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It was bound to happen. As impressive as the times on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono's track records page might be, each year several of those harness racing records fall by the wayside. It took nearly 2½ months for any horse to match or break one of those lofty standards this season, which was a bit surprising considering the caliber of horses we've seen so far this year. 2015's first incursion into the records page came on Saturday night, and the horse that came up big leads us off in this edition of the Weekly Awards. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: FRAU BLUCHER The crowd was still abuzz following the Triple Crown victory of American Pharaoh early Saturday evening when a pack of Open trotters hit the track to restart Pocono's harness racing program, which had begun earlier in the afternoon. The 1-2 favorite was Daylon Miracle, a mare fresh off a Preferred win at the Meadows against other distaffers. Frau Blucher, the other mare in the field, got away as the 9-5 second choice, as she was stepping up in class after a condition win in the slop on May 30 in an unhurried 1:55. Frau Blucher was a superstar as a 2 and 3-year-old for trainer Chris Oakes, earning over $900,000 in those two seasons. Her 4-year-old season included a world record for her age group when she won at Pocono in 1:51:2, but that was just one of two wins she managed all year in just nine races. Her five-year-old season included just one start prior to that May 30 win, and she went off-stride in that one. But on Saturday night, she showed just how dangerous she could be in top form. Driver George Napolitano Jr. sent daughter of Broadway Hall to the front end early and didn't have much pressure to the half-mile marker, which allowed him to rate her conservatively. Frau Blucher put on a show in the second half of the mile, keeping the pursuit at bay and eventually closing in :27:4 to win by 1¼ lengths over Possessed Fashion. The winning time of 1:51:4 matched the track record for aged trotting mares, which had previously been shared by Beatgoeson Hanover and In Your Room. Frau Blucher now joins male trotting superstar Father Patrick as the only horses to occupy two spots on the Pocono track record page. Other top trotters this week include: Schalom G (George Napolitano Jr., Neal Ehrhart), who moved up in class on Tuesday night to score his second straight condition win, this one in 1:54:4; Rossini (Jason Bartlett, Jim Raymer), who powered to a condition victory on Saturday night in 1:53:1; and Raise The Curtain (Jason Bartlett, Timothy Lancaster), who rallied Wednesday night for his second straight condition win on Wednesday night in a career-best 1:54:1. PACER OF THE WEEK: BIG BOY DREAMS The barn of Pocono's leading trainer Rene Allard never seems to run out of pacers able to compete at the highest levels. Already in 2015 we've seen Domethatagain and Sparky Mark take Pacer of the Week honors for their exploits in Open and condition paces at Pocono. Big Boy Dreams had hopes he could join them on Saturday night in a $30,000 Open pace. This 4-year-old stallion raced once at Pocono in April, finishing a close 3rd in a condition pace. He then went to Canada for two races in the Confederation Cup, finishing 3rd in the big-money final, and followed that up with an Open Handicap victory at Yonkers. On Saturday night, Big Boy Dreams rolled to the front end with Simon Allard in the bike, and when he made it to the half in :55:3 on a night when the wind was helping horses in the front stretch, you knew he was going to be tough to catch. Big Boy Dreams turned on the jets in the second half of the mile and stayed strong to the finish line. The son of If I Can Dream ended up winning by a length in 1:49:4, a new career-best, over Texican N, giving him two consecutive wins over Open competition. He has a lot of competition in his barn for accolades, but Big Boy Dreams is racing as well as any of his stablemates right now, which is high praise indeed. Honorable mention on the pacing side includes: McKenry (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes), a 3-year-old who picked up his second straight condition victory on Tuesday night, this time in a career-best 1:51:4; Caviart Shelley (Jim Morrill Jr., Ron Burke), a mare who ripped off her fifth straight condition win on Wednesday night in a career-best time of 1:50:4; and Cloris Hanover (Tyler Buter, Todd Buter), who won a condition pace against other mares with ease for the second straight week, doing it in a time of 1:51. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: INTERNAL CHECK This pacing mare, with Jim Morrill Jr. driving, rallied from way back on the outside to upend a claiming handicap field on Wednesday night at 22-1, paying off $47.60 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. This was a typical George Nap week, as he hit double digits in wins over the four racing nights and chalked up five victories against the elite competition on Saturday night. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: KEVIN CARR Carr's training average at Pocono has been solid for several years running, and she showed off his wares with back-to-back winners on the card on Sunday night. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia      

