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Fear The Dragon entered Saturday's $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park as harness racing's top-ranked horse. Everything looked to be going his way. He drew the rail, was the overwhelming favorite and posted soft fractions. However, Downbytheseaside paced home in :26.4 despite a tough first-over trip to best Fear The Dragon by a full length. Downbytheseaside started from post-7 and sat fifth through the opening :27.1 quarter. Driver Brian Sears pulled Downbytheseaside and grinded first-up through fractions of :56 and 1:22.4. The 1:49.3 final time was a new track record for sophomore colt pacers. "I knew he was going to have a lot left with those soft fractions," stated Sears. "I didn't want to have a speed duel." The duel came in the final quarter when Downbytheseaside drew alongside Fear The Dragon, eventually wearing him down in the stretch, returning $11.60 to win. "He put in a great effort and every time I called on him he gave more," said Sears. Brian Brown trains both colts at the historic Delaware County Fairgrounds. "I am thrilled this horse raced the way that he did and got there," said Brown. "It wasn't like Fear The Dragon raced bad." Downbytheseaside Finishing behind Downbytheseaside were Fear The Dragon, Classic Pro, Blood Line, Drunk On Your Love, Rock N Tony, R J P and Bags To Riches. Saturday's stablemate duel was intense and trainer Brian Brown indicated that the colts will meet again in September in the Little Brown Jug. Ayers Ratliff

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, July 30, 2017 -- He's obviously slowing down. Harness racing favored Homicide Hunter (Brian Sears, $5.50), after waltzing through last week's mile-and-a-quarter in 2:24.3, needed a full fifth of a second more this time around. Other than that alarming loss of alacrity, not much changed for the people's preference Sunday afternoon (July 30th) en route to winning Yonkers Raceway's $68,000 Open Handicap Trot. From an assigned eight-hole in the field of 11 (scheduled '12-holer' Springbank Sam N came up lame and was a pre-race day scratch), Homicide Hunter's job was a bit easier at the outset. Luminosity (George Brennan) and Centurion ATM (Dan Dube) both mamboed their way out of contention. Lone lass Celebrity Eventsy (Shristian Lind) made the first lead, yielding to Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno). The one gave up the baton to Homicide Hunter after a :28.4 opening quarter-mile. As was the case a week ago, no ensuing issues at all (:58, 1:27.4, mile in 1:56.1) for the eventual winner. Homicide Hunter owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane before whipping Rubber Duck by 2¾ lengths. Fashion Creditor (Eric Goodell), Taco Tuesday (Jordan Stratton) and Smalltownthrowdown (Jason Bartlett) settled for the minors. For Homicide Hunter, a 5-year-old Mr. Cantab gelding owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Chris Oakes, it was his fifth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $22, with the triple returning $175.50. Sunday's installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 4-Dunk a Din (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 2-Take My Picture (Yonkers' 10th race) paid $10.20 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $3,725. Note the Raceway's post time next Sunday (Aug. 6th) is 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, July 23, 2017 - Homicide Hunter (Brian Sears, $6.10) who missed a hard-charging head a week ago, had no such angst this time around, winning Sunday afternoon's (July 23rd), Yonkers Raceway's $68,000 Open Handicap Trot. The last of three early leaders, Homicide Hunter-from assigned post position No. 7 among the dozen--took over after Bueno Camino (Scott Zeron) and Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton) each had a spin in the big chair. Homicide Hunter, as the 2-1 wagering choice, made the lead in the second turn, between a :28.3 opening quarter-mile and :57.2 half. His ascension to the throne left Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett) first-up, sitting outside. Homicide Hunter (1:28.3 three-quarters, mile in 1:55.4) hade few issues thereafter, widening to 2½ lengths in the lane before 'running' away by four lengths. The mile-and-a-quarter went in a spiffy 2:24.3. Buen Camino edged Springbank Sam N for second, with Fashion Creditor (Eric Goodell) and Awsome Valley (Greg Merton) settling for the minors. Hemi Seelster, who has had success in races where he's been out every step, couldn't replicate it here, winding up last among the dozen. For Homicide Hunter, a 5-year-old Mr. Cantab gelding owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Chris Oakes, it was his fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $25.20, with the triple returning $94. Sunday's installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 5-Uncle Mojo (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 2-I C Caviar (Yonkers' 7th race) paid $10.70 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $4,231. Note the Raceway's post time next Sunday (July 30th) is 11:30 AM. (Author's aside...I C Caviar was Bartlett's 7,000th career win. Separate story/pix shortly). Frank Drucker

