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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (January 21, 2017) - Bettor's Edge, the 2015 TVG Free For All champion, returned to the Meadowlands and rewarded his new harness racing connections with a decisive 1:49.4 score in the $16,000 Saturday night feature. Bettor's Edge was recently purchased by trainer Jennifer Lappe and Robert Santagata after racing for Ron Burke and earning nearly $1.9 million. Brett Miller put the 8-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding on the front end through a 55.3 half mile and kicked home in 26.3 to record his 33rd lifetime win. 2013 Little Brown Jug champion Vegas Vacation finished second with Somesizesomestyle finishing third. "He is an old class horse," said Miller, who was driving the horse for the first time. "I have raced against him quite a bit over the years and he was as nice driving tonight as he always looked when he would beat me." Bettor's Edge made amends for a break he made in his first start for the new connections last week at Yonkers, but Miller gave a big excuse. "Apparently they had the hopples set way too long when he raced at Yonkers," explained Miller. "They tightened them and he felt pretty good. He seems like he would be a nice horse for the Levy Series at Yonkers." Lappe added two other wins on the card to post a training triple. Heidi Rohr and Ron Burke scored two training wins. Corey Callahan led all drivers with three wins while Miller, Yannick Gingras, Marcus Miller, and Jim Marohn, Jr. all posted two wins. Total handle for the 13-race card was $2,747,729. The Meadowlands moves to a three-nights-a-week schedule beginning next week with Thursdays added to the regular Friday and Saturday nights. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

East Rutherford, N.J. -- In the words of racecaller Ken Warkentin as City Hall ($5.00) entered the harness racing winner's enclosure on New Year's Eve, "You can't stop him; you can only hope to contain him." Any way you look at it, there was no fighting City Hall in Saturday's (Dec. 31) featured $35,000 Auld Lang Syne Invitational at The Meadowlands, as he stalked a hot pace from second-over before vaulting clear to a 2-1/4 length victory in 1:49.3. Brett Miller floated the 6-year-old Metropolitan gelding into mid-division in the initial stages as Doctor Butch (Jim Marohn, Jr.) sprinted clear to control early splits of :26 and :54.3 over fast going. Approaching race's midpoint, City Hall angled second-over behind the live cover of 33-time winner Clear Vision (Joe Bongiorno) and worked closer through the far turn before pointing three-wide off the far turn. City Hall vaulted to the fore at the eighth pole and drew off smartly as Doctor Butch and Clear Vision dueled into defeat. Lucan Hanover (Vinny Ginsburg) rallied into second at 20-1 from third-over spotting, while 2014 Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach (Drew Monti) sustained a strong stand-side rally to narrowly claim third over his stablemate. The win was City Hall's fifth in a row after he used a :26 last quarter to evade top-level conditioned pacers in his last appearance on December 16. Amber Buter trains the now 33-time winner for Gene Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter. New Year's Eve Pick 5 pays $41k Despite a 17-1 shot in So Take That being the longest-price winner in the sequence and a pair of favorites living up to their billing, the evening's 50¢ Pick 5 returned $41,671.75 on the 3-6-10-8-4 combination, over 53 times the corresponding win parlay. Thisguysarockstar (5-1, Greg Merton), So Take That (17-1, Corey Callahan), Pickwick (4-5, Brett Miller), Dash of Danger (2-1, Merton), and Alberto Contador N (6-5, Marohn) proved victorious in the sequence. Players combined to wager $2,473,933 on the 13-race card. The 2017 season at the Big M kicks off Friday, January 6; post time is 7:15 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Meadowlands

East Rutherford, N.J. -- Another step up, another convincing win. Betty Tauber's Elrama N ($3.20) rose to the occasion in Friday (December 23) evening's harness racing featured $15,500 top-level conditioned pace at The Meadowlands, using a strong first-over push through the far turn to reel off his third win in a row.   Brett Miller was unhurried early on with the 7-year-old Elsu gelding, settling in fourth as Alberto Contador N (Jim Marohn, Jr.) and Rufo (Drew Monti) alternated on the lead through early splits of :27.2 and :55.4. At race's midpoint, Elrama N began his first-over ascent, charging boldly after Rufo, forcing a :28.3 third quarter, and pushing to the fore at head-stretch. After putting away Rufo, Elrama N edged clear of a brief bid from the second-over Windsun Stetson (Joe Bongiorno) and ultimately held sway by three-quarters of a length for a 1:51.4 score. El Bloombito (John Campbell) rallied down the grandstand side off third-over cover to narrowly take second over Alberto Contador N, who held third from his pocket trip.   Michael Russo trains Elrama N, now a 23-time winner. For Miller, the driving win was one of five on the program.   The early 20¢ Jackpot High Five was captured again in the night's fifth race, as 130-1 shot Miramontman (Steve Smith) sustained late gains to take fourth behind the favored trio of Toatsmygoats ($10.60, Andy Miller), Pansformative (2-1, Bongiorno), and Hugh Hefner N (2-1, Marohn) to spur a $5,834.08 score. UF Larry Alltheway (9-1, Tyler Smith) rounded out the 8-7-2-10-9 combination. The late Jackpot High Five will see $10,891.52 carry over to Thursday's card.   Total handle for the 13-race program was $2,868,800.   Live racing returns to the Big M with a 10-race card on Thursday (December 29), and programs on Friday (December 30) and Saturday (December 31) evenings to round out the 2016 season. Post time each night is 7:15 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands

