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WASHINGTON, PA, July 31, 2020 -- It was only three weeks ago that bettors dismissed Catch The Fire at 63-1 in his Meadowlands Pace harness racing elimination. Today, he's the 3-1 morning line favorite to win Saturday's $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows. The Adios goes as race 15 with an approximate post time of 4:02 PM, and it will offer a Super Hi-5 wager with a 20-cent minimum and a $50,000 guarantee. Moreover, while the Super Hi-5 jackpot typically is paid only if there is a unique winning ticket, the payout for the Adios Super Hi-5 jackpot is mandatory, meaning that all winning ticketholders will share the bounty. The card gets underway at the special post time of 11:25 AM, with advance wagering available Friday. The reversal of Catch The Fire's public perception seems somehow fitting in this topsy-turvy, COVID-19-distorted year, but it's attributable to two solid reasons. First is the horse's outstanding performance in his Adios elimination, which he won with a game 1:49.3 front-end performance for Mike Wilder, trainer John Ackley and owner Charlie Taylor's CT Stables. The second, of course, is the loss of presumptive Adios favorite Papi Rob Hanover, an early divisional leader, who's out for at least the balance of this year with a fractured coffin bone. But even as a yearling, the son of Captaintreacherous out of the Bettor's Delight mare Dream Outloud garnered little respect, bringing a modest $15,000 at Lexington. "We had just bought one for $40,000, and I thought Catch The Fire would bring $75,000 to $100,000, which we couldn't afford," Ackley recalls. "So I went for a sandwich. When I came back, Charlie told me he bought him for $15,000. I couldn't believe it. I went back to look at him again to see if I'd missed something. He is a tad on the small side, but you couldn't find a knock on his conformation." At 2, Catch The Fire more than justified the investment, winning the Kentucky Sires Stake championship and banking $258,547. Ackley, who's based at Ohio's Fayette County Fairgrounds, made harness racing his second career after putting in 20 years as a forklift operator. He's enjoyed success with Ohio-breds, although perhaps his best colt, a Pennsylvania-bred named Lex Vegas, was injured in a highway accident and didn't come back the same. Catch The Fire, who is eligible for most of the season's major stakes, clearly is Ackley's best shot at national impact. "I've known he was special since about the fifth day I had the harness on him," Ackley says. "We're proud to have one that can race at this level and be competitive." The horse also gives Wilder perhaps his best shot at Adios orchids. Wilder has been a top driver at The Meadows for years and has amassed more than 8,300 career victories, but his best Adios final finishes have been a trio of fourths with Basil Hanover, Tarpaulin Hanover and last year with Wild Wild Western. "It's always a thrill to get in the final," Wilder says. "This is our premier race at The Meadows and one of the premier races in our sport. It's a great thing to be part of it. "This horse shows up every time I race him. His strengths? Everything. He doesn't have to have the lead. He can come from the back. I can get caught in a bad spot, and he still can perform well. His versatility makes my job very easy." In addition to the Super Hi-5, the program offers two total-pool carryovers: $2,441.84 in the Early Pick 4 (race 3), $1,908.78 in the Early Pick 5 (race 2). The powerhouse card also features the $107,320 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, a $59,088 Arden Downs stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers, and a $35,690 Arden Downs event for 2-year-old filly pacers. Other highlights include a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters: a $187,182 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event. Here's the field with post positions, trainers, drivers and morning line odds: $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids 1. Later Dudes Brian Brown David Miller 8-1 2. Capt Midnight Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 4-1 3. Catch The Fire John Ackley Mike Wilder 3-1 4. The Greek Freak Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 5-1 5. No Lou Zing Nancy Takter Josert Fonseca 7-1 6. Sweet Truth Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 12-1 7. Chief Mate Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 20-1 8. Captain Barbossa Tony Alagna Brian Sears 6-1 9. Elver Hanover Ron Burke Chris Page 10-1 by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

