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It seems like we are in the middle of a stretch at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono where each week features another brand new batch of huge races. This past week we had the chance to witness the Pennsylvania All-Stars, a series for 3-year-olds from the Keystone State which brought out some of the best sophomore racing talent in the entire nation, lured as they were by the solid $30,000 purses available for each division. We saw a different class on three consecutive nights. Here are some of the highlights of this batch of Pennsylvania All-Stars races. SUNDAY: 3-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS The three divisions held on Sunday night proved that there are many different ways to win a race. In the first split, The Catamount Kid, the even-money favorite after a solid 4th-place finish the previous week in the Pennsylvania Classic, used a pocket trip to come up a winner. Simon Allard did the driving for trainer Carl Jamieson, although it wasn't easy for The Catamount Kid. It took a career-best mile of 1:51:2 to hold off the extremely game Bully Pulpit by a neck. The next division provided a display of how to win from off the pace. As even-money favorite JJ Flynn started to lose grasp of his lead late, it appeared that Settlemoir, who was sitting the excellent pocket trip, had the edge to come up for the win. Yet it was Voltaire, an 11-1 shot guided by Tim Tetrick, who revved it up on the outside out of nowhere to win by a neck in a career-best 1:52:2. Trained by Brian Malone, it was Voltaire's first win since March. In the final split, Another Daily Copy provided a master's class on how to control a field on the front end. The colt from the Nicholas Devita barn was aided in that effort by driver Jim Morrill Jr., who expertly rated the pace so that even 4-5 favorite Fernando Hanover couldn't get past in the stretch. At 5-1, Another Daily Copy came home a solid winner by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:51:2, his first win of the season and a new career-best. MONDAY: 3-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES Monday night provided a chance for some of the fillies who came up short in the Miss Pennsylvania a few weeks ago to get a bit of redemption. In the first split, Darlinonthebeach, who had been favored in the Miss Pennsylvania after upsetting Pure Country in the elimination but got caught up in blistering fractions and faded to 7th in the final, nearly had bad racing luck doom her chances in the All-Stars race. She had to check while making a brush to the lead around the clubhouse turn. The Nancy Johansson trainee didn't panic, gathering her wits about her until called on again by David Miller in the stretch. She rolled by as the 4-5 favorite to win by a neck in 1:51:3, pushing her career earnings over $247,000 in the process. Next up was I Said Diamonds, who had battled to 2nd in the Miss Pennsylvania final despite a #9 post. She was once again on the outside in the All-Stars race, starting furthest out in the field of seven as the 1-2 favorite. By the end of the first turn she had assumed the lead. At the top of the stretch, with competitors starting to loom behind her, she kicked away from her foes with Matt Kakaley in the bike. Trained by Ron Burke, I Said Diamonds continues to impress; she's hit the board in every one of her nine starts with five victories and earnings topping $245,000. In the final split, Yankee Moonshine, who was a huge earner as a 2-year-old but missed the Miss Pennsylvania final after finishing fifth in her elimination race, was favored at 7-5. But she never really fired and finished fourth. Instead it was a newcomer to Pocono named Shesasmokinlady who came in from the Meadows and put together an outstanding performance. Fresh off a win in the slop, the filly trained and driven by Ray Paver worked out a pocket trip behind a sizzling pace and came on to win by a neck in the night's fastest time of 1:50:4 as an 8-5 second choice. TUESDAY: 3-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES The action for the distaff trotters started out on Tuesday night with a split featuring a pair of horses, Pink Pistol and Ginny Weasley, coming off wins in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action. Synonymous Hanover, a 5-1 shot making her first start of the season, took the lead from Ginny Weasley at the half. Pink Pistol broke stride in her first-over attempt, and Ginny Weasley couldn't get there from the pocket. Instead Brett Miller guided Synonymous Hanover, trained by Chris Oakes, to the win by 1 ¼ lengths in a career-best 1:56. In the second split, Lookin Sharp was coming off a 5th-place finish in her season debut and was saddled with a #9 post, so it was understandable that she went off as a 6-1 shot. But the filly from the John Butenschoen was also the big earner in the field as a 2-year-old, and she regained that fine form on this night. With David Miller in the bike, Lookin Sharp grabbed the lead an eight of a mile into the race and never looked back from there, dominating the field in 1:55:2, a new career-best time. As it turns out, it wouldn't be a good night for Pennsylvania All-Stars favorites. Although Abbie's Celticlass, the 4-5 favorite in the final split, fared better than the favorites in the first two divisions, both of whom went off-stride, her first-over effort wasn't enough to get more than the show. Meanwhile Modern Mercury, a filly trained and driven by Charlie Norris coming off a win at Harrah's at Philadelphia, stepped into the breach and scored the victory on the front end in 1:56:1, ending an exciting week of Pennsylvania All-Stars action. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs  