City Hall ($5.80) used another powerful stretch kick to crush his eight foes in Friday (December 16) evening's co-featured $18,000 top-level pacing event at The Meadowlands, winning his fourth consecutive race and giving driver Brett Miller one of eight wins on the 13-race harness racing card. Miller floated into midfield with the 6-year-old Metropolitan gelding, settling well behind Matrix of Luck (Joe Bongiorno) and Bullet Bob (Corey Callahan), who alternated on the lead through early fractions of :27.2 and :56. With just over half the mile remaining, City Hall latched onto live second-over cover from Screaman Seaman A (Marcus Miller) and worked into contention on the far turn before pushing three-wide off the corner and vaulting clear at once. Ultimately City Hall would use a :26 final kick to put 4-3/4 lengths on the field for a 1:50.1 score. Bullet Bob held second despite heavy pressure through the far turn, while El Bloombito (John Campbell) saved third out of traffic. Amber Buter trains City Hall for Gene Oldford Farms, LLC and Tyler Buter. Miller's eight driving wins on the card gives him a share of the all-time record for wins on a single card at The Meadowlands, equaling Hall of Fame driver Michel Lachance's eight-win performance in 1995. Rubber Duck the one in trotting feature In the co-featured $18,000 top-level conditioned trot, Toronto invader Rubber Duck ($4.80) made his Big M debut a winning one, continuing his ascent after losing cover on the far turn before drawing clear to a 3-1/2 length win over I C Caviar (Brett Miller) and Buddy Hally (Corey Callahan) in a rapid 1:52.3 effort. Joe Bongiorno drove the 4-year-old Muscle Mass entire for owners Blair and Erna Corbeil and new trainer Richard Johnson. Total handle for the 13-race program was $2,466,612. Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Thursday (December 22) evening, with a $25,874.24 carryover buoying the Pick 5 sequence which spans the first five races of the program. First post is 7:15 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Meadowlands  

East Rutherford, N.J. -- In an impressive and record fashion, the last Breeders Crown winner of the harness racing season is Racing Hill.   Racing Hill took the lead with an eighth of a mile to go and held off 60-1 Manhattan Beach to capture the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings in a stakes record of 1:48 on Saturday (Oct. 29) at The Meadowlands.   The previous record of 1:48.3 was held by Somebeachsomewhere, which he took in 2008.   The 2-1 second choice, driven by Brett Miller and trained by Tony Alagna, paid $6.40, 5.40, and 2.80 to post his fourth win in his last six tries.   "I was loving every bit [of the battle on the front]. They were still pacing hard around the last turn, and this colt felt like his old self tonight. I had a big handful of horse into the last turn, and coming off of the last turn, I knew he was a winner," said Miller. "This was special here. I have loved this colt all year, and I had so much confidence in him, and I knew Tony would get him back good again."   The win was the second Breeders Crown title for both Miller and Alagna.   "To say [the last few months] have been easy would be a downright lie. We had bad luck in the [Little Brown] Jug; he got parked the whole mile. Last week, I was there when he got off the truck for the detention barn, and he was wringing wet with sweat, and I said 'We just left our race on the truck tonight.'," said Alagna. "He raced that way on Saturday, so I put the groom, who has done a tremendous job with the horse, on the truck, and we shipped him in a boxed stall by himself on a dull truck yesterday just so he wouldn't get all worked up, and it did the trick. I knew he was a good horse, and he showed it tonight. We had some troubles getting his earplugs out in the last turn [in] the Meadowlands Pace. Not to take anything away from the winner, but this horse has just been a model of consistency all year." Split times were 26.3, 53.0, and 1:20.2, with a final time of 1:48. Manhattan Beach, driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Ron Burke, paid a solid $23.40 and $12.40 for second. "Not bad, but not what we wanted. We wanted to win this race; this is the race I thought we had the best chance to win tonight. You know what the thing is, sometimes you make the lead, you want the lead," Burke said. "I give Yannick (Gingras) credit, he made everyone try to pace around him and the horse dug in and was game all the way to the wire. I think it might be Check Six's best mile ever. My horses were ready tonight, I'm happy with them all, but things just didn't work out." Check Six, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, finished third and paid $3.40 Fernando Hanover, driven by Tim Tetrick and also trained by Burke, finished fourth. The Breeders Crown for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings was the last of the 12 championship races held over the two-day weekend at The Meadowlands. by Lou Monaco, for Hambletonian Society  

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 14, 2016 - He may not be a household name or a colt that people set a DVR to witness, but watch out world, On The Virg is on verge of stealing the harness racing spotlight all for himself. After all, who captures their first officially timed trip around an oval by the length of the homestretch and more? "He is such a nice colt," said conditioner Jim Daily. "You would not even know he is in the barn and he is so nice to drive. Josh Green called me after he won his first qualifier at Northfield by 40 lengths. I had a doctor's appointment that day, but after Josh called me up, I went up to Michigan and brought him home with me." Bred by Lavon Miller of Topeka, Ind., On The Virg is son of Always A Virgin and the Cam's Card Shark mare Modern Bobbi. Owned by Richard Lombardo, Howard Taylor, David Kryway and Eric Goodell, the gelding will attempt to place himself on center stage when he vies for the lucrative and prestigious victory in the $220,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final on Saturday (Oct. 15). The 2-year-old will begin pacing from the coveted rail position as the 2-1 morning line favorite with Brett Miller gripping the lines. On The Virg will compete against a field of 10 rivals, but due to his previous performances, it appears only Rock N Tony (post two, Trace Tetrick, Erv Miller, 9-5) and Limited Edition (post 10, Sam Widger, Perry Smith, 5-1) have an opportunity