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WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 12, 2018 -- Wind Of The North won a four-ply battle for the early lead, then held off the challengers late to prevail in Monday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows, one of five victories for Aaron Merriman on the 13-race card. Merriman gave Wind Of The North a 29.1 breather after that spirited opening panel, enabling him to withstand the determined first-over bid of Classic Banker and down him by 1/2 length in 1:55. PL Jerico rallied for show. Bill Bercury owns and trains Wind Of The North, an 8-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $1,016,258. Merriman, who added a pair of seconds and a fifth in his eight drives, also scored for trainers Sarah Andrews, Robert Barnard, Spencer Kahrig and Gerald Lee, Jr. Jim Pantaleano also enjoyed a big Monday with three wins. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the program features a pair of carryovers -- $1,952,89 for the Pick 5 and $871.60 for the Super Hi-5. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadowlands

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Elysium Lindy took control from the pole early for driver Matt Kakaley, rated the half, then sprinted home to keep pocketsitting favorite Gruden at bay while winning the $30,000 Open trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Sunday. Kakaley discouraged any outside attempts to fire away hard, going at a 27.1 clip to the quarter, then rated the second quarter to hit the half in 57.1. From that point, nobody had enough speed to overhaul Elysium Lindy on a 32-degree night, with Gruden giving valiant chase up the Pocono Pike from the two-hole but coming up ¾ of a length shy. Elysium Lindy, an altered son of Cantab Hall, raised his earnings to $152,240 for the year and $318,835 lifetime for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership team of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Joseph DiScalia. After the race, driver Matt Kakaley did something that would normally be unusual - he took his helmet off. He gave it to the caretaker of Elysium Lindy, who wore it taking the victorious trotter back to the paddock, and Matt stayed in the winners circle, being joined by important Burke Brigade owner Phil Collura, to accept the honor of 2018 Pocono Pacer of the Year for the sophomore millionaire Dorsoduro Hanover. The Somebeachsomehwere gelding has posted a 19-10-5-1 scorecard so far in 2018 and has bankrolled $1,229,112, with his tally at Pocono alone reading 7-6-0-0-$469,120. Locally, Dorsoduro Hanover won a Pennsylvania All-Stars race, a leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and his divisional Championship, a Hempt elimination, and of course his Breeders Crown elimination and final, in the latter of which he took his lifetime mark of 1:49.4. (His only Pocono setback was a very honorable one, as he put up fractions of 26, 53, and 1:20.3, and then missed only a length in the Hempt Championship.) Kakaley was his regular driver for his trainer Burke and his owners, Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; and the Wingfield Five LLC. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs  

Taco Tuesday (Leon Bailey) captures the featured trot ($9,000) at Vernon Downs on Friday (November 2). Taco Tuesday ($3.30) charged right out to the lead putting up all the fractions to win gate-to-wire (:27.1, :55.3, 1:24.2, 1:54.2). Pier Ho Exotic (Jimmy Whittemore) came up late to finish second. Kabu (John MacDonald) was third best. Taco Tuesday is a 5-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall. Owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Don Hoover, he now has six wins on the season and 18 career victories. Mydelight Blue Chip (Ben McNeil) uses a late move to win the featured fillies and mares pace ($7,500). KJ's Caroline (Jeff Long) went straight to the front and led the group to the first quarter in :28.3. Under The Bus (Truman Gale) took over at the top of the back stretch and led them to the half in :57.3 and three-quarters in 1:26.1. The big favorite Jaclyn Hanover (John MacDonald) took a short lead as they reached the top of the stretch. Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) went three wide and took over in mid stretch. Mydelight Bluechip ($20.20), who is owned by Ellen McNeil and trained by John McNeil III, came flying four wide to nip second place finisher Love Live Laugh in 1:55.1. Jaclyn Hanover settled for third. Mydelight Bluechip is a 6-year-old mare by Bettor's Delight. It was her seventh win in 2018 and he 16th career trip to the winner's circle. Claude Huckabone III and Leon Bailey each had three driving wins on the night. Huckabone III finished first with Kolbee's Star ($4.80), Heavenly War ($15.60), and Miss B ($29.80). Bailey got his other wins with Dry Creek Gin ($20.60) and Rockin Deo ($17,00). With one day of racing left the driver's win title is still undecided. Jimmy Whittemore has 115 driving wins and John MacDonald has 114 tallies. It won't be decided until tomorrow night. Saturday (November 3) is closing night at Vernon Downs. The 12 race card features a "War Horse" race as well as two "Turn Back the Clock" races. There will be a drawstring bag giveaway (While supplies last) and a live bugler. Post time is 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs      

