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LEXINGTON, KY--A season-long bout of runner-up finishes to division leader Shartin N ended on Sunday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile as Caviart Ally upended the star pacing mare with a 1:48.3 mile in the $87,000 Fear The Dragon Allerage Farms Mare Pace--sponsored by the Fear The Dragon Syndicate and Midland Acres. Shartin N, sent the 1-9 favorite, pushed for the front to lead the field of six through a :27.2 first quarter with Kissin In The Sand sitting second and Caviart Ally third and raced uncontested on the front to a :54.3 half. Driver Andrew McCarthy moved Caviart Ally first over entering the final turn and blitzed Shartin N heading to three-quarters in 1:22. Shartin N drifted from the cones entering the stretch and tried to fend off Caviart Ally but the five-year-old Bettor's Delight mare overpowered the 2018 Dan Patch winner into the final eighth and drew away to victory. Kissin In The Sand chased the pair in third. Shartin N was on a 14-race winning streak. "We've been waiting for her to beat Shartin," said Judy Chaffee, co-owner of Caviart Ally. "Finally, it happened." "We tried [to beat Shartin] all different ways," said winning trainer Brett Pelling after the race. "We tried to seat her in behind us, we've tried the two hole and today--this mare's really, really good when the weather's cooled off. Everything about her--she's right on her game right now." Winning her 23rd race from 69 starts, Caviart Ally--bred by Hanover Shoe Farms--has earned $1,585,716 for owner Caviart Farms. "My biggest battle right now is to talk Judy and co. into racing her next year," Pelling also said, jokingly, "so we can do it all over again. It's been a great thrill; she's a great mare. She's just one of those horses you love to have in your barn." Buck Chaffee, co-owner of Caviart Farms, commented on bringing Caviart Ally back as a six-year-old, saying "Things are possible, who knows what will happen. But for her to come and finally beat Shartin--they've raced super all year, and just two fabulous mares." Buck also confirmed Caviart Ally will race next in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Mohawk Park. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Father Patrick sophomore gelding Divine Spirit was reserved off a very fast pace by driver Eric Carlson, with the pair rallying in the last 3/8 to just get up in the $15,000 featured harness racing trot on the Tuesday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Divine Spirit was away sixth as P L Ketchup had to go a burning :26.4 quarter to get by fellow speedster Papi Hanover. Those two remained 1-2 past a :55.4 half, with the winner moving outside past that call and then getting cover from Trixar well before the 1:24.1 three-quarters. P L Ketchup looked as if he might survive to the wire despite the taxing pace, but Divine Spirit was moving fastest of all late and took a new mark in 1:54 while defeating P L Ketchup by a neck. The victory was the first of the season for the gelding, who is trained by Brett Pelling and co-owned by him with Lindy Farms of Connecticut. In a $14,000 co-featured mares pace, slotted in race ten, the A Rocknroll Dance mare Sidewalk Dancer became the first favorite to win on the card when she tallied for driver George Napolitano Jr. in 1:51. Sidewalk Dancer was on the move at the :26.3 quarter, made the lead and got a :56.1 breather to the midpoint, then went 1:23.1 to the three-quarters and kept some nice distaffs at bay in the lane, winning by 3¼ lengths over Brunhilda for trainer Chris Oakes and the ownership of Northfork Racing Stable, Omar Beiler, and Dennis Coons. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

As we head into the month of August, the realization that the 2019 racing season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun has reached the back stretch might have dawned on you. Not that there has been any letdown in terms of the racing action, of course. But it is interesting how time flies when you're watching top-notch competition week in and week out. This week was more of the same, as you'll be able to tell from this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: BENJI'S BEST It seems like each and every week at Pocono we see a different claimer burst onto the scene with a huge mile. Last week it was Benji's Best, a five-year-old gelding who came into a $20,000 to $25,000 claiming handicap pace on July 20 without a win and left it with a 15 ½ length victory in a career-best 1:50. He had shown signs leading into that race with back-to-back second-place finishes. But winning by the biggest margin of any horse all meet was something nobody saw coming, especially because he wasn't even favored in that race. Needless to say, he was favored when he returned to action to face that same class on Saturday night. Even with the dreaded #9 post, Benji's Best was made the 8-5 betting choice. Whereas he had won for the Rene Allard barn in his previous start, following the claim he was representing trainer Jennifer Bongiorno on Saturday. With Hunter Oakes doing the driving, Benji's Best surged to the lead with a swooping move past Paprike Blue Chip on the paddock turn. On the back stretch, the favorite had to deal with first-over pressure from Rockin Rio. But it didn't seem to bother him when they turned for home, as he kicked away from the pursuit. Benji's Best came home a winner in 1:50:2, another quick time. His margin was a more modest but still impressive 3 ½ lengths over second-place Paprike Blue Chip. After going so long winless this year, this gelding seems to have decided he likes the feel of winning, so much so that it's easy to see him doing it again real soon. Other top pacers this week include: Jereme's General (George Napolitano Jr., Daniel Maier), who captured his second straight claiming handicap on Saturday night in 1:51:1; Atta Boy Dan (George Napolitano Jr., Brittany Robertson), who continued his dominance in the highest claiming group at Pocono with a fifth consecutive victory on Saturday night, this one in 1:49:3; and Ideal Rocky (Anthony Napolitano, Joe Pavia Jr.), who moved up in class on Monday to win his second straight condition pace, this one in 1:52. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SAY YOU DO The Todd Buter barn has been producing some outstanding trotters for several years now, and 2019 has been a banner year by any standard for his trainees. Earlier this year, we saw Rich And Miserable put together a long winning streak on the Pocono grounds. Lately the one getting the attention has been Say You Do, a four-year-old gelding on an impressive streak of his own. He came into the featured $21,500 condition trot on Sunday night with five straight victories. Included in that stretch were three straight wins at The Meadowlands, an Open Handicap score at Tioga, and a victory at Pocono against the same group on July 21. Up against a short field of five on Sunday night, Say You Do went off as a 3-5 favorite from post position #2. Although his win the previous week at Pocono had come with a late rally, driver Tyler Buter decided he wanted the favorite to dictate matters and this one, and Say You Do took over the lead on the first turn. The fractions were rated well on a sloppy track, with Say You Do keeping under control even as Fashion Creditor pulled up alongside him at the three-quarter pole with a first-over move. At the top of the stretch, Tyler Buter just had to ask Say You Do for a little more and he responded, giving a quick burst of speed to secure his lead and coming home in front by 1 ½ in 1:54:3 on the sloppy grounds. That makes six in a row for Say You Do, a stellar run of wins even for a barn that is getting used to such stretches. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Lindy's Big Bang (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who won his second straight condition race on Sunday night, getting it done in 1:54:1; Silvermass Volo (Eric Carlson, Michael Holcman), who moved up in class to pick up his second straight condition win on Sunday night, scoring in the slop in 1:56:1; and Flippen Creek (Marcus Miller, Erv Miller), who followed up his maiden victory last week at Pocono with another condition win on Monday, this one coming in a new career-best time of 1:57:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MIDWAY ISLAND In Saturday night's featured condition pace, this gelding with Kevin Wallis in the bike pulled off a stunner at 40-1, paying off $82.40 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO A-Nap continues to enjoy what has probably been his finest meet ever at Pocono, and he kept it rolling by churning out five wins on the Saturday night program. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: BRETT PELLING Pelling picked up pacing wins on back-to-back nights at Pocono this week, scoring with Yeahnah on Sunday and then with two-year-old filly and first-time starter Alexis's Beach on Monday. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs        

