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WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Break The Bank K gelding Magic Vacation, who had not gotten home first since July 2018 before winning a week ago, posted a repeat victory in taking the $12,800 claiming trot feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday afternoon. Anthony Napolitano (an 11-time winner during this week's four cards here) again sent Magic Vacation frontward early despite a jump in class, and the pair were parked well past a :27.1 opener getting by favored Crossfit to the lead. The half-mile pole was reached in :55.4, and the pacesetter got no respite as Pilgrims Tide came up uncovered going to the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Crossfit swung wide out of the pocket to loom boldly as these three, the only real contenders, turned for home. Crossfit disappointed his backers by going offstride in early stretch and Pilgrims Tide actually gained a short advantage, but Magic Vacation dug in and defeated his rival by the smallest possible margin in 1:54. Especially for a horse who went 778 days between visits to the winners circle before last week, Magic Vacation looks to be in prime form now for trainer Steven Brabrook and owner Jaypaul Hoover.   A couple of winners in the "nw 2 races" trotting class earn a note. Gotta Believe, a freshman daughter of Donato Hanover out of Mets Life (a half-sister to $1.3M-winning Met's Hall), showed only a 2:04 time in a qualifier before making her debut here, but she came from last in the 8-horse field to break her maiden in 1:57.1 and pay $80.40. Andy Miller drove the undefeated filly for Andy Miller Stable Inc., Thomson Sisters Racing Stable, and Let It Ride Stables Inc.; for trainer Julie Miller, this second $50+ winner at the meet tied her on top of the Pocono standings in that category. The Yankee Glide sophomore gelding Zapaca improved his lifetime record to 5-for-6 - all without leaving the "nw2" category! - with a 1:55.1 win for driver Tyler Buter (who had five victories Tuesday), trainer Dale Gilmour, and UptownpetsCom Stable Inc. The last four wins have come at Pocono, which also has a "nw $20,000 lifetime" section in its eligibility for this level, and now Zapaca, having exceeded that total, will be facing tougher opposition, which he may well be able to handle. FINISHING LINES - Pocono will now be dark this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday; the next card of racing at the mountain oval will be Tuesday, September 15, with a Rainbow Pick 5 carryover of $195,039. That card will be drawn for on Wednesday, September 9. From the PHHA/The Downs

Joggingtothebank rolled home to become the fastest 5-and-up gelded harness racing trotter in the history of MGM Northfield Park on Saturday (August 8) in the evening's third race. Joggingtothebank (Break The Bank K) - Jogging Home - Tom Ridge) fired off the gate from post four to lead his competition through quarter times of :27.1, :56.4, 1:24.1 and 1:52.4, winning by 4-1/2 lengths.   The previous 1:53 record was held by Outburst and Dan Charlino, set in 2018. Joggingtothebank now has three straight victories for trainer Marty Wollam, who owns the trotter with partners Julie Sweet and Dale Sweet. Kurt Sugg was aboard for the winning drive. The victory brings Joggingtothebank's career win tally to 15, and Saturday's victory increased his lifetime earnings to $178,000. Joggingtothebank returned $10.40 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for MGM Northfield Park  

WASHINGTON, PA, July 21, 2002 -- The conditions certainly didn't bode well for Party At The Banks in Tuesday's $17,900 Open Handicap Trot at The Meadows. A rapidly moving thunderstorm rendered the track sloppy shortly before the race, and Party At The Banks -- the lone mare in a distinguished field -- found herself parked the opening half. Yet the 6-year-old daughter of Break The Bank K-Beach Party As was bigger than all that as she blazed to victory for Chris Page in 1:52.1, fastest ever by an older mare at The Meadows. The time erased the mark of 1:52.3 established by Cowgirl Hall in 2014. Early leader Icanflylikeanangel was second, 3-3/4 lengths back, with Perlucky third.   Ron Burke trains Party At The Banks, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $367,668, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC Mike Wilder collected four wins, including a pair for trainer Dan Altmeyer, on the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the 15-race program features a $14,183.69 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 as well as a pair of stakes for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers: a $217,856 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event. First post is 12:45 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, March 11, 2020 -- Vacation Money maintained her poise while her harness racing rivals blew up around her, then shot the Lightning Lane to pull off the 18-1 upset in Wednesday's Mary Wohlmuth Memorial Trot at The Meadows. Andover Contessa captured the other $12,500 second-leg split in the series for 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares. The Mary Wohlmuth is one of four late-closing series The Meadows currently is featuring, with the championship leg of each set for Friday, March 20. While four in the field of nine jumped it off, Vacation Money patiently stalked the leader, Tough Tootsie, from the pocket. When Aaron Merriman pointed her inside, the 3-year-old daughter of Break The Bank K-American Holiday surged past to score in a career-best 1:59.3. Aunt Bee rallied for second, beaten 1/2 length, while Tough Tootsie saved show.   Norm Parker trains Vacation Money for owner/breeder Bob Key. It was one of four wins for Merriman on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the program features a $1,725.40 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

