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The Living Horse Hall of Fame nominating committee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame has announced the results of recent balloting to determine the 2018 inductees into the Harness Racing Living Horse Hall of Fame. Annual members voted for the two horses they felt best exemplified greatness. Their choices are stallions Cantab Hall and Western Ideal. The other nominees were Chapter Seven, Mister Big and Presidential Ball. Cantab Hall and Western Ideal will be inducted on Hall of Fame Day, Sunday, July 1st, 2018. The ceremonies honoring these extraordinary Standardbred horses will take place during the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame's annual dinner. For information on the Hall of Fame weekend and other festivities surrounding this important occasion visit from April 2018 onward or call or write the Museum at 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924. Phone: 845-294-6330. Standardbreds are only eligible for nomination to harness racing's highest accolade if they comply with the following strict criteria: They must be retired from racing for five years and had a drug-free career. In addition, racehorses must have won 75% of their lifetime starts, or gone undefeated in a single season campaign of 12 or more races, or been the winner of $3 million lifetime or named Harness Horse of the Year (US and/or Canada). Stallions must rank among the 10 all-time leading money-winning sires at their gait or have sired at least 100 $200,000 winners or been a leading money-winning sire at his gait in three or more seasons. Broodmares are no longer automatically elected. CANTAB HALL (Nominated as Stallion) 3,1:54 ($1,442,303) Bay Horse, 2001 (Self Possessed - Canland Hall - Garland Lobell) As a two-year-old in 2003, Cantab Hall won all 10 of his starts, earning $461,337, and was voted Dan Patch Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Trotter of the Year. Major victories included the Breeders Crown, American-National, International Stallion Stakes and the Bluegrass. In his sophomore season, Cantab Hall finished on the board in 11 of 13 starts while earning $980,966. His major victory came in his second American-National win. As a stallion, Cantab Hall was the leading sire at his gait for 3 consecutive years (2012-2014), as well as in 2016 and 2017. He has sired winners of over $73 million to date, including 8 millionaires, with 204 $100,000 winners and 138 in 1:55. His most successful offspring include 2013 Dan Patch and O'Brien Two-Year-Old and 2014 Dan Patch Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year, world champion Father Patrick 3,1:50.2f ($2,558,133), winner of the 2013 Breeders Crown, Wellwood Memorial and Peter Haughton Memorial, and the 2014 Canadian Trotting Classic, Breeders Crown, Beal Memorial, Zweig Memorial and Stanley Dancer Memorial; world champion Wild Honey 3,1:50.4 ($1,589,235), winner of the 2015 Breeders Crown, Hambletonian Oaks, PA Sire Stakes Final and Kentucky Filly Futurity; and world champion Explosive Matter 3,1:52.3 ($1,510,542), winner of the 2008 Matron Stakes and the 2009 Colonial and Bluegrass. As a broodmare sire, Cantab Hall has sired the dams of winners of over $15 million to date, with two millionaires, Dan Patch and O'Brien Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and world champion, Southwind Frank 3,1:52.1 ($1,950,887), winner of the 2015 Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial and William Wellwood Memorial, and the 2016 Colonial and Earl Beal Jr. Memorial; and 2016 Dan Patch and O'Brien Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year Ariana G 3,1:51.1 ($1,867,657), winner of the 2016 and 2017 Breeders Crown and 2017 Hambletonian Oaks. WESTERN IDEAL (Nominated as Stallion) p,5,1:48 ($1,455,422) Bay Horse, 1995 (Western Hanover - Leah Almahurst - Abercrombie) World champion pacer Western Ideal raced in 1997, 1999 and 2000. As a five-year-old in 2000, Western Ideal had his career season, winning the Breeders Crown, William R. Haughton Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby and the Graduate Series. In his Breeders Crown victory, Western Ideal set a new world record 1:48 for five-year-old and older Standardbreds on a mile track. He was voted 2000 Dan Patch Older Pacing Horse of the Year. As a stallion, Western Ideal has sired winners of over $121 