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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 18, 2019--They were lacking in quantity, but there was some quality to be found Saturday night (May 18th) during the harness racing eliminations for winning Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney and Lismore Paces. The 29th Rooney began with two, six-horse $40,000 elims for the 3-year-old colts and geldings. Odds-on Air Force Hanover (Dave Miller, $2.20) won the first elimination, though with few style points. Away from post position No. 2, he controlled (:27.4, :56.2, 1:24.2, 1:52.4) after taking over from Captain Malicious (Mark MacDonald). Air Force Hanover did have to hold off a long, first-up Buddy Hill (Brian Sears). The 2½-length lead in and out of the final turn was a diminishing neck, with Price Hanover (Dan Dube) third and Captain Malicious fourth. Goldberg (Montrell Teague) was an unlucky fifth, sitting a trapped three-hole behind a tiring pocket-sitter and a gapping second-over number...both of whom beat him to the line. For Air Force Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere co-owned by County Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo & W. J. Donovan and trained by Brian Brown, it was his second win and three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $26.40, the triple returned $127 and the superfecta paid $343.50. The second elim for the Rooney saw Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn, $5) stuff 3-4 favorite Blood Money (Scott Zeron) in behind, then go the distance. From post No. 3, he laid down intervals of :28, :57.2, 1:26.1 and 1:53.2, easily handling his pocketed rival by a length-and-a-quarter. Rollwithpapajoe (Joe Bongiorno) sat a three-hole and photoed a first-up Branquinho (Tyler Buter) for third For second choice Bettor's Wish, a Bettor's Delight colt co-owned by (trainer) Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Kenneth Solomon, he's won both of his '19 tries. The exacta paid $9.30, the triple returned $14.80 and the superfecta paid $33.80. Bettor's Wish                                --Mike Lizzi photo The companion event, the 15th Lismore for soph fillies, offered two, $20,000 eliminations race, though the first of those didn't eliminated anyone. A quartet of lasses (after a defection) had Annie Hill (Sears, $2.90) move from last, then pick off pace-setting As Time Goes By (Jordan Stratton) by a neck in 1:55.4. Privacy Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was third and Mi Nina Bonita (Brent Holland) fourth. The second elim was won by Queen of the Pride (Stratton, $2.40)--from post No. 2--assuming the lead early and going the route (:27.2, :56, 1:24.4, 1:53.2). Bestseller Hanover (Bartlett) moved from third and was a solid second, beaten three-quarters of a length. Rockn' Philly (Victor Kirby) was a belated third and Rock N McRoll (Dube) snapping Blue Ivy (Sears) for fourth. The open draws for both the Lismore ($109,234) and Rooney ($300,000) take place Monday afternoon (May 20th) in ad advance of the Saturday, May 25th, finals. Saturday night's pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --Trot--Swansea (Bongiorno, $8.20) in 1:56, --Pace--Mac's Jackpot (Dunn, $5.40) in 1:52.   BY FRANK DRUCKER  Publicity Director

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Let the Hambletonian hype begin. Greenshoe began his 2019 season by sending a message to the rest of the 3-year-old trotters seeking to win harness racing's greatest prize on the first Saturday in August: He is a force to be reckoned with after putting on a dazzling display in taking his division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes at the Meadowlands Friday night in 1:51.2. The only horse to go faster on the trot this year was 2018 Hambo champ Atlanta, who went 1:50.4 a week ago Monday at Miami Valley. "His manners were good," said Brian Sears, who drove the Marcus Melander trainee. "We were happy with him. He was a little high strung while scoring before the race, but then he came back to me. He relaxed after that. I think he's starting to get it." During his 2-year-old season, the son of Father Patrick-Designed To Be, won half of his four starts despite going off stride in each and every one of them. Sears handled Greenshoe carefully at the start Friday, as in 2018, he went off stride three times before the start of his races. There was none of that on this night. Greenshoe sat a four-hole for the first five-eighths before vacating the rail and going after leader Sheena's Boy, who hit the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.1 on an open lead. "I took a peek and saw they were going a little bit," said Sears. "When I tipped him, he went up there." The 2018 NJSS champion quickly got himself into contention and was charging after the leader coming toward the top of the stretch. Sears barely moved a muscle as Greenshoe, who paid $3.00 as the post-time choice, rolled by his over-matched foes during a final quarter of :26.2 to score by 3½ widening lengths while lowering his previous lifetime best by two-and-one-fifth seconds. Sheena's Boy held second with Battenberg third. "He's a natural," said Sears. "He's got some gears that most horses don't have." In the other NJSS division for sophomore male trotters, Soul Strong scored in 1:53 at odds of 15-1 for trainer Ake Svanstedt and driver Yannick Gingras. Evident Beauty scored in the first of two 3-year-old filly trots for trainer Nifty Norman and driver Dave Miller in 1:53.3 as the 8-5 favorite. The Lucas Wallin-trained Queen Of Trixs took the other division in 1:55.4 for driver Andy McCarthy at odds of 6-1. A LITTLE MORE: Gingras and McCarthy both recorded driving triples on the program. ... The 20-Cent Can-Am Pick-4 took in $47,911 in wagers, and those who had the winning combination of 2-2-4-3 collected $67.15 for a ticket that included three favorites. ... One bettor in Ontario was the only player to hold a winning ticket in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $14,085.04 for lasting eight legs. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,500,166. ... Big M gates open at 9:30 a.m. for Preakness Day. Post time for the first at Pimlico is 10:30 a.m. while the Preakness is slated to go at 6:48 p.m. ... Live racing at the Meadowlands resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little Meadowlands Media Relations