LEBANON, OH. - Dylan The Great (Josh Sutton) equaled the harness racing track record for 4-year-old gelding trotters at Miami Valley Raceway on Monday afternoon (March 9), winning a $16,000 top condition event in 1:54.1. The mark was originally established by Another Breath in April of 2017. Sutton was content to allow Insomniac (Brady Galliers), a notoriously fast front-end specialist, to cut the early fractions of :28, :56.3 and 1:24 before reeling him in through the lane for the impressive triumph. Steel Reserve (Tyler Smith) grabbed the show dough. Dylan The Great, a son of Ohio sire Break The Bank K, banked $101,462 as a sophomore and now has one win, one second and one third in three starts to commence his 2020 campaign. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J & T Silva-Purnell & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. Racing resumes Tuesday (March 10) with a 2:05 p.m. matinee at Miami Valley. Features will be a $25,000 Open Trot, the $25,000 championship of the Ray Paver Sr. Memorial Series, a mid-range $12,000 condition event raced at 1-1/4 miles, and a 5/8ths mile dash for $8000 claimers. From Miami Valley Raceway    

LEBANON, OH. - Party At The Banks (Chris Page) and Peggy Sue (Brady Galliers), a pair of classy mares sitting at the rear of a field of the Midwest's best geldings in Tuesday's (Jan. 28) $24,000 Open Trot at Miami Valley Raceway, got serious as they approached the :56.4 halfway juncture. They swept past their male counterparts in the second half-mile and finished one-two in the feature race, clocked in 1:55.2. Page was content to ease his winning mare off the gate, landing last as the leaders tripped the initial beam in :27.1. Party At The Banks was pulled to the outside just before front stepping Sweet Mr Pinetucky (Trace Tetrick) reached the midway point in :56.4. Making steady progress during the third stanza, the 6-year-old daughter of Break The Bank K moved up to fourth in second over position at the 1:25.3 three quarters station with Peggy Sue in tow. The pair of mares still had a half dozen lengths to make up as they swung off the final turn but with the leader's strides shortening late in the mile they were able to accomplish the feat with a few steps still to go. Party At The Banks, the 2019 aged Ohio Sires Stakes champion, was making her third start of the 2020 season. Racing for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, she now sports 27 wins in 62 lifetime tries and a bankroll of $326,548. The final pair of Claim To Fame Series championships were also contested on Tuesday. Smash (John DeLong) lead Galyns Gift (Galliers) and M E Radar Girl (Miller) past the wire in 1:55.4 to be crowned queen of the $12,500 claiming mares. Owner Wilfong Racing LLC got the winner's share of the $22,500 purse. Peter Redder trains Smash, who returned $17.40 to her faithful in a mild upset. Legal Transfer (Jeremy Smith) copped the split for $8000 male claiming pacers, topping Beachboydesire (Tetrick) by a head with Colossal (Josh Sutton) just a half length back at the end of the 1:54.4 mile. Trainer Adam Short also owns the 11-year-old winner who has banked over a quarter million dollars in his career. Legal Transfer paid $5.60 to win. From Miami Valley Raceway