million, with 187 $200,000 winners and 12 millionaires to date. They include 2005 Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame Immortal Rocknroll Hanover p,3,1:48.3 ($2,754,038); 2009 Adios winner and world champion Vintage Master p,4,1:48.1f ($2,160,953); 2010 Matron Stakes winner and world champion Krispy Apple p,6,1:48.4f ($1,905,676); 2005 Woodrow Wilson winner Western Ace p,4,1:48.4 ($1,891,133); New Jersey Sire Stakes star Dial Or Nodial p,5,1:48.3f ($1,752,815); 2014 Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year Artspeak p,3,1:47.4 ($1,625,869); and 2010 Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year and world champion Big Jim p,2,1:49.1s ($1,541,924). As a broodmare sire, Western Ideal has sired the dams of winners of over $54 million to date, with 5 millionaires: 2014 Dan Patch and O'Brien Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year, world champion McWicked p,3,1:47.3f ($2,235,762); 2015 Canadian Pacing Derby winner, O'Brien Horse of the Year and world champion State Treasurer p,6,1:47 ($1,908,424); 2010 Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year, 2011 Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year and world champion See You At Peelers p,3,1:49.2f ($1,573,260); 2017 North America Cup winner Fear The Dragon p,3,1:48.4s ($1,492,782); and 2015 O'Brien Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year Solar Sister p,4,1:49.4f ($1,012,209). Janet Terhune

HARRINGTON, Del. - Daryl Bier and Joann Dombeck's Wind Of The North ($4.40, Victor Kirby) was a 1:56.1 harness racing winner in the $16,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. Theresademoninme led the field of seven to the opening quarter mile in 28.1 seconds. Dw's Ny Yank applied pressure to the half-mile in 57.3 seconds and three-quarters in 1:26.4. Wind Of The North waited in the two-hole throughout and emerged as the leader in deep stretch. Theresademoninme was second with Sunset Mike third. Trained by Jenny Bier, it was the ninth win of the season for the 7-year-old Cantab Hall. Kirby has a five win lead in the driver standings over Allan Davis. Meanwhile, trainer Brian Malone secured his first Harrington training title with a win in the 7th race with Nowucit Nowudont ($5.40, Jon Roberts) and with Westside Lindy ($4, Roberts) in the finale. Malone has 34 wins at the meet and will be presented his plaque on closing night October 19. Josh Green, a former Harrington training champ, is second with 29 wins. Matthew Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - Daryl Bier and Joann Dombeck's Wind Of The North ($3.80, Victor Kirby) was a wire-to-wire harness racing winner at Harrington Raceway Wednesday in the featured $16,000 Open Trot in 1:55.2. The Cantab Hall gelding was a confident winner over Theresademoninme and Wingus for his seventh win of the year for trainer Jenny Bier. The venerable veteran with more than $810,000 earned lifetime, rebounded after finishing fourth as the heavy favorite last week. Andrew Glassmeyer's Bosston Cruiser ($4, Jon Roberts) had an auspicious start to his career. The freshman trotting gelding scorched a 2:01.1 win in his first lifetime start. The Don Boss Vita gelding is prepping for Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) stakes action, which will begin for trotters in a fortnight. Medinah Racing's Marley's Guy ($5, Kirby) won the sub-featured $11,000 Open II Trot in 1:57.1 for trainer Jim King Jr. Matthew Sparacino  

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 21 - Cantab Hall filly Courtney Hanover and harness racing trainer/driver Rick Zeron came out on top in a tight Photo Finish to win Monday's $35,200 Pure Ivory Series Final at Mohawk Racetrack. Courtney Hanover fought off an outside charging Jordan Blue Chip, who was the 3/2 favourite, to score the series finale victory at odds of 6-1. Zeron blasted his filly off the wings of the gate from the rail and fronted the field by the opening-quarter in :29. Shazamm, who won a first leg division, was moved to the lead from third and led the group by the half in :58. Courtney Hanover sat in the two-hole on the far turn, while Shazamm showed the way to three-quarters in 1:27.3. Outside challengers developed on the far turn and Jordan Blue Chip was situated third-over and ready for the stretch drive. In the stretch, Zeron was able to angle off the pylons and find clear racing room for his