ANDERSON, Ind.--July 24, 2020 -- Reflect With Me ventured to Harrah's Hoosier Park for the first time in her illustrious harness racing career and made her Hoosier Park debut a winning on Friday, July 24 as she captured the featured event of the evening, the $100,000 Nadia Lobell Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies. Stopping the timer in an eye-catching 1:48.2, Reflect With Me destroyed the previous track record for three-year-old pacing fillies at Harrah's Hoosier Park, established a new lifetime mark and also recorded the season's fastest time for a three-year-old pacing filly with the win. The mile also marked the second consecutive night a national season's record was established at Harrah's Hoosier Park. With regular pilot Andrew McCarthy in the sulky, Reflect With Me left just enough from post four to grab a pocket seat behind Priceless and Brandon Bates who left alertly from post five. Priceless appeared relaxed on the front as she dictated first half fractions of :26.2 and :55. As the field approached the final turn, Trace Tetrick had Lady Lou out and attacking from first-over and the pace began to quicken with a three-quarter clocking in 1:21.4. Priceless was able to put away Lady Lou but Reflect With Me was winding up in the pocket. McCarthy found late racing room and the top two fillies were matching strides down the lane. Using a: 26.1 final quarter, Reflect With Me was able to stick a head in front of a very game Priceless to get the win. Genie Rockwell and Marlin Fry utilized a ground-saving trip to get up for third. Sent off at odds of 1-5, Reflect With Me returned $2.60 to her backers at the betting windows. "I respect Priceless a lot and knew we wanted to stay close to her," McCarthy noted after the victory. "I was hoping for room in the stretch. This filly is so speedy; she'll sit you back in your seat when you ask her to go." "She's got extreme speed," he continued. "She just wants to win." With the win, the 2019 Breeders Crown winner remains undefeated in three starts to kick-off her sophomore campaign. For her career, Reflect With Me has won eight of 14 races, missed the board only once, and amassed $625,122. Trained by Tony Alagna, the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Remember When is owned in partnership by Brittany Farms LLC and Bradley Grant. Brittany Farms also bred the filly. Live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, July 25 with a 14-race card featuring two $40,000 Indiana Sires Stakes divisions for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 21. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit Emily Ratcliff    

On Wednesday, July 22nd, The Meadows five-eighths mile harness racing track hosted four $54,000 divisions of the Albatross Pennsylvania Sires Stakes and five $20,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The Empire Stallions (Betting Line, Captaintreacherous and Somebeachsomewhere) won seven of the nine races – sweeping all five of Stallion Series events. In the Albatross Pennsylvania Sire Stakes second division, the smart Betting Line colt Fulsome left hard from post 4, Fulsome showing great gate speed to be first up on the outside at the quarter pole. The colt was then able to sweep by taking the lead and never looked back taking a new lifetime mark winning in 1:52.1. Fulsome, out of a Somebeachsomewhere mare, is trained by USA top conditioner Ron Burke and was driven by Yannick Gingras. The win boosted his earnings to $42,232 in just three lifetime starts. The fourth $54,000 Albatross division was won by The Legend Hanover who quickly grabbed the lead in a :27 first quarter and led every step of the way to win impressively in 1:52. By Somebeachsomewhere and out of a Sportswriter mare, “The Legend” was driven by Chris Page for trainer Brian Brown. First crop sire Betting Line, who, after only four weeks of 2-year-old racing, has an incredible 82 starters from 119 foals already this season, saw three of his sons victorious in the Stallion Series divisions. Batterup Hanover (out of a Somebeachsomewhere mare) won his second in three starts taking a new lifetime mark of 1:54.3 for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Chris Ryder. Dunn & Ryder also combined with Rifleman who dominated his rivals winning convincingly by eight metres in 1:53.3. Rifleman’s dam is by another Empire alumni in Rocknroll Hanover. Driver Brian Sears piloted Twin B Edge to a Betting Line quinella. Twin B Edge made his move at the top of the stretch and cruised home to win by nearly two lengths in 1:52.4 over Get Along, also by Betting Line. This was the first lifetime win for the Casie Coleman-Herlihy trained colt who is out of a Rock N Roll Heaven mare. Whichwaytothebeach (Somebeachsomewhere - Swinging Beauty - Art Major) zipped to the front for driver Andrew McCarthy and prevailed in a sizzling 1:51.4 – setting a new 2YO stakes record.  Trained by Roland Mallar, this was Whichwaytothebeach’s first lifetime victory. The Captaintreacherous colt Bazooka Hanover’s performance in his Stallion Series division was quite exciting from post 9. Bazooka Hanover made several moves for driver David Miller during the race to be fifth at the head of the stretch. He then sprinted past his challengers to cross the line first in a new lifetime record of 1:54.1. “The 9 hole? That’s not an easy spot, especially for two-year-olds is it?” Miller said. “He really went a good race, even with the tough trip.” This was the second Stallion Series win for Bazooka Hanover who was is trained by Blake Mcintosh. His dam is the Western Terror mare Bittorsweet Terror. Fulsome The Legend Hanover Batterup Hanover Rifleman Twin B Edge Whichwaytothebeach Bazooka Hanover   Harnesslink Media

