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Godiva Seelster (Camluck) moved her win streak to four on Friday night as she scored a front-running harness racing victory in the $15,000 feature at Saratoga. Wally Hennessey powered the race's 4-5 favorite out to the early lead in the 1 1/16 mile Open Pace for Fillies and Mares and Godiva Seelster would not be denied. It was the fourth consecutive victory for the six year old mare, two at Pompano Park before scoring two straight since after north to Saratoga. Godiva Seelster covered the 1 1/16 miles in 2:00 besting pocket sitter Bettorhaveanother (Frank Coppola Jr) and third place finisher Dilly Dali (Bruce Aldrich Jr). For Godiva Seelster, who paid $3.70 to win, it was victory number 29 in 92 career starts. The exacta in the feature returned $9.70 and the triple came back $33.20. Godiva Seelster is owned by Paul and Patti O'Neil of Saratoga Springs. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Godiva Seelster (Camluck) made her harness racing return to the Spa a winning one on Friday night. The Dan Hennessey-trained mare competed at a high level this winter and spring at Pompano Park in Florida and handled the adjustment back to the north with ease as she scored in the $15,000 Open Handicap for Fillies and Mares. Godiva Seelster left quickly and wound up sitting the pocket to the race's favorite in the 1 1/16 mile Friday feature. After three quarters went in a quick 1:25, the leader tired when confronted by longshot My Spring Fling (Jim Devaux). Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey found clearance around the final turn and snuck Godiva Seelster off the pylons and she charged hard to get by My Spring Fling and secure her third victory of the year. My Spring Fling, who was dismissed at odds of 50-1, finished a strong second while Bettorhaveanother (Frank Coppola Jr) came on to earn the show spot. Godiva Seelster, who is owned by Paul and Patti O'neil of Saratoga Springs, stopped the timer in 2:00.2 for the 1 1/16 miles. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

A top-notch group of seven older pacers put on a harness racing show Saturday night in a thrilling edition of the $34,000 Preferred at Mohawk Racetrack. Plenty of action and hot fractions on a chilly and windy May evening led to Nirvana Seelster coming through for a 17-1 upset victory The Bill Budd trainee left quickly from post-six to grab the lead and post an opening-quarter of :26.3. State Treasurer, who was the 8-5 favourite, was parked around the first turn and charged up to try and wrestle command away from Nirvana Seelster. State Treasurer ultimately cleared to the front approaching the half, but grabbing clear command forced him to pace a :53.4 opening-half. There was no breather for the public's choice, as Nickle Bag, the 9-5 second choice, popped out from fourth and came charging first up to engage in a final turn battle. The two favourites waged war to the three-quarter pole in a hot 1:21.1. In the stretch, Nickle Bag took the lead and showed tremendous grit trying to hold off several challengers. Nirvana Seelster and driver Phil Hudon never left their spot along the rail and shot up late to steal away the victory from Nickle Bag by half a length in 1:50.3. Reverend Hanover got up for third in his four-year-old season debut. State Treasurer dropped back to finish fifth, while the popular Shamballa finished seventh in his season debut. A five-year-old gelded son of Camluck, Nirvana Seelster scored his fifth win in 16 starts this season on Saturday night. His 1:50.3 victory gives him 21 career visits to the winner's circle. Owned by Bruce Davy, Nirvana Seelster has earned $128,000 this season to bring his career bankroll to over $434,000. The Budd trainee now has three victories in the WEG Preferred this season. Nirvana Seelster paid $37.70 to win. Also on Saturday, a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes notable three-year-olds turned in solid performances. Sophomore pacing colt Betting Line came off cover to finish second in his season debut. The Casie Coleman trainee was competing against older horses and used a :26.3 final-quarter to come up half a length short in an impressive first start. Betting Line won six of 12 starts last year and earned over $540,000 in his rookie season. The son of Bettor's Delight is a top contender for next month's Pepsi North America Cup. On the trotting side, Will Take Charge crushed his opponents in a non-winners of three event by six-lengths. The John Bax trainee bounced back beautifully from a break last week for his second win in three starts this year. A gelded son of Kadabra, Will Take Charge had just a single win in 13 starts last year at age two, but his lone victory came in an OSS Gold event at Mohawk. The Bax trainee followed up his only win with a second-place finish in the OSS Super Final. Will Take Charge hit the board in eight of his 13 starts last year and banked over $196,000. He is expected to be a top contender on the OSS scene once again and is eligible to several Grand Circuit events. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Nirvana Seelster   Mark McKelvie

Southwind Amazon, superbly handled by harness racing driver John MacDonald, used Pompano Park's coveted five post (22.7% wins this season) to score a well rated 1:51 gate-to-wire victory in the $8,500 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (May 1). The six year-old gelded son of Camluck bolted out of the gate from the outside post in his quintet, drove over to the inside around the initial turn and proceeded to post fractions of :26.3, :55.2 and 1:23.4 before a sprint home in :27.1 sealed the deal measuring one length over the pocket-sitting Panocchio, driven by Wally Hennessey with Dedi's Dragon, with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the bike, third. Abrethofreshart was fourth while Heart Felt picked up the nickel. In a post-race interview, driver John MacDonald related, "This is the first time I had sat back of this horse and, when I looked at his lines, I thought that I might be able to leave and yield, just like Micallef handled him last week. "But once we got to the top, he was going so easily that he just didn't seem to want to yield to anything so we just kept going on. "He really had things his own way and, when we got to the three-quarters kinda cheap off of some of his recent races, I was pretty confident he'd get home. "He did! He was very good tonight." Trained by Paul Holzman for Ameer Najor, Southwind Amazon won for the seventh time in 14 starts to send his 2016 bankroll to $43,194. Lifetime, the talented pacer has earnings of $259,062 with 24 wins in 80 starts to go along with a Pompano mark of 1:49.2. Second choice on the tote-board at 8 to 5, Southwind Amazon returned $5.40 to win. The Holzman-MacDonald tandem struck again in the $7,200 Open 2 Pace with Rick's Sign, scoring his seventh consecutive win, in 1:50.3, equaling his lifetime best performance set five seasons ago. The now 11 year-old gelded son of Life Sign, trained by Holzman for owner Mary Holzman, saw MacDonald taking the 3 to 5 favorite to the outside in a first over bid from fourth after opening panels of :26.4 and :54.3 and sweeping to the fore past the third station in 1:22.4 and under wraps late while striding home in :27.4 to score by a length. Sir Jack, handled by Matt Romano, finished second while Northern Companion, beginning from the second tier, was third. Rockntouch finished fourth after being shuffled to seventh on the backside while Freeneasy Hanover picked up the nickel. After that race, MacDonald simple stated, "He's amazing! That's all there is to it!" Rick's Sign now has a scorecard this season of 8-2-1 in 14 starts, good for $29,574-more than he won all of last season in 38 starts. The veteran now has 67 lifetime wins and career earnings of $427,795. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote, Rick's Sign paid $3.40 to win. The Florida Amateur Driving Club series continued on Sunday night in two divisions with Lady Deda D, teamed up with Jamie Marra, taking the first division and Super Duke scoring in the second for owner John Campagnuolo. Lady Deda D, back in action after missing the entire seasons of 2014 and 2015, recorded her second win of the season in seven starts by scoring a handy three length win in 1:58.3 over Yakekty Hanover (Fred Cohen) with Rose Run Nolan (Mary Birkhold) third, 4¼ lengths off the winner. Rel Cash Clown and M C Felix rounded out the top five in the nine horse field. Trained by Louis Ginesi for owner Colene Lameyer, this eight year-old daughter of Prise Speed won for the 29th time in 87 career starts to send her lifetime bounty to $148,454 to go along with her Pompano mark of 1:54.4, set as a five year-old. Off as fifth choice at 8 to 1, Lady Deda D paid $19.60 to win. Super Duke, trained by Dan Hennessey for owner-driver Campagnuolo, took command turning for home and used a :29.3 finale to pin a defeat measuring 2¾ lengths on Thirtyeightspecial, driven by Leon Cable in 1:58.1. Engagedatlexington, overcoming a second tier post, was third for Jamie Marra. Columbia Lion, the leader through panels of :29.1, :58.4 and 1:28.2, finished fourth and Vacation Day, outside every step, was fifth. Super Duke, a six year-old altered son of Duke Of York, earned his second win of the year-13th lifetime-to send his career bankroll to $134,366. The Florida Amateur Driving Club pushed their charitable donations close to $170,000 with a generous donation to "Hopes, Dreams and Horses," an organization that has rescued dozens of horses as well as the lives of many hundreds of children and adults with special needs. The organization also received a mini jog cart prompting founder Sue Copeland to remark, "The Florida Amateur Driving Club has just helped us to continue to help a wide variety of individuals with special needs, including at-risk youth, veterans, senior citizens those with health issues including both physical and mental health. "Their generosity has helped us be a positive impact on youngsters as young as three and seniors in their 70's. "There are no adequate words to describe out thanks." Racing continues on Tuesday night many of the top mares in action in the Open, among the combatants Heart Major, Artful Impulse and Limelight. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Southwind Amazon, off at 9 to 5 and getting picture perfect handling from Mike Micallef, edged by the favored Panocchio, off at 1 to 2, driven by Wally Hennessey, to pull off a minor harness racing upset in Pompano Park's $10.000 featured Open Handicap Pace on Sunday (April 24). The six year-old gelded son of Camluck hit the wire in 1:51.2 to score his sixth win of the year in 13 starts. Steelhead Hanover, with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the bike, finished third while Heart Felt was fourth. Duc Dorleans finished fifth in the sextet after making a mild backside bid. Trained by Paul Holzman for owner Ameer Najor, Southwind Amazon left with his usual alacrity and took the early lead, only yielding to Panocchio once the opening station was completed in :27. Panocchio then proceeded to post fractions of :55.1 and 1:24.2 before Southwind Amazon left his cozy pocket turning for home and began gnawing away at the leader, finally pushing his nose in front in the final 16th of the mile and then on to score by three-parts-of-a-length. In a post-race interview, driver Mike Micallef said, "When the horse next to me (Mister Virgin) made that break before the start, it might have made it a little easier for us because it took out a horse that does have very fast early foot. "So, I just left out of there and tried to take a little sting out of Panocchio early. No doubt about it, Panocchio is an unbelievable horse but they all aren't machines week after week. "I'm not saying I was confident sitting second but it was better to be there than four or five lengths out of it. "When we tilted out turning for home, both of us were motoring pretty good, so the cover trip proved to be the difference, on this night, anyhow." The win for Southwind Amazon-his 23rd lifetime-sent his career bankroll over the $250,000--$254,812 to be precise. As second choice, Southwind Amazon returned a $5.60 dividend for the $2.00 investment. The $9,500 Open 2 Handicap Pace went to Abreathofreshart for Wally Hennessey in 1:52 over Sir Globalop Z Tam, driven by Andy Santeramo, and Regalanthropist, with Matt Romano in the bike. Thebestofjoel finished fourth in the field of six while the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Energy Shakes, failed to fire this night and could only pick up the nickel. Abreathofreshart, a five year-old altered son of Artistic Fella, won for the third time this semester to send his seasonal bankroll to $17,679 and $62,197 career-wise. Marc Aubin trains the winner for owners Dan and Jacalyn Boddie. The Florida Amateur Driving Club paid homage to the late Bob Arnold, an F.A.D.C. member who lost his battle with kidney disease several years ago, with a pair of Sunday night events with Engagedatlexington and Yakekty Hanover reporting home winners in their respective events, giving trainer Mario Dessureault a pair of training wins and driver Jamie Marra his first ever driving double. Engagedatlexington, trained by Dessureault for Jamie Marra Racing, scored in 1:58.4-a seasonal best-pinning a defeat measuring 1¼ lengths on Columbia Lion, driven by Tommy Santeramo, with PC's Wildcard, teamed up with Joe Pennachio, third. The minors went to Chaplin Hall and Witty's Winner. This five year-old son of Conway Hall won for the second time this year in 13 starts. Off as the third choice at 4 to 1, Engagedatlexington paid $10.60 to win. Yakekty Hanover, owned by Mario Dessureault