filly with an eighth of a mile to go. Meanwhile, Jordan Blue Chip was in full flight on the far outside for driver Paul MacDonell and looking to power by Courtney Hanover in the final stride. The two fillies hit the line together in 1:56.2 and it took a Photo Finish to determine Courtney Hanover had prevailed by the narrowest of margins. "No I didn't think I won," admitted Zeron post-race. "I knew my filly was digging real hard down the lane when I shook loose, but I didn't think I got up to beat Paul (MacDonell) because Paul had real good momentum going, but my filly dug in like the last time I raced her here." Courtney Hanover won an opening leg division of the Pure Ivory on August 7, but was scratched from the second leg due to sickness. "She cleared up real good and Dr. Malone I take my hat off, he took care of this filly and got her prepped up to where she is tonight," noted Zeron. "I'm real happy with her, she's a real nice filly." Courtney Hanover was a $47,000 purchase at last November's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. She now sports a record of two for five with $28,100 earned for owners Rick Zeron Stables, Paul Marion, Bruno Dipoce and Howard Taylor. The clocking of 1:56.2 lowered the Cantab Hall filly's career-mark by a fifth of a second. Zeron noted that Courtney Hanover's next start will be in the Champlain Stakes on August 31 followed by the Peaceful Way eliminations in September. The top-five finishers in Monday's Pure Ivory final were rounded out by Alloveragain, Ex Hanover and Strength Of A Woman. A $2 win ticket on Courtney Hanover returned $14.20. Courtney Hanover Live racing continues Tuesday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

There were 3 divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races for the harness racing 2-year-old filly trotters on Thursday, August 10 at Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of roughly $54,000. In the first division, it was S M S Princess (Ake Svanstedt) picking up her first career win. The daughter of Cantab Hall-Won an Done was given a ground-saving steer the majority of the mile, as Julie Miller trainee Strawberry Hanover set a deliberate tempo (:28.4 / :56.2 / 1:25). S M S Hanover angled out after clearing past the three-quarter poll to split rivals for the win. Megadolce (Dave Miller) closed well for second, while Strawberry Hanover (Andy Miller) was third. S M S Princess is owned by Trainer Ake Svanstedt and Stall Musse Inc. She paid $8.40 to win In the second division, Nifty Norman trainee Live Love Laugh (Dave Miller) completed a long, persistent grind to break her maiden. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Shes Gone Again engaged leader (and favorite) Follow Streak (Andy Miller) at the 5/8ths marker, clearing just over 1/8th of a mile remaining. Live Laugh Love held off a rallying Bill's Lady (Tim Tetrick) to win by a length in 1:55. Follow Streak held third. Live Laugh Love ($18.00) is owned by Melvin Hartman, Dave Mc Duffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. The third division saw Chris Beaver trainee Zoe Bi (George Napolitano Jr.) use the passing lane to her advantage. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Octavia Bi drafted in behind the speed of the favorite Seviyorum (Andy Miller) to pick up the victory in 1:56. It was a lifetime mark in her fourth career victory in five starts. Zoe Bi out closed the Jimmy Takter driven Basquiat in the final strides, while Hey Blondie (Andy McCarthy) rallied for third. Zoe Bi ($12.20) is owned by Marion Beachy, Synerco Ventures Inc., and Chris Beaver. Driver George Napolitano Jr. had four wins on the afternoon. Michael Bozich    

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 6, 2017 - Taco Tuesday (Jordan Stratton, $23.40) did his damage from second-over Sunday afternoon (Aug. 6th), winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $68,000 Open Handicap Trot. Floating out of the gate from post position No. 6, Taco Tuesday found a home fifth while 19-10 choice Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett) walked to the lead. Overcoming his assigned eight-hole, 'Hemi' was issue-free through pokey early fractions of :29.1 and :59 and 1:28.4. Down the backside the final time, Buen Camino (Scott Zeron) took out of fourth, confronting Hemi Seelster as the pace of this trot picked up. After a 1:57.1 mile post, Hemi Seelster