MILTON, June 14, 2019 - Caviart Ally will take aim at ending Shartin N's rule over the harness racing older pacing mare division when the two again spar in the $330,000 Roses Are Red Final on Pepsi North America Cup night (June 15) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "We're going to take her on," said Brett Pelling, who started training Caviart Ally after her original trainer Noel Daley returned home to Australia. "It'll be interesting...when they're away from home, some things are out of your control. She's up there, I'm down here. We know she was okay last week; the girl taking her for me does a beautiful job. "But you know sometimes the trip away from home wakes them up as well. They're out of their surroundings, they get a bit more hyped up about things; everything's new. Even like an older horse like that might set in another little wake-up call for her...maybe an improvement, who knows." Caviart Ally has enjoyed her time at Mohawk Park, as the best mile of her career came in an elimination for the Milton Stakes in September. Gunning to the front, she paced a 1:48.3 and cruised to a 1:51.2 victory in the final. "They [shipped her] back between [the elim and the final] when they did that [in the Milton]," Pelling said. "And I think she was obviously a bit tired in the final. I mean shipping all the way up there and then all the way back and back up again, that's three really long ship in an eight- or nine-day period. That's a big scope and I never really wanted to do that to her." After turning out at Caviart Farms at the end of last season, Caviart Ally shipped to Brett Pelling. She's among a few horses bringing the champion trainer back to the top ranks since he returned from Australia in 2017. "One of the things that we've done differently to see if it would work or not is to teach her to race other horses more than race the racetrack," Pelling said. "Put the fear of God in them; exhibit [their] speed [and] just basically racing the racetrack instead of like now, where if [she's] balling along up front and someone pulls from the four or five hole...she sees them; she's on it. "She's become much more tractable in her races and--whether its positive or negative--she still has blazing speed. And it seems to be working; she seems a lot kinder in her races now. Andy [McCarthy] likes her this way and I think it's all going along well." Caviart Ally returned to the races on April 30 at Pocono Downs, finishing second in a top-condition pace. She then won two straight at The Meadowlands, one of which she paced a 1:49.2 mile with a :25.4 final quarter. Caviart Ally's first stakes engagement of the year was the $100,000 Betsy Ross Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia. Driver McCarthy launched her to the front from the inside and set a quick pace. She almost had Shartin N beat, but Tim Tetrick managed to not get boxed inside by sliding off the pylons past the half and charging towards Caviart Ally to eventually get a nose up at the finish. "Andy and I come from the same part of the world, and the bottom line is if you draw inside and protect position, you have every right to protect your position," Pelling said. "Too many times these guys think the racetrack is theirs. [So with] Timmy thinking he's going to cruise to the front...well now why's that got to happen? "Like I know a lot of people don't really realize this, but with where Andy's from and where I'm from, if you have the inside and just basically turn one loose, you get a fine and a penalty for that. You're there to protect your position at all times... if you get out sped, it's a different story." Pelling felt that had Tetrick waited slightly longer to pull, Caviart Ally would've been turned loose by McCarthy moments later and may have gone the distance. "Timmy sort of came out [at] full gas at a place where you don't expect someone to come and she had to change gears like right down. It was a good race; I enjoyed it." Opportunity could arise for one of the other eight mares in Saturday's Roses Are Red if a Caviart Ally versus Shartin N battle arises. "Getting out of there in :25.2, none of the others were involved," said Pelling. Going up the back in :26, :26.1 (whatever it was), they're not involved. And yet at the wire, because they had gone so hard, they were coming. "On a bigger track, that's why you see upsets in there. I think [Andy and Timmy] raced [it] as if it were a two-horse race, but those other mares can go." Shartin N and Caviart Ally faced off again last week in the $35,000 Roses Are Red prep, where Shartin N set the pace and Caviart Ally sat the pocket while throwing her head left into the stretch before ultimately finishing second in the 1:48.4 mile. "She always travels a little bit on the left line," Pelling said. "We kind of think she was really looking to bully her way out of the hole. Two races before when she raced at the Meadowlands, where she was following Youaremycandygirl, she pulled herself out and went...and kind of looked like she was trying to do the same thing the other night." Caviart Ally starts inside of Shartin N this week, going from post-two as the 7/2 second choice on the morning line. Shartin N starts from post-four as the 4/5 morning-line favourite with Youaremycandygirl starting between them in post-three. "This week she is going to have a pair of blinkers on so she can't look back," Pelling said. "Hopefully she's more forward focused instead of her getting to do what she wants. And she's determined. She's a big mare, gets her own way and has a big personality." By Ray Cotolo for Woodbine Mohawk Park  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The ingredients are all there for what could be one of the most anticipated harness races in recent memory at Buffalo Raceway as the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers arrive for the New York Sire Stakes on Wednesday evening (June 5).   The recipe will include the NYSS 2-year-old colt and gelding pacing champion Reigning Deo. Added to the mix will be Melodies Major, the runner up to Reigning Deo last season and also the current Buffalo Raceway track record holder for 2-year-old colt pacers with a 1:54.2 time.   And If that's not enough, there will be six other rivals ready to stir the pot as they battle for $118,800, one of the largest purses ever offered at Buffalo Raceway. It will go off as the sixth race on the 12-race program that will begin at 5 p.m.   Reigning Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven-Little Miss K) has been installed as the 3-to-1 morning line choice out of the six post with Jim Morrill Jr. to handle the driving duties.   It's been close but no cigar this season for Reigning Deo as the Brett Pelling trainee has three second place finishes in his three outings. There's plenty of hope though as Reigning Deo was just a neck behind Fromthestartagain last week in Sire Stakes action at Saratoga.   Reigning Deo, a winner of $271,413 in his brief career, beat Major Melodies by 1-1/2 lengths in the Night Of Champions finals last season at Yonkers Raceway. The final time was 1:54.4.   Melodies Major (Art Major-Hilarious) is also in search of his first win of the campaign. He'll begin the action from the three post for driver Doug McNair with a 5-to-1 morning line.   Trying to cut the mile in his only two appearances in 2019, Melodies Major has finished in third and fourth at Saratoga and Yonkers respectively. He has bankrolled $222,683 lifetime.   Western New York has been great thus far for Melodies Major. Trained by Mark Ford, he scored two NYSS victories last season, each in track record times. He made his first mark at Buffalo Raceway with a 1:54.2 and then at Batavia Downs where he toured the course in 1:54.1.   The current record standards at Buffalo Raceway are 1:52.3 for the geldings set in 2012 by Steelhead Hanover while the colt mark is 1:51.4 established in 2018 by Hitman Hill.   The one to watch out for is Fromthestartagain (So Surreal-From The Start). Drew Monti will be in the sulky and will score from the four spot at 4-to-1 odds.   Not racing as a 2-year-old old, Fromthestartagain arrives on a two-race winning streak including a neck decision over Reigning Deo at Saratoga in 1:53.0 on May 26. He has seven races under his belt with three wins and two third place finishes, good for $47,000 in earnings.   American Mercury, installed at 6-to-1 from the eight post for driver Tyler Buter, had a nose win in his last try at Saratoga in NYSS competition, covering the mile in 1:52.0.   