to claim a championship crown as their own. "I have two very good colts and I'm not sure which one is better," Daily said. He was referring to Ohio Triple Crown victor Scotch McEwan, a son of McArdle and the Stand Forever mare Forever Ivy that has collected $213,462 on the racetrack. "They are just suit each program so well," Daily said. "On The Virg has so much speed and he is suited to a larger track like Hoosier." While the gelding has yet to net over $100,000 in career earnings, it appears to be only a matter of time before he leaves that milestone in his wake. On The Virg has banked $95,250 and sports a record of 10-5-1-1. His lifetime mark of 1:52, with a sparkling last quarter panel in :27 , was paced on Aug. 18 in an Indiana Sire Stakes elimination at Hoosier Park. "He is so fast it is easy to let him get into the race right off the gate," Daily said. "But you can do anything with him because he is so professional. He does not act like a 2-year-old. It's like he is an older horse. He behaves like a 4-year-old out there." With a premium draw and a $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes triumph already on his resume, On The Virg is poised to place his name in the history books on Saturday night. "I think he is really going to show us something," Daily said. "He has a nice post and I feel like he is ready. He was a small horse when I bought him, but he has grown over the summer. He's still not a big horse, but he has filled out. He is a very talented colt and I'm looking forward to next year with him." The $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing colts will be part of a stakes filled card at Hoosier Park on Saturday. With over $2 million in purses to be distributed on the evening, The star-studded 14-race card will showcase the best trotters and pacers in the state of Indiana and provide an exciting conclusion to the 2016 Indiana stakes season. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Story by Kim French, on behalf of the United States Trotting Association.    

LEXINGTON, KY-- Stolen Glimpse surged down the center of the track and by Western Fame battling at the pylons to upset in the first of two harness racing divisions for the $416,000 Tattersalls in 1:49.2 at The Red Mile. Check Six took control through a :26.4 opening quarter, soon losing it to Western Fame down the backstretch. Western Fame led through a :54.1 half before being challenged by Dr J Hanover into the far turn. Past three-quarters in 1:22.2, Dr J Hanover took a short lead from Western Fame, who fought back to take the lead midway through the stretch. Ambushed by Lindy Beach from second over, Dr J Hanover, Check Six, and Stolen Glimpse, Western Fame maintained control up until the wire, when Stolen Glimpse got his neck in front on the grandstand side. Earning $228,695 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Stable 45, Jerry & Theresa Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi, Stolen Glimpse, by Art Major out of the Jate Lobell mare Jated Love, won his third race in 19 starts. Trained by Ron Burke and driven by Brian Sears, he returned $41.40 to win. "We played a little game today," Mickey Burke Jr. said, "we pulled his back shoes and the horse seemed to really respond to it, plus Brian [Sears] drove him perfectly." "I think Brian just drove a perfect race," co-owner Jerry Silva said. "I didn't expect him to do as well as he did. But Ronnie [Burke] expected him to be a top horse at the beginning of the year, but then he sort of became an average horse, but today he showed he's much better than an average horse." Stolen Glimpse Racing Hill took control at the quarter and held onto command to win the other division of the Tattersalls in 1:49.4. He set fractions of :26.4, :55, and 1:23.2 before being confronted by Big Top Hanover from first over. Lyons Snyder chased the two battling through the stretch from third while American Passport drifted towards the center of the track attempting to sweep by Racing Hill. Big Top Hanover cut into Racing Hill's lead through the stretch, but managed only for second. By Roll With Joe out of the American Ideal mare Chasing Ideals, Racing Hill won his 11th race in 23 starts, amassing $1,462,876 for owner Tom Hill. Trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Brett Milller, he paid $3.80 to win. "This is a tremendous colt, but to be honest, I have to start racing him a different way," Brett Miller said. "I've been racing him very aggressively all year and the colt's just getting tired of doing all the work. I was kind of planning on not leaving today, but he drug me out of there and we ended up on the front. I just have to start taking better care of him. I have to start racing him from off the pace." Racing Hill By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- Darlinonthebeach kicked off her cover at the top of the stretch and sprinted to a 1:48.1 harness racing victory to win one of two divisions of the $213,500 Glen Garnsey Memorial on Sunday, Oct. 9 at The Red Mile. Getting away fifth as Penpal cleared command in :26.2, Darlinonthebeach flushed Rock Me Baby first over at the half, timed in :55. Blue Moon Stride, having brushed to the top after yielding to Penpal at the quarter, was challenged by Rock Me Baby at three-quarters in 1:22.1. Darlinonthebeach tipped off her cover at the head of the stretch and drew away from the field in the stretch. Kiss Me Onthebeach closed down the center of the track to take second, while Penpal slid up the pylons for third. A three-year-old filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Bettor's Delight mare Darlin's Delight, Darlinonthebeach won her 12th race in 28 starts, amassing $830,823 for owner White Birch Farms. Trained by Nancy Johansson and driven by David Miller, she paid $3.00. "It worked out just the way I wanted it to there," David Miller said. "We had a bit of a pace on the lead and she felt comfortable the whole way; felt like I had a lot of horse. She's an all-round professional; she's pretty handy and will do whatever you want to do. "She was a bit of a bully earlier in the year and we've worked with her. She has learned how to race and she's a big strong horse who can carry her