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Whether it's her performance on the racetrack, or her demeanor around the barn, Bill Bercury can find an abundance of reasons to be happy with female harness racing pacer Blue Ivy, who on Thursday will take on five male rivals in the $14,600 Open Handicap at The Meadows. "She's ready, willing, and able," said Bercury, who trains the 5-year-old mare for his wife Renee. "She's put together perfectly, and she's got a great attitude. I throw my arms around her and give her a big hug and she doesn't pin her ears or anything. She's very pleasant, very accommodating. She's never at the back of her stall, she's always at the door, ready for you to get her. "She's a wonderful mare. I just love her." Bercury bought Blue Ivy, a daughter of Captaintreacherous out of Grand Circuit stakes-winner Ali Blue, near the end of her 3-year-old season. She has won 16 of 24 races for Bercury, earning $134,825 in purses. For her career, she has captured 22 of 50 starts and banked $301,560. "I loved watching her race," Bercury said about his initial attraction to Blue Ivy. "When (drivers) pulled her, she went. I was very impressed with the way she raced. Obviously, she's royally bred. I just liked her a lot." Blue Ivy has won three of four races this year. Following Thursday's start in the Open at The Meadows, where she is the 2-1 morning-line favorite, Blue Ivy will head to New York for the six-week Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway. "I have to race her against the boys because I just can't find a race for her," Bercury said. "That will be challenging. I hate to do it, but I hate to send her into the Matchmaker without her being reasonably tight. "In my opinion, I have her just right. I've not pushed her this year, knowing that's where I was going. I think she is going to be very comfortable with that six weeks in (the Matchmaker)." Bercury will send Blue Ivy to trainer Todd Buter and driver Tyler Buter for the Matchmaker. Tyler Buter has won four times with Blue Ivy during her career. "He's a very good driver," Bercury said. "He drove her some before I bought her and did very well with her. I think I made a good choice. "When I bring her up there, it will be (Todd's) horse. I'll stay out of it. Two guys can't train a horse." The Matchmaker will be Blue Ivy's first appearance on the Grand Circuit since joining Bercury's stable. Bercury hoped to race the mare in the Breeders Crown last year but decided against it because he thought Blue Ivy was getting tired at that point in the year. He has the Breeders Crown on his radar again this season. "I think she's that kind of horse," Bercury said. "I'm looking to find another one just like her." Racing begins at 12:45 p.m. (EST) Thursday at The Meadows. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Game Of Claims Pacing Series barreled right along at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday afternoon, with the second preliminary round for $25,000- and $15,000-base-priced horses yielding only two repeat winners, one at each level, but seeing 24 more harness racing horses change hands to the tune of $538,875. The repeat winner at the higher level, which here went for a $27,500 base tag in the progressively-priced prelims, was the Changeover gelding Glengarry Knight N, who took one of the seven $25,000 cuts for his group in 1:54.2 for driver Simon Allard. Trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Toby Rekoon, Bill Dittmar Jr., and Steve Iaquinta had retained their pacer after the first prelim, but they lost him to a claim here after the front-end triumph.   Trainer Ell also sent out the fastest winner of the day, with the Captaintreacherous ridgling Trente Deo fronting an $8800 conditioned field in 1:53 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and owner Bill Emmons. Before leaving the $25,000 base-priced brigade, mention should be made of the Mach Three gelding Tullow N, who paid $69.80 in closing from fifth at headstretch to win in 1:54.1 when the surface was still good for trainer David Russo and owner Marissa Russo. Driving Tullow N was Eric Goodell, who had taken a hiatus from the sport from last March until last Saturday's opening day here, and soon found himself back in Victory Lane. Among the $15,000-base prices, going here for a $17,500 tag before allowances in five $15,000 divisions, the horse making it two straight was the Delmarvalous gelding Fernado, used hard early by driver Matt Kakaley yet holding firmly late to stop the timer in 1:54.2 for trainer Jennifer Bongiorno and owner Evan Katz, However, they, like the connections of fellow repeater Glengarry Knight N, had retained the pacer last week but now saw their horse depart to a different barn after a claim. In all, eight of the twelve winners in the Game Of Claims races Saturday changed hands despite the uptick in price - and now comes the drama of whether to put them back in next Saturday in the third prelim, or hope their accumulated pointtotals have already earned them a spot in their respective $50,000 and $30,000 finals on March 6. The driving Napolitano brothers, Anthony and George Jr., and trainer Dan Maier each had three winners on the Saturday card. Racing resumes Sunday at 5 p.m., with Game Of Claims action for $10,000 and $7500 horses; free past performances for the card can be found at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. A makeup card has also been added for Monday at 12:30 p.m. For full results, click here. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