The remainder of the field includes Price Hanover (Scott Zeron), Hurrikane Kingklee (Pat Lachance), Major March (Jason Bartlett), and A Major Omen (Billy Davis Jr.).   There will be two $15,000 Excelsior Class A events and a $6,600 Excelsior Class B race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     by Brian J. Mazurek for Buffalo Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Two names that have been near the top of the driver standings at the Meadowlands since the start of the current meeting in mid-October belong to a pair of harness racing drivers from "Down Under", New Zealand-native Dexter Dunn and Australian Andy McCarthy. Horsemen from that region of the globe have had an impact over the years at the Big M. Ross Croghan, Noel Daley, Mark Harder, Nifty Norman, Brett Pelling and Chris Ryder. Be they "Kiwis" or "Aussies", these trainers have done their share of winning at the mile oval. Ryder uses Dunn, 29, on many of his horses, and among them is the talented 3-year-old colt Bettor's Wish, who is currently seventh in the weekly "Road to the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace" poll put out every week by the Big M's media relations department. "He's a family friend from New Zealand," said Ryder of Dunn. "But he's not driving just because I know the guy. He's driving because he's capable. I thought he might have trouble hooking on here when he arrived (about a year ago), but his talent and personality have overcome that." The stats back up what Ryder says, as Dunn has won 86 times from 587 starts at the Meadowlands since the meet began. And thus far in 2019, Dunn sits second in the Big M standings with 65 wins, a total surpassed only by Yannick Gingras' 96. As for McCarthy, he was the leading driver at the Meadowlands until he went on an extended vacation earlier this year to his homeland. For the meeting, he's won 50 races from 355 starts. "Is Andy my primary driver?" asked Brett Pelling. "I would say that. He's driving my best horse, Caviart Ally, and when you have a good horse, it puts you in the limelight." McCarthy guided Caviart Ally to a hard-fought victory in 1:50 over a star-laden Preferred for pacing fillies and mares field Saturday (May 11) night, an evening that saw the 33-year-old win the first three races on the card and four of the first five. He also drives Pelling's Reigning Deo, currently ninth in the RTTCFMP. "I want someone who is focused," said Pelling. "And Andy and Dexter know enough to be focused. Dexter is a great talent, and if Andy wasn't available, would I use Dexter? All day long." Pelling also spoke about the sense of community felt by those who hail from Australia or New Zealand: "We are here together. The Down Under people know Down Under people. And that means something." BROWER HITS BIG: Dave Brower of the Meadowlands' award-winning TV production had a night to remember Saturday (May 11), as he gave his followers a hit for the ages. After the nightly segment when Brower gave out his Pick-4 ticket for on-track and simulcast players, favorites won the first (Highalator) and final legs of Brower's $32 play, but what happened in between is what made the payoff special. Somebaddude paid $100.00 to win in the second leg while 10-1 chance On Duty scored in the third. After Albergo Hanover won the final leg (Race 11), Brower's followers collected $2,028.15, good for a profit of $1,996.15. The total Pick-4 pool was a typically strong $102,125 on Saturday and as always, free program pages for this week's 50-Cent Pick-4 - as well as the Can-Am Pick-4 (Friday only) - are available at www.playmeadowlands.com and www.ustrotting.com. SUPER HIGH-FIVE HIT: Despite the 6-5 favorite winning the race, one lucky player betting into the Oregon Express hub walked away with a huge score nonetheless Saturday (May 11) night. The 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five, with the two longest shots in the field finishing second and fifth, yielded only one ticket with the winning combination of 2-3-1-10-9, and was good for a return of $33,010.24. This Friday (May 17), the carryover for the Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five (Race 5) stands at $91,214. PREAKNESS UP NEXT: The 144th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course is the featured simulcast event on Saturday (May 18) at the Meadowlands. Post time for the first of 14 races at Pimlico is 10:30 a.m. The Preakness, for 3-year-olds at a mile and three-sixteenths, is Race 13 on the card and has a post time of 6:48 p.m. BEERFEST ON TAP: On Saturday (May 18), the Meadowlands will host its fourth annual "Beerfest". The event, which is rain or shine, has three tiers of ticket pricing. For a $75 VIP ticket, you get admission, VIP lounge access, a special VIP food buffet, a tasting glass, exclusive VIP tastings and one additional hour of sampling. Only 200 VIP tickets will be sold. A $35 General Admission ticket ($45 if purchased day of) includes admission, a tasting glass and a four-hour sampling. Those with VIP tickets will be admitted at 4:30 p.m. while GA customers can go in at 5:30 p.m. The event ends at 9:30 p.m.   Dave Little

CHESTER, PA - Two natives of New Zealand, born just 300 miles apart but who have spent most of the last decade 6000 miles apart, combined for a visit to the winner's circle in the Harrah's Philadelphia winners circle Friday, as the Roll With Joe sophomore filly Believe In Me, trained by Brett Pelling and driven by Dexter Dunn, won the $16,000 feature distaff pace in a career best 1:51.2. Dunn spotted third early with Believe In Me, but past the 27.1 quarter he was out and rolling with his filly, making the lead well before the 55 half. Race favorite Special Kay Deo, who defeated Believe In Me two weeks ago, came first-over down the back, but her bid stalled before the 1:22.4 3/4s, and Dunn kept the winner rolling through the lane to win by 2¾ lengths. She is owned by the Bay Pond Racing Stable of Paoli PA, only 20 miles away from Harrah's. Driver Dunn and trainer Pelling have a more interesting - and spread-out -- geographical "relationship." Both were born on the south island of New Zealand - Dunn is from Christchurch, centrally-located on the east coast of the island, while Pelling was born in Mataura at the southern tip, but only 320 miles apart. When Pelling was enjoying his success in North America and was based in New Jersey, they were separated by 8936 miles; when just over a dozen years ago Pelling "retired" to Australia, the country "next door" to New Zealand, they were still separated by over 3000 miles, as Pelling lived in Perth, on the West Coast of Aussieland. But on Friday the pair of native Kiwis were back together winning the feature in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. In the $14,500 co-feature for pacing distaffs, Diamondtoothgertie posted her third win in four starts since going to the care of trainer Richard Johnson, taking a new mark of 1:51.3. Tony Morgan, who went over $130 million in career earnings earlier on the card and who is now about 650 races behind Heinz Wewering for second place on the all-time world list for driving victories with 16,863 (Dave Palone has 18,471), guided the victorious daughter of Sportswriter for D'Elegance Stable IX, Joseph Gandolfo, NR Holdings LLC, and Anthony Fiscetti. At press time (after the 11th race), driver George Napolitano Jr. had five winners, for five different trainers. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia      