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 21, 2019 -- Party At The Banks matched the harness racing track record of 1:52.3 for older mares as she moved powerfully first over and drew off late in Monday's $20,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot at The Meadows. One of two mares in the field, Party At The Banks found a seat fourth from post 8 before Dave Palone sent her on her way. The 5-year-old daughter of Break The Bank K-Beach Party As quickly overpowered the leader, Whats The Word, and defeated Donatover by 4-1/2 lengths. Barn Girl, the other mare in the race, earned show. The time equaled the mark established by Cowgirl Hall in 2014. Ron Burke trains Party At The Banks, who lifted her career bankroll to $312,173, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Mike Wilder piloted five winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the program features a $4,578.35 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

DAYTON, OH. - Despite an assigned outside post and an overland journey that never got the benefit of skimming a harness racing pylon, even money shot Party At The Banks captured the $17,500 Open Trot at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Thursday night (Sept. 26). With regular driver Chris Page taking a weekend off to get married, trainer Ron Burke handed the lines of the 6-year-old mare's lines to Josh Sutton and the talented daughter of Break The Bank K responded with a 1:54.3 triumph, her tenth of the season and 24th lifetime.   Getting away eighth in the bulky ten horse field, Sutton was content to travel fourth over through through fractions of :27.3, :56.2 and 1:24.4 before swinging three wide around the final turn and eventually collaring the pacesetting runnerup Pine Dream (Dan Noble) in the final two strides. Tugboat Tuffy (Brett Miller), a 3-year-old son of Break The Bank K got up for third.   Racing resumes Friday night (Sept.27) at Hollywood Dayton featuring the $171,250 Dayton Trotting Derby and the $151,750 Dayton Pacing Derby. From Hollywood Dayton Raceway  

DAYTON, OH. - There were new subjects in the harness racing winner's circle photos following the co-featured $18,000 Open Trot and the $17,500 Open Mares Pace on Friday (Nov. 9) at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. Prior to the start of the 14-race card, the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales paid a visit to Hollywood Dayton Raceway, making an appearance in the home stretch to the delight of a large throng of new fans eager to get a glimpse of the 8-horse team of magnificent steeds. Winning is nothing new for Party At The Banks, the top trot winner, as she has steadily worked her way up the condition ranks in Ohio over the last three months. Since mid-August the 4-year-old Ohio-sired mare has won seven out of eight races, including her last five in a row. This 1:55.2 score on a frigid southwest Ohio night was the first in Open company for Party At The Banks. Driver Chris Page was in no hurry in the early going, content to settle in sixth in the eight-horse field as Optimist Blue Chip (Jeremy Smith) lead the field past the :28 first quarter beam. With Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) and Pine Dream (Aaron Merriman) racing next along the pylons, Page moved Party At The Banks into fourth position on the outside at the :57.3 halfway juncture. The winner moved up to second through the :28.1 third panel and then sealed the deal with a :29.2 final quarter. Pine Dream gained runnerup laurels by passing Primed N Powerful in the stretch. Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC own the daughter of Break The Bank K. It was the 13th career score for Party At The Banks, who eclipsed the $100,000 earnings plateau in just her 33rd lifetime start. As the even money favorite, she returned $4.00 to her backers. Amazing Arya (Dan Noble) made her initial visit to the Dayton win circle with a 21-1 upset tally over heavy favorites Juslikeaqueen (Jeremy Smith) and Rosemary Rose (Chris Page), who followed her through the finish line following a 1:54.1 mile. Noble stung Juslikeaqueen before releasing her to the lead at the quarter pole, then sat a tight pocket ride until deep stretch. Once angled to the outside for the final 200 yards, Amazing Arya responded willingly to gain her seventh seasonal win and 16th in her career. The 4-year-old daughter of Rockin Image passed the quarter-million dollar mark for owners John McGill and Brian Carsey. She is trained by Walter "Junior" Haynes. Prior to the start of the 14-race card, the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales paid a visit to Hollywood Dayton Raceway, making an appearance in the home stretch to the delight of a large throng of new fans eager to get a glimpse of the 8-horse team of magnificent steeds. From Dayton Raceway Media Department