In the harness racing breeding business, having your book full and closed on the first season of breeding is a great accomplishment. Being overbooked shows how much in demand breeders want a son of Captaintreacherous and such is the case of Capt Midnight, who is standing stud at Premier Acres in Indiana. "We want to thank all the breeders who submitted booking applications for their tremendous response and support of Capt Midnight," said Dean Miller, the owner and corresponding officer for Capt Midnight. "As of today, we have received 190+ applications and they are still coming in strong," Miller added. "Regrettably there will be 50+ applications not accepted this season due to the 140-book limit. "I would urge anyone who still has an application in hand to please return that application to Premier Acres before February 10th," Miller said. "So that we can promptly notify those not getting a booking contract to Capt Midnight this season." Capt Midnight has retired to stud duty with a two season resume of 25 starts, 8 wins, 7 placings and prize money of Can$662,286 or US$551,567. Highlights of his career included; Wins at two in the Nassagaweya Stakes, Champlain Stakes, Dream Maker Series, International Stallion Stakes [Red Mile] and an elimination of the Metro Stakes. The leading Stakes winning 2-year-old son of Captaintreacherous in 2019. Paced in sub 1.48 on three occasions as a 3-year-old. Paced 14 of his 15 starts as a 3-year-old in 1.49.4 or faster. His other start was in a Heat of the Little Brown Jug when he was timed in 1.50.1 on the half mile track. Capt Midnight is from the second crop of sensational sire Captaintreacherous and is the second foal of the Stakes winning American Ideal mare It Was Fascination 1.51.2 $317,222. Captaintreacherous has been a revelation since retiring to Stud in 2015. From his 330 foals of racing age, he has sired 217 winners [to 23rd Dec 2020] including an unbelievable 30 in 1.50 and 170 in 1.55. His 270 starters have averaged in excess of $100,000 per starter. It Was Fascination counted a victory in a New York Sires Stakes Final [3-year-old Fillies] amongst her 6 wins and $317,222 in prizemoney. For more information contact Dennis Bontrager at (260) 585-4927, email premieracres@gmail.com or go to the website www.premieracresindiana.com. Capt Midnight's stud fee is $4,000. By Steve Wolf, for Premier Acres

Sugar Valley Farm and the owners of the harness racing pacing standout Catch The Fire are excited to announce that The Adios victor will be joining the Sugar Valley Farm stallion roster for the 2021 season, while continuing his racing career. Catch The Fire will stand in Ohio for an introductory fee of $3,500. Catch The Fire, a son of standout stallion Captaintreacherous and out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Dream Outloud, is a top performer among the talented 2020 sophomore pacers. A Grand Circuit winner and KYSS 2-year-old champion, he has earnings of $655,001 lifetime and has proven to be a formidable competitor across the country and on all racetracks. Owner Charles Taylor is excited for this new opportunity, “Fire was exceptional right from the time he went into training. He has a flawless gait with no wasted motion. He has proven that with his sub 1:50 wins on all size tracks. He loves to race and has been very versatile in how he wins. He raced the best of his class every week. H never dodged the competition.” “He’s been a dream to drive. He’s just so smart on the track and does everything so easily. He’s incredibly versatile. To have a horse pace sub 1:50 miles on all sizes of racetracks is really something special,” said driver Mike Wilder. Sugar Valley Farm’s Joe McLead loves adding another strong pacing stallion to the Buckeye state, “He’s going to be a great addition to Ohio. He’s the Adios winner and a Jug elim winner and just an excellent individual. Being the first son of Captaintreacherous to come to the state makes it even better. He is a great addition to our roster that will allow us to cover all different maternal families. He’s the perfect fit to our puzzle. I was honored to have Mr. Taylor call to stand him. It’s going to be a lot of fun to manage his breeding career and watch him race when the breeding season is over.” For further information, contact Sugar Valley Farm at 740.363.5618 or email info@SugarValleyFarmStallions.com.   From Sugar Valley Farm

Party Girl Hill may have missed Kiss Me Onthebeach’s divisional world record by two-fifths of a second, but her 1:49 performance in the $154,450 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing pacing fillies landed her in the Dover Downs record books. The daughter of Captaintreacherous yielded to third to stalk Priceless (Andy Miller) and Lyons Sentinel (Tim Tetrick) through a blistering :25.4 first quarter before making her move up the far side. When Lyons Sentinel edged out of the pocket at the :54.2 midway stage, Dunn slid Party Girl Hill second-over to follow live cover. Lyons Sentinel put Priceless away with five-sixteenths to go, and after losing cover, Party Girl Hill continued on to strike the front midway on the far turn before winning by a measured 1-3/4 lengths. JK First Lady (Gingras) rode the winner’s cover to finish second; Rocknificent (Scott Zeron) also benefitted from the outer tier and gained into third.   