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Last week showcased solid, competitive racing in France, Italy, Sweden and Hungary. Mid-week graded action at Paris-Vincennes highlighted the lead in to a superb racing weekend.  Africaine took the Gr. II Prix Guy le Gondidec Wednesday for Jean-Etienne Dubois. The four-year-old daughter of Oiseau de Feur scored easily in 1.13.6kr over 2700 meters. On Thursday, Paris-Vincennes conducted two more Gr. II events that went to Valdice de Mars in a monte test (Prix Legoux-Longpre) over 2850 meters. This five-year-old daughter of Lynx de Bellouet scored in 1.13.9kr for Yohan Lebourgeois. The other Gr II event was the Prix Jules Thibault over 2700 meters that Athos des Elfes won for Joel Van Eeckhaute in 1.13.7kr. The four year-old son on Ganymede was a hard driving winner over Aladin d’Ecajeul. Summaries of these races are shown below. August 27, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Guy le Gonidec, Gr. II €120,000 purse, 2700 meters, 16 starters, 1.13.6kr 1st Africaine (4f Oiseau de Feux-Italiene-Coktail Jet), Jean-Etienne Dubois owner/trainer/driver, 1.1/1, fifth win in 23 outings for €292,820 earned 2nd Andalouse (4f Tenor de Baune-Mosaique), Tony Le Beller, 45.9/1 3rd Athena de Vandel (4f Prince Gede-Maelia de Vandel), Mathieu Abrivard for Cedric Megissier, 5.5/1 4th Axelle Dark (4f Ready Cash-Queen des Charmes), Jos. Verbeeck up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire, 4.8/1 August 28, 2014, Paris-Vincennes, Prix Legoux-Longpre, 2850 meters monte, Gr. II €120,000 purse, ten starters, time 1.13.9kr 1st Valdice de Mars (5f Lynx de Bellouet-Tiphanie-Beausejour II), Yohan Lebourgeois for owner/trainer Loic Groussard, 7.2/1, tenth career win for €543,820 2nd Valse de Reve (5f Mister President-Nouba Houba), Camille Levesque, 3.3/1 3rd Votka Bleue (5f Jasmin de Flore-Joyeuse Bleue), Franck Nivard, 4.1/1 4th Valse Castelets (5f Memphis du Rib-Elide), J.L.C. Dersoir, 17.1/1 August 28, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Jules Thibault, 2700 meters, Gr. II €120,000 purse, 1.13.7kr 1st Athos des Elfes (4m Ganymede-Iazio du Bourg-Tadzio de la Motte), Joel Van Eeckhaute, 1.4/1 odds favorite, his eighth career win for €343,030 for owner J-P Goubert 2nd Aladin d’Ecajeul (4m Quaker Jet-Nancy d’Ecajeul), Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastian Guarato, 3.1/1 3rd Akim du Cap Vert (4m First de Retz-Prima du Cap Vert), Franck Anne owner/trainer/driver, 9.2/1 In Cesena, Italy two preps for the Breeders Course Final took place on August 23. Tiffany Caf (2f Cantab Hall-Elaine Caf-Supergill) scored in 1.16.4kr over 1660 meters autostart for Bo Le Verde and Talish As (2f Daguet Rapide-Gaia dei Veltri-Remington Crown) was a 1.16.6kr winner over the same distance for Roberto Vecchione. Both races were contested over 1660 meters autostart for the two year-old olds. On August 22 at Solvalla Mister JP scored over 1640 meters autostart in 1.13.4kr by open lengths, for Bjorn Goop. The winner is now 2 for 2 for Ecurie Citrus (J-P Barjon). Mister JP is a two year-old son of Taurus Dream from Baghdad Dream by Yankee Glide. Jim Oscarsson was second this day with Mr. Perfect by Andover Hall. This group of lightly raced two year-olds will be back in action on September 6 at Jagersro for the Breeders Course Final. They will travel 1640 meters autostart for 450,000SEK purse. The field is shown below. Mister J.P. (B. Goop) Angelina (DK) (J. Juel) Fiona Stardust (NL)  (B. Crebas) Telecomando Ok (J. Kontio) Tunica (E. Adielsson) Partizan Face (L. Kolgjini) Mr Perfect (J. Oscarsson) Troja D’Asolo (Renè Legati) Talish As (W. Paal) Flyer Boshoeve (M. Schimd) The same day at Jagersro will be the European Championship for three year-olds, going 2140 meters for a 450,000SEK purse. The lineup follows. Expo Express (DE) (A. Mollema) Winston Sisa (DK) (S. Juul) Easytowin (J. Takter) Saphire Bi (O. Kihlstrom) Jontte Boy (FI) (J. Kontio) Da Vinci B.R (NO) (K. Haugstad) Kickans Girl (R. Pettersson) Othello Tilly (B. Goop) Ewald F. Boko (DE) )C. Lugauer) Sheava Vik (J. Untersteiner) Coolwater In (E. Adielsson) On Sunday at Kincsem Park the SLO invader Lady Luna (9f Sierra Ranger-Luna) took the 500,000HUfRecorder DIJ feature over 1960 meters turning start. Rene Hanzekovic, also trainer, piloted the winner perfectly gaining a pocket journey behind pacesetter Amazing Lobell (7f Incredible Crafts-US Companion) and reinsman Arpad Lakatos to score in 1.17.9kr over a deep racing surface. Orangyal (6f Wall Street Banker-Derengo) ended third for Pal Vicen. Next Saturday, September 6, will be the prestigious Hungaria Prize and the Marschall Jozsef Memorial. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

After leaving strong from behind the starting gate, one could realize that Father Patrick and driver Yannick Gingras were not going to be passed by and that held to be true as the top colt wired the field in winning the $340,00 Harry M Zweig Memorial for three-year-old colt trotters Friday at Vernon Downs. With stable mate and entry Nuncio and driver John Campbell also leaving at the start it was a formidable duo that took control of the early lead to the opening quarter mile in a blazing :25.4 seconds. They raced indian-style to the half mile in an easy :56 and that was when Skates N Plates (Jim Morrill, Jr.) decided to the try coming first-over to no avail as they passed the three-quarters in 1:25.2. It was then that driver John Campbell moved out of the pocket and started to get Nuncio into high gear to mount a challenge against Father Patrick. But it was not to happen as Gingras urged Father Patrick on and he trotted a :27 second last quarter mile to win with ease by two lengths in 1:52.2. Nuncio was second with Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald) third. The time of the race was one-fifth of a second off of tying the stakes record for the Zweig Memorial. “In the post parade he felt really sharp,” said Yannick Gingras, “He was on the bit and this was one of his best races all year, the way he is supposed to be. When they popped the plugs (Nuncio) you have to worry as he is a great horse too. He tried hard too and never gives up. But once he came alongside my horse then my horse latched on even more. I was really confident with him and did not have to get after him tonight and that’s a good thing.” For Father Patrick, the son of Cantab Hall posted his seventh win in nine starts this  year for trainer Jimmy Takter. It was a sweep of the Zweig Memorial as Taker’s Shake It Cerry earlier captured the Zweig filly division. Father Patrick is owned by the Father Patrick Stables of East Windsor, NJ and he paid $2.10 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com 