owned a shortening lead into the lane As Buen Camino was about to win the battle...but lose the war. Taco Tuesday, towed into it by Buen Camino, appreciated the gesture so much, he rolled right over him. Taco Tuesday won by a length, the mile-and-a-quarter going in 2:26.3. Hemi Seelster faded to third, with Sumatra (Eric Goodell) sand Georgie's Pockets (Joe Bongiorno) settling for the minors. For eighth choice (in the field of nine) Taco Tuesday, a 4-year-old Cantab Hall gelding owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Rob Harmon, it was his sixth win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $107, the triple returned $489.50 and the superfecta paid $8,476. Sunday's installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 6-Rally Cry (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 4-Tarot (Yonkers' 7th race) paid $11.80 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $7,977. Note the Raceway's post time next Sunday (Aug. 13th) is 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

July 29, 2017 - Harness racing driver Johnny Takter teamed the Stefan Melander trained Volstead (6m Cantab Hall-Madame Volo-Yankee Glide) to victory in Saturday’s Hagmyren V75 Gold (150,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart, 12 starters) clocked in a sharp 1.10kr. Volstead now has 19 wins in 53 outings for 4,687,824SEK earned in his racing career. Magic Tonight (8m Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom ahead of Francais du Gull (10m Jag de Bellouet-Tantiem Gull-Lindy Lane) and driver Torbjorn Jansson. The USA winner was bred by Arden Homestead Stable of Delhi, NY. The undercard included a victory in the V75 Silver (125,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) by Zenit Brick (6g Make It Happen-Exi Svard-Super Arnie) timed in 1.11.9 for Mika Forss and trainer Timo Nurmos. Serious Try (6g Crazed-Miss Volo-Yankee Glide) was second for Henrik Svensson, also the trainer. Thomas H. Hicks

YONKERS, NY - Taco Tuesday, a 4-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall, will make his first start out of Rob and Patti Harmon's stable in the 1 1/4-mile, $68,000 Open Handicap Trot at Yonkers Raceway July 30. The change comes after Rob Harmon received an unexpected call from the trotter's owner, Vince Laurenzo, after Taco Tuesday galloped most of the mile in the Hambletonian Maturity July 15. "I got a phone call on Sunday the day after he raced at The Meadowlands from Vince. He wanted to know if I would take him and start training him. I told him that would be great," Harmon explained. "I never met him before. I still haven't met him, only talked to him on the phone. He has some good horses. He wants to race at Yonkers, so that was probably the big key there." Before coming to Harmon's stable, Taco Tuesday won 10 of 42 races and banked $290,937. Laurenzo bought Taco Tuesday out of the Harrisburg sale last fall for $90,000 and the trotter has switched stables several times since. Now, Harmon is happy to have Taco Tuesday settling into his barn. "He's a nice horse. You wouldn't even know he's in the barn. Clean legged, doesn't do one thing wrong. That's a good horse," he said. For Harmon, the process of getting an established older horse in the stable is a multi-step one. He examines blood work, watches replays, and gets a feel for the horse. Mainly, he aims to make the transition as easy as possible or the horse and tries to keep them on the same routine. "The first thing I always do, I always pull their blood. I want to see what they are, especially when they're racing good, I like to maintain the blood to where they are. Then I watch a video to see how he is," Harmon said. "This horse is pretty good, just wears an open bridle and he's pretty simple. The good thing about that is, to me it's easy to follow what they've been doing." Harmon's stable is in the midst of a strong year. He has sent out 42 winners from 252 starts at Yonkers with another 57 placing. His horses have earned $929,367 at the Hilltop Oval this ' season. "We're doing good. Every winter I always do pretty decent. Usually after April or May I start shifting horses to Tioga because they either get tired or they run out of their classes, but knock on wood, horses have been holding on and we're trying to stay there and race more," he said. Taco Tuesday is a 12-1 morning line in his debut for Harmon after qualifying in 1:52.4 at The Meadowlands July 22. He posted a final quarter in :27.4 and finished fourth behind Crazy Wow, Tuonoblu Rex, and JL Cruze. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove in the gelding's first move for Harmon and the trainer was happy. "Jimmy said he was really manageable, just went around there and he trotted 1:52.4," Harmon said. "It just seems like he gets a little hot behind the gate, but that's up to the drivers. And a lot of those guys already know the horse." Taco Tuesday's trouble behind the gate will be his biggest hurdle when he starts from post six in the Open Trot this Sunday. Taco Tuesday's biggest asset is his early speed and a first-tier post position helps that, but getting away cleanly is just as important. "It looks like he's best when he goes toward the front, but it's tough with him. You have to baby him off the gate because you don't want him to run, try to keep him calm. But that first step off the gate is what we need to get in front of those good horses, too," Harmon reasoned. Jordan Stratton will drive Taco Tuesday this Sunday. It will be Stratton's first time sitting behind the gelding since they paired up to win a 1-mile, $40,000 Preferred Handicap at Yonkers April 15. After the early scratch of Springbank Sam, 10 horses will challenge Taco Tuesday, including 2-1 morning line favorite and last week's Open Handicap Trot winner Homicide Hunter. "There's horses that are nice in there. No one looks like a throw out. We just need a lot of luck in the mile-and-a-quarter race, that's all." Post time at Yonkers Sunday is 11:30 a.m. For entries for the card, click here. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

WInd Of The North (Mike Simons) leaves the rest in the dust as they capture the Open Trot ($12,000) at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 22). Picture This (Charlie Norris) would charge to the front and take them to a first quarter in 28.4. Wind Of The North (Cantab Hall) would then move first over from fourth and blow right by to take over before the half. Owned by Darryl Bier and Joann Dombeck, while trained by Jeff Long, the 7 year old gelding would follow up with fractions of :57.2, 1:25.0, 1:53.1 and winning by three lengths in the end. Dragin The Wagin (Aaron Byron) would come late to finish second. Picture This would settle for third. Wind Of The North ($3.90) would win for the sixth time this season in 18 starts and for the 30th time in his career. Mike Simons would take win number 51 on the season. Jeff Long would earn his sixth training win on the season. The exacta (1-6) would pay $20.20. The large crowd was entertained after racing with a fantastic display off fireworks. Tioga Downs returns to racing Sunday afternoon (July 23) with a 12 race betting card and one non-betting Riders Under Saddle (RUS) race (following race one). Post Time is 1:00pm. Also on Sunday is the "Belly Busting Burger Battle" on the trackside apron from 1-4p.m. Tickets are $15 with children under 3 free. 1/2 of ticket proceeds will go to a selected charity. Includes all burger tasting, water and one voting slip per person. Live entertainment and cash prizes. This is weather permitting only. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Trainer Julie Miller wasn't worried. She had faith her husband would get Tuonoblu Rex clear for the stretch drive in the harness racing featured $20,000 preferred handicap trot at the Meadowlands Friday night. That faith was realized as driver Andy Miller and 'T Rex' swerved off the rail as the field straightened away in the stretch before uncorking an explosive :26.2 final quarter that resulted in a 1¼-length win. The final time of 1:51 lowered the 5-year-old son of Cantab Hall's lifetime mark by one and one-fifth seconds. Gural Hanover was second with Opulent Yankee third. Gural Hanover was sent to the lead and set solid fractions of :26.3, :56.1 and 1:24. JL Cruze, the 9-5 second choice, went first over from the three-eighths and made steady progress approaching the head of the stretch as Tuonoblu Rex sat trapped in the three hole along the rail. "I was actually happy to see him out there," said the winning trainer. "I know JL Cruze doesn't like to be on the outside." JL Cruze weakened for the stretch drive, leaving room for Tuonoblu Rex to showcase his explosive late burst. "I figured Andy would find a way," said Julie Miller. Despite an 18-day layoff, Tuonoblu Rex was super sharp. "He's been healthy but there aren't many opportunities for a horse like this to get raced," said Julie Miller. "He's staked to everything. The problem is, a lot of those races go by money won, so he gets knocked out of a lot of those." 