Hightstown, NJ - When Reflect With Me races in Friday's (July 24) $100,000 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old female harness racing pacers, she is likely to be something she has not been in her most recent starts - the favorite. Reflect With Me brings a three-race win streak to Harrah's Hoosier Park for the Nadia Lobell. She closed 2019 with a victory in the Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old filly pacers at odds of 27-1 and opened this season with a win in a conditioned race at 7-1. Last weekend at The Meadowlands, she captured the Mistletoe Shalee Stakes by three-quarters of a length over Lyons Sentinel at 8-1. She starts Friday's Nadia Lobell from post four in a seven-filly field, with Andy McCarthy driving for trainer Tony Alagna. Reflect With Me is the 7-5 favorite on the morning line. "She's been terrific," McCarthy said. "Tony has done a great job getting her to where she's really slick gaited now. When we first started back, there were a couple small issues, she was running in a little bit, but he's fixed her up that way now. She might not be the strongest filly in the country, but she is probably one of the fastest, that's for sure." Reflect With Me's 1:49 win in the Mistletoe Shalee is the season's fastest time for a 3-year-old filly pacer. She has paced her final quarter mile in :25.1 and :25.2 in her two starts this year. "She can do it any way you want, but I do think she's better if you try to trip her out a little bit," McCarthy said. "I definitely think she's better off the pace than toughing it out, she's got such high speed that it just works out better for her that way. She's not going to bully her way around the racetrack, but if she's close at the head of the stretch she's got a good chance of out-sprinting them." Reflect With Me is a daughter of Captaintreacherous out of Remember When. She is owned by breeder Brittany Farms and Brad Grant. For her career, Reflect With Me has won seven of 13 races, missed the board only once, and earned $575,122. In addition to last year's Breeders Crown, her victories in 2019 included divisions of the Champlain Stakes and Eternal Camnation. "I had quite a bit of faith in her coming back this year," McCarthy said. "I figured she would come back good, it was just a matter of how good the others ones came back. I think every filly is going to get her turn this year. I think it's pretty exciting." Priceless, the 2019 Indiana Sire Stakes champion trained and driven by Brandon Bates, is the 3-1 second choice in the Nadia Lobell. Priceless finished fourth in the Mistletoe Shalee. Gai Waterhouse, making her seasonal debut, is 9-2 for trainer Domenico Cecere and driver Michael Oosting. She was the 2019 Kentucky Sire Stakes champ. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) at Hoosier Park. The Nadia Lobell is race No. 7, with an estimated 8:18 p.m. post time. For Friday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Howard Taylor's horses are keeping him up at night, but only for the best of reasons. Taylor, a longtime owner who has experienced his share of success over the years, is enjoying a month to remember and hoping the good times continue as the calendar advances. Among Taylor's July highlights: Trotting mare Atlanta winning the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial over rival Manchego, 3-year-old pacing colt Tall Dark Stranger capturing the Meadowlands Pace after a dramatic stretch duel with rival Papi Rob Hanover, 3-year-old trotting colt Back Of The Neck winning consecutive stakes to stamp himself a prime contender for the Hambletonian, and a sparkling debut from 2-year-old female pacer Somethingbeautiful, who is a half-sister to Taylor's stakes-winner Shnitzledosomethin. "I can't even believe it, it's like everywhere I look," said Taylor, who this year is third in purses among North American owners. "It's almost an embarrassment of riches; I'm on Cloud Nine. "I don't want to go to sleep at night because I'm afraid that when I get up it will be a dream." This weekend, Taylor will watch Captain Groovy compete in the first of three seven-horse eliminations for the Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old pacers at The Meadows. The top-three finishers in each elim advance to the Aug. 1 final. Captain Groovy, trained by Ray Schnittker and driven by Mark MacDonald, will start from post six in his elimination. The race includes The Greek Freak, who brings a three-race win streak to the event, and Meadowlands Pace finalist Roll With JR. Last year, Captain Groovy started his campaign with four consecutive wins -- three in divisions of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series and the other in a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars. He was winless in his remaining five races, with three coming on the Grand Circuit, but was third in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile. Captain Groovy opened this season with consecutive victories in conditioned races, including a 1:48 score over older horses on June 20 at The Meadowlands. That time is tied for second fastest among all 3-year-old pacers this year. He then finished second in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Harrah's Philadelphia and fourth in a PASS split last week at The Meadows. "Last year, he started out like some sort of a monster," Taylor said. "Ray did the right thing, he put him in the Stallion Series to get him some education and not stretch him out expecting he would be real good at the end of the year. Then he sort of flattened out, but when he went to Lexington he raced real well. "We turned him out sort of fresh, and when we brought him back this year, I couldn't believe how good he was. The second start, he came first up against some good older horses and blew them away. I was in shock. I'm just hoping it's not a repeat of last year. I don't know what to think about