himself, was put into play from his six post early by Marra and led at every pole, clocking panels of :28.4, :58.2 and 1:28.4 before strolling home unscathed by 3¾ lengths in 1:59.3. Zeitgeist, driven by Tom Eichas, finished a fast closing second while M C Feliz, handled by "Touchdown" Teddy Bowman, finished third. C R Amigo and Guilford were next in the field of nine. For Yakekty Hanover, it was his initial victory of the year in five starts with the win, his seventh lifetime, sending his career bounty to $47,548. Fourth choice among the punters, Yakekty Hanover paid $15.20 to win. After that event, several drivers and trainers gathered in the winner's circle with members of the Arnold family to pay tribute while the Florida Amateur Driving Club made a sizeable contribution on Arnold's behalf to the Lester & Eunice Vance Scholarship Fund, sponsored by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association. The F.A.D.C. charitable donations are now approaching $170,000. Racing continues on Monday night-the final Monday of the season-with post time at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL,  April 12, 2016 - By the slenderest of nostrils, Godiva Seelster scored a repeat victory in Pompano Park's $12,100 Open Handicap Pace for Mares on Tuesday night. The splendid six year-old daughter of Camluck, handled, once again, by Wally Hennessey, withstood a furious challenge by All Charged Up, with John MacDonald driving, to score in 1:52.2 for her second win of the year and 27th success lifetime in this, her 90th career start. While the official margin in distance was a "nose" the difference, in terms of time, was 1/100th of a second with Godiva Seelster officially timed in 1:52.45 and All Charged Up clocked in 1:52.46. Heart Major, with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the bike, was third while Goldstar Rockette and Virginaire picked up the final two awards in the field scratched down to nine. At the outset, both Heart Major and All Charged Up surged off the wings of the Hummer Starting Gate with Godiva floating up on the outside next from her outside post and pressing on to take the lead just a stride or two past the opening panel clocked in :26.3. Godiva Seelster, All Charged and Heart Major continued to be 1-2-3 past the half in a rated :56.1 with the picked up three-quarters timed in 1:24.4. That's when All Charged Up left the coziness of her pocket and began gnawing in the leader's margin. In a classic finish, these two hit the wire virtually together with a blown up photo finish picture necessary to determine the winner. After the race, driver Hennessey said, "Well, Godiva was tested tonight. Both of us - MacDonald's mare and mine - were going all they could go. It was a classic duel all the way home and, to tell you the truth, I didn't know who won it. It was a pretty hot opening quarter to make the front and I was lucky that my mare takes good care of herself and can be rated when she gets the chance. That second quarter probably was the deciding factor, if there was one.” Godiva Seelster not only pushed her 2016 earnings to $33,508 on the strength of her 9-2-5-1 scorecard, she launched her career earnings to $253,275 and ran her streak of getting purse checks to 81 consecutive starts dating back to the start of her 2013 season. As the 2 to 5 favorite, Godiva Seelster returned a $2.80 dividend to those who invested $2 on her nose. In the ever popular "Over The Hill Gang"  trot, featuring nine year-olds & up, Go Jesse Go, driven by John MacDonald, earned landmark lifetime victory number 25 with a gate to wire win in 1:56.2, just a tick off of his lifetime best set two seasons ago. The nine year-old altered son of Jailhouse Jesse, carded panels of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:26.1 while never threatened during his 2 ¼ length victory over the packet-sitting 11 year-old mare Flashy Lady, handled by Mike Micallef. On The Tab, with Wally Hennessey in the bike, finished third while Adenium finished fourth. I'll Tell You What, last during the early stage of the mile, closed fastest of all to pick up the nickel in the septet. Trained by Leon Cable for owner Anthony Chiniara, Go Jesse Go won for the third time this semester in 14 starts, pushing his seasonal bounty to $15,740. He's banked $127,499 lifetime. Off as the slight 5 to 2 favorite, Go Jesse Go returned $6.80 to his faithful followers. Racing continues on Sunday night with the $775,000 winner, Dedi's Dragon, in action against Energy Shakes, St Lads Lotto, Prairie Jaguar, Northern Companion and Alexa's Jackpot in the Open Handicap Pace. Two divisions of the C.K.G. Billings Amateur are also on the card with many of the top amateurs in the country competing in two events, one of these a rare pace for the amateurs. Also, a second Pick-4 wager has been added to the racing programs for the remainder of the season. The additional Pick-4 encompasses races 2 through 5 and compliments the traditional Pick-4 on races 6 through 9. Post time for the Sunday 11 race program is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

WILKES-BARRE PA - Second round action for pacers of both sexes in the Bobby Weiss Series of contests at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono brought some fast times and spirited racing to the Sunday night card. The first division for males had end-to-end action, with Settlemoir leaving to the top and Iwillmakeyousaywow, the fastest winner at 1:51.4 last week, having to go three-wide well past the 1/8 and two-wide past the scorching 26 opener to take command, keeping the lead through middle splits of 54.1 and 1:22.2. But underway from midpack was the Camluck gelding Midnight Lightning, who had been reserved off that swift pace, and the battle between two of the first-round winners became joined as Midnight struck on the far turn and into the stretch, finally wearing down the game Iwillmakeyousaywow, gallant in defeat, by a head in 1:51, with Settlemoir, who had swung wide in the stretch, missing taking the whole shebang by a half-length while moving fastest of all at the wire. Matt Kakaley guided the four-year-old Midnight Lightning to a new mark by a full second in the hard-fought triumph for trainer Shaun Vallee, co-owner with D P V Racing Stable. Driver Corey Callahan took the other two Weiss divisions for "the boys," using fast last quarters to guide sophomore geldings back to Victory Lane. In the first, Options Are Adream kept his record unblemished in eight career starts, going to the lead off the first turn and then coming home in 27 flat to turn back early leader Rollaroundtheworld in 1:52. The son of If I Can Dream joined Midnight Lightning as a two-time winner in the Weiss for trainer Dick Lewis and owners David Banks and Layfield Horses LLC. Callahan and Sentencing Memo came home even faster in the other Weiss male division, sprinting home in 55.1 - 26.4 to