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 29 - Lifetime Pursuit continued her incredible hot streak Friday night at Mohawk by winning a division of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. 13 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into two Simcoe Stakes divisions worth more than $103,000. Lifetime Pursuit picked up her fourth win in a row in the second $105,344 division. Leaving from post six with driver Brett Miller, Lifetime Pursuit was parked fourth around the first turn and followed Cantabs Fortune to the front in the second quarter. As soon as Cantabs Fortune touched down on the front, Lifetime Pursuit cleared to take control at the half-mile pole in :56. Lifetime Pursuit trotted by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4 and turned for home without much challenge from her six other rivals. In the stretch, the daughter of Cantab Hall - Queen Of Grace never allowed her rivals to get any closer than a few lengths and strolled home to win by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:53.4. Sweetie Hearts finished second, while Chivaree Hanover was third and My Inspiration was fourth. Lifetime Pursuit is trained by Jimmy Takter for the Brittany Farms. Following the race, Myron Bell, the racing manager for Brittany Farms, noted that Lifetime Pursuit is a third generation filly for the farm. "We bought a daughter of Me Maggie back about 20 years ago and her name was Prime Mistress and she won about $20,000 on the racetrack and had a record of about :58," said Bell. "Her daughter is the dam of this filly and three generations later it's paid off." Lifetime Pursuit has now won four stake races in a row dating back to the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks on August 2. The Simcoe Stakes victory was her sixth win in 11 starts this year, the 12th win of her career and pushes her career earnings over $760,000. She paid $2.10 to win. In the first $103,845 Simcoe Stakes division, Designed To Be broke her streak of three second place finishes to win in a stakes record equaling time of 1:52.3. Scream And Shout was sent hard to the lead by Brett Miller and posted an opening quarter of :27.1, while Designed To Be and Sylvain Filion followed along in fourth. Miller didn't slow down the tempo in the middle half as Scream And Shout opened up a good sized lead on the field trotting by the half in :56.1 and the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2. In the third quarter, Filion right lined Designed To Be to the outside and she began the first over journey. Designed To Be would erase Scream And Shout's sizeable lead and trot by her half way down the lane to win by 3¼ lengths. Muscle Babe finished third, while Tosca was fourth. "Brett (Miller) was trying to give us the slip, but we caught him in the nick of time," said Designed To Be's trainer Julie Miller in the winner's circle. "The way the races are setting up she needs a target and she's willing to follow and attack." Miller trains the daughter of Donato Hanover - Sheer Soul Be for owners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz. The Simcoe Stakes victory was Designed To Be's third win in seven starts this season and the eighth win of her career. She now has career earnings of more than $500,000. Designed To Be paid $2.10 to win. The three-year-old trotting fillies will be back in action next Friday at Mohawk for the eliminations of the $365,000 Elegantimage Stakes. Also on Friday night, two divisions were contested of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters. Habitat and Sylvain Filion took the first $124,621 Champlain division. A son of Conway Hall - Habits Best, Habitat, who was the 3/5 favourite, was put right on the front by Filion and set fractions of :27.4, :58. and 1:26.3. After opening up a sizable lead on the final turn, Habitat strolled home under wraps in :28.2 to win by 2 ½ lengths in 1:55. Muscle Diamond and Rick Zeron trotted a big last quarter of :27. to come from seventh to finish second. Aldebaran Eagle finish third, while Jetpedia rounded out the Superfecta. "He's not very big, but he's very powerful," said Filion following the race. "Turning for him he kind of got a little lost out there on the front end on a big track like this and I could hear Ricky (Zeron) coming at me, so I just asked him a bit and he took off right away." Trained by Ron Burke, Habitat is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. Habitat was a $50,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase. He has now won three times in five career starts and has earnings exceeding $94,000. Habitat paid $3.40 to win. In the second $124,621 division, another heavy favourite came through as French Laundry and Brett Miller won in 1:55.4. Sent off as the 3/5 favourite, French Laundry got away in fourth as the field made their way by the opening quarter marker. In the second quarter, French Laundry followed Lookslikeachipndale, who made a first up move to the lead, right to front to take control at the half in :57.4. After trotting by the three-quarter pole in 1:27.2, French Laundry quickly opened up a couple lengths at the top of the lane and trotted home under a confident hand drive from Miller to win by 2 ¾ lengths. Don't Rush, who was