Michael Taranto is a big supporter of harness racing in Australia. The Managing Director and CEO of Seelite Windows and Doors previously raced up to 50 or 60 horses but has streamlined his team to 16 trotters including one broodmare. In what will be a first for Taranto, he will watch horses he part owns race in feature events in Australia, USA and Sweden in the space of 30 hours this weekend. Normally Taranto would be in Sweden preparing to attend Sunday's Elitlopp but due to commitments at home he will be travelling to Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night to watch Livin The Life compete in the NSW Trotters Derby. "I think I have had four runners now at Menangle for four duck eggs but I am still going to make the trip up on Saturday night to watch Livin The Life compete," said Taranto. "Livin The Life was purchased at the first Australasian Premier Trotting Sale essentially by a band of Cranbourne committee people, he has won three races already but he will have his work cut out for him this weekend." While Taranto acknowledges it is a big step up for the son of Dream Vacation he is glad to have a runner in the Gr. 1 feature. "I won't die wondering, I'm a believer that if a horse is eligible to race then it should go and race and I applaud his trainer Michael Hughes for taking the NSW Derby path with Livin The Life. "The horse is not without a fluker's chance of winning and I think he will appreciate racing on the big 1400 metre track." After Saturday night Taranto will wake up on Sunday morning and tune into to watch his three year old colt Aldebaran Eagle race in the New Jersey Sires Stakes final at the Meadowlands. "I race him in partnership with Duncan McPherson from Aldebaran Park, he was purchased at the 2013 Harrisburg sales with the aim of purchasing a potential stallion that could stand in Australia at some stage in the future. "The plan with him was to stake him up for everything that we could, have him perform well in some big races and then bring him to Australia, we have to decide whether to leave him in the US for the Breeders Crown in November but if we don't he could come to Australia and race here later this year." Taranto confirmed Aldebaran Eagle is well bred and has already run a mile in 1:53.0. "He is extremely well bred, he's not the best three year old in New Jersey but he is very competitive and after placing in two heats he has qualified for the final on Sunday morning our time. "I hope that his race is part of the Sky coverage on Sunday morning from the Meadowlands but if it isn't I will watch it on the web via the Big M website." The third of Taranto's runners will compete at Sweden's Solvalla racetrack in a mares' race on the Elitlopp programme. "Excellent Boko is a mare that Duncan and I purchased after a trip to Boko Farms several years ago, John Bootsman does it very well because when you do a tour of Boko Farms he hands out an A4 piece of paper as you head into each paddock with the horses and their prices. "This small, runt like weanling walked up to me and wouldn't stop following me, she didn't leave my side the whole time I was there so I took note of her breeding and went back to the hotel room where I was staying and studied her pedigree." Excellent Boko is by Broadway Hall from Exciting Kronos and Taranto liked the mixture of American and European bloodlines. "Excellent Boko had a three year old relation that had just started racing so when I next saw John (Bootsman) I told him that Duncan and I were interested in buying her. "After receiving some advice we left her in the hands of trainer Timo Nurmos and he has done a fantastic job with her, she is going to be racing the A grade Swedish trotting mares on Sunday but we couldn't bypass the opportunity of having a runner on Elitlopp day." Taranto understands that his three runners have a big job ahead of them on the weekend but he is thrilled to be a part of three big meetings around the globe. "I've never experienced anything like this an owner of horses, it is something that is very special for me and while I will only watch the horses in America and Sweden on television, I will get the pleasure of watching my trotter compete at Menangle in the Derby." Greg Hayes

Showing she's all the way back from a freakish injury, Manhattan Miss blazed home in a stake-record 1:54.4 in Friday's $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event for 3-year-old filly trotters at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows The stake was conducted over five divisions, with Lilu Hanover, Shewontkissandtell, Love Me Madly and Speak To Me taking the other splits. Dave Palone and trainer Jimmy Takter teamed for a pair of stake victories with Lilu Hanover and Speak To Me. Co-owners Acadia Farms and trainer Marty Wollam consigned Manhattan Miss to the Delaware sale as a yearling but withdrew her when a nasty scar from a leg gash suffered as a weanling appeared to diminish her sale value. The daughter of Broadway Hall-Sneaky Speed raced for the partners at 2, showing talent but breaking problems. They soon discovered the cause of the breaks. Late in her sophomore campaign, her leg disgorged a sizable wood chip left over from the earlier injury. "It took that long for the wood to work itself out," Wollam said. "Since then, she's been good." On Friday, she quarter-poled to the lead for Mike Wilder and downed Alpha Alpha by 3-3/4 lengths, with Murderers Row third. Her time erased the mark of 1:55.2 set last year by Broadway Socks. "We'll race next here in an overnight. Then we may try her in a sires stake," Wollam said. "I wanted to, but my partner didn't. He was right. It worked out well." Lilu Hanover withstood a serious backside challenge from Big Barb and scored in 1:55.4, 1-1/2 lengths better than Global Ice. Big Barb saved show. "She actually welcomed the horse when the horse came to her," Palone said. "She picked me up. I drove her last year and liked her, and she's only become bigger and stronger. She should have a great season." Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld campaign the daughter of Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover, who pushed her career bankroll to $133,455. Shewontkissandtell produced the stake's tote board fireworks when, trailing by 4-1/2 lengths at the top of the stretch and seemingly blocked by a pair of horses, she poured through a gift opening in the Lightning Lane and prevailed in 1:59.2, at 14-1, for Brian Zendt. KB's Big Gainer was second, 2-1/2 lengths back, while Sand C-Four earned show. "Someone ran in the last turn, and I thought I would get some room," Zendt said. "Then two horses moved outside, and I thought I was better off just staying left. Man, I didn't have to worry about her having enough trot. A little luck helps." Lisa Dunn-Adams conditions the homebred daughter of Glidemaster-Caviar And Kisses for Dunn Stable. In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, the always-tough Do Me Honor was at it again, coming first over to triumph for Aaron Merriman and owner/trainer Bill Bercury in 1:52.4. Bad Glamour Girl split horses late for second, 1/2 length behind, while Miss Pinky Pie completed the ticket. The 7-year-old daughter of Cheyenne Rei-Do Me Right now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $584.198. Saturday's special Preakness Day card at The Meadows features four divisions of The Stenographer, a $193,264 PA Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 11:25 AM. Evan Pattak    

May 9, 2015 - Today’s V75 hasrness racing card at Umaker was a dandy, headed up by the Gold Division victory by former Elitloppet winner Nahar (10g Love You-Mahonny Broline-Joie de Vie) and trainer/driver Robert Bergh. Timed in 1.11.6kr over 1640 meters autostart, the veteran rallied from near the back to sweep around the field in late stretch for owner Stall Sedin HB. Nahar has 34 career wins in 98 starts for earnings of over 11.3SEK million. Knows Nothing (6m Kadabra-Savvy Yankee-Balanced Image) was second for Ulf Ohlsson and trainer Reijo Liljendahl ahead of Panne de Moteur (7h Credit Winner-Jalopy-Donerail), making his initial 2015 start, handled by Orjan Kihlstrom. The winner earned 200,000SEK first money. While Nahar is a likely Elitloppet invitee, the race leadership wants to wait until all major weekend races are complete before extending more bids.  The co-feature Berth Johanssons Memorial (2140 meters autostart, 200,000SEK to the winner) went to Cool Keeper (5m Broadway Hall-Missys Go Go-Yankee Glide) and driver/trainer Leif Witasp, timed in 1.12.6kr with a very quick last 1140 meters. The winner recorded career victory 12 in 29 starts for earnings of over 1.9SEK million. Stall Mamsen owns the winner. Special Topgear (5m Love You-Pan Seared Tuna-Andover Hall) was next for John Ostman with Screen Height (5m Scarlet Knight-Rose The Goal-Armbro Goal) third for Torbjorn Jansson. Jerry Riordan’s trainee Rod Stewart was sixth, Creatine eighth and Vasterbo Loveboat ninth as these well-regarded starters failed to hit the board. Creatine was fourth, parked with cover, before making a three wide backstretch move that stalled after reaching second. The Silver Division (2140 meters autostart, 125,000SEK to winner) went to Coldtown (6g Cantab Hall-Brylin Starlet-Balanced Image) with Jorma Kontio up, timed in 1.13kr for trainer Timo Nurmos. The pace was well-rated in this event. Stein Daylight (7m Steinlager-Danilova-Anders Crown) was second for trainer/driver Leif Witasp with US bred Talk The Talk (5f Donato Hanover-Letsjusttalkaboutme-Self Possessed) third with Ulf Ohlsson driving for trainer/owner Stefan Melander. Radysin America was eighth after a parked with cover trip with dead cover. Thomas H. Hicks