Taco Tuesday (Leon Bailey) easily takes the featured trot ($6,500) at Vernon Downs on Friday (October 12). Taco Tuesday ($5.30) flew out of the gate and led to a first quarter in :27.1. Pier Ho Exotic (Jimmy Whittemore) followed in the pocket second. Taco Tuesday, who is owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Don Hoover, easily took the group to the half in :55.4. As the field went around the last turn his lead got larger hitting three-quarters in 1:24.1. As he reached the top of the stretch it was apparent that the race was for second. Taco Tuesday won by nearly six lengths in the end hitting the mile in 1:54.1. First Call (Homer Hochstetler) was second best with McKenzie's Star getting third money. Taco Tuesday is a 5-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall. It was his fifth win this year. He now has 17 career trips to the winner's circle. Blameitonthenight (Jimmy Whittemore) captures the top fillies and mares pace ($6,000). Blameitonthenight ($4.70) charged out of the gate and never looked back putting up all the fractions (:28.2, :57.4, 1:26.0, 1:54.0). Owned by Scott Dillon and trained by Whittemore, she withstood the late pressure from second place finisher Mydelight Bluechip (Ben McNeil) with a :28.0 last quarter to secure the win. Heart Crusher (Josh Kinney) finished third. Blameitonthenight is a 4-year-old mare by Mach Three. It was her fourth win of the season and the ninth victory of her career. Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore won three on the night to give him 104 wins on the season. He got his wins with Pegasus Point ($7.30), Blameitonthenight ($4.70), and Star Flyer ($4.50). John MacDonald , who is currently second, drove his 100th winner of the season with Mean Leen ($3.30) Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (October 13) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs  

CHESTER, PA - A special Monday afternoon card at Harrah's Philadelphia featured $200,000 worth of stakes action in John Simpson Sr. events for three-year-old colts, with horses of both gaits contesting three divisions. First to the track were the pacers, with the Somebeachsomewhere gelding No Easy Day finding the race living up to his name but still prevailing in 1:51.1. Driver David Miller quarter-moved with the winner past early leader Lyons Steel going to the 26.3 opener, then got a rest on the lead to a 56 half. Soon afterwards Shadow Cat began a long grinding challenge that lasted past the 1:22.4 3/4s and all the way to the wire, with Lyons Steel coming up the inside to threaten, but No Easy Day held his ground gamely, a half length to the good of Lyons Steel and ¾ of a length ahead of the resilient Shadow Cat, in winning for trainer Ron Burke and owner Thomas Dillon. Driver Miller and trainer Burke reteamed successfully in the second Simpson stakes section with another altered son of Somebeachsomewhere, Wheels On Fire, who won for the ninth time in 15 seasonal starts for owner W.J. Donovan. Miller put Wheels On Fire behind Canadian invader Talbotcreekwhiskey, who strung the field out with early numbers of 26.4 and 54.1 then battled with first-up Wild Bill to a 1:22 ¾. Through the stretch the main battle came down to Wheels On Fire and Macadoodledoo, a fellow 8-5 choice who went wide from second-over, with the winner getting a neck decision in 1:50.4. Somebeachsomewhere's completed a siring sweep of the Simpson pacing action when the gelding Terror Atthe Beach got a nifty steer by driver George Napolitano Jr. to win the third cut in 1:51. Sitting third-inside while Winston set fractions of 26.4 and 55 and then was joined by first-over favorite Rockapelo down the back, Terror Atthe Beach was able to slip out third-over behind JK Wildfire as the pocket horse collapsed to the 1:23.1 ¾, then kept digging in through the lane, just nailing Rockapelo on the line by a nose, with JK Wildfire in third and Winston in fourth within a length on the money. Trainer Chris Oakes, fresh off making a place in history with Homicide Hunter on Saturday at Lexington, conditions the winner of $110,335 for Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor (also a big winner at Lexington), and Edwin Gold. On the trot, Mississippi Storm was the first feature horse to Harrah's winners circle, taking a new mark of 1:53.2 while winning in stakes company for the third straight time. The Cantab Hall gelding was limbed most of the 27.2 quarter to gain control for driver Andrew McCarthy, strolled to a 57.1 half, shook off outside pressure past the 1:24.2 quarter, then stayed in command against late inside closers to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Lindy's Big Bang, who photoed Scirocco Rob for the deuce. Tom Fanning conditions the winner of $171,946 for owner Joseph Smith. Driver Eric Carlson continued his amazing streak of bringing in longshot winners, especially trotters, when he roared through the stretch with Chucky De Vie as the Charlie De Vie colt took a new mark of 1:55. Carlson worked out a second-over trip from last, tipped wide at headstretch, and came his last quarter in 28 to win a four-across-the-track finish by a half length for trainer Hermann Heitmann (the original developer of Foiled Again) and the ownership of Joie De Vie Farm LLC and Paul Nigito. Carlson has now had five of the last eleven $50+ winners at Philly (all but one trotters) and three of the last four, and he began his current defy-the-tote-board run by guiding trotters Bold Goddess ($116.20) and Rentier ($81.00) home in successive races on September 5. The third division went to New York Sire Stakes champion Helpisontheway, who engaged in a long and bitter struggle with pacesetting Rich And Miserable before emerging a neck the better in 1:53.1. Tim Tetrick moved the victorious son of Chapter Seven uncovered from midpack at the 3/8 and reached the leader after he had notched early fractions of 27.1 and 57.1. The battle was on through a pair of 28 quarters the rest of the way, with Helpisontheway going by late to run his 2018 record to 14-8-4-0-$485,808 and his lifetime bankroll to $522,194 for trainer Linda Toscano and the ownership of the Camelot Stable Inc., The Bay's Stable LLC, and Little E LLC (the last-named of which perhaps not needing a plane after his day to remember on Sunday at Lexington). From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 2, 2018 -- Wind Of The North turned back the determined uncovered bid of Call For Justice and collected his third straight victory in Tuesday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Wind Of The North had to step lively to reach the leaf from post 7 in 27.3, but when Aaron Merriman gave the 8-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding a 30.2 second-quarter breather, he was refreshed and ready for Call For Justice's challenge. Wind Of The North downed him by a length in 1:54.3, with the pocket-sitting Classicality third in the Lightning Lane. Bill Bercury trains and owns Wind Of The North, who now boasts $991,598 in career earnings. Dave Palone piloted four winners on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