Party Girl Hill, whose only defeat in 16 career starts to date came in the Breeders Crown, has amassed $880,345 in earnings — all this season. Chris Ryder trains the Tom Hill homebred. The retirement of Tall Dark Stranger made the $179,600 Matron Stake for sophomore male pacers far more wide open than most previous events within the division, and the late-blooming Cattlewash ($2.80) had to work for every penny of the winner’s share of the purse. The son of Somebeachsomewhere had to exert himself through a :26 first-quarter duel with Tattoo Artist (Gingras) before clearing shortly thereafter — but once in control of the terms, David Miller had little opportunity to ration Cattlewash’s speed. After only managing to rate the half to :53.4, Cattlewash faced first-over pressure from Little Brown Jug winner Captain Barbossa (Joee Bongiorno) up the far side. While Cattlewash shrugged off Captain Barbossa’s challenge on the final turn, another pair of challengers were waiting in the wings to take their shots in the final furlong: Tattoo Artist launched for the open stretch, and No Lou Zing (Dunn) vaulted off cover. Cattlewash was driven out to narrowly prevail in 1:48.3. No Lou Zing lunged late for second over Tattoo Artist, who was fully extended to stay on.   Ron Burke trains 10-time winner Cattlewash, who has now earned $799,777 for owner-breeder Bill Donovan. In the sub-featured $20,000 Open Handicap Pace, Goldberg ($3.40) earned his eighth win of the season with a 1:50.2 score over Robbie Burns N (McCarthy) and Itsrockandroll A (Callahan). Montrell Teague drove the winner for trainer Brenda Teague. From the USTA and Dover Downs

Hanover Shoe Farms has announced their 2021 service fees.  All stallions except Nuncio stand in Pennsylvania. Andover Hall - $6,000 Bar Hopping - $8,500 **shipped semen not available** Betting Line - $ 7,500 Cantab Hall - $15,000 Captaintreacherous - $30,000 Greenshoe - $25,000 International Moni - $5,000 Nuncio - $7,500 ** frozen semen only, foals not PA eligible** Papi Rob Hanover - $10,000 Stay Hungry - $6,000 Tall Dark Stranger - $20,000 Stallion books will open this week. Please visit the stallion page at www.hanoverpa.com for more information or call Gunjan Patel or Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky at (717) 637-8931. From Hanover Shoe Farms

CHESTER, PA - Three-year-old fillies were spotlighted in $150,000 worth of Liberty Bell stakes series action during the Friday afternoon harness racing card at Harrah's Philadelphia, with two divisions for pacers and three for trotters. The first pace saw the ultraconsistent Rocknificent, competitive not only within the state but with the North American elite, handle a late pocket charge from Drama Act to win in 1:51.3. Scott Zeron sent the daughter of Captaintreacherous out of the $2M+-winning Rocklamation, who was second choice at 3-2 to Drama Act's 1-2, to the lead from post six, with Drama Act from the rail maintaining the pocket through pedestrian fractions of :27.1, :56.4, and 1:24.3.   When both the fillies' pedals were pushed to the metal, however, they dueled home in :27, with Rocknificent holding off her rival by a neck to run her seasonal record to 10-5-2-3-$242,530 and her lifetime tally to 23-10-4-7-$524,036 for trainer Linda Toscano and the partnership of Enviro Stables LTD, South Mountain Stables, and Little E LLC. The second pacing section also saw the second choice win, though the positional tables were turned, as the A Rocknroll Dance miss Dance Club made Going Gone Hanover, favored at 4-5 to Dance Club's 7-5, work through early numbers of :26.4 and :54.4, and then sat watching the 1:22.4 battle to the three-quarters between the favorite and first-over Wayside. George Brennan then steered the Ron Burke trainee up the inside, and Dance Club, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc. and David Wills, went past by a length and a half , with Going Gone Hanover beating Wayside by a half length for second. Turning to the trotters: Next Level Stuff raised her lifetime win record to 10 triumphs in 19 starts by posting a 1:55 victory in her division. With main foe Fifty Cent Piece eliminating herself early, the daughter of Sebastian K S quarter-moved after a :27.3 opener, got a breather to the half in :58.1, then tripped the three-quarters in 1:26.4 and held safe Electrapedia by 1¾ lengths. Todd McCarthy, quickly adapting to top-level North American competition, drove the winner of $328,816 for trainer Jim Campbell and Runthetable Stables. A similar scenario developed in another Liberty Bell trot, as Dune Hill made an early misstep, leaving the path clear for the Muscle Massive miss Miss McKee to head down the road for driver George Napolitano Jr., with fractions of :28.1, :58.1, and 1:26 leading to an open length triumph in 1:54.2. The Jack Baggitt Jr.-trained filly now has seven wins in twelve seasonal starts and over $110,000 on her card this year for J L Sadowsky LLC. The Hall of Fame is not likely to be calling for a copy of the third division. After the Andover Hall filly SVF Blushingbride made the lead in :27.4 and got to the half in :58.1 ahead of her five opponents, the following happened in this order: 1) first-over Impressive Fashion made a break just past the midway point, leaving Cover Girl uncovered; 2) pocketsitter Aldebaran Revani made a miscue off turn two, causing 3) I'm Winin Hanover right behind her to suffer an "ix," which let Cover Girl take the pocket and left favored Molto Bene uncovered; 4) the "first-up" horse broke at the 1:26.3 three-quarters, leaving a two-horse breakaway until 5) Cover Girl misbehaved past midturn. That left driver Simon Allard and the Lou Pena-trained filly all alone to trot out in 1:57, with SVF Blushingbride's margin over the recovering Cover Girl 9 1/2 lengths. The subsequent inquiries into the breaks caused the red lighting on the tote board to use more electricity than a Christmas display, but only Aldebaran Revani, for causing interference, was placed lower. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Delaware, OH — Captain Barbossa found the perfect time to visit the winner’s circle for the first time this year, capturing Thursday’s $335,400 Little Brown Jug final for 3-year-old male pacers in 1:49.1 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. Cattlewash was second and Catch The Fire finished third. The win was Captain Barbossa’s first in 13 races this season. The gelding, who finished second in his Jug elimination, was driven to victory in the final by Joe Bongiorno, who celebrated his 27th birthday Wednesday. Captain Barbossa gave Bongiorno his first Jug trophy, as well as the first for trainer Tony Alagna. He paid $15.00 to win. Captain Barbossa, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Swinging Beauty, is owned by Robert LeBlanc, David Anderson, and the partnership of Alagna, Martha Frank, John Fodera, and Steven Wienick. He was bred by Steiner Stock Farm. His winning time was one-fifth of a second off the stakes and world record for a 3-year-old pacer on a half-mile track. The margin of victory was 1-1/2 lengths.   Catch The Fire, Sandbetweenmytoes win Little Brown Jug eliminations Catch The Fire won the first $111,800 elimination of the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old male pacers Thursday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, overtaking pacesetter Seeyou At Thebeach on the last turn on his way to a 1:49.3 triumph. Seeyou At Thebeach was second, followed by Later Dudes and Genius Man. Those four horses advanced to the $335,400 Little Brown Jug final.   Catch The Fire was the 4-5 favorite in the field of seven. He was driven by Mike Wilder for trainer John Ackley and owner CT Stables. Sandbetweenmytoes scored a 7-1 upset in the second of Thursday’s two eliminations, using a three-wide move entering the last turn to get past leader Capt Midnight on his way to a 1:49.3 victory. Captain Barbossa finished second, with Capt Midnight third and Cattlewash fourth. Those four horses also advanced to the $335,400 Little Brown Jug final.   Sandbetweenmytoes was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Jim Campbell and owner Fashion Farms. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Delaware, OH — Arnold N Dicky was sent off as the 1-9 favorite in Thursday’s (Sept. 24) $47,006 Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old harness racing male trotters and lived up to expectations, winning by 6-1/4 lengths over Sunny Crockett in a world-record-equaling 1:54 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. To Be Frank finished third. The time equaled Action Uncle’s world record for a 2-year-old trotting colt on a half-mile track, set last year at Delaware. It bettered the previous Standardbred Stakes record of 1:55, set by Don Dream in 2016. Sunny Crockett took the lead on the first turn with winning driver Dave Palone content to sit second with Arnold N Dicky until the backstretch. Palone then moved Arnold N Dicky to the front and was unthreatened the rest of the way.   Arnold N Dicky is trained by Chuck Sylvester, who owns the colt with Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Gil Short. Bred by Concord Stud Farm, Arnold N Dicky is by Bar Hopping out of Kalibrated. He sold under the name Measured Pour for $17,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. “It’s an added bonus racing for Chuck,” Palone said. “He was a hero of mine when I first started in the game, a legendary trainer, and who wouldn’t jump at that opportunity.” The victory was Arnold N Dicky’s fourth in nine starts and upped his earnings to $144,060.  Chase H Hanover won the $54,206 Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers in a world-record-equaling 1:51.1. Lou’s Pearlman finished second and Jackie Moon was third.   The time equaled Ocean Rock’s world record for a 2-year-old gelding pacer on a half-mile track, set last year at Northfield Park. Sent off at 1-2, Chase H Hanover was driven by Ronnie Wrenn Jr. for trainer Scott Cox, who owns the gelding with Jason Ash. Chase H Hanover, by Captaintreacherous out of Calgary Hanover, was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. Chase H Hanover, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship runner-up, has won three of nine races and finished second on five occasions this season. He has earned $210,797. Filly Beats the Boys to Take the Old Oaken Bucket  Sans Default (Matt Kakaley) scored a mild upset over Hobbs (Jason Bartlett) to take the $83,800 Old Oaken Bucket in 1:55.  Burke Racing Stable, Crawford Farms, J & T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi share the ownership of the Muscle Hill filly. Ron Burke trains the winner.  Ohio Breeders Championship Action  Three-year-old gelding Ocean Rock (Dan Noble) equaled the track record in the second of two OBCs for colt pacers with his 1:49.3 mile.  Sandra Burnett owns the Rockin Amadeus gelding who swept the Ohio State Fair Stakes, Ohio Sire Stakes Final.  Elver Hanover (Chris Page) took the opening $48,121 division with a 1:51.1 victory over Cody Hanover (Mike Wilder) and Can B Perfect (Tim Tetrick).  The Yankee Cruiser gelding is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Dr. Bridget Jablonsky, Jason Mellilo and J & T Silva-Purnel & Libby.  A pair of $63,446 divisions of the freshman colt pace went to Heart Of Chewbacca (Dan Noble) and Charlie May (Brett Miller) in identical 1:52.2 miles.  With the win, Charlie May became the latest member of the Ohio Triple Crown club after previously posting wins in the Ohio State Fair Stakes and the Ohio Sire Stake Championship.  