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Harness racing at Yonkers Raceway bid adieu to August Monday night, hosting $165,375 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Pace for 3-year-old pacing fillies.   The event, neatly divided into a trio of $55,125 divisions, honored the memory of a certified mover and shaker (as well as a fairly decent soul) in the state's racing and breeding program. Bruce's family was on hand for winner's circle presentations, which were dutifully given to... First division-Devil Child (Jimmy Whittemore, $8.60), from post position No. 6, rallied from sixth turning for home to pick off sire-stakes debuting Mark MacDonald) by a head in 1:54.2. Bosser's Joy (Jason Bartlett) finished third, beaten a neck. For third choice Devil Child, a daughter of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Homer Hochstetler, James Michaels and South of the Tracks Racing, it was her fourth win in 15 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $109, with the triple returning $680. "She's had a tough season, bad posts and some bad luck," Whittemore said of Devil Child. "This was a good win for her." Second division-Odds-on Sassa Hanover (Yannick Gingras, $2.70) methodically disposed of her six foes, essentially going the distance-from post No, 5-in 1:52.1. The margin was a length-and-a-half, with Luck Be a Lindy (Scott Zeron) second and Heart Major (Brian Sears) third. For "Sassa," a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Panhellenic Stable and Larry Karr, she's now 4-for-12 this season. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $4.90, with the triple returning $14.60. "Much better the last couple of starts," was Gingras' assessment of career winner of more than $700,000. Third division-Pole-sitting Bedroomconfessions ( Brian Sears, $13.80) was gifted with the passing lane, and she passed, whipping pace-setting Band of Angels (Gingras) by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.1. Divine Caroline (Dave Miller), as the 6-5 choice, was another who pulled pocket and flattened, settling for third. Second choice Mosquito Blue Chip (Morrill Jr.) broke leaving. For Bedroomconfessions, an American Ideal lass co-owned (as Alagna Racing) by trainer Tony Alagna and Riverview Racing, it was her third win in 12 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $72, with the triple returning $169. Frank Drucker

 Friday night at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs, Grand Circuit racing comes to town as the Free For All trotters and pacing mares invade the venerable Upstate New York oval.   The $200,000 Crawford Farms Open (race 9) fields ten top trotting horses with combined earnings of more than $10 million along with an international flair.   Quebec owned Ontario-bred star Flanagan's Memory is currently the hot horse in the division, having won his last two including the John Cashman Memorial at The Meadowlands.   Vernon favorite son Brian Sears was aboard for the Cashman win and will come in to drive the Kadabra horse for owner/trainer Rene Dion and partner Liette Flanagan.   American-bred 2015 Elitlopp winner Magic Tonight is making his second start since returning stateside for Swedish connections following what has to be considered a disappointing performance in the Cashman.   Quebec stalwart and 2014 TVG champ Intimidate was the winner of this race in 2013 and returns for the third time while still searching for his top form this season.   Obrigado and Market Share are a pair of talented Americans with the former emerging as a bona-fide star and the latter a Hambletonian champion closing out what has been a stellar $3.7 million winning career.   The top trotting mares are in for the $177,000 Muscle Hill (race 7) as Bee A Magician seeks revenge against D'One, the Swedish invader that tracked Queen Bee down in the final strides of the Fresh Yankee on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands.   Bee A Magician had seemed invincible within her division and was valiant in defeat, used hard early and pressured late before succumbing to D'One in the shadow of the wire.   Sears has this mount as well for Nifty Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and Dave McDuffee.   D'One was largely unknown to the local fans despite winning more than half her European starts and her royal pedigree.   Her sire Donato Hanover and dam Giant Diablo trotted to identical World Record 1:50.1 miles on the same epic afternoon at The Red Mile in 2007.   D'One was reserved off the demanding Fresh Yankee fractions by driver Orjan Kihlstrom and flashed brilliant late trot to dethrone the "Queen".   She races for trainer Roger Waldmann's Stall Kenny 23 of Sweden.   They'll both have to contend with 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry and defending Dan Patch divisional winner Classic Martine.   A deep and competitive field of ten pacing mares will meet in the $194,000 Artiscape (race 8).   The inimitable Anndrovette has taken on the mantle of division leader lately as she campaigns for yet another Dan Patch tiara to add to her unequalled collection of four.   The path to the winner's circle is fraught with peril as the competition is fierce led by her stablemate Venus Delight, last year's sophomore leader Color's A Virgin, Ontario terror Lady Shadow, queen of the Delaware valley Table Talk and the iron-tough Radar Contact.   Anndrovette is making her fifth appearance in the Artiscape and was the winner of the stake back in 2011.   A win this year would vault her past the $3.5 million earnings mark in her quest to eclipse the career record held by the great Eternal Camnation.   Tim Tetrick has been aboard for most of Anndrovette's career highlights and will be again on Friday for trainer Jeff Bamond, Jr and owners Bamond Racing and Joe Davino.   Supporting the above stakes will be several divisions of the New York Sires Stakes two-year-old filly pace. Entries for Friday's races may be viewed here.   Vernon Downs Racing  

The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway Monday night hosted the $150,224 New York Sire Stakes Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The event, honoring the memory of "Tootie," the man who help turn Roosevelt Raceway into a household word(s) during the sport's golden age and made the International Trot a world-class happening. Whether this group of plebes eventually becomes world class is to be determined, but 1-5 favorite Dayson (Jeff Gregory, $2.40) has proven to be the leader of the gang thus far. Starting from the pole in the second of two, $75,112 divisions, the Conway Hall gelding had to work for it. He took the best shots from second-choice Reve Royale (Brian Sears), then spurted away to a 2¼-length win in a zippy, life-best 1:57.4 (author's aside...the Gregory-driven Dejarmbro owns the 2-year-old colt local record (1:57 in 2010), while the Sears-escorted Tirade Hanover has the gelding standard (1:57.3 in 2012). Dog Gone Cupid (Tyler Buter), put in play early, did get second, with Reve Royale third. For Dayson, trained by Howard Okusko for co-owners Margaret & Amy Butler, it was his fifth win in as many seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.60, with the triple returning $60. "He was tested tonight, and he was up to it," Gregory said, referring to Reve Royale first stringing Dayson out to get the lead in turn 2, then pulling pocket early in the final turn. The opening Barasch event saw Sears and second choice Allerage Echo ($6.10)-leaving from post position No. 6--go from first lead to first home. In between, he surrendered the front to Credevie (Trond Smedshammer), before blowing by in the lane. The final margin was 2¼ lengths (same as Dayson) in a life-best 1:59.4, with Master Class (George Brennan) a first-up second and Royal Bachelor (Jason Bartlett) third. Credevie, the favorite at just over even-money, faded to fourth. For Allerage Echo, a Crazed gelded trained by George Ducharme for owner Ken Jacobs, he's now 3-for-5 to begin his career after a third consecutive win The exacta paid $55, with the triple returning $221. "I bought him off his first two qualifiers," Jacobs said. "He impressed me, but I thought his gait was too high. "George (Ducharme) said he has some talent, and we're looking forward to the rest of the sire stakes season." Frank Drucker