LEXINGTON, KY--Jim Campbell trainee Cantab Fashion collected his fourth consecutive win from five starts career when trotting to an open-length 1:55.3 victory in the final harness racing division of the $343,000 Uncle Peter Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, sponsored by Hickory Lane Horse Farms, on Thursday, Sept. 27 at The Red Mile. Away fourth at the quarter, Cantab Fashion sat off a :29.2 opening quarter set by 3-2 favorite Prospect Hill before tipping off the rail and moving first over for the top spot past a :59.3 half. Cantab Fashion took control midway around the final turn and held a two-length margin on Final Claim, left first over, and Prospect Hill heading to three-quarters. Cantab Fashion continued on the front with a widening margin by three-quarters in 1:28. The 2-1 second choice trotted through the stretch under wraps as Kings County, rallying three wide from second over, took second ahead of Battenberg popping from the pocket for third and Prospect Hill holding fourth. A colt by Cantab Hall, Cantab Fashion pushed his career bankroll to $64,500 for owner Fashion Farms LLC. David Miller sat behind the $6.20 winner. Aldebaranwalkabout stormed home widest on the course to pull a 29-1 upset in the $86,000 first division following a disqualification of race-favorite Don't Let'em. Wittyville took the top from the inside with Brady Bunch getting away second and 4-5 favourite Don't Let'em floating into contention third. Past the quarter in :29, Don't Let'em took the lead and trotted uncontested to the half in :57.2. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt pulled first over from fourth with Sheena's Boy rounding the final turn and marched to match strides with tempo-setter Don't Let'em by three-quarters in 1:27.1. Sheena's Boy retreated into the stretch as Takter kept Don't Let'em, drifting off the rail, on stride through the lane. Brady Bunch, off the rail trip, angled towards the center of the track while Wittyville slid through a gap at the inside and Aldebaranwalkabout, trailing the on-stride pack throughout, charged through the center of the course. Don't Let'em went into a pace in the final sixteenth of the mile and broke strides nearing the wire. Aldebaranwalkabout surged and snagged the second spot in a photo with Brady Bunch third and Wittyville fourth. Because of the break, Don't Let'em was disqualified to eighth, placing Aldebaranwalkabout as the race winner. Returning $61.20 to win, Aldebaranwalkabout, a Muscle Hill colt trained by Jonas Czernyson, won his second race from five starts, earning $53,300 for owner Aldebaran Park Inc. Andrew McCarthy sat in the bike. William Wellwood Memorial winner Green Manalishi S cruised as the 1-9 favorite to a 1:56.1 open-length victory in the $85,000 second Bluegrass split. Driver Tim Tetrick placed the Marcus Melander trainee third behind pacesetter Dylan The Great through a :29.2 opening quarter. Green Manalishi S made his move for the lead midway through the backstretch and brushed to the front at the half in :58.1. Super Schissel edged first up from fourth moving into the final turn as Dylan The Great lost ground to the inside and Green Manalishi S opened his lead. Through three-quarters in 1:28.1, Green Manalishi S held a three-length lead while Trix And Stones, from off cover, rallied through the center to take second from Super Schissel in third and Dylan The Great holding fourth. Winning his fifth race from seven starts, Green Manalishi S, by Muscle Hill, has now compiled $343,257 in earnings for owner Courant Inc. Tim Tetrick drove the $2.10 winner. Chin Chin Hall ranged to the top from off cover in the stretch to pull a 14-1 upset in the $86,000 third division of Bluegrass in 1:55.4. Positioned fifth as Amico Mio Bi, Forecast and Union Forces battled three wide for the lead to the quarter, Chin Chin Hall sat off a :28.1 opening quarter set by Union Forces circling to the front. Amico Mio Bi, shuffled to third, flushed first over as Hudson River strode into contention past a :57.2 half. Amico Mio Bi overtook Union Forces moving around the final turn and left Hudson River uncovered. Chin Chin Hall angled off the rail and caught cover second over as Amico Mio Bi trotted past three-quarters in 1:27.2. Hudson River moved to the lead into the stretch as Chin Chin Hall kicked off cover and gradually progressed to the front heading to the line. Hudson River held second from Forecast lunging towards the rail for third and Amico Mio Bi lengths behind in fourth. Paying $31.60 to win, Chin Chin Hall, a colt by Cash Hall, won his first race in his second start career, earning $43,000 for owners David Mc Duffee and Gene Oldford Farms LLC. Peter Wrenn sat at the reins for trainer Melanie Wrenn. Grand Circuit action continues at The Red Mile Friday, Sept. 28 with two-year-old filly trotters competing in four divisions of the $373,000 Norman Woolworth Memorial Bluegrass Stakes and two-year-old filly pacers in three divisions of the $273,100 Artspeak Bluegrass Stakes. The program starts with a first-race post at 7:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--The fortnight of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile begins on Thursday, Sept. 27 with four divisions of the $343,000 Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot highlighting the nine-race program. Peter Haughton Memorial winner Don't Let'em tries to rebound off two last-place efforts when he starts from post four in the $86,000 first division, carded as the third race on the program.   