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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Just 48 hours after arch-rival - and 2019 Horse of the Year - Shartin N won in 1:50 at Dover Downs in her seasonal debut, Caviart Ally sizzled over a sloppy strip at the Meadowlands Friday night in her first start of 2020, taking the co-featured $30,000 Preferred for harness racing pacing fillies and mares in 1:49.4 in rainy and chilly conditions over a sloppy track with a -2 variant. "I'm very proud of her," said Caviart Ally's trainer Brett Pelling. "She is reasonably fit and race ready but there's nothing like a race to get her on her game." Let the rivalry resume. "Racing Shartin N always presents a dilemma since they both share the same racing style," said Pelling. "No matter what, posts at Yonkers will dictate [when the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series gets underway next week]." JK American Beauty, spectacular two weeks ago when she won her first start of the year in a lifetime-best 1:50.2, was on the go early and grabbed the top. After taking a brief tuck, Caviart Ally was up after the lead and cleared at the three-eighths before hitting the half in :55.1. 'Ally' was clear of JK American Beauty as Odds On St Lucie inched her way into the fray at three-quarters while first-over, but through the stretch, after some coaxing from driver Andy McCarthy, Caviart Ally hit the wire a safe neck in front of JK American Beauty. Odds On St Lucie was third.   "She was terrific," said McCarthy. "I was hoping to [come from off the pace] but I had to put her in the race. I wanted to give her a good tightener and we were in a bit of a soft bunch, so I figured we had to be close to the front anyway." Caviart Ally, a 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Allamerican Cool who is owned by Caviart Farms, returned $3.40 to win as the 3-5 public choice. She's now won 26-of-73 lifetime starts and earned $1,839,516. ANDY MAC-NIFICENT: Winning one of the features on the card wasn't enough for McCarthy, who also scored in the $30,000 Preferred for trotters, with Joey Bats, in 1:53.1. Joey Bats went parked past the quarter but eventually got around a head-strong Muscle Diamond soon thereafter before reaching the half in :55.4. Pappy Go Go, who along with Joey Bats comprised a power-packed uncoupled 1-2 punch for trainer Andrew Harris, raced fifth to the half before uncorking a burst of speed to get into contention on the far turn, but faded soon thereafter. The pocket-sitting Muscle Diamond took his shot in deep stretch but would come up a neck short. Misslarose finished third but was disqualified and placed last in the field of six for interference. Pappy Go Go finished fourth, then placed third.   "He was good," said McCarthy of Joey Bats. "I think he needs to sit off a helmet, but if I didn't go to the lead tonight, I knew I would have to come first-over. I knew I had to win tonight. I know they staked him up pretty good, so I wanted to make sure he won." "Joey is just a phenomenal horse who is still developing," said Harris. "I think he has every bit of what it takes to become a stakes winner at some point. Andy Mac just knows how to manage him." Joey Bats, a 5-year-old gelded son of Holiday Road-JN Daytona who is owned by Scott Dillon, Michele Nelson and Marc Reynolds, returned $5.20 to win as the 8-5 favorite. He's now won 18-of-58 lifetime outings and earned $329,962. Pappy Go Go, who was in search of a fifth straight Meadowlands win, did not bring his best effort. "Pappy was a little disappointing," said Harris. "He's a very talented horse and when he didn't get better position off the gate, in short fields, everyone is protecting. I knew he was going to be stuck with a tough journey." A LITTLE MORE: Drew Monti, the 25-year-old driver regularly seen on the Buffalo-Batavia circuit, upped his win total at the meeting to 12 after winning three races on the card. ... All-source handle on the 13-race program totaled $2,503,586. Wagering has now gone past the $2.5 million mark in 11 of the last 12 Big M cards. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6:55 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands    