The two divisions of the $92,042 (div) three-year-old filly pace went to Mcmarkle Sparkle (Brett Miller) in 1:52.3 and Penpaperpaige (Tyler Smith) in a lifetime best 1:52  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Attending the Little Brown Jug has been on Blair Corbeil's bucket list for a while, but the longtime harness racing horse owner only wanted to go if he had a horse in the race. On Thursday, Corbeil will be at his first Little Brown Jug at the Delware County Fairgrounds, ready to follow the exploits of his pacer Warrawee Vital. Ironically, owning a horse in the race is the only way he could be there this year as fans are prohibited from attending the races at the Delaware County Fairgrounds because of the coronavirus pandemic. "I've been wanting to go to the Jug forever and I've said that I want to have a horse in the Jug when I go," said Corbeil, a 56-year-old resident of Beaumont, Alberta, Canada. "This is my first one. It's unfortunate the fans will not be there, but it will be exciting no matter what. We're excited about the opportunity, that's for sure. "I think everybody that's been in the business long enough dreams about having the chance of being there and winning that race." A total of 14 horses entered the 75th edition of the Little Brown Jug, one of harness racing's premier events for 3-year-old male pacers. The field was divided into two eliminations, from which the top-four finishers in each group advance to the same-day final. Each elimination goes for $111,800 and the final is $335,400. Warrawee Vital is the morning line's 3-1 second choice in the second elimination. The colt will start from post three with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Rob Fellows. Capt Midnight, trained by Tony Alagna, is the 5-2 favorite, starting from post two with Dexter Dunn. Adios winner Catch The Fire is the 5-2 favorite in the first elimination. He leaves from post five with Mike Wilder driving for John Ackley. Warrawee Vital, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Great Memories, has won seven of 11 career races and $107,307. He is a half-brother to O'Brien Award winner Warrawee Needy and two-time Dan Patch Award winner Warrawee Ubeaut, who won last year's Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at Delaware. "When we bought the colt in Lexington, he had the pedigree and breeding behind him to be this good," said Corbeil, who shares ownership of Warrawee Vital with Yolanda Fellows and M&S Racing Stable. "He's very versatile. He's got tremendous gate speed and he's got that kick to come home with. He seems to be the full package." Last year, Warrawee Vital was unraced until December, when he won one of two races at Mohawk. After the calendar changed to 2020, the colt won a second race in January and then two preliminary divisions of the Snowshoe Series for 3- and 4-year-old pacers before finishing second in the final. It was enough of an audition to give his connections the confidence to stake Warrawee Vital for the summer and fall. Fellows gave the colt time off to freshen up, but then hit another delay training back for the stakes season. Warrawee Vital returned to the races in August, finishing second in a conditioned race and eighth in a North America Cup elimination before putting together a three-race win streak that he brings to the Jug. His two most recent victories came in divisions of the Simcoe and Somebeachsomewhere stakes. "He got to the races early enough (at age 2) but he had some problems, so I gave him time off," Fellows said. "I raced him in the winter to see if he was good enough to stake him, and he showed that he was. "Then training down in the spring, he had a little soreness problem, so I gave him time for that and that's why I'm so late in getting to the table. But he's raced well so far. His best quality is that he's smart. He's learned quickly what he's had to learn. He's caught on very well. And he's fast, very fast." Fellows is racing in the Jug for the second time in his career, but first time since 1988 when Just Bold finished third in his first heat and seventh in the final, won by B J Scoot. "I've gone there since I was a kid and it's nice to take a horse there," Fellows said. "(Warrawee Vital) has never raced on a half-mile track, but he trains on it. Hopefully, he's competitive and gives a good representation of himself." Said Corbeil, "Rob and Yolanda have done a fantastic job. They deserve something like this too. We're not the type of owners that have the opportunity to attend these big races all the time. It definitely means a lot to us to have this opportunity." In addition to the Little Brown Jug, Thursday's card at Delaware includes the Miss Versatility Series final for older female trotters, the Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old trotters, and divisions of the Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters and pacers. Manchego is the 7-5 favorite in the Miss Versatility final while Hobbs is the even-money choice in the Old Oaken Bucket. Racing begins at noon (EDT). For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Hightstown, NJ — Party Girl Hill, undefeated in nine races this year, was among 11 harness racing horses entered in Wednesday’s (Sept. 23) $237,725 Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. The Chris Ryder trainee competes in the second of the event’s two eliminations. The top-four finishers from each elim advance to the same-day final. The first elimination features five fillies. They are, in post order: New Year, Keystone Eureka, Peaky Sneaky, Blazin Grace, and Seadog Lady. The second elim, in post order: Lyons Sentinel, Party Girl Hill, Lady Lou, Marloe Hanover, Perfect Storm, and Bolt Of Beauty. Party Girl Hill, undefeated in nine races this year, was among 11 horses entered in Wednesday’s $237,725 Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers. Chris Gooden photo. Party Girl Hill, a daughter of Captaintreacherous out of Look Cheap bred and owned by Tom Hill, enters the Jugette off a Sept. 6 win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Her victories this season also include the Fan Hanover Stakes and Adioo Volo. She