that horse. He's made me a liar every day, both ways." Captain Groovy is a son of Captaintreacherous and first foal out of Lets Groove Tonite. He sold for $90,000 at the 2018 Lexington Selected Sale and in addition to Taylor is owned by Schnittker, Ted Gewertz, and Mary Kinsey Arnold. Taylor has never owned an Adios winner, with his best finish of second coming in 2010 with Versado. Captain Groovy's driver, MacDonald, won the Adios in 2012 with Bolt The Duer. "(Captain Groovy) has got the speed to go with anyone," Taylor said. "I'm hoping for the best. When he's on, he's as good as any. I'm hoping this is a good week." The second elimination of the Adios features Meadowlands Pace runner-up Papi Rob Hanover as well as Pace finalist Captain Barbossa and recent PASS division winners Sea Of Life and No Lou Zing, who has won three consecutive starts since a second-place finish in his seasonal debut. In the third elim, 2019 Ohio Sire Stakes champion and world-record-holder Elver Hanover will look to rebound from his first loss in 11 career races against a field that includes 2020 New Jersey Sire Stakes champ Rockin The Aces and Meadowlands Pace finalists Capt Midnight and Catch The Fire. Racing begins at 12:45 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at The Meadows. The $25,000 Adios eliminations are races five, eight and nine. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Two of the hottest trainers in harness racing each sent out a two-year-old pacing filly who together produced a great stretch duel Tuesday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, as Notorious Pink from the Tony Alagna stable made her debut a successful one by edging the Nancy Takter barn's JK Alwaysbalady by a head in 1:53.4. Tim Tetrick sent Notorious Pink (Captaintreacherous - She's a Hot Mess) to the lead at the eighth pole around her favored rival, reaching the first station in a leisurely :29.3. Yannick Gingras decided to put JK Alwaysbalady (by Horses of the Year Always B Miki and JK She'salady), a 1:52.1 winner in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes company in her last start, on the lead in front of the stands, increasing the tempo to :57.3 and leaving all but the pocketsitter in their wake. The positions remained unchanged past a 1:26 three-quarters and to headstretch, where Tetrick pulled Notorious Pink out and gained a head advantage by midstretch. But that's all she would ever lead by, as the pacesetter dug in tenaciously, and was just outsprinted in the :27.4 dash home. Notorious Pink, who had had a 1:55 - :26.4 qualifier at Gaitway before this race, offers lots of promise for owners Alagna Racing LLC, Steven Head, John Fodera, and Riverview Racing LLC.   A freshman son of Captaintreacherous went even faster later on the card, when Crunch Hanover (dam: Code One Hanover) was along in time over Lindysalwaysthinkn in 1:53. Lindysalwaysthinkn wouldn't surrender the lead when challenged by the winner, so Scott Zeron took the pocket and waited to take another shot in the stretch. Nearing the wire Crunch Hanover went on to take a half-length decision over the pacesetter for trainer Linda Toscano and the partnership of Enviro Stables, South Mountain Stables, R-And-I Farms, and Bay's Stable.   The sophomore trotting Kadabra filly P L Notsonice, coming off a second in a division of an Ontario Sure Stakes Gold event, made short work of her opposition while taking a new mark of 1:54. Driver Renaldo Morales III sent the Joe Skowyra-trained distaff on a big move early and secured control of the throttle, then was unchallenged in a :56.3 back half, winning by 9½ lengths after the four previous races had been decided by a nose, a head, and two necks. P L Notsonice, third in the Peaceful Way final last year, is co-owned by Morales and Prince Lee Acres.   From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

CHESTER, PA - On a Wednesday afternoon when the Harrah's Philadelphia harness racing oval was favoring forwardly-placed horses, driver Tim Tetrick sent the pacing mare Affluent Seelster to the lead in front of the stands, then held off the inside drive of the horse they had looped early, Take Abit Of Life, by a head to post a new mark of 1:53 while winning the $12,800 distaff feature. The daughter of Mach Three now has three victories in only five seasonal outings, and she increased his lifetime earnings to $61,849 for trainer Paul Stafford and the partnership of Stafford Racing Inc. and Thomas Ceraso Jr. Setting the pace or sitting in the pocket accounted for 12 of the 14 victorious paths at Philly on Wednesday; one who won via the second tactic was the Woodstock pacing mare Bye Bye Felicia, who posted a 1:51.1 score in the $11,600 top event for the more seasoned set. In contrast to her last start, which she triumphed by a nose at Pocono, Bye Bye Felicia left her competition 6¼ lengths behind in winning for driver Joe Bongiorno, trainer/sister Jennifer Bongiorno, and owner Rick Howles. The winner has now amassed a career bankroll of $359,404. Sail By, who took a mark of 1:50.4 at Lexington in her freshman campaign, made her first start as a sophomore a winning one in 1:51.2. The speed/pocket theme held in this event as well: Sail By worked her way to command past Tuapeka Jessie N past the quarter, then withstood that one's outside bid through the lane by a half-length. The winning daughter of Captaintreacherous won for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Tony Alagna, and Brittany Farms LLC.  