Caviart Ally finished last season with a flourish and owner Buck Chaffee hopes his mare can continue her winning ways when her 2020 campaign begins Friday at The Meadowlands. A 6-year-old pacer, Caviart Ally closed last season by winning four of her final five races, with three of the victories coming over eventual Horse of the Year honoree Shartin N. Caviart Ally's triumphs during that stretch came in the TVG Series championship for older female pacers, Breeders Crown, Allerage, and Milton. She makes her seasonal debut in Friday's $30,000 preferred for fillies and mares at The Big M, where she is the 3-1 morning-line favorite from post eight in a field of eight. She prepped for the start with two qualifiers, winning the second this past weekend in 1:52.3 with regular driver Andy McCarthy. "We're very hopeful she can pick up where she left off," said Chaffee, who owns Caviart Ally with his wife Judy under the Caviart Farms stable banner. "Andy said that when he qualified her, he didn't even ask her to go, she just wanted to go by herself. That's been the way she's been pretty much all along. She just really tries and wants to do it. "Physically, I always thought she looked like a linebacker. And she's always had that desire, which I think has been a real plus for her." Caviart Ally, by Bettor's Delight out of Allamerican Cool, has won 25 of 72 career races and $1.82 million. She was trained by Noel Daley at ages 2 through 4 before heading to Brett Pelling's stable when Daley took a year in Australia. Pelling believes he has a good understanding of Caviart Ally as she begins her second season with him. "I brought her back a little different than last year," Pelling said. "I think she's one of those mares that likes you to push the buttons and likes to work. If you let her have a bit of a vacation, it rears up in your face. She really showed us that. I've got a pretty good handle now on everything that makes her tick." Following this week's start, Caviart Ally will head to the six-week Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway. It will be the mare's first appearance in the Matchmaker, which has been won each of the past two years by Shartin N. "She's 6 now, so there is no (concern about the) age thing," Pelling said. "There's no hiding from anyone. That's why we're in the Matchmaker. She's 6 and she's here to go race." Caviart Ally and Shartin N finished 1-2 in eight races last year, with Shartin N winning five. The emergence of their rivalry, which produced memorable finishes in the Betsy Ross and TVG final, was a big reason the Chaffees decided to race again this season rather than send Caviart Ally to motherhood. Shartin N got her season off to a winning start Wednesday with a 1:50 score in the fillies-and-mares invitational at Dover Downs. "I think it's great," Buck Chaffee said. "We had always said we were going to quit with her and breed her, that's always been our plan. But when she raced so good at the end of the year and that rivalry really kicked in, we decided that we had to bring her back. The sport needs rivalry. I think it's exciting. Hopefully it's the right decision." Racing begins at 6:55 p.m. (EST) Friday at The Meadowlands. The fillies-and-mares preferred is race four. For the night's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingarder, for the USTA

Gus Dovi has fond memories of riding horses during his childhood in Sicily. Years later in the U.S., those remembrances were a factor in propelling him into harness racing horse ownership soon after the opening of The Meadowlands in 1976. Now, he has Bettor Memories. Bettor Memories, a 7-year-old male pacer, has been in Dovi's small ownership stable since January 2016. Since then, the gelding has won 31 races and $653,430. More importantly to Dovi, the horse has consistently provided enjoyment. "For me, it's not all the money, although it's very nice, don't misunderstand me," Dovi said. "It's the idea that he's racing against some very good horses. Me and my wife enjoy going to the track on the nights he races. If he's competitive week after week, that's the fun of it. If he's in the top three, I'm very happy, always. I just have a passion for the Standardbred, it's something I enjoy." Bettor Memories, trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman, has won three of six races this year and been worse than third only once. His next start is in Thursday's $50,000 invitational handicap at Dover Downs, where he is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line. Backstreet Shadow is the 5-2 favorite and Jesse Duke N, unbeaten in three races since arriving in the U.S. from Down Under, is 9-2. "He's racing well this year," Dovi said about Bettor Memories, who is a son of Bettor's Delight out of Allamerican Memoir. "He's been a pleasant surprise (since he was purchased). He came along very good and has done very well for