speed really good. I couldn't be happier for Marcus and Nancy and all the connections with her. I've always been a big fan of her; I've been high on her all season. It started out a little rough, but I kept telling them it was going to get better." Darlinonthebeach Sent the 1-2 favorite, Pure Country stalled in her first over bid around the far turn before hitting her best stride and storming by pacesetter Call Me Queen Be to win the other division of the Glen Garnsey in 1:48.2. Leading through splits of :27.1, :55, and 1:21.4, Call Me Queen Be held an uncontested lead. Pure Country was first over but about two lengths off the lead at the top of the stretch, chasing Call Me Queen Be along with pocket-sitter Lakeisha Hall and Lindwood Beachgirl behind her. Pure Country drifted towards the center of the track as she edged past Call Me Queen Be to win. Winning her 18th race in 28 starts, Pure Country, a three-year-old filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Hanover mare Western Montana, has earned $1,649,968 for owner Diamond Creek Racing. She's trained by Jimmy Takter, was driven by Brett Miller, and paid $3.00 to win. "She's a pure champion," Jimmy Takter said. "It's not easy to stay at the highest [tier] throughout the year. She hasn't been undefeated, but at the same token, this has been a great, great group of three-year-old fillies this year." "She has been really good to us and we take it one race at a time," Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Racing said. "We'll make a decision [on her career] when the season's over." Pure Country By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Pennsylvania Stallion Series had its four $40,000 Championship events for three-year-olds Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   The finalists had earned their way into the Championship by being the leading pointwinners in four preliminaries at the state's various harness ovals; the sophomores' two-year-old counterparts will contest their four Championships on a 4:30 twilight card tomorrow at The Downs.   Filly pacer Terror At Night tied the 1:50.4 stake record set by Antigua Hanover in 2013 (also at Pocono) and also was the only sophomore who used the points lead as a bridge to her Championship. The daughter of Western Terror, driven by Brett Miller, took the lead away from favored Keystone Riptide early, kept Addy Girl outside raw on her challenge, and then powered off with a 27.3 last quarter to win by 4¼ lengths over Hug A Dragoness, who pulled out from behind pocketsitter Keystone Riptide on the turn and beat that foe to the rival for the distant second.   The winner reduced her lifetime best by 1 1/5 seconds in the powerful triumph for trainer Les Givens and the partnership of Nantiocke Racing Inc., Edward Maas III, and Arlene Paisley. And with three wins and a half-length loss (to a 113-1 shot) in her four prelims to give her the highest point total, perhaps the most surprising thing about Terror At Night's win is that she paid $9.00 as the fourth choice in a field of seven!   The favorite did come through in the colt pace Championship, but it was a great piece of handicapping by the Pocono fans, as he was winless in 15 starts this year going into the race and finished 14th in the pointstandings, needing major-league luck in defections to even get to the track Sunday.   But one thing that Nimble And Quick did have in his corner was a Championship in his two-year-old Stallion Series campaign (after prelims where he was the leading pointwinner), and decent recent form (five board hits in his last seven starts) combined with that history to make him the 2-1 choice. The Western Ideal gelding then became the only chalk to deliver in the sophomore Championships in 1:52, taking a fifth off the personal mark he set in his 2015 victory, and making him only the second repeat winner in the Stallion Series Championships, along with trotting filly Migisi (2010-2011), for trainer Richard Ringler and owners Pat Lachance and M & M Harness Racing LLC.   Was it easy? Decidedly not - not with six horses within a length at the finish and the seventh only another ¾ of a length behind (the eighth suffered broken equipment).   Nimble And Quick went out from post four for driver Matt Kakaley, ceding the lead at the 3/16 to Safensound Hanover, who took the field through splits of 26.4, 56.1, and 1:24.2, with JJ Flynn advancing uncovered from near the back, with Doubleshottahott in tow. Fairly tranquil so far - but a "doubleshottahott" was about to strike the red clay in the 27.3 kicker.   Nimble And Quick went just inside Safensound Hanover in the Pocono Pike, with third-inside Rip This Joint deep in the Pike; JJ Flynn grinded on, with Doubleshottahott and then a wide-angling Don McWhite outside of him. This stretch Charge of the Light Brigade ended with Nimble And Quick a half a length ahead of Rip This Joint, who won a three-way photo over third-place Safensound Hanover and Doubleshottashot; a neck behind them in fifth was JJ Flynn, who in turn had a neck on Don McWhite, who finished a length off but was sixth and got no money. Senator Charlie was behind this wall of horseflesh through the stretch and is still looking for a clear path.   The filly trot was a wild'n'woolly affair from literally start to finish. South Side Hanover left strongly from post two, with rail horse Casey T maintaining a tight pocket early, forcing Ameliosi to remain outside without cover and Glidinthruparadise (who was favored over Ameliosi by $8 in a win pool of $5449) outside with cover. Ameliosi went up to challenge, but South Side Hanover controlled the throttle through hot splits of 26.4 and 55.2.   At the 5/8, Glidinthruparadise went three-wide around Ameliosi, with Spirit Squad and Maker A Yankee on her tail, with "Glidin" in first-over position at the 1:24.1 ¾ pole. She continued up to battle South Side Hanover, with Spirit Squad ducking into the pocket vacated by a tiring (and eventually breaking) Casey T.   