first over around the final turn, trotted a good final clip to finish second, while Lookslikeachipndale and Southwind Stryker were third and fourth respectively. "I've raced against him (French Laudnry) many times and he looks like a Cadillac to drive and he is," Miller said following the race. "I just kind of waited for the dust to settle and moved him to the front and he was very good." A son of Muscles Yankee - Creamy Mimi, French Laundry is conditioned by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. A $115,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, French Laundry has now won four time in his six career starts. The Champlain Stakes victory pushes his earnings over the $100,000 mark. He paid $3.40 to win. Next up for the two-year-old trotters is the eliminations for the $365,000 William Wellwood Memorial next Friday. Grand Circuit action continues tomorrow night with the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, the $667,000 Metro Pace, the $480,000 She's A Great Lady Stakes, the $207,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies and the $218,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotters. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Billy Flynn won his sixth consecutive race to start his career, capturing a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were four divisions of the Sire Stakes held on Wednesday night for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings with purses ranging from $62,653 to $63,053. Billy Flynn (Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones), a two-year-old colt trained by Staffan Lind and driven by Brett Miller, took the lead on the first turn of his split and coasted from there to a win in 1:55:4, a new career-best on a track listed in good condition. In addition to the six-for-six start, Billy Flynn has now swept all four preliminary legs of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Other Sire Stakes winners on Wednesday night: Cruzado Dela Noche (Muscle Massive-Alidade), driven by David Miller and trained by Nancy Johansson, in 1:55:4; Hurrikane Jonny K (Andover Hall-Lavieenrose De Vie), driven by George Napolitano Jr. and trained by John McDermott, in 1:56:2; and Uncle Lasse (Donato Hanover-Solveig), driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Jimmy Takter, in 1:56:4. Week in Review On Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, we were lucky enough to have two $25,000 Preferred races on the card, one each for the trotters and pacers. As if often the case, those Preferred races, gathering such brilliant talent as they tend to do, produced thrilling outcomes and our three major award-winners for the week. That’s right, I said three. Read on and see how this is possible as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACERS OF THE WEEK: MACH IT SO and GOLDEN RECEIVER There are a lot of close finishes in harness racing, but relatively few dead heats. After all, the chances of two horses travelling the distance of a mile and arriving at the finish line at exactly the same time so that they inseparable when the finish line is viewed in a photo, is pretty rare. It’s always a kick when it happens, but, when it happens between two horses the caliber of Mach It So and Golden Receiver, it’s a special treat. On Saturday night, those two star pacers were lined up alongside each other in the Preferred pace. Golden Receiver, a former Pacer of the Year at Pocono, came in slumping a bit, but with career earnings of over $2.1 million, he’s always a major threat. Mach It So came in at the top of his game, having won two straight, including a Preferred at Pocono on August 2. It looked as though it would be the hot horse’s night when Mach It So, driven by Andrew McCarthy for trainer PJ Fraley, took over the lead in the stretch with a huge first-over move. But Golden Receiver, with Simon Allard driving for trainer Jake Huff, suddenly surged on the inside. The two hit the line together and the photo couldn’t separate them, so they shared the victory in 1:49:4. In a bizarre twist, two other horses in the race, Word Power and Big Time Promise, finished in their own dead heat for fifth place. Wacky, wonderful stuff in the week’s featured race. Other top pacers this week include: Bolt The Duer (Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley), the standout veteran who won his second straight condition pace on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:50; Giveittoemstaight (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who rolled to her second straight condition win on Friday night and matched her career mark of 1:50:4 in the process; and Flying Cowboy (Andrew McCarthy, Matias Ruiz), whose career-best win in 1:50:4 in a claiming handicap on Wednesday night was his third consecutive victory. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MAVEN In the trotting game, fillies of ages two and three usually get the chance to compete against each other a large majority of the time. Once they hit age four though and officially become mares, the opportunities to face their own gender exclusively start to dry out. Some stakes races still dot the schedule, but most tracks don’t offer overnight races for only distaff trotters over age four. That means they have to go up against the boys every once in a while. For a trotter as talented as Maven, a 5-year-old mare from the Jonas Czernyson barn who has pretty much conquered all comers to this point in her career, such a prospect isn’t all that daunting. Even in a race like Saturday night’s Preferred Handicap trot, which featured some tough veteran male trotters like Not Afraid and Sevruga, the mare raced with extreme confidence. With Mark MacDonald in the bike, Maven made a huge move on the outside late to take over the lead, holding off Waiting On A Woman by a length for the win. It was just her second victory of the year, coming in a scorching 1:52:3, but it pushed her career earnings up near $1.5 million. There’s a lot more money to be earned by this standout, probably some of it at the expense of her male counterparts. Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Amigo Ranger (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), whose condition victory on Tuesday night in 1:52:3 was a career-best and matched the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; Donatomite (Trond Smedshammer trainer and driver), who stayed unbeaten after three career starts as a 2-year-old with a Stallion Series win on Tuesday night in 1:54:4; and Billy Flynn ( Brett Miller, Staffan Lind), a two-year-old who now has six wins in six tries after a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes win on Wednesday night in a career-best 1:55:4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: G NOTE This 2-year-old filly made quite an auspicious debut with Andrew McCarthy in the bike, upsetting the field in Tuesday night’s final race at 30-1 to pay off $62.60 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO With driving doubles on Sunday and Tuesday highlighting another fine week at the races, A-Nap became the latest driver to earn 100 victories in the 2014 meet at Pocono. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: NEAL EHRHART Ehrhart pulled off quite the training double on Tuesday night, scoring first with 14-1 shot Guilford and then adding Fool’s Revenue later in the night at 15-1. That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me atjbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 27 - Harness racing's finest is taking over Mohawk Racetrack. The annual Grand Circuit week begins tomorrow evening (August 28) with the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies and wraps up next Saturday (September 6). The Champlain Stakes for two-year-olds and Simcoe Stakes for three-year-olds are staples on the Grand Circuit schedule every year. "Having North America's top two and three-year-olds come to Mohawk is exciting and something we all look forward to," said Scott McKelvie, WEG's Racing Secretary and Director of Racing. "The Grand Circuit's annual visit is always a highlight of the racing season." Thursday night three Champlain divisions for more than $83,000 will take place for the freshman trotting fillies. Spirit To Win (PP3), the winner of this year's Pure Ivory Series, leads the group of eight in the first division. A daughter of Cantab Hall - Celebrity Spirit, Spirit To Win has won three times in four career starts for trainer Dustin Jones. The second division features Ontario Sires Stakes standout Danielle Hall (PP6) for the trainer/driver duo of Carl and Jody Jamieson. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe - Debbie Hall, Danielle Hall has won four of her five career starts for earnings of over $137,000. Jolene Jolene (PP1) is the 4-5 morning line favourite in the third and final division. Trained by Jonas Czernyson, Jolene Jolene is a daughter of Muscle Hill - Celebrity Speedie and has one win in four career starts. She was the runner-up in the $352,050 Merrie Annabelle at the Meadowlands on August 2. The stakes action will continue on Friday night with two divisions of more than $103,000 of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies and two $124,621 divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters. World champion Lifetime Pursuit, the winner of this year's Hambletonian Oaks, headlines the group of 13 three-year-old trotting fillies. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Lifetime Pursuit will start from post six in the second Simcoe Stakes division (Race 9) with driver Brett Miller. She is coming off a stakes record victory of 1:52.1 in the Casual Breeze Stakes last Friday at Mohawk. Miller and Takter will also team up in the second Champlain Stakes division with freshmen trotting colt French Laundry. A son of Muscles Yankee - Creamy Mimi, French Laundry has won three of his five career starts and will start from post three. On Saturday evening, the $207,689 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies and the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotters will take place as part of the massive Canadian Pacing Derby card. Precocious Beauty leads a group of nine three-year-old pacing fillies in the Simcoe Stakes. Last year's She's A Great Lady Stakes winner, Precocious Beauty will start from post four for the trainer/driver team of Gregg and Doug McNair. A large field of 12 three-year-old trotters starring this year's Hambletonian winner Trixton will meet in their Simcoe Stakes division. Trixton, who has drawn post eleven in the second tier, will be making his first start since capturing the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on August 2. Trixton will also be making his first start at Mohawk since he set the track record of 1:51.3 in the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14. Trainer Jimmy Takter will take his usual position in the bike behind Trixton on Saturday evening. After a busy weekend, the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes action will resume next Saturday (September 6) with the $260,000 Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacers, the $240,000 Champlain Stakes for the two-year-old pacing fillies and the $240,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers. Racing fans can stay up to date with the Grand Circuit by visiting their Facebook page www.Facebook.com/TheGrandCircuit and all of Mohawk's racing action at www.MohawkRacetrack.com by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Donatomite rolled to the fastest winning time in Stallion Series action on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were six $20,000 divisions of the Stallion series held for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the trot. Donatomite (Donato Hanover-Malvictorian), driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer, stayed unbeaten after three career races by winning his division by 6 ¼ lengths in an impressive 1:54:4. Other Stallion Series winners on the night: Tommy Bar (Cantab Hall-Spellyuptothebar), driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Bill Popfinger, in 1:58:2; Handover The Money (Andover Hall-CR Sister Suzie), driven and trained by Francisco Del Cid, in 1:59:1; Don't Mind Me (Andover Hall-Peace Of Mind), driven and trained by Jim Raymer, in 1:56:2; Wimborne Hanover (Muscle Massive-Wherley), driven by George Napolitano Jr. and trained by William Daugherty Jr., in 1:57:1; and Finish Line (Yankee Glide-Calchips Finisher), driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer, in 1:57:4. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 25, 2014 -- Winless since late May, Frost Free Hanover broke loose Monday at The Meadows, drawing off to demolish the field by 8 lengths in 1:54.4 -- a tick off the stake record -- in a $60,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake. The event for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters was contested over three divisions, with Another Transcript and Revrac Harbour taking the other splits -- each for Dave Palone. After only one start at 2, Frost Free Hanover began his sophomore campaign with five victories before tapering off, a drought trainer Leslie Zendt attributes to a step up in competition. "He was racing against older horses in overnights here, which is really hard for a 3-year-old," she said. "Then he was in against some tough 3-year-olds. But he's been an overachiever all year long and, really, a pleasant surprise." In Monday's stake, Frost Free Hanover accelerated around the final turn for Brian Zendt, leaving the pocket-sitting Kapow Hanover a distant second. Sneakin Caviar rallied from well back for show. Leslie Zendt, who owns Frost Free Hanover with Bill Zendt, Sig Wolkomir and Fred Kayne, said the Cantab Hall-Free Spirit gelding is ticketed for the Harrisburg sale following appearances in the stallion series championship, the Keystone Classic and the Circle City. Another Transcript, who lost all nine of his previous outings this year in some tough spots, also relished the stallion series competition, quarter-poling to the front and scoring in a career-best 1:55.3, 6-1/4 lengths better than Donato's Wish. Uriel earned show. "He's not a bad colt, but he's been running up against some tough horses," said Allan Johnson, who conditions the son of Donato Hanover-Lady Lifter for Carl Sackheim, who often names his horses for aspects of the legal profession. "He's a useful horse. He'll make us a few dollars." Hammered down to 1-2 in the wagering, Revrac Harbour performed like the prohibitive choice, quarter-poling to the front and scoring geared down in 1:55.1. Another Deposition (another Sackheim horse) was second, 2-1/2 lengths back, while It Really Matters completed the ticket. "He does everything right," Palone said. "I thought I'd let things settle and keep him out of trouble. He was well within himself. He can be a little funny with his mouth behind the gate -- he can get pacey. So I let him get out of there on his own, and he was perfect." Tony Alagna trains the homebred son of Donato Hanover-Harbour Belle, who has won seven of 11 starts this year, for Howard Taylor, John Carver and Dandy Farms. Palone drove six winners and Tony Hall five on the 16-race card. Stake racing at The Meadows resumes Tuesday, when the card features the Hickory Smoke, a $199,980 PA Sires Stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 12:55 PM. By Evan Pattak,for the Meadows                    

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 23, 2014 -- Livininthefastlane pounced on the leaders down the backside, then blazed home in a stake-record 1:55.1 in Friday's $234,584 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event for freshman filly trotters, known as the Delmonica Hanover, was contested over three divisions, with Wild Honey and Kirsi Hanover taking the other splits. Livininthefastlane sat a comfortable third as the two favorites dueled for the early lead. Jersey Strong won that early battle but was no match late for Livininthefastlane, who defeated Speak To Me by a length for John Campbell. Jersey Strong saved show. "I didn't want to be a player in that first argument, but I was hoping for honest fractions at least," Campbell said. "She felt so good down the back stretch that I thought she would give me a good run." Julie Miller trains the daughter of Donato Hanover-Nicole's Promise for Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. The time knocked a tick from the previous stake record shared by Sand Violent Blu and Designed To Be. Wild Honey completed a sweep of the four PASS preliminary legs with a facile front-end victory in 1:56.1, aided by a measured 1:00.1 first half when no one challenged her. "She's the best (2-year-old filly) I've sat behind so far this year," said Dave Palone, who drove for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman. "It's nice when you're driving that kind of power that gets so much respect." Gatka Hanover closed well for second, 3/4 lengths back, while Smokinmombo earned show. A daughter of Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy, Wild Honey has won four of five career starts. Kirsi Hanover had lost all five of her previous career outings, and it appeared that she would extend that streak when she had to take back after dueling for the early lead, then challenge first over. But she kept on coming for Matt Kakaley and scored in 1:56.3, 3/4 lengths ahead of Kelsey's Keepsake, with Smexi third. "We always had high hopes for her, but she was sick at the beginning of the year," Kakaley said. "Tonight she raced as good as we thought she could be. I kind of sat on her until the last turn before I started to drive on her." It was a sweet victory for Kakaley, as he owns the Ron Burke trainee, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Kimberidge Hanover, with Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Tracy