us. I owe a lot of that to Nifty. He watches over him carefully; he manages him very well." Dovi, who lives in northern New Jersey, moved to the U.S. when he was 10. Following the opening of The Meadowlands, he got to know several horsemen through his printing business, which did work for the Big M. "As a kid, I always rode horses," Dovi said. "I've always loved the animal itself. It's the reason I was fascinated when The Meadowlands opened up. They had the stables there and I used to really enjoy going down there. That's the reason I got involved in the racing, because I like the animal." Dovi's first memorable horse was J J's Cornell in the early 1980s. Bettor Memories is his most recent. The horse was a Grand Circuit winner at age 3 and won a preliminary division of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series last season. He is eligible to the Levy, now called the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, which begins March 14 and concludes April 18 at Yonkers Raceway. "I think Bettor Memories is the best one I've had," Dovi said. "I enjoy watching him race, watching him compete. He has his good weeks and he has his bad weeks, like any other horse or any other athlete, but he's very competitive. When he's on his game, he's very good. "Of course, you always need a little luck, there's no question. So, you hope for a little luck. But he's a very nice horse. We'll see what happens." Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EST) Thursday at Dover Downs. The invitational handicap is race 12 on the 14-race card. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Monticello, NY - On Thursday afternoon at Monticello Raceway, Brandon Parker won 4 races on the 9 race card and his father Billy "Zeke" Parker had a training triple on the harness racing afternoon. The first trip to the winner circle came aboard Bettoriffic, who scored a 2 length win after sitting the pocket behind pace setter Urbana Bayama (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) in 2:01.2 - $3.00. The 11-year-old son of Bettors Delight notched his first season win, making his first start in a new barn with Brandon's father Billy "Zeke Parker as the trainer. Next up was Park It Park It in a wire to wire win in 1:59.1 - $3.70 who notched his 3 win of the year for trainer Zeke Parker. The 14-year-old Dirty Devil looked like a youngster after his 10 length romp in 1:59.2 - $3.30 for leading trainer Bo Sowers. Parker finished the afternoon aboard American Champ who won in a tight photo over Histoire Eternelle (Michael Merton) in 2:00.4 - $4.60, the win gave Brandon's father Billy Parker a training triple on the afternoon. The 4 wins on the card has Brandon now in second place for leading dash winning drivers, leading the pack is Bruce Aldrich Jr with 48 wins. The 2 training wins on the card increased Bo Sower's training tally to 26 wins, a commanding lead over James Doherty Jr in second with 18 wins. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway              

Delightfully Wild put her class on display last weekend, as a drop from the Open ranks resulted in a harness racing victory with Luke Plano at the controls. She'll return to the top level on Saturday night at Cal Expo Harness. The 7-year-old pacing daughter of Bettor's Delight was winning for the 32nd time in her career from 122 starts, with $182,000 in the bank and a 1:51 1/5 mark that was set two years ago at Pocono. Richard Morita and David Yamada own and Lino Pacheco is the conditioner. "After a long, successful campaign across the country, we brought Wild back for a break.," co-owner Morita related. "Lino gave her a few starts to see how she was doing, then she got her vacation. "We brought her back slowly, and it appears she appreciated the rest. Shari Burns does a great job with our turnouts, and Wild came back sharp. After an easy qualifier, she had to make her first start in the Open. "Her second start gave her a little class relief, and Luke gave her an easy race from behind. As you probably can tell with her lines, she really likes to be forwardly placed. "She hasn't won from the back in a couple of years, so her performance was a nice surprise. Luke gave her a great, tactical steer, and the result was a win against some nice mares. "She has really been a star in our barn, and we're looking forward to the remainder of this meet, and then plan for a summer at Running Aces." Streaking Heza Real Diamond in spotlight Heza Real Diamond, who has posed for pictures following five of his last seven trips to the