From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Brian Brown is happy with what he sees from Workin Ona Mystery so far this harness racing season on the racetrack. He is even more pleased by what is not readily visible. The horse's health. Workin Ona Mystery is among the contenders in Saturday's $250,000 Graduate Series final for 4-year-old pacers at The Meadowlands. The event is part of a 13-race card at The Big M that also includes the $250,000 Graduate championship for 4-year-old trotters, a single elimination for the Meadowlands Pace, and Reynolds Memorial divisions for 3-year-old trotters. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT). Last year, Workin Ona Mystery started his campaign with three consecutive wins and finished third in the finals of the North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace, where he was beaten by a head. But health woes slowed the horse's progress from there and he won only once in his final five starts. This year in three starts, Workin Ona Mystery has a win, a second, and a third. He captured his opening-round race in the Graduate Series by a neck over Century Farroh in 1:50 at Tioga Downs on June 21 and finished second to Bettor's Wish in last week's second round at The Meadowlands. Bettor's Wish, who skipped the first round in favor of the Roll With Joe Stakes, won by two lengths in 1:48.2. "Right now, we're in pretty good shape," Brown said. "He seems pretty healthy, very alert. He seems full of himself. Every day, he's out there playing and jumping around. I think he's coming into the race pretty good, a lot better than a lot of times last year." As far as how Workin Ona Mystery has changed from last year, Brown said, "Ninety percent of it is that he's healthy." "He did pack on some weight," Brown added. "He was not a real big horse last year. He wasn't short, like a small horse, but he wasn't a thick horse either. He has thickened up quite a bit, so he's got more strength to him. I'm hoping that will help him stay healthy." Workin Ona Mystery has won 10 of 20 career races and $469,641. The son of Captaintreacherous-Dragon's Tale is owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Stambaugh Leeman Stable, Alan Keith, and Wingfield Brothers. Brown brought the horse back slowly in the winter and does not plan to test Workin Ona Mystery against older horses on the Grand Circuit until the Dan Patch Stakes at Harrah's Hoosier Park in mid-August. "He's got to race older horses this year, and that can be hard on them, but he's got such a great attitude," Brown said. "He wants to be a winner, he loves passing horses, and he's an easy horse to drive. He's not the easiest horse to be around in the barn. He's ornery. But on the track, training and racing, he's so easy to drive. "After we struggled so much last year it's nice to just see the real horse. And he may not be the best 4-year-old or older horse, but he will hold his own against them as long as he's healthy." Both preliminary rounds of the Graduate Series had three divisions and resulted in six different winners. Joining Workin Ona Mystery as first-round winners were Dancin Lou and Hurrikane Emperor. Joining Bettor's Wish as second-round winners were Bllack Hole and Brassy Hanover. Bettor's Wish was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male pacer of 2019. He finished third in last month's Roll With Joe, which was his seasonal debut. His 1:48.2 score last week in the Graduate was the slowest of the three divisions; Bllack Hole won in 1:48 and Brassy Hanover in 1:48.1. A total of nine horses in last week's three divisions paced their final quarter-mile in less than 26 seconds. "There are so many horses that come home fast out there," Brown said. "Anymore, time really means nothing. It's who you beat and how much money you made, that's all that matters." For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for USTA

CHESTER, PA - Allywag Hanover and Captain Groovy, both three-year-old pacing colts who have already won in 1:48 in this shortened season of primetime harness racing, are among five fields racing after $39,432 each in their first preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. There will also be six $20,000 divisions of the companion Pennsylvania Stallion Series action. The Captaintreacherous colt Allywag Hanover did in fact enter for the elimination races for the Meadowlands Pace, which were to have been conducted this Saturday. But when only twelve colts dropped in for that event, the conditions of the race called for "byes" to be offered to the top seasonal moneywinners, with two going directly to the rich July 18 event and the other ten racing there this week, with the top eight coming back for the Pace final. Allywag Hanover was second in seasonal earnings and opted out to come to Philly, as did Chief Mate, who was third in 2020 earnings. After a good freshman campaign, Allywag Hanover has been nothing short of sensational so far this year with two Meadowlands victories, the latest last Saturday in 1:48, coming his own last quarter in :25.3. Trained by Brett Pelling for the Allywag Stable, the colt is scheduled to be handled by Tim Tetrick Friday from post six in the eighth race field of seven. Captain Groovy, also a son of Captaintreacherous, posted his 1:48 victory 20 days ago at the Jersey mile track, rushing home in :26. Not kept eligible for the Meadowlands Pace, Captain Groovy is slated to be driven by Mark MacDonald from the middle of the twelfth race field of seven for trainer Ray Schnittker, who is also a co-owner with Ted Gewertz, Howard Taylor, and Mary Kinsey Arnold. Also drawing post four for his tenth race Sires event is Chief Mate, who has won in 1:50.2 here and 1:50 at Pocono in an undefeated campaign. Yet another son of top sire Captaintreacherous, George Napolitano Jr. has been tapped to drive the developing pacer for trainer Tony Alagna and the ownership of Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant, and Captain Kirk Racing. The two fastest 2020 winners in the seventh race Sires division have drawn the outside posts six and seven, respectively: the Somebeachsomewhere colt Enough Sun (1:51 at The Meadows), with David Miller getting the early call from trainer Brian Brown, and the Captaintreacherous gelding The Greek Freak (1:50.3 at Pocono), slated to have Matt Kakaley in the sulky for trainer Ron Burke. The eleventh race division may be the most wide-open of the five Sire Stakes contests. Fastest seasonal winner in that section is the Well Said colt Lyons Skipper, moving into the Jim King Jr. barn after a 1:52.2 win at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with Tim Tetrick listed to drive from post four. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia  

WILKES-BARRE, PA – The Betterthancheddar mare Miss You N, given a fine pocket trip by driver Scott Zeron, gained into a :54.3 last half to catch pacesetter Vorst by a half-length while taking a new mark of 1:51.2 in winning the $14,000 pacing feature for mares during the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Miss You N was away quickly and stretched Vorst to a :27.2 opener, then yielded and sat in the two-hole as Vorst got a breather to a :56.4 half. Favored Apple Bottom Jeans made a good first-over move to and past a 1:24 three-quarters to challenge, but eventually the race came down to the first two inside horses, and Zeron utilized the Pocono Pike to catch the pacesetter. Ross Croghan trains the winner for the partnership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC, who saw their mare boost her bankroll to $181,430.   The Irish-bred mare Blackwell Ruby IR showed no rust after a near-four month layoff, brushing to the lead in front of the stands and going on to a career-best 1:51.2 triumph in a $13,600 distaff pacing class. Jim Marohn Jr. drove the winner of 12 for 16 lifetime for trainer Bob Cleary and owner Gavin Murdock, and she shows every indication of being a threat to tougher mares (though she can still win in this class twice more based on her meager earnings before going westward across the Atlantic). Stopping the clock a tick faster than the featured females was the Captaintreacherous sophomore colt A Positive Hanover, who was pointed right down the road by driver Corey Callahan upon coming in from Canada and kept on rolling to a convincing 1:51.1 triumph for a new lifetime best. Third in a division of the Bluegrass at two, A Positive Hanover looks ready to fulfill his potential now for trainer Blake MacIntosh, co-owner with Steve Heimbecker, Touchstone Farms Inc. and Larry Denley. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

CHESTER, PA - Trainer Nancy Takter and driver Dexter Dunn combined to win the fastest two of the four divisions of the $218,260 first preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, with Red Right Hand, whose 1:52 was the fastest clocking among the babies, salvaging some honor for tote-board favorites, who had taken a PaSS drubbing up until then. Red Right Hand, a Captaintreacherous colt out of the mare Preppy Party Girl, gradually made his way to the front past a :27.2 quarter, went to the half in :56.2, then received a stern challenge from Summa Cum Laude before, through, and after the 1:24 three-quarters. Red Right Hand dug in to keep his game opponent at bay by a neck for the partnership of Christina Takter, Nancy Takter and JAF Racing, Joe Sbrocco, and R A W Equine Inc. The other successful Takter - Dunn teaming was with the Always B Miki - Beach Gal colt Always A Miki, who followed up on a 1:56 morning victory with a well-deserved 1:52.2 mark here. Always A Miki was fifth, some 6½ lengths behind at the half, but the colt just kept eating into the leader Literl Lad Hanover's margin, then left him behind by 1½ lengths with personal back fractions raw of :54.3 - :27.1 for his owners, Christina Takter, Goran Anderberg, Herb Liverman, and the Rojan Stables. The Sweet Lou - Lucy's Pearl colt Lou's Pearlman was let go at 7-1 despite having the best qualifying win time of all the PaSS horses (1:54), and he responded by lowering his tab further to 1:53.3. Another colt having to overcome a difficult first-up journey, Lou's Pearlman showed determination en route to a neck victory over inside rallier Crunch Hanover for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Ron Burke, and Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC along with Elizabeth Novak. Bayfield Beach dropped five seconds from his first qualifier to his second, and for his pari-mutuel debut he dropped over three more seconds en route to a 1:52.4 in-hand victory. David Miller got the call to guide the Somebeachsomewhere - DB Blue Chip colt for trainer Brian Brown and the ownership of Crossover Racing, Country Club Acres