As the day started, on Tuesday August 11, the harness racing track was listed as fast with sunny skies with a slight head wind in the stretch as the first group of 2 Year Old Pacing Fillies went to post. After a deluge during the 7th race, the judges called for a rain delay, the track was then downgraded to sloppy. Three races later after the sun came out again the track was upgraded to good. In spite of the adverse weather conditions, Brian Sears went on to have a stellar afternoon, winning 6 of the cards 13 races, local trainer Ed Hart also harnessed 3 winners on the afternoon. The Sears win streak started in the first race, as they often do, in the first division of the New York Sires Stakes, going for a purse of $35,866 The initial small field of 6 was whittled down to 5 as Amazon Ideal was scratched. American Ivy was first out from the gate, in the middle of the first turn she made a break but driver mark MacDonald quickly got her back on stride to take the lead past the ¼ in 28:4 and the ½ 58:4. No Clouds Bluechip grabbed the lead down the back side and took her contemporaries to the ¾ in 1:28:3. American Ivy was tiring and Dime A Dance was charging hard, but Sear and No Clouds Blue scored a measured win in 1:56:3, the fastest mile of the afternoon, giving trainer John Berger a special Birthday present. The daughter of American Ideal garnered her 2nd win of her young career. After winning the first 2 races Sears scored with the 1-5 favorite Time On My Hands (PP1) in race 5. Soft Idea had the lead at the quarter, with Time On My Hands parked, she then cleared and stayed there the rest of the mile, tripping the timer at 29.0, 58:1, 1:28:2 to win in 1:57:2 for trainer Chris Ryder. The daughter of American Ideal gave Sears his 3rd win of the card. Soft Ideal (PP6) was a fast closing 2nd for Jim Morrill Jr. the winner returned $3.50 for win for owners Robinson, Mondillo, Cheatham and the BFJ Stable. Prior to the 8th race, the Judges called for a rain delay and the track was downgraded to sloppy. Vino and Formaggio took the lead as the gate sprung, Killing Em Softly also left hard but was rough gaited, Jim Morrill settled her down and she dropped in the 3 hole. Vino and Formaggio was in control and showed the lead with fractions of 29 , 59, at the 5/8 pole Morrill came first over with the now composed Killing Em Softly to range into contention, as the pair sweep past the ¾ in 1:29. Vino and Formaggio was not to be denied as the Art Major colt won his first pari mutual win in 1:57:1 over a sloppy track. Brian garnered his 6th win of the afternoon, winning by 6 lengths, giving Trainer Ed Hart a hat trick. Excelsior A - $15,000 Rolling Going Home (PP3) gave Brain Sears wins in both half of the daily double, the sharp looking Roll With Joe filly took the overland route to score a new lifetime mark of 1:57:4 for owner Ross Bonafield of West Edmeston NY and trainer Ray Van Dreason, returning $6.00. In the 6th race Ed Hart started his own win skein as Family Roll Call scored in a wire to wire win in 1:58:4. The Roll With Joe filly is owned by Winbak Farms, giving Sears win #4. Major Millie tried in vain to catch Family Roll Call, even with her last quarter in 28, she settled for 2nd money. Last division of the "B" class saw Roll of Dream take the lead followed by Angels Rockn Pink, the pair raced in tandem to the 5/8's marker. Scott Zeron came first over with LYRA, Roll of Dream still had the lead taking the field past the ¾ in 1:29. At the top of the lane LYRA who at this point had taken a lot of air, raced tough to score a gritty win in 1:57:2 for trainer Jean Drolet. She was driven by Scot Zeron to take her 3rd win a row in this company. Excelsior B - $6,800 Boniello scored in the first division (Race 4) of the Excelsior B series for trainer Roland Mallar in 1:58. Mike Simmons drove the Roll With Joe offspring for winning owner Anatolia Racing Stable of Hopewell Junction NY, winning by 4 lengths to get the better of the favorite Rocknroll Shamayin. The Sears/Hart combination was successful as Seafood Linda (PP 5) scored her second consecutive win in this company in 1:58:2 ($4.70) After an auspicious start where she made a quick miscue going off stride, the filly quickly regained her composure and minded her manners to eventually overtake Milky Way Rae and Glow Boat. The win was Sears 5th visit to the winners and the 2nd for Ed Hart. The Daughters of Blue Chip Farms Stallion, Roll with Joe won 4 races, American Ideal sired 2 winners for the afternoon, and Art Major and Rock N Roll Heaven each had 1 daughter in the winners circle. Shawn Wiles

Zanesville's Richard and Joyce McClelland have owned harness racing horses for decades and can usually be found at one of the Buckeye State's county fair ovals, or in the Scioto Downs or Northfield Park winner's circle. On August 8 however, the McClellands saw their years of dedication and love for the Standardbred come to fruition when their 3-year-old trotter Pinkman stepped into the winner's circle at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ. The sophomore gelding had just won harness racing's greatest trotting event-the $1 million Hambletonian-with Brian Sears driving for renowned trainer Jimmy Takter. "We've been in the horse business for 35 years and we've never had anything like this," Joyce admitted. "We're just overwhelmed right now." While this is not the McClelland's first foray into the national spotlight-they owned two-time Breeders Crown champion Call For Rain 4, 1:49.3M ($1,065,919) and have a slice of the great trotting mare Maven 4, 1:51.4H ($1,756,996)-the Hambletonian is, in harness racing's circles, the trotting race everyone strives to win. "It hasn't really sunk in yet," acknowledged Richard, Chairman of the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund. "Winning the Hambletonian is great for Ohio people like us who don't have a big stable on a national level." Pinkman's Ohio connections run deep and his story actually began in the fall of 2011, when Midland Acres' Jake Mossbarger was looking for a few, well-bred trotting broodmares. A Capitol University graduate who had spent several years working at Woodland Run Equine Facility in Grove City, Ohio, Jake had a keen eye for horseflesh, and he liked what he saw in the Angus Hall mare Margie Seelster (6, 1:55.1s $247,483). "The fact that she was an Angus Hall meant that you could breed to any Valley Victory line; that was something we were looking for," said Midland's Jay Mossbarger, Jake's father. "There are good horses in her maternal line and she was a mare I thought we could make money with, so we contacted her breeder and bought her for $25,000, in foal, in November 2011." When the bay colt arrived into this world on March 20, 2012, he was the first foal out of his dam. His sire, the Cantab Hall stallion Explosive Matter, earned $1,510,542 with a 3-year-old record of 1:52.3 and had finished second in the 2009 edition of the Hambletonian, which curiously, was won by Muscle Hill with Brian Sears driving. Interestingly, Muscle Hill is by Muscles Yankee, who is also Explosive Matter's maternal grandsire. Pinkman-then known as "Traffic Jam," spent his early days romping through Midland's lush paddocks in Bloomingburg, Ohio. He was definitely a colt with a mind of his own, Jay recalled. "He was a sharp foal and turned into a much better horse as a yearling," Jay stated. "He had certain quirks-if you went to trim his foretop, for instance, he wanted no part of it, and he would rear up and strike at you. "He was a horse who always had his head up and had that look about him," Jay continued. "He could get aggressive, but basically was very laid back until you wanted him to do something he didn't want to do. He always took care of himself, and spent a lot of time relaxing in his stall. He'd lie down, get up to eat and then go lay down again." Ever crafty, Jay never underestimated the youngster's pedigree, which was certainly an indication of Pinkman's hidden talent. Fast forward to October 2, 2013, and the colt-now a sturdy yearling-is purchased by the McClellands and four partners for $77,000 at the famed Lexington Selected Sale in Kentucky, selling as hip number 207. "To sell for $77,000 as a yearling was a big surprise for us," Jay admitted. "I thought he'd bring around $45,000 or $50,000. Having Dick and Joyce McClelland owning part of this horse makes the Hambletonian all that