post, looks to up that impressive batting average in Friday night's featured $6,700 Open Pace. There will be 10 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:40 p.m. There will also three California Sire Stakes decided as non-betting races prior to the regular program. Friday's Open Pace will find Heza Real Diamond leaving from the No. 10 post, with arch-rival Allmyx'liventexas departing from just to his inside while the other four starters have the inside slots. A 4-year-old son of Allamerican Native, Heza Real Diamond is owned by Orlando Nevarez, is conditioned by Edwin Quevedo and Nick Roland will once again do the honors. Heza Real Diamond will try to win from the demanding 10 post for the second straight time, have handily scored from that slot two weeks ago with Roland as he established a new lifetime mark with the 1:51 1/5 clocking. Allmyx'sliventexas is a classy Wayne and Rod Knittel homebred with $214,00 in earnings and a 1:50 mile on his card. The Bob Johnson trainee has Mooney Svendsen in the bike as usual and has gone many giant miles over this layout. Bestinthebusiness, Queenace Blue Chip, Part Time and China King complete the cast. There is a $14,893 carryover in the 20-cent Single 6 Friday night and there are also two wagers offered with a reduced 16% takeout rate - the 20-cent Pick 5 and 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 features a $40,000 guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The harness racing driving brothers Anthony and George Napolitano Jr. certainly held the hot hands during Wednesday morning's qualifying session at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and each teamed well with a specific trainer - Anthony guided four Jose Godinez trainees to victory, with four horses conditioned by Gilbert Garcia-Herrera brought home first by George. Two of the "ANap"-Godinez horses took the primary spotlight, as they defeated free-for-all horses Western Fame and Springsteen, both members of Team Allard. Western Fame, the 2019 Levy Final winner and a winner in morning action here last week, had to settle for second, 3¾ lengths behind the two-moving Havefaithinme N, who tripped the timer in a solid 1:52, last half :55, for the ownership of Blindswitch Racing Stable, Gary Axelrod, Good Friends Racing Stable, and Santo Farina. And if the nine-year-old Havefaithinme N's name rings a certain bell, that's because it should - the altered son of Bettor's Delight is a career winner of $1.3 million, and in 2016 he paced what was at the time the fastest mile in Australasian harness history, 1:47 5/10, in winning the Miracle Mile over the Menangle Park 7/8-mile oval. Springsteen, now five and the winner of the 2018 Hempt Memorial right here at Pocono, closed determinedly from far back, but his :55.1-:27.1 bid home came up a head shy of the American Ideal mare Sally Fletcher A, who also made two moves controlling the tempo in a 1:54.4, with Blindswitch Racing Stable doubling up in the Wednesday morning "features." The most impressive of the George Nap - Garcia-Herrera horses was the $900,000+-winning Lispatty, who stepped home in :55.2 - :27.2 as the McArdle mare toured the Pocono oval in 1:53 for owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. FINISHING LINES - After Saturday's card at 5 p.m., Pocono switches post times in March to its standard 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and 4 p.m. on most other racing days, primarily Monday and Tuesday. There will be racing Sunday, March 1 at 7 p.m., and then the first Monday card of the year on the 2nd at 4 p.m., with three cards a week in vogue throughout the end of March. Racing is going into the second month of the 2020 season at the Down at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and horsemen racing at the track in Northeast PA should be aware of opening times for the Paddock and stable gate area.  Going forward, the stable gate will open one and a half hours prior to first Lasix, and the Paddock one hour prior to first Lasix.  Post Times for March are 7:00PM on Saturday and Sunday, and 4:00PM on Monday, with the addition of Tuesday at 4:00PM in April. Also, the Ship-in barn will open Monday, March 2, and training for the rest of the season will take place out of the ship-in barn. Any questions, please contact Paddock Judge Luann Sensenbach at 570.831.2125. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Im So Handsome (David McNeight III) had to battle to be the boss on the front end and then ended up winning the harness racing war in Buffalo Raceway's $11,000 Class AA-Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night (Feb. 22).   