WILKES-BARRE PA - The front end proved the place to be in three $30,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars event for three-year-old trotting fillies Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with Synonymous Hanover, Lookin Sharp, and Modern Mercury all parlaying leads at the half-mile pole into new career marks.   Synonymous Hanover made a sharp brush to the top on the second turn in her All-Stars division, "stole" a 1:00 middle half, then sprinted home in 28.1 to hold safe early leader Ginny Weasley, trying to come back in the Pocono Pike, by 1¼ lengths in 1:56. Brett Miller handled the daughter of Andover Hall in her victorious 2016 debut for trainer Chris Oakes and owners Susan Oakes and Scott Bice.   Andover Hall quickly earned a siring double credit in the next All-Stars heat, where the winner, Lookin Sharp, was probably the most impressive winner of the night, powering straight to command from the outer post nine and commanding her field by 4¾ lengths in 1:55.2. Lookin Sharp, in her second start of the campaign, certainly lived up to her name for driver David Miller, trainer John Butenschoen, and owners William Wiswell and M&L Of Delaware Inc.   The third division saw the Donato Hanover filly Modern Mercury regained pace control in front of the stands the first time, then making her advantage stand up for one complete lap more, tallying by two lengths in 1:56.1. Trainer Charlie Norris was in the sulky behind the winner of two straight for owners Carrie Norris and Anthony Klis III.   On Sunday night, inaugural Pennsylvania Classic Final winner Check Six returns to town, heading three divisions of the first preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts. His Ron Burke stablemates JK Will Power and Big Top Hanover, 2-3 in the Classic Final to complete the Burke "sweep," all also among the entered, as are the three winners of Pennsylvania All-Stars divisional action this past Sunday - Another Daily Copy, Voltaire, and The Catamount Kid.   From the PHHA

Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia featured a high-powered racing program, topped by a winner's over $25,000 lifetime (race 7). The event featured harness racing's richest pacer Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras), millionaire pacer P H Supercam (Tim Tetrick), the dominant free-for-aller so far this season Rockeyed Optimist (Brett Miller), and the red-hot Rene Allard trainee Jins Dragon (Simon Allard). At the start, P H Supercam got the front, with Jins Dragon settling into second. Foiled Again was flushed out by Rockeyed Optimist, who took up second over position just past the half. As longshot Rather Swell (Eric Carlson) began to tire from the 3 hole, Foiled Again ducked to the cones to save ground the final turn. As they entered the stretch, Jins Dragon vacated the pocket, while Foiled Again attacked up the passing lane. Rockeyed Optimist had the freshest legs however, as he was able to sweep on by in deep stretch to win by a little more than a head, stopping the timer in 1:50.3. Jins Dragon was second, while Foiled Again finished third. It was the seventh win this year for the 5-year-old gelding by Rocknroll Hanover, and the twenty-second of his career. Rockeyed Optimist ($5.60) is owned by Peretti, Berkner, Battaglia, and the A&B Stables, and is trained by Steve Elliott. Elsewhere on the card, 2012 Levy winner Atochia looked good in victory in the days opener. After only posting a handful of starts the past few seasons, the 11-year-old gelding has now won 2 of his last 3. Today's win for the Burke trainee was in a non-winners of $7,500 in the last 5 starts. The mile went in 1:52.3. There were also three divisions of a non-winners of $15,000 on the pace. The division winners were Giveupdreaming (Burke-Gingras), Caviart Luca (Dailey-McCarthy), and Get Outta Eyre N (Dilloian-S. Allard). Caviart Luca's win was the fastest of the three divisions, with a clocking of 1:51.3. Michael Bozich

Katie Said was barely heard in the early going but spoke loud and clear through the stretch Friday night, powering past her foes for a second straight week in the $25,000 open handicap pace for harness racing fillies and mares at the Meadowlands. The Jimmy Takter trainee was in no hurry for the first half-mile, sitting last in the field of seven off quick fractions of :26.4 and :54.2. Katie Said, the 3-2 co-favorite, was in a live third-over flow as Divine Caroline, also 3-2, had the front as three-quarters was clocked in 1:22.2. Driver Brett Miller tipped Katie Said off cover as the field straightened up with three-sixteenths to go, and other than a little rocking in the sulky, Miller did very little as the 5-year-old daughter of Well Said exploded home in :26.4 to win by a half-length. A pair of longshots, Lovineveryminute and Empress Deo, rallied for second and third, respectively. The winner returned $5 to her backers in taking her second victory of the year in as many starts for owners Black Horse Racing of Lebanon, NJ. The time for the mile was a lifetime-best equaling 1:49.4. SUPER JACKPOT: The 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five did not get hit again, upping the carryover for the next program to $199,678.47. Total wagering on the card was $2,679,045. Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday. Post time for the first race is 7:15 p.m. Next week, the Meadowlands will alter its schedule. The track will go dark for live racing Friday and then race Saturday (May 7) at the usual 7:15 p.m. before a special Mother's Day program on Sunday, May 8, which has a special early post time of 12:40 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations      