World record holder Mission Brief is considered to be a shoo-in for super-stardom by many; few would be surprised to see her win the Hambletonian. When she cruised to a ridiculous 1:50.3 world record in the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile trainer Ron Burke didn’t seem in the least bit nonplussed: he characterized her as being “super freaky.” Unlike ‘Ms Perfection’, JK She’salady, the daughter of Muscle Hill did go down to defeat in four of her 13 starts—all on breaks. Reminds one of the scary fast colt Arnie Almahurst, who won 14 of his 26 starts at three, back in the early 1970s, and broke stride in 8 of his losses. His son Arndon and grandson Pine Chip both retired as the fastest trotter ever. But we all know success doesn’t always beget success in this game—stuff happens, even to horses that carry all-time great potential. In 2012 Dan Patch winner To Dream On won 8 of her 9 starts, including the Breeders Crown, Merrie Annabelle and Bluegrass. The Credit Winner filly took her split of the ISS in 1:53.2, considerably slower than Mission Brief. Still, she was described as a “super-filly” and Jimmy Takter rated her up there with the best of her age and class he had trained. But while O’Brien winner Bee A Magician did progress and win Horse of the Year honors at three, To Dream On only won 2 of 14 starts. She was retired soon after capturing the Kentucky Filly Futurity. To Dream On didn’t possess Mission Brief’s blinding speed, but she was more reliable and was held in high regard coming out of her freshman campaign. Still, for one reason or another, she didn’t go on. Wheeling N Dealin, from that same class, is another who failed miserably in making the transition from stardom at two to success at three. The Cantab Hall colt, who won all of his freshman starts, including the Breeders Crown, Wellwood and Champlain, was winless in ten starts at three. As was the case with To Dream On, his fall from grace was shocking. Snow White won 11 of 13 at two and set a world record of 1:52.4 for freshmen trotters, of either sex, in the ISS, as well as an all-time earnings record for two-year-old trotters. The Self Possessed miss was already a super star when she entered the sophomore ranks, but health issues got the best of her, and she was ultimately euthanized, the following summer. On the other hand, Continentalvictory and CR Kay Suzie both came back to win Horse of the Year honors at three. Florican, the dam sire of Speedy Crown, was a world record holder at two, winning 7 of 8 starts for the Arden Homestead Stable. However, he was chronically lame and suffered from bouts of sickness at three, as he won once in 12 tries, earning less than $10,000. He did redeem himself with a successful campaign in the aged ranks. Broadway Hall was a very good freshman, winning all nine starts, including the Breeders Crown, and banking more than $435,000. Suspensory issues got the best of him, however, and he wasn’t able to compete at three. The fifteen-year-old son of Conway Hall, and sire of Broad Bahn, Action Broadway and Cooler Schooner, recently moved to Ohio. Dancer’s Crown, two-year-old division champ and Peter Haughton winner, in 1982, impressed Castleton Farms so much that they paid $3.75 million for a three-quarter share in him. The Dickerson Cup was his only noteworthy win at three. After freshman Donerail won his tenth in a row at two, Stanley Dancer eschewed his pet retort that Nevele Pride was the best trotter he ever had; he said Donerail was better. The elegant and handsome son of Valley Victory won 13 of 15 starts that year, including the Haughton, and he was awarded a Dan Patch. Owner Robert Suslow and Hanover Shoe Farms put together a syndication deal. But after banking $637,000 at two, he earned only $66,000 at three, winning 3 of 6 starts, after which he was forced into early retirement by injury. Royalty For Life, Pampered Princess, Dejarmbro, D Train, Broad Bahn and Big Rigs are all out of Donerail mares. Super Bowl’s son Express Ride earned $840,000 at two, back in 1985, as he won 9 of 14 starts and never failed to make the board. The division champ took the Breeders Crown and the Haughton. The following year Express Ride only managed to win twice in five starts and his earnings plummeted to less than $50,000. He was remanded to Castleton Farms where he proved to be sterile, but like several others who suffered from the sophomore blues, he went on to have a productive career in the aged ranks and also resuscitated his stallion career in Europe. Cumin was another precocious son of Super Bowl. He won the 8 races where he didn’t break at two, and lost the other 4. The product of the Super Bowl-Speedy Crown cross was stopped short by injury at three and didn’t race. Starlark Hanover won 21 of 22 heats as a freshman; she beat the boys from the 13 post at Yonkers Raceway in the Harriman. But David Wade’s Hickory Smoke filly regressed to journeyman status at three. Wesgate Crown became the sport’s all-time fastest two-year-old when he time trialed in 1:55.1 He won 7 of his 8 starts and was valued at a million dollars when 25% of him was purchased for $250,000. But, alas, the winner of the Breeders Crown and Valley Victory only won 3 of 12 the following year, none of them noteworthy. The son of Royal Prestige went on to have a successful aged career in North America and Europe, banking $2.5 million. Jodevin, a son of the mercurial speedball Dayan, managed to win 19 of his 21 starts at two in Midwest races like the Hayes and the Hoosier, to the point where he captured his division. Lameness took its toll at three. Noble Gesture, a certified nut job blessed with extreme speed, overcame his personal demons and won 8 of his 10 starts at two. He became the second fastest freshman trotter ever by virtue of a 1:59 win. But the demons won out at three, as the sire of Balanced Image and grandsire of Mack Lobell won only 3 of 13 starts, with the Matron serving as his premier victory. In his case there was no mystery to unpack regarding the factors that sabotaged his sophomore campaign. The majority of trotters that fail to graduate to greatness are waylaid by obvious injuries, while in other cases the fall from grace remains wrapped in mystery. By all accounts Mission Brief is healthy. One assumes Burke has done what he can to correct her fractious ways, but from Dayan and Marlu Pride, back in the day, to Manofmanymissions in the modern era, the puzzle of fire breathing trotters that lose their composure has never leant itself to easy solutions. (Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for  http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/. Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink)

