot for Mares •  Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old colt pacers •  Monument Circle 3-year-olds •  PA All Stars 3-year-olds •  Progress Pace •  W. N. Reynolds Memorial Stakes •  Art Rooney Pace & Lismore Filly Pace •  John Simpson Memorial Colt & Filly Stakes •  Tompkins Memorial & Geers Stake •  Yonkers Trot & Lady Suffolk Filly Trot by Moira Fanning for Hambletonian Society

Standardbred Canada has announced the winners of the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the event, the annual Black Tie Gala was held in Charlottetown, PEI, at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel and PEI Convention Centre. The awards are named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. O’Brien was born in Alberton, PEI. Bee A Magician who was perfect in her 2013 season, was the unanimous choice in the Three-Year -Old Trotting Filly division and was also voted Canada’s Horse of The Year. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her races last season and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore campaign. The daughter of Hall of Fame sire Kadabra took a mark of 1:51 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The invincible filly’s stakes victories included the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Sylvain Filion successfully defended his Driver of The Year title. In 2013 he led all reinsmen in the nation in terms of purse earnings, as his mounts banked $6,111,736. Filion finished as the leading money-winning driver on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk Racetrack and Woodbine Racetrack. The resident of Milton, Ont. earned the Lampman Cup for the second straight year, as he topped the Ontario Sires Stakes standings for drivers. Filion celebrated his richest win of the season while steering Boomboom Ballykeel to a 10-1 upset victory in the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Richard Moreau was voted Trainer of The Year following an impressive season that saw his stable win 279 races and earn $3,623,805 in purses. The resident of Puslinch, Ont. earned training titles across Ontario at Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District and Woodbine Racetrack. Moreau topped the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. The 2013 season marked the 14th consecutive year that his stable has surpassed the $1-million mark in purse earnings. Alberta’s Kelly Hoerdt won the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship. Hoerdt is a successful driver/trainer who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. The 2013 season was another productive year for Hoerdt, as he trained 82 winners and horses to $623,000, and drove 66 winners and horses that earned over $490,000. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in terms of earnings at Alberta Downs. His stable was led by sophomore pacing colt Premium Attaction, a multiple stakes winner that rattled off six wins in 11 races and over $111,000 Precocious Beauty was honoured as Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year. Precocious Beauty won seven of 11 races, $462,912 in purses and took a mark of 1:50.1 which tied a world record for a one-mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. The two-year-old pacing colt title went to Arthur Blue Chip, who scored six wins in 11 starts and bankrolled $400,120 for his connections. The son of Shadow Play took a mark of 1:51.2 in his Metro Pace elimination at Mohawk before being scratched ‘sick’ from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore in 2013 and added another O’Brien (Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year) to her trophy case. The talented filly boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner up finish in the American National. Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation took the hardware home as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt of The Year. Vegas Vacation gave his connections the ride of a lifetime in 2013. Conditioned by Casie Coleman, the son of Bettors Delight put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 from 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses. He wheeled off victories in his first four races which included the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and an elimination of the Pepsi North America Cup. On September 19 he captured the Little Brown Jug in straight heats – both timed in 1:50. ‘Vegas’ finished his sophomore season with a win in the Matron Stakes to put his bankroll at just over $976,000. Anndrovette continued to dominate the pacing mare ranks in 2013, and, for the third consecutive year, was crowned Canada’s Older Pacing Mare of The Year. The daughter of Riverboat King was on the board in all but three of her 21 races. Some of her major wins included three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway along with the Roses Are Red and Breeders Crown eliminations. On July 20 at Mohawk Racetrack she captured the Roses Are Red final in a career best 1:48. The talented mare now has 35 lifetime wins and a career bankroll of almost $2.6 million. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again was voted Canada’s Older Pacing Horse of The Year. Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season, as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final, as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final for his third straight million-dollar campaign. He entered the year within reach of the all-time earnings record for pacers, and he managed to obliterate that mark by adding $1.4 million to his bank account while visiting 11 different racetracks along the way. He closed the season by sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at the Meadowlands. Riveting Rosie was the winner in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Riveting Rosie closed out her rookie campaign with six wins in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Her major victories included the Peaceful Way Final, her Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain Stakes. In the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division, it was Father Patrick who took the O’Brien trophy. He topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Series. Flanagan Memory was voted Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year after a productive season which saw him win seven of 11 races and $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning his Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Maven was voted Canada’s Older Trotting Mare of The Year. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She added wins in the Miss Versatility Trotting Series, an elimination and final of the Armbro Flight, and the Allerage. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her bankroll. For the second consecutive year, Mister Herbie captured the title as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse of The Year. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in stakes competition, including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067 in purses. Seelster Farms, of Lucan, Ont. was honoured as the Armstrong Breeder of The Year. In 2013, Seelster-bred horses scored 248 wins and $2.1 million in earnings. In the Future Star category, the winner of this first-time award was trainer/driver Travis Cullen. The 21-year-old Alberta-based horseman closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the final card of the meet while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. The complete list of winners follows. 2013 O’BRIEN AWARD WINNERS PACERS Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer - Precocious Beauty owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Arthur Blue Chip owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer - I Luv The Nitelife owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Vegas Vacation owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON Older Pacing Mare - Anndrovette owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Older Pacing Horse - Foiled Again owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL TROTTERS Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Riveting Rosie owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Father Patrick owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Bee A Magician owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Flanagan Memory owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Older Trotting Mare - Maven owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL Older Trotting Horse - Mister Herbie owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY PEOPLE AWARDS O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Armstrong Breeder of The Year Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON Driver of The Year Sylvain Filion, Milton, ON Trainer of The Year Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB STANDARDBRED CANADA MEDIA EXCELLENCE AWARDS The Media Excellence Awards program, established by Standardbred Canada in 2008, is aimed at honouring exceptional work that covers Canadian harness racing in a manner that is extraordinary and of broad national appeal. Outstanding Written Work Paul Delean ’Reaching Improbable Heights’ 'Reaching Improbable Heights', written by Paul Delean, was published in the December, 2012 issue of Trot Magazine. It tells the story of trotter Intimidate’s incredible journey from obscurity to harness racing’s biggest stage and the ride of a lifetime that two smalltime owners from Quebec are still pinching themselves over. Outstanding Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group North America Cup HD Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group’s North America Cup broadcast aired across Canada on The Score television network on Saturday, June 26, 2013. The one-hour special of the $1-million North America Cup was the first live high definition broadcast of a standardbred race in Canada. The show featured live race coverage of the main event, a feature on Marvin Katz (co-owner of eventual winner Captaintreacherous) and a profile of a very special racing fan – Sydney Weaver. The broadcast was a production of WEG’s broadcast department, produced by Rob Platts and directed by Kris Platts. Outstanding Photography Clive Cohen Clive Cohen captured the sunset behind trainer Rene Dion warming up Ocean Mist Beauty on September 19, 2013 at Mohawk Racetrack. The image was published on WEG’s Facebook page later that night. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Wilkes-Barre, PA --- A doubleheader on Kentucky Derby Day and an additional day per week of racing in July and August are two of the changes in the new Pocono racing schedule for 2014, as announced by Vice President of Racing Operations Dale Rapson. Racing opens at the renowned five-eighths-mile oval in Wilkes Barre, Pa., on March 22 and for the first few months of the new season (March through June) action will take place on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Kicking off the stakes schedule on opening night will be the Bobby Weiss Late Closing Series for 3- and 4-year-olds, named for the beloved former Director of Track Maintenance. Bobby retired in 2011 and was responsible for the record-breaking track surface that is maintained today. The finals for the series will take place starting April 19 and conclude on April 23. The prestigious Sun Stakes Saturday is planned for Saturday (June 28) and will feature the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial 3-year-old Trot; the James Lynch 3-year-old Filly Pace; the Max Hempt 3-year-old Colt and Gelding Pace; and the Ben Franklin Free For All Pace. Eliminations will take place on Saturday (June 21). For the summer months of July and August an extra day has been added. The race days will move to Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The track will race Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday in September through closing in November. There will be no live racing the week of Sept. 8 for the annual Oktoberfest celebration. Kentucky Derby Day (May 3rd), traditionally a huge celebration of racing and partying, will also boast a doubleheader with two Pocono live race cards. Post time for the first card will be at 11 a.m. and the second will be immediately following the 140th running of the Derby. In between, there will be the Run for the Roses Hat Review and a huge party on the track apron. Live racing will also immediately follow the second and third legs of the Triple Crown, the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Post time for all racing nights is 6:30 p.m., with the season concluding on Saturday (Nov. 22). by Jennifer Starr for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON   Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY   Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON   Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON   Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON   Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON   Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON

With only about a month until the Breeders Crown on Saturday, October 19 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, it’s as good a time as any to start looking ahead to how some of the top competitors shape up. Because of the increase in the number of stakes races at Pocono, many more of the North America’s best horses have already traveled over the oval this season than at the same point three years ago when the Breeders Crown was last held at MSPD. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at the Top 10 horses in the most recent Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown and see just how well they’ve done this year at Pocono. We’ll count them down in descending order, just like this really good Bob Dylan book I heard about lately. 10. SEVRUGA: This 5-year-old trotting gelding from the Julie Miller barn has won nine of 19 starts this year with earnings of close to $500,000. His first start at Pocono this season was a memorable one, as he ripped off a victory in an Invitational trot in 1:50:3, a new-world record for aged geldings on a 5/8-mile oval. He was upset, however, by Wishing Stone in his last Pocono appearance on Super Stakes Saturday. 9. MAVEN: This 4-year-old trotting gelding is one of the few in the Top 10 who has yet to make an appearance at Pocono in 2013, although fans with longer memories may remember him as a solid performer in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action at the track as a two and three-year-old. Maven’s biggest success this season has been in Canada, where he in unbeaten in four races for trainer Jonas Czernyson. 8. PET ROCK: A four-year-old pacing stallion from the Virgil Morgan Jr. barn, Pet Rock has had an outstanding season once again in 2013 with earnings north of $600,000. But his story at Pocono has been one of near misses. He finished 3rd and 2nd in the Ben Franklin pace elimination and final in June, then came up just short behind A Rocknroll Dance on Super Stakes Saturday. 7. VEGAS VACATION: Most people have conceded the 3-year-old pacing division to Captaintreacherous, but this gelding trained by Casie Coleman pushed the super-horse to the limit in their last meeting on the Pocono oval, finishing just a nose behind him in the slop in the Max Hempt. He’s been building confidence since then, scoring big-money victories at Tioga and Mohawk. 6. A ROCKNROLL DANCE: Trainer Jim Mulinix hopes the old phrase “horses for courses” applies come Breeders Crown time, because the last two starts this 4-year-old pacer had at Pocono were memorable. In 2012, he turned around a floundering season with a win in the Max Hempt Memorial. His lone start here this season was a win on Super Stakes Saturday in 1:47:4, matching the fastest ever at the track. 5. ROYALTY FOR LIFE: As the Hambletonian winner as well as a victor in several other big stakes races, 2013 has been a great year for Royalty For Life, trained by George Ducharme. Except at Pocono. Back in June, the 3-year-old trotter broke stride in both the elimination and the final for the Earl Beal Jr. In August, he got caught up in a speed duel and faded to 7th as the favorite in the Colonial. 4. FATHER PATRICK: The most celebrated 2-year-old in the country, Father Patrick made his trotting debut at Pocono in July in Pennsylvania All Stars action with a seven-length victory. He returned a few weeks later for another easy score in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. With seven wins in eight races so far for trainer Jimmy Takter, you get the feeling he’ll be tough no matter what track hosts him. 3. I LUV THE NITELIFE: With just one loss in 11 races this season, the pride of the Chris Ryder barn has been without a doubt the class of the 3-year-old pacing fillies division. She has been especially fine at Pocono, winning all three of her races here this year. Included among those were big stakes wins in the James Lynch and the Valley Forge, the latter coming in a world record for her age group of 1:48:4. 2. CAPTAINTREACHEROUS: It took a world-record performance from Sunshine Beach to spoil his unbeaten season at Pocono in the Battle of the Brandywine, and even then it was only in a photo finish. Before that, the Captain overcame a treacherous trip, if you will, to win the Hempt in June. Will the 3-year-old  pacing colt from the Tony Alagna barn step up on Breeders Crown day? Time will tell. 1. BEE A MAGICIAN: The number-one horse in the poll is a relative unknown to Pocono fans, since she’s the only one on this list to have never raced at MSPD. The 3-year-old trotting filly from the Nifty Norman barn has done most of her damage in Canada, but she did stop at The Meadowlands this year to win the Hambletonian Oaks as part of her record of twelve wins in twelve races in 2013. Those are just some of the horses to watch come October at Pocono. With all of that firepower on display, it should be an amazing night. That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia for Pocono Downs  

