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WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Game Of Claims Series continued on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with the temperature dropping through the 20s throughout the twilight harness racing card but the contested action featuring hot contests and hot horses. Both winners were claimed out of the $25,000 second preliminary leg for horses this week valued at a base price of $27,500, as horsemen want the right horse ready to take the throne in this group's $50,000 Game of Claims Championship on Saturday the 29th. The only double winner in this Game Of Claims section is the four-year-old Captaintreacherous ridgling Trente Deo, but if he sweeps his prelims, he'll be doing for somebody other than trainer Rene Allard and owners Allard Racing Inc. and Earl Hill Jr. Trente Deo, an engine winner last week for those connections, here rallied from the pocket to post a 1:52.4 victory for driver Simon Allard. Also winning in this company, and also moving to a new stable, is the veteran Pacific Fella gelding Polak A, who came from off the pace to win in 1:52.1 while exceeding $800,000 in earnings for driver Jim Morrill Jr., trainer Darren Taneyhill and owner Eric Prevost (these two having the horse only this one week). Polak A had a second last week and a win here, so like two-time winner Trente Deo he is likely to make their Championship and may be eyed by several stables, even though the base price of claiming for this group goes up to $30,000 in next week's last preliminary. There were three divisions of the second preliminary round for the Game Of Claims group valued at a $17,500 base price Saturday, and the rail proved the common launching pad for the three victors of the $15,000 races. Simon and Rene Allard combined to take two of the cuts: with Horsing Around, who had been claimed in the first prelim, the Shadyshark Hanover gelding winning for Allard Racing Inc and Neal Moase in 1:53.2; and with the Roll With Joe gelding Stirling Escort, picture-perfect in tallying for A-1 Racing in 1:54.3. Neither Allard winner was claimed this time, but the winner of the other cut, the Make My Day gelding Ancle, is changing hands for the second straight week after becoming the only two-time Game Of Claims winner in this price class. Jim Morrill Jr. guided Ancle to victory in 1:53.3 for trainer James Guagliardo and owner Steven Celinsky. In all, six horses were claimed for $105,000 at this level with an eye towards the group's February 29 $30,000 Championship, bringing the night's total barnchangers to a dozen, with $278,775 changing hands. In the $17,500 top conditioned pace, last year's Pocono Pacer of the Year and the winningest harness horse in the United States with nineteen, the eleven-year-old Western Terror gelding Atta Boy Dan, joined the repeat series victors as the only two-time winners at the meet with a 1:51.3 victory. Tyler Buter kept the greybeard just off a wicked :25.4 opening duel, brushed to the lead, and then the pair won as they pleased for trainer Peter Pellegrino and owner Stephen Larkin. The victory was the 74th in Atta Boy Dan's career, and he now sports a bankroll of $982,752. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. visited Victory Lane four times Saturday, giving him ten triumphs after three days in the young Pocono season. The PHHA and the Pocono community extends its sympathies to trainer Andrew Harris, to his two daughters, and to the extended family upon hearing that Andrew's wife Amanda passed away at age 34 after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

LEBANON, OH. - Highlights of the Monday afternoon (Feb. 10) harness racing matinee at Miami Valley Raceway were three divisions of the first leg of the Omar Hiteman Memorial Series and four splits of second elimination round action in the Survivor Series for $5,000 male pacers. American Trademark (Trace Tetrick) captured the first division of the Hiteman for green pacing horses in 1:55.1 over a track rated good, topping ER Hotshot (Ricky Macomber Jr.) and Sundown Showdown (Brady Galliers). The Tyler George owned and trained 4-year-old son of Rockin Image paid $11.60 for his second lifetime win in just seven starts. Fishin For Apples (John DeLong) proved worthy of his even money favoritism, besting Farmers Only (Tetrick) and Letsmakithapncapn (Trevor Smith) in 1:54.4. The impressive late-blooming 4-year-old gelding by Mr Apples, owned by Kathleen Prickett and trained by Rob Cook, now has triumphed in half of his first six career tries. Captain Sunshine (Cameron McCown, 1:55.3, $3.60) remained undefeated in four lifetime trips to post beating Spoiled Rockn (Kayne Kauffman) and Sunshine's Finest (Miller). The 4-year-old gelded son of Captaintreacherous is owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo. The Survivor Series field was narrowed