Getting parked for over a quarter mile, Im So Handsome ($11.80) finally got to the pylons and paced home in scoring the length victory over Beachy Dream (Kevin Cummings) in 1:55.0, the fastest of the 2020 meet thus far.   Hold The Gold, who finished in third, parked Im So Handsome through a quarter in :28.3. It was then 'catch me if you can' for Im So Handsome as went the half in a sizzling :56.3.   No one had the answer, however, as Im So Handsome stayed strong in the stretch to collect the win.   Owned and trained by Tessa Perrin, it was the second win in four starts this year for Im So Handsome (Hot Pans-Cheyenne Rose). The decision moved his seasonal earnings to $13,000 and $273,240 lifetime.   In the first of two $10,000 Class A paces, Southwind Onyx (Kyle Cummings) found the top to be the best spot for him with a 1-1/2 nod over the favored Weekend Atnannies in 1:57.1.   It was a three-way scrum at the start between Southwind Onyx, Weekend Atnannies and Utah Beach. When things finally sorted themselves out, Southwind Onyx ($10.60) set the fractions of :28.0, :57.2 and 1:27.2.   There were no problems in the stretch for Southwind Onyx as the 5-year-old gelding was able to turn back Weekend Atnannies (Renaldo Morales III) and Carlos Danger (Mike Baumeister).   Co-owned by trainer Tammy Cummings and Michael Blidy, it was the first win in four attempts in 2020 for Southwind Onyx (Bettor's Delight-It's Only Rocknroll). The win jumped him seasonal earnings to $8,700 and $88,61 lifetime.   In the second division, Lucky McTrucky (Ray Fisher Jr.) watched the pace-setting Burning Shore do all the dirty work then blew on by in the passing lane to register the neck win in the four-horse photo.   Burning Shore, who set the split of :29.3, :59.2 and 1:27.3, couldn't hold off the late charge of Lucky McTrucky ($21.40), Blue On Black (Shawn McDonough) and Don McWhite (Davis Jr.) who took the top three spots respectively.   Co-owned and trained by Perrin, Lucky McTrucky (McArdle-Truculent Lady) is an 11-year-old gelding who captured his first win of the campaign in three tries. The victory increased his earnings to $5,880 and $559,508 in his career.   Morales had a four bagger in the bike while Davis Jr. tripled and Denny Bucceri doubled. Maria Rice, Perrin and Angelo Nappo all posted a pair of training victories.   Racing will continue on Wednesday night with a 13-race program set for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, simulcast schedule and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Miss Irish Rose A (McArdle) sprung the upset in Thursday's harness racing feature pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Larry Stalbaum owns and drives the Tracy Tarantino-trained distaffer who wound up getting a pocket ride in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Miss Irish Rose A sat the two-hole to Yonkers invader Sandy's Beach (Billy Dobson) who made an early beeline to the lead in the feature. The race's favorite, The Charging Moa N (Jay Randall), was last of the five pacing mares when she made her move approaching the three quarter pole but her chase proved futile. Miss Irish Rose A popped the pocket on Sandy's Beach around the final turn before coming on to score the upset at odds of 16-1. Sandy's Beach held second while Bye Bye Felicia (Mark Beckwith) came on to finish third. Miss Irish Rose A paid $34.60 in her upset win and led an exacta that returned $93.50. The win was one of two on the day for Stalbaum and Tarantino as their Gina Grace N (Bettor's Delight) made good at odds of 1-5 to record her first victory of the season. Miss Irish Rose A joins stablemate Crockets Cullen N as Tarantino trainees to win an Open during the first week of the 2020 campaign at the Spa. Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

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