The Meadowlands - Harness racing Breakfast With The Babies, Pace Day edition, began at 9:30 a.m. on a windless, muggy morning with the temperature at 72 degrees.   Making his first public appearance a winning one this morning was Tactical Landing, the colt trotter who gained notice when it took a bid of $800,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale by his eponymous ownership group to buy him. Trainer Bobby Stewart has brought the physically imposing Muscle Hill brother to the great Mission Brief along purposefully with late season stakes the target and Hall of Famer Brian Sears handled him with care in his debut. The pair settled third early and sat in past the 1:32 three panels where Sears moved Tactical Landing to the outside, the colt responded by trotting strongly through the stretch in 28 seconds. Finishing second in a quality effort after setting all the fractions was Treasure Staff, who was catch driven by Jimmy Takter for trainer Ron Gurfein in an meld of Hall of Fame trotting minds. One can't help but wonder if Takter had any post-race advice for Gurf.   Trotting fillies kicked off the nine two-year-old races with Deschanel, a homebred Yankee Glide sister to D'Orsay and half-sister to International star Propulsion, winning in 1:58.2 for Dave Miller. Settled in third through the 1:29.3 three quarters, Deschanel rolled by Lindy On Tap (Domenico Cecere) when shown racetrack through the stretch. It made for a good day for her trainer Bobby Stewart who conditions the filly for Fredericka Caldwell and Bluestone Farms.   Aperfectruby won the second race in 1:58.3 converting a perfect trip from driver Scott Zeron for trainer Ron Burke. After a pair of unsuccessful tries at Harrah's the $65,000 Lexington Sale purchase by Burke, Melillo, Silva, Purnel, Libby, Weaver & Bruscemi looked safe today and edged by mile-cutter Glide Onin Sabrina (Jan Johnson) late.   Jimmy Marohn, Jr picked up the drive on Linda Toscano's Chapter Seven colt Helpisontheway and took advantage of the opportunity by mowing down the field from far back in a well-timed move. Southwind Camo (Scott Zeron) set the fractions as Maron sat patiently near the back waiting to launch Helpisontheway and when he did the colt responded beautifully through the 29.4 end to the 1:59.2 mile. Lindyinoverdrive also rallied well late for Domenico Cecere but couldn't stall the winner's bid. Toscano shares ownership of the colt as Camelot Farms with The Bay Stable.   Lindy's Big Bang (David Miller) and Make It a Double (Julie Miller) battled right to the wire in a 1:58.4 mile and could not be separated by the camera finishing in a dead heat for win. Both were in close attendance as Prince William (Zeron) cut the mile until head-stretch when Make It A Double went by from the pocket and Lindy's Big Bang closed up the inside for the tie. Lindy's Big Bang is trained by Nifty Norman for the partnership of Mel Hartman, Dave McDuffee and the driver who paid $70,000 for the Explosive Matter colt in Lexington last fall. Make It A Double ($80,000 LEX-SEL) is trained in the Julie Miller barn for Andy Miller Stable and Jason & Doug Allen.   Youaremycandygirl has the championship gene, being an American Ideal first foal of Sweet Lady Jane who is a Somebeachsomewhere sister to Sweet Lou and Bettor Sweet, enough that Bill Donovan ponied up a cool $150,000 for her at Harrisburg last fall. Bill placed her in the Burke barn and she's been flawless, save for an interference break in a NYSS at Vernon last week. In her first go over the Big M, Youaremycandygirl flaunted her speed with a 1:53.2 win pacing home in 27 flat for Joe Bongiorno. Band Stand (Sears) was in close attendance throughout and held well for second.   Takter drove the pacing filly Betterthanbrie to a 1:56 / 28 win, setting all the fractions then barely holding pocket sitter Odds On Stepahnie (Zeron) at bay. The winner is a homebred from the first crop of Betterthancheddar raised and raced by Christina Takter and John Fielding.   