East Rutherford, NJ - Live racing resumes on Friday at The Meadowlands with seven pacing mares featured in a $25,000 Open Handicap event, the eighth race on the program.   Last week's winner Katie Said (post 7) and bridesmaid Divine Caroline (post 6) are back for a rematch. Both mares came from off the pace with Katie Said peeling off the cover of then sprinting by Divine Caroline in a 26.2 close to the 1:50.4 mile in her first outing of the season. Always fast but a touch erratic at times, Katie Said has matured nicely from age four to five. She races out of the Jimmy Takter barn and Brett Miller has the drive for owner Black Horse Racing on Friday.   Divine Caroline took the uncovered route in a game effort for David Miller and wore down the good Table Talk before "Katie" went by. The four-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven mare makes her third start of the season for trainer Joe Holloway and owners Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stable and Michael Ouriel.   Table Talk will make her third start back off the layoff and took a lot of play last week as the post time favorite. Request For Parole and Lovineveryminute return as well with Empress Deo and Inittowinafortune new shooters in the class.   In the wagering department, the last race Jackpot Super High 5 carry-over is $194,741 to start the weekend. As always, you may download free program pages for the Late Pick 4 compliments of Trackmaster.   You can enter to win a trip to the Preakness Stakes on Friday evening and the Meadowlands Summer Survival challenge is still open to entry. Saturday night is the final of the World harness Handicapping Challenge with the prize pool estimated at $50,000. It's not too late to enter the tournament and the details are here.   Post time is 7:15 p.m.   From the Meadowlands Media Department

The 2016 racing season at Harrah's Philadelphia got underway on Friday, April 1st. The rain held off just long enough to get the 14 race harness racing card in, although there was a consistent headwind in the stretch of 20-30 mph. The featured event, which was an upper-conditioned level filly and mare pace going for a purse of $17,500, went to Bradley Grant's Sandbetweenurtoes (Brett Miller). The 5-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was coming off of disappointing efforts in the Bluechip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers. She appeared to enjoy the move to the bigger oval, as she was able to grind first-over to win by a head in 1:52.1. It was her second win of the year, and the fifteenth of her career. She paid $5.40.Driver Brett Miller also won the meet opener with favorite Mystical Nectar. He had 2 wins on the day. Yannick Gingras led all drivers with 3 tallies on the afternoon. Driver Brandon Givens won 2 races on the day, including a 44-1 shot in race 12 (Dark Pool). Driver Montrell Teague picked up his 900th career driving win, piloting 3-year-old filly Destiny'sbeachbabe to victory in the finale. The Clyde Francis trainee is a perfect 4 for 4 on the season. Harrah's Philadelphia has lowered the minimum wager on it's pick 4 to .50 cents. The takeout remains 15%. Harrah's Philadelphia races Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, with a post time of 12:40 PM Eastern. Michael Bozich

US superstar harness racing driver Brett Miller broke his duck on Australian soil and then made it two on the trot for good measure. Miller was the toast of the town when the International All Star Series rolled into Echuca for night two, smashing a track record while claiming victory in the final two races of the night to catapult from equal second-last on the series leaderboard to third. Consistent Victorian Chris Alford tops the leaderboard, boosted by his victory in the sixth leg of the series with an all-the-way win driving Dreamtime Spirit, who withstood a wave of late swoopers. And Kerryn Manning took the first of the day – the fifth in the All Stars series – winning in teal on International Women’s Day with Millwood Pink Lady. Kerryn Manning Miller turned his week around in the series’ seventh race, after A Few Dollars More trainer Neville Pangrazio assured him he could race the mare with confidence, despite having only her second start after a ninth placing at Melton more than 12 months prior. “The trainer told me the horse I had been driving had been off for some time and that he had been trialling real good,” Miller said. “He said ‘have you won a race here yet?’ I said ‘no’, and he said ‘you are going to win your first one here’.” From barrier one Miller shot A Few Dollars More to the lead, and when compatriot Corey Callahan guided Uwillneva Get This past him, Miller was happy to take the box seat. A Few Dollars More then dashed clear from the final corner to win by 5.7m for an overjoyed group of owners, with Callahan holding second and Jason Lee guiding Kadaminy to third. The International All Stars wow Echuca kids with All Star cards Miller said his confidence was fuelled by the win, and when Michael Mannix – trainer of his race eight drive Ace Duigan – told him the horse could be lazy, well that was music to Miller’s ears. “I always felt like in my career I always do best with lazy horses,” Miller said. “Going into the last race I had a lot of confidence of winning that race. It took me a long time to make the front, but as soon as he made the front the horse was real comfortable and I thought to myself this horse has got a shot to win now.” Miller led Ace Duigan through a frenetic 37.9 lead time. “Before I got over, I thought ‘uh oh’, this is going to be suicide here. As soon as I crossed over my horse’s ears went up, he looked around, and my experience with racehorses is that when they do that that means they are doing it very easy.” Ace Duigan just kept on giving, finishing his track record breaking 1:57.2 mile with a 29.4 final quarter that saw him win by 6.8m from a blanket finish, with Alford claiming second driving Wheres Bub. The thrilling racing capped a memorable day for the International All Stars, who toured horse stud Alabar Farms, savoured some fine local fare at Morrison’s Riverview winery and restaurant and then hit the lanes for some tenpin bowling. Tenpin bowling  and a visit to Alabar Farm The International All Star Series rolls on to Maryborough next, with races nine to 12 at 1.52pm, 2.48pm, 3.18pm and 4.18pm. International All Star Series day two leaderboard:  Chris Alford 61 points, Dexter Dunn 60, Brett Miller 58, Yannick Gingras 56, Jason Lee 56, Greg Sugars 55.5, Kerryn Manning 46.5, Corey Callahan 46, Gavin Lang 41, Anthony Butt 33. Overall leaderboard:Victoria 260, World 253. Michael Howard