East Rutherford, NJ - Saturday morning qualifiers at The Meadowlands were held under mostly sunny skies (the short sleeved colors made their first appearance of the season), negligible wind and temperatures in the 60's, with the track rated fast as they began at 10:00am. Trotting fillies opened the card with the good pair of Evident Beauty (David Miller) and Beautiful Sin (Yannick Gingras) crossing the wire together in hand, the mile in 1:58.4/28.2. Both were making their second start, Red Mile Grand Circuit winner Evident Beauty appeared flawless for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Little E and R A W Equine while Beautiful Sin looked healthy after sustaining a serious tendon laceration that ended her freshman season prematurely. Greenshoe clearly holds great promise with his remarkable speed but often authored his own undoing last season via his anxious temperament. Today was another triumph for the connections as Greenshoe looked more comfortable going to the gate, driver Brian Sears was able to settle the colt in third through slow fractions then got the response he wanted when the colt ground up uncovered and wore down a good colt in Super Schissel (Gingras) through a 27.1 end to a 1:55.1 mile. Great things may well be in store for owner Anders Strom (Courant Inc) and trainer Marcus Melander if they're able to continue to harness the power of the enigmatic Father Patrick colt. Ake Svanstedt unveiled the Swedish star Darling Mearas S this morning as the career winner of over three quarters of a million dollars led at every call then held pocket sitter Pat Matters (Matt Kakley) at bay in hand, the mile in 1:56.1/27.4. Darling Mearas has been made eligible to the top US stakes for mare trotters by owners Snogarps Stable. With a stretch headwind beginning to pick up, The Veteran was a 1:53.4 winner this morning for his new connections, the Paul Kelley Stable. Mark MacDonald held the powerful 4-year-old Muscle Mass horse in third as Manchego (Scott Zeron) set fast fractions while appearing somewhat fresh before rolling off stride on the final bend. Mac Donald has The Veteran marching up uncovered by then and he held off Ice Attracion (Svanstedt) comfortably. Trainer Kelley owns him with SRF Stable, Winske and Michaels. Odds On St Lucie (Matt Krueger) closed nicely to get the 1:54.3/27.4 win today over stable mate Wicked N Wonderful (Dexter Dunn) and Petticoat winner Catch An Ace (D. Miller). Tony Alagna trains the winner for Odds On Racing. Western Joe (Zeron) is making his way back to the wars and took another step forward with a 1:52.2/27.3 win from the pocket this morning over Limelight Beach (D. Miller). He's had two good Q's back now for trainer Chris Choate and owners Anthony Ruggeri & Joe Tosies. Sophomore colt pacers capped the card and Bettors Wish was an impressive out of the pocket winner for Dexter Dunn in 1:52.4/27.3 clearing pacesetter Captain McKee (Tim Tetrick) by a couple at the end. Trainer Chris Ryder owns the sharp Bettor's Delight colt with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Ken Solomon. The results are available on the web. Live racing resumes tonight around 7:15 pm.   Nick Salvi

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 7, 2019-New York Sire Stakes season began Tuesday night (May 7th), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $163,499 Joe Goldstein Trot for 3-year-old fillies. The lasses went as three harness racing divisions, two six-horse fields--purses $54,833 each-and a five-horse event at $1,000 less. The opening quintet saw Hanna Dreamgirl (Brian Sears, $13) waltz around the oval (:29.3, 1:00.1, 1:29.3, 1:59) as the only leaver. From post position No. 3, she never had any grief, disposing of first-up, 2-5 choice Stella Jane (Jason Bartlett), then hold pocket-sitting Sweet Chapter (Dave Miller) at bay. The final margin was three-quarters of a length, with Stella Jane settling for the bottom of the ticket. For third choice Hanna Dreamgirl, a daughter of Chapter Seven owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by George Ducharme, it was her seasonal debut (2-for-15, $115,204 as 2-year-old). The exacta paid $29.20, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offered. The first of two happy half-dozen sire stakes events was won by With Out a Doubt (Andy Miller, $10.20). Making the first lead from post No 5, she gave it up to Sensibility (Scott Zeron) That lass worked through intervals of :28.2, :58.3 and 1:27, with minimal annoyance from Thanks for Leaving (Jordan Stratton) and even less from 17-10 favorite Conway Kellyanne (Charlie Norris). Sensibility owned a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, but With Out a Doubt edged by with purpose. She drew out, winning by a length-and-three-quarters in a life-best 1:56.2...by far the night's fastest effort. Sensibility was a safe second, with 'Kellyanne' and Thanks for Leaving completing the gimmicks. With Out a Doubt                  -Mike Lizzi photo For fourth choice Without a Doubt, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (breeder) Ross Bonafield, Robert McCarthy & James Moran and trained by Erv Miller, it was also her '19 purse bow (1-for-9, $51,536 as 2-year-old). The exacta paid $27, the triple returned $107 and the superfecta paid $199.50. "She's quick off the car and very handy," Andy Miller said. ...and down came the rain before the final statebred event, reclassifying the track as 'sloppy'. It was done in time defending sire stakes champion Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer, $4.60) to prevail-barley-snapping he nearly 39-1 rank outsider Pilgrim Lass (Mike Simons) by a head in 1:59.1. 'Pilgrim,' one of three that didn't jump it off early, led the remaining trio (:30.3, 1:01.1, 1:30.2). Winndevie, pocketed from post No. 5, took out early but found the leader quite stubborn. Winndevie did get past very late, with Amal Hall (Andy Miller) third. Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.), the 7-10 choice, did beat the other breakers. For second choice Winndevie, a Credit Winner miss trained by her driver for owner Purple Haze Stables, she began her sophomore season after going 6-for-7 ($227,878) as a frosh. The exacta paid $102, the triple returned $286 and the superfecta paid $771. New York Sire Stakes returns downstate Tuesday night (May 14th), with the Art Watson Pace for 3-year-old fillies. Total purses for the 2019 New York-bred program are estimated at $14 million. For more information, please visit www.nysirestakes.com.   by Frank Drucker Director of Publicity 810 Yonkers Avenue Yonkers, NY 10704