CHESTER, PA - Dream Baby Dream is exceptionally-bred - she is a Muscle Hill ¾ sister to the top 2YO filly Sonnet Grace, and her granddam is the great CR Kay Suzie - and her breeding potential was made manifest at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon when she won the $17,000 featured trot in 1:53.2. Andrew McCarthy had Dream Baby Dream in the middle of a three-abreast charge into the first turn, with Magic Night to her left and favored Make It A Double to her right, and when the chalk broke her task became much easier. The winner passed Magic Night before the 27.2 quarter, rolled down the road with middle numbers of 56.1 and 1:24.3, and won by two lengths over Impacter, who had gotten a tuck behind the winner after a first-over move but could not go with her late. Dream Baby Dream has now win half of her six seasonal starts for trainer Brett Pelling and Wiesman Farms LLC, and she pushed her career bankroll to $216,596. In one of two $14,500 co-featured trots, the Credit Winner mare Lovely Lynnly rebounded from a break in her latest race, sitting the two-hole behind favorite Winneress then going by that one easily in the last quarter to stop the timer in 1:54.1 for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Jake Leamon, and the ownership of Hutt Racing Stable, Lynnly Stable, and Joseph Battaglia. In the other co-feature, Wisenheimer sat the pocket trip behind Turn The Paige, charged up the inside to challenge in the lane and came up just shy in 1:54.2, but Turn The Paige bore in through the lane putting Wisenheimer into tight quarters, and thus Wisenheimer was placed first over the offending rival. Corey Callahan was in the sulky behind the victorious Jenny Melander trainee-lessee. Also noteworthy: Sylvesteramerica IT got his first Stateside win for expatriate Jerry Riordan and wife Lisa and their Riordan Stables AB, pointed down the road by David Miller and setting blistering fractions of 27.1, 55.4, and 1:24 en route to a 1:53 triumph. Bob Baggitt Jr. has been handling the local conditioning of the Varenne gelding. And Phaetosive's full baby brother Explosivematter lowered his record to 1:57.4 as he raised his career standings to 3-2-1-0. Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old pacing colts will command the spotlight at Harrah's Philadelphia this weekend, with three divisions of the third preliminary for each grouping. On Friday, the Stallion Series horses will be competing, while in Sunday's Sire Stakes Grand Teton, Done Well, and Hayden Hanover have been tabbed as the morning line favorites. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

East Rutherford, NJ - The Saturday night feature is a seven horse $20,000 Preferred Pace where a pair of names synonymous with success at the harness racing sport's highest level will join forces for the first time as the owner and trainer of #6 Awesomeness. Making his first start stateside after a lengthy campaign north of the border, Awesomeness is also making his debut for Brett Pelling who is conditioning the 5-year-old for owner Martin Scharf.   Scharf's greatest success was with his champion Gallo Blue Chip who retired in 2005 as the top money winning pacer in history with over $4.25 million, having won virtually every major stake including the 2000 Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup. The old horse is fondly remembered each year by the "Gallo Blue Chip Scholarship Fund" presented by Scharf at The Meadowlands to aspiring students with harness racing connections.   Marty also has a serious rooting interest in a thoroughbred earlier in the day with a stake in second choice Sharp Azteca going in the $16 million Pegasus stakes at Gulfstream Park.   Brett Pelling dominated the spot for over a decade before returning to his native New Zealand in 2006. Pelling is the only trainer to have recorded 12 straight million-dollar Meadowlands seasons and 21 in all while winning virtually every pacing classic over that span. The list of top horses in his care reads like a Hall of Fame roster, led by a pair of great racehorses that became great sires in the father-son duo of Western Ideal and Rocknroll Hanover.   Brett returned to the US last winter and has slowly been assembling a stable, racing a few mid-level types over the summer then including some yearling purchases that are currently taking their early training lessons with an eye toward the 2018 Grand Circuit stakes.   This mantle of representing such imposing accomplishment, for now at least, falls squarely on the shoulders of Awesomeness who picked up $164,368 in a solid if unspectacular campaign last season and will embark from post 6 for the meet's top driver Jimmy Marohn, Jr. on Saturday.   In the building, the battle is on this Saturday, January 27 in Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment's 3rd annual Homestyle Chili Cook Off! 38 contestants are competing for the $1,000 grand prize plus a spot in the International Chili Society's World Championship cook-off in Reno, Nevada.   Last year's Meadowlands winner, Joseph Callahan, went on to win the 2017 International Chili Society's World Championship for his Homestyle chili and took home the $4,000 top prize. Fans are invited to taste the entries and encouraged to support their favorites.   Post time is 6:35 p.m.   Nick Salvi

Queensland’s young dynamic harness racing driving duo, Brittany Graham and Trent Moffat will proudly fly the Australian flag when they experience racing in the United States over the next month. The inaugural winners of the Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Young Achievers Award will spend one month with highly successful veteran expat Aussie trainer Ross Croghan in the US. Graham (19) and Moffat (22) will don the Aussie green and gold driving suits and boxing kangaroo green and gold helmets at every promotional opportunity whilst overseas. Racing Queensland will publicly present the driver colours to Graham and Moffat this Saturday at Albion Park. Queensland’s young guns organizer Kevin Seymour said he has been busily organizing contacts overseas so the young drivers can experience as much US racing as they can during their month long stay. “The racing authorities at the Meadowlands  are helping us out where they can and I have been in touch with my contacts to ensure the kids get to experience as much as possible while they are there,” Seymour said. Graham and Moffat will leave Brisbane on 28 June and fly to New York via Los Angeles. They will start the trek home on 24 July with a three day fun stopover in LA where they will visit Universal Hollywood Studios and Disneyland. Croghan, the young drivers mentor in the US is originally from Luddenham, near Penrith in New South Wales. The US champion was born into harness racing, following in the footsteps of his father, the late Noel Croghan. His entry to the US began on the West Coast and Croghan racked up nine driving titles before he decamped for New Jersey in the 1990s. Since then, he has ranked among the top trainers in Meadowlands history with over 1,000 wins in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Croghan has four Big M training titles to his credit (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007) and holds the record for most starters in one season with 717 in 1999. He has a lengthy list of standouts to his credit, and his top trainees have included millionaire trotter Corleone Kosmos, Tug River Princess, Carolina Sunshine, Laughandbehappy, BJ’s Whirlwind, Mister Goal, Ultimate Falcon, Spendid Splinter and Artist Stena. Croghan also has a good record as a teacher of the trade and he has mentored some of the sport’s top training talents. His former assistants include Brett Pelling, the Meadowlands’ all-time leading money winner and Mark Harder. David Aldred  

1. National Debt, Scott Zeron, Ron Coyne Jr., 50-1 Last year, National Debt won all four of his starts while competing in Alberta for trainer/co-owner Kelly Hoerdt, who received Canada's 2013 O'Brien Award for Horsemanship. He was sent to New Jersey-based trainer Ron Coyne Jr. for the start of this season and captured the Gilmour Memorial Series during the winter. National Debt, who finished fifth in his Pace elimination, won by JK Endofanera, has won seven of 10 lifetime races and earned $76,073. Owned by Hoerdt, Blair and Erna Corbeil, and the J&T Silva Stables, National Debt had issues with allergies earlier this season while racing in Canada and missed nearly two months prior to his Pace elim. "He had a couple good tighteners in qualifiers, and this was his first test for speed against these colts, but all in all it went well," Coyne said. "He showed a good burst of speed at the end, he came home :26.2 and he finished up really nice, so I was really happy about that. It's all a matter of the post and the trip and we'll see if we get lucky. "We missed a few of the big dances, but we're ready to go again," Coyne said. For a feature about National Debt from earlier this year, read here. 2. JK Endofanera, Brian Sears, Ron Burke, 2-1 JK Endofanera (Art Major-Presidential Lady) won his elimination in 1:48.2 and is the 2-1 morning line favorite. He is trying to become the 10th horse to win both the North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace. For more, read here. 3. He's Watching, Tim Tetrick, David Menary, 5-2 He's Watching (American Ideal-Baberhood) won his elimination in 1:48.1 and is 5-2 on the morning line. He was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. For more, read here. 4. Tellitlikeitis, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 12-1 One of two horses in the race from the Takter Stable, Tellitlikeitis (Well Said-Kikikatie) is a son of 2009 Meadowlands Pace winner Well Said out of the million-dollar-earning mare Kikikatie. He led early in his Pace elimination, which was won by He's Watching, but finished fifth. Tellitlikeitis, owned by Lothlorien stable, has won four of 12 career races and $389,022. He finished second to JK Endofanera in the North America Cup. "I expect him to be better," Takter said. "He had three weeks off [prior to his Pace elim] and that's a long time in this group. I had to play it like that with him, unfortunately. I cannot race him every dance because he has issues. But he's got a perfect seat, the four post. If the pace is right, we know he can pace :25 the last quarter. If I get him a little bit better, he's quick enough that he can give you something." 