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Pompano Beach, FL...November 18, 2019...On a relatively cold South Florida night, Skyful Of Lighters, handled by Dave Ingraham, was red-hot in taking top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's Open II pacing feature. The eight year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight had been knocking at the door in his two previous starts here but, on Sunday night, he out-gamed his competition in a "bang-bang" finish in 1:53.3. While the margin of victory was an officially a nose, the final clocking was not indicative of the gameness shown by the winner this night as he was outside looking in the entire mile--and, in his case, a mile and 30 yards. Four Socks, with Mike Simons in his sulky, was second after finding a seam late in the journey while Here Come William (Don Dupont) and Panocchio (Corey Braden) finished in a dead-heat for third. War-No Munn picked up the final award in the multi-million dollar field of nine. As the wings folded, Four Socks and Here Comes William both left with alacrity with the latter taking charge at the :27.4 opener with Skyful Of Lighters also on the prowl early from post 6 looking for a cozy spot that never materialized and he was hung out to dry. Meanwhile, the 3 to 10 favorite, Rebellious, away sixth, was following the cover of Skyful Of Lighters halfway through the mile in :56.4. On the backside, three-eighths from home, Rebellious went on a double-bubble binge as the pace seriously accelerated and even stuck his head in front by the third station in 1:24.2 with Here Comes William still fighting and Skyful Of Lighters still lurking in his shadow. As a cavalry charge developed to the wire, Skyful of Lighters kept digging and prevailed in the photo finish. After the event, driver Dave Ingraham said, "He beat some very good horses tonight. The time wasn't that much because of the cold but he can take a lot of air on the outside. I don't think there was more than a couple of lengths between us all at the end." (There was three lengths from first to last). Owned and trained by Dustin Ingraham, Skyful Of Lighters sent his 2019 scorecard to 5-10-5 in 33 starts, good for $98,444 and $418,389 lifetime. As third choice in the wagering, Skyful Of Lighters paid $15.20 to win. Ingraham had a driving double on the card as he piloted Thatsjusthowiroll to a narrow win at odds of 38 to 1. Owned and trained by Dan Gassien, this five year-old altered son of Santanna Blue Chip completed the early daily double and was the key ingredient in a Pick-5 carryover for Monday night of $8,532.50. That pool is guaranteed at $30,000. The only other driving double on the card was achieved by "Sky" Walker, who piloted Thisisshe ($10.60) and Jurgen Hanover ($11.60) to wins their respective Florida Amateur Driving Club events. Walker now has 136 career wins. His Kelly Walker Stable owns both winners. Dein Spriggs' Sheer Flex took the other F.A.D.C. event. Besides the $30,000 Pick-5 guaranteed pool for the Monday program, there is a Super Hi-5 jackpot carryover of $9,369.44. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park and the FSBOA

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 16, 2019--Swansea (Austin Siegelman, $19.20) and Jack's Legend N (Jason Bartlett, $3.90) proved to be the best Saturday night (Nov. 16th), winning Yonkers Raceway's pair of $42,000 Open Handicaps. Swansea rolled from second-over in the week's marquee harness racing trot, picking off a stubborn Will Take Charge (Jordan Stratton). From post position No. 5, he prevailed by a length in 1:55.1. Will Take Charge won the scrum for the lead, an early battle which included Emoticon Hanover (Dan Dube) jumping it off and 13-10 favorite Tight Lines (Bartlett) getting stuffed back into a three-hole after he tried quarter-moving. It was Will Take Charge laying down the law (:27.4, :57) before Pat Matters (Eric Goodell) took out of fourth. That one gave way grudgingly after a 1:25.4 three-quarters as the leader opened to a length-and-a-half entering the lane. Swansea then closed widest and fastest, edging away late. Will Take Charge held second over a closing Melady's Monet (George Brennan), with longshots Stormy Kromer (Brent Holland) and Arabella's Cadet (Jim Marohn Jr.) settling for the remainder. Tight Lines tired to seventh. For fifth choice Swansea, a 4-year-old Swan for All gelding co-owned by Dana Parham & Triples D Stables and trained by Scott DiDomenico, it was his 13th win in 26 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $195, the triple returned $1,332 and the superfecta paid $6,729. After pacing over and through adult-table rivals in his North American purse bow, Jack's Legend N--from post No. 5--was pocketed to Hoosierland invader Saying Grace N (Holland) . That locally-debut lad threw the gauntlet (:27.1, :55.4, 1:24.2) as the pair separated themselves from the rest of the gang. Jack's Legend N pulled early against his foe, who would not cooperate. The pursuer eventually did go by, the final margin a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52. Saying Grace N was more than four lengths in front of Runrunjimmydunn N (Stratton), with The Real One (Pat Lachance) and Western Joe (Goodell) along for the rest. For Jack's Legend N, a 5-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding co-owned by (trainer) Richard Banca, Barbara & James Boese, it was his fifth win in nine '19 tries. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $11.80, the triple returned $39.20 and the superfecta paid $256.50. Special Saturday props to the soon-to-be-retiring Bit of a Legend N (Stratton, $3.30), who won the $20,000, ninth-race pace going away (1:54.3) for a 53rd career victory by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Dover, DE — After Dancin Lou snapped his four-race win streak in the Breeders Crown, Bettor’s Wish ($3.20) got back in the win column with a 1:49.2 score in the $248,350 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing pacing colts and geldings on Thursday (Nov. 14) at Dover Downs. Bettor’s Wish worked clear of American Mercury (Tyler Buter) just beyond a :27 first quarter, but faced immediate pressure from Dancin Lou (Andy McCarthy) with a circuit to go and on toward a :53.2 half. With a quarter mile to go, Bettor’s Wish began to scamper away, turning aside Dancin Lou past three-quarters in 1:21.3.   The son of Bettor’s Delight was kept to task through the final furlong, and he maintained 1-3/4 lengths of clearance over American Mercury. Aflame Hanover (Corey Callahan) angled off the pegs at head-stretch to chase and just miss the runner-up spot. Trainer Chris Ryder co-owns Bettor’s Wish, an 18-time winner and an earner of over $1.8 million, with Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm Inc. and Bettor’s Wish Partners. Bettor’s Wish has finished first or second in all 18 of his starts this season. Following a runner-up finish to Warrawee Ubeaut in the Breeders Crown, Tall Drink Hanover ($13.20) rode the pocket to victory in the $165,900 Matron for 3-year-old pacing fillies, reeling in her arch rival in the process. Andy McCarthy put Cin play from the outset to seize early control, only to yield to prohibitive favorite Warrawee Ubeaut (Yannick Gingras) just behind a taxing :26 first quarter. After stalking a :54.2 half, Tall Drink Hanover found herself boxed as Sunny Dee (Brian Sears) offered first-over pressure up the far side. Off the home turn, Tall Drink Hanover angled to the open stretch and eclipsed the dueling leaders, beating Sunny Dee by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.2. Treacherous Reign (Dunn) lifted from third-over to narrowly take third over the engulfed Warrawee Ubeaut, who missed the board for the first time this year in her Matron defeat. Tony Alagna trains 15-time winner Tall Drink Hanover, a daughter of Captaintreacherous, for Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing LLC. For recaps of the Matron 3-year-old trots, click here. For recaps of the Matron 2-year-old divisions, which were contested on Nov. 7, click here. From the USTA

Plainville, MA --- The classic line "Thank you sir, may I have another?" from the movie Animal House seems more than fitting to describe the effort put in by top-class pacer Bettors Fire N on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 14) after taking his second straight harness racing win in identical fashion in the $15,000 Open Handicap pace at Plainridge Park. Opus Blue Chip (Bruce Ranger) took the initial lead in the race while Bettors Fire N (Mitchell Cushing) employed an overland route to the front that he reached by the quarter in :26.2. And once he hit the pegs, the rest of the field was racing for place. After grabbing leather and taking a leisurely saunter to the half in a pedestrian :30 flat, Cushing tapped the gas pedal and flew to the three-quarters in 1:24.1 with Bet You (Kevin Switzer Jr.) a half-length behind and outside while the rest of the field was bunched and keeping pace. But after rounding the final turn and hitting the stretch, Bettors Fire N found another gear and started to pull away from his pursuers under no urging whatsoever and cruised home to an easy two-length win in 1:52.3. Continuing to build on an already stellar season, Bettors Fire N ($2.80) chalked up his 11th win of the year and pushed his earnings to $179,220 for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs trains the 11-year-old gelded son of Bettors Delight-Sparks A Flyin. Since making his North American debut in October of 2018, Bettors Fire N has never lost a race at Plainridge Park, going a perfect six for six during that time. In the $10,000 upper-level conditioned undercard pace, Passport To Art (Shawn Gray) pulled early into an outside grind behind Beachchip Hanover (Kevin Switzer Jr.) chasing down the leading Fernleigh Rebel N (Drew Monti) and eventually took the lead from his cover down the lane to win by a nose in 1:53. Passport To Art ($8.00) is owned by Elizabeth and Dyce Spalluto and is trained by Alicia Gray. Mitchell Cushing led all driver with three wins on Thursday while Nick Graffam and Shawn Gray each had two. Mike Girouard and Jimmy Nickerson were the top trainers winning two races apiece as well. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 15) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

DAYTON, OH. - Hollywood Dayton Raceway continued its experiment with odd-distance races on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 12), carding a mile-and-a-quarter contest for mid-range condition and claiming harness racing pacers. Even money favorite Vegas Dream (Jeremy Smith) hit the jackpot, scoring in 2:28.3 on a frigid afternoon over JDS Chancey Design (Austin Hanners) and Time To Casper (Trevor Smith). JD's Profiteer (Cam McCown) lead the field to the first quarter in :28.3, at which time Skyway Ballistic (Josh Sutton) quarter-moved to the front and stayed there through the :58.3 half and 1:29.1 third stanza. Slightly less than a mile into the endurance test Jeremy Smith unleashed Vegas Dream from second-over position and was on even terms with Skyway Ballistic as they reached the 1:59 mile mark. Pacing a fifth and final quarter mile interval in :29.3, the winner was able to hold off the late charges of the runnerup and show finisher to cop Hollywood Dayton's first ever added distance event. Trainer Jessica Smith also owns Vegas Dream, a six-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding, who now sports four 2019 wins and 19 in a career that has netted $220,872 in purses. From Hollywood Dayton Raceway  