'T Rex' paid $4.00 to win as the even-money choice and is now four-for-six this year and 10-for-20 overall, with lifetime earnings of $234,918 for owners Stable Why Not of Millstone Township, N.J. Tuonoblu Rex A LITTLE MORE: All-source wagering on the program totaled $2,040,352. ... Post time on Saturday has been moved up 45 minutes to 6:30 p.m. The card features the 2017 debut of Hambletonian favorite Walner as well as the elimination for the July 15 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. In addition, there are also two Graduate Series finals, with each sporting a purse of $240,000. Dave Little  

The ever-traveling CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series was on the move again on Wednesday night (June 5) where harness racing members of the mid-west region convened in greater Cleveland, Ohio for a trotting contest at Northfield Park. The well contested event turned out to be a barn-burner with three horses battling head-to-head down the stretch for supremacy and when the judges hung the official sign, Song In My Heart and driver "Tiny Tim," Miller emerged victorious by a neck, over Heza Rube and Bob "the Lumberman" Troyer in a 1:59.2 clocking. It was the second time this season that Tim Miller and the 6-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall combined for a victory. Their first triumph together was on May 24th also at Northfield Park when they vanquished an eight-horse field in a 2:01.1 clocking and strangely Heza Rube was second to the winner that night, too. Last night Song In My Heart was hustled away from the starting gate and fell into the two-hole behind Patricia "the Write Stuff" Miller who gunned Keep The Cash to the lead from the pole position. They raced one-two past the quarter in :29.4 and by the half in 1:00.2. As they approached the third stanza Troyer and Heza Rube charged at the leaders as the timer flashed 1:29.4. And when they rounded the final turn the real battle for paydirt ensued as Song In My Heart ,Heza Rube and Keep the Cash battled all the way to the wire. But the pace-setter emerged victorious over Heza Rube with Keep The Cash right there in the three-horse photo. Owned by Bert Hershberger and trained by J D Wengerd Song In My Heart was sent off sent off as the betting favorite and returned $4.20 for win. For "Tiny Tim" Miller it was his second seasonal winning drive in as many starts and now the Wilmot, Ohio resident has 41 career driving victories. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Wind Of North (Jeff Long) breezes by in the stretch and holds on to win the $12,000 harness racing Open Trot at Tioga Downs Saturday night (June 24). Lucid Thoughts (Tom Jackson) would lead from just after the first quarter then all the way to the top of the stretch. Wind Of The North ($4.60) who is owned by Daryl Bier and Joann Dombeck while trained by Long would go three wide to charge to the front. The 7-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall would have to hold off the late charging Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) in deep stretch. Wind Of The North found something extra to win in 1:54.2. On The Podium (Mike Merton) would finish third. Jeff Long would also win with Too Much Man (Deweycheatumnhowe). The 3-year-old gelding who is owned by Ed Reich and trainer Paul Long would have it a lot easier go gate-to-wire in 1:58.0. Too Much Man ($4.20) won for the second straight start. Joey Pro (Mickey Mc Nichol) came in second and Just Like Bud (Corey Braden) got third. .David Glasser and Celebrity Stimulus captures Billings Drivers Club ($6000) race on Saturday night at Tioga Downs. Celebrity Stimulus ($4.80) would charge right out of the gate and lead from the outset. The 7-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall who is owned by Glasser Racing LLC and trained by John Butenschoen put up the fractions of :28.2, :58.0, 1:27.1, 1:57.4. Sam's Honey be came up late to finish second. Jelectric (Bob Davis) was third. Tioga Downs returns to action Sunday afternoon (June 25) with a 12 race card starting at 1:00p.m. For more information go to   John Horne For Tioga Downs.