Inc., Rich Lombardo Racing LLC, and Joe Sbrocco (who joined Christina Takter with an ownership double in the Sire Stakes). In the six $20,000 Stallion Series races, driver David Miller and trainer Blake MacIntosh teamed twice with winning shippers from Woodbine Mohawk Park: first with the Somebeachsomewhere - Lady Be Great colt Great Somewhere, an easy 1:55.1 winner for the partnership of the trainer, Reginald Pettipas, Ruth Irving, and Gilles Landry, and then with the Captaintreacherous - Bittorsweet Terror colt Bazooka Hanover, who looked ripe for passing in midstretch but grittily went on to defeat Caviart Skipper by a neck, with Fernet About It just photoed out for the deuce, in 1:56.4 for owner Steve Heimbacker. The cardopening Stallion Series winner, the Sweet Lou - Edra Hanover colt Emblaze Hanover, had several distinctions for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Ron Burke, and Burke Racing Stable LLC, Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby - he was the fastest winner in this sector in 1:53.3; he gave Kakaley-Burke the distinction of being the only teaming to win both a Sire Stake and a Stallion Series race; and he was the only StS winner not to be on the lead at the half, using "pocket rocket" tactics en route to the win. In a stretch duel of sons of Betting Line, Andres Hanover (out of Anadarko Hanover) held off the late shot of Rifleman by a neck in 1:54 for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Andrew Harris, and the partnership of Michael Goldberg Racing Inc. and A Harris Racing LLC. The other StS credit for Betting Line was also a battle between two of his colts - Batterup Hanover (out of Beachbunny Hanover) withstood favored Caviart Richmond by a half-length in 1:55.4 for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Chris Ryder, the latter co-owner with William Ezzo and Barry Spak. Finally, Rollbin, a son of A Rocknroll Dance - Binions, sustained late on the front end for a half-length decision over Get Along in 1:55.2. The meet's leading driver, Tim Tetrick, was in the sulky for trainer Jim King Jr. and his wife/owner Jo Ann Looney-King. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia  

CHESTER, PA - 2019's Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year, Lyons Sentinel, continued her preparations for the imminent stakes season with a 1:54.3 qualifying win at Harrah's Philadelphia early Tuesday afternoon. The daughter of Captaintreacherous, who was also last year's leading moneywinning freshman at $801,809, made a frontward move at the half and hung up successive :28 quarters to post an easy 2½ length victory, giving her now two wins and a second in preseason qualifying action. Threelyonsracing owns the Jim King Jr. trainee, who was driven as usual by Tim Tetrick. In two-year-old qualifying action, two pacing colts tied for fastest mile of the day by winning in 1:57.2. The Somebeachsomewhere - Swinging Beauty gelding Whichwaytothebeach went down the road from the rail, stepping home in :57.2 - :28.1 for trainer/driver Roland Mallar and owners Alan Johnston, Northfork Racing Stable, and John Craig; matching that clocking was the Always B Miki - Don't Deny Me gelding Dontpassme Hanover, a pocket rocket for driver Art Stafford Jr. and trainer Mark Harder, the latter also co-owner with Rick Phillips. In the trots for babies, speed honors went to the Bar Hopping - Up Front Annika gelding Ginger Tree Knox, who made every pole a winning one in 2:00.4 for trainer/driver Steve Cook and the partnership of Sam Beegle, Ginger Tree Ventures LLC, Double D Racing Stable and the Reber-Chasen Stable. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia  

CHESTER, PA - The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and its complementary Stallion Series program make their 2020 debuts on Wednesday and Thursday at Harrah's Philadelphia, with over $600,000 to be on the line as two-year-old pacers lead off the action - the fillies on Wednesday, and the colts and geldings on Thursday. In Wednesday's filly racing, three of the babies have already achieved sub-1:55 marks in qualifying action, including the pair drawing innermost in the race seven division. The Betting Line - Darena Hanover miss Darby Hanover won at The Meadowlands in 1:54, with a sizzling :26.2 last quarter; she'll start from the rail for trainer Julie and driver Andy Miller. Right next to her will be the Always B Miki - Western Silk filly Grace Hill, who ships to Philly after a 1:54.4 win at the Toronto area's Woodbine Mohawk Park. Dexter Dunn will handle the driving assignment behind her for trainer Mark Harder. The other sub-1:55 filly, Blue Diamond Eyes, begins from the rail for trainer Ron Burke, who has no fewer than nine fillies in the four divisions of the Sires - three in this section and two in the others. Blue Diamond Eyes, a daughter of Captaintreacherous - Aria Hanover, came her last three-quarters in 1:23.3 when she won at The Meadowlands in 1:54.3. Yannick Gingras has the sulky assignment Wednesday. Burke has "only" seven entrants in Thursday's action for males, but he does have the fastest winner to date in the Sweet Lou - Lucy's Pearl colt Lou's Pearlman, who defeated his stablemate Fulsome (Betting Line - Triple V Hanover) by 1¾ lengths in a Gaitway qualifier in 1:54. The post position draw was not kind to the Burke Brigade duo - Lou's Pearlman must start from the outside in the seventh race division field