from 40 to 20 for a pair of $7500 third round final elimination races next week. The $20,000 championship tilt is scheduled for Monday, February 24. Winners of this week's four elimination heats were A J Corbelli (Kayne Kauffman, 1:56, $4.40), Hit And Giggle A (Brett Miller, 1:56, $3.80), Star Guitar (Miller, 1:56.4, $3.60) and I Am Will (Jason Beattie, 1:55.1, $35.80). Three of the four winners were claimed for the second week in a row and will race out of new homes in the final elimination. Rules called for all horses to carry $5000 claiming tags in Round 1, then only horses claimed in Round 1 eligible to be claimed for an enhanced tag of $6500 in Round 2. The price tags escalate to $8500 in Round 3 on just the four horses that were collared in Round 2 and advanced with a Top Five finish. From Miami Valley Raceway  

WILKES-BARRE, PA -- The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono opened on Saturday night, the earliest seasonal start in the 55 years of harness racing at the track, but while the temperature hung around the freezing mark, the competition on the oval was hot, mainly in the first preliminary leg of two sections of the track's Game Of Claims Pacing Series. Action for horses entered at various claiming prices, with three preliminaries determining those who will race for the throne as their Game Of Claims divisional champion, provided two divisions of $25,000 base-price horses going for $25,000 each and three cuts of $15,000 base-price horses going for $15,000 (the base price in each grouping goes up slightly with each preliminary) opening night. With $50,000 and $30,000 Championship purses respectively, it's no surprise that a total of eighteen horses were claimed in Saturday's first round action, including four of the five divisional winners, for a total of $350,000. The only Game Of Claims winner on Saturday not changing barns will be the Rock N Roll Heaven gelding This Is My Song, who moved after a blistering half, made the lead easily to the ¾, and defeated his field of $25,000 horses handily in 1:51.2, fastest mile of the opening card for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Dan Maier, and Racing To Win Stable. The other winner at that level was the Captaintreacherous ridgling Trente Deo, who never looked back for the brother team of trainer Rene and driver Simon Allard in 1:53.4, last half :55.4, for Allard Racing Inc. and Earl Hill Jr. Team Allard also won the first division for the $15,000 horses, with the Delmarvalous gelding Machine Team benefiting from a fast pace to score a closing victory in 1:55.4 for A 1 Racing as the only Game Of Claims favorite to win. The other two sectors for $15,000 horses were taken by Darren Taneyhill- trained horses coming off two-month layoffs, and they won by a combined 14¼ lengths for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and owner Eric Prevost - the Cheyenne Rei gelding Cheyenne Reijane coming out of the pocket for a 7½ length win in 1:53.3, and the Make My Day gelding Ancle on the engine to finish 6¾ lengths to the good in 1:54.1. The 11-year-old Western Terror gelding Atta Boy Dan, 2019's Pocono Pacer of the Year while posting a United States-high win total of nineteen seasonal triumphs, readjusted quickly to northeast Pennsylvania, capturing a $14,000 conditioned pace in 1:51.4 for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Peter Pellegrino, and owner Stephen Larkin. Rock Diamonds N did not want to surrender the early lead, so Buter put "Dan" in the pocket, then came again after the leader in the stretch and went by for a half-length triumph, the 73rd win of the pacer's distinguished career while moving his lifetime bankroll to $974,002. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

MILTON, ON - December 19, 2019 - The preliminary rounds of the Valedictory and Niagara Series for three-year-old pacers concluded on a very cold Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Valedictory for colts and geldings and Niagara for fillies each required a pair of $17,000 second leg divisions ahead of next week's finals. Lyons Pegasus took advantage of hot early fractions to shoot up the rail by tiring foes for a 1:52.2 victory in the first Valedictory division. Jody Jamieson steered the Mark Goddard trainee to his sixth win in 14 starts this season. The opening half of the race saw Silver Beast and Mc Pat duel to the midway point in :54.4. Race-favourite Windsun Ricky was left first-up for the final turn grind, pacing alongside Mc Pat to three-quarters in 1:23.1. Lyons Pegasus stayed along the rail in sixth at the head of the lane, but with just under four-lengths to make up, the gelded son of Well Said had a clear lane at the inside to shoot through for a length and a half score. To watch race replay, click here.  