A monstrous :25.4 closing quarter propelled William J. Donovan's Ashley's Husband ($14.60) to the fore in the closing strides of Saturday (Feb. 6) evening's featured $17,000 harness racing top-level conditioned pace at The Meadowlands. Brett Miller settled well off the pace with the 6-year-old Henry Clay gelding, second from last through a :55.1 half with a contested pace in front of him.  Just after 8-5 favorite Kingofthejungle (John Campbell) wrested command from Jet Airway (Marcus Miller) upon reaching the backstretch, Ashley's Husband slid second-over to follow the cover of Rockeyed Optimist (Tim Tetrick) en route to the far turn.  Ashley's Husband would ultimately be carried to the five-path, as Jet Airway and Class Six (Joe Bongiorno) were produced from just off the pacesetter after a :28.2 third split. Despite Class Six making a three-wide push to the lead at the eighth pole, Ashley's Husband descended late, vaulting past the gaining Rockeyed Optimist and Jet Airway for a 1:50.3 score. Pacesetter Kingofthejungle was engulfed in upper stretch, fading to finish seventh of the octet. Kyle Spagnola trains Ashley's Husband, now a 24-time winner.  For Miller, the win was the middle of a natural hat trick, as he also partnered with Shooter's Dream ($17.40, 1:50) and All Week ($17.20, 1:50.4) in the preceding and following races. The evening's sub-featured event, a $15,000 trot for non-winners of six races or $100,000, saw Magenta Man ($8.20) handle a significant class hike with aplomb, holding sway from Hot Summer Knight to prevail in 1:55. Early breaks from Axios and Its Huw You Know enabled the 4-year-old Muscles Yankee Gelding to set a leisurely and uncontested pace before edging to a 1-3/4 length pillar-to-post victory in rein to Andy Miller. Julie Miller trains Magenta Man, now a winner of four straight, for Little E, LLC and RBH Ventures, Inc. Total handle for the 14-race card was $3,162,502, marking a fourth consecutive program at The Meadowlands with at least $3 million wagered. Neither 20¢ Jackpot High 5 was taken down by a single punter, so next Friday's (Feb. 12) program will see carryovers of $22,115 and $92,662 in the seventh and final races respectively. First post for the Friday card is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Eastern time. by James Witherite, Meadowlands media relations

DOVER, Del. --- Mustang Art, overlooked at 33-1, enjoyed a perfect rip to come on to post a 1:51 success in the $28,500 Delaware Special Handicap pace at Dover Downs on Monday Jan. 4. Harness racing drivers Yannick Gingras, Corey Callahan and George Dennis drove three winners on a windy and cold day. Starting from the second tier in the Monday feature, Mustang Art, reined by Brett Miller, found room deep in the lane to score a 1:51 victory for trainer Jim McGuire and owners Max Walton and Greg Papaleo. The Artiscape-Paula Seelster nine-year-old gelding beat fast-finishing Captive Audience (Corey Callahan) and Bad Boy Matt (Allan Davis) to the finish line and paid $68.40 for a $2-win ticket setting up a $301.60 exacta and 1,173,.60 trifecta. The victory was the 40th lifetime for Mustang Art who now has won $665,822 in his career. Frank Chick's 20-1 shot, Totally Dreamy, overtook race favorite Ata Boy Bones (Art Stafford Jr.) in deep stretch for a 1:54 triumph in a $15,500 pace for 4-and 5-year-old pacers. Rip N Rock (Vic Kirby) finished third. George Dennis was winning driver for his third win on the card. Kevin Lare trains the If I Can dream-Almost Vital gelding who won for the second consecutive start. Gingras returned to the winner's circle piloting Class Six to a wire-to-wire 1:53.1 score in a $15,000 4&5-Year-Old Male pace for Weaver Bruscemi and Burke Racing Stable. It was the Western Ideal-Can Du River gelding's sixth win in his last seven efforts. Provenance (Callahan) was second best with Apollo Seelster (Jonathan Roberts) third. The race ended a three-race win streak for Blazing Bobby Sox (Art Stafford Jr.) who was parked out most of the race. Papa Ray, handled by Allan Davis, out dueled Laughing Matters (Callahan) to notch a 1:51.2 victory in a $14,500 Male Winners-Over pace. Davis was content to wait as others battled early before moving up to challenge. Wayne Givens trains the Village Jolt-Liamatters seven-year-old for Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing. Papa Ray has now won 28 times in his career banking $457,208 lifetime. George Dennis joined drivers Corey Callahan and Yannick Gingras along with trainer Dylan Davis with three winners each. Vic Kirby and trainer Jim King had doubles. Marv Bachrad