It was reported via the Sun Sentinel newspaper that harness racing’s Hall of Fame driver, Brian Sears, was arrested Tuesday evening after an altercation in a Fort Lauderdale, Florida bar. Sears, 51, was charged with touching, striking/battery. This past season Sears scored his 10,000th career victory and the horses he has driven have earnings of more than $189 million. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2017. There were no further details revealed on the arrest. Sears has had prior problems with altercations and was once suspended from racing due to drug abuse. Harnesslink Media

Orlando, FL --- McWicked on Sunday became the oldest pacer in history to be named Horse of the Year, receiving harness racing's top honor to cap the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Dan Patch Award banquet at Rosen Shingle Creek. The 7-year-old stallion bested pacing mare Shartin N, 86-27, to claim the trophy. Atlanta, who was named Trotter of the Year, finished third with eight votes. Earlier in the night, McWicked was named Pacer of the Year, 95-31, over Shartin N. McWicked is owned by Ed James' SSG Stables and trained by Casie Coleman. Brian Sears was McWicked's primary driver, but David Miller also won on the Grand Circuit with the stallion. A son of McArdle out of Western Sahara, he was bred by Andray Farm. McWicked led the sport in earnings last year, with $1.57 million, and became the oldest horse in 43 years to top the money standings. For the season, McWicked won 12 of 19 races, capping his campaign with a five-race win streak, and hit the board a total of 17 times. The previous oldest pacer to be named Horse of the Year was Good Time, who was 6 when he received the award in 1952. Earlier this month, McWicked was named Horse of the Year in Canada. Coleman has trained three Horse of the Year winners in Canada, but McWicked was her first in the U.S., as well as the first for owner James. Sears, who drove McWicked in 12 of his 19 races, has sat behind four Horse of the Year honorees. "We've been fortunate to have three horses of the year in Canada, and to get it done here is pretty awesome," Coleman said. "Winning a double (Horse of the Year) with him, and doing it with a horse that's 7 turned 8, it's not often that it happens. Now we have to hope he can do it again next year. He's going to be another year older, but I see no reason why he shouldn't be just as good next year. We'll see what happens." McWicked's victories last season included the Breeders Crown, Ben Franklin Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, TVG Series Open championship, Dan Rooney Invitational, and Allerage Farms Open. His 1:46.2 clocking in the Allerage was the second-fastest race mile in history. "It was a very tough group all season, and just the way he did it, his last start he was just as good as his first start," Coleman said. "His last start at the Meadowlands (in the TVG) he did it like there was nothing to it. It was scary how good we put him away. We're really excited to see what he can do again next year." Atlanta became the first filly to win the Hambletonian since 1996 when she captured the $1 million final Aug. 4 at the Meadowlands. Driven by Scott Zeron, she won eight of 14 races last year and led all 3-year-old filly trotters with $1.01 million in purses. Her victories also included the Kentucky Filly Futurity and Empire Breeders Classic. A daughter of Chapter Seven out of Hemi Blue Chip, Atlanta was owned in 2018 by trainer Rick Zeron, Michelle and Al Crawford's Crawford Farms, William Holland's Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, and Brad Grant. She was bred by Order By Stable. The horse sold recently for a record $1.55 million to a group led by Michelle Crawford. "I'm very happy," Crawford said. "I was very excited to hear her for Trotter of the Year. I think she deserves it. I watched her from the beginning and she's just a freak, a really phenomenal filly. I can't wait to put her in the breeding shed and have her babies, but I'm not trying to get her off the track by any means. I'm excited for her future, but I'm not rushing her off the track. Not at all." The announcements of Horse, Pacer, and Trotter of the Year were made during Sunday's banquet. Previously announced divisional champions also were honored at the event. Division-winning pacers were 2-year-old colt Captain Crunch, 2-year-old filly Warrawee Ubeaut, 3-year-old gelding Dorsoduro Hanover, 3-year-old filly Kissin In The Sand, Shartin N, and McWicked. Division-winning trotters were 2-year-old colt Gimpanzee, 2-year-old filly Woodside Charm, 3-year-old colt Six Pack, 6-year-old gelding Homicide Hunter, 4-year-old mare Ariana G, and Atlanta. Other honorees included Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award winner Foiled Again, Driver of the Year Aaron Merriman, Trainer of the Year Ron Burke, Breeder of the Year Order By Stable, Owners of the Year Burke Racing and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and Rising Star Marcus Melander. Foiled Again surprised the audience of 320 by emerging from behind the curtained stage as part of the Bergstein-Proximity presentation that kicked off the festivities. The crowd rose to its feet and cheered Foiled Again, the sport's all-time richest horse who retired at the end of 2018 following a farewell tour that attracted numerous fans to racetracks across North America and garnered mainstream media attention. Also recognized Sunday at the banquet were the members of the 2018 Hall of Fame class, which will be inducted in July: Blair Burgess, Ted Gewertz, Joe Holloway, Jerry Silverman, Linda Toscano, and Ted Wing. For the complete list of award winners, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com @harnessracenews @HarnessKenW      