defeat first leg winner Maxdaddy Blue Chip while equaling his career best of 1:52. The son of Western Terror used a more favorable draw this week to turn the tables on his conqueror of seven days previous for trainer Eric Foster and owner Arty Foster. In the four divisions of the female sector, the only division that matched two first-round Weiss winner saw Candy Corn Hanover remained undefeated in her two-start career, sitting second-over while first-up Southwind Tango, the other winner last week, battled pacesetter Nip's Beach Girl through a 27.4 third quarter, then rolled by them both late in 1:52.3, reducing her mark by 4/5 of a second. The Dragon Again filly was again handled by Anthony Napolitano for trainer Travis Alexander and the Fiddler's Creek Stables LLC. Candy Corn Hanover paid $32.80 in her debut victory, but the fans caught on quickly and she paid only $4.80 tonight. Similarly, Some Fancy Filly went from a $50 win mutuel last week to a $3.20 for $2 proposition in her Weiss cut, and she too made it two straight in the series while lowering her mark 2/5 of a second to 1:53. David Miller, who added two winners at The Downs to the five he brought home at Harrah's Philadelphia in the afternoon, was sulkysitting behind the Somebeachsomewhere-Fancy Filly filly for trainer Nancy Johansson of JK She'salady fame and owners Courant A B. Mystery Writer, who had to settle for second last week behind Some Fancy Filly, bounced back to record her sixth win of the year in another division for the females, going out in 26.4 then coming home in 56.3 - 28 and needing every bit of her 1:54.2 clocking to withstand American Image by the shortest of margins. Jim Morrill Jr. drove the Sportswriter mare for trainer Kevin Lare and owner Frank Chick. The final Weiss cuts for the ladies saw the Somebeachsomewhere filly Albany Girl parlay a pocket trip to a career-best win in 1:55 while winning an exciting three-way stretch duel with Winners Over and Q T Pie Hanover. Brett Miller got the sulky call from trainer Jimmy Takter as Albany Girl won for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, and Joe Sbrocco. Tomorrow night Monday racing returns to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with a post time of 6:30 p.m., completing the basic four-day-a-week Saturday-through-Tuesday schedule that The Downs will be using for the greater part of the year. Highlighted on the Monday card will be the first round of the Bobby Weiss Series for developing male trotters - the platform which helped spring JL Cruze to North American divisional honors last year and a 1:49.4 record. From the PHHA  

Godiva Seelster, handled by Wally Hennessey, finally got her initial victory of 2016 when she conquered five other harness racing rivals in Pompano Park's Tuesday night feature, the $11,000 Open Handicap for mares, in 1:52. At the same time, the amazing mare stretched her streak of earning purse checks to 80, encompassing her entire seasons as a three, four, five and, thus far, six year-old seasons. The last time Godiva Seelster missed a purse check was September 9, 2012. The classy six year-old daughter of Camluck, trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, survived a roughed up beginning before taking control shortly after the opening panel and going on to score a two length win over All Charged Up, driven by John MacDonald, with Southwind Trini, with Steve Condren in the bike, next. Goldstar Rockette finished fourth while Limelight, prominent early, held on to earn the final award in the sextet. When the wings folded, Limelight let with alacrity along as did All Charged Up with Godiva Seelster, beginning from the outside post in her field, also getting into the mix while widest of all and with Hennessey needing to make a decision to take a seat in third early or go on vying for the lead. He chose the latter strategy and, after a first quarter in :27.3 charged up strongly to assume command about three-eighths into the mile. The pace quickened even further as Godiva reached the half in :55 and maintained a 1 ½ length advantage over Limelight with All Charged Up now out of third and trying to gnaw into the leader's margin. Passing the final station before home in 1:23.2, Godiva Seelster was more than up to the task as she strolled home in :28.3, never threatened in the final stages of the mile. In a post-race interview, driver Wally Hennessey had high praise for his stable star saying, "She's just an amazing mare that gives her best every step of every mile of every race. "I ask and she answers! It's as simple as that. She does the best she can through thick and thin. She's just a rare racehorse. "This wasn't the easiest of trips for her as she was roughed up a bit leaving but, once we got to the top, she just took me around the oval the rest of the way. "Gotta give the credit to her as all I did was steer!" The win for Godiva Seelster was her 26th during her illustrious career, pushing her lifetime bounty to $247,467--$27,750 so far this semester. As the 2 to 5 tote-board favorite, Godiva Seelster paid $2.80 to her multitude of backers. The popular "Over The Hill Gang" trotting series continued on Tuesday night with Mad Cow Lisa and driver Aaron Byron teaming up for the win clocked in 1:57.4. The 10 year-old daughter of Wenceslaus held off the late surging Go Jesse Go, handled by John MacDonald, by a half-length with On The Tab surging late for Wally Hennessey to pick up the show honors. Rompaway Beau, last throughout much of the mile, closed stoutly to finish fourth while the pacesetter, Adenium, finished fifth in the octet. Indeed, it was Adenium blasting from the wings into an early lead, clocking fractions of :29 and :58.2 for the opening half. On the backside, Imminent Response (Kevin Wallis) sent his charge winging and even stuck a nose in front past the third marker in 1:26.4. In the lane, as these two slugged it out, the cavalry charge of Mad Cow Lisa, Go Jesse Go and On The Tab swarmed in as the hefty early fractions took their toll on the battling leaders. For Mad Cow Lisa, trained by James Kaspar for owner Marshall Makin, it was her milestone 25th lifetime win-third this semester-sending her career bounty to $148,435. Though she had a 2-3-2 scorecard in her last seven starts, Mad Cow Lisa was sent off as the 8 to 1 sixth choice and returned $18.20 to win, keying a 20 cent 8-5-7-9 Superfecta payoff of $3,829.02. Racing continues on Saturday night-the final Saturday program of the season-with post time set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