A pair of fast colts finished together in race eight where Bodega Bay finally made it through that pesky final turn pacing for Scott Zeron and finished his 1:54 mile with a 28.1 final quarter for the win. The winner is a Brittany Farms owned Vintage Master homebred from the fast Nikki Beach who has evidenced high speed in his previous starts, if trainer Tony Alagna has solved the puzzle he'll be heard from this summer. I'm A Big Deal (Sears) wove his way through traffic to be a closing second. That one was a high dollar buy for trainer Chris Ryder and shows great promise as well.   Takter closed out the baby races with a front running 1:55.4 win aboard Thinkbig Dreambig in that Bettors Delight colt's first start. He was driven out to hold off the close Pecorino (Sears) from the pocket in a 27.3 final quarter. Thinkbig Dreambig was a $180,000 Lexington but for Brixton Medical, Fielding, Anderberg and Falk.   QUALIFIERS   Princess Aurora (Takter) and International Money (Zeron) went to the wire in tandem with the Princess prevailing in 1:53.3, final quarter in 27.4 this morning. Connections for both have made Hambletonian Day on August 5 the target date for this pair.   Takter wrapped the day up by winning in 1:56 with his returning 2015 Hambletonian winner Pinkman. After a long layoff, Pinkman is in the midst a gradual return to top form.   Tonight is Meadowlands Pace night with the signature race of the "Championship Meet" and all that comes with it.   Post time is 6:30 p.m.   Nick Salvi

YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 30, 2017 - Locally-debuting Blue Moon Stride (Brian Sears, $5.80) handled the Westchester harness racing crowd with few issues Friday night (June 30th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The field, thorough first-half-mile raindrops, was pared to half-dozen after Call Me Queen Be (ill) and Sell a Bit N (late for Lasix) were both withdrawn. In play from position No. 4 (in once notch due to one of those defections), Blue Moon Stride worked around She'sjusadelight N (Ron Cushing), taking the lead right at a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. It was a 56-second intermission before last week's victress, Freeze Out (George Brennan), moved from fifth. That one, as the 13-10 fave, challenged the leader in and out of a 1:23.3 three-quarters before being put away. Blue Moon Stride opened couple of lengths entering lane before widening her stride to win by 3½ lengths in 1:52.2. She'sjustadelight N chased with no shot, while Freeze Out tired to third. I Deal in Kisses (Dan Dube) and Venus Delight (Brent Holland) came away with the minors, while Jewel Leigh A (Mark MacDonald) was always outrun. For second choice Blue Moon Stride, a 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover Aussie co-owned by Emilio & Marie Rosati and trained by Mark Harder, it was her first win in 16 seasonal starts (career earnings over $760,000). The exacta paid $15.20, the triple returned $30.40 and the superfecta was refunded due to insufficient starters. A reminder regarding Saturday's (July 1st) simulcast of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby from the Curragh. Races 3 thru 8 shall be imported, with the Derby going as the 7th race (approx. post 12:20 PM ). Mutuel windows (fourth floor only) have an early 10 AM opening. Frank Drucker

They didn’t make their reputations here, but they certainly enhanced them. Thus, it’s only appropriate Yonkers Raceway salutes two of harness racing’s greats, one about to take his rightful place alongside the other. Numbers don’t begin to describe either Brian Sears or John Campbell, but try these on for size. Sears, 49, is approaching 9,800 wins to go with nearly $178 million in purses. The 62-year-old Campbell’s stats are even more ridiculous, in excess of 10,600 wins and just shy of $300 million in purses. Sears is being enshrined Sunday (July 2nd) into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame at Goshen, NY, a place where Campbell has resided since 1991. While Sears’ first career as a leading Yonkers’ regular is very much active, Campbell is readying for his next one, as president and chief executive officer of the Hambletonian Society…which hopefully brings him here quite often. The stakes wins of both men—here and elsewhere—are too numerous to mention, so it’s not surprising they have many in common. Sears is pictured hoisting the trophy after winning the 2015 Yonkers Trot with Habitat, while Campbell is seen after winning the ’14 edition with Nuncio We take this time to congratulate Messrs. Sears and Campbell, gentlemen of the first order whose accomplishments are second to none. Frank Drucker