Back to back quality starts behind the potential horse of the year ensures inheriting the role of favoritism in your next start. That was certainly the case with Rodeo Romeo, who was bet down to five-cents on the dollar in the third race at The Meadowlands on Saturday night. The prohibitive choice did not disappoint, powering away to a near five length harness racing victory in a very sharp 1:50.3. Rodeo Romeo had finished fifth in his previous two tries in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs behind Meadowlands Pace champion Wiggle It Jiggleit. Prior to that, he was an easy winner in the non-winners of two condition at The Meadowlands, the level he returned to on Saturday night, where he romped again. Driven by Brett Miller, Rodeo Romeo was asked for speed off the gate and he reached the lead prior to the opening quarter in 27.1. An outer-flow developed, but the race favorite coasted through a 29.1 second panel before moving onto the far turn. In the meantime, Wegottatruckyea broke stride passing the five-eighths pole causing some confusion in behind, only enhancing the favorite's prospects. Rodeo Romeo reach three quarters in 1:23.4 and sprinted away from the field with a 26.4 final quarter to win while pulling away from the field in a lifetime best 1:50.3. Midnight Lightning chased in futility while finishing in the runner-up spot, while Major In Life, who was bothered by the breaker on the far turn, made up a substantial amount of ground and rallied willingly to be third. Rodeo Romeo is a three year old son of Rocknroll Hanover and is trained by Chris Ryder. The colt earned his second lifetime victory for his owners, Oompa's Farm Inc., Robert Mondillo and Michael Day. Kingofthejungle Repeats The feature race, a nw15000L5 event for $16,500 kicked off the Late Pick Four and it included a very well-balanced field of nine. The post time favorite, was Kingofthejungle at 2-1, despite the move up in class. He did not disappoint. Kingofthejungle took over past the opening quarter and sprinted to the half-mile pole in 54.4, pacing the final turn in 27.1 before completing a back half-mile in just 54.2 seconds to establish a new lifetime mark of 1:49.1, one of the fastest miles of the young Meadowlands meet. Kingofthejungle rebuffed a challenge from Shooter's Dream throughout the stretch. That rival was riding the pocket behind the winner around the far turn and that pair scampered away from the rest of the field. But Shooter's Dream could not get to the winner in the stretch and had to settle for the runner-up spot. Itrustyou finished third. The winner, a four year old gelded son of Well Said was driven by Andy Miller for trainer Mark Capone. He is owned by Fox Racing Inc. and Darius Oshidar. The win was the 12th in the career of Kingofthejungle, whose earnings have now surpassed $270,000. Sunfire Blue Chip Back in the Winner's Circle Sunfire Blue Chip, who earned over $700,000 as a three year old returned to the winner's circle for the first time since winning the Prix D'Ete last September, scoring in a mid-level condition pacing event on Saturday at The Meadowlands. The 2013 Adios winner made a strong brush to the half-mile pole and led the field all the way to the wire to score in 1:49.4 with Brett Miller in the sulky. Jimmy Takter conditions the now five year old son of American Ideal for Christina Takter, John/Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical and A W Equine Incorporated. The win was the 17th in the career of Sunfire Blue Chip, whose lifetime earnings now stands at $914,799. Jet Airway Back on Top Jet Airway was making just his third start since the 2014 Breeders Crown Eliminations. Following a pair of races where he was left with too much to do, Jet Airway was launched on the far turn and paced away in mid-stretch before holding on to win a mid-level condition pacing event at The Meadowlands. Jet Airway earned over $300,000 as a three year old in 2014, but had not won since an Ontario Sire Stakes event in September of his three year old campaign. He is closing in on $400,000 lifetime. The 1:50.2 triumph on Saturday night was the 11th from 33 starts in the career of Jet Airway for trainer Erv Miller, whose son, Marcus, steered the four year old to victory. The son of Jereme's Jet is owned by Erv Miller Stable, Massey, Sunderhaus and Agle. Total handle for the 13-race program was $2,671,529, a slight increase over the same Friday in 2014 ($2,616,757). On-track handle was up five percent as well. Racing returns on Friday with first post time at 7:00 P.M. The double-draw for the Friday and Saturday programs will take place on Monday, with the entry box closing at 9:00 A.M. Darin Zoccali

Dayton, OH---He’s got to win another 11,594 to catch his Uncle David. And 7,030 to catch his cousin Brett. But 21-year-old driver Nick Turley, son of Susie Miller Turley—who is Hall of Fame driver David Miller’s sister—has one very important pari-mutuel win and one he will never forget…his first! Taking full advantage of the innermost post position, Turley lead gate-to-wire with Cmon Blaze to capture the fourth race at Hollywood Dayton Raceway Thursday night (November 19), eeking out a narrow decision over Ota B D Best (guided by fellow provisional driver Derek Watiker) by a head in 1:55.2. Sent off at 8-1, Cmon Blaze returned $18 to his $2 supporters and topped a $235.60 exacta. Turley has worked for prominent Ohio-based trainers Jim Arledge Jr. and Jim Pollock, but now oversees his own three-horse stable at the Circleville, Ohio fairgrounds. Another of his charges, Redbud, won a qualifying race prior to the program, giving the likeable young purple-clad trainer-driver another first—his own “daily double.” A joyous Turley was overheard saying “It sure took long enough,” as he entered the winner’s circle. Afterwards, he admitted “I didn’t even know I won. It was so close that I thought I might have lost again. But this feels great!” Asked if he was trying to pattern himself after his Uncle David or cousin Brett Miller, Turley said, “No, they had pretty much left Ohio before I was old enough to understand much about it. I was concentrating on high school sports like wrestling, football and baseball. But I have closely followed their fantastic careers and they have always been my idols.” From the press box at Dayton Raceway