CHESTER, PA - The Bettor's Delight mare Gold Orchid N had to work until the three-eighths before getting the lead from the outside post eight, but she stayed strong on the lead and posted a 1:53 victory in the $18,000 featured harness racing pace on a chilly Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. The winner of $226,285, including six figures both last year and this, had a host of leavers inside her but remained fixed on controlling the pace, being limbed well past the :27.2 opener, then making the top and getting a bit of a breather to the 1:24.2 three-quarters. No one could get near the frontstepping mare in the lane as she finished 2¾ lengths ahead of pocketsitting Clarebear for the "New Zealand Trifecta" - herself, trainer Mark Harder, and driver of Dexter Dunn. Bamq LLC saw their sole horse post her third win in her last five starts. There were a pair of $16,000 features, one for pacing distaffs on the "Filly And Mare Friday" Philly card, and one for trotters. In the pace for females, Midwest shipper Passionate Deo impressed in her return to Pennsylvania, making a quarter-move for driver George Napolitano Jr. and going on to an easy victory in 1:54.4. The Captaintreacherous sophomore has been no worse than third in three months, with three victories in that period. Dan Maier is handling the local care of the winner for owner Ameer Najor. In the trot co-feature, Always A Dream made a pace-controlling move in front of the grandstand and was able to retain the lead to the wire in 1:57.1. An altered son of Swan For All, Always A Dream warded off a strong rally by SVF Cash Deposit to finish a half-length to the good for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Scott Di Domenico, and the partnership of Foulk Stables Inc. and Triple D Stables Inc. Tetrick led the day's driving ranks with four wins. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 5, 2019 -- Medusa became harness racing's newest millionaire when she finished second in Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Her check lifted her career bankroll to $1,004,178. Tony Hall was aboard for the milestone trip for trainer Randy Bendis, who owns the 8-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical with Pollack Racing LLC. Fast, rugged and durable, Medusa was unraced at 2 and 3 but made up for lost time in her initial -- and best -- campaign, when she banked $246,691. Medusa led until deep stretch in Tuesday's feature but was outkicked in the Lightning Lane by the pocket-sitting Amelias Courage A, who knifed through the slop to down Medusa by 3/4 lengths in 1:53 for Dan Rawlings. It was the first win in three domestic starts since trainer Richard Perfido imported the 5-year-old daughter of Courage Under Fire-American Dream for Thomas Mattingly. Camera Lady completed the ticket. Rawlings fashioned a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the program features a $22,748.49 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post for the 13-race card is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association                                        

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 2, 2019--A pocketed Havefaithinme N (Jason Bartlett, $10) slipped up the inside, picking off 2-5 favorite Rodeo Rock (Eric Goodell) Saturday night (Nov. 2nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Preferred Pace. The feature, pared down to a half-dozen after a pair of defections, saw Havefaithinme N--in one notch to post position No. 3--make the first lead. He was then leapfrogged by polester Rodeo Rock. The people's preference then led through early intervals of :27.1 and a flat 56 seconds. Runrunjimmydunn N (Jordan Stratton) tried it first-up from third, prompting through a :27.3 third quarter (1:23.3). Rodeo Rock did own a length-and-a-half lead off the final turn, but drifted, leaving the back door unguarded. Havefaithinme N was more than obliging, scooting through to whip the fave by a length in 1:51.4. Third went to 'Jimmydunn,' with Western Joe (Austin Siegelman) and Turbo Hill (Jim Marohn Jr.) settling for the minors. Dancin' Dragon (George Brennan) received lovely parting gifts. For second choice Havefaithinme N, an 8-year-old millionaire Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding co-owned by Blindswitch and Good Friends Racing Stables, Gary Axelrod & Santo Farina and trained by Jose Godinez, it was his ninth win in 27 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.80, the triple returned $39.60 and the superfecta paid $150. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

CHESTER, PA - Nutcracker Sweet, who has been in the harness racing headlines ever since he won his purse debut in 1:52 in June of his two-year-old year, won for the first time in 753 days - just over two years - as he took the pacing division of the $16,000 tri-features Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. The four-year-old son of Bettor's Delight showed good speed in making the lead before the :26.4 quarter, then was used further to keep Major March outside most of the way to a :55.3 half. Cecil Casanova moved to challenge raw before the 1:23 three-quarters, but in the stretch driver Andrew McCarthy was able to find room up the inside and got past the tough first-over by 3/4 of a length - in 1:52. A full brother to $2.7M winner Bettor Sweet and a half brother to $3.4M winner and top sire Sweet Lou, Nutcracker Sweet danced almost all the major dances at both two and three, though he hadn't won since Lexington of his freshman campaign. Today's victory boosted his lifetime earnings to $404,294, with but five wins, for trainer Tom Cancelliere and owner John Cancelliere. In the first of the trotting features, Yannick Gingras was able to work out a pocket trip with the Donato Hanover sophomore gelding Crossfit, then came clear in the stretch to catch pacesetting filly Queen Of Trixs by 1½ lengths and reduce his mark to 1:54.2. Ron Burke conditions the winner for owner Joe Sbrocco. The other trot saw Take A Wish make an early move to the lead for driver Steve Smith, then withstand a long grind by SVF Cash Deposit by a neck in 1:55.4. The four-year-old daughter of Wishing Stone is owned by driver Smith, trainer Dawn Anderson, and Mark Schulstrom.  