Hall of Fame-bound harness racing driver Brian Sears plans to return from his winter hiatus next week following an extended break in North Carolina. Sears last raced Nov. 29 at Yonkers Raceway. Sears had laser eye surgery in December and expected to return to action in February, but decided to prolong his time off until April. He spent part of his break in Pinehurst, where he made trips to the local harness racing track several times a week while also enjoying the opportunity to work on his golf game. He plans to resume racing April 13 following a trip to the Masters Golf Tournament. "Everything is good," Sears said. "I'm looking forward to starting back. Too much of a good thing isn't good. But it's been fun. I've enjoyed my time." One particularly enjoyable moment came March 19 when Sears recorded a hole-in-one at the Legacy Golf Links, located near Pinehurst. It was Sears' first-ever ace. "That's one thing I accomplished this winter," Sears said with a laugh, adding, "It doesn't mean my golf game is that much better, it just means I'm playing a lot of golf. But it was cool." Sears won 301 races last year and $7.49 million in purses. His top wins came with Control The Moment in the Meadowlands Pace and Flanagan Memory in the Breeders Crown Open Trot. In September it was announced that Sears was voted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame by the members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Sears will be inducted July 2 in Goshen, N.Y., the home of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. For his career, Sears has won 9,715 races and $176 million in purses. He ranks 14th in North American history for wins among drivers and sixth in purses. He led the sport in earnings in 2005, with a then-record $15 million, and has finished among the top 10 in purses each of the past 13 years. Sears has driven three Horse of the Year award winners --- Rocknroll Hanover in 2005, Muscle Hill in 2009 and Bee A Magician in 2013. He has won the Hambletonian three times, with three different trainers, and is the only driver to twice win the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks on the same day. He accomplished that feat with Muscle Hill and Broadway Schooner in 2009 and again with Royalty For Life and Bee A Magician in 2013. The 49-year-old Sears received the 2009 Driver of the Year Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association and was the 1991 Rising Star Award recipient from the same organization. Ken Weingartner

Harness racing's newest inductees to the Hall of Fame, driver Brian Sears and communicator Steve Wolf, will be the special guests on the top Thoroughbred radio show in south Florida Wednesday afternoon, It's Post Time With JJ Gracie. The program gets underway on the internet at 3:00 pm at www.wdbfradio.com. It's Post Time With JJ Graci takes place seven days a week, live on Thursday from the studio and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday they are on location at Gulfstream Park. The show features sessions about the horse racing industry, including harness racing, handicapping, live race calls, trivia with prizes, and great guests! Sears, a south Florida native and graduate of Cardinal Gibbons High School, won his first race at age 16 at Pompano Park and hails from three generations of harness horsemen. Both his grandfather, Gene, and father, Jay, are inducted in the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Currently, Sears has amassed 9,714 driving wins, purse earnings of more than $176,000,000 and has a very impressive career UDR of .329. Wolf has been living for 17 years in south Florida. Starting out as an owner/breeder in 1977 with his father, Manny, and their Leo Wolf & Son Stable, he was the Director of Racing Operations at the Isle Pompano Park for nine years and is now a horse racing consultant. "I really like and appreciate harness racing," said JJ Graci, "and it will be great to have two of the sports newest inductees to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame on our show Wednesday." You can follow It's Post Time With JJ Graci on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Its-Post-Time-with-JJ-Graci-227868714000411/?fref=ts. From It's Post Time With JJ Graci      