Bruce Clarke has returned for another winter stay in California, bringing along his top trotter I Love New York and a dozen other assorted performers. You can say that Im hoping to rebuild, said Clarke, an accomplished driver/trainer who has driven over 2,900 winners in his career and recently went over the $12 million mark as a chauffeur. I Love New York is owned by Clarke along with longtime clients Jack Coffey and Patricia Waldeck and the 6-year-old Broadway Hall homebred is nearing $250,000 in earnings while sporting a 1:54 3/5 career standard that was established here last season. His most recent victory came in late August over the five-eighths Tioga Downs oval in the state hes named after and the dark-hued trotter has gone some big miles for Clarke since his introduction to the game. Im out here for the winter and its nice to get away from the cold, Bruce related. This wasnt the best of summers for the barn, because we had a lot of bad luck, but Ive got some young ones here that Ill be getting ready. The one thing missing from his arsenal this year would be some Sire Stakes performers, which has been a mainstay of the shedrow over the years, but Clarke still figures to make his presence felt during the course of this meeting. A reminder that there are now four wagers here that feature a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the Jackpot 6; the Pick 4 and the Hi-5 on the nitecap.    High Bet Hanover High Bet Hanover, who has fired nothing but bullets at this meet in five appearances, heads the cast for Sunday evenings featured Open III Pace for fillies and mares. An 11-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with a first post of 4:45 Pacific. The headliner will go as the second race on the evening with a field of six set to face the starter. High Bet Hanover has recorded two victories and three seconds from her five starts at the stand for owner Kc C Cavalho, trainer Tim Brown and driver Luke Plano. Overall, she is going for her eighth snapshot on the season from 41 trips to the post. The 6-year-old Bettors Delight established a new lifetime mark three starts back when she captured the finale of the Annette Funicello Series on October 18 in 1:53 4/5. She came back to be the runner-up in a conditioned affair and then returned to her winning ways in her most recent tour. Sent off the even-money choice in that contest, High Bet Hanover sat a tracking trip for a half, then attacked to the final bend and went on to a two and three-quarter length score with Plano This time around, Director of Racing Robin Schadt has assigned the mare the outside post. Dont Hurry Love completed the exacta behind High Bet Hanover last week and will be looking to turn the tables. The 5-year-old daughter of Dontgetinmyway races for Ed Actkinson, takes her lessons from Bob Johnson and will be guided by Mooney Svendsen. She boasts $135,000 in earnings and a 1:54 1/5 career standard. Completing the cast are Free Girl, who gives the Brown barn two looks at the outcome; the Steve Wiseman-trained duo of Surprisingly Sweet and Razzle Be Dazzled; and Rag Doll, who hails from the Lino Pacheco barn and leaves from the inside slot. Mike Ratzky - Cal Expo Harness

WILKES-BARRE PA -- Sire Cantab Hall completed a Championship double, and another horse joined the select club of being a Sire Stakes “sweeper,” when Billy Flynn roared off cover to win in 1:55.2 in the off going for driver Brett Miller and trainer Staffan Lind. Billy Flynn raced atypically off the pace tonight, with Walter White on top at the 27.3 quarter, then yielding to Hurrikane Jonny K as that one put up middle splits of 57 and 1:26.1. Piercewave Hanover provided cover from first-over, and when Billy Flynn tipped off that cover, “he was great tonight – he felt great,” noted driver Miller, the colt not showing any of his previous bearing-out tendencies. Off-the-pace tactics proved best in this event, as Honor And Serve and Ralph R closing strongly for second and third, respectively. Billy Flynn joins Stormin Normand (2011) as the only freshman colt trotters to notch the “4+1” Sire Stakes  season. Bender Sweden Inc own the emerging star, who is now undefeated in seven starts. Billy Flynn and Yankee Bounty are both now seven for seven in their careers, and both completed Sire Stakes “4+1” sweeps. That’s where the similarities end. Whereas Billy Flynn came off the pace to win easily, Yankee Bounty made an early move to take the lead near the 55.1 half (Dragon Eddy had insisted on the early lead in an astounding 26 before yielding), then fought off a nose-to-nose challenge from Lost For Words by and past the 1:22.2 3/4s. Maybe it’s good Yankee Bounty had the practice in winning duels – because another one soon loomed in the Pocono Pike in the form of Tomy Terror. The two geldings battled on even terms much of the stretch, with Yankee Bounty showing great heart to put his nose over first in 1:50.3 – a Pocono track record for 2PG, and just a tick behind the stakes mark of One More Laugh, whom Yankee Terror now joins in the 2PC Sire Stakes sweeping ranks. The victory made Yannick Gingras a three-time PASS winner on the card, giving him 10 in his career and moving him to (a distant) second behind Dave Palone (34) on the career list. Two of those victories came for trainer Ron Burke, who recently engineered the new ownership combine of Yankee Bounty Partnership and Frank Chick. The FFA trot was named the “Modern Family Trot” after the late Pocono-based world-class trotter, with Pocono-based trainer Daryl Bier and the horse’s connections on hand for winners circle ceremonies. Modern Family, always a game horse, would have admired the stretch tenacity of his frequent for Wishing Stone, who raced third on the rail and cleared “about three strides before the wire” according to his driver to edge out Not Afraid in 1:52.4 for Wishing Stone Syndicate. That driver, by the way, was Yannick Gingras, who along with trainer Ron Burke was in Pocono’s winners circle for the fifth time on the night. Wishing Stone also “saved” the 1-5 betting entry, as the more fancied horse, Market Share, made a break early.   From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association    