The Jimmy Takter-trained colt by Muscle Hill has struggled with his gait in three of his four starts over the Lexington oval and more recently broke stride around the final turn in the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) final.   Owned by Brittany Farms, Christina Takter, John Fielding and Herb Liverman, the winner of four races in eight starts and $238,117 in earnings will have Jimmy Takter sit in the bike. Marcus Melander-trainee Green Manalishi S, runner-up to Don't Let'em in the Peter Haughton Memorial, enters the $85,000 second division off a 1:53.4 lifetime-best victory in the $308,000 William Wellwood Memorial at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Finishing no worse than second in all six starts of his career, the Muscle Hill colt has banked over $300,000 in earnings so far for owner Courant Inc and will start from post one with Tim Tetrick driving. Forecast faces his first Grand Circuit test in the $86,000 third division of Bluegrass following his 1:53.4 one-length victory in the $250,000 KYSS final. Owned by William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick, the John Butenschoen-trained colt by Muscle Hill has five wins from nine starts this season and $186,650 earned. Corey Callahan will sit behind from post three. Union Forces, pulling a 33-1 upset in an elimination for the William Wellwood Memorial, competes against Forecast from post six for trainer Domenico Cecere and driver Scott Zeron. The colt by Cantab Hall galloped heading to the half in the Wellwood final and finished eighth--his first off-the-board finish in his career. Winning three races from five starts, Union Forces has collected $40,957 in earnings for owners Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Robert Rudolph, David Anderson and John Fielding. Cecere also sends Kings County, driven by Scott Zeron, from post seven in the $86,000 final division off a fourth-place finish in the Wellwood Memorial. The Muscle Hill colt, owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut, contests against Cantab Fashion, a Cantab Hall colt trained by Jim Campbell for owner Fashion Farms LLC, and Prospect Hill, a colt by Muscle Hill trained by Julie Miller for owner Stroy Inc. Cantab Fashion, starting from post three with driver David Miller, enters off a three-race win streak, winning by a combined 22 lengths in his last three outings. His most recent win, a lifetime best, came in a division of the Kindergarten Classic at Tioga Downs timed in 1:54.2. Prospect Hill, a winner of seven races in nine starts, has accrued over $180,000 in earnings and enters off victories in a $30,833 division of the Keystone Classic at The Meadows and a $48,218 division of the Standardbred Stakes at the Delaware County Fair. Andy Miller steers the colt from post two. The nine-race card, which also features a $3,000 division of the Billings Amateur Drivers and three late closing events for two-year-old trotting fillies, starts at 7:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 24, 2018 -- Im Your Captain converted a lengthy quarter-pole move to victory in 1:53.4, fastest in Monday's $78,698 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters was contested over three divisions, with Mississippi Storm and Make It A Double taking the other divisions. Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller made it a double, indeed, with Im Your Captain and Make It A Double. Im Your Captain entered the Keystone Classic off a victory in the Old Oaken Bucket at Delaware, and Miller drove him as if he were the best, launching that quarter-pole move from fourth. "I thought he was as good as anything in there," Miller said, "and I just didn't want to rush him out of the gate and make a mistake. So I just moved him up the front side, and he did the rest. He finished with his earplugs in and kind of coasted. I just kept him to his task." The son of Muscle Hill-Frisky Strike drew off late to down Jackie's Jim by 3-3/4 lengths, with Meadowbranch Ricky third. Andy Miller Stable and Black Horse Racing campaign Im Your Captain, who boosted his career bankroll to $128,373. Mississippi Storm also entered the Keystone Classic off a strong performance -- a victory in a Liberty Bell split -- and he had little trouble muscling to the early lead and scoring in 1:54.2, a life mark. The pocket-sitting Mr Contestant was second, 2 lengths back, while Rich And Miserable rallied for show. "I'd never driven him before, so I didn't know what to expect," said winning driver Jim Pantaleano. "He was very handy. I kicked out the plugs at the head of the stretch, and he still had plenty left. I was happily surprised." Ton Fanning conditions the Cantab Hall-Mississippi Beauty gelding, who now has banked $153,908 for Joseph Smith. Make It A Double stretched out 3-5 favorite Scirocco Rob before yielding to the pocket. That might have been the decisive move, as the Donato Hanover-Dodger Blues gelding overtook Scirocco Rob near the wire and defeated him by a length in 1:54.3. Stonebridge Gamble completed the ticket. "I was stuck between horses, and I wanted a two-hole trip, so I kept going," Miller said. "I had to use my horse and make the favorite work a little to get where I wanted to be. The horse trotted good late." Make It A Double lifted his lifetime earnings to $94,011 for Andy Miller Stable, Jason Allen and Douglas Allen. Miller indicated Im Your Captain and Make It A Double would be pointed to the Simpson for their final starts this year. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Classicality zipped to the front from post 8 and collected a comfortable 2-1/2-length victory in 1:55.1 for Brian Zendt and owner/trainer Lisa Dunn. The 8-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding won for the 50th time in his career and extended his career bankroll to $647,812. Stake racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the card features a $75,700 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