more special." Renamed after a character in the hit TV program Breaking Bad-Pinkman was a bit cantankerous early in his training, but not in a mean way, Richard explained. He simply didn't seem that excited about training or racing. "Jimmy (trainer Takter) only called me twice with, shall we say-not so good-reports about the horse," Richard revealed. "The first time he called me was to tell me he thought it was best we geld him. With these well-bred colts it's not always what you really want to do, but he thought it best, so I said go ahead." Unfortunately for the young Pinkman, the gelding process hit a snag, resulting in an infection that caused him to lose both weight and his fitness level. "He became a horse that wasn't real high on Jimmy's list of those to continue with and he suggested we sell him," Richard noted. "But then he took him to Lexington for one last try, and he raced alright and was second." That was the beginning of a dramatic change in Pinkman's racing style. He went from trotting languid miles in 2:00 or slower to a determined 1:57 clocking in that Red Mile overnight on Sept. 11, 2014. And therein, began a journey for the McClellands and their partners that culminated in last Saturday's stunning victory in harness racing's biggest event. "After that Lexington performance, I asked Jimmy if he'd bring the horse to Delaware during Little Brown Jug week and he did," Richard offered. Pinkman rattled off another 1:57 performance, breaking his maiden in the $59,445 Standardbred Stake for freshman trotters over the Delaware half-miler. "Jimmy laughed after that win and said, 'let's step him up a bit now and race him in a Grand Circuit event at Lexington,'" McClelland recalled. "So we took him to the Red Mile and he won, and then we took him to Canada and he won there too." Pinkman captured a $77,120 International Stallion Stake division on Oct. 3, 2014 in a heart-stopping 1:53.3, then shipped to Woodbine Raceway where he captured the $463,690 Valley Victory Final in 1:55.4 on Oct. 24, 2014. He followed that up with a victory in the $500,000 Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Trot Final, timed in a stakes-record-equaling 1:53.2 at The Meadowlands. For his efforts, the durable gelding was honored with a Dan Patch Award as 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of 2014 after earning $566,960. "He's a very durable horse, easy to get along with and he doesn't win by much but he's always there," Richard said. Pinkman's sophomore campaign began in mid-May of this year, as he began a three-race win streak in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes competition. The only blemish on his otherwise spotless 3-year-old season came in a $25,000 Beal elimination on June 27 when he finished second by half a length to Wicker Hanover at Pocono Downs. "His blood count was a little low after that race," Richard explained. "It wasn't anything serious but enough to take the edge of him." Pinkman rebounded one week later to capture the $500,000 Beal Final in front-stepping style, timed in 1:51.3. He won the $157,250 Dancer Memorial at The Meadowlands in 1:52.2 on July 18, then stormed to a 1:52 triumph in the $370,000 Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs on July 26. Then came August 8 at The Meadowlands and trotting's biggest event of the year. The McClellands, along with Pinkman partners Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ, John & Jim Fielding of Toronto, ON, and Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL watched the Hambletonian eliminations with nervous excitement, never doubting their trainer's confidence in the young gelding. "We have the majority of our horses with Jimmy or his daughter Nancy," Richard acknowledged. "We've been with them nearly nine years and currently have 12 horses in training with them." The McClellands did have one previous Hambletonian contender-the Cantab Hall colt High Bridge-who finished third in his elimination but a disappointing seventh in the 2013 final to the Brian Sears-driven winner Royalty For Life. Saddled with post ten in his elimination, Pinkman, with Yannick Gingras in the sulky, left hard from the outside, took the lead and then settled into second position behind stablemate The Bank (Johnny Takter), following him through fractional splits of :26.2, :54.3 and 1:23.1 before posting a :28 final brush. The final time of 1:51.3 equaled the world record for a 3-year-old gelding on a mile oval. The second Hambletonian elimination saw Gingras pilot the Ron Burke-conditioned filly Mission Brief to victory in a front-stepping 1:51.3, besting her rivals by nearly five lengths, with apparent ease. That triumph put Gingras in an enviable, yet frustrating position of having to choose between his two elimination winners. When he chose to drive Mission Brief in the final, it opened the door for Brian Sears to climb aboard Pinkman. "I tried to tell Yannick he was making a great mistake," Takter said. "Pinkman is such a fighter. He's not impressive, but he gets the job done every time. And I thought the filly didn't look as strong finishing as my horse did." Takter knows horseflesh and he obviously knew what Pinkman was capable of that steamy afternoon in East Rutherford, as the gelding easily held off the hard-trying Mission Brief in the final by three-quarters of a length-preventing her from becoming the first distaff to win the Hambletonian since Continentalvictory accomplished that feat in 1996. Pinkman's time of 1:51 in the final was also the third fastest clocking in Hambletonian history. The win gave Takter his fourth Hambletonian victory and his second straight-he won this race last year as both the driver and trainer of Trixton. The Hambletonian victory pushed Pinkman's lifetime earnings to $1,737,925 and gave the gelding his eighth win of 2015. He now has 14 wins and two seconds in 17 career trips postward for his Ohio, New Jersey and Canadian connections. "We'll have to wait and see what's next on his plate," Richard said of Pinkman. "The fact that he's a gelding does allow us to contemplate a lot more years of racing than if he was a colt. Right now we're just enjoying the ride." By Kimberly Rinker

East Rutherford, NJ --- Pinkman and Brian Sears, who got the drive on the horse less than an hour before the race, took control of the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-olds at the half and never gave it up as they cruised under the wire to be the 90th winners of the trotting classic in a world record time of 1:51 on Saturday (Aug. 8) at Meadowlands Racetrack. Pinkman (Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster) is trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. His winning time was the fastest ever by a sophomore trotting gelding on a mile track. The filly Mission Brief, who Yannick Gingras chose to drive after her win in the second elimination, gave futile chase in deep stretch and made up ground, but not enough to win. Uncle Lasse, also trained by Takter, was third after adding trotting hobbles between the elimination and the final. As the field trotted off the starting gate, it was Uncle Lasse (David Miller) who was first to the lead from post seven, hitting the quarter-mile mark in :27.2, with The Bank (Johnny Takter) outside and behind him and Pinkman in third. The Bank was on the move just past the quarter-mile mark, with Pinkman behind him. By the time they reached the half-mile marker in :55.2, Pinkman had the lead on the outside and The Bank was second. Mission Brief, who had been fourth, a few lengths from the leaders most of the way to the half, hustled to join the crowd and bore down on the leader, Pinkman, around the final turn, getting to his wheel as the field turned for home. She lost contact when they straightened out, but re-engaged under urging from Gingras as the wire drew closer. She got close, but not close enough, three-quarters of a length back. Uncle Lasse was third, The Bank fourth and Jacksons Minion got the final purse check. Trainer Jimmy Takter won both the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks for the second straight year. He won last year with Trixton in the Hambo and Lifetime Pursuit in the Oaks. “I was looking forward to try in the final with a couple that I did have (Habitat and Wings Of Royalty) and I managed to do that,” said winning driver Brian Sears. “But