WILKES-BARRE PA --Southwind Roulette headed a 1-2-3 sweep for trainer Ron Burke by winning her $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship for two-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She won in 1:52.3 over "good" going to become the richest pacer in one season of Sire Stakes competition, with $269,248 earned in her races for Keystone State-sired company. Kay's Dragon Lady closed well for secondbehind the victorious daughter of Somebeachsomwhere, driven by Yannick Gingras, with Well Hello There third.   In the $260,000 PaSS 2TF Championship, Gingras came right back with "another talented filly, a real sweetheart," Wild Honey, who set a stakes record of 1:54.2 despite the good going, completing a "sweep" of her division -- wins in all four legs and the Championship, following in the footsteps of only Coulantine (2004) and Fashion Feline (2009). The Jimmy Takter-trained daughter of Cantab Hall withstood first-over Jersey Strong, with another Takterite, Smexi, third.   Full reports on these and the other features of 2YO Sire Stakes Championship Night will be forthcoming. In features completed to this point: The "Adieu to the Almost Summer" Pace saw Sunfire Blue Chip make a quarter-move, then say "adieu" to the field with a 26.4 last quarter in driving rain for a 1:49.2 win for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Jimmy Taker, and the ownership combine of Taker, Fielding, Fielding, Brixton Medical AB and R A W Equine Inc. Perhaps "adieu" was just the right name for a race taken by the son of American Ideal, as the winner of four straight, at four different tracks, is the early favorite for the $200,000 Prix d'Ete, to be revived as a four-year-old event in two weeks at Hippodrome 3R in Quebec (a Gingras base before coming Stateside). 2YO Colt Trot Consolation -Not many horses break their maiden by missing their divisional world record by 2/5 of a second, but that's what the Broadway Hall gelding On The Sly did in winning his consolation event in 1:55.2. Hinting at promise with a second, a third, and a fourth in Sires preliminaries, On The Sly finally put it all together, swinging wide from third-over behind contested fractions and overhauling frontstepping Pierre late for driver Brett Miller, trainer Morgan McInnis, and the Revocable Trust of Barbara Boese. The 1:55.2 time was just short of Correctamundo's world standard, and only a tick shy of the local mark of It Really Matters. 2YO Filly Trot Consolation-If you need proof that "times have changed" in harness racing, consider this: Pius Soehnlen campaigned the iron-tough FFA trotter Dream Of Glory in the mid-70s, and that horse took a mark of 1:57.2. Tonight Soehnlen as owner won this consolation event with Matter Hatter, a daughter of Explosive Matter who also rallied from far back to tally over Bright Bay Blues for driver David Miller and trainer Jeff Cox. The lifetime for her second lifetime victory? 1:55.2 - two seconds faster than Dream Of Glory's lifetime mark! From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association    

Frau Blucher made her first win of the 2014 season a memorable one by matching a world record for her age group on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. A huge earner at age two and three for trainer Chris Oakes, Frau Blucher (Broadway Hall-My Angel) was winless in her first five starts as a four-year-old heading into Tuesday night's condition trot for non-winners of $10,001 in the past five races, which carried a purse of $13,000. Leaving from post position #2 in a field of nine as the 4-5 favorite, Frau Blucher, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, took over the lead on the front stretch and opened up from there. The mare ended up 8 ¼ lengths in front of the field in a winning time of 1:51:4, which matched the world record for 4-year-old trotting mares on a 5/8-mile oval, set back in May at Pocono by Classic Martine, another Oakes trainee. Frau Blucher, owned by Hauser Brothers Racing, Susan Oakes, and Matt Tudisco, won for the 14th time in 34 career races, pushing her lifetime earnings to $924,117 in the process. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

A Scandinavian quartet have teamed up and bought Broadway Hall. Hans Nelén (Global Farm), John Bootsman (Boko Stables), Mats Gabrielsson (Oxalis) and the couple Siv and Nils Otto Bergslien (The breeders of ”Thai”-horses) are the quartet behind the deal. Broadway Hall will stay in Pennsylvania and will service American breeding during 2015. In the fall, he will be collecting semen for freezing to the European market. Broadway Hall debuted as 2-year-old with making nine starts and he remained undefeated. Among his victories excels elimination and final of the Breeders Crown, Kentucky Sire Stakes and Lexington Breeders Championship. He received the Dan Patch Award as the "2-year-old-trotting-colt-of-the-year” in the United States. Broadway Hall is the father of five world record holders, including the filly Cooler Schooner who last year won at 1: 51.3 at Pocono Downs 5/8-mile-track, which is still the fastest time for a two year old in the world - any track length. He has left two millionaires, Hambletonian winner Broad Bahn and the mare Action-Broadway. He has nearly 700 offspring in North America, which together have earned over 30 million dollars. In Sweden, he has 50 registered offspring where the mare Mermaid Ås (E3-winner and 2nd in Grand Prix de l’UET) is most winning with nearly four million SEK in her bank roll. In Norway Broadway Hall has left Thai Broadway (2nd in Grand Prix de l’UET and Breeders Crown), which earned almost 3.5 million NOK. Facts Age: 14 years (foaled 2000) Pedigree: Conway Hall - B Cor Tamgo Record: 1:56.4 Purse: $436,790 - Won the Dan Patch Award as the ”2YO-trotting-colt-of-the-year” in the United States in 2002. - Undefeated after nine starts as a 2-year old. - Breeders Crown winner. World Champion foals Frau Blucher, 1:53.1 • 3YO fillies at half-mile-track Cooler Schooner, 1:51.3 • 2YO fillies at 5/8-mile-track Pilgrims Chuckie, 1:53 • 3YO colts and geldings at 5/8-mile-track Stage Show, 1:53.1 • 4YO fillies at 5/8-mile-track Sherman Mountain, 1:53.3 • 3YO geldings at 5/8-mile-track To earning foals USA: Broad Bahn (1.53 • $ 1,547,988), Action-Broadway (1:52.3 • $ 1,071,122), Pilgrims Taj (1:53.3 • $ 996,748), Frau Blucher (1:52.3 • $ 914,367), Broadway Scooner (1:53.3 • $ 885,933) and Opening Night (1:52.2 • $ 749,374). Sweden: Mermaid Ås (1:53.2 • 3,944,747 SEK) and the US-imports - Production (1:54.3 • 1,447,870 SEK), Cool Keeper (1:56 • 1,426,500 SEK) and Dicey Spicey (1:56.4 • 848,494 SEK). Norway: Thai Broadway (1:52.4 • 3,489,856 NOK). Finland: Vincent Van Kemp (1:56.2 • € 78,953). For more information contact either Truls Heslien, Global Farm, +47,328,767 97 +47906596 31 or John Bootsman, Boko Stables, +46 70-582 07 19. by Håkan Persson, for Global Farm