has earned $482,181 in 2020, the top figure among all 3-year-old filly pacers. Ryder also sends out New Year in the first elim. She enters the event off a win in a conditioned race Sept. 16 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. It was her first victory in eight races this year. She is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing. Lyons Sentinel was the 2019 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old filly pacer. She has one win and five second-place finishes in seven races this season. She won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in July and her runner-up finishes include the Adioo Volo and Mistletoe Shalee. Lyons Sentinel is trained by Jim King Jr. for owner Threelyonsracing. Tony Alagna-trained Lady Lou goes to the Jugette with five consecutive second-place finishes. Most recently, she was second in a division of the Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 12. She also was second in the Fan Hanover final, her Fan Hanover elimination, the Shady Daisy, and a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. She is owned by Brad Grant and Steve Heimbecker. Peaky Sneaky, trained by Nancy Takter, is the leading money-winner in the first elimination. She most recently won a Fan Hanover elimination and finished third in the final. She is owned by Howard Taylor, Judy Taylor, and Order By Stable. Racing begins at noon Wednesday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

LEXINGTON, KY--The Monday (Sept. 21) card at The Red Mile featured eight $50,000 finals of the Kentucky Commonwealth--a division for freshmen and sophomores of each sex and gait. Of the eight finals, the betting favorites managed to deliver in all but one. Trainer-driver Verlin Yoder vaulted Miss Vet Hanover out of the pocket into the stretch to post the lone upset in the final of the afternoon's Commonwealth events, the Two-Year-Old Filly Trot. At the start, 9-5 favorite Hey There Delilah broke stride with 3-1 second-choice Adirondack soon going into a gallop as the field entered the first turn. Princessa pushed to lead the field by the quarter in :28.3 with Miss Vet Hanover situated in the pocket. The field rolled in line to a :57.1 half and towards three-quarters in 1:26.2, setting up for a stretch-drive sprint. Yoder angled Miss Vet Hanover from the pocket and inched towards Princessa through the stretch as Argyle gained ground to the center of the track and Shape Of Beauty surged through a seam at the pylons. Miss Vet Hanover continued to dig into Princessa, who then gave way in the final strides of a 1:54.1 mile. Shape Of Beauty finished third with Argyle taking fourth. Returning $15.40 to win, Miss Vet Hanover has now banked $35,960 for owner Verlin Yoder following her maiden-breaking score. Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. bred the Yankee Glide filly. Driver Andrew McCarthy set sail with Sail By, motoring to the front early and crushing her rivals to win the Three-Year-Old Filly Pace in 1:50.4 while giving trainer Tony Alagna his first of three victories in the Commonwealth finals. Sent the 2-5 favorite, Sail By bolted to the lead from post 6, clearing Alleyesonme As to a :26.2. She kept her competition chasing while strolling through middle fractions of :54.1 and 1:22.2 before opening her lead into the stretch. Pristine Beauty circled Alleyesonme As as they tired to the inside and chased the winner Sail By to finish second, seven-and-a-quarter lengths behind. Pure Decadence rallied for third. Bred and owned by Brittany Farms LLC, Sail By won her fifth race from eight starts this season and her seventh from 18 overall, earning $87,680. The Captaintreacherous filly paid $2.60 to win. Scott Zeron later steered Captain Video, taking the Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace with the Tony Alagna trainee in 1:49.4. Floating to the lead after a :28 first quarter, Captain Video pocketed stablemate Major Risky moving for the backstretch and maintained his speed towards a :55.4 half. Starship edged first over from third circling the final turn with Mancrush in tow towards three-quarters in 1:23.1. Mancrush kicked off his cover into the stretch and stormed after Captain Video, who then repelled the late challenger to win by a neck. Major Risky finished third with Lottery Winner closing for fourth. Bred by Riverview Breeding LLC, Visionary Breeders LLC and Joseph Di Scala Jr., Captain Video competes for owners Riverview Racing LLC, Alagna Racing LLC and Joseph Di Scala Jr. The Captaintreacherous colt scored his fifth win from six starts this season and his seventh from 13 overall, pushing his bankroll to $49,700. He paid $3.00 to win. Driver Joe Bongiorno protected the lead with 1-5 favorite Lady Midnight to score a decisive victory in the Two-Year-Old Filly Pace and complete Alagna's afternoon hat trick. Circling by early leader Classicist after a :28 opening quarter, Lady Midnight kept her speed going to a :55.4 half as Beachblanketlindy mounted a first-over bid moving to the far turn. Beachblanketlady cruised closer to Lady Midnight as she decelerated to three-quarters in 1:24.1 but began spinning her wheels into the stretch as Lady Midnight sprinted away. The Captaintreacherous filly widened her lead in progress to a 1:51.4 score over stablemate Odds On Roxette rallying for second. Odds On Badd Bunny closed down the center of the track for third. Now a four-time winner from seven starts, Lady Midnight has banked $58,715 for owners and breeders Brittany Farms LLC and Marvin Katz along with co-owner Lynn Katz. She paid $2.40 to win. Almanac sat mid-pack through most of the mile before driver Andrew McCarthy let the A Rocknroll Dance colt loose and run down pacesetter Winner Is Coming