CHESTER, PA - Two-year-old fillies on both gaits contested three $30,000 divisions of the Liberty Bell stakes series on Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, with the favorites winning all of the trots and none of the paces. George Brennan guided two of the trio of trotting winners. First up was the Donato Hanover- Glide About miss American Kosmos, who raised her career record to three-for-four while reducing her mark to 1:55.3. The winner, sent off the 6-5 chalk, sat far off the runaway pacesetter Scirocco Donnahill, then gradually reeled that one in for a 3¾ length tally for trainer Julie Miller and the ownership of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and David Goodrow. The other two triumphant trotters proved worthy of 1-5 favoritism, including Brennan's second winner Magical Beliefs, who lowered her mark to 1:56.4. The daughter of Cantab Hall - Frisky Magic trotted past the leading Sigilwig past the half, opened a big lead, then maintained a 2½ length margin on the shuffled closer Mimi'spearloflindy, giving her four wins and four seconds in eight career starts, with earnings of $166,686 (she was second in the PA Sires final). Linda Toscano conditioned the consistent miss for Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables, and R-And-I Farms LLC. First visitor to the Harrah's winners circle on Thursday was the six-time winner Sonnet Grace, whom owner/trainer/driver Rod Allen sent to the front and improved on her position from there, winning by 4½ lengths in 1:55.1, last half 57.1, for a personal best. The impeccably-bred daughter of Muscle Massive - I Believe, a granddaughter of synonymous-with-baby-trot-speed CR Kay Suzie, now has earnings totaling $125,397. Form took a holiday of the pacing side, with the biggest upset A Beach Cowgirl, whom Corey Callahan piloted to a 1:53.4 lifetime best while paying $83.20. The Somebeachsomewhere - Limestone Cowgirl miss took advantage of a pocket journey, withstanding closing Renaissance Lady K by ¾ of a length for trainer Brett Bittle, co-owner with Dan Bittle and the Charles Kellers, III and IV. Somebeachsomewhere sired a second surprise winner - a surprise to most everyone but the morning linemaker, who had tabbed Stonebridge Soul, whose dam is Rock N Soul, as the one to beat, then saw her generate a $13.40 win payoff after a two length wire-to-wire win while taking a new mark of 1:52.2. If ever an early favorite were to be overlooked, it might have been this race at this track, as Philly Hanover and Rockin Philly wound up the first two choices, but Stonebridge Soul proved the best for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Chris Ryder, and the ownership of Henderson Farms and Robert Mondillo. Down Under wonder Dexter Dunn, fitting very nicely in the tough local driving colony, was behind the third pacing winner, the Captaintreacherous - Musicale Hanover filly May Bride Hanover, who won in 1:53.1. Dunn let the winner roll on the engine in quick numbers, then kept her together in the lane to win by a neck over What A Fox in a finish that saw all six fillies within two lengths of each other at the wire (Trillions Hanover, the big favorite, broke early but recovered for fourth). Nifty Norman trains the winner of four-of-seven for the Pinske Stables and David Hoese. Liberty Bell series two-year-old action continues tomorrow at Philly, with the colts turning out in the same proportions as their filly counterparts, with three divisions of each gait going gateward. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 17, 2018 -- Chef Lee had little trouble reaching the point in the compact field of four, but he had to dig in late to preserve his second straight victory in Monday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot. Mike Wilder gave Chef Lee a comfortable 29.3 second quarter, but he couldn't shake the pocket-sitting Explosive Leggs, who fell 1/2 length short in the Lightning Lane, with Mac Deeno a ground-saving third. Winning time for the 6-year-old Cantab Hall-Summer Savory gelding was 1:55.4 over a sloppy surface. Norm Parker owns and trains Chef Lee, who lifted his career bankroll to $360,165. Dave Palone collected four wins and Wilder three on the 12-race card. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

MILTON, ON - September 15, 2018 - This year's edition of the $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic was a hoof-to-hoof harness racing heavyweight battle from start to finish, with Crystal Fashion coming out on top in the final strides. Saddled with the daunting post 10, Crystal Fashion, a bay son of Cantab Hall, needed a little racing luck and plenty of grit to get the job done in Canada's richest trotting event of 2018. On Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, the Jim Campbell trainee had plenty of the latter. Sent off as the 5-2 second choice to 3-5 Mets Hall, Crystal Fashion, piloted by Tim Tetrick, was full of trot as the gate took off from the field of 11 sophomore stars. After taking his rivals through an opening quarter in :27.3, Crystal Fashion then found himself sitting in second spot once Mets Hall, with Andy Miller driving, went from second to first. The see-saw tussle between the