Harness racing's greatest breeding cross - Bettor's Delight over a Christian Cullen mare - has proven time and time again that it is the most potent cross in the harness racing breeding world today. Lazarus heads the charge with over $4 million in the bank. His dam is Bethany by Christian Cullen. Next on the list is Chicago Bull ($1,744,430), his dam is Chicago Blues by Christian Cullen. Then there is Ohoka Punter ($1,177,323) his dam is Millwood Minisota by Christian Cullen. The list goes on and on with the likes of Highview Tommy ($990,015), The Fixer ($978,500), Spanish Armada ($787,470), Belle Of Montana ($587,501), Self Assured, None Bettor, Wrappers Delight, Elle Mac, Amazing Dream, Better B Amazed, No Doctor Needed, Seaswift Joy, Another Masterpiece, Heisenberg, Ashley Locaz and Chase The Dream. This cross Bettor's Delight over a Christian Cullen mare has resulted in over $20 million in progeny earnings world wide to date. The five-win Christian Cullen mare Holly Madison has an outstanding Bettor's Delight colt in this years National Standardbred Yearling Sale on behalf of Breckon Farms called Pasquale. It is Lot 124 in the catalogue. Lot 124 Pasquale Harnesslink Media  

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 31, 2020 -- Bettor Than Spring fended off multiple challenges to capture Friday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $15,000 Conditioned Pace, and help his driver, Mike Wilder, to a five-bagger. Tony Hall also enjoyed a stellar afternoon, with four wins on the 13-race card. Once Bettor Than Spring was forced to a 26.2 opening panel on a "good" surface, he faced multiple threats, including a Lightning Lane brush from the pocket-sitting Do Work Son. But the 5-year-old Bettor's Delight-Spring Break gelding toughed it out and downed Do Work Son by 1/2 length in 1:53, with Mister Spot A third.   Randy Bendis trains Bettor Than Spring, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $185,746, and owns with Jack Piatt II and R. Lewis Hauber. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee in the Pick 4 (races 3-6) and a $3,552.82 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Standardbred Canada reports that round one of the Snowshoe Series went postward Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with three divisions on tap for three- and four-year-old male pacers. The betting public hammered away at Bettor B Going, and the 1-9 favourite came through for his army of pari-mutuel supporters. The four-year-old son of Bettors Delight-JK Letitgo got away third for driver Chris Christoforou while Side Hill Gouger shot to the lead and carved out an opening panel clocked in :28.2. As soon as the field straightened into the backstretch Christoforou called on Bettor B Going to brush to the front. The Wilford Perrault pupil cleared to the engine in an effortless manner, and from there he went on to post middle splits of :58 and 1:27.2. A :27-second closing quarter earned Bettor B Going to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Side Hill Gouger in 1:54.2. Excavator was third. Grant and Joanne Curnow of Pefferlaw, Ont. share ownership on the six-time winner who pushed his overall cash stash to $63,239 with the victory. American Risk pulled off a mild upset in the second division thanks to his gate-to-wire triumph over race favourite Conboyville. Bob McClure hustled American Risk to the lead from Post 1, and together they fronted the field through fractions of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:25.4. Conboyville applied first-over pressure on the leader at the mid-way point of the final turn, but American Risk used a :27.3 closing quarter to prevail over that foe by a half-length margin. Blu Crew rallied to grab third prize. The mile for American Risk was a career-best clocking of 1:53.2. Melissa Lamoureux trains the four-year-old son of American Ideal-Kissing Bandit for 8113564 Canada Ltd of Sherwood Park, AB and Jeff Boyd of Cambridge, Ont. The victory was the third straight score for the gelding who is now a six-time winner with earnings in excess of $48,000. Warrawee Vital used last second heroics to come through as the heavy favourite in the third – and final – division. Trevor Henry rallied the Rob Fellows trainee to the narrow triumph over longshot Bernie. Warrawee Vital got away fifth while Lyons Coppertop and Bernie battled to the quarter pole in :28.4. Bernie eventually cleared to the top, and he went on to carve out middle fractions of :58 and 1:26.1. Warrawee Vital commenced a rally going into the final turn, and despite spotting the leader a number of lengths he managed to use a :26.2 closing quarter to get up for the neck decision over Bernie in 1:54. D Gs Shallwedance was third. Blair Corbeil, Yolanda Fellows and M&S Racing Stable share ownership on the three-year-old son of Captaintreacherous-Great Memories. The colt is 2-for-2 to start the season and 3-for-4 in his career. The $9,000 payday bumped his overall bankroll to $25,500. To view results for Friday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Friday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park.