Jknr Liketell came from third over to finish second, while Legion Seelster and Mc Pat rounded out the Superfecta. Owned by Threelyonsracing, Lyons Pegasus heads towards next week's final with a win and runner-up finish in the preliminary legs. His sixth career score brings his earnings up to $65,200. Lyons Pegasus paid $7.40 to win. Jamieson used the rail again in the second split to win with Captain Cash at 8-1 in 1:52.4. A son of Captaintreacherous, Captain Cash left well and enjoyed a two-hole ride after Virgin Storm cleared following a :26.4 opening-quarter. Virgin Storm got an easy second-quarter before being confronted by What Up Mo, as the first-up challenger held a short lead at three-quarters in 1:25. In the stretch, What Up Mo was swarmed in the final-eighth by several rivals, including Captain Cash up the rail. Cheddar Bay finished second by a length, while Conboyville and Grand Poobah completed the top-four. What Up Mo finished fifth. To watch the race replay, click here. Captain Cash, who was seventh in last week's first leg, is now one for four since being acquired by Mardon Stables and debuting for trainer Bruce MacDonald. The sophomore pacer is four for 15 this season and five for 22 overall. He now has $46,510 banked this season and $52,270 overall. A $2 win ticket on Captain Cash returned $19.50. Trip Aces Hanover wore down Cranberry Brie to win the first division of the Niagara in 1:54.4. Doug McNair guided the Herb Holland trainee to her third win in 22 starts this season. Race-favourite Cranberry Brie circled to the lead in the second-quarter and would hold the lead until deep stretch. Trip Aces Hanover got underway from fifth at the half, following cover for most of the final turn before being left uncovered nearing three-quarters. In the stretch, Trip Aces Hanover proved to be too much for Cranberry Brie to fight off, as the outside challenger muscled by for the score. Giggle Hanover came through late for second, beat a length. Cranberry Brie was third, while Fresh Eyes was fourth. To watch race replay, click here. A daughter of Bettors Delight, Trip Aces Hanover has now earned $59,740 this season for owner James Avritt Jr. She heads towards next week's final with a win in round two following a third-place finish in last week's series opener. Trip Aces Hanover paid $5.90 to win. Arya Stark won the showdown of first leg winners in Thursday's second division, converting off a two-hole ride to defeat 6/5 favourite Dreamfair Zenfire. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Arya Stark left well and settled for second, allowing Dreamfair Zenfire to show the way. The week one winners sat one-two through fractions of :27.3, :57 and 1:26.2. In the stretch, Arya Stark angled to the outside and powered by for a 3 ¾ length victory over Dreamfair Zenfire in 1:54. Passport Hanover was third, while Erikas Shadow was fourth. To watch race replay, click here. Trained by Melissa Lamoureux, Arya Stark is now six for 35 on the campaign and seven for 37 overall. The daughter of Royal Mattjesty has now earned $72,162 this season for owners Lamoureux, Jeffrey Boyd and Jefferson Davis. Arya Stark, who returned $6.90 to win, will now have an opportunity to sweep the Niagara Series in next week's final. The Valedictory and Niagara Series were open to three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2019. Both series will conclude next Thursday (December 26) with $35,000 finals on Woodbine Mohawk Park's annual Boxing Day matinee program. Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Captaintreacherous, the former outstanding American harness racing colt pacer and the leading juvenile sire in North America with his first two crops, was represented by his first 'down under' winner in the two-year-old colt It's All About Faith. A member of the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen barn, the colt led most of the way for driver Mark Purdon in the first heat of the Breckon Farms Young Guns in a slick 1:56.4 at Alexandra Park, Auckland on Friday night (Dec. 13). It's All About Faith, who was having his first start, clocked 56.3 for the last and 28.3 for the final quarter. To watch the race replay, click here.  Captaintreacherous had three runners in the nine-horse field in It's All About Faith first, Platinum Stride fourth and Captain Nemo eighth. It's All About Faith is out of the Group 1 winning Christian Cullen mare Veste (1:57.1), who has left four winners - all inside 1:58 - from four starters, and is a member of the same maternal family as the dual New Zealand Cup winner Il Vicolo, Gotta Go Cullen and Stunin Cullen, all million dollar winners. Captaintreacherous's frozen semen is available in New Zealand and Australia through Empire Stallions in Victoria. By Peter Wharton              