TORONTO, ON-- Pure Country maintained her undefeated streak in the $600,000 ($778,440 Cdn) Breeders Crown two-year-old filly pace, winning in 1:51.4 as the 1-9 harness racing favorite at Woodbine Racetrack. Call Me Queen Be obtained the lead from the outset, setting a :26.1 quarter while Mayhem Seelster rushed towards the top. Immediately into the backstretch, Pure Country was moving first over and towards the top, securing the lead through a :55.1 half. Flying towards the pacesetter into the far turn, first-over Lyons River Pride put her nose in front of Pure Country, but couldn't clear the lead. With the plugs pulled, Pure Country retook command and journeyed by three-quarters in 1:23.4. After three-quarters, Pure Country extended her lead to three lengths over closing Shezarealdeal and Mayhem Seelster. She held her three-length lead until the wire, winning in 1:51.4. Yankee Moonshine and Soft Idea were fourth and fifth, respectively. A homebred filly from Diamond Creek Farms by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Hanover mare Western Montana, Pure Country collected her 10th win of the season and pushed her seasonal earnings to $692,954. Trained by Jimmy Takter, she paid $2.30 to win. It was Takter's 22nd Crown victory, extending his lead on the all-time record for Crown wins by a trainer. Driver Brett Miller scored his first Breeders Crown win aboard the filly. "Oh my God, it feels so good to win it," Miller said. "I'm so glad this race was early and I'm so glad we were able to win it. "I was being a little cautious with her out of the gate, and it almost cost me [the race]. I got very lucky to get out. Once I got out, I kind of eased her to the front, even though :55.1 is a big half. She's just a tremendous horse." Miller said he had Pure Country, "pretty much shut down" when Pure Country was headed by Lyons River Pride in the last turn. "I was trying to give her a breather; I was still pretty confident in the last turn. She's got all the tools and some grit to her, too." QUOTES; Brett Miller – Pure Country; On how it played out in his head vs. reality: “No, I was actually hoping I could get away somewhere either right up close or right to the front where I didn’t have to do any work. But in the first turn, I almost got myself into a lot of trouble and almost got trapped and once I got her out she had to do a lot of work but she’s such a tough filly and I’ve never driven anything like her before she just toughed it out after that.” On winning your first Crown with a star favorite vs. a long shot surprise… pressure? “The pressure is different with THIS filly. She was coming into the race undefeated. I’ve driven some undefeated horses before and, you know, at one time they’ve all gotten beat. There was pressure tonight, being undefeated and knowing I had a shot at getting one of these. I feel so relieved now. I’m so glad this was the second race. If she was in late and I was having a bad night through the night, it would’ve weighed on me. As good as you dreamt it? “Oh yeah. It felt great” [Brett’s wife is from Canada.. “so any time we get to come up here it’s fun because it’s home for her”. Trainer Tony O’Sullivan (2nd Shezarealdeal and 3rd Mayhem Seelster) It surprised me Mayhem Seelster I little, just because you’re not going to get anything from the back and she ended up going to the front which ended up affecting Call Me Queen Be (also trained by O’Sullivan), but they raced great. I’m ecstatic. Ecstatic. As for Shezarealdeal, last week she was a little flat and this week she had plenty of pace and chased horses down and Mayhem Seelster really hung in tough against horses that are better than her. I didn’t see it happening like that. I knew Call Me Queen Be was going to leave because that’s what she likes to do. Mayhem, we just wanted to get her into the race. I didn’t know that’s how the race was going to unfold and I’m just really, really proud of Mayhem Seelster. By Ray Cotolo

Undefeated Pure Country took her act to the North Country on Friday night but the results were identical to what's been expected from the juvenile daughter of Somebeachsomewhere in the United States. The Jimmy Takter trained filly was powerful in capturing the first of two $20,000 US eliminations for the Breeders Crown harness racing two-year-old filly pace in 1:52 3/5 at Woodbine. Driven by Brett Miller the homebred from Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Farm's racing stable got away third as the 1-5 betting choice as Lyons River Pride and Yannick Gingras jetted from the outside to take charge in a :28 1/5 opening quarter. Lyons River Pride kept an honest pace and because of it there was little movement through the second quarter with the half reached in :56 2/5 before anyone began to move. Darlinonthebeach and driver David Miller were the first to pull at that point and slowly progressed on the rim with Pure Country pulling to provide cover with roughly three-eighths of the mile remaining. The pace and activity got serious as the field reached the three-quarters in 1:24. Brett Miller worked on Pure Country in the early stretch and the filly responded with authority, blowing past the leader and drawing clear to win in handy fashion. Darlinonthebeach looked to be a serious threat off cover on the final turn but couldn't accelerate with the winner into the stretch. Nevertheless driver David Miller was able to urge the filly on late to get the place spot with early pacesetter Lyons River Pride holding on for the third spot. Mayhem Seelster and Shezarealdeal picked up the final two qualifying spots and return for the $600,000 October 24 final. The victory kept Pure Country with a perfect nine wins in nine career starts during her first season at the races. Sent off as the 1-5 choice Pure Country returned $2.40 to win.   Pure Country     With the elimination winners drawing for posts 1-5, the complete field for the final is as follows:   1 Darlinonthebeach, Dave Miller, Nancy Johansson   2 Shezarealdeal, Marcus Miller, Tony O'Sullivan 3 Pure Country, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter 4 Lyons River Pride, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 5 Yankee Moonshine, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 6 Soft Idea, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano 7 Blue Moon Stride, Andrew McCarthy, Mark Harder 8 Skinny Dipper, Randy Waples, Tony O'Sullivan 9 Mayhem Seelster, Jack Moiseyev, Tony O'Sullivan 10 Call Me Queen Bee, Scott Zeron, Tony O'Sullivan AE: 1 Tipton Teeez, Tim Tetrick, Brian Brown AE 2 Rock Me Baby, John Campbell, Staffan Lind Jay Bergman for Breeders Crown  