of seven, with Fulsome only one notch to his left on the starting gate. This seventh race Sires cut may prove to be the toughest of the four sections for colts, as also in the field are Captains Place (Captaintreacherous - Dream Out Loud), winner of three straight qualifiers at Scioto Downs; Billy Clyde (Always B Miki - Jan It Jackson), perfect in two lines including a 1:55.4 win in a purse start at Pocono; and Crunch Hanover (Captaintreacherous - Code One Hanover), who won both his preps for this contest. There will be four Sire Stakes and four Stallion Series races for the fillies on Wednesday; Thursday will have four Sires contests and six Stallion Series races. The cream of the Pennsylvania breeding ranks are certainly represented in these first stakes of the season, with no fewer than 22 of the freshmen over the two days bringing $100,000 or more as a yearling last fall, in addition to several attractive homebreds. Racing will start at Harrah's Philadelphia at 12:25 p.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr., a three-time North American UDR champion, continued his red-hot sulky ways during the early portion of the 2020 meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, picking up five victories on the twelve-race Saturday night card. One of the wins came in the richest race of the night, a $20,000 claiming handicap pace, and the horse he guided, the Captaintreacherous ridgling Trente Don, has been as hot as the driver - a winner of his last four and five of his last six after a 1:52.2 victory on a night where the mercury hovered near the freezing mark. Taken by trainer Walter Adamczyk and owner William Emmons for $34,375 out of his second straight prelim win in the Game Of Claims, the pair have won $35,000 in purse money with the horse since then, taking his $50,000 Game Of Claims Championship last week and now this event. The Shadyshark Hanover gelding Horsing Around has now won three of his last four starts after a thumping 1:51.3 engine victory in an $18,000 claiming handicap pace, motoring home in :27.4. Matt Kakaley was in the sulky for trainer Ed Gannon Jr., who is also co-owner of the winner with Frank Canzone. Jim Morrill Jr. also had success in the featured conditioned event of the evening, a $17,000 trot, guiding the Jailhouse Jesse gelding Bully Boy to a lifetime best of 1:54.1 despite the chilly conditions. Trainer Jenny Melander had her new acquisition ready from the word "go," with Morrill moving with Bully Boy from fifth, five lengths off at the quarter, to the lead before the second turn, trotting his own individual second split in 27.1. He opened a big lead on favored Muscle Star, who had made two speed moves despite broken equipment, and never surrendered the advantage to the wire for owner Risto Vidgren. Morrill ended up with a 12-5-2-0 tally for the night, giving him a 24-21 win advantage over perennial Pocono driving king George Napolitano Jr., and Jim's UDR for the meet is a lofty .411. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - A pair of three-year-olds making successful career harness racing debuts were the highlight performers of the first Monday twilight card of 2020 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In a 1-2 finish for six-figure yearlings, Rouser Hanover, a Captaintreacherous colt out of the million dollar-winning mare Romantic Moment, overcame broken equipment to tally by three lengths in 1:54.4, last half :56 for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Tony Alagna, and the partnership of Brittany Farms LLC, Big Als Stables, Brad Grant, and Riverview Leblanc Vj Stable. Finishing second was Lyons Friends, a Western Ideal gelding out of the Hall of Famer Artistic Vision, the dam of Clear Vision and Rock N Roll Hanover. Another successful "firster" was Somebeachsomefra, a daughter of Sombeachsomewhere out of the 1:49 mare Ms Caila J Fra. Driver Simon Allard took command with the filly on the far turn and finished 3½ lengths clear in 1:55.4 for brother/trainer Rene Allard, also co-owner with Stephen Klunowski and Gil Short. This was the first Monday card of the year at Pocono. This coming week will set three-quarters of the standard pattern schedule in motion, with racing on Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. and Monday at 4 p.m.; in April, Tuesdays at 4 p.m. will be added, and will remain the basic schedule until September at Pocono. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 26, 2020 -- Blue Ivy ended her outstanding sophomore harness racing season with five straight wins. But how would the daughter of Captaintreacherous-All Blue perform in her 4-year-old debut following a layoff of nearly 10 weeks? The answer: just fine, thank you, as Blue Ivy shot the Lightning Lane to capture Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Lakeisha Hall did the heavy lifting on the front end, with Blue Ivy stalking from the pocket. Once Aaron Merriman pointed Blue Ivy inside, she blew by Lakeisha Hall and downed her by 2 lengths in 1:53.2 over a "good" surface. Brown Brinny was a ground-saving third.   Bill Bercury trains Blue Ivy, who vaulted over $200,000 in career earnings, for Renee Bercury. Mike Wilder enjoyed a huge Wednesday, piloting six winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the program features an $11,205.58 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

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