When it comes to purchasing quality mares it appears that harness racing owner Tom Pollack hit the jackpot when signing the checks for Hoosier Park stalwarts Montenegro and White Metro. “I have about 65 horses right now and would like to get up to 100,” said Pollack. “I can’t say enough about the luck we have had with these mares. We are so fortunate to have them in our barn and really cannot wait to get them both started this year. “We were trying to get White Metro in the Invitational this week and Montenegro in the non-winners of $15,000, but the track decided not to go with those races so we are on the sidelines for opening night (April 1). All systems are go for both of them so we will have them racing again as soon as possible.” Montenegro, who is co-owned by Randy Bendis and conditioned by Jeff Cullipher, is an 8-year-old daughter of Camluck and the Fighting Major mare Cyber Wave. She is a half sibling to Mach Pride (Mach Three, $595,665) while her dam earned more than $700,000 with one of her stakes triumphs being the prestigious Orange and Blue final. Montenegro has emulated the success of her mother by compiling a record of 169-38-30-22 and banking $661,314. She set her lifetime mark of 1:50.2s at age five and she seems to relish any trip over the Hoosier Park oval where she competes frequently in Invitational events. In the 2-1/2 years she has belonged to Bendis and Pollack, the mare has collected nearly $300,000 and is a formidable foe over the Anderson surface on every occasion her name is dropped in the box. “Not only is she consistent and sound other than some small maintenance issues, but she is a sweetheart,” Pollack said. “She really is the perfect horse as you know every time you take her over she is going to give it her all. Randy and I try to concentrate on horses in the $40,000 to $80,000 range that will do well for us in Open events. We watched her for quite some time and thought she would be an excellent fit for our program. She has not only exceeded our expectations with all the money she has made, but has been a joy for us. When you have a horse that finishes first or second nearly every time she races, how can you ever say a bad thing about her? Actually we think she is a gem and wish they all could be that way.” White Metro is a 4-year-old daughter of Metropolitan and the Threefold mare Bye Bye Peachy Pie. While not as prolific as her older stablemate, the mare is an Indiana Sire Stakes victress and is a half sibling to Peachy’s Noble Sam (Nobleland Sam, $216,651), Noble’s Grand Slam (Nobleland Sam, $682,720) and All Got In (Allamerican Ingot, $112,013). Jell Cullipher, who co-owns the horse with Pollack, is the trainer of record and has been responsible for guiding her career. After just one victory from nine starts at age two, White Metro took 28 trips to the gate in 2015 with nine wins, two seconds and five third place finishes. Her lifetime earnings stand at $148,192 and her total record at 37-10-5-5. Pollack feels she will only continue to improve this year and is excited to witness her perform after a powerful qualifying effort at Hoosier Park on March 26. “Jeff has done such a terrific job with this horse,” he said. “She has been such a pleasant surprise with the way she came on last year and her qualifying races were outstanding. She finished up in the last one in 1:53.1 and came home her last quarter in :27.2 so you can’t get much better than that. It looks like she did it quite easily too. We are anxious to getting her rolling this year to see what she can do, but are already more than satisfied with what she has accomplished so far.” While seemingly blessed with a plethora of riches, Pollack is quick to point out how blessed he feels and how fortunate he is that Lady Luck dealt him such a strong hand. “I got hooked on this business in the late 1980s,” he said. “I was working at a golf course and was very into golf, when I kept being asked to go to the racetrack. I said no several times and really knew nothing about horse racing. Finally I gave in and after winning on some bets that evening I was hooked on the sport. “I have been ever since and I always say it is Doug Snyder’s fault because he just dominated the Meadows that night. He won like six races and one of them from the nine hole. I did not know him or anything about betting, but my friend told me whenever I saw his name on the program to put some money on him. I did and here we are years later. Doug and I are friends now and laugh about that night all time. “We have other mares that are doing extremely well besides Montenegro and White Metro. We realize how tough this business can be and not many people experience this kind of success. It is so sweet to be in this position with all these mares. “The reason we don’t have more male horses, is these ladies just seemed to fit the bill and we haven’t seen many of the other gender that we felt would work out this way. I can’t wait to see these two mares get into their 2016 season. We think it is going to be another outstanding year and we look forward to competing in the Indiana program. Hoosier Park is the right fit for both horses and trust me, I never imagined I would ever be in this kind of position two decades ago.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

In a field laced with harness racing lifetime winners of close to $3,000,000 and six sub-1:50 performers, Southwind Amazon, handled by Mike Micallef, emerged victorious, stopping the tele-timer in 1:50.3 at Pompano Park. The six year-old son of Camluck, trained by Paul Holzman for owner Ameer Najor, pinned a half-length defeat on stablemate Dedi’s Dragon (Ricky Macocmber, Jr.) with Alexa’s Jackpot (John MacDonald) third. Four Socks and Whogoesfirst were next in the field of nine. At the outset, it was Alexa’s Jackpot and Whogoes first leaving with alacrity with Dedi’s Dragon also on the prowl with Southwind Amazon also tilting to the outside on the move up. With a hot opener of :26.1, Alexa’s Jackpot had the top spot, but not for long as Dedi’s Dragon charged alongside and, then, into the lead, only to be met by stablemate Soutwind Amazon heading into the second turn and securing the lead half way through the mile in a blazing :54.1. On the backside, Southwind Amazon continued to glide along as Steelhead Hanover, making his 2016 debut, charged up into second but unable to reach the saddle pad of the leader past the third station in 1:22.2. In the lane, Southwind Amazon put away the challenge of Steelhead Hanover and only had to repel stablemate Dedi’s Dragon, which he did on the strength of a :28.1 closer. In a post race interview, driver Micallef said, “This wasn’t the easiest of trips for him. After all, when you get to the half in :54.1, you never know if you can get home. He proved he’s a great horse before with that 1:49.2 mile a couple of starts ago and he proved it again tonight. “Paul (trainer Holzman) said he’s sharp and he was right! Again, he’s just a great horse and I was honored to steer him home tonight.” For Southwind Amazon, it was his fifth success of the year in 11 starts and 22nd lifetime win sending his career bounty to $248,932--$33,064 of that so far this year. As the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Southwind