Blue Ivy overcame windy conditions and a brisk 39 degrees to become the fastest three-year-old harness racing filly pacer to win in the history of Northfield Park. Blue Ivy (Captaintreacherous - Ali Blue - American Ideal) fired from post two to lead her competition through quarter times of :26.3, :54.1, 1:22 and 1:51.1, winning by 7 ¾-lengths. The previous 1:51.2 record was held by sophomore filly pacer Giggles In Dreams and Shawn Barker II set earlier this year. Blue Ivy now has eight wins in 20 starts this season for owner Renee Bercury and trainer William Bercury. Aaron Merriman was aboard for the winning drive. The victory increased Blue Ivy's earnings to $185,285. Blue Ivy was heavily favored and returned $2.40 to win. by Ayers Ratlliff, for Northfield Park

Dover, DE - Captain Crunch punished the harness racing field he faced in an all-age track record performance, capturing the elimination round for next Wednesday’s $335,000 Hap Hanson Progress Pace for three-year-old colts and geldings, at Dover Downs. Captain Crunch, recovered from last week’s break in the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs. Driver Yannick Gingras cut fractions of :26.4, :54, and 1:21.1 before stopping the teletimer in 1:47.3. The previous all-age track record at Dover was 1:48 and was co-held by Heston Blue Chip (2012) and Bandolito (2014). Captain Crunch, sired by Captaintreacherous, is owned by 3 Brothers Stables, C.Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. Trainer Nancy Takter Johansson, was involved in a vehicular accident, traveling to Dover Downs, earlier in the evening.  She arrived about twenty minutes prior to her race and was ok. US Captain finished second and American Mercury finished third. Race favorite Southwind Ozzi finished last and did not qualify for the final. The second leg of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders’ Fund for two-year-old filly pace was contested in two $20K divisions as the Daily Double on the evening card at Dover. Members of USTA District 11 who had attended the district meeting flowed over to enjoy dinner and watch. The first division was a repeat of last week as Bag Of Jewels (Roddy’s Bags Again-Artist Jewels) led from the rail post from start to finish in a lifetime record mile of 1:57.1 for driver Victor Kirby and trainer Les Givens. Spin Sumthin followed in second and I’m Two Soxy got up for show. The winner is owned by the group of Henry Faragalli,III, Art Feeney, Bay Pond Racing and Bonuccelli Racing. The breeder is Winbak Farm. The second division was another repeat of the first leg with Cinder Rock (Rockabillie-Cinderella) cruising home easily in 1:56 for driver Allan Davis and trainer Wayne Givens. She is owned by Legacy Racing of DE, Inc. and bred by Elam Esh. Top 8-point getters will race in a $100K final on Wednesday, November 27th. There is a combined $15,000 consolation for fillies and the qualifying pacing colts. From Dover Downs and the DSBF

Diamond Creek Farm is pleased to announce that award winning harness racing pacer Captain Crunch will be standing at its Pennsylvania farm in 2020. "We are thrilled that the connections of the horse have entrusted us with him, " said Diamond Creek's Adam Bowden, "This has been in the works for awhile, and we are excited to get a horse of his caliber as an addition to our stallion lineup in 2020."  Captain Crunch was the Dan Patch pacing colt award winner in 2018 after a 2-year-old year that saw him victorious in both the Governor's Cup at The Meadowlands and Breeders Crown at The Downs at Pocono.   At 3, Captain Crunch started the year true to form, winning multiple divisions of the PA Sire Stakes. He then went on to an exhilarating victory in the Pepsi North American Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park, winning in a Canadian record time of 1:47 2/5.  Captain Crunch used a stakes, track and Canadian record 1:47.2 mile to win Saturday’s C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Captain Crunch, sent off at 4-1 odds from post eight, overcame favorite Workin Ona Mystery in deep stretch and posted a three-quarter length victory over Bettor’s Wish. Workin Ona Mystery finished third. Captain Crunch winning the Pepsi North American Cup He entered the winner's circle again in front of the whole world during the Cane Pace at The Meadowlands, where he crossed the line first on racing's biggest day in 1:48 over rival Bettor's Wish.     Captain Crunch and Scott Zeron winning at The Meadowlands 2018 Breeders Crown - Captain Crunch - 2YO Colt Pace "Captain Crunch is the first one of Captaintreacherous' sons to go to stud," said Bowden, "Captaintreacherous is the hottest young pacing stallion in the sport and Captain Crunch provides value to the breeder as his best and fastest son." Captain Crunch will stand at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania for an introductory stud fee of $7,500.  There will be limited syndication opportunities available.  Contact Diamond Creek Farm at 717.638.7100 or office@diamondcreekfarm.com for bookings and inquiries.  