From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The temperature danced on either side of the 50 degree mark Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but driver Eric Carlson again proved to have the hot hands with the longshots, as he guided Somwherenbrookln N ($87.80) to a 1:51.3 victory in the $17,500 featured harness racing pace Saturday night at the northeast Pennsylvania oval. Carlson kept the Somebeachsomewhere gelding well off a torrid contested early pace, then swung him three-wide late on the backstretch, with Funknwaffles right on his back. These two circled tired horses and proved to be the main factors to the wire, as Somwherenbrookln N maintained a ¾ length lead to the finish for owner/trainer Gilberto Garcia-Herrera. Driver Carlson has now guided seven horses who have paid $50 or more to win at the meet - his nearest rivals are Matt Kakaley and Anthony Napolitano with three. Trainer Garcia-Herrera notched his third longshot winner of the meet, tying him at the top with Travis Alexander and Ron Burke in the conditioners' column. Although absent from the local scene since July 13 as he focused on the New York Sire Stakes circuit from his western New York base, driver Jim Morrill Jr. showed no "Pocono rust" as he won four races on the card, including with the Bettor's Delight gelding Keystone Steam in a $16,000 co-featured claiming handicap pace. Keystone Steam made no fewer than three different moves in the race, yet still had enough to defeat Ron Bakardi by a neck in 1:51.3 for trainer Katie Remmerswaal and owners Doug and Leslie Berkeley, who enjoyed their one-week stay with Keystone Steam - they claimed the horse last week, lost him via claim for the same price tonight, and made $8000 minus the week's training fees. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

SUMMERSIDE, PE - Nogreatmischief was not content to sit last in a very compact featured harness racing field and made his first-over attack a winning one on a special Monday afternoon program at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. Walter Cheverie got away last in a scratched down field of four in the $2,500 featured pace Monday afternoon and watched as Mantario (Driven by Norris Rogers) tripped the first fraction in 29.2 before releasing Mando Fun (Gilles Barrieau) to the lead. The next two splits were in 59 and 1:28.1 while Nogreatmischief made his way first-over and took control for the final quarter to romp by six-lengths in 1:57. Mantario was second while Mando Fun finished third. Cheverie co-owns and trains the eight-year-old son of Bettors Delight for co-owner Brian Thompson of Charlottetown. Barrieau scored a quadruple on the holiday card winning with Souverain in 1:58.1 for Phil Sizer of Kensington, Best To Hurst in 1:58.2 for Earl Watts of Hampshire, Zingers Laugh in 1:59.2 for trainer Neil Bambrick of Charlottetown and with Dilans Mustang in 2:01.4 from the Robert Phillips Stable of Summerside. The duo of driver Jason Hughes and trainer Jansen Sweet teamed up for a pair of victories on the program as newcomer Precision Blue Chip had a front-end score in 2:00.2 and Badlands Giovanna won her second straight in 2:00.4. Live racing continues at the Prince County Oval on Sunday Oct. 20. For race replays and more go to www.Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - With pylon control, Mrs Dragonfire will look to avenge her narrow loss in her latest start in the Thursday evening harness racing feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 12-dash Thursday evening presentation gets underway at 6:30 P.M. with the featured pacing lining up in the evening finale for a $2,000 purse. The race 12 top event has Mrs Dragonfire leaving from post 1 in the field of pacing mares with Dale Spence in the bike for owner-trainer Reg Ferguson of Charlottetown. The four-year-old daughter of Dragon Again recovered from an early break in stride last week to rally late and finish second by a neck in 1:59.4. Gilles Barrieau was in the bike for that start but the New Brunswick reinsman has elected to drive post 5 starter Collective Wisdom from the Jackie Matheson stable on Thursday. Post 7 belongs to Rocknrols Image with Jason Hughes at the lines fresh off a 1:58.1 front end victory. Race analyst Les MacIsaac sees redemption in Mrs Dragonfire's future. "An early break, a long tough trip and broken equipment should be enough of an indication that last time out it simply wasn't her day but to her credit she still ended up second," MacIsaac said. "Off that performance and with rail control tonight she's quite possibly the one to beat." Also in the field is Elm Grove Misty (Driven by Dave Kelly), Dorabella (Ken Murphy), Charlottes Western (Marc Campbell), Julep Hanover (Wade Myers) and Dancers Pass (David Dowling). The Town Of Stratford Pace lines up behind the starting gate in race 4 with Finnish Your Way looking to overcome post 8 in her three-year-old debut after winning his last two starts as a rookie last fall. Barrieau trains and drives the daughter of Bettors Delight for owners Wayne MacRae of Fall River, N.S., and Bloomingwood Farms Ltd., of Ontario. Other top entries include Naxos (Kenny Arsenault) and Vintage Winner (Murphy). Race 2 on the card is a $2,500 event for Lady Slipper eligible two-year-old fillies with Thebossisagirl favoured from post 5 for driver Barrieau and trainer Jackie Matheson. Race 6 is a class for Joe O'Brien Memorial eligible three-year-old pacing colts for a $2,500 pot and Silverhilllightnin is the top choice with Myles Heffernan Sr., driving for trainer Stacey Lund. Summit City Nate makes his debut in the race 7 trot with Barrieau driving the Earl Watts trainee for owner Eric Johnston of Summerside. The Justice Hall seven-year-old last raced in July at Georgian Downs finishing fifth while individually timed in 1:56.4. The winner of 28 races and $203,033 in career earnings just qualified at Red Shores Summerside in 1:59.4. For live video, race programs and more go to www.Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