TORONTO, November 19 – Sent off the 5-2 second choice, Magic Presto sat a pocket trip to 3-5 favorite Princess Aurora before edging off the pylons in the stretch and sweeping to a 1:55.4 harness racing victory in the $447,000 Goldsmith Maid Final Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack. Brian Sears guided Richard “Nifty” Norman trainee Magic Presto to the front before the first turn, with Temple Ruins tucking into second and Princess Aurora into third. After a :29.1 quarter, Princess Aurora pursued the front and struggled to clear to command. She managed to take the front before trotting a :58.1 half. Maintaining control through a 1:26.3 third-quarter, Princess Aurora was soon braced by Magic Presto emerging from the pocket. Within a matter of strides, Magic Presto trotted to the lead and clear of Princess Aurora to win by three and a quarter lengths. Temple Ruins chased the two for third and Cameron Hill finished fourth. Winning her fourth race in nine starts this season, Magic Presto, a two-year-old trotting filly by Kadabra from the Muscles Yankee mare In The Mean Time, returned $7.10 to win. “It’s a good way to end the year,” Norman said following the victory. “She gets put away in good shape and I think she’ll be a good filly next year.” Magic Presto finishes her rookie season with of $393,049 for owners Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman, David McDuffee, and Little E LLC and could’ve made more had it not been for a sickness last month. “Brian [Sears] actually hasn’t driven her when she’s been at her best,” noted Norman. “She had some sickness troubles during the [Ontario Sires Stakes] Super Final and the Breeders Crown, but we assured [Brian] that she was on the way back and she qualified good, so he came up. “It was a shame she got sick for the Super Final. We tried to get her healthy, and she got healthy for the Breeders Crown, but she really wasn’t fit enough and it didn’t pay off. We got paid tonight, so it worked out good.” by Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

East Rutherford, N.J. -- Flanagan Memory and harness racing driver Brian Sears flushed out heavily favored Resolve past the half and then just waited their turn to wear down the field to win the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot in 1:52.1 by a length on Friday at The Meadowlands. Flanagan Memory is trained by Rene Dion and co-owned by him with Liette Flanagan. Windsun Revenge (Scott Zeron) was first to the lead in :27, with Crazy Wow in second and 1-5 favorite Resolve behind JL Cruze, who was third. Past the first quarter, Sears was on the move from sixth with Flanagan Memory, which caused trainer/drive Ãke Svanstedt to tip off the rail and head for the lead. At the :55.3 half, Windsun Revenge was still on the lead, with Crazy Wow in second and Resolve looking to pass him on the outside. Resolve was second on the outside to Windsun Revenge by the 1:23.2 three quarters. When the field straightened for home, Yannick Gingras was moving for the lead on the rail with Crazy Wow, while Svanstedt and Resolve briefly got a nose in front of the field before Brian Sears and Flanagan Memory trotted fastest of all to the wire. Resolve held for second and JL Cruze was third. "We got a nice trip tonight with him," said Sears. "We got to follow Resolve halfway down the lane so it worked well. The horse has been racing really good and Rene and Susie (Kerwood, his caretaker) really deserve it, they've done a great job with the horse, really awesome. It was a really big effort in the International Trot two weeks ago (he was third). He came out of it good and to finish third with the overland trip he got and still coming at the wire. This horse, he likes to pick them up late. He's a solid horse, he's a contender, always going forward at the wire." by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications    

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 21, 2016 - A from-last Mach it a Par and harness racing driver Brian Sears swept away her sorority sisters Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. It was a repeat performance for Mach it a Par, who cut the mile a week ago. Here, remanded behind the eight-ball (though in one notch after a inside defection), she saw polester Southwind Roulette (George Brennan) either seat 'em or park 'em. Hung for their troubles were Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) and Purrfect Bags (Jordan Stratton), while Jungle Genie N (Brent Holland) was pocketed. After early intervals of :26.2 and :55.4, 13-10 choice Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) launched a wide bid going toward a 1:24 three-quarters. She couldn't sustain it, however, as 'Roulette' maintained a tenuous lead into the lane. Enter Mach it a Par, who was last at three-quarters and fifth in and out of the final turn. She rallied widest and fastest, going away by 2½ lengths in 1:52.3. Jungle Genie N closed inside for second, with Moma's Got a Gun (Tyler Buter), Southwind Roulette and Krispy Apple settled for the remainder. For second choice Mach it a Par, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was her 11th win in 33 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $94, with the triple returning $667. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 15, 2016 - She classes up the joint. Champion harness racing trotting mare Bee a Magician (Brian Sears, $3.30), in her first purse try since late May here, didn't disappoint Saturday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway's $250,000 Invitational Trot. Away third from post position No. 2 in the mile-and-a-quarter event, Bee a Magician saw a couple of ladies, polester Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory) and Allerage Star (Andy Miller), plus Homicide Hunter (Eric Goodell) all offer early foot. After a :27.4 opening quarter-mile, and with Homicide Hunter finding a seat behind her, the fave was pointed forward. Bee a Magician made the lead before a :57.4 half, with second-tier Melady's Monet (Jason Bartlett) first-up from sixth. That one engaged the leader through a soft 1:28 three-quarters (mile in 1:57), with Bee a Magician owned a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn. She held sway from there, repelling a stubborn "Melady" by three-quarters of a length in 2:25.1. Barn Doll was a pocket third, with Windofthenorth (Corey Callahan) and Lookslikeachipndale (Dan Dube) settling for the smaller envelopes. For Bee a Magician, a 6-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Nifty Norman for co-owners David McDuffee, Mel Hartman and Herb Liverman, she's now 4-for-4 this season and 45-for-69 in her brilliant career with $4,088,395 in the bank. (real dollars) The exacta paid $26.20, with the triple returned $109.50. "To have a horse ready to go the mile-and-a-quarter against a very good field after nearly five months is a credit to Nifty (Norman) and a credit to her," Sears said. "I qualified her this past Tuesday (Meadowlands), and she was impressive. Today, she was back to her ornery self and it was good to see." Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 14, 2016 - Odds-on harness racing favorite Mach it a Par (Brian Sears, $2.80) took advantage of a generous getaway locale Friday night, easily winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play from post position No. 5 (after winning the 5-through-8 draw), she wasted no time claiming her territory. Mach it a Par worked around Regil Elektra (Joe Bongiorno), then started what became a two-speed number (:27.4, :57.2, 1:25.1, 1:52.2). The final margin was a handy length-and-a-quarter, with Jungle Genie N (Brent Holland) a best-of-rest third. Al Raza N (Mark MacDonald) and Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter) rounded out the payees. For Mach it a Pair, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was her 10th win (29th lifetime) in 32 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10.90, with the triple returning $61.50. Saturday's rare day card (first post 1:10 PM) is highlighted by the million-dollar International Trot. Ten of the world's best trotters test the mile-and-a-quarter distance. U-S representatives Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras), Resolve (Ake Svanstedt) and Obrigado (MacDonald) start from post position Nos.1, 2 and 6, respectively. The International goes as race six as part of the 13-race card, which also features a pair of $250,000 Invitationals, led by Bit of a Legend N and Wiggle It Jiggleit (posts 1 and 8 in the flat-mile Pace) and Barn Doll and a returning Bee a Magician (posts 1 and 2) in the 1¼-mile Trot). Frank Drucker

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

HARRISBURG PA - Brian Sears, a "youthful veteran" of the sport of harness racing who stands fifth on the all-time list of moneywinning drivers and has driven some of the sport's greatest horses of the last 15 years to victories in championship races, has been elected to the sport's highest honor, the Hall of Fame, in balloting conducted by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the trade organization of harness journalists. In addition, Gordon Waterstone and Steve Wolf, two veteran harness publicists and writers whose careers share many similar highlights and awards though they never worked together directly, have been elected to the sport's Communicators Hall of Fame. Sears was named USHWA's Rising Star of the Year in 1991 and hasn't looked back. Sears, a 48-year-old native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who