CHESTER, PA - Harness racing drivers Dexter Dunn and George Napolitano Jr. won the feature races at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon - and red-hot Tim Tetrick won about everything else. Dunn guided the Captaintreacherous sophomore filly Philly Hanover to her second straight victory while winning the $18,000 top-billed distaff pace in 1:51.4. The "hometown horse" had to go the first-over route, but the uncovered journey did not faze the heaviest of favorites at all as she won by 2¾ lengths over Modesta, who tailed her cover, for trainer Ron Coyne Jr. and the partnership of Ron Coyne Stables Inc. and Blair Corbeil. Napolitano was the driver behind the Rock N Roll Heaven mare Jive Dancing A, who has now won four of her last five starts after tallying in 1:52.2 in the $17,000 co-feature. The Mike Hall trainee set the pace with two moves and had second-place Privacy Hanover three lengths in arrears of her as she ran her win record to 12 for 21 this season, to the pleasure of owners Blindswitch Racing Stable. Tetrick came out of the box smoking on Friday, winning five of the first six races (and missing a head in the other), and added a sixth victory later in the program to give him "boxcars" - a pair of sixes on the Wednesday and Friday cards (he drove at Dover on Thursday with the Matron sophomore stakes). During the month of November Tetrick has a 65-23-16-4-.511 log just at Philly, and he has won 41 races overall in the month's first 15 days, despite not competing on three of the days. He is second in North America in victories, first in money, and was tenth in UDR as the day started; at Philly, Tim is tops in all three categories. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Dover, DE — After Dancin Lou snapped his four-race win streak in the Breeders Crown, Bettor’s Wish ($3.20) got back in the win column with a 1:49.2 score in the $248,350 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing pacing colts and geldings on Thursday (Nov. 14) at Dover Downs. Bettor’s Wish worked clear of American Mercury (Tyler Buter) just beyond a :27 first quarter, but faced immediate pressure from Dancin Lou (Andy McCarthy) with a circuit to go and on toward a :53.2 half. With a quarter mile to go, Bettor’s Wish began to scamper away, turning aside Dancin Lou past three-quarters in 1:21.3.   The son of Bettor’s Delight was kept to task through the final furlong, and he maintained 1-3/4 lengths of clearance over American Mercury. Aflame Hanover (Corey Callahan) angled off the pegs at head-stretch to chase and just miss the runner-up spot. Trainer Chris Ryder co-owns Bettor’s Wish, an 18-time winner and an earner of over $1.8 million, with Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm Inc. and Bettor’s Wish Partners. Bettor’s Wish has finished first or second in all 18 of his starts this season. Following a runner-up finish to Warrawee Ubeaut in the Breeders Crown, Tall Drink Hanover ($13.20) rode the pocket to victory in the $165,900 Matron for 3-year-old pacing fillies, reeling in her arch rival in the process. Andy McCarthy put Cin play from the outset to seize early control, only to yield to prohibitive favorite Warrawee Ubeaut (Yannick Gingras) just behind a taxing :26 first quarter. After stalking a :54.2 half, Tall Drink Hanover found herself boxed as Sunny Dee (Brian Sears) offered first-over pressure up the far side. Off the home turn, Tall Drink Hanover angled to the open stretch and eclipsed the dueling leaders, beating Sunny Dee by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.2. Treacherous Reign (Dunn) lifted from third-over to narrowly take third over the engulfed Warrawee Ubeaut, who missed the board for the first time this year in her Matron defeat. Tony Alagna trains 15-time winner Tall Drink Hanover, a daughter of Captaintreacherous, for Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing LLC. For recaps of the Matron 3-year-old trots, click here. For recaps of the Matron 2-year-old divisions, which were contested on Nov. 7, click here. From the USTA

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 12, 2019 -- Hammered down to 1-9 in the wagering, Blue Ivy was as powerful as the odds suggested, pouring through the sloppy Lightning Lane to capture her third straight in Tuesday's fharness racing eature at The Meadows, a $13,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Blue Ivy was content to stalk Sandy Win from the pocket. But when Aaron Merriman pointed her to the Lightning Lane, she blew past the leader and defeated her by a widening 2-1/4 lengths in 1:54.3. Art Of Norma rallied for show. Bill Bercury trains Blue Ivy, a 3-year-old daughter of Captaintreacherous-All Blue who now boasts $179,085 in career earnings, for Renee Bercury. Merriman piloted four winners on the 13-race card while Brady Brown fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the program features a $31,771.56 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 as well as an $877.02 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6). First post for the 13-race card is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association    