Hendler. In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, top 3-year-old Somewhere In L A took it to a distinguished field of older horses and geldings by prevailing in a sharp 1:50, 1-1/2 lengths better than Windsong Jack. Visible Gold completed the ticket. Tim Tetrick drove Somewhere In L A, a Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A gelding who extended his career bankroll to $317,136, for Takter and owners J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable. Palone drove four winners and Kakaley three on the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 22 - A full weekend of Grand Circuit racing action at Mohawk got underway Friday night with two $101,296 Casual Breeze Stakes divisions for three-year-old trotting fillies. Lifetime Pursuit, this year's Hambletonian Oaks winner, cruised to a stakes record victory of 1:52.1 in the second division. A daughter of Cantab Hall - Queen Of Grace, Lifetime Pursuit and driver Yannick Gingras got away third and followed along as Cantabs Fortune and Rick Zeron set fractions of :27.4 and :56.4. As the field made their way around the final turn, Gingras sent Lifetime Pursuit first up and she immediately blew by Cantabs Fortune to trot by the three-quarter station in 1:24.2. In the stretch, Lifetime Pursuit put on a show as she separated herself from her rivals and trotted effortlessly to a 3 ¾ length stakes record victory. The old stakes mark of 1:52.4 was set by Action Broadway in 2010. Designed To Be finished second, while Cantabs Fortune held on for third. The clocking of 1:52.1 was not only a stakes record, but it also equaled the track and Canadian record co-held by Check Me Out and Bee A Magician. "She can really scoot," Gingras said following the race. "She's been good all year, but she's really stepped it up since Hambletonian Oaks day and she was scary good that day and she's just as sharp now as she was then." Trained by Jimmy Takter, Lifetime Pursuit was coming into the Casual Breeze off World Record setting miles in the Hambletonian Oaks at the Meadowlands and a division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes at the Meadows. While Lifetime Pursuit has really come into her own over the last month, Gingras said she was starting to show her true talent leading up to the 'Oaks'. "No doubt she's got better in the last three starts, but also a couple starts leading up to the 'Oaks' it was just the trip wasn't working out," said Gingras. "Maybe she was getting a little bit sharp then and the trip just wasn't working out, maybe it's a combination of both, but obviously on paper it looks like her last three starts have been vicious, but she's been good all along." Lifetime Pursuit is owned by the Brittany Farms of Versailles, Kentucky. The Casual Breeze Stakes victory was the eleventh win of her career, fifth win in ten starts this season, and it boosted her career earnings to more than $700,000. Lifetime Pursuit paid $2.90 to win. The first division of the Casual Breeze Stakes saw Sweetie Hearts pull off a 45-1 upset. Sweetie Hearts and driver Randy Waples grabbed the early lead and led the field into the backstretch. On the way to the half, My Inspiration came first up and overtook the lead to reach the half way point in :56.3. Donatella Hanover, the 6/5 favourite, was sent to the outside and came up to challenge My Inspiration as they reached the three-quarter pole in 1:25.3. In the stretch, Donatella Hanover took the lead, but Waples brought Sweetie Hearts off the rail from the two-hole to go around a fading My Inspiration and trotted up the inside by Donatella Hanover to win by a quarter of a length in 1:54.2. Danica, who made a charge on the far outside, finished third by only three-quarters of a length. Trained by Ron Parsons, Sweetie Hearts was coming into the Casual Breeze off a victory in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg at Grand River on August 13. Following the race, Parsons said the daughter of Angus Hall - Sweetheart K has been getting better as the season goes on. "She's a great mare and she gets stronger as the year goes and I think you're going to get a lot cheaper price on her in the next few weeks," said Parsons. Owned by Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania, Sweetie Hearts was moved during her two-year-old season from Paul Reid's barn to Ron Parsons stable. "When I got her from Paul Reid (last year), he told me 'you're getting a nice filly, but just take your time, put the right driver on her and she'll be good and that's what she did. She went a big race in the Goldsmith Maid and then we shut her down and then we brought her back and she's just starting to get her mojo about her." The mile time of 1:54.2 is a new career best for Sweetie Hearts and the victory was her third win in eleven starts this season. She has now visited the winner's circle seven times in her career and has earnings exceeding $210,000. Sweetie Hearts paid $100.70 to win. Next up for the three-year-old trotting fillies is the $215,000 Simcoe Stakes next Friday night at Mohawk. The following week, eliminations will be held for the $365,000 Elegantimage Stakes. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG 

Eighteen of harness racing’s leading ladies are scheduled to assemble Friday evening at Mohawk Racetrack in a rich set of divisions of the Casual Breeze Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. The event, which in previous years was a lead-up to the Elegantimage Stake, features two $101,296 divisions which will be carded as Races 7 and 9. Headlining the event is this year’s Hambletonian Oaks winner, Lifetime Pursuit. The three-year-old trotting daughter of Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace enters the Friday evening assignment following a 1:51.3 world record-setting performance in a PASS event at The Meadows on August 12. Jimmy Takter trains the 10-time winner and Yannick Gingras will handle career winner of $516,672 from Post 7. To read the rest of this story click here.