now resides in Secaucus, N.J., was at the top rungs of the driving colony of Vernon Downs, Pompano, Pocono, and The Meadows before moving eastward to the metro New York area a dozen years ago. He has continued to dominate on the toughest circuits in harness racing, winning multiple driving championships at the Meadowlands and also topping the charts at Yonkers Raceway. Sears entered Monday with 9,670 career wins, good for 14th place among all drivers in North American history. Among the horses that have helped boost his career driving earnings to $174 million all-time are three winners of the Horse of the Year title: Rocknroll Hanover in 2005, Muscle Hill in 2009, and Bee A Magician in 2013. Sears is the only driver to twice win the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks on the same day, accomplishing the feat with Muscle Hill and Broadway Schooner in 2009 and again with Royalty For Life and Bee A Magician in 2013. He also won the Hambletonian in 2015 with Pinkman in his only drive behind the horse that season. The sport's Driver of the Year in 2009, Sears has won 26 Breeders Crown titles, good for No. 4 on the all-time wins list in the series. Horses driven by Sears have earned more than $10 million in the series, which is among the top five in history. Waterstone was for many years the publicist for Hazel Park in Detroit, also working at other area racetracks, before becoming associate editor of The Horseman And Fair World, which was a magazine when Waterstone started and for whom he wrote two John Hervey Award-winning stories, before becoming a multimedia enterprise in recent years. Wolf was a publicist for several tracks in the immediate area of his native New Jersey (Freehold Raceway 13 years, Brandywine Raceway and Liberty Bell Park) and for the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey before "shipping south" to Pompano Park in Florida, rising through the ranks to become senior director of racing operations, until starting his own consulting agency. He also served on the Board, including as president, of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. The parallels in the careers of Wolf and Waterstone are striking. Both first entered the communications end of the industry in 1979. Both have been president of USHWA and both have won that organization's Member of the Year (Wolf twice, the first to earn that distinction); both currently serve as their USHWA chapter's president. Both have won the Harness Publicists Association's Allen J. Finkelson Golden Pen Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in promoting harness racing, and both have won the Clyde Hirt Media Award from Harness Horsemen's International. Both have chaired several important USHWA committees, and are teaming again for the 2017 USHWA annual convention and Dan Patch Award Banquet: Waterstone on the Location Committee and on-site planner/negotiator, and Wolf on the Dinner Committee, which he has chaired 15 times. That USHWA event, to be held at the Planet Hollywood casino in Las Vegas on February 25-26 of next year, will be the first introduction of Sears, Waterstone, and Wolf as the newest members of the Halls of Fame. The formal induction ceremony will be held at the Hall of Fame dinner at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., on Sunday, July 2, 2017. Hall of Fame voting is conducted among eligible USHWAns and members of the Hall of Fame; Communicators Hall of Famers are voted on by all members of the Harness Writers Association. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Flanagan Memory heads to Friday's $193,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot at Vernon Downs looking for his first stakes win of the season, but the 6-year-old son of stallion Kadabra has already provided more harness racing magical moments than anyone associated with the trotter ever expected. The winner of 17 races and $1.05 million, Flanagan Memory was born two weeks prior to the death of his breeder, Michel Flanagan of Quebec. Flanagan's daughter, Liette, was not involved much in harness racing, but was determined to keep the horse regardless of any input she received. Among those offering advice were her father, who before his passing suggested Liette get rid of the colt because of his crooked legs. "He said I knew nothing about the horses and he didn't want me to get in trouble," Liette Flanagan said. "I told him no, I was going to keep him first and see what (then-trainer) Pierre Touchette said. I wanted to see what we could do and give him a chance. "Pierre said, 'I understand. You're going to do what you