CHESTER, PA - The Bettor's Delight mare Gold Orchid N had to work until the three-eighths before getting the lead from the outside post eight, but she stayed strong on the lead and posted a 1:53 victory in the $18,000 featured harness racing pace on a chilly Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. The winner of $226,285, including six figures both last year and this, had a host of leavers inside her but remained fixed on controlling the pace, being limbed well past the :27.2 opener, then making the top and getting a bit of a breather to the 1:24.2 three-quarters. No one could get near the frontstepping mare in the lane as she finished 2¾ lengths ahead of pocketsitting Clarebear for the "New Zealand Trifecta" - herself, trainer Mark Harder, and driver of Dexter Dunn. Bamq LLC saw their sole horse post her third win in her last five starts. There were a pair of $16,000 features, one for pacing distaffs on the "Filly And Mare Friday" Philly card, and one for trotters. In the pace for females, Midwest shipper Passionate Deo impressed in her return to Pennsylvania, making a quarter-move for driver George Napolitano Jr. and going on to an easy victory in 1:54.4. The Captaintreacherous sophomore has been no worse than third in three months, with three victories in that period. Dan Maier is handling the local care of the winner for owner Ameer Najor. In the trot co-feature, Always A Dream made a pace-controlling move in front of the grandstand and was able to retain the lead to the wire in 1:57.1. An altered son of Swan For All, Always A Dream warded off a strong rally by SVF Cash Deposit to finish a half-length to the good for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Scott Di Domenico, and the partnership of Foulk Stables Inc. and Triple D Stables Inc. Tetrick led the day's driving ranks with four wins. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Marloe Hanover returned from a show finish in theharness racing  Breeders Crown freshman-filly pace final to score a 1:50.3 win the $192,500 Kindergarten Classic Filly Pace Final, sponsored by Daniel Baer and South Mountain Stables, on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Meadowlands. From the moment the gate swung open, Marloe Hanover, driven by David Miller, aimed to be on top, leaving brightly with Hen Party and the 4-5 favored Rocknificent. Hen Party soon took the top spot and the other two public choices followed as the first quarter went in :27.1. Marloe Hanover tipped off the pylons and brushed to the lead from Hen Party, cutting the half in :55.4. Rocknificent came out from third to challenge the leader as Marloe Hanover easily paced through three-quarters in 1:23.3. Rocknificent was unable to make a solid challenge on the outside as Marloe Hanover maintained the lead while Hen Party gained ground on the inside, coming strongly at the leader. Marloe Hanover held off Hen Party by a head as that one took the place spot from Rocknificent, who finished third. The time for the mile was 1:50.3. Marloe Hanover, a daughter of Captaintreacherous, is trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman for owners Pinske Stables, David Hoese and Bridgette S. Jabionsky. Trainer Norman was happy about his filly's recent form. He said, "We've had a good little roll this last month. She's won not only this race but has been stakes placed on the Grand Circuit. She's tock solid, she just puts in a good effort every time." Norman said Marloe Hanover was unlucky in the Breeders Crown because "she had a lot of pace but had to split horses and only got beat a head." He indicated he would talk to some of the filly's partners about racing again this year, adding, "I'm not the boss." Carter Pinske, an assistant trainer for Norman, said the filly was "always good. She showed in Florida that she had the ability to do it," he said. "It was just one of them things where she had to put everything together, but she always been one of those ones that goes out and does it--she's a grinder, as she showed tonight." Marloe Hanover, who won her third race of the season, paid $7.40. Force N Fury, with Victor Kirby in the bike, came off a sizzling pace to draw away and win the $172,000 Kindergarten Classic Colt Pace Final, sponsored in memory of Harold and Marcia Snyder. Trained by Tony Alagna, the son of Captaintreacherous rolled well behind the early leader, favorite Major Betts, who swept to the first quarter in :26.4. Major Betts dismissed a challenge from Chief Mate, keeping the lead and cutting a :53.4 half. Keystone Dash followed on the inside while Captain Barbossa went first over to gain ground as three-quarters sparked in 1:21.3. In the stretch, Major Betts struggled with Captain Barbossa to his right as Kirby took Force N Fury three wide to charge from behind and soar past those two and win easily over a fast-closing Sea Of Life and Major Betts faltering to third. The time for the mile was 1:50.2. Driver Victor Kirby said, "I just figured I could get live cover, which happened, and a fast pace. In the first turn they were going at it pretty hard and that's all I needed. I had to tip a little earlier than I wanted at the head of the lane, but when I called on him he punched home strong." Kirby was driving Force N Fury for the second time and said both times "He felt real strong off a helmet and impressed me both weeks." Force N Fury paid $13.80 to win. By Frank Cotolo, for the Meadowlands    

Capt Midnight trainer Tony Alagna and Catch The Fire owner Charles Taylor were both happy their horses got byes into Friday's $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old harness racing male pacers, but it was Alagna who kept smiling after Tuesday's draw came out. Capt Midnight drew post five while Catch The Fire will start out of the nine hole. Ironically, Alagna's second horse in the final - Put To Right - drew the only spot outside Catch The Fire. "With Capt Midnight, we wanted to take the bye," Alagna said. "I've had bad luck; one time I (didn't take) a bye, had to beat one horse, and she made a break going to the gate. I said I'll never do that again and we'll just have to wait and see what the draw does. We got lucky enough to get the five hole." By the time the gate folds at Woodbine Mohawk Park, it will be 20 days between starts for the Captaintreacherous-It Was Fascination colt, but Alagna feels he will be ready. "On Saturday I brought Treacherous Reign, American History and Capt Midnight (to Mohawk) to train to the bike; it was a beautiful day and a great day to be able to do it," Alagna said, adding with grin, "The hardest part was getting (drivers) Dexter Dunn and Andy McCarthy out of bed to do it. "Once we got here, we trained them a pretty good mile and were very happy with all of them. I think it sets him up good for the final." Capt Midnight, who has earned C$328,194 this year, owns five wins at Woodbine Mohawk Park, including the Dream Maker Series final, Champlain, and Nassagaweya. He heads to the Breeders Crown final off a win in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile and is 3-1 on the morning line. Elimination winner Papi Rob Hanover is the 8-5 favorite followed by Tall Dark Stranger, who suffered his first defeat in the elim, at 2-1. "I thought he was a little flat the last eighth (of a mile)," Tall Dark Stranger's trainer, Nancy Johansson, said. "His blood work didn't come back perfectly, unfortunately; he's battling a little bit of sickness. Hopefully we can get that squared away. I changed his front shoes for the final, so hopefully we get a little more speed out of him. I think that he will be fine. He's a good horse. The way his blood work looked after the race, he actually put in a pretty good performance. "He trained a little bit (Tuesday) morning and he was just fine with the new shoes and everything. Hopefully he's going to have his best performance on Friday." Catch The Fire, a Captaintreacherous-Dream Outloud colt, was purchased for $15,000 as a yearling at Lexington and "showed talent right from the start," according to Taylor. Although the draw is not great, Taylor feels his horse is right in the mix. "I think we have a good shot," he said. "I think the top five or six in the class are so close with talent. I think it's going to come down to who gets the best trip. And if we can work out a good trip we've got just as good a shot as anybody in the race. "He's been a little tired the last couple starts so this extra week off getting the bye is going to help us quite a bit. It gives him a few extra days off." Catch The Fire has four firsts, three seconds and two thirds in 11 starts, good for C$252,547 in earnings. He won the Kentucky Sire Stakes final at Red Mile in 1:49.4. He also won a Kentucky Sire Stakes leg and a Pennsylvania All-Stars division. Trainer John Ackley is making his Breeders Crown debut. "Very rarely would you want to start a 2-year-old 12 times, but he (will have) 12 starts," said Taylor, who is seeking his first Breeders Crown win. "We said all year if he shows that he doesn't want to do it any more we'd shut him down. He's had a tough season and he just hasn't shown any signs. He hasn't lost any weight, his appetite is great. "There's very little training for him. He kind of maintains himself, he's easy on himself so we don't have to train him hard. He's just been all-around great. No ailments. He's a little smaller than the rest of them, I think that's actually worked to his advantage, that's why we were able to get 12 starts out of him, because he's a little smaller and not carrying as much weight as the rest of them." And while Taylor feels it's anybody's race, if he had to pick a favorite, it would be Papi Rob Hanover out of the three hole. "I just think he's raced tough throughout the year and he's raced against every single one of us and he's been first or second against every single one of us," Taylor said. "Whereas the rest of us have tended to race sporadically against each other, he's taken on all of us and the worst he's finished is second. He's just a tough horse." Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds are Friday at Mohawk. The finals for 3-year-olds and older horses are Saturday. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership is the presenting sponsor of this year's Breeders Crown. Following is the field for the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-Mayhem Hanover-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair-20/1 2-Allywag Hanover-Tim Tetrick-Casie Coleman-15/1 3-Papi Rob Hanover-David Miller-Brett Pelling-8/5 4-Cattlewash-Louis Roy-Ron Burke-8/1 5-Capt Midnight-Andy McCarthy-Tony Alagna-3/1 6-Major Betts-Dexter Dunn-Mark Harder-15/1 7-Tall Dark Stranger-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson-2/1 8-Freedom Warrior-Brian Sears-Kevin Lare-15/1 9-Catch The Fire-Mike Wilder-John Ackley-15/1 10-Put To Right-Bob McClure-Tony Alagna-20/1 By Rich Fisher, for the Breeders Crown  

Plainville, MA --- The $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) reconvened at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 20) after a one week sabbatical, with five harness racing divisions of 2-year-olds competing for $161,450 in total purses. The strongest performances of the day were turned in by Han Solo (Mister Big-Leah) and Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) who combined, tied or set four race records. The 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings went two divisions and Han Solo was victorious in his $22,100 split after a hard-fought race. R Maddy Blue Chip (Drew Monti) left and cut the mile, giving Han Solo (Kevin Switzer Jr.) a perfect pocket trip. R Maddy Blue Chip set a moderate pace of :27.1, :57.1 and 1:25.2 while Han Solo drafted closely behind, waiting to make his move. At the top of the stretch Switzer tipped Han Solo and started driving him hard down the lane. Monti was also heavily urging R Maddy Blue Chip and the two were almost even heading to the wire. But Han Solo got the advantage before tripping the beam and won by one-half length in 1:54.1. The time was a new lifetime mark for Han Solo, a new MASS stake record for 2-year-old pacing colts and tied his own track record for 2-year-old pacing colts. It was the fifth