5. Luck Be Withyou, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes, 6-1 The 2013 Breeders Crown champion finished third in his Pace elim, won by He's Watching. Luck Be Withyou has won once in five starts this season and captured six of 16 career races, good for $404,827. He is owned by John Craig and trained by Bill Cass in Canada, with Oakes taking over in the U.S. Luck Be Withyou is a son of Western Ideal out of the mare Trim Hanover. He is a three-quarter brother to millionaire female pacer American Jewel. 6. Lyonssomewhere, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 The colt tried to find room inside of JK Endofanera in the stretch, but was unable to get past the leader and finished third in his Pace elimination. Just three-quarters of a length separated JK Endofanera, runner-up Always B Miki, and Lyonssomewhere. Geoffrey Lyons Mound owns Lyonssomewhere, who is a son of 2008 Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Miss Kitty Hanover. He has won five of seven career races and $98,570. "He didn't have enough room, but I thought he raced really, really good," Takter said. "He can step out of the gate extremely well. It's hard not to take advantage of that, but by the same token, you pay a little bit for that. "At the Meadowlands, it's not necessarily the best spot to sit behind the leader unless he's a very good leader. If you don't get racing room, you're playing with luck. With luck, yes he can win, without a doubt, and we need to be lucky in this race. It will be an interesting race." 7. Jet Airway, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller, 15-1 Erv Miller is hoping for big things from the big horse as the year goes on. Jet Airway opened 2014 with a second-place finish to JK Endofanera in the Simpson Memorial at the Meadowlands. Owned by Miller, Tangie Massey, Paul Sunderhaus, and Larry Agle, Jet Airway has won six of 18 career races and $130,834. He is a son of Jereme's Jet out of the mare Aromatic. He raced 10 times as a 2-year-old, winning three races, but was shut down in early October. Marcus Miller, who recently got career win No. 2,000, is Erv's 25-year-old son. "He's a really fast horse, a big horse," Miller said about Jet Airway. "I think, hopefully, from midseason on he'll just keep getting better. It just seems he needed the racing to get going. He went a big mile [in his elim]. Marcus did a good job and he had a lot of pace finishing. "I could tell last year he was a pretty nice horse. I wanted to shut him down because he was real immature. I think as time goes, he'll just keep getting better." 8. Sometimes Said, Corey Callahan, Jim Campbell, 15-1 Always in the hunt, Sometimes Said has won only twice but hit the board in 14 of 18 career races. He finished second by a neck from post nine in last year's Breeders Crown, which was won by Luck Be Withyou, and was second in the 2013 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Owned by Fashion Farms, Sometimes Said is a son of Well Said out of the mare Lady Sometimes. He has earned $341,254 lifetime. Sometimes Said finished second in his Pace elim, beaten 2-3/4 lengths by He's Watching. "He's had a good week," Campbell said. "It's hard to say whether post eight will help him or hurt him, it depends how the race unfolds. It would probably be in his best interest if they're rolling along up front and he can get cover in the outer tier. "It's a tough group of horses. He went a big trip last week and he'll have to come back and be better than that this week." 9. Always B Miki, David Miller, Joe Holloway, 4-1 Came home the fastest of all Meadowlands Pace finalists with a :26.1 final quarter-mile to miss by a neck to JK Endofanera in his Pace elim. Always B Miki has won five of 20 career races and earned $219,916. He is owned by Bluewood Stable, Val D'Or Farms, and Roll The Dice Stable. Always B Miki was disqualified from third to fifth for interference in his Hempt Memorial elimination and went off stride in his North America Cup elim. He has three wins, including a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, and two second-place finishes (by a neck and a nose) in the five starts this year in which he's minded his manners. "I was apprehensive coming into [the Pace elimination] because he's just been a problem horse that way," Holloway said. "He's got a lot of speed, but he's not the easiest horse to deal with. He steered fairly well [in his elim] and raced well. He can go a tough trip, he's probably one of the tougher ones that way, but he is tough to deal with. "He's got the speed to go wherever they want to go. As long as he gets a decent trip he'll work it out from there." Always B Miki is a son of Always A Virgin, who was trained by Holloway and won two legs of the Pacing Triple Crown (Cane Pace and Messenger) in 2007, out of the mare Artstopper. He is a half-brother to Yagonnakissmeornot, who finished second in this year's Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final. 10. Doo Wop Hanover, John Campbell, Steve Elliott, 30-1 Elliott is the only trainer in the race to have won the Meadowlands Pace previously, having captured the trophy in 2006 with Artistic Fella and 2009 with Well Said. Only two trainers, Brett Pelling and Bill Robinson, have more Pace victories. Doo Wop Hanover finished fourth in his Pace elim, which was won by JK Endofanera. He is a son of 2005 Meadowlands Pace winner Rocknroll Hanover out of the mare Deer Valley Miss and is a three-quarter brother to stakes winner Knock Three Times. For his career, Doo Wop Hanover has won five of 19 races and $180,788. He won the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in May and the Hempt Memorial Consolation in a career-best 1:49 on June 28. He is owned by Peter Blood, Rick Berks and Gary Piontkowski. Post 10 has produced four Meadowlands Pace winners, tied for the third most of any starting spot, but none since The Panderosa in 1999. "I've had better draws," Elliott said with a laugh. "But when [Doo Wop Hanover] gets on the lead or first over, he wants to rock and roll, and he's better with a trip. We should be able to get a trip from there, we'll just hope it's not a bad one. "He's been good all year. He's a nice colt. He might be a notch below the best ones, but there's so many times now when the trip dictates the outcome. We just want to be somewhere in the live flow. You've got to be in it. If you're not in it, you can't win it." * * * Tim Tetrick and Ron Pierce have enjoyed multiple successes in the Meadowlands Pace in recent years, combining to win six of the last seven editions of the race. Pierce has won the Meadowlands Pace a total of four times, second to only John Campbell's seven Pace victories for the most among all drivers in history. Pierce's victories were with Dream Away (1997), Art Official (2008), Well Said (2009) and Roll With Joe (2011). He drives Luck Be Withyou in Saturday's race. Luck Be Withyou, who starts from post five and is 6-1 on the morning line, finished third in his Pace elimination, which was won by He's Watching. Pierce won last season's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers with Luck Be Withyou. Tetrick has won the Meadowlands Pace with Southwind Lynx (2007), One More Laugh (2010) and Captaintreacherous (2013). He drives He's Watching in Saturday's race, starting from post three. He's Watching, who won his Pace elimination in 1:48.1, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. He was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. "I sure would love to [win again]," Tetrick said. "I have a great horse to do it with. I like my chances. "There are some really nice colts in here and it's a tough group." Campbell will go for Meadowlands Pace win No. 8 with Doo Wop Hanover from post 10. Brian Sears, driving 2-1 morning line favorite JK Endofanera, tries for his second Pace triumph while Yannick Gingras, with Lyonssomewhere, also will be going for his second win. Scott Zeron (driving National Debt), Brett Miller (Tellitlikeitis), Marcus Miller (Jet Airway), Corey Callahan (Sometimes Said) and David Miller (Always B Miki) all are seeking their first Meadowlands Pace win. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