LEBANON, OH. - Eliza Dushku N notched her second straight harness racing victory at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday (Jan. 10), moving successfully into Open Mares company for the first time. Driver LeWayne Miller had to be pleased when he saw the opening timer flash :26.2 while sitting fifth in the early going over a sloppy, but firm, racing strip. As the weekly feature for distaffers neared the half mile pole, Miller moved the winner into second-over position but still had four foes to pass. Advancing one spot to fourth on the outside at the 1:23.2 third stanza, Eliza Dushku N saved her best work for last. Swinging three-wide at the head of the lane the 7-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight wore down pacesetter Newsday (Tyler Smith) and fellow closer Colorful Sky (Sam Widger) to complete her 1:53.2 triumph. The John Ackley trainee, who races for the CT Stables LLC, paid $13.80 to win. Coupled with Colorful Sky, the exacta was worth $87.60, while the 50-cent trifecta including Newsday paid $180.20. The first leg of the Claim To Fame Series for $20,000 claiming mares split into two divisions and Ron Burke stablemates Danikova and Johns Baby Girl stole the show, with driver Chris Page sitting behind both winners. Danikova topped Model (Trevor Smith) and favored Atlantic Star (Aaron Merriman) in 1:55 in the first division. Johns Baby Girl bested Part Time Hanover (Jason Brewer) and Velocity Lana (Jeremy Smith) in 1:54.2 in the second split, but the winner will be racing for new trainer Michael Hitchcock in the second leg via the claim box. Four divisions of $12,500 horses and geldings also got their Claim To Fame series underway on Friday night. Six other Claim To Fame classes will get underway over the next four days of racing at Miami Valley. From Miami Valley Raceway

LEBANON, OH. - Miami Valley Raceway rang in the New Year with a stellar opening night harness racing card, a large and enthusiastic live crowd of racing fans and a best-ever opening night handle. The only thing that didn't cooperate was the weather as the 14 races were contested over a sloppy race track and through intermittent night-long rain showers. Highlight of the initial 2020 program was a $30,000 Mares Open Pace which produced a major upset when 40-1 Elysium Seelster (Josh Sutton) wore down Knockout Queen (Jeremy Smith) in the final strides of the 1:55.1 mile. Sutton got the winner away fourth from a two-hole start through the opening :26.4 panel, got shuffled to fifth at the :55 halfway juncture, then moved into second-over position on the outside before reaching the three quarter station in 1:24.1. When the favored pacesetter, My Tweed Heart (Brett Miller), began to shorten her stride around the final bend, Elysium Seelster was perfectly placed to battle stride-for-stride with first-over Knockout Queen all the way through the stretch. Mitchell Standardbreds Inc., Neil Goldstein and Terrance Smith plucked Elysium Seelster from an optional claiming race at Scioto Downs in August for $36,250 and entrusted the 5-year-old mare's future to trainer Zach Tackett. The daughter of Bettor's Delight now sports $181,964 in career earnings including 11 victories. She paid $82.80 in her first triumph in open company. Miami Valley resumes racing on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. with another 14-race program featuring a $30,000 Open Pace for the best males currently competing in Southwest Ohio. Matinees will begin at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday afternoons. From Miami Valley Raceway

Harness racing 2019 O'brien nominee Alicorn p,2 1:50:3 $405,569 the leading juvenile by the great sire Bettor's Delight heads back to Pinehurst with trainer Polie Mallar (L) to begin her 2020 campaign.   