have to do. I won't argue with you.' I told him he didn't have to argue, I was going to do it anyways." Flanagan's decision paid off. Flanagan Memory's career victories include the 2015 John Cashman Memorial, 2013 Goodtimes Stakes, and 2013 Ontario Sire Stakes championship. He received the 2013 O'Brien Award for Canada's best 3-year-old male trotter. "I'm happy about it," Flanagan said. "My father, even though he passed away six years ago, he is somewhere living still in the horse. I never expected this. Even my father, if he was alive, he wouldn't believe it. It's really something. When you have that once-in-a-lifetime horse, it's wonderful." Flanagan was unable to attend Flanagan Memory's win in the Goodtimes, but was at Mohawk Racetrack when he won the Ontario championship. "The (Goodtimes), I was very happy," Flanagan said. "I was watching on the computer. I was alone that day watching and I was screaming, 'Come on, baby, come on.' The second one, that's when I realized it wasn't just luck. Everyone around me didn't know I owned the horse, but they found out very fast. I was going crazy." Flanagan Memory, out of the Flanagan-owned mare Classy Stacy, has won four of eight races this year and earned $157,580. All of his victories this season, including a 1:51.2 career-best in July, have come at Mohawk Racetrack in Preferreds. His stakes results include a second-place finish in the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial and third-place finishes in the Charlie Hill Memorial and Cashman. The stallion is trained by Rene Dion, a Touchette protégé who took over following the death of his mentor in 2011. Dion joined Liette Flanagan in ownership of Flanagan Memory prior to the horse's racing career. Flanagan Memory will start Friday's Crawford from post eight with Brian Sears listed to drive. Flanagan Memory is 9-2 on the morning line, the third choice behind Resolve at 5-2 and Obrigado at 7-2. "He's had a nice season," Flanagan said. "He deserves a nice big win now." Flanagan, who is the president of a Montreal-based business association founded by her father in 1972, owns four horses at the moment. In addition to Flanagan Memory and Classy Stacy, she owns Flanagan Memory's full sister Flanagan Lady. The 5-year-old Flanagan Lady was unraced, but is the dam of a Justice Hall-sired yearling named Flanagan Fantasy. She is in foal to Justice Hall again. She plans to continue racing Flanagan Memory for as long as the horse is happy and successful. "We don't force him," Flanagan said. "He's not a machine. We have to respect that too. I think we're doing well with that. We let him tell us when he's ready to go. We just have to watch him and listen to him." Friday's card at Vernon Downs also features the $170,000 Muscle Hill Stakes for older female trotters. Hannelore Hanover, who has won 12 of 13 races this year and earned $580,189 for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and Frank Baldachino, is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Following are the fields for the Muscle Hill and Crawford. $170,000 Muscle Hill Mares Trot Race 9 - Post time 9:25 p.m. (EDT) PP - Horse - Sire - Driver - Trainer - Line 1. Harley Momma - SJ's Caviar - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svanstedt - 8/1 2. Jewels In Hock - Credit Winner - John Campbell - Linda Toscano - 7/2 3. Rules Of The Road - Muscle Hill - Jim Morrill Jr. - Janice Connor - 5/1 4. Barn Doll - Conway Hall - Jeff Gregory - Jeff Gregory - 9/2 5. Shake It Cerry - Donato Hanover - David Miller - Jimmy Takter - 6/1 6. Kelsey's Keepsake - Yankee Glide - Scott Zeron - Ron Burke - 8/1 7. Hannelore Hanover - Swan For All - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 5/2 8. I'm So Fancy - Donato Hanover - Mark MacDonald - Tony Alagna - 10/1 $193,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot Race 10 - Post time 9:45 p.m. (EDT) PP - Horse - Sire - Driver - Trainer - Line 1. Crescent Fashion - Muscle Hill - Jim Morrill Jr. - Ake Svanstedt - 10/1 2. Homicide Hunter - Mr Cantab - David Miller - Chris Oakes - 6/1 3. JL Cruze - Crazed - John Campbell - Eric Ell - 8/1 4. Canepa Hanover - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 10/1 5. Centurion ATM - SJ's Caviar - Steve Smith - Ake Svanstedt - 8/1 6. Resolve - Muscle Hill - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svanstedt - 5/2 7. Obrigado - Boy Band - Mark MacDonald - Paul Kelley - 7/2 8. Flanagan Memory - Kadabra - Brian Sears - Rene Dion - 9/2 9. Musical Rhythm - Cantab Hall - Scott Zeron - Benoit Baillargeon - 5/1 Ken Weingartner  

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