R I P Tony Chiaravalle. He owned the 1993 Pace winner Presidential Ball and was the original owner of the third place finisher that year Riyadh. R I P Matts Scooter-1988 Meadowlands Pace winner-sire of Mach Three 2002 Pace winner. Grandsire of Somebeachsomewhere-THE most prohibitive Pace favorite of the 21st century/ R I P Joe Muscara. He owned the 2002 Pace winner Mach Three and his Muscara Trust co-owns elim divisional winner He's Watching, one of the favorites in this Saturday's race.   $776,000 Pace Purse. Not counting the two years with a supplemental entry, (2000 and 2008), this is the first time since 1990 that the purse is at least $100G higher than the previous year: 1989 $852,000 Dexter Nukes 1990 $1,153,500 Beach Towel   Sire Well Said looks to do-with two chances-what has been done SEVEN TIMES in Meadowlands Pace history. Win the Pace with his first crop. (Sometimes Said, Tellitlikeitis) 1984 Happy Motoring sired On The Road Again 1985 Niatross sired Nihilator 1997 Artsplace sired Dream Away 1998 Life Sign sired Day In A Life 2005 Western Ideal sired Rocknroll Hanover 2008 Art Major sired Art Official 2013 Somebeachsomewhere sired Captaintreacherous   If you're betting either He's Watching or Luck Be Withyou, you have recent history on your side. Tim Tetrick and Ron Pierce have won 6 of the last 7 editions of the Meadowlands Pace, THE most dominant TWO-driver run in the races 37 year history. (Of those 6 wins between them, 3 each, 4 of those 6 were NOT favored)   Ron Burke will try and do what has been done THREE TIMES before. Be the Leading trainer at the Meadowlands for the meet AND win the Meadowlands Pace. J K Endofanera 1993 and 1994 Bill Robinson did it with Presidential Ball and Cams Card Shark 1997 Brett Pelling did it with Dream Away 2004 Mark Harder did it with Holborn Hanover, who was 2-22 lifetime coming into the race and lit up the board at 58-1   "MILLER TIME?" Maybe. There are three driving "MIllers" in the race-Dave and Brett and Marcus. That doesn't even count trainer Erv. The first ever TRAINER named Miller to be in the Pace-as well as the first ever drive-BOTH finished 3rd. Del Miller trainer 3rd 1980 Tyler B Jim Miller driver 1979 3rd with Tijuana Taxi   THROWBACK TIME? Some Pace participants in 2014 were prominent at the Meadowlands in the 1980s. Val D'Or Farms (Always B Miki) 3 times made a 1980s Pace final. 4th with Masquerade in 1986, 7th and 11th with Ringaleevio and Paladium Lobell in the 1988 edition Steve Elliott was 10th with Souffle in the 1986 final of the Pace, and was 3rd and then 2nd in the 1988 and 1989 Trainer Standings here Joe Holloway won FOUR races at the Meadowlands in the 1970s-including twice with a pacer named Pentagon as a DRIVER. In the 1980s, Joe became the first ever Meadowlands trainer to win as many as 106 races in a singe meet-1988 Jim Campbell was the 1989 Meadowlands Training Leader. He also started in the Pace with a pair in 1987-3rd with Run The Table and 12th with Dictionary   Peter Blood is one of the owners of Doo Wop Hanover. As a trainer here-he was second in the 1988 Wilson-the LAST one to go for $1 Million-with Nukes Image to Kassa Branca. The following year, he went 1-2 in the Wilson conso.   Pierce Pace Potpourri Ron Pierce drove the shortest priced Pace winner of the new millennium-$2.80 Well Said 2009. Ron Pierce UPENDED the shortest priced Pace STARTER of the new millennium-Somebeachsomewhere-10 cents on the dollar-in 2008 with Art Official. (Art Official-incidentally-sold as a $4,000 WEANLING at a Meadowlands January sale)   NUMBERS 17 of the 37 Pace winners were sired by a horse who himself raced in the Pace final. ONLY ONE-Real Desire is the ONLY horse to win $3 Million-be Horse Of The Year and win the Meadowlands Pace and NOT be in the Hall Of Fame ONLY ONE Pace winner won from the second tier-On The Road Again 1984 Post 12 THREE Homebreds in the Pace final field. The 2013 Hambletonian had three homebreds win all three eliminations and then the final. Creatine, Smilin Eli and Royalty For Life 20-1 or better-Tellitlikeitis will surely be one of the longshots in the 2014 Pace final field. Rarer than rare for the North America Cup FAVORITE-ALSO the Meadowlands Pace elimination FAVORITE, to be an also-ran in the wagering in the Pace final. FIVE catch-drivers have gone into the Hall Of Fame the past TWO decades. Only five.   ANNIVERSARY 23 years to the day of Precious Bunny winning the 1991 Meadowlands Pace. July 12, 1991. That marked the first time in history a horse won TWO million $ races in the same year (Nihilator did it in 1984 and 1985) John Campbell drove him in the North America Cup to victory, but opted off for Artsplace in the Pace final and Jack Moiseyev won with the Cam Fella colt. HOY. It was also the first of four STRAIGHT Pace winners for Cam Fella as a stallion-ironic when you consider that Cam Fella finished his career 57 straight times on the board-the last time he MISSED the board? 1982 Meadowlands Pace elimination!! 7th   Ron Pierce is on top in North America in $$$. 58 Years of age. This stat is especially interesting when you consider that-in 2006-he was and is the ONLY 50 Years Old to EVER lead the way, and now at 58 is threatening to do the same   Golden Receiver's barn change-AFTER winning $2 Million-brings back memories of possibly the two greatest horses to ever undergo a barn change. Seatttle Slew and Artsplace.   WIDE OPEN PACE?-2013 TOLD US EXACTLY THAT Many live candidates to win the 2014 Meadowlands Pace. And why not. In 2013-the LEADING 2 YO colt pacing earner made $390G-Arthur Blue Chip. This marked the first time since 1977 that the leading $$-winning freshman pacing colt did NOT have at least $400G on his card. No No Yankee had $211G in 1977 (Ironically-the FIRST year of the Pace)   Dave Miller-John Campbell Dave Miller-6 days after entering the Hall Of Fame, hopes to do what only John Campbell has done prior. Go into the Hall Of Fame and win either the Hambletonian or the Meadowlands Pace the SAME year. 1990-John Hambo Harmonious. Dave handles Always B Miki   IF Marcus Miller wins the Meadowlands Pace-he WILL become the YOUNGEST driver ever to do so. Tetrick also did it at 25 in 2007 with Southwind Lynx, Marcus a few months younger.   Canadian Influence 5 of the 6 inside posts in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace have Canadian ownership. 6 of the first 12 Meadowlands Pace winners (1977-1986) had Canadian ownership.   "Hall" Pass-OOPS Pace Five of the first 10 winners of the Meadowlands Pace had trainers who were Hall Of Famers. BUT-only ONE of the last 27 training winners of the Meadowlands Pace did it. Ray Remmen 1990 Beach Towel. Jimmy Takter has two shots at ending that 24 year 0-fer.   Coyne-Operated Ron Coyne (National Debt) has been in the Pace before. 1999 with Washington VC. 8th. That colt then sired a $3 Million career earner by the name of Themightyquinn   If either John Campbell or Ron Pierce win the Meadowlands Pace, they will be the oldest to do so. 59 and 58. Cat Manzi at 56 in 2006 with Artistic Fella currently holds than distinction.   Steve Elliott is the ONLY trainer in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace field who has won this race before. And he did it twice. 2006 and 2009. There are only two trainers in Meadowlands Pace history who have won the Pace multiple times and were FAVORED in all of their wins: Elliott, Billy Haughton  Billy Did it with Falcon Almhurst in 1978-9/5 choice over eventual HOY Abercrombie-and with Nihilator at 1-9 in 1985 heading a prohibitive 5 horse entry.   "Starter" Kit NO 2014 Pace finalist has more than 8 starts in 2014. Yet 16 of the first 24 Meadowlands Pace winners had at LEAST NINE starts on the season entering the Pace final.   Jimmy Takter (Tellitlikeitis and Lyonssomewhere) will try and do what Brett Pelling did last. Go 1-2 in the Pace. Pelling did it with Rocknroll Hanover in 2005 and Village Jolt second.   He's Watching's June 13 foaling date would be THE latest ever for any Meadowlands Pace winner. (TWO of the more famous JUNE foals of all time used to be stablemates-Art Major and McArdle)   SLOW STARTS? NO PROBLEM IN THE PACE Your year isn't going the greatest going INTO the Meadowlands Pace? This doesn't mean a whole lot-or at least it didn't to these brand names: 2001 Real Desire 1 for 5 going into the Pace 2000 Gallo Blue Chip 5 for 10 entering the Pace 2010 One More Laugh 2 for 6 going into the Pace 1988 Matts Scooter Just 2 for 9 entering the Pace (NOTE-the 2 YO Champion (He's Watching 2-5)-and the 2YO Breeders Crown winner (Luck Be With You 1-5)-are a combined 3/10 entering the 2014 Pace)   The "OUTSIDERS?" The three outside horses in the Pace were all sired by a Pace favorite: Post 8 Sometimes Said (Well Said 2009) Post 9 Always B Miki (Always A Virgin 2007) Post 10 Doo Wop Hanover (Rocknroll Hanover 2005)   Takter's Pace Breakthrough? NO Trainer in the 21st century who's campaigned a Horse Of The Year has made it to the Hall Of Fame. Jimmy Takter is the last trainer to do both-having won the HOY titles in 1997-1998-1999. Bob McIntosh went into the Hall Of Fame in 2002-and a full decade later-won his first MILLION $ race going 1-3 in the 2012 NA Cup. Jimmy Takter is looking for his very first Pace score. Ron Burke just scored his first Million $ win taking the NA Cup with J K Endofanera.   