LEXINGTON, KY-- Metro Pace winner Tall Dark Stranger collected his seventh-consecutive harness racing victory to maintain his perfect record with a 1:50 victory in the third of four divisions for the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes--sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms--on the Saturday, Oct. 5 card at The Red Mile. Leaving from post 1, Tall Dark Stranger sat fourth to a :28.1 first quarter set by Tell Them Lou before driver Yannick Gingras angled the 1-9 favorite from the cones to pursue the lead. The Nancy Johansson-trained son of Bettor's Delight overtook the helm before a :55.1 half and faced little challenge through three-quarters in 1:23.1 in progress to a two-length victory over pocket-sitter Captain Barbosa. Father Nuno closed for third. "He had just had great presence when he was brought out for us to look at [as a yearling]," Johansson said after the race. "I think charisma is one of the most important attributes a racehorse can have. He was very easy to work with, very willing to please, always showed tremendous speed...it was pretty easy to train him down. He was strong across the wire [today]--Yannick [Gingras] said he had plenty of pace left." Earning $411,265, Tall Dark Stranger races for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. Yannick Gingras steered the colt bred by James Avritt Sr. who paid $2.10 to win. "I think people here are knowledgeable and understanding this horse is doing this very easily--it's spectacular," co-owner Marvin Katz said after the race. "I listened to Jimmy Takter [when] he said 'This is the best horse [at the Lexington Sale and] you got to be in' and I said I was in. That was it. It didn't take much thinking--when Jimmy said you got to be in, that was it." World-record holder Elver Hanover also remained undefeated when winning his Betting Line division in 1:50.3. Driver Chris Page placed the 1-9 favorite fourth as Seeyou At Thebeach led the field to a :27.3 first quarter. Page pulled Elver Hanover from fourth soon after and swept to the front before a :55.3 half. From there the Yankee Cruiser gelding slowed the tempo to three-quarters in 1:24 while pressed by Team Best moving to headstretch, but promptly turned away that rival as well as a pocket-popping move from Seeyou At Thebeach in the final eighth to win. Seeyou At Thebeach settled for second while Captain Groovy took third. "The opportunity was presented in front of me and just like anything else you've got to take the reins," Page said of driving a Grand Circuit-caliber horse after the race. "I'd like to thank all the owners and Ronnie [Burke] and the whole staff to have the faith in me to guide these nice horses which are high-priced investments. I was joking with the groom coming out here [and said] if every horse was like this horse it would make our jobs easy. The horse is a complete professional and does nothing wrong. He drives with two fingers and definitely makes my job easy." Victorious in nine starts, Elver Hanover--bred by Hanover Shoe Farms--has earned $397,825 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. "It's been the best experience of our lives," said Purnel of Purnel & Libby after the race on owning stakes-winning horses with Ron Burke and the partnership of Weaver Bruscemi. "Obviously Ronnie's the best trainer in the business. Without them, I don't know...it's great." Capt Midnight rebounded from a third-place finish in the $562,500 Metro Pace with a 1:49.4 victory in the opening division of the Betting Line. Roll With JR took command into the first turn while Catch The Fire dove into the pocket and Capt Midnight floated into third. He led the field through a :27.2 opening quarter but yielded the lead as Capt Midnight pulled wide and brushed to control through a :55.2 half. The Captaintreacherous colt continued to lead through three-quarters in 1:23 and strode clear of his competition to win by three lengths. Fortify closed for second and Roll With JR gave chase for third. "I definitely don't think we left [the Metro Pace] redfaced [sic] that night," driver Andrew McCarthy said after the race. "He raced terrific...I had to use him hard there in the second quarter and it caught up to us midstretch, but that's fine--he still paced [1]:49 and change so I knew what I had today. "I was hoping to just sit and wait today but Dougie [McNair on Roll With JR] was slowing down there to the half and I figured I might as well get going; it wouldn't be too taxing to get him there. It worked our great--I kicked the earplugs out at the head of the stretch and he did his job. He's come a long way. I think he's going to be a top three-year-old for sure." Winning his sixth race from nine starts, Capt Midnight has accrued $255,839 for owners Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Capt Midnight Racing. Hanover Shoe Farms bred the Tony Alagna trainee and the Breeders Crown-bound colt paid $2.40 to win. "My partners are awesome and I'm very happy that we had a nice victory at The Red Mile and hopefully he'll be as successful [at the Breeders Crown]," said Myron Bell after the race, who co-owns Capt Midnight through Capt Midnight racing. Major Betts vaulted to the front in a swift pace and sustained his speed through the finish to pace a 1:49.1 