Four divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for freshman trotters were contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (August 14), each going for a purse of over $65,000. In the first division, the wagering public backed Tick Tok Tag (Broadway Hall-Tags Schooner) who was coming off two narrow defeats against similar at The Meadows. Off the gate, it was the Erv Miller trainee Ralph R (Muscle Massive-Aiken For Clay) going for the lead, but he quickly yielded to the favorite at the quarter, which went in :29 seconds flat. There was no change in position until the top of the stretch, when Ralph R emerged out of the pocket, and was able to out duel Tick Tok Tag in the late stages, winning by a nose, in a time of 1:57.2. Divisionist (Andover Hall-Only Lonely) finished third. Ralph R is owned by The Ervin Miller Stables and Paymaq Racing, trained by Erv Miller, and was driven by Marcus Miller. In Division two, undefeated Piercewave Hanover (Donato Hanover-Passionate Glide) was the one to beat, sent off as the public choice. As the wings closed, the favorite sprinted right out for the lead, with the Ake Svanstedt charge Colbert (Cantab Hall-Domestic Diva) securing the pocket spot, by the quarter in :28 seconds. After rating a :31 second quarter, Piercewave Hanover felt pressure from a first-over Honor And Serve (Donato Hanover-Honorable Daughter). As they turned for home, the two were on even terms, with Honor And Serve grinding to victory, stopping the clock in 1:57. Piercewave Hanover finished second, while Explosive Drama (Explosive Matter-Phillycityhall) rallied for third. In the third division, it was James Bafia and Eugene White's Shoot The Thrill (Explosive Matter-Fancy N Diamonds) picking up the victory. At the start, it was Special Action (Yankee Glide-Special Appeal) moving out for the lead, with Lima Pride (Muscle Massive-Pacific Legacy) In The Pocket, by a quarter in :29.1. The leader rated a :32.1 second quarter, before Ake Svanstedt vacated the pocket with Lima Pride. They battled for the lead until the top of the stretch, where Special Action made a break, allowing driver Tony Hall to split foes with Shoot The Thrill, springing the mild upset in 1:59.1. Lima Pride was second, while Chef Lee (Cantab Hall-Summer Savory) finished third. Shoot The Thrill is trained by Dirk Simpson. In the fourth and final division, the wagering was evenly split between unbeaten Billy Flynn (Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones) and Walter White (Cantab Hall-Muscaloosa). At the start, Billy Flynn and Walter White left in tandem for the lead, with Billy Flynn eventually re-taking after a quarter in 28.3. After a rated :30.2 second quarter, the leader faced a first-over challenge from Vintage Hall (Cantab Hall-Sweet Vintage) but was able to put him away just past three-quarters. Into the stretch, Billy Flynn squared off with Walter White, who attacked up the open stretch. They hit the line together, with the narrow win going to Billy Flynn in 1:57.4. Billy Flynn is owned by Bender Sweden Inc, trained by Steffan Lind, and was driven by Brett Miller. Wicker Hanover (Explosive Matter-Won An Done) finished third. Mike Bozich

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 11, 2014 -- Ballare Hanover garnered her first harness rcing career stake victory by following cover and brushing through the slop late to score in 1:58.1, fastest division in Monday's $60,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake at The Meadows. The event for 3-year-old filly trotters was contested over three divisions, with Mariah De Vie and Silent Opera K taking the other splits. Tony Hall enjoyed a stake double behind Ballare Hanover and Silent Opera K among his five wins on the 16-race card. Although Ballare Hanover had won four of 11 previous starts, she had come up short in stakes. That ended Monday when she used the first-over cover of Czech It Out to get into striking position, then erased a 2-length deficit in the lane to overtake the leader, Steppin Out, and down her by a neck. Donato's Dream was third. "If you can get her through the first quarter, she's pretty versatile; she can take the air," Hall said. "Adios Day, I got her to the gate a step too quick, and she ran, so I really had to feed her in. She started to shorten up late -- I was worried halfway down the stretch -- but it all worked out." Marcus Marashian trains Ballare Hanover, a daughter of Broadway Hall-Box Of Dreams, and owns with Michelle Amric, and Lou DiPaolo. Mariah De Vie's cover wasn't quite so accommodating. She and Dave Palone were following Nitro Nittany when the 1-5 favorite tired suddenly into the final turn, forcing Mariah De Vie wide prematurely. "I thought, 'I can't screw up this game plan -- just follow Nitro Nittany because she looks to be the best,'" Palone said. "I loved the game plan at the quarter, I loved it at the half. When my cover stalled, I didn't know if my filly could handle it. But she gave me a good fight, and I was happy with her." The daughter of Cantab Hall-Nordicdish persevered and prevailed in 1:58.4 for trainer Henrik Lundell and owner Joie de Vie farm. The pocket-sitting Westfiftyfirst was second, 2-1/2 lengths back, while Passing Jetta earned show. Silent Opera K wore down Outsourced Hanover in a stretch-long duel and edged her rival by a nose in 1:58.2. Super Swifty rallied for show. "We were racing her in bigger races, and she needed a little class relief," said Rich Gillock, who conditions the homebred daughter of Broadway Hall-American Frost for Bob Key. "Fortunately today, the mile was to her liking, and everything worked out. We'll try to pick some spots and do some good with her." Dan Rawlings and Palone each fashioned a three-bagger on the program. Tuesday's card features a $199,994 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters headlined by the stablemates Lifetime Pursuit, upset winner of the Hambletonian Oaks, and Shake It Cerry, last year's Dan Patch Award winner who has banked more than $1 million in her career. First post  is 12:55 PM. Evan Pattak