The Two oldest drivers to hit the board in the Meadowlands Pace? 1978 Joe O'Brien 59-thid with Flight Director 1982 Billy Haughton 58 3rd with McKinzie Almahurst John Campbell is 59 and Ron Pierce 58   Campbell-Meadowlands Pace-Post 10 The man is amazing. Post 10 in the Meadowlands Pace in 2014 with Doo Wop Hanover. His history from post 10 in the Pace is almost beyond belief. ALL of the following are from Post 10-IN The Meadowlands Pace: 1982 Hilarion winner-first ever catch-driver to win a Million $$ race. 1997 At Point Blank second at 14-1 the colt was WINLESS (0-15) on the year!! 1999 The Panderosa got post 10 initially-AND on the redraw-and still dominated with a 26 flat final quarter in 1:49.3-then a record mile in the Pace and thus becoming the first horse ever to win TWO million $$ races BOTH in sub 1:50) 2004 3rd with Metropolitan from post 10 2007 third with Artriverderci from post 10. 5 different trainers from post 10-five times on the board. Consider that in the other 30 times any driver raced in the Pace from post 10-combined-those drivers were 3-30 ON THE BOARD!   OTHER Post 10 notes...... Dave Miller's Pace debut-1995-Cinder Lane Sam came from post 10-5th-flying home in 26.1.....Pat Crowe drove exactly once in the Pace-from post 10-in 1984 12th with a colt by the name of Greener Pastures.....Brett Pelling made his Pace debut in 1993 from post 10 (No check)....Pinocchio raced in the Pace-from post 10 for Neal Shapiro...   15 times in history the Meadowlands Pace winner has been THAT YEAR'S Leading $$ winner among ALL Pacers.(MOST common of any race of the leaders)   Just HOW tough is it to WIN The Meadowlands Pace? This stat might tell it best. The last THREE Triple Crown winners in the sport-NONE of those three finished first OR second in the Meadowlands Pace!! 2003 No Pan Intended 4th 1999 Blissful Hall 7th 1997 Western Dreamer 3rd   Who are the three richest ever horses to have participated in the Meadowlands Pace final and NOT gotten a check? Boulder Creek $3,425,853 8th 2003 Red Bow Tie $2,673,920 9th 1997 Western Hanover $2,541,647 7th 1992   Super Tough Quiz: Can you name the three colts who led all pacers in year end earnings but did NOT compete in the Meadowlands Pace final? 1977 Governor Skipper $522,148 1998 Shady Character $1,070,569 2002 Art Major $1,562,779   Compiled by Bob "Hollywood" Heyden

In our prominent harness racing stallion series we have reviewed American Ideal,  Art Major, Bettors Delight, Christian Cullen, Courage Under Fire and Mach Three so far and today we have produced an in depth review for Western Terror. Enjoy the read. BREEDING - A real blue blood which ever way you look at it. By the champion sire in Western Hanover, he is from the good Artsplace race mare in Arterra 1:53.2 ($161,976). She is a full sister to the outstanding racehorse and now sire in Artiscape 1:49.3z ($1,469,461) and Strike A Balance 1:55.4 ($121,428) dam of the outstanding Strike An Attitude 1:48.4 ($1,008,898). Apart from Western Terror, Anterra has also produced the brilliant If I Can Dream 1:49.4 ($2,038,153). The grand dam is none other than the brilliant race mare (41 wins) and broodmare in Delinquent Account 1:51.4 ($1,038,997).   RACE RECORD - Western Terror faced the starter just 34 times in his career for the creditable record of 10 wins and 12 placings for stake earnings of $1,289,422. As a 2yo he only had two wins from ten starts and a best winning time of a rather pedestrian 1:54.2, but he went supersonic at three, taking a mark of 1:48.3. He took a few starts as a 3yo before hitting form for trainer Scott Forbes. In his fourth start as a 3yo and in the first division of the North American Cup Western Terror  won in 1:51 beating a New Zealand import in Village Hero N. He finished fourth in the final to Mantacular ($1,318,096). He was then transferred to the Brett Pelling stable and it took him another six starts before he won another race and that was a dead-heat (with Timesareachanging) in the Cane Pace final at Freehold in 1:52.3. It should be noted that the worlds fastest horse Holborn Hanover 1:46.4 ($2,164,802) finished fourth, some distance behind Western Terror in this race the Cane Pace Final. He then went on to win a heat of The Little Brown Jug (Second in the final), The Bluegrass stakes and then he took his record of 1:48.3 in The Tattersalls at The Red Mile (In that race Western Terror once again beat Holborn Hanover). He then went on to win The Breeders Crown Final and The Windy City Pace. He retired at the end of his 3yo career.  AMERICAN STUD RECORD - Due in large part to the massive support he received from his now infamous owner David Brooks when he went to stud, Western Terror served big books of mares starting in the 2005 season in Ontario, Canada with 190 mares served. He then stood another year in Canada serving 158 mares. In 2007 Western Terror was moved to New York to stand where he served his smallest ever book of 106 mares (Still a good number) before moving again to Pennsylvania where he has served books of 140, 248, 188, 145, and 152 in 2012. With these numbers served he was given the best start any stallion could have possibly have had. It paid off as he got the desired results. What immediately stands out when looking at his stud record is what a great filly sire he has been. His five top earners are millionaires and are all fillies. Interestingly all have won more than their sire did on the track. They are headed by the brilliant Western Silk 1:50.1s (($1,729,708), Economy Terror 1:49 ($1,589,139), Shacked Up 1:49.4 ($1,466,978), Yellow Diamond 1:49.4 ($1,387,013) and Drop The Ball 1:48.2 ($1,309,174). His best colt to date is his other millionaire in Up the Credit 1:48.3 ($1,293,408) winner of the North American Cup. Up The Credit is being given his chance at stud. US statistics Eligible to race 3yr old and older - 679 Winners - 396 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 58% $100,000 plus - 103 $1,000,000 plus - 6 Sub 1:50 - 18 Average earnings per starter - $82,710 Average earnings per eligible horse - $54,047 Total earnings to date - $42,264,737 AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD - Was available to Australian breeders for just three years starting in the 2006/2007 season producing just 53, 67 and 62 foals (182) for Alabar. He was brought back to Australia for the current season by Empire. It will be interesting to see what numbers he serves this year. His first three crops are now 5, 6 and 7yos in Australia. In his first crop he left Lovable Larrikin 1:53.7 ($141,468) and Terrifying 1:55.3 ($129,067). His second crop produced the good fillies Vertigal 1:55.8 ($317,380) and Arch On Fire 1:56.6 ($130,532). He also left One Eyed Terror 1:56.3 ($148,689), Lightning Joy ($128,875) and Blazing Terror 1:56.5 ($122,119). His 2008 crop produced Terror Time 1:55.1 ($221,760) and Western Rockstar 1:57.3 ($119,385). Australian statistics Foals 3yr old and older -  182 Winners - 89 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 48% $100,000 plus - 9 $1,000,000 plus -  0 Average earnings per starter - $35,359 Average earnings per eligible horse - $22,731 Total earnings to date - $4,137,060 NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD - Was also only available to NZ breeders for the same three years as in Australia. In that time he produced 169 live foals in New Zealand for 73 winners with the standout being the champion entire Terror To Love 1:51 ($1,970,936) who in November became only the third horse in history to win three New Zealand Cups in a row. However he is the only one of those 169 foals to win over $100,000 in New Zealand with his next biggest earners being Chechnya at $53,000 and Corzin Terror at $35,000. (NOTE: When you take the stake earnings of Terror To Love $1,970,936 off his stakes earned in NZ it leaves a total of just $514,056 earned by his other 168 foals an average of just $3,059)). One has to take into consideration that he produced two horses in New Zealand that were big winners in Australia and they are the Miracle Mlle winner and tremendous mare Baby Bling 1:50.5 ($801,178) and good open class horse Terrorway 1:52.6 ($385,709). New Zealand statistics 3yr old and older - 169 Starters - 88 Winners - 73 