In midstretch Glidinthruparadise got a short lead for driver Brian Zendt, with South Side Hanover still battling and Spirit Squad making a charge up the rail - when the latter two hooked wheels, the pair coming to an almost-walk in the last 100 feet. The lockup allowed Glidinthruparadise, who may well have prevailed in any respect, to equal her mark of 1:54.3, 1¾ lengths clear over Maker A Yankee, an opportunistic second at 62-1 (for Mr. Opportunism, driver Marcus Miller), with South Side Hanover, whose wheel had been hooked from behind, holding a nose advantage over Spirit Squad at the finish; an inquiry into the event resulted in no placing.   Glidinthruparadise shows the deep legacy left by the late master horseman Walter "Boots" Dunn - his daughters, trainer Lisa Dunn and Leslie Dunn Zendt, now own the filly, and Boots bred his unraced mare Chowda to Yankee Glide, with the resultant foal now a Stallion Series Championship and winner of $93,563, just over half the bankroll of her full sister Boo's Party Girl - another Dunn Stable product.   In the colt trot, Marty De Vie was outside to the 3/16 to gain the lead from Iholdon, the 6-5 choice over 7-5 Skeezix, and passed the quarter in 27.1 and the half in 56.4. The first challenge came from the uncovered Skeezix, who grinded up from fourth to be even-second at the 1:25.4 3/4s and gained with every stride on the turn. Skeezix got by the pacesetter towards midstretch, then found a higher gear late and won by a comfortable 1¾ lengths over Iholdon, who did have to hold on his bid for the Pocono Pike but was not gaining wildly late, while Blownoutofthewater stacked widest in the lane and finished third in the mile in 1:54.3 - same time as the filly race, and as in the distaff event the winner equaled his lifetime best.   Pocono's "Trot Man," Mike Simons, had the driving assignment for trainer Roland Mallar (known as "Polley," as in "Rolley-Polley") and owner Michael Andrew, who also bred his unraced Valley Victory mare Queen Of Angels, who has produced two six-figure winners, to SJ's Caviar and now has a developing sophomore gelding with lifetime earnings of $84,920 after a limited freshman campaign.   (And what is a "skeezix," you may ask? It's a term from cowboy slang, referring to a motherless calf, with the word becoming popular via the venerable comic strip Gasoline Alley, when a baby left on the front doorstep of main character Walt Wallet was taken in by the bachelor and became known as "Skeezix.")   FINISHING LINES - Driver Jim Marohn Jr. had an unusual double in races 7 and 8: first he guided Fool Of Ideas home at a $103.00 mutuel, and then he won with 2-5 chalk Crazy About Pat in the $20,000 top overnight trot, that horse's third win in his last five start ... The trainer of Fool Of Ideas is James Matheos, who recently returned to the sport after an absence of many years - in fact, the last horse he harnessed to victory was Allamerican Jolt at Monticello Raceway, on July 26, 1998.   That close finish in the race won by Nimble And Quick (just thought you might like to see it):     PHHA / Pocono      

Columbus, OH --- When the horses placed their hooves on the track for the post parade of the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial on Saturday (Sept. 10) at Eldorado Scioto Downs, the throng lining the fence let out a roar for defending Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit. The stands were packed to catch a glimpse of an athlete that has captured the hearts and imaginations of legions of harness racing fans during his two-year career. When the horses crossed the finish line, however, all those in attendance had shifted their adulation to honor the effort of his winning rival, Always B Miki, for not only had they been privy to witness greatness, but they were present for a world record equaling performance of 1:47, that will surely become an integral component of the sport’s history. That time equaled the all-age mark for a pacer on a five-eighths-mile oval set by Sweet Lou in 2014 and equaled by Always B Miki in both the Ben Franklin elimination and final earlier this year. Those miles all came at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. “He’s a big horse alright,” said his pilot Brett Miller in the winner’s circle immediately after handing over the lines. “He has so much power. You just can’t let him get too into himself.” When the superb field of nine left the gate, Always B Miki, who commenced pacing from post six, was the 4-5 favorite but Wiggle It Jiggleit at 8-5 was also receiving his share of support at the windows. Shortly after the starter allowed the horses to begin the mile, Eric Goodell sent Luck Be Withyou to the lead from post position five. Wiggle It Jiggleit and his regular reinsman Montrell Teague were not content to allow that competitor to cut the mile and made their move to the front from post position eight. Miller and Always B Miki had their own designs on the lead. The crowd was gasping at the sheer speed displayed by the pacers as Luck Be Withyou had laid down a scorching :25.2 first quarter. Wiggle It Jiggleit brushed to the lead in front of the grandstand before Always B Miki procured the lead on the outside by the half-mile marker. The Jimmy Takter trainee appeared to pay the price for that effort when :53 flashed on the timer. As Wiggle It Jiggleit sat second, Always B Miki still maintained a head advantage after three-quarters in a sizzling 1:19. Wiggle It Jiggleit appeared poised to come through on the inside and overhaul Always B Miki down the lane, but the 5-year-old stallion would not be denied. After a nip and tuck battle between these two champions, Always B Miki prevailed. Several hundred feet from the wire, he repelled the bid of Wiggle It Jiggleit and hit the wire three-quarters of a length in front. Luck Be Withyou raced exceptionally well to be third, while Freaky Feet Pete, who had a very tough trip, finished fourth. Conditioned by Jimmy Takter and owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter, the son of Always A Virgin paid $3.80 to win, with Wiggle It Jiggleit paying $3.00 to place and Luck Be Withyou $3.60 to show. The exacta was $8.00 and the trifecta $50.60. Normally not one to show much emotion, Takter posed with a picture with his charge absolutely beaming. When asked to discuss the heroic feat Always B Miki had just produced, he acknowledged how scintillating it was to be associated with a horse with this much ability. He also noted, however, for the stallion to consistently provide the sport with a number of 1:47 miles this season, it does require much more than natural talent. “It is not an easy thing to keep a horse at that kind of level for a long period of time,” he said. “This is a very special horse.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