Brett Miller won eight stakes races at the Grand Circuit meet in Lexington, as well as one late closer. He took splits of the Bluegrass and ISS with top filly Pure Country and came from off to win the Allerage Open with JK Endofanera, all for Jimmy Takter. JK End won a split of the Tattersalls Pace last year. And David Miller, who finished with a rush on Saturday, with wins in the Allerage Mare Pace with Color’s A Virgin, Allerage Mare Trot with D’One, and both splits of the Tattersalls Filly Pace, with the Rock N Roll Heaven fillies Rock Me Gently and Divine Caroline, was second in stakes wins with seven. He also won four late closers.   Tim Tetrick, who won eleven late closers, had six stakes wins, including Bluegrass splits with Split The House, Crazy Wow and Bedroomconfessions. Tim won eleven late closers two years ago, in addition to nine stakes. Last year Yannick Gingras won an incredible sixteen stakes races and four late closers at The Red Mile. This year that dropped off to five stakes wins and a single late closer. On the other hand, Yannick did take the most lucrative race at the meet, the $527,000 KY Futurity with the Explosive Matter gelding, Pinkman. He also steered the Muscle Hill colt Southwind Frank to a 1:52.2 world record performance in a split of the ISS. Scott Zeron also had five stakes wins, including the Tattersalls Pace with Artspeak and the Allerage Open with Il Sogno Dream on closing day. Scott won five late closers. John Campbell drove the diminutive Cantab Hall miss, Wild Honey, to a win over 1/9 trotting queen Mission Brief in the Filly Futurity. He also had three other stakes wins. Upstart Muscle Hill has been looking down his nose at Cantab lately, including at the Lexington Selected Sale, but the latter took his measure in the Futurity. In 2011 Campbell won 13 late closers but no stakes. The following year it was only two late closers, but four Bluegrass splits and one ISS. He also got bilked out of an ISS win with Odds On Equuleus. This year JC took four stakes and three late closers. Ake Svanstedt and Andy Miller each drove three winners. The late blooming Andover Hall colt Dupree beat Takter’s highly regarded Muscle Hill colt, Bar Hopping, in both the Bluegrass and ISS for Ake. Andy doubled with the Yankee Glide freshman Milligan’s School. Ake also took a pair of late closers, and Andy one. Jimmy Takter led all trainers with seven stakes wins. This is down from 13 last year. He has back to back wins in the KY Futurity and three in a row in the Filly Futurity, with To Dream On, Shake It Cerry and Wild Honey. Pure Country and Wild Honey were both double winners. Tony Alagna was next with six winners. He took the Tattersalls Pace with Artspeak, who was his only stakes winner in 2014. The American Ideal colt, American Passport, and the Roll With Joe colt Racing Hill were both double winners in Lexington. Steffan Lind, who saw his sophomore trotter Billy Flynn go cold in his second year on the track, won four stakes. The Manofmanymissions freshman Celebrity Eventsy won twice for him, helping raise his sire’s profile in the process. Ron Burke, who won nine stakes in 2014, only captured four this time around. Burke had eight second place finishes in Red Mile stakes, one of which he also won. Mission Brief disappointed, while Crazy Wow was beaten up by Takter and The Bank in the early part of the Futurity. Horses bred in Pennsylvania won three-quarters of the trotting stakes at The Red Mile. There were three New Jersey wins for Muscle Hill—less than one would expect—who is now in Pennsylvania. And MOMM, who is now in Ohio, had two wins from Ontario sired Celebrity Eventsy. There was only one win for a New York bred trotter, that being Crazy Wow, who took a Bluegrass split. Cantab Hall topped the Pennsylvania list with five wins, followed by Yankee Glide with four and Donato with three. The Empire State fared much better in the pacing stakes, with eleven wins to six for PA. New Jersey had five, four of them by the late Rocknroll Hanover. And one of Western Ideal’s three winners was bred in the Garden State. Indiana had one—Allerage Mare Pace winner, Color’s A Virgin. SBSW, like his trotting counterpart Muscle Hill, only had three wins. None of the major stakes on the last day of the meet went to sons or daughters of either of these high dollar stallions. American Ideal had four wins, as did Rocknroll Heaven. Racing Hill put the spotlight on his successful first year sire, Roll With Joe, with wins in the Bluegrass and ISS. The weather was awful the first week of the meet, and didn’t really reach its peak until the final day. The $150,000 guarantee on Thursday’s Super High Five sparked interest, but too many fields were short, and the pari-mutuel prices reflected that. Participation from Ontario and Indiana, which were in the middle of carding their sire stakes programs, was very weak. The Keystone Classic in Pennsylvania hurt the Red Mile meet, and was hurt by it; that series and the Liberty Bell featured too many five and six horse fields. Ohio added very little. Will the Grand Circuit gradually fade away as casino enhanced restricted racing offers bigger prizes for much less effort? Perhaps. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century.  He writes a weekly blog for  http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/.  Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