Charlottetown PE- Leading Camdidate and driver Marc Campbell were mighty happy to draw in off of the also eligible list Thursday night at Red Shores'. They drew into the feature event after the late scratch of the three-horse I D K. Fresh off a going away victory in his last start, Leading Camdidate made a bold first over move approaching the half and held on for the victory in 1:56.1, for owner Jeff Holmes and trainer John Holmes. Oakrock Almighty was flying on the end of it to nail the place prize and Beckenbauer was third. On Glenn Taylor Memorial night, grandson Corey MacPherson did his late grandfather proud. Picking up two victories on the card with Trustmeonemoretime and veteran pacer Life Savior. Worth Remembering and young gun Jack Panting made every call a winning one in the Glenn Taylor Memorial Pace. He fired the six-year-old Ken Warkentin pacer off of the gate in :28.3, and didn't take his foot off of the gas pedal. Laying down fractions of :58.2, 1:27.4, stopping the tele timer in 1:58 for owner Steven Sorrie. Juraez Cyclone picked up his first lifetime victory in the evenings trot class. The three-year-old Broadway Hall colt was a going away winner in 2:05.2 for co-owners John Breau and Paul Morrison. Racing returns to Red Shores' Charlottetown Saturday night at 6 p.m. featuring the first leg of the Spud Island Classic for Open Mares. by Bo Ford, for Red Shores

CLEARFIELD PA - The four-day harness racing meet at the Clearfield (PA) County Fair concluded on Wednesday, with $107,784 in total purses distributed in the quartet of days among the best of the Keystone State's fair competitors. Clearfield, (relatively) centrally- located in the state, always draws one of the biggest pool of entrants, and local fans enjoyed 34 heats of racing during the meet. The tightest finish of the meet, by definition, occurred on Tuesday in a division of the two-year-old filly pace, when Tropical Terror, a daugher of Western Terror, is the only fair campaigner to win at all eight of the season's initial stops, maintained that distinction while finishing in a 2:03.3 dead-heat with Keystone I Will, fastest of this group at the fairs off a 2:00 mile at Bedford. The Art Official filly Keystone I Wish is trained and was driven by Todd Schadel, while Tropical Terror tallied for trainer Jason Shaw and driver Chris Shaw. There were five divisions of the two-year-old colt pace that day, with Team Schadel accounting for two and Team Shaw (whose brace included the fastest winner Marshmallow Pulse in 2:03) taking two more. The fifth was won by R N Nate for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, who will take his present six-race win streak behind the gate tomorrow (Friday) at Harrah's Philadelphia. On the trotting side, the highlight would be the remarkable performance of trainer Bill Daugherty Jr.'s three-year-old colts, both of whom are now six for seven at the twicearounds after Clearfield victories. Fly Past Hanover, an altered son of Cantab Hall, has lost only in a photo when Faust set the all-age Bedford track record of 2:00.4, while the Broadway Hall gelding Broadway Charm posted the Clearfield meet's fastest trotting time of 2:03.4. ("Charm"'s Clearfield counterpart on the pacing side would be Ruffle Up, a sophomore Real Artist gelding who won in 2:01 for trainer/driver Roger Hammer.) Handling the two Daugherty powerhouses throughout the summer has been the fair circuit's leading driver, Steve Schoeffel, who with four wins on the week now has 48 wins in eight stops; Schoeffel's main rival, Chris Shaw, visited Victory Lane via sulky six times at Clearfield to raise his win total to 45. The Shaw/Schoeffel duel on the driving side is paralleled on the training side as well, as Chris's brother Jason harnessed five winners during the session to currently enjoy a 33-31 edge over horses out of the Schoeffel barn. Perennial "fair king" Roger Hammer is third in both categories, with 19 driving wins and 20 training triumphs. The fair circuit now moves to the far northeast of the state, at the Wayne County Fair at Honesdale, which will stage its "fair meet" on Sunday and Monday and its "2-day meet" on Wednesday and Thursday. Next Thursday also sees the start of two days of racing at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg, 358 miles away from Honesdale. (Miss the turn for Honesdale and you'll be in New York; miss the turn for Waynesburg and you'll be in West Virginia ... yes, Pennsylvania is a big state.) by Jerry Connors for the PA Sire Stakes Fairs

The annual Tattersalls Summer Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands witnessed hot and fast bidding that resulted in a 34.7% increase in average per horse sale price from the previous year.   Of the 123 racehorses that sold for a gross of $2,544,200, the average reached $20,685. The main attraction of the well-attended Harness Horse auction was the "drop-in-the-box" nature of the 30 horses that raced in the two days prior to the sale, and over 100 that raced in the last week.   The highlight of the sale was the offering of World Champion trotter Sevruga 1:50.3 who was a $160,000 post-sale purchase. A winner of over $1 million lifetime, he will start in the $300,000 John Cashman, Jr Memorial on Hambo Day for new owners Scott and Joe Pennacchio.   Long-time horse owner, amateur driver, and current president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association, Joe Pennacchio noted that Sevruga "was one of the rare, great trotters around, and may be in just a little over his head in Grand Circuit stakes company. We look forward to racing him in Open and Late Closing events."   Consigned by Northwood Bloodstock Agency, Sevruga was one of nearly 50 horses represented by Bob Boni. Following the sale, Boni noted pleasure with the day's events and stated that "it was a very strong horse sale. Good horses sold well, as they usually do."   The annual racehorse reduction of Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm was particularly well-received, bolstered by several high-priced youngsters. Topping the overall 2-year-old sales was the PA eligible Broadway Hall gelding On The Sly, who showed consistently flat lines around 1:58 and fetched $51,000 from Barbara Boese of Milton, DE.   Preferred Equine Marketing represented another well-placed $75,000 Fashion Farm sale with the American Ideal colt, Ideal Fashion p,3,1:52.1f--`14. Kyle Spagnola signed for the 3-year-old NY eligible colt who had just won his last start at Yonkers in 1:53.4h.   Toward the end of the sale, prospective purchasers not willing to go home empty handed saw stars with Moonliteonthebeach p,4,1:51--`14, who was consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing for Scott Kimelman and the Blue Chip Bloodstock Partners. The bidding was fierce and competitive for the handsome 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere who just paced in 1:49.3 finishing second at Pocono just 12 hours before the sale. When the dust settled, Andrew Harris signed the winning $85,000 ticket for trainer P.J. Fraley and owner Jeff Bamond.   Lynch winning 3-year-old pacing filly Fancy Desire p,3,1:49 was the anticipated sale topper, and was hammered down for $195,000, however failed to reach the required reserve price.   Tattersalls sales manager David Reid was happy with the overall results of the sale, and was optimistic about the health of the industry. "Sales have been good. This was a very active group of racehorses, which always translates into active bidding. My only disappointment was the relative absence of Canadian buyers. It serves as a true indicator of the importance of the slots programs in these regional markets. Having said that, with an eye on the future, bring on the Hambletonian." by Chris Tully, for Tattersalls  