opportunity knocked and it’s just great that they gave me the call. “I didn’t hear much (about the chance to drive Pinkman if necessary). I heard a little bit from Herb (Liverman). I talked to Herb a little bit, but I’m very grateful for the opportunity. He (Pinkman) was pretty much push button and it was a pleasure.” Pinkman has now won eight times in nine season's starts, with earnings of $1,170,965. Lifetime he has been a winner in 14 of 17, with $1,737,925. “It’s very emotional and I just want to thank all the connections that were involved,” said co-owner John Fielding. “Brian Sears stepped in and did a great job and of course, my friend and partner Jimmy Takter and Christina, have done again an amazing job. We’ve been at this for 30 years trying to win this trophy and I’ll tell you, this is the greatest thrill you could ever want in this sport and I’m just blown away, very honored and happy to be in this situation. I’ve got a plane I’ve got to catch to go back to a party in Toronto tonight, but we’re going to have to stop at the windows (to cash bets). “We leave these decisions (about drivers) up to Jimmy and he always seems to make the right decisions. We’ve had Brian Sears, who everybody knows is a fantastic, great driver, one of the best there ever was when the money is on the line, so I wasn’t worried at all, very confident in Jimmy.” Of the filly runner-up Mission Brief, trainer and co-owner Ron Burke said, “She raced really good and I think if things would have shook out a little differently the result would have been different. She was the only one still going forward at the wire. She really gave it her all and at the wire she was still coming. I would never change anything that I did and I don’t regret anything about the conditioning. She’s still a super horse, some day we will be back and we are not going to give up. We are going to win the Hambletonian.” Mission Brief’s driver, Yannick Gingras, who picked her over the eventual race winner, said, “I’m still young and I’m blessed to have two great chances at the Hambo like I’ve had the last few years. I will have plenty more chances I hope. Everyone ignores Pinkman because he isn’t flashy, they want to talk about Uncle Lasse and Canepa Hanover, but Pinkman beats them every week, he was just a flat out winner. You have to give the horse all the credit in the world. “I’m not disappointed in her effort at all. She wasn’t quite as strong as the first heat. She wasn’t quite as good gaited as before, so I couldn’t make the moves I wanted to with her. I knew I didn’t have enough at the top of the stretch. You have to give it to Pinkman. He’s a great horse and he’s a winner. “I was happy with how the race went. Takter’s horses were being used and if she went her A1 effort, she might have won. My son joked with me this week and said don’t make a break (as with Father Patrick in 2014), Well, I got that accomplished at least and it’s still been a great day. Pinkman is Brian’s horse now, of course.” Hambletonian eliminations East Rutherford, NJ --- Pinkman (Yannick Gingras) won the first $100,000 elimination race for the Hambletonian for 3-year-old harness racing  trotters by a half-length in 1:51.2 over The Bank (Johnny Takter) on Saturday (Aug. 8) at Meadowlands Racetrack. Donatomite (Trond Smedhammer) was third. The other two spots for the final went to Habitat (Brian Sears) and Jacksons Minion (Tom Jackson). Pinkman is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. Gingras and Pinkman made it quite clear they wanted the lead from post ten as the two charged off the starting gate and went straight for the front, getting past the rail horse, Donatomite, to get to the lead just past the :26.2 first quarter. The Bank was out and moving at the three-eighths to get the lead and held it to the :54.3 half with Pinkman tucked in behind him. Jacksons Minion was on the move for the top when the field passed the half, while the lead horses remained unchanged at the 1:23.2 three-quarters. With the finish line in sight, Gingras went to work on Pinkman and they passed The Bank for the win and a chance to draw for posts one through five in the final. “I figured (Smedshammer) was going to try to get position and sit behind me,” said winning driver Gingras. “His horse (Donatomite) has got good gate speed. He’s not had much luck with his horse, but he’s a nice horse too. “It kind of worked out. I was hoping to cut it, but The Bank is a very good horse. If I was going to follow anybody, he was the horse to follow. “(Winning) is exactly what he does. In this race I had to get after him pretty hard in the stretch, but that’s Pinkman. All he does is win.” Trainer Ron Burke's filly Mission Brief set up the anticipated Hambletonian showdown against male rival Pinkman, winning her elimination by 4-3/4 lengths over Aldebaran Eagle in 1:51.3. French Laundry, Uncle Lasse and Wings Of Royalty also advanced to the $1 million Hambletonian final. Mission Brief is trying to become the first filly since Continentalvictory in 1996 to win the Hambletonian. Uncle Lasse (David Miller) led to the quarter in :26.3, with Mission Brief in fifth place. Yannick Gingras then moved Mission Brief to the front, hitting the half in :54.2 and three-quarters in 1:23. She drew off in the stretch for the easy win in 1:51.3. Gingras will drive Mission Brief (6-5 morning line) in the final and Brian Sears will take over behind Pinkman (5-2). “In the first turn it got a little crowded, she wasn’t anxious, I was,” Gingras said. “There were a lot of horses around us and she’s not used to that. But she acted very professionally. At the top of the stretch, I could hear Brett (Miller driving French Laundry) on my back and it sounded like he had some trot. I kicked the earplugs but she did it on her own.” Gingras added prior to making his decision, “It’s going to be a tough one. It’s two guys (Jimmy Takter and Ron Burke) that really helped my career, two horses that I started with from the beginning, so it’s very tough.” Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena, is owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. Pinkman Mission Brief by Ellen Harvey and Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

East Rutherford, NJ --- Flanagan Memory and driver Brian Sears won Saturday’s (Aug. 8) $301,500 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older harness racing trotters by three lengths over Gural Hanover in 2:05.4 for 1-1/8 miles at Meadowlands Racetrack. Obrigado finished third and Natural Herbie was fourth. There were multiple lead changes in the race’s early goings, with Melady’s Monet, Magic Tonight, Intimidate and Market Share all occupying the top spot as the 12-horse field raced through fractions of :26.1, :55 and 1:23 to three-quarters. Flanagan Memory, who was sent off at 9-1 odds, followed Obrigado in the outside flow around the final turn before trotting through the stretch to victory. It was his second consecutive triumph at the Meadowlands, following his 1:51.4 triumph in the TVG Open last weekend. “I watched him race last year at (age) 4 and he’s a really nice horse and he’s come a long ways,” Sears said. “We got the kind of trip he likes. We got some good flow and it worked out well.” Flanagan Memory (Kadabra-Classy Stacy) has won 13 of 44 career races and earned $808,678. He is trained by Rene Dion, who owns the horse with Liette Flanagan. Flanagan Memory by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Harness racing trainer George Ducharme knows that Wings Of Royalty is not the same horse as 2013 Hambletonian champion Royalty For Life. The affable conditioner nonetheless is rather pleased with the progress the son of R C Royalty has made entering the 90th edition of the Hambletonian on Saturday at the Meadowlands. “I’m very happy with the way he trained this week,” said Ducharme from his Vernon Downs base on Thursday. “I thought he raced well in the Zweig (fourth place behind Pinkman),” said Ducharme. “After the race I talked to Tim (Tetrick) and we both agreed that he needed a race over the big track to get stretched out and acclimate to the speed of the race." "He’d been racing so much over the half mile tracks.” Royalty For Life will have Brian Sears in the bike in the second of two elimination heats on Saturday afternoon. “I was very happy with the draw,” said Ducharme of post five in the nine-horse field. Wings Of Royalty, a homebred of Raymond Campbell Jr., has earned $237,599 during his career racing primarily in New York. The colt prepped for the Hambletonian with a victory at Vernon Downs last Saturday coming from off the pace in 1:54 3/5. “I think he’s as good as he’s ever been,” said Ducharme of Wings Of Royalty. “I was happy with the division he got into." I think the first division is tougher but we do have Mission Brief and she’ll be tough if she behaves.” Royalty For Life was a favorite going into the Hambletonian in 2013 and Wings Of Royalty is a decided longshot. But trainer George Ducharme wouldn’t have entered the colt had he not thought he belonged with this group. Wings Of Royalty has been quite consistent throughout his career and has the dual capacity to race near or from off the pace and still finish his miles with strength. Without question having Hambletonian experience is a major factor in getting to the race again and succeeding. Both Ducharme and Sears have been here before which in a sense takes some of the pressure off. Wings Of Royalty is as good as he’s going to be, whether that’s good enough won’t be known until sometime late on Saturday afternoon. Jay Bergman