May 27, 2017 - What a beginning to the Elite Weekend! Huge crowd, fantastic weather, great harness racing…nothing could be better. Stefan Melander’s owned and trained Volstead (6m Cantab Hall-Madame Volo-Yankee Glide) took the Sweden Cup Final (Gr. II, UET Masters Series, 600,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart, nine starters) in Europe’s fastest time of the year 1.09.3kr with Orjan Kihlstrom aboard. The winner traveled in the death seat, as he did winning elimination #3, and eased past chief rival and pacesetter Vasterbo Highflyer (9g Look de Star-Vasterbo Highclass-Pine Chip) and driver Johan Untersteiner nearing the line. The 3.6/1 favorite won his elim, the third, timed in 1.09.7kr ahead of Buzz Mearas, Gabriel Gelormini driving, and Trendy OK with Alesssando Gocciadoro up. Third in the final was Ringostarr Treb (7m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral-Supergill) with Wim Paal up for trainer Holger Ehlert, and the next two were Spitcam Jubb and BBS Sugarlight. Ringostarr was the 3/1 winner of elim two clocked in 1.10.1kr, defeating aforementioned Spitcam Jubb (6h Campbell Hall-Lola Spit-Super Arnie) and Fire To The Rain (6g Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall-Conway Hall). The elims were worth 100,000SEK to those winners. The other elim, the first, was taken by 12/1 Briedablicks Nubbe (5m Lindy Lane-Wildgirl Boshoeve-Starchip Entrprise), shown below, for driver /trainer Conrad Lugauer timed in 1.09.5kr, that time equaled the European season record when made. Vasterbo Highflyer and BBS Sugarlight were the next two home in that elim. Volstead Undercard action included a victory by the Tom Dillon USA bred Seaside Illusion (4f Muscle Hill-Seaside-Yankee Glide) in a conditioned event for four year-old mares, with 100,000SEK to the winner of the 2140 meter autostart event. She was timed in 1.11.9kr for driver Erik Adielsson and trainer Frode Hamre. Gisela de Veluwe and Tour Knight were next.Seaside Illusion Mares also battled in the Ladt Snarts (200,000SEK to the winner, 140 meters autostart) and the quick 1.10.3kr timed winner was 7.7/1 Shadow Gar (6f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar-Varenne) handled by Pietro “Pippo” Gubellini for trainer Erik Bondo and Allev. Garigliano. She made a huge three wide sweep in the final bend and zoomed away to an easy win over Galactica and the tiring Wild Honey. Shadow Gar and Gubellini Thomas H. Hicks    

Fine Tuned Lady was "a model of consistency" last year. Harness racing trainer John Butenschoen is hoping for more of the same this season. Butenschoen sends Fine Tuned Lady, a multiple stakes-winner last year, to Friday's Currier & Ives for 3-year-old female trotters at The Meadows. The event attracted 21 horses, which were divided into three $24,000 divisions. Fine Tuned Lady is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the first division. Sianna Hanover is the 2-1 choice in the second division and Treviso is the 7-5 pick in the third. Last year Fine Tuned Lady won six times and finished second on five occasions in 12 starts. Her victories included the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, Matron Stakes, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. She earned $438,340 for owners Bill Wiswell and M And L of Delaware. Fine Tuned Lady began this year by winning a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on May 13 at The Meadows. "You always hold your breath when they're first coming back, but she did what she was supposed to do," Butenschoen said about Fine Tuned Lady's seasonal debut. "I was real pleased and I know that (driver Corey Callahan) was happy with how she raced. She's a nice filly. We'll see how she comes back this year; we'll see if she's improved any. I'm sure there are other ones out there that have improved, or that we didn't hear of, that will pop up. We'll find out. "She had a great year (in 2016). She was just a model of consistency. She did everything you would have hoped for. If she would have earned half the money we would have been tickled to death. As it was, she got lucky in a few races where some favorites or co-favorites made breaks and she was able to take advantage and she put up a good chunk of change on her card." Fine Tuned Lady's only off-the-board finish came in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile, where she was fourth but beaten