Driver Brett Miller had six wins on the Wednesday afternoon program (Aug 17) at Harrah's Philadelphia. The harness racing card also included six divisions of Pennsylvania Stallion Series races for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers, each going for a purse of $20,000. The fastest of the six events was taken by Paton Racing Stable's Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick). With the victory, the gelded son of Dragon Again is now 4 of 5 in the win column in his career. He drew off confidently to win by 3 lengths, after sitting in the pocket for a majority of the mile. Other Stallion Series winners included Western Hill (1:53.3), Photobombr Hanover (1:54.1), Ponderingjacksfame (1:53.3), Braley Hanover (1:53.2), and Mike's Z Tam (1:54.2). Today's (Thursday, Aug. 18) card featured three divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers, each going for a purse of over $62,000. They are races 3,6, and 10 on the program. There is also a pick 4 carryover of just over $1,800 on today's program. The pick four starts in race 7. Michael Bozich

WASHINGTON, PA, July 30, 2016 — Looped from the gate and forced into brutal fractions of 25.2/52.1—in the slop, no less—Racing Hill showed his talent and heart when he drew away from the field late and captured Saturday’s $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows in a harness racing career-best 1:48.4 The pocket-sitting Check Six could not improve his position in the lane and finished second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Fernando Hanover was a ground-saving third. Racing Hill entered the 50th edition of the Adios with the flashiest credentials, including his victory in the $500,000 Hempt Memorial final and second-place finishes in the finals of the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace—each a $1 million event. But if his rivals didn’t appear up to the task of beating Racing Hill, it seemed that weather and trip might do him in. Rain punctuated by storms—the skies cleared shortly before the Adios went off—created a surface that proved tiring to some early leaders throughout the card. And Racing Hill, the 2-5 favorite, couldn’t wrest the lead from Check Six until just before the three-eighths. “The race was not going the way I wanted it to go,” said winning driver Brett Miller. “I was expecting a few more people to leave and kind of shooting for the 3 hole. When that didn’t happen, I said to myself, we’re in trouble.” Miller had an even stronger reaction when he realized how fast Racing Hill was going. “When I saw the time flash up,” he said, “I wanted to throw up. I didn’t think there was any way he could keep going. He goes to the half in 52.1 and keeps going. Horses don’t do that.” Once he thwarted the first-over challenge of long shot Another Daily Copy, the son of Roll With Joe-Chasing Ideals opened up and had only the timer to beat. The win pushed his career bankroll to $970,028. Tony Alagna, who trains Racing Hill for owner/breeder Tom Hill, said he expected a swift opening half if only because his colt was facing five foes from the powerful Ron Burke stable. “I didn’t think they would let us get to the half in 55,” Alagna said. “I knew they would make us earn it. “I’m a big believer in watching drivers’ body language. I was watching Brett in the bike, and he was telling me that he felt he had something left.” Alagna said he plans to give Racing Hill two weeks off before his next engagement, the Battle of the Brandywine. Manhattan Beach took fourth and More Dragon fifth, meaning that Burke, who entered six horses in Adios 50 and saw five advance to the final, finished 2-3-4-5. Did he find that frustrating or satisfying? “Definitely satisfying,” Burke said. “My horses raced well. Racing Hill was unbelievable.” ADIOS NOTES:  Miller entered Adios 50 as the leading money-winner in the history of the event among drivers who had never won an Adios final. With the victory, he vaulted to eighth on the all-time Adios earnings list with $562,286 . . . Although the track was sloppy, Racing Hill matched the time of last year’s winner, Dude’s The Man. They’re tied for the fourth-fastest Adios final . . . James Witherite, race caller at Tioga Downs and an accomplished jazz organist, showed off another dimension of his talent, entertaining fans as the Adios Day bugler. He included some subtle touches, such as playing the old Billy Joel hit “She’s always a Woman” to introduce the Adioo Volo—a stake for 3-year-old fillies. Evan Pattak

Roaring To Go (Art Major) set a new track record for harness racing freshman fillies in the New York Sire Stakes at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday night. Drawing the outside post in her $54,500 division of the NYSS, Roaring To Go sat last in the early going as first half fractions of 27.2 and 56.4 were set by dueling rivals. Driver Brett Miller moved the Kevin Lare-trained filly to the outside at the half and got the jump on the race's odds-on favorite World Apart (Art Major). Once Roaring To Go cleared the lead, World Apart's impressive final quarter surge was not enough for her to get to her major danger in a mile paced in 1:54, a new track record for two year old pacing fillies. The Linda Toscano-trained Planet Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven) moved her career record to three-for-three with Tim Tetrick in the bike behind a front-running score in her $55,500 division of the NYSS while Artrageous (Art Major) and Jim Morrill Jr. went coast to coast in the other $54,500 division of the freshman filly stakes on the night. New York Sire Stakes action returns to Saratoga next Tuesday August 2nd when two year old trotting colts come to town. Live racing continues at the Spa on Thursday night with first post time set for 7:05pm.   Mike Sardella