US-expat trainer Jerry Riordan won two on Saturday's superb card at Aby, Sweden and recorded a second place finish. Radysin America (4f Donato Hanover-Zagabria Dei-Victory Dream) took the Bertil Knutssons Trot over 1640 meters autostart in a sharp 1.11.8kr. Johnny Takter drove this one for owner Lisa Riordan to earn 80,000SEK first money. The half-sister to retired international star Lisa America, also developed and campaigned by Riordan, was bred in Italy by Guida Italia SRL and this was her seventh career win in 18 starts, now for 370,135SEK. The time was also her lifetime best and she survived a four-horse photo to win over Britt Palema (5f Adams Hall-Rapidsland Glare-Southwind Pinnacle) with trainer/driver Fredrik Persson, Sandra Volo (5f Cantab Hall-Sandra Victory-Valley Victory) and Orjan Kihlstrom and Pin Kronos (5f Cantab Hall-Luck Of the Day-Mr. Lavec) that was fourth for Johan Untersteiner. Riordan also had a training win with Sylvester America (3m Varenne-Armbro Voice-Garland Lobell) in the Euro Classic Next Year for three-year-olds worth 50,000SEK to the winner. He scored in a photo timed in 1.15.2kr over 2140 meters autostart with Johan Untersteiner up. Lisa Riordan also owns this colt that was bred in Italy by Guida Italia SRL. Sylvester won for third time in nine starts. Fabuleux BR was second for trainer/driver Veijo Heiskanen. As previously reported, Riordan's trainee Rare Wise As (4f Varenne-In Wise As-SJ's Caviar) was second in a three-horse photo in a fast-class four year-old mares event timed in 1.13.6kr. This mare, also owned by Lisa Riordan, was handled by Linda Allercrantz. The race was won by My Gliding Angel (4f Yankee Glide-My Shooting Star-Malabar Man) trained and driven by Bjorn Goop for Stall Kennys, her seventh win in16 tries and she earned 80,000SEK, with favored Backfire home third for Johnny Takter. The Aby card also showcased the Bronze Division Final for 200,000SEK to the winner, and it went to Royal Fighter (6m Varenne-Froken Julie-Supergill) in gate to wire fashion over 2140 meters autostart. Jennifer Tillman drover the winner, trained by Per Eriksson, that was timed in 1.12.2kr to gain his 10th win in 46 starts. The winner is owned by Per Rodert and Christina Nilsson. The opener of the day was the Aby Stora Monte Pris for 100,000SEK to the victor. The contest over 1640 meters autostart had a competitive 10 horse field and the French veteran Organdi d'Or (12g Achille-Hovillara d'Or-Vroum d'Or) emerged with the win. He's trained by rider Sofia Aronsson and scored in 1.13.2kr by two lengths for his 20th career win in 124 starts, now with 3,665,792SEK earned. He's owned in France by Armand Turquet-Lepreux. Henke Diablo with Peter Jarven aboard and Nouvelle Pelle with Asa Svensson up were next to the line. US-bred Moon Dream was fourth for Siv Emilie Lovvold and Hitchcock was a dq for rider Malin Beras. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

Many top three-year-olds have pointed to Sunday (August 17) afternoon's Tompkins-Geers Stakes at Tioga Downs as part of their summer campaigns, including top trotter Father Patrick and North America Cup winner JK Endofanera.   Jimmy Takter trainee Father Patrick looks to rebound from the break he made as the 2-5 Hambletonian favorite, and has every chance to do so as the 3-5 morning line favorite in Sunday's $36,036 ninth race. The son of Cantab Hall won all six of his other races on the season, including a 1:50.2 triumph in the Beal Memorial at Pocono and a 1:51.3 score in the Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands. The 16-time winner, looking ahead to the Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs to propel him into the sport's fall championship season, will be joined by usual driver Yannick Gingras from post 4.   Fellow Hambletonian contender Datsyuk drew into the same division, and has been installed as the 5-1 second choice from post 3. Unraced at two, the Explosive Matter gelding earned wins in the first three of his eight races, finishing in the money in all save the Hambletonian. Trainer Charlie Norris will handle the driving duties once again.   A third Hambletonian starter, Resolve, drew into the first division, starting from post 6 in the $36,536 sixth race as the 7-2 morning line second choice. Corey Callahan remains in the bike behind this Muscle Hill colt for trainer Nancy Johansson after a fifth-place finish in the Hambletonian.   While two divisions were necessary for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings in the Arthur Tompkins Memorial, three-year-old pacers will contest the Geers Stake in a lone division for each sex.   JK Endofanera headlines the $54,072 seventh race for pacing colts and geldings as the 8-5 morning line favorite, teaming up with Yannick Gingras from post 7. The North America Cup winner enters off a strong second-place effort behind He's Watching in last week's Empire Breeders Classic for trainer Ron Burke.   The top filly in last week's Empire Breeders Classic, Precocious Beauty, has been installed the even-money morning line favorite in the $50,572 fifth race, which could shape up to be a duel with Fan Hanover winner Uffizi Hanover. Precocious Beauty, the Gregg McNair-trained daughter of Art Major, took the Empire Breeders Classic last week in 1:51.1, drawing clear in the final yards after sustaining an uncovered bid. Usual driver Doug McNair is back in the bike after last week's triumph, and the pair will start from post 2. Uffizi Hanover, a Jimmy Takter-trained Well Said filly, has been installed the 9-5 second choice on the morning line, and will retain the driving services of David Miller from post 1.   