$75,000 Gov. David L. Lawrence, 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Yankee Bounty stayed undefeated in his four-race career with a victory in 1:51.3, a stake record. Although parked from post 8 for about one-half mile, Yankee Bounty thoroughly dominated his split, drawing off to win by 7-1/4 lengths. Cooperstown and Lone Survivor completed the ticket. Kevin Lare trains the Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee gelding for Frank Chick. Too Darn Hot, who had been toughened in New Jersey Sires Stakes competition, trailed the loose leader, UF Larry Alltheway, by 4-1/2 lengths at the three-quarters before his greater experience kicked in. He tracked the leader down and edged him by a neck at the wire in 1:53.3 for Yannick Gingras, with Hall of Terror third. "I figured the leader would come back to me at some point," Gingras said. "At that point, my hands were tied. If I chased him into a big quarter, that wouldn't do my colt any good. I trained him once -- he's a big colt, and I thought he would be a top colt. It's taken him a little longer." Ron Burke trains Too Darn Hot, a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Kiss Me Kate, for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Larry Karr. Rich Wisdom moved from sixth for cover and drew off to break his maiden in 1:53.1 for Matt Kakaley and give Burke a Gov. Lawrence double. My Hero Ron was second, 3 lengths back, while Denslow Hanover earned show. "He's gotten better every start," Burke said of his $25,000 yearling purchase. "I think he's a good colt, not a great colt, so probably this is where he fits. He has a lot of stakes this year. He might be the kind who does good at Lexington; he seems to be long winded." Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, JJK Stables and Phillip Collura campaign Rich Wisdom. $55,352 Ned McCarr, 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters   Donatella Hanover didn't move crisply first over when initially asked, but she found her best stride late and scored in 1:56.1 for Brett Miller, trainer Jimmy Takter and owner Christinatakterandthekids. The rallying Dancing Dynamite fell a neck short, with Jessie's Song third.   "She was really locked on the left line today, and I was having a hard time keeping her along the pylons," Miller said of the daughter of Cantab Hall-On The Glide. "The last half of the mile when we really started going fast, she straightened out. This filly is game. She kept fighting and didn't give up." Broadway Socks had little trouble wiring her field for her ninth victory in 17 lifetime starts, although winning driver Dan Rawlings indicated she might not have been at her best. "I didn't like the way she scored down, and I was actually planning on being a little bit conservative with her," Rawlings said. "But nobody came, and she's just a gutsy filly. I didn't have to work her that hard anywhere in the mile." She scored in 1:56.2, 1-1/2 lengths ahead of the pocket-sitting Global Magic. Travelin Dream earned show. David Wade trains the daughter of Broadway Hall-I Gotta Feelin and owns with Gerald Brittingham and William F. Peel III. $65,310 James Manderino, 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Skates N Plates, clearing to the lead by the quarter despite the outside 8-hole, was allowed to skate to the half in 58.3 during his division of the $65,310 Arden Downs 3-year-old colt & gelding trot, then scooted home in 57.1 to hold off Lightning Lane shooter Frost Free Hanover at the end of his 1:55.4 mile. Dave Palone handled the Revenue S colt for trainer Trond Smedshammer and owner/breeder Bob Key. Wheelsandthelegman, driven by Dick Stillings, set the pace, then rebuffed the last-quarter challenge of 1-5 favorite Il Sogno Dream to equal the 1:54.1 stake record of SJ's Caviar in the other division. The Donato Hanover gelding was unraced at 2, but he's making up for lost time in 2014, as he is now 6 for 7 for trainer Walter Carroll and owner Beth Carroll. $75,000 Mary Lib Miller, 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers Angel Or Terror is now two-for-three lifetime, and three-for-three in good performances, after winning the first of two divisions of the $75,000 Arden Downs 2-year-old filly pace. Driver Jason Brewer never looked back with the Jim Dailey-trained daughter of Western Terror, getting a cheap half and then sprinting home in 56.4-28 to complete the 1:55.2 win. Angel Or Terror adds this triumph to the 1:55.4 maiden victory and the hard-luck third after going first-over on her brief resume for the ownership combine of Dailey, Carlo and Down The Lane Stables. "She hadn't been on the front before," Dailey said of his $5,200 yearling acquisition. "If she didn't get lost, I felt pretty confident. I only plan to race her six or seven times. She's growing pretty good, and she'll make a nice 3-year-old if I don't beat her up." Hot Chica Boomba rewarded Daddy Dewdrop fans with a closing victory in 1:54.4 in the other freshman filly pace cut. The daughter of The Panderosa broke her maiden by following favored Melanies Sharkette, going past her in mid-stretch, then holding off Half Past Seven for driver Aaron Merriman, trainer Jim Arledge Jr. and owner Winchester Baye Acres Inc. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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