WASHINGTON, PA, July 23, 2016 -- Pure Country continued her relentless march to a second straight harness racing divisional title, capturing her fifth consecutive victory in Saturday's Pennsylvania Sires Stake action at The Meadows, part of the Adios eliminations card. Shesasmokinlady took the other division in the $159,350 event for 3-year-old filly pacers known as the Romola Hanover. Pure Country won all 10 starts at 2 en route to her Dan Patch Award. While she's lost three of nine outings this year, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana appears to have elevated her game to a new level, with victories in the finals of the Fan Hanover and the Lynch and two straight PASS splits. "I've never driven a filly like her," winning driver Brett Miller said. "I don't know if I've ever driven a colt like her. She might be the best horse I've ever driven. To race at the top level like this every week and be that good -- it's amazing. She's one of the smartest fillies I've ever sat behind, and she has the heart of a champion. The couple times I got beat with her, it was probably my fault." In the Romola Hanover, Pure Country grabbed the lead with a quarter-pole move, easily thwarted the first-over challenge of I Said Diamonds and defeated the pocket-sitting Darlinonthebeach by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:50. Shezarealdeal earned show. Jimmy Takter trains Pure Country, who now boasts $1,276,610 in career earnings, for Diamond Creek Racing. Shesasmokinlady also made the front past the quarter for trainer/driver Ray Paver and owner/breeder Iris Horowitz and had just enough in the tank to hold off Newborn Sassy by a nose in 1:50.4. Call Me Queen Be completed the ticket. "I figured if I got away third today, I wasn't sitting," said Paver of Shesasmokinlady, who now has $144,795 in her bankroll. "She usually doesn't get tired, but she looks for a horse to race. A horse never really got to her until late." Although she may reach the PASS final or consolation leg, Paver said a stakes payments snafu has left Shesasmokinlady with only one definite stake engagement -- the Keystone Classic at The Meadows. $100,000 PA Stallion Series -- 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers Saturday's program also featured five divisions of this event; as with the other stakes on the card, this one became "Miller Time." Miller won two splits, giving him four stakes victories on the day, while trainer Michael Hall enjoyed a stake double. The highlight for Miller and Hall was the 1:51.1 win by Dismissal, which lowered the stake record of 1:51.3 previously held by Icommandmyspirt and matched earlier in the day by A List Hanover. Hall owns Dismissal, a daughter of Western Terror-Her Mattjesty. The other three splits went to Terror at Night, Kryptos and Square Dancer. A List Hanover saw her stake record fall, but she turned in a huge performance, challenging first over for longer that winning driver Dan Rawlings intended. "The more I grabbed her, the more her gait became less than perfect," Rawlings said. "So I let her go as fast and as far as she could." Gingertreescarlett finished second, 3 lengths back, with Nip's Beach Girl third. Hall trains and leases A List Hanover, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Allamerican Nadia. Terror At Night also converted a first-over trip to victory, edging by early leader Hug A Dragoness by 1/2 length in 1:51.4, a lifetime mark. Donna's Beach completed the ticket. "She's one of the laziest fillies I've ever driven," Miller said. "You have to make her do her work. When she made the front, she thought the race was over. If you're on the front, it's not as bad, but if you're passing somebody, she pulls up as soon as she gets by." The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, July 21, 2016 -- Of the 12 competitors in the 50th edition of the $450,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows, Racing Hill may have the strongest credentials. He won the final of the $500,000 Hempt Memorial and finished second in the finals of both the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace, each a $1 million stake. Those harness racing performances pushed his lifetime bankroll to $757,528; victory in the Adios final would make him a millionaire. But the road to those laurels has been demanding -- five tough races against elite competition in a little more than six weeks. After a workload that heavy, will he be sharp in his Adios elimination? Trainer Tony Alagna says the son of Roll With Joe-Chasing Deals remains in top form. "He's come out of it in great shape, so we made the decision to take him to the Adios," Alagna said. Racing Hill is the 8-5 morning line favorite in race 8, the first of two Adios eliminations, with an approximate post time of 3 PM. He goes from the rail with Brett Miller driving. The Adios final is set for Saturday afternoon, July 30. The first four finishers in each elimination, plus the fifth-place finisher with the better career earnings, return for the final. Alagna noted that Racing Hill earned a bye into the Meadowlands Pace final, giving him a valuable week off. "He came out of that race great," Alagna said. "He ripped around the field with his tail over his back. That made the decision easier. He trains lightly between races, no kind of speed. He tells you what he wants as far as work goes. He carries his weight well, and he's good to himself. All those things help." He said Tom Hill, owner of Racing Hill, gives him considerable leeway on the colt's schedule. "The Hills are very good that way," he said. "They told me to make the decision based on what I saw." He indicated Racing Will likely would have two weeks off following the Adios to freshen for his next engagement, the Battle of the Brandywine at Harrah's Philadelphia. Alagna also sends American Passport into the Adios -- he and Scott Zeron leave from post 5 in the second elimination, race 9. The son of American Ideal-Star Of The Show finished a strong second in the June 4 Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk but is winless in five outings this year and hasn't raced since July 1. "He's had bad luck and needed to regroup," Alagna said. "He qualified very good the other day. Based on what he