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - McWicked completely dominated his foes for a third straight stakes start, and in the process, likely wrapped up Horse of the Year honors Saturday night at the Meadowlands after taking the $350,000 TVG Open Pace by 2 lengths over Dealt A Winner in 1:48 over a sloppy track. Filibuster Hanover was third. "He was absolutely awesome," said winning trainer Casie Coleman. "He's been awesome all season long. I was a little worried when Filibuster got to the front and nobody was coming, I thought we might go a little bit slow fractions up front, but he kept rolling along and it set up great." She needn't have been concerned. Sent to the gate as the 1-9 public choice with the heavy rains from earlier in the evening having diminished to a steady drizzle, McWicked, who was an easy winner in the Dan Rooney on Oct. 13 before following that up with a crushing Breeders Crown score two weeks later, was away in third as Filibuster Hanover reached the quarter in :27 and the half in :54.2. Driver Brian Sears activated McWicked, a 7-year-old son of McArdle-Western Sahara, with about three-eighths of a mile to go, moving quickly after the leader, and was just a length to the bad at three-quarters in 1:21.2. McWicked then powerfully, methodically wore down Filibuster Hanover and went on to an easy victory, his 12th in 19 starts this year. His earnings for 2018 stand at $1,575,364, while his lifetime bank account is a gaudy $3,896,876. He's won 34 of 93 starts over his career. As the heavy favorite, McWicked returned $2.20 to his backers. He is owned by the S S G Stables. Coleman explained after McWicked's win in a Big M overnight event last week that the horse will return for his 8-year-old season. "We've had a lot of offers to go to stud, but his owner, Ed James, is loving this and he said McWicked is racing next year." Will McWicked be chosen as Horse of the Year? "I sure hope so," said Coleman. "We'll see what the voters think, so hopefully." In the $350,000 TVG Open Trot, Tactical Landing completed a marvelous 3-year-old season by besting rival sophomore Six Pack as the pair finished 1-2 facing seven older foes. "He's really, really special. I'm so proud of this horse," said winning trainer Jimmy Takter. "I can't praise a horse more than I praise this guy. He's one of a kind." Strong words. But deserving ones. Six Pack, the 8-5 second choice, was away third in the early going before driver Ake Svanstedt brushed the Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity winner to the top at the three-eighths. Sears was patient with 7-5 public choice Tactical Landing, moving the son of Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena off the rail from fifth at the half. Tactical Landing chipped away at Six Pack's lead until the duo were on even terms at three-quarters. They went at it nose-to-nose from there until Tactical Landing powered clear inside the eighth pole, going on to a 2½-length score in 1:51.4. Will Take Charge finished third. "In the beginning, he was a real project," said Takter of Tactical Landing, an $800,000 Lexington Select Sale purchase who earned only $1,500 as a 2-year-old. "He did not have confidence in himself." That would come when Tactical Landing, who paid $4.80 to win, moved into Takter's barn at the start of this year, one during which his prized pupil has won nine-of-14 starts and bankrolled $810,800 for owners The Tactical Landing Stable. Alluding to his impending retirement at the end of the year, Takter wasn't sure what lies ahead for the horse. "It's something we have to decide. I'm going to be out of the picture for most of it. I don't know." A LITTLE MORE: One astute player betting at Pompano (Fla.) Park was the lone winner of the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and took home $15,488 for surviving nine legs. ... The great Foiled Again finished fourth in his Meadowlands finale. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card was a meet-high $2,764,913. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Harness racing's top-ranked horses, No. 1 McWicked and No. 2 Shartin N, head to their respective TVG Series championships Saturday at The Meadowlands Racetrack looking to bolster their Horse of the Year credentials while closing out historic seasons. The Meadowlands hosts four TVG Series finals Saturday, with events also for male and female trotters, and four stakes races for 2-year-olds - the Governor's Cup for colt and gelding pacers, Valley Victory for colt and gelding trotters, Three Diamonds for filly pacers, and Goldsmith Maid for filly trotters. McWicked faces six foes in the $350,000 TVG Series final for male pacers. He starts from post one with Brian Sears driving for trainer Casie Coleman. Shartin N meets seven rivals in the $175,000 TVG Series final for female pacers. She also starts from post one, with Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer Jim King Jr. Shartin N, who has won 18 of 23 races this year, has already set the record for single-season earnings by an older female pacer, with $968,361, and is attempting to become the first pacing mare to reach $1 million. The New Zealand-bred 5-year-old is owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. McWicked has won 11 of 18 races and earned $1.40 million in 2018. The 7-year-old stallion leads all horses in North America in purses and will be the first horse older than the age of 5 to finish atop the annual money standings since 7-year-old trotter Savoir in 1975. He is owned by Ed James' S S G Stables. Last week, McWicked won the five-horse preferred handicap at The Meadowlands by 2-1/4 lengths over Filibuster Hanover in 1:47.3. He brings a four-race win streak to his TVG final. "I couldn't be any