win in the last six starts for Han Solo ($5.40) who now has total earnings of $59,837 for owner, trainer and breeder Monique Cohen. In the $39,200 division for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings, Life Is A Feast (Howard Parker) left from post five and was pushed to the front. From there he set quarters of :28, :57.2 and 1:26.1 before turning for home and extending his lead to 1-3/4 lengths at the wire in 1:55.4. The time tied Life Is A Feast's lifetime mark and also tied the MASS stake record and the Plainridge Park track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings, both of which he set earlier this year. It was the fourth win in a row and third straight in the MASS series for Life Is Feast ($3.00) who pushed his earnings to $63,475 for owners Al Ross and Paul Fontaine. George Ducharme trains the Karen Carroll-bred winner. The $40,600 2-year-old pacing filly division went to Odds On Orlando (Captaintreacherous-Lindys Old Lady) for the third straight time this year. Driver Drew Monti took Odds On Orlando back to fourth while Mini Pini (Ivan Davies) and Rojas Blue Chip (Kevin Switzer Jr.) argued for the lead to the quarter in a swift :26.3. Mini Pini finally grabbed the front and the field then went to the half in single file in :55.2. After the five-eighths pole Rojas Blue Chip came back out to challenge Mini Pini along with I Am Wonder Woman (Wally Watson). This forced Odds On Orlando to go three-deep at the three-quarter pole and around the entire turn. Outside of her four-wide was Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) who was now even with the other three fillies. At the top of the stretch Odds On Orlando swelled up and paced away from the field under a line-drive to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55, which was a new lifetime mark. Odds On Orlando ($2.20) remains perfect in Massachusetts while earning $62,416 for owner Odds On Racing and trainer Tony Alagna. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred Odds On Orlando. The other $21,750 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding division went to Finnbar (Real Desire-Unbeachable) who scored his first stake victory. Mcbeantown (Mitchell Cushing) led the way to the half in :57.4 with the field in single file behind. They remained that way until the five-eighths pole where driver Ivan Davies pulled Finnbar from third, took the lead in the turn and cleared the front by the top of the stretch. From there he cruised home down the lane a wrapped-up two-length winner in 1:55.1, which was a new lifetime mark. Finnbar ($4.00) is owned by Nancy Longobardi and is trained by his driver Davies. Steve O'Toole was the breeder of Finnbar. The $37,800 division of the 2-year-old trotting fillies was the lone non-betting event and it went to Without A Warning, who remains perfect this year in the stake. Leaving from the pylons, Without A Warning (Shawn Gray) led every step of the way while cutting fractions of :29.1, :58.2 and 1:28. He rounded the last turn and trotted away in the stretch while opening up a 3-1/4 length margin of victory in 1:58. Without A Warning has now earned $136,160 this year for owner Ray Campbell Jr., who also bred the filly. George Ducharme is the trainer. The 3-year-old divisions will compete on Monday (Oct. 21) when live racing resumes at Plainridge Park. There are three non-betting events with post times of 1 p.m., 1:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. The fourth division goes as race one on the regular betting card with a post time of 2 p.m. All eight divisions of the $800,000 (est.) MASS finals will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 28). By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Freehold, NJ - The New Jersey Sire Stakes-Standardbred Development Fund (NJSS-SDF) series wrapped up at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, with a pair of finals for 3-year-old pacers. There was one logical result, and one big upset.   Ponder the Odds completed a sweep of the NJSS-SDF series for 3-year-old fillies, winning the final by 1 1/4 lengths. Sent off as the 1/20 favorite, driver Pat Lachance put her on the lead heading around the second turn, and never relinquished it, winning it easily with minimal challenges in 1:56.2.   This was the fifth win in a row for the Kathleen La Montagne-trained filly. The daughter of Ponder has now earned more than $106,000 in her career.   A Beach Cowgirl, fourth in the second leg last week, rallied well down the stretch to finish second. Stood Up, Surreality, Hurrikane Lori Ann, and Fear No Evil completed the order of finish.   Prince of Tides was also 1/20 in the final for 3-year-old colts & geldings. For the first seven-eighths of a mile, everything was going to plan: driver George Brennan put the Ross Croghan-trained gelding on the lead on the second turn, and was holding steady turning for home.   However, Admiral Ballsy, who sat in the pocket most of the way, popped out as they turned for home, and Prince of Tides could not pull away. In the last few strides to the wire, the 15/1 shot got up over the favorite, winning by a head.   Admiral Ballsy, a son of Captaintreacherous, is trained by Michael Hall, and was driven to victory by Joe Bongiorno. He went the mile in a career-best 1:53.2, pushing his career earnings over $70,000.   Trente Deo, Reigning Deo, Black Dan, Just Plain Loco, and Cool Your Heels rounded out the field.   Admiral Ballsy's upset win helped trigger a pick 5 carryover into Friday's card. The sequence will feature a carryover of $1,525.76, and begin in Friday's fifth race.   The first race at Freehold on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 PM EDT.   From the Freehold Raceway Media Department

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