Amazon paid $3.80 to win. In the $11,000 co-feature for $30,000 claiming pacers, Starlite Kid, the longest proposition in the field at 39 to 1, got picture perfect handling from Kevin Wallis to upset the applecart and score a 1:50.3 win. Favored Buddha Blue Chip was second, a length away, for Mike Micallef with Winyard Hanover third under the direction of Wally Hennessey. This one was a classic as Winyard Hanover and Thebestofjoel battled early for supremacy with the ladder hitting the opening marker in a very hot :26. Shortly thereafter, Buddha Blue Chip was on the move and joined Thebestofjoel in a battle through the half in :54. On the backside, Winyard Hanover was sprinting up yet again and joined “Buddha” at the third station in 1:21.4. But Starlight Kid was cleverly surveying the situation from third, swung widest of all turning for home and collared the leaders a sixteenth out and then on to victory. Starlite Kid, a six year-old altered son of Badlands Hanover, won for the third time this semester in 13 starts—and in a new lifetime mark, to boot. Trained by Tony Kavoleff for Alex Kavoleff, Starlight Kid now boasts lifetime earnings of $172,087--$18,613 so far in 2016. He rewarded his backers with an $80.00 win mutual. Racing continues on Monday night with Natural Herbie looking to defend his crown in the $15,000 Open Handicap Trot. Oho Diamond and Wind Of The North are expected to provide the main competition with Auspicious Hanover, Midnite Craze, Striking Ivy and Diamond Dagger completing the talented field. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Ugly Betty is becoming the dominate damsel once again as she blew away her harness racing rivals in the featured $9,000 pace for the mares Wednesday night (March 23) at Buffalo Raceway.   After four so-so efforts to start the season, Ugly Betty is starting to regain her old form. She made it two straight victories by beating Mach This Way by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:57.4 over the fast track.   Retaking the lead just past the quarter-mile marker from Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.), Ugly Betty and driver Billy Davis Jr. toured the Hamburg half-mile oval worry-free the rest of the way home. A 29.3 last panel was more than enough to hold off any threats and allowed Ugly Betty to post the popular $3.20 victory.   Mach This Way held on for second place with Fashion Katie (Drew Monti) finishing third.   Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage), a winner of over $70,000 in 2015 thanks to 11 wins, has $11,084 in earnings this season and $255,312 lifetime. The 8-year-old mare is co-owned by trainer Jennifer Falcone and Margaret Payne.   Todd Cummings and Davis Jr. each posted three victories while Beback Jr. doubled on the night. Trainer Kirk Desmond conditioned two winners.   The harness racing action will continue on Friday evening when an 11-race card goes off at 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

Almost lost in the "fog" of the Isle International Amateur Series at Pompano Park on Sunday night (March 13) were outstanding harness racing performances by Panocchio and Southwind Amazon in their respective pacing features over the South Florida oval. Panocchio took top honors in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace by scoring a gate-to-wire win for Wally Hennessey in 1:51-his margin one length over the late charging Whogoesfirst (Dave Ingraham) and 1½ lengths over Dede's Dragon (George Napolitano, Jr.), closing fastest of all--:27.3--in the event. Heart Felt finished fourth while Bluehourpower picked up the nickel, despite a miscue at the beginning. Panocchio, the exceptional six year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, left like a rocket from his outside post six and was safely into the lead just a few long strides after the Hummer Starting Gate left. The gelding then zipped an opening panel in :26.1 before Hennessey gave his charge a breather through a :29.2 second panel, reaching the half in :55.3 with Johnny Grippa in the pocket and Bluehourpower on the move outside. Through a picked up official third panel in :27.1, Bluehourpower reached the saddle pad of the leader as they reached that third station in 1:22.4. In the lane, Panocchio stretched the lead to almost two lengths at mid-stretch before Whogoesfirst and Dede's Dragon put in their late surges to edge closer but Panocchio's :28.1 closer was more than enough to preserve the victory-his second of the year in five starts. After the event, driver Wally Hennessey, quickly approaching win number 9,000 career-wise, had high praise for both horse and trainer. "This is just an honest, trying hard pacer that does everything asked of him-within reason, of course. I felt comfortable when we got to the half kinda cheap (:55.3) because I knew it would take a final half better than that to get to him. He got a great trip tonight and a lot of credit has to go to the trainer, Jimmy Mattison, who keeps him ready to go every time he sees the gate. Owned by trainer Mattison along with Emile Johnson, Jr., Panocchio won for the 38th time career-wise to send his bankroll to $315,927--$25,160 in just five starts this year. As the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Panocchio paid $2.60 to win. The $11,000 Open 2 Pace went to Southwind Amazon, driven by George Napolitano, Jr., scorched the Pompano oval in 1:49.2, a lifetime best effort. The six year-old son of Camluck was away in good order from his post 3 as Thebestofjoel, driven by Aaron Byron, rushed up to take command through an opening quarter in a hot :26.2 with "Amazon" on the move around that opening turn and into the lead a few strides later. Carding subsequent panels of :54.3 and 1:21.4, Southwind Amazon used a :27.3 finale to scorch the field by 5½ lengths. Buddha Blue Chip (Mike Micallef) finished second while Thebestofjoel was safely third. Barbarian and Winyard Hanover also earned checks in the sharp septet. After the event, the always subdued Napolitano merely smiled and said, "He was very good tonight!" Trained by Paul Holzman for Ameer Najor, Southwind Amazon now sports a 4-0-1 scorecard in nine starts, good for $23,764. He's now won 21 times in 75 lifetime starts with a career bankroll of $239,632 to go along with his new lifetime mark-his previous best being 1:50 over the lengthy Mohawk oval. Southwind Amazon paid $3.00 to his multitude of backers. Monday's program features a carryover in the Super Hi-5 finale of $73,926.26 with post time set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