to win the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace. Winner Is Coming cleared command from Beach Party by the quarter in :27.4 with Tarkio racing third and Almanac fourth. The field continued single file to the half in :56.3 and by three-quarters in 1:24.2, where McCarthy began to roll Alamanc. Through the stretch the Brian Brown trainee narrowed on Winner Is Coming's lead to land a head in front at the finish of a 1:51.2 mile. Beach Party gave chase in third with Red Right Hand taking fourth. Bred and owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Almanac won his third race from six starts, earning $46,123. He paid $3.00 to win. Odds-on favorite Molto Bene ranged towards the top, inherited control when the tempo setter lost stride and from there strode to a 1:53.2 victory in the Three-Year-Old Filly Trot. Aperfectcrystal took control to a :27.3 first quarter, but yielded for the pocket up the backstretch when Graceful Winner rushed out of third to the front before a :56 half. Driver Dexter Dunn pulled Molto Bene from fourth rounding the final turn as Graceful Winner broke stride, leaving Aperfectcrystal back on the lead. By three-quarters in 1:25.4, Molto Bene matched strides with Aperfectcrystal, who then started to gallop straightening for the finish. Molto Bene cruised on the lead to the finish with Watayankee two-and-three-quarter lengths behind closing for second. Fortune Telln Lady, off a pocket trip, took third. A Father Patrick filly bred by Melvin Hartman, David Mc Duffee and Marvin Katz, Molto Bene competes for owner Frederick Hertrich III. She collected her third win from nine starts this season and her fifth from 20 overall--earning $73,419--and paid $2.40 to win. Even-money choice Media Mogul swept to the front approaching the half and cruised to a 1:54.4 victory in the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot. Positioned third to a :28.1 first quarter, driver Scott Zeron zipped Media Mogul off the pylons and to the lead heading to a :56.4 half. Pocket-sitter Six O'Clock News began to lose ground on the leader into the final turn, prompting Lockbox to pull first over nearing three-quarters in 1:25.3. But Media Mogul widened his lead to three lengths entering the stretch with Flemsteen rallying from fifth to finish second, three-and-three-quarter lengths behind the winner, in a photo with Lockbox. Owned by W. Donovan, Thomas Dillon, Purnel & Libby LLC and Joe Sbrocco, Media Mogul won his second race from seven starts, earning $68,044. The Muscle Hill colt--bred by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz--paid $4.00 to win. Sermon emerged from a pocket trip and ripped to the finish to post a 1:53.4 victory in the Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot. Cupid Hanover cruised to the lead from post 8 heading to a :28.1 quarter, but faced pressure into the backstretch when Awesomedabra marched uncovered from fourth to the front. Approaching a :55.1 half, Awesomedabra broke stride, sliding to the center of the course before regaining his gait into the final turn. Meanwhile Cupid Hanover raced unchallenged to three-quarters in 1:24.4 until Sermon tipped out for the drive to the finish. Driver Kasper Forget sent the Muscle Hill gelding after the lead at the head of the lane and drew clear to win by four-and-a-quarter lengths over Generous Pour rallying for second, with Cupid Hanover faltering to third. Competing for owners Consus Racing Stable Inc. and Longbridge Trotting Inc., Sermon won his third race from 11 starts, earning $50,545. Per Engblom trains the $4.80 winner bred by Diamond Creek Farm LLC and Melvin Hartman. The regular meet at The Red Mile concludes Tuesday (Sept. 22) with races scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). Racing will resume at The Red Mile on Friday (Oct. 2) to start the six-day Grand Circuit meet, culminating to Kentucky Futurity Day on Sunday (Oct. 11). Racing begins each day of the Grand Circuit meeting also at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 11, 2020 -- Severely shuffled after securing a good early seat, Butter Bay Hanover found late room between horses to capture Friday's harness racing co-feature at The Meadows, a $20,000-$25,000 Claiming Handicap Pace. Although he briefly held the early lead for Aaron Merriman, Butter Bay Hanover found himself fourth at the top of the lane with a wall of horses in front of him. Merriman guided the 4-year-old Captaintreacherous-Better B Lucky gelding through a narrow seam, which he negotiated successfully to edge Border Control A by a head in 1:52.3. Winning Is Sweet was a close-up third.   Bill Rhoades trains Butter Bay Hanover for Tom Mucci. In the other co-feature, also a $20,000-$30,000 Claiming Handicap Pace, Western Tyrant made a quarter-pole move stand up, prevailing in 1:52.3 for Dave Palone, trainer Kevin Johnson and owner Richard Briskey. It was the second straight win for the 6-year-old Western Terror-Fans Bikini gelding, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $191,446.   Dave Palone piloted five winners on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Kevin Johnson. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the 13-race program features a pair of Keystone Classics valued at $179,800 for 2-year-olds. On the wagering front, the card offers an $18,626 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3). First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 1, 2020 -- Blue Ivy shrugged off the challenge of her  harness racing stablemate, Touchamatic, and rolled to victory in Tuesday's $16,200 Filly & Mare Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Blue Ivy sped to the lead from post 6 in a demanding 26.3, a quarter that might have left her vulnerable. But when Touchamatic moved uncovered from third, Blue Ivy found more for Aaron Merriman and triumphed in a career-fastest 1:50.2. Pace Baby Pace rallied for second, beaten 1/2 length, while Touchamatic saved show.   Bill Bercury trains Blue Ivy, a 4-year-old daughter of Captaintreacherous-All Blue who won for the sixth time this year and lifted her lifetime bankroll to $247,110, for Renee Bercury. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the 13-race program features a $5,762.28 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows                    