leaders continued through a half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1.25-flat, with the final round coming as the field straightened for home. Down the stretch, Crystal Fashion, on the outside, and Mets Hall, to his inside, put on a show for the packed house at Woodbine Mohawk Park. At the wire, Crystal Fashion ($7.90 to win) eked out a hard-fought half-length triumph over his rival, in 1:52.1. Fiftydallarbill was third, while Lawmaker was fourth. The 10-2 exactor returned $21 and a 10-2-8 triactor paid $91.60. A $1 superfecta (10-2-8-5) was worth $444.85. There was a pari-mutuel refund for Winning American, who had a broken equipment issue prior to the start of the race. "It worked out good today," said Tetrick who two races earlier teamed with Green Manalishi S to win the William Wellwood Memorial. "We got out of there good and got on the right foot. He crossed over well, in-hand, and the favourite came and we had to let him go, so I got a dream trip." Both Crystal Fashion and Tetrick had to work overtime to finally reel in a stubborn Mets Hall. "I went ahead and pulled the pocket at the top of the lane," he said. "We had a horse race to the wire, but today my horse outgrinded him. With Crystal, you never know for sure. He always gives a pretty good effort, but sometimes he can look at butterflies." Tonight, he stung like a bee. It was lifetime win No. 13 from 25 starts for the bay gelding, owned by Fashion Farms LLC. In 13 starts this year, Crystal Fashion, bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, has nine wins and a trio of seconds. "Very impressed," said Campbell. "Timmy did a great job getting him out of there to put him in good position. The horse, he digs. If he's got a target to go at, he goes after it. He's just been a tremendous horse to train this year." Crystal Fashion will soon head to the Bluegrass State for his next engagements. "He's been good at both two and three," said Campbell. "He seems to get better. He'll go down to Lexington and have two races there and then he'll go to the Breeders Crown." by Chris Lomon, for Woodbine Communications  

CHESTER, PA – Three-year-old fillies were featured in $30,000 divisions of the Liberty Bell stakes series at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, with three divisions for trotters and two for pacers. 3YO TROTTING FILLIES Bella Glos, who made a break as the favorite in the recent PA Stallion Series final, recovered in fine fashion Wednesday, taking a new mark of 1:54. Some late first turn confusion caused by a breaker had four horses in a field of six parked at the ¼ and one in the infield, but driver Yannick Gingras kept the Cantab Hall filly out of most of the trouble, made the lead passing the stands the first time, and came home in 56.3 - 27.4 to be four lengths clear at the wire. Jimmy Takter trains the new member of the Six Figure Earnings Club for Black Horse Racing. Follow Streak, who won that Stallion Series finale, made it three straight wins and seven victories in ten seasonal starts as she went wire-to-wire in 1:55.4. The Donato Hanover miss was two lengths clear at the wire as she moved her lifetime bankroll to $142,391 for Team Orange Crush, trainer Julie and driver/husband Andy Miller, and the ownership of the Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Lawrence Dumain. A hard rain started to fall as the horses warmed up for the final division, but the moisture didn't seem to bother Hey Blondie, as she gave Cantab Hall a stakes siring double with a win in 1:54.4. Last week Hey Blondie couldn't catch S M S Princess in the PA Sire Stakes consolation, this week she turned the tables by rallying from the pocket for driver Andrew McCarthy into a 56.2 half to go by the pacesetter by a half length, raising her earnings to $439,535. Chuck Sylvester trains the winner for Steve Jones, Mary Kinsey Arnold, Paul Bordogna, and David McDuffee. 3YO PACING FILLIES Alexa's Power and Sidewalk Dancer were the heavy favorites in their sidewheeling stakes division, and they put on a good battle in the last 1/16, with the Somebeachsomewhere filly Alexa's Power able to gain out of the pocket in a 27.2 last quarter to catch the pacesetter by a head while taking a new mark of 1:50.3. The Jim Campbell-trained filly, a winner of $405,195 for Jeffrey and Michael Snyder, was driven by Tim Tetrick - who had gone in 1:50.1 with 3PF Put On A Show in 2010, a clocking Alexa's Power didn't miss by much. The rainstorm mentioned above didn't last long (the sun was out during the next race, but it had dome just enough to turned the track "sloppy" for the second section. In that event Yannick Gingras completed a stakes double as the Well Said filly Strong Opinion, like Follow Streak a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes consolation winner, followed up with another pacesetting effort, then held off the strong-closing Scuola Hanover by a neck in 1:52.3. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $259,448 for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC; Jack Piatt II; Silva, Purnel & Libby; and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. FINISHING LINES - Veteran horseman Ross Croghan registered his 2000th training win in the USTA computer, which has kept training statistics since 1992, when I'm Trigger Happy won the fourth race here today. Winning at a 17.6% rate over the years, the Croghan barn has produced almost $44 million in racetrack earnings, winning just over $9 million in 2007-2008. Newer fans may not know that Croghan was also quite a driver in his day before he decided to focus on training, and had 1822 sulky successes in a North American career starting in 1977, with his best driving year seeing him win 230 times in 1992. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