We offer up the old harness racing idiom, "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile." We do so because after Texican N (Eric Carlson, $7) won the first of Yonkers Raceway's $48,000 co-features by an inch, Her Highness, Bee A Magician (Brian Sears, $2.50), won the other by a mile. Bee a Magician, as the 1-4 favorite, took no prisoners from an assigned eight-hole in the Open Handicap Trot. Making the lead just after a :28.1 opening quarter-mile, she completed her night's work as she pleased (:57.1, 1:25.4, 1:54.3). The final margin was an effortless 3½ lengths, while the final time knocked a tick off her own track record for aged mares. Take My Picture (Larry Stalbaum) was second from a loose pocket, with Not Afraid (Dan Dube), Cashontherocs (George Brennan) and Fort Valley AS (Jason Bartlett) settling for the remainder. For triple millionairess Bee a Magician, a 5-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Nifty Norman for co-owners, Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee, it was her eighth win (sixth consecutive) in nine seasonal starts (39-for-56 lifetime). The exacta paid $19.40, with the triple returning $60. Texican N, from post position No. 3, won the weekly pacing feature. Sitting pocketed to 17-10 choice Michael's Power (Bartlett), he then held off a three-hole The Real One (Pat Lachance) by a nose in 1:52.3. The favorite decided to retake from the eventual winner (:27, :56.2, 1:24.4) passing the first substation, but faced in the lane. Frankie's Dragon (Sears), Michael's Power and Take it Back Terry (Brennan) came away with the lesser loot. For second choice Texican N, a 7-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding trained by Peter Tritton (three winners Saturday) for owner Harry von Knoblauch, it was his fourth win in 22 '15 tries. The exacta paid $30.40, with the triple returning $274. The Raceway's live season continues Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings (all at 7:10 PM), with a Tuesday matinee (first post 1 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

The result was never in doubt. That was the consensus of the $26,000 Open Trot on Friday night at The Meadowlands. Released as the odds-on favorite at twenty-cents on the dollar, Bee A Magician went straight to the lead off the wings of the gate and that was all she needed to do. While the 2013 Horse of the Year had to sprint to the opening quarter in 27-seconds, that wasn't the case for the middle-half mile of the race, as Bee A Magician was allowed to stroll through a 30.2 second quarter, picking it up a bit through a 28.4 third panel. But, give Bee A Magician a 59.1 middle half-mile and you simply are not going to catch here. The world champion sprinted to the wire with a 26.2 final quarter to score in 1:52.4. DW's NY Yank held second throughout the mile while Appomattox checked in third. Market Share was too far back and couldn't threaten with the slow fractions, but did trot the fastest final quarter in the race, 26-seconds flat. Bee A Magician won for the 38th time in 55 starts with earnings now standing at $3,143,340. The magnificent mare is owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David Mc Duffee and is trained by Nifty Norman. Her usual partner, Brian Sears, was in the sulky. Bee A Magician New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals Driver Yannick Gingras scored two victories, including a stakes record with Southwind Frank, in a quartet of New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for two-year-olds on Friday, July 17, 2015 at the Meadowlands. Boston Red Rocks, sent off as the 1-5 favorite, controlled the pace but in the end he had to fight off two challengers and one of them, Ideal Rocky, got by him in the final strides to win the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing colts, the second race. Ideal Rocky [$10.20], driven by Corey Callahan and trained by John Butenchoen, brushed three-wide to win by head, handing Boston Red Rocks his first loss in three starts. It was half a length to Winning Linc in third. All three are sons of Rocknroll Hanover. Ideal Rocky did not get off to an auspicious start, refusing to put his nose anywhere near the gate. "He decided the last couple of starts when we had the five-hole that he doesn't want to be close to the darn thing [the starting gate car]," said Butenschoen. "I guess we'd better go back to the drawing board to make sure he knows what to do when he's behind the car itself [and not the wings]. But he was able to overcome that. I was tickled. "The owner, Bill Wiswell, we were watching on the backstretch, and we were in an impossible spot here right now off of those soft fractions [27.3 to the quarter and 57.2 to the half]," Butenschoen noted. "If we got a check here, we'll be in good shape. Then he started motoring up around the last turn and mowed them down. That was great." A $47,000 Harrisburg Sale yearling purchase, Ideal Rocky paced a lifetime best of 1:53.1, with a last quarter in 26.2 seconds. He was bred by Fashion Farms LLC. He races for Bill Wiswell of Elkhorn, WI; Jean Goehien of Aurora, IL and Eugene Schick of Elgin, IL. He now has two wins and one third in three starts for earnings of $63,000. Ideal Rocky All The Time, handled by Yannick Gingras, was the best of three Jimmy Takter trainees in the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes for trotting fillies, the fourth race. All The Time [$3.20] trotted the mile in 1:55.4, finishing a length and three-quarters ahead of Silent Blessings [by Muscles Yankee]. It was four lengths to Gifted Lady [Muscle Hill] in third. Takter also trains Gifted Lady and Hollywood Hill [Muscle Hill], who finished fifth. "All the credit to Jimmy Takter," said Marvin Katz, the Toronto-based co-owner and co-breeder of All The Time. "He developed this filly and was careful with her through the winter. Of course, she's a homebred. Jimmy Takter trained the mother [Cantab It All] and was kind enough to sell her to myself and to Al [co-owner and breeder Al Libfeld]. We bred her to Muscle Hill, and this is a topflight filly." All The Time has two wins in three career starts and has earned $52,400. All The Time Gingras was back in the winner's circle with Southwind Frank [$9.00] in the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes for trotting colts and geldings, the seventh race. The son of Muscle Hill, bred by Southwind Farms, trotted the mile in a stakes record 1:53.4, supplanting Hill I Am [Muscle Hill, who set the mark of 1:55.3 in 2013. Southwind Frank controlled the tempo through fractions of 27.2, 56.4 and 1:26.2, covering the final quarter in 27.2 for a length and a half victory. Rallying for second was Bar Hopping [Muscle Hill] with Marion Marauder [Muscle Hill] third by a length and three-quarters. "I wanted to cut the mile; I thought he was the horse to beat," said Gingras. "I just wanted to have a clear path. My horse was a little bit shaky tonight, and I had to wait on him [to settle]. But I knew if I could keep him trotting, there was no one who would get near." Southwind Frank, trained by Ron Burke, won his opening leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes but broke stride last week. He has banked $60,000 with two wins in three starts for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables and J&T Silva Stables. He was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase. Southwind Frank In the final division, 3-5 Blue Moon Stride [$3.40] popped out of the pocket at the top of the stretch, claimed the lead in deep stretch and held off Show Time Hill to win the $100,000 New Jersey Stakes for pacing fillies, in the 11th race. Andrew McCarthy guided the Mark Harder trained Blue Moon Stride, who paced the mile in 1:53.1, finishing a neck ahead of Show Time Hill. It was a length and a half back to Sonoma Valley in third. All three are daughters of Rocknroll Hanover. "They're all good in March, April and May but you just really don't know until you start racing them," said Harder. "And she's shown up good now." Blue Moon Stride was bred by Perretti Farms and races for Emilio and Maria Rosati of Condell Park in Australia's New South Wales. She has two wins in three starts for earnings of $68,750. Blue Moon Stride All-sources handle for the Friday card of $2,397,254 yielded a 17-percent gain over this same night last year. Both programs included 13-races. The $.20 cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 in the last race went unclaimed and the carryover into Meadowlands Pace night will be $202,817. Post time for Meadowlands Pace night is 7:15 P.M. The 14-race blockbuster card features 8-stakes races, highlighted by the $706,000 Meadowlands Pace, slated as race 10. There are also four guaranteed pools on the program including the $100,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 encompassing races 7 through 10. Post time for The Meadowlands Pace is 10:39 P.M. Darin Zoccali Director of Racing Operations New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC

Statebreds returned downstate on Monday night at the harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway when the track hosted the $149,524 New York Sire Stakes Milt Taylor Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Four divisions comprised the event, which played out rather formfully. Odds-on number Andrew Goldstein (Kim Crawford, $3.50) did his damage in the opening ($36,856) division. Pocketed from post position No. 4, he rolled right over Gremlin Wilson (John Cummings Jr.), then widened to win by four lengths in a maiden-breaking 2:00.4. Second went to Rose Run Ransom (John Plutino), with "Gremlin" lasting for third. For Andrew Goldstein, an RC Royalty gelding trained by his driver for owner Steven Goldstein, he's now  1-for-2 to begin his career. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $14.20, with the triple returning $58. "We're just trying to uphold the Goldstein name," the chauffeur said the of connections who've enjoyed a fair amount of success with Crawford-trained and driven/Goldstein-surnamed trotters. Brian Sears doubled his fun, winning the second and third events ($37,556 each) with popular numbers Dayson ($3.10) and Reve Royale ($3.40). The former, a Conway Hall gelding, strolled from post No. 5. He whipped a steppy Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley) by 2¼ lengths in 2:01 for a second consecutive NYSS/career victory. The Perfect Lindy (Mark MacDonald) was third. Dayson is trained by Howard Okusko for co-owners Margaret and Amy Butler. The exacta paid $12, with the triple returning $79. Reve Royale, a son of RC Royalty leaving from post No. 4, was patiently pocketed before getting his marching orders. He rolled home by four lengths in 2:01 for a second consecutive NYSS/career victory. Cupid (Trond Smedshammer) cut the early portion of the mile and held second, with Dante (Ake Svandstedt) third. Reve Royale is trained by George Ducharme for co-owners Paul Fontaine (in attendance), Raymond Campbell Jr. and Alfred Ross. The exacta paid $15.20, with the triple returning $140. "We think he has a lot of talent and a good turn of speed," Ducharme said. "We're just trying to teach him as we go along." The evening's final ($37,556) sire stakes division saw second choice Credevie (Smedshammer, $6), from post No. 7, leave for a seat then prevail from second-over in a night's-fastest (and maiden-breaking) 2:00.3. Southern Palms (Marcus Miller) chased the winner home, beaten three-quarters of a length in a parimutuel debut, with Chargin' Cadet (Ray Schnittker) third. Allerage Echo (Sears) was a non-threatening fourth as the 17-10 favorite. Credevie, a Credit Winner gelding trained by Smedshammer for owner Purple Haze Stables, is now 1-for-2 to begin his career. The Raceway's live season continues with a "French-centric" Tuesday matinee (post time 1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 20…Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, made her rivals disappear down the stretch, scoring an effortless four and three-quarter length victory over longshot Charmed Life in the $272,000 Armbro Flight for filly and mare trotters at Mohawk Racetrack, part of a star-studded stakes harness racing undercard on Pepsi North America Cup night. Named for Canada’s Horse of the Year in 1964, 1965 and 1966, the Armbro Flight showcased not only the eventual winner, but also 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry and the defending race champion, Classic Martine. But it proved no contest.  Bee A Magician and driver Brian Sears, sent postward the overwhelming 1-5 choice, popped out from fourth and took over from Classic Martine after the half was reached in :56.4. From there, after opening six lengths while getting three-quarters in 1:24.2,  it was just a question of how far the five-year-old mare would win by, as she clipped a fifth of a second off the stakes record set by Buck I St Pat in 2010, completing the mile in 1:51.4.  Classic Martine held on for third with Shake It Cerry fourth. The daughter of Kadabra-Beehive came into the final sporting five wins in six starts this year, including an easy 1:51.1 four-length elim win last week for trainer Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman. “I just let the race come into its own, just playing it by ear,” said Sears, celebrating his third Armbro Flight success, following Stroke Play in 2004 and Pembroke Heat Wave in 2012.  “She raced so good first-over last week I wasn’t going to try to move her hard to the front.   I got away in first-over position and she did the rest.  I’m just thrilled to get the opportunity to drive a great mare like that.  ”She’s one of the top horses I’ve gotten the opportunity to drive,” continued Sears, who also drove greats like Rocknroll Hanover and Muscle Hill to major wins and year-end honours. Added Norman, “She’s in a really good little groove.  Haven’t done much with her between races.  It seems to really suit her.  She’s thriving.   I think she’s getting better.  We’ll give her a couple of weeks off then go to the Meadowlands.” Bee A Magician was winning her 37th race in 54 starts.  As a three-year-old, she went undefeated in 17 outings, earning over $1.5 million en route to Horse of the Year honours in both Canada and the United States. After a subpar 2014 season, winning just four of 17 starts, Bee A Magician has returned with a vengeance and has now earned almost $3.2 million for owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, Florida. Bee A Magician paid $2.60, $2.40 and $2.10, combining with Charmed Life ($13.20, $6.80) for a $24.90 (5-6) exactor.  A 5-6-2 (Classic Martine, $4.30) triactor was worth $102.50, while a $1 Superfecta [5-6-2-3 (Shake It Cerry)] returned $114.60. WEG Entertainment