MILTON, ON - August 29, 2020 -- Party Girl Hill remained unbeaten with another sterling harness racing effort, this time in the $400,000 Fan Hanover Final (presented by SBOA) on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. It was Lady Lou who took command early, with the daughter of Sweet Lou taking her rivals through an opening quarter in :26.3. Karma Seelster settled in second with Party Girl Hill and Lauras Love sitting third and fourth, respectively. Just ahead of the half-mile mark, Doug McNair called on Party Girl to seize advantage and the duo did so with ease, reaching the half in :54.4. Party Girl Hill and Lady Lou were still one-two after three-quarters, as a confident McNair kept the daughter of Captaintreacherous to task. Peaky Sneaky, second choice on the toteboard, continued her outside bid as the field straightened for home, but it was to no avail, as Party Girl Hill strode to the wire a sharp 2 ¾-length winner. Sweet Lou nosed out Peaky Sneaky for the runner-up spot, while Karma Seelster was fourth. Party Girl stopped the teletimer in 1:49.2 for breeder-owner Tom Hill and trainer Chantal Mitchell. She paid $3.70 for the win. "I just kind of rolled her along a little more this week," said McNair. "She can just carry her speed so far. Obviously, you can tell tonight... she paced right through to the wire. I was really happy with her." It was the eighth win in as many starts for the bay filly who was unraced as a two-year-old. She made her debut on June 12 at The Meadowlands and romped to an 11 ¾-length score in 1:50.2 as the 1-5 favourite. Last week, Party Girl Hill, in her first effort at Woodbine Mohawk Park, took her Fan Hanover elimination by a half-length in 1:50-flat. by Chris Lomon, for Woodbine Communications  

Here is the latest harness racing two-year-old money winning Sires list in North America and at Harnesslink we will keep you up to date every Friday, New Zealand and Australian time with the actual statistics. This week we include the list of average earnings of the top 20 stallions that show an interesting comparison. For breeders down under this is an important time for deciding on what stallion they need to breed their mare to this coming season. The new first season sires are well on their way to giving some indication of what chance they have of competing with the established sires. From a breeders point of view they need the facts rather than the bluster from the Stallion Owners as to what they breed to this coming season is going to impact their financial situation in three years time. Captaintreacherous makes the top this week with his father Somebeachsomewhere close behind. Worthy mention this week is Always B Miki who has sired the fastest two-year-old this year in Perfect Sting (From Shebestingin 1:47 by Bettors Delight) who is now unbeaten in four starts, his most recent at The Red Mile in a $40,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes race in 1:49.2. These statistics are freely available on the Standardbred Canada site daily. Leading Money Winning Sires - 2 Year Old Pace (2020) - 28th August 2020 SIRE                                                   Starters      Foals       Winners     Money won CAPTAINTREACHEROUS 63 110 28 $992,693 SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE 79 116 34 $984,544 AMERICAN IDEAL 57 113 26 $756,462 BETTING LINE 73 119 24 $650,469 SHADOW PLAY 38 91 15 $638,869 BETTORS DELIGHT 43 121 12 $601,737 WELL SAID 47 71 21 $596,998 ART MAJOR 39 69 12 $559,002 SWEET LOU 41 84 13 $516,449 ALWAYS B MIKI 46 112 15 $513,260 RACING HILL 52 93 19 $503,930 SPORTSWRITER 63 137 22 $481,271 ROLL WITH JOE 44 71 17 $451,954 SUNSHINE BEACH 48 143 14 $426,381 MCARDLE 29 48 9 $372,492 JK ENDOFANERA 50 88 21 $339,089 PET ROCK 51 83 23 $335,536 ALWAYS A VIRGIN 54 102 25 $319,730 BETTERTHANCHEDDAR 42 102 6 $302,416 SO SURREAL 31 57 11 $236,567 It is important to note that five of the stallions listed in bold type stand in the state of Pennsylvania, probably the toughest of all competing states standing stallions in North America. The stallions in italics above are stallions standing in Canada where they have no stallion limits. Leading Sires by Average Earnings - 2 Year Old Pace (2020)   Sire 2018 Foals Starters in 2020 Money Average per Starter ==== ===== ======== ===== =========== SHADOW PLAY 91 38 $638,869 $16,812 CAPTAINTREACHEROUS 110 63 $992,693 $15,757 BIG JIM 47 10 $156,594 $15,659 ART MAJOR 69 39 $559,002 $14,333 BETTORS DELIGHT 121 43 $601,737 $13,993 AMERICAN IDEAL 113 57 $756,462 $13,271 MR APPLES 19 12 $158,086 $13,173 MCARDLE 48 29 $372,492 $12,844 WELL SAID 71 47 $596,998 $12,702 SWEET LOU 84 41 $516,449 $12,596 SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE 116 79 $984,544 $12,462 BRING ON THE BEACH 15 8 $97,598 $12,199 ALWAYS B MIKI 112 46 $513,260 $11,157 CONTROL THE MOMENT 44 18 $187,807 $10,433 ROLL WITH JOE 71 44 $451,954 $10,271 WESTERN VINTAGE 17 9 $87,303 $9,700 RACING HILL 93 52 $503,930 $9,690 BETTING LINE 119 73 $650,469 $8,910 SUNSHINE BEACH 144 48 $426,381 $8,882 ROCKIN AMADEUS 37 20 $160,931 $8,046 Harnesslink Media

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