WASHINGTON, PA, June 5, 2018 -- Freshened by a month off, Looking For Zelda grabbed the early lead from post 4 for Tony Hall and rolled home in a stake-record 1:54.1 in Tuesday's $73,835 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters at The Meadows. The stake was conducted over three divisions, with Mike Wilder and trainer John Butenschoen teaming to take the other splits with Nixie Volo and Bill's Lady. Looking for Zelda hadn't raced since finishing third in a May 4 Ohio Sires Stake at Miami Valley. Trainer Norm Parker said the vacation just happened to work out that way -- and work for the best -- for the daughter of Break The Bank K -- My Winning Way K. "Any time a filly has to ship down to near Cincinnati to race twice, it's a little bit stressful for her," Parker said. "The break was a good thing. She came back really good." In the Currier & Ives, she thwarted the first-over bid of Msnaughtyashill and held off the Lightning Lane charge of Kenziesky Hanover by 1/2 length. Msnaughtyashill saved show. The time knocked a tick from the previous stake mark established by Smokinmombo in 2015. Parker said Bob Key's homebred, who lifted her career bankroll to $271,902, would next race Monday in an Ohio Sires Stake at Northfield Park. Nixie Volo entered the Currier & Ives off a powerful 1:54.3 triumph in a PA Sires Stake at Pocono, and bettors took note, hammering her down to 1-9. The daughter of Yankee Glide-No I'm Not did not disappoint, seizing the lead from post 6 and coasting to victory in 1:56. Donato's Jewel rallied for place, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Lady Palema completed the ticket. "I talked to John (Butenschoen) about her today, and he really couldn't tell me anything I wouldn't like about her," Wilder said. "I tried to keep her out of harm's way, and she did the rest. I think she has a pretty bright future." Nixie Volo now has earned $127,486 for Kentuckiana Racing Stable, VIP Internet Stable and 83 Racing. Bill's Lady made it look just as easy, moving to the point past the quarter and opening a 4-length lead at the half. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Homefortheholidays cruised home in 1:56.3, 1-1/2 lengths better than the rallying Andovermizbrenda, with D'Bomb third. "I drove her once last year and got her beat on the lead," Wilder said. "It was late in the season (in the Keystone Classic), so she might have been getting a little tired, but she sure seems good this year. She matured quite a bit." William Wiswell and M&L Of Delaware campaign Bill's Lady, who vaulted over $100,000 in lifetime earnings. Wilder finished the 13-race card with four wins while Dave Palone and Hall each fashioned a triple. Wednesday's card at The Meadows features the $110,260 open division of the Currier & Ives, which goes as races 1 and 3. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