Lexington, KY - The best of harness racing in the Bluegrass will be on display Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, at The Red Mile when the historic Lexington racetrack hosts the $2 million Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) finals. The 10-race card gets underway at 3 p.m. (EDT) and is the centerpiece of the new Fayette County Fair that will run from noon until 6 p.m. Sunday afternoon's 10-race race card features the eight divisional KYSS championship races, worth $250,000 each, as well as a pair of $50,000 consolation events. The fields were set after three preliminary legs were contested over the past three weeks at The Red Mile. The opening quartet of KYSS finals are for the 2 year olds. The first-year male trotters kick off the championships (Race 3) and the field of 10 include four preliminary winners, including two-time victors Forecast (son of Cantab Hall, post 1) and Super Schissel (Uncle Peter, post 4). Also in the race are prelim winners Lindy’s Crazy Hall (Cantab Hall, post 7) and Don’t Let’em (Muscle Hill, post 3), who earlier this year won the Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands. Among the 2-year-old filly trotters (Race 5), Taylor Swiftly (Trixton, post 5) has created nothing but bad blood between her and her rivals by being mean and sweeping all three preliminaries. The 2-year-old filly pacer Beautyonthebeach swept her three opening rounds and the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere may be tough to beat in that divisional final (Race 4) as she landed post 1. The road to division honors among the freshman male pacers (Race 6) appears to go through Captain Trevor, a son of Captaintreacherous who has been most impressive while capturing all three of his prelims. Only two 3 year olds who won KYSS finals last year at two are back to defend their title. One of those is the filly trotter Top Expectations, who was two-for-two in this year's opening two legs. The daughter of Cantab Hall drew post 1 in this year's final (Race 7). The 3-year-old filly pacer Band Stand is the other returning champion, but this year the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance may have her work cut out for her as she finished eighth in the point standings after a second, sixth and fourth in the prelims. Band Stand starts from post 4 in this year's final (Race 8) with the role of favorite likely going to Dance Blue (Race 3), a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven who won both her opening rounds in open-lengths fashion. Race 9 is the $250,000 KYSS final for 3-year-old male trotters. Tactical Landing, a son of Muscle Hill who last month captured his Hambletonian elimination and finished third in the $1 million final, starts from post 1 after a third and first in the KYSS preliminaries. Wolfgang, a son of My MVP and a leg-one winner who is Tactical Landing's stablemate in the barn of trainer Jimmy Takter, starts from post 4. Classichap, a son of Chapter Seven who raced and won his only KYSS appearance in leg 3 last Monday night, starts from post 3. The sophomore male pacers close out the championship card in Race 10. American History (post 6), a son of American Ideal, is two-for-two in this year's KYSS and is one of three Tony Alagna trainees going postward (Rush To Judgement, post 1) and Legal Power (post 4). Grand Teton (post 3), a son of A Rocknroll Dance who won the first KYSS leg, is one of three Takter trainees in the race, along with Thinkbig Dreambig (post 5) and Decoy (post 8). The eight KYSS finals encompass an "all stakes" 20-cent Pick 8 wager with a guaranteed $10,000 pool in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 8 has a low takeout rate of only 15 percent. The wager will feature a mandatory payout, so the entire net pool will be paid for the most winners if nobody selects all eight winners. Admission is free and the Fayette County fair will include food trucks, local craft breweries, bourbon tastings and an arts and crafts market. Several music acts will play on two stages (one inside and one outside), with rising country star and Lexington native Walker Montgomery, Avery Crabtree and Conch Republic among the performers. Montgomery is slated to perform on the outdoor stage from 4-6 p.m. The racing program gets underway with a horse parade of various breeds and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation will offer hands-on equine experience. Saturday night's (post time 7 p.m.) 10-race card features three $50,000 KYSS consolations, including races for 3-year-old filly trotters, 2-year-old colt trotters and 2-year-old filly pacers. From the Kentucky Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON -September 1, 2018 - Mets Hall found room down the lane and powered away from the field to capture Saturday's $169,183 Simcoe Stakes, at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Trained by Julie Miller for owners Stroy Inc. and Andy Miller Stable, Mets Hall has now won back to back starts since finishing second behind Atlanta in the Hambletonian final. Last time out, Mets Hall captured the Zweig Memorial Trot at Vernon Downs and with the Simcoe score sets himself to be the favourite in the upcoming Canadian Trotting Classic eliminations. Mets Hall blasted off the gate for driver Andy Miller reaching the opening quarter in :27.2, but Alarm Detector (Trevor Henry) and Lawmaker (Anthony MacDonald) were not content to sit down the backstretch with an onrushing Lawmaker marking the half in :55.3. Alarm Detector popped the pocket at the top of the lane, but Mets Hall was not to be denied with a menacing move and powered home in a quick 1:52 flat, equalling his lifetime mark. Run Director (Sylvain Filion) arrived late on the scene to complete the exacta at odds of 50-1. "I wasn't sure how it would unfold, but I knew I'd be going forward off the gate and sitting up close," said Miller. "When I got room in the lane there, he just shot by them. "He likes to be up close," continued Miller. "Usually when he comes off the last turn, he's going to trot home." It was the seventh career victory for the son of Cantab Hall who appears to be improving with every start. "Ever since the Hambo, he's really showed up and done what we thought he would," said Miller. Mets Hall, bred by Winbak Farm in Maryland, banked $84,591 in victory. He paid $4.30 to win. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 1, 2018 -- De Los Cielos Deo and Prospect Hill rolled through their respective Pennsylvania Sires Stakes divisions and were looking to complete sweeps in Saturday's $253,000 championships at The Meadows. Instead of coronation, they got comeuppance, upset by Proof in the colt and gelding pacers division and Osterc in the colt and gelding trotting division. The Meadows hosted all four PASS $253,000 freshman championships, with the distaff titles going to Sylph Hanover and Windy Corner. The exciting card turned into a celebration of long shots, as the favorites went 0-8 in the championships and $50,000 consolations. De Los Cielos Deo had been the most impressive PASS performer, winning his preliminary legs by a combined 9 lengths en route to a five-race career unbeaten streak. When he powered past the 16-1 Proof at the quarter and held that lead turning for home, it appeared he would pad his streak. But Proof, a Diamond Creek Racing homebred son of A Rocknroll Dance-Ginger And Fred, is no slouch, finishing first or second in his first five starts. He kicked by De Los Cielos Deo for Scott Zeron and downed him by 1/2 length in a career-best 1:51, with Semi Tough third. "I didn't expect to get that good a trip from post 7," said winning trainer Brian Brown. "We were the only one who really left. It turned out perfect for us. That's why Scott is driving. I wasn't at all confident in the stretch. That's an awfully good horse you're trying to get around. My horse today was just better." Brown said Proof, who soared over $200,000 in career earnings, likely would be pointed to the Metro Pace. Osterc entered the championship in fine form, with three straight PASS victories, but his chances appeared limited from post 9. Indeed, when Prospect Hill was stalking from the pocket into the final turn, it appeared only a matter of time before he gobbled up the leader. But the favorite made an unforced break, and Osterc and Yannick Gingras were able to hold off White Tiger by a head in 1:56.4 to claim the crown. Demon Onthe Hill completed the ticket. "I've felt him better than I did in the warm-up today. He got a little bumpy a few times, but his attitude is just phenomenal," said Jimmy Takter, who conditions the son of Cantab Hall-Oh Oh Hereshoecomes, who now boasts a bankroll of $226,401. "That's why he keeps winning. These 2-year-olds -- they keep on surprising me all the time." Christina Takter and Goran Falk own Osterc, who was named for Thomaz Osterc, a member of Takter's staff who, Takter says, was treated for, and recovered from, a serious illness and is now back performing his duties. Takter said he hasn't decided on the colt's next race. In the other championships: $253,000 PASS Championship -- 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers. Warrawee Ubeaut and Treacherous Reign dominated the preliminaries; when they sat 1-2 at the three-quarters, it looked as if the titans would duel once again. But 13-1 Sylph Hanover sustained a long first-over bid for Matt Kakaley and edged the rallying Philly Hanover by a neck in 1:51.4. Warrawee Ubeaut saved show. "We changed her style a little bit to race from the back," said Ron Burke, who trains Sylph Hanover and Warrawee Beaut. "I think today that was the move because the front end's not holding, so you're racing against a variance on the lead. She came first in a long way two starts ago here and won, so she has it in her. The owners did a good job with her. They picked her out; we just bought into her." Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Joseph Critelli campaign the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-She's A Fan, who's eligible for the She's A Great Lady and the Kentucky Standardbred and now has earned $207,072 $253,000 PASS Championship -- 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters At 12-1, Windy Corner made her first-over move stand up, triumphing in 1:55.3 for Marcus Miller, trainer Erv Miller and owners Tony Holmes and Walter Zent. Magical Beliefs closed well for second, beaten a neck, with Fate Smiled third. The daughter of Yankee Glide-Wind Stroll was winless in PASS preliminary legs, but Marcus Miller said she had shown him that she could compete at that level. "I wouldn't say I was surprised, although the way the race set up definitely surprised me," he said. "I always knew she had go, and she's been getting better all the time. Early on, we were real conservative with her, teaching her the right way to race. I think it set her up to be able to make that move down the backside today and carry it. The last sixteenth or so was anxious, but she was very game." Her bankroll now stands at $173,389. PASS CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES: The consolations went to 9-5E Mass Fortune K (colt and gelding trot), 9-2 Art Lecture (filly pace), 28-1 Fade Into You (filly trot) and 5-1 Captain Malicious (colt and gelding pace) . . . Saturday's upset bug also bit Windsong Leo who was seeking his eighth straight win in the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace but finished fourth after a rough trip from post 8. The victory in 1:50.3 went to Phoenix Warrior N for Jim Pantaleano, trainer Scott Betts and owners Timothy Betts, Nicholas Catalano and Steven Moss. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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