Sunday's 11-race pari-mutuel card carries a 1:30 p.m. EDT first post, with a non-wagering $46,572 Tompkins event for three-year-old trotting fillies slated for twenty minutes earlier.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Mack Grace SM (8m CC’s Chuckie T-Ambro Grace SM-Armbro Goal) won his elimination heat and the final of this Gr. I event over 1640 meters autostart timed in 1.12.5kr (final) at Ippodromo Sesana un Italy on Friday. The Roberto Andreghetti reined, Lucio Colletti trained veteran won both with relative ease to secure his 55th career win in 100 starts, now with earnings in excess of €1.6 million. Purse of the two eliminations was €14,300 and the final went for €103,400. Owen CR (6m Cantab Hall-Boemia CR-Lemon Dra) won the first elimination in 1.12.7kr and was a solid second in the final for Pietro Gubellini. Louvre (9m Piccardo-Defile-Ganymede) with Federico Esposito, Papalla (5f Varenne-Day Love Blue-Ganymede) reined by Marco Stefani and Nonant le Pin (7f Goetmals Wood-Blazing Janice-Pine Chip) with Alesaandro Gocciadoro earned third through fifth. Great credit should go to trainer Lucio Colletti who has kept his pupil in consistently excellent shape resulting in 26 Grand Prix races won by Mack Grace SM in Italy over five years in which the competition has been outstanding (Lana del Rio, Lisa America, Pascia’Lest and others). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

The 3 YO Maryland Standardbred Fund stakes started the evening with the non wagering filly trotters going for a purse of $28,900.    Explosive Attitude(Explosive Matter) and Kelsey's Commando(Cr Commando) renewed their rivalry from July only this time Kelsey's Commando was able to catch Explosive Attitude coming down the stretch, stopping the clock in 2:00.2 last quarter in :29.2. Victor Kirby drove and trained the filly for new owners George and Rose Bonomo.   The wagering card started with the 3 YO filly pacers. Driver Tony Morgan sent Ain't No Maybe So(Nuclear Breeze) charging right to the front with a first quarter of:27.1. The Lundell entry of Valentina De Vie and Rosie De Vie sat second and third just waiting for the right moment. Jonathan Roberts pulled Valentina De Vie(Bettor's Delight) in the last turn quickly overtaking the leader winning in 1:55.3. Ain't No Maybe So held on for second and Rosie De Vie finished third. Valentina De Vie is owned by the Joie de Vie Farm.   After race 3 the Maryland Horse Industry Board presented Ocean Downs Racetrack with a Secretary's Citation from the State of Maryland in honor of the track's 65th Anniversary. MHIB also presented track owner William Rickman with a Secretary's Citation in honor of his many contributions to the harness racing industry over the year.   In the colt/gelding trot Kandy Korn(Cantab Hall) got away 6th but driver Frank Milby pulled before the half, working his way up to the leader Whichwayrightorleft near the ¾ pole. These two battled down the stretch with Kandy Korn crossing the wire in 1:59.4 for owners Bruce and Tanya Schadel.   The most exciting race of the night was the 3 YO colt/gelding pace. In usual fashion driver Corey Callahan sent Tom's Titan(Cam's Rocket) to the lead with new comer Kingofthejungle(Well Said) getting the pocket trip. At the head of the stretch Tony Morgan pulled Kingofthejungle and the two charged down the stretch head and head with Kingofthejungle winning by a head in 1:53.4 last quarter in :27.4. Desyllas Racing LLC , William Beck and Carol Rieken own and Brandon Simpson trains.   By Cheri Stambaugh  

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

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is planning a momentous Sire Stakes Championship Night for Saturday, September 6th,  with over $1 million in purses, an Open Trot and an Open Pace to sweeten the night. The $50,000 Modern Family Open Trot will be held in honor of the late trotter, who passed away on July 20th following the Maple Leaf Trot.  Modern Family,a 5-year-old son of Cantab Hall, was trained and co-owned by Daryl Bier, in partnership with Charles Dombeck and Richard Poilucci.  A 19-time winner in 51 career starts, Modern Family had career earnings of more than $550,000.  The connections of the trotter have been invited to take part in the Winner’s Circle presentation following the race.  Also planned for the evening’s card will be a $50,000 Open for the top pacers in harness racing, and anyone interested in entering the Pace or the Trot should contact the Race Office at 570-831-2228. PA Sire Stakes Championship Night will feature the best of the Freshmen PA bred trotting and pacing stars competing in $260,000 finals.  Consolation races will also be held.  Post Time is 6:30pm, and the day will kick off with a Signings and Sightings meet and greet with Hall of Famer and former New York Giants Linebacker Lawrence Taylor from 4:00pm to 5:30pm on the Sky Bridge, conncecting the casino and the racetrack.  Those wishing to meet the football legend should obtain a wristband to secure their spot in line, starting at 1:00pm.  Only authorized photos will be signed, and they will be issued at the signing. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs      

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