Harness racing trainer Norm Parker has a way with the ladies. At least the four-legged kind.   The 56-year-old conditioner has done nothing less than condition two of the top Ohio-bred freshman trotting fillies to a starting berth in the $250,000 Ohio Sires Stakes 2-Year-Old Filly Championship on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Scioto Downs.   Looking For Zelda and Sugar Break finished first and seventh respectively in the freshman trotting distaff division with the former sweeping all four legs of the series and the later winning leg 2 and finishing second in leg 3--the only two OSS events she started in. These young Standardbreds have drawn posts one and two in the Championship, slated as Race 2 on the 15-program. Both are by the stallion Break The Bank K, and both are owned and were bred by Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. "You always worry when you get into a big race about the draw," Parker said. "It's the first step in the process of a major race. For me, it's very exciting to be racing in Ohio as it's been awhile since I've been here, and we couldn't have asked for better post positions." Born and raised in Cincinnati, Parker spent his first decade traveling with his father throughout the Buckeye State, racing horses. "I have a lot of great memories about sitting on the Scioto backstretch, waiting for my dad to finish racing," Parker recalled. "We moved to Welston, Ohio, when I was about 11 and raced at Scioto during the summertime. So I have a very big place in my heart for Ohio and for being able to be part of the Championship program. This is what we--as trainers--work for every day. " Looking For Zelda is the undefeated, $101,000-winning homebred second foal out of the Conway Hall mare My Winning Way K 3, 1:59.4f ($77,488), and is a half-sister to Boyz N Guitars (by Muscle Massive) 2, 1:58.3f ($24,007). Besides her sweep of the OSS legs, she also captured a $42,000 Ohio Fair Stake on July 27 in 1:57.1. Parker says she is nothing short of perfect. "She's handled everything perfectly that we've thrown at her," he confirmed. "She responded in the baby qualifiers just the way we had hoped, and hasn't stopped from there. She's very professional." Looking For Zelda began her career via a trio of qualifiers at The Meadows on June 2, 8 and 22, finishing fifth, third and winning the third one in 2:00.4 with Tony Hall at the lines. Her career debut came on July 3 at Northfield Park when she wired the field in the first of her four $40,000 OSS events, stopping the timer in 1:59.1. "It's nice to get a horse like her that does everything for you," Parker acknowledged. "It makes my job easy. She has the ability, which is the best part of training her. She's very simply rigged and shod and only wears trotting boots behind and has pretty much been a plain Jane or plain Zelda." Looking For Zelda's stablemate, Sugar Break, is not as easy to work with, despite being loaded with talent, Parker says. She is the first foal out of the Angus Hall mare Sugar Heart 3, 1:57.4f ($36,485) and owns a lone win scored in her OSS contest, along with a pair of second-place finishes, with $36,485 in her coffers. "She's been kind of a late developer so we raced her in the Stallion Series first and she was second in her first start at Northfield," Parker said. "Overall, we're pretty pleased with how she's developed, but she's a big, strong mare and tends to get anxious about racing so we've been trying to teach her how to race and keep her calm at the same time. We've kept an ear hood on her and that seems to help keep her more comfortable." Sugar Break won her July 19 OSS event at Scioto Downs in 1:57.4, before finishing fourth in a $42,000 Ohio Fair Stake there on July 27. She was a strong second in her third OSS leg on Aug. 4 but had to be scratched from Leg 4 when she came up sick. "In that last sires stakes race she started getting sick and then we weren't able to race her at Northfield," Parker lamented. "She came down with an ugly viral infection, and we think we have it pretty well cleared up for the championship. "We plan on racing both of these fillies at Delaware, too," he continued. "They're both staked heavily and their ability level will tell us where we go from there. Zelda is eligible to the Breeders Crown and a lot will depend upon what happens in the next two weeks with her." Parker says having an owner-breeder to train for is a bonus--as in this case when Key owns the stallion Break The Bank K. "Bob (Key) is so passionate about the sport--he wants to breed champions, and he's got his own broodmares and his own sires that he breeds too and it's just another way for him to enjoy the business," Parker stressed. Having a good partnership with a driver, who is cognizant of a horse's ability--never hurts either, Parker admitted. "I use Tony (Hall) as much as I can," Parker explained. "I like his driving style and I know he likes to go to Ohio to race and I picked him to drive Zelda originally because I thought he fit her well. He's a really good driver and understands what I like and what I expect in regards to what a horse needs from a driver. "It also really helps when a driver has affection for a horse," Parker continued. "When Tony first qualified Zelda, he told me she was a nice horse and that he'd like to stick with her. The third time he qualified her, he asked her to go a little bit in the stretch and she won easily. That time, when he bought her back, he looked at me, put his fingers to his lips and went 'shhhhhhhhhhh.' That's when I knew he thought a lot of her." About the Ohio Sires Stakes: Ohio-breds are made eligible to the four-part series--featuring $40,000 purses per divisional leg--divided by age, gait and gender, by their owners with a March 15 payment. In 2017, the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund (OSDF) received 1,148 nominations of 2- and 3-year-old foals sired by Ohio-registered pacing and trotting stallions. The most lucrative of any series for Ohio-bred Standardbreds, the Ohio Sires Stakes saw a 6% gain in nominations from 2016 (1,091 nominees) and a 49% increase of 2015 nominations (774). Horses in the series are awarded points based on where they finish in each of the legs. Accumulated points are totaled after Leg 4, and Championships eligible-youngsters are posted on the Ohio State Racing Commission website (www.racingohio.net). Post time for the Ohio Sires Stakes Championships is 6:30 pm.   by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator    

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