Celebrity Eventsy has turned a good number of her races into memorable occasions and trainer Staffan Lind hopes the 2-year-old female trotter continues to step out in style when she competes in the first of four International Stallion Stakes divisions Wednesday afternoon at the harness racing meeting at The Red Mile in Lexington. The International Stallion Stakes splits for 2-year-old female trotters kick off a busy week at The Red Mile, which also hosts five International Stallion Stakes divisions for 2-year-old male trotters on Thursday, International Stallion Stakes divisions for male and female 2-year-old pacers on Friday, and a stakes-filled card on Saturday highlighted by the Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old male trotters. Celebrity Eventsy is the 7-5 morning line favorite in her International Stallion Stakes division on Wednesday, with Brett Miller driving. A daughter of Manofmanymissions out of the mare Little Ms Queenie, Celebrity Eventsy has posted three wins and four second-place finishes in eight races. She heads to the International Stallion off a victory in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes last week at The Red Mile. "She's a tough filly," Lind said. "She has a mind of her own, but she's using it very well on the racetrack. I think anytime you have a filly that wants to go forward at all times, that's a good thing. She can go high speed and she can do it effortlessly. She has a great gait." Celebrity Eventsy is owned by Sam Stathis' Celebrity Farms. Stathis bought the filly privately in January from Caviart Farms, which had purchased broodmare Little Ms Queenie in foal to Manofmanymissions for $10,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale. The winner of $167,212 so far this season, Celebrity Eventsy has posted victories in three of her most recent four races. Her only setback during that span was a second-place finish to Caprice Hill in the Peaceful Way final on Sept. 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. Her only off-the-board finish this year came in the final of the Jim Doherty Memorial on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 8, at the Meadowlands. Celebrity Eventsy went off stride from post one at the start, which Lind attributed to being distracted by photographers at the rail. "She looks at everything," Lind said. "But other than that time, she's never made a break ever." Following the International Stallion Stakes, Celebrity Eventsy will be pointed toward the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. Eliminations for the 2-year-old female trotters will be Oct. 16 and the final is Oct. 24. "We're going to take it one start at a time, but for right now that's the plan," Lind said. The favorites in the three remaining International Stallion Stakes on Wednesday all hail from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter. Haughty (Donato Hanover-Letsjustalkaboutme), a perfect 5-for-5 this year and half-sister to stakes-winner Aldebaran Eagle, is the 6-5 morning line choice in the second division. Sunset Glider (Cantab Hall-Highland Glider), the Kentucky Stallion Management winner, is 2-1 in the third division. Kathy Parker (Andover Hall-Mallelujah), runner-up in the Doherty Memorial and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, is the 9-5 pick in the fourth division. Thursday's International Stallion Stakes for the 2-year-old male trotters is highlighted by the appearance of Southwind Frank (Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy), who has won eight of nine races this season including the Peter Haughton Memorial and William Wellwood Memorial stakes. Complete entries for the Lexington cards can be found at this link. Ken Weingartner

LEXINGTON, KY-- Jimmy Takter's Pure Country, who has won all six of her tries this season, continued her harness racing streak over the sloppy track at The Red Mile on Friday, Oct. 2 by claiming one of three divisions of the $243,000 Bluegrass 2-year-old filly pace.   Getting away fourth through a :30.2 quarter set by Lyons River Pride, driver Brett Miller pulled the 1-5 favorite first over after a :58.4 half. Pure Country progressed towards the leader to within a length of the top at three-quarters in 1:28 and managed to pass the tempo setter in the stretch despite drifting in her bid, and advanced to a three-length 1:56.1 victory.   Sired by Somebeachsomewhere, out of Western Hanover mare Western Montana, Pure Country pushes her seasonal earnings to $342,618. Competing for Diamond Creek Racing, she paid $2.10 to win.   Tipton Teeez circled race leader Blue Moon Stride around the far turn en route to a 1:56 win at 16-1. Setting splits of :28.3, :57.1, and 1:27.2, Blue Moon Stride was uncontested on the front until the top of the stretch, when Tipton Teeez pulled from third and charged first over. The two hooked into a duel midway through the stretch, with Tipton Teeez prevailing and edging to a neck victory over Blue Moon Stride, with pocket-rider and 1-5 favorite Call Me Queen Be finishing third. Returning $34.20 to win, Tipton Teeez collected her fifth win of the season, with her seasonal earnings now at $103,871. She's owned by Jennifer Brown and Richard Lombardo, conditioned by Brian Brown, and driven by Tim Tetrick. Shezarealdeal, who brushed past race-leader East Side Hanover after sitting in the pocket for the first quarter, gained the lead nearing the top of the stretch and sustained control in her 1:56.4 win. Stationary of a :28.1 initial quarter, driver Scott Zeron tipped out of the pocket after a :56.3 half-mile and soon overtook the leader into the far turn. Edging closer into the 1:26.4 third-quarter were Skinny Dipper and Mother Of Art, who could only chase Shezarealdeal in the stretch and secure third and second, respectively.   Shipped off the 1-5 favorite, the Western Ideal filly out of Real Artist mare Shezarealceasar paid $2.40 to win. She is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham and trained by Ross Croghan. This was her fourth win this season, with her seasonal earnings accumulating to $163,067.   Live racing at The Red Mile continues tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 3, with the $189,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly pace, $144,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly trot, $220,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old colt trot, and $185,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old colt pace. First race post is at 7:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

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