happier," Coleman said. "He was off for three weeks and when we drew the five hole in a five-horse field I expected they would go slow fractions trying to get away on him late. When they hit the half in :53.4 I was pretty happy. I wasn't expecting that fast a mile out of him, but he did it real easy. "He came out of it really good. He was feeling good the next day. Everything seems good. Hopefully we can have a little bit of luck with him on Saturday." McWicked, who was a Dan Patch Award-winner at the age of 3, counts the Breeders Crown Open Pace, Ben Franklin Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, Dan Rooney Invitational, and Allerage Open Pace among his wins this year. Two fourth-place finishes are his only off-the-board results in his 18 starts. If he were named Horse of the Year, McWicked would be the oldest pacer to ever receive the honor. "To think he was going to do what he did this year would be impossible," Coleman said. "I felt confident he would have a big season, but he's made almost $1.5 million and barely missed the top three. In the starts he got beat, he only got beat from the way the trip went. I've never seen anybody as consistent as he's been week in and week out. "It's not like he has easy miles and he's been at the top of his game since the time he started the season. The horse is 7 years old and racing against the best of the best in the open (class) every week. It's fun every time he goes to the gate. As long as he's healthy and sound we're definitely planning to race him next year." Shartin N prepped for her TVG final with a 1:52.2 win in a qualifier Nov. 14 at Dover Downs. She last raced Oct. 27, winning the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. She also brings a four-race win streak to her TVG event. "She qualified really good the other day, very pleasing," King said. "She doesn't seem to mind the time between races. I think she's OK." In addition to the Breeders Crown, Shartin N's victories this year include the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series championship, Roses Are Red, Lady Liberty, Artiscape, Betsy Ross Invitational, Chip Noble Memorial, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. If she were named Horse of the Year, Shartin N would be the first pacing mare to ever receive the honor. "I think that's a pretty tall order; McWicked is so sharp right now," King said. "A few weeks ago, I thought it was going to be all about (3-year-old trotting filly) Atlanta, but people have short memories. It's really something just to be even considered, to be in the running. She's gone all year since the Matchmaker (beginning in March) and she hasn't missed yet where she didn't have an excuse or real good reason. Every time she didn't win, something went wrong. "There are so few things through the year that didn't make me smile. It's just a thrill to be around one like her and to think you were a part of it. I'd really love to get over that million-dollar mark; that would be something. You never want to see a year like this end, but she's had quite a year. She's just a horse of a different color. She's pretty damn special." For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here. First-race post time is 7:15 p.m. (EST). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It's safe to say that McWicked is ready for next week's TVG Free For All Pace. The current leader in the race for Horse of the Year, McWicked lived up to his name in a big way Saturday night at the Meadowlands, scorching the mile oval in 1:47.3 in taking the $20,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers. "I wasn't expecting that," said trainer Casie Coleman of the blazing-fast effort in cold 42-degree conditions. "I was kind of worried about a slow half, but they went (the half) :53.4. He looked like he did it pretty easy." That he did. McWicked was in no hurry early, racing fifth and last as he swung to the outside at the half-mile marker. He grinded his way toward the leaders down the backside and was just a length behind the horse in the top spot, Dealt A Winner, as three-quarters was timed in 1:20.4. From there, McWicked put on a show, sprinting the final quarter in :26.3 to hit the wire 2¼ lengths in front of 7-2 second choice Filibuster Hanover. Western Fame was third. As the 1-5 favorite, McWicked, who was driven by Brian Sears, paid $2.40 to win in scoring for the 33rd time in 92 lifetime starts. He lifted his bank account to a gaudy $3.725 million. "He always gives everything he's got," said Coleman. "Tonight, he looked as strong as he's been in any of his races this year. That mile tonight was crazy." Coleman confirmed the good news that had previously been shared several weeks ago. "The TVG will be his last race of the year," said the conditioner. "But he is 100 percent coming back next year. We've had a lot of offers to go to stud, but his owner, Ed James, is loving this and he said McWicked is racing next year." Next Saturday's huge Meadowlands program includes eight stakes events: The Fall Final Four has two pair of $400,000 events for 2-year-olds - the Three Diamonds, Goldsmith Maid, Valley Victory and Governor's Cup - while the TVGs for 3-year-olds and up have a pair of $350,000 events (the Free For All Pace and Trot) as well as two $175,000 races (the Free For All Mare Pace and Trot). A LITTLE MORE: Trix And Stones (1:55.1, $14.20 to win) and Chin Chin Hall (1:54.4, $22.20) were victorious in the two Valley Victory elims for colt and gelding trotters, while the single Governor's Cup elim for pacing colts and geldings went to Mangogh (1:51.3, $16.40). ... All Bets Off showed his class in a high-end conditioned event, stopping the clock in 1:48.4 as the 3-5 favorite. ... Geez Joe (2-1 favorite), racing in a non-winners of $8,500 pace, lowered his previous lifetime best by two full seconds, stopping the clock in 1:48.1. ... All-source wagering on the 13-race card totaled $2,449,013. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations    