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 43% $100,000 plus - 1 (8 in Australia)  $1,000,000 plus - 1 Average earnings per starter - $28,238 Average earnings per eligible horse - $14,704 Total earnings to date - $2,484,992 POSITIVES - A proven filly sire who has left a top filly or mare in Canada, the US and in New Zealand (racing in Australia). He has left several horses who have won more than he did on the track which is always desirable in a sire. Can leave that exceptional horse which can dominate his rivals on the track. NEGATIVES  - If you don't get the exceptional one which 99% of breeders don't you are left in the main with an average performer. He has a creditable North American record but his Australasian record is not so hot. In North American he is still behind on just about every indicator when compared against the likes of Bettors Delight, Art Major, and company. OVERVIEW - The stud stats in the two hemispheres are like chalk and cheese. While he has a creditable but not exceptional record in North America, his Australasian stats are way short of the necessary standard required to be a genuine top stallion for Australasian breeders. With the standard of stallions available increasing every season, Western Terror may already be past his use by date for most Breeders. OVERALL RATING  5/10 JC A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major A Stallion review - Bettors Delight A Stallion review - Christian Cullen A Stallion review - Courage Under Fire A Stallion review - Mach Three Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we are running a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. The above PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them.  (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  And here is "The forgotten sires series" This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink have already completed with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten"sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed Monkey Bones - All class Tinted Cloud - Still going strong Real Desire - The real deal Washington VC - Continuing excellence Wetern Ideal - A superstar sire Bacardy Lindy - Blue blood Monarchy - Out of Sundons shadow Artiscape - Frozen semen blues? Dream Vacation - Frozen semen superstar Badlands Hanover - Great value Lis Mara - The quiet achiever Brylin Boyz - Potential fulfilled    

DOVER, Del. --- The 18th renewal of the $400,000 (est) Progress Pace at Dover Downs is the highlight of the first full month of the track's 45th season. The Progress Pace is the signature event of the 2013 Dover Downs' "Novemberfest of Racing." The Progress Pace features the sport's leading three-year-olds in training in a two-week event. First, a $35,000 elimination division on Nov. 10 with the top eight finishers return for a $284,160 final on Nov. 17. Vegas Vacation, driven by Brian Sears, scored a 1:48.3 victory in this year's Matron Final. The gelding was favorite for the Progress Pace elim., but did not come out of the Matron, "100 percent," thus was scratched. Twilight Bonfire, a 20-1 longshot from post 8 with Tim Tetrick driving, pulled a major surprise in the $35,000 elim by nipping Sunshine Beach by half a neck. The Progress Pace Final on Dec. 1 is the richest race in Delaware harness racing this year. Progress Pace history The Progress Pace was created by Dover Downs' CEO Denis McGlynn in the fashion of a former state of Delaware sports' tradition - The Battle of the Brandywine - formerly the showcase event of ill-fated Brandywine Raceway. Over the years, Most of the sports leading drivers, owners and stables have participated in the Progress Pace. Hall of Fame drivers include three-time winners John Campbell and Ron Pierce, Mike Lachance, Cat Manzi, Dave Palone and David Miller. Luc Ouellette also drove three winners while Bret Pelling trained three Progress Pace champions. Sampson Street Stable has shared in three Progress Pace champions, Newman Racing is the only other with more than one winner. The first Progress Pace was carded in 1996 with a $100,000 final. The winner was Armbro Operative, owned by Tom Walsh, Jr. and Dave McDuffy, driven by Mike Lachance. It was the first of three Progress Pace winners conditioned by Brett Pelling. Pelling also trained the winners of the next two winners of the event, when Dream Away, owned by Canadian horsemen Marvin Katz, Sam Goldband and Al Libfeld won the 1997 edition and Crown Jewel Stable's Browning Blue Chip took 1998 laurels. Both winners were driven by John Campbell. Luc Ouellette drove Jeff Snyder's Royalflush Hanover to his first Progress Pace titles. The gelding overtook Grinfromeartoear on the backstretch and pulled off to win the 1999 title. The following season, Ouellette came back to drive 2000 winner Powerful Toy, owned by Newman Racing Stable, Sampson Street and Dodge A Bullet stables. Ron Pierce made the winner's circle in the 2001 event driving Peruvian Hanover for owners Sidney Korn and Alvin Jacobson. Art Major beat stablemate McArdle to win the 2002 edition. Owned by Deena Frost, Jerry Silva, Sampson Street and TLP stables, Art Major was the third Progress Pace champion driven by John Campbell, In 2003, for the second straight year and third time in Progress Pace history, Radar Sign, a colt owned in part by Sampson Street Stable and Newman Racing Stable, driven by Ouellette, won the final. The 2004 winner was longshot Holborn Hanover, with George Brennan driving for trainer Mark Harder and owners John Fielding and Canamerica Capital Corp. Holborn Hanover became the first sub-150 Progress Pace winner posting a come-from-behind 1:49.3f victory. In 2005, Gryffindor, became the first Delaware-owned and trained winner. After being purchased by Three Point Acres in time to win the Messenger Stake at Harrington Raceway, the sophomore won the 10th Progress Pace wire-to-wire in 1:50 with David Miller in the sulky. The purse was the event's all-time highest, $394,120. Another Delaware owned and conditioned colt, Total Truth, was the 2006 Progress Pace champion. The colt owned by Only Money and Teague Inc., the first of two straight for Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce. Pierce returned to take 2007 Progress Pace in upset fashion. Trained by Robby Siegelman for The Cheyenne Gang, Ghee House rolled down the lane for a 1:50.4 upset victory to take the 12th edition. In November 2008, overlooked at 32-1, Cat Manzi drove Bettor Sweet to a surprise 1:52.1f victory, the second richest Progress Pace boasting a $390,000 purse. Two locally owned horses Rudy Rednose and Badlands Nitro, both trained by George Teague, finished second and third respectively. Vertical Horizon and Jim Morrill Jr. were the winning 1:50.4 team, for the 2009 edition. In 2010, Yannick Gingras guided Rockin Image to an impressive 1:50.3 victory. The 2011 winner was Westwardho Hanover, a 1:49.1 performance piloted by Dave Palone. Heston Blue Chip completed an outstanding Fall campaign to win the 2012 Progress Pace with Tim Tetrick in the bike, in event winning time of 1:49. Progress Pace Champions Year Purse Winner (Driver) Win Time 1996 $100,000 Armbro Operative (Mike Lachance) 1:53f 1997 $100,000 Dream Away (John Campbell) 1:54f 1998 $225,000 Browning Blue Chip (John Campbell)1:51.2f 1999 $225,000 Royalflush Hanover (Luc Ouellette) 1:51.2f 2000 $228,000 Powerful Toy (Luc Ouellette) 1:52.1f 2001 $337,100 Peruvian Hanover (Ron Pierce) 1:52.3f 2002 $335,000 Art Major (John Campbell) 1:51f 2003 $350,060 Radar Sign (Luc Ouellette) 1:51.4f 2004 $345,900 Holborn Hanover (George Brennan) 1:49.3f 2005 $394,120 Gryffindor (David Miller) 1:50f 2006 $348,900 Total Truth (Ron Pierce) 1:52.2f 2007 $350,900 Ghee House (Ron Pierce) 1:50.4f 2008 $390,000 Bettor Sweet (Cat Manzi) 1:51.2f 2009 $350,000 Vertical Horizon (Jim Morrill Jr.) 1:50.4f 2010 $320,000 Rockin Image (Yannick Gingras) 1:50.3f 2011 $330,000 Westwardho Hanover (Dave Palone) 1:49.1f 2012 $270,000 Heston Blue Chip (Tim Tetrick) 1:49f - event record by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs  

Of all the people who were shocked and saddened by the news of the untimely death of champion pacer and sire Rocknroll Hanover (Western Ideal–Rich N Elegant), no one felt the loss more keenly than the young woman who experienced first-hand his two-year odyssey at the very top echelon of harness racing.

Rocknroll Hanover is gone, but he will not be forgotten. Not now, or likely anytime in the future. The 2005 Horse of the Year winner and a 2012 inductee into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, Rocknroll Hanover found success not only on the racetrack, where he earned $2.75 million in his career, but also in the breeding shed.

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