by only 1-3/4 lengths. "I don't know if she was getting tired at that time of year already, but she wasn't quite as sharp, or didn't stack up as well as those other ones on the bigger track," Butenschoen said. "She's a real good-gaited filly, a real handy filly, and I think she's going to be a lot more suited to the smaller tracks. But it'll be interesting to see what she can do against them with a fresh set of legs under her." Fine Tuned Lady is a daughter of stallion Cantab Hall out of the stakes-winning mare Poster Princess and her second dam is Dan Patch Award-winner Me Maggie. Fine Tuned Lady was purchased for $27,000 at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale. Interestingly, her connections had their eyes on a filly that sold earlier in the auction, but were unsuccessful in acquiring her. If they had, it is unlikely they would have bid on Fine Tuned Lady. "It comes down to luck at the sales," Butenschoen said. "You do your homework and hopefully things fall into place. That's kind of the fun of the game I guess." Fine Tuned Lady is eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks in August at the Meadowlands. Other Oaks eligible horses in the Currier & Ives divisions are Sparkle Plenty, Monee Bank, Sheez On A Cruze, Caviart Wonder, Cool Cates, Sianna Hanover, Dangle Then Deke, Amuse's, Broadway Idole, Treviso, Pennys N Dimes, and Temple Ruins. In addition, Fine Tuned Lady is eligible to the Breeders Crown in late October at Hoosier Park. "We'll keep our fingers crossed," Butenschoen said. "It's a long time between now and the end of October. We'll see if we can do things right." Fine Tuned Lady is not the only highly regarded trotter trained by Butenschoen for Wiswell and M And L of Delaware. Bill's Man, a 3-year-old colt, was last year's third-fastest 2-year-old trotter, posting a mark of 1:52.3, and is eligible to the Hambletonian among other top stakes. Bill's Man is expected to compete in Monday's first round of the New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs. He has a win and a second in two starts this season. "They've got a nice pair there," Butenschoen said about his owners' trotters. "He's a very fast horse. He was just a big, long, leggy thing as a 2-year-old and a little physically and mentally immature. He had a nice winter in Florida and, knock on wood, so far this year is putting everything down the way he's supposed to and acting right." For Friday's complete Meadows card, click here. First race post time is 5 p.m. and the first Currier & Ives division is race four. Ken Weingartner

May 20, 2017 - Saturday’s Kincsem Park harness racing action featured the Kali DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) with the 1.17.7kr timed score going to Spartakus Ans (6g Cantab Hall-Valganna OK) reined by Csaba Lakatos for Antioch Arani SRO and trainer Laszlo Toth. Sanger MS was second for Balasz Juhasz with third to Speedy Boy and pilot Veljko Mazsity. Winning Spartakus Ans is shown below. On the undercard was the Fokos DIJ (purse 400,000Hufm 1800 meters autostart) with 2.4/1 Utodlo (4m Maximus Lindy-Joss) winning for Balazs Juhasz, also trainer, clocked in 1.17.2kr. Urilary R with Veljko Maszity up was second ahead of Walking John M and driver Sandor Kolozsi. Thomas H Hicks

HARRINGTON, Del. - Daryl Bier and Joann Dombeck's Wind Of The North ($3.40, Victor Kirby) was a 1:54.4 harness racing winner in the $15,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. It was the 26th career win for the 7-year-old Cantab Hall gelding and trainer Jenny Bier. Tough Mac, the 3-1 third betting choice among the six-horse field, left the gate from post position five and marched to the early lead in an opening quarter mile in 27.1 seconds. The 8-year-old pacesetter reached the half-mile in 56.2 and three-quarters in 1:25.2 while Wind of The North maneuvered three-wide and brushed clear of the field with ease for a powerful score. Maestro Blue Chip rallied for second while I Like My Boss was third. The win pushed Wind Of The North over $756,000 in career earnings. In the second race of 10 on the program, William Moffett's Roman ($3.60, Jim Morand) registered his first career win in his 26th start in 1:57. The 3-year-old Yankee Cruiser gelding had previously been second nine times in his career. Ross Wolfenden had three wins. Matthew Sparacino

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