Wilkes-Barre, PA - Favored McWicked ($3.80) moved to the lead at the five-eighths pole, easily putting away Lazarus N and then opening to win by four comfortable lengths in 1:49.3. Brian Sears drove McWicked for trainer Casie Coleman, as he won his second Breeders Crown trophy. Early leader Filibuster Hanover rallied for second, while Donttellmeagain finished third. Mcwicked has now earned over $3.7 million in his career after posting his 24th career win. "He's real easy to drive and he does everything you want. It's great to have the opportunity to drive such nice horses," said Sears, who won three Breeders Crown races Saturday night. "I always think he's gonna be good, but to think he is going to do what he did this year... I think he is better now than he was at three. He is a big team effort no doubt. I hope he is going to race next year, but that is not my call. It is up to Mr. James (owner Edward James of the SSG Stables.) I think he will be at stud, but I hope he will race, our team would really like that," explained trainer Casie Coleman. Filibuster Hanover took the field to the quarter in 26.1, but Lazarus N was immediately out and winging, taking the field past the half in 55.2. McWicked pulled up the backside and easily disposed of his challenger, rolling past three-quarters in 1:21.2 before Sears took his foot off the gas in the stretch. McWicked is a seven-year-old bay horse by McArdle, out of the Western Ideal mare Western Sahara. He was bred by Andray Farm of Punxutawney, Pennsylvania. By Keith Gisser, For The Breeders Crown      

Wilkes-Barre, PA - The track at Mohegan Sun Pocono may have been sloppy but the effort from Tactical Landing was pretty neat as he took the $500,000 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Trot in a speedy 1:52.1. Harness racing driver Brian Sears got Tactical Landing away second as Met's Hall took the field to the quarter in 27.1, but he cruised to the front en route to the 55.4 half mile marker. Tactical Landing hit three-quarters in 1:23.4 and drew off from Met's Hall and Crystal Fashion in the stretch, winning by open lengths. Met's Hall and Crystal Fashion were second and third, respectively. The presumptive favorite, Six Pack, was scratched from the race due to sickness. Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, who is retiring at the end of this season, trains Tactical Landing for the Tactical Landing Stable of Perrysburg, Ohio. An $800,000 yearling, the son of Muscle Hill from the Varenne mare Southwind Serena, was bred by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Andrea Lea Racing Stables. He has now earned $644,300 in his career as he won for the eighth time. The win was the second Crown title of the night for driver Sears. Takter was pleased, but philosophical in the winner's circle. "This horse, he's been battling a lot of issues. I have trained a lot of great horses, but the way he carries himself in this weather, I know he's by far the best three-year-old out there. I know Six Pack is a good horse, and it's too bad he got sick, but he would not have a shot with this horse. This horse is a level above anything. This was number 34 (Breeders Crown win), and I was very nervous going into it. This is my last year so I'd like to get at least one Crown before I get out of here." In taking home the John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trophy, sponsored by Brittany Farms, favored Tactical Landing paid $2.80 to win. by Keith Gisser, for The Breeders Crown

Wilkes-Barre, PA - Brian Sears piloted favored Gimpanzee to a 2½ length victory in the $600,000 two-year-old Breeders Crown Colt Trot, with an effortless 1:54.4 win. Stablemate Green Manalishi S was second and longshot Hudson River finished third. Marcus Melander trains the top two finishers. Melander was very pleased with Gimpanzee, saying, "It feels great, of course. He's like an aged horse, you can do whatever you want with him in a race. He's got a lot of stamina and a lot of speed and everything went well. I thought he raced great. I couldn't be more happy with the year." "It's not over until it's over but the horse has showed up all year," added Sears. "He just knows how to do his job and got it done again tonight, figured I'd take my shot on the front." Gimpanzee got the early lead but yielded to Green Manalishi S just before the 27-second quarter mile marker. Sears had the son of Chapter Seven out and moving at the three-eighths and the race was for all intents and purposes over. He cruised through a leisurely 57.3 half mile and 1:26.3 three-quarter marks before sprinting home in 28.1, fending off a mild challenge from Green Manalishi S entering the stretch. Gimpanzee's dam is the Muscle Massive mare Steamy Windows. He finishes his two-year-old campaign with a perfect nine-for-nine record, while banking nearly $600,000. Bred by Order By Stable, he is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable, both of Delray Beach, Florida. In taking the Bill Weaver Memorial Trophy, Gimpanzee paid $3.00 to win. The Melander-trained exacta paid $12.40. by Keith Gisser, For The Breeders Crown  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, October 22, 2018--Turns out Brian Sears' 30-1 upset with Cruzado Dela Noche in the million-dollar Yonkers International Trot was puny parimutuel potatoes. Monday night (Oct. 22nd), Sears and---we kid you not--82-1 A Oliveinmymartini became Yonkers Raceway's largest win mutuel of the season, to the tune of $167.50 for ever correct couple of bucks. This was far for a 'shortest distance between two points' number. From post position No. 8 in the $16,000, third-race pace, the lass missed the memo, spotting her rivals about a half-dozen lengths at the start. A Oliveinmymartini did catch the field, racing fourth along the pylons before slipping out and widest in the final turn. She defeated 11-1 Successful Outlook (Jordan Stratton) by a half-length, with 17-1 Bullvillekarla (Dan Dube) third and 6-1 Fine Art (Brent Holland) fourth. Making her first start for owner Samuel Abdoo and trainer Amber Buter, the 3-year-old daughter of Three Olives was patrolling the Ohio fair circuit before winning at Dayton 18 nights ago. The 1:55.2 in her local debut was a life-best performance and led a $1,433 exacta, $10,899 triple (base $2 payout, $1 ticket worth $5,449.50) and $129,551 (base $2 payout, 10-cent ticket worth $6,477.55). A Oliveinmymartini won for the third time in 10 seasonal starts. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Sweden’s Cruzado Dela Noche made a three-wide move on the final turn and the 30-1 long shot was able to nip Norway’s Lionel at the wire in a dramatic photo finish by a head in winning harness racing’s $1 million International Trot at Yonkers Raceway Saturday. Driven by Brian Sears, Cruzado Dela Noche got away in sixth place as Arazi Boko (Alessandro Gocciadoro) took the early lead away from the USA’s Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) going to the first quarter in :28.2. Race favorite and Elitloppet winner, Ringostar Treb and Pastore Bob both went off-stride going for the lead on the first turn. Then Canada’s Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) came first-over and was able to clear to the lead and take the field to the half mile in :57.1 as Lionel and driver Goran Antonsen came first-over with Sears and Cruzado Dela Noche followed second over past the three-quarters in 1:27. As they came to the final turn, Sears made the big move three-wide with Cruzado Dela Notche past the mile marker in 1:27 and the three-horses raced side-by-side around the turn and then the battle began down the stretch. Marion Marauder began to tire, Lionel looked if he had the race won, but with every stride, Cruzado Dela Noche gained ground and then in the final strides to the wire, won by a head in 2:24.3. Up And Quick (Jason Bartlett) was third. A six-year-old stallion by Muscle Massive, Cruzado Dela Notche was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms in the USA and raced in the states at age two before being shipped to Sweden. He trained by Marcus Melander and is leased by Courant, Inc. of Delray Beach, Florida. He paid $62.50 to win. Also, of note is that Cruzado Dela Noche had not been in a pari-mutuel race since June 10. He did have two winning qualifying races before going in the International. “I’m just so proud and happy to be here today,” said winning driver Brian Sears. “The trip I got, I could not have drawn it up any better. Maybe I should have tipped him three deep a little earlier than I did. When I did tip out it made the 9 horse (Lionel) worked a little harder. Perhaps if I had waited until the top of the stretch my horse would have gotten to him sooner. “He just raced super,” Sears said. “He got the trip that he needed. It’s just awesome today. To win the International Trot is great. This was my fourth time in the race. You don’t get that many chances to compete at this level. To win this today is quite a thrill.” “We did the qualifiers at Pocono,” said trainer Marcus Melander. “And we really did not know if they were enough for him to get ready for this race. He showed up today in good shape. “We train our horses a lot,” Melander said. “He was use to the extra distance racing from Sweden.” Warrawee Roo and Dube take $250,000 Harry Harvey Trot With a huge three-wide move from fourth place, Warrawee Roo and driver Daniel Dube was able to collar pacesetter Gruden and go on to win the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. Gruden, at 22-1, and driver Tim Tetrick grabbed the lead away from In Secret (George Brennan) to start off the seven race one and one-quarter mile race and led the field past the opening quarter in :28.1 and the half mile in :57. Yes Mickey and driver Jason Barlett had started up first-over with Warrawee Roo following the outside flow second-over as they past the three-quarters in 1:27. Then at the one-mile mark in the race at 1:56, Dube moved Warrawee Roo three-wide, clearing by Yes Mickey and then collaring Gruden as they started down the stretch. Warrawee Roo then has plenty of trot in the stretch, holding off Tap Flight Angel (Andy Miller) to win by one length in 2:25.2 with Gruden third. Winless in his last seven starts, Warrawee Roo, a five-year-old stallion by Majestic Son, posted his fourth win of the year for trainer Luc Blais and the Determination Stable of Montreal, Canada. He paid $10.60 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

It was a big harness racing day for driver Brian Sears at Yonkers Raceway Saturday afternoon. After capturing the $1 million International Trot with Cruzado Dela Noche, Sears then came back in the 11th race $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace to win with ease with McWicked. It was Mach It So (Jason Bartlett) who flew out of the starting gate to take command and then Nuclear Dragon and driver Tim Tetrick came right after Mach It So to control the pace at the first quarter in :27. As they came past the grandstand the first time, Sear came out with McWicked and started to grind his way towards the leaders at the half mile in :55.3. Following second-over was Bit Of A legend with driver Jordan Stratton. Then in the backstretch, McWicked was able to overpower Mach It So and take command with ease going to the three-quarters in 1:22.4. From there is was all McWicked as he pulled away in the stretch to win by four open lengths in 1:50.4. Bit Of A Legend was second with Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) third. “He always gives a great effort,” Sears said after the race. “I was OK with getting away third and I knew we would have to come first up and he just makes it look so easy. I don’t want to always come first up with him, but today he was OK. He is just so easy to drive.” A seven-year-old stallion by McArdle, it was the ninth win this year for McWicked. He is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by Ed James SSG Stable of North Boston, NY. He paid $2.90 to win as the race favorite with the scratch of Lazarus from the race on Friday. McWicked now sports 31 career wins in 90 starts and lifetime earnings of $3.500,376. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