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 13...The finest three-year-old pacers in harness racing battled it out Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack in a trio of $50,000 eliminations for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. The first Cup elimination saw the undefeated Wiggle It Jiggleit, as expected, prevail with yet another dominant performance. Sent postward the overwhelming public choice in the field of eight, the son of Mr Wiggles, who finished fourth to Well Said in the 2009 Cup, thus kept his unblemished record intact, now a perfect 11 for 11, 10 starts of which have come this year already in a very busy campaign. Wiggle It Jiggleit, with driver Montrell Teague, the son of the owner, busted out from the start, getting the first quarter in :26.2, then slowing to a crawl while still in front, reaching the half in a pedestrian :56.3. From there, it was all over, as the pacesetter turned back a brief challenge from Arque Hanover, getting to three-quarters in 1:23.3, before coasting home by six lengths in 1:49.2. Arque Hanover hung on for second, with Yankee Bounty third and Hurrikane Ali, who had chased the leader early, dropping to fourth. Trained by Clyde Francis for owner George Teague Jr., Wiggle It Jiggleit has hardly been breathed on in his 11 romps, his smallest margin of victory being one and one-half lengths. "Yes, that's exactly how I wanted it (a soft second quarter)," said Teague. "I didn't want to go another (1) :48 or anything like that. We'll wait till next week for that when the money's down. I took him off the gate just in case but I timed the gate perfectly and he stormed out of there like it was nothing. I hope he continues to do it (answer the call) and I'm having fun doing it with him." There's a lot of similarities between Wiggle It Jiggleit and Mr Wiggles, said owner Teague, who also campaigned the sire. "The other horse (Mr Wiggles) doesn't get the recognition he deserves," said Teague. "He won a couple of major races. But this horse is the best horse I've ever trained by far. Very intelligent, speed. I've never trained one as fast as him." Teague also trained (along with sister Brenda) and co-owned Total Truth, who won the 2006 Pepsi North America Cup. Last month, Wiggle It Jiggleit set a world record of 1:49 for a half-mile track when winning by over 14 lengths on May 11 at HarringtonPark in Delaware. Wiggle It Jiggleit paid $2.10, $2.10 (no show wagering), combining with Arque Hanover ($8.10) for a $16.80 (5-3) exactor. A 5-3-6 (Yankee Bounty) triactor was worth $83.50, while a $1 Superfecta [5-3-6-4 (Hurrikane Ali)] came back $172.20. Wiggle It Jiggleit Following the impressive first elim win by undefeated Wiggle It Jiggleit in 1:49.2, it was heavily-favoured In The Arsenal's turn to show his firepower. And he did. But just barely. With Brian Sears at the controls, In The Arsenal tracked from fourth for most of the mile, as Go Daddy Go took the field through a quarter in :26.3, the half in 54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.3. The son of American Ideal had powered up to challenge the leader off the far turn, struck front in early stretch, then had enough left to hold off a raft of pursuers, including Penji Hanover, who once again finished a troubled second, a half-length behind, with Good Friday Three third and Revenge Shark fourth, in 1:49.4. With the win, In The Arsenal remained unbeaten in four starts this year, including the rich Rooney final at Yonkers May 30, has taken 10 of 15 overall and will come into the Cup with earnings of over $600,000. "He did in the hard way," said trainer Kelvin Harrison. "He come first up. He was a safe winner. I think the biggest thing about him this year is he's a whole lot smarter than he was last year. When we started him up last year, he was hard to stop. Now he'll race smart. He's very athletic. He's grown a lot actually. He was really small early. He's come through it in good shape. Wasn't that hard a race for him and seems nice and fresh when he came back. So hopefully we'll be okay. He's got wild speed, he's got it all." Sears has won two Pepsi North America Cups...in 2005 with Rocknroll Hanover and last year with JK Endofanera. In The Arsenal paid $3.90, $2.70 and $2.70, combining with Penji Hanover ($8, $6.20) for a $31.30 (7-2) exactor. A 7-2-3 (Good Friday Three, $11.30) triactor returned a solid $608.40, while a $1 Superfecta [7-2-3-6 (Revenge Shark)] was worth $1,509.40. In The Arsenal Wakizashi Hanover and driver Tim Tetrick pulled off an upset in the third and final Pepsi North America Cup elimination, roaring from well back and rolling to a one and three-quarter length win over the 1-5 choice, Artspeak. A winner in three of his four outings this year, prior to the elim, the son of Dragon Again got the job done in a career best 1:49.2. Owned by Tri County Stable of Truro, Nova Scotia and trained by Joann Looney King, Wakizashi Hanover was sixth and widest turning for home before turning on the jets and powering past the leaders. While no match for the winner, Artspeak, last year's two-year-old pacing colt champion in both Canada and the United States, came on for second, as pacesetter Betting Exchange hung on for third. Split The House wound up fourth. "I was very confident coming in," said Tetrick, who steered Captaintreacherous to victory in the 2013 Pepsi North America Cup. "I knew Artspeak was a great horse and he'd be tough to beat. But I had a lot of confidence in my horse. He's been good all along. He's had some tough trips that haven't always worked out. But he's always right there. He's always on the ticket. He likes to finish. "My horse was really grabbing on (around the final turn) and Artspeak was kind of struggling. I just let him rip. He circled them and he paced to the wire really strong. I'm really happy with the horse. He's coming into the race (next Saturday's final) great. The connections are doing a great job. Give us the right trip and I think he can go with just about anything out there." Rock N Roll World took the field through an opening quarter in :26.3 before Betting Exchange grabbed command (:54.2 for the half, 1:22.4 for three-quarters), as Artspeak lingered in fifth and Wakizashi Hanover sixth, until turning for home. Wakizashi Hanover paid $15.80, $4 and $3, combining with Artspeak ($2.30, $2.10) for a $37.10 (1-7) exactor. A 1-7-2 (Betting Exchange, $3.60) triactor was worth $190.40, while a $1 Superfecta [1-7-2-5 (Split The House)] returned $283.80. Wakizashi Hanover The top three finishers in each $50,000 elimination qualified for the 32nd edition of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup final, along with one fourth place finisher drawn by lot (Hurrikane Ali). More importantly, each winner earned his connections the right to select a post position before the balance of field is drawn on Tuesday. Here is the field, in alphabetical order, for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. Arque Hanover by Rock N Roll Heaven Artspeak by Western Ideal Betting Exchange by Bettor's Delight Good Friday Three by Mach Three Hurrikane Ali by Rocknroll Hanover In The Arsenal by American Ideal Penji Hanover by Art Major Wakizashi Hanover by Dragon Again Wiggle It Jiggleit by Mr Wiggles Yankee Bounty by Dragon Again AE: Split The House by Rocknroll Hanover Jeff Timson for WEG Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 12 - Bee A Magician set a Canadian record in her harness racing return to Mohawk Racetrack Friday night for the Armbro Flight eliminations. A fantastic group of 17 older trotting mares were split into two $35,000 eliminations to qualify for the $272,000 Armbro Flight final. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, headlined the first elimination and continued her impressive five-year-old season with a Canadian and track record performance of 1:51.1. Driven by Brian Sears, Bee A Magician got away in fourth and sat in that spot through the opening-half. Around the final turn, Sears sent the Richard 'Nifty' Norman trainee first up to challenge the leader Handover Belle and edged ahead to the lead at the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4. In the stretch, Bee A Magician trotted home effortlessly in :27.2 to win by four-lengths and establish a new Canadian and track record. Classic Martine finished second, while Allie Labrook was third. "I was really happy with the way things worked out," said Sears following the race. "She was really good tonight scoring down and I think the cool weather might have helped her a little bit too." Bee A Magician has now won five of six starts this year. All six of her starts have been made over the course of the last 41 days, but Sears said that didn't show Friday night. "She was razor-sharp tonight, I was really happy with her." A daughter of Kadabra, Bee A Magician now has 36 career victories and added to her bankroll of over $3 million. The clocking of 1:51.1 erased the former track record of 1:51.4 set by Perfect Alliance in last year's Armbro Flight final. Perfect Alliance also set the former Canadian record of 1:51.2 in May last year at Woodbine. A graduate of the Ontario Sires Stakes program, Bee A Magician has now won 15 of 17 career starts at Mohawk. She returned $2.80 to win. Bee A Magician The second elimination saw another heavy favourite visit the winner's circle. Shake It Cerry extended her win streak to three in a row with a 1:52.4 victory. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Shake It Cerry made a second-quarter move from fourth to take the lead at the half in :56.1. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4, Shake It Cerry pulled away from her rivals in the lane and trotted home under no urging from Gingras in :28 for a 2 ¾ length victory. Rockin With Dewey finished second, while Bax Of Life got up for third. Charmed Life and Frau Blucher rounded out the top-five to advance to the final. Following the race, Gingras talked about a pending matchup with Bee A Magician. "Bee A Magician is tough and she's a great mare," said Gingras. "She won just as easy as myself, so it's going to be a great matchup." A four-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover, Shake It Cerry is trained by Jimmy Takter for the Solveigs Racing Partners. She now has three wins from six starts this season and 26 in her career. Shake It Cerry's career earnings sit at over $2.1 million. She paid $2.60 to win. Shake It Cerry The Armbro Flight final will take place next Saturday (June 20) as part of the Pepsi North America Cup card. The post positions for the final were drawn following the eliminations. Here is how they will lineup in the $272,000 final. 1. Bax Of Life 2. Classic Martine 3. Shake It Cerry 4. Rockin With Dewey 5. Bee A Magician 6. Charmed Life 7. Frau Blucher 8. Harley Momma 9. Handover Belle 10. Allie Labrook AE: White Becomes Her Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 11 - As bidding stalled at $7,000 on one of White Birch Farm's yearlings at the Harrisburg sale in 2013, Farm Manager Steve Williams felt compelled to act. Choosing to buy the colt back for $7,500, he soon proved to be the ultimate harness racing bargain. Making his first start on Canadian soil in the second $50,000 North America Cup elimination on Saturday night, In The Arsenal will be looking to extend his sophomore win-streak after going three for three to start his campaign. In his first start of 2015, the American Ideal colt captured a New York Sires Stakes event in a tidy 1:50 before finishing on top in both his Art Rooney elimination and the $300,000 final. Choosing to forego the Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk Racetrack on June 6, trainer Kelvin Harrison believes he is good and fresh going into the eliminations. "He's a little more mature as a three year old," said Harrison. "He didn't grow much but he is a lot smarter than he was last year. "I didn't feel it was necessary to send him to the 'Somebeach'. He raced three weeks in a row and I wanted him to get some rest before the North America Cup." In The Arsenal's freshman campaign saw a 6-1-1 record in eleven starts, banking just shy of $400,000. Owned by White Birch Farm and In The Arsenal Racing, he took a mark of 1:49.4 over Lexington in September before rounding out the season with an impressive performance in the Breeders Crown final, finishing second by a head to Traceur Hanover. Though he picked up the lion's share of the purse in the Art Rooney final on May 30, a slight bobble at the wire gave fans pause and nearly cost him the race. Fortunately, Harrison believes this nothing to show concern over. "It was the finish lights at Yonkers. There was a little bit of sunlight peaking over the building and he ducked a little sideways. He made it look worse than it actually was." The fourteenth foal out of Ladyotra headed north Wednesday morning with Harrison following suit on Thursday. Brian Sears is confirmed to drive, after establishing a successful partnership with the colt in his last nine starts. "He's going to be stabled at (Richard) 'Nifty' Norman's place. Hopefully we'll be there after the eliminations and for the final." In The Arsenal's first start in Canada will bring Harrison back to Mohawk after a seven year hiatus. His last start came in the Breeders Crown Open Mare Pace where his trainee Free held off a hard-closing Invitro to finish third. He will be looking for repeat success, with a finish in the top three guaranteeing a coveted spot in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup Final on June 20. "He was very good coming out of the Rooney. He's obviously as good as anything I've ever had; he's a real tough horse." Harrison has seen his fair share of success, with $11.9 million in purses collected over the last thirteen years and he is hopeful In The Arsenal will do his part in helping him surpass the 1,000 win milestone. The three-year-old will start from post position seven and is one of only two horses in his elimination field to bypass the Somebeachsomewhere. He will face off against division winner Dudes the Man, who won handily in his 'Beach' division for Corey Callahan in 1:50.3, to his outside in post position eight. The field also includes Bob McIntosh trainee Go Daddy Go, who rallied to finish a strong second in his division after starting from the ten hole. Pennsylvania invader Allbeef N Nobull and The Wayfaring Man are likely to find themselves in the mix as well, posing a challenge for Harrison's trainee. "It's a talented field; they wouldn't be there if they weren't. It comes down to a little luck and a big effort. "It's like I always say 'it's not where you start, it's where you finish'." In The Arsenal is staked to the majority of major stakes event throughout the rest of the season, with the Meadowlands Pace and the Little Brown Jug on Harrison's radar. Twenty-four horses will start in three North America Cup eliminations Saturday (June 13) at Mohawk in search of a spot in the $1 million final the following week. The first race goes to post at 7:25 p.m. Hannah Beckett for WEG Communications

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 30, 2015 - Harness racing favored In the Arsenal (Brian Sears, $2.50, part of entry) prevailed after making it interesting Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace. Eight 3-year-olds-seven colts and one geldings-went postward in the 25th Rooney, which began in 1989, a year after the death of Art Rooney Sr. In the Arsenal, unhurried early from post position No. 2, saw pole-sitting Rock N' Roll World (Dan Dube) make the first lead before a visit from the winner's entrymate, Betting Exchange (Dave Miler). That one, denied a an early pocket by the eventual winner made the lead just after a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. In the Arsenal then moved from third, getting around his stable buddy right around the 56-second intermission. Soon after, Arque Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was put in play, going after In the Arsenal toward a 1:24 three-quarters. In the Arsenal eventually disposed of that one, taking a length lead into the lane. He was home free by a cozy margin...until he bore right a path or so and appeared to pull himself up. Betting Exchange was the main beneficiary, ducking inside to make it close. Not close enough, however, as In the Arsenal prevailed by a diminishing head in 1:51.2. Betting Exchange made the entry 1-2, with Rock N' Roll World third, beaten a length. Arque Hanover and National Seelster (Eric Carlson) came away with the remainder, with Cartoon Daddy (Mark MacDonald), Bet You (Tyler Buter) and Sonofa Sizzle (George Brennan) completing the order. For In the Arsenal, a $7,500 "buyback" son of American Ideal trained by Kelvin Harrison for co-owners (breeder) White Birch Farm) and In the Arsenal Racing, it was his third win in as many seasonal starts (career 9-for-14, earnings of $581,843). The exacta (Rock N' Roll World 'second') paid $5.70, with the triple (Arque Hanover 'third') returning $18. It was Sears' third win in the Rooney, after Badlands Nitro (2008) and Pet Rock (2012, stakes-record 1:51. "I was thinking about letting (Betting Exchange) in early, but In the Arsenal can grab on a bit, so I kept him going. As far as what happened (with the bolt) late, I have no idea. He gave no inclination, and I have no explanation, other than to say he's learning. Luckily, no one was outside of me." Frank Drucker

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