mile in the second division of the Betting Line. Genius Man pushed for the lead wide of Moneyman Hill circling the first turn. Driver Dexter Dunn positioned Major Betts fourth through a :26.2 first quarter and sent the Art Major colt after Genius Man heading to a :53.4 half. From there the Mark Harder trainee separated himself from the competition moving to three-quarters in 1:21.2 and turned for home with an open lead. Put To Right, the 6-5 favorite, rallied from the backfield through the center of the course to take second with 3-2 second choice Cattlewash taking third. "I think last week was an aberration," trainer Mark Harder said after the race of Major Bett's miscue last week in the Bluegrass. "He had a bad day--for whatever reason, I don't know. I just told Dexter [to] forget about last week [and] race the colt--[Dexter's] always liked him [so] I said 'Race him like you still like him.' He's beaten some really good colts and gotten locked in in New York a couple of races there; he just never got a chance to race. He showed what he's made of today. I hope [he's Breeders Crown material]." Paying $26.20 to win, Major Betts--bred by Southwind Farms--collected his third victory from seven starts, earning $86,460 for owners Joseph Jannuzzelli, Mark Harder and Deena Frost. Grand Circuit action concludes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Oct. 6 with the 127th renewal of the Kentucky Futurity, which goes as a single heat with a field of 12 for $450,000. The 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity also goes as a single dash with an 11-horse draw for $267,000. Two divisions of the $540,000 Tattersalls Pace, the $69,500 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Trot and $87,000 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Pace will also go on the eight-race card. Racing gets underway for the season finale with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). For full results and entries, click here. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This Sunday six two-year-old harness racing pacing fillies will battle it out at the Hippodrome 3R in the annual Lucien Bombardier Stakes, going for a purse of $29,400. One of the "pioneers" of horse racing in Canada, but especially Quebec, Lucien Bombardier devoted his entire life to the industry. Born and raised near Bedford, Que., Bombardier retired in 1992 after 16 years on the board of directors of the Canadian Standardbred Horse Society. The following year, at age 86, Bombardier became the first honorary director of the CSHS. His appointment by the board of directors in January 1993 was in recognition of achievement and contribution to the Society and the Standardbred industry. Bombardier was also honored in 1985 when he was recognized for his life-long devotion to the industry when he was the recipient of the Society's General Achievement Award for his excellence, leadership and contribution to the breeding industry and by his election into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame the following year. Bombardier started training and driving harness horses at agricultural fair meetings in Quebec at an early age. In the early 1940s he left a business career to open a large racing stable at Richelieu Park in Montreal and in 1953 he accepted an executive position with Blue Bonnets which then became the Hippodrome de Montreal. During 25 years in racetrack management he played a role in developing many changes and innovations that helped make harness racing a major sport industry and earned him an enviable reputation on both sides of the border. He also served as a director of Harness Tracks of America and the Canadian Trotting Association. At age 68 Bombardier retired from Blue Bonnets and embarked upon a new career when he became an executive with Angus Farms in Bedford, Que., one of the province's most successful breeding establishments. Bombardier died in 1995 and was honored each year at Hippodrome de Montreal with the running of the Lucien Bombardier Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies. With sponsorship from Standardbred Canada and the Quebec Jockey Club, the Hippodrome 3R revived the stakes race in 2011. The seventh race Sunday is the Lucien Bombardier Pace and the morning line favorite is the Bettor's Delight filly, Hit By A Bus, who starts from post six for trainer/driver and Canadian Hall of Famer, Yves Filion. Hit By A Bus has but one win this year, and that was an impressive 1:54.3 victory at Mohawk Park. She had been racing in the Ontario Grassroots and is making her first appearance at the Hippodrome 3R for owners Brian Paquet, Thomas Kyron and Bayama Farms. The hometown favorite is Acaena De Chakrika in post five for driver Pascal Berube. This daughter of Sunshine Beach was the Future Stars Series Champion, leading from start to finish in the final in 2:00.2. Trained by Daniel Martin for owner/breeder Diane Lepine of Quebec City, Acaena De Chakrika has yet to finish off the board in her eight starts this year with two wins, two seconds and four third place finishes.c Two other contenders, Tuggingoncredit (post one) and Mia Culpa (post 4) are making their debut at H3R and rounding out the field are Sophies Destiny (post two) and SOS Cupcake (post three). Post time is 1:00 pm. A free race program is available at www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