MILTON, ON - December 19, 2019 - The preliminary rounds of the Valedictory and Niagara Series for three-year-old pacers concluded on a very cold Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Valedictory for colts and geldings and Niagara for fillies each required a pair of $17,000 second leg divisions ahead of next week's finals. Lyons Pegasus took advantage of hot early fractions to shoot up the rail by tiring foes for a 1:52.2 victory in the first Valedictory division. Jody Jamieson steered the Mark Goddard trainee to his sixth win in 14 starts this season. The opening half of the race saw Silver Beast and Mc Pat duel to the midway point in :54.4. Race-favourite Windsun Ricky was left first-up for the final turn grind, pacing alongside Mc Pat to three-quarters in 1:23.1. Lyons Pegasus stayed along the rail in sixth at the head of the lane, but with just under four-lengths to make up, the gelded son of Well Said had a clear lane at the inside to shoot through for a length and a half score. To watch race replay, click here.  Jknr Liketell came from third over to finish second, while Legion Seelster and Mc Pat rounded out the Superfecta. Owned by Threelyonsracing, Lyons Pegasus heads towards next week's final with a win and runner-up finish in the preliminary legs. His sixth career score brings his earnings up to $65,200. Lyons Pegasus paid $7.40 to win. Jamieson used the rail again in the second split to win with Captain Cash at 8-1 in 1:52.4. A son of Captaintreacherous, Captain Cash left well and enjoyed a two-hole ride after Virgin Storm cleared following a :26.4 opening-quarter. Virgin Storm got an easy second-quarter before being confronted by What Up Mo, as the first-up challenger held a short lead at three-quarters in 1:25. In the stretch, What Up Mo was swarmed in the final-eighth by several rivals, including Captain Cash up the rail. Cheddar Bay finished second by a length, while Conboyville and Grand Poobah completed the top-four. What Up Mo finished fifth. To watch the race replay, click here. Captain Cash, who was seventh in last week's first leg, is now one for four since being acquired by Mardon Stables and debuting for trainer Bruce MacDonald. The sophomore pacer is four for 15 this season and five for 22 overall. He now has $46,510 banked this season and $52,270 overall. A $2 win ticket on Captain Cash returned $19.50. Trip Aces Hanover wore down Cranberry Brie to win the first division of the Niagara in 1:54.4. Doug McNair guided the Herb Holland trainee to her third win in 22 starts this season. Race-favourite Cranberry Brie circled to the lead in the second-quarter and would hold the lead until deep stretch. Trip Aces Hanover got underway from fifth at the half, following cover for most of the final turn before being left uncovered nearing three-quarters. In the stretch, Trip Aces Hanover proved to be too much for Cranberry Brie to fight off, as the outside challenger muscled by for the score. Giggle Hanover came through late for second, beat a length. Cranberry Brie was third, while Fresh Eyes was fourth. To watch race replay, click here. A daughter of Bettors Delight, Trip Aces Hanover has now earned $59,740 this season for owner James Avritt Jr. She heads towards next week's final with a win in round two following a third-place finish in last week's series opener. Trip Aces Hanover paid $5.90 to win. Arya Stark won the showdown of first leg winners in Thursday's second division, converting off a two-hole ride to defeat 6/5 favourite Dreamfair Zenfire. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Arya Stark left well and settled for second, allowing Dreamfair Zenfire to show the way. The week one winners sat one-two through fractions of :27.3, :57 and 1:26.2. In the stretch, Arya Stark angled to the outside and powered by for a 3 ¾ length victory over Dreamfair Zenfire in 1:54. Passport Hanover was third, while Erikas Shadow was fourth. To watch race replay, click here. Trained by Melissa Lamoureux, Arya Stark is now six for 35 on the campaign and seven for 37 overall. The daughter of Royal Mattjesty has now earned $72,162 this season for owners Lamoureux, Jeffrey Boyd and Jefferson Davis. Arya Stark, who returned $6.90 to win, will now have an opportunity to sweep the Niagara Series in next week's final. The Valedictory and Niagara Series were open to three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2019. Both series will conclude next Thursday (December 26) with $35,000 finals on Woodbine Mohawk Park's annual Boxing Day matinee program. Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

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