did last year, I don't think the Adios is a stretch for him at all." The Adios eliminations card offers two strong supporting stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers -- the Romola Hanover, a $159,360 Pennsylvania Sires Stake, and a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event. First post Saturday is 1 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Racing Hill heads to Saturday's $732,050 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace as the 9-5 morning line favorite. And while the colt's trip to the Meadowlands Racetrack will consist of a relatively short trailer ride on the New Jersey Turnpike, his owner's journey will be considerably longer. Tom Hill, a 64-year-old lifelong participant in harness racing, will be joining Racing Hill at the Big M from his home in the United Kingdom. It will be Hill's second trip to a Meadowlands Pace; his colt Art Colony participated in the 2009 edition of the event, which was won by Well Said. Racing Hill will start the Meadowlands Pace from post No. 4 with Brett Miller driving for trainer Tony Alagna. "I'm very, very excited," said Hill, who in addition to owning Racing Hill also bred the colt. "It's a race we've really wanted to win. It's a premier race. To me, it's the premier race in the U.S. and I think (Racing Hill) will make a good showing. We're hoping we get a bit of luck. I don't care how good they are, you still need to carry a bit of luck." Racing Hill won the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial on July 2 and finished second to Betting Line in the $780,000 North America Cup on June 18. He received a bye to the Meadowlands Pace final based on his earnings this season, which total $450,340. "He'd raced five weeks in a row so to be able to get a bye was nice for the horse," trainer Alagna said. "He came out of the Hempt good, trained back good (Tuesday) and we were fortunate enough to get nice luck of the draw and hit the four hole. I think we're coming into the race in as good shape as we can be." Alagna won the 2013 Meadowlands Pace with Captaintreacherous, who also received a bye to the final following a victory in the Hempt Memorial. "I don't mind following that pattern," Alagna said with a laugh. Racing Hill, a son of 2011 Meadowlands Pace winner Roll With Joe out of the mare Chasing Ideals, has won seven of 16 career races and earned $583,666. Last year, Racing Hill won five of 10 starts, including divisions of the International Stallion and Bluegrass stakes as well as his elimination for the Breeders Crown. He finished eighth in the Breeders Crown final, but was only 5-3/4 lengths back after a first-over bid around the final turn on a "good" track at Woodbine. "He was tremendous as a 2-year-old," Hill said. "He got real sick in Canada (in early September). When Tony took him back home he cleaned him up and put him on Lasix and the horse came right around. He won in (1):51.2 for fun at The Red Mile, and the track was slow that day because of rain. So we knew he was a top colt." In addition to enjoying success with Racing Hill and Art Colony, the Hill family's highlights in harness racing have included winning the 2010 Jugette and Fan Hanover with Western Silk as well as owning 2015 O'Brien Award-winning female trotter Caprice Hill and world champion Lucky Man. Racing Hill's family includes the mother of Western Silk, Extemporaneous, as well as Dan Patch Award winner Silk Stockings. "It makes it very special that he's a homebred," Hill said. "It's a good maternal line. And I think Roll With Joe, for the time he's been at stud, has achieved a lot. "Hopefully this guy can be a stallion. He looks tremendous and he's got all the attributes that you'd expect a top stallion to have. He's laid back, he's a good racehorse, he's easy to drive, and he looks after himself. If he passes that on, he'd be a good stallion." Hill followed his father, Joe, into harness racing. "I've had horses all my life," said Hill, who made his career operating retirement and holiday trailer home businesses. "My father used to have them and we sent horses over to race at the Meadowlands in the '80s and horses to Canada in the '70s. We've tried to carry on, basically. Thank God we've been reasonably successful." In the lone Meadowlands Pace elimination last Saturday, Control The Moment stormed home with a :26.2 final quarter to win by a length in a lifetime best 1:49.2. Lyons Snyder finished second with JK Will Power third. "He's a really nice horse, no question about it," said winning driver Brian Sears, who was sitting behind Control The Moment for the first time. "He did everything I asked. He was nice and relaxed and I was real pleased with the way he got home. It was a big effort. "The horse looks like he races real good from off the pace and the trip worked out nice and he exploded coming home." Control The Moment, Canada's O'Brien Award winner last year, won eight of nine starts at age 2 and has won two of six races this season. He finished fourth in the Hempt Memorial and third in the North America Cup. "I was never discouraged with him," co-owner Howard Taylor said. "I was discouraged by the finishes, but not with how he raced. I don't think he had a bad race. But (Saturday) was just scary. I was shocked. I had an opinion, and I was quoted, that I thought he was better on the front. After (Saturday) I have to admit I was wrong. That was just too much." The complete field for the Meadowlands Pace is as follows: 1. Another Daily Copy - Trace Tetrick - Nick Devita - 30-1 2. Good Living - Corey Callahan - Tom Cancelliere - 30-1 3. Control The Moment - Brian Sears - Brad Maxwell - 5-2 4. Racing Hill - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna - 9-5 5. Lyons Snyder - David Miller - Mark Silva - 9-2 6. Boston Red Rocks - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 6-1 7. Manhattan Beach - Joe Bongiorno - Ron Burke - 20-1 8. JK Will Power - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 8-1 9. Check Six - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 15-1 10. Talk Show - Scott Zeron - Steve Elliott - 25-1 by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA  

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