LEXINGTON, KY--Violet Stride strung out 1-2 favorite Love A Good Story past the half before yielding for the pocket and shooting out into the stretch to pull a 16-1 upset in the first Muscle Hill harness racing division of the $290,200 International Stallion Stake for two-year-old trotting fillies on Friday, Oct. 4 at The Red Mile. Driver Tyler Buter sent the Mark Harder-trained Trixton filly to the front with Queso Fresco pushing for the pocket heading to a :28 first quarter. Love A Good Story, racing fourth, angled from the pegs up the backstretch but worked to clear command from Violet Stride passing a :55.2 half. Queso Fresco faltered entering the final turn, forcing the backfield to tip wide and recoup lost ground while Love A Good Story and Violet Stride led by a wide margin through three-quarters in 1:24. Buter popped Violet Stride from the pocket straightening for the finish and slid past Love A Good Story to win while Crucial kicked down the center of the track for third. "She's been good all along, I wouldn't say it's the track that's done it," Harder said after the race. "She hasn't had a lot of chances in races and today she got given a real-good chance. We will now [go to the Breeders Crown] for sure." Returning $35.60 to win, Violet Stride collected her third win from nine starts, earning $96,790 for owners Emilio and Maria Rosati. Kentuckiana Farms LLC and Jorgen Jahre Jr. bred the $280,000 Lexington yearling purchase. Ramona Hill remained unbeaten when holding off a late charge from pocket-sitter Sister Sledge in the first Walner split. Sister Sledge slid from the pylon post towards the top heading to the first turn as Ramona Hill unhurriedly progressed towards the top from post 8 moving to a :27.4 first quarter. Ramona Hill continued to lead under minimal pressure through a :55.3 half and three-quarters in 1:24.4 before scooting to a three-length lead as Sister Sledge threw some bad steps when edging from the pocket. Sister Sledge soon hit her best stride and closed ground on Ramona Hill nearing the wire but finished a neck shy of the winner. Shishito, stalking the top two, took third. "Around March [or] April when [Tony Alagna] was training her down [that] he said she's very talented," said Albert Crawford, co-owner of Ramona Hill through Crawford Farms Racing. "When he qualified her--I think it was a [1]:55, [1]:56 [mile] with a big last quarter--he said she's a special filly." Winning all five of her starts, Ramona Hill has earned $112,400 for breeder Crawford Farms, which co-owns the Muscle Hill filly as Crawford Farms Racing with Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc and In The Gym Partners. Tony Alagna conditions the $3.80 winner and Andrew McCarthy sat in the bike. Runner-up to Ramona Hill in the Bluegrass, Madame Sherry prevailed as the 8-5 second choice in the second division of the Muscle Hill. Queen Of The Hill kicked for the front from post 7 while Heaven ducked for the pocket and Madame Sherry raced third to a :28.4 first quarter. Driver Tim Tetrick then angled Madame Sherry from third and swept the Jim Campbell trainee to the top before a :56.2 half. Common Sense S, sent the 6-5 favorite, pulled first over from fifth moving to the final turn. She slowly advanced towards the leader obtained cover passing three-quarters in 1:25.4 as Queen Of The Hill vacated pocket for the stretch drive. Madame Sherry drifted slightly from the cones through the lane, leaving a slim seam for Heaven to slip through nearing the finish. However Madame Sherry held off Heaven, winning by a head in 1:54.1 with Queen Of The Hill third. A Kentuckiana Farms LLC-bred filly by Father Patrick, Madame Sherry won her second race from six starts, earning $89,773 for owner Coyote Wynd Farms. She paid $5.20 to win. Sherry Lyns Lady lunged off cover to take the second division of the Walner. Sent the 6-5 favorite, Sherry Lyns Lady raced fourth to a :28.3 opening quarter as the other 6-5 choice Senorita Rita headed the helm into the backstretch. Panem, caught wide around the first turn, continued to race uncovered while stalled wide of Sherry Lyns Lady through a :56.1 half. Panem backtracked moving into the final turn while Senorita Rita raced unpressured past three-quarters in 1:25. Dune Hill, sitting the pocket, floated wide as Sherry Lyns Lady angled wider into the stretch. Senorita Rita clung to control through the lane but got outkicked by Sherry Lyns Lady in the final sixteenth and settled for second. Rebecca Clark, at 46-1, skimmed the pylons to snag third. "Hats off to [Coyote Wynd Farms] because they did all the homework in selecting these two fillies," Campbell said after the race, "and I was just blessed enough to be the one that gets to train them. Sometimes we get fooled... I told John [Floren of Coyote Wynd Farms] the other night 'I gave you all good training reports--I'm just glad [the horses] backed it up because it doesn't always work that way. We always say that when you go baby race the first couple of starts it pretty much tells the truth and these fillies lived up to that. Giving Jim Campbell a training double, Sherry Lyns Lady also races for the Coyote Wynd Farms. The Steve Stewart and Timot Stable Inc.-bred Father Patrick filly collected her third victory from 10 starts and bankrolled $310,554. Tim Tetrick drove the $4.40 winner. "She was sitting good--Timmy [Tetrick] knows her because he drove her from the very beginning in her baby races," Campbell also said of the race. "He just angled her out and she did the rest. Down by the wire, she was trotting strong." Each division of the Muscle Hill International Stallion Stakes was sponsored by Southwind Farms while each division of the Walner was sponsored by the Walner Syndicate. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Saturday, Oct. 5 with four divisions of the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts (sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms), the $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial (sponsored by the Sweet Lou Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farms) for sophomore pacing fillies, the $186,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace (sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds) and the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Trot (sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural). Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile Lexington, Ky----For many years the Grand Circuit meet at the Red Mile always made available a race for amateur drivers and this season was no exception. Today (Oct. 4) a 7-horse field was sent to post at 12:30pm prior to the betting card getting underway and when the judges hung the official sign, the veteran trotter, Inukchuk Chuck, once again showed his heels to the field when Kiara Morgan guided the 6-year-old gelding to a 1:56.2 triumph, his fourth consecutive victory since September 26; two were at Delaware, Ohio followed by two now at the Red Mile and all four wins came at the hands of lady drivers. Hannah Miller won the Delaware trots and now Kiara Morgan has made it two-in-a-row here at Lexington After starting from post six Ms Morgan sent Inukchuk Chuck toward the front but settled in the three- hole as Ms Miller and Jacks To Open challenged Fairground Drama (Richard Roach) for the lead which she obtained before the halfway point. But as Hannah's trotter settled on top she had to contend with Ms Morgan's charge who began to rally. and when he did, Inukchuk Chuck took command and survived a late charge from Utopia and driver Steve Oldford to notch his ninth seasonal triumph. Third place went to Security Guard who was driven by Dein Spriggs.. The winner is owned by Cliff Grundy and trained by Nick Surick. by John Manzi, for amateur driving everywhere

LEXINGTON, KY--The two harness racing divisions for the $239,000 Arlene Siegel Memorial International Stallion Stake for two-year-old pacing fillies--sponsored by Jules Siegel and Fashion Farms--saw the heavy favorites get beat. Making her fourth start, 10-1 shot New Year hit the Grand Circuit winner's circle with a first-over grind to take the opening division of the Arlene Siegel Memorial. The Bethinator shot for the front moving to the first turn with 6-5 favorite Reflect With Me floating into the pocket before circling to the top past a :28.4 first quarter. New Year, sitting fourth, tipped first over as the field sped to a :56.2 half and ranged towards the pacesetter to then match strides with Reflect With Me passing three-quarters in 1:24.1. The Somebeachsomewhere filly dug into Reflect With Me entering the stretch and lunged past to lead approaching the finish. Jk First Lady, swooping from third over, rallied widest on the track to finish second while Reflect With Me held third. "The owners are very patient and they agree that the less you do at two, the more you get at three and I'm at the same mindset," trainer Ross Croghan said after the race on bringing New Year to the races so late in the season. "This filly was very heavy as an early two-year-old; she carried a massive amount of weight. A nice, hot summer helped us slowly peel that off into racing condition. She's always shown a little bit of grit. Out of the world-champion mare Drop The Ball, New Year collected her third victory while earning $83,680 for owners Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Mr Dana Parham, who also bred the $22.80 winner. Corey Callahan sat in the bike behind the possible Breeders Crown starter. "I'll talk to the owners--[the Breeders Crown's] all she has left," Croghan said. "If they want to go, and she comes out of this race good, she'll go." Nancy Johansson trainee Peaky Sneaky surged first over around the final turn and edged to a 1:50.3 victory in the second division of the Arlene Siegel Memorial. Rocknificent, sent the 6-5 favorite, led the field past a :26.4 first quarter with Hidden Cove sitting in the pocket and 8-5 second choice Gai Waterhouse racing third. Gai Waterhouse then angled from third and brushed to the front passing a :55.3 half but soon yielded command to Lady Lou--carrying Peaky Sneaky on cover--entering the final turn. Peaky Sneaky continued to advance when uncovered approaching three-quarters in 1:23.1. The Bettor's Delight filly drew alongside Lady Lou entering the stretch and dug into the late leader before slipping by late in the stretch to win. Lady Lou held second from Rocknificent, who rallied wide for third. "We started off kind of slow [in Ontario] and then we moved her into the Ontario Sires Stakes and the Champlain and she kept surprising me," Johansson said after the race. "So I let her go in the She's A Great Lady. [It was] a far way for a two-year-old filly to go, especially when she had been racing four weeks in a row--which I really don't ever do. But she was racing well and is kind of easy on herself between the races, so we gave her the shot. She definitely needed that week off after the She's A Great Lady. "She's been racing really good and getting some tough trips, but she's very honest," Johansson also said. "I told Dexter [Dunn] before she went onto the track [that] she's going to give you all she has; she always does." Bred by White Birch Farm and owned by Howard Taylor, Judith Taylor and Order By Stable, Peaky Sneaky won her second race from eight starts, earning $100,377. Dexter Dunn drove the $14.60 winner. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Saturday, Oct. 5 with four divisions of the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts (sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms), the $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial (sponsored by the Sweet Lou Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farms) for sophomore pacing fillies, the $186,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace (sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds) and the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Trot (sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural). Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

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