Expectations were high for this season's group of 4-year-old male pacers. So far, the results justify the anticipation. A Rocknroll Dance, for example, won the $120,500 Battle of Lake Erie on July 20 with a world-record 1:49.1 mile. One week earlier, Pet Rock captured the $471,800 William R. Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands in a stakes-record 1:47 (breaking Jenna's Beach Boy's 17-year-old mark). In fact, the top four finishers in that race were 4-year-olds, with Bolt The Duer, Sweet Lou and Warrawee Needy following Pet Rock to the line. Bolt The Duer won the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park on May 25 and won the Ben Franklin Consolation on June 29 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs by equaling his own world record of 1:47.4 for any pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. Warrawee Needy equaled the fastest race mile in harness racing history when he won his Haughton elim in 1:46.4 on July 6 and beat a field of mostly older horses in the $98,000 Gold Cup at Mohawk on June 15. A Rocknroll Dance, Bolt The Duer, Pet Rock, Sweet Lou and Warrawee Needy were among 11 4-year-olds entered Tuesday in the U.S. Pacing Championship, which attracted a total of 18 horses. Two nine-horse eliminations, each with a $50,000 purse, will be contested Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The final is Aug. 3, Hambletonian Day, at the Big M. "This pretty much proves how good a group this was last year as 3-year-olds," said trainer Ron Burke, who has five horses in the U.S. Pacing Championship eliminations, including 4-year-olds Sweet Lou and Hillbilly Hanover. "I told people that those were top, top horses. They didn't understand that these horses were all big, good-looking horses meant to go long. "You can't even try to name them all because you're going to forget one. Hillbilly Hanover is a nice horse (with $505,938 in career earnings) and he's had trouble competing with them right now. Nothing they've done surprises me because it's such a great bunch." The first elimination for the U.S. Pacing Championship in post position order is Our Lucky Chip, Dynamic Youth, Hugadragon, Bolt The Duer, Modern Legend, Sweet Lou, Thinking Out Loud, Razzle Dazzle and A Rocknroll Dance. The second elim is Warrawee Needy, Golden Receiver, Foiled Again, Mr Hasani N, Pet Rock, Hurrikane Kingcole, Hillbilly Hanover, Dapper Dude and Fred And Ginger. Only 9-year-old Foiled Again, another Burke-trainee and the richest pacer in harness racing history, has earned more money among older pacers this year than Pet Rock, who has banked $473,900. In addition to the Haughton, Pet Rock won the $184,000 Roll With Joe on June 9 at Tioga Downs. Pet Rock's time of 1:48.1 equaled the fastest mile in the track's history. "He's always been a model of consistency," trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. said about Pet Rock, who has finished among the top three in 28 of 33 career starts, winning 12 and earning $1.48 million. "He's kind of flown under the radar, but he shows up every race." Pet Rock won the Haughton despite starting from post No. 9, which ranks with posts one and 10 as the worst spots to produce winners at the Meadowlands. "I knew he would have to put in a huge effort against that competition and he was great," Morgan said. "He didn't trip out, either; he did the work. That's what makes him so good in my opinion; he's been parked the whole mile and won, he's won on the front end, he's won from the two hole. He's a very tactical and intelligent horse." Morgan kept Pet Rock from the races until June because he wanted the horse to have more time to prepare for the move into the older horse division. "I have to thank (owners) Frank and Joe Bellino for letting me take my time," Morgan said. "They always want to do what's best for the horse. It's a long year and it's going to be a grind. The stakes go until the end of November and only the strong will make it that far." Burke has been impressed by Pet Rock's performances this year, hitting the board in five of six starts. Pet Rock has won twice and finished second in the $500,000 Ben Franklin (won by a nose by Foiled Again). "He's always been a good horse, but he's the one that's made the biggest step up," Burke said. "I don't know any (of the 4-year-olds) that aren't going to race next year for sure," he added. "Give them another year and it's no telling what they can do pushing each other. And when (undefeated 3-year-old) Captaintreacherous steps up it could be even better." Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Freehold, NJ --- Rockincam is finished racing, but will always be special to Stephen Farrell. Farrell bred and owns the stakes-winning Rockincam, who saw his career ended by suspensory and sesamoid injuries at the age of 6. Rockincam last raced June 29 when he finished fifth in the $50,000 Ben Franklin Consolation at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. For his career, Rockincam won 25 of 62 races and earned $795,237. His biggest triumph came last year when he captured the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park. He also won the $40,200 Winbak Farm Pace at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. “I’ve been in this business a long time and I’m taking this one hard,” said Farrell, who lives in Ocala, Fla. “I’m in shock. But he comes first; I don’t want to take a chance on anything happening to him. He’s a very special horse.” Rockincam is a son of Cambest out of the mare Migraine. Farrell didn’t race Rockincam as a 2-year-old, raced him lightly at 3 and bumped him up to the opens at 4 with the goal of developing a stakes-caliber horse at 5. Rockincam won a career-best $303,132 last season at age 5. Farrell drove Rockincam in his first three lifetime starts, all wins at Pompano Park. Warren Harp and Nifty Norman trained the horse throughout his career. “I can’t pick any one moment that stands out because every one of them was special,” Farrell said. “He showed he was something special very early on. It’s been a lot of fun with him.” Farrell said he was exploring breeding opportunities for Rockincam, who set his career mark of 1:48.1 in winning his elimination for the Graduate last year at the Meadowlands. “I wouldn’t mind having a couple babies from him,” Farrell said. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

33 to 48 of 91