TORONTO, January 15 - A pair of four-year-old pacers will have an opportunity at a Snowshoe Series sweep after returning to the harness racing winner's circle in Friday's second leg at Woodbine Racetrack. A total of 18 horses were split into two $17,000 divisions for Friday's second leg of the Snowshoe Series. Fresh off a 3¼ length victory in round one, Shades Of Bay continued his hot streak Friday with an impressive 1:51.3 victory over a 'Good' track. Driven by Phil Hudon, Shades Of Bay, the 1/9 favourite, got away fourth in the early stages, but moved into third and eventually the lead in the second-quarter. Three Truths, who was leading heading to the half, made a break and Hudon immediately moved Shades Of Bay to the front. After fractions of :55.1 and 1:24, Shades Of Bay kicked into high gear in the stretch and cruised home in :27.3 for a 1¾ length victory. Sabine Pass finished second at 23/1, while Shippen Out was third at 30/1. A four-year-old son of Art Major, Shades Of Bay now has five wins in six starts for trainer Sean Mehlenbacher. Friday was the pacers sixth career triumph and increased his career earnings to over $69,000. Owned by Timothy Kim, Shades Of Bay paid $2.10 to win. Shades Of Bay Rafa delivered another ace with a 1:52.2 victory in the second division. Sent off as the 2/5 favourite, Rafa and driver Sylvain Filion sprinted off the wings of the gate and locked up with Pistopackinpiper for a first-quarter battle. Pistopackinpiper cleared to the lead, but was forced to pace a :25.3 opening-quarter to grab command. Rafa quickly got his cue to go in the second-quarter and circled to the lead. The public's choice posted middle-fractions of :55.1 and 1:24.3 to turn for home with the lead. In the stretch, Tylers Beach Boy came off cover and Tower Of Power continued to pace hard after being first up, but Rafa held them at bay and impressively cruised through the wire first to win by a length. Trained by Richard Moreau, Rafa is now four for four to begin his career. The four-year-old son of Camluck now has a pair of victories this season to go with two wins last season. Owned by Robin Morley, Rafa knocked a fifth of a second off his career mark with Friday's victory and increased his career earnings to $27,500. Rafa paid $2.80 to win. Rafa In order to be eligible to the Snowshoe, the three and four-year-old pacers had to be non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Shades Of Bay and Rafa will both be seeking a series sweep in next Friday's (January 22) $47,200 final. The Snowshoe Final will also be joined by the $45,200 Blizzard Series final on next Friday's card. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 8 - Great finishes and impressive harness racing efforts was the story of Friday night's first round of the Snowshoe Series at Woodbine Racetrack. A total of 24 three and four-year-old pacers were split into three $17,000 divisions for the first leg of the three-week series. In the first division, just a head separated the top-five finishers, as St Lads Charger scored a 14/1 upset. After a first-quarter battle, Every Intention led the field down the backstretch and by the half in :55.1. St Lads Charger and driver Trevor Henry came first-up around the final turn from third and sat less than a length from the lead turning for home. In the stretch, St Lads Charger was able to edge by Every Intention in the final-eighth, but a trio of challengers made it a five-across finish. At the wire, St Lads Charger prevailed in 1:54.3 by a nose over Brown Dirt Cowboy and Hickory Terrific. Hp Black Shadow and Every Intention finished fourth and fifth, respectively, by a head. The top-seven finishers were separated by less than two-lengths. A three-year-old son of Sportswriter, St Lads Charger is trained by Victor Puddy for owners Randy Christopher, Limco Inc., and Bill Manes. The sophomore pacing colt won just one of 10 starts as a rookie in 2015. St Lads Charger increased his career earnings to over $20,000 with the victory. The Puddy trainee paid $30.40 to win. St Lads Charger Fresh off a victory in the Valedictory Final, Shades Of Bay scored a three-length victory in the second division at odds of 1/5. Driven by Phil Hudon, Shades Of Bay got away fourth, but made a powerful backside move to the lead and posted a half-mile time of :56.2. After pacing a third-quarter of :29.1, Shades Of Bay cruised home in :27.2 to win in 1:52. Tower Of Power finished second, while Swapportunity was third. A four-year-old son of Art Major, Shades Of Bay is trained by Sean Mehlenbacher for owner Timothy Kim. Last season, Shades Of Bay won four of 11 starts for earnings exceeding $50,000. The four-year-old has now won four of five starts since joining the Mehlenbacher stable in November. Shades Of Bay now has five wins and over $60,000 in career earnings. He paid $2.50 to win. Shades Of Bay In the final division, Richard Moreau trainee Rafa scored a four-length victory at 9/5 in 1:52.3. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Rafa was third around the first turn, while Thoughtyoudlikeit battled with outside challenger Pistopackinpiper. The lead pair continued to battle through a half of :55.4. Around the final turn, Thoughtyoudlikeit put away Pistopackinpiper, but faced a new challenge from Tylers Beach Boy, as Rafa continued to pace along in the pocket. In the stretch, Rafa was able to convert off the inside trip and charged by the leaders to win by open-lengths in 1:52.3. Tylers Beach Boy finished second, while Shippen Out got up for third ahead of Thoughtyoudlikeit. A son of Camluck, Rafa is trained by Moreau for owner Robin Morley. The four-year-old was making just his third career start Friday and is now a perfect three for three after winning both of his starts in 2015. Rafa now sports a career bankroll of $19,000. The Moreau trainee paid $5.90 to win. Rafa In order to be eligible to the Snowshoe, the three and four-year-old pacers had to be non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. The second leg of the Snowshoe will take place next Friday (January 15). Live racing continues Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Pompano Beach, FL...November 24, 2015...Godiva Seelster, once again handled by Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey for trainer Dan Hennessey, eked out a narrow decision over the late charging Classic Carpet (Kevin Wallis) to win the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for mares on Tuesday night at Pompano Park. The winning was was a scant nose when the timer stopped at 1:53.4 with Mach It a Par (Dan Clements) third, 2 1/4 lengths away while Cam Funny was fourth. Stucklikeglue, making her Pompano Park debut, picked up the nickel in the field of nine. At the outset, Cam Funny, Classic Carpet and Godiva Seelster were all on the engine early with the latter taking command after an opening quarter mile tussle in :27.3. Positions remained virtually unchanged through a :57 half with an outer flow developing with Mach Me Not, Mach It A Par and Stucklikeglue all in the outer tier but, as yet, not putting any pressure on the leader and she reached the third station in 1:26 with Classic Carpet still in the pocket, Mach Me Not third on the outside and Cam Funny still skimming the pylons. In the lane, Godiva was valiantly trying to protect her diminishing lead with Classic Carpet now gaining with every stride. At the wire, it took a photo to decide the issue with Godiva earning the narrow nod. After the race, Hennessey said, "She was very game tonight...maybe not quite 100%, but still very game, very determined. I kept her out last week when she didn't quite seem herself, so she might have been a little bit short tonight. Tonight she showed her gameness and determination. She is just amazing." Not only did Godiva Seelster win for the 14th time this season, the daughter of Camluck won for the 25th time during her splendid ongoing career now showing $219,717 in bounty for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil. She also extended her streak of earning purse checks to 72 encompassing her entire seasons as a three year-old, four year-old and, now, five year-old. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote, Godiva Seelster paid $3.40 to win. The victory, incidentally, was one of four on the evening for Hennessey, who also scored with Jets Are On ($3.80), Landonfitz ($4.20) and Goldstar Classic ($4.00). Hennessey now has 59 victories in the first 20 days of Pompano Park's meet. Racing add Saturday's to its racing schedule beginning this coming Saturday with Super Night following on Sunday night. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Bery, for the Isle Pompano Park  

The Forest City Sale at the Western Fair District in London, Ontario has mimicked the ups and downs of the harness racing game in that province for the last several years. In 2011, when the Ontario Sire Stakes program was humming along, 263 yearlings averaged more than $18,000. The following year, when the wheels started to fall off the cart, the average dropped more than 40% to $10,500. The fillies averaged only $8,000. As the doomsday scenario engineered by the politicians was reversed, things improved. In 2013 the average increased to $13,524, and last year it rose once more to $15,294. And this year it jumped again, to $23,207. The number of yearlings offered has fallen off by close to half since 2011; that is what’s troubling. The fact that the top sale was a colt by Camluck, who passed in August at age 28, goes to the heart of the matter. His eight colts, a gelding and six fillies averaged $33,400. Eleven by new kid on the block, Big Jim, averaged just a thousand dollars more. There’s a dearth of new blood. The landscape will change dramatically in 2017, which is when first Ontario crops by Royalty For Life, Archangel, E L Titan, Betterthancheddar, Sunfire Blue Chip and Sunshine Beach hit the sales ring. There will also be another Bettor’s Delight crop available. With Muscle Mass, Dewey, Holiday Road and Manofmanymissions having left the province, there’s a gap to fill. It’s going to take time to regenerate production. The Canadian dollar is weak and many breeders, horsemen and owners folded their tents during the equine recession. The paucity of high end product is also an issue at this sale. Thirteen Kadabras sold at Lexington and twenty will be available in Harrisburg. Seven averaged $40,000 at the Canadian Yearling Sale, with fillies going for $70,000 and $72,000.   There weren’t any at Forest City. Eleven by Sportswriter sold at Lexington and ten will be for sale in Harrisburg. Four averaged $30,000 at the CYS. A pair sold for $8,000 each at Western Fair. Sixteen-tear-old Mach Three has been very consistent over the years. Sixteen averaged $32,000 in 2011; seven averaged $28,000 the following year when the bottom caved and the gross was off by $2.1 million; 13 averaged $18,577 in 2013; another 13 averaged more than $31,000 last year; and ten averaged $34,600 this year. A dozen averaged more than $38,000 at the CYS. With the exception of 2013 he’s kept his average up in the $30,000 range. Mach Three has never come close to duplicating SBSW, a member of his second crop, and he keeps a low profile on the Grand Circuit, but the likes of Solar Sister, Wrangler Magic, Physicallyinclined and Mr Carrots keep sweeping up that OSS dough. Shadow Play, who had a successful first crop featuring Arthur Blue Chip, Lady Shadow, Skippin By and Play It Again Sam, regressed somewhat his sophomore season, thanks in no small part to Sportswriter. But two-year-old Nvestment Bluechip and three-year-olds Tessa Seelster and Cast No Shadow had good years in the OSS. He averaged $27,406 for 7 colts and 9 fillies sold at Forest City. A filly sold for 60 and another for 58. Eight averaged $30,000 at the CYS. His first crop averaged less than $12,000 in 2012; he made a big jump to $23,393 the following year; last year, as a result of his domination by Sportswriter in the OSS, he fell back 33% to $15,556.  Bettor’s Delight, Sportswriter and Mach Three are a problem for him. Badlands Hanover keeps plugging away. The nineteen-year-old son of Western Hanover finished the year third overall in the OSS, with successful years from Ms Mac N Cheese, Semi Automatic and Free Show. His average dropped from $22,000 in 2011 to $12,000 in 2012 and $8,400 the following year. In 2014 he inched up to $9,200 for 14 sold, with a high of $25,000. This year he jumped 40% to $15,429 for 14 sold, again with a high of $25,000. His fee was reduced $1,500 to $3,500 in 2015. Daylon Magician, who failed his fertility test in 2011 and has been back and forth, sold a colt for $65,000 and another for $50,000. Another colt brought $9,000 at the CYS. He bred 31 mares two years ago with limited success. None sold at the Canadian Yearling Sale or Lexington Selected. And none will sell in Harrisburg. He’s the best son of Kadabra, who has produced no siring sons. Tara Hills Stud, which stands Daylon, when his off and on breeding career is on, as well as Kadabra, Sportswriter and Mach Three, said their breeding numbers were off by half in 2013. That is showing up at this year’s sales. Big Jim’s first crop was ok; his fillies finished fourth in the OSS and his colts eighth. Four of the eleven he sold at Forest City topped $50,000. His $34,355 average was almost double what it was last year for that first crop. At that time 78% of his Forest City offering failed to top $15,000, and only one topped $25,000. This time nine of the eleven beat $15,000 and a half dozen topped $25,000. Only two sold at the Canadian Yearling Sale, a filly for $29,000 and a gelding for $3,500. The trotting sires represented at the sale didn’t stand out. The lone exception was Manofmanymissions, the sire of Bluegrass and ISS winner, Celebrity Eventsy. He stood in Ontario for two years, before relocating to Ohio. This is his last Ontario crop. A half dozen averaged $30,750, with a high of $63,000 and all but one topping $20,000. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

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