YONKERS, N.Y. – Sunday morning (October 7), there was no time for celebration in Chris Oakes’ barn on the backstretch at the Red Mile. Homicide Hunter, who set a world record for the fastest trotting mile ever the afternoon before, stood in his stall after going out to jog several laps with caretaker Therese Pierce.  Despite his remarkable achievement on the track, in the barn, Homicide Hunter was barely noticeable, standing silently in a dark corner of his stall without so much as a fuss as Pierce tended to him with the stall door wide open. “Not crazy. We went out for dinner afterwards, shared a few laughs, and we’re back to work today,” Oakes said as he looked admiringly into the trotter’s stall. “You can’t dwell on it too long, we have to work now, we have to keep going.” Homicide Hunter shipped back to Oakes’ Pennsylvania farm this week and will ship to Yonkers Friday to arrive in time for the 24-hour detention barn ahead of Saturday’s Harry Harvey Trot, a $250,000 invitational on the Yonkers International Trot undercard. The stakes will mark Homicide Hunter’s first local start since August 12 and his first start after setting the record. “He has a 10-hour ship back to Pennsylvania, then gets hauled Friday up to Yonkers, race, then be back to Pocono for the Breeders Crown. It’s a lot to ask of these horses,” Oakes said. “He’ll be getting a nice, easy week in the field. I’ve got a pool at the farm right inside the barn, they’ll get swimming a lot and get turned out. That’s what he really enjoys.” Homicide Hunter’s easy week comes off a grueling schedule. After winning the $100,000 Great Northeast Open Series Final over 10 furlongs at Pocono September 2, Homicide Hunter had a tune up at Pocono September 12 before shipping to the Midwest. He finished third in the Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park September 21 and fourth in the Dayton Trotting Derby September 28 before heading to the Red Mile for the Allerage Farms Open Trot. The Allerage set up perfectly for Homicide Hunter, who has come from off the pace in all of his recent stakes tries. Lindy The Great put up a quarter in :26.2 and after taking the lead heading up the backstretch, Will Take Charge passed the half in :53.2.  Homicide Hunter followed Lindy The Great and Pinkman in the flow third over to three-quarters in 1:22. Brian Sears tipped Homicide Hunter four-wide into the stretch and with a :26 final quarter under with minimal urging from the Hall of Fame driver, Homicide Hunter swept past the field to win by 3 lengths in 1:48.4.  Oakes thought Homicide Hunter could trot sub-1:50, but never expected a world record. He was thrilled to share the moment with owners Al and Michelle Crawford. The win improved Homicide Hunter’s record to 38 wins from 75 starts and boosted his earnings to $1,463,927. “I knew instantly that was a world record. I’m just very happy for the horse and for the owners, too,” Oakes said. “They bring so much to the game and you like to see good people like that do good. When they spend the money they do on horses like this, it’s nice to see things go right. “Luckily, they were on time in front of him, they were getting down there. That helped,” he continued. “The horses that were in front of him were racing hard and of course, he hadn’t been used yet. So, when he did get free, he was loaded.” Homicide Hunter raced barefoot in his record-setting mile, a decision Oakes grappled with before the race. It was his second time racing barefoot for Oakes; the only other instance came in the same race one year earlier when Homicide Hunter was second to Hannelore Hanover in a 1:49.2 mile. The shoes were back on Sunday morning, as they will be for his start in the Harry Harvey Trot. “The track was extremely fast; the conditions were perfect,” Oakes said. “I was contemplating whether I was going to take his shoes off or not, but if you don’t do it on a day like that, you’ll never do it. I thought it was the right conditions and he was OK with it. “This year, the only I thing I did differently was I put no boots on him at all. He wears trotting boots behind, like most of them do, the only thing I put on his hind legs were two wraps, keep it as light as possible, and it worked,” he said. The Harry Harvey Trot will be a completely different style of racing for Homicide Hunter than what he encountered at the Red Mile. He will shift from the mile track to the half, will face a big field of nine rivals, and will stretch back out to 10 furlongs. Although Homicide Hunter won a local Open Handicap Trot at 1 ¼-miles from off the pace earlier this year, Oakes doesn’t want to be too far back against a tough field Saturday. “He’s OK with Yonkers. Big change and maybe even a change in strategies too,” Oakes said. “I don’t know if we can be that far back at Yonkers, it’s a different style of racing there, a little bit more speed involved.” Homicide Hunter drew post 10 and with Sears back in the bike, is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the Harry Harvey Trot. He’ll face Guardian Angel As, the runner up in the Allerage for Annette Lorentzon, who drew post 3 and is 4-1 early. Warrawee Roo, who finished second in the Dayton Trotting Derby last out, is 6-1 from the inside post. The field also includes a host of recent local winners, including Top Flight Angel, In Secret, Yes Mickey, Gruden, NF Happenstance, Sortie and DW’s NY Yank. After his world record score, a win in the Harry Harvey Trot heading into the Breeders Crown would make an impressive campaign for the 6-year-old gelding. Oakes is just happy to be along for the ride. “This horse was a good horse long before I ever laid hands on him. His 3-year-old year in a very tough program in Indiana, this horse won 16 out of 18 (for Curt Grummel) and that tells you right there what kind of horse you’re dealing with. He’s a winner. He’s won half of his lifetime starts. It’s really all about him. I’m glad to be part of him." Saturday’s card also features the $1,000,000 Yonkers International Trot and the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace. First post time is 1 p.m. For entries to the card, click here. For more information on the International Trot and its participants, click here. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

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